By John Foll
, finished 5/5/2018.
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Then another came, saying, `Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, `I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, `Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' (And they said to him, `Lord, he has ten pounds!') `I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" Luke 19:20-27 RSV.
The NASB has this as, “you worthless slave”:
"He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?” Luke 19:22 NASB.
Jesus’ words here apply to all who make the claim of being one of God’s people and have been in the church or the synagogue for years, who are not doing enough or anything at all to help others or show them how much He or His Father love them. They are ‘worthless servants’, ‘worthless slaves’. They knew what their master required of them, but did nothing about it. “He hath shewed 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 KJV.
Did you know that everyone is a ‘slave’ or a ‘servant’ to someone or something? Paul declares: “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. So there are but two choices in this life, you can yield all the way to God and become His servant or you can become a slave or servant of sin and death. Which will you have? If you are a Christian that means that you are Jesus’ servant or disciple. Those who are not Jesus’ willing servant are not really a Christian at all. Jesus will especially judge all who ‘claim to be a Christian’ by higher standards than those who don’t. Out of their own mouth they will be judged. To know whose side you are on, you must know who you are yielding yourself a servant to obey. The Holy Spirit or ‘the flesh’. Once you know who you are yielding to, on a regular, daily basis, you will understand your life’s final destiny. That is why this parable of the worthless servant or worthless slave is so important! For God will hold all of His servants accountable in the day of Judgement as we shall see below.
This parable by Jesus in Luke 19:20-27 is an illustration of the coming judgement. The “worthless slave” and the “wicked servant” represent the people of God who do not let their light shine for His glory. Jesus called them a “worthless slave.” Also note what He said here: “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” John 15:8 NASB. In another related parable Jesus said: “And He began telling this parable: "A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, 'Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?' "And he answered and said to him, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ "” Luke 13:6-9 NASB. This parable represents the coming judgement. But it happens before the final judgement, because this was primarily a prophecy about the Jewish nation who were rejecting Him. We are not saying this to bash the Jews, for many Christians also are not bearing fruit for the Master. This prophecy applies to all ‘Christians’ as well who bear no fruit for Him. This parable is a warning to all of God’s people everywhere who are fruitless and lifeless. Eventually everyone’s life’s record comes up before God. He gives all a chance to repent and get to know Him and bear fruit for His glory. Of all who make the claim of being His people, He looks at them carefully, longing for His own to finally bear fruit for His glory. James says, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7 KJV. Here ‘The husbandman’ is God the Father. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:1-2 KJV. Oh how our loving Heavenly Father waits for His ‘people’ to finally bear fruit for His glory! He has long patience for it. Every branch He prunes that it may bear more fruit (John 15:1-2) and every lifeless branch, gets cast into the fire to be burned. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:6 NASB. And so all who do not abide in Jesus - they will not bear fruit for God’s glory, and sadly they eventually will be gathered up and cast into the fire to be burned.
James 5:7 is also making a reference to the coming judgement when he says, ‘Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.’ This message from James has a special application to all those who claim they are waiting for Christ’s Second Coming. Those who make the claim they are waiting for Jesus’ Second Coming, if they really believe it, will ask God to help them bear much fruit for His glory. Those who do not heed this message to bear much fruit for God will be in trouble. Jesus was repeating what the Father said when He said, ‘I have waited three years for it to bear fruit, cut it down.’ Jesus represents the gardener who said fertilize it and give it more time to bear fruit. Jesus represents the vineyard keeper in this parable in Luke 13:6-9, because he said, ‘I will fertilize it and dig around it – if it doesn’t bear fruit next year then cut it down.’ Jesus pleads with the Father to give His people more time to repent and bear fruit for His Father’s glory. Yes, the Father has long patience that His people would finally bear fruit for His glory, and if they would do all that He asks them to do, and seek Him with all of their heart. If they would seek after Him with all their heart, He would grant them the precious blessing of bearing fruit for His glory! “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NASB. But make no mistake! The vineyard keeper or the gardener in the parable of Luke 13:-6-9, said, 'Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’ Luke 13:9. Jesus said, leave the tree alone a year, until it has been fertilized, and if it bears fruit next year fine, but if not, ‘cut it down.’ This is in answer to God’s command and question: Cut it down, why does it even take up the ground? All of the true subjects of God’s kingdom are not ‘cumberers of the ground.’ They just don’t take up the ground, soaking up all the blessings from God, and the rich root of the vine, Jesus, but they bear much fruit for the Master.
