Desktop with books, pencils, apple, reading glasses and blank blackboard in background. Selective focus on front part of desk objects.

The Heart of a Teacher

Desktop in classroom ready to learn from textbooks

“For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)

I believe my perspectives on teaching are probably the most fresh that it has ever been, however, that’s not much because I never been much of a teacher. I believe teaching is vital, but to be transparent, I admit that teaching has never been on the top of my gifting. But God has been stretching me in this area situational.

Ezra was the high priest during a confusing time for the Israelites and who ministered to God’s people in distressful era. He was a very learned man, professionally trained, developed, and able to properly teach Old Testament Law. Yes, we know Ezra was under the old covenant and the Law and we also know the law was fulfilled in Christ. But one concept we can learn about the diligence of Ezra is that he set his heart to study the Word.

The question: are we setting are hearts to study and to communicate God’s truth? Or maybe you’re thinking I’m never going to be in a teaching setting. The writers of Hebrews challenges, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food. (Hebrews 5:12)

Jesus Christ taught in fields, by trees, on boats, by the sea, in the temple, by a well, on the mount of Olive, on mountaintops, in valleys, and just about everywhere He went. Jesus also taught in people’s homes, (Martha and Mary’s). Teaching is way we can be intently studying the Word and to communicate God’s Word, but it is also good accountable to measure our growth in the Lord.

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 58; Proverbs 28

Daily Quote: If you’re alive, there’s a purpose for your life. ~Rick Warren

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

~Isaiah 55:8-9

Walking direction on asphalt.

Can I Get a Witness?

Walking direction on asphalt

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. ~Psalm 107:1

It’s been hard lately to see all the suffering around the world especially when it comes upon people I know and love. I’ve experienced some encouraging things as I’m finding out about some of those I knew, who, years later are now experiencing the “Mercy” of God.

I remember as a young man, like most men who hate to ask for directions, finally pulling into a gas station to ask for guidance. The guy first told me I would have to turn around because I was going in the wrong direction. I got back in my car and thought to myself, “What does he know?” and stayed on my route. Finally, I realized I better turn around. I sat at a red light on the corner of that gas station only to hear the attendant say “I told ya”.

I don’t recommend that to anyone who witnesses to someone who eventually comes to Christ to say “I told ya”, but let’s keep giving directions.

When we try to direct people to “The Way” we aren’t telling them something that we invented or created, it’s more of a discovery, “Can I get a Witness”? Psalm 107 is a testimony of those who found themselves lost and the reoccurring theme is “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble and He delivered them out of their distresses”.

This is my testimony, even after countless times of people telling me I need Jesus it wasn’t until I came to the end of my road where I cried out. The outcome is always the same, “And He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city for a dwelling place”.

So if you are getting discouraged because of the negligence of people when it comes to God, keep giving directions, and like me under my breathe you can say “I told ya” if the come around.

Until then, we can join the Psalmist with his lament, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness”. Amen!

Rob_FF 2016Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 57; Proverbs 27

Daily Quote: “Faith is the silver thread upon which the pearls of the graces are to be hung. Break that, and you have broken the string — the pearls lie scattered on the ground.”  ~ Charles  H. Spurgeon (Nineteenth Century English Preacher)

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

~Isaiah 55:8-9

Winston Churchill

The More I Press On!!

Winston Churchill

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)

I think one of the greatest evil’s mankind had to face in the 20th century was Adolph Hitler and The Third Reich. Talk about no regard for humankind that was muddied up with strange occultic beliefs. There is no doubt that The Devil showed his hand to the world during that time period BUT there was this guy who saw it coming and like a good watchmen sounded his trumpet…but no one listen until it was too late.

Winston Churchill wasn’t a fan favorite in England after WWI but as WWII came along this bulldog lead a resounding charge that called a whole free world to battle. To quote that charge: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

We shall never surrender! Man do I like that kinda stuff. Churchill had himself some confidence didn’t he? Well he kinda hinted that the USA was coming to back him up right after the never surrender part but none the less what he was saying to the Nazi Party was “THE MORE YOU HOLD US DOWN, THE MORE WE PRESS ON!!” Love this stuff.

