Living Beyond the Cross: Part One

The_Throne_Of_Grace-1348608167t[1]
We tend to set up camp at the cross, when that was never the Father’s intention. We have come to the cross to confess our sin, accepting Jesus’ atonement…and then stayed there. Some even worship the cross. We have to go beyond the cross. The work of the cross is finished. How do I know that? Because Jesus said, “it is finished!” If it wasn’t, he wouldn’t have said it. Notice he didn’t say, “it is being finished”, “the work of the cross is continual,” no he said FINISHED. Period. We respect and reverence what Jesus did there, the price he paid, the blood he shed there, but we can’t live there, can’t stay there. We have to move past. Jesus said that he was the door-we don’t stand in doors, we go through. Jesus was the door to the Father.
So what’s on the other side of the cross? The cross is the door to the Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is on the other side-the throne room. Jesus sits on that throne; he isn’t hanging on a cross. The cross couldn’t hold him, hell and the grave couldn’t hold him. He was destined, before the foundation of the world to sit on that throne. We are seated there with him, those of us who have accepted the finished work of the cross (Ephesians 2:5). Who sits on a throne? A king. Who has authority in that Kingdom? The king. The King of Kings sits on his throne in Heaven ruling his Kingdom and what does he call us? “Kings and Priests” (Revelations 5:10). What is the job of a king? To rule and reign, to use their authority to prosper the Kingdom.
I am learning-and trying to walk in this authority. It isn’t something new to me. Our Senior Pastor always talks about “A King, a Kingdom and a Royal Family.” But the word says that “Faith comes by hearing, and continuing to hear, the Word of God.” So sometimes we have to hear it over and over to get it from our heads into our hearts. Faith never takes place in our heads, always in our hearts. What our heads can’t comprehend our heart can believe. We don’t have to understand it all, just believe it all. Even the little Revelation I have received on this subject, I sometimes forget. I go back to the cross…habit, and to be honest I love to remember the love of the cross. Through some classes last week on healing and the Kingdom, some of those wrong thinking patterns were broken. So some of what I am sharing is from those classes. I hope it frees you up the way it has me.
Jesus didn’t “plead the blood”. He never said, “By the stripes on my back you are healed.” He didn’t ask his Father to heal. He prayed often, frequently all through the night, but he didn’t pray for God to heal. He hadn’t shed his blood; the cross was still in his future. But that didn’t stop him from doing his Father’s work. He healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed lepers the list is endless. He did all of this as a man, not God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience to God’s will, motivated by their love, he did these mighty works. He knew his position, knew who he was. He didn’t let the fact that he was here as a man stop him. He knew who his Father was and that all power and authority came from the Father. “I only do what I see my Father do, I only say what he says.” He continually told the Religious people of the day that his power came from the Father.
Now, he did die, hang on that cross, shed his blood, went to Hell, took the Keys, stripped Satan of his power, and was resurrected. All of that is true, and wonderful! But he also ascended into heaven where he sits on his Throne of Power and Authority. Before he left he told us to do what he did. He told us to preach. Preach what? The cross? No the Kingdom. The Kingdom is the love of the Father that wants to see his children blessed, set free, stand and walk in their authority. To be on the offensive not just defend. Take territory; don’t just try to protect the little we have. He wants his family to grow! He told us to heal the sick. We do it, through the Holy Spirit working in us. Cast out demons. Not pray them out, cast them out. Tell them to leave. They have no authority. You do.
I know some religious toes have been stepped on and some sacred cows slaughtered. But religion stinks! It’s a set of do’s and don’ts that can only dictate how to behave. It never changes a heart. Relationship with the Father, now that changes our hearts and life’s. Now we do his work out of love for him. I swallowed hard at least a dozen times over the course of this class. I kept hearing this word ‘but’ in my head. Look at it this way, the cross, the beatings, the stripes and the blood, they were all to get us to the Throne of Grace. Important, necessary and wonderful? Yes, of course. The cross was the means to an end. The work of the cross tells us ‘how’ we got in the family of God, ‘why’ we are able to be healed, delivered and saved. ‘Why’ we have our authority. It the reason we can say to the sick, “be healed,” say to those in bondage to sin and the devil, “be free.” His stripes did heal us. His blood did cleanse us. So we are healed and clean. We don’t have to ask God to do these things, they are done. Accept it. Live like its true!
When we keep going back to the cross, it’s as if we crucify him again. Wasn’t once enough? God’s word tells us it was “once for all.” Just think about that for a minute…
Can you hear him calling you from the Throne of Grace?
So maybe you screwed up yesterday, you fell away, stumbled into some old sin…so what? There is Grace in the Throne room of God. Turn from the sin. That’s all repentance is, really. It’s already under that blood. It’s already been forgiven. When we live in the Kingdom, we become his ambassadors. We find that we don’t mess up as often, we stumble less. We are, like Jesus, only doing what the Father said and saying what he told us to say. We are part of that Royal Family sharing the goodness of the King. Who wouldn’t want to come out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light with us? If you are one of those who declare themselves “a sinner saved by Grace,” stop it! God said not to call unclean the things he has made clean. Jesus’ blood cleansed us; we are clean, no more sinners but saints, Sons no longer servants. God said, he never lies.

