Posts Tagged ‘religion’

copied from Simple Reminders

copied from Simple Reminders

The older I get the more I realize that I am just not comfortable in groups of people. It is just much simpler for me to stay home than to go to a social gathering. There are times I want to catch up with old friends and enjoy a cup of coffee and a dessert but I find it a daunting tasks to do so.  Most of the time I force myself to put it on my calendar because socializing is out of my comfort zone. Long after the event is over it isn’t important what I wore or how awkward I felt but that I made room for someone or something I enjoy.

I need to learn how to make time for people who need me by making time in my heart and in my home. Time is something we all have and yet everyone has a need for our time. For me to sit selfishly in my home because that is where I am comfortable, is not allowing the Holy Spirit to use me where I am needed.

I am reminded of this verse and He promises me that His presence is with me whether I am comfortable or not. John 14: 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Being sociable is almost always an inconvenience. Being with those who need us is not about my own comfort but it’s about making others feel safe and happy with where they are. Jesus made time for everyone, for all types of people—friends; whether rich or poor, people who betrayed Him, strangers and foreigners, the little ones, and so many more. Making time for others was a character of His ministry.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross for me to be comfortable but for me to be conformed to His image. Me being conformed to His image is me taking time to give to others…comfortable or not.

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love

Christ calls us to become His image- to reach out to a hurting world and bring His Spirit to that world.  We’ve had too many years of talking – it’s time to get  busy. Let’s pray for His leadership and direction so we can go out and live His love. The world needs you. The world needs HIM!

Mark 12:29-31 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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We as Christians are to reflect the heart of Christ, to love the way He loves.  If we do not love with the love of Christ then all we do is a hypocritical devotion, flowery language and our church attendance and such are just empty gestures. God did not want us to attend church on Sunday and turn our back to the pain in this world the rest of the time. He wants us to seek justice for the mentally ill, to protect the defenseless, to set captives free, to live a life of compassion and unselfishness.

Too often we stress on saying and believing the right things, that we turn a blind eye to our piousness and conceit. We have a lack of compassion for the hurting. We have become legalistic and satisfied with our devotion and our good works that we develop an attitude of superiority towards those we deem to be less righteous than ourselves.

Matt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Is it any wonder too many of the world run from us?

We take pride in doing and saying all the right things, but we are absolutely lacking any joy, peace, gentleness, or any love. In the first century, people would exclaim, We tend to forget our real spiritual goal should be to live closer to God and have him form in us the character of the heart Christ. We, as Christians should die daily to our self and learn to love the way Christ loved. If we are truly filled with His Spirit it should be evident in our lives.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Jesus told his disciples a very clear plan that others would recognize them. He didn’t say it was all this legalistic stuff, it is not your church attendance, how you tote your Bible BUT it is how you love!

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

We are so full of dramatization even in our church services and our lives. We want God to be awe stricken with our fancy worship and slick tongued sermons. Why do we spend so much time talking about what we allegedly believe yet so little time living it. Why are we satisfied with following rituals yet neglecting our heart.

Why are we so content with our empty gestures?

ruggedcross

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Ever thought ‘If I could just get a break!” So many times we think it is the ‘Big Break’ that will ‘Open the Door’ to success in life. Or maybe because we came from ‘The wrong side of the Tracks’ is what we blame for holding us back. Maybe blame the family you were born in or ‘I’m the black Sheep’ philosophy. ‘If only’… things had been different in my life… (more…)

  As Christians, we were not intended to live in agreement with the way the world views right and wrong. I have a renewed desire to be a known as someone of peace in a violent world. Someone of forgiveness in a society full of hate and anger. I pray that God’s people will take a stand, together as a community, to loudly declare the Gospel that Christ gave His Life for us to have. What has happened to many who claim to have been set apart for the gospel of Christ?

As Christians, death no longer has a hold of fear for us because we know that death is not our final destination. Everyday we learn anew how to trust God for our every need because He already knows all of our needs even before we ask. We should have no desire to be defined by our looks, our wealth, our belongings, or our importance in society but to be known as a follower of Christ.  A follower of the One who gave all He had …for us. Oh what peace in knowing that He will never take His love away from us. Nothing that we will face in this world can take away the inheritance we have in Christ.

God did not send His Son to make us more religious but to teach us how to pattern our life after Jesus. Jesus allowed himself to be subjected to all the darkness, evil, and violence of this world… and yet He triumphed over it.  God loves us so much and He will give us victory over all the tragedies and sufferings we have to endure.  He has given us eternal life that death cannot shake and Living Water that will always satisfy our thirst. He is our Bread of Life and only He can fill our hunger.

We must take a stand and be a voice for those who can not speak or an advocate for those who have been abandoned and ignored by society. We must take a stand for those who battle with depression, anxiety, and all mental illnesses to help with their feelings of being broken. 

We no longer search to find help for the poor, the widow, the orphan, or the mentally ill.  We seek the approval of the affluent and the powerful.  Something is wrong. So very wrong.

Why are we allowing the Gospel of Christ to become so watered down?  We make an appearance to church on Sunday and we believe that will take care of the idols we have been living by and with during the week. We want to quote stirring and uplifting quotes we have heard yet we never pick up the Word He left for us.

