Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Kingdom of God

Ez 37:21-24,  (paraphrased from NIV) 
"Then tell them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look, I am about to take My people from among the nations where they are. I will gather them from round about and bring them to My Kingdom.  I will make them one nation in the world, on the high places, and one King will rule over them all. They will never again be from many nations and never again be divided into many kingdoms. They will not defile themselves with loving other things more than me, their detestable things, and all their rebellious deeds. I will save them from all their unfaithfulness by which they sinned. I will purify them; they will become my people and I will become their God.

My Son Jesus will be King over them; there will be one Shepherd for all of them. They will do my will and carefully love one another. They will live the promised place, they and everyone who follows Me. Jesus my Son will be prince over them forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an eternal covenant with them. I will establish them, increase their numbers, and place my sanctuary in their hearts forever. I will live in them; I will be their God whom they will love more than anything, and they will be my people whom I love with all My heart. Then, when my Heart is in them forever, the world will know that I, the Lord, sanctify My people.’”

People think they are a part of the Kingdom of God simply because they believe God is real. Other's because they believe Jesus is God's Son. These folks would probably be happy in a Heaven that had all of their loved ones living forever in peace and harmony, enjoying whatever they were permitted, even if they never really got to interact with God all that much. People in the Kingdom of God would rather exist in the lowest depths of Hell with no other loved ones if God were with them, than spend one second in Heaven away from God. Perhaps this takes time for the Spirit to grant.

When do we truly become saved? Some say that you are only saved if you have this kind of passion about God. Others say that you are saved as long as you believe in God. The 5 solas say that we are only saved by grace through faith in Christ according to scripture and all to enjoy and praise God. So then, is it necessary to enjoy God above all others in order to be saved? I know that all sin is the preference for something other than God, so anytime you sin you are enjoying something above God. But if you have to enjoy God most in order to be saved, you would have lost your salvation every time you sin. This certainly isn't true.

What level of faith is required to reach the minimum? Well, I don't know. This much I do know: stopping isn't an option. However much trust we've given to God, once we stop giving Him more of ourselves, we have stopped growing. Only deadwood doesn't grow, livewood even grows in the winter. Only dead fish don't swim, and freshwater fish swim upstream. Stop growing, and you might as well say you're done with God. I love how John puts it in Revelation 2 & 3, and Paul in Hebrews 12:1-3.


I love learning and growing. I can't tell you how disappointed I was that university was over when I graduated. I had very mixed feelings. I was also very immature. There is nothing as exhilarating as knowing that I will forever be learning about God, and growing in knowledge about Him. Two years ago, I had to constantly keep myself distracted in order to keep from being overwhelmed by the utter pointlessness of so much of my life. How many years worth of hours did I waste on video games? How much cash did I flush down the drain with my degrees? What is the point of all of this effort I put in when the person I did most of it for is unhappy with me? Do I even want to live if this is life? 

Now I can't keep my mind off of God, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Don't get me wrong, if I stop thinking about God, it is easy to forget about Him. But I get too depressed too quickly without Him to let myself stray too far. Now that I know that every time I return to God, He pulls me out of whatever muck and mire my emotions have pulled me down to, I know that I am safe with Him. I can let Him lead me down any path, because no matter how bad it gets, He will be my defence. I will be consoled by Him when I am thinking about Him. Life is awesome. I am so excited for death, because His love is better than life.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Kingdom of God

What is the Kingdom of God?
Simply this: those for whom God is King.
God is my King, but how is God my King? By my choosing to obey Him and trust Him completely, willingly admitting my failures and my inability to do anything without Him. All of this motivated out of love for my King. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all this will be added unto you. There is one thing that matters. One entity in the universe who matters. Jesus. The Triune God. Father, Son and Spirit. Seek the love of God above all others and everything else will fall into place, even if that place is in the center of a storm, you will ride it out like calm waters, walking like on dry ground.

This is the Kingdom of God: to see clearly the flow of the universe, and be content because God is all satisfying. Sincerely all satisfying, and not just ethereally, metaphorically or philosophically, but actually and experientially. Here the temptation of pride is constantly struck down by one's own weaknesses which are blessed thorns which keep one absolutely reliant on God.

