Abiding With Whom??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #681

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #681  Abiding With Whom???

 

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

 that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word

which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch

cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”   John 15:1-5

As I write this morning, I am sitting here listening to some great Southern Gospel music and it delights my heart to rehearse the times I have heard and sung many of these songs.  In fact, the word I want to share with you this morning was triggered by and old song; and I pray that it will encourage our hearts to “Abide” in and with Jesus, who wants to “Abide” in and with YOU and me.

Just as Jesus spoke to the disciples in the passage above, He calls us to “Abide” with Him in all our ways; and He promises that if we will “Abide” IN Him we will bear fruit, and even as the Father prunes our lives, we will grow into fruitful branches.  Are you a branch of Jesus’?  Are you fighting the pruning this morning?  Or are you ready to rejoice in the fact that Jesus isthe true vine” and we “are the branches”? Or are you trying to be your own “vine”?

It seems to me, that much of what proports to be ‘Christianity’ today is simply greed and selfish lust dressed up in church clothes!  Jesus paints a different picture of HIS body—a body of commitment to HIM, abiding in HIM personally.  Jesus IS the vine, not the church building, or its hierarchy, much less congregations who are clamoring for entertainment, comfort and prosperity!  The church is The Body of Jesus Christ—branches who are abiding in The Vine!  Paul told Timothy a hard truth—but none the less, truth—and not very popular today!

Yea, and all that will live godly

in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.”  2 Timothy 3:12

As we spoke the other day, Jesus keeps HIS own, even in the trials and persecutions!  The question is, “Are you HIS own?”  It’s a question that only you can answer, but Jesus knows the answer, and there is a test!

Nevertheless

the foundation of God

standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them

that are his.

And, Let every one

that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.”  2 Timothy 2:19

Are you HIS?  Are you abiding IN HIM?  HE is ready to abide IN you!  If you aren’t HIS, then I invite you to bow before my King Jesus, repent of your sin and ask HIM to forgive your sin; for that is why HE came as the substitutionary (in our place), atoning (making payment for our sin), sacrifice (HE died to BE that very payment for our sin), and He is still saving and changing lives today.  In fact, He transformed me, and HE is ready to give you a new heart and life; or to revive your heart if you are His already!!!  When we receive His life-changing grace, He enables us to walk in that transforming grace as we yield to HIS work in our lives through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit—abiding IN HIM! Transformed—abiding—and bearing HIS fruit!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

And there’s an old song that I have been pondering lately, I pray that it will encourage your heart to pursue HIS abiding presence, for HE Has promised to be there for us, for it is HIS abiding IN us that prevails!  Don’t give up—abide!

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.”  1 John 4:4

       Abide With Me    By Henry Francis Lyte

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings;
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings:
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea;
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour:
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless:
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness:
Where is death’s sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Amen and Amen!

The Question Of The Pearl??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #680

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #680  The Question Of The Pearl???

 

And the twelve gates

were twelve pearls;

every several gate was of one pearl:

and the street of the city was pure gold,

as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein:

for the Lord God Almighty

and the Lamb

are the temple of it.

23 And the city had no need

of the sun,

neither of the moon,

 to shine in it:

for the glory of God did lighten it,

and the Lamb is the light thereof.”  Revelation 21:21-23

I am going to do something that I seldom do, and that is take the liberty of offering some food for thought that is purely conjecture.  It is just a thought that I can’t get out of my mind.  As you’ve probably noticed I haven’t written as much as I normally do, but we took some time away to get some rest and refreshing; as most of you know it’s been a hard 9 months for us with the murder of my daughter, and seemingly just one crises after another, and the enemy so busy wreaking havoc and spiritual chaos on every hand.  Friends and loved ones going through great spiritual warfare, health issues, crises of faith, as the song says, “fightings within and fears without” (from Just As I Am, written by Charlotte Elliott in 1835—and as true today as it was then!)!  It is a busy time of spiritual warfare, but I don’t want to talk today about the warfare, but, in a sense, about the joys of victory!

