Archive for the ‘God Sense’ Category

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Romans 15:1 TRUE LEADERSHIP

September 15, 2011

  Yesterday, I had to go and meet someone who had gotten lost on her way to my home in order to show her the way.  As I drove ahead of her, I kept the space between my car and hers measured so that she could stay behind me.  She was driving slowly and I would have to slow down to maintain the distance.  We were on our way when I heard the Lord say to me, “This is how to lead.” 

   In today’s verse, we are told that “We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak. — We ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others — and not to please ourselves.” (Amplified).

   Yesterday, we were told in the end of Romans 14 that although we are no longer under the law, we must be careful that our freedom does not cause another person to sin and we were reminded that whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

   So, the Lord showed me how I am supposed to lead:  by gauging the needs of the one being taught, and accommodating my guidance to their level.   I cannot teach a six year old the same thing I could share with a 20 year old.  It works the same in the Kingdom.  Jesus spent three years with his disciples, He lived with them, taught them, showed them, loved them and He knew who they were inside and out. 

   I must take the time to discern what the failings, frailties or tender scruples are in the person God has entrusted me to help.  I must take care not to be puffed up or pompous when I share with them.  I must take the time to know them and love them and only then can I be an effective leader.  In all of that, I must rely upon the Holy Spirit for guidance and take care to hear Him instead of me. 

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Romans 14:13-23

September 14, 2011

  Paul teaches in Romans 14:13 something that I think most of us today forget.  We know that Bible says we shall not judge one another, that judgment is for God, not for us.  Paul goes further here.  He says we shall not put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.  He further states in verse 15 that “if your brother is being injured by what you eat (do), you are no longer walking in love.”

  In this society, most of our conversation revolves around judging.  News commentators, radio talk shows, TV talk shows are all based on it.  Everyone has an opinion on everything and about everyone.  We are surrounded and inundated with judging.  It has become the acceptable mode of everyday interaction.  Once again, the enemy has secured his beachhead and we didn’t even see him.

  The point Paul is making; however, is about those who know who they are in Christ.  Those who know the freedom from the law, who are mature and understand that the Law no longer binds us, but that “the kingdom of God is not food and drink (laws), but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  What we forget it that each person is being conformed to Christ’s image on an individual basis.  Everyone is at a different level of faith and understanding.  God moves us from glory to glory. 

   We must be careful not to place a stumbling block in the way of another believer by our actions.  We must teach the truth with grace and watch our behavior.  Even when we know that certain acts are acceptable in our freedom from the law, our freedom must not lead another to sin. 

  Paul explains very clearly in verse 22, “The faith that you have, keep between you and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves.”  He then ends this discourse with “But he who has doubts is condemned…if he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” 

  Be careful of how you live and how you are perceived by those who are younger in the faith than you are.  Remember how long it took you to get where you are today and how much farther you must go.

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Romans 13:8-10 LOVE ONE ANOTHER

August 17, 2011

Paul reminds us that all of the commandments are summed up with “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. He states in verse 10 that “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Jesus, in Matthew 22:38-40 tells us the same thing. In Deuteronomy 10:19 the Jews are told to “love the stranger” because they were strangers in the land of Egypt.

I too was a “stranger” before I met Christ and someone loved me enough to tell me about Him, pray with me and bring me into His Kingdom.

We are told by Jesus in John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The question is: does the world see us that way? When someone thinks of me, do they think, “look how she loves others!”

I know that, as I grow in the Lord and in recovery, I have grown to love and continue to move from one level of love to another. I am often surprised when I realize the depth of the love I have for people at this time in my life. Because I am being conformed to His image, I know that I will continue to grow in this manner. What a wondrous gift we have been given!

I, one who isolated, judged, and avoided others, now can see them, love them, and be of use to them and I know my heart isn’t full yet. I would never have believed this was possible before I surrendered my life to Him, the One who is love. Jesus Christ is the answer to everything.

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Owe No One Anything Except to Love One Another

August 11, 2011

Romans 13:8 & 10

             Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor fulfills the law…love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

             In looking up what it means to “owe” the cross references refer both to debts and to collateral, to holding a security deposit.  I think here that Paul is not referring to a monetary debt, rather a spiritual or moral debt.  We are not to hold back from doing something good for one another.  When we love someone, we will withhold nothing from them.  We will go out of our way to please them, to help them, even to the setting aside of our own personal needs at times.

             I believe that we are not to let an opportunity to show our love to one another slip by.  God considers that a debt.  The Catholic Church calls it a “sin of omission”.

             I pray that my eyes may be opened to see what my brothers and sisters need and, if it is possible, that I might provide for that need.  Many in the church are hurting or in need of help.  If we would help one another the way we are taught by the Word, this present world situation would be of no consequence to believers.

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Romans 13:1-7 Governing Authorities Instituted by God

August 6, 2011

Romans 13: 1-7 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore, he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, those who resist will incur judgment….etc. 

I saw this yesterday and did not address it because I really, really didn’t want to accept this.  Paul goes on to instruct on paying taxes and giving respect and honor.   We are all “subject” to the governing authorities and must obey the laws or receive the consequences.  That part is understandable. 

I can accept this easily if I “accept” the leadership of our Country.  If we have a leader who is not of my persuasion, I surely don’t want to think of him/her as having been instituted by God.  However, I have learned through the study of the Old Testament that God places and uses ungodly leaders over people to accomplish His goals.  In Judges 3, He even says that he kept some enemies in their territories so that they could learn to do warfare!   

I surely pray more when I see the push from the ungodly.  So, I will respect the position, I will respect the authority that comes with it, and I will accept that everything on this planet has a purpose and will ultimately further God’s perfect plan. 

