Monday, June 18, 2012

A blog

I found this blog a while back http://davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com/ and have found a lot of its posts to be quite encouraging.

Just thought I'd share. :)

Friday, June 08, 2012

These Three Remain: Faith, Hope, and Love

"He heals the broken-hearted
and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3"


 Are you broken, has your heart shattered,
Did you ignore Him, forgot that He mattered,
Are you now lost in your fear and dread,
fearing perhaps that your heart may be dead,
By this poor choice do you foolishly drift,
farther from He, Who is the true gift,
Fear not sad heart, do not be afraid,
Because my dear child, atonements been made,
Do not forget the one, Who scrubbed you clean,
It's not your own righteousness which He's seen,
For the Lord of all, to great for sight,
Has humbled himself to take our plight,
Hung, marred and torn, He took our place,
Because of His love, Blood flow down His face,
But then victory won, He arose from the grave,
This is His love, and His joy is to save,
Know this it's truth, you're no longer alone,
Because bought by His blood, we're no longer our own,
He will bind up that wound, and release you from fear,
He will keep every promise, wipe away every tear,
So reject satan's whisper, you've been saved all is done.
Believe it, rejoice, fix your eyes on the Son.
"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. John 3:16"

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Good time in His word! :)

This is a couple things I've learned recently while reading His word, that encouraged me because I asked Him to teach me and then He did. God is so Good! :)

1. I'd been reading through the book of revelations again, and as I was reading the letter written to the church of Laodicea(rev. 3:14-22) I had a question that I've had many times before. It was about how God said He would rather they(the church) be "cold" or "hot" but since they were lukewarm, being neither cold nor hot He'd spit them out of His mouth. Now reading this I think I always misunderstood it, at least how I understood it never quite made sense to me. I understood the message of the letter(which is the important part), but I always took "hot" to mean having a zeal for Christ, and "cold" to mean being opposed to Him. I don't know why I understood it in this way, because it never seemed like I was understanding it correctly. I knew the dangers of being lukewarm and I understood the overall call to be hot (zealous), but, that Jesus would rather we be opposed instead of lukewarm just didn't make sense. I was sure I misunderstood it. So down through the years I often just glazed over it, or thought, maybe those opposed are at least zealous for something, perhaps that zeal could be turned for Christ(like the apostle Paul before his conversion), but a lukewarm Christian was like a un-producing tree. Jesus said He knew their deeds, and that they seemed alive but weren't being alive for the kingdom producing "good" fruit.

Anyway, I was reading this again in my devotions and asked Jesus to reveal what He meant again. So I read it again and it just came so clear (probably nothing new to you, but to me it was exciting :) Cold wasn't merely about being opposed(perhaps it does mean that, but I believe it also means this) It means being cold spiritually(like being poor in Spirit). When we're cold we know we need clothing, shelter etc.  Jesus said that they thought they were rich and were therefore not going to the "heat" source(Jesus) for their supply, and because they weren't cold, they weren't abiding in Him to become Hot. Their need for Him and their deeds suffered because of this. They(and many of us in the "first world" nations) need to realize that if we aren't living "on fire" for Jesus, then chances are we may be living near enough to feel His warmth but not near enough to share His fire. And so spiritually we are in desperate need of Him, because He is the "fire" in our hearts. We may call ourselves rich because we have Christ and because He has abundantly supplied our needs, but we all too often squander those riches on selfish, worldly, apathetic living. Living with the name that we are alive(Christians), but being spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. We need to realize this need(cold), humbling our hearts and returning to our foundation/zeal for Jesus. So that He can open our eyes, and we can return to the source of true life and have His "hot" life giving waters pouring out of us. He calls us (near the end of the letter) to be zealous and repent.  With the riches we have in Jesus we must seek heavenly things, not earthly comfort. We must pursue Christ and "buy gold refined by fire, white(pure) garments to cover our nakedness and eye salve to see the truth about the world around us and who we are in Christ Jesus. For we were bought with a price, ransomed from this world of sin. Not to live as "kings" here and now, but to be servants, like our master/Lord Jesus was and produce eternal fruits. Sharing His "fire" and life with those who are like us in need of a saviour. Christ makes His message clear enough in this letter, but this is the first time I understood the "cold" part to mean in need of "heat" instead of just opposed. Seems to make so much sense now though. Isn't it awesome when Christ opens our eyes to see something clearly. :)  


