When He Sits Down

“But He held His peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, ‘Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said,
‘I am: and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ ”  Mark 14:62-62

Loosing and Binding

“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 18:18

To be honest with you, I am not real sure of the power of these words and the authority that goes with it. It does seem greatly connected to prayer because the verse following has Jesus saying, “That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

Jesus also gives to Peter this same authority in chapter sixteen when Peter tells Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” What He gave to Peter He gives to all who follow Him here  in these verses. That is also Christians for this generation of 2021.

I remember a few years ago when I was still driving a school bus, as I was nearing my first pick up; I was greatly burdened for my wife. She was sick, with a fever, a cough, and she had just a few years previously recovered from heart aorta surgery, and gave us a scare in the hospital.

I began to pray out loud, verbally and with great authority, that came only from the Holy Spirit,  and I was really overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit. The prayer was a short one, and I do not remember the words that were said, but I do remember saying something about binding her sickness and casting it from her. When I closed the prayer I had a great peace. I made it to my first stop, picked up the students and took them to school.

When I got home my wife was recovered. No more fever, and no more cough. I thanked and praised the Lord.

I still am not sure of the power and the authority of those words to bind and loose, but I still want to learn, and practice the works of the Spirit of God, and give Him all the glory.

Wisdom, the Heart and the Kingdom

“Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.”  Proverbs 14:33
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, ‘Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And He said unto them,
‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.’ ”  Acts 1:6-8

Ask for the Lord’s wisdom and understanding that we who are redeemed might be faithful to Him and His will, His way, and His word.

Let us also pray for the zeal and diligence in telling others of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for our sins, His burial – taking our sins away, and His resurrection through which we are justified by God forever.

Let us also keep in mind and heart that He will come again for those who “Love His appearing”.

Prayer for Monday January 25, In the year of our Lord 2021

A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.”  Proverbs 25:26
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  Luke 6:26

Father and Creator of heaven and earth, and all that is therein we ask for Your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in Your word, will, and way You work in us, and in others. We desire to always walk with You and glorify Your name.

Forgive our weakness in standing before men of power and authority when we need to be bold in Your word, to speak all that You have spoken. May we never bow before evil and wicked men or women. Forgive us also when we have sought to be liked and approved by others before bringing honor to Your holy name; and have failed to lift up Jesus Christ.

We ask for boldness in Your word no matter before whom we may be standing, to speak it with Your power and authority. May we, like Paul the apostle, live with this in our heart, soul, and mind; “…To know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” and buried and raised to life forever. For life eternal is found only through faith in His finished work on the cross of Calvary. Amen.

Sunday Prayer In the year of our Lord, January 24, 2021

“My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: for their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?”  Proverbs 24:21-22
“And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, ‘What a word is this! For with authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ ”  Luke 4:36

Lord, I need You everyday and today. This day, Lord, is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I will rejoice forever and give thanks to You all the day long.

Father, my God and Savior, my Redeemer and Comforter; in You do I trust. I ask that You keep me and strengthen my mind and my heart and that I will be diligent in drawing near You each day. Keep me also, Lord, from those who meddle with those who seek to change things where evil is good, and good is evil. Keep Your children, Lord, from those who dwell in such vile and evil ways that are an abomination to Your name and glory, and are a shame to all who live in them.

Give us Your wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your ways, and by Your Spirit we will walk in them to glorify You and see evil put away forever.

Lord GOD Almighty You have given one way for us to come to You, to love and cherish You and to give us eternal life. That one way is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Your holy Son who is seated at Your right hand and is our only High Priest. Forgive, Lord, and save freely and fully all those who are perishing. Amen.

Prayer for January 20, (In the year of our LORD) 2021

“There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”  Proverbs 20:15
“And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?’ ”  Mark 12:24

Father all glorious, powerful and Almighty; all praise belongs to You. There is no God like You; because there is no God but You. All others are the makings of the minds of wicked men and women.

The Psalmist wrote, Lord, “It is time for You, LORD, to work: for they have made void Your law”. You have empowered Your people to stand upon Your word by faith and through the grace given to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. We ask, O LORD, that You burden our hearts for a renewing of Your Spirit within our hearts, souls, mind and strength that we might more fully live for You and glorify Your Most High and holy name.

