Christian Living

Jesus Offers Refreshment

 

“For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:32b KJV

 

In downtown Indianapolis my wife, Becca and I often spotted a homeless man with a long beard who had a mental and emotional disability. Even though the summer heat was sweltering, he wore an extremely dirty, torn up insulated jacket. He always carried nine or ten of those plastic grocery bags stuffed with all sorts of things tearing through the thin plastic. The man would stand for hours and hours in the sun, holding those bags and sweating.

We had to wonder at why he didn’t set the bags down; maybe sit himself down in the shade, and rest. Whenever we attempted to hand him a few dollars, he would simply wave us off. After many attempts to speak with the quiet fellow, we could never get a response from him. The only thing we could do for him was pray.

I think God sometimes views us in the same way that Becca and I would view that poor mentally challenged man. Often we may we carry a load of burdens, worries and fears, but refuse to come to the Lord to receive the rest and refreshing He provides. We struggle with problems that, to God are so simple to solve. He has all the strength and wisdom we could ever need, along with the solution to our difficulties, and yet, we continue to struggle and sweat.

 

Coming into God’s presence is like stepping out of the sweltering heat and into the
refreshing shade. When we release our burdens and difficfulties, setting them at the feet of Jesus, we find rest for our souls.

In His arms of care there’s comfort, direction, peace and purpose.

 

After seeing that same fellow downtown dozens of times, always in the same clothes and with that heavy, tattered coat, one day we were pleasantly surprised. It was last August that elation filled our hearts when we saw that very same man, but we barely recognised him. There he was in the same spot we’d seen him many times before, but he looked totally different. He had on a new, clean set of clothing and was clean shaven. He’d even  received a haircut. And he wasn’t carrying a thing! Becca and I looked at each other with big grins spreading across our faces. We both had the same thought and actually said it simultaneously.

“It had to be Jesus!” The obvious transformation in that man looked to us like it had the Lord’s fingerprints all over it.

 

The following week we we’re finally able to communicate with him. He informed us that his name is Walter.

I told him, “You’re really looking good today, Walter.”

He responded, “Thank you. It sure is a nice day that God has given us, isn’t it?”

The conversation continued, but we won’t get into that. Suffice it to say that the conversation is still ongoing whenever we are blessed to see Walter, our new friend. He even let’s us buy him a cold drink and donuts at at local coffee shop, where the three of us sit together, and talk about Jesus.

 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 KJV

Advertisements
Categories: Christian Living, Faith, Jesus, People, Street witnessing, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blood of Life

In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a girl who was suffering from a disease that would soon take her life, unless… Lisa was told that without a blood transfusion her death would be imminent. Thankfully, she had a little brother who shared her blood type, which was very rare. The fact that he’d defeated this same disease three years earlier offered the doctor even greater hope for success. So the physician carefully explained all of this to Lisa’s little brother, Dennis, discretely informing him that without the transfusion his sister would surely die.

 

“For the life of a creature is in the blood…” Lev. 17:11

 

“Do you think you would be brave enough to give your blood to your sister?” he asked. Dennis’ lips trembled nervously as he contemplated the situation, but finally, he smiled and said, “For my sister, yes, I’ll do it.”

 

As the two children were rolled into the hospital room, Lisa’s body looked enervated and pale, while Dennis appeared quite robust. The boy smiled at his sister. Together, they watched the blood make its way through the clear plastic tubing as it flowed out of Dennis’ arm and into her’s. Eventually, the smile began to fade from the boy’s little face, and he lay there feeling weak. Looking intently up at the elderly MD, he asked, “Doctor, when am I going to die?”

 

Dennis thought he would have to give all of his blood to Lisa, believing he was trading his life for his sister’s. Because of his love for her, he was prepared to pay that price.

 

When the Son of God became a man, coming to earth revealing God to mankind, one of the memorable truths He disclosed sheds light on that young boy’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his sister. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

 

That’s precisely what Jesus came to do—to be the Christ, the Savior—to offer Himself as a sacrifice to pay the terrible penalty for the sins of the whole world. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

 

Since no other person who has ever lived on earth is perfect, this was the only way a perfectly innocent sacrifice could be made. God Himself had to provide the Lamb for the sarifice.

