May 24, 2016

What Do You See?

From Desktop Nexus

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,  up to the day Noah entered the ark.  And they were oblivious...... Matthew 24:38,39...





Having taken some months away, to gain clarity, what I truly gained was liberating.  We simply cannot begin to comprehend how oblivious we can be to the things God is attempting to show us.  Sometimes it is more lack of understanding, immaturity in Christ, than lack of interest and or rebellion. This is why we are repeatedly instructed to be on the look out for:

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.  For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:8,9
Then if anyone says to you, "look here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See....I have told you beforehand. Matthew 24: 23-25
Our view points are nothing much at all, till we discern field of vision. Many times it is too narrow, other times it is too vast, and sometimes we are looking and seeing God on the field.  Shouldn't He be seeing us in His field of vision? Park on that thought prayerfully for awhile ~ As we discussed in the past, It isn't about what we see, but rather if we seek Him.  If we are holding up our thoughts, hopes, dreams and even what we are learning (ergo:the things which are real to us) to align them with the truth God has laid open before us, then we can have a hope of seeing what really going on.

It is far too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of "doing life".  Most things are impressed upon us as vitally important, but are they?  I understand that it appears easier to not rock the boat, but does it ever feel like the boat is heading over Niagara Falls?!?  Maybe to jump ship is not as ridiculous as it appears, maybe it is......what do I know?

That is my point, actually: What DO I know? Truthfully....I know absolutely nothing outside of what has affected my own life.  And those things, unless I know all the things of God, cannot benefit you and head you in the direction God is leading you, if it is His will, it can:  Who am I to say? Somethings may be aligned, others will not. I do not know the desires of your heart, your pain, or all your ways; but God does, and He asks us to trust that He will show us the way in every thing.

Never discount what happens across your path, but also do not put too much weigh in it, with out the Holy Spirit assuring you...this is the way. We have studied Jeremiah 6 in the past where the Lord was speaking regarding everyone being given to covetousness and from the prophet even to the priest they are dealing falsely and having no shame.  He tells them and us even now:

 "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.....

 But will you?? Do you?  What about me, will I? Do I?

So let me ask you, the same question I always ask my self: Whether a thing is good, bad or just a thing, have you thought to hold it up to God before thinking about it any further?  If you feel the need to ask a person, do not do so prior to asking the Lord for direction, where He is and what He sees regarding it.  People, no matter how careful we are, how much we care, unless we have asked for God's involvement in opening our mouth to offer an opinion, are careless at best.  I pray we not be shameful.  But "when we are" I pray that we all have the humility to thoroughly blush and ask for forgiveness....and be oblivious no more.  (at least regarding that issue :)

In closing, my prayer for us all is to not be so concerned with "what we see" but that we focus on seeking the one who see's all and ask Him, "What do you see that I can comprehend" please lead me through things and thank you for your patience, mercy and grace Every Day. - Amen

Please be sure to extend grace to folks, we need so much!

Kisses,
Candace
 
  
 © 2016 by Candace Huffmaster / Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®



January 29, 2016

You're Doing It Wrong!

image from fanpop

Never haughty, or selfish, or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable or touchy.  It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  ~1 Corinthians 13:5 The Book

How often do we become offended when others are not loving us as we think….we know...at least we think we know God’s truth tell us to love.  How often do others blame us for becoming grieved due to their lack of desire to love well?  How often are our motives for taking a stand to speak, about their unlovely actions, from a place of love?  How often is the compelling force of our speech coming from an unrighteous plot of hardheartedness?

Did you notice in the above passage the words never, does not, is not and there is just one hardly ever mentioned for us to actually take notice of?  Don’t we usually find in situations that we condemn others in our own demanded rights to love only as we see fit? After all how can our love be wrong, isn’t it our love to give or not give?  Here in is the vital difference: from where is your ability to love emanating? 

