Thursday, December 31, 2009

Receive Him – The truth of John 1:12

It is almost cliché to say that you have a personal relationship with Christ considering most people know the Christianese language if they have been in church, even for a short while. Yet what does the Bible say…is it speaking of a relationship or something more. Personal relationship falls short of what the Bible teaches, and what many people have experienced in their life with God. The truth is the Bible teaches so much more and by keeping us blind to the truth the abundant life that Christ promised is seldom grasped by many well meaning, God fearing Christians.

God is Life…Christ is Life (John 14:6) and when we come to Him and receive Him we receive His life, which is eternal. That is why the Bible always speaks of having eternal life (John 3:36) in the present tense not in the future tense. We have union with Christ and now He is our Life (John 20:31) and He is in us and we are in Him (1John 5:20)…it is His life that He gives us (Gal 2:20) so that we are new creations in Him (2Cor 5:17). And in being in Him we are now Free (2Cor 3:17) because He completely purchased that freedom by His once and for all sacrifice (Heb 9:28).

Yet God will not force Himself on anyone…it is a personal decision that each one must receive or reject Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that it is not a “intellectual assent” to a set of doctrines but so much more. You are the recipient of God’s eternal life…take a look at how John 1:12 puts it.

Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

receive

λαμβάνω

lambanō - to take, to get hold of, to grasp

believed

πιστεύω

pisteuō - to have faith (in, upon or with respect to, a person or thing), to entrust, to put in trust with

the right

ἐξουσία

exousia- ability, privilege, freedom, liberty, power

John 1:12 But to all who take hold of him, who entrusted him…he gave the privilege and freedom to become children of God.

This is the door that Christ comes into union with you (Rev 3:20) yet who is responsible for opening it…He is knocking to be more then just a Savior; He desires to be your very source of life. When Christ is your life then freedom begins to reign in the person’s life. Not some religious routine but real freedom and victory because He promised and He delivers it. You will never be free if you do not believe because your beliefs have limited your ability to be free.

Humans devised a way to tame the most powerful land animal on the planet -- the elephant. They start by securing a baby elephant firmly with a strong rope and a sturdy stake driven deep into the ground. The baby elephant struggles to break free, but struggle as it will, it cannot escape its bonds. The young elephant eventually tires and gives up trying. Thereafter, as soon as it reaches the end of its rope, it goes no further. It has been trained always to think that it cannot break free of its bounds; its spirit has been broken.


As elephant grows it becomes stronger, while the rope becomes thinner and the stake smaller. Yet every time the elephant meets resistance from the end of the rope, it stops. It thinks it can go no further because it has been trained not to try to break free. Eventually the elephant reaches full size and, having learned the behavioral lessons of infancy so well, it can be easily restrained by only a thin rope and a tiny stake. It has long given up trying to break free of its bonds of captivity.

Could that elephant pull that stake out? Of course it could! Then why doesn’t it? Because it has been conditioned to believe that the stake will hold it, since it was a baby. Knowing the truth begins to set you free (John 8:32) but it is Christ Himself that sets you free indeed (John 8:36) because His life in you breaks every false authority that has been placed into your life.

Satan only has the authority that you allow him to have and he comes to steal, kill and destroy that abundant life in Christ (John 10:10) so turn to Christ for real freedom…acknowledge Him as living in you and your source of divine life (2Pet 1:4).

Happy New Year 2010

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

I just wanted to take a moment and tell each one of you reading this how much I appreciate your love and friendships. It is so easy to take many things for granted, especially other people so I wanted to just tell each one reading this: Thank You. May God's love and life shine brighter in this new year.


Lord we reflect with thankful hearts
On the wonder of your birth
The love you expressed when you left
Your glory to come to earth

For your life was like a beacon,
Lord Shining brightly in the night
Filling the world with the radiance of
The Father’s glorious light

And we, too, long to have inside
Your light for others to see
The beautiful reflection of your grace
And the wonder of your majesty

For as your life indwells our hearts
We can shine wherever we are
And arise to take hold of each new day
With your light ablaze in our hearts

So rekindle the flame within us Lord
So it will not flicker nor dim
Ignite us with the light of your love
So you will shine brightly within

© By M.S.Lowndes ~ 2007

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to overcome sin and live an abundant life

This series is from Paul White ministries and has helped so many that are truly seeking God. One thing that used to bother me when I was living under religion, was that the Pharisees had so much in common with me...especially the inward sin. There outward behavior was good and they professed to love God but inwardly they were unclean...are you? Have you been struggling in sin? Listen to this message to be set free and live the life that Christ promised...the abundant life.

















Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You Actually Free?

