Who are we in Christ?

We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. We are God’s special people. We are sojourners in this land. We were called out of darkness into the light of His glory…for a purpose. His purpose.

Praise His holy name. Be blessed.

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God’s mercies are new everyday. What an awesome God we serve!

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:9-12

Dying denying God

Most of us know someone, or know of someone who has died never having accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Today, many people will die denying God. They will defend to the end their rejection of a Supreme Being, of a risen Savior, of forgiveness of sin, of salvation and eternal life, or any such nonsense. They may also try to convince you that your faith is foolish and misplaced. And they will also try their hardest to make you feel silly for believing in such nonsense.

In November, a dear friend went home to be with the Lord. She served the Lord through the hills and the valleys of this Christian life. To me she was blessed by God tremendously, but as she said…it came at a painful price. A life filled with pain and sorrow, disease and abuse, she lived never taking her eyes of the Comforter. Even in her darkest moments she would not deny her God. Sure, sometimes it was difficult to keep the faith, but she marched on. Now she is with her Lord and all that went before her, singing praises to the one and only true God.

Adversity is something we face at some point in our lives. And honestly, some of us have more than our share and some handle it better than others. Adversity can bring one closer to the Lord, or draw one completely away and still others teeter-toter. It’s about where we draw our strength.

Last weekend a family member, a former believer in God, passed away. Sadly, his faith had gone by the wayside and he passed fully persuaded there was no proof of a living God. And it was not so much that he died rejecting God and His Son, but that on his deathbed he boasted of the fact that he had trained his grandchildren to believe otherwise…in themselves, their own abilities. His children already seem to share his sentiments toward a Supreme Being. I knew he was once a believer, so I encouraged him to reconsider his choice. There was still time, I said. We don’t know the exact hour the Lord will call us home.  His response was so nonchalant. Nah! He took a great deal of pride in his accomplishment. “I trained them! I created them! I stood next to his bed listening to his rant and I could not help but think that truly … this “former Christian” had actually rejected Christ, but that was not enough…he had to teach his future generations that all that God stuff was nonsense. And the only thing we could rely on was ourself.

He knew I was a believer and acknowledged as much, but out of the corner of his eye he gave me this look and said…I would also encourage you to reconsider your belief.

Truly, as a believer in Jesus Christ…how do you respond to such rejection? I prayed for him and talked to God about him for a while. It was sad. Unfortunately, people… people that we love, people that we grow up with, people that we admire…will leave this physical existence completely persuaded there is no God. What a surprise they will get when they get to the other side. While it may be too late for those that died without Christ, the children…they still have hope… We need to pray for our children.

The enemy is walking about…waiting…seriously…

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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Psalm 19:1-6 

The Perfect Revelation of the Lord

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

19 The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” Our God is an AWESOME GOD!!! Sing your praise to the Lord!!!

God's mercies are new everyday. What an awesome God we serve!
Lamentations 3:22-23 “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” What an awesome God we serve!

Psalm 147 Praise the Lord!

For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground.

7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
8 Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
9 He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens that cry.

10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
He has blessed your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders,
And fills you with the finest wheat.

15 He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes;
17 He casts out His hail like morsels;
Who can stand before His cold?
18 He sends out His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.

19 He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.

Praise the Lord! Today, and everyday and forever.

The Need to Flat line…

I am sure I am not the only Christian that struggles to understand what God is doing in my life. What good can come out of my situation? I pray and I pray. I ask God to help me understand. Why am I still in this situation? And God answered me.

Who can know what is on the mind of God? Even Jesus who was with God and is with God said there are somethings only the Father knows. The promise of “R E S T” (rest eternally secure today) is to not receive the grace of God in vain being careful not to fall short of the grace of God…you who attempt to be justified by the law.

At some point in every believers walk he, or she must flat line…that is to die to this world…to pursue the things of the world no longer…to not indulge in its lusts, or desire its sensuousness…to surrender not to its fears, to forsake the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, to consider such things no longer.   The carnal man must flat line to allow God in…to accept God’s will…and to surrender our will. Giving up our arms, our weapons for the army of the Lord.

But how can any man possibly surrender all? Surrender does not come easy to folks, at least not to me.

The father and son relationship is the only type of relationship where the giving and taking, (surrendering) comes natural, giving and taking out of love. We learn early on to surrender to our earthly father. It is a relationship not easily broken when established…and still mend-able when broken. As believers, we pray to our Father in Heaven. We cry to Abba, Father because He loves us.

