The Starting Point for Happiness

A sermon may put you to sleep. It may pass over you without leaving its mark — or it may very well pierce your heart, lodge within your soul, humble you and change your life. Such was last week’s message from our pastor as he began Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount.

If you have studied Jesus’ Sermon recorded in Luke’s and Matthew’s Gospels, you may know that the word Blessed is a description of a true follower of Christ.

In the Christian language Blessed translates Happy. Jesus’ teachings were radical in His day and in ours to show by His own life and His Words that the kingdom of God begins in the hearts of those who are humbled before Him.

This sermon serves to awaken again the desire to share what I have studied and written about the subject of Humility. It has been a constant study since 2014 through Andrew Murray’s Humility ~ the Beauty of Holiness; when I posted A Broad Review of his book — a chapter every month that year.

Since then, I have been using that Broad Review, (published in 2017), with its main points, to saturate my mind, to meditate, ruminate and perpetuate the truths of God’s Word concerning the character of humility that is desperately needed in our hearts and lives. The humility of Christ within us is our blessedness and happiness.

Please watch ~ more importantly ~ listen to this sermon and visit with us this week for snippets of the reality of Humility that you may have never known or heard.  May the Lord bless your week. Fran

Conclusion to a Mere Christianity

In this conclusion, I hope to put to rest the idea that there is such a thing as a mere Christianity. It is simple, but profound. Enough, but much more than we can know.

We will add the following synonym study to the introduction of the book.

Merebare, imply a scant sufficiency.They are often interchangeable, but mere frequently means no more than (enough). Bare suggests scarcely as much as (enough). Thus a mere livelihood means enough to live on but no more; a bare livelihood means scarcely enough to live on. Dictionary.com

Our God and Father, the Creator and Redeemer of His people, did not bring the world into existence by a mere pittance of His grace. He did not send His only begotten Son into the world to provide only a possibility for salvation nor was His death upon the cross a means to provide a pitiful life here on earth.

Our meaning is not that of physical poverty or wealth but, spiritual. God, before the foundation of the world, planned to bless His people in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3-4).

King Ahasuerus offered Queen Esther half his kingdom; so, did King Herod offer the daughter of Herodias (Esther 5:3; Mark 6:23) .

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3). He told His disciples, “It is the Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He promises to share His kingdom and His glory with all His children.

We are not offered a bare existence as a follower of Christ, but the promise that we are new creatures with an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, reserved in heaven for us who are kept by the power of God until His appearing (1 Peter 1:7).

In this book Beyond a Mere Christianityposted chapter by chapter since June 15, 2018, I have referenced books by C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and Oswald Chambers as points of those who wrote in the past and one sermon by Jonathan Edwards. Their works were not meant to be used against them but to be a means of reference to what the Lord is still doing, that others may experience things that they may not have writtenn ~ to encourage further personal study and gleaning of God’s Word.

If we take seriously what is written in the previous chapters of this book, we see the makings of the Holy Spirit’s work in the hearts and lives of men. We have written of the truth that there is no status quo to Christianity. While some may experience a low profile of faith, others have been called to live sacrificially.

Either of these requires the supernatural power and presence of God to change the hearts of men. In these following last references, we see the life Christ came to give. It is an abundant life (John 10:10) beginning here and now that transitions us from this life into the next. Those who have this life in Christ are willing to die for His name’s sake to keep this life forever.

Besides the following references that pertain to how we live as Christians, I am including the link to Biblegateway.com for references to the word life. Lord willing, this will be our next devotional study in the series What the Holy Bible Says.

Though this is the conclusion (except for testimonies by two other witnesses), this series will never end. God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory will continually be a platform for proclaiming the legacy of His kingdom.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14

Live by His Written Word

Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.” Psalm 119:17

The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psalm 119:144

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever.”
1 Peter 1:23

Live in Christ

For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:26

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Acts 17:28

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
2 Corinthians 5:15

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” 2 Corinthians 13:4

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.”
1 Thessalonians 5:10

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:” 2 Timothy 2:11

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:9

Live in the Spirit

 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:
the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.”
John 6:63

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Galatians 5:25

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Hebrews 12:9

Live in Peace

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort,
be of one mind, live in peace;
and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11

Live Godly

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Titus 2:12

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24“

“That he no longer should live the rest of his time
in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:2

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12

  Live Sacrificially

Men hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 15:26).