The Apostle Paul also has himself a resounding charge when it comes to the Christian life. After his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Paul “quits” all that legalist mumbo jumbo and begins to pursue a life of Christlikeness. Basically he goes from quitting to pressing on. And here are 5 things (borrowed from Chuck Swindoll’s book “Laugh Again”) we can glean from that charge we find in Philippians 3:12-16.

1. The Plan is Progress…not Perfection. Some of us get so intense with our pursuit of godliness that we get frustrated and down on ourselves when we fail.

2. The Past is OVER…FORGET IT!! To glory in past achievements only makes us proud and to torture ourselves with former mistakes can only arouse guilt and shame.

3. The Future Holds Out Hope…Reach for It! The Christian life isn’t meant to a peaceful alliance or a passive coexistence. It’s should be a passionate quest, ever stretching and reaching for the prize that calls us through Christ Jesus!!

4. The Secret is a Determined Attitude…Maintain It!! Simply put, “I am complete in the sense that I have grown as far as I can at the present, and I am ready for the next lesson.” (Stuart Briscoe, Bound for Joy)

5. The Need is Keeping a High Standard…Together! “Living the Christian life is a mutual effort, not a solo mission. There is great comfort and strength to be gained if we will lock arms with those who are striving to keep the same high standard.” (Swindoll)

Now this is all inspiring stuff isn’t it? But truth be told this Freedom Fighter writer has got his days when the battle seems, no wait, gets to be redundant. Same dung heap to plow through, same ugliness in my heart to deal with, living in a world that just ain’t making any sense anymore, price tag on everything and everyone and I am supposed to maintain my Christlikeness when all I really wanna do is pull out my broadsword and cut off the head of evil so the body falls into the pit and burn forever…but that’s God’s job and not mine. I gotta learn to deal with that part. BUT….

Broadsword, huh? How about pulling out the sword that God gave me and doing battle with that? Yeah better idea. I often think of Gideon when the battle gets futile and when I do I find myself going back reading his story. Yeah I do put out the fleece from time to time but just like Gideon, God gives me His reply…” Press on Chris, Press on.” Yeah it ain’t easy but if it was easy the grace that was afforded me on The Cross becomes cheap and everything that Jesus taught just sounds like a really good idea instead of the way things should be in their divine order. So I guess I’ll be sticking to the NEVER SURRENDER part of this Christian walk…just gotta get rid of the rear view mirror. How about you? You with me? Hope so…

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and serves on the Deacon Board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne NJ

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 56; Proverbs 26

Daily Quote: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

~Isaiah 55:8-9

Male hand writing notebook on working table, vintage tone

How Rich Am I? Part #2

Male hand writing notebook on working table, vintage tone

Last week I shared with you a list of ten reminders of the riches that we have being IN CHRIST. Thanks for joining us for this new week of Freedom Fighter blogs.

I was pleased with the responses I received to last week’s blog and trust the next ten statements will be an encouragement to you as you think about who you are IN CHRIST and all that He has blessed you with.

Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take David Brewer’s word for it. Check out the references that go along with each statement. For some of you this is brand new truth. For others, well it is a refresher course.

11. Removal of Condemnation

At the moment of salvation, the sentence of condemnation is removed by God the Father (Jn 3:18; Rom 8:1-3).

12. Removal of Domination of the Old Sin Nature

Every believer will continue to have a sin nature throughout his life (cf. Rom 7:5) which will continue to make war within him (James 4:1; 1 Pet 2:11). When a person becomes a believer, his old man dies, but he still possesses the nature inherited from his inseparable link with fallen humanity. Believers now live with one sin nature which is in continual conflict with the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16-23). Even though our union with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection is in a judicial or forensic sense, it is still a true or vital union (Rom 6:1-10; cf. Gal 2:20). This judicial or forensic union with Jesus is actualized in everyday life by the process of considering ourselves dead to sin (Rom 6:11) and allowing the Holy Spirit to completely reign in our hearts, so that by His divine power we shall have victory over the evil nature within (Rom 6:6-12, 15-20; 8:5-12; Col 2 :12).

