Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

I have been noticing more and more some disheartening actions among people who claim to follow Christ. We recite our Bible verses about turning the other cheek and not retaliating evil for evil and think we have it. When it comes to things that personally affect us or our family, we do away with the “turn the other cheek” and suddenly an “eye for an eye” becomes our theme.

There is a tendency in all of us to think having the “right” beliefs (religious, political, outlook, theory) or following a certain set of rules, gives us a free pass to act like a nitwit. Some will learn how to refrain and some will always force their jerk-face attitude on others.

Voting for certain candidates is not a justification for being offensive and saying derogatory things about political opponents. Obeying all the rules that we have set for our life does not give us a free pass to treat people harshly who do not agree with us. How we respond to people is how we respond to Jesus. “For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matt. 25:35-36

Our reality of, “I am right” is not an excuse to treat another person like garbage.

Regardless of what others may do to us, whether a minor offense like cutting us off in traffic or something major like, stabbing us in the back when we gave all we could to help them ―we do not treat them with love because their actions merit that we do ―We treat them with love because Christ told us to. And HE will reward us. Be assured God will not bless when purposeful actions are taken against His Children.

When we take into our hands to “get them back” then the scripture “Vengeance Is Mine….I will repay” may never come to fruition. God may say, ―You took care of it―  How much better do you think God could handle it than we ourselves? When God judges or chastises it is much more effective.

If accepting Christ does not transform our heart, our behavior, and our actions then it is time for self-examination. This life-changing effect should be evident most in how we react to those who disagree with us, are not of the same social or political status, or those who just blatantly wronged us. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Our flesh tells us to treat them the way they deserve by their actions but we are to treat people the way Christ treated us.

Jesus, who was innocent and perfect in every way, gave His life in place of all humanity that was guilty. When confronted with his executioners, He cried out “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” After all of horrendous actions that had been done to Him, He had every right to choose retaliation…

Our salvation is not based on our behavior or our obedience of all the rules. But our salvation should change our heart thus changing our behavior. We are saved because we trusted Christ and nothing we can do on our own will get us to Heaven. Simply trusting Him.

We can follow all the rules, attend church every time the doors are open, write books about salvation, or have all the colleges give us Honoree Doctorate degrees but if we treat others like jerks

Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt. 5:4

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I have decided there will always be someone who is prettier than me. There will always be someone with a bigger house, more friends, better clothes, a better job, and more money than me. There are some that seem to value success on the wealth of a person, judge their value on their looks or the success on their accomplishments.

I was never really interested in trying to be better than another in outward appearance but I see more and more that it is important to some. What I do see is when we fix our eyes on those qualities it makes our relationships with others turn into power struggles. I have seen some that have spent so many fruitless days wanting or trying to measure up to someone else.

Coming from my background, I spent my life never being smart enough, never being beautiful enough, never being the one family or friends wanted, never having my worth defined by wealth, status, or success. But according to what I read in the Scripture it is very clear what is valuable to God. He isn’t mentioning the words like success, wealth, clothes, or jobs but clearly it says what the Spirit will produce in one’s life and heart, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:…”Galatians 5:22-23  And these things are available to everyone. That is the part I love about God. He offers it to everyone!

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i loveWhen reading the list I am thinking, OK, this must be a joke!  Right?  …And why did they just name Republicans and not Democrats? Usually easy for most of us to say because we know that is what we are suppose to say. Moderately easy to believe but so very difficult to actually practice…Without Him! We do not even have the ability to love to this degree on our own. We can not create it on our own.

Only His undiscriminating love that causes the sun to rise on the good and the evil is the only One that can produce this kind of love. All He has asked of us is to release our hearts to Him. We are still caught up in our eye for an eye thought that totally releasing our heart to the love that Jesus wants us to have for others is a so foreign to most.

He wants us to love like HE loves. Christ loved me first – end of story!  (I have a lot of work to do on this subject!)

Matt. 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

lovecoversThroughout the scripture nakedness is consistently a dishonor. It comes connected to the idea of being open or exposed to the sight of everyone else. It also bears the belief of sin.

Nakedness is often referred to as a vulnerability. Our vulnerabilities or nakedness is there for all to observe. It is unethical for Christians to cover up or adopt a “code of silence” if your church leader or a person in leadership is involved with organized crime conspiracy or even some suspected invisible satanic ring?  Nor can we have toleration of immorality. That would be ridiculous.

Then we have things in our life that are not gross negligence sins but things that we may need help or guidance with.  While there are some people that want to dig their heels in and expose anything they can of others – that isn’t what Christ did. When Jesus was on earth, He spent so much time eating with sinners that the religious leaders accused Him of being a sinner. Instead of criticizing those who had problems Christ chose to help them.  He loved them, taught them, encouraged them, and built relationships with them.

