There is a great song entitled â€œJust Give Me Jesus.â€ The message in the song is great as long as we are singing about the Jesus of the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that people are great at making gods in their image. This act of idolatry happens today with Jesus.
Many people believe in a Jesus they have created in their image and not the Jesus of the Bible. We can find an excellent example of modern day idol making in the story of Jesus, and the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. Everyone loves the Jesus who said, â€œLet him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.â€ (John 8:7 ESV) That part of the story is compelling because Jesus is standing up for a sinful woman, but it is not all Jesus said to this woman about her sin.
Jesus last words to the Samaritan womanÂ were, â€œfrom now on sin no more.â€ The Jesus of the Bible was not ok with this womanâ€™s sexual immorality. He calls this woman out of her lifestyle of sexual sin and calls her to live from now on for Him. Which Jesus are you worshipping today? Do you believe in a Jesus you created in your image because that Jesus fits better into your lifestyle? Do you believe in a Jesus someone else created in their image or do you believe in the Savior Jesus? Christ as He is found in Godâ€™s Holy Word.
An idol jesus created in your image will not save. Paul compliments the church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 â€œthey themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God… â€œ We need a true and living Savior. What we believe about Jesus Christ will have eternal consequences. Donâ€™t settle for a phony Jesus who cannot save or help or heal. Turn from idols and serve the living and true God as He is presented in the Bible.
Can a believer be both consumed in doubt while holding on to their faith? That’s like asking if a person can remain dry while being doused with water. Fear and uncertainty is a natural way of thinking in a broken world. If we are believers in Christ, we must fight the urge to doubt and stand in faith that God’s perfect will is being done. God bless you.
Jesus said to them, â€œI am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35
When you’re hungry for spiritual things, what better feast than Jesus who is the bread of life? When you thirst for the things of God, what better thirst quencher than Jesus?
God said that man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3b). Â Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is God (John 1:1). We should be feasting on every word that came from Jesus!
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman that whoever should drink of the water he offers would never thirst again. That it’s like a spring that fills you up and continues to fill you even overflowing!
What an awesome Savior! Trust Him. Love Him. He LOVES you!
â€œFor God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.â€â€â€Â 2 Timothyâ€¬ â€1:7â€¬ â€ESVâ€¬â€¬
I have struggled in the area of fear and anxiety for much of my life. As a child, this was exhibited through my intense, vocal fear of storms and tornadoes, to my silent anxiety about something bad happening to those I loved, or my extreme discomfort around people I did not know. As a teenager, I was even referred to as “snotty” once, by a peer, to my sister. I was anxious around a group of my peers and it was received as them thinking I didn’t want to have them as friends. I didn’t know how to calm the nervous feeling…the fear. As an adult, my fear of storms continued, my anxiety over someone I loved being hurt or dying was tenfold once I had children and a husband, and my discomfort around strangers continued. I learned to fake being socially uncomfortable, though, because now, my fear was that, Heaven forbid, someone might think I don’t like them or that I’m “snotty”. Friends, this is a short list, and nowhere near all-encompassing for me. Fear. It’s gross and ugly.
Stick with me, though. There is good news! Over the past several years, God has been working on my heart. Chipping away, at the fears and anxieties that have threatened to control me, and often have. You see, when we settle in to our fears, it does control us, and we are no longer the ones in control. We feel weak and powerless. BUT God… Scripture tells us that the spirit that is given to us, is not a spirit of fear! No, it is a spirit of power and self-control…two things we don’t have when we allow our fear to take hold of us. I still struggle, but I KNOW when I feel that familiar unease begin to rise, that it is not of the Lord. I know that there is more to life than being consumed by my anxieties. I know that God is faithful and good. His promises are true and worth holding onto. When I lean into Him and cast my anxieties on HIM, he carries them, because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I know that the ultimate peace, the one that defies all reason and understanding, comes from Him, alone (Philippians 4:7). When I trust and let go (this is the hard part!), I am free. Then, as I walk in freedom, I also walk in the power of God, through Jesus, and am no longer controlled by my intense fears. I am weak, no longer. Not because of my own strength, but because I can release control to the One who has the power. It’s all about control.
