God honors ME?

I’m reading the words spoken by Jesus Christ himself in John 12:26: “If any man serve me, let him follow me…and where I am, there shall my servant be: if any man serve me, him will My Father honor.

And I am in awe! Imagine the opportunity that lies before You and I! … that the God who created the universe, and that holds all things together, and that rules and reigns over all the affairs of men and nations, would honor us? Seriously, as an individual! God would honor you!

Don’t we all desire to be honored?

Not sure?

Okay, let’s talk about what honor means, at its definition: to honor means:  to esteem, respect, admire, defer to, look to, appreciate, value, cherish, adore; reverence, revere, venerate, put on a pedestal. To honor means to respect and revere someone worthy of admiration!

Oh wow…Christ is telling each of us, that if we serve and follow him, God the Father will honor you and I in return! Seems like a great goal to desire! Hey? 😀👍

From reading these words of Jesus, I was reminded of another passage wherein the Lord God himself spoke to the Israelites these words found in I Samuel 2:30b: … but now the Lord saith, “Be it far from me…for them that honor me, I will honor…and they that despise me, I shall lightly esteem.”

Clearly He is saying he will honor and esteem us…you and I…if we will honor and esteem Him! Well, wow…HE is worthy of honor, and worthy of esteem….but what of us? Hmmm…not so sure about that…But yet it says, if You and I will honor him, we will be honored. Way cool!

So then I was led a step further in this discovery to Psalm 91:15 which gives A Promise to us of just what that “honor” toward you and I looks like: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

Who wouldn’t want that kind of response to our calling upon God? I sure would want him to answer me, to be with me, deliver me, and honor me!

I am hearing the Spirit of the Lord say, “So many desire me to honor them by answering their every cry, but they are not honoring my Son by believing in Him and following after Him, nor are they honoring me, their Creator, by respectfully obeying My Word or loving me with all their heart. I will honor those who honor me, yet lightly esteem you and your call-outs for help when I receive no honor from you.”

A strong blessing…being honored BY THE FATHER…awaits you and I if we will but grab hold of the amazement and the opportunity that lies before us! I want this promised honor! 😀 How about you?!  Let’s follow hard after Jesus Christ, honoring him, for then the Father will honor us. He will RESPOND WITH ESTEEM TOWARD US! This means happily and quickly our answers and solutions will happen as we call upon the Lord!

Will you “quickly respond” to Jesus, and follow where he is? Will you serve him with all your heart?

Seems to me, he is saying, if we will, then the Father will quickly respond to us. I love that reassurance!

Give this some pondering in the days ahead, okay?

Question seriously where you, yourself, are NOT “honoring” God : Could it be in your focus? In your time with Him, or in service to Him? In your words? In your relationships? With your money? Are you believing what you read in His Word, or do you walk in unbelief? Perhaps there is an area you need to work on in your honoring of him. The Holy  Spirit will reveal to you, that which pleases God and that which displeases him. I encourage you to be listening, and even writing down things He reveals that honor or dishonor him.

Let us set ourselves up to be honored!

To think, our destiny is actually put in our hands! We can, by our honoring the Son and the Father, determine how God will respond to us!

Will we believe this ?

That God will Honor Us?

 

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Written by Beth Ann Smith, August 5, 2017

Please check out the Archived Articles tab at the top menu for many more devotional articles, and pick any title of interest!

 

 

Learning What NOT To Do as a Nation Under God

Nation under God?

 

The USA has been responding to God as the nation of ancient Israel did, right before their Enemies were made to Rule Over Them. God has not changed, and has given to us an incredible warning passage, Psalm 106, that holds key observations and similarities between our nations. It reveals their actions and his responses, so we can literally learn from ISRAEL, what NOT to do.

The first verse assures us that God’s mercy is always and forever available to us, for He is a Good God. Oh how wonderful it would be, if we would each respond as God desires us to, so we can collectively keep ourselves as a Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.  Clearly we need to turn toward Him to stay in our blessed state of existence, for justice and righteousness are the foundation of his throne. There is no liberty or justice apart from God. It is a deadly lie of the modern world that liberty is “apart from” submission to our Creator and King. He is our supreme authority at all times, and His Word reveals His Will.

HERE IS MY OUTLINE OF THE CHAPTER – PSALM 106

Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord, for He is Good…for His Mercy endures forever!

  1. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can declare all his praise?
  1. Blessed are those who keep justice and he who does righteousness at all times!

It is interesting that a prayer begins the chapter, as the nation’s sins are then acknowledged, for future generations to see, and to learn from. We can learn from their mistakes, from seeing God’s responses, and how godly men can indeed “intervene” when sin is standing in the way of God’s merciful nature and turning him toward wrath. Clearly, as scripture says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!”

The remarkable prayer that begins the chapter:

“Remember me Lord with the favor you have toward your people…

visit me with your salvation…

that I may see the benefit of your chosen ones…

that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation…

that I may glory with your inheritance.”

Now let’s observe what the people did against God….that we may learn… and turn:

  • sinned with our fathers
  • have committed iniquity
  • have done wickedly
  • did not understand your wonders
  • did not remember the multitude of your mercies
  • instead… rebelled against God
  • soon forgot his works
  • did not wait for his counsel
  • lusted exceedingly in the wilderness
  • tested God in the desert.
    • And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.
  • envied leadership and spoke against their spiritual authorities, Moses and Aaron.
    • The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan and Abiram, and fire burned up the wicked.
  • exchanged their glory (God), for an image of an ox that eats grass
  • forgot God and his works and awesome things done
    • Therefore He said that He would destroy them.
      • But Moses stood in the breach, interceded, and turned away his wrath
  • despised the “pleasant” land
  • complained in their tents
  • did not heed the voice of the Lord
    • Therefore He raised his hand in an oath to overthrow them in the wilderness.
  • joined themselves to Baal, and ate sacrifices made to the dead
  • provoked him to anger with their deeds
    • Therefore a plague broke out
      • And Phineas stood up and intervened in the plague was stopped
      • The plague was stopped and that intervention was accounted to him for righteousness.
  •  angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them..
  • they rebelled against His Spirit so that he, Moses, spoke rashly with his lips. (leaders are held accountable by God as they lead; he wasn’t allowed into the promised land, that he led them to)
  • did not destroy the peoples, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them.
  • mingled with the Gentiles (those who did not know or follow Jehovah)
  • learned their works and served their idols, which became a snare to them.
  • sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons..shed their blood to idols of Canaan, polluted the land with blood.
  • were defiled by their own works.
  • played the harlot by their own deeds.
    • Therefore the wrath of the Lord was kindled against his people, so that he abhored his own inheritance.
    • He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles and those who hated them ruled over them.
    • Their enemies also oppressed them and they were brought into subjection under their hand.
  • Many times he delivered them, but they rebelled in their counsel and were brought low for their iniquity.
    • Nevertheless, he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry, and for their sake he remembered his covenant and relented according to the multitude of his mercies.
    • He also made them to be pitied by all those who carried them away captive.

