Archive for January, 2014

A lesson in Hebrew

It’s hard to preach the truth, because people will start to hold you accountable to it. 

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“The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.”

God is good. But when he saves us, he doesn’t tell us to stay as we are. He tells us like the woman caught in adultery, to “go and sin no more.” Her sin did not become less real because He forgave her. And his forgiveness did not take away her need to change. Salvation does not remove from us the responsibility of the law; it simply removes from us the fear of it. Salvation allows us to look in the mirror and face our fears, our sins, our inadequacies, and our worries, and enables us to say that God is greater than the things we let control our lives.

The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18) The word for near in Hebrew is karov, and it means close enough to touch. We don’t need to shout for God to hear us, or kneel for him to listen, or close our eyes for him to act. God is close to us. Close enough to touch.

The truth is, much of the suffering we go through as Christians is inward. We are attacked with depression, self-hate, sin, temptation, lack of self-confidence, failure, and lust. Often times there is sorrow in our heart that no one else can share. But our brokenness is what draws us to Christ for healing.

God is near to those with a broken heart, or nishbar lev. The Hebrew word lev refers to our inner life: our affectations, our mind, and our will. Those who have a broken heart realize that they have no control over their own lives. They are inwardly broken, and are in need of God’s salvation.

Salvation, in Latin is salvare, to save, which in Hebrew is yoshia. In the Hebrew language yoshia signifies ‘making room from what restricts or distresses us.’ Thus Salvation frees us from what oppresses and constricts our inward life. It is God saving us from ourselves.

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

“A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer, and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.”

For God to work in you, he will often times remove the things you trust and cherish, so that instead of life’s priorities and passions you will focus on Him.

‘The flaming desire to be rid of every unholy thing and to put on the likeness of Christ at any cost is not often found among us. We expect to enter the everlasting kingdom of our Father and to sit down around the table with sages, saints and martyrs. But for most of us it would be an embarrassing experience. Ours would be the silence of the untried soldier in the presence of the battle-hardened heroes, who have fought the fight and won the victory, and who have scars to prove that they were present when the battle was joined.’

Oftentimes we want to be used by God, but determine by ourselves the time, intensity, and method of the trials and suffering we meet on the way. We want our strengths and abilities to shine forth, not our broken hearts, or our weaknesses.

We don’t have to look for suffering in order to be used by God—trials will always find us. But when they do, will we see them as God being indifferent to us, or will we see it as His hand molding and growing us so that we might enjoy being with him for an eternity.

Examine it further:
A.W. Tozer. Eric Jonas Swensson. Crossway. Hebrew4Christians.

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Salvations is easy, but…

Man, I’m on a roll 🙂

So since I can’t (won’t) sleep. Let me tell you about the seminar I am leading (early) tomorrow morning. 🙂

lol, So the theme of the retreat is Stand Firm. When I was first told I would be leading this session the pastor immediately asked me what I would be speaking about. I was kinda thrown off guard and I think after he thought about it for a couple seconds he realized that he should probably give me a day or two to think about it. Nevertheless, when he hanged up the phone I immediately emailed him back with my topic: Trials and Temptations. I mean it was a no brainer! lol, this is simply because I feel that the best sermons are 99.9% of the time spoken through experience. I.e. don’t sit high up on a pedestal somewhere telling me God is good. Why don’t you come back down to earth and tell me how God has been good to you. Simple, right?

Anyways, so Trials and Temptations.

I was doing some last minute research o_O and I came across this: “Salvation costs you nothing, but discipleship will cost you everything.”

Woahh. If someone was trying to explain to me the last two years of my life is a sentence. BAM. Done.

You know, we are often told to come to Christ as we are. And then preachers usually go into those verses which make it seem like following Christ is a hop, skip, and a jump into some kind of otherworldly bliss.

*cough* (spoiler alert)—>

Yeahh, not so much.

The only thing easy about accepting Christ, was that, accepting Him. It’s the aftermath that I have been having problems with.

Like, how do I all of a sudden become perfect? I mean God. Have you seen me? Have you seen how much of a mess I can be? And now you want me to be perfect?? Wahhhht.

No can do. Too difficult. Man, it’s times like these I wish I was the thief on the cross. Man, that would be the life!! From sin, straight to heaven!! No more time left on earth to screw up the gift Christ died on the cross for. One shot and it’s done!

Meanwhile the rest of us have to face the harsh realization that Christianity is all about the narrow path. I mean I heard it was narrow. But I’m still thinking, nahh I got this. Few steps in, and I was already headed in the wrong direction. smh. Bible never lies. Path is narrow y’all.

I used to think it was only me though. That I was the only one who felt following God was a little bit harder than anticipated. But then I came across this quote:

The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems, for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him for very long; but even if the multiple burdens of time may be lifted from him, the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably. And when the man’s laboring conscience tells him that he has done none of these things, but has from childhood been guilty of foul revolt against the Majesty in the heavens, the inner pressure of self-accusation may become too heavy to bear.

Sigh. A.W. Tozer always knows how to say what’s on a girl’s mind. *cough* So for those of you who didn’t get that –> “Salvation costs you nothing, but discipleship will cost you everything!!”

So come as you are dearie, but when things become uncomfortable because–> once you’ve found the Lord, you realize you can no longer stay the same, know that you are in good company. Salvation is not by works. But for those of us called to discipleship. By our fruits you will know us.

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I have a problem- Faith

“Faith is not believing that God can. It is believing that He will.”

Wow!!! 

Man, I have a problem. You know what that problem is? All my epiphanies come at night. You know, the time I should be getting beauty sleep. But no. Instead of soaking in the tub, and preparing for bed. I am here yet again. Another epiphany. But hey at least things are getting better 🙂 My last epiphany, (i.e. when I felt like God was telling me something) I wasn’t ready to listen. It got so bad. It’s like I would seek His presence, but only as long as it didn’t convict me in the area I was struggling most. Man, I would go to youtube looking for sermons to listen to, but I would avoid any topic that seemed like it would start my guilt trip all over again.

 

Hey, it’s not like I didn’t try to change. I did. I really did. But I failed. Again, and again, and again. So I stopped trying. I just stopped. The guilt weighed me down so much that I started hating myself, and the things that once were joyful to me, became empty. I was empty. 

You don’t know how long this lasted. But God is soo good 🙂 He really NEVER gives up on us. It’s not like one day I woke up and was finally able to be the person He wanted me to be. Nope. The truth is I got so low, so empty, and so lost, that I realized I couldn’t help myself. I simply couldn’t. But then I read in His word that He will enable us to become who He wants us to be.

 

So I stopped trying, and tried Him. I told Him, “God, do something. Because I can’t.” And He did. And I feel so free, so happy 🙂 

lol, anyways, back to the main point. “Faith is not believing that God can. It is believing that He will!!”

Isn’t that amazing!! 

Do you know why this quote struck me so hard? Because at one point I was unable to pray. Literally unable to pray. And do you know why? Not because I didn’t believe in God. And not because I didn’t think He was good or able. But it was because I knew He saw where I was, and how I was suffering. I knew He could step in and help me. But He didn’t. And I stopped believing that he would. He was up there seeing my prayer–and that was it! And hey. I couldn’t blame the guy. That’s what I deserved. Nothing. I didn’t deserve anything from Him. 

But one day I realized that, that I was right!!! That, that is simply the beauty of God! We don’t deserve ANYTHING, but yet He has given us EVERYTHING. 

 

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