Articles

Relationships Philemon part 2

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2014 by grosey

Once upon a time, a mean old mountaineer fell sick and died. There were no funeral directors back in the hills then, and embalming was not yet practiced. So the widow and family dressed the body and placed it in the coffin. As the deceased was being carried from the house, one pallbearer stumbled, causing the coffin to crash into a gatepost. The knock somehow revived the old mountaineer, who sat up yelling at everyone in sight. The man lived for over a year and was as mean as ever. Then he got sick and died again. Once more the body was put in the coffin and the pallbearers lifted their burden. As they shuffled by, the long-suffering widow lifted her head and said, “Watch out for that gatepost!” (Merritt K. Freeman, Reader’s Digest, July, 1983.)

But the situation that embroiled Paul, Philemon and Onesimus was more than just someone being a difficult character, it involved a betrayal. It involved a monstrous theft. What was a slave worth in the Roman Empire? Estimates suggest that there were sixty million slaves in the Roman Empire, men and women who were treated like pieces of merchandise to buy and sell. A familiar proverb was “So many slaves, just so many enemies!” The average slave sold for five hundred denarii (one denarius was a day’s wage for a common laborer), while the educated and skilled slaves were priced as high as fifty thousand denarii. A master could free a slave, or a slave could buy his freedom if he could raise the money (Acts 22:28).

Onesimus had hurt Philemon. He had betrayed a trust. He had not only stolen from Philemon, he had put Philemon in a very awkward place.

Philemon to Onesimus

1.       Remember God’s Priority 

As Paul interceded for Onesimus, he presented five strong appeals.

A. He began with Philemon’s reputation as a man who brought blessing to others. The word wherefore in Philemon 8 carries the meaning of “accordingly.” Since Philemon was a “refreshing” believer, Paul wanted to give him an opportunity to refresh the apostle’s heart! Philemon had been a great blessing to many saints, and now he could be a blessing to one of his own slaves who had just been saved!

B. 9 I appeal, instead, on the basis of love Paul might have used apostolic authority and ordered his friend to obey, but he preferred to appeal in Christian love (Philem. 9). See how tactfully Paul reminded Philemon of his own personal situation: “Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ” (Philem. 9). Who could turn down the request of a suffering saint like Paul! He was perhaps sixty years old at this time, but that was a good age for men in that day. Along with Philemon’s gracious character and Christian love,

C. I appeal to you for my child, whom I fathered Paul’s third appeal was the conversion of Onesimus (Philem. 10). Onesimus was no longer “just a slave”; he was now Paul’s son in the faith and Philemon’s Christian brother! In Jesus Christ, there is “neither bond nor free” (Gal. 3:28).  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. This does not mean that his conversion altered Onesimus’s legal position as a slave, or that it canceled his debt to the law or to his master. However, it did mean that Onesimus had a new standing before God and before God’s people, and Philemon had to take this into consideration.

D. The fourth appeal was that Onesimus was valuable to Paul in his ministry in Rome (Philem. 11–14). The name Onesimus means “profitable,” so there is a play on words in Philemon 11. (The name Philemon means “affectionate” or “one who is kind.” If the slave was expected to live up to his name, then what about the master?) Paul loved Onesimus and would have kept him in Rome as a fellow worker, but he did not want to tell Philemon what to do. Voluntary sacrifice and service, motivated by love, is what the Lord wants from His children.

E. The fifth appeal relates to the providence of God (Philem. 15–16). Paul was not dogmatic (“perhaps”) as he made this telling point: as Christians, we must believe that God is in control of even the most difficult experiences of life. God permitted Onesimus to go to Rome that he might meet Paul and become a believer. (Certainly Philemon and his family had witnessed to the slave and prayed for him.) Onesimus departed so he could come back. He was gone a short time so that he and his master might be together forever. He left for Rome a slave, but he would return to Colosse a brother. How gracious God was to rule and overrule in these affairs!

Love… As was Paul to Philemon, so you and I need to

A. Be sensitive…Try and put yourself in the other person’s place today. Seek to deal with their struggles, to think like they are thinking. Be sensitive to their particular needs. Do not bully them to your side by coercion, compulsion or command. Win them through consideration and cooperation.

B. Be submissive…I’m not suggesting becoming a doormat here. But it never hurts to lose a few little skirmishes here and there in order to win the war down the road. Resign yourself to the fact that you do not have to win every little argument and point of contention. You might be surprised how this truth could set you free. Be submissive. Begin appealing to others on the basis of love which seeks their highest good. If they win, you win too. And, big time!

C. Be supportive…Let others know where you stand and leave no doubt in their minds that when the chips are down they can count on you and your support. When the win-win philosophy is applied in our relationships it brings a bonding and a sense of mutual support we never knew existed. Find someone who is down this week and come to their aid with a word of support and encouragement. They will never forget it.

D. Be sensible…Use some good old common sense in your relationship. Get smart. If the other person is a winner in your relationship, then you win too. Forget forever the erroneous idea that you always have to win and the other party always has to lose for you to be on top of the relationship. Wake up! Be sensible. Win-win is the only way to play the game.

2.       Relinquish The Debt

And then there’s the other hard part about forgiveness. To forgive means to put the hurt behind you, never to drag it up again. We may not be able to forget what happened, but we will no longer hold it against the person we have forgiven.
It’s like the man who was telling his friend about an argument he’d had with his wife. He said, "Oh, how I hate it, every time we have an argument; she gets historical." The friend replied, "You mean hysterical." "No," he insisted. "I mean historical. Every time we argue she drags up everything from the past and holds it against me!"

Forgiveness means releasing the debt Forgiveness means letting go of our hurt pride, our need to get back – to take revenge, and do what is illogical and ever so hard. It means making our relationship with that other person the most important thing in our lives. Jesus rates reconciliation as one of the most important things we can do. He said, "If you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God" (Matt 5:23-24).

Forgiveness means relinquishing the right. It means letting it go. It means not having the last word! It means putting the thing behind you forever. Never bringing it up.

Forgiveness means accepting the person “accept him as you would me.”

3.       Remember God’s Purposes

When we read these words — “Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good” — we are reminded of the story of Joseph and his estrangement from his brothers. Andrew Lloyd Webber, of “Phantom of the Opera” fame, has brought this ancient story to life in his Broadway production, “Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Most of us know the story well. His brothers, filled with jealously and resentment, sold him to some nomads in a caravan in route to Egypt. They lied to his father by telling him they had found Joseph’s many colored coat soaked in blood and he had no doubt been consumed by a wild animal. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, through a series of events Joseph went from a prison to the palace to become the prime minister of the most progressive nation in the world by the time he was thirty years of age. Famine came to Israel and eventually brought these brothers to Egypt in hopes of finding food. When confronted with their longlost brother they became filled with remorse and regret and, in the end, a beautiful reconciliation took place. The brothers were the offending party. Joseph was the offended party. The rift in the relationship had gone on for years and years. The brothers were full of repentance. Now the ball was in Joseph’s court. How would he respond after all those years of being wronged and living with the consequences? From the human standpoint most of what happened to him was bad. He was the key to reconciliation. When he revealed himself to his brothers, he said, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to save lives (Gen. 45:5) …You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done” (Gen. 50:20). God allowed it…and for a reason! Yes, as Paul says, “Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good.” Is it possible that there is a “perhaps” written across your own experience?

My Grace is Sufficient For Thee

In his Grace Abounding, John Bunyan tells us that there was a period in his spiritual history when his soul was like a pair of scales. It partook of three phases. At one time the right-hand balance was down and the left-hand empty and high; then for awhile they were exactly and evenly poised; and, at the last, the left-hand balance dropped and that on the right-hand was swinging in the air.

At the first of these stages he was being tormented about the unpardonable sin. He reminded himself that, for Esau, there was no place for repentance; and he felt that there was none for him. The scale in which he laid his despair was heavily weighted; the scale in which he placed his hope was empty!