Give us, O LORD, a new hunger for the reading, the study, application and knowledge of Your holy word, the Bible. How can we serve You or know You more fully without that hunger for Your word? There is no knowing You or knowledge of You without Your word. Forgive us, Lord, for our willful ignorance of You, Your way and Your will for our lives because of our lack of interest, and lack of faith in the words of the Bible.

Send upon us, O LORD, a new burden for the hopeless, the helpless, the lost, the perishing, the weak, and the innocent; and may we with a renewed spirit of fire and zeal seek to bring them to Jesus our Lord and Savior. Also, Lord, that we who know You would live by faith a faithful life that honors and glorifies You holy and glorious name. Amen.

Prayer for January 7, 2021

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.  Proverbs 7:24
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.’ ” Matthew 14:27

Father and Lord of all, to You I give praise, honor and glory, because You are worthy. You spoke all that is into existence, and without You was not anything made that is made. You are light and in You is no darkness at all.

Forgive my sloth, lust, greed, and hate in my heart. Thank You for the forgiveness that is available through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus; and because of Jesus’s righteousness, I am now righteous. Thank You for clothing me in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ; and for clothing all who come to You through faith in Him, in His Righteousness.

I ask for forgiveness for the sins of our Church, our County, State and Nation. We have turned our backs on You, on the power and the authority of Your word and against the power of the Holy Spirit. Why is it that we do not like hearing the verses where we are told “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” That is the power and the authority of the Spirit filled child of God. Forgive me Father and forgive this sin of all Your people.

I need You. Our Church – all within need You. Our County needs You. Our State needs You. Our Nation needs You. There is so much evil, and it is evil that wants to keep on killing the innocent – those who cannot defend themselves, the unborn, and those in nursing homes and convalescing.

Lord GOD Almighty take Your people in Your hand and set our hearts aright. May we become people of prayer, of Your word, of Your Spirit; and let us walk by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. May we walk by faith, not fear.

I ask, Father, that You will burden my heart, and all Christian hearts with the burden of seeing the lost, the perishing, the hopeless and the helpless come to saving faith of Jesus Christ and may we be laborers in the field which is the world. Amen.

Prayer for January 4, 2021

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding…
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.”  Proverbs 4:7, 13

“When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.’ ”  Matthew 8:16-17

Father and Lord of all, I praise You and lift up Your thrice holy name. The name of Your Son Jesus is above every name as the apostle Paul proclaimed to the people of Philippi.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus the sweetest name I know. He is the personification of wisdom and in and through Him all wisdom comes. I pray for wisdom.

I pray for wisdom in living, in finances, in marriage, in family matters, in matters with my neighbor, in making decisions that will affect my life as well as others. Father the men of God who stand and preach Your word need Your wisdom; and the women who teach other women and children need Your wisdom in Your word and in life and living.

Forgive us, O God, the ignorance in us of Your word and Your work in our midst. We give more credence of power to science than Your word; and it is to a science that is not science but mere supposition, and deception.

I ask, Lord, that You get Your people to open their eyes and realize that You are God indeed, that Your word from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22 is the truth just as You gave it, and that every word You have spoken will come to pass just as You have said.

Forgive us our sins and heal our land; and lead us into Your Glorious Land.

Thank You for Your wonderful grace shown on display as Your Son Jesus bled and died on the cross, He was buried taking away all our sin, guilt and shame, then He left it in the grave and He rose the Victor and forever lives and intercedes for all who are His.

Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 091229

“And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon Him with the elders, and spake unto Him, saying, ‘Tell us, by what authority doest Thou these things? Or who is he that gave Thee this authority?’ And He answered and said unto them,
‘I will also ask you one thing; and answer Me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?’
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, ‘If we shall say, ‘From heaven;’ He will say, ‘Why then believed ye him not?’ But and if we say, ‘Of men;’ all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.’ And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them,
‘Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.’ ”  Luke 20:1-8

The SOVEREIGN Of All

“Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto Thee do we give thanks: for that Thy name is near Thy wondrous works declare.
‘When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
I said unto the fools, ‘Deal not foolishly:’ and to the wicked, ‘Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.’
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.
For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and He poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.’ ”  Psalm 75:1-10  (KJB)

The Confidence of the Ends of the Earth

“Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Sion: and unto Thee shall the vow be performed.
O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.
Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.
By terrible things in righteousness wilt Thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: which by His strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.”  Psalm 65:1-7  (KJB)

Rooted And Built Up In Jesus Christ

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”  Colossians 2:6-15  (KJB)

In Demonstration Of The Spirit And Power

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.                                                                                                 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (KJB)

Power

We, of Adam’s race are impressed by power and authority. We even crave it for ourselves. We often do not understand that genuine power requires great responsibility, and we see too many times in governments, and presidents, kings, and such that become despots and dictators.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor, asked Jesus,

“Then saith Pilate unto Him, ‘Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?’ ” John 19:10 (KJB)

He supposed that he was powerful enough to prevent Jesus from the crucifixion.  Just where do the ruling authorities get the power, the authority which they have? According to the words of one of the wisest kings,

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1

So Pilate needed to realize that he needed to not be prideful, and arrogant about his position of authority, but to submit to the will of the Almighty God.

Jesus Christ as the God-Man had submitted Himself to the Father’s will, His word, and His way all the way to dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

Jesus said,

“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11

Jesus knew what was taking place was the plan for the redemption of the race of Adam, and was submitted to it. He was the One who could have called twelve legions of angels and stopped it (Matthew 26:53), and a legion of Roman soldiers was about 6 thousand men. He could have stopped it. He did not because of His great love for you and me.

Now, that is Power and authority with responsibility.

In Jesus’ Name

Too many times young people in the faith jump to conclusions about the following words of Jesus, and assume that we can ask for anything we want, and God is obligated to give it. First, let me say this; God is obligated to no one. Now to the verses for today.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do.”
John 14:12-14 (KJB)

Now I leave with you the last points of an exposition delivered by Alexander MacLaren…

From Alexander MacLaren’s EXPOSITION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:

