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Archive for August, 2010

The Big Reveal

Do you just like watching or would you enjoy being a part of a reality show?  Who would have thought we ‘d be interested in  seeing people work through things like;  buying a wedding dress, finding the man or woman of their dreams, landscaping or remodeling their house, cooking or losing weight, and even being stranded on a desert island or racing around the world?

Week after week, fans tune in, waiting to see how it ends. After the big reveal we feel like winners or losers depending on who we rooting for.

Following the story of Jesus is kinda like a reality show. The episodes begin with how He became a human and build from there. We follow his childhood, his stories, his miracles, his teachings, and his friends.  We watch Him battle the enemy in the wilderness, the religious leaders of the day. We watch Him give to others and then take a boat to the other side and get away from the crowds.  Finally, just before He’s killed we get to hear some of His final thoughts and prayers.

I love the words of Jesus in John 17:26 (Amplified).   He’s talking to God about us.  He says,  “I have made Your name known to them and revealed your character and your very Self, and I will continue to make You known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them (felt in their hearts), and that I (Myself) may be in them.”

Jesus’ life was all about “The Big Reveal.”  He came to reveal God to us.  He modeled God’ s character and the essence of who God is.  His final act on earth was to reveal God’s love for us.  We had suffered separation and disconnection from God and our identity in Him when man fell in the garden.  Jesus, willingly, faced separation from His father as He hung on the cross for us to gain our reconnection.

He  willingly suffered the abuse of men, knowing it would end in His own brutal killing.    In that, He revealed to us that because of  our relationship with the Father, though we suffer injustice, we can still fulfill our purpose.

In His death, He revealed God’s forgiveness.  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Even in the face of death,  Jesus was more concerned about the other guys!

Through His resurrection, He revealed that because of God’s power, nothing can hold us back.  Nothing would separate us from Him again.  We would forever have access to the Father through the name of Jesus!

And here’s the great part.  God’s  Big Reveal is still happening!  Through the Holy Spirit, He is still being made known to us.  His love is being felt in our hearts.  We are in Christ, and He is in us.  Really!  HE IS IN US!

He’s in us and we are part of the Big Reveal of God to the world!!!!

Whatever today’s reality is for you, I hope you’ll sit at the feet of the Father, in Jesus’ name, and feel His love in you. Then, rising again, I pray that where ever you go today, you’ll reveal that love to others.

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Short blog today!   Great verse:  II Peter 1:4(NLT) “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

If you are wanting to make a change in your nature, run to his promises.  That is where you’ll be equipped to exchange the natural desires for the divine!  Now that’s a change we can all believe in!

What promise or God are you embracing today?

How is that changing you?

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The “S” Word

~I apologize for the spacing problems in this blog.   Computer or program glitches I’m not able to correct!~
I still cringe every time I hear the obscenity that so many today use as regular conversation.   But there is a word that is worse and much less noticed then the “F” word.  It’s the “S” word. I bet you think I’m talking about sin.  Nope!  This word is as old as Adam and Eve.  This word or feeling did not exist until after they blew it in the garden. (Gen. 2:25) It was why they hid from God.  Curious yet?
The “S” word is painful.  Depending on how deeply it’s rooted, it can be terrorizing or tortuous!  The “S’ word is SHAME. Here’s how shame is defined by Dictionary.com.–the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.

According to wikepedia, the word comes from an old root word meaning to cover.   Isn’t that what happened in the garden?   They covered themselves and hid!
I don’t know if parents still use the term, but when I did did something mom didn’t like she often responded, “Shame on you.”  Yuk!  Not a good thing to plant in the heart of your children or anyone else for that matter.
Society, groups, and individuals often use shaming to try to bring transformation.   That discussion is for another day.
Shame is one of the biggest obstacles that keep us from being who we really are, walking in freedom.  It’s not talked about much, which makes it difficult to recognize if we are dealing with it in our own lives.   Yet, it’s important to acknowledge it so we can move away from it.
Take this quick quiz.
1.  Do you often feel like you can’t let anybody see who you really are?
2.  Do you often feel unworthy, embarrassed, or humiliated inside yourself?
3.  Do you often feel inferior or that others disapprove or our disappointed in you?
4.  Do you find you are resistant to talk with God, even though you want to?

