Happy December 1st!! I had to leave by 7:30 this morning so had to finish my doodle this evening and post late. This one really made me think.
As I read Jesus’ words in Matthew, telling me that the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all my heart, soul and mind and others as myself, I am reminded of how easy it is to try to define what that “love” looks like….I guess so it could become measurable, quantified by my ability to act pleasing to God through perfect obedience. In my mind keeping the law, all 10 commandments, was the proof of my love for God. The law gave me a means in which to judge myself and God forbid, sometimes others. The problem was, nobody could come to an agreement on the absolute boundaries the law gave. We all kept it differently…of course leaving us wide open to judge each other. I know, at one time I was an excellent Pharisee.
When I came across verses like “if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” (Galatians 5:18), I was thrown into confusion. Without the law then I could just steal or commit adultery or whatever I wanted to do. How would I know what was right or wrong if I didn’t have a written code to measure myself against?
What a relief to find that there was a way to measure my love for God and others. It’s found just a few verses further down, “the fruit (measurement) of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Vs 22-23)
Now I know, if what I’m thinking or doing does not match up with the list above I’m not walking in the Spirit, showing my love for God or for others. This is where I start the process of saying things like, “I know I wasn’t patient but…” And the Spirit says something like, “I’ve been patient with you when you didn’t deserve it.” And I say, “I don’t want to be patient so if you want me to be patient you’re going to have to do something in me to change me.” And he says, “okay, I’m on it. You just needed to recognize your need and give me permission.”
Next thing you know you realize you are not acting the same and it’s no credit to you, it’s the Spirit within you.
Walk and live by the Spirit, He’ll have a conversation with you and can give you new life. The carved stone will just lay on the side of the road leaving you lifeless.
Back to flowers ;-). Doodle for December 3, #56.
I have not always felt secure in my salvation, because I knew I wasn’t worthy of good things from God, in fact, I expected Him to punish me at any moment, so when the winds began to blow my security in my salvation also began to weaken. How could someone with all the faults I have ever be saved?
Then I learned the true Gospel that took me away from experience and grounded me in the facts of what God says in the Bible. Now when the little voice of temptation comes, reminding me of my faults and telling me I’ve gone to far, I’m no longer saved, I’ve fallen from sanctification, etc….I come back with…”the reality is….God lives in me and He is finishing His work in me, making me a new creature, I am sealed by the Holy Spirit and He is my guarantee for salvation, not my works or abilities.” If we truly believe what the Bible says than we have nothing to fear.
This is a quote I liked today from His Utmost, “But nothing can change God or the reality of redemption. Base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God himself. Once you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you will never be moved again. That is the meaning of sanctification.”
Are your roots a shallow experience, tentatively attached to salvation or deeply rooted in the rich soil of the reality of sanctification?
Nothing to add. He’s won the battle, we only need to accept it and let Him win the battle in you as well. He’s got us covered.
Have you taken seriously the responsibility of being the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you a living, breathing, walking sacrifice?
I’d like to challenge you to go all in, be fully consumed by God. Whatever we lay on the alter for God will return to Him in the form of incense of good works to God, which is what we have been saved to do.
So take your burdens, your hopes and dreams and ideas about doctrine, diet (a form of self-preservation and self-righteousness) lay them down, completely surrendered….be consumed and let God be the one to prosper you and your life in the way He sees fit. (P.S. Be prepared, it may not look at all like what you imagined.)
Just like when the Israelites only had to look up at the serpent on the cross, all we have to do is look at/to the cross. There’s no getting “ready” for Jesus, it’s all about having faith in him and He’ll get you ready.
So, just in case you can’t make out what it is, this is a crosscut of a head with “racing” thoughts/conflicts colliding, with debris flying.
I know from experience that sometimes it takes a “wreck” in my head before I finally give up my own ideas and repent. Once I’ve reached that point it’s like getting the checker flag of forgiveness, cleansing and relief.
There was one other quote that I liked in His Utmost today, it said, “The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves that he is holy by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God.”
As colorful and tempting as all the other doors are there is only one way to salvation. A pretty powerful statement from Oswald Chambers today went like this,”All the pleading for salvation which deliberately ignores the cross of Christ is useless. It is knocking at a door other than the one which Jesus has already opened. We protest by saying, “but I don’t want to come that way. It is too humiliating to be received as a sinner.” God’s response, through Peter, is, “… There is no other name…by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12.”
Step onto the blood “red carpet” of Christ’s sacrifice and enter through the narrow way.
Oswald Chamber’s had several good one-liners today, so it was hard to decide how to portray what I read, in a quick doodle.