The Chapter ends with another remarkable prayer:

Save us, oh Lord our God… and gather us from among the Gentiles… to give thanks to your holy name… and to triumph in your praise! 

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!

And let all the people say, Amen.

Praise the Lord!

—–

NOW… Why is all this shared? Because I have GOOD NEWS and I have BAD NEWS:

The GOOD NEWS is...Jesus took God’s wrath upon himself, so if you repent as an individual of any of these sins listed in Psalm 106, and believe Jesus took away God’s wrath toward you, you can rest at ease and pray for the nation to turn toward God too. Even in this chapter we see clearly it is God’s desire to extend Mercy over Judgment.

Wrath

 

 

 

 

 

YET, THE BAD NEWS is.…He who does not Believe the Son shall not see life but the Wrath of God abides on him.  And the wrath of God IS revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. God has indeed made The Truth evident to mankind of how He looks upon ungodliness (evil behavior) and unrighteousness (believing we are good and righteous in our own right or that there is another way to reconcile with God.) Take a look at the detail of these verses in the pictures:

Life or Wrath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrath_revealedsm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends, Christ is the GOOD NEWS amidst THE BAD NEWS. Always was and always will be THE ANSWER for an individual’s sin problem!

So…What About The Nation ?  The USA? and it’s sins collectively???

We have been met with great mercies, yet the Lord is calling for individuals to come to Him, and as he “collectively sees” hearts after Him, he can hold back wrath. If, however, we are as Israel, and continue in our rebellious ways, collectively as a Nation, we can expect nothing else but God’s Wrath to be extended upon the USA. We have indeed committed the same sins as Israel, his chosen people did. They started out blessed and delivered, as the USA has… but they were brought into captivity and judgment. What will be Our Fate as a country? If we are the same toward GOD, as Israel was in days of old, then we know we will be taken captive by our enemies.

Can YOU make a difference? Yes, of course!!!

Come to Jesus and be reconciled to God! Repent of sin and receive sweet cleansing and reconciliation to God through Christ.  In Christ is everything you need! Ever!  Be saved. Be water baptized to identify with Him, and ask Him to baptize you with His Spirit to receive power to go through the end times now upon us, and to be his witness! His Word will be a lamp to your path, and his hands will take a hold of yours and lead you…as his Spirit comes to dwell within you. Trust and obey Him. As you align yourself to Him, you will receive such a sweet abiding presence of His Spirit within you, and will be just fine, no matter what the future holds.

Only God knows whether we have, as a Nation, tipped the scales toward his wrath… so Today, If you Hear His Voice, Harden not your heart.  Your being saved as “an individual” whether you live or die, is what is important right now. Cry out to Jesus, and God will be be reconciled to you through Jesus’ blood. He is The Way! And YOU become the righteousness of God in Christ, and He will no longer see your unrighteousness, but His Son’s Righteousness in you.

Amen. Truly the Good News for a nation and an individual is Christ!! For the wrath of God was turned away, as the love of God gave us Christ, who took the wages of sin upon Himself, that those WHO BELIEVE IN HIM MIGHT BE SAVED!

USA – NOW is the Time to Make OUR Choice

Which Choice Will You Make?Years ago the Lord spoke the words to me: “Ask not, is my agenda God’s? Ask, rather, Is God’s agenda mine.”

The Lord also highlighted the scripture, Isaiah 50:10-11, Who is among you that fears the Lord?  that obeys the voice of his servant? (Jesus) that walks in darkness and has no light ? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God! Behold, all of you who Kindle a Fire and encircle yourself with Firebrands, walk in the light of your fire,  and among the brands you have set ablaze. This “you” will have from my hand: YOU will lie down IN TORMENT.”  Meaning we’d better pause to think and not “react” concerning any of the complex decisions to be made for ourselves and our country, without consulting the Lord God and really “knowing” what we are doing or about to do.

And I was also very aware of this verse of Isaiah 48: 22, “There is no peace for the wicked” says the Lord.

“So anyway this morning the Lord melted these verses together in my heart, and then He began to speak to me of individuals and nations in light of the current world scene. I am simply sharing what I feel the Holy Spirit shared with me, in my OWN words, and not that of someone else, except God’s, through scripture. After all I am to be “a witness”. 

Some confusion comes to all of us, throughout the world, leaders and ordinary folk alike, for each nation we speak of has both good and evil within it, for there are good and evil people within it. Not all the people of France are good and not all are evil… not all the people of Syria are good and not all are evil, and not all the people in the US are good and not all are evil. Same is true of each and every nation, including Israel.

It is when a nation collectively, as a whole, represents their GOD, that then “the distinction” of the NATION itself is declared to The World.

The USA, in the past, was always represented as a righteous God-fearing nation, swift to punish evil, and swift to provide aid to the oppressed, etc. In recent years other nations have come to look at us as away from God and reprobate in morals and values, and not aligning ourselves with the God of our founding fathers of the USA… i.e. God and Jesus and Holy Spirit with the bible and constitution as our guidebooks. This is the same God who has declared Israel as His Chosen People, the God is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the founders of The Faith. Our main leadership doesn’t appear to be representing it’s people… or do they? Are we turning toward God or are we turning away from God, collectively as a nation? At the present time, I think only God himself, who sees the heart of each one in the USA, knows the answer to this question presenting itself. It is only as we make the choice and declare our allegiance through word and actions that we collectively begin to see WHO we are as a nation. This is what is happening now, and it is not to be feared. We have been paralyzed in indecision as a country for too long.

What happens when we go after evil as a nation, is that the whole nation is affected…both for good or bad. Innocent are killed while doing nothing, and innocent are killed by doing something! Either way! and that is what brings complication! Man cannot sort out the good and evil individuals…only God can! When we see them as evil or good we can determine them by their fruits, so an evil man will “become visible eventually”. The warning is, that evil men may not display the evil immediately…but eventually they will.  We’re talking the individual with his evil heart…a heart that is set against the one true God and disobedient to His Words.  Evil men are within the USA, just as they are in Syria.

God himself declares in Isaiah 45:22-25  “TURN TO ME, AND BE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. FOR I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER. I have sworn by myself, the Word has gone forth from my mouth and in righteousness, and will not turn back, that to me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. THEY will say of me, “Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.” They will come to him. And all who were angry at him will be put to shame. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory.

