Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are you wearing your wedding garment?


To know to do the right and yet make a choice to do wrong is rebellion. The Word of God is very clear in what is right and what is wrong, yet so many times we as a rebellious people will still choose wrong instead of right, thus choosing death instead of life. God gives us an example in His Word of a rebellious attitude.

Mt. 22:11-14 (Amp.) But when the king came in to view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment. And he said, Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the [appropriate] wedding garment? And he was speechless (muzzled, gagged). Then the king said to the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.

This man knew that in order for him to come to the wedding feast he was required to honor the the king by wearing the appropriate wedding garments.

This parable use to bother me until the Lord gave me understanding on it. I use to think, "poor man he just forgot to put on the appropriate clothes, give him a break." But no, this man was a rebellious man. He was insensitive and he didn't want to honor the king and change his garments. He said to himself, "I can wear what I want to wear, and I don't care what he desires, or who he is."

Sure, we can wear what we want for that is our choice, but don't be surprised when the king throws you out into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Weeping because you have been caught in your rebellion and now you are paying the price. And grinding of teeth because this angers you. Aren't we entitled to do what we want, and who is to tell us any differently! This is the attitude of the world and sadly the same attitude in many churches.
The last verse goes on to say "for many are called but few are chosen". It was this man's choice to be chosen or not. All it took was honoring the king by placing upon himself the appropriate garments. It was his choice and he made the wrong one and knew better.

What garments are you wearing? Are they honoring the King or are they honoring yourself and or the enemy? Are we wearing garments that was given to us by the world, man or the enemy and not garments that were given to us by our God? Are we clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus? Are we clothed with the garments of salvation? Do we have on our garment of Praise unto our God? Are we clothed with Jesus, which is the armor of God? Jesus is our helmet of salvation, Jesus is our breastplate of Righteousness, Jesus is our belt of Truth, for He is the Truth. Jesus is in whom we have faith, He is our shield of faith. Jesus is our shoes of Peace. Jesus is the sword of the Spirit, for He is the Word of God which became flesh and dwelt among us. When God looks upon us if we are not clothed in the garments of His Son we will be cast out into the outer darkness. To be invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb we must be clothed with God's beloved Son, who is Christ Jesus in us our hope of Glory. No man can come to the Father except through His Son Christ Jesus, who is our Lord and our Savior!

Ask yourself, am I wearing garments of rebellion, anger, unforgiveness, immorality, power, control, greed, manipulation, bitterness, pride? Could I be wearing garments of condemnation, unworthiness, shame, fear? Even these garments are not honoring your King.

God knows us inside and out for He is our Creator God, so may we choose the garments which His Son made for us. They are just the right size, and the most beautiful of garments in His sight, and they fit perfectly! May we honor our God and make His Son Jesus our identity.

For who or what we make our identity is who we honor. For what is on the inside, will show forth on the outside. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. For what comes out of us is what defiles us.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

4 Things To Know And Do That Will Totally Transform Your Life


1) Have Faith and Confess:

If you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead you will be
saved. (Romans 10:9 amp.).

2)Receive the Gift of God:

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life (John 3:16 amp.).

For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23 amp.).

For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgement and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8 amp.)

3) Know that You are not condemned:

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possess now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgement [does not incur sentence of judgement, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life (John 5:24 amp.).

THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit (Romans 8:1 amp.).

4) Know that You are divinely pardoned of sin:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will and purpose, thought, and action] (1 John 1:9 amp.).

Now that is some really good news!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Becoming Calm And Submissive Goes For Humans Also

Picture of our daughter Jaci and Jack

Our puppy Jack anticipates his play times through out the day. In the mornings when I rise, he knows that soon he will get to play with his football, but every morning before our play my husband and I have coffee together before he goes off to work. Jack does not like my coffee time with hubby, he  whines and is very impatient. He will climb on my leg, look up at me and then eye the place where he knows we keep his football. If I get up and move around he is right at my heels impatiently whining. I spoke to him the other morning and said, "Jack you know how all this works, that when you become calm and submissive then I will play with you but until then you are going to have to wait and be patient." Yes.. I do talk to my dog that way but I'm not sure if he really understands me, it seems like he does sometimes, and when that happens it's pretty amazing! It usually isn't very long that if I continue with my business and ignore him that he will eventually surrender and lay down but not before he lets me know just how frustrated he is as he lets out a long and loud errrrrrrrr......"sigh." You know the sound Snoopy makes on the Charlie Brown cartoons when he gets frustrated. When Jack has been in his calm submissive state for a while that is when I will arise get his football and the fun begins.

That particular morning when those words came out of my mouth: "That when you become calm and submissive Jack then we will play" it was as if the Holy Spirit spoke in to my spirit and said, "This is what I am waiting on when it comes to you. A lot of times we can be just like Jack, we whine, we get impatient, we fret, beg and plead when we want something. But God is saying "be still, be at peace and stop being so impatient and rest my child and wait on me." "I am here and I hear your cries and I care very deeply and want to give you the desires of your heart but you must learn to be patient, calm and wait." You know the verse, "Be still and know that I Am God." God does long to move on our behalf in His own time and in His own way, if we would just be patient and learn of Him. When we are running around like a crazed chicken, God does have a way of getting our attention, if we would just stop long enough to listen and hear Him say "be still and get your eyes back on me."  Sadly, we ignore His voice sometimes and settle in our mind that we will do things our way which eventually leaves us feeling frustrated and stressed, which is really the opposite of faith.

