God Makes His Home With You

belonging_ducks excluded

Come on now, we’ve all felt like the odd-man out. We’ve all felt like we didn’t know the secret handshake. We’ve all felt left out. But I promise you, there is a place where you belong.

There is a home for you with Jesus.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” – John 14:23

Don’t just skim over that: the God of heaven & earth and His Son, Jesus the Christ will make their home with you. That seems pretty substantial. Give it some serious thought.

Your heart is God’s. He made it. Return it to Him. He doesn’t exclude you. He invites you. He meets you where you are and elevates you. Turn from your former life and run to the Savior. Keep His word. Be changed from the inside out.

  •  There is no need to go it alone.
  • There is no need to stay out in the cold.
  • The wolves are coming.

17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted & grounded in love, – Eph. 3:17

There is a place you belong. There is a home for you with the Lord.

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Inspired by X Ambassadors, “Home.”

What If It Were Illegal To Be A Christian?

trial-by-jury-730x365If it were against the law to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence in your life to arrest you?

Or would you be released with a warning?!

Is there fruit in your life that Jesus is your Lord? Is there hard evidence that you are a follower? Would your life convict you? Are you convicted right now? (See what I did there?)

Christian-ese would be: Is there proof in keeping with repentance (Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20)? Would your case be thrown out due to lack of proof!

How hard would the prosecutor have to look for clues of your Christianity? How many witnesses would have to take the stand to corroborate your faith? How long would the jury have to deliberate; a week? a day? an hour?

Testimonies are crucial. They can sometimes sway the jury. What would yours do?

  • Would there be a smoking gun so to speak?
  • Would you have been caught red-handed?
  • Would there be an acquittal (insufficient evidence)?
  • Would you be charged with a misdemeanor (jail time), a felony (serious jail time), or a capital offense (death penalty)?

Finally, it all comes down to this: The verdict. Are you guilty or innocent of being a Christian? I would want to be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, wouldn’t you? Then what are you waiting for? Start leaving behind evidence!

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Like Kids Playing in the Street

icy street 2

The road in front of our house was nothing but ice, so of course Charlotte wanted to go ice skating on it. We were crossing the street & she stopped to play around. I let her do that for a little while, but then I told her to come in. Like any other kid, I had to tell her multiple times before it got through that I was actually serious. Eventually, I had to go get her. For some reason this was all a great surprise to her & she appropriately made a big fuss.

Here’s what WAS going through my head:

  • She’s going to fall on that ice & get hurt.
  • She’s little, so any car coming might not see her.
  • Its icy, so any car coming may have a hard time stopping.
  • It’s cold out here & warm in the house.
  • I have hot chocolate inside ready for her.

Here’s what was NOT going through my head:

  • I don’t want her to have fun.

Someone who has not accepted Jesus, is like that kid playing in the street. There are cars coming. There is ice everywhere. The sun is going down & it is getting dark.

Love isn’t sitting complicit as they are play. Love is warning them to get out!

Of course, we can’t physically go get people out of the street like I did with Charlotte. We lovingly tell them the truth (Eph. 4:15). We tell them how warm the house is & what a wonderful feast there is inside (Isa. 25:6). We tell them how we also used to play in the street until our Father beckoned us safely away (Luke 15:32). We pray that message pierces their hearts as it did ours (Acts 2:37). But then, it is up to them to turn away from the street & to the Father (Deut. 30:19).

You know what? I did go over there & ice skate with Lovey. Sorta. I held her hands as she scooted across the ice. I walked along beside her & held her up. She slipped a few times, but I never let her fall. I just reassured her, “I got you. I got you. Don’t worry.”

Then after a bit, I carried her inside & we had hot chocolate. God will meet you where you are & if you let Him, He will walk along beside you & hold you up. When you slip, He will never let you fall.

He has you (Isa. 49:16). He has you (Heb. 13:5). Don’t worry (Phil. 4:6).

If this blessed you, please like & share!

Be Good-different, Not Bad-different

knight-with-laptop-e1497285485967Doing the legwork for a series on the Holy Spirit, I started by looking up what “holy” & “Spirit” even mean in the first place. (That is just the way my brain works.) Well, I didn’t get very far before I was floored by Yahweh’s unfathomable awesomeness. In fact, I didn’t get past the word holy.

Holy (hágios) means different or otherness.

Great, now I am different and one of the “Others.” (Lost fans unite!) The core meaning of hágios is “different.” [Thus a temple in the 1st century was hágios (“holy”) because it was different from other buildings (Wm. Barclay).]

So, its OK to be different! In fact, we are supposed to be different! Peter goes as far as to say we are “a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9, KJV). [And some are more peculiar than others, can I get an Amen?]

Now, slow down. Let me add a little proviso before you go all bananas & let your freak flag fly.

We are to be good-different. You know, like: “He’s different.” “Ok… is he good-different, or bad-different?” We are not different in the sense that we literally wear shiny battle armor like a knight to work every morning (Eph. 6:10-18). That would be bad-different… and you know, super-weird.

No, we should be good-different. As in, the world says “nobody thinks you should be married before you live together anymore.” We say “Yo! Over here! Us. We do!” That’s being different in a good way. [1 COR. 7, EPH 5, 1 PETER 3, & 2 COR. 6:14-15]

Hágios implies something “set apart” and therefore “different” because it is special to the Lord. For the believer hágios means “different from the world” because of “”likeness with the Lord.”

We are different from the world (Rom. 12:2, Prov. 1:15, 1 John 2:15-17, etc.) because we are like our Lord. Which leads me to one of my all-time favorite verses:

As He is, so are we in this world! – I John 4:17

Ok, now you can go nuts. Be hágios because He is hágios (1 Peter 1:16). Be good-different for the Lord. Be peculiar.


Ref:

Hágios

God’s design for marriage

The Others

Healthy Verse for the New Year

Got your verse for the new year:

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you – Matt. 5:44

Just imagine if everyone embraced it.
Yours in Christ

Jesus Makes All the Difference

Metamorphosis

The Pharisees said, “If you change, you can join us.”

Jesus said, “You can join Me. You will be changed.”

That’s a big difference.

May God’s Love be with you

Jesus is the Common Denominator 

I constantly say the wrong thing. I consistently am weak when I ought to be strong. I have no power to speak of. However, I take great comfort and confidence in the common denominator of the following 2 verses:

(My wife would be so proud of that Math term!)

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts – Zech. 4:6

And:

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, – 1 Cor. 2:4

It’s God’s gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers us. Anything we do that is even moderately successful is just a small demonstration of this power. When I mess up (which is often), it is because I am relying on my own strength and power (which we already established is dreadfully deficient). Relying on the Lord and the Holy Spirit dramatically increases the successful outcome of any situation.
If you are facing a crisis and feel overwhelmed, take comfort in the knowledge that a child of God can rely on the power that Zechariah and Paul relied on. It wasn’t their own, I can tell you that much. It was the power of the Spirit!
Not a child of God? He’s just waiting to adopt you! He’s got the paperwork ready. He’s got the car outside running. Sprint out of that orphanage into the mansion!
You can take that one all the way to the bank.
Do me a favor and chew on this “solid food” (1 Cor. 3:2):

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. -Rom. 8:11

We sort of gloss over that verse, but it’s implications are crazy amazing: resurrection power resides in us! Is there anything more incredible? The power to raise the dead? Dwelling in our bones? Come on, now!
Imagine if we really believed that.