Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

We are all going to die someday. Where will you go when you die? The Bible teaches us how we can know for sure that when we die we will go to heaven. There are 4 things we must know to be able to go to heaven when we die.

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is called Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). There is probably no person alive who can say that they never told a lie. We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. He paid the price for our sins. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. When He was on the cross, Jesus suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was experiencing separation from God the Father. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. He was paying for our sins.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to become a Christian, it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).

Notice that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.

One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I expressed faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:

“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”

If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24)

Standard
Faith

What Faith Feels Like


2014-09-20 11.58.28and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  John 17:23b

The Question

A co-worker asked me how I know what faith feels like.  I got crickets…well, at first, I did.  I wasn’t sure what to tell him.  It dawned on me that having faith, and being able to explain the joy of it, are two different things.  I could wax rhapsodic about the glorious feeling I get inside when I consider what happened at the great exchange on the cross.  I could explain to him the famous verse about faith:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

But that would be using the word I am trying to define in the definition.  That kind of circular reasoning will not give a real answer.    This guy has a very high IQ, and is more often looking for an argument in which to showcase his intelligence.  I do not want to get into that kind of thing.  It would be pointless and frustrating.

I was left with the proverbial problem of trying to describe the color orange to a blind man.  Then I remembered I was once blind to faith, too.  I was blinded to the things of God, and wanted to understand them, just like this guy does.  Like him, I had God in a box, I new more than anyone else, and had very little patience with the cretins around me who had no idea about anything.  How do I explain faith to someone who is like this?

The Root of the Matter

I told my coworker I will only answer in the context of what the Bible has to say about faith, but needed time to frame an answer.    His immediate reaction was to tell me he doesn’t want to hear my religious point of view, but only wants a philosophical discussion.

I recognize an evasive maneuver when I see one.  I used to use this very argument when I was under conviction, and was afraid the answer would get too real for me to handle.  Fear drives that sort of thinking.

I needed God to show me how to get past the wall of fear this guy has constructed so I can show him what faith looks like.  I knew that the only thing to do was give this to God and wait for Him to show me how to explain faith.

I asked God to open my eyes, and the eyes of my coworker, so we could both see what God wants to show us both about faith.

IN THE MEAN TIME

The company I work for sent me to Richmond, Virginia for training.  At the end of the week would be a final exam.  The brochure made it clear that the exam period is 8 hours.  The company booked my flight to leave right in the middle of the testing time.  This was really bad timing.  I would have to walk out during the middle of the test just to make my flight.

I called the home office and explained my situation.  Their answer was that it would cost too much to reschedule my flight, and, besides, one of my peers claimed to have taken the test in one hour, so I shouldn’t have a problem doing the same thing.

I checked with the instructor about the testing times.  He explained that no one in the history of this test has ever completed it in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I called the home office back and told them what the instructor said.  The answer was a very firm “no”.  It was made very clear to to me that there was no way the flight would be changed.  I would just have to work it out to be done with the test in time to leave for the airport.

The Old David (Me before the Holy Spirit) would have thrown a very loud fit and gone totally nuts.  I was tempted to be angry and frustrated.  For once in my life, though, I obeyed God and took this to Him.  I called Sandy and we prayed about it ( Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. – Jesus – Matt. 18:19)

Within two hours of our praying, I got an e-mail from the home office telling me that my flight was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday.  The solid and resounding “NO!!!” had been turned into a “But of course we can!” after Sandy and I prayed.

When I got the e-mail, I nearly cried.  God had moved the hearts of the people on my behalf.  Once again, God had come through in a situation where the world had said it was not possible.

I felt complete in Him through this.  I felt assurance of His love for me that His promise is true:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Even in the little things, God shows His love and care.  For the first time in my existence, I felt what it is like to know the love of a caring father.  This is why it is so easy to trust Him.  He cares.  He loves.  He demonstrates that love in the most remarkable ways.  It is when things are really frustrating that God is able to reveal something that I would have otherwise missed.  All I have to do is remember to trust him with my circumstances.

It is easy to have faith in one whose love is complete and unconditional.

THERE WAS MY ANSWER

It dawned on me that God had opened my eyes.  Again, He revealed Himself.  Perfect love casts out all fear.  It is easy to have faith in one who loves you completely and demonstrates that love so freely.  God’s perfect love casts out all my fears.  When the world says no, God says, yes.

WHAT DOES FAITH FEEL LIKE?

Faith feels like love.

