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Having God sized eyes

This is a follow up to my post on God loves the mediocre or average person.  There are so many negative influences in our lives.  I believe everyone has a purpose, and some people don’t have dreams, but unless you never talk to anyone all day long everyday  of your life, each person has something somewhere that God wants to accomplish and you just don’t what your life means to someone somewhere.  Every life has purpose.

When God looks at a person – does He see the pit they are in?  Does He see the dismay and the despair?  No He sees the beauty and the amazement and the awe and the wonder that each person He has bestowed upon their life.  Yes it is true that some people go to work, come home, eat, and watch television and think that that’s all there is.  But do you know just by you being alive and being there that you have affected someone somewhere.  You have made an impact on a person somewhere in their life, that they can look back and say – if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have been where I am today.  Each person has value.

If you don’t believe me read these parts of Psalm 139 –

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

The problem is that we don’t believe these things about ourselves.  We believe all these lies and negativity all around us from everywhere that we don’t see that God has something wonderful in store for each of us.  He has given us a gift of being born into this world.

Jesus said “So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  Matthew 17:20

Do you know how much faith is a mustard seed?  It’s very small.  It doesn’t require much faith.

So if faith is not the missing link, then what is?  It is the vision.  Proverbs 29:18 – 18 Where there is no vision, the people perish.

You cannot go searching for a vision, but God will give it to you at the right time.  The Wright Brothers had a vision to build an airplane.  If you look at the heroes of faith, they all had a vision, and their vision was a promise of an eternal city, but they also had been given promises in their life.

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child[b] when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

The Heavenly Hope

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[c] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The Faith of the Patriarchs

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”[d] 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

The Faith of Moses

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in[e] Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

By Faith They Overcame

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Even though we have a Heavenly Hope, which is in Christ Jesus does not mean, that should live life on earth as if we were worthless and not worth anything.  Each person is worth something and God has a plan for each of them.

Because of the drastic negative outlook of people around us, believers, preachers, unbelievers, around us, we all see through dark colored glasses not seeing the immensity of greatness that God sees around us.  He sees the amazement.  Everything was created by Him and for Him and for His good pleasure, and in knowing that we must know that God has something special planned for each one of us, but a certain force has blinded our eyes to see the truth.  As if it depends on us to do something.  A lot of money doesn’t mean much, neither does distances traveled.  You can have tremendous impact on someone’s life just sitting at home and being on your computer.  It’s the power of a word.  It’s what word, though, do we speak?  Do we speak words, that make others look at their lives and think pitiful thoughts about themselves?  Or do we speak life?  Do we speak the Word of Jesus?  Or do we speak man made conjecture?  Do we add faith to faith or do we add doubt with faith?  Do we make people realize how limited they are in the natural?  Or do we say that we walk by faith and not by “sight”?  Vision is an amazing thing – it shows us how we are, and it is by faith in God that this vision is operated.

Do we have God sized eyes, do we see ourselves as someone born with a purpose?  Or do we see ourselves as someone who is just mediocre, because either someone has told us that, or because we believe that about ourselves?  We are not mediocre!!!  There is no such thing as mediocrity.

It is because we don’t have faith in the God of the Bible, and vision, and the ability to see ourselves the way that God sees us and in a sense have lost our identity.  Whose eyes are you looking through, dear friends?

Mark 10:27 With men it may be impossible, but with God all things are possible!!!  Even the miraculous!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise and mighty

As I was calling different grocery stores looking for a specific type of grocery product for someone, someone remarked that my speech was all jumbled and not clear, although to myself I was talking as clear as I could.  My reactions were juggling  between two Biblical Scriptural viewpoints – “they have become dull of hearing”  and the fact Moses had a speech impediment.

 

Exodus 4:

10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.

11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.

13 But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”

14 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and He said: “Is not Aaron the Levite your brother? I know that he can speak well. And look, he is also coming out to meet you. When he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do. 16 So he shall be your spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God. 17 And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs.”

Although this was part of God’s divine plan from the beginning of the foundation of the world,  we can see how Moses view of his own identity, and the power of God to use him just as he was had become diminished, but that didn’t stop God from using Moses from parting the Red Sea.

