Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sitting at Jesus' Feet

Are you familiar with the story about Mary and Martha?

Most people within the body of Christ have heard it at one time or another.  Here it is again.

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42, NIV)

"...Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:42, NIV)

Did you catch that part?  What Mary chose was better.  It won't be taken away from her. 

There's more of a tendency in this world to rush around like Martha---always going, going, going and/or doing, doing, doing. 

However, God tells us in His word in this account from Luke that it's contrary to His thoughts and His ways.

The prophet Isaiah spoke about God's thoughts and ways. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)

I have learned more about sitting at Jesus' feet over the years.  At times, I have had to discipline myself to do it.  Other times, it comes more natural.  I have also learned that the more I do it---the more I enjoy doing it and find myself doing it more often.

That time is precious.  The time sitting in His presence cannot be rushed.  It must be savored and cherished.  It's in those sweet times with our Lord and Savior that we come more into a place of peace, calmness, and rest---no matter what's going on around us. 

The rest of the world may be rushing around like Martha was rushing around the house, being busy, making all the preparations she thought she had to make for Jesus.  However, the more we discipline ourselves and just choose to sit at Jesus' feet---the better off we are spiritually and otherwise. 

For I am reminded that Mary chose what was better, and it wasn't taken away from her.  Neither will it be taken away from us when we choose what is better---sitting at Jesus' feet.

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And God said...

Have you really read and observed the very beginning of this world in God's word?

God who is the ultimate, superior, spirit being in the universe created this world. He has been around longer than anything or anyone else. He will continue to exist after everyone and everything is gone. (Revelation 22:13)

What really intrigues me though is the creation of the world---the way God created it---found in Genesis 1.

Please read along with me either on-line or in your Bible.

Let's pick up in v 3.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (v 3)

Did you notice the way God first created light? He first spoke it. Then, what He spoke came into existence. It became reality.

Let's take a look back later in the same chapter and pick up with v 6-7.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. (v 6-7)

He spoke it out first. Time passed. And, then what He spoke became reality.

Now, let's look at v 9.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. (v 9)

The Creator spoke. Then, it happened.

You can do this with the rest of this chapter picking up in v 14-15.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. (v 14-15)

Isn't that great?!?! Those three words---And God said---are powerful. When we receive revelation or heart knowledge, it makes a difference.

We are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) He is the ultimate Creator. However, we also are creators.

God was speaking His faith. He was calling those things that were not into being. (Romans 4:17) Then, they manifested in the physical world.

In the same way, we speak our faith. Whether we realize it or not, we create our own world---our own reality.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

That's the reason it's very important to guard our mouths. (Psalm 141:3) Be careful what you say and don't say with your mouth. We speak those things into their existence.

We certainly do not want to call those things that are as they are. We don't want to agree with this world's view of us. We don't need to agree with anybody else's view of us, our temporary circumstances, or our lives.

We need to only say what God says about us. Therefore, begin speaking those things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) Start calling forth all of the hopes, dreams, purposes, and plans that God has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) It will make all the difference---not only to you, but to others, and ultimately to this world.

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Jesus is Our Peace

At times in my life, I haven't had peace. I have also heard people say that they don't have any peace. They can't get any peace.  Why?

Let me share a story with you...

Jesus had just finished teaching a crowd by the lake.  Afterwards, He said to His disciples...“Let us go over to the other side.”  He left the crowd behind.  His disciples took him into the boat.  A huge storm came.  The waves beat up over the boat where it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus calmly got up.  He told the wind, "Stop!"  The wind stopped.  Then, He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  The wave became completely calm.  He turned to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”  (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus' disciples were so afraid during the storm even with Jesus right there in their midst.  Jesus wasn't afraid though.  Even in the midst of those turbulent circumstances, Jesus was at rest.  He was calm and peaceful.  He literally calmed down those natural, physical cirumstances for them.

There are many lessons for us to learn from this story. 

First of all---when we are afraid during specific situations in our lives---we can rest assured that Jesus is right there with us. 

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6, NIV)

Jesus was in the boat with His disciples then.  He is in our 'boat' with us now.

