Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, May 27, 2013

Iowa Conference 2013

Iowa Conference 2013
     The theme verses for this year’s conference were Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect.

    I learned several things which are as seeds planted in my heart which will inevitably grow over time. For the effect of the work of the Spirit with the Word of God in regenerate hearts is not simply initiated at the moment of hearing it from the preacher, but it is manifested in the days and months ahead, causing fruit to be borne…it is a lasting effect. Jesus said that He has appointed us to bear fruit that remains. There were instances where the Truth seemed to have no immediate emotional effect, but in due time, perhaps weeks after hearing it, it produced the lasting effect. The Kingdom of God is within us and Christ has compared it to the mustard seed that starts out as a small seed and grows to become the largest tree among them all.

     The three speakers were Pastor Samson, Pastor Sambob, and dad. My memory of the gifts imparted to me include a weaving together of all the speakers’ messages. I was encouraged and convicted about the offering of our bodies as a living sacrifice. Often my weakness has been to preserve the comfort of my flesh, which actually promoted even more weakness, for the process of making effort to preserve the flesh drained my strength and it weakened my spirit when the flesh wasted away in discomfort. It would have seemed to my soul that I experienced pain simply to survive, much less in offering my body to the Lord. But the Word tells us that our bodies DO belong to the Lord. Our bodies are FOR the Lord. It is a freeing thought. For if the mortal flesh belongs to the Lord, will He not deal with it in love and power?  Not to say that He would preserve our comfort by our own fleshly standards, but by His sovereign and loving standard He will preserve our contentment in Christ, our knowledge of His love, and our conformance to His Image. It is greatly comforting to know that since my body is His, as He enables me to offer it as a living sacrifice, whether it lives or dies physically, it is in His hands. As David reasoned, let me fall into the hands of God rather than the hands of men, yes even my own hands, that is, my own mortal attempts to preserve my comfort. Another comforting reminder is that of Christ as the Bridegroom who regards us as His own body. He nourishes, cherishes, washes, and feeds her. Even as the outward man wastes away, if that is His chosen state for it, the inward man is being renewed day by day.

    Another aspect is that our heart must not desire to give to the Lord what costs us nothing just as King David held this mindset: “24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God [i]which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 2 Sam 24” It will involve pain, pain that I cannot withstand to any degree apart from the Spirit’s enablement. Anyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ will be persecuted. He has brought me to a place where I fear little the reproach or accusations of men. But to waste away in the flesh WILLINGLY and JOYFULLY in the footsteps of Christ is the area of sanctification that He must work in me in the time ahead.

    In dad’s message, the one thing that spoke greatly to me was the description of the suffering of the entire Trinity as Jesus bore our sin on the cross. Particularly, the Holy Spirit who remained in Christ until He offered up His Spirit experienced agony along with Christ. This is the same Spirit who has brought me to repentance and circumcised my practical heart countless time. He is the One who is grieved when we resist Him. He knows the agony of the Son. The Spirit of God alone knows the thoughts of God, even His thoughts of agony, joy, and love as He bore our shame and condemnation. And He is the One whom I have grieved when I have resisted Him. The fellowship of the Spirit is so sweet and gracious. All He has ever done is to reveal the grace and love of the Son, to gently bring me to repentance, to bring me floods of healing tears…may God help me not to grieve Him.

    True worship is only done in Spirit and in Truth. For we worship in the Spirit, glory in Christ, and put no confidence in the flesh…we are the true circumcision of Christ. Our worship is in proportion to the highness of our view of Him who saved us and loved us.

     In the background, He has been teaching me that I must love. The love of God is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. In presenting the Truth, love is my strongest asset. It shines light upon the Truth, authenticating and empowering it. His love alone empowers us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, to not be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I felt Him remind me today that He carries my burden of the incomplete doctrinal understanding and the scattered nature of the true saints among masses of professing believers. He knows the dire importance of bringing His sheep into all Truth and into the true fellowship of the saints.

“Put me like a seal over your heart,

Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord.
“Many waters cannot quench love,

Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.” SoS 8

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...