john 15:9-7

I have loved you even as the father has loved me.

remain in my love.

when you obey my commandments you remain in my love just as I obey my father’s commandments and remain in His love.

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.

yes your joy will overflow!

this is my commandment love each other in the same way I have loved you.

there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

you are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you slaves because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.

now you are my friends since I have told you everything the father told me.

you didn’t choose me.

I chose you.

I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit so that the father will give you whatever you ask for using My name.

this is my command : love each other !

😉

although we are almost continually saying thinking and doing things which by all rights should put us out of a relationship with God He continually lavishes His love upon us.

we must not falsely perceive His love for us to be a license to sin .

His love is not a starting gun to immediately begin ignoring the dictates of our conscience.

rather it is a blessed assurance and a continual reminder that we are never so far gone that He can’t redeem us from hell until we exhale our last breath.

the provisio for remaining in His love is walking in obedience towards HIm.

when we sin we are in effect saying we don’t respect HIm and we hate HIm.

if we are in relationship with Him we will automatically want to do the things that please HIm.

His spirit only abides within those who walk in His will who love what He loves and hate what He hates.

note God never hates people just the horrible state or situation they put themselves in when they reject HIs authority and ignore His warnings.

He wants us to come and be with HIm and dwell in His house forever.

obedience is inseparable from joy.

any happiness we experience outside of pleasing God is not a happiness that lasts.

in the end it inevitably results in sadness sprung from guilt or the destruction of ourselves we set in motion through our contemptuous attitudes which set us up for a let down for their only conclusion can be torture in a lake of fire never enduring euphoria.

Jesus loved everyone unconditionally.

He did not get His disciples to take a course instructing them in the ways of the master rather He led by example of His servant hearted leadership in HIs daily life.

if we impose conditions and terms, if we attach strings to our love saying it is dependent upon other peoples behaviour or what they can do for us then we do not truly love them and we don’t know how to love.

perhaps we have never been shown an example of true and purest love.

look no further for your guidance than the words leaping off the pages of your bible.

if we love like Jesus we do not hold others sins against them or use them as an excuse not to display HIs love towards them.

conversely it is unloving to withhold the truth from someone when you know it can set them free.

I love my friends and although there is one woman in the world I would take a bullet for my death wouldn’t be enough to forgive her of her sins just as her death wouldn’t qualify her as a suitable candidate to forgive mine.

only the blood of Jesus is a worthy sacrifice that cancels all the debts the enemy had hanging over us before we decided to follow Jesus with 100 % of our hearts.

if obedience makes us God’s friends what does disobedience make us?

yet He still loves us.

but in loving us He cannot permit us to enter paradise if we have not surrendered our hearts and submitted control of our destiny to HIm.

He never sends us to heaven or hell we choose that future for ourselves by the decisions we make here on earth.

it’s wonderful to think that God whispers His secrets to us 🙂

in a way we are slaves to righteousness but that is more like a bondservant or someone who has willingly put themselves in someone elses service rather than anything that’s been forced upon us.

the devil can never get us to follow him by revealing the consequences of putting our lives in bondage to him so he uses deceit and trickery instead.

it is amazing to think of the level of trust Jesus had in His disciples to reveal all of His truth and as much of the mysteries of God as their finite minds were able to grasp.

although we are making a conscious selection when we pick Jesus to be Lord and master of our hearts we are also influenced by His guidance of our decision making.

the key to miraculous provision in our lives is allowing God to use us so we can be fruitful in harvesting a plentiful multitude of souls for His kingdom.

in this time when we hear of terrorist attacks senseless hate crimes seemingly endless violence international liberation of possessions , disgraceful treatment of women and children exploited for sexual activity, government and law enforcement corruption and such like the words of Jesus to love one another have never been more poignant or relevant.

like Rodney king said during the famous l.a riots- why can’t we all just get along?

why indeed?

loving Jesus is the key ❤

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philippians 3:12-14

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ once possessed me.

no my dear brothers and sisters I have not achieved it but I focus on this one thing : forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us

🙂

when paul refers to these things he is definitely talking about having a resurrected body and most probably could be referring to the state of perfection obtainable upon entering heaven or achievable when Jesus creates a brand new heaven and earth.

earlier in the chapter we see paul discussing discarding everything for the sake of Christ so He could gain Him and become one with HIm.

my heart longs  for this deep intimacy with my creator yet I live with the tension of finding within myself a strong unwillingness to sacrifice my life.

yet if I truly love Christ I must love HIm more than my own life and be willing to lay it down so that truth might be propagated from this human vessel.

