Sunday, April 26, 2015

Pray for Nepal

7.8 earthquake has rocked Nepal, home of Mt. Everest. Pray for the people, that they would be rescued, healed, and come to know Christ. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Love in deed and truth (1 Jn 3:16-18)

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in words and talk but in deed and in truth. -1st Jn 3:16-18

Observation: Love is measured by its actions, not words. Love must be done in truth, not deception. Seeing a brother/sister in need and not helping him/her when you are able to do so shows a lack of love.

Application: For so long, I have placed an emphasis on words and saying things to others as a means of showing support and encouragement. Here, though, the Scriptures are clear: Actions borne out of love speak louder and have more meaning than just words. "Let deed and in truth." Showing love in truth. That's not easy many times, because as a human, I get frustrated, I fail at times, and I feel like I don't measure up to the de facto standard set forth in His word. What to do then?

Remember Jesus' words, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"? He states here that he is the Truth, amongst other things. So what if we love others through Christ? In other words, not requiring it of ourselves to "feel the love", so to speak, but look at the other person through the love of Christ and love them solely because of that? What if...we carry out the love of Christ not through our own feelings but through the Truth of Christ's love?

Prayer: "Lord, help me to love others as you do, not just in words but in what I do and with a pure heart. For those folks I don't like, or I don't get along with very well, help me see them  through your love and not through my own preconceived notions. Change my heart Lord to be more like yours. Amen."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

God is Light...(1st John 1)

1st John 1:5 "This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

When we walk in the Light, these things will be present:
-Practicing the truth
-Walking in the light
-Confession of our sins to Him
-Admitting that we sin
-Fellowship with one another
-Blood of Christ cleanses us from sin, not merely covering up sin.

When we do not walk in the Light, these things will be present:
-Darkness (and walking in it)
-Not practicing the truth
-Saying we have no sin (thus deceiving ourselves, calling God a liar and not having His word in us)

This passage (1st John 1:5-10) is so full of truth that pierces my human pride. Applying this scripture is vital. I don't know about anyone else, but I NEED this scripture to become alive in me. I want to walk in the light. But if I find myself lying, I am not in the Light. If I claim to have no sin, I'm doing a world of hurt to myself and calling God a liar. Admitting my sin--acknowledging my sinfulness, looking to him for forgiveness-- is the only way out. Why? Because if you look in verse 9, it states that when we confess our sins, "he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins..." Thank God for that. I need that forgiveness every day. I fail so much on an everyday basis. But only through His grace do I have forgiveness.

But wait, there's more...

"...and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." Clean. He makes me clean. All the dirty unrighteousness I have, can be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus. I can't clean myself. Believe me, I've tried. And failed. But He can do what I can't. So I have to rely on Him to do what I can't. So to make it clear:

MY JOB--Confession of sin.
HIS JOB--Forgiveness of sin, cleansing from all unrighteousness.

My prayer to the Lord today is this: "Father, I have sinned in so many things, like ______. I know I have sinned, but I come to you and confess that it was me. Forgive me, cleanse me and change me, because I can't do it on my own. I need you to come in and do the work that I can't do. Please restore me to the Light so I can walk with You in the light. Thank you Lord, amen."

Friday, April 3, 2015

It is finished

Good Friday.

It's not good because it's Friday.

It's not just another day.

It is when the price was paid for sin, once for all.

A bloody price, a messy price, pain-filled, discomforting and...The requirement for our redemption.

It's not about how good you are. 

It's not about your effort. 

It's the price Christ paid, with his own blood, body, sweat...His payment, for our freedom.

That's why it's called Good Friday. 

"It is finished...." John 19:30

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Endure till the End

13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

This passage primarily reminds me that endurance will set those who are truly following Christ apart from those who are pretending to be a Christian. The prospect of the Gospel being preached and proclaimed in all the world is a miracle; so when it happens, the word says, "then the end will come."

Application is simple: Endure until the end. Pray for endurance. Pray that all your sins are washed clean from your heart. Walk closely with the saviour, for as we read in Matt 24:35, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My word will NEVER pass away." His word stands, his decrees are reliable, and we can certainly trust him.

Lord, surround my heart and soul with your peace, keep me and guard me in Jesus' name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blogging the Bible (Matt 23:12) Asking the hard questions

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matt 23:12)

This entire chapter revolves around the Pharisees and the scribes, and how Jesus was pointing out their sins. He was making the point and driving it home by giving example after example of where their words were not lining up with their deeds. It also has shined a spotlight  on how much more serious God takes our inner lives than we often do. A lot of times (myself included) we will excuse ourselves of sins that we would find offensive in another person. The pharisees did this a lot, as did the scribes, and they had even gone so far as to believe their own press so to speak. Jesus did not look fondly on their puffed hearts and two-sided-ness (new word), and started telling them what they did not want to, but *needed* to hear. But if one pharisee or scribe heard this and repented of his sins, then he would have saved a life.

The application of this is so profound, it brought me to a place of self examination, as it should. I examined my heart, and wondered if I was in pride or if I am walking humbly with my God. As long as I am following my Lord, and doing what he tells me to do (both in the word and in ministry), then it's logical to think I'm okay. But I have to dig deeper than that. What are my thoughts like when I do them? Am I vying for attention? Do I want praise from men? Or from God?

Heavy questions, things that may not be pleasant to answer, but so necessary. Easy? (lol) No. But useful for the master to shape me into the woman God wants me to be? You bet.