Rejoice In Your Suffering


Don't Be Afraid

Don’t Be Afraid

I was reading an article this morning and it made me realize that we do all have a choice in our suffering. We have a choice to let it define us, or to move forward with learning.In fact scriptures tell us to “Rejoice in our suffering.” I would barely be able to grasp this concept, except I am reminded of things in my past which have brought me to this place today. All the battles have been to grow me for the things which the Lord has prepared in advance.We all have a destiny in this life. A mission. It is living with purpose and growing in wisdom. To accept the call is only the beginning. That does not mean life will become easier. In fact, it’s usually the opposite.

 The only thing which brings some element of comfort, is the knowing that we are a vessel prepared for our Lord’s use. And He has the master plan. He promises that “all of these things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

 Years ago, I was in the midst of warfare. I was at the breaking point. I had experienced fear. I was thrust into the streets of London with bombs exploding. Having strayed from my faith, I had forgotten that my heavenly Father is my protection.I had many things happening in my personal life, and then this was the final straw. I had suffered Post Traumatic Stress. I began losing weight and losing my hair. I was terrified to go to work and at times, I just wanted to curl up and fade away.

 Reading this article made me think about the things which are important. Of the greatest importance, I had to list my suffering. Yes, that’s right. The article mentioned the term, “Post Traumatic Growth.”For this is the outcome, if we choose to allow this to be our stepping stone. A few years later, I had taken a trip to Israel. I went in an armored vehicle to the place of the first altar. I shared this with a friend, and she said, “I wouldn’t have put money on this adventure of yours. I would have never imagined you doing this.”Yes, after she’d seen me in my most vulnerable state, and now this voluntary experience, she was amazed.But then, I had become firmly planted in my faith, and now I knew that live or die, I am in the Lord’s hands

. As ambassadors for Christ,  we have a commission, to go into the world. We cannot do this, when we are running in terror. But more specifically, we are commissioned to the people which the Lord has surrounded us with. Our families, friends. They are not an accident. If we say we believe in our Lord, and His calling, we must know that there is no coincidence.He revealed the picture of Himself on the cross. With His dying words he told John to take His mother to be his own. And His mother to take John to be her son. John faithfully cared for Mary until her death. In this picture, our Lord wanted us to understand a very powerful message. Knowing these to be words uttered by a dying man, He showed us that it is not flesh and blood which make us family. It is knowing that we need Him and accepting His blood at the foot of the cross. This is what makes us one. His body, unbroken. There is absolutely no division in the body of Christ.

 The very people you have been commissioned to, may persecute you.  But this is why our Lord also said, “He did not come to this world to bring peace, but a sword.” And clearly tells us this sword, which is truth, would divide family members.He has reminded me, that it is not our place to defend ourselves against accusations. As the accusations come from darkness. We do not return evil for evil. The Lord stands as our defense. Though rejection and persecution hurts. He had experienced this too.

 Remember our Lord as He looked over the city of Jerusalem and spoke, “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you. How often I have longed to gather your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37 I was reminding my son the other day that the Lord had felt as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. So much anguish that He had droplets of blood fall from His forehead. “Imagine this,” I said. “Our Lord was also a man. And even He was afraid.” I told Him that I had seen this stone in a church in Israel. I touched it with many others who longed to imagine that fateful night and the despair He must have felt. The prayers so heart wrenching, as to sweat blood.I told my son, “Christ could see what He wa about to endure. The beating He would take. The whips and crown of thorns. And finally the cross. And He felt enough fear to express this to the Father. He asked that the cup of suffering be removed.  But He also knew it was necessary, to finally concede, “Not my will but thine be done.”  Our Lord also knew the final outcome. “For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross.

I was trying to help him understand that in our pleas to the Father, it is not for our wants, so much as it is for His wants. He wants us to turn to Him in every detail of our life. He wants us to become fit for His use. He knows that suffering is what “produces a harvest of righteousness.” So knowing this, I don’t want the easy way out. I want, The Way, The Truth and The Life. This is my choice. Whatever comes my way, I know it has come from the Father’s hands.

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Behold-The Remnant!


