Intimacy With God ~ The Desired Destination Part 2

Clouds 5
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, a call for repentance as well as exhortation at times he expresses. Paul’s sincere intent was to bring them closer to the Lord. The Church is supposed to cultivate a passion for living for the Lord! The Church was meant to stand for righteousness and be the 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. God really does know where we are in our walk with Him.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 in the 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’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.

See Part 3

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Where Is Your Faith ?

December 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Christian Living

Sons of soul revivers help me picture
“Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Faith is so important that it is mentioned over three hundred times in the BIBLE. Faith means to have a firm persuasion. Having Faith means much more than just to say you believe. It goes much further! Faith is developed through Prayer, Devotion, Bible Study, and the actual application of God’s Word to your life. Faith is also part of the Lord’s spiritual armor. It is “By Faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” Hebrews 11:3. Faith is NOW not after the fact has materialized! “For we walk by Faith not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7

When you truly trust God your Faith will see you through any and all circumstances or situations. Abel, Deborah, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Rahab, are just a few examples of the many that trusted and had Faith in God. Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets beheld many miracles, faced jeers, were stoned, saw walls fall, were persecuted, misunderstood, and mistreated yet accomplished their life purpose by trusting the Lord. Notice how they all sincerely aspired to live in the presence of the Lord. They had a personal and deep intimate relationship with Him. Hebrews commends them all for their Faith; “yet none of them received what had been promised.” It is by Faith we are strengthened inwardly! Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts through Faith.

Faith is NOW!

Hebrew defines Faith as something you cannot see. Faith without works is dead. When your Faith is truly in GOD you trust that in His time He will fulfill whatever it is that He has said or promised. Take a moment to take an open and honest personal inventory of everything that is happening in your life. Guess what God already knows as well! Despite your circumstances; good, bad, or indifferent you can rest assured that your Faith makes all the difference in the world as to how you will now proceed. In order to successfully run the race of life we must keep our focus on the Lord. Laying aside any weight or sin helps us to run with endurance. When life hurdles appear God will impart to you His patience and direction. You can not change anything that has happened “it is what it is” As you fix your eyes on “Jesus, the Author and perfector of our Faith” He will help you arise to the challenges as well as the celebrations of life. Your daily trust and reliance on God is where your true security and significance should reside. This will give you sure footing and strong solid rock foundational spiritual roots to help you withstand the storms of life. Your Joy in the Lord is where you will find strength when you keep your eyes on Him. The joy of the Lord is not contingent on your circumstance. Faith is NOW!

The key to being a Christian is the Faith we have in Jesus Christ. Do you know the importance of His sacrificial death on the cross that atoned for our sins? It was so we could live life to please Him! Did you know our lives, our homes, our marriages, families and our worship should reflect we are His children? How do we do this? Titus tells us that “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self controlled, and sound in Faith, love and in endurance. To teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good…” The natural man or woman does not accept, value, nor understand the things of God. This is why the Word says to “let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” In order to understand the things of God it is crucial that you lay aside your way and your will and let His Word be a “lamp unto your feet and a Light to your path.” Having the proper perspective will teach you how very important it is to live life and study His Word for His approval and not the approval of man. This is why we are told to “Trust in the Lord will all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our path.” Proverbs 3: 5&6. Too often God is an after thought or optional choice when dealing with life. This compromise often has favorable results with man; yet results in moving you away from God. Learn to wait on God and patiently seek His way.

God’s way will give you peace and contentment that surpasses the understanding of man! God wants to be the Primary Force in your life. Being a Christian is really a chosen lifestyle. God does not force His way upon you. Faith produces commitment and faithfulness. It means to sincerely and earnestly attempt to live life to please God. Commence to truly Live, Sing, Worship and Praise Him. It really makes all the difference in the world! “LET the WORD of Christ dwell richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3: 16&17.

God always has a better way. According to Ephesians He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. As His child we have been sealed and promised the gift of His Holy Spirit. God truly is faithful you can always count on Him! Now you must trust Him and step out on Faith. Remember Faith is not something that you can see. Always remember, you must exercise patience and your Faith and trust must rely in Him. He tells us if our Faith is “as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17: 20. The key to this is you must desire His will to be done. It is with God we can do the impossible. This way He receives the credit. To GOD be the GLORY! God keeps His promises. You can fully trust God to work everything out for your good.

Always keep in mind that absolutely nothing gets by God. He knows all that is past, current and will be. Be encouraged knowing “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” It is by Faith and patience we inherit His promises. We can patiently endure whatever is necessary because we know that God in His time will work everything out for our good. It is by Faith we accept His precious gift of eternal life. One of the most important elements in life is having Faith in GOD. “Without Faith it is impossible to please Him, for he, who comes to GOD, must believe, that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Romans 1:16& 17.

GOD IS FAITHFUL in His time you will reap the promises and He will give back, restore, refuel and replenish you in His time. God knows when you are sincere. We are living in interesting times. Just keep your eyes fixed on the Author and finisher of your Faith. God is able to “keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great Joy!” You can say Hallelujah anyhow! God is awesome! As I mentioned before Hebrews records in its “Hall of Faith” many Old Testament heroes who trusted in God and displayed their Faith in unique ways. Lay aside every weight and anything that hinders you from going forth in the Lord! When you truly believe; it will be a priority to live your life to please GOD! Faith results in faithfulness! Who or what are you faithful to? “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” FAITH IS NOW!