 

paul admits he still makes mistakes.

we know he was known to have a fiery temper and was famous for insulting people whether deservedly or otherwise but the important thing to focus on was what he gave up and his life of passion for and subsequent devotion to Christ following His entry into his heart.

when we accept Jesus we must allow HIm to completely control our mind will and emotions and permit HIm to console us when others refuse to roll with our way of thinking actively opposing it or choosing to remain in a state of blissful agony even as each passing day brings them to an uncertain future outside the comfort of owning a guaranteed inheritance in His kingdom.

we must daily teach ourselves to be amnesiacs about all the rotten deeds and thoughts that exist in our pasts and focus on our glorious future in Christ’s home whose walls are covered in jewels and whose twelve gates are encrusted with pearls.

God doesn’t want us to stay bogged down in the guilt of the past continually reminding ourselves of what we did wrong.

He only wants us to ever look backwards for the purpose of making things right with HIm once we have done that He has thrown all memory of it in His deep forgetful sea where theres a great big sign that says no fishing .

if God chooses not to remember our sin we shouldn’t choose to keep rehashing it either.

in our eagerness to cross the finish line we must make our best effort to bring as many people as possible into the land of hope and glory where there is no more pain and sickness no wars or famines or greediness where theres always plenty for everyone so theres no need for anyone to fight, where there is no light or electricity save that supernaturally generated by the power of God’s son.

I can’t wait to see you all up there. ❤

keep your eyes on HIm and the things on earth will grow strangely dim in the brightness of HIs grace and soul transforming face :)><>

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2 timothy 1:5-7

DBcBheYWsAAgnHNI remember your genuine faith for you share the faith that once filled your grandmother lois and your mother Eunice.

and I know that same faith continues strong in you.

this is why  I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.

for God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power love and self discipline.

🙂

it is a wonderful thing to think that timothy is a first generation Christian for God doesn’t have grandchildren only sons and daughters but it is amazing to think how the faith of his grandma was passed down to his mother and then to him.

we can only assume this faith continued for many generations afterwards.

we must pass on our faith to our children and the young people God has placed in our lives both by the words of our mouth and the example of our Christian living.

we must like david make sure the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts are acceptable in Gods sight.

He delights in and inhabits the praises of His people.

the more we praise Him the less we will become bogged down by our circumstances.

in His presence is fullness of joy.

let us display it exceedingly and abundantly in the way we treat one another.

in Him we are all family and one.

in Him we live and move and have our being.

we must be active in expressing our faith and not allow the flame of enthusiasm for the things of God to die out within us.

this is cultivated by surrounding ourselves with other like minded Christians who nurture the growth of the seeds of faith Jesus has planted within our hearts on the day we decided to repent and believe.

it is not enough just to believe that Jesus is God even the demons do that though they don’t call Him Lord or master cos they have surrendered their souls to satans kingdom.

it is too late for them but its never too late for us until our last breath to live our lives on fire for Jesus 100%, to be fully devoted to Him in every waking moment.

the fear mentioned in this passage is unholy fear not the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom and essentially means respect honour or reverence.

we need not be intimidated by the works and plans of the enemy for Jesus has more angels on His team and our souls are safeguarded in the hands of the maker of heaven and earth.

it is a constant challenge to actualize the power God has placed within the minds of all who are reborn from the inside out and transformed into an external reflection of His image.

we love like Christ loves when we love with no strings attached without imposing terms and conditions on whether we will love and accept people saying we will love you if you do this for us but otherwise forget about it jill or joe or mbali go hit the road jack and pack your bag- that is not the attitude we should adopt but one that embraces all cultures with open arms one that sees the expression of Christ in every living being who has that same sacrificial attitude being willing to lay down our lives for the sake of the love of Christ which compels us to love humanity in reaction of gratitude to His desire to value our salvation more than His own precious soul redeeming blood pumping through His veins.

another translation swaps self discipline for sound mind.

the way our mind remains pure and blameless as well as our heart is achieved by a combination of Christ working in us to renew us on a daily basis and crucify our selfish desires morphing them into selfless ones and our willingness to cooperate with HIs world altering spirit.

keep walking in love even if it doesn’t get shown to you.

keep finding His joy even when everything seems to be falling apart around you.

sometimes its a struggle I know cos people get sick and some of us are broke as a joke or we have people yelling in our faces all the time but remember that Christ died for you to give you a hope beyond the grave.

in clinging to this hope you can take your eyes off your surroundings and focus them on Him.

that is why you are able to smile in the middle of the storms of life cos this life this mortal coil this physical realm is not all there is.

it is but a drop in the ocean of eternity, a small fraction of the whole totality of our existence.

remember God is with you so you don’t have to walk the road of life alone 😉

we were made to worship Him in spirit and truth.

be a cup of kindness today that is poured out by the hands of God on all around you ❤

james 4:7-10

DBctDoJUwAA1g5Wso humble yourselves before God resist the devil and he will flee from you.

come close to God and God will come close to you.

wash your hands you sinners purify your hearts for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

let there be tears for what you have done.

let there be sorrow and deep grief.

let there be sadness instead of laughter and gloom instead of joy.

humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up in honour.

