What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately (Part V)…


Greetings My Friends~

As a humble pilgrim following Jesus through the rainforests and deserts of this earthly life, I would like to humbly share some of what God has been bubbling up in my mind/heart lately. 

I pray that these thoughts are cushions in your shoes, balm to your burns, umbrellas for the rain, and shade to the scorching heat as you too follow the Lord Jesus each day.


(October 24th–December 6th, 2012)

(Please click on the Scripture links below to read the entire Bible passage listed)


I. On Judging Wisely…

Be careful when putting coal in others’ stockings; your hands become dirty in the process…

2 Chronicles 19:7 NLT

Matthew 7:2-5 NIV


II. On Blessing Those Who Hurt You…

A. Give people the good they don’t deserve; as they continually supply you with painful reasons to bless them, everyday can become a Christmas with you in the role of Santa Claus…

Luke 6:31-35 NLT

B. When our love for others grows cold, the problem isn’t with them…it’s with us. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” (Jesus. Matthew 24:12). Lord Jesus, please teach us how to love others as You love us!

Matthew 24:12-13

C. Those who open their hearts to others for community/connection are also the most sensitive to the slightest bump. Let’s not be surprised that these go hand-in-hand and let’s not try to have one without the other, like enjoying the beach but complaining about the sand, or eating a great burger but lamenting the calories. Handle humans gently; they’re masterpieces without the protection of velvet ropes…

Philippians 4:5 NIV

D. Let’s not criticize the butterfly for having fragile wings, let’s celebrate that God created it to soar through the heavens on upturned palms of air…

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 NLT

E. The next time we apologize for emotionally wounding someone with our words, let’s remember not to also add, “But you’re being too sensitive.” We don’t blame the face for bruising when it is hit, so let’s not blame the person we hurt for feeling pain. The wounds of speech go deeper and heal more slowly than the wounds of spears…

James 3:5-12 The Message

F. Never let the cogs of policy crush the countenance [appearance/expression] of people…

Mark 7:8-13 NLT

G. Apologies don’t heal bruises. It takes a second to shatter a glass and painstaking hours to piece it back together. Forgiveness is a lifestyle not a moment, a choice not a feeling. Jesus, please help us to live out forgiveness…

Luke 19:5-10 NIV

H. Christians’ true freedom comes from Christ, not any earthly/government laws. It should come as no surprise that Christians get hurt/mistreated by some (or that our rights in the U.S. are slowly being tightened as if in a noose); the entire New Testament is filled with the lives of Jesus-followers who were abused. Jesus tells His people to expect mistreatment and to not be surprised by it. Our job is not to avoid mistreatment (or fight back revengefully against it) but to love/pray for/bless those who hurt us. Once we are in heaven we will have all eternity to be filled with constant joy/peace. For now, we are to suffer for Jesus by loving those who hurt us.

Luke 6:27-31 NIV

John 16:31-33 The Message

III. Suffering and Healing…

A. How long are followers of Jesus to suffer/endure various trials on earth? Here’s how long some people in the Bible suffered:

-40 days in the desert for Jesus, 
-40 years as a shepherd for Moses,
-80 years barren for Sarah,
-12 years of bleeding (+an emptied bank account) 4the sick woman ultimately healed by Jesus,
-3 anxious/fearful days in a locked room for Jesus’ followers after His crucifixion,
-many years of exile on Patmos for John,
-4 days in the tomb for Lazarus,
-70 years of captivity in Babylon for Judah,
-6 hours hanging on the cross for Jesus. 

God’s timing varies for each person. But it’s usually LONG, my friends. Re-breaking, re-setting, re-habbing, and re-healing our souls takes time. From one desert Christian to another, it’s a privilege to pray for/encourage/walk with you during your trials…:)

Galatians 6:2 NIV

1 Peter 4:12-18 NLT

B. God’s healing us often begins with God hurting us, just as a surgeon, in order to make us well, needs to cut into us, needs to literally invade a portion of our bodies with sharpened steel. May God help us to choose to remain on His operating table so that He can do the work that only He can do, even though our spirits are raw and un-anaesthetized. 

