God honors ME?

I’m reading the words spoken by Jesus Christ himself in John 12:26: “If any man serve me, let him follow me…and where I am, there shall my servant be: if any man serve me, him will My Father honor.

And I am in awe! Imagine the opportunity that lies before You and I! … that the God who created the universe, and that holds all things together, and that rules and reigns over all the affairs of men and nations, would honor us? Seriously, as an individual! God would honor you!

Don’t we all desire to be honored?

Not sure?

Okay, let’s talk about what honor means, at its definition: to honor means:  to esteem, respect, admire, defer to, look to, appreciate, value, cherish, adore; reverence, revere, venerate, put on a pedestal. To honor means to respect and revere someone worthy of admiration!

Oh wow…Christ is telling each of us, that if we serve and follow him, God the Father will honor you and I in return! Seems like a great goal to desire! Hey? 😀👍

From reading these words of Jesus, I was reminded of another passage wherein the Lord God himself spoke to the Israelites these words found in I Samuel 2:30b: … but now the Lord saith, “Be it far from me…for them that honor me, I will honor…and they that despise me, I shall lightly esteem.”

Clearly He is saying he will honor and esteem us…you and I…if we will honor and esteem Him! Well, wow…HE is worthy of honor, and worthy of esteem….but what of us? Hmmm…not so sure about that…But yet it says, if You and I will honor him, we will be honored. Way cool!

So then I was led a step further in this discovery to Psalm 91:15 which gives A Promise to us of just what that “honor” toward you and I looks like: “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

Who wouldn’t want that kind of response to our calling upon God? I sure would want him to answer me, to be with me, deliver me, and honor me!

I am hearing the Spirit of the Lord say, “So many desire me to honor them by answering their every cry, but they are not honoring my Son by believing in Him and following after Him, nor are they honoring me, their Creator, by respectfully obeying My Word or loving me with all their heart. I will honor those who honor me, yet lightly esteem you and your call-outs for help when I receive no honor from you.”

A strong blessing…being honored BY THE FATHER…awaits you and I if we will but grab hold of the amazement and the opportunity that lies before us! I want this promised honor! 😀 How about you?!  Let’s follow hard after Jesus Christ, honoring him, for then the Father will honor us. He will RESPOND WITH ESTEEM TOWARD US! This means happily and quickly our answers and solutions will happen as we call upon the Lord!

Will you “quickly respond” to Jesus, and follow where he is? Will you serve him with all your heart?

Seems to me, he is saying, if we will, then the Father will quickly respond to us. I love that reassurance!

Give this some pondering in the days ahead, okay?

Question seriously where you, yourself, are NOT “honoring” God : Could it be in your focus? In your time with Him, or in service to Him? In your words? In your relationships? With your money? Are you believing what you read in His Word, or do you walk in unbelief? Perhaps there is an area you need to work on in your honoring of him. The Holy  Spirit will reveal to you, that which pleases God and that which displeases him. I encourage you to be listening, and even writing down things He reveals that honor or dishonor him.

Let us set ourselves up to be honored!

To think, our destiny is actually put in our hands! We can, by our honoring the Son and the Father, determine how God will respond to us!

Will we believe this ?

That God will Honor Us?

 

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Written by Beth Ann Smith, August 5, 2017

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Lack of Knowledge is Destroying US

Ephesians 4:18-21 gives biblical insight into what we are seeing taking place in this hour:
…18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus…”

Indeed, truth is found in Jesus Christ.. in fact, he himself IS the Word of God. He is the way…The truth…the life…and the only way to God. But are we, as a people, being destroyed for lack of knowledge? Knowledge of Him? His ways? His thoughts? He is himself The Christ, the Anointed One, who returns soon to reign over all the world. Why not obtain the knowledge of Him and His Ways now? 

Read the verse of warning in this graphic…

Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge

Do we, the USA, a Christian Nation, dare follow the same pattern and lose our blessings from God?  Is this already happening? Have we rejected knowledge? Have we forgotten the laws of God? Has our glory now turned to shame? And Will He forget our children?

Surely, a house divided against itself cannot stand…and prayers are needed for this “divided” nation. Yet, not only our prayers, but the giving out of Truth. Lies are quickly dispelled when truth comes in, just as darkness leaves when a candle is lit. The more truth that is revealed, the more light we live in….the clearer we can “see” the truth for ourselves.

Many protestors, and I don’t just mean public ones…but ones on Facebook, or wagging their tongues in criticisms in the schools and workplaces, or even talking aloud to their own TVs in private, need to be given some of the Word of God in relation to what’s going on in our land. There is a need to be still now and listen. Some of you maturing believers realize knowing the Word really “simplifies”your life.. This doesn’t make you “simple” , as in simple-minded… On the contrary, it takes away confusions, and striving, and fears. It is wonderful to embrace the Will of God. It is true freedom, which everyone longs for, but is looking for in the wrong places. Confusion leaves! Doubts cease their intrusions! Fears lose their torment!  Peace comes! All…from knowledge of God…and embracing God’s ways and thoughts.

If you’re saying inside to yourself, ours is no longer a godly nation, it is a democracy, and the other people will tell us what’s what…let me tell you something: Christians FEAR NOT! Now is not the time to be timid in regard to “standing” in our faith…and also standing in our backing our government leaders as instructed in Romans 13:1-5. GOD MAKES HIS WILL VERY CLEAR…as you will see…and these verses apply to President Trump and all our elected officials:

Romans 13:1-5  All of you must obey those who rule over you. There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen. Those who now rule have been chosen by God. 2 So whoever opposes the authorities opposes leaders whom God has appointed. Those who do that will be judged. 3 If you do what is right, you won’t need to be afraid of your rulers. But watch out if you do what is wrong! You don’t want to be afraid of those in authority, do you? Then do what is right, and you will be praised. 4 The one in authority serves God for your good. But if you do wrong, watch out! Rulers don’t carry a sword for no reason at all. They serve God. And God is carrying out his anger through them. The ruler punishes anyone who does wrong. 5 You must obey the authorities. Then you will not be punished. You must also obey them because you know it is right.

There…is simplification…knowing God’s will in the matter, whether a Trump fan or not! …you trust God and obey your President. You don’t oppose him. You do right yourself, and you need not fear him or any decision he may or may not make.  Note, obey authorities, yes, policemen, and then you will not be punished…by man or directly by God’s discipline! Honor all your leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. Your vote was your choice. God saw it. Now leave it alone. There. Simplified. Whenever you want to judge or condemn or gossip about leadership, be silent, and pray. Prayer according to the Word activates the power of God, and He then steers the hearts of our leaders according to our pleadings. Or if you are particularly passionate about something, and it is in accordance with Gods word, then perhaps you are called to get personally involved in that area of politics, or your church, company, etc.  Protesting without a plan is not doing anything creative. It is very destructive.

Yes, this obedience requires faith in God. Yes, it requires knowing Jesus. And yes, you will need the Holy Spirit living within to instruct you in this hour. But all are available and ready to be received even this moment. Jesus is the gift that includes all others: wisdom, joy, peace, love, forgiveness, discernment, power, peace, freedom from addictions, healing of wounds, freedom to captives, etc.    Now, Just take him into your life as your Lord! It’s a wise choice. And you’ll never be the same again.

