Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Friend of God or Friend of the World?

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you knot know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4adultery

This is strong language…..Adulterers….Enmity with God…

Obviously friendship with the world is serious business in God’s eyes.

 

Definition of “The World”.

We all know John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”

So God does love the world. However in this sense the scripture is talking about the world of people that Jesus died for. It was God’s love for all men under heaven that prompted Him to send His Son into this world to redeem us from the curse of sin and death that entered in with Adam.

However James 4:4 is talking about “the world” as a system. A system that is opposed to God.

 

The World is Opposed to God

Just as the devil is opposed to Christ and the flesh is opposed to the Spirit, so the world is opposed to all that is of the Father.

It takes its place in the “unholy trinity” as the very antithesis of all that is of the person of God the Father.  This opposition to the Father manifests in a determined effort to undermine the Bible, especially Genesis.  The creation account, the Flood have come under heavy fire in the last few years, even from Christians.

 

The World is Independent of God

tower of babelThe world system is not only opposed to God, it is also independent of God.

It is the spirit behind this system that attempted to build the Tower of Babel as a way to reach heaven without God. It is the spirit of independence.  It is the same spirit that drives the UN and all other organisations that attempt to play “god” in this world and to re-define “good” and “evil” independent of His laws. It is the reason that God warned Adam and Eve about partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” Psalm 2:2,3

Choosing the way of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is unthe way of opposition, independence and rebellion to God. Remember that to eat of that fruit was a sin, a breaking of a direct command of God not to partake of it.

The world is a system that is totally separate and apart from God. It’s a system that says “we don’t need God and His laws” and then makes their own.

 

The World is in Rebellion to God and His Laws

It is a system that rises up in defiance of God the Father, as Creator and Sustainer of Life.

God created male and female in His image and told them to be fruitful and multiply. This world system calls into question gender and sexuality. God says there are two genders. The world says there is a sliding scale with multiple gender possibilities. God says to male and female to pro-create, to bring forth life. This world says homosexuality is fine and promotes it as a way of keeping the human population under control.

This world undermines the very laws of nature. Breaking the laws of nature always brings death.

The Tree of Life and the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of one is Life, the fruit of the other is Death.

This world is in open defiance to God.  The spirit behind it knows that God is its enemy.  God knows the world is in enmity to Him.  It seems that it is only the believers who struggle to realise this truth.

 

The World System Has its Own Philosophies and Principles.

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

God has His principles, laws and the way of salvation clearly laid out in His word, the Bible. But this world rejects God’s Word and instead promotes the philosophies of man, which are opposed to Christ. Atheism, psychology, nihilism, post-modernism, you name it, they are philosophies of man and each are totally opposed to God and His Word.

These philosophies of man essentially become counterfeit gospels which are opposed to the true gospel of Christ. Satan promotes them through the media, social media, books, TV, Hollywood and false Christians.

And yes that includes psychology. This deception has infiltrated the Christian church and taken the place of true Biblical counselling, deliverance from demons and healing. Do not be deceived, it is a counterfeit of the gospel of Christ and brings believers in to bondage rather than setting them free.  I am aware at how deeply this has rooted itself in the Church and so I encourage further study of the roots of psychology. Briefly, it is founded and rooted in atheistic philosophy and no amount of applying Biblical words to this philosophy will change the fact that it is of man and is opposed, and therefore in enmity, to the gospel of Christ.

Man’s principles in his “gospel” include: tolerance over truth; love over sin; self over Christ; and the salvation of this planet over the salvation of man.

 

This World is Under Judgment

This world is under judgment my friends.

No amount of recycling and “climate change” theory will save it. It began in the garden of Eden. When man fell into sin, so too the creation fell with him. God cursed the ground at that point. Praise God that Jesus came and redeemed fallen man from the curse of sin, but this world has not be redeemed. This world and all its systems and man-made philosophies are under God’s judgment and are reserved for fire.

Jesus said “Now is the time for judgment on this world…” John 12:31

The unleashing of God’s wrath on this world because of sin is only being held back by one thing – His Word.

