“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 19, No. 3 March 2010
The blessings from the Lord come to those who will continue to praise Him in the good times and the bad. Also to those who will magnify the Lord with thanksgiving. There is nothing the Lord will not do for those who continually do this. The righteousness of Christ will fill our lives with the joyful sound and cause us to arise as a light out of the darkness. The Lord will be gracious and full of compassion when we need His help. He will not forget us or abandon us in times of trouble.
We are now coming into a most blessed season of the year. For many it is going to be a difficult and painful time. For others they just want to get past it. But for some, we will continue to praise the Lord with thanksgiving regardless of our circumstances because Jesus Christ still rules and reigns victoriously.
The times are upon us. Let us be like the sons of Issachar who know what season is upon us and respond according to the will of God. Let us not be moved nor be afraid of evil tidings, but fix our hearts in trusting the Lord for our salvation and blessings.
My heart goes out to the troubled soul, but I will keep my eyes securely on the One who is exalted above all else.
He Wants Preeminence
We are living in a day when the church is seeking unity with mutual respect, love and peace. In the past, many people have been hurt and suffered because of dissension and divisiveness. The body is waiting to reunite brother to brother.
We also hear about a one world system that will gain financial control over the entire world. There are schemes manipulating groups to join forces. Much of our news reporting has nothing to do with facts or truth because the call of the people doesn’t matter; what matters is what the governments seek. But God laughs because nothing will happen that He has not ordained first. When man determines his own destiny, total corruption takes over! No matter how good it sounds, corruption always follows what man attempts to promote. I am not advising mistrust in our government; I am simply stating a fact of God’s Word.
Christianity was not birthed out of a democracy; it was born out of an empire. True Christianity will flourish under any kind of government whether it is a dictator or other system including democracy.
We think that Christians suffer the most under dictatorship, but that concept may be wrong. Christians may suffer the most under a democratic-capitalistic system because it lulls the saints to sleep in their complacent way of living. Because the church of America does not live a righteous godly life, God is not going to listen to people’s prayers until they begin to obey Him. The church is not bearing witness of righteous living. Too many believers are not carrying their cross and presenting their body a living sacrifice to God. It is not the other countries of the world that send out the pornography and fund vile arts from taxpayers. It is America!
Which do we love the most – freedom or righteousness? One of the most basic reasons America is hated is not because of our freedom but because of our lack of righteousness. The Muslims, who call us “the great Satan,” do not see us according to our professed faith in Jesus Christ but according to our actions which often do not glorify God.
What are we willing to give up to see America saved? What do we fear we are going to lose as these days culminate the end of time? What is the issue really about - Unity and oneness are what we are seeking!
Gen 11:1-2 (KJV) “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. (2) And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.”
The land referred to in the above verses is present day Iraq, and the time is a mere 175 years since God had destroyed the earth with a flood. Everyone on earth lived as one family and they all spoke the same language. There were no dialects and no wars, just peace, love and harmony (apparently). IT IS TOWARD THIS END THE WORLD GOVERNMENT IS WORKING.
Gen 11:3-4 (KJV) “And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. (4) And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
They had two goals: one was to reach heaven by their own efforts. The other was to decide on a name so that everyone knew they belonged. This suggests that they were all in love with each other in a state of harmony. And because of this harmony, they had no need for God to do anything. By joining together they sought to avoid war, famine and all other miseries that come by suspicion and hatred.
It is important to understand why God did not allow this unity to remain. His concern was not a matter of unity but one of relationship with Himself.
What was God’s response to their idea of harmony? (Genesis 11:5-8) God realized because the people were one they would soon develop a sophisticated civilization. What is wrong with that? THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD WANTS! God deliberately broke up the family into nations that would war against each other throughout history. God did not want one human family living together in their “love” so they could do whatever they wanted.
God wants each person to have a personal relationship with Himself, to be dealt with individually so none becomes so wrapped up with another as to neglect the greater purpose. GOD IS JEALOUS. He wants our hearts with no person, thing or situation allowed to come between Himself and us. God will not permit it – NEVER. GOD MUST BE FIRST! HE MUST HAVE PREEMINENCE!
We must love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. There is no greater commandment, no greater law. BUT HOW MANY DO THIS?
God’s desire certainly was not important to the builders of the Tower of Babel. Although in love with themselves, they surely recalled what had happened just 175 years earlier.
There are two desires in the human heart: One is to get to heaven by our own ability and the other is to join with other people so there is a common name or group within which you can say “This is who I am! This is where I belong!”
The Antichrist will make himself god and he will be permitted to reach up into the heavens and attack the host of Heaven. When this assault happens, the host will be tested in the area of obedience just as we are being tested now. Daniel 8:12 tells us this happens because of rebellion and it will prosper until truth is thrown down to the ground.
IT IS BECAUSE OF REBELLION THAT TRUTH WILL NOT INCREASE IN A PERSON’S LIFE! God does not want a people who live by their own abilities; He does not want a people who join with others so they can accomplish their goals – even religious or humanitarian ones. God’s way is to call to Himself those He can freely deal with everyday until every aspect of their life is so conformed to the image of Christ they can enter into the rest of God.
The world will never understand this transformation. Americans accept the statement “born-again.” But they haven’t a clue what it means to be led by the Spirit of God. Most Christians have no problem being born-again, but ask them to surrender all to follow Christ and that is too much to require. And because of a hesitation to give themselves totally over to the Lord Jesus, they are being deceived. They will live out of soulish love that does not last. They will flee from circumstances they find too restrictive. They will continue to seek after someone like themselves but will never find lasting peace.