13. Removal of Satan’s Power

At salvation, we have freedom from Satan’s kingdom of evil. Satan’s influence is “held in check” when a believer becomes more conformed to Christ’s image by the Spirit’s enablement and by His grace (Gal 5:1; Eph 2:1-2; 6:11-12; Col 1:12-13; 1 John 5:19).

14. Freedom from the penalty of the Mosaic Law

At the moment of salvation, the believer is delivered from the curse of the law. At that moment, God the Father graciously imparts freedom from bondage to the Mosaic Law. It means we are free from receiving the curse of the law (Rom 10:4; 2 Cor 3:7ff.; Gal 3:23-25; 6:2; Eph 2:15; James 2:10). We are now under “the law of Christ.” This new law is the New Covenant

counterpart to the Mosaic Law. This law includes all that Jesus and the NT commanded. It also includes laws from the OT not abrogated or superseded by the NT (Rom 8:2; Gal 6:2).

15. Identification with Jesus Christ

At the moment of salvation, the believer is permanently identified with Christ’s work on the cross by God the Father. The Christian is forever after identified with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and present session at the Father’s right hand (Rom 6:3-12; Gal 2:20).

16. Indwelling of God the Father

The believer is indwelt by God the Father at the moment of salvation, which is to provide a guarantee of unseen, yet extremely powerful assets and provisions for living the Christian life (Jn 14:23).

17. Indwelling of Jesus Christ

The indwelling of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of our membership in the royal family of God. Someday we will be instantly transported to heaven at death by our lord Jesus Christ Himself (Jn 14:20; Rom 8:10; Col 1:27).

18. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

The third person of the Holy Trinity unconditionally and permanently indwells all Christians at the moment of salvation. God has “first rights” to the use of your body – not the old sin nature (Jn 14:17; Rom 5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor 6:19-20; Gal 3:2).

19. Sealing of Your Salvation

At the moment of salvation, the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit occurs. This “sealing” is God the Father’s stamp of ownership and the Holy Spirit’s signature of guarantee of eternal security, protection, and preservation of our souls from certain angelic (demonic) activity, such as demon possession. The Spirit of God inside us convicts, directs, prompts, and empowers us and is God’s guarantee to us that we’re going to get the whole rest of the package one day (Eph 1:13; 4:30).

20. Circumcision of the soul

This circumcision renders null and void the issue of our past lives as unsaved persons. God the Father places no value on the unsaved past of the new convert, so the emphasis of his new life must not be on the successes or failures of his past (Rom 2:29; Col 2:11; cf. Deut 10:16-17; Jer 4:4

Thanks for letting us invest in your life. We always appreciate your feedback and love have you checking in as well as forwarding this blog to another brother. May God bless you. –

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 55; Proverbs 25

Daily Quote: “You don’t work in the hope of getting an identity; you work in celebration of the identity that, in Christ, you have been given.” ~Paul David Tripp

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

~Isaiah 55:8-9

cs lewis

A Word from C.S. Lewis – He is Building a Palace

 

cs lewis

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” ―C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 51; Proverbs 21

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7

Vintage tone of man reading the Holy Bible.

Divine Reading: The Path of Six

Vintage tone of man reading the Holy Bible.

The Bible is the Living Word of God.

Prepare: Psalm 46:10; Psalm 37:7a

Read: Romans 10:8-10; 1 Corinthians 2:9,10; (Revelation 1:13-16, The purpose is to intimately know the Lord Jesus). Read aloud four times slowly and from different points of view; by reading aloud I engage my whole being and I am less distracted by outside influences.

Meditate: Joshua 1:8; 1 John 2:27 Listen for the message delivered by the Holy Spirit. I ponder, wait for the Holy Spirit to illuminate my mind. It is important to keep my mind open to allow the Holy Spirit to give meaning to the passage.

Pray: 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 I hear God when I read and talk to Him when I pray. Scripture and prayer must be linked together, it is a conversation with my Father, God. Contemplate: Psalm 119: 15,27,148; Psalm 145:5 This is time to express love in the silence of my inner being. For me to experience union with God. I am where I am by grace.

Imitate (obey) : Ephesians 5:1,2 This is where I consider an action step as I enter my daily activity.

