Category Archives: hearing

What it looks like…

What being a genuine Christian – looks like:

John 4

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Rather than a preamble to set this scripture in context – I want to get to the point straight away:

For all who enquire after the things of God. Seeking some starting point to understand what it is to worship God, or understand God, or grasp what it is to be a Christian believer, what it ‘looks’ like is communicated clearly in this verse.

Worshipping God is not confined to a given vicinity or building. The need for a religious label is not a pre-requisite for acceptance.

It is a 24/7 experience for all those who believe in and accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

He promises to be with us always – ‘us’ being the persons who give their lives over to Him.

This is a spiritual experience involving the heart, soul and spirit of a human being.

It is an encounter spiritually with The Christ of God.

Bob Dylan lyric…

Many try to stop me, shake me up in my mind

Say, “Prove to me that He is Lord, show me a sign”

What kind of sign they need when it all come from within…

Reflecting on Mr. Dylan’s lyric we understand that true spirituality is again, to do with the innermost being.

So turning your life over to Christ is not some pie-in-the-sky bye and bye experience – but it happens when we reach out for Jesus at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, right now. Right now because:

2 Corinthians 6:2

For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

It’s a ‘now’ for all those who will believe.

Notice in the verse, first quoted, that the inner reality where we experience the Presence of God is to do with the human spirit.

the true worshipers will worship the Father IN SPIRIT…

But for this to happen we must first expose ourselves to the truth in The Bible.

…AND TRUTH;

for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

These two realities are inseparable in our endeavours to know the Only Living and True God and His Son Jesus Christ.

The truth supplied by the revelation of Jesus Christ will make you free.

As in all blog posts to do with Christian truth, we have space for only touching on subjects. The true seekers must: 

Seek the Lord while He may be found,

Call upon Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the Lord,

And He will have mercy on him;

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.

Ask not – am I a baptist, a methodist, an anglican, a pentecostal, etc.-

Ask: ‘am I a worshipper in SPIRIT AND TRUTH?’

As I ask you the same question?

 

Another Gospel?

ANOTHER GOSPEL? 

There are seemingly quite a few who are offering us – a more updated version of Christianity.

Challenging some of the fundamentals of the faith – confusing the fundamentals with the newly re-contextualised fundamentalism label.

Because there exists dogmatic Pharisees who want everything conformed to their image – they assume that those who hold fast to that which is good, has been good, and always will be good, are dead traditionalists/‘fundamentalists’.

…Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

That which is good is the articles of faith – long established and present in many Christian churches, from which we are never meant to depart, as per the charge of the gospel of Christ.

Those searching for a broader outlook. Those searching for a so-called more ‘enlightened’ approach – are apt to use the fact that we all cannot know all mysteries, and therefore this is a reason to alter, annul and eventually dismiss what is sound and cannot change, and has been established for centuries.

They do this act of watering down – in the name of tolerance, open-mindedness, and all-embracing love. And consider it theological progress.

The result is that they see so many sides to things that nothing ever becomes sure. But at least they reason we can ‘all get along’.

Soon they lead us to the ‘many roads to God approach’ – again in the name of tolerance and being nice.

And then slowly but surely we are meant to embrace every religion under the sun, in the name of tolerance and understanding of how the other half lives. As we partake of the ecumenical soup.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved and delivered from this corrupt generation. The God of the bible is called Jehovah and His son Jesus Christ The Lord. There is a heaven and there is a hell.

Pretty straightforward and dogmatic – but absolutely true.

To hold to this does not automatically make me an intolerant bigot, out to be rude and denigrate everyone who thinks differently.

The latest truth being tampered with – is the fact that there is a hell, there is a Gehenna.

Some so called ‘progressives’ consider the best way to get rid of hell is not to believe in it.

That way everyone is ok and marching to the promised land of heaven, regardless of what they believe or what lifestyle they practice or what god they serve.

Pan-everything-ism is the new (no, not really new – just rehashed) ‘enlightened’ way, they would have us believe.

And when someone makes a statement like my last paragraph they are perceived as dogmatic stick-in-the-mud fundamentalists who want to condemn everyone to hell. However there is only One who has the power/right/authority to do so –

Jesus said:

Luke 12:5

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

I believe in enlightenment/inspiration, or better put, revelation – but within the guidelines and confines of The Holy Bible.

As a painter/poet/preacher ‘etc’. I like to think I have some imagination. And I am open-minded enough to at least listen to those who have another slant on things other than my own.

