Archive for May, 2011
My mom tells me I prayed with my mother when I was 3 years old to accept Jesus into my heart and forgive my sins, I don’t remember it!
I do however remember being in about the 2nd grade and realizing that I indeed needed a saviour and committing my life to Christ at that time.
Another new awareness happened to me in about the 4th grade, when I was 14, 19 and 30 something; I loved the Lord and wanted to follow him. But my REAL awareness of needing a saviour was when I was 34 and realized my rebellion and undeserved anger towards my husband was being sown into my children. Then I understood, I really AM a sinner! Before I just thought I needed Jesus as a “ticket” to get into heaven.
Then about 6 years ago, after my “food detox” God was able to detox my heart. I realized that prior to that time, for most of my life, I had been following God with a “sense of duty”, you know, the “good girl syndrome”. My personal relationship with Jesus had, for the most part lacked the passion of….a relationship. A woman I was counseling with suggested I did not understand God’s passionate love for…ME! That God delighted in ME! She was right!
I didn’t understand delight and I could not even really receive the passionate expressions (verbal and otherwise) from my loving hubby, who was always telling me how much he loved me and how beautiful I am. My counselor suggested I read the book of the Song of Solomon in the Bible to understand how much God loved me.
I did understand the concept of delighting in something; I learned that when our first grandson was born. I could watch that little guy all day. I took in every movement, response, word, sound; even when he was naughty I just loved him to death as I corrected him! So….this is how God felt about me? Wow! I didn’t feel it but at least I understood it.
Reading the Song of Solomon didn’t connect the dots between God and I, as if He were saying the loving words of a spouse to me, but it DID connect that God gave me a husband who loved me and said those loving words to me…you know, your hair is like the goats on the hills of Bashan (or something like that). Phil is always saying wonderful loving things to me, that I don’t deserve.
It finally hit me, God delighted in ME so much that when I was a teenager, before I even knew I needed it, He gave me a husband who would adore me and live as though he adored me! Wow! Thanks God!
I’m sure before the end of my life I will have even greater understanding of God’s love and delight for me but I must say that living with delight is much better than living with duty!
Jeremiah says “I have loved you with an everlasting love and with loving kindness I have drawn you”….do you hear his loving whisper across the ear of your heart?
Maranatha! for you!
This is our first day to post until the Imminent Return of Jesus Christ. As soon as we figure out how, we will be creating a separate blog (I think, have to see what our web folks at www.spaceacres.com say about it).
Some of our friends may not agree or even approve of what we share, we hope you will ask God, who reveals truth, to reveal truth to you. Seek truth, pursue it, don’t just hang on to what you believe out of pride or fear. Seek truth, that is all we ask.
This is Day 1 Maranatha. Maranatha means “Our Lord Cometh”. It is our intention to always share accurate, biblically based information that will give you the ability to make wise choices about your future. How many days do we have to write? We don’t know, maybe 1, maybe a thousand, but as long as we are alive and able we will post until Christs’ return.
Day One; the rapture did not happen, the Holy Spirit is still on the earth, drawing men to consider Jesus.
What will the earth be like on the day AFTER the real rapture? Jesus talked about it: Matthew 24: Two men will be together, one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be working together, one will be taken, the other left. The day after the REAL rapture, the earth will be TOTAL CHAOS. Drivers of cars will be taken, pilots, boat captains, children, bosses, workers, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends.
Our media has depicted some of what it may look like with all the “alien abduction” movies, the “end of the world movies”, etc. But just like man cannot create anything close to God’s creation, man cannot bring destruction like God.
Why will some be left and others be taken? You might be thinking, a loving God would never do that! You are correct, God sent Jesus, Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life, the bridge between God and man, heaven and earth, mortality and immortality. No one comes to the Father but by Jesus, but WHOSOEVER Will May Come! Anyone can come to a relationship to God through Jesus Christ.
No one has to be here for the day after the rapture. 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
John 3:16-19, Good News Translation: For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior. 18 Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19 This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.
More Information: www.needhim.org
Maranatha! Our Lord Cometh!
I have recently been feeling challenged about my personal walk with God. My mission statement is “To be an accurate representation of Jesus Christ and a catalyst that draws people to God.” But do I really emulate Jesus in my every day life?
Our Pastor constantly reminds us that the book of Acts, and all the epistles that follow are OUR story as believers. I decided to really study Acts and see what MY story as believer should look like. I was immediately challenged in Acts chapter 4: 24-37. This passage conveys how the early church walked out life in relationship to one another, God and the world. I began to realize that what these people LIVED is The Fear of the Lord.
