Archive for October, 2010

May I Have Your Attention Please?

These are words that usually proceed an important announcement or message. Typically the announcer has some information you need to know or some instructions you need to follow in order to avoid a mistake or some way to avoid some hardship or loss. On the other hand, it can often be for your benefit to receive the instructions and/or warnings being given by the announcer.

God is forever trying to get your attention. He sends many vehicles to usher you from destruction and into safety. We all know the story of the man, who when caught in a terrible flooding, stood on his roof waiting for God to rescue him. There were a man on a raft, a man in a boat and a team in a helicopter that all came to rescue him. But he wanted to wait for God to save him.

When he finally drowned and went to heaven. He said to God with a sense of perturbation, “God, why didn’t you come and save me? I waited for you to come and you never did.” God quizzically replied, “Well, I sent you a raft, a boat and a helicopter!”

Oftentimes God is trying to get our attention. Often we are distracted by other things and He cannot save us.

If you do not purposefully and with sincere intent set aside opportunities for God to talk to you each day, then I can pretty much assure you He is not able to. Remember the messages that would interrupt the TV programs back in the days of black and white programing, the ones from the Emergency Broadcast System? God will not “interrupt the program in progress for this special announcement”. He should be the perpetual, ever-persistent “program in progress”.

Let me just list some of the top channels people are listening to these days, and in so doing are not tuned into God, His person, His voice and His will. There is the all-time favorite holding its own at number 1, Me, Myself and I. With syndicated favorite programs (commercial free too) of: What Do I Think?, What Do I Want?, What Makes Me Feel Good?, What is in it for Me?

Close behind at number 2 is: Entertainment Media Central. Non-stop programming of non-sensical TV shows, movies, music and email junk food (quickly becoming a new favorite).

Then there is the sports and hobby options. Everything I enjoy and like to do with my life for — me. These include watching and participating in sports, politics, finance, shopping, eating, exercise, recreations, socializations, group activities.

Then there are those socially acceptable indulgences that can take an inordinate amount of time beyond what is needful. There is work and career, family and friends, maintenance and decoration of house and yards. The list goes on and on.

Everything that captures your time and your attention is what you are investing your life in. Your time is your life. It is all you really have to invest. How much of your life are you investing in God, your Heavenly Father? Do you have a vital, real and tangible relationship with Him or are all these time consuming distractions taking your life.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Lk. 12:34.

Only you can choose to be tuned into God. Only you can choose to turn away from the distractions and to concentrate on Him. How will you ever know and enjoy Him if you do not seek Him? He is quiet and gentle. He will not barge into your life and become a distraction to what you are doing (although He often allows things to happen to you to get your attention). He will not try to entertain your soulish lusts for what makes you happy and feel good, to bribe you into a relationship with Him. He is waiting for you decide you want to know Him. Do you?

You must learn to wait upon the Lord, quietly, with sincerity of heart and desire to know Him. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13.

May I have your attention please?

v297 The Seekret to Knowing God

The Seekret to Knowing God

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Eternal Life and Heaven are synonymous. If you have Eternal Life you have Heaven. If you have Heaven, you have Eternal Life. They are two sides of the same coin, for they are both to be had in knowing God through the Son.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11-12.

You do know don’t you, that Adam and Eve had eternal life before they ate of the fruit? They needed not to die to go to heaven. They were alive in Christ, in God the Father and in God the Holy Spirit. They were already One with Him(s).

They, Adam and Eve, both had all they needed in Him. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” 2 Peter 1:3. To know Him is Eternal Life. They both already had everything they needed in Him. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19.

But Eve doubted that God could and did supply all she needed. Satan was able to plant a seed of distrust and doubt in Eve’s mind to question the goodness of God. And that seed has sprouted and given off many seeds of doubt ever since.

In Eve’s doubt she entertained the possibility that God’s plan of provision and protection might not serve her best. She decided to strike out as an independent agent. In so doing she birthed her Self.

