“In the knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17). We will not learn truth in reality except in the deepening knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (4:17). It is the lack of this which is the cause of weakness and immaturity among believers; knowing bare doctrine is not abiding in the Lord Jesus. When the flower is separated from that which is its source, its substance and support, it becomes a dying (weakening but never perishing—NC) flower from that time. We have that which is lovely and full of blessings in Him; but if we are to know it as such, to prove its truth, to enjoy it increasingly, it must be taking these things as in union with Him (realizing “life and godliness” - 2Pe 1:3 – in its fullness is ever applied within the believer’s soul since rebirth in order to also apply them in his understanding and walk—NC).
Let me look upon the Lord Jesus and I see there the very life my Father has given me. Who would dare to say, it is presumption for Him to have life? Nay, but it is what is due Him. The Father loves and delight in Him as man so well, that He could not keep back a single thing that He has made for Him. He is heir of it all; and we, hidden in Him, can enter into the fullness “of His calling” (Eph 1:18), and into the inheritance, because we merge in union with the Son if His love.
The Father has given His Son the supreme seat of glory. No matter what could be conceived of the highest angel or archangel, the Lord Jesus has received a higher dignity, and this place He holds in present association with us while we are here. It is One who not only owns us and loves us, and uses the greatness of His glory for our good, but far more. The sovereign that is exalted to the throne can use that throne for the glory of those whom he desires to honor; but there is no positive, personal association with him. This is what the Christian has in the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing less than to be one with Him is what we have and are (one with Him in the eternal position of son-ship with the Father, but not in His eternal sovereign deity—NC).
This blessed One, under whose feet the Father has put everything, He has also been given “to be Head over all things to the Church. It is not said, “head over the church,” but “Head over all things to the Church” (Eph 1:22). The Church shares His position of headship over all as His Body, but still in inseparable union with Him. The glorified Man has universal exaltation over all the creatures of God; and this He shares with us, and will soon manifest as our portion with Him.
The believer is now a member of the Lord Jesus’ Body; now, therefore, by the Holy Spirit, in the most intimate association with Him, not only as having life in Him, but as enjoying oneness with Him who is the supreme exalted Head over all. He is a member of His Body, and although it was not to Eve directly that God gave dominion, yet she did share it by His will. It was given to Adam, but by association Eve had it too.
So the Church has dominion as the dependent and associated Eve of the heavenly Man, the Last Adam. This gives us at one a bright view of what our calling is, and why our Father looks for complete separation from the world. We belong to the Lord Jesus, and the Father would have our hearts lifted above all this present scene. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye did, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:2, 3).
As Son of God the Lord Jesus, of course, requires nothing to complete His glory; but as man He does. He would no more be complete in His ascension-glory without the Church, than Adam would have been without Eve. The Father meant, from all eternity, that when His Son became this blessed, glorified man, He should share for His own honor and praise all the glory He had as the ascended man, with those who were by nature poor, dead sinners, but now delivered from their sins, and made one with Him in glory. By the Spirit and the Word now given He communicates the knowledge of it to us while in this world, that we might be in spirit and ways entirely above it all.
— Wm Kelly (1821 – 1906)
MJS devotional excerpt for March 4:
“We must remember that our death to sin was once for all accomplished at the Cross. There the believer shared the death of the Lord Jesus; for when he became a believer, the life he received was life in Christ, that is, life out of death, resurrection life, ‘newness of life’; and the relation to sin and the law which Christ had, became those of the believer! Our experience of it all is simply the entering by faith into what has already happened at the Cross.” – William R Newell (1868-1956)
Whatever God does, He does in processing to attain perfection through His word, by His spirit. We all are predestined sons of God not until the fall. However still, our place in God as sons still remained, but we were then casted out of God's family. The purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus is to adopt and restore all who are of willing heart, back into the arms of the Father and that through our willingness to grow in Him in spirit and truth; we'll grow from our fallen state into children and then, from children into sons, that we all shall function fully as sons in the household of God.
God made it so, that He'll be just in His system of giving inheritance unto every one He has called unto Himself. Meanwhile, it's unfortunate how many seem to have remained in the state of being children. For those who have being adopted recently, being born again of God's spirit as new born babes in Christ Jesus, I give glory to God for your faith. Now, you must grow and not choose to remain a child, for it is the will do God that every child should grow in Him.
