Faith

Romans 8:28


Jesus, the Healer of Our Souls

Jesus, the Healer of Our Souls

He was flat on his back, groaning. It wasn’t the pain that brought him back to consciousness. It was the choking dust. The pain came a few seconds later. The fear of never breathing again was overwhelming. This was the second time he had been thrown off a cliff. The wind had been knocked out of him, but, as he began to draw in that first, blessed, breath of air, the dust floating around him from the impact of his fall was choking him. The pain came when he tried to roll over and stand up. It felt like every bone in his body had been broken. He gasped for breath while he ran his hands over his body to check if his bones were not broken. Nothing broken, but it sure felt that way. It was a good drop from the edge of the cliff. It was a miracle he wasn’t broken to pieces and killed.

When his ears stopped ringing, he heard shouting from a distance above him. He staggered around in a circle until he could focus his eyes and look up. Steadying his stance, he looked up and saw the people who had thrown him off the cliff. They were shaking their fists at him, screaming curses at him, wishing death on him, and telling him he should never come back.

Less than a year ago, this had happened to him at another place. He was dismayed that it had happened again. Greater than the physical pain was the hurt that he had been rejected again.

He could just make out the towering spire of the temple, behind the screaming crowd. Leading that crowd was the Chief Priests of that community. They had contacted him and asked him to come. They had heard about him, and thought that he could bring about the changes needed in their community. Others had tried and failed, including the Chief Priests. One of the High Priests even told him that the Creator had given him a vision of how he was the person to lead that community into the future.

HE had accomplished much of what he knew the Creator had sent him to accomplish. The people had caught the vision he laid out. The changes came, not because of him, but because he shared the vision with the people. All He had to do was deliver the message the Creator had told him to deliver, and to do specific things the creator had told him to do. As long as he did this, things went very well.

There were a certain group of people he had to work the hardest with and for. They fought him every inch of the way. Still, change happened, and things slowly improved. One of the people in this particular group had the ability to hide his falsehoods in a web of half-truths, and cause people to believe his words. This was a slowly dripping poison that had the potential to destroy all he had accomplished. Still, he pressed on.

There was a monument in the center of the village that enumerated all the creeds of their forefathers. It was the forefathers that had founded this town, and the creeds that had held it together through good and bad times. These creeds stirred his heart every time he read them. He knew he was new to the walk, but he was determined to embody these creeds, and lead by example, just as the forefathers had done. He could tell that very few people in the village took the creeds seriously, and acted on them only when the High Priest happened to be looking. This frustrated him a great deal that such duplicity could live in the hearts of the villagers. Did they not understand that it was by the Godly leadership of the forefathers that this village even existed. Yet, here they were, willing to use them as a superficial tool. They spoke bravely of these creeds, but were too afraid to walk in them.

Eventually, he grew weary of the Chief Priests and the people swearing their dying loyalty to the creeds that they boasted of, and he grew weary of fighting the prophet of falsehoods. Instead of responding in the manner that the Creator had told him to do, he took matters in his own hands. He grew angry and impatient with the utter hypocrisy that seems to surround all religious people. He betrayed the trust of those who had asked him to come there. All his good efforts were undone in that single moment. It seemed that, once again, the Enemy of our souls had won another round.

He faced his accusers, and was charged, and was thrown over the cliff, and told never to return. All the work he had accomplished was in jeopardy of being destroyed because of him.

His heart was broken. He wept. He didn’t feel self-pity, just a deep disappointment. God had sent him here, and had worked a few miracles to bring him here. He had not done as the Father had told him to do.

As he wondered why God had arranged him to be here, the crowd suddenly grew silent. They covered their mouths and pointed at something behind him. The cliff formed a U-shaped wall around a valley. He was standing in the very back of the cliff walls, where he had been thrown off.

He turned around to see what all the silence was about.

Standing about 50 feet in front of him, in a semi-circle, blocking his escape, were the most hideous beings he had ever seen. These wraith leered at him and slathered their delight at his downfall. He heard the High Priest shouting to the people to turn away and go home. That he was getting the punishment he deserved, and they need to run away if they don’t want th wraith to chase them. Such was the beliefs of the village.

He recognized who these wraith were. He dared not speak their names, or listen to their taunting curses and laughter. But he knew them well. Their names were Fear, Doubt, Curses, Blame, Anger, Despair, and Destruction. He knew them very well, as they used to be the only friends he ever had before Jesus, the Son of God, had touched him, and healed his heart, about 8 months ago.

He knew that if he listened to them, he would consider their accusations and succumb to the temptations they offered. Their presence was strong, and their words very enticing. He shook with the effort of trying to ignore them. As they inched closer, he began to panic. He wondered if this was why God had sent him here. To be destroyed by his own demons, that he thought he had been delivered of.

He remembered what Jesus had told him at his healing: “God is not judging you. While life has natural consequences, you are forgiven, because I bore all your sin and disease and failings on the Cross, and have given you all that I am and have in exchange for your sin. Never let doubt and fear distract you. There is nothing in all of Heaven or in Earth that can ever separate you from His love, ever again. You are his child, now. Call on Me when you are in need, and I will answer.”

Despite his misgivings, in spite of his fear and doubt, he raised his hands and said:

“My Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I thank you that I am acceptable to you, because I am in Christ, and He is in me. I come before you with all confidence and boldness because of the sacrifice of Jesus. (Eph. 1:6, Heb. 4:16)”

“You are my Father, and I am your Child.”

“I thank you that nothing can ever take me out of your hand again.”

“Because of the Lord Jesus I am adopted into the Family of God.”, “Because I am in Jesus, I am an heir to the everlasting Kingdom, that, because of His sacrifice, he exchanged all He has and Is for all my sin; He had given me all He has.”

“God, my Father, I am seeking, first, YOUR Kingdom and Your righteousness, and you meet ALL my needs” (Matt.6:33)

“Because You are my Father, you reveal your perfect will for my life.” (Matt. 11:25)
“Because I love and trust You, I seek to do Your will.” (Matt. 12:50)
“Because You are my Father, I love Jesus, who You sent to be my Savior.” (John 8:82)
“Because I am in the Lord Jesus, and He is in You, I am in you, too. I will always abide in your presence.” (John 10:10, 17:21)
“Father God, I abide in Your glory, which was given to Jesus, who, because I am now in Him, He has given to me. You crown me with dignity and worth. I am the redeemed of Christ. I am all You say I am. Father, I glorify You in the Earth.” (John 17:22)

As he was saying these things, joy flooded his broken heart. He felt the presence of the Spirit of GOd arrive and fill his every fiber. He danced and sang praises to God, because of Jesus Christ.

While he was praising, a presence appeared right in front of him. He stopped moving. He didn’t make a sound. He just stood staring in awe at who was standing right there in front of him.

Jesus stood looking him in the eye.

The prophet fainted.

Jesus said, “Please, get up.” And he held out His hand to pick up this soiled little prophet.

Jesus dusted him off, and smiled at him, and gave him water from the jug He had been carrying.

The prophet was utterly speechless. Jesus grinned and gave him a friendly smack on the shoulder, and said, “Well, for once, you are speechless!”. Then Jesus laughed at his own joke. This made the prophet relax, and eventually, he was laughing along with Jesus.

Christ walked the prophet over to an outcropping of rock, under a shade tree. He asked the prophet, “Where are your little wraith?”, That is when the prophet looked around, as if he was finally taking in his surroundings. “Gone, Lord. GONE!!”, said the prophet. And he grinned. Jesus chuckled and said, “Of course, nothing can stand in the praise of the Father, and no attack from them can befall one who has faith in the promises.”

The prophet said, “But Lord, I know you sent me to that village. I have ample evidence it was you that sent me there. But I have been kicked out. I have failed you again, and now I don’t know why I am here. I just know you sent me.”

“So, what will you do now?”, asked Jesus.

“I don’t know, just wait for you to tell me what to do, I guess.”, said the prophet.

Jesus said, “You guessed right. Wait for my instructions. I have sent you to be where you are. Never doubt that.”

“But I really blew it, Lord!”, pled the Prophet, “How can I possibly carry on after such a colossal failure?” “What will I do?” “My behavior turned my confession in to a lie!”

Jesus answered, “Friend, you will learn from me, and of me. You will be made in to my image. One way or another, when this is done, you will resemble Me.”, “For now, know you are loved of the Father, and by Me.”, “I promised I will send the Spirit of God to you, and I have. Listen to the leading of the Spirit. Get used to hearing and obeying when the Spirit speaks. Stay your ground, and do not look to the left or right. Have faith.”

The prophet asked, “What about the Village?”

“You have no idea,” replied Jesus, “what your influence has done there. Let me worry about the Village, and let the Village decide how it will believe. I will turn your curses into blessings, and I will see that the seed you planted, where it was planted, will be watered and will grow at the hands of another. What you may see as a failure, I will turn into a blessing in the end. You just have to decide what you believe is true about me.”

The prophet knelt before Jesus and said, “My Lord, Jesus, I thank you for dying on the cross for me. You paid for my sins. You made it possible for me to come before the Father. You carried the punishment for my sin, so I would not have to carry it. You rose from the dead, so I could have a new life. You shed your blood for me and removed all my sins. Jesus, I worship you and call you my Lord. (I Cor. 15:3-4, Gal. 3:13. 2 Cor. 5:17, Heb. 10:19, Rom. 5:9)

“I thank you, Jesus, for bringing me in to the family of God. You are my Elder Brother, and God is my Father, and I worship you this day. You have made me to be an heir of Your Kingdom.” (Heb. 2:11-13, Rom. 8:17, Col, 1:12, Rev. 5:10)

Then the prophet stood kissed Jesus on both cheeks.

Jesus stood up and said, “My little brother, rest assured this is not the end of your walk with me. Remember when I told you that things would get really dark?”

“Yes, I do, Lord.” said the Prophet.

“What did I say to you when I told you this was coming?”, asked Jesus.

“You told me that, no matter what happened, I am to cling to you, and have faith that you will turn this darkness into bright daylight, and this curse into a blessing. That, in the end, I will serve you successfully.” The prophet answered.

“Then do not fear. Know I am with you. It is like your elder brother, Paul said, ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purposes.’ (Rom. 8:28). So know this, my brother, I have called you. I have prepared a way for you. Even when you fail, I love you and forgive, before you even ask. I will turn all your curses into blessings. Just stand your ground and keep believing.”

Then Jesus vanished.

The prophet stood there mouth gaping. He didn’t know what to do first, laugh, or cry. He was too blown away to begin walking again, so he sat on the rocks he and Jesus had sat on earlier. While he was thinking of all that had happened, he had a feeling that someone else was watching him. He looked up the cliff to see who it could be. Sure enough, there was a lone figure leaning against the rail at the edge of the cliff.

It was the High Priest.

 

 

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Faith, Observations

Me and My Big Mouth – Part III.


Taming the Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,a and set on fire by hell.b 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,c these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1 – 12 ESV

Too often, I speak without thinking, I think without reason, and I reason without listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

That is when what I think I am saying turns into a thing I never intended to say.

One thing is clear; When the Spirit of God gives you utterance, it will most likely surprise you more than it surprises the listener.  The reason that is so is, the Listener was looking for the answer deep in their heart, and the Spirit of God simply reveals the heart of the hearer, and He gave you utterance to that listener, despite of what “wisdom” you think you have..

My mouth will speak what is in my heart.  My heart will believe what I choose for it to believe.  When what I chose to believe is contradictory to the will of God, I have ceased to represent God, and the finished work of Christ.  When I do this, I am reproved of God.  He is gentle and loving, and does not condemn me when he corrects me.  You can tell who the Children of God are when they correct you the same way.  If I am wise, I learn…if I am a fool, I am broken on the truth.  If I refuse to learn, then I am useless.

This is what I pray the Spirit of God will write on my heart:

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”  Luke 21:15, ESV – Jesus

This is true of every utterance you have.  Wether in writing, or in speech, in thought or in deed.  I must labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and allow the Spirit of God to do His mysterious and powerful work in me.  To do anything else is rebellion against the One whom I say I have accepted in my heart.

Even Confucius understood this:  “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.”

Paul said it best:

15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…

I pray that the Spirit of God first teach me this wonderful love, and write it on my heart.  I pray that, if I have to speak or write, under any circumstance, that I do it in the love He has poured into me. I pray that I do not rely on my own understanding, but learn to get myself out of the way before I attempt to tell anyone anything.

Let’s Be About It!

I love You,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

Test of Authenticity


Luke 6:46  ESV :  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luke 6:46 ESV : “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

 

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

I am doing a research, right now, where I compare the writings of two different Christian Leaders.  One of these leaders manages to take everything he discusses back to the finished work of the cross.  The other one, a more influential person, acknowledges the work on the Cross, but manages to take his work back to Adlerian Psychology, Mixed with Ericksons Stages of Development.  I recognize other influences, in there, too, but, whether he calls his modality these things, or not, this is what he is doing.

One leader takes the hurt soul and shows us where we are complete in the finished work of Christ, and are given a host of gifts.  This leader tells us our identity no longer lay in the things of this earth, but, as a new creation, we are now completely loved, accepted, and are being made in the likeness of Christ our savior.  The rest of his works describe the scriptural basis of Christian Authenticity.

The other leader, despite the finished work of Christ, wants to take us through our developmental stages of life, point out where we were “wounded” and how that affects our lives, and uses several psychological gimmicks to justify and solidify this teaching.  Then he peppers it with scripture in an effort to undergird his writing.

This inauthentic approach never releases you from sin, never gives you a chance to labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ, and never releases you from a past that Christ clearly died for.

At Cates Control Solutions, we have a saying about Responsibility:  We accept the responsibilities of our position and know we are accountable to meet our obligations.

So, what is my responsibility to what I am reading.  Simple, when I read any leader of the “Christian Faith”, the test of authenticity I have learned to recognize is this:  It either takes you to the finished work of the Cross, and how that makes you a new creation, or it doesn’t.  When Christ died of our sin, he didn’t die for just a few things.  He died of everything, so you will receive everything that is His.  You do not have to regress and confront anything in your past.  Your past is dead.  When Christ rose from the dead, Your NEW SELF rose with him.  OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY.  I also know from experience, any “woundedness” I carry is because I have not rested in the finished work of the cross.  I do not have to identify myself with anything but Jesus, and seek the Kingdom of God.  There is nothing I need to go back and fix.  I labor to rest in the finished and authentic work of Christ.  I have received all gifts and benefits of the Child of God.

Tonight we observe that Christ died on the cross.  He fulfilled His responsibility, and set you free from all encumbrances.  My responsibility as a new creation, is to make sure I do not get mired down in any doctrine of man that attempts to denigrate the finished work of the cross.

After all, When Jesus said it was finished…He meant it.

I love you in Jesus Name…

…It’s Friday, but SUNDAY IS COMING!  Halleluiah!

David G. Perkins

 

 

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Faith

Easter


These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.

These are the free gifts of God, through Jesus Christ.


 

Jesus didn’t hide eggs.

He didn’t hand out candy.

What He hid was our sin.

What he gave out was his life.

This is his gift to you …

…If you will have it.


I love you in the name of Jesus,

Let’s Be About It.

David G. Perkins

 

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Faith, Observations

If I Had Been There


image

If I had been there, would I have…
…cried like his mom did?
…mocked him like the guards did?
…stand in open condemnation as the High Priest did?
…observe with the joy of blood sport as the local rabble did?
…betray him as his followers did?
…shriek in loud cheers as Satan did?

Chances are, had I been there, I would have done all of the above.
Chances are, I would have done these things out of the same pitiless ignorance that they did.

Even in all his betrayal, pain, and separation from the Father, he asked God to forgive us, since we really didn’t know what we were doing.

Jesus didn’t die for our sin, He died OF them.  He died for me.  He died for you.

I Love You
David Perkins
Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Unrelentingly Relentless


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. I COR 9:24 ESV

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith  Hebrews 12:1-11

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, 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.

Do Not Grow Weary

3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

re·lent·less

riˈlentləs/adjective

adjective: relentless

1.

oppressively constant; incessant.

“the relentless heat of the desert”

synonyms:

persistent, continuing, constant, continual, continuous, nonstop, never-ending, unabating, interminable, incessant, unceasing, endless, unending, unremitting, unrelenting, unrelieved;

 

To Find My Path of Unrelenting Relentlessness, I first Had To Relent

Part of dying to my old self meant putting away my old self-habits.  I know that the only way to do that, and make it stick, is through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.  And THAT has to be what I call “Heart Surgery”.  For the change to keep, my Heart Beliefs HAVE to align and harmonize with the Spirit of the Living God.  From there, whatever characteristics I stored in my mind are overwritten with the Character of Christ.  When that happens, my body follows.

To relent is to soften your position on certain fast held beliefs.  To relent is similar to repent, which is to change your mind.  The difference is, I must be willing to soften my unrelentingly relentless stance on a wrong belief, it is when I am unrepentantly unrelentless that a character other than that of Christ is revealed in me.

