Jesus

  • Grace For Change
         Jesus calls us and graces us to walk in newness of life. We can’t fully express and appreciate His Life in us if we insist on operating from old mindsets. T.D. Jakes says: “Your experience may be a liability because you are used to God operating one way.” 
         God is the God of creativity, of wonder, of adventure, of mystery. One Who doesn’t always work the way we are used to because He knows how easy it is for us to trust in a method instead of Him! Don’t misunderstand, God is consistently good, He is not capricious or arbitrary, but His heart for us, His plan, is SO much grander than we can imagine.
         The good news?
         God gives us grace to change, to be conformed to His image as we behold Jesus Christ by faith. We have been given the mind of Christ, the Life of Christ and the grace to lean not to our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all things, He will direct our paths. He even gives us the peace that transcends understanding, peace regardless of circumstances. We don’t have to stay locked in old mindsets, ways of reacting, imprisoned by the memories of the unjust treatment we may have received (or given) in the past. He makes all things new! By the way, I am speaking to myself today, if any of this applies to you, you are welcome to it too!
    Let’s receive again this Word:
    “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
    Ephesians 3: 14-20 ESV
  • Overcome

    When a lot of you read the title of this post, perhaps you thought of the word “overcome” as an exhortation to perform in such as a way as to achieve victory. Work harder, pray enough, trust more, etc. Well, that is the furthest from my mind as I write this. It wearies me to even think in those terms, though I was a prisoner of depending on my own efforts for many years and still fall into that trap if not reminded, yes even  overcome, by the gospel.

    My good friend Dudley Hall compares a legalistic emphasis on performance to what he calls the “do-to-be” tree.  If we will (do this) then God will…  When Adam and Eve sinned, into mankind entered the staggering weight of self-sufficiency. As another preacher friend, Adrian Varlack., puts it: “Before the fall, man had no self preservation instinct.” Indeed, because of the Presence of a loving Heavenly Father Who provided everything that man needed, self-sufficiency wasn’t even thought about. Thanks be to God for the beauty of the gospel! God in His love is the Initiator, and He even gives us the power to respond to Him and to the good news appropriately. Jesus has overcome and when I think about His love, His grace and power and acceptance revealed to me through the Cross, the resurrection and His sometimes tangible Presence in my life… I am overcome!

    Last week Rita and I were in Grand Rapids, MI, ministering and sharing songs and laughs with dear friends John and Donna Chisum. I had some time at the piano and was inspired, and overcome, by the Presence of the Lord as He gave me this song. It’s quickly become very dear to my heart and I hope it will encourage you in the Love of God as well. It’s called “Overcome.” (click the link for a youtube video of an unplugged version of the song.)

    Italy Beach Sunset

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “OVERCOME”

    Gentle Jesus meek and mild
    Heaven’s Lion fierce and wild
    Watching for this wand’ring child
    To welcome me back home
    So strong and yet so tenderly
    You run again to rescue me
    When You reveal Your heart for me
    I am overcome

    Overwhelmed and overflowing
    Overcome by the knowing
    That God the Savior is my friend
    I am overcome

    When youth has long forsaken me
    I hope that those who look still see
    Your light within my eyes
    Where does this kind of love come from?
    I was an orphan now I’m a son
    When I remember all You’ve done
    I am overcome

    Overwhelmed and overflowing
    Overcome by the knowing
    That God the savior is my friend
    I am overcome

    “Overcome” Words and Music by David Baroni/2014  Kingdomsongs Inc./BMI/CCLI