“And neither do I…”

“PLEAD my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.” Psalm 35:1,2

I love the fact that the word “plead” is already capitalized in the text, relating to us the urgency and desperation in which David’s heart CRIED OUT to the Lord.

Really a PLEA we hear echoed through the New Testament in the many VOICES that CRIED out to Jesus whenever and wherever he passed by.

We are given the account of Bartimaeus in both Mark 10 and Luke 18.

I decided to go with this passage and underline and highlight what we will look at later.

Luke 18:35-43: “And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was come nigh to Jericho, a certain blind man sat begging

And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant, and they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

And he CRIED, saying, JESUS, thou son of David, HAVE MERCY ON ME.

And they that went BEFORE rebuked him, that he should hold his peace (basically just told him to shut up), but HE CRIED SO MUCH THE MORE,THOU SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME. 

And Jesus stood, (stood still), and commanded him to be brought unto him; and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that i shall do unto thee? 

And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and ALL the people we they saw it, gave praise unto God.

The striking note with this story is how badly this man was treated, treated by those who should have been voluntarily taking his hand and walking him to Jesus and asking Jesus to restore him on his behalf! 

But instead as he cried out to Jesus, they tell him to “Be quiet”.

Did they maybe just want to keep him “begging”?

Did they want to keep others at “arm’s length” away from Jesus, while they themselves were constantly privileged to sit at the table with the absolute King?

But as the cry grew louder JESUS HEARD, and you know Jesus probably heard him the first time and was just letting it play out, considering he commended the man on his faith, as he did others who lifted their cries over the voices that told them to cease and those who suffered rejection by their peers in order to gain an audience with the King.

Jesus stopped, stood still and granted him his petition to the glory of God and the key word there, ALL who saw it, glorified God!

Matthew 20 gives us an account of two men who desired sight from the Lord crying out for him to “Have MERCY on us, O Lord, son of David.” 

These men ALSO were told to “Be quiet” and AGAIN they CRIED that much louder. AGAIN, Jesus stood still, asked their request and granted it and I love this verse:

Matthew 20:34:” “So Jesus had COMPASSION on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.” 

John chapter 9 tells of the divine restoration of sight by Jesus that ENRAGED the Pharisees and Jews so much that the man and his parents were brought in to be questioned because they did even believe that he had been blind, nor did they believe that he had been healed and STILL debated Jesus power and questioned his deity.

And the parents were so AFRAID of being “put out of the synagogue” so AFRAID of excommunication by the “church” that they said the man must speak on his on behalf.

CHOOSING  the”church” crowd” instead of Christ.

CHOOSING to crumble under the threat of condemnation rather than to follow after blessed spiritual consummation.

Talking about CONDEMNATION, the VERY FINE LINE between winning people to Christ and destroying those who ALREADY belong to Christ.

Let’s take a cold hard look at the word itself and think of it in terms of PROPERTY.

We ALL belong to God.

Period, and yes, that is period, 🙂 

The words of GOD, Ezekiel 18:4: ” Behold, ALL SOULS ARE MINEas the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

We know that  Jesus came into the world as a perfect, sinless, lamb to be a ransom for US. ALL those souls that ALREADY belong to God, but through sin had became enslaved.

The enemy having us all held hostage in bondage to him through those sins.

And as with most hostage situations a ransom is required.

1 Timothy 2:4-6: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

For there is ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: WHO GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time.”  

We know from this verse that God is telling us, HIS desire is that ALL should be saved, and we are told in another scripture concerning Jesus, that he is “NOT WILLING that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.” 

The other key word there is repentance.

We have to repent, 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh (produces) repentance to salvation not to be repented of (regretted) but the sorrow of the world worketh (produces) death.”

To try to wrap this up and put a bow on the thought I’m trying to bring with this all hinges on this next verse:

Philippians 1:15-17: “SOME indeed preach Christ EVEN of ENVY and STRIFE: and SOME of GOOD WILL:

The one preach Christ EVEN of CONTENTION, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

But the other of LOVE, knowing that I am set for the defense of the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, the Holy Spirit urges people to their need of salvation, as ministers and representatives of Christ, our job and our job alone is to be a LIGHT to those people and to show those people the way as we have been shown.

But often we engage in a war among ourselves as to how that should be done, just as the disciples and the crowds that tried to silence those who cried out when JESUS ears are open to those cries!

We often engage in “ministerial” war of those who do PREACH the Gospel but with contentions and anger CONDEMNING those whom God has set apart that they should be saved.

And in those painful damning condemnations while they verbally hammer and bash “sins” and verbally spew out THEIR own personal thoughts of what the punishment for those sins should be, they are failing to remember one major fact… WE WERE ALL SINNERS, and it WAS HIS WILL THAT WE ALL SHOULD BE SAVED.

And as Paul so eloquently described those differences, we understand the truth of how so many who profess Christ and profess to be his agents can attack others with such CONDEMNATION.

And it truly can be compared to a “building or property CONDEMNED through the practice of “EMINENT DOMAIN” the property is already OWNED of God, but through the guilt and shame of sin, that “property” is LEGALLY CONDEMNED, so that the EVEN after having been “purchased” and paid for, that property can STILL be taken from the rightful owner by having it declared UNFIT and held under the domain of another.

And in the Spirit world, we know WHO wants that domain, and as those in our stories above, for whatever reason, would rather rebuke another while they are helpless than to SHARE that good news of the Gospel.

It is a sad state and is really fueling the battle against false teaching, making all who preach mercy through repentance clumped in the category with those that teach of envy and strife.

That is what often happens, if we are not ever aware of who we listen to and what voice we choose to hear.

Maybe today you are battling with that same old feeling of condemnation, EVEN after having received Christ.

Maybe through something said or done the enemy is trying to take that “domain” over you, trying to drag you back, telling you that you are “unfit”.

Don’t listen, ONLY listen to Jesus, even you have “fallen short” and WE ALL DO, repent, talk to him, get whatever it may have been under his blood, because what is so often failed mentioned, is the fact that JESUS IS MERCY, His MERCY is unsearchable, and the word tells us that mercy is renewed EVERY single morning.

That godly sorrow leads to us to forgiveness but that constant screaming of condemnation leads us to spiritual death.

YESTERDAY is DEAD, gone, only alive in your mind and those who would use your yesterday against you, don’t fall for it!

Be like those WHO CRIED ALL THE LOUDER! The more “they” tell you to be quiet, the more you should call out to him!

And stay away from those who try to scream “CONDEMNED” at you and over your life, their ONLY desire is to exercise religious snobbery and false superiority over you, and believe me those who preach in that will receive the greater condemnation.

We are warned by James 3:1 that as teachers of the Gospel we WILL receive the GREATER condemnation because we are HELD to the standards that we hold others to. So we will have that STRICTER rule to be measured by. 

The best example of the TRUE mercy of Jesus that should always be remembered whenever you may wrestle against the feeling of condemnation is the very familiar story of the woman who was brought to Jesus, her accusers HOPING that he would CONDEMN her to death by stoning, were met with met by something the were not quite ready for, their own thirst for her blood being given them to drink when he QUESTIONED their own sin, as Jesus told them “whoever among them” that was WITHOUT sin should cast the first stone.

And we may know these verses well, but we will read them again,

John 8:9-11: “And they which heard IT, being convicted by their own consciencewent out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 

And she said, No man, Lord, and Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  I love that!

He WAS and IS the standard lifted up against the enemy!

He stands and he stands ALONE in the face of all that rises up to condemn us, condemnation from real enemies, enemies from our past, or that enemy of guilt within ourselves, or even the enemy of our own sinful flesh, as this lady who was snared in sin.

He is quick to forgive but we are also REQUIRED to go, but SIN NO MORE. 

We started with David, let’s end with David. 

David had sinned in “numbering” Israel, once he fell under conviction for that sin, he was given a choice of penalties for that sin and while weighing that decision, this was David’s answer to the prophet, Gad.

2 Samuel 24:14: “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord;FOR HIS MERCIES ARE GREAT: and let me NOT fall into the hand of man.”

Always, always wait for the last word to be from the Lord, his mercy and his mercy alone has the final say!

God Bless you and thanks for reading! Have a wonderful mid-week and know above all on this earth that Jesus Christ LOVES you and He WANTS to save you. 

If you have already accepted that precious gift of his salvation, and maybe have stumbled just a little or even a lot,  Get up and GO ON!

GO ON to know him more!

He died for YOU, ME, and ALL of us and in that glorious resurrection He gave us victory, this world is not the end and this world is not forever!

One day we will be in His glory eternal and forever at his feet…  and as his word tells us, “LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU” AND “LET NO MAN TAKE YOUR CROWN”!

Concerning the kingdom of God, no one can take from you what you will NOT surrender!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

New Direction, >>>>>>> 2017

Hard to believe another year has come, starting off with the freshness of a new fallen snow and gently waving into a cool summer breeze, Autumns splendor having been replaced by a multitude of beautiful twinkling lights, and will be gone with the blasts of horns and whirls of confetti, as 2017 will be ushered in.

