Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Lay Down My Life

What an important time of year for Christians as we remember what Jesus has done for us! 

Resurrection Sunday is the pinnacle of God's Plan for humankind!

As we remember this Good Friday how Jesus suffered and the pain He went through for us, let us consider this point:

John 10:17-18 NKJV - Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.

Have you ever really considered this? 

At any moment, Jesus could have aborted His Mission. He could have decided, "this is just too uncomfortable."

He knew what was about to happen to Him, as He prayed in the Garden for the Father to let this "cup" of suffering pass from Him. 

So, why did He go through with it? 

He was looking to the outcome with eyes of Faith...

Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This phrase, "...Who for the JOY that was set before Him..." tells us His eyes were not on His current sufferings. 

One, as the Author and Finisher of our faith, He had you and me in mind, knowing that the completion of this Sacrifice would pay the price to Redeem us and Atone for our Sins that we might be made in Right Standing with God!

Two, He would be given the Right to be seated at the Right Hand of His Father, the position of Authority.

Who has more Authority than Jesus?!!

Yet, who understands and exemplifies true Submission more than Jesus?!!

He teaches us in His selfless actions of the Passion and the Cross, that only those who truly understand Submission to God, will be given Godly Authority in His Kingdom. 

You cannot lead with Authority without living in Submission.

Powerful lessons.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Milk and Meat

There is a theme that is woven through the New Testament of the Maturing of the Believer.

It is all throughout the Teachings of Jesus, Peter, Paul, James and John.

Our Spiritual Maturity is always measured by our capacity to carry and pour out LOVE. 

One analogy that is used to describe our Christian Maturity is the contrasting of Milk and Meat (or solid food).

1 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV - Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure MILK OF THE WORD, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

This is where we ALL must start when we give our lives to Christ and we are Born Again.

Notice it talks about laying aside all the things in our lives that are the opposite of LOVE.

The Milk of the Word is so precious and of great benefit if we will truly feed on it.

However, just as a natural child cannot grow and mature by only drinking Milk, he must move on to Solid Food if he is to grow, we too in our Spiritual Walk must ingest the Milk and continue moving forward to the Meat of the Word.

Sad to say, there are MANY Christians who have been Born Again for years that still have not put aside the works of the flesh that choke out LOVE in their lives. There are Christians who are "saved "for their whole lives, yet die as Baby Christians.

Milk is given from a Mother to an infant.

Meat is obtained from Hunting.

There is a major difference. The Holy Spirit provides for us as a mother, to bring maturity. However, God's desire is that we grow to the next stage and learn to feed ourselves, hunting for and seeking the deeper things of God without missing the elementary.

Hebrews 5:12 NKJV - For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the FIRST PRINCIPLES of the oracles of God; and you have come to need MILK and not SOLID FOOD.

You cannot move to the next stage of growth successfully until you mature in the First Stage...learning to Walk in LOVE.

The scripture goes on to say:

Hebrews 5:13-14 NKJV - For everyone who partakes only of MILK is unskilled in the Word of Righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But SOLID FOOD belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The New Living Translation says it this way:

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

This is NOT teaching that the MILK is of lesser value or something to be looked down upon. To the Contrary, it is VITAL if we are to move on to being Skilled in the Word  and people of Discernment. 

1 Peter 2:1 NLT - So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.

With Holy Spirit's help, we can do it!