Thursday, April 29, 2010


Proverbs 3:5-7 (The Message)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!

I have realized lately that just like the roads we drive on daily, the road of life has a lot of bumps and holes in it. Some of the holes are what I like to call "sinkholes"...

Your traveling along thinking things are going pretty well and all of a sudden you hit a bump. It throws you off course a little so you slow down a bit, straighten out, and then go on your way. Next thing you know you spot a hole, avoid it, then run into one. But, everything is flat tires, so you go on. All of a sudden you drive right into a storm and as we all know, after a while, storms tear up the roads. Then the wind kicks up and things are coming at you from all sides. First something small hits you on the right, then something on the left, then all of a sudden something hits you from the back and your pushed right into a hole. As it turns out it's one that just keeps getting bigger and bigger and your sinking in's a "sinkhole" and you can't get out!!

Just like life. Your doing great and then the storms come. How you handle those storms is what matters. When you hit those bumps, fall in those holes, do you get back up and keep going or do you get in a "sinkhole" and get stuck??!!

The Life Transformation study Bible says...We must trust HIM with all our heart and obey HIM in all our ways. That means total commitment to HIM. It says this about the word trust...The word translated "trust" in verse 5 means "to lie helpless, facedown." It pictures a servant waiting for the master's command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.

When the storms come, and the road of our life gets rough, that's what we need to do. "Lie helpless" and follow what Proverbs 3:5-7 says to do.

"Life" is the reason I'm posting this. I have been stuck in a "sinkhole". I just "happened" to read this passage in a devotion and knew that GOD was talking to me. But even though you know, you can't always just get out of it. So...I've read this passage over and over and I will continue to read it. Sometimes, just "knowing" what you know isn't good enough. You have to get it into your head and your heart before things change. Then you have to act on it. I'm thinking this is just one more lesson on...My Road To Maturity...which is what this blog is supposed to be about.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"CHRIST" The Difference

I thought of all I used to be
then where I am right now
There's really no comparison
because to Christ I've bowed

Where once was pain inside of me
that no one else could see
Somehow Jesus came and brought
His sweet peace abundantly

I will go through some deep valleys
and walk up the mountains steep
But in Him I will continue
for He is my coming King

He said He'd never leave me
of that I can be assured
He will always be there for me
and He'll carry me when I hurt

I found in HIM the faith I need
to live this Christian life
It is a journey on a path
with the Savior by my side

He has made the biggest difference
that I have ever known
It doesn't matter what I've done
for in Christ I am made whole

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Do You Want To Know HIM?

Romans 8:1-8

 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.  5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

In Swindolls book, Insights On Romans, he makes a statement talking about his time in Okinawa while in the Marines. Swindoll says he felt abandoned by the LORD. But then the LORD confronted him with a life-changing question..."Do you want to know me?" When I read that section what he had been saying about chapter 8 of Romans all came together for me. It's about our walk with CHRIST...

If we are "in CHRIST" we are no longer sentenced to death. We are free. The law has no power over us and neither does sin. We can live a life of joy and peace. For life on earth it can't get any better than that!!
However, sometimes being a Christian is not an easy thing to do. Why? Because we don't live like we are free. Of course, I would like to tell you that I'm really good at it. Never have a problem and everything I do and say always reflects JESUS. Unfortunately that wouldn't be true. There are many days when not much of what I do or say reflects HIM at all!! Sometimes I try to do everything on my own and when I do I fail miserably. My old self..."the flesh"...takes over again. Sometimes I forget that the HOLY SPIRIT is living in me and that I can have HIS help whenever I ask for it. The HOLY SPIRIT is stronger than my flesh and I need to leave my "old self" behind and go forward in my new life which is "in CHRIST"...enveloped, submerged and immersed!! I have been saved by grace through faith and for that reason I can have assurance and peace that I belong to GOD and HE will help me to live the way I should and continue on in this Christian life if I ask HIM to. That's not to say we won't have pain in this life, we will. But if we allow HIM too, the HOLY SPIRIT will help us through all of it.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (Message Bible)

My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

So...back to the question. Yes!! I want to know HIM as fully as I can! Whatever it takes I want to live my life as close to HIM as I can! Things may not always happen the way I want them too and life might not always be good. But...if I listen to the LORD and completely surrender my life to HIM I will achieve the desired outcome. Peace and joy here and Eternal Life with CHRIST!!

Don't let your past, or your old nature, rob you of the joy you can have by living "in CHRIST". If you have accepted the LORD as your SAVIOR remember that you are "forgiven" and nothing can separate you from the FATHER'S love HE has for you.

Romans 8:38-39 (New Living Translation)

 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Look around you at all that is happening in our world today. JESUS could come back at any time!! If you don't know the LORD as your SAVIOR you can fix that problem now. At the top left of this page it is explained what you need to do. Don't be left here when HE returns!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Lifelong Process

Paul tells us that GOD gave us HIS Law so we could see our sin and ask for forgiveness. The Law helps us to see that we are unable to help ourselves. GOD wants us to have a spiritual life centered in HIM and the Law will never get us there. It is only by communion with HIM that we can have the life that GOD wants for us. When we see our need for GOD, and ask for forgiveness for our sins, then the Law has done what it was supposed to do. Then we are released from the Law because we are no longer bound to our sin. Romans 7:6...But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.

