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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

My John Piper Devotional this morning

In Faith, Hope, Love on August 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

I’m going through 15 days in the Word with John Piper (it’s been more than 15 days though 🙂 Today’s devotional was so good I just had to share to encourage my brothers and sisters out there. I hope you are drawn to nearer to Christ through this post.

The Stupendous Reality of Being “In Christ Jesus”

Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ. If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you:

1. In Christ Jesus you were given grace before the world was created. 2 Timothy 1:9, “He gave us grace in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

2. In Christ Jesus you were chosen by God before creation. Ephesians 1:4, “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

3. In Christ Jesus you are loved by God with an inseparable love. Romans 8:38–39, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

4. In Christ Jesus you were redeemed and forgiven for all your sins. Ephesians 1:7, “In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.”

5. In Christ Jesus you are justified before God and the righteousness of God in Christ is imputed to you. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake God made Christ to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

6. In Christ Jesus you have become a new creation and a son of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Galatians 3:26, “In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”

7. In Christ Jesus you have been seated in the heavenly places even while he lived on earth. Ephesians 2:6, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

8. In Christ Jesus all the promises of God are Yes for you. 2 Corinthians 1:20, “All the promises of God find their Yes in Christ.”

9. In Christ Jesus you are being sanctified and made holy. 1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus.”

10. In Christ Jesus everything you really needed will be supplied. Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

11. In Christ Jesus the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. Philippians 4:7, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

12. In Christ Jesus you have eternal life. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

13. And in Christ Jesus you will be raised from the dead at the coming of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” All those united to Adam in the first humanity die. All those united to Christ in the new humanity rise to live again.

How do we get into Christ?

At the unconscious and decisive level it is God’s sovereign work: “From God are you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

But at the conscious level of our own action, it is through faith. Christ dwells in our hearts “through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17) The life we live in union with his death and life “we live by faith in the Son of God.” (Galatians 2:20) We are united in his death and resurrection “through faith.” (Colossians 2:12)

This is a wonderful truth. Union with Christ is the ground of everlasting joy, and it is free.

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The Mystery of God (Col 2:2-3)

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Meditating on the Lord this morning (1/27/11) and the following thought came up…
How can a finite being understand infinite things? If finite, then there is an end to the knowledge that can be comprehended. In our own knowledge we can only understand what is finite. (Isaiah 40:28; Psalm 139:6, 17-18)
Then if I want to understand God (who is infinite), there remains a requirement to not rely upon my own finite knowledge. I cannot comprehend Him and all He is on my own. (Proverbs 20:24; Job 11:7-10) I must surrender. I need the Holy Spirit to bring that understanding! (Exodus 31:3; Luke 24:45)
And He said I will find Him when I search for Him with ALL my heart. So, I will search and I will find, I will ask and I will receive, and I will knock and the door will be opened. Because the Word of God says so and God is not a man that He should lie. (Jeremiah 29:13-14; Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 7:7-8; Numbers 23:19)

Colossians 2:2-3  further substantiates that wisdom and knowledge is hidden in God, not in my brain. 🙂

Isaiah 40:28

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

Psalm 139

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
139:17-18

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Proverbs 20:24

Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Job 11:7-10

Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

Exodus 31:3

And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

Luke 24:45

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Jeremiah 29:13-14

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:

Deuteronomy 4:29

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Luke 11:9-10

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

***Colossians 2:2-3

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I’m continually searching wisdom and understanding… 🙂

– C

First Created on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 6:09pm

Jesus as the example – Washing others’ feet

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hey Christians, There is a strong word for you today….WAKE UP!!! If you call Jesus Lord, then you need to SERVE OTHERS.

Stop being selfish and sitting there thinking its all about you cause it’s not. How are you “washing others’ feet”??? Isn’t Jesus supposed to be your example?
Jesus humbled himself and did not regard the status, class, or the physical make up of someone. Yet some of you exalt yourselves and regard one person over the other and instead of doing what Christ did, you apply your own logic over the word of God. I’m going to tell you the truth, God is not pleased with you.
Stop making excuses – either follow Christ or don’t. Make a choice and choose you this day whom you will serve

Read John 13:14-16
“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

-C

First created on Monday, January 10, 2011 at 8:14am

We aren’t made to carry our burdens-lean on Jesus

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

COME UNTO ME, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give u rest. Take My yoke upon you, and LEARN OF ME; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye SHALL FIND REST unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Sooooo…Jesus said if I come unto Him He will give me rest. So then why do I continue to try to carry all my burdens myself??? #Stubborness. I WILL TRUST in The Lord!

