Ouch, That Hurts!

Loves needs forgiveness to keep loving.
We need forgiveness, especially from God. Yet, have you ever stopped to think about forgiveness from God’s perspective?
He is not forgiving for your sake alone, but His as well. The Biblical God is both love and wrath. He loves His creation with such a tremendous love that He keeps reaching out to humanity even though they hurt Him over and over again through their words and actions.
In order to not lash out, He forgives…for His own sake! If He didn’t, do you think He’d want to keep loving you and me? And yet, even love can only take so much pain before it must take action: in humanity’s case wrath or in His children’s lives discipline.
May we never take lightly our daily choices to follow Jesus. Yes, Jesus will forgive and cleanse us from our sinful choices when we confess our sins to Him. But, not for a second should we ever think that what do doesn’t hurt Him. Remember, even in His glorified state, He is both fully God and fully human.

Do It Right – The First Time

You need forgiveness, but it shouldn’t be necessary.
T-shirts sometimes have great lines on them. Here’s one, “Do it right. The first time.” If we do it right the first time (i.e. do what God says) forgiveness isn’t needed. Adam and Eve were doing it right the first time; thus, they didn’t need forgiveness. Psalm 119:9 expresses this truth, “How can a young man keep his way pure (i.e. not needing forgiveness)? By guarding (observing, living) it according to Your Word.”
How do you make forgiveness obsolete?Do what He says the first time. Keep in mind that it wasn’t until after Adam and Eve blew it that God set up the sacrificial system that provided forgiveness.
You become what you focus on and what you focus on only gets bigger. Keep your eyes on holiness, rather than on what you can get away with or how far you can get to the line without crossing it.
Jesus was holy and kept that way by continually choosing to do what His Father told Him. And the more you choose to become more like Jesus, the less you will sin and need forgiveness as Jesus is pure/holy.
I realize this process will not be finished until we see Jesus face to face (1 Jn. 3:1-3). So while living on this planet, be thankful that God forgives while you make Spirit empowered faith choices. This way, though we may need forgiveness, we can make it unnecessary.

Walking Makes Noise

Make a little noise while tasting the juicy life!
Depending on the surface, walking makes noise! Asphalt is quieter than hard pack, which is quieter than sand. The places I go usually are country roads where dogs, rabbits, lizards and birds live. As I walk by dogs bark, rabbits hop off, lizards scatter, and birds fly away. In my neighborhood, though, people wave to and sometimes even talk with me.
My walk affects both animals and people. Though I tried to walk carefully, animals still ran away. Though I waved with a smile on my face, some ignored my act of neighborliness.
It’s the same with our walks with Jesus. We can’t control how people will respond to us. We can only control the choices we make on our walks. And if we choose to keep in step or walk with the Spirit, sweet juicy fruits of the Spirit will be experienced.
No matter what, your walks will make noise. And people may or may not respond as you’d like. But, they can’t see Jesus if you’re not walking with Him; and, you’ll never taste the sweet juicy life either. So go ahead and make some noise, just make sure you’re eating fruit while you’re at it.

Slow is Good

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
This morning God seemed very silent as to my next step. I wrestled with it to the point I went into Chris mode. I started doing stuff. All good stuff, but was it His best stuff?
I ended up feeling like a complete failure…then Jesus stepped in. I was prayer walking when I saw the oddest thing. I stopped at the chain link fence and took a picture.
It’s one of those orange security cones highway workers use to get traffic to slow down or switch lanes to insure their safety while working. The picture doesn’t do it justice as I couldn’t zoom in any closer with my phone camera. A tree sprouted out of a caution cone!
Life can come from slowing down. Our God sees around the corner of time. Because of this truth, He can tell us to slow down or speed up, to be quiet still or roar and go for it. All for our own good!
Isaiah 30:15b states, “In quietness and in trust is your strength.” Sometimes it takes great strength to be still and trust in what God is saying to do, which in this case was to shut up and wait. God sees the future. He knows what is best for us and will, at times, tell us to sit still. Angels see and get it. Will you?

Iny vs. Outy

Inward godliness…a changed life.
A Jamaican friend recently told the story of sharing Jesus in a taxi cab with a fellow passenger. This person’s conversation was, let’s just say, very unChristlike. After a few moments, the passenger surprised her by saying that she too was a Christian and then proceeded to commend my friend’s strong faith.
This “Christian” passenger then asked where my friend went to church. Her response was that she didn’t go to church. Without batting an eye, the passenger said, “Oh, you’re not a Christian then!” This only made her smile and think about our many conversations about being church verses going to church.
My friend is not currently attending a church service, but is moving toward Jesus with other believers (the biblical definition of church by the way). In the Jamaican culture, however, attending a church service was the litmus test of a Christian, not one’s changed life.
One looked at outward signs godliness, while the other looked to inward life transformation. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3 that “Christians” in the end days will be counting on outward signs, rather than the power of the Spirit to change a life.
Let the world see your faith in Christ by letting them actually see Jesus in you. This is far more important than where you show up on Sunday morning.