Friday, December 28, 2012

A THOUGHT FOR 2013

This morning at our Sunday service, we were in worship praising our Lord, when my attention was diverted to this picture in my mind. I saw a beautiful Christmas tree with clear bright lights decorated with bright colored ornaments and ribbons.  Christmas was over and all the Christmas wrapping were piled around the tree.  Everyone was enjoying their Christmas gifts, looking for the batteries to run the toys. But way under the tree there remained a small box, wrapped in white with a very large red bow. It had been forgotten and was still waiting to be opened, but no one seemed to be aware of it. Everyone went on enjoying their many gifts.  I said to myself, "Lord,  I don't understand this vision?"

As I still watched this vision, the present began to unwrap itself.  First the ribbon undid itself off and then wrapping  paper came off. Then the lid of the box started to lift up and a BRILLIANT light began to appear.  The light grew brighter and brighter until it filled the room. I was amazed that at its brilliance and asked, "Lord What are you trying to show me?"

"My daughter," He said, "I am under every Christmas tree, but many do not take the time to unwrap me. The small white box wrapped in a red bow is ME!! Tell my people I want them to unwrap me too!  Many look at Me and admire Me , but leave me under the tree! They know about me, but they don't know ME!, because they haven't unwrapped Me.  I am calling my people into a deeper intimacy.  I desire their fellowship and have so much more to share in My Word with them. I AM THE WORD, MADE FLESH AND STILL THE LIVING WORD TODAY!"

I truly believe that the Lord is about to do something new in the church, if we will repent, come out of the world and be true ONLY to Him.  Our God is amazing and He has many gifts He desires to give to His children, if only we would receive them.  The world has nothing to offer us, but we have much to offer the world in the gracious love and forgiveness of our Lord.   With the world growing more and more dark every day, as believers, we carry within our souls the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.  May we, as God's people, this coming year seek to intimately know our Lord more and more.  He is waiting for us to draw close to His heart and to receive more of Himself so that we may reveal Him to this dying world. "May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven"

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Born to Die

For the past three weeks the phrase, 'Unto us a child is born and unto us a SON is GIVEN" has been running through  my mind. I have read it, sung it and shared it. It has been on Christmas cards and in songs on the car radio. Christmas is a joyful season of year, to celebrate the birth of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

 "Lord," I said, "I love all the singing and the songs, but, I sense that there is something more that You would like to share with me this Christmas." And indeed there was something, MUCH more.

I have felt, just a 'pinch' of what the Father might have felt when He had to forsake His Son on Calvary. But, I had never really thought very seriously how the Father must of felt when His son was born. In my world, when a baby is born there is great rejoicing and anticipation of its future. But, to deeply feel the Father's heart the day His Son was born, caused me to ponder these thoughts.

"That day, Father,when you saw your only begotten Son lying in the manager.  He wasn't just a baby.  He was your Son. On that day, you saw the fulfillment of Psalm 40:6-8 saying 'Sacrifice and offering, you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I desire to do your will, O my God, your law is written in my heart.'" Then later in Hebrews 10:5-7, the writer quotes again Psalms 40:6-8, but this time God adds "Sacrifices and offering you have not desired, but a BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME. In burnt offering and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, "Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book". Jesus Christ was the only BABY EVER BORN TO SUFFER AND TO DIE!

Christmas is meaningless without the whole story.  Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, humbled Himself to become a human being, to live a perfect life where Adam had failed. I believe that the baby in the manager was not only the Son of God, but the Son of Man. When Jesus humbled Himself and became a man,  He gave up His rights as the Son of God, to IDENTIFY with mankind. Mankind was lost. Adam had failed.  The world was under condemnation and there was no escape from judgement.  There was NO other way to redeem man, (you and I) back to our Father, except for Jesus to exchange His righteousness for our unrighteousness, by taking our sin upon Himself. "For He who knew no sin became sin for us" " It is finished," was His cry.

There is no greater LOVE in this whole world than the love of the Father and His Son Jesus. Their great sacrifice for each other brought about our salvation. Today, Jesus still relates to us as the Son of Man. He alone knows each of us personally and desires a deeper relationship with Him. Because Jesus (God) became man He can relate to all our infirmities, joy, and suffering. He experienced life here on earth, as we know it.

It is so easy to caught up in all the Christmas activities and never take the time to ponder that the babe laying in the manager is Jesus, a BODY PREPARED , and a FATHER'S LOVE GIVEN FOR SIN OF THE WORLD; A BABY BORN TO DIE.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where is the Power to Witness?

Is it possible that we as believers could quenched the Holy Spirit and drive many people away from the GOOD NEWS of the gospel?  The gospel is a PERSON, the person of Jesus. Only the Holy Spirit can make Him known. Without the Holy Spirit we will never understand Scripture, the world, or ourselves in it.  He is a PERSON and should be acknowledged just as we do the Father and the Son.  The Holy Spirit is GOD also, and He was sent back to the church to be a testimony of Jesus' resurrection; to reveal Jesus to those who believe, and to live His life through the person of the Holy Spirit in the church (His body). 

Acts 1:4 says "And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said, "You heard for John baptized you with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not may days from now."  Later on in Acts 1: 8 Jesus explains the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the reason for it. He says," And you will receive POWER when the Holy spirit has come upon you, and you will be MY WITNESSES  in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

"To the ends of the earth", does it means for the church today here in America and in all Nations? We  have to ask ourselves where is the power to witness the resurrection of our Lord? We talk about Jesus.  We confess we are sinners and need a Savior.  We believe that Jesus died for our sin and by faith we are born again. We have all our doctrines lined up, but, do we believe that the Holy Spirit is a PERSON too, and very much a part of our salvation experience?

 John 16:12-15 Jesus says, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine, therefore I said He will take what is mine and declare it to you."  Right here, Jesus is not talking about some 'spirit blowing in the wind!', but a PERSON, The THIRD PERSON OF THE  GODHEAD.  He has a mind, will and emotions, like we do. 

As it was once explained to me,  "Dottie,if you were immersed in the water of  baptism to identify with Jesus' death, then why would you not, as believers, desire to be immersed in the Holy Spirit into His resurrection? It made so much sense. The baptism of the Holy Spirit did changed my life. It set me free to worship the Lord in ways I never experienced before. I now realize, that I had the Holy spirit when I was born again, but the Holy Spirit didn't have ME! I have to confess, I was saved, but honestly, I was afraid of the supernatural life the Lord wanted to released through me.

Today, I believe that the Holy Spirit is waking up the church once again  to believe and receive Him into our hearts, and relate to Him as a person.  The Holy Spirit is not just a concept.  He is real and active, and the ONLY one able to testify that Jesus is alive, resurrected and living His life through His body, the church. Great days are ahead for God's people, as long as we let the Holy Spirit witness Jesus' resurrection, like He did at Pentecost, and glorify His name through our lives.. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Who is the Holy Spirit?

