Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Our conscience

What is our conscience? Our conscience is the “light that lighteth every man” (John 1:9)….

…it is the impress of the brilliant light of the Holy Spirit when we were first created (Genesis 2:7)….

….the Holy Spirit left Adam when he sinned….but left the impress of the knowledge of God,…..and man’s responsibility to obey Him.

It is our moral compass….a gift from our Creator….

….it is a inward knowledge of what is good and what is evil,…showing that man is responsible to God’s will…….which either approves of what is done….or reproves what is done.

Romans 2:13-15 “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another;)”

Our conscience can become contaminated, darkened,….by the choices we make….

….or they can hear the Lord’s voice, and convict us….to lead us toward or away from Him,….

….they can be cleansed…..through Christ….

….and we can have a “good conscience, void of offense.”

There are several types of consciences in scripture:

There is the defiled conscience…

Titus 1:15 “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Defiled means to taint or to contaminate.

Simply speaking, those with a defiled conscience see good in nothing…..they expect everyone to have the same greedy, lustful, or malicious motives as they do….

Example: Judas when he saw Mary pour a very expensive box of ointment on Jesus….

John 12:3-6 “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus….

Then saith….Judas Iscariot….which should betray Him,

Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief….”

Now what he said, sounded good…..maybe even charitable…..but behind it was his defiled conscience….which thought Jesus not worthy of anything…..and him worthy of getting all he could get (for he wanted to steal part of the money).

(The sad thing is……what people suggest often effects others….for when Judas says this…..even the other disciples were…..for a moment…thinking that way….

Mark 14:4 says, “And there were some that had indignation…”

Matthew 26:6 says, “But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation…”

But in both of these places, it shows the real attitude of the other disciples….for when Jesus corrects them, that settles it.)

But Judas immediately goes to the chief priests to “sell” Jesus to them [Matthew 26:14-16]

And to his defiled conscience, it was perfectly alright to do so.

Matthew 15:18-20 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

These are the things which defile a man:…”

Then there is the convicted conscience:

John 8:9 “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.”

This was the woman taken in adultery….quite guilty….and according to the law…should be stoned (so should the man that had been with her, though the Pharisee’s did not bring him)…

…..yet Jesus’s statement brought everyone of them to their senses…..to the moral right.

They had not brought the man….only her….not for God’s glory, but to lay a trap for Jesus.

When Jesus said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (Verse 7)

That brought their minds back to God….sin….their sin….

And their moral compass turned to right thoughts….and they left.

(We could also mention Peter’s convicted conscience…….when he heard the cock crow….which Jesus had told him would happen……and went out weeping.)

There is the weak conscience:

1 Corinthians 8:12 “But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.”

Some Christians are strong in the faith….some are not. The weak are easily fearful, without the confidence in God’s Word to them.

What Christians do, has a great deal of influence on others. Some could eat the meat, that had been formerly offered to idols…..because they were just idols…

….while others thought that it would be sacrilege, because the meat had been part of the offering to what they came out of….idol worship.

We are not to offend a brother or sister with a weak conscience…..for Christ shed HIs blood to save them, just like He did for us.

We are to “bend over backward” so that they will not be offended…

…..or worse,…..we are not to encourage them to do, what would be sin to them.

Matthew 18:6-7 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone where hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offenses! For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offenses cometh!”

We are not to dishearten or discourage the weaker children of God…..but strengthen and encourage them to keep following Christ.

There is a cleansed conscience:

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Christ’s blood cleanses us from all sin…..and cleanses our conscience, that we may come boldly to God.

Hebrews 10:19, 22 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

We come to Christ….just as we are…and then He washes us by His blood, His Word, and His Spirit….

…..making us clean….in spirit, mind, and heart….right down to our consciences….making us pure, in wanting God’s Will

1 John 3:20-21 “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”

And then there is the “good conscience”….

1 Timothy 1:5 “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

Notice that a good conscience has to do with a pure heart (which sees God Matthew 5:8)…..and faith.

Acts 23:1 “And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.”

And how did he do this?

Acts 24:16 “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.”

It wasn’t that Paul was especially good….rather it was that he lived not to do anything that would dishonor his God, or injure another person…..

….and if he did, he wanted to know….and to get it taken care of.