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 

The good news of Jesus Christ has come, been declared and preached. This news concerns the greatest love ever known, and the greatest love ever shown.

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

 

God loves us. Jesus sacrificed Himself, giving His life blood to save you and me. God wants us to repent of our sins—turn to Him, and simply believe on His Son, Jesus Christ, and trust Him to be the Lord of our lives.

Categories: Bible, Christian Doctrine, Christian Living, Devotional, Jesus, Love, Medical practice, sacrifice, Salvation, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are God’s Masterpiece

Have you ever noticed how adeptly Jesus addressed the issues of life? He always goes straight to the heart of every difficulty, and shines the light of truth to expose the root of everything that’s wrong with the world, along with the real cause of every sin. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:13)

I find it to be so very awesome to have a relationship with Christ Jesus—His wisdom is beyond the scope of my comprehension. And yet, He knows how to convey truths to each individual person in a manner that can be clearly understood. But there are some qualifiers—things He requires of us before He does so.

 

Image

 

He sets it forth like this—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

“Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21)

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:1)

We love from our hearts, or from the center of our being, at the very root of who and what we are.

Jesus Christ is “The Truth.”  Love desires to know the Truth.

Love desires to obey Truth—to act & speak in a manner consistent with and faithful to the Truth.

Love remains in the light—it doesn’t hide in darkness from the Truth.

A child of God who has been born from above, lives moment to moment seeking to perfect this Love.

Jesus has planted that seed of love in our hearts—in each of those who belong to Him. We are given a new nature and a softened heart that can be shaped by the hands of the Master. As the gardener of our hearts, our heavenly Father is faithful to nurture, prune, test, grow, and constantly tend that love until it finds completion on the glorious day when Christ Jesus returns.

God continues to impact who and what we are with His dynamic love, which produces transformation in us. Then He begins to love all others through us, for we have entered into Christ, and He dwells within us through His Spirit.

I have discovered a fantastic truth. The more I let God’s love flow out of me to others, the more of His love He pours in! So I say, let His love flow!

 

new

 

Categories: Bible, Christian Living, Devotional, God's Faithfulness, Growing in Faith, Jesus, Love, new nature, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Assurance of Salvation

Have you ever had a flicker of doubt over your salvation, wondering if you’re truly in the faith that saves? 

This message is mainly for those whove made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and accepted Him as the Lord (Master) of their lives.  And yes, we’ve been obedient to Him in Christian baptism as well. Yet there are numerous passages of scripture in the bible that should concern usthings Jesus Himself spoke, which clearly indicate that many people will think they are saved, when they are not. Some have a false assurance of salvation. I’ll offer just one biblical example here out of many scriptures from which we could choose, just to show there is such a thing as false assurance 

 

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:22-23 

 

Here’s a few others for those who may want to look them up. Luke 13:25-27, 2 Peter 3:17, James 2:18-20 & Hebrews 12:14.

 

So, what is a sure self-test to make certain we are in the faith? I believe there’s a few different ways we could evaluate our standing before God. Such as: what spiritual fruit are we producing? But I believe the following is the surest test of all. 

 

Most every Christian can tell you what Jesus said when He was asked ‘What is the greatest command in the bible?’ Because keeping it, along with the 2nd greatest command, will bring the whole of our lives into harmony with God’s desire for us. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
 

I’m confident to emphatically and didactically state that the number one defining characteristic of a Christian is love for Christ Jesus.  (The true biblical Jesus)

 

Real Christians will always love God, and yet not a single one of us love Him perfectly. I like the admonition Dr. John MacArthur employs in his book, “Christ’s Call to Reform the Church.” He writes, “While the genuine believer will always love the Lord, the intensity of his love can fluctuate over time. The redeemed person’s love for Christ must be carefully guarded and nurtured, or it will diminish with time.” 

 

How well I’ve noted this truth in my own relationship with our Savior. Every relationship must be deliberately cultivated and fed, or else our affection will atrophy and shrivel up like a muscle long unused. We don’t want to allow our love for Jesus to cool. Remember what our now glorified Christ said when writing to one of the 7 church’s in RevelationI know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm— neither hot nor cold— I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!” 

