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

Posts tagged ‘righteousness’

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!

Religion or Encounter?? You choose!

My Mama didn’t believe in joining a church because of her Mama’s religion. They taught you would get ‘the Mark of the Beast’ if you did. (I didn’t know what that was.) Grandma’s religion had made atheists of all of her kids because it was, what was then called the “holiness” movement. She wore dark stockings, no make-up and did not believe in having much of anything. There was no radio, television, indoor plumbing and for many years, no refrigerator. She carried wood and coal and used an outhouse until she was 90 years old. Her belief colored all of our lives. Mom and Dad could never agree on what to do about church and so they slept in and sent me to a small church two blocks away.

At that little church, we had a series of pastors, at least two of which I believe loved the Lord. The others were merely religious and not true shepherds.

The one that negatively impacted me the most was a man who had been asked to leave his previous denomination – and pastorate (at least that is what I remember.) Reverend was very unhappy. He had five children who were unique in that they didn’t even fit in and I know that was painful for them.

His wife was the one that still causes me to shake my head. One thing I remembered vividly was that she wore silk stockings with a seam down the back and acres of unshaved hair beneath them. She taught Sunday School. Her favorite song was “Holy, Holy, Holy” and I always felt she was singing about herself as she closed her eyes and warbled in a high stringy soprano.

She didn’t like me much. I was a bit of a leader among our small fellowship. The kids voted for me to give the Youth Sunday sermon. When the news got to Mrs. Reverend, she took me aside and said, “Reverend and I don’t believe that we should have someone in the pul-pit (emphasis on pit) that isn’t a member of the chucha (no ‘r’ and strong last ‘ch’).”

I was very hurt and confused. I left and went to a church across town until they left. It was years before I could hear the song ‘Holy, Holy, Holy and focus on the one it was about.

At no time did anyone in that small church talk to me about the Gospel. There was no power and often little love. It was a place where some folks were thought of as pillars and others as necessary but not honored.

When I went through my rebellious years, I turned from traditional ‘religion’ and started looking at alternatives including the New Age. I found the focus on me and I liked it. I had a new religion and I was the ‘god’ of that religion. It was comfortable but it did not satisfy.  I did what felt right in my own eyes.

Many years later, as I drove down the street listening to R. W. Shambach on the radio, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to my heart and my life changed forever. I had an encounter with the Living God.  I learned that afternoon that God was real, He loved me and had a plan for me  the most amazing thing of all, I found out that I was forgiven. God Himself walked me through receiving His forgiveness and washing me clean. No one can ever convince me that God is not real. He is real! I am His and He is mine.

Religion is an ugly thing.  It is a practice of traditions not instituted by God. It is primarily cultural and doesn’t focus itself on the love and Presence of God.   It talks about God but doesn’t really know Him and can be a mere history lesson.

Religion is found in many different forms and even embraces Christianity that has explained away the power of God.  Because they do not experience it, they deny it.  I includes many different belief systems from all around the world. It incites people to have wars to protect their doctrines and beliefs.  There is form but no supernatural power.

Today’s Lesson:

What religion has is tradition, judgement, culture, doctrine, history, and social clubs as well as conflict with anyone who disagrees with them. What God has is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness is His gift to us at our acceptance of His Son’s finished work.

Peace is ‘shalom’ in Hebrew which means wholeness – complete in Him.

Joy comes from His Presence and has no opposite and is found only abiding in Him.

A relationship with the Living God is far better than religion.

Are you in religion? Or do you personally know and fellowship with the living God?

If you don’t know Him, I invite you to an encounter with the Living God by accepting the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is easy to do.  Just call on the Name of the Lord Jesus and believe with you heart – NOT your head – and you will be saved and He will send the Holy Spirit to Guide you into all Truth.  Then ask Him to make Himself real to you and He will.

Let me know if you make this decision.

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.

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