Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Pleasing Aroma to God

Isn't it odd how quickly life can change.  Since my last post, I have been struggling with my Christian walk; experiencing spiritual warfare in a manner so far unknown to me in my life.   My faith has been weak, my thought life a wreck and my obedience almost non-existent.  I have been holding on simply by the grace of God.  The Lord has prompted me to continue in my devotions even though I have been struggling in prayer.  The Word I have heard is persevere, put on the armor of God and control your thoughts.

This morning I had a profound spiritual experience,  When I got up, I was putting on my slippers and had  the sense of an aroma coming up in my face.  It was a smell that evoked an immediate response in my spirit and in my flesh,  It pulled at my memory banks but I could not place it and it kept occurring.

I usually have my quiet time in the morning, and this morning I really sensed the presence of the Lord God in my home,   (I have been praying that the Holy Spirit would come and fill my home with His presence to help in the spiritual warfare going on there.  Boy, did he ever deliver!!!)

A prompting in my spirit sensed this was a smell pertaining to medicine and death, and the thought passed through my mind:  How would you live today if you knew you were going to die.  Really, when that question is asked within your mind and not within the aspect of "soul winning and the four spiritual laws", it affects you deeply and profoundly,especially when you think it's being prompted by the Spirit of God who lives in you.

I began to mull over how I would live if I knew I had just a few hours left of my life as I know it.  It was like my life flashed before me and I saw the results of how my living with weak faith, a sinful thought life and very little obedience to the One who has the right to require obedience had brought on a lot of the warfare and lack of peace in my life.  Give the devil an inch and he'll take a mile, as my mom would say. Submit yourself to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you as brother James says in James 4:7.

It all boils down to that.  I have not been submitting myself to God and so the devil has been gaining a foothold in my life.  My response was immediate.  I confessed my sin, repented and asked God to create in me a clean heart and to restore a right spirit within me.  His word tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

If we only had a true inkling of how holy, righteous and unblemished by sin that God really is, we might have an idea of how badly our lives stink to Him. Jesus the Christ offered up His life in sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He died to what He wanted and offered up the sweet aroma of His obedience and subsequent death to God so that you and I might live and not die.

Ephesians 5:2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Satan is a roaring lion looking for those who he can devour.  Don't let him do it to you; resist him,  Don't leave home today without your armor.  Ephesians 6:10-17

Monday, April 20, 2015

Utterly Abandoned to God

Does anyone besides me feel the shift in the current?  I watched some television last night, and felt it in every ad and every program.

I went to the Internet and watched a video about gay marriage, and then I watched another Christian video about Sodom & Gomorroh and the finding of Noah's Ark.    I felt an intensity in my spirit which is new to me.

I believe God is trying to tell His people that time is oh so short for us.  He will be returning soon.
I am very thankful this morning that He has been working in my life showing me that no one else can take His place....not my husband, not my children, not my friends,  not my job, not my ministry, not shopping, not eating or partying!  No one and nothing can take His place and He alone has my back in this time of deceit and desperation.  He said He came to cause division, and I believe that that is so we will not be like Mrs. Lot, who when leaving Sodom prior to its destruction, looked back to her old life because she loved it more than God.  God is drawing us closer to Him and away from this life.

As I look back over the years, it is so apparent how different life looks now to how it looked 40-50 years ago.  TV is a blight that is perpetuating so many lies upon us.  It's convinced us that marriage is a joke, men are not capable of being upstanding, in-charge adults, they are stupid and worthy of our contempt, women are in charge,  adultery is okay, disrespect for our elders and people in charge is okay, and it is quickly working to make the LGBTQ lifestyle one for all people to embrace.

God only wants us to love Him, and we are to put our trust in Him because what can be shaken is being shaken and will continue until He comes (and it's going to get more and more shaky).

I love my family and my friends.  I love my church and all He has given me to steward and to do, but it's taking place:  my love for this world and all it entails is swiftly turning to pity and and eagerness to leave it.

Those kinds of thoughts can get you down, so I would like to encourage you today with poem from my Streams in the Desert devotional today.  The author is unknown.


Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Seeking all His fullness, whatever the cost;
Cutting all the moorings, launching in the deep
Of His mighty power--strong to save and keep.

Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Oh! The sinking, sinking until self is lost!
Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;
Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.

