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Posts Tagged ‘Soul Burden’

An Inward Journey of Discovery and Restoration

In this video I share with you the inspiration behind the writing of “The Voice of God Within.”
If you have struggled with your belief system or have been or are a part of a controlling religion, and you need a little courage, this may just be the book for you.

Click here if you would like to purchase a copy of “The Voice of God Within”

Click here if you would like to read “The Voice of God Within” on Amazon Kindle

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This is such an excellent post that breaks the stigma against “those who leave church.”

What Church People Really Need To Know About Once-Churched People.

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friends
“There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”
Proverbs 18:24

Finding a True Friend

When she met you face to face
and you smiled tenderly;
And you said, “How do you do, its so nice to see you.”
When she turned her back away. Did that smile fade away?
And the whispering began? Did you run to tell your friend?
“Guess who I saw today?
Guess what she was wearing today?
Guess who she was with today?
Guess what she looked like today?
Oh I am in so much dismay,
That she would go so much astray!”
Oh those naughty nasty words,
carried on by winds and birds,
Find their way back to the one,
Who was scourged from tongue to tongue.
And the wounds they cut so deep,
that she cannot even sleep;
She will never trust again,
Those she once thought were her friends;
For their smiles she learned were fake,
She had made a grave mistake.
But she learned through all the pain,
that a true friend would remain.
And so rare if truth be told,
they are worth their weight in gold.

Written by Elizabeth Ann Van Cleve

“We don’t lose friends, we just learn who our real ones are.”

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eye

Imagine trying to remove a little speck out of someones eye with a big chunk of wood in your own eye. Oh my, somebody is going to get hurt. The one trying to remove the speck is blinder and more incapable than the one with the speck. We need to make sure before we move forward in judgement to “help someone with their problem that we think we see” that we don’t have a bigger problem staring us right in the face that we are completely ignoring. If we want to be effective in ministering help to others, first we need to take care of our own issues.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matt. 7:3)

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new wine

“[No] one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.”

(Luke 5)

“They say the old wine is better” – Jesus said this after preaching from a boat, touching a man with leprosy, telling a man his sins were forgiven, sitting down to eat and drink with a roomful of tax collectors and sinners, and being questioned and ridiculed every step of the way because it was not according to the “customs of the day.”

Sermons were supposed to be preached in temples by “anointed men of God.” People with leprosy were to be kept far away from. No one but God had the right to pardon someones sins. The righteous were not mingle with sinners and furthermore, they usually spent their time fasting and praying, not eating and drinking.

Earlier in this chapter we read that Jesus went out alone in the wilderness and took time to pray. There, all alone with God, Jesus was given new wine to drink and new wine to share when he came back into the crowds. He had something fresh and life-changing.

If all you are drinking is the “old wine,” then all you will be doing is complaining whenever you see the new wine being poured out; you will be blinded to all the good the new and fresh wine is doing.  You will have one solo message; “THE OLD IS BETTER” and all around your eyes will only see that the old is not being adhered to- the old ways of doing things, the old religious systems.

Go, take some wilderness time with God alone, and let him pour forth some new wine into your soul! Let him give you something new and fresh- something relevant for today’s needs. Get out of your religious rut and back into the leading of the Holy Spirit. Let go of the old so God can bless you with something new!!!

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If you judge people

Years ago a visiting minister to our congregation would not sing along with us several of the songs from our hymn book because they were written by what he believed were false christians, though why he set himself up to be their judge I have yet to understand. However, I remember our pastor later mentioning the absurdity of that kind of thinking, and well it was. The songs were very edifying and godly.
Yet its strikes me funny that we see this type of thing going on amongst us all the time in other ways. I see perfectly good sound and edifying articles posted on face book that hardly anyone hits the “like” button on and I know it is because of “WHO” wrote the article rather than anything to do with the “content” of the aritcle. The people are already judged and condemned and so is anything they have to offer. How sad. It reminds me of the parable that Jesus told:

And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself; “God I thank you that I am not like other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I give tithes of all that I possess.”
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other. For every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.  Luke 18:9-14

Many people said of Jesus that he had a devil. But others said, “Can the devil open the eyes of the blind?”

Jesus said, if you are going to judge, at least judge righteous judgement. If what you read is good, it is good. Give God glory. Be thankful for the vessel that was utilized to bring forth a good word in due season. God has even used a donkey to bring a message to a man once. If we refuse a message because of the vessel it is delivered in, even though the messsage is perfectly sound, we are a respector of persons and God says if we have respect of persons we are sinning.

If we are claiming to be living a “sin-free” life, then we should not be having respect of persons. Respect of persons is holding someone up so high that they are almost God-like- unreproachable.

You can gossip all you want about the person who “left your congregation” but woe to the one who says anything about the mighty one in holy robes who stands behind the pulpit. That is respector of persons! That is not right and God will bring judgment upon that.