This is why it is written:  Ezekiel 36:29 NIV – ‘“I’m going to give you a new heart, and I’m going to give you a new spirit within all of your deepest parts. I’ll remove that rock-hard heart of yours and replace it with one that’s sensitive to me.”   Before I can learn to relent, I have to submit to the Heart Surgery of the Holy Spirit, and be recreated, which is where II Corinthians 5:17 is revealed in you: Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come”

As a new creation, with a new Spirit and a heart sensitive to the voice of God, you can be remade into the image of Christ.  There are dangers in this, though.  The Spirit of God is gentle, and will never force its will on you without your consent.  You can ignore it, you can deny it, you can do whatever you want.  If you are willing to relent, then you will be changed, gently, without condemnation, and grow to be more like Christ.

WHAT AM I WILLING TO BE RELENTLESS ABOUT.

At Cates Control Solutions, Relentless is defined as follows:  “RELENTLESS: We will not back down from our pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our business.”

So I wondered where that is found in scripture.  Here is an example – Philippians 4:8Finally brotherswhatever is true, whatever is honorablewhatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovelywhatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things.”

In order to pursue excellence, I must relent on my attitude that “Good Enough is Good Enough.”  I must find where EXCELLENCE is taught in the Bible, and I must let the Spirit of God write these things on my heart.

Excellence, like any other Core Value, is as meaningful as you will allow it to be, and is only as effective as it is written on my heart.  It is my hard-earned experience that I cannot fake this value of the relentless pursuit of Excellence.

Click the word EXCELLENCE, to see what the Bible has to say about Excellence.

Frankly, left to my own devices, Good Enough is Good Enough for me.  It is not in my carnal nature to want excellence, or to pursue excellence.  This can only come from a changed heart.  It is not just for the sake of Cates Control Solutions that I chase, unrelentingly, after Excellence.  It is first, and foremost because the Spirit of the Living God is pursuing excellence in me.

“RELENTLESS” and all the other Core Values becomes real, not because it is a rule at the office.  It stops being mere words when the Spirit of God is allowed to turn my heart of stone into a heart that is sensitive to the will of God.  If I approach all of the Cates Core Values this way, then it will not matter of this is posted on our wall, or the back of my business card.  I will not have to be reminded by the “Thought Police” to pursue this, either.  It will simply manifest itself as the natural outcome of my unrelentingly relentless pursuit of the Character of Christ.

My Prayer:  Dearest God, My Father, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord, My Savior, and my Brother, that I relent in my stiff-necked will, and turn toward your voice, and become unrelentingly obsessed with all the things you say are excellent.  I know all the qualities exist in the Person and Likeness of Christ.  Lead me, Dear God, to be just like your son.  – AMEN

Now, Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ.

David G. Perkins

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The Looking Glass


In my dreams.  Photo by E. Tom Hussey

In my dreams. Photo by E. Tom Hussey

JAMES 1:23-24 – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

We interrupt this series on values to bring you this message.

I Corinthians 15:49 – Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

A few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how our perception of ourselves affects what we believe is true about ourselves.  For example, I have this self-image of me from when I was in peak athletic condition.

In my minds mirror, I see me as still being fit, muscular, coordinated, strong, with real strength, not bottled strength.  In my minds mirror, I still have long, curly blackish/brown hair, full of waves and curls.  In my mind’s eye, I am still wearing 32 inch waist pants.

What the mirror in my mind ells me.

What the mirror in my mind tells me.

The mind can be a tricky thing, and can lead me to many false assumptions based on what I think is true.  Often, my warped ego guides me to many fallacies and false assumptions.

The other day, I did something I honestly RARELY ever do.  I looked at myself in the mirror.  My first impression was, “Hey!  That’s my Dad!  I thought I buried HIM in 2005!”  But when I moved, so did the man in the mirror.  Then it dawned on my conscious mind, and my ego mind, that is not my dad, but ME!!

It was then I realized why I don’t look in mirrors.  I am not that guy my ego told me I am.  I am the very image of my Dad.

IN THE BEGINNING

When God created us, we were made in the image of God, meaning we looked like he looks.  We were also made in the likeness of God, meaning we used to act as He acted because we saw what he did.

AFTER THE FALL

After the fall, we lost touch with God, and lost what was His likeness.  We were not able to return to our glorified state.  No work we could expend any effort on would make us righteous in God’s eyes, even though we became self-righteous in our own eyes.  The ego can really fool a person.

THEN CAME JESUS

Yes, Jesus is the Son of God.  God said so rather loudly at Jesus’ baptism.  But it was the Son of Man that faced temptation.  It was the Son of Man that asked God to take away the cup.  It was the Son of Man that faced God’s wrath.  It was the Son of Man that rose from the dead to prove he is the Son of God, too.

The Image of Christ

We are asked to be like Christ, but we, on our own are not capable.  The best we can do is try, but we eventually fail.  But the scripture says we need to become like Christ.  Peter was the first person to prove that, if you don’t keep your eyes on Christ, you will fail in your effort to be just like Jesus.  The labor into the rest of Christ likeness was that all Peter had to do was keep his eyes, and faith, on Jesus, and he would have walked on the water, by faith, as he was already doing.

In the Garden of Eden, the wind and waves Adam and Eve faced was the lie that doing something else will make you just like God.  They then doubted they were already like God.  They took their eyes off the facts, and the truth, and considered a lie, and a false premise based on circumstances.  Forbidden Fruit.

THE EXCHANGE

If you will consider this, instead, and accept it as fact, instead of believing what you think you apparently see, you will learn that you are already like Christ, if you have accepted His death and resurrection.  When Jesus became all your sin, you received, in exchange, all that Jesus is.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

II Corinthians 3:18

It is all a matter of what we focus on.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have 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. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8  

Just like Jesus died of our sins, voluntarily, we are able to die to ourselves, voluntarily, as we labor into the rest of accepting that, all that Jesus was, we inherited when He arose from the dead.  When we keep our understanding on this truth, when we comprehend this exchange, and when we accept it in faith, no matter what we think we look like, you will look to God, like His Son, Jesus, and you will eventually appear to others to have the likeness of Christ, too.

After all, that is why you weren’t raptured the second you believed.  You are the only Jesus people will see.  When they see Jesus in you, they will want to know what happened to make you this way.

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the Name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

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Faith, Observations

What Were You Looking For?


what-we-see-depends-mainly-on-what-we-look-for

Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”   Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

When I was a teenager, my Dad decided it was time for me to learn how to fly one of his several airplanes.  Considering my driving history, I thought he surely had a screw loose, somewhere.  By time I was 16, I had already totaled a few cars.  Still, I do love to fly, and had always wanted to fly right seat with my Dad on his adventures.

Our airport was the municipal airport in Plainview, Texas.  At over 3300 feet, altitude, the airport has a whole lot of sky to fling your airplane into.  Dad made sure the wind was relatively calm before he would let me take off.  The high plains are very windy much of the time.  There is a saying in Lubbock, Texas (45 miles south of Plainview), that if the wind ever stopped blowing, everyone would fall down.  Wind is a fact of life, there, and you adjust your walking by leaning into the wind.

Taking off into the wind made flying that much more fun, as I had to generate less lift with the engine.  Flying in the wind, however is a challenge.  This is where the word attitude comes in.  In flight, your attitude is the approach you have to take to flying in the wind, ESPECIALLY when you are landing an airplane.  Landing an airplane on a calm day was challenging enough for me, but landing in high wind was a contest between me and the wind to see who will master my aircraft.  This is when attitude becomes everything.

When nature threw strong wind at me, I had to turn the airplane into the wind on approach to the landing strip.  This is called “Crabbing”.  I am approaching a runway almost sideways, and at the last-minute, I correct my attitude so I can land moving in the right direction.  Another factor in landing attitude is that I could approach the runway only in a narrowly defined angle.  This is called the “Glide Path” .   As you approach the runway, you will see a group of lights.  If my glide path is too low, I will see three or more yellow lights.  If my glide path is too high, I will see red lights, if my glide path is correct for the landing approach, I will see green lights.

Maintaining the right attitude for landing is everything, too.  I am already crabbing in to the runway because of a wind situation, and I also must keep my approach angle right.  If I am yellow on approach, I will not land on the runway.  If I am red, I will land too far in on the runway to keep from overshooting.  I must crab in on a green light.

While I am worried about those two aspects of attitude, I also have to make sure my wings are as level as I can keep them on approach, and that my nose is not too high, or too low.  So, there are possibly 4 parts of attitude I must pay attention to when I am landing.  Overdoing or under-doing any part can mean a bad landing.  Bad landings can complicate your life in ways you don’t need.  It was all about attitude.

 

“WELL, THE METAPHOR IS OBVIOUS, ISN’T IT?”

I hope so.

