I Was Totally Unprepared for This Kiss

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 9

One morning while I was spending focused time with Jesus, a strong desire rose up within me to experience His affections. I picked up Mike Bickle’s book, The Pleasures of Loving God, and turned to the chapter that describes the longings of the bride of Christ. The following is a paraphrase of what I read:

Something powerful is awakened in us when we truly know and feel our Bridegroom’s enjoyment of us, and we respond in abandonment to Him. Even a little knowledge of how much He enjoys us goes a very long way. Our love for Jesus rests on the assurance that we are not only wanted and pursued by Him, but that He also enjoys and delights in us.*

Hmmm … I am wanted, pursued, enjoyed, and delighted in by Jesus. My heart was stirred as I read this, and the thought went through my mind, The only way we can truly enjoy our relationship with Jesus is to experience His enjoyment of us. This caused me to pray, “Lord, help me experience Your emotions for me. I want to feel what You feel for me.” Have you ever heard the expression, “Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it”? I was totally unprepared for the kiss I was about to receive from my affectionate Bridegroom.

I turned on some beautiful music, got on my knees, and just sat at His feet, worshipping Him. I was moved to tears, and in my mind’s eye I could see them wetting His nail-scarred feet. All of a sudden, this overwhelming emotion came over me. I saw Jesus (also in my mind’s eye) clothed in the royal garments of a prince, much like we see in movies set in medieval times. He was trying to get to me so that He could lavish me with His love. But something was holding Him back.

I began to realize that the barrier was not a something but a someone. It was the hand of Father God. I wondered why He was restraining Jesus. In response to my unspoken thought, I heard a gentle voice in my mind, If I allowed My Son to lavish you with His full affection while you are in your mortal body, you wouldn’t be able to bear it.

I heard a gentle voice in my mind, “If I allowed My Son to lavish you with His full affection while you are in your mortal body, you wouldn’t be able to bear it.”

Even now, as I reflect on this vision, it brings tears to my eyes. Although we will not be able to experience the fullness of His intense affection for us until we are clothed with our glorified bodies, it doesn’t hurt to ask Him to help us experience as much of it as possible while we are on this earth (1 Cor. 15:50–55). Go ahead, ask! You won’t be disappointed.

Not long after that personal revelation of the magnitude of Jesus’s affections for me, I shared this experience with a close friend of mine, who also has a heart for the romance of our Bridegroom. Later that evening, along with our good friends, Ben & Jerry, we were watching a remake of the Cinderella story called Ever After. At the end of the movie, Prince Henry of France has just left his botched, arranged wedding to a Spanish princess, where they both realized that their hearts would not allow them to go through with the ceremony. Each of them was in love with a commoner. In this scene, Henry has just arrived at the brooding castle where Danielle, the peasant girl he has fallen in love with, is being held captive by a sinister villain.

Danielle manages to escape at the same time Henry rides up on his horse. As he dismounts and walks toward her, she bows her head in shame, painfully aware of her soiled appearance. With an orphan shoe in his hand, Henry drops to one knee, declares that she is his match in every way, and asks her to be his wife.

As I watched this tender scene (which, by the way, is our love story), I realized that Prince Henry’s attire was the same as what Jesus was wearing in the vision He had given me. I told my friend this, and her face lit up as she grinned and said, “Those are his wedding garments!” I understood then that the vision had an even richer meaning: It is the Bridegroom love that our physical bodies would not be able to endure if we were to fully experience it while on this earth. Oh, how He loves us!

It is the Bridegroom love that our physical bodies would not be able to endure if we were to fully experience it while on this earth. Oh, how He loves us!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would love to interact with you concerning its content by asking, “Have you ever personally experienced Jesus’s affection for you, where you could actually feel what He was feeling?” If so, I would love to hear your story. If not, go ahead and ask Him! You won’t be disappointed.

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

*Mike Bickle, The Pleasures of Loving God (Lake Mary, Fla.: Charisma House, 2000), 111.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Kim K. Francis
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Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

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Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Part 2)

Are Believers in Christ Already Heaven-Ready ... or Not?

In last Wednesday’s post, “Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Part 1), I addressed a concern I have about well-meaning Bible teachers and authors (I used to be one of them) telling Christians what they need to be doing to get themselves ready for His return.

