Monday, November 24, 2008

Truth Reveals Who You Really Are

There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… Romans 8:1

Jesus said, “Abide in Me and I in you as I am the vine and you are the branches… John 15:1-5

As we choose to live within Him we find the true life that Almighty God intended for us to live.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death…Romans 8:2

The do’s and don’ts of religion are counter-productive toward the rich life that God designed for us.

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:2&3

The rules were never intended for the purpose of giving life.

He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! II Corinthinans 5:21

He made Jesus to BE sin on our behalf so that we could become righteous IN Him!

You see, your sin, (all of it; yesterday’s, today’s and all of tomorrow’s) were nailed to the cross. As the first nail was hammered into the hand of Jesus, your sin cried out in agony. As the second nail was hammered mercilessly into the other hand of Jesus, your sin screamed in terror! As the final nail was hammered into the feet of Jesus, your sin died!

With sin being dead, the stage has been set for each of us to become righteous in Jesus!

Living IN Jesus is open to each of us who have, by faith, accepted His payment!

We cannot live in both worlds. We cannot live in love with mammon and hope to love God and find the life of abundance that He has provided!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams!

Purpose; there is a reason that you are here! You are not an accident; you are not here by chance; however you are not your own.

…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price… I Corinthians 6:19-20

Most of us continue to live as if we belonged to no one. Sure there is some responsibility to our families and to our employers but outside of that we think we are in control.

Sadly mistaken is this view. We are free to continue to wander through our own “wildernesses” thinking we are getting somewhere when we are only walking around in circles. The day rapidly approaches each of us when we will look up and discover all that we have been living for is a mirage!

God never intended this to be the case. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book they were written, the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:16

Before you were born, God had His eyes on you. You are His delight: As for the saints, who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all My delight! Psalm 16:3

You delight God’s heart. There is nothing more that you need to do to be delightful in God’s eyes. You are His and He chooses to sing over you. (Song of Solomon). That is how He sees you!

How do you see yourself? You have been bought with a price; have you sold yourself to the highest bidder? Do you work for a wage or do you minister to Him and see the reward for your work as a gift from His hand?

For the shepherds have become stupid and have not sought the Lord; therefore they have not prospered and all of their flock is scattered. Jeremiah10:21

The folly of our pursuits leads only to scattered flocks and empty lives.

I know, O Lord, that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

From the beginning God had a different idea for you: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for blessing and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you, and you will seek Me and find Me when you will seek Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11-14

May I suggest that you might like to consider bending toward His desires for you? For too long we have been “stupid” shepherds and our flock is scattered. The height of foolishness is to continue doing the same things while expecting different results. If you don’t like what you have been getting, try doing it His way!

Do you have a purpose or do you just exist day to day?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Image or Power?

No fingers are being pointed at anyone with the following thoughts except for those which are pointing back to the writer.


From our earliest days we have learned the lesson of presenting ourselves in ways that don’t reveal the inner issues. The conflict that rages between our true selves and the image that we present bring stress and turmoil beyond our awareness.

Far more destructive is this inner conflict that it diverts us from the glory that our God has redeemed us to.

The apostle Paul, writing to his friend Timothy in his second letter to him, alerts him to coming challenges:

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come…”

Certainly there have always been “difficult times” in every age and in every society. The difference in what Paul is writing his friend about is that he is addressing issues that will arise within the Church not in society.

“For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”

An ugly list isn’t it? Surely, this can’t be talking about God’s people; it must be addressing those who don’t know Jesus yet. Unfortunately, that would be an incorrect assumption. You see, the characteristics listed do indeed describe unredeemed man but that is not just an issue for the “last days”. That is the standard by which man has lived throughout history.

Paul’s next comments indicate that he is not talking about a lost world but, instead is addressing a “lost” church.

“…holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…”

No we cannot excuse ourselves by looking at the list and selecting some, or even most, of the list that doesn’t apply. The fact is that any one of the traits listed would indicate that we are more in love with ourselves that we are with Jesus.

