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 

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>

“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

Surviving and Thriving in Enemy Territory

To get to the depth of this twenty-first chapter (one more remaining) has been a tedious task. Even as I came to this, it seemed as facing one of those brick walls we run into close to the end of a project. There is something we can’t get over, around, under, or through, on our own.

I have described this overwhelming sense in other posts as finding more than I know how to handle. It is what I imagine winning the lottery would be like, only this is a spiritual windfall every time the Lord brings me to a new chapter in my life or to finishing a book.

Proving truth by our experience seems the easiest to write but much of the time, it is His working in us what we have not yet known. It is to find the joy of His presence, as He continues to teach and prepare us for eternity with Him. The Christian life is lived in the presence and power of the Lord God Almighty who brings us to imagine what is beyond where we are.

It is a life of growth that takes us from striving to surviving and finally, thriving in the middle of the common adversities that assail all human beings. As Christians, we face the controversies that exist between believers and unbelievers as well as among God’s people.

If we have been through the first twenty chapters of this book, we know that Christianity is not a two-bit religion or one by which we hitch our wagon to a star and hope it will carry us to heaven. It is not like any other religion but one that most people seem to be happy without.

Since the beginning, when God created a man and woman, there has been an antithesis ~ Satan and his angels gathering those who are captive to him to battle against God and His plan for His creation.

The Christian life is not an easy endeavor. The more we claim the promise of eternal life in Him, the more we are ridiculed and persecuted.

As the apostle Paul expressed the life of Jesus’ disciples, “We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,” Luke 9:23

Although I have not come to the point of thriving as I desire, Jerry and I have survived ~ experiencing joy and praise through much hardship. The vision is put before us when we study the life of Christ our Lord and the apostles who were chosen to continue His ministry of proclaiming the kingdom of God.

If we never catch sight of the victory Jesus gained for us in this world, then we believe in vain.

It is a victory of faith to overcome as He rules in every area of our lives, whether personal or relational. We need His presence and power to overcome that which makes us captive to this world.

He bought us and brought us from being an enemy, to serve Him as a soldier of the cross. He gives us every weapon in His arsenal to overcome the enemies that strive against Him and His kingdom here on earth (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

To get beyond striving to surviving in this world, we begin by knowing who and where we are. In John’s first letter, he describes the difference in God’s people and the world that “lies in wickedness.”

And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:19

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” NKJV

“We know that we are from God, and the whole worldlies in the power of the evil one.” ESV

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” NIV

In this one verse, we see the opposing forces that have made up the antithesis since the world began.

KJV and NKJV agree that “we are of God.”

ESV states “we are from God.”

NIV says “we are children of God.”

These teach us that as disciples of Christ we belong to God, which makes us different from the world.

In the next part of this sentence, John describes those who are not children of God. Every translation describes the territory of unbelievers as “the whole world.”

KJV says “the whole world lieth in wickedness.”

NKJV says “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

ESV says, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

NIV says, “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”

2 Corinthians 4:4 describes the evil one as “the god of this world.”

Ephesians 2:2 describes him as “the prince of the power of the air.”

 “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” 1 John 3:10

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth  in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. Psalm 1:1-2, 6

“And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” Exodus 9:27

Satan’s Territory
During wartimes, we hear of servicemen taken captive as prisoners of war. Everyone since Adam and Eve, are born slaves into Satan’s territory. As the god of this world, he rules with power over the whole world.

A mere Christianity is not enough to survive the spiritual battles that come just by living here. A little faith will not stand against the onslaught of the enemy. Those who do not know Christ are destined to a final eternity with Satan and his angels.

Only Jesus Christ can save us from the enemy ~ the spirit of this world and his oppression.

Who gave himself for our sins,
that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father:”
Galatians 1:4

Christ’s disciples are born again spiritually to belong to Him ~ predestined to eternity with Him.  It is Jesus Christ who delivers us from the power of the evil one.

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:18

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Titus 2:12 speaks of how God’s children are to live in this present world;  

 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:24

The Power of the Holy Spirit
The Lord promises His people the power of His Holy Spirit ~ the same power that was with Him on earth. The same Holy Spirit by which Jesus was conceived of the virgin Mary is the same Spirit by which Christ is born in us ~ the same power to overcome sin and make us holy. The same presence with Jesus as He endured the suffering and death of the cross is the same presence of the Spirit of Christ within us ~ to live sacrificially for Him (Romans 12:1-2)..

It is the same power that raised Him from the dead and made Him to sit in heavenly places to rule at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:19-21; Ephesians 2:5).

