CHRISTIANS ARE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE BUILDING GOD’S KINGDOM

When God called Abraham, he didn’t say, “You need to ascribe to these commandments, right principles, and correct beliefs.” Instead, God told Abraham, “Go from your country, your people, and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” How did Abraham respond?

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him.” Genesis 12.4

He didn’t say a word. He got his feet moving.

When it came time for Jesus to assemble the men who would become His apostles and disciples, he didn’t command them to discern and discover all of the scriptural rules and laws to govern their conduct and learn what they should believe. No, Jesus called them and what was their response?

Immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.Matthew 4:22

They got their feet moving and so should we.

In the three short years that Jesus ministered on this earth, Jesus walked over 3000 miles. He was a man on the move. He was a man of imminency and intention.

Jesus took ordinary people, made by and in the image of, his Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, turned them into a community, a family, of fervent and dedicated apostles, disciples, and students, thereby launching the greatest social movement in human history.

By Jesus’ death and resurrection, He made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to indwell the Spirit of every person who repents of their past rebellion against God and given their life to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Submitting to baptism in water they have shown they have died to their old life and been born again by the Holy Spirit into a new life in Christ.

It is possible to be born again by the Holy Spirit and yet we quench His work in our lives thereby grieving Him.

The detailed message we are given of how Elijah heard from God is tremendously important.

What did Elijah hear after the wind, earthquake, and fire?

And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.1 Kings 19:11-12

How did Elijah respond to the “still small voice“? He “went out..”. He got his feet moving.

And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out…” 1 Kings 19:13

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

It is obvious from this Scripture that it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit and we are told that we quench His work in our lives when we ignore His “still small voice“. I know in my own life that I often am distracted by worldly attractions and miss God’s best for me which means I miss the joy that we get from serving Him.

Prayer is the way we stay in touch with God, Human beings were made to be in fellowship with God. Adam and Eve’s disobedience severed the link but thank God He asked His Son, Jesus, to restore the link. What does God do for those that relate to Him in love? The Psalmist puts it well when he said,

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalms 16:11

If we are obedient and get our feet moving when He asks us to go, He will guide our steps.

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep his commandments and do what pleases Him.” 1 John 3:21-22

EXCELLENT NEW COMMENTARY ON GENESIS

The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series are designed to be non-technical and easily accessible commentaries on the English text, aimed at the busy pastor or preaching layman. The latest in the series is on GENESIS. This is the foundational book of the Bible so you need to know what it teaches.

The commentary opens with an Introduction to Genesis where the author highlights that this book is the book of beginnings and relates to the beginning of the world, of sin, of God’s promise of redemption, and of the nation of Israel, whom God chose as His people.

reliable and accessible

Importantly, Steinmann adopts the traditional literal ‘solar day’ view advocated by Young Earth Creationists.

Each pericope or section of text is treated with three separate sections: (1) Context, (2) Comment, and (3) Meaning. The Context section discusses the historical and literary context of the particular section of text. The Comment section provides more detailed commentary on the text itself. Though all verses in the text are covered, it is not strictly a verse-by-verse commentary. Given that this commentary is pitched at pastors and laymen rather than other scholars, there is no detailed Hebrew exegesis, though the author does make occasional reference to key Hebrew words and terms, along with clear explanations. Finally, the Meaning section offers a brief summary and meaning of the text, along with any theological notions and implications.

Numerous ‘Additional Notes’ that discuss a particular topic, idea, or interpretation in more detail also appear throughout the commentary. Topics include ‘The seven days of creation, ‘Knowledge of the name Yahweh in Genesis’, and ‘The ages of the persons in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11’.

Steinmann points to the notion of ‘God’s Chosen People’ as a prominent theme throughout the book of Genesis. God chooses his people by favouring a particular line of descendants. God chooses Seth over Cain, Shem over his brothers, Jacob (renamed Israel) over Esau. Because you have put your trust in Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, God chooses you and has at least one important task for you to do.

‘Justification by faith’ is another important theme and is clearly demonstrated in the life of Abraham. Abraham believed in the gracious promise of God that through him and his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Despite Abraham not understanding how this prophecy would be fulfilled through the incarnation and death of Christ, he still trusts in God’s grace and promises: “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Indeed, Hebrews 11 also indicates that Abel, Enoch, and Noah were also righteous through faith.

