Friday, March 31, 2023

Part of it? A Part of Your Life?

Part of it? Part of Your Life?
by David Brenneman 

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought for a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB. 

Food for thought: Does the Spirit of God take a vacation from being within you?  

If indeed you are saved, are born again in Christ Jesus, the Spirit of God comes to live within you.  

Are we ever to live any part of our lives as if He's gone off somewhere?

Are we ever to mentally lock Him in a room while we do our own thing?

In His work in our lives, making us more like Jesus, do we essentially fight Him in what we will or won't allow Him to do?

Do we censor God?  Do we try to call the shots?  Do we push back on His workmanship to say what we will or won't accept Him doing in our lives?

Is it your all that you've placed on the altar?

Was reading also in Luke this morning and you could see how the Pharisees and the Sadducee's lived for the approval of men, who loved lording their position above others.  Who didn't want anyone rocking the boat.  Didn't want the power and authority they wielded to go away. 

Watch shows on gangs today and it's not too dissimilar.  

Jesus taught to take up your own cross and follow Him.  What all else can you hold onto if you're carrying a cross?  Truthfully? Absolutely nothing. 

When you sit by yourself, when you are out and about in the world, do you remember to take the Spirit along with you?  Do you not realize He's never left you?  

Colossians 3:23-25 NASB "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For the one who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."

Our work begins when we open our eyes each morning. Not when we arrive at a location to do something for an employer. 

Colossians 3:2 NASB "Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth."

Go back through the Old Testament and search for often and how many times...did people get in trouble for doing what was right in their own eyes?

What does it say in Proverbs?  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

See that 3 letter word?  All.

All of you is what God wants. Not this part of your life or that part of your life. All.

Read in the words of Moses what the children of Israel were told to do. What did Jesus tell others of what was important?  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

There's that word again. All.

Is your all given to Jesus?
Do you consider your ways as if He were standing right there with you?
Or are you too busy?
Are you over thinking life so much that you don't realize the freedom that exists in a right relationship with Jesus?

Think about your desires. Do they align with God's will for you?  Are you wanting what God wants of you? Are you a diligent worker in His harvest?

Maybe the problems of our world are our own because we're not taking God seriously enough. Sin leads to death. Eternal separation from God. Sin is real with real consequences. Jesus paid the price to save humanity if humanity would only turn to Him for His free gift. Jesus IS coming again. Would you be caught in a selfish act or incident when that moment happens?  If you believed enough to be saved, are you now living as if the rest of what He said is true?

All of you is what Jesus wants of you. 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The Necessity of Repentance

The Necessity of Repentance 
by David Brenneman 

In Luke chapter 5 Jesus makes mention of something to the Pharisees were grumbling about.  Jesus tells them that He didn't come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.  

He goes on to explain something in a way that they likely understood.  The reasons for not sewing a new patch into something old.  You can't keep doing the same old things and expect change to cover it.

We live in a world that's proliferated and inundated with ways to be placing our hearts and minds everywhere but with Jesus.  Looking for humanly ways to cover over sins by calling them "choices" or "mistakes".  Redefining Biblical truths in order to salve a conscious mind. 

It's not something new. 

Paul wrote of it and warned people to avoid such people...who would be within the Church.

Just like in his day, people tried influencing the Church from within.  He instructed them to beware of false teachers. 

Many many so-called churches today do not teach repentance. Do not teach the truth of God with impartiality.  They mislead and deceive people into believing that they don't need to turn from sin.  They don't even allow their followers to call what people do as being sin.  

Such places will be full of people after the Rapture of the Church happens and they only then learn of how they were deceived.

When we come to Christ for salvation turning away from sin is a must.
When we come to Christ for salvation agreeing with Jesus as to what sin IS is a must.

The point of salvation in Christ Jesus is to admit, confess, that we are sinners in need of a Savior who is Christ the Lord.  If we confess this need and yet insist on continuing in a life of sin, then we weren't saved to begin with.  We need to follow the Biblical example and confess, repent that is to turn away from, and rejoin Jesus in the righteous life that He desires for us. 

In 2 Timothy 3 we read the descriptions of how impostors in the church would be like.  People who want to put on a show of Godliness on a Sunday yet live for themselves before they ever leave the building.  

You cannot serve God and your own sinful appetites and there not be consequences. 

People who are saved are to long for the return of Jesus Christ. To be on the alert. To be excited at the prospect of stepping into eternity to forever be with Jesus. 

These false teachers are avoiding the topic of this as well as repentance.  

Sin is dirty, sin is ugly, it's wrapped up in glitz and glamorous packaging. 

Sin is why Jesus came as the perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty of it for all mankind, for all who would believe in Him who died in their place. Having arisen from the dead to conquer sin, death and the grave.

We are all to be shining examples of Christ Jesus in us. Pointing people towards that same free gift of salvation that we ourselves received.  We are to grow in Christ, that is the workmanship that He's doing in us.  We aren't to remain in our sins. We aren't to continue in what Paul referred to as practiced sin. A willful sin that we refuse to surrender to God to deal with.  

My Dear Reader, everything Jesus did, everything He said, is truth. Turning away from sin is only truly possible with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Living life the way that the Spirit directs us. Not the way that the world entices us. We will be enticed to cave in and go the easy way. We will be enticed to dismiss the thought that God's way is right and true.  We will be shown, just as Jesus was, of how we unnecessarily burden ourselves with the things that come with serving God.  That we did enough for Jesus, that now we can take it easy.  That the pressures of serving are too much that we need to step away or step into something easier.  Deceptions of the enemy of God always start small. With little choices that turn people away from the righteous life that God desires.

Repentance is a necessity. Repentance is something that we often wrestle with. 

We're going to face opposition, but Jesus said to be of good cheer, He's overcome the world.  

Is the character of Christ Jesus growing in you?  If not, what's in the way?  Are you seeking your own interests or the interests of God?  Are you holding onto what He's defined as sin but you don't call it that? 

You either get your theology corrected here or you do when you stand before Jesus.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Seeking Power

Seeking Power 
by David Brenneman 

It's an interesting thing when you take the time to look at things from a different angle, a different perspective, than what you appear to be seeing.

The world is full of people seeking power over something or someone. Power over troubles in doing things, power over people who wield power over them. Seeking power to end someone from doing something. 

Luke 5:16 NASB "But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray."

Jesus, by His example, taught this to His Disciples, but it certainly looks like it was often missed until they wrote about it later. 

We often forget that our power to live life is found only in a right relationship with Jesus. 

We all will try, in some fashion, some way, to alter events, situations, to bring about what we have it in our minds and hearts to see.

"All of us, like sheep, have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;" Isaiah 53:6a NASB. 

We read in Genesis, of right before the Great Flood, that each man did what was right in their own eyes. Throughout the history of the children of Israel, we read of them turning away from the Lord to do what was right in their own eyes. 

People trying to gain an advantage, gain power and authority to really do one thing. Prove God wrong, to say that it's possible to have a good life without a relationship with Jesus. To create a paradise here on Earth.  To prove the word of God wrong. 

That's what sin does and what sin does in the hearts of every single person.

Sin promotes itself. Sin disbelieves God.

Jesus didn't seek His own will when He walked among us. He didn't even crush the demons He cast out.  He said that He didn't come to judge and He didn't. He cast no demons into Hell. He urged those who had sinned to turn away from it. When He returns, it will be to take those who have put their faith and trust in Him alone for salvation. THEN judgment is coming. 

Jesus often got away to be with His Father. He often spoke at length with Him. He was showing how the relationship ought to be between God and mankind. 

Jesus didn't throw around His power. He very well could have. He was tempted to by Satan.  

Jesus taught that every single moment of every single day ought to have measured, clear, responses that reflect the power of God in us. There's not an example that He gave that didn't show us how the character of Christ in us wasn't going to impact people around us. There's no vacation time away from the Christian life. There's no time in being His workmanship that the clay is ever told: "go ahead, do what you want for a while".

When the Disciples were taught to deny themselves, to take up their own cross and follow Him, Jesus meant for it to be for life.  We cannot know the mind of God without the Spirit of God in us. We cannot go about life seeking our own interests and avoiding what God's calling us to be and do in Him. 

When we try to create this world into our own image we will find it empty and maybe will look back and have the wisdom to see that it was in vain. 

Seek first what? His kingdom and His righteousness. His kingdom has all the authority and power to live life as He intended us to live. 

We will find disappointment after disappointment if we are only living for self. What does go on? What does last?

"The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8 NASB.

