Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, March 19, 2012

To Continue

Dear Father,
      I praise You that You never cease to labor on our behalf until the Day of our redemption. Thank You never leaving, forsaking, or abandoning us in our weaknesses. Surely we love You because You first loved us. Your message for us is that unless we continue in You, we will perish. Help us to know every good thing that we have in Christ and to continue in the narrow path that leads to eternal Life. Your will is for us to be active in sharing our faith and to not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. To continue is to abide in You and to tarry with You for apart from You we can do nothing. 
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: Press On

I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” John 17

       Dear family, remember the day of your salvation, the day when you first believed. Remember the conviction of your desperate need and the contrition and brokenness that the Spirit brought to your heart. Remember the Spirit's revelation of the Father's love shown through His Son on the cross. Remember the joy and love you had for Him as you meditated on His resurrection and His abiding Holy Spirit. You always wanted to be with Him. You never wanted to turn away from Him. You wanted to tell others what you had found. You no longer spent your time worshiping the idols of worldliness, but you "turned from these idols to serve the true and living God". You knew that in Him was Life and that Life was your only Light. You wanted to give your life in living and in dying to Him. He was the Bread of Life and the Living Water. You had searched and searched for the meaning of this life. Every earthly avenue fell short. Hopelessness and despair came over you. You almost succumbed to the aimlessness of the life that you knew. Every arena of worldliness had been tested and tried by you and left you with disdain.

     You wanted the Life abundant, real and true. You wanted restoration and refreshment in your Spiritual hunger. You knew that you would die for all eternity if you did not find Him. You cared not for the crowds who chose their earthly lots and passed you to join the feasting room of the world. They bid you to make your choose from the array of worldly idols and to join them in their feasting. But you told them to go and that you would not come until you had life.

     Then you heard the message of the Gospel and with eagerness and zeal you gave all you had to purchase the finest treasure of the salvation and Spirit of the Sovereign God. He alone had the Words of Life. As you embraced His Words, you comprehended in your heart that these Words would be your satisfying Bread for all eternity. You joyfully dined with Him with all fears removed. You knew that His Words would cause you to never hunger or thirst again.

      But then you started to hear the noises from the room of feasting. Laughter and promises of noble earthly purposes rang in your ears. Some beckoned you to join them. You then thought about Your Savior, at Your Bread of Life, and you did not see the abundance of eternal nourishment that you had set your hope on. It seemed to you that you did not find any satisfaction in Him at all. The eternal inheritance of righteousness, peace, and joy that you comprehended in the Spirit earlier on vanished before the eyes of your mortal heart. You no longer comprehended the worth of this Bread of Life that you had held so dear. 
     And, now the Savior calls us TO CONTINUE IN HIM. He calls us to abide in Him with everything we have: mind, soul, heart, body. He calls us to wait for Him and to believe in His Words each day. He tells us that unless we comprehend the worth of His Word, the Living Manna, we cannot continue in Him. He warns us that unless we continue in Him, we will surely fall prey to the wiles of the devil. We will be as the rocky and weed-filled soil whose plants could only last until trials, persecution, temptations, and desires for worldly pleasure came. 

Dear Saint, do you desire to continue?

To Continue by Abiding in Him

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2

     After we have believed, we are called to continue in what we have become convinced of. We know that the Spirit has revealed the love, mercy, and grace of the Father through the Gospel and it was this very love that convinced us that He is the true and living God. When the Spirit opened our eyes to behold the glory of the Father and the love that He showed to those who received His Son, it was our knowledge of the Father's love that caused us to believe unto salvation. 

     But we know that "we have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first (Heb 3:14)". Of utmost importance for us now, dear family, is that we continue to abide in Him, to know Him. Sharing in Christ involves a daily surrender to self and a taking on of the yoke of Christ. This yoke is light and easy because we are not called to labor on our own, that is, to work apart from Him. But we are called to abide in Him, to believe in His power and authority, to tarry in His love. There is no way to continue in Him if we do not daily abide in Him. We will certainly fall sway to the arrows of the devil. 

     God has provided us with His armor. The pieces of His bestowed armor involve belief and trust from our side. He is the one who fights our battles, but He calls us to stand firm in belief. Remember the Truth which holds us together. Surely this Truth comes from His Words of Life and from no other source. He tells us to believe that our souls are forever saved and protected by His helmet of His rich store of salvation and Knowledge. He calls us to believe continually in Christ's righteousness covering us. His righteousness protects our hearts from the arrows of accusation thrown at us DAILY by the serpent and his evil forces. He tells us to pick up the shield of faith, the gift of God. The shoes of readiness of the Gospel of peace come from the faith that He has given us that His Word is true and must be proclaimed as we fulfill our role as peacemakers in this world of turmoil. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and with It, we do fight. But what are we fighting with? His Words!

     And throughout these days of evil we must surround ourselves by prayer. Dear saint, go into your inner room and seek Him with all your hearts. This is how we continue in Him. Stay in His Words and read them to see the Father's glory, to be set free. We have been in bondage to far more snares of the world than we could ever comprehend right now unless He intervenes. 

