Category Archives: change

Disliking success

DISLIKING SUCCESS

Jonah knew God. Jonah heard God speak. Jonah didn’t like what He (God) said – so he ran away.

We know the story.

He was asked to go and preach to a certain ‘bunch’ of people.

These people were sinners (‘who isn’t’ we might ask?), but they needed to give up their wrong ways and acknowledge God.

They did!

And guess what? Jonah did not like the result of his successful preaching.

This has to be one of the most contradictory stories in the bible. Preachers preach to be successful, to see results, to bear fruit. Having done so, Jonah was not pleased.

First he did everything he could to – not preach.

A whole series of events including a dive to the depths of the sea into an unknown/unspecified species of fish.

At the end of the day – Jonah had God – so demonstrate His sovereign hand in his life, that he could only obey, after much rebellion and refusal to do as he was bidden.

I remember teaching Jonah’s story and perhaps I wasn’t the first to establish that Jonah was on a downer.

He went down to Joppa, down to the harbour, down into a boat, down into the ‘hold’ in the boat, down into his bed, down into the sea and down into a fish.

He came up in a rather sickly but necessary way onto the shore again.

He then decided he had better just do what God asked him to do.

Humility is going down before the feet of Jesus. All who genuinely do so will come up again and follow Him.

As we call folks to obey Christ and accept His salvation – rather than do so, some will set-off on their journey to the depths, or having reached the depths of being on a downer, I hope-they-will-learn from Jonah and come back-up by obeying God.

We all, like sheep, go astray. We think our way is best. There is a way and it seems right to us (it is our own invention) – but the end of it – is death.

There are many plans in a person’s heart but the counsel of God above and beyond our thinking and decision making – will stand.

The biggest part of a Christian’s life is not our performance as in doing good –  but rather with the awareness of our imperfections and shortcomings – we embrace and appreciate with humility the fact that God should choose us to be his sons and daughters, as we exercise faith in Him.

We would have been among those who listened to Jonah’s repentance message, demonstrated by the fact that we listened and responded to Christ’s message.

If you are in any way like myself, you will not be celebrating a life lived the way you wanted it to be. 

One hundred percent pleasing to God would be wonderful. But in my own estimation I fall far short.

Nevertheless I rejoice because Psalm 32 says:

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

At that time in history the Ninevites enjoyed the experience of Psalm 32. Regardless of what subsequent generations of Ninevites did.

Every generation is confronted with the same message – a message that won’t be categorised as ‘cool’ or ‘newly current’, because it’s as old as time itself.

It will never change and defies man’s so called intellectual advancement, scientifically or in any other way.

The Message is clear: John 3/16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Jonah probably saw the Ninevites as a threat to his own nation because of their barbarous ways.

They stand as an example illustration of how even the most hardened individual(s) can turn and be changed by the Power of Christ and His salvation.

The Last Jump

THE LAST JUMP

Something can mean a lot to an individual or to a lot of individuals.

In western society it is still (more or less accepted) that all are free to like or dislike, agree or disagree, live together in the same society even though poles apart in opinion. It is taken as a given, that taste is down to the individual. 

Certain individuals are ‘thrown’ together because their tastes match.

Opinions on all subjects vary, but when they coincide and an opinion extends beyond the singular, – groups are formed.

The forming of political parties, or sports clubs, or art societies, or golf clubs, or… and so on and so on.

All these groups of individuals who hold to one common opinion or pursuit, are together adhering to a common manifesto.

Some agree that ‘majority rules ok’ is to be embraced as a rule of thumb. Hindsight they say is a wonderful thing. The Nazi Party became the ruling majority. It wasn’t a good thing.

Dictatorships destroy this commonly held belief in freedom, or so it is commonly held to be the case.

Where am I going with all this?

Inner freedom is exactly that – something inside the individual. One can live in a ‘free’ society, and yet be bound-up inside.

Bound by fear, discouragement, shyness, bound to a particular habit, bound by duty, circumstance, bound (by financial considerations) to a given means of employment, bound by sin.

Inner freedom is to do with the mind and heart of every individual.

