Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 200 - Miracles Rooted In Unbelief

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 85
         
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 multitudes can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.  In the event you sign up to receive the weekly emails (see info at bottom) and then sometime in the future stop getting the emails, please remember you can go to the BLOGSITE and read each posting each week.  Then let me know (my email address below), and I will work to correct the problem.


In my first reading through this book of Michael’s, “Day 200” has 3 “big!’s” - 2 “Wow!’s” – 1 “yes!” – and 1 “Amen & Amen!” in the margin of my book.  To me, it is that kind of reading.  See if you agree with my exclamations…


DAY 200

Miracles Rooted in Unbelief


And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep. --Matthew 8:24

I have two thoughts on this passage. Jesus is asleep, the storm comes, the disciples are frightened, and they call on Him. Should we not always call on Him in a storm? Yet when they call on Him they are rebuked. Why? Jesus had permitted the storm for their perfection, a process interrupted by unbelief. Jesus stopped the storm, He did a miracle, and all that at their bidding, but it was not a positive. It was not a revelation of their importance but of their unbelief. Instead of crying out for the storm to stop, they should have crawled next to Him and gone to sleep, resting in the storm. The storm would not have harmed them either way; it was not the issue. What the storm could perfect in them or expose in them was the issue. In Christianity today, calling on Jesus and forcing a miracle is viewed as proof of spirituality, but the opposite is true. Imagine having a rebellious child; the parents have a choice in that storm: call on Jesus to stop it or lie down next to Him and rest. I know which one they will do! They will beg for the storm to stop!

My second thought is this: We have prayed to share in the power of the resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, and to be like Him in His death. What is the fellowship of His sufferings? It is many things. However, there is one thing that it must certainly be. If we are parents, we must have a child that refuses Him. That was His greatest suffering. All the created children of God, every one to the last man, refused Him. We must share in that pain to begin to see just how deeply He suffered. We begin to understand the gospel as we share in suffering, death, and the power. Suffering comes before the power. We do not like what is happening, but we can refuse to beg to be taken out of it, refuse to ask Him to quiet the storm before the storm has perfected us.

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



OK…check my markings:

“big!” – “Jesus had permitted the storm for their perfection, a process interrupted
             by unbelief.”
 “big!” – “It was not a revelation of their importance but of their unbelief.”
 “big!” – “What the storm could perfect in them or expose in them was the issue.”
 “wow!” – “All the created children of God, every one to the last man, refused Him.”
 “wow!” – “We do not like what is happening, but we can refuse to beg to be taken out
               of it, refuse to ask Him to quiet the storm before the storm has perfected
               us.”
 “yes” – “In Christianity today, calling on Jesus and forcing a miracle is viewed as
             proof of spirituality, but the opposite is true.”
 “amen & amen!” – “Instead of crying out for the storm to stop, they should have
                            crawled next to Him and gone to sleep, resting in the storm.”


What did you think?  Agree with me?  A wonderful writing giving us some beautiful truths to think of the next time a “storm” of life comes our way!

This day’s writing tests our believing, and the faith God has gifted us with when we REALLY believe Him.  This plays off last week’s email on Day 199.  Faith is not believing.  Faith is God’s gift of solidification of our believing where nothing (circumstances) or no one can deter us. 

What is “walking by faith”?  It is: us believing, God solidifying our believing by gifting us with His faith to carry on…knowing not, seeing not…in the storms of life.  WOW!

One last thing we must remember: how quick after salvation we can forget our rejection of Him…”we must share in that pain to see how deeply He suffered.”


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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 199 - Maximize Your Joy; Walk In Faith

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 84
         
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 multitudes can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.  In the event you sign up to receive the weekly emails (see info at bottom) and then sometime in the future stop getting the emails, please remember you can go to the BLOGSITE and read each posting each week.  Then let me know (my email address below), and I will work to correct the problem.


Don’t you just love Michael’s shocking statements?!?  Accurate, truth, and a shock to our belief system due to erroneous teaching for years in many circles.  Well, get ready for another one at the start of today’s copy from Michael’s masterpiece, My Weakness for His Strength.