Little disclaimer: I wrote this a little wordy cause I wanted to clearly explain it...sorry in advance :P

2. Again while in devotions I was reading Luke ch. 5 and as I was reading the parable near the end of the chapter(verses 36-39). I was again confused by its meaning. I have read it many times before and like the letter to Laodicea I kind of understood it, but the end of this parable always confused me( the part where it says "And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better."), and I never really knew, assuming Jesus to be the new, why it end in that way. So I often just gave up on it, and thought that when God wanted me to know He could tell me.  So deciding to read this time expecting and trusting His Holy Spirit to teach me, I stopped at that parable. I decided to ask Jesus, like His disciples often did to explain to me the parable. Simply because it had always been a bit of a puzzle and it seemed in my heart that God would tell me. So I read it. “He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”(Some versions say "the old is good enough") And this is what I believe He showed me it means. The law and the old covenant was the old garment. The New is Jesus and the new covenant we Have in Christ. Jesus didn't come to merely sustain or fix the old covenant but to fulfill it. The law was good but it couldn't save us weak as we were in our sins. So He came to create all things new. This new wasn't meant to be paired to "the law" like Paul said in Galatians 2:21 " I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Jesus is saying the old and the new garments are incompatible. It would be unheard of for the new to be uselessly destroyed to fix the old, when they don't even match. The old "ways"(animal sacrifice for sin etc.) are passing away, like an old garment. The old garments purpose was to point to the new(that is the law was meant to point us to  our need for Jesus). The new garment was not meant to become torn trying to repair the old whose only purpose was to show the need for the new. The new life in Christ came with a new and better covenant. A covenant of peace, grace, reconciliation with The Father, the law fulfilled and now placed in our hearts in Christ by faith. For such an amazing new "garment" why would you try to just repair the old.

The part about the new and old wineskins reiterates this. That the new wine (life in Christ Jesus) is incompatible with our old lives(the old wineskins). The new life found in Christ grows and overwhelms the old life of the law, fulfilling and leading further to everlasting life, transforming the wineskins as the new takes shape and matures within. Our old selves under the law couldn't contain the new life in Christ, because they were already formed and hardened under the old wine(a life of self effort).  That is why we must/are born again in Christ, and His Life is then put into new wineskins, not old wineskins pre-shaped by the "old wine" and set in their ways. We have to give up reliance on saving ourselves and die to our old selves. We trust in the new wine(Jesus) to transform us into something that can contain His life, growing maturing and shaping into the image of Christ. The old life can't contain Him, because the new life is more than just "law," it is Jesus. So He gave them the warning saying "And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better."  He is saying that those who abide/remain in the old life, according to the law(self-righteousness and "filthy rag" works), will reject Jesus(the new), saying that the old way(according to works) is just fine, or it's better for them. We see this also in 1 Cor. 1:23-24  "but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." Jesus didn't say that those who drink the old wine do better, but that in rejecting the new(Jesus the truth) they claim the old is enough. Like old wine that dulls the mind and senses their hearts are dulled. They do not realize that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and life.

I hope I explained that well, sometimes I have difficulty expressing things the way I want, but I hope this blessed whoever read it and maybe pointed them a bit closer to Jesus! He is so Good!! :)  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

God Honors Faith


Disclaimer: I wrote this with a bit of His passion of my heart, perhaps too quickly. as a lot was in my head and my hands couldn't type so fast or all I wanted. As such I don't know how well structured this is, or how much sense it will make to whoever reads this (as a lot is based on things I didn't necessarily write down) So if something sounds wrong please comment so that I can better explain/fix any points I may have made in haste.  Perhaps I'll pull this in a few days and better edit it, but you know when God is talking to you you just want to share, so even in the weakness of this post I try to share a bit of it. :)  Aside from that, I hope you enjoy reading a bit of my heart and mind in written form as I share a little of my day. :)

 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. Jeremiah 17:7"

