Feb 17, 2012

Friday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Romans 4

Happy Friday!

So, do y'all love Sam or what? She's so incredible, and God is using her in a BIG way. 

Sam is also one of our SHINE prayer intercessors. She's been praying for all of YOU!  Good to know, isn't it.

Okay, moving on to our reading in Romans.

Is anyone else out there a rule follower? I know, from Leslie's testimony, that she is.

Anyone else? Raise your hand. (no, not really.)

I cannot help but to be this way. My momma is the exact same way. 

My Daddy and my Sister....um, not so much. (they are rule-breakers....that's why they are so much fun to be around!) 

If their is a line, I stand in it. If there is a procedure, I follow it. I don't really know any other way to be. I'm just programmed this way. 

Paul speaks to people like me in Romans. He tells them that although they know the rules, or the law of the Old Testament, their hearts are far from God.

They are "holy" on the outside but not on the inside.

They were "rule followers" with their religion.

Ouch.

Paul was warning them that their hearts had no faith, but only laws to abide by. Don't we sometimes fall into this category?

We get wrapped up in rules and laws and legalism, and before you know it we have completely forgotten about the Grace of God. The sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross was to free us from this bondage of legalism. 

I can imagine the enemy (Satan) gets really thrilled when we buy into this false sense of security. When we think that if we read the right books, do the right things, and say the right words--we can come really close to being "holy" enough.

The testimonies of Leslie and Sam this week tie in perfectly to the lesson of God's Grace. I am sure that the Roman Church back in the day would not "approve" of  their testimonies. (or most of ours)

God sent His Son Jesus, to do away with these rules. This "Pius" act of living does not please God and it never will.

Yes, we have to be obedient to God's law in His Word. However, obedience comes when we put our Faith in Jesus--not a bunch of rules and laws. We cannot be obedient to a God that we have not put our faith and trust in.....right?

So, if we follow the religious "rules" and do not accept the gift of Salvation that He offers to us...we perish. 

We perish because of our own self-righteousness. We think that if we are "good enough" or "holy enough" or "knowledgeable enough", we don't need the gift of His grace and salvation. Or we think Jesus' death on the cross just wasn't quite enough.

 We think we can earn it on our own. Through our good works.

No.

Salvation is a gift, given freely to any and all who choose to accept it. 

It's that simple.

We get wrapped up and tangled up with theories and laws and "religion" and miss the biggest part...JESUS. He died on the cross to save us from all of this, and yet we act like martyrs and miss the whole boat.

I know that I am guilty of not feeling worthy and not feeling quite good enough. I look at my life and think it just doesn't quite measure up enough to please the Lord.

Who am I to even judge myself? Isn't that a little self-righteous on my part? It's like I am telling Jesus that His death on the cross wasn't quite enough to cleanse this filthy girl. 

God's word says in our reading today that "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification". Romans 4:25.

Cha-ching!

So, if we believe in Him, and have faith in Jesus, we are justified. 

That's a whole lot of freedom if you ask me.

I don't have to be a slave to theories, laws, and perfection anymore.. I can rest in the fact that His Grace is sufficient for me. Just the way I am. 

Rest in that, girls. It's a beautiful thing.

Your challenge today:

Remember the note cards that we made on Sunday? "Give it all to me. Love, Jesus"...

I want you to make one or two for a friend or friend(s). Pray about who to give them to. Maybe a family member? A neighbor, a co-worker?

Mail it to them, hand it to them, stick it in their mailbox, whatever works for you.

Ask the Lord to show you who needs this reminder daily. I cannot even tell you how many times that I have looked at my little cards around my house and felt the weight of the world lift off of my shoulders. It was never meant for me to carry it anyway. 

Someone in your life needs rest. Bless them with this message from Jesus, won't you?


resting in Him and Him alone,


jill


16 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/17/2012

    God's GRACE is wonderful! Without it, my life would be meaningless. I have made too many mistakes to count, and thought that I could make myself more presentable to God by my actions and living by "laws" of my own making. It really is so simple and not as complex as I made it to be. Romans hits home on this in so many ways.