Worldly love is haughty, selfish and rude because the other people are loved when they give into making the other feel lifted up, special, accepted, supported.  It has less to actually do with the actual people; and more to do with their participation in these special feelings; they must stick around to continually feed the otherwise empty love tank.  Love cannot be generated from nothing, it must emanate from something.  Otherwise it is a delusion, right?

People act the right way to keep others from becoming irritable, touchy, having a reason to hold a grudge……and noticing that they are doing it wrong.  But acting loving and being loving are two different relationships.  When a person is acting loving and they get their way, having been unloving already toward another; afterward they will become even more unloving if the grieved individual is perceived as irritable or touchy.  If they give in and do not get their way they will usually become irritable, touchy and definitely hold a grudge to boast about in the future. 

Being loving is quite different.  A loving person gives others the benefit and is willing to suffer a perceived loss if it benefits unity, peace and the glory of God.  Love emanating out from the love of Christ will always show His heart for others. And if this person becomes haughty, rude and it is noticed I pray it is noticed by the Holy Spirit and there will hardly ever be a time when another person would have to mention it first. 

The truth is the only go ahead God has given us to notice and to speak up regarding IS when someone is loving “loving wrong” and claiming to be a follower of Christ.  If they are loving wrong something in the list below would have to be the culprit:

  •          Somewhere God isn’t coming first in their life; somewhere their spouse isn’t coming second, after God, in their life; somewhere their children are not coming third, after their spouse under God,  in their life; somewhere the actions of their life are not lining up with the character of God, found in Christ Jesus.

If our life is point others away from Christ in any area, at any time then the love and humility of Christ is being overshadowed by our haughty, rude, selfish, demanding, irritable, and touchy human nature.  If however we turn to Christ, humble ourselves in the power of His grace, we can love more deeply, be satisfied, and joyful…..even when we do not get our way or feel loved by others well.

We know that this life will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.  In light of this let us examine our love, believing in Him who loved us first.  And make sure He is not only the ground we are standing upon, but also the One whom we are defending in love.  

May Christ be glorified in all we think, say and do, that God and His Kingdom may be what is honored in our life – Because He lives in us.

Kisses,
Candace


© 2016 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

December 8, 2015

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?




Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. ~1 John 4:17-19

It is our thoughts which stir up fear, due to a desire to avoid or suppress something undesirable. Fear creates an uneasiness of mind and if left unattended wreaks havoc physically (our body, relationships) and eternally. We have not studied fear as a focus topic since 2010, this is fresh information to benefit our current subject.

Fear:

Definition: an awareness of my lack of control or certainty about a given situation and the possibility of an undesirable outcome, leading to a fight, flight or freeze response in my mind, will, emotions and or body.

We all have to face fearful elements in life; the manner in which we face them is our point here. CS Lewis stated: "Perfect love, we know casteth out fear. But so do several other things- ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity. It is very desirable that we should all advance to that perfection of love in which we shall fear no longer, but it is very undesirable, until we have reached that stage, that we should allow any inferior agent to cast out fear."

We cope with life, we manage our emotions, habits, jobs and relationships. We attempt to control the things which tempt us to exit our "comfort zone". Because when we are in the zone, there is no fear to speak of. At least nothing so uncomfortable we cannot manage. These coping mechanisms can be destructive, or might I suggest sinful. It is the destructive fears stemming from unrepentant sin in our life, which will be our main focus.

