Category Archives: The Real You

Before and After

I John 5:6-10a & 11-12a NASB
6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself…11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life…

Ponderings:
“The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself…”. The Spirit, the water and the blood have been, and are still, testifying in your life. It’s easy to recognize that testimony after you’ve been adopted into God’s family. But what about those years before? Those three were not just standing in the wings hoping you might come to your senses. They were there testifying to you about the reality of Christ.

I was baptized when I was about 12. There was some huddled whispering among relatives at that time that was mysterious to me. Some of the mystery became clear shortly after my baptism when I learned the only Dad I’d ever known wasn’t my birth father at all but the process for adoption had been put in motion. The name I had been baptized with wasn’t actually my new name…yet. That process took years but I came home one day to find my Dad with papers in hand weeping because I was finally his daughter.

It doesn’t make a bit of difference what the human details were. The participants might not have been perfect or even particularly religious. The Lord in his mercy, saw that young girl and was testifying to her about another adoption that would take another 15 or 16 years: this time by a heavenly Dad.

Like me, you were not adopted into God’s family because he’d waited long enough…or by the skin of your teeth…or your wise choices. Long before that adoption became a reality there was a process in motion: testimony was happening.  Don’t overlook it. That recognition can be one of the strengths in your life. Think back and see for yourself how faithful God has been to you both Before and After.

Limitless Then…

Back in Genesis God tells Abram in Chapter 17 “Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!…”

The definition of a covenant is “a solemn, and binding agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action.”  Maybe a covenant is not a static, one-step, New Year’s resolution kind of thing but more like a cycle renewed each year?  That concept makes sense to me.

That first step across the line from unbeliever to believer is only one step, but a momentous one, all  based on the awareness of “if’s.”    That’s when the cycle of “then’s” begins.   It’s the beginning of God’s personal covenant with you: his promise he will move the “if’s” to “then’s.”
If…God, Then awareness…
If…awareness, Then the Holy Spirit…
If the Holy Spirit…Then truth…
If truth…Then grace…
If grace…Then forgiveness…
If forgiveness…Then mercy…
If mercy…Then love – 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us…
If love…continuous renewal and Limitless Then…

A Sunday Blessing 9/13/15

• May you have the desire to go beyond millions of facts about God’s to His timeless truth…

• May your heart be eager to search…

• May you receive the blessing of awareness that you have been taught by God himself through the mystery of his indwelling Spirit…

• May you make it your practice to thoroughly think through the things you have easily believed…

• May you be able to honestly say I don’t know, but I want to…

 

A Sunday Blessing 9/6/15

What turns the wheat into bread?
It is pounded and ground ‘til it’s fine.
Then it’s mixed and it’s shaped to the Baker’s design.
You’ll be my bread in this world.

What turns the grape into wine?
It is crushed, and then in due time,
When the process is through, the wine will be new.
You’ll be my wine in this world.

Love, Jesus and Shirle