In the passage above, we see the description of the New Jerusalem—the bride (see Revelation 21:9-11)—and its splendor, and as I was praying for a friend the other day, I was brought to this passage, and had the thoughts that I would like to share with you today (and I shared some of them with my friend already) concerning this reference to these gates of pearl.  We’re told that there are twelve gates, and each gate is a single pearl.  Now that is most mind-boggling in and of itself, but I want us to consider the pearl.  What is a pearl?

A pearl is an irritant.  I come from the Gulf Coast and love oysters—and a time or two I’ve gotten a surprise in my mouth, the beginning of a pearl!  When a grain of sand or some other irritant makes its way into the oyster and isn’t washed out, the oyster begins to deal with the irritant by secreting what God gave it, to begin to surround this unwelcome ‘irritator’ and layer upon layer is formed around this irritator until it eventually loses its ability to irritate due to the work of God’s design within the oyster, it becomes a smooth jewel that we call a pearl!  A priceless gem used to adorn the greatest of mankind.  This irritant has become a treasure rare, yet it cost the oyster time, effort and the ability to endure until the work was accomplished.

What does this have to do with me?  With you?  Well, I just happened to think about this process of earthly oysters and pearls, and I can’t help but think that the heavenly pictures that God gives us, have a purpose (which we often don’t understand this side of heaven); yet, I’d like to offer a premise for you to consider!  I’m not making a great theological foundation, but hopefully some food for thought about the great wonders of our God’s ways; and they are never fruitless or purposeless, so I was just thinking, could those pearls (those enormous pearls) be the picture of all of our trials, sufferings, and the “irritants” that God has allowed to come into our lives?  Could God be telling us that we will rejoice throughout all eternity for the things that HE used to conform us into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus?

And we know that all things

work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed to the image

of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,

them he also called:

and whom he called,

them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?”  Romans 8:28-31

Our God is working all, yes that’s “ALL”, things for our good.  He never says “OOPS”, and He never slips, or takes a nap when we find ourselves in the midst of horrible trials, sufferings and/or human disasters!  God is ever at work to make “you” and “me” who are HIS, into the image of the son!  Oh—glory, glory, praise be to our LORD!  This is that pearl of great price that Jesus talked about, and HE said that the one who found it, sold all that he had to purchase it!  What are you and I doing for HIM—with our “irritant”—with our present distress?  God wants us to give it all to HIM and watch HIM add to those amazing pearls an eternal reminder of HIS unseen purposes!  Can you see it?  We can if we will but stand fast in the truth of HIS sovereign grace, goodness and love for us!

Again, the kingdom of heaven

 is like unto a merchant man,

 seeking goodly pearls:

46 Who,

when he had found one pearl

of great price,

went and sold all that he had,

and bought it.”  Matthew 13:45-46

So, what am I saying?  I’m simply asking you to consider the true value that God has placed on you!  HE gave Jesus to die for our sin, so that we could spend eternity with HIM; but He also saved us to be of value in this world to increase HIS kingdom.  What are you doing for Jesus?  Have you given up because the road is hard?  Have you thrown in the towel, and taken to yourself a ‘god’ of your own making?  And, no it doesn’t have to be a ‘little statue of gold or silver’, it can be your passions, your greed, your “acceptable” addiction, your bitterness, or unforgiveness, you name it, the list could go on and on, but suffice it to say, God is waiting for you/I to look up and stop looking at the lions but look up to Daniel’s God who delivers, for HE never fails.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel,

Thy God

whom thou servest continually,

he will deliver thee.

17 And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords;

that the purpose might not be changed

concerning Daniel

19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel,

O Daniel,

servant of the living God,

is thy God,

whom thou servest continually,

able to deliver thee

 from the lions?

21 Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.

22 My God

 hath sent his angel,

and hath shut the lions’ mouths,

that they have not hurt me:

forasmuch as before him

innocency was found in me;

and also before thee, O king,

have I done no hurt.”   Portions of Daniel 6:16-22

Are you standing confident in God, as Daniel did even when he was falsely accused, or (as my former Pastor Brad often says) are you “doubting, pouting, and dropping outing”?  You can choose to cave, or you can choose to determine to live in truth NOT the lies of the enemy of your soul, he who comes only to “steal…kill…and destroy”!  Please don’t let him steal what’s NOT his!  You belong to Jesus (and if you don’t yet, you can call on Him in repentance and faith to forgive your sin and save your soul, giving HIM your all), and HE IS working if you will but look up, stand fast on what you know, NOT what you “feel”.  God is there, you’re just not looking, not opening your eyes.  I implore you to consider the price!  Whatever you are mad about, hurt over or fed up with—tell God about it, HE CAN HANDLE IT (you and the problems!)!

