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I'm here by God's grace. So are you. Proud recipient of The Cloud Inheritance. #GodKnowsWhen coming Fall 2012. Glory to #Christ! \o/ !!!
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Reblogged from hnaftali

The Unrepentant Rapist and the Unrepentant Pharisee

A mental hierarchy of sin can become a very slippery slope, especially when it comes to justification before God. For instance, I’ve never raped a woman in my life, but if I don’t call on Jesus for mercy on my sins and the rapist doesn’t call on Jesus for mercy in like manner, then we’re equally guilty of sin and equally deserving of eternal separation from God. Hypothetically, if I were to imagine the standard of righteousness as a ceiling that stood 15 feet high, and I (in my own opinion) perceived my soul to stand 14 and 1/2 feet tall while assessing the rapist to stand only one inch off of the ground, then the conclusion is that neither of us have a stature of soul that is sufficient to reach the standard of Christ’s righteousness. The conclusion would entail that we both deserve the allotted wages of death. While there are variable consequences for sin according to man’s temporal law, we find that variation to completely vanish when it applies to the consequences of sin according to God’s eternal standard of holiness. Thus, it literally means absolutely nothing if I myself perceive that I was only half of a foot away from the ceiling, while the other individual was 14 ft and 11/12 inches away from the ceiling. Justifying yourself by your own measures only proves that your faith rests in you, and not in the finished work of Jesus Christ. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. With that being known, we must humble ourselves, repent by the blood of Jesus Christ, and pray for the salvation of even the alleged “worst of the worst”. It will do wonders for your relationship with Jesus.

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 18: 9-14

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Remember…

They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy… - Psalm 78:42

It is imperative, as a son or daughter in Christ, that you remember when He delivered you from the enemy of you. Remember the joy of your salvation from your own devices. Remember the joy of when you discovered that the Lord was merciful towards you, enlarged your heart to repent, wiped away your sins, gave you joy, fullness, and pleasure in His presence. Be diligent to remember! In the midst of moments of testing, do not retreat to the false savior that is: you. Your old habits to alleviate pain, loneliness, fear, etc. can never satisfy. Our very own reflections have the potential to become the broken cisterns that can hold no water if we try to be our own savior (see Jeremiah 2:13). It is only the Holy Spirit that can make us whole, and keep us whole. Do not forsake the fountain of living waters for polluted substitutes. Press in to your memory of God’s delivering power. Hebrews 6:9 reads:

"But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner."

There are inheritances that accompany salvation. We are His sons/daughters, if we live according to His will. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” - John 14:18 Remember His faithfulness. Remember that there are better things that accompany the salvation of Jesus Christ. Have faith. Meditate on His goodness. Fear the Lord. Rest in pure love.

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Treading Down The High Places

"Happy are you, O Israel!
Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,
The shield of your help
And the sword of your majesty!
Your enemies shall submit to you,
And you shall tread down their high places.” - Deuteronomy 33:29

When the Lord delivered idolatrous people groups into the hands of the Israelites, He always commanded them to take down the high places of that culture, which means to take down their places of pagan worship. This is a command that I see many of us as Christians violating in two ways:

1) We acknowledge ourselves as enemies of God if we continue to abide in sin, but yet we persist to hold on to the proverbial “high places” in our lives. As God begins to break down those places of idolatry we begin to experience the absence of the temporal/sensual comforts of those idols, which can cause us to rebuild the high places that the Lord just tore down. As sons and daughters of the Most High God, we need to put our own tools/devices down, and allow the Lord to continue His process of demolition and reconstruction without our blatant interference. Much of our stress would be alleviated if we embraced the process instead of pleading with God to allow us to hold on to our favorite piece(s) of the world.

2) The second violation of the aforesaid command that I’ve noticed in the church of Christ is found in our discipleship/evangelistic practices. As the enemies of Christ are drawn to Him via His incessant love, some of the shepherds of God encourage people to accept a partial gospel (which is no gospel at all). These “shepherds” encourage people to acknowledge Jesus as the only way to be saved, yet they do not encourage the people to live for holiness. There are “churches” all across the world that are nothing more than motivational/inspirational death houses. The only thing worse than someone simply not being saved is someone not being saved while living under the impression that they are because they recited a prayer once. Rote recital of a prayer is not salvation. Believing in the finished work of Christ on the Cross (John 19:28-30), believing in His resurrection 3 days later (John 19:3-18), repenting from [not merely apologizing for] sin (Acts 3:18-26), being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), and submitting to the daily process of denying oneself (Luke 9:23-26), picking up the cross, and following after Jesus is the fruit of genuine salvation. That fruit comes about by people hearing the full gospel. The Holy Spirit will move from that point. The command for Jesus to the church was to make disciples, not parrots who can repeat after the pastor.

