Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Thought for Times Like These

I have been unable to really blog lately...It seems that I have nothing of value to offer or be blogworthy enough to post. So in the middle of my writers slump I offer nuggets from others and a scripture that is much more blogworthy than anything I could say. I will make it more personal, though, in hopes that it will give each of you a blessing:

'I will not fear, for God is with me; I will not be dismayed, for He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me; He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.'

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

About Drums

Jeremy: I really like drums! I would like to have some sometime...

Nate: Everybody has drums in their ears.

Jeremy (with his finger in his ear): ....Oh yeah! .....but they're squishy...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Be Free!

Bruce Marchiano is now working on the book of John. This is from his email on his Journey Through the Gospel of John. Please let it encourage you:

John 8:31-32

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. "

The truth? Who can know it, except those who are indwelt with the Holy Spirit to reveal it. This simple truth was for those he was teaching back in the day of John; but, the same holds true for-us, today. He is a God that does not change and what He says, He does. In Isaiah 62:4 God sends a promise to His people.

"No longer will they call you Forsaken, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah.For. . . the Lord will take delight in you."

Hephzibah is a new name that we all can claim! Its meaning is 'my delight'. This promise was fulfilled by the salvation of Jesus. God gave us restoration of fellowship through Jesus. He considers us 'his delight' restored by the grace of His Son. How much more love could we accept, than that? Let this sink in a bit. I don't think we fully realize what a 'love' relationship we have been given through Christ! I know I don't. Do we realize how much we are loved and bring delight to our Father? It isn't found in what we do, what we accomplish or what we become. It is what it is. . . and nothing can be added to it.

Love. . . Unconditional Love.

We are not Forsaken because Jesus bridged that gap of loneliness. We are not Desolate because Jesus fills our 'land' with the fullness of Himself. We are His and when we get that love relationship right, our lives fall into the order of our place, His plan and His purposes.

When we know and really grab a hold of this truth, nothing else matters for we are free.The truth of His radical love sets us free.

We can't earn it, buy it, sell it or manufacture it. It has always been there and will always be. It is our decision whether to believe it and place our trust in its truth. If we trust His love, we will believe it and we are set free. In that freedom we can become all that He has planned because there will be no fear. If we trust it, we can trust Him to hold our heart no matter what earthly circumstance we run up against. If we believe He is for us, then we need not fear whatever Satan throws against us. We are free because we can run back to the One who is the caretaker of our heart. Those seeking a relationship with Christ only for the benefits will faint in the dry desert places. It is one thing to seek the Lord for what He can give you or do for you; but, it is quite another to seek the Lord for Who He is. Because if we seek Him for 'Who He is' that will tell us 'Who we are'. And at the end of the day, that is what matters most. We are free,

Defined by Christ-----True freedom.

How many of us with the best intentions try to keep the laws of God? How many of us struggle in the discipleship? We are tortured by the endless heavy weight of unfulfilled vows and promises; until we are so burdened we can barley lift our voices in prayer. This is human effort. We are just like the children of Israel, we try to keep His commandments without maintaining a life-giving relationship with the Lord. We err in our hearts! Read this verse and reflect on it for just awhile.

"He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me. And he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.John 14:21 "

Most people read this and think. . . 'if I keep his commandments, that will prove that I love Him'. But take a second look. He wasn't saying if you keep my commandments you prove you love me. He already knows whether we love him or not! Look at this verse with fresh freedom-eyes:

"If a man falls head over heels in love with me, he will be the one enabled to keep my commandments!"

IT is about relationship, not law! WE are not living a free life with rules; we are not living free cumbered with regulations and surely our Father cannot be found through any method! We are free from this! He is found with finding His love. We are set free---by embracing it. Have you ever fallen in love on a human level? When you do, you think of the one you love constantly. You would do what ever is necessary to be with that person. If they needed something---no matter what you were doing---you would jump in your car and get it for them. You don't force yourself to talk to people about the one you love or hold back from extolling their praises to anyone who will listen. Because of that intense love, giving and doing is a joy. Nothing is done to prove you love this person----you do such things because you love them. When we fully realize how much we are loved by our Creator, we become free---free indeed! In that freedom we are given a greater manifestation of His love. With that, we are empowered to be disciples.
The goal of the high call of God is to know Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:10
IN knowing Him, I am set free.
Free to be His delight; free to be Who He is
For in knowing Who He is, defines Who I can be.