I think I will just keep my mind on God and the Kingdom and let Him sort all this out.  I will, however, continue to vote for and support leaders whose worldview is based on Judeo/Christian principles. 

Is. 26.3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusts in thee.

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Overwhelm Evil with Good

August 3, 2011

Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

  Since this passage in Romans is written to believers, I find it surprising that Paul refers to “evil” in the brethren.  The parallel passage in 1 Peter 3:8-9 expands on the thought:  “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”  1 Th. 5:15 also says, “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all

   One thing also stuck with me in the past few days, which is why I haven’t written.  If the Word tells us we can overcome evil with good…it has to be possible.  To “overcome” means “to conquer, master, suppress, prevail over, to surmount or overwhelm”.  Jesus told us that light dispels darkness.  So, why have we bought the lie of the devil that the darkness is too strong to combat?  Why have we just decided that these times are too far gone?  Why have we let go and given in?

   Christians are afraid of the ACLU and threatened lawsuits.  We are afraid to “offend”.  We have no backbones.  We allow ourselves to be overcome with evil and, for the most part, do not fight back.  Overcoming evil with good is not just to “pray for them”.  It is taking a stand.  What if the Apostles just “prayed about it”…Christianity would never have taken root at all.  And, speaking of darkness, Paul preached during Nero’s reign.

   Once again, I am disappointed in us and in myself.

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“Vengeance is Mine,” says the Lord.

July 29, 2011

Romans 12:19-20.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave it up to the wrath of the Lord; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  “Therefore, if your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him a drink, for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” (2 Thess. 1:6). 

In looking up cross references for these verses, I see they apply to anyone who harms us.  God is our protector and He will take care of it.  We are supposed to be Kingdom dwellers and act in such a way that love is our response, no matter what.  Jesus said to “turn the other cheek”.  That, to me, does not mean…let them slap you again, but that it has no meaning, therefore, it does not matter if you slap me or not-I will love you anyway.  

I am not able to do this yet, but I can imagine the freedom that would come from it.  To be so sure and secure in God’s love that we can look beyond the action and respond with love, knowing that God is in control would be something to strive for.    

I also know that only God knows the other person, understands his or her heart and motivations.  I can trust Him to take care of the issue.  I don’t need to trespass on His territory.  I must remember that my job is to love and bring others into the Kingdom and everything else belongs to God.

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Romans 12:18 continued.

July 26, 2011

   My brother likes to remind me of “context”.  Yesterday, I spoke of Paul’s command to “live peaceably with all, as far as it depends on you”.  I took the concept all the way to include all around us.  My brother reminded me that Paul was speaking to the Church and that the “all” he was referring to only applied to believers. 

  So, this morning, I did a word study and found that in most places, even in the Old Testament, it applied to the Israelites and in the New to the church.  So, he was right. However, Hebrews 12:14 tells us to “pursue peace with all people and holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  Believers already see the Lord. 

  Jesus was clear that we should be the light and salt to a dying world.  He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.”  We are the sons of God, through Him.    I want everyone to “see the Lord” in me.”

   As our Pastor said the last time context came up, that does not mean the principle does not apply outside the Church as well.

   So, my brother was correct and I love him dearly and appreciate his feedback.  As for me, I will take the command outside to those who don’t understand it so that, maybe, they will see the Lord in me and want what I have. 

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Live Peaceably with all.

July 25, 2011

   Romans 12:18   “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”    Paul begins this thought with the words “If possible”.  That indicates to me that there will be times that it is not possible to live peaceably; however, he then goes on to say:  “as far as it depends on you”.  That tells me that, no matter how difficult the situation is with the other person, it is up to us to live peaceably with them. 

   I have learned to remove myself from the pain, to walk away and regroup within myself.  I then take my anger or hurt feelings to God, talk to a friend if possible, and try and quiet the disturbance within me.   I have been trained to “let it go”, “pray for them”, “act as if”, and only address it with the other person if my Lord gives me the words, the strength and an opportunity to do so only after I am no longer disturbed.  Most of these tools have come from my recovery program; however, they are scriptural and they work.

   Today, I choose to be happy, joyous and free.  The Bible tells me to have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).  The only time He was harsh was with the Pharisees and then only because they were corrupting the people. 

   So, I will continue to work on myself to live peaceably with all.  We are supposed to be different, we are supposed to be the light to a dark and dying world; we are supposed to love as He did.  So, if possible, as far as it depends on me…

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No More Land for Peace!

July 22, 2011

Yesterday, I touched a spiritual level I had never experienced before, a place where God’s heart lives.  I was overwhelmed with the weight of it.   I tried to explain it, but I could not.  His heart is heavy.  We Christians have ceded His territory just like the modern day Israelis…for peace…for “political correctness”.  Satan knows how to take territory, little by little, ever chipping away at land, at faith, at courage and finally at hope.  We have allowed it, stayed silent, kept out of controversy, safely hidden in our little church fellowship groups where the “world” cannot touch us. 

What is wrong with us!  Who are we?  Who do we belong to?  What do we believe!  People are being led to the slaughter day by day and we do nothing!  We let the Lord, the Holy One, the One and Only God be removed from the public square and we do nothing!

We are called the “silent majority”, yet Jesus called us to Preach the Good News!  Silent! Silent?  Do we belong to the Almighty?  Are we Ambassadors for Christ?  Do they “know us by our love?”   Did Jesus die in vain? 

I am ashamed.  God is watching and we are not doing what He called us to do.  “Well done, good and faithful servants”?  I think not. 

I declare this day, in the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, that I will serve my Father in Heaven and establish a beachhead wherever He leads me and, once established, I will hold it!   All the armies of Heaven go before me and surround me as I do the will of my Father…no more land for peace, no more hiding in my comfort zone.  Here Am I, Lord…Send Me!.