Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let's Get Real With God

Look more closely at the question- “Do I Really Know Him?"
Is Jesus your Lord...or are you with the millions of others who admire Jesus and like the idea of the Savior part, but can't seem to bring yourself to the place of surrender? I am not talking about just saying a prayer. I am asking if you have knowingly and willingly made a choice to surrender your life to Jesus Christ.
If you find yourself in that category with those who are "dipping their foot in the water" but can't bring yourself to take the "plunge" it might be because you think it is some sort of trick and that you will be giving up much more than you will get back...you know, selfishness. Don't worry, we were all born that way.  We didn't mind if someone did without when we were infants, as long as we were provided for. Unfortunately that still applies for many of us today. We are afraid God won't provide for us the way we are accustomed to, or as good as we do ourselves. It is good to be honest with ourselves and God regarding these things. Let's get real with God. The worst thing we can do is live in denial when it comes to the Lord.
Please consider this scripture:

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1-2 NIV
And again in the New Living Translation:

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” Psalm 32:1-2 NLT

What a great opportunity. By simply being open and honest with the God who already knows everything about us, we step into total forgiveness and blessing. Believe me he already knows it all. He is hurt by us, but not deceived. No, this is for our own benefit, just as everything he asks us to do is for our own good. He wants to bless us more than we are willing to receive. We just have to come to a place in our hearts where we admit we are sinful and in need of a savior.

“The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalm 51:17 NLT

“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2 AKJV
We need to get to the point where we trust him enough to be completely honest with him and with ourselves. The void that every human being has on the inside of them that causes them to search and search for things to fulfill them, is really their longing for the one who created them; for God. That need to be loved, cared for, and encouraged can only be satisfied long-term by filling that void with the presence of God. No one can provide for us better than our heavenly father, who created us, and wants above all things, for us to be in good health and prosper even as our souls prosper? Not only does he want it, but he is the only one who can actually make it happen.

One thing about God's grace...it's available to everyone, but forced upon no one. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The New Wine

Jesus is our Rock. It is all about Him. He is the Rock from which the living water comes forth, the New Wine of the Covenant of Grace, Truth, and Redemption. He is everything you will ever need, and without Him there is nothing good. He tells us quite bluntly on the night of his betrayal that we can do NOTHING apart from him.

“I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 Later we are encouraged to hear that the alternative to doing nothing, apart from Him, is we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 

 In the old covenant we are always looking forward, toward the cross of Christ and what Jesus would eventually do for us, reading about Jesus in types and shadows, veiled, or concealed, but it is still all about him. Sometimes the author of the Bible (the Holy Spirit) let's us see how it is, or would be, without Jesus.

 The first miracle that Moses performed when he went to get God's children out of bondage in Egypt, was to turn the water of the Nile into blood, a picture of Judgment and symbolic of death. The first miracle Jesus performed when he began his ministry was to turn water into wine, symbolic of life, joy, and blessing.

 In this comparison we can see the difference in the two covenants. One, the Law of Moses, is designed to bring Judgment. It is designed to bring us to the end of ourselves, and to make us realize our need for a savior...for Jesus.

The other, the New Covenant through the blood of Jesus, brings life, grace, and peace.

 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2

Under the New Covenant we are no longer looking forward to the arrival of a savior. Instead, we are looking back at what our savior, Jesus, has already done. Now we can rest in His finished work, and wait confidently for his return.

Begin to SEEK God regarding the difference in the two covenants and how it applies to you and your life.

“Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself." Hebrews 3:3

Are you still trying to do good to get good, afraid of doing bad and getting beaten?

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14

KNOCK on the door of God's kingdom...He will answer.

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33) and with Fire (Luke 3:16).

Come to him and drink this living water (John 7:37), the new wine of the covenant of grace and peace. Instead of being in need and spiritually thirsty, become a source of all his goodness as you allow his love to flow through you (John 7:38). It is what you were created for.

Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? (Acts 19:2)