Monday, August 22, 2011

What Is Your Most Valued Possession?

Lately I have been thinking about what we put our importance on. If I asked you to close your eyes and picture your most treasured material possession, what would you see in your minds eye? Would it be your wedding ring? Maybe it would be that new car now parked in your driveway? Maybe it's the photographs of family you spend hours placing into albums? Or could it be those skinny jeans that hug you in all the right places?

If the picture in your mind was anything other than the Bible, you might want to rethink your priorities. The Bible is the only material object you own that has any eternal value. It is the material possession you should value above all other possessions. All other material things you place value on here on this earth will pass away. When you leave this earth you can't take any of them with you. When you die the only material possession you can take with you is the Word of God.

No, you won't take the actual physical book to the grave and have in in your hand when you arrive in eternity. But if you place it as your highest value here on earth and wrap it around your heart, you will have it with you when you reach eternity. It will remake you into the image it carries. It will remake you into the image of Jesus Christ who is the Word. You see, the Bible is not just some ordinary book. It's the Word of God. It's living. It's breathing.

When read, it transforms you. When heard with an open heart, it penatrates and changes you. When spoken, the words don't fall flat or disapate once the vibration is gone. They linger in the air waiting to penatrate the soul. When they fall on the ears of man they can be used by the Holy Spirit to convict and change the heart.

The Trinity of God had a plan from the beginning. He had it written down by man in a book called the Bible. He placed His Word on paper so we could consume it not just place it on a shelf. The Word of God is to be absorbed and written on our heart. When we do that, we become what God intended from the beginning. We become transformed into the image of Jesus.

The only way to have the process of transformation take place is to give the Word of God is rightful place in our lives. It must become our most valued material possession.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Silence is Broken

Have you ever been through a time in your life where you felt like God put the phone receiver down or pressed the mute button? You feel like God has forgotten you or left you in this big world all on your own. That's been the way I've felt for so long. I felt like I was dialing up God, the phone would pickup but there was only silence on the other end of the line.

At first I would beg and plead for God to talk to me. Then I would get mad and ignore Him. "If Your not going to talk to me, then I'm not talking to You either." Finally I resigned myself to the silence. I decided even if He was silent, I would continue to speak. So my prayers were one sided for a long time or at least they felt that way. The strong connection and inspired wisdom I once enjoyed was lacking and I didn't know why.

I am still not sure why God chose to keep His distance from me. I'm just glad that He has broken the silence and I can feel Him again. Maybe He wasn't ever gone and I was just required to believe in Him inspite of my feelings. I don't know, but I am glad to hear Him and feel Him again.

Once again, I have nights where I can't sleep and I must write down the words He puts in my head. What a blessing to hear the Word of God and have it pentrate clear down to my soul. I love His Words. They are a treasure to me. They breathe through me and I can exhale. It's as if I have been holding my breath waiting for Him so I can finally let the air out of my lungs. And as the air escapes the truth blows through me and changes me.

He is the air I breathe, the food I eat and the water I drink. He makes my world worth the living and puts the excitement into my day. Without Him, my joy is gone and I am anxious for His return. Waking up to a new day is different when He's the one brushing the sleep from your eyes. It's a day that has hope. A day with a purpose. It's a day where you feel loved. That... is worth everything even a little time of silence.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No More Words

I feel like my words have left me. There have been so many times in the last year I have sat with my laptop on my lap, my hands poised to type. I would type some heartfelt inspiration or a new revelation that God would graciously give me. But I have no inspiration. I have no great revelation from God. There is no closeness to God. I am void and it scares me.

Words have always been my way. They have helped me express emotion. At times they have praised loudly and shouted with joy. Other times my words have screamed out the pain when it couldn't be bottled up any longer. They have caressed my soul and soothed me when I've been weary. They have been cathartic and healing. They have always been my way to be touched by God and touch others.

But now, there seem to be no words for me. I am a woman with little to say. My voice is silent and it makes my heart sad. I would scream but I feel nothing would come out. My throat is dry and my heart feels the same. I miss my words, Lord.

