Do NOT be Fooled!

Today’s message from the Word of God is a message of warning from Paul to the church in Corinth that should be considered prayerfully. Not all churches are being taught God’s Word or to follow God. Not all churches are being led by God’s children and if we are not in the Word of God we may not be able to recognize it. Satan is on the prowl everywhere and we must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and be alert to the battle that is before us. If we do not we will be led astray because he is crafty and cunning and his message is a fanciful message of peace and love.

God is love…BUT…He also has a righteous anger for those who go against Him and His people. God is peace for the believer but he is fury for those who attack Him. We must constantly be alert of attacks and schemes of the enemy in our own lives and in the lives of those whom we trust and follow. Just because we are Christians or just because people claim to be Christians does not mean that we are not open to attack and we can be led astray if we are not careful. Here is Paul’s warning to the Corinthians…

2 Corinthians 11:1-15 New Living Translation

I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.

5 But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things. 6 I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way.

7 Was I wrong when I humbled myself and honored you by preaching God’s Good News to you without expecting anything in return? 8 I “robbed” other churches by accepting their contributions so I could serve you at no cost. 9 And when I was with you and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me all that I needed. I have never been a burden to you, and I never will be. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, no one in all of Greece will ever stop me from boasting about this. 11 Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows that I do.

12 But I will continue doing what I have always done. This will undercut those who are looking for an opportunity to boast that their work is just like ours.13 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.

We live in a world where Satan is still allowed to roam and try to assert his control over us, but by the blood of Jesus Christ we have been freed from the power of sin that leads to death (Romans 8:2). Through God’s Word we receive understanding about the ways of Satan and because Christ has already defeated Satan we do not have to be overcome by the temptations of this world and that we can overcome evil by doing good (Romans 12:21).

When we accepted Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior of our lives we received the Holy Spirit and the mighty power of God, but we must learn to embrace and understand that power in order to effectively fight Satan and his followers. We must learn to see what the Father is doing, we must adopt His heart for others, His eye for evil, and His Spirit of truth and righteousness.

2 Peter 3:17-18
17 You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.

May God bless you as you learn His Word and understand the power that you have been given over the darkness that roams the world. May you be a blessing to others through that power as you open your eyes, and your heart, and your Spirit to all that the Father is doing around you and through you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Numbers 6:24-26
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

To be Saved or NOT to be Saved

What does it take to be a “good Christian”? Romans 3:10-12 says “none is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” So if no one is righteous, no one understands, no one seeks God, and if all have become worthless then what does it take to become a “good Christian”?

The word “good” here really has no bearing since being a Christian is really what it is about, because in order to be a Christian one must follow Jesus, after all that is what a Christian is, a follower of Christ. So the real question then becomes what does it take to be a Christian? The answer is simple and complex at the same time because becoming a Christian is somewhat simple while being challenging as well. To become a Christian you must “declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead” and then you will be saved “for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9,10). Likewise, Matthew 10:32 states that “whoever acknowledges me [Jesus] before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father [God] in heaven.”

Becoming a Christian is a relatively simple process on the outside but complex on the inside because Satan wants us for himself and will do anything within his power to keep us from accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He comes only to “steal and kill and destroy,” but Jesus has come to give us life in the fullest (John 10:10). There is a spiritual battle that is taking place when someone comes to a place of decision or is being led to a place of decision of whether or not to accept Jesus. This is a battle that can often times be seen, but is more often likely to be felt by the pre-Christian. It is a battle of the heart of whether to acknowledge sin and confess it before the Lord and to hand over one’s life to Him or to continue living for self by following the ways of Satan.

Romans 3:23 states the “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is no exception here. We are all sinners and do not have the ability to be righteous in the eyes of God on our own accord. “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) and “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). So how does one become born again? “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Which brings us back to confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead that allows us to be saved (Romans 10:9-11).

Becoming a Christian is a battle, but outside of the battle it is a relatively easy process; we must accept that Jesus is Lord and profess it. Once we become a Christian though the battle continues. Just because a person is a Christian does not mean that Satan has given up on us. For me this is a sign that once saved always saved may not apply. I do not know if once saved always saved is true or not. I would rather be certain that I am saved and thus I will do what I can to live a life that glorifies God, though I will fail, I will continue to try.