The Kingdom of God is infinitely wealthy, each member has a limitless credit card with all payments due paid by the King Himself. Need God, and all your need will be met.

Friday, 31 May 2019

So you gave your life to Jesus. Now what?

Humility is imperative for relationship with God! You found it when you went to Him sobbing and apologizing. Keep that humility. Cultivate it and pray for humility.

Pray whenever you can. Teach yourself to pray the parts of the Lord's Prayer as topics like,

Revered Father (Daddy) in Heaven, please cause people to love You above everything else.

Cause obedience to Your will to become the norm on Earth like it is in Heaven.

Provide our day's needs for today - our greatest need is the Bread of Life

We are helpless sinners, incapable of doing right on our own. Forgive us, please. Please cause us to love you so much that we forgive anyone who hurts us, since they can never take the one thing we love above all others from us.

Keep us from temptation, but when we are tempted, give us the grace to flee from the temptation and focus on loving You.

After all, You are in control of everything, You can do anything, and You deserve our highest regard and deepest love.

Forever.



However you pray, pray often. You can't develop a relationship with someone you love if you don't talk to them and spend time with them. Want to fall in love with someone? Spend time with them. The same is true of God.

Your greatest joy will from now on come from God. Don't bother looking elsewhere, He won't let you find satisfaction anywhere but in Him, and you will love Him for it.

Thank you God for shining the light of your face on this humbled soul. Lord, bless our honesty, and give us good advice from Jesus centered hearts.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Seeds to Oaks

Oh Lord if it be Your will,
Shine light of Your countenance,
 On all who are gathered here,
Truly resting in You still.
May all Your words in this place,
 Light up and conquer all fears.
Let seeds become seedlings
And seedlings sprout,
Let sprouts become saplings,
Absorbing light.
And if it be possible,

Let seeds turn to oaks overnight.

Wasted Silence

I'm editing a sermon my wife wrote for me to preach tomorrow (she is a preacher as well), and one of the illustrations she used is a joke she found on a sermon illustrations website. Here it is:

A monk joined a monastery and took a vow of silence. After the first 10 years his superior called him in and asked, "Do you have anything to say?" The monk replied, "Food bad." After another 10 years the monk again had opportunity to voice his thoughts. He said, "Bed hard." Another 10 years went by and again he was called in before his superior. When asked if he had anything to say, he responded, "I quit." "It doesn't surprise me a bit. You've done nothing but complain ever since you got here."

What a missed opportunity! He took such a significant vow, yet clearly accomplished it relying on his own power and not on the joy of the Lord. Anyone with the ability to speak constantly with God and God alone inside their mind, forced by vow to spend all of their communicative effort in concentrated consecration to God alone, would be so filled with unspeakable joy that nothing of complaint could possibly remain in their mind, let alone be the one thing they wanted to say.

I realize this is a joke, but how many of us spend 10 years in church, and our most common thought about it is complaint? How many of us can think of at least 5 complaints we've had today?

It is natural to complain. Things don't go the way we'd like them to go. But they do go the way God ordained that they would go. God is sovereign, and if we truly trust Him, then we will know that things are always going the best way they could possibly go, because the whole universe and everything in it was made for the glory of God, and will glorify Him. If we are born of God as John 1:1-13 indicates, then glorifying God is our sincere desire because we truly love God more than anyone or anything else, including ourselves, our families or the whole Earth and everything in it. The glorification of God is good for us, because to glorify something is to take supreme pleasure in it. When we glorify God we are given supreme pleasure by Holy Spirit.

Therefore if we feel the urge to complain, let us first remember that God is in control, and we can trust Him because he wants to give us infinite joy. By proving that you value God more than your personal comfort by being satisfied in Him even in the midst of horrible circumstances, you glorify God and cause his reputation to be lifted up in the world.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Firstfruits

The Firstfruits belong to God. That is, the choicest of the choicest - the best of the best. These are the things closest to the ideals of Heaven and therefore deepest in their indebtedness to Him. God created everything - He owns everything. But the firstfruits are especially His.

