I don’t often see eye to eye with the author of the below, but it is nearly identical to what I was going to write.
He Lifts Me Up
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
What This Isn’t About
So, this is not about how my heart keeps trying to give out, or about the constant physical pain I am always in, pain that robs me of sleep, relentless pain that will not go away. This is not how losing sleep all the time is negatively affecting everything I do. This is not about my lungs no longer functioning the way they used to. It’s not about how I have to gasp for air just from climbing a ladder or going up a flight of stairs.
All of these things are true. But that is not what this is about.
A Long Week
Sleep had vanished again. I looked at the clock and saw it was only 1 AM. I had had maybe 2 hours of sleep. This was the second week in a row that this has been happening. By Friday, my body was done. My heart couldn’t keep its rhythm, my lungs were not giving me enough air to function. I was overtired from losing sleep and my body was telling me in its own way that I need to stop and rest. I went home. I took a nap…ok, I took three short naps.
In His Presence
During my last nap, I had a wonderful dream. I was standing in the healing light of the Lord. I woke up feeling more alive than I have felt in weeks. My heart was calm and keeping its rhythm. My mind was clear. I was calm for the first time in weeks.
I am still in a lot of pain, but isn’t it in our trials that the joy of the Lord is revealed? Wasn’t it in the fiery furnace where one “like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:24-25) was walking around in the furnace while Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were singing and dancing?
If I have placed my trust in Him, He does not remove me from the fire of my trials. Instead, He joins me in my trials and keeps the flames from consuming me.
When we let him join us in our wilderness, He makes the most desolate landscape a Holy garden. It is when we are in the firey furnace of our trials we discover who Jesus really is.
He is my Savior because I surely do believe He is the Only Begotten Son of God, who died of all my sin, and proved His claim by rising from the dead on the third day. (John 3:16)
He is my Shepherd who leads me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23)
And He is my Lord who covers me in His grace when I am in turmoil. (II Corinthians 12:9)
He lifts me up when I haven’t got the strength to call on Him. (Isaiah 40:31)
I know that while I am in this world, there will be pain, and heartache, and there will be suffering.
When I called on Him, He was there. His presence gave me joy.
This is what I know and attest to be true:
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 – KJV).
I love you in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
David G. Perkins
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
Not By My Self
One of the best butt kickings I ever had was while I was a student at the Seidokan Aikido School in Fort Worth, Texas.
She was probably 110 pounds soaking wet.
She was maybe 5’-0”.
She looked as if a strong wind could carry her away.
We were paired together to practice a technique called “Heaven to Earth.” The outcome of this technique is self-explanatory, but, when it is done on you, you see why it is called that. You fly through the heavens and land hard on the earth.
I was to be her assailant. Me, muscular, several black belts, virile, agile, and deadly (I was in my late 20’s back then, so…I thought I was all that). She had to protect herself from my attack.
I felt terrible about this pairing, but Master Sosa insisted we practice this technique together. I even warned her that I’m some kind of big deal in the Martial Arts World, and have combat experience, and am, well….awesome.
She smiled her charming, demure smile, looked at me with her big brown almond shaped eyes, tied her very long cascade of black hair behind her head with a leather string, and said, “We still have to do what we have to do. “
I attacked her hard.
When I woke up, little birdies were orbiting my head.
It turns out, she was an advanced black belt in the Aikido world. She taught the Dallas Police Department S.W.A.T. team Combat fighting and non-lethal takedown techniques. She also taught a women’s rape prevention course.
Regardless how highly I thought of myself, my opinion was immediately negated when faced with the real deal. I was not qualified on my own experience and merit to be part of the elite members of the Seidokan team.
Not By My Membership
I was a member of the Kaju Kiado Kwai Kwoon Do. The Red Dragons.
I spent decades studying several martial arts and earned black belts in many of them.
I assumed that my confirmed experience and membership in the Kwoon would mean something to Master Sosa.
Belonging to a particular club held no merit in Master Sosa’s eyes. It was what was in my heart that he wanted to reach and teach. I either wanted to be a real Aikidoka, or I could just go pound sand elsewhere.
When I stood on the judgment ground of the DoJo, my membership to the Kwoon became pointless. No one from the Kwoon was there to back me. I was on my own. I was defeated before the action began, and I didn’t even know it. My membership to the Kwoon didn’t admit me to the inner circle of the Seidokan Elite Team.
My arrogance was in the way.
In God’s Eyes
When you die, what will you take with you to your judgment?
When it comes to facing the test of your faith, will you rely on the fact that you taught Sunday School for decades?
Will you depend on your reputation as a Religious person to get you into the Kingdom?