Following shortly behind her was her husband, Adam, who knowingly followed her in this act and thus sinned placing the seeds of sin in himself to be transferred to everyone of his offspring — us.

It all began with the temptation to strike out and act separately from God and His will and establish our own criteria for what we will and won’t do based upon the desires of Self. From that day forward men have been seeking their own will and to know and exhibit Self.

The heart of a natural man is desperately wicked and who can know it?

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8.

In our pride we maintain that we can do this thing without God. And because we live and act independent of Him, because we disregard Him all throughout the day, we do not know Him. We still think that we can become like God by knowing good and evil and making a decision to do what is morally right.

God has given us the remedy, the seekret if you will. He has told us that to correct the misalignment of the Fall we must realign to know Him, to seek a relationship with Him. But do we? Hardly. We still want God on our terms. We tell Him, “Hey come over here and place yourself above me, I’m not going over there and admitting my sin or submitting to your will. Make me.”

And so we wait and wait and nothing happens. God waits and waits and nothing happens. God has another plan. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer. 29:13. He is looking for you to express and admit your need of Him, just as you expressed and confessed of not needing Him in the Garden.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron. 16:9.

God is looking for those who are looking for Him, to have a relationship.

This is the seekret to knowing God.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt. 6:33.

v296 Holey, Wholly, Holy

Holey, Wholly, Holy

Each of us is born naturally, not of the spirit but of the flesh, by human effort and work. We are born in Adam. As such we live unto ourselves and die by ourselves. We know this instinctively and by experience. We soon learn how we have to perform and do things so that others applaud to get the things that we need. We do and do and do it seems, but we just cannot get enough to make us secure. Even the most wealthy men in the world go to sleep wrestling with fears of loss and insecurity (why do you think they worked so hard to get money in the first place?).

We are each born with a huge hole in us — we are holey. We spend our years trying to fill our holes with things that we think can remove the gnawing pangs of an empty soul. We live in fear and unrest, lacking peace and joy.

Then by God’s will and design He makes Himself known to us. We hear Him (with spiritual ears) by the Word of His testimony and we respond to know more of Him and then one day we see Him (with spiritual eyes) as He reveals the Light and Truth and Love — Himself to us. Some quickly take inventory of their worldly stance and goods and weigh that they will not pay all that for Him and go away having seen but not believed unto salvation.

Others see Him and begin to gaze upon the beauty of His holiness and realize that He is the One who fills the hole. They take possession of Him by faith and begin to live in Him. Yet the transaction is only partly complete. We want Him to fill our hole but we have gathered so many things that are dear to us.

We are not willing to depart with our worldly riches. God cannot fill the hole till you empty it. He is the perfect fit yet he cannot occupy His place fully till you remove the worldly things you have gathered to yourself. He wants to live in you wholly.

Years and years go by. You have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. You wonder why you too cannot have this holiness that He promises. Then slowly, thing by thing God begins to show you that you do not need them, that you need Him. One by one, often painfully and grudgingly we hand over the remnants of an old dead person’s treasure. We make more and more room for Him.

When once He is wholly yours you become like Him — Holy.

Holey, Wholly, Holy.

Crucifixion, A Two-way Street

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Gal. 6:14.

Salvation is not the same as eternal life or regeneration. These are readily available through our redemption that Christ bought for us on the Cross. He paid the price. Yet our salvation is different. Salvation is unto something and from something. We are saved unto the Kingdom of God and from the the kingdom of this world. We are saved, separated from this world for God’s purposes. That is the true meaning of biblical salvation. Saved is to be set aside for a special purpose. Just as you save up money for a special purpose, God is setting you aside from the world for a special purpose.

It is when I am crucified with Christ that I am saved. I am set aside for God. But not only am I separated from the world but the world is separated from me, “and I unto the world.” Just as I have no hope nor future laid up in the world system so it, the world, has no hope nor future laid up for me. It disdains me as I should disdain it.

