Monday, February 19, 2018

TWO GREAT QUESTIONS

Recently, I received on my blog a comment from an anonymous source asking,  "When  did the New Testament start and were the disciples born again" Great questions. I confess I don't have all the answers but I have given this some thought.

If the word Testament is another word for Covenant, than I believe the New Testament (Covenant) started after Jesus' ascension. After His resurrection, Jesus had to take His blood to the Mercy Seat in Heaven to make atonement for Adam's sin. Remember how when Mary first thought that He was the gardener, but when she recognized Him she wanted to embrace Him?  His response was, "Don't touch Me, I have not  yet ascended!" Could that of meant that the Mercy Seat was waiting for His blood?  I don't know. God has His timing in everything.

I have also given some thought to the last supper, when Jesus lifted the cup of redemption saying, "this is my blood shed for you. this bread is my body broken for you."  Could this be the beginning of the New Testament?  Both Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 prophesied that a New Covenant was going to be made.

Some people think that the New Testament started with St. Paul, and that Jesus was only speaking to the Jews. Personally, I think it had to do with the Heavenly Mercy Seat.  It required a holy, righteous, prefect sacrifice of a man.  Jesus, God's Son, was the 'only one' who could fulfilled it's requirements. After His death and resurrection, the curtain was torn in the temple and then, the believer could now enter the Throne of Grace by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus.

To attempt to answer 'Were the disciples born again" with biblical proof?"  I don't think there is an explicit place where it says, "The disciples were born again".  I believe it has been implied.  One possibility might be in John 20:22. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room. He breathed on them saying,"Receive the Holy Spirit".  The disciples now had the Holy Spirit in them, Later at Pentecost, the disciples received the 'power' to witness the resurrection.  Their lives were changed.  Peter especially became bold with His speech. 

Today, as  disciples of Jesus,we are born again. The Lord has breathed into our spirits eternal life, (Zoe).  But the question remains, have we received the "power" the witness the resurrection of our Lord?  Are we ready to testify His gospel, face persecution, be hated by the world, love our enemies, forgive those who offend us, do we love one another?"  Without His power released in us, we can't forsake the world and only be true to Him. Everything we receive from God we receive by faith.  Have we believed and received the person of the Holy Spirit? He is God too and testifies to the world who Jesus is in us!


ANOTHER LOOK AT LENT

It's Lent!  Forty days before Easter. It is time to give up something. Let me see. I am a little overweight--chocolate , cheese or ice cream for a start?  How about TV?  Oh no, forget that! March Madness is starting--college basketball games. Wait a minute.  

What am I thinking. Even if I give up sweets or TV, I know myself only too well. Just as soon as Lent is over, I will be right back into the sugar bowl and watching theTV.  I don't think I really understand Lent.

From a religious point of view, I think it is a time for man to give up something in honor of the Lord's great sacrifice.

 The more I thought about it and what I wanted to give up, I was more aware of my old man of sin, the flesh.  It doesn't like to give up anything.

But isn't that the point. It is a sacrifice for only forty days.  I could at least do that. It sounded good. 

 I began to ask the Lord what He might like me to give up for Lent. To my surprise, Roman 12:1 and 2 came to mind."I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." 

He, then, spoke to my heart, "My daughter, the only thing I desire is for you to give me your whole heart every day ."

Then an acrostic for Lent came to mind. 
                    
               
                L-inving               
                        E-ternally  
                N-ow 
                T-oday 

Now is the day of salvation.  He has put eternity in our hearts. Every day is to be a blessing unto the Lord.  My heart is more important to Him than anything I could offer Him.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

DEATH OF A VISION

Have you ever had a dream or a vision  and wonder why it is taking the Lord so long to answer it ? You thought it was a good idea,but the Lord is silent and time is passing by.

The story of Moses is where I first learned about the death of a vision. We are told that Moses was a meek and humble man. He trusted in and obeyed the Lord's commandments. However, Moses wasn't always humble, Earlier in his life, when he saw an Egyptian abusing a fellow Hebrew,  his temper rose and Moses became a murderer. He killed an Egyptian.

His intentions were admirable.  He thought he was helping God stop the Egyptians from flogging his Hebrew brethren. Moses was discovered trying to bury his victim and had to ran for his life.  He ended up far, far away in the back side of the wilderness.  There he became a shepherd, tending sheep for a living.

 Talk about humble pie! His dreams were over. Moses who once was a somebody, who sat in the audience of the great Pharaoh , now was a was a nobody. But,God was not finished with him.

Forty years later when the Lord called Moses out of the burning bush, he was a totally broken man.  His self-confidence and pride had been exposed. The years he spent in the wilderness had broken his self will.  He no longer had any confidence in himself to act for God.  In fact he asked the Lord to send his brother Aaron.  Moses had been humbled.  He knew that if the Lord did go before him, it was totally impossible to do what the Lord was asking.  He was in a good place. He had to depend on his God. That is what made him a humble man.  He had complete trust and confidence in the Lord and not in himself.

God had taken a somebody, made him a nobody, and then raised him to be a somebody that He could use. The Lord had dwelt with Moses's pride, his self-will.   He didn't get there overnight.  It was a process that only God could do.  God had a work for Moses and only He could prepare him to lead his people out of bondage in Egypt. Apart from the Lord's power, it would be totally impossible for any man. 

What I  have learned is that if an idea or vision is really from the Lord, it is important to let it die.  If it is not from the Lord, it will stay dead. If it is from Him,  He will resurrect it  and use me to fulfill it.  Don't try to accomplish in the flesh (self-life) what only God can perform by the Holy Spirit. Surrender to Him and let God be God.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Becoming The Beloved by Graham Cooke




Beloved, If you have ever struggled with legalism or a religious spirit, I believe that your heart will be blessed listening to this beautiful truth that our Lord died to set you free. In Christ, we are His beloved and He is ours. I know of no earthly love greater than the love of our Father and His Son for us. It truly is amazing love.  Please listen to this video and hear for you self the love  and acceptance that Jesus has for His beloved...That you!