I HAVE BECOME ALL THINGS…

1 Corinthians 9:19: “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

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In the book, The Shack,  you see how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit became different things to a man who lost his little daughter.  Jesus will meet you where YOU are!  He will become whatever you need Him to become in order to meet your immediate needs, for He wants to ultimately save your soul.

Paul said in the last part of his statement, “ I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”  Paul didn’t learn that concept on his own…he learned it from Jesus.   A while back, I was searching through Scripture, and stumbled upon this amazing fact, God became man, and has revealed Himself to us in several forms.  Each one appeals to us in different ways.

First, He came as a Baby.  He was sweet, meek, mild, easy to love, non threatening, small, tiny and seemingly insignificant.

When He was around twelve, He sat in the Temple, and taught the Religious leaders of the day, showing us His intellectual side.  He was a child prodigy…a Teacher.

Later on in His ministry, He showed His supernatural abilities.  He was a Man of Miracles performing signs and wonders.

Then, He became a Leader to His small band of disciples.  They called Him, Master, Ruler, Captain, Commander, Lord.

He became a Servant. He willingly humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples.  He was willing to assist, attend, help, supply aid, and wait on anyone in need.  It was part of His mission.

Then He came to the people as a Gentle King, riding on a donkey.  They laid down green palm branches, full of life, which was a picture of Him laying down His life for us.  They threw their coats on the ground…He was stripped of His shortly thereafter.

He became the Savior of the World when He died on the Cross so that we could live.  He paid the ultimate sacrifice for all.

When He rose from the dead, He became the Victor…the Champion, the Winner over death, hell, and the grave!

At His Second Coming, He will come as our Redeemer.  He will retrieve us from this sinful world, and take us to Himself forevermore!

In His last battle with Satan, He will come as the Conqueror.  He will come as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  He will defeat, overcome, quell, overpower, subdue crush, vanquish, and succeed over all the powers of the devil.

We, as humans, all have different personalities, so He shows Himself in these different ways to draw us to Himself.

.  The picture of Him as a Baby shows the sweetness, the tenderness we all long for.

.The Teacher in Him appeals to the intellectuals, the thinkers.

.The Man of miracles appeals to those needing to see signs and wonders, greater things than just words.

.The Leader appeals to the weak and indecisive, those that want someone other than themselves to make the decisions.

.The Servant, to those in need of help, or that extra touch of caring.

.The Gentle King, to those in need of a man for, and of the people.

.The Savior appeals to those who are lost…and know it.  It appeals to our sense of His Great Sacrifice for us, though undeserving.

.The Victor appeals to the winner in all of us…for we all want to win in the end!

.The Redeemer appeals to those of us who wish and wait for a better future.

.The Conqueror  appeals to the warrior that is in all of us.

Whatever it is that draws you to Jesus, be glad that He has become ALL things to all of us.  He did this to show us how much He loves and wants us to be with Him for all eternity!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2009

 

DO YOU NEED AN EXTERMINATOR?

Today, I would like to share something with you that was written by my daughter, Jessica.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!-anita

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It was my Thirtieth birthday and my mom wanted to take me out for a night on the town.  After hours of shoe shopping we had worked up some hearty appetites.  So, with bags in hand we made our way to our favorite little Mexican restaurant.  We shared those belly laughs while enjoying every bite. Until…my mom poked at her tostada.  Out from under a ribbon of lettuce a nasty umber colored critter scurried frantically across the table straight towards me!  Immediately my mom began to gag and I shrieked shoving my chair back as if I were being attacked by the creature.  Stunned.  We both watched in horror as our server, void of any emotion, picked up my ice tea and smashed the varmint with the bottom of the glass.  Quietly we sat for a moment until the reality of what just happened washed over us.  Looking up I took one glance at our servers stoic face and erupted with laughter.  Seriously.  At that point what else is there to do.  Needless to say we didn’t have to pay for our meal and we never returned.

I wonder…how many times we appear all cleaned up and pretty on the outside…maybe even super spiritual…perhaps we have a great reputation with others…but if we…if I…allowed God to move things around and turn on all the lights of my heart how many roaches would scurry about desperately trying to shrink back into the darkness.

It’s so easy to be deceived about my own heart unless I keep the light of His word constantly before me.

This week I was reminded of truth.

I wrote a post last week.  As soon as I hit publish I knew I shouldn’t have.  I was angry.  Hurt.  I was being self-righteous and I didn’t care.  Others who read it may not have picked up on it.  After all it was a simple story to illustrate a point and nothing I wrote was untrue…but my attitude about the person…it was a roach.