The bible in Hebrews 2/15 talks of those who 

…through [the haunting] fear of death were held in slavery throughout their lives.

Death is the ultimate border to cross. The final experience to be had. The final valley to be gone through. For many this thought of death brings bondage rather than freedom. 

The thought of death for many produces slavery to fear, the fear of the unknown, in the minds of many, as described in this scripture (above).

For the Christian(s) individually and corporately – death as it is for everyone else, can be likened to a metaphorical jump from an aeroplane – the only difference being the Christian has a parachute.

1 Corinthians 15:53-55

53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 

“Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we encounter The Christ of God in this life – and experience His Life-giving Holy Spirit – then we can be assured that there is more of the same to come, as Christ promises to be with us always – into eternity.

II Corinthians 5/5

Now He who has made us and prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the [Holy] Spirit as a pledge [a guarantee, a down payment on the fulfillment of His promise].

Seek

SEEK

I’m assuming I am the exception that proves the rule.

To what do you refer ‘young man’?

Well, I am not a prolific reader. I am not as they say: ‘Well read’. I have not read a novel in many many years.

I read the Word of God daily of course and know what it is to saturate myself in it’s life-changing power. 

I read also the odd Christian ‘theology’ book, and I also used to read books on art regularly.

I of course read the odd blog post also. 😎

But – I write a lot – I write and leave it aside for future scrutiny and don’t always get back to giving it that scrutiny.

Usually writers are good readers right? That’s the exception I speak of.

I do love words, however. Putting them together in new ways. Playing with words. Poetry – I like to keep an enigmatic element to some of it. Like my approach to art (as in painting) – I like to invent – and have fun.

But when I write on Christian teaching – I am obliged to be as clear as I can. Knowing that, regardless of how clearly I speak the truth – it will not always be understood.

The Lord Jesus had the same problem:

50 …But they did not understand what he was saying to them…

That’s how it can be with the things of God.

Everyone should ask themselves if they have searched enough, in the scriptures, to find out it’s true meaning. It is an exercise no one can do for you.

The exhortation to ‘search the scriptures’, can be either ignored, dismissed as being religiously incoherent, responded to with minds that are already made up being filled with everything that contradicts what the Bible says – or you can make such a search a long term prospect – it’s up to you.

But be assured:

…seek and you will find;

Gifting

GIFTING

John the Baptist had a particular ministry, a particular gifting, if you like, just like every Christian born again on the planet.

No two of us are the same. Many similarities, but all unique.

When we observe a particular gifting in another Christian’s life – we admire the handiwork of God. Chiefly we are appreciating the Presence of the Holy Spirit in and upon them.

Regardless of that particular expression, or gifting, it is the Holy Spirit who is the real enhancer, otherwise there is nothing to behold that has any spiritual dynamic in it.

There are some I might notice amongst non-Christians, in the realm of the arts for example, that might solicit my admiration, but I recognise that this is a natural beholding.

There is nothing of God in their gifting. If God is not in their lives, then how can He be in their natural gifting?

It could be said, of course, that the natural ability that someone is born with, or has cultivated, is from God in the sense that God has given life to every living person. But enhancement is a different matter.

An expert swimmer who has won gold medals, if he/she is not in the water then their gift and ability is not in it’s natural environment, where that gift can be demonstrated.

So unless we are in God, and God is in us, then our expression cannot have a spiritual environment in which to be expressed.

We read in Acts 17/27

though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 

Paul is saying here that God who is omnipresent, in one sense cannot be avoided, as He fills the whole earth. Even the poets, the non-Christian poets, had grasped this truth.

God sees as no man sees. He sees and hears everything. Even what is gurgitating in every human mind.

God ‘not far from us’ – instructs us that He is not only willing to not be far from us, but wants to be close, very close, so close – He wants to live within us.

But until we recognise ‘The Only Living and True God’ as Jesus Christ The Lord, then we will not ask Him into our lives.

Knowing He is this Only Living and True God is described as: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’. Peter the apostle had this revelation described by Jesus this way:

Matt. 16/

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 

So God omnipresent, – (everywhere) – must be invited into our very beings if He is to save us from this present evil world and if He is to use our natural gifting, whilst imparting also spiritual gifts, as He wills to do so.