🙂

we used to sing the first verse in this passage when we used to listen on the regular to cassette tapes featuring jenny flack.

it was followed by the line Gods power is ours if we obey in His name we take the devil away then stomping boots with the warcry left left left right left 🙂

the songs translation said submit not humble but it means the same thing.

we bring ourselves lower so God can lift us higher.

pride often prevents us from seeing the foolishness of the ways in which we are behaving.

some of us gain wisdom in hindsight.

far better that we should walk in humility before we make a mistake than afterwards when we are forced to live in regret.

this is not the end of the story however cos our past doesn’t have to cast an ugly shadow over our present or affect our future inheritance with Christ if we walk in a state of purity .

we must take God’s feelings into consideration before every decision we make.

we come close to God by reading His word spending time with those who love Him and doing what the bible says by praying for people and being bold advocates for His truth.

when james advocates that sinners wash their hands he is speaking metaphorically of our need to be cleaned by the blood of Jesus from the inside out.

although I’m sure james cared about personal hygiene it would have been of far less importance to him than making sure that peoples lives were right in the sight of God.

we should not have divided hearts.

a double minded man or lady is unstable in all of their ways.

as Jesus said a man cannot serve two masters he will love one and despise the other.

when Jesus spoke of not serving both God and mammon He means that we should not become enslaved with material possessions or so obsessed with accumulating more stuff that we will compromise our beliefs to be the girl or boy with the most toys yet we won’t truly ever win the game of life unless we finish the race with Jesus in our hearts.

without Him all is empty and meaningless and grasping for the wind as Solomon once noted.

God told us to be in the world not of the world.

we must walk in morally upright ways everywhere we go.

we cannot allow ourselves to fall into temptation or be imitators of the enemy but we must always be following in the footsteps of Christ our guiding light and saviour of our souls.

we don’t have to cut ourselves off from everyone living in the world but we do have to sever all connections with those habits and( when God dictates) people that drag us down to hell.

like He says bad company corrupts good morals.

we must  be peculiar people distinctive in our love for Jesus.

we can display this as much by what we do as by what we don’t do.

for example we don’t laugh at dirty jokes or use our mouths to put people down but rather we use them to encourage and point out the godliness in others as well as by pointing out when they are walking in error while making sure we speak the truth in love and sandwich our statements both with compliments and equalizing language of how we as humans are all engaged in the same struggle but with Christ in our lives we have more than a lucky shot at success- its not a gamble but an absolute certainty!

unless we recognize our need for repentance God is unable to bring us to a place of freedom.

this is called godly sorrow.

ungodly sorrow just leads to depression and the illusion there is no hope.

when we turn our eyes to Christ we will always find a reason for living in every season of our souls.

there are times when we need to laugh and others when we need to cry.

this passage is not saying laughter is a bad thing but rather that we must take seriously our need to give our hearts to Jesus before its too late.

He turns our mourning into dancing and our sorrow into joy.

He gives us garments of praise for our spirits of heaviness.

He replaces ashes with beauty and mourning with the oil of joy.

we cannot expect God to exalt us and lift us up to a position of favour and prosperity unless we walk in a spirit of humility and trust His judgement above our own.

we should never be so foolish as to delude ourselves that we do not require His discipline.

remember how the prodigal son was rewarded with a fattened calf when he recognized how he had caused embarrassment to the name of his father.

when Jesus lives in our hearts that means we are ambassadors and representatives of Christ.

we overcome the world by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

let it always be said that your life was a bold witness for the spiritual and physical fitness that only God can provide when we trust in His word to deliver us from evil and redeem us from the grave .

though we may dabble in darkness we are never completely beyond His reach and He is always able to return us back into His loving hands if we desire for Him to reignite the fire of HIs Holy Spirit in us and daily crucify our flesh choosing to do what makes us happy because the cravings of our transformed mind reflect His own .

