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

“Dried fruit”

“Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching (concerning) his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a VERY fruitful hill: And he fenced (dug)it, and gathered (cleared) out the STONES thereof, and PLANTED it with the CHOICEST (best) vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and made a winepress therein:and he looked that IT SHOULD bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.” ISAIAH 5:1,2

Bad fruit, dried fruit and fruit that withers right there on the vines, the fruit trees that can be completely laid waste by the sucker plants that take hold under the host tree and drain every ounce of life from it until there is no nutrients left for the main tree while the parasitic plants thrive. We know that we ARE the plantings of the Lord.

We ARE the plants in the midst of his beautiful spiritual garden. We know that he said, I AM the true (genuine) vine, and my Father is the husbandman (vinedresser).

Every branch IN ME that beareth NOT fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth (prunes) it, that it may bringeth forth MORE fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

ABIDE IN ME, and I IN YOU, As the branch CANNOT bear fruit of itself, EXCEPT it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I AM THE VINE, YE ARE THE BRANCHES:

He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING. If a man (person) abide NOT in me, he is cast forth AS A BRANCH, and is WITHERED; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

If you abide in me, and my WORDS abide in you, YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL, AND IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO (for) you. Herein is my Father glorified, THAT YE BEAR MUCH FRUIT: So shall ye be my disciples. JOHN 15:1-8 

Notice in our starting scripture a perfect picture of what the Lord does to us at the moment of salvation. He pulls us up out of the grunge and the dirt clods and He digs up the roots and removes all the weeds (sin, snares, and blight) and clears away all the stones (the hard, painful problems that we cannot overcome ourselves) and plants the best of the best (Himself) into us. He the protects that vine by, He, Himself being the High-Tower in the midst of it. Completes it with a press that the fruit that SHOULD come forth will turn to His Wine to be shared among others.

But instead of beautiful, ripe grapes comes forth wild, untamed, bitter fruit and that is what so easily can happen to us. Especially in the day in which we are to grow. And this is not a problem with WHERE we are planted, because this is a FRUITFUL HILL, blessed of the Lord to be all hat is needed for ANYTHING planted there to grow and thrive. When heartache, strife, and church offense comes into play, many are hurt, wounded, and left, what they feel to themselves and their fruit now withers away. Anointing and talents just left hanging out to dry on a tree that HAS been blessed by the Master’s hand in order to produce those fruits.

No one can seriously tell me that they can watch the news, read a paper, or even spend an hour or so in public and NOT see that this world and especially this country is absolutely gone to hell in a handbasket. The election gets funnier everyday, we have a choice between a person who thinks it is fine to abort and dismember babies for profit and an egotistical misogynist, blacks and cops wiping each other out and the sick twisted circus our society has become is now complete with sadistic clowns on the loose to bring on more terror.

Is it a shock? When the majority is me, me me and drug addictions are through the roof, leaving countless children parent less and reared by social service programs, and sex is nothing more than shaking hands and church is often a place to be patted on the back, and EVERYONE is offended, EVERYTHING is offensive and who cares?

The only care is this society is for number one, good old self and it is everything the Bible said it would be and more! No surprise that so much fruit is withering and turning bitter, BUT we are PLANTED IN HIS HILL. That is why we must ABIDE in HIM, in a place not of this world but in that secret place of the Most High, that place under the shadow of His wings, and that place where our fruit will grow and the pruning through the trials and hurts of this world will produce even more fruit that we can share with those who are starved out from this world. So if you have been hurt, you have been offended, or the most horrifying of all words, DISCOURAGED, please take note, check “your” tree, your “branch” and see how that fruit is coming along and note what needs pruned, what needs watered, and what needs to be held up to the SON for light and nourishment. Withering can come through heat from the enemy, it can come from lack of water, it can come from many things but they are preventable and MUST BE prevented:

