Tag Archives: Heaven

Responder

God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. God has done the work. We respond. It is very simple but we often trivialize it. If your relationship with God is based on works, then it is not the relationship God intended for His children.

As I said before, you cannot earn your way into heaven. Today’s passage speaks of getting in step with God. How do we do this? “By letting Him set the pace.” We cannot run the parade but so often we try. Notice the verse says “anxiously trying.” We only try and then fail because we never were in control and we will never be in control.

Letting Him set the pace is difficult. Being a responder is a challenge. It means we must humbly obey. It means we must wait patiently. It means we must walk in faith. Like Abraham who believed God, so must we. Like Moses who walked in the Wilderness for years, so must we follow the path set forth for us. I pray that if you haven’t already done so, that you get your life in step with God. Let Him set the pace for the parade.

“So where does that leave our proud Jewish insider claims and counterclaims? Canceled? Yes, canceled. What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.” – Romans 3:27-28 [MSG]

No Negotiations

Today’s passage can teach us so much. Jesus knew that this man was clinging too tightly to his money. He tried to show the man that He could offer him something greater than temporal riches, true riches in heaven. The rich man found this difficult to hear and he could not do as Jesus commanded.

Notice what happens next. You do not read about Jesus changing what was demanded of this fellow. He didn’t say, “Yeah, I know that money means a lot to you so you go ahead and keep half. You don’t have to give everything away. Just give half.” Jesus did not do that. There were no negotiations. He did not change or adapt to give someone a more appealing offer to accept. That is never the case.

So then the question is why do we try to glamorize Jesus and change His Word so that people will make the choice to accept Him? Why do we try to lure people to be Christians with half truths and PowerPoint Presentations that entertain while misrepresenting? At the end of the day, what they are accepting is not Jesus. They are accepting the comfortable; cake-on-a-plate Christianity you show them, that will be so cherry picked the truth cannot be recognized. Jesus does not need you to make Him appealing. There should be no negotiations. Just show them Jesus.

“One day one of the local officials asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to deserve eternal life?’ Jesus said, ‘Why are you calling me good? No one is good—only God. You know the commandments, don’t you? No illicit sex, no killing, no stealing, no lying, honor your father and mother.’ He said, ‘I’ve kept them all for as long as I can remember.’ When Jesus heard that, he said, ‘Then there’s only one thing left to do: Sell everything you own and give it away to the poor. You will have riches in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ This was the last thing the official expected to hear. He was very rich and became terribly sad. He was holding on tight to a lot of things and not about to let them go. Seeing his reaction, Jesus said, ‘Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom? I’d say it’s easier to thread a camel through a needle’s eye than get a rich person into God’s kingdom.’”

-Luke 18:18-25 [MSG]

 

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A Priceless Inheritance

Inheritance is a word that is tossed around often. Some people work hard to leave a large financial inheritance to their children. Some people spend a lot of time teaching their children so that their inheritance is a great moral legacy. Some people are “lucky” to receive an inheritance that will help them out of their financial ruins. Many people seek out a lawyer to get proper documentation to ensure the inheritance will be split up as they wish.

This type of inheritance is very different from what God offers us—He offers us a priceless inheritance. There is no price we can pay for this inheritance. He freely gives it us because of His love and grace. You won’t get a nice spot in the will for being the better son or daughter. Each person is equal with God. He loves each person as His only child.

Not only can no one pay for this inheritance He offers, but nothing can compare to this inheritance. This inheritance doesn’t run out. It does not depreciate in value. It is always awaiting you. We are so fortunate that because of God’s love, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, that we are able to receive such an inheritance, a priceless inheritance. Now let us live with great expectation of this inheritance, praising God for all that He has done and awaiting the day He calls us home.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance–an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” – 1 Peter 1:3-4 [NLT]

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Sweet Perfume

I have a very sensitive nose so there are particular perfumes and colognes that cause me to sneeze and some even kick in my asthma. As you personally select a perfume or cologne, you most likely spray it in the air or try a little dab on your wrist to smell. You want to select something that smells good, that is pleasant to your nose. The problem is that everyone has a different sense of smell and everyone likes different smells. I love the smell of vanilla candles. I love the smell of Dove soap. But when I enter some department stores and I’m bombarded by some intense smells, it is anything but a sweet perfume. There are times when all I can do is gag and duck outside quickly holding my nose.

