Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Judgments and Stumbling Blocks

"For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live', says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God'. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." Romans 14:9-13
How convicting is this scripture? How guilty am I? Our family has been dealing with some spiritual issues as of late and I have found myself passing judgement, but also having judgement passed on me. I have been a stumbling block, but have also tripped over a block placed in my path several times in the last few months. Are any of us innocent? Do we even acknowledge, or for that matter, even realize when we have done this and to whom we must answer? We are all brother's and sister's in Christ and just like any siblings we are different: our personalities, our emotions, how we handle anger, the way we worship or even the very way we pray. Who am I to tell you that you are wrong, and if I sincerely feel that you are in error am I trying to see your difference and work with that instead of passing judgment. God calls us to love each child of Christ in spite of the differences and quirkiness. We have no place to pass judgement on others. We will all stand at the judgement seat and Christ will give us an account of our judgements and the stumbling blocks that we placed before others. Are we loving? Are we accepting and seeking to further our fellow Christ follower's journeys or are we simply choosing to judge a given situation as hopeless and turning our backs for greener pastures and leaving a spiritual stumbling block in our wake?

Monday, November 26, 2007

All Isreal Will Be Saved

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that
you may not be conceited: Isreal has experienced a hardening in part
until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all
of Isreal will be saved.."
Romans 11:25-26
Starting in Chapter 11 verse 11, Paul is speaking of the Gentiles being grafted on the tree of Jesus' decendency. Some of the Jewish branches are pruned to make room for all of the Gentiles that come to belief but later the pruned branches will be returned.
I had always believed that the Jews would have to come to belief and if they didn't they would be left behind like other believers but this is not at all what Paul says. All of Isreal (the Jews) will be saved and I think that is amazing! Our Lord made a covenant with Isreal and he will remain true but he also is making room for the "full number" of Gentile believers. Paul also says in verse 11 that "because of their trangression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Isreal envious," verse 14 says "in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them." God is so good to use Gentile believers to return his own people home.
It amazes me that everytime you read the Bible some new bit of information is brought to your attention and gives you pause to realize the interconnecting magnitude of Adonai's plan. In Paul's time he is already numbering the believers that will come to him. I am so thankful that I am one of his chosen and that for me he gave his life. What better gift could we be given and how do we EVER repay that?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Spiritual Being

You are not a human being
having a spiritual experience.....
You are a spiritual being
having a human experience.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Refine Me

Search me, O God, and know my heart,
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24
I love the song by Nicole Nordeman called "Refine Me". If you haven't heard it, it is worth paying $.99 on iTunes to hear. I ask the Lord everyday to refine me. I want to be put in the fire like the precious metals and have all of the imperfections brought to the surface so that the Father can skim them away. I never really realized how lifelong that process is. We have to be put through the fire in different seasons in our lives to bring different areas of sin or bondage to the surface, but our Lord is always faithful in leaving us with only the purities of Him. I don't ever want to feel like I've reach the point where all of my imperfections are taken care of. I am so enjoying the blessings of the process I'm having with my Adonai. He loves me despite my imperfections and always helps me to deal with them. He holds my hand, wraps his arms around me and tells me that I am not alone in the process and that I will only be closer to Him on the other side. What an incredible thought that is! We have only this lifetime to become the people that our God yearns for us to be. We only have this lifetime to show others the blessings of our Savior. We only have this lifetime to learn, forgive and love. I want to be ready when Christ returns to take us home. Let him refine you. You only have the imperfections to lose, a lifetime of peace to gain and an eternity to spend with Jesus.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Paul's prayer