I had some real great time with Jesus today. His  Holy Spirit is teaching me so much and I've been so encouraged by my devotion time. Earlier I was watching the movie "faith like potatoes" again, and as I was watching the documentary afterward I was really encouraged by the life of that man of faith the movie was about. I could see Jesus in Him and His joy just shining through. Seeing Jesus Shining brightly in someone's life is so encouraging! Anyway He said something and at that moment it was like Christ was tugging at my heart to take note of it. He said, "God honours faith! Faith does not say if!" now of course I knew this, but  for some reason it just kept rolling around in my heart,  and then I knew why. I was convicted of a faithlessness that had been hiding below the surface in my life as of late. I believe in Jesus, that He is the Son of God, and that He came in the flesh, died and rose again and freely gives us eternal life, because of His saving grace through faith. I believe in His word and that it fully applies to His church. In short I believe in and love my Lord, but I also have been fighting some battles in my heart and mind as of late. Battles filled with ifs and what ifs. What if I lose my faith in distressed or  weak(sleepy) mind? (as some of these battles have come at me out of nowhere when I was mentally unguarded and gone on between sleep and wake when my reason is weak, because of that it has been a real struggle and worry) What if these battles go on for the rest of my life? What if in weakness and exhaustion  I succumb, failing to persevere and fall to the enemy and give into foolish deception. I even knew that these thoughts were such deception but still I feared. I often used the time to pray for others, but still in the background of my thoughts I feared I would mess something up and these battles/attacks went on. I didn't fear that God couldn't save me, but feared that I might stumble and fall.  Anyway, I wanted to confess how dumb I've been, those fears were so dumb and faithless! Jesus is my salvation. I don't have to fight these battles or worry about my weakness. Jesus is my strength, I don't need to have faith in my salvation, or the outcome of my faith, because then I'm relying on me and not on Him. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and conviction in things not seen. My assurance and conviction is Jesus. My faith is Jesus! And although I knew this, it was like I had forgotten it in the daily grind of life and allowed a thorn in the flesh to consume my thoughts instead of Jesus. After all, we in Christ have no need for "what ifs" and yet these are common temptations in our churches today. What ifs like: I believe Jesus heals but what if I pray for someone and they aren't healed, and what if that hurts the message of the gospel or hurts someone's faith(or makes me look foolish for believing God would heal( even in front of other believers this temptation is prevelent)), or I believe the Gospel but what if I share Christ and cause offence leading them away, instead of closer to faith in Jesus, or I believe God's love but what if I try to show love and people (especially in our culture) just think I'm being creepy/ a weirdo etc. (LOL but still, even in churches people are so guarded that a true and loving heart can be rejected which is not funny), or I believe that God speaks to us through His word but what if I read God's word and am misinterpreting it, leading myself and others astray, or I believe but what if... There are so many, but none of them are taking into account who God is. They are so ridiculous, and they fix our eyes on ourselves instead of Christ(maybe not always, but too much). These lies full of faithlessness don't produce good fruit. So with that "what if" thinking we are done before we start. It's the same with all doubt, if we think "what if I give into temptation?" I know God can keep me but what if I give in... That doubt is inadvertently saying that God is not bigger than your temptation, or that He is not able to save you from your old nature. It is defeating your faith in who He is! He is GOD!  Now I don't always doubt or fight these temptations of course. Jesus is in me, and has been teaching me and helping me grow but....AHHHHH!!!! I let this world distract me too much sometimes, I get to cosy seeking worldly things and when my heart is not centered on Him is when these doubts/temptations seem plausible. So, today I repented of these "what ifs" and asked the Lord to continue to be my faith and save me from these silly battles I've been fighting for no reason(because He has already promised/given us victory) Jesus is our victory! Anyway, I went to God's word and asked Him to encourage me and speak to me, strengthening my faith, and for some truth to conquer those what ifs. It was AWESOME!!! He is so encouraging an gracious! So here is a bit of what He showed me that really spoke to some of the battles He freed me from. :)

