Archive for the ‘Sharing General Thoughts’ Category

h1

03-26-06 He Created Us Anyway

April 26, 2011

How incredible it is to live of a light we are undeserving of. I think of how our God sees us in this world of sin and loves us regardless. I think of how He called each of us according to His will. I ponder on what little view I have of the great plan which He has. To have created this being, the homo Sapien, standing erect to be a reflection of the creator in all that it does; God knowing full well that we would fall into a mire of sin and that we would turn away from Him in disobedience, still chose to create us. For what purpose? As a Christian, I know my purpose is to reflect Him to this world and to grow in closeness to Him; to glorify Him. I know that I am to show love and to be fruitful and to make disciples of all nations and yet I still ponder the larger question: If this is my purpose, then it is to say that there will be those that fail in connecting to God (even though He has laid a bridge for the gap that sin caused) and they will spend an eternity in the hell fire. Other wise, I would have no calling to reach them. But, God knew this before creation. He knew that his created would fail and be torn away from their relationship with Him. He knew that because of His own just and perfect nature, the sin in us would cause separation and eternal damnation. He knew that there would be those that after realizing this fact, would still turn away from Him and run to the opposer. He knew that His creation would accept Satan, reject God, and cause their own eternal demise. And yet, He created the creation anyway. Without placing any correction on this seeming design flaw that He knew we would have. Why?

Why give life by a spirit, and the free will to choose from good and bad if He knew that so many would choose a path that led to destruction? The question has perplexed me since childhood.  I’ve asked those in the authority of many churches under God and have received many answers, ranging from, “for His glory”, to, “how can you question the perfect plan of God?”. These are not answers though. They are way around answering what one may choose not to admit they don’t know the answer to. I have pondered long enough and searched scripture long enough to come to many of my own non-conclusive answers. Theories. That’s all they are. It is not detrimental to my choice to serve the almighty King, that I receive one single, final conclusive answer that brings understanding on this. That, I believe is my conclusion. I have known the Lord for some time and have come to know a portion of His personality through both experience and the scriptures. I love, fear, and trust in Him. I can say this not only because the Bible tells me I can trust Him, but because He has reveled it to me in life’s experiences. He has shown that His sovereignty can be trusted in. And, by that very nature will I know that He has purpose in the creation of the human race that is beyond my understanding or knowledge. Knowing that it is not detrimental to my walking with the Lord, I have to choose faith.  I have to understand that there will be things that I don’t understand. You see, because I am a human, I often have the desire to be in control of not only myself, but also everything around me (and if you are honest, this is probably true of you too).  I have a curiosity which can be a positive thing but often drags me into researching what I need not know. Things that can drag me down if I let them and can cause me to involve myself in meaningless argument and quarreling. These things, I must let go. I must lay them at the foot of the cross and say to my Lord, “I need only you. I do not need to be in control of your plan. I need only follow the guidelines you have given me in this plan as to fulfill your purpose for me in your timing. I trust in you. Fully.”

h1

03-28-06 Should I boast of what I have?

May 28, 2010

When you read my blogs, please know that I am no better and speak of myself as well.

Of what should I boast? Let me not boast to you of any possession that I have or of any deed that I have done or of any prayer that I have prayed or of any soul that I have saved, for I am nothing. If there is any good you find in my life or your own, then please, let the credit be given to the producer of all good things. Give glory where glory is due. When you receive blessings in life, do not show them to the world, then take credit, and then hoard them. If you have ten rooms in your home, you have been blessed in material possessions. Do not boast of the great home you provide. Instead fill those rooms with those in need of shelter. Praise God for His grace on you and on them who can receive. Share His blessings and give Him all the credit and all the Glory due His name. There is none other that will be found to whom the credit is due. Be warned that your material blessing is not your possession, lest it become an idol of mammon. If you say, “but I worked hard to get where I am”, well, who made you capable to work? “But I ate well and attended the best collages money could buy and I alone have managed my finances so well.”, you say. Who provided for you the food? Which of your family brought you your good health and provided you the vessel that is your body that you may stand? Who provided you longevity and guided your steps that you not faulter from the plan they laid before you? Who in their own perfection molded your characteristics by the exact chemistry of support around you through your entire life and measured to you the exact weight of hardships to grow through? Name Him that provided your life and you have named Him to which you should give all glory. Do not conceal your possessions. They are not yours to bury deep as a talon unprofitable for our master. They are being given temporarily into your hand for stuartship. You will be tested. Are you wise enough to take proper care of His blessings and multiply them to those that are in need. If you were blessed with a gift in humor and choose to never help people to laugh, then you have sinned and have shown God by example that you do not value His gifts to you. If you have been given food abundantly and yet pass by those that beg for food, then you have told God that you do not value His gifts to you. Just because you pray a quick prayer of thankfulness before eating your meal, doesn’t mean you are thankfull. But, it is by what you do with this life and how you do it that you will show God you are thankful. The Bible speaks of the eye and of the heart. Let not your eye be of your own gain lest it show where your heart is.

