IT IS A CHOICE!

Proverbs 1:29  “For they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.”

I found this passage and have received it in my heart with fear and trembling.  In brief, I have been desperately asking the Lord certain questions for YEARS, only to have the answer boil down to one word:  “CHOICE”!

What were some of those questions? 

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Loyalty vs. Convenience

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

I chose this passage as the lead off to a statement the Lord gave me about a month ago which is this:

“For many, loyalty only goes as far as its convenience.”

Ouch!  So in light of the above scripture, where do we land on the loyalty meter when it comes to our friends; and most importantly God?  You may even be asking how this topic came about.  My blog content is usually a bit different.

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SIMPLE OBEDIENCE

John 7:16-17  “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

I thought the Holy Spirit wanted me to read all of John 7 this morning, but I got stuck on these two passages.  What a gloriously simple revelation!  With child-like faith, we obey God BEFORE we have understanding of everything we think we need.  He is telling us, THEN we will know whether all these false religions and doctrines of devils are of God or not.  THEN we will know what decisions to make in the day.  THEN we will know what we need to know as life unfolds moment by moment.  OBEY GOD, whether we understand it or not. 

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CARNALITY

Romans 8:6-7 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Our fellowship is beginning a study by Andrew Wommack titled “Spirit, Soul & Body”.  It has already impacted our perception of who we are IN Christ Jesus, and the relationship between the three entities determining our ultimate destiny.

The Lord gave me the word “carnality” to piggy-back our study.  Understanding a Christian’s carnality reveals the amount of control our spirit-man has over our soul and body, or flesh.  Carnality is characterized by the flesh or body, its passions and appetites; its sensuality and carnal pleasures, and is worldly and temporary.

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Psalm 139

I have written about Jehovah Shammah before.  It means “God is there; he is with you!”  This morning it was impressed heavily upon me to share this awesome name again.

Psalm 23 says in part, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death; thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff-they comfort me…”

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Psalm 27

1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3 Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle SACRIFICES of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

9 Hide not they face far from me; put not they servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 WAIT on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Who can add to that?

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KINGDOM OF GOD

Romans 14:17-19 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For the one who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God, AND approved of men.  So then, let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

In scripture the title ‘kingdom of God’ is referenced 76 times.  It is of great importance to take note of its significance.  Personally, the phrase has captured my attention for some time.   I could say it even enamored my spirit to know more.

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SALVATION: Life’s Most Dire Necessity

John 14:6 “Jesus said to Thomas the Disciple: I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

I have titled this post as such, in an effort to draw attention to the desperate state the world is in.  Our ministry is focused on the Great Commission, through the giving of food, clothes, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So just HOW is the ministry of Jesus accomplished?  Only by LOVE!  It was, and still is, God’s love that enables us to be forgiven and reconciled (John 3:16).

Food and clothing are “necessities”, as elaborated on in another post titled, “Operation Genesis”; but now more than ever, God’s people need to give the world the hope of the gospel.  Jesus preached repentance for the forgiveness of our sins.  When it is all said and done, or put this way; at the end of the day, THAT is our only hope for eternal life with Them in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit said through me last week in a Facebook post, “Let’s cut to the chase and get it done church!  It is time for us to serve, not BE served!”

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JEHOVAH SHAMMAH

Psalm 46:11 “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Jehovah Shammah – One of many names of God that simply means “God is There.”  But the far reaching effects and depth of this name can hardly be described.  I researched it recently after an intense time of prayer and fasting.  I found myself crying out in the Spirit, Shammah…Shammah!  I didn’t know what it meant then.  He was truly there with me during a very challenging time; when my flesh was dying and it wasn’t happy!

Calling Jehovah by His Hebrew names is another way of praising and giving glory to our Creator.  Matthew Henry’s Commentary says:  “…it is true of every good Christian; he dwells in God and God in him.  Whatever soul has in it a living principle of grace, it may be truly said, The Lord is There.”

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HEARTFELT PRAYER

I happened upon the following prayer last night, written six years ago.  I don’t know if you journal, but the process from composition to recall years later brings me great joy and amazement.  It reveals things I forgot God deposited in me, and reminds me at certain times in my life, how He has kept me through all the fiery trials.  I feel to share this intimate prayer.  Like King David, Solomon, and the other psalmists penned their raw, inspired writings; I too humbly follow in their footsteps, in awe of our Creator’s love for us.

“Oh God, I am drawing closer to You.  Your presence surpasses any grief endured through these fiery trials here on earth.  They are nothing if I can have You!  Lead me to the gate of glory; I want to follow you.  I know it could cost my very life.  For You, I will lose it now to save it later.  I desire that blessedness of spirit you offer God, through sorrow, for a moment with You.

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