Sunday, June 30, 2013

Might sound kinda religious (it isn't at all).. but live near the Cross.

Sure, it's a place of victory with a capital "V." 
Not yet in Christ? No prob, you can easily deal with that

Q:  Why, when the Cross is where a terrible historical death took place, and where nearly everyone abandoned Christ when He didn't deserve that.

A:  Cuz the nearer we live to the Cross if you will, the closer we are to that triumph. The cross is where my old nature was put to death for life's sake. And the cross is where death was totally "swallowed up in victory." Through that punishment for our sins that Jesus suffered at Calvary, we can be forgiven, born again spiritually, healed, and we can find new life. Our poverty and rejection on different levels can be replaced by abundance and acceptance - abundant life in Jesus. He was made a curse so that we could enter into real blessing.   

It's not about religion, good works or even observing certain rituals cuz knowing God is all about true liberty and He ain't about religiosity at all. 

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him."

Perhaps you have felt at times that your life is cursed? Listen and never forget.. at the Cross, Jesus actually became a curse for you so you could enter the blessing and acceptance of a perfect person. It's there that we can be freed up from all that hinders and weighs us down. Let thoughts of His Cross be in your mind today cuz this is where the great exchange occurred, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." 

You already know how all kinds of people get messed up with different addictions when they don't deny themselves, die to their own way, die to what's wrong, and take up their cross in the Lord to follow Him as Lord. Let it not be that way with us.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

pain . seeking . comfort . learning . growth . others

Different types of sort-term pain, various testings, long-term suffering, sorrow, reproach, failure and loss accompany many people that I meet. I too have had some of this, but not much in comparison.

When we experience any of these we can opt to get harder in our hearts or softer. We can go away from God, and away from His church with spiritual pastors, or we can seek Him more and go closer to Him, to His church and His born again pastors. Of course getting closer to Him in a meaningful relationship is the most important thing in life.

We can choose to become bitter inside, disillusioned, cynical, resentful, or we join our hands with these aspects of our lives that have broken, whipped, kicked and bent us.

What happens when we believers choose to join hands with em? Well, God can actually add great things into our spiritual walk of faith then. Yes, He that has allowed these things into our lives can actually contribute to our personal character, intimacy, compassion and kindness through them as we turn to Him.

People around me have failed, I have failed..I hate failing, but God hasn't and He can teach me to have compassion on those who fail.

What's really hard for me to take is when I see a leader keep hurting his followers over and over the Name of Jesus (who doesn't do that). Puffed up ego is an ugly thing. I have even tried to stop such leaders before.

But for the grace of God go I….don't wanna mess up...and don't ever wanna hurt people. Go ahead and join me in meditating upon the truth and application of these verses that will greatly encourage you. 

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5esv
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1 Peter 5:10
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13

P. Dear God and Jesus and Mr. Holy Spirit. I love You. And thank You for all that you do in our lives. I don't like pain.. for me or my friends. I don't ever seeking, try to have it, or think it will make me more righteous in my standing with You. I want you to remove it. But if you won't, then please help me and my friends to learn from it. I do want to care for everyone I see in good and practical ways.. cuz I simply want to care more and represent you well. With some people I meet who don't seem to know what suffering is about at all, except in that they cause others to experience this, I find it very hard to care for them at all. I sometime feel like making them have what they give others. My old nature is so clueless on how to pull that caring stuff off sometimes. Bless and comfort people through us and help us not hurt people God in Christ's Name. Amen.