An “A” for effort but nothing still equals zero .

“PAUL, CALLED to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the WILL of God, and Sosthenes our brother.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED to be saints with ALL that are in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both their’s and our’s. 

Grace be unto you, and peace from the God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance (speaking) and in all knowledge; 

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. 

So you come behind (fall short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Who should also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, by whom ye were CALLED into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,that ye all speak the same, (have a uniform testimony), and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that are contentions (quarrels) among you.

Now I this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and of Apollos; and of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus, and Gaius;

Lest (unless) any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides (other than them), I know not whether I baptized any other. 

For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel, NOT with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect (considered void and meaningless). 

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND WILL BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

For after the wisdom of God the world by wisdom KNEW NOT God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching  (the message preached) to SAVE them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

But we preach Jesus crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 

BUT unto them that are CALLED, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  

Because the foolishness of God IS wiser than men; and the weakness of God IS stronger than men.

For ye see (consider) YOUR CALLING, brethren, how that NOT many wise men after the flesh, NOT many mighty, NOT many noble are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-26 

The main thought running through this passage is that we ARE called.

I love how Paul pointed out all the “in fighting”, all the contentions, and strife.

Like how so many of us in the “church” NOT one church but as a world-wide universal belief in Christ, have so many different thoughts and arguments about those beliefs… who “should be allowed” to serve what office, and what’s worse who’s “going to hell” or not for not conforming to “traditional” roles, or certain denominations beleifs, but he is teaching us that this is wrong and that we are to belive this… Jesus Christ, sinless son of God, born of a virgin, crucified, dead, and resurrected. Sharing THAT testimony and winning others to Christ through HIM being lifted up, NOT by our “wisdom” and ALL the other arguments are just that, arguments and that has no place and will never have a place in the Kingdom of God.

We are also being taught here to always bear in mind the fact that Jesus saves us, Jesus sanctified us, and He confirms, even keeping us in the confirmation that we are His, until the very end, until we are welcomed into our eternal reward.

But what do we do with this confirmation?

What do we do when we fail to share that testimony of just what the cross has meant to us?

What happens when God has healed us, rescued us, and delivered us and yet we don’t want to share that for fear of looking “foolish” to the world?

We become much like the ten lepers, whom after Jesus had healed ALL of them, only one returned to give God glory. 

When we choose to fear the world or we choose to just “sit” on our gift or calling and make no effort whatsoever to nurture those gifts or pursue that calling and when we fail to help others on the path that God has chosen for them, we are doing NOTHING. And when our “service” to the Lord only consists of what is convenient or comfortable to us and for us, again we are doing NOTHING.

And when church becomes a place we can go IF we need something from God or do not have anything “better to do”, then it the worst kind of NOTHING. When we just don’t feel like serving God, { NOT due to illness, but meaning attitude of being apathetic, just don’t have time, just don’t care} well, Jesus did NOT FEEL LIKE BEING TORTURED AND MURDERED, but He loved us enough to do it.

And ONCE we have known the Lord, we no longer belong to ourselves, we have been, as the Bible tells us, “bought with a price” and that price was Jesus’ life.

And then we turn and “live out” the verse in which the Lord tells us that we have “sold ourselves” for nothing. And by doing NOTHING we are selling ourselves, our salvation, AND those whom we were to minister to and those to whom the gift God had given us should have impacted.

God sent that preaching, that calling, that gift to those who do believe, we know the world will NOT receive it, it is not sent to them and he already told us they will find it foolish.

We can have that friendship with the world, even after God has us warned of this with these words from James 4:4:..“Know ye not (do you not know?) that the friendship of (with) the world IS enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to be)be a friend with the world IS THE ENEMY OF GOD.”  

Again, the “world” meaning putting a higher value on those things of sin and worldly pleasure, and putting the thoughts, opinions of others at a higher value than those of God.

This is a huge problem today with the refusal to speak AGAINST pagan beliefs and sin for fear of offending others. If you know God to be God than you KNOW that He is also the ONLY truth and the ONLY way to salvation.

And the argument of “others having their own beliefs”, but when you know those beliefs are completely contrary to the word of God and say NOTHING you are letting that person be falsely lead and by saying NOTHING you are letting them have  a false sense of security in those false beliefs.

The FIRST ploy the serpent played on Eve was LETTING her BELIEVE that he was her friend and that he was telling the truth, when we LET other BELIVE that we WOULD tell them the truth concerning the way to salvation but we fail to do so, then we become as much a danger to their soul and eternal life as the devil himself.

And all due to our choice of choosing NOTHING.

That does not mean you can not speak to someone or be kind to people but when those friendships and FEAR of ridicule prevents you from sharing the cross and the testimony of God, then that friendship is now of a higher value than your own salvation.

So we all have that choice, DO THE WILL OF GOD, as we are told here:

James 1:22: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.” 

There is that deception again, it is very easy to deceive ourselves into choosing what we think or what we feel, but you know, when Jesus taught the disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer, a key to that prayer is ‘Thy will be DONE in earth,a s it is in heaven.” and that earth can also mean US, Adam was created from the dirt of the earth, and earth is this realm but WE are also that earth that must allow HIS will in us.

