Faith is the beginning.....

Thursday, October 9, 2014

David Wilkerson on True and False Joy




I receive daily devotionals from the late David Wilkerson. He was one of the most God-fearing Pastors I've ever known. He was a current day Jeremiah, a fearless man who preached the truth no matter the cost. I have relied heavily on his teachings, his words have spoke to my heart many a time. However, I do not take any man's word as gospel, as I always, ALWAYS refer to the Bible, as all Believers should! That keeps us from idolizing man and guards us from false teaching.

You can click HERE to view the devotion that I think speaks to our current day dilemma which puts an emphasis on the "experience" and "signs and wonders" that are not generated by the Holy Spirit and are not indicative of true repentance.

A true turning to God will bring about a brokenness and a contrition over our sad sinful state! Christ's holiness becomes more and more apparent when we truly repent of our sins. It is just part of salvation. Repentance is a turning away from sin and turning to God and His righteousness which is not our own. We can never earn His righteousness -- the Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags - Is 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." KJV

As regards forgiveness, the Bible gives us an illustration in Luke 7:47 "Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." KJV This was a woman who was a prostitute and who at one time had heard Jesus speak and had received His forgiveness and therefore wanted to show Him how much she loved Him for doing so. All of this took place at the home of a Pharisee who had invited Jesus to dinner and she was there kneeling on the ground, washing Jesus' feet with her tears; tears of repentance and tears of joy. She continued in her loving acts by drying His feet with her hair and then anointing His feet with oil. This was no ordinary woman; she understood what and how much she was forgiven. She understood the love of Jesus and in return she demonstrated her love in the only way she knew how. That is why the Bible says he who has been forgiven much loves much. We can never pay back to God the love which He has shown us. We are forever indebted to Him for His sacrifice on the cross.

I've been forgiven much. How about you? Do you know how great a sacrifice it was for Him to die on the cross and shed His blood for you?



In His service,

Mtn Girl

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Farewell Summer

Glimpses of Summer



Summer is slipping away so quickly. I must grasp its last glimmering days.
In its going I will be so lonely.
Sun beating down it's healing rays,
Striking my skin with its blaze.
Grass so tender and green,
Lilting song of birds,
Cool night breeze flowing through open windows, like a summer sigh.
Curtains gently waving in summer air, oh, my heavy heart.
Buzzing of bees and pine scented trees, scampering squirrels, thunderous heaven noise and pouring rain, fill my heart with wonder, may it never wane.
Daisy, yarrow, and harebell; whence will you come again to delight my heart and make it swell? Creek with its clean, clear scent, moving swiftly, smoothing rocks, life giving; on the trail next to you I walk.
Summer, I will miss you, summer, you are a gift from God, please come again soon and delight my heart.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Bible is Not Practical!


South Park, Co


You know, I get frustrated when I read about what is going on in our churches today. Have we all gone mad? Have we lost our love of the truth? Is Christianity just another way to live life, as in, adding Him to our life as an accessory to make our lives more fulfilling? And is the Bible just a guide-book? If this is our approach, oh! how we are missing the very life-giving, life-changing (from the inside-out), life-breath that God offers us! The Bible's words are alive. It says in Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." 

So below check out the article that sounds a warning to current day Christianity by Phil Cooke.

This explains how some Pastors are teaching the Bible to their congregations. Click HERE to read this blog.

Mtn Girl

Christian Sanctification May be Different Than You Think


   Photo taken at Red Rocks in Morrison, Co
                                            

 Sanctify them through Thy truth. — John 17:17

How can the love of truth sanctify us? Isn't sanctification just avoiding sin and trying to do good? No, it isn't. The doing or not doing isn't the question...that isn't what sanctifies. The very strange thing about Christianity is that it is different from other religions...very different. Actually Christianity turns religion on it's head. We as fallen people, born into sin resort to thinking that if we are "good" then we are right with God and will go to heaven. The Bible says something entirely different; it says no one can be good enough, no one can establish a righteousness of their own. We fight to be right, to make ourselves appear good and not evil. But we are evil -- the Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags. The beautiful reality is that the remedy has been provided for us by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The only righteousness that saves is the righteousness that is imputed to us by Christ. It is a free gift -- we cannot earn it. 

