For God So Loved

“For God So Loved”   ( John 3:16a )

Because God loved I have an invitation to the wedding feast of the lamb.

( Revelation 19:6-9 )

So will those who have offended me worst,

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The Advent of Hope

It was many years ago now that I came to the end of myself. I’d been pushing through and making do and trying to be saviour of a situation in my life and finally, one day, I came to the end of myself.

I breathed out to God, “I just can’t do this anymore.” and God breathed back to me, “Finally, now this is something I can work with.”

This was the day that hope began for me. I stopped carrying the whole load, I confessed my frailty, and God stepped in.

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Jesus and Norwex

I’ve always hated cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. The cleaners that we traditionally use have such strong chemicals that my body usually itches like nuts after using them.

I was therefore thrilled to learn about a product called Norwex that produces cleaning cloths with antibacterial agent actually embedded inside the tiny microfibre.

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The Wide Road and The Narrow Road

“You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The [road that leads to destruction]ESV* is broad, and it’s gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NLT    *[highway to hell] NLT

I have become convinced that the wide and the narrow roads that Jesus talks about are not in regards to sin per se, but about our response to sin. The Wide Road experiences sin in shame and condemnation and out of that experience works to rid itself of sin. The Wide Road is where we put in good works and our own efforts to try and make ourselves right with God.

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How Do We Change?

In our man-made religions it is easy to believe that change comes about from our own efforts.

We try this, we loose off that, we struggle here, we add habits, we work and strive and concentrate until we are exhausted and weary and beaten up.

This is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ.

While self effort may be good for our outer bodies it has no impact whatsoever on the core of who we are.

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Intimacy with God

It is in the quiet of our hearts where we enter into intimacy with God. When there is noise we cannot hear so well.

Our hearts ‘noise’ comes in the form of lies, fears, and judgments.

Lies get in the way of hearing God and of experiencing God because they scream loud. Very loud.

Think about condemning phrases over your life, the self-talk that came from long ago, the beliefs about your worth or the character of God that stand in the way of intimacy.

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Cancelling Equations

The hardest thing about life in Christ can be the grace.

We say we want grace, accept it and all, but often our lives reveal just the opposite.

We grumble when others get a break – We never had one!

We impose the same restrictions we knew – It’s the way it works after all!

We condemn mistakes – We had to pay the price!

But let me ask you – what if Christ wants to give a fresh break? What if Christ wants to bless beyond what is deserved? What if Christ has freedom regardless of what’s been done wrong?

How would that make you feel?

If it was for another? If it was for your enemy? If it was for yourself?

When others get what we never got, our insides can seethe with disdain and bitterness. In this we make those ones into enemies. We step outside of mercy and grace and into judgment and condemnation.

Worst of all, it’s us who pay the biggest price. Our insides become eaten up as though a horde of cockroaches has moved in.

We are prickly, we jump at anything too easy, we can’t give a helping hand, and we cannot enter in to what the Lord might have in us, or through us.

It’s all got to be done according to our equations of how life works. We forget, that God changed the equations.

What equations might God want to dismantle in your heart and mind?

What equations might you stop holding over others?

“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24