God is definitely in the habit of messing with our heads. Jesus went to great lengths to describe an abomination that He expected His disciples to receive — eating His body and drinking His blood. Everyone was grossed out. What was Jesus’s response? Does this offend you? (John 6:61)
What’s the right answer to that? To say yes would be admitting that you don’t receive the word the He gave. To say no means that you’d be ok with eating flesh and drinking blood. Without understanding the real context, you just have to believe that Jesus wasn’t being disgusting.
Does this offend you? How often has offense kept us from understanding deeper truths? Yes, we understand that we are saved by grace. That’s a basic truth. But that’s just the doorway to the kingdom. There is so much more to learn about our God. Jesus tried to teach more, but could not. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (John 3:12)
We’re supposed to pray on earth as it is in heaven, because our world doesn’t look like heaven. If we are to learn heavenly things, then what He has to teach will be radically different from what we think we know. Are we prepared to be radically changed? Or will we be offended? A smart answer would be to press in and learn more.
The foundational attitude of the Christian should be that everything is done in love. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (I Cor 13:3)
No matter what we do, if we do not love through it, we are not responding correctly. This takes some serious devotion. God has to do some real work in us for that to be true. We have a lot of history to let go of. We have to go against societal norms that push us to get our own way.
Love is the air we breath in the kingdom. Check yourself and see what your motivations are. In your daily interactions with people, you probably never even think about it. That’s why we have to submit ourselves to God. He has to change us and renew our minds. When we are filled with His Spirit, we led by Him, when we choose to pay attention. Our actions can actually be motivated by love.
Ask God to help you love more. Ask Him to remove anything from your life that keeps you from loving. Be honest with Him and confess any unholy attitudes that you know you have. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit so you can be the loving one that changes the lives of people you meet with. Love is awesome. Get more.
You’ve heard the quote: “I cried because I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.” We need to learn to be thankful. God is always gracious and kind to us, but we forget so easily. One day we’re happy to be blessed, and the next day we’re grumbling because something didn’t go right.
We all do it, so we need to encourage each other to remember how very blessed we are. Count your blessings. Remember that song? What a good idea. Go back and look at all the things you know God has done for you. Thank Him for it. Use that testimony to encourage someone else.
Just remembering your blessings will give you faith to trust God for the things you face today. He is always faithful. If He helped you in the past, He will do it again. All He wants is your faith.
Don’t let discouragement win. God is good. He is always good, and will be there for you again and again.
If you’ve been Facebook at all, you’ve seen those personality quizzes that have gone almost viral. I tend to not pay attention to them, but I got curious about the Which Bible Character Are You? I bit. But I wasn’t happy with the character I was given: Mary Magdalene. The description said, You are someone with a past. It went on to describe what a true and steadfast friend I was, etc.
But I didn’t like the inference that I had a “past”. Then I started to think about it. Of course I had a “past”. We all do. Mary Magdalene’s past may have been notorious, but sin is sin. My sin before I was saved still kept me from God. There is no righteous sin. We are all saved by grace.
Humility is a difficult lesson, but one that is a good to learn. What ever our past is, the blood of Jesus washes us clean. We are all in the same boat with the same needs for salvation. Once we start looking down our nose at other people, we forget our own need.
Mary Magdalene loved Jesus. I’m happy to be like her.
Be ready to do things out of the box.
If you want to grow in faith, to know God more, to have a deeper relationship with Him, something will have to change. You can’t have a different experience doing the same thing you’ve been doing. The problem is, most of us hate change. We’re very, very comfortable with what we know. We like our schedules and set agendas.
But God tends to work outside of our schedules and set agendas. In fact, He loves to shake us up as much as possible. When we rely on what we already know, we stop turning to Him. That’s the kiss of death right there. Complacency will always lead away from God.
But even if we’re not complacent, even when we are pressing into Him and still want more, we have to be willing to do things differently. Maybe it’s how we pray. Maybe it’s something about how we read the Word or worship. Ask God what He wants from you. Listen with your heart. Feel His nudging. He wants more of you. He wants as much as you’ll give Him, so He definitely knows how to get you closer.
Change for the sake of change doesn’t mean much. But if you want more of God, be ready to do things differently. As some people have said, faith is spelled R I S K.
We have to stop making God into our own image. He is not limited in any capacity. He can do anything we ask, if we just believe. Because we are human, we tend to think of everything in terms of what we can do. We don’t always believe that God is capable of doing what He says He can, because we can’t conceive how that could happen. That’s because we’re human.
God is greater than any sinful or diseased condition that we can possibly imagine. Just remember that He is a great big God and we have little bitty problems. His Spirit in us is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. God does not give the Spirit by measure. (John 3:34) That means that there is no limit to how much of His Spirit that He has given. He didn’t let us have a starter pack or limited time usage. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2Pet 1:3)
What will you do with that power that God gave you?
God not only provided a way of salvation, He provided everything that we need to live in the power of the Spirit of God Himself. You must choose to live in it, or you will not experience everything that has been given to you. You’ve been given a powerful sports car. Will you drive it, or just carry the keys around?
Living in the kingdom of God is an amazing, powerful, and delightful. And it’s yours to live if you want.
Fear not, live in peace.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2Tim 1:7) Isn’t that a fantastic verse! You have power and love and a sound mind if you are in Christ. Anything that does not fit that is not of God. Fear, anger, hate, disease are of the enemy. And don’t forget that you have power, so you can tell the enemy to take a hike and he has to go.
Far too many people live not knowing that the power to live in God’s peace is already in them. All they have to do is claim what is theirs. Love is theirs. Peace is theirs. A sound mind is theirs.
The spirit of fear can take a number of forms that make it look noble. We may call it concern. We may call it being responsible, but really we’re just afraid something might go wrong. Anything that is not trust in God is going to feel fearful because we have no certain faith in anything or anyone else but God.
If fear, anxiety, concern, or anything that makes you afraid is bothering you, tell it to go in Jesus’s name. You have the power to do it. God said so. Live free and in peace. That’s you right as a child of God.