Tag Archives: Truth

The Unleavening

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What is the leaven in our lives?  What holds us back from seeing the glory of the Lord and the blessings we have?  What keeps us from moving forward?  What is it that makes us stop and be fearful?  Can we do better?  Can we change our perspective from fear, anger, hatred and bitterness to security, love and thankfulness?

Thinking of these questions and doing some soul searching is not a negative, it’s a positive.  Many times over I ponder these questions in my own life.  I like to think of it as an accountability test.  By evaluating that in my life that causes me to stumble, I am able to move forward with hard work, one step at a time.  Searching the true notions of the mind and the desires of the heart I can reach a different perspective than that which tries to rule over me.   I am flawed through sin.  I know it, I recognize it, I act upon it to try and change it.  I am not perfect, yet I am conscious of the failure within self,  driven by the power of this earth.

Acknowledging that there is yeast in my life and that it  is thick enough to hold me back,  allows me to seek out the truth behind what drives me.   Sometimes, I find that anger and bitterness are the ingredients in which the yeast grows and has progressed to a point that needs clean up.  I equate it to making bread.  If ever you have worked with yeast you know what I’m talking about.  If not, let me explain.  When you take a mixing bowl of warm water, add a little bit of honey and then add in a tablespoon of yeast you get the pleasure of watching it foam.  The yeast begins to grow in the water, yet when you add it to flour and baking powder it takes off and is what makes baked goods rise.  If you use too much, a loaf of bread can ooze right out of the pan before it is baked.  The warmth of baking allows the yeast to rise even more before it stops.  My great grandmother used to say that the yeast in bread is still active for a full day after baking.  (I thank my mom for remembering that and sharing that story all these years.)  Yeast is not in one small part of the loaf, it grows throughout, making the entire loaf rise.  They call it the  leavening of the bread.

I imagine Satan kneading that sin throughout.  Just like kneading the bread to make sure that the yeast is spread throughout the impending loaf, Satan does the same thing.   He tries to make sure that every aspect of life is covered in sin, allowing it grow within so that one is unable to see through the over growth.  So now what?  How does one remove the yeast?

1Corinthians 5:7-13
7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

First off, recognition.   Secondly,  repentance.  Thirdly, change.  Only through the Lord Jesus Christ can this happen. There is no one else that can do this.  Unfortunately, being the humans that we are, we are led by either the ruler of this world or by the creator of all things.  If we are chosen by God, we are led by Him, if not we are led by the ruler of this world, Satan.  More recently, I have been given privilege to see just how awful the yeast of deceit is.  Through hatred, bitterness and anger two occasions have had me realizing that I myself am also experiencing the beginning stages of that which holds me back from the blessing of knowing the fullness of the Lord Jesus Christ.  First step, recognition.

Second, repentance.  I have been praying that the Lord show me my sinfulness, the nature of my own self, and the lies that Satan is trying to make me believe.  I have been asking for forgiveness and for restoration of my soul and for the Lord to take away that which Satan is trying to grow within my being.

Third, change.  This is by far the hardest part.  To flatten the leavening process, to clean it out of my life and to make sure that I remember my life is unleavened through the death of Jesus Christ.  To change means to do things of which make the human psyche nervous, uncomfortable, and seemingly  fearful.  However, with the power of prayer and the strength of the Lord, peace, calmness and perseverance are active within the search for a life unleavened.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7                                                                                            6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Sin has no stronghold on my life.  Yes I am still a sinner.  Yes I still have a sinful nature, however, it is not a stronghold that can overcome the good in which the Lord has within me.  I am renewed, I am restored and I am strong with him as the one who kneads me.  There is not room for the yeast that Satan tries to throw into the mix.

There is no room for hatred, bitterness and anger.  There is however, more room for truth.  Truth in who I am to be with the Lord leading.  If I trust in the desires of the heart and notions of mind more than that which He  instills in me, than I am wasted away with rot from the yeast that continues to grow.  So, although difficult, perseverance to change is the key to the restoration of my soul.  That of which I do not take lightly.

