Defend a Lion?

As Christians, we are sometimes asked to defend why we believe what we believe.  Many point to their upbringing.  Some point to experience.  Others say “because the Bible says so.”  This doesn’t really help us explain our faith.  Should we have to?  According to Scripture, yes we should.  We should be able to give a defense for our faith.

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3:14-16

Roughly 75% of America claims to be Christian.  You might be thinking with that large percentage as Christians who are we defending against in the USA?  Well, Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19.   He did not say “just make sure the majority knows who I am.”

We must be prepared to give a defense for our faith.  Sometimes this may even be to a person claiming they are Christian or to a Christian who is reborn and has questions.  This is why it is not only important we read the Bible, but that we also study it.  We must seek what God is telling us in His Word.  We can use other tools such as commentary, concordance, and study groups.  There is so much depth to God’s Word that it requires more than a glance.  It requires more than a one time read.  It is designed by God to be a living, breathing, Word that holds truth.  It is spiritual food.  As a believer we must eat it up. Even Jesus read and quoted Scripture.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

The One, who we follow as Christians, read and studied the Word of God.  As followers, we should too.  It should not be a chore.  Do not do it because you think it will get you points with God.  It won’t.  God looks at your heart.  Reading the Bible, for believers, is something that should come over you like drinking water.  When you get thirsty you drink.  You need to drink everyday to survive.

Being in the Word allows you to know how we are to live.  How we are to be salt and light.  As we read it, it reflects the standard of God and we see how we really are.  This is why it rubs people the wrong way when they read it and don’t understand.  It shows us our true reflection.  I once heard a pastor talk about how some people argue that they are good people and don’t murder or anything like that.  The pastor compared that to looking at your reflection in muddy water and saying you look ok.  But when you look in a clear pool of water you see how you really are.  That is what reading and studying the Bible does.  It shows us we are sinners in need of a Savior.  We need Jesus.

What does this have to do with defending our faith?  Some opposition will attack the Bible with different arguments.  Some will call it outdated.  Others will say it is sexist, racist, and demeaning.  They will say the God of the Bible is mean and doesn’t really value people.  People will tell you that the Bible has contradictions.  (By the way, this is all stuff I used to say before I was saved.)  Being able to answer these and other arguments, is something you may have to do.  Will you have all the answers?  Probably not.  I sure don’t but I welcome the questions.  It allows me to study deeper and find these answers.  More importantly, it allows me to keep engaging someone in the conversation, and with gentleness and reverence, share the Gospel of Jesus.

One of the best apologetics ( a field of Christian theology which aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections) you can have is your life.  The Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.”  Be salt and light.  Live the Gospel in your life.  Allow the Holy Spirit to have every aspect.  Show kindness and gentleness to all people.  This does not mean conform to their ways, but be understanding of their lifestyle and share the Truth with them.

I recently got into a discussion with an atheist whose videos I found on youtube. He has been trying to show me why he doesn’t believe in God and how science has disproved Him.  I have been sharing why I believe and how science does not disprove God. It has been interesting and I noticed as we got along in our correspondence it was leading into a heated debate.  This was not the intention.  So we decided to back off and discuss life topics.  We will see where it goes.  I just pray I can be true to the Gospel and true to Jesus.

In reference to my opening quote, the Bible truly does not need our defense.  We should be able to defend our faith and our belief in Scripture, but the Bible itself, needs no defense.  When it is read and studied it will defend itself.  It will show you who you really are.  It will show you the Truth, the Way, and the Life.

“I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical  documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses.  They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific  prophecies, and they claim to be divine rather than human in origin.”  Voddie Baucham

For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:16-21

Did I not….

strong-lion-ed

Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9

joshua

Where I worship, 217church,  we are going through the book of Joshua.  I noticed, as we read through the first book, that God doesn’t just ask Joshua to be strong and courageous.  God doesn’t just ask Joshua to be strong and courageous.  God COMMANDS him.  In fact, He doesn’t just command him once.  God commands Joshua three times.  It is so important for Joshua to know to be strong and courageous that God commands him three times.

Joshua was commanded to carry out God’s will.  He desired to do so, but what God’s will was, was something that many were afraid to do. Joshua was to lead all of Israel into the promise land.  They were going into an unknown territory. But God was with them.  God was with Joshua.  God promised to be with him wherever he may go.

