Archive for the ‘Abiding in Christ’ Category

NEW LIFE WITH CHRIST

After trying to perfect myself

Through my own power

I’d become disconnected from Jesus

My Lord and Savior

I’m in ruins

I cannot heal myself

I hurt and bleed from the war

I’d put myself through

Facing Satan

With only my human defenses

Crushed on rocks below

 

My guilt became a burden

Until I came face to face

With Jesus

On Him I laid my burden

He bid us:

“Come to Me all you who

labor and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you

and learn from Me, for I am

gentle and lowly in heart, and

You will find rest for your souls,

for My yoke is easy and My

burden is light.”  (Matt. 11:28-30 NKJV)

 

Aim to rededicate ourselves to Jesus

Continuing to do the work

He has given us

Praying daily to God

To keep the tether tight

Between ourselves and Jesus Christ

Letting Him keep us safe

Heal us with His balm

For there is no other

Great Physician

Able to heal humanity

 

 

 

 

REFLECTION

I had wanted to do so much more with my life.  A career in music was high on my list.  However, music requires stamina, which I am not blessed with.

I marvel at the new medical equipment used to diagnose and to treat those with failing health.  I had wanted to study to become a biomedical engineer in my 20’s.  That dream dropped out of the sky like a meteorite glowing in flames, landing on my lap, a charred cinder.  

Sociology and psychology warmed my heart instead.  This knowledge aided me in working with sick and disabled persons of all ages.

Still, I felt there was something missing in my life.  

I grew up in a Christian home, where God was perceived as our holy and mighty Creator, worthy of worship on Sundays.

But I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, our Redeemer.  Many years later, God led me to a Bible based church.  Through Bible study, fellowship, and a deeper worship experience, I became aware of Jesus’ strong desire to have a personal relationship with me.  So I reciprocated.  Walking with Him has been a rich experience.

When we are ill or suffering, many times we wonder why God has allowed this pain and burden to enter our lives.  We start complaining, dispairing, or blaming someone or something for our malady.  But we don’t honor Jesus’ request to draw near to Him.  He wants to be your best friend in good times and in times of trial.

The next time you feel your life couldn’t be any better, don’t forget to thank God, letting your faith deepen.  You will start talking to Him often during the day.

When seemingly insurmountable trials invade your life, you will discover Jesus is walking beside you, holding your hand.  You will experience His reservoir of living water, deep and unending.

Allow Jesus to heal your scarred emotions.  For He needs you to reach out to individuals who have become distressed on the road of life.  Individuals who don’t know Him.  As Jesus told His disciples,  “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8) NKJV.  

Looking back, Jesus has been preparing me to accept a mission to continue working with Him, giving people a relief from the pain caused by sin and hope for an eternity spent with Him. 

 

CULTIVATING HIS GIFT

For unto us
The Christ Child is born
His peace and love
Enter our hearts
Christ comes not
Just once a year
But every day
Our hearts can accommodate
His love
A miracle of divine origin
Transforming our hearts
Softening hard feelings
And melting hate
Originating acts of kindness
Propelling us
To go out of our way
To serve those less fortunate

His love
Now our constant companion
Not easily uprooted
From our hearts
A new life
Protected by
Our loving maintenance
Of His gift
By our humble acceptance
He is our Creator
Due all attention,
Honor, and worship

ARE YOU CONNECTED

Some days I consider my choice of daily activities as mine alone, to do as I please. What a lapse of judgement! Our lives are not ours alone, but God’s, who seeks to use us each day, as vessels carrying hope, mercy, love, and examples of faith in Him to those within our reach.

Our selfish carnal natures will prevent us from doing His work. When we fail to surrender our lives daily to Him, we are prone to wander off the narrow road leading to salvation. We stray within an arm’s length of the devil, Satan. On days we forget, neglect, or willfully turn away from abiding in Christ, we are susceptible to Satan’s seemingly innocuous schemes. Satan tricks us into thinking that acting on an idea in our head will free us from God’s constraints. At that point we’re blinded to the fact those constraints (God’s Law) were given to mankind to protect us from harm.

When we neglect our relationship with God we forget or are unaware we have no strength of ourselves to obey God’s Laws. We flounder. We sin. We may feel guilt. What we do at this point is crucial. Either we continue to fill our carnal desires, or we get down on our knees to God in sorrow for our sins that nailed our Savior to the Cross. We confess our transgressions to the Lord, sincerely repent of them, and humbly receive His forgiveness.

Again in favor with God, we offer Him praise and thanksgiving. Our next step is again crucial — abiding in Christ, for He is the true vine, sustaining us through hard times, giving us strength to obey His Law, and allowing us to bear much fruit. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Indeed, Christ requires us to be connected with Him. This is best done by prayer, first thing in the morning, and then throughout the day, allowing us to commune with Him as we carry out God-approved and God-inspired activities. Certainly, we don’t think about God constantly, but He is the first one we will turn to for comfort and guidance, and to offer praise and thanksgiving, when we are God focused.

