My Child

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My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32


Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

 

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Restore a friend that has walked away…

come-home-title-screen19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins. ~ James 5:19-20

This is SO huge on so many levels. Frist of all it’s saying that you can walk away from your salvation. This is important to know and understand, God will never stop loving us and wanting us but the notion that once you raise your hand and claim to be saved that you can never loose that salvation. God will NEVER let go of you but you can let go of God!!

Secondly when people walk away and go back into old ways, old habits etc, sometimes they do it by making the choice and sometimes they make it by being caught up in satan’s traps and really don’t even realize it. Either way it’s happening and we as brothers and sisters, as the church, as the body of Christ allow our personal feelings and anger dictate how we will treat them, pray for them and DO what we can to restore them. Most Christians say things like “they made the choice” “it’s their own fault they ……”  and we just let them go, hoping that one day they will return but even then it’s a BATTLE — trust has been broken and we “love” them with one eye open.

I will admit it’s very difficult and it’s very messy sometimes….. I have been on both sides of this fence and it’s horrible for a man or woman to feel shunned, unloved, without hope. The church needs to learn how to love unconditionally…..with all of this said it takes 2 right? But here is what I know….. “you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins”

I could write a book on this subject, it’s very hard, complex and yet it’s very simple…..YOU are the key to how it works, who you are in Christ, your love for him and your relationship with Him will always determine how you love others…. the good the bad and the ugly.

Why Am I Angry

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A couple of weeks ago at church Mike Bickle’s sister preached and I have to say it just hit me hard and right between the eyes. It’s been 2 weeks now and I can’t shake it. I want to try and explain and in doing so I have to be very transparent. The purpose of this is not about me but about what God can do and how He wants us to handle our situations. I’m doing this from memory and I hope I can do it just.

She spoke about bitterness, anger and forgiveness and how it affects us and the people around us. I know all about this (so I thought from the things I’ve been through and the experiences I’ve had in my life.

The verse used was: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of  bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” Heb. 12:14-15

Read it again — get to know this verse — check it out, 1. Fall short of the glory of God. 2. Any root of bitterness springing up 3. Causes trouble and defiles many around you. Bitterness and anger are one – Anger pops up out of nowhere at times, in everyday life, driving (ouch) at work, school, family, spouse, kids, grandchildren, at anytime over the dumbest things.

As Christians we try and have this under control, we even try to hide it or excuse it but over time it becomes who we are, it controls us. God wants to deal with this, he wants to touch it and transform us to be more Christlike, why? So that we will be that light to the world around us, rather than one that defiles those around us. We become known as hypocrites, talk one way and act out another way. So for transformation to take place we must take a good long deep look at ourselves when anger and bitterness spew out of us, or well up in us and deal with it.

So about me and how this knocked me down and out. First I want to say it is not about anyone or anything else but ME and ME only. Nobody and no situation is the “cause” for my anger. She says bitterness and anger are rooted for the most part in this: “Feeling like I didn’t get or don’t get what I deserve” and it comes in 3 ways: 1. Money 2. Honor             3. Promotion

When she said this it just dropped my jaw and opened my eyes and my heart to hear some truth and some things I needed to hear.

A few months ago we moved from California to Missouri, I initiated the move for our family and I DO NOT regret it one bit. But with that said it has been very hard on me emotionally and I have been finding myself getting angry very quickly, finding myself getting bitter over some things and situations in my life. So let me take the 3 things she gave and explain them and how it has affected me. And again it’s about ME not these things.