Many times when I am counseling people I will ask if they know what they should do to fix whatever problem they are facing. Almost inevitably they will say “I need to pray more” or “I need to read the Bible more”…these are the two most common answers to one who is struggling with some sort of sin. This is a common theme in much of religion today and as such people are not finding the rest and freedom that the Christian life first promised. In fact many feel bound again by becoming a Christian where they cry out: The good that I want to do is not what I do but the evil I hate is the very thing I do. Ironically the etymology of the word religion is: re- meaning, “return” and ligare – meaning, “to bind”; in other words “to return to bondage”. Yet Jesus spoke out against religion and as such promised to set people free…so how does this happen?

God’s ways are different then the ways of the world…in fact they are opposite in many respects. We know that Satan is the prince of this world (Eph 2:2) and his way is to pervert God’s ways. In fact Satan usually uses seemingly good (2Cor 11:4) methods in order to hook mankind back into bondage (2Tim 2:26) and take our eyes off of Christ and the gospel of peace (2Cor 4:4). Satan is pleased to have a person on the religious treadmill, struggling with sin, not knowing who they are in Christ…in fact that is his purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the abundant life (John 10:10) that we partake of in Christ.

Who are we in Christ? Can victory be real in my life? How come most people that go to church don’t live in victory and struggle just like me? What is God’s way or method to make this victory real in my life? These were questions I had for many years and struggled within the church to find answers. But there are answers. I will attempt to answer these very questions in this note.

God’s way in bringing the reality of victory in our lives is the opposite of what is being taught in most well meaning, bible preaching, churches today. In fact most pastors are quick to say how they continually struggle in sin and that it is the normal Christian life…they have bought into the lie that is stealing the abundant life that Christ promised by His grace.

Most Protestant churches teach a “salvation by grace alone” message, similar to what Paul taught in Eph 2:8-9 but then turn right around and say that sanctification is by works…that you now have the duty, as a servant of God, to pray, read your bible, tithe, go to church or any other myriad of works related methods. This is not God’s way, they haven’t brought a complete, new covenant (Eze 36:26-27), salvation message. Many only focus on sin and God’s forgiveness of sin and fail to tell you about all that accompanies faith in Christ

For more on salvation see my video message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etsR0G3J6xk

Victory in the Christian life is a gift from God (1Cor 15:57) and as such any works to receive this gift brings about unbelief. Many are quick to resolve that in their understanding of salvation (that any work is a refusal to accept salvation as a gift) but fail to see this as God’s method in receiving His victory. Instead, they put themselves back under the law, struggling with sin and their Christian life becomes one of guilt, pride, hypocrisy and many times debilitating aggravation. So what is one to do that finds themselves in this situation?

My suggestion is to take a few weeks and try doing it God’s way instead of a way that seems right (Prov 14:12) and is being taught in many mainline churches.

  1. Repent – This is so commonly misunderstood in the church today, many believe it means to have sorrow for sin or to turn away from sin. The Greek word is actually metanoeō and is formed from two words. Meta – meaning, “change” (where we get the word metamorphosis) and Noeo – meaning, “mind or thinking”, therefore it is a change of thinking or a change of mind. From believing one way to another…Without thinking differently you allow the enemy to continue leading you with lies, stealing and destroying the life of Christ in you. This is why Jesus said to repent and believe the gospel…the good news (Mark 1:15).

  2. Understand (John 8:32) what happened at salvation…you died (2Cor 5:14) with Christ and were raised up to new life in Him (2Cor 5:17). You “exchanged lives” with Christ and you are now the righteousness of Christ (Php 3:9) and your life is hid with Christ (Col 3:3) and you are seated with Him in the heavenly places (Eph 2:6). You no longer live but Christ lives in you and through you (Gal 2:20)…much more could be said so please watch the video, even if you have heard the message of salvation before.

  3. Stop monitoring your life for sin. Stop comparing yourself to God’s law (Rom 5:20) because all the law does is arouse more sin (Rom 7:5) you are actually dead to the law (Rom 7:4) and now alive to Christ. Do not form for yourself any religious rules, even if you think they may be good…for they are powerless (Col 2:23) against the flesh.

