Saturday, August 22, 2009
I indeed baptize you with water . . . but He . . . will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire —Matthew 3:11
Have I ever come to the point in my life where I can say, "I indeed . . . but He . . ."? Until that moment comes, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit means. I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do anything more— butHe begins right there— He does the things that no one else can ever do. Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come and do His work in me as long as there is anything blocking the way, whether it is something good or bad. When He comes to me, am I prepared for Him to drag every wrong thing I have ever done into the light? That is exactly where He comes. Wherever I know I am unclean is where He will put His feet and stand, and wherever I think I am clean is where He will remove His feet and walk away.
Repentance does not cause a sense of sin— it causes a sense of inexpressible unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am absolutely helpless, and I know that through and through I am not worthy even to carry His sandals. Have I repented like that, or do I have a lingering thought of possibly trying to defend my actions? The reason God cannot come into my life is that I am not at the point of complete repentance.
"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." John is not speaking here of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. "He will baptize you . . . ." The only experience that those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit are ever conscious of is the experience of sensing their absolute unworthiness.
"I indeed" was this in the past, "but He" came and something miraculous happened. Get to the end of yourself where you can do nothing, but where He does everything.
And WOAH I just found a website where you can read this everyday (I think) and not even have to buy it! http://www.rbc.org/utmost/index.php so now theres NO excuse :D
Have a good one!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Trials MUST come. Suffering IS for good.
I feel like I've kind of always known this in the back of my head, seeing the suffering of my family and how God has used it to shape their lives, but I feel for a while I was lured away to thinking that that all horrible things are straight from Satan and that a good God would not want them to happen. Oh how far from the truth that sounds now typing it out! Yes... I am a FIRM believer in the power of God to heal and to restore. I have a cousin who was healed of cancer! I also believe in praying for healing, but ALWAYS ending with the ultimate pleading for Gods will to be done before ours. I do not in any way think God allows pain and suffering (in all ways: emotional, spiritual and physical) because He enjoys it. I believe He allows it to occur to draw us nearer to Himself and to make us look more like Jesus! The evidence of this is found ALL over the Bible both in the Old and New Testaments. Just looking back at my life, its so extremely easy to realize this work. It was the times when I felt everything had been taken away and all the strength in myself and others have completely depleted that I can clearly see that the Almighty, Jesus is the only one I need or want! And that His GLORY surpasses all the other things that I attributed that glory to, before He took it all away. I'm seeing also that suffering MUST come in the Christian life, that we should NEVER, EVER come to a point where we believe we suffered enough or grown to be Christ-like enough. These are hard facts! But, OH how true I believe they are!
Salvation = Transformation
This one still blows my mind. I have began to receive all sorts of new insights on big issues dealing with my faith. I feel like I am just beginning to understand the basics of my faith! One of the most pivotal things I think that I have learned is that just because someone calls themselves a "Christian" does not mean that they truly are. And also I had to (and still do have to) take a really deep and hard look at my own life. What NEEDS to be thoroughly looked at in our lives are OUR FRUITS: what we do on a daily basis and what we truly desire. I should ask myself EVERY day about EVERY action, what is my purpose in this? Am I doing it to the glory of God? And if consistently the answer is no, then I need to truly ask God through the Holy Spirit to see if He has actually changed me. I feel like there are so many people that truly believe that they are saved from their sins just because they prayed a prayer one time in their life. I now know that a prayer CANNOT save you... in the LEAST. ONLY by the power if God the Holy Spirit can you be saved. And, here's the deal, if you are really saved: THERE WILL BEGIN TO BE A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE, not just in your heart, but daily in the way you live out your life. You will begin to desire things that are NOT of this world. The main verses that contest to this are Matthew 7:15-23
15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do
people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every
good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot
bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does
not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit
you will recognize them.
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will
enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is
in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy
in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you
These word have begun to really shake me. They have scared me but I believe they have also saved my life. No... I do NOT believe in any way what-so-ever that works have saved my life or can save any ones life in any way. But I DO BELIEVE that if the work of the Mighty King of Glory JESUS CHRIST has truly SAVED a person, that they CANNOT be the same again. They will not become perfect all of the sudden or ever stop sinning, but they will never be the same and they will CONTINUE changing. And PRAISE GOD FOR THIS!!! I am so glad my eyes have been open to this AMAZING truth! This makes the cross and the glory and purpose of God, SO much more powerful. Praise Him!
The thing I think I've learn the most is... just how much I don't know anything!..... Just how much there is still to learn about our great God... and just... how gracious He is to us... He is SO gracious guys... we need to STOP allowing ourselves to be blinded by our circumstances and our culture... We need to recognize what real truth is... and spend our times dwelling/thinking about/meditating on those things
P.S. Guess what... God willing... I'm going to Israel for 2 weeks in February :D