Reader, I hope that you will benefit from my own learning experience and that you will evaluate the yeast in your life.  Cleansing out that which holds you back from a thankful heart, a steadiness ready to take on the sin within, and a mind that tries to remind of that which is of no use moving forward.  Guard yourself from the sprinkling of the yeast.  Do not let the ingredients blend together and through prayer keep yourself unleavened.

 

What Really Matters?

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For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.  Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.        2 Corinthians 2:15-17

Watching the news can be traumatizing these days.  It seems the world is falling apart and no one has control over anything.  There is conflict everywhere.  War overseas, tensions amongst Americans, divorce between parents, millennials not knowing when adulthood begins, sexual confusion tearing at the seams of the fabric of creation, growing numbers of cases of disease and outright moral conflict between right and wrong.  Where in the world do we find peace and hope?  Is there any?

If you haven’t noticed, I have been out of the loop lately.  My blogging has been a bit sparse.  I blame it on quite a number of things, from loss, to health, to not knowing what to say in times of constant turmoil.  I mean, what I want to say and what I should say are not in conjunction with one another and finding the right words were not coming as easily as they normally do.  That is however, until today.  Well, that’s only partially true…I started stirring with “blogger” thoughts last week, today is the first day I’ve had time to sit down and put them on the board.

A friend and I began doing a book study together.  Something that we both were excited to start for a few months.  We finally began and I have to say, I am thrilled.  Anything that can bring me closer to the Lord in study is a joy.  It gets me out of the “what is happening in this world” mentality, and takes me to the “thank you Lord for saving me out of this world” mentality.  Those little reminders to thank the Lord for life, grace, and eternal salvation bring a smile to my face, hope in my thoughts, stamina to continue on and keep me grounded in purpose.

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13

I often wonder what people think of when they consider their lives.  I mean, do they look at their lives and thank the Lord for what they have and for their future?  Or do they look at their lives and say, “I’m just not rich enough, happy enough, or wise enough so I need to make changes… so look out world here I come.  I don’t care who is in my way or who I destroy in the  mean time.  After all, my life is my life and I need to be happy and have it all.”  Crazy as that may sound, in my eyes, that is what I see in people when I look around.  I see it in relationships, in groups, in family, on TV and in movies.  I have wept, prayed, prayed some more and at times come close to shutting down, wanting to turn off all social media, electronics and lock the door from the world.   Right or wrong, it saddens me that the world is so brutal to human emotion.  That being said, as I write this it’s noticed that what was just said has one considering “I” and “me”.  This life isn’t about “me”, it’s about something greater than that.

The sadness I have felt over these issues however, has been overshadowed with joy in the last few weeks.  Why?  Well, its due to the simple fact that I am reminded,

For by grace you have been saved through faith.   And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.   Ephesians 2:8-10

In our study  we are reading about our purpose in this life.  Why were we created to be saved?  The answers are always present and sometimes it takes the nudge of the Lord during these times of distress to remind us of His plan for us and how we should be living.  Remembering this, takes the “me” out of living.

Am I speaking about you?  Do you have the hope needed to continue on in this life?  Consider it.  Consider where you are.  Consider how you are living.  Consider what could be holy vs. worldly.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought  life and immortality to light through the gospel…  2 Timothy 8-11

Does suffering for the gospel mean that we are unhappy?  No.  We don’t have the need for the fancy car, the perfect spouse, the perfect house, perfect job, perfect health, etc. etc.  Looking at the fact that God called his people out of a life of sin brings joy to believers, and a peace that nothing can compare to.  Just as I said above, we may get sad over the thought of the destruction of this world that was created so beautifully by God, yet we have joy knowing that there is so much more.

Prayerfully, my thoughts will continue to swell with blog worthy writing and a sweeping message of hope will be captured for others to embrace.   Have a blessed week/weekend and enjoy the sun this summer day.

Seeking Life or Death ?

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Over the past year and a half, I’ve used my blog as a tool to express my thoughts, my recipes, my frustrations etc.  It was an avenue to express myself and to have communication with others when I otherwise felt alone and secluded.   I have met many other wonderful bloggers who have since become my friends.  Two of those delightful friends had recently inquired about my blogging as it seems I have nearly fallen off the “grid”.  My posts have become less in frequency and not quite  full of “heart”.  My excuse, if there is one,  is that I have been pondering a great amount lately.  Much of which I have chosen to keep unwaveringly close to the breast so to speak.  I have not felt inspired, nor have I felt that I had anything worth contributing.  That is until today….

Much of what has been on my mind has been about parenting, being a wife, a daughter and a friend and being a woman of God.  Am I doing a good job?  Am I standing up for what we as a Christian family believe in?  Am I acting as a worthy steward and servant that  gives glory to our Father?  Am I all that I need to be?  As I ponder all of these questions and consider how to put into words my thoughts, I glanced up at my husbands book shelf and see a book called Decisions, Decisions by Dave Swavely.  That’s it!  For the past few months I have been considering not all of the above, but “decisions”.    Decisions based on every area of my life and in every aspect of every relationship I have.  Decisions that always have an outcome and a consequence.  Decisions that affect everything and anyone in the path of their being made.  That being said, my mind swirled with inspiration and I feel like I have something to contribute.

I have always told my children two things, delivery will get you every time and make sure that whatever you do in life you are an upright moral human being serving God first and doing the best you can at whatever it is you do.  Doing that will ensure your success in a world that has become immune to insanity, adultery, murder, idol worship, acceptance, and sin.  Knowing what it says in 1 John 2:15-17  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

As I look around at my own personal relationships, whether it be with my children, my spouse, my parents, friends and neighbors, I realize that even the smallest decision I make in those relationships can have an impact in the future.  That impact can either play out in a positive way or in a negative way.  It all depends upon how and I why I make certain decisions to begin with.  Was I making the decision based on self gratification?  Was I making the decision based on guilt?  Was I making a decision on resentment or out of anger?  Was I making a decision that was for someone else?  And finally, what was it that provoked a decision to be made and how did I come to that decision?  What avenue did I seek out in making that decision?  Did I consult with others?  Did I have a knee jerk reaction and make a decision based on an incident without knowing all the facts?  Did I take it to the One that called me out of this world to serve?  Did I pray about it and seek out His counsel?  So many things to consider when making a decision.  I wonder how many people actually consider their decision making and the outcomes that may follow based on their reasoning for their decisions.

For me, I ponder my own decisions in this life and to a  fault I have also pondered decisions that others have made for the themselves.  That is what troubles my inner being and something that I am delighted to report I have been praying over.  Decisions that seem so small can have a large impact in the end, with some very disturbing consequences.   As I began reading the aforementioned  book above, the author wrote If you are a believer in Christ, the resulting effects in your life should not be your only motivation, or even your primary one, to make good decisions.  Taking 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 into account about the judgment that holds us accountable in decisions we make.  So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.  The apostle Paul does not only speak to the Corinthians, he speaks also to us.  He reminds us that our salvation came at a price and that although we are saved by grace, we are also judged according to our behavior and the decisions we make.  A consideration that worldly viewpoints overlook.  Although, we as Christians understand that God has not revealed His truth to those who are held captive to their blindness.  To no fault of their own, their decisions that are decapitating to self are inevitable.

What about a Christian who claims himself saved and is trying to follow God?  Sometimes it is the shame of our churches and leadership that they are not guiding their flocks in the truth of the gospel.  With all of the “extras” to get numbers in the door, they fail to teach the word as it is written.  Adding in man made “traditions” and “additions” to aspire to others that “Christ loves everyone”.   I have been one of those Christians.  I have walked in those shoes.  I have through the grace of God been pulled out of heresy and been shown that only God’s Word stands true.  The Bible is more than just a book to read on Sunday, it is the creators instruction book to an everlasting life.  Not to be changed to suit a sermon, nor added to or taken away to fulfill numbers.  It is a way of life that needs to be taken seriously.

It is with great hope and prayer that  if you have chosen to read to the end, that you will consider, as I have,  all of the decisions you make in your life.  That you will consider prayer first, asking God for guidance and trusting in Him to have a better plan than the one you may think you need.  Keeping with the Spirit, seeking out what scripture says on the matter and realizing the truth behind decision making.  Asking the why and taking into consideration how.