Thursday, August 23, 2007



There will be times we go through that we feel empty and without god. During these times prayer may seem like a chore or routine. We may even stop doing our Bible study (I’ve done this many times), but this is selfish. Should be only glorify God when things are going our way? No this shows our immaturity and that our old life still lives.

He knows the death march that lies ahead of us in order that there may be a resurrection life; He knows the barren, bleeding hearts beyond to whom He must minister through us—hence He is going to bring us to the place where we don’t care what happens; He is all that matters.

** I’m remembering when I got married and then I expected God to come into my life and make me spiritual and make my marriage work after I had ignored him for a year. I sought after him and my marriage began to crumble. In the end the only thing that kept me strong was my relationship with God and my parent’s relationship with God. I can see how God is going to use me to minister to young girls. I wish that I could have listened to the warnings I received from my parents and God, but even though I didn’t I can help others through what I went through.

In the beginning we are mainly taken up with the externals of our Christian life, and the lord allows this for a time. Then, to get us and our externals out of the way so that the Lord can be our All, our Father begins to take away much of what we thought we had. He begins the long cross centered transition from “do” to “be.”

** I believe that in order for us to listen to God, that he does have to take things away from us that we thought were ours that we had gained on our own. Until we realize we are nothing without God, we can’t be fully used by him and we become stagnate in our spiritual growth.

His relentless processing will discourage and baffle us if we simply want heaven when we die. But if we want what He wants, all that we are taken through, including the desert, will encourage us. Thus we will continue because we know that He ever continues to work in and through us that which He began and finished on our behalf in our Lord Jesus Christ.

**I think that I use to take Christianity as a free pass to Heaven. I did not concern myself with service or wanting to be more like Christ. The difference came from God’s relentless pursuit of me and letting me know that I can be so much more in Him. “He’s still working on me,” I’ve sung it since I was a child, but it has so much more meaning now.

If our hearts are really true to Him, we may be assured he will lead us on in the knowledge of Himself just as fast as we are able to advance. He knows how much we can take in, and He does not fail to minister to us the very food that is suitable to our present need. We may sometimes feel inclined to be impatient with ourselves because we do not make more rapid progress, but we have to learn to trust the Lord with out spiritual education. If our eyes are upon Him, and we follow with simple hearts as he leads us, by a right way and brings us through all the exercise we need to form our souls in the appreciation of Himself, and of all those blessed things which are brought to pass in Him. We have to trust His love all through, and learn increasingly to distrust ourselves.

2 Tim 2:5 Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

2 Thes 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

2 Tim 2:16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cultivation- Chapter 17

Cultivation: Balance is vital in service and growth in Christ. Too much of “I” will not produce anything for Christ.

God’s cultivation of the hungry-hearted believer is downward. Patiently, persistently, and painfully our Father digs down into the recesses of self, more and more fully revealing to us just what we are, and are not, in ourselves. His reason for this is twofold: that the Lord Jesus might be free to manifest Himself in us; and through us for the sake of others—growing and sharing.

Each of us must be thoroughly cultivated before He can effectively cultivate others.

** During this time of cultivation most of the service that we do is for the growth of ourselves and not for the growth of others. I’ve put of serving in a church for years because I thought that I needed to be fully grown and developed as a Christian before I could help anyone else. I’m realizing that the service part is going to help me grow. Even if I don’t feel as though I’m reaching out to many teens at the youth group, I will know that this is going to be mainly for my growth as a Christian and my own cultivation. It will be a process which should become more about Him and less about me.

Our Lord always concentrates on the greater need.
** So that if we are not fully grown our service is for our own hearts so that we can fully mature. This is turn will help us to fully serve Christ and to reach out to more people.

Not our interest in Christian work; our energies, enthusiasm, ambitions, or abilities; not our academic qualification, or anything that we are in ourselves, but simply our spiritual life is the basis of the beginning and growth of our service to God. Even the work, when we are in it, is used by Him to increase our spiritual measure.

** There is nothing we can do on our own to prove to God that we are good Christians. God only looks at our heart and our spiritual life to know if our intentions are pure. When our spirit is right, we can be used by God but this is not a measure of our faith or righteousness. True Christian service comes from a changed heart and not because we feel like we have to or need to.

Too many want to preach about being the thing themselves, but in the long run it is what we are, and not simply what we do or say, that matters with God, and the difference lies in the formation of Christ within. WE ARE NOT SAVED TO SERVE; WE ARE MATURED TO SERVE.

We find out everyone else by first finding ourselves out. (This takes some serious time in prayer and time in the word.)

Praying for others can only flow from a heart at rest about itself, and knowing the value of the desires which it expresses for another. I could not be true or happy in praying otherwise.

