Sunday, December 25, 2011

The transformation that matters

Christian's aren't perfect. That deserves repeating, Christian's aren't perfect people, not by a long shot. After accepting and receiving the Son of God as our Lord and Savior by faith, people think followers of Jesus automatically turn into perfect people. That's impossible. As long as anyone is  living a human existence, it's impossible to be perfect. The best we as Christians can do and become is a better person in God's eyes by following the example of Jesus,(WWJD),and strive each and every day to be better than the day before as we work through our mistakes, mishaps, shortcomings and inadequacies, in other words 'our imperfection' as we are molded more and more into the likeness of our Lord on the inside, and that transformation starts to be seen outwardly in our actions, our speech, how we conduct ourselves, etc..

caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly

Photo credit: natureworks from morguefile.com

 
Even though Christians have the Holy Spirit guiding our quickened spirits, we still dwell within our fleshly bodies. The difference that can't be seen to the naked eye is the inner spiritual transformation. The difference is Christians are not held hostage any longer by sin, and are more sensitive to sin than before when sin was a way of life and we had no concern about it one way or another. Our hearts were made spiritually alive when we accepted Jesus into our lives. What a transformation that is!
                                                            Being spiritually alive to the things of God makes us children of the Almighty God and heirs to His promises. We yearn to please Him, our heavenly Father, and we know our sins are forgiven through the redemptive blood of our Savior. We live by faith and know our Father in heaven loves us unconditionally. We may look the same as before, but a spiritual surgery has been performed on the inside. Our insides 'so to speak' are perfect and that's all that really counts. 

Christians are not perfect, but we're hooked up with 'The One' who is, and that's what matters anyway.



2 CORINTHIANS 3:18 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.



Things to ponder-

Jesus was the only man who was perfect. He was born of a woman in order to be the sacrifice for all Mankind. He was also God in that He was without sin so He could be The One Perfect Sacrificial Lamb in order to please God the Father so Sin could be forgiven.

To worship and live a Christian life, one must worship in  spirit and truth for God is Spirit.

To accept Jesus is an act of faith in what God provided for us so we can have life, spiritual life. The body will die but the spirit will live forever. We are body, soul and spirit. It's the condition of the spirit that matters.


So the question is- have you been transformed from 'death into life?' What are you waiting for?



I like this website.


Keeping that upward trek on the narrow path set before me.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Almighty God says 'He' measures up.

Does anyone measure up as pleasing to God? Yes. One person does, and that is Jesus. He alone measures up and is God's answer to a world of people needing help from the out-of-control, downward spiral of sin.  It's Jesus alone who measures up to a world of people who don't know how to be at peace with God, so instead they shun God   The only hope to a world of people searching for lasting peace, and lasting love, but don't know to go about getting it, is through Jesus.  No other person, past, present or future measures up. God said, 'This is my Son, whom I love, and am well pleased.'  God's most precious Son, willingly left the heavens, in order to be born of the Holy Spirit to a young virgin woman, thus fulfilling numerous prophesies written of the coming Messiah. He became as one of us, meaning human, for the sole purpose of becoming the perfect sacrificial Lamb to die for the sins of every man, woman, and child. Yes, He measured up and He clearly and conclusively won the spiritual battle over sin and death for us!


God is infinite - His power, wisdom and love is without end
Photo credit: matthew_hull from morguefile.com


Think about God for a minute.  God is without limitations, unlike us.
He can be with you, hear prayers of the saints, know when a bird falls from the sky, and be in the heavens all at the same moment. Our human minds can't phantom His power, intellect, wisdom, holiness, omnipotence and total sovereignty.  No matter how much we think or try, we can't come close by placing our human values and calculations on His infinite greatness. We are incapable of comprehending an infinite God with our non-infinite minds. God is Spirit. We have no earthly way of measuring or defining His Holiness. God is without form-He can't be seen or measured.  Mistakes and/or lies are not of His Nature. He is totally just and without fault. Nothing occurs or has occurred without His knowledge because He is all knowing. Time and space are His to command. He always was, always has been, and always will be.


