Who is your master?

I have made a post a while back about my cat and dog having the same master but hear me out again.

What makes my cat and dog get along? According to the world they shouldn’t. Cartoons have shown us ever since we were kids that cats and dogs are enemies. In fact, my dog doesn’t like any other cat in this world except our Jackson. Why?

Because they have the same master. They are loved, cared for, and provided for by the same master. Having the same master makes them family and that makes a difference. They don’t hate each other because they are drawn to the same one that shows them love.

Now, lets take this past my home and out into the world. What is truly the answer for us to be equal? For us to see each other as family? What would draw us together in love? Yep, you guessed it! Having the same master!

“Well, I don’t want to be mastered!” you might say. Ok, but you are mastered by something already. I don’t know who or what it is for you, but you have made a choice to let something master you. Something or someone is guiding you in life. This thing or person may change through the years and maybe even day to day, but there is still something mastering you.

Now, let me tell you about my Master. He was willing to leave His righteous seat in heaven, leaving all His royalty behind, to come live among us as God in the flesh. He was birthed from a virgin girl (doing the impossible before He even took His first breath in this earth as human) and was raised a poor carpenter’s son (even though His true Father is the great I Am). He walked this earth as an everyday boy quietly growing and maturing and waiting so patiently to be about His Father’s business.

Then, when the time finally came, His ministry came alive! This was wonderful for us! He was preaching about the truth of the bible, correcting the law, and performing miracle after miracle! What this also did was start the ball rolling on His true purpose here. His whole life had been lived sinless. Not one speck of sin stained Him because, although He was fully man, He was also fully God. He came as God in the flesh, remember? That is why He was able to resist all temptation to the fullest and live a sinless life. He felt it all. In the flesh He felt every bit of our suffering and was about to feel it in the most horrific way.

You see, long ago sin entered this world through Adam and Jesus was going to remove that stain forever for all who believes. This removal takes a blood sacrifice. A perfect one. Something the whitest and healthiest of lambs couldn’t cover. It was going to take the Lamb of God. God sent Himself to do the work. Jesus is God in the flesh, remember? He was beaten to near death before He was forced to carry His cross to Calvary. The evil of this world lashing out at Him in full force. An innocent man being treated as the scum of the earth. He hung on that cross fighting for every breath just to say “forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”

Darkness fell. The whole despair of the world encompassed Him in darkeness and as He took our sin on Himself, sin He had not ever committed Himself, God the Father had to turn His face from Him. God hates sin. His goodness is so great that sin cannot be in His presence. The wages of sin have to be paid in order for God to even be in our presence. The wages of sin is death. Jesus died on that cross to fulfill those wages forever for anyone who believes and accepts Him as master of their life.

What does Him being Master of your life look like? It is full of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. It is Him interceding for us that brings us into a close relationship with God and His goodness for now and all eternity. I can now never be plucked from the Father’s hand. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28

Because He rose again (defeating death and embracing eternal life) and acended back to heaven in His rightful seat by the Father, He was able to send the Holy Spirit to be our helper. This Helper abides in us and changes our hearts as we walk with Him. When we walk with the Spirit we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Our whole life begins to change! Our whole heart changes! And since Jesus defeated death and embraced eternal life in heaven then I will, too.

This is my Master and I live to serve Him. I serve Him by loving Him with all my heart, body, and soul and I love my neighbor as myself. I love my neighbor by pointing them to Christ on the cross where all the love and healing they have been searching for can be fulfilled. Let me tell you, when the Spirit guides me to help someone in that way there is nothing more fulfilling! When I hear it in their voice or see it in their eyes it never gets old. Serving my Master fulfills me and helps others to be fulfilled. He lifts me out of sin and washes me clean daily. His grace and mercy will follow me everywhere I go for the rest of my life. He makes me content in all circumstances because He has taught me to trust Him.

Are you ready to change your master? He calls to us all. He desires us all to come to Him and be saved from this fallen world and be loved til the end! If you feel like God has never called to you but you have made it this far in my post…this is it, my friend. He is calling you right now. Let that love fill your heart and allow Him to become real to you. I pray that over you as well.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”
Revelation 3:20


God is really laying a message on my heart this morning that I need to share.

You know what holds us back from joy, peace, and contentment? Expectations.

Expectations of how we should be, look or feel. Expectations on how others should be, look, or feel. Expectations on how life should be, look, or feel.

Expectation are like the sign that was nailed above Jesus’ head on that cross. Everyone expected Jesus to be king of the Jews in a way that wasnt His character. Many times we nail signs above others heads expecting them to be something in a way that isn’t their character. Same goes for the expectations on ourself and our life.