JUDE:12 (4) …. “Trees whose fruit withereth, WITHOUT FRUIT, TWICE DEAD, PLUCKED UP BY THE ROOTS.” They were twice dead, because they HAD been spared, they had been dressed, they had been given everything possible to ensure fruit, ONLY to die again, and now all left to be done is to destroy them, roots and all to never, ever grow again. We HAVE to stay out of this world, ABIDE IN CHRIST. Jesus left us without some really, really scary words as He was on the way to His crucifixion, and to ponder this, tells all that needs told:

LUKE 23:31: “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?” What will happen in a hate-filled, demonically overran, self-righteous, self-seeking, God-hating world?  The reason that we are warned and warned to stay “out” of the “world”, come out and be a “separate” people. We absolutely can not worry about this world, and be concerned about “fitting” into a world that we were NEVER designed to fit into. We have become more worried about looking good and making the Gospel “attractive” that putting forth the Gospel as itself, the Gospel DOES not need us, we and the world need it. Our love affair and hoping into bed to lie with the world is exactly what is happening to our churches.

JOHN 17:5,6,9-21: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory, which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men (humans) which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me: and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.

I PRAY FOR THEM: I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD, BUT FOR THEM WHICH THOU HAST GIVEN ME: FOR THEY ARE THINE. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

WHILE I was with them in the world, I KEPT THEM IN THY NAME: those that thou gavest me I have kept, And none of them is lost (destroyed) but the son of perdition (destruction) that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come unto thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

I have given them thy word; and the world hateth them, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep the from the evil (evil one) THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD. SANCTIFY THEM (set them apart) through thy truth: thy word is truth.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, they also might be sanctified through the truth. That they ALL may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that THEY MAY ALSO BE ONE IN US; that the world may believe that thou sent me.”

Jesus taught extensively on this subject for a reason, to let us know that WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD and it is time for believers to start being believers and quit trying to be something we are not. Let our fruit grow in Christ because when He visits, He expects to find fruit or we will all end up like that little fig tree.

Finishing up, He has done His job in us, we need more, we need only to ask, because we don’t want to answer Him this question, ISAIAH 5:4-7 : “WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN DONE MORE TO MY VINEYARD? THAT I HAVE NOT DONE IN IT?

Wherefore when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

AND NOW GO TO (come); I WILL TELL YOU WHAT I WILL DO TO MY VINEYARD:

I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up (burned or consumed); and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down (trampled down): AND I WILL LAY IT WASTE: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come upon it briers and thorns:

I will command the clouds that they rain no more upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: for he looked for judgment (justice), but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.”

That should make all of us consider checking our “trunks” and asking the Lord to prune, weed, and set us in those good places and get back to the business of the Kingdom. The only thing dried fruit is good for is fruitcakes and we have plenty of those to deal with at the moment! We don’t need anymore!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

God really challenged me with these lyrics many years ago, as I was being stubborn in a battle that He let me know, it really isn’t who is wrong or who is right, He wants peace and what could ever be worth us losing or diminishing the price He paid for us, what argument, what battle, what hurt could ever amount to the price He paid for us in His own blood. What could we EVER gain to compare to the debt we OWE HIM. Nothing is worth letting our fruit waste away.

THIS day…

I often ponder how we wish our lives away. Anyone else who just could not wait to turn the magical eighteen, as teens often do because we are always in a hurry, striving to reach some momentous peak in our aging process that, as in a fairy tale world will change our lives and fill us with wonder and awe.

We wish our childhood away, we wish our school years away and like an old country song, we wish it away until there is nothing else left to wish away. Some people have OCD, I have GHACH, “Gotta have a clean house” I think sometimes this is all in order to please some imaginary visitor who peradventure may pop in during the wee hours of the morning and horrifically gasp at my most untidy kitchen.

My hips were hurting, my back was aching, battling a long standing incurable dental condition, struggling as I put clothes away in the closet, almost complaining to myself that I will surely fall over dead one day, right there on the floor, something else dawned on me. If I live long enough, there WILL be a day when I will think back and yearn for one more visit to this time in my life. My beautiful daughter, my beautiful husband, my “wild kingdom friends” and my parents, we have a prayer meeting each week and I started really realizing how blessed I am (not that I ever questioned it) but there is something so endearing about sitting on a couch with your feet not quite touching the floor with two “well seasoned” seniors, (although quite vivacious) and each time them insisting that I spit out my gum and do not swallow it, before we pray, we go through this every time and each time it is just as sweet as it was the last time and I still really don’t believe that I have a giant ball of gum inside my body that will one day be my doom, however If I die that way please know that I had been warned!

I know I am blessed with every single moment that I have with them and everyone else I love because I know far too many who have had to say goodbye to their parents far too soon. My friend Genia and I have often discussed this.. approaching fifty and the days of our inseparability and constant companionship of my late brother with us seems ONLY mere years ago, although we JUST couldn’t wait to grow up, be our “own” women, make our own decisions and yet either of us would gladly time travel back for just a second too laugh one more time, to not have a care in the world, and to have never knew the true growing pains that come with being a grown up.

In our good times, happy times, and bad times as in the Books of Jeremiah and Job, when they wrote of times they felt such pain they wished that they were never even born.

Times of tragedy and heartache, why and what ifs but it is all woven in a one of a kind tapestry of time crafted by the master Himself and as we know there WILL also be a day “when TIME shall be no more” endless and infinite and time WILL be just a word, no real meaning because it will no longer exist.

EPHESIANS 5:16-20: “Redeeming the time, because the days ARE evil. Wherefore be ye NOT unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the spiritSpeaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in YOUR heart to the Lord. Giving thanks ALWAYS for ALL things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 Redeeming the time, making good use of every day, every second and every breathe in that new day because the days are “evil” …bad world, bad times and time itself as an enemy against mere mortals in this realm where we are subjected to its harsh, unyielding, authoritative rule over us.

“Give us THIS day our daily bread” Spiritual Bread of life,  natural bread for nourishment and the breaking of that bread with those we love and hold dear.

PSALM 90:12-17: ” So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to our wisdom. Return, O Lord, how long? Let it repent thee concerning thy servants (have compassion on us).

satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN ALL OUR DAYS. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear into thy servants,and thy glory unto their children. 

And LET THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD OUR GOD BE UPON US:  and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands ESTABLISH thou it.”

Only the Lord can take our yesterday, our hurts, our joy, our memories our pain, all the things that are woven into that tapestry that is the Master’s piece of OUR personal time and fashion it into sometime so beautiful, so complex and ours and ours alone. Forget the past, don’t cry for the days that have long since passed, try not to question the losses of relationships and seasons that were seemingly blessed more than others.

ECCLESIASTES 7:10-14: Say thou NOT, What is the cause that the former days WERE BETTER than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this (do not ask why the “good old days” were better, we are not using wisdom when we ask this)

For wisdom is a good WITH an inheritance: and by it there is a profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defence , and money is a defence: but the excellency (advantage) of knowledge IS that wisdom GIVETH LIFE to them that have it.

CONSIDER the work of God, for who can make that straight which he hath made crooked? In the day of posterity be joyful, BUT IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY ( rough days)  CONSIDER: GOD HATH ALSO SET UP THE ONE OVER AGAINST THE OTHER, (surely has appointed the one as well as the other) TO THE END THAT MAN SHOULD FIND NOTHING AFTER HIM.

So life happens, but every single day IS blessed, God is WITH US in all things IF we will allow him to be. Don’t worry quite so much about yesterday, let it go and be thankful for the moments that were had, and remember as the other old saying goes, yesterday was once tomorrow and all you truly have is TODAY, THIS DAY.

If today is full of  sorrow and uncertainty, and pain, know that it will soon be over, hold to God’s promise that we will never be forsaken or forgotten and every tear will be away by HIS own hand. If you are having a good day, be glad, be thankful, savor every single moment of that precious time.

PSALM 118:24 ” This IS the day which the Lord hath made; WE WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN IT.” Never take for granted what will never be again and never count on time that we may not have, serve Jesus, enjoy what is to be enjoyed and live and love as though it were the very last thing you will ever do.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2016