“For the Joy of Loving”

What motivates you in life? What propels you forward into your day, to the extent that just about nothing can deter you from fulfilling the purpose for which you are here? You do know the very reason for which you are alive right now for such a time as this, don’t you?

If not, then perhaps my visit with you here this morning on this page can help stir you up into a quest similar to what I find myself on these days.

So if there is be any encouraging word or act of loving service that I could offer you this morning let it be the following; that in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, is where and how we be made complete.

Now mind you, my joy finds it’s source resting in being of the same mind that Jesus walked in. Let us look to Him. Without him you and I can do nothing, in and of ourselves. He is, after all “the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:2b ESV)

As He is, so we are to be in this world. Having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind; do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. In a human body He had His battles with the mind. He was tempted as you and I. But He stayed the course with what He saw His Father doing and He spoke what the Father was saying. Man is to not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Mind yourself with the Living Manna; the very words of the living God will sustain and direct you in all of your ways. Why do we think we should so walk any differently? You and I are not here to be found doing what is right in our own eyes. That is what gets us in so much trouble in this life.

But Jesus emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, was born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

May you and I do likewise and follow in his example. Be a follower of Christ. Allow His reign over your life. The walk of a follower of Jesus is not beyond your grasp or means. You have a Comforter and Teacher in his Holy Spirit. Have you surrendered and yielded the reigns of your heart unto His loving care and direction? If not I urge you to do so today. Your life does not need to be spinning and spiraling out of control. It is not meant to be haphazard but rather distinctly ordered and directed by His Word.

Jesus, being found in human form, went to the Cross for you and I and won the victory for us. He secured all of Heaven for you and I to meet us here on earth. “On Earth as it is in Heaven” is His design. Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth to the glory of God the Father.

So what do you and I need to need to ascertain in life to assure ourselves of this victory? It is very simple.

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” that is, the word of faith that we proclaim; because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:8-11 ESV)

I “believe God” and so I am who He says that I am and I choose to keep walking that out. The same holds true for you. But you must act upon and walk out what the Word of God already declares is true for you. I love to do the will of Him who sent and sends me and the Joy of being “in Him” is my strength. It is for the mere extravagant joy of his presence that I persevere and run this race. So are you my friend willing to follow in the same example?

Capture the Vision

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16,17 ESV)

“I will take my stand at my watch post and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint”. (Habakkuk 2:1)

Is there a complaint, a cry rising up within you because you do not truly know who God designed you to be in this world in representing His Kingdom? Maybe you don’t know even “if” let alone “where” you belong. Let me assure you that in the Father’s house there “is” a place for you. You are chosen and not ever forsaken. Jesus has prepared a place for you “of many rooms” in comparison to where the level of human reasoning can leave you stuck. Look at John 14:1-3 for example.

Many of us are likely living far below the capacity God has already placed within us to be. Are you hearing a call to come up higher?

In order to be in right standing in the Kingdom of God, one must living “by His faith” based in the power of the gospel. Can you declare “I believe”? Is “that believing” producing in you a passion to so clearly see Jesus so that you can perhaps begin to see an outline for walking out your specific purpose in fulfillment of “why you are here” on earth?

You don’t need to be running here and there in frantic search for on-purpose living that which if you are actually engaged in, can take you aside from where you actually need to be.

The Lord would say now, “step out onto the water”. Take His hand extended. Watch the current though. You must become very specifically “current” in a “very current” God who also holds the blueprint for the tributary of the stream of the river He has destined for you to flow in. May I say unto you there is but one river of God however that river has its tributaries that distribute and carry it’s flow. Are you properly positioned in alignment? He knows the plans that are held in store for you. They are plans to prosper you and to not bring you into a place that will bring harm. Don’t be caught up into diverse distracting currents which can make it very hard to get back on track.

Please have a seat in Jesus’ name and still yourself for a moment. What is the “vision” God has given you? You are not to leave that to happenstance. He wants you to clearly see it. He wants you to be fully in understanding and deeply immersed in it. Maybe you have no clue what to do. That is okay. There is remedy for such.

And the Lord is waiting answer to you. It is time to settle the questioning and to dispel the doubts and fears and “before” you take another step, He would have you to consider the following;

“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
(Habakkuk 2:2) Allow Him the process to “show you”. Write it down and I mean literally write it out. You can give yourself a kaleidoscope unfolding picture of what you write out and “soak in” what God is saying. If the vision is not fully “in you” then you will not be able to have it manifest. It remains simply a mere idea. The vision is something you must be able to “become” with what God’s resource deposited within you.