Hebrews 12:11 NLT

IV. Redemption…

Typically, when a person redeems a coupon they trade in something of lower value (coupon/slip of paper) for something of greater value (prize/reward).

When God the Father redeems (forgives) sinful humans, He traded in Someone of supreme value (His Son Jesus) for someone of much lesser value (people who ask for His forgiveness).


Galatians 3:13 The Message

V. Endurance Through Trials…

A. When we suffer for obeying/loving Jesus, we develop power to overcome our personal habits of/addictions to sin (1 Peter 4:1). But when we don’t suffer for Jesus… 

1 Peter 4:1-7 NIV

B. The word “suffer/suffering” in regards to doing what is right/following Jesus is translated 43x in the New Testament. Hardships (arguably more than anything else) characterized the daily life of NT Christians.

What does it mean if we Christians in the United States rarely (or never) suffer for the sake of Jesus? Are we really following HIM?

Matthew 13:20-21 NLT

C. On the other side of a physical drought there is always the most refreshing and nourishing rain, and the farmer who continues to plant, fertilize, and plow during the dryness is ready for the celestial water. Similarly, if you ever “fall out of love” with your spouse, keep on showing him/her daily acts of love even if you don’t feel like it. Healing rains are on the horizon! Brow to the plow, eyes to the skies…

Philemon 1:7 NLT

Jeremiah 31:25 NIV

D. Worry is like a stationary bike. It can make your heart race and your face sweat, but it gets you nowhere. Trust in Jesus. 🙂

Matthew 6:25-34 NLT

VI. Holiness/Living “Set Apart” from the World…

What if by working so hard to connect with this generation/culture (in order to share the grace/truth of Jesus) we have become indistinguishable from/totally blended into this generation/culture?

Leviticus 8:1-15 NLT

VII. The Power of Words…

The difference between “words” and “swords” is merely an “s”, one small squiggly line. Let’s choose to use our words to build others up and not tear them down.

James 3:3-12 The Message

VIII. Acronyms…

A. W.I.F.E.: Wise Instinctive Fierce Exceptional…

B. S.M.I.L.E.: Sanctified Multitudes Implicitly Loving Everyone…J

C. S.T.R.E.N.g.T.H.: Start Trusting Relying (on) Elohim Not (on) gods (of) Thy Hands…

D. P.U.R.E.: People Understanding (&) Reflecting Elohim…


E. L.I.B.E.R.T.Y.: Living Intentionally By Eternally Running Toward Yahweh. 🙂

Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT

F. P.L.A.Y.: People Loving Almighty Yahweh. 🙂

G. R.E.S.T: Realizing Everything’s in the Savior’s Timetable.

Romans 8:23-25 NLT

H. H.A.P.P.Y.: Helping All People Pursue Yahweh.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 The Message

I. J.O.Y.: Jesus Over Yourself.

John 15:10-12 NIV

J. P.E.A.C.E.: People Everywhere Accepting Christ Enthusiastically. 

John 14:27 NIV

IX. Identity…

A. What happens to me can never change my identity as a child of God through active faith in Jesus Christ, any more than a black eye can alter my biological dna.

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

B. Though appearing as a pauper, I am indeed a prince.
Though treated as a peasant, my soul responds royally.
Though chained as a criminal, my soul remains a free priest of God Most High. Do w/my earthly life what you will; my eternal life is hidden safely in Jesus my Savior. “We truly are immortal until our earthly assignment is done” (unknown)—let’s start becoming who we already are…

2 Corinthians 4:8-12 NLT

X. Spiritual Growth/Maturity…

A. We often are willing to deepen our friendship with God using only processed/”boxed” ingredients; He is satisfied alone in strengthening His relationship with us by taking the time to make everything from scratch…

Deuteronomy 32:10-14 The Message

B. We are often looking to microwave our friendship with God; He is constantly looking to Crock-Pot His relationship with us…

Deuteronomy 32:10-14 NLT