Casting Crowns unto Christ

For those of us that may wonder at the importance expressed in scripture of laying up your treasurers in heaven and living a life for the crowns that await those who choose to live a resurrected life now, let’s realize that this mortal body will be changed at the rapture and it will be our strongest desire to hear; “Well done good and faithful servant.” There will no longer be time to adjust or change our priorities.  Our love for the Lord now will be revealed as we step up to know what will stand the fire at the Judgment Seat of Christ and go into the eternal kingdom.  How we make our choices here in serving and the crowns received will simply reflect our having Him as our first love in this earthly life. This is really is a heart issue if we can see beyond today as God sees.

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Character Building for the Bema

Pain in this life can blind and bind us to just keep going on, one day at a time.  Our focus during these struggles to keep an eternal perspective becomes next to impossible to the natural “man.” Whether originating from  neglect or cruelty of another, circumstances that harm which the sufferer has no control, some dark hour from the past re-surfaces with no relief in sight, or just the intense pain in physical consequences of living in this “earth suit”, we have been given the promise of.


 

I Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” That is through his strength, not ours. In our own abilities we can and will sink. The provision is from and through him.

At these times we need to remember that God dare not risk the loss of the person in pain, which has cost Him the blood of His son. There are reserves of grace and strength which are lying unrecognized within us.Testing or temptation will bring these attributes to the surface and sustain us.

There are general rewards as well as specific. To encourage us while living with pain, let’s start looking at the general blessings that await us and  what we can look forward to enjoying, forever.

Running the Race

Every action can have a reaction. As we continue today we  examine some incentives on guarding  our thoughts, deeds, and decisions  as they are shaping our tomorrows.

All Christians will one day stand before our Lord  Jesus where our lives in serving Him will be examined. This event is called the Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema).

The sin issue is not the focus as it was covered by Jesus Christ at the Cross, but how we choose to serve Him as Christians  will be the  focus at the Bema.  There will be rewards, however, there can be loss. The apostle Paul compares The Judgment Seat of Christ to the Greek athletic games where people would participate in competition and those receiving the prize would go before a throne where the judge would sit and give the winner his prize and was  known as the “Bema.”

It will be a time of great joy or loss of the prize, depending on how we run the race here. “ Let’s run the race so we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”  I John 2:28.

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Purpose of the Bema

Some say if you are too heavenly minded you are no earthly good.  The truth of the matter is that we must be heavenly minded if we want to be any earthly good.  Life needs purpose and if we drift or coast through life without purpose we will surely miss the goal Christ has called us to live.

Our Father has one purpose in all His is ways and that is to conform us to the image (character) of His Son,. This may explain our perplexities as to the past, it should control our behavior in the present, and be our guide for the future.

Many times we want Him to just explain the  reason for the trials we pass through and  give us all the details so we can understand what is happening and if He doesn’t we search for meaning and purpose.

Knowing the Father’s heart,  teaches us to be accountable to Him with eternity  values in view. “Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall  confess to God. So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God”

Today we look at the absolutes in Scripture that let us understand the purpose of the BEMA (The Judgment Seat of Christ) so we will live with heavenly vision and purpose.

Sowing and Reaping

As we continue to review the need to live a resurrected life with eternity values in view, the incentive to make wise choices each day can be seen in the truth of Galatians 6:7-11.  The laws of farming applied to  sowing and reaping.

Many will use this passage in a negative application, meaning earthy and fleshly living will result in a loss of good works. However, there is another aspect that sowing unto the eternal and righteous living will reap a bountiful crop with great rewards, both here and when we go home to meet our  Lord.

Today, we look at the principles of sowing and reaping through the eyes of a farmer sowing his seed.

Many of our problems that we may be reaping today are the results of bad farming practices in our lives.  Learning these different “laws” can protect and correct from reaping any future “bad crops.”

Our goal is to make sure that we understand, so that our labor will not be in vain and we can look forward to seeing our Lord and Savior when He calls.