The growth of every child is a necessity, even as God's word remains the standard of our growth and also, a life of ceaseless prayers so also, death is an important supplement in our nutrition to help us grow rapidly, being restored back to our original position in God's kingdom. As we have died to sin at the cross, so also, we must carry our cross and put to death the world and self.
" Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
[ John 12:24 ]
From death life is birthed, and just as we die daily in diverse ways to birth life, by the holy spirit, death in the aspect of trial will be revealed unto us.
I believe there's no one who's walking with Jesus or have decided to walk with Him in spirit and truth that haven't been disciplined through certain trials in life. It is through God's discipline by allowing the evil one to afflict or does whatever he wants according to God's permission, He uses to call us back to Himself. Of course, those who are illegitimate children sees God's discipline as punishment and wickedness and so, they run farther from Him. However, we who are called unto Him through the trials we have gone through, must grow in Him from new born babes of His spirit into sons. And our most important supplement as said earlier for our growth are " trials."
Our trials are like food substance taken by our soul for spiritual growth. Every child of God must face trial, even the ungodly are faced with trials not to destroy them, but rather, to restore them back unto God, only if they are willing, that is.
If you're not faced with trial then, you're not a child of God, because God wants for every of His child "growth," and that’s the only way for our spiritual growth, building a relationship with Him and also building in us His character, His nature, in other to become a vessel for His spirit and a perfect conduit to channel His life.
You might be born again but still have pride lurking in you, or rather you might be lacking in love. It is through trials God will unveil by the holy spirit to prune and remove all that is not of Him. You can be a pastor and have a little essence of pride, now that doesn't mean you aren't born again, but that nature of the flesh, will stand as a hindrance of God's workings in you. And so, He'll bring a trial to unveil your heart, so that, through your faithfulness to come out of that trial, your heart will be reconfigured to become more like God. Then, your love for Him truly will be revealed.
God loves us all, but there are those He loves even more, you can deny it all you want, but if God really loves us all equal, He would have invested His kingdom on you already, because of the level of trust he has on you, through your faithfulness to Journey deeper in intimacy in whatever death ( trials ) He brings you way. God's trust in men is built through trails, how much you Journey deeper in him, or what you did to escape your trial will determine His trust in you.
God will use any foolish thing as a trail to draw you back to Him and to take you to greater dimensions of His glory. He can use poverty, financial struggles to stop you for awhile so, you can rely only on Him and not men or self, for students he can use failure, for the rich, this I know very well, He mostly uses death of a loved one or affliction by the devil, sickness, diseases, whatever foolish thing to call us back to order.
If you can have discernment, to discern demonic attacks from God's trials to Journey deeper in intimacy in Him, if you love God in good and in bad, then in all this you'll draw closer to Him, not for what He can do for you, but to restore and build your relationship with Him. And when he has found you faithful, rooted firmly in the foundation of His word then, all other thing will be added, not mainly for your sake, but to build you to become a functionary in His kingdom, your true purpose on earth.
" These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
[ John 16:33 ]
Anyone who's born of the spirit of God must under go trials, whatever trials you undergo, don't complain. If you truly love God, you'd never complain, if you really are filled with His word, you'd never complain or murmur in the face of trial, because already, His word, His life dominating you will automatically build God faith in you, knowing that all thing are working out for good according to God's will both physically and even more spiritually.
Now, you might not curse God with your mouth or heart, but do know that whatever complain or murmuring is a curse you're throwing at God, and there, your relationship declines and the devil gets you even more.
Your trail is to nurture you from a sinner into a child born of God and from a child into a son. It's not enough being children of God, we must attain sonship in God. If the only dimension you see in God is for demands and supply, if all you do is demands from God and not God demanding of you then, you really are still a child, it doesn't matter if you've read the Bible back and forth, or how many years you've been in God. Only a child will ask for food, a son lives to fulfill the will of the Father, and His will is of " kingdom." of course, he'll be rewarded greatly in due time, not only on earth but greatly in eternity. Don't say we're all going to heaven, I tell you a great multitude of Christians will be homeless and of lesser glory in heaven.
I see so many believe today, complaining and murmuring;
"Oh! why the trial? Why the pain? The frustration?"
Jesus knew many will come after Him for their own selfishness and so He said;
" But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
[ Luke 22:32]
Surely, trials will come to sieve those who aren't really for Him and those who don't really care to Journey deeper in His love, only after what they can do on earth and eventually get to heaven, just like Lot.
