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This month's teaching : Repentance

How Can I Be Better?

How can I become a better person with interpersonal relationships? Questions to ask myself: Can I be a better person? Does my influence make things better or worse? John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

I want to address those who live a God-fearing and honorable life on a daily basis. I have made some very well-thought out decisions in my Christian life, yet another one’s opinion saw it as a misjudgment and a mistake. Who was correct? This type of incident has been experienced by every child of God. How can I become a better person in cases like this? I take no issues with those who have different views and have the fear of God even if it seems like a decision of mistake. Many things and incidents are simply not for me to pay any attention to. It is not to be of any interest to my curiosity.

If I cannot be assured in bringing a total solution to the problem, I should never give it attention. The more personalities involved, the more exaggerated and complicated a small problem becomes. This is what a tongue can do. It kindles a small matter into a world of iniquity. Is it ever meant that we all have the same personality or opinion? It can never be possible knowing that God created us differently. Some of our make-up comes from prior or present iniquities or difficult circumstances of the past that shaped our lives. Most people get themselves in trouble and cause even more when they allow matters to become their own when the matters actually belong to someone else. These matters are often things that we cannot make better.

I then have to realize, I need not get involved nor will I allow myself to become influenced by it. Gossip-prone people thrive in these cliques, never having a solution that brings resolve. But they promote, propel, and exaggerate!

Question: Am I gossip-prone? How can I avoid the mistake of getting involved when a friend shares things I need not know? Change the subject quickly? Let us consider what Jesus said. Jesus encountered this after He made a statement about one of His disciples betraying him at the last supper. John 21:20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” V.21 Peter asked Jesus, “Yes what about him, Lord?” V. 22 Jesus replied, what is that to you, Peter? Follow thou me.” (NLT) This was a rebuke from Jesus to Peter to not get involved in business outside his place and function even while his fellow disciples were eating the last supper at the same table. Jesus basically told Peter, this thing with your fellow disciple is none of your business. Stay out of it. What is that to me?

Millions of personalities are living at this moment and millions of opinions are active and engaged. Most careful and God-fearing people make mistakes because of our humanity. I have at times stood at the crossroads of decision trying to help solve a difficulty that seemed impossible to solve between two personalities. Issues can easily happen because of the differences in personalities—even in God-fearing people. We perceive that Peter was curious about the business Jesus and John—the disciple who Jesus loved!—were discussing Judas. There was a giant problem brewing among the close knit community of disciples. It was beginning to surface. It involved the death of Jesus. It was glaring and attractive to stimulate curiosity and promote involvement with all that heard. Jesus simply put a sudden stop to Peter’s unnecessary curiosity even though Jesus was the one who unveiled the issue. Jesus replied, “What is that to you, Peter? Follow thou me.” Why did Jesus say follow me? Was Peter running ahead of Jesus?

When we get involved in things that are not ours to involve in, are we running ahead of Jesus? Follow me, stay behind me. Do not get in front of me. When we gossip and get involved in matters that don’t belong to us, we are certainly not following Jesus. Let us remember today the rebuke of Jesus, “What is that to me? Follow thou Jesus!” 2 Peter 1:5 …Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; V.6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; V.7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. V.8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. V.9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

Eunuchs in the Palace

Within a spiritual father there is a longing from God for his children to be purposeful and useful to capacities greater than even the father walked in himself. This is imputed from God’s wisdom so that the spiritual heritage can continue its path to greater effectiveness.

This was part of David’s perfect heart toward God. Almighty God has also exemplified this with His only begotten Son Jesus, the Savior of the world.

There was a man called Asaph who was anointed to be the temple singer so that God would always be praised and not neglected. We have record that Asaph’s array of singers faithfully carried the responsibility for more than 400 years through his descendants. Almighty God scripted the verse by the hand of David in Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

Asaph was assigned these spiritual palace worship duties, often not realized as important. Asaph not only sang with voice and instrument at the gates, he attended to a useful purpose in providing timber beams for the palace entrances. As a result, Asaph was also the keeper of the king’s forest which had nothing to do with singing, or did it?

The responsibility of Asaph was about maintaining the gates with timbers, structure, singing and praise. This is a wonderful picture. Nehemiah 2:8  And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

When the presence of God occupies at the gate, it is difficult for the enemy to pass in and equally hard for a thief to steal and pass through. The singers are always the first to be attacked by Satan or man. We notice this with Jehoshaphat as the singers were the first infantry. This shows us why there is so much sensual praise or no praise at all. If there is true praise it is hunted down. Today we seek to do the least we can in providing what God has called us to do.

Let us ask ourselves some questions. Am I a helper in preserving the king’s forest so that the gates maintain their holy accesses and and to help secure the quality of what goes in and out? Do I carry questionable things in through the gates to destroy the things that God has established by His divine presence? Do I scoff at those who still have inspiration to fulfill His purposes and vision? Is it easier for me to criticize and destroy? Does my attitude neuter God’s servants because of my own issues? Has the church become eunuchs (neutered and carnal) so that God’s presence becomes unfamiliar? Have I caused God’s presence to be unwelcomed among the faithful? Have I become more comfortable with the sinner than the saint? Am I critical if someone does their job with spiritual passion? Do I threaten useful servants with the eye of jealousy? Do I seek to bring harmful influence by giving birth to more eunuchs in the house of God?

May we look at the product we have produced, literally and spiritually? May I welcome a wakeup call that I gain a better understanding of my offspring. Isaiah 39:7  And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Has my critical mindset caused my offspring to become eunuchs? Let us not be embarrassed who we produced but what we produced. God, set a watch of repentance upon my heart! Matthew 19:12  For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Oh, Chorazin!

Oh, Chorazin!

Almost 4,000 years after the fall of Adam and Eve and still no appearance of the prophesied Savior. But then it happened. In a little town south of Jerusalem.

