Monthly Archives: May 2014

About that competitive spirit…

5/28/2014

We are all in “first place” with God. But sometimes He desires that we stand at the front of the line and other times at the end.

Matthew 19:30  But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

 

 

 

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What does the Bible say about God’s love for us? Is it limited in any way?

5/17/2014

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ….” (Eph 3:17-18)

This certainly sounds like limitations, doesn’t it? In fact, we could have just described a box! How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ? Width and length and height and depth. Is Christ’s love for us limited to the dimensions of some sort of box?

Because of our finite, limited understanding, God is doing something marvelous here in order to communicate the truth about His love for us. First, He comes and stands with us inside of our box of understanding. He begins to communicate with us inside of our box and then suddenly – He jumps out!

Watch God jump out of the box in these scriptures…

Eph 3:17 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Eph 3:18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ
Eph 3:19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-

This love that surpasses knowledge?

Yes, man’s knowledge is limited. God is declaring that the magnitude of the love of Christ for us is beyond the normal limits of human understanding. Paul is praying that we would have the “power” to grasp what is impossible to know by our own ability.

And why are we to know this love that surpasses knowledge?

– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph 3:19

Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God? But God is infinite and thus immeasurable! So technically, the measure of all the fullness of God can only be described as an infinite expanse.

Thus, to “know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” is to become deeply and intimately aware of the unlimited dimensions of God’s love for you. Based on the word of God, whether you happen to feel worthy of it or not, there is no limit to God’s love for you!

God can only feed the hungry

5/15/2014

God can only feed the hungry. Those who are full of themselves will never be full of God. Can the mother Robin adequately teach or feed the chick that stubbornly refuses to open its eyes and ears and mouth to receive what it needs?

In the same way, neither will the unteachable be fed.

Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

A high wall, fissured, fractured, chipped and splintered, that collapses suddenly, in an instant!

5/8/2014

In Isaiah 30 Verse 1 and 2 we see the Lord God warning the Israelites because they have gone to Egypt to form an alliance for protection from the surrounding peoples. They did not seek God on this issue. They made their own determinations and decided to seek man’s help instead of God’s help. God’s help, according to these verses is the inspiration, instruction and power of the Holy Spirit, which the Israelites in their sinful state have decided not to seek.
In these Scriptures, we will see God spelling out in prophesy to the Israelites what is going to happen to them because of the self-centered, self-directing choices they have made. By cutting the Holy Spirit out of the picture they make themselves vulnerable to the whims of man and dependent upon the mercy of man. And their hearts become more and more hardened to the voice and the will of God.

For many of the key words in the following verses I am going to be using a paraphrasing style using a multitude of thesaurus words which are synonymous with the original key words. It’s kind of like what the New Living Bible does by paraphrasing scripture, using more words than a standard translation so that we can better understand the meaning and application of particular verses. So I am elaborating on particular words with words that are synonymous to the words used in the NIV translation. I believe that all these words could apply and can be used to elaborate upon the magnitude of the foolishness of the person that trusts self more than God.

Isa 30:1 Woe to the obstinate children, declares the Lord. Anguish, distress, grief, sorrow, agony, misery, pain and affliction to the bullheaded, closed-minded, head-strong, inflexible and stubborn children,” proclaims, and pronounces the LORD, “to those who carry out designs, proposals, projects and schemes, that are not mine, forming an affiliation, coalition, confederation or union but not by my Spirit, the holy wind, the breath of God; heaping transgression, offense, iniquity and error, upon misdeed, vice, wrongdoing and trespass;
Isa 30:2 who go down to Egypt without discussing, asking advice or checking with me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s guardianship and safekeeping, to Egypt’s shade for shelter, sanctuary and security.
Isa 30:3 But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your remorse, humiliation and embarrassment, Egypt’s shade will bring you contempt and reproach.
Isa 30:4 Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
Isa 30:5 everyone will be put to shame because of a people ineffectual, profitless and unusable to them, who bring neither relief, support and comfort nor superiority, benefit or improvement , but only mortification chagrin and regret, stigma, indignity and scorn.
Isa 30:6 An oracle concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their wealth and fortune on donkeys’ backs, their resources and goods on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation,
Isa 30:7 to Egypt, whose help is absolutely, completely and unconditionally – fruitless, futile and unproductive. Consequently, hence, thus, and accordingly, I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing.
Isa 30:8 Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an unending, ceaseless and perpetual witness.
Isa 30:9 These are defiant, resistant and insubordinate people, deceitful children, children disinclined and reluctant to listen to the Lord’s coaching, education and training.
Isa 30:10 They say to the forseers and fortellers, “See no more visions!” and to the wise men, oracles and soothsayers, “Give us no more visions of what is fair, equitable, legitimate, upright, honest, good and lawful ! Tell us favorable, enjoyable, cheerful, amusing and gratifying things, prophesy falseness, fallacy, mirage and fantasy.
Isa 30:11 Vacate, withdraw, and depart from this way, get off this path, and stop disputing and opposing us with the Holy One of Israel!”
Isa 30:12 Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have cast aside, forsaken and abandoned this message, relied on cruelty and injustice and depended on cunning, cheating and deception,
Isa 30:13 this sin will become for you like a high wall, fissured, fractured, chipped and splintered, that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
Isa 30:14 It will crack, rupture and splinter in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a scrap, particle or remnant will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.”

Blogger’s note: What sin is this that will become for them like a high wall collapsing suddenly? The impatient, misplaced, prideful confidence in their own self-determinations leading to their unwillingness to trust God and allow themselves to be led by the Spirit of God.

Sadly, it is much the same for us today.

Three common barriers to experiencing the presence of God

5/5/2014

The first barrier – The emotional works approach: You seldom experience the presence of God because you believe in your “heart of hearts” that you have to pray and beg and plead with God over and over again in order to experience His presence. You believe that you have to convince God how serious you are. That you really, really, want this. That’s one barrier.

The second barrier – Inner resistance: You may not truly desire to live a transformed life. From this place you will only have short term experiences of the presence of God while living on this earth.

The third barrier – Life is too busy and chaotic: You are so busy striving to be in control of your life you don’t really believe it is practical to experience the presence of God on a daily basis. Therefore, you won’t.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)

Waiting for the Holy Spirit?

5/3/2014

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. Acts 2:17-18

New Testament believers need no longer ‘tarry and abide with expectancy’ as the disciples were instructed to do as they awaited Pentecost to experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are no longer in a time of waiting for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. If somebody taught you that you have to wait for the Holy Spirit; stop doing that! The Holy Spirit is available to you. You don’t have to take a number. You don’t have to wait in line. You do not have to earn His presence. And this is not a presumptuous way of thinking.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

The Holy Spirit is no longer exclusively poured out upon prophets, kings and priests. The time for tarrying and abiding expectantly in order to receive inspiration, direction or special empowerment is over. The Holy Spirit is now being poured out upon “all people.”

Many of us have been programmed by church organizations and the religious Spirit of the age to believe that we must somehow earn the presence of the Holy Spirit. We’ve been taught to believe that there are certain religious actions we must undertake before we can experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Many Christians have been deceived into believing that the Spirit’s help and presence is something that is earned by certain religious efforts. This religious mentality is offensive to God. It is offensive, because it is not a doctrine of grace. It is not a doctrine based on receiving from God. It is, instead, a doctrine of earning from God what God has said He is freely pouring out to all.

The Holy Spirit is available to you. As a believer, He dwells within you. Believe with confidence and you will experience anointing and power and presence and direction from God like never before!