Tag Archive | Holiness

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

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Hello. How are you? I hope all is well with your soul(s). I’m sorry that I have been MIA- (missing in action), but life happens and we all respond to it in our own way.

Anyway…the point is that as a believer, our focus should continually be on Jesus Christ especially since He is the author and finisher of our faith. fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).  When we take our eyes off God, we keep them on ourselves.  What does that normally mean? It means we start making plans for ourselves regardless of God’s plan or will for us. How many times have we made plans and couldn’t get out of our own way?  Isn’t that ironic? Truly our vision is extremely limited when it is focused solely on self. 

Jesus must increase in our daily lives which means HE becomes the true focus of our existence and the only way that can happen is if we die to ourselves. So, what does that mean? That means that we need to seek the LORD for His Will for our lives and surrender what thoughts, ideas, or plans we had for ourselves. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13) Believers should want to decrease in order for Jesus to increase-that should exist in our inner most being and hearts. It’s when we surrender to God, we can objectively begin to see our inadequaticies before God. We are unable to serve God and walk in the holiness we are called to do when we do not allow God to increase in our lives.

This is when our faith has to be put in action. Please know this can be a struggle, but our faith is about Jesus and not us. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2)  We are sinners, but Jesus Christ is sinless. We were separated from God by sin, but Jesus Christ bridged the gap between God and man. We could not atone for our sin, but Jesus Christ paid the price in full when he died on the cross.  

God’s word is true and that is what we must solely stand on. When we put our focus on Christ instead of on ourselves, our whole perspective changes. By ourselves, we are slaves of sin… but in Christ, we have victory over sin. By ourselves, we are children of wrath bound for destruction… but in Christ, we have the hope of eternal life. By ourselves, we are separated from God by sin… but in Christ, we can come boldly before the presence of God, being cleansed of all sin not by our own works but by his holiness.

I know I want Jesus to increase in my life and for me to decrease. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20).  If I ask God to help me decrease, I know He will give me the grace to do so. However, I must obey Him just as much as I ask Him to help me. The time is growing short and I know I want my life to reflect more of Jesus so I can please Him and be a witness to others.  “Jesus says “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Our faith must be centered on Jesus Christ alone. Apart from him, we can do nothing.”

As you Walk Every Day with Grace and you know Jesus, join with me and allow Jesus to increase in our lives as we daily decrease in ourselves and our own ambitions. It’s like what my friend Amy says, “There are good things and there are Godly things”. Let’s always strive to increase Jesus in our lives so, that our lives and choices reflect more of Him and less of us.

In His Love,

Melody

To Be Like Jesus

To be like Jesus
To be like Jesus
All I ask – to be like Him
All through life’s journey
From earth to glory
All I ask – to be like Him.

 

 

 

 

 

“Then Samuel said, Does the LORD take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as He does in obedience? Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice, paying attention is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)

Hello! How are you? I know my life is crazy busy…would you agree that yours is as well? It’s almost the end of October….time is marching on and life has a way of happening when you are in the middle of making other plans. The key is how one responds to life’s changes-especially since God is the one who is either making the changes; or allowing them to occur. “and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. “ (Deuteronomy 28:14)

You may ask, what does she mean about that? I will tell you. First, I want you to know that God is a Sovereign Ruler. In layman’s terms, that means He is in charge and nothing sneaks passed Him without Him knowing or His say so. But, we think He has no idea about what is happening to us, or, how circumstances affect us. We get so caught up in the drama that we lose sight of WHO our God is and WHAT He can do when we are in crisis-and even when we are not in crisis. The issue is what happens next. We take our eyes off Jesus and put the focus on our own self and our situations and we “go through the motions” of our alleged faith. I say “alleged” because we are not always living true faith that can be seen by others. Oh, we may act pious or religious, but, that’s what I mean by going “through the motions”. We can react mechanically because of the knowledge we possess, but the heart may have grown cold and turned from God during this time. “Now therefore amend your ways and your deeds and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will change His mind about the misfortune which He has pronounced against you,“ (Jeremiah 26:13)

Make no mistake…God sees and hears everything; and He sees what is actually within our own heart (disbelief, selfishness, religion, etc…) He will reveal to us what is in our heart because He is merciful and loves us and He will give us the opportunity to confess our sins to Him and repent (turn from) them so as to restore our relationship with Him. “However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:16-17)

God does not want our sacrifice of our time and money to “a cause” or, a church;, or a charity just because it seems like the right or good thing to do. It’s easy to write a check or to participate in something once, twice, or even monthly. But who are you doing it for? God? Or, self? God wants our heart attitude to be submissive to Him and His Word. He wants us to obey His will and applyit  to our own lives what the Bible says. He does’nt want us to be mindless robots without a soul or a brain, He just wants what is best for us as any loving Father (or mother) would want for their children.  We need to change our minds and focus on Him completely. We need to get our mind soley off of ourselves when all we have to offer this world is nothing but selfish ambition.  “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.“ (2 Corinthians 10:15).

God, through His Son, Jesus, understands the struggle we endure because He endured every form of struggle and temptation straight to the Cross at Calvery.  To paraphrase one of Michael Card’s verses “it was His love that kept Him hanging on the cross.”  God gave us a way to live and those that are His to behave like Him.  What I mean by “His” are those Born Again Believers that received Jesus Christ, the Messiah into their hearts and follow after Him. These are ones He calls His children. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel] But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. “ (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Our lives should emulate God’s Holiness. We will struggle. We will fall down on our face (sometimes in shame or fear) and the enemy of our souls will continually whisper discouragement in your ears, but, we can continue on because the Spirit of Jesus lives inside of us and His mercies are new every day!. Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).” (Phillippians 2:12-Amplified) 

As you walk Every Day With Grace, know that struggles are guarenteed in this life, but indiffernce and religion are spiritual killers because we lose focus of God.  A small cost of obedience to God is worth so much more than all the wealth in this world. He owns everything and everything is His-so what does He really need? I think this song by Keith Green sums it up perfectly.  The song is convicting and liberating.  I hope you really think about the words and then take a good look at your life and the commitment you say have with God.

In His Love,

Melody

TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE-by Keith Green

To obey is better than sacrifice

I don’t need your money, I want your life
And I hear you say that I’m coming back soon
But you act like I’ll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk but reject my meat
And I can’t help weeping at how it will be
If you keep on ignoring my words
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can’t feed

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want more than Sundays and Wednesday nights
‘Cause if you can’t come to me everyday
Then don’t bother coming at all

To obey is better than sacrifice
I want hearts of fire, not your prayers of ice
And I’m coming quickly to give back to you
According to what you have done
According to what you have done
According to what you have done