Jesus, anointed by Almighty God, chooses Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin specifically to introduce His heavenly kingdom to mankind. These were the cities where God’s declaration of kingdom miracles were exemplified as something never seen before.

It was a huge revival of eternal life to the thousands who came with every ailment and problem that can be imagined. Wagon loads filled with the sick came from far away to join in the meetings on the hillsides, hoping to be delivered and made whole. They were hoping to walk, see, and hear. For some, it was the first time to be healthy.

Some brought devils with them hoping to get rid of them. They were all healed and touched by a King! God’s only begotten son Jesus was this King and He was the introduction of a new covenant between God and man. This covenant is in full existence to this very hour and the results remain unchanged. Hallelujah! Can you see them leaping and jumping as they go back to their families and communities to show and tell the news?

I can see the crammed horse drawn wagons coming from afar with clouds of dust rising behind them galloping toward the Savior. These wagons came filled with the infirmed and now they are leaving empty because their passengers were touched by Jesus. These three cities witnessed the greatest move of God that ever was.

And all of a sudden at the end of three years Jesus says this:

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: V.21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. V.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. V.23 And thou, Capernaum (the city where Jesus and His disciples lived), which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. V.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Something went horribly wrong in these cities of revival. They saw the light, they knew the light, but something went terribly wrong. Did they become discouraged? Was it persecution? Were there divisions among them? Did they find faults among the saints? Probably all of the above.

Jesus said they had a repentance problem. Can people sit in the presence of the work of Jesus and harden their hearts? Yes, it happens all the time. The moving of God’s power became the norm.

The disciples were working with Jesus and even helped give out bread to the thousands and the next moment Jesus asked them,”are your hearts still hardened”? He then reveals the condition of a hardened heart.

Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? V.18 Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember?

Here is the sequence of internal events of a hardened heart. Why reason ye: They stopped perceiving. They lost understanding. Their hearts were still hard. They had eyes but stopped seeing. Their ears stopped hearing Their memory was removed from what they saw, heard and at one time understood.

Jesus was explaining the repentance problem.

How can someone be next to Jesus and see all the works of God in miraculous fashion and lose it so quickly? When man follows after offenses he loses repentance. When man gets used to the work of God he loses repentance.

It all starts down the path of destruction when man fails to love the voice of conviction from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Chorazin! Why are all your walls torn down? Even today, I ask, why does no one desire to live there anymore? All that is there are piles of extremely hard basalt rock. It’s the picture of a heart that turns away from the presence of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of His sovereign working. Even Jesus left the place and the Holy Spirit had no more desire to live there any more. Jesus cursed the place where He did the greatest miracles.

Today, I echo, Oh, Chorazin. Oh, Chorazin!

What is Pain?

What is pain?

Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. v.22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

In these latter days, the enemy has poured upon the earth the concept of pain that thrives on personal rights and freedom without cost. This concept has been adopted by the church and has taken the focus away from God’s spiritual intention for the believer. Almighty God’s intention is for the believer to be delivered from shame and corrupt bondages into the glorious liberty in Christ, and the process is not to be misunderstood. In this earthly life there are plenty of struggles and tribulations.

There are 5 things we must be aware of:

1. We must not be surprised by the struggles and difficulties.
2. The word tribulation means pressure.
3. We must comprehend that the threat to all life is death.
4. To the believer, Paul calls it the fight of faith.
5. Much tribulation/pressure is a kingdom doorway and it will not separate me from Christ. (Romans 5:3.)

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must go through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The confirmation of discipleship is found in hard displeasures and difficulties that we face, that are intended to be overcome by faith.

There are very few options in relating to the forces about us. It must be understood plainly, that the forces include my flesh, Satan the enemy, and the world. And the force to withstand is found in the power of Jesus. It is indeed a battlefield!

I know undoubtedly, that man by himself, has no power as great as Jesus or Satan. This makes me extremely vulnerable.

If I want to overcome death or pain I must yield myself completely to life. Jesus is the life. If I yield myself to defeat and discouragement I embrace death.

Defining the reality of this in a few words looks like this. Man’s appointment is death and judgment. Satan is death. Jesus is resurrection from death. The One who wins is the One we rest our faith in.

Discouragement comes from unanticipated situations. We, as vessels of clay, often encounter things that are difficult. How else could it be living in a difficult world.

I have found that discouragement often comes from conflict from external sources wanting a meeting with personal conflict within.

If I hang on to my own conflict or have hidden unresolved issues within, I should never attempt to confront conflict without. This is where patience becomes a tool of value.

Correct the problems within and let redemption through Christ release, forgive and restore you. Now your heart is clear (internal) and you are better prepared for the issues you have encountered around you (external).

Let us not be weary in well doing. Sometimes these things will take weeks or even months until we can rest with resolve. As long as you don’t give up, God won’t either.

So many do not understand the cross and end up becoming enemies to it. The conclusion of the cross is not pain, it is death, which is the final resolve that only supernatural resurrection can burst forth.

One of the biggest things plaguing God’s children is the personal suffering of self. This is not meant to be. Self has only one right, crucified daily on the cross of Jesus. The complete resolve to pain, hurt and self has to surrender with no further argument.

Can we say, I am crucified with Christ today by giving up all that is within me never to pick it up again? Tomorrow, I do the same until Jesus returns. If not, we must conclude that we are resisting the cross and considering it an enemy to our soul.

There is no pain in death, and neither is there pain in resurrection. The pain is in the process before death, while we hold on to that which is intended to die. When I hold onto my own rights, God can never make me right in His sight. I don’t know of another answer to what is called pain in our latter day. I hope this sheds some light on what I am seeing about the subject of pain in our modern day. May He see His glory in our lives!

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.