DAY 199

Maximize Your Joy; Walk In Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. –II Corinthians 5:7

I often say, "When you know the will of God, congratulations! You are an unbeliever! Abraham went and he knew not. Knowing not and going anyway is faith. Knowing everything and going takes no faith and is tantamount to unbelief." If we knew the will of God, what was around every corner, and if we always knew the outcome, how boring would life be? If we knew everything that was going to happen, our joy would not be full; in fact, our joy would be stolen. One example is Betty’s and my need of paying bills. When the money is there, we pay and think nothing of it. However, when there is no foreseeable way of doing it and we open an envelope in which is the exact amount needed because the Lord put us on someone’s heart, I cannot adequately describe the joy this brings. Had we known the check was coming, would we have had the same joy? If the Prodigal Son's father had always known the son would return, would his joy have been as great the day he saw him coming down the road? It is in not knowing, in walking by faith, that joy is made full. 


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

Well, how did you like that poke in the ribs?  Hit close to home, though, didn’t it?  When we don’t have a lot of what I call “life verses” that fundamentally solidify our walk in the Lord, we fall victim to a “walk by sight” rather than by faith.

I love that story in Hebrews chapter 11 of Abraham “going while not knowing,” don’t you!  So much encouragement.  And Proverbs telling me that all I have to do is “Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not to my own understanding, acknowledge Him in all my ways, AND HE WILL DIRECT MY PATHS” (Prov. 3:5-6).  Hallelujah!

God’s instructions could not be any more plain and simple than “the just (righteous) shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).  So why is it that the vast majority of Christians will not “walk” unless they “see,” instead of living by faith?  Why are so many defeated because they fear they are “not in the will of God,” or are unsure just what “the will of God is”?  Does this not put a whole new perspective on the “importance” of the “will of God”?

Michael gives us an excellent illustration (he and Betty paying bills) of how we can walk trusting God, and find exuberant joy when He shows Himself strong and faithful to us.  And just stop and think about that famous story of the Prodigal Son…how many have ever thought of what it would have been like IF the father “had always known the son would return”…most likely “the rest of the story” would have been quite different!

God has given us His instructions.  God has given us many illustrations and examples.  What more is it going to take to get us to live by faith, and maximize our joy???


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

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 171 - Jesus, Please Make Me a Bipolar Manic-Depressive!

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 83
         
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 multitudes can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.  In the event you sign up to receive the weekly emails (see info at bottom) and then sometime in the future stop getting the emails, please remember you can go to the BLOGSITE and read each posting each week.  Then let me know (my email address below), and I will work to correct the problem.


Hang on to your hats!  Michael goes where very, very few have ever trod in this day’s writing.  But then…he doesn’t go where the title indicates.

And as you see, almost every sentence could be highlighted, underlined, or made bold print.  See what fits you the most….


Day 171

Jesus, Please Make Me a Bipolar Manic-Depressive!

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. --John 14:27

Of course, “bipolar manic-depressive” is misdiagnosed more often than it is correctly diagnosed. The problem with such labels is that they, then, receive the treatment, not the individual. Well, amen. At any rate, as the world sees it, a bipolar person is one whose emotions swing abnormally from a depressive low to a giddy high in a matter of moments. Normal emotions are to roll slowly in response to events within and without a person. For example, in coping with the death of a loved one, the emotions of loss, loneliness, and even anger can take many months to level out at a place called normal. I would not look at a woman who had just lost her husband of fifty years and ask, “Why do you not laugh?” If she did laugh it would be abnormal; she would be bipolar. However, many Christians are praying that God would, for all practical purposes, make them bipolar when they have experienced a negative event, a failure in their lives, a disappointment with another, or an offense; once they forgive they want their emotions immediately to go from the bottom to the top. That, to me, is completely unrealistic. Forgiveness can occur in a moment, but the emotions will take their time in coming back to a place of normalcy. Emotions must be given time to calm down after the fact without attempts to have them be a bipolar-type up and down in an instant. Believers can acknowledge God in a death, move in faith, put their eyes on Him, and rejoice for the departed loved one, but the deep feeling of loss will take time to subside and give way to the feeling of hope. God works slowly. We are not to be praying to be bipolar. Our spirit will soar, but emotions will take awhile.