“These are two, faith and prayer.
‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ Faith, the simple act of loving trust in Jesus Christ, opens the door of our hearts and natures for the entrance of all His solemn Omnipotence, and makes us possessors of it. It is the condition, and the only condition, and plainly the indispensable condition, of possessing this divine Christ’s power, that we should trust ourselves to Him that gives it. And if we do, then we shall not trust in vain, but to us there will come power that will surpass our desire, and fill us with its own rejoicing and pure energy. Faith will make us like Christ. Faith is intensely practical. ‘He that believeth shall do.’ It is no mere cold assent to a creed which is utterly impotent to operate upon men’s acts, no mere hysterical emotion which is utterly impotent to energise into nobilities of service and miracles of consecration, but it is the affiance of the whole nature which spreads itself before Him and prays, ‘Fill my emptiness and vitalise me with Thine own Spirit.’ That is the faith which is ever answered by the inrush of the divine power, and the measure of our capacity of receiving is the measure of His gift to us.
So if Christian individuals and Christian communities are impotent, or all but impotent, there is no difficulty in understanding why. They have cut the connection, they have shut the tap. They lack faith; and so their power is weakness. ‘Why could we not cast him out?’ said they, perplexed when they had no need to be. ‘Why could you not cast him out? Because you do not believe that I, working in you, can cast him out. That is why; and the only why.’ Let us learn that the secret of Christians’ weakness is the weakness of their Christian faith.
And the other condition is prayer. ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name I will do it,’ and He repeats it, for confirmation and for greater emphasis. ‘If ye shall ask anything in My name,’ or, as perhaps that clause ought to be read with some versions, ‘If ye shall ask Me anything in My name I will do it.’
Three points may be named here. Our power depends upon our prayer. God’s and Christ’s fullness and willingness to communicate do not depend upon our prayer. But our capacity to receive of that fullness, and so the possibility of its communication to us, do depend upon our prayer. ‘We have not because we ask not.’
The power of our prayer depends upon our conscious oneness with the revealed Christ. ‘If ye shall ask in My name,’ says He. And people think they have fulfilled the condition when, in a mechanical and external manner, they say, as a formula at the end of petitions that have been all stuffed full of self-will and selfishness, ‘for Christ’s sake. Amen!’ and then they wonder they do not get them answered! Is that asking in Christ’s name?
Christ’s name is the revelation of Christ’s character, and to do a thing in the name of another person is to do it as His representative, and as realising that in some deep and real sense-for the present purpose at all events-we are one with Him. And it is when we know ourselves to be united to Christ and one with Him, and representative in a true fashion of Himself, as well as when, in humble reliance on His work for us and His loving heart, we draw near, that our prayer has power, as the old divines used to say, ‘to move the Hand that moves the world,’ and to bring down a rush of blessing upon our heads. Prayer in the name of Christ is hard to offer. It needs much discipline and watchfulness; it excludes all self-will and selfishness. And if, as my text tells us, the end of the Son’s working is the glory of the Father, that same end, and not our own ease or comfort, must be the end and object of all prayer which is offered in His name. When we so pray we get an answer. And the reason why such multitudes of prayers never travel higher than the roof, and bring no blessings to him who prays, is because they are not prayers in Christ’s name.
Prayer in His name will pass into prayer to Him. As He not obscurely teaches us here (if we adopt the reading to which I have already referred), He has an ear to hear such requests, and He wields divine power to answer. Surely it was not blasphemy nor any diversion of the worship due to God alone, when the dying martyr outside the city wall cried and said, ‘Lord Jesus! receive my spirit.’ Nor is it any departure from the solemnest obligations laid upon us by the unity of the divine nature, nor are we bringing idolatrous petitions to another than the Father, when we draw near to Christ and ask Him to give us that which He gives as the Father’s gift, and to work on us that which the Father that dwelleth in Him works through Him for us.
Trust yourselves to Christ, and let your desires be stilled, to listen to His voice in you, and let that voice speak. And then, dear brethren, we shall be lifted above ourselves, and strength will flow into us, and we shall be able to say, ‘I can do all things, through the Christ that dwells in me and makes me strong.’ And just as the glad, sunny waters of the incoming tide fill the empty places of some oozy harbour, where all the ships are lying as if dead, and the mud is festering in the sunshine, so into the slimy emptiness of our corrupt hearts there will pour the flashing sunlit wave, the ever fresh rush of His power; and ‘everything will live whithersoever it cometh,’ and we shall be able to say in all humility, and yet in glad recognition of Christ’s faithfulness to this, His transcendent promise, ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ ‘because the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God.’ “

That They Might Accuse

“And as He said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge vehemently, and to provoke Him to speak of many things: laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him.” Luke 11:53-54 (KJB)

The things Jesus had said about the Sadducees, Pharisees, and the lawyers was what they needed to hear. Did they like it? Not hardly. They became angry, even bitter, and were seeking how they might trap Jesus in His words.

Jesus had denounced them with “woes”, and telling them of their judgment coming. They had opportunity to repent and to see who Jesus really was; but that would upset their way of rule, take power away from them over the people.

Political maneuvering, and posturing to get what they wanted.  It has been going on for centuries. It does not matter where or when. It goes on.  It was going on over the life of Jesus Christ; and these men, though they were not politicians, they had influence in the lives of political leaders.

They with an urgency urged Jesus, with vehement, hot, and flashy words trying to provoke words with which they could hang Him.

When we see this and we now know the outcome of it we know that all that happened was under the sovereign hand of the Almighty. What was about to happen within a short time was for the redemption of Adam’s race.

Jesus, the Son of God, became the Son of Man, that the sons of men, might become the sons of God. Jesus the God-Man; fully God, and fully man. God the Son. Jesus knew what He was doing. Every word He spoke; every word He speaks is true, righteous, and holy.

You can trust Him. You can put your life in His hands. Call on the name of Jesus “For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). No politician can stop it. No political action, neither anything else can stop the power of the cross of Jesus Christ.

NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 (KJB)

That is nothing that is inconsistent with His character, or Person. There is nothing too hard for God to accomplish.

