What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XIII…
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.
(August 1st-10th, 2013)
(Please click on Bible links below to read the entire passage listed)
I. In Awe of God
A. Jesus’ power should encourage & humble us—He ain’t playin’:
“What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7).
B. God Is Amazing: A blue whale eats approximately 8,000 POUNDS of krill each day or 1.5 MILLION calories. Daily. Wow. #Godisamazing
Ive usually thought, “I cant wait until [future occurrence]…”
Lately Ive been thinking more along the lines of, “I can’t wait until now.”
III. Obeying Jesus
A. Jesus, a carpenter, gave advice to fishermen. Absurd…except that it’s Jesus. You might think it equally absurd to listen to Him today in the 21st century, but remember…it’s Jesus.
B. The book of Acts is filled w/people who were fanatical about telling others about Jesus’ free offer of forgiveness. Now we’re fanatical about merely not being legalists/Pharisees.
C. Many say “God hasnt called me” as a reason for not loving Him & others in ways that turn our lives upside-down. Well, maybe we need to answer the phone.
D. My actions/choices each day cannot earn me heaven, but my actions/choices are a thank-You note to Jesus for giving me heaven…and I want to put as much time/effort/creativity as possible into my thank-You note to Him. I don’t want to hand Him a sloppy/haphazard/rushed card as I enter the gates of His Kingdom.
E. Jesus people! Pretend you’re a car:
-let the Holy Spirit drive (He is NOT your co-pilot)
-get out of neutral (accelerating but going nowhere)
-turn off cruise control (run your race so as to WIN not just to finish!)
-silence the radio (avoid distractions)
-break the rear-view mirror (your past is FORGIVEN!)
-stay on the road (no off ramps!)
-no texting (be alert!)
-keep your safety (forgiven by the grace of Jesus!) belt on
-slow down for hitchhikers (those who are seeking Jesus)
-don’t stop til you run out of gas (til your earthly life is over)
F. F.O.C.U.S.: Faithfully Offer Christ Ur Strength.
G. Whose approval do you want? God’s? Or people’s?
“Many people did believe in [Jesus], however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:42-43 NLT
H. Yes, we are supposed to love sinners but hate sinful actions:
“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1:23 NLT
IV. God’s Discipline
When our hearts are cut to the quick–when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin in our lives–please let us not use this as an excuse to get DEFENSIVE or DISCOURAGED, but rather to get DETERMINED to have the LORD iron out these wrinkles in our character! Remember, God knows we are like sheep and easily go astray, but He loves us and wants to make us holy, like Him, if only we will let Him.
V. Loving Others
Like the tree for Jonah, God can can grow in you a big love for others in a small amount of time. Has your love for another withered? Ask Him to fertilize your heart today!
VI. Jesus Understands What We Go Through Each Day
Though existing eternally as God, Jesus had never died before.
So when He breathed His last on Golgotha in 27 AD, He had to have ultimate faith in God the Father, child-like trust that the Father would in fact bring Him back from the dead.
Like humans when we die, Jesus had no Personal experience to draw upon from the Cross…He, like us, was completely reliant on the Father.
What a Friend we have in Jesus…He truly knows exactly what we go through each day and has compassion and comfort available for us in our daily deaths.
Trust Him today.
VII. Getting Comfortable With Sin
Many Christians arent broken that much (or some) of the entertainment we choose to experience spiritually fattens us for the race God has marked out for us.
VIII. Jesus Our Judge
A. Many Christians are content that we are going to heaven&thus forget that we still have 2give an account of our earthly lives to Jesus. Not in terms of salvation, mind you, but definitely in terms of our faithfulness/fruitfulness. We work hard to get ready each year for April 15th…well Jesus is a lot more intense than the IRS.#prepare
B. Jesus is either your terminal disease (Judge) or your eternal cure (Savior). What do you choose? #nootheroptions
VIII. Trust In Jesus Even If His People Are Untrustworthy
Surgeons shouldnt stop using scalpels to heal just b/c some use knives to murder! Don’t walk away from Christ if Christians walk all over you; don’t stop trusting in Jesus if some people do terrible things in His name.
IX. Christian Unity
A. Jesus wants His brothers & sisters to be part of the UPH: United People of Heaven.
The Cross before the flag…
B. Criticizing a brother or sister in Christ w/out love, humility, grace & empathy is like swatting a fly from their face with a baseball bat. #buildup #talkwiththemfirst
A. Holy Spirit, please prepare Your people for the difficult trials that we WILL face in the future.
Untangle our minds/hearts from life’s subtle distractions.
Help us focus on our spiritual health/fitness more than our physical health/fitness.
Help us to take Your warnings in the Bible seriously/soberly.
In Jesus’ Name I pray-Amen.
James 1:2-4 NLT
B. Feel like something is missing in your life? Jesus wants to complete you…& He will use hard times to accomplish this.
XI. Being Used By God
Imagine being a piano in the hands of Mozart & you still wont have any idea what it’s like to have the Holy Spirit use you to point others to Jesus.
HolySpirit, forgive me for being glad/excited when You do great things thru me & not as excited when You do so thru others.Help me get over myself. In Jesus’ name I pray…Amen.
H.E.L.P.: He Elevates Lowly People.
How true is the U.S. 1st Marine Division’s motto if applied to Jesus:
“No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.”
Christians–lets please stop connecting the word “blessing” w/finances/objects/earthly riches. God does desire to give us abundance but His gifts are better than what we’d settle for or even know to ask for. Love the Baker not His bread. #mothandrust #wecanttakethemwithus