Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Loving Father

Just a quick note here to share something the Lord impressed upon me today.  The Lord is as good as He possibly can be to us and for us based on our soul's condition and what our mission is.  What does that mean?

1.  Our soul's condition-If a childs soul/spirit is weak from being neck deep in sin, there is only so much blessing the Lord can do in that childs life without them using it as fuel to drive themselves deeper into the hole they are digging for themself.

2.  Our mission-some of the Lord's children are destined for higher glory in heaven because they are enduring hell on earth here.  Some are destined to be severely persecuted, martyred etc.  Not all are martyrs, not all are apostles, not all are teachers etc.  We all have different missions.

Here ^^ are two reasons (I am sure there are more) why we are not to judge each other.  Who knows what your mission is, or mine?  The Lord knows.  One person lives a life that is very very hard on earth, others live lives that are not as hard (relatively).  Is the Lord unfair?  No way.  He sees the end from the beginning, He sees eternity and you and I in it.  ALL will be settled.  The Lord Himself explained this better than I can:

Luke 6:20Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Keep your eyes on the Lord.  As the days grow dark we must keep our eyes on the prize which is Christ Jesus and us being found "in Him" and thereby possessing all things.

grace and peace

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Request For Direction

There are people looking for direction in this world.  Where can they find it?  Can they pray for it?  Yes, but what else, what else can they do where else can they look to find direction?  Here is one gigantic clue the Lord gave us:

Col 3:3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

In order to find direction you must find yourself.  And where are 'you' at?  The true you is now hidden, in Christ.  So, to find and connect with yourself you must find and connect with Jesus Christ in whom you are now hidden.  This is your first and greatest job each and every day.  If you cannot even find yourself, how will you ever find direction for the other things that occupy your mind?

This is a win/win proposition.  Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added unto you, remember?

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

When you seek to find yourself, you must first seek to find Christ Jesus in whom you are hidden, and Jesus Christ can be found in His kingdom.  A way to visualize this is to draw a circle and write your name in it.  Then draw another circle around that circle and write the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in it.  Then draw another circle around those two circles and write "the Kingdom of our Lord" in it.  When you draw this out, what do you see?  Our Lord has set us up for success by the system/laws He has created.  

Seek His Kingdom to find Christ and thus find yourself and all these things will be given to you as well....What you seek is hidden away in the kingdom of God, in Christ Jesus.  Another way of answering how you can find your direction is:  seek the kingdom so you can find Christ and thus find yourself so you can find your direction.

Allow me one last way of explaining this then I will leave it alone.  If you approach someone and ask them for the directions to the nearest walmart, their directions will only be good if you know where you are starting from.  If you do not correctly identify your starting location/situation, the directions will not help you reach your destination.  Understand?  By centering yourself in the kingdom, in Christ and in the hidden you in Christ, only then can you understand where you really are right now as a starting point so when you receive your directions they will get you to where you need to go.

grace and peace

Friday, July 5, 2013

Encourage Yourself In The Lord

There are days when you are believing the Lord for an answer when you feel like you can barely get out of bed let alone ask for help, pray or believe for a miracle.  What do we do when inside we feel like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for our faith?  You ask for more faith.  When we don't have something we can either 1. complain about it, or 2. do something about it (ask for more) and wait for it.

The Lord gave us many examples to learn from.  In the following example David and his men were doing some amazing things.  You would think from reading the text that David's men would be more loyal, more trustworthy, whatever but read how they reacted and what David did in this situation:

You can read 1 Sam 29 for more background

1 Sam 30:1And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.

David's story is a good one.  He was the beloved of the Lord, a man after the Lord's own heart and yet look at this situation he is put into.  His men want to stone him and his wives are captured and taken away.  Can you imagine?  Not a fun day.  Was David distressed?  Yep, he probably felt like someone kicked him in the stomach a couple times then left him for dead, but what did David do?  He encouraged himself in the Lord.  And what was the result?  The result was good.

What is all the trial and tribulation about here on earth?  Is it just to trouble us for no reason or is there a reason?  The reason is to get to know and love and trust the Lord our God.  Are these trials easy?  No, in fact they can border on feeling like we are close to death but again why are we facing these things?  We will learn to rely on, trust and love our God.

All these just words?  I mean, does brother D write all this for someone to feel good?  No and yes.  No this is not just to make you feel better.  This is REAL, there is power behind the words.  Not my words but His Word.  The Lord wrote everything to us for a reason.  This brother has a testimony for you, I have been through this.  I have scraped the bottom of what felt like a deep dark lake where by faith was attacked in a way I did not think possible.  I have felt abandoned and alone and without the Lord's presence.  It was for a very short time but I have felt it.  Who else felt it?

Mark 15:34 
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema
sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?")

And just as our Lord trusted the Father and the result was our salvation, in each of our trials no matter how dark or hopeless things appear we must trust and seek the Lord until we have our answer.  Why?  Because this brother is telling you I have been delivered out of all my troubles (now I have some new ones but thats a different story).  The Lord has answered when I have asked.  I am not special, what does the Word say?
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you

I have had to wait for my answers, but I received my answers.  The Lord has been faithful and true.  He has helped me and He will help you, just dont give up.  The Lord has performed many miracles in this brother's life, many and although they have been wonderful to behold I understand they were not just for me.  Example, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead was it just for Lazarus that the miracle was performed?  No, it was for every believer who ever believed after that miracle was performed.  The raising of Lazarus was just as much for you and me as it was for Lazarus and those standing around watching it on that day long ago.

Keep the faith, hold on, hang on.  If you cannot take a step forward then at least stand your ground and do not retreat, just stand.  Part of these things we go through is for the Lord to reveal His power and His majesty to us.  Through every hardship and resulting deliverance the Lord is revealing Himself to us.  I have been through many of these and I can tell you my heart swells with love when I think about how the Lord rescued me, delivered me, saved me from my troubles over and over again.  And no most of the time it was not a quick fix so I did suffer while I waited but some of that suffering was self imposed.  Why didn't I trust the Lord more?  After so many deliverances and miracles why
do I still sometimes not walk and think like I should?  I am human, so are you.  Don't beat yourself up.  Focus on the solution not the problem.

Ask, seek, knock.  These Words were written to us for a reason, they are not empty.  Ask and ye shall receive.  Seek and you will find.  Knock and the door will be opened.  These are facts, not just suggestions.  Ask, seek and knock are the commands our Lord gave to us to help us.  Remember the story of the unjust judge, persist.

On the day you get your answer it will all make sense.  On the day the arm of the Lord is revealed in power on your behalf, you will understand.  On that day you will forget your trouble and your heart will overflow with thanks and joy then you will be a light for someone else's miracle.  You will have a testimony based on fact when the Lord comes through for you just as He has come through for me and all those we read about in the Word.

Keep the faith, grace and peace