Intimacy With God ~ The Desired Destination Part 2

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Paul was concerned because some of the “Church from Chloe’s household” had informed him that there were quarrels among them. Paul realized the need to address the conflict which hindered their spiritual growth. Listen closely to the rebuke. He adamantly expresses the need for a call for genuine repentance, as well as exhortation. Paul’s sincere intent was to bring them closer to the Lord.

The Church is supposed to cultivate a passion for daily living for the Lord! Not just attending worship services. The Church was meant to stand for righteousness and be the Spiritual Light of the world. God uses whomever He pleases to fulfill the mission of His Church. According to the Word; “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” I Corinthians 1; 27-29

Walking with the Lord is not a role to be played but a life to be lived! This is why Paul says “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” God is so worthy of all our praise! It is really by and through the power of His Holy Spirit we can attain a deeper ever growing level of intimacy that will enhance your personal walk with Him.

Due to the mindset of many of the Corinthians it was difficult to break the many strongholds. Carnality and spiritual immaturity permeated their atmosphere. Today as well during a service, although emotions and energy may be high it can still be void of spiritual depth. At times the atmosphere is orchestrated to a degree to get the people to react rather than simply naturally respond. God really does know where each of us are in our personal walk with Him.

Paul had to withstand some very severe personal attacks from the Corinthian Church. Their ritualistic traditions often impeded the move of the Holy Spirt. Paul was troubled to the point he had to defend his beliefs. He had no need to manipulate the people. His desire was to appeal to their conscience. He wanted them to experience the genuine abiding peace of the Lord. Although troubled he remained encouraged and thankful for the Lord’s guidance. Despite the persecution he wanted to “…give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” II Corinthians 4

Paul’s concerns have been recorded as a permanent record. In His second letter to the Church in Corinth he continues to relay his sincere concerns to the struggling congregation due to both internal and external problems. This is why Paul’s ongoing desire was for their spiritual growth. Spiritual warfare was all about him. As a rebuttal and deterrent Paul’s credibility was questioned. Yet, Paul did not allow this to sidetrack his assignment. We too must remain focused when spiritual warfare presents itself. God in His own time will bring everything to the light. The victory is truly in sincere praise!

Having intimacy in your relationship with the Lord is one of the most important intangible things that you could possibly possess. God knows our place within the body of His Church. This will help you to know that God is a God of all comforts. That nothing comes your way that He is not aware of. God can, and is truly the only one, “who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort we ourselves have been comforted by God….” II Corinthians 1:4.

Paul helps us to know that despite our efforts we can be greatly misunderstood. Sometimes we have to simply show a contrast. Sometimes we just have to simply remain still… Many look for an outer manifestation of the Spirit. Rather than focus on welcoming the indwelling deep inner presence of the Lord. Paul realizes that there is great need for discipline and self control. “Wherefore, we labour, that, whether present, or absent, we may be accepted of HIM. For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, GOOD or bad…” II Corinthians 4

Paul’s writing includes significant teaching on a plethora of issues relating to sin and righteousness. Paul addresses the congregation by stating that he was called by the will of God. This in it self caused much resistance. In I Corinthians he dealt with the diversity of sexual sins and what happens when God’s plan for marriage and family are disobeyed see 7:1-40. He addressed the fact how proper worship flows from us by sincerely acknowledging God’s place in our life see 3:16-23. The pure significance of partaking in the Lord’s Supper see 11:17-34. Paul continues in significant detail a discussion on the effectiveness of exercising spiritual gifts as to when and how they should be properly exercised or not? Harmony and order were desired whenever they assembled. Christ really does deserve to always be the “Mainstay” of all our worship!

