"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials."

Posts tagged ‘Calvary’

Authorized Representative

I lived in Atlanta and worked in the Merchandise Mart where I was an authorized representative for several gift manufacturers.  It was an interesting job.  It gave me the right to ‘represent’ the companies and sell their products.  People came to the Showroom and I took that opportunity to present the features and benefits of the various lines.  They made the decision to ‘buy’ or not.  I let the manufacturer know what had been purchased and the products were delivered to the address provided.  

Authority is what is necessary to do any job.  If you are a policeman, you have no physical power to stop traffic, but you can stand in the middle of the street, hold up a hand and the traffic stops.  If you are the President of the United States, your authority is granted to you by the people you represent.  You have been given the work of acting in the interests of those who elected you.  Authority is the power behind the individual.  An unelected person could not even get into the White House without an escort and even if they were there in the President’s Oval Office, they would not have the authority to make national decisions.

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are assigned to ‘do business’ as authorized representatives of our Lord until He returns.

Righteousness is given to us as a free gift and by the grace of God, this qualifies us to do the  greater works than Jesus did when He walked on the earth.  We can expect to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead and lead others to the place where they encounter the Lord.  We represent the Kingdom of God.  It is our job to speak of the favor that is given to each of us, not because we have lived perfect, sinless lives, but because of the God’s grace.

When we finally begin to grasp the fullness of who we have become and to Whom we belong, we can take a great sigh of relief and begin to relax in His love.  Then we work for the ‘joy set before us’ just as Jesus did when He knew He was going to the Cross.  We can do the work of the ministry and even face persecution because we no longer belong to the earth.  We belong to the Kingdom and to our Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit AND we belong to our brothers and sisters who journey with us.

The main stay of our lives is God’s love and sharing it with our Kingdom family.  This is the foundation for our soul prosperity which includes physical health, emotional health, financial health and spiritual health.  The love of God and His gift of righteousness in our lives act as the fuel that empowers the authority given us to accomplish all that is set before us.

As God’s representative, I don’t judge the people He sends me to.  I don’t judge my brothers and sisters who are also in process.  I don’t judge the leaders that He has placed over me even though I can see they have flaws.  I don’t compare my work with the work of another – we are all essential.  I don’t compare my leader with another – we all have different assignments.  When I know someone is struggling in an area, I cover them with the love of God and His grace and present them before Him in the throne room.  My job is to spread the “Good News” that God loves them, He is not mad at them, and He longs for them to turn their hearts toward Him and spend time with Him.  I am to tell them, as His representative, that He has provided the remedy, for all the ways we have missed it, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ Who took our place and received our punishment.  We can step into His Presence without fear.  He loves us!

Today, I invite you to join me by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus and receiving His finished work into your life.  Become His representative.  It is a life of joy and wonder!  It is a life that throbs with adventure and purpose.  It is Good News!

Righteousness verses Morality

I believe that there is a difference between righteousness and morality.  Righteousness is  a gift from God that puts us in right standing with God and morality is our attempt to be good without God.  When we are righteous, we are by extension moral.  When we are moral, we are not necessarily by extension righteous. We can improve our outward actions but apart from God, we are never truly free.

I would like to introduce you to John, a very moral man with a deep sense of moral outrage about people and actions.  He was big on judging and that is pride.  Scripture actually says to “Judge not, lest you be judged.”

He had attended church ever since he could remember.  John had served as a deacon and an elder on the church boards.  He didn’t like the new pastor and he was upset that he seemed to think that just anyone could come in to the place he considered his own place of worship.

John thought he knew the meaning of the Bible and taught classes.  He told them God hated several different groups of people.

He had marched against the abortion clinics while telling the young women that if they didn’t change their ways, they would be going to hell.  God’s heart aches.  People that hated religion were another of his enemies.  He would hand out tracks at the various festivals and celebrations held in his city.  When a recipient would take one look at the tract, scoff and drop it and then step on it, John would sneer at them and say, “God will treat you just that way some day.”

But the real enemy was anyone who appeared to be a homosexual.  He didn’t even bother handing them a track.  He just told them, right up front, that they were a disgusting abomination made for destruction and there was no hope for them.

Of course, we know that what John believed about these people is not God’s view.  God loves all of us.  Those of us who are in relationship with the Lord were once involved in these and other sins – some even worse.  We were labeled just you have been.  The only difference between any of us is our relationship with our heavenly Father.

The only sin that keeps you out of God’s heaven is rejecting His Son Jesus and His finished work on the cross.

The issue comes when we don’t understand who is real and who is false..  Just as there is a difference in people at a ball park; there are differences in the people who call themselves Christian.