I need a one woman revival, a renewing of my soul, as Bob Carlyle says in one of his songs. I need You, God. I need you to replace my heart of stone with softness and use me again. I need a filling that comes and bubbles over with more than I can contain on my own. Give me You. Cause I am empty and tired of the tank being filled with the wrong fuel. Time keeps ticking and I keep sitting. I can't just sit here empty anymore. I know they say You're not the one that leaves but it sure feels that way right now.

I am rejected, awkward, insecure and alone. When I'm with You all those things fade to the background. So I need a shot of You pulsing through my veins. I need a shot of God courage so I can stand with strength. I don't want to stand alone anymore. Fill me up with Your power and Your words. I'll leave my words behind if You give me Yours.

Give me Your heart. Give me Your ways. I don't want my ways anymore. I don't want my will. I want what You want for me and I'm willing to obey. Break me if necessary because I can't live without Your strong presence anymore. I need a river of living water flowing from my heart. The kind that comes from You and is dispensed by the Holy Spirit. Come Lord, come and breathe through me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Not Enough, But Jesus Is

I have come to believe their is a fundamental root issue to most mankind that causes each of us to act and become who we are. Most of us at the core just want to be loved, but believe we are not enough or cannot become good enough to have that happen for us. We strive to find our identity, who we are, so we can become someone worthy of the love we so desire.

I have spoken to and heard the stories of so many that fall prey to abuse at the hand of another because they feel unworthy and unloved. I too was fed on by those who seek their own way and was used to fulfill their need to have worth. All the time Satan smiles.... While we struggle to know who we are and hurt one another. His hope is we damage each other so badly there is no hope of healing.

As I have studied the Bible in the last few years, what I have come to understand is that we are supposed to be overcomers. Circumstances are not supposed to keep us from the beauty He has placed within each of us. As a believer in Jesus Christ, each of us has been given the Holy Spirit, a piece of the trinity. We have the living God within us and it is supposed to give us a new identity. It is supposed to give us the indentity we were born to have. We are overcomers. We are made in the image of God. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. Made out of beauty and placed here to show something more than humanity can understand.

But Satan mauls the understanding and twists the mind so we don't see who we are and what we are capable of. I see people in horrible situations with no way out and no where to turn. Their place to turn is Jesus. They may not be able to change their circumstances but they can change the way their heart feels. Jesus is enough. Jesus can fulfill the longings inside even in the midst of the ugliest situations. Jesus can do what mankind cannot. He can give hope. He can give peace when the walls are shaking.

This I know so fully! Jesus has calmed my storms from the inside out. Sometimes the walls still vibrate around me and feel as if they will fall but I know who I am and it's enough. My sufficiency is in the one who made me and my identity is secure. I am who He says I am and that gives me the ability to feel secure in all circumstances.

The truth of who I am is no longer about the things and people around me. Those things will pass away but who I am in Jesus Christ stands for eternity. I see myself through the eyes of God and it gives me the peace and strength to do all things.

I am loved by the one who "is love" that makes me worthy of greatness. His greatness. Thats enough.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Twenty Three Minutes In Hell

Last week I picked up the book "Twenty Three Minutes in Hell" and read it in two days. Since reading it, I cannot stop thinking about those around me without hope of eternity. I posted the video below of the man who wrote the book speaking about his experience. He was taken to hell and describes the events. Watch the video, it will impact you to reach out to those around you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He Will Meet You Where You Are

A certain girl lay at the pool with a multitude of others. Sick for many years, she waited at the pool. She waited for the angel to stir the water so someone might have mercy on her and place her in the water. Years went by as she begged for someone to help. Yet each of the others at the pool were in need and sick themselves. Each one waiting.... for the stirring.... for a miracle. Who might reach the water first? Only one will reap the healing that so many need. "I can't fix it myself" she told those near her as she writhed with pain but held tight to her old ways.

That girl was me... waiting by the pool just like the man in Bethesda in John 5:1-15. It tells the story of a man who was sick for 38 years. Day after day he waited at the Pool of Bethesda for a miracle. Everyday he waited for someone to have a little bit of pity on him and place him in the pool. He just needed one dip after the angel stirred the water. He needed one person to put him in the water before anyone else had stepped in. Year after year he yearned for a healing so he could live a life worth something. But no one cared for him enough.

