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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Finding Jesus in My Writing

ghost writer

I recently got some great advice from an editor friend of mine, and now I’m totally re-writing the first chapter of the book I’m working on. As for the rest of the book – I don’t know yet. Revision 11 is looking meaty. What revision will be the final one, 22?

When will this book be finished? I’m three months away from the seven year anniversary of the day I started working on this book. Whether I ever publish it or not, I sure would like to finish it someday. I’m getting impatient. I want to be done with it. Here I am, still getting up each morning way before sunrise, just so I can have an hour or two to write before going to work. Seven years now of the same routine, and the end still looks far off and blurry.

This morning I was praying about all this, again. And thank you Jesus for reminding me what’s important.

It’s not finishing the book that’s important, at least right now. The focus may shift to finishing at some time, but right now it’s all about writing. What gets me out of bed each morning is the joy of finding Jesus in my writing. When my words are His words – this is what I chase after each morning. And when I’m able to empty myself enough to let Him write through me, those are the best moments of my day. Well worth getting out of bed before the crows. And I’ll keep at it until Jesus says it’s done.


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Hugging Jesus

forest trail

We were on vacation up in the mountains, having rented a cabin on the edge of a pine forest. Early each morning, before my wife and children awoke, I would sneak outside for a quiet walk in the woods. I prayed for most of my walk, sometimes stopping, standing still in the middle of the trail with my eyes closed, just so I could focus more on Jesus.

I was so hungry for Jesus. I was craving His presence in my life. I ached with the overpowering desire to see Him in human form. As I stood still on that trail, I hoped with all my heart to open my eyes to find Jesus standing in front of me. My love for Him ached to reach out and hug Him.

“If you want to hug me, hug someone else. For within them, you will be hugging me too.” At that moment of intense desire, these words came into my mind. Was Jesus speaking to me? Was He answering my prayers? I believe so.

Do you love Jesus? Then show Him your love, by loving others. Next time you hug someone, picture Jesus within them. And maybe give Jesus an extra squeeze to show Him how much you care.


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Studying my way to God?

books

I have read the bible many times, especially the New Testament. I’ve read great books by Andrew Murray, William Law, and A.W. Tozer. I’ve read sermons and devotionals by Charles Spurgeon. And then there’s “The Practice of the Presence of God,” by Brother Lawrence – my most well-worn non-bible book. All of my studying has helped me develop a close relationship with God, or so it appears.

Is diligent study really the secret to an intimate relationship with God and Jesus? I don’t think so, because based on what Jesus said and how He lived, it doesn’t make sense.

What came into my mind as I puzzled over this was what Paul frequently mentioned about faith, hope, and love. As he said, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

A relationship with God obviously starts with faith. But it’s love that makes that relationship grow. Though study may help, in my case anyway, without love the study is meaningless.

Reading about food will not ease your hunger. Are you hungry for closeness with God? Then love Him. Let His Spirit into your life. Taste His presence in your soul. And you will be filled, to overflowing.


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Twice Saved

Holy Spirit

By His death on the cross, Jesus saved me from the penalties of my sinful life. By His Spirit living within me, Jesus daily saves me from myself.

The Holy Spirit living within you… it’s not just words in the bible. It’s not just Christian doctrine. It’s truth and it’s life. There is no truth more powerful than that of sharing your mortal life with the immortal Spirit of Jesus Christ, within you.

He’s knocking on the door of your heart. Open up and let Him in. Look inside yourself… He’s there. Feel His love, inside you. The Holy Spirit loves you, from the inside, out. Let His love loose, spilling over your walls and splashing onto nearby souls hungry for love.


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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.


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Empty and Ready for More

Yesterday I finished rev 10 of the book I’m writing. And like most times when I finish a revision, I feel weird. This morning I feel this question pestering my mind: “Okay, what do I do now?”

But I also felt like I’m at a place of emptiness with God. I don’t mean negative emptiness. I mean good emptiness, like an empty jar ready to have something new poured into me. I like this feeling, just sitting here, opening my heart to God, waiting for Him to fill me with the next thing He wants me to do. It’s actually a little scary, but, “Dear Lord, bring it on.”


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Is Relevance Relevant?

relevance

Many Christians believe that making the gospel relevant for our times will attract people to the church. Trying to “meet people where they live” is just what Jesus did, so this should be a good approach. Yet, judging by the dwindling numbers of those attending church, there must be something wrong with the drive for relevance.

The flaw of the relevance approach is when they change the message to meet the needs of the day. This takes the focus off the truth of Jesus. His message is eternal, in that it always meets the needs of the day, no matter what day it is. We always need love, always need faith, and always need hope. This is what Jesus has to offer, and it’s always relevant.

What people need is not a customized message for the day, which will loose power as conditions change. It’s not relevance that’s needed, but truth.