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Jesus

 

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty,
the courage to take risks,
the discipline to tell the truth,
the capacity for sacrifice.
Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable:
they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

Was this not true of our Savior? He felt the beauty in a poor widows few mites, and in drops of liquid love smearing dirt about his feet with long golden strands of silk; He bent his knees to receive the little children, declaring them to be the door to God’s own presence. He felt the thief’s pitiful cry for remembrance, and removed from him the bitter cup of death. He had the audacity to read from the Torah in the temple, “The spirit of God is upon me…”  the courage to weather forty weary, hot, parched days and nights in the wilderness, defying the powers of darkness. He walked across a stormy sea, tore apart the money hovels on the temple’s porch, and declared himself the Son of God in the face of Crucifixion. He ate from the fig trees and corn fields  and fed the people with manna from heaven. The crumbled dirt beneath was his bed and the stones were his pillow so he could bring rest to our souls. His closest friends wounded His heart, and his own people sought to destroy him. Yet, with his own pure blood he purchased their pardon. He was destroyed by a cruel and brutal death, and he he took away with him the sins of the world. Yet he lives! In the bright heavenly places of the humbled soul he abides. He lives that we might have more abundant life. Beautiful Savior! Beautiful friend is my Jesus!!!

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i am

The entire reason Christ came to earth was to reconcile mankind to God- God wants to completely embrace us in his love and spirit. He wants to immerse you in himself, just as Moses went up alone on that mountain. He met God after being alone for forty years in the desert.
God told Moses, “I Am that I Am.” 

And Christ told us, “I AM the bread of life;” “I AM the truth, the way, the life;” I AM the living water.” 

People have been looking for God in the wrong place. They keep “going to church,” and church keeps dividing and controlling and confusing them.

God said, “I AM that I AM!”

When Christ was conversing with the woman at the well she said to Him concerning the place they were at, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you say in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” John 4:20

The woman was opening up a spiritual argument with Christ about where the right place of worship truly was. The Samaritans were divided against the Jews- they had religious division. 
Christ answered her, (21) “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither in THIS mountain, NOR at Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not even know what you are worshiping. We know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. (23) But the hour comes, AND IS NOW, when the TRUE worshipers shall worship the Father in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. For the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (emphasis mine)
Jesus put to silence her argument and BROKE DOWN HER WALL OF DIVISION! Amen! Essentially he said, neither one is right- THIS WALL HAS GO! This is NOT what God cares about. What God wants is a true worshiper. (someone who worships from their spirit with honesty)

God wants to isolate you as an individual. Christ taught us that the “Kingdom of God is within you.” 

Religion is just division! “Babylon” is symbolic of religious confusion- all religions erected have become a “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. “ Rev. 18:2-3

They worship the “SYSTEM” instead of GOD- as Christ taught at the well. They cease to be intimate with the true God. They are entangled in their doctrines, creeds, rules and regulations and their belief that these things make them SUPERIOR to all else.  And They have made quite a market of the whole religious system.

Christ did not come to establish a “NEW LAW AND ORDER.” Yet that is exactly what so much of religion does. Most of them agree that the OLD LAW was done away with, but they take the New Testament Bible and each religious faction creates a new law and order out of its pages and with the dictate of Judge and Jury, they hammer out the New Testament scriptures as “Thus saith the Lord,” according to their own peculiar interpretation of them. Thus, faction upon faction is formed- Division, fighting and ugliness that Christ himself became martyred by, is created.

This is NOT what Christ died for.

What did Christ come into the world to do? Why did He die such a horrible death? And why did He rise from the dead?

In the simplest, purest form—- LOVE!

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son…”

He gave us Christ, and whoever believes in Him, listens to Him, HEARS him, will not perish, but will have eternal life.
WHY?

“I AM”

“I AM the life.”

Christ came to turn our hearts to God- the children’s hearts back to the Father. He came to reconnect us to the source of eternal life. We, who were/are walking in darkness, He came to connect us to the source of light; I AM

“I AM the light.”

We, who cannot find out way, who feel so lost. He came to reconnect us to the GREAT I AM!

“I AM the way.”

He came to SAVE us! Praise God!

He came to show us the beauty and value of our own soul.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matt. 10:29-31

God wants to immerse you in his Holy Spirit. He wants to encapsulate you in His love. He wants you to “be still” and to listen to HIM!

Religion will proselyte you and make you one of them. But Christ will clean you up and make you one with HIM!

