Crimson Cord (Jim Caso)
Summary: A podcast devoted to exploring the actual experience of living a spiritual life. The focus of this podcast is understanding how to live a lifestyle with a vibrant spiritual relationship with God.
This is the last episode of Crimson Cord. Listen to this episode and see why I entitled it "Gone Fishing." I truly appreciate all the the support you've all given me with this podcast, and I've enjoyed the interactions and discussions we've shared through the past year and a half as we've journeyed with Christ together. Though there won't be any more Crimson Cord podcast's, I will continue to podcast on a new website. Over the past several months I've been working on "The Good Path" website. It's been a very educational experience for me, and an amazing opportunity to watch God work in my life through some trying situations. God is sooo patient and so forgiving, it blows me away! I invite to go to The Good Path website and have a look around. I'm very excited about the new direction and the new focus of this endeavor for Christ. Go to the "Contact" page and subscribe so you won't miss any updates or newsletters. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of look and feel of the website. I'm open to any suggestions that can improve the value of the site to our growth in Christ together. I've posted a podcast there entitled "What is The Good Path", which will give you some additional information about all the "Happenings" on The Good Path. As the title of this last episode is "Gone Fishing", I'll close with the following passage from the Gospel of Matthew, 4:18-22; “One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.” Thanks again for all your support, and I'll see you on The Good Path.
I had another podcast ready to go, but at the last minute I felt God wanted me to change things up from my normal routine. Over the last year I've had a chance to communicate with many of you. In this episode I want to offer links to some very encouraging podcast's, by fellow believers who share in the same experiences as us all. In these podcast's you'll hear how God has answered prayer and lifted other's from difficult circumstances. 1. Family From the Heart Cliff and Stephanie give you a behind the scenes look into the lives of the Ravenscraft family. 2. Solomon's Porch Radio Mark and Mike say in their intro, "This Podcast was created by two friends who had the vision of building a community of men who are empowered to follow Christ. 3. God's Stories Radio For Mike and Fritz "God's Stories Radio" was a vision to share stories of how works in the lives of believers. Hebrews 13:5 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Acts 10:34 "Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.'" Acts 4:36 "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement)" 1 Cor 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
In the spiritual Body of Christ, we only have to please Christ. We don’t have to convince influential church member of our theological positions. We don’t have to pretend that we’re something that we’re not, and we don’t have to avoid our true feelings or our insecurities about being discovered to be a sinner. We know, and God knows, we are sinners. This world wants to keep us, as believers in Christ, in a box. It wants to keep us locked behind church doors. Why? Because inside the physical church we, as believers, we do the work of our adversary. Signs of a wrestler ready to quit; They do a lot of back pedaling… Easier to get them to the edge of the mat (stop wrestling) They take longer to get back in the fight They become Inactive, stall, no hustle They act desperate and make bad decisions They complain, to the ref showing frustration They stumble, showing fatigue They burst into Anger, last ditch effort before breaking They don’t get back up, stay on they’re back Paul said, believers are in a wrestling match; Eph 6:12 Elijah was in a wrestling match for his spiritual life; He back peddled; 1 Kings 19:3-4 He complained; 1 Kings 19:13-14 God put him back in the fight; 1 Kings 19:15-19 David found himself on the ropes; 2 Sam 24:10 David had great success for God; 2 Sam 23 David still fell But God put him back in the fight God will forgive us any sin; 1Jn 1:9 Will God forgive any sin? What about the "Unforgivable Sin"? What is the "Unforgivable Sin"? Matt 12:31-32 Blasphemy is to vilify or reject someone Forgive means to send away... Is there anything God can’t do? Is there anything we can do that God can’t rectify? Mark 3:28-29 Luke 12:8-10 The "Unforgivable Sin" is the act of not accepting God’s forgiveness, and therefore not allowing your sin to be sent away… But, believers have no sin; 1 John 5:16-18 Romans 8:1 3 Things we need to remember when we’ve fallen; Focus on Him, and what He did, not what we did… Accept His forgiveness Continue the fight, by moving forward with Christ; Be in the center of God’s plans… Be energized by His strength… Refuse to be depressed and stay active in serving Him… Every time we get knocked down, Focus, Accept, Continue. Focus on Christ (not ourselves), Accept His forgiveness (stop beating yourself up), and Continue your walk of following Him (don’t stay on the mat). And if we see a brother or sister struggling in their battle with sin, how should be react? Encourage them to Focus on Christ, motivate them them to accept His forgiveness, and inspire them to continue their walk with Christ.