You see, the World, including the LGTB community with all its plans and protests and good-sounding words, doesn’t matter! The government, whether it makes a right or wrong choice, doesn’t matter!  Hollywood with all the “beautiful powerful people” doesn’t matter! All lives matter, not just black lives matter! And a women’s right is not more important than Gods right to his own creation! Evil always divides! Why do you think there are divorces, and church splits, and quarrels of many kinds? Believers, its us, and what we will do in this hour, that matters!! We rule and reign With Christ, even now, and it’s what WE DO that will dictate what God does with Our Country…because friends, the USA is His Country and He wants us to now stand up declaring IN GOD WE TRUST.

And isn’t this “standing up” to be done individually? As in letting people know in our words and deeds that we love Jesus and obey God? And in prayers? And in our own repentance? If God changes each one of us, then collectively we will become a greater light in this darkened country. Truth will be seen and heard. And love can break through the deceptions! Isn’t this better than fighting, bickering, protesting, etc? Let’s see what God says.

He declares in II Chronicles 7:14,  “If MY People, who are called by My Name (Christians that’s us! ), Will humble THEMSELVES, and PRAY, and SEEK My Face, and turn from THEIR wicked Ways, THEN will I hear from heaven, and WILL forgive their sins, and WILL HEAL their land.” BELIEVERS, NOT PROTESTORS, WILL DICTATE WHAT GOD WILL DO WITH THE USA! Believers, not unbelievers, will dictate what God will do As far as healing our land and its divisions.  And God’s power is great, and He is able to preserve the individuals who GIVE CHRIST THEIR LIVES, even if the lukewarm believers will be spewed out along with the evil ones who may be judged as that healing of our nation takes place. The word says not to fear if brought before magistrates on account of his name…he will give you the words and help that very hour!

Let’s just look at immigration for a moment…a very real divisive thing at present. There are way too many who are looking only at the surface of things…and if we look at portions of Europe and how Muslims have destroyed these countries’ culture and way of life, we will realize that prevention of troubles is a good thing. When immigrants are allowed in to USA, it is a choice for them, yet they must, before coming, embrace American law and American culture, and not carry out hidden agendas pressing upon us their sharia law and false religion.  There IS a spirit of anti-Christ loosed upon the world! It is pervasive and includes way more than just Muslims. Anyone who wants to be free of being told what to by God is part of this spirit that pervades societies worldwide. We must honor God and Christ who established the USA and gave us Our Land. It is NOT UNloving to keep immigrants out who pose a real threat.  We are not killing them! We are not destroying them. Wisdom and Love for our nation and its peoples simply dictates “protection!”. Those concerned about protection of the Muslim faith can make a choice to go over to the Muslim countries and love on them, embracing “their land’s rules and their faith”. And those immigrant applicants who desire to embrace the values and laws of our land can be properly vetted to do so. The Muslims here, who are your neighbors and friends, should be loved on in Jesus’ name, even while standing up for the Christian faith. The desire of God is that they be grafted into his family by faith in Jesus, and loving one another is essential for this to take place. They chose the USA, so they can live in a way as to embrace the law of the land, but if they can’t compromise with Americans because of “their faith” let them return to their own land.

Please pray, for the masses in our country are being deceived!! And the Bible declares that one thing that can destroy his people is Lack of Knowledge. It is absolutely LOVING what Trump desires to do! If you the head of a large family, and your wife and own children, natural or adopted, lived in your house, would you let a group of people into your own house, who desire to destroy you, and your women and children, raping or devaluing them if not killing them, and bent on destroying everything you worked for and your way of life? Destroying your right to serve the true God? Of course not! LOVE REQUIRES PROTECTION! Trump is being used in answer to Christian’s prayers across the land …the part of the Lord’s Prayer that Christ Jesus taught us to pray which declares, “Deliver us from Evil …for thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever, Amen!”

But I hear you say, but what of love for “them”? and I respond, what of love for “God”? Do we desire to hand over our nation to His Enemy? To be a friend with the world is to be an enemy of God.  Satan reigns over false religions and The World, and these anti-Christ systems desire license to do evil. Whether it be The LGTB communities, abortion-rights activists, Hollywood, or just a society who no longer fears the Lord… do they not realize that if Muslims take over the land it could mean their distruction too! None of them have God-given wisdom…so they side with each other? Makes no sense for a gay man to hold a love sign for a Muslim to come in, when Islam wants that gay man dead, does it? No wisdom. Women’s libers who want to abort, do they not know Muslims would kill them for that sin? Neither fears God or they would be honoring him with their lives. Yet, I think that deep down all of society knows lawlessness is not the answer. It is preserving love and respect, and truth, that is important. In fact the love chapter of I Corinthians 13:6 declares that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” Somehow that part of loves definition does not get repeated amidst all the love talk out in the world. With this definition of love, are even believers aware of the simplicity that gives to our decision making? If something is not of of his righteousness or his truth it is not “real love“. Love is of God. God is love. So he has the right to define it. And by his definition, love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. And love does rejoice with truth. So can you be saddened and outraged by the sin around you, and still be in God’s love? Yes! Can you be without joy when you see people lost in deception? Yes! Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Cry out to God and beg him for the deliverance of the nation, your communities, your family, your self. The poor in spirit know their “need” for God’s loving interventions.

And Believers don’t be afraid to stand.  In the Bible we read often that God intervened and the evil armies/nations destroyed one another, while those trusting God were delivered. I myself am going to ask God to protect us as a nation, yet that might not mean that we won’t have internal wars going on. I only know that one day we all….individually, and as a nation, give account to God who reigns supreme. Many have access to bibles to give them God’s will ..they just don’t desire to follow it or to know him. So sad, too, for God gives everyone love, acceptance, and value, as they do embrace him. He empowers the believer to do His Will, and gives righteousness, peace, and joy though his Holy Spirit that comes to abide within any true believer in Christ. He is slow to anger and abounding in love. Warnings come nonstop, for grace has been restraining his anger at those who are living in defiance against him. He’d rather draw sinners and those deceived presently to him, to SAVE THEM from their sin and his wrath to come upon the nations in the end. Get into reading and studying God’s Word….read it…come to Jesus and learn of him…and your peace will come when you come to abide in Jesus.

As the verse in the graphic says, what CAN “destroy us” is the Lack of Knowledge…knowledge from the word of God, and not only factual carnal knowledge.

USA, Let’s Pray for our leaders… not wag our tongues in judgment or ridicule…

Pray for truth to be realized and that the darkness of ignorance dissipates…

And be at peace, while the world shakes around you, God is giving the USA opportunity to be saved, under Christ’s name. I am confident that God is in control and will hear the prayers of His People, no matter what the masses who act in ignorance and under media control do. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This kind of fear refers to our respect, awe, and submission to God because he has the power to destroy both body and soul. He is so great, he laughs as the heathen nations rage in defiance against him! We must not fear man, who can only destroy the body. Let’s get our focus on trusting a sovereign God and aligning our own individual lives up with His Word and His Will. Amen?!

