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Our New Home
Fall is in the air!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Freedom from the Notebook...

I found myself standing by the kitchen table the other day thumbing through one of the little notebooks that my wife always tended to carry around in her purse.  She mostly used the little booklets for her shopping and to do lists.  Occasionally she would also jot down notes from Sunday sermons in them although she usually preferred to take a clean sheet of paper for those notes so that she could store it in her bible and review the Pastor’s teachings throughout the week.
This particular green pocket-sized spiral memo book contained all the above plus notations from some of her personal daily bible studies as well.  From the dates, I could tell that this was one of the notebooks she used while we lived in Oklahoma.  It is a little funny in that I had high hopes of attending as many of the extra-curricular activities at the large international ministry based church that the Bible College was attached to while we were there.  It seemed that there was always a special service, seminar or fun activity going on.  But alas, our personal circumstances with the beginning stages of Piper’s health concerns messed up my plans!
As it turned out, when I wasn’t in school I was usually working, so Piper and our youngest daughter got to attend a whole bunch of services without me.  The positive side to this was that although she ended up not being able to attend school, Piper did get a large and concentrated dose of the powerful Word of God through all these meetings!  I am positive that this Word is what’s been keeping her going and working strongly within her right now!
But back to the notebook… One of the things that this book captures is Piper’s custom of keeping track of all her purchases when she went grocery shopping.  Like most families, there were times in our lives where we needed to keep close tabs on our budget, and Piper was always very good with our finances.  She would write down the cost of each item she put in her basket and keep a running total of her purchases so that she knew exactly where she was with her allotted budget for that shopping trip.  She had a good eye for bargains and knew which items were a better buy than others.
One of the stores we shopped in back in our hometown had a large Mexican foods section (with most items labeled in Spanish) and Piper knew that there were many items there that were the same as some of the popular name brands for a lot less money!  Let’s just say that she was a wise shopper and knew how far she could stretch a limited grocery budget!
Now that we are “empty nesters” the strains on our monthly budget have been greatly reduced.  Lately I find that I want to make up for those limited times in the past whenever I purchase things for my wife.  I want to get her all the things that she may have had to do without as she always put the kid’s needs before hers.  Yesterday I wanted to pick up some new lipstick for her and without much restraint ended up buying her the color she was running out of and another new red-wine colored tint just because I could and I knew that she would like it.  I just want to give her everything and go and do the things that we weren’t always able to do when the kids were living at home.
As I studied out the word “complete” in Colossians 2:10 this morning, I got the solid idea that this is probably a positive trait that I picked up from my Father God!  Verse nine tells us “For the full content of divine nature lives in Christ…” (GNB) and then in the next verse Paul continues saying “and God has made you complete in Christ.” (God’s Word ©)  The completeness that Paul is referring to is talking about the nature of Papa God.
Strong’s defines “complete” here as “to make replete, that is to cram.”  Being the linguistics scholar that I am, I had to look up the word “replete” and discovered it to mean “abundantly supplied or provided; as to be stuffed or gorged with food and drink.” (Dictionary.com)  You see, God’s plan is to make us complete in an abundant, overflowing and over-the-top manner!  The Apostolic Bible Polyglot states Colossians 2:10 as “And you are in him being fulfilled…”  To me this implies that it is a progressive process going on inside those of us who are actively seeking and believing for His wisdom and directions from His Word.
It is the progressive attainment of a nature that is totally different, free from and FAR exceeding that which the world’s wisdom has to offer.  It is His nature of love and grace without judgement, giving without fear of lack, and the answer to dilemmas that the world says are impossible to believe for.  It is the nature of Papa God that my wife and I have surrendered to and come to trust without question over the last six years.  It is also a way of life that we have taken a fair amount of flack over… especially from many Christians!
Lately as I read the scriptures, I get the feeling that most of us Christians are living way below the standard that God has provided for us to live.  I think that we have sold the Lord short by trying to understand His Word within the limited understanding of our own natural thinking.  Because our physical minds can’t figure it out, we tend to put up walls that deny the supernatural, miraculous attributes of our abilities in Christ!
What do you think?  I see the early church in the book of Acts living in an entirely different place than the modern church.  Miracles, the power behind the name of Jesus spoken through the mouths of the saints (and not just the Apostles), and the living expectation of what Jesus said and did working for them in and through their lives are the signs that mark that era… and as far as I can see we are still living in the same New Testament age as they were…  So, what’s wrong with this picture?
Just as most of the restraints have been removed from our budget now that the kids are grown and on their own, I think that Christians today should also be able to live free from the restraints of a life bound by the limitations of their own natural understandings and released into the exceedingly, abundantly of Papa God through the supernatural understanding of the Holy Spirit’s instruction in our lives.
Have a great day!  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s understanding of God’s promises am I expecting to live by today?”

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