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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Even If God Seems Against You

Hey there!

I have read about a great many Christians, including quite a lot of ‘mystics’, and  found none who appeared to have  had a more supernatural, consistent and loving closeness to God and Christ Jesus than Brother Lawrence….excluding Biblical saints, of course. His personal and joyful relationship with Them was LITERALLY a moment by moment, day in and day out  experience for over 40 years!!

However, before he actually began to experience  this supernatural blessing, he had these words to say in his book “Practicing The Presence Of God”:

“It seemed to me that ALL creatures, reason, and God Himself were against me and  faith alone for me.” (emphasis mine)

Now, keep in mind this sentiment and reasoning was felt by him while he was wholeheartedly endeavoring to ‘converse’ with God and Jesus EVERY  moment or so (when possible) during his daily activities.

Even still, he persisted in ‘faith alone’. And just when it seemed as though he would have to remain in this imagined alienated state for the rest of his life, the glorious and supernatural relationship with God and Jesus described in his book suddenly burst on the scene!

You can read more about this wonderful and inspiring story at the Category “Practicing The Presence Of God” and also discover how to gain FREE access to his complete book by the same title online.

I will add in closing that the experiences with our Father and our Savior are always different from one another. Some of us will experience that personal relationship in a more gradual way than Brother Lawrence. As well,  all of our spiritual relationships with Them will have multiple and varying  degrees and ways. And yet, the moment  by moment experiencing of Their presence is available to us ALL!

Until later, in Him.

Fred

Destined To Be Holy

Greetings!

I have another excellent excerpt for you from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” and it is found at http://utmost.org/destined-to-be-holy/ . Actually, this is in perfect line with the Category “The Purpose Of Life”. Editing and emphasis will be mine throughout….we begin:

“…it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:16Peter 1:16

We must continually remind ourselves of THE PURPOSE OF LIFE. We are…. destined…. to HOLINESS.

Today we have far too many desires and interests, and our lives are being consumed and wasted by them. Many of them may be right, noble, and good, and may later be fulfilled, but in the meantime God must cause their importance to decrease.  THE ONLY THING THAT TRULY MATTERS is whether a person will accept the God  Who will make him HOLY.  AT ALL COST,  a person must have the right relationship with God.

God has only one intended destiny for mankind— HOLINESS. His only goal is to produce saints. God is not some eternal blessing-machine for people to use, and He did not come to save us out of pity— He came to save us because He created us to be HOLY. Atonement through the Cross of Christ means that God can put me back into PERFECT ONENESS with Himself through the death of Jesus Christ, without a trace of anything coming between us any longer.

Holiness means absolute purity of your walk before God, the words coming from your mouth, and EVERY thought in your mind— placing EVERY detail of your life under the scrutiny of God Himself. Holiness is NOT simply what God gives me, but what God has given me that is being exhibited in my life.

All the best, 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

Trust God And Christ Jesus As Our Guide

Hey, there!

This is an elaboration on the last Category of  “Led By God’s Spirit” and is taken from “Abandonment To Divine Providence” at  http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.ii_1.ii.ii.vii.html (just click the web address with your pointer and you will be taken to the website where the entire book is available.)

Emphasis and editing is mine throughout and here we go:

“When God makes Himself the Guide of a soul He exacts from it an absolute confidence in Him, and a freedom from any sort of disquietude  as to the way in which He conducts it. This soul, therefore, is urged on without perceiving the path traced out before it. It does not  imitate either what it has seen, or what it has read, but proceeds by its own action, and cannot do otherwise without grave risk.”

The Divine action is every FRESH , it never retraces its steps, but always marks out new ways. Souls that are conducted by it never know where they are going; their ways are neither to be found in books, nor in their own minds; the Divine action carries them step by step, and they progress only according to its movement.”

