Awake! – Part 10 – Counter the Culture

April 27, 2017 at 12:42 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , )

1 Peter 3:13-17

For who will hurt you if you become zealots for what is good? But even if you do suffer for being righteous, you are blessed! Moreover, don’t fear what they fear or be disturbed, but treat the Messiah as Holy, as Lord in your hearts; while remaining always ready to give a reasoned answer to anyone who asks you to explain THE HOPE you have in you – yet with humility and fear, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are spoken against, those who abuse the good behavior flowing from your union with the Messiah may be put to shame. For if God has in fact willed that you should suffer, it is better that you suffer for doing what is good than for doing what is evil.   

(Note: it doesn’t say “if” but when! And also that it’s not just any answer, but reasoned meaning we have taken the time to study, research, and have reasoned it out.) 

Being awake is like having your eyes opened to seeing things for the first time, in perpetuality. Yes, to the delight of things delightful and joyful; horror that brings recoil to the spirit, humility that brings one to their knees, mindfulness that brings real discerning thinking, justice that calls forth a voice to raise in the Name of Him who is Just, sorrow of real loss and bereavement, frankness that comes from calling right – right and wrong – wrong, excitement over a newly discovered things, love realized after trial and error, and so on and so forth. Living fully alive as God intended is a full investment. Half asleep is aiming at dead. Yet one must know that anyone half asleep has lost hope. Or rather, the thief of hope, has succeeded in suggesting that God didn’t really say to give you a future and a hope”. It’s at this point we must have the answer for the hope within us, the hope that God holds out to all! 

So…how do we achieve this?

First we must counter the cultural influences of the times we live in! God always gives us hope that applies to right where we are, and where we are headed. It’s not old, worn out, or inapplicable. The things that gave hope 20 years ago may indeed still apply, but they have grown at the very least! The hope God gives keeps multiplying, growing, becoming more applicable with time – not less!

Answering serious questions from our hope in Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is critical! Such as:

♡ How has God given freedom and hope to being a woman? Unashamed and without need to change what He made? How do I stand on this hope, how does this make one free?! 

♡ How has God given freedom and hope to being a man? Again, unashamed and without need to change what He designed? How do I stand on this hope – how does this make one free?! 

♡ How do children give us freedom and hope? How does taking full responsibility for them bring joy? What did King David know that made him say, “happy is the man whose quiver is full of them?”  What is God’s delight in them? 

♡ How is freedom and hope found in following Yeshua by eliminating all affiliations with political, social and even denominational sects?

♡ Where is the hope of glory and freedom in giving, especially to the poor, orphan, prisoner  and widow? What is the “poor”? Why did God hone in on these groups of people so ardently? 

♡ Why and how, is there freedom and hope, to pay bills first and at the expense of wants? What is the joy of being debt-free? What is personal responsibility? Why does it “pay more” to not feel entitled? 

♡ Where is the freedom and hope in living in truth – albeit uncomfortable and hard – than a lazy lie?

The list of questions goes on and on for the times we live in. Topics on:

  • Transhumanism
  • Geoengineering
  • Health
  • Technology
  • War
  • Terrorism
  • Rights
  • Spiritual warfare in our day.
  • Occults and all other practices that are contrary to God’s Word. 
  • True History
  • Truth behind current events
  • Understanding government 
  • True Biblical history – origins of creation, this topic will shape everything! 
  • How to know if you’re hearing from God
  • How to be full of confidence but still need help
  • How to ask questions without letting the enemy trick you into feeling stupid or less than. How is this a sign of being grown up/mature? 
  • How to question/test everything without getting lost in seeking the answers
  • What is freedom and hope in pure sexuality? Why do we become corrupt in anything less? What is God’s design in it?
  • How do we call out false teachers without condemnation? How do we teach discernment?
  • What is prophesy? Why is it freedom and hope to go towards it. How is the enemy robbing Adonai’s body by making it fearful or taboo?

    With God and His Word the foundation of these answers are the building blocks of that hope that is within us; that will not only give answer to those by watching how we live, but be a ready and confident answer when the time comes to speak. 

    Jeremiah 29:11

    “For I know the plans I have in mind for you,” says Adonai, “plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.”   

