What God Has Been Teaching Me Lately XLVIII (48)…
Greetings My Friends~
As a simple 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.
(February 1st–15th, 2016)
(please click on the Bible books/chapters/verses below to read the actual Scripture passages)
No matter how driven we are,
we can’t enter heaven unless we hitchhike with Jesus as our Savior & King.
Stick out a sinful thumb to Him in repentance & faith
& He will reach out a nail-scarred hand to you in mercy & forgiveness & new life.
Many ridicule preaching about hell/judgment as “fire & brimstone,”
But it can be Biblical, it can be the very definition of love…
…Jesus preached this! (please click HERE)
Isn’t it arrogant to think we can proclaim God’s love differently than He did,
without mentioning His wrath, His judgment, sin, hell, conviction, repentance, etc.?
May the LORD help us not to run from fire & brimstone preaching,
not to run towards soda & candy Sunday messages
with fizz but no foundation,
with carbonation but no conviction,
with sweetness but no substance.
Romans 1:5: There is a healthy obedience to God that comes from faith in Jesus—
obedience that is a thank-You to Christ for His undeserved forgiveness/grace,
not obedience that earns us an IOU from Jesus for deserved forgiveness/grace.
Heavenly Father, as we bring our requests to You,
help us trust You to answer our prayers according to Your desires, not ours.
Fruit flows from root; doing flows from being (not vice-versa).
“[God] You are good, and what You do is good” (Psalm 119:68).
Jesus said, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Matthew 12:34).
Do you know your identity in Christ?
Do you know who you are because of Jesus?
And are you acting like it?
P.E.A.C.E.: People Embracing the Atonement of Christ-Eternal!
Isaiah 51:12: “I am He who comforts you. Who are you that you FEAR…?”
Our brother is the LION of Judah (Revelation 5:5),
Our Father is the WARRIOR-God (Exodus 15:3),
We have angels ministering to/serving us (Hebrews 1:14)!
Who are we that we fear anything w/such spiritual Navy Seals
in our family and serving us
who are with us always!?
Exodus 15:3; Revelation 5:5; Hebrews 1:14
How Does God Comfort Us?
Isaiah 51:10-13: The main ways God comforts us now (verse 12)—
By us looking back to His mighty deeds (verse 10) &
looking ahead to His mighty promises (verse 11).
On the other side of the coin, the main reason we fear/freak out
is that we forget the LORD,
we forget His mighty character & His great promises.
If we aren’t investing time to regularly examine the Bible in those two ways,
we simply are not receiving the full comfort God wants us to have.
Choosing Or Chosen?
A. Those who just chose to follow Jesus eventually left Him (John 6:26, 60, 66).
Those chosen by Jesus (except Judas—John 6:70,15:16) persevered even to their deaths.
B. We dont choose Jesus as much as we
turn ourselves in &
tap-out in submission to Him
in response to Him relentlessly choosing us.
John 15:19; Romans 8:33, 11:15; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2:9
C. We’re born spiritually dead—none can seek God/reach up to God on our own
any more than a corpse can reach up for a cup of water!
Romans 3:9-18; Ephesians 2:1-10
D. We no more choose Jesus—
as if He’s an upgrade option like leather seats to our soul—
than a dead stick chooses to bloom a flower (John 15:16).
Being With God Daily
God help us to “present ourselves to You” early each day
& trust that You will meet with us as You did with Moses,
revealing Your character through Your Word,
causing him to worship You.
Pain & Joy
Psalm 30:1-5—”pain in the night & joy in the morning”—
refers to God’s anger at/discipline for His people because of our sin.
Run toward, not away from, His correction…it hurts so good!
God Can Teach Calculus To Sheep
God’s skill in creating our bodies
is the same skill in teaching us His Word!
Bible-understanding comes from God, not from IQ!
When you feel you’re at the end of your rope,
consider the ends of God’s power & wisdom in creation!
The wings of God can soar us where our arms cannot,
the horsepower of God can take us were the pony-power of humans cannot (Isaiah 40:31).
Seek To Know Forever-Yahweh, Not To Be Forever-Young
A. Our strength & perseverance come not from our stage in life but from the LORD of life,
not from our youth but from Yahweh (Isaiah 40:30-31).
B. Don’t try to be numerically/physically younger;
ask the Holy Spirit to help you have child-like faith in Christ Jesus.
Powerful Bible verse for parents—tell them about Him, tell them about HIM!
“The living…praise You, as I am doing…
parents tell their children about Your faithfulness” (Isaiah 38:19).
Regarding clean water, should we focus on the faucet/hose,
but rather the cleanness & Spring/Source?
God help us focus on You not Your messengers (John 3:30; Luke 17:10).
The True Feast
Jimmy Johns offers free smells.
The Trinity offers free smells & meal forever.
Isaiah 55; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; John 4:10-14, 6:25-59
Slaves Of Christ
Oh to be Jesus’ slave—
as a flower planted deeply in rich soil, well-watered & always in sunshine
is a slave to growing & blooming & fragrancing!
1 Corinthians 7:22-23; Ephesians 6:5-8
Jesus: “Seek the pearl (Kingdom of heaven) & sell all to get it” (Matthew 13:44-46).
Many Christians today
take the pearl to the world’s pawn shop
to get “all” back & still keep the pearl.
A. Personality tests/profiles can be helpful to a point,
but we can also box ourselves in with them
& use them as an excuse to not do what God commands.
- “I’m not extroverted—I cant reach out to visitors/neighbors.”
- “I’m not a good speaker—I cant witness to others.”
- “I’m not a teacher—I cant lead a small group!”
Moses used this argument—“I’m not gifted enough!—
& God burned with anger at him! (Exodus 4:10-17)
Effectiveness comes from power of God not presence of gifts.
Peter & John were ordinary, uneducated fishermen (Acts 4:13)
yet God inspired seven books of the Bible thru them!
Don’t let your personality profile become your practical prison.
B. An athlete might be trained for a specific position
but he/she must also be ready/willing
to go anywhere on the field
that the Coach says to go.
A. Sin is more than just coloring outside of the lines of God—
sin is taking the crayon and attacking God, others & ourselves with it.
B. Being a sinner isnt being clumsy—
it’s being a rebel against God.
Sin isnt “accidental” any more than treason is.
The word “Rebel” occurs170x in the Bible (please click HERE).
The Thief On The Cross
The thief’s conversion—Luke 23:39-43—
differs much from today’s version of conversion
where we shop for Jesus like a phone/car based on features we want/like,
based on benefits we want.
But the Holy Spirit enabled the thief to
admit his guilt,
acknowledge Jesus’ perfection & identity as King of Heaven,
agree that there’s life after death,
& ask Jesus for an eternal blessing that the thief knew he didn’t deserve.
That is a Biblical conversion…