Will you brag to God that you belong to the best church in town, and have been a member since you were a zygote?
Lucifer had more than that going for him, and God cast him from heaven to earth.
The only thing that matters now, and will ever matter, is where you are in Christ Jesus.
Your skill as a bible student will not get you there. Being a graduate of Seminary will not get you there. Being a Minister or Sunday school teacher will not get you there.
Hell will be filled with Religious Christians, Ministers, Sunday School teachers, people who belonged to the very best churches money could buy, yet, there they are, in Hell.
It is only because of Jesus and His righteousness, because of His suffering on the Cross, His death, and resurrection, that we even have a claim to God. It is only by His grace and faith in His promise that you are saved and qualified to be called a Son of God.
God doesn’t care how famous you are as a “Christian.” The book of Matthiew (Sheep and Goats) covers what happens to people who have deluded themselves into thinking they are safe from God’s judgment.
Jesus told them, “I never knew you.”
Does He know you?
Let’s be about it.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. (Mat 16:24-25 WEB)
I have witnesses to what I am about to tell you.
When I was a teenager, I was also an evangelist. I wanted to be the next Billy Graham. When I couldn’t get anyone to stand still long enough to hear me preach, I would go out to Camp Bowie, Brownwood, where certain Cattlemen kept their cows. I would preach to those poor cows. I have to warn you, if a cow accepts Jesus as His or Her Lord and Savior, be careful when you baptise it. Cows are very difficult to baptise. Just trust me on this, OK?
I fell from grace when I was in my 20’s.
When I was in my early 30’s I repented, reaffirmed my relationship to Jesus Christ as my savior, and started evangelizing. What I thought was a repentance was not much more than me missing being a baptist. I even went to a baptist seminary.
I discovered the depth of my “renewed” faith when something really awful happened. When that awful thing happened, God let me know in very clear terms that, if I stand with Him, He will guide me through this very hard thing. The weakness in my faith revealed itself, though, and I returned to that life of rampant sin and violence I lived in my 20’s, but I did it even more and to greater depths. When I committ, I go all the way, or no way. I don’t really have an in between.
Four years ago, I discovered what the Cross of Christ is really about. I learned what terrible price Jesus paid for me. I learned He didn’t die for my sin, he died for me, OF my sin. All sin. Past present and future were put to death on the Cross with Christ. Eventually, I learned, as Paul pointed out, that when He died on that cross, and because I accepted that free gift, I also died with him. Now, I live by the grace of God through the measure of faith Christ invested in me (Galations 2:20).
Before this revelatrion of Grace, the music my soul played was awful. I was awful. I hated everything and everyone. When people saw me coming, they left the room before I even got there. (Very true story, if you want witnesses, I’ll tell you who to call).
After Grace happened, I saw everyone as someone Christ died for. Instead of wanting to harm people and hate people, I was filled with an understanding of the Love God has for everyone.
I never knew such a spectacular love. I never realized what Grace can do for a person. The grace of God, His mercy, His love, His free gift of salvation is spectacularly immeasurable wonderful. And it IS free to anyone who will accept it. Simple, right?
Just after my real and very power conversion, another very bad thing happened in my life. This hurt goes deep to the bone, to the heart, through the soul. The difference this time is, I belong to the Living God through Jesus Christ…for real. I am determined to not repeat the mistakes I made the last time I was hurt this badly.
I knew I was supposed to come to Colorado. My belief was that I would walk right into a ministry and serve. I want to serve so very badly. I figured that God was orchestrating this, too.
I figured this because my getting here was a miracle in itself. I didn’t have the means to move to Colorado, but the means came to me, unbidden, in ways that let me know God was doing this.
I got to Colorado. Pueblo, specifically. There is a reason God had me come here. I wanted to live in Colorado Springs, but God orchestrated things so that I ended up here, instead.
And I still want to serve. And I pray to serve. But God’s answer is, and remains, “Be Still, you are not ready to serve.”
I asked God what he meant.
I’ll share His answer with you.
See…for Christmas, I got a Slow Cooker. I am a terrible cook, but I am learning how to survive on what I make using the slow cooker. I am alone for the first time in my life, and have no cooking skills whatsoever. But I am learning. Last Thursday evening, I started up the slow cooker before I went to my Pilates class. I was praying while I was preparing. I was asking God when all this grief will pass, and when will I be allowed off the bench and into the game.
After I got home from Pilates, the house smelled wonderful, but the meal was not ready. While I added water and some spices, I prayed again about my wanting to serve.
God answered me with this illustration:
Thursday, right after work, and before my Pilates class, I grabbed some ingredients and placed them in the slow cooker. I put in Salmon steak, rice, assorted vegetables, spices, and a can of Progresso Spicy Vegetable Soup.Each ingredient alone is good, savory, tasty, and delicious. Ingredients, however, are better when they are cooked together in a slow cooker.Ingredients in a slow cooker are not a meal until they have cooked at the right temperature and at the right pressure. It is a meal when it is the right mix (You wouldn’t drink a Sesame Orange marinade right out of the bottle, but you’d love the way it flavors your meal once it has infused into the rice and fish), and have been blended in a way that make a meal, and have cooked the right length of time. Time and temperature take care of the cooking.Eventually, the aroma of the thing being slow cooked starts to waft through the house. It smells good, but it is not a meal yet.After Pilates and my errands, when I walked into the house, my house smelled wonderful, but it still was not a meal.I had to get a big spoon, stir, add a touch of water, maybe a spice or two.(Some spices aren’t supposed to be added until a certain amount of cooking happens, and stirring agitates the blend of ingredients so that the flavor is evenly dispersed, and the food doesn’t burn (Thereby ruining the meal)).All this time, heat, pressure and effort goes into so simple a thing as slow cooking. There comes the point in the process that the aroma is so delicious that you KNOW intuitively, YOU HAVE A MEAL READY TO ENJOY. And that first bite tells the story, and is delicious and filling and…yummy.Serving a meal takes time and effort. The bitterness of some vegetables is removed during the cooking process, and they become sweet or savory vegetables when it is time to serve them. Salmon is a great protein, but you cannot eat it frozen and shouldn’t eat it raw. But when it has been properly prepared, it is delicious and succulent and savory.That is what it is like to be prepared for His service.I have all the ingredients to serve, but I have not been properly prepared, properly seasoned, properly stirred, properly simmered…yet. But when I have been, God will say, “Now he is ready to serve.”God has to prepare his servants.We are to give up our individual identity and be part of something greater than us. We are to be altered to the point where we are no longer inedible, but are savory and inviting. Service is not a part-time hobby. God’s true servants give up their identity and very lives for God. When we are a pleasing aroma in His nose, then we are ready to be served up to a hungry world in need of answers.And we will be consumed by serving, because, Like Christ, we are to be completely consumed by our call. A hungry soul is looking for something he can sink his teeth into, and the soul that belongs to Satan wants to destroy God and all His servants, and throw us out. Either way, we cannot be accepted or rejected until we have been properly prepared to be the meal offering that God needs us to be.That is the lesson God showed me while I was impatiently waiting for the timer on the slow cooker to ding.If, like me, you want to be served up, you have to wait for God to prepare you, temper you, stir you up, put you under pressure, and strip you down until you are no longer your own, but part of the Free Gift he is serving to a dying world. It takes time and patience.Let’s Be About It!
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?
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
(Php 1:6 AMP)
To The Point
There was this chicken farm out on the edge of Sarepta, Louisiana. In front of this chicken farm was a two-lane, blacktop road. Traffic was unusually heavy for such a rural location. Helga, the lead chicken, decided she’d show the other hens she is the lead for a reason and wanted to prove it by laying her eggs in a way no other had.
Helga ran to the Rooster and told him as much. The Rooster asked, “What do you plan on doing that is different than what you normally do?” “Well,” said Helga, “I will lay my egg right in the middle of the blacktop road out front! That’s what I’ll do!” The Rooster gave this some considerable thought. Finally, he said, “Ok, Helga, you do that, but I have one piece of advice.”
“What’s that advice, Rooster?” asked Helga.
“Well,” said the Rooster, “I reckon when you get out there on the road, you better get to the point and lay it right on the line.”
I’ll take that advice.
This blog entry is not for the milk and cookies boys who never said a discouraging word. Nor is it for those of you who are more religious than Christian. Neither of you would remotely understand. Tonight, I’m writing to people like me who struggle with their relationship with the Lord. I’m speaking specifically about those times when it seems all your prayers are bouncing off a brass sky. This is about the times when your old Pre-Christian life seemed to be bigger in promise than your Christian life seems.
Here we are, the newly faithful. We have a very colorful past. We have seen more in one year of our lives than most people see in two lifetimes. When we were sinners, we sinned in a way that made Satan blush. I’m talking to you. The rest of you…well…go do something useful…or watch the Olympics or something.
Here’s What You Are Going Through
Right now, you hate your life. You hate your job. The people who say they are there for you aren’t really…they have their own lives, and you need to take a number. You are lonelier than you have ever been in your life. You see how easy it would be to find companionship, and the temptation to do so is nearly more than you can take. You just want to talk to another human. Talking to other Christians only makes you frustrated because while it appears they are listening, all they are really doing is getting ready to show you how well they can counsel you and tell you what is wrong with your thinking and attitude. And you don’t have the words that would help them understand how desperate and in pain you are. How abandoned you feel.