    Isaiah 40:26-31

    Turn your eyes to the heavens! See Who created these things! He brings out the army of them in sequence, summoning each by name. Through His great Might and Massive Strength, not one of them is missing. (Speaking of the creation and stars) Why do you complain, Jacob; why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from Adonai, my rights are ignored by my God”? Haven’t you known, haven’t you heard that the everlasting God, Adonai, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow tired or weary? His understanding cannot be fathomed. He invigorates the exhausted, He gives strength to the powerless. Young men may grow tired and weary, even the fittest may stumble and fall; but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles wings; when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired.  

    Proverbs 10:28

    What the righteous hope for will end in joy; what the wicked expect will come to nothing.  

    Proverbs 24:14

    Know that wisdom is similarly sweet to your soul; if you find it, then you will have a future, what you hope for will not be cut off.    

    Romans 8:22-25

    We know that until now,the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth; and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons – that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free. It is in this hope that we are saved. But if we see what we hope for, it isn’t hope – after all, who hopes for what he already sees? But if we continue hoping for something we don’t see, then we wait eagerly for it, with perseverance.   

    Here is why we must know what hope is! And here below is why History, it’s accuracy in solidifying our hope, is so important. 

    Hebrews 6:13-20

    For when God made His Promise to Abraham, He swore an oath to do what He promised; and since there was noone greater than Himself for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself and said, “I will certainly bless you, and I will certainly give you many descendants”; and so, after waiting patiently, Abraham saw the promise fulfilled. Now people swear oaths by someone greater than themselves, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute. Therefore, when God wanted to demonstrate still more convincingly the unchangeable character of His intentions to those who were to receive what He had promised, He added an oath to the promise; so that through two unchangeable things, in neither of which God could lie, we, who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us, would be strongly encouraged. We have this hope as a sure and safe anchor for ourselves, a hope that goes right on through to what is inside the Holy of Holies, where a Forerunner has entered on our behalf, namely, Yeshua, Who has become a Cohen Gadol (High Priest) forever, to be compared to Melchizedek.  

    This takes us back to a scripture in part 1.

    1 Thessalonians 5:8

    But since we belong to The Day, let us stay sober, putting on trust and love as a breastplate and the hope of being delivered as a helmet.   

    There was a saying back in WWII, 

    Don’t you know, there’s a war going on?” 

    This question was met usually by a question that complained of lacking something. It applies today. See how hope becomes a very important part of the battle to stay awake?! Helmets are for the head, the mind, we must have our minds made up about what our hope is! What is our hope no matter the subject? Or better yet, WHO? 

    Titus 1:1-3

    From Paul, God’s slave and emissary of Yeshua the Messiah, sent to promote among God’s chosen people the trust and knowledge of Truth which leads to godliness, and which are based on the certain hope of eternal Life. God, who does not lie, promised that Life before the beginning of time but made public this Word of His in its own season through a proclamation with which I have been entrusted by order of God, our Deliverer.  

    1 Peter 1:13

    Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed.   

    We can not shy away from answers to questions that will help build up hope in the freedom promised by Yeshua; either in our own minds or in those asleep around us. We are not at war with flesh and blood, but the powers of this world seeking with an unyielding passion to subvert the truth in all things. Thereby, attempting to weaken human kind into giving their authority (we learned last lesson), Yeshua Himself gave us over the enemy! It’s a strong Authority given us, by THE AUTHORITY Himself! This is why I zoomed in on the phrases of how we must keep ourselves awake, “don’t let yourselves be deceived”, it’s our great honor to have been given access to the Truth about everything relevant to us by God Himself. This is why we will, one Day, be without excuse and answer to our eternal dispair or eternal reward, the reason for our hope and whether or not it was within us (part of us, central to us) or not.  

    The questions will be:

    • Who did you say that I Am? With your life, with your mouth, with your money, with your body, with your relationships, with your heart, with your thoughts, with your convictions, with your priorities, and with My sheep!? 
    • Did you believe I was the Truth? Did you seek out Who I Am in all things? Did you speak then, the Truth, at every opportunity? 
    • Did you teach it to your children?
    • Did you train your gifts with it?
    • Did you suffer for it?

