Like many of my writings, I asked the Holy Spirit for a title with this article. That is so important. I also do this when writing spiritual poems. The title can make all the difference and this one bears the Heart of God – what concerns Him the most. “Father, I pray that they would love one-another as we love one-another and that they would be one even as we are one".
Jesus wants us to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our mind and all our strength and treat each-other as we like to be treated”. Yes!
If we want to be His and live for Him, there’s no way around that.
There really is’nt. So many things our conversations and sermons we hear major on while those things that were more important to Jesus are treated with less importance and sometimes are missing – I mean completely left out and we consider ourselves to be spiritual. Well if you are “Let him/her who has ears hear what the Spirit says” in this address.
The second opportunity
So often in life, The Lord will give us another opportunity to
Live better than we have
To behave more Godly
To change our manner into
a Christlike manner
Is there no application for Scripture? Is it something that we should pick up and read
once a day and then put it down and feel holy, that we have done what is expected of us and pleased The Lord?
No, it is shown in His Word that He expects more from us – where is the application
in relationships, in life’s situations, with family, with believers, with those who
don’t know Him yet?
I put it to you that for most of us 60 – 70% of our lives from day to day, at least weekly, has to do with relating with others, not things so much. And The Lord is interested
in how we are relating with these people, not someone else or some other situation but right now today – how we are responding to this person or that person?
How we are interacting?
It’s there that our Christlike nature is determined – not our aspirations so much
– it’s there that we can gauge it – at the end of that day or that week or that given situation. How did you score this week? What scripture or how much scripture did you apply? Look back over the last month and the last year and see what you find.
There must be a practical working out of our faith.
What do you see here?
For more than twenty years, I have been an independent Natural Health Researcher. I know what I’m doing…..the Holy Spirit gives me some good finds…..often through the years, there have been some unique discoveries. Does that mean I put it into practice
in my personal life?
For me, no it does not! There’s so much I know about natural brain chemistry and anti-aging, special herbs and nutrients, therapeutic properties of foods etc The passion for knowledge and discoveries is there…..no doubt about that…..I have a
professional website……I am known as a Natural Health Researcher.
Natural Health is part of me……..but is it? There’s so much I have not put into practice through the years. Things that mattered most to me have been neglected, I’ve been so busy, even with the work itself.
(I meant to practice more skincare and a longevity program)
May I put it to you, that with many of us as Christians, we are good researchers.
We hear many sermons, we study lots of scripture, we attend conferences or seminars even…….but we fail to put it into practice? Yes, we have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for the things of God but like myself with my work, we are not living it.
So often we are finding out something new but leave it right there.
I have an inspirational website called Inspirations for You with many poems and inspirations the Holy Spirit gives me. One of the sayings is
“Experience is True Knowledge that Stays with You”.
Is’nt that true? Does not James tell us “to be Doers of His Word and not Hearers only?” and Paul says “to be Imitators of me?” Oh, but “we’re good researchers” we say, and even the Pharisees were told by Jesus “search the scriptures, for they speak of Me”.
We know about Jesus, He has been our Savior for months or years……but how much do we “KNOW HIM” and the power of His Words to change us?
That my friend, will be evident by the amount of Change we have experienced. I’m not speaking about church attendance here etc If you subtract various commitments and even scripture studies, how much of God’s Word has become “PART OF YOU?”
That’s what He is looking for with us……and that is what He is waiting for
so He can Move in Power. “Oh that I may Know Him and the Power
of His Resurrection”…………”Let me See Jesus”……….
We have been looking on the outside for Him but He is “Christ in Me,
the Hope of Glory!”
The Apostle Paul spoke about “Christ being formed in You”. It is a good practice to take honest inventory. We must do this regularly - not to become introspective or to feel bad but how did we react this day or this week? That way we can know how much of
Christ is evident in our hearts and lives – not our holy routine.
Think of it like homework__ how much did we practice? What scripture are we reading?
Friends, it needs to be lived out. May I suggest here to you, that it is not how
we think we would apply scripture so much, ideally speaking (we all have ideals) but what application the Word of God found in us today, this week. How did you score?
We should not kid ourselves to think of ourselves more spiritual than we are but to take life’s challenges and opportunities in small ways today and the next day with this person and that person, with this matter and that matter. But so often, we have our
holy routine (and that is good) then our life situations and relationships are treated separately. The Word of God is not lived out OR maybe just
what we are comfortable with.
He calls us out of that to maturity, my brothers and sisters. Let us put on Christ.
OH TO BE CHRISTLIKE – TO BE LIKE HIM
This is not of a Wednesday and a Sunday (whatever) this is during the week.
We can’t be part-time Christians and we can’t work at it part-time either.
Yes, He expects more of us, like a farmer looks over his crop and sees it’s yield.
Scripture says to look forward to His Coming – How many of us do that?
