Sunday, May 31, 2015

How Is It With You And The Lord?

“Jesus did not commit Himself to them…for He knew what was in man.” —John 2:24-25

“Put Trust in God First. Our Lord […] trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right. Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God. […] we must first make sure that God’s “needs” and His will in us personally are being met. Jesus said, “…tarry…until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will. Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere. […]  Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.” CHAMBERS

We cannot live our new life in Christ in the way God intended if we do not first tend to the spiritual needs in our lives.  When we do that, the other facets of our lives will conform.  All too often we neglect the spiritual and live our lives as if the Spirit of God were not in us at all.  That is until trouble comes and then we invoke all the spiritual words we can muster from our memory as if it is the words that give us power to overcome.  That overcoming power comes from a strong relationship with Jesus, and in turn the Father of lights.  When I was in the military, I was rarely in my home town.  When I would bring my family back during a holiday, although we were part of the family, we were not part of the day to day life experience.  Our relationship with everyone was not like that of the family that lived in proximity to my parents.  We felt like visitors.  When we don’t spend time with Him daily, that is how we feel when we finally do come to visit.  But life the prodigal son who was willing to be treated like a servant, God says “no-you are my child”. There is no reason to have a distant relationship with the Lord.  We need Him every day and every hour. ELGIN

“If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.  If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.  If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.  And we need Him every day and every hour.”

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, May 29, 2015

What Is It About The Name of Jesus?

“In that day you will ask in My name…for the Father Himself loves you…” —John 16:26-27

“[…] that is, in My nature. Not “You will use My name as some magic word,” but— “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “…for the Father Himself loves you…”— the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us. “…whatever you ask the Father in My name…” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).” CHAMBERS

Do you remember, in response to a request, your parents saying to you or may you saying to your children “What is the magic word?”  And then you would say “Please”.  The name of Jesus is not a magic word.  That is not the word we say to God to get Him to do what we want.  It is the name above every other name. Philippians 2:9-11  “ Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  It is because of Jesus that we have access to the Father.  It is because of Jesus that we have eternal life.  1 John 5:11-12 “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”  When we invoke Jesus, we are stating by what authority we say what we say … there is a story in Acts 19 about some men who wanted to cast out demons and they were not followers of Jesus … the response from one of the demons was “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”  The point is that simply invoking the name of Jesus is not the point.  Having the position in Christ because we have salvation in Him is the point.  We are making a declaration from our spiritual nature .. not our old nature. 

And just because you say ‘Jesus’ does not mean that God will say ‘yes’.  If you are indeed one with Jesus … if you have the mind of Christ .. if you are walking in the Spirit and not the flesh, then your desire will be that the Father’s will be done … not yours … Is that why you said “Jesus”? ELGIN

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus there is just something about that name.  Master, Savior, Jesus like the fragrance after the rain. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus let all heaven and earth proclaim.  Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there is something about that name.”

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What To Do When You Are In Trouble

“[…] Until the resurrection life of Jesus is fully exhibited in you, you have questions about many things. [..] You have come to the point of total reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus, which brings you into complete oneness with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why aren’t you?[…] The faith and peace of John 14:1 ["Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”] has become the real attitude of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your true inner nature— that is where the problem is. Once your inner spiritual nature is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, your understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will come to the place where there is no distance between the Father and you, His child, because the Lord has made you one.” CHAMBERS

Do you ever ask yourself the question “What am I going to do?”  There is a problem that you face, and we all do, 1 Peter 4:12 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” And you are struggling under it’s real or perceived consequence.  You just don’t know what to do .. where to turn .. how you will find victory over it.  You are at your wit’s end.  Sometimes it is a consequence of your sin .. sometimes the consequence of someone else’s sin .. sometimes is just because we live in a fallen world.  Whatever the source … you must stop looking at yourself and look to God.  You need to come to the understanding that you have a spiritual nature and how you respond to live with that new nature is supposed to be according to the principles and understanding found in God’s Word.  Do not worry .. do not be anxious … cast all your cares … trust in the Lord … all of those verses (I purposefully left the references off so you can look them up) tell us that we must do something that is different from the world’s (our old nature) response to problems.  Jesus did not say you would not have the opportunity face difficulty .. but He did say that you have another choice that the fallen world does not have .. .you can look to your Father in heaven who knows you and loves you.  What a concept!  ELGIN

“When peace like a river attendeth my way.  When sorrows like deep billows roll.  What ever my lot Thou hast taught to me to say, It is well with my soul.”

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Being Aware Of The Holy Spirit

…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. —Luke 24:49

“[…] The Holy Spirit has been given; the Lord is glorified— our waiting is not dependent on the providence of God, but on our own spiritual fitness.

The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Once our Lord was glorified in His ascension, the Holy Spirit came into the world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revealed truth that He is here. The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive reviving life from our ascended Lord. It is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changes people, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into their lives through the Holy Spirit. […] The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ— it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.  […]” CHAMBERS

Jesus told the disciples that the Father was sending a helper .. the Holy Spirit.  (John 14:26)  Paul told the church of Ephesus that God seals us with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and reminded the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) “ Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

If you are wearing clothes right now you don’t feel them on your body .. even though you know that you have clothes on ,, your awareness has filtered that sensation out of your thoughts.  But now that I made you aware of it .. made you think about it, perhaps you can feel the shirt on your shoulders or the pants on your legs or the shoes on your feet.  We do the same thing with the Holy Spirit.  We filter His presence out of our consciousness … and because we do .. it frees us to live and act in ways that do not glorify God.  Paul had to remind the Corinthians that they had the Holy Spirit in them.  It is hard to understand … but there are many things in God’s creation that are hard to understand.  We must keep the reality of the Spirit in us in the front of our minds.  The only way you can do that is by focusing on spiritual things … every day.  The Spirit of God was given to us to help us, but we have to be willing to receive the help.  ELGIN

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Incessant Prayer Is A Constant Conversation With God

Pray without ceasing… —1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops. And we are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect oneness with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life of the saint. Beware of anything that stops the offering up of prayer. “Pray without ceasing…”— maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time. Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered. Do we have through the Spirit of God that inexpressible certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when it seemed that God did not answer our prayer? Jesus said, “…everyone who asks receives…” (Matthew 7:8). Yet we say, “But…, but….” God answers prayer in the best way— not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?” CHAMBERS

If prayer is conversing with God, then we are supposed to be in constant conversation with Him.  There is a young Haitian woman, Silfice, who helps us around the house.   I can often hear her saying Jezu – Jesus as she works.  I asked her if she was talking to the Lord, she said of course.  Of Course? You mean that you don’t? is what I thought she might be thinking.  Doesn’t every Christian talk to the Lord.  Why it is as natural as speaking with your friends or your spouse.  But we all know that is not the case.  Our relationship with God is often based upon need .. not love.  I will talk to God when I need something.  Have you ever known someone and the only time they talked to you is when they needed something?  They don’t really need you .. they need what you have.  How do you feel, when they call?  How do you feel when they get past the greeting and get to the point .. I need something … and when you give it to me, I will get back to my life and forget about you until I think you can give me something that I need.

That is very often how we treat God.  We say we love God with our all, but treat Him as if we don’t.  Praying is a discipline that draws you close to the Father … and changes your heart’s desires … Psalm 37:4 … ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’  I think that means that He will exchange your desires with His.  “Not my will, but Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Not in heaven as it is on earth.  ELGIN

“I come to the garden alone While the dew is still on the roses And the voice I hear, falling on my ear The Son of God discloses And He walks with me And He talks with me And He tells me I am His own And the joy we share as we tarry there None other has ever known”  In The Garden

Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)