People are people. Gossip and slander is wrong no matter who it is about. And if someone has left your “congregation” if you are the true body of Christ, your burden would be to see that person reconciled with the body. But cutting them off and treating them as if they are no longer part of your family is not right. That is pushing them further away and sealing them out permanently because you are not showing love but rather wounding them so deeply they will never be able to trust you again. Even God said to his back slidden church, “I am married to you.” (Jeremiah 3:14)

Our message and burden to every soul should always be reconciliation. But reconciliation never comes through the pompous, proud religous minded groups. They either lock you in to a religious system or lock you out because you wont bow to their written or unwritten creeds. Jesus would not be locked in and so was locked out.

Lets stay free! Free from sin, free from Pharisee thinking, free from religious pride, free to love souls so we can truly help them be reconciled to God and/or his body!

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We cannot learn without pain.

~Aristotle

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;~Hebrews 5:8

Many times we go through severe trials and testings that cause us deep distress. We may ask, “Why?” and, “Will this ever end?” We may grow weary at times of even life itself. It is at those most distressing moments in my walk with the Lord, that my eyes become riveted upon the sufferings of Christ, and I am once again amazed how the very suffering I am experiencing, is just a small sip of what Christ went through for us. And I am reminded:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1Peter 2:21-24

Suffering is not easy to go through, otherwise, it would not be suffering. Sometimes we need to be reminded that Christ taught us very plainly:

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

One of the most difficult forms of suffering a person will ever have to face is persecution from non-believers and even from close relations who may even call themselves a believer. I’ve been meditating on a certain scripture lately in relation to some of the trials I am dealing with:

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Luke 6:22-23

Christ told us to “rejoice” when others treat us with disdain because of our stand we take for His names sake. I think he knew how difficult it was going to be in our humanity and so he wanted to drive it home- “Leap for JOY!” When I read this, I feel a little bewildered for I certainly do not feel like leaping for joy, but rather crying for sorrow of heart. Yet, the words are a balm for my sorrow. They encourage me that it is going to be okay, because I am living right. And when I am falsely accused, or called names, I remember that so was Christ. They could not find any fault or reason to keep Christ a prisoner, yet they condemned him to death. Christ went before us and goes before us in all our tribulations. He suffered first. He was accused of having a devil spirit:

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. Matthew 12:24
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? John 8:48

They called him a deceiver:

And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. John 7:12

No matter what good Christ did, or what miracles he performed, they were not pleased. They sought to destroy him:

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. Mark 3:1-6

“The herodians” were not even believers in the Jews God.  Herod the Great was responsible for the murder of thousands of little babies in an attempt to destroy Christ in infanthood. And Herod’s son, Herod Antipas, was responsible for beheading John the Babtist. The enemies of Christ will rally anyone they can find to destroy the Spirit of Christ which dwells in His people.

Their motive? They believe deep down inside, that by destroying the people of God, they can still the voice of conviction against their sins. Little do they understand that the seed that dies only multiplies.

In order to destroy Christ they had to lie about him and rally uncouth people to back them up. They had a mob mentality. And they were not content to just put him to death- but they chose the most brutal punishment they had in those days, reserved for the basest of criminals.

A sinner, who is not honest, who has no desire to be free from their sin, will never be a reasonable person to deal with. Unfortunately, these types of sinners many times are cloaked in religious garb. They have a church affiliation, claim to pray and be a child of God- yet the fruit of their lives is not of the Holy Spirit, but rather of the flesh.  They are no different in their living than any other common sinner.  These are they that turn the would-be repentant sinner away from the truth by their hypocritical living, and are filled with unreasonable madness at anyone that would dare to challenge their position before God.

Indeed, the  Lord Jesus Christ had to humble himself to go to the cross. If anyone had a sound defense against the onslaught of ridiculous accusations placed against him, it was Jesus. Yet, he humbled himself.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:3-8

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1-4

Why did Christ suffer and endure such contradiction of sinners? Why? For their salvation. For my salvation. The truth of the matter is, Jesus Christ loved them, and he loved you and he loved even me,  with a cross.

Christ loved us with a cross- inspite of all He had to endure because of our sins. Cannot I, by the grace of Almighty God, endure the little I must sip of the cup of Christ?  Yes, Aristotle was right when he said, that we cannot learn without pain.

The great lesson of the hour? Love! -Love that transcends the agony of the cross.

The refrain from a popular choir sings:

He loved me with a cross

He loved me with a cross

In answer to the call of life

He loved me with a cross

Though I could not imagine what

Loving me would cost

Jesus went to Calvary

And he loved me with a cross

See the Youtube video: WERE YOU THERE WHEN THEY CRUCIFIED MY LORD

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