These things we know for a fact from the Word of God, and this is not “opinion”:

  1. God has sworn to Keep Israel. And “all the offspring of Israel” will be justified and will glory according to the verse above. SO, to make God’s agenda ours as a nation, we the United States must side with Israel and its allies. We must remain allies with Israel against Israel’s enemies.
  • Isaiah 45:17 gives just one glimpse of this well-defined promise of God: “Israel has been saved by the Lord. With an EVERLASTING salvation. You will not be put to shame or humiliation TO ALL ETERNITY.” This means, if we want to stay in God’s will we will stay on God’s side! It’s quite that simple. Israel’s enemies as nations are not to be our “friends” as nations. So to not bring in Syrian refugees is to not welcome enemies of Israel. These enemies will eventually turn into our enemies, from within, if they oppose, as Muslims do, the people of Israel.
  1. God invites the nations to come to him, BUT IF they choose to serve a different God, than the one true God, they have made their choice. They have chosen collectively to BE Muslim and Islam countries, or Pagan, or Hindu or Buddhist countries. And USA has a choice to make too! Will we serve the ONE TRUE GOD and be preserved, or turn into a nation that serves only itself and pleasures of sin and many different gods. Our choice, as a nation, will indeed, matter, in how God protects us as a nation. We need to be praying, sharing our faith, standing up for righteousness, and asking for revival of our individual hearts and that for us as a nation.
  1. So what about the INDIVIDUALS? The ones Jesus died for, to give His Righteousness and Love to? Each one in every country is given free will to choose to turn to the one true God and His Christ…Jesus. No one will be turned away from the gift of salvation if they turn to Christ…The LOVER of their soul, not the TAKER of their soul. Each one, in each country. None of us is righteous in ourselves. We have all sinned and fall short. But Jesus is The Way, the Truth, and The Light, and no man comes into God but through Him. So this means then, that two things could happen:
  • If the individuals of a nation, including the USA, turn toward God…If the numbers do, as in a revival…they can overcome their enemies within their own nation, through Christ. In other words, if enough Syrians accepted Christ, the good ones, the refugees we want to stand up for, then God would help them rise up against the evil and God would deliver them within their own countries from those that displaced them. Syrians rising against Syrians in the name of Jesus instead of the name of Allah and Mohammad. Right now, they are just destroying each other for they are all in the name of Allah, a false destructive god, whose ideology corrupts the hearts of men, and destroys its women and children.  History has revealed this truth, though The Light must expose the darkness of Islam, to expose it to its deceived followers. Jesus is called The Light. He has revealed himself to all who seek Him or Truth, for he is The truth.
  • And the USA, collectively, has a choice to make too! Will we serve God or turn into a nation that serves only itself and pleasures of sin and many different gods, including pride in ourselves as a country even without God.  We have our own civil war going on, even amongst our leaders. Let’s listen to those who are trying to turn this nation back to God! This calls for serious prayer and involvement on the part of the Saints. Our choice, as a nation, will indeed, matter, on individuals’ choices…in how God protects us as a nation. We need to be praying, sharing our faith, standing up for righteousness, and asking for revival of our individual hearts and that for us as a nation.
  • Even Israel, to know the salvation of the God who calls them His People, must come to recognize THEIR MESSIAH, has already come, and is Christ Jesus the Lord. He, when recognized by Him, will rise up with zeal and take over as Lord of Hosts. He is waiting on His own People to leave behind their rituals and traditions and to recognize who Jesus really is. He came to individuals, who make up nations, and so GOD THE FATHER is patiently waiting for mankind to CHOOSE CHRIST, the Lamb of God, who was slain, to remove sin, and to destroy the works of Satan.

Psalms 108 :12-13 says “Oh, give us help against the adversary, for deliverance BY MAN is in vain!  THROUGH GOD we will do valiantly, and it is HE who shall TREAD DOWN our adversaries.”

This verse is applicable to nations and individuals both.

Christmas is coming. Christ was born. Simeon, declared as he held and beheld the baby Jesus, who is The Christ : “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples. A LIGHT of revelation to the Gentiles and the GLORY OF your people Israel.”

Christ showed us all the will of his Father was to bring forth life, and that more abundant.. To heal and make whole. And He gave himself FOR MANKIND, the whole world, no respecter of persons. Love dictates what God does, as it was demonstrated in what Christ did… He was His exact representation. But evil men destroyed Christ and Satan thought he won, BUT HE DID NOT WIN! Christ destroyed death, and raised from the dead, and gives LIFE and will one day raise from the dead all those who serve God through Him. The scripture says in I John 3:8, “He who commits sin is from Satan, because Satan is a sinner from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this reason: To destroy the works of Satan.”

The declaration by angels as Christ came?  “Glory to God in the highest ! and On earth, PEACE, and GOOD WILL toward  men!”  

Isaiah 9:7 declares: “7 Of the increase of His government and peace THERE SHALL BE NO END, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth EVEN FOR EVER. The ZEAL  of the LORD OF HOSTS will perform this. “

CHOOSE YOU …THIS DAY…WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

Joshua 24:14-15 says: 14 “NOW therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

For those “on the fence” about the need to make a choice, I want to share Malachi 3:16-18:

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,  and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for those who fear the Lord and who is esteem his name. “They will be mine” says the Lord of hosts “on the day that I prepare my own possession. AND I will spare them as a man spears his own son who serves him, so you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”

I, for the record, STAND WITH the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…the GREAT DELIVERER, and JESUS CHRIST…the GREAT SAVIOR…and listen to the HOLY SPIRIT, the GREAT COMFORTER. Ours is a “relationship” with a God who GAVE and didn’t take. He even GAVE his own son while we were YET SINNERS. He is long-suffering and patient with mankind, not willing that any should perish.

Who will YOU stand with?

Individuals can no longer “stand ON the fence”… we each MUST CHOOSE.

One must ask his or her self , Who IS  “MY” God?

If I choose Christ, I cannot side with the “other god.” I cannot serve God and mammon… I cannot serve God and Islam… I cannot serve God and Satan… I cannot serve God and Evil.

For He declares, “THERE IS NO OTHER”.

God himself declares in Isaiah 45:22-25  “TURN TO ME, AND BE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. FOR I AM GOD, AND THERE IS NO OTHER. I have sworn by myself, the Word has gone forth from my mouth and in righteousness, and will not turn back, that to me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. THEY will say of me, “Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.” They will come to him. And all who were angry at him will be put to shame. In the LORD all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory.”

Seems to me, one key is illuminated now, isn’t it?