And the second stage—the stage that levelled the balances? `One morning,’ he says, ‘as I was at prayer, and trembling with fear, lest there should be no word of God to help me, that piece of a sentence darted in upon me: My grace is sufficient! At this I felt some stay as if there might yet be hope. About a fortnight before, I had been looking at this very scripture, but I then thought that it could bring me no comfort, and I threw down the book in a pet. I thought that the grace was not large enough for me! no, not large enough ! But now it was as if the arms of grace were so wide that they could enclose not only me but many more besides. And so this about the sufficiency of grace and that about Esau finding no place for repentance would be like a pair of scales within my mind. Sometimes one end would be uppermost and sometimes again the other; according to which would be my peace or trouble.’

And the third stage—the triumphant stage? Bunyan felt that the scales were merely level because, in the balance that contained the hope, he had thrown only four of the six words that make up the text. ‘My grace is sufficient’; he had no doubt about that, and it gave him encouragement. But ‘for thee’; he felt that, if only he could add those words to the others, it would turn the scales completely. ‘I had hope,’ he says, ‘yet because the "for thee" was left out, I was not contented, but prayed to God for that also. Wherefore, one day, when I was in a meeting of God’s people, full of sadness and terror, these words did with great power suddenly break in upon me; My grace is sufficient for thee, My grace is sufficient for thee, My grace is sufficient for thee, three times together. And oh! methought that every word was a mighty word unto me; as My and grace, and sufficient, and for thee; they were then, and sometimes are still, far bigger than all others. Then, at last, that about Esau finding no place for repentance began to wax weak and withdraw and vanish, and this about the sufficiency of grace prevailed with peace and joy.’ And so the issue was reversed; the scale that held the hope overweighed completely the scale that held the despair.

If it were not that others have passed through an identically similar experience, we should feel inclined to marvel at Bunyan’s reluctance to cast into the balances the tail of the text: My grace is sufficient—for thee! It seems strange, I say, that Bunyan should have grasped with such confidence the four words and then boggled at the other two. And yet it is always easier to believe that there is a Saviour for the world than to believe that there is a Saviour for me. It is easy to believe that

There is grace enough for thousands
Of new worlds as great as this;
There is room for fresh creations
In that upper home of bliss;

but it is much harder to believe that there is grace and room for one. Martin Luther believed implicitly and preached confidently that Christ died for all mankind, long before he could persuade himself that Christ died for Martin Luther. John Wesley crossed the Atlantic that he might proclaim the forgiveness of sins to the Indians; but it was not until he was verging upon middle life that he realized the possibility of the forgiveness of his own.

It is all very illogical, of course, and very absurd. If we can accept the four words, why not accept all six? If we credit the head of the text, why cavil at the tail? Sometimes the absurdity of such irrational behaviour will break upon a man and set him laughing at his own stupidity. Mr. Spurgeon had some such experience. ‘Gentlemen,’ he said, one Friday afternoon, in an address to his students, ‘Gentlemen, there are many passages of Scripture which you will never understand until some trying or singular experience shall interpret them to you. The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work; I was very wearied and sore depressed; and, swiftly and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text laid hold on me: My grace is sufficient for thee! On reaching home, I looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way. MY grace is sufficient for THEE! "Why," I said to myself, "I should think it is!" and I burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was like until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry; and Father Thames said: "Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee!" Or as if a little mouse in the granaries of Egypt, after seven years of plenty, feared lest it should die of famine, and Joseph said: "Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee!" Again I imagined a man away up yonder on the mountain saying to himself: "I fear I shall exhaust all the oxygen in the atmosphere." But the earth cries: "Breathe away, O man, and fill thy lungs; my atmosphere is sufficient for thee!"’ John Bunyan enjoyed a moment’s merriment of the same kind when he threw the last two words into the scale and saw his despair dwindle into insignificance on the instant

It is so easy for Bunyan to believe that the divine grace is sufficient for the wide, wide world; it is so difficult to realize that it is sufficient for him!

It is so easy for Wesley to believe in the forgiveness of sins: it is so difficult for him to believe in the forgiveness of his own!

It is so easy for Paul to believe in the grace that is sufficient to redeem a fallen race: it is so difficult for him to believe in the grace that can fortify him to endure his thorn!

Is it any wonder that, this being so, Paul felt that his splinter positively shone? ‘I will glory in it,’ he cried, ‘that the power o f Christ may be billetted upon me.’ He feels that his soul is like some rural hamlet into which a powerful regiment has marched. Every bed and barn is occupied by the soldiers. Who would not be irritated by a splinter, he asks, if the irritation leads to such an inrush of divine power and grace?

And so, with Paul as with Bunyan, the grace turns the scales. It is better to have the pain if it brings the pearl. It is better to have a thorn in the one balance if it brings such grace into the opposite balance that one is better off with the thorn than without it.

4. Relate Well

A. Affirm one another (vv. 4-7)
Affirmation is the greatest motivational factor in interpersonal relationships.

B. Accommodate one another (vv. 8-11)
Here is the synergistic principle of a win/win relationship.

C. Accept one another (vv. 12-16)
True reconciliation requires a repentant heart and a receptive heart.

D. Give Allegiance to one another (vv. 17-21)
True commitment is one of the missing elements in many relationships today.

E. Accountable to one another (vv. 22-25)
We all need accountability in our relationships with one another. We will never be properly related to one another until we are properly related to ourselves and this will only happen when we are properly related to our Heavenly Father.

Articles

Philemon How to Be A Refreshing Person

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2014 by grosey

There is a story behind this. Philemon wealthy business owner.

Onesimus a slave, takes off with some money and treasures. Spends it up big in Rome, winds up in the same cell as Paul! Who happened to lead Philemon to Christ.. maybe he recognised him when he got thrown through the door. The Art of Connecting, the building of positive, productive interpersonal relationships, to be found anywhere.

life is about relationships. There are only three in life.

The primary relationship of each believer is an eternal relationship the upward expression God based on God’s grace and resulting in peace.

This is an awesome thought. This is the ability to come into a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus in such a way that we can know Him in the intimacy of Father and child.

Every person has an internal relationship, a relationship with self. I fear that a pandemic of low self-esteem impacts relationships within the church today. Many believers project a poor self-image outward into their relationships with other believers. Biblical teachings affirm that an individual’s self-esteem does not consist of physical traits or accomplishments. As Christians, our self-esteem derives from our identity in Christ. All positive relationships flow develops from the inner self and proceed outward. Paul celebrated his identity in Christ. Although Paul wrote from a Roman prison, he was a prisoner of Christ Jesus rather than a prisoner of the Roman Empire. Paul conveyed three vital principles about a believer’s identity in Christ. First, being a slave of Christ is the only positive slavery. Every individual is enslaved to something else, for example, sin, pride, or passion. Second, a believer does not experience mere “accidents” or “coincidences” in life. Paul was a prisoner in Rome by God’s design and purpose. For years, Paul wanted to travel to Rome to preach the Gospel and impart a blessing to the Roman Christians. In prison, Paul preached to the guards and his example inspired the Roman Christians to diligence in Gospel proclamation (Phil. 1:12-14). Third, the life of every prisoner of Jesus possesses value. By losing self-life, a believer finds life (Matt. 10:30). We are made to communicate positively with each other. We are made for companionship. We are made to be connected to one another relationally.

Furthermore, Paul celebrated relationships within the church, our external relationships. Paul described church relationships in four ways through how he referred to an individual believer. Paul called Timothy “brother” teaching that the church is a family. The apostle called Philemon “friend” affirming the church as a group of friends. He also called Philemon a “fellow-worker.” As believes work together in the work of the Lord, the combined work is greater than the mere sum of the parts of work added together. Paul called pastor Archippus a “fellow-soldier” teaching that Christians are an army engaged in spiritual battle. “It is not good for man to be alone.”

