Thursday, May 31, 2012

Intimate Absolution Part Two

Intimate Absolution has three key components:
      1.      Reveal the Biblical meaning for forgiveness (see Part One for details)
2.      Resolve to follow the Biblical command to forgive
3.      Relinquish our feelings in order to stand in submission to the Biblical promises about forgiveness

Resolve to follow the Biblical command to forgive: Intimate Absolution requires obedience on our part. God forgives us and then commands us to forgive others. No exceptions. Once we are in right relationship with God we have to look at how we are relating to others….
·         Horizontal forgiveness – between you and others.
·         Remember the greatest commandment Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
·         Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father for give your trespasses.
·         Matthew 5:23-24: Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. Be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
·         Mark 11:25-26: And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses.
·         I know you need forgiveness….we all do (Romans 3:23, 6:23)….and Jesus is saying without exception to receive you have to be willing to also forgive.
·         He even told an amazing parable about this:  
Matthew 18:21-35: Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"  Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'   Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.  "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took [him] by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."
·         Unforgiveness is like poisoning yourself in order to exact revenge on someone who hurt you.
§  Futile: does not hurt the other person at all
§  Destroys you from the inside and defiles EVERYONE around you
§  Hebrews 12:14:15: Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
§  Kids in a divorce where one parent is bitter
§  Friendships
§  Church splits
Please hear me…refusing to forgive the one who hurt you is saying, “The blood of Jesus is not enough.” Because Jesus died to pay for the sins of the whole world
o   Colossians 3:12-13: Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do
§  Molestation
§  Drunk driver who killed your family members on their way home from church
§  Husband who betrayed you by having an affair with your best friend
§  Terrorists who fly the planes into the twin towers on 9/11

·         Whose sins is weighing on you now?
o    Is it your husband’s, your son, your best friend’s, someone in this room tonight, or is it your own?
o   Will you look at the cross, see His blood covering and washing away that sin that is hurting you.
o   Love Jesus by loving the one who has sinned against you.
·         Jesus loves sinners…therefore, so should we! Our world is in desperate need of this covering love.  You have it in limitless measure….don’t hold back!
o   Proverbs 10:12: Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Intimate Absolution Part One

You are probably wondering why this post is entitled “Intimate Absolution?” Don’t worry we are not seeking financial gifts to guarantee your good standing with God!  Absolution means forgiveness, pardon, freedom, release, liberty. It made me stop and think; “What does forgiveness have to do with intimacy?” 
After praying I can confidently say, “Everything, forgiveness has everything to do with intimacy.” I want us to respond to three things concerning forgiveness:
1.      Reveal the Biblical meaning for forgiveness
2.      Resolve to follow the Biblical command to forgive
3.      Relinquish our feelings in order to stand in submission to the Biblical promises about forgiveness

Reveal the Biblical meaning of forgiveness: Intimate Absolution, guilt eats away at the soul, we long after forgiveness.
·         Intimate Admission, being born again,  is our first and primary encounter with forgiveness.
·         Forgiveness is at the foundation of our relationship with Jesus; we are sinners in need of a Savior
·         Vertical forgiveness – between you and the Lord
·         Challenge: write out your testimony. Take time alone, put it on paper. Spend time really enjoying what He has done, how far He has brought you, look at the miracles…
·         The greatest miracle you can share is what Jesus has done in you! Purpose in your heart to share it every day!
o   Cut it down to 60 seconds so you can share it anytime, anywhere, and anyway then start practicing….no one will know if you make a mistake, it’s your story!
o   I recently met woman at a Surgery Center. She grew up an atheist and her neighbor just invited her to church….she said she never heard the name Jesus.
o   As they sat listening to the message, both her and her husband saw themselves in all the behaviors he mentioned. They wondered how the pastor knew so much about them, and even remarked afterwards, “Did you see him looking at me while he spoke?”
o   Even though conviction was uncomfortable, they kept going back because Jesus does the drawing….John 6:44: No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
o   Until God opened their ears and now they are actively serving Jesus….

