Posted by: Kimberly | Wed Nov 21, 2018

The Spirit of Christmas

What is being in the Christmas Spirit? Is it being geared up to shop or decorate? Is it having an attitude of cheerfulness and wonder? Is it being merry and festive? While the attitude is nice, those things are sometimes just put on by people because they feel that it is expected of them to be cheerful during “the season.” The decorating and the shopping are the ‘fluff’ of the season. But what is the true spirit of Christmas? The word Christmas literally means the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. So if we are celebrating his birth, then why? Who is Jesus to us and what impact has he had on our lives? 

Unto you

For me, Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas, but it shouldn’t only be an annual celebration, it should be an ongoing year round jubilee. Without Jesus, we wouldn’t have eternal life or life more abundantly.  Jesus IS Life and Love. He came to produce life, and extinguish death. He died on the cross so that we (everyone) has a chance to have Eternal Life! And we do this simply by asking him to be our Savior and committing our lives to follow him. Jesus Lived and Loved as he walked on this earth and he is Living through us today, if we have accepted him. That alone should give us cause to celebrate! Anyone who has accepted Jesus as their Savior, carries the Spirit of the Living God within them. We are carrying Christmas, we are carrying the season wherever we go. But how many of us act like it? 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

The True Spirit of Christmas has nothing to do with the peripheral things of shopping, decorating, or putting on an attitude. We add those by the traditions of man. The true Spirit of Christmas has everything to do with being in an attitude of loving, giving, showing mercy and grace, and reaching out to others. When we share love to our fellow man, when we carry the example of peace, and bring others to the Kingdom, then we are IN the Spirit of Christmas Every day of Our Lives. You can carry it and so can I. We should go out and greet others in that peace and love each day and then we are IN the Spirit of Christmas all year long, living the life more abundantly. 

Posted by: Kimberly | Sat Sep 1, 2018

Hearing from God

I may get people riled up, but I hope it’s with enthusiasm for the things of God and not annoyed at what I say. Have you ever heard someone say that God doesn’t speak to man? Which one of us is interpreting the scriptures incorrectly? Because, In my view God speaks to me every time I listen.

When man was hiding in the Garden, didn’t God call out to Adam & Eve? God talked to man then and he does now. Didn’t God talk to Noah about the ark and to Moses about the law? Didn’t he give Solomon wisdom and give David songs and psalms? Didn’t God speak to Esther about her people through Mordecai? And didn’t he speak to Elisha & Elijah? What about the virgins with oil? Or weren’t the writers of the Bible divinely inspired? What about the disciples? (They had Jesus Christ!) There are countless people and ways in the Bible that God speaks, why would he stop speaking and become silent? Why would a God who created man for fellowship quit communicating with us?! In 1 Corinthians 2 doesn’t it say the Holy Spirit will give understanding and all spiritual revelation to us as we study the word? If that isn’t God speaking to me, then I don’t understand my native language. I don’t need a priest or minister to interpret the Bible for me either, because I’ve been given a divine interpreter to translate parables and the truths of God. It’s the Holy Spirit – or God himself.

And if you’re incensed by my last statement. I’m only a part of a body, just as anyone else who believes in the redemptive power of the blood. We are joint heirs with Jesus. To carry that thought further, we need each other. We are joint heirs of a body of believers who each have a purpose in life. We each have certain strengths, unique to each individual, but it takes many members to make a whole and get the job done. We shouldn’t be focused on what others are doing or if their position in life or ministry is better, but whether we are doing what we do best and doing it well. There should never be any jealousy in the body!