Gal. 4: 6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Quite unlike a marital relationship where the wife gives herself to her husband, forsaking all others, submitting only to him, out of love, out of obedience because of that love, but it can go sour when trust is broken, adultery, not submitting one to another, or honoring one another. The love is what binds them, and when it’s gone it can reap bitterness, resentment, isolation and end in divorce, a broken covenant.

Eph. 5: 22- 33 The Marriage—Christ and the Church

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

God, the Creator, our Maker knows how to restore relationships. He loves unconditionally. We don’t. We can’t. We have expectations, obligations, prejudices, demands. We are easily ensnared by our own selfish desires, our own inadequacies. God’s love, mercy, and grace can restore us to Himself and us to those we must, but he expects us to walk in truth.

Granted, it’s easier said than done, but our God knows that well.

God sent His Son to save us and to show us how to love. It is in the name of Jesus that we can go to the Father. It cost Jesus His life and separation from His Father for us to gain access to God. Likewise, we are to sacrifice our life so that others may live, and that sacrifice can be different for all of us.

God teaches us how to love, and gives us the desire to want to love, but to love others requires sacrifice. If we don’t willingly, He fashions our days…brings us to our knees…still He shows us mercy and gives us grace…even in our disobedience. Jesus promised that no one that the Father has given Him will be lost. Every struggle, every trial and tribulation should reinforce that promise.

God worked six days when He created the heavens and the earth, man, and everything else. On the seventh day, He rested. Likewise, God is creating in us a new creation, a new mind, a new heart, but because we are full of sin and not empty and void, it takes a lot more time and effort to fashion the person He wants us/me to be. We have a will, and our will, our flesh gets in the way of us doing the works God has prepared for us to do… yet He is loving, He is patient, He is merciful and He gives us/me grace to accept His perfect will. In the proper time He will give rest.

Reminds me of a Rich Mullins song.

“Surrender don’t come natural to me I’d rather fight You for something I don’t really want than to take what You give that I need and I’ve beat my head against so many walls now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees.” 

I can imagine myself as the child kicking and screaming to get my way and my Father trying to explain why I can’t…and all I want is my way. His Word is filled with promises and reminders of why we should desire His way.

Matthew 11:29-30

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Heb. 4:10

“He who has entered into God’s rest has himself also ceased from his work as God did from His.”

Thank you, my Creator!

Who can know the things of God? No man! Except… for the man to whom God will reveal His truths. God shows us the path we must walk. Sometimes it is for us to understand, and sometimes not. We cannot fathom the ways of God. And only when we die to the things of this world, only until we flat line can we begin to truly understand the nature of God and begin to accept the the unfathomable thoughts and the perfect will of the living God. God have mercy on me and mine. To God be the glory.

Be blessed.

Deep Waters? Trust in Jesus…

beach6There are times when my Christian walk feels like I am out in the middle of the ocean caught in a tumultuous storm, no boat, no floating device, just my body tossed to and fro by thrashing winds, waves crashing in on me, rain and thunder so loud I can’t even hear the sound of my own screams for help. But my God, He is so awesome! He opens my eyes and allows me to see His hand at work in my life-and He gives me peace. And the feeling passes. A momentary lapse of faith that comes when I focus on the circumstances in my life, and on my inability to change them… rather than trusting in the Living God… that He is working all things out for His purpose. It is not just a platitude. God really is working in the lives of those He has chosen, in those He knows by name. When I consider that God knows me and calls me by name…I am left speechless and in total awe that the Living God thinks about me all day long. Who am I, that the Living God would give me so much thought? I am no one special, but I am His child. I am the child of the King and if you are so blessed to be a child of the King…Praise God! Pity that Christian that sees a blessing only in material things, but rejoice with the one that finds contentment in the things of God.

There are many that call themselves Christians that He will turn away. The world mocks us because it refuses to believe in God, and rejects the love and salvation of Jesus. The things of God are foolishness to those that perish. I pray for those He calls by name, because…gosh…to be like Jesus and love like Jesus is not easy…but He never leaves us alone…Praise God!

Rich Mullins sang long ago…these lyrics…song titled “Elijah”

The Jordan is waiting for me to cross through
My heart is aging I can tell
So Lord, I’m begging
For one last favor from You
Here’s my heart take it where You will

This life has shown me how we’re mended
And how we’re torn
How it’s okay to be lonely as long as you’re free
Sometimes my ground was stoney
And sometimes covered up with thorns
And only You could make it what it had to be
And now that it’s done
Well, if they dressed me like a pauper
Or if they dined me like a prince
If they lay me with my fathers
Or if my ashes scatter on the wind
I don’t care…

This is one of my favorite Rich Mullins songs…Elijah.