We’ve got it Backwards

Not long ago I wrote a post called, Has The Church Become a Modern Israel?, in which I talked about similarities that I had noticed between modern Christians and the Israelites. The main similarity being our dependence on our ability to do what we’re supposed to do and other ways in which we have seemed to forget the cross and its life altering meaning.

Recently I listened to a sermon by Pastor Joseph Prince in which he talked about the way we usually teach or view our Christianity. We tend to say (or if not say, act like) we need to stop being lazy (or sinful, or tempted, or lost, or confused, or weak, or some other condemning thing) and start following Christ and doing what he says. If we do that we will be loving Christ and we will have peace knowing that we are finishing his work on the earth.

This is how Christianity is so often thought of! We are sinful and so we need to start doing things right! That’s when we start getting the perks. That’s when we become real, good Christians. We quote verses like “Do you love me?” (John 21:16) and “come and follow me” (Matthew 4:19) and “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) to condemn ourselves further and draw the requirements out of us.

According to the bible we have it all backwards.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he shouted, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30)

He finished his life work right then and there. He doesn’t have some need for us to do anymore work on that front. The whole point of his coming was that we couldn’t save ourselves.

After his death he appeared to his disciples in the upper room and said, “PEACE BE TO YOU.” (John 20:19)

What did they have to cause them peace? The finished work of Christ. Christ calls us to rest in him. To be sure of his grace, to be sure of his salvation, to be sure of his love for us.

After his disciples found that peace he asked, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” (John 21:17)

Why then? Why after they’d found his peace? Because he loved us first. “We love because Christ first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We would be unable to love him if we didn’t see anything in him to love and if we didn’t trust him. All Christ wants us to do is look at him and to his finished work on the cross. That is how we love him. We declare his goodness and his greatness by resting in him.

After the disciples said they loved him he said, “FOLLOW ME!” (John 21:19)

It goes from Grace to Works, not from Works to Grace.

The point of the old testament, the point of the ten commandments, the point of the cross was to show that we couldn’t be good enough alone and that we could never deserve the free gift of love that God was giving to us, so why do we keep trying?

Why do we continue to strive?

Why do we still find ourselves filled with guilt and condemnation and confusion and sin?

More importantly how do we stop?

That is what I will discuss next time in the context of Isaiah 2-4

May God bless you with an inability to forget the cross.

I love you,

Deanna ❤

Advertisements

Has The Church Become a Modern Israel?

Have you ever wondered what the heart of God really is?

Have you begun to question the status of your Christianity?

Have you begun to question your ability to live up to snuff?

Do you feel lazy, like your life is just going through the motions?

Have you ever felt as if you are not doing enough?

I used to feel that way all of the time. I was overwhelmed by guilt and restlessness. I was always concerned with what I was doing, how pure my heart was, how sinless I was remaining. My prayers typically consisted of apologies and begging God to show me what to do. It wasn’t out of love, but out of a desperation to be accepted, valuable, good.

I think every human being has these innate desires.

These desires are not wrong.

What can be wrong is how we seek their fulfillment.

Why did God send, “his only begotten son”? Why did Jesus die?

Think back to the Israelites.

They are described as the apple of God’s eye, as his precious jewel. They were HIS. He cherished them infinitely, he protected them relentlessly and forgave them countless times. We look back at that nation and laugh at their foolishness in Church services all the time. They had everything, but lived as if they had nothing, or like they had to earn what they’d been given.

Recently I was reading Isaiah 1, which is basically a synopsis of how much the Israelites had it wrong, how often they turned away from their loving God and how awful that distance they created was for them. It talks about how much it hurts the Father’s heart to see his people going astray. It talked about their dependence on works, on doing everything right and how very often they would fail, but never recognize those failures.

While I was reading I realized how very like the Israelites modern Christians and the modern church have become. Do we want our generation to be the new Israel, a generation of ineffective wanderers? We don’t have time to wander for forty years in the wilderness of confusion and self-preservation. Jesus is coming back soon. The signs Jesus warned of are there with more on the way in the near future.

This isn’t meant to be a condemnation or a guilt trip. I am only asking us to look deep inside, to question what our Christianity has become. I would ask you to read over Isaiah 1 and see if indeed you come to the same realization I did, then study the life and the death of our savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Think hard about this and its implications. If we continue on this path what, if anything, will happen? What does this mean for our generation and for us as a people under the blood of Jesus? Take the time to listen for God’s voice in this matter. I can’t judge your life. That is between you and God. Where do you stand?

I’ll be back soon with more on this topic, with what I think God is saying we ought to do from this place of dependence on self to get back to dependence on him. From Works to Grace.

Much love,

Deanna.

Transparency <3

“How do you begin a story that trapped inside of you – blaringly alive yet trapped all the same?

“How do you bring into words that swirling vortex of thought and emotion that no mortal man can untangle or even begin to understand?

And even if – by some miracle – you could bring out the words in one clear straight line for that one man to hear who says you’ll have the courage to say them aloud or even believe in them yourself?

