Sunday, May 25, 2008
Today I found myself coming home, even after another great morning at church and a great sermon, still just kind of discontent, not very joyful, and at one point felt I wanted to kind of bite someone's head off, but didn't know why. Don't worry, I didn't bite anyone's head off. Actually, my family never had a clue this was going on in my mind. Luckily, I had a talk to God while preparing lunch so I could nip this fleshy-ness in the bud. I didn't want my long Sunday afternoon with my family to be ruined. And of course, it's always right after a good sermon that you get a little tested, isn't it?
Anyways, I really wanted to go and have a quiet talk with God during the time that I was making lunch, but that wasn't possible, so He graciously spoke to me right there where I was at, making lunch. I love that about Him. I was telling Him that I didn't feel very joyful, I didn't want to make all these sandwiches, try to entertain my kids all day, or pick up the mess that was left from rushing out the door for church that morning. I know, whine, whine, whine. And He said "Who are you wanting to please right now?". I easily said "Me...um...oh yeah...that's my problem". He said, "Yep". The flesh always wants to get fed first, cared for first, doesn't it, and it is NEVER satisfied. Nor does it want to serve others. There have been other signs of my flesh being strong this week as well. And then God said, "Remember, the only pure joy and contentment you are going to find is through Me. So for the thousandth time, abide in Me, feed the Spirit, and rebuke the flesh in the name of Jesus". And then I was reminded of JOY being an acronym for what God was telling me. This has done wonders for me in that past.
J - Jesus first
O- Others second
Y- yourself last
So I decided to start taking my thoughts captive to Jesus, praying over every thought that was stealing my joy for a few minutes and claiming the mind of Christ...and suddenly, contentment, rest, and joy took over and I truthfully have been able to be completely be joyful the rest of my day just with the joy that only my Jesus can bring. Humility, and willingness to deny your flesh, is also what this all boils down to. I pray that this daily task of of denying the flesh and feeding the Spirit will begin to be a better habit of mine. For the Word says I am a new creation. The old is gone, and the new has come. Therefore I should be acting like one.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
As you see, the trees around there were huge and just breathtaking. This one was right on our campsite. The kids really enjoyed playing in it.
Between our family and the Steuerwald family, we had a total of 7 kiddos. Here's 5 of them inside the BIG hollow Cypress tree at our campsite.
Our camp cook, Chef Steuerwald. We were quite spoiled by the amazing food that he cooked for us. Thank you, D.R.!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Please go to the More Than Conquerors blog to read Tim's amazing explanation of why we still sin even though the Bible says we are free from sin. I have banged my head against a wall on this very subject for too long, but God gave Tim a wonderful revelation about that whole thing. It has answered my questions on it, and it will help you see why we continue to sin even when the Word of God says we are no longer slave to sin.
Father God, thank you for the cleansing power of Jesus blood that you have given. And thank you for the unending love and patience that you have for us, despite our shortcomings, misunderstandings, and all out stupidity sometimes. Though I do not feel worthy of your love, you have made me worthy by your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to receive that each and every moment of every day, and walk in the freedom that I was so freely given. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Friday, May 9, 2008
When I am walking around in condemnation over my sin, I might as well be sitting in a courtroom waiting and actually expecting a death sentence (even thought I am eternally saved). The enemy has me where he wants me and is throwing every sin at me, accusing me of what I did wrong that day. God is my judge and Jesus is my Advocate or Defender by the way in this setting. Then God asks Jesus to bring Him a bowl of shed blood to the Judge's desk. At tha moment, God says, "I am satisfied with this blood". Bethany is free and will always be free. I did nothing to attain that. It was freely given because God said the shed blood covered all my sins. Why the blood? We really don't know, but that's what God said, and it is our responsibility to believe God's word. Therefore I should never be putting myself in the courtroom again. So how many times do we put ourselves back there so God can remind us of His forgiveness? He has already forgiven us! It happened 2000 years ago and it still remains. We don't have to grovel for it or ask for it. We should confess things, but God says "your sin is as far from me as the east is from the west." It is forgotten and you are forgiven and it has been forgiven even before it happened. So now we can approach Him every day with boldness by the power of the blood of Jesus. And we can use the blood of Jesus as a weapon to ward off the enemy whenever he wants to condemn us for screwing up yet again. The devil can't argue with Christ's shed blood. He was there when it happened for goodness sakes. He saw it happen. And we have victory because of it. Thank you Jesus!