Jesus came to give us life, but we still have to accept it and to live that life and this is where it becomes tricky because to whom much has been given much will be expected (Luke 12:48). The greatest thing that we can be given is life through Jesus Christ. In Him we are promised a place in His Father’s house; we are promised life eternal. So if we have been given the greatest thing of all then how much more is expected of us than the person who has not been given life?

This is where things become really tricky, because the world has been conditioned to believe that there is no absolute truth or that God would not send people to hell when the reality is that we live in a world of absolute truths, which is why we have laws. I do not believe there is a single person who does not know that it is wrong to kill someone, this does not stop people from doing so, but it is an absolute truth. We know that it is wrong to take something from someone else that does not belong to us, this is an absolute truth. We live in a world of laws created on what people believe to be absolute truths so to say that there cannot be only one way, one truth, or one way to receive life eternal does not hold water. Absolute truth is all around us and is evident in life and for those of us who have truly given our lives to Jesus we know that this is true regardless of what the world may think.

Being a Christian requires that we live life differently. Having the Holy Spirit living within us leads us to live a life that is different from that in which we used to live, but it is just a leading, we still have a choice to make which is where we so often go wrong. I cannot tell you how many times I have ignored the guiding of the Holy Spirit, the voice inside of me showing me truth, and done my own thing only to have it blow up in my face. And let me tell you that these things may not always blow up in our faces right away; we may go a long time before we see the results of our turning from God, but our choices always come with consequences. Refusing to follow God comes with consequences such as financial difficulties, struggles in marriage, struggles in parenting, addictions, instability in life, and death. But following God begets life and it fills our life with the Fruit of the Spirit, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control” (Galatians 5:22).

“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19). Belief in God is not enough. Our belief, our faith, our acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior needs to be expressed. When we accept Jesus as our Lord we receive the Holy Spirit who dwells within us and leads us in truth.

John 14:15-21

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

Being a Christian is about obedience, but it is about love first. Notice that Jesus did not say obey my commandments and then you will love me. Jesus said, “if you love me, obey my commandments.” The only way to be a “good Christian” is the only way to be a Christian; we must love Jesus and obey His commandments. But how is it that we come to love Him?

How is it that we can come to obey Him by our love for Him? This is truly the question and this is what keeps so many of us wandering and not truly living the life that we are to be living. Matthew 6:33 says to “seek first the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” The way to learn to love Him is to seek first the Kingdom of God. We must be diligent in our study of His Word, we must be diligent in seeking to honor Him in all that we do, we must trust the voice of the Holy Spirit living inside of us and when we do He will provide us with everything that we need. We must show Him our love by seeking to honor Him in all that we do and He will provide. His provision may start as peace or joy, it may be something monetary, He may begin to restore your relationships, but your life will begin to take noticeable change and you will learn that He is faithful in all things. And as we begin to learn how much love God has for us we will learn to love Him more. 1 John 4:19 says that “we love because he first loved us.”

Being a Christian starts with understanding that God loved us so much that “He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). There is nothing that we can do to earn life; all we can do is lay it down for the one who laid it down for us. When we realize how much God did for us we begin to understand His love and in turn our love should represent the love that He has for us, because it is through Him that we have life and will receive His blessing.

Deuteronomy 15:4-6 states that “There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. The Lord your God will bless you as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations but will never need to borrow. You will rule many nations, but they will not rule over you.”

God has provided us with life eternal, but often times we are quick to forget what He did for us and we do not have the resolve to live a life that honors God and the gift that we have been given through His Son, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life for us.

James 4:1-10

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: if you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.’

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

How close are you to God today? Have you wandered away? Does your life represent what you have been given?

God’s Word is clear! We must love Him and obey His commandments. If we do not do both we are only fooling ourselves into believing that we are honoring God. The gift of life through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift that we could ever receive. When we truly follow God we will be blessed in our life. We will certainly still have trials, but we must remember to always seek first the Kingdom of God and where we have been proud of our sin we must turn from it with sorrow and humility and draw close to God once more through repentance and by living a life that honors Him. There is only one way, one truth, and one life and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). All others lead to death and destruction. Which way will you choose today? God is waiting to bring His love and power through you and me, all we have to do is to love Him and to follow Him and He will do the rest.

