28 10 2011

When I lived in Africa, I heard a quote that has stuck with me for so long… “Remembering brings revival to your own heart.” The way the quote was used was to remember the good things God has done in your life. The blessings He has given you, the dark times He has brought you out of… When I look at it now, with this new perspective, it’s kind of selfish to remember those kinds of things. If I ever share this quote, it is to remember something more greater than the good things in life that were given to me. The things to make me keep moving forward, just because a promise here or there was fulfilled. Do not get me wrong, I think it is important to remember the little things that God has given us, but I think the greatest thing that we should constantly remind ourselves of is… the story of the gospel!

In the book of Mark, Jesus is foretelling, prophesying in so many stories about claiming to be Christ, and that God has sent Him to die, for our sins. To drink the cup which would mean, drinking all of God’s wrath against mankind, for our selfish, evil, sinful hearts so that we can drink the cup of blessing… which eventually means we will be living in eternity glorifying the One who sent His Son. The One who gave the greatest blessing of all, for you, and me. The One who was so amazing that He created the earth and all the intricate details within the universe, The One who we will one day, ALL stand before , and either He will know us, or He will say that He does not know us and will send us to eternal damnation. All because we were too worried about having to live this selfish life and see how we could succeed instead of looking at the truth of it all, and humble ourselves, and fall to our knees and confess to the Lord, why YES! YES! I am a sinner, and I have no good in me Lord, but YOU, You are only good, and because of YOU living in me, I am good… because of His death, HE made me good. I was not good on my own, and I still am not good, because my flesh fights with my soul moment by moment, and it’s moment by moment I have to humble myself before Christ, and say Jesus, please, help me! I cannot live this life without YOU.

Tonight, as I sit with a hot cup of coffee, my amazing study Bible, and my ipod that can set the perfect mood for writing and studying the Word, Christ is reminding me of His goodness… I just finished a letter to a friend, that I pray will come to know Christ in a true, genuine way. I shared and explained some scriptures like Matthew 7:21-23 which was the set of verses that rocked my faith to the core of my soul, knowing that I wasn’t truly a believer without Christ. That living this mediocre Christianity by just going to church, throwing around the church lingo like ‘God bless you,’ and ‘I’ll pray for you’ and ‘God is good (only when things go my way that is) just isn’t enough. God very clearly showed me that those things will not be getting me into heaven! What will get me into heaven will be the reality that God has his wrath that is being stored up, and it will go out on this earth one day, and it will be the most justified day of judgement; and if you are not willing to humble yourselves before The One who created you, who knows every sin, every single evil and perverted thought that you’ve had, then yes, you will be given the wrath of God. Just because you may be slain in the spirit, or because you shake on the ground or talk in tongues, doesn’t mean you’re truly a believer. People can slap Jesus stickers on anything they want, but as the Bible says…”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9. I say that, not to bash the Charismatic side of Christianity, I am not here to say I agree or disagree with those things, but I want you to look at scripture and examine your heart. Matthew 7:21-23 says “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” If that verse doesn’t make you sit back and truly think about whether you’re just doing things just because you think it’s ‘good’, or if you’ve truly surrendered your life, and Jesus is the out pour of your heart, then I don’t know what else can rock your world. A few verses leading up to that set of verses even says…“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:7-8

After reading these verses, and explaining how Jesus opened my heart and eyes to see the truth in these scriptures, my heart is just bursting at the seams with thanksgiving and praise that Christ has come! Not only that He has saved me, but that He has finally opened my eyes to the depths of His work and love. The depths of my sin and that I desperately need a Savior! I think lately, just thinking about the gospel, I get very emotional. I’ve never been one to be emotional over the gospel because I didn’t truly get it. It was just a story that happened back then, and yeah it was good I guess, but I didn’t know why. But I just long for the day that I will be united with my King. My love and gratitude is so shallow compared to what Christ has done for me! The smallest thing I can do is to simply give my life to Christ… and give all of it to Him! I want my life to be an out pour of gratitude for what He has done for me, and not only be an out pour but to share that with others! I get emotional when I share it, because I can see it in people’s eyes when I share this new reality and perspective, people just don’t get it. The blank stare in the eyes, yet the slight smile, says they’re happy and they just do not know how to respond to the foreign language I am speaking… The only thing I can really share is scripture, and I just pray, and hope that the truth I share through scripture will only come alive and speak to these people’s hearts just like it has mine! I long to share the gospel, and see people’s lives transformed because of Christ! My heart just breaks for those who are trying to fill their lives with this stuff that is just so completely unsatisfying and worthless! There is greater joy out there than the American dream of having the perfect family with 4.5 kids, the white picket fence, the job that pays the bills and pays for two vacation cruises a year… there’s so much more than trying to find a fulfilling life in drugs and alcohol, work, or school…

That joy come through absolutely nothing but Christ! “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11

Jesus, I am so humbled right now, and thank you that this week you have done nothing but continue to remind me of the gospel and what you’ve done for me. You have put me in my place time after time, and I pray that my life will be an out pour of all that you are! Jesus may my life reflect your goodness and grace that you bestow on all who choose to recognize their sinfulness and choose life through Your Son by falling at the mercy of Your feet, repenting of their lives and accepting Your grace that is so undeserved! Thank you for your gift of life, and that I can lose mine, to only gain it all!

Remembering brings revival to your own heart… Remembering His Son, and the free, undeserved gift brings far more than just revival to my heart…




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