Growing In Maturity

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1Corinthians 13: 11-13

Isn’t it interesting that the scripture tells us that we should become like little children to see the kingdom of heaven, but when it comes to loving people, it tells us that we need to put childish ways away?

If you have raised children or have been around young people, you know how selfish they can be; generally, they are driven by what they want and when they want it!! It is the responsibility of their parents to teach them respect, love, sharing with others, and learning to wait for what they want so badly. Most children don’t come with that propensity, so they can easily throw a fit if things don’t go their way!!!

The above scripture tells us that we start out as children speaking childishly, with little understanding, and thinking immaturely. In our continual growth and maturity in the Lord, these three need to change.

Our speech needs to be more seasoned with salt. We can’t just speak things that cause hurt and destruction. This is easily seen in children fighting with their siblings. It is not pretty! They can say mean and hurtful things to each other. While many times they’ll get over their hurt, those words and attitudes can stay with someone into adulthood. I know it did for me.

We are also called to a mature understanding. Children generally see the world through their own eyes which makes them think the world revolves around them!! We as adults can do the same thing. It takes work to have a mature understanding of a situation especially if it involves conflict of some sort. This means I have to put my own feelings and opinions aside to have the chance to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. Seeing something from another’s point of view does not mean you agree, or their position is correct. It just allows you to see the situation from more than just your own perspective.  If we put this extra effort and time into it, we could alleviate unnecessary offense and tension. Many issues that seem huge at the moment can become smaller or eliminated if we tried to put ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Finally, we need to think right!! The scripture in Romans 12:1-2 tells us not to conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by renewing of our minds. Sometimes the patterns of the world are the old ways of thinking that keep us immature and don’t allow us to grow up and mature. We don’t want arrested development in our walk with the Lord. We must want to grow up and change our thinking or we will stay immature regardless of all the reasons it may be difficult to change.

Can you think of examples of where 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 becomes so critical? I think about so many marriages struggling because people say hurtful things to each other. They get set in their ways, and then they start thinking all the negative thoughts about each other. That’s a recipe for disaster!! A healthy marriage will grow when both people can speak the right words to each other, put themselves in each others’ shoes, and finally, remember the other person was a gift from God and should be treated as such.

The above scripture reminds us that we don’t see or know everything clearly on this side of heaven. There are going to be times we don’t know what God is doing, but that doesn’t give us the freedom to speak, or think childishly. In order to develop maturity it requires faith to speak right, understand well, and think pure thoughts.  If we do those things we are coming out of childish behaviors and becoming the man or the woman of God that He intended for us to be. Then we love better and our love for others and for the Lord matures. We speak properly about others, we have better empathy and understanding, and we think the right thoughts because we trust Him.

I want to mature in these areas, don’t you? Lord, please help us to speak right. Give us understanding for other people, so we can see their point of view, and help us think right thoughts about ourselves, about you and about others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

God’s Faithfulness – Part II

We have faith in Him because He has proven to be faithful!!

In the previous devotional, I shared that Psalm 105 is about God’s faithfulness. Verse 1 began with:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! “

This Psalm goes on to recount God’s faithfulness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God’s promise to Abraham was first made in Genesis 12:1-3.

At this time in history, Abraham lived in Ur. The Bible tells us he was a Chaldean. This group of people were pagans or idol worshipers. Abraham & Sarah were barren at this time.  God gives Abraham a couple of instructions:

1. Leave your country.

2. Leave your father’s house.

God’s promises several blessings to Abraham:

1. I will show you a new land. 2. I will make you a great nation. 3.  I will bless you.

4. I will make your name great.  5. You will be a blessing. 6. I will bless those who bless you.

7. I will curse him who curses you. 8. In you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

In this covenant, the Lord asks Abraham to do two things, but He promises him eight things.  Abraham is expected to let go of his surroundings, his natural family that has defined him for all his life, & the comfort of a known and established place. All this took trust on Abraham’s part. He had to believe God that what God had for him was far better than what he had, and it was worth letting go of it all and looking to His Lord to fill his empty hands.