Every Bean has its black and every Diamond has its flaw... Our lives aren't without flaws, but God can use our flaws and give us clarity and strength. Peter was an example of God uses someone's flaws to give him clarity and strength. Peter is a great example for us because even with all his flaws scripture always records him first among the disciples. A. Peter’s Inconsistent Clarity: 1. One minute Peter is influenced by God (Matt 16:13-17) and the next he's influenced by Satan (Matt 16:23) 2. Peter supports Christ (Lk 22:33-34), and Peter denies Christ (Matt 26:69-75) 3. Peter uses his faith and loses his faith (Matt 14:28-33) 4. Peter takes the lead, but leads the disciples nowhere (Jn 21:15-19) 5. Peter is tolerant to all, but at the same time he's a bigot (Acts 10:9-35) 6. Peter teaches acceptance, but he practices exclusivity (Gal 2:11-13) B. Peter's true identity: 1. Sinner saved by Grace. 2. Prone to the weakness of the flesh. We are all Peter. We are are all flesh and blood, and we suffer from the same weakness. We are all flawed, and we can't deny it, though we try hard to pretend like we're not, but we're human. C. Peter's Strength: 1. To know our strength, we have to know our weakness. Peter's weakness was his passion... He spoke before he thought… He acted before he thought… stepped out… He took on leadership before he thought… 2. Peter's strength was also his passion... He did speak up, he did act, and he did lead. Christ encourages us to be passionate; Rev 3:15 But Christ also encourages us not to be impulsive; Matt 10:16 D. Peter was an Example: In the apocryphal book, "The Acts of Peter", we're told how Peter was crucified upside for his testimony for Christ. This is commonly accepted as the way Peter died. Peter didn't consider himself worthy to be crucified like Christ. Peter was aware of his flaws but that didn't deter his passion for the Gospel. Peter's life and example speaks to us today in the words of the prophet Isaiah; Isa 53:6 Therefore, like Peter, Christ encourages us to use the passion we have (which is the Spirit of God) and never forsake the message of our Salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and as Peter wrote; 1Pet 5:10 Be cautious, but not deterred from your call. Yes, we make mistakes, we're flawed, we sinners. This shouldn't be a surprise. Every bean has its black, but thank God for Christ because He takes all our sin away!
Who are You? Are you who God created you to be, or have you been conformed to who this world says you should be? 1Sam 16:7 David's journey of self discovery; 1Sam 17:1-49 1. David to expresses himself; v. 1-27 * Be youself regardless of what everyone else is doing... 2. David is criticized for expressing himself; v. 28 * Opinions are like noses, everyone has one... 3. David rejects critics and continues moving forward; v. 29-30 * Regardless of what others think, follow your passion... 4. David is presented with an opportunity; v. 31-32 * When opportunity knocks, open the door and step through... 5. David knows he's ready to meet the challenge; v. 33-37 * Evaluate the experiences God has given you... 6. David stayed true to himself; v. 38-40 * You will never feel comfortable unless you're real... 7. David faces his destiny; v. 41-44 * Every time we step forward, we have to meet your fear... 8. David overcame his fear by knowing his true strength; v. 45-47 * "You may ask anything in My name and I will do it." Jn 14:14 9. David embraced his task enthusiastically; v. 48 * When the bell rings, don't hesitate... 10. David fulfills who God made him to be; v. 49 * You can't be who God created you to be until you let it fly... God made us who we are for a reason... Look at Abel, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Gideon, Samson, Elijah, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist... David used the power of who God created him to be, to bring glory to the God of Israel. We can use the power of who God created us to be, as believers in Christ, to also bring glory to our God and Father, also... The spirit of Christ encourages us to be different; Rom 12:2 But it's not about being different just to be different. It's about being who God created you to be. And to be who God intended us to be, we can't listen to others... We must be ourselves. Our Father encourages us to be the real person He created us to be. I've Gotta be Me I want to live, not merely survive And I won't give up this dream, Of life that keeps me alive, I gotta be me, I gotta be me, The dream that I see makes me what I am That far away prize, a world of success Is waiting for me if I heed the call I won't settle down, won't settle for less As long as there's a chance that I can have it all I'll go it alone, that's how it must be I can't be right for somebody else, if I'm not right for me I gotta be free, I've gotta be free, Daring to try, to do it or die, I've gotta be me
