We Are Inconsistent Rascals

 

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“Loving Father God, my heart is filled upon rethinking the greatness of your love and the completeness of your plan.  I want to please you, but how often my flesh folds under the pressure of temptation.  I thank you that you know my frame, and you remember that I am but dust.  And I thank you for the abundance of Grace and the gift of righteousness that you have made available to me through the cross of your son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thank you for receiving me back, my gracious Lord.   Amen. ” 

Jack Hayford

When my children do wrong I ache inside.  As a father I so want to hear their confession and see their repentance.  But I cannot imagine disowning them. Never, ever!  How much more is our Heavenly Father ready to receive us back, and hold us close to his heart.

This profound love turns us back to Himself. The very fact you feel the Holy Spirit’s tug is evidence enough that you haven’t been permanently forsaken and ‘cast aside.’ You’ll need to take a step of faith however. Always remember— proximity to Jesus is always a good thing. Stay close, and watch the enemy flee.

Become brutally real with yourself, but not despairingly. Confess sin to the real God who loves you unconditionally. Let Him fill you with His Spirit again.

As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

John 6:66-68

Who else would take us? Jesus loves each one of us as if there were only one of us. Sink into that love, and have the assurance that He alone has the power to save us- His called rascals. And now His friends.

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Is He Your Friend, or a Doctrine?

“A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”

  ~D.L. Moody

Friendship with God can be a liberating secret. It releases us from the terrible bondage of religion and ritual with all its negative connotations. Intimacy with our Lord will carry us beyond creed or doctrine to the place of true communion.

It’s not that the Law is bad, but in the intense light of God’s grace it’s a poor substitute. We value legalism, and that is precisely what we believe when we bypass the relationship. Doctrine is a good servant, but a poor master. Grace always trumps legalism.

We evangelicals talk big about “a personal relationship.” That is indeed crucial. But few be the believers that walk in a daily friendship with their Savior. That is truly a tragedy.

“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

John 15:15, NLT

Friendship with Jesus will bring true guidance. He shares secrets and wisdom to his friends. We are brought into a true knowledge of the Kingdom through the relationship of friendship with the King. We are not slaves– or drones, slavishly serving out of slavish fear.

We are His friends.

Jesus wants to confide in us; sharing mysteries hidden by time and sin. And his kingdom is full of amazing perplexities! He is looking to bring us into a willingness of a daily communion.

He will heal our wounds, and forgive all our sins. He is truly our savior as well as our friend.

Friendship comes with a price. It means we are now tethered to the Lord. That can get old, especially when I want to do my own thing. I will continually have to lay things down, and choose to accept tether and follow Him.

But my soul now has a best friend.

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An Open and Sincere Prayer

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Eternal Father, you alone fully know my past and the deeds I have done.  I ask that you remove from my burdened mind the guilt and darkness of those days.

Having been set free from this pain, I earnestly want you to direct my steps.  The futurebelongs to you and there is nothing more from me that would desire the dark.  I have had enough of sin and the vain delights of this world.  I am yours forever.

Lord, I struggle with my depression.  It trips me up at times and I let it take control. Forgive me.  Unless you bring your light I will continue to struggle further while sinking deeper. I so need your help in this.

 

Help me to reach forward to the prize of the upward call of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Help me to forget the ugly past and lunge for the tape.  Amen.

________

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

Philippians 3, the Message

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Hope this blesses you today.

 

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Sandblasted Saints

“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
   now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.”  

Isa. 43:19, ESV

There is nothing that will increase your strength and your character like the wilderness does. It is God’s gym; he works you out on his equipment.  Good things will happen to all who will work-out. The desert becomes a place of separation and resolve. It is not for the faint of heart.

This spiritual geography is also the launching pad for ministries: for Jesus’ public ministry was 40 days in the wilderness — the training for Moses’ powerful leadership of God’s people was 40 years in the desert — and maybe why you are serving your time in the wilderness, right now.  It has to be.  It is your place for this moment.

“In the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'”

Deut. 1:31, ESV

Once in the desert, the Father keeps an “ultra-close-eye” on all his children. 

At times of strenuous activity/emotion–he comes and then he carries us.  He is exceedingly gentle, and he knows precisely what we need, and he sure doesn’t stint on his grace–he pours it out lavishly.

If you’re in the desert, know that your God is on duty.  Nothing that comes to you sneaks past His alert observation and consent.  (And after all, if you think about it, the wilderness is His as well.)