This Love fills me with reckless abandon toward the things of God.

Faith feels fearless, Charles.

That is what faith feels like.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

I love you in the name of Jesus,

Now, Let’s Be About It!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 5 – Reckless Abandon: What if Christians did this in Ferguson, Missouri?


Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice. They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. (2Ch 20:14-24)

 

God chooses those who dare to act when God says to act, regardless of how they feel and regardless of the circumstances.

Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles begins with this verse: Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. (2Ch 20:1)

This combined army came against Israel. They outnumbered Israel by an order of hundreds to one. Tiny Israel was out manned, out gunned, and in an indefensible position against these might armies. Their goal then, the same goal their descendants have today, was to wipe Israel out of all memory, to destroy them utterly, and destroy them all the way down to the infants. Israel was, frankly, overwhelmed with enemies, and fear.

When they turned to God, God told them that the fight is not theirs, to go and watch God hand them the victory, and to praise God for it.

The next morning, they went to where God told them to go. Instead of sending out the army, they sent out the choir. The choir praised God. God sent confusion on the enemies of Israel, and they wiped each other out to the last men. When the fight was over, Israel collected untold riches from the spoils of that war.

I like this story because it exemplifies what it means to be chosen of God, and what happens when we do things God’s way, and do not hesitate to trust and obey.

What do you think would happen in Ferguson, MO if, instead of Police and protesters, some church went out in the streets and sang praises to God, instead of shouting curses at the government? Someone should do this very thing. I promise you, God will show up, and change everyone there. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. God will be with you, and take charge of the conflict. Just do it. The power of God’s grace will reveal itself in the praises of his children.

The New Testament shows two people who were unflinchingly willing to act when God told them to act.

And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? (Act 3:2-12)

 

Peter and John gave what God had given them. They did not hesitate. In fact, they were on their way to church, when this beggar distracted them from their walk. They could have done what most Christians do, and ignore this guy, then gone to church and complained about that smelly beggar that almost made them late. Instead, they gave with reckless abandonment what God had given them, through Jesus Christ. They were instant. They were obedient. Then they made it clear that THEY were not the instrument of this power, but God was. It was there, in the midst of their praising God for this that a revival broke out.

UNCONSCIOUSLY SELFLESS

God chooses those who have died to self, who have learned that they are powerless to affect anything apart from God, who are absolutely assured that they are walking in God’s plan, who are absolutely willing to be the channel through whom God blesses others, who feed daily on the promises of God who obey God’s voice without hesitation, and will reckless abandonment, not caring about the personal cost, having a greater prize in their sight.

FAITH MAKES YOU A DARING INDIVIDUAL

The prayer life and faith of the chosen of God are the stuff of legend. The chosen are the ones who dare to obey God, even if it looks stupid, or appears too costly for others to be willing to attempt. Faith is knowing that, because God has sent you, whatever God asks of you, you are willing to do it, regardless of the cost. This is because we know in our souls that His reward is more meaningful than any earthly delight the world can hope to offer.

We are not daring out of self-interest. We are not showing the love of God for what it has to offer us. We are not demonstrating God’s holy power so that all men may be drawn unto us…we do it for the sole purpose of drawing all men to Jesus Christ. There is no other reason in heaven or earth that the power of God’s grace is at work in you. That you may be drawn to Him through Jesus Christ, and so that you will be emptied of yourself and be used of God that others may be drawn to Jesus Christ.

We know, we chosen, that there is no such thing as earning brownie points with God. We either believe or we don’t, we either obey or we don’t, we either trust or we don’t, and we serve or we don’t.

The difference between the faith of the chosen and the faith of the rest of humanity is this, we obey the will of God in reckless abandonment. Our faith leaves us little choice and even less desire to do anything other than obey.

BE CHOSEN

Do you want to be chosen? Here is all you have to do.

  1. Believe John 3:16 with all your heart: John 3:16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  2. Arrive at the point where you understand that you are helpless to become holy apart from Jesus Christ, and you have nothing at all to offer God other than your very soul.
  3. Through prayer and understanding of His word, have absolute understanding that you are in His plan.
  4. Be absolutely, selflessly willing to be a channel through which God blesses others. This is an act of Holy Love, a gift from God.
  5. Feed daily on the promises of God. Not just know them, but nourish your soul on them. That is what is meant by “Feed”.
  6. Dare to act when God says to act regardless how you feel and regardless of your circumstances.

All this is the result of God working in you through His Holy Spirit, because you have become a child of God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to do this.