You feel as if you are not really in Christ, and that He has left you to your own devices. You think you’ll go mad because you want a close friend, and you’d give up any moral values just to have someone to talk with, to spend time with, to affirm that you are worth something to someone. Being this alone was never on your agenda.
Maybe you ask yourself if you are somehow getting what you deserve. Afterall, if you were all that, your significant other would not have abandoned you, your friends would really be friends, not just meaningful acquaintances, and if your life were different, you wouldn’t be going through this.
HERE’S THE DEAL
I will not waste your time by telling you how I get it, and I understand, and that is exactly what I am going through. If you are in half the pain I am in; you could care less what I, or anyone else, is going through.
But please understand this. There is one who was rejected by his own Father. He was abandoned by all his friends when he needed a friend. His family turned their backs on him and said he was crazy. He was completely and utterly rejected by everything and everyone he knew, both on earth and in heaven.
Jesus gets it.
The deal is this; HE chose you for salvation. You have to get this part. CHRIST ON PURPOSE chose YOU. You really do belong to Him. I have to tell you, He is not done with you, even if you think it is all over.
These failures you are going through are for a reason. His strength is magnified in your weakness. Jesus will never stop being your Lord, and His Holy Spirit will never give up on you, abandon you, or forsake you. That is HIS promise.
No, that is not as fun as that sweet looking thing that wanted you to come up for coffee, but the result of His promise will lead you to happiness that no other can or will provide.
Don’t give up. Find in you that place where faith resides. That place is filled with the gift of faith from Christ himself. It is not your faith, therefore it cannot be corrupted, bought, cheapened, or diminished in any way. It came from Christ and it belongs to Christ, and it is His gift to you forever. When you admit you are weakened to the point of breaking, He will reveal His mighty power in you. He promises, “A broken and contrite heart, He will not despise.”
Take that faith and let it rest in the assurance that because Christ chose you for salvation, he also chose you to complete you to be in his image. The point of what we are going through right now is so that we will learn to hand this to Him. He died of this stuff. It is His stuff now. Let Him have it. HE will take it and give to you, in return, His life, His glory, His gifts, His resources.
Please don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t give out your self to the next pretty face that offers you warmth. She will only leave you cold in the end, and full of even greater shame and pain than you know now.
HE IS FAITHFUL:
Nothing on earth or in heaven or under the earth can remove you from His loving arms. NOTHING. Big deal if you backslid, or gave up, or sought help from others. BIG DEAL. Stop and trust. Do it now.
He promises that he will never leave you or forsake you. He promises that he will always be with you, even when you don’t think he is
Give this to him, and watch Him work it out. You have no idea what being patient and resting in Him will eventually do. If you give up and give in to this temptation, you will get to start all over. This lesson is on purpose, and has value, and will lead to your growth. It’s all part of becoming like Him.
Please, don’t give up.
I love you,
David G. Perkins
Struggling with Sin
“O wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of this body of death? Thanks be then to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Paul, Romans 7:24-25 The Berean Bible www.Berean.Bible
I see where I made my mistake that day in the Physics 101 class I took at Louisiana Tech University.
The Professor was as excited to be teaching this load of non-physics majors as we were to be taking this required class. He (the Prof) was droning on and on about Kepler and some problem Kepler had with figuring out where an invisible spot was that lay between two planets orbiting each other. The invisible spot was supposed to be a place where the force of gravity between the two bodies is equal. It is called the “Kepler Problem.” Oh, …not the spot, per se, but the whole mental exercise.
The Professor drew two circles on the board (We still had slate chalkboards back then). He said they were planets orbiting each other. He told us the mass of each planet, the distance between them in English miles, and how fast they orbited each other.
Herr Professor went through the class and asked each student where that “invisible spot” is.
The fun thing about being a high functioning Asperberger is that we process information very differently than the “normals” do. It isn’t a boast; it is a simple reality. We see solutions as vividly as you see your hands. The downside is, we have a very difficult time translating what we see in terms that are relatable to the normals. We don’t get that we have to work the problem because that is as valuable as knowing the answer.
The trap of my own arrogance
The professor called on me next. He had just eviscerated a very lovely young woman for not even understanding the question being asked. She was an English Major. I was mad at him for humiliating this very pretty girl in front of everyone.
I went to the board and immediately drew a spot on the board and wrote a number down, representing the actual distance and position between the two planets, and wrote another number down describing the forces being applied on that spot by each planets’ gravity.
