Tag Archive | freedom

Bible time for Justin and Jacob

“I know the plans I have for you.”  GOD  

There is no one His equal.  He is love.  His compassion knows no boundary.  He has no boundaries known to man.  Except one…your will. 

He will not allow anyone to put Him in a box of any kind.  He will break out of it every time.

He was, He is and He will be involved in the lives of all mankind because He is the creator of all mankind.

All that He is, His power, His love, His majesty, causes anyone who is in His presence to come away filled with awe and wonder.  In His presence all fall on their face.  Pride crumbles.

He loves mankind so much that in His plan, knowing the past, present and future, He sent His Son, His own unique Son, into the world of men as a man.  He came as a man among men.  He displayed God to man.  He came to redeem, to buy back what had been given away by Adam, the initial created by God man, who made the decision not to trust God’s word.

God is love.  Love gives.

Jesus taught His disciples that God is a father, “Our Father who is in Heaven”.  In this dispensation we are the beneficiaries of the last will and testament of God’s son.  He is the mediator of this New Testament.  He came to Earth to showcase who God is. 

God is a Savior.  God is a healer.  God is a deliverer.  God is a provider.  God is a protector.

God is a God of order.  He is not causal or careless.  He is purposeful and intentional.  He is not haphazard.

Corrie ten Boom, author of the book, “The Hiding Place”, tells the story of God’s love for those who abused and murdered her family and the Jewish people.  The Word of God says, “What does it profit if you love those who love you, love your enemies and do good and pray for those who use you?”  Corrie had to forgive the guard, who before receiving Christ as his own personal Savior, had abused her sister Betsey.  She could only do so with God’s love.

Can you pray blessing on one who has “done you wrong”?  Pride can’t, pride won’t.    Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the one you hate, the one who offended you, the one who stole from you…dies.  Flesh wants a pound of flesh. 

“Tit for tat, butter for fat, you steal my dog I’ll steal your cat.”

You are only a human being, you are not God.  Apart from His appropriated power you cannot forgive from your heart.  And only truly seeing your own “self” in the light of His love and then seeing your offender through the lens of God’s love, only then are you able to forgive.

“With God all things are possible.  Nothing is too hard for God.”  With you?  Not so much.

Most of your life is ahead of you.  The path in front of me is much shorter.  I am advising you to make the most of each day.  Choose to follow the path least travelled.  “Broad is the way that leads to destruction.”  Many people are walking there.  The surest way to reach your desired destination is to stay on the narrow path, keep focused on the goal.  God is calling you to walk with Jesus, led by His Holy Spirit.  If you do so, you will fulfill your destiny

Religion will keep you satisfied, just a normal, nominal Christian.  Keep drinking that Kool-aid and you will leave this world having made your mark on the world.  “He was a good person.”, they will say.  “Only God is good.”,  Jesus said.  

A Christian is a Christ One.  Christ is not Jesus second name.  Christ means the sent one.  Jesus is the one sent.  His name in Hebrew, the language of the people when He was on the Earth, means Savior.  Jesus Christ…sent one to save, that was who He was.  It was love that sent Jesus. 

Who He is now is King.  A king has a kingdom.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior you were brought into the Kingdom of God.  You are now looked after, taken care of by King Jesus.  You have to learn the ways of The Kingdom.  The Word of God will teach you the way.

Someone once asked thus question.  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  This is something you should consider.

A true Christian will touch the world around him with the love of God, he will impact the life of every one whose life he touches. You have influence. How do you choose to use it? 

Learn to love.   May what motivates you be the love of God.

My prayer is that when you stand before God, the Righteous Judge, there will be more than enough evidence written in the book of your life to hear these words… “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of your master.”  Amen!

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Perspective

We are all a work in progress.  We will not be finished here until our life on earth ends.  We come to earth through a woman.  After our birth, we grow in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally etc.  This process is without effort on our part.  We walk through life as if we were on a moving walkway.  Some people seem to run and some people decide to sit life out; others rebel against the process and still others go with the flow, but no one can stop the process.

I have been thinking this morning about my sons and how they perceive who I am.  If I wrote a letter to them, I would tell them that how they see me is not who I really am.   I am the sum total of all of my experiences to date.  Everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today.  I am not the Mom that raised them.  That person was left behind long ago.  I am more fully Joy today than I have ever been.

I was a legalistic parent.  It was my way or else.  I raised them by what I perceived were Biblical standards.  I did not know that God is not legalistic, He has laws and obeying them brings blessing.  Disobeying them bring a curse.  We can choose to obey and be blessed and we can choose to disobey and reap the consequences.  God is not angry with us, He loves us intensely, passionately.  Everything He does is for our good.  He is a good Father.

I reached a point where I cared about my parents, and though both of them lived with me, I wished I had sat down with them and asked more questions about their lives so I would know who they really were.  But by the time I cared, they were gone and it was too late.  I have read stories of people in trouble crying out for their Mom, needing her comfort.  I don’t believe it ever leaves your soul.

A friend of mine, in her 80’s, shared a memory of being in the kitchen with her mother as a little girl. She remembered how bright the kitchen was and the smell of bread baking.  She was happy; she had no fear or anxiety.   Yesterday she told me that her doctor says she should not drive on the freeway and her kids are talking about moving her to assisted living.  Another friend is having major health issues and has given power of attorney to a family member.  Each of these women is struggling to maintain their independence while realizing that eventually they will have to have help.

