By John Foll
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
My post on this Disqus: Monday 1/1/2018
Paul tells us clearly that we can gain the victory through Christ. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24 KJV. Then 2 verse later here he also says this: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1 KJV. And at the end of this chapter he says: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39 KJV. Paul himself also died a conqueror: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8 KJV.
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, and He is able to do what He says He will do for us. We need to believe that. None of us are good, not even one, but God is good all the time, as is Jesus His Son. God and His Son Jesus are more than able to deliver us and help us gain the victory, if we will seek after God with all our heart, and make Him our God, laying all on the altar to Him. Then, when He is our God, He will save us, just like He promised He would, and will help us to gain the victory. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 KJV.
‘But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57 NASB.
And contrary to the opinion of some Bible teachers, it is possible to gain the victory through Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation affirms that there will be a group of people who gained the victory through the Lamb. I want to be in that group. How about you? After the seven last plagues fall on this earth Revelation tells us about this group:
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." Revelation 15:2-4 KJV.
So we see here that Revelation predicts that there will be a group of people that get the victory, despite what this world and the Beast try to do to them. This is only by God's power, not by anything found in themselves. Let’s talk faith and live it, not acting like God is powerless to save His people from their sins. This promise of salvation runs throughout the entire Bible! Believe it! Receive it!
The prophet Isaiah also tells us there will be a group of people waiting for God to save them, and He does: (This is a representation of those who are alive when Jesus comes back in the clouds with great glory at the Second Coming): "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Isaiah 25:9 KJV.
If you have this desire, dear reader to have this victory, God will give it to you, if you will humble yourself before Him and give your heart to Him all the way, He would be delighted to give you this victory! "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6 NASB. Jesus promised through this text the victory who would hunger and thirst after God's righteousness. Believe it!
#Victory #Over #Sin #Contrary #False #Teachers #Conqueror #Paul #Fought #Good #Fight #Jesus #Author #Finisher #Faith #Moses #Save #Salvation #Believe #Righteousness
By John Foll, written between 5/6/2017 to 5/8/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16 KJV.
Paul states the most essential question here: Whose servant are you? How do you know whose servant you are? Answer: Who are you yielding to? This last question answers whose servant you are. If you are yielding to your lower nature, you will reap a harvest of corruption. If you are yielding to God, you will yield a rich harvest for the Master. There is no in between: if you are yielding some to God, and then some to yourself or to our ancient foe, you are on the wrong side still. Trying to keep one foot in heaven and one foot on this earth will still cause you to reap a harvest of sin and corruption until you repent. God loves you and will take you just as you are, and give you a chance to repent and get to know Him and be saved. But if you want to have the assurance of your own salvation and have peace, love, joy, faith and hope, all the things that make life worth living, living for all eternity, you must yield yourself completely to Him. If you are yielding to the flesh, you cannot walk by the Spirit. If you are walking in the flesh, you ‘cannot please God.’ Romans 8:7 NASB. If you are not walking by the Spirit day-by-day, you cannot have life and peace. Peace comes by confessing your sins and yielding completely to God and continuing to walk with His Spirit. He will give you love, faith, hope, and much joy, if you would walk, and continue to walk by His Spirit!
At the end of the day, the question as to whose servant you are will decide your destiny. That is why this question is of the utmost importance to you and your life, to know what the final outcome of your life will be, if it continues on as it did today. Whose servant are you?
But you may say, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for some time’. Well that is all fine and good if you have yielded yourself completely to Jesus and His Father, but if you are not yielding to them on a day-by-day basis and are yielding to the flesh, your carnal nature, you are not truly God’s servant yet, but are still serving the flesh. To be everything a Christian is meant to be and to have that wonderful peace, love and joy you must yield fully to God, and then you cannot help but be His servant; it will be the most natural thing in the world for you. If you are thinking of yourself and what you want, or are yielding to bitterness or anger or unforgiveness, you cannot be His servant too. If you haven’t yielded totally to God, you are placing yourself or someone or something else above God. ‘Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.’ Exodus 20:3 KJV. We believe that this is the most broken of God’s commandments in the entire Bible! To be free from breaking this most broken commandment, humble your heart, and willingly yield fully to God. But you can only yield fully to Him if you love Him more than anyone or anything else. Matthew 12:29-30.
You cannot of your own yield to God. We are all born with the desire to yield to the flesh, but as God’s Spirit beckons you to want to be forgiven, have peace, and have a better life with Him, if you listen to His sweet voice, and want this more than anything else, wanting to be free from the guilt of your sins, and are tired of sinning and hurting God and others, then yield to the precious Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can enable you to yield to God. Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [or the Comforter or the Holy Spirit] shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; John 16:7-8 NASB. So God sent the Holy Spirit into this world to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and judgment. No one on this earth is qualified to take over the functions of the Holy Spirit as enumerated here! You cannot decide that you will do your own thing today, and that on the morrow you will finally yield your heart to God all the way, to do the right thing and be His servant. It is only the Holy Spirit that can do this for you. Now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2. Do not put off for tomorrow what you know you should do today. Do not plan to have your own way today, and say that you will repent tomorrow. Only the Holy Spirit can convict you of sin, and not yourself. So if you are planning on doing your own thing today, and making a change tomorrow, there is no guarantee that you will feel convicted tomorrow to want to change. Do not play games with God. Do not tell Him that you are a Christian and belong to Him, if you are not giving Him your whole heart. You cannot lie to God. All things are open and bare before Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13. He reads your life like a book, but He loves you and is offering you a chance to repent and give up your half-way Christian lukewarm state, and exchange it for His life and peace. Is that what you want? Then yield yourself to Him and obey Him. He will listen to your prayer if you pray, ‘Be merciful to me God a sinner.’ Luke 18:13.
