Tuesday, October 27, 2009
James 1:2-4... This says to count it all joy when you fall in to diverse (various) temptations, knowing that the trying of your faith works patience. As I meditated on that scripture this morning here is what the Lord began to show me.
It is ok to be tempted, in fact the Lord says to count it all joy. The Bible also says in Hebrews 4:15 that our high priest (Jesus Christ) was tempted at all points just as we are. (I touched on this a little in a previous blog titled "dealing with temptation.") Jesus was tempted and yet without sin, so it's ok to be tempted! The Bible even says that when you are tempted that God will make a way of escape and that you can avoid yielding to the temptation. Praise the Lord!
Once again as I said in the previous blog, we are tempted to try and get us to believe something other than what the Word of God says. v. 3 in James chapter 1 says this, the trying of your faith works patience. Well, what is faith? Faith is believing, and in this sense it is believing what God has said. So we could say it like this,"Count it all joy when you are tempted, because the trying of what you believe God has said works patience." Temptation comes to steal from you what God has already promised you!
Two weeks ago, my 7 year old son, Jaxon, was attacked with sickness. Now the Bible says in 2 peter 2:24 that by the stripes of Jesus we WERE healed! I believe this! So praise God I began to release what I believe by speaking God's Word over Jaxon (2 Corinthians 4:13). Well this was the same time God was dealing with me concerning temptation. So I recognized the temptation as an attempt to steal from my family what God's Word said was already ours. After I prayed over Jaxon and then went to work, I began to start feeling sick, so I immediately spoke to the temptation, in this case sickness, and told it that it could not stay in body! And you know what, I immediately felt better!
God Loves you. What Father that loves their child would want anything bad to happen to them? But yet many people might say that it is God that causes them to be sick or God that causes bad things to happen to people, and this is just not true! The bible goes on to say in James 1:13, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, so he doesn't tempt any man:
14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." That means that bad things happen to us because of our very own actions! It's not Gods fault, but yet he loves us so much that he makes a way of escape for us when we mess up, whether we realize that we messed up or not! 1 Corinthians 10:13 says,"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
God is so good! In fact, he's so good that his mercy endures forever!
Have a blessed day! I pray that the Lord continue to reveal himself to you as you go through your day!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here is what I want to key in on, the word righteous. If you are in Christ Jesus, You Are Righteous! I believe that righteous means that you are in right standing with God.
You see when you confess Jesus as your savior and believe that God raised him from the dead, you become a new creature! Old things are gone! 2 Corinthians 5:17.
2 Corinthians 5:19 (God's Word Translation) says God used Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn't hold peoples faults against them! Isn't that awesome. v. 21 says that God had Christ, who was sinless, take on our sins for us! God is so good!
So many times when we mess up, do we make the mistake of focusing on what we did, instead of who we are. In fact, if we were focusing on who we are in Christ Jesus, I don't believe we would mess up in the first place... I like what the message bible says from Ephesians chapter 2: "It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah."
Did you get that? We were buried with Jesus in his death, and then when he received life, we did also! And now we, me and you, are seated with Christ in heavenly places! I guarantee that if you grasp the reality of what the bible tells us here, that we are already seated with Christ, you won't even flinch when sin comes knocking at your door!
So be of good courage, and the Lord will strengthen your heart! (Psalm 31:24) If you have Jesus living in your heart then you have already been made the righteousness of God and you are seated with Christ in heaven!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Glory to God! He is so good! He sent his son to die for us so that we could live with him! He must really think that we are something special! I heard this today, the price paid determines the value... So what do you think you're worth? Do you see yourself as valuable as God does? If you don't, then begin to spend time with God, learning about what he says in the bible, it is his written word to you. As you spend time reading and listening to the Word of God, faith will begin to develop in your heart. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. I believe that faith is being developed in you as you read this blog! I beleive that when you get up from your computer God continues to talk to you throughout your day and you continue to discover his goodness and mercy and just how valuable you are!
God is good, I'm glad to know that you are discovering how much he loves you and that he is for you!
Friday, October 23, 2009
I have a son, therefore I believe I am called to be a father. Pretty simple right. But how many times do I neglect that calling? How often do things just seem more important? How often would I rather do what I want than do what is necessary for my son?
On the other hand, I'm married, so I believe I'm called to be a husband... The same questions from above apply.
So, I believe there is a balance to this. I also believe that we should be perfecting the areas that we are called in. In times past I have been so caught up in finding God's plan and will for my life that I neglect what he's already showed me I'm to be doing.