1 thessalonians 1:2-7

20229564_10154881215866295_3827238113704406625_owe always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.

as we pray to our God and father about you we think about your faithful work your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

we know dear brothers and sisters that God loves you and has chosen you to be His own people.

for when we brought you the good news it was not only with words but also with power for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.

and you know our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.

so you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you.

in this way you imitated both us and the Lord.

as a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.

🙂

although paul addresses this letter to the believers in Thessaloniki which is in the greek owned part of Macedonia it is relevant to all those who believe in Jesus and even those seeking a higher dimension of truth than that which is obtainable within their own selves.

I am challenged by paul and his companions to pray with greater effort for my friends and family.

often I have found the best way to pray is over meals.

even though my food often gets cold as a result I find I have more strength and energy to give meaningful unslurred prayers when I am not drifting off to sleep or trying to shake the fogginess out of my early morning brain.

its clear I have to make time out of my day just for prayer but I am yet to initiate this much helpful thinking and action pattern.

the hope we have in Christ should be the ultimate motivation for our persistence in living out our faith and deeds of love.

when we do kind things for others we are doing them for Jesus.

we may find ourselves inadvertently assisting angels in disguise.

it is amazing to think that God calls us family and loves us despite the fact our souls look like mucky puppies more often than not and regardless of the truth that we are fighting a continual battle to keep our heads about water and maintain our status as His sons and daughters which is revokable based upon whether we choose to accept His forgiveness admit our weakness and rely completely on His strength to lengthen our days and bring us into His glorious celestial inheritance.

the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is confirmation of the truth of Gods existence and the certainty that we have the possibility of redemption through the blood of His precious son.

our care for others is proved in the way we live out our lives.

as james says if we declare I love you brother or sister yet don’t show it in our actions then the truth of God is not in us and we are just playing games with God.

it is huge to think that we have the ability to receive the message of Christ with smiles on our faces even if it brings us humiliation degradation and isolation because we know the reward waiting for us is far more incredible than anything our minds can manufacture outside of His creative input.

though paul mentions that the thessalonians imitated him and the Lord I am sure he would much prefer them to be followers of Christ than followers of paul.

we are identified by our love for Jesus.

we must be completely surrendered to Him in our decision making.

we can only be a shining example for the world to follow if we don’t let the pearls of our morality be trampled by peer pressure or permit our witness to be blown by the inconsistency of our actions.

keep pressing into Gods face for guidance.

fight boldly on your knees.

always aim to please your creator in the days of your youth and do not lose your boldness with the increasing of age.

God is with you. so take courage !

colossians 2:11-15

20247563_10155518517956112_1793204103384732649_owhen you came to Christ you were circumcised but not by a physical procedure.

Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature.

for you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.

and with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God who raised Christ from the dead.

you were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature wasn’t yet cut away.

then God made you alive with Christ for He forgave all our sins.

He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

in this way He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities.

He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.

😉

this cutting away of the sinful nature is referred to by paul as a circumcision of the heart which is not the same as a circumcision of the flesh in  the physical sense though in a spiritual sense it is a circumcision of the flesh also because God is  cutting away the fleshly carnal or sinful nature from our lives and reorientating our thinking patterns so we hate what we used to love and love instead what He loves.

this is the result of His transforming of our nature by the power of His blood shed on the cross.

we literally underwent spiritual surgery in our psychic realm operated on by the greatest physician to ever walk amongst the heavens or the earth.

for who could know the cure to every disease be it spiritual or physical other than our creator who is not the author of sickness or confusion but always  the solution to it?

it is funny to think of ourselves as being buried while we are still breathing but the burial this passage speaks of is not a physical one but a spiritual burying of the old man or old lady or the old self our old way of thinking the patterns of behaviour that must necessarily die in order for Christ to reign over and live in us.

you would not want your house to be full of muck if the queen came to visit.

how much more should we prepare our hearts for the arrival of the king of kings for His indwelling presence within us?

trusting in God’s power causes us to be spiritually resurrected just as death for Jesus had no sting for He conquered hell and the grave.

