Tag Archives: spiritual

Nehemiah 1-3; Acts 2:1-13

 All were astounded and greatly confused, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others jeered at the speakers, saying, “They are drunk on new wine!”

Acts 2:13

I work at a church, so my wife and I often have front row seats to some interesting spiritual ‘stuff’ – for lack of a better word. 

The Holy Spirit, what he* does, when he does it, etc. is a tricky subject, and it’s easy to step on toes. Everyone’s particular opinions tend to be a mix of what they grew up with, what they’ve been taught, and what they’ve personally experienced. I tend to be much more operative out of what I’ve been taught, and to be honest what I’ve experienced (in terms of the miraculous) have been somewhat limited. I’m also a skeptic by nature, I don’t believe things right away, and it can be a fault. I probably have missed out on countless miracles as I searched for a rational explanation. Ultimately I came back to God because there were things happening around me that I couldn’t explain anymore without Him.

In any event, there was something that happened at church last week that sort of challenged some of the ‘boxes’ I had put the Holy Spirit into. And in the process of praying and thinking through the experience afterwards I came to a conclusion: I don’t really know how you’re supposed to determine whether or not something is from the Holy Spirit or not.

Do I just go on how it feels? Seems dangerous.

The exec. Pastor that oversees me and has been mentoring me a bit shares this quote often, not sure if it’s his or not, “One of the most dangerous thing about being human is you can always choose to interpret data a different way”. 

Seems to apply to ‘spiritual’ events as well.

So I started thinking I needed to establish some criteria on how I sort of filter these sorts of things in the odd circumstances, but also in the everyday. Like when someone tells me the church should be doing a certain program, is that from the Spirit? or just someone’s opinion?

I came up with these three things, you might have a few more, and these might change for me over time, but it’s a starting point for me: 

Where’s the fruit? (Matt 7:16, Luke 6:44, Matt. 7:20 etc.)

Does it bring Glory and Honor to Jesus? (1 Cor. 10:31)

Is it done out of love? (John 13:35)

Again, not an exhaustive list, and certainly room for interpretation, but these are my three quick checks. If it doesn’t pass these three, chances are it’s not a work of the Spirit.

Is the message, prophecy, tongues, etc. done out of love for another? Is there other fruit in this person’s life or ministry to back up this message? Does it bring glory to Jesus? That’s where I start. 

And if applied to the following passages in Acts, we see Peter preach boldly, thousands get saved, glory given to God, and ongoing fruit in the lives of the disciples. I never want to miss out on what the Spirit of God is doing in the midst of his people today, but I want to remain sound in what I affirm and live by. There were many people in Acts who missed out on God’s goodness because they couldn’t believe what was happening through God’s Spirit poured out on men (Gentiles nonetheless!)

Lord would you allow my walk with you to become so close, that I would constantly bring you glory, love others, and bear fruit as I obey your statutes? Lord allow me the gift of repentance for the times I’ve missed out on your Spirit’s work in the world, open my eyes to see your glory in the midst of your people.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Judges 1, Judges 2, Judges 3, Luke 12:32-59

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%201,2,3;%20Luke%2012:32-59&version=NKJV

 God’s People in Pain ~ God’s people Rule ~ God’s Kingdom Comes 

Judges 1             “Judah shall go up … fight against the Canaanites …  and the Lord delivered” But the tribes “did not drive out the” surrounding peoples.  

Judges 2              The Lord came…said: you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land…tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. -Therefore… they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’ So…all the children of Israel…lifted up their voices and wept…Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals…Yet they would not listen to their judges…Then the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel;  

Judges 3            they gave their daughters…they served their gods…again did evil in the sight of the Lord.  

                       The Almighty, Holy, Faithful God continuously protected His people and set them free from their enemies. God gave them a kingdom on earth and made them accountable to Him. But time and time again God’s people ignored God’s Word, Character, Commands and Love for them. They turned away from Him to worship and obey what they could see, feel, and hear. They mingled their hearts and lives with demons and idols. God’s people did evil in His sight so God’s anger was against them. Even though they “lifted up their voices and wept”, “Yet they would not listen”. 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6; 2 Chronicles 11:15; Revelation 9:20

Points to ponder –    The Lord God is worthy of my complete, full hearted obedience. Partial obedience is DISobedience. God requires 100% loyalty, trust and faith in Action.

                 People refused God’s protective law by NOT driving out what influenced them to sin. Inaction was rejection of God.

                     God’s people, though loved by God, alienated themselves from Him. By their allegiance to personal pride and lust, their lives were filled with many types of deep pain. God’s people proved to be unfaithful and double-minded/ hearted.

                     It wasn’t about the people, it was all about God! What would have Glorified the Lord God and brought His people unshakable Joy? Living with God in the freedom of the Promised Land AND thus showing and introducing the idolaters to God, for them love, worship and be freed by the Living God too! They all would have had eternal life! And God’s peace would have reigned through them all!

                 Lord, reveal to me how I live by my physical, temporal, self-willed senses and NOT by faith and Holy Spirit “sight” in trusting Your Reality of Truth in order to please You. Show me how my mind changes due to fear and “discomfort” so I do not Love by faith in Jesus Who sacrificed His life for me to NOW live a vibrant eternal life by His Word and Power.  

Luke 12:32-59          “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give…provide…a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…there your heart will be also.”

