Faith

The Risk Love Takes


…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Rom 5:8 ESV)

Romans 5:8 tells me that it is possible to love someone who doesn’t love you, and is , in fact, your enemy…but you prove your love by laying your life down for your enemy.

You know not everyone you love will receive this gift of love. They will still hate you and be your enemy. You also know that some of your enemies will receive this gift…and they will truly love you.

God thought it would be worth the risk.

Jesus did too.

If you don’t risk your love, your love isn’t proven to be true or steadfast.

Jesus proved it with His life.

I can’t claim to be worthy of that love…no one can. But Jesus made us worthy when He rose from the dead and gave us life.

We live because He died on our behalf, and He rose again.

We have life because He lives.

Tell someone you love about this Love of God.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

A Father’s Heart


Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7 NIV

Let me ask you this: Suppose you did all you could to make sure your child knew how to swim. Swimming lessons, life safety classes, even a few snorkeling classes. After all, you were once a lifeguard, and you know the ropes, so you took extra care to make sure she can swim. Then comes a day when you can take her to the lake to play with her friends. You are sure she knows what to do in the water, but you keep an eye out just in case. After all, even the best swimmers can get into the breakers, occasionally.

You start the bar-b-cue pit up, throw some doggies on the burner, some burgers, corn, a few other yummy treats. About the time you have that under control, you look up to see your worst nightmare.

She is drowning.

What do you do?

Now imagine this scenario: You tell anyone who is listening to call 911 while you strip down and get ready to rescue her. But all your friends and other people on the beach try their best to stop you. They tell you that she got herself into this, she needs to get herself out. They say all you will do is make things worse. They tell you if you go in after her, you might drown, too, or get hurt, or she may not want you to rescue her. What if even the lifeguard on duty tells you the same thing?

Will you stand on the shore and let her fend for herself? Will you stop and weigh the possible outcomes? Will you wait and consider the advice of everyone on the beach?

No! You will do all it takes, up to losing your own life to rescue her. She is your life, your heart, and your love. What kind of monster would ignore his own drowning child?

And what kinds of monsters give the advice that everyone gave you?

Now let me ask you this:

Suppose you did all you know how to do to make sure your beloved child knows Jesus Christ? You took her to church. You read the Bible to her. You prayed with her. You made sure she went to Christian schools. And when you look up, you see that she is drowning in a sea of bad choices? What if she isn’t even aware of the extreme danger she has put her soul in?

And just like the people on the beach, you get the exact same advice, even from people who serve the Lord.

Now, try to see this scenario:

When God created us, did He make sure we knew the ropes, and pitfalls to make sure we would always have eternal life with Him in Eden? Did He provide all we needed? Did He pour His love on us?

Imagine how it must have hurt when we rebelled and sinned. Imagine the heart-rending pain when He had to judge us, the earth, and the universe for all our sin?

Did He leave us to our own devices? Did He say, “They got themselves into this mess, they will have to figure it out?”  Did the angels warn Him that, if he interfered, it would only get worse?

Did he write us off?

What did God do?

He came here in the form of a Man and took on the penalty for our sin. He bore the judgment of death on His self so we would not have to. He gave up His kingdom so we can inherit it. He loved us so much that while we are at war with him, He sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, to bear the wrath and judgment of God. Jesus, the God-Man, became all our sin so we can become all his righteousness.

That is what God did.

So, now I ask you; If you see your daughter dying of the very sin Jesus already paid for, what would you do?

It is in the Father’s heart to give his own life for the life of His beloved children.

It is in my heart to give all I have and am to help rescue my child.

It is in this father’s heart to be like the Savior who died for me. I will give all I have to see that my child lives with me in eternity in the presence of the Living God.

Examine your souls, Christian. If you are not willing to lose everything so that others may live, stop saying you are His child. Selfishness is the fruit of Satan.

This father will give all he has unto death if it means his child will live in eternity with Christ. How can I cross the street to witness to a stranger if I am not ready to give up everything for my own child? What hypocrite worries about pain in the face of need? What kind of abject spiritual poverty demands you leave your child to drown in sin?

Godliness begins at home, people. And if you cannot manage that, you have no business taking your brand of Christianity anywhere. I may have failed my daughter in the past, but while I have life, I have hope, and I will spend every ounce of both doing all I can to bring the Love of God to my drowning daughter. I cannot save her, but I know who can. I cannot redeem her, but I know who will. I cannot give up my salvation so she can have it, but I know the one who has already done this.
The greatest gift I have ever received is the love and grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is the only thing I have left worth having in this life, and I will give that to her.

It is what is in this father’s heart.

Go and do the same.

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! – Romans 5:10 NIV

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Faith

Be Still



For Sandy, who gave me this idea, and whom I love with an undying love.


From Wence Cometh the Storm?

My favorite Hymn is “It is Well”, especially lately. It seems like I have needed this Hymn a lot these past few months.

What has happened? I have lost my family. I have lost my love. My identity was stolen twice. The plans I had made for the future of my family were destroyed in one fell swoop.

In the end, I was left with nothing, alone, bereft, broken. The pain of these losses is almost unbearable. Grief and confusion are powerful things. This grief is all consuming and threatens to smash the ship of my soul against the breakers. I am lost, with no mooring, with no GuideStar, with no compass. Everything I believed about love and family been betrayed by falsehoods and deception.  The hopes I had for the future have been taken away from me.

This storm and confusion has taken hold of me and relentlessly tears my sails away. I have lost my anchor. I am taking on water. Where will I find that shore? Where is my mooring? Who will rescue me from this storm?

On top of this, if you know anything about Aspergers, you know that one so afflicted usually needs a “normal” to be the touchstone to all things normal. My touchstone is the woman I love, who is no longer part of my life. This too adds waves to my storm. My ship is being battered by things that normal people deal with as if only a gentle breeze were blowing. Without the touchstone, it doesn’t matter how “High Functioning” you are, some things simply do not make sense to you.

Where Do I Hide From the Storm?

You can’t.

If you run from the deck of your ship to the belly of your ship, you are still in the middle of the storm. So, where do you turn? How do you find your way back to safety, to the shore? Where is the touchstone? Where is your Guidestone? Where are safety and peace?

Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me, and when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will let you find me.”  Jeremiah 29:12-14a.

One of the hardest things to realize is that even these things are for a purpose. It’s hard to remember the greater good when you are being torn to shreds by your own circumstances.  It ceases to matter why you are in this storm.  It can be a storm of your own making (Which is usually the case) or a storm brought on by the selfish desires of people you depended on.  Or this storm could be the plan of evil people who delight in your destruction for their own advancement.  It ceases to matter when your ship is taking on water, and your sails are gone.  At this juncture, all you can do is hang on to the nearest mast, lash yourself to it, and pray.

Screaming At the Storm Doesn’t Help.

I screamed.

I cried.

I tore my clothes (I only got more exposed to the storm that way).

I cursed the waves and the wind.

Then I prayed for the storm to take me. I welcomed the sweet release of death. I wanted it all to be over. The storm had won. I had lost.

Why bother…right?

I discovered that screaming at the storm only makes you hoarse. The storm doesn’t care. The storm rages on whether you love it or hate it.  Storms always do what storms do…wreak havoc.  That is what storms do.

So, what is left? Tied to my mast, getting drenched, broken in spirit, all I had left was to wait and let the storm do what the storm does.

Be Careful Where You Turn

I turned to fellow believers.

In America, fellow believers are too busy being American to let things like storms in other people’s lives divert them from their lives.  Afterall, it isn’t their storm, and God must have placed you (The Sailor) in that storm for a reason.

Best not to interfere with the storm.

What you, my fellow believers, fail to realize is, the storm exists to expose the heart of the sailor, and your heart. Indifference is not the fruit of the spirit. Berating the sailor in the storm is not a fruit of the spirit. Lecturing the sailor in the fine craft of Seamanship while the storm rages is not a fruit of the spirit.  Pulling out the Sailor’s “The Art of Sailing Manual” and lecturing on all the shoulda coulda and woulda is not a fruit of the spirit (Or have you not read Job?)

So, where does this battered sailor turn when all hope is lost?

Deep in the midst of the howling wind and blowing rain is a still small voice.  She is the voice of the Holy Spirit.  She calls you into the presence of God.  She reminds you that you are His beloved, whom He died for.

God is there, waiting for you to stop fighting the storm.  The storm is not the problem.  Storms come to everyone for any number of reasons.  But to the lives of His children, even the storm is meant to be a blessing (See Romans 8:28).  Storms sweep the deck of useless things.  Storms shake up your life in a way that forces you to take stock of what is important.

And what is it that God, my Father has said to me?

BE STILL and Know I Am God.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

(Psa 46:10 WEB)

“God is mighty. God is infinite. God is Love. God is ever-present, even in our storms.”

That is what He said to me.

In my arrogance, I railed against God and shouted, “Lord, am I ever seeking you?”, “Do I not always pray, read your word, listen for you?”, “Where are you, Father?” ,”God, I am done with my life, please bring me home.”

He let me know that He is why my ship has not sunk to the depts of the sea. He is why the Leviathan has not attacked me.  He is what protects me from falling to my death.  He is why I am still alive.

