Friday, May 31, 2013

Four Dimensions of Love

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21 NKJV

What a prayer!

God's love goes so deep and so high... far into the past and far into the future.

Like the the river Jordan rolling back and standing like a heap at Adam in Joshua 3:16 so the people could pass... God's love rolls back to our first ancestor Adam.

It goes deep inside us... so deep... into the recesses of who we are. It goes so high... and then higher and higher... all the way to a Throne in Heaven.

Just when we think we must have reached its border we find that it goes much farther than anyone thought possible.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34 NKJV

"But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another" 1 Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV

"No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us." 1 John 4:12 NKJV

Grace is not given to produce a behavioral change but when the dimensions of love are revealed and our tents are enlarged by the spectacle of that love we become instruments of love.

How has God loved us? If we let it flow into us and over us we will be gracious people because it will flow out of us. We won't make comparisons with others. The width of God's love reaches to them and far beyond to many many others.

I want the love of God to operate in all four dimensions of my existence. I pray that God will reveal The person of Christ and His love to you in a fresh way today. I pray that God would put people in my path and that they would see Him also.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I love rebound. It starts with a rediscovery of what God thinks and remembrance of what He has done. Grace makes rebound an easy adjustment. It is not something we climb up to get into. It is placed right there where we are. Grace makes us able to bounce back.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2 KJV

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" Titus 3:5 KJV

When we are filled with love we have buoyancy and bounce.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." Jude 1:21 KJV

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.' " - 1 Peter 1:13-16 NASB

Rebound is when we 'fix our hope completely on grace'. It is Christ's work revealed to be perfect for my present circumstance. He is revealed and we are set at ease again.

Someone said to me this weekend that they know Christ is their shepherd but when they are caught up in their emotions they need to hear His voice to settle into rest beside the still waters in green pastures. Once they hear Him they can rest.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

The certain sound of grace causes me to rest. I rebound when I hear it. It fills me and fixes me. It reminds me of what is already done. I stop all doing in that moment and I can just be a believer.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Weather the Storm

"Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Revelation 2:10 KJV

This was written to The Church of Smyrna which was the time from 100 AD until 313 AD Edict of Milan. During this time Rome persecuted Christians heavily. As faith in Christ made it's way out among people it came in contact with the culture and there was a violent forceful reaction. Like dropping a mentos candy into a coke bottle there is a reaction. This reaction happens for a set period of time and then dies down.

This is the recommendation given by God to weather the storm. Become one who trusts until death and I will give you a crown, wreath a victor wears, of life. If you become one who trusts you will not just survive... you will thrive.

Christ wore a crown of thorns that was roughly placed upon His head and hurt Him deeply but we will one day see Him wear His crown of gold (Rev 14:14). He gently places a wreathe of victory on our heads when we manifest our believing at the time when culture clashes with faith.

'Be faithful' is in the middle voice. That means it is an action we perform on ourselves. We choose to mix faith with truth constantly.

In Rome to be faithful unto death perhaps meant to die in the Coliseum. That would have been a possible consequence of living a life of faith.

Today in this moment we can become faithful all the way unto the death of Christ on the cross. The cross was not a place of our suffering... it was the place of His suffering. It was the place of His death and it becomes the place where we die. That death was at the right place and time. We take the moment we live in and bring our faith to that place and God does something miraculous. He takes the victory that is already on our account because of Christ and places it gently on our head in the form of a crown.

No winner who wears a Stephanos crown will suffer in shame. Someone who wears that crown will hold their head high. They walk in the procession of the victors.

The elements that cause reaction in our lives will eventually fizzle out, like the edict of Milan ended Christian persecution in Rome, but the crown gently resting on each individuals head will remain forever.

Christ has made us to be overcomers. I purpose to live in that victory today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Finished Work Friends

Finished Work friendships are born in the heart of God... in the heart of the Father.

A friendship forged in the fires of eternity and stretches out into forever. Something that didn't start in time but is manifested there. Two people who won't know each other after the flesh. The timelessness will be the quality of the fellowship.