Our conscience is our moral compass…..which shows us that we have a responsibility to God, and our fellowman.

When we are born again…..our conscience is enlightened by His Word, and cleansed by His blood……so that it is not an enemy to us, but a helper.

It does not lead us…..the Holy Spirit does that…..but it lends it’s inward voice within us….saying “Amen”….to what the Holy Spirit does.

Our enlightened conscience helps to unite all the voices within (the voice of reason, the voice of emotion, the voice of others we hear) to Christ.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Fear……and it’s consequences

Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the Lord, He it is that doth go before Thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”

This is Moses’s charge to Joshua, in front of all Israel…..for Moses would die….and Joshua would lead the people into their inheritance.

And what did Joshua need to know?

That God would go before…..to lead, and warn.

That God would be with him, not fail him, not forsake him…..

That he should fear not….nor be dismayed about the things ahead….for God was ahead….and with….and for him.

Our God says the same thing to us:

Hebrews 13:5-6 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Fear is a terrible enemy….

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment, he that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Fear stops us….from having all that the Lord wants for us:

God wants us to believe….and fear steps in and says….”Wait! What about this…..or what about them?”

The Lord gives us peace amid trouble……we are calm….until….a new twist in the trouble comes….and fear sends panic!

The Lord gives us promises….and the adversary says….”That will never happen for you…..look at what you are up against!”

Fear can stop us slightly….as Peter walking on the water:

Matthew 14:29-30 “And He (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”

(But notice, his faith was enough to cry to Jesus to save him……and not try and swim back to the ship without Him!)

Or it can stop us completely….

…like the children of Israel at Kadesh-barnea (Deuteronomy 1:25-28)

They loved the land….it was everything God said….why then did they not believe Him, and go in and possess it?

Fear was one reason….and it’s complications (unbelief and rebellion) left them outside God’s blessing.

Fear also causes complications of feelings and thoughts:

It causes anger….Why is this happening to me?

It causes a sense of loss….when we are afraid,….we suddenly feel alone….no peace…no sense of direction.

It causes darkness….a shadow or a dimming in the light we have.

Fear intimidates…..telling us…”do something”……even if we have not gotten guidance…..”do something”.

“Fear not” or “do not fear” is written seventy-three times in the scriptures.

What is the answer to fear?

How do we get the victory over it?

Well, by experience, I can tell you that when fear has grasped ahold of you….it is hard to escape it.

Thankfully, we have power in the blood, and in the name of Jesus,….and power in the words of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 3:25-26 “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.”

Psalm 56:3-4 “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.

In God I will praise His Word, In God I have put my trust, I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”

Faith is the answer to the victory we need…

(how many times we let our shield of faith slip down….and we get hit by the fiery darts of the wicked one)

….”Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

When the Holy Spirit implants faith within us (for it is a gift from God to sustain and stabilize us)….then that faith makes the things God says, real to us.

We feel their blessing….though we may not have all there is in the Word….it gives us strength, for what is ahead.

When we let down our shield of faith, and let one of the Adversary’s darts hit us….we are wounded….

….putting up our shield afterward will not help.

But pulling out the dart of suggestion, accusation, and fear……and showing it to Christ Jesus, will.

Fear grabs ahold of us and says……”Do not trust God”

Faith comes from within, and enlightens the lie of the devil,….the suggestions of the world….and the desires from ourselves….

….and then faith keeps the candle of the Lord’s truth and grace burning.

Psalm 91:2, 4-6 “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.

He shall cover thee with feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night: nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”

Fear is an terrible enemy…..which only the implanted faith, by the Holy Spirit can deal with.

Let us hold up our shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16)….”wherewith ye shall”…..

….notice “shall”….”be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked.”

And if we have become afraid….take it….tell it to Jesus. Cry unto Him for salvation from it.

Like for Peter, His hand will save you out of it….and put your feet on solid ground again.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Two Mirrors

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

James 1:23-24 “For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

These two verses describe the one way we can “see” ourselves….and the two outcomes.

The “glass” here, means a “mirror” in which we can see ourselves….

….that mirror is the Word of God…..made known to us by the Spirit of God.

When we read it,…..or hear it preached,….when the Holy Spirit reminds us of it….then we “see” ourselves in the light of God….and we are given opportunity to be changed.

