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Law? What Law? (Part 5) Grace, Grace and more Grace


Antipas has captured, beaten and chained “John the Baptist” to a pole in a smelly, dusty dungeon. Fearing competition, Antipas wants information about this “Messiah” John has been preaching about.

He approaches him as a scathing mocker about to bully his enemy. Antipas asked this “forerunner of the Messiah,”Jesus-baptism

“So where is this Messiah coming from? When is he coming?”

John looks up at this son of Herod and with a smirk on his face replies,

“He’s already here.”

Yes. He is. Some 2000 years ago John spoke those words and today they are as true as they were then.

Jesus is alive; breathing the Holy Spirit of grace to each and every one who follows him.

His birth was the beginning of the transformation from the Old Covenant of Laws to the New Testament Covenant of the blood of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3: 6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Grace was born when Jesus was resurrected.

The unmerited favor of God; his divine assistance or kindness given to us as a gift. We have done nothing to deserve it. Grace is favor with God through his son Jesus.

If you are like I was, the term “grace” wasn’t in my daily vocabulary. Not because I didn’t like the word, but understanding its true meaning had not been on my to-do list.

But once it is understood, humility takes on a whole new meaning.

The feeling is indescribable. Smallness becomes reality with a covering of unearned affection. Truth becomes a shield through the helplessness we suffer daily. Acceptance releases the strings tied to our sin. Independence is once and for all a thing of the past.

Grace is taking that walk down the Via Dolorosa.

Grace is following his blood stained steps as he carried his own cross.

Grace is believing Jesus did what no one else could ever do.

Grace is the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-4)

We are no longer judged by the law. We are viewed by the “Eternal God” our “Everlasting Father” through the pain and sweat of the one he sent to redeem us, past, present and future.

Grace is an overwhelming love that God established in each of us through Christ. He is rooted and established in our hearts through faith giving us power and strength from Heaven above. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

grace

The law no longer applies.

The law could never fulfill what we needed.

Grace did and won.

“It is Finished.”

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Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Law? What Law? (Part 4) “The Rulers of this Age”


Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple.”law or grace

Perfect words written by an imperfect man. A man who became King and messed up big time.

The lineage of David would bring about the Messiah, “The Lamb of God.” His coming was prophesied more than once in the Old Testament.

The birth of Jesus came along at a specific time and place as God ordained. How he came up with the schedule is anyone’s guess.
However with it came the writing of the New Testament.

The event marked history bringing with it correction of the Old Testament laws. God ushered in through Jesus the only way evil could be defeated.

For many doubters understanding God came down from Heaven and became a man through a virgin birth is ludicrous. But the blood had to be “holy and pure” and that could only come from God himself.

1 Corinthians 2:8 speaks of how the “rulers of this age” didn’t understood the wisdom of God. If they had they would never have crucified him. In a word God “duped” the enemy.

Many today believe everyone is under God’s wrath or judgment. If that were true Jesus would be dying over and over for our sins even for those who have accepted him.

Romans 8:7 “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so.”

Those who reject God also reject his laws which is where his wrath and judgment appear.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

History completely changed when Christ was born. 33 years later his death and resurrection became the focal point of our existence.

The depth of what Christ did for us is unseen by many which is tragic. Not only did he save us from “hell” he gave us himself.

What does it mean “he gave us himself?”Christ is the end of the law

To be continued……

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Andy Andrews: Recipient of 3 Purple Hearts


The link at the bottom takes you to some of the War stories of a dear friend of ours.

Andy Andrews

Andy Andrews

Andy Andrews is a recipient of 3 Purple  Hearts for his bravery on D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.

Trained as a “machine gunner” his expertise led him into the trenches of battle during WWII.  Andy was one of the first personal witnesses to the Dachau Concentration Camp a few days after it was liberated.

Andy, a strong Christian leaned on his faith to get him through every day. At one point in this summary he tells of how soldiers read passages from the New Testament from Bibles issued to them by the Army. That’s right; the Army handed out the one book they felt would give them what they needed to fight and win. And fight and win they did.

About 15 years ago, I was fortunate to sit down with him one-on-one and listen to him tell me his personal stories. I’ll never forget how he told me he lost 3 pairs of glasses in the war. His response was,

“They were all shot off my face; 3 different times.”

