Posts Tagged ‘Truth Of God’

Change is Coming

Scripture: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Thought for Today: “Welcoming the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of the heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance:

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by serving and the worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2).

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chastened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father cherishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

Lifting the Broken

Praying for the sick in Kenya“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)

I find myself at times feeling very sorry for the pain I see people go through… both physically and emotionally. Times of stress or struggle can overwhelm the best of us and our character is often tested even when we are in the very center of God’s will. Somewhere in the midst of suffering there is a powerful resource for our future success.

The “Sifted” Need Lifted:

At times it becomes obvious when a person needs the lifting power of God’s grace. Jesus responded to Peter when he was sifted by the Devil (Lk 22:31-32) and we must respond to those around us (Gal 6:2). We must become equipped with the Truth of God’s Word for the downcast and troubled. When we give God our pain, He does replace it with joy. It’s so subtle that after our own personal seasons of heartache, we often forget how the comforting Presence of God lifted us out of dispair and brokenness.

Finding Hope Anchors the Soul (Heb 6:19):

We can find hope in God’s Word, because it serves as the platform for God’s thoughts and purposes for His family, the Church. God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you” (2 Chron. 1:7). The Good News is that He says that to all His children in order to move them into joyful hope.

Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn 16:24) and He prays, “that they may have the full measure of My (His) joy within them” (Jn 17:13). Isn’t that powerful? Those who have experienced this joy know how amazing it is. It goes beyond our mental comprehension and it lifts the broken out of their painful perceptions… even before it delivers them from their painful circumstances. Its the power of hope!

How do we attain this joy?

Jesus tells us that it is hinged to abiding in His love. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (Jn 15:10-11) Love moves us into joy, because it releases hope inside our hearts.

God truly wants to lift the broken:

Here are some more verses that can boost our hope and free us to rejoice in our good Heavenly Father:

  • Prov. 10:24 “What the righteous desire will be granted.”
  • Ex. 33:17 “And the LORD said to Moses, I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
  • Zeph. 3:17 “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”
  • Ps. 22:5 “…in You they trusted and were NOT disappointed.”
  • Isa. 49:23 “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
  • Ps. 21:2 “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
  • Ps. 145:19 “He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
  • Ps. 6:9 “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
  • 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
  • Eph. 3:20 “Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

The Lord is so tender to those who are of a broken and contrite heart and desires to be near them. When the humble cry out for help, He is quick to respond even in the midst of the confusion that often blinds us of His Presence. He is kind, merciful and wants to lavish love on His children (Rom 5:5). The discipline is only for a moment, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)

Becoming Mighty In Spirit!

To be mighty in Spirit is to know God intimately and to experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle. It is a process of establishing more than how a person feels, because it is based upon the fruit that is released when the sifting occurs. It is being sensitive to the purposes of God that aim to advance His Kingdom even in those seasons when mystery is more evident than revelation. Our trials are putting courage into our bones and transforming us to become mighty in Spirit! (2 Cor. 4:16-17) There will always be trouble, but the grace to arise is more than equal to the task of lifting the broken. To be mighty in spirit… is to understand what it means to be “renewed daily”!

To be mighty in Spirit… comes as we know God intimately and experience the power of His grace daily over pain, fears and struggle.

Bitter Roots

Bitter Roots Rob Us of Grace

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Heb 12:15).

What comprises these “bitter roots?” They consist of traumatic experiences of pain, distress, disappointment and brokenness that encourage feelings of bitterness. These feelings may begin in a moment or extend to lengthy seasons in our life, but their impact release root systems that grow and bear fruit. Without good resolution to that trauma, these bitter memories can keep a person continually torn up with pain and emotional scaring.

Roots grow beneath the surface:

Surprising emotional outbursts and difficulty making wise decisions or keeping intimate friendships are signs that bitterness is growing inside like a poisonous root system. As it grows it becomes toxic for both the heart of the person enabling the struggle and those who are in their proximity.

Hurt people, hurt people:

Amazingly, a person can love Jesus and live as a devoted Christian and still have bitter roots of hurt and ugliness controling their emotions, attitudes and behaviors. It was for this very reason, the writer of Hebrews wrote that we “see to it” that we don’t miss out on the grace of God due to some poisoning, toxic bitter root.

The Spirit and the Word offer freedom!

These bitter roots embedded within the soulish mind, for the most part; require assistance from God and deliverance from lies. Yet, when uncovered by the Truth of God’s Word and the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit;  miracles are achieved in the life of the hurting Christian. Jesus encourages us to abide in the Truth (reality from God’s perspective) and the Truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32).

Let the Word read you.

I encourage folks to read the Word of God carefully; not as a book of rules, but as a loving expression of God’s grace and power… revealing His heart toward us. I like to feel as though the truths of Scripture are “reading” me. Rather than trying to get information, I want transformation by the renewal of my mind and heart. The Holy Spirit trains us how to take a bitter root to Jesus, so that nothing will block our full experience in God’s grace. Freedom is achievable and transformation leads us into fruitful expressions that bring strength internally and pleasure to those who come in contact with us.

Keep Your Worldview Biblical

We can be taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

If we don’t really believe the Truth of God and live it, then our witness will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life without recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Through a wide variety of influences, the secularization of America has created a warped view of history, morality, science and the origins of life. It affects our thinking more than we realize. When we choose to leave our worldview to chance, we will be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies that depend on human reasoning not on Christ.

1. What is a Worldview?

A worldview is the lense from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. It’s the basis of our thinking… our ideology, philosophy, theology or belief system.

For example, a 2 year-old believes she is the center of her world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.

Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all we believe to be true, and what we believe becomes the driving force behind emotions, decisions and actions. Therefore, it affects our response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.

2. What’s a Biblical Worldview?

A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When we believe the Bible is entirely true, then it becomes the foundation of everything we say and do.

Someone with a Biblical worldview believes their primary reason for existence is to please God.

3. How does a Biblical Worldview get Diluted?

Here is the big problem. Non biblical ideas don’t just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly everyday through societal relationships and media, like television, music and movies. We  have become a media crazed society.

For example, most Christians would agree with 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and other Scriptures that command us to avoid sexual immorality, but how often do Christians fall into  sexual sin? Is it simply because they are weak when tempted, or did it begin much earlier, with the seductive lies from TV or movies?

4. Why does a Biblical Worldview Matter?

Because we live in a selfish, fallen world! The ideas and philosophies that govern its behavior appeal to the desires of our flesh. Our minds kinda work like a computer… our programming tends to function based on what information has been received. We often end up believing things that we have not really thought through. Without even knowing it, our lives can be shaped by the things we see and melted or conformed to the patterns of cultural norms, rather than Biblical Truth.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

However, by diligently learning, applying and trusting God’s Truths in every area of our lives — whether it’s going to a movie, communicating with our family or working at the office — we can begin to develop a deep Biblical faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture’s non biblical ideas. If we capture and embrace God’s perspective on reality and trust it with unwavering faith, then we begin to make the right decisions and find oueselves equipped for every good work. In the end, its these decisions and actions that reveal our witness for Christ. We must fight to keep a Biblical Worldview.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom 12:2)

In the Crucible

Today is day 9 in our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Scripture: Psalm 139:23-24
Thought for Today: “In the Crucible”

God knows the secrets of our heart (Ps 44:21). In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves. Yet, we still feel a bit vulnerable yielding our lives to change. We ask God to use us and we know changes are coming, but being in the heated crucible of spiritual discipline can feel uncomfortable even to the most mature Christian.

Our Resistance: 

When God tests and tries our heart, there are always things that firmly resist, because they have become our safety net. We have relied upon ourselves and trusted in own strength at times when we could not see clearly. The Apostle Paul tells us that many have exchanged the Truth of God for lies by the serving and worship of things that offer no real peace (Rom 1:25). He reminds us that we have all gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). These issues represent the baggage of idolatry and must be rooted out for us to enjoy the freedom found in Christ.

Real Transformation:

As much as we would like to believe we can change, transformation is not really something we can do for ourselves. It takes the power of the One who knows us best. We can change habits and shift our focus, but it is God who changes the human heart. When we step into the crucible of prayer and fasting, we make the most important move toward God’s best for our lives. The refining process frees us from sinful behavior, renews our thinking and enables us to discern the will of God more clearly (Rom 12:1-2). 

God Loves and Receives Us:

Transformation happens in the safe place of His Presence, where the Holy Spirit gains access to those things that hinder our progress. God knows what is best for us and He always acts in our best interest by treating us as sons and daughters (Heb 12:4-11). We are reminded that when we are chasened by God, it is because He loves us and receives us as a father charishes and loves his child. Remind yourself today that God loves and receives you as His very own son or daughter.

“Why do you spend money on what is not bread and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isa 55:2)

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