The Plan- The Sacrificial Lamb - Jesus would die for all our sins-Victory!
Photo credit: jppi from morguefile.com

Now, think about Jesus for a minute. The very essence of God, was sent from heaven on a mission to complete and settle a spiritual war that affects every person, every soul. Jesus, came on the scene in the most humblest, lowly manner. He then grew up and began His ministry of teaching, healing, and, as foretold, He was rejected, and ultimately hung on a tree before the world, and before God. The Sacrificial Lamb had the sins of the world placed upon Him, and died for our sins so we wouldn't have to. On the third day, by the power of the Holy Spirit, He arose, and In doing so, he won the spiritual victory over sin and death. He defeated the enemy, Satan who wants every person to reject Jesus, die in their sins and not inherit what God has for them. But Jesus' cruxifiction satisfied all requirements God demands for the payment for all mankind's sins. Any person who believes on Jesus, and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord, will have their sins totally forgiven, and be freed from the penalty of sin. You are no longer an enemy of God, but become one of His children with rights of inheritance. You won't be condemned for your sins on Judgement Day. and to top it off, your future home will be in heaven, where you will enjoy spiritual life. All of this is because of Jesus, His obedience, His act of love for each of us and His victory, He holds the keys to death and sin- not Satan. Thank God.
         

The Sacrificial Lamb- died so we'd be spared the penalty of our sins.
Photo credit: guilanenachez from morguefile.com


 Now, think about your position for a minute. Will God see your sins covered by the atoning, redeeming blood of His Son on Judgment Day?  If upon taking your last breath you've rejected Jesus as your Savior, your sins will have been paid by you. The big problem will be you can't pay the penalty because you can't provide an acceptable sacrifice. The only acceptable sacrifice is Jesus. Only God could come up with such a plan so we'd have hope and assurance  of enjoying spiritual life with Him forever.
 
God desires all to accept His free gift of Jesus to inherit spiritual life
Photo credit: anitapatterson from morguefile.com

 
So, the very essence of God, in human fleshly form, named Jesus, made himself the once-and-for-all sacrifice, sealing-the-deal, and defeating the power of sin and spiritual death. It's finished, the penalty's been paid-in-full and it's a done deal for us. Jesus stands high and mightily the winner and victor. He holds the keys and is seated in the heavens as proof.  Now, on our part, all anyone needs to do are admit we're a sinner and we can't save ourselves. Then, exercise faith in God and acknowledge Jesus is His Son, and accept His sacrifice He willingly paid for each soul ransoming each soul that believes from 'spiritual death'. Upon doing this act of faith, a spiritual transformation takes place within the heavens and your name is entered into the Book of Life, granting you an eternal home in heaven. This is known as 'spiritual life'. If you sincerely meant it within your heart, from that moment on you need not worry or wonder if God will condemn you come Judgement Day. You don't have to wonder if you've performed enough good deeds, or if you lived your life pleasing enough to God.  Even if you devoted every waking moment your entire lifetime doing good deed after good deed, your efforts would fall short.  All of us are born with a sin nature, meaning we all have within us potential for sin, and, no one can claim to be without sin.  Good deeds, and living by the Golden Rule, are all fine and dandy, but sorry, none of that satisfy asGod requires for sins to be forgiven. Sinners can't offer an acceptable, perfect, pure, sinless sacrifice to God.  But thank God, in His love and mercy upon us, He provided the perfect sacrifice for us, in Jesus.  Hook up with Him, ask Jesus to be your Savior. Your choosing Him will change your destiny forever. Jesus measures up. He's God's gift to you. Your sins are forgiven ONLY through Him.

Stories of mans' sins, acceptable sacrifices, then Jesus are told the Bible
Photo credit: ladyheart from morguefile.com



Summerizing it all- God is Spirit and He will forgive sin by only one way.
                           Sin require an offering and death of a pure sacrifice to God
                               as a payment for sins, & it must be acceptable to God.
                        God sent his Son to be the Sacrificial Lamb offering and
                                                  payment for man's sins.
                             Jesus measured up by saving us from a penalty of
                          spiritual death, that we rightly deserve because of our sins.
                            Jesus has already paid the death penalty for you.
                                      To receive this free gift, all you have to
                               to do is accept Jesus by faith. It's a spiritual thing.
                              

   Action steps- Admit that you are a sinner & can't do anything to save yourself.
                                   Believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
                              Ask Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior.
                       Thank Him for what He did, giving you victory over spiritual death
                                     Share Jesus to those needing a Savior.
                                                           **********

Enjoy three performances of a favorite song.

Neil Diamond singing 'The Little Drummer Boy"






'Little Drummer Boy'-Snare Drumline Encore Performance










"Little Drummer Boy" - Celtic Women


It's all Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. Period.


Jesus -More than a teacher! More than a prophet!  More than a wise man!
Jesus gives life, hope, and a future by redeeming you to God. He is seated at God's right hand interceding for the saints.  Jesus- Our Spiritual victor!  Our Lord and Savior!