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”- 1 Corinthians 1:25-27

Some of us blog-evanglists, are bad spellers, use poor grammar, and bad sentence structure.  Some of us cannot speak very well.  Some of us have nothing special about our appearance, but God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to put to shame the things the things that are wise and mighty.  So if you don’t think anything there is anything special about you – or maybe you’re being picked on because there is something different about you – realize that God can still use you.  There was a story about a young boy that blushed too much, who ended up committing suicide because he was embarassed, and if only he had known that God still can use him.  God can use anyone and anybody.  It’s so sad to see people who have great and mighty callings on their lives be dismayed and discourage by what other people say – because God does not look at outward appearance but He looks at the heart.  He looks at what is inside of a man or woman that He may use.  There is a Scripture, verse that says –

2 Corinthians 10 –

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Reality of Paul’s Authority

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.[a] For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us[b] for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

Sometimes we think we need to have something great and mighty for God to use us.  But actually God can use anybody especially people that we may think have nothing about them that seems special.

All Moses had was a staff in his hand – and God used it.  All the little boy had was a bread and two fish, and God multiplied it.  All the widow at Zarephath, had was one hin of oil, and God used Elijah to multiply it, and used the very little that we have whether that be our weaknesses or our resources, or all that we have and God can bless so many people through it.

The Scripture says do not despise humble beginnings.  Wherever we get our start is a blessing, and when we receive our calling, sometimes we are hesitant – we say – how can I preach when I have speech problems?  or How can I be a missionary I can only walk to the end of the street and back?  or how can I feed thousands of people when I don’t have enough money to take care of myself and my needs?  How can I perform signs, miracles, and wonders in Jesus name, when I don’t appear to have anything special about me?   But you know what God is a God of multiplication, and Psalm 139 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and knowing that He brings provision for every circumstance we will face.  Our God is a great God.

Do not be discouraged when someone criticizes you about something dear friends because God thinks highly of you because He is our Creator. Now at the same time if you are someone who is habitually sinning and willfully sinning against God, and God has brought you the conviction and you have rejected, then there is time for a rebuke, and that must also be taken, but that usually by elders and mentors in the Church, but from people in the world, if they despise you and reject you and say vile things against you  here’s what the Bible has to say-11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Don’t let the enemy use people to steal you’re God given identity in Christ away from you because, in Him you will find all the beauty and strength for your weaknesses.

There is a song called “The Heart of Worship” and it some part that says – “though I am weak and poor all I have is yours every single breath.”

Take your weaknesses to Him, and He will make them beautiful and shape them in His Potters wheel so that they maybe beautiful treasures that God may use  to glorify Himself in your life.

 

 

Turn your sin into sing

Many times we are bombarded with living up to a perfect standard in Christ because we are called to be like Him.  Sometimes even the word repentance can be scary because even though it means to change your mind some people have made you think that you can lose the hedge of protection or the covering for sin or even that you might lose your salvation if you sin.  But the purpose of repentance is not to make you afraid and terrified of God so much that you cannot rest or trust in Him because you think or going to end up in a dark place or that He is going take you and tear you to shreds unless you repent.  God is a loving God and He wants you to turn your sin into singing.

If you are addicted to alcohol then He wants you to recover and be of support to people struggling with the same issue.  If you are anxious and worried and afraid He wants you turn around and comfort people who are also anxious, worried, and afraid because He knows that we have nothing to fear because He is always by our side.  Whatever your sin may be, great or small, He has already accounted for it in His provision.  It is part of His accounting system.  Like in accounting you measure the ledger by the money going out and the money coming in, He knows that His blood is on the other side of the scale of Justice to account for the sin that we have made, and for that we can rejoice.  We can also rejoice in knowing that as it says in Psalm 121 He is our Protector.  There is nothing that can change Him from who He is and it is no matter what you do it can’t change who He is.  He is our Redeemer as well as our Protector and His will is always for own best interest.  Of course there are things that we probably shouldn’t be doing because they are harmful to ourselves and others, but we don’t have to live with guilt and anxiety because of these things.  It is by His grace and His perfect measure of peace and mercy that all things work together to His divine plan and that His mercy is forever as it says in Psalm 136 – His steadfast love endures forever –

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13 to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14 and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15 but overthrew[a] Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

17 to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18 and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20 and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21 and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22 a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

In this passage it means that His steadfast love and His mercy are the same thing.  His all encompassing everlasting promising love of His will be with us always no matter what we do.