Which Choice Will You Make?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shared by Beth Ann Smith, 11-19-2015, just a middle-aged ordinary woman, who seeks truth and loves and worships her God, and has no agenda, but to be obedient and faithful TO CHRIST the Lord.  

For more spiritual discipleship, check out her archived articles in the tab above, or her discipleship music and music which imparts peace at http://bethannsmith.com

PLUG IN …for it’s IN and THROUGH Christ IN You

 

A Believer’s Foundation for Power is Love.

PLUG IN to the revelation of Jesus’ love for you. We must work FROM God’s love, not FOR God’s Love.  John, the disciple of Jesus, is an example. He loved Jesus, because Jesus first loved him, and he had realized this.  We, today, are also told in I John 4:19 that “…we love Him, because He first loved us.” This…John’s personal revelation of Jesus’s love FOR him, as a friend closer than a brother, caused John to be the ONLY disciple who was able to go to the cross with Christ. He had the love within him to “involve himself” in that which concerned Jesus. Why was he there? Because he loved Jesus! The bond between them was LOVE, not duty, servitude, or expectation. Christ knew that John’s same love toward him would go outward toward others, and his mother was considered one of those others.  Christ, in fact, in turn, entrusted his own mother to John. John 19:26 says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  Interesting to note, that John is the one who is writing this narrative, so truly he had revelation that he was loved BY JESUS. This is why he LOVED Jesus. In John 13:34 Jesus, in fact, gives the command to all his followers: “…that you love one another, AS I have loved you, that you may also love one another.”  In looking at this verse another time, I realize he could have just said, love one another as I have loved you. But notice, added to this are the words, “that you may”.  The language of empowering. Then I perceived that this is indeed the secret of our “ability” TO Love. This ability to love outwardly comes from an awareness and experience of Jesus’s love for us individually first. He who knows me best, loves me… so I can then risk loving others, no matter what the cost. Do you think John thought of the risks associated with him being at the cross with Jesus? OR… Do you think he thought of Jesus’s need to have his friend’s support during his time of pain and suffering? I believe he saw both, but the latter, his desire to be there FOR Jesus, caused him to die to self-preservation. He wanted to LOVE Jesus back… Not only receive that which he needed FROM Christ. I believe this is the same motivation that will reside in martyrs during these end times. We will stand up WITH Christ! We will become desirous to be in defense of Christ’s honor, and fellowship in His sufferings, for we LOVE Him and believe in all He lived for. We understand that it is His Life which gives us eternal life, so we will not Deny Him.

I think of even small ways we may show our love for Christ. For instance, when I’ve heard a person swearing by using the Lords name in vain. It bothers me, not because I’m judging that person for using bad language. No! …it bothers me because I love Jesus so much!  I hate hearing His Name so dishonored. It’s a love FOR Jesus that activates my righteous indignation. Yet it’s also my love FOR Jesus, and knowing Jesus’ love FOR that person, that keeps me from losing my cool and being unkind to that one who speaks his name in vain ignorantly. Love for Jesus is demonstrated in both reactions…the internal and the external. My love for Jesus may cause me to be silent, or sometimes cause me to kindly say to that person: “Could you refrain from using Jesus’ name that way, for I love Him dearly. He is so worthy of us all giving honor toward His Name.”  When I’ve spoken that lovingly and respectfully to coworkers in the workplace, my coworkers in turn respected my love for the Lord, and did not speak his name in vain…at least in front of me. Love went full circle. They realized I wasn’t judging them, but I was LOVING Jesus.

LOVE is the foundation for all God and Christ did, and continue to do in our lives

Laying his life down and enduring the CROSS was Jesus’s “demonstration” of his love for you and me… and God’s demonstration of love was to give His only son for us all. So too, our love for God and Christ comes from the true revelation of the Cross. Thus making the cross the centrality of Christianity. There is no being a Christian without the cross. The blood spilt by Jesus was necessary to buy us back from the Kingdom of Darkness and place us into the Kingdom of Light…an act of pure love and great grace. Once IN the Kingdom of Light through acceptance of Christ into our lives, we abide there in the intimacy of relationship…the relationship of love, which motivates our lifestyle and responses and focuses in life. We experience LOVE everyday as the Lord answers our prayers, gives us knowledge of Himself, and fills our lives with blessings and goodness.

A Believer’s Knowledge of God and Christ Activates Faith and Power

Jesus REVEALS God’s “good” nature. Col 1:15 states that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”. He is “the radiance of the God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature”. Hebrews 1:3. Jesus showed us all that God wants to heal us, not afflict us. Jesus’s main ministry of love was to heal people and to deliver people, destroying the works of the enemy in operation. If God has the ability to create us, Jesus revealed He also delights to recreate…or to make us whole. A man BORN blind was healed and his sight restored. Why? To bring glory to God. So why didn’t God just make him with good eyes to start with, we question. And I wonder…Was the demonstration to show us that Jesus can change, and re-create, for he is God too, that which God has already formed? He who was born blind could now see. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. A storm was allowed by God, the disciples becoming fearful, but Jesus could command and calm the storm. He could change what God did already. Those born a certain way could be reborn? physically and spiritually? People could be made whole if they call on the Name of Jesus? This is the mighty power of our Jesus, a power given to him by His Father, God. Do we realize Christ is not the suffering man on the cross still, but that he is ALIVE, and intercedes at Father’s right hand for you and I, for he has been in bodily form and knows man’s weaknesses and sufferings?… thus bringing change to what God may have already allowed to take place in our lives? We believers have the love and discipline of a Father AND the love and the grace of a brother? And we must not forget the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, and the one who dwells WITHIN the believer. He takes what is of the Father and the Son and gives that TO US. Without HIM there would be no power or ability to be Christians. The Godhead operates in complete ONEness…in agreement…in unity…yet are distinct in their operation. The Son surrenders to God the Father, and we surrender to the Son, and the Father exalts the Son, and the Son exalts us. And the Holy Spirit empowers all this operation and plan, and He is himself God!