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God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Jesus Christ is the WORD in flesh. He has all power. There is no power principality or anything that is not subject to Him; yet He humbled himself to be an example for us. His purpose was to make us aware of the importance of developing an intimate relationship with God through Him. The Comforter His Holy Spirit will direct you and teach you all things as you grow spiritually. Yet he always gives you the freedom to choose. God loves a cheerful giver.

Today there is much discussion on giving. How much, when to give and to who should it be given. Should you give to missions church or charities? Is the money used to further the gospel or to just maintain the building? Should it matter to you how it is used? Is tithing commanded? Do we tithe our gross or our net? When we give be it our money, material possessions or time it should be done responsibly. I believe in supporting ministries who focus on spreading the “Gospel”. This actually equips others to live victoriously. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof them and they that dwell therein”. We are stewards of whatever God puts in our possession. I also believe when you consult Him HE will direct you how, when, who and who not to give to.

When I read the scriptures I see how Jesus saw that the needs of His disciples were met. The scripture even says they “lacked nothing”. Well, Jesus was poor. Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His head. Did you forget when He was a child He lived with Joseph and Mary. When He became of age His mission was to fulfill the Will of Our Father. “He who was rich became poor so we might become rich”. I don’t think He pulled money out of His pocket to pay the little lad for his lunch he used to feed the multitude. I think it was out of the mouth of a fish that His disciple found money? The point is giving is not just monetary. Money is the system that the world uses to exchange goods or services.

You should not manipulate people to give to God! The Lord does not need anything from us. We all need Him! God wants us to give HIM our lives. To daily live to please Him. There is nothing wrong with giving but it should not be under compulsion! When monetary giving is usually the primary focus of the Church it is usually because of something material man wants to do or accomplish. If or when there is a need simply say so and let those who are led to give accordingly. Tithes are often mandated from the clergy and widely encouraged. Well in the Old Testament the priests did not receive an inheritance and they were taken care of by the tithe. Does this mean that if tithes are received should a minister not then receive a salary? Biblically speaking the tithe was not always necessarily monetary; it was given from the yield of crops and animals etc… “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the reverence of the Lord in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. so that you may learn to revere the Lord God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry the tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his name is so far away, then exchange the tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like; cattle sheep….” Deuteronomy 6. The Bible is clear that the tithing is to remind us to put go first.

To give or not give tithes as a tenth of your money is a bone of contention for some. Is this because there is an underlying fear that some will not give to the support of the church? Or that those who elect to tithe feel slighted when others don’t or entitled because they do? LORD HELP US!

It is important to spend time with the Lord in His Word!

“Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give and not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work..” 2 Corinthians 9. God is able to meet your personal needs as well as the needs of His Church. Let the Lord lead you in your giving.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and everything will be added unto you”. If you put God first in you life He will provide whatever you need. The scripture says if you ask anything in His Will He will give it to you. You don’t have to beg, steal, manipulate, brow beat or coerce anyone. Don’t be envious of others. If you are not content with your blessings; take it up with God. “To whom much is given much is required.” Just remember persecutions come with blessings.

We often make decisions and don’t consult God. Or we consult Him and don’t listen. When we begin to feel the consequences of those decisions we want a fast relief. The problem is we don’t want to seek Him first! We often want something or want somebody to give us something that may not be in God’s will for us. We want the benefits but we don’t want to seek the kingdom first. Since God is omniscient ( all knowing) He knows what we need before we ask. Had you ever thought perhaps I’m not quite ready for what I’m asking for? Or perhaps my priorities aren’t right, or just maybe the time isn’t quite right? I believe when God puts something in your possession He will give you the wisdom how to handle it as well. Is God your source? Well what’s the problem? The “love of money is the root of all evil which while some coveted after, have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” There are people who will do anything for money. Money in itself is not evil. You see you can love money and not have any. You can also have a lot of money and not love it! Just to name a few of many in the Bible, remember Abraham, Solomon, Queen of Sheba, Joseph and Job to name a few? I think they had spiritual and material riches? But they also had the right priorities. It is God that gives the power to be rich.

I can never express enough the importance of having an avid personal prayer, worship and bible study. It will enhance your life tremendously. It will help you be a good steward. It will increase your spiritual discernment. It will also free you when others try to manipulate you to give or do anything out of guilt. When you grow spiritually your desire to give will as well. But you will receive much persecution when you don’t give your time and money when, how, and how much they think you should. Just know that God knows your heart and He will direct you. Be careful who and what you support. It is not necessary for others to understand or see what you do. God knows your heart and your intentions and He really does see everything. It is your obedience to Him that will cause you to reap bountifully.

God truly is a GOOD GOD. He has left no stone unturned to prepare us through His Word instructions for righteous living. When you accept Him as Lord and Savior He WILL supply all of your needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus. Begin to give as He instructs. Remember again what Paul tells us in Corinthians; “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not man. Please the Lord and be a cheerful giver!

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