  4. See Christ Jesus for who He is…He is your friend, your brother, your intercessor, your kinsman redeemer, your beloved husband, your protection full of Grace and Mercy…He is your all in all. Focus your time, talent and energy on Him and Him alone…sadly many religious people are willing to do many things but not come to Him (John 5:39-40)

  5. Believe what He says about you and who you are in Him:
    1. You are righteous (Eph 4:24)
    2. You are the temple of His Holy Spirit (1Cor 3:16)
    3. You are a partaker of the heavenly calling (Heb 3:1)
    4. You have the divine life in you (1Pet 1:4)
    5. You are a son of God and one in Christ (Gal 3:26)
    6. You are dearly loved by God (1Thes 1:4)
    7. You are one spirit with the Lord (1Cor 6:17)

  6. Receive (John 1:12) this “exchanged life” as a gift from God (John 10:10) and that your identity isn’t based in behavior but being born from above

  7. Ask the Holy Spirit to make this real in you, that you are a new creation (1Cor 5:17 and Eph 4:24), and to reveal to you where you are still holding on to the “old self” that is dead (Eph 4:22). The Holy Spirit has come to convince you that you are holy and righteous in Him (John 16:10)

Don’t let the enemy steal the life of love, joy, peace, patience (Gal 5:22-23) and more from you today…God has made it so simple and beautiful. He loves you (John 3:16) and desires for you to know His love (1John 4:8) and to experience the reality of Him everyday (John 10:16; 17:3)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The feeling of importance and significance

This is a brief presentation of what Christ accomplished on the cross based on Galation 6:14. People need to have a sense of security, significance and happiness and all of that was changed on the cross of calvary. Find out how you have been relying on others or the world and have thus become a puppet to the worlds system instead of free in Christ. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy the life of Christ in us (John 10:10) but knowing the truth we are made free (John 8:32)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The way I lived brought me to the brink...


Every time I turn the TV on it seems there is another commercial for some sort of pill that can take away anxiety, relieve depression, bring some sense of happiness, help you sleep and the list goes on and on. It has even gotten to the point that the first prescribed pills are now minor dosages compared to the newly prescribed ones and even that there is now add on pills that can extend out the desired feeling if the original prescription does not give one the desired outcome. This is the ways of the world in which rest and peace is always fleeting so new methods have to be developed in order to bring some sense of relief to many finding themselves on the hamster wheel of this vicious cycle.

I should know, before I became a Christian, I was diagnosed with as having manic bipolar disorder so true rest was not part of my life. Sure alcohol and other things would medicate it for a short time but it never brought real peace. There was little joy in life and for a while many around me were worried that I was going down the road to suicide. I remember thinking that if this is all there is to life then there becomes a tipping point when the pain and stress of life make it not worth living. My worldview was that of an atheist or jaded agnostic thinking that there is no real purpose to living thus if eating, drinking and partying were not giving me the desired happiness then why continue. Although many would give me advice and list of things I should be happy for it was always ridiculous when filtered through my atheistic worldview in light of my pain and the pain and suffering of billions in the world. Although death and especially suicide were extremely frightening to me it seemed a viable alternative.

Ultimately, I was rescued out of it by the only One who promises rest (Mat 11:28-30), Jesus Christ. Yet that started me on a different path where I knew God, and the purpose and plan for which he brought me to earth, but the true rest I had hoped to find was still not real in my life. It was definitely not like before, where I was having these enormous ups and downs, but it was always a sense of “I need to do more”. I was now on the religious treadmill instead of the worlds and there are many things these have in common. I could never be good enough, read my Bible enough, pray enough, be at church enough…religion (a set of rules) was being used to control my life instead of the Life of Jesus.

I remember the day when I was speaking to a brother over seas and told him of the problems I was having, what he said changed my life, he said:

“The way it works for me is that the more I believe in the reality of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross the more substantial the Spirit becomes in my thoughts and desires.

The main aspects

of what occurred on the cross that increases my faith is all condemnation has been removed from me and placed on the cross. In the reality of this accomplishment I no longer look at my past.

As for apprehensions for an uncertain future, since I am now born-again, an adopted son of God the provisions that myself and my family needs is no longer for me to be concerned about. Simply receive what is offered or follow holy desires and God provides our needs on the paths that He leads us on.

That allows me to not look at the past or at the future. I am able to live in the present moment. In the present moment without fear of an uncertain future or guilt and shame because of a life of depravity is where we can abide in the Spirit”

I had known Christ as my forgiver even as my Savior, the one bearing my sins, my guilt on the cross yet I did not know Him as my life. My trust of Him was limited in what I understood of Him, in fact I was living a life of Christ plus my own goodness. No wonder I didn’t know rest, how could He give me (as a gift) the rest and peace of Him if I thought I could still obtain it by my works of righteousness. In fact the simplicity of living the Christian life was

swallowed up by thoughts of…if I could just get more knowledge about Him then I would have peace etc. Isn’t that works? Although I believed that justification was by grace alone, I then believed (as the judaizers did) that I needed to do something to attain from God. Isn’t that the ways of the world in a nutshell? Plain and simply that is not the ways of God.

