Monday, January 13, 2014

Eternal

Whether you realize it or not, there are two powerful spiritual forces at work in your life.
One wants to destroy you, and bring death.  The other wants to give you a full life.

John 10:10 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 

One of those spiritual forces prowls around just waiting to devour you.  The other wants to protect you and rescue you when you do fall into the enemy's snares.  

1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


Psalm 91:2-4 (NLT)
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.  For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.  He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.


Life with Christ is not a life void of trials.  Sometimes those trials are put there by the enemy to bring us down.  Sometimes, those trials are put there by God, who desires to refine us and make us stronger, and draw us closer to Him.  Sometimes it is easy to recognize who those trials are put there by, and sometimes it is not.  But when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter who put those trials in your life.  It is ultimately the One you focus on during the trial that determines whether that trial will produce life or death.  Because anything the enemy places in our lives to mean harm, God can turn into something amazing for His glory. 

Matthew 16:18
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

While both are powerful, they are not equally powerful, at least not on the whole.  However, in your own personal life, you get to choose which is more powerful.  You're given the choice: Life or Death.  The offer of eternal life is offered to everyone.  You just have to reach out and accept it, and daily choose to walk in it.  

If you are reading this and haven't accepted the gift of eternal life, or, if you have accepted that gift, but have turned away, I want you to do something.

I just want you to think about your life right now.  What is it like.  Do you feel at peace, or do you feel like it is full of turmoil? Peace is not a state of everything going right, or the absence of turmoil, but it is the state of your heart in the midst of that turmoil as well.  God offers a peace that surpasses all understanding.   You can feel peace when your life is turned upside down when you know that the One who created you and loves you holds you in the palm of His hand.

Philippians 4:6-7
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
 
There are two eternals:  eternal LIFE and eternal DEATH.   And you get to choose.  Forget your past, step into a better future.  Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as savior, and your past will have no bearing on your future.  Leave it at the foot of the cross.  Jesus died so that we could be free from the burden of sin.  And lets face it.  Sin is a burden.  While it may be temporarily pleasing to us, if we carry it around for the long haul, it just becomes too heavy to bear.  But Jesus can heal your past, he can heal your wounds, he can make you whole.  And he desires to do that.  You just have to let him.  Life is temporary.  Eventually, you will die.  Think about eternity.  If you could choose eternal life or eternal death, which would you choose?





 

Friday, January 10, 2014

His Love is Higher




I took this picture a few years ago on the beach in Port Aransas, and I just love it.  I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself here.  Imagine how huge the sky and ocean look to us.  Then, I want you to imagine the fact that as far as you can see, it foes further than that.  What we see is huge, but it is still a limited view of what really is out there.  Imagine how much deeper the ocean is compared to what we can see of it.  It is DEEP, and it is wide, and it is beyond what we can comprehend.  And the sky.  As big as it looks to us, there is so much more out there than the eye can see.

Read this as many times as it takes you to let it sink in:

Ephesians 3:16-21

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 


Our idea of love is very limited .  We love our families a lot.  We would do anything for our families.  Could you imagine loving them more than you already do?   Could you imagine anyone loving them more than you do?  If you can imagine the person in your life that makes you feel most loved....can you imagine being loved more than that?

There is one who loves us way more than we can possibly think or imagine.  God loves us so much we can not even wrap our minds around it.  Nothing can take it away from us.  Nothing can separate us from his love.  Just like the ocean, as vast as we think it is, it is way bigger!  As deep as we think the sea is, it is deeper. As high as the sky that we can see, it is higher.


Romans 8:38-40
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are loved by the one who knows everything about us.  He knows our failures, and he loves us anyway.  He knows our struggles, and he loves us anyway. No matter what sins you have committed, and what sins you will commit, he will ALWAYS love you.  Whatever wounds you have, his desire is for you to allow him to bind them, and heal them.  

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.


  Though the enemy tries to convince us that we are not good enough to be loved by God, NOTHING you do will ever separate you from God's love.  

John 3:16-17
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.


1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.