True Lesson Of Life

Greetings!

Until we finally recognize that our continual failures, shortcomings, problems and dissatisfaction of life in all its forms are ALL  merely teachings from God intent on showing us exactly why we need to WHOLEHEARTEDLY and COMPLETELY seek and depend on Him and His Son in a moment by moment way….then we have missed the ONE TRUE LESSON of our lives as Christians.

And, until we truly learn and practice this lesson, our Father and our Savior will remain as only religious figures to us….and not real. Please reference the Category/Post on “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me”.

Until later, be blessed in Him.

Fred

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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

 

 

 

 

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

Common Sense

Hi, there!

Here is a gem of a truth taken from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” from the following location (just click the web address and you will have access to all 365  daily entries): http://utmost.org/prayer-in-the-father%E2%80%99s-hearing/ …. editing and emphasis will be mine throughout:

” NEVER let your common sense become so prominent and forceful that it pushes the Son of God to one side. Common sense is a gift that God gave to our human nature— but common sense is not the gift of His Son.”

Supernatural sense is the gift of His Son, and we should NEVER put our common sense on the throne.”

“The Son ALWAYS  recognizes and identifies with the Father, but common sense has NEVER yet done so and NEVER will.”

UPDATE 09/02/2015:

This except is from http://utmost.org/the-unsurpassed-intimacy-of-tested-faith/ and applies appropriately to what is presented about common sense:

“Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith.

But common sense is NOT faith, and faith is NOT common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual life.

Can you TRUST Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your common sense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”?”

End of excerpts.

Of course, common sense is a wonderful gift and blessing when dealing with matters in the human realm….such as how best to perform a job or task or deciding which car to purchase etc., etc.. But, as mentioned in a previous Category, we can pretty much toss it and human reasoning out the window when dealing with matters in God’s and Christ Jesus’ supernatural, Spiritual realm.

The closer we are to our Father and Savior, the more sensitive we will be to our supernatural sense and the best and easiest way to achieve this is to PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD, as brought out in the Categories “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me”.

Until later, in Him.

Fred

Cherish Our Enemies And Adversity

Greetings!

Here is some excellent advice, wisdom and truth from “Abandonment To Divine Providence” found at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment.ii_1.ii.iv.vi.html (just click the web address and the entire book is available there).

Editing and emphasis will be mine as follows:

“I fear more my own action and that of my friends than that of my enemies.” 

“There is no prudence so GREAT as that which offers no resistance to enemies, and which opposes to them ONLY a simple abandonment. This is to run before the wind, and as there is NOTHING else to be done, to keep quiet and peaceful. There is NOTHING that is more entirely opposed to worldly prudence than simplicity; it turns aside ALL schemes without comprehending them, without so much as a thought about them.”

“The divine action makes the soul take such just measures as to surprise those who want to take it by surprise themselves. It profits by ALL their efforts, and is raised by the very things that are done to lower it.”

“ALL obstacles turn to good of this soul, and by allowing its enemies a free hand, it obtains a continual service, so sufficing that all it has to fear is lest it should itself take part in a work of which God would be principal, and His enemies the agents, and in which it has NOTHING to do but to peacefully observe the work of God, and to follow with simplicity the attractions He gives it.”

“the precise circumstances of each event are so applied to the soul, without its perception, that EVERYTHING opposed to them cannot fail to be destroyed.”

End of excerpts.

How blessed and fortunate we are to have such a great God and Father, as well as Savior, Who can ALWAYS turn the worst of events, circumstances and failures to our ultimate good….Romans 8:28. It just boggles my mind at times!!

I will add that I definitely believe in combating, physically,  an ‘enemy’ when it comes to malicious attacks on your person or when we may be called on to help an innocent person who is physically assaulted by an evil person.

Turning the other cheek when slapped (Matthew 5:39) obviously refers to a simple domestic confrontation when a single slap may be used by an opponent but not to a violent beating attempt by another person to really hurt or kill someone.

Jesus, Himself, said that carrying a sword was allowed, and this was obviously not just for using it to cut up  veggies or meat for a meal! (Luke 22:36)

Another example is in  Matthew 8:5-13 involving the Roman centurion. Jesus did not consider him a sinner for “bearing the sword” to uphold authority (Romans 13:4), but rather, greatly applauded his faith.

All the best, 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

 

 

 

 

 

Led By God’s Spirit

Hi, there!

What if you had a ‘friend’, a ‘buddy’, who was tagging along with you 24/7 and this ‘friend’ had the uncanny (if not miraculous)  ability of NEVER  BEING WRONG ABOUT ANYTHING!

This ‘friend’ would always be there to guide you in making the right and perfect decision with EVERY endeavor you would ever undertake  and in EVERY circumstance that you could possibly encounter.

But wait a second, that’s not all. Our ‘friend’ would not only do all of this but actually give us the POWER to carry out all of these right and perfect decisions!

Whoa….with a ‘friend’ like this, would you not be the most fortunate and blessed person on this planet!

This ‘friend’ is, of course, is the Holy Spirit which will lead us because we are the sons and daughters of  God….Romans 8:14. The Holy Spirit never, ever makes a mistake with its guidance and its POWER is clearly revealed in the Scriptures as brought out in the Category “Feel The POWER!!.

But, here is the problem: we don’t fully and truly believe (have the faith) that the Holy Spirit can actually do all of this because God and Christ Jesus are not as real to us as They can be and should be. However, to overcome this obstacle and barrier, it is simply a matter of drawing closer to Them, and in turn, They will draw closer to us as indicated in James 4:8. Please reference the Category “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me” for further discussion on this.

As well, the most effective and easiest way to “draw near” to God and Christ Jesus is to PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD, as discussed in the Category by the same title.

Our ‘friend’ waits to guide and empower us in EVERY aspect of our lives and to do even MORE …. it will also enable us to experience and enjoy its WONDERFUL FRUIT  (Galatians 5:22).

How truly blessed we are above ALL humans to have been called by God because of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

All the best, in Him.

Fred