Monthly Archives: September 2008

Washed Up For Supper

There’s going to be a great banquet in heaven. It will be the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God; the Lamb sacrificed for our sin once and for all. He is the Bridegroom. All who believe in Him are the Bride; the church. We will be at the great banquet, feasting in the very Presence of God.

Before He was crucified, Jesus shared a meal with His disciples in a house in Jerusalem. At this meal, He broke bread and told them this broken bread represented His Body which was broken for us. You can read how His body was broken in Psalm 22. After He passed the bread, He passed a cup of wine, saying it represented His blood being poured out for us. The passing of the bread and cup among believers is a special time of sharing and remembering Christ’s sacrifice, and He said to keep doing this until He comes back.

Before that last meal they shared together, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He said that because they had been with Him, they were clean, but only needed to wash their feet.

Before we go to the great banquet in heaven; before we enter te place where God lives, do we need to wash our feet? Do we need to wash up for supper? When Jesus comes again, are we ready? All washed and smiling clean for supper?

Holding on to sin causes devestation. It hurts us now, because it affects all our choices and relationships, and it will certainly affect our eternal life. We will want to be clean and ready to meet the Lord in that day. It could be today. Are you ready?

If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved. You get a new life in Christ. In your new life, when you sin, confess it to God. Repent, which means to turn away from it, and He is faithful forgive you, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Praise God for His wonderful goodness and mercy to us who believe!

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Get Some Peace

One of the most outstanding, recognizeable ways I know to understand I am walking in God’s will is the presence of His peace. This peace is an absence of doubt, fear, stress, and even sadness. It is just about impossible to worry about anything when God’s peace rules in your heart. 

Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God living on the inside of everyone who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. You can ask God for greater filling and presence and power from the Holy Spirit, and be prepared to pick and eat all the fruits that Galations 5:22-23 in the Bible tells us He gives. “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. ”

Sometimes the fruit takes a long time to grow because there are past bad things in our lives to be rooted out and the soil made right for good things to grow. This is something everyone should work in concert with the Lord to discover and get in order. God’s peace, though, and often joy as well, are intimate, immediate reminders of His presence. The key to growing God’s fruits is SURRENDER. Have something in the way between you and God? Give it to him – like a small child playing with a knife, and the parent asks the child to surrender the knife up. Whatever is hurting you or can hurt you, give it to Jesus. He’s the grownup. He knows what to do with it.

Father, today I pray specifically for each person who will read this post to understand your peace and get some rest in You. In Jesus’ Name.

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Love In Christ

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Is He your Lord? Do you search His Word constantly to learn His ways and then follow His way of doing things? Yes? Glory to God!

Think of this – Jesus Christ truly is God the Son who came to earth and lived a human life so He could die on the cross as our perfect redeemer. All the sin ever committed or will be committed was placed on Him so the penalty is paid and we can be free! The weight and burden of sin is lifted from every person who accepts and declares what Christ has done for him or her. We know we are not right without God. We KNOW it. So we reach out to Him as He draws us near and we tell Him we know how bad we are. Then we understand that He wants to forgive us, which is why Jesus came . . . and all is possible with God. Can you feel that in your heart today? 

Out of all His mighty creation, God chose us to be His children and know His love. In Ephesians, we are taught to grow into all the height and depth or God’s eternal love. The love of God is the power of God so that we can have love toward Him and toward each other. 

Relationships with other people can be very difficult because we want what we want, and that’s it.  This writer was recently reading a blog by a young person who had her own personal trinity syndrome going: me, myself and I. She couldn’t figure out why everything was wrong in her life and why she was so depressed and without motivation. She has plans to be married but feels lack of money is a hindrance to that. Then it came out that she already lives with the young man she hopes to marry. Are there no wise counselors for this young woman or her boyfriend? Where is the church? Where is the love of God coming through sanctified believers that reaches out to these confused young people and teaches them that God will not honor sin in any way shape or form? They will not have any good life or closeness to the Lord until they correct the entire problem, physical and spiritual, of living together outside God’s will. This is not a harangue on those poor kids. It is pity for them that their choices are leading to greater and greater devestation in their lives. Plainly, they need help from mature believers. 

We are the love of Christ to the world. We are the love of Christ in practical help to each other as well. That is an exciting job to do! Love others! Really love them with all of God’s power of love pouring through our hearts toward everyone. Jesus said to even love our enemies. (He loved his enemies.) He said, though, in His prayer in John 17 that He loved his disciples especially, even to the end of His life. Think how the knowledge of His love carried them through the tough weeks that followed His ascension, until they received the Holy Spirit and could know more certainly that their Lord’s love was still operating in them and through them.

We have the same Holy Spirit, who is a person, God. We have the same love connection. We can be like Christ in every way and He said we would do even greater things than He did because He went to be with our Heavenly Father. We who have learned this can HELP YOUNG PEOPLE IN TROUBLE WITH THE LORD, and teach them the ways of God.

Praise God! It is so exciting to think about. To lose the self mode and always be in God mode to help others. Who could ask for a better life? Need to get outside yourself today? Ask God for someone to help and how best to do that. Then be quiet and listen for and answer. You will surely get what you ask.

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Think Truth

One of God’s original main commandments, through Moses to the children of Israel was to not bear false witness against your neighbor. Bearing false witness is lying. God’s Word describes Satan as “the father of lies.” For example,  Jesus told the Pharisees and sadducees, those trappers and twisters, that they belonged to their father, the devil, or satan.  

On the right side, Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. We come to his Father, our Heavenly Father, through him. His testimony, or witness is true. There is no lie found in him.

How does a Christian keep from slipping into the old nature of lying? James 3:6  says, “And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself.” The Lord himself HELPS us against the fire: 2 Corinthians 10:5 ” we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.”