Why don’t we look like him? Why aren’t we known by our love, our self-sacrificing life, our compassion? When we are as fearful of tomorrow and materialistic as everyone else, when His love no longer permeates our lives and hearts, something is wrong. God will not be a counterfeit God.

Do we believe God is impressed with us because we did attend church and we always make charitable contributions by giving to the poor at Christmas time. We are meant to be strangers in this land but instead too many of us are becoming willing participants in it. We find it more appealing to follow the world’s rules than to live the life of complete surrender. Our treasures are not to be laid up in this land where we don’t belong but in heaven where we will live for eternity.

We are getting a strong sense of security…where we don’t belong.

citygirl

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.

A woman of the city, that explains so much.  She comes with a lot of baggage; she has seen all the world at its worst.  Her life has been hard, she has made poor decisions. Enough to pull her into the presence of Jesus.

She may be a stripper, an addict, a porn star. It doesn’t matter, she is a sinner, and scripture does not elaborate beyond this.  All we know is she is ‘a woman of the city,” and that she is referred to as “a sinner.” The sin has made her a desperate person. She steps forward, and does not care about what the crowds are saying about her. She has heard it all before. She comes with her flawed and inadequate heart, to anoint him with an ointment that is somewhat susceptible because of her past.

She pushes forward, pressing past the inner ring of disciples who are ‘protecting’ Jesus.  She takes what she has, and pours it on Jesus’ feet.  It is a concentrate of a perfume that is intense, and very much a declaration of what her heart is wants to do. The scent of this ointment undoubtedly very strong, and lingers, being a concentrate. It probably comforted Jesus while he was being nailed to the cross. He would remember what she had done to him. Her love would comfort him as he was dying.

Jesus acknowledges her decision to bless him in this unique way.  She pushes to him with a single mindedness that we can only marvel at.  She falls at his feet, and Jesus allows himself to be touched by a women that has such a difficult and dark past.  I truly believe He takes everyone whoever comes to him. He passes no judgement on her, and people who are like her— like me.

He has no issues, and accepts all who the Father brings to him.

This sinful woman has shown the way for sinners like us to connect. Her action establishes for us a precedent— a sure way to advance into his presence.  We start by admitting that we are in a very desperate state.  Her example focuses everyone to all  what is truly important, and we dare not slip past her example. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We know that this is true.

We must come, as she has come, in faith that only He can forgive us.  We should come with a radically intense intention to be with him.  There must be a real decision (on our part) to follow after him.  When we actually fall at his feet, we will find ourselves to be completely forgiven.

Luke 7: 47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

I found this on Broken Believers.  Sometimes another blogger can say what you are saying and it is so good!  It is not an exact quote of his blog.Thank you for writing it!

−Life doesn’t always turn out the way we imagined it would.
−We have been confronted with loss, been battered in the storms, and sometimes dazed at not knowing what happened.
−We live in a fallen world and it’s all part of living here.
−Regardless of the circumstances we face – there is always hope.
−A hope that is true no matter what we have been through.
−Hope in God whose ways are higher than ours.
−Hope in the future He Promised He has begun to prepare for us.
−Hope that even though the rain clouds have come they will surely bring flowers tomorrow.
−I can’t even begin at this time to comprehend how He will bring this to pass.
−There is no limit to what My God can do.
−All I know is I Believe.

Isaiah 43: 2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

~Jen

In New York stands the Statue_of_liberty where inscribed on the base is this poem, ”The_New_Colossus”, written by the Jewish-American poet Emma_Lazarus in 1883.

…With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

“Give me your tired, your poor” reminds me of  Matt. 11:28. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Or in Luke 6:20 & 24 “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” and 6:24 “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”

forgiven

One of the songs I have always loved has been, The Cross is My Statue of Liberty! I choose to trust Jesus in these times. He has proven over and over that He alone is trustworthy. I will NOT be afraid because I know the end of the story.

~Jen

This year has been a hard time on our reputation as a church.  Many pastors have stepped down because of various reasons.  This is heart breaking! Within our denomination where we are missionaries, I see a rising trend, not in all churches but in many as we travel.

When we give the ownership of a church to man, then we have taken God’s glory away from Him.  It is never good when that happens.

I believe when we give more praise and more glory to the man leading than to God we are practicing idolatry. Isaiah 42:8 says, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Isaiah 48:11 says, “…I will not give my glory unto another.”

When someone is more concerned about what their preacher will think about something than what God will think about something. This is a very serious matter! (more…)

I have struggled and struggled as I write these thoughts. I’ve thought about this a lot. Why does it seem that so many people are being hurt, wronged, burned, or ostracized by the church? It has become such a battle cry. And I’m reading or hearing this too many times, “I’ve been wounded by the church!” (more…)

Dallas Holm sang this song in the 70’s.
So let my light.
Shine in the night time.
Let it shine
All day through.
Let it shine
Shine for Jesus.
May it shine
Shine on you

The Bible shows us that when we live in sin, we live in darkness. When the light, the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ lives in us He pierces that darkness!

Oh Lord let my Light be hard to contain and let it shine for You. ~Jen

You can learn how to get to heaven right here!

1Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Rom. 3: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.