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RANDOM THOUGHTS

Are You Martha Or Mary?

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion (the better thing), which will not be taken away from her.' (Luke 10:38-42)

As Oswald Chambers said, "Jesus counts as service not what we do for Him, but what we are to Him, and the inner secret of that is identity with Him in person."

"That I may know Him..." (Philippians 3:10)

Are You Willing...

To know God and become like His Son?

To give up everything and lay down your life for Him as He did for you?

To allow God to do in you everything He separated you to Himself for?

To separate yourself to God even as His Son did?

To be made one with Jesus as He is one with His Father?

To allow God to put the same disposition in you that was in His Son?

To allow God to create in you a stong family likeness to His Son Jesus Christ?

To say, "Lord, make me as holy as You can make me"?

Well...are you?

One Simple Question:

Are you following on to know the Lord today?

"Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." (Hosea 6:3)

What Is The Goal Of Our Discipleship?

"But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me..." (Galatians 1:15-16)

God does not call us out of the world and separate us unto Himself in order to show what a wonderful man or woman He can make us into. He calls us out of the world and separates us unto Himself and then He tries us and tests us and proves us over and over again in order to see if we will serve Him or not. He is determined to reveal His Son in us, if we will allow Him to that is.

This then is the goal of our discipleship: to be conformed into the image of His Son and become just like Him in every way possible.

Read the verse above again and let it sink in. Think about who you are in Christ Jesus.

What a privilege. What an honor. What a blessing!

Is This Your Heart's Desire?

"Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." (Psalm 119:33-37)

"I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. (Psalm 101:2-4)

Excellent words for all of us, epecially today.

God Has A Controversy With Us

"...for the Lord has a controversy with His people...O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!" (Micah 6:2-3)

Sadly, we know more about the lives of people in Hollywood, movies, television shows, sports, music and singing groups, the stock market, politics, restrauants, electronic gadgets, and even the weather, than we do about God. We simply refuse to think about God. We are truly lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

"Brethren, these things ought not be this way!" (James 3:10)

Here is what God thinks and says about us:

"For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are wise--in doing evil! But how to do good they know not." (Jeremiah 4:22)

And here is what God wants and expects from us:

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

The story is told of a plumber who was working underneath a house one day when God spoke to him and said, "I am through chasing you!" And today, God is sayng this very same thing to each one of us who have ears to hear. We must obey Him! We must turn to Him and seek Him with a whole heart once and for all. And why, you might ask?

"And the Lord said, My spirit will not always strive with man..." (Genesis 6:3)

Whatever you do, do not miss your day of visitation from the Lord. (See Luke 19:41-44)

What Is God Doing To Us?

"...till Christ be formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

God blessed Oswald Chambers with incredible spiritual insight concerning people in relation to God. The following are his words which bear serious consideration and personal introspection:

"Beware of refining away the radical aspect of our Lord's teaching by saying that God puts something in to counteract the wrong disposition--that is a compromise. Jesus never teaches us to curb and suppress the wrong disposition; He gives us a totally new disposition, He alters the mainspring of action. Our Lord's teaching can never be interpreted only by the new Spirit He puts in; it can never be taken as as series of rules and regulations."

"A man cannot imitate the disposition of Jesus Christ: it is either there or it is not. When the Son of God is formed in me, He is formed in my human nature, and I have to put on the new man in accordance with His life and obey Him; then His disposition will work out all the time. We make character out of our disposition. Character is what we make, disposition is what we are born with; and when we are born again we are given a new disposition. A man must make his own character, but he cannot make his disposition; that is a gift. Our natural disposition is gifted to us by heredity; by regeneration God gives us the disposition of His Son."

Is Christ being formed in you more and more each day? If not, why not?

It Is Time To Seek The Lord

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." (Hosea 10:12)

Holiness: What God Demands Of His People

"For I am the Lord your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy." (Leviticus 11:44)

"You shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy." (Leviticus 19:2)

"Be ye holy for I am holy." (1st Peter 1:16)

"Perfect holiness in the fear of God." (2nd Corinthians 7:1)

"...be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:27)

"Awake to righteousness and sin not." (1st Corinthians 15:34)

Isn't it high time we all get over ourselves and clean up our acts by removing all the sin, self-will and worldliness out of our lives and begin living holy, righteous and sanctified lives which are completely set apart for Him?

After all, His son, our King, freely chose to lay down His life and die for each one of us so that we could come to know His Father and dwell with Him in His Kingdom throughout eternity. Therefore, can we honestly do anything less than the same for Him?

May the Lord give each of us the same determination and heart's desire to love and serve Him as He gave the two young Moravian men, who, in 1732, sold themselves into slavery, leaving their wives, children and families behind in order to have the opportunity to reach the slaves of the West Indies for their Lord; and as their slave ship left the dock they cried out, "May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!"

How To Be A Disciple Of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lay Down Your Life. Give up the right to yourself and your life once and for all.

