christical

Inspired by Jesus. From a Christian. For the Christian and anyone else who bothers to listen.

To Be a Prodigal Child January 13, 2013

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 10:45 am
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“Your mercy saved me / mercy made me whole / Your mercy found me / called me as your own”
–Mercy by Parachute Band

People are truly prodigals at heart. It’s in our nature to question and doubt, sometimes even to rebel. We are told to follow the status quo, except for when it would suit our own desires to do something different. Then, we are told that the status quo is always wrong because “authority gives us no freedom.”

Thus, we fight. Taking up our swords to fight a war that we are not even strong enough to finish, we jump out onto the battlefield, ready to face everything on our own!

That’s when the first arrow hits.

Sin is all around us. Everywhere we go, our humanity prowls about, wanting to swallow us whole.

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
–1 Peter 5:8 NASB

On the battlefield, we can certainly try to hold our own. Goodness, some people do it six days a week! “Yeah, church is great,” they say, “but it’s different in the real world.” And in some ways, I’ll agree. It’s easy to remember to pray and sit up straight and read your bible when you’re in church and everyone plays nice. But when you leave, bam! Out come the pitfalls that we experience. Anxiety gnaws inside of us. Anger wants to burst out. Our tongues tingle with the possibility of giving our opinions, no matter how brutal.

But if we act on that, how Christian does that seem?

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
–John 13:35

Nobody’s perfect, though! How can God ask us to follow His commands in such an ungodly world? What happens when we mess up?

God realizes that we all mess up. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned.

Broken, we come to God with our sin. He takes our sin, and He rips it up. God does that because Jesus died, sinless, to obliterate our sin.

If sin is mud, we’re filthy. But God is like our shower, and Jesus is the water. He cleansed us once, and He’ll do it as many times as we need his forgiveness. Isn’t that beautiful? Look at the Beatitudes. What we consider our greatest gaps in strength, Jesus considers the greatest gaps for Him to come and fill us.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

–Matthew 5:3-12 NASB

In His Love,

The Jesus Freak Girl

 

Ecclesiastes: Chapter Two July 14, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 4:34 pm
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How did all my work on this get deleted? I had to start over on this chapter because the iPad in its infinite wisdom, somehow, did not save my original work. •_• Oh well. ^_^

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. First, The writer puts in a topic sentence for this chapter. We learn that pleasure is meaningless, and we also go into toil. As he makes himself drunk and tries to find meaning, he realizes that he won’t find it in alchohol. So he then turns to the costly entertainment of princes.

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men-many concubines. Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. The writer has decided to build something, to enlarge his own successes. Seems a tad manic, doesn’t it? But he notes that he was doing this to look for meaning; he was in a sound mind attempting this. I suppose he guessed that if he saw all the good he had done, he could find meaning in that.

All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. He was happy when he observed how beautiful everything was, but then he returned to his former state when he realized how mortal everything was. Even though it was “good”, and pleasant, what was the point of it?

So I turned to consider wisdom, madness and folly; for what will the man do who will come after the king except what has already been done? And I saw that wisdom excels folly as light excels darkness. The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Here the writer realizes that wisdom, no matter how short life is, is always better than folly, because folly leads to total mental and spiritual blindness.

And yet I know that one fate befalls them both. Then I said to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also befall me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So I said to myself, “This too is vanity.” For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die! So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind. Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun. When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil. These verses are starting to cause distrust in the presidents . . . :-p. but honestly, the same fate befalls every person. So why do we care so much about keeping up an image, one that may not even be our true selves? It’s about legacy. How do we want to be remembered? Even more interesting: how would you feel if you worked your butt off all your life, spent your life chasing the American Dream, and then you die to find that all of your work was disregarded, destroyed, or left to some idiot who ended up ruining the world even more? I hope that put something into focus. Work to live, my friends, but don’t live to work, lest you become like the man in the song American Dream. That doesn’t mean to not be generous; it means to simply be cautious, and know who can be trusted. This all comes from wisdom.

For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity. To strive for something all the days of your life without enjoyment is very demanding. Those who are close to retiring, you may know what I mean.

There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him? For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God’s sight. This too is vanity and striving after wind. It all comes down to this – something that has value! It is good to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don’t be afraid to relax every once in a while. Working endlessly has no purpose, except to stress you out and make you rich. And while wealth is useful on earth, what good would it be to become wealthy and give up your soul?

(Ecclesiastes 2:1-26 NASB)

 

The Spiritual Firstfruits July 3, 2012

Filed under: Let's Get Biblical! — christical @ 3:58 pm
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So, I was just sitting, casually eating this apple, and then I realize that the bite I took looks kind of like a person (or a really simple inkblot on a Rorschach test. But I digress). Then, that got me thinking about all of those fruit references in the Bible, like these ones:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5, 6, 8 NIV84)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self‑control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV84)

Fruits are used in the bible as a positive symbols for good works, positive repercussions, good things happening. Through Jesus, having the opportunity to be the giver of that joyful gift is an amazing opportunity!

So, today, I challenge you to bear fruit. Every action has a reaction. Why not brighten someone else’s day? You’ll be happy you did.

—Jesus Freak Girl

 

Spiritual Gifts: Representative June 29, 2012

Representative Gifts: teaching, leadership, administration, apostle, evangelism, pastor, knowledge, wisdom.

These gifts are common of representatives of the church, such as church workers and go-to people.

Teaching: To instruct others in the bible systematically and logically so as to communicate information for spiritual understanding and growth.

  1. Bible Verse:And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
  2. Example: “Jack” does a great job of finding Bible passages relevant to today’s Christians.
  3. Remember: A good teacher teaches those who want to be taught. Don’t be overbearing, don’t be too vague.

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It’s All About Grace! June 20, 2012

Filed under: God's Grace Is Enough — christical @ 3:56 pm
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Mood: Inspired. Perhaps even manically so. (Mwahahaha)

I’m here today to talk about about grace. So . . . Grace is very important to salvation. Check out this verse from Ephesians:

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV84)

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Obeying God June 10, 2012

Filed under: Applied Faith — christical @ 7:08 am
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Mood: Deep in Thought. (Hm . . . )

So I was on Instagram yesterday, and I saw a picture. It was of a Joel Osteen quote.

“In order to please God, you may have to disappoint a couple of people.”

Well . . . that got me thinking. Of course there’s the whole point of “in the world but not of the world”. But then I remembered something from Job: “Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can a mortal be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2 NIV84). So, the huge question: if a human cannot stand righteous before God, and if we should know this, then what should motivate us to follow him and his Law?

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