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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UNITY IS NOT CONFORMITY

This article is based on an article by Kris Vallotton “AGREEMENT ISN’T THE POINT” Aug 28, 2016 (https://www.krisvallotton.com)

“If connection is the priority, then the goal of communication cannot be agreement, because then one person has to disappear when there is disagreement. And guess what? People do not always agree.”

IF WE WANT TO KEEP TWO POWERFUL PEOPLE INVOLVED AND CONNECTED IN A CONVERSATION, THE FIRST GOAL MUST BE TO UNDERSTAND.

The person whose goal is to understand says, “I want to understand your unique perspective and experience. I want to understand the truth of what is happening inside you. And I want you to understand the same things about me. If I understand your heart, then I can move toward you in ways that build our connection. I can respond to your thoughts, respect your feelings, and help to meet your needs.”

Jesus calls us to love people we disagree with. You don’t have to conform to their way of thinking or convince them to think like you in order to love and value them. Romans 12 makes this distinction by pointing out that Believers are “individually members of one another”. Understand, unity is not conformity. In fact, within the Kingdom of God, unity is the celebration of diversity,  I propose it will be impossible to experience unity with one another if our value system is based on an agreement and not on the reality that we are distinctly unique children of God. 

Have you ever thought through the fact that unity has more of a relationship with disagreement than it does agreement? That may be hard for some to comprehend because the culture we live in has formed its value system based on agreement. In other words, in today’s culture, people tend to connect their value to how much they’re agreed with; they gather on agreement and divide in disagreement. By modern-day standards, disagreement is now synonymous with disloyalty. My point is this—if disagreement equates to being devalued, then conformity becomes the idealistic picture that’s projected onto unity. But, within the Kingdom of God, unity has nothing to do with conformity. 
Let’s think this through together. According to the Bible, John 3:16 does NOT say that God agreed with the world so He sent His son to offer us salvation. No, quite the opposite. Romans 5:10 clarifies that we were considered enemies of God when He extended an offering—an eternal, inseparable union through His Son, Jesus Christ. Understand, in complete disagreement with the depravity found in the world, God moved towards us, not away from us. Did you catch that? Motivated by love, God moves forward in the trying times of unrepentant injustice and utter disagreement. He doesn’t retreat. He never withholds. God’s driving desire for reconciliation is not conformity. It’s the restoration of authenticity that sin attempts to devalue and ultimately destroy. Consider this, no demon or better yet, no disagreement on earth can separate us from the love of God. 

THE INDIGNATION OF THE LORD IS AGAINST ALL NATIONS!

Not only do we know the indignation (righteous anger) of the Lord is against all nations at the end. but we also know their fate – destruction.

“Come near, you nations, to hear;
And heed, you people!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
The world and all things that come forth from it.
For the indignation of the Lord is against all nations,
And His fury against all their armies;
He has utterly destroyed them,
He has given them over to the slaughter.
Also their slain shall be thrown out;
Their stench shall rise from their corpses,
And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.” ISAIAH 34:1-3

Image result for images of the battle of armageddon

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” PROVERBS 1:7

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.” PROVERBS 34:27

“When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.” PROVERBS 1:27-30

“If you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;” PROVERBS 2:1-6

Help us Lord, to warn the world of the coming judgement, that they might know that a good God must judge unrighteousness, otherwise He is not a good God.