Jesus commands us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28), We can’t do this in our own strength. It takes yielding to God’s Holy Spirit within to “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,” and “pray for those who abuse you.”
I am sure Abraham did not completely understand what God was doing by asking him to sacrifice his son, but he was prepared to do it anyway. Likewise, there are times when I cannot understand why we are commanded to pray for our enemies, do good to those that hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us but, I do it anyway. And never have I ever regretted it.
I might not precisely understand what God’s Word tells me to do in some cases, so I must trust the Spirit and yield to His influence. The Spirit might prompt me to do something that I would not ordinarily do, and even though my own flesh says, “No,” I sense it’s what God wants me to do, and more often than not, I discover that, in His sovereignty, God had placed me in such a place and time to do just what He willed for me to do. I know that if what I do helps others; if it glorifies God, and it’s revealed in the Word of God, then I must do it, even if I don’t fully understand it at the time.
My purpose for Living Eternal Now is to encourage people to start living with this focus.
When the disciples asked Jesus: “How should we pray?”. Jesus gave us The Lords Prayer.
All Christians know it, and pray it, but when we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” how many of us really seek to play a part each day in making that happen – Jesus Kingdom on earth and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. How difficult it is to say, as Jesus did to the Father, “not My will but Yours be done”
Even for me at age 82 I find it difficult to stay away from worldly distractions, particularly time wasters such as TV. What about you?
Avoda or Avodah is the Hebrew word for work, worship, and service so work is God ordained, it is just how we conduct that work which is of interest to God.
For those that have read About Me, on this site, you will know that God equipped me for business and even now I am on the Australian Board of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce and author of the book Build a Kingdom Business – Empowered by the Holy Spirit (available as an ebook on Amazon and a paperback edition is available from me for a donation to cover postage, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
My current project, as some of you are aware, is providing sermons and videos for the end times church on http://www.powerpointsermons.net. There are a lot of power point sermons already up there but I believe God has shown me that I need to actually present the sermons and put them up on YouTube.
I prayed about which one to do first and I believe it is ISRAEL – HISTORY & PURPOSE. Initially, I thought BIBLICAL INERRANCY but no, God wants me to start with Israel and I can only think that as Israel is central to all that God does, and in fact the Antichrist does, in the “last days” that this is the reason.
When it is finished I will put it up on livingeternal.net and would appreciate your input on it. If you think it is beneficial, I would appreciate your help in promoting it, and http://www.powerpointsermons.net.
“Hallowed be your name”. What is sacred? What is holy? Do we understand that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit and what that means?
Francis Chan will challenge you over how we deal with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Get your home group to watch this sermon.
Do we realise how dangerous it is to be a divisive Christian. Do we have a healthy fear of the Lord? We are not to destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t say careless stuff to each other. Defend each other, no unwholesome speech to come out of our mouths. God will humble the proud. Help us to repent Lord, prune us Lord so we will produce more fruit.
Why John 17 unity? So the world will believe that Jesus is our Lord and Saviour.
JESUS FINAL WORDS WERE: “ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME. THEREFORE GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS …
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Gotherefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
It was clearly a command to HIS followers. Will we be obedient to that command?
HE HAS GIVEN US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and He has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Time is short, start living eternal now with a focus on Jesus return. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be your counsellor, teacher and comforter. He will guide you into all truth, He will direct your paths, but it must be with a humble and contrite heart that says, not my will but Your will be done from this day forward.
Listen to Floyd McClung give excellent teaching on being an obedient disciple of Christ using the Parable of the Sower.
To build Christians that will stand strong and stay the course, leaders will need to not only to teach sound doctrine, but even more importantly, be a godly example and live a sanctified life of fidelity to the truth, thus helping to mature the saints. Ministers and especially pastors/shepherds will, like leaders in the Book of Acts, need to share their lives with their flock, and therefore, teach more by their life example perhaps than anything else.
In Jesus’ parable (Matt. 7:24-27) He uses a storm, signifying the pressures, hardships and trials of life, as well as the persecutions we will suffer for the gospel, as a measuring gauge for how solid our foundation is. And what is our foundation based upon? Jesus taught us that it is based upon doing His sayings. Obedience is the issue. “”Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Obedience, not lip service, is what God requires.
Have you ever thought about what gives us the strength and fuel to obey God? Why are some people obedient and some are not? Why are some doers of the Word and some are not? Why do some people stay faithful to God and remain true while others do not? Why do some start this Christian race but never finish? What is it that causes us to endure to the end (Matt. 24:13)?
