Sunday, March 1, 2015

Increasing Intimacy with the Three-in-One


I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.      
~ Taken from Philippians 3:8 and 10 ~ 
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.                                
 ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18 ~
The Apostle Paul expressed the hunger of his heart for ever increasing intimacy with Jesus. Our intimate relationship with the Three-in-One can be fueled by a greater conscious awareness of our deepest longings. When we are in touch with what we deeply yearn for that we cannot satisfy through our own efforts, it can heighten our passion for God as the only one who can deeply quench our hunger and thirst.

This realization can also induce greater brokenness to self, sincere humility, and foster a deeper and more profound dependence upon God and His Word. When a person is out of touch with what is going on below the surface of his or her life, relating to God can easily become blasé and boring. When we’re numb on the inside, it’s next to impossible to experience a genuine appetite for God. A keen awareness of our desperate need is a key ingredient in our passion for God.

God is the only Being who already knows everything that goes on in our hearts: the deep longings, the pain, our true intentions, the scheming, the garbage, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Therefore it’s foolish to try to hide what’s going on deep within from Him. In fact, the Psalmist encourages to “Trust in Him at all times … Pour out our hearts before Him” because “God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8). Our dependence is exhibited by sharing all that we are thinking, struggling with, happy about and sad over with Him in prayer. The constant awareness of our neediness can move us toward a deeper and richer intimacy with the perfect lover of our souls and to persistently listen for His still small voice.

Where do you find yourself in your intimate experience of the Three-in-One? Stifled? Growing? Craving more? Desperate? Discouraged? Encouraged? Losing hope? What are you learning about this important area of life?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Everlasting Joy


A new day with an abundant supply of God's fresh mercies is here! We will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever and as we listen to the voice of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Thank You that You are here all around us … that You reside deep within us … and that we are surrounded by You and Your Holy Angels.




I am calling you out of your depressiveness, sadness, and sorrow into My Everlasting Joy. I will and am doing a supernatural work in you to turn all of your sadness into an incredible and tangible joy that knows no limits, lasting forever … everlasting joy!

May you enter into the Everlasting Joy that is the by-product of believing and living in the reality of Ephesians 1:3-13.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TV7W0WIYO8
(Click above to view this song recorded at St Thomas Crookes in Sheffield, England)

Click here to view the lyrics to "Everlasting Joy" by Nick & Claire Law and Chris Sayburn.

The above song was published on May 6, 2014; this new single from Worship at Crookes is available to be downloaded from iTunes (http://bit.ly/1omdnph), Bandcamp (http://bit.ly/RnGhtX), and Amazon (http://amzn.to/1fLXF6M)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Demandingness


Most problems with marriage or other significant relationships have their root in demanding that the other person treat me in a certain way and thereby meet my needs. My friend may have his (or her) faults and doubtlessly it would be helpful if he improved. However, to fall into the trap of “demandingness” is to somehow miss the whole point of what true relationship and love is all about.

Usually, in today’s society, when someone says I love you he or she really means is I love the way you make me feel. Later, when one’s partner doesn’t make him feel as it used to, the conclusion is that he must have fallen out of love. The real issue in a case such as this is a faulty definition of love. It is a preoccupation with getting rather than giving.

A focus on demanding that my friends treat me a certain way, affirm me, and meet my needs is not only self-centered. It will never improve the quality of the relationship or cause the connection to grow stronger.

What have you learned about the area of demandingness in your deeper relationships?

L2G would love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

READ and SHARE: Addressing Wounds from the Past


Did you ever have a deep cut or broken bone that either didn’t seem to heal, or that began to mend incorrectly? As a boy, I remember receiving six stitches in my forehead after a bad fall. Less than a week after the accident, my forehead began to swell grotesquely. The stitches were too tight and the doctors had to reopen my wound, drain it and re-stitch it. Fortunately, they put me to sleep before they intervened, as the pain would have been even greater than the original wound. I still carry the scar and a small bump on my forehead as a reminder.

