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Consider Jesus

August 31, 2016

Heb. 3:1 ¶ Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 

Consider Jesus! In light of all that is wrong with our world this is what needs to be shouted from the rooftops; Consider Jesus. Corruption and lies from the highest offices in our country; CONSIDER JESUS. Shouts of racism and violence in the streets; CONSIDER JESUS. Islamic terrorists, clerics, and heads of state calling for death to America and Israel; CONSIDER JESUS. There is really nowhere else to turn. Consider Jesus as the Creator who entered creation. Consider Jesus as the radiance of the Father’s Glory. Consider Jesus in His humility and suffering unto death. Consider Jesus as He was raised from the dead by the power of God. Consider Jesus as the glorified High Priest at the right hand of God. Consider Jesus as the heavenly Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Andrew Murray also calls us to Consider Jesus again. 
“The word consider, from the root of the Latin word for Star, originally means to contemplate the stars. It suggests the idea of the astronomer, and the quiet, patient, persevering, concentrated gaze with which he seeks to discover all that can be possibly known of the stars which the object of his study are. And Jesus, who is God, who became man, and perfected our human nature in His wonderful life of suffering and obedience, and now dwells in heaven to communicate to us its life and blessedness—oh, what reason there is for saying, Consider Jesus. Gaze upon Him, contemplate Him. For some increased knowledge of the stars what devotion, what enthusiasm, what sacrifices are oft-times witnessed. Oh, let the study and possession of the Son of God waken our devotion and our enthusiasm, that we may be able to tell men what beauty and what glory there is in Jesus.”
Have you taken a long look at Jesus lately? Sometimes the clatter of all of our problems distracts us. Everything from financial pressure to marital strife can block our view of the Lord. What is our response? Open up your Bible and begin to search it’s pages like an astronomer searches the heavens. You might catch a glimpse of one of the rays of His glory shining out from this Heavenly Body. You may feel the warmth of His love, taste the sweetness of His grace, or feel the power of His presence. Go ahead search the heavens in His written word, as you Consider Jesus who will become a very profound part of your life. 

EINSTEIN AND MIRACLES

August 30, 2016

So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. 1 COR. 3:21-23

I recently had to go to the dentist to have a crown replaced. The dentist applied some sort of glue, applied the crown, and then shone some kind of light on it. “That’s it, you are done”, I heard him say. “Really”, I replied. “That’s it? What’s with that light?” The dentist proceeded to show me how it works. He put some glue in his hand, applied the light, and the glue instantly hardened. He then went in to some scientific explanation about light rays and frequencies, all I could think about was the power of God. Since that dental appointment I keep thinking about miracles, I feel like miracles are right under our noses. Then my wife and I watched a movie called ‘Miracles from Heaven’. At the end of the movie there was a quote from Albert Einstein. Apparently, Einstein believed in miracles. Here is a quote from the scientist on miracles as a way of life. 
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
Which way are you living? Do you live as if miracles don’t exist, especially in your world. Or maybe you have tasted the greatness of the unseen, if you have, you see miracles everywhere. 

Rebirthing your dreams! 

August 29, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

A lazy person says, “There’s a ferocious lion out on the road! There’s a lion loose in the streets!” 

Prov. 26:13 God’s Word Translation 
There is something amazing in the suddenlies of life. You can be knocked flat, sideways or taken out altogether but somewhere in the madness, God gets our attention. Ears that were once deaf to His voice suddenly hear. Christianity can be such an amazing journey if we allow it to be. 

Albert Einstein said, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” In other words people can be so stupid. The mind has a funny way of playing games. Piper said, “Truth is held hostage by the unrighteous commitments of the heart. The unrighteous heart then employs the mind to distract and deceive.” This verse is trying to get us to see, the lazy man couldn’t admit that he was lazy, so he became delusional and invented a lion. What’s your excuse these days? Did your dream die and you gave yourself a pass? Invented a prison of excuses, wherefores and people roadblocks to start again? You invented a lion. 

