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Posts tagged ‘Righteousness’

MERCY AND TRUTH HAVE MET TOGETHER

MERCY AND TRUTH HAVE MET TOGETHER

THE TOWER OF STRENGTH POWER BEAUTY AND SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

THE TOWER OF STRENGTH POWER BEAUTY AND SERENITY (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

We are commanded to love one another as God has so loved us.  He wants to bless us and show us favor in order that we may do the same with our brothers and sisters.  Therefore, I ask you simply this question; “WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MERCY AND TRUTH MEET TOGETHER?”

This is how the word of God answers the question, it says, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” (Proverb 3:3-4 ESV)

You are truly the power and present of God, and He desires us to walk in righteousness.  Therefore, He says to us,  “Mercy and truth have met together, Righteousness and peace have kissed.  Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”  (Psalm 85:10-11) NKJV

In your daily walk with God, you now know that God will shower His steadfast love on all His people because all the claims of truth have been fully met by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the cross.  In the same sense, righteousness and peace have kissed.  We as believers can now enjoy peace with God because all the claims of divine justice were met by the substitution work of Our Savior.

Your real blessings will begin after you have met with MERCY AND TRUTH, and then YOU HAVE KISSED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PEACE.  Now lift up your Holy Hands and begin to  Praise and bless God for all his manifest evidence of mercy and goodness that have showed up in your life, for you are truly the tower and power of all that God is.

We bless this word to each of you this day, that God’s blessings will cover you, strengthen you and give you peace in all that you do.  BE STRONG, BE BOLD, BE BRAVE and STAY FOCUS and allow God to use you for His purpose and His Will.

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DRAWING STRENGTH TO SURVIVE IN THE MIDST OF EVIL AND CHAOS

DRAWING STRENGTH TO SURVIVE IN THE MIDST OF EVIL AND CHAOS

THE PURPLE IRIS (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

THE PURPLE IRIS (PHOTO BY SHIRLEY RHODES)

We are living in very dangerous times, our lives and the lives of our children are at risk and it seems that our government and laws are failing to protect us from Evil and Chaos.  The trial of George Zimmerman murdering Treyvon Martin, an unarmed seventeen year old boy and then being set free and given his weapon back to go out and do it all over again sets a bad example for others to do the same to anyone of us are our children.

Now I encourage each of you, hold onto God’s unchanging hands; allow your deep abiding faith in God to become your guiding light.  For we know that in moments like this our minds can become hot and take us into many different directions, and some will cause us to make wrong decisions and possibly commit evil and violent acts.  But when you go deep inside and allow your faith to strengthen you and guide you and become the armor that will protect you, then you know that without a shadow of doubt, “no weapon formed against you shall ever prosper.”

In these very difficult times when it seems that each turn we take, life is throwing us another curve ball and we are running into irremovable walls, know that it is in such times that your faith is being tested and at this moment, your only option is to trust the Lord.  Allow your faith to dwell in His powerful hands, for He said, “He would never leave you or forsake you,” therefore in times such as this we must come into His presents and dwell in His House of Righteousness.

Let us remember, God will always have our backs.  Our friends and love ones may forsake us, but God will never leave us.  Listen to what He tells us, He says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

Therefore, when we find ourselves caught up in the middle of Evil and Chaos as so many of us seems to find ourselves at this very moment in time, stay focus, keep your eye on the prize and allow your faith to calm your mind in the heat of the storm.  God knows the trials and tribulations you are facing and He will fight your battles.  The enemy will do all he can to keep you off balance, confused and fighting among yourselves, but God will always be your guiding light and your faith will strengthen you and carry you through to the end.  The race is not to the swift are the strongest, but to those who have the patience to endure.

Therefore, let us be about the business of “DRAWING STRENGTH TO SURVIVE IN THE MIDST OF EVIL AND CHAOS!”

