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Showing posts from September, 2013

The Great Reversal

But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.
So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last.
Look! Those who are last will be first and those who are first will be last.
-Matthew 19:30 & 20:16, Mark 10:31, Luke 13:30


This is one of those hard sayings of Jesus.  God's perspective is different than ours.  God judges differently than we do.  God sees the heart.  God is looking for abandonment to his son, for his son's sake.  Some people have made great sacrifices for Christ, but if they create a sense of pride, there is not lasting reward.

There will be great reversals and surprises.  Jesus tells us that God's economy if different than ours and might shock us.  Riches and wealth do not necessarily mean God's blessing.  Spiritual giftedness or authority now do not necessarily equate to permanent status.

God might ask you two questions when your life is over.  "How did you love?', and "How much of my…

Community

The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.
-Acts 2:42

A whole bunch of people got saved on Pentecost Day.  It is interesting that they were all baptized immediately in water and then in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-9).  These people became part of the believers community.  The author of Acts, doctor Luke, uses the Greek word Koinonia for community, which means, "what is shared in common for the basis of fellowship".  A synonym would be "partnership".

The word community is from the same word that we get communion, as in, "taking communion":
Isn’t the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Isn’t the loaf of bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
-1 Corinthians 10:16 The word sharing (sharing in the blood & sharing in the body) is Koinonia, the same word used for community.  The Biblical meaning of community is sharing in God and the New …

Sky Links, 9-21

Turning your life over to Christ

Heather Kopp had this guest post on her blog by Karen Beattie: A Non-addict Learns to Take It One Day at a Time
One day, my husband, David, and I were on the couch talking about our situation, when he
said—rather flippantly, I thought—“Well, let’s just take it one day at a time.”
What the heck was the matter with him? He seemed so Zen and peaceful. Didn’t he care? Why was I the only one worried about our situation?

“What do you mean take it one day at a time? That’s such a cliché! You can’t fix our problems with a platitude.”

I got up and stomped away.

I was angry because he wasn’t worried about our situation (as if his worry would fix our problems), but I was also mad because I was supposed to be the more “spiritually mature” person in our relationship. I had grown up in a Christian home, attended a Christian college, audited a few seminary classes, and written articles about God and faith for national magazines....

...All of my life I have been …

Broken Promises or Changed Minds

"What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

'‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went.

“The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go.

 “Which one of these two did his father’s will?”

They said, “The first one.”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you.  For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him.
-Matthew 21:28-32

Promise  Makers

Many of us have heard of the men's movement called 'Promise Makers'.  It was a wonderful renewal movement for men.  Wait a minute, it wasn't called 'Promise Makers', it was called 'Promise Keepers'.  We better know the difference …

Sky Links, 9-16

Then he told them a parable. “No one tears a patch from a new garment to patch an old garment. Otherwise, the new garment would be ruined, and the new patch wouldn’t match the old garment.
Nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If they did, the new wine would burst the wineskins, the wine would spill, and the wineskins would be ruined. Instead, new wine must be put into new wineskins. -Luke 5:36-8
Talking New and Acting Old

Molong Nacua posted this week, about how we love to teach about something we aren't doing, but sounds good in theory.  We talk new, while acting old.  Molong wrote:
I realize that Conferences and Seminars are formed hoping for participants to act on what they have learned and not to do the same of what they have just attended, yet that’s what exactly most of them did, do a seminar; teach ‘about’ house church. And shamelessly, we call ourselves ‘practitioners.’ Because instead of ‘doing’ it, we love ‘talking’ about it. “You cannot teach what you did…

Conscience & Bow Low, Drink Deep

The goal of instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.

Everything is clean to those who are clean, but nothing is clean to those who are corrupt and without faith. Instead, their mind and conscience are corrupted.
-1 Timothy 1:5, Titus 1:15

Conscience; an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior.
"he had a guilty conscience about his desires"
synonyms: sense of right and wrong, moral sense, inner voice;
morals, standards, values, principles, ethics, beliefs;
compunction, scruples, qualms
"her conscience would not allow her to remain silent"

How is your conscience?  Your conscience is your inner compass that tells you when you've done wrong.  Our conscience can be dysfunctional when it is either condemning us all the time or turned off.
There are people who go back and forth from condemned (a bad conscience) to psychopathic (corrupted or seared) consciences.