On the other hand, The Lord’s promises were gigantic. They were not the kind that if God changed His mind or possibly forgot, Abraham could muster up zeal, will-power, or energy to make them happen. Those promises are divine promises accomplished only by the one who made them. They are custom-made by God!!! How do you find a new land when you are not a warrior? How do you become a great nation when all you have is an old wife, and a nephew?  How does your name become great when you started out as nobody and now you will even become a bigger nobody since you are moving into a new land where no one knows you?

What does it mean to be a blessing since this whole time Abraham has lived a pagan life which would be a life centered on self? The Lord will bless those that bless Abraham. Why would anyone want to bless a stranger? Wow! If they dare to curse him, he has the Lord on his side to curse them since he would be a powerless stranger in a new land. Then the largest promise of all is made by the Lord of the universe. All the families of the earth will be blessed. Is that humanly possible? What does it really even mean to bless all the families on the earth? Those were prophetic words that only on God’s timetable would have been revealed.

The Lord made some God-size promises and it would have taken the faithfulness of God to accomplish them.

In verses 8-9, the scripture says: “He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham and His oath to Isaac.”

Then towards the end of this Psalm in verse 42 it says, “For He remembered His holy promise, And Abraham His servant.”

In between verses 8 and 42, the Psalmist recounts God’s faithfulness to the seed of Abraham, then Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Then it describes bringing out the Israelites out of Egypt by sending plagues, so Pharaoh would release them. He fed them in the dessert with Manna and quail and provided water out of the rocks like a river.

Just from the time God promised Abraham to become a great nation until he gave him a son by Sarah, it took 25 years!! I would have been embarrassed to have mentioned God’s promise to anyone. While everybody is having grandchildren, Abraham is still waiting for the one child!!! The recount of God’s faithfulness just in the examples provided happened over the centuries!! God uses time as one of his tools, but He is not limited to time to fulfill what He has spoken. What God spoke, He was faithful to accomplish it, and He is still accomplishing them in the lives of His children. The promises made to Abraham are still getting fulfilled through our lives because of our covenant relationship with Jesus through His blood sacrificed for us.

God’s faithfulness is much larger, deeper, and profound than us getting our daily needs and desires met. Sometimes,  our vision gets small in what God’s faithfulness looks like. We’re just happy with the front parking spot, a nice discount at Macy’s, or a good deal on a recently purchased car. While all those are nice and show a glimpse of God’s faithfulness, there is a much larger picture that He is working on.

God’s vision is far wider, longer, and higher than what we can envision today. He is building an eternal Kingdom while He is building our lives!! When we are disappointed with an outcome, He is still faithful! In those times, we must remind ourselves that He is faithful to His promise, to His purpose, and to His plan for His kingdom as well our lives!!

Remind youself of God’s faithfulness in your own life, and you’ll see that faith will be stirred up. He is worthy to be trusted because He is faithful!!!

God’s Faithfulness- Part I

We would not be able to exist without God’s faithfulness!! On any normal day we need Him to just wake up and get out of bed and it continues to go on through the rest of our day. In addition to His daily provision, and protection, we hope and pray for His faithfulness in other areas of our lives. It could be relationships, marriage, finances, career, education, health, salvation for loved ones and a whole host of other things that are on our hearts.

The entire Psalm 105 speaks on God’s faithfulness. It recounts God’s hand in the lives of His people starting with Abraham. Before it goes into the details of how God has come through for His people, this Psalm starts with:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! “ Psalm 105:1

The words “give thanks” are the Hebrew word “Yada”. When you look at this word in other scriptures you find it many times talking about public acknowledgment of God!!