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Remember who you belong to

This morning I attended our neighborhood church service and the minister brought the thought that when ever you attend a court of law, you have both the one who stands for you and those who stand to oppose you. And so it is in the heavenly.  But when we are saved, Christ stands for us. We now have royal blood coursing through us and the Bible tells us in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [33]  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;” If the king of all kings, and Lord of all Lords is standing on my behalf, who can stand against me? [34]  who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” 

Again the Bible says in Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

The popular saying goes, “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can not please all of the people all of the time.”

So I would like to encourage you this morning by reminding you who you belong to when you belong to Christ.

“[F]or through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,   having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:18-22

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calm sea

“Then he (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm . . . “

Why are ye so fearful,
oh ye of little faith?
Jesus flies upon the winds
and walks upon the seas;
He lifts the broken from the shards,
brings the pompous to their knees.

Why are ye so fearful,
oh ye of little faith?
Jesus passes through the fires,
and tromps on serpents heads;
The meek he strengthens by his power;
The proud he fills with dread.

Why are ye so fearful,
Oh ye of little faith?
Jesus has all power o’er all
and for all of eternity
So do  not fear little flock of God
What man can do to thee.

Written by Elizabeth A Van Cleve

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feet washing

The Lord showed me in my sleep tonight, the reason for washing feet- it is not for ritual. It is for a lesson.

Peter asked him, “Lord are you going to wash me feet? No way I will not let you wash my feet.”

But then the Lord replied, “If I do not wash your feet, you have no part with me.” 

Then Peter said, “not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”

Then the Lord said, “They that are cleansed need not but there feet washed.”

(John 13)

 As long as we are here walking this earth, we will need to be cleansed because we are going to get dirty- our feet get dirty as we walk the earth and they must be washed. This is symbolic.

While we are in this earthly taberbacle we will have human faults and we must be willing to bow to one another and help one another by humbly cleansing one anothers “dirty feet.” We must be willing to humbly help one another in our faults and failings.

 There is a difference of handing someone a pail of water and soap and bending down ourselves and washing their feet. Their feet is the lowest and dirtiest part of their body. But human tendency is to say, “Gross, you wash your own stinky feet.”

It is easy to get lifted up and to look down our noses at one another. Christ does not want anyone to be lifted up higher than anyone else. This is why he gave us this example and said:

Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

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We are living in a world where the word of God is being challenged, twisted and disregarded on every hand. The disrespect shown for God is having an effect on every soul. Just as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah vexed the righteous soul of Lot everyday by their ungodly ways and blatant opposition to the principles of God, so are we vexed by the spirit that is in the world. But we must battle. We are called to be soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ. We fight a spiritual battle against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

To fight and win we must be on our knees before God often. Daniel openly prayed three times a day while in captivity in a heathen land. Christ prayed often before his disciples and alone. He prayed before his greatest trial- the crucifixion,  with such earnestness that great drops of blood fell like sweat from his brow. (Luke 22:44)

Shortly after this prayer, he was taken captive and led away by a band of soldiers. All of his close friends, the disciples, forsook him. Only Peter was brave enough to follow afar off. But when recognized as one of his disciples, fear took hold and faith gave way and he denied that he even knew Christ, cursing as he did.

Yet Christ warned all of his disciples afore time. In the garden before he went off to pray he told them, “Pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” (Luke 22:40)

Christ could not have endured the cross, if he had forsaken those hours of prayer. The disciples may have stood in his defense if they had listened to the commandment of Christ and prayed earnestly with him.

Immediately following his prayer in Gethsemane, Christ was led away by soldiers and taken and mocked, ridiculed and severley abused. They smote him, laughed at him, spit upon him. All of his closest friends left him alone to deal with is all. What a horrible trial to face. But as I read this morning of this account in Luke 22, I am struck by some of the first words Christ gives in answer to their mockings:

“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. (Luke 22:66-69)

Christ was completely alone and multitudes were against him, even Kings and religious authorities. Yet His faith did not fail him. He knew that he had a place prepared of His Father for Him, and no matter what all the world accused Him of, He did not back down on who He was nor the authority He held. He fought the battle on His knees in Gethsemane and won! Now it was just a matter of going through.

Sometimes it is easy to just read through the scriptures and gather a little comfort from years passed. But lets bring this home- today.

How the world is mocking the people of God. Religious hypocrites abound and at times are the worse persecutors of a true Christian.

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (1Peter 3:3-4)

Is not this just how it is today? People are mocking God and disregarding Christ as just another prophet of old, and they are challenging our faith and belief in Christ on every hand. This is the majority of the world around us. When we witness that we are a child of God, we hear such things as, “Well everyone is a child of God.” When we say that we have been saved from sin and changed to a saint we are told, “You think you are the only ones going to heaven. You think you are holier than anyone else.” No desire to understand and know Christ, but, instead, a mockery, trying to breakdown our faith.  These are “swine-spirits”, trampling our testimony under their feet and then turning again to tear us apart.  (Matt. 7:6)

And like Christ, our only desire for them, is that they would be saved and make heaven their home. That they would partake with us of the beautiful Lamb of God.

