Only in Christ will we find the divine grace we need to live well, the fully reciprocal relationship that we envision having, and the complete healing for our war wounded souls.
Counterfeit messiahs abound—promising grace, abundance, fulfillment, and healing. It is up to us to sort through all of the junk mail promising false hope and empty pleasures while we look for that one letter—the one that promises true love, unfailing love, everlasting love.
Until we receive that letter, we are destined to search fruitlessly for relief from the pains of living in a fallen creation.
When that letter arrives, we will find all of the provision that we need for this adventure to which we have been called; we will find the one who will fight for us, walk beside us, and live through us, even as we live through him. We will find that we cannot out give him; he simply won’t allow it; for every ounce of willingness that we offer him, he provides a pound of ability and power. For every weakness and sickness that we bring with us, he has the corresponding strength and health to overcome it.
It goes by different names: abundant life, eternal life, and prosperity; but it all spells out that there is life in Christ, and only in Christ.
Forgiveness, strength, love, pleasure, and power follow wherever Christ leads.
Trouble may always be part and parcel of this life, but, in Christ, we are “more than conquerors through him who loves us.” For every death there is a resurrection, for every tear there is a joy that follows, and for every day lived there is an eternal reward. Yes, in Christ there is grace, reciprocity, and healing—everything that we have been living and waiting for!
God still speaks today. He speaks to us in our prayers, in his precepts, and in his promises. E.g., In salvation, you may pray: “Jesus, please come into my heart”, while the Spirit is praying on your behalf: “I give you my life.” In precepts, he is speaking while you ask: “What shall I preach?”, the Spirit answers: “Flee from this world’s system; follow me.” In promises, he is speaking while we plead: “Heal me”; and he answers: “Just obey me, and you will be healed.”
Many wonder, “Does God still speak today?” A much better question is: “Are we still listening today?”
God doesn’t speak just to hear the sound of his voice; he speaks because someone is listening and wants to hear from him. In our connection with heaven, the disconnect is almost always on our end. Does God wait for the right time to speak? Sure he does, just as he is training us to wait before we answer hastily.
Words falling on deaf ears do not profit anyone.
So, if anyone asks you: “Does God still speak today?,” you can answer wholeheartedly, “Most assuredly.” If anyone asks you: “Is anyone still listening today?,” you may sadly reply, “Very few.”
The Apostle John referred to Christ as God’s only son in his Gospel narrative and in his first epistle.
The King James Version and The New American Standard Bible even translate “only son” as “ only begotten son.” This is significant, because God has many adopted children but only one “natural” child. Only Jesus was born holy, righteous, and fully redeemed; the rest of us had to be born again by “the Spirit of Christ.”
To be sure, God love’s all of his children equally, but only Jesus reflects Our Father’s attributes perfectly and naturally. Jesus is fully God; we are not. We are God’s children and “co-heirs with Christ”, but we desperately need Jesus living in and through us if we are going to reflect God’s character to the world. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians, chapter 3, says that “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect or contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” But the writer of Hebrews states that Christ is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
It is a perfect circle: God in Christ, and Christ in us. Christ lives because of the Father, and we live because of Christ. Christ lived in perfect obedience to his Father while on earth, and we can live in perfect obedience to Christ here on earth as long as we forever remember that our right standing with the Father is through our faith in the price of eternal death that Christ paid on the cross to gain for us our eternal life.
Our righteousness will forever be Christ’s righteousness imputed to us as a gift. Christ lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth, and he has gifted to us his perfect standing with the Father. We are now “brothers” with and “co-heirs” with Jesus!
The world demands that God grants them freedom to live with unbridled passion, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Noble passion and enthusiasm are good things, but selfish passion for pleasure, possessions, or prominence usually involves someone else getting hurt.