We seem to always be on the anvil; in the wilderness where God is shaping us for higher things. But, by faith, it is a rich place to be.

“To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love him.”

Frederick Buechner

ybic, Bryan

kyrie eleison. (Lord, have mercy)

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You Are Just a Prayer Away [Witness]

 

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An ‘open letter’ to my friend:

As believers in Him who passionately loves the world, we are on our knees asking that the Father would bring you salvation.  We lift you up in our prayers, so that you will have an immediate and definite contact with the Holy Spirit.  We have consecrated you to Him.  You are now marked and set apart, as we await further instructions from our Father. 

There is no happiness, no real satisfaction apart from Him.  Just stop trying, you are getting nowhere.  The pain and guilt are real, aren’t they?  There is in you a deep sadness–a grief.  But the Lord sees it, and absorbs it for you.  He sets you free, not for you to duplicate the sin, but to set you free from it.  His action on your life is meant to liberate you.

Dear one, you struggle so intensely and have so many issues.  We know this, but we have prayed, and we gathered you up to Him.  (You are now a real target, thanks to us.)  All of the issues you face from now on, have been initiated by God, and us who pray. I hope they won’t be too many. That you’ll respond to them, and turn to Him.

You are welcome to join us, we are indeed waiting just for you.

So enter into the grim arena.  Already we have stepped into its ugly locales.  You can meet us there.  We know that there is no one who can keep us from His Spirit.  You will find us standing against gladiator, and lion and sin.  You are welcome to join us, we are indeed waiting just for you.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Philippians 1:6

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Under the Table, [Boldness]

But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Matthew 15:27, NASB

This woman has a quick and nimble faith in Jesus.  She will not let go, and the attitude of Jesus only enhances her faith.  She was more then willing to be a dog, if that is what it took.  The children would be served first, and then she could go and get the crumbs.

What is it that you want?  What do you need?  The humility of this woman was impressive.  It was not easily offended or misdirected.  In her desperate need she has no where else to go, and so she lingers, and refuses to be patronized.  She wants the crumbs; the crumbs from His table are far better than the extravagant banquets and feasts of the richest nobleman.

“Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs
  With trembling hand that from thy table fall,
A weary, heavy laden sinner comes
  To plead thy promise and obey thy call.

“I am not worthy to be thought thy child,
  Nor sit the last and lowest at thy board;
Too long a wanderer, and too oft beguiled,
  I only ask one reconciling word.”

 We are not fed with crumbs, but directly from the table of our heavenly Father.  The Prodigal discovered that his Father was outrageous in His love.  An incredible feast was just a manifestation of that grace.  The feast declares the depth and width of His love.

You and I have become the honored guests.  We do not get crumbs, but we feast at the table with the finest food and wine.  Do we belong?  Only you can answer that.  But access is open to all who by faith receive Jesus as their Savior.  When we do that we get the invitation to the feast.

“Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” 

Matthew 15:28

aabryscript

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Sealed With a Kiss


“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

Ephesians 1:13

As a teen, I remember putting on my love notes, S.W.A.K.* Everyone knew what it meant. But what does it mean when you so you are sealed with the Holy Spirit?

Three things to consider:

First, it is a mark of being authentic. If the Holy Spirit is not in you, then you are a fake. First John 3:24 says, “If we obey God’s commandments, we will stay one in our hearts with him, and he will stay one with us. The Spirit that he has given us is proof that we are one with him.” John’s choice of words is illuminating, because it is the Greek word for “assurance.Assurance is not our claim; but His on us.

Second, the seal is a mark of being owned, like a tattoo, or the branding of a cow. You are His. Romans 8:9 says, “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”  There is an element of being someone elses.  Property, with boundaries. A possession that is now completely His.

Third, the seal is a mark of being safe and secure. Esther 8:8 tells about this type of seal, which “no man can reverse.”  If the word of an earthly king is inviolable and irrevocable, what of His decrees? Isn’t He the Lord God Almighty?

As a believer with ‘personal issues,’ I must have a working awareness of having been sealed by the Father.  So much of my life is in a daily upheaval.  I honestly can’t put two days together that work.  Unstable has become my ‘middle name.’  But being sealed by God stabilizes me.  I can now rest completely in what He has done.

For some people God is a religion; but for the saints He is an embrace and a kiss.

S.W.A.K.,

Bryan

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