“The Divine action is essentially good; it does not need to be reformed or controlled. It began at the creation of the world; and to the present time has manifested ever fresh energy. Its operations are WITHOUT LIMIT, its fecundity INEXHAUSTIBLE. It acted in one way yesterday, to-day it acts differently. It is the same action applied at each moment to produce ever new effects, and it will extend from eternity to eternity.”

“Jesus Christ did not set a limit for Himself, neither did He follow all His own maxims to the letter. The Holy Spirit ever inspired  His Holy soul and, being ENTIRELY ABANDONED to its EVERY breath, it had no need to consult the moment that had passed, to know how to act in that which was coming.”

“The breath of grace shaped every moment according to the eternal truths subsisting in the invisible and UNFATHOMABLE wisdom of the Blessed Trinity. The soul of Jesus Christ received these directions at every moment, and acted upon them externally.”

“The Gospel shows in the life of Jesus Christ a succession of these truths; and this same Jesus who lives and works always, continues to live and work in the souls of His saints. 

“If you would live according to the Gospel, abandon yourself  SIMPLY and ENTIRELY to the action of God.”

” What He has done is finished; what remains to be done is being carried on every moment  Each saint receives a share in the Divine life, and in each, Jesus Christ is different, although the same in Himself. The life of each saint IS THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST;  it is a NEW gospel.”

End of quotes.

Keep in mind, our Father, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as our Guide, will encourage, inspire, lead and even strengthen us for our Spiritual journey; however, They will never push, pull, drag or force us to accept any part of this Holy Treasure we are blessed with because of our Savior’s sacrifice. We have to make the choice to accept it or reject it and this is to ‘work out our own salvation’….Philippians 2:12.

This is where, as so many times in the past, I encourage you to put yourself in the best position possible to fully experience this Holy Treasure we have by PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD as brought out in the Category by the same title.

Take care, in Him.

Fred

 

 

 

 

 

Extraordinary Divine Favors

Hey, there!

Here are some insightful quotes of truth from “Abandonment To Divine Providence” taken from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.ii_1.ii.i.vii.html ….editing and emphasis will be mine:

“Those graces which are called extraordinary and are given as privileges to certain souls, are only so called because there are so few sufficiently faithful to become worthy  of receiving them. This will be made manifest at the day of judgment.”

“Alas! it will then be seen that instead of these divine favours having been withheld by God, it has been entirely by their own fault  that these souls have been deprived of them.”

“What UNTOLD BLESSINGS  they would have received through the COMPLETE SUBMISSION of a steadfast goodwill ,”

End of quotes.

Saints that come to mind of whom he is referring to are the likes of Brother Lawrence (please reference the Category “Practice The Presence Of God”) and all the other mystics and faithful ones who attained to this high degree of submission and abandonment.

All the best, in Him.

Fred

Co-Eternal Life

Hi, there!

This excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ book “My Utmost For His Highest” (the entire book is FREE  online at http://utmost.org/complete-and-effective-dominion/ ) wonderfully wraps up nicely how blessed we are to be Christians….beyond anything we can humanly imagine, actually. Emphasis will be mine throughout:

Complete and Effective Dominion

Death no longer has dominion over Him.…the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God… —Romans 6:9-11

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The ENERGY and the POWER which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, ONCE we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8)— not POWER as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the POWER is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The LIFE that was in Jesus BECOMES OURS because of His CrossONCE we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But ONCE we do decide, the FULL LIFE OF GOD comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “…that you may be filled with ALL THE FULNESS OF GOD” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the ONLY Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the POWER of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to ‘let go’. But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. WE HAVE TO KEEP LETTING GO, and slowly, but surely, the  GREAT FULL LIFE OF GOD will invade us, penetrating every part. THEN, Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.”

There have been many Christians who have experienced the blessed life described above and, thankfully, we have overwhelming evidence of this from numerous writings by as well as about these saints. Besides being evidence by the writings of Oswald Chambers, himself, there are two other examples that can be found at the Category/Posts on here entitled “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Letters From A Modern Mystic”.

All the best, in Him.

Fred