Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

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Filters

February 26, 2017

CThe Lord has given us many “filters” in His Word.

As we move through our daily lives, we are bombarded with all kinds of distractions. Jesus told us to have peace and, not only that, He gave us peace that surpasses understanding. He gave us His peace! Wow, that is good news! But, wait a minute…then why don’t I “feel” it? What’s missing?

I know, some of you will say, its sin! I am in a state of sin, so I can’t have that supernatural peace. I have to repent, I have to have the Holy Spirit shine the light inside and show me where I have missed the mark! I have to DO SOMETHING! Well, part of that is true…except for the sin part.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:15-17:

15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So, there is something we need to do. We need to “let” peace rule. So, the question we might ask ourselves is: how are we blocking it? What are we saying “no” to God about? Again, I am not talking about sin.

Paul gives us some filters here:

  • Does the Word of God dwell in me? Am I familiar enough with the Bible to find a scripture that might apply to whatever I am stressed about? Is it part of me? Can the Holy Spirit bring to my remembrance what God has said?
  • Am I teaching or encouraging another person, or am I angry, judgmental or resentful of the other person. Am I using “wisdom” found in the Word of God about that person or situation? Is that my problem?
  • What’s in my heart? Am I singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God? What am I listening to? I cannot concentrate on singing about my Lord and keep peace at bay. What is in my heart and mind?
  • Grace! Am I operating in grace? Grace is both a person, Jesus, and a gift from God. It’s the freedom to both be “free” and to allow others to be “free” also. It’s unconditional love!
  • Who am I serving? Myself, or my Lord? Am I doing all things in His name? Am I His ambassador? Do people see Him when they see me? If I’m serving me, I’m saying “no” to Him.
  • Am I thankful?

 

The Bible has many “filters”. There is always an answer for us. Again, this is not about sin; it’s about living the abundant life that Jesus gave to us.

We are predestined to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29) and as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) why not use the tools given to us to make our journey peace filled?

Use the Armor of the Lord (Eph. 6:6-18) as another filter:

  • The loin-belt of TRUTH. All the other armor is attached to this belt (except for the helmet). We have to know the truth. His Word is truth. As we use “truth” as a filter: we can check our motives, we can compare our thoughts with His word and find out what is really going on. We can ask the “Spirit or Truth” or the Holy Spirit to show us. (John 16:13).
  • Shoes of PEACE. We already went over peace. This says “shoes of peace”. We need to walk in it.
  • Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. This protects our heart! We are the righteousness of God! (2 Cor. 5:21) because Jesus became sin for us and we are righteous because of Him. Sin has no power over us. We need to always remember that! We are new creations. (2 Cor. 5:17). Old things are passed away. God isn’t judging us any more. “It is finished!” Guilt, shame and remorse have no place in us. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 2:10). There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Ro. 8:1)
  • Shield of FAITH. Our faith in what Jesus has done shields us from every dart the enemy can hurl at us. (Eph. 6:16). We can safely stand behind it.
  • Helmet of SALVATION. This protects our minds. No thought can penetrate our minds unless we let it. We can cast down “vain imaginations” (2 Cor. 10:5). We don’t have to listen to negative thoughts or impulses…we can throw them away.
  • Sword of the Spirit—THE WORD OF GOD. The best weapon ever! Learn it, live it…enjoy the peace and joy that God has given us!

 

Be filled with the Spirit! Choose life today!

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The Old is New Again!

February 17, 2014

     I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1975. That was a long time ago.  One thing I knew, then, was that I was forgiven, my sins were removed, my slate was clean.  He loved me and died for me to set me free.  I KNEW that!  I didn’t know the Bible, I didn’t belong to a church, I only knew that I was forgiven and new. 

I was so excited I couldn’t wait to tell others.  I was so excited that others hid when they saw me coming, and then…they too accepted the Lord and they became “born again”.

This was during the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church and, following my mother, I began to attend prayer meetings.  I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, Wait! Don’t stop reading because you don’t believe that is for today, or that is only for the Apostles.  Who told you that anyway?  No one told Stephen, Philip, Barnabas and many others, so they just did what Jesus said. Look for yourselves.

Anyway, I couldn’t wait to start reading the Bible and finding out what is said.  It came alive.

That excitement lasted about three years.  I saw miracles. I saw addicts set free and arthritis and migraine headaches healed by the laying on of hands (by just plain, ordinary believers, just like Jesus said).

Over the years, the excitement wore off and the world crept in.  I was leaving my first love and becoming self-consumed again.  Little by little, like Chinese water torture, self became more important.

When I attempted to get back what I had, I joined a bible teaching church, I diligently listened to the Pastor.  I learned about faith and the power of it.  I learned and learned.  I liked my church and loved my Pastors.  I became involved in service and small groups and training, and the like.

We eventually changed pastors and our new Pastor began really teaching the Bible.  He took more than a year and a half to go through the Old Testament historical books giving us a clear understanding.  He had us do daily readings and we read the Proverbs and Psalms.  His teaching was clear and concise.  I began to take BibleCollege courses to learn more.  He took us through the Gospels, tying the Old and the New Testaments, showing threads and shadows and how it all led to God’s Plan to set us free.

I was filled with knowledge, filled with faith, yet something was missing.

On New Year’s Day, 2014, in a little book, I found what it was.  It was just plain Jesus!

That day in 1975, I met Him. I knew He loved me unconditionally.  But, over the years, I forgot.  I started adding have to and if  to the Gospel…“conditions”.  Then, I tried to meet all the “conditions” I had imposed upon myself, or had imposed upon me by various teachers, books, etc.

Jesus spoke to two types of people: religious and believers.  To the religious, He said, in essence: “You’ll never be good enough. You have to be perfect to enter into My Kingdom.”  To the Believers, He said, “I have covered it all, you only have to believe in Me and tell others about the good news!”

I now know when I read the Bible or listen to teaching, I must rightly divide the word of truth…there are no if’s or have to’s in the Good News, just Jesus, who did it all for us and finished it.

It’s called “Grace”, unmerited, empowering, freeing, loving Grace!  Grace to just love God and others.  Grace to set others free!  He just plain loves us!  We can’t escape His love and we can’t make Him love us more!  All I had to do is believe…and it’s still all I have to do. He did all the rest.