Stirred not Shaken

September 29, 2009

Galatians 5- Blogged Bible Study Faith, Faith and more Faith

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:50 am

Galatians 5:5 “But if we have faith, this is what we wait and hope for: it is the power of God’s Spirit working through our faith that will put us right with God.”

I got stuck on this verse.  We have already seen that salvation comes through faith, alone, not the law.  Paul is adamant that salvation comes through faith alone apart from the law.  If this is true, why do so many teach that salvation comes through faith alone, IF you follow the rules???  I think it is because Christ Followers fail when it comes to fully  understand the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives.

Along with God’s gifts of life and salvation, the greatest gift God has given to us is free will.  But we have to remember it is a double-edged sword.  We can choose a path toward Him, or destruction.  Faith makes all the difference in the world when it comes to choosing.  We can’t know what we need to do with our lives to achieve our spiritual goals, but the Holy Spirit does.  When we choose faith, we not only receive the forgiveness and justification that comes with salvation, but the Holy Spirit who will “guide us into all truth” (John 16:13)

Paul is almost emphatic that you cannot embrace Christ and the Law.  The concept of following the law teaches that we have the power to make ourselves right with God.  The concept of salvation through faith teaches us that only through God’s love, acceptance and grace we become right with Him.  We need to remember as we continue through Galatians, that the concept of righteousness through following laws is saying that by our actions we can put God in our debt.  Think about that.  Righteousness through grace is saying we are forever in His debt.

Galatians 5:4 “Those of you who are trying to justify yourselves by following the law are cutting yourselves off from Christ; you’re separating yourselves from God’s grace.”

*******Add On*******

In light of some good discussion happening here and other locations, I just wanted to share my thoughts on free will….  Apart from Christ, our ‘free will’ is limited by our fallen nature, the only nature we have, and will not choose faith unless and until we are made alive/regenerated by the Holy Spirit. As believers, our ‘choice’ options expand because we then have a new nature that desires to please God. We also have the conflict Paul discussed in Galatians 5 and can choose to walk after the flesh or after the spirit.

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September 27, 2009

Simple Discussion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 6:08 pm

Revelation 3:20 says “20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Right before this scripture was read, the Pastor said, “There is one door that God cannot open – the door of your heart.”

So…. waddya think?  Would this statement be true or false?

September 25, 2009

Huh….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 10:36 am

Two Judgements

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 7:48 am

My buddy Ed challenges me and I love it.   Recently in a post we were talking about the two forms of judgement… for the believer and for the non-believer.  Ed asked this question after I replied that as a believer we will give account for our lives, but it does not determine salvation.

Ed asks: “If it doesn’t determine salvation then what effect does this accounting have for the CF if at the time of their death they had faith in God?”  I’m gonna open it up for thoughts today, then write my understanding this evening or tomorrow… I didn’t forget ya my friend.  🙂

September 24, 2009

They’re people too….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 7:48 am

Something has just been irking me for some time now, so i decided to write about it.  In a previous blog and discussion, a friend (a non-believer), said:

“For the first time in our history a US President acknowledged that there are those in the citizenry that do not subscribe to belief in the super-natural and that we are productive and moral members of society. For that recognition i am eternally grateful……”

This made me think when I read it, and still rings true today.  I don’t want to be the person who would cause another to feel this way.  I could pretty much end this post there, but I won’t.  I love people.  I don’t care what the background, what the circumstance, I love people.  

But I’ve realized something about myself.  I do well on not judging by appearance, or income, or living circumstance.  But lifestyle (yes I’m speaking gay and lesbian here) and religious preference I do.  I already have it determined in my mind how they are and who they are simply by those two things.  People with lack of religious preference, I do great with.  So this is something I wanted to share that I am working on, and you can pray for me… if you don’t pray, send me some good vibes 😉  I want to be a witness for Christ that can get past the barriers and be the kind of witness for Him that will leave people, regardless, wanting more…. that means I have to rip up my application and resume’ for the position of Holy Spirit…. 🙂

I’ve decided once a week to ask someone to guest post of a different belief system.  It will be posted on Wednesdays, or Thursdays… They can talk about whatever they want… if they have questions for Christians great, if they want to explain their beliefs, wonderful.  What it won’t be is a “ram my beliefs down your throat” session.  People are important and valuable for the simple fact that they are God’s creation.   I want to start living my witness by my actions, and as they say, if necessary, then I’ll use words.

September 22, 2009

The Grace of God – Galatians 4, Blogged Bible Study

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:01 am

Galatians 4:9 “But now that you know God, or better that you are known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and helpless elements?  How can you want to be their slaves?”

God’s grace.  His Word says it is sufficient for me, for us, do we really believe that?   I had a young man ask me the other day, what someone needed to know in order to be saved.  I thought it was an interesting question.  If you are willing to share your testimony with someone, what are you going to tell them?  It really does make the difference whether or not you tell them A) put their trust in Jesus, or B) make every effort to live a good life so that God will accept them.

I think about growing up and how I raised my own kids, and it is ingrained in us that we need to earn things.  If you work, you earn a paycheck, you clean your room an hour of Wii or whatever the case may be.  You do, you receive.  The concept of grace is easy, it’s hard to accept.  It is easy to become convinced that there’s something more that you need to do in order to earn God’s favor.  The problem is, this is a human problem, not God’s.

