New Future

It was a beautiful sight. Green valleys and babbling streams. It was a place to grow fruit tree and to raise children. Unfortunately, they never enjoyed what God wanted them to have. It was left to their enemies to enjoy. Israel still saw themselves as weak slaves.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”  (2 Corinthians 5. 17).
Corinthians tells us that we are new creatures. A brand new species and this new creations potential is totally different from the potential you had before.  It’s not your haircut, clothes or address that changed but you. You will see differently at every level so all of life is new. Your perception of God, others and yourself and what you can do, is changed.
How you see yourself is more important than how you see your future. You can be told of a great Promised Land and future but if you don’t see yourself as able to enter in, you won’t be able to enter it. We can’t take the Promised Land with the mindset of a slave. We don’t get in life what could be our, we only get what we think we deserve or what we think we are capable of possessing. The most important vision is not what you see ahead of you but what you see inside yourself.
Israel had trouble in their thinking.
“To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3: 19-20).  
God is able to do exceeding above what we can think. The problem is not with God, the problem is with us- where is the limit of what we can think. Can we think about ourselves differently and what God can do in us? We may leave a ministry or dream or idea to somebody else because we don’t think that we are capable. To see yourself rightly is more important than seeing your future rightly. In fact, if you see yourself rightly a new future will appear.
Friend, there is a “smaller” future for the small self that you might see yourself as now, and a bigger future for the “you”, you really are.




Angry -Who me?

I never thought I got angry but my wife says I’m a ‘stuffer’. I stuff my anger because my father stuffed his anger. Often time’s angry people come from angry families because we learn from them.

In an angry family, nobody listens. They think anger is the only way to get anyone to do want they want, so they use anger to make the kids behave; to stop the wife from spending money, to stop the husband from watching too much TV and even try to potty train a baby, with a bit of anger!

Mostly we get angry because we don’t get what we want. Naaman was angry because the prophet didn’t do what he expected or what he wanted. 2 Samuel 5. 11. Ahab got angry because the guy next to his palace wouldn’t sell his little vineyard. Esau didn’t get his blessing and got mad enough to kill. Gen 27. Balaam couldn’t even get his donkey to do what he wanted so he was going to kill it. Num22.  

It was a tantrum! That’s the bottom line. Our flesh “can’t get what it wants” Roman 6.2.  We get angry if we can’t control people and make them do what we want to do for us. It’s ugly and nearly all the works of the flesh are about controlling others. Now the actions of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of anger, quarrels, conflicts, factions, Gal 5:19

When we throw a tantrum its usually blowing up, (GK”thumos”) yelling at people or tearing a strip off them but there is also stored (GK”orge”) which is frozen anger. Disappointment in a person is frozen anger. We tend to become depressed or angry when our expectations are not met. We go on strike and don’t offer to help. We might withdraw our affection. Refuse to have sex. We let somebody do the work by themselves or give them a cold shoulder. Regardless, it is all ugly anger. Tantrum throwing is just trying to throw your wieght around, and frozen anger will slowly freeze your relationship to death!

Friend, the book of Ephesians tell us to “speak the truth in love” so rather than blowing up or clamming up, let us speak up before we get angry. Tip: always have your “discusions” sitting down.

Living by Grace

Early in the morning, Moses climbed the side of the mountain until the tents of Israel looked as small as a flock of sheep on the plains below him. He was there to receive the laws engraved by God. He found them dancing around a false god with their clothes off.

The commandments of God reflect His holy character.  The law was good but it gave people no power to be able to keep the law. That was for another time.   Grace would bring in righteousness and also impart the power to live right as well.  Law has value; it shows us we can’t really live up to it by ourselves. It brings us to death and hopelessness, and that is the place that grace can begin.   The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

When a couple has tried to love each other in their own strength and found nothing but death, then they are ready for the grace that is found only through Jesus Christ.  Counselors talk about people living in denial. What they mean is that some people still think they can do something, when in reality they cannot. The alcoholic still thinks he doesn’t have a problem. The man who struggles with pornography doesn’t think he really has an addiction. They are living in denial and while they think they have it in themselves to fix themselves, they never will.  Many times people have to hit rock bottom like the prodigal son before they return to their Fathers throne to find Grace.

Friend, we are not climbing up a mountain into the presence of a holy God.  When Moses came down from the mountain with the law, three thousand people died, but when the Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost, three thousand people received the grace to live in the power of God.