What is the Solution?

I, Courtney, have not written a post in a long while. This, I believe, on my part is being willfully stupid (Justin has been using that phrase often lately, but it’s cute to me. It’s taken from the Message version of the Bible, and it’s how Jesus words many acts and attitudes of different people throughout the New Testament. Of course, we’re sure Jesus wouldn’t actually talk like that, but just take the humor of that version of the Bible for what it is. It’s a great reading version, and I personally like to use it to get points across.), ignorant, lazy, selfish, etc. Why? Because I am full of knowledge and wisdom, I am learning and growing daily into the image of God, and I have the mind of Christ. If I am like that, why wouldn’t someone want to read a post written by me? I have been leaving most of the work of writing posts up to Justin, because he typically is more motivated to write than I am. And when I do write posts, you have to admit, they’re good. They’re long, but what can I say? I blame it on being a girl, and liking to talk. Usually when I type up a post I am inspired on a certain topic because of emotions that were roused relating to it, and the words just flow out onto the computer screen. However, it may not happen like that from now on. It may take me even longer to write the posts, they may even be boring sometimes, but I decided last night after coming home from church that if I have the Word in me, I need to get the Word out to others. If you’re learning and growing in Christ, you need to spread what you have already learned to anyone who will listen (please make sure that you fully understand the concepts that you are teaching though before telling others, make sure that it’s Biblical, Godly and will build up His Kingdom. Do not be offensive and judgmental only to be offensive and judgmental). We need to live lives that reflect Christ, and reflect what we’re being taught in our God-fearing, living Word-speaking churches. Allow others to experience the Joy that you have found and know so well!

I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that My joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is My command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are My friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father. You didn’t choose Me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to Me, He gives you. But remember that root command: Love one another.” – John 15:11-17

[The above paragraph was only a side note to what I actually want to talk about. But in warning, take heed, or notice, that I will be writing posts more often – I am not so sure myself, this may excite you or frighten you.]

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them – living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells – even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent? There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him!”

I encourage you to read over what you just read, Romans 8:5-17, again. Go ahead, do it right now before you read anymore.  Place that Word upon your heart, and rejoice in what is to come, all of what we will receive because we have given our lives to the one, true God. He has already given us so much, and He only wants to give us more. Living for Him is not a burden, it is something great, something that brings more freedom than you will ever experience in anything else while on this earth. My original intent was to pull apart these verses and talk with you on them, but now I’m too excited. I will type up a real post later on tonight. These Scriptures speak of the type of life that us Christ followers, us chasing after God, should and will be experiencing! This is a way of life, it’s not only something that occurs occasionally on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday evening at church. See for yourself, dig into God’s Word and get excited, grow your desire and passion for Him! Guys, we serve a mighty, all powerful, loving, gentle, and yet vengeful God. That power that’s His, that’s ours too. We have inherited ALL of it, through God sending Jesus Christ for us. Listen to the Holy Spirit inside of you, pray to Him and He’ll guide you and show you how to stand up, be courageous, and serve Christ as we’re called to. We cannot have the same standards as everyone else living on this earth, because we belong to Christ, and He is not of this world. We are indeed a part of another world, one where all residing there worship the King. That is why we were created, to serve and worship Him, to be in fellowship with Him, to glorify Him. Now, it’s still to do those things, and that will be the ultimate result, us again being with God on the New Earth, worshiping Him. But we screwed up once, so He’ll have to make another earth soon. But in the meantime, we have to show His power to those who are outside of the Kingdom. Our purpose is to find that power within us, the power that’s from God given by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, and lead those around us into His Kingdom, the only kingdom that lasts!

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what He was doing from the beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.

So what do you think? With God on our side, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us – who was raised to life for us! – is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

Whew! Now, read that again. Romans 8:18-39.

The Bottom Line, the Solution? It’s about living life on God’s terms with His holy standards, not our own.

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