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WE CAN ALL BE BETTER!

May God help each of us learn and grow so that we can be better today than yesterday. May God help us become more than we ever imagined. It is my desire that what you find here will help you grow closer to God, enriching your life and your relationships.

I hope you enjoy your visit and come back soon!

Don’t Lose It

A person can lose what they have gained by being deceived into false teaching.

“24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matt 24:24 (NIV)

If a group becomes deceived, they can lose what others have worked for. People can run ahead believing that they have advanced beyond the teaching of the apostles.

“8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 8-9 (NIV)

We are to test everything.

“21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,” 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV)

The teachings must be what Christ taught. He taught humility and love among many other teachings. We must spend time testing the teachings we sit under. It is not the responsibility of others. Examination of ourselves and asking Christ to examine us will keep us from being deceived.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

People can say they do this but their actions and reactions will reveal the truth. They can hide it for a time, but it eventually shows. The danger in that is that God knows our heart’s condition right from the beginning and at all times, in all circumstances.

“15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:15 (NIV)

He knows the condition of our hearts and He is concerned. He wants to lead us into truth but it is up to us to be willing.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (NIV)

Just as Jerusalem, we can kill the prophets and stone those sent to us. If we are not willing to gather the children together as Christ was commanding, our house or church could be left desolate. Christ told them they would not see Him again until they say “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” It is possible for Him to leave us or leave the “group” and unless we do as He says, He will not return.

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Luke 13:34-35 (NIV)

When He commands us to say something, it must not only be in words but it must come from the heart. Christ will know. For us, actions and the attitude of the heart must support the words in order for us to know whether we are sincere. We can also know the sincerity of others in this way. Talk may deceive some, but those with discernment from Christ that John wants believers to have is spoken of in his letters.

1 John, 2 John, 3 John

People Do Hurt People

What are you to do with that hurt?

We come to expect that we will be hurt by others at some point in our life. When the hurt comes from “God’s people”, the wounds seem to go deeper. Either way the wounds can cause eternal consequences if not handled properly. These consequences can be experienced by the ones getting hurt or those doing the hurting. We can find ourselves on both sides of the fence at different times of our life. People turn away from God when God’s people misrepresent the true character of God. Don’t allow others to have that power to turn you away and don’t be that person that causes another to turn away.

If your feel you have been hurt by another person, prayerfully answer these questions from Wounded by God’s People by Anne Graham Lotz:

• Where are you in your healing journey?
• Do you remember what your life was like before you were wounded?
• How did you get to this place?
• How is the way you are reacting today going to help you tomorrow?
• Do you want your life characterized by the result of remaining focused on “them” while being blind to your own pride, arrogance, anger, resentment, name-calling, vengeful digs, schemes for revenge, or vicious gossip disguised as prayer requests?
• Are these attitudes working for you and making you happy?
• Do they give you a temporary sense of satisfaction but then disintegrate into a desire for even more revenge? And more misery?
• What are you living for? Instead of living your life to the glory of God, are you driven by a desire to get even, vindicate your actions, prove someone else wrong, justify your opinion, expose the other person, get your own way?
• Consider carefully…do any of these desires truly honor God?
• When was the last time you put your head on the pillow conscious of God’s sweet peace and joy flooding your heart? If your can’t remember, could it be time for you to give your attention to considering your own part in the wounding?

“You might distinguish between forgiveness as letting go of my right to hurt you back and reconciliation as that which requires the sincere intentions of both parties” John Ortberg

Someone needs to make the first gesture to reconcile. You can and probably should make the first gesture but also be aware of any attempt that they may be making to reach out to you. It only needs to be a small gesture. In time, there may need to be an honest conversation in which both listen to each other’s story. Often times the problem was miscommunication or misinformation. No matter who is found to be wrong, the apology and forgiveness need to be spoken. Death to pride is the key to having broken relationships reconciled.

If a person has wounded you or has been wounded by you and you have offered forgiving words or gestures to reconcile the relationship and they reject your effort, take it to Jesus. He understands. He made the ultimate gesture and was rejected. Jesus can heal you even if reconciliation does not happen.

Death to pride and position is the key for reconciliation when a wounder seeks forgiveness. It is necessary to be Christ like.
• Be approachable as Jesus is for you.
• Love those that have rejected you as Jesus loves you.
• Initiate the contact as Jesus does for you.
• Extend forgiveness to them before they ask for it as Jesus does for you.