Deny Yourself. Say "no" to yourself, your wants, plans, desires, ambitions, fleshly lusts and sins. (Colossians 3:5-17 & Galatians 5:24)

Take Up Your Cross Daily. Bear with and endure that thing in your life right now that you absolutely do not want.

Follow Him Wherever He Goes. No longer live your life according to your will, but only to His. In other words, "not my will, but thine be done."

Do What Ever He Says. Does a servant ever question or disobey his King? Obedience is crucial. It is everything.

There you have it. The secret to being one of our Lord's disciples. Not quite what you are used to hearing these days, is it? (Luke 9:23-26)

The Benefit Of Overcoming

What does it mean to "overcome"? And what is it that we have to overcome? Simply put, the world and everything in it that would cause us to not depend upon and trust in God by faith. In short, anything and everything that would cause us to sin.

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." (1st John 2:15-16)

How do we do it? How do we overcome?

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and by not loving their lives even unto death." (Revelation 12:11)

What happens to us if we overcome?

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21)

This is incomprehensible. We cannot even begin to understand the significance and import of the above verse. But there it is, the promise of the God of the Universe, our Lord, Saviour and King Jesus Christ, to us if we will set our hearts and minds to overcoming all the worldliness, sin and self-will that is in us. We will be allowed to sit with Him on His throne. Wow!

This kind of makes all the earthly/worldly things we strive for seem rather insignificant and meaningless, doesn't it?

Noblesse Oblige

Noblesse oblige: (French)(noun) - meaning the moral obligation of those of high birth, powerful social position, etc., to act with honor, kindliness, generosity, etc.; means literally: "nobility obliges, or performs service".

The Oxford English Dictionary says the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility. Being a noble meant that one had the responsibility to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits."

This is an excellent description of how we, as God's people, are supposed to behave. Now. Not later.

Those of us who are "in Christ Jesus" have truly been blessed with a "high birth" if you will. We are a "royal priesthood" (1st Peter 2:9) and are "seated with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). We are being prepared, even now, to be rulers and kings in God's Kingdom (Revelation 2:26-27 & 3:21).

Therefore, as "children of the "Most High" (Psalm 82:6), who have asked for and received the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), we have an obligation and responsibility to conduct ourselves accordingly in the presence of other people with "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). And in so doing, "God will work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13) and thereby, "bring many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10).

Noblesse oblige. A good phrase to know and live by. Amen?

The One Thing Men Will Not Do

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
(Micah 6:8)

Now there are men who will do justly to others. And there are men who will treat people right. And there are men who love mercy and will show it to others as they have opportunity. But the one thing men will not do, we absolutely refuse to do this, we will not walk humbly with God. Doesn't happen. We want to be in control. We want to do everything ourselves. We're like the child who says to its parent, "Me do, me do, Mommy". We won't allow God to be in control and have His wonderful way in and through us. We won't humble ourselves "under the mighty hand of God so that in due time He will exalt us" (see 1st Peter 5:6). We would rather exalt ourselves.

What is wrong with us? We're too full of ourselves, that's what. We need to pray that God will kill this thing right out of us and right now, because the world is "longing for the revealing of the Sons of God" (see Romans 8:19) and we are holding up the show!

Are You Like Ruth?

Here is a very beautiful passage of Scripture:

"But Ruth said, 'Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.'" (Ruth 1:16)

Have you ever said this to the Lord: that where ever He goes you will go; that your life is no longer your own; that His people are your people because they seek and delight to do His will instead of their own, and this is how you want to live your life too; that His God has become your God?

If you have never said this to the Lord, isn't it time you did? After all, how much longer do you think you will be breathing air on this planet? And besides, do you really know of a better way to live your life?

His Birth...Our New Birth

The following are the words of Oswald Chambers. We need to "ponder these things in our hearts":

"Behold, a virgin shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Isaiah 7:14)

His Birth in History...

"Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not evolve out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being, He is a Being Who cannot be accounted for by the human race at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate, God coming into human flesh, coming into it from outside. His life is the Highest and the Holiest entering in at the Lowliest door. Our Lord's birth was an advent.

His Birth in Me...

"Of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

Just as Our Lord came into human history from outside, so He must come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a "Bethlehem" for the Son of God? I cannot enter into the realm of the Kingdom of God unless I am born from above by a birth totally unlike natural birth. "Ye must be born again." This is not a command, it is a foundation fact. The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that Christ is formed in me. Immediately Christ is formed in me, His nature begins to work through me.

God manifest in the flesh...

This is what is made profoundly possible for you and me by the Redemption.