A Beginning Pattern For Discipleship, A Suggested Place To Start:

Begin with a short period of stillness and prayer. Ask God to guide and teach you as you read.

Read the New Testament through first. (The reason is the New Testament is the bases for interpreting the Old Testament.) 1-5 chapters per day. Think about what you are reading, don’t rush. Remember you asked God to guide you and teach you. Consider an action step to take as you begin your day.

After you have completed the NT, read the 100 transitional chapters of the Bible. (The reason: this will give you an understanding of the overview of the Bible.) Study one passage per day.

After you have completed your study of the 100 transitional chapters, begin your reading of the whole Bible, Genesis through Revelation. (Sometimes people get discouraged and bogged down when they reach genealogies in the Bible and stop their reading, I suggest that you skip them and return to them later.) Read 1-5 chapters per day. Take your time think about what you are reading and it’s meaning. Consider an action step to take as you begin your day.

The purpose of this sequence is to know God deeper each day, each month, each year. You are building your relationship with God and relationship can not be rushed

Today’s Affirmation: I will read God’s Word with the Holy Spirit’s help and be a hearer and doer of His Word.

Written by Pastor Bob Wood: Pastor Bob is a retired Pastor and a dear friend of America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 50; Proverbs 20

Daily Quote: “God teaches us to love by putting some unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving to you.” ~Rick Warren

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7

water is coming out of a bucket with holes

We Leak

bucket with holes
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:5

There was a time I had my kids in a busy store and I told them “do not wander away or you’ll be lost”. There came a teachable moment when my son began to go astray, I watched from a distance as his little feet directed him from my presence. I saw that he began to reach for my hand without looking and grabbed onto a stranger’s hand. It wasn’t until he made eye contact with me that he realized it wasn’t my hand he was holding, he immediately dropped the man’s hand and came running into my arms.

I remember as a new believer, after the thrill of my salvation wore off, I wasn’t “feeling” as spiritual as I had been prior. I was listening to a message in Church and I was comforted to hear I wasn’t alone. The Pastor went on to explain that until we reach Heaven and receive our redeemed bodies we need to stay close to God, remain in His presence and be continually filled with His Spirit, he said because “We leak”.

The Holy Spirit makes residence in our hearts at salvation, but if we are not in communion with God thru His Spirit our soul suffers. This communion is based upon our current standing with God. He doesn’t love us any less or abandon us, we wonder from Him. Just like my son who was distracted by all that was around, we can easily find ourselves detached and feeling alone. We need a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.

Paul starts Romans chapter 5 by stating, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. Justification brings peace which gives access to faith into grace that causes us to stand, what a combination.

The fact that we were justified (saved) by a onetime confession with repentance and receiving Jesus as Savior, we have peace with God. This miracle that takes place comes with the faith that allows us to access the “grace in which to stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”.

The problem is the way we receive this hope, we are to “Glory in tribulations”. I can’t do this on yesterday’s “manna”. The nutrition I received from God yesterday needs to be replenished daily. In a world where there’s not a lot to hope in, we need to remember that at salvation “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts”.

So if the things of this world has caused you to wander from your Heavenly Father, let go of the stranger’s hand and run back into the arms of your Daddy. You may feel lost but He’s watching you from a distance and waiting for you to come running. Amen

Rob_FF 2016Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 49; Proverbs 19

Daily Quote: “Being loved is life’s second greatest blessing; loving is the greatest.” ~Jack Hyles

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7

Old Hands on the Floor

Death is Defeated!

Old Hands on the Floor
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Anyone who is involved with the ministry of addiction or substance understands that ultimly death occurs. We receive random calls and our grieving is put to side because comfort is needed. We loved them, we pray for them; we invest our lives in then. But the abrupt loss of Joe Catalano hit me personally and my response was heavy hearted. But there many are lessons to learn from death; here three.

Appreciation:

We are still here; therefore God is not done with us yet. Kiss your wife, children, mother, father, sister, brother etc… And let them know how much you appreciate them. And thank God for being loving, kind and graceful towards you. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

God is Control:

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) This requires faith; faith that can reach passed the external elements and process clearly that the Creator of the universe has everything in balance.