Jesus Messiah

Isaiah 53:1-3

Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lords presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.

Jesus was sent as the Messiah, the anointed one who was to save the Jews, but He was not widely accepted. He was not what people expected in a Messiah. Many expected a powerful ruler and king like what they were used to. They wanted a king, someone who would lead them and protect them, but what they received was Jesus instead. What they received was someone who longed to earn their love and loyalty rather than force himself upon them. They did not see Jesus for who He was. He did not come in the typical grandeur and glory that was expected of a king. He was born under persecution and in a stable. He was born as a carpenter’s son, a lowly boy born into a lowly family.

Jesus humbly sought out the Jewish people, the Israelites that God had delivered from captivity and death on so many occasions. He sought to show them the truth, but was greatly rejected. Many people rejected Him, just as was prophesied in Isaiah and many have continued to reject Him for who He is.

Are we any different? Do we proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah or do we submit to Satan in keeping quiet about who Jesus is? And if we claim that Jesus is our Messiah do we submit to Him? It is interesting that even the demons knew who Jesus was and were forced to submit to his authority.

Luke 4:33-35

Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon—an evil spirit—began shouting at Jesus, “Go away! Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

Jesus cut him short. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that the demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it came out of him without hurting him further.

Jesus has power over the enemy and they must submit to Him, but He does not seek to assert that power over His people. For all those who would call upon His name and follow Him freely He gives life. Jesus did not come to assert His power and strength, He came in humility to invite people to trust in Him and to follow Him for the rest of their life and when they do He promises them eternal life.

This week is Holy Week, the week preceding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is Sunday and is a day in which many who have not yet given their lives to Jesus will be in the church. The Holy Spirit is working on their hearts at this very moment to help bring them to a decision and He wants to use you to help them to know Jesus. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart to soften it for the lost that are broken and hurting? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to show you some people in your life that you can share your story with about how Jesus changed your life?

Jesus is the Messiah, of which even the demons acknowledge, but He came for so much more than to just be acknowledged. He came to be our Savior by dying on the cross for us. He came to raise us from the dead to be with the Father in Heaven by dying on the cross for us. He came to be our Lord, but He will not force Himself on anyone. The demons know who He is and shudder, they are forced to submit to His every word, but every person has a choice to make.

This week my prayer is that you will listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your heart to share your story with others around you. To tell people about how Jesus has changed your life. And if you are having troubles in defining how Jesus has changed your life then this is a great opportunity for you to seek out Jesus and submit your life to Him, because when you do you will notice a change in your life. When you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit you cannot help, but to become more Holy as you faithfully give yourself to Jesus.

Brotherly Love

Most Christians know that “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8) and “love covers a multitude of sins,” (1 Pt. 4:8) but do we know that as Christians we are to “bear with one another in brotherly love” (Eph. 4:2) and further more do we know what that means? I have to say that I fail miserably at this sometimes, as we all do, but when we do it correctly it has the unifying effect on the body that God desires (Eph. 4:3). It has the ability to create strength within the whole body and to create growth in love (Eph. 4:15-16).

So what exactly does it mean to bear with one another in brotherly love? Some would argue that it means simply to stand by one another and give them encouragement and help when they are struggling, but it goes so much further than that.
Colossians 3:12-17 says,

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Paul listed attributes of one who bears with another in brotherly love as someone who is compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, forgiving, and thankful. He also stated that the “message of Christ” should be living inside of us and around us as we teach and admonish one another with wisdom. We are to “teach and admonish” one another bearing with one another in brotherly love. Paul’s message to the church denotes relationship within the body. It requires commitment to one another and to love one another as we would love ourselves. There are many who say that it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict people of their sins, which I whole heartedly agree, but it is the duty of the Christian brother and sister to walk with their fellow Christian teaching and admonishing them along the way while expecting the same thing in return.

