Tag Archives: living for Jesus

In This Life You Will Have Trials

“If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world…but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you. Remember that I told you, A servant is not greater than his master… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… But they will do all this to you [inflict all this suffering on you] because of [your bearing] My name and on My account, for they do not know or understand the One Who sent Me.” John 15:19-21 (AMP)

We cannot expect those who do not know Father God and Jesus intimately to live in a way that bears forth the fruit of His love, kindness and humility, or treat us as if they know the Father’s compassionate, grace-giving heart.

As ambassadors of reconciliation, we must forgive and pray that they come to know Him for He loves them and sent His Son for them also. Though not easy, as we commit to obey Jesus’ words in this with our will and choices, He will impart His grace to our hearts to do so and we may soon even experience a greater peace compared to when we would respond to mistreatment as the world would respond.

“But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36 (AMP 2015)

If we actively live as those who bear His name, seeking His heart and to represent Him in this world, we can expect to go through trials and persecution. Our faith and our trust in Him will be tested, perfected, and purified as He builds perseverance in us.

“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.” James 1:2-3 (AMP)

The simple fact that we live out His Kingdom values in a world that walks in the opposite makes it impossible for us not to go through such trials and challenges. Not only that, but our own continued growth in the renewal of our minds from conformity to the ways of the world also challenges us as we grow in enduring love, faith, and steadfastness.

“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” Romans 12:2 (AMP 2015)

And finally, Jesus says to us even today:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)

Do not be deceived. Tribulation includes trials, frustration, and distresses even in this time, not just in the Great Tribulation spoken of that will occur in the handful of years before Christ’s return. Just ask someone from the persecuted Church across the world.

But be of good cheer!

When the Lord spoke these verses to me this morning, He had such a joy in His voice and I sensed a great smile on His face. He says:

“I have overcome the world! Be of good cheer! Joy in Me and joy in this, for you are safe and you will see Me again and rejoice, and all shall be well with your soul. Do not fear and do not fret.”

This life is not the end of your story, nor mine. Even on this side of eternity’s shore, we can know that our Father is faithful. He is always with us, in and through it all, perfecting all that concerns us.

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NKJV)

Having a Consecrated Heart, Part 2: Weak Flesh, Willing Spirit

Welcome to Part 2 of Having a Consecrated Heart. This post focuses on the weakness of our flesh alongside the willingness of our spirits.

Read Part 1: What Does That Mean? (which defines what it means to have a consecrated heart), or continue on to Part 3: Walking It Out (which describes keys on walking this out).

At times we may struggle with living lives of consecration before the Lord. Our emotions or flesh may want to take us in other directions, or our own desires may not be aligned with God’s Word. Nonetheless, as our hearts grow in love for God, we will continue to fight the good fight of faith, wanting God’s will and not our own.

Jesus Himself struggled with the Cross and suffering that was coming as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Though the Lord knew it would be excruciatingly painful to suffer not only the physical pain but also the wrath of God poured upon Him for the sins of the whole world, He desired to do the Father’s will and to make the way for us to be restored to relationship with Him:

“….’Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.’ Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:42-43 (AMP)

As we face our own weaknesses, Jesus can truly sympathize with us. He can relate, and He also gives us grace to walk with consecrated hearts before the Father as He did. He knows that even though the flesh is weak, our spirits are willing (Matthew 26:41). Even in the face of temptation, He sees in our hearts the desire to love Him, seeking His Kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33).

It is His desire also, and so He is there to help us as we grow in learning to deny ourselves. He will help you to fall more in love with Him, and this passion for Him will help you to walk in obedience to His will out of affection for Him.

Be encouraged, keep pursuing God and His will, and allow His grace and love to help you all along the way. The simple “yes” in your heart to live for Him, even when you fall short, reveals your heart that is consecrated–set apart–for Him. Your heart is beautiful to Father God.

By the blood of Christ, we have been made clean as new creations in Him, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can live the set apart life even in the face of trials or temptation.

Having a Consecrated Heart, Part 1: What Does That Mean?

I enjoy bringing practical application to walking in relationship with Jesus, and I hope this post will help provide this. Also, feel free to ask questions if you have any. You are reading Part 1 which will define what it means to have a consecrated heart.

Read Part 2: Weak Flesh, Willing Spirit and Part 3: Walking It Out.

“Consecration is the total abandonment of our will to God’s.” – Unknown

The above quote perfectly defines consecration. Living a life that is consecrated before the Lord means we have no agenda but God’s will. It means that we want His will above our own.

One who desires to live a life of consecration will find that the above heart posture will greatly affect their relationship with God. It is a posture of humility and love that wants God’s desires above one’s own which says, “Father, it’s about Your heart desires above everything else.”

For any person or in any area or situation of our lives, we will set our hearts to seek God about all that is involved, asking Him to change our heart desires to reflect His own and seeking to obey His voice.

Another term for consecration is “set apart.” To be set apart or consecrated speaks also of being chosen especially for a purpose that is beyond the norm and dedicated to this purpose above others. We, as believers, are called in this way: We are not of this world but belong to Christ as His beloved Bride. We are called to come out from among idolatry and the world and be set apart as God’s sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).

Do you want to have a consecrated heart? It is available to anyone who desires it. God will provide His grace to any who want to be set apart to live for Jesus above all else.

Visit Part 2 and Part 3 to continue learning about having a consecrated heart.