Friends and family…the safest place to be…is in intimacy with The Lord. Here are a few favorite verses in a favorite Psalm of mine:

Psalm 91:14-16

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

My Part: set my love upon the Lord (not only affections but obedience and attitudes); know his name (in other words, who He is!) , call upon him!

His Part: I will deliver you, I will set you in high, I will be with you in trouble, I will deliver you and honor you, I will satisfy you with a long life, and show you my salvation.

We have the EASY PART 😀…. And God? Well, His promised responses are way awesome! What a divine exchange!! Each one of those who can do the “My Part”, can go into an unknown future KNOWING God will do “His Part.” No Fear! Just Trust! Amen?!

Prodigals, it is time to return...to your Father who has opened arms. Please…hear me…Reread this scripture I began this blog with… and choose you this day whom you desire to be like… those of this darkened world? or those who desire to belong to Jesus, who will soon be the supreme ruler over all the whole world? In confusion?  The truth is IN JESUS! Run please to him, for your future depends on it, and he will forgive and receive you, and everything he has and is becomes yours. How wonderful!

Google the lyrics of Joy To The World if you have a moment. Yes, the one we sing at Christmas! It begins, “Joy to the world. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room!”  The Holy Spirit has prompted me to be singing that song at the piano recently, all the verses…even after Christmas. Could he be declaring aloud “He’s Coming Again Soon!?” “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love!” Perhaps I am only one of many who are declaring it so from my lips during worship.

To close…I pray,

“God, please hear the cries of all your people…see into their hearts…know their thoughts…”

and yet I hear you suddenly reply back to me… “Let the people hear My Cries, see into My Heart, and know My Thoughts!”  

And we reply humbly, yet excitedly…

“Yes Lord. We will come TO YOU And seek your face.”

 

 

 

Written by Beth Ann Smith, February 2, 2017

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PLUG IN …for it’s IN and THROUGH Christ IN You

 

A Believer’s Foundation for Power is Love.

PLUG IN to the revelation of Jesus’ love for you. We must work FROM God’s love, not FOR God’s Love.  John, the disciple of Jesus, is an example. He loved Jesus, because Jesus first loved him, and he had realized this.  We, today, are also told in I John 4:19 that “…we love Him, because He first loved us.” This…John’s personal revelation of Jesus’s love FOR him, as a friend closer than a brother, caused John to be the ONLY disciple who was able to go to the cross with Christ. He had the love within him to “involve himself” in that which concerned Jesus. Why was he there? Because he loved Jesus! The bond between them was LOVE, not duty, servitude, or expectation. Christ knew that John’s same love toward him would go outward toward others, and his mother was considered one of those others.  Christ, in fact, in turn, entrusted his own mother to John. John 19:26 says, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  Interesting to note, that John is the one who is writing this narrative, so truly he had revelation that he was loved BY JESUS. This is why he LOVED Jesus. In John 13:34 Jesus, in fact, gives the command to all his followers: “…that you love one another, AS I have loved you, that you may also love one another.”  In looking at this verse another time, I realize he could have just said, love one another as I have loved you. But notice, added to this are the words, “that you may”.  The language of empowering. Then I perceived that this is indeed the secret of our “ability” TO Love. This ability to love outwardly comes from an awareness and experience of Jesus’s love for us individually first. He who knows me best, loves me… so I can then risk loving others, no matter what the cost. Do you think John thought of the risks associated with him being at the cross with Jesus? OR… Do you think he thought of Jesus’s need to have his friend’s support during his time of pain and suffering? I believe he saw both, but the latter, his desire to be there FOR Jesus, caused him to die to self-preservation. He wanted to LOVE Jesus back… Not only receive that which he needed FROM Christ. I believe this is the same motivation that will reside in martyrs during these end times. We will stand up WITH Christ! We will become desirous to be in defense of Christ’s honor, and fellowship in His sufferings, for we LOVE Him and believe in all He lived for. We understand that it is His Life which gives us eternal life, so we will not Deny Him.

I think of even small ways we may show our love for Christ. For instance, when I’ve heard a person swearing by using the Lords name in vain. It bothers me, not because I’m judging that person for using bad language. No! …it bothers me because I love Jesus so much!  I hate hearing His Name so dishonored. It’s a love FOR Jesus that activates my righteous indignation. Yet it’s also my love FOR Jesus, and knowing Jesus’ love FOR that person, that keeps me from losing my cool and being unkind to that one who speaks his name in vain ignorantly. Love for Jesus is demonstrated in both reactions…the internal and the external. My love for Jesus may cause me to be silent, or sometimes cause me to kindly say to that person: “Could you refrain from using Jesus’ name that way, for I love Him dearly. He is so worthy of us all giving honor toward His Name.”  When I’ve spoken that lovingly and respectfully to coworkers in the workplace, my coworkers in turn respected my love for the Lord, and did not speak his name in vain…at least in front of me. Love went full circle. They realized I wasn’t judging them, but I was LOVING Jesus.

LOVE is the foundation for all God and Christ did, and continue to do in our lives

Laying his life down and enduring the CROSS was Jesus’s “demonstration” of his love for you and me… and God’s demonstration of love was to give His only son for us all. So too, our love for God and Christ comes from the true revelation of the Cross. Thus making the cross the centrality of Christianity. There is no being a Christian without the cross. The blood spilt by Jesus was necessary to buy us back from the Kingdom of Darkness and place us into the Kingdom of Light…an act of pure love and great grace. Once IN the Kingdom of Light through acceptance of Christ into our lives, we abide there in the intimacy of relationship…the relationship of love, which motivates our lifestyle and responses and focuses in life. We experience LOVE everyday as the Lord answers our prayers, gives us knowledge of Himself, and fills our lives with blessings and goodness.

A Believer’s Knowledge of God and Christ Activates Faith and Power

Jesus REVEALS God’s “good” nature. Col 1:15 states that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God”. He is “the radiance of the God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature”. Hebrews 1:3. Jesus showed us all that God wants to heal us, not afflict us. Jesus’s main ministry of love was to heal people and to deliver people, destroying the works of the enemy in operation. If God has the ability to create us, Jesus revealed He also delights to recreate…or to make us whole. A man BORN blind was healed and his sight restored. Why? To bring glory to God. So why didn’t God just make him with good eyes to start with, we question. And I wonder…Was the demonstration to show us that Jesus can change, and re-create, for he is God too, that which God has already formed? He who was born blind could now see. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. A storm was allowed by God, the disciples becoming fearful, but Jesus could command and calm the storm. He could change what God did already. Those born a certain way could be reborn? physically and spiritually? People could be made whole if they call on the Name of Jesus? This is the mighty power of our Jesus, a power given to him by His Father, God. Do we realize Christ is not the suffering man on the cross still, but that he is ALIVE, and intercedes at Father’s right hand for you and I, for he has been in bodily form and knows man’s weaknesses and sufferings?… thus bringing change to what God may have already allowed to take place in our lives? We believers have the love and discipline of a Father AND the love and the grace of a brother? And we must not forget the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, and the one who dwells WITHIN the believer. He takes what is of the Father and the Son and gives that TO US. Without HIM there would be no power or ability to be Christians. The Godhead operates in complete ONEness…in agreement…in unity…yet are distinct in their operation. The Son surrenders to God the Father, and we surrender to the Son, and the Father exalts the Son, and the Son exalts us. And the Holy Spirit empowers all this operation and plan, and He is himself God!