I came across this devotional in which Mark Batterson says, “In every dream journey, there comes a moment when you have to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. You have to go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.You have to go big or go home. You can run away from what you are afraid of, but you’ll be running the rest of your life. Or you can face your fears, taking a flying leap of faith, and chase the lion!” (In Chasing your Lion) 

So when I see lions roaring around, I know that God will come and shatter my excuses and crawfish ways. Sometimes you got to step out of the pack of na-sayers and just do it. After all He is just looking for an empty vessel to fill and hands to pour out of on a dying humanity. We think people are judging us but in reality we created yet another delusion. Besides, folks are just too preoccupied to notice their own issues, let alone yours. 

I don’t know whatever is holding you back from fulfilling the dream God has put in your heart but I can tell you for sure, there is not a lion out there. Psalms 46:10 “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” So go ahead and step away from the traffic of your mind, breathe in God and a ‘suddenly’ will come! 

NOTHING SEEMS TO EVER CHANGE 

August 28, 2016

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”John 6:26

People from all times are basically the same. King Solomon said it like this, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecc.1:9. Jesus observed that much of the crowd followed Him because of the food that they had received. Rather than pandering to the people Jesus confronted them. His message was not about provision in this life, His message was about the kingdom of God. In the 1500’s Luther had to constantly deal with the same issue, people would follow God based on what He would do now for them. Here is how Luther described his dilemma. 
“Even today, the gospel attracts people who think it will fill their bellies, satisfy their desires, and help them here in this life. This idea is so common today that I have almost become tired of preaching and teaching about it. People, pretending to be sincere disciples, come to hear a sermon. But under this guise, they come only for personal gain. However, the gospel wasn’t sent from heaven in order to allow people to fill their own bellies, take whatever they want, and do whatever they please. Christ didn’t shed his blood for this purpose! The gospel proclaims God’s glory and teaches us how to praise the Lord. God wants us to praise him. He wants us to do what pleases him. If we make God’s honor and kingdom our first priority, then not only will he give us life and everything we need in this world, but he will give us eternal life as well.”
Doesn’t Luther’s dilemma sound familiar? It has been marketed and promoted differently in every generation but the emphasis is always the same. A few years ago the message was called the “faith message”. If you would give to certain ministries and release your faith you would experience the good life now. More recently the terminology has changed. Now it’s more about being a better you or living your best life now. Like Solomon said, “vanity of vanity and striving after wind”. The kingdom of God is about Christ. He is the treasure and the goal, His gifts are just extra blessing. Sure He provides for us in this life but those who know Him would follow Him even if He didn’t. 

BRAND NEW DESIRE

August 27, 2016

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

Ps. 27:4

 

I used to have a friend as a young Christian that would ask the strangest questions. One of them was something like this. “If I get really close to the Lord I’m afraid He will ask me to do something that is too hard, something I don’t want to do”. We talked for hours about this and other pretty funny questions. I have to admit, neither one of us had many of the right answers back then. Today I can begin to respond to that thought, when Jesus becomes my treasure and I draw near to Him all of my desires begin to change. Actually He begins to put His desires for my life into my heart. They then become my desires and joy. What an awesome God. Here is how Andrew Murray described this reality. 
“When God’s desire becomes our desire, these words also become our words: to dwell in His house, to gaze upon His beauty, and to seek Him in His temple. The more we realize God’s desire to give rest and peace in our heart, and the more our desire is quickened to dwell with Him and behold His beauty, the more the spirit of intercession will grow upon us to claim all that God has promised in His New Covenant. We will start thinking more of our church and country, home and school. We will think of saved ones and their need, or the unsaved and the dangers that threaten them. We will think of God’s desire to find His home and His rest in the hearts of men. All thoughts of our weakness and unworthiness will be swallowed up in the wonderful assurance that He gave to His children: “This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:14).”
Actually, this is the answer to all of our misery. Our self absorbed lives that lead to depression and misery get swallowed up. We find ourselves in love with the Lord and passionate about His kingdom. Our hearts are filled with love for the hurting that spills over in ministry and intercession. This is the beautiful work of God. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  