For a few days I mulled it over.  The weekend had been filled with distractions but finally the house was still.  Just me and that little one were awake.  While rocking her in the wee hours Jesus grabbed my heart.  I know everything you have ever done.  Everything you have ever thought.  Still I love you.  I bless you.  I gave you that little one in your arms.  I give you mercy and forgiveness.  When are you going to do the same for them?  How long will you make them wait?  When will you do as I commanded…and love?

Recently they had ask forgiveness… for all they are…for all they have been.

BUT

My heart – has been hard.  I didn’t want to let them in.  I wanted to protect myself.

I was wrong.

I don’t know their heart.  They may be lying.  I’m sure they will hurt me again…they’re human.  What I do know – if I do what is right it really doesn’t matter what they do because God has my back.  However, if I allow my heart to become cold…if I allow it to be filled with pride and self-righteousness I’ll pay the cost.

So… I rewrote the post with what should have been written to begin with.

Because everyday we all fight our own demons and we’re all in need of grace.

Until then
Jessie 
By:  Jessica Lutz March 8, 2016



IN HIS HANDS

The following poem is from the booklet, “Upwords”, and was written by a dear friend of mine.  Enjoy!-anita

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I was conceived in my mother’s womb, and then housed there for nine months.

There, I was fed, kept warm and protected from the elements of life.

The first hands I felt were the hands of the doctor.  I don’t remember those hands.

Neither do I remember the hands that bathed me, cuddled me, wiped the snot from my nose or cleaned the wax out of my ears.

Nor the times that I was lotioned down and powdered by these same hands.

I remember the hands that spanked me though.  So does my bottom.  The hands that yanked me here and there.  The hands that were rough and hard.

There were hands that taught me, directed me, and corrected me.

Hands that protected me and cleaned up my messes.  Sometimes the hands would make me make a mess too.

I recall another pair of hands.  Hands that meant evil and not good.  Hands that worked around the clock to cause confusion, death, destruction, hopelessness and despair.

Those hands almost killed me, and would have if it had not been for another set of hands.

Through the journey of my life, I have come across many hands.

Some of those hands I enjoyed and some I did not.

However, there were some hands that stood out among them all.

Hands that were gentle and loving, hands that picked me up when I fell down.

Hands that carried me when I couldn’t walk.  Hands that fed me when I was hungry.

Hands that clothed me when I was naked.  Hands that wiped away tears that I hadn’t even shed yet.  Hands that supported me.

These hands hung on a cross so that I could have eternal life.  I will never forget these hands.  These hands have changed my life.  They resurrected me from death to life.

They shaped me, molded me, formed and fashioned me.

These hands were Master over all the other hands.  As I recognized these hands,

I could see glimpses of them in a lot of the other hands that I experienced along the way.

I will forever remain in these hands…God’s Holy hands.

By:  Toni L. Graham June 17, 2009

THORNS IN THE FLESH…

The Apostle Paul, and Timothy wrote, “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my INFIRMITY.”  2 Corinthians 11:30

The Message Bible puts it this way…

2 Corinthians 11:30-33The Message (MSG)

30-33 If I have to “brag” about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I’m not lying. Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.

Sometimes, situations in life become extremely difficult, and we must struggle to push through and reach our goals.  As Paul wrote above, he was going to be arrested, and had to flee for his life.  In other scriptures, we find that Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, and thrown in prison for his belief, and fearless message to all, in God Almighty.  In the beginning of his ministry, he was feared by the Believers because of his past in persecuting Christians, and throughout his ministry, he was hated by the religious crowd.  They despised his conversion, his commitment, his continual quest to spread the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  To top it off, he had scales fall from his eyes during his conversion on the road to Damascus.

There is much controversy regarding the “scales,” and the “thorn in the flesh” spoken of in the following passage:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”  2 Corinthians 12:7

Some Theologians believe the scales and the thorn in the flesh he refers to, to be something physical, as a sickness.  Others believe they represent a form of mental illness.  Still, others see this as a Spiritual problem, or demonic oppression.  The last theory believes the scales given to Paul that became a thorn in the flesh, refers to the persecution and resistance to Paul’s ministry, ie, all the adversities he faced throughout his ministry as mentioned above.

Whatever view you hold, be sure that, to God, our journey is as important as our destination!  To clarify, some folks become saved, born again Believers…but their “journey” stops there because they know their destination is secure.  But once you become a Christian, you are enlisted into the Army of the Living God!  Once we go through “Basic Training”, we should not be content to keep the title of Corporal, or Private …we should strive to rise in the ranks…become Sargents, Generals, Majors, etc.  For we ARE in a Spiritual War!

