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. 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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Jesus Christ is “More Than A Story”

September 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Holidays, Jesus Christ

Recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time pondering what the world thinks of Jesus Christ. Just who does the world think he is ? At Christmas and Easter we see the world celebrate these days if they are just “social activities”. Parties, giving gifts, drinking etc. Some may even take a moment to think about the stories that surround these days, although often mixing Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny with the story about the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Santa Claus and the Easter bunny are just kid stories. However, Jesus Christ is a way of life, everyday, every heart must hear.

It’s important to realize not everyone knows who Jesus Christ really is. The world doesn’t know why He came, why He died, and why He arose from the grave. The following lyrics to a song recorded by Donnie Harper and The New Jersey Mass Choir says it well. Take some time and ponder over these words, then tell the world that He is “More Than A Story“.

“More Than A Story”

People talk of a good man
Came to earth so long ago
In a manger he did lay
It’s the Christmas story they say
But it means more to me
Cause He set my life free
And he came to do the same for you
Cause He’s,
More than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s more than a story
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear.

Some have heard of a good man
Lived a life, did no one no harm
On a cross they killed him
It’s the Easter story again
But it means more to me
Cause he set my life free
And he came to do the same for you
Cause He’s
More than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s more than a story
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear

We’ve got to show the world
There’s so much more they must read
With every passing day
There’s less time for all to believe.

He’s more than a story
That the world thinks of just one time a year
He’s a way of life, every day, every heart must hear.
He’s more than a story
So much more!

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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

Success 4

Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

 

Part 2

 

 

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Resurrection Day/Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!
 

A little humor is always good! But we need to seriously take a look at just how blurred the lines are. I see the trend. But what or who do we give more honor to. God wants to be a part of every area of our lives!

 

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Each day is important because it may be your last! Honoring God is important. Worship is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.  

Every time we come to together it really is important to worship the Lord! You can do this sitting or standing. Quietly or in Forte` mode! There needs to be a balance. Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed HIS precious SINLESS BLOOD and atoned for the sins of the whole world! WOW! Without HIM becoming the Ultimate Holy Sacrifice; none of us would be able to enter into Heaven. There is cleansing POWER in the BLOOD! What is more important than that?

 

How important is it to dress for worship? Some are even subconsciously encouraged to dress down thinking this means that they will have more money to give for the offering? God can and will supply All that is needed. The CHURCH needs to trust GOD more…

 

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I?  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise or at the park? No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

 

God truly is the Great “I AM!” God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! When you leave worship you should leave knowing more about HIM & HIS WORD!  The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

 

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans and tennis shoes & T shirts? It does not matter how much you did or did not pay for it. You can be quite material and have nothing…

You have the freedom to dress however it is you want, when and where you go. My question is what is your priority? We must really begin to think on a much deeper level.

 

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… When my children were young I took them everywhere I went. I made sure that they were well fed, well dressed, loved and well attended. We as a family attended Worship during the week and on most Sunday’s all day long, all year long. They were well behaved, polite and respectful. They had plenty opportunity to run and play in the back yard freely once they got home and put on their play clothes. Children actually feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention. There is a time and place for everything.

 

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? However that only applies to certain people. Lord Help us! Absolutely Not!

 

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. (Once they sinned God made them coats of fur skins…) The point is there is a proper time to dress or undress. Modesty is good. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD! Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

 

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Or your most comfortable clothes. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

 

We have missed the point!

 

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! They honored the Lord above their slave master, pastor and everything else. Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!   The African American/Colored worship services in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some of the long standing traditional congregations throughout the world also elect to make a conscious effort to present themselves to the Lord in a certain manner. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for any special occasion, work or school. Despite how others chose to present themselves my mother was keen on proper etiquette. As people of color I was taught to recognize that as a lady it’s important to present yourself in proper dress attire wherever you are!

I realize that we differ as to what is perceived as to what or whom is proper. For many this will change as to what is going on in or about worship on a particular day. Or until someone decides we need to do something different just because? Think about it? Was this true (200) two hundred years ago?

Always remember that God’s Church is the people not the building. His Church is a collective body of all colors and cultures all over the world. We who have accepted Christ Jesus into our hearts as Savior & Lord are His True Church. We are to daily seek His Will & His Way and embrace and live out the principles of His Word. What is most important that we represent Him in a way that is pleasing in his sight wherever we are.

 

 

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate!   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code! However, there is an unspoken code. It means if you are in the in crowd you can pretty much as you please and no one will take offense.   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

 

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come to worship packing a gun! This further shows that you can prepare to expect just about anything. Just maybe this is also why we are having all these random shootings everywhere. Nothing is sacred to anyone!