But you may say again, ‘I am a Christian and have been one for many years’. You have no claim to righteousness, therefore how long you have been a Christian and how many good things you have done for God or others do not matter, if you have not yielded your heart fully to Him. If you have not humbled and continued to humble your heart before God, yielding to Him fully, to obey Him in all things, you are in need of being born again, if you want life and peace, and ever want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 1 John 3:3, 5.
How do you yield to God? First and foremost, by confessing your sins. Secondly by humbling your heart before God, acknowledging that He is God and the only one who can save you, and praying to Him, asking for His help to be a better person. If you continue to do this, God will draw you closer and closer to Himself, and will bless you beyond measure! ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.’ Matthew 6:24 KJV. Do you love God more than anything else, and despise sin? Then you have found life, and more abundantly! If you are trying to serve both God and self, you are living a half-way Christian life that God is not pleased with, unless you desire a better life. But if you are yielding to God, and continue to yield to Him, staying contrite and penitent before Him, you will have life and peace. This is what is meant by walking by the Spirit. When this happens to you all the way, you will be blessed with God’s sweet Spirit and much blessed, pressed down, shaken together, and running over! “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38 KJV. If you give sparingly of yourself to God, then your blessings from Him will also be sparse.
If you want to be good, you must yield yourself to God completely, and then you will be His servant! If you are not sure how to yield to Him completely, just give in to your desire to have this wonderful peace that He placed in your heart, and humble yourself before Him, confess, and study the many precious promises and faith and love building stories in the Bible, especially the stories about Jesus, and allow God to bless your heart! The thing that you have searched for so long, if indeed you have, is now within your reach! God is calling out to your heart now to accept the terms of His peace, love, joy and happiness, now and forever! Amen.
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” Romans 8:5-6 NASB.
#Whose #Servant #Fully #Yield #Obey #Confess #Life #Peace #Holy Spirit #God #Reap #Harvest #Destiny #Master #Death #Righteousness #Convict #Sin #Mercy #Love
By John Foll, Finished Writing 3/25/2017 to 3/26/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 KJV.
What is Jesus saying here? There can be no doubt that the scribes and Pharisees were zealous to keep God’s Law, the 10 Commandments. Jesus plainly declared here that our righteousness must exceed theirs! This statement by Jesus clearly shows the idea that the commandments mentioned in Matthew 5:17-20 are the 10 Commandments. How do we know this? Because the scribes and Pharisees believed that you should keep the Law and they endeavored to keep it. Did Jesus say that the scribes or Pharisees were wrong in trying to keep God’s Law or 10 Commandments? No. Why did Jesus say that our righteousness MUST exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees in order to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven? Because it is true. Jesus said this because the scribes and Pharisees were trying to keep the 10 Commandments in their own strength, which is impossible. The scribes and Pharisees made a pretense of keeping the 10 Commandments, but were unable to do so since they did not have a vital connection with God (even though they probably thought they were keeping His commandments). You can never keep God’s commandments, unless you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:35-40. To outward appearance they might have appeared to keep them, but God looks not at the outside, He looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.” Matthew 23:25-26 NASB. We must allow God to clean the inside of our heart, and help us not be hypocrites, if we want our righteousness to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees: if we ever wish to enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is not an easy thing to be a “scribe” or a Pharisee; a person has to work full time at it, and be very zealous to keep the Law, being weighed down with guilt and self-righteousness, resisting the Holy Spirit’s plea for them to make the changes that God wants them to make, never knowing or forgetting how sweet it is to be totally right with God and clean before Him, with the peace and joy of knowing that your life pleases Him. If this is your case, your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes or the Pharisees. These zealous efforts to be good are never good enough and never will be, because they fall infinitely short of God’s desire for us to have His PERFECT righteousness! No one can ever be saved, unless their righteousness exceeds that of the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees! No one can ever be saved, unless they have Christ’s righteousness. The best that we can do is useless to gain eternal life; we must have more than we can ever do in our own power and strength, and skill and will.
A corrupt, impure, or a self-righteous heart can never fulfill the requirements of the Law, or know the joy of having a heart full of love for God and their fellow man, unless they repent; for love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10. A self-righteous heart does not know peace, because it is not clean before God. The scribes and Pharisees tried their best to keep God’s Law, and prided themselves on keeping it, but Jesus said that their righteousness was not good enough to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
When Jesus says that your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, He is stating the truth. But how is this possible? You in your own desire and willpower cannot keep God’s Law of Love, though it might appear that you can to yourself and others. But only God is good. Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18. But (as Jesus said) if you want to be saved, your righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. The only way your righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, and to be good, is if you let God clean the inside of your cup first. If you want the inside of your cup to be clean, you must allow Him to not only forgive your sins, but to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. And you need to cooperate with Him and do everything He asks willingly. If you are not there yet, you can pray to God: ‘Have mercy on me a sinner, help me to be willing and help me to keep your Law.’ And He will hear your prayer and grant it if you mean it. The only way your righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, is if you let God make you good! If you really know God, you cannot help but be good, because He will help you be good. This is because only God is good.
