Posted in Faith and Works, Our Identity, Our Relationship with God, Our Salvation, Our Service, Our Struggle, Overcoming, Simplicity of Faith, The Kingdom of God, The Priesthood, tagged Apostle Paul, Body of Christ, Faithfulness, He is our Strength, Heart of a Priest, Law of the Spirit of Life, love, Ministry, obedience, power, Service unto the Lord on October 4, 2010 |
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“THAT WE MAY BE STRONG”
“Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments
which I command you this day, that ye may be strong,
and go in and possess the land”
Spiritual strength is the fruit of obedience. Our beliefs, doctrines and knowledge will not produce the kind of strength that is required to rise up, go in and possess the land of promise. It requires a doing that is the result of seeing and hearing. If we are not doers of the word, but remain hearers only, there is a deception that slowly and inexorably clouds our hearts and minds from the seeing of HIM.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
Paul exhorts us to “exercise thyself rather unto Godliness” (I Timothy 4:7). The trust that is placed in teachings and Christian theology, without the “reality” of His Life in us through the medium of doing, is in itself a deception. Goliath stood and taunted Israel for forty days! No man would respond to his challenge because there was no one in Saul’s army “experienced” in the victory that can only be had by walking with God. David’s faith however, had been proven (the Lion & the Bear) and tried and those experiences enabled him to rise up and defeat Goliath.
“And herein do I exercise myself,
to have always a conscience void of offence toward God,
and toward men”
Let us consider the ramifications in this day of division and strife within the Body of Christ (singular). What if we were to commit to walk in such a way that we maintain a clear conscience before God and men? What if we actually took action to exercise ourselves in forgiveness and genuine concern for the people of God around us? What would happen if, in seeing God’s heart, we would begin to consider the things of others as more important than our own? Let us begin afresh to be exercised by the Love of God unto Godliness in the affairs of this life.
Doing is the path to becoming
“Christianity is not a voice in the wilderness, but a life in the world. It is not an idea in the air but feet on the ground going God’s way. It is not an exotic to be kept under glass, but a hardy plant to bear twelve months of fruits in all kinds of weather. Fidelity to duty is its root and branch. Nothing we can say to the Lord, no calling Him by great or dear names, can take the place of the plain doing of His will. We may cry out about the beauty of eating bread with Him in His kingdom, but it is wasted breath and a rootless hope unless we plow and plant in His kingdom here and now. To remember Him at His table and to forget Him at ours, is to have invested in bad securities. There is no substitute for plain, every-day goodness”
Maltbie Davenport (Mattie D) Babcock
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Posted in Faith and Works, Our Identity, Our Relationship with God, Our Salvation, Our Service, Prayer, Simplicity of Faith, The Church, The Home, The Kingdom of God, The Priesthood, tagged Apostle Paul, be vigilant, Body of Christ, faith, Faithfulness, Fear of the Lord, friend of God, Heart of a Priest, Kingdom of God, Law of the Spirit of Life, love, Ministry, obedience, Prayer, Prepare the Way, Relationship, Righteousness, The Day of the Lord, The Royal Priesthood, truth on August 12, 2010 |
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THE BODY OF CHRIST
“And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth,
before whom I stand…”
II Kings 3:14
Here we see that the ministry of Elijah to Elisha was effectually completed. Elisha spoke from the same place of relationship and standing in God as that which Elijah also knew (I Kings 17:1). He spoke as one who fully understood his accountability unto the Holy One of Israel. Men who are content to have other men accountable unto them know nothing of the Holiness of God. We are not here to HAVE disciples but to MAKE disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. True ministry should always leave the people of God with the sense of their accountability unto God not man. The reason we see so little power, authenticity and abandonment is that we as a collective people have lost sight of HIS WONDER and AWE in our midst. We establish our organizational ladder of accountability and as long as that is followed we “feel” that there is a sense of order in our midst. We call this a successful “pattern” for others to emulate. But, unless there are powerful unique expressions shinning forth, it is only a deathly uniformity that is based on a carnal conformity to an organization not the transforming power of God! Paul writes to the Corinthians that THEY were his letter of recommendation; the quality of their lives and their love for one another. That is why he so passionately reproved them; he was held by the solemn obligation unto the Lord for them to walk and live in righteousness.
