Sunday, January 31, 2010

A REFLECTION OF CHRIST JESUS...


Christian marriages, as we all know, are to reflect to the world CHRIST and HIS+ BRIDE, the church. So often, however, they reflect a battle of Selves.
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Far from reflecting CHRIST JESUS, the marriage partners do well if they can spend one day together without arguing. Oftentimes, one ... or both... partners live lives of deep and bitter dispair.
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How, then, would CHRIST

have us to behave

if we are caught*
in such a situation?

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Yes, "caught" is the correct word here because people change. Oftentimes a couple will start out thinking they are equally yoked, as per Scripture. One may be more spiritually-minded than his partner, but that is often overlooked by the couple in love and sadly, by their church elders and parents.
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Yet, even if the marriage partners are VERY equally yoked, people go through changes. If the marriage partners change together, in the same direction, then the marriage will stay intact. But if they don't change in unison, then the enemy wreaks havoc in their midst... unless one of the partners chooses to go deeper with CHRIST JESUS.
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HE+ is the only way

for a dis-jointed marriage

to correct itself.

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The Cross is set in stone and dirt,

The uprights made of coarse, hewn wood.

Established there, upon our hurt,

It is the Way HE+ trod.




The Cross is set within my heart;

The uprights hold my soul.

It is established for my good,

Now I call it home.


+


O LORD JESUS CHRIST,


With my whole heart I cry unto THEE+. I pour out my troubles before THEE+, O THOU+ Who+ knewest great affliction and sorrow. When my spirit is over-whelmed within me, I will look only to THEE+ Who+ alone can see in the darkness. Even though no-one cares for my soul, I will say THOU+ art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. O Rock of Ages, I will hide myself in THEE+until these troubles be overpast. Keep me as the apple of Thine+ eye.

.

O Gracious ONE+ Who+ will not let me go... I yield my life, my love, and my broken dreams unto THEE+, knowing I can entrust them all into Thy+ keeping. Correct the vision I have of myself and why I am in this marriage union. Conform me and my marriage into what THOU+ wouldst have it to be... to bring glory unto THEE+ ...and to reflect Who+ THOU+ art unto this dead and dying world.

.

In Thy+ Holy Name, O LORD CHRIST, I pray, and in the name of Thy Holy FATHER, and Thy HOLY SPIRIT, I worship and praise Thy+ Holy Goodness to me and to all the sons of men.

.

+ + +

.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A LITANY for REPENTANCE...

From Psalm 51
.
and
.
Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer
.
This picture was found in an old tract, perhaps a Chick Tract?
If any viewer knows where it came from,
please email me at the address in the blog header,
so I may give proper credit.
.
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Most Holy and merciful FATHER, In the Name of Thy Beloved SON+, JESUS CHRIST, our LORD:
.
We confess to THEE and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in Heaven and on earth and before Thy Heavenly Hosts,
.
That we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
.
+
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We have not loved THEE with our
whole heart, and mind , and strength:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
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We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
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We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
.
We have been deaf to your call to serve, as CHRIST served us:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
.
We have not been true to the mind of CHRIST:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
.
We have grieved Thy HOLY SPIRIT:
.
Against THEE, THEE only, have I sinned,
and done this evil in Thy sight.
.
+
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We see our past unfaithfulness to THEE and Thy HOLY WORD:
.
We confess this as sin, O LORD.
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We see the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives:
.
We confess this as sin, O LORD.
.
We see our self-indulgent appetities and ways:
.
We confess this as sin, O LORD.
.
We see the times we have taken advantage of others:
.
We confess this as sin, O LORD.
.
We also have taken advantage of Thy Mercy, O LORD:
.
We confess this as sin, O LORD.
.
+
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We admit to our own anger and temper:
.
I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
.
And to our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves:
.
I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
.
We see our intemperate love of worldly goods and creature comforts
and how we cling to worldly values:
.
I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
.
We see our dishonesty in daily life and work:
.
I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
.
We admit our negligence in prayer and worship,
and our failure to commend the faith that is in us.
.
I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
.
+
.
O LORD, accept my repentance for the wrongs I have so foolishly done... for all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward my neighbors... for not taking Thy WORD to heart ... for committing these sins which have so grieved THEE+ .
.
Cleanse me, O SAVIOR CHRIST, and create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.
.
Restore unto me the joy of Thy+ Salvation, and uphold me with a willing Spirit.
.
+
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Almighty GOD, The FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST... O THOU Who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his sin and live...
.
I thank THEE for pardoning me, as I truly repent .
.
I thank THEE for giving me through JESUS Thy SON+ the means of Grace and the hope of Glory.
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And to THEE+, HOLY ONE+, I pray I will learn to please THEE+ and that the rest of my life hereafter may be pure and holy... so that at the last, I may indeed be welcomed into Thy+ Eternal Joy. Amen.
.
+ + +
.
In the name of THE FATHER,
THE SON+,
and THE HOLY SPIRIT:
both now and forever,
Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Difference between GRACE and MERCY...