Be chosen. You will not regret it.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com


Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 4b – The Promises


The Promises are revealed in the Names of God, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:2-4)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:26)

When the believer understands, confesses, and relies completely on the promises revealed through Christ, God manifests the power of His grace in their lives, so that others will be drawn to Jesus, to the glory of God the Father. These are the spoken confessions of those whom God chooses.

HERE ARE THE PROMISES AS REVEALED BY HIS NAME – (Credit where credit is due: All the following information is taken from Dr. Jim Richard’s excellent book, “The Prayer Organizer”, Published by True Potential, Inc., P.O. Box 904, Travelers Rest, SC, 29690, www.truepotential.com, ISBN: 978-1-935769-56-9)

 Jehova-Tsidkenu – “Jehovah is our Righteousness” – Jer. 23:6

I thank you Father that:

You have made me righteous in Jesus.

You made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might be the righteousness of God in Him” – 2 Cor: 5:21

Therefore, I have the gift of righteousness in Jesus. Rom. 5:17

He is the end of the law of righteousness for me. Rom. 10:4

My righteousness comes by faith in the Lord Jesus. Rom. 10:10, Phil. 3:9

I do not have to work for my righteousness. Titus 3:5, Isa. 64:6

I am a servant of righteousness because You have made me a new creature. Rom. 6:18, 2 Cor. 5:17

Christ is made righteous unto me. I Cor. 1:30

 Jehova M’Kaddesh – “Jehova who Sanctifies” – Exodus 31:13

I thank you Father that:

You have sanctified me in Jesus.

I have been set apart in Him I Cor. 1:30

I am crucified with Christ Gal. 2:20

I am dead to the world, and the world is dead to me. Gal. 6:14

Sin has no dominion over me. Rom. 6:14

I am free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

I am sanctified by Your Spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus. I Cor. 6:11

I am set apart for the Master’s use. 2 Tim. 2:21

I am a royal priest set apart to show forth your praises, O God. I Peter 2:9

I am perfected forever by Your will, O God, because You have sanctified me by your spirit. Heb. 10:10, 14, Rom. 5:16

Jehova Shalom – “Jehova is my peace” – Judges 6:24

I thank you Father that:

You give me peace in Jesus

I have peace with you because I am justified by faith. Rom. 5:1

You are the God of peace, and You are with me. Rom. 15:33

I am spiritually minded; therefore, I have Your peace. Rom. 6:8, John 14:27

You give me perfect peace for my mind is stayed on You. Isa. 26:3

The peace of God that passes all understanding keeps my heart and my mind through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:7

Your peace rules in my heart. Col. 3:15

I am at peace with all men. 2 Tim. 2:22

You make me to be a peacemaker. Matt. 5:9

You make even my enemies to be at peace with me. Proverbs 16:7

Jehova-Shammah – “Jehova is present” – Psalms 46:1

I thank you Father that:

You are present by Your Spirit.

You are always with me. Matt. 28:20

You did not leave me as an orphan, but You have come to me by Your Spirit. John 14:18

You will never leave me or forsake me. Heb. 13:5

You are in me, and I am in you by Jesus. John 17:21-23

When we gather in the name of Jesus, You are there with us. Matt. 18:20

I abide under Your shadow. Psalms 91:1

I am his in the secret of Your presence. Psalms 31:20

Your presence gives me rest. Exodus 33:14

Jehova-Rophe – “Jehova Heals” – Exodus 15:26

I thank you Father that:

You are my health and healing in Jesus.

You are the Lord God who heals me. Exodus 15:26

You put no sickness on me. Exodus 15:26

You keep me from every disease. Deut. 7:15

Jesus carried all my sickness, pains, and infirmities; therefore, I don’t have to carry them. Matt. 8:17

By His stripes I have been healed. I Peter 2:24

I am free from the curse of sickness. Gal. 3:13

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets me free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2

The Spirit gives life to my physical body. Rom. 8:11

No plague can come near me or my dwelling. Psalms 91:10

I have the Son; therefore I have the life (ZOE) of God. I John 5:12, II Cor. 5:17, Gal. 2:20

Therefore, I forbid any sickness or disease to live in my body. I command every organ to function properly. I thank You that the life in me, by Your Spirit, overcomes death and disease. Mark 11:23, Rom. 8:2

Jehova-Jireh “Jehova’s provision shall be seen” – Genesis 22:14

I thank you Father that:

