Sunday, March 30, 2014

Resurrecting Jesus

Resurrecting Jesus?!?!  You may think or say, "What do you mean by those two words?"  Individually, they are good words.  They are also powerful words by themselves.  But, together they can take on a whole new meaning.


What I mean by those two words is this...


There are people within the body of Christ who try to resurrect Jesus before He is ready to be resurrected in the lives of others or, perhaps, even in their own lives.  They try to force Jesus to be resurrected too early, because it is just uncomfortable for them.  They don't like being in a temporary situation which, to them, seems unnecessary.  They choose to circumvent the process and choose to jump out of them way too soon before God has provided His way out for them.  They 'make things happen' in their own way in their own strength in their own timing.


However, those temporary circumstances are necessary.  They are necessary in order to mature members of the body of Christ.  (James 1:2-4)  They help develop our faith in Jesus Christ.  (1 Peter 1:6-7)  Most of all, those temporary situations whether hardships or trials are used in believers' lives to make them more Christ-like.  (Romans 8:29


Even Jesus, over 2000 years ago, had to go through some suffering before He was resurrected by the Almighty power of God.  So, what makes believers today think that they are any different or any better than Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Once God the Father raised His Son, Jesus, from the dead; it was the Father who was glorified through the Son. 


The same is true of all believers today.  Once we have suffered, it is God the Father who resurrects us from those temporary circumstances.  (1 Peter 5:10)  Most importantly, it is God the Father who is glorified through us, His children.  (Romans 8:18


Therefore, when your flesh wants to try to resurrect Jesus too soon, resist the urge and wait on Almighty God to resurrect you from your hardship or trial.  Then, everyone will know that it was God the Father who did it.  It will be Him who will receive all the credit.  (2 Corinthians 10:17)  It will be Him who receives all the honor, glory, and praise.




Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Forgiveness



 
The above video is a song entitled 'Forgiveness' by Christian music artist, Matthew West.  I saw him on a daytime talk show a few years ago where he shared a true story which served as the inspiration for this song.  According to West's interview, a young man had been driving under the influence and got into a vehicle accident with a couple of young girls in another vehicle.  At least one of the young girls was killed in that accident which was many years ago now.  The young man went to prison for awhile as a result of his actions.  The mother of the young high school girl who passed away got in touch with Matthew and shared her story with him.  This song serves as the backdrop of their story. 

Have you ever experienced a tragedy or something that was really traumatic or difficult to get passed it?  Perhaps, it was the death of a loved one.  Maybe, it was the end of a relationship.  Whatever it may be or may have been, it can take some time for someone to not only recover from that kind of experience but to forgive the person(s) responsible for hurting, disappointing, or wounding us.

The mother did forgive the young man who had been responsible for her young daughter's tragic accident.  However, it took some time.  It was a process for her.  It was also a process for the young man to forgive himself.  The lady eventually reached out to the young man who was in prison at the time.  They began corresponding through the mail.  She met him at one time and actually became involved in getting him released early from prison.  

Now, I am not saying that everyone's story begins or ends that way.  We can know that all things are possible with God though.  (Matthew 19:26)  He can help us to forgive people.  He can heal us.  He can restore us.  He can make us better and stronger than we were before the tragedy, trial, hardship, or incident.  (Philippians 4:13; James 1:2-4)

We have to make the decision to ask God to help us though.  We must depend on Him to work in and through us to accomplish His perfect will and good purpose for us. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:12-13)  Then, we can point to God and say that it was He who helped us.  We can give Him all the credit afterwards, because we are unable to do anything truly honorable and worthwhile in or of ourselves.  (2 Corinthians 10:17; John 15:5)



Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Head vs. Heart

There are many people in the world who have head knowledge.  They know a lot.  Some people call them 'know-it-alls'.  They may also be known as 'book smart'.  They are life-long students---sometimes going for one degree after another.  [It's normally the way of the intellectual world.]

However, there will be no actual transformation in them or their lives.  They will keep obtaining head knowledge which is knowledge people know intellectually---in the mind.

There comes a point in time when people have so much head knowledge that it is either overwhelming or useless though. 

God tells us in His word..."Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."  (Romans 12:2a, NIV) 

He does want us to get knowledge in our minds, but it's the kind of knowledge which is different from the rest of the world.  He used people in His word to communicate it to us. 

For one, the Psalmist spoke some about biblical knowledge.  "Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands."  (Psalm 119:66, NIV)

King Solomon who was considered the wisest man speaks much about getting and having knowledge in the book of Proverbs.  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  (Proverbs 1:7, NIV)

Notice he said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.  When we revere and honor the Lord, it starts the real process of obtaining good knowledge.

We must first obtain what some people call 'head knowledge'.  If the knowledge continues to stay just in our minds though, it doesn't do us or anyone else any good. 

Alternatively, there is heart knowledge---known as revelation.  The head knowledge must eventually become heart knowledge.

"...Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."  (Romans 12:2b, NIV)  We won't be able to truly know and understand God's will for us until the head knowledge becomes heart knowledge or revelation. 

So, there is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.  Additionally, we definitely must have head knowledge before it can even become heart knowledge. 

How do we get knowledge to move from the head to the heart? 