 

While He was on earth Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30 

 

Our Lord makes it clear that a definite decision must be made, because he doesn’t tolerate fence riders, or those with one foot in and one foot out. 

 

Neither does Jesus soft pedal when He shows us what a true love for Him looks like. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” Jn 14:21 NLT 

 

I’ve always cherished the promise that comes at the end of that verse. I’ve put it to the test and God is always faithful to keep His word—He’s revealed Himself and His love for me in ways that only He could know to do, based upon my individual personality and even on my idiosyncrasies. He knows me better than I do. What an awesome God! He will do the same for each of us. 

 

A truly redeemed soul soon discovers the bible to be the authoritative word of God. Naturally, love for His word becomes a distinctive characteristic of Christians also. The bible is authoritative above the church and above every person on earth. 

 

Do we have an intense burning desire to please God? Do we hate sin and love righteousness? Do we sincerely weep over our sinful failures as we confess them to Him? That’s called a godly sorrow. But He’s so patient and forgiving! He takes my sorrow over the times I mess up and transforms it into supernatural joy! Do we really strive for obedience to Jesus? If so, we have genuine assurance of salvation and our names are engraved upon His palmswe are forever His.

 

Categories: Christian Living, Discipleship, Faith, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marks of a True Disciple

 

Prologue

There are those who may not know the benefits of being a disciple of Christ—the sweetness of life He affords. How could they fathom the depths of love, as rich deposits of precious ore to treasure up through their relationship with Him? If only they knew the provision of every need, and fulfillment of every purified desire. They haven’t yet experienced the assurance of hope and the spiritual wisdom—the perfect guidance. Never once having tasted of a joy that’s genuinely supernatural, nor the fulfilling contentment and peace of righteousness.

 

 Fair Warning

 

To some folks this straight-shooting post of biblical truth may sound extreme, difficult, even ominous. The time for sugar coating has passed, and I must be bold as instructed. I pray for courage. Others will nod in recognition of biblical truth, with joy, and they too may discover new areas of their lives that the Spirit now desires to take possession of, for Jesus.

 

Marks of a True Disciple

 

In the Gospel we find the word disciple used for three different groups of people. There were the curious ones responding to all the hubbub, as people tend to do. Or maybe, they came to hear what Jesus had to say. Yet once they understood the demands Christ makes upon His followers, they’re the ones who went away and “walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). Others were intellectually convinced, but they lacked the kind of faith that saves, so they, too, stopped following as soon as they realized Jesus was not doing what they expected Him to do. They looked for the restoration of the earthly kingdom to its former glory, as when David and Solomon reigned. Thay watched for the Messiah to take the throne as Israel’s Sovereign. There were few who went all the way with Jesus, but these… they are His true disciples.

 

To be quite direct, what Christ asks of those who believe on Him is a total and complete submission to Him—the same submission a slave gives to His master. Most were not ready for such a heavy sacrifice.

 

 

The High Cost of Being a Disciple 

 

  1. Obedient to the word of God: A true disciple sinks his roots down into the word of God, so that by the bible he’s guided, directed, nourished and supported by, as well as being empowered by the Spirit to obey.
  2. Surrenders all to Christ: Self must be placed upon the altar and sacrificed: a denial of self. All that a person is changes through yielding up their own will in favor of God’s will. They also surrender their bodies, their intellect and their emotions to Him.
  3. Loves: A disciple always yearns and strives to love like Jesus, exhibiting an unselfish response to human needs. They demonstrate the same kind of love Christ has shown to them. Jesus became not only a servant, but the suffering servant of all. He doesn’t simply tell them how to be, He lives it, shows it, as He often demonstrated, like washing the disciple’s feet, and then dying for them. He is the perfect paradigm. Awesomely, the One they’re to model their lives after always walks with them, empowering them unto goodness.
  4. Is a good Steward.  A servant is well aware that everything he has was provided by His Lord, hence his Lord has the right to everything he has. Most will soon learn that they simply cannot out give God. Jesus takes good care of His own, and the Father provides for every need.
  5. Hold themselves accountable to God for every thought, word, action, purchase, and every moment of time. These too are aspects of stewardship.
  6. Christ has right to be worshippedHe’s God. The Lord now has rights over the entire person: their body, their intellect, emotions, will, and possessions. All of their rights as a person must be surrendered to Him—all that they are and all that they have.  Christ is supremely trustworthy to hold and protect His disciple’s rights.