For most individuals the result of fear is either to respond in an aggressive or passive manner. We have discussed those in the past, along with the effects of fear (check archives).
Fear usually falls into one of the following categories and at times several:

1) Fear of loss/needs not being met
      a. Relationships end/being alone
      b. Financial loss/job, spouse, economy
      c. Personal health, attractiveness, meaning
2) Fear of Death, Dying, Judgment
      a. The manner in which we pass away & or our remains
      b. Spiritual state of life after death
      c. Family, assets, reputation/ physical matters left behind
3) Fear of others
      a. Losing their good opinion
      b. People judging or gossiping
      c. Confronting others regarding sin


The great thing about fear is how God can use it for good, as He tells us in Romans 8. In the Old Testament it is often written regarding what was meant for evil God will use for good. The way God uses fear is to start a dialogue with us. We all know fear is trying to tell us something. It tells us something about our self for sure, but Satan wants something deeper: to deceive us regarding God. He would LOVE to lead us away from the clarity and simple-ness of His truth. After all, if he could get the angels to follow him……

Could I get you to consider all this? Maybe even join with God's conversation instead of the demonic one that has been screaming throughout the world. Would it make better sense to sit with God, His word and ask: What is my fear trying to tell me Lord? If you will join us in this, see if you can't tie it, or them, back to one of the categories above and then ask for help, His power and grace to repent and be reconciled to His perfect love. And where He leads you, to ask others for forgiveness confessing where you have sinned against God toward them.

I pray for any and all who sit with this, that you will receive the gift of repentance and that the person or people you are lead to encounter will have already forgiven you long before you ever asked, that the Lord may begin to find joy in His body, as we become one: reconciled and unified unto our Holy God. I know we will not be perfect, but we can continue to be perfected as we walk out this life with each other.

I thank Him for His good plans for us all- may we never doubt His faithfulness!
Because He first loved us,


Kisses C

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

October 7, 2015

Come On; I'm A Sprinter!



Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. ~ Colossians 3:12-14





We have discussed in the past, that loving others is not an option, we are to love everyone. That being said, thank God we do not have to live with everyone, or it would be much more impossible. Sometimes I jokingly refer to the relationships we don't have to live with, or those not under our roof,  as the relational "sprints". The weakest of runners can handle a sprint from time to time. It is easier to grab and pass the baton of light and lovely thoughts, with those who only interact with us during short spurts of time. 


At times those relational sprints take place with the same people over a long period of time, building a type of endeared community; however, we cannot compare it as relational apples to apples.  There are complexities which those under one roof must endure if they are to remain together. Although the relational sprints we develop can be dear to us, they can also distort an individuals ability to see them selves clearly, regarding those they do have to live with.

For example: The expectation and authentic need of sharing of your feelings, hopes and desires in healthy ways are avoidable,unlike in our homes.  We now become liberated to act and say whatever we feel is in our best interest, which encourages the fellow team mates to think we are a super swell individual.  So of course, in the community when we act against our public persona, we can claim "we are having a bad day", and everyone moves on easily.  Why? Because they do not have the insiders data on us, it is only for a sprint, a pass of the baton.....and then we go home to our real intimate relationships.

Just as love is not optional, for a Christian, neither is the forgiving.  Most people do not understand that forgiving a person and having a reconciled relationship are two different things.  If someone will not admit there is a problem which needs to be forgiven, then coming to them, in sincerity, to offer a gift of forgiveness is senseless.  It would be much like having floor mats custom made, as a gift, and eagerly bringing them to someone who is adamant that the car in their driveway isn't theirs; nor do they ever care to drive a car.  This is how wanting to forgive someone who assumedly, unlike yourself,  deems themselves cleared on a matter, leaves you stuck in the mud or spinning out.

Fortunately, God dealt with this dilemma.  Forgiveness is about what God desires, not man.  It began with Him, comes from Him, and displays Him when/if  we chose to extend it.  In conversations with individuals, they tell me they cannot forget what has happened to them and they can't seem to find it within them selves to forgive.  Believe me when I type, I understand this dilemma, the ability to forgive, what cannot be forgotten, is not within my ability either.   Yet I have done it, again and again and again and again, because I know the one who forgave me when He was dealing with the dilemma my choices created. It is Him within me, His power, in my inabilities which are the strength offering such a perfectly, loving, kind, generous, undeserved gift.

