VICTIM/SURVIVOR/MORE THAN CONQUEROR

The Lord says there is none righteous , “No, not one!” But we love to say that our sin is not quite as bad as those other’s. “I thank God that I am not like that sinner over there!” The alcoholics at AA say, “at least I am not a child abuser.” The opiate user is glad they are not alcoholics, etc. The opposite happens when we compare the degree of our past abuse, or the severity of our illness or life situation. “Yours may be bad, but, poor me, mine  is worse.” I remember some young schizophrenics who came to my groups regularly and whined about their own miserable situation compared to the others. After growing in grace and letting God bring good out of their plight, they did a complete turn around and said, ” I have problems but I’m just glad I don’t have to put up with your situation. They were even able to thank God for their illness and see that they were doing better as a result of their illness; less judgmental, more grateful for little things, more aware of their need for God and others etc. Every single human being has been victimized but the deadly thing about comparison of personal hurt is that the surface details are so different that we can all feel that ours is the worst. Just as it is impossible to say what is the difference between big sin and little sin; it is impossible to say what is big abuse, big victimization and little. I was just ignored as a child, so that is a “little” thing, right? Still I struggle today with the after effects of being invisible and with resultant trouble believing that GRACE is true for me.

VICTIM: Believing that because of what happened to me, I can not be expected to grab life to the full, take risks, give to others what I never received, be grateful for what I have, who is in my life, what I can do and who I am. Others should do for me, life owes me one etc. (Wallow in it.)

SURVIVOR: Struggling to do the best that I can and going the first mile to put up with and struggle along in my own strength always impaired by the past but doing my best. (Try to be strong)

CONQUEROR: Letting God pour out GRACE in abundance far greater than all my hurt and bring so much ministry and blessing that I can truly say “They meant it for evil but God meant it for blessing.  (Let go and let God)

We are more that conquerors–through Christ and not through trying to make the best of a bad situation.

When someone’s sin causes me pain and loss:

  1. A.Who is sinned against? B. Who is the victim? C. Who stands to gain but usually is hurt by their own sinful response to the event?
  2. A. God. B. The sinner C. I stand to gain if I run to God for Grace to respond in his way.

 

blog struggles

I think that I have really messed up my blog page trying to improve it but maybe I am learning slowly as I go . I will be doing a lot of “blogs” which are just trying to arrainge the topics in a more helpful way. So feel free to ignore these as they are mostly review. And , of course pray for me as I struggle with this.

GRACE MERCY AND PEACE

These are the three things that:

  1. I desperately need from God in order to deal with my SIN
  2. However I could not earn any of it, so it is a free undeserved GIFT from God to me
  3. Mercy is God helping me BENIFIT from the consequences of my sin and others by taking the overwhelming consequences on himself and coming into the remaining consequences and walking them with me, helping me learn from them to hate sin and hunger for righteousness. (Free from the penalty of sin–separation from God.)
  4. GRACE: is God giving me the power to not sin in the present. (Free from the power of sin.)
  5. PEACE: is God helping me not fear future sin, since he will be there to help me, and the joyous looking forward to being in a sinless  place for all eternity. (Free from the presence of sin.)

 

TRYING TO “FIX” MESSED UP PEOPLE

When my ways please the Lord ,He makes even my enemies to be at peace with me! Prov. 16:7

Agape love means, “Seeking the best interest of the other person regardless of the cost to myself.” If there is someone in my life who is doing things which are wrong, according to my understanding of the Bible, then trying to get them to change must be the “Agape” thing and please the Lord. Right? If they won’t listen then I should try to make them listen, “for their own good!” Right?

Have you ever had someone at church start a sentence with, “I’m telling you this for your own good…”? I’ll bet you didn’t wind up feeling that it did much for your good.

I am always trying to help other people and often they refuse to be helped. It should lead to a burden for them, to praying, “Father forgive them and open their eyes”, However it often results in my feeling angry that they wouldn’t let me help them. I am doing better at catching myself and realizing that I was wanting to help them to make me feel good and not just for their welfare. ‘

Don’t forget that the goodness of God led you to repentance. When the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus’ advice because he was too rich, Jesus didn’t run after him and say, “Hey, buster, you can’t ignore the advice of the creator of the universe and get away with it!” No he looked at him and loved him and let him go. (Church history believes that it was Mark who, interestingly, wound up running naked to escape capture as a follower of Christ. Mark 14 51-52)

When people are messed up and it is ruining their life, they complain and we point out that their choices need to change if they want different results. Even Einstein said that “If you keep coming at life making the same mistakes that didn’t work yesterday and expect them to work today–you are insane! I saw a funny sketch where someone had a large nail pounded in their forehead and kept complaining of headaches but wouldn’t let anyone point out the nail or try to help them remove it. Naturally we want to get them to line up with God’s truths. But if you really want to maximize the chance that they will allow themselves to benefit, you may need to just respect and love on them. “But, they’ll never change!” Perhaps, but they sure won’t if you nag or give up on them.

Sadly, you and I know people like that and we try to help them and then get mad and give up. I was listening to a teaching tape on helping pregnant drug addicts and the key to helping them was to treat them as special. The staff learned their names, their children’s names and looked at them and smiled and treated them well. In turn they allowed themselves to be helped. A program in Texas allows alcoholics to have lodging and medical care without having to be sober and treats them with dignity and they often will finally allow themselves to be helped.

Isn’t that what the Lord did for you and me, in that while we were yet sinner Christ died for us? Do you have a person in your life you are desperately trying to change or have given up on and just go around badmouthing them or reviewing the details of how bad they are? Try treating them with respect and seeing them through God’s eyes.

 

DELIGHT IN THE EVERYDAY.

