Posted by: Kimberly | Sat Aug 8, 2020

Free from the Law, Living in Grace

As a Christian living today, under this covenant, have you ever stopped to think how Amazingly Blessed we are? We are free from the vestiges of the law if we walk in his Grace. We are no longer bound, yet free, no more in bondage to law nor to sin.. Let me explain. 

How enriched are they who find their strength in the Lord; within their hearts are the highways of holiness! Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring. They grow stronger and stronger with every step forward, and the God of all gods will appear before them in Zion. – Psalm 84:5-7 – TPT

He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” – Exodus 15:26 – NLT

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Even under the law, people found blessings and healing, but what are his decrees for us in this day? Many would say the Ten Commandments are the law for believers today, if that’s the case what did Jesus answer one who questioned him about the law?

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40

Those are the two most important, loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind and loving our neighbor… But WAIT! We are not under the law any more, we have been freed from it! In Hebrews 7 we are told, the priesthood has changed and if that happened, then the law must have changed to allow it. (Verse 12) It also tells us that the old requirement of becoming a priest was weak and useless. (Verse 18) A new covenant was established by God as all covenants are, that Jesus would be a priest forever, because he lives forever. (Verses 21 & 24) Jesus does not need to offer sacrifices because he offered himself once and for all as the ultimate sacrifice. (Verse 27) So what is the new covenant that the Bible speaks of? A covenant is a law or set of laws of agreement. Here it is:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding], And engrave them upon their hearts [effecting their regeneration]. And I will be their God , And they shall be My people. “And it will not be [necessary] for each one to teach his fellow citizen, Or each one his brother, saying, ‘Know [by experience, have knowledge of] the Lord,’ For all will know [Me by experience and have knowledge of] Me, From the least to the greatest of them. “For I will be merciful and gracious toward their wickedness, And I will remember their sins no more.” When God speaks of “A new covenant,” He makes the first one obsolete. And whatever is becoming obsolete (out of use, annulled) and growing old is ready to disappear. – Hebrews 8:10-13 AMP

The house of Israel is not just natural Israel, but also includes the church as a whole. Here is a short definition to explain (not all those that draw their bodily descent from Israel are true Israelites, i.e. are those whom God pronounces to be Israelites and have gone through salvation). What was the last verse? The old covenant, the Mosaic covenant which many Christians live under in error today is obsolete! Because Jesus freed us from the law. And if you have trouble believing that, I can give you a litany of verses to back it up. Let me give a few:

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. – Romans 6:14

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

For the Christ is the end of the law. And because of him, God has transferred his perfect righteousness to all who believe. – Romans 10:4

First, let me address, that many churches and religions today have created laws and traditions, which were never intended by God. We are not meant to live by these laws, but by grace. Also, this generation and many generations before us were not born under the law, but we and many before act as if we were. Now on to the above verses.

Those are all powerful verses, let me reiterate them. We do not have to let sin control us if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we live under God’s Grace, which shows us what sins we need to eliminate and sometimes this is a process. Jesus was born during the law but through his flogging, death, and resurrection, we received healing and freedom from the law. If we accept him as Savior, we become sons of God. Jesus Christ ended the law and through him when we believe on him, we receive God’s righteousness. That is humbling to think that when God looks at us, he does not see a sinner, but he sees an adopted son or daughter, he sees a righteous human being. We are no longer judged by the law, but we are given Grace and have been redeemed through Jesus Christ. If that doesn’t make you want to shout and give thanks, I don’t know what would!

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.  Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. – Romans 8:31-34

Posted by: Kimberly | Mon Mar 30, 2020

Stop Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater!

We, as Christians can glean so much from other churches and ministries and their teachings, when we put aside our differences. Even Paul said in his letters to Corinth that we know in part and we prophesy in part. Can you imagine if we could put all discrepancies in doctrine aside and follow the pattern of Jesus Christ? His perfect love as a guideline would create amazing gatherings. Think how much greater our knowledge and understanding would grow if we could walk in His perfect love and not cast aspersions at other ministries, denominations, or religions, but appreciate them for what they contribute to God and others. To have the ability to not point fingers would be to ‘write in the sand’ as Jesus did and say to former adversaries, ‘Where are your accusers?’ Instead of drawing attention to the areas where we don’t agree, we should find common ground. Here are a few examples of simple doctrinal beliefs that overlap for some:

    The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
    Baptists believe in the Virgin birth, that Christ died for sinners, and in the resurrection.
    The Church of Christ believes that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.
    Lutherans believe that people are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
    Catholics believe in a Spirit-guided revelation of scripture.
    Many non-denominational and/or pentecostal churches believe in divine and miraculous healing.
    Mennonites believe that as followers of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they should spread grace, joy, and peace to the world.

All of these are examples of ideas formed out of perfect love and without that love, they are but clashing cymbals. When a nonbeliever hears arguing, it is pure noise. How can a person get excited about a church that doesn’t show love? If there’s constantly bickering, name-calling, and back-stabbing of other religions or leaders, or amongst members, then what would entice them to come in? Can we stop throwing out the baby with the bathwater by trashing others?! Let’s practice the same love we do to our family and friends and keep the baby too.