These are indications that you are dealing with shame in your life.  But, here’s the good news.   You can be free of shame! If your really stuck, it would be wise to seek  coaching, counseling, and prayer but you can get out of the cycle of shame.  The first step starts with this truth.   Jesus has already taken the world’s shame upon himself, so we don’t need to walk in it!

We can replace your shame with something we don’t have to be ashamed of.   Romans 1:16 (NLT):  For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.

What are you feeling shameful about?
How could your life be different if you let go of the shame?

I don’t know about you but I’m giving up shame!   Will you pray this with me?
Father, thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, I acknowledge that you already took the shame
of all mankind on yourself, through your death on the cross.
I accept that gift that you so freely offer!
In Your Name, I break the control of shame over my life.
I place any feelings of shame in your hands and
ask you to wash them away with your love for me~Amen

Now look in a mirror, right into your eyes and say this with me.  I am not ashamed!  Jesus took my shame away!

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What Ya Lookin’ At?

Feeling discouraged, exhausted, weary?   What mom or anyone else doesn’t? With everything you have to do, all the situations you are dealing with, and sometimes little physical rest, it’s no wonder.

Here’s the good news.  I found a key this morning in my Bible reading that might help.

In II Corinthians 4:16, the apostle Paul tells us though their outer man is decaying and wasting away, their inner self is being renewed day after day.  How is that possible?

Here’s the key!  II Corinthians 4:18:  “Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal(brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.”

It’s all in what you are looking at!  It’s easy to get discouraged if we look at our circumstances.  We can slip from being exhausted physically to emotionally and spiritually fatigued if we forget that what we see in the moment or the past, is not important.

What is important is the things we don’t see–the invisible—the purposes and kingdom of God.  When we look away from our past and present through those eyes, it’s impossible to not have hope.

Why?

1.  The things of His kingdom can’t be taken from us.

2.  The things of His kingdom last forever.

3.  The things of His kingdom produce eternal results.

4.  This life is not all there is.   We have everlasting life through Jesus.

Whatever you are facing today, look to His kingdom.  His principles, promises, and purposes will not fail.  That’s how Jesus endured the cross!  He knew that the reward in heaven would be great!  He focused on the joy. The joy was you and me!  If He thought we were worth that suffering, it is certain He’ll not withhold what we need in this moment.

What is God offering you today from His kingdom, to replace your weariness and discouragement?

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If I Were Rich

I love Fiddler on the Roof.  One of my favorite songs is Tevye singing “If I Were a Rich Man.”  The litany of what he’d do and his crazy eyes makes me giggle!

So what if God gave you a blank check and said you could use it anyway you wanted?   What would you do?

These are very important questions because they reveal a lot about our hearts.  Our hearts tell us about our character, motives, and the understanding we have of God.

Here’s today’s truth.  YOU ARE RICH!  Romans 8:17a (my paraphrase) tells us:  ‘If you are His child, then you are his heir also.  A fellow heir with Christ(sharing His inheritance with Him).

Imagine  you are at the reading of a last will and testament.  There are many others in the room with you, all anxiously waiting to hear if they were left anything.

This is what you hear:  I, the eternal father, bequeath to my children who I so dearly love, complete access to the never ending resources of my kingdom!  I give them the power of love, forgiveness, grace, peace, security, strength, comfort, and any other emotional need they have. I give them faith to move mountains, any mountain or obstacle in their way.  I give them everything they need including financial supply, based on God’s economy. These riches will never end.  They have access to it all and can freely withdraw what they need at anytime.

Whoo Hoo!  Now that’s rich!!!!!   So I ask again.  What will you do with it?