I often have people ask me "Who is the Holy Spirit?  Why was He sent?"  Honestly, I  can't wrap my mind completely around the Holy Spirit either, but this I do believe, He was sent to call out a bride to receive Jesus' love and to prepare her to reign with Him forever and ever. 

There is a story in Genesis 24, where Abraham calls forth his most faithful servant Eleazar to find a bride for his son Isaac. Eleazar packs many gifts for Isaac's future bride and starts out on his long journey. After many days, he stops at a water hole to water his camels.  A beautiful woman, Rebeka was watering her camels also and offered some water for Eleazar's camels.  He knew then that she was the one for Isaac.

To make a long story short, ( a story worth reading) Rebeka agrees to leave her father and mother's home and to travel back to Isaac. On the way home all Rebeka wanted to talk about was Isaac, "What is he like?What color is his eyes?  How old is heIs he serious or funny?"  These might of been a few of her curiosities. 

This beautiful love story in Genesis 24 is a picture type of the calling out of the bride for Christ.  The Father after the resurrection and ascension of His Son Jesus, sent the Holy Spirit back to earth bearing spiritual gifts for His bride.  You and I, the bride of Christ, are own our way back to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit continuously reveals more and more to us, who Jesus Christ is in us,and the gifts that He sent to enable us to manifest His glory.. 

You and I have no idea how much Jesus really loves us and wants us to be with Him.  He is ready for His bride. Are we ready for our bridegroom?  This is the work of the Holy Spirit to SET US APART from the spirit of this world, our sin and to join us to Christ our bridegroom. The Holy Spirit is faithful to finish the good work He has started.   The gates of hell will not prevail against the church of Jesus Christ. I have read the back of the book and Jesus WON!







 
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Prison of the Mind

I would like to share with you a vision I received one morning in prayer.

"I was walking down this corridor in a  State prison when suddenly one of the cell doors swung wide open. Inside the cell was a man sitting in a corner in a curled up position.  As I was thinking about entering the cell, the Lord appeared  in His long white robe and sandals. He went over to the man who was huddled in the corner of the cell and reached out his hand to help him up. But, when the man stood up, I noticed that there were three balls and chains still locked to his leg. He couldn't have walked out even if he wanted to.  The Lord bent down, and graciously unlocked the chains.  The man stepped out of the chains, took Jesus' hand and followed Him out of the prison."

I stood amazed and asked the Lord what He was trying to show me. He took me to Isaiah 61 where the Word says, "I have come to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to  proclaim the year of the LORD"S favor." That was it!

This man was born again, the door was open, but he was still sitting in a prison cell, chained to three balls. Now, I understood why the prison door was opened and why he could not leave.  It was the chains. He couldn't walk without dragging the balls and chains. Why didn't he realize that he had been set free from the chains too!

The Lord took me to Numbers 13, where the ten spies were sent out into Canaan.  When they came back, this was their report, "We came to the land which you sent us.  It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.  However, the people who dwell in the land are strong and the cities are fortified and very large. and beside we saw the Anak there. " As you read on, the eight spies tell a great tale of  unbelief and fear.  No way were they going to be able to fight in Canaan. There were giants in the land. They thought that God must be crazy to sent them in there.  Their questioning God cost them another forty years of wandering in the desert. They thought they knew MORE than God. They did not trust what He said to them.

"Lord, I asked, I still don't understand, why the chains?  If, the prison cell door is opened and the prisoner is free, why is he still sitting in his cell?  His answer was so clear and it broke His heart. " The three balls were FEAR, DOUBT AND UNBELIEF.  It is the same three sins that kept my people out of the Promised Land and wandering in the desert for forty years.  They just didn't believe what I told them.  Even in my own hometown, I could not perform many miracles because of their unbelief. It is a deception" (Mark 6:6). 

Now, it all made sense.  FEAR, DOUBT AND UNBELIEF  were  Satan's greatest weapon to keep the church from moving ahead.  The truth is Jesus is FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE.  There is NO fear, doubt and unbelief in God and if we struggle with fear, doubt and unbelief, it is only in the PRISON OF our MIND.  It is a lie and Jesus meant what He said, "I HAVE COME TO SET THE PRISONER FREE!" Repent and believe the gospel. Everything we have ever desired,  we will find in Him.  He is more than enough to meet our deepest need. He alone is the ONLY ONE who can  release us from the prison of our mind.  He is our NEW LIFE,  full of hope and glory,  enabling us to cast off all fear, doubt and unbelief.  We too can become a Joshua or a Caleb. They believed God and lived to see the promised land. The prison doors are opened, the chains are unlocked.  We are free.  Come out in the Name of Jesus and be set free. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty."(2 Cor. 3:17)

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Pity Party



The following is a poem that I wrote, expressing my heart to the Lord, when I was feeling quite sorry for myself.  After the first four stanzas, the Lord, Himself, begins to speak to me.  He helps me to repent of self-pity, and opens my eyes to see that bitterness is its second cousin, and both are rooted in my pride. I am so grateful for the POWER OF THE CROSS that consumed all my sin. I don't have to feel sorry for myself anymore.  God's pity for me is enough. He saw me lying in my own blood and took me to the cross and said "LIVE"  Repentance now is FREEDOM from the bondage of self-pity. I have nothing to feel sorry about.  

Jesus really is the  only one who truly cares for our souls.  Sin  blinds us, but Jesus looked beyond our sin and saw our need.  He alone is our deliver and the LOVER OF OUR SOUL.

       My Pity Party

Self-pity shrouds a precious soul,         (all souls are precious to our
Shakes its fist, "forsaken soul!"                Lord)

Born for this! What a waste,
Spits its filth in God's face.

Ah, you say, a better plan?
Can I trust another hand.

Oh soul of mine, cast aside,
Does one care or hear my cry?




"My child, my child you walk alone,
bearing fruit that you have sown 

Some is wheat and other tares,
Bitterness, I do not share.

I knew the day that you were born,
Darkness, death, judgement gone.

Your eyes were dark, lost and blind,
Yet all I knew, you were mine.

Turn your eyes, again to me,
To know my heart's, gentle plea.

What offer does the world have more
Than what I have for you in store!

Oh, my child, my precious child,
Self-pity has had, you yet beguiled.

All your plans and idols gone,
I am writing a brand new song.

I bid you come and taste and see,
Forsake your plans and follow me.

My life in you is all you need,
To take control and let me lead.

All the years the locust stole,
Will be returned a hundred fold.

Through all the sorrow, grief and pain,
You will come to know my name!


