Filling God’s Love Tank

I am a big proponent for nurturing our relationship with God by reading his word consistently. I believe it is important to not only study God’s word but to read it like a book; from start to finish every year. I don’t know about you, but I always come across something(s) that didn’t stand out at me from the year(s) before! I also like to read different translations, although, when I study I love my NIV Life Application Bible, I always have that handy! I am also big on understanding our identity and our authority in Christ as well as our inheritance and our position as ambassadors to the kingdom of God. If we’re not reading and studying His word, how else will we become familiar with these things and allow the truth of them to settle deep within our hearts?

This morning as I was beginning my topical Bible study, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, so I stopped for a moment and asked Him to open my eyes to the ways others are nurturing their relationship with Him so I can rejoice with them! As I began to read today’s portion of the study, it did not come as any surprise that it is about nurturing one’s relationship with God by reading and studying his word! Toward the end of today’s section, the author introduces Psalm 1:1-3, here, let me show you a picture of what stood out at me when we choose to nurture a deep and intimate relationship with Him.

Go ahead, personalize it and put your name in and feel how much more God’s word comes alive! Shalom!

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God’s Generous Justice

6a00d83452063969e20148c72da95a970cCurrently, I am reading “Generous Justice” by Timothy Keller. The premise of the book is God’s generous justice toward us in that we are saved by justification by grace through faith in Jesus. All our good works, whatever they may be, will not save us or give us salvation. Rather, it is our faith in Christ that produces good works by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that lives in each one who believes in Christ.

The depth of the book, for me, is presented by Timothy with the idea that when we begin to understand God’s generous justice; his grace toward us, we begin to understand our identity in Christ. As we begin to understand our identity in Christ we become more Christ like in our thoughts, words and actions. When God’s generous justice toward us begins to transform our life we begin to think outside ourselves. We become aware of the poor and powerless around us. The widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the homeless, the downtrodden. Our hearts are moved to want to help bring justice to lives of others.

Moses told the Israelites:

Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer, For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing, And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:16-19Truth Not Lies Board Showing Honesty

This thought crossed my mind, “what would it look like if we treated ALL people the way we are commanded to treat the widow, the orphan and the foreigner?” Demanding God’s generous justice for everyone, not from a place of righteous piety but simply from the love of Christ in us.

peace-92313-673The second greatest commandment is this; Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31. In loving ourselves we are not judgmental or accusatory and so it should be the same as we endeavor to love others with God’s grace; His generous justice.

Shalom!

Dear You Whoever You Are

Dear You,

I heard on the news today that you are attempting to solicit inappropriate pictures of kids from a school in a nearby community. Claws drawn and teeth bared, the mamma bear in me quickly thought, “If it were my child, I would hunt you down.” Immediately following that thought, I heard the Holy Spirit speak gently to my heart. He reminded me that he loves you just as much as he loves me. He did, after all, create you in his own likeness. I decided at that moment I am still going to hunt you down, but I’m going to do that by the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer. For you see, I believe that God can orchestrate ANY outcome, even you, whom I do not know, reading this blog post.

doodles-flowers328-01-111413-1077 (1)God wants you to know he LOVES you. Yes, its true. Did you know, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life? John 3:16 Here’s the thing, God didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn you or anyone else, He sent Him to save you and all people through Him! 

Now, what you did is wrong and there will be consequences. God doesn’t love what you did but he surely loves you. And, he’s just waiting for you to choose His awesome, well, really, there aren’t any adjectives perfect enough to describe his Son, but he waits for you to say, “yes!” to Him! This will be Good News over the news I heard about you today.19-pack75-021514-tm

So, here is my prayer for you. I am praying that God leads the authorities directly to you, but more than that I am praying you want Jesus to be right there with you, giving you new life in Him!

Shalom,

One Blessed Lamb

Teaching God’s Word One Verse At A Time

Bible text on paper holeRecently, I was cautioned, by another believer and I’m sure, out of love, not to use individual Scripture to make a point. I agree that Scripture should not be taken out of context and that individual Scripture flows with the passage it is a part of. At the same time individual Scripture might be exactly what someone may need to hear at a particular time.

My spiritual calling is to teach God’s word. If I could sit and traipse through God’s word all day every day, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, I would! My passion is digging deeper and sharing with others what I believe the Holy Spirit is showing me. So this caution leaves me in a bit of a quandary. If I restrict myself from using any part of God’s word to influence the lives of others for Christ, then what do I use? Believe me, I take the words of James very seriously.

