Monthly Archives: January 2011
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie–just as it has taught you, abide in him.
(1Jn 2:27 ESV)
Many people search books to learn about God. It is good to learn from others, what God has revealed to them about Himself. This is much easier for those who have not learned to listen to God. But, those who have walked with God long enough, should be able to move on to learning from God Himself. Of course, the Spirit uses books to teach us, but He is able to use anything to teach us. Also, He will use others to teach you, especially if you are not listening. Sometimes, words cannot even express what He shows You about the glories of Christ. Use Scripture to evaluate what you believe the Spirit is telling you, in order to ensure you are not being deceived by Satan.
If you are willing to practice His presence in humility and for no reason but out of love for Christ, He will share Himself with you in abundance.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
(Col 2:6-7 ESV)
Receiving Christ is only the beginning of something magnificent. Together, each body of Christians is to walk in Christ, be rooted in Him, and be built up in Him. These things require that we be well established in our faith in Christ. No individual can do these things on his or her own. Each one of us is given a portion of Christ, according to God’s grace. As we experience the living Christ with other Christians, we increasingly display His splendor.
Don’t be fooled into thinking there is a method to growing in Christ. It takes time, love, and lives spent in the presence of God.
New Christians seek things such as love, humility, and keeping away from sin. These things are appropriate for a new Christian, because these are the elementary teachings of Christianity. Unfortunately, many Christians never move beyond these things to what we are meant for. Experienced Christians seek to take hold of Christ, because they have discovered that He is the source of all things. If you do not move past the elementary things, you may very well fall into dead religion, and never experience the living Christ. We are designed to know, experience, and love our living Lord. If we turn our gaze fully upon the Sun of Righteousness, as we behold Him by faith, all good things will be added to us.
“That he expected after the pleasant days God had given him, he should have his turn of pain and suffering; but that he was not uneasy about it, knowing very well, that as he could do nothing for himself, God would not fail to give him the strength to bear it.” – Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
My brothers and sisters in Christ, we should not shrink back from pains and sufferings in this life. We should embrace them as great graces from God, which He is using to sanctify us. If only we could understand, in the hour of difficulty, the blessings God is pouring on us.
When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
(Act 14:21-22 ESV)
There is no reason to search for pain. God will give what is needed. If it is necessary for your growth, then it will come. If your difficulties become too great, know that God will give you strength to bear them. Often, He will use other Christians to strengthen you.
If we are in a situation where our pain will alleviate the pain of someone else, we should wholeheartedly embrace it. There are people who will not suffer a little discomfort for the life of another person. All of us have chosen ourselves over others at some point in our lives. This is not the way of Christ. This is not the way of love. If we wish to save our lives, we must lose them. We must die to self, that Christ may live through us.
If our Father reserved the greatest sufferings for His beloved Son, we should expect that, as heirs with Christ, we should suffer something as well.
“The Holy Spirit is not an instrument or tool of the church. The church is an instrument of the Holy Spirit…” – Leonard Sweet, So Beautiful
Many Christians have a backwards view of our relationship with God. We see God as a tool that we can use to achieve our goals. We expect God to answer our wishes and meet our desires. We don’t own God, God owns us. We didn’t pay a price, He paid our price. Not only that, but we were created for Him. He holds the unique position of being the only One that is not created.
Considering these things, it is only fitting that we surrender all that we are and all that we have to Him. Anything else would go against our nature. By nature, I don’t mean our sinful fallen nature, instead I speak of our new nature in Christ. This is the nature that was meant for us all along and was retrieved through His sacrifice.
And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
(Mar 11:13-14 ESV)
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
(Mar 11:20-21 ESV)
The fig tree was pretending to be something it was not. It looked nice and pretty, but the fruit wasn’t there. Jesus wants us to bear fruit. Note that Jesus wouldn’t have cursed the tree had it been leafless, and without fruit. Be what you are, don’t pretend to be something that you aren’t. Either you follow Jesus wholeheartedly, or you reject Him. The fate of those who outwardly follow Him, but bear no fruit, will be cursed like the fig tree.
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
(Rev 3:14-16 ESV)