How much more effective we would be if we adopted an attitude like Christ and do what we can to protect and shield when others are trying to expose. We would be considered a true Godly friend. True Godly friends cover-up others vulnerability to protect  but they are doing so in love and blessing.  Mature believers will step forward and guard the exposed areas from others. They will refuse to judge and will prohibit others from pointing out the failures. They will stand in the gap, defending, protecting and covering the nakedness.

prideBefore criticizing  others about ‘their’ sin we must make sure that our spirit isn’t haughty.  Repeatedly, the scripture warns of pride precipitating a fall.

 

bare

We always need to be very aware of our own nakedness (weaknesses) before approaching the throne of God!  Exodus 20:26 “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:16-21

What a passage for Jesus to read as He began His public ministry! Reading from Isaiah 61:1-11, His gracious words were so different from what the people heard from the religious rulers of their day. Most people  I know, with very few exceptions, have a past they would rather not re-live. Haunting memories cloud our minds. We feel broken, imprisoned by our previous experiences. It doesn’t matter if these wounds were self -inflicted by our own sin or by someone else’s. The result is still the same.  Noone is excluded from the blessings of knowing Christ as Savior.

Jesus, in His sweet, compassionate voice calls to each one of us, offering us:

Wholeness for brokenness (Isaiah 53:4-5)

Liberty for bondage (Romans 8:1-2; John 8:31-36)

Light for darkness (John 1:4-5; John 8:12)

Joy for mourning (Psalm 30:11-12; 1 Peter 1:3-9)

A spirit of praise for despair (Ps. 40:1-3; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Belonging for rejection (1 John 3:1; Galatians 4:6-7)

Righteousness for injustice (Isa. 26:1-8; Isa. 30:18-19)

In Him the disgraced find newness of life. The abandoned are taken under the shelter of His wings. Hope is restored. What a Savior!

Blessings! ~Kelly (more…)

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and He shall bring it to pass.  And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”    Psalm 37:5-7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The older I get, the more the book of Job is a comfort to me.  Having lost so much within a short period of time, the righteous man could have easily taken his eyes off the Lord and focused on his loss.  Instead, he laid hold of his confidence in the Great Provider and exclaimed, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15).

It’s so very important that our eyes are fixed on the Lord at all times.  If they aren’t, our circumstances will dictate our emotions.  When things go smoothly, we are happy.  When times are rough, we are frustrated.

It’s vital that we remember God’s promises.  Claiming them when disaster strikes keeps us steady.  Knowing God’s nature (from studying His Word) reassures us of His faithfulness, His love, His justice, His righteousness.

Let’s commit together to trust Him in all circumstances, to follow Him closely.  He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us.  (Hebrews 13:5)

Many blessings!

~Kelly

 

1 John 4:4-6

In Scripture we see two times when satan tested the believer’s faith.  The first occasion is recorded in Job 1:6-12 and the second in Luke 22:31-34.  Job and Peter were satan’s targets.  While both men were triumphant, by God’s grace, in their testings, the most vulnerable areas of their lives were targeted.

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I dedicate this song to my precious sister, Jen.  When the raindrops are falling, I will walk right beside you.  I love you!!

 

As refugees from the surrounding countries are coming here to begin a new life, my heart sinks as I see the hopelessness in their eyes. Women are laying their babies on the sidewalks to sleep while they wait for their turn to enter the building. The sun is hot, their clothes are tattered, they look hungry. The hopelessness in their brown eyes is heart-piercing.

My heart aches. I think to myself…”If I were rich, I wouldn’t buy myself anything. I don’t need anything. But oh, how I would love to have enough money to house and feed some of these families.” From the depths of my heart I pray the Lord will work in each one of their hearts to bring them to Himself if they don’t already know Him. That He would meet each one of their needs and show them that only He is God.

I think about their future life in America, Canada, or Germany. Will the people there accept them? Will there be enough government funding for them to have a chance? They will have to learn a new language. How can they concentrate? They have been displaced from their homeland. Many of their loved ones are still in that country. Their hearts are torn.

“Lord, as we meet with some of these dear people today, let us be Your hands and Your feet. Let them see You vividly, living in us. Help us to serve them beautifully, in Jesus’ Name. It’s only in You that true refuge can be found.”

~Kelly
1 Chron. 7:14

Myself:  What message would you like me to send to the believers back home?

The persecuted:  Please tell them we are their brothers and sisters in the faith.  We love Jesus so much.  We NEED their prayers!  Our brothers and sisters are being put in prison because they love Jesus and will not renounce their faith.  They are being put among the hardest of criminals and sometimes beaten daily.  They are denied medical attention as well.

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