    One last note: Is your Life stirring people to ask you about the hope within you? Or at least, accusing or mocking or rejecting you because of the evidence of that hope? If not, may I suggest, your hope looks more like this world’s ‘hope’ than the hope Yeshua came to give?

       

      Right now, the questions still remain within our grasp to solidify as an answer for ourselves. We are promised, and God keeps His promises, that one day, He will take the choice out of our hands; having given us every opportunity: our hope will land on Proverbs 10:28. 

      Look around you, as you see the sleepy brothers and sisters moving through your scope of vision; then look within you – is your hope firmly rooted within? 

      Will we see it as the grace and mercy of God that He brings a great offence to our conscience to wake us up before it’s too late? There is no reason to be intimidated by any subject of what’s relevant to shaping our hope. Now is the time! Solidify our Hope, O God! And make us like your Son, Yeshua, ready to give that hope to Your precious children! 

      Counter the Culture, dear fellow-sheep! Fight the good fight! The Victory is won, this is our HOPE!

      ✡ Grace and peace be yours in Full Measure, in Yeshua the Messiah! ✡

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      Living Belief

      April 24, 2015 at 12:41 am (Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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      Sandra and Ellen sat in Sandra’s dining room drinking tea. Ellen was sharing a heartache with her neighbor who had happened join her on her porch as she cried that morning. Sandra, always having been a courteous neighbor, had invited Ellen over, curious as to why Ellen was so distraught.

      Ellen began by telling her that she and her girlfriend were about to be married on Wednesday afternoon. Sandra, congratulated her. Ellen’s smile did not reach her eyes. Sandra waited for her to continue. A very treasured family member had told Ellen that she could not be there, due to her “love for God and His ways”. Ellen’s voice dripped with sarcasim as she held her fingers up to “quote-end-quote”. Sandra understood.

      “She has ALWAYS been there for me! Always. And now this? How can I possibly forgive this?” Ellen cried, tears competing with a running nose.

      Sandra handed her a tissue. After a few moments, the tears returned to a few trickles.

      “I have a question, if you don’t mind telling me, has this person always lived everything she believes? I mean, backed it up in every way?” Sandra risked poking in.

      “Yes, absolutely. I mean, with growth over the years. She always would tell me, ‘it’s not about being perfect, it’s about learning to stretch and grow’, but yeah.” Ellen sniffed.

      “Well, I’m no religious person. In fact I don’t believe in God at all. But it strikes me that perhaps you should not see this as such a surprise. If you’ve always respected this person, and known where they end and begin, I suppose what just happened just reinforces what’s always been there. I mean, that you can count on this person. She hasn’t contradicted herself, in fact, with much risk, she maintained her stand. That’s rather rare in my opinion. Most the people I know that say the love God and believe in Him, are constantly doing things that seem to compromise their “belief system”. It’s one of the reasons why I’m an atheist. I’ve read the Bible, noone stands like those people did way back then. I mean the “good ones”. There always seems to be a place where they give in to something or other that contradicts what the God of the Bible said. Usually it is where loved ones are concerned. But it seems to me, if she loves you she’ll continue to be what she’s always been, an live what she really believes, even if it costs her something. Was she smug about telling you she couldn’t be there?” Sandra asked, almost hoping for some chink in this persons armor.

      “No, I could see she was torn too. I guess I never thought of it that way. I should have known she would not be able to come to my wedding to another woman. She’s never rejected Gwen or myself. This, like I said, is the first time she’s ever had to say, “I can’t choose you on this one, kiddo” It just hurts, ya know?” Again the tears began to flow steadily down Ellen’s face.

      “I bet, I’m certainly not saying it should not hurt. But when it comes to trust, I’d say don’t let the hurt of this take that away from you both. If she will back up her beliefs like you say. Then she’s likely still very trustworthy. Thats hard to find. I don’t want people in my life who just always do things that make me happy, and just like me. I want people who stand firm, and even challenge me at times.” Said Sandra

      Ellen giggled through a sniffle.
      “She does that! I just can’t image her not being there.”

      “Does it make you think twice about what you’re about to do?” Sandra ventured

      “Yes, but how can love be wrong? I love Gwen, if God is love, how can our love be wrong? I just can’t get around that.” Ellen went from tears to outright anger.