In John 14 Christ has a very special message for us in these very unstable and troubling times;

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

He wanted us to know, as He also knew, that there is a place prepared for us, beyond this world. He wanted us to know, that he is going to prepare that place for us. It took Him dying on the cross to prepare a place for us. It took the cruel mockings, beatings and horrible torcher that He suffered on the cross, to prepare that place for us. And he was telling His disciples and all who follow Him, “If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Isn’t that so precious? Christ has prepared a place for us. Let us lift up our voice to Him in praise. Let us see with our spiritual eyes, that wonderful home prepared for us by the LORD JESUS CHRIST himself, and let us pray always, that we would be kept from the hour of temptation. It is so needful that we keep this vision in view. This world is not our home. We are just passing through.

The battle is won on our knees. Christ was our perfect example of that. And He stood, confident, though forsaken by all, that he had a place prepared for him. We too, though forsaken by all, can stand confident in our position before God and that we have a place prepared with our personal name on it.  If we just keep praying, today and always, “Lord, not my will, but thine be done . . . keep me this day from all evil . . . let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight . . .”

May God bless you!

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Children

If you have never taken the time to watch, observe, talk to, play with, and learn from little children, you are missing one of the greatest blessings God ever gave to this earth!

“Suffer the little to children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of heaven.”

“of such is the kingdom of heaven”
If you ever want to feel close to heaven, spend some quality time with very young children. God says that there are so many lessons to be learned of them:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”
Is. 11: 6

“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily (truly) I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18: 2-4

To have children is to have a great and precious gift from God.


“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children…” Psalm 113: 9
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward…Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…” Psalm 127: 3, 5

If someone gave you a jewel worth millions of dollars, how would you treat that jewel? Would you just leave it laying around any old place? Would you just throw it in your drawer and forget about it? Would you just hand it over to any stranger not knowing anything about their personal character and ask them to take care of it for you?
I would guess not. Yet, that is exactly how many people in this world are treating one of the greatest blessing God ever committed into our hands. Little angelic souls, waiting, trusting, hoping, full of faith, looking to us adults to feed them not just food, but manna from heaven. Looking up to us to feed their little souls and teach them about Jesus.

Are you valuing the children God has placed in your life? I am not just talking about your own children, although they are definitely included too, but any children you have an influence upon. What value do you place on them. God places a tremendous value on them. He says they are close to the Kingdom of heaven. He says, “And whoso receiveth one such little child in my name receiveth me.” Matthew 18: 5  That is the same as God said about his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God placed their value the same as Jesus Christ!

If you are despising any young child in your life, did you know that God has a warning to you?

“Take heed (watch yourself) that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18: 10

Little children have a direct and instant connection with almighty God. He knows and sees everything that is happening to them the moment it is happening. There is a great woe to anyone that is hurting a little child:

“But whoso shall offend (cause to sin) one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18: 6

You see, we have a grave and great responsibility to the children in our lives. Those little eyes are vulnerable and impressionable. We need to be an example before them at all times causing their faith in Christ to grow. They should never be led to sin by our example. That is offending them.

“And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD.”

God will hold us accountable for what we provoked our children to. Did we provoke them, by the way we live our lives, by our harshness and by our words to sin? to a grow up into a life with the wrath of God on it? Or did we bring them up nurturing and teaching them the ways of God, with love and care, placing great value on their little souls.

Some of the things I have learned from little children:

  • They have a pure and simple trust and faith in God- you tell them about God, they receive it whole heartedly.
  • They do not hold a grudge- they get angry, but it soon is completely forgotten.
  • They laugh easily, find life full of excitement.
  • They are easily entertained.
  • They are eager to please and to help.
  • They love everyone, they don’t see colors of skin or nationality, nor IQ-
  • They are not fake, nor “politically correct.” They say what they mean and mean what they say.
  • They love to learn new things.
  • They have lots of energy.
  • They do not eat when they are not hungry.
  • They are insatiably fascinated with all of God’s creation.
  • They are copy-cats.
  • They love to sing and dance.
  • They are very sensitive to negative feelings of others. If a another child cries, they stop whatever they are doing. They desire to see the child happy again. If someone is in a bad mood, they pick up on it immediately.
  • Their prayers are simple and full of thank yous!


“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 10: 13-16

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