Category Archives: Repentance
Thursday, May 5, 2016 is the 65th National Day of Prayer. People will gather all across this land petitioning God for variety of things, most of which, will sound a lot like “Please make America great again”, by asking for His blessings upon everything from the President, to our economy.
However, I submit to you, that before anything great can happen in a nation, it must happen in a society. And before it can happen in a society, it must happen in our communities. And before it can happen in our communities, it has to happen in our homes. And before it happens in our homes, it must happen in our individual hearts.
As we approach this year’s National Day of prayer, I challenge you, if you believe in the power of God, and you have a longing to see His glory displayed, then read that often quoted passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14. However, this time, think not about a nation, nor a society, not a culture, not even our communities or our neighborhoods, but think about our hearts – your heart, and my heart.
Ask Him, if you dare, to humble you, to cause you to seek His face, to reveal to you your wicked ways, to give you courage to turn from that wickedness. And imagine if you will, that the land that needs healing is not America, nor your state, or even Washington, DC, but rather, the land that needs healing is my wicked, deceitful, self-centered heart.
If we “Christians” – this National Day of Prayer pursue a feverish passion towards humility, repentance, and a renouncing of our wickedness – we can be assured of GREAT change by the 66th National Day of Prayer, in 2017. ~ Gary E Kienel
Adulterous Allegiances: Friendships With The World
“…you adulteresses… do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God?”(1)
Scripture in the book of James calls the people of God “Adulteresses”, because of our friendship with “the world”. We, even the very called out and anointed ones of God, have aligned ourselves with worldly matters, lusts, and idols – qualifying us as active participates in an adulterous lifestyle.
We have many lovers, but should only have One!
We justify this disgrace by our claim that Jesus is our ‘First Love’. But is being first of many, acceptable? Kyle Idleman, in his book “Not A Fan” writes: “Jesus is not interested in being first of many; He must be your one and only.” (2) Idleman goes on to say that “Jesus doesn’t want followers who have split allegiances.” (3)
Christ-Follower: I implore you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the difficult truths of an adulterous split allegiance with the world.
Some may be obvious: Money – Education – Career – Success – Status – Control – Pleasure – Sex – Possessions…
Some not so obvious: Denominational Affiliation – Political Affiliation – Leisure – Security…
While others are hailed as respectable or honorable: Patriotism – Family – Marriage – Savings – Retirement …
Undoubtedly, there are other things that could be on these lists. Perhaps there were some items listed that caused you a twinge of anger at the mere suggestion that it might be an “adulterous allegiance” before a holy, almighty, and jealous God, however, remember:
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (4)
“The Gate is small, and the way is narrow, that leads to life, and few are those who find it…” (5)
“Strive to enter by the narrow door, for many [of the few who find it] will seek to enter and not be able.” (6)
What allegiances are you – knowingly or unknowingly – tightly holding on to, that are preventing you from entering the narrow door? Indeed many adulteresses stand outside the door, having found “the way”- having confessed that Jesus is Lord – yet the baggage of their “many” friendships with the world are preventing them from passing through. Don’t let this be you!
Oh Heavenly Father. Have I made knowing you and loving you the first priority of many, rather than the only priority in my life? Only by your Grace, Father, I ask with a pure heart: may the Holy Spirit supernaturally reveal to me the adulteress allegiances in my life. I ask that you will grant me mercy and grace to renounce the whoredom of friendship with the world in all its forms. Grant me courage to see these lovers for what they are and to embrace the humility to confess and repent of them. Help me to see that these allegiances are battling for control of my mind, and ultimately, the throne of my heart. Through prayer and Your Word, may I restore Jesus to be, not only my first love, but my only love. Amen.
© 2016 Gary E Kienel ~ EDGE 1B.3
(1) James 4:4a; (2) “Not A Fan”, Kyle Idelman, © 2001, Pg 63-69; (3) abid; (4) Matthew 7:21; (5) Matthew 7:14; (6) Luke 13:24
In followup to the foundation laid in “Oil Crisis” (Part 1), I now present to you – to be taught of the Lord alone – numerous passage of Scripture – with thought-provoking questions – for your consideration. (If you have not already done so, please read Part 1 now.)
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Jesus said something rather shocking in John 16:7, “It is good that I go away…”
“it is for your good that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper (The Holy Spirit) will not come to you but if I go, I will send Him (The Holy Spirit) to you.”
Are you still living a Christian existence based on the Life of Jesus, and not what His Life produced/provided?