We only, maybe, learn too little too late that we wasted life not recognizing that God's way was better, that His way was right and true.  That our striving was as the writer of Ecclesiastes said...striving after the wind.  Our lives are filled with watching people leave behind belongings and watching legacies wither.  Millions of storage units every day are sold off because people died and left a mess for someone else to clean up.  Their efforts to create the world into their own image a failure. 

Jesus sought the power to live life in His relationship with His Father and nowhere else. Where are you seeking yours?  What are you leaning on to live life?  Are you trying to spend your time, energy and effort to create a world around you that is your idea of paradise?  

It is something to consider. Is what you pursue in your life bringing you into a deeper relationship with Jesus?  That's Jesus's example in how He related to His Father. He didn't take up His power until after His resurrection. He set it aside to obey His Father's will.  Everything He did was in obedience to His Father’s will. 

The seeking of power of a person over someone else or a group of people is futile.  The seeking of fulfilling self is futile.  

Reread Isaiah in what it said about the word of God stands forever.  Part of that word is His will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Part of that is His will for us in Christ Jesus, to be transformed into the image of Christ Jesus. Part of that is our sanctification. 

The Holy Spirit isn't some power cell to enable us to do what we want when we want it.  He's another of the same kind as Jesus. The 3rd person in the Trinity.  He's working towards the same end goal of making each Believer more like Christ. 

Is a right relationship with Jesus important to you? Is understanding and obeying the word of God important to you?
Are you pursuing your will to be done in your life or God's will to be done in your life?  

Set your mind on things above not on the things that are of this world. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Believe it.

Believe it.
by David Brenneman 

"For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time." 1 Timothy 2:5-6 NASB 

"And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee; and He was teaching them on the Sabbath; and they were amazed at His teaching, because His message was delivered with authority. In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave us alone! What business do You have with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, it came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another, saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” And the news about Him was spreading into every locality of the surrounding region." Luke 4:31-37

The reality of life is wrapped up in the truth of God, His love for mankind, His judgment to come.  

People today want to blame everything or someone else when it comes to what appears to be psychological problems of the carnage we see in the news.  

Demons never went away after what we read in the New Testament.  They are still among us.  They believe in the power of God far more than most people do.  They fully acknowledge the truth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. 

People everywhere want to believe that "good" people find their way to Heaven. 

There's no entry into Heaven without true salvation in Christ Jesus.  There is no buying your way in. No one alive can make purchases to anyone to get in. A living person's dedication to living out a life of 'purity' cannot redeem one soul.  The Bible is rather clear that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and mankind.  Just as equally clear it says that by no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved, only in Jesus Christ. 

People in this world are deceived into living a life that God never intended for people to live.

Pursuing things that do not matter. 
Pursuing desires that do nothing to address their exit from this world. 

Jesus said that He stands at the door and knocks. That door, my Dear Reader, is at the hearts of men and women everywhere. 

We achieve nothing at pointing people to ourselves.  We are never to do any such thing.  Our lives are to be a reflection of our relationship with Jesus.  The forgiveness, grace and mercy available in a life lived for Jesus. 

We see tragedy after tragedy in the news...where is God in these things? Many in this world want God on their terms.  They cry out when it's their only other option.  In the book of Judges this is what we read of the children of Israel doing. 

In Jesus's day we see that demons are an acknowledged reality to what they saw in their lives. 

In 2,000 years demons have been working on trying to hide in plain sight.  

Demons, as well as humans, must obey the overall plan of God. They cannot break the Word of God. They cannot do things that would negate God's will for mankind. 
They fight God daily in their pursuit of succeeding at least once in this.

The reality of the Bible is what we DO see in our world.  We battle not against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 NASB "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.".

We, both in the Church as well as outside of it, do not take that passage seriously enough. 

People will not rest in peace who do not have Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  The very next second of their existence is in painful torment in Hell. A life of good deeds means nothing.  We are born in sin and only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can wash that away.  Biblically speaking you can potentially live a perfect life by the world's standards and guarantee your place in Hell.  Salvation is a free gift of God through Jesus Christ.  There's nothing you do to earn it. It's free to all who ask. 

Jesus did all the work on the cross and sealed the deal when He arose from the dead.  

Demons point the world away from this truth by way of the tragedies they create.
They do it through anger, malice, the list goes on.  Anything to keep people from the truth of God that they are permitted by God to do, they will do.  