And the bottom line? We will never be properly related to each other until we are properly related to ourselves. Much of what happens in our broken relationships outwardly is simply a projection of what is going on within us. Thus, the truth is we will never be properly related to ourselves until we come into relationship with God, knowing Him in the free pardoning of sin and thus finding our self-worth in Him.

The importance of affirmation of one another (vv. 4–7). Paul begins his word to Philemon with a pat on the back. “Your love has given me much hope and encouragement because you brother have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Affirmation has a liberating effect on others.

The importance of accommodation of one another (vv. 8–11). Here is what is known in the business world as the win/win relationship. Paul says Onesimos was “once unprofitable to you but now is profitable to you”

The importance of acceptance of one another (vv. 12–16).

Forgiveness is the key to mending broken relationships. Two things must take place to mend relationships. One, there must be a repentant heart on the part of the offending party. And, two, there must be a receptive heart on the part of the offended party.

The importance of allegiance to one another (vv. 17–21).

Paul says, “if he has wronged you…put that on my account.” In other words, he is showing that he is committed in his relationship to Onesimus and to Philemon and is willing to stand by both of them.

The importance of accountability to one another (vv. 22–25).

Paul says, “Prepare the guest room for me.” When he said that, Philemon knew he was coming by to check up on him and hold him accountable. These challenges worked wonders in my church as we challenged each other to affirm one another, accommodate one another, accept one another, be committed to one another and hold each other accountable.

When you’re alone And life is making you lonely, You can always go downtown When you’ve got worries,
All the noise and the hurry Seems to help, I know, downtown Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go

Downtown, things’ll be great when you’re Downtown, no finer place for sure ,everything’s waiting for you (Downtown)
Don’t hang around And let your problems surround you There are movie shows downtown Maybe you know

Some little places to go to Where they never close downtown Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossanova

You’ll be dancing with ‘em, too, before the night is over Happy again
The lights are much brighter there You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go

Downtown where all the lights are bright, Downtown, waiting for you tonight, Downtown,

you’re gonna be alright now (Downtown downtown) Downtown (Downtown)
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle

hand to Guide them along So, maybe I’ll see you there We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares and go

Downtown, things’ll be great when you’re Downtown, don’t wait a minute more, DT everything’s waiting for you

Charles Schwab worked for the multi-millionaire industrialist, Carnegie. He became the first man to earn a one million dollar salary in a single calendar year. One might be quick to assume that he knew more about the manufacturing of steel than anyone else in the world. Wrong. In fact, by his own admission there were many others with far greater technical know-how than his. Why then would Andrew Carnegie pay Charles Schwab a million dollars a year? Schwab was paid such a handsome amount primarily because of his ability to motivate others into positive and productive interpersonal relationships. He was one of the first widely recognized motivators and movers of men. Charles Schwab put his secret in his own words — “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. And the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of men as criticism from their superiors. I never criticize anyone period. I believe in giving a man incentive to work. So, I am anxious to find praise but loath to find fault.”

A few years ago, the great theologian and country singer Alan Jackson made this claim in a song. He sang:

Here comes a Baptist, here comes a Jew; There goes a Mormon and a Muslim, too.

I see a Buddhist and a Hindu; I see a Catholic, and I see you.

We’re all God’s children; we’re all God’s children; We’re all God’s children. Why can’t we be one big happy family?

The reason we can’t be one big happy family is that we aren’t all children of God. Everyone is a creation of God, but only those who believe in Jesus have God as their Father.

Jesus said there are two fathers and two families. He said these words to the Pharisees, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire" (John 8:44). The fact that those who are not saved are not children of God is also seen in 1 John 3:10. The Bible says, "This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

1. Make it personal…Paul did. He did not send his word of appreciation to Philemon through a third party. He did so in a personal letter. Affirmations lose their positive effectiveness if we ask someone to tell someone else something we want them to know. In short, do it yourself. A pat on the back must be personal.

2. Make it positive…An affirmation is not an affirmation unless it is given in a positive vein. The best attempt some can make at a pat on the back is to say something to the effect, “Well, you have done your best and I suppose it is better than average.” What kind of an affirmation is that? To be effective it must be not only personal, but positive as well.

3. Make it present…Paul wrote his letter in the present tense. He said, “I hear about you.”Affirmation must be up to date and in the present. It rings a bit hollow and doesn’t mean much to affirm someone now for something they did twenty or thirty years ago. Make it present and up-to-date.

4. Make it pointed…Paul was specific and pointed in his praise to Philemon. General affirmations which say something like, “You are O.K.”, do not go very far. We must be pointed. We must let the other party know specifically why it is we are giving them a pat on the back. When you pat someone on the back this week spell it out for him. Make it pointed.

5. Make it plain…Philemon could understand Paul’s letter. It was not garbled nor couched in any type of linguistic gymnastics. We often hear others excuse themselves by saying, “Oh, he knows I appreciate him.” Does he? Tell him so with a personal, positive, present, pointed and plain word of affirmation.

6. Make it passionate…That is, it must issue out of the heart. Paul patted Philemon on the back for “refreshing the hearts” of others. Phony affirmations are quickly exposed and do not mean much at all. When you pat someone on the back this week, make it passionate and let it come from the heart.

Articles

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Living a Thanksgiving Life

In Uncategorized on June 20, 2014 by grosey

What is the hardest thing in life to do? It might be trying to climb a fence that’s leaning toward you…or to kiss a girl who’s leaning away from you. But really, the most difficult thing in life might be to “give thanks always for all things.”

If Paul had simply said “Give thanks always,” we might be OK with this. But what bothers us is the next phrase, “for all things.” Many hearts are subdued because of tribulation and anguish. How can we come to the place where we give thanks “always in all things”?

Let me ask you a question. Do you have difficulty with bitterness, selfishness, self pity, negativism, or pride? An attitude of gratitude can change those things and literally transform your life.

There are four levels of living. People in the lowest level constantly complain. These folks are always griping and complaining. Rather than being humbly grateful, they’re grumbly hateful.

The second level is just a bit higher. These are not people who are constantly complaining; they just never give thanks for anything. They take things for granted.

The third level are those who thank God for the obvious blessings, when things are going good and everything is fine.

But the fourth level, the highest level, are those who give thanks always for all things.

This is the attitude that will change your life. Today we are confronted by a passage that will profoundly change your life.  Here is God’s answer to a character that draws criticism and crankiness. Here is God’s answer in how you can tune up your attitude, and make life bearable for those around you. I don’t want to grow old to become a cranky bitter old man. You don’t want to grow old and be someone that isn’t loved or respected. These three verses today will change your character.

Three things.. 1 Thessalonians 5 :16 Rejoice always!
17 Pray constantly.
18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1. Rejoice always!

What people need is JOY not happiness. Happiness comes from the word “hap,” which means  “luck” or “happenings.” Happiness rises and falls with what happens in your life, but joy remains  constant regardless of what happens. Joy is an inner attitude of cheer that manifests itself through outward celebration.

Joy is an important word in the Bible. Joy appears 158 times and “rejoice” appears another 198  times. In the Old Testament there are 27 different colorful words to describe joy. Some of the  basic meanings are to “run around with delight;” “to shine like the brightness of the sun.”

Joy is really not a feeling; it’s an attitude. But when you experience real joy, you’ll rejoice,  which is the expression of a feeling. At any time, you can choose to rejoice. You may say, “I don’t feel like rejoicing.” That’s okay; rejoice anyway. Paul was in prison when he wrote,  “Rejoice in the Lord. I’ll say it again, rejoice.” He didn’t write, “Rejoice in the prison.” He said, “Rejoice in the Lord.” The Bible never says, “Rejoice in your bank account.” We rejoice in the Lord. The Bible never says, “Rejoice in your health, or your circumstances’. We rejoice in the Lord.

Are you rejoicing in the Lord? Here’s a test. Sometime this afternoon or this week, find someone  who is close to you, your spouse or a good friend. Ask them, “When was the last time you saw  me really rejoice?”