The Remnant

I was with a girl the other day and the Lord arranged a divine appointment as He always seems to do this. She was sharing some things in her life as I was and we had many hurts in common. I had told her that my faith sustained me and we continued to talk. As she shared her experience of religion, I realized, as I’m sure she did, it was an emotional,ritualistic experience. Nothing like the intimate relationship I had spoken of with the Lord.

I expressed to her that He had made a way for all people to come to Him in an intimate way, without ritual or any mediators. We are to look at Him as our Father now and He even tells us that we are children by adoption, allowing us to call Him, “Abba,” which is very intimate. It is as if we are climbing into His lap and crying “Daddy!” This is what Christ had accomplished for us on the cross, when the curtain had been torn. I reminded her that before that time, only a High Priest of Royal Order, was allowed into the Most Holy of Holies, to make sacrifice for the people of Israel. After Christ made sacrifice for us, He became our High Priest.
As we prayed, she cried and told me she never understood this before.
Well, I told her that religion, in many ways, keeps us focused on the wrong things and we miss, what Christ had really done for us. We go back to trying to work things out on our own.
 
I didn’t see her for a day and on the way back, she was telling me how excited she was after having prayed and wanting to start in a Bible Study. I told her when you have the Holy Spirit as your guide, you can read the bible with understanding, since He is the author. It is important for you to be in a study, rather than just involved in a church experience, which is nothing but ritual. God wants us to draw close to Him and to know Him, and this is how we do it.
Then she looked at a necklace which I was wearing and she said she liked it. It is a Star of David, with a cross in the middle of it. She said, “But the Jesus, will never go back to Israel again.” I dropped my jaw in disbelief. For someone who seemed to know very little about scripture, this remark was so Antisemitic, and out of left field. I said, “Did you know that Jesus was a Jew?” “Yes, but they killed him. And that’s the reason He said, Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”
“Ok, listen,” I told her.”This is why it is very important for you to be in a study of the scriptures. You keep telling me this is “what you heard,’ but it is in total contradiction to God’s word.
God has a covenant with Israel and we are all inheritors of that same covenant as believers. Jesus Christ asked the Father to forgive all of us,that day. Every sinner, put Him on that cross. His prayer was as a High Priest, praying the prayer of forgiveness for all of mankind! I had to remind her that there were Roman’s and Jews alike that all took part in the sacrifice. A picture of Jew and Gentile. As I pointed out in scriptures before, “Roman soldiers cast lots for His clothing.” Everyone was implicated on that day. And God sent Him as a sacrifice. He was to make atonement for us. He said, “I lay my life down willingly, only to take it up again.”
But she said, “The Jews don’t believe and He will never go back to Israel again.“And do you know, that all the nations shall rise against Israel, and Christ Himself shall return and set His foot on the Mount of Olives, to put an end to the oppression? The Mount of Olives is in Israel. And God has said, that “I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her.”
“Oh, I didn’t hear that,” she said. “No, this is why you need to know what God says. He loves Israel, even though they have been stubborn and rebellious. Just like all of us. But in scripture you can see that the very first believers were Jews. There was always a remnant. And I told her I have many friends who are Jewish believers.
We do not cut off Israel. She is the Apple of God’s Eye. His love for her is great and His plan is to restore her even though she was unfaithful.
I remember looking at my bible once and being fascinated with the remnant.
In Romans 11, Paul speaks of the remnant. In verse two Elijah appealed to God against Israel. You see that? The prophet to the nation of Israel, appealing to God, against His own people! He was so angry, He told the Lord, “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me.
This is what God said, “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (v4)
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
(v7)What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did.
And this is the important part to remember, God allowed them to stumble and be blind. It says He gave them a “spirit of stupor.” (v8-10)
Why would He do something like this? How could a loving God darken the eyes of the very people He came for? Remember Jesus said, “I came first to the nation of Israel.”
This is why; Israels rejection of Christ resulted in salvation for the whole world. He became a “light to the gentiles.” And this is why it is so important that we understand what a great gift this has been and how much He loves Israel and plans for their return.
In verse 11, Paul repeats his question  to seal the understanding to his listeners. Just as I feel I must when speaking to those who want to make this a message of division or veiled antisemitism. That is demonically inspired and we know that anything surrounding Israel, Satan has hated from the beginning and will until the end.
“Again I ask; Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of the their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
Paul tells us “not to be arrogant. If the natural olive branch had been cut off, to allow the wild to be ingrafted, how much more shall the natural be grafted in to their own olive tree?” (v18-24)
People run around with all kinds of wild beliefs and ideas, but if you really want to know God’s heart, then you must know Him in His word.
He also speaks of the Suffering Servant, and many over the years want to argue this point. Those who don’t believe in Jesus as messiah, want to believe it is Israel. I contend, that when any one of us is grafted into this vine, we are His and are called by His name.
All of the true servants of the Lord, are also suffering servants and are part of this remnant. We have His name and all of the promises of Israel apply.
When He speaks to me, He reminds me of this. “Israel, my splendor.” It is not a land, but a people chosen by grace to do the work of His hands and reveal His light to this dark world.

