Thursday, June 5, 2014

ARE YOUR READY ?

God's Love is so real
God's Love is so real (Photo credit: jubileelewis)
Author Guardian


Lord we give this time to you now in Jesus name

Now you may find this study disturbing, it might stir you, it may not be what you expect, but these studies are not intended to lure you into a false security or show Christianity as an easy road, these studies are intended to get people thinking and to stir people.

So why do I put " Conditional, Unconditional Love "

Well its not good enough to say " God loves me " no matter what

Do you think God loves satan ? he may not like what he does, in fact He hates what he does, but do you think the God of love who is love and cannot be anything else but love suddenly changes to a God of hate ?

God hates sin but loves the sinner and its not good enough to say " God loves me "

For as we go on into this relationship it requires more than just " God loves me "

Would you marry the one you love and then expect things to be the same as the relationship goes on ? it has requirements !! therefore I say " Unconditional, Conditional Love "

God might love you but to experience this love you need to turn to Him , which means to repent and repentance as you walk on in this love of God comes with a cost, otherwise the love of God would be known by unbelievers and believers alike and there would be no need for any walk or any relationship or repentance, thats why it is not good enough to say " God is love " therefore...

If this study stirs you ...then good, if you disagree with this message then has done what it was intended to do, lets now get onto the message

Romans 8

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ
Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?


We see predestination once again and we have a question to answer what should we say in response to verse 31 ?

And it God continues by asking ..." If I am for you then who can be against you ? " against us"


Some read this verse and see it as saying, " If God is for us then no one can be against us"


But its actually God asking us a question " WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU ? "

And I find myself answering, " The world, The enemy, Anyone ? "

God is asking us that question and causing us to consider what we have in Him !!

Again and again God asks questions for us to consider an answer back to Him

." You are predestined, called , chosen and justified, so who can bring a charge against you ? "

And I find myself saying " The world , the enemy, my enemies and even those close to me may be my enemies at times "

This causes me to ask " So who is for me then ? what have I got ? "

Then God asks another question

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

34Who is he that condemns?

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Here God fires 7 questions at us and asks us to consider the answer in the light of His word

Many today know " If God is for us who can be against us " as if to say no one and nothing can be against us , because we have God He will protect us and shelter us and nothing will come against us !!

well that is a lie of the enemy, we only have to look at Pauls life
to see that,beaten, shipwrecked ,imprisoned and shall we go on ?


God does protect and shelter but a child will never grow if it is always sheltered and protected , sooner or later the child has to learn

In the letter Paul wrote here to the Church in Rome is about " Salvation to all "

Its about being saved by grace which is not earned neither is it bought, this letter is about faith, faith in God COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD ...COMPLETE TRUST IN CHRIST AND HIS FINISHED WORK

We are " NOT GUILTY " this letter is about complete submission to Christ

And so lets go through the seven questions and see what response we might have ?

1.
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this?

2.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

3.

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also,
along with him, graciously give us all things?

4.

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

5.

34Who is he that condemns?

6.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

7.
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

What were your answers to the questions posed by God ?

Here God is speaking through Paul and Paul knew of these hardships, this is why God spoke through Paul in this way


You see we have the paradox of paradoxes here

Even thougb we have danger and flood and threat and disaster and enemies against us we look above those things to Christ who has set us above

We look to the goal ahead and we press on because we take the word of God and we believe in faith and acting upon that faith we look above those things that would seek to drag us down

we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, as we walk in his will , as we walk according to His purposes, as we walk in Him ,as we seek Him, as we fit into His plans, as we walk in the Spirit, as we walk day by day, as we seek to the the work that He has prepared in advance for us to do ....

You see that part is important, and again we see a scripture that is often used but people seem to miss out the end part, they remember ..we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

But they forget the end part , and its the same with the verse that reads " If God is for us who can be against us ? "

Now lets actually look at a few paraphrases and translations for Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 (The Message)

26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He
knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Romans 8:28 (Amplified Bible)

28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.


You see He called us according to His plan, He has great plans for us and He wants good for us, but do we always walk according to His plan that He has for us ?

He predestined us and called us and walked before us and justified us and glorified us

IT IS FINISHED....

He planned each day, He prepared each day before we even walked it, He prepared in advance those things that we might wlak with Him and that we would fit into His plans according to the purposes that He has for us

And we find that even when the sword or the famine or the beatings come that things work out together for good in the end becaseu we are fitting into His plans for us

Paul was doing what God wanted, Paul was following the Spirit and listening to God and walking by faith day by day and he came across hardships and imprisonment and beatings and sword and even though he came accross these things he looked on towwards the goal before him because these momentary afflictions that he called them were nothing compared to to glory to come


Lets look at some paradoxes

And we see that "Salvation is free and yet it comes with a cost"

We say, " Gods unconditional love " and yet it has conditions ...

We read 2 God works for good " and yet at the time we see no good

We read ," If God is for us, who can be against us?" and we find a great number against us

Nothing is actually free in the world, love is not free, everything comes with a cost

You might fall in love with some one but once you begin to walk with that person you find a cost involved, who would build a house without first counting the cost ?

What is the cost of being a Christian ? well everything, your life...

People say " unconditional love " and yet it has conditions, one is that you "repent"

You see its not good enough to say " God loves me "

God is love and loves everyone, do you think God does'nt love satan ?

He hates what he does, but do you think in this instance that God turns to hate ?