More tomorrow…

Book Review for “Iscariot” by Tosca Lee-Christian Fiction

Tosca Lee is a talented writer. I have read her joint efforts with Ted Dekker and this is the first book I have read by her alone. I can’t say enough about this book. The best book that I have read in years. It totally made me think about so many things on so many levels. Her retelling of the story of Judas Iscariot is based in the bible and historical writings, where history was lacking in the storyline; Tosca fills in the missing pieces with the liberty of fiction writers and painted a poignant story of one man’s struggle with his self-righteousness and self-condemnation. The main theme is the Love of Christ. Just loved it! I highly recommend this book for teens and up. If you read any book this year, read this one. I give it 5+ stars. One of my new favorite authors.

http://www.amazon.com/Iscariot-A-Novel-Judas-ebook/dp/B008J27ISS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1375229414&sr=1-1&keywords=iscariot

Book Review for “When the Levee Breaks” book two in the Outage series-Sci Fi

“When the Levee Breaks” by Mathiew Gallant was given to me in exchange for an honest review. This is the second book in a series. I like this book even better than the first. My only complaint is the amount of bad language and pot use in the book. If this doesn’t bother you, than add an extra star to my review. So much more is explained in this book and there is no way you could just read the first one, “Outage.” I will finish the series when the next book comes out. Robert makes a new friend in this book and continues to survive amidst the disease and lack of supplies. With some new information about what is going on in the world, he decides to take a stand. I give this book 3.5 stars. (Like I mentioned before, would have been at least a four without the negative things.) Not recommended for under age 16 due to the drug use and language.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AVKVYSG/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

What of Love?

GodisLove_slide1x_365_y_273

What can change the heart of a man? Can polished speeches, lengthy sermons, financial security, or campaign promises?
What do we do about those who are harder to love, the adulteress, the homosexual, the child abuser, the petty thief and the habitual liar?
Can we change them by walking twelve steps, by bigotry, prejudices, bombings, beatings, hat mongering and un-forgiveness?
Or is it through so called tolerance, political correctness, accepting them for who they are and what they do?
By compromising our belief in God’s Truth? Is this how we can save them from their lives of sin and misery?
Should we stone them, mock them, condemn them, or simply ignore them, cast them out and way, out of sight and out of mind?
No! Only one thing saves, delivers, accepts, forgives, understands and changes the heart of man…Love!
Who then shall we love? All, yes even those unlovable, those who disagree, those who society rejects!
Can we do it with self-righteousness, believing we have never sinned, never lived our own lives of ugliness?
No! If we believe we have never sinned we make the sacrifice of Jesus void. We make the blood, nails, thorns, lashes in vain.
Who then can we love? Through Christ who loves us all, even when we were lost in our sin, His love in us.
Love our neighbors as ourselves, Love as a groom loves his bride. Love as a father loves his child. Love as Jesus loves His church.
And then, with this love, the truth will come out, of who He is, the hurts will be healed, the sin forgiven.
The crooked will be make straight, despair turned into hope, weeping into joy. They won’t be alone! Love is the answer.

Book Review for “Darkness Falls” Sci Fi-Dystopian

I was given a copy of “Darkness Falls” by the author, Mathieu Gallant in exchange for an honest review. Darkness Falls is a good mix of Sci Fi and Dystopian. The story is told in the first person as a remembrance of a space traveler on his way back to earth. This is the first book in a series and book number one does not fully explain the whole story, leading us on to the second book. I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. It seemed to just stop. I think I’d rather have the cliff hanger or at least some kind of semi big ending, so you could leave it as a standalone if you so chose. Easy reading, fun main character (who is less than perfect) a good read. If you can’t abide swearing, be forewarned that there are a few chapters where it gets pretty heavy (really seedy people), but for the most part very little. I wouldn’t recommend this to teens under 16. I give this story four stars.

http://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Falls-Outage-Series-ebook/dp/B008QO41VG/ref=sr_1_13?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374893360&sr=1-13&keywords=darkness+falls

Book Review for “Runners” YA Dystopian

I was given a copy of “Runner” by the author, Sharon Sant, in exchange for an honest review. This is a YA Dystopian novel who’s main character, Elijah, meets up with a group of ‘runners’ who are trying to stay a step ahead of those chasing them. This story is about teamwork, loyalty and how a group of people can become a family. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it for ages pre-teen and up. Sharon Sant has an easy writing style and a way with characters. I would definitely read more of this author’s work. I give the book 5 stars for YA readers.

http://www.amazon.com/Runners-ebook/dp/B00DD5TNJI/ref=sr_1_14?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1374624776&sr=1-14&keywords=runners