God grants us peace, rest and all the fruits of the Spirit not by how hard we work or how much we learn but simply by abiding in Him (John 15:4-5). In fact the more we try and do on our own and work from our own power the more dead works (Rom 8:8) we are manifesting, the more religion we propagate (Col 2:23), the more we look just like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.

The answer is simple; Trust Christ moment by moment, just like my friend stated, and you recognize more and more of His finished work in you (Col 1:27). The fact is you already have all the Spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3) now just believe Him and live (obedience) in the faith of Christ. Stop striving to do more and be more but allow Christ to live in you (Gal 2:20) and through you and you will find all that you could have ever wanted and more (Eph 3:20-21).

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lord does not need me to “do”


The crux of religion is always “do”…it is a performance based relationship to God that always weighs a person down or as the word religion means “binds them”. The answer is simple, you can never do enough, never pray enough, never read the Bible enough, never tithe enough, never be at c

hurch enough etc. And even if you do fulfill a man-centered, self-imposed law all that springs up is a spiritual pride that smells just like a modern day Pharisee.

So what does God want? Simply You. He died for you, He lives to make intercession for you, His Spirit searches the deep things of you…He wants you! When the world looks upon someone on that “do” treadmill they must see our God as weak and feeble needing humans to do for Him and unfortunately many in the church give just that impression. They say that God is omniscient and omnipotent but have the mindset that God needs them to fulfill something. That is a lie from the pit.

God does not need us to do anything (Acts 17:25) , in fact in Him we live and breath and move (Acts 17:28) and without Him there would be less then nothing. The truth is that we get to partake in the divine life (2Pe 1:4) of Christ living in us (Col 1:27). So then with this in m

ind what does God want, what is eternal life…Union with Christ – a relationship.

Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

As we spend time with Him and get to know Him and understand who we are in Him, this

born again (John 3:3) new creation (2Co 5:17) of God we begin to see the vastness of His love (Rom 8:39) and our identity in Him (Gal 2:20). As we trust in Him (Prov 18:24) by faith (Rom 14:23) our intimacy increases and thus our character becomes more like Christ (2Co 3:18). What a wonderful plan, what a wonderful Savior.

Yet what we have done is to live in unbelief and have desired to do things the world’s way instead of God’s way. We live in a world plagued by PBA (performance based acceptance) and have now brought that way of living right into the church. It falls right into line with the devil’s plan which is to steal, kill and destroy the life of Christ in us and falls right into line with our religious desires – to be accepted by God based on our performance. Even many who understand salvation is of grace and not works (Eph 2:8-9) still can find themselves back under this “law of doing good” instead of “living the life of Christ in us”. They want to do good (Rom 7:15) and willingly put themselves back on that law (Col 2:23) of performance based acceptance instead of living a life of walking after the Spirit. (Rom 7:6)

What kind of relationship would I have with my wife if all I did is to try and please her by my “doing” and lacked the personal intimacy that comes from just being with her? At first she may find it great and rewarding but over time she would just want me to sit and talk with her, to give her time to share her soul (thoughts, will and emotions) and for me to do the same…to be still (Psa 46:10). God promises that we will hear Him (Joh 10:16) and know Him (Joh 17:3) and be moved by Him (Psa 32:8) and He will cause us to walk in His ways (Eze 36:27). Too much of our activity is being done “for the Lord” instead of “with the Lord”, this in turn brings strife, aggravation, a sense of never being fulfilled instead of the promised rest (Mat 11:28) that is found in Him.

The Pharisees found themselves in this same predicament. They were the ultimate religious folks. They were much more obedient and pious then most people found in today’s church. They fasted 3 times a week, some not even swallowing their spit. They prayed 3-5 times a day, most prayers lasting at least 15 minutes. They were zealous for evangelism even having to expand the court of the proselytized in the temple. They were fundamental in their belief, pious in their acts and yet missed Jesus because of their desire to do to be accepted, instead of just resting in the finished work of Christ.

Many find themselves in this same situation that Jesus spoke about in John 5:39-40. We are so willing to “do” all kinds of things but being alone and speaking and waiting to be spoken to by God is alien. And yet without coming to Him, daily, you will not have life but a religious treadmill that will wear you and those you love out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Working out your salvation


Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

This area of scripture has been used many times to manipulate people into doing all sorts of things. From walking up Mt Croagh Patrick on their knees in order to really show God they are serious to keeping a set of man-made rules and laws set up by those in religious authority. Either way it is spiritual abuse and many have felt the sting of it.

