Breakthrough and Follow-through

So as not to miss any gods they might appease, the Athenians had set up an “unknown god” among the others. And so, Christianity today is seen as a religion among many others. The God of Christianity is “unknown” even to some who claim it as their faith. If we see little more than the surface of this way of life, we simply exist without the source and the power of this life. For the most part, we fail to differentiate between what other religions offer. We must be sure that it is an offering; a supernatural offering between our God and us. It is a spiritual gift from the Lord God of Christianity whom we know as Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of Jehovah, the Almighty God and Creator of the heavens and the earth and Redeemer of mankind.

Baptized as a child on a profession of faith, Christianity was basic but ineffective in my life until as an adult, I was drawn to read, then study; to write and teach what I was learning from the Bible. During those years, the Holy Spirit I was reading about in the Bible used God’s own words to transform my life. Through a new birth, with a new heart and spirit, my life was changed and has not been the same for decades. My books, articles, and poems attest to the revealed and fulfilled promises made to those He brings to Himself.

The best way I can describe this new way of life is with a parable I heard several years ago.

A prisoner was held captive for years, not knowing where he was. He existed in an obscure stronghold in a foreign country. His food and drink were barely enough to keep him alive. Since he knew no other way of life, he did not wish for anything else.

One day a stranger entered his cell and told him about life outside his captivity. He had come to deliver him. At first, the man could not vision anything beyond his own existence, and so refused to follow him out. Unknown to the prisoner, the stranger had broken through the outside barrier of the stronghold to save him. He was there, not to be refused; and so, stayed with him, living off the same fare by which the prisoner had been fed most of his life. At times he would open the cell door and lead him down a long dark hallway to show him the light outside. Not used to the light, the prisoner would soon move back to his comfortable cell.

With time, the stranger presented truths about the light, each day praying with him and leading him a little further out from his cell. Gradually getting used to the light, he was drawn more; then more, to it. One day, his eyes becoming used to the light, embraced the light, walking with the stranger into a new life outside himself.

As I contemplated writing this post, I was reminded of an old TV series Mission Impossible. A different mission presented to the team with every episode including the statement, “This is your mission if you choose to accept it.” The missions involved seemingly impossible situations providing an escape for captives.

I imagined what this would have looked like for Jesus before Creation. He and the Holy Spirit were the team, Jesus being the one who would suffer and sacrifice to bring His people out of their bondage. His mission from God the Father was to go down, go to, and live with the captives on earth; live in full obedience to God’s law, which no man had ever done, and provide a true understanding of the laws of His kingdom. He would be the light from heaven to people living in darkness, under oppression and sin. He would at the appointed time, be offered up as a means of appeasing the unknown God and ascend back to the Father, where He would live and reign for us as His people.  He would send His Spirit of light from heaven; through His Word bring us out of our captivity and guide us into all truth.

Jesus accepted and fulfilled His mission. His Holy Spirit is now fulfilling His mission in our hearts and lives as we continue to follow Jesus.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for so loving us that you sent your Son to be a propitiation for our sins. Lord Jesus, we thank you for being the author and finisher of our faith; for breaking through and enabling us to follow through this darkness until we see you in your full glory. Holy Spirit, we know your presence and power of the life of Christ in us. Continue to reveal and fulfill all that the Father has willed for us as your people. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

Image:Google

Words of Life ~ AFFLICTION

Fifteen years ago, I started thinking how good it might be to have a handbook that Christians could use concerning our particular language; the ordinary vocabulary that believers could study about our everyday life in Christ. All those years I shared some of this work with three of our granddaughters. Two years ago, we put together a list of words using the English alphabet to form Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

Part-way through the list of A’s, we have been overwhelmed with our research and believe that this is a valued gift for all Christians. We come this week to the word AFFLICTION, one that will surprise and amaze all who truly understand how this word applies to us as God’s children.

We may not like what God’s Word teaches us, but hopefully, we will come away with a greater understanding of why we as God’s children have to endure AFFLICTION.

We are using a lot of references and not a lot of my own comments so God’s Word can speak for itself. Please take time to read these, so as to understand why affliction is an important element of the Christian life.