      Sandra gulped, and charged ahead.
      “Well, Ellen, I don’t know you well. But if you say you believe in the God of the Bible, then you are saying you think, well, He’s God. You know, the One that knows everything, made everything and can tell you how to do everything and you can trust that God. As I said, I’m not unfamiliar with the Bible. I like to know what I don’t believe. He makes it clear that your love for Gwen is at best misplaced. So it seems you have to decide if you can say, like your loved one, “I believe in this God, and stand and live accordingly”. Sounds to me like at least some of this hurt may be more to do with a crisis of belief than the events themselves. You’re in a tough spot. We’re you raised in a church?” Sandra let out an inner breath. Where did that come from, am I encouraging her to believe in God?

      Ellen kept her head down and remained silent for a moment.
      “Yes, I was raised to believe in Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Spirit, as the Bible states.” Ellen let out a huff. “Pfft, but in a church, no. Churches are hypocritical.”

      Don’t I know it! Thought Sandra, relieved. Yet something else tugged at the edges of her mind. It irritated her, but her mouth was moved to open.
      “I agree, they are, but it seems so are you right now, achem, I mean if you believe as you say you do, that is. I’m sorry, it’s not really my business. I don’t mean to offend ya.” Sandra blurted and covered it up with apology. How in the name of all that is did that come out of my mouth?

      Ellen stared at Sandra for what seemed like an hour. And then…
      “Well maybe, but then I’m just doing what everyone does I guess, learning. I love Gwen, that’s all I know. Guess God is going to have to work around that!”

      Again, Sandra’s mouth opened and words stunned.
      “Well, they do say He’s the God of the impossible!” Sandra quickly went into sarcastic mode to cover.

      Ellen and Sandra giggled. Then Ellen excused herself and left. Sandra took a huge breath. What just happened here? Her mind was drawn over and over that day to – well… there’s no other way to put it – pray for Ellen and Gwen and Ellen’s loved one she was so hurt by. The whole day they would not leave her thoughts and the Words of the Bible she did not believe in kept playing like a “bad country tune” as she thought of them. It would seem that Ellen’s loved ones stand had made an impression on Sandra, and she didn’t even know her name! Respectability is hard to find these days, she rationalized. Sandra found herself hoping she might just meet this loved one who could not be at Ellen’s wedding because she loved God so much. At the same time the other part of her dripped with distain at the thought of it. Again another scripture from “that Bible” ran through her mind. Something about a heart divided not being able to stand or some such thing. It was absurd, she had only really read the dang thing once! Just as quickly the image of that Bible tucked away in the closet came to mind. She felt an irresistible urge to go pull it out. All day and well into the next day her thoughts centered around Ellen, her loved one, and that dusty old Bible. Wednesday rolled around and Sandra caught Ellen and Gwen leaving next door. They were on their way to their wedding. They looked happy, Sandra felt sad. She walked into her house, and went to the closet, found the dusty Bible and pulled it out. Intent on reaffirming her lack of need or belief for it, she sat down and began to read.

      “In the beginning, God, …”

      Meanwhile, Ellens ‘loved one’ was praying for Ellen, for Gwen, for everyone they know and all who would come to know the Lord through the “impossible”.

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      ♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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      Adoption, Disciple, Enlistment – A Call to War – 5

      August 20, 2014 at 2:22 am (Devotionals, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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      The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall. Pages 29-33

      2. The Follower’s Call to Service

      Directives issued:
      The soldier is summoned to a life of active duty, and so is a Follower. The very nature of the calling precludes a life of ease. If you had thought to be a summer soldier, consider your commission carefully. Your spiritual orders are rigorous. Like the apostle, I would not have you be ignorant on this point and will, therefore, list a few of your directives.