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Then, John 14:16-17 reads:
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.“
Is it possible that you are living this Christian life as if the Spirit of God is sill only “with you” in the form of Jesus at your side, rather that living knowing that the Spirit of God is now living on the inside?
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Ezekiel 36:26-27 reads:
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
Could it be that you are resting comfortably in the glorious regeneration of God alone, and neglecting the purpose for which He has provided such great a salvation, that is, the very habitation of the Holy Spirit of God within the life of a mere human being, to lead you, guide you, teach you and remind you of the logos of Christ?
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Acts 2:38 says:
“Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall [future tense] receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
And, Luke 11:13
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Yes, Child of God – you have been given a “lamp” that is Christ Jesus Himself, and His most Holy, infallible written Scriptures – but have you sought “oil” for your “lamp”? Have you asked the Father to light the fire and fan the flame of His Holy Spirit within you?
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2 Cor 3:6b reads:
“the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life“
Are you living your Christian journey with your sole source of nourishment to be the Scriptures alone (logos) – void of the power of the Spirit (Rhema) that has been made available to you?
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Acts 19:1-6 tells us:
“It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized was a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them…” (Footnote #1)
Is it possible, that like these Ephesian believers (disciples), that you are stalled in a place of repentance and forgiveness, weakened and defeated by the enemies of the world, the flesh and the devil – unaware that such a Helper as the Holy Spirit even exists?!
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Oh Child of the Most High – Virgin that you have been made to be by the Sovereign Choosing of God – I beg you… do not be found to be foolish – rather cry out to the Lord God to awaken you to His Most Holy Spirit!! The great OIL of God that has been given to cause YOUR LAMP – the very life of Christ within you – to burn white-hot and bright for all to see. Cry out that this same Holy Spirit will take the precious logos of God, and whisper the utterance of His Rhema in to your heart.
(1) It seemed wise to me, and I was deliberate in my omission of the later portion of the 6th verse of Scripture, as to not allow a “good thing of God” to be a stumbling block to the readers who might be disillusioned by false impressions, misuses, abuses or teachings on such things as the gift of tongues and prophecy.
What is to follow is definitely the most unique blog I have ever written.
I am learning some unexpected truths in recent weeks…
Unless I am missing something, there are only 2 basic ways to resolve conflict? 1) force/domination/control; 2) communication/mutual respect/compromise.
One requires manipulation, intimidation, selfishness, pride, and arrogance; the other requires selflessness, yielding, deferring, showing preference, humility & sobriety.
Which one sounds like Jesus?
Which one requires the Life of Jesus to be manifested, by Grace, in my life?
For any conflict to be resolved, both parties must have an abiding attitude of Biblical repentance: my ways & my thoughts, are NOT God’s ways & God’s thoughts. In fact my ways and thoughts are contradictory to His. Possessing a foundational attitude that my ways and my thoughts are “wrong” will go a long way in resolving conflict. But – as will life in general – we don’t really believe we are wrong… Do we?
No one enjoys conflict. Yet, conflict is clearly a natural part of life.
To see conflict resolved, both parties have to be willing to lay down “self” at the negotiation table and both must approach resolution with a willingness to “take all the blame” (if both are willing, then in the end, neither will have to).
Hidden (or not so hidden) agendas have to be abandoned, and both parties must want the good of the other, above their own good. Coming to the table – reserving force or control as a possible option “if all else fails” – will not produce lasting results (at least not godly results). It is better to come to the table willing to accept your own defeat, than to come resolved that “at all costs” you will settle the matter!
So there are two problems with this: 1) I have to have these qualities in me; 2) The other person has to have these qualities in them (and technically a third problem when we accept that we only have control over our own qualities).
What are we to do then, if we don’t see signs of these qualities in the other party? Seems to me, all I can do is to diligently ask God to work the qualities in me, and as He does – sit back, wait and trust, and see what He does in the other party…
Just sitting here pondering the hurts, pain, wounds and scars of much unresolved conflict around me….
P.S. Also, remember, there is only one Being who can persuade change in the heart of a person, and it isn’t me nor you – we are at the mercy of the Grace of God alone…. Just the way He wants it!
On Thursday, May 7, 2015, during Douglas County, Georgia’s National Day of Prayer observance, my dear friend, brother, and mentor, John Brown, offered a eye-opening prayer of confession and intercession for the Church in America. In many ways it brought a bit of sobering reality to the participants in this gathering – encouraging us to look inward – and not outward – as we prayed that day.