D.J.S
1988

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Affirming Who We Are in Christ

There are several  promises from the Word of God that reveal our true identity.  When we know these truths, we will no longer ask ourselves, "Who am I?"  Our search for our personal identity is fulfilled in the promises. The following are a few of the many promises, that we need to be confessing to affirm ourselves in Christ.

In Christ , we are a new creation.  The old things are gone, and all things have become new to us.

In Christ, we have been delivered from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light.

In Christ, we have access to all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In Christ, we are complete.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"(John 14:6)  As we personalize this promise in prayer and affirmation, we say, "Jesus is MY way, MY truth, and MY life." This is a powerful faith building affirmation.

As we pray, it is important to lay claim to  our rightful inheritance as children of the King by reflecting on who Jesus is to us, individually and personally. For example, we would pray:  "Lord Jesus, you are my Shepherd.  I shall not want.  You lead me.           (  Psalms 23) You are my Good Shepherd. (John 10:14)  You are the door that opens an entirely new life for me. (John 10-9) You are my fortress, and my sure defense. (Psalms 89:18)

"You are my rock of refuge, my high tower, my shield, and my buckler. (Psalm 18:30) You are the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)  You are the Word of life. (1John1:1) You are Immanuel--God with me. (Isa. 7:14)  You are my righteousness and my salvation; therefore, I have nothing to fear. (Psalm27:1)

I thank you that you are the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega. (Rev. 1:8)  You are the Sun of righteousness. (Mal. 4:2)  You are the fragrant rose of Sharon and the fairest of ten thousand.  You are the Lily of the Valley.( Song of Solomon 2:1) You are the bright and morning star. (Rev 22:16)  You are the light of the world, and in you there is NO darkness at all. (John 1:5)

"You are called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace. (Is. 9:6)   You are the Holy One of Israel, the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.(Rev. 13:8)   At your name, every knee will bow and tongue confess that you are Lord to the glory of god the Father.  (Phil.2:10) You are the God in whom I live and move and have my being. (Acts 17:28)  You meet all my needs." (Phil 4:19) 

Our position in Christ enables us to lay claim to all of the promises of God. His indwelling presence in our  lives fulfills each of those promises to us.  Christ dwells within us, and we are truly complete in Him. (Col. 2:10).  It doesn't get any better than that !!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jesus Understands

During my childhood, a common saying among adults was "children are seen, but not heard".  This must sound quite foreign to a new generation which isn't afraid to express anything on their minds.  My church didn't help me much.  Jesus was someone who you admired and tried to be like Him. It was like having a FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER. It wasn't until I was an adult, that I was introduced to someone, who really CARED  for my soul. For the first time, I knew that Jesus wasn't just a religious  person who died for my sins, so that I could go to heaven. What a blessing it was to know that I could have a personal relationship with the God, who not only created me, but  died for me. Jesus not only ascended  to the right hand of His Father, but He now is  resurrected and is living His  life through the Person of the Holy Spirit in the believer..

That was all I needed to hear. My sin had been dealt with and now I could grow to know the ONE who really  DID care for my soul and demonstrated His care.  Jesus was not only the Son of God, but also the Son of man.  He understood emotional pain and how to relate to the human dilemma  He walked the same road as we do, yet without sin. 

Whatever we face, Jesus Christ has already faced it. He knows what it is like:

to be hungry
to be tired
to be lonely
to be hated
to be beaten
to be persecuted
to be misunderstood 
to be mistreated
to be mocked and laughed at
to be betrayed by a friend
to be tempted
to be responsible for employees
to feel forsaken
to feel hopeless
to have no spouse
to have to pay taxes
to live under an oppressive government
to experience extreme pain

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need"  Hebrew 4:16

How grateful I am to know that we have our precious Lord Jesus Christ interceding for us at ALL times.  That should comfort us every day.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

His LOVE is Real



I have a personal story that I would like to share with you.  A few years ago, my mother and father came to live with us. My father was promoted to heaven before my mother. I was left with the care of my  mother in her latter years. As time went on, I became to realize that I really didn't love my mother. I became very critical and resentful of my role.  I tried to play the dutiful daughter, and thought that I was doing a great job, but what I didn't know was that the Lord knew my heart.

I had some childhood issues that I wanted to discuss with my mother, but I knew that if I did it really would hurt her, so I stuffed all my feelings and put on a smile  As a believer I was supposed to love and honor my mother, but I didn't. I didn't know what to do.  I confessed and confessed my sin. I cried and cried, I read my bible, I prayed with a friend, I told my husband and we prayed, nothing worked.  My heart was still bitter and resentful. This went on for months. I tried to cover it up and to serve her as a loving daughter. It was very hard. I thought that if I forgave her, God would cover it all up and she would never know how she hurt me.

All my efforts to love her kept failing, until one day, when I cried out to the Lord in my self-pity, He interrupted and said, "My daughter, be honest, you don't love your  mother, but I do. She's mine."   I was stopped dead in my tracks.  "Lord, " I responded, "I have to confess you are right Lord, I confess that I don't love my mother but you do.  You created her, you died for her, you gave her to be a mother for me.  Lord, forgive me.  I am so stuck!"  It was then that this beautiful revelation came to me, "My daughter, why are you not drawing on the Holy Spirit's love for your mother?"  Like a flash I knew what He was saying to me  (Romans 5:5).  The Holy Spirit was all I needed to love and to forgive my mother.  

WOW, what an emotional healing I received.  I was trying in my own strength to love, because I was supposed to.  Now, by faith I had the love of God shed abroad in my heart to reach out and love my mother, and it changed everything.  My relationship with my mother grew very sweet and before she died, she told me many times how much she loved me.

His kindness brought me to repentance and my dear mother went home to the Lord without ever knowing my sin of  resentment or bitterness. The Lord had removed it from my heart and replaced it with His love for her. I experienced the POWER of God's love, released through me, and I will never forget it. It was a miracle. As I grow more and more to know the Lord ,He is continuing to change me from glory to glory into His image.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Nation within a Nation

 I would like you to ponder and search the scriptures for yourself about what I am going to share. It all started while reading 1 Peter  2:9 ;  "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, A HOLY NATION, a people for his own possession,that you may proclaim the excellencies of  Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 

 It was the expression of A HOLY NATION that caught my attention. As a believer, I began to realize that I am an ambassador of Christ of this HOLY NATION to proclaim the good news of reconciliation to a dying world. The more I grow in Christ, my politics have changed to a more eternal perspective. I am learning more and more that I can bring change in America on my knees rather then with my mouth .  God doesn't need my mouth to express my opinions and to get into aggressive arguments to get His work done.  The body of Christ, is a united  NATION WITHIN A NATION that  rules through prayer. Isaiah 9: 6 says " the government is upon His shoulders" and this is the government that I am submitted to for eternity.