Can you imagine how your own physical body would work if one day your eyes were mad at your ears for hearing and they quit focusing? How would you see? Or what if you feet decided your hands had it better and they decided not to move? How would you walk? When our body functions properly and healthy, we can see and hear correctly, we walk upright and with dignity, a spectacle of beauty. Just think of those who overcome insurmountable handicaps physically, they find ways to make things work, which is beautiful also, but they’d love for their whole body just to cooperate the way it should! God designed the church body to fit together like a healthy physical body. When we work in unison and allow each to do their part, we are a great team, a fully functional family. We are not a dysfunctional one, like so many have grown up in, but the perfect family God intended. When we recognize our position and the strength of others, it is then we are hearing from God, we are plugged into his will, we are the Ruth’s of today. Ruth was the one who heard from God, his companion and friend, and she was beautiful to look upon. When we function as a body, each doing our part, we are companions to God, fully serving him, hearing from him, and we are beautiful to look at in the eyes of God and others who believe.

Posted by: Kimberly | Mon Jul 23, 2018

Enveloped by Grace or Bound by Law

I would much rather be enveloped by grace than be bound by the law. I was thinking about culpability and people who intentionally or unintentionally inflict harm or commit a crime. In the law of man, there’s a term called ‘mens rhea’ which means, in a simplified version, a person with a guilty mind. A person with a guilty mind is one who intentionally commits a crime. They may even plot with friends or family how to carry them out. They are most certainly bound by the law.

Then there are those who do things unintentionally. They are the ones who are enveloped by grace. For example: Let’s look at two driving accidents: Driver One is driving when a pedestrian steps out in front of their car, but they don’t see them until it’s too late to stop. No matter how hard they push their brakes, it is impossible to stop the car and the pedestrian is killed. Driver One would be liable, but most likely only have to pay monetary damages.

Driver Two goes out looking for a certain pedestrian and when they see them; aim their car at them and they kill the pedestrian with malice. They hit their gas pedal instead of their brakes when they see them and then say it was tough luck the pedestrian was on the same road. Driver Two is bound by the law; criminally liable, and will most likely have to pay damages and do jail time. Their offense was premeditated and they had a guilty mind. This is ‘mens rhea.’

Now let’s look at grace. Grace says if you confess your sins to God, you can be cleansed and healed. God’s grace takes care of the unintentional and the intentional! You will still face the consequences of man’s law, but you can get rid of your guilty mind and turn from your harmful intentions. Jesus told the guilty person on the cross next to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” This man showed remorse at the last moment of his life and Jesus showed mercy and gave him grace.

1 John 1:8-10 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Ask yourself, ‘What sins are in my life that I need to have forgiven? Do I need to ask Jesus to come into my life and give him control, so grace can take over? Am I driving over other people’s rights? Do I feel no remorse in my actions? Maybe there are sins you are unaware of and need to ask God to make you aware. He will bring them to you and make them apparent so that you can deal with them. The Holy Spirit helps us in whatever we need to confess. Grace is freely given, but it cannot be taken if we aren’t willing to let go of our sins.

1 John 3:4-6 Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

Once we have renewed our hearts and minds, he is there for us and we are forgiven. Our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west! Note that it says if we continue to live in sin, we don’t know or understand who Jesus Christ is. Jesus knew no sin and if we use him as a pattern for our lives, we have no desire to live in sin or sin against others. We seek to have peace with everyone.

Romans 8:1-2 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

We are free from sin’s hold on us when we totally turn our life over to God and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. Some may need a ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion like Saul did. It took Paul, who was once known as Saul, to be shown the light and then be struck blind for three days before he saw the error of his ways. He thought he was living for God, when he was persecuting him and his devout followers. What drastic measures it took to give him a wake up call, but look what a minister Paul became! Ultimately, in the law our errors are held against us, yet in Grace our mistakes are forgiven and not remembered. God doesn’t bring up past offenses or hurts, those have all been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. This is the same mercy we must extend to others. We must forgive them their sins if they have asked for forgiveness and many times even when they haven’t. The difficulty is when they keep committing the same offense, that is when we must give them over to God to handle, because nothing we say will change their habits. God will choose how to show them the error of their ways, we are powerless. This is when our grace is extended in prayer.

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