We, as believers, must allow the Spirit of Christ, within us, to operate… Then we ARE empowered…and the Kingdom of God comes within and advances outward.  The Holy Spirit is all about the principle of “in and through Christ.”  Believers who focus on their own ability or inability will always fall short of a supernatural lifestyle. It’s not about us… it’s about Him, Christ in and through us, via The Spirit…referred to as the Spirit of God… the Spirit of Christ. We must be baptized in the Spirit… in other words, totally surrendered and immersed in His power, realizing he is a person, and God himself, dwelling within our spirit. He is Spirit, and speaks to our individual spirit, thus making the intimacy of relationship within possible.  We must invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. We ask for Him. We surrender to Him. He takes what is of God and Christ and reveals it unto us in REALTIME. It is not history.. it is in the present. It is a relationship taking place on the inside and walked out on the outside. Yet the Spirit doesn’t speak of himself, he speaks as Christ. Christ is alive in us through His Spirit…the HOLY Spirit. This is how we distinguish him from other spirits. He IS holy. He will speak in alignment with the Word of God. He will never contradict Christ, for he is Christ’s spirit. Why did Jesus have to ascend into heaven before his Spirit could come to man? Because a man’s spirit resides in his body until he has died. Jesus’ spirit resided in him when he walked the earth. Now his spirit can live in us. Jesus had to become fully spirit to then have us, who are IN HIM, to be ONE WITH HIM in spirit. Believers we are spirit, and we worship HIM, our Lord, in spirit and in truth. The reason we lose sight of problems when we are truly worshipping, is that we become as one in spirit with Christ. Our flesh gets out of the way. And God inhabits the praises of his people. It is truly glorious. The Spirit of God takes the word of God and gives it meaning and interpretation. Just as lovers exchanging a love letter; …it’s the man and woman involved who understand the language of their letter…with its nuances and innuendo…not a stranger reading it.  A particular sentence could mean many things, but because one person loves the other person and knows their heart when they say the sentence, they will have the true meaning of what is meant. So too, it is this way with the Spirit interpreting the word of God for Christ’s lovers.

PLUG IN

Now, very important, we ourselves must experience relationship with the Godhead, to be used to bless others, do good deeds, heal and deliver, and do the works of the Kingdom.  Jesus must be abided in, and He in us, to be walking the walk and talking the talk.

  • It has nothing to do with my works, it has everything to do with HIS Work through me.
  • If I focus on my ability or inability, nothing will take place. I will fall short, because without Him I can do nothing.
  • I participate with Jesus and he gives me the honor and privilege of working WITH Him.
  • My job is to believe that God is really good at his job! This gives faith. We all have been given a measure of faith.
  • I must PLUG IN. As a branch adheres to a vine…nothing in itself giving it life, or power, or ability to produce fruit. Jesus said, “I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever lives in me, and I in him, bears much fruit… however apart from me (cut off from vital union with me) you can do nothing.” (I John 15:5) 
  • The Lord showed me personally today that a more modern way to think of this is to think of ourselves, as believers, as a USB plug-in, for most of us know how those work. Like a USB plug-in, we have no power in ourselves, yet put into a power source, it is usb driveable to receive from its source, and transmit that power, or information, to another. Interesting about a USB drive… it can plug into all that’s inside the computer and have full access to it. That vital information can then be copied down into the drive, and then that USB plugged in elsewhere to convey that information. (Perhaps this is what my article is doing for you…taking what I have received, by plugging in, and now conveying it to you! ) I have a fan platform that my usblaptop sits upon. It is run by USB plug alone.  When plugged in, the fan runs…but only if the computer is on, for its my source of the power. If it doesn’t stay plugged in, it will not run, for there is no other power available for that fan to run on.
  • Do I need power myself, or to give to others?… as with the USB plug?
  • Or do I need Wisdom and Revelation for myself, or to give to others?…as the USB drive?
  • Which USB plug should I activate?…and for what purpose?
  • May we realize we have BOTH available to us as believers. We can choose to receive. We can choose to give out.
  • In fact, we even have USB charging stations now, don’t we? Where we can power up more than one of us USBs at a time… Maybe this is what “fellowship” and “church” is all about.

I hope you can see with your mind’s eye what I am trying to share. It is the principle of IN and THROUGH Christ. We must be IN Christ so that he may work through us. That which he activates in us then is able to be activated toward others. Let me just share a quick little writing that I did as I was meditating on this:

  • Jesus’s peace IN me, allows his peace to be given out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus joy IN me, enables his joy to shine out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s character IN me, allows his nature to flow out THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s love IN me, allows his love to work THROUGH me.
  • Jesus’s healing in me, allows his healing to flow through me, that others may be healed.
  • Jesus’s faith activated in me, allows his faith to flow out through me to perform miracles.

In other words I must ALLOW his work IN me….so that He can work outward, through me, toward others.

It starts with me, myself, plugging in. Ideally, I will ABIDE in Him…not unplugging and then plugging in, etc… But remaining in him.

If I unplug to plug in to others, as a USB would do, it is temporary, and then I must be careful to plug back in, so I can receive power or wisdom myself. If we keep plugged in, however, we can keep the power flowing onward.

Now for a final spiritual picture…using technology as an analogy…becoming more like a Bluetooth than a USB! (*this will make little sense unless you’ve read this article up to this point)

bluetoothnetwork

I believe this should be the goal of every believer: our reaching maturity in Christ…i.e. we stay linked up and plugged in, all the time!  Let me explain. For those who may or may not know…a Bluetooth is a device that is paired to another device. The two become as one. They access the same controls and do the same things. It’s direct. It’s real time. For example, my cell phone here at the house, is paired to my home phone system via Bluetooth, enabling me to get cell calls throughout the house, from where various phone handsets ARE PLUGGED IN.  So, with a louder ring, I can hear the incoming call and not miss a call, and so that I can grab a handset in various parts of the house too, so that I don’t miss a call. All phones are plugged in and paired up.  Well friends… if we are paired to God and Christ via the Holy Spirit ….at all times abiding…we are become as a Bluetooth device.  Our listening to God and our reaching out to others will be at the same exact time…real time.  We don’t have to wait to act. We don’t have to pray about the will of God for days…we will instantly know His mind and heart on a matter. We will hear His Voice and know his Will right here and now…linking people together in purpose…and in power.  We aren’t plugged in sometimes and unplugged at other times, as with a USB. Modern day has given us this “picture parallel” of Jesus’s prayer of John 17…”that they may be one, just as we are one… I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity… so that the world may know that you sent me…and loved them even as you have loved me.”  

My dream is to have us all mature, communicating as being linked Bluetooth devices… paired to the Lord.. AND to one another, that indeed WE may be ONE. Never a missed opportunity, never missing the voice of God trying to get in touch with us.  Our intention and aspiration, so that the world will see Christ Jesus in operation, giving us power and wisdom and authority in His Name …and that He would be given the glory due him as such an awesome Lord and Savior!  Christ IN us, the Hope of Glory…the mystery hidden until now!  And that all would see God, as all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, and as Love… His power holding us all together in his wonderful and amazing purpose and plan: the plan of redemption and grace, and restored fellowship with our Creator!

