All New

A New Creation – thoughts on 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” NKJV

This verse is the theme of our “New Creation Covenant” course on Tuesday evening in the Institute. Also I preached this morning at my church (New Heart Ministries) using this as my main scripture. So it is presently very much in my thoughts.

I think every Christian would say they believe this verse, but I know I have lived much of my life, as a believer, never really grasping the consequences of this verse being true. The word translated “created” is translated well. It is a word used for construction projects when it is built new from the ground up. So we are an entirely new creation. The word also means that we are the original formation. So it takes us back in spiritual DNA form to the New Adam – Christ Jesus our Lord.

Many, including me, have often taught that all that is true of our inner man or “spirit” which was completely made new. However, we must then learn how to manage our old man of flesh because that was not made new. Colossians 2:11 clearly states “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” That old man was a part of the “foreskin” of our heart that was circumcised at our new birth in Him. So that is no longer a part of us.

So truly all things are new! The word “all” is not technically in the Greek text that I am using, but it is inferred in the other words. So using “all” in English, translates the passage properly. All really does say it well.

This is a re-adjusting of our thinking in this passage. He really did make all things new. Now to embrace that new identity in our Lord and begin to embrace the fullness of His work that has brought us into His family.

Lord, thank you!

We Turn Our Hearts . . .

I have been pondering the fact of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us. Since the Lord Jesus has eliminated every definition of distance between us and because we have, by the fact of this indwelling, been drawn into the fellowship of the Trinity (John 17:20-23), what does the Scripture mean when it says to “Draw near” (James 4:8) since it is impossible to get any nearer?
I know we are all limited by our language, regardless of what language that might be. So the writers of our New Testament were also very limited by what they could conceptually place within a text. When it comes to pondering the things of God in the Spirit, truth is so marvelously grand, that our words fail in our attempts to share it. Remember in the book of Revelation how the Apostle John was always saying, “It was like…” simply because there were no words (regardless of his language) to adequately express what he was trying to convey. He was experiencing “picture” after “picture” in seemingly a rapid-fire movement (much like our short video’s today). So language failed him. So it is with us – we dwell in “It was like….” often.
I am thinking that the title of this post gets close to how we can effectively and progressively think and work. “We turn our hearts.” He is always with me and in me. However, I am not always tuned into His voice nor His presence. Oh yes, I know my Lord Jesus is here with me, but it takes an act of my will to turn my heart and my mind that direction. This is His plan. He does not force us to belong to Him, nor does He force us to fellowship in Him, once the birth into His family and heart occurs.
So to “draw near” would still mean, to “draw near” with the understanding that to do so simply means to turn my heart to Him and turn my ears and mind into a listening stance. We can always hear and always fellowship.
So Lord we turn our hearts to hear yours and to dwell sweetly within our home in your heart. Here we worship and share.
Next post: Sharing in His heart, or what we commonly call “prayer.”

My Weakness – His Strength

Much, Much better today! Thanks so much for all the prayers as you read. This cold/flu stuff is not nice. I cannot remember ever hurting as much for such. Now that I am doing much better, it is time to get on with matters at hand. There is always more than I can do in a day, if I open my eyes. So I lean on our Lord within me to accomplish what is before me. He is good and strengthens my weakness.

In fact, Paul said his weakness was what he would brag about, not any supposed strength of his own. In 2 Corinthians 12, after Paul had talked about his visions etc, he said this, “Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 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 mesasenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with The Lord to take it away from me. 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. 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.”

Now this is definitely not putting your best foot forward. (Side note: the teachings of the world are never useful in regard to the government of the Kingdom of God. His ways are very different than any form or self-exaltation). He stood head-and-shoulders above any other apostles in visions and revelations. Yet, this was not what he chose to brag about. He was instead willing to brag about his weaknesses.

I do not believe Paul's “thorn” was any form of illness, simply because the use of that term in the Scripture is always associated with irritation, temptations, testings, etc…. So I believe he was given a constant reminder of some sort of the fact that he was a very weak and easily tested human being. That being so, it becomes even more amazing that he was who he was.