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”  Hebrews 13:5-6

Let God work on your irritant—HE makes pearls out of them!

Amen and Amen!!!

Deniable Truth??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 26

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 26      Deniable Truth???

 

I would like to spend our time today considering some things that Jesus said about truth, and then seeing if we can make some helpful conclusions; and I want to start with a startling statement from our Lord Jesus.

Jesus said unto them,

If God were your Father,

ye would love me:

for I proceeded forth and came from God;

neither came I of myself,

but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech?

even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil,

and the lusts of your father

ye will do.

He was a murderer

from the beginning,

and abode not

in the truth,

because there is no truth in him.

When he speaketh a lie,

he speaketh of his own:

for he is a liar,

and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth,

ye believe me not.”  John 8:42-45

As Jesus encountered the leaders of His day, He often confronted them with difficult truths, usually truths that they did not want to hear; even His followers often had trouble with His startling revelations of truth.  In fact, just a few chapters earlier, Jesus shared some difficult truths with those around Him, and for many it was too much to believe and accept.

Many therefore of his disciples,

when they had heard this, said,

This is an hard saying;

who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself

that his disciples murmured at it,

he said unto them,

Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man

ascend up where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth;

the flesh profiteth nothing:

the words that I speak unto you,

they are spirit,

and they are life.

64 But there are some of you that believe not.

For Jesus knew from the beginning

who they were that believed not,

and who should betray him.

65 And he said,

Therefore said I unto you,

that no man can come unto me,

except it were given unto him

of my Father.

66 From that time

many of his disciples went back,

and walked no more with him.”  John 6:60-66

The people of Jesus’ day had the same problem that we have today—they wanted following Jesus to be easy, simple and convenient.  They wanted to eat the “loaves and fishes” without any commitment to “pay” the price.  What about you and me?  Have we put restrictions on what we are willing to do for Jesus!  Is God your Father, or is Satan your father?  Not a very popular question, but one that every person will answer now or later; for every person ever born on this earth will bow before Jesus!  The question isn’t “will you bow”, but rather “when” will you bow.

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also

hath highly exalted him,

and given him a name

which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow,

of things in heaven,

and things in earth,

and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:8-11

Will you bow before Jesus now, as your Lord and Savior while there is time and opportunity?  Or will you bow before Him at the Great White Throne as your judge, with no opportunity for salvation?  The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test—and there won’t be any ‘fudging’, ‘excuses’ or ‘justification’ for your sin, if you’ve refused Jesus as the payment for your sin!

And the devil

that deceived them

was cast into the lake of fire

and brimstone,

where the beast

and the false prophet are,

and shall be tormented

day and night for ever

and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face

the earth

and the heaven

fled away;

and there was found

no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead,

small and great,

stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged

out of those things

which were written in the books,

according to their works.

13 And the sea gave up the dead

which were in it;

and death and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged every man

according to their works.

14 And death and hell

were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found written

in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:10-15

Peter reminds us of the import of the One Way to God—Jesus–and Jesus’ example of holiness that God wants us to not only receive from Jesus, but to also exhibit before the world.  Yet like Jesus, when we take our stand on truth, it can often bring suffering and ridicule.

As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves

according to the former lusts

in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy

in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written,

Be ye holy;

for I am holy.

17 And if ye call on the Father,

who without respect of persons

judgeth according to every man’s work,

pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know

that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver

and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb without blemish

and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained

before the foundation

of the world,

but was manifest in these last times

for you,

21 Who by him do believe

in God,

that raised him up

from the dead,

and gave him glory;

that your faith and hope

might be in God.”   1 Peter 1:14-21

Peter goes on to paint an amazing picture of what Jesus did for us!  We are to heed His redeeming work and His example of faithfulness before God, and before a lost and dying world, committing ourselves “to him that judgeth righteously”!

