Simpler to use, better for writing
Here is the link: http://hisvoiceabovethenoise.blog.com/
Simpler to use, better for writing
Here is the link: http://hisvoiceabovethenoise.blog.com/
Christ Made the Way
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
· Before Christ there were two groups:
1. The circumcised – children of Israel a.k.a. Jews
2. The uncircumcised – everyone else
· Since I wasn’t born of Jewish blood I was separated from God, until, Christ came and bore the wrath of all sinners, both Jews and Gentiles.
· We were separated from God because of our sin with no way of working our way free of sin. But, we, both Jew and Gentile, can find hope in Christ’s salvation, the only way to God the Father.
· “You who were once far away…”
§ There was a distance between us and God
§ Not a distance a man can bridge, since it was made by sin, but, it was a distance created by man because of our sin
· But, we “have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”
§ Again, we could not close the gap, since it is our sin, one created by man.
§ Only “through the blood of Christ” we are “brought near.”
What I learned from these verses is: how much more grace I am given to receive Christ, I have no way of breaching the gap between God and I, salvation is available to all God predestines.
I am dwelling on how great the grace is that I am given in Christ, especially, that I am “brought near through the blood of Christ.” It is by God sending his son as the sacrificial Lamb that I am brought into a relationship with him. My input in this is nothing, I cannot choose God it is only God who chooses his children just as parents would have or adopt a child.
Heavenly Father, remind me of your unfailing love. Create in me a firm foundation in who I am in Christ above all things. Destroy within me any sense of pride I create because of the salvation you have given, for, it is not by any works of mine but by Christ’s blood and your grace that I am saved. I have been given hope in you and you have, in your great mercy, brought me near to you. Thank you God, for your love and great grace, destroy in me any attachment to things in this world. In Jesus name, Amen.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them,“This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
My words are useless, it is only Scripture that is true and holy and perfect and complete, and I could just post Bible verses here, but I just wanted to share what the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me in the past couple of days with the prayer, if God deems it worthy, that it may encourage you in some way.
* * Remember, Christ should be what you pursue above all things, including acceptance and sufficiency and significance and desires and lusts of the flesh.
We will never fully understand why the Lord is so gracious to us in all that he does to show his love, but one thing is for sure it is for his glory. One such gracious thing God has given us is one another, which he perfected through Christ. We are the body and bride of Christ and in his great knowledge has given us fellowship.
As a quick side note I just want to say how thankful I am for all my Christian brothers and sisters. Seeing someone walking with Jesus and as Jesus did is like a magnet which is, as my College Pastor coined from Romans 1:12, “mutually encouraging.”
The passages above in Ecclesiastes and Galatians cover the subject of fellowship and love and the purpose of brotherly love and what Christ desires in each of these, most of all to glorify God. I praise God for the grace he has given me in providing me with so many strong Christ-like men and women in my life, including, my father and mother and brothers and sister. We have been given such a great gift in the ability to live life with one another, especially knowing the one true God does this in CHRIST. The Son of God came to earth to live a perfect and sinless life, but also to fellowship with us, the sinners, and then give us his perfect life in exchange for our unrighteousness and unfaithfulness and shame and guilt and impurity, for our sin. Let me emphasize that, he did that for my sin and your sin, our sin! God, in all his awesomeness, did it this way; he did it by living life on earth for 33 years with us some 2000 years ago.
Again I love each and every one of you with a love that I am only able to have because Christ first loved us (1 John 4:19).
GOD BE THE GLORY
First off, that is a great question! I have actually thought about that before and came to the conclusion that God gave us the deductive reasoning we have to find these things out. By “these things” I mean the ability to see creation in its most minute detail in Biology/Chemistry, or discovering his great creation in Geology. The only thing that is the drawing line for me personally is whether or not it is done to the glory of God. If we are doing these things “trying to play god” than that is in its entirety idolatry and in that case sinful. One thing that finalized my decision is Colossians 1:17 which states, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” This is talking about Jesus Christ. And I read it exactly as it is stated. There are people who are bent on using science to contradict the intimate relationship that Christ wants to have with us, but I like to look at science proving God, his existence, and the actuality of Christ’s death (which is more history than science, but that is for a different place/time). I know I jumped around a lot, but I hope I gave you an understanding of “my opinion” of that topic.
I was thinking about some of the precious promises we have as children of God and the bride of Christ. One that stood out to me the most was that salvation in Christ gives us freedom from our former ways.
Ephesians 2:1-5 says:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our fleshand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
There is already separation between us and God because of our sin; this is why we need Christ. And, before we were found in Jesus we were in and of the world. There was nothing that we could do to know God; until, by God’s grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, came to earth. The gift of freedom from our former ways is that, a gift. There is no way that it can be bought, earned, or worked for. Remember, “it is by grace you have been saved.” If we could somehow earn our salvation, and by our own doing be reconciled to God; then, there would be no need for a Savior, there would be no need for Christ’s death. But, that is not the case, we need Christ, we need grace, upon grace, upon grace. I will take this even further. We could not even accept Christ as our Savior without grace. This may be a little difficult to understand, (trust me it took a while for me to grasp) but without grace we are ignorant to the need for salvation. We would not be able to understand the true meaning of salvation. Again remember, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”a There is no exception to that, hence the “all”. Let’s not dwell on this, but instead, dwell on the grace we have received. We were shown mercy whilst, “we were dead in transgressions,” God saved us from what we deserved, death, and gives us life in Christ. That is so amazing. That great truth still gives me joy. However, now that we have been redeemed by Christ it is time to put what we know to action.