Notice I say, “to be changed”….not….”to change”.

Man is totally sinful….our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9-10)….we are incapable of making any “change” that will please God….in our own power.

Even in the best of our works,….naturally,….there is the selfish desire for own honor, and our own praise for them.

The only thing we can do…..and that is with the help of the Holy Spirit within….is to will with God….yield to Him.

The Lord, by the workings of the Holy Spirit….changes us….transforms us,….molds us….into what we “see” in the Word….

….for the Word of God shows us Christ Jesus……His person, attributes….His character.

Let us look at the first Mirror:

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Notice “open” face….(this is the only place this Greek word is used in the New Testament. Open has a different Greek word everywhere else.)

“Open” here means…..unveiled!

When we come before the Lord, willing to know, by the Spirit, how we are….who we are….

…..then we have “open face” to behold what the Lord by the Spirit wants to show us….and to be changed.

(I want to mention here, that in the Old Testament….the Ten Commandments, and the law of Moses was given….so that the Israelite and all who would come to God….would “see” themselves as they were.

The Law was their mirror.

God was Holy. They were sinners….and could never measure up to His commandments….Hebrews 7:18-19…

….this is what the Law showed them….but there was no power in this mirror….only the bare truth of their sin.

Therefore God made the Tabernacle, and the sacrifices….to show them there is only power to live for God….in nearness to everything which spoke of Christ to come.

The Law showed them what they should do….and gave them sacrifices for their failures….which pointed them to Christ to come….

….for those who would have faith in the promise of His salvation from their sin.)

But since Christ has come and been the sacrifice for sin…..once for all….and is ascended to the right hand of God as our Mediator…….their is an open way to God….and to the power by the Holy Spirit….to be and to do:

Hebrews 4:14-15 “Seeing that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

For we have not a high priest which can not be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Because of Who He is…..and what He finished….we can have the power of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling…..first as Comforter….then in fullness.

Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost

that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

This is power…..power to change us spiritually, emotionally, mentally,….in every way.

My husband, once, was praying about the these verses….and saw in a mirror his own reflection…..nothing new….but then, transposed over his reflection….was Jesus’s reflection.

We are to be us….the people the Lord has made us….yet, to be changed into the character of Christ….through us.

His reflection was still there….yet so was Christ’s….both together…..and this is the secret of power:

The Holy Spirit does not empower you to go off and take care of things yourself….not even for yourself.

But He empowers you to change….

…patience for impatience and frustration.

…forgiveness for anger and old resentments.

…energy for laziness.

…hope for discouragement and despair.

…love for the unlovely.

…peace in the rocky and desperate moments.

How?…..Now where the Spirit of the Lord is….there is liberty!

Liberty from our sins!

From our emotions, which roar in, when we least expect it!

From our thoughts….oh, how they can go from one thing to another! Right into sin!

All is given in the liberty of the Spirit. Us giving Him liberty in us…..then through us….we are changed….into Christ’s character….taking on His likeness….becoming filled with all the fullness of God.

James 1:23-24 “For if any man be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

There are two things to say about this man…..he listens and hears so he comes to the mirror…..and beholds his character.

He goes his way…..he does not act on what he sees….right away.

He puts it off.

“Wow!…..I’ll never forget what the Lord has shown me. I should do something about that.”

But he does not do anything….then. And he goes his way….thinking he can do something about it anytime.

And he forgets….he neglects, and forgets.

There is nothing of the Holy Spirit mentioned here. Where is He?

Is the liberty of the Spirit for this man as well?

It could have been….but the Spirit acts…now. There must be a act of the will toward God….now…

….or the hesitation, and putting off of God’s Call….will quench the Spirit.

When the man refused to will with the Word at first…..the Spirit was quenched.

When the man went his way….back into his normal life….the Spirit was grieved.

Where the Spirit of the Lord…..”is”…..there is liberty.

How important to come and “see”…..and then enter into that liberty immediately….willing to be changed….

….and have the Lord’s reflection on us.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Saith the Lord

Jeremiah 23:28-29 “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? Saith the Lord.

Is not My word like as a fire? Saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

“He that hath My word…..let him speak My word faithfully.”

Faithfully, here, means to be established.