Many believe when they get to Jesus all pains and problems will pass away at the snap of a finger, no, it doesn't work that way, even if it did, your faith still, must be tried for the unveiling of your heart. It is when you've been faithful in your relationship, never cursing God though your complaints then, you'll be brought out of it refined and ushered into a new dimension of God's glory.
We must attain maturity in spirit, without trials you can never grow, because just as Christ went as a sacrifice to be given the name "Jesus,' a mantle of authority above all authorities which is given unto us to bring the manifestation of the power and glory of God on earth. So also, you must undergo the path of death, you must experience death in other to gain a life of value in God's kingdom. Don't think the name Jesus is the real name given to Him, If you read revelation you'd have known the rider on a white horse. The name "Jesus" is an authority given to function in the office of the Christ, well let's not get there.
Death in Christ, isn't natural death, this death as I've said earlier; is whatever trial God will bring your way. It's all up to you to die successfully, or dwell in it longer, or rather escape it. It is for your promotion in Christ Jesus.
As you grow in maturity, then it affects the physical, because you've won and attained a higher level in the realm of the spirit above powers of darkness. Even as it influences the physical, we should not use because of that manifested in the physical to draw farther from God, rather, we should use it also to bring to death, "self" and the "world" so we can gain much life in eternity, vice verse.
You grow in your relationship with God to win more spiritually and just as the spiritual is made manifest in the physical, that success or victory which you've attained, you also must use as an investment unto eternity, it's a cycle. You build your relationship and again die to self to gain much life in eternity and then you walk the path of death again, not living in the pleasure of what you've gotten, but rather, for God's kingdom to gain more in eternity. The cycle goes on. This is the growth of one born of God, in the end it all sum up to your eternity. In eternity life has value just as currency has value in the earth realm.
However, in eternity you can only gain life through death by investing you time factor and self. For example; you righteousness to put to death the flesh to spend time in God's words, births life in eternity. If you have life of little value, you'll be irrelevant over there.
I have seen many believers who are faced with trials and then, instead of working on they relationship as it was intended, they'd turn to others to pray for them. While God is faithful to work through the anointing and authority upon His servant to deliver, you should also know that escaping that trial without doing the needful to get out of it is your loss in eternity. In eternity, you'll be irrelevant because you had someone take the exam for you, thereby losing your eternal promotion.
That trial is your exam to promote you spiritually, you must pass it, no one will write it for you. God wants to bring to your realization through every trial, that prayers and dwelling In His word or whatever trial it may be, be it in character, will build and graft you spiritually into Him more and more. And also, restore you gradually back to the throne you've fallen from because of the fall of man.
For instance; if God wants to work on your faith, He might allow a situation where.. as you begin to trust in Him, at that very moment you think victory has come, He then adds another trial to that trial and makes it seems as if He's not there, if you fail to recognize His presence, if you fail to recognize it is meant to build your relationship with Him, you'll remain there and it'll be used by the devil as depression and eventually cause you to falter in faith.
Evey child of God must face trials at certain point in life, it's not because you're a sinner or you've done something wrong, it is for your benefit.
When you become a son, then trials aren't given to unveil your heart as a child who might falter from the path of life, rather trials are given then, unto sons; to build them in other to become a perfect conduit of the holy spirit, a vessel remolded and refined to bear the weight of the kingdom, a vessel of noble purpose fit and meet for the Master's use.
Only sons walk in fulfillment of God's written ordination pertaining to them before the dawn of creation and through their lives lived, they bring to manifestation in earth the original blue print God has designed them to be, a part of His kingdom building.
'Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
[ 1 Peter 1:6-7 ]
If you can come to knowledge that every trial given; is a death process to self, in other for more of God's life to be birthed in you, making of much relevance in eternity then, you'll find joy in it.
In eternity, value is measured in life, how much life you birth or harness through your obedience to live faithfully through death, not only in trials, but also to self, Journeying deeper in God and walking in your ordination according to His will, will determine your placing in eternity. Your will, righteousness to be faithful in perseverance, building yourself in spirit during trials, will determine your walk with God.