We will divide this into five areas:

The first two will be highlighted in this post.

AFFLICTION of the Israelites

Hope During AFFLICTION

The last three will be included in our next post.

AFFLICTION of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Master

AFFLICTION of followers of Christ; 

AFFLICTION within the body of Christ

 AFFLICTION of the Israelites
STRONG’S defines AFFLICTION H6031 ânâh, aw-naw’ to afflict, oppress, humble  All References  online.

“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Exodus 1:12 The more the Israelites were afflicted, the more they multiplied and grew and became a threat to the Egyptians.

“And the LORD said , I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;” Exodus 3:7

Seeing their affliction from the Egyptians, God brought them out of Egypt. They believed, bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 3:17; Exodus 4:31) Yet, afterward, they rebelled in the wilderness.

The word used for affliction is the same word used for humble; when the Lord led them out of Egypt.

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3

All their suffering was meant for God to prove what was in their hearts and that they would learn that man does not live by bread only, but true life depends on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

We may not like the idea that the Lord afflicts His own people, but affliction is His means of teaching His children, to bring attention to their sin and rebellion and to turn them to repentance. He does not afflict other people for the same purpose. We will look at this further in our next post: this week’s chapter The Secret Place in Beyond a Mere Christianity.

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

“Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.” Lamentations 1:3  

“Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.” Lamentations 1:5

“I am the man (Jeremiah) that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.” Lamentations 3:1

“For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33

“But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the Lord the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.” Amos 6:14

The Psalmist understood the Lord’s judgment and faithfulness in affliction. His afflictions are according to His judgments, His word, and His statutes.

“I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75

“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Hope During Affliction

“And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:” Deuteronomy 26:7

“When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;” 2 Chronicles 6:26

 “I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.”Psalm 119:107

 “Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.” Psalm 119:153

 “Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.” Psalm 129:2

 “O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction,” Jeremiah 16:19

The Lord promised to restore those He had afflicted (Micah 4:6; Nahum 1:12).

The word is the same used for troubled when God’s people had no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2

Gracious Father in heaven looking down, even as we are looking up to you in our afflictions, have mercy upon us. Open our eyes to the truth of afflictions in generations of the past. Help us to understand why you afflicted your people then and guide us by your Spirit of truth to know that if we belong to you, you will afflict us as you see fit. Prepare our hearts through this first offering, to look further into the New Testament in our next post to see the afflictions, tribulation, and suffering of those who follow Jesus, your Son. In His name, I pray.
Fran

Image:Google

Intent, Tender a​nd Tenacious

It has been a blessing to see how two current series are dovetailing. We are bringing Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian into our chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity. We are finding the language of God’s kingdom fitting and powerful to take us beyond the ordinary Christian life.

Our Word this week is AFFECTION, seeing that it relates to what we love most and set our minds on. This word and its meaning work to establish the intents of our hearts. With this as a beginning, let us look into the life of our Lord Jesus Christ to understand how a believer follows the Master.

Latin for the prefix ten means to hold and to stretch. We will look at how this works in the words intent, tender and tenacious.

INTENT
(
mind, understanding, will; manner of thinking and feeling) see a deeper meaning as we understand it, considering purpose, goal, attention, etc. here.

Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the power of God’s Word that searches our hearts. 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The Word of God detects the deepest affections of our being. When the Word of God quickens us to a new birth, the intents of our hearts are changed from the natural desires of the flesh to “make us his workmanship” (Ephesians 2:1-10); to desire and love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as our self.

Instead of following our own path in life, in faith and repentance, we deny self and follow hard after Christ. What is this path of righteousness in which He leads us? We will know this as we look into the intent of our Lord’s heart when He came to earth.

He was conceived of the virgin Mary to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

Because of His love for His Father and for those he came to save, He lived with one intent, to do the will of the Father (John 5:30) knowing he would lose none of those whom the Father had given Him (John 6:39). There was an intensity of His affection for His Father and for us.

“For the love wherewith He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

“He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

~ “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:42 Timothy 1:9).