 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? the Everlasting God, the Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired and vigorous men stumble badly, yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:28-31" So awesome! He is more than able and willing to pick us up and fill us with abundant life both physical and spiritual.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, and proclaim the favourable year of the Lord Luke:4:18-19" That was fulfilled the very day Jesus read it. And He has given us His Spirit to continue on that very work today! Isn't that amazing! So let Jesus live in you! Trust Him for all you need to live Godly in Christ Jesus. He is our new life! Believe it! The old is gone and conquered, He is in you making you new! He didn't put new wine in old wineskins, like the parable says the old wineskins would burst, but He made us new and filled us with His new and better life. Even though some continue to drink the old and think its better/good enough Jesus is the new(referencing Luke 5:36-39)

 "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree that produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord' and d not do what I say? Luke 6:43-46" (also read John 15:4-11) Isn't that encouraging!! That Christ in us is making us good and producing good fruit through us. In Him we won't produce bad fruit and we don't have to worry  because He is our supply. He is the treasure in our heart and from Him we WILL bring forth good fruit. Praise Jesus! Careful here, because of our old sinful nature we might say but "what if" my old sinful nature takes over? what if I stumble? What if I fall? To that Jesus said Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world! We're being perfected, and made holy, the old nature may cause our flesh to stumble, but a mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. We are not alone, nor are we making ourselves holy. God promised to do that, it's part of His new covenant with us in Jesus, so trust Him for it! Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

 " But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:26-27" Why do I forget? I even hear believers reprimanding each other saying things like "if Jesus were here would you act that?" Jesus is living in us! He is most definitely here, if He wasn't the church would have failed and fallen 2000 years ago. We have a risen Saviour He's in the world today! He is in His church and in our hearts, and because of this fact not only do we live differently, but we will live eternally! Don't let the enemy deceive you that we struggle alone(we all struggle and can go to each other and to Jesus for Help, and don't let the enemy deceive that this world holds anything(good or evil) that can compare to the love of Christ.

Anyway this is a bit of what the Lord taught me today, perhaps I'll share more later. :) God bless!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A bit about me and my faith :)

I felt in the mood to share a bit. To try to share a bit of my life, my point of view and faith more clearly. I grew up in a Christian home and came to faith in Jesus at a young age(praise God!). My Dad and Mum have both been missionaries and my Dad was protestant religion teacher for half of his career on a military base, so I've definitely had my fare share of learning, grew up with some great instruction and was quite blessed. However, it wasn't until age 16 that I really started pursuing Jesus on my own( i.e. reading my Bible, prayer times, devotions etc.) I've only read the whole Bible twice since then, but many sections I've read countless times. I'm now thirty(which is CRAZY!...time flies ;) ) and striving to live for Jesus in an ever changing world. I currently attend a Christian and Missionary Alliance church, the same one I was baptized in at the age of 14. The reason I'm writing this is to give a bit of background to you the reader about the writer of this blog. If you want to know more please feel free to read some of my other posts, or better yet just ask. :) I originally wrote the following for another purpose, but thought it would be good to share on my blog too. Anyway, here (in point form) is a bit of what I believe to be His truth.

1. God is love! His love is not simply a human characteristic, nor is it defined merely by human means. Since God is love, then His love is an eternal quality that is beyond creation. His love is defined by His character and not our whim/feelings or definitions. Love is a revelation to mankind. He has shown it to us(understatement) in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus the Christ on our behalf.  

2. God is Just and Sovereign. He is Lord and has set a standard for His creation and called it good. All mankind has sinned and fallen short of that standard, but because of His grace, mercy, and love, He has given us Jesus, a saviour and justifier. Being fully perfect and obedient to God the Father, He died in our place to save us from our sins and the penalty of death(eternal separation from God). This salvation was not mere forgiveness, but based on a very real sacrifice. All the world was born into sin(a wide variety of it too) and all sinners, but we in Christ are born again. The old has "died" with Christ and His Holy Spirit is placed in us to make us Holy.

3. Being  so justified we are no longer to remain in sins power, although we may each endure our own forms of temptations and sufferings. Yet, these are passing trials(not even comparable to suffering death on a cross and taking the sin of the whole world), and these trials we can overcome by the strength and grace of our Lord Jesus the Christ. We must, in His power, fix our minds on His Spirit and not return to a mind/heart set on our old sinful natures, that can only lead to death. Even our consciences can be cleansed by the blessed blood of our Saviour, washed whiter than snow. This is a God thing and not something we do ourselves.