Back to our original text in Luke 19:20-27: Jesus called that man a “wicked servant” in the King James Version. The NASB version calls the man a “worthless slave.” Both are right. Those who make the claim of following and believing in Jesus, yet do not bear fruit for the Father’s glory are not only a “worthless servant,” but a “wicked slave.” God has provided everything we need to love and serve Him with: He gave us Jesus His Son for the sins of the world (John 3:16-17), and He gave us the promise of the Comforter or the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB. But those who will not take the time to get to know God, love and obey Him, will not have this blessing, and will not be able to live a righteous life, which makes them “wicked” and “worthless.” Those that are trying to work out their own righteousness by their own skill or will, or those who make the claim of being God’s people who are not too concerned about the sin in their life, alike will not receive the blessing of righteousness that God wants to give them through the Holy Spirit, and will be that “wicked servant” whom God will take away even what they don’t have. Both of these examples are self-righteousness, because real righteousness only comes from God. Those who will not bear fruit for God, who make the claim of being one of His children will eventually be judged for this. God will eventually say, “Why does it take up the ground! Cut it down!”
Unfortunately, someday soon these sad words will be uttered against all who refuse to let Jesus dig around the soil of their heart and receive the spiritual ‘fertilizer’ from Him, the dew of Heaven or the gift of the Holy Spirit. This would have given them the spiritual growth they needed in order to please the Master of the vineyard. This is what God will say someday to those wicked, worthless and lazy servants, unless they repent and allow Him to make a change in them that they cannot make themselves. Bearing fruit for God is not salvation by works, but the lack of good works in these “wicked servants” shows that they had no vital connection with God, did not know Him, and had not availed themselves of His many precious promises. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4 KJV.
All are promised salvation if they would only believe in Jesus, God’s only Son. And if they truly believe, they would get to know God, keep His word, and the Holy Spirit would be abiding in them, and then they would bear much fruit for Him. No! The wicked, worthless and lazy servants of God have not claimed His rich promises, nor believed in them, and have not been born again of the water and of the Spirit (John 3:3, 5), and will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. Then it will be a sad day for their soul, because at the end of their probation at the judgment they will be accounted with the enemies of God, as Jesus said: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.’” Luke 19: 27 KJV. Those who will not avail themselves of the wonderful salvation that God has provided them through Jesus, and allow Him to fill them with the Holy Spirit, unless they repent, will become His enemies, and will be that “wicked”, lazy and “worthless” servant who doesn’t want Jesus or His Father to rein over them; they will not have God rule over their heart, because they do not love Him. Jesus reiterated this when He said: ‘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. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.’ John 14:23-24 NASB. So only those who truly love Jesus and His Father will keep Jesus’ word and have Him and His Father making their abode in their heart, through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
From the words of their mouth will God judge those wicked servants. They knew that their Heavenly Father wanted them to bear much fruit for Him, so at the very least they should have put His talents that He gave them out to “the exchangers” and traded with it to increase it in some way. They could have at least given money to God’s servants who were preaching the Gospel to the poor, and to His missionaries in foreign lands, instead of doing nothing. But instead, they hid their talents that God gave them, showing their disdain for Heaven’s blessings. While it is true that God is love, many people forget that they have a responsibility to others in this world to help them, and follow all of His commandments, which are to love Him more than anyone or anything else, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Matthew 22:36-40. If you do not want to be that “worthless” or “wicked slave,” ‘trade your talents’ in such a way as to enrich God’s kingdom and help it grow. This is to teach your neighbor of God’s love or help them in some way, so that God’s kingdom can grow. Those that do not love God enough to help Him grow His kingdom, do not really love Him or Jesus, and will eventually become that “wicked” “worthless” slave who is God’s enemy.
