Monday, December 9, 2013

Fighting Covetousness

I. Fight. Covetousness.

In our culture struggling with covetousness has a little less sting than saying, "I struggle with lust or immorality." However they are both equally, life-threatening, cancerous sins, we must wage war against. I know I have to put it to death daily because I come by it naturally.

Paul calls covetousness idolatry. Col 3:5-"Put to death what is earthly in you: immorality..& covetousness which is idolatry." God knew I had an idolatrous (divided) heart when He chose me. That is why He gave His life for me! Everyone has an idolatrous heart. We were born with it and come by it naturally (Ps 51:5-For I was born a sinner--yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.). Two of the Ten Commandments (the first and last) speak on the issue of covetousness: 1. You shall have no other gods before Me. 10. You shall not covet. The Ten Commandments serve as a tutor to show us our need for a Savior (Gal 3:24). Covetousness is idolatry, and we must "put it to death." We can agree with the grace of God to be set free from it! Here's how:

Jesus tells us, we can not serve two masters (Matt 6). He then He gives us a key that frees us from the tyranny of the love of money and the anxiety that accompanies it:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry...saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matt 6:24-33

We fight covetousness by knowing God. Your heavenly Father knows what you need. According to Matthew 6 those who do not know God eagerly seek after the things they can see (what they will eat, drink, wear). But those who know God aren't consumed or anxiously driven by these things. Rather, they seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, and these earthly things are added to them. Where is your heart today? Are you anxious, bothered about many things? Seek first His kingdom! Sin is what we do when we are bored with God. Covetous is where we reside when we lose our contentment in God (Heb 13:5). A heart that is satisfied in God, with their treasure in heaven, is a sure way to fight covetousness. Join the fight with me! Go after the knowledge of God and set your mind on things above.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Truth Breeds Gratitude

As our hearts and minds grow in the understanding of what Christ has saved us from, we are filled with undeniable gratitude for the mercies of God. When we receive clarity from the Bible concerning what is true of everyone who is apart from Christ, we are filled with compassion and urgency to share the Gospel (Good News). 

The Bible says those who are not in Christ, are alienated from God and enemies in their mind. "Good people" and "bad people" alike, who have not put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, are alienated from God and enemies in their mind. These are strong words, and they may even bring up offense in your heart. I encourage you talk to the Lord about this.But, there's great news...

Colossians 1:21-23 NKJV
"And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister."

Those who have not given their lives to Christ (put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation/reconciliation with God) are subject to the wrath of God (Eph 2). This is why Jesus became a curse for us, so that He would bear our penalty in His body for our sins. There is a penalty for sin (Rom 6:23). Either you let Christ bear your penalty (through the cross), or you will be responsible to bear it. Praise God, for those who are currently alienated from God, as we were, awaits the opportunity to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we become holy, blameless, and above reproach.

Those who are not in Christ are alienated from God and enemies in their mind. 

Prayer: God, show us what You saved us from and what You saved us unto. Please give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation. Let us with tenderness share the Gospel with others, bearing witness that though we too were your enemies, You made a way for us to be made right with God through faith in Your Son Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Tenderness of our God

Psalm 18:35- You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. (NKJV)
Psalm 18:35-...Your humility exalts me. (HCSB)

Jesus, speaking of Himself, calls Himself "gentle and humble" (Matthew 11:29). Do you know that God? Do you know the One who is gentle, the God who is humble?
The Genesis 1 God who made everything is gentle. Do you know the "high and lofty one who lives in eternity" (Isa 57:15) is tender with me, with you?

The more we meditate on and speak of the tenderness of God, the more gentle we will become. God relates to us in tenderness, so we can relate to ourselves and others in the same manner. Does He correct us? Absolutely. It is His humility in all His dealings with us that empowers us, not harshness. We are harsh with others, because deep down we are hard on ourselves. For me, usually the area I am most annoyed at another in, is the same area I am needing or wanting breakthrough. 