God has bestowed upon us the blessing of His Holy Spirit to abide within and to assist us in living a life pleasing in His sight. You must ask for this infilling presence daily. I encourage you to take some time to get to really know the Lord intimately. His Word has cleansing power. Repent of any and all sin before it ferments. Commence to really delve deeply into the meat of His Word. We can be sure and confident that God’s Word is infallible. Exercise your faith and entrust your future to the Lord. I declare, no matter what comes your way God will see you through! Christ birth, life, death and resurrection has taken away the veil. Nothing stands between you and God but you and any unconfessed sin. The Word of God is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

God is truly faithful! We can always and forever trust GOD and HIS WORD!

See Part 3

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Intimacy With God ~ The Desired Destination Part 3

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We can go boldly before the throne of Grace! If you have not already, start from this day forward living a life of worship. I assure you, you will not only feel better and become healthier, but you will see more clearly! “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary by setting forth the Truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ, as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus; sake……….” II Corinthians 4:1-5

When you are faced with the cares, ills, grief’s, trials and concerns of life know that God sees you as a treasure. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us from the power of sin. This is why we ALL need HIM as LORD and SAVIOR! Allow Him His place in your life! God is the same God yesterday, today and for evermore through everlasting. Intimacy with Him will help you to know that whenever; “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…”

You never have to loose heart with the Lord. Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith? Ask Him to fill you with His presence each day and remain focused. God wants to perfect us! Simply meaning He wants to mature us and complete us! God wants you to experience His peace that surpasses the understanding of man. God is willing, ready and able to walk with you 24/7.

We are living in some interesting times. Some of everything is going on. Take a look all around the world and see to what unusual extremes madness is occurring on a multiplicity of levels. Wars, rumors of wars, senseless shootings, extreme weather conditions, corruption, moral boundaries diminished, there is an endless plethora of disturbing occurrences… The Word of God is fulfilling itself. As you take time in the Word you will better understand the extent of the increasing spiritual warfare. It has permeated every aspect of life. You don’t have to be afraid. But aware. It is so important to know GOD and HIS WORD for yourself. This way you can be certain to where you will spend eternity.

Intimacy will help you to know that the Lord knows and can see the things you can’t see. To know He knows and will reveal all and everything you need to know in order to live and worship Him each and every day yields security. Intimacy with God should be your desired destination. Now step out on faith and really begin to put your hope and trust in Him! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you…………” Everyday; To GOD be the GLORY!

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Did You Grow Up in the Church? Part 2

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We are living in some serious times. There is much spiritual warfare about us. The world is not going to get better. But there is a better way to live daily. Jesus lived an exemplary life. He was and is the epitome of what life is all about. It is because of Jesus we have a direct way back to the Father. When He died the veil of the temple was torn in two. The purpose of the veil was to separate the section of the Temple where only the priest were allowed. We can thank Jesus because; we now can go directly to God. His Word can cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Did you know that Jesus was God’s Word wrapped in flesh? Jesus came as a living testimonial to the world and the family of God; which is His Church.

Did you know that the Church is actually Christ’s Bride? Do you know how important faithfulness is to a bride? Think about that; that is really heavy! God not only wants us to be faithful to our spouses but to Him. Jesus came to let us know that the principles in God’s Word are true. Did you know that God wants what is best for us? Did you know that God even disciplines us because He loves us so much? He even allows persecution so we can move on to further allow His will to be done in our life. Did you grow up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you?

God does not have a list of rules and regulations. Yet, you are considered to be “in the know, if you acknowledge everyone in a hierarchal manner before you speak. You are even commended for knowing protocol. If you don’t walk while someone’s talking you are respectful. But these are not really rules are they? Think about it? If you are walking you really must need to go somewhere? Are not the doors of God’s Church always open? These are just a few things to think about. Oh! These again are not rules; it just shows you know how to do what? “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty”. But God tells us not to use that as a cloak for maliciousness.

