Friday, April 15, 2016
If we each one would do ONLY what God told us to do, the spiritual mind of the Messiah would be formed corporately in US (not me) the Body of His Bride. Obedience is a key! Why don’t we obey God? We want something other than what He wants. We want to do things when we want do them and not when He wants us to do them, we won’t wait or we will run ahead. We want popularity and friendships that would be impossible if those we want found us naming Christ as Lord and doing what He says do. We want things for our pleasure without regard to what may come of acquiring them and having them and MAINTAINING them. We want dominion over our lives not knowing we must be of a people over whom God has dominion. Father knows best!
Someone once said: “Obedience is a blessings magnet.”
"How blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to them! How blessed are you whenever people insult you, persecute you, and say all sorts of evil things against you falsely because of me! Rejoice and be extremely glad, because your reward in heaven is great! That's how they persecuted the prophets who came before you." Matthew 5:10-12
I’m not sure we want the persecutions promised for following Jesus. Seems we would rather have the USA as it was in the “good ol’ days.” Will shunning persecutions cut off blessing? Will a return to the Reagan era or the Kennedy or Eisenhower era be a blessing? Is that a “blessing” God gave? We were at ease, prospering and partying from 1950 to 1964 and then again with Nixon, Reagan and even with Clinton and the Republican led congress. In those years Bible and prayer were removed from the public schools. Pornography was deemed to be “free speech.” Abortion, an illegal act, came in illegally via the Supreme Court when Nixon was President. “No Fault” also: “…the most well-known no-fault law was enacted in the state of California, and signed by Governor Ronald Reagan, coming into effect on January 1, 1970. At that time, lawyers and judges objected to the legal fictions used to bypass statutory requirements for obtaining a divorce, which had become more commonplace since the mid-20th century. The last state to allow no-fault divorce was New York State. It just became available in 2010.” [Wikipedia] Now same sex marriage is “legal.” I think somehow we need more than whatever it was that we though the “good ol’ days” provided. We need to follow the Messiah Jesus, not The Saturday Evening Post and Good Housekeeping.
But is life simply a war over who gets to rule the world? Jesus finished the work Father sent Him to do. Now Father calls us to the Son to do the work WE are called, chosen and sent to do. Heaven is ours when it comes. But of this life: what? “…be it according to your faith…” “…faith which works, which is energized by love.”
In this life I believe God’s hearts desire, Love (God is LOVE) great desire, and command is still that the church would (with faith which works by love) be fishers of men and women. Others seem to think building the Kingdom of God, or Advancing the Kingdom of God will mean taking over the nations of the world politically. Many church leaders are influenced by the political world more than they are able to influence it.
Isaiah 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the LORD's house.
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.
Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "'Come out of her, my people,' so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
God can bless because He knows what blessings are. We who have sinned, ALL, must learn from God everything about blessings (and everything about anything!). So listening IS quite a important, even foremost(?) expression of our LOVE for God. I think it may be the highest expression of worship! If I don’t listen to you, do I value you? We are not meant to worship each other, but isn’t listening to my brother or sister a good part of the Love of God energizing my faith?
Someone said that a man willing to listen to a woman for 4 hours can then seduce the woman almost every time. I’m NOT recommending that AT ALL. But if I was willing to listen to God for 4 hours, He would know He had my attention. Do I want God’s attention? Yes I do. I dare not run away from God who alone can save me from destruction.
After Jesus had said this, he looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you. For you have given him authority over all humanity so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. And this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent—Jesus the Messiah.” John 17:1-3
Jesus prayed for us on the way to the cross. He obeyed Father all the way to the praying of this prayer and all the way to the cross, grave and sky. “Glorify Your Son so that the Son may Glorify You.” We speak much about giving glory to God. I am almost certain that giving glory to God will mean we are walking in Truth, and worshipping in Spirit and in Truth.
Why do these realities (they are not concepts or ideas but are realities of the divine life), why do they seem so unclear, so nebulous, so distant and seem even unattainable? I fear it is because we really don’t want a cross now, we want a crown now. Can we have a crown without a cross? What does picking up my cross daily look like? “Not My will but THY Will be done.” Also “I die daily.” Park your cross at the foot of the bed where you will see it in the morning and take it up. ~ DIE EARLY. ~ “…joy cometh in the morning.” It is likely until I die daily this day (April 15, 2016), my existence will be joyless! A Lutheran nun Sister Basilea Schlink wrote a book called Repentance: The Joy Filled Life.
“…he that is dead is freed from sin.” Romans 6:7
If you do not die EARLY, keep your cross on your shoulder. Die at noon or late in the day but die. Die so that God raise you up.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!
“It is like the precious oil upon the head, That ran down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard; That came down upon the skirt of his garments;
“Like the dew of Hermon, That cometh down upon the mountains of Zion: For there Jehovah commanded the blessing, Even life for evermore.” Psalm 133