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1

In comparison, a friend shared with me that someone told them that it is not our responsibility to influence others for Christ. The Scripture that immediately came to mind  was Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

If we’re not meant to influence others for Christ then why did Jesus give us this command? Grant it, we do not influence others by our own volition. Rather, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us that empowers us to do so. If it isn’t our job to influence others for Christ then what is so good about the Good News and all that it contains?!

marketHow beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

“It is a wonderful privilege to be able to share God’s Good News with others, his news of redemption, salvation, and peace.” Study notes Isaiah 52:7 NIV Life Application Study Bible. Sharing the Good News is sharing God’s word, whether it is a complete passage or single verse.

Are these two instances coincidental? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Why, as brothers and sisters in Christ, do we sometimes spend so much time discouraging each other instead of encouraging one another in our efforts to influence others with the Good News of Jesus Christ?!!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved

Love one another. As I have loved you…..

you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35.

There is always the possibility that I misunderstood the caution given me, at the same time, using individual verses to make a point is how I am wired; how God created me. He speaks to me in single verses. When I’m ministering to others individual verses come to mind that I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to share. If I trust God then I have to trust that he has already opened the ears of the hearer and softened their heart to hear His words. His words of truth.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32.

Shalom!

 

 

 

The End Of The Story Will Not Be Changed.

Photo courtesy of Photobucket.

Photo courtesy of Photobucket.

Lately, I’ve been intrigued by what I see as a simple parallel between Jesus’ birth, life, ministry and walk to the cross and current events happening around the world. The most prominent world story that stands out at me right now is the one of East Ukraine telling the Jewish population that lives there that they must register with the government and pay a fee or suffer the consequences of  deportation and loss of everything they own. While this angers and saddens me it isn’t the basis of this post. But, it does play into what I am observing, as I’m sure many of you are as well, and this parallel that I am intrigued by and other current world events. Earthquakes, fires, missing aircraft, major accidents, uprising and violence in other countries, the symbolism of the Blood Moon, you get the picture.

The parallel that so intrigues me is that Jesus knew he would be born and be fully God and fully man, that he would bring the good news of the gospel, that he would form bonds and friendships and ultimately that he would carry a cross, be hung from it and die the most excruciating death. At the same time, we who believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior know certain events will take place before He returns to capture His bride.

In my mind here is the simplistic parallel; there was no changing what Jesus had to do while on earth. If he backed out we would all suffer for our sins and live an eternity apart from God in complete and utter darkness. Likewise, there is no changing the events that lead up to His Second Coming. Our words, emotions and actions will not change the end of the story. It has been written and will come to pass.

We are commanded to make disciples of all the nations through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. When we focus on what is happening around us and around the world, we lose

A friend loves at all times... Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17

precious time reaching the nations. He is our Rock, our Comfort in times of trouble. This life is nothing about us but about a restored relationship with Him and our call to bring Him glory.

God has a plan and you can trust Him with the end of the story.

    The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. Psalm 93:1

Shalom!

Millions of former Muslims will celebrate Easter this year. Meet one, Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran.”

An amazing read that I “happened” upon, on this Good Friday. God is love and his desire is that none should perish. It is Friday but Sunday is a comin’!May the love of God penetrate your heart and may you find your salvation in Him. Blessed Resurrection Easter Day!

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Hormoz Shariat, the "Billy Graham of Iran," and I discuss the Gospel on live satellite TV broadcast into the Persian speaking world. Hormoz Shariat, the “Billy Graham of Iran,” and I discuss the Gospel — the good news of how Muslims, Jews, and all people can be forgiven and go to heaven — on live satellite TV broadcast into Iran.

(Washington, D.C.) — In 1979, there were fewer than 500 Muslim converts to Christianity in all of Iran. Today, there are over one million Iranian who love Jesus Christ, have become His followers, and are celebrating Easter.

In fact, this Easter millions of former Muslims throughout the Middle East, North Africa and central Asia are celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whereas they once saw Jesus as merely a prophet, now they are convinced that He is God, and they have renounced Islam and chosen to follow Him no matter what it costs them.

In my 2009 non-fiction book, Inside The Revolution, I wrote several chapters about this extraordinary trend of…

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