He is not done with me.

I asked Him, “Then why has my love betrayed me, why have I lost everything dear to me?”

He tells me, “You have Me. That is sufficient.”

I cry.

I don’t feel like that is an answer.

Then something remarkable happens.

Even though the storm still rages, and my ship is being battered into toothpicks, all grows quiet.

A light penetrates the darkness.

He has arrived.

His hands are scarred from something that had pierced them.  His eyes are so full of love and compassion, I cannot stand to look at him.  I am undone.  I can’t hide from Him.

He stops right in front of me, where I am lashed to the Main Mast.  He looks at me with a love and compassion I have never, ever known before.

He tells me to stop fighting Him.

He tells me that the point in Being Still is to cease my useless striving after answers.

Be still…don’t move.

Stop speaking.

Stop trying to make it make sense.

Just…be, and know that He is God, not just of all the universes, but of my heart.

I will not tell you everything else He told me, but I will tell you this:

When you Be Still, and stop trying to put God in your little religious box, when you let Him into your storm, when you capitulate and know that your efforts are useless, when you give in and trust that He has your best interests at heart, that storm you tried to hide from becomes a ride that you relish.

You know that as Long as you be still and trust Him, no matter how things look to you, He is your Captain, and he will guide you through the breakers to a land full of His promise and purpose.

The difference is how much you try to fight the storm, or how well you stop fighting God.

My Confession

I recently told Sandy, “Really and truly, All I want is less of me and more of Him. But I must be doing this all wrong. The more I try, the farther away He seems.”

I was trying on my own might. Not only that, I was trusting others, and not God for direction.

Life is full of storms.

Your spouse will eventually let you down, maybe even betray you.

You may make and lose fortunes.

You will have friends and lose friends.

You will end up in places where you are utterly alone, in a hostile environment, with no one you can really call a brother.

I confess, I relied on all these trappings for my sense of place and belonging.

I cannot be less of me unless I first am still. God has to do the work. I have to submit.

I needed my deck cleared of all that stands between God and me.

I confess I am useless and hopeless without him. I confess I made the mistake of using others to anchor me. God has allowed this storm to clear away all the things that stand between Him and me.

Being Still

The first part of knowing that He is God is to be still…to stop striving…to stop your own efforts.

God will reveal himself to the heart that diligently seeks Him, but it first begins with being still.  Being diligent doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself, it means that you diligently submit your desires, will, and understanding to Him.

The Hebrew words for “Be Still” imply a rich tapestry of meaning: To stop moving (Of one’s own passionate volition), to stop acting out and to stop speaking. To leave off your striving, to capitulate over to the knowledge that He alone is God.

When the Lord appears to you in your storm, you have begun to be still. When His love washes over you, the storm takes on new meaning and purpose. Instead of fighting all that has happened, you finally get to the place where you trust He will guide you through this, and He has a purpose for this, too.

God does not send evil your way. Evil will still come to you. Storms happen. It no longer matters if you brought on the storm, or sailed right into it, or were minding your own business when the storm suddenly appears (they do that when you re at sea).

God will take advantage of your circumstances and show His love and His might, and He will guide you through this. No matter what brought on the Storm, if you will submit to His Lordship in your life, you will see that even this pain, this grief, this sorrow, will bring you closer to Him, and make you like Him, and He will teach you how even this bitter grief serves the Kingdom.

My storm is still there.  My sorrow is ever as deep as it ever was.  My tears still fall, and the pain is still ever present.   But I now know, He gathers all my tears in a bottle and will exchange them for His Joy.

Storms have to run their course.

However, in this storm, I have learned that all my vain striving is wasted and that I must fail, and accept that I have failed. No man can know God unless God reveals Himself to that man.

I have also learned that Heaven cannot be taken by storm, only by invitation. But I first must be still.  He makes the pain and tears and sadness and loss take on a new meaning.  We grieve for the loss of true love, but God will heal that hurt, if you just be still.

I cannot know the Lord unless I am still.

The Lord wants you to know Him, too.

Just be still….

I love you in Jesus.

PS – I love you, Sandy. No matter what. I love you, and I always will. No man can take that away from me. I pray God leads you to your new life. I will always love you.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations, Short Stories

Cast Your Cares


Cast your burden on Him.

GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

(1Pe 5:4-7 NASB)

I threw hay once. It was in the early 1990’s. I spent an entire summer throwing hay and cutting down trees for the winter season. Missouri can have very cold winters.

Well…anyway, hay. The farmer (Bill) drove the tractor that pulled a wagon. The farmer’s Son stood on the wagon and caught the hay bales that were tossed up to him. He neatly stacked the bales on the wagon.

My job? I was the idiot who agreed it would be GREAT fun to run along both sides of the wagon, grab a bale and toss it to the guy on the wagon. In those days, I ran long distances, and I was a weightlifter. So, how hard could throwing hay be…right? Right? Ok,…it was hell.

The bales were in rows on both sides of the wagon and staggered so that, when you grab a bale and toss it, you can run around behind the wagon and up to the next bale just in time to grab it, spin and toss. As soon as you tossed that bale, you had to run right back around the wagon for the next bale in the first row.

We tossed hay from daybreak to dusk. We stopped every 30 minutes for food and water. We did this all summer. There were several farms all along this rural route in Missouri, and my Cousin’s neighbor, the Farmer, said he’s delighted to gather all the hay and stow it in the barns for the local farmers. There was nothing he loved more than to spend the day riding his tractor and singing hymns.

All. Day. Long.

At the end of one day, just as the sun was setting, and we had stored the hay in the loft and barn, the Farmer looked out at the field and pointed out I had missed a bale. I looked. My heart sank. Way off on the other side, out in the field we just cleared, you could just make out this lone bale. Guess whose job it was to drag his tired butt all the way over there to get that last bale and bring it home? Yup. It was my job.

Carrying that one bale all that distance after a hard day in the sun was more work than anything I had already done that day. The burden was too great. I thought it would kill me before I got it to the loft.

When I got to the loft, Bil, the Farmer, chuckled and held his hands out to me and said, “Here, I’ve got this, you go rest.” I nearly wept from the relief as I stripped down and washed in the trough he had set up. My burden was no longer mine.

I had blessed relief.

THAT, my dear reader, is exactly what it means to cast your cares on the lord. You may be the reason you are so burdened, but you cannot manage it. Only God can. He is waiting with outstretched arms, telling you to let him have it. It is, after all, no longer yours.

Your burden of sin and arrogance and living a fallen life is why Christ died on the cross. He didn’t die for your sins..no. He died for YOU. He died OF your sin. He took your burden and dealt with it, and asked you to rest.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Jesus

(Mat 11:28-30 – NASB)

Cast all your cares on Him. He will give you rest.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com  (Write me, sometimes, I’d love to hear from you)

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Faith

Tears in a Bottle


I’m supposed to be packing.

I’m supposed to be getting ready for this new chapter in my life.

I’m supposed to be strong and accept that yet another marriage has failed, and it is time to pick up the pieces and forget that the last 24 years were the whole world to me.

Inside my beating heart lives a little boy. He still believes in the magical world of make believe. He still believes that when he grows up, he’ll be Superman or a Firefighter, or a Marine.

He sees me packing boxes for our move, and he grabs my arm to stop me. This little boy believes that if I leave everything as it is, if I don’t change anything, if I hold still and believe, that everything will return to the way it was…the way it should be, the way it could be.

With each book I put in a box, each dish I wrap for safe moving, a small part of him dies. He doesn’t want to believe this is real and it is happening.

His tears become my tears. His hurt becomes my hurt. We can’t stop crying. So I stop packing for a while and we cry together. Our tears are hot and running down our faces as we hold each other. He wishes I could just believe, and I wish I could help him to stop hurting.

I have no way to explain to him why this hurt is on us. And I am not really the one that should do the explaining. The one who tore a hole in our lives needs to do that. So, we cry together until he is too weary to cry anymore. When he finally calms down and falls back asleep, I continue my packing.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. – Psalm 56:8

Even in my brokenness, Lord, I believe in you and know you are guiding me through this storm. Get me out of the way, Lord until all anyone can see in me is you.

I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.

Let’s be about it

David.

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Faith

He Will Not Despise You


repent

“My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” – Psalm 42:3

A Breaking Heart

The thing about a breaking heart is, it is the very first step toward restoration of fellowship with God.  “When shall I come and appear before God? Ps. 42:1 –  When tears have become your food.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

When you come to the altar to reconcile with God, know that no matter how eloquent you wax, what God is looking for is your broken spirit.

When I Am Finally Weak

It is when you have dropped dead of thirst in your wilderness and begin to cry out for the Hand of the Savior that you are really of any use to God.  It is through the admission of your weakness and despair that the strength of God is admitted into your heart.

WHERE IS YOUR GOD?

He is the one who is holding you to his breast while you cry; So go ahead and cry.  Cry well and thoroughly.  Just as your tears restore your sanity, so does your broken heart restore you to the Living God.