Once we begin to walk in relationship that love develops and requires more

Therefore I say " Conditional, Unconditional Love.

Repenting comes with a cost, it means to turn around at the time of salvation and to walk the other way, a gradual turning.......

Its costly...it hurts...it might mean giving up things ...it might mean loosing a love..

It might even mean dividing from people or friends and having a new family...

This " Unconditional " love of God has conditions, yes He loves us, He loves us even when we are dead in our sins, He loves us even when we might not want to know Him.

He loves us when we walk with Him , He loves us no matter what, this is unconditional love

Becasue God is love, He cannot be anything else

BUT do we walk in His love ? have we repented ? have we turned ? have we Christ in us ?

Have we God in us ? have we sought to walk with God and fit into His plans according to His purposes ?

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those...WHO LOVE HIM,...


Once you become a Christian you enteer into a whole new realm , into a whole new spiritual arena, into a whole new life, things that once were acceptable may no longer be acceptable.

Things that once were habits might be sin to the convicted, things that were once accepted as " just a way of life " can become a hindrance, things that were seen as "normal"
may become a trap to the Christian, when we become Christians a whole new life starts to unfold before us, becaseu we are no longer walking in the ways we once walked but we are now walking in those things that God has pre planned and preapred for us

We may nopt alwasy see good in things that happen to us, but if we look above these things and to Christ THEN we can say " IF GOD IS FOR ME WHO CAN BE AGAINST ME "

For even though it sems as if everything is against us we know that God is working alongside us and that the work is finished and being finshed, salvation has come and yet we are being saved, the work is done and yet there is work to do

In this unconditional love that has conditions we turn and repent not just at salvation but often and put down anything that may hinder us

Renpetance is not just at salvation , repentance is an ongoing thing

And so even when Paul wa sbeaten and lain on the ground He could see Christ

Even when peter was being stoned to death he could look upo and see Christ

Even when Jesus Hmself was on the Cross He could say " Father forgive them "

And so we come back to Psalm 31

And we go onto Cross references which is the theme for this series once a month

Psalm 31:5 and again lets look at this verse in different paraphrases and translations


Psalm 31:5 (New Century Version)

5 I give you my life.Save me, Lord, God of truth.

Psalm 31:5 (The Message)


3-5 You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb.Be my safe leader,
be my true mountain guide.Free me from hidden traps;I want to hide in you. I've put my life in your hands.You won't drop me,you'll never let me down.

Psalm 31:5 (King James Version)

5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

You see Jesus is our fruit, He is our gift, He is our armour, He is our belt of truth, He is our shield, He is our Helmet of salvation, He is our breastplate of righteouness, He is our sword, he is our shoes to preach the gospel.

In Him is truth and this truth can only be found AS WE WALK WITH HIM

I put an emphasis on AS WE WALK WITH HIM

All things work together for good for those who LOVE HIM (AND WALK ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSES) (EMPHASIS )

If God is for us who can be against us ? you see if you are called and have repented and are walking in Him THEN you will come up against an enemy... for why would an enemy attack those who are already dead in there sins ? and yet He attacks those who are dead to the world, that He might draw then back inot the world, that they may once again have spiritual blindness

He wants to cover up a Christians eyes so that they canot see the goal, he wants to stop the Christian believer from seeing past these afflictions, he wants us to aim the sword back at God, he wants confusion, he seeks to divide and dirupt the brethren, he seeks
to cause dishamony, he is clever and very subtle

he seeks to destroy the works of God and hates Christians because you have the very life of Christ in you

he seeks to stop you seeing above the troubles and tribulations and to pull you down

he seeks to stop you so that you cannot see the risen Lord, he seeks to destroy you and he will use anything or anyone he can

BUT we have one that is greater and bigger than all of this so that in the midst of the trouble , in the midst of the storm , in the midst of the shipwreck, we can call on the name of the Lord and say " If God is for me who can be against me "

This is when we use that scripture

Not when all is right with the world and in harmony and we think that nothing can come up agaisnt us and we believe that God is for us and its all blessing and blessing and lalala

Its when we are in the midst of the strom as Paul was on the ship and he heard above the storm and heard God sopeak and spoke what God had told him and the ship was saved and everyuone
aboard that ship was saved becaseu Paul looked beyond and even then the serpent bit him once on shore but even thenm Paul fluung the serpent off because Paul was walking in God and the
enemy could not touch him, even though the enemy had casued the storm

Do you see the paradox ?

And so in Psalm 31 we

Psalm 31:5 (King James Version)

5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.


He has redeemd us form the pit of hell and we commit our Spirit o him

3 times mentioned ...once here in Psalm 31, again as Peter is stoned and again on the Cross


7 Questions are posed in Romans..

Can you answer those questions ?

David himself had many enemies, we see enemies mentioned again and again all through the Psalms

We looked previously at how David was marching and dancing into the City before the Ark

Suddenly he saw above the situatiuons and circumstances and he just wanted to dance, he was taken above the place where he was and he was lifted up, and he could not contain himself, he simply wanted to dance into the city

And we shall dance into the city and we dance into the City fgor God has goiven us a new song, which is the song of salvation, Jesus put this song into our hearts that we might rejoice even
though things come against us

One theme that comes acrross here is TRUST, HOPE, LOVE

And we finish with this scripture

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Jesus is coming, in fact He is in us and we in Him and we shall be with Him and He with us



Are we ready ? are we walking in Him ? are we seeking Him ? are we filled with Him ?