At the ballgame, some people are extreme fanatics that paint their faces and go crazy.  The are all sound and fury, unable to affect the score but annoying everyone, while some sit on the sidelines and eat popcorn and peanuts just observing.  The true team mates get in and play the game.  Of the team that is on the field,  some of them take steroids, gamble and disgrace the team while others work hard and accomplish great things.  It is the same in the church.

In the church, there are people who know Jesus and the Heavenly Father who are filled with the Holy Spirit and there are others who are of their father the devil.  (I didn’t say it, Jesus did.)  Jesus addressed this when he spoke to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were the religious leaders of the day.   “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.”  Matthew 23:15  The Message (MSG).  Yikes!  Jesus didn’t like phonies either!

Make no mistake, dear ones, the God of the Universe, our Creator, loves you and He loves me.  Satan is a defeated foe, but the church has let him run loose because so few in the church remember the Truth and they have lost their way.

I am sorry and beg for your forgiveness for I was such a one, but recently, I found a fellowship of the remnant of true believers  who KNOW the Father and Jesus and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As His children, we are not to be weak-willed and goofy.  We are to walk in the peace, power, and love of God.

Jesus Christ came to earth to destroy the works of the evil one – Satan.  He destroyed his work and took the keys of death, hell and the grave.  Then he left us to clean up the planet and enforce his defeat.  But the enemy had a few tricks left and decided that if he couldn’t beat us, he would join us.

So, many people hate what the church has become and the idea of a God who answers prayer sickens them. The Scriptures say that the enemy has blinded those who don’t believe.   I was right there with you but now I know better.  Will I obey what I know and cast out demons, heal the sick and lead lost people to the Light of God?  The Bible says that when we seek Him, we will find Him, when we seek for Him with our whole heart.  It is my prayer that you will reach out to Him today.  I do that every day and He meets me.

He has gifted me with righteousness and as a result my actions are wholesome and righteous.  Once I was blind but now I see.  It is a gift that is fully paid for by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Father God loves us with an everlasting love even when we are far away.  The people who call themselves His children are often the children of the devil.  But there is the real and you will know them by their love.  They will love you and they will love each other.  They will hate the works of the evil one just like Jesus did.  If you know your Bible, he took a whip into the temple and overturned the religious mess made by the priests and the money changers.  He was a man’s man – no ‘namby-pamby’ Jesus of the Easter Plays.  He was passionate and fully alive!

When we give our heart to Jesus and He takes us to the Father, we experience the life of God and we are passionate and powerful, just as He is.

Won’t you join me in this amazing adventure?  E-mail me.

In His Presence . . .

As I pulled up to the entrance to the park, I rolled down my window and inhaled the fresh air.  The water rushed over the old dam with beauty reminiscent of Niagara and an awesome sound.  Further on, the lake glistened in the sunshine and I could feel the stress falling away. Water has always had a soothing effect on me. When I am stressed, I even go there in my head and listen to the sound of the babbling brook as it flows over the rocks. It has a great ability to heal and refresh my soul.

Today, I am needing to pull into my spirit and get back in touch with my Heavenly Father. But then I need to do that every day, it’s just that some days it is more urgent than others. I am so glad that He is always available.

All this got me to thinking. Does Father need us to get in touch with Him? The Apostle Paul tells us that He doesn’t ‘need anything’ – so why did He send Jesus to redeem us. He is Self-existent, Omnipotent, and the Creator of the whole world. What does He need with me? Or you?

Then I remembered that He wants us to be His family and to call Him, Abba, ( Daddy.) He loves me and He loves you. He is not angry with us but He wants you and me – ALL of you and ALL of me.

This really boggles the mind. The great God of the universe – who is above the earth so far that to the human eye earth looks like a tiny dot of light – nothing more. If we were positioned in the same way He is in our natural state, we are not even visible. It is a mere speck of dust. And if earth is a speck of dust, then we are even smaller than a dust mite and on top of that, we are very temporary on this planet.

The Psalmist asked, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” And then goes on to say, “You (Father) made us a little lower than God (Himself) and crowned us with glory and majesty. You made us to rule over the works of Your hands and put everything under our feet.”

Really? Why do we live so far below our privilege. How come we can we just reach out when we are in trouble? Why is it that we don’t take the time to sit with Him every day and rejoice in His love and Presence? How can we not know that He wants us to be His family. He wants us to call Him Dad!

What are we doing? Papa, forgive us. Are we so’ dumbed down’ by the cares of the world and our busy-ness that we have no conception of Who He is and who we are.

I challenge you and I challenge me to wake up! Get to know Dad. He longs to spend time with you and me. He is an individual God and loves us each individually. We cannot be ‘grandfathered’ in. Will you take time to find your way into His Presence today? I will.

Related Scriptures:

Acts 17:25
. . .nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

Psalm 8:3-6
(NASB)
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
4 What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,

Galatians 4:4-7
But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.