HE TASTED DEATH

August 26, 2016

Heb. 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 

The gospel is filled with unspeakable and unsearchable mysteries. Looking at the death of Jesus is like that, it is filled with layers of revelation and blessing. Recently I was reading THE HOLIEST OF ALL by Andrew Murray and was floored by the revelation about Christ’s death. He died to lead us into another way, a new and living way, to live our lives. His death destroyed the power of sin which kept all of us under the power of the enemy. His death brought us liberation from the devil’s domain. Secondly, He showed us how to access this new and living way; it is the way of the cross. Learning to die to our fleshly desires opens up a brand new world of life for us. Finally, Jesus suffered and died to become our Heavenly High Priest. Wow! The Son of God and the Son of Man representing me before the Father. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray and his commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews. 
“The Epistle is about to expound to us the great mystery, why the Son of God was made a little lower than the angels. It was that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for every man, and so open up again the entrance into God’s presence and favor. The necessity and meaning of His sufferings and death it will present to us in three different aspects. The first, that in suffering and death Christ Himself must needs be made perfect, so that as our Leader He might open up to us the path of perfection, and prepare that new nature, that new way of living, in which we are to be led to glory. The second, that through death, making propitiation for sin, He might destroy the devil, with his power of death, and give us a perfect deliverance from all fear of it. And the third, that in what He suffered, He might be made a merciful and faithful High Priest, able to secure our perfect confidence, and to give us the succor we need.”
We have a new way, a superior way to live our lives now. We have access into the holiest of all, the very presence of God, in our daily lives. He has poured out His blood to clear the way, lived a life of suffering to show us the way, and ever lives as our Heavenly Intercessor to call us into the way. LET US DRAW NEAR!!!

PICK UP THE CROSS

August 25, 2016

Heb. 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 

The cross has never been a popular message. When Jesus spoke about it to Peter, Peter rebuked the Lord; not a very good idea. Peter had no understanding, at that point, of why Jesus really came. It wasn’t until after His death that these things began to be more clear. The message of the cross really has a two-fold meaning for us. Jesus died for our sins and Jesus taught us how to die to sin. The first purpose of the cross is how we begin our Christian faith. We look to Christ, high and lifted up at Calvary, and by faith in His sacrificial death we are born again. This is the only way for us to discover God. Once this experience opens up our eyes we begin to see the second function of the cross. Jesus said it like this in Matt. 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me”. We are asked to die daily to this life as we follow Jesus in this new way of life. Here is how Andrew Murray describes it. 
“And what was the meaning of this death? And wherein lies its efficacy? In Scripture there is a twofold aspect in which the death of Christ, as our Head, is set before us. The one is that He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God’s righteous judgment on account of it . His death opened up the way to God for us. It did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon. According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free from the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new.”
This word about the cross can only be received by faith. Just as one day you saw in a moment that Christ died for your sins, the Spirit of the Lord will open your eyes to the blessing of picking up the cross of Jesus. It is in bearing His reproach that we enter in to the joy of the Lord in this life. 

DRIFTING AWAY

August 24, 2016

Heb. 2:1 ¶ Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 

Christians that are not familiar with the anointing and the power of His presence have often questioned us about the reason for prayer lines. They think that the initial filling with the Spirit is sufficient. Actually it’s not. Of course the problem is not with the Holy Spirit and His empowerment, it rests with us. Let’s face it, we leak. Dealing with all the carnal situations in the world wears on all of us, those things tend to spring holes in us on a consistent basis. 

In today’s verse the word drift away has multiple shades of meaning. One of the things it communicates to us is that very fact; Christians leak. Think of it like this, the anointing is tangible. It can be carried by an individual or even become resident in their house or in their clothes. If there is not a continual means of being filled with God we stand the risk of drifting away. Here are some thoughts from Adam Clarke on today’s verse. 
“Lest at any time we should let them slip? “Lest at any time we should leak out.” This is a metaphor taken from unstanch vessels; the staves not being close together, the fluid put into them leaks through the chinks and crevices. Superficial hearers lose the benefit of the word preached, as the unseasoned vessel does its fluid; nor can any one hear to the saving of his soul, unless he give most earnest heed, which he will not do unless he consider the dignity of the speaker, the importance of the subject, and the absolute necessity of the salvation of his soul. St. Chrysostom renders it lest we perish, lest we fall away.”
We live in a very dangerous world. The temptations and distractions are relentless. There is pressure on all of us to be conformed to the image and lifestyle of this world Paul talked about the importance of renewal to keep us from this conformity. Rom.12:2 Phillips, ” Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.”