I believe natural gifting can be enhanced by God The Holy Spirit and used in His hand.

Also He can impart spiritual gifts, some of which, may or may not be directly linked to natural gifts.

The gift that John the Baptist was given, the ministry that he was given, could be summed up in one word:

Preparation. An ability to prepare others. A preparatory gifting/ministry.

It should be noted that ‘the others’ in response to his ‘preparatory’ message were actually meant to prepare the way for Christ, themselves.

They repented (the preparation + water baptism) – next they must receive Christ as the Messiah.

John was sent to prepare human beings for the coming Messiah. By asking them to prepare the way of The Lord.

When He, The Messiah, came, John was content to ‘fade’, to decrease.

He did not stop functioning nor having pupils whom he continued to teach and guide, but someone far greater than John, came to those that John’s ministry-gifting had prepared to meet Him.

The preparation in the form of sermons delivered to the Jewish population, entailed the response of Repentance and water baptism.

Having obeyed the message of God, given to and delivered by John – each person was then ready for the next spiritual revelation in their life.

They were ready to meet the Messiah.

Are you and I prepared to meet the Messiah?

Even as one who has met the Messiah, am I prepared and ready to meet Him in a new way? In perhaps a small nuanced way? Or in a new major and dramatic way?

Either way – am I prepared?

Are you prepared?

Preparation is spring cleaning the heart, – repenting* – turning away from conscious sin and asking for the Holy Spirit to come to you in the same way He came down upon the Messiah as He stood in the water allowing John to baptise Him. (Matt. 3/16)

Matthew 3/

1. In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent*, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

Prepare the way for the Lord,

    make straight paths for him.’”

Put away…

PUT AWAY

Much as I could do

 – I won’t complain

If I was to complain that would be 

 – getting into the blame game

Much as I obviously disagree

 – it makes no difference

 – ‘Tween you and me

Oh by the way

 – I like your ashtray

It’s the first time in my life

 – to like an ashtray

It’s all that goes with it

 – that sends me away

 – Into a spiral of disgust

                  …

I’ve never liked that poison

Since I had to breath it in

                  …

Parenthetically –

[During the shifting sands

The sinking sands

Of popular opinion

Versus what the experts did say

Until one day

The world woke up and

put the cigarettes away…]

I as you

 I as you

And now I am in your shoes

Looking at me – this religious oddity

And in your shoes I see me

As utterer of strange language

And in your boots I be

And kinda get how you see me

In your coat – I see

I’m a purveyor of strange things

I – as you –

see me

and my strange persistency

See

Some kinda crusader?

Wondering why I bother

repeating myself

As you –

I see me

As a one-track-mind(er)

Who has consistently

shared the same message

I step back into me

And realise

I will never be you

And you will never be me

But you can become as I be

Because I was as you be

We can both meet at the cross of calvary

Real as real can be

REAL AS REAL CAN BE

Acts 21/10 And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ”

12 Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”14 So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

Ok – so you may have ‘stumbled’ upon this Post.

Grab your seat and don’t move – you, who quickly pass on uninterestedly from any thing Biblical.

This passage is about Paul the apostle and his response to a prophet and his Christian companions.

Paul is warned that if he goes up to Jerusalemn – he is in for trouble. He will be ‘handcuffed’ and delivered to the Gentile authorities.

Imagine with me, what Paul could well have said:

Thank you God for warning me about this, through this prophetic utterance, I can now escape by some other route! How faithful you are in giving me a means of warning and therefore deliverance.

I can now testify of how God protects His children, just like you protected me through this warning prophesy. Just like you did Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus on a few occasions. Enabling him to go elsewhere out of danger’s reach.

However his response instead, was to accept the warning as true and to go to Jerusalem anyway, – prepared to suffer.

Why? Because he was convinced that God wanted him to go there.

Acts 20/22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

His was the destiny of a martyr.

From his first supernatural encounter with The Risen Christ on the Damascus road and immediately thereafter – he was informed that he would suffer for Christ.