The people mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, are the ones that were tireless, fearless, committed, ever faithful to doing the right thing, no matter what the outcome for them.  God admires persistence, perseverance, do…or die attitudes, where it  concerns His Will, and the spreading of the Gospel!

I can’t wait to get to Heaven, sit around the campfire, and hear the great Warriors of the Bible tell of their harrowing adventures; because the journey for them, was as important as their destination!

By:  Anita Mondragon March 2016

“Resurrection”pastor Danny Leavitt

Hope is alive!

Love is alive!

Grace is alive!

Mercy is alive!

Our God is alive!

Jesus is alive!

I am alive!

 

Eph. 2:5

Even when we were dead in sins, he has made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Joy and glory

 

John 171:5  New Life Version

When Jesus had said these things, He looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come! Honor Your Son so Your Son may honor You. 2 You have given Him power over all men. He is to give life that lasts forever to all You have given to Him. 3 This is life that lasts forever. It is to know You, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ Whom You have sent. 4 I honored You on earth. I did the work You gave Me to do. 5 Now, Father, honor Me with the honor I had with You before the world was made.

Hebrews 12:2 New International Version

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Invitation

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 1:3

Acts 4:8

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

 

The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many Jewish priests submitted themselves to the faith.

Acts 6:7 MSG

Even people that are bound up in religion can rise up.

 

 

 

 

TRIALS

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever-do not abandon the works of Your hands.”  Psalms 138:8

The following is from the booklet, “Upwords.”  Enjoy!-anita

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These trials and troubles…don’t take them to heart,

For God has ordained you, and set you apart.

His purpose for you is more than you know.

His mercy and goodness on you, he’ll bestow.

Just rest in His arms ’till these trials are through;

He’ll show you His mercy and what He can do.

He’s the calm in the storm…He’s the spotless Lamb…

He’s all that you need…He’s the great I AM.

He’s the gust in the wind…He’s the wind in the sail…

He will give you His peace…’cause His peace never fails!

He hasn’t forgotten, because His word is true.

And He will fulfill ALL He’s promised to you!

Written by:  Elizabeth Reed (Inspired by God)

THE GRAVE COULD NOT HOLD HIM!

The grave could not hold Him, my wonderful Savior,

Though sealed was the tomb where He lay.

An angel descended with heavenly power

And rolled the great stone away.

The grave could not hold Him, my wonderful Savior,

For He rose triumphant on high.

To those who will trust Him, His promise is certain,

That they too shall nevermore die.

The grave could not hold Him, my wonderful Savior,

Exalted, all glorious He lives;

The Author is He of eternal salvation

And life everlasting He gives.

The grave could not hold Him, the God of creation,

No power in earth or in hell

Could conquer the One who had wrought my salvation.

This message to others I’ll tell.

By:  Olga J. Weiss

TRUST

Here is another poem from the booklet, “Upwords”.  Enjoy!-anita

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Trust me today, tomorrow and in your future.

Trust me in all that you want or do.

Trust me and know that I am Who I am.

Trust me that all things are possible through me.

When you are down and out, trust me.

When you are happy with joy, trust me.

When life seems to go in another direction, trust me.

Trust me in all things and believe in me.

I will provide for you if only you ask.

I will love you if only you open your heart.

I will open the door if you knock.

I will guide you if only you just trust me.

By:  Sharon Kay Jackson

ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER…

Here are more encouraging words from the book “Bible Facts About Heaven.”  The following are the words to a song written by Herbert Buffum.

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Here so many are taking vacations,

To the mountains, the lakes or the sea;

Where they rest from their cares and their worries-

What a wonderful time that must be!

But it seems not my lot to be like them,

I must toil through the heat and the cold

Seeking out the lost sheep on the mountains,

Bringing wanderers back to the fold.

Chorus-

When I take my vacation in Heaven,

What a wonderful time that will be!

Hearing concerts by the heavenly chorus,

And the face of my Savior I’ll see.

Sitting down on the banks of the river,

‘Neath the shade of the Evergreen Tree

I shall rest from my burdens forever-

Won’t you spend your vacation with me?

By: Herbert Buffum

MY HAVEN IS JESUS

My haven is Jesus, a rock in the storm,

A shelter divine and secure;

Though billows may roll on this turbulent sea,

He’ll ever be steadfast and sure.

My haven is Jesus; this life is so brief

And full of its troubles and woe,

But I flee to my haven, my blesses Redeemer,

I’m safe in His bosom, I know.

By:  Olga J. Weiss