How much we need that today!

If the Lord has given you a word….He wants you to speak it faithfully….

…whether it is a word of witness of Him….

….or a word of scripture for comfort and edification…

….or a word of warning to someone….whether you use your own experience, or the examples in the Bible.

Our words are important….

Matthew 12:36-37 “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou be condemned.”

As Christians, we should come to Him and…

…see where we spoke out of turn….(so easy to do….to give an opinion, rather than what the Lord wants said)

…know the witness that we missed

…or hear “well done” to the words that we gave, whether in prayer, or witness.

(and our witnesses do not have to be messages, but a “word in due season”)

Someday, all our speeches and conversations will be open before us…and Him.

(We must remember that Enoch, the man who walked with God [Genesis ] prophesied against the wicked:

Jude 14-15 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints,

To execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Their “hard speeches”…….how many of those do we hear today?)

God’s Word is like fire….enlightening me to my sin,….and burning up my excuses.

God’s Word is like a hammer….pounding away at the hard places of my heart….slowly chipping away at the long-time resentments,….and reasons that I keep God at a distance.

“Saith the Lord.” It is simple…..direct….commanding.

When the Lord speaks,….things change.

(If He is our Lord, we change)

Once His word is spoken, it does not return unto Him void.

Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.”

What changes?

Well, for us….

First, our vision changes….we have heard God…

We can believe and side with Him…..

….or we can distrust, and enter into shadows.

Second, our faith reaches out to God, to do exactly what He said.

Psalm 27:8 “When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”

Third, our feet stand on that Word….holding on by trust to what the Lord saith. (Matthew 7:24-27. We may wobble, but the Word is firm, and true.)

And then,….this word is from….”the Lord”.

The Lord, here, is Jehovah….the Ever-existent, Ever-becoming One. He always was, is, and will be…..yet, for His own….He becomes their need.

“The chaff to the wheat”….the chaff is the outside layer of the wheat….which is worth little….to be thrown down and trampled upon….to be used as stubble or fodder (to bulk up cow feed).

What does it mean here?

If we are truly born again….we are the wheat.

If we speak His Word faithfully, we are bringing forth more fruit.

But the chaff…will never “bring forth” fruit.

It is the worthless philosophy, or opinions, that are bantered about….which might seem bulky……but are nothing

“Saith the Lord”….this is what we need to hear….what He is saying to us, through HIs Word….by His Spirit…

…and then use it….stand fast, and speak HIs Word faithfully.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Our Purpose as Christians

2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began;”

The Purpose of God for us, was set in motion before the world began.

Before He created anything at the first; God saw us in Christ Jesus, according to His Purpose.

It is according to His Purpose and grace. His Purpose is His Will; and His grace is His unmerited favor of Power to bring His Will to pass.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ” For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

This is written to Christians, telling them how they were saved.

It was by the power of grace, not anything they did to deserve it.

It was through faith, a gift given them by the Holy Spirit.

And they are “created in Christ Jesus”; given new birth and a new nature.

So created, not to stand by and watch; but to take part in His Purpose: those good works we are to walk in.

We are so created as a “workmanship”; which is a molded image.

We are to be molded into the image of Christ. (Remember the word Christian means: Little Christ)

And how are we to do this?

By using the means and provision God has given.

That is what “ordained” means.

It means that all the provision for our walk with Him, has been set aside for us.

Let us talk, for a moment, about the things which hinder His Purpose.

(If you ask, How can anything hinder God’s Purpose? I answer, that as He gives us choices, He is allowing His Purpose to be fulfilled or hindered by us. It is His way of teaching us, and training us. He knows all things, and makes arrangements for it. His Will, will be done; but He wants it to be done through us, so He can bless us.)

The greatest hinderance to God’s Will, is that we do not go on with Him as we should.

Our walk with Christ is progressive:

We are babes in Christ, being seen to, fed with the milk of His Word, so we can begin to crawl and then walk with Him.

We come to the place of walking; and often like mules, stop and stand and bray. Having a fit about some part of His Will.

He must, and will correct us: sometimes with rebukes.