There are two things we can do. The first is to pull down obstacles that are in the way of knowing God. These obstacles are sins. We take them to the Lord, confess our iniquity, and receive his forgiveness. Then the sin is wiped out. We must also ask for God’s powerful help to not sin. For the sin of lying, the second thing we do is develop the discipline of taking every thought captive to Christ. When thoughts are filtered through the mind of Christ, they can’t turn into words that start fires and cause great harm and trouble. God’s Word is truth, so filling one’s mind with it is a way to begin this discipline. The book of Proverbs, Psalm 119, and the Gospels are good food for right thoughts. I Corinthians 2:16 says that Christians actually have the mind of Christ. How close is he to help, then?

Someone who is reading this blog has a terrible problem with lying. Your bondage to your own deceitfulness is in control. Your whole life is a nightmare of past, present, and potential trouble caused by this sin and bondage. In fact, it has ruined your life and cause great harm in all your relationships, hurting other people.

No – don’t leave. God wants to help you. It is not an accident you are reading this. Many other admonishments and reminders of what the Lord wants for you are in your path today. So is his love and forgiveness and change, if you will turn to him and receive it.

So do not be deceived about this terrible sin. The longer you avoid truth, the harder your heart toward God will become. Is that what you want? It isn’t by your own works you are going to change the way you are. It is by God’s grace and mercy. He has already provided your way out. Then he has it all planned out how to stabilize your thinking and get you on the path of truth and honesty. Really.

1. Believe that God wants you to think and speak truth. Tell him all about your failure and sin and ask his forgiveness.

2. Accept that God forgives you. You will find that people forgive you, too. You might have to ask them specifically, which isn’t hard, because you will be doing it for Jesus and he will help you. Sometimes, because EVERYONE has lied, you will find that people simply accept the new you and go on from there. The golden rule policy of doing unto others as your would have them do for you kicks in.

3. Wash your mind frequently with God’s Word. Memorize scripture. Psalm 119 says to hide God’s Word in your heart so that you might no sin against him. Lying is a sin against God more than anyone else. You want to stop thinking and speaking wrong things, and think and speak truth. If you are thinking and speaking the Bible, you are safe!

4. Pray before you speak. This takes practice, but it also obeys another Bible imperative, “pray without ceasing.” If you are working together with the Holy Spirit in you and praying about everything, you will develop such a working relationship with the Lord that everything you say and do can be for God’s glory. The power of God will be upon you and in you and coming through you to help so many people! Yield up any thought you learn is false immediately. Ask God to replace it with his thought.

5. Enjoy your new freedom.

James 1:21  So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you. 

Hebrews 4:12  The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of the heart. 

Hebrews 4:16  Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it. 

2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, 

Ephesians 4:25  No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 13:6  love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 

John 8:32  you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

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Living In Christ

According to the scriptures, to live in Christ is the opposite of living “in the world.” Hmmm. Anyone confused by that? Since we are living on planet Earth, don’t we have to live in the world even if we are Christians? Aren’t we going to have to compromise somewhere, sometime? We know the world is full of wickedness. We know we are going to run into evil pretty much every day – or it will run into us.

Did Jesus live in the world without compromising? Yes, he did. He came as and remained as the sinless, spotless Lamb of God throughout his life, and on the cross. How else would he be able to bear the sin of the whole world when the Father placed it upon him, to be our sacrifice for our sin, for all time? He had to be perfect. The tiniest compromise would have made him imperfect, and unavailable for God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Only God himself could complete that plan, so he sent his Son.

When I listen to God’s plan to save us with my spirit, I get it, praise the Lord. If I listen with my mind only, it’s just a big boggle. Knowng this makes it clear why speaking the gospel to unbelievers must be baptized in prayer, asking God to reveal the truth to them. Well, that’s off the main point of this blog post; consider it a free point!

To live in Christ requires Christ living in us. Yes? You agree? When we are saved, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, literally moves in and takes up residence in our hearts. One way we recognize his presence is that now we can understand the Bible and it is definitely living and active in us. The Holy Spirit teaches us and comforts us and speaks to us whatever he hears the Father saying. We can ask for information and listen to the Spirit of God for an answer. He lives in us so we can live in Christ.

What about compromises; that is, living with one foot in the world? Suggestion: read the epistle of First John, toward the end of the New Testament. There is great wisdom in that book about not compromising, and the consequences if we do. It explains how to know which people are truly in Christ, and who is not in Christ.That is good help for forming relationships among people, because if you hang out with the wrong people, you will certainly compromise with evil to maintain those loyalties. Those people can be your own family members, and then you need to get more of Jesus living through you to handle being with them but not compromise with them. Some people go to jobs every day where there is enormous temptation to compromise Christ to fit in. It can get scary.

Christ is perfect. If we knowingly compromise on any little thing, we are shutting him out. If we sin unknowingly, he will lead us to repentance, because he does not want us to be alienated from himself in any way. God will provide new strength every time a temptation arises to act like antichrist to fit in to this world. We have the ability to discipline thoughts so that every one is filtered through the eyes of God. This discipline comes about by learning God’s Word, the Bible, and prayer. If you can make the effort to turn on the television, you can make the effort to turn it off and open your Bible instead.

We abide in Christ by the power of his own Holy Spirit living inside of us. The power of his Word opens our minds and hearts to know truth from lies; light from darkness. We can practice knowing God’s presence at all times. It does take practice, but why would anyone who has come to know the Lord not want to get as close with him as possible, despite our living conditions? We can live in God’s heavenly kingdom, right here on earth. He says so. Remember the Lords Prayer? “Your kingdom come; your will be done . . . on earth as it is in heaven. Right here and right now.

John 16:22: And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23: And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25: These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26: At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28: I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29: His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30: Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31: Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32: Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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