Saturday, May 03, 2008
But now I get it.... A friend of mine loaned me a book called ONE THING YOU CAN'T DO IN HEAVEN.
I say I love the Lord with my mouth and I say that I really believe in Jesus and I say that love my neighors and family. But words are easy. If I really loved them like I say I do then I would be sharing the gospel with them.
God has called us ALL to be missionaries whether its across the seas or in our own home. If we have heard and believed the gospel then we are qualified and expected to share it.
If we believe in God and his Son, Jesus Christ, then we believe that what the bible says is true. And if we believe that then we must believe that Hell is a very real place and those that don't put their faith in Christ will go there when they die. If we read our bible we know that we are not promised our next breath. That each breath we breathe could be our last and once we breathe our last breath there are no more chances. There is an urgency to sharing the gospel... it can't wait forever.
I have often bought into the lie of tolerance. And by that I mean to say.. that I felt some how wrong in sharing my faith with others that I presumed weren't going to be open to it. I didn't want people to feel offended, because I believe that their beliefs are wrong. But there is absolute truth and everyone needs to hear it. and who am I to judge who is open to it or not. Only God knows a heart. All I can do is lovingly share the truth that I know with everyone I meet.
Its a scary undertaking to face those people who are lost and present the gospel... especially if its family or close friends. But if we pray for God to open their hearts and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can't loose. If they give their hearts to God... we win. If they promise to think about it... we win (we have planted a seed). If they get mad and stomp off ... we win (I'll betcha they are thinking about what we have said and besides we have been obedient and we can't control others, just ourselves)
So step out and share your faith.... that's what I am going to do.
Monday, April 28, 2008
If you've had questions about the whole book that have been unanswered then this will probably clarify alot of things. It did for me.
So here's the link.....gregboyd.blogspot.com
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I have been loading myself up with 'works' over the past few years thinking that I am pleasing God with all that I do. But in truth alot of the 'works' actually separate me from Him not draw me to Him. God's ultimate priority for me is to have a close and intimate relationship with Him. And whether I am busy with worldly things or busy with church things.... busy is still busy. Busyness leads me to believe that I just don't have the time to spend in prayer or reading the bible, because I need to 'do' something for God.
Kind of comical when you really think about it. What could I do for God? Hmmmm. He created and sustains the entire universe. He is sovereign over all time. His breath sustains my very existence. The list goes on and on... and yet some how I have allowed myself to believe that I am just to busy 'doing' things for Him to spend time with Him. OOOhhhh, pride is such a sneaky, nasty little sin.
But here is the backsliding confession.... after years of backsliding I convinced myself some how that the grace that God merifully provided for me thru His Son, Jesus Christ, wasn't enough. That God couldn't possibly just forgive me...like it says nearly a billion times throughout scripture (that goes back to that whole brightest bulb thing). Confession and repentence couldn't possibly be what God wanted. He wanted me to do things... lots of things... make up for lost time... I had to pay Him back some how for all the years I have missed out on.... man...I am dense. (That plan is not found in the bible anywhere. I guess I must have just wrote my own chapter.)
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
I think it goes back to the whole "Babel" mentality. They thought they could work hard enough to build a structure, a tower, that would reach to God. But just as they didn't have a hope of doing so neither do I. I could work 24/7 for the entire rest of my life and never accumulate enough works to please God or satisfy His requirements. All those works stacked up would barely even get me off the ground. If that is my motive and mindset for service then my service is in vain.
The only hope I have is thru Christ. He knew I'd never be able to satisfy the requirements of God's holy law, so instead of encouraging me to work harder and just 'do my best', He went to the cross to bear something that I could never carry... the weight of my sin along with everyone else's. My only hope still is in Christ... thru His covering.
I don't say all of this to say that works aren't important. But our motives for service are everything. First, God wants me broken and humbled so that I can confess and repentent of sin... and then when my heart is clean and my relationship with God is restored that's when the works happen... but only with the right motive. Because I am so grateful for God's mercy that I want to please Him... which means no works of any kind can come between me and God. They can't steal His time. And they have to be His will... not mine.
ALL SERVICE IS FUELED BY SITTING AT THE FEET OF JESUS. Our time with God and time in prayer and the word feeds our service. If we have no relationship with God or we've minimized it until its negligible then the things we do lack power... that of the Holy Spirit. Only works that God calls us to do that we do with pure motives will last thru eternity.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
freedom of speech
Current mood: thankful
As Americans we have freedom of speech. We believe it is our right to say what ever we choose when we choose it and to whom we choose it .... but God has a little different perspective on our "freedom of speech".
Ephesians 4:29-31 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.
Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
I have been memorizing this scripture and let me tell ya... its alot easier to memorize than it is to live.
The part about not talking dirty isn’t that hard for me now, but years ago I cursed like a sailor and said things that would make a sailor turn shades of red, but thankfully I have been able to clean the profanity out of my speech... but the next part is the one that gets me. "Say only what helps, each word a gift."
OOOHHHH... now that’s a tough one. When I yell at the kids or I am sarcastic to my husband that’s not being a ’help’ or I am critical of a friend or judgemental towards an enemy. that’s not exactly using my words as a gift.
Forgiving people when we feel justified in our anger is the hardest. When the world is constantly telling you that you have every "right" to be mad and hold a grudge. The world would have you believe that you are a fool for extending forgiveness to someone that has wronged you. But... that’s exactly what God has called us to do.....
So I guess the big question is... who do we believe to be true... the world or God?
Friday, March 21, 2008
I found this quote.......
Does God really love us? I say look to the crucified Jesus. Look to the old rugged cross. By every thorn that punctured His brow. By every mark of the back lacerating scourge. By every hair of his beard plucked from his cheeks by cruel fingers. By every bruise which heavy fists made upon His head. God said, "I love you!" By all the spit that landed on his face. By every drop of sinless blood that fell to the ground. By every breath of pain which Jesus drew upon the cross. By every beat of His loving heart. God said, I love you. ---Billy Lobbs
I am so thankful that my Savior did not come to be served like an earthly king and sit in a castle on top of a hill, gaurded and gated. He didn't separate Himself from the ordinary and afflicted and sinful. He ate with the tax collectors, gave forgiveness and hope to the adulterer, and healing to the blind, lame, and sick.
He came to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. I am so thankful that even though He could have called legions of angels or literally just struck dead His persecuters at any point He choose to endure the suffering and the shame so that I might have a right relationship with the Father and spend eternity in His presence in heaven where there is no suffering, no tears, no pain, or sickness.
When people who don't know Jesus look at the cross I wonder what they see..... violence, ugliness... I am not sure. But when I look at the cross I am overwhelmed by the love and compassion that the Lord has for all of us sinners.
And although it is a sad day in itself, because our Savior was crucified....we don't have to stay sad long.. because in the famous words of S M Lockeridge, it may be friday now.... but "Sunday's comin!!"