Today is Thanksgiving Sunday among  our Life Anglican churches.   It is a day we have set aside to reflect back on God’s goodness to us in the past year, and a day to reflect forwards on what God’s faithfulness will look like in the coming year. We have organized this week each year to occur before the end of the financial year,  so that , as part of our thanksgiving, we may make a tangible statement of our thanksgiving to God for this past year.

We Rejoice always in the goodness of the Lord towards us His people.
We Rejoice that Jesus is the Lover of our Souls

Gal 2:20 the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

We Rejoice that Jesus is the Life of our Souls  Col 3:4When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

We Rejoice that Jesus is the Liberator of our Souls  John 8:32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We Rejoice that Jesus is the Lord of our Souls

2. Pray constantly.
Rejoice always! 
17 Pray constantly. 
18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Listen, friend, if you are too busy to pray, you’re too busy. There is the problem of unoffered  prayer, but what about the other problem, unanswered prayer? We do pray, we do seek God, we do beg, we do try to get right, and ask God according to his will and yet our prayer seems to be unanswered

You are to pray when you are adding up prices in the grocery store line. You are to pray when you are changing a tire. You are to pray when you are singing a song. You are to pray when you are teaching a little one how to read.

We are commanded to pray all the time. But how do we do this? Think of a mother who has a child who is ill with a fever. Finally, the fever breaks and the mother and child settle down for some much-needed sleep. Not a noise from the television, from the street, or from the phone could awaken that mother. But one whimper from her child and she’s awake, right? That’s because even when she is asleep, she is in tune with that child—just as we are to be with God…constantly communing and attuned to His voice.

It’s going to amaze you when you get to Heaven friend. I believe God’s going to call you over and open the door to his storehouse and say, “Look in there. Do you see those blessings that are soured, and spoiled, and rusty and mildewed? Those are your blessings. Those are things I wanted you to have, those are things that I wanted to load you down with, but I couldn’t give them to you. You went your own way warring, and scheming, and planning and conniving, and figuring and you have not because you ask not.”
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.
Oh, friend, the presumption of un-offered prayer. Did you know that prayerlessness is a sin? It’s a sin. The Bible says, “…God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…” (1 Samuel 12:23). Did you know the Bible tells us that we’re to pray all of the time? The Bible says, very clearly in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 5 and verse 17 that we are to, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)The Bible says in Luke chapter 18, verse 1 that Jesus “spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). And, so you see—look, when you don’t pray, you’re not just simply missing a blessing, you’re committing a sin. You’re doing without the things that God wants you to have, and you’re sinning against the Lord.

There is a great example of prayerlessness in the book of  2Chronicles in the life of King Asa of Judah.
2 Chron 15:2 So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you. 
3 For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law, 
4 but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought Him, He was found by them. 
5 In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts. 
6 Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress. 
7 But as for you, be strong; don’t be discouraged, for your work has a reward.” 
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of [Azariah son of]Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He renovated the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the Lord’s [temple]. 
9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those from [the tribes of]Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them, for they had defected to him from Israel in great numbers when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

2 Chron 16:1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa, Israel’s King Baasha went to war against Judah. He built Ramah in order to deny anyone’s access—going or coming—to Judah’s King Asa. 
2 So Asa brought out the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and the royal palace and sent it to Aram’s King Ben-hadad, who lived in Damascus, saying, 
3 “There’s a treaty between me and you, between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go break your treaty with Israel’s King Baasha so that he will withdraw from me.” 
4 Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies to the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 
5 When Baasha heard [about it], he quit building Ramah and stopped his work. 
6 Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and the timbers Baasha had built it with. Then he built Geba and Mizpah with them.

7 At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, “Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 
8 Were not the • Cushites and Libyans a vast army with very many chariots and horsemen? When you depended on the Lord, He handed them over to you. 
9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter, for from now on, you will have wars.” 
10 Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison because of his anger over this. And Asa mistreated some of the people at that time.

12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a disease in his feet, and his disease became increasingly severe. Yet even in his disease he didn’t seek the Lord but the physicians.

Asa died a bitter old man.

How often do we rely upon our own wisdom and intelligence or powers, or ingenuity to get ourselves out of problems?  We should seek the Lord first!

There is no sin in your life but what prayer would have prevented it. The Bible says in Mark 14, verse 38: “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation…” (Mark 14:38).
John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim’s Progress, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, and sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” Are you praying? Most of us talk about prayer like we do the weather. I heard about a weatherman who had to leave town for health reasons. The weather didn’t agree with him.

Prayer is like the weather. We talk about it and don’t do much about it. There is no substitute for prayer. Not energy, not enthusiasm, not eloquence, not intellect. There is no substitute for prayer. My life is no greater than my prayer life. What I am that is important is not what I am on this platform, but what I am in the closet before I come here. What you are in your life when you teach your class is linked to your prayer life.
Oh, my dear friends, this church needs to learn how to pray. We are asking God to lead us into a program that is so immense, so big, so unbelievable, that it absolutely cannot be done—will not be done—unless we pray. I believe God wants us to reach the many many new people moving into our area, and we will pray that many will be saved.  And many will be saved. I believe God wants us to have what we need. And, I believe he’s going to give it to us. And, I believe we’re going to be able to raise the money to build these buildings. But, I believe it’ll be God who does it. And, we will have because we shall ask. And, our Heavenly Father will answer that prayer. I’m telling you that if prayerlessness is a sin, then some of us need to repent. And, before you do anything else you need to repent of the sin of prayerlessness. We can do more than pray after we pray, but we can do no more than pray until we have prayed.

I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day.

I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me and heavier came each task.

Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered. He answered, "ha, you didn’t ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me. But He said, "but you didn’t seek."

I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all the keys on the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided, my son, you didn’t knock.

I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.

3. Give thanks in everything

Rejoice always! 
17 Pray constantly. 
18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

We are reminded to give thanks in everything!

Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 5:20

Your Gratitude Is Proper
Anything good that you have has come from God. You didn’t get it by luck, ingenuity, hard work, wit, or wisdom. It is proper to thank God for it.

Your Gratitude Is to Be Perpetual
You’re not just simply to be thankful one day a year. One day is not long enough to thank God for all that He’s given you. His blessings come daily. Psalm 68:19 says, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily load us with benefits…." Every day God has brand-new blessings for you, and every day ought to find you thanking God. Every prayer that you pray ought to be salted with thanks.

Your Gratitude Is to Be Pervasive
In everything give thanks. Not in some things, but in all things. Every thing, every area of life is to be a the subject of thanksgiving. There’s so much to be thankful for.

Spiritual things — If you didn’t have anything else but Jesus, you would have enough to praise God for all eternity. 
Simple things — You should be thankful for your families, health, food, and even a glass of water. Thank God for the simple things.
Sorrowful things — You can even be thankful for the heartaches, the pains, and the sufferings. Romans 8:28 says, "…All things work together for good…." That is, the thing itself is not good, but it is God Who is working all things together for good.

Do you want to live on the highest level of life? Cultivate the attitude of gratitude always and in all things. I don’t care how bad, difficult, dark, or mysterious things get; take the ultimate step of faith and say, "God, You’re greater than this, and I thank You." You say, "Well, I don’t feel like thanking Him." Don’t thank Him by feeling; thank Him by faith. You’re not told to feel thankful but to be thankful. Nothing shows your faith in the absolute sovereignty of God more than just simply thanking God in every situation.

Your Gratitude Will Be Pleasurable
Thankful people are happy people. "Well," you say, "if I had something to be thankful for, I’d be happy." You have missed the point! You do have something to be thankful for. You have life. You have Christ. You may say, "But my circumstance are not good." The apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote this, yet he was rejoicing in the Lord. Gratefulness turned his prison to a palace, but ungratefulness can turn your palace to a prison. I’m telling you, the attitude of gratitude will change your life.