The emotional scars we carry on the inside where no one can see them are just like what happened to my forehead. They need to be faced, handled with wisdom and thoroughly mended. If not, they will fester, swell, and infect us for the rest of our lives.

The healing process complicates greatly when unresolved and imprinting childhood hurts are denied, stuffed and secretly buried within us. However, like my forehead, these wounds can be re-opened, examined, disinfected and cleansed. The process will usually be painful, but the hope of true inner healing makes it worth the trouble.

The alternative is scary because buried emotions continue to secretly exercise their influence over us and will usually precipitate a crisis in our adult years. In this sense, early adulthood and mid-life can offer us a unique opportunity to deal with issues that we found too difficult to handle in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

How about you? Where are you at in your healing journey?
a)   In denial.
b)   Too terrified to look into the past for fear of being overwhelmed.
c)    I’m just becoming aware of some wounds I'll need to address.
d)   I’m in the middle of a healing process.
e)   By God’s grace, I've addressed most of the wounds in my past.
f)    ?

L2G bloggers would like to hear from you. Drop us a note at L2G.Forum@gmail.com or by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Thanks for taking the time to read and share.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Read and Share: Battling with Emotions



Everyone experiences a lack of inner freedom from time to time. One day it’s a struggle with anger, other days we battle with fear, and then there are the habitual patterns we can’t seem to break free of.
 
At times we overreact to situations where our opinion was not acknowledged or valued . We may experience strong anxiety in other settings, resentment that we don’t seem to be able to release, feelings of inferiority or worthlessness, battles with shame and guilt, hurts or offenses we can’t seem to get over ... the list goes on and on.

How do you handle these kinds of emotional struggles? Some of us try to deal with uncomfortable emotions by disregarding them. It’s not pleasant to feel painful emotions, and we’re not sure there’s anything constructive we can do with them. So we try to stuff and ignore them – secretly hoping that they will just go away.

Others of us try to analyze ourselves and figure out why we are struggling or feeling the pain we are living with. Perhaps we think, if I can just figure it out ... then the bondage or pain will cease. However, the resolution we seek by this kind of analysis is usually elusive. There are many strategies for dealing with this inner battle. Some are helpful, others provide temporary relief at best, and still others seem to make it worse.

How do you usually handle emotional struggles? What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked?  L2G would like to hear from you. Drop us a note at L2G.Forum@gmail.com or by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Thanks for taking the time to read and share.

Monday, January 26, 2015

L2G = La oración que escucha

Yesterday I was invited to teach Listening to God to 15 Spanish speaking adults at an area Hispanic church. I really enjoyed the interaction. For those of you whose mother tongue is Spanish or if you want to share L2G with a Spanish speaking friend, the rest of this post will be in Spanish.
 
La oración que escucha
“Mis ovejas oyen Mi voz; Yo las conozco y ellas Me siguen.” Juan 10:27
Introducción

Por lo cual, como dice el Espíritu Santo: “Si ustedes oyen hoy Su voz, no endurezcan sus corazones, como en la provocación, como en el día de la prueba en el desierto.       Hebreos 3:7-8                                                
Porque el corazón de este pueblo se ha vuelto insensible, y con dificultad oyen con sus oídos; y han cerrado sus ojos; de otro modo, verían con los ojos, oirían con los oídos, y entenderían con el corazón, y se convertirían, y yo los sanaría.                                                            Mateo 13:15


Dos realidades fundamentales de la oración que escucha
1. La importancia de la presencia real de Dios
A.  Las Escrituras revelan que Dios siempre esta presente.
Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza, nuestro pronto auxilio en las tribulaciones. Salmo 46:1
No te dejaré; ni te desamparé.”                                                                             Hebreos 13:5
El que cree en Mí, como ha dicho la Escritura: ‘De lo más profundo de su ser brotarán ríos de agua viva.’” Pero El decía esto del Espíritu, que los que habían creído en El habían de recibir; porque el Espíritu no había sido dado todavía, pues Jesús aún no había sido glorificado.   Juan 7:38-39

B.  Debemos vivir conscientes de Su presencia.
El ser participes de la presencia de Dios es simplemente recordar la verdad de que Dios siempre está con nosotros aun cuando no le podamos sentir.