Now, that loud voice in our heads will tell us that our expectations are valid, and it is easy to agree with that voice, isn’t it? That voice is loud and proud and….full of hate, negativity, and bitter roots.

There is another voice. It is a stil small voice. It is a voice we must seek to hear. It isn’t loud but it is mighty. It is there to serve us and to guide us. We must intentionally go to this voice and deny the loud one. This is the voice of the Spirit of our gentle Savior and mighty God. This voice pulls away temptation, expectation, and condemnation. It is still. It is small. But it is mighty! Invite that Spirit to stand between you and that loud voice. Cut out the bitter root with the sword of His words

God tells us that two commands fulfill all the others. Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourself. (Matthew 22:37-40) This is not an expectation. It is a command. He does not expect us to be able to fulfill it on our own. He knows we can’t. But His command can be fulfilled through Jesus who has fulfilled it all perfectly. Through Him we find our strength to do all things God has commanded. (Philippians 4:13) We go to that cross and see every expectation and sin that was ours washed away by the blood of Christ who never held either of those in His own flesh. We are given much forgiveness, grace, and mercy through that cross so we are commanded to give much forgiveness, grace, and mercy through that cross. (Luke 12:48)

Let go of expectations that turn us into victims. God gives us everything we need. Amen? Do we all agree on that? Then what else are we expecting? We have all we need in Christ. That leaves us room to rejoice! To pray for ourselves and others! To praise! To have compassion! To see the fruits of the Spirit grow and become evident in us!

As Christians we walk with the Spirit not by the flesh. That flesh may speak louder than the Spirit but that Spirit is the same Spirit that gave Christ strength for the cross. (Matthew 26:41) That same Spirit rose Him from the dead and that same Spirit lives in us. (Romans 8:11). That is the power we have over that loud voice. When that voice gets loud, seek the still small voice and you will find the power and strength of Jesus. When we have been given that what else could we expect?

He isn’t there

The commadments of God bring so much conviction. It used to make me run from God. How could I ever be so perfect?! How could He ever require so much from me and know I can’t fulfill it?! Why even bother putting me on this earth when He knows I’ll just end up in hell because I cant do anything right?!

But what I was missing was Jesus. Now I see the actual gift of Jesus and how big and wide that it is! What I was missing also was seeing that Jesus is the heart of the Father. Jesus didnt come to satisfy a mean God’s wrath. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit had a plan before earth was even born. God knew sin would enter the world. He still made us because He loves us. He loved us before we were even born. He wants to spend eternity with us.

So, they had a plan. Jesus would willfully lower Himself from heaven into the womb of a virgin woman. Coming into this world as a poor boy and quietly raised as a carpenter’s son. Then in His due time He began His ministry of sharing a truth that had been so horribly faltered by the religious elite.

They found His deep love and understanding of God so odd that they persecuted Him for it. Setting Him up for the sacrifice that all the prophets of the old testament had predicted 100’s of years before. They could predict it because God had spoken it to them all those years ago. Proving the plan was always in place.

What the religious elite didn’t know is that every blow and strike they aimed at Jesus would not kill Him. Only sin brings death. Jesus, being fully God and fully man, was the only sinless human to ever walk this earth. Without sin He could not die. His flesh was brought to the edge of death without being able to cross the line.

Then, again, at the appointed time, our sins poured on Him as He hung on the cross. His Father turning His countenance from Him in that moment. Jesus received the wrath of God so we who believe will never have to. You see, the wrath of God is not what you may think it is.

Hell is not just a fire filled place full of torment and anguish that God made for punishment of those that didn’t choose Him. No. It is a place for those that decided they didnt want God to govern their lives so they also chose to not have Him in eternity. Hell is a place God isn’t. He isn’t there.

He doesn’t look upon it throwing bolts of lightening and encouraging torture as punishment for not choosing Him. He just simple isn’t there.

He isn’t there to hold back any of the evil. He isn’t there to provide any kind of comfort. He isn’t there to love you even when you didn’t want to acknowledge Him. He isn’t there at all. That is hell.

Hell’s fire is the least of your worries when any glimpse of hope for a better tomorrow is removed from your eternity.

And that is what Jesus saved us from. Once we accept Jesus as our savior AND Lord of our life then we are saved from an eternity without God. We are also saved while here on earth by the Spirit opening our eyes to exactly how much God loves us and how gentle He is and how much He desires to guides us away from our sin that harms us.