SO, to summarize in one sentence:

Let is all be alert…and allow Christ to operate IN and THROUGH us!  That Jesus’s own prayer of John 17 may be answered!

It takes us, in cooperation with The Holy Spirit, to make this answer come about, staying PLUGGED IN to Christ! That He can do His Works THROUGH us….

IN and THROUGH !

Written by Beth Ann Smith, October 31, 2015 (Colossians 1:25-29) http://www.theimageofchrist.com

Please check out Beth Ann Smith’s other articles under the “Archived Articles” menu tab at the top of the blog page.

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This ABILITY Surpasses Any CAPABILITY

Recently the Lord revealed to my heart that the greatest ability that I have, that far surpasses any capability I might exhibit, is the ABILITY TO REPENT.  I have pondered that insight for a number of days now, and feel to write about what was shown me, believing  this article will truly change many lives. Perhaps “your” life!

Think about it with me….Read past the picture below and and I will “show you something”…to help you understand..

First, let me define what REPENT really means. To repent is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin, enough so, that a person chooses to turn away from it, and turn toward God, and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, resulting in fruit keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8-10 states that true repentance involves “fruit” or evidence to the fact. Hebrews 9:22 states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness).The good news is that Jesus DID shed his blood, and made atonement for ALL sin, so that we are always and forever ABLE to repent.

This ability to repent far exceeds any capability of ours, for sooner or later, each one of us sins or fails or has something they need to turn away from, knowing it does not please a Holy God. Our capability to lead a righteous life is indeed in Christ, but within our own sin nature is also the capability to do evil. Therefore, the greatest ability we have is to repent.  As with a computer, we simply press “delete” or “backspace” upon our error, erasing our error, so that we can once again enjoy advancing forward. So too, with repentance, our own sin is erased, and glorious fellowship is restored or given with our Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So then, whether we do repent is up to each one of us, and “when” we repent. We have totally free will in this matter. Yet God is always pursuing us, revealing to us, and desiring for us all to come to repentance.

Do we realize how glorious is this Ability? It is ALWAYS AVAILABLE to us. (That is, if we, ourselves, do not harden our hearts so many times that our desire to access our ability to repent is diminished or non-existent. )

etch-main

When my two sons were grade school age they had an Etch-A-Sketch. Have you ever had one of them yourself? Well, as I sat with them both, one of them was drawing something I was teaching them how to draw, and goofed up, getting totally exasperated with himself. So, I, in encouragement, grabbed hold of the Etch-A-Sketch and animatedly declared:  “Let’s get rid of all that!” It’s a good thing, with this, your mistakes can just be erased, so you can start afresh! “ (I showed him how to shake it up, and as he did it, we watched the silver wash away all of what he drew.)  “See, you can start all over!”  As I said these words aloud, instant revelation came to me from the Holy Spirit, and out my mouth it came: “An Etch-A-Sketch actually represents a picture of GRACE and FORGIVENESS OF SINS, sons… and the silver stuff is as the BLOOD OF CHRIST.  The display screen is as Our Life.  If our life displays or reveals an error, gross sin, mistaken path, misled alliance, failure, broken promise, abusive action, selfish tendency, etc…we need only to repent to activate the BLOOD which then ERASES all that was done outside of the will of God. We need not remain miserable and exasperated, ashamed or fretful.”

In fact, even as an Etch-A-Sketch erases a picture, so too, is grace greater than sin! When one of you hands that Etch-A-Sketch to the next person, there is no evidence of what had been written there.  It is dissolved. Invisible. Gone! So too, sin is gone!… forever erased in the sight of God. He remembers it no more.

Jesus wipes the slate clean! Then God sees the slate clean! How awesome is that!

Now, you might say, “hmm…well, sometimes, with an Etch-A-Sketch there is some residue of what was there”…and yes, this is true…. So too, you may need to go to the Lord, and receive GRACE, a few more times, to cleanse your own conscience, so that it is erased forever.  Sometimes it is a process, at our end, as the water of The Word washes away residue, as our own faith in the atonement is built up.. i.e. we embrace our own forgiveness of sin. An evidence is that we become God-conscious rather than sin-conscious when the work is complete. Sometimes, the remembrance of “what was” may be upon people around us, who then may continually remind us of our sin, to our chagrin. And sometimes a temporal consequence is resultant, even though an eternal consequence is absolved. But to REPENT is all about what is between you and God, and GOD HIMSELF SEES IT NO MORE.  So every single “present moment” can be a “new beginning” of walking with the Lord in perfect peace. Inner strength to walk midst others’ judgments and to embrace a consequence of our sin, and to go on cleansed and whole, is granted us as part of this grace of repentance. It is given to us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is with us, assuring us of our secure salvation, and letting us know whenever repentance needs to be done to clear our consciences.

The point in this simple illustration of the Etch-A-Sketch is to reveal that to REPENT is a great ABILITY that we have as Believers.  Actually, to repent is available to all. For Jesus calls Sinners to repentance. This is why He came! A person just needs to know that it is Jesus’ blood that can cleanse and grant reconciliation to God, causing a rebirth….a pure blank slate now to be written upon. However, in true repentance, this new Believer will choose to now let God use those controls, creating a masterpiece out of their shaken life.

My son discovered, that it became easier for him to draw, and he became better and better at the Etch-A-Sketch, for he was no longer intimidated by the thought of making a mistake.  He knew it could easily erase, and he could start again. This is also true of how grace and repentance work in a believers life.  The longer a person walks in Christ, the easier it is for them to be FREE of sin… and actually the need to repent and wipe the slate clean, becomes less frequent as a person becomes “perfected” in such great grace.

Luke 24:46-48 says “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

So what about good works? Or a focus on “capability”? Well, it is simply fulfilling the Lord’s command of Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit keeping with repentance”. Our “fruit” must come forth in keeping with our repentance. This is how we show God we rejoice in our forgiveness, and reveal we are His. You lied? then the fruit would be to resolve to tell the truth. You fornicated? then the fruit would be to resolve not to have sex outside of the marriage covenant. You stole? Steal no more. You grumbled and complained? Then change your attitude! You fought with someone? Say you’re sorry, forgive them, and look together for your solution in Christ.

When one truly realizes the greatest ability we have is to REPENT, and he or she exercises that ability immediately when the need arises, then this ability to WALK IN OUR GRACE gives us CAPABILITY to walk in the righteousness of Christ.  (i.e. we know we can shake that Etch-A-Sketch each step we take that is not in Christ…so our path can be righted…and fellowship restored.)

Another reason why our greatest ABILITY is to repent? … Because our sin is NEVER too much, or mistake EVER too big, for the blood not to erase, when appropriated. Christ’s capability gives us this ability.

NEVER will God not forgive true repentance. He loves the sinner and wipes away the sin.  It is a lie of Satan that God hates sinners. What He hates is Sin, and how it keeps us from Him.