Thus, it is my earnest prayer that we, as shepherds of the full gospel of Jesus Christ, would encourage people to allow God to completely tear down the high places in our lives so that they would have a true understanding of what it means to be “a people saved by the Lord”. As sheep of the Lord’s fold, we must be willing to submit to that process and endure the sanctification of true life. There is power in the blood of Jesus to save, sanctify, and sustain us all. If He is asking you to step away from certain music, people, places, etc. then by all means, yield to His will. He has your best interest at heart, meaning He has your eternal interest at heart. God bless.

-Malachi 

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Reblogged from lovedbythesavior
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Reblogged from lovedbythesavior

The Stigma of Motherhood

An excerpt from an excellent blog by Rachel Jankovic, which is posted John Piper’s site pertaining to ‪#‎motherhood‬. Powerful + Christ-like:

"The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It’s Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for…

Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.” - Rachel Jankovic

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Reblogged from crazyabout316

bonvivantx:


let da church say amen

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Solomon’s Encounter

1 Kings 3:6-9:

And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”


I just want to point out a couple of things that the Lord spoke to me about concerning this passage of scripture.


1. Solomon was well aware of David (his father’s) testimony and the need for mercy that David possessed throughout the construction of that testimony. That tells us that David was transparent with his son, as was necessary to convey an authentic depiction of what walking with the Lord truly means. It also tells us that the mercy of God was emphasized by David when communicating his testimony, and we see that the mercy of God is the first thing that Solomon references after being asked by God “What shall I give you?”. Most people would have jumped right into the core of our personal requests, but Solomon found it appropriate to primarily address the very mercy that is responsible for God even approaching Solomon in the first place. In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, the Lord decrees that the children of Israel should be taught the statutes of the Lord and to love the Lord with all of their hearts. This teaching is to be led by the father of the household. Thus, we see David’s obedience to this decree in the fact that Solomon has an awareness of the statutes of the Lord, which is propelled by godly reverence. Solomon’s words relay the presence of an earthly father who was obedient to his Heavenly Father’s commands. The modern day question this passage presents is: how many fathers today have been unable to show their children how to walk with God in humility/love simply because they have no true walk with God themselves? Or, how many father’s would rather their sons/daughters be successful in the eyes of the world than in the eyes of God? Many father’s would prefer their sons to excel in sports than in the knowledge of God. Many mother’s would prefer their daughters to fit into the popular role of “successful independent business woman” than for them to be intercessors/prayer-warriors crying out to God on behalf of others. What we must realize is that Solomon’s request, which so greatly pleased the Lord, only came as a result of his being raised to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. That made all the difference.

2. That brings us to the second point: the Lord’s kindness is generational. Walking with the Lord today will yield a harvest many generations from now. The conversation between Solomon and the Lord was a continuation of God’s kindness towards David, which is mentioned in verse 6 above. It was a great act of kindness for the Lord to give David an heir/son to carry on the mantle of the kingdom, especially given the fact that the son David received grew to revere/fear the Lord (though he would later have some miscues in how he reigned). When we say “yes” to God today, there will be a generational benefit to that simple “yes”. Consecrating yourself unto God on today will open up opportunities for your children to receive a divine encounter with the Lord 10, 20, 30 years from now. Be mindful of that.

3. Lastly, Solomon was humble enough to admit to God that he was just “a little child” even though the entire populous perceived him as a king. He openly admitted to God that he did not even know the basics of operating as a just king. Unfortunately, many of us today are unwilling to make the same declaration to God. Even when God “promotes” us here on earth, we still have to be aware of the fact that we have no idea how to properly/effectively steward what God has placed within our hands. We have to be quick to realize that we are still nothing apart from God’s grace. Furthermore, Solomon inherited the kingdom due to who his father was. The blessing was a matter of lineage (see point 2). Similarly, as sons and daughters of the Most High God, there are gifts that we will inherit simply because of the Holy lineage that we have been engrafted into by the blood of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 7:11). However, we must retain the humility that is necessary to come before God and admit our own deficiencies. We must seek an “understanding heart”. In Luke 24:45, it says that Jesus opened the ”understanding” of the apostles so that they could comprehend the Scriptures. Their understanding was opened prior to establishing the church that is on record within the Book of Acts, which can lead us to believe that in all of our seeking, we should be seeking understanding from God (see Proverbs 4:7). Regardless of your earthly title of “authority”, you will always be just a “little child” in the eyes of Jesus, and He is greatly pleased when His children approach Him as such. Cry out to Him with a childlike posture of heart. He is worthy.


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