Dear friend, if this speaks to your heart, I encourage you to talk about it with someone! One of the best things for me was vocalizing my anxieties, both to fellow believers, and to God, himself. Rest in God’s faithful promises throughout scripture. Be open to the freedom that God has in store for you. He is waiting.
*As a side note… I flew out of country, to visit a friend last year, all by myself! This was huge for me. And…tomorrow, my husband leaves to serve in Kenya (yes, Africa), for 12 whole days. Honestly, I feel sad that he will be gone, and we will miss him, but my God has graciously carried away my fear and anxiety, which undoubtedly would have been prevalent not long ago. There is hope. This is just the beginning!
Looking back over the last 3 years I can see how God has orchestrated great plans for my family. My heart’s desire, wanted to lead a different story but God prevailed. Looking back, I can see how His plans are better. Be okay with submission to God and trust he knows the plan best.
â€œListen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a personÊ¼s heart, but it is the Lord Ê¼s purpose that prevails.â€
â€â€Proverbsâ€¬ â€19:20-21â€¬ â€NIVâ€¬â€¬
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful!“
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)
Itâ€™s easy, I know. Â There are a lot of things that swirl around in our heads and hearts that give us cause for anxiety, fear, hopelessness, anger et cetera. Â Have you ever thought of a situation or heard a comment and before you know it, you have created this whole scenario (that has not even happened) and you find yourself getting worked up? Â You have conversations in your mind about topics that donâ€™t exist, over situations that may or may not ever happen, with people that are not even in the room with you! Â If left unchecked, your whole disposition and attitude changed, and you probably have spent hours (if not days) worked up over a situation. Â The life that Christ intended for you to have, one filled with joy and peace, has been robbed, leaving you in a total mess. Â Â If we donâ€™t break this cycle with the truth, this type of lifestyle will keep you in a constant state of worry and concern. Â
There are some very practical things you can do to keep this from happening. Â One thing is to recognize that you are letting a spirit of fear, anxiety, worry or â€œinsert name hereâ€ speak to you. Â You have given that â€œstinking enemyâ€ Â a place of authority that Christ paid a price for you to have dominion over. Â Next, Â you have to CHOOSE to Let Peace Rule. Â We would not have been told to let peace rule our heartÂ if this occurred naturally. Â You determine which spirit speaks to your heart and which one has authority over your life. Â You must LET PEACE RULE over you.
Next time you see or hear a scenario that is unhealthyâ€¦.STOP. Â Ask the Spirit of Christ to give you victory and peace over the situation. Â Tell the wrong thoughts to leave you alone! Â Choose to cast down those thoughts that try to exalt themselves over the knowledge of Christ.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. Â
2 Corinthians 10:4-6
Next time, before things get out of hand, choose to LET PEACE RULE YOU…You will be better off and you will be on your way to having peace and joy…
â€œFor everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.â€Â Romans 15:4
As I spent time in the Word this week I was praying for patience in my own life in various aspects. I started looking for verses that might be significant in that subject. I came across many such as Galatians 5:22 describing the fruits of the spirit. Patience is definitely called out as one of them. I just couldnâ€™t make the connection with my own thoughts and was thinking of writing. I admittedly almost called Pastor James and told him I couldnâ€™t align things and that I might take this week off.
Then I found Romans 15:4 which drew a parallel with my thoughts and exactly what I was doing. I was seeking patience, or endurance as this verse calls out, and I was learning and gaining encouragement through Scripture. I needed to look no further. What a proclamation that all that was written (by God through men) is to teach us. Not only teach us but to encourage and strengthen us.
Finally, through all of what was written, we have hope. Hope in an everlasting Savior that only wants for us to endure and be encouraged by His Word knowing that He is that very hope.
