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12:35 PM   [26 Jul 2015 | Sunday]

Transcendence

Transcendence is a noun that means existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level. It is the quality or state of being transcendent, which means exceeding usual limits, or extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience.

Those who want to experience a transcendent lifestyle on their own terms will never realize those desires on the highest plain possible. As long as they attempt to define and control the meaning of spirituality, they will never truly become spiritual. For something to be spiritual, it requires the Holy Spirit. Simple enough.

You would be surprised how many Christians strive for excellence in life, but fail to included the Spirit, and wonder why their efforts are abysmal. Sure, there are those who seem to accomplish great things in life; nonetheless, their level of satisfaction drops quickly after they reach their goals. Why? Because they do not know the meaning of contentment. Their worth is wrapped in their accomplishments. Basically, they want the credit, which means they're looking to glorify themselves. God's peace rests on those whose minds are set on Him. As long as one tries to look good, he or she will not experience the peace that surpasses understanding. Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You.

Putting your trust in yourself or your own abilities will not empower you to walk in peace. People disqualify themselves to do great things in the kingdom of God by acting on their own. Excellence will only be equal to human abilities. Keep in mind that even those things most consider natural can exceed expectations if people would included God in their day to day life. For example, a person can try to climb the company ladder, only to be frustrated when his efforts don't pay off. Promotion comes from above and that includes the placement of employment. You can promote yourself or you can promote God. A true promotion is receiving the position God desires you to have, versus the one we think we should have. Remember, God gives good gifts, and He rewards the faithful. How you get where you're going will determine the quality of your destination.

www.perfectfaith.org

The Perfect Faith Podcast

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2:45 AM   [19 Jul 2015 | Sunday]

Troubling Yourself

If you take counsel with your fears, fear will be your guide. If you allow your imagination to run wild, you will find your emotions riding a roller coaster. If you place unbiblical labels on people, you may also look upon them in an unbiblical manner. The way some choose to look at people and circumstances can cause them much trouble and stress. As long as a person avoids renewing the mind and decides to keep destructive thought patterns, he will continue to trouble himself unnecessarily. 

Apart from the fight or flight mechanism that is designed to protect us from harm, fear is something people learn. How often have we read in the Bible where God says, “Fear not”? That means we have the capacity to not fear. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, we can walk in peace as it is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Fear is attached to the future. It does not exist in the past, and is usually connected to a “what if” phrase. I remember learning this principle when I was considering some “possible” outcomes related to a set of circumstances. Out of the blue, the Lord spoke to my heart, “There is no such thing as “what if!” Immediately, the anxiety that was starting to grip my heart left. This ties in with the rest of the sentence quoted earlier: “for I am with you.” We don't know everything about our future, but God does. When we place our faith in Him, we are able to trust Him with it. One might ask, isn't there such a thing as a spirit of fear? Sure, but Jesus already defeated it, and all the power of the enemy. By His grace, we do not have to obey fear; we can tell it leave. 

In a sense, you have to grant yourself permission to allow peace to rule in your heart. This is especially true for those who have accepted fear as of a way of life. For them, it is the norm; however, God has empowered us to unlearn fear.

As long as people make life about themselves, every negative thing that happens to them will turn them into victims. In their mind, everything another human being does that in someway inconveniences them, is the result of some sort of plot. “They did that to spite me!” It's an attitude that makes no room for any other plausible explanation for what happened. Basically, they view people with suspicion, even if they don't actually know them. Some even look at God suspiciously. Of course, they “just know” what others are thinking. When their imagination takes over, there is a tendency to misinterpret the actions of another. For example, George says, “Fred must be mad at me. He didn't say hello to me in the hallway.” Reality: Fred was preoccupied with something at home, and didn't notice George was even there. Fred was “gone.” It had absolutely nothing to do with George. As long as a person remains self-centered, it will be difficult for him to see beyond himself. As long as he refuses to glorify God, “all eyes are on him.” How does glorifying God relate to a self-centered attitude? When we glorify God, we are placing in Him in the highest esteem possible. Our focus will completely change, as will our outlook on life. If we are going to get life right, we need stay centered on Him!

One thing the devil does is attack people's identity, so they can never see themselves as the children of God. One of the weapons he employs is ungodly labeling. If a person identifies with such a label, he or she will become that label. To further drive it home, he attempts to get believers to agree with the label or classification. 

Thus, instead of seeing him or her as a future heir of the Kingdom, they view him or her with disdain. They distance themselves from those who embrace ungodly identities, instead of seeking to rescue them from their bondage. What some believers don't realize is that these are tortured souls who are desperate to be set free. They are starved for love. They may put up a front and look proud; but deep down, they're hurting. It is important to understand what length the enemy goes to install a false identity. Some people have suffered hardships no one should ever endure. Many of which were so attacked at a very young age, when they were the most vulnerable. Jesus moved with compassion for the lost sheep without a shepherd. He reached out to them. He still reaches out them, and uses His disciples in the process. A true disciple of Jesus Christ is compassionate. We cannot afford to agree with labels He does not place on people. We mus align ourselves with His point of view. That means some need to change the way they choose to think about others. It is called repentance. When people fail to extend mercy to those who need it, they trouble themselves. Withholding mercy keeps peace from ruling in the heart. Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercyJude 1:21-23 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22. And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

www.perfectfaith.org

The Perfect Faith Podcast: "Stability"

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2:43 AM   [12 Jul 2015 | Sunday]

Eternal Love

We know that God is love (1 John 4:16) and is everlasting to everlasting. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He does not change and there is no shadow of turning with Him (Hebrews 1:17). God is not progressive, He is perfect and has always been perfect. That means His love is perfect. You cannot perfect perfection. Why is that important to us?