 

  • Jesus usually requires the sacrifice of something that’s precious to the individual. “Do you love Me more than this?” God may ask.
  • What He gives in return is always a great deal better than what was given up for Him.
  • Often, it’s a test of faith—faith will be tried and tested, tempered, stretched and grown.

 

Jesus’ call to discipleship says, 

“Give up your rights to yourself, your own will, your own way, submit to me as your Master.”

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Mark 8:35 NLT

 

 

 

Categories: Christian Doctrine, Christian Living, Discipleship, Doctrine, Faith, God's Kingdom, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life’s Interruptions

Life has a way of interrupting our plans as unforeseen events crash down on us. The things we hoped to do, maybe even said we’d do, are necessarily pushed aside to take care of the unexpected. Our flight from the airport is delayed, or a major traffic accident puts us an hour behind schedule. Illness can sideline us without warning. So how do we prepare for something we don’t know’s coming? I rely on my faith in God and rest in knowing He has things well in hand.

 

I recall a time I was slated to build a cascading water fountain and falls on a client’s luxurious property. Getting ready to load up the truck, I realized there’d been a break-in the night before. Most of the tools I needed for the job had been stolen and it took most of that day to replace them. At first I was frantic, worried I’d lose the job. As it turned out, the next day my client discovered a new design he preferred over the original we’d decided upon. If I’d have begun the job on schedule, I’d have dug and poured the shape he no longer wanted. That would have required tearing it apart and beginning over again, wasting both time and materials.

 

We never know when sudden happenstances may interpose between us and our plans, commanding our attention. We need to remain aware that God may have other plans for us, to help grow us into more mature followers of Jesus. It tests and deepens our faith.

 

The unpredictable happened to me in a big way about a month ago. It has impacted this very blog. That’s why I sense a responsibility to my faithful readers to share the reason why our last series temporarily came to a screaching halt. I’ll offer the details on that momentarily.

 

I’ve sub-titled this site “Spirit Writer” with a definite purpose in mind. It forces me to continue growing and to discover new truths to share. I strive to remain spiritually relevant in my writing, hoping to offer nuggets of help to better equip us all for everything life may throw at us.

Thank you for walking along with me as I learn. My readers teach me a lot, and for that I’m very grateful. Besides that, I hope to build up, or edify the faith of my readers.

 

Prayerfully, I share what I pray the Spirit of Christ is leading me to write. I want to be a blessing and shine the light of God’s love to the world—the light He’s shared with me. It’s my hope that every soul would experience the joys of drawing ever closer to our awesome God. I have nothing special that nobody else has access to through an obedient relationship with Jesus. And yet, God’s word and His Holy Spirit compel me to extol the glories of God, to share the gospel of Christ, and to express His love that He’s planted in my heart. There’s help from God available for every situation in life. He confirmed this to me while giving me the strength to endure and the comfort I needed through a terrible freak accident.

 

Here’s What Happened

 

Being a care giver at home for my wife, Becca, offers many oppotunities for those unexpected events to throw a wrench into my plans. Becca was crossing the street at an intersection, gimping along with her rolling walker. She was heading to a little corner market that has all sorts of little goodies that women get excited about. It doesn’t matter that I have no idea why she likes that stuff, as long as it makes her happy. Suddenly, a big truck laden with scrap metals to be recycled came screeching around the corner. On top of the load were a pile of unsecured car batteries. The centrifigal force of a quick right turn slung the batteries off the back of the truck. Becca said they were like killer bowling balls speeding towards her, and she couldn’t get out of the way in time.

