Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 5 - A Special Experience

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 118
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner. 


We are one week from celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in 2014, and there are many particulars His birth involves us in.  Ultimately, for every Believer, He births again IN US.  He is our NEW BIRTH.  Because of His first birth, there was the Cross…and because of the Cross, there can be a New Birth in Believers.  In this day’s writing, Michael speaks to some things that could only be truth because first “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”



Day 5

A Special Experience

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. --John 1:14

On a particular night a pastor gave me complete freedom to speak, and I will always remember it. The topic I chose was an attribute of God I appreciate so much: faithfulness. We have failed, but He is faithful and does not keep lists of wrongs, is not provoked, and is steadfast when we are faithless. The congregation was receptive, and I believe that God revealed a new aspect of who He is to many. The pastor took the stage and began to pray and weep. As one the group prayed for God to reveal that He is a loving Father. All month I had been practicing allowing my soul to feed on His wisdom, His will, and His peace that are in me. I must admit that my soul was very full. When we began to sing "Hold me now and let your love surround me," I was expecting just that, but love did not merely surround me! My soul was so full of His love that it began to flow out of me to others. I wanted to run and hug everyone, to pray for the sick, and to pray for those in distress, though not me, but Him in me. The overflow of my soul was of Him, and I could see that His love in me wanted to take the form of flesh and blood to minister in a concrete way. I was not just preaching about love but demonstrating it! I could see how the Word became flesh; the soul of Jesus was so completely full of God that a human body could not hold it all, so it spilled out to others. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Jesus can manifest Himself through us, and we receive the awareness that there is nothing that faith in Him cannot do, nothing that Jesus cannot do. I see that I cannot schedule God, but as my soul is fed, I also see how I could pray for healing and another would receive it, for the Spirit is scheduling me. Christ is in us! Christ knows who needs what, and He can move through us to heal or help. On this day I watched God move from head to heart. We are vehicles for the living Word to take form. We are not Jesus, or God, or special, but we have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer we who live but Christ that lives in us (as in Galatians 2:20).

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory


He is faithful!  Amen.  Michael takes us to a realm of glory…God’s glory…that comes when we “work” at allowing our soul to feed on His wisdom, His will, His peace, that is in us.  Then Michael shares how his soul became so full that it overflowed…and THAT overflowing WAS Christ.  And at that moment, CHRIST became flesh to minister through Michael. 

I wonder how many Christians have celebrated for years the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sense of thinking about His being born as a baby in the manger in Bethlehem, and have experienced the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the sense of thinking about His being born as a Spirit in their very being…BUT, have not experienced or celebrated His “coming in the flesh” in the sense of overflowing one’s soul and seeing Christ’s love “take the form of flesh and blood to minister in a concrete way”?

I wonder if there would be any shouting, “Glory!  Glory!  Glory to God in the highest…”?


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 

Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                           936-559-5696

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 8 - All Things Rubbish?

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 117
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner. 


I can hear Michael saying, “Boring!”…when someone dribbles on and on about all the things that have happened in their lives and they can’t get past all those things to live in the present.  Same thing when he says, “Rubbish, all rubbish!” 

Look at the simple truth Michael presents to “move on”:


Day 8

All Things Are Rubbish?

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him. --Philippians 3:8

What a statement! “I count them but rubbish.” I wonder if you believe that. What is it that brought you to Christ? What has been the event that took you deeper? Was it a rebellious child, an unbelieving mate, a handicap, financial difficulties, a failed marriage, or an unfulfilled dream? What was it? Did it take you to Jesus, or are you stuck on self? Have you been able to count it as rubbish? Sometimes when someone is telling me about a problem, I say very sternly, “Rubbish, all rubbish!” The event that brought a person to a deeper walk with Christ is not as important as the walk. The lesser gives way to the greater. Some are just stuck at their disappointment because of not having admitted that the whole thing is rubbish. Yes, divorce is a tragedy and a failure on someone’s part, but we do not let such a shortcoming define us. The Lord defines our lives, and if He is for us then who can be against us? We simply let Him define us. Paul’s comment came out of deep losses, and yet when he could see the comparative worth of knowing Jesus, those things became as rubbish. 