Utterly abandoned to the will of God;
Seeking for no other path than my Master trod;
Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,
Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.

Utterly abandoned!  No will of my own;
For time and for eternity, His and His alone;
All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,
Having nothing, yet in  Him all things possessing still.

Utterly abandoned!  It's so sweet to be
Captive in His bonds of love, yet wondrously free;
Free from sin's entanglements, free from doubt and fear,
Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.

Utterly abandoned!  Oh, the rest is sweet,
As I tarry, waiting at His blessed feet;
Waiting for the coming of the Guest divine,
Who my inmost being will perfectly refine.

Lo!  He comes and fills me, Holy Spirit sweet!
I, in Him, am satisfied! I, in Him, complete!
And the light within my soul will nevermore grow dim
While I keep my covenant--abandoned unto Him!

May God fill you with his love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control today!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

When God Closes a Door...

That old saying usually finishes up with "He opens a window".  What I'd like to say about that today is that as we travel the path of life that God has planned for us, He does, indeed, close doors; and perhaps, he opens windows.

It has been my experience in the past that when God closes a door that I don't want closed, I have kicked and cried and screamed and thrown a tantrum and beat on that door.

And so, my post today is short and salty and straight to the point.  God does have a plan for your life, my life and everyone else who loves Him and is called accordingly to His purposes.  So. if God closes a door in your life, especially one that you're particularly fond of, don't do that.  Do not kick, do not cry, do not scream, throw tantrums or beat on the door, because you know what?  That door just might open back up and God may allow you to have what's behind it -- you know that thing that God knows is not best for you.

It happened to me, and I am here to remind you.  When God closes a door, He's saying. "No, my child, that is not best for you.  I have something much better planned for you if you will just wait."

All these days, months, and years later since my tantrum re-opened that closed door, I can say, Lord, I wish you hadn't listened to me.  Please forgive me for my foolishness.

I have learned my lesson.  Please bless me with the grace to recognize when you are working in my life, not to harm me, but to prosper me.  It is my desire to follow the plan of life you have for me.

It is my desire to quietly and quickly submit to your greater knowledge, wisdom and your great love for me.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Without Excuse...Worshiping the Creature Rather than the Creator

My Bible study ladies and I are embarking on the arduous task of studying the book of Romans.  Arduous because there is so much in the book that is vital to a living, breathing, born-again faith in Jesus.

This is a Precept Bible Study (precept upon precept) with Kay Arthur.   One of the things she's having us do here at the beginning of our study is to read the whole book over five times (she breaks it up several chapters at a time over the course of a week).

You know the one thing that is really hitting me in the face:  the fact that God has declared Himself and made Himself --  His power and might and also His divine nature -- known to all people in and through His creation, and because He has, those who refuse to believe or suppress the truth so that others won't believe are without excuse.  Someday those people will stand before Him who hung on a cross to pay for their sin and will have no way to explain how or why they failed to believe He is who He says He is.  They will have no excuse.

...and because of their failure to believe in Him, God, at some point in time is going to just give them over to a depraved mind.  Do you ever think of society as becoming more and more depraved?  I do.  There are stories in the news daily about teachers having sex with students,pedophiles having sex with children, some of the European countries are now advocating for sex with animals and relationships with family members and this is only the beginning of depravity.  Adultery is now pretty much accepted, as well as homosexuality, changing your gender.  Divorce is don't even need a reason.   Alcoholism and drug addiction is rampant with heroin addiction killing many of our young people,   Abortions are given on demand and up to and including the time of birth and many legislative people are advocating for abortion on children up to age 2!!!! (because they have no sense of self so they say.)    

Is it any wonder we feel God has placed the US under His judgment.  Yes, fewer and fewer people are standing with God and because of that the world is becoming more and more God-less.  That's what happens when people worship the creature rather than the Creator.

For reference, please read the first Chapter of Romans.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Win Others to Belief in Jesus Christ

This morning in my prayer time, I asked the Lord to restore me to the joy of my salvation.   You see, I've been struggling for a long time because I "felt" like I had been telling so many people about Him and not seeing any change or acceptance on their part of Him and His glorious salvation.  I've been walking around like a downtrodden misfit in the Christian realm.