How many ‘LOOK FOR HIM?”
We are so caught up with daily life and distractions. And scripture goes on to say
“let him/her who has this Hope purify himself/herself” for JESUS IS NEAR.
We are so used to thinking He is afar off__ we think about it and talk about it sometimes but we do not realize it could be Closer than we think?
"Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of Light. Let us behave properly as children of the Day"
How ardently do we expect Him? Or are we dull and lifeless in heart? Are we perhaps
a little hard like the world – so to speak – with life’s stresses? Jesus said that some
won’t be ready for Him, that their lamps will be run out of oil or unlit.
With any love relationship, a lantern needs to be topped up on a daily basis.
The lantern speaks of warm hearts – a passion – this is found in affection and adoration. It also speaks of a readiness “not to sleep (spiritually) like those in the night”
that is supposed to be the world, not us.
“LET US PURIFY OURSELVES”
That is how we respond and react from day to day (not a separate holy routine) let’s follow through and not leave things - the important things – undone or attended to.
Yes, this is how we are going with Jesus: He calls us out of the Comfort Zone
(what we like and don’t like) to put on our raiment ready for Him. This speaks of clothing ourselves with Christ and righteousness (appropriate behavior and kind deeds).
Friends, if we call ourselves by His name__ Christian, a Child of God…….then we also need to live like Him. Yes, otherwise we are not being true to ourselves. It is there that He is coming for, not a holy routine – and many don’t even have that.
Let us walk worthy of Him – true to ourselves and others.
How do we read to others? Paul said that “we are living letters, read by men”………..that includes fellow Christians. How did you react in the last situation? Did you leave things undone or half done? He is not interested in half efforts.
Even now, is there something you could make amends for?
Apologize to someone and say “I did not handle that correctly………I did not show regards for your feelings……..I just thought of myself and did not consider you”. Maybe you did not even pray for them – you were so annoyed or offended? Maybe you did pray something but did not examine yourself. If you did not say or do the right thing – in God’s sight – you did not put on Christ and failed to please Him in that situation. Maybe that person is still hurting or upset because of you. Maybe their prayers are hindered or unanswered even, because they prayed about you.
This is not good in the eyes of God. Let us look to Him and see if we can put some things right and open up the channel of blessing for us and that person.
THESE ARE THINGS THAT THE LORD WILL ASSESS OUR SPIRITUALITY BY…….NOT THE LAST CONFERENCE WE ATTENDED OR EVEN HOW MANY BIBLE READINGS WE HAVE.
Because He is a God of Grace, we often take for granted that He is not concerned with a situation – something we did or did not do. But He does care about that person we offended or failed to bless following a situation. True repentance is not if we confessed it to The Lord. No, it is if we have confessed it to that person as well.
Brothers and sisters, we cannot just confess things to The Lord, leaving that person upset, bewildered or hurting. So often we think of when we’re offended and not
the other person.
Yes, true repentance is a true change of heart and mind. Many have actually left the faith because of someone’s wrong behavior. Maybe more than one. Then it does get
to be a bit much – believe me – when different ones have been so thoughtless or inconsiderate. They have said unkind words……left us up in the air or maybe demonstrated a ‘hit and run’ behavior even.
Yes it is discouraging and we will have to answer for that to the One we have to do with if we fail to make amends. Make no mistake about it.
How do Christians go on with their week or their lives as if nothing has happened…….break bread on Sundays……be happy with whatever they are doing? Sorry to say, I have no comprehension of that.
No, with the Early Christians this was not so – they had more regard for The Lord and each other. All the emphasis we place on the Early Church and fail to see that is beyond me! We are “so spiritual” but are we? In conversation we are so idealistic__
“if things were only like the Early Church”
“we should be like the Early Church”
"we pattern ourselves like the Early Church”.
No, it’s in the real conversations in life that He is concerned, not our ideals so much because He sees our true desires in the way we conduct ourselves. Paul mentioned people who “have a zeal for God but need to be enlightened”……..sometimes
that describes us.
Hearts Unified and Rejoicing, that’s what will attract those around us………”see how they Love each-other?” not “see how they don’t love each-other?” (or fail to). Yes, and then there will be the Great Harvest but not beforehand.
THEY NEED TO SEE JESUS SO HE CAN BE THEIR HOPE OF GLORY.
But for now they’re waiting………waiting to see that “God is Love” in a loveless world.
It does not speak well of us if they handle situations better than we do – in their family, social life or work relationships. Seriously, would that attract you? Would you see the need for repentance if you live better than some Christians do?
No, the world is waiting. They need to see the Light and the Love__ this will really
draw them. They will come into the Body of Christ when they see the warmth.
It’s more inviting. They don’t want an invitation to a church service………they have tickets to the theater and invites from friends.
What will they really take notice of? I leave that for you to work out.