For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom his whole family
in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his
glorious riches he may strenthen you with power through his Spirit in
your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long
and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses
knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask
or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be
glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen
Ephesians 3:14-21
+Again I am doing my bible study and this week we are studying God's unfailing love. What does unfailing mean to you? Can you even comprehend what unfailing is? The only kind of earthly love is failing. We fail one another all of the time...even those that we have committed our lives to, but our precious Savior's love is UNFAILING. He loves us no matter what, with no memory of the wrongs we have done to Him or against Him. How many wrongs do you remember when it comes to a fight?
+The main reason I chose this scripture is because today in the study was on the Fullness of God's unfailing love. I have empty places...do you? What do you fill your empty places with.....money, possessions, attention from others, alcohol, drugs? How are those working out for you...honestly? GOD CREATED THE EMPTY SPACES TO BE FILLED WITH HIMSELF!!! He gave us a need to be with him, to take his Spirit into us and let him be the ruler of our lives. In order to truly be filled with the Holy Spirit we have to allow God access to every empty part of our lives that we've filled with things that are bad for us. You know exactly the things that I'm talking about. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be "rooted and established in love", "to have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" and "to know this love that surpasses knowledge". This prayer applies to us at every level and our human mind can never process the love God has for us and how incredible and free our lives can be when we allow him to completely fill us. Wouldn't you like to be free? I want to be free and every day I feel one step closer to that freedom.
+I love when Beth Moore said, "Not only am I freed, I am able to free others from having to boost me up emotionally all the time." We don't realize how we need validation from others when we aren't allowing Christ to fill us. We are needy in our humanness and can suck the joy out of others by wanting them to make us feel worthy when Christ is the only one who makes us worthy. Give up trying to fill the emptiness with worldly things...you will NEVER succeed. Aren't you tired of trying? Aren't you tired of failing? Maybe it's time to give God's unfailing love a try. Stay in his word, give him a part of your day, what have you got to loose......the emptiness.
+++God bless you all!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This story comes from Beth Moore's bible study "Breaking Free". It is based on the Footprints story but she altered it a little and it is incredible.....

Imagine going to heaven and standing by God as He lovingly shows you the calendar of His plan for your earthly life. It begins with the day you are born. Once you received Christ as Savior, every day that follows is outline in red. You see footprints walking through each day of each week of your life. On many of the days, two sets of footprints appear. You inquire: "Father, are those my footprints on the calendar every day and is the second set of prints when you joined me?"

He answers, "No, My precious Child. The consistent footprints on your calendar are Mine. The second set of footprints are when you joined Me."

"Where were You going, Father?"

"To the destiny I planned for you, hoping you'd follow."

"But, Father, where are my footprints all those times?"

He answers, "Sometimes you went back to look at old resentments and habits while I was still going forward, hoping you'd join Me. Sometimes, you departed from My path and chose your own calendar instead. Other times, your footprints can even be seen on another person's calendar because you thought you liked their plan better. At other times, you simply stopped because you would not let go of something you could not take to the next day."

"But, Father, we ended up OK even if I didn't walk with You everyday, didn't we?"

He holds you close and smiles, "Yes, Child, we ended up OK. But, you see, OK was never what I had in mind for you."

"Father, what are those golden treasure boxes on certain days?"

"Blessings, My child, I had for you along the way. Those that are open are those you received. Those still closed were days you did not walk with Me."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jeremiah 29:11 -13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to

give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon

me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will

seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

I love this scripture. I am going through Beth Moore's bible study, "Breaking Free" and it has absolutely been a life changing time for me. Some of this study is about childhood abuse and I have never experienced that but the rest has just been an eye opening experience. I long to continually rely on the Lord and I can honestly say that in this season of my life, I am on my knees before the throne with my hands completely open so that my Adonai can plan my life for me. He can be in charge in all areas of my life and I am completely at peace with this. I have never been in this place before and for once I am not afraid to let it all go. For the past few months the Lord has had me in solitude. I am trying to stay at home and spend time with him. It is so easy to get sucked in the things of this world and to get involved in things that really are none of our business or have nothing to do with us and I am tired of the stresses of this life. God is so good to step in when he knows that we have reached the bottom. All of the things in my life were in a state of chaos: my marriage, my children, my heart and it was all because I wanted to be in charge. It was no ones fault but my own. I was the one causing the chaos and I didn't even realize. It was all the state of my heart and I refused to let God be in control and he let me run my life into the ground, then he held out his hand, lifted me up, dusted me off and let me collapse in his arms. Just thinking about that time brings tears to my eyes because my God is sooooo good. He showed me that I must love my beautiful husband and allow him to be human because Christ loves me in my humanness, I must love my children and guide them to his throne just as he is leading me and I must love myself, and see myself through his eyes, so that I can surrender all my life to him.

I want all that the Lord has planned for me. I want to get to heaven and see all of the treasure that he has stored for me. I want it all and my Lord and Savior is giving it to me. I want to lift up those around me (even when I don't feel like it)! I want to spend time daily with Jesus (even when I can't concentrate on anything). I want to love this life and work towards my home in heaven. Would anyone like to join me on the journey? I'm learning that its an incredible ride.

God already knows the plans for our lives.

Why not walk with the trail guide instead of wandering

lost through the forest!