Rebukes are words which awaken us to His claims on us. Showing us where we should be, and how to get there. (Hebrews 12:5)

Sometimes He must chasten us. This is serious; He does not do this lightly. (1 John 5:16)

But He will not empower rebels with His Spirit. That would be joining our rebellion against Himself. But what He does, He does because He loves us. As a parent corrects a child, for their good, so God corrects us.

The answer to this is to will to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24)

We preach on this often; because it is the backbone of progress. We will deny ourselves, and follow Him.

Or we will put up with ourselves, and lose another opportunity to please our Lord.

It is a choice the Lord gives us: for it is “if” any man will.

Those that love Me, Jesus said, keep My commandments.

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

When we truly want His Will and have denied ourselves, daily; we come to the place where we no longer resist His Will in anything.

(Resist is a good term. Do you instantly want to “back up” every time you hear about what you should be doing? )

Well, we can come to the place, in our experience, that we don’t resist. It is not instant obedience, but it is final obedience. We will obey.

But the crowning glory, in this life, is to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:17-18 “Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

When we are filled with the Spirit of God (and this only happens as we are emptied of the fullness of self); then the blessed influence of His life, love, peace, joy, and patience, is flowing within us.

And can be seen through us.

We are expressions of His life, and Purpose. That Purpose He wanted for us before the world began.

Imagine a life full of the Lord’s light, and joy.

Better yet, don’t imagine it. Get it.

If you are in Christ Jesus, born again; then His Purpose for you is to be filled with all the fullness of God. Filled to your capacity.

Ephesians 3:16-19 “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man;

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love,

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

We never truly know the love of Christ, the way He wants us to, until we walk along with Him, in the Spirit.

His hand for our strength,

His Word for our help,

His Spirit shining in us for comfort, and joy.

His Purpose for us, in Christ, is to walk with Him, into those good works He has ordained us for.

Will we go on with Him?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

This is an interesting history.

(Genesis 10 and 11 are the last chapters that deal with the world at large….after this, God begins to deal with Abram’s (Abraham’s) call, and the promises of the Savior through his line.)

This is after the Flood…a new world has emerged….and men have been given a new chance to honor the Lord.

(And after such a mighty demonstration of God’s ability to see into our hearts, and judge us accordingly….you would think that men would turn and obey the Lord with all their hearts…)

But what do we find….

…man, defying God’s command…and seeking to set themselves up a government without Him…

…and the leader of this rebellion is Nimrod. (Nimrod means “the Rebel”)

Genesis 10:8-9 “And Cush begat Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.”

This “mighty hunter” was not of animals, or food…..but a hunter of men. He loved dominance….and would allow no interference from others.

(Four times scripture uses the term “mighty” to describe Nimrod.

He was not ordinary….

…he was mighty in his rebellion against any power but his own,

…he was mighty in his flagrant killing of all who stood in his way,

…he was mighty in his hatred of the Lord….doing all to show his hatred,

…he was mighty in his plan of world dominance.

Most believe he is a picture of the man of Sin, the Antichrist….who will “magnify Himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous [blasphemous] things against the God of Gods,….” Daniel 11:36-37)

The phrase, “before the Lord”, means that he did all this killing in defiance of God….right before His eyes….to show his contempt of God’s command to not kill (Genesis 9:6).

Genesis 10:10 “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…”

(which at first, meant “Gate of God”…what he thought of his city)

Nimrod’s rise to power, was first locally…..then his ambition grew and he fought, till he became the head of the people….who were still together.

God had told them:

Genesis 9:1 “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Noah had three sons, and each was developed into a “tribe” of people….they should have spread out….

God wanted the people to separate from each other.

It would be so much better for those who wanted to worship God to do so apart from the others.

But they refused to go to replenish the earth….instead staying together….

….and then, under the dictatorship of Nimrod…..forming a “nation” in open rebellion to God’s Word.

He held power, when he held the people….so….he forms a nation founded on the principal of rebellion to the God of heaven.

That is why they begin to build a tower….a tall stronghold….with an edifice reaching into the heavens…

This city was built first….large enough for all…a fortress…..to keep all together….by force, if necessary……

(You will notice….he is so determined to rule by his own decisions…..that when the “plain” was not a place of stone for building….they made bricks. It was not a place for mortar….they used slime.