The question is once you realize that He is your Redeemer or Protector or Healer or Provider and some circumstance comes to challenge that will you still believe that is who He is?  It is that in which He is testing you on.  He is not testing you on if you are not perfect or if you lie sometimes or get angry sometimes or want to scream at the telemarketers or do things that just don’t seem like what you are supposed to be doing, will you still trust that He is your Redeemer and that He will always be your Redeemer.  The problem is that in most of these Attributes of God we don’t seem to have a problem with Him, but we often have a problem with Him being a Judge, but He judges even on the basis of the balance of what is right and wrong knowing that we have a Mighty Counselor or Advocate in Jesus Christ and that His blood washes us away from sin.

I think most of the Church has gotten off track on repentance, which is best defined as a transition from being what was once a caterpillar going into the cocoon and turning into a butterfly.  Some of us are still in the cocoon wondering when we are going to get out, but God knows when we are ready, but we must never lose our faith in the cocoon which is giving us wings so that we can fly high and soar.  Sometimes we are dismayed by all the things around us and all the challenges around us that we begin to question who Jesus is and how much He actually loves us and is Jealous for us and wants us to “change our minds about Him” – we must remember that He is Jealous.

Revelation 2 says –

2 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

In this context the word repent means to change your mind about Christ, which is the real essence of the verse because if you look at it – they hated the deeds of the evildoers so they were not doing evil, but they had turned their minds against Christ and did not have the love that once had.  I am guessing this was because of offense, strife, and bitterness which had gotten into their hearts.  They became hard hearted toward Christ and had to turn to Him.

Revelation 2:12-17 says

To the Church in Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did notdeny my faith[b] even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching ofBalaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

I am not going into all the verses in Revelation to define the Word repent, in all these cases, but in this context it seems that Jesus is grieved by the eating of food sacrificed to idols and of fornication, and there is a deep history behind these verses that goes in with the iniquity and injustice done by these verses.

Even though we have the Blood of Jesus as our standard and measuring device by which to measure all things as they pertain to Christ, and in regard to sin, we must not let us let anyone take away from the fact that Jesus is Judge and Redeemer at the same time.  He judges injustice, but He redeems at the same time.  It is part of His divine nature to make the vessel in whichever way He created, and He prefers to use cracked pots instead of self-righteous perfect vessels.  He knows that through our weaknesses and failures and sins and iniquities that there is a prize of an upward calling, a glorious manifestation of us seated with Christ in heavenly places, but if we are so bogged down and beating ourselves up for our sins or not being able to clearly identify with Him in all His attributes.  We are called to be Christ-like, but can we really be 100% Christlike – He is our Redeemer, can we be a redeemer as well, I think not!  There is only one Redeemer and that’s Him, and there’s only One Judge and that’s Him, and in Him everything is made Righteous so to even attain such a glorious calling seems to be an unattainable aspiration. So what do we do?  We accept that we in ourselves are imperfect and that we must stop trying to work in our selves to earn a place in God’s respect, and just accept that we are lost and helpless and we need a Savior, and that the very sin that we commit is going to turn into beauty for someone else.

I have done things before I was Christian which I regret dearly, and I now can thank God that He has changed me, but I still am a work in progress and sure there are things I don’t understand right now like Bible Prophecy, but that doesn’t change the fact that God is who He says He is.  Sometimes as I read on one blogpost, we read the Bible and think it is about us, but it is not – it is all about Him, and everything in the world is about Him, and it is His story, so we should rejoice in that fact.  We don’t see Him as Healer because we haven’t identified with Him as that – that takes a personal revelation from Him, that comes from Him.

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed[d] in heaven.”