Steinmann’s commentary is an order of magnitude better than Derek Kidner’s previous volume on Genesis in this series. It contains clear and generally accurate historical and theological explanations of the book of Genesis. This is the purpose and goal of the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series. Although the author often makes reference to Hebrew words and other ancient Near Eastern cognates, you will not find technical discussions of Hebrew grammar and linguistics. What you will find is a concise, reliable commentary on the text of Genesis that is also accessible to the busy pastor and preaching layman.

The book is thoroughly reviewed by Andrew S. Kulikovsky in the latest edition of Journal of Creation http://www.creation.com. The above is extracted from that review.

HOW WE FIND SPIRITUAL REST

How Can We Find Spiritual Rest? | by Samuel Annesley (c. 1620–1696)

How can we live with a conscience that is brought to a place of peace/tranquillity by the shed blood of Christ?

Christians, be persuaded to practice these:

1. Deal with SIN, count no sin small.

2. Know the healing and practice of repentance.

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3. Live Eternal Now, ready for Jesus return. You cannot deceive Him, for He is Infinite Wisdom; you cannot fly from Him, for He is everywhere; you cannot bribe Him, for He is Righteousness itself.

4. Be serious and frequent in the examination of your heart and life. This is necessary to the getting and keeping of a right and peaceable conscience, that it is impossible to have either without it. 

5. Be in prayer, in all manner of prayer, but especially in private prayer. 

6. Let your whole life be a preparation for serving in Jesus soon coming Millennial Kingdom. Divest yourself of today’s religion and its practices. Pleasures may tickle you for a while; but they have an heart-aching farewell. You may call your riches good; but ultimately what good will they do you? Men may flatter you for your greatness; but with God your account will be the greater. 

7. Live more upon Christ than upon inherent grace. Do not venture upon sin because Christ has purchased a pardon; that is a most horrible and irreverent abuse of Christ. 

8. Be, every way, nothing in your own eyes. It is the humble soul that thrives exceedingly. “And, indeed! what have we to be proud of?

9. Entertain good thoughts of God. We never arrive to any considerable holiness or peace till we lose ourselves in His divinity and all that encompasses.

10. Do all you do out of love for God. Spiritual love-sickness is the soul’s most healthy constitution. When love for God is the cause, means, motive, and end of all our activity then the soul takes flight towards rest.

O my soul, you are so little, why won’t you open all your little doors; why wont you extend your utmost capacity, that you may be wholly possessed, wholly satiated, wholly ravished with the sweetness of so great a love? 

O, therefore, my most loving God, I implore you, tell me what may most effectually draw out my love for you, considering all that you do for me, the positive good things I receive from you, infinite in greatness, infinite in multitude!

Extracted from an article by Puritan Samuel Annesley (1620-1696). The English has been update (thou and thee and some words e.g. impious changed). I amended 6. from preparation for heaven to preparation for serving in Jesus soon coming Millennial Kingdom.

LIFE IN CHRIST FOR YOUR FAMILY

Seven years ago Robert and his wife Evelyn decided to take a leap of faith to leave their jobs and careers behind, trusting God to provide for them and lead them further. In this video Robert shares what happened since then and the things they learned. Living eternal now being directed by the Holy Spirit believing God’s Word.

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:28-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34

MORE FROM THE LAST REFORMATION MOVEMENT:

I want to say that this is not only a life Robert and his family are called to live. I believe this is a life many more people are called to live! Not that everyone should do exactly as they did, but everyone CAN do so much more than we are often doing! Start where you are! Use the free resources we have – The Kickstart Package, the online Pioneer School, etc… all the resources which are available for you to use to bear fruit!

But I also want to challenge many of you out there – I think many more people ARE called to do like Robbert and his family! We have just done a new page on TheLastReformation.com called FAMILY ON A MISSION. You can see the link here: youtu.be/lXvMqdLzGyo

On this page, you will find other stories of other people who started to see amazing fruit! What you can see is that every story is different, but every person is the same in the sense that the Holy Spirit is leading, God is providing, and there is amazing fruit!

So I want to challenge you even more, especially in the times we are living in now – don’t get old and look back at your life regretting that you did not take some big steps for Jesus! Don’t stand in front of Jesus one day when He comes back very soon, not having anything to show! Do what He has called you to do! And let us know how we can help you!

BEING OBEDIENT TO GOD

For Christians sometimes obedience comes before understanding.

