Tag Archives: Christ

Abstaining

1 Peter 2:11-12 NKJV Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

How are those called by Christ’s name to witness to those who have yet to know Him?

Two things: abstaining from fleshly lusts and good works.

These instructions are given elsewhere as well.

Romans 13:14 KJV — But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Lord knew we needed more than just the command “don’t do”: put off fleshly lusts; He knew we needed a “do”: put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because without Jesus, we are simply slaves to our flesh and chained to our sin.

Scripture clearly outlines what fleshly lusts leads to, that we might recognize the danger.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV — Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 John 2:16 KJV — For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Scripture also gives us many verses as to those things we should be “putting on”, the gifts of the Spirit and the works of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:22 KJV — Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Colossians 3:12-14 NKJV — Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

God’s Word tells us that putting off the flesh and putting on Jesus Christ is a testimony to those who accuse us, to those who have yet to know Him.

It is how we shine brightly in a lost and dark world.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these practical and understandable lessons. Lord, thank You for giving both a warning and an instruction. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, that I might not deceive myself, thinking I’m fine, when the truth is I need You daily. Thank You that Your Word brings me such peace as I daily learn to walk with You. Lord, for those who have yet to know You, please continue to use my life and the lives of others who love You as a testament to Your goodness, Your glory, Your holiness, Your truth. Lord, please let the world see the truth, turn to You and be healed. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Abide

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 NKJV

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.’” John 8:31 NKJV

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV

Strong’s definition for the word abide used in John 15:4 as copied from https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3306&t=NKJV

“μένω ménō, men’-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):—abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for)”

The other definitions of the word abide in John 8:31 and Psalm 91:1 all are similar.

The idea is to remain, live, permanently stay.

To abide is to choose to continue in something.

He said it Himself, this abiding means to be in the Word, living it.

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10 NKJV

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7 NKJV

If our hearts’ desire is to follow God’s commandments, to love God more than anything and to love others as ourselves, then He will give us the desires of our heats.

He will teach us how to love.

He will hold us in His paths and guide us in His truths.

His Word will become more and more a part of our every day and more a part of who we are.

Just like the branch of a vine must be connected to the main vine to have life so we, as Christ followers, must be connected to Christ Jesus.

It is a beautiful picture.

The branch can do nothing apart from the vine.

We can do nothing apart from Christ.

It is not a list of rules which need to be checked off daily.

It is a flow of love, communion, and conversation between Jesus and each of us.

Out of that, fruit is born.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these verses. Thank You for encouraging us to abide in You. Lord thank You for the wonderful truths we see throughout scripture, that You never intended us to simply “try harder” to earn Your love or Your forgiveness. Instead it is a free gift and with that comes the opportunity to live in You. To walk and be who You created each of us to be before sin marred and stained it. Lord, we often forget to dwell in You. We get off plan and tread into dangerous areas, in those times, please bring us back. Let us not wander far, but bring us back quickly. Lord, we know that there are often things which happen that cause pain, suffering, and loss. In those times please remind us of these truths all the more. Help our hearts to dwell in You and to obey Your Word. Thank You. Amen.

Da Same Shoes

I don’t often repost other blogs, but this one is well worth the read.

I pray we all can love our neighbor this way.

Have you ever put on someone’s shoes? Not just any shoes old worn in shoes, smitten with dirt from their past journeys, gouged lines of miles walked. How did they feel? Did the soles of your feet ache begging to return to the cradled comfort they have grown accustomed to found in your own closet? […]

Da Same Shoes

To live is Christ…

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21 NKJV

What does that look like?

“to live is Christ,”

Have you seen it?

Do you know what it means?

Can you point to a person in your life and say, “their lives speak clearly that for them to live is Christ”?

Praise God for those people!

Men and women who live daily as followers of Christ.

I want to be one.

Failure seems to riddle my efforts of Christ’s life in me.

Yet, I can see a difference from the person I am today and the one I was twenty years ago.

It’s encouraging to know Jesus, through His Word, and the Holy Spirit is making me more like Him.

It’s not an instant change.

Instead it’s a daily choice.

To live is Christ means suffering.

It means surrender.

It means walking in the every day with the best and greatest Companion, Guide, Comfort, and Hero anyone has ever had.

It means hope.

Confident expectation that there is so much more than this life.

Because…

…”to die is gain.”

That gain which no mortal can even truly comprehend.

Heaven.

Ever lasting life.

To live in God’s Holy presence for eternity.

Wow.

That’s definitely a major gain.

Paul put it very well, indeed.

To live is Christ and to die is gain.

Happy Sunday!

Family

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We’re family.

Yet it isn’t what you might think.

I was born in California.

My husband was born in Texas.

Our children were born in Oregon.

And yet we have family who were born in the UK.

No, they are not blood relations.

However, we love them just as much.

This past week we have been thrilled to have two of our UK family staying with us.

We ate ice cream, which is different from that of the UK.

We traveled.

We watched movies and played games.

It was lovely.

Simply, delightful.

And I’m already anticipating next summer when we will again walk the cobbled streets of a beautiful old village in the UK.

How can we have such a strong connection when we spend so little time together?

It’s not because we are exactly the same.

In fact the differences are vast.

It is because we love the same man and have given our lives to serving Him:

JESUS.

He’s the greatest builder of love and family and He continues to show us the joy of relationship.

When I first accepted the Lord Jesus as my saviour I had no idea I was becoming a member of a new family.

Yet the body of Christ is such a wonderful thing and I continue to be amazed at how great God’s love is.

Yes, every family has times of strife,  including the body of Christ.

However, if we are true sons and daughters of the Most High we will work out those things and choose instead unity, even if it costs us personally.

I can hear the questions :

“What about those who can’t agree upon Scripture? ”

“If this is the case why are church splits so common?”

The answer is simple.

Most often people choose something other than following Christ and His Word.

Yet, we can choose to follow Jesus and live daily in His Word.

I know it is possible, because I’ve experienced it over and over.

I am privileged enough to have family all over the world simply, because we all belong to the body of Christ.

So we are family.

No matter where we are born.

Our love is steadfast, because it came from the son of God, Jesus Christ.