      I. Renouce Your Bosom Sins
      Those sins which have lain nearest your heart must now be trampled under your feet. And what courage and resolution this requires! You think Abraham was tested to the limit when called upon to take Isaac, ‘His only son. .. whom thou lovest,’ (Gen. 22:2), and offer him up with his hands. Yet what was that to this: ‘Soul, take the lust which is the child to your heart, your Isaac, the sin from which you intend to gain the greatest pleasure. Lay hands on it and offer it up, pour out its blood before Me; run the sacrificing knife into the very heart of it – and do it joyfully!’
      This is more than the human spirit can bear to hear. Our lust will not lie so patiently on the alter as Isaac, nor the Lamb brought dumb to the slaughter (isa. 53:7). Our flesh will roar and kick and shriek, rending the heart with its hideous cries. Indeed, who can express the conduct, the wrestling, the convulsions of spirit we endure before we can put our heart into such a command? Or who can fully recount the cleverness with which such lusts will plead for itself?
      When the Spirit convicts you of sin, Satan will try to convince you, ‘It’s such a little one – spare it.’ Or he will bribe the soul with a vow of secrecy: ‘You can keep me and your good reputation, too. I will not be seen in your company to shame you among your neighbors. You may shut me up in the attic of your heart, out of sight, if only you will let me now and then have the wild embraces of your thoughts and affections in secret.’
      If that not be granted, then Satan asks for a stay of execution, well knowing that such reprieved lusts at last obtain their full pardon. *The longer we procrastinate, the harder it becomes too break through the clever coaxing of this silver-tongued defender of sin and death, and actually carry out the execution. Here histories bravest men have shown themselves putty in the enemy’s hands. They return from the field with victory banners flying, and then live and die slaves to a base lust at home. They are like the great Roman who, as he rode triumphantly through the city, never took his eye off a prostitute walking along the street:a man who conquered empires, captured by the glance of a single woman!

      II. Conform Your Life to Christ
      We are commanded not to be conformed to this world – that is, not to compromise ourselves with the corrupt customs of our day. *The Follower must not be such a compliant tailor as to cut the coat of his profession according to popular fashion. Instead, he must stand fixed to his principles, openly showing he is a citizen of Heaven by clothing himself in the garments of Truth. It takes great courage to disregard the abasement you will surely meet for your nonconformity.  Sadly, there are many who cannot stand the strain. Too often we have seen a self-tailored cloak of pride tossed hurriedly over the heavenly garment of imputed righteousness by one who fears the derision of men if he dares ‘confess Christ openly’, either with their mouth or their life (John 7:13). How many lose heaven because they are ashamed to go there in a “fool’s coat”!
      While some will mock, others will persecute to death the Follower who will not conform in principle or practice. This was the trap laid for the the Hebrew children. They must dance to the tune of Nebuchadnezzar’s pipe, or burn (Dan.3:15). Such, too, was the plot laid to ensnare Daniel, who walked so faultlessly that the only charge his enemies could bring against him was his *singlemindedness in his walk with God (Dan.6:5). Now in such a case as this, when the choice means life or death, when a follower must renounce his Lord or become prey to the cruel teeth of bloody men, how many retreats and self-preserving escapes will a cowardly heart invent? *It is a great honor to a Follower when all his enemies can say is, ‘ He will not do as we do.’ The Follower who faces such great opposition must be well locked into the saddle of his profession, or else he will soon be dismounted.

      III. Sidestep Stumbling Blocks
      There have always been those in the church who, by serious mistakes in judgement and conduct, have laid a stumbling block in the path of professing followers. You will need a Holy resolution to bear up against such discouragements. Strive to be like Joshua. When most of the Israeites revolted and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, Joshua maintained his integrity. He declared that, though not another man would join him, yet he would serve the Lord.

      IV. Trust God in Every Circumstance
      *There are times when a follower is called to trust in a withdrawing God. ‘Let him that walketh in darkness and hath no light. .. trust in the name of the Lord’ (Isa. 50:10). This requires a bold step of faith (trust) – to venture into Gods presence with the same temerity as Esther into Ahasuerus’s. Even when no smile lights His face, when no golden scepter is extended to summon is to come near, we must press forward with this noble resolution; ‘If I perish, I perish’ (Esther 4:6).
      Which leads our faith (trust) one step further: We must trust also in a “killing God”. We must declare with Job, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him’ (Job 13:15). It takes a submissive faith (trust) for a soul to march steadily forward while God seems to fire upon that soul and shoot His frowns like poisoned arrows into it. This is hard work, and will test the Followers mettle. Yet such a spirit we find in the poor woman of Canaan, who caught the bullets Christ shot at her, and with a humble boldness sent them back again in her prayer (Matt.15:22-28).

