YOUR INTELLECT AND HUMAN REASON ARE NOT ENOUGH

Faith in Christ comes first, which is a miracle of the Holy Spirit in the spirit of man.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spiritJohn 3:6

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

The spirit of man (like a lamp requires oil) requires the Holy Spirit to function as God intended. At the Fall of Man the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve’s spirits. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to once again indwell believers spirits.

Without saving faith, you only have human reason upon which to base your decision concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. You need to be raised up to a higher level in order to know for sure that Christianity is true.

Would you like to receive the forgiveness of sins as well as sanctified reason from your Creator?

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” Mark 1:15

If so, “Repent and believe the good news of what Jesus has accomplished for you” (Mark 1:15).  In those few words, Jesus presented man with the only path to eternal life on a new earth and heaven. Are you on it? And if not, do you want to be on it?

The Apostle John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit taught people how to know if their religion was fake:

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:4-9

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.1 John 3:10

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.1 John 3:14

The Apostle John also taught people to know if they had eternal life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” 1 John 5:13

This knowledge of eternal life through faith in Christ is what then confirms to a believer that Christianity is true.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:16

This explains how I know Christianity is true. What about you? Are you trusting Christ alone for salvation? It is the only way to be forgiven of your sins, and the only way to receive the anointing and sanctified reason. This is how you can come to know that Christianity is true.

Without the new birth by the Holy Spirit, a person remains in spiritual darkness and only rises as high as his intellect and human reason can take him. 

GATHERING FRUIT FOR ETERNAL LIFE

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.Matthews 9:37

Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.” John 4:36-38

Jesus made it abundantly clear that all of us are called to make disciples not just the clergy.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Are you gathering fruit for eternal life? Do you even think about rewards in heaven and on the new earth? And yet Jesus taught that being an obedient disciple of Christ brings its reward, even great rewards. You need to be living eternal now not just for eternal rewards but for peace and joy in this life that can only be realised when you are in a right relationship with God, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in your spirit.

Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.Luke 6:22-23

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.Romans 14:17

Don’t you want to abound in the hope that Paul had, as expressed in the above and following two Scriptures. I do!

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.Romans 8:18-21

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38

What role will you have in the Kingdom of God during Jesus Millennial reign on earth? What you do on earth in this life will determine that role.

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

All successful people set life goals and then stay focused to achieve them. However, very few people set eternal life as there principal life’s goal and yet any other goal is extremely short lived in comparison.

Sadly, very few parents, including many professing Christians, teach their children that eternal life must be their most important goal for life on this planet.

Jesus by way of His death on the Cross made it possible for all of us to achieve eternal life. He also made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to enable us to live eternal life now.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6

Jesus said, ‘I have come that they may have life (zoe) and have it more abundantly.’ John 10:10

Let us unpack these two Scriptures:

I am the way” – the way (hodos in Greek). It means the pathway, the road to the destination. For all mankind, Jesus is the way, the only way to the eternal destination of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1).  Jesus is more than the door, He is the door and the way, the road.  Our life as Christians is to walk on that road – to be and to become more and more like Him.

The truth” – the truth (aletheia in Greek). It means the truth – not a truth, but the truth, the real truth. For us it means the truth as taught by Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit through the Apostles – all recorded for us in the Bible. The truth is the bricks and mortar of the road, the safe pathway through life.

The life” – the life (zoe in Greek) It means the life that God gives as a gift. It is the life of God Himself that He imparts to all His creation. Each living thing is given exactly the life it needs. (Bios also translated life – is the physical life we live.)

More abundant life” How will we experience Jesus’ promise of more abundant life?  The answer is in unity/union with Jesus. Jesus is the pathway and He calls us to follow Him. (akoloutheo in Greek) It means to be a follower or a companion – going the same way, on the same path.  Jesus won’t deviate from the way – but what about us? To any degree in which we deviate from His path of truth we will lose out on the abundance He promises. You lose the joy, the peace that only God can give.

Today the truth in the Scriptures, is attacked on every side. Even amongst believers and in our Bible Colleges they don’t take it to heart, deny portions of it, preferring satanically inspired worldly ideas. The world completely ignores God and His truth and is on the wrong path altogether. But even we deviate from the path, go our own way, and then we wonder why we don’t experience life more abundantly.  

Now is the moment to consider the ‘new normal for life.’  Consider, am I following my calling in Christ, to walk together with Him who is the way, the truth, the life – at home, at work or business and in every area of my life?

