Tag Archives: Sacrifice

Have You Achieved Enlightenment?

Not me!
But it’s not like I haven’t been looking for it……enligtenment
No, I am not a Buddhist (and I mean no disrespect towards Buddhists) but I have nonetheless been searching for “comprehension” most of my life.
I have spent this life running aimlessly from one thing to another searching for something that I could use to say to God, “I found it, can I come up now?”  I know now it’s been right in front of me all along….but I was so busy searching for it that I couldn’t see it!  Like when I can’t find a tool in the toolbox, totally convinced it is just not there….until my wife points to it. 
Here’s my main thought on enlightenment folks…..
I think about someone dying and appearing at the gates of heaven only to be told….
“Sorry, but you haven’t achieved the proper quota of humming exercises.” (again…no disrespect towards Buddhists intended!)
The world will tell you….  “If you would just work harder and be willing to put everything else aside, sacrificing everything, you might attain true happiness.….”
What kind of promise is that? Work hard for the future, do your best…and you might achieve the promise of happiness?  Be very careful, because if you do achieve happiness in this world...it can be taken away at any moment…..Some of you most likely have already learned that painful lesson…I know I have!
God has promised us paradise…and we have to do nothing for it except believe in him and accept the sacrifice he made of Jesus Christ to atone for our sins….that’s it…no catch, no fine print. And the awesome news is…..it cannot be taken away from us…!
Self-help gurus all have their own special formulas for attaining true happiness and self enlightenment – but if you listen closely….they don’t really promise anything! But of course, they can sell you lots of books……
God has already provided a book for us to follow…and it’s free!
Am I the only one who has figured out that although we are all created in God’s image, we all have very unique reasons we are here…united in the one great reason…which is that we have been sent into the world to glorify him? So what good would it do me to read a book by a celebrity about their life to find secrets about achieving enlightenment for my own?
That’s like a mechanic reading a truck manual to learn how to fix my car.
I think it’s good to read about other people’s journey in life….and they may very well have achieved what God wanted THEM to achieve…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what he wants me to achieve…..
I think the main reason we all struggle in this world…is that no matter how hard we try……we cannot enlighten ourselves!
Do you have a favorite plant in the house….? Do you think that it can water itself or maneuver itself to get the best light…? Can your plant fertilize itself?
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”  
True enlightenment is already available to us….we just need to accept it!
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 

 

Been There…

Have you ever seen that T-shirt that reads:  “My parents went to California and all I got was this T-shirt?”

Well friends, Jesus came to Earth….and we get way more than a T-shirt!

Maps show us where some one else has already been, right?

Warning signs keep us on the right road…….

The need for road maps has become clearer to me in recent years…..like when my wife and I became lost once, because I thought I knew the way…..I have to admit that I was the only one really lost!

Maps are only good to us if we read them right?  Warnings only work if we believe them, right? If a sign warns us of a washed out road ahead….the sign would do us no good if we didn’t believe and accept what it says with the faith that there is really a washed out road ahead!

Jesus’s sacrifice means nothing to us unless we are willing to surrender to God by accepting and believing that what he has done is enough!

How about this warning within a promise……

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.  .John 3:36

Here are a few things that come to my mind that Jesus has already experienced…..

Pain  –  Suffering – Humiliation  – Lust – Betrayal  –  Loneliness –  Degradation  – Hunger  – Temptation  –  Storms  –  Homelessness  – Taxes  – Death

Jesus gave his life……..  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.………..”  Isaiah 53:4-5

All we have to do is believe Jesus died for us and accept that he did all that was required and believe that he has the power and loves us so much that we can take him at his word and bring him anything that we are experiencing and lay it at his feet and know that he will carry our burdens for us!

So, all we need to do is come to Jesus, after all……he’s already been there ahead of us!

 

Here is a song to go with the post if you would like to use it:

 

Visit Mark at Planting Potatoes.

When in doubt….plant potatoes!

Letting Go

Letting go is one of the most difficult things ever. You know I’m telling the truth here! It doesn’t matter what “it” is, it is hard to let go.

Letting go means you place 100% trust in whomever you are letting things go to. It means that you have confidence in that person to handle things better than you would handle them yourself.

You relinquish all control and you step away, trusting.

Letting go signifies great faith.

We have so much to let go of don’t we? I’ll list just a few that quickly come to mind:

  • Emotional baggage from the past
  • Fear of failure for the future
  • Fear of success
  • Choices we’ve made and the outcome that is sure to follow
  • Our children and their choices
  • Our health, appearance and physical features
  • Our finances, or lack thereof
  • Our dreams, desires and opportunities that await us
  • Our fear of the unknown – the what if’s, why’s and what was I thinking
  • Our yesterday, so we may enjoy today, while looking towards tomorrow

Many think that letting go is a sign of weakness, but in all actuality, it displays great strength and faith.

I want that kind of faith.

I want to easily let go and let God.

As a Christian we are “letting go” of those things to the Lord. Our Savior! Our heavenly Father! The Kind of Kings, Lord of Lords and name like no other.

We aren’t just letting go to some other person that just halfheartedly cares about us – NO, we are letting go to the ONE who gave HIS Son for us as a sacrifice. We are letting go to the ONE that cares for our desires, hopes and dreams like no other. We are letting go to the one who created us and then planned that everything would work out for us as He planned. We are letting go to the ONE who overcame death, hell and has endured anything we could ever endure.

I pray that you’ll confidently let go of whatever it is that weighs you down, knowing that the One you are trusting your eternity to is the ONE you are letting go of your problems, hopes, dreams and fears to.

Let go and Let God!