Are we waiting and ready and walking in those things that He has prepared ?

Or are we as the ones who went back to fill their lamps ? only once they had seen the groom ?

All things work together for those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose.

Not those who walk around the outside waiting for proof,

Maybe we could see it like this ...

If God is IN us who can be against us ?

Well who was against David ? who was against Jesus ? who was aginst Peter ?

But we who are dead to the world are alive in Christ and nothing can take way Christ the HOPE of glory


You know love is one of the most costly things ? many flit from one relationship to another avoiding commitment avoiding this love that is free but has a cost, as if the cost is to be avoided, so many seem to want love without the cost

Love when first found is free but then as the relationship develops becomes one of the most costly of things, costing your time, your heart , your money, your emotions, your everything, ...how much more so the Love of God ?

Salvaton is free, God love is free, but it also demands our life, our soul, our life..

Do you know that Christians can be blinded ? again another scripture that is well used reads, 2 Corinthians 4:4 (Amplified Bible)

4For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.


Some believers say that we should pray that the eyes of the world would be opened and that the blindness be taken away

But Christians can be blinded

Well the enemy can also put up wave upon wave of doubt and confusion and we can loose hope and loose trust and loose harmony

The enmy can put up wall upon wall of troubles and actually try to deceive us

Where the Christian can loose hope ..

he can blind the eyes of the believer by putting up wave upon wave of things to distract and to take our eyes off the saviour

You say where does it say that in scripture ? where does it say Christians can be blinded ?

Well it does'nt but you only have to look at example after example to see that it can happen

We see Peter walking out on the water and Jesus walking towrds him and as the waves are lapping up and down the enemy puts up a wave or wall so that peter no longer see's Jesus
but the wave of doubt and peter begins to sink into the wave

But we are to look above the storm and above the wave and above the surrounding circumstances and situations and once we see God as bigger and greater than the storm we can begin to walk on that water of Faith and rise above the storm

Look at the Church of laodicea,wretched, pitiful, poor, BLIND and naked.

They had been blinded by wealth , by material things, by the world,

They said in their hearts " we do not need for anything "

the enemy can blind us and not just the unbeliever

we can become lukewarm, we can loose our first love, we can doubt and loose hope

We need not just to pray that the world would see and be released from the blindness

But we also need to pray that the Church might rise up above the storm and the waves and the walls that are put up and that some who have fallen asleep in their faith would wake up

Sleeping Christianity is blind, for who can see with the eyes closed ?

Are we ready ?


And we finish with this scripture

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So what is the message here ? ...

The message is that we can become secure and safe and huddle up and fall asleep..

Like Lazarus we need the shout at the door to wake us up..

Like the bridesmaids who went back once the door was opened to fill their lamps, but when they returned it was too late...

Are we ready ? you see if God is for us who can be against us ? we can be our own worst enemies at times ? being asleep when Christ knocks can be against us...



35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?...........we can.

Repeat these words with me and lets stay awake and ready

Lord God maker of heaven and earth, King and dweller in me, wake me up and let me be found going about your business and your work, regardless of what others might think or say let
me do only that which pleases you,I repent time and time again and turn to you, fill me with your Holy Spirit and send wave upon wave of your boldness to preach the gospel and to see you lead others to yourself, wkae me up Lord from my slumber and let me arise from my slumber but be seen in your rest In Jesus Name Amen



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THE CEDARS OF LEBANON AND THE OAKS OF BASHAN,Psalm 29-31

Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar: Zarándoklás a cédru...
Csontváry Kosztka Tivadar: Zarándoklás a cédrusokhoz Libanonban (1907) 198*192 - Magyar Nemzeti Galéria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
THE CEDARS OF LEBANON AND THE OAKS OF BASHAN

Author Guardian

Psalm 29-31,

THE CEDARS OF LEBANON AND THE OAKS OF BASHAN

Lord God In Jesus name let your powerful and mighty word speak now in Jesus name amen

Now we are going to look at three portions of Gods word to begin with and then we shall go to Psalms, these words or portions , came to me over the last week and they seem to go together and you will see how as we go .

I had no idea at the time of typing how these
three things brought to mind would come together and as usually happens , only after
typing is the message revealed

So lets look firstly at the three portions of scripture, or snapshots.

If I were to say to another Christian " A Christian friend I Know is going to marry a prostitute....what do you think they would say ?

Its sounds a bit unscriptural does'nt it ?

"Marry a prostitute ? " they would say, " why " and " thats not scriptural, thats not what God would want ? " how do you believe people would react ?


First we look to Hosea chapter 1

Many see Hosea as a minor prophet but I see him as a major prophet, why ? because he did'nt just speak out the words given to him by God , but he lived them

This was a major thing, not a minor thing

Hosea Heard God speak and did what he heard, in fact Hosea's whole life would have been changed

You know how life can change when you meet someone ? you know that you have to start
to change your life pattern to encompass that person ? you start to realise that your life is changing and that you no longer live for yourself ? but you now have to think about the other person ?

Imagine for one moment hearing God speak to you and He tells you to marry a prostitute ?

He tells you who to marry and gives you the name and you know that this person is
sharing their body with other people !!

How do you think you would feel ?

To know that you are going to live and sleep and talk and walk with that person day by day and share your life with them and know that it is not just you but you are sharing this person with many many other folk !!