This rock – means firmness and strength of a man’s soul –

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for petra (Strong’s 4073)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 2 May 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G4073&t=KJV >

Jesus changed Simon’s name to mean firmness and strength and do you know why?  He would have to have this identity because Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him three times, and He knew that while he professed in his own strength to have enough courage and steadiness not to deny Christ, He in the end would be turned away from Christ.  So in this revelation of Christ as the Son of the living God, His identity is revealed to Peter.  So has the identity of Christ as your Redeemer been revealed to you?  Has the identity of Christ as your Savior been revealed to you?  Only the Father will be able to reveal this to you.  But if you seek it out in His Word, it can clearly be seen.  So what attribute of God has been revealed to you and do you still hold on to that promise?  Will you when you sin instead of mourning and grieving over your sin, will you make it an opportunity to sing?

Yes God is Holy, but to call ourselves unholy will grieve the Holy Spirit and wreck havoc to us because it is by faith that we are made holy, we are to call things that are not as though they are and in this we can find perfect peace.  But until we come complete revelation of Him as our Redeemer we will be wrestling with our sins, guilt, shame, fear, and pain, until we realize that Jesus has came and done it once and for all!!!

 

You are God’s beloved

This message is for Christians who have been born again and received salvation from our Father, and Son in the precious Lord Jesus Christ.  For those that are not Christians, and who have not received the promise then God is waiting for you to come to Him.

In 1 John 4:17 it says, Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

In Matthew 3:17 it says:  16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased

Once we receive the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit, after receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our spirit becomes one with His spirit.  To explain this to people that might be new to Christianity, there are three parts to each person – there is the body, soul, and spirit.  The body is the external part of you, your hands, eyes, feet, nose, etc.  The soul consists of the mind, emotion, and will.  The spirit is the third part of the person.  The spirit once a person becomes born again, takes on a a new nature and becomes a new creation.

2 Corinthians 5:16 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

We become a ransomed bride of Christ because He redeemed us with His blood, which He shed on the Cross, taking up all the sin, shame, and guilt, of everything that we have done, will do, or are doing because He is outside of time and He was crucified once and for all.

Because the Word of God says that Jesus was and is the Father’s beloved, then we too are the Father’s beloved because He truly cares for us, but what pleases God?  Is it your works, or what you do, or what you don’t do, or how you live your life?  No it’s your faith because the Word of God says that “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

“who diligently seek Him” comes from the Greek word ekzeteo and in this context it means to “seek the favor of God, or to worship.”

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ekzēteō (Strong’s 1567)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 17 Apr 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G1567&t=KJV >

The word “faith” here is not the word, “faithfulness”, but comes from the wordpistis in Greek, and it means “the conviction that God is the creator and ruler of all things, provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ.”

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for pistis (Strong’s 4102)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 17 Apr 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=G4102&t=KJV >

Sometimes we get bogged down and weighed down with sin and guilt that we can’t see why God created us.  We think He’s angry with us.  Jesus is living inside of the believers through the Holy Spirit and we abide in Him.  When we become born again our spirit becomes born inside of Him, and our spirit being becomes a part of Him.

John 3 says:

The New Birth

3 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Here’s what it says about abiding in Christ:

John 3:36

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

John 6:56

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

John 8:31

[ The Truth Shall Make You Free ] Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

John 8:35

And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

John 12:46

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

When you become born again you are entering into a marriage contract with Jesus.  To know the conditions of that contract, and to know what you are getting into you have to read the Word of God which is the Bible to discover the beautiful books of poems, the beautiful things it to say about your husband.  The wonderous ways that He is Jealous for your attention and your love.

When He was looking for you, He chose you, and out of His gentle gentle, Spirit, He could not force you into commitment with Him, so He said only if “this person is willing to take on my name,” then I will allow her to become part of Me. After He chooses you He is not going to let you go without a fight, and you will have to fight like a good marriage does to stay together despite all the rumors, and all the commotion that goes on all around, despite all the danger lurking in various places, despite everyone and everything around you or in you that calls Him, and what He has promised to you in His Word a lie.  You must fight to hold on to that relationship, and keep Him the center of your affections, no matter what happens to you.  He loves you so much, and sometimes He will just hide so that you can find Him all over again, but He is always within you and you are within Him.  So you can rest secure that if you belong to Him, He will keep you in the palm of His hand.  Even if you turn your back on Him, like Peter did, He’ll still love you, and He’ll always be willing to redeem you if you turn to Him, but if you can’t live with the guilt of what you did, then you might be digging yourself into a place that you don’t want to be in like Judas did.  But that is not God’s heart.  God’s heart is to let you know that you are Jesus’ beloved and he will treasure you.  That doesn’t mean that trials and testings and tribulation won’t come, but it means that not only do you put your trust in Him, but He also trusts in you and He knows you better than you know yourself because He is willing to forgive you in anything that you do.

