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

Image: Google

Asking in the Spirit

As I was thinking of a title for this post, Paul’s words in his letter to the Ephesians came to mind. In relation to spiritual warfare, he said at the end of his description of “the armor of God” ~ “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-16-56-am-1

As I am blessed to be a part of the WordPress Christian community, getting to know some of you and how God is working in your hearts, I am learning how to be vulnerable, putting aside fear of rejection. In this post I am looking for joint-heirs of God’s kingdom, who are “about the Father’s business.”

Even as I pray in the Spirit, I am asking in the Spirit for your help as I continue in my ministry of publishing our Little Books About the Magnitude of God.

There are three reasons I am asking for your support and three things that you can do to help.

  1. Jerry and I do not receive any of the profits. They are designated for missions and charity (Missions To The World, Heart Cry Missionary Society, Samaritans Purse, and others as God leads.)
  2. The expenses for the first five books published in August were out of pocket, and we don’t expect to recover this.
  3. After twenty-five years of writing and six years blogging on the truth of God’s grace, we entered a dimension of this world that we never expected to indulge. WordPress is an Internet experience that is mild in comparison to publishing books. For almost a year, we researched, read books about the process of publishing, watched videos and webinars, and sought to follow those who are making the six and seven figure incomes. After book cover designs, editing and formatting, our hopes were not to get rich from selling our books. We are already “rich” in Christ, and only wanted to give away our books at first. Then we were led to seeking a profit for His glory ~ for missions, so as to extend the message of the kingdom to the world.

There is an even greater desire to publish since we began almost a year ago, which has to do with why others are making the big money in publishing. The best sellers are what the world is looking for ~ thrillers, violence, mystery, fantasy, the occult, erotica, everything immoral and in opposition to the kingdom of God. The air waves are filled with and supplying the spirit of this world, and we hear, and see the results every day.screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-47-22-am-1

With a click, the world is spending money to advance its own kingdom. My hope is to channel some of those clicks and money to the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest competition seems to be our niche ~ Christian non-fiction.

Three ways you can help (simpler than the reasons).

  1. Pray in the Spirit with supplication for all saints, those who write and those who read, that we may discern the truth in what we write and what others read. And as Paul asked his readers, “and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:19
  2. Read our books. (eBooks or print) They are short reads and inexpensive compared to others. (Someone has said that they are dirt cheap) We do not ask that you buy unless the Lord leads and you want the profit to go to missions or charity. We do not ask for donations.
  3. Rate and write a short review on your blog and Amazon. For all who are willing to rate these, we offer a free copy of any of our books. We need these for encouragement to others.

You can view all our books on Amazon. We will be publishing our sixth book next week ~ A Broad Review of Andrew Murray’s HUMILITY.

As a joint-heir in Christ, of the family of God,  if you feel led to be a part of this ministry, Father and Family Books ~ Proclaiming the Legacy of God’s Kingdom,  please comment and let me know how you can support us, or how to send you a copy.

Sometime in the near future I would like to spotlight other authors, as we are discovering others who are publishing for the kingdom. We ought to do this for each other and the kingdom.

Dear Father, we thank you for those we have met online as we have been proclaiming your grace and your glory.  We pray for these as they write what you put on their hearts, recognizing with joy how you are working in each one.  This encourages me to believe that you are doing a great work in the next generation to publish the good tidings that are found in your written word and your Living Word, your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Lead those whom you want to read the truths that you have given me over the years, for your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

The First and Last Commandment

Since learning that all God’s commands are what He promises to do, I now read and understand that His words are meant to bring us to Him in our helplessness, to seek His power to know Him, love Him and obey. In this respect I see the Ten Commandments as relating to how His people live in His kingdom in relationship with Him. His words are words that we live by; not discarded under the law of grace. The whole of His commandments from beginning to end are begun, centered, and end in the one commandment of Love.

The first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” was later stated, in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 as, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” This was the interpretation that Jesus used when questioned by the religious authorities of His day.

The last commandment, “Thou shalt not covet…(list)…anything that is thy neighbors.” From the first to the last, and everything between, God’s commands are based on love to God and love to our neighbor (the second commandment.). They are all bound up in the Lord, our God.

