What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately IX…
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 chapter/verses below to read the actual Bible text)
(May 1st–15th, 2013)
I. Faith & Obedience
A. There is an obedience to God that comes FROM faith in Him, that blossoms and grows AFTER we put our trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (romans 1:5). God literally gives us grace (unearnable help) to accept His invitation (His call) to THIS KIND of obedience. The obedience to God that comes FROM faith in Him is an obedience that exists to thank Him for His unearnable forgiveness; often times the obedience that comes BEFORE faith exists to try to earn His forgiveness.
B. It’s appropriate that the benches/seats in churches are called “pews.” Just like Jesus did/does, we are called to wade into the stink of this life and sacrificially put the needs of others ahead of our own regardless of whether they deserve it or not.
II. God’s Law
God’s laws/rules in the Bible are more than mere directives on how to live; they are the projection of His character–they are Who He is and how He lives each day throughout the universe.
When a Christian decides to ignore certain parts of God’s law, the Christian is sitting in direct judgment not of God’s rules, but of His character, His Person, His integrity.
Like a husband saying to his wife, “You are beautiful, honey, except your ears are ugly and your nose is dreadful. I’m going to simply pretend they’re not there each day, but other than that you are gorgeous!”
How would the wife respond? How much more does it hurt and disrespect the God Who made us, sustains us, and died for us? Beliefs matter…
III. Jesus’ Love Is Unconditional
My two year old stuck her tongue out at me in utter disgust when I didn’t give her what she wanted. Hurt me deeply. How often I’ve done the same to my Savior…yet He still loves me!
IV. God’s Dreams, God’s Plans
From birth many may have asked you about your dreams for your life. But have you ever asked God about HIS dreams for your life?
There is a profound difference between being an American Christian and a Biblical Christian. Which do you want to be?
VI. The Love Of God
Holy Spirit, please help me to soak daily in Your love from which NOTHING can separate me. Flow Mt. Heaven’s crisp, crystal streams to the dusty canyons of earth.
A. The truest wealth of life really does consist in the relationships we have—with God, family, friends, and even strangers—and not merely in the possessions that we collect. I really believe that if I am conscious as my earthly life begins to fade, I will be thinking not about the trophies I accumulated but rather about the God and people I have loved. People over products, people over programs, people over profits, always and forever…
B. A five pound brick sinks in water because its weight is concentrated/isolated; a 300,000 TON ship floats because its weight is spread out.
Share the weight you are carrying with Jesus and with others–don’t concentrate it in your mind but spread it out amongst those who love you. This will keep you from sinking…
VIII. God’s Amazing Invitation
It isn’t “nice” that God offers to live inside humans through His Holy Spirit; it is disgraceful, scandalous, offensive, and humiliating (to God). If I, a sinner, often feel dirty at some of the thoughts that scamper through my mind, how much more is the pure and holy LORD Almighty disgusted by them…If I, a sinner, am often ashamed of some of my actions, how much more is the perfect Ancient of Days when I drag Him through my mud? And yet He still offers Himself to us willingly and cheerfully, not merely to stand beside us but to take up Personal residence within us. Wow.
IX. Jesus Is The ONLY Way To Heaven
Why would anyone go through the pain of donating a kidney to a sick person if the sick person could be healed in a simpler way?
Why would Jesus have suffered on the Cross if there was another way for humans to be offered forgiveness and eternal life with God? Christ even asked God humbly if another such option were available.
It is vitally important for Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. To believe otherwise mocks the Cross, devalues His suffering on our behalf, and paints the Father as a wanton inflictor of unnecessary punishment.
X. True/Biblical Beauty
Gwyneth Paltrow was recently named People magazines most beautiful woman in the world. Very few would argue that she is not a portrait of earthly, external beauty.
The link below contains a portrait of Biblical, internal beauty.
Which would you rather have? Which do you think will last longer?
Sin is not just a mistake; it is treason against God. When we sin we are telling God that we don’t need Him, that we can live just fine without Him, that we are in charge of our own lives (that we are, in fact, God). And while no one can kill God, when we ignore/disbelieve in God we “kill” His presence and His role in our lives. We pretend He’s not there in the hope He will disappear. Even more than that, we treat other things (whether ourselves, another person, fame, money, popularity, success, etc.) as if it is God. We cheat on God when we make other things or people more important than Him. If your husband/wife cheated on you every day for ten years without being sorry, would you want them to move to heaven with you? Sin is serious…
XII. The Peace Of God
The calmest place in a hurricane is in its center.
XIII. Justice/Defending The Defenseless
Jesus said to turn the other cheek when people wrong you; He didn’t say to remain silent/”turn the other voice” when others are wronged. Let’s relentlessly shine the light of Jesus’ Truth and love into the darkest corners of this world, let us do everything we can to unlock the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical chains of those who suffer.
XIV. Life On Earth
For those who have accepted the death of Jesus as the forgiveness for their sins, our time on earth is our victory lap.
XV. Truly Loving Others
A. Do you love your Mom (or anyone, for that matter)? Then treat her in good/honoring/sacrificial ways that she doesn’t deserve. That’s what it means to Biblically love. Love isn’t an adjective; it’s a verb.
B. When is the last time you loved someone so that it
Anything short of the above is merely liking someone, not actually loving them…
XVI. The Bible
God gave The Book TO US during our earthly lives so we could avoid having The Book THROWN AT US after our earthly lives…
The crumbs in the couch cushions of heaven will make the feasts of earth seem like gruel…
XVIII. The Body Of Christ
God uses hearts and brains among His church, His people, His body: hearts provide the cushioning cartilage of care between the structural bones of corporate administration.
Let’s bring prayer into all areas of our lives! Like a spiritual pizza, let’s make prayer the dough on which we layer the tasks of life instead of making prayer one of life’s last-minute toppings.