At CATES (Where I work), one of the twelve principles we live by is: “ATTITUDE – We choose to be positive”.   If you want to approach a subject and land on it with successful outcomes, it helps if your attitude is positive.  Being positive makes all the difference in the world.  It is fairly clear, after over 8000 years of examination, that God has given us the ability to affect the outcomes of every aspect of our lives, simply by determining what we believe is true about it.  Our beliefs change every aspect of our life.  If you believe things will always go wrong, then you will experience that outcome.  If your approach to your fellow-man is negative, then you will reap the benefit of your view of others, and have no genuine friends.

Attitude is one of the very first things the Lord had to really work with me on.  I was a negative and pessimistic individual, whose attitude was reinforced by the outcomes of my life.  My assumption was that I was right because everything always turned out exactly as I thought they would.  God showed me that attitude is a choice.  How I choose to approach anything will directly affect the outcomes.  Attitude is a choice.  It is a habit.  It comes from the heart.  It becomes positive when you learn to look at the world differently.

 

“HOW DID YOU DO IT?”

I’m glad you asked. I didn’t.

My attitude about life, work, love, marriage, co-workers, clientele, family, or anything didn’t change until I fully understood what the finished work of the cross gave me.  When I accepted that Jesus BECAME all sin for all time, and took on the wrath of God in our place, and in exchange, God poured on us all the benefits of being His child, an heir to the throne, a member of God’s family, a love beyond measure, and total forgiveness for all my sin, I finally understood what it felt like to see the world and people the way God does.

I learned to love because God loved me enough to bury my sin with Jesus, and raise my dead soul into a new life.  I had been born in the spirit.  Where I was dead, Jesus’s resurrection gave me life in Him.  The Spirit of God cleansed me and changed my attitude. I began thinking new thoughts.,  I loved for the first time.  I saw people as my brother or sister.  While I am aware of my and others continuing failures, I felt only love for them, and chose to show grace and mercy.  It was easy to do this because this was what God showed me.

So, frankly, I didn’t change my attitude.  Experience has taught me that, I can fake a good attitude only so long, but whatever is hidden in my heart will become manifest over time.  On my own strength I do not love long, I show no mercy or grace, and my attitude is very rotten.  Since I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, I am able to be like Christ and love, show grace and mercy, and look for opportunities to give with a positive attitude.

 

GUARD YOUR THOUGHTS

 

I cannot, by my own strength, maintain this loving attitude.  Only when I guard my thoughts am I able to be filled with this powerful love.  I can break my connection to God simply by going back to my old way of thinking and behaving.  God leaves this up to me.  The way I maintain a good attitude is by staying in the word, praying continuously, and submitting to Gods love and will.  It is only by the continual renewing of my mind that I can be a blessing instead of a curse. I am confident in Christ enough that I know I am weak, but Christ in me is infinitely strong.  If I catch the old self trying to assert his attitude and beliefs, all I have to do is remember that my old self died with Christ, and my new self, the child of God, is who lives through Christ.

Attitude is a choice.  When the blowing wind of earthly things challenges my attitude, when the weight of the world wants to crush me, when my co-workers decide to be peevish and negative, when a thoughtless and selfish humanity threatens to ruin my day, I simply remember who I am in Christ, and ask the Spirit of the Living God to sustain me so I can be a witness to all the things that would otherwise drag me down.  A simple choice of attitude can turn things around, and your witness can cause others to want to know where you have this strength of character.  Then you can tell them why you are joyful in the face of adversity, and strong when temptation desires your soul.

Think on the good things of God continuously, and you will see the world in a very different lite.

It is all a choice, a labor into the rest of the finished work of Christ.

You will always get what you are looking for.

Let’s be about it

I love you all,

David G. Perkins

PS – Click HERE to see how the Bible addresses ATTITUDE.

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Faith

Transition States – Leaving My ‘Old time Religion’ and Learning to Walk in Grace.


New Creation

Transition States

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26 NASB

DEFINITIONS:

Masoretic Text of Ezekiel 36:26

וְנָתַתִּ֤י לָכֶם֙ לֵ֣ב חָדָ֔שׁ וְר֥וּחַ חֲדָשָׁ֖ה אֶתֵּ֣ן בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֑ם וַהֲסִ֨רֹתִ֜י אֶת־לֵ֤ב הָאֶ֨בֶן֙ מִבְּשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וְנָתַתִּ֥י לָכֶ֖ם לֵ֥ב בָּשָֽׂר׃

Reverse Interlinear

“Moreover, I will give” – nathan – gift (A form of the word GRACE.)  – to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, employ, devote, consecrate, dedicate, pay wages, sell, exchange, lend, commit, entrust, give over, deliver up, yield produce, occasion, produce, requite to, report, mention, utter, stretch out, extend

“You a new” – chadash – new, new thing, fresh

“heart” – leb – Outline of Biblical Usage

  1. inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding

    1. inner part, midst
      1. midst (of things)
      2. heart (of man)
      3. soul, heart (of man)
      4. mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
      5. inclination, resolution, determination (of will)

      6. conscience
      7. heart (of moral character)
      8. as seat of appetites

      9. as seat of emotions and passions

      10. as seat of courage

“spirit” – ruwach – 

  1. wind, breath, mind, spirit

    1. Spirit of God, the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son
      1. as inspiring ecstatic state of prophecy
      2. as impelling prophet to utter instruction or warning
      3. imparting warlike energy and executive and administrative power
      4. as endowing men with various gifts
      5. as energy of life
      6. as manifest in the Shekinah glory

      7. never referred to as a depersonalised force

“within” quereb – midst, among, inner part, middle

  1. inward part

    1. physical sense

    2. as seat of thought and emotion

    3. as faculty of thought and emotion

“and I will remove” – cuwr – (Pronounced ‘suwr’) –

  1. to turn aside, depart

    1. (Qal)

      1. to turn aside, turn in unto
      2. to depart, depart from way, avoid

      3. to be removed

      4. to come to an end

    2. (Polel) to turn aside

    3. (Hiphil)
      1. to cause to turn aside, cause to depart, remove, take away, put away, depose
      2. to put aside, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish
    4. (Hophal) to be taken away, be removed

 

“stone” – ‘eben – perverse, hard heart

“flesh” – basar –

  1. flesh

    1. of the body
      1. of humans
      2. of animals
    2. the body itself

    3. male organ of generation (euphemism)
    4. kindred, blood-relations
    5. flesh as frail or erring (man against God)

    6. all living things

    7. animals
    8. mankind

English (NASB)   [?] Strong’s Root Form (Hebrew)

“Moreover, I will give

h5414 נָתַן nathan

you a new

h2319 חָדָשׁ chadash
heart h3820 לֵב leb
and put h5414 נָתַן nathan
a new h2319 חָדָשׁ chadash
spirit h7307 רוּחַ ruwach

within

h7130 קֶרֶב qereb
you; and I will remove h5493 סוּר cuwr
the heart h3820 לֵב leb

of stone

h68 אֶבֶן ‘eben
from your flesh h1320 בָּשָׂר basar

and give

h5414 נָתַן nathan

you a heart

h3820 לֵב leb
of flesh. h1320 בָּשָׂר basar

36:26  καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν καρδίαν καινὴν καὶ πνεῦμα καινὸν δώσω ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ἀφελῶ τὴν καρδίαν τὴν λιθίνην ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν καὶ δώσω ὑμῖν καρδίαν σαρκίνην

Thank you for dredging through all those definitions.  It may be a stretch to prove a point, but I wanted to make sure the point was understood based on what the bible is actually saying.  BASICALLY this verse is saying that GOD will take away my mind, will, heart, understanding, and place inside me HIS mind, will, heart, understanding, and remove my dead spirit and replace it with HIS living and holy spirit.

I have been going through radical changes in my thinking (To change your thinking,  means to repent, and to repent is to change your thinking).

Here is what happened: I prayed.

I prayed that God remove from me every thing that stands between me and Him.  I confessed I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, and that Christ died on the cross for my sin (He BECAME all sin, and God judged HIM for being sin, and He died).  Then He, being sin, was cast into hell.  But while He was there, He was brought back to life in the transfigured form that the apostles saw on the streets three days later.  He did all this so that I would not have to die.  He did this so all law and prophecy will be fulfilled.  He did this so that, instead of we humans souls having to suffer the complete wrath of God, we inherited eternal life instead.  I prayed that God remove anything and everything that stands between me and Him.

If you have been reading my poor blog, you know what happened.  If not, the reader’s digest version is that God answered my prayer.  Everything that could be removed from me was removed from me.  What I have left is a loving wife, a beautiful family, and the presence of God.  Oh, and we were able to keep our clothes and our car and our cats.

I digress, though.  I prayed.  My hearts desire is to know Christ and be like Him.  In the above verse, we learn many things.  We learn that it is NOT our selves that does the work.  It is God that does all the work.  My efforts not only get in the way, but prohibit God from working in me.  I know this is true because I have tried all my life to understand what it means to be like Christ.