I shared how in my search for answers I came to the conclusion (I believe with the Lord’s influence) that there is nothing more the bride of Christ has to do to be ready for His return (or physical death–whichever comes first), for she was made Heaven-ready the moment she believed in (into) Him.

I also explained that, while we are Heaven-ready already, this does not give us a license to act ungodly (see Titus 2:11-13). In retrospect, I would like to add that the deepest desire of the Christian’s new heart (whether he or she realizes it or not) is to express Christ’s love and life, not to sin:

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Rom. 6:17-18 NASB)

Today we are going to take a closer look at what the Bible says about Christ’s bride making herself ready for His return:

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8 NASB)

The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is usually my study translation of choice, but not in this case. The wording here could easily be misinterpreted because it implies that Christ’s bride “makes herself ready” for her marriage to Him by clothing herself with “righteous acts,” i.e., performing righteous deeds. This flies directly in the face of grace.

I was disappointed to find that all but 15 percent of the English translations of this passage at BibleGateway.com referred to righteous acts or deeds performed by Christ’s bride as being the necessary ingredient for making herself ready for her marriage to Him.

The 21st Century King James Version (KJ21); the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC);  the Blue  Red and Gold Letter Bible (BRG); the 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV); the Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB); the King James Version (KJV); the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV); and The Message (MSG) were the only translations that described the fine, bright, and clean linen as the “righteousness” rather than the “righteous acts” of the saints. Since you are probably more familiar with the King James Version than any of the others listed, let’s look at this passage in that translation:

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saintsAnd he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Rev. 19:7-9 KJV)

What exactly is the “righteousness of saints”? I believe we can find the answer by looking at a Scripture from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:21 NASB)

Jesus became sin on our behalf so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. The “righteousness of saints” is the very righteousness of God. This verse does not say that believers in Christ possess the righteousness of God; it says they are the righteousness of God!

When did we become the righteousness of God? When we believed in Jesus. We were made righteous not by our righteous acts, but the one righteous act of Christ (offering Himself on the cross) on our behalf:

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (Rom. 5:17-18 NASB)

If you are a believer in Christ and you are having trouble accepting the truth that you are the righteousness of God, asked Him to give you revelation concerning this seemingly-too-good-to-be-true news (it’s the best news ever!).

And speaking of the best news ever, MercyMe recently released their newest album, Lifer, which has a wonderful song titled, “Best News Ever” on it. Go ahead, take a listen, and by all means, let go of every wrong notion you have ever entertained that you aren’t Heaven-ready already!

Dear reader, I would like to close by asking you a few questions:

  1. Do you believe you are Heaven-ready already?
  2. If yes, go ahead and celebrate! Singing, shouting, and dancing are permissible.
  3. If no, why don’t you believe you are Heaven-ready already?

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by Him!

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 8

Several years ago, a slogan for a popular candy bar communicated the message that, unless you actually tasted and swallowed the candy bar, you would never know how satisfying it was.

It’s the same with Jesus’s Bridegroom love. You will never know how satisfying and intoxicating it is until you experience His exclusive love for you, His cherished bride. “O, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps. 34:8).

One day, during a particularly sweet season of Jesus’s wooing my heart in His Bridegroom love, I was perusing the CDs of love songs at one of our local discount stores. I enjoy listening to music to fan the flame of love in my heart for Him, so when I discovered several CDs filled with classic romantic ballads, I immediately bought them (they were cheap) and couldn’t wait to get home to start listening to them.

Well, you can imagine my disappointment as I opened each one, played it, and realized it was not done by the original singers. It just wasn’t the same! I wanted the real deal, and all I got was a lot of cheap substitutes. Every kind of worldly love is a cheap substitute when compared to the unconditional, fiery love of our spiritual Bridegroom.

Jesus is so good to use earthly examples to drive deep biblical truths in my mind. For instance, many people today use artificial sweeteners in place of real sugar in order to cut calories but still enjoy the sweet taste. I watched a spot on the 700 Club one day that grabbed my attention. They were discussing different sugar substitutes, saying that even though the products may taste like sugar, your body still knows it’s not getting the real thing. You will continue to crave real sugar even after you consume the substitutes.

I thought, It’s the same with earthly loves. When we try to get our need for love met through any other means than a vibrant love relationship with Christ, we will always come up short.

