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

 

 

 

 

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Why Isn’t God More Real To Me?

Hi, there!

Let’s face it, to many, if not most, Christians God and Christ Jesus are not all that ‘real’ to us in a truly personal sense. Real, in that we actually ‘feel’ Their presence with us continually throughout the day (as Brother Lawrence did as illustrated in the book “Practicing the Presence of God”….please reference the Post by this title.). Real, in that we know Them so personally as to be continually and constantly looking at everything we encounter daily through Them. Real, in that we continually ask Them throughout the day as to what to say, what to do and how to handle situations we encounter during that day.

In the last Post “God And Christ Jesus Are In Us ALL THE TIME!!!”, Scriptures clearly show that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are within us. So, we “know”, then, that we have a reservoir of Holy Presence in us that defies human imagination! However, how much do we “realize” this Holy Presence as true reality? (Please reference the Post on “Knowledge vs Realization”). Paul knew that there was a difference between the two when he wrote in Ephesians 1:17-20 (Concordant Literal New Testament) that he prayed for  all saints to come to a “realization” (vs. mere “knowledge”) of what we have as believers because of the power of God and sacrifice of our Lord Christ Jesus.

The Bible shows quite clearly how we achieve this “realization” and thus be able to depend on and experience the Father and Christ Jesus in a personal way daily. It is revealed in James 4:8: “ Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”. That’s it….pure and simple! Let’s explore this a little further.

Regimented Bible study, ‘mechanical’ prayer and attending church, although beneficial to some degree, DOES NOT qualify as “drawing near to God” (Please see the Post on “Bible Study Is Good…IF…BUT”).

Saul, before he became the apostle Paul, was highly proficient in performing the 3 above noted practices. In addition to this, as to observing the Law in a physical sense, Saul was “blameless” (Philippians 3:6), which was quite an achievement in a ‘religious’, human sort of way. And yet, in spite of all this, Saul would become the “foremost” of sinners (1 Timothy 1:16) and the chief persecutor of God’s saints!! So, obviously, these 3 ‘religious’ practices BY THEMSELVES  will not do the trick in getting us closer to the Father or our Lord in a PERSONAL way.

Believing,in itself, DOES NOT qualify as “drawing near to God” either….even the devils believe! (James 2:19)

What DOES qualify as “drawing near to God” is “practicing the presence of God” (Please see the Posts “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Letters By A Modern Mystic”). It means to start looking to God and Christ Jesus MORE and MORE in our thoughts and needs. Continually, as best we can at first, conversing with Them (Please reference the Post “Pray On The Potty”) and keeping Them before us at ALL times throughout the day….not only hourly, but eventually minute by minute, as is practical. In this way, we are “going to God” or, if you will, “drawing near to God”….and, in turn, God (and Jesus) will draw closer to us, as a reality.

Oswald Chambers wrote in  MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST (please reference the Post by the same name) that ” ‘Why does God not reveal Himself to me?’ It is not that He will not, it is that He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won’t abandon absolutely to Him.”

At first, it will be difficult to focus on and go to God and Jesus with such ABANDONMENT because it will be going against our human nature and the ‘flesh’, which opposes the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Ridding our minds of useless and frivolous thoughts to focus on God and Christ Jesus MAY ACTUALLY SEEM AS IF WE ARE GOING AGAINST WHAT IS NATURAL….because we have so constantly entertained these vain thoughts for so long as part of our normal lives (Galatians 4:17,23). Even Brother Lawrence admitted it was difficult for him at first to LEARN how to FULLY focus on the Father and Christ Jesus in his waking moments.

However, he went on to say “we must at first apply to Him with some diligence. Then, after a little care, we would find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.”. (Again, please reference the Post “Practicing The Presence Of God”.)

And, of course, it takes time. God may need to remove some human barriers within us, and in doing so, it may seem as if we are digressing rather than making progress. However,DON’T give in to this FALSE line of reasoning nor to apparent failure….God and Jesus know our hearts and They will continually work with us as long as we keep trying and are willing to submit to Them.

Please don’t misunderstand me, a believer can have a fulfilling and rewarding Christian journey to varying degrees without achieving this deep, personal relationship with the Father and our Lord….however, I am merely presenting the better and far richer way.

