Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Standard
Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


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

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

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

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

DAYS LIKE THIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

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

LIFE LIKE THIS

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

LATELY

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

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

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

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

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

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

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

The Opportunity

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

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

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

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

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

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

We are not better than our master.

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

There is a season for everything under the sun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

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

Now,

Let’s be about it!

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

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the truth, however…

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

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

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

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

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

Here is an example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truth reveals Christ.

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

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

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

Still, it is all on His terms.

Let Him be about you.

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

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith, Observations

It is time for us to join the battle.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s Be About It!!!

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 5 – Reckless Abandon: What if Christians did this in Ferguson, Missouri?


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.

UNCONSCIOUSLY SELFLESS

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.

BE CHOSEN

Do you want to be chosen? Here is all you have to do.

  1. Believe John 3:16 with all your heart: John 3:16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  2. 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.
  3. Through prayer and understanding of His word, have absolute understanding that you are in His plan.
  4. Be absolutely, selflessly willing to be a channel through which God blesses others. This is an act of Holy Love, a gift from God.
  5. Feed daily on the promises of God. Not just know them, but nourish your soul on them. That is what is meant by “Feed”.
  6. 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

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com


Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 4b – The Promises


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

You have made me righteous in Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

You have sanctified me in Jesus.

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

I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

You give me peace in Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

You are present by Your Spirit.

You are always with me. Matt. 28:20

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

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

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

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

I abide under Your shadow. Psalms 91:1

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

Your presence gives me rest. Exodus 33:14

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

I thank you Father that:

You are my health and healing in Jesus.

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

You put no sickness on me. Exodus 15:26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

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

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

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

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

You give me the increase. Deut. 28:4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thank you Father that:

You are my shepherd in Jesus by Your Spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His Work

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

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

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

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

Let’s be about it.

I love you because Christ has loved me.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

Standard
Faith

Restored Things


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

(Psa 51:17)

Broken

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

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

Lust of the Eye

Lust of the Flesh

The Pride of Life

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

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

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

Restored

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

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

BROKEN THINGS BECOME BLESSED THINGS WHEN GOD DOES THE MENDING

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

 

Let’s be about it.

Standard
Faith

Pray Anyway!


Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need].
My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].
Hide not Your face from me; turn not Your servant away in anger, You Who have been my help!
Cast me not off, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!

Psalms 27:7-9 Amplified (e-Sword)

 WHEN LIFE IS ROUGH – PRAY

 

Jesus said you will have an abundant life. Life in Christ means a satisfying life, a fulfilling life. His promise is that God will supply all you need to live the life He has planned for you. I have to ask myself, when I pray, am I praying for selfish gain just to spend it on my fleshly desires? Worldly comforts and wealth flee at a moment’s notice.

If I have given my life completely over to Jesus Christ, and have said, “Do with me as you will, Lord!”, then I insist that I live any way I wish, and spend my life fulfilling fleshly pursuits, and then I reap the consequences of that pursuit, why am I startled when things go wrong?

Or, what if I am serving the Lord faithfully and see God work the miraculous in the lives of people around me, yet disaster strikes any way. What do I make of this circumstance?

Jesus said he sends the rain on the Just and the Unjust.

 

What we DO know is this, life happens to the sinner and the saint. There are rough patches. Paul described this situation like this: I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Php 4:12-13 Amplified (e-Sword)

We will have life that sometimes is hard. One thing is sure, if I am in a very hard and dark place, have I learned to do all I can to keep my relationship alive between God and me? I feel tempted to take matters into my own hands because things are too hard. Have I learned to pray, instead, for revelation of where God is in this situation? It is easy for me to praise God when things are going well, but do I trust Him enough to sustain me when things are going badly? If you are in this darkness because of your disobedience, know this, you caused it, but God is there in the middle of your circumstance with you. He will never forsake you. If you are here through your disobedience, remember how God did with Israel: “Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His loving-kindness.” Psa 106:43-45 NASB (e-Sword) God will deliver you of your rebellion, and you will see He is loving, gentle and faithful to grow you up to be just Like His Son, Jesus. From your curses, He will deliver you in a blessing. From your darkness, He will deliver you into His light. You will be changed forever, and you will have an even deeper knowledge of God, and a more meaningful relationship with Him.

If you are here in spite of your obedience, know this, God did not cause this, but He is there in the middle of your circumstances with you. Turn to God and see Him supply all your need, and courage and strength. God will sustain your soul, your heart, your mind, and carry you through this to His glory. In the face of witnesses who scorned you for being in the dark place, God’s light will shine through you to dissipate the darkness, so others will see what wonders God does for His children. Keep praying it through. Cling to His promise. If you are in this dark place for the sake of the gospel, you are covered in His grace.

Remember, there is not enough darkness in the entire universe to extinguish the light of one small candle.

WHEN LIFE IS GREAT – PRAY!

Jesus said you will have an abundant life. Life in Christ means a satisfying life, a fulfilling life. His promise is that God will supply all you need to live the life He has planned for you. When we are on the mountain top, we should relish the fresh air and magnificent view. When we are flush in the abundance God has provided, we are meant to enjoy it. Joy is bound to happiness, and happiness leads to great celebration. We are free before God to relish His gifts without shame or guilt.

I look forward to these times in life, whether they last a while or are short lived. God gives us His blessings because of His great love for us. We are not talking about crumbs falling from the master’s table, either. When God blesses you, it is good, and abundant, and overflowing.

(When things are easy, though, I am tempted to forget God, and take over from here.)

God is all about every aspect of your character in relationship to His. When you have joy, He desires that you share with Him. When you have abundance, He rejoices at your generosity. God is not a part time God who is there only when things are bad.

While abundance is God’s design for you, it is not a thing to be sought after. Jesus said it best when He said: Mat 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

When life is great, I need to stay in God’s presence just as much as when things were going badly. The temptation to place God on the back burner is greater when I have everything I need. To pray without ceasing is just as important in the bright light of God’s goodness, as it is when things are really dark. I pray because He has given me good things. I pray because I need Him worse than I need His gifts. I pray because the life He has given me in Christ is the greatest gift of all. I pray when I have time to relax because I want to know Him even more. I pray because I want to be His son just as badly as He wants to be my Father. I pray when things are good so I will know how to act when things go wrong.

I pray without ceasing.

This is so that, by time God’s abundance overflows my vats, and overcomes my chariots, and floods my home, I will know God so well, that I will understand what it truly means to appreciate that abundance.

 

Let’s be about it!

I LOVE you in the name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

ROMANS 8:28

Standard
Faith

What’s The Difference?


Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

(Mat 7:21-23 AMP)

 

SEEING A TREND

I correspond with Christians all around the world.  While revival is happening all around the world, something else is happening here. Many of my American friends are telling me they are leaving their churches. In the last two weeks, I have had no less than 5 individuals tell me this. Many of these people are leaders in the Faith. Some of these people young Christians like me look up to. Last week, I was talking to my neighbors; A husband and wife, about my age. Known for their long relationship with their church, I have pictured them as being steady and steadfast rocks. Their love for Christ and devotion to His call is strong in them. This couple told me they are leaving their church, after being faithful to their church for decades.

Two people I look up to as Spiritual elders in my life told me the same thing.

The reasons others are giving me for leaving their churches are starting out to sound like the reasons Sandy and I don’t really want to join a church. We are not alone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. The trend is this: People who are genuinely interested in a relationship with Jesus Christ are starting to be excluded by churches who are more interested in marketing their church, and sacrificing their relationship with the living God for the idea of what God stands for.

WAIT A MINUTE, DAVE! WHAT ARE YOU SAYING???

I am saying this, and I am not the only one saying this. The new social experiment in American Christianity is to be so inclusive that we exclude why we are even calling ourselves Christians. We have traded our relationship with Jesus Christ for a cheap backdrop with a picture of Jesus hanging on it. American Churches are more interested in marketing their churches than in living the life of Christ. We have a business plan; we have a committee for entertainment, and publicity. We have become so relevant to everyone that we are becoming irrelevant to those who follow Jesus and to those who genuinely seek the Lord our God.

I have met many imitators. I once was one. I know what I am seeing when I see it. We, as individuals, and as a congregation, have become more concerned with being liked, and with being popular. We mistakenly believe that the more people that come to our building every Sunday is an indicator of our doing the right thing. Being popular is not our call. Behaving in a way that makes us popular, just to pack the pews will make us irrelevant to Christ.

I have met Church leaders all over America who have no knowledge of the scripture, but they know how to make you feel good and comfortable with your own ignorance. I have seen for myself that the minute you start asking the hard questions of the Bible, that you suddenly become less welcome in that church. After all, we are here to have fun, and fellowship, not to learn the deeper things of Christ.

We have all become salesmen of the Gospel. We have turned Jesus into a marketable commodity.

THAT WASN’T VERY NICE, DAVE. WHERE’S THE GRACE IN THAT?

This isn’t nice or comfortable either: The genuine Children of God are not a club that includes everyone BUT genuine believers. We do not have something to sell. We have a relationship with Christ. We are being made into the image of Christ. We are not salesmen of the idea of Christ, just so you can be comfortable knowing about Him without the conviction it takes to follow him.

Paul was the Apostle of God’s Grace. PAUL SAID IT BEST: 2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, [like hucksters making a trade of] peddling God’s Word [shortchanging and adulterating the divine message]; but like [men] of sincerity and the purest motive, as [commissioned and sent] by God, we speak [His message] in Christ (the Messiah), in the [very] sight and presence of God.

Here is the Grace: In His patience with all of us, God desires that we KNOW Him and His ways. Being this full of Love for us all, God applies His mercy toward us, and by the power of His grace, delays the final day of reckoning so that all peoples will come to know Him through Jesus Christ.

YOU ROB HUMANITY WHEN YOU EXCLUDE THE TRUTH

Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.] Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.] You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.  (Mat 7:13-20 AMP)

Just because it looks like a Church, just because there is a fabulous floor show before the preacher comes out, just because the preacher woos you with his glib wit, and humility, does not mean you have gone to a building whose interests are that you know Jesus personally.

There are MANY Mega-Churches in the land. Not all are hucksters of the Gospel. But the ones who are all about marketing and being appealing to everyone, for all the wrong reasons are driving sincere believers away.

Jesus said that if He is high and lifted up, he will draw all humanity to himself. If what you are lifting up is the idea of Jesus, not the knowledge of Jesus, if what you propound is a sack full of sweets and goodies, you have taken people off the path of genuine knowledge of Christ.

