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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 06 Come And I Will……???

 

I’ve been disturbed lately with so much of what I hear and see around me these days—even things from believers in Jesus.  Things that are so biblically unsound and yet believers jump on the bandwagon because things “sound” good and seems to make sense in our culture gone askew.  Things like “I don’t have to put up with____”, “get rid of _______ kind of people in your life”, “follow your heart”, and I could go on; but the point is believers in, and followers of Jesus are called to walk to the beat of a different drum, not the human heart or human wisdom and ideas.  You can choose to go your own way, but the consequence won’t please you.

The heart is deceitful

above all things,

and desperately wicked:

who can know it?

10 I the LORD

search the heart,

I try the reins,

even to give every man

according

to his ways,

and according

to the fruit of his doings.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10

Paul makes it clear to the Galatian believers as well as to us, that we have the freedom to choose, but there is a consequence to every choice; and while we are free to choose our own way, we are not free to set the consequences of our choices.  God has made HIS way clear in His Word, and if we will but seek HIS face through HIS WORD, we will find the wisdom to live godly and discerning lives.  Let’s see what Jeremiah has to say.

Blessed is the man

that trusteth in the LORD,

and whose hope

the LORD is.

8 For he shall be as a tree

planted by the waters,

and that spreadeth out

her roots by the river,

and shall not see

when heat cometh,

but her leaf

shall be green;

and shall not be careful

in the year of drought,

neither shall cease

from yielding fruit.”   Jeremiah 17:7-8

Living in Oklahoma, this passage is so picturesque—for we see droughts and heat and, what I call ‘brown outs’ when the vegetation all turns brown from the heat and lack of water.  God had Jeremiah remind us that when we walk in God’s ways, and trust to HIS care and HIS ways, we will be like that “tree planted by the waters”!  Being originally from Alabama, where trees are abundant and droughts rare, I learned pretty quickly that if you see trees in southwest Oklahoma, you can know there is water nearby.  Even the Psalmist used this same example of the godly.  Will you be one that spreads out and grows in grace and truth and ceases not “from yielding fruit”, or will you cave to the pressures of the evil day around us?

Blessed is the man

that walketh not in the counsel

of the ungodly,

nor standeth

in the way of sinners,

nor sitteth

in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight

is in the law of the LORD;

and in his law

doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree

planted by the rivers of water,

that bringeth forth his fruit

in his season;

his leaf also

shall not wither;

and whatsoever he doeth

shall prosper.”  Psalm 1:1-3

We have the freedom to choose, but we must decide whom we want to please and be aligned with?  Do we want to dwell in the presence of The Lord Jesus and our Father God (by the power of His Holy Spirit), or will we settle for the lies of the enemy and live in the “pig pen”?  Jesus is so often misrepresented today, He is passed off as a “genie” who will grant all your ‘wishes’ and make your life a ‘garden party’; rather than as The Redeemer of men, women, boys and girls who will receive HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice by repentance and faith.  Jesus came to die for my sin—how could I repay Him with any less than total devotion and allegiance to Him and His Word!

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?”   Matthew 16:24-26

We must stop measuring things by what the world thinks is good, and measure instead by God’s Word. (Period!). Satan has always been a master of deceit and we need to be aware of this truth—it is so serious that Paul mentions it twice in just a few verses of Ephesians 6.

Put on the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to stand

against the wiles of the devil..

…. 13 Wherefore take unto you

the whole armour of God,

that ye may be able to withstand

in the evil day,

and having done all,

to stand.”  Ephesians 6:10 & 13

And with all my heart, I believe we are in “the evil day” and we must prepare to stand!  Jesus also warned us that we would face what HE faced—opposition, ridicule, spite and rejection; what will you do when righteousness brings the despite of others?

These things I command you,

that ye love one another.