We know there are some saying that we don’t have to keep God’s 10 Commandments, that Jesus did everything for us on the cross, but the Bible says otherwise. We are not saying that our efforts to keep the 10 Commandments will save us, no not at all! We are saying that if we have God’s saving love dwelling in our heart, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, we would always want to keep the 10 Commandments or be sorry when we break them. The tempter has far too long kept this argument to two sides that are both wrong! Did you catch that? Both of the sides, on the left and on the right, are wrong. In general, liberals and conservative Christians are wrong on this subject. We say this, because liberal Christians tend to say that we cannot keep God’s Law, and thus should not concern ourselves with it at all since we are ‘saved by grace’, some of them even going as far as implying or saying that you are doing something wrong to even try to keep God’s Law. I.e. it is a sin to be good and it is good to sin. (They will probably deny this belief if you discuss the end result of their belief with them.) “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 NASB. And there are many conservative Christians who are very zealous for keeping the Law, yet are not keeping it perfectly, although they will probably deny this. Their failed efforts to keep God’s Law does not please Him. But if they have confessed their sins to Him and asked for His help to keep His Law, this will please Him. But they have no room for pride over their erring brothers and sisters, if they themselves are also breaking His Law in thought, word or deed in any way! In the end, anyone who has not confessed all of their sins and yielded themselves completely to God, can never possibly keep all of God’s Law, for they are breaking the first commandment to have no other God’s before Him at the very least, and do not love the Lord their God with all of their heart, and all of their mind, and all of their soul. Exodus 20:2; Matthew 22:37-38. God requires His Laws and commandments to be kept perfectly in thought, word and in action at all times, something that is humanly impossible! We are not saying here that God cannot forgive sinners who have broken His Law. We must always keep in mind that God’s thoughts and ways are way above man’s ideas and ability. Listen to what God revealed through the prophet Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV. Man’s ideas on whether he is keeping God’s Law or not, and his ability of keeping it are completely inadequate, unless he knows the whole truth of it and has God’s divine aid. Whenever someone is making the claim of keeping God’s Law, if they lose their temper, say bad things about others behind their back, or say hurtful things to them, or do not love God supremely or do not love their neighbor as themselves, then they most certainly do not have the right spirit and are breaking God’s Law, regardless of their claim, because ‘love is the fulfillment of the Law.’ Romans 13:10.
Some conservatives appear to think that if they believe the truth and endeavor to keep it and promote it to others, or if they point out the sins and defects of others that this makes them good, but it does not! Many conservatives believe and teach the majority of the truth, but omit the weightier matters of the Law like love and mercy, and have no ability of keeping God’s Law, because they do not have a vital connection with God. Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” Matthew 23:23 KJV.
And many liberals think that there is no reason to even try to be good, or worry whether they are good or not, because they believe that they are only saved by grace and are not actually required by God to obey Him. But unless the liberal’s righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, i.e. unless their righteousness exceeds that of the conservatives, they cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven either. Did you catch that? There are no liberals or conservatives that are excused from obeying all of God’s Law or 10 Commandments. There are no liberals or conservatives who are excused from loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all of their mind and with all of their soul, or from loving their neighbor as themselves. Any who do not allow God to help them be good will eventually be weighed in the balance and found wanting. Daniel 5:27.
If you have a problem with what we are saying here in this article, these are not our words but Jesus’ words that were stated in Matthew 5:20.
Nothing but God’s perfect righteousness is ever acceptable to Him. So you find the truth that whether you are a religious conservative or a liberal, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. Do you doubt the main premise of this article? Then consider well what Jesus said here:“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 KJV. If Jesus told you to do something, then it must be true. God cannot lie. Hebrews 6:18. Jesus the Son of God cannot lie either. (Jesus came to reveal the will of the Father to mankind.) Since Jesus said that you were to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, there must be a way for you to do it. To get perfection, you must get Christ's righteousness, which you can only gain by faith. Romans 3:22. We find that this statement by Jesus in Matthew 5:48 is in perfect harmony with His other statement in Matthew 5:20, in fact, they are in the same chapter! God has made provision for you, so you do not have to live in the flesh, and can have His righteousness! See Romans 8:5-17.
How did these lies or half-truths on the left and on the right ever become acceptable to ‘God’s people’? Because they allowed this to be, and because they haven’t challenged the idea enough that it doesn’t matter what you do, or the idea that it only matters what you believe, or you are OK if it looks like you are keeping God’s Law, and that you don’t have to actually live a righteous life or have love and kindness for others, that your intention to keep His Law is enough, even though the Bible plainly states otherwise. But Jesus said that you must be born again by the water and by the Spirit to be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven, John 3:3, 5. And that no good tree can bear bad fruit, and no bad tree can bear good fruit. Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:16-20 KJV. So just believe what Jesus said. We are not trying to make you feel bad or to wound any; our desire is that regardless of what your problems are that you would turn to God for help and live, so that you get the help you need to be happy and be at peace. If you are unaware of the problems on the left or on the right (if any of these are your problems) you will be unable to get the peace, love, joy, faith and hope that you need to thrive spiritually and to withstand the trials that are ahead as this world’s history draws to a close.
So what do you do if you know you are not where you should be spiritually? Regardless of whether you fall on the left or on the right, the solution in both cases is the same. If you have been in either one of these groups (many of us have been in one or both of these groups in at least one point in our life) if you confess your sins, yield yourself completely to God, and learn to fully love Him, you will find it an easy thing to make the changes that He wants you to make. Did you hear that right: it is an ‘easy thing to make the changes that He wants you to make’? Yes you did hear that right! While it is an impossible thing to be good by yourself, if you know God and really love Him, it will be the most easy and natural thing in the world for you to be good, providing you keep abiding in His love for you. But wait not for tomorrow or for a convenient season to approach His throne of grace to obtain this help and mercy in time of need. Acts 24:5; Hebrews 4:16. God is even now waiting for you to completely return to Him and seek after Him with all your heart, then you will be found by Him. Deuteronomy 4:29; Jeremiah 29:11-13.