Here is the hard truth. There is one God. He created us. We decided to break off our relationship with Him. In order to heal that relationship with Him, he sent Jesus, His only son, to take all of our sin, and all the consequences of sin, and become those things. That way, the judgment of God could be satisfied. God poured all his wrath on Jesus, and sent Him to Hell in our place. When we believe this with all our hearts, and confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we become His adopted children.

From that point on, it is all about learning how to build a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. THAT is the truth.

KNOWING THE PATH IS NOT WALKING THE PATH

There will be millions of people headed to hell who know a LOT about Jesus, but never knew, or cared to know, that they could have had a real relationship with Jesus. Jesus became all our sin so we can become all of God’s children. God is calling us to a path that leads us to a sincere and real knowledge of Him. He is not interested in your marketing plan, or budget, or entertainment quotient. God is interested in YOU. God loves you. He is not in love with the idea of you, he loves YOU. He proved this when He sent Jesus to die in our places.

God is calling us to know Him through Jesus Christ. We are called to walk after Him. The more we identify with Jesus, and become just like Him, the more Holy Fruit we will produce. When we do that, more humans will be drawn to Jesus, and their salvation will be assured. You cannot do this with just a nodding glance a Christ.  If your church is standing in the way of the real knowledge of Jesus Christ, then leave that place, it is not of God.

The worlds stated goal is to change the way everyone thinks so we can all be just alike. The world has openly stated that Christianity is one of the religions that they cannot include because it is “intolerant”. By intolerant, they mean we have the raw nerve to say that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ. This calls for a real relationship to Christ, not the idea of a relationship with Christ.

REVIVAL

Churches all over the world are having real revival. They are having this revival in the very teeth of deadly opposition. The reason they are reviving from their slumber is because the uncompromising word of truth is being preached, taught and LIVED out in the individual lives of the revived.

It is better to not go along to get along if it means you have to give up a genuine relationship with Christ to get along. People the world over are being put to death for their faith. In the meantime, American Churches are no longer being a congregation of genuine believers.

It is time to put the toys away and start seeking the Lord, here in America. Don’t shut out real believers just because they do not fit into your marketing plan. If your plan is so important that you have to shut out genuine believers, then your plan is not of God.  If the conversation of genuine believers makes you, O Church, UNCOMFORTABLE, chances are, you have not known Jesus Christ.

Seek the Lord while He may be found. But do NOT make the mistake many people have, and think that just because you go to a place that calls itself a church, that you are among believers. You do not become a believer OR saved just because you attend a church. That would be like saying you became a Cheese Burrito because you went to Taco Bell.

HERE”S THE GRACE

The sin is not that you are lost. The sin is not accepting the free gift of salvation. If you do that, you are still dead. The sin is not in going to church. The sin of the church is believing that it is the answer when Jesus alone is the real answer.  The real church’s job is to uphold every believer, and lead others to Jesus.

Salvation is free. God loves you unconditionally. Jesus did not come here to establish a religion. Jesus came here to destroy all religion in exchange for a relationship with the Living and only God. Every religion on earth knows this, and despises Jesus for it.

God created you and loves you dearly. He is calling you back to His love. The way to get there is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way under heaven to know God.

Grace is why God has not already destroyed this planet. He is waiting for you to know Him through Jesus Christ. Stop being fooled by the joke “church” has become, and start knowing who Jesus Christ is. He is waiting to embrace you. Church is where real believers meet and share the love of the Lord. It is not about entertainment. It is about sharing the joy of the Grace of God through Jesus Christ. Church is about meeting the lost where they are, not where we say they have to be. You are the church, if you are a believer in Jesus.  When two believers meet and share the joy of the Lord, there is church.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

If what you have is what church really is, then you can expect genuine revival in the land, and serious opposition to your meetings. This is being proven true all over this planet…except America.

Let’s Be About It.

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

David G. Perkins

 


Standard
Faith

When We Fall


Pro 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity. (Amplified, e-sword)

 

Peter hopped out of the boat, but let the waves scared him, causing him to forget to keep his eyes on Jesus. Peter cut off a man’s ear. Jesus rebuked Peter, and put that man’s ear back on. Peter denied Jesus 3 times. Later on, after the resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles. The Lord lovingly rebuked him, and taught him that it was OK, because He had opened the entire world up to receive the Gospel. And all things were now clean because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul led an army from the Temple in Jerusalem into all the land of Israel and surrounding territories to persecute, murder, torture, and commit many atrocities in the name of the God of the Pharisees. Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus. Jesus blinded and rebuked Paul. After he was healed, and the eyes of his understanding were opened, Jesus sent Paul into all of Europe and the Mediterranean to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, we see that every man of God has fallen, and God lifted them back up.

All of these situations have something in common. When they fell the Lord rebuked them. When the Lord rebuked them, it was for their healing and understanding. Their ignorance of God’s way was stripped away and replaced with a better understanding of who and what the Lord is, and what God desires of all of us.

 

WE ALL FALL.

 

God did not bring that fall, you probably did. God will not judge you for that fall. All of God’s judgment and wrath was poured out on Jesus at the Cross. Because Jesus Christ is our Lord, we are not judged when we fall. God does not look down on you in scorn and say, “Well, you certainly deserved THAT!” Remember this scripture when you fall: Rom 8:1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. (Amp, e-Sword). The failure is not in the falling. The failure comes when we don’t learn the lesson God reveals to us through that fall.

I will use an example I heard Graham Cooke use at a church in Carrolton, TX. When a mother is teaching her baby to walk, and she stands the baby up, scoots back a bit, and holds out her arms, and says, “Walk to Mommy.”, and the baby takes a few halting steps, then falls and crawls the rest of the way to Mommy; Will that Mom get angry with the child and, in her scorn, tell the baby, “I told you to WALK! You fell down! I no longer love you because you don’t walk exactly as I do!” No! No mother who loves her child will do something that cruel.

God invites you to walk as His Son did. You take a few halting steps, yet you fall. Will God declare you unfit for His kingdom? Will he berate you for being a sinner, unworthy of His love? NO! God does not do that with His children. God loves us much more than any human could possibly love her child. God is Love, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness, Gentleness, Kind Hearted, Peaceable, Hope, and Redemption. To act any other way towards us, His children, would be out of His own character. God is teaching all His children to walk – toward Him.

 

WHEN WE FALL

 

You are not condemned by God.

Because we are seeking Him with all our heart; God will use this experience to take your understanding of Him to an even higher level. God is all about a relationship with you through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ONLY way you can have a relationship with God. And Jesus, having become all sin that ever existed from eternity to eternity, understands what it is like to fall. He stands before God DAILY advocating on your behalf.

In your fall, you will experience the love, grace and kindness of God, through Jesus. You will learn that there is a difference between devotion to a person, and devotion to some principles or to a cause. Jesus didn’t come here proclaiming a cause. Any cause that replaces Jesus in your life, even if you think you are serving Jesus in it, is idolatry. Jesus came here to proclaim that your relationship with God is healed and renewed and available. The door to the Kingdom is open when we go through Jesus.

We are called out to a relationship, not a religion. We are called out to be made into the likeness of Jesus, as He is in Heaven. When we fall, we will be lifted back up by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. You are his beloved child. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His OWN beloved child so you can live.

We will fall, but when we do, God will reveal Himself in our circumstances, and show us what we need to learn from it, so we will grow stronger in a loving relationship with Him.

 

WHEN THE LORD LIFTS US UP

 

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Amplified, e-Sword)

God’s thoughts of you are exactly the same as He has for Jesus. You are His beloved. You are His prize. You are God’s very own child. You have inherited all that Jesus has because you have believed in Him.

God has woven plans for you from before the beginning of time, and nothing can stop Him from fulfilling it in you. God will lift you up, and set you on His path. You will know you are not condemned, and that you are greatly loved of God. Sometimes, the path God has planned for us gets tangled when we take matters in our own hands. Rest assured, this will not surprise God. You will never hear God say, “Man, I didn’t see THAT coming!” Your progress is in His timing. Your growth is His idea. You are the redeemed.

This is not a license to fall, either. The deeper your relationship with God grows, the less the things of the world will appeal to you. When you fall, and the Lord lifts you up, you will see a side of Him that offers you redemption in the area you fell. He will show you a higher level of life to live. He is all about upgrading us to a perfect relationship with Him.

Php 1:6 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. (Amplified e-Sword)

You are God’s own handiwork, and He never tires of bringing you, lovingly, into the image of Christ.

 

WHEN YOU ARE REDEEMED

 

Remember what you were redeemed from. Remember who the redeemer is. When you meet someone in need, do not think that you are free to ignore that person. Don’t delude yourself by saying that, “He must be going through this because God is trying to teach him something, and he probably deserves it.” We have no right to judge what a person is going through, and we do not actually know. Only God knows. God just may have put that person in your path to see what YOU will do with the situation. Will you cross the street in order to remain clean, or will you dip your hands deep into the situation to show that person the only Godliness he may ever see? God’s redemption from any fall, from every fall, comes with gifts of love, grace, mercy, healing, and joy. When we experience these things, we are free to give them away to anyone who we run across. We are given generous measures of Grace. Grace is not ours to hoard. We give freely because we have been given freely.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

When you fell, you weren’t abandoned by God. When the Lord showed up to heal your circumstances, He walked beside you and taught you what you need to understand, in order to overcome this situation. It is the Lord who will lift you up. This is the work of God. Left to our own devices, we would rather wallow in our failures and whine about them. As a child of the Living God, we do not have to fear being alone in our darkest hour. We can trust God that He will heal us and redeem us in our darkest times. The Lord will never abandon you or forsake you. No power in any part of the universe, or in heaven, or beneath, can tear you out of God’s hand. Be encouraged, my friend, when you have problems, or when you fall. After you pass through this dark place, you will walk out of it looking more like Christ. God will turn this darkness into daylight, and turn your curses into blessings, so that all men will see that God is good.

When we see others fall, we are to treat them in the exact same manner as God treats us when we fall.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the love of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

Standard
Faith, Observations

Reckless Abandonment


 

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

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

I rode 12 miles on my bike today. I know, that doesn’t sound like much, especially considering just a decade ago, 30 to 50 miles was my norm. Today, though, 12 miles was perfect for me. One thing bike riding does for me is burn out the extra energy I seem to collect. I am a physical/tactile learner, but I can be easily distracted if I don’t take time to get physical. I hung up my Superman Cape about a decade ago, so bike riding, I feel is the perfect way for me to blow steam. While I am busy working my rotund body, my mind is able to float free, get creative, imagine, explore, think, and sing. (My mind sings loud, when it sings…it comes with its own orchestra, too!) So, while the singing and orchestra was playing gently in the background (I love to take the Old Hymns and arrange them for a Solo singer, with vocal back ground, accompanied by a Knabe Baby Grand Piano, and the London Philharmonic. I KNOW! That’s a lot to put on one bicycle!)