 

One of the heavy batteries bowled her over while another smashed down on her ankle, crushing several bones, another battery took out the walker. Thank God one didn’t hit her in the head. There she lay in the middle of the intersection, struggling to get up and out of the traffic which kept swerving around her. The truck never even slowed down or looked back, but kept going. Finally a bystander helped her to the curb. None of the witnesses took down a tag nunber of the offending vehicle; neither could they offer a description of the truck.

 

It took reconstructive surgery and a very long screw up through Becca’s heel bone to knit her ankle back together. I praise God they were able to fix her up. She’d just recovered from another major operation, during which she almost died twice. Now this.

A few days ago Becca arrived back home once again. She spent weeks at the same rehabilitation center she was at just a few months ago. Things are finally getting back to normal.

 

Taking care of my disabled wife takes priority over everything else, including this blog. You are all very important to me, and yet the Lord indicates that I should take care of my own household above all else. So I’m back, praise God!

 

I believe everything that happens in life is allowed by God, for a specific purpose. Both the good and the bad, just as Romans 8:28 teaches us.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

 

I don’t have to know the reason why this happened, because I trust that God is good, and that He has His reasons for allowing bad things to take place. Now to get back to work on what we we’re talking about before I was sidelined…LORD WILLING! He’s teaching me that when, either making, or announcing my plans, I should always make room for unexpected interruptions and include those two words: “Lord willing.”

Stay Blessed.

 

 

Categories: Accidents, Christian Living, Faith, God's timing, Growing in Faith, Schedules, The unexpected, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Heart God Promised

 

Praise God for His holy word, the bible. Thank God for His Holy Spirit who lives inside us. And as previously stated, I thank God for the multitude of wonderfully adept bible expositors and preachers that God has provided us. We’re left with no excuses to offer: “Lord, I didn’t understand.” Or, “How was I supposed to know what You wanted me to do?” Even on earth they say ignorance is no excuse. God has made these things clear to us and revealed Himself through His Son and the bible. So let’s continue studying God’s word while listening to those biblically sound teachers and preachers.

 

God revealed to me how there are three things that must take place before anyone is even capable of becoming a faithful, fruitful, and productive follower of Jesus. And to live for the Kingdom of God.

  1. We must know and understand God’s; will, plan, purposes and promises.
  2. We must love God, His will, plan, purposes and promises.
  3. And finally, we must actively engage God’s will, plan, purposes and promises.  

 

There is, however, a huge problem that effectively precludes all people from being able to do these three all important things. In our unsaved state—the condition into which people are born, we are sinful at the core, having our very nature corrupted. Mankind cannot understand things in the spiritual realm, and God is Spirit. The will of mankind has been rendered rotten by the affects of sin and the curse. In our natural inward persons, we’re not capable of doing these three things. I can unequivocally and didactically state such. That’s why we must first be born again, born of the Spirit, and given a new heart—the bible very clearly teaches this.

 

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Here’s the same verse in the NIV, which might be a little easier to understand.

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV

 

We need God’s Holy Spirit, AKA Spirit of Christ living inside us before we can do those 3 things. And we cannot have the Spirit, unless we have placed our faith and trust in Christ Jesus and been saved. We also confess Him before others and are baptised, demonstrating our faith in and obedience to Him.

 

In the bible, the heart refers to human will—man’s desires.

Humankind’s will is faulty. We need a new will, a new heart. This is what God has promised to do for us! if we will simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 (See also John 3:3, 2 Cor. 3:3)

 

Only then, are we finally capable of learning, embracing and doing the will of our Creator and God, who loves us beyond comprehension.

 

We must be radically changed in our nature. We are freed from slavery to sin by denying our old sinful nature, which is self-centered, and, by receiving the power of God’s Spirit inside.

Our God has placed moral obligations upon us, and we’ll never be able to keep those obligations until we are converted. We become a new creature, and God, through regeneration places a new nature in us, and gives us;

  1. A new motivation
  2. A new desire
  3. A new understanding
  4. And a new power! He dwells in us.
  5. And a New Life in Christ!

