Where Shall Our Hearts Look?

“The Thirteenth Resurrection Appearance” by Del Parson

And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired of him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. (John 12:20-21 KJ2000)

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:2 KJV)

Looking unto Jesus… Why should we be looking to Him? Didn’t He despise the shame of the cross? Why not be looking at our own sin and failings or lack of faith? Jesus did not continue to look at His own death, but went on to sit down at the right hand of the Father. Looking at our own sin and short comings only draws our attention away from the One who is doing the real work in us. Then why not be looking at all our “good deeds” we have done? No, that will only feed our pride. Jesus made it clear that no one is good except our Father who is in heaven and anything good comes from Him alone.

What Jesus has started in us by His Spirit, Who came into us when we first believed into Him, He will finish! It is not up to us. Paul wrote:

May the God of peace himself make you holy in every way. And may your whole being–spirit, soul, and body–be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ISV)

Notice first that the God of peace makes us holy in every way, not the god of anxiety and striving, who is the devil. We are to be anxious for nothing and in everything give thanks to our Father, knowing that He works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure. Our task is to rest in Him alone and He does all the work. Holiness in us is the work of God. We can not make ourselves holy by changing our outward appearance or by gritting our teeth and doing the “right things” by the power of our wills. We rest in Him and He does the transformation in us by giving us a new heart and writing His desires on that heart (read Hebrews chapter eight). With His will in us, we will do what is right in the eyes of God. Everything in the economy of God is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ! Our Father sanctifies us body, soul and spirit. He was faithful to call us and give us the faith of Jesus Christ, and He is faithful to finish this perfecting work in us. Praise His name! He will do it!

Putting on Christ

For ye are all sons [and daughters] of God through faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as were immersed into Christ, did put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27 WAS)

For in him we live, and move, and have our being…(Acts 17:28 KJ2000)

Through faith in Christ we are immersed into Christ and His Spirit, not just the waters of baptism. This immersion is the one baptism that Paul was writing about. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 KJ2000). Being immersed into Jesus brings about our total unity with the Father and the Son and with each other (See John 17:21-24).

As many of us who have been immersed into Christ have put on Christ. Just as we “put on” the water when we were baptized, we also have put on Christ as we have been immersed into Him. We are literally in Christ and we now dwell in heavenly places in Him! Do you believe it? Seeing this truth in our hearts is what makes all the difference in our Christian walks. We spend far too much time looking at ourselves, and it pulls us down from living in our heavenly position that Jesus gained for us when He rose from the dead. He took our captivity to the flesh captive and gave us the greatest gift of all, making us sons and daughters who live before our loving Father in heaven.

For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again. Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJ2000)

In Christ’s death, we all died! But it does not end there, because the lives we now live are lived by His life in us. This is the Good News–no more law (see 1 Cor. 15:56-57), no more sin consciousness, and no more striving to be holy. We now have our lives in Him and His power, not in ourselves and our weakness. In Him we live and move and have our being. The problem with many of us is in the reckoning (see Romans 6:11). Do we continue to know ourselves after the flesh? Christ is no longer in the grave. He is risen and so are we! Paul was tutored by the risen Christ for three years in the Damascus wilderness, and he had a much clearer vision of heavenly things than most of the disciples who only knew Him after the flesh. Paul knew Jesus Christ after the Spirit!

Focusing on ourselves as if we are in ourselves instead of in Christ, knowing ourselves after the flesh with all its failings, and not forgiving ourselves is a real problem that holds many people back. We need to get our eyes off ourselves (good or bad) and behold Him Who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. But if any man is in Christ he is a new creation and the old things are passed away. All things are become new. Thank God that our lives are all about us living in Christ and He in us. They are not about us.

“Father, please let the depth of these truths go deep into our hearts that we might see with new eyes and see ourselves as you see us. Amen.”

