What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XXI…
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.
(December 16th, 2013–January 15th, 2014)
(Please click on the Bible chapter/verses below to read the actual Scriptural text)
I. Jesus isnt chasing you to throw you in jail;
He is pursuing you to set you free from the prison you are already in.
(Please click HERE for more on this)
II. Jesus is ALWAYS the “Yes!” of heaven
(not in terms of us always getting what we want but Jesus always giving us what we need—HIMSELF!).
III. Jesus brings
a. refreshing water out of your sweat/tears;
b. rainbows out of your thunderclouds;
c. spiritual growth out of life’s manure. YES!
I. Whats the main way that salt loses its saltiness? By being soaked in water.
Christians lose our saltiness when we water down God’s Word.
(Please click HERE for more on this)
II. Some wolves dress like sheep in order to hurt the sheep (Matthew 7:15-17);
Today, some sheep dress like wolves to hide the Shepherd.
III. Like Jonah, many Christians want God to destroy the ice of this world with the fire of His judgment.
That day is coming.
But until then…
IV. When the woman was caught in adultery, many Christians would have stoned her.
Many other Christians would have said she did nothing wrong.
Jesus neither stoned nor excused the woman: He gave her mercy but also warned her to stop sinning.
V. God calls Christians the clay and Himself the Potter
because we are to allow HIM to bend/shape/mold US and our beliefs/opinions, not vice versa.
VI. Christ before culture–yesterday, today and forever.
You might not control the size of your feet,
but you do control the imprint they leave behind you…
Will you leave a legacy for Jesus?
(please click HERE for more on this)
At Christmas many give their loved ones a present.
This Christmas, Jesus wants to give His loved ones–YOU!–a future.
I. Holy Spirit, please open
-our eyes to SEE Your Truth,
-our minds to KNOW Your Truth,
-our mouths to SPEAK Your Truth,
-our hands & feet to SHARE & ACT ON Your Truth.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
II. Lord Jesus, please help me to pray.
Help me also to be willing to personally sacrifice so I can be part of Your answer to my prayers.
In Your name I pray, Amen.
III. Lord Jesus, please help me to be part of Your cure,
not just part of Your diagnosis of the world’s sickness.
In Your name I pray, amen.
IV. Lord Jesus, please help us to love You as You deserve;
thank You for loving us as we do not deserve.
In Your name I pray, amen.
V. Holy Spirit, please cause the scales to fall from our eyes (Acts 9:17-18) so that each day we can:
a. see God more clearly/accurately (His qualities & presence)
b. see ourselves more Biblically (identity&purpose)
c. see others more lovingly & mercifully (loved by Jesus & needing Him).
In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Only those willing to learn actually learn.
Engaging in a debate merely to voice your opinion & not to discover Truth/wisdom is foolishness.
Seek Truth/Listen For God
In a society where few seek Truth & sell all to get it,
even casual conversations have degenerated to advertising & selling our own opinions
instead of listening to what God is trying to tell us.
Serving God And All Others
I. Weak service toward God & others
reveals weak love for God & others
(1 Thessalonians 1:3-“your labor prompted by love”).
Love & actions are inseparably linked.
II. Football players get penalized for staying too long in the huddle.
Same with Christians: we must leave the huddle (hanging out only with Christians) to go out & share Jesus’ love.
III. There will ALWAYS be those who are financially poor…thus we are to ALWAYS love, serve, and share with them!
IV. Lets be salt & light not sugar & shadow.
Lets not change the channel when we hear about others’ pain–lets BE A CHANNEL of Jesus’ love & grace.
It is a daily act of faith in Jesus
to raise a large family living on one (not-for-profit industry) income in 21st century America.
Reading The Bible
Sometimes there won’t be “fresh” insight into Bible truths
but we can still thank & worship God anyway as we read His Word;
sunsets have the same colors every day but we still marvel every time!
Truth is not a rubber band to be stretched but a healing balm to be applied.
The burlap of heaven will be softer than the cashmere of earth.
I. God uses the friction OF life to move us forward IN life.
If we got everything we wanted (no friction/trials), life would be like a frozen pond–smooth/calm but slippery with every step.
When walking, we can only move ahead because the ground pushes back against us–this causes the friction/resistance needed to allow us to move/grow.
The same is true spiritually…
II. Been going uphill for a while?
Remember that Jesus’ flag is planted at the top.
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory thru our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
III. Jesus wins…& He’s not afraid to run up the score:
I. God’s Inner-Beauty School: He wont apply cream to our faces but rather to our souls to transform wrinkles of wretchedness into the complexion of Christ.
II. Our ever-strengthening faith in Jesus,
which started out as a decimal of desire for Him,
flourishes not in a safe greenhouse
but out in the harsh elements of this world
where alone we cant survive
but where with Jesus–the Vine Who nourishes us the branches–we cant be stopped.
III. Who we’ve been and who we are–
these are vaguely similar to
but also so vastly different from
who we will be with Jesus in heaven,
just as the agony of a tear or the pain of a drop of sweat
is similar to but different from the power & beauty of Niagara Falls.
When we someday reach heaven’s shores,
see Jesus’ smiling face,
and remember how far He has brought us,
truly then will we be able to agree with Paul:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has even conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9).
Never give up, loved ones…
You are NEVER alone; you are ALWAYS loved.
IV. Even when we’re far from God in our attitudes, He keeps US close to HIMSELF!
(Luke 15:11) “’My son,’ [the bitter/disgruntled older brother] the father said, ‘you’re always with me.”
I. L.O.V.E.: the Lord Offers Victory to Everyone!
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
II. G.L.U.E.: God Loves Unconditionally–Everyone!
Evangelism (Telling Others About Jesus Thru Words & Actions)
I. Many focus on building relational bridges with non-Christians with loving actions
but forget to drive across those bridges bringing Jesus’ Gospel with true and loving words.
Let’s do both–bridges are built to be driven on, not just looked at…
II. In relational-evangelism, let’s not forget about evangelism! (share Jesus’ love with actions AND words)
It’s important to pre-heat the oven but eventually you need to put the pizza in. 🙂
III. My guess is that non-Christians watch Christians not for the sins we avoid but for the good that we do.
BOTH are important.
With Jesus, objects in your rear-view mirror are FARTHER than they appear!
“I’ll forgive their wickedness & remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).