Paul mentioned that as we are used to spread the message of Christ  we could be compared to a “sweet perfume.” But he continued to explain the problem. Yes, God loves the “Christ-like fragrance” but there are others who don’t like our sweet perfume. Paul said, “We are a dreadful smell.” We smell so badly to some people because we are seen as the bearer of judgment upon them. Ever notice if someone shares the Word of God and it’s received by non-believers badly—they say the people are being “judgmental.” Yet a person was simply reciting what God has said. The person was not judging the person. God’s Word is convicting. Being convicted of sin, being found guilty can cause great frustration and anger, hence the reason for the “dreadful smell.”

Continue to be a sweet perfume, sharing Christ and pressing forward. Understand that to some you will be a sweet perfume, but to others you will stink. They will not want to be around your “dreadful smell.” Still press forward. Still spread the scent. Remember, we are to please God not man.

“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” – 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 [NLT]

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Going Down Under Over eBook Now Available

goingdown2This book is about taking a walk in faith and trusting God to do the impossible in your life. This book takes you on my journey to Australia, but it also discusses some things that happened before the trip and when I returned back to the States. It turned out that the story wasn’t simply about Going Down Under, but about getting Over some things. Sometimes God needs to bring us down to see what is up! This story is all about a walk of faith and encourages others to walk in faith, trusting that He is with you each step of the way.

ISBN: 9781468922721

Follow the links for a sneak peek or to purchase:

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Excerpts from The Twelve Fingerprints

Read by the author Tania Goody


[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AsFM1pdrig%5D

The Twelve Fingerprints eBook is now available at various vendors.
ISBN: 9781468921052

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This book is not about me. This book is not about my journey so far through life. This book is about my God and some of the fingerprints He allowed to leave a mark on my life. In the end, it all comes down to our relationship with God, and how we react to each fingerprint left on our life is directly related to the person we become. Our reactions to each fingerprint not only show our true colors, but it also is interlinked with our faith. May this book help you to see that every fingerprint can result in a positive reaction if you allow God to have His way in your life. This book was written to cause one to evaluate and question and to seek God and His purpose.

The Twelve Fingerprints is Now Available

The Twelve Fingerprints eBook is now available at various vendors.


This book is not about me. This book is not about my journey so far through life. This book is about my God and some of the fingerprints He allowed to leave a mark on my life. In the end, it all comes down to our relationship with God, and how we react to each fingerprint left on our life is directly related to the person we become. Our reactions to each fingerprint not only show our true colors, but it also is interlinked with our faith. May this book help you to see that every fingerprint can result in a positive reaction if you allow God to have His way in your life. This book was written to cause one to evaluate and question and to seek God and His purpose.

ISBN: 9781468921052

Follow the links for a sneak peek or to purchase:

Amazon
Booktango
Google Books
Kobo Books
Scribd

Drowning in Clutter

    For exactly the last three months, I have lived a life with very little clutter. Three months ago, my family and I headed to the airport and we began our voyage to Australia. Our items were in storage. We stayed in Sydney for two and a half months, living out of suitcases. We really didn’t miss any of our belongings in the United States. When we returned back to the States, we ended up needing to wait for a home to rent. Therefore, we are staying with friends and still living out of suitcases.

    This morning, I went to our storage center, a small 10 x 10 unit that stores all of our possessions. Most people could not store all of their things in such a small area; however, we barely fill half of the unit. As I passed a few other people with their doors open, I couldn’t help but notice their things pouring out of the unit. Some people are drowning in clutter.

    The Bible tells us to not store up a bunch of possessions here on earth. The Apostle Paul was content with so little. Paul said,“ I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means” (Philippians 4:11b-12a NASB). Too often we tend to mix our wants and needs. We also fill the gaps in our lives with stuff in hope that we will feel better. The gap that needs filled can only be filled by our loving Father. This is why Jesus says to seek first the kingdom of heaven. If we truly do this with our entire heart, we wouldn’t feel such a void in our lives.

    Clutter can cause stress. Clutter can cause a loss of focus in our lives. It can keep us from experiencing peace. It can require a lot of energy from us. Clutter can become such a burden, and yet sometimes even more clutter is added to cope with the stress of the burden. It’s okay to have things. It’s okay to like things. But it’s not okay to drown ourselves with things. God wants you to have peace. If you feel your environment is not peaceful, look around and see if you are drowning in clutter.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21 [NASB]