What do you need to hand over to God? Many people see this site daily and I’m sure they would be encouraged to see that they “are not alone” in handing over a few things.

Encourage someone in the comments below.

(I’ll start out by leaving mine here)

This comes from a dream that I recently had. In the dream our family is struggling with all that we are currently struggling with. I felt extremely small and overwhelmed at the things we faced. The dream was very chaotic and fear ruled my heart. (I won’t bore you with the gory details, but my daughter’s health, the finances that have hit us due to this, my son spending his first summer so far away – completely in God’s will, but still painful as I miss him much more than anyone could ever imagine and several other things)

I was walking and praying as I so often do and somehow ended up on a bridge. I have a horrid fear of heights and this was really, really high. Immediately my fear kicks in and I’m frozen. I can’t think and can barely breathe when the bridge starts to crumble. It’s foggy and I can’t see below. I’m hanging on for my life and I hear, clearly, God saying… “trust me, let go”

I’d love to say that immediately, I just let go, but I can’t.

I did what most of us do and cried out in fear and anguish, “but Lord, I’m scared just get me off here” He again, said…”trust me, let go.”

At that point, with tears flowing, my heart was thinking ok, it seems I don’t have a choice, but I woke up before I let go, so I don’t actually know if I truly trusted God enough to let go.

When I woke up, I had been crying in my sleep….that is just how fearful I had been.

So, today…right here, right now… as best as I know how, I’m letting it all go to Him.

My family – I prayed for a Christian family, HE gave me one…they belong to Him. Lord, just keep using us for YOU.

My finances – with more appointments, specialists, surgery and such looming, there is no way we can ever afford any of it without the Lord. (When the dr. left the room, the first question Megan asked was….Mom, can we afford this? I told her it is a non-issue, that God will provide.) It belongs to Him.

My dream of a larger home – we’ve lived in a tiny 1100 sq ft home since Megan was born. If I get a bigger home, I get one. If not, I’ll enjoy my mansion in Heaven one day.

Spreading Joy & Helping Others – God allowed me to start this and HE will have to fund it. I won’t borrow money to help people. If we help others, it’s because God will put it on the hearts of others to partner with us. We will do what we can with what we have. It’s His.

I’m going to just trust Him. It’s all I can do. It’s all HIS. I’m letting go.

 

{{hugs}}

 

 

 

Never Let Go – David Crowder

 

Never Once – Matt Redman

 

Overcome – Jeremy Camp

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

1 John 5:5
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Psalms 55:22
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

Marie Wikle the Founder and President of Spreading Joy Corporation wants to empower everyone to make a difference and give without guilt.

Here is a personal Warm Welcome to Spreading Joy. You’ll find links to interviews, no cost ways to make a difference and other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to your heart.

We want to rise above the discouragement of high prices, the obstacle of dead ends and the disappointment of our comfort zone. We want to be the change that is so desperately needed.

Why Jeff Bethke Hates Religion…

In Jeff’s words, his inspiration for this viral video came from a poem he wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion.

“In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it’s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God the Father.”

Watch this awesome video in light of God’s desire for His commands to come first before our own traditions as declared in Mark 7:6-7

 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

Visit Jeff Bethke at his website.

Also check out the book that inspired the video, The Prodigal God.

The Solution To Everything

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  -Ephesians 5:1-2

Christians are often criticized for being critical….and we are.

Christians are called judgmental…and too often we are.

Christians can come across “better than thou” at times….but we aren’t.

There is much to criticize about the community called Christian, but the solution to all of it is in two simple verses in Ephesians.

Honestly, we were never called to be fruit inspectors judging the deeds of those in the world.  We were never asked to set the rules for everyone to follow.  Jesus never admonished us to be the morality police for the communities we live in.  He only asked us to do one thing….love one another.

That is the solution to everything!  If the Christian world would simply live by these two simple verses and not try to fix the world with our code of ethics we would in fact fix the world with the love of Christ.

How do we so easily miss this?  We miss it because it’s hard.  People are messy, dirty, mean, unkind…they don’t do things the way we want them to.  People are hard to love, but that’s our primary task.  If the Christian world would simply love those around them it would be the solution to everything.

No more signs in front of abortion clinics, instead we would be loving and helping the young girls in our communities so the abortion clinic would never be an option.

No more focus on changing laws,  instead we would love those around us and as they trust Christ because of that love the community around us changes.

There are a hundred more I could mention and they are all easier than loving the unlovely, but our task is to love….just as Christ loved us.

If we lived by these two simple verses it would be the solution to everything.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Trust

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  [6]  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  [7]  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

Psalms 62: 7  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Matthew 6:25  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  [26]  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  [27]  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  [29]  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  [30]  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


What are you trusting Him for? Is it a for the well being of a child? Is it for your next mortgage payment? Is is for a job? Is it for your health and the horrid disease that is within you? We tend to carry around our burdens, not realizing how much that affects those that are around us.  When we are not trusting, we are a potential stumbling block, a jagged dangerous rock – instead of a stepping stone.

Remember WHO you are trusting.  He calmed the raging seas with a whisper of “peace, be still.” He spoke this world into existance. He gives you life, and gives is abundantly. He gave you the greatest gift of all when he allowed His son to be our sacrifice for our sins.

You trust Him with your soul, your most prized possession.  What about everything else? Are you going to wait till you reach rock bottom before you call out and start trusting? Why go there? Reach out now. Grab ahold of the Lord daily and do not let go until He meets your need.

Your Father is asking you to come and rest in Him. You don’t have to walk around weary.

Do you trust Him? Talk to me. Tell me, what are you trusting HIM for?