Teaching and admonishing is a difficult pill to swallow for many of us today because we lack true relationship with people. In the United States we are busy people and we are self-centered. Our focus is on ourselves and our families the majority of the time and it is causing great damage within the church. Most of us do not have enough relationship with others or a deep enough relationship with others to care so greatly for them that we would have the courage to teach and admonish as is necessary. For the most of us we present ourselves to be perfect and hide the dark parts of our lives so that no one will know our struggles and will never truly know us.

If you don’ t believe me take a moment and try to think about how many times abiding in Christ, Christ’s love, your personal sin, your prayers, etc. were talked about with others this past week. Is there someone in your life who knows these things that would help correct your path if you started to veer off and would you listen? Would you be willing to do the same thing for them in order to save them from allowing Satan into their lives? How many times have you sought the Bible for wisdom and direction this week? How many times have you called a fellow Christian to encourage them or to help them work through something they are going through?

Certainly in our society there seems to be a place for everyone’s opinion with social media, but does the message of love really come across when we make posts out of frustration or discouragement? What about hatred? I know that some of you are thinking that it is your duty to let people know that they are sinning against God and I would agree to some extent, but probably not in the way that you are thinking. If you are in a place of frustration, discouragement, fear, hate, or anything other than love then you are wrong first and foremost and nothing that you say or do will bring unity within the body of Christ nor will you draw people to Christ who do not know Him.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to delete posts that I have written because of these things. Sometimes when I look at the world I become so consumed with all of the evil that I cannot help but to feel this way and I want to let the world know, but the reality is that as Christians we are strangers in a foreign land (1 Pet. 2:11). “Our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me [Jesus] before it hated you. ‘If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you’” (Jn. 15:18-19).

The end times are coming, just as they were foretold, and in the end there will be wars and rumors of wars and Christians “will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and will be hated by all nations because of me [Jesus]. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Mt. 24:9-14).

I point out these things not to scare you, but to help you realize that when we look upon the world and see war, and persecution, and rampant sin we know that things are progressing the way that they have been foretold to progress by Jesus. Notice though that He said that many will grow cold in their love and they will turn away from their faith, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

It is not our job to “fix” the world. It is our job to abide in Jesus, to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and to trust God. This means that we must know the Word of God and hold fast to it, we must use it to teach others and rebuke others when necessary. This all is to be done in brotherly love. It should also be noted that we cannot hold non-Christians to the same standard, because unfortunately they have chosen to abide in Satan rather than God. Our duty to the world is to show them love and that to follow Christ means actually living a different life. We have an obligation to share the Gospel message of hope to the entire world as we live our lives according to the Word. We must unite as a body of believers in all that we do. We must encourage each other to stay on the straight path and help each other get back to it when they turn way. We must encourage always and strive to live in a way that is holy and pleasing to God.

God sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners. Jesus paid the ultimate price for you and me thousands of years before we were even born. Through the intervention of loving Christians and the prompting of the Holy Spirit we have come to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and because of this we share in the honor of presenting the Gospel to a lost and broken world. We cannot force people to accept God, we cannot manipulate them into believing what we believe, we cannot guilt them into saving their own lives by given them up. All that we can do is be there and love on them and share the truth out of love and respect for Jesus who died so that we could do even greater things than He did. We are to be a light in a dark world (Mt. 5:14-16).

May God richly bless your life and the lives of those you encounter. May He guide you and direct your path in a way that you seek Him in all that you do and in all that you say.

Love and Acceptance in all the Wrong Places

What do you think of when you hear the word love? Maybe you think of the feeling of butterflies in your stomach upon meeting someone who you have feelings for. Maybe you think of devotion and commitment, kind words or actions, thoughtful gestures. Perhaps it’s the kind of brotherly love shared by comrades in arms. There are many different things that can come to mind when thinking about love and for many of us we can remember certain times in our lives when we felt such things and they can bring us back to that moment; whether it is upon meeting your spouse for the first time or the bond shared between soldiers who would give everything, even their very life for one another to protect the other. Love is powerful and it is moving. We all long for love, whether we want to admit it or not. There was a time that I swore off love, at least in the form of getting married, I was certain that I would never find the person that I was to marry and then along came Sara when I least expected to find someone.