Teaching Our Children About Prayer

Our daughter, Dinah , and Dixie our German Shepherd cross

Our daughter, Dinah , and Dixie our German Shepherd cross

Teaching Our Children About Prayer

By Dorothy Clark


When our four children were in elementary school, Michael and I decided it was time to teach them about prayer. So we sat them down and Michael began with the parable about the persistent woman and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). When they all understood the importance of hanging in there, he asked them some questions.

“If a little boy riding in a grocery cart asked his Mom for every toy he saw, do you think she’d buy any of them?”

They unanimously answered, “No way.”

“But,” Michael continued, “what if that little boy only asked for one thing, and every time they went to the store, he asked for the same item. Would his Mom buy it for him?”

“Yes.” They were sure she eventually would.

“Okay, I want the four of you to pick one thing you all want. Think about it and let me know what you decide.”

They didn’t need to think about it. With one voice, they said, “We want Dixie back!”

Dixie was our dog. She was a gentle German Shepherd cross, afraid of loud noises like firecrackers. She had disappeared one night while we were gone. I called the pound and the Humane Society nearly every day for weeks, asking for her, but the answer was always no. Eventually I gave up. Now, months later, the four of them wanted her back.

Then the prayers began. Morning, afternoon, and evening, all four prayed for Dixie to come back. Prayer before meals was, “Thank you for the food and please send Dixie back.” Day after day, they persisted in praying for that one thing they wanted more than anything else.

Being great people of faith, even then Michael and I were appalled and dismayed. We wanted them to learn that God hears and answers prayer, and they ruined it by asking for something totally impossible. We desperately wanted to help God answer, but couldn’t think of any way to do it.

Then one day the boys came home from their friend’s home and told me, “We found Dixie. She’s at a house across the street from Bobbie’s.” As soon as Michael arrived home from work, they surrounded him, wanting him to go immediately and bring the dog home. In no hurry to make an ass of himself approaching a stranger on a fool’s errand, Michael did the logical thing—he procrastinated. “We’ll go tomorrow night right after work.”

Tomorrow came all too soon, but Michael stood by his word and the five of them walked the few blocks to Bobbie’s neighborhood. Michael rang the doorbell, and when the door was answered, he said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but my kids think you have their dog.”

The man said, “I don’t think so.”

Michael began to describe Dixie, and as he did, he saw her in the house behind the homeowner. “That’s her right there,” he said.

The man then explained. “My sister lives in a town several miles west of here. She rescues dogs from the pound if she thinks they are worth saving and she can find homes for them. She picked up that dog sometime back. She’s on vacation now, and I’m dog sitting for her. I’m sure she’d be glad to let you have the dog when she gets back.”

So the bargain was struck. We reimbursed the rescuer for the fee she had paid at the pound, and Dixie came back home to us.

Who do you think learned more about prayer, Michael and me or our kids?

These Three Shall Remain

You are loved “Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” St. Augustine wrote:

“…[if] in their [dreams, visions, spiritual gifts] silence He alone spoke to us, not by them but by Himself: so that we should hear His word, not by any tongue of flesh nor the voice of an angel nor the sound of thunder nor in the darkness of a parable, but that we should hear Himself whom in all these things we love, should hear Himself and not them: just as we two had but now reached forth and in a flash of the mind attained to touch the eternal Wisdom which abides over all: and if this could continue, and all other visions so different be quite taken away, and this one should so ravish and absorb and wrap the beholder in inward joys that his life should eternally be such as that one moment of understanding for which we had been sighing – would not this be: Enter Thou into the joy of Thy Lord?(Confessions of St. Augustine, Book 9, pp. 158-159) *

“Not by them, but by HIMSELF!” This is what He wants with us. As Paul wrote in his famous “love chapter” 1 Corinthians 13…

“Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear. When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me. Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13 GNB – emphasis added)