The Apostate Church


What is it? Well we’re living in the times  of darkness and we need to be on our guard. People do not even realize what’s happening. Megachurches cropping up all over and pastors tickling the ears of the members, afraid of losing the tithes. The danger of losing all the money supporting the growth and this is exactly what the Lord speaks about when He speaks to the churches in Revelation. The works instead of the real love for Him. The appearance instead of the service and the wealth instead of the regeneration.

Jezebel, alive and well in the church and the church leaders that tolerate her fornications inside the church all because she is bringing in people who bring more money and growth.  This spirit will be leading in ministries and teaching as well. This is the apostacy and  it has no regeneration in a person at all. It’s obvious because she hasn’t changed one bit. She expects the Lord to come along to her way of thinking. Of course we know that Gods word does not change,He calls sin, sin, and now it has been brought into the church, in the name of the Lord and the church leaders have turned a blind eye and even set people into ministry ignoring these sins. It is one thing to do these things in the world, but now to be brought into the church, the Lord is burning in His anger. He knows Jezebel and she hides in her relgious works, thinking she cannot be seen. But she hates the prophets of God and this is why she enters the church The Lord will only deal with her for so long before He moves His hand of judgement.

Because of this He speaks in Revelation, that she shall be cast upon a bed of suffering, and all who fornicate with her, shall also suffer with her. It is amazing to me, that she does not see it, yet when we are in the midst of our sin, and refuse to heed the voice of the Lord, our hearts become hardened. It is only when we refuse to repent, that we are allowed to suffer. And in Revelation, He tells us that He has allowed Jezebel more than enough time to repent and she refuses. So it’s apparent that He is speaking to the apostates in this portion of scripture. Those with the most hardened of hearts.

We are living in those times. I see it in a most personal way in my life. With people who I know and in the churches as well. They think they are rich, yet they are poor. They say they must clean themselves of the most silly things, yet the most obvious sins against the Lord, go unchecked, as if He turns a blind eye, because they are so busy in the church, and He is so pleased with their works for Him. I say it again. The Lord does not need our works! He did it all at the cross! Anything more is our proclamation to Him that He didn’t do enough and that is blasphemy. When He said, “it is finished, He meant it.

We have the privilege of being part of the process, but that’s all it is. He allows us as part of His creation, to be co-heirs with Him. But to assume that He needs our help is just plain ludicrous, and Satan, is always busy, trying to fill, mans heads with these lies, when we aren’t yet regenerated by the Holy Spirit. This is why the Lord tells us to be “filled by the Spirit of God, and keep the house swept clean, so that these unclean spirits, cannot enter in.” These are spirits of religion, that seek to keep us bound up in doing empty works. They will not get us into the kingdom of God. They are worthless. Only the blood of Christ have paved the way for us. Now accept it. It’s free. And stay filled with His Spirit and stay humble knowing we can’t earn anything.

Be obedient unto Him and Him only. If it doesn’t line up with His word, reject it. Don’t try to make His word line up to your lifestyle. Make your life line up to His word. As His spirit lives in you, you will overcome. This is His power living in you. Read it and live it. This is how they will know you are sons of God. You will be filled with His love.

Always remember the narrow way. The lesser part. The remnant.Many are called…few are chosen.