Smell Ya Later!

8 Comments

My dear friend Kathleen always signs off her e-mails with “Smell ya later”.  I love her sense of humor and I think that is hysterical.  Believe it or not, this holds a tremendous lesson for those of us who are IN Christ!  Let me explain.

I had someone in my life that was very near and dear to me, and whom I cared for very much.  She wore a particular perfume that I liked.  Although I have not seen her for a few years, as soon as I come across that aroma, I am reminded of this person.  I will then often simply pray for her.  On the flip side, sometimes the odor and memory may not be so pleasant.  Amazing how an aroma can bring us back to a person, a place, etc.

This is why I love 2 Corinthians 2:14-15.  It says:   “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;” In context, Paul was referring to their ministry in Troas and Macedonia and the surrounding area.

This is true of YOU as well.  As you go about your day, living in dependence on Him, God will manifest (and probably has many, many times) THROUGH YOU the wonderfully sweet aroma of JESUS.  It is God doing the triumphing, and it is also God doing the manifesting.  Notice there is no mention of “being obedient” or “getting right with God” or any other Christian catch phrase. NO!  As we walk in a dependent love relationship with Jesus, others will catch a whiff of Him.

I can hear some of you asking, “We won’t give off a heavenly aroma if we just live like the devil.”  Interesting how we always want to go there.  It’s not about behavior but rather about identity.  First of all, to God, you ARE a sweet aroma…period! And the aroma is Jesus!!!

Those who are IN Christ (saved) have Christ IN them.  Thus the aroma of His presence will be released.  It is HIS work not ours.  Therefore, like cologne, I too can enjoy this wonderful heavenly fragrance of Jesus being manifested through me…..wow what a blessing!

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul says that we HAVE become the righteousness of God IN Jesus.  So, when He sees me, He sees Jesus’ righteousness.  Therefore, when He gets a “whiff” of you, He (and the world) is actually smelling the sweet aroma of Jesus.  My dear friend, chew on that awhile.  We no longer have to work real hard trying to get ourselves “smellin good”.  We ARE the aroma of Jesus.  Enjoy it along with those being touched by it as well.

Rest in this truth!!!

So then, how can this wonderful fragrance be manifested more and more?  As we are being broken more and more, this sweet aroma of Jesus is released for more to enjoy.  It reminds me of the woman in Bethany who broke a vial of costly perfume.  The room was filled with this sweet perfume only AFTER it was broken.  Paul said in Romans 7:18, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh;” Let’s stop trying to clean up our “flesh”, and simply allow God to do His work in us (break us) and thereby manifesting HIS aroma through us.

Finally, there is another application I need to share.  When you are with your brother or sister in Christ, what do YOU smell?  Are you always focusing on their behavior and the outward appearance?  Or, like God, do you “smell” the sweet aroma of Jesus who dwells IN them?  Again, I am merely speaking of identity here.  There is always some aroma there….. take your time to get a whiff of it!

Gott go………SMELL YA LATER!!!!!

THE BODY ALIVE ON THE INTERNET!

Leave a comment

I just spent one glorious hour on the internet listening to a show entitled The Living Truth Counseling Hour.  What excited me was not because there was a lot of hype or because it was flashy.  No!  It was nothing but truth!!!  It so excites me to see creative avenues of getting the truth out about this wonderful life we have in Christ.

My mind started spinning wildly at the thought of what is possible with all of this technology we have at our fingertips.  God is calling His body to freedom that can only come through an understanding of the finality of the cross and the reality of the resurrection, and this show accomplished this in an “interview” format.

The show is sponsored by Steve McVey’s ministry called Grace Walk Ministries.  This ministry is doing a yeoman’s job of getting this liberating message out to the body of Christ.  As a matter of fact they have a link on their website entitled Live Radio Shows.  On this page they list the following shows: The Eagles Nest, In You Ministries with Scott Wolfe, The Living Truth Counseling Hour, New Wine New Wineskins, Women of Grace & Freedom!, Man Alive!!!,  Dialog with Bishop Malcolm Smith.  Each show is espousing this wonderful message of God’s grace. Is that awesome or what?

I get so excited every time I find a ministry that is clearly and effectively proclaiming the truth of our identity in Jesus.  My dear friend we must get the word out about ministries such as these.  Why?  Because the “Church”…the Body of Christ is in desperate need of liberation.  Check out these shows and then pass the word.