There are many people who don’t believe in God or have a very limited understanding of who He is. When we testify about what the Lord has done in our lives, we are painting a picture of God’s love and faithfulness that helps other people see Him better. The scripture calls us “ambassadors for Christ”. When we are out in the world telling someone about His faithfulness in our lives, it is like being in a foreign country representing our government and speaking on behalf our Chief!! That’s powerful!!

The Psalm, from v 6-25, goes onto describe God’s faithfulness with the promised seed of Abraham, His covenant with Isaac and confirming it with Jacob. It’s a beautiful thing to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness. So many times in life it seems like we need to pray the right prayer, and do the right thing, before we can see the faithfulness of God in our lives. While we certainly have a part to play in living right and doing what God has called us to do, ultimately God it is faithfulness in spite of our shortcomings. He is faithful to His word. He is faithful to His covenant. The Bible tells us that “God is not a man, that He should lie” Numbers 23:19. This Psalm is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to the people of Israel over the years and generations, and it all started with the seed of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

Many times we look at God’s faithfulness in the vernacular of our daily or yearly life, and sometimes we wonder if God is going to come through for us. The Lord sees a picture that expands through centuries and His faithfulness is so much more profound and powerful than we could ever think or imagine.

It’s best to trust Him and not doubt His faithfulness because so many times we don’t know what He is doing, but we can remind ourselves that just as He was faithful to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, & Joseph, He will be faithful in our lives and in the lives of generations coming after us!!!

In the next devotional, I’ll detail His faithfulness as mentioned in the remainder of this Psalm.

What Is Fruitfulness?

When you think about fruitfulness what comes to your mind?

Many times we think about what we do for God. We look at our talents and want to produce something for His kingdom and touch people’s lives. Martha had similar desire; Let’s look at Martha’s situation in the Bible.

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:38-40

Many of us are like Martha. She thought ministry to Jesus was to go away and be busy in the kitchen and do work for the master. Nowadays, the kitchen is in the main part of the house, so if your guests are sitting in your family room or living room you could still converse with them or hear them while you’re doing your work.

In the old Middle East where I am from, that wasn’t the case. The kitchen wasn’t the main attraction, so generally the kitchen was to the back of the house or even on another level. It was just there for cooking purposes, and it was made very simply just for that purpose. The house I grew up in was a lot like that. My Mom would be at the back of the house cooking and cleaning while the rest of us were in the family room.  As a result if you were in the kitchen you were either by yourself or you had one of your daughters/ sisters helping you in the kitchen.

Martha thought she was doing the important work by taking care of Jesus’ physical needs, making a meal.  However, she felt left out because she couldn’t get much from Jesus’ conversation; she was too far to hear and enjoy His fellowship. This led to her resenting her sister who was sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Isn’t that true of us? We have a certain idea of what fruitfulness looks like and we work hard at it. We may even lose intimacy with Jesus in the name of serving Him. Then, we feel left out and unappreciated which causes us to lose our love, joy, peace and the rest of the fruit of the spirit!!!  When others aren’t doing as much as we do and they seem to be enjoying the Lord, it makes us feel worse. We want to holler at Jesus and bring attention to ourselves! We may even try to make the other person look bad because they haven’t done enough. We feel we are being fruitful and the other person isn’t doing anything. Well, what happened to us? How did we change? Are we really fruitful?

We don’t expect for a seed of an orange tree to produce fruit right away. That seed needs to be planted and nurtured for many years before we expect fruit from the tree. It takes a long time to expect fruitfulness. Why then do we expect fruitfulness from our lives right away? If we are walking with the Lord and listening and obeying Him, then we are bound to produce fruit on His timetable because the seed of life will bring forth fruit!!

It seems to me that developing the fruit of the spirit has much more profound effect in our fruitfulness than any task we do for the Lord. As part of the process of my spiritual growth, the fruit of the spirit will be developed if I respond correctly to the tests and circumstances that come my way!! If what I do doesn’t seem to be fruitful or appreciated, I can still rejoice in growing in the fruit of the spirit. If I’m tested by what I do and I taste bitterness in my mouth, then I wasn’t motivated by the right reasons.