And so the word of the Lord came to Hosea and he was told to marry a prostitute

Some translations put gomer as “a wife of harlotry” (RSV), “a harlot wife” (NAB),
or simply “a whore”

In other other words she was unfaithful and had many men and many relationships

Now you may think "Why did God tell Hosea to marry a harlot ? "

And so Hosea went and found himself a wife of reputation, a whore, a harlot, a prostitute.

He married this woman " Gomer " and they had children...the first child was named
Jezreel.

And then Gomer the wife of Hosea and of many bore a daughter and they named her
Loruhamah and Loruhamah when the time had come and she conceievd bore a child
named Loammi, for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; !!

OOooooo what a divorce


O you see what a major thing Hosea did to marry Gomer, imagine having your life changed like this, Imagine having your name dragged through the mud, Imagine what people must have said !! , imagine what people must have thought ?

Imagine your name being associated with Gomer !! imagine the turmoil in your mind as you give away your life to Gomer.. knowing that you are sharing your body with others ?

Do you really believe Gomer changed ? when married ? do you really believe that her
children where children of Hosea ? or were they children of another ?

I wonder if Gomer ever changed ? I wonder if God was able to bring forth children from another ? I wonder if after all this children were born from another as numerous as the sands on the shore and as the stars in the sky ?

What a major prophet was Hosea to give his life like this ? because God told him to
and to put up for the rest of his life with the sneers and the rejection from others

I wonder how this would go down in our modern day Church or Christian lifes ?

doing something that means being rejected not just by friends and family but by your
Christian fellow friends because " God told you too "

And yet here was Hosea married to Gomer a reflection of peoples hearts, a reflection
of the house of Israel, a reflection and mirror of what was going on deep down in peoples hearts and lifes and not so deep in others, in fact open worship of gods made of wood and stone

Here was Hosea being a mirror image to the nation of Israel, I bet he was popular ?

" O look...theres Hosea, thats what I have inside me . looks ugly doesn't it ? "

God had cried out time and time again " REPENT...TURN...COME BACK TO ME "

You see God was married to the nation of Israel and Israel was married to God ...

But they committed adultery in their hearts and looked away from their partner

They were harlots and whores seeking to find love in the wrong places...

They sought after all kinds of partners, all kinds of gods, all kinds of gods of the heart.

Their hearts were not for God , their hearts were rejecting God, their hearts were far from God, their hearts were committing adultery and seeking relationships elsewhere

Psalms 29:5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh
the cedars of Lebanon.

And so God was looking at divorce, God could not see any relationship, the people were not talking to Him but talking to others, Gods heart was broken, Gods sought them but they did not seek Him,

Whats the use of being married ..if your partner does'nt talk to you and does'nt want to know you and does'nt seem to care and goes after others ? when your partner commits adultery again and again and again and again

When your partner in life ...the person you are married to , seeks other partners and you have to share your bed ? when you have to share your partner with others ?

But this is exactly what the nation of Israel was doing and this is exactly what Gomer was doing, Hosea and his relationship with Gomer was the reflection and mirror of God and the house of Israel

The nation of Israel was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked before God

God could see beyond the exterior walls of peoples temples, beyond the outward
appearances and He could see into the lifes of every single person and every single heart and He saw them as wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked

I don;'t imagine Gomer stopped sleeping around anymore than the nation of Israel stopped committing adultery and anymore than some even now in this day and age seek after false gods of the heart

And I wonder if after a while God says " I want divorce ?"

Hosea 1:4 and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.

Hosea 1:5 I will break the bow of Israel

Hosea 1:6 for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel

Hosea 1:7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah

This sounds like a kind of cutting in half doesn't it ?

You see God will never leave us nor forsake us, but we can leave God

Judges 9:15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king
over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come
out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

You may say " well this is spiritual adultery "

" This does'nt apply to me "

Well is there any difference ? can you think of one of the ten commandments you have
not broken ?

You see we as Christians are married to God, we are married to Jesus Christ. we as a
Church are the " Bride of Christ " and He is the husband and God is looking for a wife who is faithful and He is preparing a place for us in His house so that when the Son...the groom comes by night to call out to His bride, the bride will be ready and prepared

Has there ever been a time when our hearts have wandered ? has there ever been a time
when we have looked in other places ? have our hearts always been for God ...

Have we looked at another with lust in our eyes ? have we worshipped other gods of house of home or husband or wife or children of money or work or false security ?

Have we lusted after things that others have or have we put anything above our husband who is Jesus ?

Then we have fallen at the first hurdle of the ten commandments

But we can also turn back and start again, we all wander off from time to time and we all get distracted from time to time and all of us have wandered away from time to time and we are all reminded that we live by grace and grace alone and if it were not for grace then none of us could stand

But what if we went completely away and continued not only to walk away but to seek others ? what if after time and time again we continue to reject our husband and our relationship ?

I wonder if God will go on for good calling to us to come back ?

I wonder if God might at some point " divorce us ? "

Some may say " Once saved always saved " well read the above and consider this
--------------------------

Now we turn to the second part of the message....


What if a Christian friend were to tell you that He or she were not the people you thought they were ? that in fact they had been in relationships with many and had forsaken their love ? what if you found out that indeed your friend rather than being married and faithful was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked

That they indeed were indeed something quite different to what we imagined and that they
had lost their first love for their partner ? and had committed adultery with many others ?