For what glory is it,

if, when ye be buffeted for your faults,

ye shall take it patiently?

 but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it,

ye take it patiently,

this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us,

leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin,

neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who,

when he was reviled,

reviled not again;

when he suffered,

he threatened not;

but committed himself

to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self

bare our sins

in his own body

on the tree,

that we,

being dead to sins,

should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes

ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep

going astray;

but are now returned

unto the Shepherd

and Bishop

of your souls.”  1 Peter 2:20-25

Jesus Himself, warned us of the response of the world to truth; what are you expecting from the world around you?  If the world hated Jesus for speaking the truth, why would we be expecting to gain fame, fortune and popularity by following Jesus, and speaking His truth, in love? While there are some fine men of God who may be ‘well-known’, Jesus told us that we could expect the same results that He received.  Jesus’ way and the world’s way are diametrically opposed—why can we not remember and understand this principle?  I think it’s mostly because the majority keep telling us that we must do God’s work the world’s way to succeed—but Jesus told us that if we follow Him, we can expect opposition (to say the least)!  And remember that Satan is an expert at lying and deceit—even to believers!

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me

….25 These things have I spoken unto you,

being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter,

which is the Holy Ghost,

whom the Father will send

in my name,

he shall teach you

all things,

and bring all things

to your remembrance,

whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you,

my peace I give unto you:

not as the world giveth,

give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled,

neither let it be afraid…”.  John 14:6, 25-27

And Jesus continued in this same discourse with the disciples just before His death.

If the world hate you,

ye know that it hated me

before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world,

the world would love his own:

but because ye are not of the world,

but I have chosen you

out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you,

The servant is not greater

than his lord.

If they have persecuted me,

they will also persecute you;

if they have kept my saying,

they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things

will they do unto you

for my name’s sake,

because they know not him

that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them,

they had not had sin:

but now they have no cloke

for their sin.

23 He that hateth me

hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them

the works which none other man did,

they had not had sin:

but now have they both seen

and hated both me

and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass,

that the word might be fulfilled

that is written in their law,

They hated me

without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come,

whom I will send unto you

from the Father,

even the Spirit of truth,

which proceedeth from the Father,

he shall testify of me:”   John 15:18-26

What are your expectations from following Jesus?  Or are you following Jesus for your own reasons?  Jesus makes it clear that there is a cost to those who will put their trust in Him and be born again through repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, redeeming sacrifice.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

and whosoever will lose his life

for my sake

shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come

in the glory of his Father

with his angels;

and then he shall reward every man

according to his works.”   Matthew 16:24-27

Taking up my cross means that I identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus for salvation from my own sin; it also means that I live by the Holy Spirit and His power that God gives to His own to live a life of faith—waiting on HIM, and going His way—denying ‘self’ and obeying Jesus!  His way—His timing—His purposes—His glory; and my ultimate good!

But they that wait upon the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up

with wings as eagles;

they shall run,

and not be weary;

and they shall walk,

and not faint.”   Isaiah 40:31

As Paul so aptly put it:

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith of the Son of God,

 who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

And in this same letter to the Galatian believers, Paul describes what the work of God’s Holy Spirit looks like, and what it shouldn’t look like!  My life and yours will reflect who we have given our allegiance to—who’s your “Father”?

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh…

….19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;

Adultery,

fornication,

uncleanness,

lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry,

witchcraft,

hatred,

variance,

emulations,

wrath,

 strife,

seditions,

heresies,

21 Envyings,

murders,

drunkenness,

revellings,

and such like:

of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

longsuffering,

gentleness,

goodness,

faith,

23 Meekness,

temperance:

against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s

have crucified the flesh

with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory,

provoking one another,

envying one another.”  Galatians 5:16 & 19-26

So, just as Jesus said in the first passage that we observed, “because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not”; do you believe Jesus?  Does your life reflect the truth or the “father of lies”?  To whom do you belong? Are you denying the truth or living it?  You may choose to deny truth, but it is God’s “undeniable” truth that never changes.  It’s your choice—but there is a test!

Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Amen and Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Don’t Quit??? We Win! Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 25

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 25 Please Don’t Quit???  We Win!