I wanted to share the transcript of that prayer for your edification. I pray that you might chew on the many morsels of repentant cries herein, as if they were your own:
Prayer for the National Day of Prayer
“O Lord, great and awesome God, You keep covenant and steadfast love with those who love You and keep Your commandments,
Listen to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
for You are my Lord, my King and my God,
for to You do I pray.
Enable me by Your empowering grace, to pray according to Your will, breath Your living word through me, for You have promised that if we pray anything according to Your will, that You will hear us, and that we will have whatsoever we ask.
O Lord, we – the American church, have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from Your gospel of the Kingdom — Your Reign, and the commandments that our Lord taught us to observe.
We have not listened to Your Son, our Lord Jesus, nor to Your servants the apostles and prophets, who spoke in Your name to our Elders, our pastors, our teachers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the church.
To You, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us, the American Church, a member of the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the church of the firstborn, the bride of Christ, ——— belongs open shame.
To us, O Lord, the American Church — belongs open shame, to our Elders, our pastors, our teachers, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.
To You, O Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against You, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in Your ways, which You set before us by Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles and prophets.
For we have played the harlot, sharing our affections — that belong only to You, with this American nation. We have made of her an Idol. Looking to her for our well-being, our security, our health, our lifestyle, and our provision.
Looking to America for our rights to pray, and worship, and to be the people of God. Ignorant of the reality that on the day that we gave to the American Constitution, our rights to pray, and worship, and be the people of God, was the day that we lost those rights.
We have chosen to see ourselves as citizens of America rather than as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God to this fallen nation.
We lift up prayers for our lover, America — at the neglect of prayers for the Kingdom of God and its citizens, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Each denomination, congregation, and man — building his own kingdom at the expense of unity in the body of Christ, which according to our Lord’s prayer for unity, would convince the world that Jesus is the Christ sent from God the Father, and that You, Father, love us even as You have loved Your own Son.
O God, we see the storm that is on the horizon, this calamity that is coming, that You are sending — to cleanse Your Church of all that is not of You. Yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by the truth of Your Word.
And now, O Lord our God, who redeemed us by the blood of the Lamb, as of this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, the Bride of Christ, Your people have become a byword among all who are around us. Our hypocrisies have made us a laughing-stock.
“O Lord, according to all Your righteous acts, let Your anger and Your wrath turn away from us, Your called out people.
Now therefore, O God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for Your own sake, and Your name’s sake, O Lord, make Your face to shine upon the American Church, which has become desolate.
O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the people that are called by Your name. For we do not present our pleas before You because of our righteousness, but because of Your great mercy.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your church and your people are called by your name.”
Now O Lord,
Let all who take refuge in You rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For You bless the righteous, O Lord;
You cover him with favor as with a shield.
I do pray, with intercession, for Your people,
In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’ve known some really good people in my life. In fact, I have known some “non-believers” who were more pleasant to be around than some who profess Christ. Problem is, how good is good enough? The Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus encountering a young man who inquired of Christ, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
As Jesus talked with this young man (Luke 18:18-27), we find that this man was far more “good” than anyone I have known in my 53 yrs of life. He confessed that he had never committed adultery, murder, stolen or lied, and has always honored his father and mother! (Who among us can honestly say that we have been that good?!? Personally, sadly, I am 0-5 on that list.) But Jesus said that was NOT good enough. In fact, we see in the opening of this passage that this fella also confessed Jesus was both God & Savior – I surmise this because 1) he asked of Jesus a question about eternal life… This strongly suggests to me that he knew Jesus was the Savior sent from God; 2) he knew He was God, for he called Him “Good”.
But, alas, confessing Jesus was both God & Savior, was not good enough either.
Lastly, Jesus essentially says to the man “You want eternal life? Then allow me to be Lord & King of your life, ruling and reigning over even your most prized possessions.” In this, the man walked away sad, for he was willing to admit Jesus was God; willing to admit Jesus was Savior; willing to live a “good” – even very good – life; but not able to surrender the throne of His life to The Christ.
Isn’t that our problem really? We want a Savior (for heaven); we want a God (in heaven); we want to be pretty “good” so we can feel good about ourselves (a little heaven on earth); but it all comes to a grinding halt when we are faced with the reason the Savior came… To make a way that we might return to know His rule and reign in our hearts and lives; knowing intimacy with our Father; and knowing the indwelling of the Spirit – i.e.: “thy Kingdom come”
So, here is what every person (including the rich your ruler) wants: “a list of rules for inheriting eternal life!”
