Still Living Green

“And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4)

Why is “greenness” important to our faith? Remember, the locusts are commanded not to touch anything green. Simply put, they can’t hurt anybody who’s walking in faith.

So, even at the height of their attacks, those who place their trust in God will stand tall, like solid, green trees. They won’t be harmed by locusts of any kind, including terrorists. The best defense against every kind of hellish attack, every scorpion-like sting, is spiritual health. And this kind of health comes only as we turn to the Lord and trust in his promises.

Let me ask you:

Do you fully trust in God’s forgiveness? Do you depend on his blood to cleanse you of every sin? If you feel condemned, and constantly strive to please God, then you’re not green and healthy. God’s greatest desire is for  you to accept his gift of forgiveness and rest in it.

My friend, Jesus loved you; Jesus loves you; Jesus will always love you—period! Jesus loves you in spite of you! There’s no iffy-ness about his love. It isn’t based on your performance; it’s based on His Grace.

I think this one truth is the greatest obstacle for many believers. We have such a works mentality. Jim Elliot, who has been one of my great heroes for many years, wrote this in his journal:

“I note that my jotting of a year ago seeks a time when I shall forget all my failure. Psalm 107 has wrought much peace of heart in this regard. Just today, I was thinking of how God loves in spite of all my sin and has promised to bring us to the ‘desired haven.’ He will perform until the day. What matters then the resident Adam? What care for my bloating pride? What concern for attacking lust whose inner fifth-column betrays me to that enemy so often? Perfect love casts out fear, and this blessed rest—in knowing He loves through all these things—makes them seem too worthless even to be thought upon. I know them. God knows them. I confess them. He forgives them. Oh that I might praise Him worthily!”

Isn’t that great? I know them . . . He knows them . . . I confess them . . . and He forgives them. It’s just that simple!

Okay, if you’ve accepted God’s forgiveness, do you also trust in his unconditional love for you?

I’ve told this story many times, so you probably heard it before, but it is so important for you to grasp what happened. Years ago I was leading a small college fellowship that met every Wednesday night. One night the meeting began and I supposed to lead the teaching but I had actually no leading what to share. So after worship, I opened it up to everyone, “Hey, what is Jesus doing in your life?”

One-by-one, like popcorn popping, people stood up and shared what Jesus was indeed doing in their lives. Some were real simple like, “The Lord help me pass last week’s test in Psychology,” or something like that. Other testimonies were more profound. But sitting in the group was a girl who had visited our group several times without really saying anything.

Whenever I looked at her it was like a dark cloud was continually over her head. I couldn’t discern what the problems were and I kept asking the Lord what to do for her, but I never received any direction or guidance regarding her. But suddenly, after several testimonies were shared, she interrupted everyone saying, “I’m sorry, but you people are talking about this ‘Jesus’ as if he’s your best buddy or something and I can’t take that.”

Well, there was the opportunity I was asking the Lord for. So I asked her, “Do you believe that Jesus loves you?”

“Oh, sure. He loves everyone . . .”

“Ah, that’s not what I asked you. I asked, does Jesus love you?

“Oh sure . . .”

I walked over to her and knelt in front of her and as I held her hands, said, “No, please hear me. Does Jesus love YOU?”

She broke down in tears and admitted, “No, there is no way he could . . .”

All around the group, 60 some students were at that moment praying for her . . .

By the end of the night she was in tears and surrendering her life to the Lord.

Now that would be a great story in itself, but when she came in the following week, the dark cloud had disappeared and she was almost floating on the clouds. The night before our prayers the previous week, her brother had received the Lord and began praying for her. Obviously the Lord heard his prayers!

Hallelujah! Many of us hold hidden fears and pain that only an outpouring of God’s Spirit can heal. Our Lord doesn’t cut us off every time we fail. He doesn’t constantly look over our shoulder, demanding we get it right. He simply asks that we come to him, confessing, “I believe your Word, Lord. Forgive me, wash me, hold me in your arms.”

I’ve told this story many times, so you probably heard it before, but it is so important for you to grasp what happened. Years ago I was leading a small college fellowship that met every Wednesday night. One night the meeting began and I supposed to lead the teaching but I had actually no leading what to share. So after worship I opened it up to everyone, “Hey, what is Jesus doing in your life?”

One-by-one, like popcorn popping, people stood up and shared what Jesus was indeed doing in their lives. Some were real simple like, “The Lord help me pass last week’s test in Psychology,” or something like that. Other testimonies were more profound. But sitting in the group was a girl who had visited our group several times without really saying anything.

Whenever I looked at her it was like a dark cloud was continually over her head. I couldn’t discern what the problems were and I kept asking the Lord what to do for her, but I never received any direction or guidance regarding her. But suddenly, after several testimonies were shared, she interrupted everyone saying, “I’m sorry, but you people are talking about this ‘Jesus’ as if he’s your best buddy or something and I can’t take that.”

Well, there was the opportunity I was asking the Lord for. So I asked her, “Do you believe that Jesus loves you?”

“Oh, sure. He loves everyone . . .”

“Ah, that’s not what I asked you. I asked, does Jesus love you?

“Oh sure . . .”

I walked over to her and knelt in front of her and as I held her hands, said, “No, please hear me. Does Jesus love YOU?”

She broke down in tears and admitted, “No, there is no way he could . . .”

All around the group, 60 some students were at that moment praying for her . . .

By the end of the night she was in tears and surrendering her life to the Lord.

The next week she entered our meeting as if she were walking on a cloud. Now that would be a great story in itself, but when she came in the following week the dark cloud had disappeared and she was almost floating on the clouds. The night before our prayers the previous week, her brother had received the Lord and began praying for her. Obviously the Lord heard his prayers!

Hallelujah! Many of us hold hidden fears and pain that only an outpouring of God’s Spirit can heal.

God’s desire for us is that we live each and every day without fear. So, don’t allow Satan to accuse you with a failure from the past. If you have repented of it, then you’re covered by Christ’s precious, cleansing blood.

Here’s God’s promise to everyone who places their trust in him: “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright” (Psalm 20:7-8).

Father, you are glorious and this morning I thank you that you have seemed fit to bring me into your family; I am able to cry to you, “Father, Abba! My blessed Lord!” I stand before you this morning victorious and proud to be in your family. Thank you for your abundance of Grace and Forgiveness. I will never again bring up my past failures to you. Like the Psalmist I confess that I have thrown in my lot with you and I’m not budging (Psalm 26:1) I walk free of all my past failures and sins and I will spend my days in your Presence rejoicing.

Nickolas
Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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