What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately VIII…
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 passages below to read the actual Biblical text)
(April 16th–30th, 2013)
ForGIVEness is a gift that is freely given away; it’s not taken and certainly not unconsciously/accidentally applied. It is a choice we make, not a feeling we necessarily feel. Let’s pass it out today…
II. Bringing Good Out of Bad Situations
If we let Him, Jesus will use the manure (and its synonyms!) of this life to grow us closer to Him, more strongly rooted in Him, and more able to reach out to others for Him, just as an expert gardener uses manure to fertilize plants to grow them taller, deeper, and wider.
III. Feeling Sorry For Ourselves
Self-PITy is truly a pit…when our problems are staring us down let’s focus up on the suffering Jesus endured for us at the hands of other sinners like us.
IV. New Life In Christ Jesus
A. God wants to bring us back to life & grow us
up (friendship w/Him),
down (strongly rooted in Him) &
sideways (loving all others sacrificially).
Will you let Him defibrillate your soul today through faith in Jesus Christ?
B. We are often challenged these days, but not changed; we are convicted, but not converted (Vance Havner). We are morally re-positioned, but not spiritually re-born. Jesus did not come to adjust our ethics but to raise us from the dead (MJS3).
C. As I numerically age, my body is getting stiffer but my heart is getting softer in the hands of the Great Potter. J
D. At one time I only had facts about Jesus, I didn’t have a forgiven friendship with Jesus.
V. Faith In The Unseen
There’s more to love than just the biological hormones released in the brain;
There’s more to laughter than just the sound waves created;
There’s more to this life than what we can analyze in a laboratory;
Jesus–seek Him, receive Him, know Him, love Him, follow Him, trust Him.
Like Porsche, accept no substitutes.
VI. Jesus Is the WORD of God
Its much better to go on runs than to get the runs. The right word makes all the difference. Jesus is The Word of God–will you let Him make the difference for you?
O God, may the bootcamp of our doubts train us to be pilots in Your Prayer Force. In Jesus’ name we ask this, amen…
Leader is a term that gets many people’s blood flowing, adrenaline pumping, grin widening, and ego expanding. Servant is the term that should sober us and bring us back to reality. Leader is a theological swear word…
Jesus is not my homeboy; He is my friend and Savior, but He is also my Judge and my God, my King and my Owner, my Boss and my Monarch. Let’s not get so comfortable in the House of God/with the love of God that we trample His carpet with muddy shoes, that we carelessly/nonchalantly kick our dirty feet up on His furniture, that we toss Him around like last year’s now-obsolete IPhone. He loves us just the way we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us just the way we are. He is patient and will train us to submit to Him, but submit to Him we must.
A. Let’s connect with/love non-Christians in the hope of helping them move to connect forever with Christ and his love instead of directly/indirectly encouraging them to feel comfortable staying where they are, separated from Him. Let’s invite non-Christians into Jesus’ family instead of helping them be happy/fulfilled orphans. Let’s attract non-Christians to take up an eternal residence in the house of God instead of trying to make them as satisfied as possible in their spiritual homelessness.
B. How have I put the needs of others before my own today?
How can I treat others the rest of today so that I give off the aroma of Jesus?
How can I introduce others to God through my words and actions?
C. I’m not better, more important, more deserving or more special than non-Christians. I’m just forgiven and being newly re-made from the inside out…and I want you to get in on this too.
When Jesus-people choose to sin we drag Christ again and again through that vile spiritual mud since He lives in us through His Holy Spirit. Do we need any further reasons as to why sin is so reprehensible in the lives of God’s forgiven ones?
It’s time for revival…and believe it or not it starts with God’s people–Christ-ones–repenting of OUR SINS and walking away from the unfaithful aspects of OUR LIFESTYLES before we ask non-believers to do the same. Revival starts with us followers of Jesus being willing to humble ourselves to stop living a 21st century American version of Christianity and to start living a 1st century Biblical version of it.
XIII. Methods Are Important Too
Even when the message of our words is wise, the tone we use to deliver them is vitally important. Like a nurse injecting a healing inoculation with a serrated needle are truthful words with a rude tone.
Trees’ branches are raised up like the hands of God’s people praising Him.
X. Spiritual Warfare
While Satan can’t steal our salvation he can limit our effectiveness—we often do not like admitting that there is an enemy out there who opposes those who love Jesus. We go out as sheep among wolves each day but never seem to bring the tools/armor God has given us because to do so would be to show that we actually believe that the devil and demons exist, and what would our friends think of us if they knew we believed in demons?
XI. Say No To Sin And Yes To Righteousness
I would rather remember than not forget, I would rather love than not hate, I would rather be generous than not greedy, I would rather be a peace-maker than not a war-starter, I would rather be a builder than not a destroyer. The positive commands of God (“you shall”) are much more difficult–but more rewarding/impactful–than the negative commands of God (“you shall not”). Both are important, but God’s negative commands often are intended to eventually point us/lead us to His positive commands.
XII. The Bible
Scripture needs to be used to interpret other parts of Scripture, just as high-powered microscopes are used to create prescription reading glasses.