So, just as we demand freedom from our creator, he requires justice from us. In the Old Testament, if someone was hurt, exact recompense was required of the offender; equity was demanded—“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Mercifully, we are now under a new covenant where forgiveness and mercy can be freely offered and received since Jesus paid the ultimate price for each and every one of our sins. We are still required to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Our God,” but we are now just better equipped and empowered by grace to do justice, to show mercy, and to walk humbly with Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We no longer need a set of laws detailing crimes and the corresponding prescribed punishments; we are bound by the law of love written on our hearts that compels us to go above and beyond the law to assure that we stay rightly related to Our Maker and to our neighbor.
So, our creed and motto now is “unbridled love, not unbridled passion.” Having been forgiven of all of our trespasses and indiscretions, we are now highly motivated to extend this same mercy and kindness to others. We are even able now to “draw near to Our God in full assurance of faith” instead of hiding from him or slavishly trying to win his approval by our good deeds.
Truly, our love has now been “unbridled”; there is no bit in our mouth nor whip in our master’s hand demanding acquiescence; there is just his quiet indwelling Holy Spirit whispering in our ears, “Trust me; listen to me; and do what you see me doing.” The power of love has vanquished all lesser passions and compulsions; we are finally free to live life unfettered from the old nature which was ruled by self preservation and self aggrandizement.
Existential angst is the ever present low grade anxiety that accompanies us just because we are alive; it is a counterpart to our free will. It rarely goes away completely, and is only partially relieved when we become resolute about a particular course of action, for even when our mind is made up, there remains the necessity of following through on our decisions.
Will we have the courage of our convictions to sustain us in the battle? When the battle is over, will we still be standing for God’s truth?
This is where the example of our predecessors is invaluable. Has anyone else taken on this fight? Has anyone else stood the test? For even when the fight is prescribed by the Word of God and has been lived out by Christ himself and countless others, it remains for us to “run our race, fight our fight, and to keep our faith.” And we need the encouragement of our comrades, past and present, to sustain us in our battles. Even Christ needed the encouragement of his friends when he faced his final test. His test came when he was called upon to take upon himself the sin of the whole world. Our test comes when we are called upon to cast off our own sin and to walk uprightly before Our Maker.
The bad news is that the existential angst may never leave us completely while we are living on planet earth. The good news is that we can be secure in the knowledge that “the genuineness of our faith will produce praise and honor and glory when Christ is revealed.”
That’s right: In the middle of our exultation and wonder at the majesty of the glorified Jesus, we ourselves will be praised, honored, and glorified—all for the simple reason that we gave our lives to Jesus and kept faith with him through thick and thin!
As ministers of Christ, we must learn to accept rejection, both verbal and non-verbal. Many times, Christ’s message of repentance and faith falls on deaf ears. We are not to hinge our confidence on the reaction of others to the truth of the Gospel. The scripture declares that the majority of people will always be living for themselves and not for Christ. Only those that have abandoned themselves to the abundant life that Christ offers will be receptive to the whole counsel of God.
The apostle Paul wrote to his co-worker, Timothy, that the purpose of God is that we should be living lives with “love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith.”
This is a high standard; it requires that we die to our own goals and aspirations and invite Christ to live through us. This is a daily discipline and an austere discipline indeed. It mitigates against the all too common tendency to espouse Christ but to live for our ourselves.
So, how do we cope with the silent disapproval of the majority to the hard truths of scripture? Prayerfully and wisely we must love everyone, even those that don’t love us in return. We obey the apostle Paul’s admonition and “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those that call on the Lord from a pure heart.” We enter in and live for Christ ourselves, so that we will have the strength and wisdom to help others as they consider whether to live for Christ themselves.
You don’t understand the evil in people’s hearts but I do. I have experienced it first hand.
I went to the Cross for them too.
Your heart is not in sync with Me when you vent instead of repent.
I am asking My people to burn for Me, and for Righteousness, But I also am asking My people to shift the atmospheres, and to love others as they love themselves, and to shine their Lights into the darkness instead of partnering with it.