The Un-merited Favor of GOD...



... is the common definition of mercy and sometimes, of grace, also. That definition, however, fits every dealing of Our LORD towards man. The baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT is the un-merited favor of GOD towards man. Salvation itself is the un-merited favor of GOD towards man.


+ + +

The difference between GRACE and MERCY has always puzzled me.

But recently, The LORD showed me the difference in a personal, peculiar way.


It happened like this.

During a recent trip, I briefly visited a cherished friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years. We communicate frequently though and looked forward to this brief visit which I was able to fit into my schedule.

But when I arrived at her house, her welcome was much less than cordial. Her comments were sharp and her tone was abrasive. As a matter of fact, I assured her I had brought my own lunch and she wouldn't have to bother about my food at all!

As it turned out, we met a couple of mutual, old college friends who just happened to arrive in town the same time I did. I thought it was the hand of The LORD!

+ + +

After our pleasant repast together, our mutual friends left and my friend and I shopped for groceries.

Disastrous!

As she snatched my grocery list from my hand to "assist" my shopping, we nearly created an argumentative scene in the store . It was an unbelievably distressing situation for me, for it seemed whatever I did angered her.

With great effort, we parted civilly, but my... I had no burning desire to repeat a visit to see her again.


Yes, for weeks afterwards, I pondered what had happened ? I felt like I had stumbled into a hornet's nest. I pondered why those things happened. How was I to relate to this old friend of mine in the future?


Then she called. She called to tell me about a mutual friend being in the hospital. In the course of our conversation she started to cry about the elderly she knew who had died. No, she did not apologize about her behavior during our visit. She did not even think anything she did was wrong. And no, I did not confront her because earlier The LORD had showed me she simply didn't see what she did. In fact, she was totally ignorant of how she carried herself towards me. Worse, she would have been crushed to think I was upset with her or thought what she did was hurtful ! Thus, I set aside any thoughts of an honest confrontation, and tried to minister to her.


And that, dear friends, is GRACE.


GRACE covers us when we do things to hurt the LORD, in our ignorance.


GRACE takes the hurt we blindly dish out to The LORD.


But, if we walk in Truth and daily search our souls to see if we are pleasing unto The LORD, HE+ ... in due season... will show us our sins, our hurtful ways, our abrasive behaviors that do NOT reflect a CHRIST-obeying Christian.


So then, what is MERCY ?


Mercy is what HE+ extends to us after we see how we have acted.


After we REALIZE what we've done,


how badly we have behaved,


how we have ignored CHRIST JESUS and HIS+ Words...


in short, how we have hurt HIM+...


after we hang our hearts in shame,


then HE+ extends MERCY to us,


and we do NOT get


what we rightfully deserve


for hurting someone...


that SOMEONE+ being the ONE+


Who+ died for us miserable sinners.


Can we not imagine the punishment we should incur for hurting someone innocent, who never hurt us? Can we not imagine the punishment we should incur for hurting HIS+ Royal Person?


It is HIS+ Mercy


that stands between us...


and utter destruction.

+ + +

So foolish was I and ignorant; I was as a beast before THEE+. Nevertheless, I am continually with THEE+: THOU+ hast holden me by my right hand. THOU+ shalt guide me with Thy+ Counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Psalm 73: 22-24


