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Monthly Archives: July 2017

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Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11, NRSV)

I love this passage because Paul just lays it all out here.

He talks about why he should be able to boast. In the verses right before this he says:

If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

Yet whatever I have gained from this, I regard it all as loss. Nothing compares to what I have in Jesus. I can do nothing better than what He has already done for me. In fact, everything in life is rubbish, dung, crap. It is nothing.

Once we understand this, the power of Christ will emanate from our lives and we will be living the life Jesus has called us to.

So make the breakthrough and know what He has for you.

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Have you understood all this?

He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52, NRSV)

Once the leaven is in can you take it out?

No, once the kingdom of Heaven is mixed in, it can not be removed.

But do we really understand all of this?

Is one pearl really worth selling everything you own?

And can we choose the kingdom? Not if we follow the last example because a fish caught in a net has no choice. The net captures it and pulls it in. The fish has a choice to bite that worm on the hook, but the net just grabs it.

So do you understand?

The kingdom is something small that becomes the biggest there is and pulls you in to make you give up everything to get one precious thing.

Seems like what God did to get you. Now do you understand?

 

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answer

Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl. Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me. (Psalm 86, NRSV)

Lord listen to me!

Hear me when I call out to you!

Have you ever felt like God wasn’t listening? Like all of your pleas and prayers were not being heard?

It is hard when it seems like everything in life is closing in around us. And when we call on the one who said He would always be there for and it feels like He isn’t listening or taking our call..

But He always does hear us and listen to our call. He will never let you go to voicemail. Even when it seems He isn’t there He is. And He will never leave you.

God always answers…

 

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Fruit of the Spirit

Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26, NRSV)

Are any of us led by the spirit?

I ask this because even the most pious Christians I know are fornicators, they have impure thoughts, have idols, and are a part of strife, and factions, they get jealous and angry and quarrel with others, they play a part in dissensions, and are envious, get drunk, and carouse. So if even the best among us do these things, how do any of us have hope. And one could go as far to say Jesus might have done some of these, and we can say for certain that He was angry, because He turned over the tables in the temple to drive out the money changers. Well, but that was righteous anger! Uhm, the reading above does not distinguish and simply says anger.

But if you are led by the spirit you will not do these things. You will produce the fruit of the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit is…

Not the Fruits of the Spirit are. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, which is made complete in joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are what love is.

So love God and your neighbors, and live in the fruit of the Spirit.

 

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worthy life

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14, NRSV)

Lead lives worthy of the Lord…

Easier said than done. How does one live a life worthy of the Lord?

How does one fully fulfill the calling you received from the Lord?

You live in God’s knowledge, not the worlds.

You follow spiritual wisdom and understanding from God.

You love God and others more than yourself.

So center yourself in Christ and follow after him!

 

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reaping

Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand! Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16, NRSV)

So was it the Son of Man, or was it one like the Son of Man?

Who is the one who does the reaping?

Because the one who sat on the cloud didn’t do what he wanted, he listened to the angel coming out of the temple.

And with one swing of the sickle, the one on the cloud reaped the earth…

Does it matter who it is? Are you ready for the reaping?

 

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Heirs

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:12-25, NRSV)

We are not slaves but are a part of the household.

We have been given adoption by God and called heirs with Christ.

God is our Father. We were saved by the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

So cry out to God your father and know that Christ is your brother!

 

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