Calling out

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What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight;” Matthew 10

We are all scaredy-cats. We worry about how we come across and if people think well of us. We like to be regarded as “smart” “godly” “wise” “knowing..” we are none of these things. Our judgment is seriously flawed and we desperately need the Word of God and the Spirit of God to “dwell in us, richly.” This is a life-long experience. The closer we grow to the Lord Jesus and the more accurate the imprint of His character in us, the more we gain His everlasting features in our character. 

God calls His children to suffer. There are always temptations and sorrow to contend with. We are involved in a fight and we are not promised an easy time. Walking through dark places is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to grow in grace and the power of God. When the road is most dark, God is always close, even though we don’t know His presence. The difficulties teach us and refine our mind and heart to become increasingly like Christ our Lord. 

When we have learned our lessons, then the lessons we learned in the dark can be shared. When you find the way out of trouble, shout the answer out to others around you. When you are walking in the daylight, it’s time to show the light to other people. Many don’t know there is an escape from the doubt and fears that follow us around. If people could know there is an answer, then they could seek it and find it. 

Whatever God is teaching you in your dark days, you will be able to speak it in the light. Rescue others from the dark so that they will also have a testimony to the grace of God. 

Don’t fear the dark, it is God’s school for Christian character. As you learn to weild the Word of God, so your strength will grow and all will be light. 

Dry

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The wells of this life will run dry and the Christian will suffer thirst. This is a reality we face so that we will learn to drink deeply from the Living water as our daily sustenance. May we run instinctively to the fountain head. The rivers of the world will all dry up, but the refreshment that ever flows from the cross of Christ will never cease. 

If we should turn to the things of this life we will be disappointed for sure. How can worldly possessions or experiences fill our eternal soul? Our souls are made for God, and nothing else will do.

In our folly we look to the pleasures of this world to divert our thinking and administer sensations that change our mood. But we are more than body- we are mainly soul. If our souls stay dead to God, we are to be most pitied. 

But if we should turn and repent and seek the Lord with all our hearts, we would find real joy. Our souls would know God and relate to Him, and our lives would be filled with the Spirit of God, teaching and giving us the power to do what God wants us to do. We are not robots, but Spirit-filled beings that rejoice to know God and to be made like Him. 

When we are dry let us come to the Living One, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and brother and He will fill us with the Living water that flows out of those who love Him. 

This is all…

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It’s impossible to know or work out another persons mind… we cannot even work out our own selves…!

Jesus said. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you…” This is all… 

It is impossible to ‘know your own mind.’ We think we know what we like, but in reality we like what we know. Our thought processes become so narrow and we lock ourselves up in cages so that we don’t have to cope with change. Change requires effort and discretion and it’s easier to just do what you have always done and be quiet. Someone else will sort it all out and fix the problems. 

Life can grind to a halt. There is no growth or learning and we are unable to pass experience on, because we have no certainty that what we are living is true. We say we love Christ and know the Word of God, and yet cannot live it in daily life. We are not like Him. We are earth bound and satisfied with an easy life which we mistake for faith. 

Faith becomes torpid. We do not live Christ or show Christ. He means less to us as time goes by rather than more. It all becomes theoretical and spiritual life is our duty at church. We have no real devotion and seem happy with that state.

The Spirit of God is grieved. We fear God at the beginning of wisdom, but never progress. We start the heavenly road, but spend all our time in the wayside. We are forgiven and made new, but walk along covered in dust. We are always discouraged and always needing support. We never grow up to bear the burdens of others, or make sacrifices for the sake of another. 

To say goodbye to self and consider the way of life and how to bring another into that way, is the way to life and peace. But we must gain a heart of wisdom… we need to see beyond the here and now and think ultimate long term.

We need to be afraid. Worried about what God thinks of us rather than what we think about Him and His Word. 

There is a life that is greater and more powerful than we could ever know. A life that can humble itself and give up its good for the good of others. It is not popular. It is aware of the Spirit within and is full of joy. This is all…

Do not hinder them

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Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”     Matthew 19:13-15

The disciples despised the little children. Their immaturity was held against them and their lack of education and experience brought out disdain from the hearts of the disciples. These disciples regarded Jesus as much too important to waste time with children. They thought His teaching was only for sophisticated adult audiences who could appreciate what they were hearing. Praying for children was a waste of time and such a small concern to the Father in heaven, so they reasoned.

Jesus teaches them otherwise. The mothers and fathers thought otherwise too. They brought the little children to Jesus so that He would put His hands on them and bless them. What an enormous privilege. The Son of God lays His holy hands on you and prays to His Father in heaven for your blessing and salvation. Surely such a prayer is answered immediately! The disciples thought those blessings should be for other people – for them. 

How wrong they were.

Jesus welcomes the children and tells all those waiting around that the kingdom of heaven is for anyone who’s mindset is like these small children. The kingdom of heaven is for those who simply believe. There is not list of doctrines you must agree to or a group of people you must bow to and elevate. To be in the kingdom is to have faith in Jesus and to be alive to Him. 

We have lost sight of this today. Organisations put stumbling blocks in the way of people seeking a true relationship with God. Other people get in the way and deflect the love for Christ into something for themselves. We teach people to trust in the religious relationship and not to trust in the living God. God is not pleased and we need to see again the love of Christ for children in the kingdom. The child teaches the adults by their simplicity and willingness to be blessed by the Lord Jesus and they enjoy His presence with them. 