He told me how he and his buddy were in a foxhole with their machine guns ready and waiting on the enemy. He described the atmosphere  as “eerily quiet.” His buddy made the mistake of raising his head just above the top of the foxhole only to have it blown off.

He learned to cook potatoes in one of their kitchens. Lots of potatoes.

He described times when he would be in an abandoned house or building only to meet face to face with the enemy. One time he hid in a closet as a number of them walked right past him.

“The truth of those young, German soldiers, ” he told me, “was they were just as scared as we were and didn’t want to be doing what they were being forced to do any more than we did.”

And we think our lives our tough.

Here’s a great big “Shout Out” to all Military. 

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http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/oralhistory/WWII_/andrews_andy.htm

Related Links:

http://www.mountainx.com/article/43375/Local-D-Day-Vet-recalls-harrowing-tales-on-WWNC


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Unhinged Jesus Fans


We are a nation of distrust. The church has disintegrated into more projects, staff meetings, and entertainment to entice new believers. Unfortunately this has brought with it a sense of “unbelief” in actual spiritual matters.

There are many prophets on the horizon. Why wouldn’t there be?

Photo by Randy Harrison
http://www.pbase.com/jrandyh

All through the Bible God gave us prophets. He wanted to give us reflections of the future. Why?

So Christians wouldn’t goof up or muddle through life as train wrecks or unhinged Jesus fans.

Get this: Moses had to practically yell at the Pharaoh about the coming plagues. He laughed at him. He probably wasn’t laughing when all those bugs, frogs and flies landed in his bed.

Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Messiah many years prior to Jesus’ birth. Isaiah 53:5

Daniel reminds me of a radical prophet. No one can say his life was boring.

1.    He was a “dream interpreter” Daniel 2:44-48

2.    Is famous for making friends with lions  Daniel 6:1-28

3.    Was a handwriting expert. Daniel 5: 1-29

And then there was Jonah. You can run but you cannot hide.

Paul was considered an Apostle and a prophet. Trouble seemed to follow him.

And of course God had a few women prophets or prophetesses.

Miriam: the sister of Aaron aided in the Exodus from Egypt. I wonder if she realized her impact on women’s ministry or if they considered her a “feminist.” Exodus 15:20

How about Deborah? She was not only a prophet, but a judge, and military leader of Israel’s army. Do you think she was given the same rank as the men? Judges 4 & 5:

If I had been Euodia and Syntyche I would have rebelled against my names. What parent would do that to a child? Anyway they were considered by Paul as co-workers in spreading the gospel and active in evangelism. Philippians 4:2

Most of the New Testament disciples were prophets; Matthew, Andrew, John, James. Etc.

The general public is often suspicious of prophets.

“Oh, I don’t bother with prophets. Most are false anyway.”

Or

“Prophets don’t exist today. Anyone who claims to be is questionable or crazy.”

If there was ever a time in history when we need prophetic insight it is now. Why would God leave us empty handed?

Do you believe God inspired prophets in the last 20 years to prophesy 9/11? or how about the grim reminder of hurricane “Sandy” this past week? Do you think had we been listening we might have been able to better prepare or even pray that God would intervene in such disasters?

Milford, CT

God wants us to prophecy. 1 Corinthians 14. Prophecy encourages, edifies and comforts others. Had I not been listening closely to the Holy Spirit at various times in my life, I would not have known what to do in certain crisis situations that arose.

As I have spoken before God loves to be creative. He enjoys giving a “Word of Knowledge” over and over and over! Maybe I am hard of hearing or something but he did that in January and February of 2007.  Every morning the first word that I thought of was “move.” It was like written before my sleepy eyes in bold print. I didn’t want to move again!  We moved in August of 2007. Had God not prepared us early, my husband might not have the job he now has.

Another example of God’s humor is he enjoys telling me ahead of time what mail I am getting! I know that sounds silly, but he loves to remind me about certain bills or the tax statement is on its way! Usually I would sense in my spirit what letter was going to show up. Without a doubt within 24-36 hours his specific piece of mail was in my box.  Finally I asked him,

“God, why are you giving me a heads up on my incoming mail? “

God: “I am interested in every area of your life, including what you receive from the Postal service.”

I was humbled.

Either I missed a memo about the “ousting of prophecy” or it was never written.

http://ladydeidre.com/2012/11/01/hawk/

http://learningtobeblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/sneak-attack/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/for-our-good/

http://butchdean.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/the-heart-believes-by-faith/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved