His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Jesus on the Edge

I just got back from the grocery store. Got my leg ‘o lamb for our Easter dinner. And, check out this picture of the magazine rack in the check-out line…

 Jesus magazine

At first I didn’t know what to think about it. Jesus, next to a wine tasting mag, and right across the little isle was another magazine rack, next to the candy and gum, filled with glamour model’s cleavage and movie stars cellulite. At first, it all seemed odd to me… a bit edgy.

But what would Jesus think about hanging out with wine lovers, glamour models and movie stars? I think He’d consider that tame, especially compared with some of the crowd He used to hang out with. While He walked the roads of Israel, Jesus seemed to spend more time with lowlife’s, prostitutes, hated tax collectors and other sinners. Jesus lived on the edge of “acceptable” society. So I think Jesus would be okay with the placement of His manmade image on a magazine in the grocery check-out isle.

I hope you all have a great Easter. CJ


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What Should I Believe?

confusion

A dear friend once said to me, “I see so many different Christian churches, which I’m okay with, but they all have different messages. What should I believe?”

What we see as Christianity today looks like a bicycle wheel. Jesus is the hub, the center. Each church is like a spoke, and by the time Jesus’ original message gets to the outside end of the spoke, it’s filled with manmade modifications. Traveling around the outside of this wheel called Christianity can be a bumpy ride, as my friend discovered.

I don’t want to criticize churches who customize Jesus’ message. I think it’s natural, given our pride-filled human nature. Pride drives people to put their personal mark on things. My purpose with this post is to point to the truth, which you will find only at the center of the wheel, at Jesus.

And Jesus is easy to find. You will find His truth in the bible, in your prayers, and in your heart – for that is where the Holy Spirit of God lives.


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Lifting me out of this pit

Out-of-the-Slimy-Pit

This writing gig gets me all confused and stressed out. To self-publish my book, or chase after a traditional publisher? To try to lure an agent, or not? Should I even bother trying to publish? How to attract followers to this blog? How to increase page hits? Should I even bother trying to attract followers, or instead focus on a simpler motive for writing blog posts?

Today is a typical morning for me; my mind is a jumble of random thoughts and questions, all in search of a purpose and direction. And in the middle of this mess is my selfish beast, wanting it all MY way.

Some mornings I get bogged down in the muck of my own self-centeredness. But today I was lifted out of this muddy pit and set down on the higher ground of solid humility. Of course, the Holy Spirit within me did the lifting.

Now, the stress and confusion are gone. My only desire is to be hands and feet for God.

Dear Lord, dear Spirit who shares this body of mine, I am yours. These hands are yours, resting on this keyboard. This mind is yours. My heart and soul are yours. Why? Because of love. I love you so much dear Spirit of Jesus. You’ve given me life. You’ve given me purpose. You’ve given me love beyond understanding. Please help me to not waste your gift of love. You came for me… I’m here for you.

Amen


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Parenting Class

parenting class

MANY years ago, when my first son was a toddler, my wife and I went to a parenting class at our church. Actually, we took turns each week, with one of us staying home with our son. Yet even with just attending sporadically, I learned things that became part of my foundation for how to be a good parent.

I’d now like to teach a parenting class, where we would look at God as our roll model of a truly good parent. Here are some aspects of God’s parenting style that would be helpful for all parents…

  • Always forgiving
  • Unconditional love for all His children
  • No favorites
  • Gives His all for His children – He even sacrificed His only natural Son for His adopted children.
  • Always there, willing to listen
  • He lets His children learn by their own mistakes.
  • No spoiled brats in God’s family. There are be consequences for bad behavior.
  • He’s always there to help us with our homework.
  • He looks out for His children’s future, even if they don’t.

What else can you think of?


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Mind of Christ

mind of christ

I’m in the middle of reading “The Power of the Spirit,” by William Law (which you already know if you’ve read my recent posts). I REALLY like and recommend this book. But I’ll warn you… it’s not a light read. It’s not mothers milk, but rather deep red meat; a thick, juicy steak (if you’re a carnivore like me).

Anyway, I came across the following verse: “The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)

I’ve read this verse many times, but for some reason it struck me more profoundly this morning. We have the mind of Christ. THE MIND OF CHRIST!!! Holy cow! I can’t truly comprehend the magnitude of what that means. But here’s a thought: having the promised mind of Jesus Christ will make the meaning clear to me.

Do you seek better understanding of Gods words? Do you desire a more intimate relationship with Jesus? Then please, look no further than the Holy Spirit. Let Him into your heart and soul. And He will share with you His thoughts… the mind of Christ.

And I’m so grateful.


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The Power of the Spirit

Holy Spirit

Where the words within the bible speak to your mind, the Holy Spirit within you speaks to your heart and soul. Where the words in the bible will point you to God, and help you know about God and Jesus, the Holy Spirit within you will help you know God and Jesus. The words have no power, only direction. The power to make the words real in your life comes from the Holy Spirit, within you.

I’m re-reading a book by William Law, “The Power of the Spirit.” Law is reminding me that true Christianity is not about memorizing bible verses or following religious practices and tradition. True Christianity is all about an intimate relationship with the Spirit of Jesus, within you.

Please, look beyond the words, to the Holy Spirit within you.


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A new You

butterfly

I recently wrote a post where I used the movie “Young Frankenstein” to illustrate how Jesus exchanged His goodness for our sinfulness when He died on the cross (see it here). Jesus did more than exchange goodness for sinfulness on the cross. He transferred His Spirit into us.

Throughout the gospels, Jesus promises us the presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. By His death, He made this promise real. And He made us new. When we open the door of our heart and let the Spirit in, we are changed… a new creation. As Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation: the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Paul was talking about the Holy Spirit, within you.

 

And as today is Veterans Day, I would like to send out my sincere thanks to all of the very giving people who have devoted part of their lives to serving in the military, and providing protection for our country. I am so grateful.