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.

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.