Our works / our practices reveal us.

I John 3:18-19 TPT
Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts before Him.

Our works/our practices don’t save us. Our works/ our practices reveal us.

Most probably your practices flow from who you are and from what you truly value.

Our actual values are different from our perceived values. Actual values are what we practice(do) and not just give mental acknowledgment to.

I value serving others. Do I consistently serve others?

I value reaching out with the good news. When do I reach out with the good news?

I value drawing near to Jesus. When do I draw near to Jesus?

If you are like me, and don’t like the fruit of some of your practices you can change your focus…your mindset and your lifestyle.

I daily choose to focus on and practice the positive. Sometimes there is a battle when my feelings battle my faith. When I recognize the drift, I know I have to choose to lean in and not pull back. I decide, “Today I’m walking by faith and not by sight.” So, I position myself to give (worship) and to receive (His Grace). 

Think—Spirit, Body, and Soul.. When are you sowing? When are you receiving? What are you giving to Jesus and to others?

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Tip:
 Push pause and look at your life. What are you positively sowing? When? Write down your own practices.

Example:
I practice drawing near to Jesus, reading, worshiping, praying, and resting in His presence daily.

I practice going for nature walks, eating properly, and resting.

I practice listening to my gauges: My mental health, my emotional health, my physical health and seek help when needed, or I adjust my lifestyle accordingly without guilt.

Tip: Focus…Push into the good! Let go / shift away from the not so good.

Sow believing!

Believe for a good harvest as you sow to your Spirit, Body, and Soul.

Galatians 6:5-10 TPT

Every believer is ultimately responsible for his or her own conscience.(life)

For what you plant will be the very thing you harvest. 

The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted.

If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit. 

And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others! 

Hope…Run with Percy! …Revisiting.

The light at the end of the tunnel is not an on-coming train!

Hope:

Towards a Psychology of Hope is a great article. (click link for full article.)
“We all know that hope is a good thing, even an essential thing: there is no life without hope, or so the saying goes. Psychologists believe hope might be the most important feeling, state, or emotion we can experience. Hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it. 

Hope is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why Hope is so important.”

Now
May the God of all hope
Fill you
With all joy and peace 

in believing
So that
You may abound in Hope
By
The power of The Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13:NASB

Hope Defined.

Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks forward to a future bright.

Hope believes the best is yet to come.

Jer 29:29 NASB 

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
 

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Hope is future.

Faith is now.

In hope, we see ahead. In faith, we believe for a hopeful future.

Heb. 11:1 NASB 
Now faith is the assurance / confidence / substance of things
hoped for,
(Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things
not seen.


What are the things currently – not seen – you are believing for?

What are you currently hoping for? Refreshment? Emotional stability? Spiritual connection with Holy Spirit? Experiencing the Fathers love, and the Son’s faithfulness? Debt reduction? Marriage Restoration? Wholeness in body, soul and spirit? Healing? Clarity of Mind?

We fuse hope and believing by:

  • offering thanksgiving and cultivating gratitude.
  • dedicating time to slow down.
  • positioning ourselves to read, worship, and to believe.
  • eating properly.
  • exercising.
  • sleeping enough.
  • serving others less fortunate than ourselves.

Tip: Worship is faith set to music. Let faith-filled music play in your home, car and workplace.

Hope is the center word for purpose.
There is no faith without hope, and there is no love without hope.

Hope is the connector. Hope is the seed bed that creates faith and love.

Faith and love spring from hope.
Hold on to hope long enough until your hope becomes Faith.

It’s important to speak hope, to declare your hope, to believe, and to rest in God’s love.

Ps 62:5 NIV  

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from Him.

Lamentations 3:24 (NASB)

The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore, I have hope in Him.”

It’s both interesting and encouraging…The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope, and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His loving-kindness.

Ps 33:18 NASB
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Loving-kindness.

The biggest questions, “Where do you and I place our hope? Who is your hope?” A more specific question, “In Whom is your hope, your expectation, placed?” 

Hope, by definition: a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon.

Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Feelings? Circumstances? Leaders?

Pattie and I often have to shift our mindsets, our expectations, our focus, and our declarations:

Our Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope becomes secure and steadfast as we build our relationship with Him.

“Our hope is only found in you Jesus. We declare ___________ is not our Savior. Where we go, or where we stay will not save us, nor provide for us. In You, and You alone is our hope. All of our hope is found in You. Thank you Jesus, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us, and for guiding us!”

