Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Nature of God (Graham Cooke) - Part 1

Here is a wonderful video by Graham Cooke on the nature of God - He is the most wonderful, loving, kind, giving, and amazing Being of all!  He is ALL LOVE!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Already There

We don't have to look for Him, long for Him, seek Him, try to find Him...He is here!  There is nothing for us to do..there is nothing for us to do!  We have found our rest, found our hope, found our peace in the One who loves us!  (This is a song, but I can't remember which one..)  Or more accurately, He has found us!

He has wrapped us in Himself for all eternity.  He has embraced us.  He has set our hearts on fire with His love for us.  He has set a song of love going over us that will play for us forever.  He is so in love with His Bride.  We are married to Jesus and just waiting now for the heavenly reception party!  The marriage feast of the Lamb!

We have the Love we have looked for all our lives. We are under the shadow of His wings.  We are safe in Him, in the strong refuge of Christ.  We are abiding in the Vine.  We are drinking of the living water.  We are feasting on the Bread of Life.  We are Home!

We have Him, so we have everything.
We have all we need.
We shall not want.
We need do nothing.
All is provided, all is done, and He is working all that out in us and through us.  What a fellowship, what a joy divine!
We are in His everlasting arms forever!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Gospel in Ten Words by Paul Ellis

I received an electronic copy of the new book by Paul Ellis, The Gospel in Ten Words, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!  I had been in a little bit of a slump, starting to focus on 'trying to improve' and seeing lots of things that needed changing in my life, trying to bring about change on my own effort and feeling frustrated, etc. (putting myself under law again without really noticing it, ugh!), and so when I began to read Paul Ellis' book, it was like a breath of fresh Holy Spirit air blowing through my soul as I read!  I felt so uplifted and felt free again!  Of course, I always had been free in Jesus, but I had forgotten that I was free from law and 'should' and had seen myself in the realm of lack and needing improvement, rather than in the Grace Land of completeness and wholeness, where I truly am as a new creation!  Paul's book came at just the right time and brought me back to focusing on reality, and the reality of being a new creation - holy, loved, saved, forgiven, accepted, righteous and royal - well, it is the the so-good-to-be-true news for sure!

Paul breaks his deiscussion of the gospel of grace into 10 chapters that discuss ten aspects of this good news - that we are loved, forgiven, saved, in union, accepted, holy, righteous, that we've died, that we're new, and that we're royal.  Wow, it gets me excited just to think about all these amazing things that Christ has done for us by His finished work!

I think the chapter that challenged me the most is the one titled "Royal" - in it Paul talks about the fact that we are royalty, sons and daughters of the king and thus reigning in the authority Christ gives.  And we can spread that reign of Christ on earth by proclaiming authority over the works of the enemy, seeing people healed and delivered from demonic bondage.  I don't have any experience with that, really, so this part of the book was an eye-opening challenge for me to read!  I love thinking about having authority over the enemy and his evil works.  I love the idea of God bringing that freedom from bondage to other people through me as I just trust Him.

One new and beautiful truth that impacted me is that we are already married to Christ!  I had always thought we were engaged or promised to Christ, but Paul explains that we are already married to Christ and simply awaiting the wedding celebration/reception!  To think that I am already married to Christ makes me know even more how secure my salvation is, how certain because I have already been wed to Christ!  Christ would never, ever abandon His Bride!  As Paul says in the book, "Jesus doesn't believe in divorce.  In fact he hates it.  You're stuck with him for good.  What God has joined together, let no man separate."  What a beautiful thing and what security we have in Him..

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book (if you are able to buy it, I know you would love it!):

'The gospel is the joyful announcement that in Christ the old has gone and the new has come."

"His supernatural life is not something you achieve; it's something you receive."

"We are not defined by who we used to be but by who Jesus is."

"Your new heart beats with new passions and they are the passions of the Holy Spirit."

""He sees the real you, and from his timeless perspective you are faultless, blameless, and radiant with glory."

"You are no longer part of Adam's race.  You are a son or daughter of the Everlasting Father.  Christ is you life.  You stand on His faith and are cloaked in His love."

"Can you imagine God the Father frowning at Jesus?  Of course not.  Then neither is he frowning at you."

"My Father is pleased with me.  I don't have to prove a thing!"

"Jesus completes you.  You were broken, but in him you are whole.  You were in lack, but he who has Christ lacks no good thing.  You life was a sinful mess, but he gave you beauty for ashes.  Isn't that good news?"