Consider – the teaching of John in his first letter. This is the way to walk – walk in light (the truth), walk in love (just as Jesus demonstrated), this will be a manifestation of God’s gift of life.  Paul to the Ephesians added, walk in unity – that must first be with the Lord and then with each other, putting on the new man, being led by the Spirit of God.

Living Eternal Now is about living an abundant, joy filled life which Jesus promises every believer. Living eternal now is the way Born Again believers should be living every day. Available on Amazon as a paperback and ebook.

CHRITIANS NEED NEVER FEAR DEATH

Those in Christ should never fear death. The love of God continues from temporal life through to eternal life.

The church is the only society in the world that never loses any of its members, even by death.John Blanchard

“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15

The death of God’s people is safeguarded, watched over, protected, and secured. Much as we safeguard something highly valuable, so God safeguards His people when they die. As Jesus protected His disciples in life, so God protects them in death.

While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.John 17:12

For He delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence He redeems their life, and precious is their blood in His sight.Psalms 72:12-14

When the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world we are told that the lost will seek death but it will elude them.

And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.Revelation 9:6

If you are an unbeliever and you are reading this post I hope you will repent of your rejection of God and His values and seek to know what Jesus Christ has accomplished for you when He died on the Cross over 2000 years ago. He died to pay the penalty for your sins so that you might inherit eternal life and not fear death.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

IS YOUR LOVE ABOUNDING MORE AND MORE?

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11

Christian growth is built on the foundation of God’s love. This love is the sacrificial love that God showed when He gave His Son to atone for our sins. It is the same love Jesus showed when He went to the Cross on our behalf. It is a sacrificial and giving love. To enable us (believers) to share this love with others God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirits.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

A lamp requires oil to function. Our Spirit was always meant to be the vessel for the Holy Spirit. At the Fall, the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve. They died spiritually then, their bodies died almost 900 years later.

Notice also that Paul prayed not only for abounding love but discerning love. The heart and mind need to work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment. This a major mark of maturity and evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.

As well, Paul prays that our love may abound with knowledge particularly of God’s Word that we may have spiritual wisdom and discernment. Only then will we be able to walk pure and blameless. To approve the things that matter, to decide the priorities, to spend time on those things that have eternal consequences, to do good works – to live eternal now.

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ACKNOWLEDGING GOD’S GOODNESS

During the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on Sunday, Sydney McLaughlin broke the world record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, giving all of the glory to God. McLaughlin, 21, recorded a time of 51.90 seconds and became the first woman to run the event in under the 52-second mark. She beat defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad’s previous time of 52.16, Sports Spectrum reports.

McLaughlin recalled the moment she crossed the line during a post-race interview.  

“All the glory to God,” McLaughlin told NBC Sports. “Honestly, this season just working with my new coach and my new support system, it’s truly just faith and trusting the process. I couldn’t ask for anything more and truly it is all a gift from God.”

AP Photo/Ashley Landis
‘A Gift From God’: Sydney McLaughlin Breaks 400 Meter Hurdles World Record to Win U.S. Olympic Trials

When she compared this race with previous competitions against Muhammad, McLaughlin pointed out that the most important difference was placing her faith in her Lord and Saviour.  

“Dalilah’s a great competitor,” McLaughlin said. “I think I was growing into my own person. And I think the biggest difference this year is my faith, trusting God and trusting that process, and knowing that He’s in control of everything. As long as I put the hard work in, He’s going to carry me through. And I really cannot do anything more but give the glory to Him at this point.”

On Monday, McLaughlin continued to direct the focus on God while reflecting on her victory.

“I just kept hearing God say, ‘Just focus on me.’ It was the best race plan I could have ever assembled,” she wrote on Instagram. “I no longer run for self-recognition, but to reflect His perfect will that is already set in stone. I don’t deserve anything. But by grace, through faith, Jesus has given me everything. Records come and go. The glory of God is eternal. Thank you Father.”

JESUS SPOKE THESE WORDS KNOWING SHORTLY HE WAS TO BE CRUCIFIED

These words are proof positive Jesus is the Son of God and the only person you can trust for truth about this world and your eternal destiny. He spoke these words shortly before He knowingly went to the The Cross.

Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since You have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed...

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For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent meI have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

We all know that Jesus twelve disciples (fishermen and tax collectors) not the Pharisees and Sadducees went on to transform Rome and then the World with the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.