For men who don’t want to be called a bride, which is just a symbolic to term to indicate intimacy, if you prefer you are also the sons of God.

 

 

The Grasshopper Season

I don’t know how many of you guys have ever heard the story of the ant and the grasshopper, but here’s how it goes-well at least my adaption of it.  An ant was preparing for the winter floods in the summer by gathering food and preparing it’s home so that it wouldn’t get destroyed by the floods.  The grasshopper was lazy and did not prepare and kept procrastinating and saying, “It’ll be ok when the floods come.”  I think the ant might have even told him to prepare for the flood, but he just didn’t listen.  He just had better things to do than to prepare for the floods.  Then one day the floods came and it came and the grasshopper came knocking on the door of the ant’s home, but the ant only prepared enough for his family.  The floods came and destroyed the grasshopper.

Proverbs 30:25 says this about ants:

25 Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;

Proverbs 6:6 has this to say about ants:

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!

 

Then there is the parable of the foolish virgins and the wise virgins –

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.

I’ve been also looking at these few verses and just trying to comprehend the depth of these statements:

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ [Matthew 7:21-23]

I’ve taken apart as many ways as I can and still all I can come up with is?  Do I really know the LORD?  Or better yet does the LORD know me?  We need to be sure of this.

When the Bible talks about ants and even in the story I gave in the beginning sheds light on certain seasons of testing that we have in our spiritual lives.  Some people go through a season of testing based on how much they prepared in the previous season they will reap when that harvest cycle comes into completion.  There are four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  Whatever is gathered together in the Spring is harvested in the Fall and whatever is gathered together in the Summer is harvested in the Winter.  Sometimes if we are not attacked physically, we can get attacked emotionally, or mentally, or financially, or even spiritually depending on how much time and effort we have sown into the kingdom during the harvest cycles.  The Bible says that we are to grow from glory to glory so that means that we are supposed to increase in growth, maturity, and fruit from season to season.  But when happens when God draws away from us, or it just seems to get harder to be in the Presence of God, or to gather anything from your daily Bible readings?  What then?  Are we just supposed to give up?  Are we supposed to spend all that time buying and listening to cd’s from other preachers,  when we cannot seem to have clarity of thought and seemed to be pulled apart in every direction?

Jesus talks about the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins.  In that Parable He says that both the foolish and the wise were sleeping, but the wise virgins had oil in their lamp, and they actually told the foolish virgins to buy from someone else lest, they would run out of oil.  Oil is the anointing and the presence of the Holy Spirit.  He is encouraging people to pursue their own relationship with God, and not draw from other people, because in the end the other people will let them down in the end, but the ones who had been prepared and had done their work before hand in keeping their oil in their lamps fresh would get to meet the bridegroom when He comes.

So then you look at Matthew 7:21-23 – and that really hits you right between the eyes, and in the middle of the heart.  These people that had the “anointing”, they were doing things like prophesying, casting out demons, performing miracles, or they could have even been blogging, and preaching the gospel, but Jesus said that He will say, “I never knew you…depart from me you workers of iniquity (lawlessness)”  I guess I am just a Christian that tries to love by seeing the best in other people, but that statement was like, “Whoa God, What can I do so that you don’t cast me out?  What can I do so that you will accept me?”

That brings us to the will of the Father.  What is the will of the Father?  There is only two that I can think of:

John 6:40 – 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

And the other one- I don’t know where it says it, but the other one is to give thanks or to be appreciative or grateful of all that God has done.