Everyone will Die:

This is the one reality we all have in common; physical death is inevitable. While watching an episode of House a nurse irately runs into Dr. House and cries, “If we don’t do something the patient is going to die.” House gently replied, “ We are on going to die, the question is how soon.” The minute we are born, we all are facing death. The questions; what are we going to do with this life, what kind of legacy we are leaving, what are people going to remember us by?

And as for death, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 48; Proverbs 18

Daily Quote: “To love someone means to see him as God intended him.” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7

Close up on the hands of a young woman as she is writing in a small notepad at a wooden table

You Have An Amazing Position IN CHRIST!

Woman writing in notepad at wooden table
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ … Ephesians 1:3

There is some very crazy teaching on Christian TV and radio that seems to indicate that if we do certain things, God will pour out wealth, health and prosperity that will make us healthy, wealthy and wise.

God has promised us that He will always provide for our needs, but His definition of what we think we need and what He KNOWS we need is often very different.

We are far more rich than we can imagine. We are so rich IN CHRIST because Paul reminds us that we have been “blessed with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in heavenly places IN CHRIST.”

My friend, David Brewer, serves with a great ministry LIFE IN MESSIAH INTERNATIONAL, and he recently gave me an article called “The Wealth of Our Position In Christ: 40 Things That Occur At The Point of Our Salvation.” He adapted an article that has been written by Andy Woods.

This was such a blessing to me that I want to take the next four blogs that I submit to you to hopefully encourage you to understand your position in Christ. Will you take this one step further? Grab your Bible and look up the references that go along with each point. It will bless your heart!

(1) Imputed Righteousness — divine righteousness is imputed from God the Father to our souls and we share the righteousness of Christ (Rom 3:25-26; 4:3-5; 2 Cor 5:21). This is not something we receive by any effort on our part, apart from faith in Jesus’ finished work.

(2) Justification — as a result of this imputed righteousness, we are “declared righteous” or justified by God the Father; we are completely innocent in a positional way (Rom 3:24-30; 5:1; Gal 3:24).

(3) Children of God (“Born again” or “Regeneration) — we are “regenerated” or “born again” through the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:1-12; Rom 8:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn 3:2).

(4) A Human Spirit that Has Communication with the Holy Spirit — we receive a regenerated human spirit which is part of the Holy Spirit’s regeneration ministry (Rom 8:16; 1 Cor 2:14).

(5) Imputed Everlasting Life — we receive the imputation of everlasting life from God the Father to our regenerative human spirit. And at the same instant, we share the eternal life Christ through positional truth. This is our double portion of eternal life (1 Jn 5:11-12).

(6) Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Baptized by the Spirit into Christ; 1 Cor 12:13).

(7) Propitiation — God’s anger against us because of our sin has been completely satisfied because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Therefore, everything that occurs in our Christian life is an expression of God’s love toward us, even the trials that we endure (Rom 3:24-25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).

(8) Reconciliation – this indicates that Christ’s death removed God’s enmity against man. We are reconciled through faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross by God the Father because of the removal of the sin barrier between man and God. This work of Christ guarantees our eternal access to God (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-20).

(9) Redemption – we’ve been redeemed (purchased out of the slave market of sin (Rom 3:24; 8:23; Gal 5:1; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Rev 5:9).

(10) Forgiveness — at the moment of salvation, we are granted total forgiveness of all our sins (past, present and future) by God the Father (Ps 103:12; Is 1:18; 43:25-26; 44:22; Micah 7:18-19; Acts 3:19; 10:43; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14).