What Augustine is saying here is that once we have had sweet fellowship with the living Christ face to face, nothing else is important any longer. Have you, like many of us, started out moving in the gift of tongues or prophesy or interpretation of tongues and dreams, visions, miracles, etc.? Or maybe you were absorbed in biblical knowledge and reading books of wisdom from the writings of past saints or reformers? But then one day you awake to the fact that God is doing away with them in YOU! Paul even says that these are things that spiritual children seek after and do and that a time comes when we grow up into something far greater! I know that many who believe in and camp around these verses in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 to 14 about spiritual gifts like to say that they will not be done away with until Christ returns or we are in heaven. Then we have the other crowd that says that with the death of the last of the twelve apostles God put and end to these “spiritual gifts.” I am not here to argue either point. The whole point that the apostle Paul and Augustine are making here is that it is our Father’s desire that we grow up into the fullness of Christ! Paul says, “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face.” What now? What then? The context is spiritual children vs. spiritual adulthood. We only get a dim image of Christ through spiritual gifts. Mature saints are no longer all concerned about “their giftedness!” They have moved on. They only want to see Jesus and hear HIS voice, not their own or their own “profound” thoughts! It is so sad that carnal men have taken the gifts of God for service to one another in the body of Christ and used them to divide it and seek ascendancy over one another. How immature!

“The measure of our spiritual life is no greater than our heart; the knowledge that is in the head is not the measure of spirituality, the way for your release, emancipation, increase, abundance is the way of the heart. Spirituality is not mental agreement on things stated in the Word, it is the melting of one heart to another – to all saints.” ~ T. Austin-Sparks http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/openwindows/003015.html

When we have placed into us a God given hunger to see Jesus face to face in the Spirit and hear His sweet voice because of our love for Him, all these other things lose their appeal by comparison. Paul explains that when that which is perfect is come the imperfect will be done away with. And what is “that which is perfect” that we grow into? John wrote,

And _we_ have known and have believed the love which God has in us; God is love, and the one abiding in that love abides in God, and God in him. By this love has been perfected with us, so that we shall be having confidence in the day of the judgment, because just as that One [Jesus Christ] is, also _we_ are in this world. [There] is no fear in love, _but_ perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. But the one fearing has not been perfected in that love. (1 John 4:16-18 ALT)

We are made perfect in the love of God and it is in this love that we are as Christ in this world for God is love! In Ephesians chapter four we are often reminded by the clergy of verses 11 & 12, about the so called “five fold ministries” and their teaching ends there with the emphasis on them! But Paul did not end the chapter with verse 12! Paul went on to speak of the perfection of the saints of God IN THIS LIFE not pie in the sky by and by!

“until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge [Grk. epegnosis – the full intimate knowing] of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine [Grk. didache – teaching], by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:13-15 RSVA)

We are to grow up in every way INTO Him! It is in this mature perfecting of God who makes us one with His Son that we are made perfect in the love of God for all mankind… He in us and we in Him. It is here that all these divisive doctrines made by the caprice and cunning of men from the scriptures cease to divide us any longer (Notice how Jesus never engaged in divisive arguments over the doctrines of men). We are made perfect and one in God’s LOVE just as Jesus was. Agape love is self for God and self for others, so much so that the time comes that self is no longer an element to be considered, but our lives are hidden in Christ! At this point we can rightfully say with Paul, “For me to live IS Christ and to die is gain.” “Meanwhile these three remain, faith hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” Father, please do what you have to do to mature us in your love. Amen.

* I would like to give a special thanks to Susanne Schuberth for bringing this quote from Augustine to our attention in her blog article, “Jumping into the Unknown” https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/jumping-into-the-unknown/

Why Do We Reason in Our Hearts?

Mary & Risen Lord

But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned among themselves, he said unto them, “Why reason you these things in your hearts?” (Mark 2:6-8 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they discussed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were held that they should not know him… Then he said unto them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?… And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem… and Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. (Luke 24:13-39 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

As I read the above passages it occurred to me that Hearts were not given us to reason and judge with, but to love. Jesus said, “Why do you reason in your hearts?” Too often as Christians we let our reason displace His love for others in our hearts. As I read these words, the truth of what He was saying hit me. Many of us left-brained religious people do not love with our hearts, but instead turn to “reason” to decide what we are to do in each situation and how we treat people. These early disciples were like the scribes in Mark chapter two, constantly reasoning in their hearts. As a result, they were blinded to the Truth that Jesus had risen from the dead just as He said He would. He had told all of them before He went to the cross that He would have to die and then rise again.