Accepting our weakness is the first real step in understanding the strength of our Savior. He is strong and I can simply trust Him for the strength needed to accomplish for my day. I need not be undone because I find myself week. Neither do I need to give weakness its intended result – making my reslove weak in Him. Instead, leaning into His strength, I am strengthened in ways I never thought possible and led to accomplish matters too difficult for me.

I have my limitations; He has none. Glory. Now that is truly awesome. That means, me released in Him and He released in me is able – whatever. His goodness is amazing.

What about 1 Peter? Oh I will probably get back there soon. Just have a few items on my heart to share, so am taking the space to do just that.

I am typing this on my iPad Mini, and learning to use the program designed for blogging. I have done some with it before, but find I use my iPad much more than my computer, and it is usually with me. So there you are. Blessings on all who read.


Seeing Pieces-Parts

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you concerning things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:10-12 HCSB

(Precious Readers, I am choosing to go back to Scripture instead of trying to summarize the Elim Conference. There was so much poured out and I need time to process it. You may find some of it in a post occasionally, but let’s go back to the main thing for our time right now. Bless you for reading).

Many do not understand that Peter had much the same revelation on grace and its Messiah as Paul. He does not write nearly as much (evidently was not appointed to do so), yet I think his writings reveal a much deeper thinker and “seer” than is commonly thought. In this passage he begins to explain that the Old Testament prophets knew they saw only “pieces-parts” and they searched to see what we now have plainly before us when we read the Scriptures. They wanted to know “when” and “how” as “the Spirit of Christ within them” was indicating as they talked about the coming Messiah. 

Well, that will rock some of our theology. Peter plainly says that “the Spirit of Christ” was within the prophets of old, well so much for believing the “within” was only in the New Covenant. Back to the drawing board on that one. Isn’t it beautiful how the Lord has a way of giving us truth that far exceeds our own understanding? Indeed! So as we study, much of our divisions, and understanding of dispensations etc… finds challenge. I knew John the Baptist had the Spirit within, for he had the Spirit from conception. (See Luke 1:39-45). But now we see that all the Old Testament prophets who prophesied of the birth of Christ, were inhabited by the Spirit of Christ.

They were not told “when” nor “how.” But revelation came and let them know their prophecies were serving those who would live in the future. Their ministry was a service to us. How awesome! We have such purpose living in the strength and revelation of grace. They longed to see and understand. But were given simply the knowledge of their service. 

Can’t you see, in your mind, a crusty old Isaiah, writing out words. Then stopping and inquiring of the Lord about them, searching deeply all avenues of study and Torah to try to find answers. In the Spirit, Isaiah washed our feet – served us who would come later. Now we, in this age are the recipients of this service and grace.

“Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God and no one is like Me. I declare the end from the beginning and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: ‘My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.'” Isaiah 46:10 HCSB 

Into Obedience

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:

To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:1-3 HCSB

(This translation does this verse quite well. With most English translations, although they were a bit more literal, the “theology” understanding of “foreknowledge,” “sanctifying,” etc., was getting in the way of understanding just what the Holy Spirit is telling us. My Greek text sent me hunting for something clearer). 

We are so loved and included by our Father! He has, through what He knows, provided all that is needful for us to be fully His. “Set apart by the Holy Spirit into obedience,” would even be better. As we “choose to be chosen” we are instantly set apart (true meaning of “to sanctify”) by the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives into obedience. Obedience is our natural-spiritual delight. This is in and because of the cleansing of the blood! Yes!

When obedience is hard, we need to re-do our thinking about that action. When I see what the Father see’s about that action, I begin to understand I have been placed “into” that action. It all comes down to how we think and what we are choosing to see. As we begin to allow the Scripture to determine what we think, say and feel – we are not eliminated. We are enriched. This is our true destiny – to be as He is in this world. (1 John 4:17c)

“His kindness (goodness) leads us to change our mind.” That is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 7:10. When we begin to eliminate our arguments and allow His goodness to overtake us in all things, we begin to choose what He has chosen. We find ourselves being placed “into” obedience. He has done what is needed. As we choose to believe that, even in our seeming lack, our agreement in Him begins to align our faith with His Word, and we begin to embrace His supply. It first comes about in our mind/heart. Then it becomes something we are able to rest in. All is of faith. 