How we need a new and fresh sense that WE are accountable unto God for the condition of HIS CHURCH. It is our responsibility to speak forth HIS desire and purposes into the lives of those around us. It is our responsibility to pray and weep over the condition of HIS house. It is our responsibility to see the people of God DISCOVER the call of God upon their lives; to see them arise and understand that the quality of their walk is of vast importance; that they are not simply here to take up space on a pew but they are to influence the lives of those around them; that husbands are to so function as the priest in their home that there is harmony and growth within the individual lives of those in his care; that wives understand their responsibility to so walk with God and interact with HIM that they influence their husbands to be the men of God that they should be. We all have a part in this wonder called the Body of Christ! We all have a voice and we all have an incredible responsibility to see the prayer of John 17 come to pass. It is time for the ministers of God to impart to HIS people that it is unto HIM that we shall ALL give an account of how we walked in the fear of our God.
Men who sit for years listening to others without sensing any compulsion to see the Living Christ arise in their own hearts are dead; they are out of touch with HIS heart and HIS purposes. They have not seen the reality of the Body of Christ that it is made up of living, functioning, and holy members each of which have that awesome sense of a LIVE connection to the HEAD even Christ. The only purpose of true ministry is to minister that sense of a living community made real and alive by each member being held in the bonds of the Love of God to such an extent that we realize in our own hearts that of a truth we are “members one of another”. A living community that is not limited by the walls of a church building, a home group, a set of teachings or doctrines, ministries and organizations, but a community whose life is known by being IN HIM. This community of faith is called THE BODY OF CHRIST!
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Posted in Faith and Works, Our New Nature, Our Relationship with God, Our Salvation, Our Service, Overcoming, Simplicity of Faith, The Church, The Kingdom of God, The Priesthood, tagged All for Him, Apostle Paul, Body of Christ, faith, Faithfulness, first love, Freewill Offering, Heart of a Priest, Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, Law of the Spirit of Life, Living Sacrifice, love, Mercy, Ministry, obedience, Relationship, The Bread Offering, The Royal Priesthood on August 1, 2010 |
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THE BREAD OFFERING
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life,
purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience…”
II TIMOTHY 3:10
The Greek Word here for “purpose” is πρόθεσις which is translated “shewbread” in the following scriptures; Matt 12:4, Mark 2:26, Luke 6:4, Heb 9:2. Paul in this portion of Timothy is setting forth the “marks” of a true life in contrast to those who handle the truth in unrighteousness. Often the “shewbread” (see Exodus 25:30) is mentioned as a type concerning the teachings of deeper truths and revelation of the things of God. There is an element of truth in this however the “shewbread” is, first and foremost, an offering unto GOD not man. Unfortunately today there is much emphasis placed upon the ministry of men to the church with very little concept of men ministering unto the King of Kings! The reason this Greek Word is translated “purpose” in some places of the New Testament and in others “shewbread” is that Paul, especially in this context, is seeking to impress upon the heart of Timothy that the purpose of Paul’s life was to be lived as an offering of bread unto the Lord of his life. This offering was without reserve, wholly and completely given to the ONE who was worthy to break it and give it out to others as it pleased HIM. What flowed out of that offering was not Paul’s business; his business was to give his life and it was the Lord’s business to do with it as it pleased HIM (see the feeding of the multitudes).
In light of all that Jesus accomplished at Calvary we have only one offering left to give; ourselves. This offering is no longer given because of a Law that commands us, but it is the highest of offerings. It can only be given by those who have allowed the Spirit of Grace and Mercy to work within their heart. For the law of this offering is only received on the basis of a free will offering unto the ONE who gave HIMSELF for us unto the Glory of the Father. HIS heart, HIS life and HIS love are all any of us have to so freely give. We can no longer present offerings for sin, guilt and shame for that is finished in Christ. We can no longer present offerings for our failures, weaknesses and poverty for the offering has already been given. We can now only respond by giving of ourselves unto HIM and HIM alone.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service”
February 19, 2010
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“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
This is the response of a truthful heart to its condition. The question presented here is not one of “what” shall deliver me but “who”. The centrality of the New Covenant is Christ Jesus! He is the New Covenant. He is our deliverance.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”
Peter beholding Jesus (transfigured on the mount) with Moses and Elijah straightway declared “let us build” three tabernacles! Within the heart of man is this innate desire to build edifices, institute programs and exonerate ministries and expressions within the Body of Christ. Yet here we see Peter reproved from God Himself, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR YE HIM”!!
