What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XVI…

Victory In Christ (10-22-13)

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 2nd–22nd, 2013

(Please click on the Bible chapter & verses below to read the actual Biblical text)

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Prayer

A. Please help me, Holy Spirit, to trust that God the Father will reward me in heaven for the unseen/unnoticed ways that I love Him & others on earth.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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B. Holy Spirit, please use the sharpness of my tongue,
not to maim/abuse others but to heal them as a scalpel &
to carve delicious slices of Your Word for them to feast on.
In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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C. Holy Spirit, please help us to

quietly listen,
accurately hear,
and sacrificially take action—in gentleness and respect—

as You give us opportunities
to serve the eternal and earthly needs of others in our communities and around the world.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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D. David’s requests of God in Psalm 143:

Hear me,
relieve me,
answer me,
appear to me,
remind me,
show me,
rescue me,
teach me,
lead me,
preserve me.

Psalm 143
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E. Most of us pray & stop when it gets boring/tedious/uncomfortable…
…but that’s like stopping a workout at the first sign of sweat/increased pulse.

To stop prayer when we get restless is to cut its ability to strengthen us;
Doing anything only when easy removes its power to transform us.
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F. Holy Spirit, in our thirst/dehydration for You,
please help us not to reach for this world’s alcohol or sugary drinks but for Jesus’ Living Water.
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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G. As we daily suffer for You, Jesus, in big & small ways,
help us reach not for sin or mindless activities
but for Your presence & promises.
In Your name I pray, Lord Jesus, amen.
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Salvation

A. The Personal Jesus offers Himself to you personally…
…have you received Him personally yet?

Or have you merely been hanging around Christ?
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B. If you haven’t received Jesus (or if you aren’t sure if you have received Him), make it official—
sign your name to His eternal lease even though you’ve been living in the apartment for years. 🙂
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C. If we’re honest regarding God,
we hear the “knock at the door,”
we know Someone is out there.

The question remains: will we open it & meet Him?

Romans 1:18-21 NLT
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Experiencing God

A. Fast from food for two days & you’ll discover the rich flavor of a simple cracker.
God sometimes takes away all we gorge on so we can truly taste Him.
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B. Dipping in a whirlpool for a minute offers no benefit to sore muscles;
Thinking about Jesus’ love merely for moments each week provides no rest for weary souls.
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Pursuing God’s Dreams Instead Of Our Own

What daily help we need from the Holy Spirit
to voluntarily empty our arms of our dreams/goals/desires
in order to embrace God’s dreams/goals/desires.
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Living Daily For The Spread Of Jesus: His Fame, Love, Grace, and Character

A. Regardless of my individual bulb’s wattage, I WILL SHINE IT FOR JESUS 24/7.
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B. Jesus alone will judge not my brightness but
whether I remained screwed in to the Lamp and
whether I ferociously avoided all bushel baskets.
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Joy

A. Jesus prayed that those who believe in Him as Savior would have in us

THE SAME AMOUNT OF JOY that Jesus has in Himself (John 17:13). Wow.
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B. Let not our desire for what we dont have (what God hasn’t given us)

rob us of the joy of what we do have (what God has given us).
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Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

When Jesus returns,

many will see Him w/their physical eyes & will pray that mountains fall on them!

Seeing isnt always believing.

Revelation 6:15-17
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Doubt

A. A hammer may knock down a house, but it cant be lived in itself.

Dont place your trust in doubt or walk/stay away from Jesus because of it.
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B. Doubt seeks to uproot the past &

prevent the seeding of the future

while offering a tangled, quicksand present in which to live.
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Earthly Obscurity

A. Great works for God often involve joyfully/excellently/sacrificially serving Him & others in obscurity–
e.g. Jesus’ first 30 years on earth or Moses’ 40 years as a shepherd in the desert.
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B. May people say this at my funeral:

“SoulSpartan’s beliefs and actions showed that he loves Jesus.

Soulspartan’s beliefs and actions show that Jesus loves us.”
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Rest

A. No more striving, oh my soul, to earn Jesus’ love.

Only striving to thank Him…and share Him with others.

“It is finished” (John 19:30).
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B. I’m a sailboat:

I need to STOP rowing on the oars

& START learning from God to open up my sails

to catch HIS wind so HE can power me thru life.
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God’s Love

A. My God has tattoos…He has engraved my name on His palms…

Isaiah 49:14-16
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B. My God has body piercings…

John 20:25
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C. God hasn’t flooded the earth since Noah,

but not because we dont deserve it.

We do.

It’s because He promised not to.

Love is a choice, not a feeling.
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Suffering

A. To feed the physically hungry, Jesus BROKE what was given to Him.

He will BREAK us as well to feed the spiritually hungry.

Luke 9:16-17
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B. The sweat of suffering produces the conditioning of Christ-likeness.

Christians were made to suffer on earth…but for a purpose: to spread Jesus’ fame.
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C. Suffering is the advertising agency of heaven—& we are the commercials—

by which Jesus’ Truth, Fame & Grace are broadcast to the world.
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D. Suffering is the yeast in the dough of a life that follows Jesus—

it causes us to rise to be more like Him.
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E. To yearn for heaven tomorrow is great.

To want heaven now is unrealistic.

To choose to bring hell into today for temporary relief is sin.
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F. Afraid to suffer for Jesus?

It isn’t easy.

But if we never leave Egypt we will never see the LORD part the Red Sea.
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G. If David didnt face Goliath,
the incapacitated Israelites & pagan Philistines
wouldnt have seen what God can do
through a person who steps into “hopelessness” with the God of Hope.
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H. What are the deeper—and dangerous—waters that Jesus is inviting you into today with Him?
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I. Maybe you arent growing closer to Christ

because you’re sitting alone in the parking lot eating cotton candy

when He’s inviting you on the rollercoaster with Him.
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J. Sinful humans “naturally” drift toward safety/self-preservation.

To stay on Jesus’ path we often must overcompensate by turning the wheel toward suffering.
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K. Suffering for Jesus? Want to throw in the towel?

PICK UP a towel and serve others:

“Those who suffer should commit themselves to God & continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).
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Humbly,
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SoulSpartan