What is the work of God, if we are to “work out” our own salvation…as always the words of Jesus bring great clarity

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

In much of society, especially the West, we have come to define the word believe as just a mental ascent. And once you believe something it is not an ongoing basis yet that is not at all what the word for believe means. Let’s look at the definitions given for this important word (From Strongs Dictionary):

G4100

πιστεύω - pisteuō -pist-yoo'-o

From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well being to Christ): - believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

It does not denote a once for all belief but more of putting trust in or having faith in…both are a moment by moment trust on the person of Jesus Christ thus the Gospel of God. Jesus even makes it more clear just another couple of verses down

Joh 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Look at what the will of the Father is…to have (not will have but present tense) eternal life and to live off of that life as the source for all that we do, think and say. In fact that lines up exactly with what God promised in the New Covenant, in Eze 36:26-27, that He (God) would give us a new heart (2Cor 5:17) and put His (God) Spirit within us and cause us to walk in His ways.

Last summer I was teaching my son to jump in the water off of the side of our pool. He was just starting to swim and didn’t like to get water on his face…it would freak him out as he thought with even just a little water he couldn’t breathe. Now I knew different and even showed him time and time again how getting water on your face wouldn’t hurt you and how jumping into the pool was fun. But he was still scared to get water on his face. My son had a belief problem, his incorrect beliefs were sending faulty signals to his brain thus imprisoning him from this fun activity, even though he saw his sister and other kids doing it and having a great time.

Now I could have invested in years of psychological counseling for him to find out why he was having these “issues” but instead we cut to the chase. I worked with him slowly to build up his tolerance for getting water in his face all the time holding him and helping him when he struggled. It soon got to the point that he could jump off the step in the pool and get a little water in his face but he wasn’t willing to go all the way. So, like most Daddy’s, I kept working with him and showing him over and over that he could trust what I was saying. Then the day came that he finally could do it, he was probably a bit scared but knew he could trust in what his Daddy said…and either way I was in the pool for him to jump into my arms

Now isn’t that what our “Abba” Father says to each of us? God is working in us to trust Him all the more and as we walk in the light that trust continues to grow. The unfortunate thing is many in the Christian world don’t understand that “IT IS DONE” and that we have the victory. Many are still bound in their chains trying to gain victory over sin when all the while God is saying: “Trust me it is done”.

God works in us to do His perfect and pleasing will yet taking that step of working out the salvation that he has given us will require us to take another step in faith and obedience toward Him. All the while our Father is so patient with us, even when we throw a hissy fit, to keep working with us until we are able to trust where He is taking us. The Christian life is such an adventure and full of so much fun when we believe Him for all that He is and walk out the plan that He has for each and every one of us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Reasons you are living the defeated Christian life!


Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.Col 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.Col 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Scripture states a very clear and undeniable fact…you have died. Who has died? All have died because Jesus Christ died for the world.

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;

Joh 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Salvation has come to those who receive His life and His payment for their sins, it is a gift of God for all who will come. When we are born again, born from the Spirit, we have the ability to partake in this divine life, but the sad thing is many born again will never take their position, their inheritance of this divine life (2Pet 1:4) for a myriad of reasons:

  1. They simply will not come to Him for divine life. They know that living the Christian life requires His divine life but they are not willing to come to Him to receive it…instead they try the old Pharisee route (John 5:39-40)
  2. They are still trying to live the Christian life by their own power. Many think that fighting sin is the main thing in the Christian life yet the new covenant doesn’t even speak of sin but life (Eze 36:26-27). The more the Christian focuses on sin the more sin is aroused in them because they are putting themselves back under law and cheating on Jesus (Rom 7:4-6)
  3. They don’t believe the Bible. Many will pick and choose what verses to believe and what verses not to believe. Or worse they filter the Bible through a set of beliefs that looks lofty and even pious yet has no power over the flesh (Col 2:23)
  4. They love Jesus and they love their sin. Jesus made it very clear that you cannot serve two masters (Mat 6:24). Many want to live just for Jesus but their love and lie of sin, usually just one or two specific sins makes them unwilling. God will not be mocked (Gal 6:7) and as such will allow greater and greater consequences as you sow to your flesh.
  5. They simply do not know the truth. Although they have been set free and have divine life in Christ they are still bound by the lies of the devil, many perpetuated within the church walls. Although they know that something is wrong with their walk with Christ they are under the assumption that more work is needed, more effort on their behalf to have victory in this divine life yet many, many scriptures have to be twisted and skewed to render that false belief (Joh 8:33)

In the third chapter of “The Pursuit of God” by AW Tozer he offers a prayer at the end. As I end this short message I think it is best to cut to the chase and offer you this powerful prayer…it is one that each of us can pray, if we are willing.

“Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name, Amen.”

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Their came a day that I died.