Why Jesus came for him I cannot explain. Many others were there. Many others needed to be healed. The blind, lame, paralyzed and sick were there by the multitude. But Jesus had come to save this one man at the pool. Just like He always comes for me. I don't deserve it. I can't understand why he continues to be faithful to me. So many around me have needs so much greater than mine. But yet he continually comes where ever I am. He comes to find me amongst all the multitudes of people. He comes in spite of my rebellious heart and my tendency to want to control things.

"Do you want to be made well?" was the question Jesus asked the man. It's the same question he has asked me so many times. Just like the man at the pool, I said "I have nobody to put me in the water while it's stirred, everyone gets there before me." Excuses... I gave excuses for a very long time. "I don't have enough will power to overcome my behaviors." "It's too big to overcome."

Basically, do I really want to be made well? Or do I want to hang on to my sin? Do I still love my sinful ways so much that I am willing to stay sick in them? Do I still want to do things my way? Or will I allow God to begin a miracle in me?

This week I answered "Yes Lord, I want to be made well." I picked up my mat and I am walking away from the pool I once felt so prone to lounge at. It's time to quit waiting for the angel to stir the water. It's time to let Jesus make a change in me. It's time for a miracle.

The last instruction Jesus gave to the man was in the temple. Jesus goes to the temple to find the man and He tells him this "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." It's a warning. A warning I feel was meant for all of us. If you want to stay well... don't go back to the sin! Stay in the miracle He has made in you and trust Jesus to keep you pointed the right direction.

I don't know about you but I have decided to heed the warning. I have decided to sin no more, least a worse thing come upon me. I asked to be made well and Jesus started the process of healing in me. I am pointing myself towards that change. In His strength I will persevere tell I get to the goal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Desperate Man

I have heard many say what a great and kind man Jesus was. I heard Lisa Ling state this recently in a documentary. She said that she was not a religious person but her experience reporting on a story about Christians had drawn her to this man. He was such a kind and loving man. The statement that Jesus was kind and loving is a true one. But exploring the nature of Jesus is crucial if you really want to know who you are talking about.

You see, if this great man was not God then he wasn't really so great. If Jesus was not fully God then the kindness was a complete farse and His ministry meant nothing. He spoke to many while here on earth and made the claim to be God. If it's not true then He is nothing but a liar and His greatness is not so. But would a liar do what I am about to tell you about? Or would it have to be God?


In John 4:46-54 we are told a story that takes place in Galilee. A nobleman, called so by either the largeness of his estate, the extent of his power or the royalties that belonged to his manor. Some scholars say he may have held an office to the King. In spite of his stature and largeness of estate, he could do nothing to help his sick son. So we see him seeking the real King for help.

He implores Jesus to come down and heal his son that is back in Capernaum, for he is at the point of death. A desperate father pleads with Jesus, "Sir, Come down before my child dies!"

Imagine this fathers anguish and pain, at the point of dispair, ready to do and believe anything if it will save his son's life. He goes to the man he had seen in Jerusalem doing miracles. "Maybe this is the Messiah, that can do such miracles."

Jesus doesn't need to travel to Capernaum to heal this man's child. He only needs to speak and the healing is done. I think we forget that. We forget that it only takes a word for Jesus to heal what ails us. For the nobleman it was easy. He was at that place of complete surrender and trust. He had no other place to go but to the Savior. So he went, pleading, with a surrendered heart, in complete belief that Jesus could heal his son.

Jesus's answer was this... "Go your way; your son lives" In belief, the man started back home. No more pleading or waiting for Jesus to go with him. With a trust that Jesus could do all things, he began his journey back to Capernaum.

As he made his way back toward home, he was met by his servants. "Your son lives!" they shout to him from a distance. "What hour was it when he got better?" Their answer proved that his trust had been correct. It was at that very hour when Jesus had said to him "Your son lives." His trust in Jesus had not been in vain and he believed on that very moment. His whole household also became believers from this miracle.

