Something Out of the Ordinary

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“You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
    letting them drink from your river of delights.”

Psalm 36:8, NLT

God is the exclusive source of everything good. His goodness is quantified in the word “abundance.” We have made the discovery, that the spring from which all want to draw from is actually a full fledged river full of wonderful things. We come thirsty for something, anything that will quench our terrible yearning for the real and true.

God’s extravagance is unduly excessive it seems. It is limitless in scope, and endless in imagination. There is food and drink (of the Spirit) that constantly pours out on His people. All we can do is to revel in His grace, and receive from His mercy.

The children of Israel was supplied with manna while in the wilderness. Our Father provided for them, and provides for us as well. Let no one leave His pantry without filling their pockets with His outrageous grace. We receive all that He gives.

“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

2 Corinthians 9:8

Imagine winning the Lottery, a phone call tells you that you’ve just won 325 million dollars! If it was me I suppose, that once the shock wears off, I would be ready to be a financial blessing to my friends, family and Church. Having been the recipient  of incredible wealth, I want to share with others. However wonderful that might seem, we really shouldn’t put God’s grace is such worldly concepts.

Yet sometimes we need to step back and look again at God’s generosity to us. Sometimes we lose track of all that He has done. It is good to reacquaint ourselves to this incredible thing He has done on our behalf.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

Ephesians 3:20

We have been internally altered by the presence of God. Our genetic code has been changed. He has done something amazing in our hearts. What He has done is described as ‘infinitely more’ than our wildest dreams. I believe that some have ‘hijacked’ these kind of verses to teach that “God wants you rich.” This is called ‘the prosperity gospel’ and it really can be a bad thing. I believe in His prosperity, but it certainly isn’t linked to my material possessions. To do this distorts the message of the Gospel.

Our blessings come, and come some more, and keep coming. Everywhere we look we should see a spiritual blessing. It’s like we live with a God that can’t contain Himself. He rushes to pour out on us significant promises. My Bible becomes a ‘treasure map’ leading me to my true destination.

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Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July!

Happy Day of Independence!

 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

 

Dear Lord,

There is no greater feeling of liberation than to experience this freedom from sin and death that you have provided for me through Jesus Christ. Today my heart and my soul are free to praise you. For this I am very thankful.

On this Independence Day I am reminded of all those who have sacrificed for my freedom, following the example of your Son, Jesus Christ. Let me not take my freedom, both physical and spiritual, for granted. May I always remember that my freedom was purchases with a very high price. My freedom cost others their very lives.

Lord, today, bless those who have served and continue to give their lives for my freedom. With favor and bounty meet their needs and watch over their families.

Help me to live my life in a way that glorifies you, Lord. Give me the strength to be a blessing in someone else’s life today, and grant me the opportunity to lead others into the freedom that can be found in knowing Christ.

Amen

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Jesus Has a Family

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46 As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 47 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak to you.”

48 Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” 49 Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. 50 Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”

Matthew 12:46-50, NLT

The crowds have gathered, and they keep coming. Jesus begins to speak, and for most of them this is what they came for. Miracles had occurred; people have been healed and delivered. This mass of people had seen all of this. But at this moment, they are quiet; they want to listen to what Jesus is teaching.

Someone passes a message to someone else. Soon Jesus is alerted to the presence of his family. Some commentaries suggest that they’ve come to take ‘custody’ of him; that they wanted to escort him to the privacy of their home. It seems like Mary and Jesus’ brothers want to do an ‘intervention.’ They have come to speak with him, but they don’t understand.

The Lord uses this as a way to announce the inauguration of a new order of things. Jesus is setting a new family that is ‘spiritual’ in substance. The old is acknowledged, but now the new is emphasized. Spiritually, Jesus reveals a higher order of family. He points to his group of disciples, and declares them to be “my brother and sister and mother!”

All of this hinges on an obedience to the will of the Father. And that really is the point. The disciples had left everything to be with their new teacher. Their boats and nets probably would have been sold to finance this move. They’re now ‘doing the will of God.’ It is their decisive obedience that makes them ‘real’ family.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.”

Psalm 128:1, NIV

“Often the only way to a deeper intimacy is through a decisive obedience.”

Combine this with earnest prayer, and time in the Word. Through grace you can open up a fresh breeze of the Holy Spirit. You can become closer to Jesus. Maybe closer than you have ever dreamed possible.

“”The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith. The two are at opposite sides of the same coin.” 


–A.W. Tozer

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