When once you are dead to a thing do you continue to invest in it further? Of course not. If you know that your place of employment is closing down in a week do you begin to develop a program that will be useful to its future? Of course not. If the bank you are placing money in is going down the tubes, in receivership, do you continue to set aside your money there for your future? Of course not.

Why then, do so many professing Christians continue to make large deposits into the world as though it were secure there? “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit.” Rev. 18:2. I assure you that the world is dead to you if you are a Christian. In some ways the world acts more appropriately toward a Christian than a Christian acts toward the world. The world sees you as dead to it and treats you as such. Why don’t you see the world as a dead thing and treat it that way?

Crucifixion is a two-way street. “The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Listen v4.10 Quotes

Quote Title Quotation Source
My Job Discription My one work is to obey God. Andrew Murray – The Two Convenants, 1898, copyright 2005 CLC Ministries International
Send the Light, O Lord, Send the Light Not understood. We move along asunder;
Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along in years; we marvel and we wonder
Why life is life, and then we fall asleep —
Not understood. 

Not understood. How many breasts are aching
For lack of sympathy. Ah, day by day,
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking,
How many noble spirits pass away —
Not understood.

O God! That men would see a little clearer,
Or judge less harshly when they cannot see!
O God! That men would draw a little nearer
To one another! — they’d be nearer Thee,
And understood.

F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Not Knowing You Know Not It is possible to grow up in the church learn the catechism and have everything done to us that they do to us, within reason. But after we have done all that, we may not know God at all, because God isn’t known by those external things. We are blind and we can’t see, because the things of God no man knows but by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul, “even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1Corinthians 2:11). God knows Himself, and the Holy Spirit knows God because the Holy Spirit is God, and no man can know except by the Holy Spirit. For any man to disregard this truth is to entirely shut out spiritual things from his understanding. A. W. Tozer – The Counselor, circa 1955, copyright 1993 by Christian Publications
All Exits and Detours are Blocked I see that every natural means of help is shut off. God intends to accomplish His work in you by cutting off every human resource. He is a jealous God. He wants you to see that what He is going to do within you can only be done by Himself alone. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
What Have You to Lose? Tell me, what possible risk do you take in depending solely upon God? What risk do you run by abandoning yourself completely to Him? The Lord will not deceive you (that is, unless it is to bestow on you more abundance than you ever imagined).
However, those who expect all of these things from the Lord by self-effort will hear the Lord s rebuke: You have wearied yourselves in the multiplicity of your ways, and have not said, Let us rest in peace. (Isa. 57:10).
Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
The Right Righteousness The church is founded on, and consists in, this doctrine alone. So if we want to teach and lead other people, we need to pay careful attention to these matters and to note well this distinction between the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of Christ… So I warn you, especially those of you who will become teachers and guides of consciences, to exercise yourselves continually by study, reading, meditation on the Word, and prayer, so that in time of temptation you may be able to instruct and strengthen both your own conscience and that of other people, and to bring them from the law to grace, from active and working righteousness to passive and received righteousness, from Moses to Christ. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
Given a New Name! At last he burst out as he had done earlier, crying, Oh wretched man that I am! What shall I do to be saved? And, as before, so now again, there was no reply. I saw also that he cast hungry eyes this way to the left, and that way to the right, seeking some place to flee for his escape. Yet he continued to stand, trembling, out in the midst of the field, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. Then, from the right, I saw a man named Evangelist approaching, who addressed him thus, Good day, Christian. Good day, moaned the man woefully. But, pray tell, sir. Why did you address me as Christian? Because if you continue to read from that little book in your hand, a Christian is what you must surely become, said Evangelist with joyful assurance. Hmm. Even though my name is now Graceless ? asked the man doubtfully. Aye, said Evangelist earnestly. Though your name should be called death itself, yet would the reading of that Word give you life! John Bunyan – The New Amplified Pilgrims Progress, circa 1660; Adapted by Jim Pappas, Jr. © 1999 Orion s Gate
The Pride of Unteachableness That is the danger of putting theology first; it leads a man to tell a lie in order to be consistent with his point of view. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Receptivity and Productivity This passage gives the double-sidedness of conversion. As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith (Col. 2:6-7, rsv). Note, received receptivity; so live activity. It appears again, rooted receptivity; built up in him activity. The rooted means we take from God as the roots take from the soil; the
built up means we build up as one builds a house, a character and life by disciplined effort.
E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
The Trap of Reason Never succumb to the reasonability of common sense — for God’s wisdom is always uncommon and unreasonable, it requires faith in what is not seen. God’s ways are higher than our ways. Tom Van Hoogen