To Continue by Offering our Bodies as Living Sacrifices

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom 12

      He calls us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. The extent to which our bodies are spent for Him and His Kingdom reveal the path in which we have chosen to continue.  For there are many paths that we are prone to continue in which are apart from His narrow path. Some of these paths appear to be the narrow path, but they are laden with deceptive features that would mislead even us, if it were not for His Good Shepherding. 

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  Heb 3

     For those who have seen the Father's glory through the conviction of the Word through the Spirit, their hearts desires are changed so that they will offer themselves as living sacrifices. Not only are they willing to die for their Savior, but they are called to lay down everything as they live.

     The Spirit's work is not half-hearted. It is not lax. It does not refuse to quicken the Spirit's of those who have committed their souls to Him. The Spirit is a seal on those who believe and a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until Christ returns. He is transforming us to be living sacrifices.

What kind of living sacrifices does He make out of us?

     He is working to make all of our thoughts directed towards Christ and the heavenly realms. He is working to make all of the feelings and motives of our hearts be filled with His grace and channels through which His love flows to and through. He desires for each step we take and each flickering motion of our bodies to be done in faith for His glory alone. Consider your life which He is making into a living sacrifice. This sacrifice is something unlike anything we have considered until this day. But as He transforms us and inspires us, we will know the Father in a way that fills us with love, light, and hope. This is the only way to live. There is no other way that we can have Life.

To Continue by Waiting for Him

3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; 
   let us press on to acknowledge Him. 
As surely as the sun rises, 
   He will appear; 
He will come to us like the winter rains, 
   like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6

     He calls us to wait for the One thing which remains forever, His restoration of His people unto Himself. He calls to us to wait for the Day of His return. He calls us to wait for His sanctification of His people. He calls us to wait through trials, fires, refinement. No extension of His timing beyond our perceptions of when He ought to act should cause our faith to waver. Even if we die not receiving what we had believed, that is, beholding the Kingdom of God in its entirety, we are to faithfully wait for Him. HE IS FAITHFUL.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Heb 11

     He encourages us with eternal encouragement and good hope. When our hope is in Him, indeed, we have a GOOD hope. He will never disappoint us. Even as we wait through trials and uncertainties, our hope is not in the relieving of the trial or the granting of our heart's desires for earthly things or events, but rather in God Himself. Our hope is that that through everything He is revealing His glory. 

     There was once a blind poor man who sang a song conveying that he did not desire for his healing of blindness. He rather praised God for refusing to grant him sight for then he may become distracted by the sights of the carnal world. He praised God for giving Him Spiritual eyes to behold glimpses of the heavenly realms of the glory of God. He knew that to behold Christ and be free from earthly attachment was the greatest lot for a man and was willing to live with nothing so that he might be found in Christ. He spent his life waiting for the day that he would see Jesus face to face.

     We are called to wait for Him to remove our fears and earthly desires and also those of all the elect. We are one with each and every believer who ever lived, lives, and will live...the patriarchs "only together with us would they be made perfect". Do not behold the weaknesses in your brothers and sisters with hopelessness and despair. Turn your eyes to the King on His Throne. He will rides the clouds in His majesty and comes down to bring salvation: to CONQUER HIS BRIDE'S HEART. He surely is able to do this and He will. Do we have patience? Do we believe? For unless He conquers our heart, we are lost. But we are found in Christ's righteousness. 

To Continue by Sharing Our Faith

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.   Phil 1:6

     If we truly believe in Him, that only in Him is salvation and life, we cannot withhold the knowledge of the holy One from others. It would be the vilest hatred towards mankind to withhold the Way of salvation when we ourselves had found it.

     Do we hate our neighbors? Or do we not believe that He has the Words of Life? Would we speak of a joy unspeakable that we could not portray? Would we speak of a forgiveness that we had never received and known? Would we love in words and not in our deeds? Would we speak of His victory over the sins of the flesh and refuse the victory of the cross in our own lives?

     If we have truly been transformed and regenerated, we will share His Words of Life. He will fill us with boldness and love. We will be to the world the aroma of life and the fragrance of death. He makes us into powerful and effective witnesses. Surely the power of the Gospel is in the message of the Gospel and not in our deliverance or earthly status. Do we not know the transforming power of the Gospel? Must we seek Him yet again that we may look to His Bread of Life and behold It as eternally satisfying that we may understand "every good thing that we have in Christ". Indeed we could not share the Gospel effectively unless we had believed It. The One who calls us is faithful and regardless of how much faith we think we have, we ought to share the Gospel while holding onto Him and trusting Him. We need not fight or stand up for ourselves. He will do this for us. His Gospel will be the banner behind which we may hide. When we trust Him wholeheartedly and believe in His Gospel, His Gospel will surely have Its ordained effect on the listening souls. Trust Him, dear saint, with everything, and He will refine you even through your sharing of the Gospel.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Peter,and then to the Twelve. I Cor 15


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