Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In Love With God - lesson 2

In Love With God - lesson 2

The only thing that I want for this semester
is for us to be in love with and on fire for God

                Which means Surrender, Surrender, Surrender!

     We can’t do anything about what anyone else does in response to the call of making the Lord first in their lives, but we can do something about what we do. We can say, “Yes Lord, here I am. I want to be with you all the time and enter into Your Presence and be a blessing to Your heart.”

               Honesty in our hearts toward the Lord

     This is what the Lord requires. When we turn to Him right now, He requires that we mean whatever we say, with all our heart.

      “Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord; I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God.” - Jeremiah 3:12-13

     God is always desiring us to simply turn from our sin and acknowledge that we have sinned and don’t want to anymore.

     “Then I will give you new shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” - Jeremiah 3:15 “How I would set you among My sons, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of the nations! And I said, ‘You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me.” - Jeremiah 3:19

     This is our new life in Christ. This is God’s heart toward us! Why do we drag our feet instead of running at full speed into His arms? All that hinders us, He promises to forgive and all He has prepared for us, He has desired to give to us. We are not making Him give us His wonderful promises. He has desired to bestow them and it has been we who have not wanted them with all our heart. Instead, we have continually looked back at old things and held onto them and in doing so, robbed ourselves of the joys and blessings of being a Christian.

     So we must ask ourselves, how long will we wait? It is no one else who misses out. It is each of us personally. How long will I wait? How long will I drag my feet in my old life? Every bit of time that goes by is real and we don’t get it back. How long will I miss out on being on fire for the Lord? How Long will I miss out on the fullness of joy that comes from complete surrender to Him?

     What is my hindrance? What holds me back? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves and take hold of because it is me that loses if I don’t take hold of the Lord with all my heart.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Love With God - lesson 1

In Love With God - lesson 1

The only thing that I want for this semester 
is for us to be in love with and on fire for God.

     Which means Surrender, Surrender, Surrender! 

     Nothing else matters except being in love with Jesus with all our heart. 

     To surrender areas in our lives to the Lord that He has required of us is like removing an obstruction to the flow of blood in our arm. If you have ever fallen asleep in an awkward position and woken up with no feeling in your arm, it’s a strange feeling because you can see you have an arm but you can’t feel that you have an arm and as you sit up and try to get the blood to flow back into it you start to get feeling back and eventually full use of it again. When we surrender things to the Lord, that is often when we discover that we even had an arm to begin with! It is like a brand new limb to us that has never been used but slowly the circulation comes into it and we begin to learn how to use it and find that now we have the ability to do things we actually never could before! That limb really changes a lot for us! 

     It is easy to tell when someone is in love. It’s written all over them and they can’t do enough for the person they are in love with. They will pretty much do anything for them. This is how we are to be for our Heavenly Father. So in love with Him and His Son and His Holy Spirit that we will do anything for them. We want it to be obvious to all, Who we love. Unashamed of Him and continually speaking well of Him and gladly doing whatever is on His heart. This is the greatest joy our hearts could ever have. He is a safe place to put our heart where it won’t be crushed or disappointed or left behind. Our Heavenly Father is the safest place we could ever put our heart. 

                    Are there signs evident in your life that you are in love with God? 

     “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the first of His harvest; all who ate of it became guilty; evil came upon them,” declares the Lord - Jeremiah 2:2-3 “But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.” - Jeremiah 2:11 

     Having the Lord is our glory and when we seek Him as our first love He defends and upholds us. Their are so many blessings that come with having Him as our first love! The devil is always trying to trick us into giving up our protection and safety by calling us into thinking that the world is more attractive and more important and more real than anything that we might find in Jesus. He is always trying to get us to compromise just a little and relax our hold on Him. He promises some comfort and relief if we just let go of God a little bit, but the reality is that he is never content with the compromises we have begun to make and will always continue to draw us further from the safety of the camp of the Lord. And the Lord says, “What injustices did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty?” Jeremiah 2:5 This is the question we always need to come back to. Why do we trade the Lord for the things of this world. The reality is, that as long as we hold fast to our old life, we sacrifice the new one in Christ. As long as we hold onto our old life our new life in Christ just doesn’t seem that fun or appealing. It is not until we begin surrendering our old life that the new joy in Christ begins to flood into our life. We must let go of the old in order to have the new. It is impossible to hold onto both. If we try to hold onto both we will neither have joy in Christ nor will we have a satisfied life in our old ways. We will just be miserable. “For My people have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13

This is a lesson from the class I'm teaching at our Bible School.
Prince Edward Island Bible Institute

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The blessing of an impartial judge

Isaiah 66:23-24
The blessing of an impartial judge

  “And it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the Lord. “Then they shall go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.”