Then too, in all our services, there is the proper motive to be fully considered. “Work should be regarded less with reference to its immediate results, or as to how it may affect this or that person; the great question is, will it, when sifted in His presence, be acceptable to Him? And this acceptability to Him is my reward: Wherefore we labor that, whether present or absent, we may be acceptable to him. 2 Cor 5:9

** When we commit to doing a service we need to stop and evaluate whether we are doing it for our own glory or benefit or are we truly doing it to please him. I know I fail to do this evaluation many times. I do things because I don’t want to say no to someone or to appear to be a nice person. Both of these motives are totally wrong and do not serve for God’s greater purpose.

The quality of one’s work depends on the nature of one’s rest—and the rest should be like His own, known and enjoyed with Him.

P.s. The greatest proof of our love for Chris is that we care for those who belong to Him; if you love me, feed my sheep.

**Evaluation of self: Although I know I’m growing, I still feel like I have a long way to go. I still worry about other people’s feelings over what God wants me to do. I’ve put off serving God at the church for way too long and as I begin my service I pray that I serve with the right intentions and that God will let me mature so that I can help others see his love through me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Help- Chapter 16

Immaturity considers the Lord Jesus a Helper. Maturity know him to be life itself. "Christian living is not our living with Christ help, it is Christ living His life in us.

** So many times I find myself begging for Gods help to give me the spirit to obey him and really want to follow him. This shows how immature I really am. I shouldn't want to live as my old sinful self. It has brought me a lot of pain and shame.

Phil 1:21 For to me, to life is Chris and to die is gain.
Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God is not trusted, not honored, in our continually asking him for help.

Phil 4:19 And My God will supply all your needs according to his riches and glory.

Our responsibility is to see in the word all that is ours in Christ, and then thank and trust him for that which we need.

** This is definitely where I've been struggling lately. I don't see who I am in Christ and what I have. My heart has been torn between people and I've spent more time worrying over this than trusting that God knows what is best for me and what is in store for me.

When you are in the thick of the fight, when you are the object of attack, plead less and claim more, of the ground of the blood of Jesus Christ. I do not mean to ask God to give you victory, but claim his victory to overshadow you.

Man's way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God's way is to remove the sinner. many Christians mourn over their weakness, thinking that if only they were stronger all would be well. (this makes us think that we have some kind of power-- and we don't)

God's means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. This is surely a peculiar way of victory!

** I feel like this lesson was a kick in the butt today. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and trust that God will take care of me. In my life I have ambitions but I wait for the perfect job to be handed to me. I need to take charge and trust that God will open doors for me if it is the right job for me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Process of Discipleship-- 14

Process of Discipleship

As a Christian it is easy to work toward the goal of “saved with complete heaven assurance,” we surround ourselves with other Christians and don’t worry about the lost or working in outreach programs. This is a dangerous ground because “this is a stage, not the goal.” We began to ignore of forget “the struggles and growing pains of the tiny green blades down at one’s feet, and expect and exhort them to shape up and mature without delay.”

**I’m sadly aware that this has happened in my own life. It has taken me so long to learn to die to myself and in fact I still am struggling to let go. Yet it is easy for me to get frustrated with my siblings or other friends when their Christian walk is not producing much fruit. I’ve had years of on and off again Christianity and I know that I’m in no position to judge other people. Although I’ve has many struggles, I do believe that God is going to use me. I know that I’ve hated being judged by other Christians and so I’m praying that God will give me grace, mercy and a patient heart while I start to give my life to a life of service.

“One must reckon himself dead to the hard, cold, selfish “I” before the softening influence of the Holy Spirit can operate, qualifying the believer in the service of God. Many want to God’s work but are unable, because the ‘flesh’ in their lives.”

**As I read this chapter, I felt it speaking to me. I’ve wrestled with myself for way too long. I feel God is calling me to help him win others over, but he is just waiting for me to let go of my old life. My old life brought me many pains, regrets, and sorrows so I’m not sure while I still struggle to let go of it. It’s confusing to me why I still envy worldly people who seem to have a good time. I’ve tried that life for 28 years and never found happiness; I’m not sure why I still struggle with wanting that worldly life……. Am I going to be one the people that are unable to do God’s work because the ‘flesh’ in their lives or am I going to finally break down and die to myself? With each passing day I feel like I’m starting to let a little more go, but then of course I have major set backs. I’m praying the Holy Spirit will fill me with the desire to do what is right and holy.

“He drops the seed of dissatisfaction into our hearts: He begins to show us that there is far more to this Christian life than just being saved and active for Him. And it is necessary for Him to engineer our exchange from carnal kernel Christians to fruitful fellowship disciples.”

** I thank God for giving me this dissatisfaction and emptiness in my heart or I would never have the desire or will to grow closer to him. The closer I get to him, the more I feel I need him in every aspect of my life.**

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones that have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast and bear fruit with perseverance. Luke 8:15

Therefore be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. James 5:7

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Cross

The Cross

Understanding and appropriating the facts of the cross proves to be one of the most difficult and trying of all phases for the growing believer. Our Lord holds his most vital and best things in store for those who mean business, for those who hunger and thirst for His very best as it is in our Lord Jesus Christ. The believers understanding of the two aspects of calvary give the key to both spiritual growth and life giving service.