Does this mean we don’t do anything until we develop the fruit of the spirit? Of course not. It is in “doing” that we get tested by the Lord in exposing the maturity of our fruit. Just don’t get discouraged. Keep going to the Lord. Knowing that He accepts you and loves you, but He will relentlessly be working on growing you and ripening your fruit!!!

A Vessel of Honor

Did you know you can choose what type of vessel you become in God’s house?

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2Timothy 2:20-22

The Lord’s house is full of His people. While He has bought us with His precious blood, redeemed us from our former ways of life, we choose how valuable we become in His kingdom based on our obedience. The scripture tells us that in a great house there are vessels of gold and silver, and vessels of wood and clay. The vessels of gold and silver are vessels of honor and the vessels of wood and clay are vessels of dishonor. According to the above scripture, we can choose what type of vessels we become.

What are some of the characteristics of a vessel of honor? 

The word vessel means: a container for holding something b: a person into whom some quality (as grace) is infused.

These individuals are living a sanctified life. That means they know their lives are set apart for God’s purpose. They can’t fulfill their own desires.  The vessels of honor are empty containers used for His glory. They have been emptied of themselves, so the Holy Spirit can have them entirely.  Being emptied is not a fun process!! It’s hard and it’s painful!

The vessels of honor are not a mixture of worldliness and spirituality. The carnality has been purged out of them. They are useful vessels because they can be trusted to represent the kingdom well. They don’t speak for themselves, but they are ambassadors and spokespersons for the kingdom.  They are also individuals that through a season of God working on them are prepared people for His work. They are trained soldiers, and polished arrows capable of accomplishing His tasks successfully.

How do we become a vessel of honor? According to verse 22, we are called to flee youthful lusts. We may not be young in age but youthful lusts can follow us into old age. When you think about your younger years, do you have distaste for your lustful ways or do you think of them as the good old days? Have you outgrown the past passions, ambitions, and desires? The formula for dealing with lust will not change regardless of our age. If you sense you are getting tempted in any area, you must train yourself to resist the temptation and hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. James 4:7 & 2Corinthians 10:3-5

We are also called to pursue righteousness, faith, love, & peace and do it with a pure heart. If we do these things and avoid foolish and ignorant disputes we will become vessels of honor. We will be the gold and silver who have been tested over the years by various trials and have become more and more pure over time. We will be a treasure in God’s house, useful for His kingdom, and a showcase of His nature and His glory. Our lives will bring honor to His name. When people think of us, they will think well of a Christian because we represent Him beautifully!!

Praise God for His goodness. He chooses us, calls us to himself, and then desires for us to partner with Him on a journey of life that will change us, mold us, break us, purge us, and make us more like Him. Useful for His purposes!!!!!

 

Are You Offended?

Being a Christian does not exempt us from being offended. On the contrary, it may even give us more opportunities to get offended than before. Generally, we seem to get more offended with our brothers and sisters in Christ than with the world. To some degree that is understandable. We’re the ones who are the new creation. We should know better because we read the word of God and should know how to live a life pleasing to the Lord. So when a believer does something that is out of character for a Christian, or they claim to know the truth but their actions don’t bear the same witness, we get offended.

The best thing to do with a personal offense is to follow Matthew 18 instruction in the Bible which describes going directly to the person who has offended us and settle/reconcile the matter. If we are an observer to another person’s offense, we need to remind ourselves that we don’t see/know the whole picture and let go of the offense before it develops into a root of bitterness.

However, there is another form of offense which is more dangerous. Let’s look at the scripture below:

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:  The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:2-6

John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ, and he was the one who baptized Jesus. But now that he is in prison, things haven’t turned out the way he thought they should. So He questioned if Jesus was really the one or if they should look for another one.Jesus had to remind John the Baptist of what had transpired in his time of ministry. However, John the Baptist was offended because Jesus did not conform to his ideas of Messiah.

