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Tag Archives: principles

life (2)

 

The Life of God is not what we pray to receive as every one child of God has a deposit of God’s Spirit.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:17-18 (KJV)

 

This deposit became possible from the day of Pentecost after Jesus shed his blood in death, resurrected and ascended to the Father.

However, the challenge is how to grow His presence in us. This takes a process well described in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/fellowship-2

Furthermore, we need to:

  • Enrol in School. What school, and where? Not the School that has a geographic location, but a School that is located wherever you are at! Life itself is a school. Wherever you are, the teacher, the Holy Spirit, is there! This is the School of sensitivity – the School of the Spirit! Enrolling in His School means submitting your all to Him, being ready to obey all He asks you to do.

“His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” – John 2:5-11 (KJV)

 

Miracles are borne out of obedience!

  • Get the book. Every school has its set of books or recommendation of books to acquire. Very serious students get their books and study them! It is disappointing when children are sent to school without books. Not only would they perform poorly, feel inferior when depending on others for books, they would not be able to confirm a sudden flash of illumination or understanding that come periodically to confirm what the teachers have taught; such a student might even fail!

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In the School of the Spirit, there is one key book, The Holy Bible, which contain 66 books. The Teacher would not teach outside the syllabus; the Bible is the syllabus used in this School. However, having the Bible would not grow the student, he needs to study it!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

 

Approval – growth – can only come after study! Peter adds his voice to this; he calls it desire!

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” – 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

 

Spiritual growth is a function of study: the study of the word of God. Unfortunately, many are so busy they do not study. They only swallow hook, line and sinker, whatever their pastor says. It should not be so; they are humans too and have weaknesses and limitations. The true Teacher, the Holy Spirit, comes when we are alone, and filled with desire for the knowledge of the Truth. Let us go to Him in study.

  • Discipline. Every student must be enrolled for a specific subject or discipline. What course is to be studied to develop this Life of God in the believer? QUIETNESS!

This is the only means of minimizing us that He may increase. When we keep quiet, hear him, and carry out what He says, it would no longer be us living but He “working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13 (KJV)

 

As simple as this may sound, it is one of the most difficult things to learn and do because of pride and ego! Hear what God says about this.

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” – Isaiah 30:15 (KJV)

“Ye would not!” All because of pride; the self-spirit!

Quietness is a serious subject to study!

 

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (KJV)

 

 

quiet (2)

The devil wants us to be noisy so that we would not hear the Teacher! We cannot hear the teacher if we are busy or noisy. When students come into class and are before their teacher they keep quiet to hear him, if not, he has all the power to discipline them for “noise-making.”

The Bible enjoins us to be quiet when we come into the presence of our teacher.

“Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.” – Isaiah 41:1 (KJV)

 

The classroom teacher loves quiet and attentive students. In the same way, the Holy Spirit values and treasures observant and quiet students of His. Silence, quietness is an attribute or character trait that is precious in the sight of God.

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – 1 Peter 3:4 (KJV)

 

Peter not condemning the wearing of ornaments, counsel women to pay greater attention to beautifying the inner man, with two things that are precious and of great price in the sight of God: meekness and a quiet spirit! They are of great worth in the sight of God!

It is in quietness that we hear His voice. He would not compete with the noise of our environment or the clanging noise generated in our hearts. Let’s pull down every other voice, and quietly listen to what He shall say to us in response to the challenges of our everyday life, and the life of the Spirit shall be enthroned.

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life (2)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (KJV)

 

Jesus speaking to some of His disciples tells of two kinds of life: the spiritual and the natural.

We often times take being alive for granted. Yes, we have this life and we forget that someday it would leave us no matter how tightly we clutch to it. Many live carelessly and before long this carelessness begins to manifest through ill health.

Another kind of life is available; bigger and better than what is obtainable in the world. It is the real life. It does not come and go neither does it bring health challenges; rather it battles and fixes every natural challenge. However, it does not commit itself easily, and can only be possessed through knowledge; not just any knowledge but a specific kind of knowledge.

 

Knowledge is only a vehicle in which life travels. Knowledge is not life, but the tube or channel through which life travels. And as said earlier, not all knowledge carries life. We may have scientific knowledge of the workings of the human, but that knowledge does not offer life.

We may have knowledge about the working of the heart, the dynamics of it, yet that does not guarantee life.

We do not apply knowledge to breathe or to keep the organs of the body working. Neither do we exert energy to keep them working and to stay alive.

We live by just believing! Life is a function of faith.

Faith itself is a function of the Word!

 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

Life is a precious thing hidden in the Word of God.

