Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

This Close...

                    This Close...

                                            November 23, 2013

 

 

 

Philippians 4:4-9 NKJV

 

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are  just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are  lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there  is any virtue and if there  is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

 

We tend to place emphases upon those things that did not pan out...to quote one former NFL coach, we focus on the wouldas, the couldas, and the shouldas...

 

The near misses of life can begin to cloud us spiritually into a heart of ingratitude and insensitivity to the presence of the Lord in all and every facet of life. We must always be ready, willing, and able to in every situation....

 

 

Accentuate the positive

 

The pursuit of life...Prioritize it.
The celebrations of regret...sterilize it.
The memorializing of frustration....cauterize it.

 

To cauterize is to seal off a wound or incision by burning it or freezing it, usually a hot iron, electricity, or chemicals. Metaphorically, it means to make less sensitive to feelings and emotions.

 

 

 

This close to success

 

I John 2:15-17 NKJV

 

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. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

 

Anyone who grew up around here remembers two things about the 1950s French Market....the pay toilets...and the ripoff claw machines. Both reduced your self-worth by placing a value upon your intellect and your pride.

 

As believers of God...as Children of the most high....you woke up this morning a success before your feet hit the floor. It doesn’t matter what the closing Dow Jones says or what your final checking balance for the day reflects....God has made us successes based upon who we are in Christ.

 

There is no that we can place upon ourselves that overrides our identity in Christ Jesus.

 

 

This close to fame

 

Romans 12:14-21 NKJV

 

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

 

High School reunions are great, but they can surely mess with your confidence level. God never intended for us to live in the spotlight of life, nor did his will include for us to stand in the shadow of the worldly greatness of another. Sometimes we lose sight of our ability to rejoice and live the life of worship that changes those around us by virtue of the fact that we tend to measure each other according to worldly standard.

 

As brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we can go before the throne equally...not backing in the door, not wearing the shame this world attaches to failure, but boldly before the throne of grace.

 

Earthly fame is fleeting at best. Anyone who has been around show business knows that the trail of destruction attached to fame is much more prevalent than is the handful of those who enjoy lasting fame and fortune as a servant of the earthly system. Finding our identity in Christ is the way we are to seek who we are. When our identity is filtered through the blood of Christ, our worth is defined by supernatural standard that cannot even be remotely matched by any other measure.

 

 

This close to Jesus

 

Daniel 10:7-12 NKJV

 

And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

 

Finding our identity in Christ and developing a relationship through His manifest presence creates an override system that trumps the worth system we set up for ourselves, or worse...allow others to measure us by.

 

When we are “this close” to Jesus, we have truly found he Proverbs “friend that sticks closer than a brother”. This releases us from the burden of counting on others for our validation.

 

Recognition in the eyes of Christ sees us for who we are according to God and not what we can earn for ourselves by the world’s standard. The Bible tells us that humbling ourselves before the mighty hand of God has the secondary effect of seeing God lift us up.

 

This takes the value of worldly opinion and hurtful judgment by others and buries it beneath the blood of Jesus and raises our worth to sonship rather than simply co-survivalist.

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