It is the same power given to those in persecution: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Hebrews 11:33

We are chosen and born into the kingdom of God, and called for battle against the god of this world. The purpose as children of God is not to take over the world. The Father’s plan is for a new heaven and a new earth. We are to be light, holding forth the word of life to those that are in our paths. We are to provide the good news of Christ so that all who will believe the gospel of Christ will be joined to His family.

We are His Church, living in the wilderness provided for our first parents when they had to leave the Garden of Eden. Their rejection of God’s laws for His creation was the reason for their ejection. Every generation since the beginning has had to live and work under the control of the evil one.

We live in the middle of the battle between God and Satan, between good and evil ~ a constant threat to Satan and his kingdom.

“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” 1 Peter 3:14

Yet, if we suffer for Christ, we endure, growing closer to Him, knowing more of the joy and fullness of His Spirit ~ thriving as He brings forth His fruit in us.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:
he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
Psalm 92:12

 “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall;
but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”
Proverbs 11:28

The Holy Spirit is the inspiration for the writing of God’s Word and the presence and power in His Word for our defense against the evil one. The power of the Holy Spirit in us uses the sword of the Spirit ~ His Holy Word ~ to bring us from striving to surviving and victoriously thriving in Satan’s hostile territory. We do well to meditate on these to know ourselves and our enemy.

In a second part, we will post this storehouse of His Word concerning the difference in God’s people and the world. We will see from these verses who are the righteous and ungodly; those of light and those of darkness, those of truth and deceit, those of life and death, of peace and oppression, of the Spirit and flesh.

It is by the power of His Spirit and His Word that brick and mortar walls fall down as He leads us on victoriously, joyfully, and fruitfully.

Dear Father in heaven, you continue to teach us and lead us onward in the power of the cross. Let your Spirit and Your Word do their work in the hearts and lives of your children throughout this world. Bring those who are striving to the reality of surviving ~ and those who are surviving to thriving so that the world may know that we are your children. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

A Page for Lectures

I am excited to finally start this page and include lectures/studies that I have been blessed to view. Each of these series has been an aid in helping me to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will post this as a page on our sidebar for future reference and will add others as we are able.

May the Lord bless you as you take in these truths.

The first two are by R.C. Sproul and accessible from this site. The third is available for purchase. I highly recommend these three to any earnest Christian who wants to know the truth and grow in faith and in relationship with the Lord.

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>

R.C. Sproul (1939 – 2017)
These two video series can be viewed lecture by lecture at your convenience.

THE HOLINESS OF GOD
filmed in 1986 is a classic in any Christian’s study of the character of God.
5-minute clip as an introduction ~  Holy, Holy, Holy.

1 ~ The Importance of Holiness
2 ~ The Trauma of Holiness
3 ~ Holiness and Justice
4 ~ The Insanity of Luther
5 ~ The Meaning of Holiness
6 ~ The Holiness of Christ

 <<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

THE ESSENCE OF REFORMED THEOLOGY

Before I watched this series, I had read the book No Place for Truth by David Wells. Sproul makes reference to this book in the video below. This is a very profound series on Theology ~ “the knowledge of the true God.”

1. INTRODUCTION
2. CATHOLIC, EVANGELICAL, AND REFORMED
3. SCRIPTURE ALONE
4. FAITH ALONE (PART 1
5. FAITH ALONE (PART 2)
6. COVENANT
7. TOTAL DEPRAVITY (PART 1)
8. TOTAL DEPRAVITY (PART 2)
9. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
10. LIMITED ATONEMENT
11. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE
12. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>

THE TRUTH PROJECT is a lecture/study by Del Tackett ~ a series on the purpose of Jesus coming ~”to bear witness of the truth.” It is available for purchase and is usually viewed by churches to enable their members to know the meaning of the Christian Worldview. Watch the trailer and listen for the last statement on truth.

A Focus on the Family production ~ The Truth Project can be purchased here.
You can sign up for a free sample of the first session of the home study here.

Blessings in your viewing. Fran

Riveted and Radical

Beyond a Mere Christianity ~ Chapter 20

R & R, an abbreviation for “rest and relaxation,” is the end to which most spend their lives. For those devoted to Christ – desiring the most from our relationship with Him in this life and for eternity – R & R means more than time out from our normal labors. Our calling and our work for His kingdom here on earth require a complete and indisputable loyalty to Him.

We know what rest and relaxation look like. Everyone works for it and welcomes it whenever possible. It requires a total giving of ourselves to nothing but ourselves.

