Bible Devotions

Woke up with a strange acronym in my head Sunday morning. Bare with me…

When you L.ive  I.n  F.orgiveness of  E.veryone you have L.I.F.E. But when you don’t live in forgiveness you don’t have L.I.F.E you have a L.I.E.


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Bible Devotions

God-Fumes

Luke 9:23 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

In our Christian-American culture divided down the middle by partisan political views, I find that I am best described as a Christian Extremist. Let me elaborate… In light of the culture we live in “carrying our cross” has largely been interpreted as some of our issues we face as we pursue the American dream. For example my Mercedes came with 18 inch rims not the 22s, I just gotta bear my cross. Okay so maybe that’s too much, but you get the picture.

We have misconstrued persecution to being largely related to our issues we put on ourselves related to our loose living. When the kind of persecution folks like Paul talks about in 2 Cor. 4 is the kind of persecution that comes as a result of the exuberant radiating God-fumes that comes from a person living the resurrected life. Jesus was rejected most of the time because He freaked people out. Not because of His political views. When He cast out the thousands of demons from the guy by the graveyard the people from the neighborhood told Him to leave. Paul was stoned because he was radically changing folks lives not because he was using Christian language and judging others.

So where have we gone wrong? How do we redirect our passions to rightly live in the God life we are suppose to be living?

Get hung up on the cross.

The cross is where we lay down our flesh and blood lives, that have opposing desires from God. Jesus says that this is a daily task. We know this well, because we usually end up realizing that we let our flesh and blood selves live out most of our lives while experiencing little to no life from the peace-making plateau of the resurrected life.

But can we be real here? We must realize that this cross bearing is tricky and it ain’t easy.

In the strange film Momento, Leonard the main character suffers from short term memory loss. The entire movie is about how Leonard is trying to figure out the murder of his wife and pursue revenge, but with no short term memory. mementoTo compensate for his lack of memory he tattoos on his body important pieces of information so that each day when he wakes up he will be able to continue on his journey. Strange film, maybe or maybe not worth your time, but…

Like Leonard we wake up each day forgeting who we are, what our lot in life is, who we are called to be, and to a large extent which way is up.

So like Leonard there are practical ways that we can make ourselves remember to pick up our crosses each day. The thing is that our morning discipline doesn’t start in the morning, it starts the night before. We must plan to put ourselves at the feet of Jesus… even if it’s more like a bear trap.

So may the cross be before you and the world behind you. May you find ways to remain on the alter so that your life would be a pleasing aroma of sacrifice to the Christ.

Matt 16:25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Bible Devotions

Unwelcome Guests

While recently being more intimatly aware of the unspoken side of Christian faith, deliverance. I have become more and more aware of how it all works. Luke 11:24 speaks about how unclean spirits seek to find a place to rest. This simple concept speaks volumes. For you to find rest in a hotel with your spouse over the weekend there are probably some standards that you guyshiking trail have. For example, my standards are different than my wives. I could stand to stay in a roach motel and save about 75 dollars comparitivly speaking. But, because of my wife’s desires and comfort levels I will spend a little more so we will both be comfortable. My comfort will come from her being satisfied.

So, for an evil spirit to dwell in the life of a person there must be a level of welcome to that spirit. Unforgivness and unrepentant sin are two major areas also any association with false religions or the occult. But what Luke 11:14-28 points to is what I would describe as closing off all areas of welcome.

Imagine a mountian with many roads that have been cut out of the mountain for cars to travel. That is the access we can leave for unwanted guests. We can invite Jesus into our lives to dwell on our “mountain”, but He will not remove the access points we created. With His help they can be removed, but we must acknowledge our areas of sin and repent. Ultimatly, in light of deliverance ministry, the mountian that represents our lives must be swept clean of any unwelcome guests and the access roads must be removed from the sides of our mountains so that no other unwanted guests would make it home.

If this stirs you and you would like to hear more you can e-mail me at jason.goodnight.24-7prayer@live.com

Bible Devotions

Pardoning the Prisoners of Your Heart

Luke 17:1-4
And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.  Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”angryman

 

 

 

There is a mechanism inside of all of us, that was formed (or at least malfunctioned) during the Fall (Gen 3). This mechanism is capable of holding anger towards others. This mechanism stores up wrong done and resentment, it remembers others faults and holds other in the courtroom of our hearts for judgment.    This mechanism must be cleansed and closed down. It must be forever broken so that we are not capable of hold anyone captive. 

See that’s the nature of this type of sin you hold others captive by it. This is why we have to seek not only to forgive, but to live lives constantly conscience of who we are offending. We have to be willing (often for me) to humble ourselves before others and drop the awkward question of, “have I done anything to offend you?”

For us who believe and spend any amount of time with the Father, we are not able to hold too much in our hearts without Him correcting us. But for others who don’t know Him, our actions can cause hours, days, weeks, months, and even years of heartache because they have no way of healing and finding peace.

God hates sin. Sin holds people ransom and kills them. Don’t sin against yourself or sin against your neighbor.

Love your neighbor as yourself…. Forgive and be forgiven…. Live free from looking over your shoulder….. Live free of resentment.

Selah