I’m aware of dogmatism out of a heart bound-up with bitterness in the name of religion.

I’m aware that there are those who stand with Christ in doctrine, but with the devil in attitude.

But I’m also aware that there is such a thing as truth and error.

The bible is full of warnings (do a study on it – see how many you can find).

If there is no need to warn God’s true people – then there are no dangers.

Here’s a tip – Go for ‘sincere’ in people – rather than ‘nice’. And go for the bible and what it says even more than the preaching of it.

By that I mean – the words themselves, because:

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice the EVERY word aspect.

Regardless of whether we have experienced Revelation on every word – the revelation we have already received convinces us that the potential for further revelation comes through every word of scripture.

What has been established by revelation is to be adhered to. For example ‘justification by faith’ as revealed to Martin Luther. Does that mean that he is an infallible guide because he received revelation? No – but the bible is.

Sometimes we must take the word exactly as we find it, not blindly, (i.e. without a quickened understanding) but in trust – first. This leads to more revelation of what we are reading, as God has promised to lead us into more spiritual understanding:

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

We take it on board first, and then we are free to ask God what it really is saying.

The truth has been established of old. Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God, He needs-must die on the cross to offer mankind a way back to relationship with God, there is a Gehenna to escape through Christ, there was a virgin birth and so on…

The exaltation of the intellect of man over the inspiration of scripture will produce all kinds of theories and unbiblical conclusions.

Christians beware.

30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Listen

LISTEN

You can’t hear me

By hear I mean receive communication

 

You can’t hear me

If by hear I mean understand

You can’t hear me 

If by hear I mean the need of hearing aids

You can’t hear me

If by hear I mean don’t ignore

You can’t hear me

If by hear I mean take on board and explore

 

As one shouts over another

As many shout in violence 

As people’s views are world’s apart

As peace departs from their speech

 

We screw up our eyes

And with furrowed brow

We turn from the screech of madness

 

No one wants to listen

Really listen

Hearing

HEARING

Sometimes when we make a point to someone, passing on something we think they aught to think about or do, we hear the response: “I hear you…I hear you!”

Sometimes there is a reluctance, exposed in their tone of voice – but at the same time they know what you shared is applicable.

Revealing a certain kind of hearing. Let’s just call it reluctant hearing.

Spiritual hearing, can start in a similar way – reluctantly. But deep down we know it is applicable.

Hearing begins in the natural – our natural faculties hear words in a message, a communication.

And we respond accordingly.

Our response is individual. Sometimes others agree and we respond corporately to what is communicated.

Everyone wanted to agree that the Health workers in the front line for us all – should be shown and assured of our deep appreciation for their valiant efforts.

So – many responded and stood at their doors and applauded, hoping the echo would resound throughout the community and be received as encouragement by these dedicated servants.

But if some stay indoors and don’t applaud, is this because they didn’t hear or don’t agree?

Or did they hear the call alright – but had a reason not to respond?

Unavailability – would be a possible reason for not taking part in the applause, i.e. engagement elsewhere, in some important activity.

Otherwise human reasoning – annulled their hearing. Because the hearing of the call to corporate applauding – demanded response.

They heard and didn’t hear, at the same time. Because they did not respond.

So it is with the gospel message, or any message of truth that calls for a right response.

In the corporate applauding situation, it’s easy to conclude that those who heard are non-appreciators.

We conclude they didn’t hear by virtue of their lack of response to this small act of appreciation, because they didn’t join in.

This is an illustration of how to hear and yet not hear.

So hearing and understanding can be two different things, in this instance. 

Usually understanding provokes your will to do something, this affirms that you heard and understood. Understanding usually calls for response of some kind.

Where am I going with all this?

Well not to disappoint your expectation of the spiritual point.🙂

Jesus said:

Matthew 13:19

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

What way are we meant to hear and respond to spiritual truths?

If there is no response – does that reveal that we have heard and yet not heard? Heard – according to this verse and not properly understood?

If you don’t like the idea of being a person that doesn’t ‘get it’, one who doesn’t properly understand – you can examine it further until you do.

In the verse above – those referred to, didn’t hear and understand – I submit to you – because they did not act upon what they heard, even if the response was to simply explore the thoughts and words of the gospel further.

Jesus said:

John 8:

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 

So hearing/understanding/believing/responding with action/ are inextricably linked.

True spiritual hearing is followed by understanding and by a choice of the will to believe.

Jesus said:

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 

You and I – MUST be born again – according to The Lord Jesus Christ.