 

Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten. Our present knowledge and our prophecies are but partial, but when love’s perfection arrives, the partial will fade away. When I was a child, I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child and reasoned like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways. For now we see but a faint reflection of riddles and mysteries as though reflected in a mirror, but one day we will see face-to-face. My understanding is incomplete now, but one day I will understand everything, just as everything about me has been fully understood. Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13

If we could meet in the unity of faith, there wouldn’t be quarrels over doctrine or whose church is correct, instead we would save our energy to praise God and love each other. We would love like Jesus. We would no longer have a veil that restricts our understanding or our perception of others. We would see and still love ‘warts and all.’ We must focus on love and hold tightly to it and offer it to all those we meet and the Holy Spirit can work through us to heal wounded hearts. Now, can you imagine what a celebration it will be, when we truly see like Jesus does, when he looks beyond perceived shortcomings? I think David gives us a glimpse in his last Psalm…

 

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord! -Psalm 150:1-6

And while we’re basking in His presence and bathing, it might be a good time to follow Jesus’ example and have some humble pie by washing the feet of other ministers. Some of that ‘holy water’ might feel good to both the giver and recipients. Wash clean those who are already clean to refresh and renew. We should know his teaching and follow his example in order to live a life of blessings to others. Then we won’t be throwing out the baby in the manger, in the adjacent pulpits, or in our own congregations. We are all babies until we come to full maturity. I don’t know anyone who has become mature, only those who boast of their own knowledge or superiority, which in itself is immature. And if we are casting aspersions and not walking in love, we are not following Jesus’ example and throwing out him and his reason for coming to earth.

Jesus said to him, “You are already clean. You’ve been washed completely and you just need your feet to be cleansed—but that can’t be said of all of you.” For Jesus knew which one was about to betray him, and that’s why he told them that not all of them were clean. After washing their feet, he put his robe on and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I just did?” Jesus said. “You’ve called me your teacher and lord, and you’re right, for that’s who I am. So if I’m your teacher and lord and have just washed your dirty feet, then you should follow the example that I’ve set for you and wash one another’s dirty feet. Now do for each other what I have just done for you. I speak to you timeless truth: a servant is not superior to his master, and an apostle is never greater than the one who sent him. So now put into practice what I have done for you, and you will experience a life of happiness enriched with untold blessings!”

John 13:10-14,16-17
Posted by: Kimberly | Wed Feb 26, 2020

It’s a Small World

Over the Christmas holiday, we visited my daughter and her family 1,100 miles away in Texas. While we were there, we attended church with them. During the praise and worship service, their praise team sang a song titled, “Here Comes Heaven,” which spoke of Jesus, being heaven, coming to earth. There are times the message in a song or the Holy Spirit will trigger a response in me that brings me to tears and this is one instance that it happened. It isn’t often, but the words are what hit me between the eyes, because I see the church as a whole not getting this message. As many churchgoers, or followers of Christ “wait” for heaven or look for an escape out of this world, we are missing the great gift God bestowed on us… Jesus and Heaven on Earth. Let’s look at the words to that song: 

 

Children, weep no more
Hope is on the horizon
Weary world behold
Your promised Messiah
Angels, let your song begin
Here comes Heaven
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Here comes Heaven
Sinner, wait no more
Love has broken the silence
Come let us adore
The Savior is with us
Angels, let your song begin
Here comes Heaven
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Here comes Heaven
Here comes Heaven
Now, behold His glory
Glory in the highest
All the earth rejoice for Christ is born
Now, behold His glory
Glory in the highest
All the earth rejoice for Christ is born
Over all who mourn
Breaks the dawn of salvation
Darkness reigns no more
For Jesus is greater
He is greater
Angels, let your song begin
Here comes heaven
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Here comes heaven
Angels, let your song begin
Here comes Heaven
All creation worship Him
Here comes Heaven
Here comes Heaven
Elevation Worship
When the song was over, I wanted so desperately to get up and exhort that congregation to really listen to the words of the song, to stop crying about the troubles of this world, which are only fleeting and to realize that Heaven dwells among us, that God sent Heaven to earth. He sent His Savior to us to redeem us. We are heaven on earth, if we trust in Jesus, because God inhabits his people. Jesus told us in the book of John that we would do greater things, meaning we would reach more people, but many look at that and expect to outdo God. Let me tell you, we will never outdo God, but we have the ability to reach more with our technology today and the advances we have made in communication. We can advance the Kingdom of God to more people more quickly than they could in Jesus time. As I thought on these things, and the millions hurting needlessly, I turned to my daughter, with tears streaming down my face and asked her the name of the song, but she didn’t know, which is unusual for her. After the service, I cornered one of the worship team members and complimented them on their praise portion of the service and asked him about the song. He said it comes from a church in North Carolina, called ‘Elevation.’ My husband and I looked at each other and smiled, we are from North Carolina and know this church about an hour and a half away. We told this young man why we were grinning. What a small world, but isn’t that what God wants? To take our vast world and bring it into ONE. To take a song and unify us, to bring Heaven to Earth so that we aren’t waiting for it? To bring us into Unity. To give us all that we could ask or hope. No, children of God, don’t wait for that pie in the sky, sometime, somewhere, somehow… Know and Believe that heaven is on earth and he dwells among his people! Give praise to God for he sent Heaven to earth and he Never took it away. Heaven still lives in us if we grasp the Truth. Jesus is that Truth.
Follow these scriptures for more on Heaven: Matthew 3:16-17, John 1:49-51, John 6:32-33, Ephesians 2:6-7, 19-22

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