I Cried, I praised.png

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus, Book of Matthew 11:28-30

LET’S BE ABOUT IT

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

We are all going to die someday. Where will you go when you die? The Bible teaches us how we can know for sure that when we die we will go to heaven. There are 4 things we must know to be able to go to heaven when we die.

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is called Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). There is probably no person alive who can say that they never told a lie. We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. He paid the price for our sins. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. When He was on the cross, Jesus suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was experiencing separation from God the Father. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. He was paying for our sins.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to become a Christian, it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).

Notice that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.

One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I expressed faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:

“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”

If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24)

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


Cloud Over Little Man Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war

‘Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

– Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw – “Bring On The Rain”

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

DAYS LIKE THIS

The Flight Attendant brought me a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, and was on the last leg of travel that would get me to Chicago. I hoped the coffee would wake me up enough to make this final leg of my travels.

As the flight attendant hurried down the aisle of this tiny and overcrowded jet, I stirred in my sugar, and lifted the cup for a sip. Just as I did, the flight attendant came rushing back down the aisle, stopped suddenly next to my seat, and turned around to talk to another passenger. As she turned, she forgot to tuck her elbows in. Her right elbow struck the bottom of my coffee cup just as I was taking that first sip.

Hot coffee splashed all over my face, my glasses and my shirt. I cleaned up as best as I could under the circumstances, but reeked of airliner coffee the rest of the day. I was finally wide awake. The coffee had done its job.

Our flight landed and was delayed on the tarmac because the gate was still occupied by another jet.

After debarking, I headed to baggage claim B, where my ticket, and the flight attendant, said our bags would be found.

It took an additional 30 minutes for the bags to get to the wrong baggage claim kiosk. I wouldn’t have discovered this if I had not heard another passenger ranting about how the bags ended up in the wrong place. The electronic board at baggage claim happily claimed that my bags would be at claim B, even though the bags were being offloaded somewhere else.

The delay of the jet getting to the gate on time, and the confusion in baggage caused a delay in getting to the shuttle for the hotel. I ran as fast as a fat guy could run, but arrived only to see the tail pipe of the hotel shuttle bus speeding away. I called the hotel. They said they will send the shuttle back, but I would have to wait.

Two hours later, the shuttle returned. On my way to the hotel, I was lectured on what the shuttle schedule is, and why it is important to be on time. It would have been pointless to tell the driver about my adventures with the airline.

While I was in training class, my computer crashed and had to be replaced with another one. After that, the software we were learning how to use kept failing to do what it was advertised to be able to do. In order for me to complete my training labs, I had to shut down the program frequently, restart, and continue on where I left off.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Before I left for my trip to Chicago, my company issued cell phone decided that it needed to reboot itself repeatedly then die. It is now dead. I get a “New” one this Monday.

LIFE LIKE THIS

During a lull in training, I thought about these things. The cell phone, the coffee, the baggage, the hotel shuttle, and the computer issues. It occurred to me that my life is generously peppered with little events like this.

LATELY

Lately, it seems as if my life has been one interesting event after another, peppered by occasional bouts of normalcy. The frequency of these interesting events has increased ever since I started my job at this internationally famous company. I do NOT hold them responsible. I merely use this event as a time marker that earmarks when things really started getting even more interesting in my life.

My boss wrote me, regarding this run of “luck” I seem to be having, and asked,

“David, Have you always gone through life with that little cloud over your head that follows you everywhere? Eleanor (A co-worker who issues our phones) and I were talking about you…and all the things you have had to endure since you have been with us. Satan is really trying to trip you up, isn’t he?”

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Chinese Symbols for CrisisThe Chinese symbol for crisis is shown here. It is two symbols meaning “Danger” and “Opportunity”. They occur simultaneously. How you handle them is what determines if it is a crisis or not.

Jesus never said that becoming his disciple would protect us from life’s circumstances. – Jim Richards, “How To Stop The Pain”

Even Jesus was tempted in every way we are all tempted. In Matthew 18:7 Jesus said, “It is necessary that temptation comes.”

The Opportunity

The opportunity my circumstances bring me is the chance to allow the Spirit of God to work in my life, making me a light and disciple of Christ.

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

That is not how the bumper sticker says it, but you get my drift.

I used to get seriously angry at all these little paper cuts. I am learning, through experience with the Holy Spirit, that blowing up only means I get to do it all over again.

I handle big events rather well. It is the little, niggling, “dogs chewing at my shoes” events that tend to bring out my worst.

Even though God Himself tempts no man, God is not going to stop problems from coming your way any more than He prevented them from happening to Jesus.

We are not better than our master.

How we deal with circumstances is what tells the rest of the world how much we really believe Christ changes our lives.

There is a season for everything under the sun.

This season of interesting events lead me to either cling to God in faith, or curse God for allowing them to happen. It all depends on how well I chose to understand what the Bible actually says about pain and suffering.

Whether these temptations are genuinely from Satan or are just life happening becomes a moot point. Jesus said, “Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influence to do wrong.” And “Woe to the person on whose account or by whom these temptations comes!”

The World and Satan are in league with each other in that, if they have to go to hell, then so do the rest of us.

If I have said I do not have to go to hell on account of Jesus and his finished work on the cross, then I have told the World and Satan they can stuff their ambitions for my life.

Satan and the World do not like it when a sheep tells them to stuff it. So they fight back.

We either trust our Shepherd to take care of us, or we don’t.

So…let there be clouds, and let it rain…I was thirsty anyway!

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Now,

Let’s be about it!

Love always, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

We Shall Speak the Truth in Love…but We SHALL Speak the Truth!



In case I have never told anyone, I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, who died of all my sin, and rose again on the third day to prove he is worthy to be my lord and savior. Because of this, I have inherited all that Christ has given in order to save me. This is part of the exchange on the cross. All that is unholy and sin became Jesus’, and all that is holy and righteous became mine. My righteousness has nothing to do with me, or anything I can do to please God. It all rests entirely on Jesus and what He accomplished in my place. Becoming what Jesus is, is what is known as laboring to rest in the finished work of the cross.

So, what am I? I am like you, someone who has sinned. Perhaps my sin nature was a bit more indulgent than yours. Perhaps not. Any sin separates us from God and demands a verdict of eternal damnation. In God’s eyes, all my sin is forgiven. In God’s eyes, I am His beloved child. In God’s eyes, I am no longer judged worthy of hell and damnation because I have accepted the mission of Jesus and the finished work of the cross. My fleshy character has to die, because it is dead, and will continue to die as I rest in the character of Jesus.

I am also someone who STILL sins. Just like you. I still sin, but I do not desire sin. Not any longer. I desire God and His kingdom. His grace sustains me as the Spirit of God leads me to a life that is better than the old life I lived. I am not alive anymore, but Jesus lives in me. I live this life because of the faith of Jesus that resides in me. I live this life because He lived me and gave His life for mine.

What I have described above is what GRACE is all about. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is bestowed on me because I have accepted a free gift. That gift was paid for in blood. Jesus’ blood.

God’s grace continues to this day. That is why this planet still exists. He is showing us how patient His grace is, so that, somehow, you will have the opportunity to accept this free gift too, instead of living your eternity in hell. Hell is reserved for Satan and his minions, and all who refuse to accept this free gift.

This is grace, and it is free to anyone who will accept it.

Here is the truth, however…

No one wants God on God’s terms. If they believe in God at all, it is through a filter of righteousness (Self), that tells God why all the good stuff they have done in their life merits passage into Heaven.

We prefer to earn what we cannot possibly earn because we are too proud to accept the free gift of Grace given to us.

The truth is, some Christians have made Jesus noting more than a role model, a buddy, someone who looks at your foibles, chuckles, slaps you on the back, and says, “Keep trying, buddy, I am rooting for you.” Part of this is true, but the tools of Satan is to mix truth with error.

The error is in believing that Jesus is no more aware of a divine standard than we are, and He is simply walking through this life as befuddled as you are, but maybe a bit smarter about negotiating the mine fields of life. This inclusive theology waters down who Jesus is, and leads millions to a false sense of security. After all, we need to make our march into hell as pleasant as we can, don’t we?

The truth is, some Christians believe that their particular religious dogma has cornered the market on God, and God HAS to be pleased with our efforts. They like to invent an agenda, map out a plan, and insist that God approve of it. This is especially true if our map started in the scriptures.

Here is an example:

I recently attended a Men’s Prayer Breakfast. The theme of that breakfast was, Psa 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;…”

The guest speaker rhapsodized about how it is our responsibility to build a Godly home. Which is true, but not the truth.

The speaker exposited that we have to work hard to make sure we are doing all we can to build a home that God will be proud of. The emphasis continued to be one of self-effort, self-righteousness, self, self, and self…ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

After all was said and done, I was asked what I thought. I spoke the truth. That unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it.

I was in my home turf with this synagogue of fellows, as I was raised in this particular works righteousness religion.

I suggested, and I mean this, I was kind, polite, and friendly, charming… everything that my best friend, Mark, would have suggested I be…I suggested that we look again at this verse and underscore WHO is responsible for the building.

(I was once one of them, and I know how easily they get provoked to self-righteousness and anger, and how swiftly they run to their own ego when they are cornered.)