We wish someone had taught us the wonderful truth many years ago that God would give us the power to live a righteous life, if we would yield our heart completely to Him and let Him help us, then we wouldn’t have had to waste so much of our life; that He wants to fill us with His precious Holy Spirit to help us obey Him, and that we don’t have to go it alone. He will indeed supply all of our needs. Philippians 4:19. This is how our righteousness can exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Why is this a wonderful truth? Because God has placed in everyone’s heart the desire to be good, and they can never be truly happy until they allow God to help them be good. Whenever God asks you to do something, He always provides a way for you to do it! This message is the righteousness by faith doctrine of the Bible. See Genesis 15:6; Romans 1:17; 3:22,25; 4:1-23; Galatians 5:5; Philippians 3:9; Hebrews 11. It is a joy to love and serve God and keep His commandments, which only He can give us the ability of doing. God is even now longing to help everyone have His righteousness and bear good fruit for Him, if only they would accept His help and yield fully to Him.
Dear reader, there is no reason to try to live with the righteousness of your own filthy rags, because you are trying so hard to keep God’s Law, or the righteousness of your own filthy rags when you are not right with God, because you don’t think that you need to concern yourself with keeping God’s Law of Love (the 10 Commandments) or living a Holy life for Him. Isaiah 64:6. There is no reason to not have the assurance of your salvation right now, and no reason to not have the strength or the will to obey God, or to not have the forgiveness of all of your sins. Wait not a precious moment. There is no reason to wait, you can have this peace right now! There is nothing to be gained by trying to save yourself, because you cannot. There is nothing to be gained by the constant round of sinning and confessing with no way out, addictions, and thinking that you are clear with God without having to yield to Him all-the-way; nothing to be gained, and everything to lose. Jesus bore all of your sins on the cross for you, oh sinner, there is no reason to try to do it yourself. He will help you to be righteous for your Heavenly Father, to remove the shame of your sins and free you from your addictions (John 8:36), if you will have His help and yield to His loving heart. This is our prayer for you, dear reader. Amen.
#Except #Righteousness #Exceeds #Pharisees #Cannot #Enter #Heaven #Hypocrites #Liberal #Conservative #Left #Right #Wrong #Good #EternalLife #Love #Neighbor #Perfect #Self-Righteous #Blind
By John Foll, written on 3/12/2017 and 3/18/2017 – 3/19/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV.
What did Jesus really mean when He said this?
There is more to this text than is commonly understood. We want to go deeper into this statement by Jesus and give our own personal testimony regarding it, to help increase your faith in God!
Now back to what Jesus said before our central text here:
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:25-32 NASB.
Jesus is talking about two classes of people here: those of faith and the Gentiles. The Gentiles seek first after what they shall eat, drink and be clothed with, making this the most important thing – these are all those who don’t know Jesus or His Father. ‘The Gentiles’ that Jesus is referring to here includes those who are baptized as Christian, who are not of faith or do not fully believe that God loves them and will take care of them. If Jesus is your master, you will truly believe that God loves you and will take care of you, and you will seek first after His kingdom and His righteousness.
Jesus told us not to be like the Gentiles, who worry about how they are going to be clothed, or have food to eat, etc., because they don’t believe in the Mighty Helper for their daily needs.
Which class are you? Are you a Gentile or are you a child of faith? That depends on whether you know that God loves you or not, or whether you know that He will take care of you or not. Do you have faith that God loves you and will take care of you? Then seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things that you need in this life will be added unto you. Doubt it not. Jesus tells us here that the birds, lilies, and grass are fed, arrayed in their “clothing” and taken care of by our Heavenly Father. Does He not love you more than them? Why then do you not believe that He will take care of you, you of little faith? Why do you worry about how you shall live? Why do you worry about having a job? Will you still be able to afford food? What will you do when something that you need and depend on breaks, if you cannot afford to fix or replace it? Do as Jesus commanded you: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” Matthew 6:25 KJV. Just take Him at His word!
But now we want to take this deeper:
What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? This is the key to everything good in this life and the life to come. Simply put, this is to seek after God and all His righteousness as Jesus clearly stated here. God revealed this same truth to His servant Jeremiah: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 KJV. When you seek for God with all your heart, and then desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded you in the Holy Bible, then you will be seeking after Him first and His righteousness! When you are tired of sinning and being unrighteous, you can pray to God that He will give you His righteousness, and He will give you the Holy Spirit to help you be righteous! Then you will be truly seeking the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness for yourself. Jesus also states this same truth in a different manner when He said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV. Jesus’ yoke is much easier than that yoke of bondage to sin, suffering and death! It is easier, because He will make you happy! It is easier, because this yoke is based on your desire to love and serve Him, not by force or addiction or slavery like your life is before you give your heart totally to Him. Jesus will never force you, that is why His yoke is lighter, because it is based only on your choice of daily giving your heart to Him and willingly serving Him, and because He will take all of your burdens and slavery of sin away from you, if you let Him! This will make you very happy if you will just give your heart to Him all-the-way! This is another way of stating how you can seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Dear reader, lay all of your cares and burdens on Jesus, and take His yoke upon you, and then He will help you to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness.
A passage with overlapping or similar meaning to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-33 is this passage that Moses wrote of God to the Israelites: “And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB. Jesus used this quote when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness to turn the stones into bread: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But He [Jesus] answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:1-4 KJV. If you will desire to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God in His Holy Bible, and ask for His help to do this, you will then be living by every word that proceeds from His mouth, and will then be seeking His Kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness.
But let’s take this even deeper:
What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? The clue was given earlier. When you yield yourself completely to God because you love Him, you will then be given the precious Holy Spirit. And since ‘God is love’, 1 John 4:8, a very strong desire will be placed in your heart to help others in whatever way you can, because you know that God loves them too, just like He loves you! And you will long, just ache to tell them how much He loves them!