As I Have Loved You

God’s commandments are God’s enablings. God has commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. Immediately we must turn away in disappointment, “But I am not God that I can love like Him.” Who does He think I am God? Yes, actually He does. He has made every one whom He has redeemed to be like Him, to be found in the fullness of the likeness of the Son.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.

“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Col. 2:9. When you are operating in the spirit, when you are depending upon Him, when you have died to Self and this world and its lure and lusts, then you remain in Him. Then you abide, then you are like Him.

God, here through the disciple and Apostle John, tells us how we can love like that. “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. The secret is in remembering and recalling how He has loved us.

How has God loved you? Magnanimously, joyously, profusely, unceasingly, sacrificially, prayerfully, specifically,personally, hopingly, self-denyingly, everlastingly, Fatherly, Motherly, Brotherly, Husbandly, Wifely, Neighborly, even as His enemy has He loved you.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8. We were and are and remian by no means loveable. If we had to rely on our own worthiness and lovliness, then we are to be among all men most pitied. We, you, I am not worthy. Never will be. Neither will your husband, wife, neighbor, boss, friend or enemy.

That is not how Jesus loved us. He loved us “while we were yet sinners”. How does that work? “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. That’s how it works. God’s love for us has nothing at all to do with our loveliness or worthiness. That is how He loved us. That is how we are to love one another.

But, you say, “That is impossible.” “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27. With God, but with God with us — Emmanuel — “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me”. Phil. 4:13.

So God teaches how we are to love, but that is not all. He also gives us another powerful clue as to how we can love others. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matt. 22:39. You may say and think, “But I do not always love myself.” But oh, you do. You always forgive yourself. Think of all the ways you express mercy to yourself.

You are always forgiving yourself, always justifying yourself. You use many methods to make you OK with you. You find another to blame for your action or the way you are, You find a way to make it OK that you are that way and said that thing that you should not have. No, you always find ways to forgive and grant to yourself the mercy you must have.

Of course there are those who have become immune to their conscience and or that grieve the Holy Spirit’s promptings by their pride. They do not allow themselves to accept that they are wrong and thereby never experience a broken and contrite heart. They just gloss over their own wrong-doing. Oh, but they do love themselves. They love themselves immensely.

So that is how you are to love others — as yourself — as Christ loved you. But, you rebuttal, “They are mean and despicable, hurtful and knowingly wrong.” And the point is? Are not you mean, despicable, hurtful and knowingly wrong? You forgive you right? Forgive them also.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:… For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matt. 6:12-15.

But you say, “who can forgive sins but God only?” Mark 2:7. Exactly. Paul knew this and said,

“To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ.” 2 Cor. 2:10.

When you forgive yourself and grant yourself mercy and not judgment, then you are like God, forgiving sins. We know that you know how to do this. Now, go and be like God to your neighbors, forgiving them also.

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:19.

God has granted to us this ministry of reconciliation. He has granted to us that we be like Him, not holding men’s sins against them but forgiving them, as we have also been forgiven in Christ.

And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:37

As I have loved you, so love one another.

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