In my reading today in the Mosaic Bible she is talking about really being saved or just having an intellectual belief. There is a difference between just saying the prayer and really being made alive in spirit through God’s grace. I know the difference because I have experienced it. I am learning through this Lent devotion that Christianity is about experiencing God and not just having knowledge of Him. I said the salvation prayer probably 3 times in my life that I remember but my life didn’t change in any drastic way. My Self was still the same. I still couldn’t understand the Bible. But when I had my salvation experience in August 2010 it changed everything. I had already known before this day that the old me was dead. I saw myself in my minds eye walking around my house with the old attitudes and I had a knowing “she is dead.” I experienced this myself and no one can take it from me. My salvation, my true salvation was at my kitchen table watching The Gospel of John some days after knowing the old me was dead. This was when I felt the presence of Jesus and He made known to me that He is ALIVE and REAL. He revealed to me that He knows me and poured His love into me. I felt that unconditional love and couldn’t help but say ” I love you” back. This is something hard to explain to the natural mind but its like another reality opens up to you and you see the Truth in your mind. This is the difference between saying a prayer and experiencing Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17,Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! John 14:21, Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Lent to Repent
The scripture 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 is talking about running this race of faith. Paul is saying how he conforms to the people he is trying to convert while still being true to Christ. He wants to win his eternal prize. He was doing what he was called to do, not for earthly gain but for eternal gain.
Ann says: Repent of wanting to be called christian but not wanting to pay the price.
This is the part of salvation that is hard for people to get to the point of doing. It’s easy to receive salvation but hard to live it out day by day. When I first started I had satan say to me: ” Do you really think you can keep this up?” He tried to put doubt in me. It was a bumpy ride going to and fro in the beginning but I am maturing now in my faith and becoming more stable. The reason for this, is the dream I had about Jesus. Here is the link to my dream. After waking up He told me not to run away again. I have been faithful to stay and see where God leads me. I am so thankful that I listened and obeyed. God has shown me so much these past 4 months and I am a better person because of obeying His call. Luke 1:46-49, And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. I feel the same as Mary. The Holy Spirit doesn’t give up on us. He is with us through it all and everything is happening the way it’s suppose to.
John 4:23, But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
Jesus was talking to the woman at the well and she thought God could only be worshiped in a certain place but Jesus explained God is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. It doesn’t matter “where” we worship as long as the place of worship comes from our heart. True worship is a heart that is right towards God. We worship in our spirit and in His truth. Worship is a state of the heart. Praise comes because of worship. I wrote something about this here. I pray, I know I have right standing with You because of my faith in Jesus. Help me to also have and maintain a pure heart towards You, to worship you truly in Spirit and in Truth.
Trail to the Tree
This is the last day of Trail to the Tree. Ann didn’t have anymore days on there so starting tomorrow I think I will add her new devotion Lent to Repent.
Today’s reading is about Jesus’ resurrection. When the angel told Mary that He is risen and go tell the disciples.
Ann says: So give us courage to run, Father, great joy coursing through these veins, to tell the world!
This joy to tell the whole world came to me when I had my salvation experience. I wanted to tell people in the grocery store and people I had known about this Jesus that I found! I did do all those things and even people at the church. I found out later in the Bible that we must confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:9,
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is why I write this blog. Hoping someone who doesn’t know this good news might come to know it through the working of the Holy Spirit in these words. I pray that God will use me to type and the Holy Spirit will direct the people who need the good news to read something here that will wake them from their sleep. I looked up the word Gospel recently and it comes from the Greek word “euangelion” which means the joy news, You receive joy from the Holy Spirit when you receive Jesus. 1st Thessalonians 1:6, You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. Something else I learned from Ann Voskamp is a clenched white knuckle fist can’t receive anything. We have to have an open, humble hand to receive light. Flames need oxygen to light. If you want to ignite the flame in your heart and become on fire for Jesus then I invite you to receive Him in your heart today!
Psalm 34:3, O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us lift up His name together.
Let’s praise God and honor Him. Speak of all the ways God is good and holy. And even though we are sinful God made a way for us to fellowship through Jesus. We should be praising and raising His name up everyday, everywhere! God, help me remember everyday Your grace toward me! Help me share with others the wonderous things you are doing in my life!
Trail to the Tree
The scripture is about when Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb and the two Mary’s were waiting outside the tomb.
Ann says: Today, wait. Sit at the tomb and wait on the Lord. Trust when all is dark. Believe when the stone is rolled in and sealed. Carry a stone in your pocket and remember: there is hope. Wait and have faith in the coming Resurrection, glorious light erupting on black horizon.