 Jesus Christ is the sovereign  ruler over all Nations. I am to pray for America, and her leaders, etc. but not to get emotionally involved anymore. With another election around the corner, I am expecting that it will be a real test  to see how much I believe and understand what I just wrote, namely that the church, (the body of Christ) is a HOLY NATION, WITHIN A NATION. "Lord Jesus keep me on my knees!" I pray. (2Chronicles 7-14)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pray for Preserving Grace



                 Pray for Preserving Grace

                                            A Matthew Henry prayer

                                           

"I must pray for grace to preserve me to the end and to fit me for whatever lies before me between this life and the grave."                                    



Lord, rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into your heavenly kingdom; 2 Timothy 4:18(ESV) being kept from stumbling, may I be presented blameless at the coming of your glory with great joy. Jude 1:24(ESV)

Lord, make me increase and abound in love for your people and for all, so that my heart may be established blameless in holiness before my God and Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13(ESV)

 If Satan demands to have me that he may sift me like wheat, yet let Christ's  intercession prevail for me that my faith may not fail. Luke 22:31-32 (ESV).

Until I am taken out of the world, let me be kept from the evil one, John 17:15(ESV) and sanctified through your truth: your word is truth. John 17:17(ESV)

Build me up, I pray, in my most holy faith, and keep me in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21(ESV)

Grant that I may continue to call on you as long as I live, Psalm 116:2(ESV) and until I die, may I never put away my integrity from me; let me hold fast my righteousness and never let it go, and may my heart not reproach me for any of my days. Job 27:5-6(ESV)"


Alliance Logo This prayer was sent to me and I wanted to share it with you.  It was taken from Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer, daily devotional.  My your heart be blessed today.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

God has NO Grandchildren

                 A thought to Ponder by D.A Carson
                   
  "The first generation has the gospel
                     The second generation assumes the gospel
                                  The third generation LOSES the gospel"

I am a great grand mother and I had to stop and think, am I continuing to pass the gospel on to the generations, in my family and to other young people ?

Today, like never before, this is a serious question.  I was raised by a 'watered down gospel'.  There was no repentance, blood of Jesus, death or resurrection.  To be a Christian meant that you joined a church and tried to be like Jesus.  I was the 112th member of my parent's church and that was a 'big deal'. I heard  many sermons about how good Jesus was. He loved everyone and when we died we ALL went to heaven. When I was 31, I heard the gospel for the first time and I was shocked.  I never knew that I was a sinner and that Jesus had died for my sins and was raised for my justification. When that revelation hit me, I knew that there was NO way I was going to Heaven and that I had been deceived ( not intentionally) growing up.  I never heard the REAL gospel and it was obvious that that I needed to start over and by the grace of God through faith, I was born again and justified before God in the blood of Jesus, 'just-as-if-' I had  never sinned.  It was a glorious, liberating revelation to my soul.

Both my husband and I were  first generation Christians in our families Fortunately, when we shared our new found faith with our parents, they also received the gospel and became believers. It was encouraging to have their support as we struggled to grow in Christ and start over to believe the Lord.

By the time the girls were teenagers, all three had accepted the gospel for themselves.  But still there was something missing that we were NOT passing on to their generation. They knew that Jesus died,was buried and  raised to newness of life, but I have to admit we fell short on helping them to know how to walk in the Spirit to overcome their sin nature.  We didn't know how to either! It was a struggle to hold on to our faith.

Our faith was turning into legalism, a striving to perform to be righteous and condemned if we didn't pray or read our bibles every day.  What was missing?  We had to know. We knew all the formulas, doctrines and knowledge about Jesus Christ.  We wanted to learn more, but it was very difficult. Where was the LIFE and the JOY of the LORD?  Where was a relationship with the living God? What were we really passing on to our girls, grandchildren and great grand children?  Was it the TRUE GOSPEL? Was it the WHOLE gospel?

(Hebrew 12:2) was our word of hope:' Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith'.  We knew than that that the good work He had started, He ALONE  would finish. He began to show us that our struggling was trying to prefect our flesh, (old Adam). We were falling into legalism.  It was a  death trap!  We strove so hard to prefect the flesh by keeping the law and thought we were good Christians.  We always felt that we were failures. We never prayed right, read our bible enough or prayed properly. Condemnation was a constant companion in so many areas of our lives and marriage. If this was Christianity, who needed it!

To make a long story short, all I have to say is THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES and to our walk with God.  Without accepting the Holy Spirit as our teacher, interrupter and resurrection life in us, we are dry, dull, and struggling. The Devil knows where the power lies and he will do everything to deceive us from acknowledging our NEED for the the Holy Spirit. 

The early church knew this and acknowledged  the PERSON of the HOLY SPIRIT. He was the promise sent to replace Jesus on earth and to lead the church into ALL  truth. (John 14 and 16)  After we read Peter's sermon at Pentecost,(Acts 2:14) we couldn't help but wonder, if we had REALLY  heard the whole gospel and really repented?  

The early Christian responded to the gospel quite differently than we did. "Now when the they heard this they were CUT  to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ' Brothers, what shall we do?'  And Peter said to them, REPENT,and BE BAPTIZED everyone of you IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the FORGIVENESS of sins, and you will receive THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  For the promise, ( Holy Spirit) is for YOU and your CHILDREN  and for all who are far off:( the future generations) whom the Lord our God calls to Himself. "  Acts 2:38-39

When we were born again the Holy Spirit wasn't taught to us as someone whom we needed to know. In fact He wasn't mentioned. But it became obvious to us, that if we were going to pass our faith to our children and future generations, it had to be through the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  We are so grateful today, for the Holy Spirit as He  continues to interpret Scripture, convicting us of our righteousness in Christ Jesus, and that there is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ Jesus and that our sin in Adam has COMPLETELY  and totally been forgiven.We are new creations in Christ and all things have become new. NOW THIS GOSPEL OF GRACE WE CAN PASS ON TO THE NEXT GENERATIONS and encourage them that Jesus is alive and His love for them will never change. As it was for the early church nothing has changed , REPENT, BE  BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT. We need the Holy Spirit who opens up the WHOLE gospel to us, as He releases God's love, forgiveness and grace to the next generation.

Monday, October 8, 2012

POSTING IMFORMATION



It is such a joy to be able to write to you every three to four days.  I can't tell you how much your prayers and interest mean to me. It is amazing to sit here in my home and reach the world!

I have been asked if there is anyway to know when I post? YES, there is and it is very convenient.  On the right hand side of each post there is place for you to put your  EMAIL. When you do, each time I post  "Thoughts to Ponder" will come up on your computer's email.