When all is said, and all is done, rewards given and totals tallied we can be assured of getting straight “A”‘s for effort and we can also be assured that no matter how it is calculated “zero” will always equal absolutely NOTHING.

I, for one want those “A”‘s! I changed the name a little and am trying a little something “different” as far as ministry goes, because I was challenged to the thought of what did I have? What could I do with whatever it is that God has allowed me to have to spread the Gospel of Christ, and fail or flop, if we give all we have and try our best, that is all he wants of us BUT we all have to try to we all need to start taking God and His word, His commands, His mercy, and His love and doing something with it.

Σαλπιζω Φλογιζω NBJ2018

Related: go-for-the-gold-but-please-hold-the-jade

To shun the Son

Prayer of David

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, and the ship was like (about) to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them, (threw everything possible overboard to lighten the ship).

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship, and he lay, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1-5

This is the final post in the series dealing with the thought of spirit versus flesh.

In “Magic” button we looked at Peter and the disciples, who succumbed to emotional exhaustion and  the sorrow caused by the dread of the uncertainty of what was about to take place.

And Paul, who definitely had a predisposition to violence was constantly imprisoned, and ridiculed and was quite honest about the struggles that he faced as he allowed the Lord to teach him the reactions God wanted him to display and he did, one of the many proofs of this came after he and Silas were miraculously freed when God sent an earthquake and opened ALL the prison doors.

Paul alerting the jailer to the fact that they were all still there just as the jailer was about to commit suicide because of their escape.

Paul’s unexpected display of love and mercy being one of the things God used to bring conviction on the jailer, saving him and his entire family.

And with “Kidron calling” we discussed the tear filled journey taken by many including David, whose comfort and complacency directly led him to the place of temptation which Bathsheba. 

David should have been in battle with his men, and his fall to that temptation gave way to what would send him and those faithful to him fleeing toward the wilderness.

And finally Jonah whose just simply allowed his flesh such control that he really believed that he could outrun God. 

Most know the story, when it became evident that he was the reason this storm had come upon them ALL and asked to be thrown overboard with which the storm ended for those on the ship but it still took a horrifying ordeal to convince Jonah that he would do as he had been told.

And still, Jonah held on to enough of his flesh that he actually got mad when God showed mercy to Nineveh and revoked his judgment after they had repented, Jonah was mad because he wanted them destroyed to fulfill his prophetic word.

He could have had his own insecurities as prophets are usually hated and ridiculed, maybe he thought if he sleep long enough and ran far enough someone else would do his job for him and God would somehow “forget” that he had given Jonah this job, and unfortunately,  there is still a lot of that going on today.

These stories have many common threads but one that is really prevalent is how all these examples affected other people, from the hurt and heartache Jesus suffered when his friends couldn’t even stay by his side and would go on to run and even deny him and being betrayed by one who knew him so well and had held such closeness with him that he knew exactly the spot that he could hand Jesus over to his enemies.

Of course, Jesus knew all this and still loved us enough to go on over that brook of CALLED.

And the story of David filled with weeping upon weeping as we all “take people with us”, whether we want to believe that or not, we do.

Our decisions, just like in Jonah’s story, can affect and endanger others, as he laid comfortably sleeping  while those on the ship were in fear of being absolutely destroyed. Jonah oblivious to what was going on around him, and as with the fare price, he did indeed pay a much higher price and STILL had to do his job.

That is what happens when we allow denial to convince us that everything is really just someone’s else’s problem that they’ll just have to deal with.

God has given us the Bible and all the stories of those before us to be examples to us of many things and often what to do and a greater blessing of what NOT to do and how NOT to handle our problems.

In starting this series I had that thought over and over in my own heart as I have been trying to deal with my own struggles after losing my Mom and I have found that to be true so many times, we all struggle with something at one point or another in life.

We can choose to be big fakes and try to hide those struggles and put on our “churchy christian” faces (yeah, someone actually called me that a few weeks back ;), I was thinking, “If you only knew”…, obviously they had no clue to the battle I was having just staying on the boat!) and we can chose to pretend that we are all together and fa-bu and all kinds of groovy.

But that is not real and God hates that, actually His word says this, and I have quoted this verse probably thousands of time during my time with the Lord and His word never fails:

James 4:7-10: “SUBMIT yourselves therefore TO God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh unto you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded. 

Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep:

LET your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). 

HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

So with all the troubles in life that can sometimes TRY to lull us back into those old comfortable places where we can just go to sleep hoping to wait out the trip of the dreaded, now uncertain future ahead, so afraid of tearfully crossing that brook ahead of us, that we can forget the promises, and the blessings, and the fulfillment of the callings that are just on the other side of that brook…if we will make that journey.

I want to end this on the note of David, this is the answer for us if we have struggled with these issues or even if someone wasn’t thrown from the boat, they had just temporarily “fallen off”!

That is one of the innumerable beauties of God, it’s not about falling off the boat, or having to be thrown from the boat, it is all about climbing back on board and trying your best to sit down, shut up and trust the Captain.

I love the boating terms, always will, and I have put this is past posts, but back in the day when our late Pastor, who had been a Navy man, would hit us with a particularly toe stepping message, he’d always end it with this, “Shape up or ship out!” and then he’d smile really big and finish with, “And these pews don’t have oars on them!”