  Why are we always challenged and seem at a loss when people give us their excuse for why they won’t follow God by citing in the Old Testament how God wiped out nations, and they could never follow a God like that.
  Let us consider what happens when we accidentally do something that causes harm to another person, like spill coffee on their iphone or bump into them on the sidewalk and cause them to drop and break something. Their immediate reaction is that something must be done about what we just did and, “Who’s going to pay for that!”  This was just an accident and doesn’t even include when something has been done on purpose out of a mean spirit. Now who do we go to to get our justice, for we all have some sense of justice that we feel must be accounted for.
  We all have, built into us, the idea that justice must be done for our circumstance. So who is just? And who decides what is fair? We will spend large amounts of money on lawyers to prove our point of who is right and who is wrong and yet we don’t want to hear about a God who created our world and who always stands for justice?
  We are quick to accuse God of being unjust in wiping out tribes of people and yet we would wipe out our neighbors of everything they owned if we felt they had wronged us in any way, even accidentally. Our reactions can be really intense! Think about how many ridiculous lawsuits you hear about these days with everyone so willing to try and get something for themselves. Think about how many accidents that have happened and because it happed in your house or on your property or your office or your job site, it is your fault no matter how absurd the claim may be. Then  there are needs for justice like right now when we have people blowing themselves up to take out men, women, and children and something must be done.
     Jesus, the king of the world and also the creator of it, is coming back soon. Why wouldn’t He bring justice both for those who have worked hard to keep His laws and retribution on those who have continually broken them on purpose. This really is His world. He really did create us and all that we see. Obedience is not optional and whether we like God’s rules or not, we will have to abide by them no matter what, when He returns. Obedience is not optional and is not subject to interpretation. If a person steals something its still stealing no matter what anyone chooses to call it. The world loves it’s gay pride parades but sin is sin. We may as well have thief pride parades or prostitution pride parades. These are all acts of sin. Sin always causes an injury to someone else and God’s laws are always out to support the injured person who has been taken advantage of. Sin always causes pain and anguish to someone else in order to achieve its own desires. Think about how God must come to the defense of babies who have been murdered in the safest place on earth... their mother’s womb. God must defend them and their cause is just! They were murdered. However, God’s justice often comes in ways that only the mother of that child knows about because God’s justice is very personal and tailored to the crime and He always has a way of fixing even the outcome of crimes like this if we turn to Him with repentance and cry out for His help and forgiveness.
  We have an impartial judge which means that He is always fair for all parties concerned and cannot be bribed or enticed to compromise His justice. This is our greatest blessing! This is our great refuge because though we also do things wrong, yet He will do what is right in every situation which makes obedience to His laws, to be our best friend. (This is not in refrence to salvation for salvation and actually keeping God's laws can only be accomplished through Christ and His saving power in our lives, but is speaking about the benefits of keeping the laws of God with Jesus' help) God is a true refuge to all and if we seek His protection He will require repentance and turning from our sin but He will also become our defender.
  To have a real and impartial judge is the best thing that we could ever have! It is the greatest gift to men, for He is truly fair in all things even though, while He accomplishes His justice, our circumstances may seem to be something other than fair. Let us rejoice that we have a judge and take full advantage of this. And remember, obedience is not optional or subject to interpretation (what is good for you may not be what is good for me)  but is part of our new life in Christ. Let us joyfully set ourselves to keeping His good laws through Jesus' grace and help. His laws always govern our hearts, making us a blessing to our neighbors and not just one more selfish person who thinks nothing of harming someone for his own gain.

           God Bless!