The covenant of redemption was made between the Father and the Son before creation. By the power of His Word and His Holy Spirit, He would reveal and fulfill this covenant here on earth in and through His people whom He would bring to love Him. His everlasting love through Jesus Christ was revealed on the cross when He shed His precious blood for our redemption. When we hear and read His Word, the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of His people to initiate affection toward Him so that we turn and follow that which we love.

TENDER
In the Old Testament, the same word for tender is used for compassion, mercy, pity.

The Psalms speak often of the tender mercies of the Lord.

“The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Psalm 145:9

Jesus knew His purpose for being here; His affections were set on His Father and His people, those for whom He came to live and die, but nothing and no one could change His character of grace and mercy while He was here. He showed a righteous anger toward the religious leaders who were “blind, leading the blind,” but He showed tender mercies toward the “sheep who were being led astray.” He healed all that were sick, cast out devils, spoke truth to all the multitudes, and loved those who would eventually join their hearts against Him and shout, “Crucify him!”

He knew no one could come to Him with the affection, love, and intent to endure with Him except the Father draw them to Him. And we remember that only one of those was at His feet as He was dying on the cross. His true character was shown even in His compassion in healing the ear of one who came to arrest Him.

When He was dying, His tenderness for His mother was shown as He looked down and committed her care to John. His love for humanity was expressed in His dying words, “Father, forgive them.” He understood that none of us know what we are doing; that was His purpose for living in complete obedience to the Father, then giving that perfect life as a sacrifice for the atoning of our sins. He finished the work He came to do so that we can come boldly to the throne of grace in His name for reconciliation through His shed blood for us; for new life to follow Him with great and precious promises ~ beyond a mere hope ~ to live as He lived.

TENACIOUS
Though Peter and Satan, himself, tried to keep Jesus from His appointed mission, He did not waver, but “when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51

“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,” Matthew 20:18

Jesus knew when His hour had come. The hour of darkness (facing death and taking our punishment upon Himself) was His destination here on earth in order to save His people. He spoke of His death, but His disciples did not understand until after His ascension and the Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost.

Colossians 2 and 3 speak of our relationship with Christ and how His work of redemption affects our living.

Colossians 2 teaches us that we are “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” Colossians 2:12-13

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
Ephesians 3:1-4

We set our minds, our affections, and our goal on the glory He has prepared for us with Him. With the same intensity as He went to the cross, we hold to our purpose for being His disciples. We stretch ourselves forward and upward in our calling with Him.

As we continue to follow Him, we are tenderhearted toward others, even when they misunderstand who we are in Christ.

In the same spirit of tenacity, we continue to follow His lead until He has finished His work in us here.

Gracious Father, whose will your Son came to fulfill, make us to know our purpose in following Him. Keep our focus and intentions true by the power of your Holy Spirit. Let nothing of this world deter us from following Him. Keep our hearts tender toward others, enabling us to witness of Christ. Bring us steadfast and immovable in the work of our Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Photo by Wendy van Zyl from Pexels

How Exciting Is Your God?

Thinking I would save time in my busy week, it seemed a good idea to just post a snippet from a dormant file.

Not so. Opening this manuscript only served to stir up the Spirit within me to the truths therein. Worship That Springs from the Heart of God ~ A Sheep’s View was an exciting work several years ago that became more than I could finish at that time. (Other books in the series Little Books About the Magnitufe of God are no more than a 100 pages.) A Table of Contents for two sections, The Meaning of Worship and The Means of Worship with many references and notes, including chapters of Roles and Positions, Rules and Conditions, brought me to that Spring that flows from the heart of God. Worship became something new and powerful in my own heart and life.

I learned and now experience the connection ~ the vital connection ~ between God’s Word and His Worship ~ with a capital W ~ beyond a mere worship.

In studying what it means to worship and praise the Lord, I related it to my grandchildren (an older sheep teaching younger sheep) by asking the question, “How exciting is your God?”

This depends on how He “incites” you.