Repentance is always available to anyone who will believe in GOD’S CAPABILITY to provide that forgiveness.  Yes, again I say you must be or become a “Believer in Christ” to be forgiven. It is an ability only available IN CHRIST.  It is only His Blood that cleanses away the sin.

There is one other thing that can mislead too.  Let me warn you of that. Okay?  The Word of God says, in II Corinthians 7:10, that “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  Worldly sorrow lacks “repentance” and brings death. Repentance is more than just an sorrowful emotion, or a “getting caught” and wanting to avoid “a consequence”. Godly sorrow is a grief that is for God’s sake, and produces a remorse of the soul which then reverses itself and restores to life…it leads to salvation through Jesus, and a transformed life.

Let’s go back to the Etch-A-Sketch picture of grace… We had to “Let it Be Shaken.” As was true of the choice to shake that “Etch-A-Sketch” to erase what was written upon it… So too, a sin revealed requires the choice to take action on our part.  It is an act of our own free will to DO the action of repenting after coming to recognize that which needs to be repented of or erased. To refuse to do that “repenting” (as with the Etch-A-Sketch being shaken to have the silver erase the slate)… it means mistake upon mistake is built up more and more, causing us greater and greater exasperation and unhappiness in our own lives.  Yet also, here again… we see the greatest ability we, human beings in all the world, have been given! We can even erase “all that buildup!”  Once we see and recognize our sin before God… this ability remains there to access! This ability surpasses understanding! Oh, what grace! Repenting can erase it all!

But WAIT!…WARNING!!! Our free will is involved here!  If we choose not to appropriate our ability to repent once sin is revealed, it can indeed eventually become too late to have our slate wiped clean. We can go to hell and suffer permanent consequence for sin, and not just earth’s temporary consequences. For the individual Believer, when the choice is made to continually harden their heart, after knowing the joy of being In Christ, scripture warns them, in Hebrews 6:4-12 and in Hebrews 10:26-39 that this condition of hardening the heart causes them to not avail themselves of this, their greatest ability: to repent. Those believers who sin against the Holy Spirit, who is faithful to convict of sin, will instead repeatedly choose not to respond and they will indeed lose their salvation. The Amplified Version of 10:29 states that when Christ’s blood is considered common and unhallowed, that the Holy Spirit is profaned, insulted, and outraged! He has imparted the grace TO REPENT and the blood was given to cleanse! But even believers can walk away from grace. Grace requires the action to stay IN CHRIST and resting faith in what He has done by repenting when convicted by the Spirit of sin. Rest easy, if you have a conscience active right now at all, you are not “there”. No fear need be… just simply repent now. (Don’t necessarily believe this?…then continue on, and read the three verses from Revelation, near the end of this article, and you will hear what Christ Himself says about the danger some of you are in.)

It is only a “Believer”, or one who is repenting to  “become a Believer” , that exercises this GREATEST ABILITY known to man: the ability TO REPENT, and it leads to their SALVATION, in this life and in the life to come.

To repent is easy… and it may be done continually…as a lifestyle…with joy.  The Lord delivers us from our sins as we continually bring them before him in godly sorrow over them.  We experience the pain of seeing our need, but then the great joy in having sin removed.  You need not become sin-conscious or look for sin.  The Holy Spirit will do the work of revealing sin to your conscience, and the written Word of God will expose unknown or hidden sin. A prophet may speak, a sermon may be heard, an authority figure rebuke…God uses many ways to reveal things for us to repent of. Let peace be your guide. Is some sin revealed? You “respond” in repentance. Quickly receive the blood wiping it away! Rejoicing then, simply follow Christ, in that area, believing the slate is clean. There is no need for penance, which means an act of self-abasement, mortification, or devotion performed to show sorrow or repentance for sin. The blood is sufficient to wipe your slate clean. Repentance is of the heart.  Always with Jesus, He says to the repentant one, “Neither do I condemn you… Go and sin no more.”   And worthy to note: Following true repentance, the Holy Spirit may direct you, to do some restitution toward someone you may have sinned against, that reconciliation be made to them. Repentance is toward God, and Restitution is toward one another…. a natural, chosen response to a changed heart, for within it the Love of God now flows freely.

It will bring GREAT JOY, if we understand that This ABILITY to Repent Surpasses any Capability.  We cease being “self-righteous” (ignoring our need to repent), or “heathen” (ignoring our need for God’s plan of forgiveness), or “hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (ignoring the grace that is set before us). We, instead, realize the incredible ABILITY Christ purchased at the Cross by spilling his blood…the ABILITY to repent and go forward forgiven and cleansed.  Healing and deliverance, all a part of our atonement from sin, comes from our continually accessing our ABILITY to repent, due to what Christ did.

With all the talk of grace, out there in the world… I exhort, and speak the truth: GRACE still needs AN ACTION  and RESPONSE on our part: TO REPENT and TO RECEIVE. Christ’s work is finished. And salvation from sin is not of OUR Works. We must simply choose to access this GREAT ABILITY that He has offered and paid for.

In closing, I am led, by the Spirit of God, to give you, from the Word of God, an increased desire to exercise your greatest ability: TO REPENT.  I will leave you three verses from Revelation that have the instruction from Our Lord Christ Jesus TO REPENT in them. Listen carefully. Please. 

Revelation 2:5

“Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent, and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you, and remove your lamp stand from its place.”

Revelation 3:3

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.  But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what time I will come to you.”

Revelation 3:19

“Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.”

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Written by Elizabeth Norland, June 28, 2013

Music Website:  http://www.handmaidenmusic.com

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An Opinion or A Witness? Which is the More Reliable?

image_of_God_Bears_Witness

God is a greater witness than a person, wouldn’t you say?

…whether that man or woman be expressing their thoughts, opinions, beliefs, reasonings, or interpretations on religious matters?

So the question…

Is Jesus the ONLY Way to God and Eternal Life?  

Jesus said that he was The Way…The Truth…The Life.. and that no man could come unto the Father but by Him. (John 14:6)  Was he telling the truth?

Well, Let’s hear A Witness…That’s how we expose a lie when in court, right?

Let’s hear what God the Father, Himself, has to say: 

Let’s take a look at this passage of I John 5:9-20 which is powerful to dispel the lie that there are many ways to God and eternal life. Feel free to look it up in your bible, yet because we are a society of bullet points, I have broken up this passage using them for emphasis, while keeping the text and punctuation totally intact, so that you may see more clearly its truth:

Here is the scripture, I John 5:9-20:

  • If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater:
  • for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son:
  • he that believes on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:
  • he that believes not God hath made Him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son.
  • And this is the record: that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
  • He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
  • These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
  • And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, He hears us:
  • And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
  • If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
  • All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
  • We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not.
  • And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
  • And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is trueand we are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

One of the biggest lies out in the world is that there is more than one way to God and more than one way to eternal life. This “lie” is really antichrist (against Christ).  This lie has everyone around us questioning…the true God?

Doubting that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, and the only way to God being through His shed blood and abiding in His Name, causes people to try this and try that, and look into this religion and that one, and they become more and more confused as to what is the truth.  They exchange the witness of the true God himself for the opinion of man, especially if this or that person or argument or perspective has “impressed him”…BUT I repeat the scripture Romans 3:4, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” That is, Let us believe all men’s words and opinion are fallible, rather than God to speak what is not true! The word tells us God cannot lie(See Titus 1:2) Therefore, He is indeed a reliable witness, is He not?

