Rejoice When A Christian Dies!!

Hello, there!

A truer statement was never more true….the MOST BLESSED moment in a Christian’s life is her or his death. Paul eagerly looked forward to it as written in Philippians 1:21 and 2 Corinthians 5:8. (Please also reference the Category “Living Is Christ….Dying Gain”) Ecclesiastes 7:8 echoes it well: “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning.”

Of course, we should certainly weep and grieve for the temporary loss of their physical presence, but in our spirit, we should REJOICE that they have finally come to the end of their earthly journey in this  dark, sin filled, sickness filled, suffering filled and sorrow filled world ruled by Satan. (John 12:31, 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Thankfully, in Their mercy and love, God and Christ Jesus give both unbelievers and Christians passing moments of human happiness and joy in one form or another, to each person as they deserve.

However, I would venture to speculate confidently that the fleeting human happiness and joy we now experience as mortals compared to that which we will experience in our GLORIFIED, newly transformed CELESTIAL BODIES (please reference the Category “Our Glorious New Bodies”) would be like comparing a lighted candle on earth to a million suns….maybe MORE!

And, always keep in mind….NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT GOD’S PERMISSION (please reference the Category by this same title). This means it was the right moment  for this particular Christian to die at this particular time….and it was the BEST thing to happen for EVERYONE involved, regardless of how human eyes may see it. (You might want to reference the Category “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness”)

You might also want to read the Categories “Death Of Infants And Young Children” as well “Death”.

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

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Come Unto Me And I Will Give You Rest

Greetings!

This wonderful truth in Matthew 11:28 does NOT describe some cheap and easy benefit bestowed on a Christian from the git-go.

Believing, in itself, enables us to become God’s chosen saints and gain access to Him and Christ Jesus but it does NOT automatically afford the very real, Holy ” rest”spoken of in this verse….in fact, even demons can believe (James 2:19).

Having nice thoughts about God and Jesus, carrying out Christian functions such as good works, church attendance, Bible study, ritualistic prayer, etc., etc. likewise will NOT serve as a means to gain this blessed “rest” that defies human understanding….although, they can certainly serve to help us if done in the proper way.

The key to understanding how this supernatural “rest” can be ours is clearly revealed in the phrase “come unto Me” in verse 28. We can do ALL the endeavors mentioned above and still NOT “come unto” our Lord.  In other words, the above activities can all be done in an entirely religious manner without us ever reaching Jesus personally, and it is only here, that we actually experience our promised “rest”.

Thankfully, the solution to our problem is shown in James 4:8: “come close to God, and He will come close to you“. The way we “come close”  (or “come unto“)  our Father and Jesus is to  continuously (minute by minute and hour by hour) go to Them in ALL our daily activities, much in the manner described in the Category/Post “Practicing The Presence Of God”. I hope you will take the time to read this Category  about Brother Lawrence as well as the Categories/Posts on “Letters From A Modern Mystic” and “Why Not Be A Mystic”.

Until later, in Him,

Fred

 

Usefulness

Hey, there!

I was reading a daily devotional this morning from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” at http://utmost.org/usefulness-or-relationship/ and he made some very good and truthful points concerning whether our relationship with our Father and Christ Jesus is more important than our apparent successes and achievements regarding our Christian works and activities.

The following excerpts are edited and emphasized by me.

He noted that if the latter was more important “then Jesus Christ was the greatest failure who ever lived.” It is true….His ministry was an utter disaster and in ruin as “all” had left Him and ALL that everyone had hope for in Him turned out to be a seeming lie and illusion. In the eyes of the world, He had accomplished absolutely nothing good (except His apparent healings); but rather, only grief and sorrow for those who had believed in Him.

Mr. Chambers goes on to write:

“For the saint, direction and guidance come from God Himself, NOT some measure of that saint’s usefulness. It is the work that God does through us that counts, NOT what we do for HimALL that our Lord gives His attention to in a person’s life is that person’s relationship with God.”

I often remember the example of Hannah  given to us in Luke 2:36-38. She offered God her total attention and devotion night and day and never left the temple. She did NOT actively ‘save souls’ or have ANY apparent good works or achievements to be applauded before human eyes….none!

And yet, she received God’s blessed approval because of her personal relationship with Him….and nothing more.

We should NEVER feel discouraged by any apparent lack of good  human works or successes in the Christan realm of our lives because the one main concern  of God and of our Savior is for us to continually  have that PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Them.

Of course, Christian ‘good works’ are to be applauded, and they will also be rewarded; HOWEVER, as indicated above, they are NOT the only true measure of a saint’s life, nor the most important.

Take care, in Him.

Fred

A Christian On Cruise Control Is Lukewarm

Hey, there!

Being on cruise control as a Christian means being idle with no continuous acceleration relative to our attempts to GROW in our faith and subsequently become more like Christ Jesus. We can be very, very active in ‘church activities’  and human charitable endeavors and yet be totally neglecting our DUTY to draw nearer to God and Jesus. In other words, we are quite ‘religious’ but not Spiritual.

