Monday, July 22, 2013

56. Living the Life

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”     (Ephesians 2:4-7)


Being in Christ is what He has called His disciples to be and to do. Being in Him is the doing. It was His blood shed on Calvary that paid the price for you and me to inherit the grace that abides in Him. And because of that grace, He calls us to Himself as His disciples, to sit with Him in the heavenly places. We are to sit above the fray of the world. To that extent He told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He is His righteousness; He is His kingdom. We are to be with Him in the dwelling place of the Most High.


We are to get out of ourselves and into Him; pray, brother, pray. Intercede for others in the secret place. Our frivolous needs are always met in Him, but when we lose sight of Him and begin to focus on our stuff, we forget where we have been allowed to sit. When we are in Him, in His kingdom, we have been afforded to be in the Presence of the Almighty. Do not take that for granted.


The Truth of the life lived in Him is the exciting, God-breathed type of life as in Ezekiel when God breathed over the dry bones and they came to life! Paul stated, “…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”. (Ephesians 3:12).


In all of the Kingdom of God, He shows us the riches of His grace, His kindness…He shows us Himself. That is something to shout about! We have been allowed entrance into His kingdom and have been allowed to sit with Him in His heavenly places. Hallelujah! Be glad that the Creator of all of the universe loves you with such a great and magnanimous love that even while we were yet sinners, He loved us enough to fulfill His plan to die for us. He paid the price for our eternal life with Him. That life is not just for your time after time, but it is for your time today.


Today, live in Him and know where He has placed you with Him in the heavenly places.  It is by His wonderful grace that He loves you and is willing to love through you to a lost and hurting world.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

55. Abortion is Murder

“Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteousness into eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:45-46)
When the righteous exercise the faith that they have been given by Jesus Christ, they exercise it in allowing Him to have His way in them. Faith comes from the Holy Spirit of God; it is not something conjured up within ourselves. Faith exercised is faith shared out of the overflow of the Spirit within us to a world of opportunities that are constantly around us. Faith exercised is feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty. Faith exercised is visiting the sick and the imprisoned, but this is not mere social service, but a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led opportunity to help others in Jesus’ nature. He healed, He delivered, and He fed others in the nature of His Father for it is His nature to feed, give drink, and visit the sick and the imprisoned. Faith in Christ is the Spirit doing His work through us to a lost and hurting world.
The goats, the ones on His left, were the ones when given opportunity turned their face towards another way in order not to see the need. Here, we see that the eternal punishment is for the ones who refuse to help in times of need. But, is that the reason for the eternal punishment? Just because you didn’t help in times of need? Emphatically, no! The reason Jesus tells us this parable of the sheep and the goats is that only He knows what is inside a man or woman. He knows if the seed of faith, which is Himself, is living on the inside of that person. If the seed of faith, the Word in the flesh is there, the evidence will be a life lived in the will and nature of the Father. In this, the needy will be seen and helped. The adverse is positively true as well. If a person does not have the faith of God living on the inside of them, then it simply won’t matter. The evidence will be there…they will not help the least of these. Ultimately, the goat-spirited person will be helping themselves for themselves.
Social needs have always been with us. Even Jesus told His disciples that the poor you would always have with you. (Matthew 26:11). As a faith-filled disciple, we are admonished to help the needy when we are given opportunity. However, when a person decides that their helping the needy according to their own belief system includes helping women have abortions so that they can murder their unborn babies, the insides of the goat is open for the world to see. People invariably reveal what is on the inside of them. If you really believe that feeding a helpless, homeless dog with one hand and killing an unborn baby with the other hand is your way of social justice or your form of Christian thinking, then I challenge you to read the Word of God in where you will end up with that belief. Abortion is murdering unborn babies and all those who have played their part in the furtherance of this despicable act are just as responsible as the mother herself.
“Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away to eternal punishment.”  (Matt. 25:45-46a) 

Monday, July 8, 2013

54. The In and the Out

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”  (Matthew 23:26)
When Jesus accused the scribes and the Pharisees of preventing people from entering into the kingdom of heaven, He continues to talk about two distinct places. These two places are the inside of the man and the outside of the man. The Kingdom of God is within you. When we abide ‘in’ Him, He abides ‘in’ us. “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.” (John 14:11, RSV). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do…” (v.14:12). Believe Jesus, yes! And the demons also believe Jesus. (James 2:19). But the demons do not ‘believe “in” Jesus’. You have to be “in” Him to believe “in” Him. For Truth to be “in” a man, he has to be “in” Christ. The True believer doesn’t simply outwardly say he believes, but the True believer is “in” Christ in his believing. He is in a place and the place is the Kingdom of God.
Many religion teachers teach people that all they have to do to become a Christian is simply believe. Do you understand how errant that is? Religionists boil Jesus and the New Testament down to one word, ‘believe’. Again, even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but they are not heart-changed, born again, denying the self, true believers. The demonic forces serve their father, the father of lies; that is just one fruit of their spirit. I pray that you are seeing the major difference here. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom, that which is dealing with the inside. Religion preaches the external and doesn’t really know how to deal with the internal. It is an unworthy substitute for the Truth of Jesus Christ even though now it preaches Jesus Christ as a Savior. Religion eventually rolls the external into doing something to earn your salvation, or to keep it. The doing of things is the outside, washing the outside of the cup so that it looks clean, but inside, at home, or in relationships, it is abusive, using, and undermining in order to get its own way. Religion is the way and spirit of the hypocrite. It is not real and true, nor does it lead to the real and true. It hinders people from entering into Truth. All religion, whether it be a version of Christianity or otherwise, always leads to doing something in order to receive peace or to maintain it. In Christ, He is our peace for He dwells within us. (Ephesians 2:14).
“Jesus answered him, ‘If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” (John 14:23-24, RSV). “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  (John 15:4, RSV).