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“Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother.’’ And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this Word and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were astonished at His Words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.’ And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’ Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the Gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time - houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions - and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last and the last first.” Mark 10:17-31
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“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:6-8
Pride Offends God
The Lord Jesus warns us of: "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness..." Mark 7:22. Here pride is in the middle of a list of heinous offences. "A haughty look, a proud heart and the ploughing of the wicked are sin." Proverbs 21:4
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
To Waste Time is to Waste Life
Time is the most valuable commodity of all. It is a non-renewable resource. Some people say that time is money. Time is vastly more valuable than money! Time is life! You may get some more money, but you will never get your time again. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 9:10. In Pilgrims Progress we are warned against By-path Meadow, the Slough of Despond, being detained by Giant Despair in Doubting Castle and the time wasting distractions of Vanity Fair.
Redeem the Time Because the Days are Evil
In Ephesians 5:16, we are taught: “Redeeming the time (Kairos) because the days are evil.”
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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones." Proverbs 3:5-8
We cherish health for our bodies but most tolerate disease in their souls. Holiness is to our soul and spirit what health is to our bodies. We are body, mind and spirit. Our thoughts affect our emotions. Our understanding affects our decisions. It is all interconnected. Many people today are living far below their potential and failing to fulfil their purpose, or accomplish their destiny, because of spiritual diseases.
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John the Baptist was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight." Matthew 3:3
John said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11-12
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
9 June is Pentecost Sunday.
God has promised "I will give water to the thirsty land, I will pour out My power on your children." Isaiah 44:3
"Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations." Isaiah 42:1
Commands to Christians
The disciple of Christ must learn and experience what it means to:
Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18).
Be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:26).
Pray in the Spirit (Jude 20; Romans 8:26).
“…For He Himself has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6
Jesus Christ came into this world to reach those who feel that nobody cares. The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ does care and He is reaching the lonely and the desperate, the confused and the hurt, the depressed and the disillusioned. Jesus Christ, Himself is reaching out to you.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. As we turn away from our sin and turn to Christ we find forgiveness and freedom.
In 1977, shortly after my conversion to Christ, I wrote this poem:
Frustration and dissatisfaction are the first symptoms of a backslider. No matter how deeply hidden inside, there is that despondent recognition that he is missing out on the abundant life Christ came to give. There is that uncomfortable realisation that he is rejecting Christ’s love. The backslider knows that he is out of touch with God and that his once treasured relationship with the Lord has ceased . He is beginning to wonder if he will ever again experience the joy of fellowship with Jesus, the confidence of being in the centre of God’s Will, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything is working together for good and that inexpressible fulfillment of being in contact with and union with Jesus.
How could anyone who had experienced God’s perfect will settle for second best? What on earth could have made him give up? Why did he fall away from Jesus and settle for the world?
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"Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the Faith of the Gospel and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of Salvation and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me." Philippians 1:27-30
In the Scripture we receive many commands for unity. Not the fake unity of the World Council Churches and the Roman Catholic apostates, but Biblical unity as in Philippians 1:27: "Only let your conduct be worthy of the Gospel of Christ…" Standing fast in one spirit with one mind striving together for the Faith of the Gospel. We are not called to have unity with the world. Our Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed for His people. He made it very clear as He prayed: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.” John 17:9, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth." John 17:17
Unity in Christ
What is the basis of truth? The Word of God. "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their Word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:18-21
"Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 'Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a pharisee and the other a tax collector. The pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
The Lord had been teaching His disciples about prayer in the first eight verses of Luke 18. In the parable of the persistent widow, He taught of a helpless person with nothing but right on her side. She desired justice and her persistent prayers to God and pressure against the unrighteous judge, brought about justice in the end. The Lord encouraged His people to be bold, confident and persistent in their prayers.