55 First the Kingdom

The blood of Jesus cleanses us and makes us new.  We are precious, forgiven and holy in God’s sight.  He accepts us as His own children.  The blood of Jesus makes us a part of God’s kingdom.  What is this kingdom, anyway?  Kingdoms have kings and subjects.

“So do not worry, saying: ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:31-33

We typically hear the above verses in the context of God’s provision for our lives.  We hear the command, “Do not worry.”  However, for our purposes here, let’s focus on the directive, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”  What does this mean?  The word for first in the original context, means above all else, not simply first in a long list of priorities.  Seeking God’s kingdom is to be over all of what we do, think and believe.  His kingdom governs our lives, not just in church, but wherever we are.  God is the King, and we are His subjects.  “Seek first His kingdom” implies obedience.  God instructs and we follow.

What then about the blood of Jesus, grace, forgiveness and freedom from performance?  All true, yet so is obedience to God.  Our obedience does not give us access to His kingdom.  We enter the kingdom because of His grace and forgiveness.  The basis of our relationship with Him is the blood of Jesus.  God favors us.  In His favor, He calls us to lay down our own self-directed lives and instead live for Him.  He knows that we won’t do this perfectly.  He loves us all the same.  Even knowing our imperfections, He still calls us to obedience.

Yes, God does call us to lay down our self-directed lives.  He does want to direct us and exert His will in our lives.  Remember the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done.”  We do not pray for our will to be done, rather we pray for God’s will to be done.  The kingdom is primarily about God, not us.  We find this hard to take.  This does not focus on self.  We want what we want when we want it.  In our culture today we expect to have it “my way”.  The kingdom is about God’s way.  We need to surrender our will to Him.

This is not all bad.  In submitting to God, we find that He cares for us.  We surrender our plastic pearls to gain real ones*.  Jesus gives us real life when we surrender our pretend lives to Him.  In Jesus, we find our true selves.  We find who we were meant to be.  We find our destiny in God’s will.  To Him be the glory, His kingdom come, His will be done!

Learning to submit to the King,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

http://www.skywriting.net/inspirational/stories/pearls.html


54 The Blood

As we walk with the Shepherd and hear His voice, we try to please Him in our old, perfectionistic ways. Healing from perfectionism takes many years because we think in terms of perfectionism. We do not even realize how often our thoughts turn to this idol. We need reminders of the truth of the Gospel. Remembering Jesus’ blood opens our hearts to receive healing from Him. The work of God through Jesus shedding His blood on the cross forms the basis for our relationship with Him. We forget this as we strive to please Him with our perfect behavior, good deeds and performance. The blood of Jesus and only His blood declares us right before God.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” He said to them.  [W]ho loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood…with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.  God presented Him as the One Who would turn aside His wrath, taking away sin, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice.  Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Covered by the blood of Jesus, our Passover Lamb,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

Hebrews 9:22, Mark 14:24 (see link below: Christ in the Passover), Revelation 1:5, 5:9, Romans 3:25-26, 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, 2:13, Colossians 1:19-20, I Peter 1:18-19, Hebrews 10:19-22 , I John 1:7, John 6:53-54

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDsQuAIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgBGz3k37kDE&ei=ugxCUbOaDuf-2QXppYAQ&usg=AFQjCNEYeiVPvuB5lHLzLzwqbRcu818yaw


53 Glory!

When we walk with the Shepherd and listen to His voice, we find that He shares Himself with us.  He gives Himself freely to us, including His glory.  We rejoice as we receive His glory.

Father, the time has come  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You….I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: I in them and You in Me.  May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.  Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.  John 17:1, 22–24

I am the LORD; that is My name!  I will not give My glory to another.  Isaiah 42:8

God will not attribute His glory to another.  Jesus gives us the knowledge of His glory.  Moreover, He calls us to experience His glory.  He will sweep us up into God’s glory—Father glorifying Son and Son glorifying Father.  Jesus wants us with Him to behold His glory and attribute worth to Him.

God stretches and expands our capacity to glorify Him.  The Bible’s description gives us some understanding of God, yet our view is limited.  God is other—well beyond our imagination of Him.  “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33)  God alone completely understands Himself.  He alone can regard all of Who He is.  God glorifies Himself, and in His presence is glory!

We cannot comprehend His glory.  Even a small taste of God’s glory calls us to awe and amazement.  Awe opens us to receive more of God.  If in a state of awe we consider that our Father loves us as He loves the Son (John 17:23), we can feel exceeding joy.  Experiencing a revelation of His glory enables us to receive His love more deeply.  As we revel in His presence we are relieved of our shame and pain.  Allowing ourselves to experience God’s glory, magnificence, splendor, beauty, wonder, grandeur, brilliance and fame may initially elicit embarrassment, shame, self-hatred and resistance, especially if new to us.  We need to let go of negative feelings to allow ourselves enough freedom to experience His glory.  We may need to allow ourselves to do this in steps; experiencing His glory increasingly while our negative feelings dissipate by degrees.

God’s glory will eventually bring us as Christians to complete unity in His presence.  The enemy hates even glimpses of unity among Christians, and he accuses us one against another. (Revelation 12:10)  Jesus prayed for both protection and unity for us in John 17.  We need to join Him in praying this way, that God would protect us and fellow believers from the enemy.  We can take our example from the Lord’s Prayer which says “deliver us from evil [the evil one]”.

Delighting in snatches of His glory!

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com