“…the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

But at the moment we can see the birth pangs of judgment are beginning all over the world. Jesus warned us of increasing earthquakes, pestilences, wars, rumours of wars and huge deception in Matthew 24.

 

Friend of God or Friend of the World?

faithfulGod considers friendship with the world spiritual “adultery”.  We cannot be divided, we are either a friend of God or a friend of the World.

Jesus is ever faithful to His Bride and He in turn wants us to be faithful to Him – the lover of our souls.

Just as a husband would be jealous if his wife had eyes for another man, so too “the Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” (James 4:5) for our undivided, wholly devoted love.  And who can blame Him?  He has laid down His life for us! How much more should we be faithful to such a loving and gracious God?

Therefore “come out from among them and be ye separate.”

We are in the world, but we are no longer of the world. We are other-worldly now. Our true home is in heaven, not on this earth. Therefore I encourage you to look up, enlarge your vision. Be a Friend of God, rather than a friend of this world.

Let us be like Paul and be able to say:

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galations 6:14

 

Next post

A Tale of Two Tents

 

Other posts:

Overcoming the Fear of Man

Only One Life ‘Twill Soon be Past

Bible Prophecy: We Are Close to Christ’s Return


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How to Receive a Prophet’s Reward

When Jesus sent out His disciples He told them that there are two possible reactions to them preaching the gospel: either they would be received, or they would be rejected.reward

This is a fact, for God has given humanity freewill, and as such every one of us is free to accept or reject the prophetic Word of God. However whilst we do have this freedom, it must be acknowledged that with every exercise of our freewill, every decision and every action we take there is a consequence in the spiritual realm which alters the material world.  And it is true in this case as well.

God has laid out in His Word the specific consequences for both receiving the prophetic Word and the rejecting of it. In fact, He holds the reception of His Word as so important that He has said :

He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward…” Matthew 10:41

Why is the reception of a prophet so important to Him? And what is the prophet’s reward?

 

The Importance of the Prophetic

shofar-blownThe prophet represents God. He goes forth from the presence of God and speaks what God has given him to speak. The prophet speaks the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not just speaking the Word, it is speaking it forth in the power of an anointing borne out of intimacy with Jesus Himself. The prophet is the ambassador of Christ in this world, and so the prophet and his message are inextricably linked. A true prophet cannot be separated from the message he brings.

We see this with Ezekiel. God had a message for Israel and He had His prophet to act out what he was proclaiming to Israel. He had to lie down for a certain number of days as a sign against rebellious Israel. (Ezekiel 4)

One cannot receive the prophet himself, whilst rejecting the message he brings. And vice versa is true.

Neither can the true prophet be separated from God. When God sends someone to speak forth His Word, then he/she is speaking it on God’s behalf. Rejection of the prophet and his message therefore is rejection of God and His Word.

He who receives you receives me, and He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” Matthew 10:40

 

The Way of the Flesh

The rejection of the Word of God is normal. What I mean by that is that it is the way of human flesh.   The flesh always resists the Spirit. It always has and it always will. The flesh has its eyes blinded and its heart hardened.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

I don’t know about you, but since I was born again I left behind “normal”. I don’t want the way of the flesh anymore, I am desperate for the way of the Spirit. As followers of Christ, we who are now living by the Spirit should be able to receive and hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church regardless of whether it is a message of encouragement/edification or whether it is a message of correction/reproof. You see, the Holy Spirit wants to work in us to conform us to the image of Christ and sometimes the old needs to be torn down first before the new can be built.

 

Rejection of the Prophetic Word

The consequence of the rejection of the prophetic Word is judgment and death.

This may sound harsh, but there is a spiritual principle at work here.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” Galations 6:8

Because the Word of God is alive (Hebrews 4:12) when it is received it takes root in order to bring forth life, just like a little seed.

However when the Word of God is rejected, that place where life was meant to dwell becomes a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and something has to take that place.   What enters in is corruption.  When Christ is actively rejected after the Word has been preached, a new level of corruption enters into that individual/church/city.