We thank you for studying with us and helping to spread the word of God’s love and mercy throughout the world.  It is through the work that each one of us does, that God get the glory.  There is more for you to read and study, just click on the links below and discover:

VABWM HOME PAGE:  http://wp.me/Pf75v-Uu

VABWM VIDEO TEACHING CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/davistheteacher/

PASTOR DAVIS EMAIL:  pastordavismasterteacher@gmail.com

 

 

BE ENCOURAGED DRAW FROM THE WELL OF RIGHTEOUS

BE ENCOURAGED DRAW FROM THE WELL OF RIGHTEOUS

WRITTEN BY SHIRLEY RHODES

Come and partake of something greater than self, take a moment, Draw from the Well of Righteous.

REFLECTIONS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

REFLECTIONS (PHOTO BY PASTOR DAVIS)

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within (Proverbs: 20:5). Even if we should find ourselves wandering away from the path we’re on, God never release us because we belong to him. It is when we tend to live life on our term that we encounter many obstacles; when we strive to gain comfort and safety apart from God, we find ourselves getting further and further away from the source, the very nature of who we truly are.

Jesus offers us the plan of salvation and invites us to come and Draw from the Well of Righteous. He says, “Come to me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). So, when we find that life throws difficult moments into our space, reflect on these words, “Come to the throne of grace where all needs are met.”

Take a moment to reflect on the biblical presentation of the lady at the well. Many analogies have been discussed as to why she was at the well at a specific time and her lifestyle. Maybe this woman never took time to learn about Jesus or had even heard of him simply because she chose to live life on her own terms. She must have been a lady with an open mind because she listened to Jesus reveal details of her life, the time and moment was right for her to draw from the Well of Righteous, she was in the right place at the right time. She could have been someone who needed to hear a kind word, those very words Jesus spoke to her, opened her understanding to the one who was always there.

Another example is Rehab, described as a “harlot” who was frequented by strangers and probably judged by society. God placed her in a position that would leave a lasting impression in history of scripture. Apparently Rehab had heard of the awesome power of God and pondered it deep in her heart. She offered refuge to God’s chosen, so she too must have been a person with an open mind. By her actions of kindness to Joshua and his companions she was able to secure peace and safety for her entire family and relatives simply because she moved in obedience, she was able to draw from the well of righteous.

Today we journey through life not knowing who or what we may encounter along the way. One thing is sure,  if we approach life with an open mind and be obedient, we too will reap the benefits of being able to draw from the well of righteous, freely given to those who decide to seek.

As you begin this week’s journey traveling the road with many curves and detours, with Satan snapping at your heels as he lays obstacles in your pathway, “BE ENCOURAGED,” by the voice of Jesus, when He says’ that He will never leave you nor forsake you; understand the teaching Jesus is teaching as you walk daily with Him, “DRAW YOUR STRENGTH FROM THE WELL OF RIGHTEOUS!”

THE TIME HAS COME TO ARISE SHINE AND PRAISE THE LORD

THE TIME HAS COME TO ARISE SHINE AND PRAISE THE LORD

Arise Shine and look up

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish! (Psalm 112 ESV)

TODAY YOU ARE TRULY BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED

TODAY YOU ARE TRULY BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED

The Beautiful Trees of Nature (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Truly I say to you this day, in all that you do, lift up your eyes towards heaven and learn to thank God, honor God and to praise God daily, and watch Him fill you with knowledge and power, as He lifts you out of darkness and into His Marvelous light with the understanding that, “TODAY YOU ARE TRULY BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED,” and you will begin to experience his blessing and His anointing favor over your entire life.

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalms 150 ESV)

How is this possible, because the Bible speaks clearly and says this, “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments?  His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.  Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish! (Psalms 112 ESV)

Yes my friends, when you awaken this morning, you were truly blessed and highly favored.  For God allowed you to open your eyes and absolve all the beauty and grace that your mind could comprehend.  Nothing was off limits to you.  Whatever choice you made this day was yours and yours alone. For the Bible clearly tells us, “choose this day who you will serve.” But for me and my family, I choose to serve and follow Jesus.