MUST is pretty emphatic.

Do we understand what this means? Then we shall take the necessary ACTIONS  to prove we understand in the truest sense.

 

 

Drug delusion

DRUG DELUSION

All tuckered-out

Gasping for a bonus breath

All displayed-out across the sprawling floor

Horizontal jitterbugging – trying to rise

Collapsed again – with harmful jarring of limbs

 

At last – a staggered concertina – making it to the lamp post

Tree hugging imitation of the iron pylon

The head squeaks – needing oil – and tries to scan

The horizon – seeing a building walking like a man

 

No offered hand lest the helper fall too

No policeman to offer a – where to go – for you

And to think these drugs can be sales-talked

Into your life – held forth in dealer’s hand

Like some smiling python inducing romance

 

To get you persuaded and on board

Is the goal – so your puppeteer can return

With nothing to offer but death in a capsule

Producing frantic nervous-breakdown reward 

“C’mon” he says “take a chance…”

 

I cannot be heard above your internal din

When I cry “throw it in the bin!”

I cannot be heard when I say – “walk away…”

 

Find the other kingdom – get across the line

To the place that’s not in the war

A ‘land’ of peace and joy

Receiving what the new deal offers

We cry: “Only Christ can satisfy!”

Response?

RESPONSE?

I guess whether Christian or non-Christian – when it comes to writing articles, making comments, writing a post, or preaching a sermon, it is stating the obvious to say that we want to think, that what we have spoken or communicated in whatever form – is relevant.

Think of the thousands who put fingers to keys in blogging format to get heard/responded to.

We quite like the idea of others being affected by what we say, – do we not?

Eliciting either affirmation, wonder, admiration, pleasant surprise, thanks, agreement et al.

All responses we, (unconsciously perhaps?), seek for, when communicating.

You write a post on some pop star – and it adds another ten people to the ‘fan club’/followers, or they love the song you have posted, and look for more of same.

Political movements seek to harvest followers for their cause or politician.

And of course, those running a business are delighted when you respond by ordering their product.

Posting – speaking – communicating – blogging – vlogging – whatever involves visual or verbal communication has usually some goal in mind.

And we sit back in our chairs satisfied, when positive response is received.

It’s a basic human instinct or need to be appreciated.

When the negative response comes along, we of course don’t like it. And either ignore it – or enter into verbal fisticuffs with the perpetrator.

(Which usually is non-profitable and a waste of time. The exception proves the rule when both parties learn something)

Now normally this introduction of mine would have some such above mentioned goal in mind, i.e. eliciting response of some kind, as I lead us to some salient point.

That is – it would seek to get your affirmation or  positive response, followed by actions you might take – as you – whatever…

Join the club or buy the product or change your life.

But guess what? – that’s it. I simply want to point out we are all looking for response.

So when I talk to God – I am looking for response. I send my words to Him in prayer, and at times am more conscious of His response than others.

I guess you didn’t expect this to end up on the subject of prayer?

Again – guess what? – neither did I…

[No response to this Post – called for, or is there?]

Familiarity breeds…?

Familiarity breeds..?

NB: There is much speculation and differing views theologically regarding the exact connection between Jesus, and those who are referred to in scripture, as his brothers. I hold the view that Mary had a normal married relationship with Joseph giving birth to further children, after the virgin birth of Christ.

Concerning the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

we can only speculate how his brothers viewed Him. 

We can only surmise that they all eventually came to the spiritual revelation that He was indeed ‘the only begotten Son of The Living God’.

Literally and ‘metaphorically’ initially his brothers represent all unbelievers (like myself), who then become believers.

We know that one brother named James certainly came to the revelation of who His half-brother really was. It is the same James who wrote the canonical book, or epistle, of James in the New Testament.

If the rest did believe in Jesus as the Christ, it would certainly not have been before a certain time or period in His (Christ’s) manhood.

As they were all younger than He – how they viewed Him in the years that they grew up together, we have no description.

But we are told in the gospel of John:

John 7/5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

The old saying: ‘familiarity breeds contempt…’ comes to mind. Although I would imagine ‘contempt’, would be too strong a word.

He performed many miracles. He was moved with compassion for the needy. He supplied food for thousands. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and suffered all kinds of contradictions against Himself. 

Suffering also His brothers spiritual indifference

However we are not certain exactly, how His brothers saw Him as they gazed upon their eldest (half) brother, whilst growing up together as children, seeing Him work with his ‘stepfather’ in His capacity as a carpenter.