The last phrase of this greeting is “May grace and peace by multiplied to you.” Literally, may grace (the total favor and provision of God) and peace (total rest and ceasing from stress and strive) be increased to you. Peter is extending to them and at the same time reminding them of the normal state of existence for the believer – wherever they live. We have the total favor in our Father, because of the work of Jesus on our behalf, so we relax and know He is delighted to be a part of our lives and there is no need that is not answered. Then we are empowered to rest without stress and anxiousness because of the peace He has brought. 

My heart longs for some “how-to” to make this easier to understand and to allow. The reality in Jesus is that it is all relational. He has known us long before the foundation of the world, created us to be who we really are, and provided every avenue possible to discover His love and power. He invites each of us to rest in Him a bit more today and allow our confidence in Him to rise and empower our lives. May we stop a few minutes and allow Him to rise in us and cover all we are called to do and be.  

These are the ways of the Kingdom. These are the ways of Heaven. Now, “may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We choose for that to be true today in us – in you, Precious Lord Jesus!


The Nature of Grace

I am struck with the problem of Christian’s separating themselves from other Christians because they come to understand grace in a new way.

It is true that when we begin to see what Christ really did on the cross and what has been given to us through the resurrection of our Lord and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we are amazed (struck) with how very different the gospel is from what we had thought. We begin to enter into horizons that we have not seen before in the Word and in our personal relationship with the Lord. It is amazing and wonderful!

However, the very nature of grace is of course, the nature of Christ in us. He is not a separatist. He has not separated Himself from those that differ with Him. As we grow in Jesus, “seek His face,” He will disclose to us things we have not seen before and that others around us may not understand — yet. However, when we then find fault with what we hear in our church and in our fellowships and we begin to separate ourselves, there is a problem. You see, grace includes. It is not exclusive and it is not a “doctrine” to use to separate the Body of Christ. It is the very nature of Christ in us.

I know there are some good reasons to move from one congregation to another, but frankly, most of what I hear are excuses for not growing up in Jesus. There are ways to leave, change and be included elsewhere. I am not broadsiding that in this post. (Although all who know me, know I believe deeply in being part of a local body and being in that body until it is clearly seen that the appointment is to another group. That appointment will be witnessed to by many). The ease in which we come and go with this alarms me.

When I hear of “grace understanding” becoming a reason for separating — I am really alarmed because of the very nature of grace itself. It has included me, even when I differed with its full understanding (and I know I have not come to a “full understanding” and probably will not do so until I am face to face with my Jesus). So I, in grace, need to extend that same grace to others and love and enjoy them in our Jesus.

I am thoroughly into grace and learning more and more of what is true in Christ Jesus for me and for each believer. I have seen much in this past year that has me excited and delighted in Him.  If that does not spill over when I differ with others, then I have yet to really get a hold on grace. He “graciously” continues to include me – in-spite of my lack of understanding. I am compelled to do the same with others, don’t you think?

Best Kept Secret

bestkeptsecretThis item comes to us from asbojesus. He gives permission to use his creative work freely. This speaks volumes to my heart and I thought it an appropriate beginning to my work with this WordPress blog.

We have been lavished with His grace (Ephesians 1:7-8) and I believe in this season of time the Holy Spirit is beginning to breath on those who are the Lords and reveal to us the massive nature of our redemption and empowerment in Him through grace.

I teach that grace is the air we breath in the Kingdom of God. We see by faith and we breath grace. I am certain all the other senses and necessities have their corollaries in the Spirit, but I do not know what they all are. (Discernment is like smelling — I keep listening). But grace is free and open and without it one does not live in Spirit.

Grace makes up for what we very clearly are not, by giving us all that the Lord Jesus Christ is — pure, sinless, holy, full of Spirit, on and on. He lavishes the nature of our God on our being and empowers us to live in and through the “koinonia” (common life) in Him as revealed in John 17 and Acts 2:42.

So, there becomes an out-flow of grace from our beings one to one another. How can it be otherwise? So instead of being a secret to humanity, His grace becomes our life expression – life-giving, encouraging, uplifting, loving, caring and increasing others in Him.

WOW! The secret is out — it is showing all over you.