The Resurrected Life

We are celebrating resurrection day this Sunday.  Arising from the grave and being seen by hundreds confirmed the validity of the spoken word regarding CHRIST IS ALIVE.  We are the only people who can claim our founder is alive and well, preparing us a place to be with Him forever-Heaven. With so much to look forward to we need to remember that a life lived for self may compromise one of our greatest promises of ruling and reigning with Him.

Janie and Sharon dig a little deeper and see what our purpose is in spending time here in preparation for eternity there.  They begin the unraveling of what is the purpose of the Judgment Seat of Christ, to many simply known as the Bema. What it is and what is the purpose.  What causes a Christian to look forward to this time and what may cause a Christian to be fearful of this event. How  can we insulate our lives so that we will be ready to meet Jesus and not be fearful of loss as mentioned in the Bible.

The resurrection has provided us the path to maturity and how to daily walk that path with love and confidence. Come explore the connection of the resurrection, sowing and reaping, and life with the Son, Jesus Christ.

Emotions in Dark Times

There are times in our lives when the Lord appears to pull back the comfort and grace that we all want and need each day.  We start to question His goodness and protective care.  When we do, we open ourselves up to another set of messy emotions.   If we do not bring our thoughts captive we can fall under the control of the enemy, unknowingly. The Lord’s silence may simply be His stretching us to grow in deeper faith and trust in Him.

However, if we fail to put on the full armor or God, be ignorant of Satan’s devices, fail to resist the enemy by steadfast faith, or have an unteachable spirit; we can easily open the door to enemy influence.   Pride can come out of our thinking, personality, and emotions in 100 different ways.  We are not to spend our time focusing on the enemy, taking our eyes off of the Lord, who is our strength, shield, and foundation for overcoming.  Nevertheless, we are to look into the Word of God and find out how the devil’s tactics are shown as examples from the scripture.

Thirty-One Kings by A. B. Simpson

The enemy  cannot read our minds, but he can plant thoughts from external sources and internal stored memories.  If we resort to listening, then our behavior will show that influence in our actions and the enemy will know how to further his cause in us.  Remember, he can hear what we say and do. He is an expert in deception and blindness.

Satan’s  downfall of defeat for eternity was in his prideful desire to be worshipped as god and he wants to take us down that same road of worship of self. We all must battle the spirit of pride in our lives; but can learn the mind of Christ to counter false thinking.

We  examine scripture today  that builds truth deep within our inner being to keep us from taking this destructive detour.

 

Thirty-One Kings by A. B. Simpson

Emotions In Loss

“There hath no temptation (testing) overtaken you but such is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Emotions are Messy and sometimes it’s because we are suffering loss; grieving or mourning. Loss comes in many different ways; death, job, career, marriage, retirement, home, dreams, etc. Janie and Sharon discuss the 5 aspects of grief that we usually pass through in coming to terms with loss. They also discuss how stress can be a factor that makes for messy emotions.

Five Aspects of Grief

His Truth Transforms Ministries, a ministry we trust, has some books for “preventing emotional meltdowns” Anger, Anxieties, Depression, Fear, and Guilt.

Emotions are Manageable

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12.

We can never figure out flesh and we should never fight people in the flesh, but give all those cares to the Lord. Managing our emotions is a process of building the character of Christ in us. When we learn to take our thoughts captive and manage our emotions that come from those thoughts, God can build His character in us. His character can be described as calm, tranquil, tender and these are things we can ask Him to build in us.

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Emotions are Messengers Pt. 2

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you” John 14:26.

Janie and Sharon continue to discuss the importance of knowing how to hear the messages that emotions are bringing to us. Where do emotions come from and how can we distinguish what they are saying.

“At a very early age, we begin to receive messages and impressions about ourselves from those around us; parents, brothers, sisters, kids on the playgrounds, teachers, etc. These messages results in approval/acceptance that makes us feel OK about ourselves, or bring disapproval/rejection that makes us feel bad.”

 

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Emotions are Messengers Pt. 1

There are different frequencies between AM and FM Radio.  If listening to AM stations you cannot hear the FM stations  and listening to the FM stations you cannot hear the AM stations.  You do not choose what is put on the AM or FM frequencies but you can choose which frequency you listen to.