18 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.”  John 15:17-21

The question is simple (but not easy), do you want to please Jesus and be in HIS Kingdom, or would you rather join the world and “know not him that sent me”?  And those of us who belong to Jesus need to remember that we are called to do things God’s way—not men’s!  And in my heart and mind I truly believe that Jesus has made that plain!

For the preaching of the cross

is to them that perish foolishness;

but unto us which are saved

it is the power of God…

20 Where is the wise?

where is the scribe?

where is the disputer of this world?

 hath not God made foolish

the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God

the world by wisdom

knew not God,

it pleased God

by the foolishness of preaching

to save them that believe

…. 23 But we preach Christ crucified,

unto the Jews a stumblingblock,

and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called,

both Jews and Greeks,

Christ the power of God,

and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God

is wiser than men;

and the weakness of God

is stronger than men.”  Portions of 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

All power is given unto me

in heaven

and in earth.

19 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 28:18-20

There is a way

that seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 16:25

Consider these things and what we learn from them:

God chose the “foolishness of preaching”—

To save souls and change lives—

Not plans—

Not programs—

Not marketing strategies—

Not worldly entertainment–

Not circuses—

Not parades—

Not activity—

Nor ease—or excuses—or compromise–

Jesus said, “All power is given unto me” —

And because of HIS power, He told us to:

GO—or literally “as you go”—

TEACH—share HIS truth from HIS truth—

 Who—all nations–

BAPTIZE—bring others to identify with HIM

 TEACH— (the second mention)—instruct—

What—to observe HIS commands—

HIS WORD—

IN HIS POWER

For HE would be “with you always”!

The Psalmist reminds us, and may we let it resound over and over again in our hearts, that there is a way that “seemeth right unto a man” but it will never end well!  We must decide if we want to go God’s way, our own way, or the way of the world; the Proverbs say it best, in one of my favorite passages.

Trust in the LORD

with all thine heart;

and lean not unto

thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways

acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise

in thine own eyes:

fear the LORD,

and depart from evil.”  Proverbs 3:5-7

There’s that “evil” again—oh how much we have been misled and often outright deceived into using the plans of man to operate the church as a business or organization, rather than an organism—The body of Christ!  I believe God makes it clear that HIS Word settles it all—not popular vote!

For ever, O LORD,

thy word is settled in heaven.

90 Thy faithfulness

is unto all generations:

thou hast established the earth,

and it abideth.”  Psalm 119:89-90

Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Even when Peter and John were brought before the religious leaders of Israel, they proclaimed the truth of the Gospel of Jesus—no more, no less. Only Jesus—He saves, He secures, He sends, He supplies, He sustains!  He anoints, He adds, He orders the steps of HIS own! But it must be HIS way not our own!

Be it known unto you all,

and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him doth this man stand here

before you whole.

11 This is the stone

which was set at nought of you builders,

which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:10-12

Praising God,

and having favour with all the people.

And the Lord added to the church daily

such as should be saved.”  Acts 2:47

As we bring these thoughts to a close, I share another message of Jesus’—we must each decide if we will hear, heed and obey.

All things are delivered unto me

of my Father:

and no man knoweth the Son,

but the Father;

neither knoweth any man the Father,

save the Son,

and he to whomsoever

the Son will reveal him.

28 Come unto me,

all ye that labour

and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you,

and learn of me;

for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:27-30

Even as Jesus said earlier, we are to “Come unto me”, but to come to Jesus we must let go of self and receive HIS rest—not our own sufficiency; for it’s all about Jesus—not man’s ways, man’s philosophy, nor man’s programs but God’s gospel—God’s way—for God’s glory and the transformation of lives today!  I pray that you hear my heart for Jesus!  He is coming soon, and I pray that you are ready!  Jesus still saves and changes lives today—by HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice at Calvary!  May we be found faithfully proclaiming HIS truth—HIS way!

And they continued

stedfastly

in the apostles’ doctrine

and fellowship,

and in breaking of bread,

and in prayers.”  Acts 2:42

May we be found faithful!

Amen and Amen!!!