Jesus’s Bridegroom love for us far surpasses even the beautiful committed love of married couples. Every great love affair eventually gets past the first-love feelings of the relationship, but Jesus never gets over His lovesickness for us. Bottom line: Christ never intended for our earthly mate to completely fulfill us. That’s something only He can do (Col. 2:10).

Jude’s epistle urges us to keep ourselves in the love of God (verse 21). In other words, “keep the home fires burning.” In Christ’s message given to the apostle John for the church at Ephesus, He rebukes them, saying, “You do not love me now as you did at first” (Rev. 2:4 GNT). Then, in the next verse, he urges them to change their minds about the most important aspect of their relationship. One translation says, “It’s time to rethink and change your ways” (Rev. 2:5 VOICE). He’s essentially saying, “The secret to loving is living loved by Me. If everything you do does not come from the foundation of My love, it means nothing. It all begins with letting Me love you.”

Dear Christian, if we are not allowing Jesus to love us unconditionally day in and day out, how can we love God, others, and ourselves authentically? It all starts with our willingness to taste (receive, experience) His one-of-a-kind love for us. Go ahead, taste and see for yourself how sweet it is to be loved by Him!

I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I would like to close by asking you to take a few moments to think about all the loves in your life that Jesus’s love is better than. Please comment below with your answers to the following fill-in-the-blank:

Jesus, Your love for me is better than _____________________.

 

Until next time,

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
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Ready or Not, Here I Come! (Part 1)

Are Believers in Christ Already Heaven-Ready ... or Not?

The title of today’s post may remind you of hide and seek, a childhood game you used to play. As soon as the seeker finishes counting, he or she yells, “Ready or not, here I come!” and begins searching for everyone who is hiding. The first one found is the loser and he or she has to be the seeker in the next round.

My grandchildren, Logan and Sidney, love this game. The thrill of finding those who are hidden trumps most of the other games they enjoy playing.

Sadly, though, some well-meaning Bible teachers use this post title as a scare tactic to motivate believers in Christ to get their act together because, “Ready or not, Christ is coming back, and if He finds His bride not performing well, the consequences could be severe.”

I agree that there are real earthly consequences to the sinful choices we make, and I assure you, I am not making light of ungodly behavior. Behavior matters. I love the following passage in Paul’s epistle which clearly instructs Christians to “deny ungodliness”:

The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:11-13 NASB).

But what I don’t agree with is when influential Bible teachers use fear-based methods in order to influence Christians to act better … or else.

In 2006, Steven and I founded a ministry called His Heart’s Desire Ministries. Our tagline was “Preparing the Bride of Christ for His Soon Return.” At that time, because of what I had been studying and listening to, the ministry’s mission was to help the church, Christ’s bride, get ready for His return (or physical death, whichever comes first).

How? you might ask. By telling her how much He loves her, who He is in her, and who she is in Him. By teaching her how to allow Christ to live His life through hers, she would be getting herself ready for His return. (Guys, please don’t let the feminine pronouns throw you. If you are a believer in Christ, you are just as much His bride as your believing wife, mother, sister, friend, or coworker.)

Makes complete sense, right? It did to me for the longest time. Until. Until nagging questions began to creep into my mind. Thoughts like, How much is enough to be prepared? How will I know when I am ready for His return? I even asked a long-time spiritual mentor who was teaching on this subject, “If Christ’s bride isn’t ready right now, then what will it take for her to get ready?” An honest question to which I did not receive a clear answer.

While some of these questions may seem unimportant (or even a little OCD) to you, they were significant to me. (I sometimes have a tendency to lean toward the analytical, serious side.)

After much unsettled searching, I realized something (I believe that Christ’s Spirit was influential in my realization). Every one of these questions had to do with what I was doing to make myself ready … my performance … my obedience … my track record. Didn’t Christ die for my sins and make me a brand-new creation in Him so that my life would no longer be about my track record, but His (which, by the way, was perfect)? Wasn’t I saved by grace through faith, and not by anything I did, but through the gift of God, so that I couldn’t boast about my own salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)?

One of the answers I got to these questions was, “Yeah, we are saved by grace and can’t do anything to lose our salvation, but if we don’t __________, __________,  and __________ (you can fill in the blanks), we will miss out on the rewards in His coming kingdom.”