I suggested, ever so gently that, unless God moves us to build the house, and unless He leads the building, and unless the Holy Spirit empowers this project, nothing we do will last. I suggested that any fool can build what looks like a godly home, a godly church, a godly reputation, but, inside, can be full of empty promises, lies, deceit, and vain imaginations. If this were not so, all churches and all homes that appear to be Godly would be winning souls faster than water could be gathered for the baptism.

The stony silence I was greeted with was deafening. The party was over.

The Truth is… We do not really want the truth so much as we want reassurance that the lies we tell ourselves are the truth.

My only claim to anything is that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. He died for my sin. I accept that I am a sinner, saved by Grace.

I would not be able to comprehend why grace is being applied to my life, if I first didn’t understand that there is sin, and a need of repentance.

Grace juxtaposes the image of what God is trying to give you against the reality of the hell you will receive if you do not choose His free gift.

Is Jesus my friend? Yes, He said so himself. It’s in the bible, look it up.

Jesus is my friend because I have believed in him, trusted him, and accepted this free gift.

When He became my savior, and the spirit of God entered me, I was driven to the inescapable conclusion that I also want to be just like Him, which made Jesus my Lord, as well.

Somewhere between the dogma of the self-righteous religions of this planet, and the idea that Jesus is your buddy, we have to come to terms with the truth of the Cross. The truth of why the cross was necessary. The truth that none of us, none of our religions, and none of our watered down lies of Jesus will ever save us from the hell we deserve.

Jesus IS the good news. Jesus is all of the Gospel. There is no separation of eternal life and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. You cannot have one without the other. To live otherwise is to tell God you know better than He does about what is best for your eternal soul. This will not comfort you while you are in Hell.

The truth is, if Jesus can redeem someone as vile and dangerous as I was, then He can redeem anyone. The truth is, none of us, not one, can do anything at all worthy of Heaven, unless Jesus Himself does the thing through us.

When you accept that you are a sinner, and that your religion, or lack thereof, is not going to save you, and you turn to Jesus Christ, and see what He has done to grant you eternity in Heaven, you will be saved.

I was told that I must be soft and sweet when I deliver these next few messages. I was told that I must separate grace from truth, because truth is not palatable, and will scare people off.

I hold that if you are not cognizant of the truth, any effort you make at making Jesus your Friend will be wasted in regret. You will never know Grace apart from the hard truth.

The truth is, you can do nothing at all apart from Christ.

The truth is, you cannot have Heaven and bypass what Christ did on the cross.

The Truth is, your deciding whether Jesus is Lord or not does not negate the fact that He is Lord whether you acknowledge it or not.

The truth is, in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord.

Time is running out. Churches have failed Christ. We all have to stop and tell the truth and know the truth.

Grace reveals God’s love against our overwhelming sin. Grace reveals a truth that simultaneously hurts and heals.

Truth reveals Christ.

It pleased God to send His own Son to the cross so we, you, His creation, will not have to face His wrath.  Jesus already absorbed God’s wrath.  Sin is paid for.  You are saved, if you believe what Jesus said about Himself.

Unless we first come to grips with our sin, and the overwhelming Grace God continues to show us, and until we accept this free gift of Salvation, we will never truly understand the depth of the powerful relation Jesus will be in your life. You cannot be His friend unless you first accept what he did for you. When that happens, you will see that he did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.

Before any of my Hyper Grace friends ask me if I had thought twice about the gracelessness of this tome, and considered what Jesus would have done…I leave with this thought:

Still, it is all on His terms.

Let Him be about you.

I love you in Jesus Christ, and because of Him,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

It is time for us to join the battle.


cropped-praying-hands.jpegTo the Christians of Ferguson.  To the Christians of Missouri.  To the Christians of America.  To Christians all around the world.

The world is watching right now.  It is time to see the power of the living God at work in Ferguson, MO.

I believe prayer changes things. I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the people in Ferguson, The hearts of those who desire chaos, the hearts of those who desire anarchy, the hearts of those who say they want justice, but actually seek revenge.

It is written that God inhabits the praises of His saints. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are, by definition, one who has been sanctified, set apart, for His purposes. No power on earth can get between you and God.

All we as believers have to do is pray, praise, and persist in the faith. No plan of evil can overcome the power of God.

Jesus said that where two or more agree as touching ANYTHING then it will be granted to you by the Father in heaven, to the glory of Christ.

Do you want Jesus to be glorified, or are you content to sit, cluck your tongue, and thank God you are not part of the problem? The enemy depends on your absence in this war. His desire is that you be AWOL in the middle of the fight. All he has to do to win, is convince you are not needed in this battle.

You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.

Praise Him in the assembly, Praise Him in the streets, praise Him in your lack and want and agony, and praise Him when your life is flush with good things.

Lift your hands in holy sacrifice, and watch the power of the living God make a difference in this world.

Are you distressed over what is about to transpire in Missouri? Trust God and pray. Because you are Christ’s, you are God’s own child. Ask Him whatever you will in the name of Jesus and it will be done.

Go find a friend to pray with. Do this now and until this trouble is past.

We are called to a greater thing than our own selfish desires and our own comfort zone.

Put on the whole armor and show up for this battle and watch the mighty hand of the Living God deliver peace and Jesus to this situation.

Failure to do this is to give the enemy the very ground Jesus died to save…human souls.

Today, decide you will do this. Watch the mighty hand of God work through his children.

Jesus is our Lord, and He has sovereign right and power over all that exists. Never doubt this. never give up on this. Always rely on this truth.

If you cannot do this, shut up about what a mighty Christian you are.

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s Be About It!!!

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

A Long and Awkward Silence – Part II


Lost and Confused Signpost

God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. II Chronicles 32:31 (NASB)

DO IT, CHECK IT!

Jalia was a formidable boss.  She was former Army.  A former Drill Sergeant. She earned her jump wings when women weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing.  Jalia was one of the most efficient fighters I knew. I watched her take down a man who easily outweighed her by 150 pounds.  Said man was no slouch as a fighter, himself.  She had a real “Can Do” warrior’s mentality.  At 5’2”, she was a presence that filled a room.

Jalia was responsible for turning all of us wanna-be programmers into real programmers.  Her standards were very high, almost impossibly so.  She suffered no fools, and expected you to catch on the first time.  We drilled and drilled and drilled till we could write code in our sleep.  We had to be very good at this because of the nature of what we did.  Our work was to be performed under the pressure of all hell breaking lose around us.  We had to be the coolest under fire, and the smartest people in the room.  We were not allowed the luxury of folding under pressure.  Whining could get you kicked off the team faster than you can blink.  She was so inspiring a leader that we wanted to exceed her standard.  We wanted to be better than the best.

Her mantra was, “Do it, Check It!”.   During drill, we practiced, re-practiced, did it all again, and took it all apart to make it even more efficient.  “Assumption” was one swear word never allowed on our Team.  While we drilled, we practiced under a simulated “Hot Environment”.  Murphy’s law was the rule during these drills, and we had to cope.  Failure after failure was simulated.  Every conceivable distraction that could exist did exist.  We had to be observant enough that our after action reports included even the most trivial events, including all the distractions, but we were expected to stay on task, get the job done, and not make two attempts at getting it done.  There were no do-over’s when thing were getting real, so there was no mercy when she drilled us.

Then came the tests.  We never knew when these little tests would happen.  There was no way to tell the difference between a test and the real thing.  All hell would break lose, and we were to saddle up and get the problem solved yesterday, if not sooner.

It was during these tests that we discovered what “Do it, Check It” actually meant.  At the end of the test, we analyzed every little detail, no matter how trivial.  When failure was discovered, Jalia did not resort to being the typical drill sergeant.  She had us note the failure, learn from it, and don’t do it again.  We did the drill, checked the outcomes, and learned what we need to do to be better at it.

Always, our baseline was Jalia and her amazing skill.  She was a living legend.  No one had accomplished the things she had accomplished, and no one had discovered the way to get it done like she did it. Her hell was that she had to turn ordinary human beings into people who could be as creative and cool under fire as she was.

Although Jalia was very hard on us, there was never any condemnation when we failed, only encouragement.  She helped us discover what we did wrong, what we can do right, why we hesitated, and how to stop hesitating.  We learned from our failures.

We dreaded drills, but we learned from them.

GOD IS ALWAYS WITH US, EVEN WHEN HE ISN’T

The Spirit of God will always be with you.  If you are Born again, the Holy Spirit fills you, guides, you, and leads you in all truth, and develops your character so that, in the end, you will be the very image and likeness of Christ.

There will be times in your discipleship where God will step back to see what you do.  This isn’t to trip you up.  God is not like that.  He loves you enough to discipline you and grow you up.  When God steps back, it is to see where you need shoring up.  Where your defenses are low.  Where you need refining.  We go through this because we are at war.  Very few people pass boot camp, but all His children are called to serve.

When God steps back, this is where you discover how well you have learned what you are supposed to have learned during this last evolution of training.  Until you pass completely, you do not get to go to the next step.

While religions and other ilk try to convince you that it is up to you to make God in your image, and then attempt to please that false God, the real God is looking for people who really want to relate to Him as an individual being.

There will be times where, paradoxically, you will be left alone, while He is there the whole time.

