Life in the Kingdom – We are One Part 2

The last blog I posted told you about a We are One Women’s Experience at Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo that I was to attend on April 20 and 21 of this year; and I promised you another blog post sharing some of the experience with you.  That post was written on April 16th and here it is nearing the end of May. 

So now, finally, I will share a couple of highlights from that event.

Pampering

The first thing we noticed on the first night of the event is an abundance of  booths and/or rooms set up for pampering.  Whatever anyone wanted, there it is for our enjoyment.  Spiritual, mental, or physical.  There were prayer rooms, prophetic encounters, and rooms just to sit and soak up God’s presence with soft music.  There were back massages, and foot massages for our physical comfort.  There were “spa” stations where we could get a make-over, manicures, pedicures, hair styles, make-up, etc.  There was a petting station where we could experience the pure joy of holding and petting a puppy.  Many other stations also which are too numerous to remember or record here.

Worship

We then moved on to worship.  Very exuberant worship with lights, sound, and words up on a screen so we would know the words to the songs. Most ladies there were very enthusiastic about participating in the worship experience.  Once the singing was over, one of the lady ministers at that Trinity Fellowship Campus shared a testimony about how much God loved and accepted her.  The theme was LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE.  We learned about the joy of laughter and how healing that is. Image result for live laugh love I find that I don’t laugh as much as I would like to laugh; and, at the time of that teaching, I thought about how I should watch more comedy or bring myself into situations or life views that would produce more laughter for myself.  Life is too serious to always be in the work mode.  We all need times in which we should stop and smell the roses or go out and chase a butterfly.  Children laugh a lot, but as we grow older, life’s responsibilities catch up with us and we start running around doing the work but not enjoying ourselves along the way.  A great teaching for me.  Lighten up and enjoy the little things in life.

A word on Love

The most substantial experience I had at this event is what God showed me.  He reminded me first of all that we (Christians) are all one.  We are one unit.  One body in Christ working together for His glory.  We all have hurts, pain, shortcomings and accomplishments, bad and the good events in our lives that shape our personality.  And as one body, I should look at others for what they can become, not only for what they are now.  In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus spoke of the great commission:  To “go out into the world and make disciples of all nations…”  My job is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  And second, to love others as myself.  My job is to love, share God’s word with others, and to help them come to know Him and love Him as I do.  The response they give is up to them.  

This word from God revealed to me the judgmental attitude I had.  God told me to stop feeling like I am responsible for other people’s actions.  All I can do is teach the word, share Christ’s love and encourage them in the Lord.  Whether they take my advise or reject it, whether they follow the Lord or walk away, whether they change and act the way I think they should or not–it’s all up to them.  Once I’ve done my part I can release the rest to God.  What freedom.  I can see others as God does and love them as they are without choosing whether I think they are right or wrong.  I don’t have to answer for them.  Their actions are not my responsibility.

 

 

 

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Life in the Kingdom – From Sinner to Saint

We Were Sinners

Almost all of us would agree that before Christ comes into our lives, we as a human race are sinners.  Because of the fall of man (seen in Genesis chapter 3) we are all born with a sinful nature.  It’s part of our nature now and we cannot help but to be influenced by the world, the flesh, or the devil because at birth, we are not automatically committed to Christ.  Only when we submit to Him and turn our lives over to Him do we have Christ’s influence on our lives.  

We are Cleansed if…

1 John 1:9 states:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (NASB)

And 1 Corinthians 5:21 tells us:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB)

This verse really spoke to me.  God made it clear to me through this verse that He not only forgave my sin, but he also removed all unrighteousness (wickedness) from me.  We are saved by grace when we believe in Christ. And through faith, believing in Him, we are forgiven, cleansed, made righteous.  He took our old nature upon Himself and gave us His nature.  Making us a new creation.  All old things have passed and the new has come.  His grace is defined as ‘divine influence upon the heart and it’s reflection in our life.’

New nature in a Sinful World     

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Now that we are Christians, we are righteous and filled with His grace giving us the desire and ability to do His will.  But we still have to guard our hearts.  The bible states this several times.  Guard your hearts, or humble ourselves, or resist the devil.  There are many influences in this life and in this world.  We must remain ready, on guard.  We must read the bible and set our mind on God and His Kingdom.  

We must also know who we are:

I am a child of God. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  I am a new creation. I have the power of God living in me.

We must live according to who we are:

The bible tells us to put off the old nature and put on the new nature.  

Ephesians 4:21-24 New Living Translation (NLT) 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Live according to who we are–righteous and holy. 

