15 May 2015 Leave a comment
“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the Kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.” Luke 16:16 NKJV.
Jesus declares the advance of the Kingdom of God is the result of two things: preaching and pressing in. Jesus shows that the gospel of the kingdom must be proclaimed with spiritual passion. In every generation believers have to determine whether they will respond to this truth with sensible minds and sensitive hearts.
To overlook it will bring a passivity that limits the ministry of God’s kingdom to extending the terms of truth and love —that is, teaching or educating and engaging in acts of kindness. Without question, we must do these things.
- However, apart from an impassioned pursuit of prayer,
- Confrontation with the demonic,
- Expectation of the miraculous, and
- A burning heart for evangelism,
The Kingdom of God makes little penetration in the world. While at the same time, overstatement of “pressing” is likely to produce rabid fanatics who justify any behavior in Jesus name as applying the boldness spoken of here.
Horrific travesties in church history as the Crusades and various efforts at politicizing, in a quest to produce righteousness in society through Earth-level rule are extremes we must learn to reject.
“Pressing in” is accomplished first in prayer warfare, coupled with a will to surrender one’s life and self-interests, in order to gain God’s kingdom goals.
12 May 2015 Leave a comment
Truest compassion is only found in nature of God, because only God knows the full depth of an individual’s pain, need, or suffering.
Jesus presents to us the essence of His feelings for human weaknesses (Heb. 4:15), fully sensing the ravaged condition of human brokenness. As disciples we are called to learn Jesus’ heart of compassion, a depth of sensitivity that can be worked in us through the person of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit reconditioning our hearts to be able to sense the pain of human bondage and to weep with those who weep (Heb. 13:3; Rom. 12:15).
We see in our Lord the feelings of His heart in His tears over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44) and His tears at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35) these reveal more than either a sense of rejection by the people of one city or a grief over the death of a personal friend.
Jesus’ tears came as a result of His recognition of the hardness of all hearts that were blinded by their sin and for the tragedy of all mankind’s vulnerability to death.
Love sees beyond the immediate and the personal and compassionately relates to the lost, the hurting, the needy, and the distressed. It moves more and more into the dimension of discipleship flowing through a person to care for and serve others.
Have you heard from the Holy Spirit today in your heart felt desire to pray for a neighbor, a family member or perhaps asking the Holy Spirit for someone somewhere who may never hear the good news of the Gospel because they have no family, friends or neighbors who would take the time to pray for their salvation leading to true compassion for one who has no hope otherwise?
08 May 2015 Leave a comment
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you let him be your servant” Matthew 20:26 NKJV.
Christlikeness leads to servanthood, for Jesus came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). See the Savior take a towel and wash the disciples’ feet; then hear Him say that His disciples are called to do the same (John 13:3-5, 14,15).
The character of a faithful servant reveals devotion to the interest of others; the thoughtfulness of rendering untiring care; the delight in the prosperity, honor, and happiness of someone besides oneself.
A dramatic model of this is the bondservant of the OT (Ex.21:1-6), serving wholly for love rather than accepting the prividlege of his own freedom. Servanthood is not slavery; it is voluntary—motivated from within by the love of God, not mandated by the style, insistance, or manipulation of subjugation, pressure, guilt, or demand.
It is not cultish, but Christlike—always in the spirit of Him who, being endowed with heaven’s complete authority, chose to take the form of a servant (Phil. 2:5-7).
06 May 2015 Leave a comment
If you Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? Ps.130:3 NKJV.
Iniquities, avon, Strong’s #5771 : Evil, fault, sin, iniquities, guilt, blame, moral illness, perversion, crookedness, wickedness and rebellion. Avon is derived from avah, to “bend” or “distort.”
So iniquity is the “evil bent” within human beings, or the “crooked” direction or warped deeds of sinners. Avon occurs more than 220 times in the O.T.
Its first mentioned in Genesis 4:13, where Cain finally understands the enormity of his deed and states, “My punishment (iniquity) is greater than I can bear.” Knowing that iniquity is something too heavy to be borne by fallen humanity, God promised that His Suffering Servant would bear the iniquities of His people.
01 May 2015 Leave a comment
The prophet Hosea in the book named after him describes the characteristic social conditions of his day: corrupt leaders, unstable family life, widespread immorality, class hatred, and poverty. Though people continued a form of worship, idolatry was more and more the accepted norm. The Shepard’s (leaders) were failing to guide the people into ways of righteousness.
In the midst of Israel’s trouble God’s love is manifested in a word spoken to Israel. He will transform the Valley of Achor (Trouble) into the “door of Hope.”
“Therefore, behold I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness (not a place of punishment but a place of privacy) and speak comfort (her heart) to her.
I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14, 15. NKJV.
Hope, tiqvah, Strong’s # 8615: hope; expectation; something yearned for anticipated eagerly; something for which one waits. Its original meaning was “to stretch like a rope.” In Joshua 2:18,21, it is translated “Line” or “cord”; Rahab was instructed to tie a scarlet tiqvah (cord or rope) in her window as her hope of rescue.
Yahweh Himself is the hope of the godly (Ps. 71:5). Here God’s blessing on His land will transform the Valley of Achor (“trouble”) into the “Door of Hope.” Achor means “Trouble”, and was the scene of Achan’s sin (Josh. 7:26). God redeems situations, bringing present hope in the place of previous trouble.
22 Apr 2015 Leave a comment
…“So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied: yet you have not returned to Me, “says the Lord. Amos 4:8 NKJV.
Satisfied, sabe’a, Strong’s #7646: To be filled with satisfaction; to sate (overabundance, glut, indulge to full) satiate, fill, supply abundantly. Related words appear in Gen. 41:29, seven years of “plenty”; in Job 42:17, Job died when satisfied with his long life(“full of days”); in Ps. 16:11, “fullness” of joy is found in God’s presence; and in Isa. 23:18, God’s people may eat “sufficiently.”
The most common usage of sabe’a concerns being filled with food or drink until one is satisfied. According to Proverbs 27:20, two things that are never satisfied are hell and man’s eyes.