“holding to a form of godliness” how close this one cuts to the bone. Does our relationship with Jesus make any difference in our day to day lives or are we only living in an image?

How can we truthfully answer such a question? We have come a long way in our present circumstances so how can we accurately evaluate our postion?

“they have denied its power”.

When was the last time that you experienced His power?

Paul addresses the believers in Corinth with the following words: But I shall come to you, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:1—20

God never intended that Christians should cower in the recesses of our society. Hi intent was stated right up front:

…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…Acts 1:8

It has been a foolish exchange, this trade of power for self-delusion and self-interest. Perhaps it is time that we cancel the trade and return to that which was bought for us with such a high price!

The benefit is immeasurable: …(He) is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us. Ephesians 3:20

The choice is clear, the price has been paid, the gift has been presented, the guarantee is assured, the results are eternal.

Image or Power?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Foolish Thinks He is in Control

I arrived at the conference just in time for the host to begin the first session. Never one to worry about being on the first few rows, I was very content with the timing. As the host began, I settled in to my seat at the back, ready to escape if things weren’t worth my time.

The host gave the customary welcome to the attendees while promising a day that would never be forgotten. He then recited the agenda for the morning session including a quick view of the speakers and events of the morning.

As the host introduced the initial speaker of the morning, I began to mentally tune out thinking that the things going on in my life were most likely more important that the obligatory “first” speaker. There is a reason, after all, why this person was put first before everyone had arrived and most had fully awakened.

A brief glance toward the speaker as he approached the podium confirmed my priorities. There was really nothing in his demeanor spoke to me about a message that I needed to hear.

His very first words shook me from my lethargy. “Before I begin my topic for today I want to address a few specific people here”. No, it wasn’t these words, because I had heard in every other conference too many obligatory adulations for too many dignitaries. “I am not here to tell anyone what to believe” were his next words. These are the words that caught my attention. He continued, “for those of you who are Christian”. He now had my complete focus. “You claim that there is a real God”; yea, so far so good. “If there is a real God, what gives you the right to moan and complain about anything?”.

Slammed right between the eyes, I sat in my seat for the rest of the morning not hearing another word that was spoken by this or any other speaker. The truth of that question struck me to my core!

“For those of you who are Christian, you claim that there is a real God. If there is a real God, what give you the right to moan and complain about anything?”

These words rolled around and around in my mind the rest of that day and every day since.

The wisdom of Proverbs tells us that, The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

As each day begins, each of us has a full day on our minds. Tasks to complete, meetings to attend, errands to run, people to contact. We run for before sun up to after sun down chasing down our plans. The mind of man plans his way.

What happens when the “unplanned” strike in an already busy day? The plans are made but they didn’t include the flat tire on the way to work. The plans are made but they didn’t include the sick child or spouse or co-worker or employee. The plans are made but they didn’t include the urgent message from an acquaintance, or a relative, or the school. The plans are made but they didn’t include the slippery roads and the clogged traffic. The plans are made but they didn’t include hitting every red light in town.

The plans are made but “the Lord directs his steps”. There simply are no coincidences within the kingdom of God.

Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how can a man understand his way? Proverbs 20:24

We fail to understand our way because we view our lives through the lenses of logic and practicality. The kingdom of God moves on faith. There is a broad disconnect between the lenses that we use and those that perceive truth.

In Jesus all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete… Colossians 2:99&10

The sad thing is that we fail to realize what Jesus has done for us. We have been made complete. The difficulty is that we choose to live in the part of our lives that, like everyone else, is incomplete. The completeness within us includes that awareness of God at work around us and in us.

Is a flat tire, a sick person, an urgent message, the tough road or the string of red lights just irritations to confound your plans or are they opportunities to see, hear, know or respond to God? There is a “completeness” waiting for us. Will we respond or will we continue to fight against God’s directed steps”?

Grace an peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by and to His own glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:2&3