For a good part of my Christian life I was still struggling with God. I wasn’t willing to accept my place on the cross and believe that I have been crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20). I believed it intellectually and even in the religious circles I could put on the face of the victorious Christian but God knew, as did I, that I was still living the defeated Christian life. I wanted all of God but I wanted it on my terms…there is a vast gulf between being willing on God’s terms and wanting on my terms.

I had many teachings on living the “Exchanged Life” but each time I thought I could start living it God made it abundantly clear that I still wasn’t willing to receive His life by His terms. I would live 95% off of God but still held that little 5% back for myself…I was still my own idol because I would make the final decisions on everything and not God.

Some may call it “The baptism of the Holy Spirit” or “Complete Consecration to Christ” or “The Surrendered Life” doesn’t matter what you call it what matters is that you deal with God on that matter. Ask the Holy Spirit where am I not willing to be totally yours…and He is so gracious to show you. Or ask Him where am I living in unbelief…show me how to believe the truth of who I am in Christ. I remember the day before God in His eternal patience finally brought me into the fullness…it was almost 10 years after I had been saved. I wrote this in my journal:

“I find it to be at the height of hypocrisy when I bid people to “come to Christ” so that they can have life, so that their sins can be forgiven, so they can be new creatures but I am not willing to come to Him…I am not satisfied with Him. I continue in sin yet cling to my religious routine and traditions and shake my head at the world because they love their sin and want nothing to do with us who call ourselves “Christians” – Christ bearers. Life is only through Him and in Him abundant life but I am preoccupied with everything else, even my sense of duty in religion whether it be studying the Bible, praying, giving, going to church etc.

So I shake my head in disgust at the Pharisees but act just like them. Where I think I will find life and answers in the scriptures but I am not willing to spend time with God incarnate Himself…I really don’t want to know what He wants for me because I am not willing to accept it. Oh, that I would be satisfied with God alone and longing after His very presence.”

I can honestly say that since that day everything has changed…I finally got real with God and real with others and accepted my place on the cross with Him. The deceit I was under for so long was such a lie…I now know the abundant life. I believed Satan that I would hate being fully identified with Christ and that it would be a great burden but since the beginning he was a liar and his wiles were just that…trickery.

I think of the many loved ones that are so willing to do anything in their church and are being run ragged because they are not willing to come to Him for abundant Life. Don’t let Satan deceive you one more day, come to Christ and be fully identified with the Cross and nothing else…then Christ will give you His Life but only if you are willing.

Monday, November 16, 2009

What does it mean to be Crucified with Christ?


"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." Galatians 2:20

I love what Oswald Chambers has to say...(From Nov 3 My Utmost for His Highest)

These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual independence of God, and the emancipating of my personality into oneness with Himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. There is no possibility of dispute when once I am there. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ - "For My sake." It is that which makes the iron saint.

Has that break come? All the rest is pious fraud. The one point to decide is - Will I give up, will I surrender to Jesus Christ, and make no conditions whatever as to how the break comes? I must be broken from my self-realization, and immediately that point is reached, the reality of the supernatural identification takes place at once, and the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable - "I have been crucified with Christ."

The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I do not begin to be a saint.


Taking your place with Christ on the cross is something that very few are willing for...they will not fully identify with Christ because they still hold back something. of the world, sin or self. I remember my own struggle with willingness and although I wanted to live the victorious Christian life I wasn't willing to come to Christ for that life. I tried all the different methods and tricks in order to live a life of victory but I always failed, which was be God's grace. My act of unbelief in His finished work kept me from the abundant life and the lies of satan who steals that life (John 10:10) made me think that being fully consecrated with Christ was going to be less then desirable. I would say I was 95% His and still 5% my own yet the words of Jesus would cut me with the accuracy and truth of this particular verse.

Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can't serve both God and Mammon. (HNV)

What are you going to do today? Can you go on and on living and struggling with the skewed Christian life that many churches teach where many well meaning Pastors are still struggling with sin or are you going to come to Christ for life and live the "Normal Christian Life" where the struggle with sin is no longer a problem because you are now living in the new covenant(Eze 36:26). The New Covenant where God promised that He would cause us to walk in His ways (Eze 36:27). Take the time today to go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him why you are not willing to be fully identified with Christ...then rest in the goodness of God and stop struggling against Him and be freed from the entanglement of living under the weight of sin, self and the world's system...but only do so if you are willing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My First Video Teaching

Here is a video that I just put together to start teaching the Bible. I am still in need of a few supplies which should be coming in the mail to make the videos look a bit more professional. Give it a view and see what you think.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Test and Trials


1Pe 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1Pe 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. (ESV)

It was now about 10:00 am and I knew that after the two-hour wait we should be next on the schedule. I hate waiting at All Children’s Hospital…not so much because of the time but because of seeing the different families going through a multitude of trials. It always seems worse when things are happening to a child, no matter the situation. Another half-hour rolls by and they finally call our name and escort us into the examine room.