Before us, we have the perfect manual, sent to us by our Lord and Savior. It truly is His love letter to us. He wants it to be a source of encouragement to us while we persevere, only that we might have hope in Him.
It ties in directly that we should be patient and endure ourselves in His Word. Always, His Word and Will shall find a way and present it to us for all our needs.
When we begin getting to know people, we’re hesitant to let them in on who we really are. We don’t typically open up and let people see our hurts and struggles, but we want to trust them. When Joseph was thrown in prison, it was because he was accused of behaving inappropriately with Potiphar’s wife, which we know was untrue. However, while he was in prison, the keeper of the prison had no concern for what Joseph was doing, because Joseph was trustworthy. We know, upon reading the surrounding scripture, that Joseph was indeed a trustworthy individual. The keeper sensed it, and had no trust issues with an inmate running things for him.
How do we apply this to us? Well, what type of reputation do you have? Do you have the trust of those around you because of your integrity, or do you have people who hesitate to place trust in you? If you have some situations where you haven’t earned or acquired the trust of those around you, and it’s something you can change, I urge you to make that change. If it’s due to something else, understand that consistent integrity and trustworthiness go a long way in earning that trust that is so valuable.
Today, see how you can improve your trustworthiness by your actions. Explore how you can be an encouragement to those around you who need someone to trust, who need to have that person who speaks life to them.
I was sitting in the car the other day when a song about Jesus came on the radio.
And as I listened to the lyrics for the first time, God really used the song to speak to me. Â God often speaks to me through His Word, but the Holy Spirit can also speak to us through the words of another person, a song,Â or a poem–especially when those words are saturated with biblical truth.
SoÂ as I sat and soaked in the words of “Jesus” by Chris Tomlin,Â my mind was taken toÂ God’s WordÂ toÂ dwell on all that HE IS.
Jesus: the Truth (John 14:16), the Promise (Isaiah 7:14), the Light (John 8:12), our Freedom (John 10:10), Our King (John 18:37). He calmed the storm (Mark 4:39), He walked on water (Matthew 14:25), He walked in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:25). He is our Savior and Deliverer, and He walks with us.
How perfectly and marvelously Jesus fulfilled God’s promise for redemption for us! How thoroughly amazing He is, both God and man. Name above all names, our Hope and Peace: Jesus.
There is a truth older than the ages
There is a promise of things yet to come
There is one, born for our salvation
There is a light that overwhelms the darkness
There is a kingdom that forever reigns
There is freedom from the chains that bind us
There is a name I call in times of trouble
There is a song that comforts in the night
There is a voice that calms the storm that rages
He is Jesus, Jesus
Who walks on the waters
Who speaks to the sea
Who stands in the fire beside me
He roars like a lion
He bled as the lamb
He carries my healing in his hands
Messiah, my Saviour
There is power in Your name
You’re my rock and, my redeemer
There is power in Your name
In Your name
God, you walk on the waters
You speak to the sea
You stand in the fire beside me
You roar like a lion
You bled as the lamb
You carry my healing in Your hands
Have you ever been in this place? The place where your thoughts are reeling, or your heart is breaking, or tears are falling. You know you need to pray, to ask God for help, but you just aren’t sure what to say, or how to say it. In those moments it’s hard to form a complete thought, much less an eloquently organized prayer to God.
And so enters the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:26 tells us, â€œAnd the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We donâ€™t know what God wants us to pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.â€
What a huge comfort! Just in this one verse, look at all the Holy Spirit can do for us!
Help us in our weakness
Pray FOR us
The prayers are groanings that cannot be expressed in words
Rest in this, my fellow Christians. The Holy Spirit is working in us. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. And when we just donâ€™t know what to say, the Holy Spirit will pray for us.
Iâ€™ve definitely had those moments when I was anguished and didnâ€™t know what to pray. I simply cry out, â€œHoly Spirit help me! Find the words and pray for me.â€ And you know what? Works every time…