Jesus knew this mans heart. He knew that in his desperation this man would come to him. What He also knew was that the nobleman and his family would be saved by this situation. He knew that His kindness and mercy would cause their to be belief in His deity. Jesus wasn't walking the earth to do great deeds of kindness for no reason. His mercy was to cause those who saw Him to believe He was God in flesh. It was to teach them to believe He was the living God here on earth to pay for our sins.

A man who was "just kind" could not do the things that Jesus did. Only God could.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Sow and Some Reap

In my last post I talked about the Samaritan woman at the well and how she needed the living water Jesus had to offer. Today I am picking up in Verse 27 of John and reading through Verse 42. The Samaritan woman is still in the picture but there is more than one thought I want to explore with this part of the story.

We remember from the previous post that Jesus revealed to this woman the details of her life. Also, He had just told her He was the Messiah that her people had been looking for.

So we start in Verse 27, the disciples have returned to the well. They marvel that Jesus is even talking to this woman, but say nothing to Jesus about it.

Immediately the woman leaves behind her waterpot and goes back to the city. Did she leave because the disciples returned and she was afraid they would now admonish her for speaking to a Jew? Or was she so enraptured by what she had just found out that she was in a hurry to go back to her city and tell everyone? Personally, I think it was the latter because in her haste she left her waterpot behind. Also, after arriving in the city she goes to the men and tells them to "Come see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

Her declaration caused these men, whoever they were, to go out of the city and go to Jesus (Verse 30). She only testified to what she had encountered with Jesus. He had known the truth about her. By her admission that someone knew all she was guilty of, those she knew were intrigued enough to go see for themselves.

She put herself out there. No false persona's, no mask. Everyone knew her past but to go face everyone with honest humility? That took guts. Her honesty and transparency caused others to go see Jesus for themselves.

The story picks back up in Verse 39, where we see the result of her truthful disclosure to the others. "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did."

Because of her willingness to tell others, many were saved. They even urged Jesus to stay with them, which He did for two days. During that time more were brought to belief. Not because of her words but because of her willingness to use her weaknesses to bring them to Jesus.

We have all heard the old saying "don't air your dirty laundry in public." Our reputation can stay untarnished if we just keep the baggage in the closet where it belongs. Our reputation, or what people think of us, is something many of us value very highly. We evaluate our worth by it. The problem is when we put such a high value on what others think of us, our authenticity goes out the window. Without authenticity, we will affect no-one for the Kingdom of God. Our life will be about ourself and not others.

What we must finally figure out is how to evaluate our worth by what Jesus says not others. When we do that, we will begin to allow Jesus Christ to use our failures and baggage to change the lives of others.


While the woman ran back to the city, forgetting her waterpot, the disciples got a lesson from Jesus. Verses 31 through 38 give us the discussion between Jesus and His beloved disciples.

"Rabbi, eat" The disciples urge. But He says to them "I have food to eat of which you do not know." This confuses them and they begin to ask each other if anyone has already brought Him food.

Jesus then takes the conversation from being about the physical need of food to the spiritual need. "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." He tells the disciples. He then begins to talk to them about the harvest.

"Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."

By this statement, Jesus has proclaimed the superior position of spiritual things. We cannot be so consumed with the physical nature of our lives and forget what we were left here on earth to accomplish. Just like Jesus, we to finish the work the Father God began.

The field of souls are ripe for harvest. By our transparency and humility we are to share our lives with those that do not yet know the greatness of Jesus Christ. There are many that do not know the glory of God and will die without really knowing what is in store for them after death. We are to be tillers of the soul of man. Sometimes we will sow the truth of Jesus into someone. Other times we may get the benefit of reaping what someone else has sown previously. The disciples were sent out to reap a harvest for the Kingdom of God. They were told to reap the harvest and bring others into eternity with Jesus covering them.

This story speaks to us as Christians today. Some will sow and others will reap. Only by humility and transparency like the woman at the well will we be effective enough to change the lives of others. Lay down your mask and find your sufficiency and worth in Christ. That way the truth of your life can shine for others to see Jesus in what He did for you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Was it Just a Chance Meeting?