Be not like that “wicked,” lazy, and “worthless” servant of God who did not avail themselves of God’s many promised blessings, and allow Him to make them all that He wanted them to be. Let Jesus dig around the soil of your heart, allow the trials that He sends you to mold you and shape you. Allow Jesus to fertilize the soil of your heart, and give you the water of life, that you may become born again. When you become truly born again, and get the Holy Spirit for yourself, it will be the most natural thing in the world for you to bear much fruit for God, it will be your greatest desire! This will be proof that the Holy Spirit is in your heart and that you know God.
Let’s finish out that parable by going back to the beginning of it, which takes place in Heaven, as those who love God are ushered into the Pearly gates:
“When he [Jesus] returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.' Luke 19:15-19 RSV.
And the Parallel passage from Matthew:
“And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 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. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, 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 25:20-23 KJV.
So whether you have received 10 talents from the Lord, or 5 or 2 or even 1, invest them all for the glory of God, so that when Jesus comes back to take His people home He will say, ‘well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Enter into the joy of Heaven, that Jesus has prepared for all those who love Him. And there will be much joy throughout the endless ages of eternity – for those who have invested the Master’s talents for His service that He gave them! Amen.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, and give you the refreshing dew of Heaven, and grant you many precious fruits to bear for the Master. That you may enter into the joy of your Lord. Amen.
#Worthless #Servant #Slave #Wicked #Talents #Invest #Yield #Obey #Holy #Spirit #Flesh #Bear #Fruit #Burned #Jesus #Judgment #Vineyard #Husbandman #Helper #Comforter
By John Foll
, written 3/25/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll
“Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” John 13:8 NASB.
At the last supper, which was part of the Jewish Passover, the Jews had customs of washings, especially before religious events. Apparently servants sometimes washed the feet of those at these events, like the Passover, but since none of the disciples offered to take up this menial role, Jesus rose up and did the part of the servant. But when He came to Peter, Peter said, ‘never shall You wash my feet!’ He didn’t think that Jesus should be washing anyone’s feet, since He was the Son of God. Why would a king wash someone else’s feet? Whether or not we are right that the disciples expected someone else to wash their feet, i.e. a servant, it is clear that none of them got up to do the job. And so Jesus did. But we think that this is true, based on Jesus’ comment below in Luke 22:23-27 and in John 13:12-17.
“And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing. [Betray Jesus.] And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves."” Luke 22:23-27 NASB.
The disciples were bickering about who was the greatest among them, and did not think who would take the servant’s role of washing feet, or serve those at the table. Maybe this was why none of them got up to serve the others? But Jesus explained that the greater one is the one who serves.
“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’” John 13:9-11 NASB.
The disciples, except for Judas, were clean. But they needed help and needed to make some changes. Each of them needed to stop bickering and seeking the first place for themselves, and they needed to be the servant of others. They had lessons to learn on pride and self-seeking. In the same way, in our day, those who are Christian, who should love Jesus and want to be His servant, His modern day disciple, sometimes bicker and disagree with each other. But unfortunately not all who claim to be Christian, who should be Jesus’ disciple, are clean, and not all are truly His servant – some serve themselves during the week, and then come to Church. But some are clean, and just need to learn this lesson of humility, to wash one another’s feet.
“So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’” John 13:12-17 NASB.
What things are you blessed if you do them? Wash one another’s feet, or to bear one another’s burdens; being the servant of the brethren and others. Is Jesus your Master? Yes? Then do as He did and serve others, washing their feet and helping them. Blessed are you if you do these things, following in your Master’s footsteps. Do you know what Jesus has done for you? Then walk in His footsteps.