Okay, so let me get this straight. The bride of Christ needs to make herself ready today so that she can enjoy future rewards in Heaven? Do we really have to wait until we hit Heaven to enjoy the rewards of being in Christ? What could be a greater reward than enjoying Christ’s love and life right here, right now?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not trying to downplay how wonderful Heaven will be for those of us who are in Christ. I believe we should look forward to that glorious day when we will receive glorified bodies unstained by sin that will never feel pain or age. What I am trying to do is emphasize how much we can  enjoy our relationship with Christ today, simply because we are His.

Christian, something else I would like you to consider while making up your mind about whether or not you are currently Heaven-ready is this: Jesus told the thief on the cross who believed in Him before he died, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43 NASB). The thief was promised that he would be with Jesus in Paradise that very day. And he didn’t have to do one thing to get ready, except believe in Jesus before he died.

Is it possible that the only thing Christ’s bride has to do to be ready for His return (or physical death, whichever comes first) is something she’s already done, which is to believe in (into) Him? The very act that made her His bride? Could it really be that simple? I believe the answer to every one of those questions is a resounding Yes!!!

I’m sorry, but I’m no longer buying the message that some well-meaning Bible teachers and authors are selling: Here is a list of what Christ’s bride needs to be doing to get ready for His return … I believe it is vital to question long-held assumptions and beliefs, testing them against what the Bible says and asking our internal Teacher, Christ’s Spirit, to give us revelation.

In next Wednesday’s post, “Ready or Not, Here I Come! Part 2,” we will take a closer look at what Scripture says about Christ’s bride making herself ready for His return.

Dear reader, I would like to close by asking you a few questions:

  1. Have you been wondering if you were ready for Christ’s return?
  2. If yes, has today’s post content given you clarification?
  3. If no, have you given much thought to how end-time events will play out?

Until next time,

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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How Many Were Crucified with Christ? If Your Answer Is”Two,” This Post Will Surprise You

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 7

Today is Good Friday, the day that Christians around the world commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death at Calvary over 2000 years ago. I plan to pull out my DVD, The Passion of the Christ, and watch it once again in order to remember the horrific price my Savior paid so that I could enjoy eternal life in union with Him forever.

I would have answered “two” to this post’s title question up until the year 2003. That is when God caused my view of the Christian life to go from that of rabbit-ear reception to high definition. And just like I wouldn’t even consider the thought of going back to rabbit-ear viewing after several years with my  HDTV, I won’t give my old, rudimentary view of what happened at Calvary the time of day.

In the following excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, you will find the answer (which may surprise you) to my post’s title question:

We hear again and again of the believer’s forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus, but how often do we hear that we become a brand-new person at salvation? I must admit that we hear of our new identity in Christ more often now than we did while I was growing up. But still, the meaning of our newness is vague and hardly ever elaborated.

In this section, we are going to examine the spiritual principles of substitution and identification in order to gain a greater understanding of what actually (not theoretically) happened to us when we believed in Christ.

In substitution, Christ died for us—as a substitute in our place—on the cross. Let’s look at some scriptures that illustrate this truth.

  • “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
  • “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (Isa. 53:6).
  • “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
  • “The love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5:14).
  • “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him” (1 Thess. 5:9–10).
  • “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

All of the above scriptures show that Christ—in His fleshly body—underwent a horrifying, excruciating death in our place, so that our physical bodies (where we live) wouldn’t have to be subjected to an actual crucifixion.

When we say that we identify with another person, we are saying that we share something in common with that person. In identification, we (our spirit man—who we are) literally shared the entire experience of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension with Him. Our old self (our sin nature) died with Him on the cross and was buried with Him (burial shows the finality of death). Then, we were born again in His resurrection (a pure, righteous, and holy nature) and are now seated with Him in heaven. Let’s look at some scriptures that illustrate this truth.

  • “Our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin for he who has died is freed from sin” (Rom. 6:6–7).
  • “The love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died” (2 Cor. 5:14).
  • “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20 NKJV).
  • “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4–6).
  • “He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (Col. 1:22).
  • “Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions” (Col. 2:12–13).
  • “If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Col. 3:1–4).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3).
  • “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

Please notice that 2 Corinthians 5:14 and 1 Peter 2:24 illustrate both principles of substitution and identification. Although the spiritual principle of identification is rarely taught, the abundance of scriptures provided in support of it cannot be denied.

If I would have experienced the revelation as a nine-year-old “newbie” in Christ that not only did He die for me, but the bad me died with Him and the good me was born again in His resurrection, I believe my life would have gone down an entirely different path.