Still pretty good advice, we can’t go backward there is nothing there except heartache and death, so we have to go forward, even if we are going without human companionship. 

Imagine the disciples once they were “on their own”, they really had to put their faith to the fire and as Jesus told none of us are above any of us and all of our work will be tried in that fire.

This is David’s prayer after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sins with Bathsheba and the “murder by war” of Uriah.

It is a wonderful prayer and even to be broken down and prayed by certain verse over our specific struggle, we can all find hope, help, and healing in the word of God.

                                                         Psalm 51

“HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speaketh, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. 

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite (crushed) heart, O God, thou will not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

 

“Kidron calling”

“And when Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron (Kidron) where there was a garden, into which he entered, he and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither (met there) with his disciples.” John 18:1,2 

Picking this to tie in with my last post “Magic” button  this scripture took place at the time of the arrest of Jesus, after he had given the disciples warning that they should watch and pray that they would not enter into temptation.

Now is a good time to point out that as Jesus went forth into this place, He was on His way to his arrest, torture, humiliation, and ultimate crucifixion.

ALL this laid just beyond the crossing over that brook BUT this was also the path of His divine purpose for coming to this earth, as He answered Pilate… To this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world,  and the enemy, just like Judas in this passage, always knows where we go for comfort and just where to find us in a crisis, and that is when he hits us with all he has and it’s like that button, he knows how and exactly where to do the most damage.

But FIRST I really want to point out that Jesus is an exception to all the rules. He is God and when He came here in human form as a sacrifice for all of us, He did so completely sinless.

He NEVER committed sin or even thought a wrong thought, so it was NEVER a question of falling with Him, as it is for us. BUT as He also told us that The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. and we are to follow His lead in how He handled every situation and circumstance in life and even in the face of death.

And there is so much for us to learn in crossing over our own brook “Kidron” and if we are called, we are going to have to cross that brook.

We can a learn that from Davis’s story 2 Samuel chapters fifteen and sixteen, to give the background on it, this WAS due to David falling into temptation, because of his affair with Bathsheba and the essential “hit” he put on his own solider Uriah in an attempt to cover his tracks, he had been told that the sword would NEVER leave his house, so even though he had repented and reconciled to God he was still under that judgment and this story took place as he was fleeing from his son who WAS one of the evils that would arise from his own house against him.

If possible please read these chapters to get the jest of this story because I am just using a few verses to get to this point, but it is a story I have used many times to make many different points and so much can be learned on some many level from David’s ordeal.

I am starting scripture coming into the part of the story when most had turned against David and it actually says that Absalom “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” and as he prepared to overtake his father’s throne, David and those whose were faithful to him were forced to flee and this is where decisions were being made.

2 Samuel 15: 21-23 : “And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there shall thy servant be.

And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that was with him.

And ALL the country wept with a loud voice,and all the people passed over,the king himself passed over the brook Kidron (CALLED),and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.”

What really jumps out at me is the similarity between Ittai’s pledge of allegiance to David and Peter’s words to Jesus and one of the literal meanings given for Kidron is “CALLED” and as you go on with that story, David was hit so hard just in these few chapters, this ONE instance of a PERIOD in his life, he was chased, cursed, hated but he was learning something, and you got to remember WHO David was and what he had ALREADY learned from the Lord.

By this point in his life, he had been in battle after battle, fought Goliath, survived Saul’s hatred and had been anointed three times to be king and David knew what is was to be afraid and he knew what it was to desperately seek God, he knew what is was to  trust and he knew what is was to encourage himself when he felt a million miles away. But by the point this all came into play against him he had gotten a little out of practice keeping those things he had learned fresh in his mind and most importantly fresh in his heart.

As he and all his people passed over the brook and they all went toward the WAY of the wilderness, his flesh began to die, when he just accepted the things being thrown at him without cursing back or flying into a rage and wanting to retaliate, when he just kept on crossing the brook of the called his enemies were defeated and his throne rightfully restored.

Not to say that there wasn’t PAIN, serious, serious pain, as all these crossings were made with tears and sorrow.

Over the past few weeks I have thought so much about what Jesus told Peter, when He said The Spirit truly is ready but the flesh is weak  and I have come to believe of the many lessons we learn from that scripture that the biggest, hardest lesson to grasp is this, that our spirit, the part of us that loves God, longs for His presence and wants nothing more than to please Him and be in His will can BE completely given over to Him but our human side can still have a lot of catching up to do, it can be very weak and must be strengthened BEFORE we can enter into those places that He wants us to travel.

And when you think of it, imagine Peter and ALL the disciples, hanging out with Jesus day and night, being in the midst of Him and the miracles and Him giving them that authority over demons and diseases BUT He was right there with them or at least they knew He was close by and would come to the rescue just like He did when He rebuked their lack of faith and taught them the need for fasting and prayer when they could not cast the demon out of the young boy and the father had to bring him to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 17:14-21)

So how much harder would it be for them when they had to have the faith to believe for these and greater works in His name and believe for that power to come when they asked in His name when He would no longer be by their side on this earth?

He was not only their teacher, He was also their best friend and even though they knew who He was and is, and they saw with their own eyes miracles and resurrections of the dead, nothing could ever have prepared them for the transitions between heaven and earth that would take place.