"As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Proverbs 27:17 NKJV

If a heart is established in grace a friendship can be founded on grace. Then iron can sharpen iron because the substance in the other person is harder than steel can ever be. People forged in eternity past and manifested in time are people made from sturdy stuff. The love is real, the wisdom is Spirit led and there is flexibility that only God could produce.

"My son, if you become surety for your friend, If you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth." Proverbs 6:1-2 NKJV

A true friend will point to Christ and say, 'He is the leverage in your loan.' Christ has been revealed to be the true collateral in life and they will remind you to make Christ as the collateral for your life.

"Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, Nor go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." Proverbs 27:10 NKJV

A Finished work friend is a friend because of the Father. Let us not forsake the friends of our Heavenly Father. Late nights, money and problems are small prices to pay. They are nothing.

"A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

A Finished Work friend is a friend in the Son. Jesus sticks closer than a brother. He loves and loves through thick and thin. He has our back in every trouble.

"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:7-8 NKJV

Finished Work friends drink of the same Spirit. The same Spirit guides... the same Spirit teaches... the same Spirit reveals but through different eyes and in a fresh way.

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly" Proverbs 18:24a KJV

There are friends out there waiting in the darkness. Friends that need the forgiveness that only Christ can give. People who are enemies to themselves who could after a touch from God, because of the presentation of the Gospel, be people we know and embrace and visit as our bosom friends forever.

I want to show myself friendly this summer. I don't want to strive to be friend in performance. I want to live in the substance of what friendship is.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Manna or Quail

Reading this morning about Manna, quail and the Spirit rested upon the seventy elders in Numbers 11. Very good reading. Here are some verses I was looking at:

Ex 16:23-31
Num 11
Deut 8:15-16
Neh 9:11-15, 19-20
Ps 78:12-20, 21-35
Ps 105:39-41
Ps 106:13-15
John 6:31-35
John 6:58
1 Cor 10:1-6

The manna in the wilderness was a great provision but the people did not appreciate it. God brought quail to pile up outside the camp and all around the people and He brought preaching at the same time. The people needed to make a choice and many of them made the wrong one. The place this happened is called the 'Graves of Craving' (Num 11:34) because of that.

Jesus says interesting things related to manna in the Gospel of John.

"Then they said to him, 'What must we do, to be doing the works of God?' Jesus answered them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.' So they said to him, 'Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform?' Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " John 6:28-31 ESV

The question asked is a good one. What will we as believers do and what will God do to satisfy our longing?

"Jesus then said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' They said to him, 'Sir, give us this bread always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.' " John 6:32-40 ESV

Jesus is our life. That is the bottom line. Grace teaching inside will keep us from sinking our teeth into all the quail piling up around us this summer. A steady diet of resting in what Christ has done and mixing faith with our spiritual food and drink keeps a person in a spiritual momentum.

We have freedom to put the manna aside and eat quail but leanness will enter our soul and we can have days with grave stones as markers.

On the other hand... we can eat the bread of life and be satisfied and have the best summer of our lives.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Ever coming back from vacation only to feel like you need another one right away. At times we live for the weekend even though we just had one a few days ago.

"Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away." 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ESV

We live in a world filled with temporary provisions. When I see the richest and most glamorous people of our generation suffer the hardships that all people suffer from it reminds me that the human condition is the same at every tier of human existence.

"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 ESV

My rest will pass away and I will need more. The meal I ate will pass away. My knowledge as good as it is will be old and I will want more. These things are not bad they just are temporary. It is childish to think these things are more than what they really are.

Faith is different. Faith invests in the eternal. Hope must rest on something that will never pass away. Love must come from a source that remains forever. These three abide. Not just for a time... they abide forever.

"Jesus then said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' They said to him, 'Sir, give us this bread always.' " John 6:32-34 ESV

When Jesus spoke about eternal things people thought He spoke about temporary provision that would just never run out. Like a fountain of youth.

"Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.' " John 6:35-37 ESV

Like in John 4 when He spoke to the woman at the well about living water. He was speaking about a different life. A face to face life of love that only the Gospel brings and is expressed in the grace relationship. This life is not biological in origin. It is the very life that comes from God in a flow. As my late Pastor used to say 'un-created life'

"Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.' ... but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.' " - John 4:10, 14-15 ESV

Knowing Him won't eliminate our need to sleep, eat, work or think but we will do it in a different way. Our though life will be fixed on the things that are above and the temporary can be put in it's right place.

"Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 'Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!' " - John 4:34-35 NKJV

He did finish the work. Now our food is the will of God. Our goal is not satisfaction. We live for the harvest.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Will May Be the Last To Fall

God wins the will by winning the whole soul with a gift of grace. His persuasion is the persuasion of love not force.

At the same time His love is like an fierce army with banners.

"He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." Song of Songs 2:4 KJV

The strength of God's love is a covering of comfort and defense. Like chariots of fire lining the hillside around us (2 Kings 6:17) He guards us.

His love is overwhelming to look at. A glimpse of Him either overcomes us and or else we flee into the night away from a force no one can escape from.

His persuasion is not sentimental or deceptive. It is like the sunrise that progressively illuminates a dark landscape.

Jesus is our scarlet thread that marks us as friends and not foes.

He wins us all at once and then bit by bit. He wins our mind. He sways our emotions. He changes our name and convinces us we are His and He is ours. He gives our guilty conscience rest and remolds it so it recognizes relationships and not rules. He wins our souls with a purchase but then from every side. Our will may be the last domino to fall or it may surrender early in the battle.

"By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land." Exodus 23:30 KJV

"Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous." Psalms 112:3-4 ESV

If we fall He picks us up and wins us again. If we stray He finds us. When we are hurt He heals us. Again and again and again He will win us.

Let the enemies of love fear Him. He is gentle with His allies but an irresistible force for those that would oppose Him. There is no inch of territory He will not recover.

"The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." Nahum 1:7-8 ESV

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thieves and Robbers

Jesus had a code of divine honor. His mind is the mind of the servant leader. It is not something that can be adopted by just anyone. Christ's mind uniquely belongs to Him.

" 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.' " John 10:1-5 ESV

"This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them." John 10:6 ESV

This whole concept was so foreign that Jesus needed to reiterate it again.

"So Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:7-9

Jesus isn't just talking about the leadership of the day... He is talking about all the leadership in Israel throughout it's history. Anyone who had ever done well had pointed to the door and no one had done it perfectly.

Spirit must communicate with spirit.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.' " John 10:10-18 ESV

This power structure relies on this honor code and vice versa.

"There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, 'He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?' Others said, 'These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?' " John 10:19-21 ESV

What made them angry? I think it is the same thing that makes us angry when people won't do what we want. We can want a power structure that promotes control and if we function that way we are thieves and robbers.

The anger that rises up in us when a car is blocking the road and making us late for our appointment is the same anger these people felt. The anger that would steal the will of another. Naturally we might be very willing to steal the will of our spouse, our children, our employer or even people in our Church. These are just little th thefts after all. Our motivation might even be moral. Our soul cleaves to the dust and reverts back to this method without the buoyancy of the Spirit.

Jesus exercised His will and never took that right from anyone else.

The power of the Shepherd is the power of a laid down life.  There is no substitute for grace. This power structure opens eyes. It can not be duplicated. People can try... and they do try. There are plenty of books on servant-leadership. There is only one Christ. There is only one door. There is only one way.

"The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles (nations) are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:26-27 ESV

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giants Are Delicious

'Fake it till you make it.'

Great advice. Are you being deceptive when you do this or are you confident in your provision? It depends how you go about doesn't it.

If you lie and recreate your past than you are being deceptive.

But, If you trust in a provision or potential (that is real) to come through and help you to have what you do not already possess... what can happen then?

"Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be." Romans 4:16-18 KJV

Abraham trusted in what only God could do. He trusted in the one who has made something out of nothing.

No. No. I need to play it safer than that. That's good for Abraham and those other Bible people. I have bills to pay and children to raise. Heck, I fear my own hyper-spirituality will lead me down some path with a dead end.

"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men" Isaiah 29:13 KJV

It looks like God isn't interested in us living in fear that has been taught to us. That is only a starting point. He wants there to be real genuine awe. An awe that has tightness and bears true weight. Our garment of righteousness does not hang loose like some garment that was made for another. It is not one size fits all. Our faith was made for us to wear. Our armor has straps... tug on them so that it has a snug fit.

"Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:3-6 ESV

Let's not be deceptive or presumptuous but let's trust God that He can give us capacity to do the things He called us to do. Yes, Even if our capacity is small. If we dig a hole and bury our faith it will profit no one.

I am not saying this as an accomplished person standing over you wagging his finger. I am saying it as a small weak person standing beside you clinging to God.

Ministry can not happen with the capacity we have now. It can only happen in the capacity that God gives. Missions... Church Planting... Christian Education... any and every ministry that is true ministry is done by faith in what can be.

The list of things I don't have a capacity to do right now is quite long. I'm going to do them anyway. Will there be resistance? I'm sure there will be. I'll fry those giants up and eat them for breakfast. Giants taste good on toast with a little jam.

If you live just on the fear that someone else had you will never find out what a giant tastes like.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grace lets Mercy Flow

Abundance will flow to a void if there is a channel... (ex. Osmosis, Electrical current, precipitation and evaporation that causes weather, etc.)

Growing in grace allows us to see the widening scope of the ramifications our depravity and not condemn ourselves for it.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" - Romans 8:1a NKJV

"Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them." Hebrews 13:9 NKJV

Depravity has created a vacuum that God would love to pour His mercy into. Grace opens a channel for us to want and have mercy poured out on us and into us.

"Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy." Micah 7:18 NKJV

God delights to give mercy! He is so rich in mercy. He wants to give it... to pour it out. He isn't holding back. There just needs to be a channel for it to flow through.

As a physician He can only give care to sick people. Healthy people do not need or want His kind of help.

"When Jesus heard that, He said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 'But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.' " Matthew 9:12-13 NKJV

"Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart," Proverbs 3:3 NKJV

"Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy." Jonah 2:8 NKJV

The cross has opened a wide channel for infinite mercy to meet the incredible needs of mankind.

When we pick up our finished work cross we become a channel of mercy. People who know and embrace grace are not shocked by the depravity of others when it is manifested. They see weakness as the perfect place for God's power to be showcased.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wash Away the Temporary

"But of the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.' " Hebrews 1:8 ESV

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17 ESV

God is eternal. He lives is outside of the 'cause and effect' system He created. His Glory is ever undimmed. That will never and can never change.

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being' " Acts 17:24-28a ESV

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." Revelation 22:13-14 ESV

Each person's choices have consequences inside this system. Some people are celebrated in their generation and others live relatively small lives and are remembered by a few people for a generation... or two.

Which one of us can say they know much about their great grand father or their great grandfathers next door neighbors? Who knows what he thought on a certain day? What he ate? What he was afraid of? Such thinks are lost in time.

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18 KJV

Our 'reasonings' with God are never lost. They are with Him outside the system. Such communication exists in another realm. This washing washes away sin sure but it also washes away the temporary and replaces it with the eternal.

"Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" Psalms 56:8 KJV

"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20 KJV

"As unknown, and yet well known" 2 Corinthians 6:9a KJV

Jesus has become our place of agreement. A man who walked in the temporary but lives now in the eternal. He is not made of ivory and frozen forever. He ever lives to listen and act upon what He wills as a priest, a prophet and a King.

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3 KJV

Indeed. What lasting agreement can the temporary have with that which is forever. One hand would soon dissolve into dust while the other would last forever.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV

"And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" Hebrews 5:9 NKJV

The beginning of this communion starts with the gracious gift God has given to all mankind. The gift of His Son's life on a cross to paid for our sins and win an eternal salvation for all who believe.

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Revelation 12:10-11 KJV

What God has done is written. Let us live in the exploits of the day.

God, Please wash the temporary away from us today. Fill us with your Spirit so that we can walk with you and in Your world. Thanks to You our lives will not be forgotten. Give us eyes to see this reality so we can forget our self life and walk with Your purposes in our minds.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blessing and Cursing

In secular modern American society we see success and failure as being based on talent, effort and opportunity. There are powers that might help or hinder us but those powers are political and economic.

Religion and spirituality can be seen as the realm of blessing and cursing. Magic has those overtones as well. The Bible speaks clearly about this subject and it is very clear in it's teaching.

