Monday, July 11, 2011

suffering brings glory...

Romans 8:15-17  
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
John 21:18-19
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.  Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

     The message at my church on Sunday really brought me to my knees and made me take a look at my own life and rethink things. The following stuff is a lot of what was spoken in my church and I do not take credit for it all; however, I thought it was worth sharing. I wrote on running hard after God the other day and how we must go through some trials in life, but these scriptures back up the fact that we will go through sufferings in order to share in God's glory.  We are heirs of God. 
What would have happened if they had delayed the sufferings?
God instructs Peter to take up his cross and Follow Him....think about that....take up your cross and follow him...
As followers of Jesus, we are in the world, but not of it.  We must swim against the tide. 
We may have to suffer.
We will come into conflict with the forces of hell....sufferings will come our way.....but glory will come too...
Do you want to experience God's glory?  I do!!! 
Let's not focus too much right now on the sufferings because I do not want you to run away for fear of experiencing sufferings.  God does not want us to live in fear, but we must live in reality of the world that surrounds us, even if we are not of the world.

     We need intimacy. Intimacy with God- we have to truly get to know Him and through intimacy comes knowing Him.

     In Acts 20, we read about Paul and his willingness to go to Jerusalem, "not knowing what will happen to me there."  He only knew that "in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.  However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace." (Acts 20:22-24)

     Does your life mean nothing to you compared to what it means to live for God and His kingdom?  It seems a bit scary to really answer that question honestly.  BUT, we have to get to that place where we say...HERE I AM LORD, I AM HERE TO GO WHERE YOU WANT, DO WHAT YOU WANT, SUFFER THROUGH THE HARDSHIPS YOU WARNED ME ABOUT IF IT MEANS GETTING TO THE PLACE THAT YOU WANT ME TO BE AT...where is that place that you want to go with God?  Has he spoken it to you in the still of the night and your first thought was that it was impossible?  Has he prophesied over you a calling to something that seems so far fetched that you cannot see it playing out in your life?  What is it that God wants from you?  And are you willing to give it to Him? 
     We must fix our eyes on what is not seen instead of what is seen (1 Corinthians 4:16).
The things that are seen are only temporary.  They do not possess us.  They do not own us.  We are owned by something far greater than what we can fix our eyes on.  Life is like a is here for awhile and then it vanishes away.  (Colossians 3:1)

     Paul is saying, "listen, this life here is only temporary, it will fade away, dim out.  We must not focus our eyes on earthly things, but on things above. 
Colossians 3:4 says, "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

     It is not about being comfortable. It is about being CONSUMED....consumed with more of Him.  Longing for more of His presence.  God is knocking on the hearts of His many will open up the door and let Him in?
We need to hunger to go after matter what the world looks like around matter what the consequences matter what we see with our earthly eyes...We need to burn for Jesus.  We need to be awakened...awakened to a new life in Him...
I am praying for a new awakening in the hearts of those that read this blog and for the families of those that read this blog and for the churches that they attend and the cities that you live in and the neighborhoods that you call home.  We need to be awakened and burn for Him....are you willing to risk it all for a glimpse of his glory? 
Be Filled.
Fear Not.
Grab hold.
Don't let go....
God bless you this day....pray for a fresh touch from God today in your life and go after him....He is waiting....