HOW HARD AM I SUPPOSED TO “TRY” TO BE A GOOD CHRISTIAN?

There are two perspectives of faith in and relationship with God: God’s and ours. They are both valid, but different. From His (the eternal) perspective I either know Him or I don’t — Either, OR! From the human/temporal perspective, “knowing Him” is a “growth” process. However, participating in the process is NOT about our “performance” in TRYING to be a “good Christian”! That’s RELIGION NOT FAITH!

I shake my head when I hear or read about those who “teach” that I don’t have to “do” anything to be saved but believe, yet talk about “being the best Christian I can be” (whatever that means). Really? How does one do that? The most literal definition of “Christian” is “Christ-like.” So is “trying to be a better Christian” defined by some percentage of my life that is like Christ — versus the “part” of me that is not like Christ? Not from a Biblical basis!

Christ is Christ, wholly, fully, truly. He is PERFECTION! He is the I AM God made known to mankind; the One True and Living God made visible for eternity! Paul said that Christ is the fullness of God, and that all of the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, etc. of God is in Him (Colossians 1&2). No part of Christ is less than all that He was, is, and will be. IF the “goal” of my faith is to be “Christ-like,” then how do I determine to what degree I have “achieved” that goal? I can’t! It is impossible to be truly “like Christ”!

Furthermore, “TRYING” to be a “good Christian” IS actually SUPPOSED TO BE IMPOSSIBLE! Why? How else am I going to find out, confront, and finally truthfully confess that in me, that is in my flesh dwells NO GOOD THING? (Romans 7:18). From that perspective then, FAILURE is my “friend” — but ONLY IF it brings me to the complete end of myself and my “goodness,” so that I will finally cast myself FULLY upon JESUS and confess that “without” Him, I can do NOTHING! (John 15:5)

Therefore, according to Paul, the “goal” of our faith is NOT to be “like” Christ at all! Faith’s Biblical “goal” for us is to completely DIE out to ourselves and allow Christ Himself to be fully Who and What He is IN and THROUGH us!

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST [HIMSELF] LIVETH IN ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

NO LONGER MY LIFE, BUT HIS LIFE!

I am NOT supposed to “TRY” to be more like Christ! I am supposed to DIE — to myself, my flesh, my will, my likes and dislikes, my opinions, etc., etc., etc. By doing THAT, Christ Himself can then live IN me and fully be Himself THROUGH ME! Nothing else is “enough.” NOTHING! This is God’s perspective.

Jesus said it this way in Luke 9:23-24, “If any man will come after me [“be my disciple”], let him deny [Greek = “disavow ownership of”] himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

However, very few “believers” have actually arrived at that place — YET! Until then, we walk with Him daily; we humbly confess our failures daily; we communicate with Him daily (that’s called “prayer”); and we acknowledge that we are NOT fully what His Word declares for us to be, BUT that by His Love, Word, Spirit, Name, Blood, power, etc. working in us daily, we are progressing towards the day that we can trust Him to trust us to be truly crucified with Him!

Philippians 2:12-13
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 FOR IT IS GOD WHICH WORKETH IN YOU BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO OF HIS GOOD PLEASURE.

Philippians 2:13 (Amplified Version)
13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

As long as I don’t “SETTLE” for being less than fully given over to Christ, The Father in His Love, Grace and Mercy will continue to be longsuffering and patient with me as I “grow in grace and in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”! (2 Peter 3:18).

We are called to “surrender” to Christ NOT “surrender” to our flesh. We may sometimes “fail” in our faith at times during our day and have to face afresh and anew that we are not fully surrendered or submitted to Christ (the WORD made flesh – John 1:1,14) — inside and/or in our actions — and we will then need to confess and repent of our sins — AGAIN. However, we must never forget that the availability of forgiveness does NOT justify/excuse us giving ourselves over to habitual sinning.

It is a tragedy — both here and in eternity — for preachers to “give” people a “license to sin.” Paul emphatically declared in Romans 6:1-2: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

In continuing this thought, Paul clearly taught that we believers should not/must not give ourselves over to sin (and to a “life-style” of sin). Why? Because we are DEAD (through Christ) to sin through salvation.

Romans 6:3-11
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THIS IS THE WORK OF GRACE IN US! This is what Christ did for us and made available to us. This is the “goal” of our faith. The fact that We are not yet consistently living our daily lives by walking according to these spiritual principles NEVER excuses us when we “settle” for less than what they have proclaimed to us. NEVER!