The prophet Jeremiah stated that “…there is nothing too hard for Thee…” (Jeremiah 32:17) and the the LORD Himself asks the prophet; and not for information; “…is anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). It is just to make it clear for the reader’s observation that there is nothing too hard for the LORD. With God nothing shall be impossible.

When a priest named Zechariah entered the temple too old to have children and with a wife too old to have children and is told he will have son who will be the herald who will usher in the Messiah “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.  When Zechariah does not believe and he is told he will be mute until his son is born “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.

When the virgin Mary is told she will have a son without a man, then “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.

When God sets out to save the Nation of Israel “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.  When God sets out to save the Gentile world “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.

When God set out to save you, “Nothing shall be impossible with God”.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Sin, The Law, and Grace

“What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” Romans 6:15 (KJB)

There were some in Paul’s day who were accusing him of teaching that if one is saved by grace alone then one can live how ever they please; and the apostle is correcting this mistaken gross idea.

Sadly it is a notion of many of today’s professing “Christians” that “I can go ahead and do this thing, I can live with this girl or this guy without marriage to see if it works out or not; I can divorce my wife or husband, and marry this other one; and God will forgive me”.  Put what ever element of sin into the equation you choose, and it has probably been thought, and acted upon.

If a man or woman who professes Christ can do such a thing, then live with the enjoyment of their act, they will not enjoy God. There, in fact, cannot be forgiveness.

Verse 14 of this chapter of Romans says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you”.

The truly redeemed, born again child of God; the true Christian hates their sin, seeks every opportunity to put away sin, stay away from the sin that tempts them, does not seek it out. Neither can the Christian enjoy living in sin, letting sin have dominion over them.

If you call yourself a Christian, and can enjoy sinful acts, thoughts, and living, and you are not disciplined by the Lord, then, you are not His (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Let our prayer today be that of the Psalmist…

“Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133

Grace is not a license, and approval, from God or freedom from God to sin. It is, in fact, the freedom from sin, and the power to take authority over sin.

What if the Will of the LORD was to Surrender

‘But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver thee. Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the LORD, which I speak unto thee: so it shall be well unto thee, and thy soul shall live.” Jeremiah 38:20 (KJB)

The word “Surrender” is not a word most people of Adam’s race wants to use. We have phrases from the past here in the USA like, “Better dead, than Red”, and most people my age and older knows the meaning of that phrase. I know, and I feel that way still today, but that is not the topic at hand.

Surrender is the giving up of yourself to someone of greater power, or value than oneself. We like our freedom and our freedoms we have here in the United States of America.  Let us think for a moment about the words of Jeremiah to the king of Judah who was Zedekiah.

Jeremiah had been locked up, thrown in a miry pit, and left to die (Jeremiah 38:1-13), and had been rescued, with the approval of the king, by an Ethiopian named Ebedmelech. The king had sent for the prophet seeking his counsel, and Jeremiah gave him the word and will of the LORD. In verses 13 – 19 the king is given the word of the LORD, the way of the LORD, and will of the LORD.  That word can be summed up in one word; that word “Surrender”.

The word from God for the Christian today is surrender your word to God’s word.  Surrender your will to God’s will.  Surrender your way to God’s way.  When we do so; even if that way seems tough, rough, rocky, slippery, and like it might be a loss of our freedom – Surrender.

Zedekiah was not being commanded to surrender to the enemy. He was being commanded to surrender to GOD.

We are not being commanded to surrender to our weaknesses, fears, failures, foolish ambition, or an enemy. The command is “Surrender to the One who has our best interest at heart and mind”.  He knows what is best. The end result for Zedekiah was not good (Read chapter 39).  He did not obey. He did not surrender.

Think of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God who became flesh, humbled Himself, surrendered to the will of His Father, even unto death; so that He might redeem unto Himself all who would be given to Him by the Father.  Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  Hear Him, and call on His name and He will give you eternal life with Him.

The Sword of the LORD

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (KJB)

The Holy Bible is the written word of God, verbally inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), penned down by common men chosen by God, and upon whom the LORD had poured His Spirit upon.  Around 40 of these men from Job and Moses to the apostle John; and over a period of many hundreds of years; were called by God to write these words for the guidance, direction, conviction, inspiration, encouragement and comfort of His people.