Did you know that God intended for His Church to be a “Lighthouse.” A place where we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. A place where darkness should not prevail. God is also a God of order. Yes, we should be respectful of our place of worship. But some things are just not necessary. If you were raised in Church, but the Church is not in you the truth really does not matter. It is easier to just do whatever is expected. This assures you that you can participate in any way. You can even opt to fill any position you desire. Nowadays some of everything goes on during worship. Many dance, sing and lay on hands to the glory of man. They often seek a momentary emotional experience. Week after week they come to the altar but go home to confusion. This is okay because your heart is considered okay, you have passed inspection. All you have to do is put in your request. After all you are related to or in the inner circle. You have a blanket excuse for any and every past or present behavior because you obey without question. You are unconditionally loved? Or are you really? You also give God honor, praise and thank him for giving you the opportunity to stand before all. Yet they can already see you are standing up. But do you really have inner Peace?

If you really want to stand for something; stand up for what is right.” In actuality protocol to you really means you know who to call in order of importance? Now who is the respecter of persons? What’s really important is that we call on Jesus and create and environment where His presence is truly welcomed. Yes, I am being a little sarcastic. But not to be facetious. What is your point? I merely want all of us to think about why we do or do not do some of the things we do. Many of the ways of world has nested themselves into many worship services. No disrespect intended a lot of things just are not necessary.

For example who thought of the five minute fellowship? Think? Where did this originate? Who gives a person the authority to tell you what to do and when. Especially if the only time they speak to you is within those five minutes? Go figure! We have the freedom to not conform to every trend or doctrine. I have seen many trends come and go. OH! “But we are doing a new thing?” “NOTHING IS NEW UNDER THE SUN”

God has said that He would write His law in our hearts. As you diligently study God’s Word He will really deliver you! He will free you from a lot of stuff that just does not make sense. God has so many wonderful things in store for us. He also gives us the freedom to choose. Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day?” It is a humorous little movie where this guy wakes up at the same time everyday and the same thing happens over and over. He knew how each person would respond. He knew each day exactly what to expect. After a while he realizes that some things really need to change. Did you know that God really can change you? Did you know He really does have a better way for you to live? Ask yourself honestly have you grown up in the Church but the Church did not grow up in you? God really and truly can deliver you!

There really is a difference between being in the Church and the Church being in you? When the Church is in you the Holy Spirit becomes the governor of your soul. You live in the world, you are to be law abiding citizen but you realize it is in GOD you LIVE and MOVE and have your being. You are convicted when wrong. You do not desire to be right just for the sake of being right. This is not some unrealistic, legalistic, rigid, mythical, unattainable, cultist way of being. (You are often encouraged to go along when there is a cultist mentality for the sake of being accepted by the group or groups.) Remember; “Jim Jones?” You realize how vitally important it is to live your life before the Lord. You know without a doubt that God is your Heavenly Father.

The devil his imps and no one or nobody can do anything to pluck you out God’s hands, once you truly believe that you truly belong to God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior! You have been adopted into His family and you know that you know that you know without doubting you are His child! You know what His Word says about being double minded? Wait I must caution you! You must be aware that you will be thought of as negative, strange and or self righteous by those who really do not know or understand you. They will even put you through their heart test. But, those who really know you know that you have been raised in the Church and the Church is in you. Go pluck some spiritual fruit and “pig out” in a good way on the WORD of GOD. Especially try some of His good ole patience. Don’t go there; this not some egotistical, arrogant or prideful statement.

Allow the Holy Spirit to lead You. Pray and Meditate on GOD’S WORD before you enter into worship. Sincerely ask Him to open your spiritual eyes. Take time to observe what is happening around you. What happens before, during and after worship. “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING” during and after worship. Make sure regardless of what everyone else is doing that you take some time throughout worship & “BE STILL & KNOW!” KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON CHRIST JESUS!

See Part 3

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Did You Grow Up in the Church? Part 3

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Did You Grow Up in the Church? Part 3

“There really is a difference between being in the Church and the Church being in you? When the Church is in you the Holy Spirit becomes the governor of your soul. You live in the world, you are to be a law abiding citizen but you realize it is in GOD you LIVE and MOVE and have your being. You are convicted whenever wrong. You readily REPENT! You do not desire to be right just for the sake of being right.

