AFM Ministry's David Shelton

David's Life applications of God, his Word and his calling

Month: November, 2013

Consistent in faith and obedience – a prayer

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Lord God Almighty,
I ask not to be enrolled among the earthly great and rich,
   but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed.
Make it my present, supreme, preserving concern
   to obtain those blessing which are
   spiritual in nature,
   eternal in their continuance,
   satisfying in their possession. 
Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole or part of my character;
May I pay attention to my principles as well as my conduct,
   my motives as well as my actions.
Help me never to mistake the excitement of my passions
   for the renewing of your Holy Spirit,
   never to judge my faith by occasional impressions and impulses,
   But by my constant and prevailing disposition.

May my heart be right with you,
   and my life be about the Gospel.
May I maintain a supreme regard heavenward, our better world,
   and feel and confess myself a stranger and a pilgrim here.
Afford me all the direction, defense, support, and consolation my journey now requires,
   and grant me a mind focused upon you.
Give me a large abundance and supply of the Spirit of Jesus,
   That I might be prepared for every duty,
   Love you in all my mercies,
   Submit to you in every trial,
   Trust you when walking in darkness,
   Have peace in you amidst life’s changes.
Lord, I believe. Help me through my weaknesses of my unbelief and uncertainties.

My life is yours dear Jesus, to you O God, I give my heart’s trust. May I live for you this day.
Amen.

( My personal adaptation of ‘True Religion’ from ‘The Valley of Vision, A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.’)

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The Milk of God

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. – 1 Peter 2:2-3

Peter just cited Isaiah 40:6 that speaks of the Word of God remaining forever and so in this context he urges us to put away any evil living and to long for the nourishment of knowing God through his Word just like a baby craves his mommies milk. In craving and actually feeding in God’s Word, we mature and grown up in our salvation….this is the natural progression of what the Holy Spirit does in us. Then he qualifies it saying if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good…quoting from Psalm 34:8.
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God is not telling us to remain as spiritual babies, but to desire him like a baby desires its mother’s milk. This is a deep basic instinctive desire.  Is this how you desire God and crave his Word? Have you really ‘tasted’ of the goodness of God in your own life? Often tears come to my eyes as I meditate upon the magnificent grace of God and his loving kindness to me in spite of my own sins.  How can such a holy God love me so much? I deserve none of him, yet he gave me all of him.

For this the ‘taste buds’ of my soul relish and soak in his goodness. Yes, I want to drink in this God; this Jesus Christ who came to us to redeem us; this Holy Spirit who makes his home inside me.  He did this! God alone made me what I am today. I who was once his enemy, not his own, have been made an object of his affection and loved, and adopted into his forever family! I have been made his!
   Come with me and drink in the this milk of God…. This living water of Christ and enjoy the Shalom of God. The Peace of Christ that surpasses all comprehension and explanation. He is the reason for my existence and for yours.

Indescribable Joy

You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,  because you are attaining the goal of your faith – the salvation of your souls.
(1Pet 1:8-9 NET)

Indescribable and glorious joy! Yes exactly! How is it that we who have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus have so much confidence in our salvation?

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We find it hard to describe when people ask us about this incredible joy and clear and present witness of God inside us. Yes when you are born again, it is a birth of the Spirit of the God of Life in your very soul. When you are walking in the light, forsaking sin and follow Jesus there is an indescribable burning in your bones to live only for him, to the strong calling of our home in heaven….Heaven the dwelling place of God and his dwelling place inside of me and you! Yes, his Spirit is in us even now, and when walking in the light of humility and repentance over sin, God’s joy in us is truly overflowing!
My cup overflows and surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the eternal days of life! Amen!

Jesus declared…”Come to me all you who are weak and heavy burdened and “I” will give you rest”

Why the massive suffering?

Are people who suffer catastrophes worse sinners than you or I who have it easy?

Jesus answered this saying..  “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” -Luke 13:5 ESV

You see but by the grace of God, there go we. No one is good. There is no one who continually does good and never sins as holy God had revealed to us. He has numbered our days and has sworn his Spirit will not strive with corrupted flesh forever. (Gen 6:3)

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Would you have answered this Question like Jesus did? He sees life from an entirely different perspective than most humans do; from the eternality of our souls, not from a narrow few earthly  years view.

