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

 

 

 

 

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

Come Unto Me And I Will Give You Rest

Greetings!

This wonderful truth in Matthew 11:28 does NOT describe some cheap and easy benefit bestowed on a Christian from the git-go.

Believing, in itself, enables us to become God’s chosen saints and gain access to Him and Christ Jesus but it does NOT automatically afford the very real, Holy ” rest”spoken of in this verse….in fact, even demons can believe (James 2:19).

Having nice thoughts about God and Jesus, carrying out Christian functions such as good works, church attendance, Bible study, ritualistic prayer, etc., etc. likewise will NOT serve as a means to gain this blessed “rest” that defies human understanding….although, they can certainly serve to help us if done in the proper way.

The key to understanding how this supernatural “rest” can be ours is clearly revealed in the phrase “come unto Me” in verse 28. We can do ALL the endeavors mentioned above and still NOT “come unto” our Lord.  In other words, the above activities can all be done in an entirely religious manner without us ever reaching Jesus personally, and it is only here, that we actually experience our promised “rest”.

Thankfully, the solution to our problem is shown in James 4:8: “come close to God, and He will come close to you“. The way we “come close”  (or “come unto“)  our Father and Jesus is to  continuously (minute by minute and hour by hour) go to Them in ALL our daily activities, much in the manner described in the Category/Post “Practicing The Presence Of God”. I hope you will take the time to read this Category  about Brother Lawrence as well as the Categories/Posts on “Letters From A Modern Mystic” and “Why Not Be A Mystic”.

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

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

We Have Two Of The Greatest Allies And Best Friends Possible

Greetings!

Not only do we have a Father Who loves us beyond all human comprehension, even sending His Son to die for us (Romans 8:32), we also have 2 of the most powerful and loving Allies and Friends (John 15:14) CONSTANTLY working for us and Who NEVER FAIL, if we trust Them with childlike faith.

Christ Jesus is the Friend and Ally Who never ceases to intercede to the Father on our behalf (Romans 8:34). Further still, this Friend and Ally enables us to do “ALL things” by His strength within us (Philippians 4:13).

The Holy Spirit within us is our Friend and Ally Who  “Himself ALWAYS intercedes on our behalf with groanings that cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26) when we are looking to and going to God. And this Friend and Ally is Someone we can fellowship with (2 Corinthians 13:14) and can lead us MOMENT by MOMENT in our daily lives (Romans 8:14)….IF WE LET HIM! He also enables us to enjoy the  “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) as brought out in the Post “Fruit Of The Spirit”. And, last but not least, He is our ever present SUPERNATURAL Comforter (John 14:16,26).

Our Friends and Allies DEEPLY DESIRE and are prepared to do what is the absolute best for us….but we hinder Them by our lack of faith as well as our unnecessary concerns with the things of this world. (Please reference the Posts “Absolute Surrender”, “Practicing The Presence Of God” and “Why Isn’t God More Real To Me?”)

Truly, “if God (as well as Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit) be for us,who can be against us” (Romans 8:31….parenthetical insertion mine).

Take care, in Christ.

Fred

Supernatural Joy

Greetings!

First off, from time to time I add ‘tidbits’ to the Post “Christian Tidbits”. Recently, I added Number 15, which follows:

“It is estimated that the number of living species on our planet ranges from 3 million to 100 million. Consider the fact that God through Christ Jesus had to DESIGN and create an INDIVIDUAL and UNIQUE ‘behavioral computer chip’ for EACH species!! They ALL function differently and obviously need their own distinct behavioral pattern programmed into their personal being in order to live and survive, based on the way each is created. Simply amazing!!”

Now, today’s Post is an excerpt from the one I wrote back in September entitled “God Has Your Back….Sorta!”. I am using this as a separate Post because the event described here from Acts 16:19-25 comes to my mind frequently and serves both as great encouragement as well as a reminder of just how far beyond human comprehension God’s ways are.

By making it a Post of its own, I hope that more of you will more readily see it and benefit from it as I have and do. Here goes:

In addition to such verses as James 1:2 and Colossians 1:11, consider the example of Paul and Silas at Philippi (Acts 16:19-25). They were “severely flogged” , put in the “inner cell” (which was probably the nastiest) and their feet put in stocks. And, they had to have been EXTREMELY SORE and still bloodied (v. 33). YET, at around midnight THEY SANG HYMNS TO GOD! WHOA!!….either they had to have been on some heavy drugs or funny mushrooms….OR, they were OVERJOYED that they had suffered for Christ’s sake. The Holy Spirit enables us to act and react this way.” (End of excerpt)

The ability for us to experience this ‘supernatural joy’ which goes beyond human understanding  is further illustrated in 2 Corinthians 6:10. Here, Paul says that he experiences being humanly “sorrowful”, and yet AT THE SAME TIME, he was “always rejoicing”! (New American Standard).

He ventures further to say in 2 Corinthians 7:4: “I am SUPEREXCEEDING IN JOY (emphasis mine) in all our affliction”! (Concordant Literal NT) WOW!! Now, this is truly ‘supernatural joy’!

UPDATE: The following is from an excerpt from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest” and all of his entries can be obtained for FREE by going to the Category by the same name as the title of his book. Emphasis will be mine throughout:

” The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, LIMITLESS miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in ALL these things we are more than conquerors.” We are SUPER-VICTORS  with a JOY that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.