I was thinking I only recently blogged something, and it has actually been over a year! The issue continues to concern me. BUSYNESS. There is an epidemic of it. Not to sound too cynical, but I have essentially given up on some people, because it is clear they will always be TOO BUSY no matter […]
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Rob, the love of my life. But, I also know and take great joy in that he is with our Lord, Jesus Christ and God our Heavenly Father. I cannot put into words how difficult the last several months have been. First, […]
Surprise, I’m back home…here at WP. 😛
As I was studying 2 Timothy, it hit me that in many churches there is a lack of pastoral counsel. I don’t know why it didn’t hit me in 1Timothy study. (I’ll accept it as the timing of the Holy Spirit.) I believe that there exist a lack of pastoral counsel because of what I’ve experienced, listening to the voice of many Christians and noticing the behavior of sheep and shepherd on Christian broadcasting shows via YouTube and other televised Christian outlets. I read a lot and hear so much about diluted and “anemic”(missing the blood) sermons; otherwise known as “watered down” and “sugar coated” sermons. Ahem.
I also read and hear a lot about/from Christians not being able to speak with a pastor to receive pastoral counseling. Hence, they end up going outside of the church for “worldly counsel”. Most churches are too busy with “busy work” instead of edifying work. I’m just saying. It seems to me that these are some of the reasons within the church that quite a few Christians are confused about what God requires of them; hence division and non-Christ like behavior exists within the body of Christ. Some even leave the church and pursue other entities. Then again, perhaps some pastors may have the thought of being sued on their mind if the wrong counsel is given. I say, be strong in the Lord and speak nothing but the truth to those that need and seek pastoral counsel. America has become a nation overflowing with lawsuits. Yea? Just something to ponder there! With that being said, let us begin.
What is meant by the term pastoral counsel today? Read article here Pastoral Counseling
Per Wikipedia: Pastoral counseling is a branch of counseling in which psychologically trained ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, and other persons provide therapy services. Pastoral counselors often integrate modern psychological thought and method with traditional religious training in an effort to address psychospiritual issues in addition to the traditional spectrum of counseling services. “What distinguishes pastoral counseling from other forms of counseling and psychotherapy is the role and accountability of the counselor and his or her understanding and expression of the pastoral relationship. Pastoral counselors are representatives of the central images of life and its meaning affirmed by their religious communities. Thus pastoral counseling offers a relationship to that understanding of life and faith. Pastoral counseling uses both psychological and theological resources to deepen its understanding of the pastoral relationship.”
For the sake of this blog, I will go by my biblical understanding of pastoral counseling: “In the Bible, pastoral counseling prototypes include ministers assigned by Moses to guide the Hebrew people in family, community, and religious life; the prophets Samuel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel; Jesus of Nazareth; and the apostle, Paul.”
In his second letter to Timotheus aka Timothy, Paul continues to give Timothy counsel. He starts out by telling him to “…be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” What a powerful admonition, don’t ya think? Simply put, it is a reminder that in our weakness, the Lord is strong. He is our strength. That was a hard and much needed lesson for me to learn. I/we can do nothing by ourselves. I/we need the Lord’s help when we are feeling helpless and/or weak. Think. Did Jesus not say that He “The Son can do nothing of himself…”? Did Jesus not say “It is written” when hounded by the devil? It is clear that a “good soldier” should be “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
Now, in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Paul said, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” And these are the lead verses we are going to receive counsel on since the Holy Spirit put it in my heart and on my mind. I am going to tune them in with other bible verses and my thoughts.
Let me share three (3) important points on being a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” aka a Christian soldier:
(1) Read Jeremiah 20 A “good soldier” will understand how Jeremiah felt. The words of God are like fire shut up in our bones when we don’t speak up about and for the Lord. He/she will know that we are at war daily between the flesh and the spirit just as Paul was, just as Adam and Eve was, etc.
(2) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.-Matthew 22:37-38 I used to put as a signature on my email accounts “To Know Me is To Love Me” This verse reminded me that to know the Lord is to love Him. It is written.