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


In Michael’s book, Sidetracked In The Wilderness*, he quickly draws attention to the roller-coaster ride (actually seeking to constantly be on a mountaintop experience) so many Christians experience from having eaten from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is illustrated by the bipolar diagnosis of the rising and falling emotions.  Because so many are experiencing this, and receiving the world’s erroneous diagnosis, and no biblical help…very few ever get free from this kind of life once they are on the ride.

Michael points out 4 great truths:
1. “The problem with such labels is that they (the labels), then, receive the treatment
     and not the individuals.”
         How true.  All we have to do is hear someone mention that they or someone
         else have been diagnosed as such…ask them what sort of treatment they are
         getting…and listen as they give the medical prescription that is their
         supposed “answer,” no counseling for the issues causing the “diagnosis.”
2. “Normal emotions are to roll slowly in response to events within and without a
     person.”
         Helping someone with emotional problems is far different than most other
         issues.   The saddest part is that very few ever get help with God’s healing of
         their emotions…just with the medicinal salve.  Believe me, God can and does
         heal the emotions of His kids damaged by a hurt, loss, etc.
3. “Forgiveness can occur in a moment, but the emotions will take their time in coming
     back to a place of normalcy.”
         Why is it that “the church” cannot stand to have someone in a place other than
         the “mountaintop”?  It is perfectly fine for someone to be “coming back to a
         place of normalcy” after a traumatic event in their life, and not be “soaring.”
4. “God works slowly.  We are not to be praying to be bipolar.  Our spirit will soar,
     but emotions will take awhile.”
         Aha.  I told you Michael was not going where the title indicates!  Michael
         pointing out that “God works slowly” is so important.  His timing in all things is
         what we should want.  Amen?

Tell me, how have you been treating those damaged emotions…yours or others?  How many times have you been going back to Jesus, to receive His peace: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

* if you do not have Sidetracked In The Wilderness, go to ALMI’s website, www.abidinglife.org , and get one!  You will be thrilled you did!


 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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 24 - Being Nosy

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 82
         
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 multitudes can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.  In the event you sign up to receive the weekly emails (see info at bottom) and then sometime in the future stop getting the emails, please remember you can go to the BLOGSITE and read each posting each week.  Then let me know (my email address below), and I will work to correct the problem.


When was the last time you were convicted of being “nosy”?  Or, when was the last time you were confronted by someone about being “nosy”…asking them personal questions that were nothing more than being “nosy.”  Well, get ready for an eye opening discourse by Michael in Day 24’s writing from My Weakness for His Strength.

p.s.  Do you own one of Michael’s books, MWfHS?  If not, contact ALMI (see info above) and get you one…you will be blessed!


Day 24

Being Nosy            

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and {yet} God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! --Luke 12:24

I had to laugh one day when a brother questioned an elderly prophet of God: “How are you supported?” The old man responded, “Why are you asking? Did God tell you to give me something? If He told you to give me something, even if I am covered in gold and jewels, you had better give it. If He told you not to give me something, and I am in the ditch, naked and starving, do not give. So what did He tell you to do?” At that the man went silent and looked at the ground. The old prophet said, “So you were just being nosy,” and walked off. I have often been asked the same question: “How are you supported?” It should be obvious. Without tricks, gimmicks, endless mailings and appeals, or manipulation to attract them, I am supported by those who have heard from the Lord and responded accordingly. I often answer the question by saying, “I am a bit embarrassed. I have a friend to whom I tell my needs, he has a father that is very rich and has many contacts he can contact, and the money is sent to me.” I can see the look in the questioner’s eyes as he goes from wondering how I could be surviving in such a small ministry to thinking how lucky Mike is to have such a friend. “My Friend,” I continue, “is Jesus. His Father’s children are my supporters.” Many just cannot believe that God provides. Often a couple engaged to be married will tell me they are calling off their wedding because of finances. My response is always the same: “Did God tell you to get married? If He told you to and you do not, you will have worse problems than unemployment!” The lesser gives way to the greater. If God tells a believer to do something, he should do it and not shame himself by being unbelieving, for with the call will come the provision.


How was that?!?  Ha!  My guess is not too many have ever had someone respond to one of their “nosy” questions with an answer like the elderly prophet gave!  But, just as a prophet should, he gave truth to the questioner that met the questioner right where the question came from.