Note: 1 John 4:8 does not say that God has love, but it says that ‘God is love’! I.e. God is the source of Love!
So again, what does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God? It means that you will greatly desire to do everything in your power to build up God’s kingdom, by telling others how much He loves them or by showing it to them, by helping them, and by living a life that brings honor and glory to God! If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, you will lay everything on the altar to Him and give everything to Him, and beg Him to send you into His vineyard (Luke 10:2) and give you the gifts that you need to serve Him with. John 14:12-15. Then you will be Jesus’ disciple and will bear much fruit, and this will glorify God! John 15:8. Why is God glorified when you bear much fruit for Him? Because God is love, 1 John 4:8, and loves everyone, and greatly longs to save them! God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11; 18:23. Also “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. Never forget that God loves you and everyone else in the world, and wants all men and women to come to repentance, so that they perish not! If you really love Him, you will long to help build up His kingdom, which is the fuller deeper meaning of ‘seeking first the Kingdom of God’. You will feel your great need of His help and how inadequate you are without Him, and how much you need the spiritual gifts that you need to serve Him with, asking Him for these things in Jesus’ name, so that you can bring honor and glory to Him.
What will God give you if you truly seek His Kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and tell others how much He loves them? I.e. What will God give you if you seek to build up His kingdom? Jesus plainly stated that God would give you all of the things that the Gentiles and every human being seek after: food, clothing, shelter, in short all of the things you need to live, survive and thrive. If instead of seeking first after what the Gentiles seek after (who don’t know God or trust in Him), and seek after His kingdom and His righteousness, He will give you everything that you need. If you will stop living your life by just the way you earn your living, and if you stop putting your faith in your ability to take care of your needs and your family’s needs by your job, and fully live by all of the words in God’s Holy Bible, trusting in Him to supply all of your needs, then you will be putting His kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness! When you place all on the altar because of your love for Him, and seek to bring others to Him, telling and showing them how much He loves them, then you will be living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Then you can fully claim Jesus’ promise here, and believe that God will give you all the things you need in this life, that the Gentiles earnestly seek after! Because God knows that you need these things and cares for you!
* Note: We are not saying here that if you don't seek first after the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, or haven't fully yielded to Him that He will not still try to take care of you, because God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 KJV. But it is much better to believe that God love's you and will take care of you, so that you can make your way safely to Heaven, and have the confidence you need when you pray to claim His rich promises for you! The purpose of this article is to increase your faith in God, and to help you learn fully how much He loves you, and have the wonderful peace and assurance of your own salvation!
I know personally that what was stated in this article is true. I was telling this idea to a little group at Church that the fuller meaning of ‘seeking first the kingdom of God’ is really seeking first the kingdom of God, not just for yourself, but for others. I.e. you are seeking to build up God’s kingdom. I was saying that as a group that we could claim this promise for ourselves, since we were working towards and making plans on how to help others in our community get to know God and help them with their health, etc. I have been working towards this goal with this little group for a while now that I am a part of, and I also greatly desired to build up God’s Kingdom for my own writing and speaking ministry that I asked God to give me, that He is giving me. I am boasting in the Lord, which is permitted according to 1 Corinthians 1:31, because I would be nothing without Him – He is my strength and shield and mighty helper! (I got this idea that it is permitted to boast in the Lord from either A. T. Jones or E. J. Waggoner.) Now I had been looking for a job for many months, and was getting very discouraged from time-to-time, and believed that I needed to express my faith that since we were working to help others get to know God, that we met the qualifications for this promise of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-36. I believe I told them about my job interview and asked them to pray for me, and that I believed that the conditions for this promise were met; that they could claim this promise for their needs too. I had interviewed for a job on this same day by phone before this meeting, but I didn’t know the results of it then. The next day I was told by the recruiting company for this job, that I had interviewed strongly and that the company was thinking of extending an offer to me, but I was to wait until the following Tuesday (the next week). That next week I was given the offer of employment and accepted it. So I believe that God heard my prayer and granted my request, because I was willing to confess the promises of His love for us and promises to help us and the conditions, and that we had met them. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. So we need to confess with our mouth that our Lord Jesus greatly loves us and wants to take care of us: we need to confess with our mouth the promises that God has given us and their conditions, so that others might have faith in God too! God will help you, if you will seek after His kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and seek to help others know how much He loves them.
So how can you stop worrying about how you will be clothed, have food to eat and how you will live? How can you believe that God will take care of you? How can you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness?
You need an anchor, to anchor your soul to your mighty helper, God! That anchor is your faith in Him, if you know that He loves you. Do you really know that He loves you? Have you experienced this personally for yourself? Has He revealed to you that He loves you? God will do all of this for you and more, if you will just get to know Him and learn to give your heart completely to Him! God will give you this anchor if you will just ask Him to! Be like Jesus’ disciples who said unto the Lord: ‘Increase our faith.’ Luke 17:5 KJV. How do you get this faith? By yielding your heart to God all the way and receiving the Holy Spirit, because it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23. What do you have to lose? Why not give your heart completely to God today? But you may say ‘I am a sinner, no good or evil.’ But what does Jesus say? “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13 KJV. Answer: Jesus says that God will give you the Holy Spirit, if you will but ask! Is it really just that simple to get faith? Yes it is! Why then is it that not every Christian has enough faith and why is it that they get caught up into doubt? Answer: Because they have not asked or continue to ask every day for the precious Holy Spirit or because they have not fully yielded themselves to God. Maybe they don’t really know how much God loves them or maybe they don’t really care yet? Yes, we believe that this must be the case! If they really knew how much He loved them, and what He did for them when He gave His only Son to die on the cross for their sins, John 3:16-17, and the wonderful gift He provided for them in the gift of the Holy Spirit, as stated in Acts 2:33 and in other places such as John 14:16, and returned their love and affection to Him, then they would have the assurance of their salvation, and have the Holy Spirit for themselves, and have all the faith that they need to believe God and appropriate all of His promises in the Bible and thus get the victory. So the key to having faith is getting to know God and yielding yourself to Him! He will then give you everything that you need to love, obey and serve Him with! And then you will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, and all of the things you need will be added unto you! Amen.