Before I get to what happened let me explain what has already taken place. Our youngest girl has been having problems with her fontanel closing properly and as such our pediatricians have been keeping a close eye on it. At this point in her development things should have advanced at a normal rate like our other two children but our youngest seems to not be closing properly. The doctors decided to order a number of test to try and get a grip on what is going on. That takes us to ACH where we are awaiting the lab to take some blood and urine to move forward with the testing.

As we enter the sterile but inviting room I glance over at the supplies the technician has pulled out to get the needed fluids. It is always so heart wrenching to see such small IV’s and other medical devices and reminds me of the many pains these wonderful people must endure daily in the course of doing their jobs. My daughter had fallen fast asleep in daddy’s arms and I hated to wake her but knew that it was needed. As I lay this beautiful little sleepy girl down on the crackling sterile white paper she isn’t too happy, and the test haven’t even started. But all I can do is try and comfort her by stroking her hair and speaking softly to her all the while knowing what was coming.

Needless to say the nurse put the IV in her arm and started to draw the blood. All I could do is try and comfort her in the process…the test are needed and this trial for her is part of the test. I couldn’t explain to her the reasons why she must get the test nor could I draw the charts of the anterior and posterior fontanel and show her how they needed to fuse properly for her to continue growing properly…she could have never understood. Yet I comforted her during the process and did all I could to make the needed trauma less uncomfortable then it had to be. If I could have taken the pain upon myself I would have…I think most parents would do the same.

After the testing was over and we could finally make our way out of the hospital I was able to comfort her again and even make her smile. On the way home she fell asleep in the car and now a few hours later she doesn’t seem to even remember what has happened.

God cannot and will not explain the “why” we go through trials and test but He gives us His perspective to keep in mind and heart while we are going through them. Not only that He gives us His joy and His peace in the midst of the trials…if we will look to Him and receive what He has for us. Although this life will have trials and test we can rejoice knowing that not only do we have a Saviour that has felt and can understand the trials (Heb 4:15-16) we have a Saviour that transcends time and space to be there with us, stroking our hair and speaking softly to us. We know that trials and test have purpose and that it is to our benefit to go through them, if not God would not allow them in our lives. Trusting in Him for all we need, have and ever will be makes the trials a lot less burdensome to the point where we can thank Him for allowing the trials and test in our own life (1Thes 5:18). My baby girl may not be able to understand the reason she had to be at the hospital today but she can look to me and trust me that I do and that it was for her good.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Doctor Cures the Cancer of a Dead Person!


Dr. Juste claims he has found the cure to cancer in people that have already died and he has the science to back it up. Mr. John Victime died of bone cancer at 9:25 am on Friday, November 6, 2009 and his body was sent to the office of Dr. Juste immediately after his death. Dr. Juste then proceeded to take a special balm and rub it all over the body of Mr. Victime and sent the body back to the hospital where Mr. Victime died just hours earlier. The body underwent a series of test and it is confirmed that Mr. Victime’s cancer is no longer present, in fact not even a trace of it was found.

Dr. Juste has been curing the cancer of the dead for years and has become quite famous for it. Mr. Victime was at his prime in life when the cancer slowly ate away the inside of his body to the point he couldn’t even feed himself anymore. Scientist monitored him as he slowly succumbed to the deadly disease. They tested him in ten different ways to verify what was actually killing him and there was no doubt it was the deadly cancer. When the scientist tested Mr. Victime’s dead body they were amazed at the complete eradication of the cancer and every test verified that he was cancer free at his burial.

Of course the story is fictitious but it is an allegory of the modern gospel that is being preached. The modern gospel teaches that sin is the culprit and it is sin that must be dealt with and they will say Jesus came to die for your sin…that is true but not the whole truth. Sin must be dealt with and it was on the cross but so much more has happened, so much more needed to happen.

The bible says that we are dead in our trespasses and sins…dead spiritually (Eph 2:1). Sin is the cancer that is killing us (Rom 6:23). Sin is our attitude of independence from God and the results of sins is what you see because of this independence. Sins manifest themselves in different people in different ways. Sins might consist of something like adultery, lying, stealing, pride, gossiping, anger, covetousness, blaspheme, and a whole list of other things that many do in their daily life. Sin (in the singular) is the attitude towards God of independence of Him and thus dependence upon ourselves and the world’s system to get our needs met…sins (in the plural) is what happens as a result of this attitude. Jesus not only died for our sins and bore them in His body (1Pe 2:24) we died with him (2Cor 5:14) to sin and were raised to newness of life (Rom 6:6, 2Cor 5:17).