Next, He wasn't afraid during that physical storm.  When we depend on Jesus, we don't need to be fearful either.  We can put our hope and trust in Him.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

Thirdly, Jesus was calm and restful.  He was at peace in the midst of the violent storm. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NIV)

We also can experience the calm even during natural circumstances.  When we depend on Jesus, He will help us to be at peace and rest---no matter what's going on around us.

Finally, we can know that we will have problems or hardships in this world. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NIV)

However, Jesus overcame all of the troubles that the world threw at Him.  We can also remember that we are overcomers when we rely on Him. 

Most of all, know that Jesus is our peace in the midst of every so-called storm in our lives.  He is the only one to go to whenever and wherever we are located physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  He calms us.  He also calms down any physical circumstances around us.  We can only be at rest and peace with Him.

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It is Finished!

While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He became thirsty and asked for a drink from those who were tormenting and crucifying Him.  (John 19:28-29

When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.  (John 19:30, NIV) 

Those three little words---"It is finished"---mean much more than you may be able to comprehend immediately. 

"It is finished."  (Selah)  Think, consider, ponder, and mediate on those three words now.  (Joshua 1:8)  "It is finished."  (John 19:30)

Everything was accomplished for us---believers---at the cross.  By everything, I mean everything.  Salvation is ours.  Forgiveness is ours.  Healing is ours.  (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24)  Provision is ours.  (Philippians 4:19)  Blessings are ours.  (Ephesians 1:3)  Inheritance is ours.  (Ephesians 1:14, 18)  And, the list goes on. 

We don't have to earn it.  We don't have to manually work for it.  It has already been done for us.  Jesus paid the price for it.  He accomplished it for us.  All of it is a gift from God, our Father.  And, He is the ultimate giver.  (James 1:17)  

We only receive as little or as much as we are willing to receive from our Father though.  Just like any earthly father, our heavenly Father will not force His gifts on His children.  They are free.  He wants to give all of them to us.  However, it is up to us.  We have to do our part in order to receive all of those gifts. 

We are His heirs.  (Romans 8:17)  As most heirs of an inheritance, we need to continue in a relationship with that person---namely, our Father, in this case.  That on-going relationship includes fellowship, communication, sharing with one another, learning and growing together. 

Through the relationship with our Father and renewing our minds in His word, we are able to believe  and receive more from Him.  (Romans 12:2; Hebrews 11:1; Mark 11:22-24)  We receive everything from Him by grace through faith.  (Ephesians 2:8-9

I want to receive all that my Father has for me in this life.  How much do you want to receive from Him?  What will you receive from Him?  It's your choice.  You decide.  Just know and remember that "It is finished."  (John 19:30)  

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bought at a Price

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV)

When you accept Jesus into your heart and into your life, you are not your own.  You were bought at a price.  It wasn't just any price.  It was a high price---the price of Jesus' life.   (1 John 3:16)

Any believer who considers or calls themselves a Christian which means 'Little Christ' does not have the right or option to choose to dishonor Jesus Christ in any way with their body---God's temple.  That particularly means being sexually intimate and active with anyone other than the person God has chosen for you and also within a marital union which comes from the Lord.  [*Note:  More on this particular topic in a future blog posting...]

"The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."  (1 Corinthians 6:13, NIV) 

One way to prevent the temptation of sexual immorality is to first guard your eyes and then your heart.  (Proverbs 4:23)  Solomon, a very wise man, spoke on this subject.  "Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes." (Proverbs 6:25, NIV)

The Apostle Paul warns the church at Corinth, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit."  (1 Corinthians 6:15-17, NIV)

This biblical truth still applies today to the church as a whole.  This message is for the entire body of Jesus Christ.

Some people within the body of Christ may think and/or say that they have the right to do anything they want to do with their bodies.  However, if they have really made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives, then that way of thinking is far from the truth. 

Paul talks about it in his letter to the church at Corinth.  “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.   (1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV)

In other words, you cannot give even a small portion of yourselves over to that way of thinking.  You cannot give in even a little to temptation from the devil.  If you do, then you give the devil a foothold into you and into your life.  (Ephesians 4:27

John tells us where all of temptations come from too.  "For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world."  (1 John 2:16, NIV)

The Apostle Paul instructs believers to, "Flee from sexual immorality..."  (1 Corinthians 6:18a, NIV)  Leave that person.  Remove yourself from that situation.  Whatever you need to do in order to obey God, do it.