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Stuck.  To some of us who have spent many years by the coast, memories come to mind of that dreaded moment when we started our vehicle and thought we were going to leave the sandy beach and head to the house…but we went nowhere.  Spinning tires in place, digging a deeper hole that often times meant we couldn’t get out apart from calling a wrecker.  Stuck.  A dreaded feeling.  A hopeless feeling.

One of the reasons we got “stuck” as often as we did: we didn’t learn a lesson as to why we got “stuck” the last time.  Other times we just chose to “go where we shouldn’t have gone.”  Either way, we got “stuck.”  And it wasn’t fun.

Getting “stuck” in life isn’t fun either.  Michael gives us 4 things to focus on:
1. What event or person has “happened”…did they bring us to Christ?  Or, are we  stuck on self?
2. Have we been able to count them all as rubbish?
3. Have we come to understand that NO EVENT that brought us to Christ, or to a deeper walk with Christ, is as important as THE WALK?
4. Have we come to the point of living what Paul lived: “I count ALL things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord…and count (all those “things”) but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him”?

Well, amen.  God is the God of the present.  Let us let Him define our lives.  Let us trust in His being for us, and nothing or no one can be against us (to make a difference in our life).  Let us count all “those things” as rubbish.

There is nothing the nearness of Christ cannot overcome. 


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 

Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                        936-559-5696

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day 303 - Too Easy on Sin!

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 116
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner. 


It is a common complaint among church members that the preacher is too easy on sin…not enough preaching on sin.  Even though every one of them doesn’t want the preacher to preach on “their sin,” they love to hear hard preaching on someone else’s sin.  It is like the recognition of others’ sins softens the blow of one’s own sin eating on them.


DAY 303

Too Easy on Sin!

Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him. --Hebrews 12:5

But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. --I Corinthians 11:32

Often after finishing the first few lectures in the Abiding Life seminar I will be questioned as to whether I am not being too easy on sin. There is an interesting fear among many that unbelievers and other believers may think that they are in some way going to get away with sin. These people would like to hear me stress that God is going to judge them. However, there are inherent, biblical problems with emphasizing judgment. First, our sin judges us on the spot. Because we are held together by Christ, to invite something that is anti-Christ into our being is to invite immediate judgment; it is too late to warn people after they have sinned, for sin brings its own judgment with it.

Second, if any believe that the Abiding Life message is easy on sin, we ask them to look to the cross. God is not easy on sin; He always made it clear that sin required a blood sacrifice, and His Son died because of sin. The popular term "cheap grace" must never be uttered. Grace is not cheap; it cost the Son. God is not easy on sin or man's inner life that sins, for He crucified it. The cross proclaims to all that God is concerned with sin. To say that we need His life is an acknowledgment of our concern. I will not listen to that accusation.

Third, when I hear, "People must know that God will judge their sin," I know it is a statement of unbelief. God has already judged all men in Christ. To wait around for judgment is to wait for something that has already happened. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him" (Romans 5:8 & 9). "That God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them" (II Corinthians 5:19).

Fourth, the person who worries about sin's not being preached has forgotten that he came to Christ through the preaching of the good news. All men have sinned and have recognition of that fact. The idea that Christians are sinning because they are ignorant is not plausible. The Holy Spirit is faithful to shed light on our sin. Again, God did judge sin in the form of Jesus Christ, and because of this judgment we have received grace and mercy. Therefore, grace and mercy is our message.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory



Michael gives us some very important realizations of how God has dealt with man’s sin, how man KNOWS when he has sinned, how sad it is that man has such an inaccurate and inappropriate focus on sin, and what IS the message of the Cross.  And we wonder why so many Christians are living in bondage, and fear, and confusion, and division??? 

What is it about being “free” and under “no condemnation” that Christians cannot seem to accept and live joyously with? 

Scripture differentiates between judgment and discipline…and Christians can’t seem to grasp the difference.  In fact, it is almost incredible that many don’t want to recognize when God is disciplining them! 

