10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of Light. 13 For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1
Thank You for allowing us to be disqualified from the world and for qualifying us to live with You in Your Kingdom. Please help me to remember all of what Your Spirit has revealed concerning the End which is in our sight as we put our hope in You.
In Jesus Christ's Name,
God is exhorting and commanding us to number our days so that we may gain hearts of wisdom. He is turning our hearts towards His second coming. He is calling us to readiness, faithfulness, and perseverance. He is calling us to make forceful advances and to zealously labor. Of utmost importance, He is stirring within us intense love and world-shattering faith. In the process of working this mindset into our hearts and minds, He must cut off our earthly attachments. HIS REFINING WORK IS DISQUALIFYING US FROM THE WORLD. But oh, to be found in Him with Christ's righteousness covering us!
Hang-ups: Perspectives that Deserve to be Crucified
There are certain "hang-ups" that we all have. Most of them qualify us for living in this world under the dominion of darkness. Most of them have an [often indirect] root cause involving the love of money. These hang-ups result in a hardening of our hearts in many areas. They inhibit our love for one another. They inhibit the outpouring of our time and strength. They inhibit our boldness for His Kingdom. There are many lies that we have believed and continue to believe involving the security of our lives and the lives of those dear to us.
The evil forces take these hang-ups and amplify them before our eyes and command us to worship them with our lifestyles and the attitudes of our heart. The devil screams out day and night "worship the idol of gold and precious stones, of power and comfort, of earthly glory and security, of the traditions of your forefathers and culture...there is no other way for you to survive. You must worship the idol". But we know that we belong to the King of eternal riches and glory.
Indeed the antichrists that are already in the world would have deceived the elect if it were possible. If they refused to fix their eyes on their King, they would have stumbled beyond recovery. But He will remove these hang-ups. Yes, it will involve fierce refinement.
No, He does not command us to immediately lose all material things, but He asks us "Do you love me more than these?" He calls for us to have complete faith in Him. He knows that our faith is weak and small...very much so. He is working on our behalf to increase our faith that we may trust in His provision and His Fatherhood over our lives.
Our Deep-Rooted Strongholds
Our deep-rooted strongholds are not deep-rooted because the devil's head has been crushed under our Savior's Heel. They are quickly removed from us as we turn towards the living God. We are tempted to believe that the removal of our worldliness will involve long battles and horror-filled anguish. But there is a sight of Him that is able to quickly draw us to Him. We would drop our idols in an instant. Oh, seek Him dear saint! Press on in the secret prayer which is known to only you and the Father. You will find Him there. "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see My glory".
He is pouring out His Spirit to all those whom He has chosen and called!
The Double-edged Sword
We must be pierced by His Word that our hearts may be circumcised. There is a great need to come to His Word with great faith and great fear of the Author. The study of the Word of God without the power and conviction of the Spirit is idolatry. We must read His Words with a zeal to know Him and to see Him.
Why do we struggle with apathy and boredom, joylessness and sinful addiction? It is because we have not seen Him. We have not looked for Him with all of our heart. He longs for our zealous longing for Him. He cannot tolerate our lack of emotion. He will surely cut off all those who have not been wholeheartedly committed to Him.
The Seed Sown Among the Rocks and Weeds
Jesus warns us by giving us the examples of the seed that fell on the rocks and weeds. In both places, the seed, the Word of God, brought forth life. But ultimately the pleasures or persecutions of the world brought destruction. I ask God:
"I have never seen someone receive Your Word with joy and fall away. If there were someone who actually received Your Word with joy, I would feel very optimistic and believe wholeheartedly that they were Your own. If they fell away, I would believe that You are faithful to complete the work that You had started in them. But when I read this parable, it sounds like people can turn away. It appears that You may allow some people who at some point received you to eternally fall away. But who is there to remove the rocks and weeds but You, my Father, the powerful Gardener and Harvester? I know that I have rocks and weeds all around my own root, Father. And then I read in Romans 1 and elsewhere that You are able to give men over to the evil desires of their hearts. You give men over to powerful delusions. You harden the heart of men. If we refuse to repent of those hard parts within our being, You are able to harden our hearts eternally. And yet You Yourself hold me for the Day of Redemption. That has been my only hope...my only way for escape. My Father, how can it be that You, the Sovereign One, would let some fall away eternally?"
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with Him,
we will also live with Him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with Him.
If we disown Him,
He will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
He will remain faithful,
for He cannot disown Himself. 2 Tim 2
His own cannot disown Him nor will He disown us for He has treated us as His own Self. Their source of life is in Him. He is their wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and eternal redemption.
