Monday, February 12, 2007

I want Jesus to change lives through me!

So here is another thing I am learning :)...a big secret that up until yesterday I did not know and that most Christians, once they hear it say "oh of course" but don't know :). In this blog I am processing so please forgive me if it's disjointed. If you would like to hear this presented in a much clearer and concise fashion here is the link (there are 2 sermons)

Here goes :

Shaun and I have been studying Isaiah 53 through a sermon series on-line. For us, it's real meaty infant food for the soul here...which as I 've been a Christian for 28 years that is likely a good thing :). We are on Isaiah 53:5-6 Which say this, " But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." oh there is so much to say and so little time...OK let me start by saying that verse 5 talks about what sin does...the consequences of it...that is what Jesus took on for us at the cross...the perfect lamb of God took on all the sins of the world and he was pierced, crushed, punished, wounded, and so on. There are 4 secrets about sin that I don't think I've ever heard preached. I will hit on the 1st and then mostly the 4th one in this.

1) Sin takes away your ability to THINK! (just ponder an angry person...they believe that their anger will make them stronger, people will respect them more, and their homes will be more stable if they control it with that what a thinking person believes?)

Here are some scriptures for that II Corinthians 3:14 says, "But their minds were made dull..." it goes on to talk about what sin does to you. Ephesians 4:18, 19 says, "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more."

2 Peter 2:10, 12, 17-19 says, " This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature[a] and despise authority...But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. " The Message Translation puts it this way, "10-11God is especially incensed against these "teachers" who live by lust, addicted to a filthy existence. They despise interference from true authority, preferring to indulge in self-rule. Insolent egotists, they don't hesitate to speak evil against the most splendid of creatures. Even angels, their superiors in every way, wouldn't think of throwing their weight around like that, trying to slander others before God...14These people are nothing but brute beasts, born in the wild, predators on the prowl. In the very act of bringing down others with their ignorant blasphemies, they themselves will be brought down, losers in the end. Their evil will boomerang on them. They're so despicable and addicted to pleasure that they indulge in wild parties, carousing in broad daylight. They're obsessed with adultery, compulsive in sin, seducing every vulnerable soul they come upon. Their specialty is greed, and they're experts at it. Dead souls...17-19There's nothing to these people—they're dried-up fountains, storm-scattered clouds, headed for a black hole in hell. They are loudmouths, full of hot air, but still they're dangerous. Men and women who have recently escaped from a deviant life are most susceptible to their brand of seduction. They promise these newcomers freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, for if they're addicted to corruption—and they are—they're enslaved."

To sin one loses all of their cognitive reasoning...we need that! Those are just 3 of the passages from the Bible of what sin does for us...death!

The next secret that was covered so far is this and what I really wanted to post about today... The one thing that is MUCH more addictive than Sin???? The only craving in the human soul that is much stronger , is much more passionate, and much more satisfying than the cravings for pleasure??? The craving for PURPOSE! 2 Corinthians 5:5 says this, "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." I'll get back to that whole purpose thing in a minute but here is something...Asking for God's blessing ...when you say , "I want Jesus to bless me" we are guaranteed to forever fail...ego centrism is not a God thing. When we say "I want Jesus to change lives through me" That is what Jesus teaches. How God designed us to be. We are to serve someone else without recognition Jesus said in John 15:13 "greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for a friends" The Message puts that passage like this (with context) "11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father "1 John 2: 4-6 says this, "4-6If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. " Galatians 5: 16 says, "16-18My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit. Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don't you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?" There is nothing in there about "me" being the centre of the equation...
Sin always comforts quickly. I have heard (and at one time was apart of this group) many people say (who have been around Christians long enough) "I have been really hurt so I'm not ready to trust " The pastor that gave this sermon said..."when you say that you are assuming, in your egocentric world, that these people's only purpose is to bless you" (and as a side note if you are a Christian saying that about "the church" IS apart of the church...we are one body. you can't bisect a body) I found that VERY true! Some people want both "me" and to bless others. No one can have both. We will all be tested with pain. God sets it up that those He loves He disciplines (Hebrews 12:'s quoted at the bottom) Sin will come in and comfort and say, when you're cold, "Let's just take a little break from serving others and then you can come back" you never come back or if you fight through and do it will be MUCH harder. When you want comfort your heart is cold and you know what makes your heart warm? are in the race running, the more you serve, pray, run the race the warmer you get and sin doesn't need to warm you. When you serve others it will hurt and burn. But it will burn away the sin. (again that is from Hebrews 12:1-3)