Where was I… OH, singing quietly in the background… riding my bike. OK, so there was my mind, singing, flying high, praising God. My mind started looking at how far I have come since I first set out to ride around Pearland. Baby steps. I reflected on how much has changed in a year, in a decade, in my life. In my younger days, I was an adrenalin junkie. Suddenly, I realized when it began.

THE WELLS FAMILY REUNIONS

(Please wait while the Orchestra changes to nostalgic background music)

When I was little, the Wells Family Reunions were my favorite part of summer. Going to them meant seeing all my cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and my Grandmother Wells (A woman of God if ever there was one.) I haven’t thought about them in decades. Flashes of memory came to me…swimming like a tadpole in the big pool at the Carthage, Texas park. Next to the swimming pool is a large pavilion that can seat a couple of hundred people. We had picnic tables lined up everywhere, and food everywhere. After “Uncle Lindsey” gave his traditional (ONE HOUR LONG) blessing on our gathering, we dove into the food in supreme Southern Baptist Style. Herschel H. Hobbs would have been proud of this “fellowship”. After victuals, the Wells family participated in their favorite sport – GOSSIP. They way this worked is, all the hens sat at one group of tables, and all the men went outside to smoke and tell their balderdash about their triumphs and failures. After a few minutes or so, you had to rotate through the crowds, so you can catch up on any gossip you may have missed, and “share” the gossip you just heard. After a few minutes of this, we kids would decide that there had to be better adventures for us outside. If we dawdled, our momma would swat us on the hiney and tell us to “git!”. And we got.

When I was little, my big brother was the daredevil. So were my cousins, Jackie, Gary and Jeff. I was the observer. I really wanted to participate in their fun, but I was “the Brat”. During one of these reunions, I watched my brother and cousins and sister swinging on the swing set. From my perspective, they were flying high in the air. After flying so high, they jumpped out of their swings. The goal was to see who can fly the farthest. I wanted to do that, too. I would wait my turn, but my brother would say, “Scram, Brat!!”. And he would take the swing out of my hands. That was OK, it’s how brothers are. Things got better when we got older. But back then, I was just a Brat.

My Uncle Dan was my all time favorite Uncle. I loved him with a fierce love. I thought he was the funniest, most interesting person in the world. He was a sailor in WWII, and boy did HE have some stories! He could also tap dance like a fiend. He was able to make me laugh so hard my belly would hurt.

Uncle Dan must have seen me trying to break into the line at the swings. He came out and gave the big kids some money to go get a coke (In the South, in Texas, EVERY carbonated drink on earth is a coke, OK?). When they left, he asked me, “Wanna Swing?” I nodded my head yes. He picked me up and put me in the swing. He pushed me hard and I went higher than I had ever gone before. I laughed and screamed at the thrill of flying so high. He shouted, “Wanna fly like them (My cousins)?” I laughed “YES!”, and boy, did he push me really high. It scared hell out of me. I dug my feet into the ground on the down swing and hopped off. He asked me if I was scared? I told him I had never been that high before and it scared me. He told me, “Well, if you really want to fly, you have to try, and I promise to be there if you fall, OK, sport?” I said, “OK!”, and shook his hand. In those days, in the South, when a man shook your hand over a promise you made, it means that he believes you will keep that promise, and it means you absolutely keep that promise. A hand shake meant more to a man back then than it does today.

I got on my swing and screwed up all the nerve I could muster. Uncle Dan told me that, when he was on a boat in “The War, in the Pacific”, the air planes were shot right off the deck of the ship with a giant sling shot full of steam. Then he said, “Pretend you are flying that airplane, and I am the sling shot.” “Ready…Set…GO!”, And he pushed really hard, and made the sound of steam blowing out. He pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed before. And I was FLYING!

The exhilaration was magnificent. I couldn’t get enough. Uncle Dan must have pushed me forever, but he never grew tired. Eventually, I grew quiet. He asked me if I am still having fun. Uncle Dan was always about having as much fun as a person could have. He stopped the swing, and came around front. He asked me what I wanted to do now. I told him I want to jump from the swing, too, like the big kids. He looked me in the eye and said, “Well, a boy has got to earn his paratroopers badge.” He told me how to time my swing and jump, and how to fly my arms while I am air born, and how to land with my knees partially bent, and how to roll when I land. We pretended a few jumps, after which, he said, “Boy, I think you are ready to earn your wings.”

I was excited and scared, all at the same time. He reminded me, “Now lookie here; If you fall, I will catch you. OK?!?” I nodded my head. He counted down and pushed and made the steam blowing noise, and I was flying again. He said, “When I say GO, you bail out, cause the Japs have shot your plane full of holes! (I had no idea who the Japs were, but I trusted Uncle Dan.) He pushed me harder and harder, each time. I had NEVER been this high EVER, and I was beyond scared. Uncle Dan shouted, “GO!, GO!, GO!” and…

I ejected from my plane, flack filling the air as the Zeros buzzed past, firing their 30mm machine guns at me.

Then the reality hit me. I wasn’t over the Pacific, I was flailing upside down in mid-air in Carthage, Texas. I closed my eyes, put my arms over my head, and hoped for the best. I felt sick to my stomach as I fell, knowing I was going to hit the ground really hard. I was really scared, now. I had not yet, at this point in my young life, broken any bones, and I was imagining what all my broken bones will look like to my Mom, who would surely spank me for being so careless.

Uncle Dan caught me.

UNCLE DAN CAUGHT ME!!!!!

I laughed really hard at the relief of not splattering on the hard Carthage playground soil, and at the joy of knowing Uncle Dan was as good as his handshake said he was. He tickled me hard, and we laughed. Then he said, “You ready to go again??” I yelled, “YES!!!”. He said, “OK, but this time, I believe you can land on your feet. Wanna try?” I was not afraid anymore. I knew that if Uncle Dan saw I was in danger, he would catch me, like he did last time. That was the first time I ever knew that it was OK to make a mistake. Uncle Dan was going to be there to catch me. I became fearless. I wanted to show Uncle Dan I was fearless, that I was a big boy, and was ready to jump out of any old airplane. And I did, over and OVER until I think Uncle Dan was exhausted.

He stopped the swing and said, “I think you earned your wings, young man! Lets go celebrate in the pool with a coke.” And we did. I learned that, sometimes, you just have to have a joyful sense of reckless abandon in order to Accomplish your goals.

BACK ON THE BIKE

(As Josh Groban steps up to the mike, the orchestra plays the opening to “You Lift Me Up”)

By this time, I had ridden eight miles. I was on the return leg from Hwy 288, and I needed to stop at the 3rd Pond from home, and rest. The sun didn’t feel THIS hot when I left the house. Things started to go black, so I got off the bike and sat down. When I came too, and I could see again, I grabbed my water bottle and drank it dry. As I sat, feeling the cool breeze blowing off the pond, I thought about that family reunion and my Uncle Dan. That must have been, I dunno, 50 years ago? I couldn’t remember. But I remembered how brave I felt because Uncle Dan helped me learn to jump out of the swing. I sat and thought about all the daring things I have done since those days. I learned from Uncle Dan that I can do it if I believe I can do it. I don’t have to be afraid.

That is when it hit me.

I am a very young Christian. I know that because of the exchange that took place on the cross, Jesus took away all my sin and failure, and anything that separates me from God , and became all those things, and died of them. Jesus promised me that, now that I am a Child of God, I have all His inheritance, and that as long as I seek God and His kingdom, that:

John 14:26 – New International Version


the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – Jesus

and

Romans 8:15 – New Living Translation


So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”” – Apostle Paul

I know now that, no power of hell, or fear of man can pluck me from my Father’s Hand. I now know, HE will be there to catch me when I fall.  I can grow in all ways to be like Christ. This doesn’t mean I will never fall, but it DOES mean the Holy Spirit of God will be there when I do.

Romans 8:1 – English Standard Version


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Apostle Paul

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit will not condemn you, call you a failure, or judge you when you fall.  God has already poured all his wrath out on Jesus at the Cross.  In God’s eyes, you are His innocent Child, covered by the blood of Christ, filled with the Faith of Christ (Galatians 2:20), and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.  He will teach you how to fly, and how to land on your feet.  He will grow you up in all ways to be like Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Savior, and our Brother.  God the Father is not like an earthly parent who will condemn and criticize you when you fail, but He will demonstrate His love toward you and raise you up to be just like Jesus, His only begotten Son.

We are heirs and adopted children of God, and nothing in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else,  can take us away from Him.   No religion on earth can do for you what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Your religion says there always be one more thing, one more level, one more way to tell you that you still have to prove your worthiness to the Living God. Religion will give you an opinion of God.  Religion will give you the rules you must follow to please God.  This is all any religion can do for you.  God is our Father. When Jesus said, on the Cross, “It Is Finished”, all judgment on you stopped.  All that is left is the Grace and Mercy and Love of God toward you.  God loves you and accepts you right now, just as you are. You do not have to change one thing to come to God. All you have to do is believe:

 “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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  –  John 3:16 – 17 – Words of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind.

There is no other message for mankind on this earth. This is THE truth.

I am free to trust God in all things. I am free from the judgment of Man. I am free from the wages of Sin and Death. I am all that God says I am. I am an Heir with Jesus. I am righteous because of Jesus. I live in abundance through the faith Jesus has placed in me. I plant my tiny seed of faith in the garden of Jesus’ faith, and grow a mighty tree. I do not have a theological opinion of God, I have a relationship with the Living God, my Father, through Jesus Christ.  Jesus came here to destroy all barriers between you and God. He came to re-establish the relationship we lost in the Garden of Eden.

If you will accept him, You will be a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17). You can trust with reckless abandonment that God is your Father, that you are His child, and the Holy Spirit will be there to catch you, and will teach you to be just like Jesus. IF you will accept this one and only truth.

Let’s be about it!

I Love you because God loved me.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

Open your eyes and look at the fields


Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. John 4:35

Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.  The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together.  For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

 

We will spend a lot of our lives asking “Who Am I?”.  We will spend another significant amount of time asking ourselves “Why Am I?