Michael makes an astounding statement that proves to be so true: “…our sin judges us on the spot.”  And then he adds.  “Because we are held together by Christ, to invite something that is anti-Christ into our being is to invite immediate judgment…sin brings its own judgment with it.”  Wow!  We don’t need preachers “judging” sin…we don’t need God “judging our sin”…our sin brings its own judgment!

So, when are we going to learn that sin is to invite something anti-Christ into our being that is held together by Christ…therefore bringing about a division of our life?  Chaos instead of calm.  Depression instead of peace.  Dissension instead of oneness.  And our message is to be “grace and mercy,” instead of judgment.


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 

Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                         936-559-5696

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day 302 - Prevail

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 115
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner. 


In today’s writing Michael revisits one of those Old Testament stories that all Christians long to live…whipping the enemy when the odds look insurmountable.  David defeating the Philistine giant with just a sling and a stone was humanly impossible…in steps God.  Is God and His power “available” to us Christians today?  This story is an epitome of Michael’s books’ title: My Weakness for His Strength.



Day 302

To Prevail

Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. --I Samuel 17:50

It is a wonderful story of David’s prevailing over Goliath without a sword. The power of God was revealed in David's weakness; David was weak in himself, yet strong in the Lord. “Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted,'” I Samuel 17:45. David’s confidence in the Lord gave strength to the others, for after watching him they defeated the enemy. Weakness is never to be feared but embraced, first for our benefit and second for the encouragement of all those around us. If a believer will only acknowledge his weakness, God will act. “I am too weak to witness.” Praise the Lord! I now know that when that person does witness, it will be Christ speaking through him. “I am too weak to love.” Happy to hear that! Now it will be Christ loving through him. “I am too weak to overcome my temptation.” Great news! When we say, “I cannot,” we are only stating why we qualify for God to move in and around us. Our weakness will cause us to prevail and inspire others. I love the way God works!

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory


I always loved Michael’s trip reports (still have every one he sent!).  In them, over and over he gave testimony of what he wrote about in this day’s writing.  Michael saw God’s power in the lives of believing Believers all over the world who acknowledged their weakness, including so often his own testimony.

The Apostle Paul learned this (2 Corinthians 12:7-11) and lived & ministered in God’s Spirit wholly knowing it was when he was weak, then he was strong.

It is the flesh (that which is in opposition to God) that refuses to acknowledge weakness and desires to always be strong.  It is our alertness to our flesh that will see what it is that is keeping us from God’s power.

Two things inspire me greatly in Michael’s writing this day:
1. If a believer will only acknowledge his weakness, God will act.
2. Our weakness will cause us to prevail and inspire others.

May I live both of those.


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 


NOTICE: a blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                         936-559-5696

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 300 - There Is No God In the Past

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 114
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.


Michael speaks of a very interesting aspect of LIFE…TIME: past, present, and future.  And, he brings us to the point of having to acknowledge in WHAT time of our life are we living.  And his vast amount of discipling gives record of the drastic hindrance (if not, damage) that “living in the past” does to any individual.  Thank you, Michael, for drawing our attention to this!



DAY 300

There Is No God In the Past


He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.” --Hebrews 4:7

Man for sure possesses the present and, in a certain measure, the future. Man does not possess the past, ever! If we choose to live in the past, we choose darkness and we exclude God, for He will not move to the past with us. Therefore, every time we venture into the past with our mind and emotions, we venture there alone. In fact, God calls us, always, to move from the past, for to dwell there is to find ourselves in a place where there is no hope. The Jews were in the world without a hope. That is, they were trusting in the things of the past--the law and the security of ritual and formula—and neglecting what God was bestowing on them in the present, which is Jesus. 

Does it not make sense that God wants to be the God of the NOW? We speak of a personal relationship with Him. How can a relationship be personal if it is not a current relationship? To move into the past is to move away from God, and it is sin. Many today are counseled to relive the past in order to mourn over it and work through it; they are even warned that if they do not, their life will remain in constant turmoil. If the past created my problems, why would I want to return and spend time there? In my office I spend up to one hour looking at the past of an individual. The only reason is to bring understanding of its impact so that the person need never go back to it. Living in the past will always thwart growth, not something enjoyable to anyone.