INCITE
He, first, “provokes the action” by His Word and Spirit through my mind and heart—instruments that He created for this purpose. The word “provoke” is used many times in the Old and New Testaments to speak of provoking God and others to anger and jealousy.

There is only one reference that speaks of the power to provoke unto love and good works.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”  Hebrews 10:24

Paroxysmo (pä-ro-ksü-smo’s) first means incite, incitement or second, irritate, contention.
(Had I not reviewed this for this post, I would not have found this little nugget hidden from plain view.)

It is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, who speaks through His written word, revealing the God who is worthy to be worshiped. The Living Word, Jesus Christ, lives within us to bring the worthy worship that He desires and deserves.

EXCITE
As I read and hear His word of truth, He does a work within me that “excites” me.

Through His Word from His own heart, by His Spirit, He quickens my spirit  (Romans 8:11). This understanding brings more light to Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 2, which is worthy for meditation in this matter of how the Spirit works to give us the mind of Christ.

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:4-5

RECITE
Worship is the continual effect of God’s own work within us.
Worship is the “reciting” of His Word and how He teaches us to relate to Him, the result of the Spirit of Christ working from within. No man can do this for me.  No man can teach me how to worship the Almighty God, my heavenly Father.

Worship begins with a new birth. With a new heart and spirit come an understanding of the object that I worship. This new creation lives by faith in a God I cannot see.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Worship is the reward of our diligence in seeking him. To seek Him through prayer and His written Word is a daily act of worship.

From His heart “inciting” our hearts for daily worship, He leads us in family worship and then to corporate worship on the Lord’s Day with His people “in the assembly of saints.”  All of this, from the individual, to the family, to the church, is preparation for that glorious gathering as one people in Christ, for an eternal worship (Ephesians 1:10).

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13

HE INITIATES, CALLS, and SAVES with His whole heart and soul.

“Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.” Jeremiah 32:41

Worship is more than a mere gathering on any one day of the week, it is a continual practice of the Christian life.

“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:33

A Gripping, Thrilling and Fulfilling LIfe
The truth of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ produces a gripping and thrilling Life in Christ. The law of God that commands our worship comes alive in Christ—incited in us. To love His law is to love Him and worship accordingly (Psalm 1:2-3). Even in the middle of adversity, we can praise Him and worship through His Spirit and the power of His word that speaks to our difficulties.

His Spirit is in us, and surrounding us (Acts 17:28). We are Filled with His Grace, Wrapped in His Glory.

The same worship He deserved at the beginning of time is the same worship He incites in us today. HE HAS NOT CHANGED, but He changes us, humbles us, then exalts us to praise Him in an acceptable worship.

Glorious, holy Father, we thank you that worship is not man-induced. We need no enticing words or actions from men to worship you. You are excitement enough. You have made Jesus Christ our worship leader, a worship that is the result of your work in our hearts and lives ~ the new life in Christ. By Him, let us offer up to you the sacrifice of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks unto your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Fran
Praise the Lord       Covenant Choir

Photo by Henri Guérin from Pexels

Words of Life ~ ADOPTION

What a difference it would make if we knew the true meaning of Christian adoption.
Our relationship with God is not based on a biological birth just by happenchance, but by a desire on the part of our heavenly Father to make us His own children.

We can start with what we know about human adoption. First: there is a couple’s desire to take a child, born to another family, into their home; to love, care, provide, and protect this child.

Secondly: there are rules and conditions that govern the process of adoption. Needy children are not just dumped on a family’s doorsteps; nor does a child choose its parents.

Third: there is the process of finding a child compatible to the couple who are adopting; unless there is a child the couple already knows. Still there is a legal process they must go through.

Fourth: there is a cost to adoption, which we will not go into here, except as we consider the cost of our adoption into the family of God.

Our heavenly Father has only one true Son, Jesus Christ, but before the foundation of the world He desired many sons and daughters and planned for our adoption (Ephesians 2:4-5).

The rules and conditions of His kingdom govern the process, by which He finds and makes known His desires.

His cost was the price of His own dear Son, given for us, to make us joint-heirs with Him (1 Corinthians 6:20).