If we fully understood the truth of our complete forgiveness and identification with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension, Easter (Resurrection Sunday) would mean much, much more to us. It wasn’t just two people who were crucified with Christ that day at Calvary; every believer in Christ was crucified with Him. And three days later, when He was resurrected from the tomb, everyone who died with Him was reborn in His resurrection.

This Resurrection Sunday, I pray that you, dear reader, will take some time to let this amazing truth sink in. I’m planning to.

Christian, if you are having a difficult time understanding how you could have been crucified with Christ over 2000 years ago, I believe watching this video by Bill and Anabel Gillham could help you understand this spiritual reality:

In closing, I would like to ask you some questions:

  1. Christian, did you know the truth about your identification with Christ in His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension prior to reading this post?
  2. If so, how has knowing this truth changed your life?
  3. If not, ask God to give you revelation knowledge concerning this truth and how it can help you live the life of liberty that was purchased for you at Calvary.
  4. If you are not a believer in Christ and would love to be united with Him forever, ask Him right now to immerse you into His life. You can be sure that He will give you eternal life if that is your heart’s desire. 

I would love to rejoice with you if you asked Christ to join you to His life forever. You can let me know in a private message through emailing me or share your wonderful news below as a comment. I also invite you to ask any questions you may now have about your new life in Christ. I would be honored to help you grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18 NASB). If I don’t know the answers, I will seek the One who does in my response to you.

You may also find it helpful to read my post, “The Most Important Verse in the Bible.”)

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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A Book Review on Peter Lord’s “Turkeys & Eagles”

How God Used a Thirty-Year-Old Book to Cause My Heart to Soar

Just because a book has been in print for almost thirty years doesn’t mean it packs a less powerful punch for those who read it today.

Although I have read and recommended many books to others, this is the first review I’ve ever written. If you are a seasoned book reviewer, I am apologizing ahead of time.

Throughout my years in Christendom, I have heard pastors and Bible teachers share brief anecdotes on the theme of this enlightening and inspiring book. But it wasn’t until a few months ago while I was at my mother-in-law’s (a fellow Christian book-lover), that I spotted the original source for all of these stories–Peter Lord’s Turkeys & Eagles, published in 1987 by Christian Books Publishing House in Auburn, Maine.

I was so excited when she said I could borrow it. I took it home with the intention of reading it right away, put it on a shelf in my library, and quickly forgot about it in the midst of every other item on my to-do list.

It wasn’t until last week while I was editing a portion of my Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, that, out of necessity, I pulled it from the shelf and began devouring it. Have you ever had the thought, “I can’t believe I’ve had this treasure within my reach all this time without enjoying its contents!”

Sometimes I think that and then I realize God’s timing is always perfect. He knows the best time to call our attention to something when we will receive the most benefit.

Turkeys & Eagles is a quick and easy read (I read it in a couple of hours), containing all of 101 pages. The first two sentences in the preface were enough to lure me in: “We are all in danger of falling into the same trap that Adam and Eve fell into. They were tempted to become something they already were.”

I emphasized the word already in this quote because God has used this word again and again in my life to cause me to experience the liberating truths of the finished work of Christ. In fact, one of my blog categories is titled “Done Deal” because  this topic is near and dear to my heart. I have already written several posts concerning this eternal reality for believers in Christ.

Lord begins the book by inviting his readers to take a short test consisting of nine true and false and four short answer questions. He lets his readers know that they will revisit their answers after they are finished reading the story to see how well they scored.

Turkeys & Eagles is about two newborn sibling eaglets, Hagen and his sister, Selin, who have been unintentionally abandoned by their eagle parents. You may be wondering how parents could unintentionally abandon their children. That’s something you will find out when you read the book. (Notice I said when, not if.)

Afraid they are going to starve to death, Hagen and Selin leave the comfort of their aerie to find food. They soon encounter a flock of turkeys, whose confident and compassionate leader, Brant, decides to adopt these two “little turkeys” into his family.

For awhile, Hagen and Selin are elated over their being taken in by these odd-looking birds. There is plenty of turkey food (though not very satisfying) to eat and they are no longer alone.

As time passes, Selin seems to readily adapt to the turkey way of life. But something deep within her brother’s heart tells him there’s got to be a more to life than gobbling (turkeys can be pretty noisy at times) and hunting for turkey food. Sometimes he gets this overwhelming desire to flap his wings and soar above the clouds, but then quickly realizes how ridiculous the idea seems. After all, turkeys don’t fly.

