Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

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Ephesians 1:1,2 CALLED FOR HIS PURPOSE

October 1, 2011

            Today I begin reading Ephesians on my journey with my Lord.  He first took me through 1st and 2nd Timothy, then Romans and now we begin to unwrap the treasures in Ephesians.  I am excited to find out what the Holy Spirit has in store for me.

            The book begins with Paul qualifying himself.  He says that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.  God’s word proves itself.  We can look back through the book of Acts to see Paul’s story.  It is unique, but then so is mine and so is yours.  The emphasis in this book is to the church, to the “saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus”.  We are the saints.  It begins with a blessing of grace and peace to us from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

            The first thing that jumped out to me was “by the will of God”.  We have all been chosen by the will of God   (John 6:44).  We have all been called for His purpose (Romans 8:28).

            Paul was called to be an Apostle.  His calling came after Jesus rose from the dead.  So did mine.  God placed him in is position.  God placed me in my position.  He spent time learning from those who had already been called; however his ministry began immediately. (Acts 9: 19:20).

            Look at your life.  What are you doing?  Looking for purpose?  You already have one.  God chose you, enabled you, and equipped you to do certain things.  What are you good at; what is your passion?  Those things are not a mistake or just a part of your personality.  It is your calling.   Do it unto the Lord, do it well, learn to do it better from those in Christ who have gone before you.  Submit your ways to God and let him lead you down His path, ask him to open your eyes just like He did for Paul.  God bless.

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Romans 12:16a “Live in Harmony With One Another”

July 16, 2011

When I first thought about living in “harmony”, I thought…getting along with everyone in the Church is what it meant.  But I think that it is much more than that.  So, I looked it up.  The Greek word harmonia means “a fitting together, agreement from harmos, a fitting, joining”.  

  That makes me think of Christ’s body-the Church.  We are joined and fitted together.  God has placed each one of us in a specific position within His body to comprise the perfect bride.  Each of us has a specific duty and purpose.   When we function along those lines, the harmony is evident to all just as an orchestra’s symphonic tones blend and rise to heaven.

  The description goes on to say:  “concord or agreement in feeling, action, interests”.  What Pastor would not be overwhelmed with gratitude if that were the case in his congregation?  

  Each Pastor has a vision for his church.  It is his responsibility to clearly set forth that vision.  It then is our responsibility to take our place within the vision, to agree with it, to help him fulfill it and thereby, join in the symphony of the saints in the Kingdom’s orchestra.

 

 

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Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice, Weep With Those Who Weep

July 15, 2011

Romans 13:15  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” 

There was a time in my life when I had shut off most of my emotions.  I did not allow myself to feel happy or sad.  When I saw someone really happy, I resented them.  When I saw someone sad, I didn’t want to be around them.

 In thinking about this scripture, I am so very grateful that today this is not the case.  God has truly removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh (Ez. 36:26).  This process was not quick and was not easy. The stone had to be chipped away with His chisel and many times was a painful process.  There are still bits of stone hanging on, but I know that God will continue to conform me to the image of my Lord (Ro. 8:29).

 I can truly rejoice with those who rejoice today and I can weep with those who weep.  I am no longer afraid to feel. I am able to become vulnerable and not be threatened.  I can love.  Thank you Jesus Christ for making this possible and giving me Your heart.

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Practice Hospitality

July 12, 2011

In Romans 12:13c, Paul tells us to practice hospitality.  Since he says to “practice”, I would guess it does not come naturally.  I know it did not for me.  It took years for me to develop that trait, and it was my husband’s hospitality that initiated me. 

For most of my life, I did not allow others to get to know me.  I had a very few friends who managed to infiltrate my walled up self, but that was more because of them than because of me.  I was more comfortable by myself-isolating.  I did not invite people to my home because I didn’t know what to do with them, or I was afraid they would judge me as insufficient.  However, my home was open to my son’s friends any time they were in need.  But then, I was in a maternal position and I knew how to do that.

 Today, all of that has changed.  I got into a recovery program, turned my life back to Jesus Christ, and little by little, He changed me into the person I was always supposed to be.  He truly pulled me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a Rock. (Psalm 40:2)

 In attending recovery meetings, I began to interact with other women and found out that they liked me and didn’t judge me.  I married my wonderful husband and that broadened my world.  He truly has a heart of compassion and hospitality.  We slowly began inviting people that we did not know well over for dinner, a couple at a time.  I started a bi-monthly woman’s group on Saturday mornings so that I could learn to be comfortable around women…it lasted about six years and was a tremendous blessing to all of us.

We now host an open Thursday night dinner followed by Bible Study and a Sunday morning brunch following church.  We’ve opened our home to others in need.  And, guess what?  I love it.  I will continue to “practice”, I hope, for the rest of my life.

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Be Aglow with The Spirit

July 5, 2011

Romans 12:11 continues… “be aglow (burning) with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” 

Since Paul exhorts us to “be aglow with the Spirit”, this must be something we can do.  I have always prayed that I would be filled with the Spirit, only to find out that Paul said, “Stir up your gift” and “be filled.”  So, again, this is something we must be able to do within ourselves. 

I became born again the in the Charismatic Movement of the 70s.  That was something.  People were being saved and baptized in the Spirit everywhere.  We were all on fire for the Lord.  It was an exciting time.   But, although it was a real movement of God, it was experiential.  I had a thirst for the Word of God, but did not have a strong teacher.  We all just prayed, praised and witnessed.  We gathered together at God’s party. 

I now know that a foundation on the Word of God, good mentors and teachers are necessary to continue in the faith.  When I know the promises of God, when I remember the urgency of the Gospel…when I hear my Lord say “Tell them!” and I know what to say, then I can stir up my gift and “be aglow”. 

 

When I share my Lord with others, my spirit burns within me.   If I want to be aglow, I have to do what He commanded:   “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…”

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Continuing Romans 12:10…

July 2, 2011

Well, I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about this “honor” thing.  I talked about it with friends and looked up the meaning in Strong’s Concordance and, guess what?  It means “honor”, to place in high esteem, to respect.  It means what it means.

If we just back up to Romans 12:3, Paul says “I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” and if we go ahead to Romans 12:16, Paul says, “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly, never be conceited,” and there are many more.

So, once again, scripture interprets scripture.

Jesus taught over and over again against pride, taking the Pharisees to task many times and showed his disciples by His own life, how to be humble.  He only looked down on those who were puffed up, never on those who were “meek and lowly of heart.”

So, Lord, help me to always see others as You do and remember that it is only by Your grace that I have been chosen for Your Kingdom, forgive my pride and open my heart and mind.  Let me have eyes to see, ears to hear and courage to act in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s lead.

 

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Love One Another with Brotherly Love

June 30, 2011

Romans  12:10 begins with this challenge.  I call it a challenge because Paul exhorts us to love one another in the body with brotherly love.  I have a brother and love him dearly.  I am able to allow him to be him and I can overlook what I consider his faults; however, I am not so good at doing that with all others.  Because he is my brother and “love covers a multitude of sins”, I am confident that nothing he does affects his basic love for me, nor mine for him.

We are called not to judge, yet I know I do.  I even judge my natural brother, but I then choose to love instead.  I can do that because I already love him.

I sometimes forget that the family of Christ is also my brother and my sister.  I forget to choose love for those who may not fit my expectations;  even I can’t fit my expectations.  I wish that all would love me as I am, am ok with those who don’t, and I hope to be able to accept and love my brothers and sisters in Christ the same way.   They are a gift to me from my God.  They are my friends, counsellors, network, family, testing ground, teachers, comforters…  I do, in fact, love them all and am grateful that they are in my life…all of them.