Jes…

Getting Away From Your Enemies

Hide me in the protection of your wings, away from the wicked who are out to get me, away from my deadly enemies who are all around me!
-Psalm 17:8b-9

The first time I heard that I have enemies, I was surprised.  It was in a song that quoted Psalm 18:3.
I will call
Upon the Lord
Who is worthy to be praised
So shall I be saved
From my enemies "Who were these enemies", I asked.  I was filled with God's love.  My life was one of thankfulness and worship.  Why would anyone be my enemy?  I didn't understand.  I was the type of person that didn't make enemies.  I wanted to be friendly to everyone and if someone was anything close to evil, I wanted to just give them a wide berth or look away.

Another way to look at it, is that when you are so overwhelmed with grace and thankfulness that your sins have been forgiven, you are not very judgmental of others and you believe God can save anyone and it is just a matter of time.  It is probably a good thing to not focus on evil…

Church Like A Soiree

He has brought me to the house of wine (banqueting house or hall);
his banner raised over me is love.
-Song of Solomon 2:4

Soiree:
"An evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music."

Celebrations, Parties, and Feasts

The Jewish culture is filled with celebrations that are like family reunions or mega block parties and there are ten of these every year, called the feasts.  Yes, God invented feasting.

If God instituted these feasts, it tells you something about what is good for God's people.  When we party, we have enjoyment before God and with people.  It is that simple.

A soiree is in the evening (soir means evening), is typically at a private house, and it is for conversation or music.  Why the party (soiree)?  For conversation.  Why the conversation?  So people get to know each other?  Why?  We need people.  We all need to belong.  No one is an island, even if they act like it.

The Kingdom of God, as one author put it, is a party.


B…

Sky Links, 9-7

When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
-John 21:15

Do You Really Love Me?  
When Jesus Nagged Peter and Why

I read this great little article by Dave Black, entitled Sloppy Agape, in which he writes about when Jesus questioned Peter's love, to re-affirm him and heal him of his three denials.  Some Bible teachers make a fuss about John using two different words for love, but Dr. Black clears up the confusion.

Happy New Year, 5774

This week marks the Jewish New Year.  Melissa Flores did some work on what the number 5774 means and she says it means, "the year of the open door".  In case you were wondering, she wrote that 5773, this past year, was a year for the Lords to be revealed as our “Gracious Benevolent Redeemer.”

Chuck Pierce is calling this new year, See the Open Door to YOUR New Springs!


Slow Church

Have you noticed that…

Metronome: The Measure Regulator Spiritual Law

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
-Matt. 7:2, Mark 4:24, Luke 6:38

Metronome: from Greek metron 'measure' + nomos 'law'


There is a spiritual metronome in your life that you set and it affects you.  If you are charitable, you will receive charitableness back.  If you tolerant, you will receive tolerance.  If you are a lover, you will receive love.  That is the spiritual law of the metronome.  You set the measure of how you are going to treat others and it comes back at you.

"For in the same way you judge others", says Jesus, clarifying his statement, "do not judge".…

Great Expectancy

Now a long time passed—a total of twenty years—after the chest came to stay in Kiriath-jearim, and the whole house of Israel yearned for the Lord.
1 Samuel 7:2

What do you expect, from God?  Do you have high hopes and great expectations?  Children often have expectations for birthdays, Christimas, and even the first day of School.  After a good first date, a person may build expectations for a relationship with that other person.

I think we need to cultivate high expectancy towards God.  The two blind men that Jesus healed had expectancy:
Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, “It will happen for you just as you have believed.” -Matthew 9:29Jesus often said, "your faith has healed you".   These people sought Jesus, asked for healing, Jesus healed them.  Before or after healing them, Jesus would make the comment, "your faith has healed you".
When Jesus turned and saw her, he said, “Be encouraged, daughter. Your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from th…

Contentment Through Walking With God

Many people say, “We can’t find goodness anywhere." Shine the light of your face on us, Lord!
- Psalm 4:6

The key to happiness is walking with God.  Knowing God ought to be the goal of everyone.  We live in a world of discontentment, but God's plan was always contentment, through relationship with him.

We want things, but we need God.  Only God satisfies.  God gives us good things and satisfies us with them, but the key is the giver, not the gift.  Our thanksgiving flows back to the giver of good gifts and that is part of the relationship to God.  Gifts are meaningful because of who gave them.

As we receive and enjoy God's gifts, our love flows back to God.  If God alone is the main Gift, knowing God, being loved by God, serving God, and worshiping God; then the other stuff is not as important and we can be very happy with our without it.

Small things are good because of God, because we are already in an ongoing relationship with God, where it is settled that God is go…