Read here to find out what it means to be holy.

We are Saints

We are no longer sinners by nature once we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior because he changes our nature.  We are a new creation.   The wickedness has been removed.  All sin has been erased, forgiven.  We are now children of Godthe bride of Christ, prepared for a future in Heaven.  

Being a saint is not reserved for a special few who have reached a certain level of Christianity.  Saints are all who believe in Jesus and follow Him as their Lord, submitting to Him in all they do.  In many books of the New Testament the apostle addresses the churches as saints.  “To the Saints who are in Ephesus” for example.  For more information here is a link for The bible definition of Saint.

 

Life In The Kingdom – Our Forever Home

A new Existence

My mother-in-law passed away this past week; and as my husband and I prepare to travel out of state to the funeral, I have been thinking a lot about the transition into eternity.  That, after all, is what death is.  It is not really the end.  It is the beginning of a new life in a new place.  It is a new state of existence in the spiritual realm.  All that may sound spooky or maybe almost science fiction to some people; but that is really what life is all about. Our life on this earth is temporary and in preparation for our permanent, eternal home.  And, for those of us who know Jesus Christ personally as our Lord and Savior, that eternal home is Heaven.  The Bible states:

life-is-a-journey-to-heaven

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18 (NIV)

 

This is the third in a series on Life in the Kingdom.  We have learned that we are part of God’s family adopted as children. We then learned that we as a church are the bride of Christ.  Today I want to share a more personal experience as I learn to deal with the death of my mother-in-law.  

I was running an errand today and as I was driving, I turned on my CD player in the car.  The song that happened to play was The Revelation Song.  I thought about the scripture to which this song is referring:  “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come,” the living creatures proclaim. They do not rest day or night and never cease to proclaim the holiness of God.  And since we are preparing for the funeral for my mother-in-law, I thought of her and how she is present with the Lord at this very moment.  2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us that: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (NKJV)  

At that moment, while Kari Jobe was singing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy, holy is He,” I actually was envious of my mother-in-law.  You see, at funerals, we are sad because we will miss those who die.  031116_1918_TheHalfWasn20But Christians who die are with the Lord and are no longer sad.  There is no more death in Heaven.  No more crying.  No pain.  No sickness.  No sorrow.  No arguing or complaining.  So when we cry at a funeral, it should not be for those who have gone to Heaven.  We cry for us.  We are the ones grieving, but those who have died are rejoicing in the presence of God.  And that, my friend, is something that I certainly look forward to.  That is what I eagerly await–meeting my Savior and Lord face to face.

So now, my friend, let me encourage you to trust in the Lord.  Give your life to Him.  Know for certainty that when your body wears out and you leave this earthly existence, you will find yourself in the presence of the Lord.  

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

 

Life In The Kingdom – The Bride of Christ

The Bride of Christ

This is the second post in a series about Life in the Kingdom, referring to the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.  My last post Life In The Kingdom – God’s Family speaks about how we become a part of the family of God once we give our lives over to Jesus Christ.  In this post I will share another relationship we have with the “Royal Family” of God. 

When Jesus was with His disciples, He said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.  If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:1-3 NLT)  He came to us, when we did not know him.  He came and showed us to the Father.  Now, as Christians, we are part of the Royal Family; we are children of God.  But the bible also refers to us in Revelation as the Bride of Christ.  God the Father is our heavenly Father and Jesus is the Bridegroom.  

bride of christ

Revelation 19:7-9 says, “Let us be glad and rejoice and let us give honor to him.  For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”  For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.  And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Verse 7 refers to the “wedding feast of the Lamb”.  The lamb is Jesus, the Son of God, who came and died in our place, like a sacrificial lamb, to take away our sins.  He died so we, who are Christians, are now free to live a new life in Him.  The church as a whole is the bride of Christ.  Jesus is now preparing a place for all of us and when it is ready, He will come and take us to Himself as we read earlier in John 14.  

What a glorious, happy day it will be when Jesus comes again to get us and take us to live with Him in Heaven.  Revelation states that we will be wearing white linen.  This represents the good deeds we have done and will continue to do here as we await His coming. Although good deeds alone will not save us, we are instructed to do good deeds for Him. Because of His great love for us, we have a great desire to please Him and honor Him in all we do.

Live Like You Are Loved

Now that we know we are part of the Royal Family and promised to be a bride of Christ, we can live with joy and peace, always comforted because we are loved.  We belong.  We are royalty.  Each one of us can say “Jesus is the ‘Lover of My soul”. 

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

 

Know that you are loved my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ.  And Live like the Royalty that you are.