You are my provider in Jesus. I am free from the curse of poverty. Gal. 3:13

You have qualified me to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom of Light. Col. 1:12

All your blessings come on me and overtake me. Deut. 18:2

I am blessed, and I am a blessing wherever I go. Deut. 28:3

You give me the increase. Deut. 28:4

You make me plenteous in goods. Deut. 28:11

You bless the work of my hands. Deut. 28:12

You have delivered me from borrowing. Deut. 28:12

The wealth of the wicked is laid up for me. Prov. 13:22

Jesus has given me the abundant life. John 10:10

All your promises are mine. 2 Cor. 1:20

You supply all my needs (not according to my education, ability, or earning potential), according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

Jesus took my poverty that I might take His riches. 2 Cor. 8:9

You make all grace abound unto me so that I ALWAYS have ALL sufficiency in ALL things so that I may abound unto every good work. 2 Cor.9:8

I give freely; therefore, I increase. Prov.11:24

Because I give, it is given unto me a good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over do men give unto me. Luke 6:38

Jehova-Rohi “Jehova my Shepherd” – Psalms 23:1

I thank you Father that:

You are my shepherd in Jesus by Your Spirit.

I trust in You with all my heart; I lean not to my own understanding. In all my ways, I acknowledge you, and you direct my paths. Prov. 3:5-6

You make me toile down in green pastures (abundance). Psalms 23:2

You lead me beside still waters (Peace). Psalms 23:2

You restore my soul (emotions). Psalms 23:3

You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Psalms 23:3

Your rod and staff comfort me (in times of trouble). Psalms 23L4

You have given me the Spirit of Truth who leads me into all truth, (John16:13), who shows me the deep things of God, )1 Cor. 2:10), who leads me into perfect prayer, (Rom. 8:27), who gives me the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:16

Because I am Your son, You lead me by Your Spirit, (Romans 8:14), who gives me the knowledge of Your will. Colossians 1:9

You renew my mind by Your Word and Spirit; therefore, I am able to know Your good and acceptable and perfect will, O God. Rom. 12:2

His Work

We know to confess these things because we have experienced the work of the Spirit of God who worked these things into us. This is not something we worked into ourselves. This is entirely the work of a loving Father, who, seeing we have submitted to His call, has made these truths manifest in our lives. It is because of this that we are chosen by Him to serve.

This is available to all who chose to accept the free gift of God’s love. John 3:16-18.

This is available to you, if you chose it. You will know that you need to do this because you will feel the call of God whisper in your heart. While you are still dead through sin, youwill feel God call you. If you will answer, and receive this free gift of salvation, p[rovided through the death of Jesus on the cross, then all the above truth will be written on your heart.

This is so others will see the Hand of God manifest in your life, so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Christ, just as you were.

Let’s be about it.

I love you because Christ has loved me.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 

 

Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 4a – Standing on the Promises


 

 

 

By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1Jn 4:17)

Standing on the Promises

The hallmark of the believer is that he believes. In the face of the storm, he believes. In the face of prosperity, he believes. He believes when he cannot see the hand of God and he believes because he knows the hand of God is in all things. The faith of the believer is what delivers the promise of God. This faith is not something the believer ginned up as an exercise in “wish fulfillment”. This faith is a seed that God himself planted in the believer, then watered. As it set root, it grew. The roots of this faith, this gift from God, are set deep in the promises of God through Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ. For Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ.

We stand on the promises, not because they have manifest themselves in our lives. They have manifest themselves in our lives because we stood on the promises. We heard the promises, we spoke the promises, and we know that, now or in the future, all His promises will be manifest so that all may see and believe, or see and regret their unbelief. God does not repent of His promises, but patiently waits to manifest them in all of us, as we rest in the finished work of the cross.

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
(Heb 11:1) Amplified Bible (e-Sword)

The Struggle is in the Resting

All believers started out as dead in God’s eyes. Even so, while we were dead, and at war with Him, He sent us Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our separation from Him (That is what death is, being cut completely off from Him.)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. NASB (Rom 5:8)

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

(Eph 2:1-10)

 

It starts with understanding we had nothing to do with it, except accept the free gift of God’s grace. When we believed in our hearts and confessed with our mouths that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sin, and rose from the dead then we began to rest in the completed work of the cross.

This is the first promise, and it was spoken by Jesus:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

(Joh 3:16-18)

 

When we rest in this promise God’s Holy Spirit fills us and begins teaching us, guiding us, and revealing all the promises God has made throughout all the scriptures. As we learn to rest in these promises, we grow to be like Christ.