 

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain

mine own ways before him.”  Job 13:15

This is for YOU my friend, for I know you are aching.  God knows, and I care!  I want you to know that you are loved by the creator of the universe—the ONE who died for YOU—no matter how many of Satan’s lies you have allowed to put you down—GOD LOVES YOU RIGHT NOW!  And so do I!

I know the pain of walking alone, of the disappointments of those around you who are supposed to love you.  I know the frustrations of being disappointed with yourself.  I know the pain of loss of the dearest things to your heart.  But my dear one, please know that you have those around you and those in heaven above who have led the way, who have left the example for us of faithfulness, and Job is just one, one of the most amazing ones, but there are so many, and the greatest of all is our Lord Jesus, who is standing right there, right now just waiting for you to run into HIS arms and find the healing, restoration, comfort and peace that will dispel the work of the enemy of your life and soul!  JESUS cares!

What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son,

but delivered him up for us all,

how shall he not with him also freely

give us all things?”  Romans 8:32

But sometimes he is working, testing and pruning in our lives to do amazing things that we can’t understand!  Don’t give up!  Don’t give in to the one who hates YOU and wants to destroy you and the the amazing things that God has in store.  He wants to destroy the work that you have poured out laboriously for so long.  Don’t give up—but look UP!  Look to The ONE who paid the price, who did all that HE did for you and me.  And don’t forget that I love you—that HE loves you—that there is one standing by you that LOVES you and is suffering to the core for, with and because of your pain.  Don’t give up—but look up.

For this is thankworthy,

if a man for conscience toward God

endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20 For what glory is it, if,

when ye be buffeted for your faults,

ye shall take it patiently?

but if, when ye do well,

and suffer for it,

ye take it patiently,

this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us,

leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin,

neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled,

reviled not again;

when he suffered,

he threatened not;

but committed himself

to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self bare our sins

in his own body

on the tree,

that we,

being dead to sins,

should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray;

but are now returned

unto the Shepherd

and Bishop

of your souls.”   1 Peter 2:19-25

Please hear the cry of my heart, the tears that are flowing even right now—the tears of love, care and concern for you.  The tears that have cried over my own loss to the enemy of one so dear to me (just as you are), who lost the battle and was taken from me too soon.  My heart can’t bear the thought of watching you walk down a path of wrong choices as she did.  Even as I did, so many years ago; and still suffer from the scars, the sorrows and the consequences of those lies that I believed.  But praise God Almighty, HE rescued me before it was too late.  Please, my dear one, don’t give in to the enemy!

I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out,

and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life

for the sheep.”  John 10: 9-11

And this good shepherd, my friend, is calling to you in that mountain of lostness that you are in right now!  Please stop what you’re doing and listen to that voice that is calling so gently to YOU!

And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

 4 What man of you,

having an hundred sheep,

if he lose one of them,

doth not leave the ninety and nine

in the wilderness,

and go after that

which is lost,

 until he find it?

5 And when he hath found it,

he layeth it on his shoulders,

rejoicing.

6 And when he cometh home,

he calleth together his friends

and neighbours,

saying unto them,

 Rejoice with me;

for I have found my sheep

which was lost.”   Luke 15:3-6

All this because YOU are HIS!

Being confident of this very thing,

that he which hath begun a good work

in you

will perform it

until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

Even as Job knew, I know that you know truth—don’t let your pain hide that truth, don’t forget the goodness that God has poured out on you for so long, because of the troubles of recent days (long days, months and even years, yes, but not compared to the glory HE has for you!)!

Then said his wife unto him,

Dost thou still retain thine integrity?

curse God, and die.

10 But he said unto her,

Thou speakest

as one of the foolish women speaketh.

What?

shall we receive good

at the hand of God,

and shall we not receive evil?

In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”  Job 2:9-10

Job knew—even in his pain, sorrow and confusion—he knew that his God never fails; that even when we can’t see what HE is doing, we can trust that HIS work is always for our good and HIS glory!

For I know that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms

destroy this body,

yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold,

and not another;

though my reins be consumed

within me.”  Job 19:25-27

Just as Paul recorded for us, he asked for relief, yet God reminded HIM that HE ‘had this’; that HE is trustworthy—HE never fails—He never says “OOPS”!