Their spirits were ready, that is why He gave them the extra comfort of adding TRULY when He told them but the “flesh” part, the human side had to be strengthened or otherwise their minds could have never withstood the transition that they also would have to make on that journey with Him.

Think about that… ALL of this was new, it was new to EVERYONE and if you put yourself in their shoes at the time and ask how would they react when they would no longer see Him or touch Him in the physical realm but be aware of His invisible presence and would actually feel Him in their souls.

NOTHING could have ever prepared them for that, it is not a shock that they stood “gazing up” when He went back to heaven, they were trying to reason it all in their heads when it cannot be reasoned and they would have to learn how to navigate their lives and fulfilling His call on their lives in a way they could have never possibly imagined.

And when the pain, the sorrow and the persecution would come that flesh would have to be under submission to the spirit or else that flesh would cost callings and how that submission comes is in one word…acceptance… and I’ll leave that right there for now.

Thank you for reading and thanks for all your prayers!

God Bless you with a wonderful week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

“Coming out of the fire”

COMING OUT OF THE FIRE’

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved (slip). For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us;  thou hast tried (REFINED) us, as silver is tried. 

Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water: but thou broughtest us into a wealthy (an abundant) place.” Psalm 66:8-12 

When I wrote my last post, a little something else “jumped out” at me. Remember our story of Apostle Paul,  To refresh the point:

Acts 28:3,5: “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper OUT OF THE HEAT, and fastened onto his hand. And he shook OFF the beast INTO THE FIRE, and FELT (suffered) NO HARM.” 

This is one of those double mirrored meanings, there is an old saying “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” but for us, as Christians and desiring anything of the Kingdom, you better learn to love the heat.

I have always thought and taught that the biggest hindrance to the much-anticipated end time outpouring of the Spirit and the signs, wonders, and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is US!

We can be saved, we are saved, but we also have a choice, we can simply sit passively and enjoy that salvation OR we can desire and reach for something so much greater.

As Jesus said, ‘Greater works than these…” but those greater works come by a greater understanding and a greater submission into His Spirit and His will. As He also said when explaining WHY the disciples could NOT cast out the demon, “Howbeit this KIND goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.”  and part of that submission is surrendering to purification by His Holy Fire.

So lets check out the mirror side of the story of Paul.

Once we start to seek the Lord as he leads us gently into the conviction process and we do take stock of all the dreadful sins and worthless, unfruitful parts of us and we do TRY to gather all those dead, withered, useless “twigs” that the Lord reveals must be removed as we are  being grafted into the true vine. 

We CAN lay those things on the altar and PROMISE to “give” to God all those old ways that we are to forsake and never pick up again, only to find some that we aren’t so ready to surrender.

But what happens as that heat starts to get a little hotter and more of our carnality is being spiritually burned away, as we go through that process we often find ourselves suddenly presented with situations or circumstances that “bring out” those venomous beasts, often in the form of our own attitudes.

Bringing out nasty, rebellious beasts who ARE full of deadly spiritual poison and that clamp down on us spiritually, clinging to us in hope of avoiding that heat that will destroy them and purify us.

Change hurts and our “flesh” and carnal minds are never willing to go without a fight.

And how easy is for those “beasts” to want to flee form that purification. Just as Jesus also told the disciples, as He asked them to stand with Him during His time of sorrow and they could not.  

Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit INDEED IS WILLING, but the flesh IS weak.” Which only confirms other verses throughout the Bible that teach us that we do have a very real war of the spirit versus the flesh being fought INSIDE of us.

So what happened?

Paul shook of that “beast”off, just as the Holy Spirit will shake off the shackles and chains of sin and bondage from off of us.

He will shake off every speck of dirt and dust from this world that clings to us.

IF WE WILL LET HIM.

And we also have to be willing to not only be shaken but also shake off those things within ourselves, fear, dread, anger, resentment all those things which MUST be surrendered to that purifying fire.

Doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, sometimes we have to let people go from our lives, we have to let jobs go, we have to let go of things we so desperately want to cling to, but spiritually they are “beasts” who are actually clinging to us.

It was VERY painful for Paul to have that creatures fangs, teeth whatever latched onto his hand and of course, it WILL hurt us, for a moment, but just as Paul SUFFERED no injury, that pain was TEMPORARY and God will NEVER allow us to be “injured” by anything we have “shaken off” in obedience to Him.

And by this SAME process those who feel the “heat”,of conviction and the need to surrender parts of themselves to that purification and YET REFUSE and allow those carnal “beasts” to stay attached preventing their “hands” from working in the Kingdom, and care more about keeping those things that God has commanded to be surrendered, they fall into the condemnation of “having their conscience SEARED with an hot iron”.

There is NO escaping the fire, just as the sacrifices of the Old Testament were consumed by fire as an answer that they had been ACCEPTED of the Lord.

That same fire STILL decides what IS accepted today.

Romans 12:1: ” I beseech (urge) ye therefore, brethrenthat ye PRESENT your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, which IS your reasonable service.”

The presence of God which was once held only in the Temple of God and allowed access to only by the High Priest has now through the death of Jesus on the cross been made manifest in the Temple of God which IS now inside of US!

