I thought of this the other day while driving my daughter to swimming lessons. When you really get down to it, we Christians can be a bunch of sissies sometimes. That term may offend some, but simply defined, we can be timid and cowardly. We know the outcome. We know that Jesus conquered ALL sin and death, yet, we sure as heck don't act like it.
I mean, some of us do. Tara does. She realizes she is a sinner, but she KNOWS that Jesus conquered all. When tempted by Satan, she runs to Jesus.
What do I do? I cower in fear. I try to overcome that which has been overcome if I would just trust the One that overcame. Overdone? If we Christians would stop whining so much about all the temptations in the world and do something about them...of course through the strength of Christ:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13 (NKJV)then we would be acting like we have won...oh wait, we have.
My wife is always on me about taking authority in my prayer life. Not being so meek, but using the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit to bring about change in the world...in our lives. I have trouble with that at times...well, all the time. I was not raised to pray in a way that spoke scripture into being and I certainly do not feel blessed with any spiritual gifts that allow me to pray as my wife prays. I am usually not sure where to begin, but you know, that is just me being a sissy. Satan is lying to me, telling me I am not good enough, smart enough, and God really doesn't like me. (my apologies to Stuart Smalley)
"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
"And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke,' we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God."
"Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, 'I have made you a father of many nations') in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, 'So shall your descendants be.' And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore 'it was accounted to him for righteousness.'"
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."
"So the LORD God said to the serpent:'Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise [depending on your translation: CRUSH] your head, and you shall bruise His heel.'” Genesis 3:14-15 (NKJV)
"Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:28-30 (NKJV)
Labels: spiritual revival
Labels: Holy Spirit
Update: Steven commented: Wonderful story! However, I fail to see how the baptisms you describe here are any more "special" than any other baptism of an infant. Isn't God's action in all baptisms always awesome?
Steven is correct. The saving grace of God is an awesome and mighty thing. I may have misspoken or not been clear. What made these baptisms so absolutely wonderful was that fact that, unlike a child being presented for baptism by his parents, these individuals came to be baptized through a conscious discernment of the revelation of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in their lives. They stepped forward knowing the persecution they my have to endure from those closest to them.
Labels: Holy Spirit
This morning at Communion, Deacon Bob, in his homily said, “I might have the occasion to die for you, but I’m not going to Hell for you.” I love that quote--it’s a quote my Priest, Father Erik, uses often. When someone asks Father to just bend the rules a bit, or make exceptions--he gets this great look on his face, that just tickles me silly, and then he says, “I’m not going to Hell for you!” I love it! In this life you will either take people to Heaven with you or you will take them to Hell with you.
But, of course, St. Francis said to him: “Preach always, and if necessary use words.” Others, see what we do, see what we wear, and how we act. So what are you telling others by your examples?
St. Francis’ life rule or motto became, “preach always and if necessary use words.” By my example, am I taking people to Heaven, or Hell? My life rule, my motto, hmmm? Perhaps, “When you know better, you do better?” or “Lord, have mercy on me the sinner?” What do I want my life motto to be? From my favorite Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13: “Love never fails.” Real love meaning loving the other person enough to want what is best for them--not me. Truly giving Real love, not enabling others to stay in sin, saying nice things to make them feel better, or giving them money to help them continue to make bad decisions--but to truly love them by telling them the truth and not imposing my selfish needs at their expense.
Hop on over and check her stuff out...if you dare to be challenged.
Hat tip: Tara at Loved Sinner
Labels: great posts
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Hat Tip: Tara at Loved Sinner
Labels: Arthur the Intern