By His Grace

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jesus world

In the passage of Matthew 1:18-25, we read of Jesus’ birth.  I would like to stress that these verses not only speak of Mary being a virgin and with-child, but more powerfully it speaks of Mary being with-child by the works of the Holy Spirit.   Going back to the context and the time in which Jesus was born, the Jewish culture thought of the Holy Spirit of having very definite functions. 

According to the Jewish idea, the Holy Spirit was the person who brought God’s truth to man.  It is the Holy Spirit who taught men of God what to do.  The Holy Spirit taught the prophets what to say.  It was the Holy Spirit, throughout the generations and ages, that brought God’s truth to man.  So then, Jesus is the one person who brings God’s truth to men. 

To put it another way, Jesus is the one person who can tell us what God is like, and what God wants us to be.  It is in Jesus alone that we can see what God is and what man ought doveto be.  Before Jesus came into this world, the Jews only had vague ideas and quite often wrong ideas about God.  But Jesus could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9).

In Jesus, we see the love of God, the compassion, the mercy, the seeking heart and the purity of God.  This cannot be seen by anything else in the world.  Before Jesus came into this world, man did not know what goodness really was.  In Jesus alone we see true goodness, true manhood, true obedience to the will of God.  Jesus came to tell us the truth about God and the truth about ourselves as well.

The Jews also believed that the Holy Spirit enabled men to recognize the truth once they saw it.  So it is in Jesus that men’s eyes are opened to the truth.  As humans we are usually blinded by our own ignorance.  Our minds are darkened by our sins and we go astray because of our own prejudices.  Jesus is the one who opens our eyes when  we are ready to see the truth.  Jesus is so glorious in this fact because He knows when we are ready to hear something and when we are not ready to accept something as the  truth.  He knows the perfect time to open our eyes.  Life can be quite different when Jesus teaches us how to look at things.

When I think of someone being “emotional”, I picture in my mind a female crying.  To think of the Holy Spirit as being emotional is a totally different story.  But it’s true, He has emotions.

The Bible tells us that we are capable of grieving the Holy Spirit.  To grieve means a deep mental suffering, usually done alone and in silence.  To mourn is more of an outward display of sorrow but grieving is done inwardly.

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Grieving is an emotion.  Sorrow is an emotion.  Grieving the Holy Spirit by what we say or do is a big deal.  It’s not like just simply hurting someone’s feelings.

The Holy Spirit can be grieved when:

  • we return to the things from which we should have been set free
  • we don’t forgive others
  • we hold onto bitterness and resentment

The Bible also talks about “quenching” the Holy Spirit.  This means “restricting” the Holy Spirit.  We can restrict the Holy Spirit by not doing the things we are suppose to do.  For example,  instead of thanking God, we are ungrateful and question what God is doing.

What are some of the things the Holy Spirit does for us?

~ He gives us assurance of our salvation.  If we have grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit, we won’t feel close to God and may begin doubting our salvation.

~ He teaches us and helps us remember Scripture.

~ He leads us into holiness and moral living.  If the Holy Spirit is restricted then fleshly desires will be more evident.

~ He produces fruit in our lives, such as  love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.  Grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit will produce just the opposite.

~ He reveals the deep things of God to us.

~ He comforts us.

~ He intercedes for us in prayer.

I know when I grieve the Holy Spirit I can feel it.  It doesn’t feel good.  It’s like an aching in the middle of my chest.  The best thing to do is pray and repent of my sins.  And after that, not continue in the very sins I was asking forgiveness for.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”  1 John 1:9

I just started taking a course on Systematic Theology.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time and I am excited to say I have started it.  I just finished reading from a book titled, “Bible Doctrine”, by Wayne Grudem.  In the fourth chapter, he speaks about The Knowability of God.

It is so interesting that I wanted to share with you a few things I read about this topic.

  • We can never fully understand God.  God in infinite, we are limited.
  • We can never fully understand any single thing about God; His greatness, His wisdom, His understanding, His knowledge, etc.
  • We will never be able to know “too much” about God.
  • We will never run out of things to learn about God.

The source of our joy and sense of importance ought to come not from our abilities or possessions, but from the fact that we know God.  Jeremiah 9:23-24

God bless you all!