And lest I should be exalted

above measure

through the abundance of the revelations,

there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,

the messenger of Satan

to buffet me,

lest I should be exalted

above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice,

that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me,

My grace is sufficient for thee:

for my strength is made perfect

in weakness.

Most gladly therefore

will I rather glory in my infirmities,

that the power of Christ

may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure

in infirmities,

in reproaches,

in necessities,

in persecutions,

in distresses

for Christ’s sake:

for when I am weak,

then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

You will never know how I long to carry this burden for you, and while I can help carry it with you, only you can decide to “stand fast in the evil day”!  Only you can decide to pursue the restoration of the JOY of HIS salvation—the salvation that HE has given you; not the salvation that we earn, or deserve, or work for, but the salvation that was paid for at Calvary with the precious blood of our Redeemer, King and Savior, Jesus!  And while HIS grace is sufficient, YOU must avail yourself of it, or keep on trying to reason things out in your own way.

Just remember that God knows your name, and so do I—and I keep it before HIS throne.

Nevertheless the foundation of God

standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them

that are his.

And, Let every one that nameth

the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house

there are not only vessels of gold

and of silver,

but also of wood

and of earth;

and some to honour,

and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself

from these,

he shall be a vessel unto honour,

sanctified,

and meet

for the master’s use,

and prepared

unto every good work.

22 Flee also youthful lusts:

but follow righteousness,

faith,

charity,

peace,

with them that call on the Lord

out of a pure heart.”  2 Timothy 2:19-22

Please, my friend, don’t lose heart—but rather take heart in The One who LOVES YOU, and this one who loves you and prays for you even in this wee hour of the morning with tears, love and confidence in The ONE who hears and answers prayer.

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore

come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”   Hebrews 4:14-16

And I share just some final things that hold me fast and have held me for these many years.  May you and all to whom this reaches out, find hope, help and deliverance today!  My prayers rest on this message!

Let your conversation be without covetousness;                                         and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do

unto me.”   Hebrews 13:5-6

And Paul’s amazing declaration of our blessed hope!

Who is he that condemneth?

It is Christ that died,

yea rather,

that is risen again,

who is even at the right hand of God,

who also maketh intercession

for us.

35 Who shall separate us

from the love of Christ?

shall tribulation,

or distress,

or persecution,

or famine,

or nakedness,

or peril,

or sword?

36 As it is written,

For thy sake we are killed all the day long;

we are accounted as sheep

for the slaughter.

37 Nay,

in all these things

we are more than conquerors

through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded,

that neither death,

nor life,

nor angels,

nor principalities,

nor powers,

nor things present,

nor things to come,

39 Nor height,

nor depth,

nor any other creature,

shall be able to separate us

from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus

our Lord.”   Romans 8:24-29

With prayers and tears—you are loved.  We win!!!

Create in me a clean heart,

O God;

and renew a right spirit

within me.

11 Cast me not away

from thy presence;

and take not thy holy spirit

from me.

12 Restore unto me

the joy of thy salvation;

and uphold me

with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors

thy ways;

and sinners

shall be converted unto thee.”   Psalm 51:10-13

Amen and Amen!

Revival To “Alive”al??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 24

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 15 No. 24 Revival To “Alive”al???

 

Wilt thou not revive us again:

that thy people

may rejoice in thee?

7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD,

and grant us thy salvation.

8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak:

for he will speak peace

unto his people,

and to his saints:

but let them not turn again

to folly.

9 Surely his salvation is nigh them

that fear him;

that glory may dwell

in our land.”   Psalm 85:6-9

The prayer of my heart for many years has been for God to bring revival to HIS people.  I say that for the same reason that I used the title that I did; many seem to think that revival will bring hoards into the church, hence the church would be “revived” but that is far from true.  Revival is the:

restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength…an awakening, in a church or community, of interest in and care for matters relating to personal religion…

Revival is the awakening of those who have life, whereas salvation brings “life” to the spiritually dead.  It’s what Paul so aptly describes in Ephesians 2.

