Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to Overcome Temptation

I thought that some of you might find some encouragement in this today. We all suffer from a multitude of temptations and many have not found the Way to overcome.

It’s been my experience that the majority of saints don’t believe this encouragement from our brother, Peter, who saw, heard, and touched our Lord:

…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation…

In this short part of his sentence, Peter shares with us the way to overcome: by faith in our Lord. Not just faith in the Lord, who is far away in a place called heaven, overseeing our lives. But, faith in the Lord who indwells us. Faith in the Lord who is united with us at the very core of our being; who became the Life-giving Spirit to unite Himself with our spirit in eternal oneness.

Christ in us is our Hope of Glory; our Hope of just expressing Christ and nothing of ourselves.

Don’t be discouraged if immediately after reading this, you sin. The enemy will do everything that he can to keep you from walking by faith. Even in the midst of falling into temptation, you can turn to the Lord by faith, and say “I can’t rescue myself from temptation, but I know that You are my Rescuer”. You may fail a thousand times, but don’t lose faith in Christ as the Way. Christ is the unique Overcomer, and He will overcome within us.

Even if you need faith, you can turn to Him and receive Christ as your Faith. In Christ, we can enjoy His unsearchable riches, which He is dispensing into us by His superabundant Spirit. We just keep receiving Him into our souls by faith.

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Christ, the Reality: the Real Window

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2011-10-08%2014.04.10 (Photo credit: mlinksva)

I am the Way, the Reality, and the Life

In the ark, built by Noah, there was only a single window. This window was on the roof. We receive light through windows. The window was on the roof of the ark, because our Light is from above. Christ is the Window, and we receive God’s shining through Him. Christ is even the very Effulgence of God that we receive.

Christ isn’t just the Light and the Window, but He is also the Window Screen. The windows that Ezekiel saw, in his vision of the temple, had lattices, or screens. Christ, our Window Screen, keeps all of the dirt and bugs out. Christ keeps the world and the evil spirits out of His House.

Windows aren’t just for light, but also for air. Christ has become our Air, as the Life-giving Spirit, so that we may breath all the negative things out and breath in God. As we look upon Christ, we receive Him as our Light and our Air.

Keep the eyes of your heart on Christ. When you look at something, it enters into you through your eyes and is translated into your mind. It’s the same in Christ. Keep your eyes on Christ and He enters into you. Day-by-day, we receive Him, as our Grace, by Faith. Faith is our spiritual sight. We walk by Faith, not by sight. Christ is even Faith, for us. When we receive Him, by Faith, He is the shining Light within us. As we are filled and saturated with Him, He overflows out of us as Love. This expression of God is His Glory, and we join in His Glory, which is just Christ.

Brothers and sisters, whenever you see a window, remember that that window is a shadow of Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we receive the Light of God and through Christ, all the dirty, evil things are kept out.

The Great Commission and an Ignored Commandment

On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. – [Act 10:9-16 NASB]

And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean. – [Act 10:28 NASB]

If you are looking forward to the Christ, the Reality series, don’t worry, I am still writing it. I have the second post partially written and I think that you will enjoy it. But, the above Scripture is what’s on my heart tonight. I came across these verses as the saints read them together. I have read them before, but I never saw what I am sharing with you today.

Everyone knows what has been called “the great commission”, but who ever even mentions the above commandment, given to Peter? The matter of eating and drinking Christ has always been a difficult thing(even for the believers) ever since Jesus said it, so long ago. But, here, our Lord gives us an even more difficult commandment. When preaching Christ, does anyone have the thought of going out to kill and eat people?

This vision, and our Lord’s words, reveal a wonderful key to understanding the Scriptures. All of the unclean creatures represented the Gentiles. The Jews were not to eat the Gentiles.

So, what does eating mean? It is the deepest union that two beings can have. What you eat becomes part of you. Something dies and enters into you and its life becomes your life. In cultures where very fragrant food is eaten, we find that people even smell like the food that they eat. If all you eat is fish every day, you will have a fishy fragrance.

God became a Man and died, so that He could enter into us as our Food and Drink. Thus, filling and saturating us, with Himself. He died to become our Life and Life-supply.