This is the more insidious and dangerous offense than the normal day to day offenses. We hear God speak to us through His word or His spirit. Some may have received a prophecy about their lives, and then we wait and wait and wait a little longer. We wonder what is happening

The same Jesus who was the rock of offense for the Jewish people and even John the Baptist can become a rock of offense to a mature believer. We think we have understood God and we have figured out how He works; and when He doesn’t meet our expectations, we are offended.  We’re “too mature” to think that we are offended by God, so we don’t admit it. Instead, we project our disappointment on others and we question their integrity or their leadership.

When we look at the Biblical accounts of men and women who served God, we always find God moving in unexpected ways!! When Jesus heard about Lazarus’s sickness, he waited a couple of more days before going back to Judea to Mary and Martha’s house. By then Lazarus was already dead!! Talk about disappointment!! But Jesus had a more beautiful and powerful plan than what the sisters had envisioned. He brought Lazarus back to life! We cannot box Him in. We can read the Word and walk faithfully with God, however, it doesn’t mean that by doing right we can control God’s actions on our behalf. We do right because it pleases God, but we always have to give Him room to be God and do it the way He knows best even when it doesn’t make sense to us. The scripture says, “… the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate ” (1Corinthians 1:19b NIV).

In our walk of faith there will be times in life that we will not understand things or see things clearly. Sometimes other people’s actions or lack of action will cause great disappointment. That cannot change us. We keep doing the same thing until the Lord’s instruction changes, but we don’t act on an offense. That’s not God, and it can make us go around the same mountain over and over again without gaining spiritual ground!!

Is there any offense in your heart toward God or anyone? Repent and release people from your grip!!

Ultimately this isn’t about your relationship with the people. It has to do with your relationship to the Lord. Speak to Him about your aching heart and let Him heal you.

Why Do We Need to Look Like Jesus?

As Christians we use a lot of words or statements that are true, but after a while, we have forgotten why those statements are so significant.  A few days ago, I was reading a devotional that was exhorting people to persevere in their faith because perseverance molds us into the image of Jesus. As I continued reading, the thought occurred to me, “Why do I need to look like Jesus?”

Jesus accepted us the way we were, and His blood washed away our sins. This means if the day of your salvation is the last day of your life, you will go to be with Him without ever looking like Him on this side of eternity. This tells us that looking like Jesus doesn’t make us anymore acceptable to God.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29

Clearly,  the scripture tells us that it is the Lord’s design and desire for us to look like Jesus, but why is this important?

First of all, we need to look like Jesus in order to be freed up from our past behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and start living life from a spiritual perspective. This can also be called sanctification. We come out of the world and worldliness, and we take on more kingdom mindset. This allows us to enjoy the benefit of our salvation by continually being freed up from our soulish desires. This also gives us the strength to not fall prey to the enemy’s temptations because the things that so easily and quickly affected us in the past don’t have that kind of hold on us any longer.

Secondly, we need to look like Jesus, so we can fulfill the great commission. In order for us to effectively reach a lost world, we need to have a heart and mind like Jesus. This is the only way we can reach the lost with His love. The more we look like Jesus, our words and our actions will be in congruence. We don’t get impatient with people who don’t see it our way. Instead of people seeing a hypocrite or someone trying to jam Christianity down their throat, they will see people whose lives speak of God’s love and their words match up with their lifestyle. People will be drawn to us because of Jesus in us. We don’t want people to be drawn to us because of our wealth, success, charm, beauty, or intelligence. We want them to be drawn to Jesus in us because He is the one who can make them whole and give them eternal life. All our great qualities cannot produce eternal life for someone else.

Let’s pray for ourselves and the body of Christ that we are willing to go through the process to look more like Jesus as there are so many lives at stake. When we are willing to be formed in the image of Jesus, we bring hope to a hopeless world!! The world needs us to look more like Jesus!!!

