The cling

If we don’t cling to Jesus, the disease will cling to us! It’s 6 foot stomach will swallow us alive, it’s ginormous head will suck the blood out of us if we dont have the blood of Jesus. Sin is sick and it leads to death and death is creeping at each of our door steps. Satan is constantly looking for someone to devour. We have to cling to Jesus or the disease will cling to us!

Everything bad will cling to us if we aren’t clinging to Jesus!

Saturday evening as I was bathing Jeremiah; washing his hair; I found a large tic on the top back of his neck that also had a white dot on it. We got him out and Russell held him as I tried to pull the tic off. I tried and tried but the head was in the skin; clinging to it and sucking his blood. After using my small hands, I tried to use tweezers while crying because my cute squirming boy is crying as we’ll. No mama wants to see their child in discomfort or pain. I tried yanking, pulling, but no luck. So, after about 6 minutes of myself wrestling with it, Russell just grabs it once, yanks and the tic comes out. For me it was truly a battle. And I couldnt get it off. For Russell it just came right out. Jeremiah clung to his Daddy and with one yank, the tic was out. Jeremiah just needed the strength of his Daddy! Afterwards; my son just laid on me for a few in discomfort but also relief. Then he got up and started running and playing. He was absolutely fine! He was finally free!

I share this story with you because it reminds me of the grip, the cling that sin often has on us. The discomfort of trials, the way we have to wrestle, we battle Satan and we either can choose to let it cling to us like a tick with a ever so strong grip or we can cling to Jesus, become humble and say “I can’t do this on my own; in my own strength, this trial is going to eat me alive, I need my
Daddy’s strength; Lord of host help me.” The curse of sin will destroy us unless we cling to the one who became the curse. “He who knew no sin, took on sin for our sake”… We must cling to Him; KING JESUS! We must cling to Him before sin or a trial clings to us like Jeremiah’s tic. Notice that I tried and tired to pull the tic off; but I couldn’t. In the same way when I take matters in my own hands; I can’t handle it but when I let go and let God handle it; I’m taking care of. Jeremiah just needed his Daddy and that’s the same way it is for us. We just need our Daddy, God, to come in… After we’ve been battling, he comes right in and yanks and nothing no longer clings to us! In Jesus, we are free!! In the same way that Jeremiah was free, and in relief and started running and playing; we can be set free from the ball and chains of sin and we can once again run. Jeremiah wasn’t aloud to get up until we got the tic out. Sadly we had to hold him down and in the same way sadly sin holds us down but as soon as we choose to cling in Jesus; He sets us free from that sin!

So, Whatever you are struggling, wrestling, battling with… Cling to Jesus, confess your sin to Him, repent; share your problems with Him and let Him fight your battles for you!

But on the flip side of that remember that scripture says “there is no condemnation for those in Christ.” Jesus died the death we deserved on the cross of Calvary, took the punishment we deserved, took all of Gods wrath that we deserved and said “IT IS FINISHED”! But only through belief in Him are we set free! It is by grace through faith! Cling to Jesus!

Let your Daddy set you free from the tic of sin!! Don’t let sin enslave you; be a slave of righteousness!

Romans 6:18 ESV – “And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”

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Blessed is the man who trust in The Lord

Do you trust in God? Are you prospering? Do your leaves wither? When heat comes, do you not cease to bear fruit?

Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17 both talk about two types of people. The unjustified sinner and the godly. The man who trust in Himself and the man who trust in God! It says the man who trust in himself is like dead shrub in the dessert. His end is death, its ruined.

Blessed is the man who trust in Lord!

“Blessed is the man who trust in The Lord; whose trust is The Lord. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that sends its roots out by the stream and does not fear when heat comes and is not anxious in the year of drought, its leaves do not wither; He does not cease to bear fruit, all He does prosper!” – Jeremiah 17:7-8

My husband actually has this as a tattoo. He has a half dead tree and a half fruitful tree with a sun beaming down and a stream of water. He explains it in two ways; the dead side was Him before salvation and the fruitful side is Him now after receiving Gods redemptive grace. He also says the days he trust in himself and tries to do life on his own; he is like the dead shrub in the dessert but the days he trust in The Lord, he is blessed and he doesn’t cease to bear fruit, he’s the prosperous side of the tree. It’s a great reminder!

Ask yourself: Today are you withering away? Are you on the road to destruction? Are you the dead side of the tree? A shrub in the dessert? Or are a fruitful tree that doesn’t cease to hear fruit? That isn’t anxious even in the year of drought? Do you trust only in yourself or do you trust in God?

When I was younger… I used to always like the saying “follow your heart”. I feel like every middle school aged girl used to write that saying on their notebooks or tell their girlfriends to do that with their problems… “Just follow your heart; it will all be ok.” Or every teacher and adult in my life would say “You can be anything you want, just follow your heart and you will be happy.”

But in reality if we just follow our heart; the end is destruction. Jeremiah tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”. Now, I think that saying is ridiculously stupid. The last thing I want to do is follow my heart because then I am trusting in myself. I’m putting faith in myself. It isn’t about how much trust or faith I have but who I am putting my trust and faith in and that needs to be Jesus!! Apart from Him I can do no good but with Him I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! ( Philippians 4:13) Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him; to pick up our crosses. True happiness; joy; is only found in following Jesus! If we just merely follow our heart; our paths are crooked… But if we follow The Lord, our path will be straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in The Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

So is the saying “follow your heart” really harmful? I believe it’s hypocritical for the Christian. Why? Because time and time again, over and over, from beginning to the end of the Bible the man and woman of God are told to avoid what the heart pursues.

