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Archive for January, 2012

Matthew 5: 48

29 Jan

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

     I wrote, “Why Aren’t I Perfect? I Try So Hard!”  because most of my life was spent trying to do the right thing.  However, it either never quite turned out like I thought it should have, or others were quick to point out where I had failed.  Since that time, I have learned that perfection is not something we can become on our own, but rather it’s through God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice that we are made perfect.  

     Here again, we see one of the most used words in the Bible….Therefore (because of these things) we shall be perfect.  Because of these things, because we are making an effort to  do things that bring glory to God, because we are showing love to others, to ourselves and to God; therefore we are believers in Christ and “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”(John 3: 16).

     If you read Matthew 5:21 through 47, you will see what Christ instructs us to do to be “called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19).  Reading through the verses, the thing that stands out most to me as Christ talks about how he came to fulfill not to destroy the Law or the Prophets (Matthew 5:17), is that consistently He says, “You have heard that it was said…. “But I say to you…”

     Understanding doesn’t come from what other’s say or what they tell you that Christ said.  It’s listening to what Jesus says to you!  I believe we read the Bible in our efforts to seek and find what Christ is telling us.  It is His personal communication with you, that opens your heart to His love and His grace.  Read His words, ask Him to speak to your heart with those words and to give you His understanding.

     I believe that it’s impossible for us, as humans, to walk the perfect path, to do all things righteously or to earn our way to Heaven.  We are made perfect because of the gift of God’s grace and cleansed with the  blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Then, through the resurrection  we are given eternal life.  “Therefore, you shall be perfect..”  When you read the actual words of Jesus, understand that even though they were spoken a couple thousand years ago, they were spoken directly to you!   Praise God that it’s not about what we’ve done, but about what Jesus did for us!

Have you ever experienced a time when Jesus spoke directly from the Bible to your heart? 

 

 

Alone Time

24 Jan

The past couple of weeks have been busy (finals week at work), but incredible! At Bible Study a couple of weeks ago I was challenged to spend 5 minutes a day alone with Christ. The goal was to discover who I am outside of my roles of wife, mom, and teacher- who am I as CJ, a daughter of the Most High God?

I can’t even describe the peace, joy, and contentment I have felt this week- I feel like a new woman! I’m more patient with my son, more encouraging of my husband, and just all around happier!

I even began to look at my relationships with my husband and son in the same light. I’ve begun setting aside 5 minutes for my son alone, where he has ALL of my attention (no phone, no tv, nothing but us) and they are 5 of my favorite minutes of the day! I’ve also started spending 5 minutes giving my husband my undivided attention, I hadn’t realized how having a child changed our “couple” time.

I am ecstatic about the changes happening due to this small adjustment in my attitude- it’s not about me! It’s not about whether I’m tired, or annoyed, or embarrassed- it’s about sharing and experiencing the love and grace of Christ! Praise the Lord!

I hope you get the urge to spend just 5 minutes a day investing in your relationship with our Creator- it’ll be your best investment yet!

-CJ

 

Matthew 5:14

22 Jan

“You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

During the time of Jesus, the Jews were constantly reminded that they were belittled by the Roman lords.  At sundown, it was the tradition of the Roman soldiers to light bonfires at their command posts on the hills as they guarded the main travel ways along the Sea of Galilee.  The Sea of Galilee is surrounded on all sides by high mountains and there were many towns nestled among the hills .  It was from these villages that the people would come to hear Jesus.  There were more than ten legions , each consisting of as many as six thousand men guarding the lake.  Their fires were an amazing sight an a constant reminder from anywhere around the lake.  So when Jesus compared the people to these lights, He knew that they would understand the intensity of the light. 

I read that as many as 90 Greco-Roman towns were found, by archaeologists, to have been set along the eastern hills.  With the lake below, the lights from the town lanterns would have been visible around the lake as well.  Jesus asked that the faith of the people be as bright to others as the lights on the hills.

Jesus used familiar words to illustrate His teachings on the kingdom of God, and those words are just as alive today.  When you share the kingdom of God with others, you will burn with enthusiasm and joy.  It begins with one candle, your personal faith and belief in Jesus Christ and what He has done for you.  Soon that fire will spread to others and you will find that your life has become a roaring bonfire that encompasses your world with the warmth of God’s love!

You are the light of the world…Shine brightly everyday.  Our challenge this week is to spread His light, in our smiles and our kind and warm greetings with everyone we meet, in every situation.  Just a kind hello and a smile may be the only light in someone else’s world and they will feel God’s love through your warmth. 

A great little song from the past…  “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”  Make your life so bright everyone needs Son glasses!   Have a wonderful week.

 

Matthew 8:13

14 Jan

“Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”

Miracles never happen just by thinking about them – they happen with mighty action!  Read in the Gospels the words of Jesus and notice the verbs.  Follow, go, seek, ask, knock.  The walk of faith is not a silent, spiritual, unspeaking stroll in the stillness of a sunrise or the silence of a sunset.  It’s putting our minds and our imagination to work, it’s calling to God and allowing Him to speak to our heart until a passion begins to overtake our will…which motivates us into action.

It’s entering ino a contract of honor with our Father.  Pledging our belief and commitment before any problems are solved.  If we wait until we see solutions before we make the commitment, we will not be walking in faith!

Success only comes in marriage, in religion, in relationships, in devotion and dedication to your career, in your personal development and growth, in the fulfillment of a project or a resolution when we make a personal commitment, when it becomes self-inspiring and worth the effort.

I understand that it’s hard to believe in something we can’t see, or to trust in someone we can’t touch or talk to.  But the only thing that God asks from us is to BELIEVE, to have FAITH.  I encourage you to walk the walk of faith, make a fresh commitment to God, take the plunge, let God give you the nudge you need to get started.  Trust that as you believe it will be done for you.  On our own, everything is a struggle but with God anything is possible, if you will only believe!

Faith is believing without ever seeing.  Do you struggle with faith?