"My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing." Genesis 27:12 KJV

Maybe we have seen God this way? This is how Adam and Eve saw God after the fall. It is simpler to look for ways around the blessing.

"Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee." Deuteronomy 23:5 KJV

God's mind is one of blessing. He desires to bless all those that belong to Him. He is for us not against us.

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9 ESV

There is much to say on this subject. How blessing are not just material in nature. How Christ is the blessed one and all that are in Christ are blessed ones. How favor is not connected to performance.

What about today? Is God for me and you? Any correct understanding of grace will say, 'Yes, He Is.' God is for us knowing Him. God wants us to live in a realm of blessing today.

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

If this thought is action in our minds and we are stirred up in love in our heart there really is no telling what the day will bring. We can be ready to face anything that comes.

This kind of believing is an active thing. Is shields us from the corrosive effects of doubt that a passive mind will begin to entertain by default.

Life is going to continually fork into crossroads and we can step forward by faith prayerfully and confidently if our mindset is...

"This I know, because God is for me." Psalms 56:9b NKJV

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Hidden Value of the Church

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints" Ephesians 1:16-18 ESV

Paul saw something about God and His Church that he wanted the Church as a whole to see. It was something hidden that needed to be unveiled. It is like the invisible army seen in 2 Kings 6:17. The prophet saw the army that was there as a provision but his servant did not.

This unveiling must be a sight seem from Christ's vantage point. God must open the scriptures to us and open eyes to see value in things that would be invisible and almost contradictory.

"and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:19-21 ESV

When Jesus rose from the dead and then rose from the Earth to sit at the Father's right hand. Not only His position was elevated... ours as individual believers was also. The Father put Christ in a place of overruling authority.

That authority can seem invisible.

"And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:22-23 ESV

Christ in His fullness is expressed it the Church. Yet, That is invisible to us unless we have our eyes opened.

Jesus won't be known to the World at large just yet. Christ can be known in the Church. Our calling relates directly to the corporate experience in the same way that our gifts are oriented toward the Christ in the corporate experience.

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ... And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" Ephesians 4:4-6, 11-13 KJV

If we magnify the flaws of the seeming imperfect people in the local assembly we will miss the overarching glory of what God wants to do in our lives and the community. Things that can only happen if Christ is expressed in a Church.

It is my firm conviction that there are some prayers that God will only answer if they are prayed corporately. May God open our eyes today. That He would give us a capacity to live in faith and dispel any disillusionment. Two or more gathered together praying is what changes the course of history.

Monday, May 13, 2013

In the Moment with God

To say that God is 'present' everywhere is quite a thing to say and think about.

"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being" Acts 17:27-28a KJV

"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD." Jeremiah 23:24 KJV

Not only is He present in the sense of location... is also mentally present.

"For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit," - 1 Peter 3:17-18 ESV

This word translated 'suffer' is the Greek word Pascho (G3958) and really it means to strongly experience... to be present mentally and live in the moment fully. Jesus was fully present in every moment... even in His suffering.

"Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." 1 Peter 4:1-5 ESV

We can't 'check out' or live in denial. Grace can and must give us a capacity to live in the moment with God. The natural man lives in distractions to compensate for the life he or she does not have but a spiritual person has another provision.

"The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:"  1 Peter 4:7-10 ESV

The 'end of all things' spoken about hear is not some apocalyptic end of the World scene. In context of the scriptures it is speaking about the finished work of Christ! The Finished Work is right there near us in our thinking and because of that we have sound judgement and a clear mind. Our prayers are potent because we live with God in the moment and observe and intercede based on reality with the big picture of redemption in mind.

We can love earnestly because we have the completion of all things in mind... love has covered all sin and we can experience life in the midst of contradictory people and even in ourselves saying, 'This is paid for and that is paid for...'. Grace becomes a stewardship... we manage it's distribution... holding nothing back we bring Heaven's  perspective and Heaven's provision to every situation.

"Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies - in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11 ESV

We speak authoritatively as if it is finished and forgiveness has been applied.

"If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11 ESV

Then we walk believing that quickening will come. A quickening that comes not just out of need to be stronger. We are made alive to be alive with God in the next moment as a steward of grace.

