Tag Archive | Transformation of character

How Jesus reacts to us being unashamed

Many times we’ve said things to people and caused ourselves to have a bad reputation and mislead people in a wrong direction or been a bad example to others and also many times we’ve made mistakes and said things that we’ve regretted.  We’ve given out too much personal information and in the end it has caused us to be taken advantage of or to be hurt and to have regret, and sometimes when we’re corrected for our mistakes we take it very seriously to heart and it hinders us, but praise God He can make beauty for ashes, and joy for mourning, and He can take our mistakes and make it a blessing for someone else.

There is someone in the Bible who had a very good reason to be ashamed, and the very fact that she was written about in the Bible, says a great deal about Jesus and His nature, and how much He loves and He cares for people.    There is actually several examples of people in the Bible that God has used to show us the love of Christ.

Luke 8:

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him[f] said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”[g]

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

This was a very courageous thing for her to do.  It could have been very humiliating for her, but she put her reputation at stake and just said boldly that she was “healed”.

This was a very personal thing for her, and something other people would have considered to be too much information.  But Jesus appreciated the fact that she was willing to lay down her pride and confess her healing.  It says that He was in a throng of people and they would have probably thought, “Who is this woman?  Why is she coming here to confess her healing.”  This woman risked her reputation to proclaim her healing before all.  She was very bold and she didn’t care what anybody else thought.
There is another woman who comes to mind,

John 8

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

This woman had every right to be ashamed, and she was caught in sin, but instead of pointing out that sin, He restored her with a spirit of gentleness, and He did not condemn her for her sin.  She was caught in adultery, which is not a good thing, but He forgave her of all the iniquity and He restored her sense of love and belonging.

Part of the part of the sin problem from the garden of Eden is that we are left with a spirit of condemnation because we don’t go before God realizing that He can forgive us of our sin, and that He loves us.

Genesis 3

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat.”

Why would we hide from God who loves us so much?  Why would we hide from someone who showers us with His love?  Why would we hide from God?  Because of guilt.  They felt guilty and condemned.  We are in a place where are desperately seeking the way back to God, and the Presence of the Holy Spirit and the Garden.

We need to come closer to the Garden, but we have become so overwhelmed by the guilt that comes from the accuser.   It’s important to study the Word of God, and to follow the Lord’s leading.  Jesus reacts to us in a different way then we expect.  Even when He rebukes He gives something good followed with something that needs improvement, but then He always closes off with the good as to not leave someone left with discouragement but to give them a sense of hope and faith.

The faith of Christianity comes by believing in Christ as the Savior and it comes through personal revelation and not by man.  No one can teach you Christ, it comes through personal revelation and a choice to accept Christ, even though He has known the ones He is going to select to follow Him because He knows us so intimately.

There is some beckoning in the soul, to fill the void so empty in our hearts and that is Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ died to save us and to bring us the Holy Spirit to show us how to live the Christian life.  He wants to restore our life, purpose and identity.  He wasn’t just a great Teacher.  He is the Author and Creator of our souls, and the Light of the world.  There are people in these last days that are bent on evil an destruction and taking advantage of people.  But our God is a God of justice, fairness, and equity among all people.  He takes all things into consideration before making a decision and when He makes a decision it is always right.  When we pay close attention we learn to feed off the Master.

Sometimes people, don’t know how to resolve the situation in your life and your problem, they take it out on you by making you feel guilty but we can see that Jesus was not like that and we can see that in the case of the woman caught in adultery.

So even though we’re a fellowship built upon Pastors, Teachers, Preachers, Evangelists, and the rest of the five fold ministry for us to grow we need to be mature enough to realize that the things we have prayed about over and over and over again that instead of seeking after their counsel, the best thing to do is to wait and to seek God, and pray about it, and to thank God for another.  One way or another you’ll learn.  Jesus is the best teacher, and He is the only one who can help you grow the best and when you completely put your trust in Him then you will be able to receive the discernment to what applies to you and what doesn’t apply to you because you are unique.  No two people are the same, and each of them have their unique flavor.  So the best person to advise you is Jesus and that is the voice you should listen to.  Otherwise you end up listening to conflicting messages.  It takes wisdom to know what people are like.  Once you get to know what a person is like, and how they work, and what your relationship dynamic is then you will be able to discern that if “I go to this person this way, this is how they will react.”

Jesus was the same way with people.  He knew that Peter would react differently than John and James.  He also reacted differently around women then men.  He knew and knows how to rebuke people and how to comfort them.  He knows us so intimately.  That’s what the Holy Spirit is there for to teach us how Jesus will be able to relate to us.  He knew us before we were created in our mother’s womb.  He knew everything about us and He knew what we would be going through, so there is no reason to be ashamed with Jesus, but when it comes to other people there are some things that you can tell them, and some things you can’t tell them.  Many times too often we have fallen into traps where we’ve done or said some things we’ve regretted because we just didn’t have the wisdom, and Jesus says foolishness is sin, but the nature of Jesus says He will examine our hearts and see what will get us in trouble.  Sometimes the painful experiences will shape us into who God will want us to be, and we know that God protects us and has our very life in our hands.  Maybe God can see things we can’t and how it has affected us.  Maybe there is something that affects someone else somewhere and that is what you should and shouldn’t do.  There are often mistakes and when you learn from them you learn from your mistakes.  We cause a lot of damage by making foolish choices and hurting innocent people.  We pay the consequences for actions even the ones done in ignorance, but thank God He is faithful to forgive us.

From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.