If I am thankful that He has saved me from an eternity in hell, will I only lift my hands in church on Sunday? If I have seen what He has done and if I have felt His love and come to understand what grace really is, then if I am thankfull for this I will share it with the world. I will tell and show others His love. If I understand that I am nothing apart from Christ and that all I have is without value should it not be used to His glory, then is it not fitting that everything I am and all that I have should be shared and reflect the life of Christ that He may receive the glory and that others may see and choose to partake in this life. Am I not salt? I do not want to loose my flavor and become trampled uselessly under foot. If I am salt, then I am to salt the oats to cause hunger in others. How then do I cause hunger by closing my doors and buying new things for myself that I may live more comfortably in my home? Do we not have a world of people that do not know Christ and yet do this very same thing? What is the result of that action? Jelousy? Envy? Hate? Theft/crime? What if we instead open our doors and share all that is given to us with the world? What if we use those extra seats in the blessing of a car to pick up persons and transport them all the way to their destination? That’s time to witness of His great love. What if we open the fridge and set a few more places at the dinner table for a few people we don’t know that could use the food? That’s time to witness. What if we have compassion beyond the few dollars in our pocket, and we choose to offer a bed for that person in need? That’s time to witness; to show by example what life in Christ is. Why hand these people a bible track and then walk away? That is not causing a desire to know where this great joy you have is coming from. Salt the oats. Let them take part in the blessings the Lord provided you. Let them see that you’ll not hoard it for yourself; that you trust in God with good cause. Let them see that you smile at being able to be used for the service of the Most High. Let them hear you give glory to God for all of it. Don’t do these things to receive thanks or more blessings. Simply do them because both in the text of the Word of God as well as in your heart, you know that this is what Jesus would do. Give of your selves and of your blessings because it brings joy to someone, just as it brought joy to you to receive undeserving. There is no question to it. Jesus shared all that He had and gave thanks to God. He didn’t store up treasures and lock a door. He didn’t leave message on someone’s door step telling them that He loved them. No. He showed them that He loved them. He showed them that God is good. He showed them how to live. And because Jesus showed them, people converted. People were saved. It is because Jesus lived the example that you are saved today. He is our example and we are to be like Him. How then do you intend to reach all nations with the message of the nessecity of salvation when you have not reflected Christ in your own city? We constantly pass them by. They are everywhere. The unsaved scream from their hearts, “Give me a reason to believe!” and we see it and keep walking. Signs saying, “please, help me”. And we hand them a $20 bill. What?!! $20 will not save them. $20 will not cause them to desire the salvation of Christ. $20 will not provide them a bed, or ride to church every week or to Bible study or to fellowship with those who are living the example that is to cause a desire to seek Christ. What is there to fear that we as Christians disengage with the unsaved that are dying around us. Have we forgotten that this life isn’t about us but about Christ? Have we forgotten our primary purpose? I see these actions and can’t help but to feel like Christians are just paying the rest of the world off, to not persecute us. Don’t you see it? You have been blessed with a home and with food and with money and with love and with joy and with characteristics and with clothing and with knowledge and with wisdom and with blankets and with pillows and with electronics and with a career and so much more that is lacking in others lives and it is your duty given on the authority of God himself, that you share it with the world. You are blessed. I am blessed. If you are thankful, then share it, for it doesn’t belong to you. The blessings are God’s for you to share. If you have an extra seat in your car than it should be filled when you are going to church. Your trash cans should not have that old pair of shoes you never wore in them. There is someone walking on blisters without shoes or even socks. Such waste in this world today. Don’t waste God’s blessings. Please, please family, share what He has given you. Do not boast of what you have earned, for apart from Christ, you have earned nothing. It is Him that has granted you life and it is for Him that your life should be lived. If you truly trust in Him and are truly thankful, then give of all that you have and all that you are and trust Him to multiply your efforts that others may see Him in you. Trust Him to provide for you. You will not loose blessings in what you give. You will however, loose in what you keep.

h1

04-11-06 The trickster is at work – don’t let him fool you

April 11, 2010

When you read my blogs, please know that I am no better and speak of myself as well.