Your Gratitude Is Possible
Living with gratitude is not a human way to live, not a natural way to live — it’s supernatural. And this kind of thankfulness only comes out of a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Whether you’re in a prison, as Paul often was you can praise God. I’m telling you it will change your life. Bitterness, fear, self pity, ungratefulness, and negativism will go out of your life if you will practice the grace of gratitude. It’s possible.

Why should you choose Jesus today?

He will give you Immediate Joy.  1 Thess 1:6 and you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with the joy from the Holy Spirit.

You face impending death.  Death can be either a stepping into the joys of heaven for you or the woes of hell.  Paul reminded the Thessalonians of this in chapter 4.. those dying  as Christians go immediately to be with the Lord, and there is much joy there.

We await the imminent return of the Lord Jesus.  This gave the early Christians great joy because they knew their Lord, their Life  their Saviour was going to return to bring them home. Listen to the Joy in it.. 1Thess 5 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.

The insensitivity of your heart is a reason to choose Jesus right now.  You may be thinking , what has this  joy and thanksgiving got to do with me?   The longer you put it off, the harder ot becomes to choose Jesus.  Choose Him today and experience the Joy He promises.

Articles

1Thess 5:17 Rejoicing, Prayer and Thanksgiving

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2014 by grosey

 

According to Buddhists, if you want to avoid suffering you should practice these eight disciplines:

1. Right view

2. Right intention

3. Right speech;

4. Right action

5. Right vocation

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

According to Buddhism, if you follow these faithfully you will arrive at Nirvana, which is a state of being one with the universe and where you have no desires. That explains the joke about the Buddhist monk who ordered a hotdog in New York City. He said to the vendor, “Make me one with everything.” (think about it). The monk gave him a ten-dollar bill and the vendor kept it. The Buddhist said, “Where’s my change?” The vendor said, “Change comes from within.”

Buddhism won’t get you to heaven. There isn’t even any doctrine of heaven in Buddhism.

Nirvana is reaching a state of blissful nothingness, whatever that means. Buddha couldn’t even explain it. That explains one more Buddhism joke. “Someone gave a Buddhist monk a birthday present.” He opened it and it was empty. He said, “Thanks. That’s just what I’ve always wanted.”

With that introduction, I want to expose you to a much better eightfold path. This path won’t take you heaven. Jesus is the only way, or path, to heaven. He’s the one-way path to heaven. But once you’re on that path, this eightfold path of attitudes and actions will lead to a blessed life.

As Paul comes to the end of this letter, he adds these eight attitudes and actions.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

1. The Genuine of Joy

What people need is JOY not happiness. Happiness comes from the word “hap,” which means “luck” or “happenings.” Happiness rises and falls with what happens in your life, but joy remains constant regardless of what happens. Joy is an inner attitude of cheer that manifests itself through outward celebration.

Joy is an important word in the Bible. Joy appears 158 times and “rejoice” appears another 198 times. In the Old Testament there are 27 different colorful words to describe joy. Some of the basic meanings are to “run around with delight;” “to shine like the brightness of the sun.”

We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.” (Romans 5:2-4 HCSB)

I’m convinced the reason so many Christians look miserable today is because they ARE miserable. The old Methodist evangelist, Sam Jones, used to say, “There are too many dillpickle- Christians who look like they’ve been dipped in vinegar and left to sour.” A joyless Christian is a contradiction. There are some believers who think the more miserable you look, the holier you are. They act like smiling is a sin and laughing is an abomination.

But the Bible says we have “inexpressible and glorious joy.” (1 Peter 1:8)

You may be wondering how you can find joy. If you have Jesus, you already have joy. In John 15:11 Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Paul was in prison when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord. I’ll say it again, rejoice.” He didn’t write, “Rejoice in the prison.” He said, “Rejoice in the Lord.” The Bible never says, “Rejoice in your bank account.” We rejoice in the Lord. The Bible never says, “Rejoice in your health, or your circumstances. We rejoice in the Lord.

2. The Priority of Prayer

There is no substitute for prayer–not eloquence, not energy, not enthusiasm, not intellect. There is no  substitute for prayer. I came across this the other day; I want to share it with you.

I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day.

I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me and heavier came each task.

Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered. He answered, "ha, you didn’t ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me. But He said, "but you didn’t seek."

I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all the keys on the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided, my son, you didn’t knock.

I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
Amen? Listen, friend, if you are too busy to pray, you’re too busy. There is the problem of unoffered  prayer, but what about the other problem, unanswered prayer? We do pray, we do seek God, we do beg, we do try to get right, and ask God according to his will and yet our prayer seems to be unanswered

You are to pray when you are adding up prices in the grocery store line. You are to pray when you are changing a tire. You are to pray when you are singing a song. You are to pray when you are teaching a little one how to read.

We are commanded to pray all the time. But how do we do this? Think of a mother who has a child who is ill with a fever. Finally, the fever breaks and the mother and child settle down for some much-needed sleep. Not a noise from the television, from the street, or from the phone could awaken that mother. But one whimper from her child and she’s awake, right? That’s because even when she is asleep, she is in tune with that child—just as we are to be with God…constantly communing and attuned to His voice.

It’s going to amaze you when you get to Heaven friend. I believe God’s going to call you over and open the door to his storehouse and say, “Look in there. Do you see those blessings that are soured, and spoiled, and rusty and mildewed? Those are your blessings. Those are things I wanted you to have, those are things that I wanted to load you down with, but I couldn’t give them to you. You went your own way warring, and scheming, and planning and conniving, and figuring and you have not because you ask not.”
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.
Oh, friend, the presumption of un-offered prayer. Did you know that prayerlessness is a sin? It’s a sin. The Bible says, “…God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…” (1 Samuel 12:23). Did you know the Bible tells us that we’re to pray all of the time? The Bible says, very clearly in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 5 andverse 17 that we are to, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)The Bible says in Luke chapter 18, verse 1 that Jesus “spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). And, so you see—look, when you don’t pray, you’re not just simply missing a blessing, you’re committing a sin. You’re doing without the things that God wants you to have, and you’re sinning against the Lord.
2 chron 17: So he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Asa and all Judah and Benjamin, hear me. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you.
3 For many years Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law,
4 but when they turned to the Lord God of Israel in their distress and sought Him, He was found by them.
5 In those times there was no peace for those who went about their daily activities because the residents of the lands had many conflicts.
6 Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every possible distress.
7 But as for you, be strong; don’t be discouraged, for your work has a reward.”
8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of [Azariah son of]Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He renovated the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the Lord’s [temple].
9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, as well as those from [the tribes of]Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them, for they had defected to him from Israel in great numbers when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

In the thirty-sixth year of Asa, Israel’s King Baasha went to war against Judah. He built Ramah in order to deny anyone’s access—going or coming—to Judah’s King Asa.
2 So Asa brought out the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and the royal palace and sent it to Aram’s King Ben-hadad, who lived in Damascus, saying,
3 “There’s a treaty between me and you, between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go break your treaty with Israel’s King Baasha so that he will withdraw from me.”
4 Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies to the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali.
5 When Baasha heard [about it], he quit building Ramah and stopped his work.
6 Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and the timbers Baasha had built it with. Then he built Geba and Mizpah with them.

7 At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, “Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.
8 Were not the • Cushites and Libyans a vast army with very many chariots and horsemen? When you depended on the Lord, He handed them over to you.
9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter, for from now on, you will have wars.”
10 Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison because of his anger over this. And Asa mistreated some of the people at that time.

12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a disease in his feet, and his disease became increasingly severe. Yet even in his disease he didn’t seek the Lord but the physicians.

Asa died a bitter old man.