He doesnt make a bunch of rules just to sit back and watch us fail. He simply says, “this is the way, walk in it.” And when we stumble or get off track then the Spirit reminds us of what Jesus accomplished at the cross and all we have to do is return to Him. We are washed clean with new mercies and grace every single day. A living stream that never runs dry.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:2

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21

As for me and my house….

A friend shared a testimony with me last night that reminded me of the joy of the Lord. It was an odd place to find joy, as it usually is on our journey with the Lord. She found it in the midst of her sins. She found it as the Spirit revealed to her that God was not cursing her but sin was. She found it when the Spirit showed her what all God has brought her through even though her own actions had put her there. How true is that for all of us! What a wonderful place to find joy! Right in the midst of God’s grace and mercy.

I turned to Joshua 24 for my bible study this morning. Of course, again as God often does in our journey, this chapter fits perfect with the heartfelt testimony I heard last night. Joshua is speaking to Isreal and prophecing what God has instructed him to say. God reminded Israel, not of the sins of their fathers in this chapter, but of what all God has brought them through. It is quite the list and I encourage you to read it for yourselves.

Even with this hefty list of grace and mercy by our glorious Father, some still seemed hesistant to fully live for the Lord. They had a whole lifetime (and generations before them) of serving other gods, after all. Some habits are hard to break. You find comfort in them although they hurt you in the end. That instant comfort becomes your standard operating procedure and even though it isnt a comfort that lasts it is hard to give up. Today, there are people who serve actual gods, but we can also recognize other gods as those vices we hold on to so tightly. The ones God instructs us to avoid or do away with but we say no. Or we say maybe, in time I will let it go. Or we try and just fail at it. It is those things that convince us that we cant come to God until we give them up. That is how we stay serving them because we believe that lie. Let me tell you some truth here and now….you come as you are and God will do the rest.

In Joshua 24:15 he states that maybe it doesnt feel right to serve the Lord, but then who are you serving instead? What has your other “gods” done for you that is as everlasting as what God has and will do for you? What did those “gods” do for the generations that came before you? He urges Israel to choose, once and for all, who they will serve. You see, he presented all the goodness and grace of God even though they didnt see it for themselves and even though they most certainly did not earn it. Thank God grace is a gift and not something we have to work for! Thank God His faithfullness outweighs and outlasts ours!

Joshua then stated a very well known line that many of us know and one of my favorites. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” What a powerful statement! He stated the truth, told them to make a choice, and then proclaimed where he stood on the matter. No waivering. What I love and adore even more is that he didnt make this statement just for himself. It was for his whole family as well. See, our proclamation of faith and living it out has a ripple effect. It ends generations of god followers and turns them into God followers.

The choice is yours today. I pray that the Spirit reveals to you all He has done for you just as He did for my dear, sweet friend. Just as He did for me. Who do you choose?

I can tell you my choice. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Choose Him

I struggled with a event from the Old Testament. I wont say which one here because it doesnt really matter. I have struggled to understand many events from the Old Testament. Today God spoke to me. “See what Jesus did for you?” So, blessed to be living in a time such as this. Under the new convenant God provided for us through Jesus. All the people of the Old Testament lived thousands of years on the promise of a Messiah. They were saved by a promise not yet arrived. Most died without seeing the promise fulfilled but they were still loved by God and those that loved God back were given a way to salvation. They lived in some pretty rough times. I can see God’s love for them and His many ways of pointing to the Savior to come even in their harsh times. Now, we live in a time where no more sacrifices are required. No more living under the law. Our salvation is bought and paid for as soon as we place our belief in Jesus Christ. The law is no longer our salvation from above but is now the road beneath our feet that guides us on our way. It is the guide God gave us to show us which way to go. I may not always understand why or how things went down in the Old Testament but some things I know for sure: God is good. He was good then and good now. His ways are just. I can trust Him without a doubt. Jesus is our savior. What He did for us is beyond true comprehension. There are people that waited years for His arrival and here we are waiting for His return. What it must have been like to be on earth in the short amount of time that Jesus was here in the flesh! To see Him. To be smiled upon by Him. Oh what it will be like when I do see Him. How can I ever thank Him? How? By living in and respecting the freedom and grace we have been given through Him. That was the whole point. Allowing Him to give me this gift of grace and mercy and doing my best to pass it on to others. That is as close as I can get to showing Him just how grateful I am. God chose us to come to earth so we can choose Jesus and live an eternal life with Him in heaven. God WANTS to spend eternity with us amd gives us the choice to do so. All you have to do is choose it! Choose Christ! Say yes! Let Him heal you and give you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It is the quality of your life here on earth and it is your life in eternity that depends on this choice. Choose Him!!!