Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fruit in Drought

Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
Thinking about this awesome verse, its one of the many promises of God. If we trust in Him, He will meet our needs
 What this doesn’t say is that we won’t feel the heat. We will and do feel it, just that there is power to sustain us through it. The wind and storms still beat on this tree, but yet it never fails to bear fruit
Jesus said it John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
 We don’t have to fret or worry when we see stuff happening all around us and even to us. I like the saying “don’t tell God how big your problems are, tell your problems how big your God is” Even in the year of drought, He will take us through it.
 Like Kari Jobe sings, “I am not alone, You will go before me, You will never leave me”
Hebrews 13:5 "...because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
In fact we are told to count it all joy when we go through stuff!
 James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
 Huh…, yup praise Him through the storm. Because we will be much better on the other side. It’s easier to praise Him in it knowing He is with us. And when you stand on the promises of always being green even in the heat and bearing fruit in the drought. That’s why Paul said “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. “Oh how He Loves us”, that’s how he rolls! Stay Blessed, PJ

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Something Stinks

Today I began my search for that smell in the refrigerator. My wife had gone through and tossed out any possible source, thought we had it, but no. So as I start digging and searching I am reminded of our lives. We at times find ourselves struggling to spend time with God and when we do we find that we are not hearing Him so well, or the words in the Bible dont seem to be turning on that "light bulb". Its in those time we may want to take an inventory of our lives. Is there something thats starting to stink? Maybe we have a thing we like that we are putting before God, causing Him to be put in the back seat in our life. Unlike the fridge, we cant really use our nose to find the source. But we can seek out God and His word.
We tend to give up or be distracted pretty easily, truth is thats when we should be looking all the harder. Thats when we dig deeper into His word and meditate on it. Thats when we should be spending more time in prayer. One of the biggest things we will end up finding is that our heart wasnt in it all the way.
Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Thats a promise! One of the things we can stand on is God never goes back on a promise, unlike man, He will always keep His word. So we should be seeking His word to see what these promises really are, and standing on them!
The truth is God is never far from us, it is we who distance ourselves from Him. Another promise found in Hebrews 13:5 "...because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
So when we find ourselves a little dry in our walk, when our light isnt shining quite as bright, just know that it is us and not God. He wants to be right there, He wants to share Himself with us. Jesus gave His life on cross, conquering death to bring us closer to the Father. That we could experience Him more. James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
We can stand on His word and it will always be there for us to pull from.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
God wants to give us a better life, a life free from the grip of sin and decay. To be near us. So let us recognize when things get a bit stinky, to dig our heels in, go against the pull of the world. To get past all the stuff. In my fridge I found it by digging deeper, we too can find it in our life if we dont give up. God wont leave us hanging, even when we stink a bit, He wants to help us through it. Thats how He rolls. Stay Blessed, PJ

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Knowing Him and Being Known by Him

I reckon its time I get back to this, in my last post, (Who is Reading?) I had said that "I dont really want to focus this on the religious, church stuff at the moment." Well I guess its now the moment.
 I sincerely hope that I am not taking shots at anybody, just speaking what I feel is really important, in fact it has Life or Death implications. So while there may be some conviction that happens, just know that this is not directed at anybody, but if the Holy Spirit convicts your heart then you may want to give some serious consideration, and dig deeper. So ends my disclaimer.
 It seems to be pretty common as of late that I hear and see a lot of people that do say I believe in God, but just not into church and that stuff. Its one thing to believe He exists, and another to actually know Him, and still even deeper to be known by Him. Lets start with I know Him,
 James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." When you think about that for a minute, the demons believe but where is their destiny? So he was saying yea its a good thing that you believe in Him, but that isn't going to save you, that wont get your ticket into heaven. While it is a first step that many people in this world haven't taken, its just a step. The demons didnt have a belief, they knew for certain, there are many accounts of them knowing who Jesus was also. When the demon possessed man seen Jesus coming Mark 5:6-7 "When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” They know for certain who he is, but where is it getting them. So for that matter where does it get anybody that says they believe in God. Romans 1:21 "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." This is what the Bible means when it says, "they have eyes but cannot see, and ears but cannot hear."
 From the original sin we were separated from God, thats what sin does, God is perfect, pure and holy. He cannot defile Himself with sin. Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
 So how can we know Him, when we are separated by our sins The key is here because even though we are separated sinners, God still loves us. Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Just because He loves us He is not going to force Himself on us. It requires something from us, if we desire to have the separation removed, our sins washed away, if we desire to know Him and be forgiven our sins. Then a wholehearted decision/action is all that is necessary. Romans 10:9 puts it like this " If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Acts 2:38 "Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So knowing Him starts with repenting and asking Jesus to come into your heart.
 Being known by Him starts with our being saved, but its a seed thats planted in us, it is the beginning of a new life that will grow into something beautiful. It must be cultivated, fertilized, watered, and receive sunlight, (or Sons light) to grow. This is unfortunately where a lot of people stop, taking salvation and running with it. Taking the "Saviour" part but leaving out the "Lord" part. We ask Him to be Lord and Savoiur, Lord of our life, and Saviour of our souls. The 2 should not be separated, we were washed and cleansed of our sins. Why would we like a clean pig go back to the mud, or like Peter says, "a dog returns to its vomit." Look its not easy starting new when we have developed soo many bad habits. Thats were this "relationship" with Him comes in. Its spending time with Him, reading His word, talking to Him in prayer. Spending time with fellow believers. The bible tells us to Not forsake the assembling of yourselves. It can be tough if we try it alone, and He knows it, thats why He left a manual! Getting to know our redeemer. After all He paid a pretty high price to give you a clean slate, fresh start. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." Give Him a chance to wash you, cleanse you, He says when you seek me you will find me when you seek me with all your heart!
 He has some pretty sobering words in Matthew 7:21-23 "“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" I dont know about you but thats definitely something I dont want to hear.
 Lastly, Jesus words in Revelation 3:14-16 "“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth."
 He actually has more respect for a person who denies Him than one who "honors me with their mouth but their hearts are far from me". You cant fool God, He knows your heart, God cannot be mocked. So I ask you, Do you Know Him, and are you Known by Him? He didnt come to take away life, but to give it, a freedom that comes from shedding off all of the corruption this world can bring on us. Being made new, alive in Christ."The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." He doesnt make mistakes, and He made you the way He meant you to be. We made a mess of us, but it can be undone. Clothed with Christ, He sees us again the way He made us! Thats how He Rolls! Give Him a Wholehearted chance, Taste and see the Lord is Good! Stay Blessed, PJ