BIBLICAL MERCY AND GRACE IS THIS: IT IS NEVER OK TO SIN — NEVER — BUT GOD’S LOVE NEVER GIVES UP ON US AS LONG AS WE DON’T SETTLE FOR LIVING THE SAME LIFE/LIFE-STYLE OF THE UNBELIEVER AND FALSELY CALLING IT “SALVATION”!

2 Corinthians 5:14-17
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I don’t know the original author of this statement, but I close with it here:
GOD LOVES US LIKE WE ARE, BUT HE LOVES US TOO MUCH TO LEAVE US LIKE WE ARE! AMEN!

HOW TO GUARANTEE THAT YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED!

HOW TO GUARANTEE THAT YOUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED!

The idea, conscious or subconscious, that God can’t or won’t speak to us about any subject that we didn’t bring up first is sad at best and ludicrous at worst.

If we will just cast all our cares, seek peace in our minds, hearts, and spirits, then the Father will speak to us about what is important to HIM!

When we are cluttered inside with “stuff,” we cannot hear His still small voice! AGAIN, we MUST cast ALL of our cares on Him, get neutral before the Father, and He WILL speak to us!

What’s more important to you, what you want to say to God or what He wants to say to you?

Since Biblical Prayer is communication with the Father and true communication is two-way, then true prayer is just as much listening as it is talking.

Prayer is not a debate over what we want versus what God wants. Neither is it a negotiation! True prayer is founded upon seeking the Will of the Father and having His Peace within. Until I know His Will and have peace in my heart and mind, how can I talk to Him about anything else?

If we can’t have “peace” unless we get our way with God, then we will NEVER truly have peace! AND Faith does not work in the hearts of the frantic!

OUR FATHER KNOWS BEST! His priority is eternity first, the temporal second! If that is not our priority, then we are out of step with God!

HERE IS HOW TO GUARANTEE ANSWERS TO YOUR PRAYERS!

1 John 3:18-24
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, BECAUSE WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, AND DO THOSE THINGS THAT ARE PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT.
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24 And he that KEEPETH HIS COMMANDMENTS dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, BY the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:14-15
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing ACCORDING TO HIS WILL [NOT OUR WILL], he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. [Why? Because our petitions are HIS WILL and not our own!]

THE FOLLOWING IS GOD’S PRIORITY, IS IT YOURS?

Colossians 3:1-4
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS THE PRAYERS PRAYED BY THOSE WHOSE PRIORITIES ARE IN ALIGNMENT WITH HIS PRIORITIES! ALWAYS!

AGAIN, OUR FATHER KNOWS BEST! His priority is eternity first, the temporal second! If that is not our priority, then we are out of step with God! Prayers prayed by those who are not in step with God do not get answered the way “we want”!

Preach The Word!

PROVIDED FOR THOSE WHO ARE PATIENT ENOUGH TO READ AND HEED:

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2 (Wuest Word Studies)
(4:2) The charge is to preach the Word. The English word “preach” brings to our mind at once the picture of the ordained clergyman standing in his pulpit on the Lord’s Day ministering the Word. But the Greek word here (kerusso) left quite a different impression with Timothy. At once it called to his mind the Imperial Herald, spokesman of the Emperor, proclaiming in a formal, grave, and authoritative manner which must be listened to, the message which the Emperor gave him to announce. It brought before him the picture of the town official who would make a proclamation in a public gathering. The word is in a construction which makes it a summary command to be obeyed at once. It is a sharp command as in military language. This should be the pattern for the preacher today. His preaching should be characterized by that dignity which comes from the consciousness of the fact that he is an official herald of the King of kings. It should be accompanied by that note of authority which will command the respect, careful attention, and proper reaction of the listeners. There is no place for clowning in the pulpit of Jesus Christ.
Timothy is to preach the Word. The word “Word” here refers to the whole body of revealed truth, as will be seen by comparing this passage with I Thessalonians 1:6 and Galatians 6:6. The preacher must present, not book reviews, not politics, not economics, not current topics of the day, not a philosophy of life denying the Bible and based upon unproven theories of science, but the Word. The preacher as a herald cannot choose his message. He is given a message to proclaim by his Sovereign. If he will not proclaim that, let him step down from his exalted position.
He is to be instant in season and out of season in this proclamation. The words, “be instant” are from a word which means “to stand by, be present, to be at hand, to be ready” (epistemi). The exhortation is for the preacher to hold himself in constant readiness to proclaim the Word. The words, “in season,” are from a word which means “opportune” (eukairos), “out of season,” from a word which means “inopportune” (akairos). The preacher is to proclaim the Word when the time is auspicious, favorable, opportune, and also when the circumstances seem unfavorable. So few times are still available for preaching that the preacher must take every chance he has to preach the Word. There is no closed season for preaching.
In his preaching he is to include reproof and rebuke. The Greek word translated “reprove” (elegcho), speaks of a rebuke which results in the person’s confession of his guilt, or if not his confession, in his conviction of sin. The preacher is to deal with sin, both in the lives of his unsaved hearers and in those of the saints to whom he ministers, and he is to do it in no uncertain tones. The word “sin” is not enough in the vocabulary of our preaching today. And as he deals with the sin that confronts him as he preaches, he is to expect results, the salvation of the lost and the sanctification of the saints.
The word “rebuke” (epitimao) refers to a rebuke which does not bring the one rebuked to a conviction of any fault on his part. It might be because the one rebuked is innocent of the charge, or that he is guilty but refuses to acknowledge his guilt. This word implies a sharp, severe rebuke with possibly a suggestion in some cases, of impending penalty. Even where the preacher has experienced failure after failure in bringing sinners or saints to forsake their sin, or where there seems little hope of so doing, yet he is to sharply rebuke sin. He has discharged his duty, and the responsibility is upon his hearers to deal with the sin in their lives.
Not only is he to speak in stern language against sin, but he is to exhort. The word “exhort” (parakaleo) has in it the ideas of “please, I beg of you, I urge you.” Thus, there is to be a mingling of severity and gentleness in his preaching. He is to exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. The word “longsuffering” (makrothumia) speaks of that temper which does not easily succumb under suffering, of that self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong. The word “doctrine” (didache) is in the Greek, literally, “teaching.” It speaks of instruction. Vincent says in this connection: “Longsuffering is to be maintained against the temptations to anger presented by the obstinacy and perverseness of certain hearers; and such is to be met, not merely with rebuke, but also with sound and reasonable instruction in the truth.” Calvin says: “Those who are strong only in fervor and sharpness, but are not fortified with solid doctrine, weary themselves in their vigorous efforts, make a great noise, rave…make no headway because they build without a foundation.” Or, as Vincent says, “Men will not be won to the truth by scolding,” and then quotes another as saying, “They should understand what they hear, and learn to perceive why they are rebuked.”

Wuest’s Translation: Make a public proclamation of the Word with such formality, gravity, and authority as must be heeded. Hold yourself in readiness for this proclamation when opportunity presents itself and when it does not; reprove so as to bring forth conviction and confession of guilt; rebuke sharply, severely, and with a suggestion of impending penalty. Pleadingly exhort, doing all this with that utmost self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong, and accompany this exhortation with the most painstaking instruction.

DOESN’T SOUND MUCH LIKE TODAY’S IDEA OF PREACHING DOES IT?

What Day Did The Lord Make?

WHAT DAY DID THE LORD MAKE?

Psalms 118:21-24
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

THE “STONE” WHICH WAS REJECTED IS THE MESSIAH, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Acs 4:9-12
9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

THEREFORE THE “DAY” THAT THE LORD HAS MADE IS THE DAY OF THE CHRIST (THE MESSIAH), WHICH IS THE “DAY OF SALVATION”!

HOWEVER, AS IT WAS THEN, SO IT IS NOW — MEN REJECTING HIM, BECAUSE THEY ARE OFFENDED BY THE FACT THAT GOD EXPECTS THEM TO BELIEVE AND CHOOSE TO OBEY HIM.

1 Peter 2:4-8
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

BUT THOSE WHO BELIEVE HIM AND IN HIM ALWAYS CHOOSE TO OBEY AND PLEASE GOD RATHER THAN SUBMITTING TO THE OPINIONS OF MEN!

Acts 5:27-32
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

WHICH “SIDE” ARE YOU ON: HIS OR THE WORLD’S?

TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION! ARE YOU CHOOSING THE SAVIOR AND REJOICING — OR ARE YOU JOINING THE REJECTORS! THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND!

Who’s Winning?

IS THE CHURCH WINNING THE WORLD OR IS THE WORLD WINNING THE CHURCH?

The idea that it is possible to make faith in the Lord Jesus Christ popular, or maybe acceptable, or even palatable to this world is both ludicrous and absolute proof of an ignorance of what the Bible says AND proof of one’s unbelief in the Bible as God’s Word. It is IMPOSSIBLE to truly believe what the Bible literally says and believe that this world will ever accept what it says as truth! The Bible states that will NEVER HAPPEN!