4. Temptation is not sin, just because we are tempted in a specific way does not mean we are guilty, nor does it mean we must give into that temptation. Someone who is tempted to lie is not a liar until they commit the act(or commit it in their heart). But even so we have a Saviour who has saved us and forgiven all of our sin, past, present, and future(in so much as we may stumble). The danger comes if and when we accept sin, or the lifestyle of sin. All sin is rebellion against God so to accept sin as a viable way of life is to rebel and reject the love and grace of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. We are called to freedom, not freedom to sin but freedom to live and abide in eternal life. Jesus is that Life.

5. Because of this great salvation we rejoice and praise our Saviour and Lord Jesus the Messiah. We rejoice because He has given us the means to overcome. When Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery "Go and sin no more" He was giving more than a command but a promise and blessing. The Law(God's Holy standard) was good, but mankind could not keep it. We have an enemy that has filled the world with temptations, and human hearts are prone to go astray. What misery and sadness encompass mankind because our "free will" which is born under slavery to sin. But Jesus, the fulfiller of the Law, said "Go and sin no more." A blessing and a promise of the new life we have in Him. Praise Jesus! We are no longer slaves of sin, if we were we could not be called children of God(instead we would be children of the devil). But we are called children of God. Are children born as adults full grown and complete? No, they need to mature. Like when a seed is planted in the ground, and it "dies"/transforms and it becomes something quite different and much greater.... a tree etc. So we also who are in Christ die, and a new more glorious life begins in us, quite different from the old one.

6. We are not called to judge! But we are also called not to return to the destructive character of our old sinful natures. His love disciplines like a Father disciplines a child, to lead us away from trouble and destruction, toward a true and good life, one that can last forever with Him. Even so we know that our battles and struggles are not merely against flesh and blood, and we are given "weapons and armour" to stand firm in His mighty power. "Ephesians 6:10-17 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

7. While we were sinners Christ died for us. I do not desire to condemn people, but because we are (in Jesus) to be light and salt(a preservative) to the earth. Then we must stand firm on His teaching and the authority of Jesus. He came to destroy the works of satan and to follow Him means to repent, and reject all forms of sin. That is not to say, we should reject the people, for He came to seek and to save that which was lost, and we are called to likewise share the Gospel(which involves repentance).

To turn to Jesus requires a repentant and humble heart. To accept the love of God means also to accept His salvation both from death and our old sinful natures. But even so His salvation is His work not ours. He can give us the heart we need, and the faith to overcome. Praise God! "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Phil. 2:13" I still struggle daily with temptations, worries, struggles, and a life that is being bent by society and my old selfish desire to conform and share community with the world instead of keeping my eyes strictly on Jesus , but I know that He is faithful to keep me and enable me to abide and overcome in Him. So I praise God, and  if you've read this I pray this encourages you. Jesus loves you!!! both now and forever! Because of who He is!
 Anyway those are just a few points of my faith. God bless :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Few Short Ramblings About Life and Stuff :)


This is some stuff I've learned from Jesus over the years. From His word and Holy Spirit in my life. I share them to remind myself and encourage whoever reads this. These statements aren`t all perfect, but they are based on scripture, so if you have any questions or comments feel free to make them. :)
1. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. His love isn't based merely on reciprocation. God is love and we are called to be like Him. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." In Jesus Christ we are His children, and we are called to exibit such true love, and display His eternal qualities to the world. To show kindness and compassion, and keep your lips from grumblings and complaints. Be patient, and caring, not putting yourself first, even though society ecourages it. Remember the Golden Rule! It's not just for kids, it's for His kids! Because a life lived in this way is not only honoring to God, but also a witness/encouragement to others, and filled with blessing and a heart/conscience at peace. Keep yourself from "idols" or things that would take your heart and life away from Jesus and His way. These aren't things we do apart from Him or by or own goodness or strength, but through the indwelling of His Spirit. "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."