In Romans 7 we learn that there is an internal struggle that goes on within us to do right. In effect it is a war between good and evil. The day you become a Christian the war begins. We naturally have a rebellious nature and without the help of the HOLY SPIRIT it would win. Our rebellious nature is called "the flesh". Matthew 26:41 Jesus says...Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

I don't know about you but I have always had problems with "my flesh"! Overcoming temptation in my life almost sunk me more than once. When I first came to know CHRIST I thought that all the things I was struggling with were just going to go away. Much to my "surprise" I found out right away that everything intensified! I was told this would happen but I didn't realize how weak I was and how strong satan was. By about the third day I had a good understanding of how things were! Since then I have finally learned...after about two years!!...that when the devil throws temptations from my past up in  my face to just turn them over to GOD. When you accept CHRIST, and the HOLY SPIRIT lives in you, you are given a new nature. However, you are still gong to sin and you will still experience temptation. Never try to fight them by yourself. You can't beat the devil on your own. He's sneaky and very good at what he does. But the LORD is all powerful and can help you to beat him every time. So when those temptations come at you, you have to...let the HOLY SPIRIT turn your eyes from your old performance and look towards JESUS. Joshua 1:9 says..."This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

CHRIST redeemed us by the ransom of HIS blood. HE set us free. John 8:36 says...So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

Being born again takes one small moment of faith. Changing and becoming like CHRIST is a lifelong process. We will have failures and we will have successes. What I pray for daily is that the LORD helps me to know HIM and become more like HIM everyday. To do this I know that I have to spend time with HIM on a consistant basis. I need to read HIS word, talk to HIM, talk with other believers about HIM and praise and worship HIM. I know that nothing else in this life is as important as my relationship with HIM. Philippians 3:8-11 says this...Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

As Paul did, are you willing to make the sacrifice to change and give up your time, plans and desires to become more like CHRIST? Are you willing to suffer for the cause of CHRIST? It will be a major lifestyle change for many of us. But I know that it is worth it. Even when I make just small changes to include HIM more in my time and my life I notice the difference HE makes in me. There is a song called...I Didn't Think It Could Be by Andre Crouch. Here are some of the lyrics;

Somebody told me of the joy they had
Somebody told me that in sorrow they could be glad
Then they told me once they were bound but now set free
But I didn't know it could be 'til it happened to me

Now I can tell you of the joy I have
Now I can tell you that in sorrow I can be glad
Now I can tell you once I was bound but now I'm set free
But you'll never know that it's true 'til it happens to you

Swindoll says in his study on Romans...As we come to know HIM more intimately-the HOLY SPIRIT will do what only HE can do: make us more like our SAVIOR. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, yet has no light of it's own, so we will shine with GOD'S radiance as we live in close proximity to HIS SON.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Whom Will You Serve?

In this life we all have one really important choice to make. Will we be a slave to sin...satan who brings death...or will we be a slave to JESUS CHRIST and have life...everlasting life?

Throughout my life I have been enslaved to a number of different things. Sometimes it was out of what I thought was necessity, sometimes because of life circumstances and sometimes because I was enjoying the sin I was involved in at the time. Basically I was a slave to sin and I had a very bleak future. I was living for the devil and on my way to living with him. But one day...a miracle took place. It was the miracle of the cross! I realized that even though I thought GOD wanted nothing to do with me there was a chance I was wrong. The HOLY SPIRIT started working on me and before I knew it...HE was living in me!! The power that sin once had over me died the day I asked JESUS to forgive me. All I had to do was believe it and accept it. Once I did that I had fellowship with GOD and freedom from sins hold on my life.

Romans 6 talks about...being baptized into CHRIST. The longer I serve HIM the more I have come to understand what that means. To be baptized into something is to be enveloped, submerged or immersed into. Enveloped means...surrounded entirely or to be wrapped in. Submerged means...hidden in or covered by. Immersed means...plunged or buried in. So to be baptized in CHRIST all of those things happen. I can think of nothing more that I would rather have than to be totally enveloped, submerged and immersed in JESUS CHRIST!!!

Paul goes on to tell us that once we accept CHRIST sin is no longer our master.We are free from it's bondage. Once you accept CHRIST you have the power within you to overcome any sin that holds you captive. I can tell you from first hand knowledge that it's not always easy. For months after accepting JESUS I struggled with the desires to do the things of my past. How and what you think has a lot to do with beating anything. You cannot let sin rule your mind. Pray and be prayed for. Remember...JESUS is life and you are free because HE died for you. Romans 6:12-14 says...

Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Matthew 6:24 tells us...
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other"

I remember when I served sin I had a good time for awhile. As they say...Sin is fun for a season. I didn't realize that I was a slave. Sooner or later though the fun stops and reality sets in. For me it was the reality that one day I was going to go to hell. If my life didn't change there was no way around it. Swindoll, in his book on Romans, is possible to be a slave to something and think you are free. That is what the unsaved think. Romans 6:23 says...

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

So the question I have for you today is...Whom will you serve? Will you choose sin and death? Or will you choose JESUS CHRIST and Life?

If you wish to choose life just look at the top left of this blog. There is a prayer you can pray to accept CHRIST. Once you have done that your life will never be the same!!