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Entries in Forgiveness (2)

Monday
Dec152008

The spirit is willing but the flesh got overwhelmed!

Was it only 5 days ago that 37 precious women came to Christ? Boy, it seems like a long time since last Tuesday! Did I mention I caught a cold while on my way to Kenosha? Praise be to God, He kept me from coughing or having to blow my nose while sharing the gospel but the trip home the next day was miserable. And, I crawled into my own bed that night with a 101 fever. As they say though - no rest for the weary. There was work to get caught up on, wash to be done, mail to sort and meals to cook (or pizza delivered). Do you see me headed for a pity party? Oh yes! And, let me just add that I miss my husband terribly and the housing market is all but dead. Careful, all this makes one vulnerable and easy prey.

On the night before His death, Jesus went to the garden to pray and He took the disciples with Him. He went to pray and came back to find them asleep. They couldn't even stay alert for one hour! And, I'm reminded of what Jesus said to them..."Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). But, they fell asleep again...and again.

I kind of feel like that's what happened to me this week. I fell asleep on Jesus. I couldn't stay alert for even one hour! There's nothing like falling asleep to remind you of just how weak you are in the flesh and why it is so very important it is to stay alert, keep watch and pray...or be prey! I'm not sure I will ever truly comprehend why God bothers with me. Truth is, He not only bothers with me, but He lavishes me with His grace. And, it is in His grace that I stand.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7-8(a))

Wednesday
Nov262008

Happy Thanksgiving

My heart is full this morning. I have so many reasons to thank God. As I sit here and list them in my mind, the tears just flow! I don't really understand why God would so graciously choose to save me, change me and allow me to be a part of anything He wants to do. Or, why God would leave heaven, come to earth, confine Himself to a body of flesh, live as a human and be tempted and faced with all it means to live in a body of flesh, die a horrible, painful and humiliating death in order to pay my sin debt. It's more than I can get my human mind around. Why Jesus - God in flesh - would do all that for me so that I could have forgiveness of my sins and so that I would never, ever be separated from God the Father is beyond my human comprehension. Then, He puts His Holy Spirit within me and opens the eyes of my heart so that I might understand His Word, learn great and mighty things about Him. Oh my...it's a wonder. And, He begins changing my heart and sharing His heart with me. As He does, the desires of my heart change and this absolutely blows me away.

Oh, I know this is a national holiday. And, I am very thankful to be living in the United States of America. God chose not to make me a Bedouin woman but an American woman. I have so many freedoms. I am absolutely FREE to fulfill my purpose as stated in 1 Peter 2:9-10. It says: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. As one who has received mercy, I have absolute freedom to proclaim His excellencies. At least for today. Our nation's thinking concerning God and His Word is very much different than it was on that first celebration of thanksgiving.

I am SO thankful for God's Word. The Bible contains the very words of God. Oh, this truth causes me to want to hug it and open it and breathe in the very essence of God Himself. He is the One that had them recorded and has preserved them through the ages. God created me and brought me into existence during a time when I can freely open His Word, read it in so many different translations, and have incredible study tools at my disposal that allow me to dig deep. The word "thankful" doesn't seem a big enough word to describe the emotion within me.

I am so thankful for all that God has done for me and given to me that I must stand with God and what He says in His Word. I must not only proclaim His excellencies, but I must proclaim His Word as absolute truth. If my thinking and my choices do not line up with His Word then that means my thinking and my choices line up with lies. Doesn't that makes me an enemy of God and a friend of the evil one who is the author of lies?

I am thrilled that I live in a time when it is has become possible for a black american to become President of the United States. But, I am deeply saddened that this man who identifies himself as a Christian stands and votes against absolute truth. I am further saddened that many Christians I know also stood against truth. I don't understand. What truths am I talking about? The truths that our President Elect and majority of Americans:
-Do not support the federal defense of marriage act (traditional marriage between one man and one woman).
-Support cloning
-Support cirriculum that promotes homosexuality
-Support abortion
-Do not support the protecting of lives of children when are born alive and survive a botched abortion
-Support laws enforcing businesses to favor homosexuality
-Support gay pride celebrations
-Support transporting minor girls across state lines for a secret abortion without parental knowledge
-Support partial birth abortions
-Do not support traditional marriage in states

Do you think God's heart breaks? Am I willing to allow God to break my heart with the things that break His heart? Your stand and my stand for absolute truth could be costly. But, we must remember that we are not our own - we have been bought with a price. That price cost Jesus His life and bought our freedom from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and some day from the presence of sin. Do you stand on the absolute truth of God's Word with me?