We, as believers, must allow the Spirit of Christ, within us, to operate… Then we ARE empowered…and the Kingdom of God comes within and advances outward.  The Holy Spirit is all about the principle of “in and through Christ.”  Believers who focus on their own ability or inability will always fall short of a supernatural lifestyle. It’s not about us… it’s about Him, Christ in and through us, via The Spirit…referred to as the Spirit of God… the Spirit of Christ. We must be baptized in the Spirit… in other words, totally surrendered and immersed in His power, realizing he is a person, and God himself, dwelling within our spirit. He is Spirit, and speaks to our individual spirit, thus making the intimacy of relationship within possible.  We must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. We ask for Him. We surrender to Him. He takes what is of God and Christ and reveals it unto us in REALTIME. It is not history.. it is in the present. It is a relationship taking place on the inside and walked out on the outside. Yet the Spirit doesn’t speak of himself, he speaks as Christ. Christ is alive in us through His Spirit…the HOLY Spirit. This is how we distinguish him from other spirits. He IS holy. He will speak in alignment with the Word of God. He will never contradict Christ, for he is Christ’s spirit. Why did Jesus have to ascend into heaven before his Spirit could come to man? Because a man’s spirit resides in his body until he has died. Jesus’ spirit resided in him when he walked the earth. Now his spirit can live in us. Jesus had to become fully spirit to then have us, who are IN HIM, to be ONE WITH HIM in spirit. Believers we are spirit, and we worship HIM, our Lord, in spirit and in truth. The reason we lose sight of problems when we are truly worshipping, is that we become as one in spirit with Christ. Our flesh gets out of the way. And God inhabits the praises of his people. It is truly glorious. The Spirit of God takes the word of God and gives it meaning and interpretation. Just as lovers exchanging a love letter; …it’s the man and woman involved who understand the language of their letter…with its nuances and innuendo…not a stranger reading it.  A particular sentence could mean many things, but because one person loves the other person and knows their heart when they say the sentence, they will have the true meaning of what is meant. So too, it is this way with the Spirit interpreting the word of God for Christ’s lovers.

PLUG IN

Now, very important, we ourselves must experience relationship with the Godhead, to be used to bless others, do good deeds, heal and deliver, and do the works of the Kingdom.  Jesus must be abided in, and He in us, to be walking the walk and talking the talk.

  • It has nothing to do with my works, it has everything to do with HIS Work through me.
  • If I focus on my ability or inability, nothing will take place. I will fall short, because without Him I can do nothing.
  • I participate with Jesus and he gives me the honor and privilege of working WITH Him.
  • My job is to believe that God is really good at his job! This gives faith. We all have been given a measure of faith.
  • I must PLUG IN. As a branch adheres to a vine…nothing in itself giving it life, or power, or ability to produce fruit. Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever lives in me, and I in him, bears much fruit… however apart from me (cut off from vital union with me) you can do nothing.” (I John 15:5) 
  • The Lord showed me personally today that a more modern way to think of this is to think of ourselves, as believers, as a USB plug-in, for most of us know how those work. Like a USB plug-in, we have no power in ourselves, yet put into a power source, it is usb driveable to receive from its source, and transmit that power, or information, to another. Interesting about a USB drive… it can plug into all that’s inside the computer and have full access to it. That vital information can then be copied down into the drive, and then that USB plugged in elsewhere to convey that information. (Perhaps this is what my article is doing for you…taking what I have received, by plugging in, and now conveying it to you! ) I have a fan platform that my usblaptop sits upon. It is run by USB plug alone.  When plugged in, the fan runs…but only if the computer is on, for its my source of the power. If it doesn’t stay plugged in, it will not run, for there is no other power available for that fan to run on.
  • Do I need power myself, or to give to others?… as with the USB plug?
  • Or do I need Wisdom and Revelation for myself, or to give to others?…as the USB drive?
  • Which USB plug should I activate?…and for what purpose?
  • May we realize we have BOTH available to us as believers. We can choose to receive. We can choose to give out.
  • In fact, we even have USB charging stations now, don’t we? Where we can power up more than one of us USBs at a time… Maybe this is what “fellowship” and “church” is all about.

I hope you can see with your mind’s eye what I am trying to share. It is the principle of IN and THROUGH Christ. We must be IN Christ so that he may work through us. That which he activates in us then is able to be activated toward others. Let me just share a quick little writing that I did as I was meditating on this:

  • Jesus’s peace IN me, allows his peace to be given out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus joy IN me, enables his joy to shine out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s character IN me, allows his nature to flow out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s love IN me, allows his love to work THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s healing in me, allows his healing to flow through me, that others may be healed.
  • Jesus’s faith activated in me, allows his faith to flow out through me to perform miracles.

In other words I must ALLOW his work IN me….so that He can work outward, through me, toward others.

It starts with me, myself, plugging in. Ideally, I will ABIDE in Him…not unplugging and then plugging in, etc… But remaining in him.

If I unplug to plug in to others, as a USB would do, it is temporary, and then I must be careful to plug back in, so I can receive power or wisdom myself. If we keep plugged in, however, we can keep the power flowing onward.

Now for a final spiritual picture…using technology as an analogy…becoming more like a Bluetooth than a USB! (*this will make little sense unless you’ve read this article up to this point)

bluetoothnetwork

I believe this should be the goal of every believer: our reaching maturity in Christ…i.e. we stay linked up and plugged in, all the time!  Let me explain. For those who may or may not know…a Bluetooth is a device that is paired to another device. The two become as one. They access the same controls and do the same things. It’s direct. It’s real time. For example, my cell phone here at the house, is paired to my home phone system via Bluetooth, enabling me to get cell calls throughout the house, from where various phone handsets ARE PLUGGED IN.  So, with a louder ring, I can hear the incoming call and not miss a call, and so that I can grab a handset in various parts of the house too, so that I don’t miss a call. All phones are plugged in and paired up.  Well friends… if we are paired to God and Christ via the Holy Spirit ….at all times abiding…we are become as a Bluetooth device.  Our listening to God and our reaching out to others will be at the same exact time…real time.  We don’t have to wait to act. We don’t have to pray about the will of God for days…we will instantly know His mind and heart on a matter. We will hear His Voice and know his Will right here and now…linking people together in purpose…and in power.  We aren’t plugged in sometimes and unplugged at other times, as with a USB. Modern day has given us this “picture parallel” of Jesus’s prayer of John 17…”that they may be one, just as we are one… I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity… so that the world may know that you sent me…and loved them even as you have loved me.”  

My dream is to have us all mature, communicating as being linked Bluetooth devices… paired to the Lord.. AND to one another, that indeed WE may be ONE. Never a missed opportunity, never missing the voice of God trying to get in touch with us.  Our intention and aspiration, so that the world will see Christ Jesus in operation, giving us power and wisdom and authority in His Name …and that He would be given the glory due him as such an awesome Lord and Savior!  Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory…the mystery hidden until now!  And that all would see God, as all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, and as Love… His power holding us all together in his wonderful and amazing purpose and plan: the plan of redemption and grace, and restored fellowship with our Creator!

SO, to summarize in one sentence:

Let is all be alert…and allow Christ to operate IN and THROUGH us!  That Jesus’s own prayer of John 17 may be answered!