Heb. 6:18-20 NIV We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strong / encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It (our hope) enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

Heb 7: 9 NASB
for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 

Heb 7:22 NASB
so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 

“Our trials are turned to gold.” Keith Green.

Trials do one thing well… if we hold on, if we don’t give up, and if we continue… Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope… we hope.

Romans 5:1-5 NASB

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (hope)

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 

4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 

Running with Percy.

Running with perseverance enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward in faith, and to look into our future by hope. 

Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important we faint not, and do not grow weary.

Never give up! Keep getting up!

Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.

We can have joy, peace, and we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The connector…Our Faith. Our Believing.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
 

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

He has Eyes of Fire, yet there is mercy found at His Feet.

Last night as we worshiped several spontaneous songs were sung. One song mentioned Jesus having eyes of fire.

I had a dream a few years ago.

In the dream I saw Jesus glorified. I heard a song being sung. He has eyes of fire, yet there is mercy found at His feet.

When I woke up I began to study the Gospels. In every instance, people who fell at Jesus’s feet were either healed, found mercy, or were mentioned for their acts of kindness toward Him.

  • One woman pushed through the crowds just to touch the hem of his clothing. When she touched His clothing she was healed.
  • Four friends were desperate to see their friend healed. They ripped open a roof and lowered their friend to Jesus’s feet. Seeing their faith… their friend was healed.
  • One man threw himself at Jesus’s feet and asked for his daughter to be healed. She was.
  • A crazy man fell at Jesus’s feet. He was delivered, was clothed, and put into his right mind.
  • One woman anointed His feet with fragrance. She is now mentioned in every nation.

He has eyes of fire, yet mercy is found at His feet.
His voice sounds like many waters, yet He often speaks most powerfully in a whisper.
His Spirit is like a flowing river, yet He often touches our lives like the early morning dew or a soft spring rain.
When He walks among us He sees, hears, and knows all things.
He is Holy… yet, He invites us into His presence.

An audience of One.

Often I’ll head into the Big Room, grab my guitar, and worship. Just me, no one looking, no one listening except One. Sometimes new songs bubble up, and sometimes nothing is felt. I know I’m just positioning myself to lean in.

Many times my prayers, my crying out, praying for others, or my heart being exposed are returned to Jesus in song. Sometimes I just play softly saying nothing. Sometimes I sit quietly reading, journaling contemplating. One phrase I’ve found myself singing repeatedly recently … “You are Faithful and True, Your Word speaks of you, This is Who You Are. Who you really are.”

Who Jesus is… is revealed to us through spending time in His Presence, reading who He is in the Bible, and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Mike Bickel in his book Passion for Jesus wrote, “It takes God to know God.” So I often pray: “Open my eyes to see you, open my ears to hear you, open my mind to perceive you, open my heart to believe you, and open my spirit to receive you.”

Who is Jesus? He is revealed to us by what He does in our lives.
He is our salvation.
He is our redemption.
He is our healing.
He is our provision.
He is our forgiving.
He is our protection.
He is our wisdom.
He is our comfort.
He is our power.  
He is our mercy.
He is our grace.

Most likely all the above began to happen when you first fell at His feet asking for forgiveness and mercy.

He is also the holder together of all things.
He is Jesus, Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is He is who He is, and so much more.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

Through Jesus we have access to the Father’s heart.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB

R.C. Sproul expresses the thought this way:

“The moment Jesus died, the instant the just one died for the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God became accessible to us. We now have access to His grace (*which brings peace) but even more, we have access to Him. (*His presence) Now we can feel welcome in the very presence of a Holy God.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul *my note

This is the good news.. we have access.

My friend Stephen Bell states, “The really good news is that the Father now has access to us!” This truth is most amazing.

His sacrifice for our sins brings peace between the Father and who we are. It’s settled.
His resurrection to Life ensures our confident access into the presence of our loving Father.

To fear and yet to be unafraid is an interesting experience.

R. C. Sproul sums it up:

“But when we come, we must remember two things: (1) who He is; and (2) who we are. For the Christian the holy war is over; the peace has been established. Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

Years ago I heard a whisper as I worshiped, “If this was the only thing you did, would it be enough?” My honest answer… “I don’t know. I’m so driven, I strive so much. I have so many insecurities.”

I do know I want to be a worshiper whom the Father seeks. Jesus made it possible. He extends mercy toward me as I fall at His feet.

