gospel


Started my Christmasing today. Dropped off my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes at a drop off location. Doing my part to light up a broken world.

We sang this song in church this morning (How He Loves Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps) and I felt moved to remind you if you’ve forgotten, or inform you if you didn’t know, that He loves us.

Jesus did not have to stay hanging on the cross. He chose to stay hanging there. Nails did not hold him to the cross, love held him there, love for each and every one of us, past, present and future. What Jesus did that day at Calvary was the epitome of selfless love, i.e. choosing to do something for someone else regardless of the cost to self. Jesus did something for us that we could not do for ourselves – he created the way for us to get to heaven. He explained this to his disciple Nathaneal in the first chapter of the gospel of John, verse 51: “Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.’”

Jesus’s action of staying nailed to that cross until he died was a gift of love for all people throughout time, including the people who crucified him and those who mocked and abused him as he hung on the cross. “The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders mocked Jesus. ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from that cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, I am the Son of God’ (Matthew 27:41-43).

What the leading priests, teachers of religious law, and elders didn’t understand was that Jesus stayed on that cross for them. If Jesus had come down from that cross, which he was more than capable of doing, he would have saved himself. He would not, however, have saved them and he would not have saved us.

Excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

“When an individual gives his or her life to God, that individual becomes part of God’s family. The Holy Spirit then comes to live inside that believer and endows him or her with spiritual gifts… Individuals are given spiritual gifts to equip them for the purpose God chose for them and designed them to fulfill…” Paul discussed spiritual gifts in his letter to the church in Rome (Romans 12), his letter to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 4), and his letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 12). Important Point: There is no reference in any of Paul’s letters to gifts being distributed according to gender.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

Due to the dysfunction in the family I grew up in, I entered adulthood with many emotional and spiritual wounds, destructive habits and crippling hang-ups, most of which were outside my awareness. I began a healing process in my early adulthood even though I did not have a clear idea of what needed to be healed.

… the first step in my healing process was engaging in psychotherapy…Psychotherapy helped me to change on the outside; my inside, however, remained untouched for a very long time. Without consciously realizing it, I accepted this as normal, assuming I had reached the end of the healing process.

While still in therapy I added secular recovery (ACOA ALANON) to my healing process. Secular recovery taught me that I was not alone. I learned firsthand that other people had life experiences similar to mine and had similar feelings to mine.

In 2003 I stumbled upon Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-Step recovery program, and that has made all the difference for me. Through working a program that continually pointed me toward Jesus, I learned how to access his healing power. My childhood wounds were finally healed—not coped with but healed. My habits are being broken one by one, and my crippling hang-ups have evaporated. They have been replaced with faith and trust in my Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

“God anoints. Human beings ordain. When God anoints someone to do something it is very different than someone deciding to go into professional ministry and being given the seal of approval, i.e. ordained, by human beings to do that work…It is important to understand that someone can be ordained by human beings to do something and not be anointed by God to do that same thing. It is also possible that someone can be anointed by God to do something and not have the approval or blessing of human beings to do that.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

It may surprise some people to know that not all Christ-followers are conservative and vote Republican. I believe that Jesus calls His followers to love liberally.

Love Thy Neighbor …
Thy Homeless Neighbor
Thy Muslim Neighbor
Thy Black Neighbor
Thy Gay Neighbor
Thy Immigrant Neighbor
Thy Jewish Neighbor
Thy Christian Neighbor
Thy Atheist Neighbor
Thy Disabled Neighbor
Thy Addicted Neighbor

It is important to remember that we can love and accept people for WHO they are, without accepting WHAT they do.

Excerpt, When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

Question: Where do women belong in the twenty-first-century church?
Answer: Wherever God places them.

God has carved out places for every one of his daughters in his church, and he wants us to occupy the places he chose for us. Whatever spiritual gift or gifts you were given, you were given for a reason and a purpose, and he wants you to use it for the purpose he chose for you. He does not want you to hide it. If you choose to hide your gift(s), God is displeased. In his book The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren states “You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be someone else. You only bring him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

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