(3) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.- Ephesians 6:12(KJV) There are many out there that do not believe that Satan exists. A “good soldier” needs to know that he does exist and he is capable of disarming us. Take a close look around the world, what do you see? Unforgiveness, hatred, gender issues, murderers, false doctrines/bibles, flowered beliefs, watered down sermons, etc. are all disarming works of Satan. Crouching sin have crept into the mind and heart of many Christians. It is written.
Those points helped me to understand why pastoral counsel is important for the body of Christ. Paul also helped me to understand that a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” will endure hardship. A shepherd and other church leaders should be equipped to provide counsel period to congregants about enduring hardships. It brings to mind the expression “War is real”. In this day and time, war just seem to drop out of thin air. The people of God are turning against each other. That is why we need to acknowledge what is stated in Ephesians 6:12. We have been forewarned in the Word…a good soldier must prepare him/her self for this battle by putting on the whole armor of God. Read Ephesians 6 because :
BE Aware of Such Demons
Paul also reminds us that a “good solider” does not get entangled in living a worldly life. When a soldier is called to duty in an armed force he/she is no longer considered a civilian (member of the public). Right? Do you think that soldiers think about missing a television show, sex, or partying while a war is going on? A soldier’s primary focus and training becomes that of one thing and one thing only…winning the war. A “good soldier is one that no longer lives his/her life as a worldly civilian. Their focus is on the Word of God. A “good soldier” is one that carries his/her weapon (The Word of God) at all times. A “good soldier” should be well trained in using this weapon of burning fire. War is not watered down nor sugar coated so a “good soldier of Jesus Christ” in training should not have a watered down nor sugar coated mindset. He/she should be filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit and be “ready to rumble” as they say before a wrestling match.
A Note– For some reason the word fire reminded me of Daniel 7:9-10(KJV) “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.”
Enough said. Understand the message. Beloved, a war like none before will take place. It’s inevitable. We have received counsel from the Holy Bible. A “good soldier” will be prepared for battle and will overcome. It is written.
Thank you for stopping in. May you and I learn and apply these lessons to our lives daily. May you and I as a good soldier be ready for the Lord’s return. In Jesus name. Amen.
What’s On Our Plate?
Parts of the speech by Patrick Henry
“But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. …It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”
“……It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
When studying Romans 14, the first thing that came to mind was the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech made by Patrick Henry. Tis true that “different men often see the same subject in different lights…” Tis also true concerning the word of God. Paul said in verse one (1) “Him that is weak in faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”(arguments) In short, we as Believers are to help others who are learning the word of God. Do not argue points about what you know versus what they are beginning to know. Their plate is just beginning to be prepared. Help them to rightfully know what to put on their plate. Well, that’s what it says to me. 😛
The word on the street is that those (bible scholars) academically taught about the word of God arguably have more knowledge about what the Holy Bible and its references contained thereof. (What’s on their plate? Is it practiced?)
It is also arguable that there are also many who study on their own that can be considered bible scholars. (What’s on their plate? Is it practiced?)
It is unarguable that many can read the same book, study the same subject and see it in “different lights.” We do it here at WordPress i.e., share our views; some are the same and some are different pertaining to the same bible verses. We exercise our liberty of thoughts on many subjects like many before us. Nothing has changed.
Surely you know that we have all been fed milk before meat. As Believers, we also know that if anyone is without understanding(feeding), we are to feed them properly when leading them to the truth. “For no man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” (vs 7) We should not be like the scribes and Pharisees that placed stumbling blocks, so to speak, on the plates of those wanting to sup with the Lord. Please read Matthew 23
Thinking Inside the Plate Moment– You have taken the liberty to eat French cut green beans on your plate with pork seasoned with iodized salt and I have taken the liberty to eat Italian cut green beans with beef seasoned with pink salt. Which one of us is seasoned for hell’s feeding plate?
