Daily Cleansing

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1 Therefore, rid yourselves of every kind of evil and deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and every kind of slander, – 1 Peter 2:1 ISV
 

When we buy a new house and start making plans to move in, the first thing we want to do is make sure the inside of that house is clean from top to bottom.  We also have a vision of what we want that house to look like in the future.  As we live in that house, it begins to reflect our likes and dislikes. The neighbors who are familiar with that house will notice the changes that are being made. Maybe, not so much the ones inside, but when the outside starts to change they will notice those.  Even those just driving by on a daily basis will start to notice the changes that are being made as your new house becomes a home to the new resident. Friends and neighbors will start to comment on how much better the house looks and what a great thing it is for the neighborhood.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior and the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, He does the same thing.  He wants His new residence to be cleansed from all the fleshly desires and attitudes. He desires that His new home will start to reflect His likes and dislikes.  The work starts inisde, in our hearts.  With time and His leadership, the outside will start to change to reflect the changes that have occurred in our hearts.  Cleaning and maintaining a home requires a lot of cleaning products and time spent with those products. The cleansing and renewing of our hearts and minds requires a lot of time spent with God and using the cleansing power He provides for us.

 
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. — Eph. 5:26, 27 NIV

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. — Psalm 51:7 NIV

Just as the original cleaning of the new home doesn’t last and has to be followed by daily cleanings, so it is with our hearts, they need to be washed in the word every day. If we remain faithful in spending our daily time with Jesus, friends and neighbors will start to notice the difference the new resident in our heart is making in our daily lives.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-22-2018

We Set the Limits On Our Learning

even-smaller-bug-light11 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, — Titus 3:1-5 NIV

​When we accepted Jesus as our Savior​, we experienced a new birth, not physically, but spiritually.  At that time, we are or were new babies in Christ. Just as physical babies have to learn to crawl, stand, and walk before they can run, so we must do that spiritually. For a baby to grow and mature, the baby needs a proper diet along with proper care and training.  We need the same things as new babies in Christ.  The process of growing up spiritually is called renewal.  We are being renewed daily as we are led by the Holy Spirit.  The more we seek God’s wisdom and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to influence our lives, the faster we will grow.  The physical baby grows physically and in time becomes an adult. At some point, our physical growth will reach its limit, whether it be at four feet, five feet, six feet or more.  The spiritual baby grows spiritually and matures.  That growth is limited only by our willingness to be obedient and exercise spiritually every day. We will never be totally perfected here on earth.  So, we must never think that there is not more to learn. If we reach that point, it is pride not perfection. When we become judgmental of others, we need to be reminded that we used to be like that and to some extent, we are still like that and always will be. Any difference in us and the world is because of God’s great love and mercy, not because of any goodness in us.  We need to show that same love to others. To do less is to limit what God can do for us and through us.

40  How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,and grieved Him in the desert! 41  Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. — Psalm 78:40, 41 NKJV

Post 11-05-2015

Forgiveness Is More Than Words

even-smaller-bug-light112 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.. — Colossians 3:12-1​4​ NIV

​The characteristics that Paul talks about here​ are totally contrary to the flesh. Yet, these are the goals that we should be striving toward in our daily walk with Jesus. All of us have certain areas in which God has gifted us and the change from natural to spiritual in these areas are easier for us than for others.  The flesh is stubborn and wants to hold onto the old ways. Nevertheless, we must strive every day to improve in all of the areas. Being humble is hard for the flesh. When we do good deeds, we want to be recognized and praised for those good deeds. But, we must remember that we are doing these things for Jesus and laying up our rewards in heaven.  

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. —  Matt. 6:2-4

Probably the toughest of all of these things is to learn to truly forgive.  We say that we have forgiven those who have hurt us, but how do we treat that person after we have said those words.  Does remembering the incident still cause you to act differently toward that person?  Forgiveness is not a pardon for the person’s wrong,  It is not saying that what they did is okay.  It is saying that we all make mistakes and we all need forgiveness at times, so we should forgive others because of the forgiveness we have experienced in our lives, particularly, the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus. We need to forgive for our own benefit and not allow a root of bitterness to grow in our hearts that satan can use to destroy relationships with others and eventually destroy us.

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. — Ephesians 4:31

Post 10-17-2015

Wisdom or Foolishness?

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”​ 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.—1 Cor. 1:18-21 (NIV)
​God​ raises up and God brings down. He uses those that the world rejects to accomplish His purposes. The world has access to more information in a few seconds now than we use to be able to get in weeks. But more and more information without the wisdom to use it is dangerous. To non-believers, Christianity is frustrating. They wonder how people believe in a God they can’t see, while at the same time they believe in all kinds of “gods” that are of their own making. Pride keeps people from believing in Jesus because once we believe, we become accountable to Jesus for our actions. So, God allows those that refuse to humble themselves to continue in their sins.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve​ of those who practice them.—Romans 3:28-32 (NIV)
Post 04-25-2015

“Give Me Another Drink of That Living Water of Life”

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) 40​ ​When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “This man surely is the Prophet.” 41​ ​Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? —John 7:37-4​1​ (NLT)
Jesus tells the crowd the same thing He had told the Samaritan woman at the well. There is water which we can drink and never be thirsty again. This water is the living water which is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. The One that takes up His abode in us, so that we are always being filled and refilled, so that we could never be thirsty. Just as the woman at the well had accepted this message, so did some of the crowd here in Jerusalem. They said “this man surely is the prophet”. But others said He can’t be, the Messiah will not come from Galilee. There will always be people who refuse to believe regardless of the signs or the situation. But, instead of being puzzled as to why they don’t believe, we should remember our own history before we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit—Titus ​3​:3-5 (NLT)
​Because we have been redeemed by God’s grace and mercy, we should remember to always be thankful and pray that others will accept this free gift of God’s mercy and grace.​ That is the work that God has given us to do as laborers in His harvest.
Post 12-12-14