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Archive for May, 2016

He Himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed”  For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1Peter 2:24-25)

According to this section of Scripture in 1 Peter, why did Jesus die? Take a close look at the reason that He was crucified for us.

Secondly, the scripture states that “by His wounds you have been healed.” From what did Jesus heal you?

Before we can fully understand what Peter is teaching us here, we need to dig deeper into the soil of scripture to tie this all together. Let’s start by looking at Isaiah 53:4-6

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Now let’s compare this section in scripture from Isaiah to Matthew 8:16-17 where we will witness the fulfillment of the One Isaiah speaks about.

 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.”

So now, according to 1 Peter 2:24-25, and after comparing it to Isaiah 53 and Matthew 8, what do you think the main teaching is for Christians and our understanding of being healed and how that leads to a life submitted to Christ in righteousness .

Make sure you are letting scripture flow with scripture so that you see the beautiful weaving of truth throughout the vine! You see, the root of all of these things that we suffer from is SIN. Jesus came to not only pay the penalty required for sin, not only to set you free from the bondage of sin, but He also came to HEAL you from the wounds of sin. Sin and its effects is what causes sickness, demon possession, broken relationships and so much more. In this fallen world of sin, we are it’s victims. We are the evidence of it’s wounds. We are the unjust and yet Christ who did only good, suffered for us that we may be healed from the power and effects of sin.

Now do you understand this scripture and it’s meaning? I hope as you dig deeper into the soil of truth and get at the root of it all, you will see and understand why Jesus came and what His death and resurrection really mean for all of us who choose to live for Him.

And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him. But not finding any way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down through the tiles with his stretcher, into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.” Immediately he got up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. (Luke 5:18-25)

For you see, Jesus did not just say to the man, Be healed and “get up.” No, His words here speak clearly to the testimony of what really weakens us, binds us and seperates us from walking in the fullness of truth. They also speak to the truth of who Christ was and what He had come for. Jesus was teaching that day, that sin was at the root of our problems and at the root of what has caused such pain and suffering on this earth and that when He healed us from it’s effects, (because of our coming to Him in faith), we are now free to walk, not in the bondage of the flesh, but the newness of the Spirit!

 

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I have a challenge and a warning for all of us today, but first I want to start with a test.

Read through the following scriptures as though they were someone’s post being shared. Decide immediately which ones you would like or share.

  1. And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, (2 Thess 1:7)
  2.  He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thess 1:8)
  3. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
  4. Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. ( 2 Thess 3:14)

Now, if you’re completely honest with yourself and you see these scriptures posted, which ones do you “like”? Which ones get your public approval? Honestly?

What I find happens more often than not, is people love to like or support the scriptures that are “positive” but when it comes to just liking scripture in general, well that’s a different story. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by the scriptures that uplift you and you certainly shouldn’t have to like or agree with scriptures that are being used out of context, but that’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the reality that sin exists and that often more times than not, the hard scriptures are shared, because real love speaks the whole truth and nothing but the truth and we cringe. The reality is when confronted with scripture, like the ones above, we need to ask ourselves, what feelings or thoughts come over us as we read each of those?

Now, here’s the warning. If we are honest, some may say..I don’t like those types of scriptures because I can’t promote a God like that or it just wouldn’t be a positive way to share or witness. Herein lies the problem. The reality is, you’re really just picking and choosing what you like about God and what image of Him should be portrayed and what you feel is most palatable. At the root of it all, you’re really just creating a god of your own imagination. ( We will look at this in Genesis today in our Growth Moment).

You see, we were created in His image. He wasn’t created in ours. He just always has been and it’s why He is the I AM. He never changes and His attributes are just who He is, whether we really “like” them or not.

 

 

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My greater lesson from my mom’s battle with her cancer, her death and the redefined meaning of LOVE…

I often hear the misused phrase “judge not” or “who are you to judge” hurled by the world (and sadly many in the Church) at any one who would point out that something is wrong with their behavior or understanding. I have found that this really is just a disguise by the human flesh to really mean…”Just keep your mouth shut and let me do what I want to do. I’m not really interested in hearing what is right or wrong. (I guess Satans first temptation and promise to Eve was really a lie). Now granted, scripture directs us on not judging those outside the Church, nor to involve ourselves in their affairs. (1 Cor 5:11-13 and 2 Tim 2:4-5) Why? Because they are already judged and condemned. Instead scripture exhorts us to judge those inside the Church. So what exactly does that look like and how does warning someone and protecting them from destruction not turn into..your judging me? And more importantly, how are we really loving our neighbor?

The truth is I loved my mom dearly and as family I not only loved her but had a deep desire to see her happy. With that said, there came a day when I had to carry my mother into the Drs office for a surgery. During this time the Dr informed me that my mother had stage 2 breast cancer. Now…..if you have ever had someone you love diagnosed with a terminal illness you know it is not a very “positive” experience. BUT, here’s my question. What if the Dr and I had this information about something this horrific that was leading to death and destruction? What if I had then said to my mothers Dr, please just keep quiet. This type of news or information will really hurt my mom. It’s not productive to keeping a positive, joyful outlook on life and really, who are you to judge how this will affect her or what her outcome will be……You’re not God!

I wonder, would I be a “loving” daughter?

What if the Dr chooses to give her the information anyway and my mom accepts the reality of her condition but then he tells her that there are some steps that can be taken to cure her, but it will require obedience to the instructions for treatment. She agrees and then leaves to pick up her prescription. What if it says to take take twice a day, orally but she decides it is now more comfortable to dissolve the pills in water once a day and soak her feet in them instead. It’s relaxing, doesn’t require as much effort or remembering and certainly doesn’t cause her to feel uncomfortable.
Am I obligated to remind her or share with her what the Dr. “really” said or is it more loving to let her just do what she feels is best for her? Regardless of whether I tell her and she ignores me or I keep quiet, the outcome is still death. The question is in which one am I genuinely loving my “neighbor” (my mother in this case) and in which one will I be held accountable to God…(Herein lies the REAL meaning of being your brothers keeper)

Ezekiel 3:16-21
Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.

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