– C

Created on Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 8:15am

Lip Service? God’s not interested

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

God is not interested in lip service, or just you showing up on Sunday service…It’s about the heart. Jesus isn’t just a parachute for “just in case”.

Do you love Him or not? Make a choice and then LIVE for Him. 🙂

Matthew 15:8-11

This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their HEART is FAR from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. …Hear, and understand: Not that which goes INTO the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes OUT of the mouth, this defiles a man.

How are you behaving? What are you saying? Does it reflect Christ? One hour a week on Sunday doesn’t make u anymore of a Christian if you aren’t living for Him.

What if you are the only example of Christ someone else sees? Are you being a hypocrite? Most people are turned off to Christianity because they don’t see any difference between us and the world. Know that other people watch you and view Christians based on what they see. How can they ever glorify our God if all they see is the “world” in you?

We are supposed to be a peculiar people, foolishness based on the worldly view.
So why do so many professed Christians follow the world and the traditions of men? Sorry but Jesus said that “your heart is far from Him”.

Don’t just talk about it, be about it. You can’t be double-minded…make your decision to live for Christ or not and then LIVE in that decision. I pray that you CHOOSE Christ and boldly live for Him.

– C

First created on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:13am

Stop thinking of “Self”

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Christianity is not about you being selfish. We are to bear one anothers infirmity like Christ did for us!

Let’s read Romans 15

Verses 1-3

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and NOT to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of them that reproached thee FELL ON ME.”

Continue reading verses 4-7 and it’s clear how we should treat one another like Christ accepted us.

Romans 15:4-7
For whatsoever things were written aforetome were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort OF THE SCRIPTURES might HAVE HOPE.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you TO BE LIKEMINDED ONE TOWARD ANOTHER according to Christ Jesus: THAT YE MAY WITH ONE MIND and ONE MOUTH GLORIFY GOD, even the FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore RECEIVE ye ONEANOTHER, AS CHRIST ALSO RECEIVED US to the glory of God.

Stop being a respecter of persons…As clearly stated in His Word, God is not.

-C

Created on Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 10:50am

Subtle theft…

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm

on Friday, July 2, 2010 at 7:56am

Don’t let the enemy steal your praise or rob you of your joy that’s in Christ.
Our Father will still commune with you even if YOU think you haven’t been the perfect Christian. If we could perfect ourselves, what need would we have for Christ???
Don’t let your flaws become a reason for solitude. His word says “by prayer supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” That includes ALL things you are going through or concerns you have- including inconsistencies with prayer, praise, studying or whatever.
Stop thinking that you have to change on your own before you can come before Him. He accepts YOU as you are and He will make the change if you ask and believe. Matter of fact, He wants it that way, so we can humble ourselves and not be proud or boastful.

Be encouraged and don’t stop fighting the good fight. He knows our struggles. And said He’d never leave us or forsake us. God’s got your back!!!

Strong warning for Christians today – “Don’t be lukewarm or double minded”

In Faith, Hope, Love on March 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:49am

Funny how “professed Christians” look to their horoscope daily for guidance, but not the Word of God…oh yeah that’s right, only on Sunday’s. “But you read your horoscope every day of the week faithfully?”

Where is your focus? And who are you serving…yourself? Then really what is the point of being a Christian? Having a parachute just in case there really is a heaven? But you are not willing to really make Christ LORD over all your life? To serve others and learn to love UNCONDITIONALLY like Christ did? You are so full of “self” that there is no room for God to work.
Make a decision, don’t be tossed to and fro like the sea and double minded…unstable in ALL your ways. Don’t be luke warm. Just make a choice…YOU don’t have to be perfect…Christ WILL make you perfect. You do have a choice…Choose you this day who you will serve…pray, repent, then walk in newness of life!

“How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.
– 1Kings 18:21

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE FOR YOURSELVES THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
– Joshua 24:15

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, WHO GIVES TO ALL liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ASK IN FAITH, with NO DOUBTING, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; HE IS A DOUBLE-MINDED MAN, UNSTABLE in ALL his ways.
– James 1:5-8

Jesus had very strong words for those who “straddle the fence”-

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I COULD WISH THAT YOU WERE COLD OR HOT. 16 So then, BECAUSE YOU ARE LUKE WARM, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL VOMIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN. Therefore BE ZEALOUS AND REPENT. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
– Revelations 3:15-21

-C

Forgiveness:The hardest thing to “give”