 

We did not have to work for our salvation, nor for our new heart. It was impossible for us to earn or merit God’s amazing grace. But from here on out, there’s lots of work for us to do, the first of which is to learn how to think with our new heart. Our old way of thinking must be placed upon the altar and sacrificed to Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us, now, He shares Himself (His character and power) with us. We give ourselves to Him—deny self, take up our crosses and follow as He leads. This is absolutely essential to living the good, productive Christian life Jesus wants to help us gain. God wants us to be fruitful.

 

Jude 1:24 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.” 

Categories: Christian Doctrine, Christian Living, Faith, God's Kingdom, God's Will, new nature, Salvation, sin nature, Uncategorized, Wisdom & Discernment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

God’s Plan For You

Dear Christian,

God has one all-encompassing purpose for you, and He has promised to bring it to pass. That is, to make you like His Son, Jesus, which is the highest and greatest position anyone could ever possibly have! We are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. This in no way negates man’s freedom of choice. I’m not a determinist, yet do I believe in the sovereignty of God.

 

“…Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Romans 8:29

 

Once you and I agree with God on this particular part of His plan, which says we are to be conformed to the image of Christ, it should become like a juggernaut, driving all that we do. It’s a process, and we grow into it. Our delight in doing God’s will takes all the sting out of life’s disappointments. It’s a love thing.

 

Whatever you may have aspired to, that God has thus far withheld, He has something far better for you. Sometimes, it might not look that way, but faith sees the invisible, including the future that Christ has promised to those who love Him. If you’re a Christian, then when you placed your faith in Christ to be saved, in essence you were saying that you trust in Jesus, so trust Him. He’s more than worthy, and immutably faithful to His word. 

 

In order for us to remain joyful and fully satisfied right now, He teaches us to be eternally minded. The bible refers to it as spiritually minded, and, we trust in His Promises. That’s how we embrace God’s will. It’s a way for us to grow to love Him and His plan, perfectly. 

 

It may be of benefit to list just a few of the plenteous eternal promises God has given to you.

  • God will not stop working inside you (making you like Jesus): “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 
  • You will reign with Christ: “…if we endure, we will also reign with him.” (2 Tim. 2:12), 
  • You Will inherit all things: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17
  • There will be no more: sorrow, sin, death, night, pain, suffering—all the bad things in life will be forever gone (in eternity).
  • God will reveal Himself to you: “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” (He reveals Himself to His own, in this life, right now).
  • God will provide for your physical, spiritual and emotional needs:And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
  • He will give you power (supernatural assistance) to do what pleases Him. “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

      

(Be advised, this series will be coming in short bursts, and the next 4 posts will be coming approximately 2-3 days apart.)

 How can we become eternally and spiritually minded, yet still live and operate in this temporal realm?

 

The answer’s right here, in God’s word.  We find the “How-To” peppered throughout scripture. Look at our main, recurring text for this series:  Paul summarizes it like this, in Romans 12:1-2.

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

set2

Don’t miss the next post, when the above verses will be fully examined, and the “How-To” explained.  You are Christ’s most treasured possession, and as the church we are the Bride of Christ.

Categories: Bible, Christian Doctrine, Christian Living, Growing in Faith, LIstening to God, Salvation, Sanctification, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The World Needs More Kindness

“Everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about, so be kind.”

That’s the admonishment we hear promulgated. The bible says to be kind. Through our life experiences we discern how well this rings with authenticity. But, I decided to test the veracity of that adage anyway, and the results were amazing. I became inclucated with an awareness that I’m not as informed about people as I previously believed.

 

In my quest to know things, as usual, I learned how far less I actually discern about people. To me, my friends were the obvious choice for study subjects, and I was jolted to discover important things about them I never knew before. It took some dilligent, yet gentle persuading to get some of them to open up to me in this way—to expose and share their vulnerabilities. I reciprocated with my own personal stuff—secret hurts. The blossoming of our resulting relationships has now filled our hearts with the essence of love, understanding and acceptance towards one another. The investigation was small in number, only seven people, eight, counting myself. What I’m about to share is highly personal, so I’ve given my solemn word to maintain their anonymity. That’s why I’ve assigned each of them a pseudonym.