Understanding the magnitude of this gift, we must talk about this: Just because you chose to forgive someone does not mean you will not remember, grieve loss, become angry about injustice or any other normal expression of wrong done. Forgiveness is not optional, but it is our personal choice

When we desire to forgive and ask God for the ability to repent of any wrong we have done and forgive another person, we will loose the desire to be malicious toward the person.  We can speak of things without having to blame or accuse them.  Of course we cannot forget something which needs to be addressed, but forgiving them keeps us from injuring our self or others as we continue to live under one roof.  We also begin to express the heart of God and Christ's image become more and more visible within our homes and communities.

While being at peace with everyone as far as it depends on us doesn't always accomplish popularity, I pray that God give us all something much more fitting: the ability to ask for our self and others to repent and be reconciled to Him.   And IF it be His will, at His perfect time to allow the relationships we have with each other to glorify Him. Maybe even give us all a cross country team t-shirt (just kidding).

Hopefully, we will go deeper into this topic, next time.  Only God knows the plans He has for us all!


With love and prayers for us all, in Christ.
Kisses,
Candace

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

October 3, 2015

Newsflash: Hell Isn't Freezing Over

We left off with the following thought and question:

What we know to be truth and do not do, whether we are sick, tired or sick & tired, God knows and it does not matter what the rest of the universe knows, thinks, sees or what ever.  In the situation, will we be humble enough to request that He multiply and be fruitful regarding His image and likeness, and to constantly subdue our human nature, that we might have a hope of becoming what He Divinely created us to be?


Under-girded by this verse from James 4:16 and Philippians 3:21 ending with the last part of the verse:

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
             ....by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

In Philippians 3 we are being told not to forget where we are headed, getting stuck in the muck of troubles here on earth.  We are to wait eagerly for, set our mind on and remember Christ Jesus.  How many times do we get bogged down and hurt waiting on people to do the right thing?  How many times do others sit around "waiting on us" to do the right thing?  Maybe we and others do not understand what the right thing is, and maybe we/they do?

As you know, I believe in giving others the benefit of the doubt.  Do you realize that some people could care less if I/you do or not?  Some are even so bold as to clarify their stance, just in case someone may assume otherwise, by way of statements such as "till hell freezes over".  They want to make it clear, I have no doubt about what I have done, or the way I am; I did it, I'm fine with it, I meant it, and know for sure that hell will never be cooler than it is today.

The reason I bring these things up and out is to help the one who would prefer to stand in the gap hoping for resolve. Some times we do not understand what the right thing to do is; and sometimes we do and don't do it.  The first thing we need to prevent is someone feeling stuck or responsible due to another persons free will. And the last thing we need is for a person to move on without resolving their position.

When there is much back and forth, spinning out of control and/or running away without direction it causes a heck of a mess.  Us and anyone in reach of the slinging icky muck will get splattered. This mud pit wouldn't easily be able to form in our relationships if we understood vital points regarding restoring relationships. Without forgiveness there are only two paths out of the mud slinging: stuff it till the top blows off again, or run far enough away to never see them except in your nightmares.

This is not another conversation regarding forgive and forget.  That is in the archives.  We are not built to forget important things.  We are created for unity, community and love.  But for us
"humans" what we need, what we want, and what we get can be horrible to make peace with; that takes a lot of forgiveness.  For this reason, we need to comprehend real forgiveness.  Most people never really understand what it looks and acts like.

When a person has tried to be at peace, yet every conversation ends in an argument, it is heavy on the heart, mind and soul.  So is defending your position till your head bleeds from banging it on the hard wall other put before you.  I do not really think those sounded like forgiveness to any of us; but we become confused regarding what a peacemaker would look like.  How do we walk away from the wall and refocus on what moving in a different direction might look like.