May the Lord bless you all and everything he is calling you to do for His glory,
Dottie in Him

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It All Hangs On God




Have you ever thought how much our salvation hangs on God's faithfulness to keeping the covenant He made in His Son?  Our whole salvation hangs on God the Father, when He made an eternal covenant with His Son Jesus Christ. We by faith receive the finished work and ENTER into THAT new covenant with the almighty God through Jesus Christ.  Our God is a God of covenant. He will NEVER break a covenant that He has made.  Man is the covenant breaker, not God.  That is why God the Father could never make an everlasting covenant with anyone else except His own Son, Jesus.

 The first Covenant ever made on man's behalf was right after the sin of Adam.  In it, God announced what He would do to save the race that was potentially in the first couple.  He announced the very first PROMISE of their salvation and deliverance from the bondage of sin.

                   "And I WILL put enmity between you and the woman,  and between your seed and her Seed;  He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heal." Genesis 3:15

 Notice that this promise contains NO REFERENCE to humans' part in bringing it to pass. It refers only to the "I WILL"  of God.  He was the guarantor of the covenant salvation that He announced.  He COMMITTED HIMSELF to placing a supernatural enmity between humankind and the serpent that would culminate in the coming of a certain seed (Jesus Christ) who would utterly defeat the serpent, crushing his head .  There were no "ifs," no conditions, that humans must fulfill if this wonder were to come to pass in their history. There was only the unconditional announcement that hung on the covenant oath of God.

One of the most important truths that I have learned about the new covenant  is that Jesus, the Son of God, is the NEW COVENANT IN HIMSELF. It is a covenant made by God the Father with God the Son.  The Father guarantees the divine side of the covenant, and the Son guarantees the HUMAN side having taken our humanity as us and for us.  It becomes ours individually, as we believe on the Lord Jesus and are JOINED to Him.  The new covenant is out of our hands (praise the Lord) and beyond our ability to break. It is guaranteed by the Triune God and, therefore, is unconditional and unbreakable.

Jesus Christ is the representative Man of the new covenant.  As the Son of God, he stands in an eternal, infinite love relationship with the Father. As the sinless Man, He is worthy to enter into covenant with Him.  He makes the covenant solely for us. As the eternal object, of the Father's love and delight, He does not need to enter into covenant with Him. He has NO NEED of any of the promises and blessings of the covenant.  In limitless love for us, He has joined Himself to us, never to leave us. We are inseparable from Him. He ACHIEVES the new covenant and earns all of its blessings NOT for Himself, BUT FOR US!  When the Holy Spirit joins us to Him, all the promises of the covenant made to Him become ours.

Jeremiah 31:33, 34 tells us, "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I WILL put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;  I WILL be their God ,  and they WILL be My people . No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying 'know the Lord',' from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord.  For I WILL forgive their iniquity, and their sin I WILL remember no more."

Ezekiel 36:25-27 says,"Then I WILL sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I WILL cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  I WILL give  you a NEW HEART and put a NEW SPIRIT within you; I WILL take the heart of stone out of you flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I WILL put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes. You will keep My judgments and do them"

I would like to continue this "Thought to Ponder" in another posting. I believe that the more we understand the new covenant that Jesus made in His blood,the more that it will strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ. We will know who we are in Him and who He is in us. It is all about WHO we know NOT WHAT we know about Jesus that validates our relationship with Him.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Unusual Invitation

This is a TRUE STORY about a young man named Joey, who was a drug addict and lived the lifestyle that included petty thieving, selling drugs, and living in a drug-induced high. His world was a network of young men and women whose intent from dawn until late into the night was the pursuit of getting high.  He continued  to go back to church week after week eagerly listening to the preaching of the Gospel.

In the church that he attended there was a baptismal service almost every Sunday. After hearing the Gospel and being awakened by the Spirit to faith in Christ, Joey asked for baptism.  He sent out invitations to his family and the network of persons who made up his world that read simply, "You are invited to Joey's funeral and resurrection on Sunday night."  They came, curious and confused.  Joey stood by the baptismal water and addressed his stunned family and friends with the words, "Goodbye, I am leaving the world that all of us know for real life in Jesus. You will see me around, and we will talk, and I hope I will continue to be your friend. But the Joey you have known has died and in a few minutes will be buried.  The man you will be talking to is somebody who has risen from the dead and for the first time in his life is really alive!   And seeing as he is dead, Joey will not be selling drugs, anymore and will not be joining you to shoot up or be at the parties".

Joey walked the streets of Brooklyn, seeing the old haunts and friends, but although he was still IN THE WORLD, HE WAS NOT OF IT.  He was a  man who had been JOINED to Christ.  He had returned home from his own funeral to see the world and all of life through resurrected eyes.

Joey's story brought me back to my own baptism. I remembered my own  funeral and resurrection.  For each of us who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, what joy it is to know as we come out of the waters that the Father announces to us as surely as He did to Jesus, "This is My beloved son/ daughter in whom I am well pleased." The Spirit that came upon Him, comes UPON US,  and as we enter the family of God, the Spirit comes and enfolds us in the arms of God's love.

We become partakers of God's life, His everlasting life.  The divine life is added by grace to our humanity. We are reborn, and our lives begin again on a totally different plane.  We move out of the domain of the lie and the darkness to be at home in the new creation founded on the new covenant in Jesus.

In Colossians  1:12-15 we are encouraged by, "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and  conveyed us into the Kingdom of the son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  His is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation.



The story was taken from "The Power of the Blood Covenant" by Malcolm Smith.  Page 151

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A New Race

Once we believe, and by faith receive, God's love and forgiveness, it opens up a new world. A world foreign to all that we have known. A world where selfishness, pride, greed, envy , violence, and hatred do not rule but are swallowed up by His almighty love. A love that gives itself away for the other person.

In this God-love, meaning has been given to existence. The addictions and private hells that men and women have made for themselves by seeking to find meaning in the creature and the created are dismissed.  Jesus has been to the bottom of death and hell and come out of it in resurrection , bringing us with Him. In Him is a NEW HUMANKIND, in whom all things are possible.

To be joined to Him is to be reborn, to be part of the NEW RACE, to be alive with that eternal life, and to be a participant in that almighty love.  The way we were still HAUNTS us, and the world we were once apart of is all around us. But in Him, we have come to the ultimate reality.  The reality that is in Him makes that old life and our old selves to be seen for what they were, a shadow of true life, the WALKING DEAD  inhabiting the domain of darkness.

It was into a NEW COMPANY of people that the Spirit birth us into when we came into Christ. A company that is made up of men and women who all believe that He is the final reality.  A company (the body of Christ) who believe that the world they were once part of is FINISHED and in PROCESS of passing away. His love is stronger than selfishness and indifference. His life has swallowed up death and by us His glory will fill the earth as the waters cover the seas.