Jesus told the disciples what action to take with those who reject them and their words:

And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment than for that city!” Matthew 10:14, 15

The action of the shaking of dust from one’s feet is an act of judgment against that place.

“The Jews thought the land of Israel so peculiarly holy, that when they came home from any heathen country, they stopped at the borders and shook or wiped off the dust of it from their feet, that the holy land might not be polluted with it. Therefore the action here enjoined was a lively intimation, that those Jews who had rejected the Gospel were holy no longer, but were on a level with heathens and idolaters.” John Wesley

Jesus brings Sodom and Gomorra into the picture as a picture of God’s judgment.  It was an awful judgment of fire and brimstone against awful sin. Yet they were judged apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ – it had not been preached to them. How much more severely will God judge the place to which the gospel has been sent and rejected?

It is the same with us. Now that we are followers of Christ, partakers of the grace of God, born again from death into life, how much more should we be able to hear from God?

As the Parable of the Sower demonstrates, the result of that seed of the Word not being able to penetrate and take root is

nothing. Fruitlessness, barrenness, lifelessness.

You see if God wants to speak something to you and me, then He wants us to have ears to hear it. There is always a purpose to God speaking – and that is to bring forth life.  To close our hearts and our ears to Him is actually an act of disobedience. Remember Saul – he shut his ears to God’s instructions and because of his disobedience was rejected as king.  Remember Lot’s wife. She was specifically told not to look back at Sodom. She did, and became a pillar of salt. Death entered in.  Remember Adam and Eve. Specifically instructed not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned them of the consequence of disobedience : death.

“You shall not eat it….lest you die” Genesis 3:3

They ate it and death entered in.

Jesus Himself exhorts us to be able to hear. Over and again He says “He who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Why? Because He knows that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. He says that seeing and hearing leads to understanding in the heart, conversion and healing. (see Matthew 13:14-15).

 

It Is Not Too Late

I want to encourage you that God is merciful  It is not too late to hear Him.

I feel that there are some in the Body of Christ who have rejected a Word from the Lord because it didn’t sit well with their flesh. Perhaps it seemed too big, perhaps you felt inadequate to receive it. Perhaps it was a reproof against a specific sin you didn’t want to give up or didn’t know how to give up. This rejection of God’s Word has brought about a measure of death in your spiritual life and you are now stagnating.

Let me tell you that until this has been dealt with you will not move forward. If you have any controversy with God then it needs to be sorted today. Get in His presence and be honest with Him. Let go of pride, let go of inadequacy. Let go of Self altogether and just allow Him to minister to you. Confess your sin of disobedience and ask Him to open your ears.  And then do what He tells you to do.

This is the way Life will flow again.

 

Reception of the Prophetic Word

jesus feetHe who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward….” Matthew 10:41

Wow – this is almost too amazing to believe! God cares so much about the reception of His Word and His messenger that whoever receives a prophet, because he is a prophet, shall receive the same reward a prophet receives.

Whilst this is amazing it is also quite logical.  Considering that the rejection of God’s word is the norm of human flesh, then the one whom can receive it the Spirit of Life must already be working on in some measure.  The one who can receive from God has not a hardened heart nor deafened ears. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet of God, is receiving the prophet as an ambassador of Christ. Therefore whoever is receiving a prophet ultimately receives God Himself.

He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives me receives Him who sent Me”

Once again from the Parable of the Sower: “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:23

When the seed of the Word is received in fertile soil, God is able to move and new life springs up as a consequence.

 

So What is the Prophet’s Reward?

Jesus said to His disciples “He who finds His life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39

This the reward of a prophet. One who goes forth and speaks the Word of God, not fearing man but fearing God. One who stands up against the forces of evil and declare God’s truth. One who loses his reputation for the sake of Christ. One who confesses Christ in the face of persecution and rejection. One who does not bow to the pressure of man. One who puts Christ before himself. This is a true prophet and this one will find eternal life because, for the sake of the gospel, he has laid down his temporary life in this world.