James MacDonald and Garrett Higbee's book Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling, had a tidbit which I feel may help many people clarify their position. They state that there are things we should consider on the topic of “if” we should forgive someone.  Is the offense too BIG? The larger it is the more quickly we need to get rid of it.  Time does not heal all wounds.  In fact this is a rather LARGE obstacle regarding getting stuck and spinning out.  And over time it simply become tenderer and we protect it from getting bumped.  Waiting for someone to say they are sorry is a ridiculous vehicle to depend on to help us dispose of their trash.  Think about that for a moment……   As James MacDonald states: Newflash: That person isn’t going to apologize!  And if by God’s grace a miracle were to happen and they did, your LARGE obstacle would prevent restoration.

And yes, you may forgive them and they just do it again.  That is why Peter was stumped when Christ mentioned how many times we are to forgive the one who comes to us in sincerity asking for our forgiveness.  The Good news here is this:  saying “sorry” isn’t necessarily asking for forgiveness.  Nor is telling someone they must forgive and forget; that not only shows lack of humility and compassion (archive on this), but it deeply, additionally wounds the person.  

We must realize how to deal with an unrepentant fellow believer.  Your forgiveness is not an open door welcoming multiple offenses. (James MacDonald statement)
This is enough for today, please pray about anything resonating within your heart and mind.  Realize that if you have been spinning your wheels, banging your head or slinging some muck, taking it to God is where you need to begin for direction, not the individual.  Allow Him to counsel you in the presence of His word. 

Read the book of James or 2 Corinthians focusing on chapters 1-5 and we will pick up here next time.

With love and prayers for us all, in Christ.
Kisses,
Candace

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®


September 16, 2015

Well Isn't That Just Perfect!

 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.~Colossians 2:23 NASB

The Meridian Dictionary defines self-control as:  restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires.  Methods for restraining impulses, emotions and desires are trial and error; they have evolved and sometimes digressed over the years.  Many times there is a need for medical, spiritual, parental and sometimes other experienced intervention or support as individuals attempt to subdue a created habit, compulsion, deep seated hurt, or lack of healthful discipline.  But even then, left to maintain control in and of our self and we have a crisis in the making.

Many of us have been taught: practice makes perfect; but does it? Truth is, repetition does strengthen what we do; that does not mean it is advantageous for us to focus on whatever it is.   I believe it is most truthful and correct to understand this, “While God perfectly formed us in our mother’s womb, He did not make us perfect.”, and yet many times we simply are not satisfied with His preferences or finding out what they might mature into.  

Most often, we spend our time looking around at the accomplishments of others and decide what WE want to work toward, and thinking we have a plan we devalue God's plan, whether or not it is conscious: James 4:2 you desire because you do not have, you covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. We want what others were given to become and we prefer to strive to obtain the same outcome.   Think about if David had of used Saul's armor instead of a sling shot and stone?  What made sense to warriors wasn't God's design.  David was wise enough to understand he couldn't do it their way, he was created differently.
  
We cannot discard the subject of devotion to development; when we practice something there will be a type of fruit for our labor to show up.   For this reason, we must understand the wisdom of biblical warnings.  We are also wisely told to understand that there are many forms of success to be obtained, but there is not but one form which is immortal.

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 (below) is a great bookend for where we opened:

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they did it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus:  not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight:  not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

As you think through all these things and the holy spirit merges God’s truth from your heart and mind with them, please prayerfully ask for wisdom, discernment and the gift of submission upon you.  He has sealed you with the holy spirit to help you see who He perfectly created YOU to become.  

As scary as it can be, if you are willing, to take your eyes off of what he has done in others (except to praise Him and rejoice with them) and away from being discovered, to turn toward Him and realize you do not need to be discovered but UNcovered, and are willing to wait, "He will make what is invisible visible, by the power of His spirit in His time, for His glory. " 

Just wait and see!

In Christ,
Kisses,

Candace 

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

August 8, 2015

What's It To You?

credit to astrobob.areavoices.com 
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren, every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  of His own will He brought us forth by word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. ~James 1:16-18


As we all live, learn and grow in what we know, God uses everything to deconstruct our thoughts and past experiences in order to enable us to not give up and quit.  It is His will, in time we truly can stop being tempted any longer by evil, because He does not tempt us and He cannot even be tempted.  He is trying to help us comprehend this fact: the only way we can be tempted is due to self interest which entice us to do what "we want".