When Jesus blessed the children He moved on. His bodily presence was no longer with the children, but His Spirit kept them and taught them how to live. Jesus left that place and went towards Jerusalem. He went to His cross to pay the penalty for these small children that He had blessed. The blessing cost Him His life, for He is their Saviour and ours. Let us never despise that blessing and may we be humble as He is, to minister and bless whoever He puts in our way. 

The face of my Father in heaven

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“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”     Matthew 18:10

The disciples have been competing for the position of number one follower of Jesus. They have been trying to work themselves into the right-hand place beside Jesus. The discussions range from mutual benevolence to downright distain for each other. Jesus knows every thought and seeks to put them right  and teach them spiritual lessons about humility and getting rid of pride. 

Jesus takes a little child who is standing near Him and tells the disciples that unless they have the total trust of a small child and become like the child in thinking, they will not enter in. To reject the child as too simple and simplistic, is to reject Christ. Who ever accepts a little child in Gods name, accepts Jesus too. 

Jesus then warns about “offending” a small child and causing them to stumble and to lead them away from Jesus. It would be better that person be drowned in the deep sea, with a large stone around their neck to keep them down.! 

We must not despise these precious ones. We must teach them the right way so that they will find the way to God. We should be showing them the unconditional love of God, His forgiveness and abundant blessings. There should be no harshness or overbearing discipline that hardens the heart and causes much inner pain. There are consequences if we do so. 

Every child has angels that protect and petition God to His face on their behalf. The angels see the face of God and the faces of the little children also appear before the Lord. He watches and keeps and calls the children to Himself. Beware anyone who hinders their faith and misrepresents God to them. 

Every Christian should be right here like this. Walking the Christian pathway with God and obeying His Word and having that child-like faith that believes and trusts implicitly. We can learn much from children and come to understand how much God loves His children and keeps their faith right to the end of the pathway.  

How to know

This is what we need to know to know and understand the way of God….

This is what we must teach our daughters, sisters, friends…

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“My daughter, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 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. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

Wisdom will save you also from the lecherous man, from the lustful man with his seductive words, who has left the partner of his youth and ignored the covenant he made before God. Surely his house leads down to death and his paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to him return or attain the paths of life.

Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”

Proverbs 2:1-22

The Flatterer

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“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.”    Daniel 11:32-35 NIV

Antiochus, uncle of Ptolemy, pharaoh in Egypt, had the power of Egypt  in his hands. Antiochus sought to use intrigue and flattery to cause the Pharaoh to be complacent about his situation. Antiochus gave the impression that he was protecting Ptolemy from political enemies, while at the same time strengthening his own position to take over the throne. Ptolemy is deceived. Throughout the negotiations both parties were contriving in their minds to come up with strategies to get the better of each other. Neither party was sincere.

Flattery is a mighty weapon in the arsenal of Satan. People who follow his devices are taken in and also use his skill to great effect. The more lifted up we are in regards to what we can do, the more vulnerable we are to the poison of this device. We all have inward pride which wells up really easily. We can turn encouragement into acclaim and then start to think we are someone special. Everyone is prone to this device. 

People who refuse God and reject His mercy of grace, will fall to this scheme. The unbelieving soul is wide open to the fiery darts of pride that the enemy shoots into our thought processes. The schemes of humankind come to nothing. As in this situation with the rulers of Egypt, God alone will decide the outcomes and His plans are never thwarted. 

But there are people who know God and have been redeemed by Him, who will resist this massive temptation and stay humble. They will fight these attacks by Satan, and firmly and surely overcome. “Those people who know their God will be strong and do exploits.” 

However, there will be wise people who will be overcome by the devils schemes, but only for a short time. They will make mistakes, stumble and fall. There is purpose in this. God intends them to be purified and made holy so that they will have the ability to stand in the end times for the glory of God. When we fall badly, we get a strong sense of our own corruption and God can turn this to good. It is so hard for us to look within and see our human corruptions. We resist the purifying work of the Holy Spirit, because it is too exacting and seems extreme to us. When we fail and fall, God can use our failure to understand our own weaknesses and total dependence on God. 

Our lives are our witness to the saving power of God. Others see it and seek the same forgiveness for themselves. But there are always the flatterers. People who want the power of God in their lives, but not His indwelling presence that resurrects the soul. There are always the “insincere” who have a type of godliness, but not the genuine power of God. 

Trouble is coming for this world and it’s peoples. Only those made righteous will be able to resist the temptations that are all around at the end time. The end will come, and only those made strong in the Spirit of God, will overcome. 

These verses must make us examine our own heart and test the health of our inner soul. 

Are we flatterers, seeking a place in Christian groups but having no genuine spiritual life.?

Are we going through times of difficulty or falling into sinful ways.?

Will we seek restoration and to walk in the Spirit of God in wisdom and uprightness.? 

Are we the insincere who are just identifying ourselves with “Christians” for selfish gain.? 

Are we being refined, purified and made spotless so that we will stand in that last great day.? 

None of us are able to overcome without a genuine faith that is sincere and knows God personally and up close in our daily lives. But those who have this sincere faith will resist all evil, all charlatans and all the flatterers. 

Ptolemy and Egypt fell to the king of the North, Antiochus. So did many others. Almost every place he set his heart on, fell to his schemes. Only a few were protected by God. Antiochus seemed to triumph, but when he came to the end of his conquests and mortal life, there was no one to help him. So it is with all who forget God and seek their own desires in this life. 

God give us the softness of heart to seek Him…

Women who glorify God