You’ve waited your whole life for this one man – this one moment – but not in a thousand years would you be prepared enough to even whisper these feelings in a dark room all on you own and yet you must reveal them all or else you’ll burst, broken into a million pieces.

I have found the only outlet for such things is the written page, the supposed fiction that have become our bed-time stories: Fairy tales may not be tales at all.” – from a work in progress.

fairy

Here I am.

It’s the first day of February and I’m wearing this months heart necklace. I sit here in front of the computer screen fingering my purity ring – just thinking.

I have something inside of me that I want to let seep through the cracks, something sweet and nostalgic – a new reflection of something with which I’m familiar – but the reflection is still blurred on one side – this glass still needs cleaned. It’s not yet polished for the world to see, or even those with whom I want to share it the most.

It feels as if God is an author in the midst of a great work. Like he is writing and editing my story. Like he’s tweeking this partiular chapter to perfection. Setting each character in the plot just where they should be and ever developing me into a deeper and deeper person.

So even though I’m ready to shout this from the mountain tops (or at least whisper it aloud in a quiet room); even though I’m ready to take the next step I can hear The Author saying, “Wait. Let me write it, edit it and publish it. This is my project – my masterpiece – and someday you will get to show it to the world, but not yet.” So even though I want to be transparent as a writer should be – as my friend Jayne or Abby or my pastors – I can’t be. Not in this sentence, or this paragraph, maybe not even on this page.

For now I will sit and wait looking into the eyes of The Perfect Author – the one who knows the beginning and end of this tale. For now I will write and write true, though for a while it may be in allegory or abstract design.

For Now I Will Wait.

One Day I sat beside

A wall of climbing flowers

ever reaching toward the sun

all their waking hours.

I wondered, ‘Am I like them?

Making every second a glory

to the maker of this planet?

Do I make the conscious choice

to continually be growing?

or do I fade away as if

He’d never done the sowing?

Do I try to follow

Him in all His ways?

or do I prefer to sit

and think within the shade?’

Life is not all about

everything we think

but rather it is about

what we believe

and where that leads our feet

So that day I chose

not to just sit anymore

to be done with thinking

whats to come next morn

And rather to walk a path

that down which I know

He’s waiting with arms open

and smile all aglow.” ❤ 

Love,

Deanna ❤

 

 

Sometimes Its hard, but we’ve got to keep moving!

Haven’t you ever felt just totally drained? Like you had no more strength left? Like you were totally worn out and beyond any possible amount of help? Like you might as well give up?

Well Joyce Meyer on her Tv show Friday January 18th was speaking on the same subject and this is what she had to say about it, “dont give up… PUSH!”

Thats alittle odd isnt it?

Well not after she placed it in context. She used the verse 1 John 3:9 in amplified version. It states two principles.

1. When you are born again you cannot decide to sin on a regular basis.

“No one born (begotten) of God [delibrately, knowingly and habitually] practices sin…”

Sure we all will continue to mess up and that’s why we’ve got Jesus, but everyday we become more like God. Joyce Meyers put it this way, “I used to habitually pratice sin and every now and then I’d slip up and do right! Now I habitually do right and every now and then I’ll unknowingly slip up and do wrong!… And I believe that a year from now I’ll be doing less wrong than I do now, but still enough wrong that I’ll still need Jesus! Amen?”

Amen! We are freed from the BONDAGE of sin and are IN the GRACE of a God who transforms us more and more the more we know of Him.

2. We have God’s essence growing in us!

“… God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permenatly within him];…”

This is where Joyce Meyers call to “PUSH” makes more sense. We all have a spirit within us and when we are born again not just the mirical of salvation occurs, but another mirical as well. GOD PLANTS A SEED OF ALL HE IS INSIDE OF US! That means our spirits are literally pregnant with, love, joy,peace, patience, gentleness, kindness and self control. God’s essence is inside of us waiting to burst forth.

But that – just like a real pregnancy – takes time. It takes time for us to transform, it takes time to nurture the seed. And oftentimes it take sooo long that we feel like nothing is ever going to happen. That’s why we lose faith in God’s promises concerning us and our ways and our lives and become insecure.

But Joyce Meyer and GOD HIMSELF is calling us to keep moving! Keep nuturing the seed by reading the bible and praying and don’t let mistakes discourage you because sometimes when its the hardest, and you feel beyond hope that just means its time to “PUSH” you are about to give birth to the essence of God in your life. You are on the verge of producing fruit that will change the world!

So I will echo the words of Joyce Meyer to myself and you saying, “do not give up, PUSH!”

Love,

Deanna ❤

Ps. Go to http://www.joycemeyer.org/ and click the buttom “broadcasts” to watch the broadcast mentioned in this post and more! 🙂

 

Dear Readers.

I realize I’ve put up alot of posts this week and they may not have all been entirely relevant to your situation, but I hope you read something that sparked a curiosity for God and His ways. Jesus said for us to “believe like a child” and children get excited and curious!

If you saw anything anywhere this week that brought up a revelation or a question about God I would love to hear it in the comments below before 4pm on Sunday January 13. At that point I will create a post surrounding some of those comments.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Deanna ❤