We gather with our people. This company of LOST PRODIGALS now found, forgiven , MADE NEW, and crazy with JOY at the thought of His love. they worship and and give thanks.  In our gathering and encouraging one another , the SPIRIT IS PRESENT, establishing us in the reality and causing the unreality to increasingly be seen for what it is. 

Out of death has come new life and a new race from every color and nation has been created. Now that really is a THOUGHT TO PONDER! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Humpty Dumpty's Great Fall

I have to chuckle.  Do you remember as a kid the old nursery rhyme, "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn't put humpty dumpty together again.?"  What a great picture of the fall of Adam. Adam was all together, perfectly whole, until he fell from grace. I think we all can relate to Humpty Dumpty. We all have fallen short of the glory of God.  However, the part about 'all the kings men COULDN'T put Humpty dumpty together again really spoke to me. Why am I trying to put myself together again?

I think one of the MOST deceiving scams of the Devil is for us as Christians to fall into the belief of striving in the flesh to put ourselves back together again with all the self help books and even reading the bible,etc. If it is possible, the devil will even try to deceive us into believing that God is upset with us and that He really doesn't care about the deep pain in our souls or how we feel when tragedy or abuse has occurred in our lives. We are led to believe that we are to keep a stiff upper and bear our burden. However, all that we really  have to do is to look at the cross and see His LOVE for us.  He did not leave us in our sin to struggle against this evil, dark world.  He came to redeem and to bring us back to Himself.

We all were born into a fallen world and wicked things will happen to us, but that is NOT the heart of our Father.. In this fallen world, sinners will act out GOOD AND EVIL. The fruit of the tree of good and evil will be exercised.. As human beings we have NO idea how wicked we are and the evil that we are capable of inflicting on anyone. The nightly news will verify that truth!

 Let's face it. APART from the Lord and His merciful grace, we are ALL LOST, very FRAGMENTED and don't know who we really are! Now that might sound a little ridiculous to you. Of course, you know who you are. REALLY?  I was pretty confident that I knew who I was until after I became a Christian. Then the light bulb went on and I was really confused.  I soon found out that I had no real identity.  Oh, I could say my name and  express the things that I liked and disliked. I could communicate with people, and I knew what I wanted to accomplish in this life. But as to who I really was as a person, I never realized that I was not a WHOLE person. I was emotionally fragmented. Physically, I felt healthy, ate a fairly good diet, and got plenty of sleep. But what I didn't know about myself was that I needed  emotional healing. All the 'kings horses and all the kings men, could never put me back together again,"  UNTIL....by the grace of God, He started to deliver my soul from deep pockets of resentment, bitterness, self pity, covetousness and hidden pride that ruled my heart. It was then that I realized that I had a NEW identity and that everything was changing.  The change would NOT come all at once, but I was NOT the same person.

I had no idea what the emotional effects of my past would have on my new found faith in Jesus. Hidden deep in  my soul were pockets of sin keeping me captive to my old life. Resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and self-pity had a strong emotional control on me. They had to be broken. Sin blinds us, but Jesus takes the blindfolds off so that we can repent and be set free. 
 
As believers in the living God, Jesus our savior and Lord, we each have a redemptive story to tell. I don't want to spend time with mine, but to encourage you with the truth.  Jesus is alive and because He lives, we live also.He has the power to deliver us and to heal us from our past.  Jesus Christ is our WHOLENESS.  He is the ONLY ONE who can' heal and make ' humpty dumpty' NEW!  It is a miracle, because 'humpty dumpty became a NEW CREATION. There is no way  all those shattered pieces could be put together again.  'Humpty dumpty' has a NEW identity.

When I started to BELIEVE  that I was a new creation in Christ Jesus and that the old man in Adam was crucified in Jesus, I wanted to repent and turn away from my past.  Satan was NOT going to deceive me any longer . It took time  to repent, to forgive those who had hurt and offended me, to understand  the word of God, to exercise my FAITH and to sincerely  BELIEVE  that God REALLY LOVED ME. He wanted to deliver and heal me. God was on my side!

I just want to encourage you today that if you are a believer and struggle in your faith, know that God is writing His own redemptive story in your life to glorify Himself.. It is an amazing story and one day you will look back and say, "God you are incredible. You have changed my heart to love and worship only you.  I don't know how you did it or when you did it, but, all I know is that You are doing it all the time and it is a gracious mystery of faith."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Abba Father's love

One of the most endearing relationships that we can have with our  heavenly Father is 'Sonship'.  If you have ever been rejected, unwanted or abused by your earthly father, I can reassure you, YOU will never be rejected,  unwanted or ill treated by the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.  His father will NEVER reject or forsake you.  God wants you to truly know Him as your loving heavenly Father.  He is a Father who loves you fiercely and unconditionally.  He is a Father who watches over you lovingly and tirelessly.

God, our Father, is our Provider, the One who supplies all of our needs.  He is our refuge, Rock and protector. The One who shields us from all evil. He wants us to live life as His beloved child.  He wants us to run to Him like a little child, talk to Him about anything, and trust Him with everything.  The bible calls such a relationship with God the Spirit of Sonship.

In Romans 8:15, it says that you did not receive the spirit of bondage, but YOU have received the Spirit of Sonship, by whom you cry out "ABBA FATHER". I love that!  God is inviting us to enjoy a relationship with Him where we can easily cry out to Him, "Daddy, Father!"  This is the miracle of the new birth! We have a NEW daddy!! He will love us and not abandon or abuse us. He knows the situation in which He found us in this world and has brought us out to sit with Him in heavenly places in His Son, Jesus Christ.  His blood has cleansed us from all sin and we are clean, set apart to our God. ( Ephesians 2:4-10)

Beloved, if you are a son or a daughter of God, God wants you to see Him as your "Abba" or "Daddy".  Crying out "Daddy, Father!" fills your heart with such a confidence and blessed assurance that God is not just Almighty God, but also YOUR Daddy God.  He is YOUR heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally.  He is YOUR heavenly Father who wants to give you every good thing in life.

There is nothing like knowing our heavenly Daddy.  It is all because of the cross.  When Jesus cried out on the cross,"My God, my God why have you forsaken me," it was so that today, as God's sons and daughters, we can cry out, "Abba, Father, thank You for always  providing and protecting me from evil!"

Calling God "Abba" or "Daddy" removes any distance and breaks down every barrier between us and Him.  We lose any slavish fear of God and instead are emboldened to come boldly into His presence, to talk to Him freely and receive His help in time of need.

There have been times when I have been so stressed with life that all I can do is to call "Abba, Daddy"  I need you to intervene and to make sense out of the mess I have created."  Amazingly, He will come and will shortly give me some ideas that I can change or perhaps I need to ask forgiveness for my reactions.

