We are triune creatures in the image of God

10/23/2014

Genesis 1:26-27  Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

When God said, “Let US make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness”, His words declared for us a special, inherent, essential unity with God. We are being told that we have been created in the image of the triune God; the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We are fashioned by the hand and heart of God in His triune image that we might follow after God in the very way that He proceeds forth. Like God, we are three and we are one. We are spirit, soul and body.

In this life, our spirit has been born again, our soul is being transformed into the image of Christ, and our body will be resurrected and perfected in the next life. With our born-again spirit we are able to hear God’s voice. With our soul we are able to choose to surrender to His will. With our body we are able to do what He has called us to do.

In this way, we attain to the greatest commandment given to us by the Lord: Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37,38)

In God We Trust?

10/14/2014

Much of the disappointment we experience in our life is the result of misplaced confidence. Typically, people who hope too much in the things of this world and in other people experience considerable frustration and disillusionment. Those who learn to truly hope in the Lord experience a peaceful heart that sustains them even during times of trouble in their personal relationships.

Therefore, a trusting person who is occasionally taken advantage of by others is better off than the cynic who will trust no one. Those who trust fearlessly will plant seed and reap an eternal harvest that will more than compensate for their losses. Their hope is ultimately in the Lord.

Luke 6:29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.

9/27/2014

“As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (Hebrews)

If God is the potter and we are the clay (Romans 9:21); may we never become hardened pottery. The hardened pot can no longer be molded by the master. It can only be broken and reprocessed.

Praising God in Times of Trouble

9/16/2014

This is something I have rarely ever shared with anybody. I became a born again Christian in 1989 when I was 36 years old. And for much of my Christian life I have experienced excruciating ongoing physical pain from a variety of health issues. My life experience tells me that most people don’t experience a fraction of what I have endured. And yet, some have endured even more. For the most part, the only time I have ever talked about this is when it has been so painful and debilitating that it is just impossible to hide it. I am very good at hiding it. And I hate self-pity. Over the years I have occasionally asked for prayer but I decided long ago that I did not want to burden others endlessly with concern over this. Especially my children. This has been my choice and I still believe it has been the right one for me.

My salvation experience was truly an amazing encounter with God. But about 6 months later I had another life changing encounter with God. I was sitting in my living room reading a booklet about sacrificial praise that was exhorting the reader to praise God even in the worst of times. In agreement with the principles in this pamphlet I decided that I should raise up both my arms and praise the Lord. I had seen others do this but I had not yet taken that step. I hesitated for a couple of minutes because I was afraid that the neighbors might see me standing in my well lit living room with both of my arms outstretched in this way and wonder what in the world I was doing.

Finally, I overcame my fear and with an almost angry determination I raised my arms to praise the Lord while saying things like, “Thank you, Jesus.”  I totally did not FEEL like doing this. I just knew it was right and pushed myself to do it. I immediately experienced a profound presence of the Holy Spirit while poetic-like words of prophecy began pouring into my mind. I made my way to the kitchen and sat down with a tablet and pen and began to write – amazed at the things I was writing. It definitely wasn’t me coming up with these things. This was the beginning of that particular anointing for me.

As I have reflected on this over the years, I have concluded that God’s lesson to me through this encounter was that a sacrifice of praise, especially when you REALLY don’t feel like it, is just about the most appropriate thing that a Christian can do in the face of any and all adversity in this life. Praising God in the midst of life’s hardships testifies to the integrity of our commitment to him. Doing so from our heart reveals that our service to Him transcends the pains and inconveniences of our life. It is the spiritual meter that measures the depth of our convictions and declares to the world that our God is worth it.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

A victim mentality deafens our soul to the voice of God.

9/15/2014

1 Cor. 2:9-10 declares. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

But are we listening?

As long as we believe we have the right to persist in feeling offended or hurt about something in our life, we are not where God wants us to be and we cannot receive clear direction about what God wants to do in our lives.

When we continually harbor the wounds of victimization within ourselves, we will always interpret life with nearsighted perspective. As long as we allow ourselves to remain in the mentality of the victim we will be especially vulnerable to self-righteous indignation and ungodly character development.

This self-centered, victim mentality focus, distracts us from the revelation of God’s plans for us. We are simply too busy thinking and feeling hurt or angry or disappointed to be clearly cognizant of the Spirit’s leadings from within.

God’s History Book

9/12/2014

Recently, I saw a video of college students being interviewed. They were being asked questions about American history. The vast majority of them couldn’t answer the simplest and most basic questions about American history. It seemed outrageous and unacceptable to me! Previously, I have seen this same interviewer asking similar questions of students with similar results in several other videos.

I believe this kind of thing is happening today, because for years, students within our education system have not been encouraged to value and thus learn from history. As a result, our children seem more focused on learning about life through the subjectivity of personal experience. This is what they seem to value most.

And this is one of the reasons why many Christians today rarely read the Bible. The Bible is a book of history. And many Christians are simply not interested in valuing and learning from a history book about other people’s lives. Instead, their primary focus is their own personal experience from which they make judgments about spirituality and God.

As our culture continues to change so will our values and principles. As we embrace the current culture with all its little gods of happiness and instant gratification we are slowly disengaging from the God that is revealed through Bible history. Without realizing it, we are redesigning God to fit the requirements of our new desires. He has become a benefactor but no longer a judge, one who blesses but no longer disciplines. As we continue to redesign Him our delusions will deepen.

Eventually, we may even consider true believers to be the ones who are deceived.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

Matthew 24:10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.