My Dear Reader before you today is death and life. Your way and God's love for you as shown through what Jesus did to save you.  You can be set free from the sins that have permeated your life.  You can know for sure that should you die today that your very next moment will be in Heaven.  Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father, that is to enter Heaven, but through Him.  

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13 NASB 

The powers of darkness don't want you knowing the truth. The demons know that everything that Jesus spoke of was truth. 
Demons are in this world right now fighting the seeds of life in the lives of men and women from coming to the surface, from salvation taking place in them.  

Seeds of sin always bear the fruit of sin. As Dr. Charles Stanley said in one of his life principles, there are no crop failures in regards to the seeds of sin. Sin, brings death. Eternal separation from God. A single sin is enough.

My Friend, do not take this message lightly.  Jesus loved you enough to take the penalty of your sins upon Himself. He took your place and died for you that you might find life in Christ Jesus. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

To Follow

To Follow 
by David Brenneman 

To follow isn't to be in the lead. 
To obey is to not be the one in charge, calling the shots. 
To listen isn't for us to be speaking. 

We're to follow Jesus in obedience. 
We're to be doing:  Pointing people to Jesus.  Arranging the introduction.  Being who we were meant to be in Christ Jesus. 

Much of my life that I look back upon, at least to me, is wasted.  Quite probably in God's eyes was a necessity nonetheless to bring about what is going on in my life today.  

As the days go by I am less and less interested in the things of this world and am more and more interested in what God's wanting me to be interested in.

We aren't to be in the drivers seat. 
We aren't to be telling God what we want in life to make our world into what we deem is best.  That's not God's will. Not even close.  Giving us what we want when we want it does not grow us in Christ.

When you look at your life, your prayer life, what is it filled with?  Just thanking God for your food with the same exact words every time?  Is it you always repeating the same things without any emotion behind them?  Is there no feelings to your talk with Jesus?

Are you in a relationship with Jesus or do you in all reality look at Him as someone you hired?

The Great Commission was for all of us who have come to Christ for salvation.  

It's not about getting everything we want in life to be happy here.  It's not about coasting through life until we die or He returns.  

It's doing something fruitful with what He's given to us.  Look up the parable of the talents.  Those who did something with what they were entrusted were rewarded by the King. Those who didn't were condemned for their lack of obedience. 

Are you living for what makes you happy or are you living for what makes Jesus happy?  When what makes God happy makes us happy then we're getting it.

We're to be His workmanship. We are to becoming what He wants us to be in this life, not what we see ourselves as being. 
It's not to be us deciding to be this or be that. It's not us listening to the world on how we ought to pursue life. 

His workmanship means we are to become what He's envisioned us as being. We read elsewhere that He is the potter and we are the clay. We don't tell the potter what's acceptable or what the finished product will look like. 

We read in Romans 12 of living a transformed life. We read in Paul's writings of putting off the old self and its practices and putting on the new self in Christ Jesus. 

To follow in Jesus's name and indeed in Jesus's teaching, the Disciples had to constantly and consistently, say no to themselves.  They were being taught how to deny themselves to take up their own cross and to follow Jesus. 

In the tail end of the Great Commission we read Jesus commanded them to teach others ALL that He commanded them.

We who are in Christ are part of the body of Christ with a clear purpose in the body for specific things to be done by us through His power.  His will is our sanctification, our being made into the character of Christ. That's the objective of being His workmanship.  It's not for us to seek out cushy safe to us places to live out our days in a utopia of our creation. To spend more time with Jesus should be what excites us. 

To be who we were meant to be in Christ. 
Not who we necessarily see ourselves as being. 

I've given up on many dreams for my life. They were shown to me by God as just not fitting into His plans for me and for His overall plan for mankind.  His plans for me are going to have rough patches. Going to have hard times.  Going to have people being harshly critical of me. Going to be strained at times.  But in all of it I am to trust and obey. 

In all of it you are meant to trust and obey. 

We sin greatly when we are technically trying to command God to obey us.
We sin when we persist in living in ways that contradict the Bible. 
We sin when God's word isn't important to us. 
We sin when we insist on life being how we want it. 

This world is not our home. We're just passing through.  We don't go on vacations and get hotels rooms and then spend time at Home Depot, while we are there, doing a makeover of the room do we? 

We're given a great many things in life. Many are seen by us as blessings...but are they really?  Are we truly blessed when what we pursue or maybe are given and it causes us to be more separated from the will of God in us?  We're told that if something or someone causes us or someone else to stumble we are to avoid it. We're told by Jesus to cast such things away.  

