Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Are You Living Your Life Splendidly?

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Life really is what this journey is all about. Our part is always to come running to Him. He is the only life source-the Bread of Life. Hunger and thirst will no longer drive your bus after you align with Him. Once we align our self with Him, He holds on and will never let go!

You can become absolutely certain of His ability to complete the Father’s will concerning you. Not a single detail missed: put together, upright and whole. “This, in a nutshell, is that will,” that you be completed. I want to call our daily walk toward that completion, “splendid living”. Our part is to embrace what He is doing: to co-operate with Him each and every day.

Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.”

“This, in a nutshell, is that will, that everyone handed over to me by the Father be completed–not a single detail missed–and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.” John 6:35-40, The Message.

Let me give you one example of splendid living. Liu Wei is a 23 year old piano player in China. He started playing at age 19-only 4 years ago. He plays splendidly. He has no arms! He plays the piano with His feet and he is a concert pianist. While being interviewed on China’s Got Talent (after a spectacular performance with his feet) he was asked this question: “what is your secret to this accomplishment?” His answer: “either quickly die or live your life splendidly.”

Spiritually, you may think you have no arms or that somehow the deck is stacked against you. You may only be focused on what you can’t yet do or what is not yet finished or completed in your life. Others may even cruelly point out your seeming contradictions or imperfections. You can be sure ‘the accuser of the brethren’ will be telling you there is not enough time to work through all your problems, flaws and issues.

What are your options? You can live in agreement with the enemy’s report. Or, you can eat daily of the Bread of Life. You can embrace Him and leave the completion to Him. You can focus on Him and not on yourself. You can daily choose to “either quickly die or live your life splendidly!” Jesus will enable and empower you for splendid living. He said, ‘My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.’ Be nurtured while living splendidly in Him!

In the grip of His splendid grace for splendid living,

Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Who will define your life experiences today?

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Who will define your life experiences today? Jesus prayed to His Father that our lives would no longer be defined by the world.

“They are no more defined by the world, than I am defined by the world. Make them Holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your Word is consecrating truth. In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. I am consecrating myself for their sakes-So they will be truth consecrated in their mission.” John 17:17-19 The Message


I remember my life before-it definitely was defined by the world. As such, my life just kind of blended in with whatever worldly crowd or expression I was into at the moment. The pop culture defined me. In the early 70’s, right before I gave my life to Jesus-I was a street hippie. Not distinct, just one of that crowd-wandering around the country with no distinct definition or purpose.

Now, and for the last 42 years, whatever He (Jesus) has to say about me is what gives my life definition. Today, I will be defined by God’s opinion about me. I will not be defined by the old, self-disgusting voices in my head. I will be Holy (set apart-distinct) by His truth about me. I will be consecrated in and with that truth.

I will have and share in an awesome mission in the world today with my special Jesus definition. Truth, real and pure truth, is whatever He has to say about any and everything! Well, what is He saying about you and me today? Here are just a few: beloved, child and son or daughter of God, forgiven, not ashamed, redeemed, gifted, empowered…you add some more!

You have a high and holy mission in the world today. You are not brought down to the level of being defined by the world-no more than Jesus is defined by the world. You are defined by the opinion of Almighty Heavenly Father! Think on His definition of you today and be nurtured with those truths.

Set Apart by Truth: Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

How Critical is Your Value to Jesus?

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Can you indulge me a moment of what may seem to be a hyperbolas overstatement? Okay, here goes. You cannot exaggerate how critical your value is to Jesus. His Message hinges on you and me believing the Gospel for ourselves in every moment of every day! Apart from faith, believing and trusting His Message we have no hope of truly knowing or sustaining our accurate value and worth.

Our value is not measured by our performance, intellect, position, titles or pedigree. Thank God it isn’t! Instead, our value is revealed in the exchange rate of our purchase! In Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself.

Their act of redemption and reconciliation is the mandate of our worth and ministry. (The word, ‘katalasso’ translates as reconciliation; a mutual exchange of equal value.) That makes our value the same as Jesus’! Hold on, before you declare that statement of fact as blasphemous-remember that is God’s opinion and declaration.

“This is radical! No label that could possibly previously define someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentally is challenged by this conclusion. By discovering Christ from God’s point of view we discover ourselves and every other human life from God’s point of view!

In the light of your co-inclusion in his death and resurrection, whoever you thought you were before; in Christ you are a brand new person! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Acquaint yourself with the new!

Jesus did not reveal a “potential” you, he revealed the truth about you so that you may know and believe the truth about yourself and be free indeed!

Too now see everything as new is to simply see what God has always known in Christ; we are not debating man’s experience, opinion, or his contribution; this is 100% God’s belief and his doing. In Jesus Christ, God exchanged equivalent value to redeem us to himself.” 2 Cor. 5:16-18, The Mirror Bible

(Again, the word ‘katalasso’ translates as reconciliation; a mutual exchange of equal value.)

