My Journey to Grace

Through The Wilderness

When I was 24 years old, I made a decision to follow Christ. Without any reason to believe that He could help me, I reached out by faith and accepted the fact that I could no longer help myself.  As you can imagine, at this age I was quite arrogant and relentless. I was full of ideas, full of ambition, and fully convinced that personal initiative was the key to success.

Not only was I completely wrong about my beliefs, but I was also impaired in my quest to achieve such a goal. Because I started the journey without any of the necessary tools for retrieving what I was so desperate to find.

Continue reading “My Journey to Grace”

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Let Me Help You To Rest

​I know that you weary. Your heart overtaken with despair. You wonder if you will ever find peace. You have been seeking the Lord without a word from Him for what seems like weeks. You feel alone and you are afraid. I don’t know who you are, or how many of you the Lord is touching right now, but I know that He is surrounding your situation with an army. And you need only be still and rest. Take my hand, I am praying for you right now! As you read, see your Savior. He is beautiful beyond your imagination and He is bigger than whatever you face today.

There is a place of rest, that would seem to be little more than fairy tale to the strong and the proud. It is a fortress so isolated and hidden, that many might think it pure fiction. A promised land inaccessible by human achievement, yet completely free to possess. It is indestructible, man’s devices can not penetrate. It is unfathomable, man’s comprehension can not seize it. It can not be manipulated, controlled or understood. Yet, it remains an attainable, holy habitation to the people of God.

The whereabouts of this place are undiscernable. The location is always moving, yet it never changes. Because this place is a Person whose residence spans galaxies, and crosses time-space. He has no zip code. No discernable contact reference. He can not be pinned on a map, and GPS can not track Him. He is vast beyond finding out, yet the most sensitive microscope could not glimpse any part of Him.

This place was brought forth from beyond the ages. The beginning of all time can not bind Him. He opens time like He would open a window. He peers across space with a single glance, bending light to perform His desires.

It is the Rest of God, and it is a place that He has ascribed the name above all names. It is called, In Christ. As He is, everywhere at all times, so are we, IN Christ. No power or purpose can surround, nor overcome the enormity of His countenance. IN Him, we explore the limitless boundaries of Abundant Life, without consequence or fear. Not a single molecule of doubt can penetrate the borders of His dominion. There is nothing outside of His government. All eternity is under His sovereignty.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Strive to enter IN to that Rest.

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Luke 13:24

Strait, G4728 stenes, narrow, obstacles standing close about. This Greek word is derived from G2476 histemi meaning to cause or make to stand, establish or stand still.

What causes you to stand; what establishes you when obstacles are all about you? Is it your effort to resist them? Are you obsessed with overcoming or are you able to rest in Christ?

Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Hebrews 10:18-19

The strait gate, the holiest…the place where we enter in. It is that unfathomable place IN Christ. We have boldness to go there, even to abide there, because of the blood of Jesus. No other reason. There is no other Way there. Christ IS the Way.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:9-11

Sabbatismos G4520, a sabbath rest. The blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians (taken from Biblehub.com). The same rest that the Creator engaged when He ceased from His own work in Genesis.

It is not a ‘far off’ rest that we wait for. It is a now rest that we enter into. It is what set apart Mary from Martha during Jesus’ visit with them in Luke chapter 10.

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:   But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 10:41-42

And where was Mary? What did she do that Martha did not? She rested all of her cares and her troubles at Jesus’ feet. Her focus was set on Him only. Nothing else. She wasn’t worried that her floor wasn’t clean enough, or her plates weren’t set properly, or her provisions were insufficient to keep such an important Guest. But Jesus needed no extra-curricular assistance. He is all-sufficient to provide for US, not the other way around. See, these were all symbolic of Martha tidying up her own act to be perceived as acceptable in Jesus’ eyes. But Mary came to Him exactly AS SHE WAS. Knowing that He already knew every wound and scar that adorned her. Every mistake she made. Every deed and every folly was naked before Him. Her attempts to make them clean would have been ineffective, even counterproductive.

He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works …Hebrews 4:10. 
Now where remission of these is, there is NO MORE OFFERING for sin …Hebrews 10:18

The only effort that is productive to our walk with Christ, is the labor to ENTER IN to His Rest. 
The Scriptures are replete throughout the Bible, that everything the Believer is, every step and every promise. Every hope and all eternity rests, on how much of his life he rests IN Christ. Too many verses to number here now, but I leave you today with this prayer. May it find you surrendered to the Grace of God at the feet of Christ, in Jesus name.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:  To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Romans 16:24-27

08e37ffd190eb95e51b406ebcc3f40fc--spiritual-life-spiritual-quotesMan’s comprehension of the Word that he finds in the Bible, is not some random light bulb moment, or intellectual phenomenon. It is a gift, given by the Holy Spirit alone.