A Rebellious Christian- an Oxymoron

Does the word “obedience” rub you the wrong way? Does it make you feel restricted and tied down to be yourself?

The issues of obedience or rebellion are not issues of personality and being free- spirited. Let’s look at a couple of scriptures:

“If you love me, keep my commandments.”  John 14:15

 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

The issues of obedience and rebellion are issues of relationship.  Many times we think of obedience as avoiding sin, and rebellion as falling into sin, but ultimately the issue is the condition of our relationship to the Lord. In obedience we are building trust, and we are growing in relationship towards the Lord, and in rebellion we are destroying trust, and jeopardizing the relationship.

In 2 Chronicles 16:9 the King James Version uses perfect instead of the word loyal”.

Perfect : In Greek:  Complete, friendly, peaceable, to be safe, make restitution, restore, give, make good, reward.

The loyalty/perfection of our heart shows the condition of our relationship to our Lord. It is an indication of the level of peace we have with Him. It reveals how safe we feel with Him. It also emphasizes the level of restoration that we have walked with God. Our obedience isn’t so the Lord can say, “Look, they finally listen to me.” Our obedience restores us from the condition of insecurity, anxiety, & brokenness to a place of wholeness. It is a reward to walk with the Lord in trust and in obedience. It means we no longer wrestle with God, but we have come to believe Him and trust Him when He speaks. Jacob finally stopped wrestling with God and the Lord changed his name (Genesis 32:22-28). Jacob no longer walked in deceit, self assertion , and strife, but was willing to surrender it all to God.

When our heart is loyal towards the Lord, we are no longer double-minded.  We cannot hold on to Jesus and hold on to our own understanding anymore. We can’t serve two masters!  We will either hate one and love the other, or love one and hate the other. There cannot be a mixture of faith and human understanding anymore. A heart that is loyal to God, instead of doubting, is acting upon His word. Praise Him!

“For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5: 19

Jesus the perfect one set the example for obedience. Imagine if he hadn’t obeyed the father; we would have no hope of salvation. He didn’t obey because it was comfortable or He was popular. On the contrary, the Son of God while He was on the earth, he was ridiculed, persecuted, disrespected, and finally was crucified. He chose to the obey the father, and He changed the world by His obedience!!!

Next time you consider the issue of obedience versus rebellion, think about the condition of your relationship with the Lord. Obedience versus rebellion are not an issue of whether we are free-spirited or not. They apply to all of us. When Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will obey Him, He wasn’t saying this to take our joy and freedom away, but He was saying that our obedience is a fruit of our love towards Him. It is a by-product of our trust towards him. Our obedience will set us free from ourselves and bring greater freedom into our lives.

Unfortunately, the body of Christ has adopted either a great adherence to obedience where it has become legalistic and man pleasing. Or on the flip side some have tried to use the grace card and have not taught or trained people into obedience of God’s word. The Lord calls us to obedience but it is an obedience that is directed towards Him, and it is based on Biblical principles. If we are not obeying Him, then we really don’t have the kind of relationship we think we have with Him!

 

 

 

 

Jesus Declared & Differentiated Himself…

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.John 14:6

Jesus made a very bold statement that contains four important elements. Jesus is the way. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is life. Finally, no one can come to the father except through Jesus. These statements are not made by a politically correct person. Jesus cared to tell the truth to the world, so each person can have the opprotunity to live a free life. Every delcaration about himself is powerful, and we cannnot take it lightly. We have a tendency to concentrate on only one aspect of who Jesus is.  As a result, we can only experience a limited level of victory, not a complete victory.

If we concentrate on only one portion of Jesus declaration about Himself,  it causes a couple of problems. The first is we are not getting to know Jesus in His entirety of character and person. The second is we will not have complete victory in our walk with Him. We may talk about it, preach or teach on it, but we will not experience it. Let’s look at all four elements.