All ministry must fade in the presence of the SON. The purpose of true ministry is to so minister HIS LIFE and Glory that the Church gets to the place where HE HAS the PRE-EMINENECE in ALL things. We are to present Christ, the risen Christ, so that here on earth as it is in heaven every knee should bow and confess HE IS LORD. Wherever the Holy Spirit is in control there is true order. There is an unmistakeable freedom from the agendas of men and true liberty for the people of God to flow in the richness and power of the risen Christ. Humility is the stamp of a life submitted to the will of God. The unseemly members of the Body will know the “added” glory of our Great God so that there will be no more schisms within the context of His House. Above all there will be the wonder of the Love of God flowing in such manifestations that even the world will know that we are CHRISTIANS! This Glory is about to dawn upon our land in the midst of a segregated, divided and impotent church; even one filled with the energies of those who would build yet another tabernacle to lure others from other tabernacles in an ever ongoing cycle of division and agendas. We are living at the very edge of the summation of all that God has purposed in Christ and, because the government rests upon His shoulders, we have reason to glory. We have reason to be filled with the power of HIS Hope surging through our hearts by a living faith that knows HE IS ABLE! Nothing will stay His Hand. His wedding feast shall be full and He will complete all that HE has purposed. Let men fail, let systems crumble, let the nations roar and take council against the Lord and His Anointed; HE will finish what HE has begun!
FOR HIS NAME IS JESUS!
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Posted in Our Struggle, Overcoming, tagged Apostle Paul, deliver, deliverance, free, Jesus Christ, law of sin and death, spirit, truth on January 5, 2010 |
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“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Death has many faces. The Greek word used here is translated “death” 115 times in the New Testament. In the scripture above and in many other places it is speaking of a death that is the result of a spiritual condition. Somehow over the years in the Christian church we have become so numb to the power of His Life that we fail to see what His resurrection is to impart to us. Paul is speaking here in Romans of a life that is an expression of death…
“… for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
Romans 7:18 – 19
In response to this condition of willing to do good but not doing, and of doing what one does not want to do, there is recognition of a need for deliverance from the “body of THIS death”. Romans 7 is not to be the abiding experience of the normal Christian life; it is a necessary part of the journey as we grow and develop our relationship with Him, but it is NOT our dwelling place! Paul goes on a few verses later and declares…
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
The Romans 7 experience is characterized by one key word…. “I”. From Romans 7:14 – 23, the word “I” is mentioned 25 times. Attempting to live the Christian Life in our own resources will always bring us back to the “death” herein described in Romans 7. Romans 8 speaks of the LIFE in Christ Jesus! It speaks of the LAW of Life in Christ Jesus; a LAW that frees us from the law of sin and death. For the law of sin and death rules with an iron fist over the self life; it cannot be defeated by the self life no matter how good our intentions are. Christian Theology cannot save me from the “body of this death”, it can only intensify it! The end of all ministry MUST CULMINATE IN HIM. It matters not how good someone’s teaching or preaching is; without the LIFE of Christ ruling and reigning in me its profits nothing. The purpose of true ministry is to bring men into relationship with Christ Himself for HE ALONE can save us from our sins. HE ALONE can lift us into a realm of LIFE that is freed from the law of sin and death. This does not negate ministry; it defines and empowers it with the realization that in the ministration of truth, living vital truth, are the people of God made free. A ministry that leaves the people of God with an abiding experience of Romans 7 is not a ministry of TRUTH!
The purpose of TRUTH is to MAKE us free. Truth is not words, it is not opinions. Truth is the LIFE and POWER of the SON ruling and reigning within the hearts of men.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE you FREE”
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