We live in a time of tremendous wealth and prosperity. We have access to huge advances in education, social justice, skilled doctors, potent medicines, and tremendous technologies. And yet... We have rapidly growing poverty and hardship. People are alienated from good education, social justice, a doctor's care, medicine, and technologies. The more things have changed in our world, the more they have stayed the same... Why is this so? Corinth was microcosm of our time. Corinth was the seat of the Roman government in the province, and it was at the crossroads for all trade in the region. Whenever Paul arrived in a city he would become a flashpoint for controversy. In Corinth, Paul was despised by the Jews, and hated by the Greeks. The Jews had him arrested and charged with "speaking and acting against the law."He was accused of neither being a faithful Jew, or a good citizen. Jews argued that this Christ, Paul was teaching, would subvert the good social order of the region, and create chaos among all the citizens... The Jews initiated a relentless vendetta against Paul, and the church of Corinth... "Corinthianize" was a verb used to describe the immorality of the Corinthians. It came to stand for prostitution. The population of Corinth was a melting pot... some would call it diversity... multi-culturalism... Things Change, and Stay The Same... Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian's was never preserved in the New Testament (1Cor 5:9-11). Paul's second letter to the Corinthians to help them deal with their issues (1Cor 2:1-5). Paul pleads with the Corinthian believers as his family members; his brethren. Paul determined to know (attend to, or be engaged in) nothing among them except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." He only engaged in Jesus Christ, and Him crucified... The Corinthians believed because they saw the power of God demonstrated among them. Their faith rested in God's power alone. The word Paul uses for "demonstrate" means to 'show off' or 'make manifest'. When something is demonstrated it appears right before your eyes. There are no special effects, and no trick photography. We've all heard the saying, "The proof is in the pudding." But did you know the actual saying is, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."? "The proof is in the pudding" is like saying there is a lot of evidence, but I won't go through that right now, and you should take my word for it, or you can go through all the evidence yourself. On the other hand, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" means you have to eat the pudding to know what's inside. Paul was saying "The demonstration (proof) for your faith (the pudding) is in the power of God (the eating). Where is the power of God demonstrated, or proven? In Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And when we live our lives, as believers, determined to know only Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then our faith (the pudding) will sustain us in this world, because it is the demonstration of God's power. So why is our world so messed up? Because. like the Corinthian believers, who became convinced that the wisdom of this world held the answers they needed, our society also looks for its security in social justice, politicians, and religious leaders for care and protection. The More Things Change, the More They Stay The Same... Our Lord encourages us not to be dazzled by the wisdom, wealth, justice, religion, power, and politics of this world... But, if we want to see a demonstration (proof) for our faith (the pudding) then focus on the power of God (the eating)... Jesus Christ and Him Crucified... Where we put our faith will determine the fate of mankind. Do we put our faith in the impressive illusions of this world, or in Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified?
