Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ephemeral purity...

     Are you an individual who goes to a Joyce Meyer conference, your church's annual men's or women's conference, or a retreat of some kind and get all fired up for Jesus? You walk out ready to be the light you are called to be in this world of darkness? How long does that zeal last?
     Carrying the light of life it an absolute honor! We should be proud about being given the opportunity to be a witness to others. I know there was a time in my life when I believed I needed to preach the gospel to everyone around me and live this perfect, righteous life! Well, that is exactly how we may just push others further away from being a follower of Christ. Others then see us only as judgmental hypocrites. When we behave in these ways we cannot expect to be commiserated by others when they see us mess up. We are commanded only to love others; when we do this in a Godly way then our actions alone do all the preaching anyone needs.
     What really matters...actually the only thing that matters is the condition of our hearts. We can externally play the part all day long. Going to church, serving the community, "loving" others...but, what is going on in your heart?
     Jesus told us that by simply by believing in Him, out of our hearts "...will flow rivers of living water...". Jesus said this so it is truth. If Jesus is the source then we know it brings forth pure, life giving water. However, have you thought about what happens when it goes through our hearts? For example, imagine a fountain you create in your back yard that flows down a hill to a pond. Although the water may be fresh and clean coming from the source, if there is trash and garbage in its path to the pond then the water will be contaminated when it reaches the pond. The result will be a dingy, stinky pool of filth that wold deter anyone from wanting to be around the pond much less partake of any fun involving the water within.
    So let me ask you this. What does the river of living waters look like to others once it has been filtered through your heart?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fugacious behavioral goodness...

     So I was having a conversation when I heard, "Well, I would not do that if my pastor was around.". Which I interpreted as they would do this action once they were outside the presence of their pastor. When they were in a place that their actions could not be seen.

     By no means have I perfected my thoughts, actions, behaviors, character, etc. But, it saddens to me to know they forgot about the omnipresence of our High Priest.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walk it out...

    Recently I spent an entire month reading 1 John 1 through 3 John 1:15 every day. I also now put the books/chapters I am reading each month on my iPod and have them play on repeat while I sleep. In typical Jeremy fashion, I digress...

     Some of my favorite verses out of those three books are 1 John 1:5-7. Oftentimes I think we read through the bible just as you do the newspaper or a magazine article. The thing is all scripture is God breathed and is living! So what do these verses mean?

     I believe they are talking about our lives when no one else is looking. Or the way we live with our circle of friends when not in public view. If you live differently at these times you are walking in darkness; hiding from the light. This is why it is so important for us to be careful of who we spend majority of our time with. Am I saying we should only hang around other Christians all the time? Absolutely not. It is the great commission to go out and spread the gospel and love others. However, you do have to be conscience of the time spent and how it is affecting us. Are we affecting them or are they infecting us?

     If you have been walking in darkness the great news is confession and repentance is all you have to do to turn it all around and begin walking in the light.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The validity of honesty...

     The truth is so important in all aspects of our lives. This is even illustrated when Paul writes about the belt of truth. What many people do not know is it is believed that Paul was chained to a Roman soldier when writing the book of Ephesians. As God the Holy Spirit spoke to him, he has the parallels from the physical realm right in front of his face to bring the Spiritual words to life and make them applicable. For those of you who do not know; the belt was one of the most important pieces of a soldiers uniform. Not only was it used to fasten and secure the breastplate into place; it also allowed a place for the sheath to fasten so the sword could be stored and not be constantly carried. Even more importantly than the analogy used by Paul; Jesus Himself spoke of the power of truth

     Below are a couple quotes I came across in the last few days that also speak of truth. 

