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Chasing after the anointing

Sometimes Christians get lazy in their spiritual walk.  They don’t want to do their homework, they don’t want to put in the effort so they seek people that will tell them what they want to hear.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  2 Timothy 4

The Gospel is Good News, that Jesus died for us and that He rose again and that we are saved through belief in Him.  But some of us may be carried away with something that sounds good, and is too good to be true.

It is like a counterfeit dollar bill, and it is a very close match to the original.  There is only one original, the Word of God, but unless you hold it up to the light you cannot see the markings of the true dollar bill.  Instead you have all these forgeries when you hold it up to the light they show nothing.  They are fake and very deceptive.

How can you tell what is the Dollar Bill from the counterfeit?  You hold it up to the light and you hold the counterfeit up to the light and all the other counterfeits and then the one that has the marking of the true dollar bill is the one and you can use that to purchase in spiritual terms your inheritance, but the other ones are useless and pointless.

Have you ever seen the show – “To Tell the Truth?”  That’s where you have three people who all claim to be the same person, but only one is the real one, and by asking a series of questions they have to determine which is the real one.  That’s what we have to do as Christians, we must not believe everything and everyone we hear, and we must guard our eyes and looking for the real Jesus and not some fake.

How can we tell if we are choosing the right one?

2 Thessalonians 2

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Lawlessness is not so much about whether or not to follow the Torah, but is more about not having a repentant life before God.  When you sin, God hates it, and when He sees the Son, the blood of Jesus washes over the sin.

Hebrews 10 says –

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[e] says the Lord.[f] And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”[g] 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

2 Timothy 2 says –

14 Remind [the people] of these facts and [solemnly] charge them in the presence of the Lord to avoid petty controversy over words, which does no good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers.

15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

16 But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.

17 And their teaching [will devour; it] will eat its way like cancer or spread like gangrene. So it is with Hymenaeus and Philetus,

In this context Hymnaeus and Philetus were people who said that the resurrection of the dead is past.   But the same can be said of all these preachers that are on television – not all of them, but a lot of them are not preaching what is sound doctrine, and anything that preaches against having an unrepentant heart and people that seek after gain, are deceiving.

From my experience you must test to see what kind of fruit bears in their life.  Of course none of us are there yet, we are all at different levels of maturity.  The anointing they have to preach is not the same as the person, especially if they are trained in being an instructor of the Word.

Some of them are eloquent speakers, and don’t we know our mistake with an eloquent speaker.  Do their lives bear fruit – are they seeking after the Kingdom of God.  Have they laid themselves down at the altar and taken up their Cross, and crucified their passions and desires of the flesh, if not then they may still have some work to do.  I am not talking about the average person who has not been thoroughly trained to be in ministry.  They deceive you with lying signs and wonders but as 2 Peter says, “They go back to their own vomit.”

After you’ve been back to the vomit, or after you’ve fed from the pigs, the Father still loves you enough to bring you back, but if you habitually sin, and I’m not just talking about bad habits, but I am talking about direct moral violations which are indicated in the Bible then there is a repercussion for those things.

Of course none of us is perfect, but God has to do that refining work in us to purge out all the impurities.  So while we wait on God let us remember not to chase after the anointing.  The only anointing we need is from Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

 

 

 

 

 

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Striving for perfection

The world strives in its own ways for perfection in what does or what it thinks and they way they dress, look, and most of it is pretty superficial.  But Christians also strive for perfection to be like Jesus, and to know Him better.

Jesus made this statement:

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

When I am cooking a meal that I like, like maybe spinach curry.  I put all the right ingredients, according to their measure from what I have been trained to do, and then I find that by God’s special touch, the food has come out perfect to my taste.

That’s the way God is with us.  He is the Potter and we are the clay.  He shapes us and molds us and perfects us into His very likeness and image, and each day He is delighted in the fruit that we bear and He says “perfect.”

John 15 says:  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Roses are very beautiful, but a good gardener knows that he has to trim the rose bushes for them to bear fruit.  He also has to water them and give them enough light.  The Word is the water, and Jesus through His Holy Spirit is the light.