Pastor John Piper put it this way.
“Now ponder for a moment what you would have answered at this point. What does your theology of suffering and sin call for in the face of this kind of tragedy?
What Jesus said was this. He said, “No, their sin was not extraordinarily horrible. It was ordinarily horrible, just like yours. And if you don’t repent, you too will experience a horrible end, all of you.” In other words instead of saying that they are no more sinful than we are and being amazed at their death, he says that we are just as sinful as they are and should get ready to die like they did.
What Jesus teaches, then, is that all of us are extremely sinful. We are so sinful that calamities and disasters should not shock us as though something unwarranted were coming upon innocent human beings. There are no innocent human beings. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). And what should amaze us in our sin is “not” that some are taken in calamity, but that we are spared and given another day to repent. The really amazing thing in this universe is not that guilty sinners perish, but that God is so slow to anger that you and I can sit here this morning and have one more chance to repent.”

I agree what is amazing is not that people die in disasters, but that we all do not. We we see such horrific things let us have compassion on our fellow man and do what we can to help and demonstrate love, because but by the graceful patience of God for us, we too should face calamity, and someday will. You will die in this body.  But more importantly, let this put a sense of urgency in our hearts to reach more people with the Gospel message of peace with God through repentance and faith in Christ. Because all human souls are immortal and will either have true life in Christ and resurrection, or perish in hell forever once our time here comes to an end.
    Do you really believe this? Then do something about it. Change everything and make this your passion. Follow Jesus Christ and lead others to faith in him. He was dead serious.

People Drive me Crazy!

The Life Project

Ever notice just how many people can never make up their minds about anything?  They drive me crazy!

Ever notice how many people can never seem to get things done on time?  They drive me crazy, too!IMG_20131009_113234_311

Why does everybody put things off, do things later, get back to you… procrastinate?!  It’s just too irritating, that’s all I can say about it.  Procrastinating happens when a person believes that doing something or making a decision will cause more pain and discomfort than doing nothing; so they do nothing until they see more pain and discomfort in doing nothing than doing something.  I guess that’s why most people wait until the last-minute all the time, but for crying out loud, how can we operate that way?

Maybe that’s why the politicians always wait until the last-minute to rake up the big important Bill, or pass a budget… So isn’t that just…

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Something stored in heaven for you and me

Today I am reading, meditating on this passage of scripture, 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

This Scripture is so full of hope and passion and joy! It goes on revealing that it is being written to suffering Christians everywhere, yet when we look at our immense blessings from God, even among our suffering for doing good in following Jesus, everything in this life seems silly, insignificant and petty by comparison!

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Oh the joy that floods my soul as I am reminded by God’s Spirit whose I am ! Amazing grace, and such security I have knowing that it is God himself storing for me an imperishable life; an imperishable body. It’s really being saved for up for each one of us who by faith believe and follow Jesus as Lord!
The day we truly repent from sin and choose to give our hearts to Christ, we spiritually cross over from death to life (John 5:24), but this sin struggling and decaying body we still keep, and have to learn to make submit to God’s will. Oh the struggle of that daily task at times. Some of us even are experiencing much unwanted physical pain and suffering because of messed up bodies, some are suffering because of your identity in Christ and choices to follow him, thus facing world given hardships. Let us have no doubts about it following Jesus will cost you dearly in the this world ruled by Satan and the flesh of mankind. But the joy of knowing who I am, who I belong to, and the joy of walking in the light of God, by faith in Christ, is so much better, so much worth it all!
   I just wish all my dead walking dead zombie human friends around me could taste and see you that the Lord is good …then take sure that step of faith and turn to Jesus. It literally takes a miracle.  It takes you and me walking in the light so they can see The Light even exists. It takes our steadfast love for their souls, showing them there is only one way to Life, and that is in Jesus. It takes worn out knees, praying for God to the turn their dead zombie like hearts of stone, into hearts of flesh. God must make the dead alive, we cant do you that part; so let’s do our part and live Christ around them and love them enough to tell them the truth, even if you that disturbs them or causes them to not like you. How evil of us on our part to live in fear and say nothing. God forgive us for the times we have sinned by that act of  ommission. Let us see the joy of our reward stored up by our Father in Heaven and invite many to come join us. Yes, many will decline, but many will accept when they see the love of Jesus in our eyes and hearts.
I head to Africa in a week to work with my many east African pastors and fellow Christ servants in Uganda and Kenya, and God will save many, because if only we are willing to go and share Jesus, God acts and responds with salvation. The problem is God gave this responsibility to us. So we must go, or any they perish, and their blood is on our hands. Think about this. It’s serious.
So for all who read this, pray for Holy Spirit intervention in the lives of those who will hear the Gospel so the halls of heaven will be filled with ones like me, undeserving , but SAVED by grace! You go today, and this week also to your Africa’s next door and in your towns and share Jesus. The zombie like lost are waiting on you. How will be they hear unless someone “preach”…each on us are called to be the proclaimers of the the Lords Gospel.

Come soon Lord Jesus, and find us faithful to the end, no matter what.