And the one who receives the prophet and his words will share in his reward of eternal life because he has received him.  Because rather than resisting the prophetic Word in the flesh, he has heard by the Spirit.

Because in his humility he has identified with the prophet, God will identify him with the prophet’s reward.

 

This is a wonderful topic with much depth. I cannot cover it all in this one post but God willing I am going to write more on this. It needs to be stated that not all “prophets” are true prophets of God.   There are many false prophets in the world whom we should not receive, nor receive their words.

Next post…. false prophets and testing the spirits


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What I Learnt from an Imposter

maguires.movies.blogspot.com

maguires.movies.blogspot.com

I met him on the street and shared the gospel with him. Weeping bitterly on the street, not caring who saw him, he seemed to genuinely repent of his sins. The next time I saw him he seemed completely different, happy, in control. To me that demonstrated the “fruit” of true salvation.

How wrong I was.

One may wonder if it is even possible that somebody could pretend to be a Christian. Yes, it’s definitely possible. Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:13

“But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived”.

So here are some things that I learnt from 4 confusing, consuming months with an imposter:

  • That it is so important to be able to recognize other people after the Spirit, rather than according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 5:16.

 

  • That we need to be able to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) Even though someone may have amazing “revelations”, quote scripture, do all the right things, seem spiritual, this can all be a facade. We need to listen to the Spirit. Is there a check in our spirit regarding this person? Ask God for the gift of discernment.

 

  • Never to put any human being EVER before my own children (yes, sadly I had to learn this lesson)

 

  • To listen to my husband and my father, especially because they are Christians. Sadly, as Eve was deceived by Satan, it does seem to be easier for women, in general, to be deceived than men.

 

  • That my desperation to see “results” of my work in the gospel had opened the door to the enemy.  Christ should always be the centre – not our ministry, not results, not fruit.

 

  •  That I should not be too quick to trust, but at the same time, not become hard and cynical.  Trust needs to be earned.

 

  • That the devil seeks to consume us. Consume time, energy, spiritual life, emotional well-being. Any way he can destroy us through exhaustion/burn out he will attempt it.

 

  • That God is not the author of confusion nor disorder, but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33). If there is confusion, disorder, if things seem to becoming undone and out of control then the situation is not of Him.

(On this note, God gave me a dream around this time:

In the dream I invited a new friend to my home I believed to be

maniacworld.com

maniacworld.com

spiritual.  Suddenly and unexpectedly this friend started throwing furniture around my home. It was scary, confusing and out of control. This is exactly what the devil will do if you give him right of access in any way.) 

  • That an imposter can have a lying spirit and so will tell you things that they can’t possibly know without some sort of supernatural help. What this guy told me I thought was from God, when his source was actually Satan.

 

  • That because God knew my heart was sincere towards Him  and that because I really did seek God’s will for my life, God did not let the situation go any further or for any longer than He had pre-determined according to His sovereign will. In a period of 48 hours God exposed the lies and deception of the imposter completely and entirely.

 

  • That God is kind. I mean really so KIND. Even when we make mistakes and mess things up. He was so gentle with me during this time, especially during the period that He removed the veil of deception from my eyes. By this time my body was steeped in physical exhaustion, my emotions were all over the place and my faith was flagging. God knew, and He was oh-so gentle with me. He upheld me and I will never, ever forget His gentle kindness towards me – His imperfect, erring servant.

 

  • That God is still in control in the chaotic situations of our lives – IF we are truly yielded to Him.

 

  • That God used this situation to teach us so much. Discernment, wisdom, knowing others after the Spirit can unfortunately only be learned through hard-experience.

 

The hard and confusing thing about this situation was that we really did love this guy. We sincerely wanted to see him saved. We truly wanted to be used of God. We had a zeal for God, but not the wisdom to accompany it.

Even though this was one of the hardest times I have experienced, God used it and taught us greatly and abundantly. Now years later, I see the fruit and depth of that experience in us and blessing others. I pray that this post will speak to someone who may be going through a similar situation. I pray others will learn through my mistakes.  May God bless you with His kindness, wisdom and discernment.

