Friday, January 18, 2013
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
~can always click on images to enlarge~
God loves you from A-Z. There is not one area that He does not love about you. Even the weakest areas! Well, I would even say especially the weak areas. Because those are the areas that show their need for Him the most...as the strong areas are like a glass filled to the brim with water...they have no room for anything else. But a glass that is lacking...and is even willing to be emptied...is open for and thirsty for more.
Our old nature's tendencies must be replaced with what the new nature naturally does....which is what the old nature does not like doing ~ well, on a regular basis anyway. Do you notice that when there is a disaster people will go running to help!? The adrenaline and survival mode kicks in...then the conscience kicks in full gear. Thank God mankind has at least been given a conscience...or this world would have been obliterated a long time ago!
We as Christians however have much more than merely a conscience. We also have the power and love that comes from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, God does not just want concern to be shown just when there are disasters in the proportions we've seen...then we go home and walk right by the disasters that live among and around us. ~ Peoples lives that are empty and have been affected by the darkness in this world. They NEED the light...the extraordinary love... of Christ shown to them...and who else is going to do it? Seriously...who else is going to do it?
Yes, you!...and me! And God wants us to truly LIVE each day...and not wait. The darkness can slip in and will do this as much as there is opportunity...because, where we are not living in the light, there will naturally be room for darkness. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow does not exist yet. Today is always the day.
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
It reminds me when I was a kid. I'd often hear, "No, we are not going anywhere this weekend, because we were already gone last weekend!" I would think to myself, "What does that have anything to do with it? So that means I don't live, or shouldn't really live, this weekend?
Christianity is not a job, or religion where you and I wait to do it, and go somewhere to practice it at certain times. It is even more than a lifestyle...it is an actual transformation. A 'becoming' what we were originally created to be. How much closer can one get to describing it then how God describes it in:
Galatians2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
God has been impressing on me that eternity does not start when we die, no. It has already started. Eternity starts today. God is preparing us today to live with Him where there is NO darkness...and God is calling us to take as many people with us as we can!!
One Christian comedian said once that when Jesus comes back he is going to grab two sinners as he's going up, then say to them, "You either repent, or I let go!"
Christian literally means, "little Christ". We do not wait. No matter how you bring it about according to your personality, gifts and talents...the mindset you and I are exhorted to live by is the mind of Christ...which means the mind of a servant who walks in step with the Holy Spirit and...who doesn't shy away from it because they understand that being yoked with Christ is easy and His burden is light. A servant is ready at any time...any day...any moment...to serve. They live to serve out of love.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Galatians 5:23-24 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
My brother is an Opera singer, and once he told me that anyone can sing, but not everyone is a singer. The same goes for us. There are people that serve...lots of people that serve, but they are not servants in the true sense.
Servants of God biblically live to serve....because they have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer they who live, but it is now Christ who lives in them.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Me: Lord, oh, what a day! I need to crawl up in your lap. I am so glad You are with me. You are so great and so good! I know my attitude wasn’t good today…I want to ask you something…
God: I’m here...
Me: But I am not sure if it’s OK to tell you how I really feel!
God: But, I already know....
Me: Oh, yes…true... Well, by the time I got home today I had a splitting headache. What a day! ...and I'm sorry to say Father, but I have been mad at You because I know you have the power to do anything...so why did you let so much stuff happen to me today? I'm so frustrated!
God: I am listening…
Me: Well, the alarm clock didn‘t go off and I know I set it last night. Before work I wanted to get to the same store that I bought that butterfly net...ya know, right after it opened!
Me: Then I couldn‘t get the front door to lock, and then finally when I did, the key got stuck…and then it took so long to get it back out again…so by the time I stepped in the door at work I was barely on time and I already had a headache starting! Then on top of that my boss was not very happy!
God: ...I'm listening closely....
Me: ...then at noon break the lunch line came to a stop right when I got in it...even though there were only 2 people! It took about 10 minutes to get through that line…which means I only had time to eat a few bites of my food!
Me: Then on the way home my phone rang 3 times, and so by the 3rd ring I figured there was someone who really needed to get a hold of me, so I looked for a place to turn off the road to talk…then when I picked up the phone to see who called, it was dead. I couldn’t believe it!
God: Yes, I know these things can happen...and it can be frustrating to be inconvenienced.
Me: And on top of all that, when I got home I just wanted to finally get that lawn mowed!...but the mower would not start!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You let these things happen to me?? ...OH....I'm sorry God, I know it's really a sin to talk this way...oh, my, I can't be mad at you!!
God: Actually my child, it would be a sin to hold those toxic feelings inside...as they can get in the way of our relationship. I bless you for trusting my love enough to let them come out into the light.
Hmmm, now, remember how you’ve been telling Me your frustrations about reading scripture? The reason your alarm didn‘t go off on time was because I wanted you to meet the lady you met on the elevator….remember her? Later on you’ll see her again and she’ll share something with you she's learned that will also help you…and then you both will be blessed by it!
Me: OH (embarrassed).….ah, yes, I remember her.
God: I didn't let the door cooperate with you because I wanted to keep you in the house for another 5 minutes because the next door neighbor’s dog had gotten out, and you know how he bites...and I was going to use your tardiness as a tool in dealing with your boss's attitudes.
God: …and about your noon break - that cashier, you know the one you like so well? She asked Me to slow things down at the same time you stepped in line. The lady that was talking to her happened to ask her for prayer…so she wanted a minute to exchange numbers, since she rarely sees her and didn’t want to lose the opportunity.
