Posts Tagged ‘Word of God’

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He loves me, He loves me not!

June 28, 2014

*This post is geared to born again Christians.  If you are not among us, scroll down to the bottom and I’ll tell you all the hoops you have to go through to become one.

To my brothers and sisters in the Lord:

Why did you accept Christ as your Savior?  What called to you, what intrigued you, what moved you?  What were you responding to?

Think back.  We all have our own story, our “testimony” about our first encounter with the Living Lord.  Did we come to Him because we “had to”?  Did we believe out of fear?  What was our first experience with Him, with Jesus?  Was it LOVE?…just absolute love and acceptance as a beloved child? All of a sudden, did we “know” Him? Did we KNOW that He loved us just because He loves us? Did we just KNOW?

At that beautiful moment, did He give you a list of “do’s and don’ts, or rules and regulations?  Did you feel burdened down by His yoke?  Did you think that you had to do anything to keep His love?

I know I didn’t.  All I knew was that He died for me, paid the penalty for my sins, loved me enough to call me to Himself and He set me free to tell others about this GREAT NEWS!  I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I knew what and Who I found and to tell them that they could find Him too!

I found his unqualified, undeserved, absolute, unconditional acceptance and love.  I was filled with Him and His love.  I was on fire for Him.  Nothing would ever be the same because of Him and His mercy and grace.

That was about 45 years ago for me.  During those years, many things happened and life continued.  I wandered off for a while (all the while knowing He was with me and calling me back). I returned to Him again. I always knew He loved me. I always knew He’d take me back. Did I always feel great about me? No. But, I realize that, just as my salvation was not about me, neither is His love.

His love is about Him.  He IS LOVE.  He has placed His seed in me, has sealed me with the Holy Spirit, and has made me eternally His. I did nothing to deserve His love and I can do nothing to un-deserve it because it’s all about Him.

Over the years, I wanted to learn more about Him. I diligently studied the Bible to learn more.  I found that I was loved and secure. I found out that I was one with Him, just like He was one with the Father.  I was moved from glory to glory!  I discovered the power of faith and of declaring His word. I was baptized in the Spirit and spoke in tongues.

Unfortunately, with my desire to know more, I began taking in the teaching of men.  I began taking in “rules and regulations” into my Spirit and my Spirit began to become heavy…I began trying to “work out my salvation” by doing, or not doing, things to improve my walk with God.  I tried pulling the ox cart all by myself, or yoked with other sincere people…but not yoked with the One who asked me to take “His yoke” which was not heavy, but light. I began to rely on me instead of Him.

Recently, I was blessed by a new/old revelation…It’s not my job!  He, just as in my salvation, has done it all. I repented of my pride, let go of my lopsided yoke and gave myself back to Him.  Now, He does the heavy lifting and I walk along side Him.  He leads, I follow. He teaches me of His Love and I am in love with Him again.

No longer do I live in “He loves me, He loves me not” based on my performance, but in HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME!

Again, I ask you, remember the first things…how you felt in the beginning and drink in the joy of your salvation again.  HE LOVES YOU TOO! JUST THE WAY YOU ARE…JUST AS YOU AND I CAME TO HIM. He still loves us more than we can love Him back and He will lead us from GLORY to GLORY!  He can’t help Himself because He loves us so much.

To Him be the glory forever and ever, amen!

***

*The “hoop” is found in the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, verses 16-18.

 “John 3:16-18  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

ONE HOOP: BELIEVE IN HIM!   Oh, and before I forget…I didn’t say this, Jesus did.

           Try it, you’ll like it.  He loves you!

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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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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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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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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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Never Lag in Zeal and Earnestness

July 3, 2011

Romans 12:11 begins, “Not lagging behind in diligence”; some versions say “zeal”.   

I remember when I was first born again in 1975; my passion for the Lord and for sharing the good news was intense.  I could not stop talking about Him, about grace, about freedom.  I drove most people around me crazy; they either ran away from me or accepted the Lord to shut me up.  Thankfully, those who accepted Him are still with Him today. 

I walked away from Him for several years in the 1980s and didn’t fully recommit myself until 1996.  During that time, although my life took a downward spiral, I always had a strong sense that He was just waiting for me to come back.  Even then, if anyone asked me about Him, the fire returned as I witnessed (in word, truly not in action).  The Holy Spirit honored the attempt despite me.  A friend told me during that time that because I had been sealed with the Holy Spirit, I would return to the Lord.

 Well, I did return and He received me back, and blessed me and loved me and forgave me.  What I learned while wandering in my self imposed wilderness has now given me compassion, understanding and a ministry to guide others who need a savior back to Him as well. 

 The zeal and passion has returned, but now in a mature, level-headed, scripture based and guided fashion (by the Holy Spirit, good teaching of the Word and great mentors). 

So, if the zeal has left, do not despair:  “Our misery becomes our ministry” (Mark Shell). Return to Him and He will return to you.

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God’s return on investments.

June 27, 2011

Recently, our Pastor has been teaching about tithing.  Usually, that topic comes up when a church is in financial need and most, if not all, the congregants groan inwardly and fidget.   Well, in our church, praise God, that is not the issue and our Pastor is an excellent teacher of the Word of God.

Once he completed teaching on tithing, he went on to teach about offerings.  He showed us that an offering is not part of the tithe, but a separate gift given from the heart.  The tithe is God’s.  He leaves us the 90% to do with what we please.  The tithe protects the 90% from the devourer.  The offering, however, comes out of our 90% and is the seed that God can use to bless us.

I don’t know if this short synopsis is clear, but we began giving offerings along with our tithe two weeks ago.  We had been just “making it” financially, week to week, all our needs have always been met, but we haven’t had increase.   What we now understand, is that we haven’t been planting the seed that the Lord provides in the 90%.

We have our own business, a mobile oil change company.  Last week, a competitor dropped out of the business and we have been picking up his customers…a dramatic increase!  I’m excited to see where this will go and I am excited to see how much more we can give. 

So…I challenge you to come along!  This is really cool.  God is Awesome!