We aren’t capable of understanding what was written on a different realm than we exist in. To think, that when we finally do catch a glimpse of wisdom, that somehow we earned it by studying; we make ourselves both naive and incredibly vain at the same time.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13 

There is no book written by men, that can help us perceive Christ in His Word. The Word of God is a language that does not exist as a property of this world. It transcends this world, but it did not originate here. Just as Christ transcends this world, all things being created by Him and for Him. This world is His by all rights, yet He does not hold his origins here. Genesis 1 tells us that He was moving over the face of the deep before this world had form.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

You wouldn’t ask a Japanese interpreter to teach you the Egyptian language. So, why would we seek men to gain a knowledge that only the Holy Spirit can successfully reveal? We must go to the Source to gain understanding. So, how do we get there?

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

The Father’s gift. Sent in the name of Christ. What does that mean? “Whom the Father will send IN MY NAME”. This is the cohesion of the Gift. This is what makes this gift, a gift. Unearnable. No chance of ever producing enough dough to purchase this one. The Gift of the Holy Spirit is only free. How can I be certain of this?

The base of the word, name, here is derived from G1098 ginosko, which denotes an intimate knowledge of the actual Greek 3686 onomati, meaning the authority of ‘a name’.

The KJV translates Strong’s G1097, to know, to perceive or understand. It is also a Jewish idiom for intimate relations between a man and a woman. Becoming acquainted with intimately.

The direct link between us and this Gift, rests upon an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Not so much a stance of servitude, because such personal information would be unavailable to a servant. To one who is not on a husband-and-wife level, acquainted with the Savior. The relational bonds define the parameters of the relationship. Who Christ is to you, sets the standard for who you are. How you are joined with Him, or the lack thereof, expresses what part of Him you share with the world.

Do you know Who your Husband is? Or are you and He like two trains passing in the night? Do you intimately understand what the name of Christ means for you as a believer? His authority over you, as your Husband (Ephesians 5:22-33 explains this union so beautifully)?

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4

The manifestation of the Gift may vary, but the Spirit remains the Giver. We can’t bully our way into a breakthrough no matter how loud we can shout, “IN JESUS NAME!” If you struggle with believing for a specific thing to manifest in your life, it is only because you struggle to accept what it means for Christ to be your Husband. He has full authority and is the head over all things for you (Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 5:22-33). The resurrection power of the Holy Spirit is available to those who quite simply, just believe that their Husband is sufficient in all things, at all times, to carry their load.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

To minister or to hinder, to modify as the Lord sees need. To appropriate the knowledge of His Son to the world, God gives gifts of the Spirit liberally to all men. These perform His right to use every vessel to fulfill the purposes of His will. Even those that have not surrendered to the will of God in Christ, can be given gifts. And they too, will fulfill His purposes.

It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?


Romans 9:12-24

I was studying awhile back, what it means to be, or to carry a vessel. Where the Lord Jesus had forbidden vessels to be carried into the temple, after that He had smashed the tables of the money changers.

Vessels are symbolic of usefulness being appropriated between a husband and wife. Specifically, a wife is subject to the husband’s sufficiency toward her and she basically rests in that knowledge. He is FOR her and he will ultimately accomplish all of her needs by His own usefulness, apart from her efforts.

This morning, just before I awoke, I was thinking about the significance of crowns. I realize the Holy Spirit was presenting me with a treasure that could be dug up. So, I came back here to continue writing. Amazingly, this too, is suggestive of husband and wife scenario. And whatever the crown that we wear, we are all capable of being used by God. The outcome is always for His glory, one way or another. Let me attempt to interpret.

Everything that Jesus did here on this earth told a story of Who He is. He wore a spiritual crown that let this world know that He is royalty and has complete authority. His crown is life and peace. It is not false. It is not crafted merely with smooth words and false hope, but it is forged in the power of the Holy Spirit. And everything that He did, declared to the world that He is the Son of God. That He is a King.

Now, we are free to wear any crown that we like. We can take up a crown of straw and mud, and rest it upon our brow, and then call ourselves an heir to the same Kingdom as Christ. However, it is not likely that anyone around us, looking at our crown of rejected bricks, will believe that we are heir to much more than the wallowing pit. And we certainly won’t feel like we are married to royalty with mud dripping in our eyes.
What we struggle to understand is the nature of Christ’s authority. Just what was it that made Jesus’ crown authentic? What are we missing? Because clearly, it is a foundational flaw on our quest to being Christ-like. This is where we as believers have been, and are being led astray.

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:12-13

Diademata pola, or diadems many. Diademata, or crown as “bound about the head”, is derived from G1223 dia, and G1210 deo. Dia means through, denoting the channel of an act. Because of, or for this reason. Deo means to bind, to fasten or to be in bonds.
Jesus became bound, Himself, for this cause. For what cause?