Now, I gathered that this chapter revolved around the argument of what is lawful and unlawful to eat. To this very day, some Believers follow certain dietary rules and point toward the Holy Bible as their reasoning. Some still argue about the observance of the Sabbath day and will climb a mountain that is not there to prove their point of view. I must ask. Do we as Believers not realize that these things are not reliant on us having access to the Kingdom of Heaven? The bible tells me that if we practice following the commandments and we break one of them, then all are broken. What is your understanding? and What is your understanding of Matthew 15:11? “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
The most important verses that stood out to me were- 8-“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, WE ARE THE LORD’S.” 12- “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”Knowing this, would you as a Believer still argue over and judge others according to their personal beliefs about what is biblical to eat? More importantly we may want to ask ourselves, Is God a God of technicality? When we meet Him on the day of judgement do you think He will say ‘Technically, you have been a good and faithful servant except for the times you ate the wrong food, and you worshiped me on a Sunday, off to hell you go’? I don’t believe so. The adversary would like us to think on those terms; arguing about what God said and didn’t say. Remember he has a line that will catch the weakest of us “Ye, hath God said…?”
And I close with some last thoughts and another portion of Henry’s speech:
“They tell us, sir that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.”
Though we read the same thing and have different opinions, the time is upon us to arrive at the truth together, that which God “hath placed in our power.” We are in need of a plate filled with spiritually seasoned food. I refuse to be fed by and chained up by the devil on the subject of what’s on my plate. The Lord rebuke you Satan. As Patrick Henry asked “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?” Beloved, let not our minds become a slavery breeding plate for the adversary about what is not to be eaten nor argue about what day the Lord is worshiped. For sure what’s on our plate that is eaten or not eaten is not something that determines our liberty or death in Christ. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”(vs11) Amen. That’s my belief unless the Holy Spirit tells me otherwise.
Thank you so much for blessing me with your visit.
What Love Is Not.
I find it fascinating that this four letter word packs so much power, yet it is so hard for many to understand its power. It is also fascinating to me that when a woman gives birth, how love is immediately manifested once that baby passes through the birth canal. The same is true for those mothers who have a C-section. Along with that love comes relief and excitement. The pain is immediately forgotten because love overshadows it. A woman has gotten through what seems like a stormy season; she is blessed and the child (someone else) is blessed that the mother had enough love to whether periods of gestation. At least that was my experience with my three gifts from the Lord. Not to mention that the five times my “only daughter” was pregnant, I experienced having all her symptoms as though I was going through the birth with her. That was so weird to me. After each delivery, I was dead tired. She tells people that I gave birth to my grandchildren. 😛 Perhaps, I should have stayed out of the birthing room.
Eve was also excited when she bare Cain, she told Adam, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” After the birth of my first child, I said ‘Lord have mercy, look ____ (ex’s name), we have a baby boy’, and that baby boy is still close to me til this day at the age of 35. I am blessed. He thinks he is my father now. I was really excited and felt an immediate need to protect him as with all my children I bore.
I hate to admit this, but I feel I must. Some people who knew me years ago, knew how I felt about children at that time. Before I had my first child, I did not have a liking for children because they seemed like little pests to me. I had no inkling of what love was for children. Praise the Lord, I now know. God showed us firsthand what love is in Genesis 1:27 –So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. I believe if He had not love, we would not exist. As a matter of fact, everything that He has done and continues to do is out of love for us all. A main point about the word love is this: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
In verse eight (8) the love Paul speaks of is not of that much difference than the love we have for our own family members. He had learned from experience and from Jesus that we are to “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” We know that love fulfills the law; so where do we understand it more? It is here in 1 Corinthians 13.
We know from experience that it is hard for us to love others as God intends for us to love. For whatever reason, a lot of us just don’t have love for others. Some of us even hate our family members. We as Believer’s/Christians need to keep searching our hearts like we search for stuff on the internet. Search until we find the love that overshadows our dislike for others and for family members.
Yes, people are full of disappointments and hurt which appears to be a given for us. Make no mistake it is not love itself that does those things to us. Let me prove my point. Can you imagine how God felt when His son died on the cross for our sins? People. Can you imagine how God felt when Adam and Eve whom He created sinned against Him? People. Can you imagine how He felt when Satan turned against Him? Yes, People. Can you imagine how He felt when He had Moses lead His children out of Egypt and they turned on Him? People. I think our problem with love is that most of us don’t place an emphasis on what love is not. And now, since we have the basics of what love for others really is, let us move forward to knowing what love is not for others. They are found in verses 9-10 of this chapter.