In the past we all had wonderful successes and terrible failures, times of great joy and unbelievable depression. Fine, but now what? Today hear His voice! God says do something today and do not live out of the past, where it is true we provoked Him, but I refuse to discuss that. I want to discuss today. Yesterday is no excuse for today! Many use it as such. “I cannot love today because of emotional hurt yesterday.” “I cannot give today because of all my rejection yesterday. I need to take.” Experience what it means to be a person walking with God daily, a present activity. Not only do we walk with Him, but He walks among us, all in the present. Leviticus 26:12, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” We need never allow the enemy to steal the present by moving us to the past, and the past is anything that happened before you read this article.

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory


It is interesting to do a word study through the Strong’s Concordance and find all the verses in the NT that involve “past” or “present,” and phrases that draw upon those time frames.  It is quite apparent that God is interested in man “getting past the past” and living in the present, with a hope to the future.  Period.  The Apostle Paul is one of the most prolific preachers of “today.”

Michael gives us some outstanding principles to get into “today”:
           If we choose to live in the past, we choose darkness and exclude God, for He
will not move to the past with us.   

God calls us, always, to move from the past, for to dwell there is to find our       ourselves in a place where there is no hope.

To move into the past is to move away from God, and it is sin.  If the past 
          created my problems, why would I want to return and spend time there?

               Yesterday is no excuse for today!  Many use it as such.

               Experience what it means to be a person walking with God daily, a present
          activity.

          Not only do we walk with Him, but He walks among us, all in the present.

          We need never allow the enemy to steal the present by moving us to the past,
          and the past is anything that happened before you read this article.

Now…which do you choose?  Walking with God…or, with your past?  I thought so…


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 

If you desire to get a weekly email of this blog, look to the top right hand side of the web page, enter your email address in the box under “Follow,” then click on SUBMIT.  You will receive a “confirmation email,” and when you click on the link and “confirm,” you will receive all new posts via email.

NOTICE: a new blog on Michael Wells’ book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness, called Getting Out of the Wilderness.  You can access by logging onto www.leemcchristianministries.blogspot.com


Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                        936-559-5696

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 262 - The Command Never Resented

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 113
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.

Michael has been the best at drawing our attention to the error of our ways at always giving credence to that crazy “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  How much will it take for God to get our attention and our acknowledgement that we do not need to go there?!?

Isn’t it remarkable that the command NOT to eat from that tree has NEVER been resented?!?  Why is that?  And, then WHY do we go and start eating from it?!? 

Well, Michael gives us some outstanding thoughts on how to deal with this…


DAY 262

The Command Never Resented

 But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. --Genesis 2:17

The command not to eat from the tree of good and evil has never been resented. We are not to eat from the tree. If we do, we will split in two and be bound to circumstances. If it is good to win a million dollars, it must also be true that it is bad not to win the million. Once I make a judgment about what is good or bad, I hang myself with consequences. Jesus said, “There is none good but God.” If we refuse to recognize what is good and evil and only see God, we will not be bound to circumstances. Do we really know what is good or evil? We say, "Have a good morning!” Do we know what a good morning would be? We assume that we do, and after all, we do not like saying, “Have an evil morning.” But if this is the morning that someone gets so depressed that he cannot stand it any longer, cries out to God, and gives his life to Jesus, is that a bad morning? We must just see God.

In India the story is told of a man whose only son broke his leg and could not help in the fields. Everyone said, “That is bad.” The father responded, “It may be good or it may be bad; only God knows.” The next day the army took all of the young men in the village to fight a battle in which they were all killed, but the man’s son was left behind because of the broken leg. The people responded, “That was good that your son broke his leg.” The man again responded, “It may be good or it may be bad; only God knows.” The story continues on for some time through various twists and turns, but it makes the clear point that we know nothing of the purpose of a natural occurrence at its beginning. The end of the natural is often the supernatural action of God.

