“That” Is Personal!

Jesus died to save you from THAT!

“From ‘that’ what?” you may ask.

The truth is Mary gave birth and called her son Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins.” [Mt.1:21]  ‘Sin’ can be defined as anything that interferes with anyone getting to know God better. In that case, any bad habit we have that interferes with anyone else drawing closer to God is a “that” (a sin).

“… we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
and run with endurance the race set out for us,
keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
…he endured the cross, … has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
… so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. …”
Heb.12:1-4 (NET)

So, according to the writer of Hebrews, “that” is the sin, what some might call a ‘bad habit’, which “so easily hinders” YOU in your progress towards becoming more intimate with God (NLT)—Yes, “THAT” is personal!

This saving truth may be made clearer in reading these words by Charles Finney1Finney-PrinciplesofUnionwithChrist

“Jesus Christ saves His people not only from hell, but also from their sins… YOU have no Savior if you are not saved from your sin in YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.”
“Jesus Christ…is not only a justifying Savior, but also a purifying Savoir… He saves from hell only upon condition of His saving from sin.”
“YOU must know by your own personal experience what Christ meant when He said, ‘YOU are already clean because of the word I have spoken to YOU!YOU must know His love and know that YOU are washed clean by the shedding of His blood.”

And, by the Words of The LORD, via Ezekiel:
“For, here’s what I’m going to do: … gather you from all over, and bring you back… I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands… I’ll be your God!” Ez.36:24-28 (MSG) 

Yes, “that” is a personal thing to God; He provided a way to salvation FOR YOU so you could become personally His! Accepting Jesus’ salvation from hell gives YOU the ability to embrace and personally confess salvation’s Truth:

Jesus was crucified in MY place to die in MY place as a sacrifice so MY sin could be forever forgiven. He, now, sits at the right hand of The Father’s Throne so I CAN sit in Heavenly places. Jesus defeated sin’s hold on ME and His grace is sufficient so I CAN LIVE FREE FROM SIN while here on this earth.

 

SOURCES
1
Finney, Charles G.  “Jesus My Savior”, Chapter 2, Principles of The Union with Christ, Charles G. Finney, Louis Gifford Parkhurst Jr., Ed., Bethany House Publishers (1994).

2 John 15:13

Picture:  goodreads.com

Bible Versions: NET- New English Translation; NLT- New Living Testament; MSG- The Message Bible.

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Waiting to “Be Courageous”

Sometimes it takes more courage
to stand your ground and wait
than to jump in and save the day!
It takes trust to be truly courageous.
—ag, 2016-0305

“Not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… not yet.… PULL THAT PEACH!”

Those words are from a recent (2015) funny Yoplait commercial which demonstrates the message that waiting for precise moment is essential to obtaining the best results.

 

lion-scarface
“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God…” ~Ps.31:24, MSG

Be strong and courageous in TheLORD. True courage has an attitude; it is called patience. Patience reigns our faith, holds us back from acting too soon. Whereas faith gives us a zealous expectancy of “things hoped for” and our trust in God gives us the courage to carry out His plans with expected zeal, patience controls our zeal. It keeps us from “leaning towards our own understanding”and allows us to “wait upon The LORD” so that we do not get ahead of God’s timing.  In this context, the Biblical definition of ‘strong’ means to persevere or remain consistent by waiting patiently, to stand still. The wait is not a permanent stance; it is staying in a watchful position, to “catch”the right moment, like a lion waiting for the exact moment  to pounce, in order to assure his victory in the end.

 

A perfect example of my point is found in the story of Peter when he so courageously cut off that soldier’s ear. Jesus had a better plan, but Peter just jumped in to save the day before considering a “better and more excellent way”. Then, as you may remember, Jesus had to correct Peter’s act of haste before continuing to handle the situation. Now, I don’t think anyone would call Peter a fearful man, but in that instant, Peter’s haste was based on a fearful instinct of defending Jesus and his friends. He wanted to change the circumstance in which they found themselves. Fearful situations seem to have a way of compelling us into feats of haste instead of faith.

To further emphasize this thought here is an excerpt from “COURAGE” by Frances J. Roberts.