I want to encourage you today to call upon God  with a great sense of intimacy. Call Him Daddy, Papa, or Abba and just speak to Him from your heart. He will answer you because you love His Son and you belong to Him. There is NO GREATER LOVE THAN GOD'S LOVE FOR US.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cease Striving and Believe God

How many times have you said, "I am supposed to keep the Ten Commandments and I feel condemned when I don't.? In my early years in Sunday school my whole religious experience consisted of "Keeping the Ten commandments", reading all the bible stories and striving to keep the law. I knew nothing of the LOVE of God. I only knew that He would love me if I obeyed my parents.  I guess in some ways, it did put the fear of God in me, but it certainly wasn't the 'fear' of worshiping Him in awe! God was distant, unavailable and always expecting me to perform.

I am so grateful that the Lord has opened my eyes to the real Jesus.  The Jesus who made a covenant with His Father on my behalf and gave it to me. This is AMAZING LOVE!  Jesus Christ was the only perfect human being, without spot or blemish, who could make a blood covenant with God.  There is NO way that you or I could ever make a covenant with God. It is rather ridiculous to think about it. But Jesus was the PERFECT man. His blood was worthy and acceptable before the Father to represent us.

Isn't it a blessing to know that our God is pleased with us not because of what we do or don't do, but because  we believe and accept His Son as a propitiation (substitute) for our sin?  The Christian life is not supposed to be a struggle to be good enough to win God's approval.  That was the Old Covenant way. Its message was "Do right and I will accept you and bless you."

God's New Covenant is , "I love you and accept you because of your faith in my Son, Jesus. I choose to bless you and I will work in you and ENABLE you to do what is right."  The Old Covenant was dependent on human effort.  The New covenant depended on God's effort working out our salvation. God hasn't lowered His standards in the New Covenant.  But He has said He Himself will be responsible for meeting them and He did in His Son.

Notice in the following passage describing the New Covenant that God says, "I will, I will, I will..." Hebrews 10:16-17
"This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I WILL put my laws in their hearts, and I WILL write them on their minds.  I WILL never again remember their sins  and  lawless deeds." NOW that is good news!

Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are God's  workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God is at work.  We are the result of God's work--not our own striving.  We can't make ourselves perfect.  We can't attain God's standard by our own efforts.  The purpose of the Law was to show us that we fell short and that we would know that we needed a Savior. Someone who could help us.

There comes a peace of mind when we rest in this truth.  We don't have to strive to be good to please God or to change ourselves to be accepted..  The more we know our God, the more we will desire to be like Him and His enabling grace will continue to change us from glory to glory. The presence of the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all truth and will finish the good work He began, which is to be conformed into His image and likeness; our new creation.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Early Inheritance

Have you ever been in a place where you wished that you could get an early inheritance?  My husband and I have several times in our fifty-four years of marriage been in need of an early inheritance.  There were times when he was out of work and we are able to receive a small early inheritance to help us get back on our feet. I remember thinking, "I am glad that we didn't have to wait until after my parents died to receive any inheritance., we need it NOW!"

Living in a fallen world, we need an early inheritance from our Lord to enable us to survive the ever growing  darkness. We believers live in enemy territory.  We are in the world but not of it. Jesus said that the prince of this world comes but He has nothing to do with him and neither should we.  We are hidden in Christ in God and protected from the evil one.  This world is NOT our home.  We have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus and we DON'T  belong to this world any more.  We belong to Christ and His Kingdom.  In this world we are surrounded with darkness that wants to keep us in bondage and destroy our faith. That is why we need an early inheritance to secure are journey in this world until we arrive safely home.

I believe our early inheritance is the PERSON of the Holy Spirit. In the early days of my faith I didn't realize how important the person of the Holy Spirit was to keep me in this world from evil, sin and destruction. I had to learn the hard way many times, but it was always the Holy Spirit who met me and pointed me back to Jesus. 

When I think about it, if it wasn't for the gift of the Holy Spirit all I would have is Christianity or religion.  Ephesians 1:13-14, "we were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it." Another way of saying it is, " the Holy spirit is a taste of earnest or an early inheritance until we receive the full inheritance."  But until then, we have ALL the power we need for life and godliness in the person of the Holy Spirit.

For instance, you have a health issue and the doctors are not hopefully.  The Holy Spirit always has the LAST word for a believer.  Jesus is our  healer and the Holy Spirit brings the word of God to bear. Without the Holy Spirit in us and with us, we would not know how much the Lord loves us and desires to heal us.  Sometimes, physical healing will come as the Holy Spirit heals our broken heart and delivers our soul from rejection, anger, jealousy or bitterness.  We have no idea how much the Holy Spirit desires to help us, if we ONLY we would let Him. As believers He is are only connection with the Father and our Lord.  Without Him we know nothing.

In the following post I am going to share our inheritance in Christ and how we can draw on it by faith through the person of the Holy Spirit. The Lord has so much to give to us through the Holy Spirit if ONLY we would acknowledge and believe His life is in us NOW (Romans 5:5). 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Freedom from Shame

I would like to share a very 'special ' story that was sent to me about SHAME.  This dear woman has experienced significant shame in this life, and for many years it became her identity until she received this dream/vision from the Lord that set her free. She tells it in form of a story.  I pray this will be as meaningful to you as it has to me.

"This is a story of a dirty, bruised, ratty looking woman in torn cloths.  She is sitting on the floor of a prison cell with shackles around her neck and feet.  She is thrashing herself against the wall, throwing herself on the floor and hitting herself repeatedly.  A guard comes in and takes her to a courtroom.  She still is picking at her wounds when the judge tells her to look up at him.  Because of her shame she can barely make eye contact, but looks up and as their eyes meet the judge says "You are in contempt of court young lady.  I have sentenced you to freedom, your punishment is over and your sins have been paid for, yet you reject freedom and continue  to punish yourself."  She bows her head feeling even more shame, expecting a new sentencing of harsher judgement.  But the judge says to the guard, "Set her free.  It is for freedom Christ has set you free, now be free!"  The guard walks over and in his hands is a key.  Her eye catches a glimpse of it and she sees it is in the shape of a cross. The guard takes, the key and unlocks the shackles around her neck and feet.  She feels a weight being lifted and she begins feeling a freedom she has never known.  She can breathe and walk, and she can lift her head up and freely move about.  Then the judge says, "Bring her something to eat.  Bring her water to cleanse in and new clothes."   The judge gets down from his bench and helps her wash the dirt away, carefully cleaning each wound.  He helps her remove her dirty and torn clothes, and as she stands there naked the shame rises up again.  He looks at her in her nakedness and says, "Put this on."  She looks and he is holding a beautiful robe like a gown and he wraps it around her.  He combs her hair and pulls it away from her face, while placing a sparkling gold crown crown on her head.  The judge then hands her a slip of paper.  She asks "What is this"?  He says "This is your new sentence.  You are no longer a prisoner, so no longer a slave to sin, no longer unworthy , no longer  rejected and no longer fatherless.  You are being given a new life.  You are being adopted. You are a new creation with a new name, a new father and a new inheritance.  He then invites her to sit and eat with him. He says, "Eat this piece of bread for it is my body broken for you." He then hands her a cup to drink and says, "Take this cup".  As the wine slides down her throat and past her heart she feels a purity like never before. He then hands her a cup of water and says, "Drink this water and you will never thirst again, for it is living water to your soul."  She drinks deeply, shame lifts and love pours in like a river.

I loved that story.  Jesus loves us and will not let shame ruin our lives any more.  We belong to Him and just as He carried us to the cross to deliver us, He will carry us home to be with Him forever.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

He took our shame

Have you ever been ashamed of something you did or something that was done to you? Recently, I have been thinking about SHAME  and its  effects on our identity in Adam compared with our identity in Christ. To live in SHAME can be extremely pain and hard to deal with as a Christian, if we don't know who we are in Jesus Christ and NOT in ADAM. Satan is a liar and he can not hold us in bondage to this world, our flesh or anyone through SHAME.

Adam brought shame into the human race when he CHOSE to sin and BROKE THE IMAGE of God in man. Our identity in Adam is extremely shameful.  We all have fallen short of the glory of God, and I only know one way to overcome SHAME  and that is to to see it for WHAT it is! "THE GLORY OF GOD EXCHANGED FOR MAN'S PRIDE.  Satan LOVES to perpetuate SHAME, especially in the children of God, and  he is very successful, if he can get away with it. That is why our new identity in Christ is SO important and to be thrown into the face of Satan. He hates us and that is a good thing, because God LOVES us and there is no SHAME IN CHRIST.
  
Jesus came into the world to deal with man's sin of SHAME and restore us back to His Father. I believe that we all, apart from Christ, have experienced shame to some degree or another, but I have talked with women who have really had to deal with EXTREME shame from their past and it has broken my heart to hear their pain and their struggle for an identity that has been lost because of SHAME.  They think shame is their identity and that is deceitful.

Our Lord is a wonderful counselor. I have seen Him reach deep into the hearts of women who have been tragically bruised emotionally as a child and  the Lord has delivered them and healed them emotionally.  The memories may still exist , but the emotional pain is gone. They truly have been delivered from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light by the power of God. 

If you are still dealing with shame as a believer, I would encourage you to look Satan straight in the face and say, "Take a good look devil, my SHAME is on Jesus Christ.  He bore MY SHAME upon Himself by BECOMING A SHAME before the whole universe on the cross and because He is resurrected from the dead, He OVERCAME MY SHAME and I am FREE.  His blood has cleansed me, delivered and healed me.  I have been brought with the blood of Jesus and I have a NEW IDENTITY.  I am ----------(name), son/daughter of the living God and I am a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST AND BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW. I am completely forgiven; past, present and future. SHAME you must bow in the NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. Leave my body and soul immediately and wait your judgement."

Brother and sisters, there is nothing to be ashamed of any more. If you ever feel ashamed quickly recognize it as from the "pit of hell" and turn to our Father and thank Him for restoring His glory to us through His Son. Now that is SOMETHING TO PONDER!!!

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the POWER (Holy Spirit) at work IN us, to Him be glory in the CHURCH, (true body of Christ) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever, Amen."Ephesians 3:21



Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Old Covenant of Law vs. The New Covenant of Grace



Under the old covenant of law                                           Under the new covenant of grace


God demanded righteousness from man.                             God imparts righteousness to man
                                                                                         through the finished work of Jesus
                                                                                                  (Romans 4:5-7)

God will visit your sins to the third and fourth                       God will by no means remember your sins

generations. (Exodus 20:5)                                                           (Hebrews 8:12;, 10:17)

The children of Israel were blessed only if they                     Believers don't have to depend on their   
obeyed God's commandments perfectly--                            self-efforts  to receive God's blessings,
inwardly and outwardly, (Deuteronomy 28:13,14)                because Jesus fulfilled every one of the
                                                                                            requirements of the law on their behalf
                                                                                                       (Colossians 2:14)

The children of Israel were cursed if they did not                  Believers can enjoy God's blessings and          obey God's commandments perfectly.                                  and undeserved favor because Christ became
(Deuteronomy 28:15-1618,20                                             a curse for them on the cross.(Galatians 3:13)

Depending on self-efforts produces behavior                       Beholding the loveliness of Jesus and His
modification without heart transformation.                            finished work brings about inner transformation,
                                                                                          which produces good works that are motivated 
                                                                                          by God's love. (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The blood sacrifices of animals covers the sins of                 The blood of Jesus has removed the sins--
the children of Israel for only one year, and the                     past, present and future--of believers,
process had to be repeated every year.                                completely, and perfectly, once and for all.
(Hebrews 10:3)                                                                   (Hebrews 10:11,12)

Obeying the law could not and did not give the                     Sin has no dominion over believers.(Rom.6:14)
children of Israel the power to stop sin in their                       as the power of Jesus to overcome
in their lives.  The law has no power to make anyone             temptation kicks in when they are conscious
holy, just and good.                                                               that they are righteous in Christ apart from their
                                                                                            works. (Romans 4:6)

The children of Israel were robbed of their confidence           Believers can have a tremendous sense of
in the goodness of God because they were always                 confidence and security in Christ because
looking at themselves to see how well or poorly                     they are now looking to Jesus and not
they performed (i.e self-conscious)                                        themselves. (i.e. Christ- conscious)

The children of Israel could not have an intimate                    Believers can enjoy a close, intimate,
relationship with God because their unrighteousness               relationship with God as their Father by faith 
put distance between themselves and God.                            in  Jesus. ( Corinthians 5:17; Romans 5:7-9
                                                                                            (Hebrews 10:10)


The children of Israel could not enter the Holy of                   Not only can believers enter God's holy

Holies. (where the presence of God was). Only the                presence, they can also come boldly to His
High Priest could, and that only once a year, on the                throne of grace to find mercy and grace in
Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:2,14)                                    their time of need because of  Jesus' perfect
                                                                                             atonement. (Hebrews 4:16).

The children of Israel were under the ministry of death            Believers are under the ministry of Jesus'
(2 Corinthians 3:7)                                                                 abundant life (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 10:10).


What GOOD NEWS the New Covenant has brought to us.  This information has been compiled by 
Joseph Prince in his excellent book  'UNMERITED FAVOR'. It has been a great blessing to me.