Jesus is the way. All wisdom and the right paths are found in following Jesus. The scripture tells us His ways are perfect.  We need to go the right way in life or we will be lost, confused, & distracted.

Jesus is the truth. Jesus encompasses that entire Word of God. He was the last lamb who came to take the sins of the world, and He is coming back for His bride, the church. The Bible calls Him the chief cornerstone”. We must build our lives on this rock. He is our foundation.

Jesus is life. Finally, we can have the truth, go the right way, but not experience the fullness of life and joy of the Lord. Jesus is life. He needs to be the one who consumes all our attention, love, and dedication. Anything that takes His place, will also take away from us experiencing fullness of life. We need to fight the battle of not being owned by anything other than Jesus. We can’t be in bondage to anything. We must be free to worship Him and keep Him on the throne. He is the only one deserving of the throne. No man, or thing, is qualified to take that place. If we give anything that place, eventually it will fail us, disappoint us, and break us. We will then need to be purged of what has diluted and stolen our affection from the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  This will steal our joy and peace.

Do you find yourself losing your joy and peace frequently? Ask yourself what has taken the place of Jesus on the throne of your heart.

Finally, Jesus declared,”no one comes to the father except through me”. There are many religions out there who claim to have the truth, but they are trying to reach God by good works. Some of these religions will even recognize Jesus as a prophet or a good teacher. But that is only part of the truth. The whole truth is that Jesus is greater than a teacher or a prophet. The son of God came to reach us. He came to save the world from sin and darkness and open the door for us to be in relationship with a holy God. There is no other solution to our problem of sin and the restoration of man’s relationship with the one and only Holy God. Other religions may have a portion of the truth, but the whole truth lies in the person of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross.

Jesus didn’t make many declarations about Himself. However, the declarations He made you don’t want to miss them because they are life changing.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your savior and Lord, today is the day to make that decision. It is the most important decision you can ever make in your life. You can click on ‘Salvation Prayer” menu item on the top part of this page to guide you into a prayer to receive Jesus as your Lord and savior.

If you have received Jesus as your savior, but you find that in one or more of those areas that you can grow more, then ask Him to change you in those areas.

The Faces of Rejection – Part II

Circumstantial Rejection

Do you find yourself that one conversation can sometimes throw you into the pit of rejection?

The day to day rejection is another battle that has to be fought by some of us. I just realized today, there needs to be a certain level of authority before one has the power to reject someone. For example, if you wish to travel to a foreign nation that requires a visa, you must go to that nation’s embassy and get a visa or permission to put foot on their land. The consulate has the power and authority to accept your request or reject it.

When I’m feeling rejected by someone, I must ask myself,

1. Is there factual evidence for the feeling of rejection?

2.Does this person have the authority to reject me?

3. Is this a rejection or a correction?

In the court of law, if you are going to accuse someone of wrongdoing, your evidence has to hold up before the judge or the jury. Do I have enough evidence that a jury of 12 people can be convinced that I was truly rejected? Or is this all the figment of my imagination?  Many times, there is not enough evidence to convince myself let alone 12 other people!! That’s when you have to reject the thought because it holds no water.  By the way, 12 of your friends don’t count as a jury!!

The scripture says, “If God is for us, who can be against us? If the Lord of the universe who could have chosen to reject me has accepted me, then who can bring a charge against me? I have to remind myself of what God says about me.

Finally, I don’t have to be perfect!! I can be humble enough to receive correction. If I have done something wrong I need to ask forgiveness from the Lord and from others and then keep moving forward!! Just because someone doesn’t approve of something I have done, it doesn’t mean he/she is rejecting me.

Rejection is an identity issue, and we should rarely allow situations to have that kind of power over our lives!!

Rejection is a powerful spirit that tries to take you out of your game!! Don’t give it a foothold! Fight back!!