Hope to see you again soon.

Fred

Law Of Sin In Our Members

Greetings! In Romans 7 and 8 Paul discusses a “law of sin” in our members. Just as the ‘law’ of gravity is ALWAYS present and active so is the ‘law’ of sin within us….even after we have been called and saved.

Keep in mind ‘sin’ is just not the major sins of murder, thievery, adultery, lying, drunkenness, etc.. Reading thru the Scriptures we will find it also includes gossip, slander, envy, greed, profanity, worldliness, crude joke telling, selfishness, impatience and pretty much everything else that is not of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

Fortunately, as believers, we have the Spirit’s “law of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2) to COMPLETELY defeat the ‘law’ of sin operating within us.  There is only one catch: we have to “walk” in the Spirit (Romans 8:4).

The definition of ‘walk’ involves to “move about” (action and activity) in those things of the Spirit. This entails being disposed to that which is brought out in Romans 12:9-13, as a limited example.

“Practicing the Presence of God” (please see the Post on this) is also a much needed element, especially if we want to more and more experience the reality of God and Christ on a personal level, and well as to enjoy the blessedness of the ‘fruit of Spirit’.

Later, in Christ.

Fred

Death Of Infants And Young Children

Hi, there!

God, in His infinite and never failing wisdom, oftentimes holds back the reason(s) for  the necessity of something happening. Some things we just have to accept on faith, but even here, He gives us good reason to trust Him. For instance, the fact that ALL creation will be saved at the conclusion of the eons (please reference the Post “All Creation Will Be Saved”) is proof enough of His love for His creation (please also reference the Post “God Can Give Nothing But Blessing And Goodness”) and assures us that ALL things will come to a WONDERFUL and GLORIOUS end, regardless of present conditions and/or appearances.

Concerning the deaths of infants and young children, I believe it is safe for us to reach a few factual conclusions based on the Scriptures. Without a doubt, all those babies and children who died in infancy will be at the Great White Throne Judgment as all who have ever lived will be present there except for God’s saints (please reference the Posts “Who Are Saints” and “Judgment Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”).

The Great White Throne Judgment  has absolutely NOTHING to do  with the issues of faith, justification, righteousness, baptism, callings or any religious matters. It deals SOLELY with an individual’s “acts” and “motives” during their existence as a human being (Romans 2:5-7 and other verses)…that’s it!!  It is quite obvious that these previously deceased babies and young children will be HAPPILY ushered into the coming “new heaven and new earth” (Revelation 21:1) following the Judgment because they cannot be held accountable nor condemned for any bad acts….based on their ages and experience!

Parents, relatives, loved ones and even strangers who are so deeply touched by the passing of babies and young children are certainly justified in experiencing the pain of the loss. But, the tears and broken hearts are for us humans, NOT these children. To the contrary, they did not have to experience (were actually spared, if you will) the very difficult and quite painful journey of being a human in this very corrupt and “WICKED eon” (Galatians 1:4).

Jesus, Himself, referred to this present experience of life as humans on earth as “darkness” (John 1:5), as did Paul (Ephesians 5:8, 6:12). Earth is the land of the dead (those deceased) and the ‘dying’ (Matthew 8:22).  Soon after we are born, our mortal bodies begin the process of decaying and dying, and are having to be rejuvenated again and again, constantly. These infants and little children were BLESSED with only having to go through this ‘rotting’ process for a very, very short time.

And, although they may have missed out on some VERY limited and VERY fleeting happy moments as a human being, it is NOTHING compared to what it will be like for them at their next awakening moment from their peaceful “SLEEP” of death (please reference the Post “Death”) before the Righteous Judge Who will then grant them a JOYOUS and GLORIOUS life beyond description  in “the new heaven and the new earth” (“paradeisos” OR ‘paradise’….Revelation 2:7).

Remember always: IF it had been more profitable for them to have lived a longer life, God and Christ Jesus would have allowed them to do so.

As for the suffering of infants and young children who do not die, please reference the Post on “Suffering”.

Until later, all the best in Christ Jesus,

Fred