Can these people who are going to be cast out of heaven be thankful, appreciative, see and believe in Him, and still be cast out of heaven?  The Bible says that anointing is without repentance, so how come anointed people are being rejected by God?  How is repentance achieved when we are supposed to be saved by grace, once and for all?

All these questions started entering my mind and in this season of testing, where the enemy knows you are weakest, he will try to attack you any way he can.  So if he can’t attack you physically, he will go after your mind and heart.  Which is why we need that time with the Holy Spirit, and to actually cultivate a relationship with Jesus.  These are the times when we  have to seek Him more.  In essence so that we know without a doubt who He is.  It is a time for us to know without a doubt who we are in Christ.  It is a time to change from victim mentality to victor mentality.  So if you know your season of testing is coming up it is wise to prepare and keep your oil lamp lit so that when that time comes you can be full equipped to engage in spiritual warfare, and at the same time draw closer to the LORD and to guard your hearts and mind.

Let us be like ants preparing bit by bit, line by line, precept by precept, preparing the way of the LORD, and leading people to repentance, without giving them a feeling of condemnation because that’s when they will know that they don’t have be grasshoppers in a grasshopper season, but they are like ants in a grasshopper season.

 

 

 

 

Who you are is not defined by what you do

People are often trying to define themselves by something.  They are trying to find validation in something.  In many ways people are still trying to earn merit in society.  After I graduated from college there was some time that I was looking for a job, and people would ask me, “What do you do?”  It was as if my job defined who I was.

I want to straighten something out that will bring a more clear perspective into the Christian walk of faith, and into the Word of God about what exactly is the purpose of the spiritual walk, and how the Word of God separates who we are from what we do.  From the Word of God we learn that God hates sin, but when Jesus came He showed that through the love of the Father, and to show His nature that He does not hate sinners, but sin.

Sin is what you do that is what God hates that is unpleasing to God, but a sinner what people were before they accepted Christ.  Once we accept Christ, your identity, who you are, takes on the Spirit of God living inside of you.  That makes you a child of God, and the righteousness of God in Christ.  The Bible talks about sin quite a bit, but there is not a scripture verse that mentions directly what is the opposite of sin.  Love is the only word I could think of that would be opposite to sin, and the Word of God says that “Love covers a multitude of sin.”  There are two ways in every matter, there is God’s way, the way of light, the way of righteousness, and there is the way of darkness, the way of wickedness.  There is obedience or there is disobedience.   We are as it says in 1 John, either children of the Father, the LORD, YHWH, in whom Jesus abides, or we are children of the devil.  The Bible makes that very clear.  That in essence defines who we are.

Once we accept Christ we become heirs of Christ and are heirs of His kingdom, and His inheritance.  Part of the problem is that when we don’t know who we are in Christ, the enemy will cause us to stumble in what we do, causing us to sin.  This sin leads people down a path of darkness, but if we know who we are in Christ, then we can repent and be forgiven.  We must be very careful what we listen to and what we hear and test every word given to us by the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit that helps us walk in holiness and righteousness in Christ.

When David was writing the Psalms, he talked quite a bit about the righteous and the wicked.  In that sense he was describing the identity of the people.  He used the word ungodly, and evil, to also describe the wicked.  That in essence was describing who they were, the concept was still the same then, people were either children of God, or children of the devil, but there was a separation and distance between God and man, and a veil that still had to be torn.  He (David) still had to offer burnt sacrifices and offerings, and I think in one Psalm it even said, “let my burnt sacrifices and offerings be pleasing in Your sight.”  When Jesus came He was looking for something else.  He was looking for faith, and people to believe that He would be the one to be the Messiah, and the Redeemer of Israel, but He came in a way that they did not expect.  This ungodly, evil, and wicked description were for people who were violent and constantly chasing after David and trying to provoke him with fear, anxiety, and worry, and sometimes he even got depressed as he was in Psalm 22, the prophetic Psalm, which Jesus quoted on the Cross, because they were always after him, and he knew His only strength was the LORD.  David used the word righteous to describe himself and of the LORD, and for that word in Hebrew he still uses it to the end of Psalms.  I haven’t done an in depth study of the Psalms to find out if when he sinned with Bathsheba, he was still calling himself righteous, or exactly how he repented in Psalms, but he maintained that belief in who he was because he knew he was favored by the LORD, and the LORD, had a promise for him, that from his seed the Messiah would come.