La falta de reconocimiento de que Dios esté realmente presente con nosotros y andar con la plena confianza de Su presencia es la realidad espiritual más pasada por alto en la vida Cristiana.
2. La importancia de la voz viviente de Dios
A.   Escuchar la voz de Dios es una realidad básica a través de toda la Escritura.
Estaré atento y vigilante, como lo está el centinela en su puesto, para ver qué me dice el Señor y qué respuesta da a mis quejas.                                                                   Habacuc 2:1

Y por el Espíritu Santo se le había revelado (Simeón) que no vería la muerte sin antes ver al Cristo (al Mesías) del Señor.                                                                          Lucas 2:26

B.  Las vidas de David, Bernabé y Saúl, Pablo y Jesús son ejemplos de dependencia para escuchar la voz de Dios.
      ·   El ejemplo del Rey David: 1 Crónicas 14:9-16 
      ·   El ejemplo de Bernabé y Saulo: Hechos 13:2
      ·   El ejemplo de Pablo: 2 Corintios 12:7-9 
      ·   El ejemplo de Jesús: Juan 12:49 
      ·   La voz del Espíritu Santo que mora dentro de nosotros: Juan 16:12-14

 Estamos influenciados por muchas voces
Nos encontramos metidos en una constante conversación interna. ¿Qué voz estamos escuchando?
·       Su propio entendimiento                              Proverbios. 3:5
·       El mundo  / conformismo                             Romanos 12:2
·       La carne se opone al Espíritu                       Gálatas 5:17
·       El enemigo / padre de mentiras / acusador Génesis 3:1-5, Apocalipsis. 12:11
·       Dios Padre, Hijo, Espíritu Santo                 Salmo 85:8, Lucas 2:26

¿Cómo nos habla Dios?
·       Su palabra Escrita                                 2 Timoteo 3:16
·       Una voz suave                                        1 Reyes 19:12
·       Fotos o imágenes visuales                         Hechos 10:11
·       En pensamientos                                    1 Corintios 2:13&16
·       Otra gente                                              Hechos 2:37
“La Biblia es el tribunal de apelación final con respecto a lo que ha dicho Dios.”
Precauciones                                                                                               
·      Cuide tus expectativas                          Marcos 6:5-6
·      Ríndete                                                       Juan 7:17
·       Evite el síndrome de Dios en una caja     Juan 9:28-30
Tenga cuidado en su oración, sobre todo de limitar a Dios, no solo por no creer si no por pensar en que usted ya sabe lo que El puede hacer.  Andrew Murray
Como saber si realmente es Dios
·       Confirmación en Su palabra escrita           2 Timoteo 3:16
·       Confirmación interna del Espíritu / paz.    Romanos 8:16
·       Confirmación del cuerpo de Cristo.           2 Corintios13:1
          ·       Tenga cuidado                                          1 Tesalonicenses 5:21

Aprendiendo a escuchar a Dios
El aprendizaje en la escucha de Dios es un proceso que empieza de una forma extraña, crece lentamente al principio, pero después se desarrolla y madura hasta que es difícil imaginarse la vida sin ello                  Una guía para la oración que escucha y que sana


Una historia musical – La oración que escucha



Escucha a Dios sobre una de las siguientes preguntas
¡Cuán preciosos también son para mí, oh Dios, Tus pensamientos! ¡Cuán inmensa es la suma de ellos! Si los contara, serían más que la arena.                         Salmo 139:17-18

Señor Jesús, ¿qué me quieres decir acerca de los pensamientos que tienes hacia mí?
                 - o -
Dios mío, ¿qué tienes que decirme acerca de mi relación contigo?