The cry of the hour from the Spirit of God is more love, more power, more of You in my life, for these bring holiness and obedience.
People cannot love their neighbor like themselves without first loving God with all their heart. Otherwise, the love becomes idolatry. All that we value must be given to God so He can give it back to us purified. God will not give back to us those things that may harm us. Nothing is to be held back from the Lord. He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. ARE YOU DAILY PLACING YOUR ALL ON THE ALTAR?
We do not have to fear what takes place in America or the rest of the world. We pray for those in authority and leadership; but whether we have freedom or not, God must be permitted to make us into the image of His beloved Son. The only fear you need is not serving the Lord completely in every area of your life by following the Spirit of Christ.
The unity of the church will be Christ in us in God. Unity can never be accomplished by flesh and blood. Only that which is born of Christ, His body and blood, can be brought into unity in the Godhead. That means each of us must have a personal and living relationship with God free from idolatry.
Now you know why God did what He did at Babel. He is not interested in people’s ideas of unity since these ultimately brings rebellion.
What about the unity of the church? What are we supposed to do? When the hour came, Noah did not have to go after the animals to bring them into the ark. They were moved upon by the Spirit of God. Noah obeyed God in building the ark and God filled the boat.
It was Satan who was having his way in building the Tower of Babel. It is the same today. But God will use Satan’s attacks against the elect to further His own purpose in building the Kingdom of God. God wants you to have a portion of Christ for yourself.
Do you have an undistracted relationship with Jesus Christ? Is your all on the altar? Is there something in your life that you love more than God, or do you live in fear of losing what you have? He wants preeminence. Perhaps you feel alone, isolated, desiring unity – Let Jesus fill the void and you will find the place where you belong.
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2009
Mar. 3: “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name.” (Isa. 45:3)
Mar. 6: I enter into Your rest, I honor You, I give my all to You and surrender my will to Yours.
Mar. 12: This I recall to my mind therefore I have hope.
Mar. 19: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”
Mar. 20: “Remember, there is a special blessing to those who read and hear the Words of Revelation and keep them especially since the time is at hand.”
Mar. 21: And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. (Psm. 39:7)
Mar. 22: Blessed are the peacemakers. They will be called the Sons of God.
Mar. 24: “You shall accomplish the will of our Father.”
Mar. 28: “You do not have to be afraid of what the future holds. I have given you the ability to discern and know Me. Know that I will never fail you. Remember who is in charge and never allow the fears to rule your decisions or judgments.”
The True Choice
Mat 7:13-14 (AMP) “Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. (14) But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.”
People live and people die because of what they believe. It is common to find that the lives of some people could be lengthened and more rewarding if they only knew and followed the Truth of God concerning the way they were living. We see them everyday, but do we ever consider the Truth about how we are supposed to reach out to them?
Joh 17:13-19 (AMP) “And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts]. (14) I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world. (15) I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one. (16) They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. (18) Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (19) And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify (dedicate, consecrate) Myself, that they also may be sanctified (dedicated, consecrated, made holy) in the Truth.”
The Word of God does not err; Jesus said that He consecrated Himself while He was still in the world so that His joy and perfect delight could be perfected in our souls. He did that and delivered that same message from the Father to us so that we should not live like the people who live after their own evil lusts. Jesus also said that He has sent us into the world in the same way that God the Father sent Him into the world and that we could be consecrated and sanctified holy in the Truth of God’s Word. His message is true enough to believe, and true enough for us to share with those who need it just as much as we do.
Rom 1:18 (AMP) “For God's [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.”
God does not want anyone to perish is a truth we need to make known because Jesus did, and He told us to tell others as well. When it comes to living out the Truth, Christians sometimes act as if they are excluded from the justice of the Truth. However, living opposed to the Truth makes that part of the Truth inactive and of no effect, a result of our own choices. No one lives a miserable life without God unless they choose to. So it stands to reason that no one would go to hell unless they choose to. The Truth says that God gave us His best. He gave us His only begotten Son: the Truth, the Life, and the Way, and with Him many precious promises.
2Pe 1:3-4 (KJV) “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
God has made provision for everything we need to make the right choices. Everything we could ever need can be found in the Truth; so if we are falling short, we must be choosing to believe a lie. Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan the father of lies, has been planting his tainted seeds in the minds and hearts of people. Nevertheless, we cannot excuse ourselves by casting the blame on him or on other people for the choices we make. Ours is the choice: Will we choose to seek the Truth and follow God?
Quotes From Andrew Murray:
Self keeps me from prayer, but my heart can be prepared for prayer by denying the world.
Whenever I come in prayer, the Lord instructs me to pause long enough to remember who He is.
Let my prayer be something definite, arising out of the Word I have read and out of the real soul needs I long to have satisfied.
Take time to help a child pray. It will lay a foundation like none other in their life.
Though everything may appear cold, dark, and strained – may I be faithful in talking with my heavenly Father.
When I bow down to pray, the awareness of my unworthiness will not hinder me but will help me trust God.
God is always waiting to hear my voice.
I want my spirit to be a listening spirit waiting to hear what God says.
The courage to pray for someone is a sign that you have faith that God is able.
There is nothing more worth living for than this – to satisfy God in His longing for human fellowship and love.