2. Trust Jesus!! Don't believe the lies of the enemy when he says that God doesn't love you. He does!! More than you could even imagine!! Don't doubt His love just because you are enduring tough times, or stumbled in a bit of sin(while we were sinners Christ died for us), but know that He IS perfecting you. For even Jesus endured the cross and more suffering than you will/could probably ever know. So He is no stranger to a hard life, but He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us till the end! :)
3. There are some people who will tolerate you, or receive you because you love Jesus and follow Him. But there are many in the world who will either, ignore you, tease you, hate you, and reject you for your faith in Him. They hate Him in you and may even show it! But remember, far greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
4. Seek to daily remember that you are a new creation. You no longer have to fear or submit to your old nature for it has been crucified with Christ,  and daily He will help you to grow to be more like Him. Many things we are tempted to do, have done, or will do, can cause us to doubt that. But Jesus is our salvation. He is faithful, and will keep His promise to save you, and is more than able to do so. He now lives in those who believe, not, He might live in them, but, He does!
5. No one is born an adult and no child tries to remain a child in all things. So remember, God knows you're His child and that you're wanting to grow spiritually each day, and if you fall He will pick you up, so do not fear but believe! If a "good" parent loves and nurtures their children, how much more will the perfect God of love, mercy, grace and wisdom, strengthen us and build up our faith in the Lord. He gives us new and everlasting life, and has given us all we need to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus.
6.  Be careful of flatters, and the intellectual arguers that bear no real fruit. Stay clear of the pride of being a part of the "intellectual's" conversation or debate. "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. Romans 16:17-18"  This is such an easy habit for some to slip into, everyone loves attention and the ability to share, but be careful, for it was that kind of situation that had Eve decieved. As we see in Genisis that although, at first, she was the corrector/teacher to the serpent, her position changed quickly to the "learner"/decieved. The devil is crafty (not that we who are in Christ must fear him) but we must be wise and not give into the arrogance of that which is often called knowledge. "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,  which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. 1 Timothy 6:20-21" The "student" mentality can be danerous sometimes, if you do not guard your conversations and test them against the the word and truth of God (because even then the devil has used scripture to decieve) Keep your faith in Jesus. Even if you don't remember or know the answer, Jesus is the truth. He will keep you if you place your trust not in your knowledge and understanding but in Him. So in all regards become mature in knowledge, but also remain firm in your faith, and even better grow in His love. "Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. 1Cor.8:1-3"  Know that knowledge does not perfect your faith(Jesus does), and don't try to find it apart from God. "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. 1 John 2:27" Bonus Verse: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.Jer.17:7"