Don’t fight this testing.  Learn from it.  Rejoice that you are about to pass another test and grow some more.  Do not give up. Never quit.  God will, ultimately, not let you fail.

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A LONG AND AWKWARD SILENCE FROM GOD, CHANCES ARE, YOU ARE IN A TEST!

When He steps back to test you, remember your lessons.  Remember, you cannot do this without knowing Him through Jesus Christ.  Remember, the Spirit of God will be your strength.  The fist thing you have to learn is, you do not have the strength or ability to do this on your own.  God gets the bragging rights.  You get His character.

The reason you will go through this should be obvious.  We are at war, and, right now, it appears as if the enemy is gaining ground all around us.  We are to keep our heads when all hell breaks loose, and keep doing what we are trained to do.

All hell is about to break lose.  Many who think they are Christians will fall away from the faith.  Who will survive what is coming?  Those who welcome the training and rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ.  Those who know that apart from God’s grace, we are powerless to do anything.

This is why God tests you.  Not to trip you up, but to strengthen you for what is coming.

We are to grow in all ways to be like Christ Himself.

LET’S BE ABOUT IT!!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 4b – The Promises


The Promises are revealed in the Names of God, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:2-4)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26)

When the believer understands, confesses, and relies completely on the promises revealed through Christ, God manifests the power of His grace in their lives, so that others will be drawn to Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. These are the spoken confessions of those whom God chooses.

HERE ARE THE PROMISES AS REVEALED BY HIS NAME – (Credit where credit is due: All the following information is taken from Dr. Jim Richard’s excellent book, “The Prayer Organizer”, Published by True Potential, Inc., P.O. Box 904, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690, www.truepotential.com, ISBN: 978-1-935769-56-9)

 Jehova-Tsidkenu – “Jehovah is our Righteousness” – Jer. 23:6

I thank you Father that:

You have made me righteous in Jesus.

You made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might be the righteousness of God in Him” – 2 Cor: 5:21

Therefore, I have the gift of righteousness in Jesus. Rom. 5:17

He is the end of the law of righteousness for me. Rom. 10:4

My righteousness comes by faith in the Lord Jesus. Rom. 10:10, Phil. 3:9

I do not have to work for my righteousness. Titus 3:5, Isa. 64:6

I am a servant of righteousness because You have made me a new creature. Rom. 6:18, 2 Cor. 5:17

Christ is made righteous unto me. I Cor. 1:30

 Jehova M’Kaddesh – “Jehova who Sanctifies” – Exodus 31:13

I thank you Father that:

You have sanctified me in Jesus.

I have been set apart in Him I Cor. 1:30

I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20

I am dead to the world, and the world is dead to me. Gal. 6:14

Sin has no dominion over me. Rom. 6:14

I am free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

I am sanctified by Your Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus. I Cor. 6:11

I am set apart for the Master’s use. 2 Tim. 2:21

I am a royal priest set apart to show forth your praises, O God. I Peter 2:9

I am perfected forever by Your will, O God, because You have sanctified me by your spirit. Heb. 10:10, 14, Rom. 5:16

Jehova Shalom – “Jehova is my peace” – Judges 6:24

I thank you Father that:

You give me peace in Jesus

I have peace with you because I am justified by faith. Rom. 5:1

You are the God of peace, and You are with me. Rom. 15:33

I am spiritually minded; therefore, I have Your peace. Rom. 6:8, John 14:27

You give me perfect peace for my mind is stayed on You. Isa. 26:3

The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7

Your peace rules in my heart. Col. 3:15

I am at peace with all men. 2 Tim. 2:22

You make me to be a peacemaker. Matt. 5:9

You make even my enemies to be at peace with me. Proverbs 16:7

Jehova-Shammah – “Jehova is present” – Psalms 46:1

I thank you Father that:

You are present by Your Spirit.

You are always with me. Matt. 28:20

You did not leave me as an orphan, but You have come to me by Your Spirit. John 14:18

You will never leave me or forsake me. Heb. 13:5

You are in me, and I am in you by Jesus. John 17:21-23

When we gather in the name of Jesus, You are there with us. Matt. 18:20

I abide under Your shadow. Psalms 91:1

I am his in the secret of Your presence. Psalms 31:20

Your presence gives me rest. Exodus 33:14

Jehova-Rophe – “Jehova Heals” – Exodus 15:26

I thank you Father that:

You are my health and healing in Jesus.

You are the Lord God who heals me. Exodus 15:26

You put no sickness on me. Exodus 15:26

You keep me from every disease. Deut. 7:15

Jesus carried all my sickness, pains, and infirmities; therefore, I don’t have to carry them. Matt. 8:17

By His stripes I have been healed. I Peter 2:24

I am free from the curse of sickness. Gal. 3:13

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

The Spirit gives life to my physical body. Rom. 8:11

No plague can come near me or my dwelling. Psalms 91:10

I have the Son; therefore I have the life (ZOE) of God. I John 5:12, II Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20

Therefore, I forbid any sickness or disease to live in my body. I command every organ to function properly. I thank You that the life in me, by Your Spirit, overcomes death and disease. Mark 11:23, Rom. 8:2

Jehova-Jireh “Jehova’s provision shall be seen” – Genesis 22:14

I thank you Father that:

You are my provider in Jesus. I am free from the curse of poverty. Gal. 3:13

You have qualified me to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Light. Col. 1:12

All your blessings come on me and overtake me. Deut. 18:2

I am blessed, and I am a blessing wherever I go. Deut. 28:3

You give me the increase. Deut. 28:4

You make me plenteous in goods. Deut. 28:11

You bless the work of my hands. Deut. 28:12

You have delivered me from borrowing. Deut. 28:12

The wealth of the wicked is laid up for me. Prov. 13:22

Jesus has given me the abundant life. John 10:10

All your promises are mine. 2 Cor. 1:20

You supply all my needs (not according to my education, ability, or earning potential), according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Jesus took my poverty that I might take His riches. 2 Cor. 8:9

You make all grace abound unto me so that I ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency in ALL things so that I may abound unto every good work. 2 Cor.9:8

I give freely; therefore, I increase. Prov.11:24

Because I give, it is given unto me a good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over do men give unto me. Luke 6:38

Jehova-Rohi “Jehova my Shepherd” – Psalms 23:1

I thank you Father that:

You are my shepherd in Jesus by Your Spirit.

I trust in You with all my heart; I lean not to my own understanding. In all my ways, I acknowledge you, and you direct my paths. Prov. 3:5-6

You make me toile down in green pastures (abundance). Psalms 23:2

You lead me beside still waters (Peace). Psalms 23:2

You restore my soul (emotions). Psalms 23:3

You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Psalms 23:3

Your rod and staff comfort me (in times of trouble). Psalms 23L4

You have given me the Spirit of Truth who leads me into all truth, (John16:13), who shows me the deep things of God, )1 Cor. 2:10), who leads me into perfect prayer, (Rom. 8:27), who gives me the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16

Because I am Your son, You lead me by Your Spirit, (Romans 8:14), who gives me the knowledge of Your will. Colossians 1:9

You renew my mind by Your Word and Spirit; therefore, I am able to know Your good and acceptable and perfect will, O God. Rom. 12:2

His Work

We know to confess these things because we have experienced the work of the Spirit of God who worked these things into us. This is not something we worked into ourselves. This is entirely the work of a loving Father, who, seeing we have submitted to His call, has made these truths manifest in our lives. It is because of this that we are chosen by Him to serve.

This is available to all who chose to accept the free gift of God’s love. John 3:16-18.

This is available to you, if you chose it. You will know that you need to do this because you will feel the call of God whisper in your heart. While you are still dead through sin, youwill feel God call you. If you will answer, and receive this free gift of salvation, p[rovided through the death of Jesus on the cross, then all the above truth will be written on your heart.

This is so others will see the Hand of God manifest in your life, so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Christ, just as you were.

Let’s be about it.

I love you because Christ has loved me.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

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Whom God Choses – Part 3b – Blessing, the Art of Giving


“But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:1-4)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BLESS?

Blessing means to give what we have to one who does not. Blessing is counterintuitive. We bless the ones who do not deserve our blessing. We bless those who have no chance of repaying us. We bless in secret. We bless in a way that God gets the credit.

We are givers if we are His children. Giving your blessing is not necessarily done in a big way with fanfare. It is most often done in a way that no one but God notices. God, seeing your obedience, rewards you. We do not bless so that we can be praised by men.

CAVEAT LECTOR:

When we bless, we obey God. When we do things God’s way, He provides all we need to be obedient. To not do things His way is a form of rebellion. He will not punish you for this, but He will not bless your rebellion, either. If you say you are a child of God, yet insist that your way and your fleshly power is all you need, then you are on your own. You have the fire insurance, but you do not have the power of the Living God working in you.

When you do things, even “religious and church” things on your own power, you are in rebellion to God. You invite every disaster that exists when you say you are a child of God but do not allow the Spirit of God to transform you and lead you to behave as Jesus did. The discipline of obedience is not accomplished by our will or our flesh. This is impossible. The discipline of obedience comes from submitting to what Christ accomplished on our behalf, and allowing the Spirit of God to work Christ’s character into our being. This is part of dying to self. We cannot claim to be His children and disobey Him. God does not wink at your rebellion, and give you a cookie in spite of your misbehavior. But there is nothing you can do in your own power to be like Christ. This comes only when we learn the mystery of resting in the completed work of Christ.

