By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘truth

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.

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jesus hug

I recently started reading a book by Philip Yancey, “The Jesus I Never Knew”.  I’ve been on a search of a book that will catch my attention in the first few pages and I am happy to say I have found it.  I’ve been wanting to learn more about Jesus and have had an inner tug at the back of my thoughts recently to go back to the beginning.  Life can be so hard at times and so confusing.  I find myself slipping away from the very thing that has always kept me grounded and moving forward.   That “thing” is my relationship with Jesus and all he has done for me.  Simply reading and studying Jesus again undoubtedly brings me closer to Him but it also gives me a sense of peace and purpose in this life.

The birth of Jesus was so important that it split history into two parts.  B.C. and A. D.  When studying history we usually always see these dates Before Christ or After Death.  But Jesus isn’t just someone who changed history but he is the one who holds the secret of eternity. 

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God,”  Jesus said in Luke 12:8 (nlt)

According to Jesus, what I think about him and how I respond will determine my destiny for all eternity.  Many of us believe that Jesus was brave, sinless and emotionally stable.  We regard him as easy to understand, physically strong and attractive, practical, warm and accepting.   In spite of how we see perceive him,  many of us who look for Jesus cannot see past our own noses.

Jesus himself, when challenged, didn’t offer airtight proofs of his identity.  It’s as if he welcomed the risk of dissection by saying, “Examine me.  Test me.   You decide”.   Jesus would drop clues here and there about who he was but he also said, after appealing to the evidence, “Blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

The actions and behaviors of other people affected Jesus deeply:  stubbornness frustrated him, self-righteousness infuriated him, simple faith thrilled him.  Jesus seemed more emotional and spontaneous than the average person, not less.  More passionate, not less. 

Two words that could never be applied to the Jesus of the Gospels is:  boring and predictable.

Much of what I’ve written above may be directly from the book because honestly I just couldn’t figure out a way to paraphrase it to make it any better than what was already written.  So I give Philip Yancey the credit where credit it due.  Smile  It is my hope that as I read more of this wonderful book I will have more posts about “Learning Jesus”.  Thanks for reading everyone and God bless you all!

to you with love

“I want you to learn a new habit.  Try saying, ‘I trust you, Jesus’, in response to whatever happens to you.  If there is time, think about who I am in all My power and glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My love for you.

This simple practice will help you see Me in every situation, acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe.  When you view events from this perspective — through the Light of My universal presence — fear loses its grip on you.  Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what.  You receive blessings gratefully, realizing they flow directly from My hand of grace.  Your continual assertion of trusting Me will strengthen our relationship and keep you close to Me.”

excerpt from “Jesus Calling”, by Sarah Young

 

When we feel down or discouraged with life, remembering who we are in Christ helps bring us back up to a better emotional state. Here is a list of verses and reasons we can experience joy and contentment even if our emotions are telling us different today.

jesus-loves-me

Who am I in Christ?

I am Significant

  • I am raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
  • I am the salt and light of the world (Matt. 5:16)
  • I am chosen and appointed to bear fruit (Jn. 15:16)
  • I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16)
  • I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
  • I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
  • I can approach Christ with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
  • I have authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:18)

I am Secure

  • I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35)
  • Christ, the hope of glory, lives in me (Col. 1:27)
  • I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
  • I am confident that God has begun a good work in me. He will perfect it. (Phil. 1:6)
  • I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28)
  • I am free forever from condemnation (Rom. 8:1)

I am accepted and loved

  • I am God’s child (Jn. 1:12)
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8)
  • I am loved with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3)
  • I am Jesus’ friend (Jn. 15:15)
  • I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
  • I am forgiven of all my sins, the debt against me is cancelled (Col. 1:14)
  • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)

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 wrote a previous article titled How’s Your Salvation Working Out For Ya?“.  I was relating the article to Phillippians 2:12-13,

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

I want to further my understanding of what this means—-to work out our salvation.  Charles R. Swindoll wrote a booklet God’s Will.  In it he explains the above verse,

“Closed doors are just as much God’s leading as open ones.  The believer who wants to do God’s will must remain sensitive and cooperative, not forcing his way into areas that God closes off.  The Lord uses circumstances and expects us to “read” them with a sensitive, alert conscience.”

He goes on to say that what it means to work out our salvation in fear and trembling essentially means maintaining a sensitive heart.  As part of my prayers I usually ask God to keep me sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.  I have a true desire to know His will for my life.  God tells us in Ps 32:8 that He will instruct and teach us in the way we should go.  So how do we know if we made a right choice?

One way is the fact that no matter the outcome, whether it be happy or horrible, we have inner peace.  It’s difficult for our human minds to comprehend having inner peace in the midst of a horrible outcome.  But I have experienced this personally.  It can and does happen.

I love one of the lyrics written by Heather Williams:

In spite of it all….Hallelujah!

Every person wants the feeling of satisfaction.  It’s the feeling that we are making the right choices in our life and from those right choices we feel happiness.  I question that I made a right decision recently.  But in spite of it all, I am leaning on God and I know He is instructing me and teaching me as I go.


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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