Questions- Why can't God allow sin to go unpunished?
                   Will God allow anyone with unforgiven sin to enter heaven?
                   Why is God concerned about sin?
                   Can you enter heaven without Jesus being your Lord and Savior?
                  

Scripture references:  Hebrews 9:11-28; 10:1-14
                                   2 Corinthians 5:1-21
                                   John 3:1-21; 15:12-13
                                   Romans 5:6-21
                                   Ephesians 2:1-18
                                   Mark 1:11; 7:21-23
                                   Jeremiah 3:7; 17:9
                                   Matthew 17:5
                                   Luke 3:12
                                   2 Peter 1:17
                                   1Thessalonians 5:9-11
                                   Acts 2:22-39; 5:30-32
                                   First chapter in the Book of Revelation, and
                                   Ephesians 1:3-23



Forever praising and honoring what our King and Lord Jesus did for every soul.
                   
        




   


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How do you rate by God's standards?

Lately, reading one of my favorite Christian-based blogs, and a new book, "You Matter More Than You Think", along with studying in my Bible, conversing with God, and listening to my favorite Christian radio station every morning, all I'm learning is resonating godly truths which are settling peacefully within my soul. I've been thinking about God's standards. Since He is 'the Creator', it's His standards, not those of man that matter. God's ways are far above man's ways. God's ways are mysteries to man. But, to those with a ear that will listen, and a heart that will seek the Truth, the Holy Spirit decodes those mysteries. God is ever so clever, so righteous and sovereign. I'm learning God's standards are based upon two truths- Jesus and love. Sometimes, we don't right away understand God's standards. We want to add or subtract from them.  So, God uses teaching methods to stop us in our tracks and then get our attention. Two teaching methods He uses for getting results, happens to be......

 Through pain and suffering, God brings us unto Himself. 

Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com

1. Pain. Yes, most people naturally avoid anything that causes pain at all costs. But, it's through pain where we learn very valuable lessons and receive blessings which mature us spiritually: suffering, afflictions, difficulties, set-backs, and hardships hone us, give us stronger backbones, build our character, and ultimately teach us some lessons in wisdom.  A person who's been sheltered or has experienced little or no pain most likely will be a person who's not able to look too far out of their own world and be immature in their feelings for others and not exhibit or be able to make the wisest choices  You'll probably never in your lifetime experience all the afflictions Paul suffered. He was beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, jailed, he had an eye condition, ,,,,, And it was Paul, by divine inspiration, who penned more New Testament books than anyone else. And to this day, we are still gaining insight, wisdom, and spiritual growth from the lessons learned from his afflictions.


You are so precious that God knows every hair on your head.

Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com


Instead, allow lessons learned from pain, suffering and affliction mature your spirit, deepen your faith, widen your gratitude, and be instrumental in helping you mature into a more humble person. Since you are a precious jewel to God, and in His constant care, He will not abandon you nor forsake you, nor allow more than you can handle.  What He allows to happen is for molding and fashioning you into a more mature Christian. Remember, count it all joy- for it is a blessing and for your spiritual well-being.

Question- Why must it take 'pain' in order to learn valuable spiritual lessons?
Answer-  Because we are stubborn, hard-headed, selfish, greedy, and we're looking at life through fleshly eyes, we're living for the moment, and we're focusing on temporal things rather than eternal things which really matter.

2. And, tough love. You've heard the term, "tough love". Tough love is the courage to take action to love someone enough by stepping in and not allowing your loved one to continue on their path of harm and destruction. You love them to stop them from hurting themselves. Love wants what is best for a person. Love, is action and when demonstrated with the right motive and intention, never fails.  In all you do, do it in love. Stop thinking only of yourself and learn to love unselfishly.  Jesus showed His love by dying on the Cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins. Love extends even to your enemies and the unlovable.


Photo credit: clarita from morguefile.com
 
And, in the spirit of love, extending your heart to seeing to the needs of others, and taking attention off of yourself, you're showing to that person the love of God. In return, you'll receive God's love back, and so much more. God can never be out-given. It was 'Love' embodied in the body of Jesus who hung and died painfully on the Cross. Love prevails, and the 'good' attained is far greater than the pain. He arose, and is in heaven interceding between heaven and earth for the saints!

God is Spirit. It's more important to invest heavier on the growth of your 'inner man' rather than your 'outer earthen vessel' which will die.  Placing more emphasis on the growth and beauty of your 'inner spiritual man' will give eternal dividends and rewards. This is the 'true, and real, You', created to exist through all eternity, never to die. You chose where the real you is going to reside. If you made the choice to accept God's gift of Jesus into your heart, your spirit will be heaven-bound. 