First, it shows us that God's love is unchanging. He is stable. We can be fully confident in Him, and never worry that He will abandon us. Since His love is perfect, you cannot make Him love you more or less. Such eternal qualities are constant.

Secondly, since His love is complete and constant, you do not have to perform for Him. You are free to enjoy the relationship on an intimate level. God did not extend His grace to us in order for us to jump through hoops. He extended it to us so we may be His children and as such, embrace Him as our loving Father. Remember, we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). The Father even gave us the faith by which we could be saved, and receive His amazing gifts (Galatians 3:22-26; Romans 12:3). Not only that, but He gives good gifts, perfectly. We do not have to be concerned He might take then away because we “misbehaved.”

Some may feel as if they lost their gifts, but that's not the case.

Romans 11: 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The issue is being off-centered in the relationship.

The gifts and callings of God cooperate with the Holy Spirit. If we feel out of touch with Him, we'll feel out of touch with the gifts and callings as well. If a person is in rebellion, his confidence with God will have bottomed out. That means there will not be the confidence to be used by Him in his gifting. Fortunately, God gives room for repentance and restoration. His perfect love embraces those who return, and reaches out those who are running away from Him. Why do you suppose it is uncomfortable to be “away” from Him?

God's eternal, ever present, non-changing nature enable us to stay confident in His love. In turn, it adds stability to us. When we're confident in the relationship, we will not feel wishy-washy. We can be outright bold. As a matter of fact, God encourages to come boldly to His throne (Hebrews 4:16). God desires a relationship with us, and that desire is unchanging as well!

www.perfectfaith.org

The Perfect Faith Podcast: "Relationships"

iTunes / Stitcher

 

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3:46 AM   [05 Jul 2015 | Sunday]

Militant

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 And all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

It is right to stand against evil while standing for righteousness. How we stand will determine the success in vanquishing evil and seeing righteousness prevail. When people employ weapons of self-righteousness, evil will remain. It is an instrument of darkness that masquerades as an element of light. It is self-deception in power over the self. There is no peace attached to self-righteousness and it is incapable of reconciliation because it is void of love. It creates a caustic culture that repels people from the true righteousness found in Jesus Christ. The self-righteous embrace an “us versus them” attitude. Unfortunately, it has crept into segments of the church.

Some have taken a militant stance against various segments of society, including those in authority. Of course, people do what they know to do, so this is in no way is meant to attack their intentions. In other words, they have taken a stand for righteousness, which in of itself is a good thing. They've come against ungodly policies of government, while also standing for a godly culture. Some have failed to stand for anything at all, and live a life of compromise. The unfortunate thing is that some methods employed have alienated those of whom they are supposed to reach with the Gospel. They've lost inroads to share the love of God in order to reconcile them to the Father. It has made it difficult for ambassadors of Christ to gain an audience with governmental officials. None want to dialogue with those they feel are going to judge and attack them. Our battle is not against individuals, but the spirits behind them that influence them to make iniquitous decisions. As long as members of the Church attack people, they will never influence them for righteousness.

If God, in order to reconcile the world to Himself through Jesus Christ, did not impute or hold against them their trespasses, why would we? To illustrate the point, let me briefly share a segment of a conversation I had with someone who recently came to Jesus. He told me, “I did not need someone to tell me I was a sinner. I knew that already. I needed to hear the Good News that I could be saved from my sin.”

If I constantly badger a sinner for sinning, I will have no place to share the love of the Father with him. If we hold people's lifestyles against them, how do we hope to reach them for the Gospel's sake? Sinners sin because they are in bondage. Sin manifests in a large variety of ways. There are a lot of spiritual orphans who need to be introduced to the Father. If we throw stones at them, they will run away from us. Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Acts 10:38 tells us, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” Jesus revealed the love of the Father by treating them well. Remember, it is His kindness that led us to repentance (see Romans 2:4).

Since our righteousness is found in Jesus Christ, we do not have to worry about someone's unrighteousness rubbing off on us. They will not make us unclean if we treat them well. The prophet Daniel influenced king Nebuchadnezzar and all of Babylon by serving them well. He did not attack the government; in fact, he submitted to an ungodly king while staying true to God. Daniel stayed true to God by serving the king well. The children of Israel were commanded to serve Babylon and even pray for the cities in which they were taken captive. Read the book of Daniel and see how Daniel served. Keep in mind that Nebuchadnezzar was responsible for a number of his fellow Israelite's death, and perhaps even of his own family members. As believers, we are exhorted in the scriptures to submit to and pray for those in authority (Romans 13:1-14; 1Timothy 2:1-3; 1Peter 2:13-17).

We come against darkness by standing for people. We pray for those who are enslaved to sin. Pray light into the lives of those engulfed by darkness. We introduce them to our Father by walking in love. If you have stones in your hands, please by all means, drop them.

www.perfectfaith.org

The Perfect Faith Podcast: "Whom do You Serve?"

iTunes Stitcher

 

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