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How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Despair

Jesus ministered on this earth in human flesh for 3 1/2 years. He had 12 men following Him, listening and learning from what He showed them and told them. At times, He had many more following Him. The word "disciple" means pupil, or student. They saw Him work miracles, they saw Him calm violent storms out on the raging sea. They watched as He reached out and touched the lepers-which was unthinkable to the carnal mind. They saw Him embrace children, whom the religious establishment had no time for. They saw Him deliver people from life long bondage, from sickness of all kinds, and they saw Him speak the name of a dead man and watched him come forth out of the tomb, alive and well. They saw Him treat the people with kindness, and respond to the challenge of the religious with truth that cut so sharply they wanted to kill Him.

They heard Him pray and it so stirred them up, this intimacy they heard when He talked to His Father, they longed for this kind of relationship as well. They wanted to know how to pray that way. They saw Him challenged and baited and provoked again and again, and every single time He responded with wisdom, truth and an unmistakable authority. They watched demon spirits plead for mercy from Him. He commanded the winds and waves, the unclean spirits, and by the power of His Word, things happened. Miracles were wrought. Life was spoken into death. The life of God inside of Him lit up the world for those around to see the truth. His message was one of repentance, purity, compassion for others, loving others and loving God. He taught about mercy and justice, and truth and grace. He taught about forgiveness and kindness and warned against hypocrisy. He taught the people in parables to illustrate spiritual truths. It was soon evident to all who could see the God He taught about and revealed was not the same God the Pharisees spoke of. They totally misrepresented this great God.

In spite of the crowds pressing Him, He still had time to go out of His way to Samaria and wait to meet with a little woman who was looking for something meaningful, who had a longing in her heart for the reality of God in her life. She was considered less than a dog by His own people, but He made a trip special to see her and minister to the cry in her heart for Truth and a whole town came out to hear Him and believed on Him. They saw Him stop a funeral procession and raise a woman's only child from the dead. He ministered to the poor, the needy, the helpless, and never asked anything in return except to give God glory. He never tried to build a reputation, a ministry, or make a name for Himself. His agenda was God's. He prayed, He heard from Heaven, He walked in the Spirit, and by His own admission credited the miracles and works done by Him as done by the power and life of the Spirit of God in Him. They saw Him grant to them power to work miracles as well. He sent them out in pairs and instructed them to carry the message of the kingdom, and heal the sick. They came back rejoicing because the spirits were subject to them and He warned them pride caused Satan to fall from heaven. He gave them authority, and power over the enemy's power, but reminded them that is not where their joy should be. Their names were written in heaven-that is what they were to rejoice over.

They saw Him get angry and drive the covetous, the dishonest, those using the House of God to make a dishonest buck, out. They saw Him cleanse the temple of unclean things and people. They watched Him weep and grieve over the city of Jerusalem and the people.

The disciples saw and learned and heard a lot of things in the 3 1/2 years they were with Him, traveling in the ministry of the kingdom of God. With everything that happened, they could have built a large following, a rich treasury, and a famous ministry, with a great reputation of being able to do what the Pharisees and Scribes could not. The disciples recognized He had power, unmistakable, unimaginable power of God, and wanted Him to put down the Roman rule over them and liberate Israel from their control.

He was never caught unprepared, He never displayed frustration or unbelief. He never wounded someone with a thoughtless word or deed. He was always in control because He was always subject to the Father. He was born dead to this world and to His own self. They traveled in the company of this Man, and He became their security. He became everything to them. Time and time again He pointed all back to the Father, but they were focused on Him. They had Jesus with them, and He supplied all their needs. They had left their careers, jobs, families, to go with Him, to follow Him and He took care of them. They lacked nothing. They were constantly learning, for He was constantly teaching. They had a head knowledge of the Lord and He knew it had to get in their heart.

During our Christian life, we spend time from the beginning learning Him, loving Him, and of coursing falling down and making mistakes, and having to repent and be cleansed. We love the Word, we love the fellowship, we pray, God answers and we are thrilled. But there comes a time, after all these things, the message of the Gospel began to turn ominous to the disciples-not to the crowds. Jesus began to speak of three things that the disciples were unaware of before: He would have to suffer rejection, betrayal, and He would have to suffer death at the hands of wicked men. There was a cross involved in this Christian life, and there would be the Holy Spirit given to take us there.

He is a great and mighty God-and self doesn't want to accept that it has to die, that it has to be denied. This kind of Gospel will often cause those who love Him and are struggling to please Him and live right to fall in to despair. God says "Don't despair, I'm with you. Just trust Me. I'll get you there."

Consider this great God who through the power of His Spirit led wild animals to an ark, subdued their animal nature so the predators did not prey on the other animals or the family of Noah inside that ark for almost an year. Consider how His Spirit moved on a black, empty void out in space and called forth a planet-earth. Consider how this Great GOD lovingly molded a human being out of a pile of dirt. When He blew into Adam's nostrils the breath of life every member of his body began to function correctly. There was no war, no division, everything worked exactly as God intended and made it to. When we have received the Holy Ghost the Lord said He would send-and He did, when we receive Him and are filled with Him then we will function and walk and move and live like we are designed to by the divine nature within us-as overcomers. Jesus set the pattern and He said greater things shall you do because I go to my Father. Greater in quantity, not quality. He is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we can ever ask or think.

The enemy would cause us to despair over our failures, our sins, our weakness. But God says don't look to yourself, look to ME. Look away from yourself, look higher! I'm here! I love you, I made you, and I can perfect you. Don't despair, just trust Me!!! He already knows our failures and weaknesses and HE doesn't despair over them. When He begins to show these to us, it is we who can start to fret and worry and become depressed over ourselves. We look at how Jesus walked and how He lived and ministered to others, never seeking for self, always pointing others to God, and we KNOW to have this life and this type of a heart it has to be God doing this in us for it is not naturally in us to be this way. No, it is the opposite of what we want to do. But praise the Lord, He knows, and HE saw it all along, from the time we first bowed our knees to Him, He knew us. He didn't despair over our failures and weakness, no, He just began to draw us to Himself, His Word, His presence, to prayer, and it's as we see and learn Him that we begin to see ourselves. He loves you, and He will not fail you. He is well able to bring you into this sacrificial life of Christ where yourself is emptied out and His divine life is flowing in and through you to those around you. Then, others will not see you, or me, but they will Jesus in us, our hope, and their hope of glory!

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