If God's kingdom comes and His will is done in our mortal bodies today every step we take is land taken by that kingdom.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Possibility of Identification

The fruit on the tree did not cause Adam to fall. It was identification with the kingdom that gave him the forbidden provision. Adam's nature is branded as identifying with evil. That is why justice demands that Adam go where Satan goes.

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' " Matthew 25:41 ESV

Christ on a cross and raised from the dead alone will not save a person. Identification with Christ by eating of the fruit of this new tree is what allows a person to be taken out from under the power of evil and into the Kingdom of God's dear Son and given a new nature.

"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" Colossians 1:13 NKJV

We have tried to undo what was done in the garden... but identification with evil could not be undone. Adam is sold under sin because of it. It is not the sins. The sins will bring a payment of death but the actions are not the root issue. It is the nature that is branded as identifying with evil. Adam must go to Hell. He can not be saved or rehabilitated.

The new creature must go with Christ. The new man can not be corrupted and Christ has become an anchor for the believer inside the veil of Heaven.

What Christ did has unlimited power to save anyone and everyone but not everyone will identify with the person and so they will never identify with the power that could save them.

Today each person is given an unprecedented opportunity through the possibility of identification. Identification for salvation but also identification in grace to live a victorious life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Right on Schedule

"Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him. And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour. The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." Psalms 45:10-17 KJV

I looked at other translations but the KJV had a poetic Majesty that just brings out the splendor of these verses.

Who is this woman clothed in gold and fine needlework? This one who is all glorious within?

She is the Church.

Really?!? Yes. Really.

She is no child playing in the dirt. She is woman now and has been made ready for her groom.

Let us forget the dark land we came from. God has made us to be 'all glorious within' and 'clean every whit'. We only need our feet washed. All the other preparations for the wedding day are right on schedule.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Spirit who Is Lord and the Lord who Is Spirit

Reading 2 Corinthians chapter three this morning and I have been digging into this group of verses.

"But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:15-18 NASB

There is an amazing dynamic that happens when Christ is revealed. I'm talking about the unveiled display of His grace, mercy and all of His divine attributes as only God can do and does by His Spirit. Christ's seamless oneness with the Spirit is amazing and when a person sees that sight in his or her inner man the result is tremendous freedom (verse 16).

A person suddenly faces God by faith. Grace has allowed it to happen and supplied a capacity to look in this particular spiritual direction and when that happens it is revealed that the Kyrios (G2962) Pneuma (G4151) eimi (G1510) or "The Lord Spirit Is" in a straight literal translation. In that same moment the Pneuma (G4151) Kyrios (G2962) or "Spirit that is Lord" is revealed. In freedom and unconditional acceptance we see God's true nature reflected (verse 17). Our inner man sees a glimpse of the whole picture at once. It is a sight no natural man can see because there is no faculty or sense in the nature man to behold it with. We see that duality is really unity and we are transformed by the sight. Our inner man stands at the mount of transfiguration just like Peter and John did but the landscape is the mystical boundary where soul meets Spirit and has interaction.

We grow further into a resemblance of the One we have already been made to resemble... the Lord who Is Spirit (verse 18).

Christ is one person and the Spirit is another but at the same time they are One. The Father is also in and apart of that unity. As God's spiritual children we are in an unbreakable chain not just by decree but by nature and divine substance.

The revealing of that allows there to be a flow and in that flow we know we are free.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 NKJV

- Warn
- Comfort
- Uphold
- Be patient
- Be watchful to prevent evil
- Pursue personal and corporate divine good
- Rejoice all the time
- Pray continuously
- Give thanks for everything (this and everything listed before it is God's will)
- Don't quench, or put out the light, of God's Spirit. You are a child of the day as is says in verse 5
- Don't hate or ignore preaching (the method that light comes to you)
- Test knowledge (Is it God's truth? Does it match other scripture? Does it reflect God's character and method as it is presented in Christ?
- Once a thing is tested keep firm possession of what is excellent
- Refrain from the shape of infectious evil

All a list of exhortations. The scripture pointing us to a better way. Urging us to function on an upper highway. How?