  1. Money –  For the last 7 years in California I worked at a job that I made really good money, for the last 3 years over 100K a year. I was able to take care of family, help people when they needed, help my children if needed and save some money. Money for the most part was not an issue for us. Then we moved here and the move cost us a lot of money, more than I ever anticipated and it pretty much wiped us out, savings totally gone, our checking account to nothing. In my head I’m thinking I have a job here doing the same thing and I’ll make it up in no time. But it didn’t work out that way. I am making a fraction of what I made in Cali, and each month we go a little more backwards. For me I’ve been blaming my employer, the way things are done, the way they price vehicles, the way this is done or that is done, and bottom line I’m NOT GETTING WHAT I DESERVE, blah blah blah — well in reality I deserve NOTHING, I have to earn what I get and what ever the situation is at work makes no difference, I can either have a good attitude and get and do the very best I can, or I can get bitter and angry because I’m not making the money I think I should make. This really opened my eyes…. what really matters here is my heart and my spirit man – I have been wrong and I have been allowing it to rule my emotions. I am now working on this and giving it to God, allowing him to touch me and heal me of bitterness.
  2. Honor –Again in my last job in California I was treated with such respect from everyone, my managers, co-workers, owner and customers. They all knew where I had come from and treated me with dignity, respect and honor. I worked very hard not to feed on this as it is part of my personality and I beleive I did a good job. I had so much interaction with my co-workers and even my customers. I had some deep interactions with the owner’s down — I did weddings, funerals, I counseled so many and I had the honor of bring some of them to Christ or renew their relationship with Him. IT was truely an amazing time with much fruit. I leave it all and move to MO, let me stress this… moving here was the right thing to do and I DO NOT regret it at all. But it is so different here, it’s been hard trying to fit in and feel accepted, I walked out angry and hurt over the months. I complained and spoke badly about some of the people. IT WAS WRONG and it did NOTHING for me or them. A little over a month ago I made a decision to pray for everyone here the ones I like and the ones I do not like including all the managers. There seems to be a shift with things. I am not doing this so I can be better in this business I am doing it because that is what I should do…it’s really not about the business, it’s about the souls of men and women. My prayer is blessings, success, financial blessings, blessing over marriages, families and friends for each person. As you can see I started becoming bitter and angry, always wanting out and looking for another job. This is the end of that now!!! I am where I am and I choose the beleive that this is where God wants me. Bottom line nobody owes me anything, I don’t deserve anything from anyone..I was wrong!!
  3. Promotion – Again my last job I was in charge of so many things, people came to me for help and most of the time I would finish each month on top and close to it. I was valued and needed, they were all so sad when I left. I come here and at work I had to start from the bottom, just another salesman on the floor trying to make a living in competition with all the others. Nothing to give and not of much value. I let that get to me so much and again it was wrong wrong wrong!!

In all of these things I was feeling like I wasn’t getting what I deserved and I allowed a ROOT of bitterness to set in… my life miserable and the people around me miserable. I do not want to live this way and I won’t, my Father is working in my heart and HE will free me from it.

I hope anyone that reads this will see the heart of each word I’ve written. I am blessed beyond measure right now and I’m so thankful for all I have.

What Should be my response to His Beauty?

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The message at church yesterday really grabbed my heart – the message was “How do we respond to the beauty of Jesus?”

I have studied the idea of the beauty of Jesus over the years., I have read about it and listened to sermons preached on it, read and sat in on teachings on it. I love the idea of it and the truth of it, but I have to say I’ve never really thought to deep about my response to His Beauty. I guess I always just thought when I see His beauty it will be awesome!!!! But how do I know how to respond?

First of all the Bible shows us over and over again how people responded when they saw him  — Moses, Peter, John, all the disciples and many others when he rose from the grave. In each case their life was forever changed and the only response is unending worship, not know what else to do, never wanting it to end, some fell as dead men, but one thing in common was their lives were changed forever and ever!!! And each one made a difference in the world and the people around them.

Second, I have seen his beauty a thousand times in my life starting with the day I found him and he found me. Over the 35 years I’ve been walking with him I have seen it and experinced it over and over again. My response is and will be the same as all those before me, a lifestyle of worship as I stand in awe of Him and then going into the world and leading them to the beauty of Jesus through my life, worship and prayers.

The place work should be a different place because of Him, the people I interact with should be moved and affected by my very presence because of Him. Because of the message yesterday I am making a new commitment to prayer for my work place, a new commitment to love through the eyes of Jesus, a new commitment to be a servant to those who are above me and below me in the work place.

Watch and see what He can and will do.

 

 

 

Speak when He says Speak….

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16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

22 Then the Lord took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” 23 So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord, just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground.

24 Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-27

This is pretty stinking clear — speak when God tells you to speak. God knows how we tend to speak when we shouldn’t, we speak for him, it’s so easy for man to say “thus sayeth the Lord” and give a message to people that have no power and no meaning.

God tells Ezekiel that if he tells him to speak to people and he doesn’t deliver the message their blood/death is on his hands, but if he does tell them and they don’t listen he is FREE of whatever happens to them. WOWZERS!!! That is huge huge huge. NEVER speak for God unless God tells you to… period!! This is different than quoting scriptures to someone, giving them the “word” … this is warnings from God about a life being led by someone. Think about how the Christians in this world speak to gays, Muslims, people who have or perform abortions, and the list can go on…. we cannot speak for God, we CAN give scripture, but we cannot say more than that UNLESS God himself directs you and GIVES you the words. (eat the scroll….)

This is so important and we are so prideful thinking we know look what God does to Ezekiel (who is a mighty man in the Lord) “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

Get it? Got it? GOOD…

Humility — Humble –How it looks in life

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Many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility, or being humble. They think being humble means groveling in front of others or thinking they are no good and others are better.

