Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

Have you ever had something so devastating, so challenging happen to you that you were brought to your knees, crying out for help?

 

We are born into this world, all are born

Some have parents to care for them, other have caretakers

We have a home, some big, some very small

We go to school, some private, some public

We get a job, some climb the ladder, others scrape by

We get our own home, some own, some rent

We have our own children, some one, some more

We die, all will die

And history, the beat goes on…. It’s beyond our comprehension that we don’t really live here, that the here and now is just our temporary home, that we are passing through. I visualize it much like a train with people getting off at different stops to go to their eternal home. We wave them off knowing that we will see them one day soon.

The problem for most of us is that this is all we know as we build out nest (homes, investments, insurance, education,achievements, organizations). We create an insulation around our lives to protect and care for ourselves and our loved ones. However, when something tragic happens we realize we are not in control even as much as we’d like to think that we are. The time and effort we spend on controlling our lives is what can get us stuck, where desperation sets in, where hopelessness lives. One of the reasons that God commands us to love Him and seek Him is because he has eternal treasures He wants to instill on the inside of us. God is very clear about not becoming too wrapped up in this world.

The apostle John writes, “Do not to love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Why? “Because all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father, but of the world. And the world is passing away, and all that it craves; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn 2:15-17). In the first chapter of his letter, John tells us it is not possible to “claim fellowship with God” and pattern our lives after the world. He repeats this theme throughout his letter. He tells us we must “walk in the light” (1 Jn 1:7), and that we cannot simultaneously walk in the light and walk in darkness. As believers, we are not to love the world’s ways or the world’s goods. To John, the “world” represents everything that is contrary to a life of faith in God.

 Another reason we struggle with this injunction is because we have so little understanding of who we really are. For the most part, we still see ourselves as “creatures of this world,” even though the Bible says we are not of the world. Our day-by-day identification is still more with the world than with heaven. However, the more we continue meditating on the Word our comprehension of the fact that we are born from above increases, and we find ourselves saying, “I am not on earth for the purpose of simply enjoying all of its toys… I am not on the earth for the purpose of seeing what kind of an estate I can build… I’m on the earth to serve the One who redeemed me and walk intimately with Him. Progressively, I am identifying more with heaven and less with this world… I find that my affections are increasingly becoming set on things above, not on the things here below (Col 3:2-3). You see, we areon assignmentfrom heaven to show forth the will of the Father, and the life of Christ, in our mortal bodies. We only need the “material things of this world” as they are required to fulfill that assignment. We no longer identify with this world, and have no covetous lust for all the things that are in it. The truth of the matter is, we don’t feel at home on earth anymore. This environment of sin, sickness, war, politics, hate, and poverty does not seem “natural” to us anymore — neither does the deceitfulness of riches and the craving for other things.

God allows storms because oftentimes storms are what draws us closer to Jesus and wakes us up from our hedonistic views. He is opening our souls and if we are wise, changing our ways. Helping us to replace control for courage, fear for faith, hate for love, pessimism for passion, and death for life. Life is in Christ and Christ only.

Get into His word, let it wash over you, absorb into your being as it will bring you the true riches this world will never offer.

Life is amazing, and then it’s awful, and then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, let go through the awful, and relax during the ordinary. This is living! The heartbreaking, the soul- healing, it’s all beautiful if you hold onto God through it all. xo

Eckstrand cite

 

 

For over 100 years, all freshman Harvard Law Students were required to read all of Romans from the Bible. The assignment did not have anything to do with theology but the fact that Paul was the greatest debater.

Oftentimes God uses pain in our lives so that we cleave to Him. Tough times set the stage for dependence on our Father. Paul makes an indisputable argument in Romans about Jesus being the Lord of our lives. For many of us, we think after Salvation ( our past and future sins covered) that we can just live the way we want. I mean why not since ALL of our sins are forgiven but Paul adds this….