As I was walking back to my desk, the professor told me to come back to the board and complete the question he had asked. I went back up to the board.
Her Professor said that my answer is wrong. I told him it is not. He said that unless I can show my work, my answer is wrong. I challenged him that unless he can prove my answer is not the right one, he has no business teaching Physics.
He asked me to leave his class.
I got the ‘F’ I so richly deserved.
What has this got to do with Jesus, Sin and Salvation and Gods gift of Grace and Mercy?
Simple. Just like I needed the discipline of going through the steps to prove my assertion was right in that Physics class, I need to go through the discipline of facing the things the world throws at me.
See…I thought my peers would thank me for embarrassing the Professor. It turns out that I simply put more distance between my peers and me. I showed them that not only am I arrogant, but I cannot understand what others have to go through just to get through their day. I bypassed an essential element of growth and understanding.
Paul wrote Timothy this lesson: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. ” Ephesians 4:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
The Process of Temptation
We will grow.
Just like the cotton plant.
It only grows really strong roots and a full cotton bowl AFTER it has been placed outside the greenhouse, and into the field. There, the plant faces lightning, hail, high winds, heat, and storms that can drown it. That is the only way to build a healthy and strong bowl of cotton. If it doesn’t face these things, the fruit it bears is weak and useless.
If I belong to the Living God through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, then I must grow to be like Him.
In the place of our sin and sin nature, Jesus gave us the gift of His place before God. We are now God’s beloved, we are now Heirs to the Throne of Heaven. We are complete and perfect in God’s eyes.
The whole process of temptation is not because God is powerless to stop it, but to reveal in us where our sin nature must give way to the nature of our risen Lord, who was tempted in all ways, like we are, but without sin.
Growing is a process. It cannot be bypassed if you are a Human living on this planet, in this universe, in this time.
I was unwilling in that Physics class to succumb to the discipline of doing the hard work simply because I could accurately give the answer every time. This kind of knowledge is useless if you cannot share it or explain it. Something about having to solve the problem is part of learning. You get to see where your weaknesses are and where the discipline of doing has increased your understanding.
It isn’t when things are going well that Christ is revealed in us. It is when we are facing the taskmaster of sin and slavery that we discover where our strength comes from. It is how we deal with strong temptation that we learn where we apprehend God’s grace. It is in this crucible, suspended over the cauldron that threatens to dissolve us that we discover that, “One like the Son of God” stands in this furnace with us. We would not survive this life without His presence. We would have no hope of the next life without His presence in this one.
That’s the point, isn’t it?
AND WHEN WE HAVE OVERCOME.
We will not be exactly like Jesus until we see Him face to face. But we will grow to be like Him. He faced terrible temptation and torture on our behalf. His lesson here is, we must go through these things to be purified. We face these things so we can understand why His Grace is sufficient. These lessons in temptation are meant to refine us and make us more like Him and less like ourselves so we can share Him with others who also struggle as we struggle.
What is revealed in the act of solving the problem tends to be more valuable than if you simply assume you get it.
Let’s not be reticent to do the hard work. Let’s learn these lessons temptation brings us.
Let’s not be like the man who puts his hand in the jar, but refuses to lift it to his mouth. Do you see the food, but refuse to eat?
Let’s strive to understand why it is true that, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Take the time it takes to face these things that tempt you. Face the things that sweetly desire to destroy you. Don’t run from the wearying effort of submission to His will. It IS hard. It is challenging. It is draining. It can crush your soul if you are not careful or if you try to do this on your own understanding.
Here is the lesson. You don’t have anything in you but sin. He offers you His Holiness in exchange for your sinful nature. That was the deal He made with God by going to the cross and dying of all your sin.
Just because you see the answer doesn’t mean you understand the answer.
Let’s be about it
David G. Perkins
… 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.email@example.com (Write me, sometimes, I’d love to hear from you)
“May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe…” Steve Green, “Find Us Faithful”
From now on let no one trouble me [by making it necessary for me to justify my authority as an apostle, and the absolute truth of the gospel], for I bear on my body the branding-marks of Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me]. Galatians 6:17 AMP
The Roads We Travel
I love riding my bike. Since I moved to Pueblo from Houston, I’ve been able to ride my bike nearly every day. I couldn’t do that in Houston because the air is too thick and hot for me to breathe. The last 26 rides I’ve been on I have logged over 218 miles. After one arduous ride, I saw tattoos of the bike petals deeply embedded in the soles of my shoes.
These marks are proof to me that I have been there and done that.