And how wonderful are Michael’s words to us…
1.     Supported by those who hear from the Lord (many cannot believe the Lord speaks to His sheep in such a manner…they say it’s not in the Bible) and respond (give) to ALMI accordingly.
2.    All this without tricks, gimmicks, endless mailings and appeals, or manipulation to attract them…
3.    Many cannot believe that God provides.
4.    A believer should not shame himself by being unbelieving and not acting when God has told him to do something.

Why is it that so many Christians are responding to God’s instructions in an unbelieving way?  Why is it that something as simple as believing God will provide, God will take care of His children, AND God will give an abundance to be able to give to every good work (see 2 Corin. 9:6-8) is NOT believed by so many Christians?

I think God is wondering the same thing without being nosy.


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

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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Day 23 - Being Built

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 81
         
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 multitudes can receive the weekly thoughts I express on Michael’s writings in an easy manner.  In the event you sign up to receive the weekly emails (see info at bottom) and then sometime in the future stop getting the emails, please remember you can go to the BLOGSITE and read each posting each week.  Then let me know (my email address below), and I will work to correct the problem.


One of the most exciting truths for Christians, as individuals, is to know that our Lord Jesus Christ not only BEGAN a good work in us the day we were Born Again, but that He is CONTINUING that good work in us until the day He calls us home!

One of the things I thank God the most for in His introducing me to Michael Wells is that Michael got me off the treadmill of “me working for God” and introducing me to the scriptural truths of just how much God is doing a work in me…how much God is doing for me.  In this day’s writing, Michael points out two dynamic truths that really set us free to enjoy His working in us.


Day 23 

Being Built

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. --Philippians 1:6

I have worked in the building trade, and one of the most annoying things that can happen to a builder is to have the homeowner continually telling him how to do his job. I overheard a friend say to a questioning believer, “Do you really think God is waiting for you to come around and give Him some advice, because He is fresh out of ideas?” I laughed, thinking of all the advice that I have given God concerning the completion of the work He started in me. My personal issue is not what God needs to do to complete what He has begun, but what has He given me to do in the interim? What must I do? Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:29). Many respond, “I cannot just wait.” I like hearing those words, “I cannot”; they confirm the foundational reason that we came to Christ. “I cannot” is only a statement of defeat if not followed by “He can!” Not only that, He can finish the work without our direction.   

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


The two dynamic truths I noted earlier are these:
1)    My work is to BELIEVE.
2)   God’s work is to COMPLETE THE WORK IN ME HE HAS STARTED.

Now how easier can this life as a Christian be?!?  Gee, I get so tired of working with defeated Christians who are constantly beating themselves up over their failure to “be a good Christian.”  When will they ever listen to God’s Word and experience being a “victor”?

We’re in the middle of March Madness here in America…college basketball’s annual Trip To The Final Four.  I come from an athletic background…dad was a coach, I was a competitive athlete.  I liken the struggle so many Christians are fighting to something like this:  the game is over, the scoreboard says we won, the coach is telling us what a great victory it is, and even though the opposition fought strong against us and we may not have thought we had a chance, we just simply have to believe that we won…and my teammates won’t get on the bus, but instead are back on the court lining up for overtime!  What players are not going to celebrate, but resign themselves to an overtime struggle WHEN THE GAME IS ALREADY WON?!?

Now the game of life is not already over, BUT we already know the ending score!  Let us relax and enjoy the rest of the game knowing our “coach” is working in us to bring the ultimate victory, so our “play” along the way is satisfactory!

Let us BELIEVE God is working out all the “sin” in us, bringing us to that victorious life as a Christian we want.  Let us BELIEVE GOD IS ABLE to do that!  Let us SHOUT out to the Lord, “I cannot!”  He is waiting for that proclamation.  And then, and only then, will we relinquish the reins and cease the struggle…and see God do His work.

Let’s quit nitpicking every “sin” and thinking we are “sinners,” when the scriptures tells us explicitly we are Saints.  Well, amen!