It takes us, in cooperation with The Holy Spirit, to make this answer come about, staying PLUGGED IN to Christ! That He can do His Works THROUGH us….

IN and THROUGH !

Written by Beth Ann Smith, October 31, 2015 (Colossians 1:25-29) http://www.theimageofchrist.com

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Your Mindset: I Am Empowered, or “I AM” Empowered ?

We who are believers have already been taught the world’s philosophy to believe “I am empowered”….”Nothing is beyond me if I work hard enough”…. “I can be anything and anyone  I want to be”…. “With a proper education I can go far”… “If I make right choices all will be well”, etc.  And on it goes…the idea that we each empower ourselves. We say within, “I am empowered”. We see quotes such as, “I am the master of my fate, the captain of my destiny.”

All sounds good, yet, in reality, along life’s way, we realize that this just really isn’t so. We may not get this or that job or promotion. We may not be good enough to make that team. We may not have the money to go to that special school. We may not have the eye of that man or woman we are attracted to, etc.  Soon, our own weaknesses are known, and felt, and it grieves our spirits. We stop trying, we grow discouraged, etc.

The whole idea and philosophy fed us: that WE are Empowered…sets each one of us up “for a fall”. And, I see this now that I am 55, but wish I knew it when I was young. It would have saved me a great deal of torment over my own failures and inadequacies, my own disappointments, my own missed goals, and my disillusionment.

You see, it is the whole “I” focus, that is out of whack. “I wanna do this”…”I can do that” …”If I just make the right choices I can reach my goals” etc.

And even the opposite, is worse and more painful… When I say, “I can’t do that” or  “I could never obtain that!” Again, “I” is the focus…the vantage point…and it is NOT where true empowerment comes from.  I am not the source of any empowerment and neither are you. It’s not about “I”, or me, me, me… We do not shape our own fates or direct our own destinies. That is GOD’s part of our existence. And His part is also to empower us… to enable his perfect will for our lives to BE POSSIBLE to be lived out.

The word EMPOWER has two meanings:

  1. give (someone) the authority or power to do something.
  2. make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

So now for the truth: If we all come to realize, as Believers in Christ, that we are created and designed to be “I Am” empowered…THEN is when the limits can come off. We are empowered to be fruitful. We are empowered to resist temptation. We are empowered to have fresh new beginnings. We are empowered to do God’s will, even though it looks hard to live a godly life. We are empowered to tell others of Jesus. We are empowered to do well at the work of our hands, as we center ourselves in His Will.

As believers, we are empowered by the great I AM...we do not empower ourselves.

As believers, we are empowered by the great I AM…we do not empower ourselves.

You see, when Moses asked God who he was, God said, “I Am that I Am” …. and to Abraham he said face to face, “I am the Lord”.

When Jesus walked the earth as God in the flesh, he revealed himself  by saying, I AM…many times…

Let’s look at a few:

I am the bread of life” (John 6:35,48,51)

I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)

I am the door of the sheep”(John 10:7,9)

I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11,14)

I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25)

I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)

I am the true vine” (John 15:1,5)

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58  (Note: Jesus claimed he was Deity by saying this, and that he existed before Abraham was even born, and before he was born in the flesh.)

“If you believe not that I AM, ye shall die in your sins” John 8:24

I AM he that liveth, and was dead, and behold I AM alive forevermore, Amen; and I have the keys of hell and of death.” Rev 1:18

Revelation repeats over and over, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, first and the last…”

Whatever our need is, the Lord can say ” I AM that “…

Do I need peace? Jesus says, I AM your peace. God said his name was Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace. You are empowered to walk in peace!

Do you need direction? Jesus says, I AM the good shepherd. God said, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with mine eye.” You are empowered to know God’s direction step by step.

So, now that you have taken a glimpse of some of these I AM statements of scripture, perhaps you will realize to focus ON HIM and being empowered BY HIM, is where true empowerment lies.  He is God! God has no limits! Whereas you and I do!  Why would we want to try to empower ourselves, when Jesus is for us, not against us?

Galations 6:3 says, “For if ANYONE thinks HE IS SOMETHING… when he is NOTHING…he DECEIVES himself.”     You see,  Jesus himself said he was dependent on the Father (i.e. empowered by Father God), and so too, we ourselves are dependent on the Son. (i.e. we are empowered by Jesus Christ.)

Jesus himself said in John 5:30,  I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”   So too, it is the same way for us. Without Christ, we can do nothing, and we are not to seek not our own will, just as Christ did not seek his own. We are to follow Christ as Christ followed Father God. 

YES, WITH THE LORD, and not on our own, WE ARE EMPOWERED!

Phil 4:13 is perhaps scriptures most prominent verse on Christ’s empowering us. This is what it says: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

And this is also a favorite of mine: Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Walking with the mindful awareness that God in Christ is abiding with you, you are EMPOWERED by the great I AM.

It is a matter now, of that mindful awareness that it is not that “I am empowered” but the fact that you and I, who are children of God through Christ, are “I AM” empowered.

Focus on His Ability not yours… and exchange your weakness for HIS STRENGTH.

Until you and I do this, we will be paralyzed to do what God asks us to do.

WE ARE  “I AM” EMPOWERED.

He is our sustenance (bread).

He is our shepherd (guide).

He is our refuge and shield (protection).

He is our vine (bears the fruit and is our source of supply).

He is our redeemer (saves us through faith, not we ourselves through works).

He holds eternity in his hands. And all that goes on between now and then is under his sovereign control.

He will empower you to DO HIS WILL… so draw into the reality that you ARE EMPOWERED by the great I AM.

Keep the distinction in your mind, and keep an awareness at all times, that it is HE who empowers YOU, and not you yourself.

AND BE EXPECTING THEN, GREAT THINGS IN STORE; For He indeed does EMPOWER his saints to do all HIS WILL.

Last Days

The return of Jesus the Christ is so imminent that it has already begun.  Just as Enoch walked with God and one day was no more, so shall the beginning of the catching away of the Body of Christ be.  The continuing escalation of the manifestation of the presence of Jesus in fellowship with the unity of His Church, is likened to the relationship between God and Enoch prior to the first rapture.  It will continue to grow in power and might until the Church is caught up with Him in the heavens.rapture

It truly is the season where the former and latter rains will be given, and a supernatural harvest will take place.  The relationship between the Father and each believer, who will be led by His Spirit, will be continuous and awe-inspiring to the unbeliever, who will acknowledge them as “Children of the Most High God”.

It will be a time where the supernatural of God will become the natural way of doing throughout His Body.  The power of God to gain wealth to establish His covenant in the earth will be evident and practiced by the members of the Family of God.