    I love you shine girls!

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  2. Thank you Jill for your idea! I have been praying for a friend going though some things and I have just felt helpless. I really wanted to help her in some way...so the card is perfect! Why didn't I think of that! So easy.

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    1. i can't wait to give my cards away either, susan!

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  3. Anonymous2/17/2012

    Jill, if you played basketball, you would slam dunk every time you ran down the court! :) This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. My note card is in my window sill above my kitchen sink, and it takes the load off for me too. Thank you for the reminder that we need to just except Him and be thankful for the fact He has given us His wonderful gift of salvation, and not beat ourselves up so much. Love it! Sarah

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    1. i love you, sarah! <3

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  4. I've just come to realize within my own self that I feel that I am a disappointment to God. I can easily and with great faith tell other women of His magnificent and adoring love for them. Why does this feel untrue where I am concerned? Is it because I expect more of myself? Is it because I know all the intricate details of my dishonoring sin? I make a commitment to my beautiful Father today and to all of you that I will work to see myself, TRULY see myself, through His precious eyes. If His unconditional acceptance doesn't belong to ALL of us then it can't belong to ANY of us.

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    1. YES! KC, I was in that same boat for a long time. I thought God's promises were true to everyone but me. What a lie!! Thankful for His patience and Grace with me. He never gives up on us,that's for sure. :)

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  5. Anonymous2/17/2012

    Well, I cannot say I am a rule follower...I have played out the script of my life more like..."a rebel without a cause!" (Jill and Angie...you are not permitted to speak on this) Haha

    "Ask forgiveness instead of permission” is the motto I have stood by! Hasn't always been the best choice but I am programmed this way none the less!

    Let me clarify for those that do not know me...I do adhere to rules in certain situations....my job, my church, laws and rules of government and the like!

    If a rule is CLEARLY stated I will follow it!

    BUT.....if it is not, then I tend to create my own or twist them to fit my needs! Oh how many times I have tried to be “right on my own” when it comes to my God walk!! Don't shake your head...I know some of you know exactly what I am talking about!

    Elvis even sung a song about it-
    “Regrets I've had a few
    But then again too few to mention
    I did what I had to do
    And saw it through without exemption
    I planned each charted course
    Each careful step along the byway
    And more, much more than this
    I did it my way”

    I know there are times (probably more often than not) that God looks down at me ....shaking His head thinking....."GIRL, WHEN are you going to quit being so stubborn and do it MY way not your way! When will you finally give up self and follow ME?"

    All this time though, He hasn't ever given up on me and, for that, I am so grateful!!

    I have noticed a big movement among a lot of people through social media and really just everywhere around me....people are protesting......and their signs read....."I love Jesus but hate religion!"

    And I agree with this to a point but I also think it can be taken to the extreme in the opposite direction. I have seen friends move so far away from the "rules" of a church and "institutionalized religion" that they seem to be making up their own rules instead of following the basics in the Bible.

    If pulling away from a "church" results in pulling away from the Bible thus pulling away from God's word...something is wrong!

    If we, as Christians, are more in tune to worldly authors, theologians, and scientists or even pastors/ministers/reverends using their "good books, theories, thoughts, quotes or experiments" to dictate how we worship, interpret scripture or relate to God then we are definitely doing things OUR WAY.

    If we are putting more emphasis on their views than we are to scripture or if we spend more time reading and quoting those people than we do in God's word.....there is a disconnect!

    Especially if those people never utilize scripture to SUPPORT their beliefs!

    This choice of going against the rules from God is not a harmless little mistake where we say "Ooops, I will ask forgiveness instead of permission!"

    God has given us HIS word....a RULE book for life! What other book do we need??

    All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    That word was given to us as a gift....no secret code to unlock.....no mystery to solve!

    "Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." 2 Timothy 2:7

    to be continued in next post................

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  6. Anonymous2/17/2012

    Plain and simple words he left us in the Bible!

