Reading Now – RePresent Jesus By Dharius Daniels 11-29-14

This is the last 3 chapters. I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did. God bless!

*Chapter 10 Jesus and Forgiveness

I love this book so much.  The text is extremely powerful.  I feel like Pastor Daniels is standing in front of me speaking.

Has someone ever cheated on you? Hurt you to the point of no return? FORGIVE THEM! Whom haven’t you forgiven? FORGIVE THEM because it kills you on the inside. It’s tough to do, because deep down in the core of human hurt, you will always find an area reserved for unforgiveness. That’s the sensitive area where insensitive words enter, selfish acts and unintentional deeds, its stings there. The stinging and the hurt keep hurting until you FORGIVE. Jesus commands us to admit it, confront it, and forgive it. Forgiving is for God’s glory and for our good. Jesus is the ultimate example of one who walks in forgiveness. In his final moments of His earthly life HE asks God to forgive the very people who were performing His execution. Luke 23:34 If you are sure you want to re-present Jesus of the Bible, then it means following His example and following His instruction to walk in forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending it didn’t happen. Forgiveness is not excusing unbiblical and unhealthy behavior. Forgiveness is not the issuing of a license for someone to repeat the behavior.  Forgiveness is not restoration.

Forgiveness is “letting it go.” (T.D.Jakes) Let go of the resentment, bitterness, the desire for revenge, and indignation. Forgiveness is an act and expression of grace. Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. You have the key to unlock the shackles from your own heart. The key is forgiveness.

Forgiveness has neither an expiration date nor a statue of limitations. A follower of Jesus should remember the countless times God has forgiven him or her, and in response, reciprocate to others. In comparison to the sins for which the King has forgiven us, we have no justified reason to refuse forgiveness to others. You were forgiven to things that almost ruined your life, destroyed your family, and tore apart your relationships. When we evaluate the truth of our lives and calculate the sum total of our experiences and downfalls, I’m sure we all can admit how ridiculous it would be to withhold forgiveness from someone else. AMEN!

Chapter 11 Jesus and Faith

Without your faith and understanding of Jesus, no explanation is possible.

Not everyone who claims to be a person of faith had placed his or her faith in God. On the surface it seems easy to find faith in a place where God is popular — meaning, the church– but the scarier truth is that not everyone who comes to church actually believes in Christ.  Jesus’s objective is to help His disciples find God in the midst of a busy crowd.  Like finding Waldo! Living like Jesus means living by faith, and walking with Jesus means walking by faith. Jesus entire life was a life of faith. Jesus responds to our faith. His power is most clearly seen when believers declare, “Lord, I believe.”

Our faith must trust that grace is enough to reconcile us to God. Our faith must trust that a thirty-three year old Jewish man’s death on a cross and subsequent resurrection from a grave is all that is needed to resurrect a life. Specific faith, when some can believe God exist, God can save, but have trouble believing God’s ability to resurrect dead situations. If we see and believe Him as the one who revolutionizes and changes every area of our lives, that’s what we get instead–a God who has the power to move and change our lives in the here and now.

Here are faith fertilizer to help you grow in faith.

Intimacy with God – If you want to experience intimacy with God–or anyone- you must be willing to pay the price of time.  Your time daily, consistent, uninterrupted time through worship, prayer and the study of the Word is required.

Information of the Word – in order for anything to grow it must be fed.  God’s Word is like faith food. It feeds our faith with the information we learn, believe , and grow from. The more we learn, the more stock we place in our faith. Without the discipline of learning from the Word, unbelief or misbelief becomes a problem. Just remember God’s Word is not God’s Word when it isn’t accurately interpreted.  This happens on a much grander scale with God. Some messages people deliver don’t representHim because they were misinterpreted. When someone believes this, they are misbelieving and begin to have expectations of God that are not supported by Scripture.  This leads to frustration, disappointment, and abandoning the faith. We can call this spiritual food poisoning.

Healthy Enviroments – “You are what you hang around”, birds of a feather flock together”  ever hear these sayings?  Sometimes you have to dismiss yourself from doubters in order to strengthen yourself in faith.

Reflect on past experiences – Rehearse God’s faithfulness in a prayer journal. Thank him publicly and privately for every moment where His sovereign hand became obvious to you. You can find strength there. Look back over your entire life, your circumstances whatever they were and see God’s faithfulness.

If you want to be like Jesus….believe God.

Jesus and The Holy Spirit

The only way to do life and ministry Christ’s way is to do it relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. We must understand, embrace, and employ the Holy Spirit.  These are basic keys that will unlock the same power Jesus had.

Understand the Holy Spirit -Have a working knowledge of what the bible has to say about him .  You must know the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is not an “it”. The Holy Spirit is a He.  As God, the Holy Spirit wants to indwell and infill us so He can transform us.  Hopes are that we will understand that one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit after regeneration is to  make us like Jesus. This is the essence of sanctification.  One way the Holy Spirit does this is by giving us an appetite for transformation. He produces a hunger for God that is necessary to experience our transformation into Christlikeness.

When you have the Spirit, you begin to have a “want to” in your spirit that pushes you to resist things in which you would’ve normally indulged. You have a desire to please God in public and private moments. You find yourself searching for truth, asking different questions, and accepting the will of God over the will of your wants—and your tree begins to produce fruit that resembles Jesus.

-Embrace the Holy Spirit-  When you rely on the Spirit, you run into the arms of God for guidance, protection, instruction, confession, relief, embrace, comfort, and a host of other needs.  You soon come to realize the Holy Spirit was the best friend you’ve been searching for.  Be filled with the spirit.  Not halfway, not partially, but fully. Ephesians 5:18

Everyone encounters the spirit differently. Embrace that God is trying to take your hand so you can walk with him into the next level of life. He wants to give you the power you’ve been yearning for in order to effectively do what Jesus did. Only the Holy Spirit will bridge the gap between the Jesus in our heads and the Jesus in the  Bible. Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit, and resist the impulse to compare your experience to someone else’s.

-Employ the Holy Spirit – After understanding and embracing the Holy Spirit you must employ Him. Fire you and hire Him. Galatians attempted to finish their own strength what was started by power of the Spirit. You can’t make up your mind you want to be like Jesus and accomplish it with will and effort. Only Jesus can be like Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Jesus, wants to be like Jesus through you.  God started it and God wants to finish it.  Your job is to surrender – to yield- and the Holy Spirit will work on you, in you and through you to make you like Jesus. If we give our will to God, the Spirit will do the work.  If we are going to speak the truth in love and love our enemies we are going to need help.

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