Monthly Archives: May 2012

A Season of Forgiveness

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. -Matthew 5:6

Jesus wants to release peace to you and bring you into a closer intimate season of His love, a season of forgiveness!

Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. -Matthew 5:23-34

The cross puts everything into perspective. If God has forgiven us shouldn’t we forgive our brothers and sisters?

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. -James 5:16

To Die is Gain

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:18

There’s a popular song that says, “Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.” I was listening to this song the other day and thought to myself, “Is that the case for me?” Of course everyone wants to go to heaven but perhaps the more accurate thought by many would be, “If there is a heaven I hope I go there.” I think one of the reasons so many are afraid to die is uncertainty. Death is something every human being faces. It can appear very scary to some. The thought of no longer existing is terrifying and quite absurd to be honest. If we die and become as nothing then our entire life has lost any meaning. Your actions and impact on earth may live on and your life may have meaning to those that still exist, but any meaning that your life holds to you personally will be lost forever if we simply go into a state of inexistence. Isn’t that the most absurd thought? We work our whole lives gaining knowledge, love, experiences, impacting others—some positively and some negatively—and all just to die? Its chaos and makes no sense. No wonder we have a depression epidemic.

Contemplating the lyric to that song has made me think of my own life and my own thoughts towards death. I’ve realized there is some truth to this saying in my life. I don’t want to die, but it’s not because of uncertainty. I am not afraid of death. I can honestly tell you that death has lost its sting. If the Lord chose to take me today then that would be great—for me. It would not however be good for my wife, mother, sister, brothers and friends who would grieve my death. It would also not be good because I hope to be used more by God, and if I were to die today then the only true meaning and purpose that could be accomplished through my life on earth would be over. So for these reasons I do not want to die but I do look forward to the day when I can be with the Lord.

For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. -2 Corinthians 5:4-5

It is not my time yet and I know this because the Lord has given me prophetic dreams and visions of the future. So I excitedly await these times, but patiently remain in the current season diligently seeking the Lord, and trying my best to learn what He is teaching me. I did not post in the last ten days or so because I have just been enjoying His rest. It’s been somewhat of a vacation from my analytical mind the Lord has blessed me with. It’s been nice. I actually felt normal for a week or so… (if there is any such thing as normal?) I have been learning to live in grace. To live in grace does not mean life is a continual mountain top spiritual experience, it means we have Jesus to take up our yoke with us. He offers help and peace in those anxious life moments—including our failures. I feel that I have been finding balance in my spiritual life. I am however aware to be cautious of complacency and so…

I ask again, I seek again, I knock again.

Lord you are so good words cannot describe. I ask today Father, please give us a taste of heaven so we can be revived and rejuvenated to go out and live your will for our lives. I pray for any reading that you would bring them into your peace and rest, that death would lose it’s sting and they might truly put on the heavenly mindset of “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” May your kingdom come and your will be done in Jesus name.

Boasting in Weakness

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Oh the Lord has been teaching me this one… This verse has not left my spirit for the last couple of weeks.  To be honest I do not like what I’m finding out about myself.  I do not like the person that my deceitful heart has guided me in the past to become.  Thank God there is transformational power in the Holy Spirit.  Thank God that He promises to finish the good work that He has begun in me (Phil 1:6).  Am I finished yet?  Not even close.  I am slowly beginning to understand why the Apostle Paul called himself the “chief of sinners.”  We call Paul a saint.  He wrote those words in 1 Timothy towards the end of his ministry.  He must have been far more sanctified than I, but yet he called himself the chief of sinners.  The Holy Spirit had revealed in him the full sinful nature of himself.  We know this from what he wrote in Romans:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
– Romans 7:15

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
– Romans 7:24

The closer we get to God the more we realize how truly unworthy we are to even be in the presence of His holiness.  But God through His loving grace invites us there again and again.  I set these high standards for myself and then find myself screwing up left and right but God has told me,

“My love for you is not of your works it’s of who you really are.” 