About 11 months ago, I was exposed to an answer to those questions.

My life has not been the same since.   I have been many things in this life: A theatre lighting specialist, an actor, a musician, a model, a student Architect and drafts-man, an electrician, a programmer, a project manager, a seminary student, an evangelist.  I have been many other things that do not bear discussion or revelation here.  I was, through it all, at best, very religious, or at worst, very evil.  Through none of it, did I have a clue who I am in Christ, or why that matters.  My acknowledgement of Christ was cultural.  I grew up in the Bible Belt, and being a Southern Baptist was what we did.  What I learned that Seminary had more to do with promoting the “Baptist Faith and Message” than learning how to be a servant of the Lord.  Even if I was taught anything about the relational aspects of Jesus, I was not in a place where that made sense.  I was there because my religious ambitions out weighed my need to understand the work of the Cross.  I tell you this to let you know, I am not writing as anything other than what happened to me 11 months ago.  I am writing as a new believer, who has finally understood what the whole meaning and purpose of the Cross is, and have finally understood and accepted where I am in God’s eyes.  I am writing because, I have literally been there and done that, and survived to tell you what a glorious and loving God we serve.  I write to tell you who you are and can be in Jesus. 

I am also writing to remind myself that, if my new life does not serve to lead the lost to the Lord, and help and uplift my fellow believers, then I am in serious need of an “Upgrade From God”

 

And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remoulded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him (JESUS) Who created it.” – Apostle Paul – Ephesians 2:8 ESV

“I am just a Mom.”, “I am the Sales Manager”, “I am a bicycle mechanic”, “I am a gardener”.

Yes, you are these things.  This is true.  There are many things that are true about you.  But I want to share with you THE TRUTH about who you are in Christ Jesus.

The first thing I am going to ask you to do is watch this video, it will be worth your time.

Wasn’t that good?  Your truest identity is as a Child of the Living God, because of Jesus Christ.  You are still a Mom, or a Sales Manager, or whatever it is you do, but now you are in Christ who is in you.  Your identity is now Jesus’ identity.  And it is the Holy Spirit’s job to grow you up to be Just like Jesus.

When Jesus Christ was placed on the Cross, He was placed there on our behalf.  While He was on that Cross, He became ALL sin, ALL failure, ALL things that are wrong with the fallen world and not part of God, and BECAME those things.  When he became all sin, past present and future, God then poured out ALL his anger, ALL His wrath, ALL Judgement onto Jesus.  Jesus was separated from God for the first time in His life,  which is why he shouted out:

Mark 15:34

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

When all the wrath of God was expended on Jesus, Jesus died.  God’s judgement was satisfied.  The price for the fall of mankind was satisfied.  When Jesus said “It is finished”, he was telling you and me that all sin and debt to God is paid for, and that HE just paid it.  This was the covenant God made with Jesus Christ.  In return for this, we were given all that Jesus is; His inheritance, His favour before God, ALL that Jesus is, we inherited and share with Him,  making us the perfect gift of God to become the Children of God.  We are saved by GOD’S grace, and not that of our own flesh, but by Jesus faith in the covenant of God.

When you accepted this as true, in your heart, in your very soul, you were crucified with Christ (See Galatians 2:20).  And the life you now live in the flesh is by the faith OF the Son of God, who lives in you. It is Christ’s faith that is at work in you.  Your tiny faith, your mustard seed faith, has to be planted in the rich soil of Jesus’ faith that dwells in you.

Christ proved he has authority over life and death when he raised himself from the dead.   Before that, He marched into hell, took the keys from Satan, and preached Salvation to the captives in hell, and set them all free from the wages of sin and death.  When you confess with your mouth, speaking it out-loud, as your true confession, you are risen with him.

You are no longer dead.  You are now that New Creation that rose in the newness and likeness of Christ Himself.  (See II Corinthians 5:17).

It is time to put down all the old clothes and baggage that belonged to your old self.  That stuff belongs to Jesus, now.  He died for it, and it no longer is your property.

We are called to put on the new creation that we are.   How do we do this?  Simple, WE CAN’T!

It is the Spirit of God, who is sent to fill you that does this.  You just have to drop all that old stuff and let the Spirit teach you what it means to be like Jesus.  As you see the difference between your old self and the new self, you will grow to despise, at first, your old self.  The more you become like Jesus, you will learn to forgive your old self, just as the Father has forgiven you all your sin.  And the more you become like Jesus, you will eventually forget who you were before Jesus.  When that happens, the Holy Spirit will grow you to be exactly like Jesus Christ.  Our identity in Christ is supposed to become so strong that, eventually, and this is our mission, when people look at you, all they will see is Jesus at work in you.

You are unique, and different from everyone on earth.  We are all unique, just like everyone else!   (Insert laugh here.) God made you as you are so that you will be able to prove God did not want a bunch of robots serving Him.  The Jesus that will shine out of you will be displayed through all the things that make you unique.  Are you a Mom?  Then you are a Mom in the image of Jesus.  Are you a Sales Manager?  Then you are a Sales Manager who is in the image of Jesus.  This way, the millions and millions of unique Christians around the world will all have one thing in common.  We are all in the Likeness (Character) of Christ, Himself.  THIS is why we are still on the earth after we are saved.  We have something important to do in our little corner of Earth.

As this happens, you can share with other people who are struggling with the same stuff your old self struggled with, and show them how to be set free of all that baggage.  The Love and Grace and Mercy of God keeps growing in you, and the more this happens, the more like Jesus you will become, until there comes a time where your presence in a crowd will make a difference in someone’s life.

We were not made into the Children of God just to start a religion, or to form an exclusive club.  Our churches, however, come across that way to the lost, and to the saved who do not know just how free they are.  They are already free if they will accept it.  They are already forgiven if they will just accept what Christ did for them on the cross.  They are going to be made in to the image of Christ, just as you are, if they can be taught how to rest in the finished work of the cross.  THAT is why we fellowship, that is why we support each other in prayer and with our material possessions, and THAT is WHY you were not raptured the second you became a Child of God.

LOOK UP!  Crawl out of your comfort zone.  Forget political correctness. Stop trying to be a people pleaser.  Stop trying to be the most important thing in your heart. (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)

The more like Jesus the Holy Spirit makes you, the more you will want others to know about this amazing, powerful and free gift.  We have to look up from our little world to see the larger world around us.

This is the lesson I am learning today.  I have to allow the Spirit of God to cause me to love others as much as Jesus loved me.  I have to learn to care about others just as God cares about me.  I have to be willing to step out of my comfort zone and be brave enough to declare to anyone that Jesus Christ is Lord of Life and Death, and that you are forgiven, and that you are free from the wages of sin and death, if you will accept it.  I am called to serve Christ.

We don’t need to tell sinners that they are sinners.  They already know this because they are never satisfied with who they are or with what they have.  And they covet what others have.  The lost may not have any idea that sin exists, but they know intuitively that something is just not right.

We do not win them to Jesus by pointing out that they are sinful.  We lead them to Jesus by living and sharing the very same Grace that Jesus shared with us.  We give them the Love of God, that lives in us.  We meet them where they are, not where our religion says they have to be.  When they see Jesus they will automatically understand they are sinners.  Then the rest is up to them. They will either want to know how to change, or they will reject your message.  All you have to do is tell them, unflinchingly, THE TRUTH..

We are citizens of a Kingdom that is not of this world.  In a very short time, we will all be going there, one way or another.  Who do you know that you would love to see there with you?  And what about the people who hate you?  Love them.  Hate cannot exist long in the presence of Love.  Hate always loses.

Jesus said that “If I be high and lifted up, I will draw all nations to me”.  Jesus lives in you.

So here’s the big question I have been asking myself for a couple of weeks.  Who am I in Heaven?  Why am I still here?  What does God want me to do?  And how will I support my family while I am doing it?

The answer is very simple to hear, but may be difficult to labour into the rest of.  Seek first the Kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.  ALL things includes ALL things.  The good news is, if you are a Christian, the righteousness of Christ is already in you.  If it doesn’t shine and flow out of you as living waters, then the Holy Spirit has work to do to unblock the channels that will flow.  Submit to that urge you feel, and follow Christ.  You will be amazed how beautiful and marvelous the world is when you look at all the fields you get to help harvest.

Lets Be About It!

I love you,

 

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard
Faith, Observations

Growing Pains – Lessons From The Kindergarten of God – Part III – Well Intentioned Dragons


“the more i sing and play my music in front of people, the more advice i get. it’s well-meant, coming from people who care about me, but it’s all conflicting. b. says i should play acoustic more. r. says i should rock harder. c. says i sing too loud. k. says i sing too loud too (ok, maybe i sing too loud). but the point is, who do i listen to?”

When dealing with yourself, use your mind.  When dealing with others, use your heart.  John Maxwell

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?  I Kings 19:11-13

“Jesus asked, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”(Matthew 7:3 NIV). Christians seem to be uncontrollably motivated by some deep need to “take the dog by the ears.” (See Proverbs 26:17.) They are always meddling in other people’s stuff. This is one of the main reasons the world hates the church. We have declared ourselves to be the world’s police force. We are the self-proclaimed militant army that is here to police and judge the world, when we should be a loving family who brings hurting people into the family circle by adoption! Our concept of presenting what we mistakenly call the Gospel is to let people know they are sinners so they will realize their need for Jesus. This erroneous concept leads the Christian to think that the best way to let people know they are sinners is to point out their faults-that is, to find the speck in their eye.

Your Heart Dictates How You See

The way we view something is the product of our heart. If we have a critical eye, it is because we have a critical heart. The Bible says, He that hath a froward heart findeth no good” (Proverbs 17:20). A ‘froward heart”is a crooked heart. It is a heart that has been reshaped through the pressures of sin, legalism, religion, or life circumstances. It is a heart that sees only the bad; it cannot find the good. Some people seem to have mistaken criticism for discernment. Criticism is not a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is the product of a corrupt heart. Religion has forged the church into a critical, reactionary society not much different than that of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.”   James B. Richards. How to Stop the Pain. Kindle Edition.

WELL INTENTIONED DRAGONS

As a New Creation, I sometimes look to other, wiser, Christians for sound advice.  There are some, I have learned through experience, who see through my questions, and hear what my heart is actually asking.  This is a gift of discernment I find most mature Christians have.

There are new Christians, like me, who need to spend much more time in the Bible and Prayer, so we can develop a finely tuned sense of God’s Voice, and God’s Will.