When God makes a promise He keeps it.  God promises to be with those who know Him.  God promises to be with those who do His will.  God wants to be with us.  He wants us to do His will.

Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

God didn’t just command Joshua to be strong and courageous.  He also gave him some other things to do.  He told him to obey the laws He gave to Moses.  He told Joshua to meditate on it day and night.  He is not to let it depart from His mouth.  This is how we are to know God’s will.  We need to be in His Word.  The more we are in His Word, the more we know His will, the more we can be strong and courageous.

Bible

Sometimes it is hard to hear His commands.  Sometimes it is easy to think He is not talking to us.  Maybe He is talking to you right now. Maybe you have never listened to Him or you just ignore him.  Maybe you have been afraid to be in His Word.

Ask God right now to speak to you.  Ask Him to open your eyes, ears, mind, and heart to Him.  Ask Him to allow the Holy Spirit to work in you.  Ask Jesus to come into your life so you may know Him.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

 

I pray you will hear God speak to you and you are called according to His purpose.

217churchew

 

Salt and Light

salt-light-city

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

It is hard to live a Christian life when you try.  It is very difficult to try to live a life following Jesus.  It is hard to live a life discipling people.  It is hard to be salt and light.  It is hard when you rely on your own power to do it.

I find myself praying to be salt and light. I pray to be His hands and feet.  But I do not allow the Holy Spirit to work in me to bring the Gospel to people.  I rely on my own power and I feel bad at the end of the day because I was not salt.  I was not a city on a hill.

I want so much to share the Gospel, but I feel sometimes I try too hard. When opportunities show up that I miss, I regret not taking them.  Maybe I over think it and I do not give my life to the Holy Spirit to work through me.  Maybe my pride gets in the way of the Holy Spirit.

Maybe this happens to you too.  Let’s give up our control and give it to Him.  Let Him guide us to be salt and light.  After all, we are called out of our slavery to sin and into slavery to Jesus Christ.

Doulos Iesou Christou

SlaveofChrist2

Worrier or Warrior

Through our lives we all experience worry. We get stressed about what could be coming tomorrow.  We worry about what we don’t know.  Will we be able to eat?  Will we be able to pay our bills?  Will we be able to take care of our family?

These are things we all deal with.  Sometimes it can get to the point of defeat.  Sometimes it can get to the point of breaking you down.  Sometimes you just don’t want to fight anymore.  You would rather run away and avoid the worry.  You would rather cower away then to face the day.

This is easy to do when you are alone.  Even if you have people in your life, you may feel you are alone in your battle. You may feel like no one else is going through the things you are.  You may feel you don’t want to bother anyone with your day.  You may feel you are not worth help.

Many people in Scripture had worries.  They worried about many of the things we do.  Some had even more worries because God was directly asking them to do things they didn’t think they were capable of.  There are things we are asked to do today that we think we are not capable of. But the same promise God gave to those in the past, He also gives to us.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

This is what God told Joshua before he took his people to march around Jericho.  In fact, he told him three times to “be strong and courageous.”

The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”  Judges 6:14-16

Even the least likely of warriors were comforted by the promises of God.  In the book of Judges we see Gideon, He was the youngest of his lowly farming family.  He was never trained to fight.  Yet the Lord was with him as he took on Median with only 300 men.

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Here is a promise God makes to Israel in the book of Isaiah.  He promised to be with them and protect them.  He was bringing them back from exile in Babylon that they had been in for their disobedience.  Now He was providing them with redemption.  He was encouraging them and telling them , as always, He is with them.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

birds-flying-under-cloud

Jesus gives us His Word that we will be provided for. We do not need to worry.  We should still be concerned, but worry is something we do not need to do.   The same promise he gave to those fighting for Israel He gives to us. He is with us.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us.  No need to worry.  If you have been saved by Jesus and believe on Him you believe in a God who commanded Joshua to march around  the walls of a city 7 times and the walls fell down.  He commanded a young son of a farmer to go up against a mighty army with only 300 fighters and defeat them.  There are many other warriors who God promised He would be with and He was.  They triumph for the glory of God.

