Shout out to Martin Luther!

Martin Luther was one of the most important figures in church history…he launched a great revolution, THE REFORMATION!  Luther was a professor, theologian, former monk, scholar, author, Bible translator and defender of the faith.  (we have a lot in common, I’m praying about the ‘former monk’ title….it might fit me someday). Martin and I are kindred spirits.  I’ve picked up a devotional called “Faith Alone” and it has now become one of my favorites.  Here is one reason why:

AN excerpt from Martin Luther, March 26…..

but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.  Galatians 5:18

When we are fiercely attacked by anger, hatred, impatience, sexual desire, sorrow, or desires of the sinful nature, we cannot get rid ourselves of these desires no matter how much we would like.  What should we do?  Should we despair? No. We ought to say, “My sinful nature fights and rages now against the Spirit.  Let it rage as long as it wants to.  I won’t give in to it.  But I will live by the Spirit and be led by him so that I won’t gratify the desires of the sinful nature.  If I do this, I am free from the law.  It will accuse and frighten me but does so in vain.”

When you are suffering temptation, you should not be upset that the devil can exaggerate sin.  At the time, he may make your sins appear so large that you fear you will be immediately and totally overcome, so that you feel nothing but the wrath of God and despair.  At that moment, don’t follow your feelings, but hold on to the words of Paul: “ If you are led by the Spirit”—that is, if you encourage yourself through faith in Christ—“you are not under law.”  Then you will have the most powerful defense with which to extinguish all the flaming arrows that the devil shoots at you(Ephesians 6:16).  All the agitation and raging of the sinful nature cannot hurt or condemn you, because you follow the Spirit and don’t give in to the sinful nature or gratify its desires.  Therefore, this is the only remedy.  When we feel the stirrings of the sinful nature raging in us, we ought to grasp the sword of the Spirit (or shotgun of the Spirit *my interpretation*) –that is, the word of salvation.  Then we will undoubtedly be victors, though we will feel the total opposite as long as the battle lasts. 

 

 

Clap your hands together and stand up for Pastor Luther! Come on, seriously good stuff!….It will accuse and frighten me but DOES SO IN VAIN!  YEAH!

Love you Marty!!

Double Edge Sword or Double Barreled Shotgun?

shooterFor the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

I went shooting the other day with my brother.  I brought some of my own targets.  He had lots of weapons to choose from.  Small and powerful.  Big and daunting.  Light and heavy.  Big bullets, little bullets. 

It was interesting that no matter which weapon I chose, as long as I aimed straight and didn’t waiver, the bullet would hit it’s mark and the target would be destroyed.  Sometimes it took just one shot, other times it would take more than one shot to blow the target into tiny pieces.  Lots of times I missed and had to re-group, re-aim and re-shoot(can you re-shoot?).  I did find that I was frustrated when I missed the target or couldn’t hit it.  I would hand the gun to my brother and tell him to shoot it! HA!  He’s a better gunman than I am.

Later that night I contemplated our quick trip to the back country.  I remembered the verse above about the word of God being a double-edged sword and I kinda liked thinking about the word of God being like a double barreled shotgun.  I was in Rambo-woman thought mode and talked to Jesus about how cool it is to think of HIS very word, being like the shotgun I handled today! 

Just like that Shotgun, the word of God is quick and powerful!  It doesn’t waste time getting deep into the soul of a person and rearranging stuff.  Blowing up what isn’t needed anymore and creating room for new life to grow!   It is powerful!!  The Word of God, this double edge sword or double barrel shotgun, is powerful to blow up strongholds, it can open your eyes wide up, it can enter where no other sword can and make a critical dissection.  It divides the soul and the spirit.  The Soul and its habitual prevailing habits, it brings down pride and bestows humility.  It can do some damage.  That Shotgun word of God can really mess things up, in a good way!  Everything that is shot with it can be obliterated.  And just like the shotgun you may need a couple rounds to get the job done.  You may even need to take a break and re-aim. There are even times when you might need to get someone in your life that’s a better gunman to help out.  The word of God is alive and active but sometimes it takes another person to help you sort it out!

And the best part is that it doesn’t matter what form the word of God comes in, it can be a little bible, a little voice, a big word on the side of a barn, or a small whisper…..no matter what it does what it was sent to do!  It does not return void!

God spoke BIG BIG to me with this Shotgun verse a month ago, maybe it will do some good damage to you as well….

2 Chronicles 20:17  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you

UNSTOPPABLE

I heard this story and I was so touched by it I wanted to share it with you.  It reminded me that we can have unstoppable hope regardless of the odds.  Our first and only opportunites can really make a difference and our dreams really can come true.

Once this boy started to walk out his dream he was unstoppable (for 4 min and 19 seconds) but the memory will last a lifetime and the experience was priceless!