"We are whole - God has given us everything we need in Jesus."

"He is looking at you full in the face and beaming with a galaxy-sized smile."

"In Christ you are inclined to walk straight and true.  You have a Holy Spirit gyroscope that keeps you stabilized and on course."

"When the Son moved in you instantly became just as acceptable and pleasing to the Father as Jesus is."

"'He made us accepted.'  His acceptance is not something you ever need strive for; you already have it.  what relief!  What freedom!"

"'Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'  If you have called, then you are saved.  Believe it.  Rest in it."

"Your heavenly Father loves you like crazy."

"Look to the cross.  Jesus loves you more than his own life."

                                              Quotes from The Gospel in Ten Words, by Paul Ellis

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Law of the Spirit Keeps Us!

Grace means we have a Life inside us, given to us for free, that we can't lose or make go away!

The Holy Spirit who indwells us and makes up our spiritual DNA is so interwoven and connected with us.  After all, we were reborn with the Nature of Christ as our nature and the Life of Christ as our life!

We are alive with Him, a Person, the very Spirit of Christ, as our very Life, the core and source at the depth of our very being, in union with our spirit.  Our spirit has been regenerated or remade with heavenly material - Christ's very Life!

We have a Life in us we can't lose or be separated from!  How can you be separated from your very own nature?  How can our spirit, which was formed using the very Spirit of Christ, be separated from that Spirit?  We are part of the new creation reality that Christ has begun, and we can't ever go back to death or separation from Him ever, ever again!

No more separation!

Wherever you are, God is..whatever you are going through, He is going through..whatever you experience, He understands and experiences along with you..

And vice versa!  Whatever riches belong to Christ now belong to you!  Whatever resources are at heaven's disposal are now at your disposal!  You plus God makes infinity!  "With God on our side like this, how can we lose?"  (Rom 8, MSG)

We can't lose!  We have an unkillable, unstoppable, unlosable Life inside us!  We are kept by the power of an indestructible Life!

"We don't have a Law we have to keep; we have a Law that will keep us!"  (Jamie Weeks)

The Holy Spirit, a Person, lives inside us as a law of Life in us!  We have been sealed with Him unto the day of redemption.  He is like the Angel of the Lord that kept the Israelites on their way, like the pillar of fire/cloud.  He is that for us, INSIDE us rather than outside us!  He is upholding us and moving us along to our heavenly destination, assuring that we arrive at the bodily resurrection one day and enjoy the marriage supper with our Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus.  His presence in us is the guarantee that the redemption of our body WILL happen, that we WILL receive the complete inheritance in tangible and visible form in heaven, and thus always be with the Lord, spirit, soul and body!  Our spirits are already part of that heavenly reality, and the presence of the dear Holy Spirit within us, melded to our spirit in forever union, is our assurance that our bodies will 'catch up' with our spirits one day!

What a wonderful Holy Spirit!  He is our keeper and security, our very Law of Life within, holding us up and always keeping us IN LIFE, for He is the source of our very being, the seed that gave birth to us, the material with which we were remade, our spiritual DNA, our very Life.  And as such, we are inseparable, forever melded together.

So we cannot ever be apart from Him!  No more separation!  And no way to lose Him!  He is in us and we are in Him in our new creation selves, as the very way we were re-birthed.  We are so melded together that the word used for the Holy Spirit "dwelling" in us (in James) carries the idea of being permanently cemented together!  This is the Person that dwells in us, closer than our heartbeat, closer than our breath, never to leave, abandon or forsake us - it's not even possible, for it would be like losing part of our very make-up as a person!

Since He and we cannot be separated, the Spirit of Life in Christ is a LAW to and for us!  So stable and sure!  His Life, which can't be separated from us, is a stable law for us, our keeper, upholding us in Life at all times.  Thus we have been taken out of the death, sin, curselands, and we have been placed in the life, grace, communion lands forevermore.

The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is buoying us up and matter what we do or say or get confused matter how many struggles in faith or troubles we matter how many times we matter what our emotions matter what comes our way or what Satan throws at us..we are still alive in His Life!  We are still up in the fresh air of grace in the new creation reality!  We are still out of the law of sin and death - freed from the curse, freed from condemnation, freed from guilt! Sins remembered no more and punished no more!  Free, free, free!  Breathing and living on the fresh air of the Spirit, pulsing with the Life of the Spirit, formed with the very Being of God!