1 Corinthians 3:16,17:”Know ye not that YE ARE the temple of God, and the Spirit of God DWELLETH IN YOU? 

If any man defile (destroys) the temple of God, him shall God destroy: FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.

And WHO is our God, WHO dwells within us?

Deuteronomy 4:24: For the Lord thy God IS a consuming fireeven a jealous God.” 

Jealous meaning that he does not play second to anything or anyone in our lives. His Holiness is a purifying fire that burns away all that CAN NOT stand in His presence nor inherit His kingdom.

As John gave us description.

Matthew 3:11:”I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me IS mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND WITH FIRE.”

Which was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled ALL the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire (divided flames), and IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM.

And they were FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit GAVE them utterance  (spoke unto them).”   

The bridging between the books and the Temple of Stone becoming the Temple of the Heart.

Hebrews 12:18-29: “For ye are NOT come unto the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, NOR unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which the voice they that heard intreated (begged) that the word should NOT be spoken to them any more:

For they could NOT endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast  touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with  a dart: And so terrible WAS the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

But YE are COME UNTO mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that YE REFUSE NOT HIM that speaketh, For if they escaped NOT who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall NOT we escape, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKETH FROM HEAVEN: WHOSE VOICE SHOOK THE EARTH;

But now he hath promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE I SHAKE NOT THE EARTH ONLY, BUT ALSO HEAVEN.

And THIS word, YET once more signifieth the REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of things that are made, THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN.

Wherefore we RECEIVING a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, WHEREBY WE SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.

God was so terrifying on Mount Sion that even Moses SHOOK with terror and at the sound of His voice the Hebrews trembled and BEGGED that He only talk to Moses and NOT to them.

This IS the same God that gently calls us today to allow Him to shake all those things until all that remains are the good things of Him that will remain and He calls us to not only ALLOW but to EMBRACE His Holy purification process.

And as that process unfolds, it is not uncommon for many “beasts” to rise up in resistance to that heat.

1 Peter 1:6,7: “Wherefore ye greatly rejoice though now for a SEASON, if need be, YE ARE IN HEAVINESS THROUGH MANIFOLD TEMPTATIONS (in distress due to many trails) that the TRIAL (genuineness) of your faith BEING MUCH MORE PRECIOUS THAN OF GOLD THAT PERISHETH, THOUGH IT BE TRIED (tested) WITH FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

God reveals the process this way:

Isaiah 48:10:”Behold, I have REFINED thee, but not with  (as) silver; I HAVE CHOSEN (tested) THEE IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION.” 

So whatever those “beasts”may be today, no matter how hot that fire is getting or just how uncomfortable that “heat” is starting to feel, know that it is a process and EMBRACE it!

Revelation 3: 18(a): “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”  

So don’t be afraid and whatever starts coming out of that fire.. LET IT COME, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! 

As those are his words, and THAT IS HOW GOLD IS REFINED AND YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS TO HIM THAN GOLD! 

Love till next time!

Related posts: “Groovin’ the gauntlet”     “Counting wrong”     “Laying down some odds”

“Go for the gold…”            “In the den”               “Bought & Sold”

“Gazingstock”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Nb 2018

 

My year in review.. in the rearview

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen….” we all know that one by heart. And I BELIEVE IT!

I have BELIEVED it and I HAVE BELIEVED since I was saved March 13,2000, but actually I BELIEVED it before I was saved because sometimes life deals us hands with odd stacked so high that there is no way of winning without pulling that mysterious ace out of the hole and often we have forgotten exactly where that ace is hidden. 

Still digging on the New Years Eve card game with my parents last night. They love it and I know some people may think card playing is wrong but if you are not betting on it, it is no different from checkers, or chess, or video games in my opinion.

It was actually a wonderful evening. We always ring it in with my Mom and Dad and last night was exceptional, we watched some great Gospel signing, praying, we ate and then had our game of Spades, watched a Christmas pageant, watched the ball drop, blew ours horns and prayed the New Year in on speaker phone with my Sister. 

But anyway they are the sweetest people and every single New Years Eve is even more of a blessing because we are all together. We still always miss my brother Donnie, we always spent New Years Eve’s together at their house before he passed but death does one thing for a certainty, it reminds us, very painfully of just how precious each one of those moments of that countdown really are, and precious they are.

And we had been blessed to be gifted with a restaurant gift certificate as a family Christmas gift, so Mom taught it would be a good night to use that, so while my family was gone to pick up dinner, me and Dad listened to a Gospel music program and his shoulders have been hurting really bad over the last few weeks, so anyway I just felt like we should pray.

We prayed and just had the sweetest presence of the Lord, the kind of presence that just leaves you with tears of awe in His mercy, grace, and the fact that we as humans are so small and should be so insignificant, BUT He loves us so much that EVERY need we have IS important to Him. To know and be made aware that in the midst of an entire universe of heartache, trouble, and toil, a world full of problems and troubles much greater than our own, HE WILL take the time to hear us and touch us and let us know that HE IS still very much there.

And sometimes so beautiful about sharing tears of joy and awe with my eighty-four year old Dad that still amazes me. Couldn’t stand the man until I was nineteen, to say we had a troubled relationship would have been the understatement of the century. But when I had some problems we began to get close and actually talk to each other and he eventually ended up being the person who prayed with me when I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost and once that took place I understood completely why we had always had such and argumentative, strained relationship.