      V. Stay on Course to The End of Your Life
      Your work and your life must go off stage together. Persisting to the end will be the burr under your saddle – the torn in your flesh – when the road ahead seems endless and your soul begs an early discharge. It weighs down every other difficultly of your calling. We have known many who have joined the army of Christ and liked being a soldier for a battle or two, but have soon had enough and ended up deserting. The impulsively enlist for Christ’s duties, and are just as easily persuaded to take up a professed religion, and are just as easily persuaded to lay it down. Like the new moon, they shine a little in the first part of the evening, but go down before the night is over.
      This persevering is a hard word! Taking up the cross daily, praying always, watching night and day and never laying aside our Armour to indulge ourselves, sends many sorrowful away from Christ. Yet, this is your calling:to make the Followers faith (trust) your daily work, without any vacation from one end of the year to the other. These few examples are enough to show how much courage and determination you need. How to obtain such courage is our next order of business.

      – To be continued. .
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      – Questions for further digestion

      ♡ Is lust referred here only related to sexual sin?

      ♡ How often have I experienced the “feeling” that I don’t belong coming from others because my “coat” would not be tailored to the fashion of the times?

      ♡ Where do I see my Armor is being repaired or stitched back up by the Spirit after reading this?

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      Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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      Adoption, Disciple, Enlistment – A Call to War – 4

      August 18, 2014 at 10:48 pm (Devotionals, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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      The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall. Pages 27-29

      – Sources of The Follower’s Courage –

      If you intend to bear up courageously against the opposition on your march to heaven, your principles must be well fixed. Otherwise, your heart will be unstable, and an unstable heart is as weak as a house without girders. The first crosswind will blow it down. Two things are required to fix your principles:

      1. An established knowledge of God’s truth.

      He who only has a passing acquaintance with the king may easily be persuaded to change his allegiance, or will at least try *to remain neutral in the face of treason. Some professing followers have only a passing acquaintance with the Word of God. They can hardly give account for what they hope for, or whom they hope in. And if they have some principles they take kindly to, they are so unsettled that every wind blows them away, like loose tiles from a housetop.

      When Satan buffets and temptation washes over you like a tidal wave, you must cling to God’s truths. They are your shelter in every raging storm. But you must have them on hand, ready to use. Do not wait until it is sinking to patch the boat. A feeble commitment has little hope of safety when caught in a tempest. While that flounders and drowns, holy determination, grounded in the Word, will lift up its head like a rock in the midst of the highest waves.

      Scripture promises, ‘the people who know their God will stand firm and prevail.’ (Dan. 11:32). An angel told Daniel which men would stand up and be counted for God when tempted and persecuted by Antiochus. Some would be taken in by the bribery of corrupt men; others would fall victim to intimidation and threats. But a few, who were firmly grounded in the tenets of their faith (trust), would do great things for God. That is to say, to flatteries they would be incorruptible, and to power and force, unconquerable.

      2. A Heart Set in the Right Direction.

      *Head knowledge of the things of Christ is not enough; this following Christ is primarily a matter of the heart. If your heart is not fixed on its purpose, your principles, as good as they may be, will hang loose and be of no more use in the heat of battle than an ill stringed bow. Half-hearted resolve will not venture much or far for Christ. Nor will the heart with false motives. A hypocrite may show some strength of spirit for the moment, but he will soon give up his profession when he is pinched on the toe where his corn is; in other words, when called to deny that which his evil heart coveted all along.

      *If you are a serious soldier, do not flirt with any of your desires that are beneath Christ and heaven. They will play the harlot and steal your heart. Consider Jehu. How courageous and zealous he seemed in the beginning. Why, then, did his resolve fail him before his work was half done? *Because his heart was never set on God alone! The very ambition that stirred up his zeal at first, in the end quenched and killed it. He compromised with evil men to reach his goal. Then when he gained the throne, he dared not put God’s plan into action for fear of provoking those same evil men and thereby losing his kingdom. (2 Kings 10:31). In short his heart was set on the world’s pleasures more than on God’s favor.

      – to be continued. ..-
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      Questions for further digestion:

      ♡ Do you spend as much time in the Word of God; as you do in any form of preparation for any other hobby, event, recreational enjoyment, or study for school. .. work?

      ♡ What are any other desires other than Christ or heaven?

      ♡ Is it possible for either of these two things to flourish one without the other?