The rest of Hagen’s journey entails how his discontent drives him to seek real answers to his nagging questions. And with the guidance of a wise old bird, he is able to find the truth about who he really is and the kind of life he is meant to live.

While I was unable to locate an audio version of this book, I was able to find two messages that Lord gave on it at DiscipleshipLibrary.com, titled Eagles and Turkeys and Fly with Eagles While Living with Turkeys.

Dear reader, I hope my review of Turkeys & Eagles has sparked within you a desire to read it. I would like to close by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. Have you read Turkeys & Eagles and/or heard messages related to its general theme? 
  2. If so, how has this theme affected your life? If not, would you like to read Turkeys & Eagles now?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
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Catch the Foxes

His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love - Excerpt 6

Christian, have you ever been stupefied over some of the thoughts that go through your mind? Even worse, have these thoughts caused you to feel condemned and wondering, “If I am a brand-new creation in Christ, how could I possibly think such things?” I know I have.

In today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, we are going to discuss the daily battle going on in the believer’s mind and the battle plan Christ gives us in His Word so that we can walk in daily victory.

The verse we are going to focus on today is Song of Solomon 2:15:

“Catch the foxes for us,
The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards,
While our vineyards are in blossom.”


Catch the foxes for us

An entire library could be written on the importance of following our Beloved’s command to catch the foxes. These foxes are the lies being fed to our minds by our enemy, and it is our responsibility to “catch” them.

These foxes are the lies being fed to our minds by our enemy, and it is our responsibility to catch them.

A New Testament parallel to this verse is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. In this epistle, he was responding to the accusations of false teachers who had infiltrated the church and were attacking his integrity and authority as an apostle. Rather than viewing this conflict as a battle against flesh and blood, Paul recognized that it was a spiritual battle and described it in the language of military warfare:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASB).

Please notice that Paul is not referring to walking by the flesh (in dependence on the flesh), but walking in the flesh in this passage. This means that we live in a physical realm experienced through our physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Paul is pointing out that the battle he is experiencing is one in which the real culprits are hidden from his natural radar. His battle is against the unseen spiritual fortresses of “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God.”

Paul is pointing out that the battle he is experiencing is one in which the real culprits are hidden from his natural radar.

The Greek words used for speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God refer to thoughts that are hostile or antagonistic to Christ and His Word. These thoughts can rightfully be described as enemies of Christ because they oppose Him and His Word. And Paul instructs us to take every one of these enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

Practically speaking, what does it mean for us to take these enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ? First, the obvious must be stated. Soldiers capture their enemies, not their fellow soldiers. These enemy thoughts cannot originate within the new heart of a believer. I will say that again, just in case you didn’t catch it the first time. These enemy thoughts cannot originate within the new heart of a believer. They are introduced through sources outside the new heart. One of these sources is the flesh—the patterns stored in our physical brains that are rooted in deception and interfere with our dependence on Christ’s Spirit. Let’s take a look at a diagram of “The Flesh.”


Please notice that these patterns are not part of, but are outside our new man (our spiritual hearts). A commonly held misconception is that the thoughts of man are generated in the brain. Yet scripture describes them as being formed in the heart or spirit (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; Luke 1:51; Heb. 4:12).

Our brain is a computer where information is received, processed, and stored. Information received from our environment through our physical senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch will either reflect truth or lies, depending on its original source. Information that comes from our new hearts (the union of our new spirit with Christ’s Spirit) will always reflect truth. All truth ultimately finds its origin in Jesus (John 14:6). At the opposite end of the spectrum is Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). The word father in Greek means “generator.” All lies are generated by our enemy.

Information, whether in the form of truth or lies, enters our brains as thoughts. These thoughts could be classified as godly (truth), neutral (factual truth), or ungodly (lies). The believer’s brain can receive ungodly thoughts from outside sources, but ungodly thoughts cannot be generated in his or her new heart. Further evidence of this can be found when we examine what it means to take ungodly, enemy thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. Let’s look at Philippians 2:8 to find out what the “obedience of Christ” was:

“Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8 NASB).
 The obedience of Christ was “death on a cross.” Let’s look at Romans 5:19 to see what the obedience of Christ accomplished:

“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

Through Christ’s humble obedience in laying down His life on the cross, He caused all who would believe in Him to become the righteousness of God through their co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Him (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6; 1 Pet. 1:3). Those who are “the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ” cannot generate unrighteous (ungodly) thoughts. They have “the mind of Christ,” which means they possess His thoughts, feelings, and purposes (1 Cor. 2:16 AMPC). To “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” then, means to judge the thoughts we experience in light of the truth of our righteous identity in Christ.