The Galatians had it big time.  Paul had taught them about God’s grace, how Jesus had come in and invaded the enemy’s kingdom and made them his heirs.  They joyfully received that message and became followers of Christ.  Then in come some other teachers and said there were some things they needed to do.  I am not discounting that there will be things that happen and that are done, the “works” that happen are not to maintain salvation, they are more of God’s grace being poured out on you as his heir.  These teachers in Galatia were speaking of more things to be done to get/stay saved.

I guess what is on my heart today, is that it’s not how much you know, or even who you know.  It’s about the One who knows you, intimately.  While we were sinners, while we did not have a clue who He was, or that we needed Him, Jesus came, lived as one of us, died, was raised and ascended to Heaven.  For you!  For me!  An amazing thing that really is that simple.  When God is drawing us in, drawing us near, yes, we do need to go… but He will and does initiate the relationship, He leads and will complete the process.

So, to answer his question,  all I need to know and to let others know to bring them to Christ, is that there is enough grace.  However much is needed, there is no shortage.  It’s the one thing in this world that seems to good to be true, and really is.

September 21, 2009

Sonshine….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 10:20 am

Having the boys and their wives back together is wonderful…. it’s funny to watch everyone just kind of step aside and move things when the testosterone starts to flow between these two…. they’ve wrestled since they were two and four… I think it will continue until they’re both in wheel chairs one day.  Makes me smile….

IMG_1089Brothers… closer than close.

IMG_1091These boy have been together since 3rd grade……

IMG_1098His welcome home present, his brother helped to pick this out =)

Of all the “roles” I’ve been so far in my life, “Mom” has been the best.

September 20, 2009

Child of God

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 3:14 pm

This is just so much easier to believe…. He’s done the work, this is who we are in Christ, now.   It really is that simple.

September 19, 2009

Fail….Big…Fat….”F”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 8:57 am

My friend Darla wrote a post yesterday, that inspired me to write this one.  She is real, and I try to be real as well…it gave me courage that she “failed” cause I did too…. miserably.  I consider myself one who loves people where they are at, regardless of their belief system, that it’s my job to present truth to the best of my ability, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.  One thing that will completely cause my flesh to override every ounce of Spirit in me is when someone purposefully shreds the Word of God.  My “reflecting and calm” go right out the window and I “react”…. it’s definitely not something I am proud of, but something I am working on and am accountable to a select few for.  Wanna see what my untamed, riled up, flesh looks like? go here.  Not pretty is it?  Catholicism to me is sneaky, misleading and anything but the true church.  It did huge damage to my family, namely my Mom and her siblings, and is the hardest “religion” for me to deal with.  That is in no way an excuse, but it is the main reason why I react so quickly to the false doctrine I feel it portrays.  Mix that with someone who refuses to take a stand for who God really is and what God’s Word really says in exchange for “live and let live” and you have what happened yesterday.

What I need to do is stop Catholic bashing.  It’s what I’ve done up to this point, in my heart anyway, and it needs to stop.  What I can do, with a right heart, is present facts so that when people come here, they can read the difference and then seek God for the rest.  That is what will follow.  The scuff yesterday happened over the Catechism… and tomorrow I will post some facts about it.  Please, if you are struggling with anger or even hatred over a particular religion/group/person…work through it quickly.  The enemy sits back and laughs when there is division, like he did with me yesterday.  I am sorry how I treated those people yesterday, and I will tell them so.  I am not sorry, for taking a stand for what i feel is a misrepresentation of what God intended His church to be.  One more thing.   In one of my former posts, I mentioned that I felt Catholics were exclusive of other believers unless you indeed belong to their Church.  This of course was made into a joke… yet in a recent visit to their new web-site, they now have a block on it that you have to actually register to look at their church and what they are doing.  My first thought?  Why is this not open to everyone?  What are they hiding?… it is not how an all inclusive church behaves, it is how an exclusive church behaves.   Anyway, tomorrow I will post some differences between the Catechism and God’s Word, this was enough for today.

September 18, 2009

God knows it all, why pray???

Filed under: Uncategorized — Debs @ 3:47 pm

For the believer, praying as important as breathing…truly.  For the believer it is alot easier “to do” than “not to do”.  There are many reasons why we pray in spite of God’s omnipresence and omnipotence.  Matthew 6:6 “6But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” and Romans 8:26:26-27 ” 26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

We come to God with our specific requests…and we have these promises that they are prayed in vain even if we do not receive what we have prayed for.  We pray because God commands us to, Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  If Jesus Himself thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should as well.  If He needed to pray to remain in the Father’s will, how much more do we?

Prayer prepares us for major decisions, overcome demonic barriers, gathers workers for the spiritual harvest, gains strength to overcome temptation, and helps us to obtain the means to strengthen others spiritually.  There are times, even when we feel we are praying within His will that He delays or says no according to His wisdom and our benefit.  In situations such as these we are to become diligent and persistent in prayer. (Matthew 7:7 and Luke 18:1-8)  Payer should never be used as our means of getting God to do what we want here on earth, it should be a means of getting God’s will done on earth.  His wisdom far exceeds our own.

When we don’t know His will, or even how to pray, we can use it as a tool to discern for His will.  Lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and trust in God’s Word.  We pray to demonstrate we do have faith in God, the He will do as He has promised in His word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for.  (Ephesians 3:20)  I pray that God will find each of us often before His throne, we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through Hebrews 4:15-16 “15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  We have the promise from Him that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. James 5:16-18 “16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and  he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”

Would love to hear your thoughts on prayer, and what your prayer life looks like :)

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