Love angelGod works in mysterious ways, but He is always working. There was a time in my life when I said that I didn’t even know if God existed, but looking back I always knew. He was always there speaking to me ever softly in the midst of the battle going on within me. I had believed the lies that I could find happiness and fulfillment without him. I tried to fill a hole deep within me through being the best that I could be at work, by always being the person that other could depend on, through lustful thinking and actions, as well as through buying the vehicle, house, and motorcycle that I thought I needed to fulfill the image that I thought I needed. All these things did was lead to more desperation and separation from God, but amidst all of my brokenness and in my weakest moments God never left me. He rescued me over and over again and quite honestly is still doing it today. We are all broken individuals with an orientation for love and acceptance, the direction that we go for that love and acceptance is up to us.

There is so much in the world that seeks to draw us away from God and I think we have done a pretty good job of allowing these things to be normal. Things that seek to fill a void within us that is looking for love and acceptance. Divorce is on the decline they say, but that is only because people are choosing not to even get married. Out of the roughly 300 million people in the United States roughly 20 million people have a sexually transmitted disease. That is one out of every sixteen people in the United States that have a sexually transmitted disease. Over 1,000,000 babies are killed every year by abortion as the result of an unplanned pregnancy and same sex marriage is rising in acceptance across the country. What is interesting is that roughly 78% of adults in the United States identify themselves as Christians. This is interesting to me because there was a time, both before and after walking away from God that I identified myself as a Christian, but still sought to find love and acceptance in ways other than what was pleasing and acceptable to God.

We all have a deep desire to be loved and accepted and will go great lengths to quench that desire. I don’t think that it was a mistake that after God had created the heavens and the earth and while looking upon His creation He said all things were good except for one thing, “the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him'” (Gen. 2:18). God found everything to be good that He had created except for the fact that Adam was alone so what did God do?

Genesis 2:21-24
So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Recently as I was reading this text it occurred to me the deeper significance of marriage in this text. I always understood that woman (Eve) was created from the rib of man (Adam), but I had never really put together the rest of the passage. You see it goes on to say that because she was taken out of man that a man will leave his father and mother to be united to his wife…and they become one flesh… They became one flesh, because the rib that had been taken from man had been sewn back into place by God upon their union in marriage. Since Eve was literally taken out of Adam’s side Adam was not whole until they were reunited. This absolutely astonished me when I realized what was really being said. God created us to desire community, to desire love, and acceptance. The desire that we have is not of the enemy, but he sure does love to use it to cause us destruction. He loves to wave false versions of God’s good and perfect will in front of our faces to deter us from seeing what God really desires for us.

Angel LightI guess what I am saying is that the more I follow God and seek to submit my life to Him the more I realize just how broken I was and still am. I need God so much that I cannot imagine life without Him. God’s love is greater than I could have ever imagined and rightfully so. I don’t know of anyone else who would actually give up their own son to die on a cross so that they could have a relationship with me, but God did. He gave His one and only Son so that you and I could have life if we believe in Him (John 3:16). He loves us that much. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Our desire to love and be loved is God given, but the only way to truly receive that love and to be accepted is to accept Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior. To be saved we have to do more than say that Jesus is our Savior, He must also be our Lord. He must be the one that we look to, the one that we serve, that we worship, that we trust, that we obey.

There was a time that I used to profess that Jesus was my Savior, but I was not ready to make Him my Lord. I have had to learn that He is my Lord and my Savior, and that I must willingly give up my life to follow Him. If we are to call ourselves Christians we must make an ongoing choice and effort to give up our will for that of God’s will. It is much more than saying that He saved us, we must willing give up our lives to His leading. God is patient and is waiting if you have not yet accepted Him as your Lord and if you have I encourage you to press into Him more everyday. I know that I have a long way to go still, but their is so much freedom in being able to say “yes” to God and “no” to unrighteousness. The bottomless hole that I once felt only rears up once in a while, when those times come I have found that I have quit seeking God and as soon as I turn back to Him and His ways I find that hole being filled with His love and acceptance through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within me. God bless you all and may God richly bless you in your journey of knowing the love and acceptance that only God can give you. In Jesus’ name.