"We need to be honest with others about what's going on inside us." Joyce Meyer
"If the truth will set you free, lies will entangle you. Don't tell them. Don't run with people who do." -- Donald Miller

     If you get close to someone and you see them lie to their family, friends, and whomever else; then why are we surprised when we discover they have been lying to us? Lying is not only presenting a false impression by not telling the truth. Omission of important facts can also be lies. Oftentimes tactics used to manipulate others also play a part into lies. I do not think we realize the detriment involved with lying, or if we do we eventually forget. We need to find honest individuals of integrity to live life with. Lies, when discovered, then lead to unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, etc. There is so much negative that can be birthed from even the smallest lie.  Fortunately, I lying is not a sin a really struggle with...of course I have the ones I do! I pray "Lord, help me to forgive those who sin differently than me.". (That was a tweet from Pastor Larry Brown that has stuck with me since the day he sent it out to the twitterverse)

     Another aspect of telling lies is we can drag those around us into our own storm. For example, look at Jonah when he was running from God

     I would also like to add this...I think when we go into a stormy season it is typically our first reaction to think we are being attacked by the enemy. I wonder how many of those stormy seasons are simply God trying to get our attention!? I know just recently I had two major setbacks in my life, both in less than one weeks time. Up until last night I had believed it was the enemy trying to steal, kill, and destroy my purpose for the Kingdom when I now realize it was God trying to get my attention.

     Well, I hope you followed this post. I realize there were a couple of rabbit trails HAHA

Heterogeneous to homogeneous...

     So I was born into were you. We began life as heterogeneous beings, we were lost. Then Jesus came to this earth in the most vulnerable way a baby. Humbling to me...if you really think about that rather than just reading it as a story a book. The fear Mary must have had in telling her fiance, her parents, her friends when she was pregnant. It was even less accepted then, than it is today. The worry or doubt when she was going into labor and there were no rooms available. Those are only two instances of more than nine full months of Mary's young life. ...and who knows, maybe God gave her immeasurable peace through it all I just know Mary was human just like you and I. Regardless, the work Jesus did here on earth and more importantly on the cross, allows us to become homogeneous beings!
"We open the Spiritual womb of God when we give our hearts to Him and then we are born again." - Pastor Geoffrey Cohen
     This is the beginning of the progressive sanctification process. We are all messed up, but as we continue our journey in running to God we become less and less messed up as we go. Yet we will make mistakes along the way, some bigger than others. The great news is our God is...well...He is God. His grace and mercy are never ending. The sacrosanct love of our God is beyond what or physical minds can comprehend. For this I am grateful. We tend to humanize God but He is bigger than that.

     Look at Jonah...he really messed up by wholeheartedly running from God and His commandment. Jonah had a specific calling and he literally ran the opposite direction. Yet God did not remove the anointing on Jonah's life. Look in Jonah 3:1, the word of the Lord came to Jonah again. This time he obeyed the Lord God and look at Jonah 3:5-10. We see a revival in an entire city.

     Just know as a homogeneous being you can pick yourself up and get back in the game. This was but a major paraphrase of an amazing message I heard this evening; which you can hear in a couple of days once posted online here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wounded Warrior...

     So I had been believing lies of the enemy for several weeks...maybe months. I felt as though I had digressed Spiritually and was "starting over". LIES LIES I tell you. Do not believe this (as I did) regardless of what you have done. I am created in His image and I am still the same warrior for Christ I was when I was peaking in my Spiritual journey last year!

     If a soldier goes through all the training and becomes elite to the point of being Delta Force he is an intricately trained warrior. Now, when out in battle if he makes a mistake and gets injured he is no less the trained killer he was prior to the incident. He may have a limp, soreness, etc. However, he is still an elite soldier trained and knowledgeable in the ways of war.

     The same goes for us. Confess, repent, and get back into the battle. The longer we wallow in the error of our ways from the past the longer we give then enemy victory. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy our purpose for God. Satan wants nothing more than for us to lie injured and helpless. The truth of the matter is the victory was won on the cross and nothing the enemy can do can hold us down. I am back on my journey and it feels great. I am also digging in to become even further equipped. I feel better physically and Spiritually than I have since last September or October.

    So just know this. It is OK to be a wounded warrior and it does not make you any less valuable. In fact Jesus took more wounds than anyone to ever walk this earth and He is still fighting the battle. I do not know about you, but my mission in life is to grow to be more like Him every chance I get so I will press on into the battle.