 

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.  After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

 

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

 

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you still decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly! & Please no matter what size you are; No really tight dresses, No low cut dresses or blouses and sweaters. And please definitely NO sagging pants. These are not appropriate. Think for a moment; Above all make sure that you would be comfortable in whatever you decide to wear expecting that our Lord was going to be there. Or come at anytime!

 

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!  Come Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

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Saved or Safe?

December 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Christian Living, Church


Just say you are saved. You don’t really have to mean it. If you just say it, this will be sufficient. We just say things all of the time. We go through the formality. “Good morning!” “Good evening!” “How are you?” Is it really a good morning or evening? Do you really want to know how the person is doing? We often adopt behaviors that appear to be socially accepted. But they are often quite superficial. No, I’m not saying that every time you see someone just give them an in-depth historical oration of your current list of woes. The point I’m trying to make is that just saying something doesn’t mean it’s so!

When we accept Christ as our personal Savior it means we invite Him into our lives. His presence of light shines on the darkness in our life and allows us the opportunity to draw close to Him or to choose to stay in darkness. Often we establish unhealthy patterns in our lives. We don’t really want to change we just want someone or something to make us feel good.

“Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy, it cannot hear; But your iniquities (sins) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.” (Isaiah 59:1-3) Breaking patterns can be painful.

Why do we need a Savior? The world is full of evilness. It wants to pull you in anyway it can. We are in the world but we are not supposed to be of the world. When Jesus Christ is Lord of your life you can access His power. He has the power to save us from the unhealthy patterns and pitfalls of sin that besets us. Let’s get it straight! The Comforter is not to keep us comfortable in sin. It is not a blanket (excuse my pun) to cover any abject behavior. So help me understand why it is socially acceptable within the Christian lifestyle to say anything, do anything and live any kind of way and still say “I’M SAVED?”

Well I am sorry, but the scripture says “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10). Webster says to believe means to have a firm conviction as to the goodness of something. Romans says with the heart man believeth unto righteousness. I guess doing what I think is right is righteousness? WRONG!

We sing that we are soldiers. But what kind of armor does the Lord tell us to wear that you may be able to withstand in the evil day? Your loins are to be girded with truth. No it’s okay to believe anything anybody says especially those who say and do anything anywhere! You are to wear the breastplate of righteousness. But you hold it up with adultery and fornication. Your feet shod with peace. But I will cut you up or punch you out anywhere anytime. But above all that I will take the shield of faith and hide, alcoholism, drug addiction, covetousness……and trust I can quench the fiery darts of the wicked. Then to top it off I’ll put on the helmet of salvation. When I say I have salvation I’m safe. I don’t think so!

This may seem a bit sarcastic but it’s frightening to think one supposes he can prepare for spiritual warfare and not adorn the true spiritual armor. After all just say you are saved. The SWORD of the SPIRIT which is the WORD will clean you up and prepare you for spiritual battle. It is only through a personal relationship with JESUS and He is the WORD wrapped in flesh; that you can overcome sin, anything or anybody that comes against you in the world.

Don’t think for a minute you are not vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. The enemy in this battle is so clever that he will try to make you comfortable in your sins. It does not matter who you are. He will try to tell you loving you is giving you what you want and making excuses for your shortcomings. This kind of love (which really isn’t love) will kill you. By the way he never takes responsibility for his actions. He always tries to distract you by saying, if you just give me this or if you would just do that I wouldn’t be in this mess. Pray for discernment. Many enable rather than help people to become FREE.There are many casualties that have an erroneous idea of what love really is. The WHEAT and the Tares are growing together. This goes from the pulpit to the door. Spiritual warfare is about taking a stand. But for assured success it must be on the WORD of GOD!

Jeremiah was a prophet who stood amidst some dark days. The Lord told him; “Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold I have put my words in thy mouth. See I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Jeremiah 1:8-10)

IF JESUS CAME BACK TODAY ARE YOU READY?

Did you know Jesus was mistaken for the gardener upon His resurrection? (John 20:15) We must address the garden of sin in our lives. We must root up the things that GOD does not consider righteous. Our belief in Him (according to Romans) should result in righteousness. Jesus is coming back! But we won’t be able to mistake Him for the gardener this time. He has provided us HIS WORD to clean us up. Don’t be safe, or sorry; BE SAVED. He is coming back for HIS church without SPOT OR WRINKLE.


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