Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What price are YOU willing to pay?

Our new life begins with a gift.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

Salvation is not something we earn. It is not something we buy. It is not something we can create or attain by our own measures.

It is the greatest gift ever given throughout all of the ages to all of mankind. It is offered in a manner neither partial nor prejudiced towards any race, sex, class, orientation, or age.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

There are many who choose not to receive it. But for those of us who do, though we may begin our walk with the Lord so joyously, as we go on we begin to realize that things are not quite so easy as they were at first. Rather, many hardships confront and challenge our faith. As we go on in the Lord, we begin to taste the life of suffering that He once lived on this very earth. As we conform to His image and likeness, that means experiencing Him not only as Joy and Peace and Love and Blessing, but also experiencing His suffering, His hardships, His death and resurrection. It was by suffering that He was made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:28). If the Son of God must suffer to be made perfect, why would we ever think we could escape and be made perfect with a life full of blessing alone?

"The seeking one realizes that a price must be paid if she wants to follow the Lord. Her love for Him will not leave her untouched any longer, for from this point onward He will touch every aspect of her living....We can no longer expect that things will come cheaply. The Lord makes it clear that if you pay Him five cents, He will give you something worth five cents, and if you pay Him 100 dollars, He will give you something worth 100 dollars. If you give Him one year, He will give you something worth one year in return; if you give Him ten years, He will give you something worth ten years in return. How much blessing He gives you depends on the price you are willing to pay. Our relationship with the Lord is no longer one in which He draws us, and then we pursue Him, or in which He freely supplies us, and thus we enjoy Him. Now the Lord demands, 'Can you pay the price? Can I touch your living?'...
You may think that the Spirit works in you freely, at no cost to you. However, at a certain point in your Christian life, when you say, 'Lord, bless me,' He will answer, 'I will bless you, but at a price.' The blessing referred to here is not your initial salvation, for the Lord does save you freely. After receiving salvation, however, you must pay a price in order to grow in life and become mature before the Lord. In this stage, the way you live is by paying a price before God."

So I ask you again...What price are YOU willing to pay?

Friday, May 24, 2013

So that you remember to love only Him, and nothing else.

This past week I've had a lot of 'quiet time.'

It has mostly consisted of sleep and reading books and trying to wean myself off of narcotics (I had a procedure done late last week).

The past few days, despite incredible exhaustion, I've been a little more with it mentally. And I'm finally beginning to open myself up to processing this past year...I haven't gotten very far. A LOT has happened, internally and externally. Mostly really amazing things, but I feel like a very heavily kneaded lump of dough. I'll post more and share more as I work through and process things with the Lord these coming weeks, but I really wanted to share this excerpt with you all.

It comes from the most recent Fellowship Journal, a small publication put together by some members in our church network to encourage and build up the rest of the saints. These two paragraphs are pulled from a message given in the Fall of 2011.

"Once you love the Lord --- really love Him --- your new life begins, and this new life is filled with sufferings. This new life is divine and heavenly, but as you enjoy the heavenly things, remember, with this new life, a great deal of suffering will also come to you. Do you understand this? The Lord will come to you and do unreasonable things, things which may surprise you. You may ask the Lord, 'Must You do this? Why? Must this be so? Can't it be another way?' It seems the Lord becomes very firm and says, 'No, it must be this way; that's it.' If you say, 'It doesn't make sense,' He will reply, ' I don't care if it makes sense, or if it's fair or not; that's what I want to do.'
The Lord likes to come in and say, 'Can I interrupt a little bit of your life? Can I interrupt a little bit of your plan? Can I make you perhaps not so happy? Can I bother you a little bit?' Do you know why the Lord wants to do this? So that you remember to love only Him, and nothing else. He would say, 'Even in all your joyful times, remember to lay hold of Me. I need you, and I want to bless you with Myself.'"