Friday, April 23, 2010

I know a good promise when I see it

One of my favorite passages that I have been reading over and over and over and over and over..

Know, recognize and understand therefor that the Lord your God, He is God, 

the faithful God, 

Who keeps covenant and steadfast love and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations

And repays those who hate Him to their face, by destroying them He will not be slack to him who hates Him, but will requite him to his face. You shall therefore keep and do the instruction, laws and precepts which I command you this day. And if you hearken to these precepts and keep and do them, the Lord you God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which He swore to you fathers. 

And he will love you, bless you and multiply you

He will also bless the fruit of you body and the fruit of your land, your grain, your new wine, and you oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. 

You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and non of the evil diseases of Egypt which you knew will he put on your, but will lay them upon all who hate you.

Deuteronomy 7:9-15

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We went to a Hillsong United concert last night.
Oh. my. gosh.

What an AMAZING experience.
What a feeling to look around and see every hand in the air worshiping.
The sound was unreal. It was perfect.

This song spoke to me a lot.
It was incredibly powerful and inspiring.

I was incredibly starstruck to as
each of them started singing, especially Jadwin Gillies. OMG.

Anyway. I hope you find a bit of truth in here and are encouraged.

I love the lines:
Turn from ourselves
Look beyond
There is so much more than this
More than this life there is love
There is hope and this is realAnd I don't need to see it to believe it..
This life is Yours and hope is rising

Ok I like all the lines...

Tear Down the Walls

Tear down the walls see the world

Is there something we have missed

Turn from ourselves

Look beyond

There is so much more than this

And I don't need to see it to believe it

I don't need to see it to believe it

Cause I can't shake this

Fire deep inside my heart

Look to the skies hope arise

See His majesty revealed

More than this life there is love

There is hope and this is real

Cause I don't need to see it to believe it

I don't need to see it to believe it

Cause I can't shake this fire burning

Deep inside my heart

This life is Yours and hope is rising

As Your glory floods our hearts

Let love tear down these walls

That all creation would

Come back to You

It's all for You

Your Name is glorious


Your love is changing us

Calling us

To worship in spirit and in truth

As all creation returns to You

Oh for all the sons and daughters

Who are walking in the darkness

You are calling us to lead them back to You

We will see Your spirit rising

As the lost come out of hiding

Every heart will see this hope we have in You

Monday, April 19, 2010

More bad news = my world didn't fall apart

Success.. at least a little.

OK- it's not ideal that I got yet another round of bad news today. 
It's not ideal that it has to do with money.
It's not ideal that it made my heart sink to the bottom of my toes.

But it is ideal that I wasn't shaken.

Usually, when I get any bad news at all lately about anything, I fall apart.
Mentally, I start having anxiety about whatever my mind
can grasp onto, blowing the smallest of troubles into monumental struggles.
Spiritually, I ask "Really, God. Are you not listening AT ALL?!?"
Relationally, I take it out on every one I know either by silence, 
withdrawal or with a short and hot temper that burns.

Just this morning I was singing this phrase over and over again in my mind:

"I will put my trust in you
I will put my hope there too
I will stand up on your word
And I will not be shaken"

So this mantra gets tested today.

I celebrate this, what may seem minor to most, 
HUGE victory in my spirit.
A visible change in spirit makes for undeniable changes in my actions.
Do I believe or do I just claim these verses that supposedly get me
 through my days of uncertainty and weak faith? 
Today I believed and it's slowly getting into my spirit and
 making me understand that continual repeated words of truth 
over my life have a profound effect on the way I handle 
the small set-backs and the major upheavals.

I will not be shaken.

Yes, a lump was in my throat at first and my eyes seemed
 a little watery but  I didn't give over to distress and "what if's".

I am finding a bit of truth even now to claim and believe:

Psalm 121:1-2
Where does my help come from? My help comes
 from the Lord the maker of Heaven and Earth.

 Psalm 16:8
I have set the LORD always before me. 
 Because he is at my right hand, 
I will not be shaken.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Working it out..

After talking with a friend last night at Bible study about different aspects of God’s character not easily being balanced in our Human brains, I started thinking more and more about this: the various and oh-so-confusing characteristics of God which sometimes just seem to contradict themselves!

So I asked God to give me wisdom about the situation

as I try to reconcile the two for myself because this is something I often struggle with.

So this is me, along with you trying to negotiate these two very different views and somehow truly understand, as much as I am able in my human mind, the character of my Redeemer.

He’s a perfect mix of everything.

A God of order. The Beginning and the End. The Perfector of my [sometimes weak] faith!

When thinking of God and my sin

God’s word says we were born into Adam and into sin…

The wages of sin is death — (Romans 6:23)

To pay the penalty for these sins (so we don’t have to) a sacrifice can be made, in the OT a blood sacrifice was required (Leviticus 4:35; 5:10)

But when this death penalty is paid, our sins have been totally removed from us — they don’t count anymore (Psalms 103:12)

That with Christ it was finished (John 19:30) He was the ultimate sacrifice (1 Timothy 2:6) — your sins were forgiven.

So what about God and the consequences?

Reaping what you sow is a completely different aspect, in my opinion.

For SURE God has the power to reverse all the effects of sin and death in my life at any given time. But we as Christians sometimes still make mistakes (which are already forgiven!) but the rule still stands, You reap what you sow.

What about God’s judgement?

Well I have nothing on my own to write. So I went to what is irrefutably correct

Romans 8:1 Therefore there is not no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:3-5 (NIV) ...Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

Rom 2:4 (LB) Don't you realize how patient he is being with you: Or don't you care? Can't you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.

Rom 2:4 Are you, perhaps, misinterpreting God's generosity and patient mercy towards you as weakness on his part? Don't you realize that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

2 Pet 3:15 Think of the Lord's patience as your opportunity to be saved.

1 Tim 5:24 Remember that some men's faults are obvious, and are equally obviously bringing them to judgment. The sins of other men are not apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface.

Job 33:27-30 ..."I sinned and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light of life." God does all these things to a man--twice, even three times--to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him."

Prov 28:13 (NIV) He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Luke 6:37-38 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Galatians 6:7-8: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

So if you sin, it will naturally work its course in your life. There will be consequences.

It's not a punishment or a curse. And according to what I read in scripture it tells me that I can never sin big enough to block out his grace and blessings in my life. It’s not like he’s up there waiting to judge me for not following his ways to a T. I should strive to do so through the Holy Spirit’s power though.

I looked for things under the "new covenant" that was about retribution and punishment and rules etc.

And I found some things but most of them are not about him doing away with the God of the Old Testament or the laws that it had but to fulfill it and make a way for us to actually be able to follow his laws and guidelines

‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to FULFILL.” Matt. 5:17

a blog I read put it like this:

"Jesus came to teach us how we could live the Ten Commandments in a new way. He came to renew the meaning of the Old Law and provide us with new understanding."

What about God and Grace?

He chastens those he loves but there is there a period of Grace to those who are “partakers in Grace”/ Christians?

I was thinking that maybe it's like an Ameren bill..if you don't pay on time, you have a grace period where you are covered. . Anytime in that period you can pay and not be penalized. What if God's chastening is sort of the same way? The grace period being a time when the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin and is trying to lead you to repentance. Being his children I know that we have full access to his grace. No matter when! We are covered (Romans 5:2). But when we sin we still have to repent not for salvation but to remove anything that is blocking or hindering in our relationship with God. If we don’t confess then we reap the consequences of our actions both in the spiritual realm, stalled growth in our faith or spiritual regression. We oftentimes see results in the earthly realm: strained relationships, misunderstandings, offense, hypocrisy, negative attitudes. Of course, all of this time we are still saved, still redeemed, still loved. (He chastens those he LOVES) and we always have the opportunity to start over with a “zero balance”, asking for his complete restoration in our relationship with him and in our relationship with others.

I often think

“God sure loves me extravagantly and can't stop thinking about how awesome of a new creation I am, he wants to lavish his love, grace, mercy, redemption on me”

{In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8}

Also…. there is also now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..

I Love Romans 8!

I looked up condemnation in my Key Word Study Bible and it means “no adjudging guilty of wrong.”

I also thought of the verse in 1 John that says perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with punishment. So we weren't really talking about fear per se last night but this verse implies that punishment has no place in perfect love (the love of Jesus Christ). Fear of punishment on the Day of Judgment, fear of punishment in daily life etc. He took my punishment for every sin I have committed or will commit. I am to be punished no more.

I also read this:

“Once the sins of the people had been paid for by the blood of an innocent sacrifice — they were completely forgiven AND forgotten by God.

The Psalmist writes in 103:12 (NASB):

"As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

That was in Psalms. Even in the Old Testament God was showing Grace to his believers! So I have a hard time believing he waits to punish me for my sin. Instead his Spirit is grieved and leads me to repent so I won't reap the consequences of my actions.

Christ died on the cross as the once and for all “payment” for ALL the sins of the world. Your sin, my sin, the world’s sin, past, present AND future! Your debt was paid by Christ’s blood.

"It is finished"

So the question to myself is:

Am I going to believe the Bible, God’s Word or my feelings?

I have to believe God’s words.

I know this.

There MUST be a perfect mix of Law and Grace because he came to fulfill the law with his grace to us.

This is just how I am working it out in my brain.

I may never figure it all out. But I have to believe every word that is in this book.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, 
       for his compassions never fail.

 They are new every morning; 
       great is your faithfulness.

  I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; 
       therefore I will wait for him."

  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, 
       to the one who seeks him;

  it is good to wait quietly 
       for the salvation of the LORD.

 It is good for a man to bear the yoke 
       while he is young.

  Let him sit alone in silence, 
       for the LORD has laid it on him.

  Let him bury his face in the dust— 
       there may yet be hope.

  Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, 
       and let him be filled with disgrace.

  For men are not cast off 
       by the Lord forever.

  Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, 
       so great is his unfailing love.

  For he does not willingly bring affliction 
       or grief to the children of men.
Lamentations 3:22-33