The Bible is diametrically opposed to the principles and priorities of this world and will ALWAYS challenge those who believe it to make a choice between the Word of God and pleasing (being acceptable to) this world!

Light and darkness can never be part of one another — neither physically or spiritually. The absence of one (light) is the definition of the other (darkness)! It is impossible naturally or spiritually for light and darkness to ever co-exist!

God spoke and wrote His Word in such a manner as to reveal the thoughts and intents of human’s hearts. If one wants an excuse to live according to their own lusts and justify themselves, all they have to do is “look hard enough” in the Bible and they will SEEM to find it. Even the devil quoted Scriptures to Jesus!

“There is a way that SEEMETH right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25)

‪Just because some things “sound” right doesn’t make them right!‬

It is Biblically impossible to truly believe the Bible and follow the teachings of Jesus and today’s culture “approve”! To the natural mind, the things of the Spirit of God are “foolishness”! The preaching of the cross is both foolish and offensive to this world. “Believer,” will you eliminate spiritual things and the cross of Christ from your faith in order to be accepted by this world. The Bible emphatically declares that they that are friends with this world are the “enemies” of God! (James 4:4)

Bible-believing Christians, we are commanded to love the people of this world, but don’t expect the world to return the sentiments! Jesus emphatically stated that is not going to happen!

1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

ONCE THE WORLD (ITS THOUGHTS, PRIORITIES, METHODS, LIFESTYLES, ETC.) GETS INTO THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD AND THE CHURCH BECOME ONE AND THE SAME, THEN THE “CHURCH” IS NO LONGER THE CHURCH — IT’S JUST ANOTHER EXPRESSION OF THE WORLD!!!

BELIEVER, YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN GOD AND THIS WORLD!
REMEMBER, “NOT CHOOSING” IS A CHOICE! GOD CAN ONLY BE CHOSEN BY ACTUALLY MAKING A CHOICE FOR HIM!

Whom Will You Believe?

WHOM WILL YOU BELIEVE? THE BIBLE OR THIS WORLD’S OPINIONS OF “RIGHT AND WRONG”?

With all of the pressure that this world is putting on “preachers” and the “church” to cave in and go along with what “they” say is right, far too many “Christians” today are at best drifting away from the Bible as being the final authority in their lives OR at worst totally abandoning its teachings and tenets so that they can “go along to get along.”

None of this conflict between the church and the opinions of this world is a surprise to those who study the Bible and believe that it is true. Yet, some “believers” have always been willing to forfeit their eternal future for a more comfortable place in whatever current society that they want to be accepted by.

Before the Civil War (and in some places still today), Preachers (and their churches) in the South preached and supported the culture and practice of slavery for personal gain and acceptance in society. Yet, it should have been the churches who stood up with the loudest voice and protested against slavery even from BEFORE the beginning of our nation.

In Germany before World War II, far too many preachers and churches supported Hitler and justified his hatred of Jews while turning a blind eye to what was going on in the death camps. Yes, those who protested were often jailed and some were executed. BUT that is sometimes the price of our faith and of faithfulness to God.

Nevertheless, all of the above and every other instance where those who were once faithful believers compromised for the expediency of their temporal existence in NO WAY invalidates the Bible as the Word of God AND the need for those who are His people to stand for His Word and His teachings regardless of the cost.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1 Peter 1:6-9
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TESTING AND TRYING THAT IS COMING TO THE CHURCH FROM THIS WORLD, WILL YOU STILL BE STANDING FOR RIGHT AND TRUTH OR WILL YOU CHOOSE THE EASY WAY OUT? ETERNITY WILL PROVE THAT IT WASN’T THE EASY WAY, BUT IT TAKES TRUE FAITH IN THE BIBLE TO BELIEVE THAT, DOESN’T IT?

Hebrews 11:24-27
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

IT TOOK FAITH FOR MOSES TO CHOOSE TEMPORARY PAIN OVER COMFORT AND PLEASURE NOW IN ORDER FOR HIM TO HAVE AN ETERNAL COMFORT AND REWARD. EVERY BELIEVER WILL BE FACED WITH THE SAME CHOICE. SOME ARE FACING THAT CHOICE EVEN NOW! WHAT WILL YOUR CHOICE BE? BETTER CHECK THE PRICE TAG?