Dear reader, are you Jesus’ disciple? Are you His servant? Are you clean before Him? Have you let the Spotless Lamb of God take away your sins and make you clean? If you do not let Jesus wash you, you have no part with Him! You must let Him forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Then you will be His disciple. If you appreciate His love for you, which took the guilt and burdens of your sins away from you and gave you peace, you should greatly love Him. If you love Him, you can’t help but want to be His servant. If you are His servant, you will want to bear one another’s burdens and wash the brethren’s feet. If you are His servant you will want to tell others about God’s love for you and how He saved you and took all your sins and burdens away! If He has done all of this for you, how could you not be His servant? How could you not love Him all the way, and be filled with His love, joy, and wonderful peace? Something to think about… Blessed are you if you do these things – wash one another’s feet and be Jesus’ servant and disciple.
Do not seek to be first. Do not seek your own way. Do not bicker with one another, or beat up on God’s other servants. Be clean from all your sins, allowing Jesus to take them all away, and have wonderful peace! Let the kindness and love of God fill your heart, may His wonderful Spirit fill you, and make you His loving servant, sacrificing all on the altar of your heart, counting all things but rubbish, but for the excellency of knowing and serving Him. God forbid that we should glory in anything but the cross! “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14 KJV.
May the grace of God be with you. May you decide to follow Jesus, be clean and wash one another’s feet. Amen.
#Wash #Another #Feet #No #Part #With #Me #Jesus #Pride #Selfseeking #Disciple #Servant #Clean #Holy #Spirit #Greatest #Crucified #Christ #Glory #Cross
By John Foll
, entered 11/29/2016 from notes and updated, and finished 6/10/2017 to 6/19/2017.
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, ‘But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.’ John 14:31 NASB.
It’s time to get busy serving the Lord and carrying out His will. Get up, let us go from here! This is what Jesus said as He went out of the last supper with His disciples, to allow Judas Iscariot and the mob to arrest Him and take Him to Jerusalem, that He might die on the cross for our sins. Men did a lot of bad things to Jesus, but it was necessary for our salvation and for the world that He submit to all that Satan and evil men would do to Him; that He would drink this cup that the Father had given Him to drink and die on the cross for our sins, a most cruel death, but He did it out of love for His Father and for you and me! But He would see all the people who would be saved, and be satisfied with His sacrifice. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11 KJV. Never forget what Jesus did for you and the other sinners in this world! Meditate on this often, never let it depart from your mind.
In like manner, if we love Jesus and His Father, it is time, high time, that we go out from here to carry out God’s plan to save the world. God will give us the Holy Spirit and all of the gifts that we need to carry out His will, if this is our desire. We will not worry what people will say or do against us, but will proceed to carry out God’s will. And no matter what cross we have to bear, or what hardship we have to endure, or what comfort or need we forgo to have the funds and resources to help others get to know Him, it will all be worth it in the end, for we will see the work of our life in the souls we have helped and won God’s power and be satisfied, like Jesus was, who is our Master. There will be much joy in Heaven for those who have been faithful in serving God and their fellow man. This is the reward of the righteous. This joy will be compounded and accrued throughout eternity! What kind of price can you place on someone else’s soul; for their love, joy and happiness throughout eternity? Have you no thought or care for their needs? Look at what Jesus did for you and the eternal peace, joy and happiness He bought for you. Does this not bring forth gratitude and love in your heart for Him? How can you hold back this love and joy that He has given you? You cannot, if you have received His forgiveness and love into your heart.
Get up, let us go from here. The fields are white for the harvest. “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’” John 4:34-36 NASB.
Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:8-11 NASB. Yes, God the Father would be glorified if you bear much fruit for Him; if you would lay everything on the altar and do everything that you can to win many precious souls for Him. How can you prove to be Jesus’ disciple? If you abide in His love as He abode in His Father’s love. This is how you keep His commandments, by abiding in His love. This is how you glorify His Father, like He did; by always doing exactly what He has commanded you to do. This is how you can have your joy made full, by abiding in Jesus’ love and bearing much fruit for God.