There are so many well meaning Christians that have come to Jesus to have their sins forgiven so that they can be with Him in heaven one day…but that is not the gospel. Paul said if I preach a different gospel it is no gospel at all (2Cor 11:4). What is being preached is a powerless gospel (2Tim 3:5) that has the appearance of godliness but denys its power. They are powerless against sin and have taken on the motto of the “defeated Christian” (which is not what that verse is speaking of) from Romans 7:15…the bible says have nothing to do with them.

They have gotten away from the reason that Christ came as the bread of Life, as the Way the Truth and the Life, so that we could have Life and Have it abundantly (John 10:10). What we have today is a bunch of Dr. Juste’s curing the dead of cancer and not telling them where or how to have Life. The New Covenant is all about Life in abundance not about sin (Eze 36:26)…it is about walking with our God in close relationship and being moved and directed by Him (John 10:16). We have today many frustrated Christians because they are still blind to the truth (Joh 8:32) and as such play right into what the devil desires to do, which is to steal, kill and destroy that divine life (Joh 10:10). Oh, I pray that God will continue to open the eyes of the people to His divine life that they can have by just repenting (changing their mind and understanding) and believing the gospel (John 14:20)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wonderful Gospel Explanation

Paul White gives the complete gospel message which many in the modern day church do not know and thus have never been set free (John 8:32) and are not living the restful, abundant life that Christ promised (John 10:10 and Mat 11:28)











Friday, October 30, 2009

The Exchanged Life - J. Hudson Taylor


I just listened to an audio book on my way up and to Atlanta (yes about a 9 hour book) on the biography of James Hudson Taylor. What a man of God...so humble, so full of love and yet it wasn't until he was 37 (which is my age) that God opened his eyes to the reality of the exchanged life. It came about by a missionary that Hudson trained and brought from England to China...the letter from his younger friend was the catalyst that God used to open his eyes to this wonderful truth.

So much in his letter could be said by me and the fact that for over 10 years I tried and tried and tried to achieve what was already done, oh what unbelief. Unfortunately, we have many today that do not understand their union and identity with Christ. They try and try and try hard to do what is already done. Victory is a gift of the Grace of God and our job is to stop striving for victory (which is an act of unbelief) and rest in the finished work of what Christ has ALREADY accomplished. Below is the letter that Hudson wrote his sister after God opened his eyes to the truth, by the way, was 20 years after he trusted the Lord and after about 17 years of serving him on the mission field. The question must be asked...what will you do with this truth...believe it and rest or not believe it and keep striving for what is already yours.


"I feel as though the first glimmer of the dawn of a glorious day had arisen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust- as to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. The last month has been perhaps the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul- Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little- My mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need, personally, and for the mission, of more holiness, life, power, in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living near to God. I prayed, agonized, strove, fasted, made resolutions, read the Word of God more diligently, sought more time for meditation and prayer - but all was with effect. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me- each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power- then came the question Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end - constant conflict and instead of victory too often defeat? How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, to them gave He that power to become the sons of God (i.e. God-like) when it was not so on my own experience?-

I hated myself. I hated my sin; and yet, I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry: 'Abba Father'; but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless."

"All the time I felt assured there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how was I to get it out?- I knew full well that there was in the Root abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As the light, gradually dawned on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite, was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it my own. But I had not this faith! I strove for it but it would not come; tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior-my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed seemed but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief, which was their cause, which could not, or would not, take God at His Word, but rather made Him a liar. Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world-yet, I indulged in it.

"When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I had never know it before. McCarthy, who had been exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote: 'But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.' As I read I saw it all, 'If we believe not, He abideth faithful' (2Tim 2:13). I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said: 'I will never leave you.' (Heb 13:5) Ah, there is rest I thought! I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me?

"But this was not all He showed me, nor one-half. As I thought of the vine and branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul- I saw not only that Jesus would never leave me, but that I was a member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. The Vine, now I see, is not the root merely, but all- root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit; and Jesus is not only that: He is soil and sunshine, air and shower, and ten thousand times more than we have every dreamed, wished for, or needed. Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ."

"Oh, my dear sister, it is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior; to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and the left poor? Or your head be well-fed while your body starves? Again, think of its bearing on prayer. Could a bank clerk say to a customer: 'It was only your hand wrote that check, not you,' or 'I cannot pay this sum to your hand, but only to yourself?' No more can your prayers or mine be discredited if offered in the name of Jesus (i.e. not in your own name, or for the sake of Jesus merely, but on the ground that we are His members) so long as we keep within the extent of Christ's credit - a tolerably wide limit"...