It has been over a month since my ability to upload podcasts went away. I have been using my time to try to solve that problem. I confess this IT stuff triggers insecurity in me as you can’t talk to anyone and it is all a mystery. It was working then just stopped. Well I need to get back to doing blogs even if I can’t podcast anymore.

I knew  two mothers.  One quoted her daughter as saying, “My mother MAKES me do the dishes.”

The second mother quoted her daughter as saying, “My mother LETS me do the dishes.”

One of the main functions of Dopamine is to cause us to sense the importance of repetitive actions. ie: the dishes, laundry, driving to work, picking up groceries, going to church, mowing the lawn etc. I think that most of us “put up with” the chores. The very word chore sparks a picture of drudgery. Yet, most of life is mundane and redundant, so, if we are able to delight in the mundane, we will find ourselves delighting in–most of life.

So often people think that they can resent school, work, chores, and all responsible behavior and then cram enough excitement into the weekend that it “pays for” the misery. Realizing that we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and are now alive in Christ, we should constantly delight in the little things. I once had my brakes sieze-up and my car went shooting across oncoming traffic straight into the mountain wall. I remember a quick prayer, “looks like I’m about to meet you face to face Lord, but I thought we had a lot more work to do first” as I smashed into the wall. The car was totaled and my chest bent the wheel since the shoulder belt didn’t hold so it was hard to breathe for a month. Still, all of life seemed so sweet since then for  I am always aware that each moment is borrowed time given to me from the Lord.

A good habit is to sing and pray without ceasing, unless it wakes other people in the middle of the night. We need to do the dishes with all our might. That’s right, dishes and laundry are definitely part of “whatsoever” thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might because even the slightest thing is far more than what we can contribute to the kingdom once we are gone. Ecclesiastes 9:10

HEART AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine HEART and in my MIND

1 Samuel 13:14 the Lord hath sought him a man after his own HEART.

2 Samuel 7:21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own HEART, hast thou done all these great things.

God ‘s heart loves to act. He made the world and populated it, He did He does and He will do. In these verses we see that He raises up people to do what is in his heart and mind/ He sought a man after his own heart / He acts for his own word’s sake, according to His own heart.

Don’t you sometimes wish that God would fill you in on what He was thinking in his heart? It would make it easier to obey. I think that it pleases Him that you want to do his will and that you offer your mouth and body members to let Him carry out his will. Still He does want you to seek his heart.

Besides prayer and searching his word to find answers, and checking with your pastor and fellow servants of God; it is helpful to ask that popular question, “what would Jesus do?” or perhaps, “what would Jesus heart be desiring in this situation?” You see someone hungry and think that Jesus would feed them, true, but what would his heart want. Perhaps to go beyond and comfort them and help them know how much Jesus loves them. You see someone acting in irritating ways and remember that Jesus gave his life for them so what would be his heart towards them? You mess up and have indulged in anger, greed, self-pity, lust etc. and feel self contempt and would actually be comforted if Jesus whacked you or yelled at you, but what is his heart towards you. Wouldn’t he feel sorrow and love and long to heal and empower you to save yourself from the grip of sin and self-contempt.

Above all, his heart leads to doing. As a good earthly parent I always delighted in the imperfect efforts of my children and patiently worked with them to deal with their rebellious fits. If I being evil know how to be good to my children; how much more my father in heaven! He delights in my trying even if imperfect and when I get off track he loves to help me get back on track and try again. I know so many people who won’t try to pray in public because they might not do it perfectly. But surely the father’s heart would be for us to talk with him. We don’t reach out to witness because of fear of others responses. But does Jesus care about their responses to me or does he delight in my efforts and seek to use them to bless the other.

I used to have a lady in my church who had crippled hands but still tried to play volley ball at the school we met in for church. She would stand near the net and whack the ball over and that was all she could do. I used to be a good volleyball player and so I would make sure we kept the point so that I could turn to her and say,”great you got us a point” I think that it is Jesus’ heart to take our feeble efforts and ‘save the point’ and turn to us and say “great work!”

 

A HEART AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART#3 authorities

Genesis 20:64Judges 5:9 My (God’s) HEART is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people.

In I Corinthians 16 15 we read “I beseech you brethren that ye submit yourselves to those that have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints and to everyone that helpeth  and laboureth with us.”

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. verse 17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief. verse 24 Salute them that have the rule over you.

To have God’s own heart we must be thinking about those that He has placed in authority over us both in the church and in government, and, I think, even at our work. 1 Peter 2:18 Be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward.

I have heard that godly pastors and their families have been assigned satanists to pray satan to tempt and destroy them. We must uphold their hands in prayer and in listening and applying the truth that they share and letting them know. God himself has his heart towards them and is looking for yielded people to support and encourage them.

It has become fashionable in America to distrust and vilify those in leadership. Don’t forget that the government that God was commanding support of, the Romans, were not gentle or good but rather forward. In fact there is a basic principle that God asks us to do our part in his way regardless of the other person behaving in the way we would like. I remember the when Hudson Taylor was upset at the leadership of the mission not supporting his God-given call to take the gospel to the center of China, that God told him, “If I can take you to China through this leadership, then I can guide you through this leadership”. He calmed down and then God led him eventually to start his own mission. He needed to wait in order to understand what a properly led mission would look like and also for God to prepare the field. Do we trust the Lord to be able to lead and protect through messed up leaders? Of course if a pastor falls into open sin or preaches heresy then we need to still pray for them but seek more godly authority.

The next time we are tempted to badmouth pastor, have an attitude towards being stopped by the police or undermine our bosses: first thank God for his intentions in giving us this authority, pray for their blessing and let God work through them effectively by our good attitude. When our ways are his ways we will have a heart towards our leaders and God will make them to be at peace with us.