The Fear of the Lord is an awesome thing. Psalms tells us The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Proverbs tell us it lengthens our days, gives us strong confidence, is a fountain of life, makes us satisfied, keeps us from evil, brings riches, honor and life. These are great benefits. What does the Fear of the Lord mean and how do we find it?
The Old and New Testament references to the Fear of the Lord or Fear of God have multiple meanings; reverence out of respect and terror as one who can take your life pretty much sum it all up. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 we should not fear the one who can kill the body but not the soul, rather we should fear the one who can condemn them both to hell. That kind of Fear of God is not very popular today but it may be necessary to keep our flesh in tact.
When we are walking in the flesh we are walking in the Fear of man. Galatians 5:19-21 says “the works of the flesh are evident.” Then it lists them: “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these…those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” New American Standard version
I believe the key word here is PRACTICE, which is quite different from being caught in temptation and falling in weakness. The Greek meaning of practice is “to exercise, to be busy with, to carry on”. It has a meaning of intention behind it. Even the Apostle Paul said we will all struggle against the flesh but when we Practice walking in the flesh, knowing we don’t have to, then it becomes a problem. There are no eternal benefits to walking and “practicing” the works of the flesh, so why do we so easily accept them?
Possibly we don’t spend time comparing them to God’s ideal for us, we are not in God’s Word so we are not transformed into His image. Also, it is not possible to walk in the Fear of the Lord or walk in the Spirit (because then you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh), without a fresh infilling daily of the Holy Spirit. This is easily accomplished; all we have to do is stop long enough to ask God to fill us freshly with His Spirit on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean getting saved all over again each day. It simply means allowing Gods’ spirit to invade and direct our flesh.
I have decided to begin to take note of my life in comparison to the 8 things I noted in Acts 4, to ask the Holy Spirit to change my heart so I naturally walk in the Fear of the Lord.
8 Ways My Story should match the Early Church
1. The early Church recognized God’s Hand at work, even in persecution.
Acts 4:27-28 “….Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against your holy Son Jesus, the One you made Messiah, to carry out the plans you long ago set in motion.” The Message translation
I tend to get upset about politicians, world events, even the weather interfering with my life and even my ability to minister.
People who walk in the Fear of The Lord recognize that God’s hand and His purpose determines ALL things; even evil cannot over throw God’s plans, but rather will help fulfill them. This leads to seeking God, faith and empowerment even against all odds.
People who walk in the Fear of Man believe one of two things: 1) their life is controlled by others and that people ruin God’s plans and desires, this leads to hopelessness, bitterness and unbelief. 2) they are self-made (God helps those who help themselves) and must strive to succeed, even in spiritual ventures. This leads to pride and a competitive spirit.
2. The early Church prayed for boldness to speak the Word of God.
Acts 4: 29-30 “And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.” The Message translation
Being married to a person with the gifts of prophecy and evangelism has really put me to the test here, I tend towards people pleasing. I try to speak truth in a soft way that can be easily accepted but reality is that truth will always offend someone, no matter how I say it. It would be much easier for me to be a “silent witness”.
People who walk in the Fear of The Lord pray for boldness to speak the Word of God.
People who walk in the Fear of Man want to be a “silent witness” or choose to boldly address controversies that do not bring glory to God, in order to make themselves look spiritual.
3. The early Church asked God to work through them, to stretch out His hand to heal and perform signs and wonders In Jesus Name.
Acts 4:30 “……… as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.” The Message translation
Another scary one for me…..what if I pray for someone and they aren’t healed? What if it really doesn’t work after all? What if someone gets upset with me?
People who walk in the Fear the Lord ask God to stretch out HIS hand to use them in healing, signs and wonders for God’s glory, in Jesus Name, and do not take their own reputation, failure or success into account.
People who walk in the Fear of Man look to man’s ways for healing and change. They do not want to “fail” in the sight of man and usually want to help others with an underlying motive of personal recognition, comfort or benefit. They are self-motivated.
4. The early Church prayed for Unity.
Acts 4:32 “and the congregation who believed were of one heart and mind”.
I have my own ideas about how things should be done and tend to look for people who agree with me, LOL! I must constantly pray for God to transform my mind and heart to that of Jesus.
People who walk in the Fear of The Lord pray for unity and God’s will with one heart and mind. Their goal is to see the work and word of God go forward.
People who walk in the Fear of Man have a personal agenda to be fulfilled and do not want to “link” with others in unity, work or vision. They fear getting ripped off or not being recognized.