Acts 9/16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

This causes us to realise a few things. First the encounter He had was so real, so powerful and so ‘out of this world’ that nothing could cause him to forget it or deny it. It was as real as real as could be. 

So powerful and real was the tangible Presence of God in this man’s life He needed no other intellectual persuasion as to the fact that Jesus Christ (whom he had before opposed in his head) was indeed the Son of The Living God.

He had just encountered Him on the Damascus road – blindingly! (Acts 9)

The existence of the afterlife, having invaded his world, was so real, he saw no alternative but to obey implicitly, everything He was instructed to do.

Which was exactly what he did, so that he could, in his latter years, make this statement: II Timothy 4/For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

You and I – have to take the word of a man who had this powerful assurance through this powerful experience – that Jesus and His claims MUST be taken seriously. It’s a matter of life and death.

You may not have had as powerful an experience as Paul – yet he pleads with you to obey his words. The words of the gospel he preached.

So here we are – those who may not have had this blinding experience, this tangible indisputable encounter with God – being asked to give our lives to Christ through prayer.

Before we leave this world and have the ‘Damascus road experience’ of heaven itself.

Provided that is – we accept Christ as Saviour according to the message that Paul preached.

Foolish

FOOLISH 2021

Galatians 3:

v1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so [c]many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain

Paul the Apostle is addressing this Galatian group of believers.

But of course it is ordained of God that, when one of His Specially Chosen Early Apostolic leaders, writes to a particular ‘branch’ of God’s church – it is more than meant for, or sent to – just them.

It is sent to all believers throughout history who follow on, by inheritance, from the early formed church/churches.

The Word of God will never pass away. Anything that the Holy Spirit  has placed His indelible fingerprint upon – will remain as His Word forever.

Jesus said:

Matt. 24/

34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

Paul, saddened, grieved and a little perplexed, is addressing a fundamental problem pervading the Galatian church.

This problem can, or has, pervaded the lives of believers ever since, and indeed at one time – knocked me off-course for a couple of years in my Christian life.

Paul is very straight with them, out of love and concern, trying to wake them up to spiritual reality. Wake them up to the completeness of Christ’s Salvation.

“O Foolish Galatians…” – exclamation mark!

“Who has bewitched you…”?

Without even going into the original meaning of the Greek etc. as we can do, when seeking to expound some aspect of God’s New Testament. Let me instead pass on what the dictionary means by the word ‘bewitched’:

to attract or interest someone a lot so that you have the power to influence them:

to put a magicspell on someone or something in order to control him, her, or it

Either definition will do – First – attracted and therefore distracted. Distracted from the real wonderful message, into their own ideas. (Manmade gospel)

Second – (bewitched)  – Coming under the control of something, someone, or a spirit not of God.

That was how Paul found these believers. They got away from the wonderful New Testament message of Salvation by Faith – through God’s Amazing Grace – and their whole focus was on themselves and their own performance.

He spends most of the rest of the epistle addressing and correcting this legalistic distraction, in order that the Galatians will become re-focused on Christ.

We must look to Christ in prayer for everything to do with the spiritual life.

The following is a spiritual seeing:

25 For David says concerning Him:

‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,

For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;

Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

This was the spoken spiritual reality of someone staying on course by faith – seeing the invisible God – (see also e.g. Heb. 11/27) so as to walk pleasing to Him, without wrongly, losing sight of Him completely and then trying to live like Him. It doesn’t work. The Galatians were trying it and failing.

Paul put them right.

Are your eyes on God in prayer? Will you respond (by the hearing of this encouragement) – in faith? (see verse 2).

Dry Bread?

DRY BREAD?

‘Dry bread’ – can be a metaphorical description of something that is not appetising.

We read a blog, a book, an email, a news item, and it seems dry to us – consequently we remain ‘unfed’.

But then in favour of the communicator –  ‘you can please some of the people some of the time but not all etc…’

Dry bread for one person however, can be a happy meal for another.

And that’s why pleasing: ‘all of the people all of the time…’ is an impossibility. Because the meal/message  will be ‘dry bread’ to some.

In the Old Testament the people of God, collected fresh manna (food) each day.