Then there are the well-intentioned dragons.  These are the ones who genuinely love God, and are saved through the blood of Jesus Christ, and even know scripture very well, but something about them sets my teeth on edge.  Figuring out what that something is has taken me some time.  I took that time to look for patterns, and build a baseline that demonstrates the difference between what I hear them say, and the way they say it, against what and how Jesus spoke to people.

THAT IS WHEN I FOUND IT!

Jesus, being God, and unchangeable (YHWH), speaks, and when He speaks…

He doesn’t change, but loves eternally, speaks gracefully, and uses the truth to heal, not hurt.

He is Lord of Lords, meaning His word is the first one, and the last one, because His judgement is true.

He is the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as these three are one…when He speaks, all have spoken, they are their own witness, and need no outside verification.

He is the Lord Most High, sitting eternally on the throne…and because we have accepted his free gift of life, we sit next to him, as he is our brother, and GOd is our Father.  THere is none beside him, and no one higher in authority than him.

His word and will is our provision.  He meets all our needs, to grow, to love, to show mercy, to be graceful, because when he became all sin in our place, he gave us all that he is in exchange.

His word smites sin.  No other has this authority.  All other judgement is accusation and comes from the father of lies and his children.  God’s judgement is true, and he deals mercifully with us, as he destroys sin, in us, and in the world.

He is the one and only one who sanctifies us.  His death on the cross paid for your fall, and his resurrection gave us new life…if we will accept this free gift.  He alone is what sanctifies us.

He is the one who marks us with his banner and ensign.  We are his, paid for with His blood.  Our mission in life is to become like Him so that when people see us, they see Him only.  We are his banner, and he is ours.

His blood, and his word heals us.  All he gives us in His love, grace and mercy.  He will do us no harm.  He is not mad at us.  He heals us by the stripes he bore.

He is my ever-present shepherd.  He guides me in the midst of trouble, and leads me to his peace, even in the midst of the storm.  Even His rebuke of me brings me hope and life and health.  No other has this ability, or authority.  He keeps watch over me day and night.

Well intentioned dragons will use the scriptures and their overrated opinion and religion to criticize, destroy, rob you of peace, take your joy.  THe well-intentioned dragons are the first to point out what you did wrong.  Why you should have done it better/different/ or not at all.

Well intentioned dragons have no faith in the genuine work of the cross because they are too busy being religious.  That is why, when GOd sends you to do a thing, they rail against it, they fail to see your vision, they try to improve you so that you will better resemble their opinion of the truth, and fail to comprehend what real truth actually is.

Well intentioned dragons do not feel ok until they have spoken their judgement over you, and “improved” you, and judged you inadequate.  They did this to Jesus, and they will do the same to you.

IF YOU LISTEN

If you listen to the dragons, you will end up worse than they are.

If you listen to the still small voice of the Lord, you will know joy, peace, healing, direction, purpose, strength, courage, and you will know HIM.

IT IS ALL A CHOICE OF WHOM YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE.

Do as he sends you to do, even if it makes no sense, and seems crazy, and no one else trusts you, believes you, understands what and how you are doing it.  You were sent by God, not by well-intentioned dragons.

His presence will calm you and empower you through even the hardest trials and storms.

This is the God I serve.  This is the God I choose to obey.  No matter what it will cost, I have no desire to give ear to the dragons.  I will wait for the still small voice.

I love you,

David Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Let’s be about it.

 

 

Standard
Faith, Observations

The Looking Glass


In my dreams.  Photo by E. Tom Hussey

In my dreams. Photo by E. Tom Hussey

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

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

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

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

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

What the mirror in my mind ells me.

What the mirror in my mind tells me.

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

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

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

IN THE BEGINNING

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

AFTER THE FALL

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

THEN CAME JESUS

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

The Image of Christ

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

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

THE EXCHANGE

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

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

II Corinthians 3:18

It is all a matter of what we focus on.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8  

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

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

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

We are transformed in to the image of Christ

Let’s Be About It!

I love you in the Name of Jesus

David G. Perkins

Standard
Faith

Growing In Christ – Dealing With Your Past


English: Broken Heart symbol

English: Broken Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This tome is written to men and women who, like me, strayed from the Love of God and the Joy of Salvation, and lived a life that you’d rather forget ever happened.  I am writing this to you.  I am writing this from a lesson I am going through as we speak.

I want to try to prepare you that this is coming.  I knew in my heart of hearts that, eventually, the Lord will deal with this issue in my life, but was still blindsided by the intensity of it.  Not every act of obedience will bring immediate joy, but it will eventually lead you to a joy that you will never understand until you grow in Christ.

God’s discipline is a good thing, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.  Remember, God disciplines the ones He loves. When He disciplines you, it is in love, not wrath.  Jesus already took on the wrath of your sin.  What God is doing is a gift of the Holy Spirit, so that you will grow to be like Christ in all things.

The hard work of the walk is, after redemption, you still have to deal with the mess you made in the wake of your fallen state.  You will have to deal with the forgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.  You will have to deal with the anger and unforgiveness of others.  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

God wants to take you from where you are positionally in Him, forgiven and complete, to where His view of you in Christ is materially obvious to others, so that, when you live, you will live in the image of Jesus Christ.  There are still lost souls out there who need to know that it is possible to get from where they are to where God is.

First, I need to define some very real truths:

1.  Accusation is from Satan.  When the enemy (Satan, the World, etc) decides to point out your flaws, you will feel condemned, unworthy of the love of God, and basically, despair.  The accusations of Satan are like tormenting fires.  His accusations are arrows that hit you and burn you.  The goal of Satan is to get your eyes off the work the Spirit of God is doing in your heart.  The goal of Satan is to get you to take your eyes off Jesus.  The goal of Satan is that you forget the joy of your salvation.

2.  God is Love.  God, in His love of you, disciplines you.  He does not condemn.  Your condemnation was taken care of on the Cross of Christ.  If you have accepted the Salvation of Jesus Christ, then your sin is forgiven.  The Bible makes it clear that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.  You are not going to Hell.  You are saved.  Nothing can take that away from you.

3. We have to grow up, sometime.  God insists you grow up in all ways to be like His Son, Jesus Christ.  You were not raptured the second you believed because God intends to use you in His service.  He wants to make you into something beautiful so that others will be drawn to the saving glory of Jesus Christ.  He will not allow you to be comfortable in your old habits.  However, this, too is optional.  You will grow into Christ likeness only as you are willing to grow, and eager to surrender your old ways to His new ways.

THE SUBJECT AT HAND

The groundwork is laid, and I hope you got it.  I am deeply sorry if I have done an inadequate job of not making the above clear.  But if this is you, you will know it.  If this is not for you, please pray for the person that is going through this.

A: The Unforgiveness and contempt you hold for yourself.

This is a tough one.  The more tender-hearted you become, the more you realize what a large swath of pain and confusion and anger you have left in your wake.  This is, perhaps, the strongest shock to your system you will face.  This is where you have to learn some important lessons.

LESSON 1:  You are Forgiven

Where did your salvation come from?  It came from the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross.  The perfect human took on all our imperfections and our sin and was nailed to the Cross and died for them.  In His dying, Jesus absorbed and accepted all the complete wrath of God.  “For the wages of sin is death.”  And Jesus paid that wage for you.  When you realized that you were in sin, and you were led to the Cross of Christ, and confessed your sin, you immediately felt the forgiveness of God, and His cleansing Breath (Ruach Ha’Kodesh – The Holy Spirit) enter you and cleanse you of the stain of your sin.  You are forgiven.

LESSON 2:  Forgive Yourself.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

It is hard to look at the destruction our pre-Christian lives left behind.  And if you took the time and diligence, as I did, to make a thorough mess, there will be more to face and deal with.  Sometimes you just have to take things one at a time.  Sometimes, you will have to face it over and over.

Sometimes Satan, the World, and others, will not let you forget what you have done.  This feeds the fire of your unforgiveness of yourself   Here you have to cling to the truth that God has forgiven you.  He has cast your sin as far away from Himself as the East is from the West.  God has chosen to forget your sin.  When God sees you, He sees His beloved Child, covered in the blood of Christ, who died for that very sin you are beating yourself up over.  When others want to rehearse your sin, when YOU want to rehearse that sin, you have to return to what you know.

You know that you are forgiven.

WHAT ABOUT THE PAIN?

The grief you feel is the grief God felt when you did all that destruction.  It is actually healthy.  Before you were saved, you may have felt a bit guilty, or not.  You probably went along justifying your actions, like I did.  Eventually, you built up a wall around yourself so that other’s couldn’t bother your conscience.   The thing about walls, while they effectively keep others out, they also keep you imprisoned in your own world.  You become unapproachable, unteachable, unassailable, and unwelcome.

There will be some measure of pain when this wall is torn down.  The reason you feel this pain is because you finally have a conscience.  Embrace the pain, and take it to God.  Don’t deny the pain you feel.  It is normal.  It is what remorse is supposed to feel like.  You feel remorse because God intends to grow you up, and teach you how to deal with your messes.  Learn from this remorse, and see what God wants you to do with it.

The Evangelism of today teaches something quite different.  It teaches you that you can just walk away from all your past without a second thought of the harm you have done to others.  This is an ungodly teaching.  Modern Evangelism teaches that there is no need to repent of sin, or regret your sin, that that is an unhealthy emotion that is bad for your self-esteem.

The Good news of being a Child of God is, you are no longer the sinful you.  It stops being about you.  It starts being about being remade into the image of Christ.  In that rebuilding process, you will find freedom and joy.   To assume there is nothing to go back and make right is one of the most self-indulgent things you can ever believe.

The pain of seeing, finally, what you have done to others is healthy.  It is so that you will be able to see outside of your own self-interest and see what others had to endure because of your sin.  This pain is actually the road to your freedom, as it drives you to obey God and make things as right as you possibly can.  How rich and joyful is the Grace of God, and His mercy.  What a sense of freedom you will know when you obey God, and do His will.

Part of the pain is that the old self just doesn’t want to die, and the new self doesn’t need all that baggage your old self left at the door.  The New Self, the new creation, has to deal with this.  The new self can deal with it because Christ makes you able.  In Him is your strength.  You can do all things through Christ.

You will have to deal with the anger and/OR unforgiveness of others.

This is where you get to have YOUR grace and mercy tested.  WHere it is at all possible, find the people you caused harm to, find the people you lied to, the people you used, the people you led into sin.  Confess what you have done.  Seek their forgiveness.