What if there was no Bible? What if we didn't have the Old Testament, or the New Testament? How would we be able to know about God? Would it be possible for us to ever know Him? The physical church in the world today offers believers a false sense of safety and security. We look for others who believe like us, and we want to find a community where we can belong, and find fellowship, and guidance. But we've forgotten that God is a God to all of us, as individuals. I was asked this question recently, "What about the Bible, do you believe the Word of God? How can we know God without the Scriptures?" Christ answered this question in Matthew 5:8 The Greek word Katharos literally means: "clean, pure", "unsoiled or unalloyed." Something is "pure" when it's not mixed with other substances; 1. Benevolence is pure when it's not mixed with selfishness; 2. Justice is pure when it's not mixed with partiality; 3. Love is pure when it's not mixed with lust; Jesus uses 'katharos' "in heart" to describe a heart that is without division; Matthew 6:22-24 & Luke 11:33-36 Pure vision is straight vision. The "pure in heart" has a single focus. When our heart is focused we see straight. Paul explains this in Eph 1:18 James says the same thing in James 1:8... A double-minded man has blurred vision that clouds his sight... The mind or heart that is focused, gives pure light to the heart of man through spiritual perception. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 19:8; Christ says, a pure heart is an undivided heart; Matthew 6:24, and 6:25 When our heart is focused on the Gospel we can see straight, and comprehend His truth and see and know God... We can't focus on the law and grace. We can't serve both. The chains of slavery to the law are broken, and the bond of familial relationship with the Father and His Son are now the Focus within the Messiah's kingdom. The phrase, "see God" means to enter into the relation with God in His kingdom. In the Messiah's kingdom God reveals Himself, and His glory to everyone. To "see the kingdom of God" meant to "enter the kingdom of God" Therefore, when our heart is undivided to the truth of the gospel, with nothing foreign to obstruct entering the kingdom, then we can "see God"... Just like Paul told the Corinthians; 2Cor 4:5-6 When we focus singularly on that light of Christ that shines in our heart then we are "pure in heart" and we can "See God." And when we See God, then we can know God... So what if there was no Bible, how would we know about God? We would know God by staying focused the light of the Gospel of Christ that enlightens our heart... Does this mean that we can maintain this focus constantly? No, but in those moments when we can, we will see God and know Him!
In Genesis 22, there's promise and transformation that is meant for all to see through the test God gave Abraham. Gen 22:4-5 Abraham and Isaac traveled for 3 days... Jesus was in His tomb for 3 days... Abraham and Isaac would return... Jesus returned to His disciples... Gen 22:6-8 The wood for the sacrifice was laid on the back of Isaac... the wood of the cross was laid on the back of Jesus.. * Jn 6:53 Abraham never left his son... God never left Jesus... God never leaves us... Gen 22:9-13 Abraham built the altar and arranged the wood for the sacrifice... God plans the events and arranges the circumstances, but it's still up to us to make our own decisions for our life. God has a plan for us, and the events and circumstances of our lives may be ordained... but our decisions about how we deal with those events and circumstances are ours to make... Isaac was tied up and placed on the wood on the altar... Jesus was tied to the cross... Isaac's life was in his father's hands... the life of Jesus was in His Father's hands... Isaac was Saved... We are saved through Christ... Did Abraham see this ram that was caught in the thicket by faith? Did Abraham have a prophetic vision of the lamb of God that would die for all? Gen 22:14 In the mount of the LORD it will be provided." - On this hill same hill God provided our redemption and salvation through the sacrifice of Christ... Heb 11:17-19 Like Isaac, Christ was the sacrifice for the many children of God... John 11:49-52 When we truly encounter Salvation, like Abraham and Isaac, we are never the same again. We become something different, we are made anew. This is why the Apostle Paul writes in Gal 2:20; When God raised Christ from the dead, we became alive with Him through His love for us, by faith in Him. When Abraham received Isaac back, he also received his own life anew. So, even though Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus, it's also about our own resurrection to a new life in Him. Easter is a celebration of our resurrection. So like Abraham, today, let us Raise our eyes, and see our new resurrected life in Christ... Special Announcement: Patty Felker of "Noteworthy Christian Music" contacted me and asked if Crimson Cord could feature a song from her recording company entitled "His Hands". If you go to the sidebar and click on the image for "Noteworthy Christian Music" it will take you to a YouTube video of the song "His Hands". You can also click on the "Noteworthy Christian Music" link about and you can listen to some of their other songs. We should always support one another in our efforts to get the message of Christ out to a world that is in desperate need of Salvation. Thank you Patty for your service to Christ.