If indeed you claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus are you following Him or your idea of who Jesus is?  My Dear Reader MANY will say they did a great many things in their lives for Jesus and they will be told to depart from Him for He never knew them.  We're told that many will hold to a form of godliness although they have denied its power.  Lives wasted because there wasn't a real relationship with Jesus Christ. They never were truly saved. 

Please don't let this be you!

Be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus. 
Be sure that whatever is important to Jesus is important to you. 
Be sure that you are following and not trying to push Jesus out of the driver's seat. 

The Helper, as Jesus called Him, the Paraclete, means "another like Me of the same kind". The indwelling Holy Spirit is to have full authority in our lives to do with us, to us and for us as He sees fit.

There's to be no rooms in our hearts that He cannot clean out or renovate. 

Therefore if any man is in Christ He is a new creation, behold old things have passed away and new things have come. 

Is there evidence of this in your life?  If not, my Dear Reader, you now know what to do. 

Sunday, March 26, 2023


by David Brenneman 

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount out-poured–
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater– yes, grace untold–
Points to the Refuge, the mighty Cross. 
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
All who are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive? 
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Author: Julia H. Johnston (1910)
Grace Greater Than All Our Sin 

Oh the wake up reminders.  Waking up to being reminded of the grace of God.  Of the truth of God that takes our sins and casts them as far away as the east is from the west. 

But you don't know what I have done! The thoughts that I have had! The things that I did! The words that I have said!  There's too much for God to ever forgive me!  

My Dear Reader, all that you are aware of and all that you're not aware of, in regards to your sins...Jesus took upon Himself and on the judgment decree concerning you stamped "paid in full"...if indeed you have Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Trusting in what He did on that cross to pay for your sins gets you that summary judgment wiped clean. But you my Friend must choose to accept that free gift and you must trust God with doing what He promised you. buts...Once you come to Christ for salvation you're now a child of God, with all the rights and privileges that go with it. Forgiveness being one of the greatest. Grace...God's Riches At Christ's Expense.  God's unmerited favor. Unmerited meaning there is nothing you did to earn it, nothing you ever need to do to gain more of it. Your deeds do not add to your being saved.  There are no works to do. 

What works you DO do are out of appreciation for all He's done to save you. 

But I!  Yes, sin has that effect on people.  It's a normal reaction to realizing He's a Holy God and we are not holy in and of ourselves. 

I have no need by way of reminders that I need His grace and His mercy.  His mercy is not doing to us what we often deserve. 

"In common usage, mercy and grace are often used interchangeably. They do not mean the same thing, but they are integrally related and may be considered two sides of the same coin in salvation. When God saves a person, He extends both mercy and grace. Mercy is forgiving the sinner and withholding the punishment that is justly deserved. Grace is heaping undeserved blessings upon the sinner. In salvation, God does not show one without the other. In Christ, the believer experiences both mercy and grace." -from 'Got Questions' post. 

Now if sin ISN'T bothering you after coming to Christ, then there indeed is a significant problem. Sin is going to happen in the life of Believers because we still battle that part of us until either we die or Jesus returns to take us to be with Him. Forgiveness is but a prayer away. Turning from it back to a life that honors Jesus. 

You and I are going to get knocked down by sin.  If indeed we came to Christ for salvation, the Spirit is within us, empowering us towards the Godly work He had in mind for us as well as making us more like Christ. We will be as distracted as a squirrel and a dog at times when it comes to sin. 

It's why it's important not to go it alone in living for Jesus. 

Living for Jesus, a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus Who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior, I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement, didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master, my heart shall be Thy throne;
My life I give, henceforth to live, O Christ, for Thee alone.

Author: Thomas O. Chisholm (1917) 
Living for Jesus 

We are in constant daily need for reminders of His love for us and our need for His transforming power in us.  We need to realize we can't do life apart from Jesus.  We can't fight sin when the cross proved that it took the power of God to defeat it.  To defeat it daily in your life requires us to keep in touch with the one who can deal with it. Sin is going to remind you of all it offers.  It's going to be appealing. Remind sin that it's not worth it and that Jesus defeated it. 

Grace greater than all our sin it exceeds our sin and our guilt. It's there for all who have called upon Jesus to save them. 