The “good” or the “bad” happens not in order to signal God’s pleasure or displeasure; rather, all that takes place in the natural is God’s working the supernatural into believers. We must be silent until we see the end. We do not immediately jump to conclusions when we see failure in a family, a relationship, health, or finances. It may be God’s working in the natural. This is not a contradiction to what is taught in Psalms and Deuteronomy, for we do know that obedience brings a blessing and disobedience a curse. When we are abiding, we often have that sense of how the forces in the world are actually nudging us along, and, as I have stated in the past, I feel certain that, generally speaking, believers have fewer flat tires. However, the Book of Job clears up any misconception that horrific occurrences in the life of a good man indicate that the man is evil. Nor do the failures of others close to us point toward life’s judging them. It can mean that God is working through the evil for all of our good. Job’s friends made a wrong assumption. The greater includes the lesser: If one submits to God, he will automatically resist the devil. God created the being that eventually became Satan and therefore is the greater, and He will use the lesser for all of His purposes. In faith we can stop making judgments and just see Him. The wonder of our God is that He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28), and that means "good" according to His definition

Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory


Don’t you just love God’s promises…something that tells us of His character and one more thing we can trust Him for!  He causes ALL things…  Not most, not just the ones we can “accept,” not just the “good” things…

And how unfathomable is it that “all that takes place in the natural is God’s working the supernatural into believers”?  Unfathomable.  Deep.  Heavy.  Awesome!

A couple of things really grabbed my attention…first, if we eat from that crazy tree, “we will split in two and be bound to circumstances.”  How many people do we know suffer from despondency and depression just from being “bound to circumstances,” those disgusting (repulsive, sickening, stomach-churning) circumstances?  Second, Michael tells me that “I hang myself with circumstances.”  What kind of deal is that!?!  How CRAZY can I be?!?  Third, I can “refuse to recognize what is good and evil and only see God,” and “not be bound to circumstances…I must just see God.”  Fourth, “the end of the natural is often the supernatural action of God.”  Fifth, it is as easy as being “silent until we see the end.”  Sixth, “in faith I can stop making judgments and just see Him (God).”

Do you and I THINK we can do as Michael tells us?  The Bible tells us we can…Philippians 4:13.  Let’s try it!

Wait a minute...why is this command NEVER resented?  Flesh is energized by any command "not to"! 


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com 

Lee McDowell Christian Ministries
leemccm@gmail.com

1737 CR 2051    Nacogdoches, Tx 75965                                                936-559-5696

Monday, November 10, 2014

Day 257 - The Battle of Romans 7

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 112
         
Michael’s book is available through:

Abiding Life Ministries International
Littleton, Colorado
(303) 972-0859       www.abidinglife.com

Notice:  this email is part of a BLOG, called Living Life With a Capital “C”Why a blog?  So that many can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner


There is so much truth in this day’s writing.  It will be difficult to say one thing is more important than another…or, that one thing is more often dealt with than another. One issue surfaces very quickly: the problem addressed doesn’t play favorites…it will enslave an unbelieving believer as quickly as it will an unbeliever.

But, read on and find some observations by Michael that lead to deliverance from this dilemma, and or bondage…



DAY 257

The Battle of Romans 7

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law. --Romans 3:28 

What does this passage mean to you? Many are beating themselves up over their sin, so much so that I assume they live under the Law. It is obvious that they believe they are justified by behavior. Abraham understood the secret: without faith, the Law cannot be birthed. Without first believing in God, Abraham would never have received the commands of God. I would not listen to any of the commands of the Hindu gods simply because I do not believe they exist. Law without faith gives birth to sin. For example, if I believe in the love of God, knowing full well that all He tells me is for my good, I will easily and readily keep the command to bless those who curse me. It is simple. However, if I do not believe in the love of God, I will read the command to bless those who curse, realize that I do not do that, never believe that it is for my good, and find a way around the command, saying, “I do not have to love them! Why should I? They have gone too far.” The Law that was to bless me (if birthed in faith, in the love of God) now becomes the thing by which I am condemned; the Law, without faith, will always give birth to sin. It is easy to see how Abraham was walking in the greater way of faith; even without the Law he was justified. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness. Sweeter words were never spoken.