You must taste the happiness, and know by personal experience the blessedness of having Jesus in your heart.  Then His Spirit of holiness and humility, of love and self-sacrifice, and of courage and power will become as natural as your own spirit.

Your life this day is a blessing to God, to your family, to your friends, to your community, to your church and all those that God has placed in your pathway.  You are the head and not the tail, your life is flowing like a mighty river as its waters flow towards the sea, you are blossoming and becoming more beautiful, loving and kind heart, like the most beautiful roses that blossoms and spreads its beauty and aromas for the world to partake off.  Your family, friends and co-workers see you in a brand new light. You have tasted the spirit of freedom, and the Holy Spirit is now dwelling and stirring deep within your soul. Your true nature and limitless spirit now sours high above the clouds like a giant eagle when he has mastered the freedom of flight.  Now you know without a shadow of doubt that it was no one but God that shook you, awaken you, opened your eyes, lifted you out of that bed, and spoke these words to you in a crystal clear voice as He said, TODAY YOU ARE TRULY BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!”

THE TIME HAS COME TO ARISE SHINE AND PRAISE THE LORD

THE TIME HAS COME TO ARISE SHINE AND PRAISE THE LORD

Arise Shine and look up

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV)

Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish! (Psalm 112 ESV)

RECOGNIZING YOUR REAL SELF AS BLESSED (LESSON THREE)

USING YOUR MANIFEST POWERS TO BLESS OTHER

In this third lesson, we will teach you how to bless others by using your own manifest powers, and receive greater blessing for yourself.  Know without a doubt, You are truly the power and present of God.  Now learn how to use this power for a greater good.  Be guided by these words; “Mercy and truth have met together, Righteousness and peace have kissed.  Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven.”  (Psalm 85:10-11) NKJV

The Roses for Peace-Love-Blessings (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Your real blessings will begin after you have blessed yourself, and at this point, you will naturally want to share and extend this good, so begin by blessing your entire house and household.  Now make sure that the source of your supply receives a very special blessing.  After you have finished reading this lesson, why not email it to all the people you know, re-blog it and post it on all your social networking sites.   Praise and bless him or her for all their manifest evidence of goodness, but here is the truly clever part – praise him or her, most for any quality of character or success that he or she at present appears to lack, and lo! You will stir within them that very quality.  The following is a true story, which illustrates this very point; here it was a lack of love and loyalty.

A teacher was lecturing on “Blessing” in the New England states.  A very lovely, charming woman was in the audience one who was very unhappy, for her husband had been neglecting her, leaving her alone night after night.  Listening intently and storing away every word the teacher said, she went home, sat down before the fire, put a chair in front of her and mentally placed her husband in it.  She then blessed and praised him for his goodness his kindness his honesty and integrity his success in life and his loyalty, releasing in him every good quality she knew.  All the afternoon she did this at five she went upstairs and put on her prettiest gown.  At six, her husband came home with a box of gorgeous American Beauty roses, also a large box of candy, and gave them to her.  She thanked him, very graciously, but not a word did she say as to how she had spent her afternoon.  After dinner, her husband said, “Do you know, my dear, I hadn’t meant these gifts for you, but as I was leaving my office something said to me, ‘What a chump you are, wasting your time and life.  Go home to your wife, who really and truly loves you.”  He had a complete awakening.  Wasn’t that wonderful?  What about you?  Have you been missing out on your blessings, by being inconsiderate and not blessings the love of your life?

You see, her recognition and invocation of the “Divine Power” within him, her at-one-ment with the All good everywhere evenly present, called forth that marvelous demonstration.  You can do the same thing with anybody or anything.  So bless each member in your household, your friends, all your contacts for the day, the city you live in—this, you are enlarging your horizon.

