Friday, April 18, 2014

Finished. Forever.

"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." - John 19:30

With a Courageous (and forgiven) Heart,

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finding Truth

Yesterday, I prayed Romans 8:37 over my family.
" all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

We've all been feeling captive to a situation right now that we have absolutely no control over, but God's word reminds us in this passage from Romans that we are:

MORE than conquerors. 
Not simply conquerors, but
MORE than conquerors in Christ Jesus. 

We can rest and have peace in the TRUTH that Jesus has already won every victory for us. 

We have to remember to trust - 
His Will
His Purpose
His Plan. 

So today, I read out of John chapter 8, led there as I was reviewing our Pastor's sermon from Sunday. 
And it was SO GOOD. 
It was so good that I looked up verses 31 and 32 in three different versions. 
It was so good that I have to share what I found. 

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."" - John 8:31-32 (ESV)

The English Standard Version says:
"abide in my word"
Meaning, we need to camp out there. 
Park there. 
Sit down and stay awhile in the truth of God's word. 
In order to know the character of God and to be able to know His will, His purpose and His plan, we have to know HIM.  
You've heard it before, you can't know someone unless you are spending time with them. And the more time you spend with them, the more comfortable, the more familiar, the more relaxed you become. 

And you become comfortable enough to just be yourself. 

God wants us to spend time with him, getting to know the truth of who he is and being real with him. 
Not for his sake - he created us, he already knows everything about us - but for OUR sake. 
Because when we can be real with God, we can be real with ourselves - and that's where he can use us for his glory. 

"abide in my word"

"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."" - John 8:31-32 (NIV)

The New International Version says:
"hold to my teaching" 
We must not only spend time getting to know the truth of God through his word, we must be willing to live out his instruction found there - trusting it. 

And isn't that so hard to do?
We are desperate for truth, we search for it everywhere. 
But when we find it, don't we question it?  
There's always that little voice that says "Are you sure?"

God is not unclear here -  we are to hold on to his teaching.
His truth.
Seeking and knowing His will. 

But let's be honest - seeking his will, knowing His will and DOING His will are very different things. 
It's the difference between disobedience and obedience. 

"hold to my teaching"

"Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”" - John 8:31-32 (NLT)

The New Living Translation says:
"remain faithful to my teachings" 

We must Know God. 
We must Trust God. 
We must also Obey God. 

We must not waver in our obedience to his word. 
The enemy already whispers doubt into our ear, speaks lies to our hearts about the truth of who God is and what is found in his word; we must stand firm against his lies. 

Our trust in and obedience to God are an engraved invitation to the enemy to attack us. 
And he is relentless. 
Have you felt it? 
So many times we allow our tough times, our trials, the attacks of the enemy to confuse us. 
We allow them to lead us away from the very truth of the One who has fought our battles and won our victory already. 

Being faithful to his teachings means being steady - trusting in the truth of what we know of Jesus. 

Remaining faithful is a daily struggle - 
but what else can we do when He did ALL for us? 

His faithfulness, his sacrifice, his mercy and grace are all gifts we don't deserve. 
But when we remain faithful to his teachings he promises us that we will find truth. 
And the truth will set us free. 
"remain faithful to my teachings"

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." - John 8:36

With a Courageous Heart,