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?   Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matthew 19:5-6

His many crowns are the population of mankind for which He became bound, for the joy that was set before Him, and died to make them His Bride. Round about Christ’s head, you sit; displayed as His glory. You were bound there on purpose. He bound Himself to you. Fastened in love and with all understanding. As a precious setting carefully etched and placed in adoration and with humility.
So, what are we missing? Why do our crowns so grievously pale in comparison to His? Because His crown was bound in love. Humility. Not a prideful bone in His body. Without execution of judgment He lovingly accepted you into His royalty, as His own; just as you are. So that He could masterfully display you upon His own brow, as the new creature that HE created you to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Do you want your crown to imitate His? Because, as His Bride, you carry that right. To represent the perfection of your Husband to the world. Jesus longs that all men will know Him. See Him, masterfully displayed on your head, as your glory. He prayed for the Father to glorify Him so that none would be excluded. All those that the Father has given to Christ, and they are many; they are all the rejected and the despised, just as He was. They don’t look much like royalty to us. But then neither did we, when Christ first set us in such a high place of honor. They probably look filthy from the pig sty, tattered from the orphaned journey, wreaking of the after effects of squandering their Father’s fortune on sinful things, where moth and rust decay. But Jesus does not judge them. He has predestined them to be set free. They are still Sons, heirs. But they have forgotten who they are. They have been tricked into believing that they are only fit to serve, not fit to wear the crown of their Husband.

Paul Ellis, a fellow-blogger and believer in Christ, wrote a piece about the beauty of our relationship to our BrideGroom. His page is called, Escape 2 Reality and this particular piece resounds the perfection that is ours to experience, through the mercy and the Grace of God in Christ, our Husband. I encourage you to check out his website and be blessed.

Escape2Reality-MarriedToJesus 

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crownRevelation 3:11

Crown translated here is G4735 stephanos, combined from stepho meaning to twine or wreath; and diadema, from dia and deo (which we discussed earlier), “to bind round.” Stephanos means a chaplet (wreath) made of leaves or leaf-like gold, used for marriage and festive occasions, and expressing public recognition of victory in races, games and war; also figuratively as a reward for efficient Christian life and service. This symbol was more noticeable and intricate than the plain fillet. Only in the Rev of John is stephanos called “golden.” It is considered a badge of royalty (excerpt from http://classic.net.bible.org).
If we put it all together, we bind about our heads, for this cause, one another in love. (marriage, union; becoming one as the Father and Christ are one, see verses below). Public games. The race that we run before the eyes of men, and alongside our fellow race-runners. That all men will know that we are His disciples. The crown that we wear, bears Christ’s name. The name that no man knows, save He Himself (Rev. 19:12).

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.   And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:   I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:21-23

We get to this place by loving one another. The commandment that unites every commandment under one Head, Jesus Christ. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ, rests in His unequaled Grace and Mercy, His Love; and sets all men free from the Law of sin and death.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35

Grace and peace, from God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

-Kari Stamper

The Nature of The BrideGroom

Are We Judged or Are We Justified?

The Law vs Grace Struggle
I, like many, have been torn between what is perceivable in the mind of men, vs what is foolishness because of the lack of Spirit-borne understanding. I haven’t come to any conclusions on my own, or by my own personal inclinations, but by revelation of the Holy Spirit, pointing to Christ in all things. Here is His assessment, and my interpretation of what He has shown me.

Judgment, or the idea of judging others; isn’t rejected because it offends, although those who judge, would have you believe this. They would also suggest that it’s your fault that you were offended. Which is just manipulative and callous. However, judging others is wrong because of the measurement by which one man judges another.

Continue reading “Are We Judged or Are We Justified?”

Sometimes I get puffed up and I don’t even realize it. I’m up and off with a bang, get halfway through my day. I have it all mapped out, I know exactly where I’m going. Thinking and running ‘in Christ’, when all of a sudden the wall of life stops me dead in my tracks. So I stop, grab an ice pack for my bruises, and look around to see where I ended up and what in the world went wrong.

It becomes painfully obvious that God is not the leader of my rendezvous, as I survey the landscape of my fail-safe pilgrimage. I knew what I was doing. I knew where I was going. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. I had this day ‘in the bag’. But none of it profited me. It was a mediocre day, with no lasting peace. No significant joy. One minute I was hitting snooze on the alarm clock, and the next thing I know the sun is going down. And I have nothing to bring before the Lord.

Continue reading “Face Plant Day”

Face Plant Day

What am I Missing?

I never gave much thought to why I needed to understand Who God was. Even after I found Christ, after I became ‘saved’, it still didn’t strike me as a persistent need in my life. I knew that He was God, and He held the power to crush me if I was found insufficient. That was pretty much all that I really understood about Him. Absolute holiness with the authority to impute wrath to the willfully proud, as well as the blissfully ignorant.

I had always believed that it was a good vs. evil battle, and I actually thought that being saved was what ensured that I would be victorious. But, I had no concept of what it meant to be saved by grace. And I only had a surface deep concept of faith. But, I thought that even this was an instrument of my own ability. Even though I had read that, this too, is a gift of God. 

Continue reading “What am I Missing?”