Sadly, many are barely smoldering wicks and bruised reeds.
(Thankfully you know I promise not to put out or break those.)
But I am imploring you!
As I instructed Paul to instruct Timothy ….
Stir up the Gifts within you!
Reignite My Fire within you!
I am asking My People to sync up to My Heart, My Will, and My Ways.
Don’t you trust Me?
Don’t you know “I Always Win” in the end? My Victory is your Victory and it is secure.
You overwhelmingly overcome and conquer because of My Great Love.
When you choose to judge someone or something you do not know or understand you are also being judged and condemned.
Will you not trust Me?
Will you repent and seek My face?
I specialize in hardened hearts. Don’t you remember the work I did on yours?
Check your heart moment by moment. Sync it to Me and My Word.
Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric and repulsiveness of other people’s words or actions.
I have never asked you to guard someone else’s heart – only to guard your own.
My ways are higher.
My will is to heal.
My heart is for ALL people.
Love Louder Than The Hate Around You!
You shall be known for Love!
Come out of all agreements with anything less than My Perfect Love.
I work ALL things for good for those who love Me and Love like Me.”— Jesus
— XXOO Michelle Bollom 10.3.20
A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice. — Isaiah 42:3
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. — Romans 8:28
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. — Proverbs 3:5
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. — Proverbs 4:23
He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” — Exodus 15:26
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. — 2 Chronicles 7:14
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” — Mark 12:30-31,33
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. — Matthew 5:16
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.— John 1:5
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 fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:6 -7
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:34-35
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 12:2
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. — Psalm 34:17
Through You we repel our foes; through Your name we trample our enemies.— Psalm 44:5
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.— 1 John 4:4
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. — Luke 10:19
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. — Romans 8:37
Therefore you have no excuse or justification, everyone of you who [hypocritically] judges and condemns others; for in passing judgment on another person, you condemn yourself, because you who judge [from a position of arrogance or self-righteousness] are habitually practicing the very same things [which you denounce]. And we know that the judgment of God falls justly and in accordance with truth on those who practice such things.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.— 1 John 4:8
Christians are not to be milquetoast creatures that submit to wickedness out of a fear of suffering. Rather, we are to be strong in the power of Christ’s might, overcoming all evil with good deeds. We are to stand up to evil, wherever we find it. Our meekness comes into play when we must suffer for standing up humbly for God’s truth; for if we are valiant warriors for Christ, suffering will come with the territory. The strong man is the one who can endure great suffering for love’s sake. Our power is our resolute determination to act in a way that will bring great glory to Our Heavenly Father and great salvation to our fellow man.
Also, we are to be authentic worshippers of The Most High God, not groveling worms that have no experience of pleasing their Heavenly Father. True Worshippers are overcomers who know how to rejoice in every circumstance, bring great glory and pleasure to Almighty God, and love deeply everyone in their world. True Worship of God is a high honor and brings with it great peace and power. Through Spirit and Word inspired worship, we are able to present our bodies to God to be vessels for him to work through as he brings his kingdom to earth. Without the preserving witness of God’s love by God’s people in each generation, evil would be free to run amuck. As we faithfully display God’s mercy and grace, all evil and wickedness must run and hide to avoid the steely gaze of Our Savior who is watching all and rendering to each one according to his deeds.
To restate the thesis: we are to be meek not milquetoast, worshippers not worms. It is only false religion that produces mindless, passionless, passive doormats. True religion creates heroes and heroines, prophets, and humble servants. It is written: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Also, “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Through our Spirit led holy devotion to Christ, we will reign on earth; we will behold our God; we will represent him well throughout our life, and we will enjoy face to face communion with him for all eternity.
This reward awaits all who will abandon small mindedness and self-centered living. Through our faith, we can be large hearted, others-centered servants who display passionately the Father’s heart, mind, and will. This is a calling well worthy of our devotion and our time; this is a life that will shine for God!