   There are many places, My child, where only sheer courage will see you through. Prayer is the breath of the soul. Faith is paramount. Love is the essence of pure being. But none of these will suffice in the hour of stress if you have not courage.
…Courage makes perseverance attainable when encouragement is nowhere to be found… when love is gone, faith is wavering, and prayer is difficult.
Courage rises like the delivering angel out of the deep unshaken assurance of the immutability of the character and faithfulness of God… Courage keeps the destination in view and heeds not the intervening obstacles….
…Courage is the simplicity of knowing: God is working out His purposes through every circumstance of my life. His plan is GOOD, and how He chooses to act is none of my business, and whom He uses to bring it about is not my concern.

~~*~~

Joshua 1:9
“Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”

 Psalm 27:14
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous…”
NLT

“Wait {and} hope for {and} expect the Lord;
be brave {and} of good courage
and let your heart be stout {and} enduring…”
AMP

“Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! …”
NetBible

Psalm 31:24
“Put away fear
and let your heart be strong,
all you whose hope is in the Lord.”
BBE

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,…”
NASB

“Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect GOD…”
MSG

~~*~~

SOURCES

You Tube— Yoplait Funny Commercial 2015– (link inserted above)

Hebrews 11:1— “things hoped for”

Proverb 3:5 “…leaning not unto our own understanding…”

Hebrews 8:6– “…better and more excellent way…”

“COURAGE”–Roberts, Frances J. Make Haste My Beloved,p. 86-87. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Ed.

Bible Versions: MSG~ The Message Bible; NLT~ New Living Translation; AMP~ The Amplified Bible; BBE~Better English Bible; NASB~ New American Standard; NetBible~ Net.Bible.org .

 

Immanuel~ Still With Us?

At Christmastime it’s so obvious (hopefully) what we are celebrating & Who we worship, but what about the rest of the year? In December we hear most people sing out “Merry Christmas!”in celebration of the birth of Jesus, or at least personalized versions of a holiday greeting. In January, we bellow out “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”  Our voices may remain “cheery” after the midnight cry, but conversation seems to change from peace and goodwill toward others to resolutions to be a better ‘self’. Where does all the SELF-centeredness come from all the sudden?

What happens in that one week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day? As we begin to pack up all the Christmas décor and store it away until next year, do we pack up all that we say we believe about Christmas into the boxes, too? What remains? When people walk into your house, what do they see? Where are the gifts of peace, hope, and love that we talked about those few weeks? Look around; is there still evidence of your faith? Faith in Jesus as ‘Immanuel’? Is He truly still “with you”?

HarkHeraldAngelsSingLyrics

When the angels sang, “Glory to God in The Highest…” about the “good tidings of great joy”, their joy was not just about Jesus’ birth, but the significance of His coming to Earth~ the incarnation of God in man. He grew in knowledge and statue, and He LIVED A LIFE in order to give us abundant lives full of blessings and joy. So, let’s resolve to live ours abundantly, proving to Whom we belong. When we do, we will find that those gifts of PEACE, LOVE, & GOODWILL are still with us~ and much more.

Let’s make a RESOLUTION TO SING HIS PRAISES throughout this New Year. Afterall, the angels are still singing; He is Immanuel. 

♫♪ ~ ♥ ~ ♪♫

 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

(Listen by clicking.)

 ~ ♥ ~

NOTE:  These post-Christmas thoughts came from my thought process in January 2012, about how people perceive our homes as they enter into our livingrooms. 

MOVING UP IN THE SPIRIT (Part 2)

Dear Followers (Seekers), This is an exhortative wake-up call to The Church from MOVING UP IN THE SPIRIT (Part 2) by Bert Farias. I personally know full-gospel churches that are beginning to “stinketh” so do not think it could happen to yours! Read and be encouraged to keep being filled.
~NeeterWoman

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:17-19).

“…Wise believers know that the will of the Lord is to be full of the Spirit as a drunk man would be full of wine. …When one is full of the Spirit his heart moves in prayer; he is moved for lost souls; he is holy and consecrated. …He’s full of love; he’s full of praise and thanksgiving; and he’s full of power. 