God has plans for our lives and Satan knows who to put at each others throats. So maybe the person who always fights and argues with you is the person who you have already been predestined to win to the Lord.

He always said that me and my sister were “like daylight and dark” and I was always dark. I was also okay with him saying that because I knew that it was absolutely the truth. She was sweet and mild and I really was exceptionally vocal with my thoughts and feelings and extremely strong opinions and looking back I truly wish I would have been my supportive toward him rather than resent and rebel.

Funny things happen in life, when we are young and “flying” down that highway thinking we are Sammy Hagar signing, “I can’t drive fifty-five” raging through life at break neck speeds while we don’t even know where we are headed and we are going so fast that whatever image that rear view mirror is capturing becomes just a blur.

But add a little age, a few seasons, and a strong desire to become an old sage one day, things change… as we slow down we can see… we see what that mirror is trying to show us and it shows us life, moments, glimpse, memories, that are so close to passing up by and that we become so painfully aware that a day will come when we will long for those things that were once behind to be in view just once more.

And as the Bible tells us to “FORGET those things that are behind” we know we must stay the course and enjoy every second of the ride we have left.But it does hurt to think of the things we could have done so differently and how that would have affected lives for the better. And this year that is my deal.. to SLOW way down and look carefully at WHAT I am seeing.

As I went outside and I pondered and I thanked the Lord for the wonderful Christmas our family had… with loved ones that we had not seen in a long time and children running, playing and Mom glowing seeing her family together and I thanked him for my great-niece who lives a very busy life quite far away, and as she came to visit just a few days before making my parents day.

I thanked Him for what He has done for my family and my husband’s health and sending blessed help with burdens that few even know about and He has blessed in way that have just blown my mind and in ways and through people whose kindness  has been beyond measure.

And I have had to learn so much about MYSELF and face fears and deal with things I did not THINK I was quite prepared to deal with and it all, even though I FELT surrendered and I felt like I TRUSTED God, I have had learned lessons in trusting Him with the prospect of widowhood, as much as I have had times of wanting to choke my husband over our twenty plus years, I NEVER had to FACE head on the fact that I may lose him.

I had no CLUE what was going on inside of his body because he has always been the “strong” knight in shining armor.

I NEVER had to cope had in hand with my daughter FACING these fears together as she had to deal with the possibility of losing her Dad, while STILL coping with the grief of losing her uncle who was like a second Dad to her. We were side by side for the entire ordeal all the tests, the horror of being met with the dry erase drawing of his blockages, the doctor informer her that this is now in her medical history also, which another later told her that again, and I told him really fast that she is a teenager and they just needed to stop it, and thankfully nothing else was said. She had enough worry without them scaring her about her own health at that particular moment. And we stayed with him and sleep in his hospital room and it was all so surreal, so sudden but we saw the hand of God at every turn.

And all the daily issues that came along for the ride, other family issues, worries, and snares and TRYING to fix a few things my way only to realize some things may never change and some of our inner wounds are so deep that we may NEVER be able to get past certain hurdles.

I am speaking of myself there and the fact that I have just truly had to admit to myself that i went through what I went through over twenty years ago but I don’t know that I will ever feel safe in certain working conditions again and I don’t know that I can ever go “back” to the comfort of never worrying about looking over my shoulder, not because there is now a need to, but simply because we can never undo what has been done.

And I have had to painfully accept that, I love people, I love working in public but I know deep down inside that I may be able to swing it for a few weeks but I am never going to be the same and a work environment of  large windows and public service is not going to be a thing again.

So I have had to learn a whole NEW level of trust and as I thought about all these things and ALL He has done and the ways He has made in absolute wilderness a beautiful thought came to mind… “GREATER WORKS THAN THESE…” and I am so holding to that verse, for me, for you, for this entire world! GREATER…. and TRUST and FAITH are the doors that lead to those greater works.

When we ARE helpless, ARE hopeless, and ARE without remedy as the scripture I clung to, “Who AGAINST hope BELIEVED in hope”…. that is when those doors open to GREATER because we KNOW, we have been TAUGHT that even though we KNOW it, we REALLY see it put to the test, that He is not going to let us fall through those cracks, He is not going to let the world swallow us up, and He will NEVER leave us comfortless.

And most of us have been wounded in life and wounds leave scars, and some things may  NEVER be completely “alright” and make us feel like we will never be able to cope or handle certain things ( and maybe we can’t) and make us question our ability to stand one more second and even feel “flaked out” or as my daughter said when she was little.. about a horse on a cartoon, “not all there, up there”

The past year I WAS a mess, I WAS freaked, I WAS scared, and I WAS fogged over but HE NEVER WAS!

He is NEVER a mess or blindsided by what befalls our human states, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and like the old Gospel hymn and the words of Paul.. when I am weak HE IS STRONG and for all of my fears He gives faith and for all of my tears, He has given me peace and in that awe IS the Joy of resting in HIS STRENGTH and sometimes in life we just need to be reminded of that!

Thanks for reading and I pray you are having a blessed beginning to a beautiful New Year!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

I have loved this song for years and I hope you love it too!