1 Peter 1:13-16 says:
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
As a “new creation” b you are called to leave the “evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” This means, drop your old habits, ways, passions and instead pursue Christ. Not only that, but, be like Christ, be holy. This is not an easy task for any man to do because we are just flesh, but you are “new creation,” a child of God, and a “temple of the Holy Spirit.”c As Christ as your Savior he has given you freedom from your former ways. God has also given us tools to make pursuing holiness even easier. This is where prayer and Scripture come into play. Through prayer we exercise our complete reliance on God for provision, wisdom, forgiveness, and many more things. God speaks to us through His Word and we are able to speak to him through prayer. The even great thing is that we even have the Holy Spirit and Christ interceding for us when we do not know what to pray! Again, that is just amazing!
I don’t know about you, but, all this is really exciting to me. I am excited to dive into the other precious promises Christ has for us. The Word never comes back void, there is always something new to learn, change, and put into action. Until next time, much love!
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY
a. Romans 3:23 b. 2 Corinthians 5:17 c. 1 Corinthians 6:19
I had the wonderful opportunity to hang out with my dad, a friend of his and my two older brothers. We had a wonderful time of fellowship while playing pool, eating great food, and watching some sports. However, something did not feel right in the situation we were in, meaning, we felt uncomfortable, numb, separated from those around us. It was like we weren’t “normal” or in some way we were “different” from the rest of the people there with us. In fact that was the case, we are different, and that is because we have been changed by Christ.
Although we may look similar to those around us who do not know Christ, and even in some instances strive to be like them, the fact is we are different. Actually, we shouldn’t strive to look, act, or think like those around us, especially, those of the world. As children of God we constantly have to make decisions based on our convictions. That goes one of two ways, 1) we follow our convictions based off of scripture, or, 2) we do not follow our convictions and give into our flesh. The first route is sanctifying, righteous, and creates perseverance, the second route leads to temptation and sin. Either we are different or we are normal. Let me put it this way, we are either hot/cold, or lukewarm (see Revelation 3:15-16).
As followers of Christ we are called to be different. Not only we are called to be that way, but we are also transformed because of the Holy Spirit living inside us (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This eternal transformation does not stay internal; it also transforms who we are externally. When you accept the gift of salvation you also receive the Holy Spirit. This can be shown by the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). But, it is also a command, as I stated before, we are called to be different.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did”
- 1 John 2:6
So, do not try to conform to the world. As an adopted child of God you are a new creation (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). You do not need to reflect on, look back on, or dwell on who you were before Christ because of what he has done for you on the cross. You are no longer of the world (see John 15:19). Not only has he given you salvation from your sin, he has also relieved you of any guilt or shame, and has given you freedom from who you were before! How great is that! Find hope and joy in who you are in Christ now!
Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconcilingthe world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
- You would recognize God, in his kindness, did this to call you to himself
- Repent of your wickedness/sin (pursuing things of this world)
- Be thankful that you are a NEW CREATION
- God would reveal this to those around you (by your words, actions, life)
Scriptures used: Revelation 3:15-16, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Galatians 5:22-23, 1 John 2:6, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 15:19
What can I say…
God is doing some amazing things in my life right now. He is answering prayer, strengthening my faith, and most of all giving me grace to do what he has for me! This feels kind of weird airing this out on a blog, but I just wanted to show you guys how God is continually faithful. I am not saying everything is peachy-keen; actually it is quite the contrary, but I am completely fine with that for the first time in a while, and I think that is what makes it so amazing. Zack, a good friend of mine, and I were talking about how small we are in comparison to the spiritual realm, but also how great of a God we serve! I struggle with the mindset that I can handle my daily situations on my own strength, but that often ends up with me on my knees asking for forgiveness, courage, and wisdom.
During the conversation Zack and I got onto the topic of grace, one that we both love to talk about. We ended up agreeing that it is by grace, upon grace, upon grace that we are able to do anything for God. So, we are not only debtors to God for our salvation, but we are also in debt to him for giving us grace in every situation. The amazing thing about this is that it is all free, that’s right I said free.
In the Old Testament we can see how God was preparing the way for his Son to come into the world. He did this through the lives of those faithful to God, the people of Israel, the prophets and prophecies; we see they all point to Christ. But, they also point to God’s faithfulness. Before the foundation of the world was laid God knew and had a plan for each of us. Let’s stop here for the time being. Focus on this idea. God adopted you. Look at the definition of adopt,
“To take into one’s family through legal means and raise as one’s own child.
To take on or assume responsibility.”
I like to look at it this way, God in his faithfulness, his omnipotence, his grace, and by his will he chose you. HE CHOSE YOU! If you call yourself a follower of Christ, a saint, faithful in Christ Jesus that is exactly what he did. He took you in as his own and has assumed responsibility after seeking you so that you would seek him back. He loved you first!
I am resting in these verses today:
“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”