We must 'be' before any exhortation can take hold. The verses that come after the exhortations are what make them possible. The picture is not complete without what comes next. The cake won't rise without these last ingredients...

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV

Believing is our true and only work. We labor to rest because God:
- Sanctifies us completely
- Preserves us until He comes for us
- Calls us
- Is faithful
- Does all the work

Amazing! All exhortation is done with the finished work of Christ as the framework. Once we are resting in what Christ has done our mind becomes the mind of a minister, a protector and an intercessor. We can have joy when we are still unhappy. We can be thankful when we still don't understand.

Once deaf our ears are open a searching for the certain sound of grace and truth. Everything else is discarded.

Made Holy ones and preserved completely we find ourselves moving in the direction of the one who is calling us. We warn people and uphold people as we go saying. 'The Master is this way. He is faithful. The work is finished.'

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Pace of Learning and Healing

I was thinking yesterday about the time it takes for things to happen in a person's life... healing... growth. Like making tea or soup all the ingredients can be there but time allows for steeping and stirring.

While exhortation to faith is good and necessary... at times we only have a capacity for exposure to faith. Things need to be slowly extracted like sun tea on the back porch.

Healing can be slow. Is that alright with us? It has to be or we will re-aggravate the wound. When things are healing everything is not all neat and tidy as we would like it. Things have been pushed out of place and they need to fall back into place. Not all on their own... there are bandages, and braces and medicine to prevent infection. Things or people can be there so support and help but some things can't be rushed.

Learning can be slow. On piece at a time. We struggle through concepts and misconceptions. Bad habits need to be unlearned along the way. We put things down for time out of necessity and then must begin again and relearn the basics. They return to us faster when we learn it the second time... or the third time.

One of the Biblical examples that came to me was Moses. He had three 40 year blocks of time in his life. 40 years! That is a long time for a tea bag to steep in the water. But, That is what it took to take an angry man and make him into the meekest man on the face of the Earth.

"Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3 NKJV

It was direct exposure and time that made him this way.

"And he said, 'Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?' And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed. When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said to Moses, 'Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother's womb.' And Moses cried to the LORD, 'O God, please heal her - please.' But the LORD said to Moses, 'If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.' So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again." Numbers 12:6-15 ESV

This whole passage is very interesting. Miriam is not made leprous until after God departs. Aaron the priest instinctively acts as the priest. That is what he is and has been made to be. But, God speaks to Moses and makes Miriam wait a time. She is healed but it is process and takes awhile. All of Israel waits and will not march until she is restored.

Can we live in faith and give people grace? Can we be patient with ourselves and give ourselves grace?

I have heard men preach about this and believed it when I heard it but maybe it's because I have been doing this for a while that it is beginning to sink in. I've been quick to judge a person or situation thinking I was wise but really I was not.

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

Amen to that! God will mature His 'Moses's and heal His 'Miriam's. Will there be anyone to intercede?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Present Tense Love

We had communion yesterday at Church.

"And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.' " Luke 22:19-20 ESV

The wine was sweet and the bread was nourishing. The fruit of the vine. The cup of salvation and the unleavened bread of Passover.

The cross was going to be bitter, brutal and awful. Jesus wanted there to be a sweet taste in the mouths of the disciples, and ours, in regards to the new covenant.

"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 KJV

God 'loved', in the past tense, and He 'loves' in the present tense.

The communion we have in Church is a tiny wafer and a tiny little cup of grape juice. The disciples had a whole Passover meal that carried them through the night and into the next day. Israel had this meal first. The blood of it sprinkled on the doorpost of their houses. It carried them over the Red Sea and into freedom. For the disciples there would also be a first born that dies and a night of intrigue that resulted in freedom.

The little wafer and tiny cup of grape juice is not enough to feed us. The taste however is the same sweet taste.

I think of it now as I write this. It is the taste of love... of salvation. Love in the present tense.

"When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not... Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged." 1 Corinthians 11:20-22, 27-31 ESV

A sobering passage. We can 'examine ourselves' by availing ourselves to the Holy Spirit's scrutiny and take the cup of salvation while living in the present tense of God's love. Otherwise we will live in the past tense of God's love and have familiarity enter our frame of reference.

