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,



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



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

the right


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:

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).