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      Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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      Adoption, Disciple, Enlistment – A Call to War – 3

      August 18, 2014 at 5:44 am (Devotionals, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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      The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall.

      Cowardice VS. Courage

      This warfare analogy reveals why there are so many who profess Christ and so few who are in fact Followers of Christ; so many who go into the field against Satan, and so few who come out conquerors. All may have a desire to be successful soldiers, but few have the courage and determination to grapple with the difficulties that accost them on the way to victory. All Israel followed Moses joyfully out of Egypt. But when their stomachs were a little pinched with hunger, and their immediate desires deferred, they were ready at once to retreat. They preferred the bondage of Pharaoh to the promised blessings of the Lord.

      Men are no different today. How many part with Christ at the crossroad of suffering! Like Oprah, they go a short distance only (Ruth 1:14). They profess the gospel and name themselves heirs to the blessings of those who Follow. But when put to the test, they quickly grow sick of the journey and refuse to endure for Christ. At the first sign of hardship, they kiss and leave the Savior, reluctant to lose heaven, but even more unwilling to buy it at so dear a price. If they must resist so many enemies on the way, they will content themselves with their own stagnant cisterns and leave the Water of Life for others who will venture farther for it. Who among us has not learned from his own experience that it requires another spirit than the world can give to follow Christ fully?

      Let this exhort you then, Follower, to petition God for the Holy determination and bravery you must have to follow Christ. Without it you cannot be what you profess. The fearful are those who march for hell (Rev.21:8); the valiant are they who take heaven by force (Matt. 11:12). Cowards never won heaven. Do not claim that you are begotten of God and have His royal blood running in your veins unless you can prove your lineage by this heroic spirit: *to dare in spite of men and devils.

      You should find great strength and encouragement in the knowledge that your commission is divine. God Himself underwrites your battle and has appointed His own Son ‘the captain of [your] salvation’ (Heb.2:10) He will lead you on to the field of battle with courage, and bring you of with honor. He lived for you and died for you; He will live and die with you. His mercy and tenderness to His soldiers is unmatched. Historians tell us Trajan torn his own clothes to bind up his soldiers’ wounds. The Bible tells us Christ poured out His very blood as a balm to heal His Followers wounds; His flesh was torn to bind them up.

      For bravery none compare with our Lord. He never turned His head from danger, not even when hell’s hatred and Heaven’s justice *appeared against Him. Knowing all that was about to happen, Jesus went forth and said, ‘Whom seek ye?’ (John 18:4) Satan could not overcome Him – our Savior never lost a battle, not even when He lost His life. He won the victory, carrying His spoils to heaven in the triumphant chariot of His ascension. There He makes an open show of them, to the unspeakable joy of Followers and Angels.

      As part of  Christ’s army, you march in ranks of gallant spirits. Every one of your fellow soldiers is the child of a King. Some, like you, are in the midst of battle, besieged on every side by affliction and temptation. Others, after many assaults, repulses, and rallying of their faith (trust) are already standing upon the wall of Heaven as conquerors. From there they look down and urge you, their comrades on earth, to march up the hill after them. This is their cry, ‘Fight to the death and the City is your own, as now is! For the waging of a few days conflict, , you will be rewarded with heavens glory. One moment of this celestial joy will dry up all your tears, heal all your wounds, and erase the sharpness of the fight with the joy of your permanent victory.’

      In a word -God, angels, and those fellow Followers already with the Lord are spectators, watching how you conduct yourself as a child of the Most High.  This crowd of witnesses (Heb.12:1) shouts joyfully from the celestial sidelines every time you defeat a temptation, scale a difficulty, or regain lost ground from your enemies. * And if the fight be too much for you, your dear Savior stands by with reserves for your relief at a moments notice. His very heart leaps within Him to see proof of your love and zeal for Him in all your combats. He will not forget your faithfulness. And when you come off the field, He will receive you as joyfully as the Father received Him upon His return to heaven.

      Would you be a valiant soldier? Then take heed to the following discussion that follows.

      – to be continued. ..
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Questions for further digestion.

      ♡What is the difference between what we call suffering and God calls suffering?

      ♡What does ‘take heaven by force’ mean?

      ♡When are you the most vulnerable to giving up instead of advancing?

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      Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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