Here is the same verse from ESV “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,”

So get yourself in an atmosphere to be filled consistently, leakage is unavoidable, we definitely don’t want to drift away. 

JOURNEY OF FAITH

August 23, 2016

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
Heb.11:9
To someone who has never experienced the supernatural, faith is irrelevant, in other words it has nothing to do with real life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Faith is our connection to the unseen world, the real world. Faith perceives as real the things that are ideas or beliefs to someone else. Abraham experienced faith and left his comfort zone to wander in a hostile and unknown world. Noah was touched by faith and built a huge boat, his faith made him a laughing stock but by it he saved the world. Paul walked in faith and opened the pagan, gentile world to the gospel; western civilization has never been the same. The pilgrims left Europe by faith in hope of a better land, I for one am so glad they did. Martin Luther’s world exploded when his faith was awakened, we are still seeing the ramifications today. Here are some thoughts from Luther on how we are changed by faith.
“Faith changes people. It makes them see everything in a new light. Their ears hear, their eyes see, and their hearts feel something completely different from what everyone else perceives. Faith is living and powerful. It doesn’t float around in the heart like a goose on the water. Rather, it’s like water that’s been heated. After heating, the water is different. It’s still water, but it’s warm. The same thing happens when the Holy Spirit gives us faith. Faith transforms the mind and attitudes. It creates an entirely new person. Faith changes the heart and mind. Reason tends to concentrate on what is present—the here and now. Faith concerns itself with things that are intangible and, contrary to reason, regards them as actually being present. Most people concern themselves with what they can see, touch, and handle rather than listening to God’s Word.”
Have you been touched by this God kind of faith? My first awakening of faith came from just remembering a scripture I had learned in Sunday School as a child, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me’. In a moment of time this scripture made me aware of another whole world. This was the beginning of my journey of faith. 

“MOUNTAIN OF SPICES”

August 22, 2016

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

 “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.” Song of Solomon 8:14

This past week Louisiana folks have seen the images or experienced loss from yet another flood. Last month we moved into our home from the March flood and last week watched our little river overflow into the property. My subconscious began to play games with me designing a spilt level house, at the same time guilt that I was spared, then sadness over other’s loss. I am thankful that Christ’s presence prevails in the storm and washed away those thoughts!

It is in times like these we can say, “MAKE HASTE!” Somewhere in the suddenlies of life, remember the spices flow out of the hard times. All my gutting, rebuilding and living like weirdos made me all the more yell—“make haste” this place is not my home! 

Matthew Henry says, “The heavens, those high mountains of sweet spices, must contain Christ, till the times come, when every eye shall see him, in all the glory of the better world. True believers as they are looking for, so they are hastening to the coming of that day of the Lord. Let every Christian endeavor to perform the duties of his station, that men may see his good works, and glorify his heavenly Father. Continuing earnest in prayer for what we want, our thanksgivings will abound, and our joy will be full; our souls will be enriched, and our labors prospered. We shall be enabled to look forward to death and judgment without fear. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” 
How are you my friend when the storms of life hit you suddenly and you see all that you’ve had wash away in a moment? I can only pray-Make haste to the mountain of spices where Christ will carry you through. 

Spurgeon shares out of his storms, “It is the longing of a soul, then, not for salvation, and not even for the certainty of salvation, but for the enjoyment of present fellowship with him who is her soul’s life, her soul’s all. The heart is panting to be brought once more under the apple tree; to feel once again his “left hand under her head, while his right hand doth embrace her.” She has known, in days past, what it is to be brought into his banqueting-house, and to see the banner of love waved over her, and she therefore crieth to have love visits renewed. It is a panting after communion. Gracious hours, my dear friends, are never perfectly at ease except they are in a state of nearness to Christ; for mark you, when they are not near to Christ, they lose their peace. The nearer to Jesus, the nearer to the perfect calm of heaven; and the further from Jesus, the nearer to that troubled sea which images the continual unrest of the wicked. The Christian without fellowship with Christ loses all his life and energy; he is like a dead thing. Though saved, he lies like a lumpish log—


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