What Does this Food Do?
He has given us His precious promises in His Word and His unfailing love. He tells us to put His Word and our lives on display since men ought to regard us as servants of God on behalf of His Gospel.
Our fear has prevented us from sharing His Word, though the harvest has been ripe and ready for harvest. We thought that our lives were not fit for display, not realizing that indeed His righteousness would shine to cover our mared and shameful lives.
As we deliver His Words to the lost in the world and as we live among them, we will discover the life-changing, world-shattering, glory-revealing nature of His Food which we have been keeping to ourselves. We will not know what His Food does until we give it to His sheep (many of whom have yet to join our fold) and watch His transformation in all of our lives. The sower and reaper are glad together.
Families for the Kingdom
Rather than using His training to perfect our families, His intention is to use our families to build His Kingdom.
26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. 27 Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. 1 Cor 7
He is building His true Kingdom and our families exist for that end. The true fathers who follow Christ will realize this and put the Kingdom of God above the earthly comfort and security of their families. With regard to the recommendation to virgins, I have prayed something like "Father, please let me get married. We will not get distracted from Your Kingdom, but we will serve You together as a son and daughter of Your Kingdom. As it is Your revelation of the souls of many men has made me feel disqualified from the "game" of romance and marriage..." His Sovereign will for all His children is good. God does not exist to perfect our families and marriages. Our families and marriages exist only for His glory. Here are two noteworthy examples:
1. The husband may try to please his wife so that she will be happy. He gives in to her worldliness and desires for earthly entertainment. He is afraid to rebuke her in love for her ungodly temperaments because she will refuse to show him love for a week...judge for yourselves whose Kingdom you are on to refrain from seeking for the Father's daughter's eternal righteousness though it may be temporarily painful for both of you.
2. The wife submits to her husband in everything without clear insight into his soul nor unconditional AGAPE for him. She herself has deceived herself into self-righteousness in her submission and refuses to pursue true righteousness in and the sanctification of her husband. Surely the women of God have learned by now that they are able to lead their husbands by following them and bringing to the forefront those very Spirit-led acts and inclinations from the husband's life. But in the name of submission many women have refused to work zealously on behalf of her husbands soul and against the lingering evil and strongholds! There are two evils: one) a lack of submission and/or respect, two) a lack of insight into the Word of God and her husbands soul in the Light of His Word. Both are signs of lovelessness and disrespect in the wife. A woman of God will wisely assess her husband's soul and gently and quietly draw Him to the right path. An apathetic ignorant submissive wife digs her husband's spiritual grave. She needs her heavenly Father's wisdom and direction to do this. She must see His glory herself first. She must know His Words and hold them so very dear.
As we sense the Day of Redemption drawing near, God unifies the hearts of His people. They will have nothing else to hope for or long for in this world. All of the distractions are the world are falling away from them and the purpose of the heavenly Kingdom increases in each of their hearts. Their love for their Lover increases within each of them. All earthly inhibitions and social classifications are cast away as the tents that we dwell in are sealed for destruction and disqualified from immortality.
Steps of Faith Which Have no Return
The elect are learning that every step not walked in faith, with eyes on the heavenly Master and complete dependence on Him, are worthy of condemnation. Their steps, big and small, will be characterized by faith. Their strides cannot be back-walked. These steps have no return because the saints have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of their Testimony.
Mark Porter has Seen the Glory of God!
Mr. Porter, the superintendant of school district 833, has seen glimpses of the glory of God. God has allowed him to go through the trial of having his contract renewal unjustly voted against by the school board. I knew Mr. Porter personally from BSF. I used to go to BSF in my first 2 years at the UMN (I could still go to the High School group with my dad). Most of the other highschoolers' dads would walk with them to their classes, but dad was a leader so he had a leader's meeting before our class. Mr. Porter used to stand at the door and greet all the men who came. He would walk with me to my classroom almost every week since dad could not and was very kind to me. He serves as the Teaching Leader for the BSF men's group.
Dad told us about his trial with the school board last month and I have been praying for him. God confirmed that He has revealing Himself greatly to Mr. Porter and strengthening his soul enormously. What dad has told me confirms this. May God vigorously defend the cause of His righteous saint! May God bring him into the Light that his enemies may be put to shame, but that the Name of the Lord will be praised and kept in high honor. Mr. Porter is achieving glory, honor, and immortality as His Father raises him up in Christ. There is only righteousness, worthiness, honor, and love that awaits him. The "Mark" of the King is certainly on him forever.
JUSTICE WILL AGAIN BE FOUNDED ON RIGHTEOUSNESS!