I’ve had two blogging friends contact me today to check in with me.  I know I have neglected my site and I think of all of you often!!  Thank you my friends.  Do you guys realize how much you impact me when you “check in” with me?  I need that soooo much.

I am so honored the Lord has brought all of you into my life.  It doesn’t matter that I haven’t physically met any of you.

The blessings and personal fulfillment I receive from all of you is a MAJOR part of my life.   God knows me better than I know myself.  I’ve screwed up so many friendships in my life.  I’ve also been rejected and hurt so many times even when I thought I was being a good friend.  God knows I get lonely and I won’t venture out to “make friends”.  I am so grateful the Lord has led me to start blogging.

I’ve been working A LOT.  I recently got a promotion, but I actually just got another promotion (two days ago) to asst manager!  LOL   God is amazingly blessing me.  My head is in a bit of a whirlwind and I am trying so hard not to feel overwhelmed.  Satan has been working overtime trying to kill my confidence and keep my mind off of Christ.  But I keep fighting and staying grounded.  At least I hope so.  I hear Satan telling me, “Everything is going to blow up in your face just like it always does.”

I feel like I’ve lost my peace lately though.  Even though all these good things are happening, I wake up irritable and emotional.  It’s not enough that Satan attacks my thoughts during the day…

I think he’s at his strongest in my dreams.  I have no defense in that situation.

I can read the Bible before bed and keep Christian music playing while I sleep and yet I will literally fight a demon in my dream that night.  It’s so scary.  I can tell you specifics because I remember my dreams, but I honestly don’t want to keep thinking about it.  I will purposely stay awake because I’m scared to go back to sleep.  I’d rather deal with the fatigue of no-sleep the next day then have to deal with the stress of bad dreams.  I pray all the time for God to put a legion of angels in my dreams to protect me.  But it doesn’t always work.

Anyway, not sure why I went there.  LOL  I’m just typing away here.  Things are good though! Smile  Blessings to you all and I love all you!

Okay. I got a promotion at one of my jobs.  I am really happy about it.  I WANT a leadership role.  My title is Shift Leader.  I like my new manager at the store….and she likes me.  She’s been with the company for many years and she has turned 5 other stores around to be profitable.   She’s tough, but real.   I am straight up with her…..I am being myself.  My REAL self.  No BS.  No lies.  Just me.

I don’t reveal my past.  My screw ups with drugs and alcohol are NOT ME!!!  How do I finally know that?  By Christ.  By God’s Word.  I am NOT MY CHOICES!  I am a child of God who has made bad choices in life.  I face the fact that I have limited my future because of these choices.  I once had an extremely promising career in the corporate world.  I had no degree.  I proved myself.  But I screwed up.  I fell apart after a breakup of my engagement to a man.  I started doing heavy drugs.  It took me ten years to finally find a way out.

That way out is Jesus Christ.

I have used drugs and alcohol for over 20 years, but I was functional…..until the hard dope came along.  Once you start the pipes and needles…..it ALL changes my friends.

Unless you’re a recovering addict or alcoholic, you may not understand what I’m saying and the way I’m saying it.  If you get it, God Bless You!  God has opened yours eyes to something you haven’t experienced.  He has given you the gift of empathy and genuine insight.

The job and doctor thing….

It’s not always wise to tell your past.  If you are a “raw” addict and have no clue to how the real “sober” world works, let me give you some advice.

You get sober.  You stop your destructive ways.  The meetings you go to tell you to be honest.  Brutally honest.  But its not always wise to tell your employer or even your doctor that you are in recovery.  Let me explain….

You can hinder your growth as a person in recovery.  You get labeled.  You may not get hired and you may not get the true medical treatment you need.  This may sound like I’m telling you to lie.  What I’m telling you is to be TRUE TO YOURSELF. If you want to be sober, then you say what you need to keep your life sober.  We are good at lying.  Fellow addicts….be true to yourself.

If you feel in your heart that you need to expose this part of yourself…..in that you need to hear yourself tell it “out loud’…..THEN DO IT.   This is the first step in getting better…..hearing yourself say out loud can be be very, very healing.  And it gives you courage and strength to face “the world of people that don’t use.”