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Revelation 12:11

Dear Father in heaven, how can we with mere words thank you for who and what you are to us. Enable us to give ourselves willingly, gratefully, prayerfully and humbly to live as you have planned for us. Let us not be satisfied with a mere taste of your grace but fill us with your fulness, the fulness of your Spirit and the fulness of Christ, who in us is no mere hope but the hope of glory ~ eternity, here, now, and forever with you. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
Related Article: Living Sacrifices

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Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty King (Part 3)

In this last part of this last chapter of Beyond a Mere Christianity, we will look at how God has designed the other side of His arrows. Again we see Faith in Christ as the center ~ the heart of every Christian. We begin our relationship with Him as He has planned ~ for us to know Him, hear, see, fear, and love Him. This brings us to the point of obedience. Living by faith, we obey, serve, worship, praise, pray, and proclaim His kingdom in power.

Some of these chapters have been more than a normal post but necessary for this book. There is much here of God’s Word that you may possibly only scan but hopefully, a quote will speak to your heart and you can keep them all for future reference.

From the center of living by faith in Christ, we will follow the design in the Conclusion to what it means to LIVE Beyond a Mere Christianity.

LIVING BY FAITH

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2 Corinthians 5:7

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” Galatians 3:12

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“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

OBEY

“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Genesis 22:18

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel i7:27

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7

In four verses, Paul speaks in his letter to the Romans of obedience to and of faith (See The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans).

 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship,
for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:”
Romans 1:5

 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” Romans 6:16-17

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:26

 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Exodus 19:5;Zechariah 6:15;Acts 5:32;1 Peter 1:22

SERVE

“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” Psalm 2:11

“Serve the Lord with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.”
Psalm 100:2

“Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.” Psalm 101:6

“That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,” Luke 1:74

“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:2

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6

“For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” Romans 14:18

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:24

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” Hebrews 12:28

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:” Revelation 22:3

 WORSHIP

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2

“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” Psalm 45:11

“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2

“God is a Spirit:
and they that worship him must worship him
in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:4

PRAISE

 “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” 1 Chronicles 29:13

While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” Psalm 146:2

“I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.” Psalm 7:17

“Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” Psalm 18:49

“Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength:
so will we sing and praise thy power.”
Psalm 21:1

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” Psalm 42:5

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” Psalm 51:15

In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.” Psalm 56:10

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalm 57:7

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.” Psalm 66:2

“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Psalm 106:1

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8

“From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

“He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 147:20

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;” Psalm 149:6

“O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” Isaiah 25:1

“To the praise of the glory of his grace,
wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Ephesians 1:6

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:11

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Hebrews 13:15

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

PRAY

“And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.” Numbers 11:2

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.” 2 Chronicles 7:1

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:44

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:38

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:36

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:18

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

“Pray without ceasing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” 1 Timothy 2:1

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” James 5:13

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:15

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” Jude 20

And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4


PROCLAIM

 “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Exodus 9:16

“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”Exodus 34:6

“Declare his glory among the heathen;
his marvellous works among all nations.”
1 Chronicles 16:24

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” Psalm 22:31

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.” Psalm 73:28

And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.” Psalm 145:6

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” Proverbs 14:25

“I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:12

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.” Isaiah 48:6

Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.” Isaiah 48:20

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” John 1:8

 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:27

“For thou shalt be his witness unto all men
of what thou hast seen and heard.”
Acts 22:15

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” 1 Corinthians 15:1

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” Ephesians 6:19

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 2 John 1:5

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.” 1 John 5:9

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1 John 5:10

Conclusion of a Mere Christianity will be our next post. Please pray for two of our WordPress bloggers whose witness shall be added to this book.