Photo credit: phillwatson from morguefile.com

This very moment your spirit can become awakened, renewed, strengthened and more fashioned into the image of Christ. The transformation is set into being the very moment you accept the Lord as your Savior. You may not feel any differently, but you are spiritually transformed into a new creation, one with a spirit that is alive, not dead.  Your spirit becomes awakened and sensitive to the proddings of the Holy Spirit. But, we remain trapped in our earthly bodies, and most times a constant conflict is going on between what the flesh desires against what our spirit desires. This is when those painful experiences are needed to get the flesh to back down, so we can stop, listen, and obey what the Holy Spirit is communicating to our spirit- this is sanctification, which is spiritual maturing and growth. Remember, tidal waves of temptations in this world pull strong and hard at getting your eyes, your attention, and your focus off godly things to prevent you from being still and listening to that small, still voice of the Holy Spirit.  If you trust God through the afflictions and the pain, spiritual lessons learned will be invaluable in your spiritual growth, which is what God is most concerned about.

But, if you're not willing to listen, nor are your desires for the things of God, you're allowed to continue down the path of your choice. God never forces anyone to go against their will. If you're against the things of God, God allows you that choice. But the destination you will meet will be your spiritual death. Nor will God stop the from sun shining upon you, nor your food supply, nor shelter, or air, etc. while you're still breathing. God will love you until your last breath, then you will not be able to change the destination you've chosen for yourself. Turning you back against God, means you can look forward to your spirit existing in a dark and unloving place, never to leave it. You'll be eternally wishing that you'd made a different choice.

In eternity, it will not matter how beautiful your face or hair was, or if you were born in the lowest cast or an influential, wealthy family.  It won't matter if you were short or tall.  It won't matter if you were a handsome prince, or a homely plumber, or if you'd been on the 'A' list, or not on any list at all.  For eternity, you will exist as a spirit-being designed to live eternally. The only thing that will matter is did you ask Jesus into your heart, effectively called your 'second birth', making your spirit alive and qualifying you to receive the promises to all heirs in the family of God.  And, the second thing that will matter is what you did to further the kingdom of God.  This will determine the number of crowns you will have to present to Jesus. So, greater importance should to be placed on the 'healthy status' of your spirit, rather than on your exterior looks or social status.

That is the measure by which you will be rated- What you did using your talents and gifts to further the kingdom of God which God equips you to do that by passing you through trials and afflictions to mold and hone you making you effective for kingdom work.


His standards are measured in 1) Have you invited His Son, Jesus, into your heart, and 2) have you extended the love of Christ outward from your heart to others and point lost souls to Jesus, the Savior, who wants to be your Savior, because through Him is the ONLY WAY your sins can be forgiven.
 




Photo credit: mobinukaem from morguefile.com

God is Spirit, and He is due our spiritual worship which is
       two things- worship Him in spirit and in truth.
     Your spirit must be quickened by the Holy Spirit by
inviting God's Son, Jesus, the Christ, into your heart. Then,
 a supernatural, spiritual transformation occurs within you.
                                It's a God thing.
 
What does it mean to be saved? 

Wanna stop being an enemy of God and become at peace with God?  (Romans 5:10 )

This video shows how you can pray to get saved today.





God's standards are love. And that 'love' was extended to 
every man, woman and child through Jesus.

So, how do you rate according to God's standards?
             Get Jesus for an excellent rating!


Scripture references- Matthew 10:30
                                   Luke 12:7
                                   Ephesians 3:4; 6:9:  Romans 5:10; 8:17-18; 8:29; 16:25
                                   1 Corinthians 2:7; 12:2; 13:2; 14:2
                                   Colossians 1:24
                                   Job 11:7; 37:5
                                   entire books of Daniel, 1Peter, and 2 Timothy


REVIEW  God's standards are ---------------------------Jesus, and love.
                God sometimes teaches us through-------Pain and 'tough' love
             What's important in eternity?------------------Accepting Jesus as your Savior, which ia the way to spiritual re-birth, and then showing the Love that lives within your heart to others, pointing them to Jesus, so they can personally know and choose Jesus as their Savior.
               How do you worship God--------------------In your heart,with your spirit, and in truth.
                                       Remember, GOD IS SPIRIT

                                                           
Until next time,  I remain on the narrow, but brightly lit path, enduring day by day, until I
I'm in the presence of my loving Savior's glorious face.