Hopefully, this doodle will cause you to stop and evaluate where you put your trust. I know it’s made me think. Am I doing MY Best (therefore looking good to myself and others) or have I laid down my independence of self for HIS Best, (taking the risk of not always looking “good” to other’s. Remember, the law keepers of the day accused Jesus of sin because of what He did and who He spent time with and what He allowed/encouraged His disciples to do.)
This last statement really impressed me, “the things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best. Once we come to understand that natural moral excellence opposes or counteracts surrender to God, we bring our soul into the center of its highest battle. Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil, and wrong, but we do debate over what is good. It is the good that opposes the best.”
Heading out for a good cup of coffee now. Here I come Old Town Battle Grounds.
Have a great day everyone!
Sticking with the coffee theme ;-).
A true doodle. Takes me back to the 70’s and what I did when I was bored. This is for December 12, 2014. #64
Jesus prayed to His Father…..”that they may be one just as We are one….John 17:22
We can all bring our individual personalities and even convictions to the party. If Jesus is the center of our hearts and of our purpose for each other, the things that make us different will create new patterns and new possibilities where love, respect and good things will abound. Be one!!
It is my first instinct when faced with a “problem”, whether it’s my own or someone else’s, to “fix” it. If my first fix doesn’t work I may try something else….and that could go on indefinitely.
As my life experience with God matures I’ve slowly learned that sometimes those “problems” exist for a reason and “fixing” it too soon may create another, even bigger problem in the future. As hard as it may be to admit, we don’t see the whole picture. Besides that, our picture often doesn’t even think about eternity. That’s where our thoughts and ways are not God’s. He has no interest in temporary “fixes” that bring temporary “relief”. He is only interested in our complete trust in Him and His ability to work all things together for one’s good….AND…..redeem us at the same time.
Oswald Chambers summed it up pretty easily for me this morning. This is what he said. “Blaming God is evidence that we are refusing to let go of some disobedience somewhere in our lives. But as soon as we let go everything becomes clear as daylight to us.… “Gods mark of approval, whenever you obey him, is peace. He sends an immeasurable, deep peace; not a natural peace,”As the world gives,” but the peace of Jesus.”
Have a peace filled day!
This doodle is actually for yesterday the 15th. I had to leave for Seattle before five a.m. so didn’t get this done.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life is question my beliefs. It was especially hard because I believed I had/knew the truth. But when I ran across something in the Bible that didn’t jive with my truth, I decided I should inspect everything I believed. Trust me, I argued with God for years until I finally just trusted Him to lead me into all truth and trust Him for my salvation. That decision opened the Bible up to me like never before. It’s true…we don’t need anyone or anything to teach us. If you have the Bible and the Holy Spirit, you’ve got the truth. (preconceived ideas however are your enemy when searching/struggling, for truth.).
Stir your mind…Start questioning!!!!
I struggled with how to depict God’s Perfect Will and His permissive will. They are so intertwined. So I intertwined them. The difference I have found with God’s perfect will and permissive will is, the constancy of His perfect will. Always the same shape and color….His will for us to know Him and trust Him IN ALL things and FOR ALL things never changes.
However, His permissive will is represented in varying colors and patterns of experiences that give us opportunities to interact and “wrestle” with Him. The “wrestling” is meant for us to help develop our faith and trust in Him. If our faith and trust in Him is diminishing instead of growing, that is when we know we are no longer in His Perfect Will.
Remember, our comfort on/in this earth is not God’s goal or perfect will….It’s our salvation (which means having complete faith in Him for ALL things and IN all things.) Are you trusting in Him?
God’s Perfect Will
God’s sovereign will is a difficult thought. I think the hardest part for me has been accepting that I’m not the only person on this planet and that some things that seem bad for me at the moment are the very things that will bless me and others in the future. The problem lies in my need to “control” my life, the events in my life (and everyone else’s events as well, so that my life runs smoothly). However, I don’t see the “big picture.” I’m only privy to my own newspaper. God sees it all and his will would be for ALL to come to Him….and sometimes that takes a “hard” thing to do so.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to lay my WHOLE life and the control/outcome of it in his hands and walk by faith. It’s like walking with a blindfold on but with a sense of anticipation that where you end up will be so much better then where you can go by yourself. I still struggle with that. Right now there are some unknowns that seem a little scary, but I’m pushing down the fear and taking a step at a time. So what if everything I ever “possessed” is lost, I never really had it anyway. As soon as I die it’s just garage sale material…it’s not the sum of my life.