Jesus Christ Saves Sinners

Jesus Christ came to save the souls of sinners. So many feel His purpose was to save Jews from sinning, but the truth is, He and his disciples scoured the known world to save souls, all souls. No one was excluded, there were and are many ethnicities and religions in world. There are churched and unchurched souls, believers, backsliders, nonbelievers and the totally lost. Never feel you cannot share the Good Word, even for comparative purposes. You never know what your sharing will spark.

God sent himself in the form of His Son to save us sinners. We will sin until we die. It is our nature, but thank God, because Jesus was crucified, we received the gift of redemption. Share the fact that our God is a loving God, the only God that does not punish and gives salvation.

In many cases, casual conversation and demonstrating who Christ is through our actions works better than banging a Bible over the heads of those we are trying to reach. Be open, kind, thoughtworthy, meek/gentle and in control when sharing the Word or testifying about your relationship with our Lord. Those we are trying to reach are watching us. Remember we are sinners saved by grace. We had to accept Christ as Our savior too.

Have a blessed day. Don’t forget to put on your armor, the whole Armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18.

Liberation Through Action

While growing up we always wanted to make our parents proud of us. Do you think Christ is pleased when listening to us speak, holding conversations (with others or internally), or observing our actions? Accomplishing Colossians 3:17 is more difficult than it sounds.

How many times have you caught yourself getting ready to say something that flies in the face of God, or actually said it? Far too often if you’re like me.

Sometimes age engenders degrees of wisdom in various parts of our life. When we are younger, this tends to be an on again, off again process. We get busy running from one thing to the next, trying to meet deadlines, spending time with friends, and raising children. We lose sight of our relationship with God and say and things we later regret.

To this end, I’m practicing eliminating this type of talk with some success and find it liberating.

I’m also practicing weighing my actions before taking action. Not easy, but when accomplished, it is definitely satisfying.

Care to join me? It’s more than an exercise. It’s establishing your life in Christ.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Image and Scripture – youVersion, Bible.com

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God Bless you and keep you in all of His ways.

The Lord Our God is With Us

We have all been in a place of doubt, and have cried out – God where are you? Looking back, these times advanced and strengthened my relationship with God and caused me to open my Bible. My doubt led to conviction. I now know my God is with me, is a mighty warrior who saves me. Delights in my actions, obedience, dependency, and antics. Loves me as I am, and rejoices in our relationship. How about you?

God’s Will, God’s Promises, Part 2

My intention this past week was to move deeper into God’s Promises, categories for classification purposes, and how we apply them by yielding free-will to God’s Will for our lives. But after discussions about Free-will and Satan’s deceptions in our lives, it became clear that most of us do not clearly understand the magnitude of Satan’s scheme and deceptions, including me. I do not profess to know everything about them, but want to share what I do know because if we cannot establish that his schemes exist, the magnitude of his deception, then we will never understand how free-will can adversely affect our lives or lead us to believe and accept God’s Will for our lives.

We live in layers of Deception

Deception is diabolical and innocent people fall prey to it daily, that includes you and me. When we fall prey, we fall into sin and thus temporarily out of God’s Will. I say temporarily because as we become more aware of Satan’s (schemes) deceptions we are better able to stay in God’s Will and trust His Promises.

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 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. ‘ Eph. 6:10-12 

Satan controls the airways and the things of this world. Eph 6:10, stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4, ‘Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.) I believe we can extend this to those who don’t believe and those that do not stand by the Word of God, those of us who acquiesce to the draw of this world.

Satan controls the way people think when we are not alert and focuses especially on Christians. How often have you become angered by a leader’s’ path that seems to have gone astray? Any leader, political, corporate, spiritual, or for that matter, anyone you know. When we are at odds with them, philosophically, ethically, or spiritually, we often become disgruntled by their intentions and perhaps, begin to hate their very existence. It is at this very point that we unknowingly are drawn into Satan’s camp.