This is the divine exchange: he who knew no sin embraced our distortion. Even though He appeared to be without form; this was the mystery of God’s prophetic poetry. He was disguised in our distorted image, marred with our iniquities; he took our sorrows, our pain, and our shame to his grave and birthed his righteousness in us. He took our sins and we became his innocence. 2 Corinthians 5:21, The Mirror Bible

Just what is the exchange rate of our value to God? Isaiah hit the nail on the head of our genuine value:

The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10

Just as many were astonished at you — so was he marred in his appearance, more than any human, and his form beyond that of human semblance — so will he startle many nations. Kings will shut their mouths because of him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand. Isaiah 52:14-15

Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But surely he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we ourselves are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

He was not bruised by God but by the very humanity he was about to redeem! Romans 8:30

Jesus reveals that man pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam. The fundamental question is can you and I walk by faith in our redeemed innocence while we are feeling the sting, failure, shame and stain of our vain attempts at self-improvement?

Faith the Divine Exchange,

Ron Ross

Copyright by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

Whom Shall We Trust?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

whom shall we trust,
who holds the times,
whom shall we fear,
whom shall we follow,
who, on the morrow,
will still hold us dear?

who deigns to dine
with paupers, with pests,
bequeathing all guests
with living refreshed?

who listens, bends,
aching to cleanse,
even to bleed,
who plants the seed
salvation attends?

in silence, in grief,
what glorious thief
accesses our souls,
in darkness remolds
for mourning release?

~ * ~
Copyright by Roadrunner.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
See more works at Roadrunner’s web site
Furtherreaches.com

New Life – Available to You

Friday, March 20th, 2015

A visit this morning to an amazing place inspires today’s word-of-the-week…

BRAND-NEW

We’re headed to the Teen Challenge Ranch in Phoenix this morning. If you want to see a real, tangible, living-breathing-right-in-front-of-you example of the “new life” described in scripture, this is a great place to go.

At the Ranch you meet men who’ve come from the toughest backgrounds imaginable. Homelessness, incarceration, violence, addiction, anger, hopelessness—these guys arrive from places and experiences most of us, by God’s grace, haven’t encountered.

And at the Ranch you’d really have little clue of the circumstances that hammered these men to the point of surrender. You’d notice tattoos and a few weathered faces, but mostly you’d meet men who’ve found a new life. You’d wonder how these individuals could have been in those places because, well, they’re not the same people any longer.

These guys got a two-for-one. Jesus came so we all could be re-born spiritually.  But because of the work of His followers, these men got a brand-new life in this world as well.

Same thing’s available to each of us, no matter where we’ve been.

Pretty cool.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Is Your Relationship with Jesus Scandalous?

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Would you dare characterize your relationship with Jesus as scandalous? Wait a minute before you reject this seeming crazy notion. We live in a culture that continually tries to pull us down to its level of immaturity. iEveryday, world media outlets report on the latest scandalous acts of politicians, entertainers, etc. And yet, Jesus still calls and ‘woos’ our hearts to an abandoned, seeming ‘scandalous’ love affair. It would be helpful to define what is meant by scandalous?

Scandalous: improper display of affection or behavior in public…

Who gets to establish the ‘norm’ that defines improper? To be sure, the ‘accuser’ of the brethren (Satan) and his most devilish minions (religious spirits) will gladly continue to put forth their dark and debilitating definition. Their only agenda is to suppress your affection for Jesus!

Their strategy is to ‘steal’, ‘kill’ and ‘destroy’ the incredible potential of our love affair with Jesus. Robbing you and me of ever grasping the width, length, height and depth of the love of Jesus is their intended target. Satan is the ‘father of lies’ and his biggest lie is to convince you and me that it is somehow ‘improper’ to enter the Eternal domain of the passion of Jesus.

“My response is to get down on my knees before the (true and only) Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit–not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength–that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its lengths! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 (Message)

The essence of His ‘scandalous’ love is about to play out for His disciples in the moments before His ultimate Passion on Calvary! His example becomes the model for all time. Servitude, sacrifice, and abandoned trust to His Father become the standard for all who will follow Him.

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1)

Do we dare explore the full extent of His love? Open your heart and ‘take in with all Christians of all time the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love’!!! “Reach out and experience the breadth! Tests its lengths! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!”

To be in love with Jesus is to join Him on the Divine journey to the loving heart of Father. It is to be in love with love…He is love–His very essence is love. It is His ‘scandalous’ extravagant love that will take all of Eternity to fathom! Be enraptured by His love as you listen to “I’m in Love with You” by Kari Jobe

Surrendering to His Will

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Resignation to the divine will is one of the last and highest attainments of the Christian life. It is what is ultimately to be aimed at, as essential to comfort here–and happiness hereafter.

The Scriptures, daily meditated on, will supply us with instruction.

When we have genuine love to God, we shall be led to such an acquiescence in His wisdom and goodness–that we shall choose His will to take place, rather than ours. And the thought of how soon all things shall be set right in eternity, and that He will make all things work together for our good in this life–will reconcile the mind to anything that God pleases.