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MY+ INTENTIONS



...for the lost.
.
An abject sinner, trying to justify himself, recently asked me who had suffered from the awful way he lived. His answer was "only himself." However, I answered, " Everyone whose life you touched."
.
But upon serious reflection afterwards, I realized the ONE+ Who+ suffered the most from his waywardness was CHRIST JESUS the LORD.
.
And thus, The LORD gave me a Personal Invitation to extend to him. In case you know someone else who needs such a Personal Invitation, here it is.
~ ~ ~
.
You see, I+ created you. I+ gave you birth and life. I+ planted you in a good family... better than many. I+ gave you a healthy body and an excellent mind, with lots of natural abilities. I+ allowed you to have more money for fun than millions have for basic necessities.
.
Why did I+ do that for one small child?
.
For one thing, I+, The LORD JESUS CHRIST, intended that you would follow ME+. That is the reason you exist.
.
I+ intended for you to be productive in the Kingdom of GOD... and that does not necessarily mean be a church pastor.
.
I+ intended you, so beloved, that you should turn that love towards ME+... in order to receive even more.
.
I+ intended for you to become clean, renewed by The blessed HOLY SPIRIT and to be filled with My+ Holy Ways and purity.
.
I+ had a marvelous plan for your life, and then, after your Work+ was done, for you to be received in the Heavenlies and live in Eternal happiness and joy.
.
This is what I+ intended for your life.
.
But, you took other paths. Now you are no longer young and you have some health issues. Your good abilities are a bit rusted over and your excellent mind is clouded with troubling thoughts.
.
Even so, I+ say , "Come."
Even so, I+ still will renew your life
and cleanse you.
Even so, I+ will allow you
to be fitted into a Work+
for My+ Kingdom.
.
But, you must come.
.
And you must come on My+ terms.
.
If you are willing to be made totally new, cleansed, refreshed, healed in spirit and in soul... and, if you want My+ plan and purpose now for the remainder of your life... then contact one of My+ Servants whom I+ trust to lead you to ME+.
+ + +
.
Servants,
are you ready?
+ + +
.
In the Name of The FATHER,
and The SON+,
and the HOLY SPIRIT;
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be.
World without end.
Amen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Only ONE Chair...

...And only ONE occupant at a time, is the rule.

I am the LORD:
that is My Name:
and My Glory
will I not give to another,
neither My praise to graven images.
Isaiah 42:8



This wonderful piece of Christian "art" will never be found in art galleries of the famous. It will, however, be found in the most important places, i.e... imprinted on the heart, mind, and spirit of those who follow CHRIST.

.

There is only one chair in the Throne Room of our hearts. Who will fill it during 2010 ? Who filled it during 2009 ?
.

Is it time to make changes? None of us are getting younger. All of us are marching ever onward toward that inevitable appointment with The Almighty. Since the Keys to life and death are TOTALLY in HIS+ Hands, is it time to make REAL changes in the Throne Room of our hearts?

.

The question is very simple, black and white: WHO RULES?

.

The answer is also very simple, black and white: Self or The LORD JESUS CHRIST?

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Whichever one we serve here on earth in this life will be the determining factor of our eternal... unceasing... continual... without end... always and forever placement the instant we close our eyes in death. Rich or poor, sick or healthy, young or old, lazy or industrious, clever or not... the same rule goes for all.

.

Everyone KNOWS we cannot carry one little scrap with our soul and spirit as we fly away: not one dollar bill, not one degree, not one award nor certificate, not one license, not one piece of furniture, and not even one tiny thread of material to cover our nakedness.

.

Moreover, not one friend nor acquaintance, not one father or mother or brother or sister or wife or husband or son or daughter, will accompany us at that Time Appointed. Neither minister nor church group, be they ever so faithful, will stand at the judgment with us. Each one of us WILL STAND ALONE to render an account of what we have savored during our allotted years: Self ... or... The LORD JESUS CHRIST.

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We will enter eternity covered only with one thing: The righteous Blood of The LAMB ... or ... our own stains of Self-rule. Yes, eternity DOES WAIT for us all; our entrance is really rather close. It is also quite certain.

.

But, through WHICH DOOR shall we enter eternity? The one that leads Heaven-ward ... or ... the entrance into perdition?

.

There is only ONE CHAIR

in the Throne Room of our hearts.

Who will rule:

Self ?

... or ...

The LORD JESUS CHRIST ?

.

Thankfully, no-one is ordained to go into perdition and no-one is ordained to go to Heaven. We can repent of serving Self and we can live to serve Our LORD... or... we can continue on serving Self, satan, and the things of this world.

.

HE+ will not force us

to follow HIM+.

.

And likewise,

we cannot force HIM+

to let us into Heaven.

.

Only one life,

'Twill soon be past;

Only what's done for CHRIST

Will last.

.

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 33:11

.

The WORD of The LORD;

Thanks be to GOD!

+ + +

In the name of The FATHER

Who created thee;

And His Beloved SON+,

Our LORD JESUS CHRIST,

Who saves thee;

And the Blessed HOLY SPIRIT,

Who sanctifies thee.

+

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