Consider the words of Charles Spurgeon below. He reveals this wonderful truth that says the love of it is what sanctifies. Truth informs; it dispels the darkness and it sets us free!

"Sanctification begins in regeneration. The Spirit of God infuses into man that new living principle by which he becomes "a new creature" in Christ Jesus. This work, which begins in the new birth, is carried on in two ways-mortification, whereby the lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under; and vivification, by which the life which God has put within us is made to be a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. This is carried on every day in what is called "perseverance," by which the Christian is preserved and continued in a gracious state, and is made to abound in good works unto the praise and glory of God; and it culminates or comes to perfection, in "glory," when the soul, being thoroughly purged, is caught up to dwell with holy beings at the right hand of the Majesty on high. But while the Spirit of God is thus the author of sanctification, yet there is a visible agency employed which must not be forgotten. "Sanctify them," said Jesus, "through thy truth: thy word is truth." The passages of Scripture which prove that the instrument of our sanctification is the Word of God are very many. The Spirit of God brings to our minds the precepts and doctrines of truth, and applies them with power. These are heard in the ear, and being received in the heart, they work in us to will and to do of God's good pleasure. The truth is the sanctifier, and if we do not hear or read the truth, we shall not grow in sanctification. We only progress in sound living as we progress in sound understanding. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Do not say of any error, "It is a mere matter of opinion." No man indulges an error of judgment, without sooner or later tolerating an error in practice. Hold fast the truth, for by so holding the truth shall you be sanctified by the Spirit of God."

Say yes to the truth, say yes to God.

God bless you today,

Mtn Girl

Friday, June 20, 2014

Great Website to Visit!! If You Love Photography, if You Love Design, You'll Love This Site!

A website I visit often and the most lovely site you can peruse....The Adventures of Elizabeth: My Favorite Things Part 2 - And free gifts for everyone! elizabethhousestlouis.blogspot.com, and if you visit today you can enter to win a $75 gift certificate to http://www.novica.com/



The True Gospel







                                                "Whenever the true message of the cross is abolished, the anger of
                                                 hypocrites and heretics ceases.. and all things are in peace. This is
                                                 a sure token that the devil is guarding the entry to the house, and
                                                 that the PURE doctrine of God's Word has been taken away. The Church
                                                 then, is in the BEST state, when Satan assaileth it on every side...
                                                 both with subtle sleights, and outright violence. And likewise it is
                                                 in the WORST state when it is most at peace!"
                                                  -Martin Luther

Oh, my....what to say? My heart skips a beat when I read this as it reminds me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a sharp sword that cuts through to the truth. It doesn't make apologies and it doesn't waiver from the straight edge of truth. The Gospel is either all true or none of it is true. It is pure, unadulterated, crystalline, and faithful. It is what we live by and it is what saves our souls. You must be born-again if you want to enter the kingdom of God. Ask Christ to reveal Himself to you today and I assure you He will! 

God bless,

Mtn Girl

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Purpose is NOT the Gospel.

Self-Love.....is it Biblical? Part 1

Today's post is a triple-latte-get-myself-going post! Lots of thought is going into this. In fact this topic is very near and dear my heart as, for many years I fell for the line of thinking that I needed to "accept" myself and "love" myself. If I can help steer anyone away from the pain of this inward journey, then this is well worth the effort. For in seeking self-acceptance one will find that it is a never-ending quest and eventually leads to more and more inward thoughts and self-examination. Now there is nothing wrong with self-examination, but when it gets to the point of taking your eyes off your Savior and putting them on yourself you become less and less Christlike. You will continue in a downward spiral with the need to have more self-understanding. You will have more questions than answers to your problems. You will eventually not ever like yourself -- the very thing you are seeking. You and I are a big black hole and nothing about us will fill us. Only Jesus Christ can fill us and make us content.

We must ask ourselves, is this what Jesus taught us to do, to love ourselves? Is that something we should be seeking? Or is it outright dangerous to our soul to embrace this notion? Let's take a look at the definition of self-love from the dictionary itself...


Definition of self-love: 1. The instinct by which one's actions are directed to the promotion of one's own welfare or well-being, especially an excessive regard for one's own advantage. 2. Conceit, vanity. 3. Narcissism. 