The great shaking of the world system in these last days will be the world overwhelmed and overcome by the manifest glory of Jesus in the Body of Christ. (The persecution of the believers after the “Rapture” will be in response to the fear and turmoil caused by the Glorious Church exercising its authority in the Earth.  It will be the backlash of the kingdom of darkness to the glorious light which it would not accept and could not withstand.)

It is a season for each believer to totally give himself over to the Lordship of Jesus…To dedicate oneself…body, soul, and spirit… to the Master’s service.

It is the time for each believer to become as one with the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.

—————————-This is a page written by my deceased husband, David Stephens, as he wrote it in a tablet upon his death bed. I felt prompted to share it with you, as he wrote it, for I came across it today as I was scanning files. It gave hope to my own heart, so I sincerely pray that it will encourage you as it did me.  Let’s continue to look to the author and finisher of our faith! …Growing in the knowledge of God and Christ, and enjoy sweet fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Whatever you do, do not deny The Faith… because Glorious Days are head for us…His Church…and are now upon us!

– Posted August 7, 2013, by Elizabeth Norland

One Day, We the Church, The Bride of Christ, Will Be United

With Our Bridegroom: Jesus Christ, The Lord of All ! 

Are you ready?

Are you getting excited?

I AM !

bride raptured

 

*Please check out the menu tab ARCHIVED ARTICLES… for many other articles exist to encourage you in your Christian Walk. And, please click on Follow, at the right, if interested in receiving new entries in your own email inbox as new articles are posted!

THANK YOU !

This ABILITY Surpasses Any CAPABILITY

Recently the Lord revealed to my heart that the greatest ability that I have, that far surpasses any capability I might exhibit, is the ABILITY TO REPENT.  I have pondered that insight for a number of days now, and feel to write about what was shown me, believing  this article will truly change many lives. Perhaps “your” life!

Think about it with me….Read past the picture below and and I will “show you something”…to help you understand..

First, let me define what REPENT really means. To repent is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin, enough so, that a person chooses to turn away from it, and turn toward God, and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, resulting in fruit keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8-10 states that true repentance involves “fruit” or evidence to the fact. Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness).The good news is that Jesus DID shed his blood, and made atonement for ALL sin, so that we are always and forever ABLE to repent.

This ability to repent far exceeds any capability of ours, for sooner or later, each one of us sins or fails or has something they need to turn away from, knowing it does not please a Holy God. Our capability to lead a righteous life is indeed in Christ, but within our own sin nature is also the capability to do evil. Therefore, the greatest ability we have is to repent.  As with a computer, we simply press “delete” or “backspace” upon our error, erasing our error, so that we can once again enjoy advancing forward. So too, with repentance, our own sin is erased, and glorious fellowship is restored or given with our Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, whether we do repent is up to each one of us, and “when” we repent. We have totally free will in this matter. Yet God is always pursuing us, revealing to us, and desiring for us all to come to repentance.

Do we realize how glorious is this Ability? It is ALWAYS AVAILABLE to us. (That is, if we, ourselves, do not harden our hearts so many times that our desire to access our ability to repent is diminished or non-existent. )

etch-main

When my two sons were grade school age they had an Etch-A-Sketch. Have you ever had one of them yourself? Well, as I sat with them both, one of them was drawing something I was teaching them how to draw, and goofed up, getting totally exasperated with himself. So, I, in encouragement, grabbed hold of the Etch-A-Sketch and animatedly declared:  “Let’s get rid of all that!” It’s a good thing, with this, your mistakes can just be erased, so you can start afresh! “ (I showed him how to shake it up, and as he did it, we watched the silver wash away all of what he drew.)  “See, you can start all over!”  As I said these words aloud, instant revelation came to me from the Holy Spirit, and out my mouth it came: “An Etch-A-Sketch actually represents a picture of GRACE and FORGIVENESS OF SINS, sons… and the silver stuff is as the BLOOD OF CHRIST.  The display screen is as Our Life.  If our life displays or reveals an error, gross sin, mistaken path, misled alliance, failure, broken promise, abusive action, selfish tendency, etc…we need only to repent to activate the BLOOD which then ERASES all that was done outside of the will of God. We need not remain miserable and exasperated, ashamed or fretful.”

In fact, even as an Etch-A-Sketch erases a picture, so too, is grace greater than sin! When one of you hands that Etch-A-Sketch to the next person, there is no evidence of what had been written there.  It is dissolved. Invisible. Gone! So too, sin is gone!… forever erased in the sight of God. He remembers it no more.

Jesus wipes the slate clean! Then God sees the slate clean! How awesome is that!

Now, you might say, “hmm…well, sometimes, with an Etch-A-Sketch there is some residue of what was there”…and yes, this is true…. So too, you may need to go to the Lord, and receive GRACE, a few more times, to cleanse your own conscience, so that it is erased forever.  Sometimes it is a process, at our end, as the water of The Word washes away residue, as our own faith in the atonement is built up.. i.e. we embrace our own forgiveness of sin. An evidence is that we become God-conscious rather than sin-conscious when the work is complete. Sometimes, the remembrance of “what was” may be upon people around us, who then may continually remind us of our sin, to our chagrin. And sometimes a temporal consequence is resultant, even though an eternal consequence is absolved. But to REPENT is all about what is between you and God, and GOD HIMSELF SEES IT NO MORE.  So every single “present moment” can be a “new beginning” of walking with the Lord in perfect peace. Inner strength to walk midst others’ judgments and to embrace a consequence of our sin, and to go on cleansed and whole, is granted us as part of this grace of repentance. It is given to us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is with us, assuring us of our secure salvation, and letting us know whenever repentance needs to be done to clear our consciences.

The point in this simple illustration of the Etch-A-Sketch is to reveal that to REPENT is a great ABILITY that we have as Believers.  Actually, to repent is available to all. For Jesus calls Sinners to repentance. This is why He came! A person just needs to know that it is Jesus’ blood that can cleanse and grant reconciliation to God, causing a rebirth….a pure blank slate now to be written upon. However, in true repentance, this new Believer will choose to now let God use those controls, creating a masterpiece out of their shaken life.

My son discovered, that it became easier for him to draw, and he became better and better at the Etch-A-Sketch, for he was no longer intimidated by the thought of making a mistake.  He knew it could easily erase, and he could start again. This is also true of how grace and repentance work in a believers life.  The longer a person walks in Christ, the easier it is for them to be FREE of sin… and actually the need to repent and wipe the slate clean, becomes less frequent as a person becomes “perfected” in such great grace.