Life takes us many directions. Some, we want to go, some we don’t. Some are good roads, some are bad. All the roads we travel have something in common. It leaves an impression.
Who Bears The Scars?
When I go back to the various trails I have recently ridden, I see no evidence I have been there, but my shoes bear the marks of all the effort I have made being there. This made me ask myself a question.
When I go anywhere, wherever I go, I pick up impressions in my heart and mind, and sometimes body, that I have been there. But what evidence of my being there did I leave behind? If there is any evidence, who bears the scars? If I have been there and represented Christ, the trail I leave behind will reflect Christ. If I have been there and have not served Christ, if I am lucky, there will be no evidence I have been there. Too often, in my life, in my world, the scars I leave behind aren’t mine but have been imposed on people I have been involved
Paul made many missionary journeys. He went places he wanted to go, and many he didn’t. Some places he wanted to go, he never got to see. But everywhere he went, he bore the scars in his body of having been there. The evidence he was there lives today. We have Christianity in Europe and America because of what Paul did.
For once in my life, make my feet a blessing on the paths I wander. Lead me to walk in your way. Take me out of my way and place me on your way, so others can see the way. Let me bear the marks of Christ for the sake of the souls who need the mark of your salvation on their souls. For there is no other way to the Kingdom of God but through you, Lord Jesus.
I love you in the name of Jesus,
David G. Perkins
Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me. John 14:23-24
God Was Uninvited
I was brushing my teeth, getting ready for school. It was the early ’60’s. I could hear a young John Kennedy talking about the idea that some people believe God is dead. Kennedy went on to say that he does not hold that belief, and if he gets to be president, he will make sure that our religious liberties remain intact.
President Kennedy did make it to the Oval office. He was killed before he could make too many significant changes in America.
Shortly after that, God was kicked out of schools, offices and public discourse. The Bible is forbidden in public. The Ten Commandments are no longer tolerated and are being removed from every public display.
Children in public schools have every occult and ungodly viewpoint forced down their throats, but telling anyone of the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ is a hate crime.
When God was uninvited in our nation, in our schools, in our homes, we removed an aspect of God from our nation that kept evil at bay. We removed His protection and guidance.
We removed His guiding wisdom. We removed an objective viewpoint that made it possible for us to dileneate between good and evil. We removed clear vision and hope. We removed the baseline for understanding honesty and the ability to recognize truth.
We now live in what liberals celebrate as the “Post-Truth” society. Truth and facts are no longer as relevant as are our feelings about things. We forget that feelings are not facts, and raise feelings to be above facts, and use that as the determiner of our behavior and the law.
When we evict God and His word from our lives, we get the America we see today.
When God is Absent, Evil is King.
So what do we get when we tell God to leave us alone. Because He is not a dictator, because He has granted us complete freedom to do as we will, He gives us exactly what we have asked for. In spite of the fact that every nation on earth who has abandoned God has fallen, we choose to ignore history and the will and word of God. In our stupidity, we call ourselves “enlightened”, and do not see how wretched and blind we have made ourselves.
When God is absent, the Spirit of God, who protects His children, is removed. Evil fills the vacuum and reigns over all. We forget what happened to Israel back in the day when she did the very same thing:
Isaiah 5:20King James Version (KJV)
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
When we removed God from our hearts and souls, we opened ourselves for every delusion that can possibly exist. We embrace the pleasure of evil, and forsake the discipline of truth.
There Is A Path To The Truth
When Jesus went to the cross, he became every sin that exists. He became everything God judges to be unholy, and it pleased God to pour His wrath on Jesus and judge him and put Him to death. It pleased God to do this because He would rather do this to His own beloved Son than have YOU experience His wrath. So, Jesus became all evil for all time.
Then He went to Hell and suffered. When the cup of suffering was drained, God spoke the promise of eternal life and the reign of Heavn over Jesus and our Christ ascended from Hell, bringing with him all the dead who perished before the cross. Death and hell no longer had authority, but Christ, the Son of the living God became all authority.
When you accept this free gift of the death and resurrection of Christ on your behalf, YOU become free of sin. You become the Son of God, the Daughter of God, the sweet Child of God. You will be free. You will be free to know God in His infinite wisdom and love. You will be able to see what the Word of God says and means. You will no longer be mind blind and bereft of a living Soul. You will be alive. Really and truly and forever, alive.
His word will be food for you. Your love for Him will be powerful and fulfilling. You will not be obligated to any religion or law, but will be compelled out fo Love for God to be all you can to become just like Christ. Hisd Spirit will fill you and empower you to do all these things and more.
We need this to happen across America. We need revival in our land. We have kicked God out of our lives and our nation in the name of “Tolerance and Enlightenment”.