To bless is to give all we have been given

We have been given:

Grace, Love, Mercy, Son-ship, An eternal inheritance, The riches of the Kingdom of God, Peace, Healing, Provision, Forgiveness, Righteousness. These are ours forever, but not ours to hoard. Just as Jesus gave them to us, we are to give these to others.

Who Gives?

All who have received freely of God, give freely to mankind.

What do we give?

All we have received from God, give freely to mankind.

When do we give?

We give at all times. We give when the sun shines. We give when it rains. We give when we thirst and we give when we drown. We give.

Where do we give?

We give in the midst of all our circumstances.

Why do we give?

We give because God gave to us even when we were at enmity with him.

How do we give?

We give joyfully. We give sacrificially. We give when we are abased. We give when we abound. We give riotously. We give with reckless abandon.

 

Let’s be about it!

I love you

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Restored Things


The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

(Psa 51:17)

Broken

We all break. The array of things that break us is astonishing. Each thing is exactly the tool needed to do the breaking.

Most often, we are broken by the big three things:

Lust of the Eye

Lust of the Flesh

The Pride of Life

When we break, we look for a remedy from the pain. Some turn to alcohol. Some turn to sex. Some turn to pills. Some turn to secular solutions, full of promise, empty of results.

If we belong to God we will see that what God could have prevented by His power, He allowed in His wisdom. It is to Him we take our broken pieces.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. (Psa 51:7-13)

Restored

God understands brokenness. Jesus was shattered on the cross for us. God’s strength is revealed in our broken pieces. God mends all that is broken and restores the damaged vessel to a greater purpose. His handiwork is revealed in our brokenness.

What others have written off as trash and useless, God will mend with His pure love. No one is so broken that God cannot mend him. What pieces are discarded, He replaces with Himself. You become a reflection of His own Son in the handiwork of His healing.

BROKEN THINGS BECOME BLESSED THINGS WHEN GOD DOES THE MENDING

Take your broken pieces it to God. His love will repair you and restore you. Your purpose in Him will grow to greater things than before.

 

Let’s be about it.

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Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Whom God Chooses…Part 2a – Blessed Assurance




 

Going From Called To Chosen Means Having Your Faith Tested – IT IS PART OF THE PLAN

STATEMENTS OF FAITH

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1Pe 1:6-9)

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have her
perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (Jas 1:2-4)

A MESSAGE FROM GOD

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11)

WHAT JESUS HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” (Joh 15:2)

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (Joh 14:21)

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (Joh 14:18)

 Training Wheels

Having the faith of the chosen means having absolute assurance you are in God’s plan. We are dealing with faith in God’s plan, meaning we may not always see what it is that God is planning.

It is not difficult to see you are in God’s plan when things are going exactly as they should. For example, when Moses threw down his walking stick and it turned into a snake and ate up the snakes of the High Priests of Pharos court. That is a dead giveaway that what God said would happen is what would happen. Recall that Moses and God rehearsed that on Mount Horeb.

Moses had been chosen. What do you do, however, when you are in training to be chosen, and circumstances show up? Is it any different from when God prepared Moses for his call?

God will use circumstances to train your faith.

The faith comes in when you do not see the plan, or even God in your circumstances. Sometimes the plan you thought you saw is not the plan God had in store for you.

This is the time for your faith to be tested in the fire. This is good news. It means you are being strengthened. Circumstances are a time to rejoice. Circumstances mean that God is about to reveal Himself.

When we are in the crucible of our circumstances, we are in a position to discover we either do not want to answer the His call, or to discover we want to answer His call regardless why we are in that circumstance.

Circumstances are where you get to know God better, and you get to see where God is in your life. It is where the Spirit of God will reveal places in you where you get to grow to be more like Christ.

No circumstance or problem will exist in your life that will not also come with a revelation of who God is in your circumstance. This is the crucible where you are smelted and purified. This is the table where the potter molds the clay. And where the clay is fired.

The goal here is that you are made into the image of Christ, so that God’s ultimate plan can be fulfilled through you. That plan was laid out by Jesus Christ at the end of the book of Matthew. We are to go in to all the world and teach and make disciples. We are all asked to answer that call.

If you are in this crucible, then you are already walking the walk of a chosen one. Here is where your faith grows and your joy in the Lord increases.

What We Will See

Part Two of this series will reveal God’s plan in our circumstances.

We will go from the confusion of our circumstances to the absolute assurance that we are in God’s plan.

Part One was about understanding that we have to be less of ourselves and more dependent on the strength and grace and power of God through Jesus Christ. This takes faith in the one who called you.

This part will explore how that faith is developed to the point that you begin to see the truth in this promise of God:

And we 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. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

(Rom 8:28-30)

We will see that, even though God did not bring on your circumstances, He, in His wisdom, used this circumstance to grow you up. Therein lay the difference between the called and the chosen.

This will not happen in a vacuum. It will be public, and sometimes painful. But it will always be to the best good God has for you. You will become a Godly person, in the image of Jesus, and others will be drawn to Him through your life.

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s be about it!

Stay tuned for Part 2b.

 


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Whom God Chooses…Part IA – What Then…?


Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”

(Mat 19:27) – NASB – e-Sword

 

Coming to the end of yourself is hard work. It is hard work because we do not really feel like dying to ourselves. Not really. We say we want to, but when it comes right down to it, we would rather Jesus compromise on what He meant when He said take up your cross and follow Him.

Between the being called and being chosen, you will go through a boot camp designed to empty you of you, and fill you with Him. The reason Jesus said few are chosen is because it is difficult work having to come to the end of yourself.

It took 40 years of shepherding sheep for Moses to reach the end of himself. It took Joseph a couple of decades of hardship to go from a spoiled brat to the most powerful man in Egypt. It took David years in the caves before he wore the crown. It took Peter being sifted by Satan before he could truly serve Jesus. It took Paul 11 years to get from Damascus to his first journey to spread the gospel.

We have to be brought to the place in our hearts where we understand that we can bring nothing to the game but our love of Christ, our love of Mankind, and our salvation. Even those things, we learn, are not ours, but were given to us by God.

Not all acts of obedience will result in fire falling from heaven and devouring the prophets of Baal. Some acts of obedience will carry you right into the lion’s den, or a fiery furnace. Sometimes our own stupidity carries us to very dark places, but God uses them to shine His light in our lives. Even then, we learn that, unless we get out of the way, and let the Spirit of God grow us up, we will have to go back to the classroom and relearn this lesson and retake the test.

In all cases, whether our obedience has brought down fire on our own heads, or our stupidity has done the same, we will find we are in a circumstance where we have two choices. We can take matters in our own hands, and forfeit whatever it is that God is trying to accomplish in us, or we can surrender to the mystery of God in this, and see Him walk us through this circumstance in a way that God is glorified in it.

Every circumstance has two purposes for you, the called. You will grow to be like Christ in this, and God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. This is why it is hard to be chosen. We want all the goodies, but the lessons leave us cold and fearful.

Until we appreciate we are helpless to be what God wants us to be, and have nothing God needs, we will get to repeat many lessons. The goal is not to make you feel worthless. The goal is to make you just Like Jesus Christ. This is an upgrade. This is what the world fears will happen. Our religion and the rest of the world is content for us to be complacent and religious, at best. But the minute we decide we genuinely want to answer the call, and do it no matter the cost, then we have joined the fray, and all bets are off. Your life will change.

When we learn to see things as Jesus saw them, we will see we are really free. We are beautifully made creatures, in the image of the Living God. We are valuable. We are no longer slaves to the world, or to sin. This is a message that the world does NOT want anyone to understand. We are free because of what Christ did on the Cross. When we decide to answer this call, we have to learn about this freedom. The message of the cross is the one message all religions and world systems fear so much, it is becoming against the law to preach it.

If you decide to take this journey from called to chosen, you will eventually find yourself in a place where your only hope and resource is going to come from the living God. When we run out of ourselves, we will be able to see Jesus fill us and flow from us in miraculous ways.

We just have to get out of the way.

Are you in a place where you cannot retreat, and you cannot see how to move forward? This is the place of purification. You will, if you chose, be able to see the Sovereign God move on your behalf in ways you never imagined. When you fall completely on Him in love and trust, you will see how precious it is to be a child of God. No matter how dark and scary things get, here, never give up on your faith in Him. He will see you through it. It is not until you come to the end of yourself that you will really be able to be the conduit through which the Spirit of God can flow.

While you are being purified, the world is watching. Let God be glorified. Let the world see “One like the son of God” standing in your midst. Do not struggle against the roaring lion, but let the peace and power of God overwhelm the circumstances for you.

When you finally get to the point where you can say, “I have left all, and have nothing left.” You will be able to see and experience the riches of the Kingdom of God in your life.

It is all a choice, from the time you are called, and the time you are chosen. God is patient. Be chosen. Let God have His perfect will in your life. You may be the only Jesus your corner of the world sees when you are too weak to stand in Jesus way.