Yesterday, I mentioned life is our playground and God wants to watch us play and loves to play with us.  He does!  God plays with us for a purpose. He wants us to discover that we are His sons and daughters and heirs.   If we truly understand that, He knows His purpose for the world will be fulfilled.  Why?  Because the answer to the question above will be “I will reveal to the world who God is by using my inheritance to reflect my sonship.”

Verse 19  tells us that “all of creation waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known(waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship).

It’s sometimes easy to blame the condition of our world on the government, other people, and the expanse of evil powers.  But wait a minute!  God’s children are everywhere.  We have access to all of God’s wisdom, insight, provision, and power.   So why is that hidden?

The answer is either because we don’t understand our position, or we have lost sight of our purpose.   We are to walk out our sonship in front of the world.  We are to make a difference, not with empty words but with words backed by action.

The world is in crisis.  In every generation there has been some cultural or social problem.   Today it seems like everyone is crying out for something different.  They are.  They just don’t know what they are crying for and maybe we don’t either.   I submit they are crying for someone to show them what it’s really like being a son of God.  Someone to reflect real solutions, real hope, real peace.   Someone to make a difference. Will we be that someone?

Who is the world?  It’s our spouses, our families, our neighbor.  It’s our community, our state, our country, the world.  It’s the druggie, the alcoholic, the widow, the orphan.

Let me ask again:  Since God has given you a blank check, what will you do to reveal your sonship?

Let’s start a Revelation Revolution!

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Abba

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”  The first few lines of the Lord’s prayer have been on my mind for a few days now.  When verses of scripture surface grab my attention I always like to unpack them  (dig for deeper truth).

The words father, dad, daddy, papa can stir up all kinds of emotions.  I know for myself, since I lost my dad to cancer at the age of 11, those words are endearing yet remind me of the loss.  For the years I had him, he was a good daddy and I was his princess.

For others, who might have not known their dad, or had a father who was an alcoholic or abusive it may be a harsh word that doesn’t inspire trust.  If you are one of those, I hope these thoughts can help you see God differently.

That word hallowed is important.  That word means set apart.  When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, I have no doubt He knew there would be those who didn’t have a kind earthly father.  I can imagine that part of His message in that line was ‘Hey dad!  You are not like all the other fathers.  You are different.  You are above all the others.  I have the best father ever!’

Whether you’ve experienced a healthy or unhealthy relationship with your earthly father, God is different.  And God has adopted you! You have nothing to fear from God.

Romans 8:15(Amplified): “For the Spirit which you have received is not a spirit of slavery to put once more in bondage to fear, but you have received a Spirit of adoption (the Spirit producing sonship) in the bliss of which we cry, Abba, Father!”

Abba Father was Jesus repeating  the word father in two different languages.  It’s kind of like a little one running up saying, ‘Daddy, daddy!’.

Here’s what I see in this verse.  A slave is fearful because he knows he has to obey everything his abusive master says or he will be beaten or maybe even killed.  A slave is always aware that his freedom is gone and he now must perform at the pleasure of his owner.  If his owner is cruel, he will suffer abuse regardless of how hard he works or the results of his labor.

Mmmmmmm.  Because of my experience growing up in a very legalistic church, I’ve viewed God that way a few times!!!  You might have your own reasons for seeing Him that way.

What if we let that false perception go and replaced it with the truth?  The truth is we have received adoption or sonship and it’s blissful!  His love is so far beyond what we can understand.  He made people!  Called them very good!  He wanted us!   Even after we fell, He wanted us and redeemed us through Jesus.

We are His kids!  Like any good daddy, He’ll teach us to walk, talk, and grow into loving, responsible citizens (of His kingdom).  He is concerned about our protection when we might not understand that something is dangerous.  That’s the reason for any boundaries or rules.  He can handle our mistakes because He knows we are learning.

Life is our playground.  He loves to watch us play safely and He loves to play with us. As we grow, He loves to share two way conversation and He’s unafraid of any question.

Our God is a good daddy!

What do you think?

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