Dear Father, full of mercy and truth, thank you for saving us to be your own children. Fill us with your Spirit and increase our knowledge and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us hear, see, fear, and love you to the point of obeying your Holy Word. Instruct and equip us to serve you, worship, praise, pray and proclaim your kingdom in power. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty King (Part 2)

We began Part 2 thinking it would be the last part of the last chapter of Beyond a Mere Christianity. This, even as the previous chapter, was a strenuous but joyful undertaking, mining God’s Word to find the treasures He has hidden there for us. We will present the remainder of the parts of the arrow He has designed in Part 3.

FAITH

As we saw in the design of His arrows, faith is the shaft, the core of our relationship to Him as He makes us His arrows, revealing through us His power here on earth.

As with all things pertaining to His kingdom and rule in heaven and earth, faith comes from Him. Just as He is love and we love because He first loved us, so He is faithful to us, faithful before we ever knew Him, and by His grace, to bring us to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ in His timing, and to keep us in Him by the power of His Holy Spirit.

GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Psalm 31:23

For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.” Psalm 89:2

Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” Psalm 119:90

But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted.” Psalm 89:24

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.” Hosea 2:20

“God is faithful,
by whom ye were called unto the fellowship
of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:9

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10

 Faith In JESUS CHRIST

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” Romans 3;22

“By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.: Galatians 2:20

“For ye are all the children of God
by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3;26

For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5

“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:7

 “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.” Colossians 2:12

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Faith by the Word of God 

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” Romans 10:8

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” Colossians 1:23

“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:9

Faith by the Power of God

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:5

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:” 2 Thessalonians 1:11

“Who are kept by the power of God
through faith unto salvation
ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:5

Faith by Grace

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” Romans 4:16

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Ephesians 2:8

Faith and Righteousness

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” Philippians 3:9

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” 2 Peter 1:1

  Faith and Justification

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28

“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Romans 5:1

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16

 The Measure of Faith

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12:3

 Faith and the Holy Spirit

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:” Acts 6:5

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
Galatians 5:22

Increase of Faith

“Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,” 2 Corinthians 10:15

“And the apostles said unto the Lord,
Increase our faith.”

Luke 17:5

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;” 2 Thessalonians 1:3

 The Household of Faith

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1:27

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” 1 Timothy 1:4

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Titus 1:1

Faith and Love

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;” Phiemon 1:5

Faith and Trials

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22“

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 1:7

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:
and this is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith.”
1 John 5:4

Strength and Boldness of Faith

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” Ephesians 3;12

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;” Romans 4:20

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16

“Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:9

 “We should earnestly contend for the faith 
which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Jude 1:3  

Fatih and Patience

“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:” 2 Thessalonians 1:4

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” 1 Thessalonians 1:3

“That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faithand patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:12

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
James 1:3

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:10

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12

“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

Had we known the bountiful supply of the truths and power of God, we would have planned two chapters for this one. We will edit for the book, but here we will conclude our references of the design of the arrow in a third part. It is difficult to cut out parts of His Word just for convenience and time. Instead, we will publish for the sake of His glory and any who will cherish His precious Word gathered here in one place.

Meditation on these truths will strengthen and increase our faith for the work of His kingdom ~ at the same time increasing our joy and fellowship with Him.

Dear Father, what an undertaking you give us for the proving of our faith. And what a blessing to dig deeper into your Word to find the precious nuggets you have hidden there for us. Fill our hearts with faith and love for you as you are always faithful in your promises for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty King

As I post this last chapter, it is with a sense that I have not done justice to the truth and power of God’s Word. I cannot do any more than I have done, but remembering Andrew Murray’s words in the Foreward of his book Waiting on God, I quote these words, “I send these out with the prayer that He who uses the feeble may give a blessing with them.”

In three previous chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity, there have been references to books by authors I read years ago. Each one left an impression, and from these, I have offered a challenge for us as God’s children to go beyond what they wrote to search further into His Word.

God was speaking through them to witness of His kingdom and His salvation through Christ, His Son. They are dead and though they still speak through their books, God is still speaking through all His children today. We have nothing new since He spoke through His Son but each of us is called to witness of more that He reveals in His Word.

No person has all revelation but we each bring something to the feet of our Master for His anointing. It is the same faith, same Lord, same Father, same Spirit, and the same baptism through the person and work of Jesus Christ. But we never stop learning or growing. We continue to search His Word, to pray for more than the average knowledge of our Lord ~ with which some are satisfied.