To Sin Or Not To Sin, That Is The Question

The following are the words of Oswald Chambers. We need to "think on these things":

"But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ always forces an issue of will. Do I accept God's verdict on sin in the Cross of Christ? Have I the slightest interest in the death of Jesus? Do I want to be identified with His death, to be killed right out to all interest in sin, in worldliness, in self - to be so identified with Jesus that I am spoilt for every thing else but Him? The great privilege of discipleship is that I can sign on under His Cross, and that means death to sin. Get alone with Jesus and either tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you; or else tell Him that at all costs you want to be identified with His death. Immediately you transact in confident faith in what Our Lord did on the Cross, a supernatural identification with His death takes place, and you will know with a knowledge that passeth knowledge that your "old man" is crucified with Christ. The proof that your old man is crucified with Christ is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ.

Every now and again, Our Lord lets us see what we would be like if it were not for Himself; it is a justification of what He said - "Without Me ye can do nothing." That is why the bedrock of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus. We mistake the ecstasy of our first introduction into the Kingdom for the purpose of God in getting us there; His purpose in getting us there is that we may realize all that identification with Jesus Christ means.

What Is Faith?

Faith is the substance of things we hope for in Christ Jesus. It is the evidence of things that haven't happened yet, but surely shall. However, without faith it is impossible for us to please God. We must believe that He is, that He exists, and that He rewards those who choose to diligently seek Him. Therefore, it is critically important, fundamental even, that we have and exercise faith.

How do we get it? We receive faith through hearing the Word of God. And then if we follow on to know the Lord, our faith will allow Jesus Christ to dwell in our hearts, rooting and grounding us in His love, causing us to know His love in a deeply personal way and, ultimately, leading to the end result of our being filled with all the fullness of God. How wonderful!

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
(Hebrews 11:6)

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
(Romans 10:17)

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
(Ephesians 3:17-19)

As Oswald Chambers said, "Faith that is sure of itself is not faith; faith that is sure of God is the only faith there is."

Want To Be Closer To God?

Are you as close to God as you want to be? Or do you find you have a burning desire to be closer to Him, to be as close to Him as possible, but aren't quite sure how to get there? Is it possible there is something holding you back?

"Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

Love of the world will certainly do it. We can't love the world and have the love of the Father in us at the same time according to 1st John 2:15. And as God's people, we absolutely must come out of the world and have no part in it. But in actuality, God is much more interested in getting close to us than we are to Him.

"Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, 'He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?'" (James 4:5)

"How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" (Luke 13:34)

Here then is a very simple and practical suggestion for getting closer to God:

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

And as with most things with God, it is that simple.

Does Christmas Lead To Covetousness?

Is it possible, through our participation in Christmas, that we instill a spirit of covetousness in our children?

The longer Eve stared at the forbidden fruit on the tree, the greater her desire grew. And her desire ultimately led her to disobey God, did it not? And what was her reward? God's punishment.

In like manner, our children spend most of the month of December staring at their presents under the Christmas tree, and the longer they stare, the more they can't wait to get at them and rip them open; the more they become selfishly obsessive, covetous even, about their presents under the tree.

Thus, by our participation in Christmas and the giving of presents to our children, are we unwittingly causing our children to covet, and in the process, ignorantly calling that which is evil good? Worse yet, are we inadvertently causing our children to sin?

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!" (Isaiah 5:20-21)

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin. For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes." (Matthew 18:6-7)

Let's Get Dressed, Shall We?

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." (Romans 13:14)

"...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-23)

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony."
(Colossians 3:5-14)

There, now don't we all look nice? Nice and pleasing to our Father.

God's People--Who Are We?

And this is how we live:
In the every day, common place way,
In the pots and pans,
With a wife and kids,
As disciples of His.

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet, peaceful life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may live properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." (1st Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Wonders In The Heavens?

Strange spiral blue light as seen above Norway on December 9, 2009.

No one, no official government authority, or anyone else has been able to explain this light or what caused it. Could this possibly have anything to do with the Apostle Peter's reference to Joel's Old Testament prophecy? Is it possible we are in the last days?

"And in the last days it shall be, God declares,...And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke...before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day." (Acts 2:17-20 and Joel 2:30-31)

Apostasy

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." (2nd Thessalonians 2:3)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
(1st Timothy 4:1-2)

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

Webster's Dictionary defines apostasy as: 1) renunciation of a religious faith; 2) abandonment of a previous loyalty: defection.

American sociologist David G. Bromley refers to what he calls the "apostate role" and defines it as follows (words following in parenthesis are mine): "Defined as one that occurs in a highly polarized situation in which an organization member (Christian/Church) undertakes a total change of loyalties by allying with one or more elements of an oppositional coalition (The World/Worldliness) without the consent or control of the organization (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit)."

So why do we only speak of apostasy in terms of our turning or falling away from God? We should be using the word in terms of our attitude and relationship towards the sin, worldliness and rebellion in our lives and turn completely away from any and everything, both within ourselves as well as the world, that would keep us from loving God with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength. We should be apostate towards these things instead of towards the One Who redeemed us by His atoning death on the Cross.

As Oswald Chambers said, "We must be apostasized from sin, have nothing to do with sin in any shape or form. Sin belongs to hell and the devil; I, as a child of God, belong to heaven and God."

"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24)

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