That’’s not what the Bible says. God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.

You don’t need to defend yourself when you understand what the Bible says about humility, for you know who you are in Christ. You can be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You can walk humbly in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in your own strength.

Godly humility is being comfortable with who you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The picture of humility in the Bible is one of a strong person who loves others, not someone who is a wimp.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Humility also is recognizing that you need God’s help, knowing you can’t truly succeed in your own strength. It is thanking God for your talents and gifts, and giving him credit for your accomplishments.

It is being comfortable with who you are in Christ and seeking to build others up, not yourself. It is gratefully walking in God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.

In the Bible, Jesus gives us a good example of humility in action. Although he was the son of God, he was gentle and humble–and he was strong.

I am gentle and humble in heart. (Matthew 11:29)

Your attitude should be the same as that of ,Jesus Christ, who is the very nature of God,  did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

Humility in action

Many people misunderstand the Bible, God, and humility. They think humility means being weak or passive. That’s not God’s message to us. The following statements show the power in humility.

You can defuse arguments when you are humble.

You don’t need to stand up for yourself in an angry manner. And you don’t have to win every argument.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

You can handle unfair treatment peacefully when you are humble.

You can respond to unfair treatment without becoming bitter. Godly humility means you do not feel a need for vengeance or revenge.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

You do not have to put on a “false front” when you are humble.

When you understand God and humility, you don’t need to act like a big shot. The better you know God, the less you have to prove.

You can eat “humble pie” without being crushed when you are humble.

When you are humble, you can respond to and learn from criticism without becoming defensive—whether it is deserved or not deserved. Likewise, you can be aware of your failures without being emotionally devastated.

You can ask for forgiveness when you are humble.

Even if you think you are only one percent wrong, you can easily apologize for what you did wrong.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

You can talk with the right attitude when you are humble.

You can talk courteously and lovingly, regardless of the situation — even if you need to be firm or take strong action.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Being humble does not mean being a wimp

As I already wrote, many people misunderstand humility. The following statements correct three inaccurate pictures of humility.

Bible-based humility does not mean groveling.

When I humble myself, I feel strong in the Lord. I don’t need to be defensive.

Bible-based humility does not mean being unaware of your gifts or calling.

Although we should avoid self-pride, godly humility does not mean we should pretend we are unaware of the gifts God has given us. The key is to remember that they are from God.

Although I am less than the least of all of God’’s people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)

I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. (2 Corinthians 12:11)

Bible-based humility does not mean we should never speak directly.

When God says to be humble, he lets us know we must examine our motives and attitudes. We also must examine how we respond to others. But there are times when we need to take strong action. Here are two examples of taking strong action while maintaining a humble spirit:

  • Jesus was meek of spirit, yet he chased the moneychangers out of the temple (Matthew 21:12 and Mark 11:15-16).
  • As an employer, I can discipline or fire someone, yet do so quietly and gently.

God and humility — Enjoy the power in humility

You will usually be more successful when you practice what the Bible says about God and humility than if you are pushy or arrogant. (When you are humble, you are likely to have more influence than when you fight abrasively.)

Even if you don’t achieve the results you hoped for, you have the joy and pleasure of having acted in a godly manner. When you understand the meaning of humility in the Bible and put it into practice, you are a winner—even if you do not “win.”

Walk in the Spirit, Loving One Another

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Walking in the Spirit, loving one another, is the key to great relationships—particularly that most intense of all relationships, marriage. God’s Word tells us that the Spirit, however, is in opposition to our flesh. What exactly is the flesh?

  • “Flesh” is that condition where my focus is primarily on myself, self-centeredness to a great degree, as I attempt to live out of my own resources. My resources are the stuff that I can produce on my own or put stock in outside of God like heritage, education, IQ, personality, etc.
  • “Flesh” is me trying to live life independently of God, so that I can cope with life.Flesh is trying to produce life on my own rather than in Christ.

I don’t know if people realize this, but flesh can actually look good on the outside. Someone can be functioning in the flesh and you might think, “Wow, what a cool person.”  But listen to what Paul said when he’s describing his flesh:

…If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:4-8)

Now, you look at all those things and say, “Well those sound pretty good! Moral, passionate, religious, good heritage, aren’t those good things?” Paul takes these things, which give him incredibly high status in his culture, and calls them garbage—he calls them “dung” actually. (The literal translation is really a much stronger word than “dung,” but we’re trying to run a ministry so I’m not going to say it.) The point is that Paul takes the things he’s earned in the flesh (titles, earthly possessions, social status, etc.) and says they’re worse than worthless compared to Jesus and to living His life in the Spirit.