On the other hand, in His words to Peter, we find that He kills us and eats us. We cannot eat Him until He has eaten us. When the Spirit comes, He brings the death and the effectiveness of the death of Jesus Christ into us. We are crucified in Christ and we become food to satisfy Him. He eats us and we enter into Him and become part of Him; we become part of His Body. But, He doesn’t eat us directly. He eats us through His Body. The Ekklesia, the enlargement of Christ, goes into every place, killing and eating those, whom God has called.

Dear saints, we must eat and drink Christ, who was killed to become our Food and Drink. When we are filled with Christ, we can go, kill and eat those whom God has chosen for Himself. He is hungry and thirsty, and we are a satisfying Feast for Him, just as He is a satisfying Feast for us. This is the Way of union with God.

Book Review: Jesus: A Theography

Let’s face it. The Bible is often viewed as a disjointed array of stories, events, laws, propositions, truths, ethical statements, and moral lessons. But as we will demonstrate in this book, the sixty-six books of the Bible are woven together by a single storyline. One of the best ways to look at the twenty-seven books of the New Testament may be to see them as a commentary on the Old Testament. The entire Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are unified by a common narrative. And once our eyes are opened to see that narrative, everything in both Testaments gels into a coherent, understandable, and amazing story. And what is that story? Well, it’s not enough to call it “salvation history” as many people do. No. It’s the story of Jesus Christ. The end product of biblical Christianity is a person— not a book, not a building, not a set of principles or a system of ethics— but one person in two natures (divine/ human) with four ministries (prophet/ priest/ king/ sage) and four biographies (the Gospels). But those four biographies don’t tell the whole story. Every bit of Scripture is part of the same great story of that one person and that one story’s plotline of creation, revelation, redemption, and consummation.

Sweet, Leonard; Viola, Frank (2012-10-02). Jesus: A Theography . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Jesus: A Theography, by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, is quite a book at 409 pages. A significant number of those pages consists of footnotes for each chapter. This immense “theography” of Jesus covers Christ, from eternity past to His second coming (and everything in between). It’s not only an objective study of Christ, but also very practical at times.

Honestly, Jesus: A Theography is a difficult book to review. I found some parts of the book very enjoyable, but other parts somewhat tedious. There are different perspectives taken throughout the book and I think that this ensures that every reader will find some enjoyment of Christ within its pages.

If you enjoy reading the Scriptures, there are references. If you enjoy types and symbols, these are considered. If you enjoy a historical view, historical aspects are presented. Plus, I think you will find much, much more. But, you can find all of these things in many books.

What makes Jesus: A Theography unique, is that it’s entirely focused on Christ. Not only Jesus of Nazareth, but the eternal Christ Jesus. Our Lord Jesus is so lovely, so vast, and so all-inclusive, there is no single book that can fully express Him. But, Jesus: A Theography gives us a wonderful view of Him, and it is rooted in the Scriptures.

I recommend this book to all saints, who desire to know our Lord more deeply.

Although, I received this book for free from Booksneeze, but I also purchased an electronic version, so that I could read the footnotes more easily, and so that I could share it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Christ, the Reality: the Real Onion

Red Layers

Red Layers (Photo credit: Allan Reyes)

I have decided to write a new series on Christ as the Reality of every good thing. I will present pictures of Christ from our everyday life. Since, all things were created by Him, through Him, and for Him, His imprint is everywhere. If something does not express Him in some way, it expresses His enemy, or lack of Christ. I have learned to see Christ in everything from others. I hope that by seeing some of these analogies and pictures, that you will be encouraged to see Christ wherever you go. Our Lord is infinitely vast and you may be surprised where you will find His shadow!

I am the Way, the Reality, and the Life

Christ is the real Onion, and His layers are infinite and unsearchable. Whenever you are no longer enjoying the freshness of one layer, there is always another layer of freshness available for your enjoyment.

That means He’s repugnant to Satan. Because He’s full of freshness and life and an aroma that we love. Let’s all eat Him as the real onion. – Marcus Leslie

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