The title for this final chapter is based on two different ideas ~ the first is explained as we take a statement from a sermon and the second from the texts of Psalm 127:4 and Isaiah 49:2.

By reference to this sermon, we want to see the degree from which and to which, God calls us as His children.

On July 8, 1741, this sermon was delivered by Jonathan Edwards in Enfield, Connecticut. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is perhaps the most well-known and most moving of sermons ever preached in America. (Instead of listening to an audio, please read it. Edwards was not an eloquent speaker but known for simply speaking word for word from his written documents.)

Let us consider these select words from His text.

The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction.

Our thoughts from this part of the sermon are focused on God’s bow and arrow ready for his enemies. We find in the Old Testament such references

In response to the rebellion of His people, Moses records the words of the Lord.

“And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.”
Deuteronomy 32:21-23

And upon His enemies are these words from the Psalmist.

“Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.” Psalm 45:5

At the end of his sermon, Edwards spoke the following words during which many were wailing and crying out for salvation.

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God.
Read here the background and effect of this sermon.

In every generation, upon hearing the gospel, we, as His people have conviction by the power of His Holy Spirit that brings us to repentance and faith.

I like to say that His arrows pierce our hearts and make us tremble at His Word so that we fall prostrate at His feet in need of a Savior. He knows how to stop us in our tracks and turn us to Himself. He has the power to make His enemies not only His footstool but to make them His servants.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Psalm 110:3 

We see the promises of God’s deliverance recorded in the Psalms and the Prophets.

“The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord. And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.” Zechariah 9:1, 14 (See Zechariah 9  for the full impact of this promise of deliverance.)

God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of the universe, has turned us from His wrath by sending us a King ~ the King of kings ~ to capture our hearts and turn us to Him. We are no longer His enemies but servants of the Most High God. He has made us His children and heirs to His kingdom.

He makes us thrive in enemy territory, defending us, even as He makes us arrows. We are His quiver ~ His arrows against His and our enemies.

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:4-5

Such is our Father in heaven whose family on earth lives in defense of His kingdom.

 “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;” Isaiah 49:2

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The Process by Which He Establishes His Army and His Weapons

Through His Word, He reveals Himself and births us into His kingdom, making us soldiers of the cross of Christ, His Son ~ the Mighty King who rules His kingdom. His Word is our manual for training.

His Holy Spirit continues to lead us to know our Master and King, to hear His voice, see Him,  fear Him, love Him, obey Him, worship and serve Him, praise Him and pray to Him, to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ in power and to live for Him.

By His mercy and by His covenant with us, He calls us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices ~ no longer conformed to this world, its god and its standards but transformed by the renewing of our minds by His own Word and Spirit (Romans 12:1-2).

We survive victoriously and thrive in this wilderness so that the enemy knows who and where we are ~ as we live without fear and always ready to defend the faith He alone gives (Jude).

He uses us to make known His name, His kingdom, and His will to others who will follow in His train.

As arrows designed for His purpose in the hands of our Mighty King, His power is wielded in us wherever and whenever He chooses. Each of the following topics forms the shape of an arrow. Starting with KNOW, we continue to the point ~ OBEY ~ and come to the point PROCLAIM.

Living by Faith in Christ is the shaft that the King uses to drive the arrow forward in our obedience to hit the mark.

We will look at references to Know, Hear, See, Fear, Love, and Obey. In Part 2, we will look at references to Serve, Worship, Praise, Pray, Proclaim His Name and Live by faith in Him.

Rather than my commenting on these references, it would be good for us to meditate on each of these (there are actually many more than we have used). We need to establish time for one of these each day to build our repertoire of His manual.

