January 22, 2018

Pass It On

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up to its glowing
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You spread your love to everyone
You want to pass it on

What a wondrous time is spring
When all the trees are budding
The birds begin to sing,
The flowers start their blooming
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You want to sing, it’s fresh like spring
You want to pass it on

I wish for you my friend,
This happiness that I’ve found
You can come join in,
It matters not where you’re bound
I’ll shout it from the mountain tops
I want the world to know
The joy of friends has come to me
I want to pass it on

Composed by Kurt Kaiser ~ Sung by Evie Tournquist (Karlsson)

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

As I start this new year of 2015, I must force myself to take a few moments to review what my past year has been, and to reflect on what I want in my new year.  It’s very easy for me to just keep running from December 31, 2014 right into January 1, 2015 without even thinking about it.

This past year I have grown more in love with Jesus.  There have been good times when the flame of His love has burned brightly for all to see.  And then there were the tough times when it seemed to be only a spark hidden in the ashes.  It could only be seen when I looked closely and stirred the ashes around.  In the hardest of times…in the darkest of moments…I’ve known deep in my heart that He was still with me and my family and my friends.  I just needed to stir the ashes to find the spark and get the fire going again.

That’s how it is with God’s love.  His love is always with us through all that we go through.  It may seem that our circumstances (ashes) have suffocated it but, thank God, that is impossible.  Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity,
or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
(As the Scriptures say, “For Your sake we are killed every day;
we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, Who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—
indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God
that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39 NLT

In this new year with this wonderful promise, I pray that the light of God’s love will shine through me and that the warmth from the flame of His love will touch the hearts of others.  I want to pass on ‘this happiness that I’ve found’ in Christ to those around me—friend and stranger alike.  Is this your desire and prayer for 2015?

With great love, I pray this over my grandchildren…and now I pray this over each of you:

…I pray to our Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to Him in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever!  Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT

If you have the light of Christ’s love in you—pass it on in 2015.

CHRISTLife — TwentyOne: Dead To Sin

cl dead to sinTherefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality,
impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
Colossians 3:3-5

As incredible as these truths are…they ARE the Truth!  God said so!  So, if God says, “You have been raised up with Christ; keep seeking the things above…”  then that is what we must do!  And we must remember that this IS possible!  This is <now> the real y.o.u. (and me, too)!

We have been working for awhile now on changing the images we hold in our hearts and our minds.  No longer always thinking of ourselves with the negative connotations and names that we did before, but confessing, “I AM who God says I am!”  And so I am:

  • dead to sin
  • alive to God
  • righteous
  • no longer a slave to sin
  • risen to God
  • resurrected with a new life

Mrs. Myers writes, “This new, Christ-centered view of who we are (which is unquestionably true, for God cannot lie) provides the basis for living a righteous, obedient life.  The more we see who we are in Christ, the more the idea of flirting with sin becomes inconceivable…” (page 90).  Consider this in a practical way:

Since I am alive with Christ in me, I can live as righteously as He and be obedient to God the Father.  How ludicrous then is any consideration of sin (or “flirting with sin, as Mrs. Myers puts it). Would Jesus have?  No;  He never sinned.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:14 and 15

He is always available to help us, to encourage us.  We have to remember that we are dead to sin…and ourselves, like our Lord, not give in to the temptation.  We CAN do this; God says so.  Remember “I AM who God says I am”—I AM dead to sin.  This means we don’t have to live with “sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, greed, covetousness (or any other sinful desire that you might struggle with—depression, addictions, self-pity, selfishness, ________, ________ (fill in the blank!).   Philippians 4:13 (AMP) says we have strength for all things in Christ, we’re ready for anything, and we are self-sufficient in His sufficiency.

And you He made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins
in which you once walked, following the course of this world,
following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,
following the desires of body and mind,
and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:1-5

The Amplified Bible translates verses 4 and 5 like this, listen:

But God—so rich is He in His mercy!
Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love
with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings
and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ;
[He gave us the very life of Christ Himself,
the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace
(His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved
(delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

Isn’t that beautiful?!!

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Let’s pray the words of this anointed prayer together:
Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;  that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,  that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.  Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen.