WHAT HAS GOD CALLED YOU DO?

A great message from David Platt of McLean Bible Church in Virginia. It is part five of his sermon series, titled “Following Jesus: Faith That Changes Lives in a World of Urgent Need, Can I suggest you take the time to view the sermon series, just click on the link.

‘What kind of Christianity have you bought into? Who told you that following Jesus would lead to greater comfort and ease in this world?’ Because that didn’t come from this Book,” said Platt while holding up his Bible. “That came from a very skewed version of this Book that’s being sold all across our culture.”

Platt said that many Christians need God to point them to the reality that “the ultimate need of every single person in the world is to be forgiven for their sins.” However, he said, in order to be reconciled to God, a person needs to first hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Platt emphasized the importance of Christians not being afraid of difficulties that they might face while spreading the Gospel to remote places because, he said, “there are 3 billion people in the world who have never heard the Word of God, and they won’t have their sins forgiven if they never hear the Gospel.” (My add) Moreover, if God has called you to go, He will guide and protect you.

“God made a way for humans to be forgiven for all their sin, to be reconciled to Him, to eternal life, through faith in Jesus, by what He did on the cross, His resurrection from the grave,” he maintained. “We have been commanded to show God’s love in a world of earthly suffering, and ultimately, we have been commanded to proclaim the Gospel to keep people from a second death (David said eternal suffering). “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.

“Somebody has to go and tell them. If no one goes and tells them, they will spend eternity separated from Him. Do you see what’s at stake here? Do we see the need?” Platt asked rhetorically. 

BEING OBEDIENT TO THE HOLY SPIRIT PROMPTINGS

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Tim talks about the importance of being obedient to the prompting of the indwelling Holy Spirit

Tim Halfin, a regional director for a pharmacy in Magnolia, Texas, is giving God all the glory after he miraculously found a little boy who had been lost in the woods for three days.

Halfin, who is a Christian, explained to Faithwire he was sitting in a Bible study on Friday when he learned about 3-year-old Christopher Ramirez, who went missing two days earlier after he chased a dog into the woods.

During our prayer for this little boy,” he said, “the Holy Spirit just popped in me, ‘Tomorrow morning, you’ll go look for him,’ and I did. There’s been a few times in my life that the Holy Spirit has really spoken to me and I’ve obeyed and, of course, the outcome is always great.

Christopher had been missing since around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Local law enforcement officials, community members, and the little boy’s mother had been searching for the toddler to no avail. Halfin joined the search just before noon Saturday.

As he was looking, Halfin recalled hearing noises in the woods, though he wasn’t sure if it was Christopher. He nevertheless called sheriff’s deputies, who arrived on ATVs, clearly discouraged by the lack of success they’d had in finding the lost little boy.

It wasn’t too long after that Halfin found Christopher, who had shed all his clothing, even his shoes. He had no protection whatsoever.

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When I saw him, it was immediately, ‘Praise God! This is answered prayer!’” Halfin said, adding that the look on the child’s face when he picked him up was, “I’ve been waiting for you, where have you been?”

“I think God had been protecting this little boy all along,” he continued. “I think Jesus had been talking to him for three nights and now going on four days.”

As a believer, Halfin said he always knew God could perform miracles; he’d read about them all throughout Scripture. But now he has been part of one.

Tim went on to say there is “no explanation” for the rescue, noting he believes God performed three miracles for Christopher.

No. 1, he was protected against all these elements. There are a lot of predators in those wood, wild animals.

No. 2, he would survive for as long as he did without water.

No. 3, he would be found really miles away from where they were even looking for him.

Halfin said, “My prayer is for those who don’t see this as a miracle, that they would come to know Jesus and then they would know that it only had to be a miracle.”

At the centre of the story, Halfin said, is God. He told Faithwire he’s “regretful” so many have focused on him in the story, saying the miraculous outcome for Christopher is truly about “what the Lord has done here.”

The little boy’s mother, Araceli Nunez, is a “strong woman of faith,” Halfin said.

“She knew from the beginning that God was gonna bring her son back to her,” he added. “In between that point, there was a lot of prayers lifted up … and then, at the end, the Lord led me to him and just answered everybody’s prayer right there.”

LITTLE DISCIPLINE, LITTLE COURAGE – COURAGE IS CAUGHT MORE THAN TAUGHT

The situation in 2 Chronicles 15:5-7 seems eerily similar to our situation today: “In those times there was no peace … but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. King Jehoshaphat was King of Judah at the time.

One key principle we learn from King Jehoshaphat is that he prepared his heart to seek God (2 Chronicles 19:3). Build courage by strengthening yourself in the Lord … by spending time reading and obeying His Word, as well as praying, fasting, and worshiping.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving Enter His courts with praiseEnter His presence with worship

We play like we practice. Or said another way, we fight like we prepare. Courage is the outflow of inner disciplines — little discipline, little courage

If we take our focus off of Christ, we can easily become discouraged. Jehoshaphat said, “But our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). He knew that focused attention is critical in battle.

Our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to You. 2 Chronicles 20:12

Why would you walk willingly into the enemy’s camp? Why would you feed wrong desires and thoughts when they do nothing but war against the soul? If you’re losing the battle and becoming discouraged, look at your media diet. Is it instilling courage? If not, refocus your sights on Christ.

 God’s battle plan always involves courage: “Act courageous and the Lord will be with you” (2 Chronicles 19:11). Courage is important because it’s undergirded by trust and faith. In essence, we are saying, “Lord, I trust You so I’m going to step out in faith. I’m not going to fear. What can man do to me?” Courage meets fear with faith.

A Christian Call For Courage
Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons

We see an incredible event happen in 2 Chronicles 20:22:

When they began to sing and praise the Lord,” God defeated the enemy. Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons.

Exchange social media binges with worship marathons. Turn to prayer, worship, and the Word, rather than Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. We cannot fill our minds with the world and expect to develop courage. We cannot fill our minds with darkness and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives  

The Lord tells us to stand firm — don’t go backward and don’t run ahead in your own strength — but hold the line through obedience, trust, faith, and courage: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13).

When difficulties come, let your children see you praying and seeking God rather than being upset or frightened. Our children are watching. If we are angry or scared, we’re subtly telling them, “God can’t get us through this; we can’t really trust Him.” Courage is caught more than taught. 

When we worship and walk in obedience, God fights for us, but when we stray, we become easy prey. Repentance and obedience reposition you back in the centre of God’s will … back to victory. Cowardliness and disobedience cost us far more than we realize.

Seeking God with our hearts must be a price we are willing to pay. Are you? It all begins here.

What made these O.T. prophets so bold? How was God’s Word burning in their hearts? It was because the Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them with boldness as they surrendered their entire life to God. You have the Holy Spirit but full surrender is the key ingredient that most Christians are missing. Are rivers of living water flowing out of you  — are you spiritually alive? The more you seek Him the more you find Him: “He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:16).

Extracted from an article by Shane Idleman, The Battle for Courage – A Hill to Die On. The Christian Post.

BELIEVE AND OBEY, BOTH NECESSARY

There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Romans 1:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.And he rose and followed him.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.Matthew 16:24

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?

ALWAYS REMEMBER WHO IS IN CONTROL

“And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6

The Apostle Paul says that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.Romans 8:26

Here Paul makes it clear that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. How much more can God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?

Do not conform 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.Romans 12:2

While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warns against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.

Remember as long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. Live eternal now.

IS YOUR LIFE BRINGING GLORY TO GOD

God never called us to do anything for Him. He does, however, call us to work with him.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, taught: “In the same way, faith also if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17,

The simple truth about the difference between good works and bad or religious works, is that good works are works that God by His Holy Spirit calls us to do, through prayer and our ongoing relationship with God in Christ.

Dead religious works, in contrast, are things we try to do for God in order to earn His favour. Jesus died on a cross for our sins, and we receive His favour only by His grace. No amount of works will ever purchase that favour. However, because of that grace we now do good works for Him through the leading of His Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 25:23, Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”

It sounds to me like Jesus was building some form of “performance-based Christianity!” Our true calling is to be living so close to Him, and to be so biblically astute, that our whole lives bring glory to His name in the process. Moreover, what you do on earth for Him will determine your role in serving Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

In fact, God, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter to make us like Jesus and to prepare us to rule and reign with Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

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 “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH ALONE

Anything that is not birthed out of faith is fatally flawed by sin.

“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

According to Isaiah without faith even our righteous deeds are “like a polluted garment”.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” Isaiah 64:6

The reality is that anyone outside the saving faith of Christ are dead people, spiritually dead and therefore only capable of doing wretched, sinful things. From birth this is the reality for us all. We need to be clothed in His righteousness and this can only be done when we repent and put our faith in Jesus, the only one who can make us righteous, and that is by being clothed in His righteousness.

None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12

The book of Job teaches us much about faith. Believing that God is good despite the apparent evidence to the contrary, Job rested in faith alone. In the depths of agony he could still proclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 9:25). In the end, God silenced all discussion with the truth that He alone is wise (chs. 38–41). Yet, He vindicated Job’s trust in Him (ch. 42), proving that genuine faith cannot be destroyed.

The gospel is the power of God for salvation for in it the righteousness of God is revealed but it is by faith that we live the Christian life.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith (or beginning and ending in faith), as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

END TIMES KINGDOM

Satan’s kingdom is massing powerful forces of hate, anger and evil. They masquerade as good and fair values that liberate, confirm and advance culture and civilization. But they are doing the very opposite!  Events and trends have reached a point of no return. If I denigrate in any way gay marriage, homosexuality and LGBT issues then this post would be censored. A Christian must be armed with a solid faith in God to withstand the battle of life before us. It is time to check our faith—protected by a shield that cannot be penetrated by doubt, fear or weakness. A strong belief and confidence in God’s firm hand in our life is the anchor we need during these times. Jesus asked a question with profound implications for each of us: “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?Luke 18:8. Faith in Jesus is growing increasingly rare in our secularized society.

Many people today view the values and promises of the Bible as judgmental and archaic. The popular approach is to accept and validate all opinions, no matter what they are. But the same people don’t realize that such an approach inevitably produces doubt, which undermines faith. We may not deny the existence of God, but, because of the materialism, humanism and moral relativism of the world around us, we convince ourselves that God is not involved in human affairs. We see through a prism that leaves God out of the picture. The religion of many professing Christians is superficial. They have not received the Holy Spirit and therefore lack the power to live the Christian life. Moreover, as a result their knowledge of God’s Word is rudimentary. They certainly are not aware of the many prophecies concerning Jesus soon coming return. Far too many have come to believe that every aspect of life is simply a matter of personal choice and that nothing matters beyond their feelings. Instead of relying on God, they trust only themselves to solve their problems. Confirmation of the superficiality of faith is to be found in the fact that, although 90 percent of Americans say they pray, many are unsure that their prayers make any difference (National & International Religion Report).

HOPE FOR AN ETERNAL FUTURE

Saints, by receiving the Holy Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of God through the Word and we experience the power of God producing the fruit of the spirit in our lives, of love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self control . The Holy Spirit provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry; gift of faith, tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of knowledge, prophecy, wisdom, discernment, healing and miracles. As a result, we have full hope for an eternal future and full hope for today as well! When we have needs, we are invited to the throne of grace where we can expect the Lord to speak to us, imparting faith.  By faith Jesus is our healer, by faith Jesus is our provider, by faith Jesus sets us at liberty from all that would come against us in this life.

Let’s learn and enjoy the way of faith.  Trust the Lord completely, for He cares for us. Listen and receive the faith that comes by the word He speaks to us by the Holy Spirit. The word that is the sword of the Spirit to defeat our circumstances.

Let us also look at what Paul had to say about living the Christian life.

For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God Romans 15:18-19

THE GENIUS OF C.S.LEWIS

Eric Metaxas interviews Oxford Fellow Dr. Michael Ward about his discovery of a secret code in C.S. Lewis’s CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, which Ward explores in his book PLANET NARNIA. Both men are brilliant and Christians. They expanded my view of Jesus and therefore God and hope they will do that for you as well. Whilst I have several of C.S.Lewis’s books this interview has inspired me to want to dig deeper. The level of C.S.Lewis’s faith was incredible. If you want to go deeper in your faith you need to read Miracles – Do they Really Happen.