Matthew 6:24 says we can serve two masters. So, either our hearts or Jesus is our master! Will we trust with our gut instinct in situations or trust in Jesus; truth?

We read the warning in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” The author knew the danger of following the heart. Also, Jesus says that if we choose to save our lives for our own sake, we will actually lose it. The ways of men that seem right are actually the way of death. Why is that? We know that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

Jesus says that the heart is the source of all kinds of sin: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23).
Think about it. Any sin that you and I have ever committed has been because we followed our own desires, we followed our heart. There are eternal benefits to making God’s ways our ways. We must deny our desires and fully give God our hearts! We must trust in Him and walk wisely…

Proverbs 28:26 reads, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.”

So, that I’m not misunderstood, I am not saying that the “heart” isn’t needed in Christianity or our relationship with God because it surely is. Repentance stems from heart. Scripture says we must obey God and it also says that belief rest in the heart and confession of the mouth comes from the hearts beliefs.

The point is.. the world wants you to follow your heart; God wants you to guide your heart in the right direction! And the only way to do that is to follow Him! So, don’t trust in yourself and don’t follow your heart, trust in Jesus, follow The Lord and guide your heart to eternity!

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Nothing without agape (love)

God has given us the ability to posses something, to walk in something that will allow us to be more than we ever possibly dreamed we could be. He has given us this something to walk in, to live by, to do everything in because without it scripture says we are nothing. A fruit of the Holy Spirit that we are not only called, commanded but we are created to be. We are to walk in it, live by it, do everything we do in it. It can only come from God. And I am at awe that the infinite, almighty, faithful creator of the universe would demonstrate his redemption for us through this and then allow us to walk in it. It is not self seeking, it is not arrogant or rude, it is not prideful, it is not short suffering, it does not rejoice at wrong doing and it is not of the flesh. It is humble, it is selfless, it is long suffering, it is kind, it is patient, it rejoices with the truth, it is only of the spirit and it is everything Jesus is and everything He created us to be.

It is AGAPE type love!

What is AGAPE? Agape is the Greek word for love but unlike our English word for love, agape is not used in scripture to represent romance or mushy feeling superficial love. The essence of agape love is self sacrifice. Agape love is of God, from God and is Gods nature. 1 John 4:8 says “God is love”. Everything He does flows from His love; He doesn’t merely love, He is love. He loves the unlovely (us) but not because we deserve to be loved but because its His nature. Gods agape love is most clearly presented at Calvary, at the cross where Christ took on death, took on all of our sins, took on the wrath we deserved and then rose three days later. Our God is alive! Romans 5:8 says while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. What a perfect picture of sacrifice. That’s agape love. Jesus taking our place on that cross so that we may have a relationship with God and enter His kingdom one day for eternity. Think about yourself being on that cross. Don’t think in terms as “if” you were on the cross after being brutally beaten, but rather as “you should have been” on that cross. When I measure myself up to Jesus and the cross compared to my sins… I don’t measure up. But inspite of my sinful, wretched self, in spite of my best being like a dirty tampon, He, the creator of the Universe, the I AM, God, Father chose to come in human form and take my place. He received all the wrath to glorify God and save me! He humbled himself, He displayed self sacrificial agape love and therefore expects me to do the same:

So how do we agape? In order to love others rightly we must first love God rightly!

• We need to be available
• We need to lay aside preferences
• We need to spend time with Jesus

It makes me think of the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42. Martha was preparing a meal for Jesus and Mary was to be helping but instead she was at the feet of Jesus sitting outside listening to him teach along with other men. This is actually not of their culture because woman were to be working in the home if there was work to be done and it was frowned upon for a woman to learn the Torah in that time. Men were to listen to teachings while woman cooked and cleaned. That was just their way of living.

Well, Mary is sitting outside listening to Jesus. Martha inside working her but off comes out and doesn’t say anything to Mary. Instead she attacks Jesus and tells Jesus what to do. ANT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT… Is what I am thinking but she must have been frustrated and I can understand why. She says to him “tell Mary to get in here and help me”.

Jesus doesn’t tell Mary to go, which is what his disciples and people around we’re probably expecting. Rather he laid aside the culture preferences and said “Mary is doing the right thing, nothing can be compared.” Some translation say “She is doing the better thing, I will not take this away from her.” He rebuked Martha.

That statement “nothing can be compared”. That’s a humbling statement. Martha is caught up in her “busyness”. It even says in vs 40 that Martha was “distracted” by the preperations. She isn’t available and she prefers Mary to be doing the work also. She’s distracted. She has her “do list” in front of spending time with Jesus. Mary on the other hand sees spending time with Jesus so much more important than preparing food. She is feeding off of His teaching and hungering for Him! What could be more important?

NOTHING is more important than spending time with Jesus and nothing compares to it! We must never forget that!

Mary was spending time with Agape Himself! And she was displaying agape love!

How often do I put the “to do list” in front of my time with Jesus. I say I have to do this and do that and then I will sit down and pray and read. Rather all of those things can wait… Scripture says “this world is passing away along with its desires! Whoever does the will of God abides forever.” The will of God is for us to know Him, to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever! We have to fight against distractions. The “to do” isn’t necessarily evil, the busyness isn’t necessarily evil but when it comes before God it is sin! We must put Him before all things and then we will love rightly, we will agape!

Love never fails! It never runs out! It never ends! So, agape with all of your heart, mind and strength!

LOVE JESUS, LOVE OTHERS AND CHANGE THE WORLD!!

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

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