What you will discover:

1.  Some people have already forgotten it.

2. Some people remember it, but don’t care.

3. Some people remember it and forgive you anyway.

4. Some people remember and will not forgive you.

5. Some people remember it, will not forgive you, and want you to suffer for it.

6. Some will say they forgive, but the anger that shows in their eyes tell you other wise.

I can go on and on, here.  I know about this because in my efforts to make restitution, I have faced everything from happy tears to death threats.  And I am not making that up.  I have tried my best to exclude exaggeration in my discourse, unless I am trying to emphasize a very obvious point.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THESE PEOPLE?

To those who have genuinely forgiven you, and have shared the fellowship of Joy in the Lord, you have gained a brother.

To those who forgot, you still seek forgiveness, but don’t rehearse the issue.  Let it go.

To those who say they have forgiven you, but the look in their eyes tells you otherwise, all you can do is ask their forgiveness.  You probably have given them a good reason to write you off, but you cannot beat yourself up over it anymore.  You can pray for them.  Their anger is their poison.  Your prayers are the antidote.  Leave it at God’s feet.

This is especially hard when you encounter this attitude with people you genuinely love, and want to have fellowship with.  Some hurts never heal.  Some people will never like you, or accept you.  That is the hard part.  But you need to take it to God.  And you need to leave it with God.

HERE’S THE GOOD STUFF:  You will get to learn what grace feels like when others forgive you, and mean it from their hearts.

This is definitely the good stuff.  How sweet it feels when a brother genuinely forgives you and shows it.  It is a wonderful thing to gain a brother.  It is good that you have a new friend in Christ.

Being shown Grace is powerful.  It is the genuine reflection of Christ in others.  It teaches you that Grace is obtainable.  It teaches you that you can do the same thing.  Grace is a gift, and when you receive it, and you give it, it multiplies.

How sweet are the tears that forgiveness brings.  How deep is the laughter and joy when you are clean of this sin.

This is what really makes it worth it, from a human stand point.

Being shown grace does wonders for you.  It gives you hope, and teaches you that YOU TOO can be Christ like.  A living example of a brother showing the character of Christ is good medicine.

It is true that some people are just plain weary of dealing with you.  But it is a genuine joy when you encounter real grace.

SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET:

Now that you have reconciled with Christ, all the skeletons get to come out of the closet.  As scary as this sounds, this is a good thing.  God will take your past and turn it into a blessing.  If you have told God you want Him to make you into the image of Christ, and into His Character, then all the closets, both obvious and secret, will eventually have to be dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of the skeletons.  They are dead.  If you are in Christ Jesus, you are a new creation.  Let love have her perfect work.

Let’s Be About It.

I Love You

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

Sufficient


And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  II Corinthians 12:9 NASB

The truth is, Jesus never needed anything from me.

In the very beginning, all creation was created through Jesus.

After facing a terrible scourging, Jesus carried His cross to Golgotha where He spent several agonizing hours on that cross.  He took on all of our sin and faced the complete wrath of God over it. Jesus descended into Hell to release the prisoners.  He took the keys of Hell and Death from Satan.  After doing all that, He raised Himself from the dead, just to prove to all of creation that He has power over life and death.

Jesus did all this on His own.

If I genuinely want to be like Him, there is not one whit I can bring to Him.  By His grace, and through my weakness, all I have to do is get out of His way, and let Him empower me to be Just like Him.

Standard
Faith

God Is My Strength


They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Psalm 126:5 KJV

Man, am I tired.  Mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Not because I just worked hard today in my labors, but because I just spent the last 4 hours trying to reason with people I am called to reach.  The unsaved who are Athiests, Agnostic, occult, and the people who are playing church, but do not think they are.  My heart aches because these people would rather hate the messenger than listen to the message.  I am not a preacher.  I try not to preach.  All I am is Saved because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  See, I am not famous for my patience.  And I get impatient when I do not see results in the time span I think they should appear.

Time is in God‘s hands.  I do not know who is actually listening, and who is just being a jerk.  I don’t know who will be saved, or will not.  All I know is that I love these people who refuse to see what “Amazing Love” looks like.

Before I became a Christian, I was moved to seek God because a small group of Christians showed me love no matter what I did back.  I was rude, argumentative, and hurtful. I hated them and their Gospel.  But it was their endurance and the Love of God they showed me that finally broke me.  They were tireless, and they saw, in Joy, the results of their efforts.  They never gave up on me.  I pray, Dear God, in the Name of Jesus Christ that I learn to love like that, and persevere like that, so that even one may be saved.  There will I rejoice and praise.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 NASB

There are people who think they are saved simply because they go to church.  When they hear you speak the truth, as lovely as you can make it, by the power of Jesus Christ, some will reject you, and even with a great deal of hostility.  I am called names.  I have had my life threatened.  I do not tell you this to draw attention to me, but because it is GOd who wills me to love and to do His will.  Do I sometimes feel like I am wasting my time, and beating my head against a wall?  Yes, but God is my strength.  Jesus persevered even to death for my sake.  By my own strength, I do not have that will or endurance.  Because the Spirit of God lives in me, I will continue, and enduring for the sake of the Gospel.  I don’t know who will be reached, but I will when I get to Heaven.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful… Hebrews 10:23 NASB

The world is run by the unrighteous.  Satan is their lord.  It is disconcerting to the world when they see the hope we have because of Jesus Christ.  The only response the world can offer is the response of their lord, Satan.  They kill, steal and destroy all that is Godly.  When you belong to Jesus Christ, you will not be welcomed by the world.  But you are to be in this world to be a light of Hope in a very dark, hopeless and fallen place.  So, when the storm roars, when people curse you for having hope, when they try to steal it, and almost succeed, remember, our Hope is in the Lord our God, because of Jesus Christ.  His Spirit is in you.  Take time to listen and feel the strength of God fill you.  He promised you that if you endure in your faith, you will endure in Hope.  Nothing can take this away from you.  Not unless you chose to let it go.  I pray, Dear God, for a renewing of my faith and hope every waking hour and even in my dreams.  Teach me to endure as you fill me with your love.

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:36

I am called to a ministry.  I also have a life.  I have to work to feed my family.  I have bills.  Stuff happens, and it isn’t always good stuff.  It is the will of God that I become a living testimony whatever it is I do.  I am to write this blog every day except the Sabbath.  I am to study the word and hide it in my heart.  I am to give out of my abundance and my need.  I am to be one beggar showing other beggars where I found food, water, shelter, and life.  Even if they insist that they have to pay, I have to show them it is free.  Even if I am feeding on the food of God, and they refuse to eat what is abundant and free.  I cannot do the will of God without the Strength of God.  That is given to me by the Spirit of God, who walks in me daily, teaching me and leading me to do God’s will.  His promise is that if I give it all to Him, I will endure, even if I don’t feel like it.  The second I want to throw in the towel, the Spirit of God shows up in me and loves me, and feeds me the Grace, Mercy, Hope and Love of God.  It is a renewal I have need of every day.  Yesterday’s manna will not feed me today.  He promises me reward in Heaven.  I may be poor on earth, but when I get there, I will be called the brother of Christ.  I live for thismoment.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and  the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1

The angels watch us work.  The world watches us work. Our families and employers watch us work.  Does my confession of faith in Jesus Christ lead others to believe I am saved and belong to God?  Do I cave in just in sight of the finish line and never cross?  When things get tough, do I take a time out?  Jesus suffered greatly on our behalf, without a time out.  He drank full of the cup of God’s wrath so we will not have to die.  Do I weld my tongue to the will of God, or do I betray Him?  Do I act like I am unsaved, yet confess Jesus as my Lord?  Everyone is watching.  So, even when you sin, we can show others how Jesus Christ is Lord through our humbling ourselves before God in repentance.  Following Jesus is not about convenience.  There is nothing convenient about being a Christian.  Bur, seeing as there are so many people watching us, let us live a life that inspires others to follow Christ.

Dear God, I pray, in Jesus Holy Name, that you make me the very image of Christ, so I will not betray you or make the gospel a lie.  I am weak, and get tired.  Give me the love and endurance that kept Jesus nailed to the cross on our behalf.

I love you

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

It is God Who Works


This blog entry is dedicated to Shelia Sanchez, and all the women in the Philippines who have written me about this topic.

A NOTE TO MY DISPENSATIONAL BRETHEREN: Yes, the opening verse of this blog is a prophecy that was spoken to Israel about what God will accomplish in them when Jesus establishes His eternal kingdom. Seeing that the Jews were to be a light on a hill, drawing all mankind to God, and seeing that Israel has to this day stubbornly refused to walk in this light, God sent His own Son to be the fulfillment of the Law, thereby drawing all men unto God. Yes, this promise will finally be fulfilled for Israel when Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom. And the Jews who have accepted that Jesus IS the Messiah, will be the benefactor of the that promise. But, because of Christ, and His sacrifice on behalf of all mankind, this promise IS fulfilled in the lives of anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord. So, go ahead and write your argumentative letters, but keep in mind, if you do, it is because you are stubbornly refusing to see what the Gospel of Christ IS, or you have not allowed the work of the Holy Spirit to tear the blinders off your eyes. I can say this because I , too, am a dispensationalist, but I have recently allowed the Holy Spirit into my life, I see that what was promised to Israels future, has already been given to all Humans who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior AND Lord. It is just a matter of will.

MY PRAYER FOR THIS BLOG: I pray in the name of the Living God, because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, that the Holy Spirit fill me while I write this blog, so that whatever I write here will be none of me and be all of God. I pray that it penetrate all the barriers that we have put up that inhibit the Spirit of God and the Power of His word to work in our beings. I pray this, God, because Jesus Christ has saved me from eternal damnation, and has delivered me into eternal life. AMEN

A New Heart, a New Thought, a New Desire

“I will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be clean and acceptable to me. I will wash away everything that makes you unclean, and I will remove your disgusting idols. I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts, because I will put my Spirit in you and make you eager to obey my laws and teachings.” Ezekiel 36:35-27 CEV

Let’s pretend I am telling you the same good news:

“God will sprinkle you with clean water, and you will be clean and acceptable to Him. God will wash away everything that makes you unclean, and will remove your disgusting idols. God will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts, because God will put His Spirit in you and make you eager to obey His laws and teachings.” Ezekiel 36:35-27 CEV

God does Heart Surgery.

The amazing thing about God is (OK, there are SEVERAL amazing things about God), that HE will give you the longing for salvation. It isn’t something you can for yourself. If it WERE something you could do, then there is no need for God, and no need for Jesus Christ to come here and give His life for you. If we could be righteous and saved, and holy all by our selves, then God would no longer be God. We would be God.

