Monday, June 25, 2012

The Need for Wisdom

How great is our need for true wisdom, yet we tend to walk in our own wisdom thinking it just grand.
Proverbs 3:7-8 - Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.  It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.
True wisdom is fearing God and fleeing evil.  The problem we face is found all the way back in Genesis 3 when Satan threw these words at Adam (male AND female), "You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Satan is the master of deceit.  He takes truth and coils just enough of a lie into it to make the lie appealing, but unrecognizable.  Here he told them truth - "You will know good and evil."  The lie was in the part that was most appealing, "You will be like God."  Which of God's true children doesn't want to be more like Him?  However, the truth was and is that they were already like God.  They knew good - Father God, and they knew evil - the serpent, but they only did and thought what was good, because they WERE like God - made in His very image and carrying His breath in their bodies.
When they ate of the tree, they became confused, because in disobedience they allowed evil to enter their perfect and purely good hearts.  Those hearts became corrupted with evil and confusion set in.  Where the lines of good and evil were clearly distinct before, now they had become blurred and confusing.  They still are today, making us critical of God and His work in our lives.
There was another truth spoken in the words of Satan though.  He just didn't realize what he was saying.  "You will not surely die."  Now Satan was speaking of physical death, and he was correct, they did not physically die.  Spiritually they became dead in less than an instant.  However, they would not SURELY die, because God had the antidote waiting to be poured out on all creation to give back the eternal life we were created to bear - His breath, His life, His blood - poured out on the cross for any who would to receive.  He gave us back what we threw away.
Esau's life is a picture of this.  He threw away his birthright for a bite of stew, just as we threw away our birthright for a bite of fruit.  He took down an entire nation who still to this day worships Allah, who is a vindictive god who sets out to force people into compliance.
Adam took down the entire world, but God in His great mercy and love for us, gives us a way back in to His kingdom and family if we will simply accept His sacrifice, His blood, His life, His breath.
Thank You Father, for loving us so much as to be willing to die in our place.  You poured out Your blood on the cross to purify our hearts.  You gave us Your life so we wouldn't have to face spiritual death.  You gave us Your breath - Your Holy spirit - so we can breath easily again, see evil for what it is and flee from it straight into the goodness of Your loving arms.   I cannot thank You enough!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Freedom to Love

As Brother Bill preached on I Peter 2:13-17 a thought went through my head and made me smile.  "No matter how much I am despised by the world, I am free to love; especially those who dishonor and reject me, in order that they might come to receive Christ as their personal Savior and Lord."
16  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[c] of God.
This is the verse that brought the thought.  It amazes me how much freedom we have that we do not use.  (At least that I do not always use.)  The freedom to love the unlovely, unlovable, hateful, seems like an awesome gift, yet we tend to choose to turn our backs and feel sorry for ourselves instead, which is no freedom, but rather enslavement to self-gratification.  We want to "feel good" and when someone dishonors or rejects us, we feel uncomfortable to say the least, and angry usually.  We must remember that, as long as we are behaving as children of God, as we are told to do in this verse, then it is not really us who are being rejected, but God in us Who is.  If we remember this, we are free to continue loving and praying for their deliverance from sin's enslavement and prayerfully watch them become our brother/sister in Christ Jesus.  If we forget, then we become trapped in self pity, doubt and fear, our prayers become hindered and we must come to the place of accepting the fact that we are wrong and get right before Father God.
It is my prayer that the true saints of God will rise up and pray for one another to walk in the freedom of love in every situation.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Being a Settler

I was watching a movie as I crocheted this morning.  As I listened to what the characters were saying, these words played through my mind, "I am a settler."  Is this a good thing?  I don't know.  Is it a bad thing?  I don't think so.  I Timothy 6:6-8 says, "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."  The question is, am I content with being a settler?  By a settler I mean that if someone I love wants something other than what I want, I tend to allow them to have their way, even if it means giving up completely on my dreams.  I do NOT mean that I give in when it is something wrong.  If one of my grandchildren came and showed me something they had stolen, I would take them to the store and make them either return the item, or if it was already open or used, pay for it.  If they didn't have the money, they could work for me to pay for it.  I can be extremely stubborn in these types of situations.
I once dated a young man (we were only 16) who supposedly had given up drinking for me.  Some very close friends were talking about a party they had attended and with red faces told me how this same young man had gotten drunk on 6 beers.  When he came over that evening, I broke up with him.  He plead his cause and said it was a misunderstanding and he'd never drink again.  It didn't phase my decision, though my heart hurt for him.  Drinking at that age is illegal and I would have broken up with anyone who did so.  Some thought I should have given a second chance.  This was his second chance, but they did not know all the circumstances, nor did I believe they needed to, so I let them think poorly of me.  However,  in a situation where it is simply a matter of opinion -  say I have a vision to decorate my home in a particular manner and my husband is uncomfortable with it - I will ask what he would like and go with it.  Something like that, though saddening a bit, is not worth getting upset over in my opinion.  I have been told that my attitude isn't healthy and that I should stand up for what I want, but would this  make me more content, or simply happy for a brief moment?  Contentment is much more lasting that happiness.   Hebrews 13:5 says,  "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” Every time I start to feel upset regarding what I have or don't have, I pray God brings this verse to mind as a refresher course. I have everything I need and more.  Shouldn't that be enough to keep me content?