Here is an example of how you can do this:  Before going downtown, bless the shops, the clerks, and you’ll meet the blessing coming back to you in many unexpected ways.  Did you ever throw a pebble into a pond and watch how the little ripples spread outward in every direction, all coming back to you as well as going forth?  So it is with blessing.

Bless and praise the house you live in, the bed you sleep in, the chairs you sit on, for there is but one substance, one intelligence, by virtue of which everything that has form is life.

There is no reason why you should not bless the rug you walk on, invoke the Presence of the Divine Power within it,—saying, “For the Goodness of God within you, I bless you, and bless you, and bless you, and whoever steps upon this rug will receive a shock of instant good a healing, perhaps, or a manifestation of some desire by receiving, all of a sudden, the right idea to bring it forth.”

This will indeed make it a “magic carpet.”  Likewise, you can bless all of your furniture in the same way.  Learn to put fun, joy, and romance into everything you do.  You are far too serious, which freezes your life forces.  We have almost lost the art of playing.  As Hans Christian Anderson says, “Every man’s life is a fairy tale written by God’s finger.”  Thus these “secrets” will call forth once again in your life the art of playing.

Now I encourage you to meditate on these words, understand the truth of what they are speaking to you.  Allow the Holy Spirit that lives within you to take control of your thoughts as you move to the higher level of blessings.  Know that in everything you do, you are blessed and you are a blessing to others you meet.  Stay tune for lesson four, which will continue to teach you how to bless and be blessed.

This lesson today is my Blessings to all of you.  I leave you with my peace, love and the presence of the Divine power of God, that surrounds each of you, that you will be filled with much joy and happiness and have the opportunity to experience the fullness of all that God has to offer you this day.  I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

 

DO YOU HAVE THE PATIENCE TO OVERCOME THE TRIALS THAT YOU ARE FACING?

Many times in our lives, we come face to face with many difficult situations. We stand at the crossroads of life wondering which direction we should take. At this junction, the crossroads offers us an opportunity, to make a life changing decision that could affect the rest of our lives. Once again, we ask ourselves, which direction should we take? Our thoughts begin to take us on the journey that we initially set out to experience. As our minds begin to roam in the great distance, our patience begins to grow thin. We question ourselves again and ask, why have we been led to this point? Our not knowing sometimes brings fear, and fear fills us with anxieties, that hinder our perspective in knowing that that God has our backs and led us to this crossroads in order to teach us the patience we need to carry us through to our destination.  At this point, we need patience to develop within us.

Developing patience first starts within our minds, our thoughts, and our thoughts become things. You must now intentionally commit to observing delayed gratification for a better end. Patience is having the ability to delay immediate gratification for a greater good. Developing patience also means bettering your character. In addition, your patience allows you to assess a situation with greater clarity yielding to the best possible outcome.  It can allow you to see the completion of a thing or the completeness of it. It is a position of wisdom to have great patience in all matters.

Now listen carefully how the word of God begins to teach us how to develop the necessary patience’s that will take us to our destination:

  1.  Developing Patience ] By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

    There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! (Romans 5:1-5 The Message Bible)

Here is how some of the other sources describe the word patience. “Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or pro-vocation without acting on annoyance anger in a negative way; or exhibited in forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer term difficulties. Patience is a level of endurance so one’s character can take before negativity. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being in steadfast.”

Now let us look closely at how patience fits into three of our religions spears, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.   

Let us begin with Christianity:

In the Christian religion, patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life. Increasing patience is viewed as the work of the Holy Ghost in the Christian who has accepted the gift of salvation. While patience is not one of the traditional biblical three theological virtues nor one of the traditional four cardinal virtues, it is one of the seven virtues, alongside chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness, and humility.