Matt 11: 25-30

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Ezekiel 43:2
. . .and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.

Revelation 1:15
His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.

Love Story

Once upon a time far away and long ago – this is how many stories start, but this story is right here, now, and today! The setting may seem to be somewhere else, but all of the things that have roots in the Scripture are here and now! So – here we go!

We have heard that God is love and he wants us to love Him, but we have also heard really bad stuff about him. We call them ‘Acts of God’ which include tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other mega disasters. If there is a car accident and a child is hopelessly hurt or killed, we blame God. Why do we do that? Did we ever honestly attempt to figure out if God is responsible for all these bad things? Is it possible that we as well as other created beings could be responsible?

We have heard the Bible stories so much that they sound all together too familiar. We don’t even get what they are saying. Jesus came as a baby, grew up, did some stuff, got a bunch of people mad and they crucified him, but He showed them and rose from the dead and then went up into heaven. Who buys that? Why does it matter?

We can look at this story in a different way.

Father God wanted a family that would choose to love Him. So he did a really risky thing. He made a special race of people who were capable of living on a level equal with Him but he gave them free choice. They could choose to love Him or not. The ‘or not’ part is where the risk is.

His first son was Adam was a created being and then he created his daughter, Eve. They had it all! He met all their needs by providing a garden that He Himself planted. They could eat anything in the garden with the exception of only one tree. He came to them every day and they walked and talked together. They were learning about this amazing place. Except for the garden, the planet was in a mess, and He wanted Adam and Eve to occupy it and make it all beautiful. They were to make other children in the god-class. They would be like Him but they would not be Him. They would be able to do amazing things. Everything was there for them to enjoy with meaningful work in establishing dominion as co-rulers.

But, the reason the planet was in a mess was that one of God’s heavenly created beings – a beautiful archangel named Lucifer made a choice and led a rebellion in heaven – and God exiled him to earth. He raged around the planet because he had lost his most favored status. He turned earth into a chaotic place with havoc everywhere. The Scripture says, “the world was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light!” He created everything that was made.

There Adam and Eve were on the earth, in a beautiful garden, and they were enjoying themselves, but Lucifer was roaming freely intent on spoiling Father God’s plan. He took on the form of a beautiful serpent and began to dialog with them about the forbidden tree. He did what he is still doing today. He created doubt in the goodness and loving kindness of Father. He convinced Adam and Eve that Father was withholding something. Father had withheld nothing including the knowledge of good and evil. They just were not mature enough to understand it. They lacked ‘No-Thing!’ But doubt had its way and the deceiver won the day. They ate the forbidden fruit and started the cycle of sin that has created storms, accidents and disasters. Now, the longer we live on this earth, the more the sin cycle creates chaos.

Father loves them and knew what they had done, but He came to the Garden anyway. When they heard Father in the Garden, they hid, then they blamed each other and God explained to them what forces they had set in motion. He killed innocent animals, shed their blood and covered their sin. God’s love always covers. The Scriptures say that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Then He put them out of the Garden and set up angelic guards to protect the Tree of Life.

Father God knew from the foundation of the world that we would need to be rescued and He, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit put a wonderful plan into effect. He would send his Son to earth to shed His precious, sinless blood and wipe out the sin that man put into effect by his disobedience and mankind would be restored to him. All they had to do was to choose him. Then God would teach them all the things he had planned for them from the foundation of the world. As they draw near to Him, he draws near to them. In His Presence is fullness of joy!

We can now eat from the Tree of Life and go back to the Garden-life and walk with Father because of the Son. He sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us as our constant companion, guide and friend. We can occupy and bring heaven to earth by walking with Father every day in Jesus name.

So, you have a choice. I had a choice. I chose Him. I KNOW He loves me. I KNOW He loves you. Choose Him and prove His love.

It is easy to do. The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved. Read John 3:16, 17. Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him. Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way. For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that He was real. I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know.” So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing. Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Matthew 26:28

Luke 22:20

John 15:26, 16:13

Acts 20:28

Ephesians 1:7, 2:13

Colossians 1:14, 20

Hebrews 9:12, 14, 10:19, 22

1 John 1:7, 5:8

Revelation 1:5, 5:9, 7:14, 12:11

Life and death

Those of us who live on this planet have come to believe that we are in a battle between good and evil.  We know we should want good but we are captivated by evil.  Evil seems naughty and enticing.  There is an allure.  Skulls and death are a banner of the hopelessness that many of us feel.  We wear it and somehow it makes it seem better.  We even make fun of people who seem to be good.  We call them “goodies” and brown-nosers.  So what is the God-story in this premise?

Let’s look at it this way.