We extend the query to His half sisters – how did they view him?

Extending the query further we ask how He was viewed by His local community?

We learn that they did not believe in Him. The few that did – received a miracle of healing!

54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, [h]Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.

His local community was offended by Him. Why?- because (we can safely surmise, they thought): ‘who is this ‘local boy’ that many outside this community are claiming to be someone special?’

We see that they were offended at Jesus, highlighted by the fact that in such a short number of verses we notice there are 6 question marks. Plenty to go around, summing up the consensus of opinion.

No faith – just questions. They had it all figured out – based on His ordinariness – just a man – just a carpenter’s son and so on.

They leaned on their own understanding and ability to figure things out. Even spiritual matters.

Do we realise that the consensus of mankind, means nothing when it comes to accepting Christ as the Son of God? You and I have to make up our own minds, regardless of majority or minority opinion.

Dare we say that the majority of mankind has rejected Him? This fact by no means makes them right. The majority have been wrong before.

The few that did believe, in His local community of rejection – received healing, as a result.

There is no way God wants us to accept sickness. If sickness comes into your life or mine you can own it or reject it.

Even if it doesn’t go away – don’t own it. It is part of the reward of rebellion and disobedience – it is part of the consequences of the fall of mankind. As a Christian you are to receive a full reward, which doesn’t include sickness.

Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have accomplished together, but that you may receive a full and perfect reward [when He grants rewards to faithful believers].

Be careful Christian that you don’t side with the principalities and powers that Christ made an open show of – and over whom He triumphed.

Will we see Jesus Christ through the eyes of his brothers – or through the eyes of faith?

Faith that is convinced by the Word of God that He is the Christ.

Faith that is convinced that His stripes and suffering on calvary and before, represent the total reconciliation of man to God.

If God in Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, that means He took the penalty of sin, and the fallenness that included resultant sickness.

I Peter 2:

24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose [a]stripes you were healed. 

Not blind unquestioning faith – but faith that is convinced by the sharp two-edged sword of God’s Word.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (including present or eternal healing).

Christian or non-Christian do no accept sickness as something that God happily allows. But see it as part of the characteristics of a fallen race.

We see a bunch of folks who did not believe He was the Son of God, and a few that He was – we read the result of so believing – they were healed.

As our minds operate and try to grapple with the contradictions our senses present us with (the old debate about how some get healed and others don’t). 

Let us look away in this to what the Word of God says and hold on to it all.

Proverbs 30/5:

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Matthew 24/35:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

What is required?

What is REQUIRED?

Nearing the end of last year I organised an Open Forum. I invited various folks – pastors and others to an event where they were invited to share on the subject: What does God require of us?”

This was based on the scripture in (Micah 6/7-9).

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each person had an eight minute opportunity to share. And so everyone got to share, before we knew it, the night was gone.

Some came more prepared than others. And I realised I had not made it clear enough that the exhortation through the invitation and theme was to seek God seriously in prayer and wait upon Him for direction.

I was hoping that I would be educated through God’s members of His church and enlightened further, as to how God wants us to respond to the days in which we live.

My own sense of what God requires is/was UNITY. We are assured that God commands a blessing when there is unity – it is good and pleasant, and fruitful.(Psalm 133)

Unfortunately human nature is prone to wander. Human nature is prone to self-righteousness. Human nature is that which must be subdued and harnessed so as not to hinder the ‘unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace’ – This is what the Lord requires. Only as we seek God, pray, and worship etc can the old nature stay ‘under’.

There is unity in error or unity in truth. Unity among thieves, or unity among the saints.

Light has no fellowship with darkness and therefore has no unity with it.

There is political-type unity or spiritual-unity.

Even the devil by dictatorship has unity in his own kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 12:24-26 (NKJV)

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by [a]Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Division or unity. There cannot be unity at any cost.

Differences of opinion can only be resolved when believers, laying aside their own ‘pet’ opinions, are willing to wait on God for fresh revelation.

Then having heard together from God’s word, after patience and perseverance, they enter into unity as they hear the same thing from The Lord, they fulfil the condition described below:

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There are degrees of unity amongst believers. There is however, a greater unity that the church falls short of achieving.

And this unity brings the commanded blessing of God. To my ears – that is what we refer to as revival.

Unity must be wrought by the Holy Spirit amongst believers. It is the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4/3) – as we hear and speak the same thing together.