Today He is telling the believers, those who have been saved and follow the Lord Jesus, He is with them.  He is with us as we struggle to pay bills. He is with us as we struggle in our relationships. He is with us as we struggle with life.  He takes our worries.  This doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us to be concerned. He just knows that if we are in Christ then worry is not something we need. Worry is a product of sin.  In Christ we are made righteous and worry is not in us.

Just stay in His Word and meditate on his promises.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Are you a worrier or a Warrior in Christ?

Why Daniel Didn’t Eat That

I recently did a Daniel Fast with a few other people.  If you don’t know what that is you can click the link.  I will explain briefly.  It is based on the prophet Daniel and how he fasted for 21 days eating no pleasant food.  During the fast there are certain foods you cannot eat like meat, dairy and anything processed.  You can, however, eat as many great things like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains as you want.

A big point of this fast, aside from the nutritional benefits, is the spiritual journey. I used this time to get closer to God. There are things in my life that I am trying to get straight and in this time I prayed and focused on them and my relationship with the Lord.  I noticed as I did this, my faith was tested,  I know that anytime you get closer to God, the evil one does not like it.  He comes to tempt you to break away from the Lord. He comes to tell you that what you are doing in meaningless.  He comes and messes with your faith in Christ.  He comes to mess with your family.  But a faith not tested is no faith at all.

During this fast, I read again through the book of Daniel.  I noticed some things I have not before.  I remembered hearing a sermon once on Daniel and the pastor pointed out that Daniel is one of two people written about in the Bible that there is no mention of them committing a sin.  The other is Joseph.  This does not mean they did not commit sins because only One was sinless and that is Jesus Christ.  Daniel just has no documented sin.

Daniel did however have a tested, tried, and true faith in God.  In the beginning of the book, he and his three friends choose to not eat from the king’s table showing that they would only eat the clean food God said he could eat.  For their faith God rewarded them with the gift of knowledge as well as giving Daniel the ability to interpret dreams and visions.

 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. Daniel 1:17

In Daniel 2 we see the gift from God used to help Daniel interpret the King’s dream.

We see the faith of Daniel’s friends being tested in chapter 3 as they refuse to worship the statue of king Nebuchadnezzar.  The penalty for not doing so was one would be placed into the fiery furnace.  The king had the furnace burn seven times hotter for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  But their faith saved them and a fourth person appeared in the furnace with them.  Was it Jesus?

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:25

Then, of course, there is probably the most popular story of Daniel and that is him in the lions’ den found in chapter 6.  Daniel was favored by King Darius and others in the kingdom didn’t like that.  They tried to find dirt on Daniel to get rid of him.  They could not find any.  So they manufactured some knowing that Daniel faithfully prayed and worshiped God.  They tricked the king to make a decree saying only he can be worshipped.  The penalty was being thrown into the lions’ den.  Daniel, being faithful to God, was caught praying.  He was thrown into the lion’s den and God saw to it that he was unharmed.  As a result, king Darius saw that Daniel’s God was real.

Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly! “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed ,his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and winders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:25-27

Something I focused on during this fast was trying to have the faith of Daniel.  I have faith, but enough to be tested after ten days of eating only vegetables?  Is it enough to be put into a furnace?  Is it enough to survive in the den of lions? I made it through and I believe my faith is stronger.  It is growing stronger everyday. I do have days when it is tested and tried to the point of breaking but it does not.

This I so, but not because my strength, but because of His.  The One who was truly without sin.  The One who became sin for me and you.  The One who gave Himself as a blood offering for our sins.  I know Him.  His name is Jesus Christ.

Do you know Him?  He can set you free.  One thing I know in having my faith tested is that we are all sinners.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

But Jesus Christ came to free us from our sin.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:18

I pray that in all you do, you meet and follow Jesus.  I pray He works in your heart.  I pray you have a faith like Daniel.  I pray you put your faith in Jesus.

Holes in the Roof

And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:4-5

This past Sunday the pastor at my church preached on this Scripture.  He described what it could have been like digging through the roof.  I have read this passage before but this was the first time I noticed something.  Not the usual thing I see when I read this before.  I used to always notice the obvious.  Jesus saying “Son your sins are forgiven”  is an obvious thing to point out.