Do not worry if you are not sure how you can serve Him or think that you don’t have the skills or gifts needed. God will not ask you to do some great thing beyond your ability. Notice we didn’t say “current ability” or the gifts and abilities that you were born with. You might be surprised, if you have faith and believe, God is not limited in what He can do for you! He is your creator and loves you and can miraculously provide you with new gifts and abilities that you never had before, or help you to develop skills that you didn’t think that you had! Nothing good is impossible with God! Do not fear that God is asking you to do something that you cannot do. Do not say, ‘What can I do?” with the idea that you cannot do anything at all. Do not feel bad if you are not good at doing things that others feel are more important or that you should do. Do not look at what others are doing or not doing as your guide, but let your love for God and desire to serve Him fuel your efforts. Do not let others try to tell you what you should or should not do to serve God. Do not look to man to figure out what you should or should not do. Lean not to the flesh. Some may have wise counsel that you should listen to, if they know you well and are ‘Spirit filled’, but many people see things only as man sees them, not through the eyes of faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. It is not wise to listen to those who have not yielded themselves fully to God and do not fully believe. Or to those who have not experienced the joys of serving God. Look to God who cannot fail. If the Christians that you are close to or observe are lukewarm and not doing anything, this will have no bearing on you, if you love Jesus.
If you love Jesus, you will be willing to serve Him, and ask Him for the help and direction needed to serve Him effectively. If you are willing, and trust Him, you will be given what you need to serve Him. In the verse before our passage above in John 15:8-11 Jesus said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 NASB. If you listen to all of Jesus’ words, and meditate on them in your heart, and allow them to work their way through to your soul, you will be transformed into His likeness. Then you will ask what you will need to serve Him with, and it will be given to you, because you abide in His love. You can be very bold in your requests to God, if you are clean before Him and have yielded yourself fully to Him! He will always listen to your prayers if you truly love Him! If you love Jesus and His Father, do not be afraid to ask them for the help you need to glorify them and to help save the lost, or to help in whatever way they would be pleased for you to serve. The Father would be delighted to give you all the gifts that you need and the direction as to how you can best serve Him. If you yield to Him all the way, He will give you all the help you need to succeed! This is His promise to you.
Jesus told all who would be His disciples how they can receive the gifts that they need to serve Him with when He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14 NASB. This asking of anything in Jesus’ name to the Father is not a blank check to ask for anything that you would want to ask, but is anything that would glorify Jesus and His Father, that is to do the ‘greater works’ than what Jesus did while He was on this earth. They are ‘greater works’ because of their extent throughout the world; various followers of Jesus would spread the good news of God’s love throughout the earth! Jesus has promised you, that if you ask anything in His name, He will give it to you. To ask in His name is to ask for what you need to carry out His will. You should know that if you have yielded yourself fully to Jesus and His Father, then your heart will become ‘knit’ with them, and you will ask them for all the gifts that you need to serve them with. God would be delighted to give you your requests, whenever you pray in Jesus’ name, believing in Jesus, as this passage plainly states.
Do you want to receive the wages of the reaper or the gatherer? Do you wish to serve Jesus in telling the world of His Father’s love? Then your food and drink will be to do the work that He has given you to do. Your greatest desire will be to serve Him and do all that you can to help others know and be saved too. Whether you are a sower or a reaper you will rejoice in being given a part to play in this great work of God’s love for the world, and you will have your reward. If you love Jesus and His Father, you will do exactly as He has commanded you: To go out and make disciples of all men, teaching them all things that He has commanded, and lo, He will be with you, until the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20. Amen. Jesus has commanded all of His true followers, His disciples, until the end of the world to bear much fruit for His Father and win many souls for the kingdom. This brings honor and glory to God, for God is love! 1 John 4:8. And He is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9.
Do you want to prove to be Jesus’ disciple? Then get up, let us go from here! Go out in His strength, and bear much fruit for His Glory! Amen.
#GetBusy #Serving #God #Go #Obey #Command #Meditate #Joy #Servant #Jesus #Food #Will #Disciple #Gifts #NoLimits #HolySpirit #Clean #Yield #Ask #Wages
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
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Jesus said, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 NASB.
