Archive for February, 2012

AwAreness: Reason

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 23, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

The first battle between faith and human reason took place in the garden of Eden. Spurred on by the lies of the serpent, Eve began to look at her situation from a purely logical perspective and decided she was being cheated by God out of something good. Her faith faltered as “reasonable” thoughts of self-interest filled her mind.

I am not saying that the way of faith is never logical, but by operating only on the basis of reason, a conflict with the Lord is inevitable. The reason is that His instructions and actions don’t always appear reasonable from a human perspective. God’s thoughts and ways as higher than man’s, many people judge divine ideas to be lower than human intelligence.  God simply wants the best for us and knows how to obtain those results.

Isaiah 55:8 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the LORD.

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AwAreness: Name

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 21, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

The Bible ascribes many different names to Jesus, all of which provide great insight into His character and person. Here are some from John’s gospel:

The Good Shepherd (10:11) protects his sheep at all cost from predators. They know His voice and follow Him.  The Door (vv. 7-9) is the only way to enter heaven. Whoever enters through the “gate” of Christ will be saved.  The Vine (15:1-10) is the source of our spiritual life. When we stay intimately connected to Jesus, we bear fruit. If we do not remain in Him, we wither.

The Light of the World (9:5) shines His light through our countenance as a ministry and testimony to a dark world.  The Truth (14:6) of His revelation, as recorded in the New Testament, is the reason we can know as much as we do about God. The Life (14:6) Jesus imparts to believers is powerful, effective, and fruitful, not only in eternity but here on earth as well.

In biblical times, Israelites would choose a baby’s name based on the child’s characteristics or a hope or prayer of the parent. The names given to Jesus tell a great deal about His ministry on earth 2,000 years ago. The scriptural names describing Him reveal who He was and is and will be for eternity.

AwAreness: Partnership

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 17, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

I don’t know how some in today’s church got the false idea that the preacher is a servant and the folks in the pews are just members. No one is a bystander in God’s kingdom! All believers are in partnership with the Lord. He chose to work through mankind to accomplish the gospel mission on earth.

God gave one or more spiritual gifts to every single believer to aid in the work for His kingdom. We each need this special “wiring” to carry out our unique role in His plan. He knits that spiritual gift into our personality and inborn talents to create a useful and effective servant. And just to be clear, there is no such thing as a non-gifted believer.  God’s awesome power is present in and available to every believer. The Holy Spirit equips us to obey the Lord in whatever He calls us to do.

Ephesians 2: 10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

 

AwAreness: Power

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 16, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

God’s Spirit works in every believer. He does not limit Himself to pastors and missionaries. If you’ve received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then residing within you is the same great power that raised Christ from the dead.  The Holy Spirit pours His energy into creating godly character in all who follow the Lord.  The fruit of the Spirit is so named because it is the character and conduct that the Holy Spirit produces in believers. These are qualities that we can’t generate consistently on our own. The most powerful message we can give isn’t a testimony or sermon; it is the life we live when the pressure is on, temptation is tremendous, or we are buried under an avalanche of problems.

By showing peace instead of anxiety or practicing patience rather than speaking a sharp word, a Christian bears witness to the beauty of the gospel. We attract unbelievers to Christ through our words and deeds. They may turn down a doctrine, but they cannot ignore a righteous life. The strongest gospel message does not come from a pulpit. The most powerful witness for Jesus Christ where you work, where you live, and where you relax is you. Submit to the Holy Spirit’s work, and He will produce a great harvest of spiritual fruit in your life.

Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

AwAreness: Flesh

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 14, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

The Holy Spirit guides believers to make wise and righteous decisions. But when Christians fail to listen, they can make choices that appeal to the flesh instead.  Satan works very hard at corrupting healthy desires. He abhors seeing people’s appetites satisfied. What he wants is to watch a person lusting after a good thing until he or she is controlled by the impulse to have it.

The Devil is pleased when people make themselves slaves to a desire that—in the proper context—the Lord intended to be enjoyed freely. A believer walking in the Holy Spirit rejects gluttony, preferring desires that are within God’s boundaries instead. That’s how we get His very best.

Matthew 26: 41 – “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

AwAreness: Work

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 13, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

In order to work “as for the Lord rather than for men,” you must begin with employment that honors Him. Just because you have a chance to make money at a job doesn’t mean you should necessarily take it. God does not approve of all businesses. He certainly would not bless anything that exploits or deceives people.  Compromising your faith is never the way to support your family. A clear conscience and vibrant Christian life is far more important than the money you could earn from unethical pursuits. Furthermore, if God doesn’t want you doing a certain job, He’ll give you a better place to work.

The Bible tells us to work as unto the Lord. We can’t do that unless we’re at a job that pleases Him and aligns with His ways. Once we find ourselves serving Him in our job, we must never forget to treat others with love and respect, regardless of our position—or theirs.

Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men….

AwAreness: Identity

Posted in Gypsy Carns on February 9, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

Many Christians are experiencing an identity crisis. They know they’re saved, but they don’t really know what to think about themselves.  The solution to this identity crisis is to change the way we think about ourselves. If we don’t, we’ll rely on how we feel, and Satan will bombard us with reminders of our failures and sins. Be motivated and empowered to obey God, and the Devil will lose his foothold in our lives.

Jesus didn’t come just to save you from hell; He wants to live His life through you. In Christ, you have a new identity which has replaced your old one. If you will focus on who you are now, your actions will follow, and you’ll experience the enjoyment of a victorious Christian life.

Isaiah 43: 10- “You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He, before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.”