We are not God.

When God gives you the longing for salvation, it is because, somehow, some way, God has exposed you to several things: The sin that separates you from Him, the fact that you cannot do anything at all to close that gap, and that He sent Jesus Christ to die in your place, because the wages of sin is death. It may hit you all at once, or it may come in bit at a time. But it is God that does this. You cannot do this.

God will draw you near.

After you see what he has shown you, you will understand the need for a savior. God will show you that Jesus IS that savior. His death on the cross paid for your sin. After Jesus died, He proved He has the authority to be called Lord when He raised HIMSELF from the grave. He was able to do this because He has the authority over death and life.

You will be drawn to repentance of sin, confession of sin, and redemption through Jesus Christ. And when you confess this with your mouth, you are saved. You cannot even do this unless God empowers you to do this.

YOU WILL HAVE A NEW HEART

In the Hebrew language, we learn that the Heart is the seat of the soul. The heart is located in your brain, but connects throughout your body. Did you know that, around your physical heart, there is the same gray matter that is in your brain. That local memory is stored there, and that your thoughts and feelings are shared between your brain and heart? It is true.

Our natural soul was corrupted by the inheritance of sin, and the continual and unrepentant state that resulted from the inherited sin.

What only God can do, that you will never be able to do, is replace that heart of sin, that hardened heart, with a tender heart of flesh, that is sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The reason you become this way is that, when you believed that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, the first thing you are given is God’s Holy Spirit.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SATAN, THE WORLD, AND GOD

In the World’s fallen state, it cannot tolerate the presence of holiness, and wants nothing to do with it. This is why our planet is the way it is. The World has completely rejected the things of God. You cannot expect Godly behavior from people who reject God. At the very best, you will see a very cheap imitation, and that never lasts very long. The only Godly things that last come from God.

Satan hates you. All of the fallen ones hate you. Satan will accuse you of your sin. Satan will complain to God about how sinful you are. Satan will tell you that God accuses you of your sin, and you cannot be redeemed. The only thing Satan can bring you is graceless and merciless accusation. A guilt that will eventually make you want to kill yourself. He has no joy, and he wants to rob you of YOUR joy.

The Holy Spirit of God is Grace, mercy and joy. When the Spirit of God shows you the sin, it is not accusatory, and will not leave you in shame. You will simply see your sin the same way God sees it. God has given you a tender heart, and removed your cynicism. You will understand how God sees things, and, because of the new Love that the Holy Spirit has brought to your heart and mind, you simply will turn your back on your sin.

This, too, is something you do not have the power to do. When you become aware of the things of God, the things you used to think were important will no longer be important. Your desire for sin will change. This is not to say that you will not sin, ever. You will. What it DOES mean is that when you do sin, the Spirit will lead you to understand the way God sees sin. Your heart, being in love with God, will no longer be interested in displeasing God.

Imagine you are deeply in love with someone. Will you go out of your way to displease your lover, or to please your lover?

The Love the Holy Spirit brings is a love that is far greater than any thing you can bring to your lover. And your desire to obey God will be because of that Love. It is a love you cannot muster on your own, it is a Love God gives you when you give your entire life to God, because of Jesus Christ, who IS God.

NOW THAT I HAVE LAID THE GROUND WORK

When you become a Christian, God will do all that I wrote about above, and much more. You don’t have to quit your job, but the more you surrender your self to the will of God, the more you will understand how God will use you in that job. But if that job represents a huge moral conflict between Him and your employer, when you give God the opportunity, HE will change your circumstances.

What changes? Your heart. Your understanding of how God will work in a willing and submitted heart. This comes when the Spirit of God has filled you, and leads you to be like Christ. Your circumstances may never change, you may always be poor, but God will make you rich in Him, and you will lead many to Christ.

God is not asking you to change anything, at first, because he is busy getting you used having the Mind of Christ. It does taking getting used to.

My brothers and sister, I promise you that you are not condemned if you belong to Jesus. There is no work you need to do to be good enough for God. There is no pain you have to suffer as proof that you are worthy of God.

God changes your heart so you can see where He is at work in you. And when you are able to see in you what God sees, you will develop a strong and passionate desire to see God complete you. You are NO LONGER bound by the law of sin. Your sinful nature is replaced with the nature of God. It is God’s promise to make you in the very image of Jesus Christ. You do not have to do anything but Surrender to Him.

He will do all the work. Be free from the condemnation of sin. Walk in the freedom God gives you. This freedom happens when you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. When you do that, you will receive the Holy Spirit, who will do all the work in you.

You are no longer guilty in God’s eyes. You are free.

“Therefore, now there is no verdict of guilt, no condemnation as guilty, for those in Jesus the Messiah. For the law of the Holy Spirit, that gives life in Jesus the Messiah, has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2, OJT

Standard
Faith

With God, All Things Are Possible


If you read yesterday’s blog, you discovered that I was driving home and working out how I will explain to my family that I was no longer employed.  And that being dismissed from a Military base looks really bad on your resume.  And I didn’t know what to do.  God gave me an assignment.  I am to write something every day and post it.

So, there I was, driving home, screwing up the courage to tell my wife and daughter that I had lost my job at the Base.

I felt that God had clearly given me an assignment.  Write something every day.  He knows me very well.  He knows that if I just sit around between job applications, and twiddle my thumbs, my mind will go into all kinds of fear and condemnation.  I am my own worst enemy sometimes, and I am worse than the Accuser when it comes to my flaws.

I also know that, if this was going to work, I need to be honest with myself and God. After all, there is no such thing as a secret when you deal with God.  (It’s in His job description: Must Be All Knowing, All Seeing, and All Powerful).

It is a good thing God is patient.  Anyone who has dealt with me, knows that you have to bring to the table a great deal of patience.

God is Good. All the time.

I wanted to go over a few things in this contract.  Just to be clear.   I started with Article 1, the first clause: I (David G. Perkins A.K.A. Sammy Snardfarkle)  am to serve God by writing something every day.   I am to keep looking for a job.  But when I am not looking for work, I am to keep writing.  So, I asked God if I had this part down, as in , I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interpreting something into HIS word that suited my world view.  (That is really a no-no in God’s kingdom).

I received assurance that is exactly what I am to do.  Start simply, and we can go from there.  See, there is this trust issue.  I have proven myself untrustworthy to God before. And it isn’t that He doesn’t trust His decisions, it’s that He wants to help me develop the patience for Love to refine me.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

God has a plan for me.  And He will do with me what He will in His time, according to His agenda. And he will refine me as we go about accomplishing this agenda.

I had a huge problem on my mind, and I wanted to get it off my chest.  Something seemed illogical, here.  Anyone who knows me knows, I will sometimes argue till I am blue in the face.  I will argue with a tree stump, just to try to convince the tree stump it is actually a banana.  (I have lost most of those arguments. But, if you are ever in Brownwood, Texas, and you see a tree stump not acting all stumpish, it is because it actually thinks it is a banana.  Just give it a wide berth, and it will not trip you up).

I have flaws.  I don’t mean just one, or two.  Ask any local Christian you find here, and they will be happy to regale you with a complete database and cross index of every flaw I have.  It is ordered, both by topic, and numerically.  I have actually been the happy recipient of this index, and I must say, it is extensive, and thorough.  The unabridged edition is available at one of my relatives homes, but you will have to cover the printing and shipping costs, yourself.

I asked God about all these flaws that I am aware of, and that I have been cheerfully reminded of by His children.  This is where God had to start the refining process in me.

He let me know, CLEARLY, that Satan is the accuser, and Satan’s children behave like their father.  He let me know that His children are covered by His grace, and any flaws they have are His responsibility.  Then He told me to decide, will I be an accuser, or will I be like Him, and demonstrate Grace and Mercy to all, because I will to be like Christ, who is the rightful Head of all things?

That made me stop and think.  I confess I needed a LOT of His help on this one.

So I asked about this Grace thing.  He reminded me it is something I definitely need, and need to give, because as I give it, I will have more of it.  He explained that, in God’s economy, God pays compounded interest on everything you give away.  You are not allowed to put it in your spiritual piggy bank and keep it all to yourself.  If you do that, what little you have will be taken away and given to someone who knows how to use it wisely.

God then reminded me of this scripture:

But this man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God…For by one offering He hath perfected them that are sanctified” Hebrews 10:12-14 KJV

So, I asked God this…”What about all my sin and flaws?”  He asked me, is there any sin you have tried to hide from me?  I thought about going back to that old, “Thou Knowest, O Lord” thing, but I had a feeling God was not in the mood for my sarcasm.  So, I told Him:  As my sin becomes apparent to me, I confess it to you, I repent of it, and I leave it at your feet, just as you have asked me to do.

He let me know that is right.

But that left the problem of all my flaws.  So I asked about all that. He let me know that all humans have flaws. It is part of being fallen. But God, in his Grace, looks at me and sees the blood of His Son, and those flaws are hidden by that blood. So, being true to my nature, I argued, “But those pesky flaws are still there, aren’t they?”

God is Patient. God is Good. His Grace and Mercy endures forever:  All the Time.

He pointed out that, yes, those flaws are there, but I do not need to worry about them. He explained that, since I actually belong to Him, through Jesus Christ, the flaws I still have are not counted against me, and that, as long as I am pursuing the will of God, and I become more like Christ, then the flaws will, by the nature and power of God, be removed.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t accuse you, but, through Grace and Mercy shows you how unimportant your flaws are, and that it is safe to let them go, so you CAN be more like Jesus.

I thought that had to be the best answer I had heard all day (I was still stinging from losing my job).

Then I asked him, what if I sin again, will you overlook that, too? He let me know that sin occurs when I stop and play with my flaws. Ever hear the saying, “If you play with that, you’ll go blind.”? In order to stop and play with your flaws, you have to stop looking at Christ, who is your goal.  You become blind to the things of God, when you play with your flaws.

When you sin, you inevitably stop in your growth, until you deal with that sin.  When you sin, you have to confess that sin, repent of it, and leave it at God’s feet.  Grace covers all your flaws.  Sin is a stopping point in your growth.  You cannot go around sinning just because you belong to God.  If you did, then you will eventually separate yourself from His fellowship (Again, as in my case).

God is Good.  All the time.  His Grace and Mercies endure forever.

Because I wanted to make sure I had this right, I asked God,

“SO, Jesus’ Blood Covers my flaws.”

(Did I mention God is PATIENT??)