What I noticed this time was the faith.  Not the faith of the paralytic, but the faith of his friends.  They believed so much that Jesus could heal their friend that no matter what was keeping them from seeing Jesus, they would find a way.  Even when the crowd was too huge to get in the door, they were willing to climb up to the roof, carrying their friend.  I am sure climbing the roof without carrying someone was hard enough.  Now they carry their friend.

They didn’t just stop on the roof and yell for Jesus.  They were determined to take him to meet the Lord.  They dug a hole in the roof.  In Luke 5, it is written “But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.” Luke 5:19  They were not letting anything stop them from taking their friend to be healed by Jesus.

How many of us have friends who need healing?  How many of us know people who need some kind of miracle?  How many of us know someone who needs to meet Jesus?

Now how many of us are willing to carry them up on a roof?  How many of us would dig a hole in the roof to get our friends to Jesus?

Sometimes I feel I’m not digging enough holes in the roof.  I’m not carrying enough friends to Jesus.  I know in the end He heals and I can’t change people, but I can do more to bring them to Him.

I want my friends to have the chance for Jesus to say to them “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Mark 5:20 

  “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” Mark 2:11

True Miracle

This past week a friend of mine lost his sister to cancer.  I did not know her but he told me she fought hard.  She never gave up.

My friend is a fellow believer in Christ Jesus.  He gives his life to Christ.  As a believer he prayed without ceasing for his sister to win her battle.  He talked to his sister about the healing power of Jesus and what faith in Him can do.  He even found a church where the pastor had a personal physical healing by Jesus and took her there.  He said she began to gain greater strength to fight for her life.  In the end though her life on this earth has gone.

After losing a loved one after praying and believing in miracles many would lose faith.  Many would turn from God.  But my friend is an inspiration.  He knows the truth.  He demonstrates true faith in Christ Jesus.  Instead of turning from God he boldly turns to Him.

At the viewing he said a few words about his sister.  He spoke of how he and many other family and friends had been praying for a miracle.  He said that many prayed for her life.  Then he spoke more truth of how in her battle with cancer he saw her grow closer and closer to the Lord.  He saw her faith grow.  You see, he knows the truth.  He knows the true miracle.  He knows the true promise of Christ Jesus. He knows that when we believe in Him we never die but we have eternal life.  Life without pain.  Life without suffering.  Life without cancer.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

While we all prayed for a miracle of her life continuing on earth, another one happened.  She came to truly believe in Jesus.  We prayed for her to live and now she lives forever.  If we believe, we will live forever as well.  My friend believes.  He will see his sister again.

Some may not see it as a miracle.  Some only see miracles as the blind seeing, the lame walking, the dead rising back on earth.  Once they see they will believe.  But believing is seeing.  Jesus didn’t work miracles in his life to draw attention to himself.  He worked them for the people who already believed.  All throughout scripture there are examples.

They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”  They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:38-43

I recently listened to a sermon by Alistair Begg about this passage.  He had a lot of eye-opening points.  The one that spoke to my heart about this loss is that after Jesus heals the little girl He tells those in the room not to tell anyone.  This is after He puts out all those who were laughing.  Alistair Begg points out that those who were laughing at Jesus, unbelievers, did not get to see the miracle.  He said something like, “those who laugh at the words of Jesus don’t get to experience the works of Jesus.”

Again I see that a true miracle did take place in my friend’s sister’s life.  She believed and now in her death she finally gets to live.

I pray that his family gets time to grieve.  I pray that when they are done grieving, whenever that may be, that joy comes in the morning.  I pray that they all see the miracle and they all find their way to give themselves to the Lord Christ Jesus.

To my friend, you are a godly man.  Your love and boldness for Jesus is inspiring.  Thank you for setting a great example for so many.

I saw how many people your sister touched with her life.  I am sure there are many more.  She is home now.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. John 5:25

Father

I am writing this to give thanks to my father.  He is my hero.  Anytime I need something he comes through.  He has always been there for my sister and I.

I haven’t been a perfect son. I remember things I have done and worries I have caused and he has stood by me through it all.