Being ‘religious’ not only enables us to remain comfortably and effortlessly human but relieves us of the burden and agony of  denying ourselves of those human traits and habits that keep us from becoming more like our Savior, as well as from ENJOYING  the glorious and wonderful “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

Even worse, being on cruise control is synonymous with being ‘lukewarm’ and we know what Revelation 3:15-16 says about how our Father and Christ view the ‘lukewarm’ Christian and what will happen.

We are continually admonished to ACTION and ACCELERATION:

– “hunger and thirst” for righteousness (Matthew 5:6)

– “seek” first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:23)

– “pursue” righteousness and faith (1 Timothy 6:11)

– “draw” near to God (James 4:8)

– make all “grow” into Him (Ephesians 4:15)

– “fight” the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)

– “be fervent” in spirit (Romans 12:11)

– “slaving” for the Lord (Romans 12:12)

– “be zealous” for the greater graces (1 Corinthians 12:31)

And the list goes on to show that we should NEVER become idle (on cruise control) and ‘lukewarm’ as Christians. ‘Practicing the presence of God’ (please refer to the Category/Post by that same title) is one of our ABSOLUTE BEST ways to avoid this.

Oswald Chambers writes in his “My Utmost For His Highest” ( http://utmost.org/the-patience-to-wait-for-the-vision/ ) :

“It is a bad thing to be satisfied spiritually. We are apt to look for satisfaction within ourselves and say, “Now I’ve got it! Now I am completely sanctified. Now I can endure.” Instantly we are on the road to ruin. Our reach must exceed our grasp. Beware of the danger of spiritual relaxation.”

And again, he writes in his article at http://utmost.org/are-you-obsessed-by-something/ : “The total being of our life inside and out is to be absolutely obsessed by the presence of God.”

End of excerpts

Of course, there is one obvious exception to this analogy. If we set our control to cruise on the MAXIMUM of “loving the Lord your God with your WHOLE heart, and your WHOLE soul, and with your WHOLE comprehension” (Matthew 22:37)….then we are good to go!!

Until later,

Fred

 

 

Am I Carnally Minded?

Hello!

Well, I have yet another excellent article I want to share with you from Oswald Chambers’ book MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, which can be found in a FREE copy of his writing as explained in the Category by the same title. Here goes:

“Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal…? —1 Corinthians 3:3

The natural man, or unbeliever, knows nothing about carnality. The desires of the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit warring against the flesh, which began at rebirth, are what produce carnality and the awareness of it. But Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). In other words, carnality will disappear.

Are you quarrelsome and easily upset over small things? Do you think that no one who is a Christian is ever like that? Paul said they are, and he connected these attitudes with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens a spirit of malice or resentment in you? If so, that is proof that you are still carnal. If the process of sanctification is continuing in your life, there will be no trace of that kind of spirit remaining.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, “Oh, I can explain that.” When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone you will know it— it is the most real thing you can imagine. And God will see to it that you have a number of opportunities to prove to yourself the miracle of His grace. The proof is in a very practical test. You will find yourself saying, “If this had happened before, I would have had the spirit of resentment!” And you will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.”

Until later,

Fred

UPDATE On “Supernatural Joy”

Hi, there!

I have another excellent excerpt for you from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category with the same title as the book to get all of his entries FREE).

I had Posted a Category entitled “Supernatural Joy” and  am going to add the following to it today as an UPDATE, and all emphasis in the excerpt will be mine. Here goes:

” The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, LIMITLESS miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in ALL these things we are more than conquerors.” We are SUPER-VICTORS  with a JOY that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— ARE THE VERY THINGS THAT PRODUCE ABUNDANT JOY IN US. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in ALL these things”, NOT IN SPITE OF THE THEM, BUT IN THE MIDST OF THEM. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am EXCEEDINGLY JOYFUL in ALL our tribulation”.

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of ABUNDANT JOY, is not built on anything passing, but on the LOVE of GOD  that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

End of excerpt.

Please keep in mind that we are dealing with a ‘Holy’ joy here, which would far exceed mere ‘human’ joy!

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Hip Pocket God

Hello!

During my early years as a Christian, I came across the term ‘hip pocket God’ and  readily understood it referred to using or desperately calling on God ONLY when one needs Him….much like using a wallet from the back pocket.

It obviously did not impress me enough because I kept Him and Christ Jesus right there, all snug, for many, many years ALTHOUGH I appeared to be quite the gung-ho  Christian with a great zeal for church activities, Bible study and ‘religious good works’.

Well, I thought by continually acknowledging in my thoughts the fact that They are there along with my zealous religious activities I would surely never qualify as having a ‘hip pocket God’. Oops….WRONG!

It took me years and years (seemed like eons!!), with  quite a number of painful experiences, to finally fully realize and understand that as long as I/we do not DEPEND on, SEEK guidance from, offer PRAISE and THANKS to our Father and Savior on a CONTINUAL moment by moment (when possible) and hourly by hourly (when possible) basis….then, They continue to remain in my/our hip pocket.

You can reference the Posts (Categories) on “Pray On The Potty”, “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me” for more discussion on this.

All the best, in Him.

Fred