I find myself often surrounded by harsh words, whether from our culture, the accuser, or broken thinking: "You haven't gotten better in that yet?;" "You can't be happy until you have/look/do this;" "Loser." But there has never been a time God has not loved me. He likes being around me. God enjoys my company, and He likes the sound of my voice. He loves when I draw near to Him, and when I stand on His promise that He won't ever forsake me. Negative self-talk, thoughts, and harsh words have lost power over my mind and emotions as I began to ruminate on God's thoughts toward me. It's a daily battle, but I'm winning.

Precious are your thoughts about me, O God...I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand. (Ps 139:17-18 NLT)

Begin or recommit today to Thank God and Speak back to Him His precious thoughts toward you. Thank Him for being gentle and humble. If you need a starting place start with Psalm 139, and speak back to God (& over yourself) how He feels about you. Grace!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Discovering a Person, Love, & the Joys of International Cooking

It matters to God that we know how much He loves us.
"I need you to know who you are in My eyes" I hear the Spirit say often.
God finds it needful and important that we would know the depth, height, expansiveness, and weightiness of His love.
"I need you to know I am proud of you."
I love the Holy Spirit and how uniquely and personally He speaks to all of us. Every word God speaks is profound. He knows how to speak your language. The language of your heart. When we read the Bible, both Old and New Testament, we see Abba (Hebrew name for Daddy), God, Jesus (who is the Eternal Father in the flesh, Isa. 9:6) does not relate to anyone in the same manner.

We see God is personal. Think on how He spoke with Hagar (she needed to know God sees), how He came to plead with Cain (sin is crouching at your door), and He knew Sarah's unbelief (Why did you laugh?). We see amidst the disciples, Jesus spoke to Nathaniel differently than Phillip, and related to Thomas different than John. Why? Because we are all different in the way we process, and what we believe in our heads versus what we know to be true in our hearts. God knows the language of our souls, and He knows how to meet us. We must believe this.

In my own life I am being undone again by the Tenderness and Unwavering Compassion of God. It is tenderizing and softening the jaded, hard, disillusioned me. The unbelieving me. The questions I'm scared to ask, and don't even know I believe. The statement, I need you to know who you are in My eyes implies, you don't know. But it also an invitation that carries the promise that I will know. Because He is a good Father, if God highlights something (eg, love Me w/ all your heart; flee temptation; abide in My love) He also gives the power or grace to do/receive it. I will increase in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, I will know how much He loves me, who I am in His eyes, and how I make Him so very happy and proud. Make this your decree as well.

.....I intended this to be an article on my thoughts and gratitude that has been arising as I have been enjoying making foods from various cultures around the world. But, because I am one for brevity, that will be my next article. Stay tuned for a goodie...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ministry Trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico

Happy New Year!!

Jesus said, The Harvest is Great Therefore PRAY...(Matt 9:37-38)
Jesus also said, GO therefore and preach... (Matt. 28:18-20)

Jesus saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion. His answer to the great need? PRAY! the Lord of the Harvest send out laborers. After His Resurrection, before His ascension, Jesus called His disciples to GO! into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  

Me praying for the house of prayer leaders in Cuernavaca

Currently at the International House of Prayer-Atlanta we are contending night and day for a great missionary thrust of believers from all nations to be sent throughout the world to preach the gospel. We too are sending teams to GO! In this spirit I joined a team of nine others from IHOP ATL to go preach the gospel, strengthen the saints, and add our voices to the global chorus of night and day prayer. 

My time in Cuernavaca fue tremendo (It was amazing)! We came alongside the believers at a House of Prayer in Cuernavaca named  Ven Pronto joining them daily in prayer for a Historic Breakthrough of God in Mexico. God knit our hearts together as we shared our hearts with one another, served together, and prayed together. We were also able to visit a few orphanages, and be Christ's hands and feet to the youth there. I was touched by the life of a sweet little girl named Anna (who is on the background of this blog). The Lord moved upon her in our time there, revealing His beauty to her, and her worth.
Anna holding my hand and crying as the Lord was moving upon her

Visiting the kids and showing them Abba's love....


Thank you for your prayers and support! Together we are praying for laborers to be sent, and we are going in the power of the Holy Spirit both here and abroad! Grace and Peace.