Are you Jesus’ student? Have you been trained by Him? Are you still in training by Him? Be patient, if He is your teacher, and if you are a diligent student, you will be fully trained and will become like Him.He will take care of that for you, if you continue to let Him be your Master!
What does it mean to be like Jesus? How was Jesus? He was always loving, patient and kind. But because of His love this also meant that He had to warn those who were in grave danger of being lost, of their peril! This was the reason for His stern rebukes to some. He always knew the right approach for each person. Study His methods, be filled with His Spirit, and then you will be able to know which approach you should use with those you come in contact with.
God will also use trials and circumstances to train you, if you will let Him. “Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:9-13 NASB.
A lot of the problems that Christians have are brought on by themselves, until they yield fully to Him because they love Him. There are two ways to be saved, the easy way and the hard way. The hard way is to try to be your own master, and give in to God now-and-then, and then have to go through excruciating trials until you agree to let Him lead and you follow Him or give up totally being a Christian, and the easy way, which is to learn how much He loves you, throw yourself on His great mercy, and let Him help you, then yield to Him fully! It is much easier for God to work with a contrite, totally yielded heart, because those that do this invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in their heart, and He will make it very easy for them to be like Jesus! This only happens when someone stops struggling against God, and invites Him to rule their heart. Why struggle? Why not make it easy on yourself and yield fully to His loving power now? You have nothing to lose but your sins, lack of peace, lack of faith, lack of hope, lack of joy, lack of self-control, lack of assurance of your salvation, and the deeds of the flesh.‘Those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:19-21. Why would you want to hold on to any of these things? If you will just yield to Him now, all-the-way, He will make it easy for you! Galatians 5:22-23.
“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:6-8 NASB. Do you want to please God? Why would you want to be hostile toward Him?If you are living in the flesh, you are hostile against God and cannot please Him, but if you want life and peace, set your mind on the Spirit like Paul says. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Romans 8:9 KJV. Do you want to belong to Christ?Then you must have His Spirit, and walk in His Spirit, or you are ‘none of His’, as the King James Version of the Bible puts it, or you do not belong to Him, as the New American Standard Bible puts it.
What they did to Jesus, they will do to His true followers who continue to be trained by Him and want to serve Him. Jesus says, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they callthem of his household?” Matthew 10:24-25 KJV.
If they called Jesus the ‘prince of Demons’, what will they call His servants? Matthew 9:34; 12:24 KJV. Do not be afraid, Jesus and His Father love you and will take care of you! If you love Jesus, do not worry about those that can destroy the body but not the soul, but fear God in Heaven only! Matthew 10:28. Do not let what others might say or have said keep you from the joy of following in your Master’s footsteps and being His servant!
Now listen to this account of Peter and the apostles after they had been imprisoned (Acts 5:18), because they were following Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), and after they were released by the angel and ordered to preach again by God, as revealed to them by this angel (Acts 5:19-20): “And when they had brought them, they set thembefore the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” Acts 5:27-28 KJV. * * * “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, rejoicing that 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. Before the rulers let them go, they were beaten and told not to preach anymore in His name again! So we see here that despite being imprisoned, beaten and being warned by the leaders of Jerusalem from preaching of Jesus, Jesus’ disciples rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name! How and why were they able to rejoice because they had suffered for Jesus? Is this a normal human behavior? Certainly not! No one likes to be abused, but they were so happy, because they loved Jesus so much, that they were able to rejoice because of this suffering! Because they knew it made Jesus and His Father happy, since they were willing to save the lost at all costs to themselves, just like Jesus was willing to give up all and Heaven forever for us! This is the Great Power of the Love of Jesus and of God!
