The Purpose Of Life

Greetings!

Our time here in this life can often seem very long, but in reality….especially if we glance back over the span of our lives….it is, relatively speaking, as the tiniest of a tiny drop in the oceans of time….even SMALLER!

So, as we put ‘things’ in perspective, as Christians it just makes good sense to utilize this minuscule moment of our existence to the best after we have been called and receive the Holy Spirit.

As followers of Jesus, we are COMMANDED to use our very limited time here to not only “seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) but to be “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) and “whatever you do, do ALL things to the glory of God” and “EVERYTHING….in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17).

Further, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, it is boldly stated that “YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN” and that we have been “bought with a price” to glorify God in all that we do.

Now, God and Jesus do not use words lightly nor are these COMMANDS  merely suggestions or  high sounding religious platitudes.

Quite simply, obeying  these COMMANDS are to be our way of life and the basis for ALL our actions during the time we have been allotted on this earth.

Nevertheless, Scriptures repeatedly and plainly show that Christians can and will be like those in Matthew 13:20-22 who allow the ‘things’ of this world  to cause them to fall away, like Demas who “loved the things of this world” (2 Timothy 4:10) and like those who will be withdrawing from the faith “in latter times” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Truly, our PRIMARY ‘job’  in the short time we have here is do ALL we do with the intent of obeying these three  COMMANDS. Although our human occupations and stations in life should be observed and performed to the best of our human ability they nevertheless take a far backseat concerning what is in the center of our heart, our thoughts and our motives. This is why “Practicing The Presence Of God” (please reference the Category by the same title) is so very important and necessary.

UPDATE 09/04/2915: I would like to add this excerpt from Oswald Chambers’  “My Utmost For His Highest” that can be found at http://utmost.org/destined-to-be-holy/ , along with his other 364 daily devotionals. This is an actual fourth command and it goes like this:

“…it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:161 Peter 1:16

We must continually remind ourselves of the purpose of life. We are not destined to happiness, nor to health, but 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 us to decrease. The only thing that truly matters is whether a person will accept the God who will make him holy. At all costs, a person must have the right relationship with God.”

End of excerpt.

And, the beautiful kicker in doing this will be for us  to then be able to bear the most HOLY and PRECIOUS “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22….and please reference the Category  “Fruit Of The Spirit”)….not even to mention the expectation  of our future GLORY of  taking on the VERY ESSENCE of Christ Jesus Himself (Philippians 3:21, Colossians 3:4 and 2 Thessalonians 2:14….please also reference the Category “Our Glorious New Bodies”).

And never forget that our Father and our Savior lovingly remember how difficult life can be as a human and we are told that They are “offering to us richly all  things for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17)….those human ‘things’ and experiences that are allowable and used with responsibility that can give us human delight, even if in a temporary manner.

How so BLESSED and FORTUNATE we are to have this as our purpose in life!

I want to add a short excerpt from my reading this morning of Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” (please reference the Category by the same title to obtain all of his entries in this book):

“we must stop using religion as if it were some kind of a lofty lifestyle— we must be spiritually real.”

All the best, in Him.

Fred

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God’s Plan Of The Ages

Hi, again.

If the Scriptures are translated literally and consistently, they reveal a GLORIOUS plan that God and Christ Jesus have in progress and it is broken down into ‘ages’ or ‘eons’. This is an excerpt from the Post (Category) “Eon vs Forever”:

“If they had just PROPERLY TRANSLATED IT CONSISTENTLY, as several versions such as Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible,  Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal Version have done, we Christians would EASILY see that God has a “PLAN OF THE AGES” (Ephesians 3:11), there was a time “before the ages or eons” (2 Timothy 1:9), that Christ “made the eons or ages” (Hebrews 1:1-2), there are “oncoming ages” (Ephesians 2:7) and there are the “ends of the ages” (1 Corinthians 10:11).”

End of excerpt. All three of the Bible versions mentioned above are available for FREE at http://www.studybible.info .

Let’s take a look at this WONDERFUL plan:

1. We are now living in “this present wicked age” (Galatians 1:4) and the “age of this world” (Ephesians 2:2).

2. There are ‘ages’ to come after this one. (Revelation 1:6; Ephesian2:7).

3. The next ‘age’ will begin after the Lord’s Day and the following ‘Second Coming’ of Jesus. Then will be the beginning of the  Millennium, or the 1,000 year reign mentioned in Revelation 20:6;  it is referred to in Mark 10:30 and Luke 18:30 as “the coming age”. It is during this time that all believers will have come into our/their glory and been changed into the likeness of Christ Jesus Himself (Philippians 3:21; Revelation 20:4-5).
 
4. At the conclusion of the Millennium and after Satan’s rebellion is defeated, there comes the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11).  This is where ALL who have ever lived will be judged for their actions as humans. This EXCLUDES   all believers as we have already appeared before the “judgment seat” of God and Christ and inherited our new,immortal Christ-like bodies, as explained in the Post (Category) “Judgment Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”.
 