These Ephesian believers were already initially filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was part of the essentials of first century Christian life. Unlike today it was not an option but a vital necessity in every single church. Since then the devil has diluted this essential and clouded it with so much controversy. The Church as a whole will never fully do the works of Jesus until they are filled with the Spirit and maintain that infilling.
“The Holy Spirit is the life of the Church. Being filled with the Spirit and staying filled with the Spirit produces a fresh anointing. The psalmist of old said, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Ps. 92:10). Without the free flowing move of the Holy Spirit the Church dries up and becomes full of dead formalism. …

“Here’s an interesting verse:

“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour.”
(Ec. 10:1).

“Here is the Farias translation:

“Dead formalism kills the anointing
and stinks up the place.”

“…churches can lose their fresh oil if they don’t stay full of the Spirit. To be anointed with fresh oil means the oil can become old and stale which requires a replenishing. It means the psalmist was once anointed with oil but it’s not fresh any more. …”

“Here is a twin scripture to Eph. 5:18-19:

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16).

via MOVING UP IN THE SPIRIT (Part 2).

Dear Readers/Seekers, This is only an excerpt of the article. If you have read thus far, you truly are a “seeker”.  I exhort you to click on the link to The Flaming Herald page; read Part 1, “How To Move Up In The Spirit” and Part 2 (this post) in their entireties. Read and be encouraged! Farias says, “Stay tuned for more…” ~NeeterWoman

Problems and Prayers

Today, my thoughts are turned towards “FAITH”. Lack of faith is not a problem. Jesus said we only need mustard seed-sized faith, and He provides each of us with a measure! Therefore, we can confidently say that we do not have a FAITH PROBLEM in the Body of Christ.

When there is a problem concerning our faith, our problem is with relationship and memory! We need to remember that it is NOT OUR FAITH that brings our prayers to pass; it is God’s faithfulness to answer us if we ask. We simply need to remember to ask, believing He will do it when we ask. We have a relationship problem with The One who answers when we “ask amiss” ~with wrong motives or unsure of His will, praying not knowing Him well enough to know what He “wills” to do.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.
There we will receive his mercy, and
we will find grace to help us when we need it.”

~Heb.4:16, NLT  

We come “boldly” because we know we have obtained the right through what Jesus has done for us~ the veil has been torn and we are now children of God.  So, get to know your Father; develop the relationship with Who answers your requests with, “Yes and Amen!” Remember your Father wills to answer because He loves and He is good. Remember your Father is God!

"Be at peace in the knowledge that I am God." ~Psalm 46:10, BBE
“Be at peace in the knowledge that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10, BBE

Come, let us return to the LORD!
… he will heal us… he will bandage our wounds
he will restore us so we can live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the LORD!
Let us press on to know him!
Then he will respond to us
as surely as the arrival of dawn…”

~Hosea 6:1-3, NLT

“Be at peace in the knowledge that I am God…”
~Psalm 46:10, BBE

SOURCES
PICTURE: Vincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
BIBLE VERSIONS: NLT~ New Living Translation; BBE~ Basic Bible English

Shortcomings and Recovery

“To be aware of one shortcoming* in oneself
is better than to be aware of one thousand in someone else.”
~ANONYMOUS

Recently, a Facebook friend whom I have known since high school posted the above quote*. She copied it from an AA recovery website of which she is a member. Keep in mind that ‘shortcoming‘ simply means “an imperfection or lack that detracts from the whole”. My friend and countless others have recovered from their their common ‘shortcoming’ to regain the essence of their lives.

The quote reminds me of  Matthew’s (7:1-5) and Luke’s (6:27-49) summaries of Jesus’ teachings about dealing with people mercifully, about not judging our neighbors when ‘we’ have not yet taken care of our own flaws.  Flaws such as addictions, bitterness, and other sins stemming from selfishness are the very imperfections we usually see in others, but somehow the same seem less obvious when looking in the mirror.  However, The Bible encourages us to examine ourselves and to seek God’s instruction in order to overcome the areas we “come short”. The Good Book calls this process ‘sanctification’.

