Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do You Transition?

Heart Pours Forth
Do You Transition?

            Some people never transition from “I have to keep the law to be considered good and worthy of Jesus’ salvation” to “His grace is sufficient for me.” 

            The first attitude keeps score for themselves (and others). The latter attitude says “I will never be good enough. I will always fail because sin lives inside me, but because I have accepted Jesus, I appear righteous and perfect because of Jesus’ blood covered my sins. I will treat others as God’s children too.”

There is a very fine line between these two concepts and the key is MOTIVATION. What motivates you to do good deeds and live right? Is it the “I have to follow the rules” attitude or is it “I love Jesus and others” attitude?

People of both motives may look and act just alike, but their heart—the why—is very different. The why is what God sees. We cannot see the why for other people. We cannot judge their motives. Prov 16:2; James 4:11-12.

Life example: If you see a man on the street with a sign reading, “I’m hungry!” What do you automatically think? (Be honest before you read further.)

1) The Law Follower thinks:  He is not worth it. He does not contribute to society. He just wants hand-outs for nothing. He will just spend what he gets on the wrong things (cigarettes, alcohol). I’m not going to contribute to that. Workers deserve their wage and he is not working (Luke 10:7).

2) The Love, Heart for Jesus Follower thinks: I will grab a couple of dollars and tell him Jesus loves him. I will buy him a hamburger. I will tell him to use the gift wisely and allow God to judge me and him.

What category do you find yourself in?

After hearing our preacher, Michael Lum’s lesson, I’ve learned there is another way to transition too. We can transition into a free life with Jesus Christ or stay in our life of bondage.

You may be saying, “I am not in bondage or a slave to anything.” You are free to make choices, but have you made these choices?

1) Have you made the decision to forgive someone? If not, you are a slave to unforgiveness. Transition from unforgiveness to forgiveness.

2) Are you a slave to your past? Do you blame your parents and wish they had not raised you like they did. Do you feel like their upbringing contributes to your emotional unstability or unability not to trust? Transition from blame to breaking the pattern and effect it had on your life. Learn from it and do not repeat it.
3) Are you timid and enslaved I fear? Do you fear teaching a class, leading a prayer, asking a question or answering one, sharing Jesus to a stranget? Are you worried what people will think? You are wonderfully and perfectly made right down to your personality (Ps 139:14). If you do not believe it, you have big problems. You don’t believe GOD, you don’t trust Him and you make him out to be a lier. You don’t believe God can help you with your timidity because you think, “That is the way I am.” We all have things to overcome. Timidity is one of them. Transition from timidity to freedom and confidence with boldness God supplies to those who ask (2 Tim 1:7) (Heb 4:16).

4) Are you a slave to your desire to wanting the next new updated thing? Several times a year they come out with the new phone, gaming system, ipod, ipad, itouch. When do istop? This could apply to cars, jewelry, clothes, kitchen gadgets, shoes etc. Transition from the bondage for “I want” to the freedom of contentment.

To transition means to move. You can’t change by doing what you have always done. Do something different. It may be hard at first, but trust God for strength (1 Cor 13:10)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Going Deeper Causes Sadness

I've decided that as I mature with Christ and go deeper into his Word, I get sadder. As I have gotten deeper into a relationship with Christ I have become increasingly more aware of people around me.  More and more I think of others  instead of myself.  More and more life becomes less about me and more about the lives of others. The sadness comes when the people around me are hurting. When the people I love are miserable, I am miserable with them. Sometimes it is bad choices, sometimes it is an illness that they have no control over. But, seeing the people I care about hurting makes me hurt, too. Lately, even seeing people I don't know hurting, hurts me too.

Here is a list of Satan's footholds that make people miserable whether they know it or not. These things keep them in bondage, tangled up and bound to Satan's schemes me:
Loved ones who do not believe that Jesus is the Savior.
Marriages in turmoil.
Christians who hold onto anger and bitterness and think they have the right to not forgive.
People who do not hold God in high regard in their speech and actions.
People who quit (whatever) and do not press through to the blessings on the other side.
People who follow whims and the changing tide-- not stable in what they do.
Action do not match words.
People who are selfish and don't think of another's point of view.

At times I am guilty of all of these, too. Thank the Lord for mercy and grace. I want what He has promised, not what I deserve.

I could choose to focus on my life, my circumstances, my needs and wants. It might make me hurt less if I were to do that. But, I choose to be concerned about others and go out of my way to help them. I choose to continually pray for them. I could say I don't have time because  'out of sight it out of mind'  right? But Christ did not do that to me, he will not do that to me. He will intercede for me through all my shenanigans just as I will for others.

Even though I am sad Satan has a foothold in those around me (in area of my life too),  I also have a deep well of joy. I have joy in every situation (even bad ones) because I know God will use all things for good.  My prayer life has become stronger, deeper, and more frequent.  I have become more forgiving and sympathetic to the situations people find them selves in. I trust in God more and more because I know and see Satan attack the  'weak-in-faith' and I know God conquers all.  I read and study more.

Studying makes scripture fresh on my mind and during situations, scripture pops into my head. Here is a list of scripture that 'popped' in my head as I typed this:

Prov. 24:32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.

Matthew 6:14 If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Romans 12:10 Honor others above yourself.

Phil 2:3 Consider others better than yourself.

Eph 4:27 Do not give Satan a foothold.

Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through him who loves us.

Heb 10:35 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.