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Friday, January 19, 2018

Loving the Real Jesus

I never get tired of hearing about Jesus, about the true Jesus.

I know why people sat there and just listened to Him until they were hungry. I know why women followed Him around and gave Him their money and supported His ministry. I know why the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment poured it out on His feet. I know why people got healed so easily and frequently in His presence.

Because He was just oozing love for them. His presence was one of perfect love and perfect peace.

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is after He was raised from death. The disciples had gone back to Galilee, and were fishing. They hadn't caught anything. Jesus is standing on the shore and He yells at them, "Children, do you have any food?" There is something in that one sentence that blesses me so much. It is so endearing that He called them children.

They were in some in-between moments where they didn't really know what was going on, so they went back to that life before Jesus. And Jesus appears and meets them where they are at. They are just fishing. And then Jesus directs them, and they catch a lot of fish, 153 to be exact. It is reminiscent at the beginning of His ministry, how when Jesus used Peter's boat, and He filled the boat up with fish afterward.

And then Peter jumps out of the boat to swim to Jesus. What kind of love would evoke a grown man to jump into the water and swim to Jesus?

He is still the same Jesus. He is still lovingly calling to us. He is still caring for our emotions. He is still caring for our physical needs. And I believe that if we hear enough about and get to know the real Jesus, we would all be just like Peter, willing to cast it all aside and just run into His arms.

My prayer is that we would all grow to know His love to this measure. Blessings to you on your journey,


Friday, January 12, 2018

Simplify: Five Minute Friday

Today I am participating in Five Minute Friday where we freewrite for five minutes flat on the prompt, Simplify.

Simplify.  Ahhhh.  One of my favorite words.  It was actually my word about 7 years ago.  It started a string of words that just seemed to blend all together.  But I believe “simplify” or “simplicity” was the first.

I became very interested in minimalism a few years after that. Minimalism is the art of simplicity.  It is reducing the amount of clutter and making room for the important.  That is a practice I have tried to implement in my own life.

For Believers I believe simplifying is incredibly important. In Mark 4, in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about the different type of ground seed is sown on.  Later he explains the parable to His disciples.  

The third type of ground is where the cares of this life and things of this world come in and choke the word, causing it to be unfruitful.  What does that mean?  I believe it means that when we are so consumed with worry about anything, or when we are bombarded with an endless amount of things to do, and stuff to care for, the Word can have no place in our lives.  It has no room to grow and produce fruit.

The good news is that this is something we can change, simply by simplifying.  We can simplify our thoughts.  We can simplify our consumption.  We can make room for God’s Word and it will produce in our lives.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hidden in Jesus

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.-Hebrews 8:12

Ever wonder how God does this? How does He remember our sins no more? A lot of people's sins are written down in His Word. And I am thankful, because it makes me feel better about me. Sometimes I think our lives appear so sanitized that people who don't know Him, or new Believers think they can never attain. But in 1 Corinthians 6 Paul lists a lot of stuff that people living in sin do, and then He says this:

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.-1 Corinthians 6:11

The writer of Hebrews in Chapter 11 list a lot of people we find in the Old Testament, but there is something very interesting about this list, none of their sins are mentioned, only their accomplishments through faith in God.

So, to go back to my question, how does God do this? How does God remember our sins no more? How does He look at us and see only our faith accomplishments?

I believe we find our answer in Colossians 3:3. It says,

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

The old me is gone. All that the Father sees is Jesus. My life is hidden in Him, eternally.

Many blessings as you learn to see all you are in Him,

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Gifts of the Spirit

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:  You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.  Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.- 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (NKJV)

The other night I woke up thinking about the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12. Several thoughts came to mind.

One, the gifts are of the Spirit of God. It requires Him moving through us and within us for them to work. We do not work them on our own at will. (Interestingly, it is the same with the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5.  We have to learn to yield to the Holy Spirit on the inside of us, and it will grow.)

Another thought is they are spiritual gifts, not natural. This kind of builds on my first thought. They cannot be physically seen, and we cannot work them, but He works them through us, as we learn how to yield to Him and the gift.

The last thought, the gifts are spiritual, but will solve problems in the natural. Gifts of healings for example. If the Holy Spirit works through a person with this gift, when it manifests, healing will take place in a person's life. You can see that. All believers are called to lay hands on the sick, but this is a gift that moves as the Holy Spirit wills. If you look at the life of Jesus, you can see this gift working, as many of the other gifts. He is our example. Often people got healed because of their faith in Him in the Gospels, but other times, it was this gift in manifestation. You can look at all the gifts from this perspective.

There are many things we can expect as Believers, through prayer, and other promises that God has for us, but these gifts are supernatural and moved by the Spirit of God on the inside of us.

Many blessings as you continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him,