That was an example from the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, when Jesus came, He looked for people who had faith, and He accepted people for who they were.  There was the adulteress woman, He accepted her, and even when it came to Peter, He knew who Peter was and forgave Him for what He did.  He did not tell Peter, “Repent from your wickedness.”  Why was that, when this whole time in the beginning of the Gospels, John the Baptist, and Jesus were saying, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand?”  This was because He wanted the hearts of the people to be turned toward Him, and away from sin, but He still accepted all the people who were sinners.  He accepted the people, but He wanted them to turn to Him, so that they may receive a new identity.  If they turned to Him, they would receive the identity and the inheritance, as of sons of God, in Christ, which is an inheritance of salvation and a promise to enter into His kingdom on Judgment Day.

The problem is that this whole thing about repentance, has been taken way out of proportion, and I guess I have to be careful to what kind of audience I am speaking to when I say this, but repentance is about a change of mind, thought, and attitude towards God to develop His character.  It’s not about doing the right things, or doing the wrong things.  It’s an attitude of the heart. If your mind is continuously focused on God, and you desire to please Him, and you don’t want to hurt or offend Him, then your one-third of the way there in the attitude of the heart.  Then because you have reached that step, then the next step, which coincides and is related the one right after it, is to love your neighbor, and that is why Jesus’ example shows us forgiveness.  The one right after it, which should come before it, is to love yourself.  Loving your neighbor and loving yourself are intertwined.  You cannot love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.  That’s when realizing who you are in Christ, comes into picture.  If you know that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, and that you are the very image of God in Christ, and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, then the next step will lead you to being able to love your neighbor with  an unconditional love.  Unconditional means without conditions or limitations.  Ramson Mumba defined it best, “Loving the object of the affection despite the condition of the object”.  That means even if the person never changes you still love them.  Why?  Because you love who they are.  You can still be hurt or don’t like what they do, but you love who they are.  A good testing of this is if someone has hurt you then you ask yourself, “Would I be happy if they got hurt the same way or a worse way than what I did?”  This tests your forgiveness level.  If you want to get back at someone that means that something in your attitude of the heart needs to change, and that is the very essence of repentance.

Blessings and Cursings in Deuteronomy were conditional.  If someone followed something the way the LORD said to do it, they would get blessed, but when someone did something against the way the LORD said to do it, they would get cursed. Agape Love is unconditional love and not only unconditional, but it is a self-sacrificing God kind of love, that Jesus came to show and is the way that the LORD loves us.  When Jesus said to bless your enemies, and those who persecute you, He was in essence taking the condition out of the blessing and putting Agape in it.

BLESSING – CONDITION + AGAPE= HOW TO TREAT YOUR ENEMIES

So that means no matter what anyone does to you, you still love who they are, but you can not agree with what they did.  Now if you feel that someone has does something so bad that you cannot in any way love who they are, and you also cannot agree with the person to the point that you don’t even want to talk to them anymore, or see them anymore, or you actually wish evil upon them, then you may have an issue of the heart that you need to ask the Holy Spirit to deal with and work with you into removing those attitudes of the heart that are grievious to the Holy Spirit.  When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you become His and when you begin to understand who you are in Christ, then you will realize that when it talks about being “wicked” you know that they are not talking about you because you are the righteousness of God in Christ.

A thought to meditate on:  Once more Jesus addressed them. “I am the Light of the world,” He said; “the man who follows me shall certainly not walk in the dark, but shall have the light of Life.”  Weymouth New Testament

I want to take a secular example in closing, to illustrate the point.  In the Lion King, when Simba’s father, Mustafa, died, he had trouble finding his identity.  He did not want to live up to his calling, but when his father, Mustafa, came in a vision, said “Remember who you are.”

In essence that’s what we have to do is to remember that we are sons (and daughters), of the king, and we have a rightful inheritance to the kingdom of God, and we have a calling, and we cannot let anyone be able to steal our calling away from us because in a moment of weakness we have forgotten who we are and may have not acted out of love.