The Church is not just a place to go. It is who are! For you it is or should become your daily lifestyle to live to please God!

This is not some unrealistic, legalistic, rigid, mythical, unattainable, cultic way of being. You don’t or shouldn’t just follow someone because they are your friend… You should follow Jesus! Church was never meant to become a mere social club where everyone feels comfortable. You should realize how vitally important it is to live your life before the Lord. As a believer, You should know without a doubt that God is your Heavenly Father. That the devil his imps and no one or nobody can do anything to pluck you out God’s hands. That you truly belong to God and Jesus is your Lord and Savior! You have been adopted into His family and you know that you know that you know without doubting you are His child! Do you know what His Word says about being double minded?

Wait I must caution you!”
(The above was worth repeating just in case you are only reading Part 3)

If you have not been raised in the church DO NOT be discouraged! Read on because the Lord has a place for you as well! You are like a fresh breath of air because of your desire to embark upon a new beginning… ALL the same privileges of becoming a Child of GOD awaits you. ” Our Father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”

You see, there really is a difference when you are in the Church and the Church is in you. You know that you have been bought with a price. You know that before you were formed in your Mother’s womb God knew and knows who you are. You also know it is not because of anything you have or have not. It is because of who He is! You can praise Him not only in the building; but you praise Him in your home, on your job or at your business in your car, in the midst of trials and persecution. Not just in mere lip service. You Praise the Lord when you are alone!

There is no need to act when you know that the Lord is totally aware of what we all do. Yes express yourself. Don’t be a chameleon and blend right in… Please, don’t be pressured because of a need to be accepted. We ALL will have to answer to Him for our actions. It is important to know that you have a right to not conform for the sake of being momentarily accepted. There are many things that have been integrated into worship and ministry to get others to conform. There is often a desire to generate a high energetic emotional worship & praise time. Many become emotionally charged. Praise & Worship is Great! Many do not realize the power of or behind music… In these latter days there is much more focus placed upon how your are feeling and what you can receive from the Lord. Worship & Praise should be a time devoted to God and who He is and what he has done and will do.

GOD IS A HOLY GOD!

God does not need any of us. Always remember; “…It is in HIM we LIVE and MOVE and have our being…” GOD is infinite and we are finite. This is not about undermining the validity of GOD’S CHURCH! This is about learning to exercise your RIGHTS and the FREEDOM you have wherever you decide to worship in a place that claims; ” HE IS LORD!” There are a plethora of places of worship all over the world. But, GOD has but ONE CHURCH! HE is the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we serve as Believers.

Pray, Pray & Pray some more. Allow the Spirit of the Lord lead you. Let the Lord lead you what to do or not to do… God really does want to make a difference in your live everyday!

When you do not always respond in the way expected it is highly likely you will be misunderstood. You will also begin to actually better understand why others do not understand you. I always say; “Some things will not be understood on this side of Heaven!” What is always most important is to seek the will of the Lord above everything and everyone. Know that Jesus was grossly misunderstood. It is true God’s people are peculiar! God wants to strengthen your faith and trust in Him. You can stand even when you know others have done everything possible to try to discourage you. Keep Your focus on the Lord. God wants each of us to become the “Best You” in HIM! After all He is our Creator.

God is awesome! Standing for God does not mean resorting to carnality. Your confidence cannot be in you, are anything else. Yes, you can have confidence because you know God as your Father. You know that He knows you as His child. You know and He knows that you have spent some deep intimate time together in His presence. You are growing and so is your understanding of who He is. You know that He has set you free! You know that you have been raised in the church and the church is in you. Or You have come to know that now you are His Church.