True Righteousness!

2 Comments

Philippians 3:9 says, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from {the} Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which {comes} from God on the basis of faith,”  There is nothing good about me…or you!  My self-righteousness is “as filthy rags.”  No amount of self-effort (the Law) can make me more righteous!

I want to share a powerful illustration of this truth.  I found it in a little book that I believe is out of print.  It is called, How to Live the Christian Life (1963), by Fred H. Wight.

____________________________________________________________

A miser lived in a little shack on a corner lot in a neighborhood of the city where millionaires were building their mansions.  Many had offered to buy his property but he always raised his price and continued to live in his small quarters.  But one day an agent of a millionaire cam and asked him his price.  He answered, “One hundred thousand dollars.”  “Sign this paper,” the agent answered. And before the old man could scarcely realize what had happened the deal was closed.  Afterward his conscience began to bother him for asking so much for the property, and so he decided he would endeavor to fix up the shack and make it a little more presentable.  Ten days later the owner came to make all of the final arrangements, and the miser said to him, “Don’t you think you have gotten a fine property, sir?”

“Yes, I do,” the new owner answered.  “There are great possibilities here.”

But the miser called his attention to what he had done to fix up the old shack.  “Have you failed to see how well I have painted the little shack?  I have put new boards on the floor, new glass in the windows, and I have patched the roof.  It’s a dear little place you have bought now.”

“Listen,” interrupted the millionaire.  “I do not want your shack, good as you think it is.  It must all come down.  This lot must be cleared.  What I wanted was the situation, and out of my wealth I am going to erect a new structure; a beautiful mansion.”

_____________________________________________________________

How many of us are like the old miser’ “working hard for Jesus!”  or maybe “cleaning up our act.”  Are you trying to fix up the shack of your OWN self-righteousness instead of allowing (by faith) Jesus to build in your life HIS beautiful mansion of His own wonderful righteousness?  This my friend is the Normal Christian Life!

This IS the Christian Life!

Leave a comment

 

I have recently had the joy and privilege of listening to sermons from precious saints of “old” and wow has it been rich.  I have been soooo blessed listening to Major Ian Thomas, Watchman Nee and A.W. Tozer, and I’ve been reminded of wonderful truths that have transformed my life.

The consistent message you will hear from each of these saints is this: Jesus IS the Christian life.  What really encouraged me is how they will often say something and emphasize that “this IS the normal Christian life.”  So, for the last week my heart has been so richly blessed and encouraged as I was reminded of this liberating message of grace.

This is truly my life’s message; to let the world know I serve a risen (and therefore) LIVING Savior!  We don’t worship a dead religious leader on the cross. NO!!! He has risen indeed in order to give us HIS life!

We often talk about being saved to go to heaven, etc.  But as Major Ian Thomas has often said, “This is NOT salvation!  Salvation is perfect Divinity being clothed in a redeemed sinner’s humanity.”  Chew on that for a while.  We are not saved in order to get out of hell and in to heaven…no!  We are saved so that Jesus might “get out of” heaven and IN TO US!

As Jesus lived on this earth so do we live here on earth.  In Philippians chapter 2 we are reminded that Jesus chose to set aside His privileges as God to take on the form of a man…He became a man.  Our Divine Father clothed Himself in Jesus’ perfect humanity.  Think about that.  “God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world…”  The gospels often refer to God’s work IN and THROUGH Jesus.

So, do you see it?  This is EXACTLY what Jesus desires to do with us..wow!  Our Father wants to be clothed with our imperfect humanity.  If you read the gospels, you will be reminded that Jesus never did or said anything except what His Father told him to say or do.  He also said that “if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.”  My dear friend if you’ve been born again, this is EXACTLY how we are to live; in absolute dependence on Jesus “who is our life”.  When we do, the world will see Jesus when they see us!

This is truly the cry of my heart; to just let God be God (I heard He’s up for the job J) in my life and let JESUS live the Christian life through me, because He is the only one who did live it and can live it through me!  Believe me, I’ve “tried” and all I do is make a mess of things when I live by my efforts.  The bible reminds us that apart from Him “I can do NOTHING!”