We are "part of the permanent and cannot die" (from 1 John 2, Phillips translation).  We are born of imperishable seed.  We are new, new, new!  We are alive with a Life that is ETERNAL in the heavens!  This life is the very Spirit of Christ Himself, the very material we are remade with is heavenly, eternal material!  And this material is a Person!  We have a Person in us, the Holy Spirit, holding us together and keeping us.  We will never die or be separated from God ever, ever, ever!  "We are in Life and we are never going out! "(Jamie Weeks)  We are one with God Himself, the very temple of His Spirit.  He's living in us, has made His home in us, and is fellowshipping with us 24/7..this is heaven on earth!  This is what we were made for!

Thank You, Holy Spirit of Life in Christ, for being my life and being a law of life in me, holding me up and keeping me in life just by being in me as my life!  Thank You for fellowshipping with me always, always loving and delighting in me!  Thank You for empowering me with all the resources of heaven and freeing me forever from the law of sin and death and curse.  Thank You for the joy of being in Your presence forever!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hallelujah by Cory Asbury

Here is another great song imagining heaven, but I like to think of it as happening right now in our spirits, where the Spirit dwells in union with our spirit..

No more tears, no more  pain..
We will see His face..

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ways the Holy Spirit Ministers Grace To Me

I thought recently of some special ways the Holy Spirit really personifies grace and ministers grace to me.  He is so wonderful and good, and He is always love and grace towards us!

One way He has ministered grace to me is in just being all about giving.  He always gives.  He gives love, and He gives blessings, and He gives understanding, and He gives strength, and He gives, and gives, and gives again.  He gives all those things through the gift of Himself, rising up and filling me!  When He fills me, I am on top of the world.  I don't have fear or worry or doubt; I sense that everything is going to be okay and my worries pale in comparison to Him.  So with His very presence comes all the joy and power and peace that He truly is, and He pushes out the darkness and lies.  He just keeps on doing that whenever I need it!  He is always there, ready to help, a very present help in trouble!  He is nourishing, like water to my parched soul.  He is so fulfilling and satisfying - He especially satisfies my deepest need for love!  But He also satisfies my other needs for direction, encouragement, strength, etc.  He is a giver!  And He gives liberally and freely, without reproach - which means without frustration or irritation, without condemning or berating me!  He just gives, whether I've had a "good performance" day or not.  We can always drink of the water of Life, the Spirit, freely, any time we want, for He is given freely!  This embodies grace to me, because it isn't about my performance but all about His gift.  Grace can mean a gift given freely, without our having to earn or deserve or merit it.  That is why it is called a gift, not a reward.  Well, everything the Spirit is, the gift of the Spirit and all He brings us, all of that is a free gift of grace!  He will give of Himself to us no matter what, just because He loves us and loves to give to us!  Wow!

Another way He ministers grace to me is by the freedom He brings.  Grace is freedom from law and sin; it is the opposite of law and takes us out from under law, and also sin won't be master over us now that we are under grace.  We have been set free from the law and are free of sin's power over us, and we are now under the law of the Spirit, which is Life and Freedom.  I love how the Holy Spirit really leaves me free!  He never demands of me or pushes me.  He never requires or coerces.  He doesn't point out my faults and He doesn't put "shoulds" and "musts" on me.  Instead He keeps telling me I am right with God and beloved by Him, making me just fall in love with God and want to follow Him!  He rises up from within me as my new nature that wants to do the right thing and wants to love people!  He motivates me from within, so that it is truly my desire to love and do rightly!  He fights against Satan's attacks and lies that could confuse or trap me.  He is on my side to fight against the enemy's tactics.  He shows me the truth, that my new heart is good and righteous and wants to follow God.  He is the Love that rises in my heart so I freely want to love!  And He does all this without ever forcing or demanding.  In fact, if I never acted out the love that He put in me, He wouldn't condemn me.  He would love me just the same and I would still be God's precious child, even if I never did another thing right for the rest of my life!  that is freedom!  Knowing you are loved no matter what you do is true freedom!  The way He works is through freedom, hallelujah!

