Philippians 2:14-18

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 

I am busted again!  It’s Monday morning – and already I feel the complaints bubbling up in me.  Truths I learned this weekend at church:  The Spirit of God does not mix well with our old nature or anything else of this world.  We need to purge!

Don’t mix with negativity:  There’s no doubt about it – we live in a fault-finding world – there will always be those who will attempt to find fault with you.  Remember, nothing they say or do to you can be held against you (count it all as joyJames 1:2).  Do not take what is pure and precious and mix it with the stink of this world.  Do not let this world and its sin pollute you.  God blesses us and provides for us without fail.  We need to daily go to Him and thank Him for what He has done – and is doing – and what He is going to do.  Instead we have a tendency to go to Him with our demands and then complain when we don’t get what we think we ought to.  A nagging and complaining spirit will lead us into rebellion.  It will pollute our thought life and eventually our heart (for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks Luke 6:45).  Remember this – our words hold great power – how will you use them? 

Don’t mix with darkness:  Light and darkness do not mix (unequally yoked2 Corinthians 6:14).  The world is crooked and corrupt – you, however, through Christ Jesus – are light.  Pastor gave a great analogy – we are like light bulbs – fragile and dark until we are plugged into the power source.  To be sure, we are not the power source – Jesus is!  We have no goodness apart from Him (our righteousness is like filthy rags – Isaiah 64:6).  We are to shine as light – producing goodness, righteousness and truth.  Stay plugged into the source – hold fast to Jesus – and you too will produce. 

Don’t mix with complacency:  As Christians we must be willing to exchange the old nature for the new one – allow Jesus to do His work and change you.  Many Christians fall because they refuse to let go of their old nature.  We take a little bit of the new and keep a lot of the old.  He brings us joy and peace and heavenly assurance – and it will cost you if you mix with the world.  Freely allow Jesus to pour into you so that you can pour Him out to others.  How are you pouring into the lives of others? 

Don’t give up:  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7

Look Again – Jonah 2:1-4

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God.  He said:  “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.  From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.  You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.  I said, “I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.   

When we catch up with Jonah in Chapter 2 – he had disobeyed God and he was on the run.  God sent the storm and Jonah had been in the belly of the fish for three days.  Three days!  Jonah must have been a very stubborn man to wait three days before he began to pray.  Sound familiar?  

Jonah fought God’s will every step of the way – the good news for Christ followers is that God loves us in spite of our disobedience.  God wants to use our “bad” or “difficult” circumstances for good.  Are you lonely, depressed, forsaken or discouraged right now?  Do what Jonah did – pray and look at the “holy temple” and call upon God’s great mercy.  No matter what you’re going through right now…you are never far from God – he is accessible, approachable, ready and willing.  Call out to the very Lord – maker of heaven and earth – for strength!  I know that he will surely hear you!  Look again.    

Therefore I will look unto the Lord, I will wait for the God
of my salvation:  my God will hear me.  Micah 7:7

1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who that called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

As Christians, we have the tremendous privilege to be called God’s own possession.  Although we were once lost with no identity as a people, we have come to know the excellent mercies of God.  He has brought us together as a holy nation, set apart, for His glory.  For we certainly have become property of the almighty King, that we may proclaim His goodness and righteousness to all people.
Courtesy of blueletterbible.com.

I am SO GLAD that he called my name! 

Amazed and overwhelmed
At how Your mercy fell
And changed a heart as hard as mine
I tried to turn away
Deny the hand You gave
But You refused to leave my side

Wonderful God
Wonderful Savior
Wonderful love

Who could compare
None can be found
Wonderful Savior
Wonderful God

Undeserving grace
Stole my heart away
Forever I am Yours my King

The beauty of Your strength
Draws me once again
To stand before You now and sing

You said You’d never leave me
And You never did
You say I have a future
And there’s a life for me to live

Lord I wannna praise You
And say Wonderful God

Wonderful God
Written By Paul Baloche and Rita Baloche
2009 Integrity Worship Music/ASCAP, LeadWorship Songs (adm by Integrity Worship Music)/ASCAP and Sardaché Songs (adm by Integrity Worship Music)/ASCAP

Names of God

Shalom, a name of God (Hebrew characters). &qu...

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JEHOVAH:  LORD in our English Bibles. 

JEHOVAH-JIREH:  “The Lord will Provide.” 

JEHOVAH-ROPHE:  “The Lord Who Heals” – Implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing.  God heals body, soul and spirit; all levels of man’s being.

JEHOVAH-NISSI:  “The Lord Our Banner”  – God on the battlefield, from word which means “to glisten,” “to lift up.”

JEHOVAH-M’KADDESH:  “The Lord Who sanctifies”  – To make whole, set apart for holiness.” 

JEHOVAH-SHALOM:  “The Lord Our Peace” – Means “whole,” “finished,” “fulfilled,” “perfected.” Shalom means that kind of peace that results from being a whole person in right relationship to God and to one’s fellow man.

Courtesy of http://ldolphin.org

Romans 16:25-27

To Him, who is able to establish you…to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever.

God alone is the Source of all wisdom.  A person may have natural logic.  He or she may have natural wisdom.  But logic and wisdom err in that they will always put the individual person first.  They are not supernatural wisdom.  Supernatural wisdom comes only from God, and it comes through Jesus Christ – the personification of God’s wisdom to us.

– Larry Lea – Wisdom – The Gift Worth Seeking     

Isaiah 58:11

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

The Lord promises us that even in the midst of the tumultuous, He will ever guide and protect us. Praise the Lord that though He fills the entire universe and is greater in stature than the entire created cosmos, He still is the constant comfort and companion to His people! Though insignificant of ourselves, in God’s sovereign plan and act of loving sacrifice, we are made as important as His Son’s death. Rejoice and sing His praises!

Courtesy of The Blue Letter Bible.

Philippians 2:5-11

I am stubborn.  I am head-strong.  I want what I want – when, where and how I want it.  I sometimes think I’m smarter than the average bear.  And then God spoke to me today through my Pastor – the topic – “humility.”  Yikes…..conviction.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.  Phl 2:5-11

Reputation – your perceived image, outward appearance and accomplishments have great value in this world – not so much with God.  On the other hand, your obedience, your gentleness and meekness are all of great value.  Focus yourself on Jesus and you won’t have to worry what people think about you.  You must be willing to fade into the background and give Jesus all the glory.  Don’t be impressed with me –be impressed with Jesus!  He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30.

Service – you serve Jesus by serving others.  We must serve with Agape love – God’s love – selfless, sacrificial.  Jesus was obedient to the point of death.  Pastor asked a very thought-provoking question – What is your point of discomfort?  Is it physical?  Financial?  Emotional?  We must be willing to put the father’s desires ahead of our own.  Not my will but yours be done – loving others without limits – and that’s hard – starts with denying yourself – picking up your cross and following Him. 

Jesus – Name above all names – the one who was humbled the lowest and exalted the highest !