Whom will you put your trust in for the truth of this world and eternal life?

JESUS – THE WORD OF LIFE

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.1 John 1:1-4

What an amazing Scripture. Do you want life, eternal life? There is only one place you will find it – JESUS.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:5-7

It is only His sacrifice on our behalf, His blood shed for you and me that cleanses us from SIN

What is the matter with the world? War, violence, turmoil, unhappiness ,,, There is only one answer – SIN.

The renowned theologian Martyn Lloyd-Jones reveals addictions provides a picture of all SIN patterns. At first the happiness it causes seems to outweigh the misery. But eventually the periods of misery increase and the periods of happiness fade. This is called the law of diminishing returns. Life is promised; death is delivered. Every drug, alcohol, and pornography addict is living proof the next high is less satisfying than the last.

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, SIN not only leads to insanity – it is insanity. Regardless of your drug of choice, materialism, cocaine, pornography, power, anger, slander – the nature of any SIN is saying. “This time it will be different.” Yet it just keeps killing us – all in the name of happiness.

The only answer to the SIN problem is Jesus. Repent of your SIN problems and ask Him to takeover your life as Saviour and Lord. Find meaning and purpose for your life, knowing you now have eternal life.

Martin Lloyd-Jones share these gems on SIN in his book Life in Christ in 1 John

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THOUGHTS ON BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

DEEP GRATITUDE

On the way to Jerusalem he (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.Luke 17:11-19

The only thing we can ever offer to God is Deep Gratitude for HIS amazing, undeserved Grace.  In the above account, it is interesting that nine of the healed lepers (who presumably were Jews) lacked such gratitude because they did not see themselves as being in need of such grace, while the Samaritan ‘foreigner’ did!

A salutary warning to those of us, like me at 84 years of age, who have benefitted over many years from the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit: we can be too prone to take for granted our spiritual growth, and to think this growth is somehow our contribution to God, rather than His gift to us for which I am eternally grateful.  I like the verse of the old hymn about the Holy Spirit’s work in us: “And every virtue we possess and every victory won, and every thought of holiness, are His alone.” 

THOUGHTS ON MINISTRY

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.  On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-3

What great comfort and instruction these verses provide for us as we labour in the work of the Gospel.  Once we have experienced for ourselves the rich and comprehensive blessing of God’s saving grace, we have an overwhelming desire to share this blessing with others, especially those close to us and those who are really struggling with the burdens of our troubled world.

The Apostle Paul reminds us of some very important truths to keep in mind as we struggle.

Firstly, our own salvation, and our taking hold of it, was never a result of our work/efforts, but is only ever brought about by God’s Sovereign Mercy!

Secondly, and because of this, we must never lose heart – If God managed to soften my proud, rebellious, self-centred, self-sufficient heart, he can do the same for anyone else as well!

Thirdly, we must never resort to using the world’s tactics/weapons, or to ‘watering down’ the claims of the Gospel, just to ‘get people in’.  As he wrote to the Christians in Corinth: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Fourthly, although it might be twisted and deadened by SIN, Man-made-in-the-image-of-God still has a conscience that the Holy Spirit can use to convict of “sin and righteousness and Judgement” (John 16:8)!

Fifthly, it is not our job to change people – nor is it ever within our skill-set!  Only God can remove the ‘veil’ that prevents people from coming to repentance-and-faith and thus dissociating themselves from all those who are ’perishing’.  Our only job is to proclaim the Good News, Faithfully, Persistently and Prayerfully, whenever and wherever we can, and then to leave the outcome in God’s hands (1 Corinthians 3:6)! 

THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO LIFE

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13

This is a sobering verse and it is obvious that there is only one gate that leads to eternal life. The answer Jesus gave to Thomas makes it crystal clear there is only one way our Heavenly Father provided to break the curse of death that Adam brought on mankind.

“For our sake He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

The narrow gate is the gate of His righteousness!

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

It is very significant that David was given a vision of the gate even before Jesus paid the price of his and our salvation – “you have become my salvation”.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.Psalm 118:19-21

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.” Psalm 118:17-18

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit that now indwells your Spirit but strive to do as Jesus did and pray daily to the Father “not my will but Yours be done.” God the Father will answer that prayer ensuring that the Holy Spirit directs your steps and you are an instrument of righteousness to God.

Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:11-13

“By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6