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Archive for the ‘Belief’ Category

Shh!

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” — Psalm 91:1

God has a secret!

King David called it a place1 of God’s protection and a shelter from strife and pride.2 Job, (pronounced with a long “o” and best known for his personal suffering) said it was a place where wisdom lived but that it had only been heard of, never yet discovered.3

The apostle Paul called that place a mystery, hidden for hundreds of years … until NOW! He said he, actually, discovered it and so could we!

He wrote the mystery is found by getting connected, literally, to God through Jesus!

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you” – Colossians 1:26-27

Not a euphemism, when joined to Christ we become a physical extension of himself — so much so that what we do in our bodies, good and bad, is what we are doing with and to Christ.4

When God looks at us he is seeing an extension of his son. Christ’s payment on the cross for sin, ours5. The Holy Spirit working in Jesus, now working in us. Our debts, his. Our bodies, his. Our needs, his. His closeness to the Father, ours. And when Jesus returns for us we shall be like him.6

This changes everything!

– fritz
1. Psalm 91:1
2. Psalm 31:20
3. Job 28:20-23
4. 1st Corinthians 6:13-17
5. 1st John 4:17
6. 1st John 3:2

Related Post: “Thin Places” — March 20, 2012

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SharedCar3Yesterday I had a conversation with our Son about the car. He was incensed we would put our car he drives in the shop without providing another for his use. I tried to explain it was my job to administer our shared resources for the good of all — which means sometimes he has to wait and/or find alternatives to the places he wants to go.

Reasoning did no good, I guess because it combined two words: “Him” and “Wait”.

Today God had a conversation with me about almost the same thing. This world, everyone and everything in it, is a shared resource. It’s his dirt, he must administer those resources according to his wisdom and love — which means sometimes I have to wait and/or find alternatives to get me places I want to go, trusting that what I really need he will provide.

Sharing resources requires patience, a positive attitude, and perseverance.

— fritz

* Get your own dirt. April 27, 2012

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Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

Difficulties put focus in the wrong place — how I feel, what I didn’t get, what they did to me, why God didn’t meet my expectations! The “I”, “My”, and “Me” focus gets nowhere peacefully.

Psalm 37 gives six(6) action steps to getting out of that swirl and moving on to something better. First on the list is letting go of the burn.1 The second act is deciding to trust God by getting up and doing the right thing.2. Third step:

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” — Psalm 37:4

This one comes with a lovely promise! Who is going to give me what I really want if I don’t? God.

Doing this means several things. It means relinquishing both the control and the result to God. It means putting focus on him and what he wants, and it means being pliable. The word translated here as “Delight” literally means to be soft, pliable, delicate.

What if my heart’s desires are selfish, vengeful, and ungodly? If we are pliable God can change that and mold our hearts to desire what is good.

The ancient philosopher, St. Augustine, living in the first century discovered this very thing and wrote the famous line, “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”

Step #3 – Let your heart be pliable in God’s hands.

— fritz
1. Step #1 – Fret not, 02/21/2013
2. Step #2 – Trust and do good, 02/22/2013

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workerKnowing how something is built is not the same as knowing how to build it.

Part owner of a construction company years ago, it was my job to know how walls, ceilings, and floors were constructed and to know when these were built according architectural specifications; but to actually do the building was totally different. Building skills are only learned by building.

Likewise, the Bible tells us how to be godly but learning how to do it comes from experience. As a young preacher I knew a lot about how following Christ was done but I am still learning how to do it.

Jesus said,

“Here’s what I propose: … If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously… love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer…If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? … You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it.” (Matthew 5:38-48 Message)

There are things we must learn how to do if we expect to be of service to Christ.

How are you going to learn how to “turn the other cheek” unless someone slaps you? How am I going to learn how to love my enemies unless I have enemies? How are you going to learn how to pray for those who spitefully use you unless you have a boss that throws you under the bus or co-workers that spread malicious gossip? How am I going to learn how to trust God to provide unless I sometimes lose my job or go through difficulty?

We say, “God why would you let me get slapped in the face?!”, when all God is doing is teaching how live for Christ instead of just knowing how living for Christ is done.

– fritz

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Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” — Romans 8:8-9a

Being “in the Spirit” is not based on how close God feels but on the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. The two are not the same.

Believers don’t always agree on exactly when the Holy Spirit is received but they do agree he is found in Christ, a promised Gift for assurance and comfort.

“You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance” — Ephesians 1:13 (CEB)

In Christ the Holy Spirit no longer comes and goes but remains even as our feelings change.

It’s time for us to stop asking, singing, pleading for him to come and time start thanking him for being here, moving on to what he wants us to do now that he is.

— fritz

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“A man named Jairus besought [Jesus to] come into his house: For he had one only daughter … and she lay a dying.

But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman … came behind him and touched … Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they … said, … the multitude throng thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? … [finally the woman] came trembling, and falling down …

While he yet spake, there cometh one … saying … Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.” — Luke 8:41-49

Whichever line I choose at the store stops. Five people checkout at the next line while I wait with two items for the one person in front of me to get a price check, call an absent manager, have a credit card denied, and/or fill out a return receipt. I don’t know how I do it!

I get impatient though I have nothing important compared to Jairus; his daughter was on her deathbed, Jesus her only hope.

How Jairus heart must have sunk as Jesus was stopped along with the way for a discussion about feelings! How he must have felt such urgency — right up to the point when the bad news came! Too late!

But Jesus is never too late, even if it takes a lifetime of waiting.

Jesus … answered …Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole” — Jesus (Luke 8:50)

— fritz

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[Lot] and his two daughters … lived in a cave. The older daughter said to her sister, Our father is getting old, and there are no men in the whole world to marry us so that we can have children … let’s … have children by him” – Genesis 19:30-32 (Good News Translation)

A lesson should be learned from Lot’s oldest daughter’s comment.

Having just endured a horrific event and personal loss she and her sister made poor choices, spawning two people groups that negatively afflicted God’s people for centuries, simply because they could not see the bigger picture. The world was much larger than their little cave and there were certainly many potential husbands.

The tendency to make poor choices because of a lack of scope is still there! Many don’t believe God heals today because neither they nor anyone they trust have recognized God’s touch. Many think the church is only as mighty as their denomination or group. Some, tragically, think life is over when it has hardly begun.

“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.” — Psalm 121:1-2 (Message Bible)

God’s call is to look up and know He is stronger for us than anything we see.

  1. God is even now working all things to their good for those who love and follow him, even though that good can’t immediately be seen;
  2. God’s Church is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), even though some institutions have turned from it to become cold and lifeless;
  3. Each follower of Christ has a purpose, a plan, and place in God’s kingdom, even though the preparation time seems long and fruitless;
  4. Jesus is with each who call on him for help, even in apparent isolation.

— fritz@langgang.com

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