A New Romans Road?

If you believe in Jesus you’ve most likely heard the phrase Romans Road; a series of Scripture put together to share the Good News about the gift of salvation. Maybe some of you accepted Jesus because someone cared to share the gospel with you through Romans Road. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Rome, where the Scripture for Romans Road is found. Paul was articulate and intelligent. His schooling was of the finest available. He presented the gospel like a skilled lawyer.

I like things simple and I like to share the Good News in simple ways. Nothing against articulate, intelligent and skilled lawyers! Recently, I came across some Scripture and had a light bulb moment. It happens.

Here is what I found:

Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? (emphasis added).

Titus 3:4, 5a But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us. (emphasis added).

2 Peter 3:9 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. (emphasis added).            Image

2 Peter 3:15a Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation. (emphasis added)

Here’s my light bulb moment; It is God’s kindness, patience and love that leads to repentance; God the Son, our Savior IS love and kindness and He saves us; God does not want anyone to live eternity apart from Him. His desire is for everyone to acknowledge they are sinners and repent. His patience means SALVATION!

This has grace written all over it because it allows us to minister as ambassadors of God’s love. His love, His kindness, His patience, which leads to salvation! We can share the Good News and step aside allowing the Holy Spirit to do his job; or can you? GRACE; God’s unmerited favor toward us, ALL of us.

I love all of God’s word, so too, I love the Scripture that is coined Romans Road. But, I can’t stop thinking that these verses were written to believers who already accepted the gift of salvation. Thank you Holy Spirit for giving me a new advantage to sharing the Good News. Simple, just the way you created me!

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25.

What About Grace?

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I believe God burden’s our heart for the masses. What I mean by this is; for some their heart aches for those in other countries, others can’t get the image of the lonely and downtrodden here in America out of their mind, still others, like me, are burdened for Brothers and Sisters in the Body of Christ simply trying to keep their heads above water. They are held in bondage, perhaps, by former thought patterns, or maybe they hold on to unforgiveness or maybe, just maybe, they are dealing with sin and just need someone or others to come alongside and love them back into the arms of Jesus.

I am blessed to be called into a ministry of investing, mentoring and discipling women. Walking alongside them, learning and growing together. I minister and have ministered to women caught in the bondage of sin.  My responsibility to them is to love them like Christ does, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Recently, I read this statement; “When you are not saved, you pursue sin. When you are saved, you pursue Christ.” I mostly agree with this statement, what I take exception with is that even in our best effort, we still sin. We may not actively and intentionally sin, but we do. It isn’t even by our own effort that we can pursue Christ, it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us and His power that enables us to desire to abide in Christ.

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The article I read goes on to state, to the affect of, a practicing homosexual or fornicator, for example, cannot be and is not saved because they continue in their sin even if they are convicted about their sin. Step on the brake, screech, stop! What about grace?

What about the women I have the opportunity to minister too? Some of them have been believers in Christ longer than me! It would be extremely dangerous for me or anyone else to even suggest that these women are not saved because they pursue sin. The moment we images (2)accept Christ as Lord and Savior we are filled with the Holy Spirit and sealed for the kingdom of God. NOTHING, can tear us apart from the love of God. (Romans 8:35). Does this mean we are to continue in sin? As Paul says, “By no means!” (Romans 6:2a). Make no mistake, there IS judgement and consequence for sin.

Why then are we so afraid of grace?! There, I said it. GRACE; God’s unmerited favor toward us. We don’t have to do anything to earn His grace. He showers us fresh and new each day with grace simply because we are his kids and he LOVES us! When we slip and fall off course, He pursues us with his grace. Jesus came to bind up the broken hearted and set the captives free, it is His grace that frees us!

Let’s pledge to fill each other with the truth of His identity in us. Reminding each other who God says we are. Extending the flow of God’s grace in our life to all we encounter.  Let’s embrace grace full on and then ask for more!

GRACE.

Pennies from Heaven

Image My running buddy is also one of my very dear friends. We live in a city that was once a rural farming and orchard community. We still have many beautiful operating orchards, and if you haven’t had corn from the farms in our community, well, you haven’t had real corn! We are now a bedroom community and sometimes we run in an area that is residential nestled in the grassy hills of a bygone era. In this area we often see vicious wild animals during our zero dark thirty morning runs. By vicious I mean raccoon’s travelling in three’s or four’s from front yard to front yard scavenging for food, coyote’s and wild bunnies. I am always cognizant and on the look out for these lovely animals.