I determined long ago to spend my time in the love of God and not in the Law. As I have discovered the love of God, the command has been found to be easy. In fact, I refuse to listen to the Law unless it is in the context of faith in Him and His love. The Law is good if birthed in faith, and moving deeply into the faith of Jesus brings a higher life than living in the Law, for faith in Jesus will lead to an expression of exactly Jesus. Amazing! Without the Law, sin is dead (Romans 7:8). Sin counts on man’s boastful pride that leads to attempting to keep the Law without faith. This accounts for why there is so much immorality in legalistic churches, where the emphasis is on performance, and little or nothing is said of faith.

A dating couple comes to the office stating they have been sleeping together and are under great condemnation. Is the solution to have them stop? If they stop because of the command without believing in the Love of God that gave the command, they will continue to struggle and “slip up.” If they see the Love of God in the command and believe in Him who gives the command, the struggle will cease. If a child is told that by working he will obtain a bicycle, and the child believes the parent, the work will be a great joy. But what if the child does not believe the parent? Will the work be done grudgingly or with joy? If the child were never given the promise, he would not be working grudgingly, which is sin. In the end, that child would be better off had he never heard the promise.

The problem is simple: the Law was given to men of faith, and men of unbelief have attempted to keep it--which they cannot do, for Law is birthed in faith—and the result is sin and condemnation. In this light Romans 7 becomes quite clear; the battle described is not the battle of the old man against the new man, or a battle that exists before conversion or after conversion. It is describing an absolute battle between faith and Law, a battle that includes the unbeliever (going to hell) and the unbelieving believer (going to heaven). At any time, either the unbeliever or the unbelieving believer can perceive in his mind the Law of God and want to keep it, for he knows that it is good. Yet because of lack of belief in God, the person is divided, his entire being cannot keep the Law, and the end result is sin and condemnation. Do not think that the way out is recommitment, harder work, rededication, vows, knowledge, or strength; the way out is faith in Jesus. “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). The Gentiles have pursued the promise by faith and gotten it, but the Jews sought by Law and lost it. “For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:10).

Where do you begin in your struggle? Stop fighting the Law and start confessing Jesus with your mouth each day. Before you go to sleep, do not let your thoughts end at the Law you have not kept. Instead, let your thoughts end at Jesus, in whom you believe. This brings us to the final hiccup! Security only comes in faith, regardless of whether you are a Calvinist or an Armenian. These two camps become one under the Law, because to attempt to find security in works will only bring about insecurity. Read Romans 7 and think of it differently; Paul is talking about living in the Law and how impossible it is to live so. The Law reveals what you did not know was sin, and then it does not give you the power to obey. After the knowledge, you find yourself doing the very thing you do not want to do. This passage applies to all that live by the Law.


Yellow – VIP, Very Important Point      Green – IT, Incredible Truth        
Red – GP, Greatest Promises
Turquoise – UR, Unfathomable Riches           Pink – PV, Priceless Victory


I love Michael’s first words…”many are beating themselves up over their sin, so much so that I assume they live under the Law.  It is obvious that they believe they are justified by behavior.”  Wow!  I see the same in those who want to say, “I thought (Bubba) got saved, but he hasn’t quit drinking (or, smoking, cussing, cheating, etc.).”  Really?!?!?!?!?  Then Michael’s next observation says it all: “It is obvious that they believe they are justified by behavior.”  What else could we ascertain???

But, Michael gives us several things to take away from all this:
1.  (Michael tells us one of his focuses)  “I determined long ago to spend my time in
     the love of God and not the Law.”
2.  Faith in Jesus will lead to an expression of exactly Jesus.
3.  If they see the Love of God in the command and believe in Him who gives the
     command, the struggle will cease.
4.  Romans 7 is not about a battle of the old man against the new man, but between
     faith and Law.
5.  Stop fighting the Law and start confessing Jesus with your mouth each day.
6.  Sadly, all those trying to keep the Law have not come to grips with the truth that
     no matter what the Law reveals as sin…it does not give you the power to obey.
7.  Only Jesus gives that power through faith in Him to keep the Law through us.

So, Michael gives us adequate scriptural and practical insight to leave any focus on  the Law and keep our eyes on Jesus and the love of God.  Everything else is a walk of unbelief.


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