He goes on to say, "...All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body."  (1 Corinthians 6:18b, NIV)  That is not completely true though.  If you have accepted Jesus into your heart and into your life, you are also sinning against Him. 

"...But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit."  (1 Corinthians 6:17, NIV)  Therefore, choose to obey and honor God with your body---His temple.  You were bought at a price---a very high price.

(*Additional Scripture References:  Proverbs 6:26-29, 32-33Proverbs 7:25-27)

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Honoring God With Our Bodies

(Read Genesis 39:6-12

Did you notice?  Joseph was a very morally upright man.  He made righteous choices in the midst of the advances from another man's wife.  He didn't cave into temptation.  He obeyed God! 

God instructs all of His children to "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body."  (1 Corinthians 6:18, NIV)  

Not only do you sin against your own body but you also sin against God [if you have accepted Him into your heart and life].  Depending on the situation, you sin against others as well.  For example:  If Joseph had given into the temptation; he would have sinned against Potiphar, Potiphar's wife, and God. 

However, Joseph got out of there.  He knew what was right in the situation with Potiphar's wife.  Every born-again believer knows the right thing to do in any similar situation.  They must take action though just like Joseph did in his situation. 

(Read Genesis 39:13-23)

Unfortunately, Potiphar's wife wasn't as honorable as Joseph in this case.  She lied to her husband about the situation with Joseph.  She framed Joseph even though he hadn't done anything wrong.  Of course, Potiphar believed his wife's lies.  What spouse wouldn't believe their own spouse over someone else!  The result:  Potiphar took Joseph and put him prison. 

Look at v 21.  Though, Joseph was initially mistreated and betrayed by Potiphar's wife and Potiphar himself..."the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden." (Genesis 39:21, NIV) 

(Now, look back at Genesis 39:20-23

Isn't that awesome?!?!  It not only shows God's unconditional love, kindness, and goodness to Joseph but even when everything was going in the wrong direction for him---God still took care of him.  Joseph was obedient to God.  He made wise choices in the midst of a terrible circumstance.  God looked out for him though. 

God is faithful!  And, Joseph honored God by being obedient and making right choices.  Therefore, Joseph ultimately honored God in everything that he said and did with his body.  (Colossians 3:17)  As children of God, let's also choose to honor God with our bodies in every way. 

(This story is only one prime example from God's word about His provision and blessings for our obedience. )

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"It Is Written..."

(Read Matthew 4:1-11)

It's interesting that when Jesus was in the wilderness being tested by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights---He used only three words before everything He said to the devil.  He didn't say anything other than what He heard His Father say too. 

Those three little words are also powerful.  "It is written..."  Think about it for a moment.  "It is written..." 

Every instance where Jesus was tempted by the devil---"It is written..." 

When the devil first tempted Jesus in the wilderness, it was concerning His power and authority.  He knew where it came from---from His Father's spoken words. 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’  (Matthew 4:4, NIV)  It points to Jesus knowing only to speak what His Father spoke---nothing more, nothing less. 

The next temptation from the devil was regarding Jesus' identity.  “If you are the Son of God,” he [tempter] said, “throw yourself down...”  (Matthew 4:6a, NIV)

Jesus knew His identity, but He also knew not to test His Father.  Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”  (Matthew 4:7, NIV) 

The last temptation in the wilderness was concerning worldly power and wealth.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  (Matthew 4:9, NIV) 

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”  (Matthew 4:10, NIV)  

Only after Jesus had used His Father's words after every temptation from the devil was He able to overcome each temptation.  He had to be rooted and grounded not only in His identity but also in His relationship with His Father and in His Father's word.  He knew who He was.  He knew whose He was.  He knew God's word. 

It's a great lesson for all of us believers to be steadfastly committed to learning and growing in God's word and in our own personal relationships with God / Jesus.  We need to not only know our identity in Jesus Christ but to know God's word in order to overcome all of the temptations, tests, and trials that the devil tries to use against us in our lives.  Only then will we be the true Godly people He has created and called us to be for His purpose and plan.  (Jeremiah 29:11

Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.