“I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand.  Then you shall know that I am the Lord.  Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad…” Ezekiel 13:21, 22

Belinda 🙂

 


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God’s Storehouses in Famine

God has been showing me that right now we are entering a new season. Right now we are leaving behind the years of “plenty” and entering into the years of “famine”.

In Amos 8:11 we read:grain

““Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.”

I believe He wants me to share with you that whilst there is coming a wide-spread famine of the Word of God, He has a plan – a plan of mercy. And this plan is already well underway.

In Genesis 41 we read about another famine. One that spread throughout the whole world too. But of course back then God also had a plan.

God gave Pharoah two dreams. When no one could interpret their meaning, Joseph was summoned:

“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 

The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28

 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.

29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.” (verses 25-31)

The first seven years were years of plenty. The second seven years were years of famine.

We know that seven in the Bible is used for perfection, divine completion. I believe God is saying now the first season of plenty is complete, it is over. Now we are entering the second phase: famine.

A famine of the Word of God.

However:

  • Just as God had a plan of mercy for the famine in Egypt, so too God has a plan for this famine. Just as God sent a man, Joseph, ahead to Egypt to prepare for the coming famine, so too has God sent a Man to prepare for this one.
  • Just as Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah to prepare for the coming famine, so too has Jesus Christ gone out from the presence of the Father to prepare for this coming famine.

If we look at Joseph’s plan, we see that it was quite simple. In the first season of the seven years of plenty, he stored up one-fifth of the food that was grown in local storehouses all across Egypt.

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

“So (Joseph) gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them” Genesis 41:48

In His sovereignty God knew this famine was coming. In His sovereignty God had sent ahead of it a man to bring about His plan of mercy, so that the: “food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Genesis 41:36

Likewise Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, has been gathering and building into God’s storehouses during this past season, in preparation for this coming famine.

Whilst Joseph used Pharoah’s stone or clay buildings to store away the grain, God has a very different type of building in which to store up His food.

It is us.

We are God’s storehouses. We are His plan for the coming famine. Into each of us He has been building day by day, year by year. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

“…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Whilst Pharoah used earthen buildings, God uses earthen vessels.potter

Whilst Joseph used the local storehouses to hold the grain, God uses the local Body of Jesus Christ to store up His divine Life.   Every time we pray, we hear from God, we read the Word, we worship Him, we talk to Him, we spend time with Him He is building into us the bread of Life. He is storing away the grain in us of the Bread of God.

“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33

Remember: God always has a plan. He is in control. He is Sovereign.

When the second season began – the season of famine, the “famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” Genesis 41:54

There is a time coming soon where there will be no bread for this world apart from what Jesus Christ has stored up in His own storehouses – in us, His people.

At that time Jesus will open up all of His storehouses and “all that is in them” (Genesis 41:56) will be given out to the starving masses.

Notice that it is the work of God to prepare for the coming famine. He is the one who gathers, who stores and puts away the food in us. All that is required of us is that we are there, receiving from Him.

Like Pharoah’s buildings we just need to allow the food to be stored up in us, and when the time comes, we need to allow our Lord Jesus to open us up and to use us.

grain-pouringWe will be emptied for the sake of others. But it is when we give out, that He is able to pour more of His life into us again.

I want to encourage you brothers and sisters that the years past of your time with Christ, of pain, of suffering, of being built into… it is not in vain. It is for a purpose. God has been preparing His storehouses for such a time as this. Take heart, God sees you, He loves you, He is about to use you.

Building in, building in….in order to give out, give out.

 

God bless you!


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Do You Have a Secret History?

With God I mean.wind

Do you look back at all the times when you were alone with Him in His presence? When He had called to you “Come away” with Him and you hearkened His voice and went?

Do you have a “secret place…in the clefts of the rock
Where He can see your face,
Where He can hear your voice;” ?  (see SoS 2:14)

Do you remember those times when you sat at His feet and wept?