I would like to suggest that it is the fear of the Lord. Obedience to the Lord is not only proof of your love for Him (John 14:21), but also of your fear of Him. There’s been an emphasis on love, although we’ve fallen short of the full counsel of God in that area, too, but there has not been nearly as much of an emphasis on the fear of the Lord. It takes both of them to produce a strong constitution in your Christian life. Notice in the following two different translations how the love of obedience in Jesus was rooted in the fear of the Lord. They are identical. Or a better way to say it would be that the manifestation of the fear of the Lord is obedience to His Word and His commandments.
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“He will delight in obeying the Lord.” Isaiah 11:3 NLT
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; Proverbs 24:3
If we build our lives and homes on the true wisdom and knowledge of God that comes from the foundation of the fear of the Lord, we need not fear the storm, because we will stand.
Paul’s Great Desire
One of the apostle Paul’s greatest burdens was this very thing: that the people He ministered to would stand firm in their faith and remain obedient to God even in the midst of the troubles and persecutions of his day. Other New Testament writers shared the same burden.
Paul’s great desire was that the people he taught would not falter under pressure, lest his work be useless or his labour be in vain. Notice his great concern for the Thessalonian saints (1 Thess. 3:1-9). He had warned them of the troubles that would soon come. In his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders, he warned them of the same troubles (Acts 20:25-31). To the Galatians and the Hebrews he did the same, warning them not to turn back to the Law. He was preparing them for the storm and the persecution they would receive from preaching the cross and paying the price to follow Jesus. Warnings are such a large part of the Scriptural admonition that Paul and the other New Testament writers gave to the churches. Today there is a glaring absence of these warnings in our preaching.
Here are some more scripture warnings: Matthew 7:15, 10:17, 24:4-5, 24:11-13, 24:24; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 12:1, 15; Acts 20:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10:12, 11:3; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6, Philippians 3:2, 18; Colossians 1:28, 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:16; Hebrews 2:1-3, 4:1; 2 Peter 1:10, 3:17.
Fellow minister and preacher, how well are you preparing yourself and your people for the storm? Are you teaching them the whole counsel of God or catering to itching ears? Are you including the warnings in your preaching? Are you preaching on only the goodness and mercy of God, or do you also preach on His severity, wrath and judgments? Are you only preaching on the love of God, or do you place emphasis on His holiness too? Do you ever preach on sin and repentance? Are your concepts of the love of God and the grace of God accurate and in accordance with Scripture?
If not, then Paul warns, we may be guilty of the blood of men: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not keep from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. …. Therefore watch, remembering that for three years night and day I did not cease to warn everyone with tears” (Acts 20:26-27, 31).
Make sure you are preparing yourselves and those whom God has entrusted to you for the storm. Oh, how much stronger our churches would be if we included these things in our preaching and teaching and living them out before the people!
‘If you diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I have afflicted the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you'” (Ex. 15:26).
There is a condition attached to healing and health. It is obedience. In Deuteronomy we find the same condition.
“Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God” (Deut. 28:1-2).
Although the blessings of God encompasses the totality of our lives, two of the main areas it covers are divine health and financial/material provision and prosperity. And this chapter also outlines the curses that will come upon God’s people if they do not hearken to the Lord’s voice and obey Him.
“But it will happen, if you will not listen to the voice of the Lord your God, by being careful to do all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut. 28:15).
This is what I wanted you to see. There is a condition attached to the blessings of God that is not only seen throughout the old covenant but carries over into the new covenant as well. This is where many modern day Charismatics and word of faith people have missed it. The Lord showed me that it’s a mindset. To them, it sounds like works. In other words, if we do everything just right, we will be healed. No, that’s not it. The issue is walking in the light that you possess. The issue is obedience to what you know to do or not to do—obedience to both His written word and what He says to you by His Spirit.
“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence before God. And whatever we ask, we will receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He commanded us” (1 John 3:20-23).
Here’s the bottom line: If your heart condemns you you cannot have confidence toward God (1 John 3:21). You cannot come boldly before the throne of God. You cannot believe and receive what you ask for. You cannot resist the devil and take hold of the promises of God. You cannot exercise your God given authority unless you have confidence toward God. Condemnation kills that confidence.
Disobedience results in condemnation and condemnation causes your faith to shrivel. Confess and quote the Word all you want. Without obedience your faith won’t work.
Obey the written Word of God, especially concerning your love walk. Obey what His Spirit is saying to your heart. Walk in the light of what He’s revealed to you, and the blessings of God shall be fully manifest in your life.