When I was a baby I had pyloric stenosis.  I don’t remember having it, but apparently, it is when your intestines are in a knot.  Having a little girl of my own, I can imagine how he and my mom must have felt when I was sick.  I know that I made it through that with him never giving up.There were other times growing up when I would fall down and he’d pick me up.  There were stupid kid things I did and he would love me through them, even when I caused damage to the house.  I remember this one time I was watching him fix something on the house.  He had his hammer and he was hitting nails into the wall.  So I grabbed my toy hammer and began to hit our plaster wall inside our house as I watched it crumble saying “look dad, I’m like you.”  How he or mom didn’t beat me I have no clue.

He granted me grace even when I damaged the house.  To this day I still mess up and I know he will always be there.

I know that God placed me in a house where I was loved.  I know my dad loves me.  Too many people don’t.  They have horror stories of their fathers. My heart breaks for them.  Coming from my situation is a big reason why I trust God.  You see, when we think of God as Father, Abba, most of us tend to think of our dads.  God as Father is a merciful, loving Father who gives us His grace through His Son Jesus.  Some people don’t know how to comprehend that if their image of God as Father is of their abusive father.  But Jesus is love, mercy, and grace.  He wants us to come to him as we are.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19

My relationship with my father has made it easy to see my Heavenly Father as He truly is.  He is a loving God who loved us so much that He gave us His only begotten Son to die the most brutal death in th history of mankind.  He gave us Jesus not because we deserve Him to take our sins, but because He gives us grace because what we deserve is death.

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

When I put that hole in our wall some might say I deserved a beating.  Instead what I got was grace.  Thanks dad for showing me how to be a father and showing me the Grace of God.  I love you!

Happy Father’s Day!

Mistakenly Defined

We all make mistakes.  No one is perfect.  We may strive to perfection and on the way we may find excellence.  In the end perfection in this world may never be reached.  It is pretty evident that we will mess up somewhere in our lives. It may be at work. It may be in our personal relationships.  It may be in our finances.

Wherever you mess up be careful to not let it define who you are.  We are not defined by our worst moment.  We can, however, be defined in our worst moment. But we do not define ourselves.  It has already been done.

In our mistakes, in our sins, in our lost moments, our Creator is our way out. He defines who we are.  He already created us in His image.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26
(Side note: Notice use of “Our” referring to the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)

We are created in the image of God.  The problem is we fell. We had the choice to stay perfect but made the choice to sin.  Now we have a sin nature that keeps us from seeing we can be better.  It can keep us from seeing we are created to be better.  When we mess up the enemy wants the mess up to define who we are.  The enemy will use it to his advantage to keep us away from God.

Yes, even our little mistakes may beat us down and keep us from God.  When we chase perfection in our lives sometimes we have a tendency to rely only on ourselves to get it right.  We start to worship the work to get to perfection.  We devote our time to making things better.  We devote time to self-improvement.

This is what the enemy wants.  He wants us to put our time into improving ourselves for ourselves.  He wants us to stay worried about our mistakes and our sins.  He wants us to feel we can never be good enough.

But God says otherwise.  He gave us His only Son and when we believe in Him we are more than conquerors.  We do not have to be slaves to our mistakes and our sins.  We do not have to keep beating ourselves up because we do not feel perfect.

His love makes us perfect.  His work on the cross took our sins.  We can now call on His power and turn from our sins.  His Holy Spirit is with us.  Allow it to work on and through you.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

God made us wonderfully.  Our souls know it and when we sin our souls know it is not right.  Jesus saves us from that.  Our souls long for Him and when you let Him in your life you will have the power to turn from sin.  It will not be easy, but on your own it will be impossible.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:20-23

You can be victorious over your mistakes.  You can be victorious over your sins.  This has been made possible because Christ Jesus is the greatest victor of all.

Will you let Him in?

Will you let Him be your savior?

Will you put your trust and your faith in Him?

“Jesus fulfilled His part.  Now it is time to do ours.” – Josh Conn

Everyday

morningsun

Lord, You bless me everyday with Your grace.

Your love is endless.

Though I do not deserve Your love, You shower it continuously.

I face this world of trials and pain, yet I am comforted by Your embrace.

I can never love as You do but I will with Your Holy Spirit as my guide.

Lord, may I take up my cross daily for You as You did for the world.

Lord Christ Jesus, You are my light and salvation.

I can only see by You.