Me: : Ok…(humbled)
God: Then your phone went dead because the person who called wanted to ask you to be in charge of something…and since I had other plans for you, I stopped the call from coming through. By the way, I am so pleased with the light you shine each day…and you do it joyfully wherever you go! I want to help you grow a little bit each day, so you become used to being inconvenienced...so you'll learn to be more and more open to joyfully minister to someone whenever you encounter such a situation...and there are many people that need to be shown My love!
Me: (softly) You bless me Lord....thank you for your grace and mercy...
God: Oh, and that lawn mower, it had a loose blade and was about to fly off!
Me: I'm so sorry Father.
God: I really like your heart attitude! Now I would like you to take another step in taking control over your fears. To do that means to be able to trust my love. Then the more you trust, the more you will be able to comply with what I ask of you…even in the things that seem hard to do.
Me: I want to trust you more Father...
God: Remember these words in scripture *“taking all thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ"?
Think about how delightful your niece was the other day when you gave her the butterfly net and she caught the two butterflies. Now think of all your fears and ugly thoughts going wild, flying all around, pestering you and causing problems.
What those words in scripture mean is that I want you to capture those thoughts in a similar way as a person catches butterflies. By faith in My power choose to take each one of those thoughts captive. Then as each are captured, self-control becomes much easier…because your thoughts don’t rule you, you rule them! This is a learning process and takes time…but, we will work together and it’ll begin happening! I am pleased that you always desire to learn more about Me and how to do things so as to become more and more like My Son.
Me: I love you Lord…and I thank you for taking care of me today. I do want to learn to rest in you more....
God: You're welcome, child. I love you and I love looking after My children.
* 2 Cor. 10: 4-5
By Jenny Sorge c
Monday, January 14, 2013
The first and most important thing that I've learned in my Christian life and what I'd like to share is that God's written word is not a book of theory, a religious rule book or a collection of secret coded messages. No. In the eyes of a scholar, they may see it differently...but in lay terms...or human terms, it is a collection of God's thoughts about His character, His power and the desires He has for the people He created. All well put together in a beautiful quilt, with every single piece and every strand of thread having it's own unique importance to the over all story...from the God of the Universe Who patiently is bringing His creation back to Himself.
My Father reminds me that He didn't Author a book that I must find time to read - as though I'd better know His rules or else! NO. He who has His very own collection of wonderful stories and eternal truths, invites me to crawl up onto His lap, and snuggle into that quilt He lovingly pieced together for me a long time ago...then tells me about His plan, and helps me see a little at a time, how every single word comes together in Jesus.
I've also learned to be more of a literalist. Meaning, that when a verse says command...then it's not a request. When it says 'all'...it means all. When a verse speaks of God's love...then I don't refer to the love I have experienced in my life as being the definition. NO!(Yikes!!) I go straight over to 1 Corinthians 13, to start out with, then Christ's life, as well as various other verses to find out what God's love is made of.
When God has made it clear that I am saved by grace, yet something in the bible seems to tell me that I'd better be a good girl or else! Then something is amiss with MY understanding - NOT God's word. When scripture says something is 'new', then it's new. So, if I read some passages that seem to contradict or confuse me...then the contradiction is in my own mind and not in God's word!
1 Cor. 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,
as in all churches of the saints.
When a scripture uses the word fulfills or satisfies...then it means that something has been fulfilled or satisfied...and it does not have to say, 'very satisfied' in order for us to take in the true meaning. Likewise when I read the word obey and my heart feels a twinge of fear, then sadly I have been fed some very faulty information in my past...but yet, this also tells me that God desires to do more healing in my heart! (Hurray!)
When God says in Isaiah 55: 8-9 "My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways," declares the LORD. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.", what He means is, when we read scripture we have to keep in mind that it very often may not seem logical to our human nature...therefore, we must expect to usually have to dig deeper in order to find the true meaning.
We mustn't dismiss what we don't understand, no, of course not...instead we learn from Jesus who exemplifies God perfectly. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls". Matt. 11: 29-30 He wants to yoke with each one of us, as the Holy Spirit helps us know what God truly means, as we follow along with Christ in the Gospels, and learn to emulate Him in this world. ~ Which could not happen if we are relying on our own finite understanding! These are the 'uniquely important threads' in the beautiful quilt that must not be overlooked, so as to better understand God's words.
John 14: 26 Jesus said, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit--the Father will send
Him in My name--will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have
Have you ever eaten something so sweet, and so rich - that you just had to have more? Then the baker tells you that he would be glad to give you the recipe for their Honeycomb Cake? But, not being a natural at things like this, you ask if he can come over and show you how to make that wonderfully rich dessert!
This is how I've learned to see scripture as well. When I am sitting in my Father's lap, He doesn't just tell me about His Son Jesus and how He is the exact representation of Himself. He doesn't just tell me the things Jesus said or taught...and then sends me home with the recipe book. No. He provides me with very visual examples of how Christ related to all different kinds of people and how He handled the many situations that came His way...as well as His very real Spirit inside me. God has surely provided everything I need to not only live a more satisfying Christian life, but a fruitful life that delights my wonderful Father as well!
God desires His words to be sweeter and sweeter on my tongue, because in truth, that is what they are! They are sweeter than the honey in the honey comb and are worth more than fine gold! Pls go to Psalm 19: 7-11 and follow along!
Who would you be willing...or better yet 'glad to'...have a cup of coffee with?