To enable us, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.John 3:5-8

In my own life, many times, I am confronted by the Holy spirit prompting me to do something I would not ordinarily do and when I am obedient and do it, I discover that God had orchestrated all aspects of the the event, circumstances, people and location and it invariably did one or more of the following things: helped others, proved God’s existence and brought glory to Him and His Word.

Even before Jesus made it possible for believers to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit, God was working with people like Abraham who by faith was prepared to be obedient . Think about it, Abraham could have had no understanding of why he was called to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. This is trusting God to the uttermost.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.Hebrews 11:17-19

What did God promise Abraham because of his obedience:

By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voiceGenesis 22:16-18

Long after Abraham had died the children of Abraham knew that:

Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45

Jesus now calls us to do the following things, which in the natural you would not do, but by the power of the Holy Spirit you can do.

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.Luke 6:27-31

Are you being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day of your life? Are you living eternal now?

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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

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.”

TIME TO BECOME ELIJAH’S

America has entered into the times of Baal, says Jonathan Cahn. His latest Prophetic Message is timely and challenging. However, it also demonstrates that God is totally in control as the events that have unfolded in America are exactly in line with a template assigned by God that has played out before in Israel’s history. The timing is mind blowing.

As Jonathan reveals in this video, Christians in America have entered a time when they will face the greatest challenges and the greatest darkness in their history. Survival as Bible believing Christians will be impossible unless we become like Elijah.

What prepared Elijah for what God had planned for him to do? It was in his isolation at Kerith Brook when he was being fed by ravens, sent by the hand of God. Camped in the wilderness, isolated from everyone, Elijah was totally dependent upon God and God alone to meet his every need. It was in his time of greatest fear and need, that God prepared Elijah for his later ministry.

Like Elijah and many of God’s heroes He had to strip them of everything that was important to them and take them to a place of utter brokenness. And like Elijah, there, in isolation by our Kerith Brook, he will carefully tend to our needs. In the most unreal ways, he will provide for us, feed us, clothe us. And, in the process, we will learn how much he loves us and that we can trust him.

It is in our seasons of hurt and isolation that he does an amazing work in us. But that amazing work in us is not for us alone. It is to prepare us for the amazing work God wants to do through us.

Your Kerith Brook might look quite different from Elijah’s. However, regardless of circumstances, God’s plan is the same: he wants to use this time of isolation, this time of pain and loss, to mold you into His image. He wants to meet your every need. He wants to prove that He is good, loving, faithful. He wants to show himself as the Great I am. He wants to build your faith so that you can eventually leave the Kerith Brook.

Then, when He sees that you are ready, He will use and lead you in ways you can not even imagine but for certain it will be to a place where His power and might can shine through you.

HOW TO HEAR FROM GOD – TRUST HIM

Learn from the amazing life of George Muller. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:2-4

COVID 19 WILL BE GOOD FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

God’s word reminds believers that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28, ESV). Meaning, ultimately, COVID-19 will be good for the church of Jesus Christ. Of all the things believers are promised in scripture, bodily safety is not one of them. In fact, it says the opposite!

We are told by the Apostle Paul that “all who desire to live godly lives shall suffer” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Aside from whatever physical and emotional scars the coronavirus might leave upon the body of Christ, we can be sure that, in time, this event will produce wonderful fruit. As backwards as it may sound, Let’s welcome this reality. It is as Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”.

Remember most viruses play a useful role in the design of God’s universe

The ugly idol of personal safety has plunged its jagged thorns deep inside the hearts of not only American Christians bot those in most affluent nations. Decades of excessive comforts and conveniences have created lazy, self-serving, inward-looking Christians. Many have forgotten how to trust God for provision. Instead, we have looked to ourselves, our stocked supermarkets, our full refrigerators, and our 401ks (pension plan) to provide the assurance that our future’s are secure. Throughout history, God has often allowed outside forces and tragedies to remind His people to look only to Him for comfort and assurance. We should remember this as we wander into the unknown of the Coronavirus pandemic. Lest we forget, the Israelites wandered the desert 40 years as they learned to trust God for daily provisions.

Whatever trials the days ahead may bring, it seems certain our faith will be tested. How will you choose to respond?

Extracted from a great article Christians, COVID-19, and the Dangerous Idol of Personal Safety by Jack Wells, www. patheos .com