....By meditating on God's word.  "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."  (Joshua 1:8, NIV)

God will help make us successful and prosperous in doing His perfect will when we meditate [think, ponder, consider] His word.  There will not be any real or lasting change in a person, his situation, or his life until he truly receives heart knowledge---revelation---and then walks it out in this world.


Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yesterday, Today, and Forever

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  (Hebrews 13:8, NIV)

In the same way, God's children should be the same every day.  There shouldn't be any mood swings in us.  We shouldn't go by our feelings which are ever changing from one moment to the next.  We shouldn't have any wrong mindsets, negative thoughts, or as Joyce Meyer would say---any 'stinking thinking'.  We shouldn't be hot one day, and then cold the next day towards people.  After all, we are not like the weather which changes often. 

We are made in the image of God.  (Genesis 1:26-27)  He doesn't change.  "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  (James 1:17, NIV)

Neither does He change His mind.  "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind."  (Numbers 23:19a, NIV)

We shouldn't change.  Neither should we change our minds.  As God's children, we should be the same every day.

God's thoughts and ways are always higher and better than a human's thoughts and ways.  (Isaiah 55:8-9)  We should forgive as He forgave us.  (Colossians 3:13b)  We should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22-23)  We should 'walk in love'.  (2 John 1:6)

"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."  (Ephesians 5:1-2, NIV)

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”  (1 Peter 1:15-16, NIV)  

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."  (Matthew 5:48, NIV)


Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 30, 2013

And It Came to Pass...

(Read Luke 1:26-38)

An angel of the Lord spoke a word to Mary in a season.  

Then, there was some waiting on her part. 

(Read Luke 2:1-7)

"And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered."  (Luke 2:1, NKJV)

Did you notice?  "And it came to pass..." [emphasis mine]

(Read Luke 2:15-20)

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  (Luke 2:15, NKJV)

How about this part?  "...see this thing that has come to pass..." [emphasis mine]


What you are you waiting for God to bring to pass for you?

Know that when God speaks a word to you in a particular season, it will come to pass.  It probably won't happen overnight.  It may be days, weeks, months, or even years.  Be patient though. 

In just the right way and at just the right time, God will bring it to pass in your life.  Remember, He is no respecter of persons.  What He does for one person, He will do for another person.  He also keeps His promises.   

"For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us."  (2 Corinthians 1:20, NKJV)

Neither does He lie.  It's not part of His true character.  He blesses His children. 

"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it."  (Numbers 23:19-20, NKJV)



Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.











Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let Jesus Out!

I have observed members of the body of Jesus Christ quenching the Spirit of God in their lives.  (1 Thessalonians 5:19)  I have also experienced the effects of it myself because of others' poor choices.  Perhaps, you also have observed it and experienced it yourself.  After all, we each affect one another when we are a part of the body of Christ.  (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Because believers do not obey God's word, they are not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit.  (Galatians 5:22-23)  They are not becoming more like Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, some Christians are becoming less like Him.

They choose to give into the flesh or the old sinful nature.  It's a shame.  It's disturbing.  It's sad.  Perhaps, they don't realize that they are a new creation.  (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Most of all, it's disobedient to God and His word.  It dishonors Him and does not glorify Him at all.  One of the main purposes is for His children to honor and glorify Him.  (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Timothy 1:17)

I want to say to those people within the body, "Let Jesus Out!"  Let Him live in and through you.  (Romans 6:1-14)  Allow Him to change you from the inside out.

Of course, it takes a daily renewal of the mind for all believers to experience the transformation.  (Romans 12:2)  We cannot be slack about being true followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.  It takes time, effort, communication, and an on-going relationship with Him. 

The more we spend time with Him---communing with Him---the more we will look and act like Him.  Make sure that you have let Jesus into your heart and life.  (Romans 10:9-10)  Then, you can definitely "Let Jesus Out!"



Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bearing Fruit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."   (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV)  Once we have been born again, we already have the fruit of the Spirit.  It has to be used and developed by us though in order for the fruit to be shown in our lives.

As Jesus' disciples and Christ-followers, we need to bear fruit.  However, we cannot and will not bear fruit without remaining in a continuous relationship with Jesus.   “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5, NIV)  

Jesus is the true vine.  Therefore, we must stay connected to Him.  "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."  (John 15:4, NIV)  Jesus' Father and ours is the gardener who cuts off every branch in us that doesn't bear fruit.  Every branch that does bear fruit, our Father prunes so that we will be even more fruitful.  (John 15:1-2

We don't need to just bear fruit, but we need to produce a lot of fruit in our lives.  "This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."  (John 15:8)

In addition, it isn't just any kind of fruit that we want and need to display either.  It's the good kind of fruit.  In order to bear good fruit, we have to be good disciples and followers of Jesus Christ.  He is the only one who can make us truly good.  “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.  (Matthew 12:33)

We will truly be known by the fruit that we bear in our lives.  "By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."  (Matthew 7:16-20)
  
Jesus wants us to produce fruit that doesn't end.   "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.(John 15:16)

The Apostle Paul encourages us to live as children of the light.  He tells us that the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.  (Ephesians 5:8-9)

Let's choose to bear fruit but not just any fruit.  Choose to produce lots of good fruit in your life.  Decide to be a true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ by staying in relationship with Him.  Then, we will truly be Children of the Light as He is in the Light.  (1 Thessalonians 5:15)


Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.