It is interesting that one woman was moved by love and not by reason, and she was the first to see the risen Christ and recognize Him!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher). (John 20:15-16 RSVA)

Mary Magdolin, upon hearing Jesus say her name, knew it was Him. Unlike the men that Jesus appeared to, she did not reason in her heart that Jesus was dead, so there was an immediate heart connection! This is one of the most touching scenes in the Bible.

Oh, dear saints, why do we reason in our hearts? God is love and if we are to apprehend all that He has for us, it will not be by our reasoning, but by responding to His love, being moved by Him, and being led of Him with our hearts filled with His love.

Jesus was motivated always by the love and mercy of the Father! Satan used reason to appeal to Eve–if she would eat of that forbidden tree, she would be on the fast track to becoming like God. That got us all in this mess we see today!

The woman was convinced [through Satan’s reasoning]. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:6 NLT)

God has given us new hearts in Christ and filled them with His love. Agape love should be the most powerful thing operating in us, telling us how to respond in each situation. The love of God in our hearts is the one earmark of those who are truly born anew of the Father. Jesus said:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

[But it was as if Peter didn’t hear a word of what Jesus was saying.]

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (John 13:34-37 RSVA)

Again, his reasoning made him blind to the truth. We cannot apprehend the truth of God by our reasoning, but only by abiding in His love. It was the love relationship between the Father and the Son that opened Jesus to hearing His Father in all things.

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel. (John 5:19-20 RSVA – emphasis added)

Paul wrote that knowledge will pass away, but the greatest of all these gifts from God is love and it will never pass away. The scribes used their knowledge of the law to judge Jesus for forgiving the lame man’s sins. If they had been in their hearts instead of relying on their reason, they would have rejoiced that this man’s sins had just been forgiven and he was made whole and walked again, but they had no love in them, only judgment based on human reason. The law is subject to the knowledge of good and evil. Satan still hangs out in that tree, not the Tree of Life. Jesus came that we might have life, not death.

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56-57 KJ2000)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 RSVA)

And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17 KJ2000)

There is one commandment that we are to follow in the New Covenant… Love.

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:10-12 RSVA – emphasis added)

Or as Paul wrote:

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10 RSVA – emphasis added)

John also expanded on this theme in 1 John 4:17-21.

So dear saints, we should seek to be perfected as children of God. That perfection is found in those who abide in and are moved by His love. The world doesn’t need any more death-preaching of legalism that knows no love. It is the love of God that leads us to repentance, not preaching about His wrath and judging people for their sins. Remember, we will be judged just as we judge others, but mercy triumphs over judgment. Let us love all men with our hearts and not displace His love with our cold reasoning. Amen.

Neither Do I Condemn You

Susanne Schuberth of “Entering the Promised Land” blog and I were sharing our thoughts on God’s mercy and this is what we wrote together.

Entering the Promised Land

Bleeding Hearts (Photo by Michael Clark)Bleeding Hearts
(Photo by Michael Clark)

Michael Clark of ‘A Wilderness Voice” blog (*) and I were sharing our thoughts on God’s mercy and this is what we wrote together.

View original post 519 more words

Let All Things Be Done Unto Edification

Lioness and cub“Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29 GNB)

Well, folks, it is confession time again. The other day I was talking with a friend in Christ and she said, “Michael, I am not perfect. Only God is.” Without thinking, I got into my old “fix it” mode and commenced to tell that dear friend about things I had seen in them that needed to be tweaked… of course by me!

Thank God that she pulled me up short in the midst of my “fix- her- upper” and said, “Why do you do this? This really hurts me when you go at me like this.” I heard the hurt in her voice, stopped and apologized. She asked if I got in that mode because of how my parents treated me. I had to think about that. I grew up with a mother who was constantly finding fault with me. Pick, pick, pick. And my dad could never affirm me no matter how hard I tried to please him. As I thought about it, I concluded that some kind of superiority complex is being fed when I chose to point out the faults of others. This pattern is hard to break after being instilled in me during my formative years, by the military, many bosses I have had and again by some church leadership that I have been under.

