Inexpressable Joy!


Cheerleader

“But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Romans 10: 8-10

Let’s imagine you were searching for a way to pay off your debts and also the debts of those you love. And one day you discovered in your own back yard a gold mine. Would not the prospect of how this discovery would enrich your life bring you much relief and joy? You could hardly contain your excitement and wouldn’t you be overcome to share the awesome news? Matthew 13:45-46

This is exactly what occurred with two of Jesus’ disciples on the day of His resurrection. They were leaving Jerusalem walking to a village named Emmaus discussing the crucifixion and how it was said by some women Jesus was no longer dead. But either they did not recall His promise to be raised from the dead, or they doubted His Word. Suddenly, Jesus appeared unrecognized and walked with them, asking them the reason for their sadness and the event of their discussion. When they expressed their disappointment concerning His death He began to admonish them for not believing what the prophets had said in the scriptures concerning why He had to suffer and die and then be raised alive after three days. Along the way, He expounded the scriptures and pointed to the prophets who foretold His coming. When they finally arrived at their destination they were no longer in doubt but “believed”. (Luke 24)

While they shared a meal, Jesus broke the bread and suddenly they recognized Him before He disappeared. And so it was just as Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, He also broke open the Word to their understanding of what was said about Him throughout the scriptures. Their excitement and joy was so great they returned to tell the other disciples what they had heard and seen.
So it is when someone comes to the place of recognizing God’s Word as the Truth concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of their sins, they also realize the debt of their sin has been paid and they can’t wait to share with someone the good news.
It is not a legalistic work concerning confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior but rather the natural response from someone who has first believed it with their mind and heart. It is the evidence of someone “born again” into the Kingdom of God where there is inexpressible joy! For out of the mouth of babes there is much praise.
(Luke 19: 37-40, Matthew 21:16)

Do you believe Jesus Christ is Lord with the assurance of the forgiveness of your sin which guarantees you eternal life? Or do you doubt this Truth? If you believe, there will be a time you will also confess it, for you won’t be able to contain the good news.

 

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Superficial


Luke 10: 25-37

Shallow

Superficial:  Concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious: a superficial observer    Dictionary.com

In my last blog, “The Spiritual Reflux Disease” I used the Lord’s metaphor, “The Vine and the Branches” to demonstrate how a believer must abide in Christ’s love to allow the power of His love to flow through us to others. The analogy of the vein to the branches makes sense in the fact that He uses His vessels (branches) attached to Him to bring the source of His cleansing blood to those who need forgiveness and healing.
Unfortunately, the Venaseal procedure I mentioned for the treatment for the Venous reflux disease resulted in a contraindication called, “Thrombophlebitis” – a blood clot that develops in a surface vein. This is one of the risks of the procedure, along with an allergic reaction to the Venaseal glue. I had both.
The area became swollen, infected, inflamed, and painful, therefore, I lost confidence in going forth with any more procedures.  I also was running a slight fever. I prayed, asking the Lord to give me wisdom on what to do.  So, I called my physician and he prescribed an antibiotic.  I took the medication for two days and was reexamined. The inflammation had spread, and it was determined that I was probably experiencing an allergic reaction to the glue used to seal the diseased vein. He then prescribed Benadryl and compression to the weakened area to allow increased blood flow. The combination of compression and Benadryl produced a decrease in swelling, pain, and inflammation. But the Superficial Thrombophlebitis remained. I am grateful for a physician who listens and is willing to see things from my perspective and do whatever is necessary for the healing to take place.

The word “superficial” got my attention in regard to how I have approached relationships. It’s hard to come clean, but the truth of the matter is I usually approach people from my perspective instead of looking closer and listening, more attentively. I also constrain myself in going only so far in my involvement with them.  That sounds pretty callous, but it’s the truth, and I am sure there are those who sense this about me and turn away. How can I ever think to represent Christ and allow His love to flow into someone’s life if I am not willing to lay down my perspective, and go all the way?

I know I don’t have the gift of discernment in all of this, but Jesus does, and He is willing to share it with me if only I would ask. And what’s wrong in asking for His empathy for someone who is hurting. The story of the Good Samaritan comes to my mind as I reflect on all of this. It was only one who took the time to notice the wounded man and was willing to stop, be inconvenienced,  and then do all that was necessary to help him. He didn’t take the wounded man home with him, but he took him where he could get the care he needed. There was always the risk of losing something in the process, but his compassion told him, it was the right thing to do.

Sometimes it only takes a kind gesture, or word to let someone know of God’s love.  I pray I’ll  be willing to go as far as it takes to bring someone to Jesus, Who is always willing to meet all of our physical and spiritual needs. (Matthew 8: 1-3)

 

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Spiritual Reflux Disease


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. John 15: 5

Scripture Meditation: John 15

Definition: Reflux- A flowing back
Words Related: decrease, decay, waning, lessening, retreat, withdrawal
Dictionary.com

I woke up with the Lord’s voice speaking to my heart. “I am removing everything not of me.” From that time and for many days I experienced a scourging exposing my life pattern and the reasons for the lack of God’s power in my life.

I have been experiencing problems with blood circulation in my legs and feet. Whenever I stand or sit for a long period of time, my feet turn purple.  I become fatigued and there is cramping in my feet. That limits how long I can stand and walk.  Wounds take longer to heal in my legs, and this has been the worse symptom.  I have been diagnosed with Chronic Venous Insufficiency, whereby, some of the blood vessels carrying the blood back to my heart are weak, and lack the ability to return the blood efficiently.  So there the blood lays dormant, while in the meantime, that part of my body lacks the oxygen needed for strength and the blood resource to heal.

The treatment I am undergoing is called Venaseal which works to seal the vein causing the problem, so the blood will start flowing through the healthy vessels, instead. This procedure is uncomfortable and a little painful, but is necessary to bring about healing.

This reminds me of how Christ compared those who believe in Him as His branches. His life’s blood flows through his branches to produce the fruit or result intended. But if the branch is unable to abide in Him, then His life source is unable to be carried where needed. As the blood has to return through the blood vessels back to the heart to be oxygenated and continue to flow, so do we as His instruments need to remain connected. It is not an off again, and on again occurrence,  but an abidance of permanent attachment, whereby the believer and Jesus Christ become one and the believer learns to keep His commandments of love. (John 14:20, 2 John 1:6)

There are things in the believer’s life that block the steady flow. Sometimes it is sin, and other times it is fear or complacency. Whatever stops the flow of the power of His love working in us to bring others to Christ, He must address. In His metaphor of the Vine and the Branches, Jesus says He must remove the branch that quits producing. This is not a permanent removal but a temporary time of isolation, one which brings about healing, and His vessel is made available again. This process of healing takes place through Christ’s discipline Who cleanses and refines our motives and purpose. (Hebrews 12: 5-6)

To become a branch in the Everlasting flow of God’s grace, acknowledge your sin, asking for His forgiveness. Believe in His Son who died on the cross for your sins, and was resurrected from the dead. Then, you will be eternally connected, sealed with His grace, by His Holy Spirit with the living water flowing from His heart to yours.
(John 3:16, John 4: 13-14, Ephesians 1:13-14, John 7:38-39)

By allowing Christ to examine our hearts and expose sin and possible wrong motives, we can have His love flowing through us again, and be empowered to bear the fruit of His character and His work. For “apart from Him, we can do nothing.”
(John 15:5, Psalm 139:23)

Resources:

Bible Hub: biblehub.com

What it means to abide in Christ

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

 

 

 

 

 

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