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

We think of Holy as being perfect or “over the top” Religion but what it really means is to be set apart from what the world says. See true freedom and joy comes only from pursuing Christ. Seek the Kingdom first and then all things will be given. It is about a relationship and as you build your relationship with Jesus, you will no longer want to do the things you once did. We are called to love God not the selfish value system. Do you love the things of this world and reject God and His people? Adam infected us all with a generational curse but the good news in Jesus came to save us and lead us back to Him. Grace Abounds does not mean we get to use the grace card limitless. Paul says by no means! What evidence do we have that Jesus is in fact our Lord? Is anything different or are you still doing what you’ve always done? We as Christians need to be grafted to the root. It’s very similar to marriage language. We are to quit laying back down in our filth and take off our grave clothes. Evil passions are dead.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said I am the abundant life.

Quit thinking of yourself as a sinner. If Jesus is your Lord tell all of your body parts to obey. And with your money don’t be greedy, be generous. And with your mouth bring life. And with your mind choose faith and not fear. So what then, are we to sin because we are under grace and not the law. No!

Augustine before he was a true believer used to run around town with different women. He is walking through a town post conversion and one of his old mistresses saw him and comes up to him and invites him to go with her “to spend time” together. He looked at her, ignored her and kept walking. She began to follow him thinking that maybe he forgot who she was. She gets right in front of him and says, But Sir it is I.” And he replies, “I know it is you but madame it is not I.” What he was saying is I don’t do those things anymore because I’m not that person anymore. I am a new creation, a new person.

Grace means we are free from sin not to sin. We all have a master we just get to decide who that is?

These are only 4 areas we struggle in that lead us into the pit, the death.

1. power- It’s all about you and what you have and what you will do to keep what you have ( ego). You have to win. You desire to be the most powerful person in the room and you are in competition with others.

2. control-Your way with your rules and your time table. Others suffer at the hands of your control- Idol in your life

3 comfort- You make sure your comforts are always met first not considering others and their needs.

4. approval- Your image, seeking the applause of others. It can mask itself with your home, car and your power. You are a slave to others (men) and things.

What do you really have to offer God? What does God owe us? Why go for power when we serve the most powerful. Isn’t it time for us to take our proper place?

We are not a citizen of this world, we are just passing through. God’s opinion alone is the only one that matters.

Holiness is not a hindrance to our freedom, it is the key. Go get the fire in your bones for Jesus as our days are numbered.

I asked God this morning, what do you want me to write about and this is where He led me. Not going to lie, felt convicted as I laid this all out. If we only have the love part and not the truth too, then it really isn’t love at all.

If you were to die tonight……

Do you really love God? Think about when you love someone, you want to spend time with that person. You want to put care into the relationship.

Are you sure you are going to Heaven? To be born again -that God will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. Jesus said to Nicodemus ” You need changing on the inside, and only The Holy Spirit can do that.” Being born from above is a supernatural act of God

If so, do you think there will be rewards for you? For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so each one may receive what is due for what he had done in the body whether good or evil.

What do you think God expects of you in the here and now? Do you obey his commandments?

Are you a good steward of this life you were given? How do you glorify God in your daily life?

Excerpt from Simplify

Solomon lists seven character traits that are so offensive to God, they should act as a red warning lights, flashing Danger! As I list these, see if there is a nudge in your own spirit. Remember it’s not just you, it’s also the company you keep. God wants us to keep watch on all areas of our life. We have to be alert to the enemy’s schemes. The enemy always starts with people that are far from God and then uses those people through enticing into which he destroys.

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush to evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

  1. Pride- do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Pride is corrosive and it does rub off. Do you have pride issues? Are your friends arrogant, full of pride and think they are of importance?
  2. Dishonesty- Most of us know to stay away from people who blatantly lie. But the Bible says is equally important for us to keep our distance from people who fudge the truth
  3. Mean- Spiritedness- Solomon warns us to be wary of people who use their power to exploit others. Beware of those who oppress the weak and the poor. Beware of individuals who throw their weight around and like to “stick it” to people. Is this you or someone you know?
  4. /5. Looking for trouble- Solomon warns about people who have no qualms about making a quick buck off someone’s else vulnerability or gullibility. Don’t justify by using words like “Free Enterprise” or ‘That’s within the law.” when you are clearly taking advantage

6.  Spreading gossip or slander- If someone is always giving you the lowdown on other people, you can be certain he or she is giving other people the lowdown on you. Keep     away from people who tell you the juicy stuff. We need to be truth tellers and confidence keepers.