With the word of God being questioned by so many it reminds me of the first question ever asked to turn a couple of people away from what God had said.  That question was, “Yea, has  God said…?” (Genesis 3:1).  That tells me where the questions of doubt; and it is not honest doubt; but doubt which leads to the destruction of faith in God.

Honest doubt and questions of such are to gain knowledge and wisdom concerning God and His word.  The enemy’s question was meant for destruction, not learning and growth.

Now, I will get to the above text for today.

  1. The word of God is living and that means it is set, it is settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89), it is immutable – never changing; it is God’s word, and is just as reliable as God Himself;
  2. It is powerful/active; through this living word God changes lives; He has sent His son who is the physical incarnation of His word, Jesus Christ, and is the Living Word of God, and cannot be separated from the written word; the word of God has power to give life and to take away life;
  3. Sharper than any two edged sword; the sword of the soldier of the day was one with a double edge; it cut which ever way it was swung; in a forward thrust it pierced with great fierceness; the word of God is likened to that, but is said to  be sharper, and is a divider of the soul and spirit, on “the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,” John Gill’s Exposition says,  “…the apostle’s meaning seems to be this, that whereas the soul and spirit are invisible, and the joints and marrow are covered and hid; so sharp and quick sighted, and so penetrating is the divine Word, that it reaches the most secret and hidden things of men: and this sense is confirmed by what follows,” John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible;
  4. The word of God is also a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart of men, women, and children; the psalmist prayed in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts…”; O how wicked and vile the human heart and mind can be.

When we know God, and trust His word we can trust Him to reveal our wickedness to ourselves; and that leads the heart of the child of God to repentance, and forgiveness.

The word of God is living, and active, never changing. We must pattern our lives after the Book; not try changing the  book to fit our lives.

…To Know the Love of Christ…

“Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:13-21  (KJB)

This was the apostle  Paul’s prayer for the Ephesus Church, and all saints of God.  Let it be my prayer for the Lord’s Church where I serve, and all the Body of Christ.

The Truth

“For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.” 2 Corinthians 13:8 (KJB)

The truth is what Scripture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about. Jesus is the Persona of Truth (John 14:6).  The apostle was not going to use the truth to control those who were walking, living in the truth.

Neither can  the Pastor, teacher, preacher of today.  The word of God is the truth.

I will leave you with some thoughts from a couple of sources:

From F. B. Meyer…

“None can really injure the truth or stop its victorious progress. As well try to stop the sunrise. We often help others most in our weakness, because then we rely most on the Spirit of God. It is the noblest end of life to build up others through our own expenditure, even to the draining of our strength and resources. The world is apt at destruction; and indeed not much art is required for pulling down. But the divine work is to build; we have God’s authority for that.”

and from the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary…

“Our apostolic power is given us that we may use it not against, but for the furtherance of, the truth. Where you are free from fault, there is no scope for its exercise: and this I desire. Far be it from me to use it against the innocent, merely in order to increase my own power (2Co_13:10).”

The truth of  the gospel is that  Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the chief sinner. He died for me, and gave me a brand new life.  He died on the cross that all who would believe on Him might be saved (John 3:15-18).  He was buried, and He rose again.

He lives. He lives. He lives. That is the truth.

Treasure

“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  (KJB)

Gold, silver, precious stones, or metals; is that what I write of today?  There is a treasure so great that it is greater than ourselves. It is greater than houses or lands.  It is even greater than family or a multitude of friends.

I write of the presence, the power, the grace, and knowledge of God in our lives. Our greatest treasure is knowing the All-Powerful, All-present, and All-Knowing One who has created all things, and is greater than the universe itself; and that He is Immutable, and that He knows those who are His.