Tallying of time

“To EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time to EVERY PURPOSE under the heaven:

A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and  a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; and a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (repair); a time to keep silence, and  a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit (gain) hath he that worketh in that in that wherein he laboureth? ” Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

That ending verse being reminiscent of what was spoken by Jesus in Mark 8:36,38:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Maybe going  a little in reverse.. but I want to take that scripture first. Jesus warned also in another parable of the man who had EVERYTHING and chose to concentrate on building his earthy empire even bigger WHILE neglecting the fact that these things are temporary. Check it out, Luke 12:16-20:

 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying,  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow (store) my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) my fruits (crops) and my goods.

And I will say unto my soul, Soul, thou hast much good goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” 

Work and excelling in the world and chosen professions mean very little in the grand realm. Of course God wants us to do well but we can never use any worldly successes as a key toward entering the kingdom of heaven.

Likewise we can not use our worldly cares and obligations to make us exempt from fulfilling our duties to that kingdom. Jesus Christ and His kingdom and the ASSURANCE that we have made every preparation required of us for the “storage “of our soul in Him is to be the number one priority. 

And this is not even about “work”or”works” it is about the preciousness of time and the ever ticking clock counting DOWN our time on this world. Many, who are at the end of their lives, through terminal illness often say the same chilling words… “wasted time” a celebrity who recently passed had told his family this.

Why do we have to be out of time to realize how blessed we are for EVERY day that we have.  And why do so many wait and wait… and wait… REFUSING to accept salvation, BELIEVING in God, but also falsely believing that they have “all the time in the world” when we are NOT promised tomorrow or even the next breath.

Which is why God told us in His word, “SEEK ye the Lord WHILE he may be found.” And others, while saved and have the promise of ETERNAL salvation forget the promise of the goodness we receive in THIS world when we do go after the things of God and forsake all that hinders us in serving Him.

Mark 10: 29,30: “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, and sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake,and the gospel’s,

But HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS; AND IN THE WORLD TO COME ETERNAL LIFE.”

 People get so hung up on what they are LOSING that they don’t realize that they are NOT LOSING ANYTHING except a life that is running out, and maybe people who are hindering and harming their life and they have been given an opportunity to GAIN one hundred times over in joy, family, by being brought into the extended family of Christ, and spiritual riches and blessings that they could not even begin to imagine.

But like contestants on a bad game show they are willing to settle for the not so great consolation prize that is available to all participants in the game of life, when that prize could have been traded up for a grand prize of cosmic proportions.

And in the end, time wasted, time that no one is getting back. Time that could have been used to lighten another’s burden. Time that could have been spent making someone smile and in cheering up their lives you will find that you cheer up your own.

Everyone suffers, everyone goes through heartache. It IS seasons and times on earth, it IS the purpose of earth. But the surest way to overcome our own pain is by lessening the pain of another.

We overcome the darkness that tries to enclose on us through sadness, grief, illness by doing unto others and shining a candle into someone else’s dark world. This is why the Lord said that all these things come WITH persecutions. As long as we are in this world, we will have sorrow, we will have rain, we will have storms, and giants to face.

As we are TOLD that ALL of these things are for a TIME.

A TIME to die and LET things die.

A TIME to pull up and change our plans.

A TIME to kill, things that are just not working by walking away from those things.

A TIME to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds.

A TIME cast away stones. A TIME to be serious, be stern, be somber.

A TIME TO LOSE.A SEASON OF WEEPING and MOURNING, sorrow and tears.

A TIME to tear apart, hate, and be silent.

BUT with all these painful trying times of this world, we have these precious times and seasons of promise.

A TIME for birth of something new, a birth of new fruits, new joys, new endeavors.

A TIME to plant,and sow in hope of a good harvest, love, kindness, friendships.

A TIME build again, gather stones, spiritual altars of praise and worship.

A TIME to laugh, dance, and embrace.

A TIME of healing, repair, and restorations.

A TIME to speak in love, peace, and prosperity.

BUT in it ALL, It IS life and it is the life unto which we ALL have been appointed. God’s word also says that without a vision His people would perish.

I do practice what I preach and I have many regrets, regrets of wishing I had talked more to this one or should have done that differently but that IS also part of life.

And as the year comes to an end I challenge everyone to take stock and for all of us to ask ourselves, if we knew, like the man in Jesus’s parable, that our time was EVEN shorter than we thought (because in reality, IT always IS) what could we have done differently?

How many times would we have made ourselves press upward rather than giving into the downing spirits of this world?

How many times could we find that ever elusive silver lining and just how bright and majestic would that rainbow had been IF we could have seen it through the downpour of our tears?

And as His word also promises that IN HIS TIME… He makes ALL things beautiful, ask ourselves have we really traded in all those ashes for the beauty that STILL lies ahead or have we given ourselves up already dying to a past that can never been brought back, holding onto memories, that while joyful and precious have taken such precedence over our present that we are deadened to exploring the possibilities of making new ones.

When we live in an emotionally downward state, and God knows there are many reasons, WORTHWHILE reasons that cause this to happen, but when it happens, we are becoming oblivious to the joy that STILL surrounds us in the form of all those we love. Time is precious, don’t forget that and LIVE everyday like it was your last. TIME is a gift, IT is precious and given to us from God and we have to stop KILLING time because like it or not TIME itself is already killing us.