If you were stranded on a desert island, and you could have 1 book, what book would you choose? What if you had to choose only 1 chapter, from 1 book, to keep with you on the island? What chapter, from which book would you choose? If you choose the Bible, which chapter from which book of the Bible would you choose? My choice would be chapter 22 of Genesis. The story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac; Genesis 22:1-14 The Hebrews writer saw the similarities between Abraham & Isaac, and God & Jesus; Heb 11:17-19 v.1 - Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham; The Hebrew word for test here means to prove... v.2 - He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac; Is God just pounding that nail? 1) Your Son - (Mind) mental recognition... 2) Your Only Son - "only" means "joined to", placed his hopes in (Strength, where his future power lies)... 3) Whom You Love - deep affection (Heart)... 4) Isaac - the one promised (Soul) Luke 10:27 Isaac was established to "Prove" Abraham, just as Jesus was established to "Prove" God... to the world. v.2 - Go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you; Moriah comes from a word which means "to see"... God was establishing something with this event for all to see... Mount Gihon, is the mountain the Abraham on which probably built his altar to sacrifice Isaac. Gihon would come to be called Calvary, the hill where Jesus was crucified. v3 - Abraham is all in, but so is Isaac, without knowing it; Abraham's life was teaching exercise about redemption... * Abraham moved his family to Egypt because of famine and Sarah redeemed his life from the Egyptians; Gen 12:10-20 *Abraham was the Redeemer of all that Sodom had lost; Gen 14:11-24 * Abraham bargained with God for the Redemption Sodom; Gen 18:20-33 Now Abraham would learn the true cost of redemption... * Isaac was a promised son... Jesus was the promised Messiah, the son of God... * Isaac was born miraculously... Jesus was born miraculously... * Abraham was asked to sacrifice his beloved Son... God did sacrifice His beloved Son... * Isaac and Christ were both brought to the same hill to be sacrificed... How is the theology of this chapter in Abraham's life practically relevant to us? 1. The Cross Put God ALL IN; God wanted the us to see that the sacrifice of Christ on a cross on Mt Calvary wasn't simple or easy, but it was a cost He was willing to pay to prove He was all in for our redemption. Redemption is about the thing being redeemed, it's about the Redeemer... 2. The Cross Put Christ ALL IN; Christ like Isaac, was a lamb lead to the slaughter, He was willing to give up His life obediently, because like Isaac, He was all in also for our redemption... 3. The Cross Put Us ALL IN Together; None of this is easy... it's not simple... it's not without difficult choices... it's not always a smooth road... and some days are not without its agony and heartbreak... But God will always provide for what we need. He will provide for us because His love for us is so great that He allowed His son, His only son, whom He loved, Jesus, to be crucified for our Redemption...
In 1889 George Eastman founded Kodak. In 1976 Kodak had 90% of the film market in the United States, and 85% of the camera sales. In 2012 Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 2001 Kodak had an almost 1.5 billion dollar cash reserve. In Business there's a well known slogan, "Change or Die." Kodak's Moment came and went because it didn't change fast enough and it died! What if someone came up to you and said, "You must change or die!" Would you change? The answer is probably not... Two years after the heart incident, 9 out of 10 patients haven't changed their lifestyle. Change is about feeling not thinking... We don't change because change is uncomfortable and it doesn't feel good. What does repent mean, but to change... What does "Be born again" mean, but to change... What does "you must die to live mean", but to change... We have to change our life; * Matthew 10:39 Radical, sweeping, comprehensive changes are often easier for people than small, incremental ones... We see examples of this in the Bible; * Abraham - had to leave his father's home and country... * Moses - had to be remade in the desert... * Israel - had to escape Egypt... * Paul - had to be struck down on the road to Damascus... * Hebrews 10:24-25 * Acts 2:42 In this verse the same word is translated "gathering" not "assembling"... 2Thes 2:1 Hebrews 10:24 Is it anti-Christian to innovate if it means a more effective way to stimulate each other to love and good deeds? 1. assembly - meeting for a specific purpose - church 2. gathering - a social happening When people get together and fellowship and break bread is it an assembly or a gathering? Acts 2:42... The Pope goes into seclusion... Do you think it's a sin if you don't go to church? Why do you attend church? Think about this question this week and ask Christ if He agrees with your answer... The church can end up like Kodak if it resists the changes that are necessary for the sake of the Gospel.