The last way I see the Spirit ministering grace to me is in how He leads me to just rest and not "try."  Grace is about God doing all for us, so we can rest and not have to "try", instead just enjoying the favor and friendship of God.  He encourages me to just enjoy my relationship with God.  He reminds me that through Christ's finished work, I'm already complete and right with God, I'm set forever, home free, already in perfect relationship with God, so I can relax and just enjoy being with God and fellowshipping with Him!  He is always reminding me that all is well between us.  He is always delighting in me.  He is such joy!  He is just pure joy, so easy-going, so jovial and happy!  He is joy rising up within me, the joy of just being in relationship with God!  This was the whole point and goal of Jesus' death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Spirit - so we could have union fellowship with God Himself - wow! The Holy Spirit constantly affirms that relationship and is always available and ready to fellowship with me!  He brings me to be able to stop all my efforts at trying to make life work or make my relationship with Christ work, and leads me to just rest and enjoy the relationship, because it's already mine, and to be able to stop my efforts and know God will take care of me.  What a wonderful God and what wonderful grace!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Waterfall of God's Grace


His grace pours over our lives constantly like a Spirit-fill, living, loving waterfall!

His waterfall of grace will never stop and will never fail us!  His love endures forever!  It's always a new day of grace and mercy in Him...
His waterfall of grace is more abundant, more amazing, more wildly beautiful, more refreshing than we could ever imagine..His love inundates us and sweeps away all lies and shame and sin, doubt, problem, anxiety, depression or fear is any match for the powerful flood of His grace and love constantly poured into our lives by the Holy Spirit!


This is you! This is me!  We are little children again and can laugh with uninhibited joy and glee at the wonderful grace He's shown us in Jesus - the kindness, the everlasting delight in us, the goodness, the gentleness and acceptance He's shown us!  

We can be filled with happiness at the gentle love of God that stooped down and picked us up, gave us a home, an inheritance, and belonging, gave us Himself to be our Daddy - and hugged us forever!

By His grace we are forgiven, justified, freed, alive, new, sanctified, at peace, accepted, loved, included, held, kept, healed, provided for, whole and holy!  

Let's laugh and play and sing and splash and shout out loud for joy!  This water is alive, it's flowing over and around us, it's filling us with unstoppable joy..this water is the wonderful presence of Jesus, in and over us in all His love and joy and goodness!  To the praise of His glorious grace!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The ONLY Thing That Ever Let Me See Victory Over Sin Struggles In My Life

The only way I have ever found ANY freedom from sinful struggles in my life was when God overwhelmed me with His love and acceptance (grace!) and I started just enjoying that love and forgot about "trying not to sin."  He drew me to from being sin-conscious to being Son-conscious.  With the revelation of His grace and  love for me, the desire for sin really melted away.  And I began to experience the freedom from sin that He purchased for me through the cross.  That is how it worked for me!

When I realized that even in the midst of my struggles, that God was looking on me with love and not condemning me, for there is no condemnation in Christ, it just changed my whole world. I had always imagined that His main thing was "Sparrow, stop sinning! Do better!" when really, His main thing turned out to be "Sparrow, stop trying! Rest in My arms! I love you!" When He showed me that, it melted my heart and I began to fall in love with God. And I fell out of love with sin! The devil can't stand to be around a believer who knows that they are loved by God no matter what they do, and even in the midst of their struggles, knows that they are the righteousness of God in Christ, totally accepted and holy in God's sight!

There is such power in that acceptance that He has for us. The more I have seen that truth, the more it has set me free from sin's hold. But the main thing I have noticed with God is not trying to get me to stop sinning, but to get me to just enjoy the relationship we have. He truly is in love with us! He delights in us and sings over us with joy! I have experienced His Spirit just delighting in me with joy, even after I'd sinned - it is amazing!

He is really showing me lately that the answer to all my issues and struggles is to look away from the struggles and straight into His eyes, and just enjoy worshipping Him and knowing Him for who He is, and that mind set on Him He keeps in perfect peace.  The more we set our minds on His love for us, the stronger we become!  (That is a loose quote from Bill Gillham, who wrote one of the first grace books I ever read, What God Wishes Christians Knew About Christianity..)

Dear Father, thank You that we don't have to 'try harder' to overcome sin, but can just REST in Jesus our overcomer, rest in His victory.  Pull our gaze away from the sin that seems to entangle us and fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.  It's all about You, Jesus!  You have finished a work to set us right with You, and now we can enjoy sitting at Your feet and listening to Your Words of Love to us.  Thank You for taking care of all we face as we just simply gaze at You and enjoy Your beauty.  You are everything to us!  One thing we seek, just to know You more deeply in our experience!  We worship and love You!  In Jesus' name, Amen..

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14