Our treasure is where our hearts and minds dwell; for Jesus said,

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

I will finish this by leaving with you the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown on 2 Corinthians 4:7…

“Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in a mortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvelous proofs of God’s power, that an earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure” [Chrysostom, Homilies, 8.496, A]. The treasure or “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” The fragile “earthen vessel” is the body, the “outward man” (2Co_4:16; compare 2Co_4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So the light in Gideon’s pitchers, the type (Jdg_7:16-20, Jdg_7:22). The ancients often kept their treasures in jars or vessels of earthenware. “There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a golden vessel may be filthy” [Bengel].

that the excellency of the power, etc. — that the power of the ministry (the Holy Spirit), in respect to its surpassing “excellency,” exhibited in winning souls (1Co_2:4) and in sustaining us ministers, might be ascribed solely to God, we being weak as earthen vessels. God often allows the vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His (2Co_4:10, 2Co_4:11; Joh_3:30).

may be of God … not of us — rather, as Greek, “may be God’s (may be seen and be thankfully [2Co_4:15] acknowledged to belong to God), and not (to come) from us.” The power not merely comes from God, but belongs to Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.”

The Great Treasure is to have this treasure in these flesh and blood bodies,  and know that He has saved us, He has redeemed us, and thought this body is decaying He is being glorified in and through us.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem us unto the Father, was buried, and He rose again.  Will you believe this?  Turn from your sins and to Jesus.

Christians in an Immoral Culture

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12  (KJB)

Many of the Christians in Corinth seems to have been indifferent to the culture in which they lived.  Sexual immorality was rampant in the city, and Christians were participating in the sin as well becoming more and more bound by their sinful actions; and thinking nothing of it.

It does the Christian of 2019 and every age to read the words of Paul in this chapter concerning these matters.

As Christians we are to live a life that honors, edifies, and glorifies the Holy and Righteous God who has purchased us through the blood of Jesus His Son.  That is done through the Holy Spirit and the word of God; applying His teachings and commandments to our lives.  We are not part of the evil world culture.

To yield to the temptation of the world is to be brought under the power of sin.  There is gross sexual immorality in the Christian community.  Eagerly participating in sexual intercourse before marriage; some after marriage who have no problem with sleeping with as many women or men as they can find.  God is not pleased with this. He is not honored, He is not glorified; and neither is the Christian living such a licentious life a faithful witness for the Holiness of God.

Let me  leave you this morning with the commentary of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:

“1Co_6:12-20. Refutation of the antinomian defense of fornication as if it was lawful because meats are so.
All things are lawful unto me — These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Co_10:23, and Gal_5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Act_15:29), “fornication” (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co_7:1). Paul’s remark had referred only to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that the existence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.
me — Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.
but I — whatever others do, I will not, etc.
lawful … brought under the power — The Greek words are from the same root, whence there is a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any of them (the “all things”). He who commits “fornication,” steps aside from his own legitimate power or liberty, and is “brought under the power” of an harlot (1Co_6:15; compare 1Co_7:4). The “power” ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else his liberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh_8:34-36; Gal_5:13; 1Pe_2:16; 2Pe_2:19). Unlawful things ruin thousands; “lawful” things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Be sure to read the whole chapter six. Let those of us who name the name of Christ Jesus live the name as well.

Love Exposes Sources of Division

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  For your obedience is come abroad unto all. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” Romans 16:17-20  (KJB)

This is not dealing with the “love” the world professes; love and accept everybody, approving of all that they do – you know the verse most like to use, “Judge not, lest you be judged”.

The verses from Romans are dealing with division caused by those who are in ministry for power, popularity, and profit.  Love confronts evil of division; it never tolerates it; especially within the Body of Christ.

Some thoughts on this matter:

*There are people in some churches, or even who seek out churches where they can cause division; by teaching false doctrines, by the error of Balaam, ie., causing others to fall, etc..
*The one who teaches the truth of God’s Word and the gospel, and who labors for God and the people of God, and the ministry is not the source of division. The ones who come in trying to bring in heresies, and division are truly the dividers
* Unwillingness to be taught, false teaching, hatred envy, going outside God’s guidelines causes division in the local Church. An unwillingness to cooperate with godly leadership; a malicious, slanderous spirit and tongue are sources of division. The loving leader will expose, and correct those who are trouble makers within the Church.
*Do that which is good in the local Church. Be wise toward evil, its way and its harm.
*Grace is the element that sets Christianity apart from world religions.