God really has a better way for His children. God is not a respecter of persons. It does not matter to Him if you are rich or poor, black, white, red, yellow, tan or brown. He already knows where you live, work, play or “hang out.” He even knows if you have been raised in the church and the church is not in you. He knows if you walk in the flesh or abide in His Spirit. If you truly invite Him into your heart today He will come in your life and make a real difference. If you have not been raised in the church God can place His laws within your heart. It even may give you a different advantage. You see and observe and you wonder why? Know that the Spirit of the Lord is Omniscient and The Lord can teach you whatever you need to know. GOD will never lead you to do anything that goes against HIS WORD! It is important to make spending time in God’s Word a priority. There is and endless wealth of Spiritual Food for our souls in His Word. As you begin to grasp His Word it will wash you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. As a new believer you are not as weighed down with many of the traditions of man. You are should feel free to ask what this or that is so wherever you worship. Ask unto you have an inner peace. Make studying God’s Word your new priority. In His time He will mold and shape you from the inside out. This is a continuous process. He will also teach you how to guard your heart.

There are many wolves among the sheep. Don’t fret God always takes care of His children even in the midst of tests and trials. There are also those who call evil good and good evil. God will and can protect you and keep you from the grasp of wickedness. You must learn to humbly submit to His direction. He will open your spiritual eyes so you can begin to have a deeper understanding about life. No drugs, nicotine or alcohol needed to enlighten you. You don’t want to live always under the influence of some substance. (This is not anti valid prescribed medications) Begin to be more prayerful about how you take care of your body. You want to seek to have better self control in all area of your life. You will not want to see things as they appear. You will desire to see clearly. Your conscious will become sensitive and you will have a deepened desire to do what is right in His sight rather than in the sight of man. Realize that Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly in every way. HIS WORD is necessary SPIRITUAL FOOD for our souls!

God also said in the Book of John to “let not your heart be troubled.” It is very important to trust God and His WORD! The earth truly is the Lord’s. Truly He will take care of you. God already knows what is going on in your life and the life of those around you. Just begin to exercise patience. He will bring what happens in the dark to the light. Did you know you have as much time as you need to do the things that God would have you to do. Time belongs to God.

Study the story of Gideon. (See Judges 6) Gideon was nota likely leader. He prevailed not because of how many he had to help him. As a matter of fact the Lord told him he needed fewer people to help him. Gideon faithfully sought the Lord for direction. The Lord told Gideon; “Peace! Do not be afraid> You will not die!” There are many examples in the Word of God to help us in all areas of life. God will supply the necessary talents and resources for you to do whatever He wants you to do. He will supply the few or many you need to help you. This way He gets the GLORY and the VICTORY always belongs to GOD ALMIGHTY. It is not in the amount, how many are for you or against you. Nor in whoever rises up against you. It is in learning how to obey God.

God will make it evident to you and those about you that it is only by His grace and mercy that you can truly be successful. Spiritual success is not in the numbers. Fewer travel the Narrow Path. God knows when you have been raised in His Church and His Church is in you. He knows when you have not been raised in the church and it is your sincere desire to want to know Him. What matters to HIM is your willingness to allow HIM to mold and be shaped through His Living Word and His Holy Spirit. He wants us all to readily “REPENT!” whenever necessary. He is not a respecter of persons and His Love is extended to everyone all over the world. Through FAITH we learn to believe! This is why we are called “Believers!” Christ Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and He extends HIS LOVE to ALL! He wants to come live within your hearts through eternity and become your personal Lord & Savior! This world was spoken into existence through Him! As believers we are the sheep of His Pasture. The LORD wants to be your SHEPHERD! Remember this; “He leads me in the Path of Righteousness for His Namesake. Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death I WILL fear NO evil. For THOU art with me. THY ROD & STAFF THEY COMFORT me…” Psalms 23 Grace, Joy, Love & Peace to you in Jesus Name! If you really want to be happier, Live Everyday: “To God be the Glory!”

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