7. Beware of anyone who spreads dissension- polarizing, pushy not gentle in spirit but wants only their way.

Now let’s turn this negative stuff on it’s head… Paul’s list or what we call the Fruit of the Spirit

love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This list is not for the faint of heart especially in a world that is more drawn to selfishness, violence and entitlement. We can change from the inside out by being Born again and daily time with Jesus. Don’t forget about the Pharisee’s who looked the part and acting the part but were corrupt on the inside. Remember, no matter a person’s character, he or she is of infinite value to God. God gets the last say not us. We just use good judgment on where people fit into our lives.

Here is a quick little repentance prayer if you are struggling in any of these areas. I know I am so I’m going to speak it!

Lord I repent of all the sin in my life. I repent of the sins that I know of, and the sins that I don’t know of. If there is any sin that I don’t know of, please bring it to my mind that I may repent. Please forgive me Lord of any pride, rebellion, vanity, jealousy, judging, distrust, prejudice, dishonesty, theft, greed, spiritual adultery or fornication, or any spiritual murder. In the name of Jesus Christ.

Please forgive me if there is any refusal or inability to forgive others. Please help me forgive as you forgive. I thank you Lord for washing me clean with the blood of Jesus Christ. I thank you Lord for creating in me a clean heart and renewing a right spirit within me, a spirit that will worship you, glorify you, and serve you for the rest of my life. In the name of Jesus Christ.

Thank You Lord for blotting out my transgressions for Your own sake, and that You will not remember my sins. In the name of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:25

Thank you Lord that If I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. In the name of Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:9

Thank you Lord that you forgive all my iniquities, you heal all my diseases, you redeem my life from destruction, and crown me with loving-kindness and tender mercies, You satisfy my mouth with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. In the name of Jesus Christ. Psalm 103:2-5   

Restoration

I thank you Lord that you will completely restore my soul and spirit so that I may fully serve You. Please help me overcome my past and heal me so that nothing hinders your plan and purpose for my life.

 

 

 

It’s all going to be okay…. wait not okay… Who wants just okay? I sure don’t. I want all that God has for me and let me assure you He’s a big God with a Big imagination. There is simply nothing that He cannot do. I am sorry to disappoint you if you have been living differently but you don’t have to. See, here’s the solid truth, the real deal, not some man made version, or scientific fact but God’s word, His promise. We were made for more! Get on your knees, or in your favorite chair, or go lay in the grass but start asking God….

Why am I here?

What is my gift/s?

Show me how to be used by you?

Set fire to my passions that possibly have been dormant for years or decades. Unleash your power, Lord

Don’t walk but run towards your creator. Stop living offended or wishing you had someone else’s life. It’s insulting to God because He created you, set you apart for purpose, with intent. Get up, get up, get up and move! See you stay stuck when you don’t move. You may say “Well, that’s great advice and all but I don’t know where to move to?” “My life is a mess and I can’t even pick my head up let alone my heart off of the floor.” I understand because I have been there and will possibly be there again. Listen Up! This is what you do, my precious little peanut butter cookie, ( I really like peanut butter cookies so thought I would add that term of endearment) You pull yourself out of bed, put on your yoga pants, throw your hair in a messy bun, please brush your teeth and drive to the bookstore. Walk inside and buy a (NIV) Life Application Bible. From there, go get yourself a cup of coffee, latte, or tea and sit down with your “Key.” The key is the word of God and it is ALIVE. Start anywhere, I don’t care and neither does God. After you have spent at least 30 minutes in the word ( really no more than that in the beginning, we want you coming back), get back into your car and turn your Spotify off and talk to Jesus. It does not matter what you say because He is well aware of what is hurting you. Do you want His help? That is what moving forward is all about. You are not suppose to know about tomorrow so stop living there and see what God wants to reveal to you today. It is treasure that is not from this world and the minute you experience “His treasure” you will never be the same. Yes, it is that powerful and life giving, nothing will ever compare once you see the power of God front and center in your own life. God wants to be Glorified. Do you think God wants to leave you in despair, lacking? Not a chance because you are His most valuable of all creation. Get it into your mind that you are an Heir!

Each day you make a conscious choice of moving closer to Him, the shackles will start to fall away, the pain will diminish, the change will come. I say these last two words with love, only love….NOW MOVE