Before, during and after I am being lead to study a topic, God gives me all sorts of experiences to maneuver throughout.  These raise up my knowledge, emotions, memories and God's truth, all together.  When they intersect I have choices to make; this is true for all of us.  I have been praying, for months, for Christ to subdue me unto Himself.  I started this when nothing was going on; it was simply and an honest request out of obedience, willingly.  I do not desire to wait till I have no other options or it is by force.  I'm not that strong - most humans could break me like a pencil ;)

Thus far, this is what I have learned on the topic.  I share it just in case someone else is being lead through this same journey.  If you have something to add, please contact me or comment and share it with everyone else:

We all are asked to help out with things from time to time, which are not our job or on our agenda.  We also just want to help without being asked sometimes.  What ever we know about their processes, personality or desired outcome should be taken into consideration; we should attempt to apply, at minimum the same standard they do.  If we are not willing to do that, we should be forth coming.  If we are doing it unprovoked, we should think it through and chose another task which we"are" willing to fulfill the task as they do.

Not everyone, but most people have a charitable side; they want to help when they have done all they want to do, in their spare time.  Our conscience tell us there are needs going unmet.  When we serve due to guilt, we cut corners.  The reason is simple, we are attempting to quiet our guilt.  Bonus is that next time our conscience pricks us we will have ample ammunition to retaliate and silence it.

God's truth is what brings the condemnation upon us.  He tells us the universe is aware; the words have gone out since the beginning of time and they will not be silenced.  We are to serve others as though we are serving Christ.  This means we are to do it with the same conviction, pretense and countenance which He had.  His heart longed to express and exemplify whom He was serving: God, our creator, as if He was the one doing it. God does not cut corners, duck out on the yuck work, or withhold any good thing from those who: walk upright, ask without doubt, fear Him. But not just those, He also does good to everyone without being asked to do it.

We must always remember, however, many times people truly ARE simply doing the best they can and it IS a gift!  We should accept those gifts with humility and express our gratitude with encouragement toward the giver. However, when a person knows what to do and chooses to carry out a different action, as if no one will know the difference- to that person it is sin.  And that sin is toward the other person and against God.  After all it is God alone we serve.  This verse in James 4 has been weaving in and out all things for months with me:

Therefore, to the one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.  

What we know to be truth and do not do, whether we are sick, tired or sick & tired, God knows and it does not matter what the rest of the universe knows, thinks, see or what ever.  Will we be humble enough to request that He multiply and be fruitful regarding His image and likeness, and to constantly subdue our human nature, that we might have a hope of becoming what He Divinely created us to be?

My prayer for our Body is of course to be One; of One Faith.  Specifically I desire for us to be kind, tender-hearted toward each other and to just do what we know is right in His eyes ~ for He tenderly loves and cares for each of us with out fail.  

In Christ - Kisses,
Candace

He is able even to subdue all things to Himself ~ Philippians 3:10


  © 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
 Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc ®

July 13, 2015

We've Considered An Agenda Change


There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, And the end of joy may be grief ~ Proverbs 14:12-13


We all have a reason for everything we do.  God calls it the "intent of our heart".  Without being confronted, how often will we investigate or control ours?  Will we consider our perception regarding:  "What is in it for us?"  and "What is in it for the other person/s?" When we are utilizing the fruit of the spirit, self control, we will do this on the front end; not when being called on the carpet by another or convicted, as the Holy Spirit is grieved.

We know that God is patient, and His mercy and grace endures forever.  Many people believe that there is always time to do what they want today, then just before dying they can repent once and for all. Maybe that is nothing more than putting a selfish spin on Christ dying once for all (1Peter 3:18).When it comes to our perception of God, some of us humanize His character and motivations to justify our ambivalence toward Him.