If you find yourself to be struggling in one of the areas that you have been called in, reach out to the Lord, ask him for help, that is okay to do. I think as adults we sometimes feel that it's a sign of weakness to ask for help. But 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. The bible also says that in our weakness, God is made strong! So turn to the wise and merciful one today and receive the abundance of grace that he has already supplied for you.
I hope you find this word encouraging.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I've seen this joy come and go at different times in my life, what I'm learning is the way that you maintain that constant joy is to consider the things that God has done for you, and remember what God has directed you to do. Jesus told the disciples in Mark 8:16-18 that the reason they were troubled is because they had hardened their hearts by not seeing what God was doing before their very eyes, and by not hearing what God was saying to them, and by not remembering the good things God had done for them!
When you think on the things that God has done for you and how he has brought you through impossible situations, how can you not be joyful. If you are focused on the cares of this world then it is easy to become depressed. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says that the sorrow of the world works death. Depression works death, it makes you sick. Focusing on the promises of God causes you to tune out the cares of this world, I don't care what they are! But it is up to you, you have to train your mind to focus on what God has said instead of what is going on in the world.
If you don't believe this then that's to bad... I'm going to stay excited about the things of God and remember what he has said about me!
The Apostle Paul received a word from Jesus when he was in prison. Jesus said in Acts 23:11, "Be of good cheer, Paul: for as you have testified of me in Jerusalem, you will also be my witness in Rome." Paul was in prison for doing nothing wrong, and had people outside the prison that planned to kill him, and Jesus tells him to rejoice! Paul did rejoice, when he was brought before King Agrippa, Paul told him that he thinks himself happy. What do you think Paul was thinking about for him to be so happy? Paul testified of the wonderful things God had done for him(which he kept in his remembrance) and nearly talked King Agrippa into converting to follow Christ! Acts 26:28
If God says it, then you don't have to worry about what others are saying or what the situation looks like. Let God be true and every man be a liar! Romans 3:4
I'll end with this final passage of scripture, "I'm not saying this because I'm in any need. I've learned to be content in whatever situation I'm in. I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13 God's Word Translation
So if God tells you to do something or that you can do something, then he will strengthen you! You can do all things through Christ who Strengthens you!
If your not sure what God has said about you, then I encourage you to dig into the Bible which is the Word of God and learn for yourself the awesome things that he has said that you are and the awesome life that he has said you can live.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Here are 3 areas that we are tempted at... Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16) Jesus was tempted in these 3 areas for the sole reason to get him to take his eyes of what God had said about him. Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus had just been baptized in Chapter 3 and God spoke to him and said,"This is my son in whom I am well pleased." Jesus was now obligated to exercise faith in what God just told him. Satan then came to try and get Jesus to trust in something other than what God said. Now remember, 3 areas we will be tempted in, 1. lust of the flesh, 2. lust of the eyes, 3. pride of life.
1. Lust of the flesh: Satan tells Jesus, "If you are the son of God, turn these stones into bread." It wouldn't be a sin to turn stones into bread, but to perform a miracle in order to prove your the son of God would be. Notice where the emphasis is... Jesus had to trust what God had said about him, that he was the Son of God, he needed to believe by faith, and not perform a miracle to prove it.
2. Lust of the eyes: Satan then showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world and told Jesus if he would worship him that Satan would give Jesus the kingdoms. Jesus of course resisted the temptation.
3. Pride of life: Satan then takes Jesus to the top of the temple and told him if you are the son of God, jump from the temple for God has given his angles charge over him... the thing is, there were always people at the temple and these people would have seen Jesus descending from the top of the temple and he would have been exalted in that he proved he was the Son of God.
Satan's tricks are not new. Hebrews 4:15. Jesus was tempted in every area we have been, yet without sin. All temptation comes from the same root. So Jesus was tempted in every point, and if you say that things are different no and the pressures are now greater, you go without eating for 40 days!
Many times we are only tempted by habits that we form, Jesus was tempted by Satan himself and was yet without sin.
Another thing I've also found important when dealing with temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted. I believe we sometimes condemn ourselves because we are tempted but yet the Bible tells us to count it all joy when tempted! James 1. Jesus was tempted but yet was without sin. The trying of your faith works patience and helps you to grow into a strong and mature Christian.
It also says in James that God is not the one tempting us, for God is not a man that he should be tempted neither tempted he any man, but God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to endure, but if you humble yourself and ask for his help, he will provide a way of escape from the temptation.
In conclusion, Trust God! God is on your side and he is cheering for you! He believes that you can make it. He has made a large investment in you in hopes that you would yield a great return! He invested 1 (his son) in order to receive many!