We are now stupid and blind.
Lets find time to invite God back. He will never force Himself on anyone. But he will respond to a broken and contrite heart. He will pitch His tent with you and dwell with you. His spirit will encompass you and protect you.
You will be His beloved Child. No nation ever became Christian, only the people who inhabit it. It starts one soul at a time.
Will you invite God back into your home?
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
Let’s Be About It!
David G. Perkins
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NLT
On the one hand, I know I am redeemed. I understand and accept that Jesus became all my sin, and died for my sin on the cross. I am now, because of my acceptance of Jesus Christ, a “son of God” (John 1:12, 11:52, Gal. 3:26, 1 John 3:1-3)
In my heart, I accept this, but my life doesn’t always reflect this. I struggle daily with temptation, the old self, and depression (a deep dark one that wants to swallow me in one bite). I lay this on the altar of the throne of God because he says he cares about our daily struggles (1 Pet. 5:7). Yet I struggle. I ask God daily when my life will be so full of His life, that mine becomes invisible. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between people who are not saved and me.
I especially struggle with alienation because I am, according to the scriptures, “adopted” into God’s family (Gal. 4:5-6; Rom. 8:14-16). And I know this is true because, when I spend time alone in prayer, or in the word, or when I tell others about the glory of His grace, I feel His presence. I know He is there, and that He is my Father.
The alienation I feel comes when I get around other people who I know to be believers. I am rarely completely accepted into their fellowship. Perhaps I don’t do “Christianity” as they do, or our personalities just don’t mesh, or, whatever it is that separates us, separates us too deeply to be overcome. I recently spent time around some people who have a close walk with God, and I wanted to know them more, and better, but they had their walls up, and I was feeling too socially awkward to attempt to penetrate those walls.
I wonder why this dysfunction is present in God’s family but have to remember, we are still human, and deal with our own issues. We do not become perfected until the day we see Him face to face because it is then we will become just like Him (I Cor. 13:12).
I have to understand that, just because I struggle with the same temptations as I struggled with before I accepted the free gift, I handle those struggles differently now than I did in the past. The biggest difference is that I can now take these struggles to a loving God, who carries me through them.
I am no longer ashamed of the Gospel. I am no longer afraid to tell others about Jesus at the drop of the hat. I am not timid about stopping and praying with anyone who asks for prayer.
The joy I get from giving away the word, my “wealth”, my time and freedom just so someone who was like me can understand God’s eternal Grace cannot be measured.
In the past, life was meaningless. You could have died right in front of me, and I would hardly care at all. Today, I see life as a very precious gift.
This is how I know that, even if people I love dearly do not love me back, I am still loved and accepted in the arms of God, my Father.
I cannot separate myself from God. Not only do I have no desire to, but I couldn’t if I tried. God’s hold on me is permanent and forever. All the evil I have committed is in the past, and I am forever accepted into His kingdom.
I may have to struggle until the day I die with certain issues, but I know that, on the cross, Jesus became every sin I ever committed and ever will commit, and put them to death. Jesus became the sin eater so I can partake of the divine joy of the feast of the bridegroom on that day.
Why I Wrote This One
I wrote this blog entry because I know there are others like me. Others who know in their hearts the sweet joy of salvation. Others who understand they are part of an eternal kingdom. Yes, you will struggle with things, but Jesus made it clear that if you give that struggle to Him, your burden will be light. He will give you the strength to walk through the trial and temptation and grow in grace and strength and patience.
It may be, like me, you are destined to walk in solitude, whether it is for a season or a lifetime. It does not mean you are genuinely alone or forsaken. It means you have a unique calling, and only you can do what the others cannot do.
I have to set aside my selfish and petty feelings when it hurts to be rejected by people I want a closer fellowship and relationship with. It hurts because the Bible is all about restoring relationships. But it may be, no matter how important that relationship may be to you, it is not that important to them. You will need to accept this, and forgive the unintentional hurt, and move on. When it is time for you to have close relationships, God Himself will bring it to pass. When He does, it will be a perfect fit.
WALK WITH HIM
Walking with Christ, especially when you are new to Grace, is an exhilarating, sweet, hard, bitter, loving, tearful, strong, powerful, weakening, clarifying and confusing thing. This is because the struggle of the flesh is a continuous battle. The flesh does not want to die. The world is all about the flesh.
The more you pursue Him, the more time you spend in the word and prayer, the bolder you allow yourself to be with others concerning your faith, the more like Him you will become.
No matter who rejects you, Jesus understands rejection. No matter what temptation you endure, Jesus understands your temptation. Jesus bore all our rejection and temptation on the cross. In return, He gave you life and the right to be a child of God.