In the Christian Bible, patience is referred to in several sections. The Book of Proverbs notes that “through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Proverbs 25:14-16, NIV); Ecclesiastes points out that the “end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:7-9, NIV); and Thessalonians states that we should “be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good for each other and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, NAB). In the Epistle of James, the Bible urges Christians to be patient, and ” see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,…until it receives the early and the late rains.” (James 5:7-11, NAB). In Galatians, patience is listed as one of the “fruit of the Spirit”: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”. (Galatians 5:21-23, NIV). In Timothy, the Bible states that “Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life”.(1 Timothy 1:15-1

JUDAISM

Patience and fortitude are prominent themes in Judaism. The Talmud extols patience as an important personal trait. The story of Micah, for example, is that he suffers many challenging conditions and yet endures, saying “I will wait for the God who saves me.” Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.[2]

In the Hebrew Torah, patience is referred to in several proverbs, such as “The patient man shows much good sense, but the quick-tempered man displays folly at its height” (Proverbs 14:29, NAB); “An ill-tempered man stirs up strife, but a patient man allays discord.” (Proverbs 15:18, NAB); and “A patient man is better than a warrior, and he who rules his temper, than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32). The emotion is also discussed in other sections, such as Ecclesiastes: “Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not in spirit become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9, NAB).

Islam                                                                    

Patience in Islam is one of the best and most valuable virtues of life. Through patience, a Muslim believes that an individual can grow closer to Allah and thus attain true peace. It is also stressed in Islam, that Allah is with those who are patient, more specifically during suffering. Some of the Quran verses about patience urge Muslims to “seek God (Allah)‘s help with patient perseverance and prayer” (2:45) and “give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere” (2:155-157). The Quran states that Muslims should “Persevere in patience and constancy” (3:200) and “be steadfast in patience” (11:115). It notes that “No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune.” (41:35).

As well, the Quran states that “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West. But it is righteousness to believe in Allah and the Last Day, And the Angels, and the Books, and the Messengers; To spend of your substance, out of love for Him, For your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; To be steadfast in prayer And give in charity; To fulfill the contracts which you have made; And to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity And throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” Qur’an 2:177

The Muslim faith believes that without a good spirit while enduring, the struggle will not bear its full reward, thus, Patiently persevering, striving and going forward, despite the difficulty, is the pinnacle of behavior during challenging times. Through every difficulty, Allah promises, there will be found relief upon its conclusion. Instead of wanting to skip challenging times, and avoid them, Allah is teaching that the way to the easing, is through, the difficulty. It takes patient perseverance, or enduring with a good spirit still intact, in order to reap both the internal and external rewards of struggle.

In closing, let us look at this word patience from a Philosophical Perspective:                    

In Human, All Too Human, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that “being able to wait is so hard that the greatest poets did not disdain to make the inability to wait the theme of their poetry.” He notes that “Passion will not wait”, and gives the example of cases of duels, in which the “advising friends have to determine whether the parties involved might be able to wait a while longer. If they cannot, then a duel is reasonable [because]…to wait would be to continue suffering the horrible torture of offended honor…”

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.

Brian Adams

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.

Victor Hugo
French dramatist, novelist, & poet (1802 – 1885)

How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.

William Shakespeare
Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 – 1616)

 There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails.

Richard Rybolt

French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 – 1622)

 Patience is the greatest of all virtues.

Cato the Elder
Roman orator & politician (234 BC – 149 BC)

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka
Austrian (Czechoslovakian-born) author (1883 – 1924)

Now grab hold of your patience, and get on board this train, because the next stop is success.  Are you ready?

 

SALT AND LIGHT LEADERSHIP JESUS WAY (PART 2)

BELIEVERS MUST BE THE SALT OF THE EARTH

When Jesus took His disciples into the mountains, he taught them that they must become the salt of the Earth.  He likened His disciples to salt.  They were to the world what salt is in everyday life: salt season’s food; it hinders the spread of corruption; it creates thirst; it brings out the flavor.  Therefore, His followers add piquancy to human society, serve as a preservative, and make others long for the righteousness.

Before we continue this part of the discussion, allow me to give you a brief history of salt, in order that it may add some additional favor to this study.

