Stir Me Up Lord!

Stir Me Up Lord!: November 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

You are the Church

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NLT)

Jesus showed that loving God is the key and that loving others will follow naturally; because if you’re loving God with all that you are, you can love all of God’s creations - that [love others] isn’t the same as getting along with [others].  I’m pretty sure that’s why Paul told us that we had to work on renewing our mind, since our flesh has a tendency to be very selfish and to get our bodies into submission - we have to conquer the flesh and change the way we think.

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2 NLT)

This ‘living and holy sacrifice’ is like killing off our old ways, habits, thoughts and actions of our flesh.  Now that we are capable of seeing our past sins, we can recognize the holiness that is now in us; our spirit, as new creations in Christ - has cast light on the darkness and the struggle of the old (flesh) versus the new (spirit).  We see who we were (fleshly, decaying, and sinful) and what we are to become - that is, we are to become like Christ.  

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.  (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT)

Jesus spent His time healing the sick, loving the unlovable, and feeding the hungry - if you notice He did all these outside of the church walls.  That means, when we’re not in church - we ARE the church; but some also take that to mean that they don’t need to attend a church either.  Jesus was in the temple on the Sabbath - and today, although everyday is the Sabbath - we need to realize that as the church, we each have a part.  Jesus is the head of the church and just as we need the head - we also need the hands, the feet, the eyes and the ears. God’s plan for the church is perfect, but if you believe your way is better you can take that up with God.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 NLT)

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,  so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. (Romans 12:4-6 NLT)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In the Prayer Waiting Room

Sometimes we just have to stir ourselves us - especially when it seems that we’ve lost that loving feeling, where we just don’t feel like God is for us and that we’re in this life all on our own.  It’s in those times when more than ever - we need to pick up our Bibles and read them.  I don’t think I’ve ever read my Bible and thought that it was a waste of time - as a matter of fact, I can’t think of a time when I haven’t been encouraged after just a few minutes with God’s Word.  For those times when I’m especially down and out, turn up the Praise & Worship music - I don’t know anyone who can hear ‘Glory to God’ and keep a dark cloud over their head.  

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]  (John 16:33 AMP)

I guess one of the keys to our spiritual walk, is to keep on walking.  We can’t give up because we haven’t seen our prayers answered, remember that God’s timing is perfect.  I try to remind myself when I’m going through an especially tough time, that the enemy is going to fight me the hardest right before my blessing breakthrough.  

Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone. 
(1 Peter 5:8 Voice)

God is a great listener and He wants to spend time with us.   Although we can pray at anytime, anywhere - we should daily set some time aside to show God the honor He is due.  Have you ever needed to talk to someone and they kept picking up their phone, or repeatedly got interrupted by someone or something else - you just knew you didn’t have their undivided attention?  God is a jealous God - He is the creator of the Heavens and the Earth - He is Holy and deserves our best; not our leftovers.  So in those times when we feel we’re not being heard, that’s especially when we need to stop and evaluate our God time. 

Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin. Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other. (James 4:8 Voice)

Sometimes we just need to be honest with ourselves.  No one likes to admit when they’re wrong - but one of the important parts of a relationship is being able to say you’re sorry.  I don’t know how we could walk with God without grace, since there is nothing we can do to deserve the righteousness of Christ.  Keeping my heart right with God isn’t possible unless I can sincerely confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. 

"When you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins also. If you do not forgive them their sins, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.” (Mark 11:25-26 NLV) 

God is for us, He will never leave us nor forsake us.  We can boldly run to the throne of grace and call on our Father in Heaven, He loves us and He sent His Son to take our place - there’s no reason to doubt your miracle isn’t on it’s way!

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:12-14 NLT)

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