I have the great joy of being quite busy in ministry during this next week and week-end so if I do not post again for a bit -- that is why. Just a bit overwhelmed right now. I so appreciate your comments. Some of you write them; those of you who know me personally usually just let me know when you see me. Thank you for reading and come back soon.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
This is just one of the many, many blooms from my Azeliea plant my daughter gave me for Mother's Day. It is a beautiful plant. What is so amazing is the detail in design and color in each one of the little blooms. How great is our God! He has created such absolutely beautiful things both in tiny expressions and in large expressions. I am constantly amazed, and the older I grow it just continues to impress me over and over again of His great love for each one of us. He lets us live in such a beautifully created world. It is absolutely amazing to me that He, being the great God He is, has such love for me.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Sunday Morning Session of our Spring Conference was spent in the understanding of "Glory." We have been working with the theme, "I have come to bring life..." and as we worked with the various themes it was a discovery of the kind or type of life the Lord Jesus Christ has brought to us.
We are very familiar with Isaiah 42:8 where the Lord states, "I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another." (TNIV) We have heard sermon after sermon on how we must not steal the Lord's glory and that always makes us "feel" really good (or bad -- depending). However, there is a scripture that is in a very famous chapter that either is overlooked or not believed or both.
John 17:20-23 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me that they may be one as we are one -- I in them and you in me-- so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (TNIV)
In our Lord's High Priestly prayer He clearly stated that He has given His glory (the glory the Father had given Him) to those who follow Him. We have been given the glory of God. We have become through His action in us -- His glory! 2 Corinthians 3:18 states that as we behold the image of the Lord we are transformed from glory to glory. How have we missed this aspect of His gifting? In the passage above it also states that this is part of the unity of being one with the Lord and with the Father. The glory was given so we would be one in Him as He is in us.
When we receive the Lord, we become one with Him and with one another. The Father answered Jesus' prayer for unity when He poured out the Holy Spirit on the church on the day of Pentecost. How have we missed it? The life He came to bring is a life of the glory of God, the empowering of God, the breath of God and the love of God. We are one in His glory. It is accomplished in the new birth. Our God is an awesome God!
Friday, May 09, 2008
This is another picture taken in my neighbor's back yard. I have done enough gardening to know this is a lot of very hard work. I know you will enjoy the photo as much as I do. The reality is even richer.
The Second session in our recent conference was taught by my daughter, Lauren. Lauren is a very fine Bible teacher and continues to amaze me as she grows in our Lord Jesus. She is in full-time ministry and working on credentials through her denomination. Our theme (as state below) was "I Have Come to Bring Life..."and we spent our time discovering what kind of life the Lord Jesus has brought to us. She worked the theme: He has brought us a life of Zeal. It was wonderfully done, and I have asked her to write a summary for us. When I get that, I will share it with you. In the meantime, below is another summary of my 2nd session.
There are (were) two primary scriptures worked. The first is Matthew 6:17 where Jesus tells Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven." As I have studied this passage the ramifications of its truth have been astounding to me. Even though Peter had walked with the Lord for almost 3 years, yet he had not understood that Jesus was the Messiah of God until the Father supernaturally revealed that fact to him. This is awesome. It means we believe because of a supernatural insight that Jesus is who He says He is. All the preaching and teaching in the world by me or anyone else will not reveal what needs to be revealed in the heart unless the Holy Spirit uses that preaching/teaching to illuminate another heart. We walk in a supernatural way. To teach the Word is to enter the realm of the supernatural and to interrelate with the Holy Spirit in such a way that the truths of God can be perceived through the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind of another person.
We have argued in the church over what is the "rock" that Jesus builds His church upon. Most of us in a Protestant expression believe that "rock" is the confession that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God! I believe this is true. However, I believe we have missed a part of that confession. If the confession is not the result of a Holy Spirit revelation in the heart of an individual, then we do not have a Christian. Oh we may well have someone who doesn't want hell to be eternity, or some other reason, but if the conversion is a matter of reason and logic, we probably have someone who will quickly fall away from the central issues. To truly have a believer, we must have the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Along with this, in Ephesians 1:17, Paul begins a pray for the people asking "... that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better." After enumerating many spiritual blessings that we have automatically in the Lord Jesus, he then prays for them to have a special relationship with the Holy Spirit so they can receive wisdom and revelation (beyond what he has written), so they can know the Father better. I am stunned. It is the Holy Spirit through the Word who will instruct our hearts in the nature and focus of the Father. It is really a supernatural occurrence to know Him and then to know Him better.
We have been birthed (again) supernaturally, and the only way we grow in Him is supernaturally -- all through the agency and work of the Holy Spirit. Lord help us allow you to illuminate your own Word so we may truly see and know you more and more!