5. The early church was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking the Word of God with boldness.
Acts 4:31 While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The Message translation
Again, I really need boldness. It has become easier to pray with people out loud and to share the Word with people one on one in a setting where they want it, but to stand up in a crowd that may be antagonistic and share the Word will definitely take the Holy Spirit in a much bigger way; I don’t like conflict and I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings AND I want everyone to like me….sorry person that I am!
People who walk in the Fear of the Lord are filled with the Holy Spirit which results in speaking the Word of God with boldness.
People who walk in the Fear of Man are filled with pride and bold about personal beliefs and agenda.
6. The early Church did not claim anything as their own but all things were common property. There were no needy among them.
Acts 4:33 “The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.”
I like to think of myself as giving, however, I also choose whom and when I give things away. I don’t have a lot and don’t collect things or money, however, I do find myself judging whether someone deserves my gift. God has been working on me with this one. It’s not my job to decide who deserves it, it’s just my job to obey when He tells me to give it.
Acts 4:34-35 ”And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.” The Message translation
Wow, can you imagine if we really lived that? I believe there would be a lot more people in church, a lot less crime and a lot less need for anti-depressants for people who have too little or too much. I wonder….if I had the ability would I go that far, it would seem crazy to do in our culture, like Jim Jones or something.
People who walk in the Fear of The Lord see themselves as stewards of their time, money, talents and possessions and consider all things as belonging to God. They freely share what they have with others. They give as unto the Lord and so do not need to control how their giving is used or distributed. This is not an unwise or thoughtless giving, rather, a giving in faith in God’s ability to protect and provide.
People who walk in the Fear of Man only give what benefits themselves, or their cause and need to control what is given. They make judgements about those in need to determine whether they are deserving or not. They may need to appear to give freely, as Annanias and Saphira did, to receive approval from men. (Acts 5)
7. The early Church was marked by great power and abundant grace.
Acts 4: 33 “The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.” The Message translation
Power and abundant grace…..not quite there yet. I have plenty of grace for myself but maybe not so much for others.
People who walk in the Fear of the Lord are always ready to tell others about the saving power and love of Jesus Christ and they find favor and grace with both God and man.
People who walk in the Fear of Man are weak, self-centered witnesses and gather glory for themselves.
8. The early Church was endeared towards one another; recognizing each one as a gift from God. They even gave names of endearment, such as changing one man named Joseph’s name to Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement.
Acts 4: 36 “….Joseph, called by the apostles “Barnabas” (which means “Son of Comfort”).” The Message translation
Endeared towards one another. I recall when I was younger everyone called each other “Brother and Sister” and it seemed old fashioned and embarrassing. Kay Arthur called people “beloved” when she spoke and I thought that was silly. I guess I need to have more of an attitude of endearment towards people other than my immediate family.
People who walk in the Fear of the Lord rejoice when others succeed and bless their brothers and sisters in Christ both in word and in deed.
People who walk in the Fear of Man are jealous and envious when others are lifted up. They must put down others to elevate themselves in the eyes of men.
I’ve got a lot to work on but I have new understanding and have asked the Lord to create a new heart in me, one that walks in the Fear of the Lord. I really do want My Story to be like the Book of Acts, I think……I know when I ask God to do something new in me He does it and usually it’s not that comfortable, so here we go….
Today I got a picture of how God must feel about many of our prayers.
I have been writing this blog for several years. I have no idea who reads it or cares, I guess there are some who have subscribed. I’ve had a little over 300 real comments that weren’t spam or were mildly spammy, but only 3 are memorable to me because they seemed heartfelt. The rest were spam, over 1000 of them.
Spam is really irritating, especially when it comes to blog comments or emails that cause your computer to crash. Obviously the emails can cause damage to me and many others but the spam is just downright disrespectful.
I pour out my heart in personal thought or in some relevant article that will truly help someone and get over 700 comments that are all basically the same, something along the lines of “Interesting article, I already knew about this but will have to look into it further”. Worthless comments that make the writer somehow “bump” up on the internet god’s listings. Most of their links are worthless, I can’t figure out why they spend their time even writing that one line.
But what about how many of us, myself included pray……are we spamming God with worthless babble? ”O yeah, creator of the universe, thanks for the food” (while grabbing the remote control). ”God please get this !@#$ woman in front of me out of my way so I’m not late to work”…..you get the picture….worthless, self-motivated babble.
Personally I hate spam. It takes up my valuable time. I love however, sharing my personal thoughts with those 3 souls who took their valuable time to read and then comment.
I’m going to be a lot more careful about the messages I give to The Lord, no more spamming from me. I’m also going to be a lot more careful how I listen to The Lord, take time to hear what He took His valuable time to say to me and make useful, thoughtful comments.
I think I’ll also allow His thoughts to change my life to be more like Jesus.