The struggle is in the resting.

We have to remember to get out of the way, to rest. We cannot walk like Jesus unless we first learn to rest in the completed work of Christ.

The second we attempt to make manifest any of the promises of God through our own efforts, we stop being obedient, and stop resting. This is rebellion, and God cannot honor your rebellion.

This is when God allows the consequences of our actions to bring the circumstances we face. This is when class is in session. Until we learn to rest in the promises, we cannot walk them out in our lives.

WHOM GOD CHOOSES

God works through those who rest in the promises. God reveals Christ through those whose faith is in the finished work of the cross.

BE CHOSEN

You are chosen when you rest in the promises of God because of the completed work of the Cross.

What do you believe?

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the name of Jesus Christ

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

 


Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 3a – “Through”


But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!”
(Act 3:1-8)

In Part One, we looked at how the heroes of faith got out of the way of God. God helped them get out of the way, so He could work through them.

In Part Two, we saw that the heroes of faith acted out of absolute assurance that they were in God’s plan.

In this part, Part Three, we will see that the Heroes of faith are absolutely willing to be a channel through whom God blesses others.

“… while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” (Act 4:30)

The operative word here is “through”. The point made about getting out of the way of God and be willing to let go of your agenda and be confident that you are in His will is so that God can work HIS will through you. God does the work. He chooses to do His work through us. We do not bring our agenda to Him and hope he blesses it. One of the best summaries of this thought is given by the Chinese Evangelist, Watchman Nee. Nee was giving a series of messages at a special conference held in Shanghai from June 11 through June 18, 1940. In that series of messages, Nee talked about the question, “What is God’s Work?”

He said:

“In Philippians Paul says: “That I may lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.” The Lord Jesus has a special, specific purpose in laying hold on us – and that specific purpose is the thing we want to lay hold of. He has a purpose, and this purpose is that we might be co-workers with Him. Nonetheless it is still true that we cannot do God’s work, since it is absolutely and wholly His. But on the other hand, we ARE His coworkers. So that on the one hand we must recognize and acknowledge that we cannot touch with even one little finger the work of God, yet on the other hand we are called to be co-workers with Him! And this is that for which He has laid hold on us. The Lord has a definite purpose in salvation – and a clear and specific purpose in saving us – which is, that he might have us as His co-workers.”

“Now just who is a co-worker of God? Well, it is NOT one who wants to work for God, one who sees a need and wants to meet it; it is not even one who gets people saved; rather is it the one who does what God has appointed him to do in His eternal purpose, and ONLY that does he do. If we truly see that for which we have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus, all our labors, all our former works for Him will be smashed to pieces”

“The aim and object of God in everything is to reveal His Son, to manifest His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward is us in Christ Jesus.” This is His eternal purpose. Is this YOUR object in the work you are doing now? If it is any lower than this, then you are not a co-worker with God.” – (“God’s Work” by Watchman Nee, Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.)

Am I saying that you shouldn’t do good works? No, what I am saying is that our good works are led by God. God is doing them through us because we have gotten out of the way. Our works will reflect the will of God. We are the conduit through which God’s will is excised.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
(John 5:19)

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 5:30)

If the King of Heaven was subject to the will of God on earth, why do we think we can develop our own agenda and bring it to God and expect Him to bless it? We are called to be just like the Master.

The Apostle Paul reminded us to:

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Php 2:5-7)

 

Even this is not a work we humans can strive to accomplish. It is already accomplished in Christ Jesus. If we rest in the finished work of the cross, we are filled with the spirit of God. We are able and empowered to act and be what God has designed us to be.

God does all this in us, so that, when it is time, He can work through us. The aim and object of everything God does is to reveal His Son, to “show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

At our very best, we can imitate some of the works of God, but they, being driven by the flesh, are ineffective. There will be no works in Heaven that are not of Christ, and for Christ. All other efforts will be destroyed in the end.

 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Mat 7:22-23)

The difference is not what they did, but whom they obeyed when they did it. Any and all works, even if they were done in the name of Jesus, if they were not first conceived by God and flowing from Christ through you, then they are of no account.

When we bless others, it is because we see Christ doing this through us. When we do anything at all, it is because we are in the vine, who is Christ Jesus. We hear the voice of Jesus and know the will of the Him who sent us, and we obey.

God worked through Jesus. We are to let Jesus work through us. The work He will do through us will be to demonstrate what the message of the Cross is so that as many as will accept this free gift will be saved.