This is where, recently, I found the difference between “Theology” and “Religious Dogma”.  Theology is simply “The knowledge of God”.  “Religious Dogma” is self explanatory, but I will expound on it as we go.

Albert Einstein once said, “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”  That is where I stand.  That is basically where I have always stood.  I was raised in a very traditional, large, protestant religion.  Where this religion’s dogma aligned with the doctrines of God, we were taught the doctrines of God.  Where they differed, we were taught a very skewed religious bias, a dogma that placed more importance on our religion and our religious movement than on the will of the Living God through Christ Jesus.  We were basically renting the parts of scripture that suited us, and changed the understanding of the rest.   This kind of dogma replaces a genuine understanding of the Living God, via the work of the Holy Spirit, and replaces it with man’s interpretation of God and His role in the Universe, Life, and our selves.

But the promise of God is that HE will do this work, and HE will replace my corrupted thoughts with HIS thoughts, His will, HIS understanding of things, His Spirit will be my new life as I was dead in my spirit.

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:1-10 NASB

God took out all my dead junk and replaced it with HIS life.  Literally.  His name is Jesus.

But religious dogma taught me a knowledge ABOUT God, based on evaluations derived from external observation…a what you see is the sum of the knowledge of God.  It emphasized imitating Christ by MY strength, and not resting in the Lord.

Theology, real theology, describes, instead, an intimate knowledge of God.  It is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  The intimacy is more profound than the intimacy between lovers.    It is attained only when you have accepted the free gift of Salvation brought by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The religious dogma I was taught was simply a mental knowledge of the scriptures.  It was a cerebral understanding of what Christ accomplished through His life, Death and Resurrection.  To reinforce all this knowledge, we studied, in depth, the writings of the Church Leaders (By that I mean, mostly the leaders of our religion, and, where they applied, the writings of all the commentaries and letters of all the historical Church Leaders.)  If there was a commentary that did not quite line up with our dogma, it was either ignored or explained away.  It is called “rationalizing”.

God never said we are to rationalize our faith.  He asked us to come and reason with Him.  HE will make us clean.  He will do all the work.  He and He alone can accomplish in us all the works that He promised.

All the self-inflicted rules and dogma of my former religion were emphasized in the light of the idea that WE must do all WE can to be like Christ.  We were taught many amazing things that remained in our heads, but never reached our hearts.  This Head Knowledge is a walk that relies on self-enforced rules.  This affliction is the religious dogma that has turned every person on earth away from Christ.  It has proven over time that all it does is  condemn you, and try to force you to behave in a way that is not in your nature.  It disregards the fact that our flesh (Heart, Mind, Soul, Will) is at war with God.  It is a self reliance that works only for a little while until we fatigue of doing something that is not in us to do in the first place.

In the opening verse, we see that these changes can only be done by God, according to His will, through His spirit.  This is done when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

When we rest in the completed work of Christ, we are no longer guilty.  We are no longer in sin.  We are no longer in rebellion against God.  We are NEW creatures.  And the changes that are made start from the inside, not the outside.  They are a vine that, as we grow in Christ Likeness, produce the fruit of the spirit.

Where religious dogma emphasizes a memorized set of rules that force you to rely on yourself to fulfill, the Knowledge of God, through a changed mind, heart, and spirit in Christ, emphasizes the work of God in you through the Holy Spirit.  You receive as a gift the Mind of Christ.  You receive as a gift the will of God.  You receive as a gift the total forgiveness of all your sin.  This fruit of the Spirit will eventually manifest itself outwardly as you make the transition inwardly.

I am writing about this now because I am in that transition state.  I am leaving a dead life of works based faith behind, and am transitioning into a life of faith based walk in Christ.  The biggest difference, besides the change of heart, the change of attitude, the change in the way you view the world, is, you no longer walk in sin and rebellion, and it becomes effortless as you begin to rest in the completed work of Christ.  You can still sin, but the more of the Mind of Christ you allow the Spirit of God to reveal to you, the less you will want to sin.

I no longer have to try, by my own strength, to be like Christ.  Christ is transitioning me from where I was to where He wants me to be.

This does not make God’s Grace a license to sin, but the freedom from the sin nature.  All I have to do is accept, in my heart, what the Word of God says about the accomplished work of Christ.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So, I hope this tome will encourage you to change your mind about the knowledge of God.  Your religious dogma will not get you very far.  It only makes sin more exciting than knowing God.  Even Atheists have a religious dogma and a religious fervor.

I will write more on the details of Grace that brought about this transition.  It is difficult, only in the respect that I have to overcome a lot of my old thinking and believing patterns, and accept the thoughts of Christ.  Faith becomes reality.  No matter what you think about, that is what you become and receive,  It is a universal principle.  Faith in Christ will bring you a new life far beyond anything you ever imagined.  I know this because this is what is happening to me.

I am in the transition state that exists between my religious dogma, and my new walk in Christ.

Care to join me?

Let’s be about it.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

Growing In Christ – Is Your Water Safe?


Rivers-of-Living-WaterWatch over your heart with all diligence, 
For from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23 NASB

NOTE TO READER:  Sometimes I ask myself why I blog so many personal things?  My answer to myself is, there just might be someone else out there going through this, too.  If exposing myself, and showing what God is doing through my circumstances helps someone else, then I am glad to be laid bare so that God will be glorified.  God is doing a great work in all of us.

My mom wrote me, recently, and asked me if I have any good news to report.  I don’t want to lie to my mom, but I don’t want to go into a litany of how hard things are either.  

So, I thought about it for a few minutes.

I can say with great joy that a sink hole has NOT sprouted underneath our house.  THAT is very good news.  I actually feel like I dodged a bullet there.

What else is good news?  Let’s see… … OH!  Here is another bit of good news.  So far, the Bubonic Plague has avoided our neighborhood.  I can’t tell you what a relief THAT is.   Nothing like a flood of rats invading your neighborhood, and starting a plague, to put you in a foul mood.  I find it difficult to look on the bright side as I cough up a lung.  Call me a buzz kill, but there’s the truth at last.

Even more good news….my kittens have discovered the joys of attacking  rolls of toilet paper.  It looks as if teenagers sneaked into my home and rolled the interior of my house.  I am not sure I want to know how two very tiny kittens got toilet paper draped all over my ceiling fan.    But there it is.

Before I could burst into flames and get mad, I had to do a gut check.  These are, after-all, mere kittens.  Serving them up for dinner might be an overreaction on my behalf.  So, I wanted to look on the bright side.  I looked, and looked…and looked.

This is all I could come up with:  If we are ever invaded by hordes of ravaging rolls of toilet paper, our home is safe.  Our kittens would be heroes of epic proportions.

See… that is good news, right?

Aside from not having a sink-hole filled with plague, and toilet paper, in my neighborhood, I have been having a difficult time looking for excuses to do the happy dance.

There is this pesky thing called circumstances.  Some circumstances loom large enough to make you look forward to rampaging rolls of toilet paper.

What do I do with the circumstances in my life when all they want to do is bring me bad news?  Not bad news like, “Hey, Dude, you have a flat.”, but the bad news that the continued onset of unemployment brings?  What do I do when life gets real?

Do I embrace the fear and let it tear me apart?  Do I wallow in the immobility of that fear, like a deer in the headlights?  When life gets real, what do I do?

Here, again, is where we have had to learn that the Warriors of God do battle best when they are on their knees.  When the world is taking your home away, when your friends have given up on you for being a constant failure.  When no one will hire you for what ever the reason of the day is…what do you do?

Do I let the overwhelming doubt and fear I feel consume me?  Do I paint my world in the colors of fear and panic and doubt?  I have learned that, when I paint like that, I have put an ugly filter on every thing I see, do and believe.  It is in this fear that I can really mess up my head.  You can believe you are a failure.  You can believe this is the end.  You can believe there are no answers.  And that becomes your reality.

Some realities you may have to endure.  Looming homelessness is not one I want to experience, but if it does, what will flow through my heart?  I will I curse God and die?  Will I abandon this faith I have been writing about?  There are some circumstances that no amount of “Positive Affirmation” will overcome.

But when I am blocked by raw panic and fear, there is one thing I can do.  I can trust God that, no matter what my circumstances are, He is aware of them.  I know that God is my Father.  God has no evil intent for me.  He has only good and loving kindness for me.

I rest assured in His love for me.  Losing everything I have might be the very best thing that could happen to me.  I know that, when I come through this, I will be a better Child of God for it.  Sometimes God has to purify us so that all idolatry is burned away from our hearts.  What I will gain from this trial is far better than anything I will lose.