There is no sin in your life but what prayer would have prevented it. The Bible says in Mark 14, verse 38: “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation…” (Mark 14:38).
John Bunyan wrote in Pilgrim’s Progress, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, and sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” Are you praying? Most of us talk about prayer like we do the weather. Boy, the weatherman really missed it today, didn’t he? I mean the one I listened to,  he missed it a hundred and eighty degrees.  I heard about a weatherman who had to leave town for health reasons. The weather didn’t agree with him.

prayer is like the weather. We talk about it and don’t do much about it. There is no substitute for prayer. Not energy, not enthusiasm, not eloquence, not intellect. There is no substitute for prayer. My life is no greater than my prayer life. What I am that is important is not what I am on this platform, but what I am in the closet before I come here. What you are in your life when you teach your class is linked to your prayer life.
Oh, my dear friends, this church needs to learn how to pray. We are asking God to lead us into a program that is so immense, so big, so unbelievable, that it absolutely cannot be done—will not be done—unless we pray. I believe God wants us to have what we need. And, I believe he’s going to give it to us. And, I believe we’re going to be able to raise the money to build these buildings. But, I believe it’ll be God who does it. And, we will have because we shall ask. And, our Heavenly Father will answer that prayer. I’m telling you that if prayerlessness is a sin, then some of us need to repent. And, before you do anything else you need to repent of the sin of prayerlessness. We can do more than pray after we pray, but we can do no more than pray until we have prayed. Oh, the presumption, the arrogance of un-offered prayer. Are you guilty of that sin?

3 The Attitude Of Gratitude

you have an attitude of gratitude? I’ve discovered people tend to fall into two broad categories. Some people are humbly grateful and others are grumbly hateful. Which are you?

There are some negative people who only want to talk about their problems. It’s so bad that you’re afraid to ask, “How are you doing?”

The Bible doesn’t say “Give thanks FOR everything.” It says, “Give thanks IN every circumstance.” Of course you shouldn’t say, “God, thank you for this cancer.” But you can say, “God, I thank you that you are sovereign, and I thank you that your grace is sufficient.”

Are you the kind of person who always looks for something for which you can give thanks?

Alexander Whyte was a famous Scottish pastor famous for beginning every prayer with a word of thanksgiving to God. There was a particular Sunday when the weather was awful. It was cold and gray with the temperature hovering near freezing. A howling wind was driving the rain sideways. There were only a few parishioners who showed up for church. And they were waiting to see what their pastor could thank God for on such a miserable day. Alexander Whyte prayed, “Lord we thank thee…” he paused, then continued, “We thank thee that the weather isn’t like this every day.”

An attitude of gratitude means you focus on the blessings in your life instead of your problems. Everything good in your life is a gift from God. The Bible says, “Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.” (James 1:17 HCSB)

Edison held over 1,000 U.S. patents in name. He had a positive mindset and an irrepressible energy. In 1914 when Edison was 67 years old, his lab and factory burst into flames and burned to the ground. Much of his work was lost in the fire. The building was worth $2 million at the time, but he had it insured for only $250,000, so he lost much of his fortune. In today’s dollars, the loss would have been about $100 million. Edison’s son, Charles, was 24 at the time. Later he wrote about finding his father standing out in the chilly night, watching the fire with fascination. He wrote, “My heart ached for him—67 years old and everything going up in flames. Then I heard my dad shout, ‘Charles, where’s your mother? Go get her. She’ll never see another fire like this one again.’” The next day, as Thomas Edison walked through the smoldering debris he said, “Son, there’s great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burnt up.” Thank God we can start all over again.” Three weeks later Edison unveiled the first phonograph.

Articles

A Final Vacuum Packed Word

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2014 by grosey

The Thessalonian Church was a

I. A SAVED CHURCH

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father, knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." 1:3-5

II. A SURRENDERED CHURCH

"Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord."

III. A SUFFERING CHURCH

First Thessalonians 1:6 says, "Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit."

IV. A SOUL-WINNING CHURCH

"Ye were an example to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia" (1 Thess. 1:7).

V. A SECOND-COMING CHURCH

Verse 10 says the Thessalonians turned from idols to serve God "and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come."

VI. A STEADFAST CHURCH

A. Explained

First Thessalonians 3:8 says, "For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."

VII. A SUBMISSIVE CHURCH

Chapter 5 contains many brief, unqualified commands: "Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. Rejoice always!  Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit.  Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (vv. 12-23).

Evaluate yourself and the spiritual health of your church on the basis of the seven characteristics we’ve seen in the Thessalonian church. Have you and the majority of your church been saved? Are you committed to being like Christ and willing to suffer because of that? Are you regularly praying for opportunities to share the gospel? Are you living the kind of life that will lend credence to your message? Does your church have a ministry for training people to evangelize? Are you anxiously awaiting the return of Christ? Does your church share the same sense of urgency that the Thessalonian church did? Does your church have a proper balance of love and sound doctrine? Are you submissive to the leaders of your church, or are you often indifferent or in opposition to what they are trying to accomplish? If any of those elements are lacking in your life or in your church, determine the steps you can take to strengthen those areas.

He squeezes some big ideas into a few words. You could say Paul vacuum packs these verses… Verse 16 is two words – verse 17 is three – verse 20 just four. Here’s some freeze dried doctrine – some wisdom concentrate.

Recently, the church has been preoccupied with just getting people into the church. The number of people in one’s church was the important issue. Success in the ministry was based on whether or not you had more bodies in your building than the guy down the street. Churches had lots of contests, prizes, and gimmicks just to get people into the church. There were even contests between churches to see who could get the most people. Now, churches are becoming more oriented to entertainment. We are in the midst of a society that doesn’t know the meaning of commitment – just convenience. If it’s convenient and entertaining, people come. Everybody wants to know what the church can do for them, but they’re not willing to put anything into it. So now churches pay up to 10 thousand dollars a night for a celebrity to come and give a testimony – just to draw a crowd. This is not God’s pattern for building the church! The goal of the church is not to entertain, coddle, or even evangelize the saints. If the same people are evangelized long enough, they’ll think their carnality is spirituality and will never mature. The church must get back to the Word of God; and the Word says that the church is for ”the perfecting of the saints.

Pastors Did you know the drop-out rate for pastors is astronomical? Focus on the Family reports that of all men who enter the ministry only 1 out of 20 remains a pastor until retirement age. The stresses on a pastor and his family are enormous. As if life in a fish bowl isn’t enough pressure, a pastor’s world is full of natural predators. .

Pastor: Leaps tall buildings in a single bound. More powerful than a locomotive. Faster than a speeding bullet. Walks on water. Hotline to God.

Assistant Pastor: Able to leap short buildings in a single bound. As powerful as a switch engine. Just as fast as a speeding bullet. Walks on water if the sea is calm. Talks with God when the pastor is asleep.

Worship Leader: Leaps short buildings with a running start. Almost as powerful as a switch engine. Faster than a speeding BB. Walks on water if he knows where the stumps are. And is occasionally addressed by God.

Youth Pastor: Runs into small buildings. Rides the Pink Pig. Not as fast as a squirt gun. Knows how to use a water fountain. Mumbles to himself.

Church Secretary: Lifts the building to walk under it. Kicks locomotives off the track. Catches speeding bullets in her teeth. Freezes water with a single glance. When God speaks, she says, "May I ask who is calling?"

2. Problems

Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.

3. Priorities

Rejoice always!  Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

4. Principles 

Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.

5. Perfection

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

PROBLEMS

Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are lazy, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.

I. There Will Be Difficult People That Come Along In Your Life.

A) Wayward – (Idle, Unruly) Never quite in line. Always fighting against. Critical of others, but does not help in any positive way.

B) Worried – (Timid, Faint Hearted, Feebleminded) Very fearful. No courage. Afraid to change or take risk. “small-souled.”

C) Weak – Spiritually and Morally weak. May love the Lord, but really struggles with sin and temptations. “feebleminded.”

D) Wearisome – In line, but just will not move forward. You pour yourself into them, but they have nothing to offer in return.

E) Wicked – Those who intentionally do evil to you.

II. How To Handle Them!

A) Admonish The Wayward – V14 “Warn”

Noutheteo – means to put sense into. Point out consequences.