“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. “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.

(John 14:11-13)

When we get out of the way, and understand we are part of the plan of God, and let God work the life of Jesus into us and through us, we will become a channel through whom God blesses others.

This is what it means to be chosen.

Stay tuned for part 3b.

Let’s be about it.

I love you,

David G. perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

Standard
Faith

Whom God Chooses…Part IA – What Then…?


Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”

(Mat 19:27) – NASB – e-Sword

 

Coming to the end of yourself is hard work. It is hard work because we do not really feel like dying to ourselves. Not really. We say we want to, but when it comes right down to it, we would rather Jesus compromise on what He meant when He said take up your cross and follow Him.

Between the being called and being chosen, you will go through a boot camp designed to empty you of you, and fill you with Him. The reason Jesus said few are chosen is because it is difficult work having to come to the end of yourself.

It took 40 years of shepherding sheep for Moses to reach the end of himself. It took Joseph a couple of decades of hardship to go from a spoiled brat to the most powerful man in Egypt. It took David years in the caves before he wore the crown. It took Peter being sifted by Satan before he could truly serve Jesus. It took Paul 11 years to get from Damascus to his first journey to spread the gospel.

We have to be brought to the place in our hearts where we understand that we can bring nothing to the game but our love of Christ, our love of Mankind, and our salvation. Even those things, we learn, are not ours, but were given to us by God.

Not all acts of obedience will result in fire falling from heaven and devouring the prophets of Baal. Some acts of obedience will carry you right into the lion’s den, or a fiery furnace. Sometimes our own stupidity carries us to very dark places, but God uses them to shine His light in our lives. Even then, we learn that, unless we get out of the way, and let the Spirit of God grow us up, we will have to go back to the classroom and relearn this lesson and retake the test.

In all cases, whether our obedience has brought down fire on our own heads, or our stupidity has done the same, we will find we are in a circumstance where we have two choices. We can take matters in our own hands, and forfeit whatever it is that God is trying to accomplish in us, or we can surrender to the mystery of God in this, and see Him walk us through this circumstance in a way that God is glorified in it.

Every circumstance has two purposes for you, the called. You will grow to be like Christ in this, and God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. This is why it is hard to be chosen. We want all the goodies, but the lessons leave us cold and fearful.

Until we appreciate we are helpless to be what God wants us to be, and have nothing God needs, we will get to repeat many lessons. The goal is not to make you feel worthless. The goal is to make you just Like Jesus Christ. This is an upgrade. This is what the world fears will happen. Our religion and the rest of the world is content for us to be complacent and religious, at best. But the minute we decide we genuinely want to answer the call, and do it no matter the cost, then we have joined the fray, and all bets are off. Your life will change.

When we learn to see things as Jesus saw them, we will see we are really free. We are beautifully made creatures, in the image of the Living God. We are valuable. We are no longer slaves to the world, or to sin. This is a message that the world does NOT want anyone to understand. We are free because of what Christ did on the Cross. When we decide to answer this call, we have to learn about this freedom. The message of the cross is the one message all religions and world systems fear so much, it is becoming against the law to preach it.

If you decide to take this journey from called to chosen, you will eventually find yourself in a place where your only hope and resource is going to come from the living God. When we run out of ourselves, we will be able to see Jesus fill us and flow from us in miraculous ways.

We just have to get out of the way.

Are you in a place where you cannot retreat, and you cannot see how to move forward? This is the place of purification. You will, if you chose, be able to see the Sovereign God move on your behalf in ways you never imagined. When you fall completely on Him in love and trust, you will see how precious it is to be a child of God. No matter how dark and scary things get, here, never give up on your faith in Him. He will see you through it. It is not until you come to the end of yourself that you will really be able to be the conduit through which the Spirit of God can flow.

While you are being purified, the world is watching. Let God be glorified. Let the world see “One like the son of God” standing in your midst. Do not struggle against the roaring lion, but let the peace and power of God overwhelm the circumstances for you.

When you finally get to the point where you can say, “I have left all, and have nothing left.” You will be able to see and experience the riches of the Kingdom of God in your life.

It is all a choice, from the time you are called, and the time you are chosen. God is patient. Be chosen. Let God have His perfect will in your life. You may be the only Jesus your corner of the world sees when you are too weak to stand in Jesus way.

Until you come to the end of yourself, it is hard to see the fullness of Christ in you.

Let’s be about it.

 

Standard