No one else left me, at the Forum, with a message that went beyond what the opening scripture upon which the forum was called contributed to our understanding:

i.e. But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each (esp. Christian) man or women must answer the question individually, regarding what God requires of them. It is more difficult, however, to answer it as the corporate body of Christ.

What He requires of the church – we continue to search for, in order that we may respond correctly and in keeping with Christ’s proclamation: …I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

In these days when the church may end-up going ‘underground’ – I want to hear from and be part of the genuine followers of Christ, throughout the world, who find the wisdom of God and respond corporately to His requirements.

As what is coming upon the earth purges and perfects those who have not bowed the knee to Baal, I hope I will know many of the true, the genuine, the wholesome, and the sincere. The true members that make up the bride of Christ, the church of The Living God.

What is your hope?

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

One of the possible problems (it’s ‘kind of’ a nice problem to have) certain preachers of the gospel, or teachers of biblical truth, may have to face, is the fact that others can conclude that they are somehow of a different kind, other than ‘human’-kind.

Paul was looked upon as weak in appearance: “… his bodily presence is weak,”

lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

However his preaching, his letters, and his exhortations to the churches, his spiritual revelation communicated in his epistles were weighty and powerful.

When someone carries that kind of spiritual authority, it is the presence of God that others sense, and as a result sometimes, they can want to run and hide.

We read concerning Peter the Apostle:

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

A great sense of unworthiness at the manifest presence of God (in this case in miracle supply through the Son of God) can take hold of us if we are truly in the Presence of the King of kings, in Peter’s case after a miracle.

Then we read of how Peter was on the receiving end of unusual behaviour, after God had revealed to Cornelius that Peter was chosen by Him to deliver a message.

Cornelius responding to the Revelation of God through a supernaturally given vision in which an angel spoke to him, concluded that Peter was something more than human.

Acts 10:25-27 King James Version (KJV)

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

“Stand up; I myself also am a man…” was Peter’s correct response. The man was awed by The Presence of God, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with Peter being other than human.

So sometimes when we read the revelation of God in scripture, as written via dictation from God – we don’t know how to respond, it can be overwhelming.

This does not happen every time, but this sense of God’s presence is given that we might know what we stand upon – Christ the rock of revelation!

People can withdraw and feel their unworthiness in the Presence of God, if a preacher happens to carry that Presence.

So it is the Presence of God, that leaves us strangely uneasy, it is not that these ministers, are somehow superior to us. Or are somehow more than mere mortals.

There are other ‘presences’ that are not of the Only Living and True God, – these too can cause us to feel uneasy.

But this is a different experience entirely.

Alas some do not know the difference and end up deceived into following some cult.

Spiritual discernment is a given portion to true Christians. However, even they – can make mistakes, demonstrated in the rebuke of The Lord Jesus to his wrongly discerning disciples: But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9)

The reality of both the existence of God and the experience of His unseen Presence, is lost because of a veil of unbelief that is over the minds of the unbelieving.

When we turn to Christ opportunity arises for the veil to be lifted and the reality of God to dawn upon the soul and spirit of mankind.

II Corinthians 3/

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

In these days of falling away, we can nevertheless be sure that God working all things after the counsel of His own will – will manifest Himself to spiritually hungry hearts. The extent of this manifestation will be determined by The Lord Himself.

There was a time in Samuel the prophet’s day when there was what the scripture refers to as a time of ‘no open vision’. Here is how different bible translations express it:-

And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

Living in such a day not dis-similar to what is described above – what is to be our response?

Well, Samuel was specially chosen to change the situation in as much as he had prophetic revelation, against the tide as it where of it’s absence.

Today the gospel message is sent out to all who will come unto Christ for salvation.

Those who receive Him become part of a priesthood of all believers and all receive this spiritual discernment, and enjoy fellowship with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though they still live in an evil society in which there is no spiritual revelation, because of the rejection of the gospel, they are given God’s grace, and He will respond to them, when they come to Him.

Whether they are overwhelmed by the river of God’s Presence or they take a drink of the Water of Life, they belong to The One to whom they yield their lives.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Christ’s spiritual reality!

Which message?

Which Message?

Throughout history, messages for their time – have sometimes made a resounding difference to what took place subsequently.

Most of us ‘ordinary’ folks, are not going to make such speeches or write such messages.

One immediately thinks of Martin Luther King. Television has given us snippets of his famous speech, periodically, ever since it was delivered.

As I am not from USA, I hazard a guess that the message means more to Americans than the rest of us. Even though we can appreciate it’s contents, and how historic etc. it was.