How eager the sinner to sin, and glorify themselves…..no matter what materials they have to use)

….and then to “make us a name”…..he had a desire for fame, adoration from all, and power…yet said….”make us a name”……to get them to follow him….flattery often works

Then, he designs a tower……unto heaven….

“We will show God that we will not do His commands….and we will go right up to heaven and show Him!” (Oh, the terrible folly of sin!)

Genesis 11:1-4 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Nimrod wanted to rival God….to have dominion over all men….to set up his government in opposition to God’s.

And he was doing it.

Everyone was following him….and building for him….and this went on for years.

But he did not take God into account….

(How it show us that man is always seeking to build a monument to his own genius….for his own fame.

And how we all need to beware…..lest we, too, build anything without God’s plan,…..or His tools,…or HIs time.)

Genesis 11:5-6 “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

This is amazing!

The Lord “comes down”…..(you see this again with Sodom and Gomorrah Genesis 18:20-21)

The Lord of Heaven came down….He could see perfectly well in heaven, yet you can feel the sadness of His decent….

….another rebellion….another crisis….I will deal with.

(It is important to note: that just like before the destruction by the flood, God spoke of the “imagination” of man [Genesis 6:5]….how it leads people into great sin.)

So God “comes down” to see:

Genesis 11:7-8 “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”

“Go to,…”. God uses the language they used….I think to mock them….they spoke of what “they” were going to do…..

….now He speaks the same way….”Go to,…” to show…what He will do.

Yet, the Lord does not strike them dead…..nor does He send a wind, or storm….He does not send illness…

He could….but instead He sends them…..confusion of tongues.

He completely destroys Nimrod’s plans….by “confounding their language….that they may not understand one another’s speech”

They had used their tongues to incite rebellion…and violence…..now they would use their tongues for confusion and chaos……

…..they leave off building because of strife and controversies…for they could not understand one another;……arguments began, as they usually do when people can not understand each other.

And they separated from each other…which is what God wanted…separated by families….going out through all the world.

(Have you noticed that “separation” is often in God’s plans for us? 2 Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord,…”)

And when God divides their tongues….He sends them into different directions.

Here is the formation of the different nations….all over the world.

Exactly what God wanted…..without one death.

What an amazing God we have!

He accomplished His Will, by simply willing them to speak different languages!

How simply He can do His Will!

Genesis 11:9 “Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Babel….confusion. Anytime we think we can win a battle against the Lord….confusion reigns within….

…..and confusion of life will be the result.

As Christians, in a confusing world:

We are to know God’s Word to us….and obey Him.

We are to place all our plans before Him.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

And we are to pray:

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Let us not add to the confusion….but let us “know”, “be established”, and speak what pleases Him.

(Interesting to note: God again gave different languages, at the giving of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Christ had said,..

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

But how? They did not speak in many languages…..how could they learn so quickly?

But the Holy Spirit gave them the power and ability to do what Christ said, “Go, and preach…to all the world”….not just to speak other languages…..but to understand those languages, as well!

Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Each language to those the Spirit chose.)

Acts 2:6 “Now when this was noised abroad,…”

Ignorant fishermen speaking other languages fluently?!

“…the multitude came together, and were confounded,….because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”

But this time those that were “confounded”……

……would be given understanding by those languages……to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Again, by different languages, these men were sent forth…..so that those that believe on Christ Jesus, might be separated from the world…..to Him!

We have an amazing God!)

{One other side note: In the last days, a man….a rebel against God will emerge again…..to try and build a “kingdom” against God….

….to set himself up as a god….instead of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10 “Let no man deceive you by any means for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposes and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God, sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that He is God.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all his power and signs and lying wonders,

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;

because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

He will rule as a “hunter”…..destroying all who will not go along…and honor him.

He will design a “fortress” around all by making them bear a mark….for only they can buy or sell…..(Revelation 13:16)

And he will enter the Temple at Jerusalem….the pinnacle like the “gate of God”…and set himself up as God.

Daniel 11:36

“And the king shall do according to his will;

and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god,

and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods,

and shall prosper

till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”

Here is the plan of the Anti-Christ……yet, (and again I say, what an amazing God we have):

“Till….”

God always has a time…..His time…

…”till the indignation be accomplished:

For that that(what God has determined)….shall be done.”