Those who ‘survive’ the White Throne Judgment are the ones written in the “Book of Life” and they will go on to experience life with the ‘new heaven and new earth’ (Revelation 20:12-15; 21:1). These ‘survivors’ of the Judgment are the ones mentioned as the “nations” in Revelation 21:24 and 22:22.
 
5.  After the White Throne Judgment, Revelation 21 describes how the “New Jerusalem” will descend from the “new heaven”  and set up shop on the “new earth”. It reveals how there will  no longer be a need for a sun nor a moon because God Himself and Christ Jesus will abide in New Jerusalem and be all the light that is ever needed (Revelation 21:23), and there will obviously never be another night (Revelation 21:25).
 
Revelation 22:1-2  describes “a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne and God and the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On the other side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding the fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
 
Now, “death” has NOT YET been abolished and ONLY God’s “elect” (those  believers mentioned in #3 and #4 above) have immortality at this particular time. The “nations”, on the other hand, are still mortals and need the healing power from the “tree of life”.
 
Revelation 22:5 goes on to say there will still be “ages” to come before the “end”.
 
6. Then, after the “ages” mentioned in verse 22:5 have run their course, there will come the “end” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:24 when Christ has subjected ALL enemies and hostilities  under Him and He hands the Kingdom over to God the Father  in verse 24. The enemy that is  LAST to be “destroyed” or “abolished” is ‘death’ itself in verse 26.
 
This means that even those experiencing the  “second death”  in Revelation 20:14 are NOW RELEASED because ‘death’ NO LONGER EXISTS! Now is the time mentioned in verse 22 when ALL will be made “alive” (immortal) because of Christ’s sacrifice….as He FORETOLD in John 12:32: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men to Myself” (emphasis mine).
 
The ‘nations’ living on the ‘new earth’ will also now no longer need the “leaves” of the “tree of  life” for healing.
 
Those who have been released from the grips of the “second death” have already suffered and been chastised CONSIDERABLY , and they have ALREADY PAID an ENORMOUS  price for their sins….there is no need to continue to hold them in the unconscious state of death. Please reference the Posts “Death” and ” Misunderstanding About the Salvation of All Creation” for further information on this.
 
Those being released from the “second death” are the last group mentioned in verses 23 and 24 to receive the “life”, without the possibility of ever dying….SINCE DEATH HAS BEEN ABOLISHED!!
 
7. This, then, is God’s “plan of the ages”.
 
He  becomes “ALL THINGS IN ALL” as GLORIOUSLY and TRIUMPHANTLY  stated in verse 28!!
 
Please also reference the Posts “All Creation Will Be Saved”, “Misunderstanding About The Salvation Of All Creation”  and “Eon vs Forever” for a lot more information; as well, you might want to checkout the Posts “Hell” and “Death”.
 
Until later, in Him
Fred

God Supplies ALL Our Needs

Howdy!

2 Corinthians 9:8 reads” God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything….”

As well, Philippians 4:19 reads :

 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Notice it clearly says ‘ALL’ in both verses. Also notice it does NOT say all of our ‘desires’.

Also, keep in mind that, as Paul writes in Philippians 4:12 and 2 Corinthians 1127, there may be times when we are TEMPORARILY “hungering”, “thirsting” and in “want”, but God allows this for our own good, through His Divine wisdom, for whatever lesson He wants us to learn. I have never read in the Scriptures where a saint died  from hunger or thirst!

Not only that, but in Matthew 6:8 it is revealed that our Father knows what we need even before we ask Him.

Matthew 6:28-30 guarantees us to be clothed as we need and verse 31 goes on the say not even to worry about food or drink, either.

To receive all this , we must not be worrying about these ‘essentials’ of life and to consecrate ourselves CONTINUALLY to God and Christ Jesus. Oswald Chambers writes in MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST (please reference the Post by the same name) that “we cannot consecrate once and for all.” It must be done CONTINUALLY, this separating ourselves to Them and trusting Them to provide ALL we will ever need.

How blessed beyond comprehension are we to have a Father and Savior such as this. This is why Isaiah 41:10 and Philippians 4:6 can so truthfully advise us NOT TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING!!

Until later,

Fred

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

Why Will The Least In The Reign Of The Heavens Be Greater Than John The Baptist?

Greetings! Matthew 11:11 reads this way (Modern Young’s Literal Translation):

“there has not risen, among those born of women, a greater than John the Baptist, but he who is the least in the reign of the heavens is greater than he.”

That’s quite an endorsement for John by the very Creator of all humans, Himself! Remember, John “shall be full of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb: (Luke 1:15….Young’s Literal Translation).

However, even though John had no one live a more superior  life as a human being as he had done, he was still HUMAN! And, being human, he was not yet PERFECT.  No matter how small they may have been, John was still capable of making human errors, which is the committing of sins….ONLY Jesus, as a human, was not capable of this.