Eve took a big bite of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and it was very good.  She immediately offered it to her husband, Adam.  He knew he shouldn’t eat it.  He knew what God had told him.  He could eat of any tree in the Garden, but this tree was off-limits.  He looked in the eyes of his beautiful bride and saw her pleading look and he crumbled.  He reached out and took a big bite.  He knew at once it was a mistake!  The biggest mistake of his life!

It hadn’t been many days since he had been formed in the earth and God had breathed Spirit-life into him. It had been an awesome time.  God meeting them and spending time with them.  Awesome!  But now something was very wrong.  The Spirit-life was dead and unresponsive.  He had known so many things by the Spirit and now – well, now, NOW!  He could only look around and see things that he had looked at many times and they were not as beautiful.  They were lacking.  The Light had gone out.  He looked at Eve and for the first time, he realized that she was uncovered and it gave him odd stirrings. Inside he ached to touch her.  He had never felt this way before and it frightened him!  He grabbed her hand and ran behind a nearby tree and began to make coverings out of leaves.  It was an amateur effort but it would have to do.  If he couldn’t see her beautiful body, he hoped the ache would subside.  This wasn’t the romance that Father God had explained to him when he brought her into him.

God came and told them the consequences of their choice.  The man would labor;  he would fight weeds and struggle to raise food.  The woman would have pain in child-birth.  The serpent would travel on his belly and eat dirt for the rest of his life and the woman would hate him.

There was good news – a promise that God would send His Son to save them out of this great loss and the serpent would bruise His heel, but He would crush the his head.  With those proclamations, Adam and Eve were put outside the Garden and the way back in to it was guarded by angels so they could not return and eat of the Tree of Life and in their fallen condition live forever.

Adam looked back knowing that they had really messed up!  The Garden was closed and the Spirit-life was gone.  He was trying to figure it all out in his head and it gave him a headache.  Thus Adam and Eve began an eternal battle with good pitted against evil.  Good on the moral high ground and evil at the more  alluring level, enticing them to do their own thing;  then the battle really began.  Their sons began to argue.  In the climax of their lives outside the Garden, their son Cain killed their son Able in a jealous rage.  Death got a foothold in our lives.

Adam and Eve grieved and regretted not having trusted Father God.  They longed for the Son to come save them and they looked forward to that day.

Today we are still courting death and allowing the enemy to defeat us.  We think about murder and suicide caught in this death pull.  We delight to do our own thing and at times, this means death is attractive.

Now to be clear – God didn’t do this to us.  We did it to ourselves.  It is in our DNA.  We are under the same proclamations that Adam and Eve were under when the Garden was closed to them.  But God . . .God’s plan. . . He sent Jesus, his own Son to earth.  He lived just as we do but he did it without turning away from Father God.  Ultimately, He traded His life for ours.  Jesus allowed mankind to nail Him to a  the cross of Calvary which we sometimes call a tree.  He died for you and me and now Jesus lives for you and me.  He came out of the grave and rose up so we can live.  What love!  What an event!  It had to have shaken their world.

The media of the day were the rulers from Rome and the religious leaders.  They began the propaganda machine saying His body had been stolen.  They told the soldiers who were guarding His body to say that they were asleep.  It was a cover-up!  If they had fallen asleep, they would have been executed by the Roman guard.

Yet, He walked among them and appeared to many people.  He is alive!  He is Life.  He brought us Spirit-Life then and He is still bringing it to those who want it now!  He brings all the Life that we can handle and more.  He is to us the Tree of Life, so now, we can eat freely and live forever with Him but, we just have to make our own choice.  We can continue to live – caught in the web of deceit and death – or we can choose Life.  It is simple to choose!  Call on the name of the Lord Jesus – and you will be saved back to Spirit-life!

Once again able to live in true reality, relationship and romance with Father and each other.  This is Father’s plan before the world was even conceived and it was because of His love.  He made us so He could love us and He wants us to return that love.

He says, “I have set before you life and death . . . blessing and cursing . . . therefore, choose life!  It is better.”

It is easy to do.  The Bible says that those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.  Read John 3:16, 17.  Find out how much He loves you and that He is just waiting for you to call out to Him.  Each of us come to the realization of who He is in a different way.  For me, I was driving down the road, listening to the radio preacher when God took over his voice and I knew for sure that Father God was real.  I just began to say, “I’m sorry Jesus.  I just didn’t know.  I didn’t know.”  So it isn’t a formula, it is a heart thing.  Ask Him to make Himself real and I promise that He will.

Genesis 1, 2, 3

Deuteronomy 30:15,16

John 6:33, 35, 47, 48

John 10:10, 28

Romans 6:23

2 Corinthians 4:10

Galatians 2:20

2 Timothy 1:1, 10

1 John 1:2, 2:16, 25, 5:11

Revelation 2:7, 22:2, 14

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