#Seek #First #Kingdom #God #Righteousness #Food #Clothing #Faith #Birds #Heart #Search #Holy #Spirit #Yoke #Bread #Live #Mouth #Perish #Repentance #Promise
By John Foll
, written between 03/11/2017 and 03/12/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017
Are there “extra rewards on top of getting to live eternally?” After thinking more on this, we now think that this is a good question! We had seen this article on Disqus.com for several days before responding to it, probably because it seemed extraneous or something like that. (We don’t remember exactly.) Maybe we thought that those who get to Heaven won’t care how they got there after the fact. But after thinking on this some more, a statement made by Jesus was presented to our mind, which we posted in this Disqus discussion:
To answer this discus main question, Jesus said that those who teach others to keep even the least of God's commandments shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:19. Those who have been moved with love and compassion to help erring ones to know and keep God's commandments, which are all love, will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Do you want this blessing? Then let God make a change to your heart and life, so you can bring honor and glory to His wonderful name, and teach others to love and obey God too! And you will get that promised great reward.
Are there any of God’s commandments that are too small for us to concern ourselves with? Are there any of God’s commandments that are too small for us to worry about keeping or too small for us to teach others to keep? No. Jesus says that those who keep even the least of these commandments and teach others to keep them will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. What about those who keep God’s greatest commandments and teach others to keep them?Will they not have even a greater reward?
“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses thatof the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19-20 NASB.
We don’t want to focus on this text in its typical manner, but focus today on ‘keeping these commandments and teaching others to do so’:those that do this ‘shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.’
What commandments does Jesus mean when He says “these commandments?”Jesus here plainly declares which commandments we are to keep and teach others in the preceding passage: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 NASB. The ‘commandments’ that Jesus is talking about here in Matthew 5:19-20 is “the Law and the Prophets”. This means not only the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20,but it also clearly means the entire Old Testament, because they were the only Scriptures when Jesus spoke this. But since the words that Jesus spoke are also the Word of God, and since He commissioned His disciples to preach the gospel to the whole world, we also include the entire New Testament as well to be the Word of God.
Jesus declared here that those who keep ‘these commandments’, contained in the Bible, and teach others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. Yes it’s true, there is great reward in keeping God’s Law, the commandments, and in teaching others to do so, even though many in our day think that you shouldn’t keep them or can’t keep them, or shouldn’t teach others to do so! They try to say that this is works, and that we are under grace and thus should not keep God’s holy Law. Some of them even imply that you are sinning if you want to keep God’s Holy Law, since they say we are under grace, and equate all attempts to keep God’s commandments as self-righteousness. But the Bible clearly teaches that God can give us the power to keep His Law when He writes His Law in our Heart. Jeremiah 31:31-34. But what does the Bible say regarding God’s holy Law? “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORDis sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD aretrue and righteous altogether. More to be desired are theythan gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.Moreover by them is thy servant warned: andin keeping of them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 KJV. In keeping God’s 10 Commandments and other commandments in the Bible there is great reward! Do you want this great reward? Do you want to be warned so that you are not lost? Do you want to be truly converted so that you can go to Heaven? Do you want to be pure? Do you want to be clean? Do you want to be good and live a righteous life? Do you want your eyes to be enlightened? Do you want to rejoice? Are you simple but want to be wise? Do you want to taste of the good things to come from God, with all of the sweetness of the rich experience of the blessing of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Acts 5:32. Then study God’s Law of Love, or the two Tables of the Testimonies or the 10 Commandments and all of His righteous judgements and commandments in the Bible, and ask Him to help you to keep them. In keeping them and teaching them to others there is great reward!
Now back to the question to be discussed: Is going to Heaven the highest reward? No.While many people will be happy just to get there, those who have fallen in love with God, will have great joy in teachingothers to love God too! They get a reward of joy in this life, from the ones that they know of whom they have helped, but in Heaven they will get a much greater reward of eternal joy, that lasts forever! This is because those whom they helped to get there will remind them of how thankful they were that someone showed them how to be saved, but more importantly Jesus and His Father will be happy with them! But the ones who get these higher rewards are not doing it just for the reward, but because they love Jesus and His Father!These rewards are above and beyond that of just going to Heaven. These rewards are something a selfish heart can never know or understand, unless it has a great change made in it.
We wish we could make everyone understand the great reward that God wants to give them, if they would only want to keep His Law, because they love Him and teach others to do so too! But alas, this great reward can only be known by those who want what God has to give them, before they have fully learned how precious it is.This reward of love can only be known by those who want to obey Him, because they have learned to love Him, and received His help to obey. There is no way to fully understand what God wants to give you until you experience it for yourself, because it has to be experienced to be understood! But we have tried and will keep trying our best to try to inspire you with the joy and wonder of loving and serving God all-the-way, as long as He gives us breath to praise His name and helps keep us on track with His love. God never fails!
Jesus also said: “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” Matthew 24:44-47 NASB. Here again,Jesus is promising that there will be a great reward in serving Him faithfully in giving His household their food (the word of God) at the proper time and season, which is the same thing as teaching others to keep God’s commandments: the reward for them will be to be put in charge of all of His possessions. This is not just talking about the eternal life that Jesus has promised to all who believe in Him, but the special blessings that come from serving Him willingly, and teaching others to love Him and His Father’s Law too: there will be blessings for this in this life and forever in the life to come!
