Friday, August 9, 2013

Where You Are Determines What You see

Where you are determines what you see. That's a quote I heard long ago on a podcast by a Pastor named Gordon Venturella, but it has stuck with me ever since I heard it.
Where are you in your relationship with God and others. Where you are WILL determine what you see.
If our relationship with God is more of an acquaintance with Him, than a true relationship, His true nature and power will remain hidden.
If our relationships with others remains superficial, then we never experience the life changing power of community. We get lost in our own problems.
Where you are determines what you see, always.
Think of those twelve regular guys that walked and ministered with Jesus. They shared life's up's and down's. One of them even betrayed Him to the temple officials. Yet thousand of years later we see the effects of their ministry.
It's easy to lose focus in this life. Bills must be paid, schedules met, commitments fulfilled. Jesus doesn't ask us to lay all of those things aside, He asks us to include Him in all of those things. Allowing Jesus to lead our lives brings a much different perspective to our existence.
Sharing life with others, takes the focus off of our issues. Those issues remain, but somehow they don't seem as scary.

"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Matthew 18:20

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Letting Go

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NASB)
What "lies behind" you? If you are a normal member of the human race, it's probably those actions or words that caused you grief or embarrassment, we call that sin. We all have things in our past that remind us that we fall far short of God's standards. But Paul says to let those things go. Focusing on our failures only brings to light our fallen nature, which was exchanged (atoned)at the cross. Why would God remind us of things we are already forgiven for? Why would God use the same feelings of shame or guilt, to correct us? He doesn't. The enemy (the accuser of the brethren Rev 12:10) uses this tactic to distract us from the righteousness we have in Jesus Christ. No longer sinners in the eyes of a righteous God, but saints redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Let these things go.
I'm pretty simple (most that know me will agree!). But it reminds of how I've seen raccoons, in their desire to get a treat in a jar, remain trapped because they won't let go of the piece of food they have their hand wrapped around. When they have their hand balled us inside the jar, they can't get their hand out.It's the same with us, we will never truly understand the gracious gift of God, until we let go of who we were, and embrace who we are in Christ. Saints, period!