KNOW

“And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, 
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Matthew 28:18 “

“All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Luke 10:22

‘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:” 2 Peter 1:3

“Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.” Psalm 106:8

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jeremiah 24:7

“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24

 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

 Known by His Shepherds and His Sheep

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15

 “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” John 10:4

 “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” John 10:14

 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Matthew 13:11

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Philippians 3:10

 “the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:” Philippians 3:8Deuteronomy 4:39; Nahum 1:7; Psalm 67:2;Proverbs 22:21;Isaiah 43:10;

HEAR

“And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8

 “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

“While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” Hebrews 3:15

“When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 13:18

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15

 “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:17

 “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Matthew 17:5

 “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” Mark 4:24

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” Luke 6:27  

“Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” Luke 8:18

 “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21

 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28

 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27

 “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37

 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” John 4:42

SEE “And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that you should know his will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of his mouth.” Acts 22:14

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:18

 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:16-17

FEAR

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” Isaiah 51:7

 “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:5

 “know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14

 “And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;” Isaiah 11:2

“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” Acts 19:17

LOVE

“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.” Psalm 91:14

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37

“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” 1 John 2:5

 “Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that he loved us, and sent his Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:10

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;” Philippians 1:9

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:35

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” 1 John 3:14

“Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us:
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
1 John 3:16

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7

In the next and last post of this chapter, we will look at the power of living by faith in Jesus Christ that brings about obedience to our Master and King. We will see the effects of  living in obedience as we serve, worship, praise, pray and proclaim the name of Christ.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for the power of your Holy Spirit to bring us captive to Christ, that we may be free to serve and worship you without fear of our enemies. Shape us as your arrows as you are conforming us to the image of your dear Son. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray, Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

Godly Stability

This post did not make it as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity, but the quotes may fit somewhere in the previous chapter, Surviving and Thriving in Enemy TerritoryLord willing, our last chapter should be ready to post on Monday.
Please pray for Jim as he is preparing our next post on Words of Life.

“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD”
Jeremiah 15:20

    “Stability in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of brass, which no one can batter down or break. Only the LORD can make such; but we need such men in the church, and in the world, but specially in the pulpit. Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision. They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced cities.
The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of doctrine, others only need to be blown upon and away they go; but those who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas. Whence this stability? “I am with thee, saith the LORD”: that is the true answer. Jehovah will save and deliver faithful souls from all the assaults of the adversary. Hosts are against us, but the LORD of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch; for the LORD Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide forever.”Spurgeon

May the Lord bless us as His people; that He teach us and prepare us for the battle for His kingdom in this world. We pray His blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Fran

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Surviving and Thriving in Enemy Territory (Part 2)

In this last part of Surviving and Thriving in Enemy Territory, we will look more closely at the lives of the children of God in comparison to the children of the world. Meditation and memorization of His promises are part of our strategy against Satan and his forces ~ our means of surviving and thriving in this world.

The following verses and passages of Scripture must be studied as part of the soldier’s manual if we are to survive in this world. This is a loaded post, more than I usually do with references, but needful as one to be saved for further study.

We must be armed to the teeth and transformed by the renewing of our minds with His Word ~ able to speak to the circumstances that come in our lives, else we will be taken captive and overcome. These references should give us encouragement and defense against our enemy at every turn and be able to lead others to safety in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In His Word, God makes a difference in the righteous and the ungodly. There is safety, strength, gladness and rejoicing and fruitfulness in His kingdom. Added links are in parentheses.

“Discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” Malachi 3:18

We see the destruction in Noah’s day as a condemnation of the world.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7

In Psalm 98:2 “The Lord made known his righteousness in the sight of the heathen.”
In Psalm 7:9 the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but the just are established:”

“the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.” Psalm 37:17; (Psalm 75:10)

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”
1 Peter 3:12

“The wicked are overthrown, the righteous shall stand. Proverbs 12:7 (Psalm 129:4;Isaiah 11:4)

Isaiah 26:10 teaches us that even if favor is shown to the wicked, he will not learn righteousness. He will still deal unjustly and not behold the majesty of the Lord.