The same is true of your mind.  Spiritual conflicts begin in the mind. You have one mind with two sources of programming from which to choose-either self pleasing or God pleasing.

We are programmed through our five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. As we use these senses they  produces thoughts and/or arouses memories. Depending on what you “ listen” to through your senses  your mind will express corresponding emotions; influencing your actions of behavior. Behavior becomes  a habit and a habit becomes a lifestyle.  Now we can understand the importance of listening to the right “frequency.”

Learn how to set the frequency that will tune-in to living in quiet confidence in the midst of your circumstances. One brings health and healing, the other brings confusion and defeat.

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Rx PreScriptures

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Joy is a state of being and a gift from God-given to those who wait and trust on Him in the difficult time of life; those ready for a total commitment to the plan and purpose God has for us.  Sometimes we fail to move forward because we lack vision even after the desire to serve is within our hearts.

Proverbs 29:18 tells us “where there is no vision, the people perish” (or run wild).  We are in an age and culture where our vision has become very short-sighted and rather than having a single focus we are occupied with over stimulation of choices from the world around us, robbing us of the precious promises that are waiting for those that will “walk the talk”.

Many mistake joy with happiness.  Feelings, also a gift, when positive can also feel like joy.  We need to learn how God has made us.  The brain has a major role in how the body passes on information we gather from our senses and thinking.  Understanding how the brain works in behalf of the body and how it can work against us is determined by us.  “As a man thinks, so is he.”  Study along with us as we start an adventure inside the body, as it has been purchased by  the Lord Jesus on the Cross as a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit to work through us.

Joy in Adversity

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” Philippians 4:4


 

Joy is very often associated with adversity in scripture as the result  of accepting the hard times of life.  We don’t wait for the hard times to come before we learn the art of living in joy and developing the mind-set our Lord shows us throughout the Word.  Adversity can promote the progress of the Gospel in many different ways.  We must not make it our goal to get out of difficult situations as these may be a part of the calling of God in working out His eternal plan and purpose for getting the Good News to all.  Resting in His wisdom for each of our lives will keep us from discouragement and wanting to throw in the towel when we think we have heard His voice and then plans don’t go according to our best in intent, agenda, and desire.

Adversity  will have unknowns and complexities, but the foundation that will hold us fast is: looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher our of faith, renewing our mind in the word, bringing every thought into captivity in a commitment of total surrender, acknowledging our fears and dread of the unknown.  Claiming JOY is all circumstances and learning how to apply, and finally waiting on the renewed mercies to live one day and maybe each hour in trust, obedience; made possible through love and led by the Holy Spirit as Grace Covers All.

The Attitude of Joy

Attitudes are the foundation on which our actions are built.

This sentences gives us a picture of the important role attitudes play in our lives. Our attitude must start from scripture – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these” Mark 12:30-31. Putting Jesus first, Others second, and You last will produce real JOY, but living out JOY cannot be done in our own strength. The scriptures are what gives life to joy in our lives. Joy is experienced through a leading of the Holy Spirit. Paul gives us an example of joy in his letter the Philippians; which was written while he was chained in prison, yet joy flowed from his heart.

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Joy of the Lord

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in Your presences is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” Psalm 16:11

The new year is here and we are wishing people Happy New Year.  We want people to enjoy the new year putting old memories behind and looking to a bright future.  Some people are very sincere when they give this salutation ,and some say it as a matter of tradition. But is happy as good as it gets?

The Lord offered a better word in place of happy.  It is joy.  Happy is connected with happenings and some are good and some not  so good.  When we depend on our circumstances to determine how our emotions and thinking relate to our happiness, happy falls short of what is being offered by the Lord. His joy comes from delighting to do the will of His Father and prays that His disciples may have this joy fulfilled in themselves.  John 17.22

Discover with us the surprises that await when we choose to see His example, understand the joy He offers, and follow the path that leads to true joy regardless of our outward condition.

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