What if they told you that because of their unfaithfulness their partner was going to throw them out of their home and out of their lifes ?

What if your friend is a Christian and being married to God they were unfaithful and they committed adultery with others and shared God with others and you played the " spiritual harlot " with God ?

What if God were to say to them " I'm going to spit you out of my mouth" ?

What if God were to say to them " I'm going to spit you out of my heart " ?

What if God were to say to them " I'm going to spit you out of eternity " ?

Does that sound unscriptural ? you might say " that does'nt sound like the
loving God that I know ?"

This sounds like a kind of cutting in half doesn't it ?

It sounds like some will not go on into the wedding feast, !!

The Church of laodicea

I've had this on my layed on my heart since last week and a message was given at our Church service and it was about the Church of Laodicea

The message given was quite different to these words and I am simply taking the title and transferring what God was saying to me

Do you know that name can mean "people's opinions" or "people judged". ?


Laodicea was rich, prosperous, it looked good on the outside, decent, it had all the
trappings of wealth, it may well have been seen as " blessed of God "

Respectable, well thought of, a rich banking center, a prosperous community, a community thriving

It even had two pipelines that ran to it, one pumping hot water , the other pumping cold water, the people had hot and cold running water in that place, the only problem was that by the time the hot water reached its destination it was lukewarm and by the time the cold water reached its destination it had heated up and become lukewarm

and so we read revelations, which was the scripture read out this morning

Rev 3:14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

16 So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out
of my mouth.

17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But
you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

THE MODERN DAY LAODICEANS

God see's right deep down into every heart, there is nothing that can be hidden, God can see behind the respectable lifes of people and right deep down into the innermost motives and thoughts and intentions, He can see into our lifes and hearts

He looked at the people of Laodicea and He saw past the exterior gloss and the false
walls

And He saw right into their very beings, and He saw then as naked, pitiful, poor, and
wretched, and they needed salve to put on their eyes so that they could see

God knocks at the door of the hearts of the modern day Laodiceans "people's opinions
" or "people judged"

And He tells them to repent....to repent means to change, it means to "turn around "

It means to let go of self perceived respectable opinions produced by pride,

It means that when GOD see's the heart change and is invited into the repentant heart, He will fellowship and commune.

Verse 19 If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

God looks instead at the poor man, the beggar on the street corner, the lame man, the
prostitute, the deaf and mute, the person who's heart is right with Him, the person who comes to Him with openess and with a seeking heart

THIS is what God looks at,

And so we see a kind of divide, like a kind of separation, like a kind of divorce, like a kind of cutting in half !!

As God the Husband looks on and keeps knocking at the hearts of people...

As God the Husband looks on and keeps knocking at the door of the heart day after day..

Saying " SPEAK TO ME, TALK TO ME, WHERE IS YOUR LOVE , WHERE IS THE
RELATIONSHIP, YOU ARE MINE AND I AM YOURS AND YET YOU HAVE BEEN
UNFAITHFUL AND YOU HAVE TURNED AROUND AND HAVE NOT COME BACK
TO ME AND YOU PERSIST IN GOING AFTER OTHER LOVES "

You see God will never forsake us, or leave us, but we can leave Him

Isaiah 10:33-34 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with
terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall
be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and
Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.

And the hot and cold supply of water to the Laodiceans was a kind of reflection
or mirror of the peoples hearts, the lukewarm water supply reflected the hearts
of the people, it was a kind of symbol

And In the same way as Hosea was a reflection of the nation of Israel and their
relationship to God , so too the lukewarm supply to the Laodicean community
was a reflection of the peoples hearts

I wonder if at some stage God might just say " Divorce " you have divorced me....

Some may say " Once saved always saved " well read the above and consider this

---------------------------


Now to the third part of the message

We looked into this in the last nurture group study and we looked at how David
sought after God and we noted how solomon sought after God at a time when he
needed the wisdom that God was about to give him

In other words he spoke in Gods will or saw Gods heart and sought after Gods heart
in matters of judgement to rule and to govern and this was seen as wisdom , the wisdom
of God, to know Gods heart and to see beyond mans vision

So what do you think about sawing a baby in half ?

Does'nt sound very sciptural does it ?

Sounds a bit unscriptural to me...

But we read in 1 Kings 3:16-28 about two prostitutes arguing over a baby !!

Who did the baby belong too ?

What would the King decide ?

"CUT THE BABY IN HALF" He cried...

"No cried the real mother "

And so the real mother was reunited with her baby

-------------------

Now to psalms 29,30 and 31

We read in Psalm 29:5 how the Lord splits (divides) the mighty cedars

You see David wrote this Psalm when he dedicated a threshing floor
which was to become a Temple

Then we have solomons Temple..

The Cedar having been brought low and cut , is made into a temple of praise to worship and glorify God,

You see not all bad things that seem bad are bad, some bad things are actually good and some good things are bad for us

You might wonder why certain things happen to you, you might wonder why God allows these things, you might wonder if He really cares, but in the cutting down and rebuilding of your life you are being made into the person God wants you to be, testimony and witness

In the dividing not all are made into a Temple of praise as we looked earlier some choose to divorce God and so we have the dividing


Lets look at some scripture


1 Kings 5:5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my
God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set
upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.

1 Kings 6:9-10 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house
with beams and boards of cedar. And then he built chambers against all the
house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.