My dear friend, is that your desire?  Is that the cry of your heart?  If so, then let us stop trying….trying…trying, and let us die to ourselves and OUR effort and simply start trusting Him to do what only HE CAN do; to live out HIS life!

What an exciting life this Christian life is….this truly is THE NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE!!! Blessings!

Check out my entry tomorrow for a wonderful illustration of “righteous” living…real cool stuff!

 

 

 

What a Sharp Contrast!

1 Comment

I was reading a book written by Dr. Lee C. Turner entitled Understanding Grace, and how to implement it in your life and church, and came across a fabulous quote by C.I. Scofield that I knew I had to share.  Scofield wrote in his book Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth the following:

“Law curses; grace redeems from that curse.  Law kills; grace makes alive.  Law shuts every mouth before Him; grace opens every mouth to praise Him.  Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God; grace makes guilty man nigh to God…Law says, Do and live; grace, Believe and live.  Law never had a missionary; grace is to be preached to every creature.  Law utterly dondemns the best  man; grace freely justifies the worst (Luke 23:43; Rom. 5:8; 1 Tim. 1:15; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).  Law is a system of probation; grace, of favor.  Law stones an adulteress; grace says, ‘Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.’  Under law the sheep dies for the shepherd; under grace the Shepherd dies for the sheep.

Everywhere the Scriptures present law and grace in sharply contrasted spheres.

The mingling of them in much of the current teaching of the day spoils both; for law is robbed of its terror, and grace of its freeness.”

 

 

THE HEARTBEAT OF THE GOSPEL!

Leave a comment

small-butterfly-flapping

Last Sunday I preached the second part of a message I started last week on Galatians 1:1-5.  Paul in wanting to deal with the legalistic Judaizers took a two verses before getting to his usual greeting which is:

 

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

GRACE…and…PEACE! The true heart beat of the gospel! I put it this way, “Grace is the gateway to real life and victory; peace is our guide and experience of the normal Christian.  Martin Luther gives us another way of looking at it.  He said, “Grace remits sin, and peace quiets the soul.”  How true!!!

 

We have received this new and wonderful life…the life of JESUS by grace, and we continue to experience His life and walk in victory by grace.  As grace becomes a living reality, peace begins to be more and more a normal experience for us. Why? Because God’s grace is certain!  We know who we are and “where” we stand because of grace. 

 

D.L. Moody put it this way, “There cannot be any peace where there is uncertainty.” Although this is especially true for the person who does not know God, it is also true for believers who walk by faith in the (gracious) finished work of the cross and the tomb!

 

So, my dear friend Grace & Peace to YOU from God OUR Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! 

 

Rest in Him!

 

Check out these blogs from pastors at my home church:

Pastor Bob Lehman

Youth Minister Jon

Family & Men’s Pastor Larry Smith

Thank You Brother!

Leave a comment

small-butterfly-flapping11Have you ever wondered if there are people you have impacted with the gospel, but never knew about it?  

     I know I have, and the Lord has blessed me a few times on the receiving end when someone expressed thanks for touching their lives and I didn’t even know it.

     Well, this is why I would like to bless someone.  There is someone who has had a profound effect on my life, and I wanted to say thanks in a public way.

     Bob George of People to People Ministries was truly a God-send in my life.  Back in the fall of 1993 I began listening to his radio show, and I was instantly blown away.  I remember thinking, “I’ve never heard anything like this.”

     Up to that time, I lived a life of bondage going from defeat to defeat rather than victory to victory.  I had absolutely no idea what it looked like to walk in freedom.  Well, I was captivated by his book Classic Christianity and I will never forget the day I got to chapter 4. 

     I broke down and wept when I realized that as a Christian I have a new life and it is Jesus life being lived in and through me.  The concept of the exchanged life overwhelmed me.

     Although the “grace life” began captivating my mind and heart, it’s sad to say this but I was so steeped in legalistic thinking that it still took a good 7 years until I began to experience real transformation.  I discovered that sometimes it hard to shake all those lies.

     I could go on, but I will spare you.  I just wanted to say,

 

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart Bob!  You have been and still are a huge blessing in my life and the reason why I am now walking in freedom and victory. I love you brother!”

 

Classic Christianity Conferences

Real Answers

People to People blog

Older Entries