How, then are we to obey such as is commanded from our creator? We, first understand that our God is the Lord, the one Lord who created and demands our love. If we know Him as our Lord, we will love Him. How do we know Him as our Lord? The Lord God who created also redeems us from our sin of disobedience and rebellion, and our enmity against Him.  He promised to give us a new heart and a new spirit; and to write His laws on our hearts and in our minds.

imagesWe love Him only as we experience His love for us. He has shown His love by sending His Son. By the Holy Spirit, the power of His own will and grace, He reveals Jesus Christ as our redeemer, and draws us in the cords of love to Himself. Such a love is effectual to bring about what He commands in our lives. It is the only way that He can fulfill such commands in us.

From the first to the last commandment Christ becomes our Lord, our love, our life.

Our love to our Lord God is the same love we show to others. When we know Him, love Him, and receive all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) from Him we need nothing that others have. We have all in Christ. Instead of coveting what others have our hearts desire, in our love for them, is that they have what we have.

 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Romans 8:32

 Dear Father, we praise you for loving us in Christ and for opening our eyes to see your kingdom in Him. Thank you for your great sacrifice in Christ that has brought us to obedience of faith by the Holy Spirit which you sent us, by whose power you are now accomplishing all that was planned before the foundation of the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

You Shall Love the Lord Your God ~ Scripture Tunes

GRACE ~ A Realm, Within a Realm, Within a Realm

God’s grace is a realm, within a realm, within a realm.

GOD AND GRACE

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS DIAGRAM?

It expresses the idea of a first thought, but it is does not convey the truth that our heavenly Father gives of Himself and His grace.  Continued thought and meditation on His Word brought me to see that this diagram gives a limited view of Him and His grace.  It encloses all things to my narrow way of thinking.

There are many images of GOD.  We can think of him with many different names and uses. In our own imaginations we make GOD what we want Him to be.  Apart from His Word and His Holy Spirit we can make GOD just like us.  This diagram binds GOD within this circle.  It also binds His grace within my little idea of what He does. The only thing right about this picture is of the world—which is bound.

“HE HAS SET HIS THRONE IN THE HEAVENS;
AND HIS KINGDOM RULETH OVER ALL.”
Psalm 103:19

GOD OVER ALL

WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN THIS PICTURE?

The true and living GOD of the Holy Bible has a name that those of HIS KINGDOM know and acknowledge—THE LORD GODwho made heaven and earth. No other  (whatever) claims this name nor this power.  Of His kingdom there is no limit.  This world and everything beyond is under His rule.

The world is bound within the kingdom of THE LORD GOD. He has set its boundaries. Under His sovereignty and in His providence the world will turn its final turn in HIs timing, when He will have put all kingdoms under the feet of His Son, Jesus Christ.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.”
Luke 17:22

The realm of  GOD’S GRACE is bound up in Jesus Christ, but not bound by our thinking.  By the power of His grace His kingdom is born within us.  It is a supernatural kingdom, unlike the world.  We cannot see it.  We can only believe it and live it as He continues to sanctify us in Christ. How is this possible?

“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

 The revelation of Christ brings regeneration—new life in Him.  This new heart and spirit is the kingdom of His grace ruling within us. He is not bound in His own use of His grace, but spreads it wherever He chooses, according to the counsel of His own will; (Ephesians 1:11) that we should be to the praise of His glory; living in the world as light and salt.

The heart is the center of our being.  What rules our heart rules our life.  Are we ruled by the world—or by THE LORD GOD AND HIS GRACE?

The first thought of this diagram came to me on the eve of the most trying decade of my life.  It was a vision that The Lord gave that assured me that though the world surrounds us with its evil, its hypocrisy, its rule of injustice, our heavenly Father’s kingdom is in control of it all.  His grace within my heart and life keeps me by His power, ruling and reigning, now and through eternity. We can stand against the wiles of the devil, the god of this world who blinds the world to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is deceived and seeks to deceive by his own devises.

We can face the enemy who would use everything in our lives to turn us against THE LORD GOD and His kingdom. The trials, the temptations, and the losses that occur here in this world are but opportunities for our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ to show us His kingdom, His limitless power and grace in and through us—for His glory, and our joy.