Love is Not:
Committing Adultery/Betrayal against one in a marriage
Killing another for any reason
Stealing from others
Lying on and for others
Desiring what others have
Harboring hate for others in your heart
Treating others with hostility/ill-will
Ignoring and neglecting to fulfill the law of God
Is it safe to say that at some point in all of our lives that we have shown and still show what love is not? Yes. I repeat, we most assuredly have a problem with knowing what love is not. Jesus is returning, though we know not the day. Hence, time is upon us to work at showing what love is not for all. This is why I believe Paul goes on to alert us in verses 11-14-“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
Besides, hating others is a sin that leads to other sins. Believe it. Stop looking at the world through rose colored glasses. In 1 John 3:9-11 we are reminded that “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
May we all understand this message of what love is not by waking up from our “works of darkness” and putting on our “armour of light.” Lord, help us in Jesus name. Amen.
Thank you for stopping in. Be blessed. Enjoy the quotes.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! God Is In Control
What does Paul say about us subjecting to higher powers? Who gave him the authority to say so? Do you believe that Paul’s trip on the road to Damascus gave him this awareness?
Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
The first thing I want us all to see is that this verse clearly states “every soul”. Since the beginning of man, we must acknowledge that there was and is to this very day, no power but that of God, our Creator. What person or “god” do you know that is capable of having such powers that He alone spake and all things were created? What other being alone breathed and man became a living soul? Do we even think deeply about the fact that He prepared the earth for man before he formed man and gave man authority? Peradventure, those questions are answered correctly, then some may understand that any power that men have or think they have is ordained of God. Read Genesis 1:27-28
When we believe as fact “For there is no power but of God:”, then we can better understand the choosing of our leaders. I hear so much negativity about the newly elected U.S. president and his chosen cabinet that are to be subject to him. I won’t preach about it here. I have say, but no control over “the powers that be are ordained of God.” We can be assured knowing the history of God; that God was the Authorizer of a person’s earthly authoritative position from the book of Genesis to Revelation.
Secondly, verse one (1) brings to remembrance all the kings, seers, judges, midwives, etc., that God allowed people to put in place in the Holy Bible. This verse is also applicable to those who are head of household, those over others in the workplace, those shepherding others in the church, those under military rules, etc. Therefore let us be mindful of three (3) things concerning authority out of that one verse:
- Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers
- There is no power but of God
- The powers to be are ordained of God
In other words, Trust God. If you are upset about any rulers, just repeat verse one (1) over and over again, so much so that when somebody communicates with you their feelings about current rulers, you will have a quick and true response.
Peter, who saw the transfiguration of Jesus also confirms what Paul said: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”-1 Peter 2:13-17
And if we do not obey God, Paul clearly informs us of our outcome and why we should be subject to higher powers in verses 2-4: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
In verses 5-7, we are taught the basics about paying tribute, custom and honour to others, which I won’t dwell on either, because it too leads back to verse one. All over the earth, many citizens are upset about those in authoritative positions(yes some are crooked, selfish and evil) and many want to retaliate and do physical harm. For the many who are Believers, please remember what we are told in Romans 12:
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
God is in control….For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? –Isaiah 14:27
Thank you for stopping in. Be blessed.
An Exercise on How to Overcome Evil with Good- Walk Daily with the Spirit of God
Get on your Nike’s on because we are going to “Just Do It.” as the slogan says. I personally prefer Under Amour sneakers. We are going to practice our walk daily with the Lord as one in the body of Christ. Let us begin.