Ezekiel 17:22-23 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest
branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of
his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and
eminent:

In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall
bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall
dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they
dwell.

Numbers 24:6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's
side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees
beside the waters.

Isaiah 2:13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up,
and upon all the oaks of Bashan,

Isaiah 10:33-34 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with
terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall
be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and
Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.

Numbers 24:6 As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's
side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees
beside the waters.


Now lets finish by looking at Psalm 31:5-6

And we finish with these words

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD

Where in Gods word do you see these words repeated ?

Into your hands I commit my spirit......

Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my
spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

And Acts 7:59 59And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit.

You see we need complete trust in Father God to enable Him !!

We do not rely on human resources and gods of the heart, but we rely and completely
put our trust in God, utter dependence, that takes trust, to be cut down and used as
a Temple to worship Him

We have two divides, a split, depend and trust in Him in your marriage or divorce Him

Lets pray

Lord God your voice echoes above the seas of people, your voice can be heard in the
thunders and your glory in the lightning bolts, you split and you divide the thoughts and motives of the heart.

No one can hide from you neither run from you or escape you, though they hide in the
mountains and in the caves, you are there and know their comings and their goings, when
they rise and when they sit, you know their thoughts from afar, and even before the
thought enters their mind

You run to the one who runs to you and you chase after the ones who run from you, you know all things and no one can hide from your glory and from your light and your light reveals all that might hide in the darkness

Not a visible light like the sun , but a light that exposes and is Holy, a light that
infiltrates everything and brings anything and everything to the surface

Lord let us choose to be the trees by the waters that are Temples of praise and are
found to be ready and not ones who have gone and are left outside

Lord we entrust our lifes to you now

Our Husband we trust in you

In Jesus name amen


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

JESUS THE HIGH TOWER,NAME ABOVE ALL,

English: Christ Church Tower
English: Christ Church Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Author Guardian


Psalm 27 (New International Version)

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, [a]
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.


King Solomon desired wisdom and asked for wisdom, that was Gods wisdom above all else, Solomon still made mistakes, Solomon was still a man in flesh and blood,

Solomon still fell and stumbled as any person, but God gave him the wisdom he sought, not a worldly wisdom but a Godly wisdom

And as well as this God blesses solomon and gave him far more, he sought after God and God gave him wisdom , this wisdom that Solomon sought was an anointing , an ability, because when God calls you into something God will also give you the ability to do it !!

You may not be aware of any abilities, you may never have had this ability before

You may never have walked in this area of ministry before

But if God has appointed you in the place you are in, He will also give you an ability to do the works that He has prepared in advance for you to do

You see we can spend our whole lifes searching in the wrong places, we can spend our whole lifes reaching out for the wrong things, we can spend our entire lifes doing good things and helping and being what we perceive as Good.

But it can be all futile , foolishly chasing the wind, it can account for nothing

For even our good deeds are as filthy rags to God

We can never earn our salvation, as if we could run up to the City Gates and to the elders of one of the cities of refuge and say " I have done this and this "

In the end is about seeking a relationship with God and seeking His heart.

The greatest gift is love and the greatest gift is God who is love and we seek Him above all gifts and all things and we seek first the Kingdom of God, where God is King of the City and everything else will be added to us

Matthew 6:33 (King James Version)

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you

The wisdom Solomon sought while he was talking to God and in relationship with God and seeking after God was an ability to do that which God had called him to do

Solomon was seeking Gods heart at that time and found himself in a place where he was King after his father David and he probably felt very unable and vunerable

He may have felt " I CAN'T DO THIS "

You may find yourself in a very lonely and solitary,secluded place,

A place where after that all you can do is to seek God !!

You may not be able to turn to this person and that person for help because .....They are looking to you...

Solomon I imagine felt quite inadequate and unable in the position that he had been placed in this Kingdom

I wonder who Solomon went too when he wanted someone to talk to ?

Solomons heart was saying " I need help here, I can't rule these people, I can't decide between right and wrong and settle disputes, how will I do it ? "

The wisdom solomon was seeking was a heart of God in matters of judgement

As God had placed him in this position so Solomon sought to have the ability even though it was already given him, God gave him more than and in abundance

Basically this widom that Solomon sought was Gods heart, Solomon was after Gods heart at this time, the wisdom that was given was not a wisdom of the world

Indeed the wisdom Solomon was given was a wisdom of God that is foolishness to the world and its values

You see all too often we see things as the world does even in Christian circles

We might judge by worldy values and see things in the worldly perspective

But God is far more intersted in us and what is going on inside of us

He is interested in building our character to be more like Him rather than the turmoil that is going on around us

He is more interested in how we react to people and troubles we go through far more than He is about the troubles

He is in command of the storms, but is He in command of the heart ?

He may say " Peace be still " but are we in His rest ?

If we are at rest in the storm of life, then I wonder if we notice when the storm abates ?

You see Gods wisdom took this people through a desert wilderness where no one had ever entered before, it brought the chosen people of God into danger facing enemies and foes far greater

How mad to send humans into a desert without enough supplies and water ?

This is God wisdom, not looking at the things around and the circumstance but looking into the peoples hearts as they journeyed on through the desert

The wisdom of God is a foolish thing to the mind of an unbeliever

And so Solomon sought at this point after Gods heart in the matter


But of course others sought after Solomon and elevated him above God

1 Kings 10:24

All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.

Be aware and careful

The Wisdom that Solomon sought was to decide on matters concerning the people under his Kingship and God had placed Solomon under His authority

Did Solomon always walk after Gods heart ? no

And so we turn to King David who sought more than anything to worship and dwell in Gods prescence, seeking after Gods own heart in matters

David loved Gods prescence in his life, He loved to worship God, above all else .

David sought after God even in the storms and troubles and in the good times

So that although the storm raged Davids heart was at peace, but not always was it ?

As I sought what to bring for this " Cross references" and nurture group message,

I had a picture of a man running a race and holding his arms up in triumph and shouting as he ran and around him was a crowd of onlookers, but the dominant thing was this man holding his arms up in excitement and shouting as he had finished the race

And so I have placed focus on the man and the race for this message...

And we are looking to Psalm 27 and 28 in our studies and we are have looked at how David entered the City of God and He danced before the Ark and before the Lord

And we notice that although we are saved we are being saved and will be saved

We notice that although we are still in our earthly bodies we are also seated in heavenly places

Although we are running the race, we have run the race...think about that

Although we are running to the City and seeking God above all else, we are aleardy in the City

Past,present,future...

Now lets go to basics, This message seems to be about " SEEKING GOD, ABOVE ALL ELSE"

We have noted that David and Solomon sought after Gods heart in matters

It never seems to be any good saying " God you do this and THEN I,ll do that "

" God you give me the monery to do that thing and THEN I,ll go "

" LORD , You give me the anointing FIRST, AND then "

"Lord , you give me the ability first and then"

More often it begins with seeking God and a relationship and after time and after time again, in Gods time when He knows you are ready and when all things are in place at His exact timing , He will lead you and you will be called to do a work

Although we are all in works, even what seems the simplest of tasks is training us for future things,

What may happen more often than not is that God will call us and THEN as we begin to do that task that may seem impossible, that maybe we have never done before,


that maybe we never though we would or could do ...as we begin to act on and move in Gods calling, THEN God gives us the ability

And so you see Solomon simply was listening to Gods heart at this time and responding, He was praying and asking and talking to God about something that God was already about to give or had already given

Solomon was praying in Gods will...

I hear stories of people being raised from the dead, I went recently to a bible week in the UK Called Detling where someone spoke about amazing things he had seen , and he was asked to shake the hands of a group of people

When he asked " who are these people "

He was told that they had been dead..in fact one had been dead for weeks but raised back to life

But you see the pastor had acted on what God had told him and God had brought revival to that area and around because of the miraculous things that had happened and these people are walking around now as living testimonies of what God can do


A fleece can be layed before God , so that you can ask God for conformation on something, we see that Gideon did this in Gods word

Be careful of this, do not do it unless you hear God tell you, remember this is about communication, you are responding to God in your heart as He talks to you


In Gods Kingdom you reach out first, you may look stupid..." ooo what if something goes wrong ? what if God does'nt answer ? what if ..what if ? "

In Gods Kingdom you do and God gives the ability, but you do..when Gods tells you

This is why it is only in relationship with God can we move

And so lets go to " Cross references "

Hebrews 12:1-3 (New International Version)

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles , and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,

1 Corinthians 9:24 (New International Version)

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

2 Timothy 2:5

Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the
victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

So we run on the narrow road leading to the City as sinners who are
saints saved by grace, although we are in the City and saved

We run towards the Holy City as saved, believing in Faith, and we follow the road signs that lead us to that City, and we know that we are found " NOT GUILTY " and we know that we will enter that City although we are already in it

And we go on by Faith knowing that when we reach the City Gates our judge who paid the price for our sins outside of the city will lead us in and welcome us, although we are already welcomed

The Alpha and Omego , at the beginning of time and at the ending of time , but going on before time and after time, the one who is and was and is to come , the past present and future King, He is in us

Deuteronomy 4:29 (New International Version)

29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Matthew 7:7 (New International Version)

Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)

6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because
anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


Isaiah 55:6 (New International Version)

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found call on him while he is near.

Luke 19:10 (New International Version)

10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Are you seeking after Gods will for your life ?

Has God shown you His will ?

If not then the time will come and you are being prepared

Seek His heart above all else

Do not give up but run the race and seek Him above all

Psalm 27:6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;

Do not be anxious about tomorrow but place these things in His hands, becasue He is more than able and will give you the ability to do that which He has prepared in advance for you to do

Fix your eyes on the Author and perfector of faith and put aside anything that hinders.

God works with you not against you, God works with us not against us, all things work together as we seek Him and are fitting into His plans

I say " I CAN'T DOO THISSSSS " God says " No I CANNNNNNNNNNNNN"

We talk to Father God and in the foolishness of faith we see and believe,

And we are reminded of Hebrews 11

And we move in the wisdom of God and in His ways which is foolishness to the world

And by this wisdom and faith Noah built an Ark having heard from God and acting on what he had heard even though it seemed madness to onlookers and even unbelievable to readers who read the story of Noah ,

How much faith and foolishness to do such a thing and be a laughing stock to those around ? and even some Today still mock in disbelief at this story of a man and an ark !!

You see He can do more than we can ever imagine because He is God and He can do ANYTHING

Our imaginations can never even dream up what God is able to do in us and with us and for us and around us

In this wisdom and foolishness of God and faith Sarah bore a child and Abraham believed,without medical assistance, without hospitals and nurses, Sarah bore a child...

By faith ..by faith..God does amazing things, and we can merely stand in awe

Now lets recap and take a step at a time

1.
We believe that Jesus Christ Is the Son Of God, He was born a virgin birth conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, we believe that He died for our sins,

We believe that He rose again and is alive at the Fathers right hand of power and He is our strong tower.

Our tower of strength in times of trouble and in times
of plenty. We also believe that we will be with Him and that this life is a training ground for future things

2.
We beleive He lives in Us and we believe that the Bible and the books contained are the very living words of the living God and that Jesus can live, reign ,have Kingship in our lifes and move and walk amongst us

3.
In this we talk to God the Father In Jesus name believing in Faith that He hears us and that He responds to our hearts , we walk in relationship with the Living God and in so doing we talk,listen,and act upon His word spoken to us through His word.

But also through people, His Holy Spirit voice and which ever way God chooses to speak to us, always confirming that which He has spoken in various ways

4.
In this relationship with God we walk day by day in faith one step at a time, and after a while and a while longer we begin to mature as Christ grows inside of us and the Father makes us more and more like the Bride He wants for His Son

This metaphor can be difficult for some Men to grasp and to take hold of, seeing themselves as a Bride is not easy and can be difficult to comprehend. But nevertheless they are also as a Body ,the Church, part of The Bride .

And so we mature and this is where we come back to Solomon and David who were walking and talking to God and interacting with The Father, of course Jesus had not yet come to earth to die on the Cross.

But Jesus was there nonetheless, as was
the Holy Spriit and God the Father, one but three, and three but one

And we see David prophesying of Christ, speaking of Christ who was to come, but also who was and is and is to come, the Holy Spirit speaks through David,

You could say Jesus was speaking to David about the future time when He would be led like a Lamb to the slaughter

But you know this is not all about relationship alone, test the fruits, watch the person, see the heart, watch for the spirit behind the person,see the affects that person has on others, don't forget satan has a relationship with God and Jesus and has known them for longer than we have.

5.
And so in this reltaionship we hear God speak and God confirms it to us and we act upon what He says, God places us where we are and then gives us the ability, the anointing...

And so it goes and continues on, we must keep going back to the beginning, it always starts at the beginning where we hear God, He initiates, He speaks, we respond, We act and back again

6.
We need constant filling, refreshment, the Holy Spirit will not force His way in, The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, He is a person of power and of love, His attributes are those of the Trinity, He will come when asked, But He will always be there.


He will always be speaking to you, to us, to me, we may not always listen, but He is always calling to us

7.
David loved to worship at the Temple, He loved the prescence of God, he cries out, " take not your Holy Spirit from me "

You see again as Solomon was about to be given the ability with the position, and He simply prays for the thing God is about to give, thus praying in Gods will solomon hears God and speaks out Gods own heart back to God !!

The same with David as he cries out " TAKE NOT YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME "

You see David heard Gods heart, David had murdered, committed adultery,lusted and broken every commanded ( as have we all )

David seeks the ongoing salvation of God, He wants to be saved from the situation, he seeks reconciliation with God, He hears God and says " TAKE NOT YOUR HOLY SPIRIT FROM ME "

You see God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit...they are Holy, God cannot look upon sin, He hates sin, David had slept with Bathsheba and watched as her husband was led to his death.

And David seeks " Refuge " He seeks the City , He seeks those walls of protection

He hears Gods heart and responds, David is convicted by the Holy Spirit

And after David is restored, forgiven, the price was payed, the verdict...

" NOT GUILTY " YOU MAY CONTINUE IN THE CITY OF REFUGE...

In both cases both Solomon and David talked back to God responding to His voice


Lets talk to Father God now and in faith and believing that He hears us, seek Him above all else that we might see the miraculous in our lifes and that things would happen that we could never in our wildest dreams have made up

Lets talk to Father God now in relationship with Him and seek Him above all else, that we would be that person leaping and jumping and raising our arms as we race on.

Lets believe in the foolishenss of God and be fools for Christ

1 Corinthians 4:10

We are fools for Christ,

Lets put aside all the things that hold us down and run the race, and dance for joy into that City and seek Him above all else

Lord God father in Jesus name of all the things we desire we desire you above all and we come to you now ..today..and we put aside earthly things and we put aside storm and we put aside the anxiety and we put aside the troubles and we seek you who stands at the top of the mountain of problems and we seek you who is above
all else and who reigns above all

We ask for a desire to seek your heart more and more , we desire to seek your face and your will and we walk in relationship with you, putting all else aside

You LORD are our light and salvation, you are the city on the hill and we shall not fear, for you are our stronghold and City,

One thing we ask of you LORD,is that we seek you above all else that we may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of our lifes, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and seek him in his temple.


For in the days of trouble...you will keep us safe in your dwelling;
you will hide us in the shelter of your tabernacle and set us high upon a rock.

Then our heads will be exalted above the enemies who surround us,
and at his tabernacle will we sacrifice with shouts of joy,
and sing and make music to the LORD in our hearts

Lord fill me now with your prescence and give me a seeking heart, give me a hearing heart and a willing heart, let me know your Holy Spirit power and love in my life as I ask you each day to fill me anew,

And most of all remind me to keep going back to the start and to find my first love by hearing and talking and walking in faith

In Jesus name amen