What is the purpose, you might ask, for such a lesson in being calm and submissive? Simply, I would say that it's a lesson in obedience and reverence to God. Trusting Him to do what He wills for us in His own time. His Word says that His plans for us are for our good and not our harm and to give us a hope and a future, and that we are going to be taken care of no matter what. We have so much to gain by not fretting and worrying whether God is listening to us or not. Peace is one thing to gain, which is huge! Know my friend, without doubt that God is listening and that He sees and cares. Know this, That the Word says, "That if we delight ourselves in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart." But before God gives us the desires of our heart, we should ask ourselves this question: "Are we delighting ourselves in Him or are we just expecting Him to delight Himself in us"? For the Word says to delight "yourself" in the Lord "and" He will give you the desires of your heart.

Is there any harm in God teaching us a little bit of patience, respect and honor when waiting on Him, after all He is our Heavenly Father, our Creator and worthy of our reverence and honor. Be honest, is not this a good character building lesson for all of us to learn? Just look at the world around us, there is so much dishonor and disrespect for others. One example I can think of is the protests that have been taking place at the funerals of soldiers. This is blatant dishonor of the soldiers and their families who have died in battle. All this under the guise of free speech, how sad it is! This is only one example, I can think of so many more but they would be too numerous to list.

What about when it comes to our Heavenly Father? Haven't we all demanded things of God, throwing our temper-tantrums and sighs of frustration, when we don't agree or have questions and are not getting from Him exactly what we think we should have, oh, and in the timely matter we expect? As if the Creator of the heavens and earth is working the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant for our convenience. Be honest now.. I will admit that I have. But does God hold this against us? I don't think so, He's a great and awesome God who knows our weaknesses and He loves us unconditionally despite them. His mercy and grace are always more than sufficient for us. If I don't hold it against my puppy why would God hold it against me. He loves us more than all of His creation. Remember this, just because God doesn't hold our impatience toward Him against us, that doesn't mean that He won't use it as a lesson in teaching us something, and sometimes the lessons can be tough ones to learn and endure. When the flesh starts screaming the best thing to do and to do quickly is to "Be still and know that He is God" and remember that He is in the midst and that He hears and does care for us!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I See Love


What do you see when you hear or read about Jesus and His death on the cross? Many do not understand the love portrayed on the cross, they only see violence and absurdity. They hold a disdain and a disgust in their heart. I didn't ask you to die for me they exclaim. Many do not understand why those of us who call themselves Christians are drawn to such brutality. Those Christians they will say, are sick, and to glorify such violence is an atrocity, and to even call themselves a Christian is absolutely wrong. How can they do that? They are supposed to be loving and caring yet they look at this brutal death as the bases of their faith. When the Passion of the Christ first came out this was what many were saying, and they would ask the question how can you watch this stuff? They said to much blood, to much brutality. How can you sit and watch a man be tortured and killed in that way? The reply is simple: you may see disgust but I see love. The Bible says that For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). We see the cross as the starting point to a changed life. Some look to themselves to change their own lives. You know the old adage; "If it is going to be it's up to me." So they spend their whole life trying to save themselves when they really know they can't. Something inside of each one of us screams to the truth. Our sinful nature tells us we need a Savior outside of ourselves. For we see love on the cross for by His words; "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing." This was love in it's purest form. Even to the point of death Jesus was thinking of us as he looked through the millenniums to see the result of this one work. No more were our sins just covered but now they would be cleansed. He humbled Himself and took upon him the job of a servant to show our Father's absolute love for us. To reconcile us to Him again.

But alas because we have been given a free will to accept or reject this greatest gift of love the vast majority will reject the work of the cross because of a myriad of excuses. And some hold to the viewpoint that as long as they are denying the cross they can claim ignorance, even though they are not ignorant they will play it off as an excuse even when they know the truth. So very sad isn't it?

My husband was having a conversation with an older man, he was about 70 years of age. The conversation began with the man asking questions about Jesus and how He was born and how He could be man but God at the same time. If you know my husband this was the beginning of a joyous conversation for he takes great delight in talking to people about Jesus/the Word of God. My husband answered his questions so simply it was beautiful, I was smiling inside thinking wow! what an opportunity he has been given to share the Gospel with someone, for I knew how much my husband loves leading people to the Lord. As the questions and answers continued my husband began sharing his own testimony and experience when he was converted. It was at this point the attitude of the man went from curiosity to being defensive and telling my husband that he was preaching to him but wasn't going to convert him because he didn't believe anything he was saying. My husband graciously said that he was not trying to convert him but only sharing his own experience of conversion. The man began saying: "you Christians think your way is the only way and that everyone who doesn't believe this stuff about Jesus and the cross is bound for hell". "Isn't that what you believe" the man demanded? It was at that point that I chimed in and said, "we believe what the Bible says and yes the Bible says that Jesus is the only way that one can be saved and enter into heaven". "Well" he said, "I don't believe any of that". My husband asked, "have you ever read the Bible"? "No" the man said because I have heard that it is the most difficult book for any one to understand. "Why don't you try reading it" my husband said "and see for yourself if it is difficult to understand"? The man avoided that question and said, "you all know that what you believe makes you the minority don't you"? I said, "Yes and that is alright because we don't mind being the minority when it comes to our beliefs". My husband then said, "the Bible does say the way into life everlasting is the narrow way and only few go there in, so we rejoice in being the minority". He began telling us that he believed he was going to go to heaven because he was a nice person and doesn't treat people bad, therefore that gave him license that in death he would make heaven his home. By the way this man claimed to be agnostic and nothing more. The conversation ended at this point but hopefully a seed was planted and he will continue to think about what was said. This is just one example of one person's idea about the cross. Paul the Apostle hit the nail on the head when he said, how those who are perishing think the preaching of the cross is foolishness. I hope and pray that this man goes from perishing to living in the power of God and will see the cross as love for him before it is to late.

No greater love than this............. and Jesus opened his arms and died on a cross for us, but it did not end there that was only the beginning for you and me.