All current life is the firstfruits of every generation compounded from the primogenitor which was the firstfruits of each of its ancestral stars and particles which were the firstfruits of the matter-antimatter resolution which was the firstfruits of the Big Bang. We are in every way already born as fully devoted to the Lord. To deny God His right to us in everything is a trespass of infinite insult. For God to ignore that insult would be to count His own worth as less than ours. Our sins must be punished to the full and infinite cost of their evil result. But despite this fearful truth, fear not for our sins have been covered by the blood of the Lamb, our once and future and current King of kings, Jesus.

God frees us to fulfil our life's purpose and know God and enjoy knowing Him forever. We know Him as a person through Jesus His Son. We learn of Jesus through the Spirit who draws our attention to the Son, whom we received when we admitted to God we were incapable of reaching Heaven, unable to love God, but that we wanted to do so, and that we believed Jesus is the Son of God and have decided to follow Him as King of our heart. Even that decision was enabled by God - God turned our hearts to Himself, so that even in that one action we have no righteousness of our own.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Forgiveness

Forgiveness. Set your feet on forgiveness. You stand before the omnipresent throne of the almighty Sovereign God. You don't stand by reason of gravity and electromagnetic forces, but by His will. You stand and do not burn because you are forgiven. The sacrifice of the Son of God, the anointed King of kings, Jesus, God with us, has paid the price of your sins and you stand and do not die before the Holy God on the basis of that forgiveness. Bless His name, meaning, give Him a great reputation, starting with your words of praise.

Let His will be done. Jesus obeyed His Father's will even to the point of death on a cross. It's all well and good for a perfect Son living in Heaven to claim He's perfectly obedient, but true obedience is proven in the tight spots - the places where it hurts you the most to obey. We can't do it. We just aren't up to the task. Jesus did it. We identify with Him through His crucifixion. See yourself on the cross, looking down on your oppressors. See the scoffers who are ignoring your innocence and calling you evil and despised. God said that anyone who is hung on a tree is labeled as evil. You are on a tree. Yet you look at your enemies not with satisfaction at their ultimate demise, but instead you forgive them and love them. You don't even want your death - the death of an innocent - to be in any way counted against them. Your desire is to forgive. That is how Jesus felt on the cross. Jesus feels the desire to forgive. Do you accept that forgiveness? Do you feel it for your enemies?

He is our daily bread. We can't learn of forgiveness today and expect to keep it tomorrow if we don't eat our daily bread - our bread of Life - Jesus. Consume His life into your own. First do what is open to all conscious believers everywhere & when: pray. Meditate on Jesus. Pray to Father, Son and Spirit as appropriate. Next: praise. Preach the gospel to yourself daily. Next: study. How can you know what to praise Him about if you don't know who He is and what He's done? By these means you eat your daily bread. For now, only a full stomach has the strength to forgive. If at all possible, never sacrifice spiritual nourishment.

Jesus knows your every thought, word and deed, now and always. He knows the ways you will sin later on. Yet He forgives you completely to the point that He willingly offers His heart held out in His hand for you to take up and release your own heart of stone into His hands. He takes that stone, cuts it open with the sword of the Spirit, circumcising your heart as you ask Him to circumcise it. Your heart attaches to the only life it feels - His. You feel the beat of His love course into your heart through His forgiveness. You accept His forgiveness and your heart sinks into His heart. Suddenly you know life like never before. Suddenly you know what it means to be alive, and you realize how much of your life you've wasted in death.

Forgiveness bridges the gap. At this point, even if you die, nothing will steal your joy. Only starving yourself of the bread of life could sap your strength. But who can keep you from prayer? May God's grace keep you from sinning and fleeing from the presence of God for the sake of lesser pleasures.

Forgiveness places you in the center of God's will. The blemishes on your soul are being purified, but you stand before your God clothed in the righteousness of the Son of God and you are called a son of God.

Look at the faces of everyone around you. God has the same will to forgive each of them and loves each of them the same as He loves you. He wants you to love them the way He loves them. Sense their relationship to Him and rejoice at their closeness while mourning at their distance. Rejoice in the closeness He has given you and desperately seek to deepen that joy in God. Forgiveness will define you.