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My Sheep Hear MY VOICE

This is a word for people who have surrendered themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ at some point in your life, and who know the freedom for which we have been set free in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When we do what we hear Jesus saying to us, at His word things happen. But not apart from hearing from Him. I think this is the “Jesus Modus Operandi” – if we are in Him – just as He did only what He heard from the Father. If we have been crucified in Him, raised up in him, and are seated with Him in heavenly places, then why do we not hear Him? Because we’re not actually believing what He tells us in His word about our relationship in Him! And we may not have a serious prayer life where we seek Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and ask for that hearing to be mightily restored.

There may also be too many “middle men” trying to interrupt that direct connection. Those of you who experience Him through the Holy Spirit know what and who I mean  when I say that. The middle men will tell us this is not possible; we have to hear from them first. And there are layers and layers of filters, so that the Word of Christ is completely distorted and therefore has no potency in our life.

Beware! Whose voice are you hearing and heeding?

Behold!

Behold.png

This weekend is not about the Easter bunny, egg hunting, or any of the other earthbound trivia and hype ordinarily associated with this holiday. It’s about – if you choose to observe it as such, or if you don’t choose to do so – the startling reality of a new creation forged in the fires of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. But it doesn’t end there… It’s not even “all about me” or the stuff I think I can do for God out of my own self importance. It’s not even about being “churchy”. Instead, it’s about a deep truth which has gotten overlooked and lost for the most part: “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

The question is, how seriously do we take this? Ponder that for awhile, and see where it takes you… It’s not just “about me” or “for me”; it’s “in Him.”

And it doesn’t end here either. See Colossians 2:20-23 and Colossians 3:1-10 for where it goes from here.

The Time Has Come

I think we know what’s going on. We are living the signs of the times. If we see it for what it is, and have been made right with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and are living surrendered to the Holy Spirit, we will know where we stand, as the days commence with the purposes they contain. Please see the Scripture Reference at the end.

Nowhere to run –

that which must be has begun,

tares from wheat,

bitter from sweet,

chaff from grain,

sound of mind from all insane,

dross from gold,

It shall unfold –

wickedness from all that’s good,

stripped away like bark from wood,

dark from light, left from right , manifest, 

north from south and east from west,

what is cursed from what is blessed.

Murky gray begone from day!

You shall see – so it must be.

Lukewarm from hot, lukewarm from cold;

that long hidden must unfold,

coward false from true and bold

So it has been long foretold.

Don’t you know? Nowhere to go.

©Only a Messenger

(See Matthew 13: 41-43)

The One Needful Prayer

Some people think it’s a cop out to pray a simple prayer like this. My thought is, if it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me. Here are a few more considerations related to the idea:

http://www.at-the-crossroad.com/430065897/4468286/posting/the-one-needful-prayer

Hope you like the visual too!

Thy Will Be Done.png

Post Holiday Thoughts

(This was begun on December 25, 2016. A lot was going on, so it didn’t get posted until now. That was probably a blessing, as it more simply reflects what I might have been tempted to say by a lengthier pontification. The thought is good for any time of the year.)

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

“… But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”  (1Timothy 6:5-11)

Here we are again. It’s December 25, Christmas Day. How quickly it seems to roll around each year! This message may be the clinker in the fireplace on a day when we’re being lulled to sleep by yet another round of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”.

Maybe it’s also time to take a good look at where we’re going, if we name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in a world and a nation which has turned it’s back on the One Whose birthday it claims to celebrate today.

All the gift buying, wrapping, and opening of presents, all the stress of the bill paying that follows, all of it in the name of giving our children “something more”… Could we dare to admit that the hype of anticipation, inserted into our minds by the sorceries of the merchants, far exceeds the five minute enjoyment of unwrapping yet another toy or piece of electronic paraphernalia made in China?

There are bell ringers in front of every Walgreen’s. People stroll through hospital corridors as they carol and sing, “Joy to the World.” There are food drives and clothing drives and all sorts of giving expressed.

Yet as I drive around town and observe the “Holly Daze”, I wind up asking, how is it we can, as if by some signal, cease hostilities and go into a generosity mode once a year, but then – as if by yet another signal – resume and maintain until the next “Season” an attitude of business as usual and looking out for number one? Does this not seem to be a a bit puzzling? It’s as if someone flips a switch, and off we go.

I suppose I ought to be thankful that it happens even once a year, but in a “Christian country”, how is it that this generosity does not characterized a general way of life which would be ringing bells of joy throughout all creation all the time?

We call this the celebration of the birthday of Jesus Christ, but… seriously? It seems all quite hollow. Maybe we could call it the “Hollow Days”.

What Paul is pointing out here – to believers – is a contentment with greater spiritual riches and the fruit of the Spirit – godliness – ought to be the focus of every believer in Christ, in all places, at all times.

Future

Sometimes life kind of stops you in your tracks, a chance to pause for the cause of reevaluating and refocusing. New Year’s Day was every bit of that for me, as I spent the day in the Emergency Room, and the night under observation due to the strong meds I was given.

2017. What will it hold? What if you could go back to a different time where living was a whole lot simpler? What time period would you choose?

If I had to do it over again, and could choose, I would choose the time period of the 1950s and 1960s, and it would never end. Only one thing would be different: I’d have the accumulated knowledge – and a little wisdom too – that I have now. I would be far more awake and a whole lot less naive.

Something to think about as 2017 unfolds.

The path before us does not look much simpler. There is no choice, other than the discovery of time travel, or any chance to go back. What my choices will be is to honor my own bywords: Simplicity, Single-mindedness, Surrender to Christ. I know that the One Who held the past of halcyon days, holds the turbulent here and now, and also holds the uncharted days ahead.

“… No turning back, no turning back.”