The Blank Page Commitment

11/16/2014

Will you sign the blank page commitment?

This blank page represents my agreement with God’s Plan for my life, whatever it may be:

Sign here ——————————

Date ——————————

Psalm 94:11
11 The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile.

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

The Divine Irony

11/12/2014

It is said that the devil builds a man up in order to bring him down, while God brings a man down in order to build him up. In this case, has not the devil inadvertently done God’s work?

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

The Shepherds Heart

11/1/2014

Most of the time, people confront wrongdoers for personal reasons. We find their particular behavior personally offensive and we respond by telling them what we think about their behavior. We may also believe that their behavior is unbiblical and feel that it is our duty to reveal this to them.
Still, one of the most important reasons we should confront wrongdoers is not about us at all or even about showing them their sin.

It is, instead, to protect others from being harmed by them in the future.

This is a view point from spiritual maturity because it emulates the self-sacrificing, shepherd heart of God. It is “other oriented” rather than self-focused. It bypasses self-pity and proceeds instead from a caring heart which believes that demonstrating God’s heart is more important than defending our own.

Phil 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The Little Finch – an allegory

10/27/2014

There once was a young boy who wanted a bird for his birthday. Now the boy knew his father to be a wise and generous man and so he went to his father with his request. He told his father all about the bird he wanted. Not just any bird, mind you, for the boy knew exactly what kind of bird he wanted. He wanted a finch. But not just any finch – a zebra finch! The boy’s father smiled when he heard this but said nothing.

On the boy’s birthday the father suddenly appeared at the boy’s bedroom door with a beautiful zebra finch perched on his finger. The boy ran to his father joyfully and extended his own finger to the bird. The bird hopped onto his finger.
The boy however, was perplexed. “Father,” said the boy, “where is the birds cage?” “Oh my dear son,” said the father, “if you place this bird in a cage you will surely not have the bird you truly desired.”
But the boy was afraid the bird might fly away, so he went to the store and purchased a birdcage. When he came home he found that the bird did not want to go into the cage. It was a small frightening place with bars all around! But, the boy insisted on placing the bird in the cage and chased the bird with a net around and around the room until it was finally caught and placed in the cage!

Now the boy had wanted the bird to be his friend and so he would open the door of the cage and place his hand inside hoping the bird would perch on his finger again. But the bird was terrified and flew fitfully back and forth whenever the boy would place his hand in the cage. The boy reflected on this for awhile and after some time had passed he determined that his father had certainly not given him the bird he had asked for.

And the boy was angry with his father…

One day the father came to the boy’s room and saw his son sitting next to the cage with a frown on his face. The father said to the boy, “What is it that weighs so heavily upon your heart?” The boy jumped up pointing his finger at his father and said, “Why have you given this bird to me? This is not the bird I asked for as a gift!” His father replied, “Surely, this is the bird you asked for as a gift. But it is not the bird you truly desired! This bird has known you only as its captor, the warden of the prison you have placed it in. It has not had the opportunity to choose you as its friend, but instead, because you were afraid, you have tried to force your friendship with the bird entirely on your own terms.”
“But who knows” said the father, “perhaps if you open the door of the cage, the bird may yet fly out and choose to become the friend you truly desire.”

And the boy opened the cage…

Copyright © 2000 by R. Thomas Brass
All rights reserved.

A Time of Shaking

10/26/2014

I believe the time we live in is a time where God is allowing a shaking in order to distinguish that which is not eternal (the created things of the world) from that which is eternal. The world we live in is a temporary abode. Our hope must be firmly placed in our eternal destiny with the Lord.

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” 2 Cor 5:1

“At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Heb 12:26

If our faith is too much in this world we will be susceptible to being shaken from our foundations when unsettling events happen around us. It is important that we, as Christians, respond to situations like this with the calmness, hope, and inner assurance that give testimony to the foundation upon which we are being matured in Christ Jesus. This is necessary in order to demonstrate to the people of the world that our security is not in our physical well-being, but instead, in the unshakable promises of God through Christ.

Let us try to keep this perspective in our minds and in our hearts so that we can be a living testimony of the eternal hope we have in Christ Jesus in the midst of the chaos of the world around us!

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)