Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My dad works for the government!

Obedience is a resolve that one makes in their will and by their faith. The fuel that enables that is the Truths that God gives us to stand on. The first Truth is that because of Christ we have unconditional acceptance. The second Truth is the reality that in us alone we do not have the power to obey, so our energy needs to be focused on the Spirit. He will empower us to obey our Lord!

When I was in 2nd grade living in Germany, a teacher for some reason decided to embarrass me in front of my whole class. She asked me what rank my father was in the Army. Since the day I was old enough to speak I had been taught to ALWAYS answer when asked what my father did, I was to say “He works for the government.” My father was a spy – of course I did not know that. When I repeated that to this teacher 3 times in a row, she became angry, called me stupid and some other things. I went home shattered and told my “mommy” I would never return to the school. Of course mom’s claws sprang out immediately. That night I heard her tell my dad that she was going to go to the school the next day. He said no that she would not, that he would go. The next day I was dragged to the bus. When I got to class, over the intercom, I heard my name and my teacher’s name to come to the office. I thought I was going to be punished for not knowing what my dad did. 
When I arrived, I saw a very pale principal, and my dad’s back. The principal had me sit and called my teacher to him. My dad positioned her and the principal so I could see their faces. He then said in a firm, calm voice, loud enough for me to hear, “the next time my son says his dad works for the government, that is all you need to know!” as he said this he pulled a wallet out of his coat pocket that opened and showed his badge and ID. The teacher turn several colors of white. Then my dad turned to me…patted me on the head and said, “see at home tonight buddy.” My teacher had to apologize to the whole class for what she had done. For the rest of my elementary career whenever a kid would talk about the rank of their father…I don’t care if he was a five star general…I said louder, prouder, and with total confidence that I had the top guy…”My dad works for the government!”

Our third Truth should instill into us the reality that we do not need to take a back seat to any spirit, vice, sin or failure.   

Romans 8:9-17 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. [10] And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. [11] But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. [12] So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- [13] for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. [14] For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. [15] For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" [16] The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are His children! Son ship in it’s generic form, this is not about gender, this is about position!

a. We have the freedom to do what we want. Everything that the Father has called good is open for us. Remember what the father said to the older brother in Luke 15:

Luke 15:31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.

Too many of us are fretting over things that will take care of themselves, if we would just love on our Father. This job; single or married; move or stay?

When we focus on how can I love my Father today the other stuff will come and I believe we would be surprised to see how much freedom He has given us in those areas. Real freedom, not the kind the world offers. Freedom based on power from darkness!

An American and a Russian were discussing the principle of freedom of speech. The American critiqued the Soviet system as he noted, "Well, after all, we have free speech, and you don't. I could stand up in the middle of Washington, D.C., and say, 'The President of the United States is a jerk.' "The Russian smiled mischievously and replied, "Why, we have that same kind of free speech. I can stand in the middle of Red Square and say, 'The President of the United States is a jerk.'"

Our freedom comes from the light – where we see what is real and what is pretense and imitation. What God offers fulfills the eternal soul. Darkness feeds the flesh!

b. Also like our earthly fathers any restrictions are for our protection.

[13] for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live...[15] For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" [16] The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.

I was looking through one of my journals and saw this prayer that I know I have said many times.

Deliver me from these vices that torment my soul! I know I love You, but I sense so much doubt of that because of my sin. Yet, because I believe that Your commitment to me is sure, I will never quit this race! 

Is there any area where you are struggling with in obeying God?  Maybe you do not understand what God has done to facilitate you in your obedience to Him. Bow your head,  ask Him right now to help you understand these Truths from His Word so you will obey. You really can't figure love out. You can't explain all about it nor can you fully understand it. What you can do is receive it!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Enough Power to Fail!

Understanding power and it’s source is important! When I was a young man, I did not understand how engines worked. When I came into shop class, my friends called me over and asked me to hold a wire while they pulled a rope. Dummy that I was, I did it. When they pulled that rope, it sent a rather awaking charge through that wire…the one that was normally attached to the spark plug of the engine! I learned that moment where power came from for the engine and what it could do! Sadly, I called over another friend of mine and asked him to do the same thing. He looked at me and said…”do you think I am stupid? I will hold the wire, but I will pull the rope!” Needless to say he was my hero that day…because I was the dummy of the day…until he replaced me!

We are considering some truths that are important for us to know when we are struggling with our disobedience. 

The first Truth, as we have seen, we need to engraft into our senses is, if we are in a relationship with Christ, we are unconditionally accepted, despite our failures. There is No Condemnation, because Christ paid the price in full!

Romans 8:5–8 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

The second Truth we must face is – There is no Power in me alone to obey!

You cannot obey God in of yourself. This removes the burden of all that weight the enemy wants us to carry to make sure every little thing is right or wrong. The Pharisees did that and became perverted – emphasizing the “outside” over the “inside”! we will go nuts trying to carry that weight – we have only one responsibility - to have the mind of the Spirit.


Asking some key questions is important!

1. What am I doing to impact the kingdom of God?

This includes: With my family; with my job; with my time; with my possessions?
The interesting part is that the actual questions do not change. What changes is the perspective of those questions!  For many all their thoughts pertain to this life and this world only. We, however must see beyond and ask ourselves, will what I am doing matter in 1 billion years? That not only impacts “what” you do, but “how” you do it! When you focus on only “here and now” you should not wonder why you wrestle so much with obeying. The flesh lives for “here and now!” When we live “eternal” we evaluate everything we do on the spiritual level! 

2. What am I doing to get to know how the Spirit thinks?

Reader's Digest calls the Bible, "the most unread best-seller". 

We have a Book that helps us know our God intimately! If you learn how He thinks and meditate on Him, then obedience with be the natural out growth. It’s the same with the person you love, you learn how he or she think and before you know it you naturally do things that please them!

Spurgeon: There are two sins of man that are bred in the bone, and that continually come out in the flesh. One is self-dependence and the other is self-exaltation. It is very hard, even for the best of men, to keep themselves from the first error. The holiest of Christians, and those who understand best the gospel of Christ, find in themselves a constant inclination to look to the power of the creature, instead of looking to the power of God and the power of God alone."

All the power we need to live in victory is at our hands! If we would apply the Truth that we have NO POWER in ourselves to obey, BUT in Him we have that Power and as we live in that Truth we! We need to engraft this Truth into our life! This reality enables us yield to the Spirit’s power and not rely on our own!

Meditation Questions: Do you think you can beat sin? How? When you feel the drive to sin, what do you do? Describe that. Do you see your life as a time to impact the Kingdom in God? What are you doing to learn Who God is? Describe what that looks like. If you realize that God’s Power can enable you to obey, do you want that? Why? Why Not?