 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” – Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) 

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Every kind of wealth is hidden, buried in the earth. To get them man digs. Life is available, but only to them, that search it out. Life in the word is to be dug out. If you do not dig or search deep into the Word, you cannot get it.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” –  2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” – John 5:39 (KJV)

 

You search or dig through:

(1) Corporate Bible study or fellowship with the brethren.

(2) Private or individual Bible study.

 

….to be continued.


fellowship

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

That is why Paul could say “I live, yet not I …”

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

What I was before, I am not anymore; a change has taken place. I no longer hate, I love. I am not aggressive anymore, I’m gentle. Rather than the proud and haughty person I was, I am “meek and lowly of heart.”

The outer man, the flesh, “dross”, having been peeled off, the inner man, renewed after the spirit, is manifest. Like John the Baptist said, that “he may decrease and He increase.” This is the whole essence of “denying self”, which is indeed a very hard thing to do, but nevertheless a major requirement to having fellowship with God.

Paul was so proud of his new person; the person he had become that he counted his former person as nothing and his previous achievement as “dung”.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” – Philippians 3:7-9 (KJV)

 He willingly lost “all things”, not some, but “ALL” things: his family, because of his new faith, disowned him and excluded him from the family wealth; his educational and Pharisaic attainments he also set aside for the excellency of knowing of Christ. His was a radical change.

Some of the things we should discard from ourselves if we are to have fellowship with the Father are in Galatians 5:19-21

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“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

A careful observation of the above scripture will reveal that these acts originate from the heart!

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“And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” – Matthew 15:16-20 (KJV)

Sin and uncleanness go beyond the act. They are products of the heart and start from thoughts and imaginations!

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45 (KJV)

 

The heart of man, being open to two sources of information, should be guarded with all diligence! And yes, we may not completely block out negative thoughts and imaginations, because the heart of man is wicked, yet we owe God the responsibility of pulling down every thought that does not conform to the word of God!

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

Without the cleansing of the heart, one would not be admitted into the place of fellowship, and consequently cannot have fellowship with God!

 

….to be continued.


fellowship

There is no good in man; this “treasure” is not of us, it is spirit and cannot mix with our nature just as iron cannot mix with clay. Man is like the “piggy-bank” made of clay but holds metal coins. Christ is the treasure we are the clay. Note that the treasure and the clay are not of the same property. The “treasure” has the nature of God and can fellowship with Him, but not the clay. How can they be separated?

Through the refining furnace.

This process has been so well described by Linda Kruschke in: anotherfearlessyear.net/2010/02/24/refining-and-gold.

burning campfire

Photo by Berend on Pexels.com

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10 (KJV)

God chose us from the fire (heat, pain, distressing, discomforting and life-threatening) of affliction (situations and circumstances of our everyday life – our cross.) Our enduring of these situations is His reason for choosing us; meaning, we displease Him and are rejected if we do not endure!

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” – Hebrews 10:38 (KJV)

It is in His plan for us to go through the furnace, which could be in our marriages, jobs, businesses, finances, health, etc and for He can use anybody, even our husbands, wives, children, relations and friends. So, stick to that marriage, that job or business, “for all things worketh together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

While in God’s fire, the “dross”, the flesh, is broken and separated from the “gold”, Jesus, Who comes to the fore, making the person a new and different person.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

…to be continued.

 


fellowship

John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.

Man in his naturalness cannot fellowship with God. Before the fall of Adam man could, because he still had the nature of God, but after the fall, he lost the nature and consequently the honour of having fellowship with Him.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10-12 (KJV)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)

“I, said in mine alarm, All men, are false!” – Psalm 116:11(Rotherham)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” – Romans 5:12 (KJV)

 

This, fellowship, was the main reason God created man! Now that seemed to have been thwarted; hijacked! But God sees the end from the beginning! His plan can never be thwarted! He included the remedy in His plan! Amen.

God can only fellowship with His kind, for which only One person meets the requirement – the Last Adam, Who in reality was prepared and set apart before ever creation began: “…. he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” –  Hebrews 10:5 (KJV)

“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” – Isaiah 66:2 (KJV)

God would execute His plan; He would have fellowship with Man! But it has to be through a process:

Firstly, this seed of God – Christ – would have to be sown in the hearts of men.

 

 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV)

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13 (KJV)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27 (KJV)

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)  

 

 

Secondly, they have to be tried!

The firing pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”  – Proverbs 17:3 (KJV)

piggy bank

There is no good in man; this “treasure” is not of us, it is spirit and cannot mix with our nature just as iron cannot mix with clay. Man is like the “piggy-bank” made of clay but holds metal coins. Christ is the treasure we are the clay. Note that the treasure and the clay are not of the same property. The “treasure” has the nature of God and can fellowship with Him, but not the clay. How can they be separated?