 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

Proverbs 21:26 “He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

“The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom.” Psalm 37:30; (Psalm 7:11;Psalm 11:5; Proverbs 15:6; Proverbs 28:1) 

There is Safety in the Lord

“My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.” Psalm 71:24 (Zephaniah 2:3; Psalm 55:22)

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17

He is our strength  

“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.” Psalm 37:39

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 (Isaiah 45:24)

The upright shall dwell in His presence Psalm 140:13 with gladness and rejoicing

“The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.” Psalm 118:15

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

 “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2 (Psalm 32:11;Psalm 64:10;Psalm 33:1)

 The Righteous bear Fruit

“The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.” Proverbs 12:12 Isaiah 61:3

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 (Isaiah 3:10)

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)” 2 Corinthians 9:10

 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11

Light and Darkness

In the process of the Israelite’s deliverance, Moses speaks of the Egyptians having no light, “but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:23).

“Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:”  Psalm 112:4

“Light and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalm 97:11

“The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out. he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” Proverbs 13:9

“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  Matthew 13:43   

 Jesus spoke of “His light to those who would believe in the light and be the children of light.“ John 12:36

The apostle Paul defines God’s people as children of light

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Philippians 2:15

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day;: we are not of the night nor of darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:5

Paul spoke of believers being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what communion hath light with darkness?”  2 Corinthians 6:14

Truth and Deceit

“They seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.”Isaiah 58:2

“The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness;” Jeremiah 4:2

“His word is true from the beginning: and endureth for ever.”Psalm 119:160

  “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”Psalm 96:13

 We see in the following verses how truth and righteousness are a combination for those who belong to Him,“and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.” Zechariah 8:8

“He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous:” Proverbs 2:7
“The uprightly speak the truth.”Psalm 15:2

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” Proverbs 15:2

 “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.” Proverbs 12:17

 He speaks encouragement to His people who are reproached of men.

“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.: Isaiah 51:7

 “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” Psalm 31:18

“(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” Ephesians 5:9

 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:15
(Psalm 40:10; Psalm 85:11; Psalm 119:142; Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 12:5; Proverbs 13:5; Isaiah 26:2; Isaiah 26:9; Isaiah 28:17)

Life and Death

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 21:21

“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” Proverbs 10:11

“The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psalm 119:144

“The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.” Psalm 37:32 and gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous.”Psalm 94:21

“The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.” Proverbs 10:16

 “The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.” Proverbs 10:21

 “in the day of wrath righteousness delivereth from death.’Proverbs 11:4

Proverbs 10:2  “in the way of righteousness is life: and no death.” (Proverbs 12:28)

“As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.” Proverbs 11:19

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:46

“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rp,ams 5:21

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13

(Psalm 37:29; Psalm 119:144; Proverbs 10:3; Proverbs 10:25; Proverbs 16:8; Proverbs 10:28saiah 51:6)

Peace and Oppression

 “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Romans 14:17

 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

“And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land;” Judges 6:9

“For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Psalm 54:3

In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.Isaiah 54:14

“The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment  Psalm 103:6 and a refuge for the oppressed,” Psalm 9:9

There is a connection between Isaiah’s prophecy of Jesus being oppressed and afflicted for us and the fulfillment of His power in healing all that were oppressed of the devil.

 “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Acts 10:38
(Deuteronomy 26:7; Isaiah 49:26)

Spirit and Flesh

We close this chapter with the most profound teaching of God’s Word for His people. The Christian life is more than just physical. It is a supernatural life given by the power of His Holy Spirit. The righteousness of Christ is ours by His Spirit drawing us to Him and His living in us.

The Spirit of Christ within us is our only true defense and our means of thriving. His Spirit teaches us His Word and arms us with divine power to destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and whatever exalts itself against the knowledge of Him and brings our thoughts captive to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

 “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:5-6

Paul teaches more about the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer than any other New Testament writer. Read and study Romans 8:1-16. If you are not already familiar with this passage, spend time with this one and Galatians 5. Below are verses from these chapters.

 “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4

 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10

 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Galatians 5:5

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:16-17

Paul gives a list of the desires of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24 

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“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11

“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:23

Gracious Father in heaven, I am speechless. Your Word is precious and powerful. By it, you created all things and by the Word of your power, you maintain. You birth your own children by it, fill us with the life that is in it and you speak it through us for our defense and joy. We are not worthy but we praise you for your written word and more than this, for your Living Word ~ our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name, we thank you and desire your continued Spirit leading us onward. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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