Exercising Our Personal Behavior (vs 9,19) Read Luke 10:30-37; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-18
- Let love be without dissimulation (pretense). We should be what they call “Keeping it One Hundred” real with one another in the sincerest of ways. Let us not be two-faced but genuinely one-faced. If a person refuse to acknowledge your sincerity, do as Paul said do not regard them as an enemy. Be not in your heart an avenger. That’s love. Keep walking in the Spirit of God and stay focused on the love you have inside for God. I find myself walking away from people because I am so against fakeness. It’s a childhood thing. 🙂
- Abhor that which is evil. From our experiences we know that hate is a heavy-duty dislike for things and people and it separates the best of us, more importantly it separates us from God when dealing with those in the body of Christ. Note it says hate “that” which is evil, not the person that is evil. That person can always “turn again” to the Lord whether or not you’re a part of their life. Forgive yourself and forgive them if you harbor any spirits of hatred towards them. I’m still waiting to hear present day keeping it one hundred sermons on this matter. 😛
- Cleave to that which is good. The best vivid picture I can give here is one of baby animals clinging to their parents as they move about, even in rough terrain. Those little creatures hang on for dear life. If they fall off through rough terrain or attacks on parent, notice that the parent will either pick them back up or the baby KNOWS by the parent’s bodily stance to cling to them again. (TYHS) We should have enough love for others to treat them in this way when they are going through some stuff and the person should be comfortable enough to want to cling to us in such a time. They are only going to cling according to our sincere stance. It amazes me that some animals are more caring of their self and their own than most humans.
Exercising Our Behavior towards Family Members & Church Members – brotherly/ affectionate (verses 10-13) John 13:34-35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Corinthians 12:26
- Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love… We should show members of our family and our church family that they are of great importance to us. I must reiterate as I have done in several posts…Don’t tell people that “everybody is going through something” especially when they confide in you about their issues. That is so not Christ-like and it shows no affection whatsoever towards the person(s); to them it is as though you are casting whatever they are going through to the wind without any cares. Please understand this.
- Be not slothful in business; be fervent (passionate) in spirit serving the Lord. Serving others is a business. A spirit of slothfulness is a difficult spirit to work with. It comes down to you either don’t know how to or you don’t want to work with others because of past dealings. If you find serving in your church is not for you, then be sure to serve others on your own as God leads you to do so. I’ve found there are many out there who do not want to be affiliated with a church because they have been asked to attend the church in return for their service. This should not be so. As a Christian, just do your part. Either way, we are told to;
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and continue instantly in prayer for others. Yes, one can hope, be patient, and pray on their own. However, when we sense something is not right with someone, we need to call them up or visit with them to let them know they are not alone. Pray with them. It may give them hope to rejoice in. Don’t say what to them? “_____________________”When one feels left out or alone, regardless of who or what caused it, what hope do they have to rejoice in? What hope do they have to pray? Some people are just not at a spiritual level to see the unseen. This is real stuff that affect families in the body of Christ a lot more than we are willing to admit. What are you going to do about it as a member? Warning!!!! Avoid gossip, church cliques, false prophets and false doctrine.
- Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. If we see a need, fill it, especially for the homeless, the poor, the widows, the sick, the jobless, your family and church members. This type of hospitality has fallen to the wayside with that bad seed mentality planting by thinking “I gotta worry about me and mine.”
Exercising Our Behavior towards Others- (verses 14-21) John 10:16 says And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
- And this is why we should bless and curse not those that persecute us in Jesus name. There are still others out there who need to be brought to Jesus.
- We should rejoice with them because there is a way God will reach them through us.
- Be of the same mind toward them, because we don’t know what others have been through and why they may not believe in God. Hence, we are not to be wise in our own conceitedness. Yeah, we think we know everything about why a person is this way or that, when the truth of the matter is we know nothing of the sort. We can’t fit in their shoes to know their walk; which is why we as Believers need never to look down on others and gossip about the things they are going through. Hell is never full.
- Return to no man evil for evil. Separate yourself from people that do you harm or just flat out bring you down all the time. Let nothing separate you from God. Live peaceably with all, and let the Lord take care of the rest. The Lord knows better than us on how to stop an enemy in their tracks.
Because we are not perfect, we will get a leg, mind, or heart cramp during our walks. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good(vs21). Get back up, overcome and “Just Do It.” Read Proverbs 16:1-9 and let the Lord God our Master direct your steps. If people don’t want to communicate and/or be cooperative, walk away. I pray that we all choose to walk daily with the Lord, because we are all on the Devils’ hit list.
Thank you for visiting.
Thanks Noel, for this beautiful worship song this great morning.