The blessings do not begin until I learn that I can trust God with all confidence and unconditionally.  In my poverty, I can assure you, dear reader, that God is love.  In my need, I have learned to pray blessings on you.  In my salvation, I pray for your salvation.  I have been given a gift of Love that was never there before.  And I can tell you, my brother, that I love you without condition, just as God loves me.

I have peace in the midst of this storm.   That is the benefit of knowing God.  I cannot imagine going through this trial without the strength of God in me.    I have been stricken in my body, I have been stricken in my wealth, I have been stricken in all the things I hold dear and valuable, but I am willing to lose all I am and have if it will draw me closer to God.

WATCHING MY HEART

Here is why I am writing you, my friend.  Jesus said this:  “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 NASB

Left to my own devices, raw sewage would flow from my heart.  But Christ has changed, and is changing me.  I just have to be careful to guard what I let into my heart.  It doesn’t take much plutonium to poison an entire river.

Because Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, I have something I never had before this.  I have hope.  I have faith.  I have love.  These things live in my heart.

HOPE:  I have hope that God will take away everything that gets in between He and I, and I will be made into the image of Christ.  I have the hope of eternal life in me.  I am saved.  Nothing the world can do can take that from me.

FAITHI have faith that, no matter what my circumstances are… “…I know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  And I am definitely called according to His purpose.  It doesn’t matter why I am in the circumstances I am, whether my foolishness brought this on, or it is by design, or any other reason you can think of.  I know that GOd turns even our worst mistakes and trials and troubles into blessings.

I have faith that this is exactly what God is accomplishing in me, today.

LOVE:  I have Love in my heart where, just a few months ago, I had a heart of stone. I receive this love from the Father, and I gladly give this love to you, and anyone else that needs to see that; in this cold and callous world filled with darkness, fear and hatred, there is one who loves you more than anything else in all of creation.  God loves you.  God IS love.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of God when we belong to Him through Christ Jesus, our savior and lord.

BREAKING THE DAM

My fears can block that flow.  My doubts can turn this flowing river into a stagnant lake full of unclean things.  When I take the reins from God’s Hand, and tell God, “I got this, God”,I have just blocked the flow of faith, love, hope and joy.  I have turned the living waters into a cup of sweet poison.

Faith, Hope, Love, Joy…these are all gifts from the Loving and ever giving God.  They are our possession because of Jesus Christ.  They belong to us in abundance only in as much as we are willing to give it away.

I can look at my circumstances, or I can look at what I DO have.  I do not have wealth.  I do not have a home.  I do not have many possessions, but what I do have, I give freely.  I give because God gave freely to me through Jesus Christ.

It isn’t when we have things from God that we become wealthy, it is when we, in our poverty, approach God, our Loving Father, in Heaven, and trust Him that we have all our provision.  And what he gives in abundance, we give likewise.

Today, all I have to offer is this Hope:  You can have eternal life if you accept the sacrifice that Jesus made, on the cross, on your behalf.

Today, all I have to offer is Faith:  Faith in God, faith in the atonement for my sin, faith that all things will work out for my good.  How will I know what being poor is like unless I comprehend it?  How will I understand giving until I am in need?  How will I see God’s provision unless I have been driven to the place where that is all I have left?  I pray you never ask to be made into the image of Christ unless and until you understand this; God will do whatever it takes to humble you, and make you aware of what is important to him.

Today, all I have to offer you is this Love:    That God loves you enough that he, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to this earth in the flesh, a perfect man, and for our sake, took on the responsibility for all our sin, and died on the cross for that sin.  His love for us held Him to that cross until the entire debt was paid.

When Jesus said. “It is finished”, he announced the begging of your life, if you accept it.  You are already dead in your sin, if you chose to be.  You will have eternal life in Him, if you accept this free gift.

This is what I have to share with you.  Maybe in time, God will bless me in ways that I will have the heart and means to seek out the poor, the lost, the starving, the prisoner, the naked, the sick and bring them to the living waters I have found.

My Prayer:  Dear God, My Heavenly Father, I praise you that you love me enough to discipline me.  I am joyful, deep in my soul, that you are making me into the image of your Son.  I pray, Lord, in Jesus Name, that you get me out of the way so that your son, Jesus Christ will be all people see when they meet me.  I pray abundant blessings on everyone who reads this  poor tome.  I pray you fill them with your love, just like you have filled me with your love.  I pray that you are their provision.  I pray that, where this ill-health, you heal it, where there is discord, you make holy harmony.  I pray where there is lack in you, you become the abundance they need.   Teach us to not inhibit the flow of your love and calling.  Make us all fountains of YOUR living water.

 In Christ here is life, love, healing, hope, faith, and most of all, there is LOVE.

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Tools in My Tool Box


“Knowledge makes [one] arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;  but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”  I Corinthians 8: 1-3 NASB

Impress

Seminary did, for me, exactly what it was supposed to do.  It provided knowledge for me to put in my tool box, labeled, “Ministry”.  Many of my friends in Ruston, Louisiana tried to warn me against going to Seminary.  The biggest and loudest argument I heard was, “Seminary will destroy your faith.”  Nothing can destroy what God has given you, and if your faith was so easily destroyed, it must not have been real faith in the real God.

Now, since I have been there (No I did not graduate. Circumstances happened in my personal life, and I dropped out to take care of that.  I have not returned, even though I would love to.  It is not time).  I can tell you about knowledge, faith, and Love, and many, many, more things.

At Seminary, I was taught about Love.  I learned how to find it in all its richness in the Bible.  I learned about the 4 loves.  I learned when and why each love is applied.  I learned how much more powerful a word it is in Greek and Hebrew than it is in English.  I also learned about faith, giving, mercy, grace

I also learned about Adult Education.  I LOVE TO TEACH.  It is one of my two passions, vocationally.  I am also learning to love writing, even though I am a novice at that.   I learned about what all the Philosophers, worldly and spiritual had to say about live, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

I suppose that, based on all the stuff I learned at Seminary, I could regale you with a veritable plethora of my Religious, psychological, educational, and scriptural knowledge.

It is only recently that I have learned that these are merely tools in my tool box.  I could have a bazillion tools in my tool box, but if I don’t know when and why and how to use them, they are all dead weights.  Carrying them just makes me hot, tired, sweaty, and arrogant (Look how BIG mine is!!)

Then it hit me:

“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”  I Corinthians 13:2 NASB

My knowledge is either a stone around my neck, or a fragrant gift of incense from God.  It either carries the weight of Law, which has proven not to save any human soul, or it carries the redeeming Love of God.

Knowledge is good to have, but only in one circumstance.  If it was given by God to further His kingdom.  Yes, knowing Veterinary Science is a gift from God.  One of the most Godly men I have known was a veterinarian, serving in Egypt with farmers.  He built churches, and helped with his knowledge to reach people who would have not known Jesus otherwise.

Knowledge tends to be at enmity with God.  We think knowing a bunch of stuff, especially a bunch of stuff about the Bible makes us Christian.  Satan knows the Bible better than almost any of us, but he is far from Christ.

Going to a 6 weeks bible study that covers the word GRACE is not the same as understanding the Grace God showed you through your salvation.  One is just knowledge, the other is experience.

Reading all about the word Love is nothing more than noise, unless you have experienced the Love of God.

I may memorize entire books of the Bible, and it is useless knowledge that I will distort to support my own theology.

The only way I can make use of the tools in my tool box is through the direct and meaningful revelation in my heart.  If only my mind understands these things, then I am basically useless.  But if I know them because God has revealed them to my heart, then I have powerful tools that are energized by the Spirit of God.

Look:  I can come across a person with a flat tire, stop and offer a tire jack.  But if neither one of us really understands the tire jack, we are both useless, even in the face of the tool.

Or what if I see that person with the flat, and just stop long enough to show them my tire jack, but I am not willing or able to show that person how to use it by example?  Again, nothing is accomplished.

What if I yell at that person, “If you only had a tire jack, you wouldn’t be in this spot!”.  But I am not willing to show that person that I can use it for them, and teach them where to get one, and how to use it, for themselves?  Again, I have useless knowledge.

If I will stop, and share my tire jack, and show them how to use it, and then GIVE THEM MY TIRE JACK, I have been generous in my grace and knowledge.  You don’t even have to give them your tire jack, you may just need to make them aware that there are tire jacks, and show them where you got one, WHILE you are helping that person.

Knowledge is no good if I don’t know how to use it.  Or WHY I am using it.  Nothing God gives us is intended to be our little secret.  He expects that, as He has blessed you, you will, out of the love that dwells in you, give without hesitation, the gift you have been given.  He promises that, if you give away what He has given you, He will give you more.  You cannot out give God, if it is done in Love.