It was the Holy Spirit that enabled the disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted, imprisoned and beaten! But why was it necessary that they should rejoice? Because it helped them to deal with the pain and shame of persecution. The joy that God gives all of Jesus’ disciples is part of the reward that He gives to those who love Him and belong to Him! Nothing brings greater joy to Jesus’ disciples than to bring others to the kingdom! This is because they have the Spirit of God, who is not willing that any should perish(2 Peter 3:9 KJV). Even though the devil doesn’t take it kindly when souls are won to God, and tries to destroy those who are helping God to free his prisoners, God enables them to press on and to do His work of love and mercy for the world!There is nothing that any human being or devil can do to take the joy of those who are serving God away! Yes, they might suffer cruel torture and death, and sometimes their suffering may not always appear to be joyful, but they will have joy many times on this earth, and they will have endless joy in Heaven throughout eternity, in helping others become as happy as they are and becoming saved! It makes all their suffering worthwhile! And like Jesus, they will see the travail of their soul and be satisfied, Isaiah 53:11, and count it all joy! (Of course not to the same degree as the infinite love of Jesus! But within their own human, finite limitations.)
We have cited Jesus’ declaration in this message that the servant is not above His master, therefore consider this: As the soldiers crucified Jesus, He said: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34 KJV. And listen to what Isaiah proclaimed about our Lord: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 KJV. Jesus did not say anything to save Himself, or say anything against His accusers, or to those crucifying Him or causing Him pain, but prayed to His Father to forgive them! Jesus never did anything to deserve the treatment He received from sinful men, but He did this to pay the price for our sins and was willing to forgive those who did this to Him! Therefore all of His servants must be willing to forgive those who are abusing them and spitefully treating them too!This is proof that Jesus is their Master and that they have the Holy Spirit.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 KJV.
And we will repeat this same text in the New American Standard, in case you have difficulty understanding the old King’s English:
“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. But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:44-51 NASB.
The faithful servants of Jesus will spend their time doing the work that God has given them to do, giving the lost their ‘meat in due season’ or ‘their food at the proper time’(i.e. they will help the lost receive the bread of life), and will not say that their Master delays His coming and will not tear into God’s other servants and people and will not live their life in drunkenness. This tells us that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night to those who are His faithful servants! We pray that you will so prove faithful to Jesus and keep doing His work until He returns! We pray that you will not eat and drink with the drunken, and not continually find fault with others, or repeat their sins to others behind their back, and will protect their reputations, so that Jesus will not come as a thief in the night for you.
So if Jesus is your Master, and you are His servant, then you will willingly follow in His footsteps, and forgive those who have wronged and hurt you, and maligned you in His name, even calling you evil, and do as He did - seek and save the lost.
Thus when a student of Jesus is fully trained, they will be like Him and will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and count it all joy when they suffer for His name. They will be like their teacher, have love and give forgiveness to their accusers and the ones who cause them pain, and count it all joy to suffer for His sake. And they will not stop, even when commanded by those in authority, from preaching in His name! Amen!
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Certificate of Achievement: This acknowledges that [blank] is a servant of God because he/she loves Jesus. [Your Name Goes Here?] Signed by the Holy Spirit. Today’s Date? Please look at this certificate and ponder the importance of what it is trying to teach, it is really quite simple, yet powerful. This pictorially shows us how we can please God, and know if we are on the right track or not. It is not just trying to be cute, but to help all to see the truth.
You cannot help but want to serve Jesus and His Father,if you truly love Him and His Father. In fact, if you have been born again, by the Water and the Spirit (John 3:5), this will be what you want, and will be the most natural thing in the world for you; it will be your greatest desire! And you will love your neighbor as yourself, by God’s power. This is proof that you really love God and are born again. All the peace, love, joy, faith, happiness and the power to serve God and bear fruit for His glory, is your wonderful privilege to have! John 15:8. It’s your destiny if you would claim it, and give your heart to Him! Why not? He loves you, and will give all of this to you if you will have it!
#God #Love #Heart #Certificate #Achievement #Serve #Peace #Joy #Happiness #Power #Privilege #Born #Again #Holy #Spirit #Proof #Servant #Please #Faith #Truth
By John Foll
, written 11/22/2016, updated 11/28/2016.
“Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6:28-29 NASB. What shall we do that we may do the works of God? Believe in the one God sent, Jesus. Yes, we repeated it. When you want to really understand a text, it is often helpful to read it again, because the Bible explains itself. Both the question and the answer are both contained in this text. This is another way of stating righteousness by faith!