                  Lord Jesus’ Words ringing clear and true, for the Israelites, nowadays and Jesus’ time! I hear the same tune, “Turn from you see, feel, and hear. Do not mingle your heart with demons and idols, but trust God and thereby receive the good Kingdom your Father pleasures to give you!”  

                 Jesus, please awaken many to disown their earthly treasures, loyalties and idolatries that cause their hearts to pain and fear, so not to perish. Please have Your Word Drive Out the thoughts, words, habits, values and lusts so we do not turn our backs against Your Father. Jesus, you had me born-again for God’s Kingdom living and rule under You. Please, Lord, increase Your territory of Love throughout myself and my sphere of influence.  

Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.…Blessed is that servant whom…his master will find so doing when he comes…that he will make him ruler over all that he hasBUT IF that servant…begins to beat the…servants, and…be drunk, the master…will come …when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

My Kingdom of God agenda:            What have I traded permanent for temporary? How am I using the time and tools God has allotted me?

             What territory have I left laid to waste? What “Christian” thinking of “grace” has allowed the weeds and thorns to infest and rot my “territory” because my passionate desire for God’s gleaming righteousness and glory has dimmed by excuses, rationalizations and compromise? Am I Driving Out unholy thinking with the Word of God and acting upon it?

            Am I being truthful to myself and with those in my charge? Or am I watering down the Gospel and Jesus’ Blood? Am I selling out cheap grace using a “get out of hell” card without James 1-4 enacted? What kind of servant am I? Much is REQUIRED of me by God.

Jesus said, “I came to send fire on the earth …to give…division…one house will be divided…but how is it you do not discern this time?”

                  What time is it now? “In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,” and “rumors of wars”.  

“I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

 This Good News requires my responsibility and accountability to my Master, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

                 Am I using God’s eternal Tool, the Word of God? Am I praying without ceasing for God’s Holy Spirit counsel and Doing what He says? Jesus gives life to those who seek, ask and receive in God’s terms. Lord Jesus, have me follow hard after You and Drive Out whatever thwarts for Your cleansed temple within me! Have Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.

Bible References –         James 2:10-26; 1 John 4:10; 1 John 5:3; Jude 1:16-25James 1:2-8, James 4:7-10       +    John 1:12-14; John 3:3-21; Psalm 51; 1 John 3:1; Psalm 145:13; Matthew 24:14; Luke 1:31-33; 1   +  Corinthians 15:23-28; Matthew 25:31; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 6:9-13; 1 Chronicles 4:9-10   +  2 Timothy 3:1-9; Matthew 24; Mark 13     +  James 1-4,1 John 1-5, Jude 1  +  1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthew 7:7-8; Matthew 11:28; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Judges, Luke, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Numbers 17, Numbers 18, Numbers 19, Mark 15:1-25

Read at –   http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2017,18,19;%20Mk%2015:1-25&version=NKJV

Numbers 17:5          It shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make  … behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. … , “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.”

               The Sin of Complaining is so serious that God had to physically demonstrate to His people that He deemed to “put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.” God calls those who complain “rebels”.

                Am I living in rebellion against God? Hhhhhmmmmm…… NO wonder I need the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!!

How many thoughtless complaints do I think or mutter about the temporal without a thought to the eternal repercussions? Who is listening to me? Why do I put forth such effort when God gives me His remedy for my healthy psychology and productive spiritual life? Philippians 4:4-9, 19-20

Numbers 18             The Lord said to Aaron: “You …shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and … associated with your priesthood.  …  I am your portion and your inheritance.”

Numbers 19  a red heifer without blemish, …  it is for purifying from sin.

               “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.” The Lord God Almighty instructed the priesthood regarding removing iniquities and giving them the highest reward, Himself for their portion and inheritance.

Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Numbers 15:40 

God does not change and neither does His Word. Malachi 3:6, Matthew 24:35

                Lord, these days I find myself praying harder and deeper than ever before. It seems that as I breathe, I grieve. I don’t know what You are doing in the heavenlies or what is going to happen here on earth, but the sin is escalating, the venom of people against You in governments is increasing, Oh…. You have me praying in ways I don’t even know. Thank You for not having me complain, for that does NO GOOD. In fact, when I have done that, I promote the problem instead of praying Your Word for Your purposeful, effective change for Your glory alone!

            Please move the hearts of Your people to pray without ceasing, to storm Your Throne, going to our Royal High Priest Jesus to change the spiritual climate, to make us holy as You are holy, to be fruitful in the Holy Spirit now and until You return.

               I am sick inside. The pain moves me to be surrendered to serve You wherever You place me. Please Lord Jesus, send many of Your workers. Convict us who are called by Your Name to confess You, Jesus, as Lord, to repent, to worship You and testify of You, the only Sovereign God.

Romans 8:28; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Romans 12:1-2; Proverbs 9:10

Mark 15:1-25                        Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” … “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” … Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

                This Jesus is our High Priest Who took upon Himself the sins of the people away from the Lord God Almighty, and purified us who believe and live surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 

                  I praise and thank you Lord Jesus Christ for Your courageous victory over sin and death out of immeasurable love for me! Please continue changing me more into Your image so many people will see You, and then surrender, love, obey and worship You now and forever! I yearn to see Your Glory here on earth as it is in Heaven!! Magnify Yourself through Your children Lord Jesus! Amen!!

John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; Romans 1:20; Romans 5:8-21; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:5-6; Hebrews 7:20-28; Hebrews 8:1-6; Hebrews 9:23-28; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:4-6

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Numbers, Old Testament, Uncategorized