So, what will I do with all my knowledge if I am not willing to know Christ, the Savior and Lord who died for me?  I might as well throw it away.  At best I will use it to glorify myself, or I will use it to punish someone else.

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my LordPhilippians 3:8 NASB

I would rather unlearn everything I know than live a life that does not reflect the Love Christ has shown me.  Being found worthy of Christ is much more important than all our credentials and training and knowledge.

Knowing Christ, and having Love for Him is more than anything any knowledge will give you.  And it is the key that unlocks the real knowledge of Heavenly things.  It is THIS knowledge that reveals the Love of God in us.  It is THIS knowledge that teaches me that Jesus is much more than my savior.  It is a love that compels me to want to walk after Christ, as my Lord, too.

My Prayer:  Dear God, I think you for your persistent Spirit.  I think you that, as painful as it may sometimes be, you are willing to remove from me anything that is not a reflection of Christ in me.  I thank you that you give eternal life to those who are dead.  I praise you that, where I was once dead, you have raised me from that death.  Lord, teach me that knowing you is more important than anything else I can know.   AMEN

Let’s be about it!

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Does Jesus Know Me?


“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3 HCSB

Welcome Home!

Welcome Home!

Have I Misunderstood Jesus?

I owe a debt of gratitude to the book, “My Utmost for His Highest”, for this lesson.  I recommend his works for the serious disciple.

The nice thing about being disciplined by God is, I have learned that it is possible to know all about doctrine and still not know Jesus.  It took 20 years for me to actually meet Him.

My soul is in danger when my knowledge of doctrine out paces my intimate relationship with Jesus.  If I were at the empty tomb, would I weep with Mary?  Doctrine didn’t matter a hill of beans to Mary.  Any Religious Bigot, full of doctrine, could have made an idiot of Mary.  But what the Religious Bigot could not make fun of where she was concerned; Jesus had cast 7 demons out of her.  Still, Jesus’ blessings were nothing compared to Jesus Himself.

Mary stood there, looking at Jesus, at the empty tomb, and didn’t recognize him.  The second she heard His voice, she knew that she had had intimate dealings with the one who spoke.

She said, “Master!”

Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands.

Reach out your hand and put it into My side.

Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.”

John 20:27

Thomas had stubbornly doubted.  He would not believe unless he saw it for himself.  I am convinced Thomas was from Missouri.

I have to ask myself this question:  Am I doubting something about Jesus?  Have I missed the experience that others testify about, but have not had? Am I like Thomas in that, unless I have that personal touch, I will not believe?  “Except I shall see…, I will not believe.”

We don’t know when Jesus’ touch will come, or how it will come; but when it does come, His touch is precious beyond description.  Then I fall on my knees and say, as Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!”  And that is exactly what happened to me.

Have I, like Peter, selfishly denied Him?  Is He my Lord only when it is convenient?  Peter denied Jesus with oaths and curses.  After the Resurrection, however, Jesus appeared to Peter alone.  Jesus restored him in private.  After that, Jesus restored Peter in front of the disciples…”Lord, Thou knowest I love Thee.”  In my past, I found it expedient to deny Christ in order to further my career.  And that caused a deep hurt in my soul.  Then His touch came.  “Thous knowest that I love Thee!”

Do I really have a personal history with Jesus?

The proof of my discipleship is that I have an intimate connection with Jesus.  I have knowledge of Jesus which nothing can shake.  It is not a doctrine.  It is not something I can learn at Seminary.  It is a relationship more intimate than that shared between a Husband and his wife.  He knows me.  And I know Him.  At last.

I remember what Jesus Christ healed me of when He touched me.  I remember where I was.  I can tell you the date and time it happened.  Where others had written me off, He had forgiven me and redeemed me.  And I can still hear His voice when he told me He loves me.  Nothing can take that away.

My brothers and sisters; When you are in doubt, or too tired to keep moving, or have fear, or need His assurance, start with where you were, and what He did,  when He first came to you.

Praise Him for His love for you, that He chose to save you.

Turn to Him…you will hear His voice.  Fear will vanish.  Peace will come.  And rest will happen.

Lets Be About It.

I Love You

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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FEAR NOT


False Evidence Appearing Real

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

― Frank HerbertDune

Common sense tells me that the world is full of fright and fear.  We have endless war, we have a disastrous economy, and eventually, we wake up to discover that the people we voted into office, and the people who run things all over the world have only one desire:  Our Destruction.  And that those who they do not destroy, they intend to enslave.

In combat training, the biggest thing a soldier has to learn is to keep fear from locking his brain into immobilization.  Nothing makes life as real and scary as having a bunch of people you don’t know shoot at you.  That is why soldiers are put through an almost interminable set of training methods that break that fear.  You learn to step into a different place in your mind where fear may still present itself, but it is no more a bother to you than a gnat trying to hijack a freight train.  You learn to acknowledge the fear (It keeps you alive), but not to let that fear rule your heart.

When I fought in the Martial Arts, and faced an opponent that, from all visual signals, could mop the floor with my face, I used this as an opportunity to fall back on my training.  Part of that training was the comfort of knowing that I know all the skills and techniques that my worthy opponent knows.  I just have to tell fear to go sit in the corner while I fall into combinations I understand, that my opponent doesn’t. I can honestly say that I have lost as many fights as I have won.  Most of the fights I lost were because I let fear confuse me to the point that I forgot my training.

Those two examples describe having to face extreme fear.  Then there is the daily “Worry”, “Anger”, “Anxiety”, and basic hand wringing we all experience.  Trust me, these fears seem to me, at least, much more difficult to face than combat or Tournament Fighting.  Even Street Fighting has a basic set of rules, and I always fall back on my training. The Fear is real, but does not rule me.  And when I am able to work beyond the fear, fear loses all power over me.

Having recently joined God‘s army, I am learning a new set of skills to help me face my fears.  These skills exist to help me face the same fears I was facing anyway, but using a different set of techniques.

Fear is the prime motivator in the secular world.  Fear motivates greed, lust, power, and preservation.  The fear of losing is what drives this world.  The fact that fear is the prime motivator of secular life is an indication of a severe psychosis in our world.

We fear losing our homes, our status, not being able to pay our bills, not getting the respect from our spouses or children in the manner we think they should show.  We wonder what to do when we have overspent our limit on our credit cards.  But we use those cards because we want to maintain a lifestyle that is not maintainable otherwise.   Life becomes about things, and the things become our masters, and our masters are afraid of loss.

We are fearful of the punishment of a society that will think you are a failure of you do not march in the same lock-step manner it marches.  The biggest fear we have is the conflict over the loss of our uniqueness while trying to conform to an unforgiving world that demands you follow it’s rules.  And it rules by fear.  The World punishes, without mercy, anyone who cannot keep up.

The worst part is, the world insists that you achieve through debt.  The world wants to loan you what you already have, and charge you interest for it.  We are a debtor society who are about to see the final bill come due. The world wants you to think that there is no escaping this system.

Anyone who tries working outside the boundaries of this debtor system will be punished.  Just try to buy, sell or rent or get a job with a poor credit rating.  The credit system tells the world just how much you are able to play its game of slavery.  This system makes life more expensive than it really.  The fear of not keeping up, and the fear of losing all your status and stuff, drives you like a slave into deeper debt.

You will never be free as long as you wish to play this game.  You will be punished by this system.  There is seldom any real reward or freedom in this system.  What reward you receive is a bribe to keep you in the game.  Any freedom you have is an illusion used to make you happy you are in debt up to your eyeballs.

In the mean time, fear keeps gnawing at you because you are falling behind.  You fear the ultimate rejection of this system, and fear the punishment it will bring.  This wold only has illusions of love and joy and freedom.  And these are also tools that are driven by fear…fear of loss.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.  I John 4:18

Knowing that “The Lord disciplines the ones He loves…”, I have learned that I must be taken to the point of surrender.

  It is not at all what I am trained to do in the secular world.  It is not what is taught if you want to succeed on the world’s terms.  And surrender is one of the very top “bad words” in the military.  In the worlds way, there is only move forward, don’t hesitate, be decisive, rely on your strength, knowledge and courage.  And it is brutal.  You have to kill your opponent in order to win.  You get to keep all the spoils of that killing.

In God’s army, the very first thing a warrior has to learn to do is surrender; Not to fear, not to the enemy, but to the sovereignty of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  Surrender to the way and will of the Lord is the very first lesson in God’s boot camp.

It is Jesus who said this:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.  “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.   “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much ore clothe you? You of little faith!  “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  Mat 6:24-33 NASB

I have prayed for this faith.  I have asked to know the Love of God.  But I had never had it vigorously tested until recently.  I am faced daily with the hard questions:  “Is this nonsense?”,   “Am I INSANE?”,  “Shouldn’t I just take matters into my own hands?”, “Is it true that God will supply all my needs, or is it true what the world says, that God will only go so far with me and I have to do the rest on my own.”