And it shall be done by The Word…..Christ will come forth and the sword of His mouth will slay these that have come to destroy His people.

Revelation 19:11, 15-16 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.

And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword,….And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

He comes down, and deals with this rebellion……He wills and it is done…..He speaks…..and a sword of righteousness is sent….and He ends this, by His Word.}

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Blessed.

Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.”

Blessed means twice happy!

God sees us blessed; How do we see ourselves, in His work?

When He chooses us, He causes us to draw near to Him. Would we resist that drawing?

When I was first brought back into the right way, after wandering away from God; I was in awe, that He loved me enough to welcome me back.

My thought was to grow closer to Him. Nearer, Nearer, I prayed. That is what I want.

The song of Nearer My God to Thee, seemed to play in my head, often.

“Even though it be a cross that raises me…”.

The “pig pen” of the world I had experienced; I wanted the “home” of closeness with God.

Blessed I was, and am, for God’s mercy to me.

This Psalm typifies God’s great arms.

Drawing us, even when we run away.

Calling us, even when we have refused before.

“We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house,”

For Christians, the closer we get to the Lord, the more satisfied we are.

The further away from God, the more opportunity for things to come in between us.

These cause barriers.

The barriers we place, between the Lord and ourselves, cause discontent.

And discontent is to be dissatisfied.

And when we are dissatisfied, we start looking for other things.

There are many temptations in the world, the best place to be safe, is in the “holy temple” of fellowship and nearness to the Lord.

Blessed is the one who is close to the Lord.

Blessed, also, is the one who is given opportunity to get near to the Lord, again.

Most blessed is the one who never looks for any other satisfaction again,…than in Him.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

I Live by the Faith of the Son of God

Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

By faith I am crucified with Christ.

Yes, when He died there on the cross, I died with Him.

[Though we have not experienced salvation yet….we were not born, yet…..nevertheless….in God’s sight….I died to my sin, in Christ’s sacrifice….and yes, when He rose again,….I was also raised to newness of life….in God’s sight.

I would still have to be born….and born again, but Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection were so powerful…that they could save me (and all others who come to Him….”whosoever will”) from sin, self, the world, death, and hell.]

But how do I work this out into my everyday experience? Are we just to think that we are crucified?

No, thinking will not get the job done…we must die to our old way of life: our self life. And we must live to our new way of life: our Christ life.

Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.”

I deny myself and take up my cross (not some Roman cross) but my cross.

As the cross was the Will of the Father to Christ, so our “cross” is God’s Will for me.

It is that which cuts across my will, and demands that I, the creature, bow before the Creator, and obey.

Then, I am following Him into His life for me.

(It is always the will, willing it. It is not emotional following…though our hearts are present in the act. Nor is it mental following, though our minds must understand He is asking us. It is the will…pushing you into it. Then the will…taking your arm and walking with you into His Will. For it is a process.)

He asks our willing cooperation: siding with Him against ourselves is a great joy to Him.

I must bear my cross till I come to the place where I no longer resist the Lord’s Will in anything.

It is there, my rebellion is ended.

(There are many Christians who say that you can not rebel against God after you are born again.

But the experiences of all believers from the first to last show differently.

We still have our old nature. Our selfish ways are ingrained in us deeply. And it is a process which requires God’s great patience to mold us into the character of Christ.)

“And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The faith of the Son of God is a demanding, sustaining, victorious faith. It was for Him, it is in us.

It demands obedience. It says that we are to move at His direction, under His banner; leaving behind our old life.

It sustains against trials, sorrows, and change, around us.

It gives a victory within us, for this faith enlivens us when we are weary; it orders our thoughts to see Him in all circumstances; and it never gives up on us.

It gives a victory outside of us, for this faith guides us through the quicksand of people’s flatteries, or complaints;

it shows Christ to others through us…..and draws them to Him;

and it holds us up, with a power that moves heaven and earth to help us.

And it is ours in Christ Jesus.

Will we have His life? Then we must lose our self life…..for He has it for us, if we will.

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The Voice of God

The Voice of God in the Hebrew…means anything you can hear that leads you to Him.

In the south, after the Civil War, an Evangelist was having a street meeting, when across the street….at a saloon….some men were standing, drinking, laughing at the people gathered [and especially the preacher].