Let’s unpack what happens when we hate

Many of us are or have become unsettled when our leaders, or those that impact our lives, seem to inspire behavior that we deem unacceptable. We dislike what we see, dislike what we hear, and we develop a hateful attitude and behavior that is inauthentic, misguided and perhaps even evil. When we allowed hate to dwell in us, we immediately separated ourselves from God’s Will. When we hate, we focus on the person and not what is guiding them. The adage, ‘hate the behavior and not the person’, speaks to our failings as we find ourselves in the midst of the deception. Now, I’m not saying that we have to agree with the person or persons, I am simply saying that we have to discern who the real actor is manipulating the person, and most often it is Satan. Acting our of free-will is often Satan inspired. Yes, sometimes we humans act independent of the principality war, choosing to exercise our free-will rather than God’s Will, but regardless, we must stay awake and alert, our enemy walks the earth looking to devour us. He sets the stage to create chaos, battles, and war. He does not want us to examine ourselves. He wants us to exercise our free-will which leads to eventual destruction. We must be aware of the rise of destruction in our lives.

When lies, manipulations, bigotry, and hate become our acceptable norm, we fall from grace. We are no longer abiding by God’s Will. If we do not abide by His Will, we will not consider His Promises as Truth.

If we look into the heavenlies, we would see the principalities warring and would know that the above is counter to His Word which includes the Ten Commandments, the Fruit of the Spirit, God’s Will for our lives, and His Promises to us.

If we begin to naively believe the deceiver by accepting the deception, Satan has separated us from the Will of God. How does this happen? We feed the deception through our anger, our words, and our actions. Greed, access, control, and power cloud our thinking. We walk around with blinders on. We listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ and join the choir.  Our mind is home to spiritual warfare. When we relax, we open ourselves to the onslaught of the evil one.

The Trap

Do you know who gets caught in this trap? Believers get caught in the trap. It was designed for us. Believers often feel that as God’s children, we are immune to the wiles of the evil one. We are subtly persuaded to let down our guard, accept a little white lie, accept something we have not rightfully earned, spew harmful gossip, become intoxicated by flattery, manipulate people to do our bidding, go along with what is expedient and lucrative, and slip and slide trying to avoid getting caught. We wear our disguise as believers pretending to hold fast to the Word, but in reality, we are so intoxicated by deceptive values we begin to believe our own rhetoric, the rhetoric of the evil one.

Crossing The Line

We unwittingly cross the line. For example – when I was a child, my friend said, let’s steal some candy from the candy store. (One kid in your neighborhood always tried to get everyone else to join him in stealing candy.) I refused for a long time, but then the other kids said it’s easy, you can’t get caught, we do it all of the time. You’re just a scarry-cat. I finally gave in, or I should say, caved in. I knew it was wrong but was tired of being on the outside. I stole some candy, but during and after stealing the candy, I felt so guilty that I could not enjoy it. But I knew that it was morally wrong to steal. I knew God’s Commandment, ‘do not steal’, and I was convicted. I couldn’t rest, so I told my parents. They reprimanded me. My father took me to the store to tell the merchant what I did. (My Dad had spoken with the merchant earlier and they decided to ‘scare me straight’.) I thought I was going to jail. But the merchant accepted my apology and my $.25. My Dad and I went home. I thought it was over, but to my surprise,  I was punished for a week. (Just like our parents, God often chastises us for wrongdoing to help us learn the lesson.) Now, suppose I continued at this pace, the guilt would have subsided and this would have become my new norm. I would have unwittingly fallen prey to the deception – no harm, no foul. Fortunately, Sunday School and my parents prepared me for battle, and while I slipped (ah, free-will), the Holy Spirit helped me self-correct. You see, the soft, quiet voice was alive and active, and most importantly, I was in tune and could hear His voice. What experiences have you had that when you look back, you’ve been suckered into immoral, unethical situations? Think about them and identify where you faltered.

The Soft, Quiet Voice Speaks

People who ignore the quiet, soft voice of the Holy Spirit eventually become deaf and stop hearing His voice. When we stop hearing his voice, They fall into layers of deception: the loss of self-control, gentleness, kindness, honesty, peace, joy, love, and faithfulness(the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23) leaves the void that is filled with the desires of this earth. The void is filled with new norms – greed, access, control, self-righteousness, power and camaraderie with those sharing the same belief.