And you hath he quickened, (brought to life)

who were dead in trespasses and sins; (dead)

2 Wherein in time past

ye walked according to the course

of this world,

according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all

had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires

of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.”   Ephesians 2:1-3

Much like the picture that Paul painted in his treatise to the Roman church (and Romans is the foundational essence of the Christian faith in a capsule, howbeit a large capsule) that sin is sin, we all have it, and only Jesus can provide the cure, and how the ‘cure’ is worked out in each believer!

As it is written,

There is none righteous,

no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone

out of the way,

they are together

become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good,

no, not one.”  Romans 3:10-12

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely

by his grace

through the redemption

that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth

to be a propitiation

through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins that are past,

through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say,

at this time

his righteousness:

 that he might be just,

and the justifier

of him which believeth

in Jesus.”   Romans 3:24-26

For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ

our Lord.”  Romans 6:23

Jesus came to “save his people from their sins” and without being “born again” we are dead in sin! But praise God, Jesus came that we could be “born again” and have eternal life with Him, when we come to Him in repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for us.

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born

when he is old?

can he enter the second time

into his mother’s womb,

and be born?

5 Jesus answered,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born

of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter

into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.”  John 3:3-7

Jesus came that we might have “life, and that they might have it more abundantly”!

So, if the church’s job isn’t to infuse itself with “new members”, what is it?  Well, that is a question that Jesus answered before He left this world to take His place at The Father’s right hand. Let’s consider the call/commission that HE gave to His own—those who are born again!!!

Go ye therefore,

and teach all nations,

baptizing them

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them

to observe all things

whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo,

I am with you alway,

even unto the end of the world.

Amen.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus also made some observations as He spoke to the churches in The Revelation; some pertinent messages that I think we need to consider and heed today, several seem to be apropos to our focus today.

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;

I know thy works,

that thou hast a name

that thou livest,

and art dead.”  Revelation 3:1b

I know thy works:

behold, I have set before thee

an open door,

and no man can shut it:

for thou hast a little strength,

and hast kept my word,

and hast not denied my name.”   Revelation 3:8

And what I think is the most important for us to consider:

Because thou sayest,

I am rich,

and increased with goods,

and have need of nothing;

and knowest not that

thou art wretched,

and miserable,

and poor,

and blind,

and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me

gold tried in the fire,

that thou mayest be rich;

and white raiment,

that thou mayest be clothed,

and that the shame of thy nakedness

do not appear;

and anoint thine eyes

with eyesalve,

that thou mayest see.”  Revelation 3:17-18

So, what can we take away from all of this?  I think we must do as God told Israel through the prophet Haggai, “consider your ways”, good advice that God still has for us today.  We must consider our ways and measure them by God’s Word rather than the popular buzz of the world.  The church is to lead the world to transforming life in Jesus, NOT to be “transformed” into the image of the world.  God calls us to be changed into the image of our Lord, The Son; and when we will choose to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit of Jesus, we will find that revival will come to us, spread to other believers and then the lost will be drawn to the Master.  Just the way that Jesus told us in John!

And I,

if I be lifted up from the earth,

will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death

he should die.”  John 12:32-33

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.”  John 3:14-16

He was lifted up for our sin, may we ever lift HIM up to draw others to the cross! Like Paul, I believe the church is called to stand on the gospel of Jesus and not the imitation “religion” of the world, entertaining people right into hell.  False security is no security.  May we determine to stand fast in the sufficiency and total provision of the cross.

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony

of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.”  1 Corinthians 2:2

And as Jesus said of Himself:

…….I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  John 14:6

So, will you join me in truly pursuing Jesus and praying for revival amongst born again believers, so that our transformation into truly holy reflections of our Lord will draw others to the cross—by HIS transforming power!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

May our lives ever be reflective of Jesus; may we truly be the evidence that God is ever at work around us?  May we be found faithful to HIS WORD; knowing it’s God’s standard that we will be judged by, not man’s!

For the word of God

is quick,

and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit,

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner

of the thoughts

and intents

of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

that is not manifest

in his sight:

but all things are naked and opened

unto the eyes of him

with whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:12-13

The choice is yours, but there will be an accounting before God, and only those who have bowed before the cross will be able to stand by JESUS’ blood.

Amen!