Saturday, January 5, 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013
I apologize, for some reason I posted this without meaning to, as it was not completed....this is how 'kinda coo-coo' it's been around here lately! Ha!*********
God has told us in various places in scripture that we do not have much control over our flesh...therefore I have no guarantees that I will always do things right. So, this is where I got my title for this 3 part study.
Let me clarify, our human nature (all by itself) does not have control over sin. If one has had a good and loving upbringing then that foundation that was laid could very well have given them the ability to have more self-control over sin. But generally and in the long run, in order to have control and victory over it we MUST allow the Spirit of God to take control. This also means that the unsaved...and even more so...have little control over the human nature.
So, this means we must be doing things GOD's way in how sin is dealt with...in how anything is dealt with! Not the way that necessarily makes sense to us.....but then we will have already known that! Especially since you and I know that His ways are not our ways...and His ways will naturally sound strange to our human nature.
1 Cor. 1 : 25 "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
This being said I am going to bring up what I believe is the 2nd most important thing in all of scripture...the 1st being that God loved us so much that He gave us His Son to die and rise again on our behalf so as to bring us back to God.
Love....what it is and what is it for?
For God so loved the world...to me this means what it says, that God loved us all. John 3:16
Romans 5:6-8 "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Think about what love is made up of...patience, kindness, long-suffering. If you and I were perfect like a robot or inanimate object that rarely if ever make mistakes....would we need patience or long-suffering? Would we need for someone to be kind to us? Would we need or want love? Would we even care?
I believe that the whole reason for love was to bridge the gap between perfection and imperfection...and between the mature and immature...otherwise, how could there ever be any way to relate or connect??
This is why, as a good parent will go through SO much for an immature, wayward or troubled child, why I believe God went through so much for us...because it is just what love does. He showed this in so many instances. By 1st creating us. Then giving us another chance after the flood. Then giving us the law to show us our need for Christ and then of course the final and ultimate, Christ and the cross.
The love of God is amazing. It is something that God wants everyone to experience...no matter how deep into sin they have fallen. In fact, it is the only reason why someone would not want to stay in sin! Think about it...if all you've known is sin...or merely the world....then it would only be the love of God that is so different from the world that could possibly ever get your attention and sway you.
This is precisely what love is for. This is why we have to be Christ and show His love to every person, no matter their sin or station in life...as this is the primary way for them to see God and be drawn to Him...and why I believe there are so many that are not coming to Christ, as we are not being Christ to them. We have the human mind set that there are only certain people that deserve love...yet this is not God's mind set. So, who's mindset sets the standard for who deserves love?
I am thankful that the church I was saved at was patient and kind and did not endeavor to alienate me by pointing out my sin soon after walking through the church door....no, I was drawn to Christ by the love I was shown. That love that caused Christ to die for me while I was yet a sinner. Yes, I was embraced...or I would have been long gone.
So, who's mindset sets the standard for you?
to the world?
Are you salt and light? When I say this I am not saying...and what I know the bible is not saying...is to be salt in someone's wound or a blinding light in someone's eyes so they can't see. No.
Being salt preserves the truth by living it ourselves...but also by living it, salt makes others thirsty for what we have.
Being light means we are not walking in darkness (Gal. 5:19-21)...and so when we are light (Gal. 5:22-26) it draws people to the Lord and His goodness. Also, when we are with people, the life we are living in the light will naturally challenge and convict them...it will naturally expose what is in their lives...without a word from us. That is, IF we are walking in the light ourselves.
Ephesians 5:11 "Have nothing to do
with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them to the light. For it is shameful
even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything
exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light
that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
Please click on following link...
This post is the continuation of: http://aroundeverycornerat.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-three-post-study-my-only-guarantees-i.html
The perfect law in the OT and all laws are black and white. Unless rules or laws have negotiable elements written into them, they are for the purpose of exposing fault and imperfection. They are stagnant...hard and fast...unbendable...concrete...and measurable. It is fairly easy to determine whether you have failed at obeying a rule. Whether you have turned all of the lights off, or you forgot to turn off just the two upstairs...it is measurable. So, most rules are easy to measure, whether you broke the rules completely or by how much you broke them!
However, love really can't be measured, yet God says that it fulfills the law. Oh, my!! Talk about throwing us for a loop! So, how can it fulfill the law if I don't know if I am doing it right?? Ah-ha! Is this the reason why we feel much (MUCH) more comfortable following rules, because with rules we know when we have done them correctly?
