Tag Archives: Life

Living Dead or Born Again

Life can leave us feeling dead.  Have you ever felt that way, breathing and exchanging air but starved for life, longing for change but powerless to make changes, longing for a heaven on earth, the kingdom of God in the here and now? Or do you believe  you are living, oblivious to the fact you are really dead?  It might be better for you to be one of those who feel dead and are seeking life!

In the third chapter of the Gospel of John,  we watch and hear Jesus tell the Pharisee Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” Nicodemus is puzzled and wonders, how can this be?  Jesus tells Nicodemus that flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit.  He tells him that no one has ever gone into heaven except for the Son of Man who came from heaven.  He tells him that the Son of Man must be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

The apostle John tells us that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.

The apostle Paul proclaims that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  He describes mankind as dead in their sins.  Indeed, the living are the living dead until they believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was lifted up and crucified on a cross to pay the penalty for their sin. Then they are born of God, born of His  Spirit – given His life, an eternal, abundant life that begins in the here and now.

The good news is that you don’t have to be living dead.  You can be born again to everlasting life.  Will you believe in the One who was lifted up and died for you?

 

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A Soft Heart

 

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“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.”  Psalm 95:8-9

“Today”  – today is the only day that matters.  Decisions TODAY are eternal.  “If you hear” – do I hear – am I listening to the voice of God?   “Do not harden your heart”- is my heart hardened?  How do I harden my heart?  Meribah means quarreling.  Massah means testing.   Does repeated quarreling with God, rather than agreeing and obeying make my heart hard?  Does trying His patience again and again render me more and more stubborn, insensible and dead to the stimulation of His Spirt?

Are we the walking dead?  While God tried reaching us day after day, month after month, year after year, were we self destructing by ignoring Him, arguing with Him, and living life on our own terms.   This is about believers, not agnostics or atheists.   The verses in Psalm 95 are addressed to the people of God.   We may wonder why we feel lifeless, without joy or peace or passion, when indeed we have sown death in our own hearts.

Yet, today is today, and we may push the code blue button, crying out for resuscitation.   Our Father will come and thump our hearts to life again.  Our Savior, His Son, will breathe His breath of life into our lungs again.   Today is today, and we can choose to listen to the voice of God – to repent of demanding our own way  – to decide to live life by His Kingdom principles and ways – to walk humbly with our God.

Oh, Mighty Father, give me power, as Guardian of my own heart, to choose to listen to you today – power to keep my heart soft and healthy.  Lord, I want a soft heart; the kind of heart that makes You smile.

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Wellspring of Life

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In the first chapter of First Timothy, Paul exhorts his spiritual son to fight the good fight by following instructions.  What is the good fight?  How often do we fight needless, unworthy battles?   Good soldiers follow the commander’s orders.  Our Commander Jesus Christ tells us what battles to fight and how to fight them, if we make the study of scripture a lifelong passion, listening to His instructions each day.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) The New American Standard Bible translates the same verse as: ” Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the streams of life.”

In this context, I think guard means to supervise entries and exits – to prevent all enemies from entry and to cast out all that will poison the living water within. This responsibility requires a warrior’s strength and courage. It is a wise person’s top priority. It demands absolute concentration and vigilance.   This battle for one’s heart is a matter of life and death.

Paul tells me in Ephesians 4: 31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”  Colossians 3:8 tells me I must rid myself of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.  It is not, that I am immune to these emotions and thoughts, but it is up to me to establish a zero tolerance policy and as guard of my own heart, fighting the good fight, to cast them away.

As guard of the integrity of my own heart, I  need to fling the door wide open to welcome that which my Lord tells me to embrace:  love, kindness, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.

I am not much of a warrior, but praise God, He promises me His power and reminds weak and whimpy me that I am indeed an overcomer.

Lord God, this day empower me to fight the good fight and guard my own heart as top priority.

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