THE SPIRITUAL NEUTRALITY NECESSARY TO FLOW IN THE SPIRIT IN MINISTRY!

While praying this morning, the Lord impressed upon me again the need to go into every individual spiritual meeting and session of that meeting in a state/condition of NEUTRALITY from a human perspective. IT IS IMPERATIVE to have NO preconceived ideas of how any gathering to pray, worship, and/or minister is going to proceed SO THAT we can be totally responsive to the directing of the Lord’s Spirit.

Any conscious or subconscious attempt to “direct” the meeting in any specific direction is contrary to His Will. WE MUST find the flow of the meeting and flow with His Spirit throughout the meeting. (Our flesh is always “tempted” to take over a meeting that God is moving in. NOT GOOD!)

Our “custom” in Ministry is to want to know what we are “going to do and say” in advance. But how much of that is His Will and His way, and how much of it is our fear of failure and us attempting to avoid being embarrassed if things don’t work out like we “intended”?

I fully understand that only ONE of the twelve Apostles got out of the boat, BUT he did get to walk on water. My sincere desire is that every true Man and Woman of God would be willing to risk sinking in order to have the opportunity to walk with Him where others fear to go!

If you know me at all, you know I study and pray — not just to minister, but as my lifestyle. Nevertheless, Jesus said to take no thought for what we would say in that day and hour. I know that for many that sounds “dangerous” because it seems as though it gives flesh a free pass to do nothing — just “get up and wing it.” But in point of fact, it is the opposite. In order to walk with Jesus where He is totally “in charge,” I have to allow the Grace of God to enable me to become completely neutral before Him everyday.

The Father desires to make me HIS conduit: one that does not direct Him, but yields to HIM — even when I don’t understand what He is doing or saying. How else could Old Testament prophets prophesy things that they did not understand at all. If someone in the Old Testament without even having the Baptism of the Holy Ghost can trust the Lord to that degree and be that yielded to Him, how can we, who do have His Spirit, do and be less?

This may be a “new day,” but we must walk in it the “old” way — His Way — not our modern “churchified” way. I am not “preaching” against preparation to minister. I am espousing that true preparation is every day, every moment of the day so that we can be instant in season and out — IN HIM! We must do this so that we can always be ready to walk through every door that the Lord opens and be able flow immediately! It is much easier to find the flow of the Spirit for Ministry when we live in the flow of His presence every day!

I feel compelled in the Spirit to challenge every sincere Minister of God, who is hungry for more of God, to go into the Sunday “gatherings” of His Body (a much more Biblical word than “church service”) and be totally neutral before God AND let Him Direct and lead. Then you can see what happens!

It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord! (Zach 4:6).
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-25).
If we walk in the Spirit, let us also minister with, in, by, and through His Spirit.

Jesus emphatically declared in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth NOTHING: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

THE LORD’S WORDS INITIATED BY, EMPOWERED BY, AND MINISTERED BY HIS SPIRIT GIVE LIFE AND PEACE!

BUT OUR WORDS — EVEN IF THEY ARE “QUOTING” THE BIBLE — PRODUCE NOTHING OF ANY VALUE AT BEST AND SPIRITUAL DEATH IN THE HEARERS AT WORST!

Prayer Works!

PASTOR, DO YOU PREACH TO PEOPLE THAT YOU DON’T REALLY PRAY FERVENTLY FOR EVERYDAY?

‪Do you spend more time preparing to preach, than praying to preach?‬

Here is what Paul said numerous times to the churches that he was responsible for: “I don’t CEASE to pray for you.”

Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Ephesians 1:15-16
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Philippians 1:3-4
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance [Gk = mention] of you,
4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Romans 1:7-10
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Timothy 2:1-4
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Colossians 1:2-4
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

PAUL SAID, “FOLLOW [Gk = “imitate”] ME, AS I FOLLOW CHRIST! PAUL IS EXAMPLE, DO WE FOLLOW HIM?

THE PEOPLE OF GOD ASKED THE PROPHET SAMUEL TO PRAY FOR THEM, AND HE RESPONDED THAT IT WOULD BE SIN FOR HIM TO CEASE TO PRAY FOR THEM.

1 Samuel 7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 12:22-23
22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

OUR CALL TO PRAYER, OH MAN OF GOD!

Isaiah 62:6-7
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,
7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

PREACHER, DO YOU PRAY OR GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS? PRAYER WORKS! BUT ONLY IF WE ACTUALLY BIBLICALLY PRAY!