Who I am? Who I am Lord is a filthy, selfish, prideful, covetous sinner.  Wow, that’s a little humiliating to admit that. But He says,

“I see through that to who you really are, and who you really are is mine. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”

Lord I am truly unworthy of Your affection.

Such love the Father has for you and I!  John understood this clearly when he wrote:

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” -1 John 3:1

Accept God’s grace today. Stop trying to earn it.

The Creator of Creativity

Oh Lord you are so creative!

So many different people all with their own unique thoughts,

With their own spirit, with their own free will,

You didn’t have to make so many different types of trees but you did,

You didn’t have to make the stars so limitless but you did,

You didn’t have to make all the different animal and fish species but you did,

Thank you Lord for all the beauty in this life and on this planet,

It seems as if your creativity is infinite!

How perfect to reflect the glory of an infinite God!

How wonderful you are Lord,

I’m amazed!

 

Thank you Father for making us in your image so that your creativity is reflected by our own creative minds.  Without You I am nothing.

Thank You Abba!

Thank you Abba, Father God for my mom,

Thank you for blessing me with such a caring, compassionate,

And loving woman of faith in my life,

Without her I don’t know where I would be Lord,

Without seeing the Son’s love reflect from her eyes where would I be?

Without her countless prayers and words of wisdom where would I be?

You have blessed me so!

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

For my mom whom You and I both love beyond measure,

And this I pray that she knows.

What Will You Feed Your Mind Today?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. –Proverbs 9:10 

Our minds—much like our physical bodies—need to be fed. If we don’t feed them they get hungry and start growling for something new. If we constantly feed them junk food they will become unhealthy and eventually sick. Sometimes we don’t realize how bad we’ve been eating. There are “fast food for thoughts” on every corner. The information age puts everything at our finger tips. It can become hard to distinguish the healthy food from the unhealthy food and there is much debate about this. Thankfully God has given us the Holy Spirit which can help us discern the good from the bad. The Holy Spirit is kind of like God’s free nutritionist or personal trainer—but much like an actual nutritionist, if you don’t make the choice to follow their advice you will not see any results.  Is it a coincidence that sin entered the world through the bite of an apple?  I think not.

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ –Matthew 4:4

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. –John 6:27

Accept God’s Grace Today

Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. –Romans 14:19

I’m realizing one of the beautiful fruits of the Spirit is the edification of one another in the body of Christ.  Life of course has it’s ups and downs, but God has given us grace and a way to help balance this through human connection—where if one is weak, another is strong.  These roles constantly shift.  One might be strong this week but find themselves in a terrible dark place the next.  This is why it’s so important to love one another as ourselves. 

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. –Romans 15:1-2

Today I feel strong.  I am encouraged in the Spirit of Truth today but this was not the case last week, and it may not be the case for next week. 

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. –1 Corinthians 10:12

However, I thank the Lord for these trials knowing that it produces patience (James 1:3). Today the Lord has blessed me with strength so I wish to pass this on to you:

God loves you and never leaves you!  When you feel alone and trapped in the dark pits of your own negative thoughts just stop and whisper His name.  Glance around at this majestic planet and take a deep breath.  The presence of God is all around us and unmistakable.  Take a deep breath and let the Spirit of Truth renew you.  Do not be conformed to this world but allow yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Submit your intellect and thoughts to God’s peace.  Welcome His rest.  Stop beating yourself up and accept the grace of Christ.  Accept that the cross was enough and the blood of Jesus covers all your sins. 

Say this prayer out loud and proclaim it in the name of Christ Jesus:

Your grace is sufficient for me Lord,
The blood of Jesus covers all my sins,
I accept your grace today Father,
I accept your love,
I accept you Jesus as my Lord and Savior,
You are the God of my life who has forgiven all my iniquities,
Who heals my diseases,
Who redeems my life from destruction,
Who crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Therefore I look to you Lord,
I will be still and patient with you,
I will wait on the God of my salvation,
Thank you for the gift of life,
I love you

(2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 4:7, Psalm 103:3-4, Psalm 46:10, Micah 7:7)