When you sat there like Mary and learned of Him…?

When He shared Himself with you and He was revealed…?

When your eyes were opened to His beauty and glory…?

When He unfolded the work He has for you…?

 

Do you have a golden thread running through the tapestry of your life?

gold threadAll those times when nobody else knew or saw, but you were with Him, where He was?

Times that you look back on with almost painful joy….

When the household was dark and quiet, asleep, but you were there on your knees wrapped up in the glories of heaven, tears streaming down your face?

All those times in the dark quietness of the prayer closet, where your roots went down deep.  Where you were established. Where nobody else saw.

Only your Creator.

It is those times spent with God, where nobody else sees – where if you were to try to describe it to another that words just woudn’t do justice – that is the place where your relationship with Jesus is rooted and established, like the roots of a tree. That is where true Holy Ghost ministry is born. That is where His life is imparted to you and to me.

 

A secret history with God is necessary first to establish roots in each of us. Once the root system has been established below in the dark then the tree is able to begin its slow emergence up into the sunshine.   This is the realm where others can see the result, or the fruit, of the work of the unseen deep.

“Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls…” Psalm 42:7

The result of your time spent alone with God.

It’s never too late to start….Jesus2

Get alone with God.

Spend time with Him. Don’t count the minutes.

Just be unhurried…

 

The secret is unhurried prayer.

 

 

God bless you friend.

 

 

 


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Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word

This is what I said to Jesus.life

Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorized verses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.

But I didn’t love it.

I certainly didn’t desire to read it or look forward to reading it. I did it because I knew it was the “right” thing to do.

Then one day I watched that old “Jesus” movie…. In it Jesus picks up the scroll of the Old Testament in the Temple preparing to read from it. But before he reads Isaiah 61 he kisses the scroll. That simple act convicted me.

I blurted to the Lord in almost desperation: “Jesus, I love You, but I don’t love Your Word. Not like that.”

I knew I loved Jesus. I loved Him with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength. I could see that “in the volume of the book it is written of Him”, I knew that Jesus is the Word made flesh. And it didn’t make sense to me. If He really is the Word made into human flesh, and if I really loved Him, how could I not love His Word as well?

Well of course there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t make myself love it nor desire it.

Actually, there was one thing I could do – and that was to be honest with Him about it.

So I was. I just kept telling the Lord what was in my heart.

“Lord I love You but I don’t love Your Word.”

Then gradually my prayers began to change : “Lord, give me a love for your Word. Make it real to me.”

It took some time, but one day I realized that I could honestly say that I now loved His Word.  And I still do. I LOVE it. I desire to read it. I can’t wait to find more treasures in it. I can’t wait to discover my Jesus concealed in the pages of the Old Testament and find His beauty and grace revealed in the New Testament. I love reading the apostles revelations and teachings in the epistles. I often cry as I read it now, I am so blessed with this wonderful, old Book. There is nothing like it.

So what’s the difference now? The Book certainly hasn’t changed.

No, the difference is that now the Holy Spirit is bringing life where before there was death.

This principle is true not only with reading the Word of God, but with everything in the Christian life – doctrine, preaching, church meetings, worship, fellowship, prayer, giving to the poor… it can all be dry and lifeless. It may all be cold, dead duty, ritual or tradition with no life in it if it’s done in the power of the flesh.

Without the Spirit of life breathing His life into something, anything, there is in fact, a ministration of death. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, so when He is in something – whether it is prayer, reading the Word, preaching- there is reality there. There is Life. It rings true to us, it ministers life to us and we are changed by it.

A long, eloquent prayer may bring death…. If there’s no anointing of the Spirit.

A sermon with all the right doctrine may minister death to the hearers…. If it’s not infused with the life of the Spirit.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not an added bonus or extra in the life of a believer – His ministry of Life is essential. As Watchman Nee said “We either minister life or death. There’s nothing in between.”

Let us pray for the reality of the life of the Holy Spirit in every part of our lives, worship and ministries.

God bless you!