Thursday, April 28, 2011

For I am Convinced

For I am convinced... that creation waits in eager expectation...
that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Are you convinced? Are you really truly convinced? Do you fully believe that what is written in the Word of God is alive and speaking to you as from the lips of the Father Himself? Then should we not hold onto such realities and live in accordance?

As I read through the book of Romans this morning I was hit again by the words of the apostle Paul. A man who spoke so deeply from the heart of God about things that we are seeing more and more of today. Well it is time for us to be more convinced now of these truths than Paul was convinced then.

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of
God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration,
not by its own choice,
but by the will of the one who subjected it,
in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay
and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been GROANING as in the pains
of childbirth right up to the present time."

Romans 8:19-22

Are you not convinced that creation is frustrated and groans as in the pains of childbirth? Do we not see the reality and the fullness of such a statement as the earth shakes and cries out today? All of creation is crying out for the coming of the King. The earth is waiting for the children of God to be revealed and step into their roles as heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). It's happening people, creation knows the truth and groans in anticipation of the coming of the King and the fullness of all things created. This isn't an end-time message, it is a message of HOPE in the fullness of what is to come. Hope in the ending of bondage, decay, and death. Are you not convinced? Should we not cry out in the same pain with the rest of creation?

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is in
Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39

Again I ask you... are you convinced? Do you believe that nothing shall separate you from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord? Are you living according to this truth? Because if we really believe in such things then the way we come to the Lord will reflect such truths. If nothing will separate us from His love then why do we feel we have to "do something" to earn His love? How come when we mess up and sin we think we have to "earn" His love back? Nothing can separate us from His love! Therefore we should not feel as if we must accomplish something great or do a certain number of good works in order to be back on track with God... it doesn't work that way. His love is inseparable from those who have received Christ Jesus, so quit trying to earn that love and start simply loving Him back. Are you convinced? Because if we are then our lives should reflect it.

Creation knows it's place and knows the truth and it cries out and lives in accordance to the coming fullness that is promised. The earth is groaning in pain for the coming of the Lord because it knows there is so much more and lives in reality to the truths of the Word. We too should recognize the truths and live in accordance to what the Word of God says. Jesus is coming back to establish the Kingdom in which we are co-heirs. God's love is not earned, it is freely given and cannot be separated from those who have freely received it. These are undeniable truths that we must live out or else the lost just continue to see a "religion of mediocrity, dullness and hypocrisy." Let those who see show the blind the truth about the coming King and the Love of God.

For I am convinced,
"that in all things God works
for the good of those who love him, who have been called
according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28
Are you convinced?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Walking Backwards

Sometimes you have to learn to walk backward.
When the end looks impossible,
see all that was already made possible.

There are many times in our life when we look at the end goal and think that something is impossible. What we need to understand is that nothing is impossible with God. Sometimes we just simply need to turn around to see our past and walk backwards toward our future. What good does walking backward do in such a situation?

We simply walk backward so that we can see all of the things in our life we thought previously impossible which were actually made possible by God. How many times in your life have you said something was impossible? I know for myself I say it day in and day out ("Oh Lord strengthen my faith"). But when I look back at my life, nothing must have really been impossible because I am where I am and have proven that the impossible things in my life really were possible. Through experience I have seen this truth and I am sure you have too.

For those of you that know my story or not, I have had quite the past full of drugs, alcohol, partying and just about everything else that was completely of this world and not of God. If you would have asked me even a year ago if I would be where I am today I would have told you it was impossible... but look, here I am. Even now I hear the things that people have prophesied over my life and the things God has told me I would be stepping into and my first reaction is... "THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE."

So what is the best thing to do at this point? To walk towards the future God is calling me into looking back to see that God has already made the impossible in my life possible and use such experiences to help remember God's promise to all of us...

Matthew 19:26 ~
"With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible."

Remember, sometimes you have to walk backward.
Trust in Him and don't forget to reflect on the impossibilities that
God has already made possible in your life.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Kingdom of a Manger

The Kingdom of Jesus is not found in a palace,
but rather in a manger...
This world tries to copy the richness of heaven,
but we are not to pursue it now.

One of the reoccurring truths about what satan has tried to do in this world to disrupt our pursuit of God is to take the realities of eternity and make false copies of them in this world. What better way to distract man than to make false copies of something they were truly destined for? One such way is that the devil has taken the richness of the Kingdom of Heaven and made false copies of it in our world today which people pursue instead of pursuing the truth of what God has given us right here and now.

Heaven is going to be a majestic place that we can not even begin to imagine. When the new Jerusalem and new earth are established, we will be in such awe at what God has given to an undeserving people. But the reality is that we are not to pursue such richness now but rather we are to go after God Himself and what He has already given us. That is Jesus.

Jesus was born in a manger not in a palace. He came to take everything that man holds as important and flip it upside down to show us that those who are last now will be first then. The Lord of Lords came to us in the smallest of forms to show us what we should care about in this day and age... that is the salvation of God's creation. Our priorities as the body of Christ need to be reformed into the mind of Christ. There is nothing wrong with having money, a house, and other things... but do not let the pursuit of such things take you away from God. Our treasures are that which will dwell in eternity, not what will whither and fade.

Satan has taken the eternal glory of heaven and manipulated a copy to distract us from our pursuit of a relationship with God. Do not forget what Christ came and did and how He showed us what truly matters in this life. Do not be distracted by riches and grandeur but rather be focused on the eternal wealth that comes from a whole-hearted relationship with the eternal King.

You can find the true Kingdom of Christ in some of the poorest places on this earth. The places where people care not about wealth but are satisfied fully by living a life of going after God.

Jesus was born into a manger to show us
that true wealth comes not from earthly treasures...
But from a life dwelling in the places where
God pours out His heart.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The walls go up Quick

The walls between us and God can go up so quickly...
we must be on the watch and not allow them to plague our life.

This week has been crazy to say the least. With new student arrival day this last Thursday, we had been constantly on the go to make sure everything was in order. So much so that I didn't realize I wasn't really spending very much time with God. It wasn't that I was NEVER having quiet time, some time for soaking, or even some time of prayer and worship... but it was all very rushed and honestly half-hearted.

It wasn't until yesterday that I began to see what this kind of half-hearted relationship with God leads to. I was tired, grumpy, closed off, short with people, not as joyful, wanted to keep to myself, and was attacked with doubt in every area of life. While it luckily wasn't anything too serious because I caught it in time, it revealed something to me that I didn't really understand. We must be whole-heartedly involved with God daily!

It isn't a simple recommendation in the Bible but rather a command for our own good. It isn't just another rule that religion makes us follow but it is something that truly leads to a better life and a stronger relationship with God which go hand in hand. It is not enough to just be "spiritually disciplined." We must go into these disciplines whole-heartedly and the purpose to better know God or they are for nothing. God doesn't want us to just go through the motions, this is what the Bible refers to as luke-warm Christianity and honestly when we live this way God said He will "SPIT US OUT!!!"

I used to think the idea of God "spitting us out" was harsh but now I realize that along with all of the other commands in the Bible, these things are for our own benefit and well-being. When we give our heart to God daily in the things we do, we begin to have His strength to face the things that will come at us. When we lean on Him with everything we have, then it is He who will carry us through this life... and when you are carried through life in the arms of Christ, then you will know what it means to be truly loved and safe! Lean on Him, give Him your heart, and watch your life change daily.

God is good all the time and He is faithful to the end.
Live in the arms of Christ.