Acts 20:31-32 “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

B) Encourage The Worried – V14 “Comfort, Encourage”

To come alongside and speak to, console, comfort, strengthen, cheer up, refresh, sooth.

C) Hold Up The Weak – V14 “Help, Uphold, Support”

To hold firmly to, cling to, hold up. Galatians 6:1-3 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

D) Be Patient With The Wearisome – V14 “Be patient with all”

Patient means to be “long of spirit, not to loose heart, slow to anger, slow to punish”

E) Allow God To Repay The Wicked – V15 “Do not repay evil with evil”

Romans 12:19-20 “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head

Articles

You Can Have Hope Greater Than Grief 1Thessalonians 4:13-18

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2014 by grosey

 

Paul has exhorted the believers to walk in holiness (chapter 4:1-8); harmony (4:9-10); in honesty (4:11-12) and now hope (4:13-5:11) 2nd coming preached.. as imminent, but some died.. “What’s going to happen to them? They died before Jesus returned.” Bertrand Russell English philosopher “The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach and where none can tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death.” Hannah Moore English poet and playwright: “There is one single fact which we may oppose to all the wit and argument of atheism, namely, that no man ever repented of being a Christian on his death-bed.” ignorance is NOT bliss; it’s unnecessary.

A BELIEVER’S GRIEF IS INFUSED WITH HOPE not “… to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. Ray Stedman: “I have stood at gravesides with families who knew only the stuff of this life. They cared little for the news of the next. And it showed in their grief. There was a hardness, a harshness, a hopelessness to the whole thing. Without a future to look to, the grief easily turns to anger and frustration with one another. Grief without hope is never a pretty picture…But I have stood at other gravesides where the tears were tinted with hope. Friends and family wept. But a light shined in the darkness. They confidently talked of a future reunion.” two Aramaic words, maran atha. Maranatha., “The Lord comes.” Or “The Lord is at hand.” G. Campbell Morgan: “To me the second coming is the perpetual light on the path which makes the present bearable. I never lay my head on my pillow without thinking that maybe before the morning breaks, the final morning may have dawned.”

A. Longing Hope Return 1 Thes 4:14 John 14: 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.

B. Living hope: Resurrection , “God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” Your loved ones who died in Christ are alive right now. They are with Jesus, and when Jesus comes back He will bring their soul and spirit, and when He resurrects their bodies, they’ll have an eternal body like His. I’m not looking for the undertaker. I’m looking for the upper-taker! Instantaneous. 1 Cor 15:50 Brothers, I tell you this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a • mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.

C. Liberating Hope Rapture music carried away by its beauty? “caught up” Greek word; “harpazo”. (1) “to carry off by force” (see John 16:15). Warren Wiersbe; “I trust it does not suggest that some saints will be so attached to the world that they must literally be dragged away. Like Lot being delivered from Sodom, they will scarcely be saved” (2) To rescue from the danger of destruction (see Acts 23:10). (3) To catch away in a speedy fashion. Acts 8:39 in the twinkling of an eye. This is the amount of time it takes for light to reflect off the surface of your cornea! (4) To claim for oneself. (5) To move to a new place heaven 2 Cor. 12:1-4. We are going to be carried off suddenly by a force so strong that we are carried home to be with the Lord forever.

D. Loving hope: Reunion when Jesus returns the dead in Christ will be raised first—after all, they have six feet further to go. Then those of us who are alive will be “…caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” “Together with them.” “Will we know each other in heaven? I like Spurgeon’s answer; “Do you think we are going to be less smart in heaven than here on the earth

E. Lasting hope: Relationship“…we will be with the Lord forever.” Fanny Crosby. She was blinded as an infant, and never saw another face. But her blindness gave her an amazing spiritual vision. Once a pastor said to her, “I think it a great pity that the Master, when He showered so many gifts upon you, did not give you sight.” Fanny Crosby responded, “Do you know, if at birth I had been able to make one petition to my Creator, it would have been that I should be born blind.” The pastor was surprised and asked why. She said, “Because when I get to heaven, the first sight that shall ever gladden my eyes will be that of the Saviour.” As followers of Jesus, we have hope at the graveside, because the Bible says when we meet the Lord either by death, or by rapture, He’ll take us home. The Bible says, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Cor 5:8)

Articles

Where is God Taking You?

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2014 by grosey

1 Thess 3: 11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, 12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Where are you going with your life? Is there any sense in which we can know God’s will for our lives? Sometimes we view God’s will as something that we hope God will just lower down to us one day so we will know where we are going.

I have learnt over the years that the Lord is concerned to take us to Heaven, by a route, holiness, and He Helps us with it.

Lets back into this short passage. My reversing and parking, you will be glad to hear, has much improved since I first visited the church here. I now no longer knock down walls. My car has a camera attached that allows me to back into car park spots safely.

This passage ends with Heaven

Isn’t it good to know that your destination is heaven. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Saviour and Lord, you have entered a journey where the final destination is heaven. This verse reminds us of three important truths.

i. There is An Appointment You Can’t Avoid.

ii. There is An Assessment You Can’t Evade

iii. There is an Assurance You Can Anticipate

There is An Appointment You Can’t Avoid.

so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

You will stand before our God and Father in heaven at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The return of the Lord Jesus with all his saints is a wonderful recurring theme in the epistles to the Thessalonians.

1 Thess 4: 13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are • asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord.

After the return of the Lord Jesus you will immediately stand before the God.

There is An Assessment You Can’t Evade

Other passages remind us of this. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or bad.

1 Corinthians 3: 9 For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, as a skilled master builder I have laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it, 11 because no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid—that is, Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire

Romans 14:  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

There is an Assessment of your works as a believer that will occur after the second coming. There are rewards in heaven. How this works out I have no idea. This is not about heaven and hell. If we have believed in Jesus, Romans 8:1 says, Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, The Lord Jesus said John 5:24 I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

This assessment is about rewards for believers.. Matthew 25: 21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful • slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’

Luke 19:16  The first came forward and said, ‘Master, your mina has earned 10 more minas.’ 17 “ ‘Well done, good• slave!’ he told him. ‘Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, have authority over 10 towns.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Master, your mina has made five minas.’ 19 “So he said to him, ‘You will be over five towns.’

There Is An Assurance You Can Anticipate

so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

Phil 1:6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Lord intends to make you look good on that day.

The Divine Destiny of each believer is Heaven.

That’s where the Lord is taking you. But the route He is taking you is through Holiness.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness

Holiness

The Christian life produces the fruits of holy living. “Theology,” William Ames wrote in the opening words of his classic, The Marrow of Theology, “is the doctrine or teaching of living to God.[i]” God Himself exhorts His children, “You shall be holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Paul instructs the Thessalonians, “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:7). And the author of Hebrews writes, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). The believer who does not cultivate holiness diligently will neither have much genuine assurance of his own salvation nor be obeying Peter’s call to seek it (2 Peter 1:10).

Our tendency is to think of Holiness as a negative thing. We think immediately of austere puritans sitting in monastic sterility keeping apart from the world lest they be defiled by it. The New Testament speaks of holiness in a much more positive way, as being the way of love. As we love God deeply, and know His love deeply, we extend that love to other believers and then to a lost and sinful world.

The severity of holiness is lost in the joyful fruit of the Spirit, which engages with others in love.

In both biblical languages holy means separated and set apart for God. For the Christian, to be set apart means, negatively, to be separate from sin, and positively, to be consecrated (i.e., dedicated) to God and conformed to Christ. There is no disparity between Old Testament and New Testament concepts of holiness, though there is a change in emphasis on what holiness involves. The Old Testament stresses ritual and moral holiness; the New Testament stresses inward and transforming holiness Lev. 19:2  “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. 1 Thess. 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture presents the essence of holiness primarily in relation to God. The focus of the sacred realm in Scripture is God Himself. God’s holiness is the very essence of His being (Isa. 57:15); [ii] it is the backdrop of all else the Bible declares about God. His justice is holy justice; His wisdom is holy wisdom; His power is holy power; His grace is holy grace. No other attribute of God is celebrated before the throne of heaven as is His holiness: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:3). “Holy” is prefixed to God’s name more than any other attribute[iii].

