Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:17

Paul believed sin can never be justified. 
There is no good reason for sin. God does good BECAUSE of who he is. I can't go on sinning to prove how good God is by giving me grace and salvation. Romans 3:7-8

Thursday, January 24, 2019

To Retire or Not to Retire

I wrestled with the decision to retire for weeks. I looked at data and made calculations until I had a headache. I am NOT a math person. My sweetheart was supportive and encouraged me. He prayed with me and for me. Still I wrestled with the decision. 

Calmness would be mine for about 24 hours before I  started feeling doubt and indecisiveness again.
Do you remember Dr. Doolittle's pushmi pullu? It was a "gazelle/unicorn cross" with a head at opposite ends of its body. That's what I felt like. One head would be thinking about retirement while the other was dealing with today and I  wasnt getting anywhere with my decision.

Finally on my way to work, I had a one sided conversation with Jesus; he listened and I talked.
"Lord Jesus I am surrendering this decision to you. I've wrestled with it enough. It's up to you. I know that financially I can retire. If I'm supposed to retire, I  know you will let me feel the peace that only comes from you when I  think about it. Thank you for the sacrifice that you made so that I might be saved and become a coheir in the kingdom of God. Amen"

And I didn't think about retirement all day. That evening the retirement decision tried to creep back into my thoughts. Immediately I told myself that I'd given my retirement decision to Jesus and it was his choice. And I didn't think about retirement all evening or at bedtime.

24 hours after I  surrendered my retirement decision to Jesus, I woke up filled with a deep and unshakable calm. The doubt and indecisiveness were GONE! I knew in my head and my heart that retirement was the next step on my journey with Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Preaching During a Controversy by C.H. Spurgeon

"If we are to survive and go on preaching in an atmosphere of controversy, there comes a point where you have done your best to weight the claims of your critics and take them to heart and must now say, "By the grace of God, I am what I am." And bring an end to the deranging second-guessing that threatens to destroy..."  C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:15-16

What did we believe in Christ for? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? And, if so, is it not folly to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified either by the merit of moral works or the influence of any ceremonial sacrifices or purifications?         Matthew Henry's Complete Bible Commentary
  •  I Paul, and you Peter and Barnabas, and the rest of the Jews at Antioch. 
  • Some are Jews by grace, in a spiritual sense, as all are that are Christ's, that are true believers in him, that are born again, and have internal principles of grace formed in their souls, of whatsoever nation they be; see Romans 2:28
  • Others become Jews by being proselytes to the Jewish religion: such were the Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven, that were dwelling at Jerusalem, when the Spirit was poured down on the apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:5
  • these here spoken of were such as were Jews by birth; they were born so, were descended of Jewish parents, and from their infancy were brought up in the Jewish religion, and under the law of Moses, and in the observance of it. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:14

Last Week I Wrote
Paul felt he was standing up for the gospel of Jesus against the hypocrisy of the apostle Peter who was a pillar of the Jewish Christians. 
The hypocrisy Paul spoke of was that Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers on a regular basis, but had stopped when the men sent by James arrived in Antioch. 

Paul stated earlier in Galatians that Peter was afraid of the Jewish circumcision group sent from James in Jerusalem and the other Jewish believers followed his example. I don't understand this because in Acts 10:11-29 Peter was given a vision or dream from God to teach him that nothing God creates is unclean or impure. He even stated this to Cornelius the Centurion when he arrived at Cornelius' house. 

While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
No wonder Paul thought Peter was a hypocrite!

We are living under grace through Jesus Christ, not legalism.
The phrase "in front of them all" tells me that Paul wanted everyone to hear what he had to say and for there to be clarity on his position about the issue of Gentile believers being required to follow Jewish law and for Jewish believers to continue to follow Jewish law in the matter of eating or "hanging out" with the Gentile believers. Paul had already emphasized that "His authority was from Jesus by revelation." (Galatians 1:12)

The authority of Jesus, as expressed in the Bible must be the guide I use in all situations.

What was Paul's "thorn in the flesh?"
No one knows what Paul was referring to. Scholars think it was a vision issue or some other physical problem. As for me, I think it could have been his regret for being a great persecutor of the church. (Galatians 1:13) After all, he was going to Damascus to search for Christians to put in prison when he met Jesus on the road and had his personal revelation. (Acts 9) 

I am basing my opinion about Paul's thorn in the flesh on what I know about my own life before Jesus. I love Jesus. I know Jesus loves me. Still, I find it hard to forgive myself for my before-Jesus-life of sex and drugs. 

Paul put men and women in prison for following Jesus. I can't imagine how awful it was for those people being in a cell with no sanitation, no beds, and meager amounts of food. I am sure he regretted having done these things just like I feel regret over having been a party girl who liked to work hard and play hard. 

Yes, I think Paul lived the rest of his life trying to make up for having been such a zealous persecutor. I believe that is why Jesus chose him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Saul was educated, focused, and committed to following his beliefs. The qualities that made him such a zealous persecutor also became his greatest strengths as an apostle for Jesus.