But once we get sober, the REAL US, comes out.  It can be scary.  But I have found that addicts are VERY special people.  They have a heart and drive that regular people don’t have.  Yes we screw up more.

But when we are on track, we can usually out shine just about anybody.

I feel good about the promotion.  I have to be committed.  That concerns me abit.  I’m not the greatest at being consistent.  I use to be….before the stupid heavy drugs.  I don’t trust myself.  I always disappoint myself.

I can do this.

Why do I keep doubting myself?

Maybe from my track record.

Maybe I’m listening to Satan whispering in my ear.

“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world”.

How did Jesus do it?  Jesus was criticized and insulted but never returned insult for insult.  The witness of Jesus tells us to return evil with good.  Be slow to anger.  Turn the other cheek.

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16)

Where do we draw the line of being insulted by another person and turning the other cheek?  When do we stand up for ourselves?  How many times can we really just turn the other cheek before saying something in our defense?

There is a person in my life that always seems to “get a jab at me” every time we have a conversation.  This is a person that I have hurt from my past actions.  This person has also hurt me.  I have truly forgiven them.  I really have.  I have asked forgiveness for my sharpness and overreaction.  I’m ready to let it go.  I AM capable of forgiveness.  I believe God has blessed me with incredible patience and the ability to forgive.  In my past, I had an ex-boyfriend who grabbed me by my hair, put a gun to my head & shoved me down into an execution type stature.  I even forgave him (and got a permanent restraining order). 

So even though I have hurt this person in my life and it may be justifiable reactions to my past behavior, they still throw an insult at me in a passive aggressive way even though I have changed my life and don’t behave in that manner anymore.  It doesn’t matter how well I am doing.  It doesn’t matter how far I’ve come, I still get that “dig” at least once every time we are around each other.  I get so upset!  I get very defensive.  I get tired of having to stick up for myself.  Yes, I insulted this person last night.  My past was being thrown in my face and in a vulgar manner.  I kept my cool at first, and then I started yelling and verbally did not behave as a Christian nor as a lady.  I asked God to forgive me.  Even though what I said back to them was all true, I did say it in a manner unbecoming.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)

I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”.  I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated.  Will I ever perfect this area in my life?  I sure hope so.  I will just have to keep trying or maybe I just need to choose better friends & end this particular one.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7 KJV)

Jesus Christ provided us a way to have a relationship with God the Father.  Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave.  By believing in Him and becoming a child of God through salvation (who will enter heaven?), we have direct access to God and His blessings. 

God provided a way for Christians to come into His presence.  Prayer is the way we are able to receive what we need from Him.  If we want God to hear our prayers, we must worship Him.   God is seeking prayers from true worshippers, who will worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).  God delights in the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8).

Through prayer, we can receive three things from God:

  1. Help
  2. Strength for our lives
  3. Needed guidance

What does the Bible say is the most powerful type of prayer?  How do we get the greatest results from our prayers?  John 5: 16 tells us it is an earnest prayer.   Other words for earnest are devoted, diligent and heartfelt.  We need to be earnest in our prayers.

If we want God to answer our prayers, we have to make our requests known to HimWe enter into prayer by being thankful and praising His name. (Phil. 4:6)  Start your prayer off with praising and honoring His name.  Give thanks for all He has done in  your life and all He will do in the future.  God can’t help us if we don’t ask Him.  Be specific in your prayers.  Come out and say exactly what you need and want. 

 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 KJV)

3 hindrances to answered prayer:

  1. iniquity (sin, wrongdoing) in our heart –
  2. doubting or wavering trust
  3. wrong motive or purpose

We should always pray in Jesus’ name and with the right motives. Remember, God knows your heart. He will know if you are sincere and what your intent is behind your request.  We should always ask forgiveness of our sins.  Be specific, if possible.  Also, believe He will answer your requests.  God doesn’t want us wavering in our trust of Him.  Don’t doubt.

Just as an earthly father or parent wants to give all they can to their children, God does too!  We are His children and wants us to prosper and be happy while on this earth.  He wants to comfort us, encourage us and uplift us.  Even though God already knows your needs, He wants us to come to Him through prayer and worship.  There is much power in prayer and worship so be diligent and do it daily!


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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