Believers are confronted with persecution and tribulation all around the world today. No matter where we live in the world, we see the constant evil communications, and subtle (and not so subtle) innuendo's about the authority and even the existence of God. Believers are confronting a Gospel of Darkness. The world doesn't attack its' own... we are like a virus to the darkness... we're an obstruction to their message that would enslave the hearts and minds of the children of men... Some in this audience right now may be facing persecution and tribulation is China, North Korea, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia... In China & North Korea they don't want gatherings that can cause dissention... In Egypt, Iran, Sudan, & Saudi Arabia it's against the Islamic law to attempt to convert Muslims. Believers are harassed, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured by the religious police, known as the mutawa... (moo-too-ah) Right now, in Iran, Saeed Abedini, is charged with trying to convert Muslims to Christ... He recently wrote to his family saying, "My eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky. They are only waiting for one thing…for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me.” How should we respond to the persecution and tribulation believers are facing? Romans 5:3-5; "We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Exult; to stick out your neck. Hold our heads high... Why should we hold our heads high? Because our tribulation, produces perseverance in us; we learn to endure to the end like a woman delivering a child... What is delivered in us? Proven Character; others see our faith is genuine and the Gospel can be trusted... What is the result of a proven character? Hope; hope for something good, and God won't disappoint His children. Why won't we be disappointed? Because God's love is in us; His agape is in our hearts; It is "poured out" in us... How do we know this? Everyone who believes in Christ receives the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of God is love... We shouldn't be threatened or intimated by the gospel of darkness... We're to hold our heads up and persevere. As we do this our character, as children of a God, which the world denies, is proven, in front of their eyes, to be genuine and trustworthy. Christ said we are the salt of the earth... but if the salt loses its saltiness, with what will it be salted? Matthew 5:11-16; Your Good Deeds = God's Beautiful Creation; which is what we become through His love in us. We are the light (because the love of God resides in us through the Spirit of Christ) that everyone in darkness can see our good (Kal-os - beautiful, what is ordered and sound), works (Ergon - something created)... God is glorified because the world sees the beautiful work God has done in us... not our "good works... God is glorified because those in darkness can see the light of God's Spirit of love within us. And as our character is proven through our perseverance against the lies leveled at the Gospel of Christ, our hope is made visible to all because we are a contrast to the hopelessness of the world. Believers are the salt of the earth. The love of God in us is a light to the world. We are a "Beautiful Creation" of our Father's love, that is visible to everyone in darkness. Saeed Abedini in that Iranian prison is a light to that Muslim country right now. Through his perseverance in tribulation, his character will be proven, and displayed. His witness is like salt, sounding an alarm to those in darkness, and they will have the opportunity to come the light of the hope that resides in Him. Jesus Christ,
To understand the church we see around us, we need some church history; Where did the model for the church come from? In 457 BC the Persian king Artaxerxes allowed a Hebrew priest Ezra to return to Jerusalem to teach the Law to the Jews who lived there. When Ezra arrived he found a total abandonment of the Laws and traditions of Moses... Synagogue established during the Babylonian captivity - Neh 8:2 Synagogue's were established to re-educate the nation about their religious heritage... Christ called us to something more than what He found in Israel 2,000 years ago; 1. Called to be a Family; Rom 9:25& 26 2. Called to One Body; Col 3:15, 1Cor 12:12-17 3. Called to love; Rom 8:28, 1Jn 4:19-21, Jn 15:12 4. Called as Saints; Rom 1:7 5. Called to Freedom; Gal 5:13 6. Called to Peace; 1Cor 7:15 7. Called to Worship; Rev 22:9, Jn 4:23-24, Ps 100:1-5 "A Psalm for Thanksgiving. Shout joyfully (shout) to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness (happy); Come before Him with joyful (exuberant triumph) singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving (adoration) And His courts with praise (boasting). Give thanks to Him, bless (how can we bless God? How is any father blessed?) His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Can you hear God calling? Encouraging us to His family... Encouraging us to be in a relationship as a unified body... Encouraging us to love one another... Encouraging us to remember that we're all cleansed... Encouraging us to be independent... Encouraging us to live peacefully with each other... Encouraging us to express our joy through worship... Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." These are the People God Seeks... those who hear His call... My Way to Define the Church The church is as indefinable as God Himself. The Church is an expression of God in His creation through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the authority of Jesus Christ. The Church is like God, always expanding and yet remaining unchanged. The Church is a characteristic of God and therefore inexpressible. What we define as the church is our way of trying to understand and explain an unknowable and indescribable God. Using terms like Scripture, repentance, faith, believer, baptism, born again, salvation, congregation, bride of Christ, body of Christ, or family of God, only attempts to define our scope of understanding as those who have been sanctified by Christ, and brought into the Church of God by His grace. The Church is what God wants it to be, when He wants it to be, for as long as He wants it to be. As God said when Moses asked for His name, "I Am Who I Am." The Church Is what God Is!