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, March 19, 2014

Day 21 - Be Convinced In Your Own Mind

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 80
         
Michael’s book is available through:

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



This is a particularly interesting day’s writing from Michael Wells…simple, yet profound.  Not so much theology, but plenty of practicality that takes our theology and shows it to be REAL.  There isn’t much reality to anyone’s theology where there is a lack of being convinced in what one believes.  Read carefully what Michael has to say, and then ask yourself: Am I convinced in my own mind of that which I believe?  Of course, we are assuming I am starting with biblical truth to believe…


Day 21

Be Convinced in Your Own Mind


One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. --Romans 14:5

Whatever you are doing and whatever you believe, be convinced in your own mind that it is right. There are many beliefs that I hold because fact and faith have met at a point called truth; I am convinced of such beliefs and will not budge from them. I do not make any of them a test of fellowship except for those that center directly in Jesus. He was the Word that became flesh, it was the Father working through Him, and He did take my sin and my old self to the cross, thereby conquering sin, Satan, the world, death, captivity, and hell; and He ascended to the Father, where He remains alive today. There are many more things surrounding Him of which I am convinced. The important thing for a believer is that he be convinced in his own mind. This is precisely why I will not make decisions for people but rather stand beside them as they make the choices, some of which are very difficult. Once, because I said nothing against an abused woman seeking a divorce (in reality, she never ended the marriage; he did through years of abuse), I was accused of promoting divorce. First, I have given much of my life to the hope that God would work through my words as I advised couples in order to prevent divorce, but it is true that I did not tell the woman to get a divorce or not to get one. Am I the one that will stand before God for her actions? Do I know all of the issues? Do I presume to understand all the workings of God in a life? Though God said to stone the adulteresses, He had His man, Hosea, marry one! Believers need to hear God and be convinced in their own minds. I want them still to be convinced in their own minds five years from now. If God has spoken to them, who am I to tell them that they cannot hear His voice? “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10, 12). On another occasion I was asked why I did not work harder to stop a divorce. I just looked at the person and said, “I am not for divorce. However, neither am I for child abuse, drugs in the home, verbal abuse, causing little ones to stumble, thievery, lying, or adultery. In this situation, how did you come to the conclusion that out of all the variety of sins the husband was bringing into the family, the primary consideration was that the woman was guilty of divorce?” I suppose that we pick out one sin, the one failure that we have not had, label it as being the most important, and camp there in order to lay claim to self-righteousness. I am not favorable toward any failure; however, a true cross-section of the Church proves that these things occur. One man actually had the hide to tell me this: “If my wife really believes what you are telling her--that she can wait on God to see how He uses this present situation in her life--then she should not mind if I move my girlfriend into our basement apartment. I will sleep three nights a week with my wife and four with my girlfriend until I decide which one I want to be with.” I nearly went off beam at his using the wonder of God’s “causing all things for good” as an excuse to sin! I gave him an earful, but later, when she said she was divorcing, I kept silent. I only asked that she be convinced in her own mind.

Whatever you do, be convinced in your own mind that you have heard Him and are moving with Him. He is the issue. If you listen to others you will only be confused. “Brother, you are disregarding the Scriptures!” Well, may that never be! It is just that I put them in a different order when looking at them. I first go to the Scriptures that deal with cause and then consider consequence. Divorce is a consequence of a cause. If the man were not drunk and beating his family, would the suggestion of divorce ever come up? You who hate divorce, are you willing to commit to ceasing your condemnation of the one who sees that as the only way out and to taking time to disciple the man, taking responsibility for his actions? I did not think so; you are just comfortable judging an easy target. On the other hand, I have witnessed God do wonderful things in those prepared by Him to have humble and broken hearts. Those, no matter how bad marriage got, never were convinced in their own minds to leave, and that conviction bore a different fruit. I am just happy that it is not my place to pretend to sort things out; I leave that to God. 

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


One of the first things Michael points out: Christianity is individuality…each one of us is responsible for OUR salvation.  No one ever is a Christian just because someone else is.  And no one can blame anyone else for making, or not making, choices for them.  I must make my own choices.  I must be convinced in my mind what I believe and make choices based on my beliefs.  I am responsible.

James tells us to not be double-minded (actually the Greek says double-souled…which brings up another discussion for another time).  Truthfully we are double-minded, but James is talking about “making up which mind we are going to function with…make up that mind.”  And Michael gives some beautiful advice that Barbara and I have operated with for many years now: don’t make decisions for people, but stand beside them as they make their choices.