You have to be very brave to go through old age, because you eventually lose the right to be you anymore as volition is transferred to your children or a caregiver.

Americans have an independent mentality.  It is the foundation of our country, one of the major documents of America being The Declaration of Independence.

Parents look forward to their children being “independent”, moving out and beginning life on their own.  As we walk through life, we gather people and things along the way.  We get a job, marry and have children, buy a house, a car etc.  When the kids move out and we are left with the house and the things we adjust to the new reality. Old age comes and a spouse dies and another adjustment is made.  Life is a series of adjustments and adaptations.

There was an elderly gentleman who was hospitalized, he never said very much to the staff.  When he died and they were gathering his things to give to the family they found a poem that he had written in which he spoke about how they cared for him day after day, but they never really saw him.

This brought to mind what I came to know as reality, the spirit of a person does not grow old, only the body ages and dies.  The body goes into the grave and returns to dust.  The spirit, which is eternal, goes to Heaven or Hell; depending on who or what you served during your sojourn on the Earth.

We look at the body of a person and think that is who they are.  Not true!  The spirit within is young.  Some have said perhaps around 30 years of age.

How others see you is only one perspective.  There is another perspective and that is how you see yourself.  If we look at ourselves based upon what someone thinks of us, we will always be striving to please them.  It is a bottomless pit that leads to misery.  “You can please some of the people some of the time but, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.”  People who strive to please others are miserable and they are miserable to be around.

Of course, if you see yourself as superior to others you will be a controlling, miserable wretch to be around and sooner or later, you will be abandoned.  “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Lastly, there is the real perspective and that is how God sees you, which is the only one that carries weight for all eternity.  This is the only true view.  After all, the Word of God says that He looks at the heart while men look at the outward things.  It is written:  “Out of the heart are the issues of life.”  It is God that we are to please, living by His standards brings many blessings.

I pray that you will be blessed today.  God’s Word says that we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesian 1:6  Let us press our flesh to agree with the Word, not what we think or feel and not what another person thinks of us, good or bad.  To be able to walk in that is freedom indeed.

Joy

Forgiveness

“Forgive as I have forgiven you.”  Luke 11:4

That is a command not a suggestion.

“For if you do not forgive your brother then neither can my Heavenly Father forgive you.”  Matthew 8:14-15

There are conditions.

Who ever said that being a Christian was a riparian delight or a walk in the park?  Depending on where you live, it can get you murdered.

But, let’s be honest, American Christianity has not been tested and I fear if it was, it would not pass muster, not at this point anyway.

There are standards, some would call them laws, and this issue of forgiveness is one of those.  It is serious!

We can gloss over it, as many do, with all kinds of reasons why it is impossible to keep this command, such as, “I can never forgive him, you don’t know what he did to me.”  No, well then, why should God forgive you for what you have done to Him?  Is not the greater sin your telling God you won’t do what He asks of you.  Disobedience, my friend, is outright rebellion, in case you didn’t know.

We can say that God does not really mean that He won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive our brother, because He  loves us and He accepts us in Jesus just as we are.  That is a half-truth.  Half-truths are no different from lies.  A little bit of dog poop in a brownie still makes it inedible.

I can just hear someone say that I am being legalistic.  Really?  Have a glance at the Proverbs of Solomon and see how often he uses point and counter-point to show how God looks at things.  There is the Law and there is the Gospel.  There is the Old Testament and there is the New Testament.  These are Covenants, made by God.  He takes them pretty serious.  I think He means what He says.

Offense comes to every one.  There are no exceptions, we live in a fallen world.  Again, choices are made.  We either decide we will forgive or we decide we won’t.  No decision is a no decision, simple!  Is it easy to forgive?  Absolutely not!  It is probably one of the hardest things to do.  “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.”  Proverbs 18:19

So, my friends, the challenge today is this:  Have a look at your heart before the Lord.  Are you offended by someone, by something said or something someone has done?  You better deal with it, because the repercussions are great.

God is a righteous judge.  This is how fine it gets:  “But I say unto you, (Jesus speaking) that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 18: 23-35 Jesus tells the story of a steward who worked for a King.  He owed the King a huge sum and could not pay.  So the king commanded that he be sold, with all that he had, until he could pay off the debt.  He begged for his life and the king had compassion on him and forgave him.  However, the servant found a fellow-servant who owed him a small amount and told him to pay up or else.  The poor fellow begged for patience and he would pay, but he would not hear of it and had the fellow thrown into prison.  This really irritated the other servants and they complained to the King, who when he heard addressed this unjust steward with these words:  “You are a wicked servant, I forgave you all your debt, could you not have compassion and pity upon your fellow-servant as I had upon you.”  And, then He handed him over to the tormentors, “till he should pay all that was due unto him.”

Here is the kicker:  Verse 35  “So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

I guess that pretty much sums it up for me.  I have no choice.  Either I forgive the one who offends me or I won’t be forgiven.  And, if I won’t forgive the tormentors come, guess who they are…  I choose to forgive, for my own sake.  I like freedom and peace….don’t need tormentors, no thanks.  How about you?

Reflectively His,

Joy