In self examination a couple years ago, I found much left wanting in my life. I was saddened by my position and felt that I was not doing any where near enough. (whatever “enough” means) I felt that I had far too much sin in my life. Knowing that even one sin was too much. I was in a disagreement with my wife, unbeknownst to her, and was storing bitterness. I was spending too much time on the computer and not enough time with my family or in ministry to others. I was self indulging and becoming lazy whilst judging others for their laziness. I sought bigger and better possessions while judging those with great ownership in this world. “Oh you hypocrite!! How dare you present yourself before the Lord as a child of God!?”, I yell to myself. I saw all these things and more in me and knew that I was blind to a great deal more that the Lord could see. I was ashamed of myself and felt like hiding as if I was Adam in the garden of Eden. I kept careful eye to not add to my sins the sin of guilt, which I knew Satan was intending on dropping off on my back. I came before the Lord, quite humbled by the dissatisfaction in seeing how sinful I was. It was not my usual tone of prayer by any means. I confessed my inadequacy. I confessed my faults. I begged and pleaded that I should be delivered that I would no longer ask for more blood of my Savior. It has been poured out and yet I continue reaching up to squeeze just one more drop from His robe and thus nullify any belief that His death was enough. Hebrews talks about this and tells me of a fearful expectation of hell fire and I am filled with fear. I have sobbed at His feet, fearful and expectant of the punishment I deserve. And as I look on it with hindsight, I see something that I didn’t see before.

Not only was my self hatred not asked for of the Lord, but rather it was senth of Satan. Tricky devil. Satan had placed in me these feelings of inadequacy, and I allowed him to do so. He had clothed my eyes in the lie that the gap was no longer bridged by the cross. How could I have been so blind to the truth? When Jesus died on that wooden cross, He took my sin of past, present, and future. Now, don’t mis understand me. Being upset and recognizing your sins is not a bad thing. It is when you take that feeling and carry it as your focus that you have insulted God. You have at that point told Him that the death of His Son simply wasn’t good enough for you. You have admitted to God that you believe His word to be a lie because you have showed Him that you believe it is only by your own works that you deserve the right to come before Him. The Bible tells us differently. Don’t let the devil fool you. God has said that Jesus’ blood was enough for you. God has said that you are adopted at this belief. God has said that you are forgiven at repentance. He has told you that He knows you will make mistakes and that He loves you anyway. He has told you not only that you can come to Him, but also that He wants you to. He doesn’t just want recognition, He wants a relationship. A closeness that only occurs if you stay connected. Satan tried to disconnect me from that relationship by convincing me that my God wasn’t who I knew Him to be. But I am reminded and I am floored at the thought that the all powerful God of creation has allowed the created to exist and offered salvation freely for all who would recognize this sacrifice made. I am touched deeply by a hand not my own and am filled with a joy undescribable as the realization brings light into every darkness in me. The hidden is made plainly seen and Satan’s plan is destroyed by the truths in scripture (the sword of the Spirit). It is no longer sin of my own, but it has been taken from me that I might (despite the thorns) lift my head up and smile that my God’s grace is sufficient. I smile and in confussion shed tears as I know my sin is great but am told that I am accepted and that there is nothing and no one that can take that from me. The sins that Satan has placed as strongholds will be removed in time. My past is proof. God’s word is proof. As I look back at who I was without Christ and examine again who I am now in comparison, I can see that it was no lie that He has begun a great work in me. What reason would I have to believe that He would not continue that work? He has washed me. He is now molding me, making continuous changes to fulfill His purpose. I am happy to be in His hands and I do not need to feel a failure. I will stumble at times, but it is not of my self that I will succeed in His will. It is by His power; His Spirit working mightily through me that my failures seize. Remind myself time and time again from this point on, “not of myself, but of God. Not my good works, but His working through me. Not my yoke, but His. His burden is light. Satan!!! You are a liar!! You have been called out and can be seen plainly!! Your attack is failed. Get thee behind me!! I live in Jesus Christ, by whose name you are commanded, ‘leave!!”

h1

03-25-06 The Blessings That Be

March 25, 2010

When you read my blogs, please know that I am no better and speak of myself as well.

