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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Domain

Own. Reign. Rule. Lead. God’s kingdom is not over a piece of land or a territory that can be seen or touched.

God’s kingdom…

…the kingdom of God is with you.

Jesus, the Kingdom of God.


And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation: Neither shall they say, Look here! or Look there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is with you.

A Just God and a Saviour

The God of all creation is a just and righteous God. This means His verdict is a true and right verdict. His ruling stands and whatever He decides as a sentence is indeed justice. Likewise, this same God is a Saviour. Even saving His creation made in His likeness (like parents and children look-a-like) from His true and right judgement, which is a sentence of death for any sin committed against Him. Not death in the body alone but agonizingly death of our spirits. I can imagine the death of a body, we see it often but, that of your spirit, how horrifically sorrowful.

Here and Now:
His saving hand He reaches out long before His hand of justice. And it’s reaching out to you. Now. Grab hold of His offer of salvation from death of your spirit to life of your spirit by believing and coming to the understanding that Jesus is God and that He came into this world to do just that, taken your sentencing of death for your sins. Yet through His rising from the grave you rise too.

Saviour:
God is saving those who receive His Son Jesus Christ. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that He is God. Ultimately He is saving us from His own wrath, from the appointed day when He will deliver His verdict and then the sentence of that verdict, death death death. But now and first He offers a way to escape death and instead life life and life forever!

Choose:
“Look to Me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”

– Isaiah 45:22-23

One day He is coming. Don’t wait for that day when you will believe because then it will be too late.

I pray you choose life. And choose now.

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No Other Way

I just don’t know any other way to love Christ than to obey Him. So help me Lord, through your grace I can. I will. I do. Even as you judge me, have mercy I pray you Father in heaven, have mercy upon me. For He try’s the reins of each heart. Our outward appearance is as heavy as a single maple leaf. Thought we search for blush and lip gloss, God searches for honour and integrity, justice and truth, mercy and love, faith and faith and faith. Glory to God who makes wise the simple. Amen.


“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” 

JEREMIAH 17:9-10

“Look not on his countenance nor on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

1 SAMUEL 16:7