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Showing posts from March, 2014

Change My Heart Oh God

God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. -Matthew 5:8 & Psalm 51:10 (NLT)
"Change my heart oh God."   
I want God to do things for me, but God wants me to ask him to change my heart.  God already is good - a good father, a good provider, and a good shepherd; for example.  I am not trying to pray to get God to be any of these good things.  But, God wants me to pray for him to make me receptive.  
"Change myheart of God."
Perhaps the key is with us and we easily forget.  I ask God for a plethora of things, but I need to ask him to do something inside me.  I want the outside stuff, but need to remember about transformation. 
"Change my heart oh God".
John the Baptist offered this insight: that the fruit in our lives comes from changed hearts (Matt. & Luke 3:8).  John put his finger on how some people who say they are believers, do not have changed lives.
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In His Grip

It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose.
-Philippians 3:12 (CEB)
The goal of life, of my life, is to know Christ.  Not to just know about him, but to know him personally.  It is very much so, a process.  
I remember eagerly reading Knowing God, by J. I. Packer, and being a bit disappointed that I didn't have some sort of infused impartation and a step up in knowing God, after reading that book.
Relationships take time and life happens 'out there' - in your life.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  We can get the truth part, but miss the way and miss the life.  He works transformation of us by his life in us.  
I was in a class once, where a model of 'the stages of growth in God', was being presented.  Part of the obvious was that these stages take time.  A fellow student, in my class, shared that God had taken him t…

Solidarity

I pray that your partnership in the faith may become effective as you fully acknowledge every blessing that is ours in the Messiah.

So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. -Philemon 1:6, 17 (ISV)
Solidarity is defined by dictionary.com as:  1. Union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.: to promote solidarity among union members.
2. Community of feelings, purposes, etc.
3. Community of responsibilities and interests. Origin:
1840–50; < French solidarité, equivalent to solidaire solidary + -ité -ity
I could not find solidarity in an English translation of the Bible.  So I looked it up in French translations and I found it here, in Philemon twice.  They are the Greek words:
koinōnía (a feminine noun) – properly, what is shared in common as the basis of fellowship (partnership, community). &koinōnós (a masculine noun/substantival adjective) – properly, a par…

Knowing Christ: Suffering With Him

I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead.
-Philippians 3:10-11 (NIV)

Knowing Jesus Christ means knowing his resurrection power.  It means knowing him in the power of his resurrection.

What is it like to live in his resurrection power?  That is what Paul wanted and was striving for.    Knowing him in his resurrection power is the normal Christian life.

I want to know the Messiah —what his resurrection power is like and what it means to share in his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, though I hope to experience the resurrection from the dead.
-Philippians 3:10-11 (ISV)
We are invited or given permission to know him.  Not to just know about him.

Life in Christ is earthy suffering: pain, heartache, rejection, misunderstanding, and conflict around you.  All that is infused with his resurrection power.

How is suffering worke…

Isometric

With the measure you use, it will be measured to you (and even more).
-Matthew 7:2b, Mark 4:24b, Luke 6:38b

Isometric means "of the same measure" or equal measure.  The metric system is a system of measurement.  Jesus says this saying three times.  It means, "what you deal out, you will get back", which is how the CEB puts it.  It also means, "you'll be evaluated by the same standards with which you evaluate others", which is how the ISV translates it.

Our giving determines our getting, is what Jesus is saying.  Give out negative, you get negative; bless and you will be blessed; love and you will be loved; be generous, and generosity will flow back to you.

If you do not deal out anything, what will you get back?  Nothing.  If you are lonely and want friends, be friendly.  If you need something, then give something.  Money, for example.

If you want and need grace, be gracious.  This is where the judging, evaluating comes in.  Even if you are pointing …

Continually Shifting From Self-Righteousness To Knowing Christ

I consider (look upon, also count, continue to consider) everything (all these things to be) a (as) loss (everything else is worthless) in comparison (when compared, for the sake) with the (because of the, of what is) superior value (overwhelming gain, excellence, far more valuable, infinite value, surpassing worth), of knowing (the knowledge of) Christ Jesus (the Messiah Jesus) my Lord.

I have lost everything for him (For his sake I did in actual fact suffer the loss of everything, for who I have suffered the loss of all things, it is because of him that I have suffered the loss of all things, For his sake I have discarded everything else, for whose sake I have lost all things) but what I lost I think of as sewer trash (but (indeed) I consider it,count them as rubbish, consider them rubbish, as useless rubbish, counting it all as garbage), so that I might (could) gain (win) Christ (in order to gain the Messiah)and be found in him (for now my place is in him, and become one with him).…

Sky Links, 3-14-13

Christian Community Does Not Work Without The Cross
I listened to Frank Viola's podcast or a message he gave called, "Warning, Christian Community Does Not Work Without This".  This is some of what Frank said:
Living with other Christians in community is one of the most glorious experiences a Christian can know. But it doesn’t work, it never has worked, and it never will work unless you embrace the cross....

10 Insights About the Cross 1) A person cannot teach you how to recognize the cross in your life. God must show you. It’s a matter of spiritual instinct. 2) The ears of God’s people tend to be deaf to the cross. We don’t like to hear about it. 3) The cross is the easiest thing in the world to forget. So we need to be reminded of it. 4) You will never know the Lord you’re supposed to know outside of a head-on collision with His cross. 5) Authentic body life never works the way you want it to. It’s a railroad track to the cross.6) The instrument of the cross is very of…

Sky Links, 3-10-14

Let Israel’s salvation come out of Zion!
When the Lord changes his people’s circumstances for the better,
Jacob will rejoice;
Israel will celebrate! -Psalm 14:7, 53:6

Broken Dreams

We talk about, "what is tour dream?", or, "what do you dream of doing?'; and so forth.  What happens when you believe that you have come alive to this idea and you get in touch with your dreams and begin to pursue them, but experience failure, rejection, disappointment, and heartbreak?  Adam H. McHugh wrote about this.  Here is a poignant excerpt from his post, On Having Dreams:
The last year, without hyperbole, has been the hardest year of my life. It has brought with it bouts of depression, when I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes I have been sad and other times I have been angry and often I have felt lost, still wandering in the wilderness, trying to find where the glory of God went. One morning in November I sat on a bench at the beach, the sun shining radian…

"God, Show Me What The Enemy Does Not Want Me To See"

“You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
-Ezekiel 28:14 (NKJV)
“God, show me what the enemy does not want me to see.” 
I first read about this prayer in a post from Doug Addison, from October, 2013; titled "Breaking Through Your Own Ceiling".  Doug Wrote:
I had a dream this month that I was standing on a portion of land that I should have inherited from my grandfather of Cherokee descent. It was a small strip of my favorite place on his farm where I played as a child. Someone wanted to buy the small strip of land for $1000 and tried to run the transition by me quickly. I felt rushed but I decided to take a closer look and when I did I noticed a brand new speedboat parked just out of sight on the land. I knew it meant that there are ministries, and spiritual and literal inheritances that the enemy wants to rob from us. It is time to ask God to reveal and bring fo…

Gathering in Christ - Eating & Discussion

On the first day of the week, as we gathered together for a meal, Paul was holding a discussion with them. Since he was leaving the next day, he continued talking until midnight.

On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight.

On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
-Acts 20:7 (CEB, NRSV, WEB)
When Christians gather together, Christ is the center.  Jesus taught the first disciples to remember him when they met together, in the meal that they ate together.

Later on, this was changed to the Roman Catholic way of taking a sip and a nibble from a priest.  The Protestant Reformation changed this a little, but we are still not celebrating or remembering or communing with Christ the way that he modeled and the way t…