Letting go

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to “let go.” But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.

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What Jesus do you introduce to the world?

It is clear that our purpose in life is to give the people we encounter an opportunity to see what the real Jesus is like.
When we get real with ourselves, we have to admit that too often they see anything but Jesus in the way we live. Using others for our own advantage, being quick to judge and to speak poorly of others, and refusing to forgive make us just like the next guy. When others notice our “all about us” attitudes, any thought that we bear a resemblance to the real Jesus who came not to be served but to serve is “tarnished” by our obsession with ourselves. Why is it that we are prone to manifest as much greed, anger, aggressiveness, and sensuality as the average pagan? 
While we appropriately lift a prophetic voice against moral ills such as abortion and homosexual behavior, we are strangely silent on issues that touched the heart of Christ: poverty, oppression, and injustice.
Apart from our activities on Sunday and our conformity to external codes of do’s and don’ts, the world doesn’t notice much difference. All they are left to see in Christianity is the loss of a day of leisure on the weekend and the denial of common pleasures. Few people find that kind of Christianity compelling.

To stay in shape, What can you do to let the reality of Jesus clearly show up in your life?

-author unknown to me

Examination

Christendom is a society of people who call themselves Christians because they occupy themselves with obtaining information about those who a long time ago submitted themselves to Christ’s examination – spiritlessly forgetting that they themselves are up for examination.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Choose This Day…

Each person must choose between God and the world, God and mammon. This is the eternal, unchangeable condition of choice that can never be evaded – no, never in all eternity. No one can say, “God and the world, they are not, after all, so absolutely different. One can combine them both in one choice.” This is to refrain from choosing. When there is a choice between two, then to want to choose both is just to shrink from the choice “to one’s own destruction” (Heb. 10:39) No one can say, “one can choose a little mammon and also God as well.” No, it is presumptuous ridicule of God if someone thinks that only the person who desires great wealth chooses mammon. Alas, the person who insists on having a penny without God, wants to have a penny all for himself. He thereby chooses mammon. A penny is enough, the choice is made, he has chosen mammon: that it is little makes not the slightest difference.

The love of God is hatred of the world and love of the world he hatred of God. This is the colossal point of contention, either love or hate. This is the place where the most terrible fight must be fought. And where is this place? In a person’s innermost being. Whether the struggle is over millions or over a penny it is a matter of loving and preferring God – the most terrible fight is the struggle for the highest. What immeasurable happiness is promised to the one who rightly chooses. If anyone is unable to understand this, the reason is that he is unwilling to accept that God is present in the moment of choice, not in order to watch but in order to be chosen. Therefore, each person must choose. Terrible is the battle, in a person’s innermost being, between God and the world. The crowning risk involved lies in the possession of choice.

-Soren Kierkegaard, in “Provocations” (A free download to Kindle at this link or to order… well worth it.)

Response to the Word

Men and women who read and study the Scriptures for their literary beauty alone have missed the whole purpose for which they were given.

God’s Word is not to be enjoyed as one might “enjoy” a Beethoven symphony or a poem by Wordsworth.

The reason: The Bible demands immediate action, faith, surrender, committal. Until it has secured these, it has done nothing positive for the reader, but it has increased his responsibility and deepened the judgement that must follow.

The Bible was called forth by the fall of man. It is a voice of God calling men home from the wilds of sin; it is a road map for returning prodigals. It is instruction in righteousness, light in darkness, information about God and man and life and death and heaven and hell.

Further, the destiny of each individual depends upon the response to that Voice in the Word!
– A.W. Tozer

The word of God is… sharper than any two edged sword. – Hebrews 4:12

What does it MEAN to “BELIEVE”? … a little story

Painting by Dominic Davison

Brilliant Painting by Dominic Davison

You are on the side of lake and behind you the forest is burning. You have stockpiled canned food and your little house has been with you since the beginning. You know this lake like the back of your hand, its all you have known. The fire, in your opinion, is still a long way off. And although some have said it will come your way, in your heart you are doubtful any time soon, and why trouble yourself with tomorrow’s issues when you’re just fine today.

But then, Jesus comes knocking at your door and says he has come a long way, just for you, in order to save you and take you to a place where you’ll always have more then enough, a view that far surpasses whatever you’ve thought possible. On top of all of that, He, who fashioned and made your soul, will walk with you and love you and BE with you forever hereafter… IF you’ll come with him.

“Well…” you ask, “What do you MEAN by “come with you?”, what will that entail for my life HERE?”

He then lets you know that if you remain here you will surely die. The fires will come and you won’t have a way of escape. I’ve found the ONLY way to LIFE – and its through ME. “Do you BELIEVE that I am just what I say I am? Do you BELIEVE that I can SAVE you?”

You know, in your heart… that YES! He can DO just what he says he can do. “Yes, I Believe in you Jesus.” you tell him.

“Then Come! Now. With Me. You will have to TRUST me every step of the way. I will be your guide and give you that which you need every leg of the journey. It won’t be easy and people won’t  understand your leaving with me. But don’t worry about this and don’t fret. Understand, from this day forward of following me, you’ll not have any idea what is around the next bend – but again, be assured I will be with you always. Follow me.”

“What? Right now? Follow you?” you chuckle with dumbstruck laughter. But… He’s not laughing… no, He seems ready to head out now.  “Um… Can’t you come when the fire becomes more of an issue? I got all my gear, my homestead and this year’s fishing competition – which I’m sure to win. …You understand. I DO LOVE you and TRUST you  and KNOW that you care SOO deeply for me. Lord, know that I will build your reputation amongst these people here. Heck, you need someone here. Sort of… like an ambassador for you. They wouldn’t understand if I left… I mean, …they NEED me here.” and you go on. Thinking that with every justification Jesus will relent with his audacious “beckoning” today, and hopefully come to reason.

“…Believe upon the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”

The “STICK”

measuringStickMan
Pride walks with a MEASURING STICK in hand. 

It is always comparing itself to another. It finds HAPPINESS when it finds someone, to its own perception, that they are taller then, further along from, or greater then (mind you, from its own estimation or by it own comparisons used).

This is the ALL CONSUMING BUSINESS of PRIDE. Pride SWELLS when a successful comparison is made. And while it takes a “Licking” at times when it is shown up, or shown by all measurements to be “Less then” – it continues to LIVE.

Pride also WEARS many COSTUMES.

Depending on the audience at hand it will often adapt. However Pride is dressed, it is still about the same objective and about the same game. It is often seen in “SPIRITUAL” garb –  thats right, halo on the noggin and wings taped on the back. In this role, it first figures out the ground rules (which is to say, it finds out what other PRIDEFUL people deem as successful, or “further along”) and it gets busy.

Humility, on the other hand is quite different… in fact the OPPOSITE of Pride. Humility has thrown away the yardstick and burned the costumes.

Humility doesn’t draw comparisons to others, in fact, Humility DOESN’T PLAY the GAME!

Humility has had a revelation, which has led them to see who they are, not by Pride’s standard, but by God’s. They used to be clothed as Pride, lived as Pride and is acutely aware of Pride’s Way. They have SURRENDERED to God’s Way.

Humility has discovered that its not about where you’ve been, or how much you know as compared to others. Humility now knows that God is pleased when they simply are about the BUSINESS of Being where OTHERS ARE… right there. Its not even the concern of Humility if they “further along”, what matters is walking alongside others where THEY ARE AT. Humility is HAPPY and CONTENT to see others the way God sees them and to be busy about LOVING THEM the Way God Loves them.

In 1 John 1:3 – “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.