All it took was one person stepping out. You are that one person.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Indelible mark of His love....

Intimate intoxication leaves an indelible mark on your life. One song writer describes it as being, “Drenched in His love.” If we were especially formed to hold the Lord, and the Scripture teaches that God is Love 1 John 4:8, then it is fair to say we were designed to be vessels of His love.
·         We were created to be loved supremely: This is why God’s one rule for our husbands is to love us. He knows we have this innate need, we were born with it!
o   We naturally crave deep rich affection
o   I am here to tell you that only Jesus can supply the amount and intensity of love you require.
§  Our spouse’s can’t do it ~ we need to stop trying to force them to give us what they don’t have.
§  Our kids can’t do it…
§  Our career, our education, or any other thing we seek after for our identity…
§  LOSE yourself in Jesus, let Him sweep you away with His love this very minute and you will find real LOVE, rich PURPOSE, and resounding JOY!

     ·         We were also created to be channels of His love to others:
o   Love is what draws all of us to Jesus: God’ love is irresistible. If you are in love with Jesus it shows, people will be drawn to you because they see something in you they want for themselves…
§  No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. ~ John 6:44
§  1 John 4:12: No one has seen God at anytime. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
§  Whose love are you craving tonight? Fall more in love with Jesus and I guarantee His love in you will draw them closer to you.
o   Love covers a multitude of sins:
§  Whose sin is weighing upon you right now? Is it your husband’s, your son, your best friend’s, someone in this room tonight, or is it your own?
§  Will you look at the cross, see Jesus’ blood covering and washing away that sin that is hurting you.
§  Love Him by loving the one who has sinned against you.
§  Jesus loves sinners…therefore, so should we!
§  Our world is in desperate need of this covering love.
§  Proverbs 10:12: Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
Let your whole heart open up and take this in…the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, The Giver of Strength, The Dispenser of Grace, the Revealer of Jesus, the Reminder of Hope, the Seal and Promise for us….is beckoning you to let every last fear and drop of unbelief pass away and cling to Him TODAY!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Precious Love...

Scripture tells us the earmark of a Spirit-filled believer is simply love, God’s perfect agape love.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. ~ Galatians 5:22-24
Love is the singular fruit, all else is a description of that love in action:
·         Joy: love rejoicing
·         Peace: Love resting
·         Longsuffering: love enduring
·         Kindness: love’s touch
·         Goodness: love’s character
·         Faithfulness: love’s habit
·         Gentleness: love in action
·         Self-control: true self love, love holding the reins
Crucified the flesh with its passions and desires: Stop trying to rehabilitate yourflesh, its beyond repair. Our hope is REGENERATION, being BORN AGAIN into a lively new hope, a right standing with God, established and rooted in His love!  No fear, no failure, just pure holy fire!
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit: Right here this moment, enter into the Holy of Holies, commune with Him…
·         It is here, at the foot of His cross, standing in His glorious presence, that intimacy will spring to life.
·         It will be His life pouring first upon you, filling you until you overflow.
·         Jesus says it will well up inside of you like a river of living water (John 7:38)
·         Fear not for even if you leave this Holy of Holies, to go forth as a light in this dying world, we need not leave the Spirit behind.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Spirit's Work

The Spirit of God works in our lives in three very important ways:
With us – (leading you to repent) He comes along side of us to reprove or convince us of our need for Jesus

  • John 16:7-15: Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (1) of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  (2) of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; (3) of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.  I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.  All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
  • This is how the Holy Spirit is working in our unsaved loved ones and friends. Never stop praying and sharing….
  • Be available for God to use you to reach someone in this place. You may be the answer to someone’s prayers!
In Us – (at salvation) when we are born again the Holy Spirit actually comes to live in our hearts, He indwells us
  • John 14:16-17: And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
    • Parakletos: summoned, called to one's side, especially called to one’s aid: one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate
    • Speaking of the Holy Spirit destined to take the place of Christ with the apostles to lead them to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth, and give them divine strength needed to enable them to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom
Upon us – (baptized for service) He comes upon us supernaturally, overflowing us with God’s love and power so we can serve others
  • Acts 1:8: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
  • Ephesians 5:17-21: Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
  • Jesus said in John 15:5: Apart from Me you can do nothing.
Take a look at your life:
  • Does it show abundant fruit?
  • Is the fruit meager, stagnant, or even dead?
  • Any of the above just mean you need a fresh baptism and the good news is it’s available to you right here, right now, and every time you as FOREVER!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This moment is yours...