We can’t force reconciliation or change someone’s heart or mind. The Lord can, therefore we should pray and wait, looking for opportunities and open doors.

No person should have so much power to cause you unpleasant attitudes or to cause any separation between you and God. Take it all to God in prayer.

Jesus always makes the first gesture to reconcile. Are you responding to His gestures? Are you in a relationship with Him and responding to His leading?

Don’t let anyone have the power to keep you from all God has for you. When we don’t have the strength to let go on our own, God will give us the strength that is needed. Let Go!

• Let go of bitterness toward those that caused you to view God differently than His true character. Get to know Him yourself.
• Let go of confusion and fear. These are not of God.
• Let go of your desire to justify and explain yourself. God is your redeemer.
• Let go of your emptiness. He has a plan and a purpose for you. He will fill your cup to overflowing.
• Let go of your desire for revenge. Vengeance is the Lord’s.
• Let go of your hardened heart toward those that have rejected you. Jesus understands. He was rejected like no other.
• Let go of your loneliness. God is the God of the fatherless and of the widow. He is your God also when there is no one else.
• Let go of resentment over the way others have treated you. Consider how Jesus was treated.
• Let go of the injustice. God is Just.
• Let go of unforgiveness toward those that have hurt you. Unforgiveness will hurt you more than them. Forgive as the Father has forgiven you.
• Let go of the hurt. God is your healer. He came to bind up the brokenhearted.
• Let go of the anger toward God for allowing your wounds. Those wounds will bring deeper faith and spiritual fruit. God is more concerned with your character than your comfort.
• Let go of your life dreams and embrace what God has for you. He will give you the desires of your heart.
• Let go of the past to move forward. God has a future for you.

Let go. Give it to Him.

Pharaohs of Life

We will face Pharaoh’s in this life that will want to have their way because of their prideful nature and lack of faith to be obedient to God. May the God of Abraham restore to you anything that is destroyed because of the Pharaohs that you encounter in this life. Allow those encounters to draw you closer to God. Do not allow them to harden your heart and become like Pharaoh himself. God will make you stronger in your faith because of your Pharaoh encounters. God is good. He does restore. The key for us is to allow Him to work.

Let no man…

  • come between you and God
  • cause you to stumble
  • have power in your life to keep you from what God has for you

May you be blessed.

Judicial Forgiveness and Relational Forgiveness

We have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and in order to escape the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23), we need forgiveness.
We have judicial forgiveness available to us from God that allows us to receive salvation because of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In order to be in close fellowship with Christ, we are in need of relational forgiveness. We have this by walking in the light He places on our path and in honest confession before God.
If we at anytime decide to be disobedient to what God tells us or we don’t walk in the light He reveals to us, we have disrupted that relational forgiveness. It is similar in human relationships. If we disagree with a sibling or spouse or friend etc., we are still their sibling, spouse or potential friend but the relationship is no longer the same. It becomes stressed, distant, or uncomfortable. Until honest confession is practiced, those negative aspects will remain and often grow within that relationship. With God and humans, when we aren’t remaining close then we are often becoming more distant.
If a disobedience/sin (disobedience is sin) separates us from God, we can’t ignore it and continue to hear from God in the same way as we once did. That disobedience/sin needs to be taken care of in order to reestablish the closeness that was once there. Often times the relationship will be more intimate than before.
It will always be our wrong decisions that will be the cause of a disruption in the peace we have with God because He will never be the cause of disunity. He is always the perfect part of the relationship.
God wants us to live at peace with Him and at peace with others. God wants unity. (John 17:23, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 3:4) Awesome thought of what could be accomplished in becoming “mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
With respect to people, we can only do so much to live at peace. It is not just based on one party because there is no perfect side to the relationship as in the relationship with God. We are called to do our part (Romans 12:18) as Christ commands and then leave the rest up to Him. We can love them and pray for them but the results are left up to God and their response to Him. God gives each of us the free will to choose to be obedient or not. We will know those that know Him if they are obeying His commands. (1 John 2:4-11)
In order to see the way God sees, we must hear what He says. (Romans 10:17) You have to be in His Word and have that close relationship with Him to know what He says and to have His perspective.