What?? Is that what it says?! Yes, and it doesn't mince words, does it? On a side note it wouldn't surprise me if we eventually find a different definition of it as I've noticed through the years that "certain" words have changed meaning over time, such as the word meek. In the "old" definition it is a noble thing, as it should be, for our Lord said the meek will inherit the earth. The old definition is: mild of temper, not easily provoked or irritated, forbearance under injuries and provocations, humility, resignations. The "new" dictionary definition is: overly submissive or compliant; spiritless. Now to it's credit it does state some of the more admirable definitions as well, but it's interesting to note that it sheds a bad light on meekness, whereas the old one only put it in it's proper light.

So with that in mind I'd like to point out the reasons that seeking to love ourselves will only lead to frustration and spiritual ruin.

Reasons we are not to even attempt to like or love ourselves:

1. We are not meant to aspire to "like" ourselves.  Paul said he was the chief of sinners. This is the same Paul who wrote most of the New Testament. He clearly did not overestimate himself and neither should we. We are created to love and admire Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls. We are meant to gaze upon Him and to spend our energy loving Him, seeking Him and worshiping Him, not ourselves. Here's a novel idea -- we are not that special and the sooner we accept and embrace that the better off we'll be. Instead of saying, "I'm strong, beautiful and capable", say, "I'm weak, unworthy and incapable", and watch what God can do through you!! He will be your strength, your strong tower and He is more than capable to do His work through you, but before He can work through you, you must be empty of self. And boy, we are so far from that in our culture. John the Baptist said, "Less of me and more of Him". Let us get back to that! Second Timothy 3:1-2 says it all, "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty, for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy....swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." Do you want to be associated with that or do you want to be meek and lowly like our Lord? I hope it's the latter.

2. It is by it's very nature performance oriented. Let me explain -- when we are on a quest to like or love ourselves it follows a certain line of thought which goes like this, "Today I like myself because I helped my neighbor or gave money to that organization that helps orphans", or "Today I'm not very happy with myself because I lost my temper, or ignored a need that was presented in church, etc." You get my point. We tend to analyze our performance. When we are washed in the blood of Christ we are free from that sort of self-examination. Our response when we fail or come up short should be something like this, "I didn't help that person when I should've, but I know that God knows and He doesn't condemn me, although He may be disappointed, but He also knows that I am weak in myself and powerless. So, Lord, help me and forgive me my oversight and allow me another opportunity to do the right thing." Do you see the difference? The weight of the wrong is laid upon Jesus and His forgiveness. It is a not a weight that either you or I can carry. Our sin nature will show itself more often than we care to admit. This is where sanctification comes in....we should be growing in our faith and obedience and allow the Holy Spirit to work out in us the will to please Him. It is so wonderful and so freeing for me since I have grasped this. I am more free and less concerned about "me" and my performance than I've been my entire life. Jesus sets us free from performance, He sets us free to focus on Him and to please Him. When our focus is on Him and not ourselves the result is that we blossom and mature.

3. The quest for self-discovery is rooted in New Age thought and dogma. Ever hear a New Age-r say, "I'm seeking my higher self"? Or, "I'm getting in touch with my 'authentic' self"? What means do they use to get there? You guessed it, they go inward. They go inside themselves and look to their "divine" inner being, for they believe that all people are divine -- you just have to tap into it. This is dangerous, dear one -- don't venture there and if you have already dabbled in it, get out and get out fast!! A wise quote by someone goes like this, "If you look to yourself for your divinity you eventually will end up worshiping yourself". You don't want to go there! Self-love is without a doubt idolatry. Sadly, sadly, many Christian authors advocate the teaching of the New Age philosophy of loving yourself. I can think of one author who I recently heard on a Focus on the Family broadcast..a note of caution: FOtF has become more Ecumenical and Emergent in years past so it doesn't surprise me they promote authors who are pro-Contemplative. The author, Gary Thomas who wrote, 'Sacred Pathways', said, and I quote, "we are to love our neighbor and love ourselves." No, that's not what it says -- the Bible says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Big difference. Here's why -- we ALREADY inherently love ourselves. We already want the best for ourselves...it's harder to love our neighbor so we must be reminded to do so. Martin Luther's commentary on Gal 5: 14 goes like this:
 If you want to know how you ought to love your neighbor, ask yourself how much you love yourself. If you were to get into trouble or danger, you would be glad to have the love and help of all men. You do not need any book of instructions to teach you how to love your neighbor. All you have to do is to look into your own heart, and it will tell you how you ought to love your neighbor as yourself.

