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He Shall Appear

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Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

God’s Prescription for His People is Love

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I Corinthians 13

12:31 – Desire the best gifts – A more excellent way

Love suffers long –is always patient

Love is kind – does not justify its own story

Love does not envy –is not jealous

Love does not parade itself – is not boastful

Love is not puffed up –not proud

Love does not behave rudely –not rude

Love does not seek its own –not demanding

Love is not provoked –not irritable or easily angered

Love thinks no evil – thinks only thoughts of love

       Love keeps no record of wrongs

Love does not rejoice in iniquity –injustice or evil

Love rejoices in the truth – does not accept error

Love bears all things –never gives up, protects

Love believes all things –has faith and trust

Love hopes all things – sees the best possibilities

Love endures all things –perseveres

Love never fails –in any circumstance

14:1 – pursue love – desire Spiritual gifts

Objects or Images?

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Objects or Images?

People are not objects

People are image bearers of their Creator

Truth

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If we grow up using self-protective tools in relationships,

Unless we learn the tools of connection

We will end up recreating the same broken relationship dynamics

That we experienced growing up.

Danny Silk

All Efforts of Worth and Excellence Are Difficult

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By Oswald Chambers

Enter by the narrow gate….Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life…. —Matthew 7:13-14

If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult.  The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in— it stirs us up to overcome.  Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory?

God saves people by His sovereign grace through the atonement of Jesus, and “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). But we have to “work out” that salvation in our everyday, practical living (Philippians 2:12). If we will only start on the basis of His redemption to do what He commands, then we will find that we can do it. If we fail, it is because we have not yet put into practice what God has placed within us. But a crisis will reveal whether or not we have been putting it into practice. If we will obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has placed within us by His Spirit, then when a crisis does come we will find that our own nature, as well as the grace of God, will stand by us.

Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), and God will not shield us from the requirements of sonship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life. And it is always necessary for us to make an effort to live a life of worth and excellence.

Do you have a right to be angry?

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Do you feel justified to think and act as you do or can you see that God is just in what He does and that He has included you in His plans? 

A very strong sense of justice can drive our behavior when justice is not done in the way we think it should be done. The Bible is quite specific. We as humans must live lives of integrity. At the same time, we must realize that God is the One who is responsible to deal with the injustice in His world. “Justice is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.” Our own sense of justice must never usurp the justice of God.

O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid;

O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!

In the midst of the years make it known;

In wrath remember mercy.

Habakkuk 3:2

God remembers mercy in His justice and even in His wrath, He remembers mercy. Jesus exemplified this in His ministry. In His anger, He displayed mercy. In His justice He displayed mercy.

This does not mean that we should tolerate injustice. We have a responsibility to judge the wrong and defend the innocent. We need the wisdom to know the difference. Our lives need to display that Godly type of relationship. That is how God brings order to human life.

The Church brings that to believers. Romans 13 says that the civil government is tasked with bringing that justice to the surrounding world.

Do you have a right to be angry?

Perhaps.

If there are good reasons,

Be angry!

But do not sin! 

-God made skin coverings for Eve and Adam when they disobeyed

-Ephesians 4:26 emphasizes that principle.

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

-Jesus did not stone the “woman taken in adultery.”

-Psalm 4:4 Be angry, but sin not; commune with your own hearts on your bed, and be silent.

Many people feel justified to feel and act as they do. Tragic. That is not God’s way. You may feel that you have a right to be angry. Perhaps you do. Be careful. In justice and attempts to correct, show mercy.

Children should be raised with justice and mercy. It should be their earliest memories. Our lives should be tasked with that in every situation. Righteous indignation is the divine anger that blends mercy with justice and provides for meaningful society in the Church and beyond.

Micah said it best:

With what shall I come before the LORD, And bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, With calves a year old?

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,

Ten thousand rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,

The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, O man, what is good;

And what does the LORD require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:6

I have a right to be angry.

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Jonah –

“I have a right to be angry.” These are the words Jonah said to God in the book of Jonah in the Bible.

God had told Jonah to go and preach to the city of Nineveh. Tell them that God is going to destroy them in 40 days. Jonah resisted the call and fled from God. God saved him and sent him again to the people of Nineveh.

Jonah preached and the people repented. Then God repented of the destruction He planned for these people. Jonah felt like God sent him on a mission and then God did not do what Jonah told the people that God would do to them.

God showed mercy but Jonah would not. The people repented and God repented but Jonah would not repent. Jonah was angry. God asked him a question.

“Do you have a right to be angry?” “Yes,” Jonah said, “I have a right to be angry!” I am justified to be angry. You told me what to do and I did what you said that I should do and then you went back on your word!” Why would Jonah not be angry? Why would Jonah not have a right to be angry?

Your anger can be used to punish others. If you feel mistreated, you can punish others by your anger. You become god instead of being His representative to represent His will and His doings. You become god instead of being responsible to be His servant every day.