Guidance for Building One Another Up – An Exercise in Training the Physical Body to Become A Spiritual Body
Additional Reading : 1 Timothy 4
Inside of each and every one of us is the ability to build something. It begins in our childhood with us piling stuff on top of other stuff, taking sticks and leaves to build a campfire or birds nest and building a step to reach snacks sat upon a high shelf by parents. Most of us have built mud cakes and little mud huts when playing with mud and sand castles out of sand. To my knowledge, toy building blocks and upgraded sticks have become very popular the last 30 plus years. I also enjoy building with the grands. Lo, if only we were builders like the ants, birds, and bees. And, throughout our lives we build relationships with others.
In this chapter Paul focuses on not just building something but on us building one another up in the church. I am glad you asked. How is that possible when we have issues with one another? How is it possible when people ignore you? How is it possible when people refuse to work with and communicate with you to get something done? It is obvious that some of us cannot be friends forever with others and some are just passing through our lives as a lesson.
Paul gave us several ways to build upon when dealing with such people, especially those within the body of Christ. Let us remember who the letter was written to: the called of Jesus Christ, to all in Rome who were beloved of God called to be saints, and those he considered “brethren”. The present day people would be all of those who call themselves Believers, Christians, Children of God, those who are in the body of Christ and those who have received God’s mercy and grace. Clear?
Let us begin.
- The first and the biggest building up is that we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is our reasonable (makes the most sense) service. In reading the Holy Bible, you will find that God dealt with us as individuals first while teaching us accountability. (vs10) (1 Cor. 3:16-17 ; Ephesians 4:23; Pray Psalm 141)
- We must not be conformed (dressed to please) to this world. We are to make a spiritual change to be in line with the Spirit of God. (vs. 2)(Exodus 23:2; Leviticus 20:23; 1 Peter 1:14; Pray Psalm 19:12-14)
- Transform (change) ourselves by the renewing of our mind. (vs 2) (Ezekiel 18:31; Pray Psalm 51)
- Do not walk around thinking you are higher than God. Remember the Tower of Babel. Think soberly (vs 3) (1Peter 5:8, Titus 2:12;Pray Psalm 131)
- Remember that we are many members in one body having not the same office( this is diversity of gifts) Think of it this way, you work in an office building shared by many, your tasks are different ,you have an office to self, but all are working together as a whole for the company. It is important for us all to be on one accord according to these verses. Some preachers don’t like this message coming from the pews. I wonder why? (vs. 4-5) (1Corinthians 12:12-14 & 12:28; Ephesians 5:30; Proverbs 27:17; Pray Psalm 133)
- Realize that there is a diversity of gifts imparted to those who art in the body of Christ according to God’s grace. God created more than one planet in the universe and they all revolve around each other. When God created Adam, he said what? “I will make a help meet for him.” Each apostle Jesus chose had different gifts. Amen. (vs.6-7) (1 Cor. 12:5; 12:11; Pray Psalm 20)
- We are to use our gifts accordingly. Those who have the gift of encouraging should encourage those struggling in the body of Christ. Don’t reiterate a fact that “Everybody is going through something.” God never did that. Those who have the gift of giving of time and resources should do so with simplicity to meet the needs of others. It is true, we’re not all cut out for this. If it causes you problems it’s obviously not your gift to use at the time. Those who are in a position to shepherd over others, lead others, and/or instruct others should do so with diligence (carefulness and attentiveness) and be mindful that this gift is not only imparted to them. Those of a compassionate character should show mercy to others with cheerfulness. (vs. 8) (Hebrews 3:13; 2 Corinthians 8:12; James 1:17; James 3:1-3; Luke 6:36; Isaiah 30:18; Pray Psalm 23)
Each of these verses clearly display that we as the body of Christ are to be on one accord with the Lord. Isaiah 30 also gives us a lesson on what happens when we are not on one accord with the Lord. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+30%3A1-33&version=KJV
Your church may be struggling with the ability to save souls by sharing the Gospel, to build bigger, to keep lifelong members, and struggling with ongoing stress among and between members, hence a sign of discord instead of being on one accord. The church has got to stop covering this up and acknowledge it. Let us stop having so many “ministries” that we lose focus on both the people in the body of Christ and the Spirit of God. Anything that interferes with worshiping God is discord and shows rebellion toward God. We need to be very attentive to Isaiah 30:1: Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: I confess I have had my moments of rebellion. It’s good to regard that old aphorism “once you know better, you do better.” Therefore, I encourage both you and I to exercise this physical body until it become a spiritual body by setting our affection on things above and not the things on this earth. (Col. 3:2)
Thank you for taking time out to visit this blog.