Responsibility

It is our responsibility, as Christians, to pay attention to everything going on around us, to stay in the Word, and by being alert, ‘stand firm’. Oh, if it was only that easy. As humans, we relax and let our guard down. When discomfort overwhelms us, we completely cave in or we come to attention, get back up and realign ourselves with the Word. Some are able to take immediate action, others awaken much later, and still, others remain in the catatonic state of deception, all the while believing the lie that they are faith-filled Christians. Do you know how to get your footing back?

We do not have the luxury of being naive. The world is filled with unbelievers, misdirected believers, and wicked people; to think otherwise is to fall into deception. Our world is in great chaos and we must make a decision as to where we stand.  I for one will stand and share the Good Word. Now that I know that free-will is not free but can lead me into the lake of destruction I relinquish my will in favor of God’s Will for my life. I fear being enticed by the world, forgo praying, and letting Satan escalate his plans for my eventual destruction. What do you fear? On whose side will you stand?

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by what we see or hear, remember the things of this earth below to Satan and it is his intention to give this world and HD TV effect. If we are going to discern the Truth, we must read and study the Scriptures in the Bible, pray and meditate on the Word on a daily basis. We must wear our spiritual (x-ray) goggles and view the deception for what it is, Satan’s failing attempt to kill, steal, and destroy.

In times such as this and especially in times of crisis, it is important to put on our battle gear, stay in prayer, and bombard the atmosphere with the Word, in the belief that we are the victors through Christ Jesus who died on the cross for us.

 

Websites – lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com; youngchristianwarriors.com;
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

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God’s Will – God’s Promises, Part 1

God's promises3

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV

To understand God’s Will for our lives, we must know and accept His promises. This month our focus is on God’s promises and how they apply to our daily living.

Last month the focus was obedience, dependence, and love. You will begin to see that they are the building blocks for applying God’s promises. He uses His promises to help move us from our current circumstances to a new place. It is important that we must respect His Word to understand the validity of following His Word. If we are going to choose to follow His Word, we must know what it means. Otherwise, we will fall prey to the evil one’s mastery of deception.

Satan works overtime to destroy the faith of Christians. Paul says, “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11). Satan’s main weapon is deceit. He is described as the “serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev 12:9).

It is easy to deceive a person when they have no basis to understand the intent of the deception. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’s definition of deceiving is to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose upon; to mislead; to cheat; to disappoint; to delude; to ensnare. These are Satan’s tactics. His goal is to convince you that your free-will is exclusive to your desires to live life as Satan offers it, not as God designed it for your use. His purpose is to steal God’s promises for your life and send you to hell.

The requisite to understanding our free-will is knowing and believing God’s Promises to be the truth. Smith Wigglesworth once preached ” God wants to bring all of us into line with His Will. The Bible builds up our character in God, and through this process, we are changed by the Spirit from glory to glory and faith for faith, which comes by hearing by the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17) “The Word of God comes in to separate us from everything that is not of God.”The Holy Spirit molds us in God’s Will.”” [Smith Wigglesworth, by Faith, April 21, 1945, pp. 800, 801]

We must follow God and His Word in obedience, and He will shine a light on the path ahead (John 14:21).

God gave us free-will because He wants us to think. Without free-will He would have to demand what he wants us to do; that does not inspire a relationship. He would prefer that we weigh our options and choose His Will for our lives. God is not a dictator. In governance terms, while Christians live in a theocracy, it appears much like a democracy, in that rules and laws are in place, but it is up to us to follow them. It is our choice and the consequences are in line with the action taken.

God’s Promises, God’s Will, Fruit of the Spirit, Free-will, The freedom to choose

God’s promises are generally categorized according to the Fruit of the Spirit. This was an Ah-hah moment for me. I read, studied and wrote on the Fruit of the Spirit. I read and studied free-will and God’s Will, and when I began to read and study about God’s promises, it all began to come together.

Websites – lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com;
youngchristianwarriors.com;
biblestudytools.com;bible.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Insightful Interpetation of the Passion of Christ and Psalm 22 from Aletia.com

SPIRITUALITY

What Pope Benedict XVI taught me about the last words of Christ

Tod Worner | Apr 13, 2018

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There is brilliance in His quoting of Psalm 22 that I had entirely missed.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

– Matthew 27:46

It was a crushing cry. These nine words were emitted between choking gasps from a bruised and bleeding God-made-man nailed to an executioner’s tree. From those weeping over or taunting him, there was confusion. Whether it was in Hebrew or Aramaic, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? was misinterpreted by some as Christ calling upon Elijah. With dark glee, as if wagering over a carnival game, some observed, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” (Matthew 27:49) But then there were others present who understood the translation of his words. They were the words King David wrote in Psalm 22. They knew the words from their upbringing in the synagogue. But at this very moment, they didn’t understand what they signified.