But to them it became stale, even though it wasn’t.

And so staleness can be in the people – not in the food.

Stale people spiritually – do not respond to fresh spiritual bread. It doesn’t appeal. It isn’t appetising because their palette is not sympathetic to it.

Their palette is corrupted. It’s like salt …’but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men’.

(To slightly arrest the scripture) To those who have no taste for it, the food has lost it’s savour.

But the food has not lost it’s flavour/savour – instead the palette of those who are offered the food, can be non-appreciative.

[We see this in Numbers 11/4-6]

This is an illustration of the truth we find in…

I Corinthians 2/14

…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

To be able to get the natural man who has no taste for the things of Jesus Christ, – to stop, listen, learn, and respond is impossible. Unless – unless – God touches their heart and mind.

For those who want God to touch them. They must deny their natural appetite (as in earthly thinking) and put themselves in a place where God has their time and attention. It is called prayer and bible meditation.

In that place – low and behold – spiritual food becomes an acquired taste.

In which place, He (God), will eventually serve-up a spiritual meal.

Such folks entering into real prayer will suddenly find the things of God extremely appetising – and such a meal, will change their whole life.

It may not happen straight away – but with patience it will happen. (See also Luke 5/39).

Oh, TASTE AND SEE that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

(Psalm 34)

Noahician

NOAHICIAN 2020

It is difficult for the Christian preacher – to find the exact and correct sermon to address the worldwide dilemma we are in.

Difficult, that is, if it is to have a great effect on the population.

Not just because of Covid-19, but in light of all the other changing ‘elements’ taking place in the world’s downward spiral.

If such a comprehensive message were to be found – it would be of no profit unless mixed with faith in those who heard it. (Hebrews 4/2).

Everything is being shaken. Manifest in the declining moral fibre of society to the chaos and confusion of nations, politically, financially, mentality, etc.

As a result the atmosphere is Noahician, in type and proportions.

Noah in his era experienced the same and more of the decline we are seeing today.

How did Noah feel and respond in such an atmosphere?

Well, Noah found God’s Grace to help, in the midst of a totally extreme godless and degenerate culture (Genesis 6/8).

As far as we know – no one else was directly hearing God’s voice in those days. On hearing God’s voice he (Noah) responded by building a large boat.

He still heard from God despite the declension of the society all around him.

But the atmosphere in the unseen realm could not have been worse.

Man invites the powers of darkness to take up strongholds, by virtue of rebellious behaviour. The more he (mankind) gives himself over to his lower nature of sin – the more contaminated the spiritual atmosphere becomes.

Noah’s message fell on spiritually deaf ears.

Then as God saw fit – the time came to destroy what destroys – thus the deluge sent by God.

But a boat of provision was built. Today the church of The Lord Jesus Christ, the body of Christ as it is referred to – is the new ‘ark’.

Thus: one application of the old hymn/chorus/spiritual lyric – ‘get on board little children get on board…’

(Originally a gospel train).

Getting on board’ is through salvation in Christ alone. God has a portion of His manifold Grace for every human being on the earth

1 Timothy 2:3-5

who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Through salvation in Christ we ‘get on board’ and become members of the company of people known as the church.

But the proportion of the population who got on board the crazy preacher’s wooden vessel was miniscule.

Eight out of..? (We are not told but) a small percentage indeed.

Because of rampant unbelief – the message didn’t do it – didn’t sweep multitudes into the ark.

Will this short post even stir eight to respond by seeking Christ’s salvation offer? Any chance of eight out of 7,763,035,303?

Luke 17/

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Immature

IMMATURE

I Corinthians 3/

However, brothers and sisters, I could not talk to you as to spiritual people, but [only] as to worldly people [dominated by human nature], mere infants [in the new life] in Christ! I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Even now you are still not ready. You are still worldly [controlled by ordinary impulses, the sinful capacity]. For as long as there is jealousy and strife and discord among you, are you not unspiritual, and are you not walking like ordinary men [unchanged by faith]?

To the skeptic, the unbeliever, the discreditor, the anti-Christ who is looking to disqualify and dismiss Christians and their faith. The kind of things that the Corinthian Christians were failing in – gives the necessary ammunition for verbal castigation by accusers.