How do we separate the price our Father paid and what the Son paid?

(Let me share a precious moment with our Lord and Savior this past week during the busyness of my duties as Jerry’s caregiver, and the research of the word “adoption.” The Lord revealed to me the meaning of true love that I have never known. I cannot fully describe this, but He opened my heart to see Him before He came to earth. I saw His great love for the Father, His great love for us and His longing to come to bring us to Him. He was not only willing, but desiring with His whole heart, ready to give His whole life, to live and to die for me. Imagine Him, an only child, desiring more children for the Father and at the same time desiring sisters and brothers with whom to share His monumental estate, His wealth, and His eternal life with the Father in heaven.)

No biological birth or human adoption can offer this.

No biological birth or human adoption requires this process.

No biological birth or adoption comes at such a price as the life of another human being, who is willing and ready to sacrifice with such a love for his father and brothers and sisters.

True, He knew He would be resurrected, but He was, for the joy set before Him, coming to endure the anguish and pain of the cross for those in need of a loving Father and the Life He gives through His Son. (I do not limit this Life to an after-death experience, but to Life now and forever.)

We are not negating the need for “new birth” but understand that He gives His adopted children a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3).  

ADOPTION into the kingdom of God begins here; our heavenly Father protecting, providing all our needs, loving, leading, assuring, and nurturing us as His children through this wilderness and on to glory with Him and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ came to bring many sons to glory with Him (Hebrews 2:10-12).

And He pursues us, knowing whose are His.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…Behold, now are we sons…(1 John 3:1-3).

We do not include any references from the Old Testament for the word  ADOPTION. Though there were incidents of adoption in the Old Testament, it was not a practice of the Israelites. It is only associated with the understanding of our relationship with God as our heavenly Father through Jesus’ redemption.

New Testament G5206
Defines ADOPTION  huiothesia (hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah) from a presumed compound of 5207 and a derivative of 5087; the placing as a son, i.e. adoption (figuratively, Christian sonship in respect to God):–adoption (of children, of sons).

 
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry , Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23

 “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons”. Galatians 4:5

How blessed we are to know that before the foundation of the world we were chosen to be His children, in love 
”Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Ephesians 1:4-5

Dear gracious, heavenly Father, who is rich in mercy, the love wherewith you loved us can never be fully understood. It was all planned before we were born, before we sinned and needed a Savior. Open our hearts to such love that would give your one and only Son to die for our sins. We cry, “Abba, Father” in love, thanksgiving and praise for bringing us into your family. Conform us to the image of your precious Son, our Lord and Savior. By your Spirit, spread abroad your love in our hearts so that we love you with all our hearts, our brothers and sisters and our neighbors as ourselves.
Fran

For a related article on adoption see Truth or Tradition.

Image:Julie Johnson (Unsplash)

THE WAR ZONE

I started this post yesterday thinking it would be a short one not assosiated with our current series, but as it was the Lord’s leading, it will probably be an added chapter.

The closer we are to the Lord, the greater is the warfare. He and we are still being attacked today. In every age, until the end of this world and His coming again to save His people from the evil one, He is drawing us nearer and keeping us close to Him.

We must understand the battle to which He brings us. It is a spiritual war within a physical world.

This world is not just a physical, visible world. It is encompassed within a spiritual world.
The battle between the two ~ the antithesis ~ began in the Garden of Eden and will continue until He comes again.

As we draw closer to that time of departure in the enemy’s last effort through death, we are witness to this warfare between the spiritual and the physical world. We live in the center of the warzone, with the weaponry used from all sides seemingly coming at the same time. We were experiencing this attack yesterday.

This comes now for Jerry and me as I am in the process of publishing One Month to LIVE ~ A Father’s Last Words; a recollection of the last three weeks with my dad as he was dying of cancer. He died on Labor Day, 1994, but while working on this project, the event has been almost as real as those days twenty-four years ago. We are close to the same ages as my parents were then; going through the same stages as they were before my dad was diagnosed with cancer. (Praise the Lord, the day ended amazingly victorious and fruitful; the first draft submitted, waiting for review.)

