Ultimate Invitation

 

InvitationI enjoy a good invite. A few weeks ago, I received a formal invitation to my oldest grandson’s birthday party. The theme was Mickey Mouse! Of course, I made plans to be there. The party was yesterday and we most definitely had fun with him, family and friends. Invitations are most always optional. If it was mandatory the language would be different. There are some invitations that I’ve received that I “felt” were mandatory or I “needed” to be there. The Lord has given the ULTIMATE INVITATION – He invites me to eternal life. He also invites me to enjoy the abundant life while I’m here on earth.

John is wrapping up his revelation and he hears from Jesus, himself. The Lord gives a profound declaration and invitation. Check this out…

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. (Revelation 22:16-17 NLT)

I am responding to the invitation of the Lord each day. I have surrendered my life to Him. I have been baptized and I’m walking out my faith in Him daily. I stumble often, but through confession and repentance, He restores my soul. His forgiveness is complete. When He introduced me to His grace, I was blown away. I look for Him to invite me into closer fellowship with Him as I daily seek His face. I seek His heart through His Word and my heart is molded and changed.

The invitation from the Lord has changed everything about my life. I’ve RSVP’d to Him and I’m committed to His call upon my life. He offers life-giving water. He offers the life-sustaining Presence of God. He Lights my path because He’s the Light of The World! I’m blown away that He welcomes me into His family. This is one invitation that doesn’t just stay on the refrigerator but I carry it with me everywhere.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Own It

 

Praying ManOne of my pet peeves is when someone is responsible for something and it goes badly and they look for others to blame instead of “owning it”. Taking responsibility is sometimes hard, but it’s a sign of maturity. The blame game is easy and the rules are very relaxed – just find someone else to place blame for the issue instead of the person who should own it. For example, if I get pulled over for speeding and I was speeding, it’s not my truck’s fault or the officer’s fault for doing his/her job – it’s on me for driving over the posted speed limit.

I believe that taking responsibility or “owning it” is a sign of humility. It is me admitting that I messed up and I will take responsibility for my behavior. Confession is good for my soul. Check this out…

 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10 CSB)

The Lord knows me fully. He knows everything I think. He knows everything I say. He knows everything I do. He knows when I lay down and He knows when I get up. He knows what I’m doing next. He knows what I did in October of 1969 even though I might not remember. He knows all there is to know about me, yet He forgives me and chooses not to remember my sin. I am profoundly grateful for His grace that compels Him to forgive and forget. I have much more to gain by confessing my sin than by denying my sin. I think it’s good to own it as soon as I’m aware of it. His grace is enough to forgive the biggest sin and He removes it from me. I may still have some consequences to pay, but the debt to the Lord has already been paid. When I own my sin, His death covers it in the present tense.

I’m grateful for this arrangement, because without His grace, I’d be doomed to hell many times over.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Confident Confession

confidence level conceptual meterI like the word confident. I try to be very cautious about being confident because it can lead to a condescending tone which flows right into arrogance. I have a lot of confidence in the Lord. I have seen Him move and work in my life and in the lives of others. I see confident as being bold and having a strong belief or conviction. Confession means to declare or acknowledge one’s faith. Confession also carries with it the agreement & acknowledgment of my sin before the Lord. I’m learning that becoming aware of my sin is critical to the Lord helping me to overcome my struggle with sin.

I have known the Lord for a long time, but that doesn’t make me superior to the person who just met Him. I believe that my journey with the Lord is a day by day walk. I have choices every day that should I choose them, could absolutely destroy the integrity of my walk with God. I believe that the Lord would forgive me, but I see it as “crucifying Him all over again”. I want my life and my choices to be pleasing to Him. I want my confidence to be place squarely upon His shoulders. I am thankful that Jesus came and became the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin. This changed mankind’s relationship with God once and for all. Check this out…

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus— 20 he has inaugurated for us a new and living way through the curtain (that is, through his flesh)— 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:19-25 CSB)

I shouldn’t be arrogant about what God has done for me, because He will save anyone who will comes before Him with a humble heart seeking forgiveness. His grace is enough for the whole world. He loves His Creation – His kids. He wants everyone to be saved, but He will not force His will upon my heart or upon anyone else. I could make people tell me they love me by threatening their life, but that wouldn’t be love at all. I’m thankful to be loved because I’ve learned to love. God loved me first and His love has compelled my heart to surrender to His love. I now love Him and I daily surrender my will and my way to His Will & His Way. I am confident that He is in control of my life and I’m not. I want to walk with Him every day without worry or stress, because He is the Lord of my life and all the circumstances surrounding my life. I’m in charge of being obedient and trusting Him while walking out my faith with complete confidence in Him. I also want to encourage others to live out their faith in daily surrender to Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Build My Life

