Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Lesson's From 2016
II Corinthians 2:4-5
For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the Power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the Power of God toward you. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you are disqualified.
2016 drawing to a close....
2017 coming at us full tilt...
What did I learn over this past year? I learned that I need this Jesus now more than ever.
I learned that as much faith as I think and believe I have...I need to exercise it more in believing that Jesus is who He claims He is, and that His promises are yes and amen. Yes and amen in spite of what I see in the circumstance and situations I face.
I have learned that "living by faith" is not simply a catchy religious phrase, but the cement that holds life in Christ together.
I learned that I do not let my circumstances or situations dictate my response to them. I look to God every day, every way, recognizing that my weakness is the very thing necessary for His strength to be manifested in me.
I learned that I cannot afford to be selective in what I will have faith in Christ for. It's an all or nothing effort. I don't get to pick and choose the areas of truths that I will turn over to Him in faith.
I learned that sin is sin, and is not to be measured by the deed done under its influence.
What part of "we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" do we not get.
Sin is a heart condition no matter what the behavior may show.
We tend to look at the actions of others and based their sin on their deeds. Can't do that. Sin is heart condition that every human is born with. It is a curse that has flowed out of the garden and tracked every down human born, putting them under a debt that can never be paid. God recognized this and provided a way out from under this debt through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. Jesus being the ransom and price paid for my sin debt that I could enter into real relationship with God.
I became more aware of my need to confess my sins and receive forgiveness. In turn, I have learned to extend forgiveness to others. Even the ones that I don't feel deserve it. When I find myself in such a "thought", I remember that God was super quick to extend forgiveness to me.
I really learned that God is not finished growing me.
Maturity in Christ does not have a chronological age attached to it. I know some years younger than yours truly who are far more mature than me. I say this with much shame on my part. As John Wimber use to say...."I want to grow up before I grow old". This has become my mantra for the life I have left on this side of heaven.
I have learned that I need the joy of the Lord in my life.
Life is hard enough....and dark enough without it letting it leech off of you and take away your joy.
To remember my "first love" of when I came to Christ.
To not let myself become hard and cold toward others.
To not measure myself by how pious and judgmental I can appear to be as I use the name of Jesus to cover my cold heart.
This whole salvation can be complicated at times....
Seems as though some folks believe that when you get saved you sit down and wait for Jesus to come back and take us all home.
Some seem to believe that if you're saved, then you can live anyway you want to. After all, we are just sinners saved by grace, aren't we?
I think maybe salvation is the door we enter through to began this life-journey with Jesus. That just as God took the Hebrews out of Egypt into the wilderness so He could get the influence and love for Egypt out of them, God lays hold of us to get the world influence out of us (Love for and influence by our society).
That is the place I think I will be heading in the coming year.
Praying that I don't cut and run.
God on you...