He is a mighty God. Get to know Him. Abide in Him. Follow His ways. You will be blessed and bless others in ways only God can enable you to do.

— Scripture quotation taken from NKJV —

RELATIONSHIP — THE HEALING BALM

God can function as our wellspring of encouragement and love if we turn to Him while we’re down, discouraged, or hurting. But rather than seeking Him only when we’re in dire straits, God wants us to develop a daily, continuous, love relationship with Him. He has deemed this relationship the most important commitment of our lives. It honors Him and gives vitality to everything else we do.

He is our Abba Father, the One who can heal us when we feel hurt, unappreciated, or misunderstood. Then while supporting us emotionally He partners with us to do His work.

God wants to impart wisdom, courage, and truth to us through His Word. We learn of Him through pryerfully reading His Word. Ultimately, He seeks our love and cherishes our worship of Him, after teaching us how to love through our love relationship with Him.

Humans are inherently self-centered and selfish. God demonstrated His love for us by giving His Son as a sacrifice on the cruel cross of Calvary, thus giving us the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Through Jesus’ life, recorded in the Bible, He gives us an example of love born of selflessness. Jesus served people’s needs by healing physically, thus drawing people’s hearts close to Him. He healed spiritually as well, with teachings that were radically different from the legalistic teachings of the Pharisees, a group of Jewish leaders of the Law when Jesus was on earth. Jesus meant to bring truth and life to all.

Today we have access to Jesus’ teaching in the Bible. God intends for us to live extraordinary lives by reading and applying the Bible to our lives.

Everyday of Jesus’ life He depended on the strength He received from His Father through prayer. God means for us to carry on a dialogue with Him each day so that we can feel His love and encourgement, leading us to conquer sin. God’s love doesn’t waver, take sides, or ever fail. Whereas human love, even as wonderful as it is, at times is fraught with weaknesses: jealousy, smothering, selfishness, broken promises, and failure to love fully.

When we connect with God in prayer, He offers us a haven from worry and a place of peace. God’s love is the only perfect love. If we depend on His love, we will never be disappointed. Jesus invites us: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). NKJV

OUR DESTINY

What has God ordained for our lives? Above all, He longs for each of us to find in Him our best friend. There is no one on this earth who He doesn’t woo daily to accept an intimate realationship with Him. He will, however, not force us. In the book of Revelation 3:20, Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus is speaking to the church of Laodicea, who need His rebuke and His loving call for repentance. Historically, in prophecy, Jesus is also speaking to the church of the Last Days, you and me, the lukewarm church who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced or commit. He knows our dominant state of mind and heart. We think we have no need of a rebuke and are pretty much righteous in God’s eyes, when in fact He shocks us with knowledge of our true spiritual condition: “You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). So now what do we do?

Jesus has it covered. He says: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you my be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and annoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:18).

Jesus provides for us to be purified, sanctified, “refined,” through testing trials, that we may reflect His image. Our richness describes our character. Additionally, He offers to give us His “white garments” — His robe of righteousness if we would just claim it. For it is given by grace through faith in His atoning sacrifice. Only with His robe of righteousness can we appear blameless before God and enter heaven. Of equal importance is the eye salve He offers us. We need to be aware of or “see” our condition of wretchedness caused by sin, that we may repent.

God wants the best for us. He offers us an enriched life if we choose to enter into an intimate relatonship with Him. Only then can He transform us into the holy persons He has ordained for us to become.

–Scripture quotations taken from the NKJV–

What keeps you from having an intimate relationship with Jesus? Or, what keeps your heart connection with Him intact?

How has your relationship with Jesus changed your life? Please feel free to share. Your comments may enlighten another, aiding him or her in finding a closer walk with God.

MOLDED VESSELS

Why do we look for and find fault with each other? Could it be because we, ourselves, are not in line with our heavenly Father’s plan for our lives? We have strayed. We don’t look to Him to guide us in our daily lives. Instead, our focus is on ourselves. We don’t have the love relationship with God that He longs to share with us. Consequently, we find fault with others, perhaps in an attempt to camouflage our own imperfections.

The Lord wants to give us a rich experience in life, stemming from an intimate relationship with Him, which transforms us into people who want to focus on doing His work.

Once we are joined with Him, He will lead us day by day to reach out to others in selfless love. Only He can mold us into vessels capable of doing His work. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Anything of value can only be done while abiding in the Lord.

We need to seek Him daily through prayer, Bible study, and in our life experiences. In the Bible, Moses relates God’s promise to the Israelites after their fall into idolatry: “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).

Seeking Him through prayer involves a heart connection. We connect to the Master of the universe through an intimate conversation with Him. By petitioning and praising Him we are enlightened, instructed, and blessed in His presence.

Bible study acquaints us with God’s character and His expectations of us. Nothing can replace the study of Holy Scripture for guidance and instruction.

When we seek God with our whole being, or soul, we experience Him fully in our lives. We come to know Him while abiding in Him.

Only the grace He extends to us allows us to view others as fellow wayfarers deserving of our love and encouragement. Yes, He can transform us, but we need to enter into that love relationship with Him first.

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