God’s Plan For Evangelism

IS INVITING PEOPLE TO “CHURCH” and FILLING THE “HOUSE” (A “CHURCH BUILDING”) GOD’S PLAN FOR EVANGELISM? NO!

THE LORD SENT US “OUT” TO PREACH! HE DID NOT COMMAND THE LOST TO “COME” TO A BUILDING TO HEAR THE GOSPEL!

AFTER THE DAY OF PENTECOST (THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH), THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE SCRIPTURE WHERE ANY BUILDING WAS EVER CALLED “THE HOUSE OF GOD.”

THERE IS NO VERSE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WHERE A BUILDING WAS EVER IDENTIFIED AS BEING “THE CHURCH.”

“THE CHURCH,” “THE HOUSE OF GOD,” ETC. WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BODY OF CHRIST: HIS PEOPLE!

IS THERE A HARM IN CALLING A BUILDING “THE CHURCH,” “THE HOUSE OF GOD,” ETC.? WELL, IS IT EVER OK TO LIE? NO MATTER HOW LONG WE HAVE SPOKEN THE “LIE,” IT CAN NEVER MAKE THE LIE TRUE! NEVER!

IS A LIE EVER “HARMLESS”? RIDICULOUS QUESTION!

SOME WOULD SAY, “BUT IT IS A TRADITION”! THANK YOU FOR THE SET UP!

THIS IS WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT “TRADITION”:

Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

Matthew 15:6-9
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
(See also Mark 7:5-13)

“NICE STUFF” TRADITIONS!? THEY CAUSE US TO TRANSGRESS THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, MAKE HIS WORD OF NONE EFFECT, AND MAKE OUR WORSHIP VAIN! THE CLAIM “OUR TRADITION” IS FREQUENTLY USED TO “JUSTIFY” ALL KINDS OF FALSE DOCTRINES.

ARE SOME TRADITIONS “OK” AND OTHERS BAD? NO! RELIGIOUS TRADITION AND BIBLICAL TRUTH HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE! ALWAYS!

(I know, I know the “law” about using “caps.” But I’m “preaching” and that’s what you do when you preach is “yell,” right?)

PLEASE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING!

SOME QUOTE THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE:

Luke 14:21-23
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

HOUSE (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary) g3624. οἶκος oikos; of uncertain affinity; a dwelling (more or less extensive, literal or figurative); by implication, a family (more or less related, literally or figuratively): — home, house(-hold), temple.
AV (114) – house 104, household 3, home + g1519 2, at home + g1722 2, misc 3;
I. a house an inhabited house, home any building whatever of a palace the house of God, the tabernacle
II. any dwelling place of the human body as the abode of demons that possess it of tents, and huts, and later, of the nests, stalls, lairs, of animals the place where one has fixed his residence, one’s settled abode, domicile
III. the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household the family of God, of the Christian Church, of the church of the Old and New Testaments
IV. stock, family, descendants of one

THIS “HOUSE” IS THE HOUSE OF GOD, THE BODY OF CHRIST!

SO, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHO “THE HOUSE” IS?

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

HABITATION (Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary) g2732. κατοικητήριον katoikētērion; from a derivative of 2730; a dwelling-place: — habitation.
AV (2) – habitation 2;
I. an abode, a habitation

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1 Corinthians 6:15-20
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Peter 2:4-5
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

WHAT HAPPENS BIBLICALLY WHEN “A HOUSE” (BUILDING) IS FULL?
THE LOST CAN’T GET TO JESUS WITHOUT FIRST “TEARING UP THE HOUSE”!

Mark 2:1-12
1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

WOE, BE UNTO US IF GOD HAS TO USE THE GOVERNMENT, NATURAL DISASTERS, ETC. TO GET THE CHURCH OUT OF OUR BUILDINGS AND INTO THE WORLD, JUST SO WE WILL OBEY HIS WORD!

IF HE HAS TO, JESUS WILL TEAR UP OUR HOUSE!

Sermonizing

If we were in a public situation where someone asked, “Is there anyone here who could tell us about Jesus?” Could we preach to them right then and there. Would be able, would we be ready? With No Notes, no pulpit, maybe even no Bible in hand?

The professional sermonizer would be in a world of hurt, AND tragically, the “open door” to the Gospel would close because the “pulpiteer” would be unable to preach to them!

Some would say to me, “Aren’t you being kind of harsh on your own ‘kind'”? My response: They ARE NOT my “Kind”!