One morning as we are running along my friend suddenly splays her arms out wide and says, “wait!”, as she is bending down like she is going to hit the ground. Instantly images (2)I am looking around for an escape route, thinking, “what did she see?, how many are there?, and are they going to attack?” Finally, I look over at her and she is picking up a penny from the ground. After my heart has left my throat and is properly back in its place, I told her what I was thinking and we shared a good laugh!

This morning we were coming back from a walk and I hear a delightful, “oooo pennies!” Sure enough there were four pennies in a zig zag row on the ground in front of us. My friend picked up each one and said, “In God we Trust!”

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On my drive home from her house I reflected on how God reveals Himself in such tangible and deliciously wonderful ways. He meets us right where we’re at and touches us in ways that speak to our personality that He created in us.

The next time you find a penny on the ground I hope you will pick it up and exclaim, “In God we Trust!”, knowing that you were just touched by God with a penny from heaven!

LOVE

ImageAgapao or agape is the nature of love of God toward his beloved Son (John 17:26); toward the human race in general (John 3:17); and toward those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 14:21).

If God agape’s all His human creation then why believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior? Great question! All of God’s human creation are enemies of God before becoming believers in Christ. Meaning whoever does not believe in Christ as Lord and Savior is anti-Christ, NOT the Antichrist, but against Christ. It was God who desired to be reconciled with us and initiated reconciliation, not the other way around.
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Therefore, until those who don’t believe in salvation through Jesus actually choose to do so, there is still hostility with God that needs to be dealt with before reconciliation can happen. How does this happen you ask? Another great question! Acknowledge to God that you are a sinner; Believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins; Choose to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The blessing of Acknowledging, Believing and Choosing is spending eternity in the presence of God rather than an eternity separated from His great love for you.

Beloved, God’s love for all His creation is so complete and because He is holy, punishment for sin is required. THAT is why he sent his only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins! (1 John 4:10). Jesus took YOUR punishment for sin by dying on the cross for YOU! That is AGAPE!
God loves you as much as He loves his Son Jesus; unconditionally and completely; regardless of your past or present. Now that is amazing GRACE!!!
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Peace, love & GRACE.

Cute As a Button!

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 Our youngest is finally a teenager. She has been for several months. Yesterday was the first day of school; we’re on a modified year round schedule. She came home with all the usual forms from almost each class requesting what seems like the exact same information. Being that we are in the 21st Century, one would think that all this information could be centralized and utilized by those requesting the information!

Being the sweetie that she is, she offered to complete them all and have me sign them. Since I was preparing dinner at the time, I readily agreed, without hesitation! Then she came to one form and told me that it had two sides and that I should probably complete it, because there were a lot of questions. I sat down to complete this form and realized how much this particular teacher truly cares about her students simply by the questions that were asked.

Answering these questions gave me the opportunity to reflect on the many special gifts God has given our daughter. One of my favorites is her big compassionate heart. She feels and senses her world around her in a deeper and more raw way than most people do. What may seem as not a big deal to most isn’t always true for the compassionate heart.

Maybe some of you reading this are also compassionate hearts. Perhaps you have been told, “You’re too sensitive.” or “You let too much bother you.” If so, I tell you, what we very often tell our daughter, “God gave you your big compassionate because He chose you and trusts you.” “It’s a good thing!” It truly is a gift from God.

This morning as I was getting ready to take her to school, I looked at her and was once again struck by how blessed I am to be her mamma and that she is MY lovebug! That God has graced my life with her bright smile and beautiful laugh. And, that He trusts us to raise her up in the way she should go.

Oh, and did I mention? She looked “as cute as a button!”

Identity

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I am always teaching identity and authority in Christ. It’s part of our inheritance and its ours now. One of my favorite verses about our identity is 1 Peter 2:9

 

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (NASB).

 

I love this translation because who God says we are is all in capital letters! Can you imagine God shouting this about you in the heavenlies? The enemy shrinks backward, hissing and covers his ears; he can’t stand the sound of the roar from the Lion of Judah proclaiming HIS truth about you! Hallelujah!

 

The next time the enemy tries to beat you down with all his lies of who he says you are, remind yourself; you are CHOSEN, a royal PRIEST, from a HOLY NATION, and God’s OWN POSSESSION. 


Love, Peace, GRACE.