But there is a rest beyond this world – beyond a mere Christianity – promised to the followers of Christ even before this life is finished. We are in preparation for that eternal rest while engaged in the work of the kingdom, here.

rivet (Merriam-Webster) A rivet is a fastener that holds something closed or down, and something riveting keeps you glued to your seat and grabs your attention; having the power to fix the attention; engrossing, fascinating.

To be riveted (Cambridge English Dictionary) To not be able to stop looking at something because it is so interesting or frightening.

“For the love of Christ compels us …. that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:15-17

A radical Christianity is a life no one understands except those who know Christ as Lord and Master of all life – physical and spiritual. It is a calling by the power of the Holy Spirit for us to leave our nets and other collections to follow Him. It is the Spirit of Jesus Christ that captures our attention even as He embraces our hearts, our minds, and our beings. I use the plural pronoun because I am not the only one He has chosen to leave all for Him.

“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Corinthians 1:22 (See also Ephesians 1:13)

To engage in the profundity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is more than we are able to imagine. It is a spiritual, divine, and supernatural way of life. This means that He, by His Spirit, has turned my life from self – total denial to the world – to undenied sacrifice to Him.

“The words of the wise are as goads,
and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies,
which are given from one shepherd.”

Ecclesiastes 12:11

To be radical for Christ we must first be riveted to Him – not just riveted on Him.

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37

“Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30
Notice that in addition to the good things, persecutions are promised in this life to those who are true disciples. We will consider suffering and persecution in the Christian life in the next chapter.

 When Jesus said,“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Lk. 9:23), He was using His conditional statement that begins with the word “if” – relating a difference in the ordinary and the profound – in the common and uncommon.

Even as in John 8:31-32, He was presenting the difference of a mere existence and the radical life seen in Him and His disciples. In my early Christian life, I used to pray that the Lord would “love me to death” so that He might “love me to life.” He has been doing this for over twenty years – drawing me closer and closer to Him.

 “A follower of Christ is radically oriented to a different world.”

Dr. Charley Chase wrote these words knowing the content of John 6, one of the three longest chapters in the New Testament. Reading, studying, meditation and memorization of the undiluted truth of Jesus’ teachings will either turn us away or draw us to Him forever. Those who stay riveted to Him – not just to His teaching – will be new creatures, radically following and living the true life of a Christian, not for this world, but for the next (Galatians 6:14-15).

During the three years of His earthly ministry, many followed Him for the food and the healing. But they could not stomach His preaching and teaching and were no longer interested in Him.

When these left, Jesus asked the twelve. “Do you also want to go away?

“But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also, we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:67-69

Eleven of the twelve remained and after His resurrection and ascension, continued His teachings and preaching of the gospel that we have today. We still have it, and like those few, we are few today who believe by the power of His Spirit and are riveted to Him, living a radical life in the face of adversity. Those who follow Christ live in light of the eternal life promised to those who are truly His disciples.

The religious leaders spoke of the apostles as ”These that have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

How did they do this? It was not of their own knowledge, authority or power.

“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Jeremiah 31:3

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32

“Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, Who carry the wood of their carved image, And pray to a god that cannot save.” Isaiah 45:20

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.Jesus sent Paul in ministry to the Gentiles “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
The same light given to Paul accompanied him wherever he went.

 Seek, See, and Set Your Mind on Him

“So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.   Psalm 63:2

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way. Psalm 119:37

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

We swim upstream — meeting and warning those on the path to destruction.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

“To the end he may stablish your hearts
unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father,
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”

1 Thessalonians 3:13

Dear Father in heaven, your greatness is unsearchable. You have made the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ more powerful that we will ever know. By your Spirit you call us, you draw us by your grace, you turn us so that we may look, gaze and wonder at your Son. You have lifted Him through death and resurrection to sit at your right hand, to rule and govern a people for yourself, to call in each generation those who will give all to live for you. As we live in obedience of the living faith you have given us, display in us the same diligence and fervency of our Lord that sets us apart from this world that it may be turned upside down. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Words of Life ~ BELIEVE

The word BELIEVE is first found in Genesis 15 in reference to Abraham’s response to the word of the Lord, but if we look back to the beginning of creation, when God spoke to Adam and Eve, they did not believe Him. Disobedience is the result of unbelief. Had they believed God, they would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. They forfeited the paradise prepared for them.

We see a difference between Adam and Abraham who is the “father of our faith.”

 And he believed in the Lord;
and he (the Lord) counted it to him for righteousness.”
Genesis 15:6

He proved he believed by acting in obedience to the word of the Lord.

Belief occurs one time and BELIEVE occurs 143 times in 131 verses in the KJV. All references can be found through the two links below. We will let the Lord speak through His own Word in the following verses.