Through the refining furnace.

…to be continued

 


…..continued from “how much are you worth?” 2

 

grace package

They realized the foolishness of man’s ways and the deceitfulness of worldly riches. They came to know that only the will of God, revealed in His word is the enduring treasure. Jesus surrendered Himself, making Himself of no reputation.

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.” – Phil 2:7-10 (KJV)

He made himself of no reputation, holding onto and exalting the word of god, and so he was himself exalted to the position of honour. When we treasure and exalt the word, we increase in spiritual worth. Our submission to the word of God like Jesus did makes us precious and exalted spiritually.

After David killed Goliath, the giant’s sword was kept in the Temple. It was not different from other swords in the kingdom. However, when David was running from Saul, the then king of Israel, he took the sword from the Temple. From that day the sword became the sword of David; and though it was still not different from others, it was feared above other swords of David’s time; not because it was made of a different metal but by virtue of its user.

God would use you if you submit to His word.

“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.” – Jer 51:20 (KJV)

In the hand of the Master, your value in the spirit realm would greatly increase.

double edge

The sword is valuable to its owner that even when presented with another sword, the warrior would not dispose of his own but would keep it and prefer it above any other because of its value to him. If presented with a choice to redeem only one sword, he would redeem or save his own sword which because of its worth has got his approval.

Many Christians claim to have been approved or chosen by God, which is just a slogan because they have not surrendered to the word of God! Submitting to the word of God is the foundation to being approved or chosen; this is how you become a sharp threshing instrument in the hand of God

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scale 

“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. “ – Jer 31:11 (KJV)

 

Our text suggests that Jacob was in trouble.

He had sold himself to people more powerful than he is and would ever be. Either by indebtedness or by any other means, he had mortgaged himself, his life forever without any possibility of him being able to save himself.

God decides and declares that he has come to his rescue. The word redeem from where we got redeemed, means to recover by an expenditure of effort or by a stipulated payment.

Jacob served Laban, his father-in-law because he had no money to pay dowry and other expenses. One can, like Jacob in such a case, buy back himself by serving if he does not have the cash to do so.

And the word ransom implying the same means money demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. The only difference in this is that the person (prisoner or slave) is not directly responsible for his freedom. It takes another, a guarantor, a bailiff, to deliver him.  In either case, Jacob needed the intervention of another.

In this case, however, God was not referring to physical issues such as we have between Jacob and Laban, but between Jacob himself and the spiritual forces that made him “Jacob”, sup-planter, cheat, etc. He was up against forces that no amount of physical labour could quantify to pay for his release.

I remember a story I read about a horse that a man bought for a member of his family. They all fell in love with the horse, but it was not in the compound most times; always found in the lawn of their neighbour whose family had also fallen in love with the animal. In the fear that the horse might stir up a cold war between the man and his neighbour, the owner sold her to a Jockey.

When both families heard the horse was to compete in a race, they went to the race course to cheer the horse. Both men found themselves at the side of the Jockey who had mounted the horse, enabling the horse one more time to hear their beloved voices which I believe spurred her not only to clear all the hurdles set before it but also to beat all the other horses to return first.

The following day, the man woke to see the horse in his compound. Both families rejoiced at seeing the animal but that was before the Jockey came looking for it. The horse had to be bought back from him, even twice the amount they sold it to him. Why? The worth of the horse had appreciated!

The devil is the accuser of the brethren. We all know this. But one thing we do not all know is that in accusing us the devil puts us up in the spiritual slave market, to hand us over to the taskmaster that promises the most gruesome persecution and pain. That was exactly what happened to Joshua the high priest.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” – Zech 3:2-3 (KJV)

 

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Joshua was “a brand plucked out of the fire”. He was on fire, burning for God, Who makes His angels wind and His ministers a flame of fire.

 

“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” – Psalms 104:4 (KJV)

 

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” – Heb 1:7 (KJV)

 

He was in the spiritual state of godliness, with the fear of the Lord in him yet the devil “plucked” him out of that state and clothed him in filth, in rubbish and shame! The filthy garment certainly would have been upon him by a demon making his life miserable. Oh, let him that thinks he stand take heed!

God intervened by sending His angel to rescue him because he was valuable to God. If you were put up for sale in the spiritual slave market, how much would you be worth to God? Would God so value you, that He would give lives, or kill people just to redeem or ransom you? Would God readily give nations for your sake?

 

For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” – Isaiah 43:3-4 (KJV)

 

Generally, God loves us all; and this is recorded in John 3:16. God is not partial and does not take sides. He is not committed to people, race, colour or language. He cannot be bribed or bought over either with our tears, words, thought or deed. However, He is committed to Jesus.

….to be continued.