What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately VII…
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.
(please click on the Scripture links below to see the actual passages)
(March 19th–April 15th, 2013)
A. May we worship You, Yahweh, not Your gifts. Change our desires, protect our wants, guard our urges. Keep us sober in a hallucinating world of temporary mirages. Help us to be humble in any success you give us.
II. Sanctification (Becoming Like Jesus)
A. God can play beautiful music through broken instruments…will you let Him?
B. God doesn’t rehab houses (human hearts) to flip/sell them for a profit. He renovates us to live in us, personally&forever.
C. Of course born-again followers of Jesus still sin;
we are wobbly in our new life like a freshly-birthed gazelle on gangly legs.
But just wait…until the Holy Spirit teaches us to leap & dance across the savannas of this world
for His sheer delight and for the increase of His fame!
III. Don’t Try to Earn Jesus’ Love/Forgiveness—Accept It!
A. Trying to do “enough” for God? Jesus already did “enough” for you on the cross! But ask Him each day to help you use your words/actions to spread His fame. Ask Him to be the wind in your sails—He will!
IV. Knowing God By Reading the Bible Consistently
A. Let’s not get lazy/comfortable in growing closer to God; like people who ferociously dig deeper b/c they continue to find more gold hidden gems…let us continue to dig through the Bible to learn more about the character of God.
V. Evangelism (Telling/Showing Others About God’s Greatness)
A. Psalm 145:4-7 says that God’s people will
His mighty acts of love/power.
How do you do this each day?
B. Jesus gave all of Himself so that we could receive Him (not just so we could learn how to be better people).
Let’s receive Him first and then give give give Him to everyone through our words, thoughts, plans, and actions!
VI. Victory Through Faith In Jesus
Feel defeated? With Jesus you WILL overcome…
“Overcome” by Jeremy Camp (Video)
VII. The Gentleness of Jesus
As the weather disobeys the calendar’s declaration of Spring’s arrival,
let’s soak in a powerful song that reminds us that Jesus came to earth like a winter snow:
“Winter Snow” by Chris Tomlin and Audrey Assad (Video)
VIII. Living “All Out” For Jesus Each Day
A. Race cars get re-tired to keep racing, not to get parked in a garage forever.
Human retirement is just another pit stop before your next lap begins. Life…get in it.
B. God often asks people to do the “what”
(love/forgive others, share when you have so little, trust Him when we’re so afraid, etc.);
it’s His job, however, to take care of the “how”
(how will we have enough money to be generous, how will we have enough knowledge to lead a Bible study, how will we have enough time to invest in others, etc.).
Obey the “What” of God; trust Him to provide the “How.”
C. Thank You for dying for us, Jesus; teach us to live for You…
IX. God Is QUICK To Forgive!
Look how God responds to us when we apologize to Him for the bad choices we have made!
Run toward God, not away from Him!
X. Jesus’ Offers You Real Life
A. Thirsty for real life?
Dehydrated by trials?
Continue to obey Jesus each day and trust Yahweh’s promise in Jeremiah 31:25 NIV:
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
B. Forgetting who you are—or could be—as a child of God through faith in Jesus?
“Remind Me Who I Am” Jason Gray (Video)
XI. Doctrine/Beliefs Matter
Belief in individual Bible doctrines does indeed matter: the crowds loved Jesus until He started teaching about needing to eat His flesh to have eternal life (John 6:60, 66). Once He taught this, nearly everyone walked away from Jesus over this one point even though they liked everything else about Him. Jesus offers His entire Person (not bits and pieces of Himself) to us. If we remove the parts of Jesus’ teaching we don’t like (e.g. His arms and legs), how can He hang on the Cross to forgive our sins?
XII. Obedience To God
THIRTY TIMES in the Bible God talks about the importance of humans making decisions according to what is right in the eyes of the LORD, not according to the opinions of humans. We don’t always have to agree with God, but we are expected to obey Him.
XIII. God’s Will and Purpose—He Is In Control!
A. Coincidence will not be in heaven’s dictionary…
B. Stressing over life doesn’t mean we care more, and being light-hearted doesn’t mean we care less.
Rather, being care-free in Christ means we hand others a steaming mug of delicious tea
while realizing we aren’t white-knuckling the handle.
C. I daily feel like I’m walking on steel beams from the top of one skyscraper to another:
Jesus is with me the whole way out in front saying, “Don’t look down, keep walking, focus your eyes on Me.”
D. It’s interesting that combining the two main responsibilities of one’s earthly life creates a Cross:
1. Vertical Responsibility: Knowing, Loving, Worshiping, Obeying, Trusting, Serving&Enjoying God;
2. Horizontal Responsibility: Sacrificially Serving and Loving All Other People.
XIV. Pursuing God…and Accepting/Receiving Him
A. Those who do not spend eternity in heaven with Jesus never chose to truly seek Him while they were on earth;
if they had truly sought/pursued Him, they would have found Him.
What an amazing guarantee.
Will you take advantage of it today?
B. At the end of the day, each of us will make our own choice to put the trust of our lives/eternity in someone or something. I have chosen Jesus Christ. I may not be able to convince everyone that His symphony is the truest music, but I will continue to play His melody for all to hear in the hopes that some will accept Him as their Conductor.
C. Jesus Christ is the only person in history to ever be truly alone.
He allowed Himself to be temporarily but utterly abandoned by God the Father
so we would have the opportunity to forever be with Him.
Sweet deal for us…if we accept Him.