Yet, what does the Bible say about such things? How about the above verse? Don’t use harmful words! I am an expert at using words that go in like a knife. It just comes naturally. One of my sons was an expert at verbal put-downs. While in his teens, he walked up to a blond girl, looked closely at her hair and asked, “Tell me, how do you dye your roots brown like that?” He and his buddies got a big laugh out of it, but she did not.

No, this is not what our opening verse is talking about. We are to let only helpful words that build people up come out of our mouths. So many of us find it easier to pull people down. After all, Satan is the accuser of the brethren and all too often he is right there to put words in our mouths so we can damage our fellow members of the body of Christ. I am so thankful that this dear sister showed me my fault. It was the Lord speaking through her and by the time she was through, I had tears in my eyes for what I had done to her with my words. Paul wrote:

 “But now I am happy—not because I made you sad, but because your sadness made you change your ways. That sadness was used by God, and so we caused you no harm. For the sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation—and there is no regret in that! But sadness that is merely human causes death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10 GNB)

Godly sorrow is a good thing. Paul has some hard things to say to the Corinthian church in his first letter, but because he spoke in the Spirit, it brought about a godly sorrow that led to their change of heart.

So what does it mean to speak words of correction under the influence of God? Paul wrote:

My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too. Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2 GNB)

There are four requirements here to set someone on the right course:

  • We must be in the Spirit and led of the Spirit in what we are saying.
  • We must do it with all gentleness.
  • We need to search our own hearts and ask, “Am I correcting this person for their good or just so I can feel superior to them?”
  • Finally, we are to help carry our brother’s and sister’s burdens. Some of them still have things to overcome (God knows we all do), but it might not be God’s timing for us to step in and “adjust” them, especially if we are doing it so we can feel more comfortable being around them. If we are really spiritual, God’s love in us should empower us to not be so hasty. “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs;” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5 GNB)

I thanked this dear saint for calling me on my error. I had not been moved by the Spirit, but by pride in what I said. At first she didn’t want to say anything, just take it. The problem is that if we do not bring it to the Lord’s light when people wrong us, they are apt to do it again and make the rift between the two of us that much worse. If we are moved by the Spirit and are operating in His love, we can show another their error even when they are offending us. This too will be to their edification in the Spirit as the Lord empowers them to change.

 We who are strong in the faith ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. Instead, we should all please other believers for their own good, in order to build them up in the faith. For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture says, “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.” (Romans 15:1-3 GNB)

God puts a high premium on unity and edification in the body of Christ. Let us always try to be motivated by God’s love and pray first to get God’s leading before we start correcting one of his precious ones. Let us build up others and provide what is needed, so that what you we say will do good to those who hear us.

Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:22-27 RSVA)

By the way, this sister and I both were blessed by the way that God led us to overcome in this situation and His love still binds us together in Christ as members one of another.

He Is Either In You or He Is Not!

groom-dips-bride-in-front-of-charlotte-nc-wedding-chapelI would like to quote my dear friend, Dan Dailey, as he pointed out how going to church does not necessarily enrich our relationship with God…

“Imagine somebody told you that he really loved his wife more than anything; that she was the center of his life, his reason for living, and that his marriage was the stuff of fantasy. You ask him, “what’s your secret?”

“He tells you all about this club for married men that he goes to every week. In this club all the men talk about how much they love their wives and encourage one another to stay faithful to their wives. He also tells you that whenever someone leaves the club, they end up in divorce. He ashamedly admits that every time he himself lapses in attending to this club, he cheats on his wife.

“I don’t know about you, but I’d say this guy doesn’t really love his wife.

“But is this how we see our relationship with Jesus? As being wholly dependent on membership to a club responsible for keeping us close to him? I began to see that if I were to stop attending a church service then there were only two possible outcomes. The preferable outcome, of course, would be that I would continue serving him as I always had…”