In Faith, Hope, Love on January 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Forgiveness…
Sometimes it’s the hardest thing to “give”
But if you don’t forgive it’ll keep you from God
He’s working on me to forgive those that still don’t realize what they’ve done. I want to be close to Him, but if I have unforgiveness it will stand in the way

Matt 6:14-15: For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses

So, If I’m a Christian and my example is Jesus, then I need to forgive and pray for those who are still in the business of hurting me or those I love. (

But to be completely honest, it’s one of the hardest things to do. You “feel” justified in holding on to the hurt or resentment caused by the person or persons. And while you may not wish evil upon them, you don’t necessarily wish them well either. In some case the mere mention of their name brings about anger or instead of being angry you simply are numb towards them or the topic. You put on a good front, but inside…that issue still gnaws at you every time.

What we don’t realize is that, holding onto that grudge, or merely trying to just “forget about it” does not allow us to move past. It hinders us from our relationships and most importantly God. There is a reason my we are told to forgive, God knows everything about us. He knows that holding on (because that is what we are doing, “holding on” instead of “letting go”) to unforgiveness causes us problems in all areas: Mentally, Physically, Emotionally & Spiritually. So your feelings of justification to holding on to that issue(s) are totally misleading (EVEN IF they have hurt you over and over again….Matt 18:21)

Now it’s easy to say that we have to forgive, but a whole other thing to actually do it. I mean if we could actually forgive on our own we would do it, right?

There’s no 12 step program to forgiveness, only seeking God for help. From a spiritual standpoint, the Holy Spirit convicts us and shows us our heart.  God confirms with scripture how we are supposed to act towards others and how we are supposed to pray. He seeks after our hearts, not our intellectuality. When you know you need to forgive but know you are struggling to move past it, that’s the time to pray and ask for help. He will hear you and help to change your heart and mind. (Jeremiah 29:12). When we don’t forgive, we can’t pray in the way that Jesus prayed (Matt 6, Luke 11) and we can’t have forgiveness for our sins.

Could you imagine the freedom that forgiving others gives you? No more stomach churning, blowing up at people, shutting your emotions down, being hindered from getting close to Christ – Amazing! (John 8:32 Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free!!)

By no means am I completely there yet. But I am seeking His face and asking the Lord to change my heart and attitude towards others who have hurt me or my family so I can be just like my Hero…my Example…my Lord…JESUS! Who prayed for his enemies, while they divided his clothes as He was being crucified – the same people who spat in His face, mocked Him, and set Him up to be crucified. Yes…THAT’S WHO MY EXAMPLE IS!

Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me”

Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Real Talk…

In Faith, Hope, Love on November 19, 2011 at 2:54 am

11/19 (Early in the AM or Late at night)

Listening to Anthony Evans’ new album “Home” and my heart ♥ has been moved…I’ve been humbled and encouraged by the lyrics of these songs.

One song, Fighting for Me….It convicted me. Because it’s the same thing I’ve struggled with over and over again. I try to clean up…dust myself off…keep up the appearance like “I got it”. But God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble, right? (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). We (okay, I can say that “I”) have this hold up of trying to be good enough. We tend to not understand what it means to “come as you are”…or why the Old Testament pointed to the need for Jesus because the sacrifices were only temporary and never brought perfection  (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:11-28 . We can’t do it on our own…if we really could clean ourselves up, change our own hearts, make ourselves good…then there would be no need for Christ. Why would you need a savior if you were already your own savior? The truth is, try as we might, we can’t change ourselves completely and we can’t bring ourselves to perfection.  What I continue to learn is I am who I am right now. That doesn’t mean that I will be this way forever…What it means is that I have to know where I am at, but look to Christ to bring about the change to be more like Him…and be expecting it all the time!

The other point that stands out about this song is how strong our Father is. All the while in “my” struggle to try to show how much control I have over the situation..HE is fighting for me. How awesome is that?? He knows me so well…that he is fighting FOR ME. Funny how God knows your heart…even the intentions of your heart (whether evil or good) and shows you what is really in it. The Lord knows me better than I know myself. (READ: Psalm 139).

So what am I hearing? The Lord speaking to my heart…telling me let go of the stubborn pride because deep down I know that “I don’t have it”…that I need Him….I need my Rock, my Buckler, my Shield, my very present help in a time of trouble. I hear Him tell me that I have to let go and let Him have it…Surrender completely and let Him have all of me. I have to trust…..

 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalm 18:1-2)

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. (Psalm 139:1)

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139: 17)

 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)

-C