Recently, I started reading through the book of John. It's a book in the Bible packed full of truth. Each chapter reveals a mutitude of insights. There is so much spiritual meat to sit and chew on. Today, as I read the story about the Samaritan woman, I thought why not share with you the trinkets of truth I gain from this great book John.

So here goes.... a journey with me through the book of John. I hope each writing will inspire you and God will use it to make a difference in your life. On to what I read today.....

Today's truth comes to you from the fourth chapter of John, verses 1-26. The heading at the top of the chapter made me catch my breath a little. You know that feeling you get when you suck in a little gasp of air because what you just read spoke to you. It said this "A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah". I thought .... "That's me!, I am that Samaritan woman, lucky enough to meet my Messiah."

I connected with this woman in so many ways. First, the fact of where she came from and what it meant to come from Samaria drives really close to home for me. A "Samaritan" was considered by Jews to be an outcast. A Jew would not speak to a Samaritan.

A little side history lesson for you.... the jews were invaded by Babylon and taken into captivity. The wealthiest Jews and those considered to be of intelligence were taken to Babylon. They were all kept together in captivity and allowed to continue in there faith. Those left back in the area of Isreal and Judea were very poor. During the others captivity, those left behind began to incorporate worship of pagan gods along with their worship of Yahweh. They made sacrifices outside Jerusalem and the temple walls. Those taken away had kept their beliefs in Yahweh. They believed that all sacrifices must be made in the temple in Jerusalem. Therefore, they had not made sacrifices during captivity and longed to return and rebuild the temple.

After seventy years they were allowed to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple. Worship and sacrifices could again be made to God once the temple was rebuilt. Those who had been left behind, were now living in the area of Samaria. Because of their differences they were hated and no longer considered Hebrew. They became the despised "Samaritans" to the Jewish people.

I get where that woman came from..... I get how her environment molded her. She was despised by those considered to be God's chosen. She was a woman living in a place corrupted by deception and pagan religion. I get that place. I wasn't raised in the church. When I was young, the church looked like it was full of Godly people. I thought they were God's chosen people. I was outside those walls. My surroundings weren't full of the pursuit to be holy or pleasing to God. The God I was familar with was the God of self. In my world you were your own God. Self gratification and the pursuit of happiness was revered above all else.

I get the feeling of being an outsider. I also get this womans life and what she was living like. In Verse 16-18 Jesus tells this woman, "go call your husband." She answers and says "I have no husband." He then proceeds to tell her the truth about herself. "You have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband."

I get how she was living her life. I get it because I lived it. NO, I haven't been married five times. And the one I am with IS my husband. It's not the specific circumstances but the way she was pursuing her life, man after man. I lived that. I let the pursuit of a man override my pursuit of holiness for many years. I married young and it only lasted a year. Then I spent eighteen years trying to find myself a man. I thought it would be what made me happy.

Here she is.... A woman steeped in sin, giving herself away over and over to man after man. Her worth to herself is non-existant. She comes from nothing, lives where she is considered nothing and believes she is nothing. Then something happens to change everything she believes..... She meets Jesus at a well.

Going to the well to draw water, she finds Jesus sitting there. "Draw Me a drink" he tells her. She is shocked that a Jew would be asking her, a Samaritan, to draw Him some water. Most Jews would have no dealings with her. But He did and He had much more to tell her. He had come to the well at just that time of day so He would meet her there. His path had deliberately taken Him the route less traveled so this woman could hear a truth that would change her life.

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." Jesus tells her. Living water? Where do you get living water she asks him? This is confusing.... water that is living? He has nothing to draw the water with. The well is deep. How would he draw this water that is living? "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestocks?" She asks.

Jesus gives her an answer that now rings in my ears. "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. But the water that I shall give will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

I too met Jesus at the well. I came from nothing, was considered nothing by others and believed what they told me about myself. My worth in myself was non-existant and my heart was thirsty. I went to the well and Jesus was there. I wanted the living water He had to offer. I drank from His water and have never been the same. It started in my heart with just a trickle. The trickle over time has turned into a stream. That stream nows runs like a rapid and flows over its banks. It flows onto others so they too can hear about the man at the well.