The Holy Spirit within 30 minutes was speaking to my heart telling me to just "plant the seed, Kim; it's not up to you to bring them in.  ONLY God can change lives.  How can people's lives be changed if you are only telling them about Him and not letting them SEE Him in you?"  Oh, the relief that flooded over me as my heart and mind took that in and accepted it as truth.  Truth that I personally read in my Bible.

For instance, I really, truly believe in the sanctity of life and that abortion is wrong.  Not everyone feels that way.  They have a right to believe that...even if they are wrong.

I believe in the sanctity of marriage as described in God's Word, between one man and one woman. Not everyone believes that.  They have a right to believe it, though; even if they are wrong.

I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me that we are living in days where I just have to be courageous, stand for what I believe in, plant the seed by living a holy life, loving God, really, truly loving others and not trying to convert them, but sharing the gospel of God's love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, patience and justice with them.   Show them God, and they will come.

The book of The Revelation says:

"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

That is part of what I have been thinking about...being a coward.  A coward to say I believe it's wrong to abort babies; I believe it's wrong to change the way God chose to create a family...a man, a woman and their children.    I don't have to make other people change their way of thinking.  Only God can do that.  I just have to live what I believe!

1 Cor. 3:7  (NLT)  It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.

I hope that truth sets you free.  It has me.  Today I don't have to convince anyone of God's anything.  I just have to live out my faith in Him, my belief in His goodness, my belief that He is coming again and my belief in His love and His many great and precious promises.  Someone else will come along and water that seed and if it is God's will, He will make it grow.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Death; It Visits Everyone.

With the death of Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and now Joan River, and my mother-in-law this summer, I thought I would share some thoughts I have about death:

We are all appointed to die one time (Hebrews 9:27) according to the Bible, and I believe that the time of our death is actually appointed by God himself.  Have you ever seen the movie, The Appointment?  It's a good one.  Check out its trailer:

When we die, according to the Bible, a person either goes to heaven or hell.  1 Peter1:4 tells us we have:

 an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Luke 12:6 tells us that we should not fear man but God:

But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

What determines...or maybe I should say, who determines where we spend eternity, is Jesus Christ and what we have done with regard to him in this human life of ours.  Did we accept Him and surrender our lives to Him or did we reject Him and disregard Him?  John 14:6 says:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the waythe truthand the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It's sad, but yes, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers and even my mother-in-law were all subject to these same terms of examination, and if they had no relationship with Jesus Christ, they will spend eternity in hell.

The Bible also says that it is better to attend funerals than parties:

Ecclesiastes 7:2  Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart.
The Psalmist prayed in Psalm 90:12 that God would help him to number his days in order to gain a heart of wisdom.  Again, thinking about death is a wise thing to do.

I believe THIS BLOG is great food for thought concerning whether or not a person truly knows Jesus and has experienced being "born again".  Take time to read it.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

From the Moment You Were Conceived

It's interesting that a lot of us think that one thing makes us a sinner (or others think that one thing makes us a sinner); something like, because I am a prostitute, I am a sinner.  Because I am alcoholic, I am a sinner.  Because I am an adulterer, I am a sinner.  Because I am a liar I am a sinner.  Because you are gay, you are a sinner.  According to the Bible, all of these things are sin in and of  themselves, but they are not what makes you a sinner.  (Friends, please don't comment or email me because I called these things sin.  I didn't decide it; God, in His Word, did. I have an alcoholic husband, a gay daughter, I committed adultery and I have a rebellious teenager.  I love all people and it is my desire for all people to be reconciled to God.)

What?  Am I committing blasphemy? Give me a second, I don't think so.  It came to me in church this morning as our Pastor preached on Paul in the book of Acts preaching to the Corinthians and how He shared the gospel with them.

First, let me say, I accepted Christ as God's Savior of Mankind when I was a child, and reaffirmed that commitment as a teenager.  My faith has bent and swayed with the times of my life.  I have sinned since that time.  Because we accept Christ's gift of salvation does not mean that we will never sin, but that we have power living within us in the form of God's holy spirit that will help us overcome sin.  The Bible says that we are always slaves to something....slaves to sin, slaves to God, slaves to booze, slaves to sex, slaves to homosexuality, slaves to pornography, etc.  When you look at that list, what one pops out at you as the best one to be enslaved?  Personally, I'd rather be a slave to my Creator, the one who is totally good, loving and always works in my best interest.  (I didn't say He always gives me what I want but that He always works in my best interest.)