To “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” then, means ‘to judge the thoughts we experience in light of the truth of our righteous identity in Christ.’

If the thoughts we experience are ungodly, they didn’t come from our new hearts but from sources outside of it, which ultimately find their genesis in Satan. If they are godly, they either came from our new hearts (new spirits united with Christ’s Spirit) or godly outside sources, such as the Bible. If they are neutral, they came from factual outside sources.

When we first become aware of an ungodly thought, we must acknowledge that it did not originate with us but with Satan, the generator of all lies. Then, we need to take it captive by saying out loud, “That is not my thought! I refuse to own it, meditate on it, or act on it! I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, and I have the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart.”

We can enjoy many days of peace when we understand that the ungodly thoughts infiltrating our minds are foreign trash and we don’t have to accept them.

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s excerpt from my soon-to-be-published Bible study, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. I will be sharing more of Satan’s strategies in the battle going on in our minds in future posts, so please stay tuned.

Now, I would love to interact with you concerning today’s content by asking you a couple of questions:

  1. Prior to reading this post, did you realize that not every thought you experience (hear in your mind) comes from you?
  2. Now that you have been made aware of how your enemy, Satan, can put thoughts in your mind, what is your battle plan? 

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

... And Sometimes So Do Christians

A little over a year ago, we took our son and his family out to eat at a local restaurant to celebrate his thirty-first birthday. As everyone with small children knows, public dining can oftentimes be a less than pleasurable experience–especially when our pint-sized dinner companions aren’t getting their own way and/or it’s close to their bedtime.

This particular evening, though, proved to be quite entertaining. You know, little kids sometimes say the darndest things. So much so, that parents and grandparents purchase special journals to preserve these rib-tickling treasures for years to come. My daughter-in-law, Katie, bought one to record the hilarious things that my grandson, Logan, has said since he first started talking. I’m not sure if she recorded what he said to the waitress taking our order that night, but I will never forget it.

“I want two ketchups, awot of fwench fwies, and two corn dogs!” Clearly amused by his response, the waitress said, “You are soooo cute!” Logan gave her a serious look and matter-of-factly replied, “I’m not that cute.”

We all busted out laughing at his surprising retort. Nothing like a little pre-dinner humor to prepare the palate.

Two days later, while making my bed, I was still thinking about what Logan said. He wasn’t trying to be funny when said that. He was dead serious. It made me kind of sad that he didn’t agree with the waitress’s estimation of his cuteness quotient.

But when you think about it, his response isn’t that different from most Christians’ when we’re told that we are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

2 Corinthians 5_21

Father God says that believers in Christ are “the righteousness of God in [His Son].” Christian, you are as righteous as His Son, Jesus. You are cut from the same bolt of spiritual material as Jesus Christ. You may want to argue with this scripture, but you are going to lose if you do. It’s your opinion against God’s Word.

Imagine how Father God feels when we stare at these words in disbelief and say, “I’m not that righteous.” We have the truth about our new identity right there in black and white. We weigh what God’s Word says against our feelings and our behavior and surmise that God’s Word couldn’t possibly be true.

In short, we just don’t agree with what Father God says about our “righteousness quotient.”

Not good. Why don’t we decide today to stop giving more credibility to our feelings than we do to what the God of the universe says about those who are in His Son? God says we are as righteous as His Son, Jesus Christ, because we are in Him.

credibility

Instead of saying, “I certainly don’t feel like I am as righteous as Jesus,” when Father God reminds us of the truth about who we eternally are, why don’t we say, “Wow!” and “Thank You, Lord!” and then live like He is telling the truth?

Dear Christian, I’m wondering, if someone walked up to you right now and told you that you are as righteous as Jesus Christ, how would you respond to them? I would love to hear your answer and discuss practical ways that we can allow the power of Christ’s indwelling Spirit to cause us to live out our authentic selves in Him.

Until next time,

 

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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