So I said, “What shall I do, Lord?” And the Lord said to me, “Arise and go….”Acts 22:10
In his autobiography, Our Incredible Journey, Word of Life co-founder Harry Bollback and his wife, Millie, wrote about their years of missionary service in Brazil, where they lived in very primitive circumstances. “Living under these conditions was truly difficult,” Harry wrote. “But neither of us thought of it as being hard at the time. We had made a decision to serve the Lord, and we were just doing what we thought the Lord would have us do. We were enjoying the good hand of God’s blessings.”
In Acts 22, the apostle Paul recounted his conversion for the Jewish Ruling Counsel. He told them of the light that blinded him on the Damascus Road, and he recounted the two questions he asked God: “Who are You, Lord?” (verse 8) and “What shall I do, Lord?” (verse 10)
When we come to Christ for salvation, we need to ask, “What do You want me to do?” Then, we just need to have a submissive spirit to His guidance, and He’ll use us in ways beyond our expectation.
I’m convinced that when you are serving the Lord, there is never a question of sacrifice. It’s just doing what we are supposed to be doing for His glory. You don’t think of the sacrifice—you think of your mission. Harry Bollback
“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30
This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.
A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.
My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.
Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.
I began a conversation with the Lord.
“What are You showing me?” I asked.
“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.
It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.
Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.
I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”
His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”
The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.
I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.
After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.
Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.
Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.
Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.
We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.
Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.
Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.
The Australian evangelist John G. Ridley was a purpose-driven communicator and a painter of word-pictures whose pen was mighty, because of the sword of the spirit. He was not one to shy away from confronting his hearers with the truth of their eternal life and challenging their hearts to trust his everlasting Lord. He sowed faithfulness to the message of salvation here on earth and reaped fruitfulness in the ministry and service for time and eternity.
And speaking of eternity, God used his preaching to influence Arthur Stace (Mr. Eternity) to go out and write the word Eternity on the streets of Sydney and beyond.
Here is a little of what happened. It was a Sunday night November 14th at the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle, Darlinghurst, Sydney, where John was preaching his now famous message “The Echoes of Eternity”.
The veteran evangelist stood with the power of scripture in his hand and the love of Christ in his heart and stressed the word Eternity. He pointed out how the Echoes of Eternity are heard not only in Creation and the Christian but also in TheCross .
Then suddenly, laying his prepared notes aside and seemingly in an impromptu fashion, the highly disciplined soldier-like preacher, raised his loud voice and cried: “Eternity, Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You’ve got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity.”
Arthur Stace converted to Christ at the St Barnabas Church, Broadway in Sydney a few years before, was one of many in the large congregation that God-ordained night. “Eternity went ringing through my brain” was Stace’s statement” and suddenly I began crying and felt a powerful call from the Lord to write Eternity. I had a piece of chalk in my pocket and outside the church, I bent down right there and wrote it…. The funny thing is that before I wrote it, I could hardly write my own name. I had no schooling, and I couldn’t have spelt for a hundred quid. But it came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. I couldn’t understand it, and I still can’t.”
Arthur knew this was God’s task for him and rain or shine he faithfully went out six nights a week to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney until the very night God took Arthur home. God powerfully used Arthur’s faithfulness to impact the lives of many for Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote that we must “behold then the kindness and severity of God” (see Romans 11:22)
One of the biggest sources of spiritual delusion and false doctrine in the church today is the lack of the fear of the Lord. He is an awesome God not to be trifled with. Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 tells us that“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”Proverbs 1:7 says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” So the fear of the Lord is the foundation of both wisdom and knowledge.
A foundation holds up an entire building. If you remove it, everything built upon it collapses. So it is with foundational doctrines like the fear of the Lord.
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last” Revelation 1:17 (NKJV).
At the time John received this revelation, he was the only one of the twelve still alive. Therefore, he had walked with the Lord Jesus more than any other apostle. The most intimate of the apostles with Jesus, John would lean his head up against the Lord’s breast as they reclined for their last meal together. Even with this remarkable history, when John saw the Lord in His glory, he fell at His feet like a dead man!
Bearing in mind our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is the third person of the Trinity. Every time we engage in gossip, tell white lies, embellish a story to make us look good, the Holy Spirit is grieved and we certainly quench His work in our lives. Don’t forget the story of Ananias and Sapphira when they lied to the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:1-11
God is our loving Heavenly Father, but we also need to keep in mind that He is an awesome Almighty God. Those who only see His kindness are at least half deceived. Those who only see His severity are also at least half deceived. It takes knowing and walking in the tension of both that keeps us on the path of life.