He said “Yes”.

I said, “If I pay too much attention to my flaws, and not to the finished work of Christ, I am more likely to sin?”

He said, “Yes”

I asked, “If I sin, it is because I am fond of one of my flaws to the point that I give it more importance than I do my walk with Christ?”

He said , “Yes. And that is also a form of Idolatry, when you put anything as being more important than Me.”

I asked, “You, or Christ?”

God is ever patient.  He protects children and fools with His patience.

He said, “We are one. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen Me.”

I had to gulp at that, because, as I have mentioned before, I have a LOT of flaws, and some of them are my favorite flaws.  I confess I belong to God because of the Blood of Jesus Christ.  He IS the Son of the Living God.  He died for all my sin.  He rose again to prove He IS who He said He is.  If I have seen Christ, then I have seen God.

I asked Him, “What do I do?” I was still burdened by my flaws.

He said, “Follow Jesus, to be like Him. It is not something you can do on your own power, it is something that I empower you to do by the Holy Spirit, who now lives in you.” “If you will to follow, I will to lead you.” “If you do this, and as you do this, your flaws will become less important. When they come less important, they die of malnutrition, and fall off.  By the time you reach the likeness of Jesus, you will be flawless.” “In the mean time, my Grace covers those flaws. When I look at you, I see my Beloved Son, who died for you.”

That was profound. I actually wept at the thought of the choice God made on my behalf. This can be a problem if you are careening down I-50 at nearly 100 miles per hour. Not that I would know anything about THAT….it’s just something I heard.

In His eyes, I am flawless. It doesn’t matter what my accusers say after all. I am His because I confess that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of God, and that Jesus died for my sin, and rose again from death to life. This makes me God’s own child.

But to make sure I don’t misunderstand, I asked God, “When I sin, and I don’t confess, what does that mean? “

He said, “You have placed a stumbling block in your own way. You will need to bring that stumbling block to me, and I will lead you to repentance, to confession, and delivery. I will remove that stumbling block. But if you leave that stumbling block in your way, you will eventually be tied to that place where you sinned, and will not be able to pursue Jesus with a pure heart. It will be where your growth stops. This is where my Mercy comes into play. I will not judge you immediately for this sin. I will be patient and wait for you to confess it, so we can move forward, where my Grace is already at work. “

I was speechless (Yes, God is STILL in the miracle-working business!).

I confessed to God that I am weak, and am in love with some of my flaws. I asked him how I can ever follow him, being so flawed.

He reminded me: “With God, all things are possible.”

Standard
Faith

The Grace of God – Part II


Editorial View Point:

Someone asked me why my posts are SO long.  There is a specific group I am targeting.  They like the information I provide.  If you are not one of them, I am grateful that you work your way through my posts.  I am working at developing several styles to convey Biblical truths.   I suppose I could give you those “FB” style one liners, or even a daily devotional style of writing.  And I am working on that.  But when the subject is as important as the one below, I would rather include something that will bore you, the educated Christian, than leave out information that someone seriously desiring to hear God might miss.  For that, I make no apologies.  I simply write about what I, myself, had to go through to understand the difference between a religion and a relationship to God.

INTRODUCTION:

I had a very interesting, and fulfilling,  conversation with a brother in the lord, last night (Thank-You, Casey).

The subject was over what I had written in my post,  “The Grace of God”.  That post dealt with how Satan tries to trip you up, and how God carries you through this experience.  My brother, Casey, correctly pointed out the dangers of the belief that God’s grace is like a giant bandage to all sins you will commit.  That you may mistakenly fall under the same error that the Romans did, that it is OK if you sin because God has already covered that sin.

The Grace of God – Part II will cover this case.  This post is also in two parts.  In Part A, I will cover what God does with your sin if you are an unbeliever, and how he offers us hope through Christ.  This part is the cornerstone of what it means to belong to God through Jesus Christ.

The second part of this post deals with what to do about sin AFTER you are saved, and what the believer should do about specific sins.  Thank you for reading it all the way through, and please, leave a comment.  I am very interested in your opinions.

Part A

SIN and sins – Or what was the whole Jesus thing for, in the first place?

In my post, “The Grace of God”, I described what happened in the first place to separate Humans from the face to face presence of God.  We were given free will, because God didn’t make a bunch of robots.  The Angels have free will, which is why we had the wars of the angels in the first place.  God gave Humans free will because he literally wants only people who want to hang out with him to be with him.  The down side of our having this free will is, we bought the lie that Satan gave us, and ended up just as condemned as Satan.  Satan’s eternal abode will be Hell.  This is the second death.  SIN brought real death, real decay, and real evil into this Earth.  The eternal covenant God has with ALL of his creation is that God will not tolerate Sin in His presence.  It isn’t like he is allergic to it.  It is more like, God is HOLY and will only have HOLINESS around His home, which is in the highest heaven.  SIN = death.  GOD is life.  You can look at world history to see how all that turned out.

We are born separated from God.  While you are an unaccountable child, you live in a kind of grace.  When you reach the age of accountability,then all bets are off.

So, now is the right time to ask “WHO really needs salvation, anyway?”

Short Answer:  Humans.

All the World Guilty

…as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
Romans 3:10 – 12 NASB
and
“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”  Romans 3:23 NASB
You can be “good”, you can give to every charity you can imagine, you can live in a way that the worst thing you ever did was steal one extra cookie when you were 4.  But, SIN, still lives in you.  You know this is true when you ask yourself, how much do I hate, how angry do I get over things, how many times have I coveted, how many times have I told a lie, how many times have I heard about someone getting killed, and thought to myself , “That bastard deserved it!”.  These are evidences of SIN.    The Bible makes it crystal clear that all Humans are born in sin, and live a life separated from God.  You can feel it in your heart.  Like something is missing, or you get a serious longing in your heart for a love that you cannot define.  You spend your entire life trying to fill that gap in your heart, and never reach it.  You turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, or whatever, but nothing can fill that hole that exists, that yearning for peace that you crave.  You can feel it.
We are all born separated from God.

So, now is the right time to ask “WHY do we really need salvation?”

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NASB
and
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. ” John 3:16 NASB
Because original SIN separated Humans from God for all eternity.  God loves you, but His own law is “For the wages of SIN is death”.  The only way Humans can receive forgiveness was that a PERFECT Human had to voluntarily and willingly die in your place for your sin.  After the fall of all mankind in the garden of Eden, there were no perfect Humans.  God is all-powerful and sovereign.  In His own might, HE came to earth in the form of a man.  His name was Yeshua (Jesus).  Jesus voluntarily filled the will of God the Father, and died in your place for all the SIN in the world.  He did this out of His enormous love for you.  Jesus rose himself from death in order to prove He had the Authority to call himself the “Son of God”.   You need salvation because you are born in sin.  You receive eternal life with God if you accept this FREE GIFT of Jesus dying in your place.  You have the hope of eternal life after your body dies.  Jesus proved this by His resurrection from the dead.
JESUS IS HOW GOD PROVIDED SALVATION
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”  Romans 5:8 NASB

How Do We Receive this Salvation??

“…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”  Romans 10:9-10 NASB

and

 “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

When you believe in your heart that Jesus died in your place for your sin, and confess with your mouth (Say it out loud),  you are saved from eternal death.  You have been rejoined to fellowship with the Living God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  The Holy Spirit will come to you, and will guide you.  You have peace with God, now.   You are no longer His enemy, as Satan still is, but you are now, eternally, God’s own beloved child.

Our Victory in Christ

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1 NASB

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

You have admitted that your SIN separates you from God.  You understand that as a sinner, you deserved eternal separation from God (This is the second death).  You believe that Jesus Christ died in your place, on the cross, to free you from the curse of SIN and death (The second death).  You have repented by turning from your old life of sin to a new life in Christ.  And you have received, through FAITH in Jesus Christ, His free gift of Salvation.

OK, But what about all the sin I keep committing???

I am glad you asked.  I will tell you.  Jesus promised you that He will send the Holy Spirit to you.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “ John 14:16 NASB (Words of Jesus are in red).

and

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

and

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.  He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”   “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”  John 14:23-26 NASB

Once you are sealed in forgiveness by the Blood of Jesus Christ, you will not be able to be removed from His hand.  But you will still be able to be tempted by your old habits, and by Satan.  As long as you are on this Earth, that is how it is.  We are called to be IN the Earth, not OF the Earth.  We are still here after we were saved so that we can tell others how it is we have eternal life, how it is we have such joy in our hearts, how it is that we suddenly are at peace.

Now that you are saved, God’s grace covers all your sin, past, present and future.  THAT IS TRUE!  There is a heresy being taught today, that was being taught in the Apostle Paul’s day.  The heresy teaches that you can sin, and it will be covered by God’s grace, so don’t worry about it.  This doctrine is a religious point of view that God never allowed for.

The truth of the matter is that God’s grace covered all your sin from the foundation of the world.  But that is not a license to sin, in order that God’s grace can be demonstrated:

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1 NASB

and

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ” Galatians 2:20 NASB

and

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”  John 14:20

and

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  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 15:4-5 NASB

The evidence of your salvation will be revealed in your life.  If you abide in Christ, you will grow to be like Christ.  Yes, because you are human, you will slip and fall, occasionally.  That is why Jesus promised you the Holy Spirit, so that when you trip up, the Spirit of God will LOVINGLY convict you, and you will be led to repent, and you will have learned from that lesson, and will grow to be like Christ.

Any unconfessed sin is a barrier YOU place between YOU and God.  Has God covered it?  In his sovereignty and foreknowledge of you, he knew you would sin.  In His grace, he allows that sin.  In His mercy, He forgives that sin.  But it is not a license to continue in sin.  Jesus pointed out that if you continue to live in sin, you are not His.  If you ABIDE (A word that means to move in with, or literally “Pitch your Tent”, establish your dwelling with), then you have willingly given up YOUR own way to pursue the way of Christ.  We are to become like Christ.  This takes a daily effort.  This takes you intentionally laying aside YOUR will in the pursuit of the will of God for you.

God’s grace is not a license to sin.  It is the covering God gives you so that when the Spirit of God convicts you, you will be able to go to God and confess, and repent, and be restored.  If you are intending to be like Christ, and His Spirit has filled you, then you will not WANT to sin.

Let’s put it this way:  If you are still living a life of sin, chances are you have either never been saved, or you have intentionally chosen NOT to walk in a life to be like Christ.

Grace is not a license to sin, it is your opportunity to repent when you do.

Go and sin no more.

Standard