Posts Tagged: belief

It is Not About Our Circumstances

Scripture:

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,first to the Jew, then to the Greek. 17 For the gospel reveals the righteousness of God that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”…

Thoughts:

If faith in Jesus Christ were dependent upon where we were born, who our parents are, or what religion we were brought up in, then the divisions in our beliefs would be concrete walls that were impenetrable. But trust in God, belief in His son Jesus is found throughout the world. Why?

  • God desires a relationship with his creation
  • Creation itself testifies that he is God
  • Men and women testifying to the nations about what they have seen and heard of Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit goes ahead, directs and softens, prepares, convicts and inspires
  • The truth of Christ is emboldened by persecution rather than crushed
  • We can test and see that God is good
  • His word does not go out and come back void

Prayer:

Father, I praise you that you want to be known! You are not an inactive, distant God. Your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Thank you for letting me be an instrument of your will. May my testimony of what I see and hear of you encourage all who cross my path. Amen

Testimony Tuesday: The Relationship between Pain and our Spiritual Health

In a previous post on perseverance I spoke about pain as a necessity so that we pay attention, change, and care for our bodies. Some of us, have pain that goes above and beyond the norm.

I just found out that my discs are deteriorating and my hip sockets were not formed right so my cartilage is wearing away. The orthopedist called me a “tween” I am in the teenage years of hip replacement. Right now the goal is pain management but I have surgery in my future. Daunting prospects, because I’ve cared for patients who have the level of pain I currently have and watched their spirits deteriorate along with their body. But, I’ve also watched spirits increase and abound in other patients who chose to open themselves up to Christ being enough in their pain. So how do we meet pain with the balm of spiritual discipline?

1. Acknowledge the pain and our needs

2. Put it in right context: believe

3. Repent of any sin contributing to our health

4. Surround ourselves with a cloud of witnesses

5. Act on the opportunities given for health and wholeness

6. Bless others who are suffering

 

I know I’m only scratching the surface today, but I’m working through this as I go. We’ll talk more as

I journey through.

Matthew Henry’s commentary on 2 Chronicles 21;12-20, a rather gruesome prophecy given to King Jehoram, but unheeded, is contrasted with  very good news for those who believe even while they suffer.

Good men may be afflicted with diseases; but to them they are fatherly chastisements, and by the support of Divine consolations the soul may dwell at ease, even when the body lies in pain. To be sick and poor, sick and solitary, but especially to be sick and in sin, sick and under the curse of God, sick and without grace to bear it, is a most deplorable case. Wickedness and profaneness make men despicable, even in the eyes of those who have but little religion.

 

 

Promotion: Crossing the Line of What Ifs

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 3being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.…

Ephesians 4:10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;…

Completion opens the door for promotion, but it also opens us to rejection. Much of my struggle with depression has stemmed from a desire to say just the right thing and do just the right thing, to please others. And, at the first sign of displeasure, I quit. I bought the lie that the incomplete was safer than risking completion, and therefore, further rejection.

But, in this world rejection is guaranteed. Jesus had more followers leave him, than stick with him! (John 6:67) Just ask Dr. Zeus or Picasso if completion resulted in rejection from man. History is replete with man’s rejection. By not completing what God assigns us to do, we attempt to control the what ifs and disappointments of life. God has brought me into repentance and realization that Jesus, for the joy set before him, completed the cross! How can I not also do the same? God expands our tent as we are faithful. Through completion we draw clearer conclusions about life and base further action on the reality of our beliefs.

I believe that God’s power surges through my writing. His word will not go out and come back void, no matter how imperfect I am. Risking publication, putting these blog posts into a book form to encourage and help a wider audience, who may be grieving and struggling with depression, is scary. I printed out the first draft of the daily devotionals, just before our trip to Texas, and it was like a line drawn in the sand was crossed. I am, heart pounding, deeper into enemy territory than I have ever been before. There is no longer any question that I am a “letter writer”, bolder and more skilled in the gospel message through written form, rather than public speaking. Words open my eyes wider to God, delighting in discovery of his truth, and more resolved in purpose. I’ve shared my journey with you for almost two years, crossing the line of private thought, to encourage you publicly . . . but to reach farther? How can I not share his love and presence through writing?

God has uniquely gifted each of us to share the gospel. Lay claim, in obedience to His will, to His complete work revealed through you.

It is Finished

John 19:30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

“It is finished!” has been on my mind and lips since Friday. I hear it when I rise in the morning, I hear it when I stop abiding and start striving, and I hear it when I lay my head on the pillow. Jesus came to save us, and he stated that the salvation was complete. All you and I have to do is to believe.

There is not a single thing that you and I can do to add to that salvation. We cannot make another sacrifice, we cannot work harder, or be perfect in following the commandments in order to gain our salvation. He finished that work. How differently would we love, work, minister, and simply be present in our day to day lives if we embrace what Jesus completed on the cross?

“It is finished.” “Believe.” are repeated throughout Jesus’ ministry. (Luke 22:37, John 4:34, John 17:4, John 19:28, John 3:16, John 14:11 and many more) Those two phrases sum up God’s purpose in sending his one and only son. If you are anything like me, you may have a pattern of living, that even as a believer, does not reflect that we have embraced the cross. So we have a lot of ups and downs in our faith walk, as a result.

I was challenged to meditate on Jesus’ words from the cross, and the more that I hear them in my ears, my soul eagerly leans into, relaxes tense spiritual muscles, and is content with taking Jesus at his word. At the heart of believing Jesus is resting (abiding) in him. (John 15) Striving to save ourselves is a waste of time and limits the power of the Holy Spirit in us. My prayer is that we accept Jesus’ finished work and believe.

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