Remember, not specific people are called, we all are predestined by God. How far you walk in God will determine if you'll be called by God. Will you walk far in the world and less in God? It is your inability to willingly walk the path of death and use every trial as a means to draw much closer to God that'll hinder you from walking the path of your ordination. If you know this then, not only in trials, but at all times, you'll spend time with God, and pray for His will to be done in you, being ready to be used by Him.
Now that you're adopted as children, trials will come as hard food substance for your spiritual growth in Christ Jesus. It won't last, just as you eat your daily meals at consecutive Interval of shorts minutes, so also, your trails will be.
However, still, we should do well to take time in finishing our meals, to gain the necessary nutrients to grow into maturity, and not whiling away time in one meal all because you don't have the appetite for it. In other words; we should be faithful in times of trial and use it as an opportunity to draw even more closer to God in His word and in prayers, so He shall reveal unto us our true purpose as sons.
It's time we grow from children who think only of earthly things and then, sons; who think of only of that which is of the Father.
Many don't like the path of death whenever the holy spirit speaks about it or even whispering it to their heart. And so, we have many preaching against it, neglecting the truth, that through death glory is revealed.
If your life does not translate to eternity, if whatever you do end in the realm of time, then your life has been a waste. All the trials you neglected to build your relationship with God, were actually designed to restore you back to your original place In God as you live for Him as a sacrifice in the realm of time through that all which He has given you.
God's greatest blessing is for all mankind. We all know (or should know) John 3:16. Billy Graham once stated that this verse is the gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell. The first part of this verse (NKJV) is, "For God so loved the world..." Indeed, God loves everyone. His love is for people who have lived on this planet called Earth, people who are living now, and people who are yet to be born. The next part of John 3:16 states, "...that He (God) gave His only begotten Son". God's gift of His Son Jesus Christ presents the opportunity for anyone to experience His grace (unmerited) favor. If you have been saved, then you already know about God's grace. However, if you are reading this and have never been saved, I encourage you to read the next few paragraphs.
Due to Adam and Eve's disobedience in the garden of Eden, you were born with a sinful nature. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he stated, "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23, NKJV). Despite your best efforts to be good, there is nothing you can do on your own merit to atone for your sins. And so, you remain in a spiritually dead state. That is, your sins have separated you from God. Romans 6:23a (NKJV) clearly states, "...the wages of sin is death." If you physically die in a spiritually dead state, you will become eternally separated from God in a place called Hell.
The good news is that God does not want you to go to Hell. He has made the way for you to escape Hell while you are physically alive. That way is His Son Jesus Christ. Out of love for you, God gave His Son to be the sinless sacrifice for your sins. As Romans 5:8 (NKJV) states, "...God demonstrates His own love towards [you] in that while [you] were still [a sinner], Christ died for [you]. Christ's death on the cross paid for all of your past, present, and future sins.
Not only did Jesus Christ die for your sins, but He also rose from the dead to give you the opportunity to receive the free gift of eternal life. You cannot work for your salvation. You cannot even straighten up your life to obtain it. All you have to do is to believe, repent, and receive. The rest of John 3:16 states, "...whoever believes (places whole trust) in Him (Jesus Christ) should not perish but have everlasting life." As the apostle Paul states, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31, NKJV).
If you are ready to commit your life to Jesus Christ and receive the gift of eternal life, I encourage you to follow these five steps.
(1) Admit that you are a sinner and that you are in need of God's grace. This is the hardest step because you have to agree with God that your sins have separated you from Him.
(2) Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is God's Son Who died on the cross for your sins, was buried for the atonement of your sins, and rose from the dead by God's power.
(3) Turn away from your sins and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.
(4) Ask God to forgive you of all of your sins and to fill you with His Holy Spirit (the third part of the Trinity Who dwells in the heart of every Christian).
(5) Receive Jesus Christ by faith in your life as your Lord and Savior.
If you are unsure of what to pray, use the following prayer...
Heavenly Father, I come to You as a sinner in need of Your grace. I believe in my heart that Your Son Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried for the atonement of my sins, and rose again on the third day by Your power. I choose to turn away from my sins and to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Forgive me of all of my sins and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I receive by faith Your Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and choose to follow Him completely. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus's name. AMEN
If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! You are now a member of God's family and my new brother or sister in Christ. To quote the apostle Paul in Romans 15:13 (NKJV), "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." May God bless you as you begin your new life in Christ.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6, NIV).