You will not mistake me, I hope, as if I suppose all true Christians have learned all this lesson completely. Far from it! These things are learned but in measure, and not without much conflict and opposition from sinful nature all along, and much imperfection.

And though it is not easy to confine the Spirit’s operations by rules–yet this seems the general order of Christian virtues:

1. repentance
2. faith
3. love
4. sweet resignation to God’s will.

In Christ Himself, this resignation was perfect, “Not My will, but may Your will be done!” (Luke 22:42), and as far as we can trust in Him for grace–so far we may receive grace out of His fullness.

Oh, let us beg for grace to lie as clay in the hands of Infinite Wisdom, who knows how . . .
to humble our pride,
to bend our proud wills, and
to conform us to the likeness of His beloved Son.

~Joseph Milner, 1780

What Do the “Experts” Know about Jesus?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

“People would rather read books written by experts about the bible than the bible itself.”

It’s an interesting notion–why not let someone who knows the intricacies of Hebrew and Greek, the in’s and out’s of ancient culture, figure out all that interpretation stuff? They’re surely more qualified than I am, right?

The class was called BIBLE BASICS, and we gathered to discuss some ideas about using scripture in our small groups. I’d just floated the notion that the basic purpose of the bible is revelation. It’s God telling us who He is, and He wants a relationship.

Relationships require commutation, time, and the investment of getting to know each other. I asked how that would work out in our personal relationships if we tried to outsource the hard work to a third party. Maybe I could hire a marriage expert to get to know my wife, then tell me the highlights.

Of course that’s preposterous, and creepy, but it’s exactly what we’re doing when we trust an expert to tell us what we need to know about Jesus.

Jesus is a person, not a collection of ideas. If I read a book about the bible, I’ll learn about someone else’s relationship with Him.

I think He’d prefer something more intimate.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
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Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

The Paradox of Christmas

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

One shopping days until Christmas!

That announcement greeted me first thing this morning, and I was struck by the amazing paradox embedded in a common seasonal countdown. Hurry up and shop for the birth of God’s Son!—sounds a bit silly if you think about it.

Christmas teems with contradiction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; most of life requires us to balance conflicting perceptions and priorities. The key is not to force a black-and-white interpretation onto a shades-of-gray world, because that simply denies reality. But awareness helps us to keep priorities in order.

SOME PARADOXES OF CHRISTMAS

Commercial and spiritual We all know about Black Friday, the beginning of the season retailers depend upon for an entire year’s success. While we rightly lament the over-commercialization of Christmas, most of us enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Any parent will happily recount memories of the wonder of Christmas morning and small children.

We simply need to remember that it’s not ALL about buying and getting and stuff. As long as our Christmas season centers on Advent first, we can keep the craziness in perspective and enjoy without being consumed.

Cultural and eternal We all have Christmas traditions. For us it’s the farm, family, football, and food. It’s a time to play games, do puzzles, and catch up with people we see too infrequently.

For me, none of that has much to do with Christmas. The holiday simply provides a reason to do things we ought to do anyway. Jesus wasn’t born so I’d slow down and spend time with relatives, but I suspect that He’d endorse the idea. Cultural practices are a problem only when they replace our focus on the star.

Single day and every day Christmas isn’t a day on the calendar. Christmas is a reminder of the Good News, glad tidings of great joy for all of us. That didn’t happen on December 25, 0000.

I love the way The Message paraphrases the familiar words of John 1:14:
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”

Jesus didn’t just drop by to offer a few words of encouragement before heading back to a more exclusive development. He moved into the neighborhood—mine and yours—and He still lives there.

How about you? What’s a Christmas paradox that impacts you?

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [Luke 2:8-11]

Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Dixon
Copyright 2009 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

What does it mean? – “Follow Me.”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

“Follow Me.”

It’s the invitation of eternity. I believe Jesus wants to end our striving, seeking, and searching. I believe He wants us to accept His invitation—that’s obvious.

Last time I argued that the path is about more than Avoiding The Mud. Following the path is active—it must be something more than removing the bad stuff.

Last weekend I got a hint as I watched some close friends at a party. I realized God surrounds us with Unlimited quantities of the things we need most.

Grace, love, hope, forgiveness—they’re everywhere, and they’re gifts. You can’t buy them or strategically seek them. But if you give them away, generously and with no strings attached, they wash back over you like waves from an endless ocean.

I wonder if the way to follow the path is to serve others by giving away these things God has given to you.

What if following the path is all about service, and following Jesus means giving away love, grace, forgiveness, hope, courage, mercy, light, justice, and the other gifts God planted in your heart?

What if choosing to give those gifts is really the way to follow the path and avoid the mud? What if you don’t have to focus on the mud at all?

Don’t mistake this model for “easy.” Simple doesn’t mean simplistic. Following this path involves hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

However, here’s a hard truth—walking in the mud ain’t all that easy, either.

“Follow Me.”

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Dixon
Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com