Then you must be able to articulate into words “which move and stir you” into action and your action draws those to you who God has prepared to be part of the process. We live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; not by mere physical tangible substance. Allow the living Word of God to come alive in you. “His personal word to comes out of the “logos” and is breathed into the “rhema” which is His Word “alive in you”

“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6). It is not by your own means, power or strength. Allow God to release in you “that” which only He can. Do not look to other people. He will direct you to connect with the “right people” in “His timing”.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end; it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3). In other words simply put, you will not be waiting for very long. God is always in motion and He intends for you to be in His express image and to reflect that which is characteristic of Him.

You have an appointed time from God to walk out what He holds for you placed into action in His plan. Don’t waste it. Be discerning and then be diligent.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”.
(Ephesians 5:15-17 NKJV)

“An invitation to Participation and Practice”

Something is stirring in the spiritual atmosphere around me. I particularily noticed it beginning yesterday. As I went to the grocery store yesterday I could sense each person around me in a new way. God is moving in something new and fresh that I sense none of us have ever seen. It is like a holy moment or pause where it seems like time is standing still so we may be particularily aware. The next move of God always begins deep with us. Are we paying attention? Please do not dismiss these summer months as just another season to enjoy; I am sensing that this time holds special significance in God’s plan unfolding now in the earth.

I am pondering this morning some surreal truth in this picture. I found myself saying that “every” moment is “a holy moment” truly. Yes, the holiness of God’s presence can seem to have a pronounced effect at given times and seasons however is that not due to our perception and level of awareness varying? He is unchangeable; yesterday, today and forever.

“But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15,16)
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3,4)

So what is my conclusion in this matter? Why not make the following a guide for a prayer of our heart to always carry before us; “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12) As long as we are willing we have His promise to uphold us. It goes back to our level of passion doesn’t it? What do I love the most in life? Then I must give that my all and best in participation and practice.
Will you join me in believing God for the very best in us to be brought forward and to manifest where we live?

Passage out of Darkness and into Light

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. A yoke is something you allow to be placed upon you. It is not true to your nature. It resists life’s flow. If any man be in Christ he or she is a new creation; old things are passed away and all things become new. What have you been wearing that is only serving to weigh you down and press upon your very being that your freedom to move through life is being restrained?

Does this weight bring a sense of condemnation upon your very being? Is it making you to feel less than God declares that you are?

What reigns in your life today? Is it the Spirit of life, the goodness of God setting and keeping you free or is it the law of sin that you give place to or or is it the the law of death?

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1,2)

What might you might be allowing to be placed upon you that is contrary the nature of the identity that God declares that is who He says that you are?

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
(Philippians 2:1,2)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

Is there conflict in your life? Is the practice of life that you are perhaps trying to walk out in double mindedness? This can leave you in a valley of decision not knowing which way to turn, in a wilderness of wandering with no direction of purpose, or in and endless sea of despair and discouragement because you have lost your way.

Does any of this ring a bell within you? I can attest to having been there myself and it encompassed many months of my life yet today I have chosen to be set free of such. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11)

At the name of Jesus, every thought taken captive, every condition or disease in the body must surrender. Whatever that is out of alignment in your life must come back into alignment with the Word of God.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

You and I are called “out of darkness” and “into this marvelous light”. The darkness cannot prevail at the name of Jesus. The darkness must bow at this name; the name above all names. Then declare this. Believe this absolutely and fully step into it by faith. Be that which the Word of God declares that you are. Remember your true identity. God’s Holy Spirit, the comforter shall bring you into remembering all the Words of God spoken into you. Give Him place.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. His glory simply stated, is His goodness; the goodness of God. Born again in his likeness is your true identity.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9)

His mercies are new, new every morning. Every day can be a new beginning on a brand new clean slate. Why not choose now? Why wait a moment longer? Gain or have restored the singleness of mind that that is complete, sound and clear in Christ Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life; the only road to true freedom. Choose to be and remain in such freedom wherein the fruit of the Spirit is abiding and love, joy, peace prevailing; then all is truly well once again. Behold, all things can be new again!