- Acknowledge Jesus is God
- Acknowledge Jesus is Savior
- Do not commit adultery (or even lust); do not murder (or even hate); do not lie or steal; honor your mother and father.
- Surrender wholey to the Lordship of Christ without reservation into all aspects of your life that He might, by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and His sovereign regeneration of your life, bring His Kingdom to rule and reign in you…. (grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone).
Sorry, I realize #4 kinda destroyed “my list” – but after all, isn’t that the point…
Let him who has ears, hear.
Luke 5:4-6 “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break.”
1) Jesus spoke.
“Jesus said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’”
Rom 10:17 “…faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the [rhema; spoken; alive & active] Word of Christ.”
2) Peter heard.
“…as You say…”
Matt 7:24a “Therefore everyone who hears…”
Matt 13:16 “But blessed … are your ears, because they hear.”
3) Peter believed (Jesus’ words in opposition to logic or reason)
“..but I will do…”
Heb 11:1a – “…faith is confidence…”
Matt 4:17 – “Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent [change your way of thinking & your perception], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Isa 55:8-9 – ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
4) Peter took action in obedience to what he heard spoken.
“…I will … let down the nets.”
James 1:17a “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead…”
Matt 7:24b – “…act[s] on them [words of Christ]…”
5) Jesus produced unmistakable & miraculous fruit.
“…they [the nets] enclosed a great quantity of fish, and began to break.”
James 2:18b – “I will show you my faith, by my works.”
Heb. 11:1b – “faith is the proof of what is not seen”
Matt 14:29 – “Peter … walked on the water”
Remember, the “lawless one” does without hearing…
Matt 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
And, the “foolish one” hears without doing
Matt 7:26-27 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Don’t be lawless…
Don’t be foolish…
Instead, be a man or woman of faith, who hears Christ speak, believes & takes obedient action!
In a recent blog (“Believe!”), I made some bold statements in my closing paragraph:
“Reader, it’s time for some soul searching… what role does Jesus Christ really play in your life? Is He nothing more than your “favorite motivational speaker”? Or have you committed to following Him – yet still at a distance – offended at some of His audacity, and ready to “walk” as soon as He gets too close? Or, are you among those who would proudly wear your “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt, since, after all, you number yourself among the inner circle… but in your heart, do you believe all His outrageous and extreme claims – really?”
Yes, that’s right – I believe from the passage of scripture referenced (John 6:53-69), that there were those among the crowds, follows and even the disciples themselves (a group much larger than “the 12”), who were “just waiting to be offended” and “give Jesus the straight-arm, and walk away”. I believe there are those among us today, and I believe they are many.
Folks, I am gonna say it as clear was I can – and if you are waiting to get offended with Jesus, here is your big chance. Being a true believer in Jesus is NOT a Golden Corral buffet, were you can pick and choose your favorite foods and ignore the rest. No, not at all. Being a true believer in Jesus means being seated at the table that He has prepared for me, in the presence of my enemies (Ps 23:5a), and devouring with gratitude, every morsel of food set before me! How dare we come to the King’s table, and pick and choose what we will and will not eat?!? Imagine it: “Thank you King Jesus for this beautiful spread of organic brussels sprouts, artichokes, nutritious tofu with avocado dip, and such carefully crafted Limburger cheese fondue – however, I was hoping for mac n’ cheese, bacon, McDonald’s fries and one of those molten lava chocolate cakes from Shoney’s.” Jesus shakes his head in disappointment, as we push back from the Kings table, and leave… to our shock, He doesn’t run after us, or offer to heat up a can of Chef-Boyardee ravioli… He just lets us leave, tears in His eyes… and an increasing disgust in ours.
During this advent season we frequently read passages such as: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Newsflash: baby Jesus born that day was NOT just Savior… no, no – the Holy Spirit clearly wrote for us, that He is both Christ and Lord, as well. Oh how we get excited and love to load up our plates with that Golden Corral sweet baby Jesus, come to save us from hell, as He lies in that adorable bed of straw! We might even carefully and curiously indulge is a small helping of “Christ” (the anointed one) – after all, it’s good to have connections with “the big man upstairs” in case we need something – but we make it clear: “don’t get carried away, Jesus; just mind your own business, and we will get along just fine!
