Business As Usual

Hey there!

Paul said  he was a “slave” (Concordant Literal NT) of Christ Jesus in Romans 1:1 and all those who are called to be Christians are likewise referred to as “slaves” throughout the New Testament. This is the actual meaning of the Greek word ‘doulos’ according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

In all of history, I am quite sure there have NEVER been any ‘part-time slaves’. A slave is at the beck and call of her or his owner 24/7.

We, then, are to ALWAYS be constantly, consistently and ever presenting ourselves to God and Christ Jesus as our Owners. We may not have any particular task or duty to perform at any given moment, but nonetheless, we present ourselves to Them….24/7.

Even here, we are to be seeking FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and to be “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6)….24/7.

Before we were called to be saints, all kinds of activities and concerns were on our ‘to-do list’. We were swamped in dealing with the issues of life and they demanded our undivided attention. Some that got our attention were justified but many were not. We were quite literally ‘slaves’ not only to dealing with these activities and concerns but also to the “law of sin” within our very nature (Romans 7:23-24)….they owned us.

However, there are now new Owners in town!! Our new Owners demand the same UNDIVIDED attention but what a glorious and wonderful change They bring. They can and will enable us to “have life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

There are still those justified activities and concerns we must perform and attend to daily but they are dealt with in a different way. And, they don’t own or control us as before because ALL that we do we deal with  through God and Jesus. Even the “law of sin” within “the body of death” we  now occupy will submit to and be ruled by our new Owners (Romans 7:25, 8:1-3).

Now, this life changing assistance and help throughout each day that we are able to receive from our new Owners does not come by merely having Them in our thoughts during the day. Nor does regimented Bible study, regular church attendance, ‘mechanical prayer’ or any other religious activities, however well meant.

Our Father and our Savior want us to “come to” Them (Matthew 11:28) and “draw near” to Them (James 4:8) and the religious activities mentioned in the previous paragraph do NOT cut the mustard!

At this point,, I always wind up bringing forth the example of Brother Lawrence. He showed us how to “come to” and “draw near” to God and Jesus by actually talking to, beseeching and living for Them moment by moment during the entire day. He did this even during his  most hurried of times. He wrote how it was difficult to do this at first, but after a while, it became second nature to him and he could not imagine living his life any other way.

You can read his entire book free online as set forth in the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and you will be amazed and inspired by the SUPERNATURAL relationship he was able to develop with his Owners.

Personally, my moment by moment prayer to Them is “help me Lord” (in whatever I am doing, thinking or saying at the moment) or just “Lord God”….and frequently punctuated with “thank you Father” or “thank you Jesus”. And, at other times, I just freely express myself to Them. The change and results I have experienced are indescribable.

So, let us, with all our being, endeavor not to be like those in Matthew 13:22 and to never go back to ‘business as usual’, as it was before God and Christ Jesus so graciously called us to undeservingly be saints.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

 

 

 

 

The Ruler Of This World

Hey, there.

Although there is some limited human goodness and decency exhibited by some, we nevertheless live in a sick, sick and sad, sad world. Actually, it is a REFLECTION OF WHO RULES OUR WORLD!!. Jesus called living in this world as being “darkness” (John 1:5), as did Paul in Ephesians 5:8; 6:12. Paul went on to call this time we live in as “this present evil age” (Young’s).

Satan is definitely the ruler of this world….yes, WORLD….as in ALL nations (John 12:31, 14:30 and 16:11….Young’s). He is also called “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4….Young’s, Rotherham’s). This is verified in Matthew 4:1, 8-10 where he offered Jesus ALL the kingdoms of the world and Christ did not dispute his authority to do so.

Never blame God and Christ Jesus directly for ANY and ALL the tremendously terrible and abominable events, conditions and individual suffering we so readily and constantly see about us….rather, blame Satan and his sidekicks (as well as those individuals with evil stored in their hearts, of course) for it ALL.

Also, in Ephesians 2:2, Satan is described further: “in which you formally walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (New American Standard).

The United States is no exception to Satan’s rulership. I am a natural born citizen and Marine veteran who appreciates and  enjoys our country’s wonderful freedoms, prosperity and opportunities BUT there is no denying we are not a nation of God in reality…. in vocabulary only. For instance, God would NEVER endorse NOR embrace a nation that specifically excludes Him from their government by its constitution (as we do), much less allows freedom of religion (as we do).

From a human standpoint, allowing freedom of “religion” sounds very appealing, fair and noble; HOWEVER, guess how many “religions” God allowed when dealing with Israel in the Old Testament and is going to allow in the Millennium, much less during the “new heaven and new earth”….you guessed it: one (1)….ONLY the worship of Him and Christ Jesus.

For now, we Christians are “strangers and sojourners upon the earth” (Hebrews 11:13….Young’s) and “temporary residents” (1 Peter1:17, 1 Peter 2:11….Holman’s)  in a FOREIGN LAND  and it is NOT our duty NOR our  chore to change any of the ways of any of the nations of Satan’s world; but rather, to be subject to the authorities (Romans 13:1-5) while we are GUESTS here, and are to be setting an example by walking in the Light (1 John 1:7).

A final note on Satan. As the ruler of this world, he and his cohorts  have to receive God’s permission to do EVERYTHING (directly or indirectly), as clearly illustrated by the example of Job. And, sometimes, as with Job, there are limitations placed on the Adversary’s actions. As believers, rest assured that any assault by Satan on any of us in any way was conditionally authorized and approved by God FOR OUR EVENTUAL GOOD! And, as brought out in many other Posts here, as well for the EVENTUAL good and glory of the ENTIRE CREATION when He is “ALL in ALL….1 Corinthians 15:28!

God and Christ Jesus NEVER allow any evil or sin to occur that They will not be able to bring about a GLORIOUS GOOD from it….regardless of how this may not appear at the moment.

How fortunate and blessed we (all humans) are to have a God and Savior such as They are!!!

Until later,

Fred