But, you know what? There is no 'correct' way. The way you are doing it right now, is OK! (Ya gotta start somewhere!) The bible says that when you love, you are not under the law...so the consequences are much different, and not like they would be for breaking rules...as there are not any rigid expectations on how it should be done.
The hug I give you today is love...even if your cousin walks in and shows her love by giving you a hug and washing your dishes too. They are both love. Love starts at any given point and then grows. It doesn't turn into love at some point...no...it starts right where you are, and what you can do right now, and then never stops growing from there.
Imagine you are walking your neighbors dog and only walk him around the block 4 times instead of 6, and you feel like you should have done better...so next time you walk him another block or two. Then the next time, as God is teaching you and reminding you that the owner truly needs extra help, then you'll perhaps step it up and become more used to acting in love, and you'll get better and better at it. Remember, it is a journey, not a destination...as love never ends.
As rules and law produce consequences since their job is to expose sin..living a life of love produces blessings for all parties involved, including the one showing the love...as there is no way you can bless someone else and not 'get some blessing on yourself...anyway, it is part of the plan!' (Read James 1:25)
So it is much better than just living a life trying to have good behavior...especially since the more you walk in love means the more you won't be walking in sin. Really?? Yup! (Read Galatians 5:16) It is about impossible to go in two different directions at the same time!
Now because you are living with your mind on doing what's best for everyone involved, and not just focused on self...then you are less likely to want to sin against them or yourself (Read Romans 8:6). So essentially, you're killing two birds with one stone.
"Oh, Hi Jenny...how are you?"
"I'm OK..kinda sad though"
"Why are you sad?"
"Well, someone called me a name that was very hurtful. Remember when someone said hurtful things to you recently? What did you do about it?"
"Oh, well, I stopped and put a card in their desk saying that what they did hurt me and that I am sure they would not want someone to do the same to them. Then I said I forgive them."
"So, your mom told you that you had to do it huh? Yeah, we have rules about that too in our house."
"No, no rules..."
"What do you mean, no rules? Then why would you be kinda nice to that kid that hurt you then? I mean, if you didn't have any rules that said you had to..."
"I just like to treat people the way I would want them to treat me. When I was little I had rules...my mom called them, 'do's and don'ts'...but it's mostly always been that way in our house."
"Hmmm...that's sure not the way it is in my house. My mom put up a list of rules that she says makes things easier around the house. I guess it is easier, cause we don't even have to think about how to do something cause the list will tell us what to do."
"Oh? My mom always says, 'God's love already has integrity, so it doesn't need rules'".
"What does that mean?"
"Well, it means that love always thinks of the best way to treat everyone in whatever you are doing, so there is no need for rules to tell you how to act. My mom says to always carry love around in my heart, then I won't have to worry about how to do the right thing."
"But, I don't know if I could do that. I always had a rule to tell me how and what to do...so that would be hard!...because how would you know you did it right?"
"I just learned to trust God's love I guess. I don't know. I learned to think this way since, well..since for a long time! But anyone can learn it."
"It just seems so hard to do."
"No, because there is a place to start. Remember your place to start was on the rules list? You went to the list to find out what to do, right? Well, with love you start right where you are...because you 1st think about how you would like to be treated!
"So, start with me...?"
"Yes! Oh, and you know what...I forgot, there are some lists in the bible that really do help. They are not lists of rules though, so don't worry. They are things that are inside of God and His love (Read Gal. 5:22-23, Col.3:12-17 + 1 Cor.13: 4-8), and things that are not inside of God and His love (Read Gal.5:19-21 + Col.3:5-9)...so, they do give you lots of help for sure!"
"Ooh! Kind of like a cake...so you know you got the right ingredients or it might just be something that comes out looking and tasting terrible?!"
"Yup! You got it! But then after a while, as you practice making the cake, it will become more natural for you, and especially since you already have God inside you...and when you do make mistakes and add some bad ingredients, you just talk to God about it because He is your very best friend. Then if that bad ingredient hurt someone then you talk to them too. In fact, you will make mistakes, but that always happens when someone is learning something new!""
"Hmmm...I wish your mom would talk to my mom about this..."
"Well, maybe she can! I'll ask her...."
Juliana and Jenny both bow...
Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Laws and rules are strictly for the purpose of letting you and others know of your sin. Laws have no mercy or forgiveness in themselves. If you do not live up to their demands then you will suffer whatever the consequences there are, unless a human being has decided to have mercy on you...the rule all by itself has exposed you.
For example, a person must realize that the law was not intended for people who have God's approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Galatians 5: 22-23
But the fruits of The Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, sweetness, goodness, faith,
Humility, endurance; the law is not set against these things.