Until you come to the end of yourself, it is hard to see the fullness of Christ in you.

Let’s be about it.

 

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Whom God Chooses…Part I – More or Less


One thing’s for sure, if you don’t really want to serve God, don’t tell Him you do, and don’t answer Him when He calls. Another thing is for sure; If He plans on using you for His purposes, He will make sure it happens. One way or another, God will prepare you for that call. The question you have to answer is: Will you allow God to prepare you?


 

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (Heb 11:24-27)

Moses is an example of someone who took matters into his own hands…frequently. Humble in birth, but raised as a Prince of Egypt, Moses was at home with power and privilege. When Moses first set foot in the Hebrew Camp, to join his fellow Hebrews, it was obvious he had an agenda, and planned on exercising that agenda. He killed an Egyptian Slave Driver for beating a fellow Hebrew. He felt he had done the right thing, but was later rebuked by his own people for trying to break up a fight between two other Hebrews. His newly found family feared Moses was going to kill them too. Wanted for murder, and no longer feeling safe among his people, Moses fled for the wilderness.

From Prince to pauper, Moses ended up shepherding sheep near Mount Horeb. Moses had to learn to serve instead of being served. Moses had to learn the patience it takes to be a shepherd of sheep. 40 years after leaving Egypt, the Living God called Moses out of that land to return to Egypt to lead the Hebrews out to the Promised Land.

It took God 40 years to get Moses out of Moses’ way so he can serve the Living God. Moses was brash, fiery and temperamental. God needed 40 years to get the agenda out of Moses and work into him a patient humility that would later lead him to free the Hebrews from bondage.

How long will it take me to reach the end of me before I am of any use to God?


 

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; … And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
(Jon 2:1-2 & 10)

God told Jonah to run over to Nineveh and preach the message of repentance. Jonah high tailed it out of town and went straight toward Tarsus. That is the other way from Nineveh. Jonah had such a low opinion of the Ninevites that he figured God had gotten it all wrong. Besides, the Ninevites scared him.

Jonah booked passage from home to Tarsus on the first fast boat he could find. God brought a storm. The sailors were scared. Jonah admitted he had disobeyed God and recommended the sailors throw him overboard. (He was not being brave, he knew he stood a better chance overboard than in the hands of the angry sailors). A whale swallowed Jonah.

Jonah had a few days inside the whale to think things over. Life inside a whale is not exactly a luau and grass skirts. He was miserable, scared, and alone. He found himself caught between certain digestive problems, and God.

God called Jonah for a reason. The evidence of that is what was recorded in Nineveh when Jonah preached there. Jonah was so consumed by his fears, his opinion of others, and his lack of respect for what God intended, that he decided that his agenda was more important than Gods, and his opinion meant more than God’s.

Is my agenda and opinion standing in the way of my being able to walk in the authority of God? Am I in the belly of the whale because I value my view more than Gods? Have I brought this disaster on myself, when all I had to do is obey God? I need to recognize that my understanding of things is not the same as God’s. And if I want to be used by Him, I need to see things His way.


 

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard when a servant girl came up to him and said, “You, too, were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of them all, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” As he went out to the gateway, another woman saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus from Nazareth.” Again he denied it and swore with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” After a little while the people who were standing there came up and said to Peter, “Obviously you’re also one of them, because your accent gives you away.” Then he began to invoke a divine curse and to swear with an oath, “I don’t know the man!” Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered the words of Jesus when he said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Then he went outside and cried bitterly. (Mat 26:69-75)

Before any of us beat Peter up, how many times have we been in a situation where we had the opportunity to stand for our faith, just to act as if we never heard of Jesus?

Hands? Anyone?

Yea, me too. Sucks, doesn’t it?

Before Peter could be of any use to Jesus, Peter had to understand that the only way any of us can represent Christ is to stop trying to do things out of fear. I cannot please man and please God at the same time.

When push comes to shove, we cannot fake a relationship with Jesus. We either have one or we don’t. Circumstances and pressure will show what is really in our hearts.

Perfect love casts out all fear. Does the love of God reside in me so strongly that I fear nothing man can do? When we love someone…really and truly love them, it shows in the little things we do. In order for me to be guilty of being like Jesus, my love for Him must be strong enough that my actions do not betray Him. Anyone can talk the talk, but it takes real stones to walk the walk.


 

…Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. (Act 7:58)

33 A.D. – The conversion of Saul

44 to 46 A.D. – Apostle Paul’s First Missionary Journey begins

From the time Saul was converted on the road to Damascus, to the time He was able to serve Christ as an apostle, Paul needed 11 years to learn what the completed work of the Cross meant to all mankind. Three of those 11 years were spent being taught directly by Jesus Himself. Imagine all that seminary learning and religion he had to unlearn. In order for Paul to be useful as a servant of Christ, he had to see that all his higher education and religious upbringing amounted to nothing but a heaping pile of “dung”.

Am I so full of my religious notions and education that I am useless to the call of Christ? Has my religious conviction and intellectual pursuits become a weapon I use to beat genuine believers to death with? Am I so busy being righteous that I am scaring the lost further into the depths of darkness? How long will it take Jesus to empty my cup of all the nonsense I think I know about God, so I can actually be used of God? Let my claim, Lord, be, only Christ and the Cross, and Him risen.

THE PROBLEM OF FOLLOWING CHRIST

The problem of following Christ means I have to be emptied of my agenda, I have to be willing to obey when he calls, I have to see things the way He sees things, I have to understand His love and the power of His grace so that I can give that away freely. I cannot let the arrogance of what I think I know get in the way of what God wants me to really know. I have to know that I cannot change unless He changes me. I cannot grow unless He grows me. I cannot become less of me unless He takes that part of me away that does not belong to Him.

If it is my heart’s desire to answer the call of the Lord, I have to become More of Him, and Less of Me. It is not until I come to the end of me that I can see the beginning of Christ in me.

Let God empty you of you. Let Him fill you with Him.

Will you have More or Less?

Let’s be about it.

I love you

David G. perkins


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Whom God Chooses…Introduction


424586_472625946153436_1301156474_nStorms happen in life. Just when things are looking good, life takes a left turn. Our response to these storms reveal a great deal about where we are in the process of being refined into the image of Christ. This Series is inspired from an e-mail conversation I had with my brother in the Lord, Mark Fox. (See His blog page here.) We were discussing a storm we (Perkins House) are going through. In the conversation, Mark made the comment, “God must have something amazingly special for you… to put you through this much “fire.” We know that the testing of our faith produces Godly character… but it must be amazingly difficult to see that truth in the midst of such a raging storm.” 

I also thank Chuck and Jan Harrington whose love and prayer encourage us through this process.

And we 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. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 NASB)

One thing’s for sure, if you don’t really want to serve God, don’t tell Him you do, and don’t answer Him when He calls. Another thing is for sure; If He plans on using you for His purposes, He will make sure it happens. One way or another, God will prepare you for that call. The question you have to answer is: Will you allow God to prepare you?

Why I Write

If you have been reading this blog, you know the whole reason I started writing is in answer to a call to write. You know that this call to write is not some narcissistic desire to focus on me, but an attempt to be a “live” testimony to the power of the Grace of God. The testimony is that, in spite of my incredible predilection to let God down repeatedly, the power of God’s grace and the strength of His love means that He never tires of shaping me into the image of His Son, Jesus. The idea is that if God is tirelessly transforming someone whom all others would give up on, then there is hope for others out there who know they are called, but dropped the ball on that call, and have no idea how to get back to that call from where they are.

The Chosen

This series is my attempt to highlight five things God develops in the people He chooses.

Jesus made it clear that many are called, but few are chosen. Getting from the call to the choice is hard. It is hard because we have to learn to rest in the completed work of the cross. It is hard because we tend to get in the way of God. It is hard because we have a tendency to think we can be chosen and still live as if we are not.

We are not chosen because we are learned men or women, or because we are something special, or because we have something God needs. God uses the cast-offs and the rejected, the scorned and the unlikely to accomplish some of the most incredible wonders in His Kingdom. God has chosen you because you have acknowledged His call, and have decided that, one way or another, no life but the life of the chosen will do for you.

The Fire

Nothing reveals our walk with God like our circumstances. Circumstances are a refining fire, revealing both the purity of the object, and the flaws in the object. Sometimes the fire is brought on by our own foolishness. Sometimes the fire is brought on by others. Sometimes, it is some combination of both. Some circumstances are simply life being life.

The beauty of our bad circumstances is that God will turn even this into a blessing. In order to take you out of your own way, and change you into the like ness of Christ, God, in His wisdom, will allow things to come along in your life He could have easily prevented in His power.

All circumstances exist so that one thing is revealed in the life of the called and chosen; the depth of Christ-likeness that exists in our life. This does not happen in a vacuum, or in a classroom, or off in a corner where no one else gets to see it, either. Circumstances happen right in front of the saint and sinner, and reveal what character may exist in each of them.

This fire exists to help the called decide if they really want to continue into the call. This fire exists to purify the chosen. This fire exists to reveal the truth of our testimonies before all mankind.