The hardest battles I have to face today is the uncertainty of not knowing outcomes, but learning to put my trust completely in God, who loves me.  I am learning that God is in control of ALL the outcomes.  The game is rigged in God’s favor.

I have to surrender all my doubt to Him.  I have to place all my trust in Him.  I have to surrender my pride, and my own resourcefulness, so that God will fill me with His faith, His love and His provision for my life.

The conundrum is that, left to my own strength, I cannot do any of these things.  Even in my surrender, I need God to work in me, via the Holy Spirit, to assure me that surrender is the first step to victory.

These past 5 months have been a real trial.  God has used it to teach me that He is in control.  He breaks my pride, and drowns my arrogance.  He shows me that His love, for Him and for Others, is the cure to fear.  He shows me that He is all my provision, that defeat is not what God has in store for me.  But for me to walk into the victory He has planned for me, I have to get out of His way.

I now know that, when things get real, and I want to fear, the thing that will defeat me is NOT the circumstance I am in.  What will defeat me is my fear of the circumstance I am in.  It is FEAR that defeats us.  Fear is unbelief.  It is anticipating a punishment that doesn’t exist.  Fear is its own punishment.  Fear is the willful disregard of the evidence of the love God has for me.

Fear made Peter sink into the sea when Christ was willing Him to walk on the water.  I am defeated when I lose sight of faith and love.  Faith that God has my back, no matter how ugly things look.  Love is from God.  When the light of the love of God resides in me, fear runs away, like a roach who has been exposed.  God’s love never leaves.  It is my perception of His love that changes, based on my faith and trust in Him.  But His love never goes away.  I just have to look at Him, instead of the waves of circumstance.

I affirm and avow that it is God who is sustaining me through my trials.  It is God who proves He is more powerful than any thing the World can throw at me.  It is God who shows me daily that, no weapon formed against me will prosper.  It is God who embraces me in His arms when I want to fear.  He does not judge me for being afraid, He loves me because He has become my first resort.  His love makes my fear vanish.

Where the World judges me as not fit for them, God has said I am perfect for Him.  I am redeemed through the Blood of Christ.  In God’s eyes, I am complete.  He is teaching me that, as my heart exchanges its attitudes for Godly values, I know that I can trust God to deliver me from anything that I face.

He may not make all my problems disappear, but He will be there to walk me through it.  He will be there to be my strength when I want to faint from fear.  He will carry me, He will sustain me.  I have learned that, no matter what, God is my provision.

All this is true because I have accepted the free gift of Salvation from death.  I accept that Jesus Christ IS the only begotten Son of God, and that Jesus took on all my sin and died for them in my place.  I know and confess that Jesus had the power to raise Himself from the dead, and that the Lord Jesus, having demonstrated that power, has proven that, if I will follow Him, I too will know the power of God.

When Jesus becomes my Savior and Lord, I see that the Love of God resides in me.  And I see that, as I submit to God, through the Holy Spirit, my heart will be transformed from doubt, fear, anger, selfishness, lust, and my will,  and into a vessel that carries all the character and power of Jesus.

From God’s point of view, Armageddon has already happened, and Jesus is already on the throne of this world.  But from my perspective, that is in the future.  Even though all things are complete and finished from God’s point of view, I still have to experience time and life on this planet.  During that time, as I live this life, I have to learn that the only way THIS warrior will win is by surrendering – To the Love of God.

“Perfect Love casts out ALL fear.”

“God is Love.”

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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So Was Jesus


EndureTherefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16 NASB

I Prayed to God:  I confess…

…I am tempted to lust

God Answered me:

:So Was Jesus

….I am tempted to steal

:So Was Jesus

…I am tempted to lie

:So Was Jesus

…I am tempted to covet my neighbor’s wife, car, home, children, bank account, way of life.

:So was Jesus

…I am tempted to Murder

:So was Jesus

…I am tempted to blaspheme

:So Was Jesus

…I am tempted to bear false witness

:So Was Jesus

…I am tempted to never forgive, never forget, and hope that my enemy suffer greatly

:So Was Jesus

…I am tempted to get jealous and envious

:So Was Jesus

See…the covenant written long before the creation of the earth, before the angelic wars, before Lucifer fell from Grace is, “The Wages of Sin is Death”.  God will not tolerate sin in His kingdom. Sin is what ever I do that separates me from God.  I discovered there is nothing I can possibly do to cover my own sin…it lays me naked before God.   I need a cover because I am ashamed at being cold and naked in front of God. My best efforts at covering myself are transparent and useless.

God created me in His own image, and in his likeness.  I look like Him, and I am supposed to have His character.  I don’t.

I want to do God’s will and be pure before Him. I already know that I have nothing that will satisfy God in this regard, but, If it were possible, I am tempted to give everything I have, own, or can offer, everything that is me if it means saving me, or any other Human God created.

God answered me

:So Was Jesus  – And that is what counts.

 

Let’s Be About It

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Come Home


Welcome Home!

All ye who are weary, come home.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! Romans 8:38-39 HCSB

Wherever I have wandered, wherever I have strayed, I found no place or thing that could extinguish the memory of the day I was saved.  Jesus Christ had become my Lord and Savior on October 28th, 1986, at 7:30 PM CST.  For a while, after that, I walked in my salvation and told others how Jesus Christ will lead them to salvation.  I was warned in advance that an event would happen that, if I stood under the shelter of the Almighty, I would be carried through that event, and made stronger.  I failed that test.  From there I fell.

I fell hard.  I lost hope, and from there, I refused to follow Christ.  The ensuing 20 years was a hell I never want to live through again.

I know I have told this to you several times.  Here is why I am telling it to you again.  Try as I might, I couldn’t forget God.  I could not forget the joy of His fellowship.  No amount of drink, adrenalin inducing activity, or women, could erase the call God had placed on my life.

I discovered that, in the end, there was no power in all of creation that could extinguish that sweet touch of the Love of God.  The flame of my devotion had dwindled to a small ember, but the ember never went out.  I couldn’t put it out, no matter what I did.

I also discovered that ember was the abiding love of God, through Jesus Christ.  Even in the depths of my depravity, I could hear the still small voice calling me home.  I longed for a return to Grace, not understanding that it was grace sustaining me, and keeping me tethered to God.

Where I was the only barrier keeping me from coming home, the Spirit of God was the wind that kept the ember burning bright, calling me to come home.  What a sweet agony it was to hear the voice of the Lord calling me to return to Him.  Where I thought it was impossible to return, He was telling me it was simple.  All I had to do was be still, and listen to Him forgive me, and heal all my sin and hurt and pain.

I came Home.

I know for a fact that one of the readers of this Blog is going through the same thing.  You remember the sweet fellowship of Jesus.  You remember singing His praises.  Somehow, you have let the cares of the world, and the desires of the flesh come between you and Him.  The Apostle Paul wrote that, if it weren’t for the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, there would be no sin.  You and I can testify to that truth, because we have drunk deep of these three things.

Know this, there is noting you can possibly do that will take you away from Him and His love for you.  How do you get home?  Go back to what you know.  “God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son that, whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting Life.”  John 3:16.   Start there.  And be still.  Listen to the voice of the Lord.  He will wash you with His Love and mercy.  His grace has sustained you, even though you have strayed very far away.  When you be still and know that He is God, you will discover, all you have done is wander across the palm of the hand of the Almighty.  He never, ever, let you out of His sight.  He never abandoned you.  He never stopped loving you, no matter what you did.

Be still and accept His healing power.

When Jesus said, on the cross, “It is finished!”, He was declaring that all sin ever committed, all sin being committed, and all sin that will be committed has been put to death through His death on the cross.  God poured His wrath on His own Son, and Jesus accepted that judgement, on your behalf.  You are free from this burden.  

When you come home, you will not find a vengeful God waiting to stomp you in to the dirt.  Christ does not have to die twice for you.  The work on the cross was completed at His death.  And your eternal life was secured when He rose again from the death.  He is Lord over all life and death.

At one point in time, you accepted Jesus as your Savior, the deal was done.  Your salvation was sealed.  Nothing can remove you from God.  Not even you.  When Jesus said, “It is Finished”, God saw you as already complete.

Life as you know it, is a continuing process of making you into the image of Christ.  When we wandered, that process was interrupted.  He is waiting for you right where the process stopped, so that He can heal you and continue making you into the image of Christ.

Come home.

Yahweh, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand?

But with You there is forgiveness,
so that You may be revered.  Psalm 130: 3-4 HCSB
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