God Bless you in your upcoming week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

“Pilot Light”

“And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” Exodus 27:20 Now we know that was for the temple.

But 1 Corinthians 3:16 asks us this: “Know ye NOT that ye ARE the temple of God? and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

What about our lights and the light that burns in us? The light that is to shine into a world of darkness a fire burning for and on behalf of God?

The oil for that lamp, HOLY, Holy oil that WE CAN NOT PRODUCE OURSELVES. Oil given from the Holy Spirit as we spend time in prayer and worship.

It has to be a ready supply, CONSTANTLY being poured into us and we are not allowing that to happen, our lamps contain only the oil from the last “deposit” and over time it will start to “evaporate” and little by little, the level starts going lower and lowering and you don’t even realize that you are almost “running on empty” as far as fuel goes.

And once you realize you need it and it is not quite there, there may not be time to get a fill up, Take Matthew 25:1-13 for a great example:

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The five that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them; 

 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight, there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all the virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you:  but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

And while they went out to buy the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Notice that the five foolish did indeed have their lamps, they just didn’t bother worrying about the oil. Next time, next week, maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow may never come.

The five wise took oil in their vessels, lamps, bodies, oil inside US. It is ironic, of course NOTHING really is, but after these verses Jesus gets into His teaching on the talents and the hidden talents and the talent being taken from the one who hid it and given to the one who already had ten. 

The overtaking of complacency has been on my heart so strong lately and it is truly a major problem for the body of Christ currently and we do have to take into consideration the great “falling away” but this is a horse of a different color.

If we all know there IS a great falling away and that the “saints are being worn out” by the enemy, why would this be a good time for anyone to rest?

We NEED and SHOULD BE doing double duty, working harder and harder for the kingdom, trying to win souls and trying to minister and feed the ones that God has sent us. 

I have said this before, but I am saying it again, is it any shock that Jesus told us in Luke 10:2:..“The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Jesus TOLD us we have a great harvest but it is not going to gather itself! We have to be the light and we have to have the oil and we have to OVERCOME complacency.

If we approach our walk with Christ and our Christianity in everyday as nothing more than a doldrums, take it or leave it “lifestyle” we are going to soon find the pilot light will go out.

Jesus deserves SO MUCH MORE.

Lukewarm or even barely warmed over christianity is an absolute insult to Him and every single thing He has done for us.

And NOTHING will snuff that light out faster than complacency.

Complacency is described by the dictionary as a “smug, uncritical view of one’s accomplishments” when even doing nothing still feels quite right and one synonym of it is STAGNANT, not moving, not going forward, just staying in one place.

With our next scriptures, please note that it refers to women, but this could be men, women, whoever falls into this category and it should be a wake up call for us all.

The beginning of Isaiah chapter 32 deals with the evils taking over and all the damage that is being done (sound like our world?) then verses 9-17, says it all, here IS our problem and IF we want things changed, our answer follows:

RISE UP,ye women, that are at ease, HEAR MY VOICE, ye careless (COMPLACENT) daughters; give ear to my speech.

Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless (COMPLACENT) women; for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall NOT come.

TREMBLE, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless (COMPLACENT) ONES; strip up, and make you bare, {RID yourself of whatever is holding you down} and gird sackcloth upon your lions {REPENT}.

They shall lament (mourn) for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all houses of joy in the joyous city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts, and towers shall be dens for ever, a joy to wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 

UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be  a fruitful field, and the fruitful field counted for a forest.

THEN judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness REMAIN in the fruitful field.

AND THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE, and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER.

He said it THREE TIMES,  so this tells us what a huge problem this is, and has been, we must overcome complacency WHILE we still can. 

1 Samuel 2, around verse 22, gets into the story of Eli, and Eli just absolutely let his sons (these men were supposed to be priests) run wild in the unholy things they did in the temple, even sleeping with prostitutes that were actually gathering outside, which is horrifying in itself,  and he just pretty much told them it was wrong, but did NOTHING to stop it.

So the judgment of God came down on him and his sons all died and even, and even the grandson whom was named “Ichabod” which means “inglorious” the mother said because the “Glory of the Lord had departed…’ (1 Samuel chapter 4) because of the transgression against the house of the Lord.

But here is the forerunner 1 Samuel 3:2,3 (a) ” And it came to pass that at that at that time Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes begin to wax (grow) dim, that he could not see; and ERE (IN TIME) THE LAMP OF THE GOD WENT OUT IN THE TEMPLE…” 

This was an EXTREME example but it serves as a very sobering, terrifying reminder to us all to remember that those virgins represent US, God’s children, and any of us can become discouraged and complacent, but we can’t stay there! 

We all have a “pilot light’ that must be lit and kept lit and we have to keep check on that fuel and it seem that light starting to grow low, we have to make sure we get back up to full flame because nothing is worth letting that light go out.

And if you see a brother or sister growing “dark” encourage them, pray with them and help them get that spark back and as the verses from Isaiah proved out We will all be thankful for their new ignition!

Love, Peace, & have  a blessed week! Keep that fire burning!

Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017