I find it interesting that the Prophet Isaiah would use the metaphor of sheep to describe human beings. Certainly, shepherding was a common occupation in Bible times. Moses and David each spent their fair share of time tending their flocks. Likewise, it was a band of misfit shepherds who first heard the angelic proclamation of the Messiah’s birth. Still, the comparison of people to livestock may be one that makes some of us feel, well, a bit sheepish.
Behaviorally, sheep are unique creatures in the animal world. Unlike cattle, sheep are not wrangled, prodded along, forced to move from one place to another. Rather, sheep are coaxed in the direction of their shepherd’s voice, which they are adept at recognizing. They hear their shepherd’s call and somehow understand that he is leading them to better pasture.
With the words, “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19, NIV), Jesus invited his first disciples to experience his goodness. He does the same for each of us today. He never forces us into a relationship with himself. Rather, he simply calls us.
Like sheep, we have a tendency to stray. With so many voices offering so many “good” things, we sometimes wander from our Good Shepherd and the abundance he offers. Still, Jesus is never afraid to pursue us. For not only is he our Shepherd, but he is our Savior. Jesus took our sin upon himself and offered up his life to save us.
Psalm 68:19 (NKJV) states, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits..." Allow me to apply some logical reasoning into this verse. The word benefit in this verse means "treatment." This treatment can be good or bad. However, in the case of this verse, I believe that benefit means "good treatment." We can look at good treatments as blessings. Note also how often God provides these blessings. God does not provide blessings weekly, monthly, or even yearly, but daily (every day). So, to paraphrase, we can say, "Blessed be the Lord, Who provides blessings to us every day."
The psalmist David reminds us to "forget not all [God's] benefits" (Psalm 103:2b, NKJV). As mentioned in the last paragraph, the word benefits can be interpreted as "blessings." So, what are these blessings? Psalm 103:3 - 5a (NKJV) lists five specific blessings provides for us.
(1) Forgiveness of our iniquities. How is it possible for God to forgive us of every single sin we have committed, may be committing now, and will continue to commit in the future? The answer is found in God's Son Jesus Christ Who "is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world" (1 John 2:2, NKJV). That is, Jesus died for all people's sins. The key is to being forgiven is our confession of these sins. As 1 John 1:9 (NKJV) states, "If we confess our sins (agree with God that we have sinned), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." That means that God can be counted on to do the right thing by forgiving us of all our sins.
(2) Healing of our diseases. People often think of disease as something that affects them physically (like the common cold). But, there are other illnesses to consider. Mental issues such as schizophrenia affect the minds of many people. Emotional problems like depression plague young people. Yet, God is still in the healing business. As 1 Peter 2:24 explains, it was "by [Jesus's] stripes [we] were healed." Not only did Jesus die for our sins on the cross, but He also promoted healing for our illnesses by His suffering.
(3) Redeeming our lives from destruction. This is equivalent to saving our souls from Hell. When we fully committed our lives to Jesus Christ, God saved us by His marvelous grace. As Ephesians 2:8 (KJV) states, "For by grace are [we] saved through faith..." I placed emphasis on the verb are for a reason. I believe that we become eternally saved the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In John 10:27 - 30, Jesus reminds us that we are His sheep and that we will never perish. That is, once we are saved, we can never be lost again. Isn't it assuring to know that we are God's eternally secure children.
(4) Crowning us with lovingkindness and tender mercies. The word crown means to "encircle" as in protecting from harm. God literally surrounds us with His lovingkindess and tender mercies. 1 John 4:8 states that God is love, and 1 Corinthians 13:4 states that love is kind. Putting these two verses together, we reason that God is kind. Tender mercies refers to God's compassions. In Lamentations 3:23, the prophet Jeremiah writes, "...[God's] compassions never fail." 1 Corinthians 13:8 states that God's love never fails. To fail means to "end". Therefore, we can say that God's love and compassions never end. God never stops loving us and bestowing us with His kindness.
(5) Satisfying our mouths with good things. The Contemporary English Version (CEV) of Psalm 103:5a states, "Each day that we live, "[God] provides for our needs..." Note that it does not say "our wants." In Matthew 6:25 - 34, Jesus talks about God supplying us with what we need. He tells us that we should not worry, but that we should "...seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (our needs) will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). Indeed, when we seek God's kingdom, He "[supplies] all [our] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19, NKJV).
In part 3 of this blog I share God's greatest blessing to all mankind.