So no matter how your sin looks to you, if indeed you are in Christ, turn from it, turn to Jesus and ask forgiveness for it. Remind yourself that in Christ you are a new creation. Old things passed away, new things have come. 

The Bible says that Jesus, right now, is seated at the right hand of His Father, interceding on our behalf. He is our mediator.  When we are saved by Jesus, the Father looks at us and only sees Jesus. 

Oh the grace of God.  I woke up needing His reminder myself.  He says that someone out there needs reminding too.  I have often felt that there ought to be, that there MUST be a punishment for when I sin. Jesus says that in Him I am forgiven...that once I ask Him to forgive let it go. Get back to walking with Dear Reader He says the same thing to you. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Did You Run?

Did You Run?
by David Brenneman 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." Romans 8:28-30 NASB 

Life is going to be hard.  Life in Christ is promised to be more abundant.  As Mark Lowry said in a video of his, it means higher highs and lower lows than we think we are able to handle. And he is right!

But many run from God, although they won't call it that.  They will just find some cushy place to "serve" because of how people treated them.  

Does this stop the work of God in us?  No...but it will cause the lessons necessary to get back on track with the character of Christ being created in us to be more involved and intense. 

Jesus came to seek and save the lost in this world. 
Jesus said to beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers into His harvest.  

That would be all who claim to be in Christ Jesus.  Not some, not a select few, everyone.  

We also need to not grow weary from doing good as it says in Galatians. We are often going to be bombarded. Dragged down. Beat up. All in the service to our God.  We are told this in advance!

1 Peter 4:12 NASB "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you."

We go through life, often bewildered, because things aren't going to our plans. 

Back up there...who's plans? 
We who are in Christ are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.  

So things have happened. People will be harsh with you and I. People will be critical of you and I.  Maybe even excessively so. 

Are we to run from them or trust Jesus?

Satan is an equal opportunity liar. 
Satan will lie to, lie about, and lie to protect what he's invested in. Jesus said that he is a liar and the father of lies. He's the deceiver. He's the enemy of God. 

He absolutely wants to know the date and time of the Rapture but doesn't know it because it's only between the Father and the Son of God. 

He knows it hinges on a particular someone being the last to be saved before that moment in time happens. 

So he's using every tool he's developed to slow or halt people who are Christians from living out their faith.  Keeping them so distracted and consumed by this world that they aren't living for Jesus with a whole heart.  Everything from indulging in self to every imaginable thing.  

His aim is to slow or prevent in as many ways as possible Believers from becoming fully devoted followers of Christ Jesus. 

Using success as a deceptive practice as well.  Pride in success is a big one. Worldly accolades and popularity. 

Whatever it takes to keep people from introducing people to Jesus.

When you look at your life honestly are you a fully devoted follower of Christ?  Be truthful. If the word maybe, or the phrase sometimes, describes you, then my friend you need to reevaluate your life. If you know your calling in Christ Jesus and you left it, it's time to stop running and go back.  A chief fear tool of Satan is planting the seeds of "but what if God wants me to give up..." or "what if He asks me to..." or "you just don't understand those people are so critical!!!".

As it's written in the anything too difficult for God?  Who formed the mouth? Who knew everything about you before you were born? Who set you in the body of Christ as He saw fit?  

Have you ran from God? Dodged your calling in Christ for something else? 

This is all, regardless of our reasoning, disobedience.  Jonah is a prime example of what disobedience to God's calling will get you. Jesus taught of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  

Several in the Bible ran from things and were told by God to return and submit to those He put in authority over them.  

We aren't to seek to change our position in the body of Christ for something easier and with less conflict. That's tantamount to saying that God the Spirit didn't know what He was doing or thinking in placing you where He did. You're accusing Him of making a mistake. 

To grow your character of Christ in you, you need to obey and submit to what God sees as necessary for you. Regardless of how complicated or difficult it may seem. 

It's not too late, as long as a person is breathing, to return to God, ask for forgiveness, and go back to what He's called you to be doing. After all you WILL be asked of Jesus why you didn't. Will any excuse you provide going to stack up against all He went through to save you?

It's always healthy to take a self evaluation of our Spiritual life. Is growing in Christ important to you? Is obedience to God's Word important to you? If not, why not? 

Run back to Jesus instead of away from Him. He loves you unconditionally and is waiting with open arms to receive you back. Yes life is going to be difficult but He promised you would never do it alone.