 

House projectThere are times when I reflect on my life and it appears to be crumbling. I’m hurt or wounded by something or someone and it gets me down.  When I read King David’s journal of sorts, I realize that he struggled and his life was a mess at times too.  I know that my life is not always going to be easy, but the difficult times seem to come by too often. I love David’s honesty and constant confession. He doesn’t sugar coat his sin or his struggles. I am thankful for his writings because the struggle is real, but so is his faith in God. Check this out…

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods. (Psalm 40:1-4 NIV)

I am thankful for the patience of God. I am thankful for the grace of God that comes to me out of His Patience. I am thankful for His Power to lift my head and lift me up out of the places I find myself in. He doesn’t give up on me. It reminded me of a song that my son recently told me about called Build My Life by Housefires performed by Passion Band 2017.

Worthy of every song we could ever sing

Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring

Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe

We live for you

 

Jesus a name above every other name

Jesus the only one that could ever save

Worthy of every breathe we could ever breathe

We live for you

We live for you

 

Holy there is no one like you

There is none beside you

Open up my eyes in wonder

Show me who you are

And fill me with your heart

And lead me in your love

to those around me

 

I will build my life, upon your love

It is a firm foundation

I will put my trust, in you oh lord

And I will not be shaken

 

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Sin Audit

Businesswoman drawing plan of AuditI’ve known people who were audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their taxes. I’m not sure of the procedure that is gone through by the IRS to decide who they will audit. I think it is significant to know that when they come to look at your receipts, expenses and all records that they will be thorough. A good friend faced this event and ended up paying more taxes due to the lack of proof. I know that the word audit brings up a fear inside most people because it usually an “official inspection” of an individual or company accounts. It is essentially “a review or assessment of something”.

Moses was given so much instruction regarding the offerings that some of these came along, they seemed different than the others. Check this out…

17 “If anyone sins and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands, even though they do not know it, they are guilty and will be held responsible. 18 They are to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for the wrong they have committed unintentionally, and they will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; they have been guilty of wrongdoing against the Lord.” (Leviticus 5:17-18 NIV)

I’ve been speeding in my vehicle because I didn’t know what the speed limit was. (This is not to be confused with the times where I’m aware of the speed limit and still speed a little.) When I explained that I didn’t know what the speed limit was, he professionally explained that even though I didn’t know, I was being held responsible. I remember someone telling me years ago: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”. If I’m guilty of breaking the law, I’m held responsible whether I knew the particular law I broken or not.

I’m thankful that the sacrifice of Jesus paid for my sin that I inadvertently committed. There are some sins in my life that I’m fully aware that I’ve committed, but there are others that I don’t know about until I’m on the other side of them. Intention and unintentional sin are still sin and still covered by The Lord’s insurance policy called Grace. I’m thankful that the insurance rates haven’t increased because of my use of it. I shouldn’t sin more so that I get more Grace – I need to learn that my sin really hurts the heart of my Father. I do want to honor Him and I know that an audit of my heart would come to that conclusion. Confession can cut the sin adit short.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Own It

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI have heard this phrase recently quite a bit – in fact I’ve said it. The phrase means to take responsibility for my actions. If they are good actions or bad actions, I still own them and take responsibility for them. If I make a mistake, I own it.

Taking responsibility for my actions and confession are somewhat related. Confession is agreeing with the Lord what my sin is. Taking responsibility for my sin often brings the consequences of my activity. The people of Israel & Judah were guilty of sinning. They need some deep repentance and heart-changing confession. Check this out…

20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,

    and the guilt of our ancestors;

    we have indeed sinned against you.

21 For the sake of your name do not despise us;

    do not dishonor your glorious throne.

Remember your covenant with us

    and do not break it.

22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?

    Do the skies themselves send down showers?

No, it is you, Lord our God.

    Therefore our hope is in you,

    for you are the one who does all this. (Jeremiah 14:20-22 NIV)

 

If I want to understand my circumstances, I must view them through the eyes of the Lord. When He shows up things change. My circumstances don’t always change when the Lord comes on the scene, but my view of my circumstances changes drastically. His Presence gives perspective. His Presence gives me another angle from which to view my circumstances.

My hope is in the Lord. He created the heavens and the earth. There is nothing that I face that He can’t help me with. I want to daily surrender to His will for me and seek His favor over me. I want Him to reveal to me the way I should go and then He supplies the courage to walk in that way. I want to learn to “own it” when it comes to my behavior, because He’s leading me in His way.

Pressing On!

Dwayne