He didn’t need invisible wings to fly all He needed was His all sufficient self El Shaddai.

it is in our daily decisions we undergo the continual process of cutting away or shutting off the influence of the enemy.

we must be vigilant and continually prepared for warfare.

we do not have to be scared of our nemesis but we must recognise the battle is real and it belongs to the Lord.

no weapon fashioned against us shall stand in conquering might over the glory of His presence.

our sins are forgiven past present and future.

we do not grasp how incredible this is until we recognize all the evil that Christ has saved and is continually saving us from by the simple act of planting our trust in the nurturing field of His heart where we grow more intimate and more imitative of Him.

on youth with a mission we did an activity where we nailed the sins that had a hold over our lives to the cross in the hope that we would not continue to repeat those patterns of behaviour, that we would not be locked in those evil lifestyles for all eternity, that we might be redeemed from righteousness and walk no longer in wickedness which only leads to a guilty conscience and eternal misery torture and separation from God.

the devil cant remind us of our sins anymore cos God has destroyed their power over us by breaking their contractual obligation that we should reap what we sow for He has paid the price for us becoming the sacrifice that we need in order to be clean and have our debt wiped clear.

if Jesus has nailed our sins to the cross we shouldn’t be foolish and keep on taking them back again.

we should let Him deal with them and go and sin no more.

He gives us the ability to walk free from habits and lifestyles that enslave us and drag us down to the snakepit.

the devil has been made publicly embarrassed by Christ’s victory gained over him in His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave.

let us remain resurrected in our spirits and not return to our dead stinky wrecked selves which existed before we knew Him as saviour Lord greatest lover and friend all rolled into one amazing phenomenal mind blowing package !

<3:)

live long and prosper staying centred in His will

Isaiah 53:4-6

yet it was our weaknesses He carried, it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.

and we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!

but He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.

He was beaten so we could be whole.

He was whipped so we could be healed.

all of us like sheep have strayed away.

we have left God’s path to follow our own.

yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.

🙂

one version which I like better which adds a different perhaps deeper meaning says He carried our sicknesses and our disease weighed Him down.

it is also helpful to remember in those times when we are grieving and we have healthy bodies that Jesus took our pain and mournful attitude on the cross.

He endured an agony worse than any we could ever possibly imagine for the sake of claiming our hearts for His keeping.

we know that we are not perfect .

He told us be you perfect  as I am perfect.

He would not have told us to do it if it were not possible.

He is constantly in the process of working out that state of perfection in us.

He knows we are weak flawed vessels but in our flawed state He is still able to use us if we are willing to submit our lives to Him .

we must submerge our disobedient desires and choose instead to do what pleases Him until the experience becomes pleasurable and habitual .

in recognition of His undeserved sacrifice His free gift of eternal life for us we should respond in  gratitude by aiming continually to do what brings Him joy.

just like they looked upon Jesus and called Him sinner or demon possessed cos He was working miracles on the Sabbath and eating with prostitutes and tax collectors and not turning away little children women or romans from embracing His message they will look upon us and think that we are incorrigible that we must have done something sinful with our lives in order for us to experience suffering but like they say in porgy and bess it aint necessarily so joe 🙂

in fact it definitely isn’t cos we are the ones who were born into  rebelliousness and sin thanks to the traps that adam and eve sprung  for themselves by giving into temptation.

there but  for the grace of God go we- William Bradford- uk martyr

we do not always feel wholeness but if we focus our energy and attention on Jesus He will bring us  to a place of peace , satisfaction and fullness like we have never known before.

it is hard to wrap our heads around the torture He endured or the gravity of His sacrifice cos we can never possibly experience it for ourselves.

we could never be perfect enough to die for the sins of the whole world and we would never be able to release the captives or those who were waiting around in Abrahams bosom for their time to be transported to paradise.

Abrahams bosom is the good place now empty in hell reserved for those who were pure of heart and believers in God who died before Jesus’ death on the cross.

every strip of flesh that was ripped from His bloodied back brought us closer to our cleansing so we can stand blameless in His sight thanks to His redeeming act of greatest love and grace.

you know how stubborn sheep are.

they are prone to fall over and injure themselves and when they drop on their side they can’t get up on their own.

that’s just like us – we have no ability to overcome the obstacles and mountains in our lives without the assistance of Jesus.

we stupidly think if we follow our own path apart from the track laid out for us by the blood of Jesus (which is the only key to redemption) that it will lead to a better brighter future but in fact it only yields us death and destruction.

yet in Him we were able to receive abundant life and joy in fullest measure.

our cup of selfless happiness is filled up to overflowing because of His living sacrifice.

imagine every mistake you have ever made in your life even the things you thought you had gotten away with no one noticing cos no human eyes saw being covered and paid for by His blood.

we are forever indebted (whether or not we acknowledge it) to Jehovah Jireh the Lord our provider for laying down His life for us.

let us daily crucify our selfish desires and choose to walk holy and blameless in His sight and choose to honour God and others in our actions.

may God have mercy on our souls ❤

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