Today…humans are creatures of the moment. The past is gone; the future is unknown, only this current moment is ours. The great reality of our redemption is that all the blessedness of eternity has been gathered up to this very moment….all Christ offers is ours TODAY…all we need to do is believe it and walk in it.

·         That sounds pretty simple, yet I mess it up all the time!
·         Beware of delay! So often when God whispers, “Today my daughter…” I respond with, “Lord, tomorrow is better for me…”
o   Story of little Jenn. Loved God, asked women for prayer, mom got saved through her example. Ali and Haley sick with malaria, I did not take the two extra minutes to go and pray for her and she died….I hesitated, delayed a few minutes, hardened my heart, and lost my chance forever! 
o   Delaying never makes obedience or surrender easier….only harder. We think by waiting the strength to obey will come and the pain of the sacrifice will diminish, that greater understanding will make us more eloquent…that is all a lie.
·         Jesus lived in immediate whole hearted submission to the Words of His Father. Look at the gospel of Mark and see how often the word immediately appears!
·         Why then would we do any less?
·         Delay actually closes our heart to the Comforter and to growth.
·         God can’t give us more instruction until we obey what He has already told us.
o   Has it been awhile since the Lord spoke to you?
o   What was the last thing you remember Him saying?
o   Did you obey it? If not, go back and do what He said now…Then more revelation will come your way!
o   Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. Never allow anything to remain which is making the dis-peace. Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not to suffer. Say—‘Lord, prove Thy consciousness in me’, and self-consciousness will go and He will be all in all ~ Oswald Chambers

You are the Bride of Christ....

When long ago, upon a cross, our loving Saviour died,
‘Twas then that Christ, the Bridegroom, purchased us to be His bride.
His pledge of love was made in Heaven before the Father’s throne;
He chose us for Himself and put our good above His own. 

His love was not inspired by any merit on our part—
‘Twas born of grace and goodness springing forth from God’s own heart.
And thus our faithful Bridegroom shows no change in constancy,
However cold in heart or undeserving we may be.

And day by day, our hearts are filled with growing love and trust,
As we behold our Bridegroom, Who is loving, wise, and just.
We cease from caring for ourselves and choosing our own way—
‘Tis His to care for us, and ours to trust Him and obey.

O, pattern sweet for you who now as bride and bridegroom stand—
Two lives to be forever joined by God’s almighty hand!
And yet a third, the Heavenly Bridegroom, stands with you today;
And you, the earthly bride and groom, each have two parts to play!

As bride, you see, you’re twice a bride—you also are Christ’s own;
The vows made to your earthly groom are not to him alone.
And though you stand today as groom, you’re also Christ’s own bride,
And ever faithful to your vows to Christ you must abide.

As bride, you come to meet your groom adorned in glorious dress—
So both of you, as bride of Christ, must wear His Righteousness.
The wonder of your Heavenly Bridegroom’s all forgiving grace
Will fill your hearts with patience as each other’s faults you face.

As groom, you have not in yourself the strength to face each day—
‘Tis only as you follow Christ that you can lead the way.
As bride, you can’t give o’er your will and follow without fear
Apart from faith in Christ’s own power to keep your bridegroom near.

‘Tis in this three-fold union that the joy of marriage lies,
For Christ will put within your hearts His love that never dies.
He’ll guide you with His wisdom when your path grows rough or dim,
And He’ll bind your hearts together as you each draw near to Him. 
                                                                                   ~Joy Dean