Sanctification is gradual; it comes from faith-to-faith and glory-to-glory. It is a process which begins in each of us at our rebirths (new birth)  and continues until we reach our total glorifications when we meet Jesus face-to-face. However, we don’t all grow at the same pace. Therefore when dealing with others’ shortcomings and they with us, we find ourselves in need of a little love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. As well and more often than not, this life requires a whole lot of long-suffering before the growing process is finished. These essential attributes are referred to as “Fruit of The Spirit”. The are developed in us as we allow Holy Spirit to lead us through this life, teaching us God’s ways of dealing with each other and as we worship God in “spirit and truth”, getting to know Him better.  The “fruit” simply describe God’s character, His nature, His essence of life. In other words, we become more like Him, more like Jesus!

GRAPE CLUSTERS-Carmenere_grapes_close
“What happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–” GAL.5:22
Jesus tells us that as long as we stay connected to Him (The Vine), we (the branches) will grow this fruit, abundant crops of it, enough to share with our neighbors. It is beneficial that we all grow in sanctification; it brings peace into the world in which we live and glory to The Kingdom of which we belong!

~ ♥ ~

“What happens when we live God’s way?
He brings gifts into our lives,
much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.
We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.
We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments,
…able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Gal.5:22,23, MSG

~ ♥ ~

Ro.1:17
NKJV

…the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
…”The just shall live by faith.”

NLT
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.
This is accomplished from start to finish by faith…

MSG
God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith,
confirming what Scripture has said all along:
“The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.

AMP
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith…

 ~ ♥ ~

SOURCES
*DISCLAIMER– The quote at the top of this post was originally quoted using the word ‘shortfall’ instead of ‘shortcoming’. Perhaps the person used “shortfall” on purpose in reference to occurrences of “falling off the wagon” so-to-speak, but I changed it to make it grammatically correct for this blog posting. I have no way of verifying my thoughts on the original intent of the wording. I quoted it “anonymous” due to AA policy, and my source is not named in order to protect her privacy.

“Shortcoming.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shortcoming&gt;.

PHOTO— By Agne27 at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

BIBLE VERSIONS– MSG– The Message Bible; NKJV– New King James Version;  NLT– New Living Translation; AMP– The Amplified Bible;

THOSE ‘FAITH PEOPLE’

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. ~Ps.150:6
Let everything that has breath PRAISE THE LORD! ~Ps.150:6

“PRAISE THE LORD!”

Ever been irritated by the ever-jubilant reactions of those “faith people”? You know those who smile too much and go around like they “don’t get it” and never seem to understand that this world is in war against itself and consistently raise their hands to blurt out “PRAISE THE LORD” at seemingly, the wrong times?
Do not be fooled. It is ‘THOSE FAITH PEOPLE’ who have learned to smile while God brought them through their valleys and they “got it” by finding Jesus in every valley; they understand just how much the world is at war with itself so they are in continual prayer for those living in ‘the world’; they blurt out praises from the abundance of the PEACE which is IN THEIR JOYFUL HEARTS at all times. They “get it”; they understand who their GOD IS:

Because the Lord is my Shepherd,
I have everything I need!
He lets me rest in the meadow grass
and leads me beside the quiet streams.
He gives me new strength.
He helps me do what honors him the most.
Even when walking through the dark valley of death
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.
You provide…for me in the presence of my enemies.
You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!
Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life,
and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.

~PSALM 23 (LB)

Give!

GIVE-Up, In, or ALLFACT: Life in this world can be difficult. All of us get to points at which we must either muster up courage to go on or give up. Of course another choice is to compromise and give in, relieving the pressure for a period of time. However, the trial will almost always returns in a more forceful attempt to get you to quit altogether.
TRUTH: Faith in Jesus Christ GIVES HOPE in all circumstances to endure them~ His grace is sufficient to not only carry us through but to strengthen us for whatever lies on the other side! His love never fails; trust it.

“Jesus leads us into a place of radical grace where we are able to celebrate the hope of experiencing God’s glory. And that’s not all. We also celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know that when we suffer we develop endurance, which shapes our characters. When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.” 
~ROMANS 5:2-5, The Voice Bible