7. Jesus is the Author and perfector  of our faith, so don't "beat yourself up" trying to have more faith(because you think that faith for a circumstance is anything magical), if a mustard seed is the amount you need to move a mountain, don't you think He's given you that much? He has given you all you need, so have faith in Him. Knowing that He governs all the situations in our lives. If a "mountain" doesn't move then it is for our good, because in faith we know that He works all things for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose.  Believe that He has a perfect plan, and that it is unfolding according to His purpose. If you doubt your faith, then trust in His faithfulness. When He said to His disciples "Ye of little faith" it was when they weren't recognizing who He was. It wasn't that they doubted their own faith or that they doubted that the bread could multiply, but that they didn't yet know Him. Jesus is one with God! He is the bread of life. He said if you've seen Him you've seen the Father, yet they struggled with this as we sometimes do. But He said that we, who have yet to see Father or Son and yet believe, will be more blessed. So if your faith is troubled, don't trust in your faith, but believe in Jesus who is your faith! Know that He is the one Who began a good work in you, and He will be faithful to complete that work, leading to the salvation of your very soul. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Him. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction in the unseen. The kind of faith that moves mountains is the kind of faith that believes in and trusts in Jesus Christ our Lord. " For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
8. Many will say they "believe" in Jesus and call themselves Christians, and yet their fruit or life says differently. They will endeavor to affirm their wrongful deeds by asking you to join them. Don't! stand firm in Jesus and follow Him, walking according to His deeds, instead of following people who say they follow Him. After all, He is the way.
That said it is not our place to judge or condemn, perhaps they are still young in the faith or struggling. Ask God to rescue them, and know that you don't have to remove the speck in their eye, because Jesus is the one who cleanses/transforms His children. Instead love them, being careful not to fall in step with their misdeeds. Let Christ shine through you, and they will see Jesus in your actions, because His truth is revealed by His Spirit shining through us. If they are truly His then they will desire to be closer to Him and hear His loving voice calling them to follow after Him. His sheep hear His voice and follow. I say this because many have fallen to peer pressure and follow after worldly wisdom/pleasure. "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
9. Come close to God and God will come close to you, resist the devil and the devil shall flee from you! The devil is a deceiver, don't be deceived and give in to fear. Stay in the light of Christ and know that satan is a defeated foe trying to lie to people about their Savior, and their place in salvation. Lies like, Are you really a child of God, are you really saved? or Is God really good, just look at the world's troubles, or He doesn't love you, you're not good enough to be loved, or your sin is too great, or God has abandoned you, or  you don't have to know Jesus to get to God etc. These are just some of the wicked lies that are deceiving people. But the TRUTH is, He died in our place, loves us, lives in us and calls us joint heirs with Christ. We're good not of ourselves but because God ,who is good, lives in us. Sin is not greater than God, nor can it be greater than His sacrifice, and God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Believe in Jesus' words and not the enemy's. Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. So come close to God (through Jesus) and He will come close to you, and know that if you're near Him you have nothing to truly fear. He is the King of kings and Lord  of lords who holds the keys of both life and death. So "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. John14:1"
10. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruits of the Spirit) are all from His Spirit, and shall be evident in the lives of those who are born again in Christ Jesus. Like fruit is evident on a tree so it is in the lives of His Children. Those who practice these "fruits" and let these qualities grow in their lives will not be disappointed. Just as a child must practice the speech and actions of their parents before becoming proficient, so we also shall become more like our Father in Heaven as we follow His example and let Him live though us. So don't give up. Know that in this new life in Christ, He will give you good desires/qualities, and He will fulfill in us those things according to His perfect Will and Power. They are "fruits" of His Spirit after all, that He displays and produces in us, not by our power but by His. And remember His greatest commandment to love, it too is from His work in our hearts, we love because He first loved us. So we must remember to abide in His Holy Spirit and His Love. And bear "good fruit" like a tree planted on life giving water.
11. Remember to observe communion with Jesus, partaking of His flesh and blood as a sign of oneness with His death and resurrection until He comes. Remember that you were worth His life. He loved you that much and that He is now with the Father to prepare a place for you, and complete His good work in you, even eternal life. It is when we forget this that the enemy tries to deceive us and cause us to forget that He died for us, or that we must still suffer and be punished. No! we are one with Jesus and He paid it all! So rejoice and praise Jesus, for He is the bread of life and His blood is what sanctifies and cleanses us and our conscience. So partake in Communion with Him for the sake of remembering those truths, and His new covenant in Christ Jesus with us.
P.S. 12. This one is a big one for me (because I come from a large-ish family) and because I have found it helpful over the years. (I first read it in a "daily bread" reader some years ago, but it is based on scripture.) If someone criticizes you and the criticism is true mend your ways, if false then forget about it. In other words, with Jesus' help, judge if you are at fault in what you did, and if you are, then repent(change your ways), but if you're not at fault and they only criticize you because they don't know the situation or because of their own fault, then don't retaliate or worry what they or others may think. Simply forget about it.
Also trust Jesus, if He has put something on your heart to do, then do it, regardless of whether it will embarrass you or you think you'll get criticised for doing it. It is far better to please God than man, and besides, He has the best intent for your life. He has plans that give you both a hope and a future, so don't mess that future up by your disbelief and lack of action.

There is so much more He's teaching/taught me, but alas, I tend to forget these things sometiimes. So, don't just trust in your knowledge, but trust in His love. Believe in Jesus, and when stuff in your life confuses you, take your eyes off of stuff, and put them back on Jesus. When people hurt you, know that Jesus loves you, and that in time all hurt WILL be replaced by His joy. Don't let one bad moment create a million more. I know that because of certain hurts in my life I have doubted the love of certain people and that only resulted in further hurt, both on their part and on mine. Trust then in His love, and be free with showing/doing it. DON'T let others restrain your belief in Him. But in all areas of your life let Him reign in and shine through you!

 God bless! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day!

How could I not make a quick post for Feb.29 it's not every year you get such a chance. :)