Please reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies” for a full explanation with the specific Scriptures confirming the following but, basically, it comes down to ONE (which is actually a combination of a number of  factors) reason why Matthew 11:11 is true:

Whereas NOW we (like John) have dying, decaying, fleshly bodies composed of elements of the soil that are DOMINATED by selfish, ‘soulish’ desires, ALL believers will THEN, in our resurrected and/or transfigured state of being, have new, immortal and incorruptible ‘celestial’ bodies filled and DOMINATED by the Holy Spirit ….THAT WILL BE JUST LIKE CHRIST JESUS, HIMSELF! (Philippians 3:21)

Galatians 5:17 (NAS) sums up the present condition of all humans in our present mortal bodies: “17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” After the resurrection, as indicated in the previous paragraph, there will be NO HUMAN FLESHLY desires to war against our Holy Spirit filled celestial bodies.

All believers have at the present received the “firstfruits of the Spirit”, or a down payment, so to speak (Romans 8:23); whereas, only Jesus received the Holy Spirit ‘without measure’ as a human (John 3:32-34). At the resurrection, all believers will receive the FULL MEASURE of the Holy Spirit as we take on the very GLORY of Christ Jesus, Himself (2 Thessalonians 2:14)….thus, rendering us incapable of sinning. This is the “crown of righteousness” referred to by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8. (Please reference the Post “Crown Of Righteousness”)

The Scriptures clearly teach there will be different levels of authority or position granted to each believer based on “rewards” (1 Corinthians 3:8) after the resurrections (please reference the Post “Judgement Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”); HOWEVER, the believer with the “least” position or authority in the Kingdom will still be “greater” than John (was in his human, fleshly body) because of her or his glorified existence as set forth in the Post ” Our Glorious New Bodies” and what is in the above paragraph.

I am quite sure that not many will be above John in his glorious, resurrected existence!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

Failure Part I

Hey, there!

There are 2 prominent types of “failure” illustrated in the Scriptures. And guess what, God brings them both to the most glorious conclusions!   That is why He is God……nothing, nothing, NOTHING exists that He will not and cannot use to bring about the utmost good for ALL. That is why He can allow evil and sin, as well as suffering (please reference the Post on “Suffering”), to exist in the world. Now, to the first….the “apparent failure”.

The best example of the “apparent failure” is the crucifixion of our Lord….it made His ministry look like a total, absolute failure.  OOPS, but wait….God does it again! He actually takes this “apparent failure” and turns it into the GREATEST SUCCESS story ever!  Because of this apparent  “failed” ministry, ALL mankind, yes ALL!, will be saved: “and I, if I may be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL (emphasis mine) men unto myself.” (Young’s Literal New Testament, New American Standard, and others….John 12:32). (Please refer to the Post on “All Creation Will Be Saved”.)

The next “failure” is a real, bona fide failure, where we screw up big time or little time, even continuously…..real sin!  Not only are we fortunate that God and Jesus prefer mercy to judgment but ANY failures can wind up being  one of our most benefical blessings….if we do not faint and remain faithful. Quite simply, THE FAILURES ARE LESSONS TO SHOW HOW WEAK AND FRAIL WE ARE and, in turn, how much we truly need God and Christ to dominate our lives…..period! Let’s face it, most of us don’t HEARTILY turn to God and Jesus until we desperately need Them….our failures should be that motivation.

Oswald Chambers wrote in his book “My Utmost For His Greatest” (please reference the Post by the same title) that our “darkness” of suffering and failure can be God’s “gift of humiliation” to us because it “brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God”….as it (the “darkness”) will reveal how utterly human (as opposed to Holy) we truly are, and in DESPERATE need of our Father and our Savior.

I remember reading from one of William Law’s books (forgot which one as I have read so many of his writings) in which he very much emphasized that we should never, never, NEVER  give up trying after we fail.  As believers, we are under “grace”, not law (Romans 6:14, 8:2), and God and Christ Jesus will NEVER give up on us….if there is true, heartfelt  repentance and a seeking of forgiveness.

All the best in Him….later.

Fred

Death

Greetings!

In the Scriptures we are told that at death “the spirit returns to God Who gave it” (Ecc.12:7), the “body returns to the soil” (Gen.3:19), and “the soul returns to the unseen [sheol or hades]” (Psa.9:17; Acts 2:27,31).

Quite simply, we become as we were BEFORE we were born, that is, HAVING NO CONSCIOUS EXISTENCE ( Psa 6:5, Psa. 146:4, Ecc. 9:5)  The Bible refers to it many times as being a “sleep” (Psa 13:3, 1 Corinthians 7:39,  15:6, 15:20, 15:51, etc. ). Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was also said to be asleep by Jesus Himself when he died; and, then He said He was going to “awake” him. (John 11:11….Young’s Literal)

In Acts 7:59-60, Stephen is acknowledged to have had his spirit return to God (where it was before he was born) and then he “fell asleep” (Darby, Rotherham’s and Young’s translations) and also in 1 Corinthians 11:30 (Young’s). Again, reference John 3:13.

Further, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 reveals that those Christians who having fallen “asleep” shall rise first.

You might want to also reference the Post on “Lazarus  and the Rich Man” for a much more detailed explanation.

Later, we will cover ‘hell’….it, too, is so misunderstood.

Take care.

Fred