Do not doubt what God has spoken, though you may see hypocritical speech or behavior around about you. Our passage tells us true believers are kept from sin. Or do you happen to “like someone” who is impressing upon you their Anti-Christ philosophies…(meaning they are against Christ as God’s only way to eternal life)? Is their logic and reasoning causing you to side with “an opinion” and not “God’s witness”?  Are you already aligning yourself with the AntiChrist spirit which is upon the world, rather than siding with God?

I John 2:22-23 says, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”  

I John 4:3 says, “every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”

The first-given, bulleted passage of 1 John 5 is written for those believers who will call on the name of Jesus to be saved and to be answered in their prayers of faith…and my prayer is that unbelievers will also become believers by reading THE TRUTH… And the confidence and assurance of a true believer CAN be theirs too, upon receiving Christ as Lord.

God’s main emphasis? He tells us we, as believers, can know…we are His…and that eternal life… is indeed Ours!

Do you see all the “know” references? (in the scripture I just revealed to you at the bullet points?) I encourage you to read them again, please…

Now look at the last verse in particular:

  • And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is trueand we are in Him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Can you see that God, who bears witness in this passage, is trying to get you to understand that Jesus is TRUE?  we are in Him, who is the TRUE God?  and is Eternal Life? how many times does can one verse say this?… answer: enough so that we will “know”, I suppose, as believers, that ours is the true God. (smile)

We ought not to entertain the ideas of other religions, alternative lifestyles, new age experimentation, questioning continuously our own faith.  We can stand on solid ground, and establish ourselves in our faith. We can simply BELIEVE WHAT GOD HAS SAID in the Holy Scriptures concerning His Son, and the only way to He, the Father!” He is the greatest “witness” to his own Sonfor God is the greatest “being” of all! Again, I repeat, God cannot lie.  He should know what His Son has purchased for us in dying on the cross and shedding his blood…don’t you think? The word says concerning Jesus, His Son:  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Now… with the words of God’s testimony embraced… Believers, you can REST in your salvation.  Put on that helmet of Salvation and protect your mind from “incoming” lies and doubts and questionings that you as a believer in Christ Jesus have somehow “missed it”.  You do not need to know more of “the world and its philosophies”! Quit seeking when you HAVE the answer, if you have already once believed in Christ. What you need is to know more of is “the Word and God’s statements” about His own creation and plan, and His plans and purposes for each of us…so you can stand…against the lies, and be a witness too, speaking to others of Christ Jesus.

I encourage you…Go after God, and stand firm!

Believe and be made strong, if you are already a Believer. Pray, believing God hears! Speak believing others will hear! Stand in your conviction, as the Spirit empowers you.

And if you are not yet a believer in Christ, TODAY is the day!

Simply Believe the above passage, and what God says, and YOU CAN KNOW TOO… that CHRIST is The Lord, and ETERNAL LIFE is yours, in Him.  It is quite simply, a choice to Believe God and what He himself declares of His Son, and then you HAVE eternal life, immediately within…yet you will then grow in Grace and Knowledge of God and his Son Jesus Christ…and sin is removed as you yield to His workings within your heart…and His Grace gives you righteousness, joy, and peace.  

Being confident, and “knowing” for certain of your salvation, and eternal security, you will then have the power to walk the walk of Being HIS…for Christ’s Spirit then dwells within you, that you may Know Him.

I will close with this confirmation….from another scripture passage:

John 17:3 Now this is ETERNAL LIFE: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Let’s not heed man’s opinion but rather embrace God’s witness.

Written by Elizabeth Norland, May 28, 2013

 

Check out her website for Christian music and instrumentals also: http://handmaidenmusic.com

*Please share on your own social network, that they may KNOW what God says…in this passage of I John 5…and receive warning about the antichrist spirit now operating in our world, that they may be alert.

Our Relationship – A Matter of “Hearing”

Let’s listen in on a couple “familiar” conversations:

The woman despairs within: “He doesn’t hear me!” And then she says aloud to her husband, totally exasperated: “You’re not hearing me!” And he, frustrated to equal degree as she, gives his emphatic response:  “I hear you! You’re not hearing me!”

Or…

A teenager shouts aloud to his parent, “Quit yelling at me! I heard you the first time! And the parent responds, “If you heard me, the first time, you would have listened to me!”  Then, the teen responds, “Well, you don’t need to keep telling me over and over!” and the parent pleads “Well, if you’d hear meI wouldn’t have to repeat myself!”     

Now, tell me: What is it that their “not hearing” leads to? What is the “fruit” of it?

Right!  A stalemate!  A breakdown in the communications!  Their “good” relationship comes to a halt!

Neither party is listening to the other, because they both want to be heard!  And if they are not heard, they stop listening to each other!  They “shut off”… and their relationship suffers greatly… intimacy decreases, and maybe even ceases.

Now, let’s look at this in light of Father God, Christ Jesus our Lord, and the Holy Spirit within us who pleads: “He who has ears, let him hear!”

Why does the Lord want us to hear?  Because He wants to have a “good” relationship with us! (smile)

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In the last week, I have been hearing God, in the Word, mention “hearing”. So today, I will speak of some of what He has taught me. Please do read the entire article to get the full impact of the message the Lord wants me to speak, and you TO HEAR. As you read, do not assume anything. Instead try to hear. Truly listen to Him…okay? He may even speak completely different from what I speak, or what you read, for He does that. (smile) Consider this whole thing to be A Matter of Hearing.

Let’s begin:

Most of you are familiar with the parable of the soils that is in Luke 8. The seed is The Word of God, and it falls upon different soils, of heart.  Now, let’s talk about The Matter of Hearing.  First of all, I just want you to glance quickly down upon the words I have bolded from each of the interpretive verses.  From this scan, you will note that they all heard.  Then read back through to get the meaning of Christ’s words.

Luke 8:12-15

King James Version (KJV)

12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

These scripture verses emphasize that “the Word WAS HEARD” and yet what was the difference in the listeners to the Word? I venture to say, only one described set of listeners REALLY HEARD.

In the human conversations that I begin this article with, each speaker desired to receive a “certain response” from their listener, to indicate they were really being heard. If they did not receive this “needed response” it was a definite indication to each speaker that their listener wasn’t really HEARING them. Right?

Well, can we suppose it is the same with the Lord ?

From these verses in Luke, we understand our hearing the Lord does not infer to having something “go into” our ears, or even “into” our minds, through the spoken or written Word of God.  Hearing has not even anything to do with “receiving” what “goes in”.  We can hear with our ears, and even nod our head as if receiving, but if we do not have “the heart” to HEAR… the proper heart attitude… we will NOT HEAR. We will not be giving the “response” our Lord is desiring from us hearing Him.

Note Verses 13 and 14; these listeners heard and received, yet likened to soil: they had no root ….or they were choked out.

So they really did not “hear” God. Did they?

So what did they NOT have? What did they lack that would have enabled them to truly “hear”??

According to verse 15, the missing ingredients are: one can be interpreted as “a noble and good heart” as we hear, and the second is in the “keeping it” once we hear.