Luke 24:46-48 says “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

So what about good works? Or a focus on “capability”? Well, it is simply fulfilling the Lord’s command of Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit keeping with repentance”. Our “fruit” must come forth in keeping with our repentance. This is how we show God we rejoice in our forgiveness, and reveal we are His. You lied? then the fruit would be to resolve to tell the truth. You fornicated? then the fruit would be to resolve not to have sex outside of the marriage covenant. You stole? Steal no more. You grumbled and complained? Then change your attitude! You fought with someone? Say you’re sorry, forgive them, and look together for your solution in Christ.

When one truly realizes the greatest ability we have is to REPENT, and he or she exercises that ability immediately when the need arises, then this ability to WALK IN OUR GRACE gives us CAPABILITY to walk in the righteousness of Christ.  (i.e. we know we can shake that Etch-A-Sketch each step we take that is not in Christ…so our path can be righted…and fellowship restored.)

Another reason why our greatest ABILITY is to repent? … Because our sin is NEVER too much, or mistake EVER too big, for the blood not to erase, when appropriated. Christ’s capability gives us this ability.

NEVER will God not forgive true repentance. He loves the sinner and wipes away the sin.  It is a lie of Satan that God hates sinners. What He hates is Sin, and how it keeps us from Him.

Repentance is always available to anyone who will believe in GOD’S CAPABILITY to provide that forgiveness.  Yes, again I say you must be or become a “Believer in Christ” to be forgiven. It is an ability only available IN CHRIST.  It is only His Blood that cleanses away the sin.

There is one other thing that can mislead too.  Let me warn you of that. Okay?  The Word of God says, in II Corinthians 7:10, that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  Worldly sorrow lacks “repentance” and brings death. Repentance is more than just an sorrowful emotion, or a “getting caught” and wanting to avoid “a consequence”. Godly sorrow is a grief that is for God’s sake, and produces a remorse of the soul which then reverses itself and restores to life…it leads to salvation through Jesus, and a transformed life.

Let’s go back to the Etch-A-Sketch picture of grace… We had to “Let it Be Shaken.” As was true of the choice to shake that “Etch-A-Sketch” to erase what was written upon it… So too, a sin revealed requires the choice to take action on our part.  It is an act of our own free will to DO the action of repenting after coming to recognize that which needs to be repented of or erased. To refuse to do that “repenting” (as with the Etch-A-Sketch being shaken to have the silver erase the slate)… it means mistake upon mistake is built up more and more, causing us greater and greater exasperation and unhappiness in our own lives.  Yet also, here again… we see the greatest ability we, human beings in all the world, have been given! We can even erase “all that buildup!”  Once we see and recognize our sin before God… this ability remains there to access! This ability surpasses understanding! Oh, what grace! Repenting can erase it all!

But WAIT!…WARNING!!! Our free will is involved here!  If we choose not to appropriate our ability to repent once sin is revealed, it can indeed eventually become too late to have our slate wiped clean. We can go to hell and suffer permanent consequence for sin, and not just earth’s temporary consequences. For the individual Believer, when the choice is made to continually harden their heart, after knowing the joy of being In Christ, scripture warns them, in Hebrews 6:4-12 and in Hebrews 10:26-39 that this condition of hardening the heart causes them to not avail themselves of this, their greatest ability: to repent. Those believers who sin against the Holy Spirit, who is faithful to convict of sin, will instead repeatedly choose not to respond and they will indeed lose their salvation. The Amplified Version of 10:29 states that when Christ’s blood is considered common and unhallowed, that the Holy Spirit is profaned, insulted, and outraged! He has imparted the grace TO REPENT and the blood was given to cleanse! But even believers can walk away from grace. Grace requires the action to stay IN CHRIST and resting faith in what He has done by repenting when convicted by the Spirit of sin. Rest easy, if you have a conscience active right now at all, you are not “there”. No fear need be… just simply repent now. (Don’t necessarily believe this?…then continue on, and read the three verses from Revelation, near the end of this article, and you will hear what Christ Himself says about the danger some of you are in.)

It is only a “Believer”, or one who is repenting to  “become a Believer” , that exercises this GREATEST ABILITY known to man: the ability TO REPENT, and it leads to their SALVATION, in this life and in the life to come.

To repent is easy… and it may be done continually…as a lifestyle…with joy.  The Lord delivers us from our sins as we continually bring them before him in godly sorrow over them.  We experience the pain of seeing our need, but then the great joy in having sin removed.  You need not become sin-conscious or look for sin.  The Holy Spirit will do the work of revealing sin to your conscience, and the written Word of God will expose unknown or hidden sin. A prophet may speak, a sermon may be heard, an authority figure rebuke…God uses many ways to reveal things for us to repent of. Let peace be your guide. Is some sin revealed? You “respond” in repentance. Quickly receive the blood wiping it away! Rejoicing then, simply follow Christ, in that area, believing the slate is clean. There is no need for penance, which means an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for sin. The blood is sufficient to wipe your slate clean. Repentance is of the heart.  Always with Jesus, He says to the repentant one, “Neither do I condemn you… Go and sin no more.”   And worthy to note: Following true repentance, the Holy Spirit may direct you, to do some restitution toward someone you may have sinned against, that reconciliation be made to them. Repentance is toward God, and Restitution is toward one another…. a natural, chosen response to a changed heart, for within it the Love of God now flows freely.

It will bring GREAT JOY, if we understand that This ABILITY to Repent Surpasses any Capability.  We cease being “self-righteous” (ignoring our need to repent), or “heathen” (ignoring our need for God’s plan of forgiveness), or “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (ignoring the grace that is set before us). We, instead, realize the incredible ABILITY Christ purchased at the Cross by spilling his blood…the ABILITY to repent and go forward forgiven and cleansed.  Healing and deliverance, all a part of our atonement from sin, comes from our continually accessing our ABILITY to repent, due to what Christ did.

With all the talk of grace, out there in the world… I exhort, and speak the truth: GRACE still needs AN ACTION  and RESPONSE on our part: TO REPENT and TO RECEIVE. Christ’s work is finished. And salvation from sin is not of OUR Works. We must simply choose to access this GREAT ABILITY that He has offered and paid for.

In closing, I am led, by the Spirit of God, to give you, from the Word of God, an increased desire to exercise your greatest ability: TO REPENT.  I will leave you three verses from Revelation that have the instruction from Our Lord Christ Jesus TO REPENT in them. Listen carefully. Please. 

Revelation 2:5

“Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent, and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you, and remove your lamp stand from its place.”

Revelation 3:3

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what time I will come to you.”

Revelation 3:19

“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”

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Written by Elizabeth Norland, June 28, 2013

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