Saturday, July 27, 2013
Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus," (NKJV)
Believer, you are in Christ Jesus. Your sins are forgiven. Jesus' blood has washed you whiter than snow. You are clean, you are holy, and you have every right to enter the Holy of Holies, which is God's presence. Do it! This is a great privilege. Use it.
Father wants you to come into His presence, no matter how you feel about yourself. He loves you, He loves us all, He really does, more than anyone could ever know.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
This is a two part blog post, although the second part could be appropriately connected to many topics.
The question came up in one of the groups I'm in:
How do you deal with a response to a "concerned and loving confrontation" that says in essence, "Who are you to tell me I'm doing the wrong thing?"
Well, OK, if I'm taking it upon myself to correct a person, then that person has every right to blow me away. But if I have been delegated by a higher authority to deliver a warning message to someone, then whether he or she recognizes that authority or not, I know I have not spoken out of turn.
So, that person who is confronted should properly ask, "By what authority are you telling me this?" Yes, I know, this is not a likely response. But YOU can respond this way (gently, lovingly) if ever you are confronted, unless it is immediately obvious who the higher authority is.
Are there some Biblical guidelines?
Well, I can think of two:
7 He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
As I'm reading this, it looks to me like verses 16 and 17 address the confrontation of a scoffer, which shows that scoffers do have to be confronted, too. Just be aware that you will most likely be insulted for it - or worse.
OK, now if the higher authority is the Lord God Himself, then all the better - even better than a police badge (which is itself an example of delegated authority).
Hearing the voice of the Lord
Or more generally:
Living a supernatural life
Where to start here? Well, ask the Lord to bring you to a place where you can, in fact, hear or sense or recognize the word of the Lord inside you. What does that mean? A voice? Not likely. It's just a knowing. "How do you know that?", someone might ask. "I just know" is all you can say. It's a sanctified gut feeling. (Oh, but you might be wrong when you start out. That's correct, so start out in a community with more mature believers.)
OK, do you know you are baptized in the Holy Spirit? Make sure of it.
And being baptized in water is a statement to the community and to the world that you are really serious about your relationship with the Lord God. At baptisms, we often sing, "...I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back..."
Do you know that you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength? Sort of?
(Well, I want to.) OK, that's a good start. Ask the Lord for a fresh revelation of His (exceedingly good) goodness. And ask Him to show you how much He loves you. It's overwhelming.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Psalm 34:1 says:
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
OK, "all times" and "continually" include "now". And I believe it.
So, what happened to me recently.
After fighting it for a while, my tooth started to hurt so much I knew I had to have it (and the adjoining wisdom tooth) out. But I couldn't get an immediate appointment. What came to me was Psalm 34:1.
Well, I don't recall it easing the pain much, but it's the truth, so His praise was in my mouth (off and on) while I waited.
The two teeth were extracted and I felt better. Two days later, Helen and I went to the second of two kindergarten graduation ceremonies, which was 35 miles from home in Morris County. Nice.
However, when we got in the car, the "check engine" light was on. Alas. Well, the last time that happened it was just a loose gas cap, so we decided to see what would happen. Maybe it was OK.
What happened was the temperature gauge went up to "hot". So Helen and I pulled over to the side of the road, called AAA, and found a shady spot to bless the Lord.
The car got towed home and fixed that afternoon. How nice! We drove it about 70 miles that evening, so it seemed good.
The next morning we went down to Union County on the Garden State Parkway and, near our destination, watched the temperature gauge go up.
Time to bless the Lord again. Well, it's always time to bless the Lord. Even the good times are times to bless the Lord.
In the New Testament, this is written in Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
This is saying the same thing.
So how do we get to a place where we can bless the Lord or rejoice in the Lord always?
1. We need to know His love for us. We need to really, really know His love for us.
2. We need to know He has not abandoned us, and is still with us, right here right now, walking through this trial with us.
3. We need to practice blessing the Lord at all times. We can practice in traffic jams and traffic detours and any other annoyance that comes our way.
The scripture above is from the New American Standard Bible.