4. It is the antithesis of what the Bible says. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24,  "....If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." We are not to seek our own welfare. When we focus on Christ, He will take care of us; we need not be concerned with our welfare. He is our Provider, our Healer, our Comforter....He is all we need. In keeping with the title of the book by Tullian Tchividjian, (this is not an endorsement of Mr. Tchividjian, as I believe him to be an Ecumenist) 'Jesus + Nothing = Everything', if we can grasp this truth we will be the better for it. And you know, the funny thing is when you stop trying to accept yourself and focus on Christ instead, you strangely DO accept yourself -- as the sinner you are, as the weak person you are, as the small and insignificant person you are (in comparison to Him), and all will be well in your world. And accepting that one is not worthy does not mean worthless. Our value is high, after all, we were bought at a price.

My admonition to you is -- reject the current pop-psychology that says we must affirm ourselves and love ourselves. Run from it and run into the arms of Jesus who loved you enough to die for you. It is Him we must worship - not ourselves.

God bless you!

Mtn Girl


                                                   


                               













Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rescued....


The word "rescued" conjures up many thoughts on the subject. I'd like to mention a few things about being rescued, but first, here are a few synonyms that describe the word:

Liberate, release, save, redeem, ransom, extricate, recover, liberation, deliverance, release, redemption and recovery. Wow. These words ring "FREEDOM", don't they?

As you can imagine, this applies to us as Christians. This is what it's about, people! But all too often the true meaning of salvation through Christ is twisted to mean something other than it is. For instance, a teaching that is spreading like wildfire throughout Christendom is that God is not a God of judgment, not a God of wrath. For some reason perhaps they think it will offend the unbeliever to include the "less desirable" aspects of God, so they make it more palatable to the masses. If God doesn't punish sin, if God is not a God of justice, if God isn't wrathful against evil, then what does He stand for? What is He rescuing us from? If God is only a God of love, where is the rest of the equation? You can't love fiercely unless you hate fiercely. If you love that which is good, right and holy then you must hate that which is loathsome, wrong and evil.

And so God is a God of love and God is a God of hate. I wrote a comment on a site that referenced the upcoming movie, 'Son of God'. The author of the article said, "...it failed to reveal who the true Son of God is" (my paraphrase). In my comment, in which I agreed with the author, I wrote that God's love is a double-edged sword that pierces and divides and demands that the one He loves give Him their heart, their mind, their very life -- none of this nauseating fluff that Jesus is there to make your life easier.

So when God demands that we love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, He is saying, essentially, in our doing so, we will be freed from self, from our own evil desires and sinfulness. We will be set free from our sin and we will be given a new nature. How glorious! Freed from sin, rescued from death! But only God Himself can free us from ourselves.

So, yes, I've been rescued. Rescued from darkness and all the things associated with it. A life devoid of God. Darkness. Spiritual Death. Empty. Aimless. I was as it says in Ephesians 2:12, "....without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE, and WITHOUT GOD in the world."

Call out to Him, He's there. He will rescue you.


Mtn Girl

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Does Your Private Life Line Up With Your Public Life?

                                                                   DUPLICITY
Interesting article on the Christian's dual life by Paul Tripp...we all have some hypocrisy to one degree or another. The important thing is to remember that we should always be asking the Lord to reveal in us any duplicity. One of the points in the article said, "Are you a member of a small group who participates with spiritual enthusiasm in front of people but lives in fear and discouragement when no one is looking?" This hit home for me...I struggle with doubt and discouragement more than I care to admit. I am not trusting God when I should be. So the article states we need to evaluate our heart and make sure we stay before the Lord and confess our sins. Unbelief is a sin, is it not? And when we confess we are then comforted with a comfort that comes not from the world but from God Himself. To Him be the glory!! May you have a day that is filled with His forgiveness and may you be reminded of His patience and love! 
           Mtn Girl

http://www.christianpost.com/news/spiritual-schizophrenia-115724