 

I had no idea of the fear that my friend, Marci faces every day.  At 15 years-old, a male relative abused her trust, along with her diminuitive body. Many years later she still has difficulty trusting anyone at all. It hinders her relationships, and because she’s aware of that fact, she often cries herself to sleep. But if you met her, you’d think she was a highly confident and an easily entreated person—trusting even. Marci is kind to a fault, and she loves helping people. Every time she sees me, I know there’s a compliment coming my way—just a really sweet woman.

 

Russell is one of those nerdy guys you’d expect to meet at a gaming convention. The golden thumbed player holds several high score records on half a dozen video games. Kindness emanates from his presence. At the young age of ten, Russell’s father was killed while serving in Afghanistan. The boy retreated into the gaming world in search of solace. Today in his thirties, he seems closed off from people, unless they engage with him first. Then, he’s highly personable, obviously in search of acceptance.

 

Phillip fled from drug cartels in his country of origin, who had put out a kill order on him. He was accepted into the U.S. as a refugee, and I understand he also helped the DEA with information on the cartel. I didn’t know that, and I’ve been his friend for 8 years.

 

Life of the party types, both Marty and Allison suffer from deep bouts with depression and anxiety. They’ve both lost jobs because of it, and both said they feel a need to keep most people distant from them. You’d never surmise as much by speaking with them, or by being a casual friend, as I was: they’re both great at concealing their horrendous dilemmas. It’s not brought on because of any cirmustances—it’s a chemical imbalance, and medications only seem to make it worse. I’m so grateful to have become closer with these two beautiful souls.

 

Finally, Tina indicated her constant paralyzing fear of rejection. As a child her mother abandoned her at age two, and her father abused drugs and is still addicted to Meth. Made to feel worthless, Tina has difficulty understanding her value as a human being. Everyone deserves to be loved, accepted and cared for. But she never tells anyone about this. Silently she suffers, while her feelings of inferiority grow, being confirmed daily by mean spiritted people who only care about themselves.

 

Yes, everyone is fighting a battle of some sort. I’m fighting my own. What if all of us were to double our efforts to be kind, understanding, and caring with everyone we meet? Can we each do our part to make other people’s lives a little easier? I promise to double my own efforts. This world has plenty of hatred, judgment and animosity. What it needs is more love, and shiploads of kindness.

 

(The Bible teaching series entreating us to Join God’s Plan, promises to get good!)

Next time. Love.

 

 

Categories: Christian Living, depression, Faith, Fighting a battle, Good People, Kindness to strangers, Love, Ministry, People, Self Improvement, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Prison Poetry

Television networks like A&E make a fortune off of airing footage from inside state prisons. People seem intrigued or curious about what goes on inside those walls. There’s even a site online that sells memorabilia once owned by infamous prisoners. There’s a great deal of art, music and poetry that flow out of the prison systems as well, and often hand crafted products. I’ve known dozens of fine Christian men who are incarcerated, and I enjoy visiting with them. Some have now served their time and been released. Today I’m offering up this short poem written by one of those friends. You may find it odd, or different. It was written by my friend, Frank H. in Westville Correctional Facility, an Indiana State Prison. He has since gone to be with the Lord.

In honor of Frank H., a man completely transformed by the love of Christ. Miss you bro!

Image result for man penitentiary window

Solo Party

 

Havin a party—it’s here, inside

No, you can’t come in, cause I’m me alone

It’s just a cup of joe

A penitent man and a radio

Walking down this beaten path

That’s winding through my brain

Listen now, and hear me laugh

A bend in time to kill the pain

Outside my window, upon the horizon

The sun paints colors there

Inside my windows, a glimpse, just one

Freedom blazes a gala fair

Behind the walls, inside the fence

The state penitentiary

My body’s here, they have this dust

But my spirit, it is free

 

Living a Christian life behind bars is not easy, and Frank had many challenges, and faced physical danger daily. Yet whenever we corresponded, he was always more concerned with how I was doing. He constantly assured me that he was praying for me, and he loved to share the bible with others.

 

The next post from Series On Doing God’s Will is coming very soon.

Please subscribe to be notified of future posts. Thank you and have a suprememly blessed day!

Categories: Christian Living, Incarceration, Jail House Religion, People, Poem, prison, Testimony, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.