Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

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The Gospel

June 13, 2011
The Gospel is not some pithy catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel isn’t some bumper sticker we place on our car as we join a club.  Instead, the Gospel is an invading force of light that penetrates every pore of our being until we ourselves become light so all the world might see.  It is my greatest pursuit that more of Jesus live in me today than yesterday.  That is only made possible by the provision of the Gospel.  You see, I use to SAY I believe, like some still do, but then live our lives as if the Gospel has no power.  It doesn’t.  Not in a life that believes but doesn’t embrace.  One of the scariest verses in the Bible for me is James 2:19- “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”  What is this faith then, that saves us?  It is the faith that chooses to allow Christ to transform us by HIS grace and not by our own attempts.  From death to life.  From darkness to light. From brokeness to wholeness.  From sinful to holy.  All made possible by the Gospel by which we live:  Christ lived perfect, died a sinner’s death, rose to life, and ascended into Heaven.  It’s simple… yet simply life altering.For me, the Gospel is everything.  It not only saves my soul from hell, but gives me everything I need for life and godliness.  When famine comes, it is my sustenance. When doubt comes, it is my truth. When fear comes, it is my peace.  I know that in the Gospel, I am nothing, but Christ in me is everything.  What a relief!  What a joy!  What a promise!

Sometimes I am scared at the reality of the Gospel.  As a believer I skim over the grotesque nature of sin so that I can live a comfortable life, not consumed with the depravity of others in order to penetrate my light in a way that will lead them away from darkness.  The questions we are faced with today with the ever-increasing wickedness around, the dissolution of morality, the severity of sickness and catastrophe;  I don’t have the answers for, so I often remain silent.  I excuse my responsibility by thinking “I don’t know the Bible enough, I don’t know their situation enough, I don’t want to damage our relationships.”

Well, the real only foolish thing is to remain silent on the one thing I do know.  Christ is life.  What that means in the places of sickness and poverty, I wish it could magically erase these devastations now (it will some day when Christ returns!).  But I am learning that the hope of the Gospel, the transforming nature of the Creator working in the lives of the believers; is available for anyone, even an awful sinner like me.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but for the brave.  It meets all of us where we are at and gives us the hope and purpose for it all … the good and the bad.  For the adventure He has me on takes me to uncomfortable places within my self and within the world.

The Gospel is not some pity catch phrase to gloss over our lives and make them whitewashed with goodness.  The Gospel is to die to myself so that others might live.  The Gospel gives me life… the Gospel is my life.  He died so I might live… and the life I live, I live by faith in Jesus Christ so others might live.  Yes, it’s sloppy.  No, I am not perfect.  But I desire to be changed from the inside out.  No whitewashed tomb here… just an overhaul in process…. thanks to the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Why I believe

June 15, 2010

So, why do I believe in Jesus?
Let me clarify. Lots of people “believe in Jesus”, but what do they believe about Him? Some say He is a wise prophet. Others say a regular man in history. I say He is my Savior from sin and eternal death, God made flesh and still living at the right hand of God in Heaven.

Why? Why do I believe such fantastical nonsense to an unbelieving world? Why do I make myself out to be a fool to the “seeing is believing” age? Why do I cast all my cares upon someone I cannot touch? To me, it is simple… I HAVE SEEN HIM!

Okay, okay. I have not seen Him in the way I may see my husband as we sit together over a meal. Yet I have seen Him in the very fabric of my life. I have seen His creative power in the tumbles of the ocean waves and in the choir song of the woods.

Yet the power that unmistakably revealed His authority and reality in my life came to me in the dark of night.

In Mark chapter one Jesus displayed Himself in person to the people in Capernaum. He taught the scriptures with authority that “not even the scribes” replicated. Yet one of the most significant “signs” of His power, in my opinion, is the power over evil forces.

Mark 1:27: …What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him.”

We all hear of the “boogie man” fears children have in the dark. I too, as a young person, battled fears of my own. My “boogie man” infiltrated nighttime dreams with ugly creatures attempting to kill me. Often I woke up paralyzed and not able to breath, without the ability to “see” my captors. These forces traveled from real spaces of unseen places and not the imagination of my mind. The thickness of evil made nighttime something I feared while I begged for daylight.

I met a Christian, a mom of one of my friends, whom I told about these night terrors. She understood the truth I explained and taught me to say the name of Jesus at the next attack, and the evil forces must flee. “For Jesus has authority over the enemy,” she said.

That night I climbed in bed apprehensive, but prepared. The dreams came along again with the choking and paralyzed wakefulness. As fast as I could grasp for enough air to speak, I called for Him, “Jesus!” Like magic, the evil pressure lifted off my body and I no longer lay captive to my tormenters. Peace replaced anxiety and I thanked God for His power.

Since then, I call on the name of Jesus to deliver me from many evils. Sometimes they disappear instantly, and other times He gives me strength and endurance to persevere, but all the while granting me victory as I trust in Him.

If I trust in His power to save me from evil, than I know I can trust He is good. So, I turn to the Bible to learn more about this good man… and find my Savior. I still can’t see Jesus as I see my loved ones, but I can see His power, which is better than seeing His flesh and more real than touching His hand. This is one of the many reasons I believe.