Salt has been a precious commodity since ancient times.  It was often traded ounce for ounce for gold.  The early Chinese used coins made of salt for currency.  In many areas around the Mediterranean Sea, salt cakes were used as currency.  Several ancient cultures also levied taxes on salt.

The main sources of salt in ancient times were dry coastal areas, particularly those surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.  The earlier trade routes centered on Spain, Italy, Greece, and Egypt, and many of the first roads and caravan routes were established for the purpose of transporting salt.  A number of cities, including Genoa, Pisa, and Venice, developed as centers for the salt trade.

In the 1300’s, people near the coast of the North Sea in northern Europe began trading for salt, which they needed to preserve fish for shipping to inland markets.  Later, salt was obtained by boiling the brine from salt springs, and many cities and towns grew up near such springs throughout Europe.

The process of boiling brine to obtain salt required large supplies of wood for fuel, but this problem was partly solved in the 1700’s after coal began to be widely used.  England became the largest producer of salt in the world at that time, partly because of its abundant supply of coal.

Colonial America received most of its salt from England.  After the Revolutionary War in America (1775-1783), salt works were established along the Atlantic Coast for boiling seawater.  A salt industry also grew up near where the city of Syracuse, N.Y., now stands, after salt springs were discovered there.  The need to transport salt from Syracuse was one of the main reasons for the construction of the Erie Canal, completed in 1825.

Deep-drilling technology was introduced into salt production in the early 1800’s.  Most early wells were drilled to improve the quality of salt springs that were already being used in salt production and to locate new ones.  Production of salt from underground mines began in the mid-1800’s.

Drilling helped revolutionize knowledge of the earth’s layers.  This new knowledge led to increased exploration for salt, potash, and petroleum and salt exploration indirectly gave rise to such industries as the potash industry and the petroleum industry.

Today, the U.S. government is investigating the possibility of storing radioactive wastes in underground salt mines.  Salt mines have several characteristics that make them good sites for radioactive wastes.  For example, they have remained stable and dry for millions of years, and most salt mines occur in areas where earthquakes are extremely rare.  Salt also is capable of absorbing heat from surrounding objects, and it flows to seal up fractures that form in the walls.

This is a principle Jesus clearly understood and He wanted to make sure that His disciples understood it also in order that they too could teach it to the rest of the world.  Jesus told them that if the salt loses its flavor, how can its saltiness be restored.  There is no way to restore the true, natural taste.  Once it has lost its flavor, salt is good for nothing.  As salt preserves and brings out the best flavor of food, so believers should be the salt of the earth and affect others positively.  Jesus told his disciples that if they wanted to make a difference in the world, they would have to be different from the world.  God would hold them accountable to maintain their saltiness (that is, their usefulness).  We must be different if we want to make a difference.  We must be the salt of the earth.

CREATING AN ATMOSPHERE OF GODLINESS IN CHURCH

There are churches all over the world where the Holy Spirit is not present.  He is not present because the people don’t fear God.  They may be socially active, economically viable, and organizationally functional; but where there is no fear, there is no godliness.  Where there is no godliness, there is no anointing.  There can be no comfort because God will never comfort you when you are outside His will.

People go to some churches week in and week out seeking to be comforted in their sin.  You can find a church that makes you comfortable with its ritual, its tradition, and its ministry emphasis.  But it is a tragedy if a church’s leaders do not strain to create an atmosphere of godliness and the body does not fear God as it works out its salvation.  The comfort one finds in that situation is one of the greatest deceptions of the devil.

Satan desires to make you comfortable in your sin.  If you are comfortable in your sin, you will not see the need to confess it.  If you do not confess your sin, you will not know the cleansing forgiveness of God.  Without His cleansing forgiveness, you cannot enter into His presence, because your sin separates you from Him (Isa. 59:2).  Then Satan has you right where he wants you–in sin and apart from God.  If you are in sin and comfortable in your church, please know that you are being deceived by the enemy.  God won’t help you walk in sin.  What He will do, however, is help you get up and walk away from that sin so that you might get back on the path of righteousness and walk in the fear of the Lord.  He says if you walk in fear of Him, you will know the comfort of His Spirit and a fruitful, spiritually productive relationship with Him.