And again, here is another place where Jesus declares that there is a great reward to be gained: “Butlove your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” Luke 6:35 NASB. Why? Because God is also kind to ungrateful and evil men, so you will have a great reward if you love your enemies. If you do this, your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High! Just think about the honor that God is willing to bestow on you! “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” 1 John 3:1 KJV.
And what is another great reward that Jesus promised? “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23 KJV. If you suffer for His sake and are persecuted, you will have a rich reward in Heaven, becauseyou will have shown others that He has the power to help all to obey Him! This same reward is spoken of in Revelation: “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:13-17 NASB. So the ones who made it through the great tribulation and have washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb will have the great reward of serving Him day and night in His temple, and they will hunger and thirst no more, because He will satisfy their hunger for Him, and satisfy their need of His love and His righteousness! And He will shield and protect them!
At the Second Coming, Jesus speaks of the reward to be given to those who have done His work in helping others for Him: “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You somethingto drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them,you did it to Me.'” Matthew 25:31-40 NASB. So Jesus will reward all those who helped others with their needs, or visited those who were sick, alone, or in prison, clothed and fed those who were hungry and in need, and preached the gospel to others; this reward will last for all eternity. All who are saved alike will share in this reward, but those who have given more or all for Jesus and served Him gladly, helping and teaching others to love and obey Him will have a greater reward.Notice that Jesus is addressing all of those who are on His right, which are all of those who are saved: that they have served Him by helping others. Thus it appears that no one who enters Heaven will do so without serving Him and helping others. So is there really an extra reward above being saved? Not if everyone is sharing in at least part of the reward of serving Him and helping others. But there still appears to be a choice of how much someone ones to do in loving and serving God and in helping others!Those who really love Him, will give all to serve Him, and will see no great sacrifice in doing this for Him, it will be their greatest desire! And it will be no great sacrifice for them to do everything they can to help others get to know Him, and to help them with all of their needs that are in their power to help. We believe that God sees this and will reward every man according to his works. Notice what Jesus says here in Revelation: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12 KJV. Thus every faithful man or woman’s reward is according to their works or according to their love and devotion and service to God! Each is rewarded according to their works; this is above and beyond just being saved and going to Heaven! Here is another place in Revelation that declares that there is a reward that the righteous in Christ will get, because their works follow them: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13 KJV. We are not saying that their works saved them, only the blood of Jesus can save anyone, it is an act of Grace from God, but of all who love God, their works will follow them in the resurrection! And they will be rewarded according to their works.So some may have a greater reward than others, depending on their works, done by His power, as an act of love and devotion to Him!
Conclusion: Jesus says about this great reward that He promised to His faithful in Heaven:“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’” Matthew 25:21 KJV. Thus all may share in this great reward, if they will be willing to do all that they can to serve Him and help others. Then they will enter into the joy of their Lord, they will enter into Heaven and live forever with Him in eternal peace, love, joy and happiness! Amen!
#Heaven #Greatest #Highest #Reward #Eternal #Life #God #Jesus #Works #Good #Commandments #Kingdom #Least #Teach #Keep #Obey #Love #Serve #Second #Coming
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Philippians 1:9-11 NASB.
My prayer is that your love would abound more and more and that your love for God would grow stronger and stronger. God's love for you is the key on how you can have a happy life, full of love, joy and peace and hope for the future and have the faith to please Him. His love for you is the key on how you can give up destructive sinful habits, and treat others with love and kindness, and to love and forgive yourself. God will help you to gain the knowledge of the important matters in this life and to gain wisdom and discernment, in order to make the right decisions and choices in this life of perplexity and trouble.
This knowledge and wisdom that God will give you, if you love Him and seek after Him with all your heart, will help you to approve the things that are excellent, so that you will be sincere and blameless before Him, as Paul declares above, His peculiar treasure. God wants to fill you with the fruit of righteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ.
How can you be filled with the fruit of righteousness? It’s when you have confessed your sins, given your heart to God, and invited or allowed Him to fill you with His precious Holy Spirit! When this happens, your greatest desire will be to give the praise and glory to God in everything, not only from your lips, but by the way you live and by proclaiming His love to others - to as many as possible. God's great love for you will enable you to have the fruit of righteousness in your life, and helps you to please Him! - He will thus preserve and help you so that when Jesus Christ comes back in the clouds with great glory and power, to take His people home, that you will say, 'This is my God, whom I have waited for! He has come back to save me, just like He said He would.' Then you will not shrink back in fear, because you have been forgiven and washed white as snow, and you have devoted your life to Him, because you love Him!
God's love for you is the key to how you can have these blessings of love, joy, peace, faith, hope, and eternal life forever with Him, in the endless joy and delight that God has promised to all who love Him and all those who would desire His sweet salvation! So humble yourself before God, confess all of your sins, give your heart completely to Him, and receive the joy of your salvation, by receiving His love into your heart, which He has always longed to give you! Then He will put heaven into your heart!This will give you great joy and keep you safe in His love; to help prepare you to receive eternal life, when Jesus returns to take His own to Heaven!
So I pray that your love may abound still more and more, that God would be your all-in-all, and that your joy would be made full! Oh so full! Amen, let it be so!