To Admonish
I share all this to alert those who are still young, to know where you are; who you are in Christ: to admonish you to draw nearer to HIm now, with all diligence through His Word, prayer, worship in a close-knit, Bible-led congregation of those whose lives are spent for His name’s sake, through His grace and for His glory. Herein, is the means of enduring as we understand the fiery trials that come.

  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

The WAR is real, unlike any physical battles on this earth. Unless you are prepared beforehand for the ending of your life for eternity with Him, you will perish when your world starts spinning out of control; your flesh wasting away, while losing all your mental faculties. You will have lost the battle without even knowing it.

You will pass into eternity in the arms of the Lord Jesus or into outer darkness with the enemy of God. If you believe HIs Word, you will see now, Beyond a Mere Christianity, the goal that lies ahead and prepare for the battles that all creatures will face in this lifetime. Among other things, it a battle for truth (Ephesians 6:10-18).

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-11, 13

Dear Father, how do we hold to your Word or stand in these days of the battle? The spirit and the flesh are always at odds, and we have no means of holding or standing except in Christ who has called us to eternity with Him. You know that this puts us right in the middle between you and the evil one. You know we cannot endure except as you stand with us and fill us with the power of your Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Lead us in the paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. This is our only hope and our assurance of salvation. We thank you and praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Fran

Please listen to these two sermons from Northern Ireland on Things That are Eternal, Things That are Eternal Part 2. You will be graciously blessed.

Image:Google

Words of Life ~ ADMONISH

What a blessing it has been to share these Words of Life ~ A to Z The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian. Every word brings new insight into this vocabulary that leads us in our thoughts, our speech and actions. Each word is building on the previous ones. Imagine if we could eleminate the words of the English language that do not apply to our lives in Christ. As Jim, a fellow blogger, commented about the wealth of these words related to our life as a Christian, we do well to study these words in application to our lives and relationships.

To ADMONISH one another is a lost art, along with church discipline ~ lost because of its true meaning. It is a special gift used in relationship to one another, those who are of the people of God. Outside the household of faith, it is simply a means of ciritcism without concern for the hearer, but those who know and love each other have the Spirit of truth to see and speak the truth in love wherever it is needed.

We see the word admonish  linked to humility, wisdom, goodness and knowledge, which are other words of our vocabulary. These attributes are needful if we are to warn, teach and shine; the same word for admonish applies to these actions on the part of a child of God. 

Old Testament  H2094
Defines ADMONISH zahar (zä·har‘) warn, admonish, teach, shine  All references.

“Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” Ecclesiastes 4:13

It is the wise who can admonish others and the wise who are able to accept admonition from others. If we could focus on these Words of Life, we would always be able to admonish and to understand what others are saying when they admonish us.

New Testament   G3560
Defines ADMONISH noutheteō (nü-the-te’-ō) warn, admonish
G3867 paraineō (pä-rī-ne’-ō) admonish, exhort

 “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14

This is the means of admonishing one another; able to admonish and to accept admonition.

The apostle Paul instructed the Colossian believers in how they were to admonish one another.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:18

How wonderful it is to relate to those in whom the word of Christ dwells. It is these we would desire to teach and admonish us. This is the means of a brotherly unity in Christ. Look again at this statement: it begins with the word of Christ dwelling in them and from them singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. This seems to indicate that psalms and humns and spiritual songs in our worship, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord is a means of admonition. As we worship, our singing can not only be directed to the Lord, but toward each other. The Psalms and hymns that have been preserved over the years are packed with truth and instruction for us. The words of Christ have never changed, always powerful for the truth to do its work when human words are inadequate.

To the Thessalonian church, Paul used the words exhort and admonish in 2 Thessalonians 3:11-16  concerning those who were disorderly, not working, and disobedient to the teachings they had received from him.

 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother”

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your Word that instructs us in how we are to live as your children. Teach us all so that we may teach each other in love, and accept personal teaching from others who love us and see things in us that we may not be able to see. Unite us as your people through your Word in the power of your Holy Spirit to be light in this world ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Image:Google