Safeguarding the truth

I sometimes look at the content of my blog and wonder if there is enough variety to keep readers interested. This comes from a human mindset that always wants to hear new things and constantly be entertained. In itself it is not a bad mindset to have – but in terms of Christianity it can lead to many churches straying away from the core focus which is Jesus. He is, and should always be, the center of the Gospel.

Paul also wrote about the same topic in Phillipians 3:

“For the rest, my brethren, delight yourselves in the Lord and continue to rejoice that you are in Him. To keep writing to you [over and over] of the same things is not irksome to me, and it is [a precaution] for your safety.” Phillipians 3:1

By repeating the truth over and over again, Paul wanted to protect their newfound safety in Christ. They were surrounded by lawful voices telling them to do various things in order to establish righteousness. He repeated over and over again that Jesus is the only source of their righteousness, and the only way to salvation.

Just like Paul, I will repeat these truths in order to protect my own spiritual safety and that of all the readers.

Stay safe in the singular focus of the Gospel which is Jesus. Stay safe in the knowledge that faith in Him is the only way to attain righteousness. Stay safe in the knowledge that none of your own works can save you. Stay safe in the knowledge that God does not condemn you, and that He loves you without condition.

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5 Minute Friday: See…

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is See…, so here are my 5 unedited minutes:

SEE…

Go:

“If only you could see yourself as I see you, dear child. When I look at you I see a perfect person. You are beautiful, there is no flaw in you. I am so excited about who you are – I rejoice over you with singing. You are my beloved, and my banner over you is love. My love is perfect and it drives away all fear. You can look to me and only see grace. Do not think that I will condemn you – through the blood of Christ I only see a white-washed, righteous being in front of me. See the plans I have for you – plans to prosper you, to give you a hope and a future. My thoughts toward you are only good. See my true character – I am a father who delights in you. I love to give you good gifts – even more so than an earthly father. I love you. See yourself as I see you.”

References: Song of Solomon 4:7; Zephaniah 3:17; Song of Solomon 2:4; John 8:11; Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 7:11; 1 John 4:18

Stop.

Black + Red = White

Marnes Nel of Abundant Grace Ministries once said that the blood of Jesus is better than Omo. Omo, for those readers living outside of South Africa, is our country’s most well-known laundry detergent.

When your clothing gets soiled Omo does a great job of cleaning it. But…after the next use it needs to go back into the wash to be cleaned all over again! This cycle repeats itself all the time – there is never a point where you can sit back and know that your garment is permanently clean.

“The blood of Jesus is better than Omo.” If we believe in the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross all our sins are cleared and we become white as snow (Is 1:18). The world needs to know that this cleansing of our sins through His blood is a permanent wash. It is not an action that needs to be repeated over and over again. The Word says His blood cleanses us and keeps us cleansed. We don’t have to struggle with condemnation, we can just turn to God knowing He did a completely perfect job.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9

“For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.” Heb 10:14

No part of our salvation is left for us to clean. He wiped away every trace of darkness and sin. His single offering was enough to forever cleanse every part of our sinful nature. We are perfected in Him.

5 MINUTE FRIDAY: OPPORTUNITY

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Opportunity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

OPPORTUNITY

Go:

God was the first to take the opportunity to reach out. He looked at my lost soul and decided that I was worth the life of His only, perfectly blameless Son. He made it possible for me to reach into the depths of the holy of holies – to literally step in and know Him intimately. He gave me the opportunity to live with Him for all eternity, and all I had to do was to believe in His Son’s sacrifice.

I grabbed hold of this opportunity given to me with both hands. It is completely undeserved – receiving complete pardon of my sinful nature by only believing! What an incredible exchange!

Now I will endeavour to see God’s goodness in everything. It is all around me – I can literally taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)! I will take every opportunity to think upon His goodness and provision, and be filled with His life and peace.

All that remains is the opportunity to love Him, because He first loved me. There is no effort in our relationship, just grace.

Stop.

Worry-warts

It is something we all are guilty of on a daily basis – some much more than others. Go take a look at two previous posts on Fear and the process of Letting Go…this post will tie in well with them.

Every situation we encounter in life has the potential to go in two directions: either positive, or negative. Compulsive worry-warts (like me, especially when it comes to our baby) see the danger, the potential problems arising a mile ahead of the event itself. Taking the baby on an outing, I worry that he will cry inconsolably. Feeding him, I worry that he isn’t getting enough milk. During the day, I worry that he isn’t getting enough sleep. Although it is hard for me to admit this, this process is a huge waste of my time and efforts. Not only is it unproductive and, like fear, based in the non-existent future – it also leads to sickness and sadness.

So Jesus tells me the following today:

“So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Matt 6:34

I need to let go of the aspects of any situation that are beyond my control, and focus only on living in the moment. His grace is sufficient for anything that could come my way. I must only focus on His provision, not the potential problem.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully];” 2 Cor 12:9

Without worry, we will experience abundant joy and light living. Our minds will be filled with peace. Some last encouraging words if we let go of our own yokes and trust in the abundant provision of Jesus:

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Mat 11:30

5 MINUTE FRIDAY: PERSPECTIVE

Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Perspective, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:

PERSPECTIVE

Go:

His vantage point is different from mine. When I look at me I see brokenness, fragility and sin. I see everything that should keep me away from His presence, and all that should exclude me from His grace.

What He sees is a completely different picture. When He looks in my direction, He sees a body that has been made whole by His Son’s death. He sees a strong woman, holy and unblemished. Instead of the faults that cloud my vision, He looks into the face of Jesus – and all He can see is my righteousness. No effort is required from my side other than to believe in His sacrifice. This washes me once, forever and perfectly.

Stop.

Letting go…

Why is it so difficult to let go? To forget about our own plans and ways of doing things and just let God take over?

I don’t give Him enough of a chance to actually show me what He can do in my life. I hold onto this urge to control every aspect of my life so tightly, that He cannot be the God who is able to do more than I could ever dream or imagine (Eph 3:20).

“God is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” Eph 3:20

God has all the solutions you will ever need. Every answer you need is wrapped up in Jesus. If we just allow Him to set the pace and guide us in our everyday lives, we will be amazed at the results!

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

If we give our worries to God and allow Him to take care of us, we will experience a peace that far transcends all understanding. Suddenly our lives won’t be governed by this inexhaustible need to control every detail, but we will rather experience a wonderfully liberating joy and peace.

I need this in my life!