For years, I thought these words represented the blackest depths that Christ reached before death. It was a moment of God despairing of God. It was the Faithful One arriving at the desperate point of faithlessness. Perhaps the hell on earth that savaged Jesus led the suffering human in Jesus to momentarily eclipse the Eternal God. Even my hero, G.K. Chesterton, may not have completely understood what was happening when he wrote,

In this indeed I approach a matter more dark and awful than it is easy to discuss; and I apologise in advance if any of my phrases fall wrong or seem irreverent touching a matter which the greatest saints and thinkers have justly feared to approach. But in that terrific tale of the Passion there is a distinct emotional suggestion that the author of all things (in some unthinkable way) went not only through agony, but through doubt …When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.

But then I read Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week (from the entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection). Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that Jesus is the “new David.” And in reciting the Psalms, Jesus is taking full ownership of words spoken by the great Old Testament King which were truly and timelessly Christ’s words. Benedict would write,

In the Passion — on the Mount of Olives and on the Cross — Jesus uses passages from the Psalms to speak of himself and to address the Father. Yet these quotations have become fully personal; they have become the intimate words of Jesus himself in his agony. It is he who truly prays these Psalms; he is their real subject. Jesus’ utterly personal prayer and his praying in the words of faithful, suffering Israel are here seamlessly united. (p. 153)

In uttering the opening words of Psalm 22, Christ is owning the horrors of his Passion as originally articulated by King David. But here is the brilliance I missed.

The great “Passion Psalm” (Psalm 22), which begins with the words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, ends with a promise that anticipates the granting of the prayer: “From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord.” (Psalm 22: 25-26) In truth, these words are fulfilled now: “the afflicted shall eat”. What they receive is more than earthly food; they receive the true manna: communion with God in the risen Christ. (p. 140-141)

To be sure, the Psalms are deeply personal prayers, formed while wrestling with God, yet at the same time they are uttered in union with all who suffer unjustly, with the whole of Israel, indeed with the whole of struggling humanity, and so these Psalms always span past, present, and future. They are prayed in the presence of suffering, and yet they already contain within themselves the gift of an answer to prayer, the gift of transformation. (p. 215)

In his agonizing cry, Jesus is not despairing of God. He is enduring the crushing weight of the world’s blackest sin. He is the unblemished Paschal Lamb standing in for us to receive the justice we deserve (which he doesn’t). Christ owns the horrors of his Passion by reciting Psalm 22, but he simultaneously points a hopeful finger toward the inevitable end of the same Psalm. He endures Justice (the beginning of Psalm 22) while he dispenses Grace (the end of Psalm 22). His act clears our debt and grants us Eternal Life. He is transformed through death and resurrection. And, in Him, we are transformed as well.

So do not forget, Psalm 22 begins, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 

and ends,

The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn, the deliverance you have brought.

Good Friday anticipates Easter. And so did Jesus.

Suffering ends in Glory.

Death is swallowed by Resurrection.

Justice gives way to Mercy.

How glorious. And brilliant.

May we proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance God has brought.

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Do Good To One Another

It is God’s Will that we do good to one another. We may not like everyone, but as I shared with my students during my Principal Days, it is important to respect each other as a child of God, even if they appear wayward.

We cannot change others to become mini-us’ (is that even a word?). Though I have observed, loving-kindness (Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23), does change the heart, and once God enters, the person changes. Our obedience (Deut. 11:1, John 15:9, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Romans 1:5, Rev. 14:-12) is the key; we are commanded to love thy neighbor. The Lord repays evil. He said vengeance is mine (Romans -12:19).

We can only do God’s Will and let Him do the rest.

Have a great Friday. This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice in it. (Eph 118:24). Have a blessed day, after all, we are His children and He cares for us.

God’s Will-God’s Promises, Part 2 is in the making. Look for this Post in the next 48 hours.