Philippians 2:12 says, “Theerefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  Paul said work out your own salvation in a holy reverence for God and a righteous “afraid-ness” of Him.  You don’t work for your salvation; you work out your salvation.  You don’t work to get saved.  Your salvation is fleshed out in a daily process of living in the power of the Spirit of God.

A remarkable thing happens when a church is foull of godly men and women who work out their salvation with a fear of God.  Acts 9:31 says, “Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.”  Now watch this:  “And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were maltiplied” (emphasis mine).  The church grew numerically and spiritually, quantitatively and qualitatively.  Why?  They did so because they walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.  Walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost does not mean shouting, running down aisles, laughing uncontrollably, barking like a dog, or jumping across benches.  The comfort of the Holy Ghost is that ministry of the Spirit that stabilizes you.  It is the settling of your spirit by His Spirit.  It is when God strengthens you by coming alongside you in your particular set of circumstances.

The context of the Acts 9 text suggests that at the time this comfort settled on the aforementioned believers, the church was suffering intense persecution.  Christians were sought and killed for following a man named Jesus.  But in spite of their oppression, they were edified and growing individually and collectively.  They were growing because the Holy Spirit was comforting them, and there would have been no comfort without fear.

By the way, fellow pastor, how is your church growing?  If it is alive, it ought to be growing.  If it is not growing, maybe God is calling you to examine the spiritual atmosphere in your congregation.  Dear pastor, maybe God is telling you to examine your own lifestyle and your own heart.  Now, don’t take my position to the extreme.  I am by no means suggesting that the only gauge for vitality and growth in a church is the size of its roll.

The world will always “out crowd” the church.  Crowds have assembled for every reason, from viewing the tail of a comet to supporting a follower of Mohammed.  Don’t measure the godliness of a church by the size of the crowd.  The Bible says “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14).  Don’t count bodies.  Count lives.  See if the people followed Jesus into the assembly or if they followed some other leader.  See if there is a holy, reverential fear of God woven into the fabric of their behavior.  A growing church is filled with people who walk in the fear of the Lord.  Because they fer the Lord, they know the comfort of the Holy Ghost.  This is the path to godliness and growth in any church.  How is your church growing?

We are saved by God’s Grace

  Paul says in Romans, chapter five, that we are justified by faith (v. 1). Faith means trusting God to love us, because of what he did in Jesus Christ, and entrusting ourselves wholeheartedly to that divine love. Salvation is by grace — we do not deserve God’s favor toward us and we can never earn it. We access this grace by faith, which means that we must always look outside ourselves for our salvation (2 Tim. 1:12).

     We cannot perform the work which results in our salvation, for Jesus has already done that, once for all time. We cannot add to that finished work, or improve on it. We can only trust God to be gracious to us as he promises in Christ. If we picture grace as the room of God’s favor, we may think of faith as the door into that room (Rom. 5:1-2).

     God accepts us because of Christ’s work on our behalf. We enjoy that grace by accepting it as fact, trusting it as sufficient, and throwing ourselves on it in total and eternal abandon, to become servants of righteousness and true holiness in Christ. We do not earn God’s favor. We can not ever please Him enough to be given His blessings. We certainly could never pay for our own sins and be saved. But in Christ God has brought together the justice that is his nature and the weakness that is ours: Christ became a man and took our place.

     God’s grace deals with the weakness of our flesh because salvation does not depend on our weak flesh — Jesus has earned it for us already! It also takes into account God’s holiness, because sin is punished — by the death of God’s sinless Son! And so Paul can say to the EphesiansChristians:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast (Eph. 2:8-9).

 

 

 

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