These words of Paul, under the enablement of the Holy Spirit, do a number of things. Firstly they dispel the myth that when a person becomes a Christian, they are perfect in thought, word and deed from that moment on.

And of course we are, (as is often said): positionally. That is we are accepted in Christ by the triune God.(Ephesian 1/6)(Hebrews 10/14). 

However in raising our children, we cannot expect perfection from them. They are immature, born sinful – sinful from birth, and we never have to teach them how to be insubordinate or throw a selfish tantrum.

So Paul aware of the corporate immature dissension and division amongst his spiritual children in Corinth – refers to them as babes/infants – as they failed to demonstrate spiritual maturity, the maturity that comes through time and handling of the Word of God.

Some folks have of course never experienced what it is to be spiritually born again – born from above. 

But for those of us who have – we now must adjust to this new life in Christ.

When Lazarus came from the tomb after Christ had called him forth from death, after life came back into his (it was perceived – stagnant body) others needed to remove the ‘wraps’, the grave clothes, he was still bound with.

When we come into new life in Christ we must grow up spiritually. And as in the natural there are stages of growth all the way to adulthood, so it is with new spiritual life.

We need others at times to change our spiritual diapers, just like others were needed to remove Lazarus’s grave clothes, so he could walk in newness of life.

So Paul tells the Corinthians that he cannot speak to them about deeper things, while they still indulge in their childish, spiritually immature ways.

Notice he describes their spiritual immaturity as being ‘dominated by human nature’.

On a different occasion he reminds other Christians elsewhere that when we are new born babes in Christ – old things pass away and all things become new.

New in the very core of our beings. New from the regenerated human spirit out into outward behaviour, in thought word and deed.

Spiritual feeding is the feeding of the human spirit and mind of the believer by ‘masticating’ the Word of God.

And the deep things revealed in this Word of God cannot be grasped by those who are infants, and learning how to be and in the process of being, – all God has made us in Christ.

The immature live half in God and half in themselves. So Paul feeds them with milk. Although the Galatian’s epistle brings us the deep things of God, just like any other epistle, it needs to be grasped in a greater way than they could manage, at that time.

The mature partaking of the divine nature, will be fully matured when they reach heaven. Meantime varying levels of growth, revelation, inner development will exist amongst believers.

I often say that we don’t learn spiritual things off pat, but often the same things over and over again, but at a progressively deeper level.

The accusers of those who profess to follow Christ will pick on the areas of immaturity, but in all accusations, the Christian has the advantage of being able to respond in the words of the epistle to the Romans:

Romans 8:33-35

33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Trade-in Exchange

TRADE-IN EXCHANGE

There are many people who cannot see themselves being at all religious.

It just doesn’t ‘float their boat’.

They have a mental concept of what being religious means, and it just doesn’t appeal.

They haven’t taken the time to find out what true, pure religion is.

James 1:27

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James tells us (as above) what true, pure religion is.

But this is one verse in the bible – we must incorporate all of scripture in any conclusions we come to – on a given subject. That’s why we must search and study it.

A short post in a blog is unable to do this.

Religion is not a favourite word of mine, as it can mean all kinds of things that has nothing to do with the true meaning.

But true Christianity begins with a trade-in experience.

We exchange our life for – Christ’s Living tangible Presence, – that we experience when He comes to dwell in us.

John 14

17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

God is a Spirit and He is omnipresent. He is everywhere. But He is not with or in everyone  in a relationship sense.

He must be invited into your life and mine if such a relationship is to start and continue.

He must be invited in.

Those who have invited Him in – in the Person of The Lord Jesus Christ – now must live their life by inviting Him also into every part of their thinking, and invite Him into their circumstances good or bad.

Our part of the deal is to trade-in our selfish, sinful nature and ask Him into our lives to live His divine nature in us.

This calls for a giving-up and a giving-in.

Prayer is where the transaction takes place.

Talk to God. Invite Him in. Ask Him to take the nature that causes all your pain, and replace it with Himself.

Acts 3

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,…