Churchill’s famous radio speech(es) during war time, is/are another example.

Perhaps the best speech you have ever heard was when your teacher drew you aside and gave you an exhortation about behavioural matters, or presented you with a different mental outlook than the one you carried up to that point in your young life. You were never the same again.

Maybe a circumstance arose that meant you had no choice but to travel a certain career path, and it led unbeknown to you at the time – to a lucrative lifestyle. And the proverbial ‘haven’t looked back since’ came into play in your life.

Maybe you were going well astray into crime, and a caring policeman went the extra mile in showing you interest and concern. So that through his counsel you found a path to wholesomeness.

A good example was the influence the Preacher Man David Wilkerson made on a young Nicky Cruz. You can read the whole story in the famous book: The Cross and The Switchblade’.

Different deliverers of the message, different content, different times, words in season, when you needed to hear them.

Proverbs 15:23

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Isaiah 50:4

“The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

So is there a word for you in this season? Think of the enormity of the messages flying around the internet. Think of the enormity of the messages being posted as we speak.

Think of the ‘Likes’ you will hit, if you spend time reading posts. Each blog a different message.

Messages, photos, communications, philosophies, religions, teachings on ‘how to’, humour, zaniness, etc. etc.

All come at a certain time, or season.

According to Proverbs 15/23 we can have joy by what we say, by what message we pass on. Even ‘Hello how are you?” Given at the right time to the right person, can help.

In Isaiah the writer tells us that God can actually give teaching to us. Messages from the heart and mind of the Creator, written in the many books compiled into what we have named the bible.

The writer, given the tongue of learning. With the purpose that he should speak the right word at the right time.

Now all we need is a willing heart ready to act on what we have read or heard.

James 1:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer…

Gospel and Distraction

GOSPEL AND DISTRACTION

No one notices their own distracted mind

Lay out the plan from God’s hand

And watch how distraction takes them away

You look them in the eye – (oh preacher man)

And notice they again avoid your gaze

Can’t listen to this’ – their demeanour portrays

‘I half-hear what you say’ body-language reveals

But it’s time again to go astray’

I want you to stick with the programme

And study this through

‘No sorry I have too much to do…’

You cannot grasp that there is a distracting influence?

You say ‘you don’t believe in influences’

Are you influenced – not to believe?

You don’t like being corrected

Which is why you are distracted

The Word must find good ground

Your ground needs fertilised with the gospel sound

But you turn-off the rain

By walking away

Distracted again

for another day

You search…

You search…

Someone shared a story with me, some time ago. I will probably get the details wrong, but remember one part of the story. I’m sure someone out there could relate the actual story better than I.

To summarise – it went something like this: Someone bought a piece of land and spent a number of years drilling for oil. All to no avail. So they gave up and sold the land.

A new owner, not long after the purchase, drilled once more and struck black gold, immediately.

Preacher’s could use the story to teach us to ‘never give up’. Others could tell us ‘anything worthwhile takes time and effort’. Yet another could bring out the truth ‘that we need to get below the surface and the obvious – to find the true riches of truth buried in the bible’.

I like that one best.

Proverbs 23/23: Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

The amplified version of the bible gives us this helpful footnote:

The ancient rabbis routinely assumed “truth” to refer to the Torah (Law), and they interpreted the first part of this command to mean that a student should pay a teacher to teach him the Torah if he can find no one to teach him for free. As for the second part, they said that if the student had to pay to learn, he should not view this as grounds to charge for teaching others, but should teach the Torah for free.

But it is possible to be taught the truth and ‘entertain’ it in our lives on a superficial level, rather than giving ourselves – to it – in prayerful meditation, so that we do not fit the category of those described by The Lord Jesus: 

John 5:38-40 King James Version (KJV)

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

Such students find all kinds of truth on some level, but fail to realise that all scripture points to Jesus Christ as the Son of God – to be believed and received as the personification and embodiment of all of God’s truth, and indeed the Saviour of The World.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

All scripture points to the author who revealed it to the hearts of chosen men, who in turn penned it under God’s special visitation and influence.

But also it has the redemptive thread throughout it’s pages from Genesis to Revelation. And to search these books and fail to discover by a living encounter, that Christ is The Living Word, and the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – is to search and miss eternal life. 

Again Jesus said: You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;…’

The point being that this is not enough. But the true searching of the scriptures as God intended – is to encounter Christ:

‘and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

We must come to Him and not just the pages of the book to find eternal life – in/through the pages of the book.