I want the memory of Christ' bitter night and what it accomplished to be vivid in my mind. Today I want the tone of my heart to match the memory of the sweet taste in my mouth.

Oh God! Help us today! Help us remember you. Stir up our minds. We avail ourselves now just like we would before communion and present our bodies a living sacrifice today. You are our sweetness... You are our strength... Your Love for us is a right now love. Help us to let go and let You love us. We want to let You love us today.

Friday, May 3, 2013

People Near and Far

There are people in your life who are with you and those who are not. There are all kinds of reasons for this.

"Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers. The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you." 2 Timothy 4:8-22 ESV

That is big chunk of scriptures but I see a theme in it that runs through it. It is filled with people who have come and gone... friends and enemies... anticipation and warning... greetings and crowns.

It is good to meditate on grace and then on each name and how Paul was related to each one. What does a gracious mind think about people?

Titus, Paul's son in the faith, was far away in Paul's time of need. Titus was off functioning in God's call. It was right for Titus to be where he was. Demas was also far away but it was desertion. God was close and far at the same time... a reward was waiting and yet help was near.

Paul warned Timothy about Alexander. The message had sunk deep into each man. One embraced it and the other opposed it.

It always saddens me when people talk of cutting off those that 'don't love them unconditionally' and surrounding yourself with people who do. Paul didn't do that... even with the ones that left him to face a trial. He brought no charge against them. He was wise as a serpent but innocent as a dove.

Paul appreciated those that were close and sent greetings to those were far away. He had his mind on Christ... knowledge of a reward produced endurance... in hope he reached for provision both natural and spiritual... he treasured and rehearsed love in his mind. He prayed for people.

My plan, by faith, is to look at these names today and as I think of Paul's people I'm going to pray for my people... both near and far.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Incompetence is Expected

When man does things a degree of incompetence is expected. Luggage is lost, words are misspelled, and plans are not complete. Everyday of our lives is spent managing these problems to one degree or another. We double check things, rethink our plans and remind others not to forget details.

God is not like men in this way.

"This God - his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." 2 Samuel 22:31 ESV

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

How comforting that is...

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" - Psalms 19:7 ESV

Perfect words from a perfect person produce results.

Grace must flow from the perfect one. No one else would be qualified to give it. The acceptance of an incompetent person is just more compromise.

"And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption" 1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV

What a miracle it is that forgetful people can receive grace and give grace. Somehow we are hidden in Christ and our blemishes are all covered by a robe of righteousness.

"Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago." Acts 3:19-21 ESV

It only takes doing this one time for it to be recorded on God's record books. We change our mind once. We let ourselves be persuaded once and that faith is accounted for righteousness.

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe" - Romans 3:22a KJV

But today can be a 'time of refreshing' if we remember what Christ has done. Our faults can be blotted out of our thinking. God's perfect word has power to cleanse our conscience of dead works... of dead thinking.

In our weakness we can be led into newness. We can speak words that are true and will be true forever. Our life is not one of endless correction... it is one of being clothed in perfection until perfection comes in it's fullness.

Until then we cover others as we have been covered. Love does that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Allies, Treaties and Arms Agreements

"I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?" Job 31:1-2 NKJV

I love the scriptures! This is such a deep verse. It is kind of like a treaty with a foreign power. It covers all desire. Looking at a young woman or anything I might covet or lust after is covered. The knowledge of an inheritance keeps sensuality as a whole in check because my senses are regulated.

The new covenant is a like an treaty I have made with a Heavenly foreign power. A decision was made by the rulers of that country (The Trinity) to make peace with me. They sent a peace offering (Christ) that I have accepted.

It's like my spirit is a country right on the border of my soul and my body is another country. Heaven lives in my Spirit and has access to my soul. Kind of like a trade agreement. That trade agreement has stipulations that involve my foreign policies with others nations. The other nation involved with my senses is my body.

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." - Galatians 5:16-18 ESV

I can consciously have an immigration policies and arms agreements with the two nations that border my soul. If I sell weapons to my allies' enemy that will affect my trade relationship to those allies?

"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?' " - Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV

Fortunately for us Heaven is a benevolent power that will honor the treaty they have made no matter what we do!