When our sins are ever before us, meaning when we come to realize we are sinners then we find ourselves waiting to see what will happen next. Where do we go from here? We need God to rescue us. I experienced this but at the time I didn’t realize what was happening. Before my salvation experience I was aware of my sinfulness and I knew I didn’t deserve anything that I had. I thanked God for everything and this was the beginning of my salvation. It was over a period of a month or two that this happened. I was led to read the Bible and then had an urge to know more about Jesus. I watched The Gospel of John and realized Jesus was choosing me to follow Him. I repented and asked for forgiveness and fell in love with Him. He made His presence known to me in this moment. I had new life! Salvation isn’t something we can “make” happen, it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that raises us from “the dead” in spirit to new life. The same power that raised Jesus is the same power that raises us. When things look dark just wait and the light will come bursting through!
Scripture reading for today is Mark 8:35,
For whoever wants to save their lifewill lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Last December my son played a song for me in the car that I liked and I asked him the name and he said Fairy tale theme. It struck a chord in me because I had been watching the show Once Upon A Time. This show is saturated with spiritual insight. What God showed me was that He sees everything. He sees us, the moon the stars, the universe! He is the real reality, the ultimate reality. We are in a sense in His fairy tale, after all the word history is broken into His Story. We have a part in His Story. I found an article written by the author of Lord of The Rings, Tolkien, about Fairy tales. He talked about fairy tales being the consolation of happy endings. The word he used to describe this was eucatastrophe . The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy tale and it’s highest function. Tolkien said the consolation of fairy tales, the joy of the happy ending is there is no true ending to any fairy tale. This joy which is one of the things which fairy tales can produce is not “escapist” nor “fugitive”. It is a sudden and miraculous grace never to be counted on to recur. This word of his made me remember a word Ann Voskamp uses and it’s Eucharisteo which means grace recognized, give thanks and joy. So, eucatastrophe gives way to the experience of eucharisteo.
What I want to conclude is when we choose God and He is in control of our lives we can have the consolation of a happy ending that never ends and while we are still here on earth we get to experience eucharisteo. This is not a way to escape but it’s realizing what is the truth. The truth of the Gospel, that Jesus, our savior came to save us. Like Emma is the savior in Once Upon a Time. She is suppose to give them their happy endings. Jesus gives us the happy ending here on earth and Jesus gives us the joy of knowing there is no end to this unfathomable JOY!
Jesus said in Luke 5:31 that it is not the healthy who are in need of a physician but those who are sick. He is saying He came for the ones who know they need Him. When we realize and become aware that we are “sick” [our sinful state], then we see that we are in need of a savior. Until we grasp this truth, we will keep living a lie. The lies of Satan will prevail and when we come to the end of it, our lives will be all for naught. We are born under the curse, a spiritual sickness. Satan wants us to believe there is nothing wrong with us, we can handle it, we got this under control. But in reality if God isn’t in control we are headed down the wrong path and that’s the path of sin. Doing things our own way, which is sin, leads to death. It may not be physical death at first but it will be a death of something in our life.
The path to salvation, the healing of Jesus’ blood is only the beginning. Once we receive Jesus as savior, we then have to make Him Lord. He heals our sinful state by giving us His sinless state. God doesn’t see us as sinners anymore, but He allows us to have weaknesses. As Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. We may think once we are saved our life will be easy, but Jesus specifically said we will have trouble but to be happy because he has overcome the world! Our weakness is what God uses to keep us dependent on Him. Without it we could get prideful and slip into thinking highly of ourselves and that we are in control of our life. This thinking causes us to forget God. If we can’t see God working in our lives we will think it’s all our own doing. If we are made to stay aware of our weakness, we keep looking for God’s strength. He said that His strength is made known and perfect in our weakness. So, we need God continually! Bless our weaknesses because that’s what keeps us connected to God! Our weakness and God’s power infuse together to make our connection. This produces the joy of the Lord which gives us strength. The joy of knowing we are living in God’s will, the joy of knowing His presence is with us, the joy of knowing” He’s got this” and the joy of knowing that when we die one day, Jesus will be there, and not only to take us to heaven but to also tell us we lived a life with meaning and purpose. When we choose God’s way, Jesus,to follow Him, we can’t go wrong.
I was reading my daily scripture I get in my email and it read: John 14:20, On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
For the first time I thought what day is Jesus talking about? You would think He’s talking about His Second Coming. I went to my Bible and read from the beginning of Chapter 14 and I have had a revelation of this scripture. Jesus is talking about your salvation day. In the verse before,19, it says, Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. The world doesn’t see Jesus. Satan has blinded the world from seeing Jesus. Only when we are made alive in spirit through God’s Holy Spirit do we recognize Jesus. When this happens we then see Jesus as He really is, ALIVE and GLORIOUS! When we are “born again”, what has happened is, is the Truth has been revealed and realized in our hearts.
We then know Jesus is God and they are one and now Jesus lives in me through the Holy Spirit. This is being “born again”. When you realize and “see” Jesus is alive and He is your Savior, you too will live just as He says in the scripture.