God’s Remnant To Remain Through It All – An Olive Tree Lesson
Romans 11:1-6- I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
(vs. 24) After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
When we read about the olive tree in the bible, we probably think of it as being a big tree or don’t give a thought to it until we read the book of Revelation. Surprisingly, I’ve learned it is a rather small tree. Per Wikipedia : The olive tree, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 m (26–49 ft) in height. The silvery green leaves are oblong, measuring 4–10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted. Olive trees are not native to the Americas. Olives like hot weather and sunny positions without any shade while temperatures below −10 °C (14 °F) may injure even a mature tree. They tolerate drought well, thanks to their sturdy and extensive root system. Olive trees can live for several centuries and can remain productive for as long if they are pruned correctly and regularly. (Bingo! News for the year.)
Bible facts that I noted and four lessons learned while studying this chapter:
I. The olive tree stood through the great flood. (Gen.8:11)It is the tree the dove picked a branch off of.
Lesson learned: We are a small people regardless of our stature or status in today’s world. We as believers in Christ should have much faith to endure great floods that come upon us and encompasses us round about. We can stand through it all and watch the Lord rescue us TODAY. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. (Exodus 14:13)
II. The oil has to be beaten out of the olive. (Lev 24:2; Num. 28:5; Grapes were smashed.)
Lesson learned: We as believers in Christ must go through a beating with fire and a wash with fuller’s soap to be separated from the crap that grew within us and on us before the return of the Lord. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years. “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:2-5) Let us not be forgetful of what Jesus went through for us. What we go through is just a dead limb falling off of the olive tree. The place where the limbs break have the opportunity to reshoot(new growth) once it receives the proper nutrition(the knowledge and love of God). May the Holy Spirit give you wisdom concerning that thought as He gave it to me in writing this thought upon my mind and heart.
III. The olive tree is wild by nature (Rom. 11:17)
Lesson learned: Like the olive tree we are gnarled and twisted at times, yet we are still capable of producing good fruit. (TYHS) We go through many stages in life of disobedience to God due to our wild sinning nature. We need to grasp the truth, NONE of us as shepherds and sheep’s are perfect. When we have been refined in God’s fire and stood through floods what we should not do is let what others think of us and our past keep us in a position of disobedience like the Israelite’s did because the word says “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
I think the olive tree is so representative of our personal family trees (ancestry listings) and church family trees(membership listings). It gives me an understanding of our similarities. Some of us have a sturdy trunk and extensive root system. All are twisted and even as mature adults we get injured. We are not as holy as we think we are with our falling leaves and broken branches. However, we can tolerate a drought with the help of the Holy Spirit. We can stand through floods; we will be beaten to smatterings and we are wild by nature. We need and we should desire correction from the Lord. The word from the Holy Spirit- “Shelia, it’s about the pureness of the oil.” (TYHS) (Read Romans 11:11-24)
Break Time: Have you ever noticed how quiet things are after a storm? Can you imagine the quietness Noah experience after the storm? Imagine the quietness of the Israelite’s when God opened up the earth to put thousands in check. (Read Numbers Chapter 16 & 26) When we believe and receive correction – in the end we need to remember this: But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; (Isaiah 43:1-3)
IV. Heed the voice and teachings of God. For of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to who be glory for ever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)
Lesson Learned: Listen for the Lord’s voice when He calls you and be obedient, Wherefore COME OUT from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.(2 Cor. 6:17)
Beloved, with this new year that is upon us,it is my prayer that we work to make this a true verse representative of who we are in Christ before His return, for we shall be God’s Remnant To Remain Through It All – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.( 1 John 3:9)
Note 2 Self- There ain’t nothing wrong with being God’s leftover (remnant)