Isaiah alone calls God the “Holy One” twenty-six times. God’s holiness, John Howe wrote, “may be said to be a transcendental attribute that, as it were, runs through the rest, and casts lustre upon them. It is an attribute of attributes … and so it is the very lustre and glory of His other perfections.” [iv] God manifests something of His majestic holiness in His works (Ps. 145:17), in His law (Ps. 19:8–9), and especially at the cross of Christ (Matt. 27:46). Holiness is His permanent crown, His glory, His beauty. It is, says Jonathan Edwards, “more than a mere attribute of God—it is the sum of all His attributes, the outshining of all that God is.[v]” God’s holiness denotes two critical truths about Himself: First, it denotes the “separateness” of God from all His creation and His “apartness” from all that is unclean or evil. God’s holiness testifies of His purity, His moral perfection, His separateness from all outside of Him, His complete absence of sin (Job 34:10; Isa. 5:16; 40:18; Hab. 1:13)[vi].

Holiness, includes separation from sin, consecration to God, and conformity to Christ—make holiness comprehensive.

But the bottom line to these is love.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father…

Holiness of heart must be cultivated in every sphere of life: in privacy with God, in the confidentiality of our homes, in the competitiveness of our occupation, in the pleasures of social friendship, in relation with our unevangelized neighbors and the world’s hungry and unemployed, as well as in Sunday worship. Horatius Bonar writes: Holiness … extends to every part of our persons, fills up our being, spreads over our life, influences everything we are, or do, or think, or speak, or plan, small or great, outward or inward, negative or positive, our loving, our hating, our sorrowing, our rejoicing, our recreations, our business, our friendships, our relationships, our silence, our speech, our reading, our writing, our going out and our coming in—our whole man in every movement of spirit, soul, and body[vii].

Thus, holiness is an inward thing that must fill our entire heart and an outward thing that must cover all of life. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). “Holiness,” Thomas Boston maintained, “is a constellation of graces.” 14 In gratitude to God, a believer cultivates the fruits of holiness, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22–23)[viii].

Calvin “we learn in what the perfection of the Christian life consists — in love and pure holiness of heart, flowing from faith. He recommends love mutually cherished towards each other, and afterwards towards all, for as it is befitting that a commencement should be made with those that are of the household of faith, (Gal 6:10) so our love ought to go forth to the whole human race. Farther, as the nearer connection must be cherished, so we must not overlook those who are farther removed from us, so as to prevent them from holding their proper place.

He would have the Thessalonians abound in love and be filled with it, because in so far as we make progress in acquaintance with God, the love of the brethren must at the same time increase in us, until it take possession of our whole heart, the corrupt love of self being extirpated. He prays that the love of the Thessalonians may be perfected by God, intimating that its increase, no less than its commencement, was from God alone. The end of the law is love, says Paul, (1Ti 1:5) yet he himself declares that it is a work of God. When, therefore, God marks out our life, he does not look to what we can do, but requires from us what is above our strength, that we may learn to ask from him power to accomplish it. Your hearts blameless in holiness: The heart must be made holy first. The devil wants us to develop a holy exterior while neglecting the interior, like whitewashed tombs, full of death (Mat. 23:27).”

“The unceasing and steady aim of every Christian should be perfection — perfection in all things and in his submission to the will of God. No man can be a Christian who does not sincerely desire it, and who does not constantly aim at it. No man is a friend of God who can acquiesce in a state of sin and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as God is holy. And any man who has no desire to be perfect and who does not make it his daily and constant aim to be perfect, may settle it down as demonstrably certain that he has no true religion.” — Barnes.

12 and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness

Love . That’s where the Lord is taking us in Holiness. Love to one another who are Christians, and love towards others in our world, even those who hate us.

The Lord Jesus said Matthew 5: 43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Perfection, Holiness is found in LOVE!

Phocus was a gardener who lived at Sinope, on the Black Sea, who used his crops to feed the poor and also aided persecuted Christians. During the persecutions of Diocletian, he provided hospitality to the soldiers who were sent to execute him. The soldiers, not knowing that their host was their intended victim, agreed to his hospitality. Phocas also offered to help them find the person who they sought.

As the soldiers slept, Phocas dug his own grave and also prayed fervently. In the morning, when the soldiers awoke, Phocas revealed his identity. The soldiers hesitated and offered to report to their commander that their search had been fruitless. Phocas refused this offer and bared his neck. He was then decapitated and buried in the grave that he had dug for himself.

Could you love your enemies like that?

God is taking you to a destiny: HEAVEN
God is working to change you HOLINESS .. and that Holiness is LOVE!!!

God is our only Hope of getting there.

We need His HELP.

We crave Love.

Marilyn Monroe, foster care one lady in a happy mood whilst putting makeup on, dabbed her with her rouge puffer. Marilyn Monroe said “for that moment I felt loved by her”

We crave Love. And our lives are not over filled with love.

And that love can be found eternally and powerfully in Jesus.

One of the beuties of this passage is it reminds us; may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.

Wesley reminds us that it is the overflowing abounding love of the Lord Jesus that flows into our hearts and out to others. It was Keith Green who wrote

I found it hard to believe Someone like you cared for me
You put this love in my heart I tried but could not refuse
You gave me no time to choose You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go When I’m depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it’s alright

I want to tell you right now I’m not afraid to say how You put this love in my heart
There are sometimes when I doubt But you always find me out You put this love in my heart

‘Cause when I see all that you’ve done for me It’s hard to doubt, I just have to believe
‘Cause you followed and proved it all of your life

Well I know The loneliness I had before Is gone now I’ll never feel it anymore ‘Cause your love has released me
From all that’s in my past and I know I can believe you When you say I’ll never be forsaken Your love is gonna last

There’s so much more I should say If I could just find a way
You put this love in my heart
Is all this real or a dream I feel so good I could scream You put this love in my heart

I want to know where the bad feelings go When I’m depressed and I get down so low And then I see you coming to me and it’s alright

You put this love in my heart You put this love in my heart You put this love in my heart

Wesley writes;

“A heart in every thought renewed, And full of Love divine,

Perfect and right and pure and good A copy, Lord of thine.

“Give me a new, a perfect heart, From doubt and fear and sorrow free,

The mind which was in Christ impart, And let my spirit cleave to thee.”

And every virtue we possess, And every conquest won, And every thought of holiness, Are His alone.

Are you growing in Holiness?

Are you prepared for Heaven?

Are you growing in Love?

Are you drawing upon the Lord’s help to be all He intends you should be?

We need love. We need to give out that love. Is your life full of love?


[i] The Marrow of Theology, trans. and ed. John D. Eusden (1629; Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1968), 77.

Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1978), 13–14.

[ii] Otto, R, The Idea of the Holy, trans. J. W. Harvey (London: Oxford University Press, 1946).

[iii] Charnock,S The Existence and Attributes of God (repr. Evansville, Indiana: Sovereign Grace, 1958), 449.

[iv] The Works of the Rev. John Howe (1848; repr. Ligonier, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria,1990), 2:59

[v] The Works of Jonathan Edwards (1834; repr. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), 1:101; cf. R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1985).

[vi] Finlayson,R.A., The Holiness of God (Glasgow: Pickering and Inglis, 1955), 4.

[vii][vii] Bonar, H, God’s Way of Holiness (repr. Pensacola, Florida: Mt. Zion Publications, 1994), 16.

[viii] Cf. George Bethune, The Fruit of the Spirit (1839; repr. Swengel, Pennsylvania: Reiner,1972); W. E. Sangster, The Pure in Heart: A Study of Christian Sanctity (London: EpworthPress, 1954); John W. Sanderson, The Fruit of the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972);

Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Holiness: Every Christian’s Calling (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985).

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