So now we are at “the heart of the matter” … “the matter of hearing”!

It is our heart that will take what we hear and receive, and cause us to keep it, and to bear fruit, with patience.

So as we look back through the passage, our heart as described these verses, ought to be:

HONEST AND GOOD – OBEDIENT – RESPONSIVE – PATIENT – FRUIT BEARING

Sounds like the ingredients of any “good” relationship, doesn’t it? (smile)

To hear, then, we conclude that we must first set our hearts aright.

An honest and good heart, will “consciously choose” TO HEAR, for we will have a respect and honor for who is speaking. We will have “an attitude” of DESIRE TO HEAR.

Will I choose to hear what God has to say to me, whether by His Spirit or the Written Word, His still small voice within (conscience), or his voice heard through my brothers and sisters?

This is a conscious decision, to be God conscious. To “tune in”…to “want to hear” and to “heed” what we hear…

Let’s look at the verse Luke 11:28,

“But He (Jesus) said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”

Notice hearing and keeping cannot be separated. If you are not keeping, you are not really truly hearing.

And let’s hear the invitation of Christ in Revelation 3:20,

“Behold, if any man HEAR my voice, AND OPEN the door, I will come into him, and sup with him, and he with me.”

Notice, we have to open ourselves up, which is a heart issue again, in order for Jesus to come in and fellowship with us.

If you close tightly the door of your heart, you close yourself off to hearing.  You leave the door shut to Jesus. Just as we do in human relationships. We can shut Him out, or slam the door in his face if it gets part way open… Yet he continues to speak.

For it says, it is IF we hear, right? So that means he’ll take the initiative TO SPEAK, and once we perceive he IS SPEAKING, we need to “tune in.”  We must want to find his frequency, just as we would tune in a radio station.  If you keep moving the knob fast you will just get a jumbled up mess, and make no sense of anything you hear.  You have to WANT TO HEAR.

Why don’t we hear? Or want to hear?

For we know, deep inside, that hearing and responding DO go together. (smile)

Sometimes we subconsciously think if we don’t hear, we don’t have to heed. Like, if I don’t read this article, I will not be held accountable for what I receive from its words.  Or subconscious reasoning says: If I don’t open up the Bible, I won’t be held accountable for what it says, or… If I don’t attend church meetings, I won’t obey what the Spoken Word declares.

Let’s talk about that.

Does your not hearing this article make it less true? Does your not hearing the word of God, make that much less God’s Will for you? Of course not! It is deception! We deceive ourselves.

The Lord pleads with all of his people… TO HEAR… for the hard-hearted are described in scripture by their curse: “seeing they may not see, hearing they may not understand”…and why Christ spoke in parables. (see Matthew 13:13)

Why will they not hear? It’s because their hearts won’t enable them to hear! Their hearts, neither honest or good, as one who listens.

And yet Jesus gives the invitation to all: “He who has ears, let him hear!”

Jesus declares in the Luke 8:21, “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”  . Sounds pretty similar to his words of Luke 11:28 shared earlier, doesn’t it?

Only this time, his words may be interpreted: “We are His Family IF we hear him and if we keep His Word”.  According to these passages, it’s not just if we have heard and received his word, but we must also keep it, to fulfill righteousness…to bear fruit…to please our Lord.

Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s talk relationship.

Do we only hear him? Or do we expect him to hear us?

Back to the relationships described at the beginning.  What did each of them do, when they felt that they were not heard themselves?  Each GAVE UP.  Each HARDENED their heart. Why? Because we all have the need to BE HEARD.  We are created this way. We need to be heard, and we need to hear. This IS relationship, after all.

Is this not also the way of believers with Christ? Do we believe he hasn’t heard US? So we have stopped hearing HIM? Have our hearts gone hard against HIM, because we don’t feel we are heard?

I believe this could very well be.

There is only one thing wrong. Why this is deception. It cannot be true. That is, our thinking that our LORD has not really heard us. God does hear. Why? Because his heart is NOT hard… He is able to respond to us…. He acts and reacts in purest love. He has nothing on his end to prevent his hearing of us.

So then what can we conclude?

We have failed to HEAR HIM.   

Let’s look at HIS HEART, shall we?

I am going to take you to an example from Luke 10:51-56. The people… actually a whole Samaritan village… did not receive Christ, as his disciples went ahead of him to prepare the way, for his coming to them. So his disciples, being appalled at this rejection of Jesus, said. “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” And Jesus replied, with a stern rebuke:“You do not know what manner of spirit you are.”  “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them”… and they went to another village.

In today’s interpretation, He was clearly telling them that their mindset/attitude was not of the Holy Spirit! Their hearts hardened when Jesus was NOT HEARD (responded to). But Jesus went on to declare this very important revelation about HIMSELF: “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them”…. And they went to another village.

Why was it stressed that they moved on to another village?????

And why do you suppose, this week, the Lord was illuminating that last line to me, amidst all this talk of “hearing”?

Firstly, Jesus wanted His Heart revealed: to save not destroy…and that it was an honest and good heart…toward them. Secondly, it was to show us all: Jesus will not press himself upon those who DO Reject Him… He, instead of trying to convince them TO HEAR HIM, He went on his way to another village!!

So the sober end of this matter of hearing, receiving, and heeding is the fact: WEhave to want to!

Jesus will speak… yet, if we don’t want to hear him, He’ll move on to another.

If a certain Church will not hear, he’ll move on to another.

If a particular missionary compound, will not hear, he’ll move on to another.

If a people group will not hear, he’ll move on to another.

If one of us is given an assignment, and we do not hear (heed it), he’ll move on to give it to another.

Jesus is speaking! He is moving until He finds one who hears! i.e. one who receives his word, and will, and obeys.  Then he will COME IN TO HIM, AND FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM, AND YOU WILL BE HEARD TOO! (Rev 3:20). Relationship will be yours.

SO, IN RESPONSE, WILL YOU HEAR TODAY?

Will you prepare your heart to hear, from this hour forward?

Will you heed and obey, what you hear, when you hear?

It is indeed

A MATTER OF “HEARING”

For us all…

 

 

A Prayer of Response:

Lord God,

Open my ears to hear you… really hear you… that I become more-and-more responsive TO YOU.  Keep on speaking, Lord, until I heed what you say.  Please do not move on. Please know I welcome you, and desire you to keep talking to me.  I ask you to forgive me for closing my ears to so many things you’ve been speaking to me of late.  Open my heart, as I daily open your word and spend time with you. And give me the ability to obey you God.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit, and enable me to hear your still, small voice throughout my day, no matter how busy life is… giving me guidance and comfort.  May your voice become louder, so it drowns out the voices of this world that distract me and turn me from you.  Thank you Jesus, for your blood that washes away all sin. Wash away the hardness of my heart, that has kept me from fully hearing you.  And bring me great grace to respond to you with EARS THAT HEAR. I want to obey and to please you, for I love you Lord, and honor your name and your rightful authority over my life.  May I be ever increasingly God-conscious…that I give you, my Lord, the gift of true love and relationship: EARS THAT HEAR.               

In Jesus Name, Amen        

Written by Elizabeth Norland – 10/27/2012