Are you angry? Do you have a right to be angry? Are you angry at the things that make God angry? Is your anger serving you well? Is your anger serving others well? There is holy anger – righteous indignation it is called.

It is OK to be angry at the things that make God angry. It is not OK to be angry because you do not get your way in life. Anger can be an expression of grief. We are grieved that God’s will is not accepted in lives. We are angry at the pain and the cause of the pain and dysfunction in people’s lives.

Rage can be a stage. Anger is a symptom. It is a symptom of something deeper. Our anger should cause us to examine our motives and our feelings. Is your life about you or is your life about God? Can you tell when God is in the events of life or when you are attempting to control life? Can you honor the people God has placed into your life? Can you worship and be thankful for the path of God in your life? Can you be responsible for the life that God has given you?

Can you rejoice with God when someone repents? Can you repent with them of the harm you thought would come to them?

The Inevitable Penalty

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The Inevitable Penalty

By Oswald Chambers

You will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. —Matthew 5:26

There is no heaven that has a little corner of hell in it. God is determined to make you pure, holy, and right, and He will not allow you to escape from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit for even one moment. He urged you to come to judgment immediately when He convicted you, but you did not obey. Then the inevitable process began to work, bringing its inevitable penalty. Now you have been “thrown into prison, [and]…you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:25-26). Yet you ask, “Is this a God of mercy and love?” When seen from God’s perspective, it is a glorious ministry of love. God is going to bring you out pure, spotless, and undefiled, but He wants you to recognize the nature you were exhibiting— the nature of demanding your right to yourself. The moment you are willing for God to change your nature, His recreating forces will begin to work. And the moment you realize that God’s purpose is to get you into the right relationship with Himself and then with others, He will reach to the very limits of the universe to help you take the right road. Decide to do it right now, saying, “Yes, Lord, I will write that letter,” or, “I will be reconciled to that person now.”

These sermons of Jesus Christ are meant for your will and your conscience, not for your head. If you dispute these verses from the Sermon on the Mount with your head, you will dull the appeal to your heart.

If you find yourself asking, “I wonder why I’m not growing spiritually with God?”— then ask yourself if you are paying your debts from God’s standpoint. Do now what you will have to do someday. Every moral question or call comes with an “ought” behind it— the knowledge of knowing what we ought to do.

Hiding Places VII

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Authenticity

What is authenticity?

What it is not – it is not just wanting to be accepted as we are no matter what or how we live or behave. It is not spilling our emotions all over anyone who will listen.

What it is – it is becoming what our Creator made us to be. Each of us is a unique creation of an amazing Creator. He has a plan for each of our lives.

We live out of our life experiences

We are shaped by early caregivers

We only really live if we have been prepared internally to live

When that does not happen, we become something other than what God designed for us.

‘Acting out’ happens when we do not have language to express internal feelings about self and life. We need healthy connections to God and people. We should not isolate people who are hurting. They need self-regulated, emotional closeness and care. They need internal strength to call on in difficulty. They need to develop emotional regulation – self-regulation in face of anything life brings.

Peel back layers and find the person God made – peel back layers of pain, rejection, neglect, abuse, attacks, and disappointments. Authenticity will begin to develop as we find the real person hidden under all that stuff. That is not doting – doting is not useful. It is patronizing and paralyzing. Genuine God centered and God created authenticity is freeing and peaceful because it is the real you.

God centered authenticity will bring out the best in the real you. It will make you fearless and faithful instead of fragile and frozen. Your heart will open to receive the blessings of the care of an amazing God and His amazing people. This may take time to adjust to a new you but it will happen. It happened to the woman at the well and eventually to Nicodemus also.

You will stop rejecting love. You will live a life of discipline. You will be intentional. Life will have meaning. No more survival mechanisms. No more disconnections. No more disassociation. No more deflection. No more addictions to bad things and behaviors. Trauma replaced by truth and trust. Fear replaced by faith and faithfulness.

No more accusing others of gaslighting when they do not acknowledge your claims and demands for them to accept your experience as truth. Rage is a stage. It is dysfunctional. Real life replacing wrong concepts of authenticity will be your truth. A very wise man said, “You shall know the truth and truth will set you free.”

As a daughter or son of the most High God life will advance to deeper and higher calls of service. Survival replaced by serving. Stress replaced by serving. Serving will bring joy and peace. Addiction replaced by adoration. Genetics and genograms replaced by the epigenetics of the DNA of your Creator.

Be authentic by being true to the Creator. Your Creator. Your God and your King. A branch of the True Vine. You will be pruned by the Owner of the vineyard. The new, pruned you will produce a fruitful life because you are grafted into the Vine. The Vine who is the Truth. That is authenticity.

Fathers

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God bless all fathers today.

We are called to the greatness of sacrifice and service.

We are called to the example of integrity and intentionality.