A Samaritan woman two thousand years ago had the same response as I did..... "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw." She needed a filling that only Jesus could supply and so did I.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Child May Not Make it to Puberty

I need to vent. Some of you may be going through the same thing I am right now and if so please speak up. I need to know I am not the only one suffering with a strong willed child.

Let me explain my morning to you. I wake my ten year old son up this morning to get ready for school and he wasn't to happy to be getting out of bed. In to the kitchen I go to lovingly prepare a nutritous meal for breakfast. OK, I put cereal in a bowl and poured milk on top of it....

Anyway, in he comes, plops down in the chair in front of his breakfast and begins to complain. "I HATE SCHOOL" he tells me. I reply "Well, you have quite a few years to go so you better find something to like about it" I'm not sure what the next thing was that came out of his mouth but it wasn't pretty because I instantly got irked and told him he'd be wise to close his mouth before it got him in big trouble. Here's where the willfull child comes in....

Next thing I know, I look into the kitchen to find my son sitting at the table, hands down by his side, mouth closed, his cereal not touched. He just sits there silent and still. I get what he is doing..... he is closing his mouth. Does he like to annoy me????

So I make him go get the rest of the way ready and then send him back to the table. Again, he sits at the table but does not eat. Finally, I say "what are you doing?" "Well, you told me to close my mouth" he says sarcastically.

Now I am mad! Two can play this game and make a point. I take away the cereal, dump it down the drain and send him out to the bus stop. No breakfast. A little hunger won't kill him but it might just make his brain remember next time that Mom doesn't like that type of behavior.

The bus came and I now need to go spend a little time in prayer before he comes home.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Perfection of God

God is perfect in every way. By definition, perfect would mean to be complete in all respects and without defect or omission. To be perfect is to be sound and flawless. Such a description encapsulates God. He is flawless.

Psalm 50:2 gives a wonderful picture. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.
AW Tozer in his book The Attributes of God (Volume 1) says “In this verse we have three words in special relation to each other – “perfection,” “beauty” and “God.” And while it is Zion that is called the perfection of beauty, it is the perfection of beauty because God shined out of her.”
She was the perfection of beauty because God shined out of her. So what do you think? Are we a perfection of beauty when we allow God to be shining out of us? I think so!
Perfection….. The highest degree of excellence. No flaws. A characteristic that only God can ascribe to. But don’t we try to reach perfection ourselves?
I find it ironic that so many people, including me, have fallen into the trap of perfectionism. Thinking you can do things perfectly or be a perfect person is impossible. We are not capable of living a perfect life. Only God can live up to a standard that expects no flaws. Humanity is flawed. To expect perfection from yourself is saying you should not be human.
To be human is to be flawed, God knows this. To expect more from ourselves than even God expects is just wrong thinking. The attribute of perfection is God’s to carry, so if you suffer with perfectionism, give yourself a break. God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, why are you?
The best way we can come close to perfection is to do just what the Scripture above tells us to do. Let His light shine through us. The Perfect One won't make us become perfect, only beautiful because of His light.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can God Look On Sin?

Recently during my prayer and study time I discovered that a statement I have spoken many times was leading me to an incorrect understanding. So many times I have been told and repeated to others the statement "God cannot look on sin." What this statement portrays is that somehow God has a weakness. He is flawed. You see I would get this mental picture of sin being kinda like God's krytonite. Just like superman having one flaw, God's was sin.

Here is what that lead me to believe. I was still sinful by my nature so God still couldn't look at me. So Jesus by my salvation stood in front of me, sort of like a screen or a filter. That way God only saw Jesus not me.

It's a great analogy but it left me with no understanding of my current state before God. Because my thought pattern left me as nothing had really changed about me, I was still really unacceptable. Not unacceptable to God but unacceptable to man.

It left me with a warped perception of who I now was and what my worth to Him was. Furthermore, with my old self worth still intact, I was still not good enough. God might be able to accept me now because Jesus had stepped in front of me as a buffer but the true nature of my self worth hadn't changed. God just didn't see me the same as everyone else because He was looking at Jesus not me.