The church, in this world, isn't my home because my home is where my Father is... When I say church I'm speaking of the physical church, not the spiritual church, the body of Christ... Just because a building has the name church on it that doesn't mean God is inside...
Question 1: Should children "Do" things to maintain their relationship in a family? Question 2: Should they "Do" something to get their parents to love them? Apply your answers to God, our perfect Father, and us as His children... How does the story we looked at in the last episode about Martha and Mary relate to "Doing for the Lord" and "Being with the Lord" and the church... Luke 10:38-42 The majority of us in this community have been believer's for a while. We have a moderate to a lot of experience living our faith and being involved with churches and religious organizations. The Martha phase of our relationship with God; 1. Welcome Christ in; Remember when you opened the door to Christ in your life... 2. Serve others; There's always a signup sheet in a church... 3. Complaining to God; Like Martha we complain to God because we feel He doesn't care about us... 4. Feeling Left alone; This is the warning sign that we're about to burnout... Martha was ready to put her serving aside and step away... Why do we, as believers, act like Martha? 1. Culture; Middle East traditional hospitality... 2. Religion; Jewish teaching... 3. Ego; need to impress, group dynamics... 4. Self-Righteousness; show others we're worthy to be saved... How can we be more like Mary, & find comfortable in Christ? Why did Martha and Mary responded differently to Christ... Contrasts between Martha & Mary: * Martha was serving, Mary was sitting * Martha was complaining, Mary was rejoicing * Martha was tiring, Mary was being refreshed John 11:1-2 John 12:1-3 There was a loving relationship between Christ, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus... John 11:5 Even though He loved them greatly, the death of Lazarus was more important than his healing... John 11:14-15 Jesus meets Martha in Bethany... John 11:21-27 Jesus meets Mary in Bethany... John 11:28-32 One sister had amazing faith, and the other had amazing love... We can "Do" faith, physically, but we can't physically "Do" love. Love is from the Spirit... Martha expressed her faith through serving, but felt alone... Mary expressed her love through loving and she was close enough to touch Christ... Martha had a "loving respect" for Christ, but Mary a passionate "Souled Out Love" for Christ... For our sake God doesn't always do what we "want most"... * The disciples didn't want Jesus to die... but for our sake He gave up His life... * Martha & Mary didn't want Lazarus to die... but for their sake and ours he did die... Things come into our life for our sake, and Jesus will weep for us because He has a "Souled Out Love" for us... not what we "want most" but what we "need most"... Because of His "Souled Out Love" for us we don't have to do anything to "Be" in a blameless spiritual relationship with Him... Christ encourages us to love, by loving us... Christ encourages us to love, by placing others in our life... Christ encourages us to love, by the events happening around us... We are encouraged by Christ, through His Spirit, to receive His "Souled Out Love". And soon we'll discover, that the "Souled Out Love" of Christ within us, will become "Love out of our souls". And we'll also realize that the true power of God in us isn't in our faith in Christ, it's His "Souled Out Love" for us!
Is it better to "Do" work for God or "Be" a child in God's family? This episode explores the difference between working for God, and being God's child.