How can we, who are sinners by nature, do the works of God? You can only do the works of God if you believe in Jesus, whom God has sent to be the Savior of the world!This is the real reason why many Christians do not live the way that they should and are falling into sin over and over again. Then they conclude that it is too hard to do what is right, and hear a sermon telling them that they do not have to worry about this, because they are under grace, and they are falsely comforted. Yes, you are under grace if you have confessed your sins.The requirement for God’s grace to be given to you is IF you have confessed your sins. 1 John 1:9. Why is it that people fall into sin over and over again? Could it not be because there is not a full belief in Jesus in whom God sent, as Jesus says above? Yes, for if they really believed, then they would work the works of God! Jesus also said, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ John 8:34-36 KJV. Jesus here plainly states that whoever commits sin is the servant of sin, and that ‘the servant abideth not in the house for ever,’ meaning that they will die. ‘But the Son abideth ever.’ Since Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us, He is able also to save us to the uttermost who come to God by Him. Hebrews 7:25. [My paraphrase from the KJV.] Therefore all who come to Jesus and truly believe will be free indeed,because this is what Jesus came to do! Just believe it!
If you believe in Jesus, whom God sent to this world, you will be given the power to work the works of God! Some think that ‘works’ is a dirty word, since we are not saved by works. While it is true that you are not saved by works, if you believe in Jesus you will do the works of God, and can’t help but do them. If anyone does not do the works of God, that means that they do not fully believe in Jesus, if at all. For if they believed in Jesus, they would be given the power from God to have good works. Jesus declares here that believing in Him is the work of God. [i.e. it produces good works.] Thus we see that works are good, if the person doing them believes in Jesus. But does this mean that all Christians are good or doing good works? No it doesn’t. Sadly not all Christians really fully believe in Jesus, even though they may make this claim. If they believed fully in Jesus, they would have the power to live a righteous life and would be working the works of God as Jesus said, and then it would not be self-righteousness. The fact that there are self-righteous Christians does not annul what Jesus said, because only those who really fully believe in Him will be doing the works of God! Everyone else who attempts to do the works of God, will always be self-righteous. All those who claim to be a Christian and think that it is OK to break His law because we are covered by grace, are also self-righteous, since they did not receive God’s righteousness. [If they had received Gods’ righteousness, then He would have helped them to keep His law.]
Someone who is intentionally or unrepentantly breaking God’s Law, and not loving their neighbor as themselves, cannot possibly be doing the works of God, which means that they do not really believe in Jesus. People who are doing bad things, or hurting other people are most definitely not working the works of God, and do not really believe in Jesus His Son, for all of God’s works are love and for the good of humanity! Yes, if you are not trying to do good works, because you think that God’s grace covers you, this is also a form of self-righteousness. Nobody can be good or acceptable to God if they do not have His righteousness! Only God’s righteousness is real righteousness, everything else is fake. “So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commandedyou; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left.” Deuteronomy 5:32 NASB. Neither the left nor the right have real righteousness, only those who follow exactly as God has commanded, and turn neither to the right nor to the left. But God’s righteousness is a gift that will be given to you, if you will believe fully in Jesus His Son to save you. If you have God’s righteousness in your life, then you will be working the works of God for real.
Let’s face it, the only way we can be forgiven (John 3:16-17), be righteous and acceptable before God, is if we fully believe in Jesus His Son. Then and only then will we be able to do the works of God without hypocrisy. This is how you may work the works of God, by truly believing in Jesus as your savior, whom the Father sent to this world to save you from your sins!Amen. If you desire to work the works of God, they are within your reach, for if you will just believe that Jesus the Son of God is your Savior, whom God sent, He will make you free indeed!This is a wonderful truth for all who love God and are tired of disappointing themselves and others by continual falling. God will make you better if you will just trust in His Son Jesus to save you from your sins! Then you will be free indeed! This is the true, complete gospel message that Jesus taught. Amen.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17 KJV.
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