Old Testament H539
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; ‘aman ä·man
to support, confirm, be faithful;to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in

New Testament G4100
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; pisteuō pē-styü’-ō
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

How and why do we believe?

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.
John 6:29
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
 Acts 13:12
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Acts 15:11
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Acts 18:27
And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Romans 4:1718; 24
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
1 Corinthians 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
Ephesians 1:19
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believeaccording to the working of His mighty power
Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
2 Thessalonians 2:13
…..God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

What is the result of believing?

Exodus 4:31
So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Psalm 106:12
Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.
Daniel 6:23
So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Psalm 27:13
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Jonah 3:5
So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
John 3:18
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:47
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 7:38
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 8:31
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 9:38
Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
John 11:40
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
Acts 2:44
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Acts 11:21
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Acts 13:39
and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 13:48
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 19:18
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds
Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:10
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
1 Peter 2:7
Therefore, to you who believeHe is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
1 John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:5
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:10
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
1 John 5:13
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
1 John 3:23
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Why do some not believe?

John 10:26
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

What happens to those who do not believe?

Luke 8:13
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Jude 1:5
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

If we study these passages and other references, we find that all belief is not believing unto salvation. Belief is grounded in God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit and will produce the fruit of His working in us.

Gracious Father, thank you for your Spirit that brings those whom you have chosen to salvation in the power of your Word. Sanctify us in your truth. Enable us to continue in your Word assured of our salvation in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

Treasury of Light and Truth

Keeping our last post within reading limits, I left out an important under-truth, thinking someone would read and add to what was posted. Here is the part we posted.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Paul had mentioned in vs. 2-4 ~ though by manifestation of the truth the gospel may be hid from the lost…

“...the god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not,

lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now, here is the dynamic part.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God,
and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

It is the Father’s LIGHT and TRUTH in and through His Son given to us to believe. There is nothing in our darkness to bring the light into our hearts. By His Word and Spirit, He alone has the power to open our minds and make Christ known in these jars of clay ~ it is the excellency of His power only that does this spiritual work in us.

Dear Father, how precious is your light of truth in Christ. How can we see Him except you shine the light of the gospel in our hearts? Have mercy upon our blindness and save us from the god of this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Abiding in Light and Truth

This post could fit as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity or in Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory, still in progress

Light and Truth are the walls of the Christian faith that house the Life that is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without them, any structure in which we live will fall and crumble (Matthew 7:24-25). Christ is the sure foundation of a living and indestructable faith.

Light and truth are the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the spiritual encompassing of our heavenly Father.

Light enables us to see physically and spiritually.

In the beginning, God, in the middle of darkness, said, “Let there be light.”

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Who has done what?

God shined THE LIGHT in our hearts

 Of the knowledge

Of His glory

In Jesus Christ

What is in THE LIGHT?

Knowledge

Knowledge of what?

The glory of God

Where is the glory of God revealed? In whom is this light given?

In His Son, Jesus Christ

What is the purpose of light and truth?

In Him was life; and his life was the light of men.”
1 John 1:4

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I
 am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.”
John 8:12

“he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;”  (John 14:9).

If we have this light and knowledge in us, we see Him and the Father.

THE LIGHT draws us to Christ and keeps us in Him.
If we live in THE LIGHT, we live in Christ.

THE LIGHT reveals THE TRUTH that is in Christ.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:4

Jesus was speaking of eternal life, the LIFE that He came to give.
THE WAY of eternal LIFE is revealed in Christ

He is THE WAY to eternal TRUTH that leads to true LIFE.

 Abiding in Light and Truth is living in Christ and Christ in us by the power of His Holy Spirit. This is a spiritual truth known only to God’s children, children of the heavenly Father. It is a heavenly, spiritual, divine reality beyond any earthly knowledge. Light and truth do their work reflecting His grace and glory in us.

It is the truth in Christ by which we are sanctified (John 17:19), transformed (Romans 12:2) and conformed to His image (Romans 8:28-29). God’s written Word reveals Christ as the living Word.

In the beginning was the Word….with God,
and the Word was God
.” John 1:1

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us
……full of mercy and truth.   |
……grace and truth came by Jesus Christ
.”
John 1:14, 17

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
John 17:17

 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7

He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing
.”
John 15:5

Holy and Righteous Father, again I am in awe of the knowledge of your glory that is revealed in Jesus Christ. We thank you for your Holy Spirit who continually shines this light into our hearts. We praise you that nothing and no one can keep your light from us. Keep us abiding in Christ and your Word. Shine your light and truth through us into the darkness of this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

(To discern both physical and spiritual things wisely, we need the proper lightWhat the Holy Bible says About LIGHT.)