I grew up believing one had to be “religious” and that I was a “Black Sheep.” I came to the conclusion that Black Sheep and Religion mixed like oil and water. Needless to say, you can probably figure out what path I ended up heading down.
I tried, often, to do the right thing, or think the right thing etc. but basically I couldn’t ever succeed. PRAISE the LORD as this has literally been my training ground for a full dependence on CHRIST and CHRIST alone.
I lived in a world where there seemed little honesty, real honesty that is. We looked good on the “outside” but the depth of anything wasn’t ever discussed.
Today I am able to spot a fake, phony, or pharisee from a long ways off. You know the type I am sure. They smile the fake smile and ask you, “How you are doing?”, but they really don’t seem to care. They always “say” the right thing but their actions are screaming the opposite.
We know these people are referred to in the Bible as the Pharisees. Oh, they know the scripture, may claim their belief of it, understand it, and can even quote many, many verses from the Bible but they lack a heart. They are DEAD because the heart is what pumps BLOOD to every part of our body. Without a heart we are just walking corpses.
Today many churches resemble a cemetery more closely than anything else. OUCH!
Why do you think GOD is so in tuned to our hearts? Because HE knows that is what really matters. He created us didn’t He? Out of the heart we speak, we think, we act, and we live. He, our GOD, always looks to our heart for our motives in everything we do.
God knew my hearts condition all those years growing up the “phony religious” atmosphere. He knew and fully understood every detail of my life. He also let me wallow in the pit, muck and mire, before HE chose to lift me out.
PRAISE THE LORD as in that pit is where I was being trained by the MASTER builder! He had HIS plan all along. When HE had trained me long enough in the pit He reached down and HE pulled me out, He called me to be HIS child because HE was TOTALLY FOR ME! It sure was not because of anything I had done or do today.
Today my faith still is not based on any outward view but on my HEART – the depth that HE sought, bought, and forgave and filled with HIS truth and love. HE basically raised me from the DEAD!
I heard HIS call, as HE gave me ears to hear. I saw HIS hands reaching down to pull me out, because HE gave me eyes to see. Now I am able to let go of all that bondage that held me captive for so long.
See, I was in chains and a prison of a different sort. One only Jesus could set me free from. A darkness so dark that only HE could shine a light in. It is all for HIS GLORY – not mine.
If you study Paul you will see that GOD trained him in a very different way than most because GOD knew he would use Paul as a mighty warrior and GOD knew you cannot train warriors on playgrounds. He knew in order for Paul to fully understand the Gospel of Salvation He, GOD, would have to train him in suffering and suffer, Paul did suffer.
Paul was stoned and left for dead, flogged, imprisoned, rejected, and shipwrecked and left with nothing… well nothing but CHRIST!
Because GOD was fully equipping him with what truly matters! CHRIST, that is all we have in life that amounts to any sort of worth.
When we die we will not take our money, our home, our car, our body -that so many today seem to work so hard on, our employment, our pets, or any of our belongings.
Everything will fade like a flower that dies and its petals fall to the ground and turn to dust. The only thing that will give us life eternal is CHRIST!
CHRIST has to be where we place our hope and the only reason we live. HE is the reason for our salvation from HELL.
If we know sin equals death why are we still hold so tightly to all these other false securities. We build things up with our own hands and think they are what is making us secure. HA! This could all be gone tomorrow!
NOTHING we do will save us but CHRIST! CHRIST ALONE!
GOD is the one that created our reason, gave us a reason, and sent us a reason – JESUS – to conquer DEATH!!
We no longer have to fear death, man, or anything if we full understand and know CHRIST and HIS reason for coming.
This was what Paul was left with after all his sufferings. This TRUTH, that matters, is why Paul had such a passion to share and spread CHRIST as he had experienced first hand that nothing, nothing, else matters. Oh, to have a faith that strong!
Don’t look at this message as a downer because GOD says when we seek HIM first, and HIS righteousness, HE will add all other things unto us.
He will give us all joy, all peace, and HE will prosper us and give us HOPE!
Sometimes HE will allow us to wallow in the pit, build our castles, worship our man made idols, allow us to suffer, or give us over the lusts of our hearts so that when they are stripped from us we will see HIM as HE is.
I pray that in HIS perfect time HE will open your eyes to see the TRUTH, open your ears to hear the truth, and create in your a heart to fully understand who HE is.
Righteousness Through Faith –
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. ~ Romans 3:21-26 ~
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
~ Romans 4: 7&8 ~
In HIS mighty plan to GOD be all the GLORY!