Each and every human being on the face of the earth (with the exception of one) are sinners the moment they are conceived.  The fact that we all are compelled to serve our own selfish desires from the first breath is indicative of that.  Does anyone teach a two year old to be selfish or self-centered and to always be concerned with what is "mine"?

However, there is also within each one of us a longing, a desire to know unconditional love, like the love of a father and/or mother is supposed to be, but because of our sinful nature, can't be known from a human being.   God can give us that kind of unconditional love.  He can fill that longing; that need.

BUT God is holy and completely good.  The Bible says He cannot and will not even be around sin or evil. This is the problem:  How does one bring together sinful man who is longing for unconditional love and acceptance of God with holy a God who cannot and will not reside in the same space as anything sinful, sin or evil?  Enter in Jesus Christ, born of a virgin (overshadowed by the Holy Spirit), fully God and fully man - God's child born of a woman!

He lived as we do, was tempted and tried in every way that we are, but you know what?  He was able to do to walk day after day His whole life and not commit any sin of any type or kind.   How?  Well, first because He is God, and second because He had an unbelievably intimate relationship with God and also because God's spirit lived in Him. He had all the power of heaven to overcome sin and evil.  He never gave into ANY temptation.  Being tempted is not sin, but acting on that temptation is.  He was tempted and tried in EVERY way.    Temptation to drink, to lie, to love a woman, but He NEVER GAVE IN TO IT.  Tried with people who hated him, tried with illness, tried with problems, but HE NEVER GAVE IN TO THEM.

How and what does He have to do with us?  He came to earth; He willingly gave up everything that made Him God, all his power, His knowledge, His Majesty, His Honor in order to bridge the gap between God and man.  He willingly died for us, and during His death, He took all of the sins of every person ever born and put them on himself.  The Bible puts it this way:  2 Cor 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Do you get that?  He didn't know any sin but He became sin for us so  that WE might be MADE the righteousness of God IN HIM.

Unfortunately, today most people think the gospel has everything to do with "I", "Me", Myself" and very little to do with God.  The truth is, the gospel has very little to do with I, Me or Myself, and EVERYTHING to do with Jesus Christ.  The gospel a lot of people are hearing and teaching today is a gospel SUITABLE for I, Me, or Myself.    That means it has been turned around, tossed about and fluffed up until it suits the needs of the individual.  We make God out to be Santa Claus.  If I can be good enough, He'll give me this or that; if I take out this scripture (because it doesn't suit my life style), I can let Him be in my life.   If I give money to this individual or that organization, God will bless me, etc.

Folks that is not the way it works.  We are ALL separated from God because we are all sinners, and the only thing that can make us right is to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.  The Bible says that we must be born again.  Well, how can one be born again?  As Nicodemus asked Jesus, does one have to go back inside their mother to be born again?  No, when you accept the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ, his holy spirit comes and lives inside you and you are a new creation - not in terms of age, but in terms of quality.  You are then reconciled to God, and when you stand before Him, He doesn't see you and all your sin, He sees Christ and Jesus'  imputed righteousness that you received when you believed that He was God's son sent to save the world from going to hell in a hand basket!

What then is a Christian?  A Christian is a person who has been reconciled to God through believing in Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection as God's means of saving the world.  A Christian is also a person who helps others to be reconciled to God.

Do you wish to be reconciled to God?  Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.  It's that simple.   But now that it's that simple, you are called to live a life worthy of Christ, forsaking sin and helping others to be reconciled to God, and it is just that complicated.  But that's a story for another day.

Lord Jesus, Thank you!   Thank you so much that you didn't  think the fact that you were God should prevent you from humbling yourself and taking on the form of a man and that you would die for the rest of mankind  in order to restore our relationship to the Father!  Your selflessness is unknown to the world today because we are all about me, myself and I.  Thank you for loving us enough to go to these lengths to save us. I want to be reconciled to you and to help reconcile others to you.  Help me to be gentle, kind and accepting of all people simply because we are all alike.  We all need you.  We all want the love of the Father.  Help us to see sin as He sees it.  Help us to turn from it and toward you.   Keep us close, Lord, it's so evil out  there and temptations are very great, slick and the evil one is so formidable.  Fortunately for us, Lord, you have defeated sin and death and the same very great power that resurrected you is at work in us.  Praise your name, Jesus.  I pray in that one and only, unmatched name.  Amen.