“God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt 5:6)

“And you are complete in your union with Christ.” (Col 2:11a)

****What we are to experience he purchased for us, and what he purchased for us we ought to experience****

Most Christians today get stuck in the first aspect of Calvary which is Christ dying for our sins. I have to admit that I’ve been stuck there for a long time too. We get stuck repeatedly sinning and asking for forgiveness. Most never even move on to identifying with Christ death and putting ourselves on the cross. This seems so sad to me because we will never find freedom if we do not move onto this step. In all the years that I’ve been a Christian, I’ve never counted myself dead to sin. In the past couple of years, I’ve tried on my own to be better for God, but have failed miserably. Through this study I’m learning where my faults have come from and am praying that with the Holy Spirit’s help I will finally move onto spiritual freedom. I know that I have to be an active participant and count my old self dead to sin daily in order for this to take place.

2nd aspect of Calvary: The beginning of the life of holiness is a faith in the crucified Savior which sees more than his substitutionary work. It is a faith which sees myself identified with Christ in His death and resurrection.

“Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.” (Romans 6:6)

“For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3)

“And he was saying to them all, if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Consecration: To set apart as holy. To devote, to dedicate.

We as Christians are called to dedicate our new lives to Christ. We can only do this by giving ourselves completely to him. God does not and can not accept part time Christians. We can not devote ourselves to Christ if sin still rules our lives and we have not crucified our old self with Christ.

Never has a believer brought to healthy spiritual maturity by means of pressure, and constant exhortation, nor before he was prepared by the spirit. (We can not make someone devote their life to Christ. We can be encouragers but no one can be ready until God has made them ready and he is ready for them.)
Healthy Progress is based on the apprehension, understanding, and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real spiritual growth. (The trials we go through are a natural process in making us more mature for Christ. We can not despise ourselves or get down on ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made. These have been allowed by God to show our great need for him and his great love for us.)
The experiential aspects of all truth, and especially these so called deeper truths, is closed to all but the needy heart. (We can not give ourselves completely to God until we realize we can do nothing right on our own. When we fall into deep despair because of heartaches that we’ve caused ourselves or others have caused us then God will be there waiting for us. He will give us his hands to pull us out of the life pits that we’ve created.)


“God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil. 2:13 (this power comes from the holy Spirit—nothing we do on our own can or will please him.)

“For me to live is Christ.” Phil 1:21 (As a believer the only true way to live is through Christ—otherwise we will be just trying to live for him through ourselves and we know we can’t do that – and also that God can’t accept that—Our old self MUST BE DEAD.)

“I know that I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to but I can’t.” Romans 7:18 (I know this is absolutely true. I’ve tried many, many times.)

“I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

“If we die with him, we will also live with him.” 2 Tim 2:11b ( The only true happiness and way of living here on earth is to give ourselves completely to God. We will not find happiness any where else no matter how hard we look for it.)
“He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds.” (1 Peter 2:24) (WE HAVE BEEN HEALED FROM THE PAINS WE HAVE CAUSED OURSELVES FROM LIVING A SINFUL LIFE FROM HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS)

Action: God wants nothing from my old self. I can not please him in anyway when I try on my own. He is calling me to set apart my life and my body as holy. If I hold back certain parts, he can not accept me or use me. God can’t use part time Christians. It is either all or nothing. What will I be today? Every day I’m going to have to make a choice. If I choose to let even a little bit of my old self live, then I can’t master sin through the Holy Spirit. Please help me Lord to give myself to you completely each and everyday. Thank you that you loved me so much that you’ve taken all the pain I’ve caused myself and put it on you instead of me. Thank you for not giving up on me even when I didn’t care about myself. Please put in situations that I can be used for you and you can express yourself through me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007



“Our old selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.” Romans 6:6

The believer sees not only that Christ died for him (substitution) but the he died with Christ (identification).

Do I see that in my own life?
No, too many times I’ve fallen away and just known that God would forgive my sins. I wanted to do right, but I’ve been a slave to sin. I never really looked at myself dying on the cross right with Christ. I am realizing now that unless I do this daily, I will always be a slave to sin no matter how hard I try to do good on my own.

Our sins were dealt with by the blood; we ourselves are dealt with by the cross. The blood procures our pardon; the cross procures deliverance from what we are in Adam. The blood can wash away my sins, but it can not wash away my old man: I need the cross to crucify me—the sinner.

“But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:23)
------ This verse describes my Christian life so far: There is a war going on in my mind. I know that I’ve been a terrible person and done bad things to others and myself and until I can fully let this go then I’m going to be stuck here forever. Even though I’ve felt out of place my whole life I still struggle with trying to please others and myself instead of identifying and pleasing Christ. My action will be to take up my cross daily. I need to have a visual reminder that I have died to myself and Christ now lives in me. Maybe I’ll start wearing my cross again. This may help if I know now why I’m wearing it. I need to remember that my purpose here on earth is to let Christ express himself through me. I can't do this if I don't die to myself on a daily basis.