How time flies so quickly is beyond me, but I do believe the “shortened” days of the Bible are being fulfilled. In a blink of an eye, the days, and months have passed by and we once again evaluate ourselves, what we have accomplished, and what we have most importantly learned.

Many, many have been through tough times, not only this past year but the years preceding, faith has been tested and endurance has been stretched but I believe hope is on the horizon, chains will be broken,  doors will be opened, damages will be repaired and things can be made new IF we forsake our OWN paths and our OWN ways and be willing to go in a NEW direction, in courage, boldness, not fearing the unknown and more importantly not fearing failure of rejection by others.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of PEACE, and NOT of evil (calamity), to GIVE YOU AN EXPECTED END ( a FUTURE and a HOPE).

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart.” JEREMIAH 29:11-13

I think sometimes, even though it is not our intention, we kinda run off in our own path, like little lambs, headed for what we are going after, when the Shepherd is standing there like, “Where are you going?” and being the lambs we are, we just baa-baa and take off running even faster  after what has caught our eye and lured us into believing that the grass may be greener over there, running until He comes to our rescue and pulls us from the edge of the cliff at the moment we are almost ready to topple over it.

Some cliffs are man-made and those are the worst, you know the areas that we voluntarily dwell in, in the forms of bad relationships and trying to shoulder burdens that were never ours to carry, and that heavy burden you have chosen to put on your own back will certainly either knock you down the hill or roll you over your own cliff, whichever comes first.

There really are times in life that we are required to JUST LET situations and relationships GO! Say Adios, Asta LA vista, Good-bye and if you have too, hum a little chorus of “Na-Na, Na-Na, hey-hey, good-bye”!

You know when your joy has been sucked out and misery is at your door,  you feel trapped and overwhelmed,  then THIS IS NOT THE PATH OF THE LORD  and when you feel unable to worship the Lord as openly as you wish, this lets you know that this ground is toxic and nothing you attempt to plant there will grow, and this field is toxic and nothing you attempt to harvest will prosper in these polluted  fields.

Trouble is, we find ourselves in these fields begging the Lord to change things or move obstacles, when actually this was NEVER the place you were supposed to be!

So think about that for 2017, where have you been, what have accomplished, what ratio are you reading negative to positive in your life goals and your relationship to God and ministry in the Kingdom.

If you’re not happy with it or feel rather lacking, this is the opportunity dead center of the road and do a u turn back to the Shepherd, who will be waiting there to lead you on the RIGHT path.  As He said, when we SEEK HIM, with ALL our hearts, we WILL find Him  and THEN our prayers will be answered. Let’s us know real fast that we can “think” we are committed and yet still being seeking and serving half-heartedly with that other half dedicated to something that was never ours.

“My son forget not my law; but let thine hearts keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find FAVOUR and good understanding (high esteem) in the sight of God and man.

TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart; lean NOT unto thine OWN understanding. In ALL thy ways acknowledge him, and he SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.

Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord, and depart from evil. IT shall be health to thy navel (body) and marrow (strength, refreshment) to thy bones.

Honour the Lord with thy substance (possessions), and with the firstfruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall BURST OUT WITH NEW WINE.” PROVERBS 3:1-10

We are to trade that heavy yoke around our neck for mercy and truth to carry, as Jesus said His yoke is light, again we are warned to not be wise in our own thoughts, sometime we feel that we should do this or that and that something IS our obligation, when God actually wants us away from that problem.

That is why is so important to compare natural to natural, spiritual to spiritual and if God has given you a great life but yet you are lacking peace because of a toxic relationship, then you know, God is not making you stay there and that is when letting go comes in, He will not make you but don’t be shocked if he doesn’t sway things to your liking.

He will save anyone who asks, BUT they have to want to be saved and that is often the point we miss and we are not called to be emotional martyrs or to perform clean up and deliverance for people when only GOD ALONE CAN PERFORM THESE TASKS.

So try changing directions this new year, I think we all could always use a little “new wine” and let God Bless you, lead you, and guide you, ALL of you, in HIS paths!

 

As the song asks, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” YES! YES! “Remember ye NOT the former things (what is in the past), NOR CONSIDER the things of old. {Don’t bank on experience as a test of thinking you already know what you don’t REALLY know}

Behold, I will do a NEW thing; now it shall spring forth; SHALL YE NOT KNOW IT? I will even make a WAY IN THE WILDERNESS, and RIVERS in the desert.” ISAIAH 43:18.19

To borrow another familiar term, for 2017 lets all live up to the advice of “out with the old and in with the new” and we will be made new too!

Here’s wishing you a beautiful New Year with new direction, new hope, newness of joy, newness of life, new peace, new love, and an overwhelming newness and refreshment of His spirit on your life.

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016