The thorn.. The wretched man. The detestable sins. How disgusted I am when I look through the Biblical mirror at my life. When I search out who I am through God’s eyes, I am not well pleased by a servant who is good and faithful. Instead, I am filled with heartfelt tears as I view this life I live. I am full of sin. I am not righteous in even the least bit. I am an adulterer to God, constantly “cheating” on Him with this world. And I don’t sneak around about it either. I do it right in front of His face. Seeking to gain riches that He has told me not to gain because He will send angels of destruction (moth and rust and thieves) to take these possessions. Continuously depriving my body (His temple) of the sleep and nutrients that it was created to have in good health. Lazily I cheat on Him with a television that has taken my time away from being of good service to Him. I have idly stood by while a world in need of salvation withers in self rot. I find myself a hypocrite as I give Biblical advice to so many that I do not strive each day to follow. I fail constantly, a result of my attempts of self effort for selfish ambitions instead of relying on God. All the while finding pride in every crevice of achievement undeserved, as if I am the one who has provide my transportation, food, home, job, and all the many characteristics in my family that cause them to excel at home, work, school and abroad. Yes, even in my children’s success do I find my own sin as I tell other parents about them only to have others look upon me in amazement and say, “How ever did you raise them so well?” Seeking compliments in my pride.

What price have I paid so highly as to call myself Christian? Was it I that was born of a virgin, sent to earth to live and die that the world might be covered in a robe of my blood’s righteousness? Was I the one that decided the number of hairs on my head or the number of sand granules to fill the beaches and the oceans and the deserts with? Did I take the sperm and the egg into my hands and form them as one and breathe life that I may be birthed 31 years ago?! What great deed was my donation to creation, that I should stand today and take pride in my accomplishments for God? Have I impressed God?!! Does He sit on His throne and say to himself, “Wow!! Joseph is so amazing. I’m beside myself just considering the wonder of his ways.”? NO!! I am not in the place of God to have such abilities, nor am I deserving of praise or any glory or any blessing. For, I am a man. I was birthed into sin and by grace birthed again into adoption. It is faith that brought me to salvation in a moment’s time, and it is a life time that is spent in becoming a new creation. If I, in satisfaction, tell God that I am well pleased with who I am, then I have confessed that I am blind or a liar. And if I tell you brother and sister that I have achieved personal gain, than I have asked you to rebuke me, for Satan has surely taken hold of my mind. I am a wretched man. I am not the master of my house, but a bond servant being ever honed and trained to remove my failures and by grace have them replaced by the fruits of the Most High. Glory to God. I am a man of not only many imperfections but also of direct contradiction to that example given for me that I might walk in the light. I am a low and incapable being of much indecisiveness and am surely an embarrassment to the angels that are assigned to my protection. I must have caused them a great deal of scars from what I have put them through. Yet, strangely enough, it is these imperfections of mine that allow for His perfection to work in me. It is my weakness that is His path to lift my spirit up. It is the lowly and unworthy whom He will call onto the battlefield and qualify as soldiers. It is the undeserving that are able to receive His blessing in humility and understand its value.

Time and time again, I come to the cross and fall on my face as my heart burst from me in confession that I am the one that holds the hammer and nails to the cross. I am the reason He bled. Time and time again, I stand with torn garments and the dust falls from my back as I turn to face a road where I know it is inevitable that I will falter in my steps. Yet, I sing the songs of praise and worship from my heart, for I believe the meaning in the words is true and I know that my God will hear me. I cry out in sorrow for the lost in the world and I know He will hear my cry. I dance in the joy that new rain brings and know He washes me clean. The sun rises and His Holy Spirit hones and refines me. I walk through a valley, a result of my sin and I feel Satan’s breath on my heals. I hear Satan’s demons calling out from the dark for me to follow them off the path and into deep lagoons. And of a strength not my own, I arise at the other side where light once again breaks forth a new day. When I return to my knees to again approach the King, I know His Holy Spirit is with me. I know these things because even though I am so very unworthy to even as much as speak His name, He has adopted me as His own. He has told me that though I may walk in this world and though I may make mistakes, He doesn’t call me of the world, but rather He calls me of His children. This, I am most overjoyed to share with the world along with the invite to them also to dine at His table. This is the blessings that be; that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me; that while I am so undeserving, He still blesses me; that while I fail constantly, He lifts me up and carries me; that though I held the hammer, He loves me as His child; that though I am unqualified and unworthy, He has called me qualified in Him and presents me worthy before the Father. Blessed Be… Myself replaced by Him. Have you recognized it today?

%d bloggers like this: