Monday, April 29, 2013

A Heart Transplant

I would like to share with you a revelation that I received  from the living word of God.  It is amazing to me how the bible can speak to us, right where we are. I like to think about things and to ask the Holy Spirit on occasion questions that  trouble my heart. I don''t always get the complete understanding, but enough to satisfy me and encourage my faith.

The following are a few of the questions I have asked the Lord. 1. "Lord Jesus, how can the Holy Spirit come and live in a heart, that the Word of God says is ' deceitful, above of things, and desperately sick.?" ( Jeremiah 17:9) 2. How can a Holy God come and live in a garbage can of a heart like mine? 3. How can I ever empty myself enough to be able to to be filled with the Holy Spirit? 

For years these questions troubled me.  I wanted an answer. I tried to repent of every sin I knew.  I thought that if I repented enough I could clean my wicked heart of sin, then I could be filled again.  How deceived I was. Then one day the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "Why are you trying to clean a garbage can.  Even if you wash it again and again, it is still a garbage can. I do not live in a garbage can, nor even a new garbage can." A garage can is a garage can, and no wonder I felt so condemned all the time.

 Later, the Holy Spirit led me to Matthew 9:17.I started to read, "No one  puts a piece of unskrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wine skins  If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed.  But new wine is put into fresh wine skins and so both are preserved."  I was beginning to understand more about what happened when I was born again.  It was a miracle.  God supernaturally had taken that stoney heart of sin and nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:6-17).  No way was He ever going to live in the old heart of sin, full of rebellion, and corruption.  There was no way I could ever clean that garbage can.  I NEEDED A NEW HEART. A HEART TRANSPLANT.

Days later I was reading in Ezekiel 36:25-27 and my eyes were really opened to the miracle that had happen in my heart. "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanliness,and from all your idols, I will cleanse you.  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give a NEW heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules" It was like a light bulb went on.  The Lord Himself had created a new heart in me.  No wonder I felt so discouraged trying to repent to change myself. It was impossible. A sinner is a sinner, and the sinner must die. (Ezekiel 13:4) By faith I was born again to a newness of life.

This revelation changed my own walk with God.  I had a new heart to enable me to obey God. When the Holy Spirit showed me that He was the "enabling grace in me,"  I thought, what a God!  He not only  created a new heart in me, put His spirit in me and NOW He would enable me to walk in His ways.  He is not asking for the impossible.  He is enabling me to obey Him.  It doesn't get any better than that. I am now without excuse.  By the grace of God (the person and power of the Holy Spirit) I can do all things that He is calling me to do.  I am not sinless.  I still do sin, but the good news is I don't want to sin. I desire to keep my new heart clean by keeping short accounts with the Lord. His blood is continuously cleansing me and I am  filled again with the Holy Spirit. 

 It is possible to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of my flesh.  I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, the old has gone and the new has come. (1 Cor. 5:17)  Do I walk perfectly? no.  I do get convicted, but never condemned .  I am so grateful for the power of the cross and how it has liberated me from the power of sin,  and continues to deliver me from the world, my flesh and the Devil.  I would love any comment you might have to share.  May the Name of the Lord be praised forever and ever.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Love beyond comprehension

Have you ever found it hard to receive God's love or to believe that God truly loves you? You know the gospel and all the right verses, but God's love is like a piece of slippery soap that you can not quite hold on to?  Do you think that God observes you from a distance with a 'thumbs up or a thumbs down'  based on His  opinion of YOU?  Do you hope that your righteous behavior is going to change God's heart towards you?  And here is the BIG question, "As a believer, is God still watching OVER you or is He really alive in YOU? "  Do you FEEL still detached from God, when in reality you are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17)?  All these questions are ones that I have asked myself over the years and the one thing that I have found that was the greatest hindrance to receiving and experiencing God's love was, SELF-REJECTION!

I know this may be surprising to you, but I would like to share my experience and how the Lord  set me free.  When I was four years old, I overheard a conversation between my mother and my grandmother  They were having tea and I was playing  around the corner in the den.  As a child I didn't understand all that they were talking about, but what I did HEAR has effected me for many years.  I heard my mother say,"I wish I never got pregnant ". My little mind thought 'they are talking about ME'.  I suppressed  it for years.  No matter what my mother did to show her love and affection, I rejected it. I didn't believe her. I thought for years that there was something wrong with me.  As a result I created a self image that I could accept. I won't go into THAT IMAGE now, but it got me through all my schooling and married until 1970, when Jesus found me.

I was now confronted with the gospel and the knowledge that I was a sinner.  The REAL ME was the sinner, but I had buried her years ago and the image that I had created  found it difficult to confess that 'it' was a sinner. The image I created tried for years to win my mother's acceptance.  I was a "goody-goody two shoes". How could I be that bad a sinner? I was trying my best to please my mother.  God must understand how hard I tried, doesn't He?

What I didn't understand was the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It was explained to me that I was a sinner because I was CONCEIVED IN SIN IN MY MOTHER'S WOMB, (Psalms 51:7).  When I was born into this world, all I could do was to sin.  No matter what I thought about myself didn't change the truth. Whether I was a good sinner or a bad sinner didn't matter before God. I had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, like the whole human race, and that was enough to punish me.  And that he did. My punishment and God's judgement fell upon His own Son, Jesus.  He experienced God's wrath in my place.

 By a miracle of faith I believed that Jesus had died, was buried and resurrected and now I had two options. Either I could hold on to self-rejection and continue to justify myself, OR I could believe that God had accepted the REAL ME in the blood of His Son and REPENT.  By faith I believed the latter and soon the darkness of my past became light and I was able to understand the LIE of self-rejection and how Satan had used that conversation between my mother and grandmother to keep me in bondage.  But, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God was more powerful and delivered me from self-rejection. The REAL me was able to confess that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. My idol was crushed and I was 'set free to love God.

If you have ever rejected yourself, it is REALLY important to ask the Lord where that rejection came in and let Him set you free.  SELF-ACCEPTANCE is the KEY to being able to truly appreciate your salvation.  Jesus died for the REAL you, not some figment of your imagination or some idol. This was my experience. It didn't matter to me any more whether my mother or my father rejected me, the only ACCEPTANCE  I needed was my LORD'S.

There is only one place where there is NO rejection and that is in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.  Only in Him will you find the love and acceptance that we are all longing for. His arms are open for us to  EMBRACE HIS LOVE BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION.   

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"For Such a Time as This"

It is time to come out.  To come out of WHAT? St Paul asks this question in 2 Corinthians 6:16-18, "What agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the LIVING GOD" As God says, "I will make my dwelling place among them and walk among them and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Therefore GO OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE FROM THEM, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." 

Our country is in trouble and it is getting worse every day. I truly believe that the Lord loves America and desires to continue to bless Her, but America is fast turning Her back on Him and He will have no alternative but to severely judge Her. I believe with all my heart that the Lord is calling out His people to be separate unto Him; to be in the world BUT NOT OF IT. We have been playing church for a long time and it is NOW time to heed His call and come out and be set apart to Him alone!!

I believe the Lord is separating His people today, by the Holy Spirit,  to understand more and more what it means to be IN HIM; separated from the WORLD, our lower nature,(our flesh) and the devil and to be HIDDEN IN HIM, (Colossians 3:3)  Remember how the Lord separated and protected His people, when judgement fell on the land of Egypt?   I believe the Lord Jesus, Himself, is OUR LAND OF GOSHEN. He wants us out of the world and separate unto Him and to other believers.

If and when judgement comes to America because of increasing rejection of His Son, I believe that the Lord will protect His people from evil and provide for us more than enough to be able to share with others. If we come out NOW we will be in a place to hear His voice and follow Him. I believe , the believers will see see miracles  like never before. There will be food multiplied, diseases cured, emotions healed, the lame walking, the blind seeing and demons fleeing.  The body of Christ will arise and bless America through the power of prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

This will only happen , when the REAL JESUS  is be lifted up in America to draw all men unto Himself.  He won't be religious, condemning, or judgmental. The Holy Spirit will arise through His body, the true church, and proclaim JESUS IS LORD AND THAT THERE IS NO OTHER GOD. His love and grace will be so overwhelming that many will repent and cry out for salvation. 

NOW is the time for all of the true believers, the Jew and the Gentile, to come out and be knitted together by the Holy Spirit. What a blessing it is to be called to be a part of His body for such a time as this! Could this be another great awakening that we all have been praying for?  Without repentance, it will never happen.  So let us turn our hearts to the Lord, forsake the world and all its glamour and opulence , and ONLY UNTO HIM BE TRUE.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Tip of the Iceberg

Do you feel sometimes that you have just tasted the "tip of the iceberg" of God's love for you?  Is it too good to be true that someone loves you unconditionally, without you  having to perform?  Is it too good to be true that before the foundation of the earth, God created you in His mind and planned every day of your life?  Is it too good to be true that God saved you even before you were born?  Is it too good to be true that you were born for God's glory and He alone came to redeem you back to Himself?

I have found for myself, at times, that it is hard to wrap my mind around the love of God for me in His Son Christ Jesus. When I try to measure God's love with my experience of human love, I fail miserably.  God is not a man  that He should lie.  God loves us unconditionally, because that is WHO HE IS.  There is no flaw in God's love.  It is perfect. There is no fear of judgement, nor fear of rejection, nor guilt or shame  in God's love for His people. 

God loves us all the time and He is not moody or impatient. We are accepted in His beloved Son Jesus and we are His children.  His love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). He has removed our sin as far as the East is from the West. He remembers it no more.  I often wonder, "How can that be?"  I see my sin, but He doesn't?  Am I being deceived?

I believe we are still  living in unbelief and not enjoying  God's grace.  I call it "navel gazing".  I am looking at myself too much and not fixing my eyes on Jesus.  By growing more and more in love and fellowship with Jesus, my heart is mysteriously changed and I don't want to sin. If my heart is sincere before the Lord, His conviction of sin will bring me to repentance.  I don't have to keep looking at myself for sin or I will fall into trying to perfect the flesh.

It is so easy to condemn ourselves. It is SATAN"S snare to keep us in condemnation and feeling guilty for our sin. Satan wants us to always be dwelling on ourselves and to forget that we have been forgiven. The blood of Jesus is enough. We have been washed and cleansed. We are not outcasts. Jesus became an outcast on our behalf when He was crucified outside the city gates.  His death restored  us to eternal life and made us acceptable before our Holy God.

I love Romans 5:8 where it says, " BUT GOD DEMONSTRATED HIS OWN LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US".  God didn't just say He loved us,  but He demonstrated His love and that is just a tip of the iceberg of His love for us.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Boot camp starts young

I would like to share with you a true story about my grandson. When he was four years old he, like so many young children, was afraid of the dark.  He thought there were monsters under his bed, in his closet, and hanging out of his bureau.  His bedroom was next to his parents room, so that they could hear his crying every night.

This when on for several nights, until one night after his son had been into his father's bedroom six times, his father decided it was time for his son  to enter "boot camp". 

The next time the son woke up scared and came into his room, his father quietly said to him,  " This is the last time that daddy is coming.  There are NO monsters in your bedroom.  You must trust your daddy. You are to stay in bed.  Jesus is here with you and His daddy is much stronger then I am. Next time when you are afraid, you call JESUS FOR HELP! You are NOT to come into my bedroom any more.  Do you understand?"  His father had settled down again to sleep, when he heard from the other room, "JESUS, JESUS, JESUS!"  From that moment on both he and daddy finished the night in a sound sleep.

 He had entered "boot camp".  At the age of four he was beginning to learn the power of the name of Jesus.  Through out his life, his father kept pointing him to Jesus for his protection, provision, faith and hope.  

Today he has enter the pastorate equipped to lead believers into the power of the cross and resurrection. He not only knows the power of God , but His undeserving grace.  The Lord has gifted him to be able to articulate this good news to all those around him. "Boot camp" starts young. He is a "prayer warrior" in God's Kingdom today.