In the end it becomes less important as to why you are in the circumstances you are in, and more important that you learn to see where God is in the midst of the fire. When you can see that God is standing with you in your circumstances, and learn to see the circumstances the way He does, you will grow in refinement to be made into the image of His Son, Jesus.

Becoming Refined

It is easy to see the finished product and admire it, unless you are the finished product. The vessel is beautiful now, but you didn’t see it get pulverized and ground up, and smashed, and mixed up, and forced into a mold, and baked and broken and glazed and painted and finished.

You just see the vase.

The wine is delicious, but were you there when the grape was torn from the vine, pulverized, poured out, and bled to death? You just taste the wine.

It is also easy, looking from the outside in, to see someone get mangled, crushed, and reshaped, and wonder what in the world that person did wrong. It is easy to not recognize that God is doing a work on another believer. It is not our place, then, to judge, or evade, but to encourage, and support that vessel. That is also, part of the refining process.

As Children of God, we all want to be like Jesus, or at least we say we do. But are we willing to go through the hard work of the refining fire? Are we willing to have the dross burned out, and be sifted? Are we ready to have our character exposed to the world? Are we ready to become chosen, or will we walk away at the first sign of the refining fire?

The secret to becoming refined is understanding that YOU do not do the refining. God does. Just as with every aspect of the redeemed life, you have nothing to do with the process. It is God who created us. It is God who redeemed us. It is God who called us. It is God who chooses us, and it is God who refines us.

Our only part in this is that we have to be willing to go through the refining fire. We have to be willing to yield, and then we have to submit. There is a reason it is called “laboring to rest”.

The Result

The result of God’s refining fire is a vessel that can be used on earth to fulfill that which has already been accomplished in Heaven. The following five things will be true of you:

  1. In emptying your cup of you, He will fill you with Him.
  2. You will become absolutely aware and assured you are in the plan of God.
  3. You will be absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.
  4. In feeding daily on the promises of God, you will deliver the bread of life to the hungry.
  5. You will acquire a reckless abandonment toward the will of God so that you will dare to act on what God says regardless of how you feel or regardless of your circumstances.

A vessel in the Kingdom of God is not a museum piece, to be set on a shelf and admired. It is a tool designed to get right in the deep end of life and get dirty, and dig the fallen out of the mire of the world they have chosen to wallow in.

This is what Jesus referred to when He talked of Fruit. Many are called, few are chosen. If you want to bear fruit, you have to get pruned and refined. You can chose to hang out in the garden, fruitlessly living your life, or you can allow God to prune away all that is not His, and bear beautiful fruit.

I hope you enjoy this series.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

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Faith

What is My Cup Full Of? – Part 1


This entry may have a harsher tone than I like.
I did that on purpose. 
Bear with me through the end of this series.  Thanks!

It’s Impossible!

 

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“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society, 1895

Credit where credit is due: quote comes from NOVA Online.

 

It’s all about the Boxes

We are comfortable in our boxes. We want the world to look and behave a certain way because we do not like surprises. We look to Respected Authorities to tell us how the world works. We want them to be right so we can sleep at night.

Respected Authorities have published papers and books and lectured the world on how the world works. They have taught their disciples and students, knowing that their world view lives on after they are gone. Suddenly, someone who knows better comes along and says, “Look at THIS!” In order to agree with the new guy on the block, they must first admit that they are wrong.

Respected Authorities want to continue to be respected, so, when something that differs with their opinion comes along, they work to squelch it. The “Upstart” had the nerve to upset the masses. What this upstart did was reveal a higher truth that contradicts their world view. Even if said Authority knows the upstart is right, he cannot afford to be in a position to lose his status as a “Respected Authority”. They decide to prevent any upstart by making rules, orders and laws that restrict “wrong thinking”. At this point, “The People” become “The Sheep”. The Respected Authorities become the wolves. We sheep want our boxes of ignorance and willful stupidity in place, so life looks normal; “normal” is defined by the Respected Authorities.  We rely on them to tell us what is real, and what is not; what is possible and what is not.

They define reality to the point the boxes don’t just “keep us safe”, the boxes become our prison. Respected Authorities know the only way to keep the sheep in the box is to make us fear what is outside the box. Inside the box is safer. They invent enemies of the box. Life is deadly outside the box. Our fears make us susceptible to whatever fable Respected Authorities tell us. We can all be happy as the box gets smaller and smaller, and our fears grow larger.

Ideas become the enemy. We believe everything in the box represents freedom. We embrace laws that say we are no longer allowed to peek over the top of the box to see what is outside.

Respected Authorities define “freedom” so well we do not recognize we are now slaves of their world view. Evil can rule when the sheep fear freedom more than they fear slavery.

We are proud to live in a world where we are free to wear chains.  After all, we need to be willing to give up our real freedom if it means we are safe.

Welcome to the fallen world

A very long time ago, Humans took the advice of a “Respected Authority” and ended up disconnecting themselves from the One who created this earth. Mankind’s understanding of things has devolved since then.

Centuries later, the One who created this earth came here in the form of Jesus Christ, who made it clear that He is the ONLY Authority. The Authorities of His day were upset that this upstart was breaking down the walls of the box. They talked the Romans, another set of Respected Authorities, into having Jesus Killed.

Their reasoning was so that “The People” will go back to enjoying the chains that their religion built out of the revealed God. They had hidden God to the point that they themselves didn’t recognize Him when He was walking the streets of Jerusalem. They had become prisoners of the very same box they tried to keep “The People” locked up in.

The Boxes are the chains that bind us.

Today we live in a world full of religions.

Some say there is no God.

Some say you are God.

Some say there are many Gods.

Some Say that a particular fallen angel is God; they are known as “The Religion of Peace”.  Currently, “The Religion of Peace” is spreading their version of love all over the Middle East, killing anyone that sees life differently than they do.

Some say we are not allowed to know or pronounce the name of the Living God. That not knowing it or pronouncing it shows respect to Him (Although He told Moses what we should call Him).

Some religions are Secular Humanist in their model, but go by several names.

Another Religion that recognizes that Jesus is our savior does not actually have a relationship with Him, but they feel free to judge everyone else that does not think like they do.

Governments the world over are working hard to BE the accepted religion. The world system wants you to believe they are the only source of life or happiness.

The list of religious beliefs about how to manage humanity is long.

Jesus did not come here to start a religion, but to repair a broken relationship with God.

Respected Authorities and all Humanity put to death the one who said the following very revolutionary truth:

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” (John 14:6-7 NASB)

Ask Yourself This

Ask yourself why Respected Authorities the world over are so fearful you will see the truth. Ask yourself why you are comfortable simply knowing facts about Jesus, but do not really know Jesus.

What would your confession of Christ be if someone put a gun to your head and demanded you renounce your faith?

Ask yourself this; why do Respected Authorities and religions fear you will get to know the Living God through Jesus Christ?

Why do religions, at best, fill your head full of facts about Jesus, true and false, but fear that you will discover you can know Him personally?

Why is it becoming unpopular to believe in Him? Why do the “Tolerant Ones” have no toleration of Jesus, the Living Christ?

All religions have their boxes.

Jesus didn’t.

He rose again to prove that He is the Son of the Living God. He rose to prove that all he said was true. He put finished to all sin so we can have a real relationship with the Living God, and call Him, “Daddy” (Abba).

Jesus had the nerve to say this:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14 NASB)

Maybe the freedom to be just like Jesus is what Respected Authorities and religions fear. If we are truly free through Christ, we don’t need them.

The Uncomfortable Truth

Respected Authorities fear Jesus. Not the religion of Jesus, but Jesus Christ Himself. Religions are OK, they fit nicely into the plans of the worldly system.

A prison cannot be disguised as freedom if we know what real freedom is. We will destroy our boxes if we can see that we are free, and no longer slaves. We are free when we begin to understand who Jesus is, and what he accomplished on the Cross.

Jesus made it clear; you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven apart from Him. You cannot have a relationship with the Living God apart from Him.

What all worldly systems fear is that we discover that Jesus is right, that we are free, and the lies they told us no longer can enslave us. We can no longer be controlled if we see and understand what Jesus accomplished. Respected Authorities lose all power when we become exactly what Jesus says we are, free from the world.

When you DO know Him, He will reveal the kingdom of Heaven is IN you. He will reveal that you are a Son or Daughter of God. He will reveal that you have all power and authority on Earth because He has sent the Holy Spirit to live inside you. He will give you His mind and spirit in exchange for your old self. He made this possible when He rose from the dead. If you believe He rose, and confess with your mouth that he rose, then he will show you that you rose with him, a new creation, and a Child of the Living God.

He will show you the only boundaries that exist are the ones you think exist. The idea that you will be free to do and be as Jesus is, is what Respected Authorities fear.

With God, all things are possible

It is possible to be free. It is possible to call God our Father. It is possible to have the kingdom of Heaven in us. It is possible to enter the kingdom of Heaven when we die. All things are possible when we have a genuine relationship with Jesus.

Don’t do it because Respected Authorities say not to, that would be the wrong reason. Do it because when you do, you will be free to live as Christ did. Free for all eternity.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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