We pervert the "intent of God's heart" concerning money, time, relationships, decisions and what we do to have fun.  We call what we want good and Him too controlling, or evil by doing that. The truth is, He is not interested in placing burdens upon us, no matter what we lie we are willing to plaster on Him.  I am not making this stuff up, here are just a couple of ways He tried to tell us:

 1 John 5:3: For this is the love of God, that we keep Him commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.  
Matthew 11:29,30 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light?

These scriptures, when overwhelmed sound amazing, that is why we call it "amazing grace".   At that point we shout "YES! Hook me up to some Jesus-Amen!" Or maybe it is when we face the end of life in some way; we all are unsettled by death for one reason or another. For some of us there was a time when we were afraid, if we were to die, we would go to hell. For others they have pondered "if" there might actually BE a hell.

However we got to the intersection, the road narrowed and we had a decision to make: Heaven or hell? With no other options on the table but heaven or hell,  we could say right or left, accepting Jesus Christ, as savior, just makes good sense, if that is what we chose. When given an option between no more sorrow, death, crying or pain, verses, utter darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, who would not chose Heaven over Hell.

Here is what we do not stop to think about: Those travelers only want what they receive from Christ.  I would venture as far to say, they would just as soon choose Satan if he handed them a map called Short Cut to "the other entrance".  I will even take it a bit further and consider: What if Satan said "We are changing the environment of Hell,  misery, torment and eternal damnation are off the agenda now".  "But wait, there's more~ AND you can continue to be focused on yourself,  And not have to mess with "other peoples" feelings"!  Can't you hear people shouting and applauding "I'm in ~ it sounds like a hell of a place!"

What he/Satan doesn't want them to see is this:  When all the true Christians are gone, there will be no one they can trust,  except when a person will be getting something in return.  They will protect you as long as you have something to offer them.  But that is not real, if they trust in that they are foolish - so ultimately nothing will be real, not even their own motives. (not to mention, there is not another entrance)

When a person hears the truth of the gospel and understands that Christ came because we had no hope of escaping eternal separation from the Holy One.  He, Christ, had to allow us to take everything He was given and giving with no return at all on the front end.  His loving kindness and suffering was devalued and counted as nothing.  Just like God's love for us, which is what empowered Christ to be able to do this.  He/Christ in return values our lives and counts what we've done as nothing in light of the possibilities / Gods mercy and grace.  To this day we continue to defend ourselves, distort His character and refuse to accept the gravity of who we really act like.  But God is patient, Christ sympathizes and the Holy Spirit, though grieving, keeps on keeping on 24/7, within/ for the one / believer who's focus isn't on being saved, but on knowing the ONE who saves.

It is only these people who will, in fact, BE saved; the others won't have spent time with Him, getting to know Him and changing into the image of the recognized Son of God, as the result of their time together.  And it is by His name, character and integrity that we are indeed becoming the Sons of God. Why do you think Christ told us that this conversation will happen:

"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

If I can have just a few more seconds: Please think about what you are here for: Is it that you desire not to be seen in all your shamefulness, or if you see your shamefulness, are you repulsed to the point of giving back all that you've taken plus interest to those whom you've taken from? That is how we demonstrate, as Christ did, that God is at the helm of our life not us.


If not being able share in the spotlight; getting something in return; if it is a struggle to delay getting what you want prior to giving toward something else seems unfair; or if you cannot defend yourself when someone accuses you, but rather, just have to own it for what it is - not being able to at least insert your efforts, can commonly become deal breakers for you ......Then I'd say, "You are in a hell of a place my friend!"

Today, I pray that we may all do more than "know" we are sinners; may we BE ever changing, day by day, till He returns for US. For He is our Father, He is "here for us" and will not be a burden upon us.  Amen!

Kisses,
Candace


                   

© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
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