Two other things are very important for us to glean from Michael…(1) “If God has spoken to them, who am I to tell them that they cannot hear His voice?”  Absolutely!  Goodness, Jesus Himself told us every sheep (Christian) HEARS His voice.  Why do so many Preachers and Christian counselors negate our GOOD SHEPHERD speaking to each sheep by trying to tell the sheep what they should be thinking, instead of telling them: go spend time with your Shepherd until you hear His voice and are convinced in your mind of His truth.  (2) “I have witnessed God do wonderful things in those prepared by Him to have humble and broken hearts.”  Wow!  How could we ignore, or negate, someone “PREPARED BY HIM TO HAVE a HUMBLE AND BROKEN HEART”?!?  Michael is so right…God is in the “preparing” business.  This should be the message, if anything other than “go spend time with your Shepherd,” that anyone tells a Christian: James says in 4:6, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Deal with your pride, and get humble…then go spend time with your Shepherd.  Well, amen.

To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com   Look to the top right hand side of the 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

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 20 - Basic Religion

Thoughts on Michael Wells’ teachings in My Weakness for His Strength - # 79
         
Michael’s book is available through:

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


 Years ago I heard Michael say, “We rise and fall by our definitions.”  Those words, along with “Say what you mean, and mean what you say” (from another minister), began to rumble around in my brain until I began to decide to try and  use words that had no double meanings…illus: “hard,” as compared to “difficult,” when used in saying something like, “This is a hard task.”  Is it hard like in concrete, or hard like in difficult?  Why not use “difficult” to start with?  Michael’s writing today is one of those illustrations of terms misleading or confusing us depending on how they are used.


Day 20

Basic Religion

For everyone born of God has overcome the world. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes Jesus is the Son of God. --I John 5:4, 5

Religion at its most basic point is man’s attempt to be like God through mind, will, or emotion. This first appeared in the Garden, where religion took the place of relationship. Man does not like his own condition and aspires to ascend and be as a god; God does not like man's condition, either, and so He intentionally descended to become a victorious man who lived as God would on earth, and though worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, sin, the enemy, and depression would come calling as temptations, He rejected and overcame them all. He now gives us this life of a victorious God/Man that we, too, might live a life that is free. Jesus is the ultimate definition and fulfillment of religion, for He was the man who was, in fact, God, able to take away all superstition, all that is inconsequential, and all irrelevant arguments, leaving us with true, full, and abundant life. The kingdom of God within us brings its own set of invisible laws that, when observed, bring happiness. The enemy would have us believe that we are unhappy until we give in to sin, and yet sin brings misery. True happiness comes when submitting to the laws within and is possible only through receiving His life. The kingdom of God does, in fact, equal life. 

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


I have no idea when man started using the term “religion” in relation to Christianity.  But, by the very definition of the word, it involves something man does, or must do.  I have never heard anyone try to define or describe “religion” by saying anything that resembles a “relationship.”  Why?  Perhaps simply because a “relationship” involves the interaction of two people or things, or multitudes of both.  Have you ever had anyone ask you, “What relationship are you?”  No, it is always, “What religion are you?”  And even then, there are further questions to determine what “something man does, or must do” you are trying to live by…example: the Baptist set of “somethings” or the Methodist set, or the Catholic set, etc.

So, when talking about “Christianity” are we talking about “something man does, or must do” OR “the interaction of two people”?  Obviously, God’s Word tells us it is the latter.  So, man goes about life missing God because of using a wrong word for the relationship God intended for Himself and man from the beginning.  That in itself is terrible, because the multitudes miss God for eternity.  But, even those who have found God have difficulty in life because they turn from “relationship” to “religion” to live by.  How sad.

Michael gives us God’s answer to life for a Christian: With Jesus, God "gives us this life of a victorious God/Man that we, too, might live a life that is free."  Beautiful!  It is Him living His life through me that I live a life that is free.  Well, amen.


To access ALL past weekly blogs, go to Living Life With a Capital “C” by logging onto www.leemccm.blogspot.com   Look to the top right hand side of the 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