As for being “Lord” – heaven’s no! I ain’t looking for a Lord, King or Master – I’ve got that covered myself. So, baby Jesus, you just serve up my all-I-care-to-eat buffet of starches and fast food burgers, and let me rest in the false assurance of “when I get to gloryland”, but don’t serve me up any of that nasty food I don’t like – cause I will straight-arm you and walk away disgusted. (And then act shocked when You one day say to me: “depart from me, I never knew you.”)
Whatever you consider yourself to be, as it relates to this man, Jesus – I ask you: will you lay down your rights, your wants, your likes, loves and desires, for this man Jesus? Will you be awakened to Christ as He calls you to His table – prepared for you – and surrender to believing that He – this Jesus – whom you have called Savior – is both Christ and Lord? And no matter your preconceived notions about the food He is serving up at His King’s Table – it is light-years better than the picking and choosing of the buffet life you have made for yourself – serving up peace, hope, joy and rest, both now, and for eternity!
The same passage of Scripture (1 Tim 4) that begins with these words: “in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons”, ends, 16 verses later with these: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” In between is talk of things which are permitted, encouraged, taught, preached, lived, and forbidden.
But what are we to make of these words “Watch your life … closely”? Given the dramatic start of this passage, I have a suspicion that these closing words are of utmost importance. With that in mind, I ask myself, “what do they mean to me?”
Recently – as many times before – I was browsing the Facebook pages of my friends, and I saw some photos of folks whom I know to be followers – even disciples – of Christ, photographing and displaying actions and behaviors, that for some among us, would be considered – at best, questionable – and at worst, sin (or at least “self-serving”).
I am NOT the perfect human – but I am humbled that perfection, in the person of Jesus Christ, does indeed live in me! I am not perfect, but am called to be holy, as He is holy. I am not perfect, but I am called to be certain that any liberties that I might perceive myself to have, are not a stumbling block to my brother or sister, or a reproach, to the watching world.
Among the fruits of repentance is ‘self-denial’ for the sake of others, rather than ‘self-serving’ actions for my own pleasure. I might foolishly say: “I can’t help what others think of me – that’s their problem.” That may be true, however, I can control the image they are given, from which they formulate their thoughts towards me. Their perceptions will be, what they will be – yet, I can bear the fruits of repentance, by showing concern and forethought in my actions and behaviors that might aid them in making wrong perceptions. 1 Thess 5:22 comes to mind here: “Abstain from all appearances of evil.”
Sure, we can we debate alcohol, tobacco, tattoos, immodesty, cussing, and the like, until Jesus Himself returns. But the questions we must ask ourselves – in light of the Life that lives in us – is this: “Am I exercising my perceived rights to self-serving pleasures, or am I going to elevate myself to self-denial, in the name of ‘bearing fruits of repentance’ for the sake of my weaker brothers and sisters, and the Lord’s testimony to a watching world? Simply put… am I going to obey the admonishment of 1 Tim 4:16 and “Watch [my] life … closely. [that I might] save both [my]self and my hearers” and watchers? Or will I enter eternity rejecting the fruits of repentance, while singing that old nightclub *hymn*: “I did it my way”?
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“Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden; it is forbidden because it is harmful!” Thank God that Grace doesn’t just “cover my sin”, but by His Spirit indwelling & inhabitation my life – and by a *grace-driven* surrender & yielding to His Life – Grace empowers me to be RID of sin, to His Glory!!!
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4 things that we need to have/be to experience “Deeper” in Christ: 1) Humility, 2) Childlike Faith, 3) Determination, & 4) Unashamed. Consider both the woman with the issue of blood, crawling to Christ & Blind Bartimaeus, crying out without regard. (Inspired by Blake & Perri at Everburn 8/10/12)
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“Heaven is not a place for people who do not want hell; heaven is a place for people who love God.” ~ Matt Chandler
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“The characteristic of a man who has come to God is that you cannot get him to take anyone seriously, but God.” ~ Oswald Chambers
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The Gospel of The Kingdom is likened unto this: The front walkway, the front steps & the front door are of first-most importance to entering the domain of another. In fact, it could be said that they are the ONLY WAY to lawfully gain entrance. However, the purpose of them, is not themselves alone, but to ALLOW entry to the domain of another, where the Owner of that domain resides. If we only admire, accept, or otherwise embrace the “entry” alone – never utilizing them as a means of entrance – we render them of no effect! So is it with the Death, Burial & Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Let him who has ears to hear, hear. ~ Grrr