Sometimes we go through valleys and ups and downs, but in the end that is because of discipline because the Word of God says, “No discipline is joyful, but is grievious and painful, but in the end produces peacable fruits of righteousness to those that have been trained by it.”

A sculptor is looking for beauty in his creation the same way God is creating beauty that comes from Himself within creation.  When the sculptor is sculpting He can mold the creation whatever way He deems fit, and when He is dealing with people, God shapes them each into a creation the way that He orchestrated and designed in His perfect will.  Some of the pieces may be abstract, or look kind of funny, or look misshapen, or may even be cracked vessels, but in them He is creating beauty.

Sometimes we are so bogged down by sin, guilt, and shame, that we do not see the beauty that God has created in us.  He’d rather us not feel sorry for what we did, then miss out on us seeing the beauty He put in us when He created us. We were fearfully and wonderfully made.  God knew us before we were in our mother’s womb.  We were knit so intricately and woven into pieces by perfect design, but He wants us to realize that design He created in us, after we accept the Holy Spirit in our life.  Before we accept the Holy Spirit, our righteousness is like filthy rags, but after we have the Holy Spirit, we take upon ourselves His righteousness, so we can no longer live in darkness, but obtain pure perfection which is in the light of Jesus Christ.

The Lord has given us joy, so we must not wallow in doubt, fear, unbelief, murmuring, complaining, and disappointments.  He is waiting for us to realize that all the time we’re missing just worrying about being disobedient to Him and being cast away from His presence.  Would a mother rejoice in a baby that refuses to love her?  Would a mother rejoice in seeing her child in pain?  No good mother would.  She would be grieved.  The same way our Heavenly Father is grieved when we don’t experience His love for us.  He is there for us when we need Him.  But sometimes when we are going through hard times we cannot see that so then in the journey to seek the perfection and complete maturity in Christ, we get weighed down by all these circumstancial things.

True perfection is a about an attitude of the heart, which can be shown by thoughts and words.  Your thoughts and words have to change before your deeds do.  You can do all the deeds, but if your intent and thoughts and attitudes of the heart are not right, then they are not going to bear the “perfect” recipe of delight to the Lord’s mouth.  He may have to go and sprinkle some more spices on you just so that you add up to that right flavor.  He wants you to be just right.  If we feed off Him, and take delight in Him, then it is a sure way channel to reach into perfection.  The more we rely on Him, and trust on Him, and just relax and not worry about trying to achieve and trying to grasp and trying and trying and trying….only to make mistakes over and over again, the more we will see it is about acceptance.  Like Hannah Hurnard says in Hinds Feet in High Places, – “Acceptance with Joy”.  The Christian life is the ultimate metamorphosis process, and without Christ people get lost in the way of finding what they are truly supposed to be like and in the end look for things that don’t really matter.  Each life is valuable and has purpose, and when we see a life wasted away, some of us look carelessly, and think, just another statistic, but to know what’s in God’s heart is a totally different thing.  That’s why Jesus had to come, because in the Old Testament God had rules for disobedience, and they did not follow, so instead, they gave a person, which is Jesus, who took on the personification of perfection and laid it down before us so we can grasp and attain it.  We are no longer living in this world of sin, but living as heirs of perfection of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

So all of this striving and reaching and attaining for perfection is in vain, unless you realize first why God created you, and your redeemed value in Christ.  It’s Christ’s mission to make you realize the redeemed value that you have in Him, and where you stand through His eyes.

There is wellspring of knowledge and insight, and presence, and perfection, of God through the Holy Spirit, only so much more than we can possibly hope to attain or seek in one life time, but Oh, to be with Christ, and to see the eternal salvation, that awaits us on the eternal side of this life, would bring joy.  We must also seek, therefore, on this earth to have that fullness of perfection in realization of the redemption of Christ, as we submit our own weaknesses and allow Him to make beauty and perfection out of them.  Because only out of Him does beauty and perfection lie.

 

From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

Those that know their God

This video examines the differences between knowing God, and knowing of God.  It’s a really anointed message and worth every Christian to look at it.  It’s spoken with ease and simplicity and it gives hope to those that earnestly seeking the Truth about our Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father, the LORD God, and the God Almighty.