Nope: Not Today

Celebrating the success

Falsehood – and only falsehood – separates us from God … False thoughts, false words, false feelings, false desires – Behold the aggregate of lies that leads us to non-being, illusion, and rejection of God.
~St. Nicholas of Serbia,

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, and The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip? Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My Own authority, but the Father Who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My Name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”
~ Jesus, King of The Universe, astounded at the unbelief of His friends, in John 14

Oh beloved, it is true.

And today, this fool of a writer is saying this: He will have nothing else thank you.

I will have His Truth in my Life, and all the lies can go to hell.

I will have His Life in my veins, and these same will bleed His Love.

I will have Him be The Way Home, and no other signs will do.

I will not force my foolish questions upon His manifold wisdom.

I will listen to His Word, and ask for the grace to walk in obedience.

I will not be pulled into the foolishness of the world and thus fall into the snare of the evil one.

Can we see it?

So often, we are so much more than willing to live like none of what He said is true. So often, we are convinced that it is better to question, than to trust.

Now, i am absolutely sure that G_d loves questions. But, if we get honest (and it can happen) are we asking questions with a view to an answer? Or, are we just flinging out interrogatives to try and keep Him at arm’s length?

What if we just said no? What if we just said, “Not today. Today, I will live according to my design. I do not care what others think, and I do not care what my flesh screams as I ignore it. Today, I will simply believe that the winter of my dead, former life is over – and that Springtime has come to my soul, in Him.”

What if?

Would you join me brothers? We tried it the other way for so long. Never worked out too well for us, did it?

Tonight is your night. Time to say: Nope.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos 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 149-150| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-38-30-pm

Daily Quote: (ed. note: grace is) The willingness to keep growing: Unfaithfulness is a refusal to become, a rejection of grace (grace that is inactive is an illusion), and the refusal to be oneself. ~ Brennan Manning

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

 

More Than Just Survive?

Bored young worker man

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37

It’s always a risk to sit next to a child on an airplane. It can be a nightmare if they are fidgety or in some kind of distress, or it can be great as they experience the wonder of flying. On one occasion a little girl asked her Dad, “Daddy, how high in the air are we?” Her Dad responded “55 thousand feet”, in which she exclaimed, “Wow!” He then turned to me and said, “I could have said 10 feet, she doesn’t know the difference”.

As I ponder some of the distresses that most Christians go through or the anxiety levels that affect us as believers, I sometimes wonder if we are reading the same Bible. Romans 8:37 is a popular verse that most people can quote but few understand. If we’re honest, we are for the most part barely surviving, our daily routines consist of “getting to the end of the day” limping. At best, most of us get a day or two off a week and maybe a vacation here or there but in between days off and time away are we “More than conquerors?”

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is Joshua 10 when Joshua, during a fierce battle, commands the sun and moon to stand still. He actually wanted the day of battle to last twice as long (I’ve wanted my leisurely days to last longer, but a battle?) Joshua never read Romans 8:37 but he did know Joshua 10:8, And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” Sounds like “More than conquerors” to me.

What does “More than conquerors” mean to you? Paul finishes Romans 8 with:

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

He directly relates being “more than a conqueror” with “the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” So maybe today if you’re “feeling” defeated, let me be the first to remind you, Jesus loves you! If we truly understand that and are walking in victory no matter where we are we might even wish that this day never end.

Let me leave you with another promise from Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano 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. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Joel| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-38-30-pm

Daily Quote: “The only true conqueror who shall be crowned in the end is he who continues until war’s trumpet is blown no more…. Christian, wear your shield close to your armor and cry earnestly to God, that by His Spirit you may endure to the end.” – Alistair Begg

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.” Revelation 11:17

 

 

Living Within God’s Design

maxresdefault

“God removes the sin of the one who makes humble confession, and thereby the devil loses the sovereignty he had gained over the human heart.” ~ Saint Bernard

Today is the day we make the special oatmeal rolls. It’s been a tradition in the family for as long as I remember … oatmeal rolls and football. The key to the airiness of the rolls is the yeast… Used correctly, this ingredient produces light, feathery rolls… used incorrectly or unchecked, yeast makes a mess.

Sin is a lot like yeast in these same ways. Augustine referred to sins as “inordinate desires”… that is, taking what was intended to be “good” and beneficial, and going beyond its designed use or limit. When we choose to go beyond what God has designed for us to be… or we use what God has provided us in ways other than He designed them to operate, we sin. But, if we confess or admit to Him our mistake and willful choice, John tells us, “… God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

The part that is satisfying, and most like the “checking” power of confession, is punching down the dough before rolling out the rolls. It stops the progress of the yeast (sin) before it goes beyond the limits of the bowl.

Sin has a very destructive power over our lives and it corrupts everything it spills over on. The Bible and confession is God’s “punch” to limit sin’s progress in our lives. The only option to these two in dealing with sin, is to “sear our conscience”. But this is to feel no -pain, becoming insensitive, self-centered, hard-hearted, or simply… dead.

I love the taste of the fresh, warm oatmeal rolls.. covered in butter and homemade strawberry jelly. But the only way to reach that joy and contentment is to operate in accordance with the recipe and the design of yeast.

The same is true of life. If we live by the guidelines of God’s Word (recipe), we WILL properly enjoy the desires He has given us… within the limitations of His design. And if we cross over those boundaries to ‘inordinate desire’, when we reach out to our Savior through repentance and confession, He is faithful to pull us back within the realm of His love and peace.

Choose wisely…

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.     Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me!  All my guilt is gone.”  (Psalms 32:1-5)

Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.

Daily Quote: “God is interested in developing your character. At times He lets you proceed, but He will never let you go too far without discipline to bring you back. In your relationship with God, He may let you make a wrong decision. Then the Spirit of God causes you to recognize that it is not God’s will. He guides you back to the right path.” – Henry Blackaby

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 1-6 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-8-38-30-pm

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The LORD be magnified!” Psalm 40:16