Report Card

Today I found and read thoroughly through my grade 8 final report card, line-by-line. “Natashia” it begins, in one of the few commentary sections of the three-page document. There it was, my name, my grades (for every single course taken that year), my class average, and of course, the number of days I was late or absent from school.

Nearly 20 years ago and it now intrigued me more than ever before. Reading through teacher comments and advice to me and, (consequently my mom), of what I needed to focus on more to understand, develop and refine growth in the education of such intelligence, such as, the sciences and mathematics, reading and writing, and so forth.

As I looked at my overall student average, I could see clearly it was average indeed, that is, to the class average. Most of us did fine, okay. Satisfactory, is what they named it. I have since changed, thankfully. But as a looked at my grade 8 marks, I smiled at some, stared wide-eyed at others, while glancing over most – the more abundant average ones.

What is it about average? It’s not failing, though it’s certainly not excelling. Most the class was average in their grades that year – our graduating year. Cleary the marks I smiled at were above average. I excelled. I went over and beyond satisfactory! I did well. Very well.

The wide-eyed grades, well, they were below the class average. Way below. Yet still I spent much more time thinking on the one or two, than the satisfactory ones.

Later on having tucked away my report card so I can ‘discover’ it another 20 years from now, Christ willing, I picked up my bible and began reading in Matthew chapter 5.

Jesus teaching…

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Soon after, I began thinking about that report card and then of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, self-control, meekness, and faith. Finally, I spoke softly, “Holy Spirit, I wonder what grade you would give me in these “subjects” – areas of your teachings.” I sat, stayed quiet. Then, I began to write this note – blog.

LUKEWARM

Could the ails of being satisfactory be likened to that of lukewarm? In the book of Revelation, Jesus commands John to write to the seven churches. Through the letters to the churches, we read passages where the Lord is pleased and not pleased with attitudes and lifestyles and practices that are either right before God or evil before God. He warns and beckons “repent.” And, He encourages, “I know your works, and charity, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first…”

Why would God say in Revelation 3:15, that He would prefer that they (the people of the church in Laodicea) were cold OR hot? With the understanding that, to be hot is to be as we say – on fire for God – meaning of course, being spiritually fervent and filled with His Spirit, walking after His ways willingly and devotedly by His sufficient grace and everlasting mercies. To be hot is obviously the mark, but why then does Christ also makes mention of being cold rather than lukewarm…if you’re not hot?

Well, to be cold is to know that you are at opposite ends of hot. Not even close, and far from it – which is good, evidently. You see, the soul that is turned from God and knows it, might turn to God, but the soul that is turned from God and does not know it, or believe it, cannot ever turn to God. The lukewarm soul – the person who is turned at some angle(s) away from Almighty God, is not fully surrendered to God. That person or perhaps you, continue living this life believing that you “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength,” yet all actually means all and not some. Hot is hot – fully. Cold is cold – fully. But, and this is the BIG BUT, lukewarm isn’t hot and, it isn’t cold.


Beloved, if you, like me, need to and will to pray, pray.

Search me Lord. Evaluate me. Judge me and tell me what You find. For You only are able to judge righteously and You only can see my heart and know its thoughts entirely. And then Lord reveal to me what in me and of me pleases You, what I must continue doing in Your grace and truth and also Lord, reveal to me what I must turn away from. I pray this in Your name that is above every name ever named, Jesus. Amen.

And now may the Good Shepherd give to you and I, ears to hear what the Spirit will say.

POUR OUT

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Lead Me Home

Jesus, “Your heart is my desire”, Jesus.

Jesus, Your journey tests my faith, Jesus.

Jesus, You are my Shepherd, Jesus.

Jesus, I am your sheep, Jesus.

Jesus, You are my day, Jesus. You are my night.

Jesus, You’ve done this, Jesus. You’ve made my heart live. You’ve put in me Your own Spirit, Jesus.

Jesus.

Jesus, You love me.

You love me, Jesus.

Jesus, Oh Jesus. Jesus.

Lead me home.

Jesus, lead us home.

 

 

God.

As much as God has greatly revealed Himself through Christ and even lives in His people through His Spirit and is known and understood by the accounts told in His word, the Bible, there are still wondrous unimaginable marvelous aspects of Almighty God in which is not known to us, not now, not here.

Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elijah… these and others were, as the scriptures revel, close to God in the understanding that the Lord spoke to them often (Moses “face-to-face”) and reveled great mysteries to them using them in mighty ways. Yet still, even they didn’t know the half, so to speak, of the revelation of God.

Christ’s apostles, particularity John, Peter and James, were as close to God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, as anyone ever was while He was here on the earth in human form. They rested their heads on Him, they walked with Him, ate with Him, ministered with Him, learning and watching and listening and receiving from God. Yet still, even they and, Paul the apostle by the will of God, did not know God fully. None here on the earth has ever and will never know God fully, understand God fully. None. Not me, not you.

Paul wrote,

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

When Christ the Lord Jesus reveled Himself in His glory to John, John’s response was…

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

John was in great and awesome fear, holy and reverence, after seeing Jesus standing before him in His glory. How frightening. How wonderfully terrible and awe-striking to have seen God Almighty in His glory. And that’s just seeing Him.

“Lift your eyes up. God is greater than what you think He is. Whatever you can see, Christ is greater. The vision you have of Christ is crucial. It’s has to effect the way you live out your life. Effect your love for Him. Effect your obedience to Him. Effect your priorities. The bigness and smallness of what God has created is overwhelming. Not just above but even in all things, filling all things, the ant and the great white shark, the stars and sand, with meaning.” – Discover the Word

Lift your eyes up and let it filter down inside your being that God is God. How do you explain God or come to some kind of understanding? His name. I AM.

Christ Jesus, “…the one who fills all things in every way.”

Breathe. The worlds do not revolve around you. They revolve around God.

Breathe. You are alive. Live in Christ.

Breathe. He is as near as He is far. Wonder in Him.

Breathe. Delight and take great comfort and joy in what is known of God and, that which is unknown of Him be still stand back and know that He. Is. God.

 

Obedience.

“To love is to do.”

This is a true saying. A very true saying indeed. I have desired greatly to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, all my mind, all my strength and all my soul…just as He commands us and reveals to us that this is the greatest command of all. Yes, this command has been my single most sought after desire — to love God.

And to love Him, He made it clear to me after I had neglected a work He gave me to complete, is to obey. Obey Him.

Hear

Hear what the Lord says. Hear with your heart. Hear with you mind. Hear with you ears. Hear with your eyes. Hear what God said and what He will say to you.

Believe

I have recently understood that the ‘great’ men of faith that I often hear about in regards to the scripture Hebrews 11, are not great at all. Truly it was and is God’s greatness that is so admirable and such a wonder and strength. These men were as we are this day, men. It was their faith, as the passage details, that worked. Truly they believed what God said, what God promised, what God declared. They Believed And what they did and did not do, proved it, (their faith – belief of what God spoke).

Believe what the Lord has said and what He will say to you. And after you have heard and believed, do.

Do

Doing is the part that measures your love. Not what you feel. Do whatever you have heard from God. Give to it life as He so leads and gives grace and power and strength to do.

Jesus said, if you love Him keep His commands. Jesus said blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.

The Spirit of Almighty God leads and instructs in the way that you should go and, He will guide you with His eye but, you must DO as you have HEARD.

Finish

Bring to a completion what you have heard and what you have set out to do by Christ, in Christ, for Christ. Determine in you heart and pray the God of heaven and earth be your help and your refuge, that indeed for His glory the task(s) in which He sets before you is completed just as He ordained it to be.

Finally,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.