Ephesians 2:1-3 reveals that we were children of wrath before our faith in Jesus. Because of our sinful state, God was not all lovey-dovey with us. In fact, the reality is that the stench of our lives ticked Him off.
Romans 5:8 states that while this was true, God expressed His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us. Contradiction! Throw out the Bible. It’s untrustworthy. How can we have been both children of wrath and loved by God at the same time? It’s not only not contradictory, but it’s also a most liberating truth.
You and I never deserved His love; and yet, He gave it anyway. He placed tremendous value on someone who had no value whatsoever. There was never anything special about you until He decided to make you special. Remember John 1:12 states that He gave us the right to become children of God through faith and faith alone in Jesus.
Next time you start haranguing yourself over a character flaw that will ultimately be changed, remember your Father thinks much more highly of you than you ever deserve. This should lead to an attitude of gratitude instead of self-debasement, which will get your focus back on Jesus rather than on you and your mistakes. It’s time to soar with Jesus!
“S”et Free No“W”ww
I was sharing today with my BIG partner about my desire for God to perform the miracle of instantaneous life change. I’m seeing victory, but the falls still, well, hurt. (Can’t find a stronger word at the moment.) I was reminded of what I wrote last time, but I guess I’m just tired of my lack of faith in Jesus.
Then, I read following as I was cleaning out old emails. “God does not condemn you or me for our struggles, but He does want us to fight to live a holy life. I will admit that I’m not sure all temptation is from the devil or is spiritual warfare, either. I think some of this is part of being human and in process of being made holy.”
Part of that process is what the first disciples cried out, “Increase our faith!” And they were not talking about faith in themselves either. During my current struggle, the Lord said to read Matthew 8 about the Centurion’s faith. He saw his servant healed without Jesus even physically coming. He believed in what Jesus could do and it happened. Belief.
I received a letter today. Guess what word was plastered on the front? Believe. I’m asking the Spirit for more faith for myself as well as for you. We both need more of it.
Set Free Now“W”w
I stated in Monday’s entry, “Just as Jesus is fully God, when we place our faith in Him, we become complete, no longer broken.” (Col. 2:9-10)
We obviously don’t feel complete or whole at the moment even though it’s true. Truth, we don’t have to sin because we have what we need for victory in and because of Christ right now. Reality, we do and will in some area of our life ‘till the day of our home going or Jesus returns (Phil. 1:6). The Spirit is in the process of cleansing the flesh through the retraining our brain.
Thus, progress can be measured in how often we choose Jesus over our drug of choice and/or how fast we turn back to Jesus after choosing it. Because of Jesus and the Spirit, we can choose Jesus. Because of what Jesus did, we can return to Him. Are you making progress in making better choices and/or returning real fast?
Remember, both choices are up to you. Let’s at least get faster at returning!
Se“T” Free Nowww
I’m on the road with the eXtreme Tour in Las Vegas. Our bands are playing in the alley of a series of low income housing apartments only streets from the Strip. It’s an acoustic set to attract people to the main event that will take place tonight. A few people gathered on this night.
I was talking with the pastor who brought us. He was bummed at the turnout. He would do the exact thing in the past and hundreds would turn out. He lamented the fact that many he knew no longer lived here. After talking with a local businessman, I discovered that this was really transitional housing. People who come to get jobs at the hotels, need low cost housing at the beginning and then move out once they get on their feet. Thus, many of the people with whom he had built relationships with had already moved out. He was constantly starting over with new people.
He wasn’t feeling too successful. I asked him a series of questions. Using his answers, the Lord helped him see that though in his own eyes he was not successful, in the Lord’s eyes he was very significant. The Lord had him planting and watering seeds in these people’s lives. And when reaping time came, he would be rejoicing with the harvesters. He had listened to Jesus and was indeed following, which is real significance.
Don’t confuse success and significance. If you do, you will stop following Jesus out of discouragement. You keep listening to and following Jesus and you will be significant. Leave the success up to Him.
“S” ret Free Nowww
Colossians 2:9,10, “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” This is a foundational truth of what it means to be a secure child of God.
Just Jesus is fully God (vs. 9). And when we place our faith in Him, we become complete, no longer broken (vs. 10). At the moment of salvation this is true, not when you get to heaven.
We sin, go to our drug of choice, to hopefully make ourselves feel complete. We feel we’re missing something; and then, seek out something to fill what we lack, even though this might only be a temporary fix (Heb. 11:25).
The truth is that we’’re already filled, complete, unbroken…in Christ. I didn’t or can’t do it as Jesus already did. We need to cleanse our flesh and retrain our brains to look inward to what we already have rather than looking outward for something we think we’re lacking. Drugs, sin, are not needed as Christ has already filled us up!
Let the Spirit, using the Freedom process, remove the lie to look outward for something you already have in Christ. Whatever you think you’re looking outside the One who lives inside will never satisfy for the Inside has already provided for what you’re looking outside to get.
S“E”t “FREE” Nowww