Life and death are constantly moving. I have to choose which one I will be moving with. I have heard it asked and I have asked "Shouldn't I get my own life together before I serve others? Getting your own life together is meant to be a by-product! And how we have the least amount of pain in this serving thing? Find a team...don't do it alone...Find mentors and people who are walking this path as well. Ephesians 4:11,12 " It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" The church is a team...

I think Peter said something along the lines of if I give to someone and it hurts and God is requiring it of me then I give it gladly but if I suffer because I was stupid then I suffer in vain. Don't have pain for no reason... :) Galatians 2:19-21 says, "What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
" So a really good question to ask to see where you are in this whole thing is this: "Who depends on you?" I mean for encouragement, for growing in the word? To help them along in their Christian faith? The answer to that is the sum total of our lives. Pretty powerful statement!

Hebrews 12:1-11 says this,

"1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
4-11In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
" That is the fat we should be worrying about...the sin-fat :).

Jesus live through me for others! I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live...I live to give. This is what I am learning :).

Racing with warmth, Tama

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Sorry I haven't posted much lately. There has been so much that I have been learning that I honestly didn't know where to is just a little tidbit that I thought I would pass along :).
Shaun and I have been soaking up the word of God. just SOAKING! You know it's amazing what it says. I heard someone say recently that the Bible is pretty grey or doesn't have much to say about a lot of things...I have found that statement to be incorrect. The more I study the Bible (and believe me I'm just starting) the more I realize that the Bible has a lot to say about most things and very adamantly.
You know though to find those things you have to be willing to dig and search and KNOW the word of God. I heard this analogy recently. "The word of God is a treasure to be mined." When you are miner you get scraped knuckles. You work hard every day and you don't find treasure every day...if you did it wouldn't be treasure. But you keep working and digging through the dirt and blasting through the rocks...then when you do find the treasure it is precious.
Memorizing the word of God is powerful. You know why? There are 2 words used for the "Word" in the New Testament. One is Logos and the other is Rema. Logos is the already written word that you have memorized and it is inscribed on your heart...when you have been drink the word. Once it is inscribed on your heart it brews in your soul so awhile and that is when Rema happens. Rema brings the word alive's the voice of the Lord speaking to you after you have the Logos in you...drinking the word. I have experienced this over and over throughout my life. You know when you read a passage of scripture and you know when God says "this is for you right now". Paul (the apostle in the Bible) he quoted so much of the Torah. Do you know why? He had the whole Torah memorized. By the time a rabbinical student was 12 years old they had ALL 39 books of the Torah memorized...MEMORIZED! You know Peter the Disciple...the fisherman that I've always thought of a probably a bit uneducated? many he had memorized...he was a non-rabbinical student as a child and he had 1/2 that number memorized. There is much to be said about that.
Psalm 119:11 says, " I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
in the Message it says, " I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt. "

Deut 6:5-9 says this, " Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!
6-9 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates
. "

Another thing that I have been learning is that before I say "I believe..." (as believe means conversation over this is my conclusion) I need to see what the whole word of God says about something. Not just one or two passages...the WHOLE word. Paul summed up his life in Acts 20 the last in the last verse (Acts 20:27) "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. ". I am learning to have a systematic theology on the complex subjects that God talks to us about. It will take me at least 20-30 years to come to the place where I can say ..."I believe..." If I do not do that I have unbiblical assumptions and am not a student of the word of God and there are consequences for that.
I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN!!! I am looking forward to it...there is no other pursuit more worth pursuing

Mining, Tama