    "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

    We do not need “Bible teachings for Dummies” to figure this whole thing out! We need, simply, to come before Jesus with a humble spirit willing to let Him take charge!

    The Bible is what it is…..no need for us to question, revise, edit, proof, or rewrite God’s word!

    There are also areas of this life and God’s realm that are not for us to analyze and try to “figure out”! If we knew all what God knew….we would be equal to Him and we know that will never be the case!

    I shudder to think what our world would be like if the scrolls were never written! What our country would be like! Like it or not, the foundations of our government in the USA were based on biblical principles!

    If part of our worship, our walk, or our words is not line with scripture...uh-oh.....it is time to do a U turn!
    LEGALISMS of the church have always caused questions to arise for me!

    It is when we, the church-the bride of Jesus--ALL of us who are Christians, adhere so tightly onto those things that we see as so important only to find out they had nothing to do with it! We come to realize that in the end they have nothing to do with our own salvation, we fall away!

    We need to take care not to grasp so tightly to one word or phrase in the Bible that is misleads to thinking salvation is for some sort of secret society!

    Salvation is open to all who will call Jesus’ name…..and if someone is willing to do this I can guarantee the Holy Spirit is at work!

    All of this causes us to lose focus on what brought us to Jesus in the first place!

    cont..............

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  7. Anonymous2/17/2012

    Challenge........think back to last week, last year, or 40 years ago..............the moment Jesus took up residence in your heart! Are you there?

    Think of the “it” factor of salvation!

    What was “IT” like in that precious moment, the moment you were saved? When Jesus moved in and made you new……….What was your state of mind, What was the condition of your heart?

    "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

    For me, there was a definite change! Did I start living that change immediately?

    Before you answer, remember I am a rebel (Oh, and a control freak)!!

    Of course I didn’t, it was a slow process for me! God kept at me though, he continued to challenge me and reveal things to me, and he continued to bring people to me that had “IT”……all until one day I finally GOT “IT”!! Now I want to keep “IT”!! And share “IT” and talk about “IT” and live “IT”!

    He wants us to stay in that EXACT frame of mind.....reaching out to Him, yearning for his words, diving into his teachings and living it out!

    Ironically, before I read the reading....my Facebook status last night was....

    "It doesn't matter how convinced the world is...God knows our heart"

    I was not even on Facebook when this came to mind! I was cooking and it was as if God whispered in my ear……those words….”I KNOW YOUR HEART!!”

    I made conscious effort a while back to use Facebook for a better purpose….I started to post things related to scripture and the number of inbox messages or emails I receive after such post are …..moving……..people say “ THANK YOU for posting that or I needed that post”

    GIRLS…that….was nothing short of God at work!

    Since I am slow learner due to stubbornness not intelligence. I think I need to get this tattooed, in a visible place, on my body “GOD KNOWS MY HEART!” Or, maybe on my forehead so it would be the first thing people saw when they looked at me! Talk about accountability!

    Because in spite of or despite of all of the legalisms of religion...it all comes to the condition of my heart! If my heart is in good working order...then my thoughts and actions follow suit!

    Without the heart…physically we would die….it sends blood to every part of our body!

    What is the condition of your heart?

    Do you need a heart transplant!??

    Make an appointment with the greatest heart surgeon of all times…..his name is God and he is available 24/7! Just call his name…………….

    for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10-13 (ooops I just jumped ahead in our reading……it’s a rebel thing!)

    SORRY this is so long...it did not start out that way....

    Love you all
    Kim J

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    1. Great post - thanks for sharing!

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    2. Kim - LOVED your post!! :)

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  8. Happy Birthday, Ryan Olivia! What a wonderful post, Sam. Thanks for blessing us. Love to you and Ryan. Emily R

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  9. It's incredible to me that with faith in Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the Holy Spirit that we are free from the law. The charge now, is higher, to love the Lord your God with all your heart. There isn't any room for the law between us and Jesus Christ. He's right there. Whew. I just LOVE that idea.

    Thank you for guiding me through Romans. So glad to take it all in again as a big girl. :)
    Seriously!!

    LOVE you!!

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