#Pray #Love #Abound #Discernment #Knowledge #Fruit #Righteousness #Jesus #Joy #Peace #Hope #Choice #Decision #Sincere #Blameless #Holy #Spirit #Devotion #Wisdom #Salvation
By John Foll, 12-9-2016
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” Acts 4:19-20 KJV. Their answer to the rulers at Jerusalem indicates that they were determined to keep the command of Jesus to tell of God’s love to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:19-21), regardless of what their religious leaders told them. They didn’t mind the obstacles that were placed in their way to hinder them, or the mistreatment they received, but counted it all joy to suffer for Jesus’ sake. “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicingthat they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Acts 5:40-42 KJV. They didn’t stop preaching Jesus, even after they were beaten and warned to stop. The prophet Jeremiah states the desire to speak of what he had seen and heard of God like this: “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9 NASB. Thus when you love Jesus, you cannot help but speak of what He did for others and for you, like the Apostles and the prophets of old did!
If you have heard and seen that Jesus and His Father love you, and that Jesus died to save you, and believe, you cannot help but tell it to others what God has done for you!If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalms 34:8), and ‘have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come’ Hebrews 6:4-5 NASB, you cannot help but speak of these things that you have seen and heard to as many who will listen, or you will greatly long to show them His love or help them in whatever way God has given you the ability to do. Failure to do this will cause your wells of water and springs to run dry.
If you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, it will be just as natural for you as it was for Peter, James, John and the other Apostles to speak of God’s love and the gospel to the world, as they did in the book of Acts. Or to do your part to help in whatever way the Spirit has given you the ability and the gifts to do. It will be your greatest desire! If you have not really seen, heard, or believed, then you will be unable to tell this truth effectively to others, unless you pray for God’s special blessing until you get it. God can still bless you before you have completely consecrated yourself to Him, but it is much better to taste the wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit that God wants to give you! Once you have tasted of this wonderful gift of God, you cannot help but testify of Jesus and the Father’s love. And you will never thirst again, for Jesus said, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 KJV. “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” John 7:37-39 NASB. So we see here that the gift to satisfy our thirst that Jesus promised, is the promise of the Holy Spirit, and it was to be given to all willing Christians, starting at Pentecost (Acts 1:4-5, 8) to the end of time, to all who are thirsty and believe in Jesus. These are the conditions. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”Matthew 5:6 KJV. These words are still true for us today, if we will hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, we will be filled! Thus this promise of the Holy Spirit is for all who are thirsty for Jesus’ love, and hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled, if they believe in Him.
Now let’s recap and finish our passage in Hebrews 6: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.” Hebrews 6:4-8 NASB. Jesus says something similar to this when He said, “If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”John 15:6 KJV. Again this reiterates that those who have tasted of the Heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit, and have not continued to abide in Christ, will become withered and they will eventually be gathered and cast into the fire at the judgement, unless they repent.
It is beyond our belief how someone could experience the wonder of the gift of being born again, receiving the Holy Spirit, and ever want to go back to their life without the Holy Spirit again, but Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it can happen. And in fact there were a few examples in the Bible where it did happen. Read about Balaam the prophet (Numbers 22, 24; 31:8, 16; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11), and the prophet who was slain by the lion. 1 Kings 13:11-30.
We also note that Samson, who had the Holy Spirit, lost Him through disobedience, but at the end of his life he prayed to God, and God heard His prayer and avenged His enemies, by allowing Samson to slay more in his death, of God’s enemies, than in his life.*We believe by faith that God forgave Samson, because he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32, and because God heard is prayer at the end of his life and gave him his miraculous strength back, because we know that God heareth not sinners. John 9:31. See Judges 14:5-6; 19, 15:14; 16:20-21 for information proving that Samson had the Holy Spirit. Samson probably didn’t really appreciate the wonderful gift of strength that was given to him before he lost it and his eyes were put out. But we believe that he wanted the Lord’s help again just before he died, to serve God’s command for his life one last time. Judges 16:22-31. And God worked a miracle, so Samson’s life was not in vain, and used him to help His people out of their desperate situation with their enemies. Samson’s enemies had mocked his God by thinking that their gods were more powerful, because they had given him into their hands. But this wasn’t so, and God avenged his name among the heathen by Samson’s sacrifice of his life, when he enabled Samson to bring down the house on the lords of the Philistines and the people gathered there with them. So Samson hadn’t fully appreciated the gift of God he had been given, but later regretted it and God forgave him, when he turned back to Him in prayer.
*We want to thank our stepdad, David Jenkins, for reminding us of this wonderful fact about Samson in Hebrews 11.
So there is hope for you, if you used to have a born again experience with God, and you have let it slip away, if you will repent now. Maybe you didn’t fully know what you had? Maybe you have been in a lukewarm state for a long time, without the love of God fully in your life, or the joy that knowing Him brings? Do you long for the experience that you once had with God? How long has it been? God will take you back, if you will return to Him with all your heart! “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13 NASB. But we believe that if you have lost it, that you probably hadn’t experienced it in its fullness, because Hebrews 6:4-8 says that it is hard to walk away, if you have ever fully tasted the fruits of God’s precious Holy Spirit in your heart in full force. It is the most precious thing you can ever experience in this life!
It is hard to walk away from this experience of knowing Jesus and His Father. Why would you want to? But it is also a most dangerous thing to live in a lukewarm Christian state, neither for God nor against Him, but in the middle. Revelation 3:14-17. That is why this passage in Hebrews 6:4-8 is given, for our instruction.
Jesus says to His Church today: “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:20-21 NASB. Amen! Let it be so. When you hear Jesus knocking on the door of your heart, open it up and let Him come in. You will never regret it, we promise you! “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.’” John 14:23 NASB. Jesus promise to you is: if you will open the door of your heart, let Him come in and dine with you and you with Him, and if you will keep His Word, He and His Father will love you and come and make their abode with you! Oh precious promise! Amen!
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