Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who's Telling the Truth?

Hello Blogging friends,

I have been a busy bee lately, Spring cleaning my house in the Fall. While going through my desk drawer, I ran across this poem I wrote in June 1999 and wanted to it share it with you.

Who's Telling the Truth?

The world says, "Get ahead, no matter what the cost"
Jesus says "become a servant, as an example to the lost"

The world says "any religion is basically okay"
Jesus says "beware of false teachers, for I am the only way"

The world says, "live life to the full, it's all about having fun"
Jesus says "we're just passing through, meanwhile, there's work to be done"

The world says "no matter what you do wrong, surely you're not to blame"

Jesus says "confess that sin and I'll forgive and take away your shame"

I say "weigh the truth for yourself before anymore time goes by,
for eternity is way to long to take a chance on a lie."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remove The Stone by Tony Evans

A friend of mine sent this to me this morning & it blessed me so much, I thought I'd share it with you all.

Have you ever been in a situation where things fell apart after you went to Jesus? Have you ever experienced a death? Not just a physical death, because death is essentially a loss. Have you ever experienced a deep loss of any kind? Stuff started to get sick, and then it just died. You have this plan for your life. You had a hope. You thought that things were going to fall right into place. But not only did they not fall into place, they died.

If you have ever been in a situation like that, then you know exactly what Martha and Mary were experiencing when they got caught between a rock and a hard place in John 11. Lazarus was sick. Martha and Mary reach out to Jesus for help. Jesus sends back hope. Lazarus dies.

Martha had told Jesus that she believed He was the resurrection and the life (v. 27). She had then run to tell Mary that Jesus had come.

Now Mary, seeing Jesus, falls at His feet and says, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 32). John reports that when Jesus “saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see’” (vv. 33-34).

Then, John writes, “Jesus wept” (11:35).

The next part of the passage contains potentially the most revolutionary spiritual truth you could ever learn for your daily living. It can sustain you when you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. We read: “So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Remove the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days’” (vv. 38-39).

Jesus makes a simple request, “Remove the stone.” Martha interrupts to let Jesus know that what He is asking isn’t practical. She lets Jesus know that what He is asking isn’t logical. It makes no biological sense.

When God puts you or me between a rock and a hard place, He will often make a request that makes absolutely no sense. His request to the mourners is not logical. Lazarus is literally between a rock and a hard place. Lazarus is literally behind a stone. Jesus asks the mourners to remove the stone without giving them any more information.

Here’s the spiritual truth you can apply to your daily life: When God is getting ready to do something significant in your life that involves a deliverance from a situation gone bad, or a resurrection of a situation that has died, it will often include an illogical request. And I want to encourage you, when that happens, don’t go logical on God. What we often do with God in situations like that is debate the instruction. Just like Martha did. Jesus’ instruction to her was pretty simple, “Remove the stone.”

With God it’s not about logic. It’s about doing what He says to do in faith. Once you add human logic to the Word of God, you ignore the power of the Word of God in your situation.

Jesus doesn’t want to have a discussion about the stone He has told us to remove. He doesn’t want to know how big the stone is. He doesn’t want to know how long the stone has been there. He doesn’t even want to know how dead the dead is behind the stone. All Jesus wants you to do is remove the stone.

To experience the living Christ in your dead situation, belief must precede sight, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Faith precedes sight. One of the great verses in the Bible describes this situation. It says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). In other words, belief requires no empirical evidence to validate what you are doing. There is nothing to taste, smell, touch, hear, or see in order for you to believe. There is nothing that the five senses can grab because if there is, then that is no longer faith. You don’t have to see something to know that it’s real. But what you do have to do is act in faith.

God says the righteous “shall live by faith” (10:38). So how do you know when you have faith? You only know that you have faith when you remove the stone – when you do the thing that God has asked you to do. If you’re not doing the thing that He told you to do, then you’re not having faith. If you’re discussing it, you’re not at the point of faith yet; you’re at the point of discussion. If you’re thinking about it, you’re not at the point of faith yet; you’re at the point of thought.

You’re not at the point of faith until God sees that stone move.

What can you expect to happen when you remove the stone? Jesus told Martha that if she will believe, she will see the “glory of God.” The glory of God is seeing God manifest Himself in your situation.

God wants to make some dead scenarios come forth. He wants to make dead careers come alive once more. He wants to resurrect dead marriages.

Martha and Mary didn’t make life come forth. All they did was remove the stone at His word. Then He created a miracle.

Someone reading this needs a miracle. Something in your life has died, and you need God to call it back to life. Someone is trapped in an addiction. You’ve tried everything that you know to get out of it but it doesn’t seem to work. What you need is a resurrection.

God can take your dead and dying scenario and call forth a resurrection. He can take what looks like a rotting situation and give it new life. He’s just waiting for you to remove the stone. When we do what God says to do in faith, God is free to bring forth life.

(Adapted from Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Tony Evans. © 2010 by Anthony Evans, Moody Publishers.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Not About You!!!

This is a sentence I repeat quite often in my house when speaking to my children..."It's NOT about YOU!" I find it necessary to let them know, much to their surprise, that the world does NOT revolve around them, LOL!

However, when it comes to stepping out in faith and being used by God, it is of the utmost importance that you remember the very same thing. In fact, you should keep these 3 things in mind:

1) It's not about YOU

2) It's not because of YOU

3) It's not for YOU

What do I mean?

It's not about you - If you expect to move in the power of God, praying, prophesying, laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, all the stuff that Jesus said to go and do (Mark 16:15-20), you have to get over yourself! No more hang ups, no more worrying about your past, or beating yourself up about your failures & weaknesses. Allow healing to come to your spirit & soul that will set you free from the fear of man, and a people pleasing attitude.

It's not because of you - When you do see God move through you, either in word or in deed, remember that YOU didn't do it! It's not a time to get puffed up and think you've done something special, when all God really needs is a willing vessel who will believe in Him.
1 Cor. 4:7 "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"
Remember after the disciples came back from ministering in Jesus name and they were excited about how even the demons had to obey them? Jesus rejoiced with them for what they'd done, but He also warned them in Luke 10:20, "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
It's not for you - Too many times when people reach a place in the Lord where they see visible fruit, they start to get the attitude that they've "arrived". They're getting attention from others, and it's very tempting to exalt themselves in their own minds, or to allow people to place them on a pedestal. In these cases, the person has an elitist attitude that says "I need to be served, not serve others". This thinking is so far from the mind of Christ!
Mark 10:42-45 - "But Jesus called them (the disciples) to Himself and said to them, You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
The best way to escape the above traps of the enemy is to keep your eyes off yourself and on Jesus at all times! If we remember the following Scripture, we'll have no problem doing mighty exploits for the Lord, and never have to struggle with the above.
Gal. 2:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

I read a book by Loren Cunningham called "Making Jesus Lord" where he talked about laying down your so called rights as Christians. He said that dead people don't worry about their rights. He was of course talking about us, who are supposed to have been crucified with Christ. When we're dead to our rights, we live for Him, only wanting to glorify God in all we do and say. This is the place I long to be, where I can say like Paul "to live is Christ, to die is gain...or like in Phil. 3:7-10
"But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death..."