God’s Kind Intention… A Bible Study

 
God is kind…He is intentional…
The intentional kindness of God is part of his overarching love and will for man.
When we intentionally come into an agreement with the intentionality of our Father in Heaven, His power is released upon our acts of generosity, and upon our acts of kindness.
Ephesians 1 NASB

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
In love
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,

according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace,
which
He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.(Jesus)

In Him
we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace
which
He lavished on us.

In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will,

according to His kind intention

which He purposed in Him (God was in Christ Redeeming the world to Himself)
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens, and things on the earth.

In Him
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

In Him,
you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation”having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

He bestowed grace upon us in the Beloved. (Jesus)…and He lavished grace upon us according to His kind intention.
 
What does bestowed grace and lavished grace look like?

I used to think His love and kindness looked like this.

But now I know His love and kindness looks like this.

Bible dictionaries often define the word kind… by a simple word like: good, gentle, easy, useful, and gracious.

Dictionary Definition.

Kind: being of good or benevolent nature or disposition; characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings: a benevolent attitude; desiring to help others; charitable; patient, considerate, or helpful; to be kind to another; mild; gentle; loving; affectionate; having an intention to benefit another

Intention: purpose; an aim or plan; a goal to accomplish; what a person intends to do; a moral decision; an attitude to propose to benefit another; a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action, in the present, or the future; an aim that guides one’s actions.

British Dialect. Being loving; affectionate.

How do you know when a person is kind?

Kindness by definition is an action. Kindness is revealed through people.
She is a kind person.

He is a kind man.

What a kind child!

There is kind evidence which flows from their character and from their values into action. Their actions do speak louder than their words!

They are defined as being kind by what they do, by what they say, and how they act.

The same is true for our Father in Heaven.

God is kind to allPs 145:17 NASB
The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35)

God is Love…
Love is patient and kind.  (1st Corinthians 13:4)

John and 1 John’s theme. God is Love.

As we receive His kindness, He leads us out of our stuff and leads us into His light and love.

Psalm 23:3 EVS You lead me into paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.

John 8:12 EVS Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darknessbut will have the light of life.”

Romans 2:4 NAS Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (a change of mind and heart which leads you to a radical life shift)

Reading the book of Hosea is an amazing study of the goodness and kindness of God.

Hosea 2:14-15 NASB
His previous statements of Israel’s waywardness leads Him to respond in such a way that reveals His mercy and kindness.

He asks Himself, “What am I going to do with Israel?” 

Therefore, behold,
I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.


Then (after He speaks kindly to her)
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Joseph despite his difficulties experiences the Lord’s kindness…
Here is the repeated phrase that followed Joseph…
“But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him.”

The continued acts of kindness expressed to Joseph were revealed by the extreme Favor upon Joseph’s life… He found favor where ever he went: Pit, Palace, Prison, and to become Prime Minister. He then revealed and released God’s kindness to His family.

Kindness, Loving-kindness was the foundation of all David understood and knew about God.
When he committed unthinkable sin and was exposed, in the midst of his greatest failure, he knew (by experience) his God was kind. He humbled himself and prayed to ask forgiveness (according) to what he knew (by experience) about the goodness, love, mercy, and kindness of God.

Ps 51:1 NASB
According to your loving-kindness have mercy on me.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

A lot of people were boasting about many things in Jeremiah’s time. Jeremiah discovered what to truly boast about.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV
This is what the Lord says:
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or
the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but
let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,(that he knows me)
that I am the Lord,
who
exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these, I delight, declares the Lord.

He exercises, releases the action, of His grace, mercy, and kindness on earth… or on us (our earth).

The Lord’s prayer… Your kingdom come, your will be done, on (in us our earth) earth, as it is in heaven.

Kindness, Justice, and Righteousness are in Heaven. It’s a reflection of who God is. He wants to reveal His Kindness, Justice, and Righteousness to the people of our sphere of influence. He wants to do this through us by releasing kindness, expressing His justice when confronted by injustice, and revealing the right paths that lead people toward freedom and abundant living.

Kindness is found in our earth, inside of our being. We have the fruit of the Spirit… Love, joy, peace, kindness within us.

We can release His kindness through our attitudes, through our words and by our actions.

Proverbs 3
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.

3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.


The Point:
As believers we should be reflections of the kindness and of the grace He has bestowed, and lavished upon us.
How?
By practicing being kind, and doing acts of intentional kindness; by developing kind attitudes and by speaking kind words.

When we intentionally come into an agreement with the intentionality of our Father in Heaven, His power is released upon our acts of generosity, and upon our acts of kindness.