Here is the truth..... and it changed everything for me. God CAN look on sin. Satan goes before God and he is full of sin. (a subject for another day) Satan is a different being. He is Spirit not human. We are not told the penalty of death is for him, no, it's for humanity.

Here's the thing, it's not that God can't look on sin, it's that if man goes in the presence of God with sin on him he will die. God could show himself to us but the penalty for our sins would come into play and we would drop down dead. The penalty of sin is death. So the penalty for man going before God with sin on him is death. Hence the seperation from God. Since we now have a sin nature and cannot keep from sinning, we must be seperated from God.

With sin comes death. In order to cleanse our sin off of us the penalty must be paid, blood must be shed, death must come. In the old testament, the Hebrew people would make blood sacrifices to attone for their sin. Once a year the high priest would go into the holy of holys in the presence of God. Before he would do this, he would make sacrifices for the week prior. There would be extra sacrifices made to make sure all the sin was attoned for so he wouldn't die once he was in the presence of God.

When Jesus came and died as a sinless man, the ultimate price was paid. The final and lasting penalty was paid. At the cross he proclaimed "It is finished" and it was. The penalty was paid for all mankind forever. The penalty of death was removed. Yes, we are still left with a sinful nature that wants to sin. But with our acceptance of Jesus Christ, we are covered by His blood sacrifice, therefore, we are blameless before God.

With the acceptance of Jesus as my Savior and Lord comes a new life. I am "born again" "a new creation". The old nature no longer has to hold me and I am made righteous and good enough not just before God but before man. The old person is gone and the new is now living. I am not that old person with the same self worth. I am different, new, worth much.

What freedom this brought me. I hope if you are stuck in a wrong perception of who you are in Jesus Christ, this will help you to know you too are enough.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Veil Was Lifted

Have you ever felt distant? Like everyone was around you but they were still out of reach to you?

You can be in a room full of family or friends and feel like you are not really there. The room is full of activity and conversation but you are not engaged. Its like you are scrouge in the movie A Christmas Carol and one of the ghosts has deposited you in the middle of your life. You are in the room but no one really sees you.

That is the way I have felt my whole life. Like I have been in the room but no one really sees me. Maybe it is because I tried to hard to be what everyone else wanted me to be. Maybe I was too afraid to let anyone see who I was. What ever the reason, here I am, 40 something and just now trying to understand who the real me is. I am finally trying to be visable and seen for who I am.

What a journey it has been to take the mask off and quit trying to please others. It has taken a lot time to peel off the layers and find out why I wanted to be someone else. In the end it came down to not thinking I was enough on my own. If people saw me, the real me, they would reject me because that person wasn't worth much.

Learning that I was loved by God was the beginning for me. I learned that the one who created me loved me so much that He sent His only son to die for me. It rocked my world to know I was loved by the one who created everything. But it still wasn't enough to change my thinking. I still believed that somehow I was flawed from birth and not like everyone else. I wasn't worth as much as other people were. Yes, God loved me but He didn't see the real me. He saw me through the filter of Jesus so it wasn't really me that He saw, it was Christ.

Yes, I was clean and worthy IN HIS EYES because he was looking at me through different eyes than the rest of the world. I carried this belief without really knowing it and what it really meant was I believed God loved me because He saw me differently. He couldn't see my flaws and how unacceptable I really was anymore. But others could. Therefore, I was acceptable to God but not to others. The nature of how unworthy and unacceptable I was hadn't really changed, God just couldn't see it anymore.

Last week the light was turned on for me. Jesus died to make me acceptable. Upon belief in His death for my sins and accepting His salvation it didn't place a veil over God's eyes so he couldn't see my sin anymore. No, it took the veil off. In that moment, I was made worthy for Him to look at me. Eyes wide open, the Father looks on His child. It took the veil off because I was made acceptable. I was justified and made worthy. Because of Jesus I am enough. Enough to be me, whole, clean, acceptable and worth much.

He created the first man and called it very good. That's what He now calls me.