Now, take up your cross and walk with Him. It will be lonely, at times, but you will never be alone.
Let’s be about it.
I love you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Living God.
“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.
“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
God’s Gift of Salvation
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)
‘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, 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
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 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 is that I will not.
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.
Let’s be about it!
Love always, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.
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
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
Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice. They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. (2Ch 20:14-24)
God chooses those who dare to act when God says to act, regardless of how they feel and regardless of the circumstances.
Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles begins with this verse: Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. (2Ch 20:1)
This combined army came against Israel. They outnumbered Israel by an order of hundreds to one. Tiny Israel was out manned, out gunned, and in an indefensible position against these might armies. Their goal then, the same goal their descendants have today, was to wipe Israel out of all memory, to destroy them utterly, and destroy them all the way down to the infants. Israel was, frankly, overwhelmed with enemies, and fear.
When they turned to God, God told them that the fight is not theirs, to go and watch God hand them the victory, and to praise God for it.
The next morning, they went to where God told them to go. Instead of sending out the army, they sent out the choir. The choir praised God. God sent confusion on the enemies of Israel, and they wiped each other out to the last men. When the fight was over, Israel collected untold riches from the spoils of that war.
I like this story because it exemplifies what it means to be chosen of God, and what happens when we do things God’s way, and do not hesitate to trust and obey.
What do you think would happen in Ferguson, MO if, instead of Police and protesters, some church went out in the streets and sang praises to God, instead of shouting curses at the government? Someone should do this very thing. I promise you, God will show up, and change everyone there. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. God will be with you, and take charge of the conflict. Just do it. The power of God’s grace will reveal itself in the praises of his children.
The New Testament shows two people who were unflinchingly willing to act when God told them to act.
And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 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!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? (Act 3:2-12)
Peter and John gave what God had given them. They did not hesitate. In fact, they were on their way to church, when this beggar distracted them from their walk. They could have done what most Christians do, and ignore this guy, then gone to church and complained about that smelly beggar that almost made them late. Instead, they gave with reckless abandonment what God had given them, through Jesus Christ. They were instant. They were obedient. Then they made it clear that THEY were not the instrument of this power, but God was. It was there, in the midst of their praising God for this that a revival broke out.
God chooses those who have died to self, who have learned that they are powerless to affect anything apart from God, who are absolutely assured that they are walking in God’s plan, who are absolutely willing to be the channel through whom God blesses others, who feed daily on the promises of God who obey God’s voice without hesitation, and will reckless abandonment, not caring about the personal cost, having a greater prize in their sight.
FAITH MAKES YOU A DARING INDIVIDUAL
The prayer life and faith of the chosen of God are the stuff of legend. The chosen are the ones who dare to obey God, even if it looks stupid, or appears too costly for others to be willing to attempt. Faith is knowing that, because God has sent you, whatever God asks of you, you are willing to do it, regardless of the cost. This is because we know in our souls that His reward is more meaningful than any earthly delight the world can hope to offer.
We are not daring out of self-interest. We are not showing the love of God for what it has to offer us. We are not demonstrating God’s holy power so that all men may be drawn unto us…we do it for the sole purpose of drawing all men to Jesus Christ. There is no other reason in heaven or earth that the power of God’s grace is at work in you. That you may be drawn to Him through Jesus Christ, and so that you will be emptied of yourself and be used of God that others may be drawn to Jesus Christ.
We know, we chosen, that there is no such thing as earning brownie points with God. We either believe or we don’t, we either obey or we don’t, we either trust or we don’t, and we serve or we don’t.
The difference between the faith of the chosen and the faith of the rest of humanity is this, we obey the will of God in reckless abandonment. Our faith leaves us little choice and even less desire to do anything other than obey.
Do you want to be chosen? Here is all you have to do.
- Believe John 3:16 with all your heart: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- Arrive at the point where you understand that you are helpless to become holy apart from Jesus Christ, and you have nothing at all to offer God other than your very soul.
- Through prayer and understanding of His word, have absolute understanding that you are in His plan.
- Be absolutely, selflessly willing to be a channel through which God blesses others. This is an act of Holy Love, a gift from God.
- Feed daily on the promises of God. Not just know them, but nourish your soul on them. That is what is meant by “Feed”.
- Dare to act when God says to act regardless how you feel and regardless of your circumstances.
All this is the result of God working in you through His Holy Spirit, because you have become a child of God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to do this.
Be chosen. You will not regret it.
Let’s be about it.
I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
David G. Perkins
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
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
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!”
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?”
“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.
“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.
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.
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