Multiplication

God gives more blessings to us.  How overwhelmingly great it is to know that He does not leave us as we are!  He causes us to grow in Him, never forsaking His promises.  We rejoice, because He is forever faithful.

Growth doesn’t just happen linearly, but exponentially!  Just one good seed planted in the ground will produce hundreds, thousands or even millions more.  Think about what we will look like in a few generations.  A few rounds of sowing, of giving ourselves away for the sake of love, will multiply back upon us a greater harvest than we can now imagine.

We don’t hold back our love, for every act made in faith produces eternal results.  We delight in the fact that we can and will be closer to our Father God than ever before.  As we stare at Him with our eyes and hearts completely open, we will change to be more like Him.   We will bloom into radiant beings, shining for all the world to see.

Little children, let us behold our good God!

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
–2 Peter 1:2

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The Promises of Righteousness

Jesus said many things.  The main one that most Christians know is this: whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.  This belief is not one that God merely exists, but that everything He says is true.  He said that He is the one and only God.  He said Jesus is the only way to the Father, the only means of forgiveness and rebirth.

Because we believe Him, we should desire to obey Him.  Some people try to separate “faith” and “works.”  It’s true that works without faith accomplish nothing eternal, but “faith” without good works is self-deception.  If we truly believe, we will obey the commands of God.  If we believe He truly loves us like He said, we will love Him.  If we believe Jesus meant what He said when He said things like “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile,” that’s the way we will live.  We will love one another, because we believe that following that command is righteous and good.

The commands of God can be seen this way: as promises of righteousness.  Yes, at first they simply reveal sin, condemning our own evil ways, revealing our need for the Savior.  However, once we’ve repented and turned to God, submitting our lives into His hands, the commands are revealed to be joyous promises of who we are now becoming.  More than just rules to obey, they become a source of hope.

When we believe the promises of God, we have no other options.  He said we are forgiven, and so we are.  He said we have everything we need, and so we do.  He also said, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Jesus wasn’t lying when he said that.  He wasn’t exaggerating.  We who believe will most certainly be perfectly good, for that is who He created us to be.

“Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”–John 3:33

A Great Hope

Last week, I engaged in an exchange of words about abortion on a certain blog site.  Someone left an interesting comment:

“Honestly a baby can ruin someone’s life due to expenses alone. what hope does that leave the mother, or the baby?”

As a Christian, I guess I forget sometimes that the world doesn’t know Jesus.  I was praying at the court last night, and this issue of hope came to the forefront of my mind.

Really, what hope does the world think it has?  Maybe it’s just to live a fully happy life, or perhaps it’s to improve society or standards of living for future generations.  Ultimately, it all comes down to money.  Money can definitely buy superficial happiness.  It offers a full stomach, a pleasant living space and an entertained mind.  With enough money, you can even buy power and influence, and good things can be accomplished.  This is the false hope of the world.

To appease the false god Money, sacrifices must be made.  A prominent one is the human sacrifice of abortion; the murder of innocent lives keeps false hope alive.  Some people may have convinced themselves otherwise, but most know in their heart that abortion is wrong.  Why do you think great leaders want to make abortions “rare”?  They simply want to offer the least sacrifice necessary to achieve the desired result: the god Money being satisfied.

We who believe in Jesus have a great hope.  It is a hope placed in our hearts by the love of God.  It is Christ in us, the hope of glory, the promise of everlasting life!  It doesn’t matter if we’re poor or rich, educated or illiterate.  God loves us all with a furious love just as we are, and we will live forever.  All we have to do is believe.  Yes, God has prepared works for us to do, and we will accomplish them with joy.  But first, above everything else, we must believe that He loves us.  That is where hope comes from; His love is the most powerful love in the universe.  It conquers sin and death and produces eternal life and joy.

May we proclaim the hope of eternal life to a hopeless and dying world.

“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”–Romans 5:5

Not Ashamed

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, to know the One who loves us so deeply, is the only way to be sure of ourselves.  He is perfection.  The beauty of that man outweighs all the beauty in the earth.  He is perfectly ready to welcome us home to heaven, perfectly willing to bless us even now.

If you compare yourself at first with Him, you find yourself to be a wretched sinner.  And you ask, “How can I ever hope to be good?”  Then when you keep looking, you find in joy that He is beckoning you.  Can you believe your eyes?  Can you believe that radiant One who calls, “Come up here!”

Have faith that God is good!  Who He is is good.  What He wants is good.  Who He wants… is good.  Do you know that He wants you?  Do you believe that?  You are His prized possession, His beautiful bride!  When you look at Him and respond to Him with love and desire, you are not a sinner.  You are perfect(or soon will be), because He says so.

When faced with that kind of love, why would we want to sin?  May we continue to glorify the name of Jesus Christ as His Kingdom advances.

“But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”–Hebrews 11:16

No Cheap Love

Sometimes, living in today’s politically-correct new-age culture, I get the feeling that we in the Church have lost sight of the severity of sin.  After all, we believe that we’re forgiven!  We also know that God is much more powerful than any evil principality that might try to take us out.  But try to remember; where did we come from?  We were dead.

God’s love is very costly.  It took our Lord dying to make us alive, to make us capable of true love.  All of human history hinges on this act of mercy.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to start taking our salvation for granted.  The cares of this world are many.  Distractions come.  Selfish choices are made.  But we have no excuse, for we know the truth.  The most expensive, lavish, outrageous love has been poured out on the earth.  May we be found loving in the same way when He returns.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”–1 John 3:1

Two Years of Redundancy

I realized a few weeks ago that I was coming up on the two-year anniversary of this blog.  That’s right, this blog was started on March 29, 2008, entirely two years ago today.  I was a much different  man then: a senior at Florida State, about to graduate.  I was looking forward to a new season, expecting deeper relationships, greater maturity and a more passionate heart for God.  I had just started to sing.

I believe that I’ve advanced through all those things and more, by God’s grace.  They manifested in a much different way than I originally thought they would, but they happened nonetheless.  I’m confident that the next two years will be even better, as I fall deeper into His boundless  love.

Jesus Christ still hasn’t changed.  His love endures forever.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.'”—John 8:58

Do Not Lose Heart

What does depression do?  Where does depression hurt?  It’s your heart.  It makes you lose heart.  I have friends who are struggling with this horrible, deadly disease, and I can say that most times I feel powerless to in any way help them.  It is almost unfathomable to me, how anyone could be so down, especially Christians who are supposed to know the ever-reaching love of God.  It’s frustrating.

But you know, I have the love of Christ in me.  So I know that I won’t ever give up on them.  I can be there to encourage and to pray.  I can come against any and every evil spirit of pride, hate or depression that’s taken a hold of my brother in Christ.  I just wish something would really happen, like drastically.  And I can’t see much progress.  I wish God would work faster, but I must trust in His perfect timing.

There’s only so much encouragement I or anyone else can give.  There is a limit to our human abilities, our medical remedies.  But there is no limit to the glorious power of the Spirit of God.  He places light and hope into our hearts.  He transforms us from the inside out.  He does it for me, and He does it for the suffering people around me.  My role as an intercessor is this: to lift them up into the hands of God and let Him do His perfect work.  It’s hard sometimes, but I’ll keep praying.  Because that’s what love is.  Love doesn’t give up.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”–2 Corinthians 4:16-18