I needed to be reminded of these truths this week. How about you? Why not forward this to a friend who needs to hear this truth too.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 48; Proverbs 18

Daily Quote: “When a man finds and knows himself to be linked with Christ, his life is altogether a new life. Crucified, then dead. Crucified, then the old life is put away. Whatever life a crucified man has must be new life. Whatever you have of life was not given you till you came into union with Christ. It is a new thing—as new as though you had been actually dead and rotted in the tomb and then had started up at the sound of the trumpet to live again.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. ~Isaiah 55:7

Lion-King

You Are A King, You Know

Lion-King

The truth that we are kings and queens in Christ is not some idea conjured up to boost our self-esteem but a present reality that we will enjoy in its fullness at the resurrection of the dead. At that point, we will sit on thrones alongside our Savior and enjoy by grace what is His by right. Until then, we are to reign over our sinful passions, bringing our minds, wills, and affections into submission to Jesus by the power of the Spirit through His Word.
~ from Ligonier Ministries

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will display at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in 1 Timothy 6

Oh beloved, it is true. We are both much less, and much more than we think we are. For there are two truths in the good news that change everything. We are, both, if we are willing to accept the truth, the scum of the earth and the royalty of the coming Kingdom.

We hear the voices in our head:
I didn’t deserve to be treated this way!
I will do whatever I want!
I am important!
I am better than others!
I deserve to be respected!
I decide what is right!
I want it. I will have it!
And on….

This is the voice that proves our brokenness and affinity for sin and self. It is the voice that tells us, if we have ears to hear, that we really are scum. There is no way around it. We really would rather that somebody else die than for us to give in to anything, or to give anything away.

And this voice, we can come to understand for what it is. We are nearly comfortable with our fallenness and scumminess. It keeps us close to the earth, and lets us grovel. It plays into our fallen nature and its overtly religious tendencies to think that G_d is like us. That is, if we behave a certain way then G_d will like us. Or, if we are “bad,” then we can expect for G_d to be mad at us and to push us further into the dirt.

Oh yes, sin is a terrible thing. There are few things worse in the universe. Death, sins payment, for one. And pride, the progenitor of sin, for another. Sin is horrible. And this is why G_d died for it. Jesus Christ died for all sin. It was such an enormous problem, that only an infinitely large payment could cancel out its effect on mankind.

But beloved, pay the price He did.

And this takes us to the next truth, though it is very hard to hear within our souls and spirits. Our brain and flesh is making so much noise with its prideful and rebellious and religious drumbeating that we can miss it if we are not careful.

This voice is still and small. It is Him – and it is the voice of a believer’s inner man.
You are deeply Loved.
You are wanted.
You are free.
You are nothing apart from Me.
You are everything in Me.
You are my beloved son (daughter) in whom I AM well pleased.
You are delightful.
You are seated with Me in heavenly places already.
You will reign with me in the coming Kingdom.

Can we see it? This voice is the real voice. And it is the one we must listen to, if we are ever to escape our attachment to our selfish and prideful ways. We are held in the heart of a Friend, and this makes us part of a royal family. The KING of kings and LORD of lords has co-regents. And these are not some other cosmic beings. These kings and lords are us.

So, the question before us is twofold. 1) Which voice are we listening to? 2) If we are listening to the right voice; this Voice that speaks to our true and eternal identity in Himself – are we humble enough to accept who we really are?

What if we did listen and accept our coronation? Might this fool of a writer be so bold as to suggest that all the other things that are drawing us away from our desire to be good, or to live in victory, or to actually make a difference in the world, would come true.

Tonight is your night beloved. Time to believe in your position as a believer in The KING of kings and LORD of lords.

Makala_FF 2016Written by Makala Doulos: Makala  is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 45; Proverbs 15

Daily Quote: [The] insistence on the absolutely indiscriminate nature of compassion within the Kingdom is the dominant perspective of almost all of Jesus’ teaching. What is indiscriminate compassion? ‘Take a look at a rose. Is is possible for the rose to say, “I’ll offer my fragrance to good people and withhold it from bad people”? Or can you imagine a lamp that withholds its rays from a wicked person who seeks to walk in its light? It could do that only be ceasing to be a lamp. And observe how helplessly and indiscriminately a tree gives its shade to everyone, good and bad, young and old, high and low; to animals and humans and every living creature — even to the one who seeks to cut it down. This is the first quality of compassion — its indiscriminate character.’ (Anthony DeMello, The Way to Love)… What makes the Kingdom come is heartfelt compassion: a way of tenderness that knows no frontiers, no labels, no compartmentalizing, and no sectarian divisions. ~Brennan Manning

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near..
~Isaiah 55:6