When the preacher got to the verse:

Hosea 6:3 “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Then one of the men….shouted over…..”Hey, preacher! You really believe that? You really believe that…I…that I could know the Lord..?”

The preacher stared at the men….and then looked right at the man that asked…..”Yes, son, I do.”

“How?” Came the reply….

“Just as the verse says….

Do you believe that the sun will come up tomorrow?

Well, believe God’s Word the way you believe in the sun tomorrow……come to Him, and ask to know Him….then follow what He has said to you in HIs Word.”

“What has God said to me?” The man asked, laughing.

The preacher said, “let me tell you”….and he opened his Bible and preached Jesus Christ….and salvation by Him…..telling this man what the Bible says….to him, and to all of us.

That man was saved….and went on to be a preacher in the south himself!

God’s Voice can come to us through the Word, or anything…..if it leads us to Him.

In the dark ages (1600’s) a mercenary soldier, who has killed and spoiled….turns and sees a tree stripped of it’s leaves….and meets God.

Desolation was at every turn, yet at that look,….God spoke to him.

Leaves come….and go….and yet at the appointed time (no matter what is around them)….they come again, at God’s bidding.

He could not get around it….he turns his life over to God…..he goes….and becomes a monk…Brother Lawrence….and over the years there, writes a book,…”Practicing the Presence of God.”

Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

When Noah came out of the Ark, and built an altar….

(It is always a good thing for us to do, when we are leaving one thing behind and going on to the next….

…to place ourselves on the altar….to commit our way unto the Lord…to give Him all we are and have…that the next steps might be to HIs glory….and blessing.)

When Noah built that altar….God was pleased….and promised that He would never again destroy the earth with flood.

He gave the sign of a rainbow….one of the most beautiful and amazing things….”a bow in the cloud”….

….and then God established His timeline for the earth….and His Purpose.

God would keep this old earth…..(He had merely covered it with water for a little over a year…to cleanse it)….till His Purpose would be fulfilled…..many hundreds of years latter….

….fulfilled in Christ Jesus His Son…..the great sacrifice that can cleanse our hearts from sin.

For that is the Purpose of God….to call out and save a people for the Kingdom of His dear Son. (Colossians 1:13)

….then He showed the way we can know when time is growing short for this earth….and us again: the seasons.

Romans 8:22 “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together unto now.”

Sin has marred all of creation….not just man. Even the earth feels the effects of the sin upon it. But God has plans for us…..and for this earth.

The seasons will begin to change….slightly at first….then more so as the time comes on. And when these changes begin….the earth itself will “speak” to us….if we will hear….

….”Jesus Christ is coming again, prepare to meet your Maker”.

Psalms 19:1-3 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.

Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

There is the Voice of God in nature….showing the grandeur, the wonderful glory of our God.

And the Voice of God in time…..it keeps ticking….I grow older while I sit still or if I move around…..

…..today turns into tomorrow…..which turns into next week…and so on.

Nothing stays the same….all is aging….and decaying.

And this Voice of God is sent everywhere….not just with Christians….but in every nation….among every people….

….the Earth continues and yet, changes….will they “hear” it?

Time continues….I, you, the earth itself, grows older still….do we recognize our “end”?

Psalms 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”

Proverbs 1:20-21, 23 “Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying

Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My Words unto you.”

We must turn from the world,…it’s views, it’s opinions….to hear His reproof….His correction…

……and then, He will give us His Spirit in new measure!

There was a sad time in my life that I was wandering about searching for a “happiness”.

(I was young, and I thought that I could ignore God’s plan for me….

…how we need to instill in our children the love of God….and the Kingship of God!)

Now I want to say that the Lord wants us happy….happy in Him….but what I was searching for was not real.

I smiled a lot. I told terrible jokes. I tried to hang around the “cool kids”….but….

….I had “put aside” the Word of the Lord to me….in how I was to be…for I belonged to Him….

….looking for “happiness” instead.

The Lord sent someone to our Church, to awaken me to my attitudes and actions (Praise God)….and I got back into the Way.

It was not easy….

…..for it is never easy to “re-do” your steps, and leave some “friends”…..

……but I realized….even for all I had to do….it was easier than keeping up the act.

Instead of phony”happiness”…..God gave me forgiveness, peace, and joy.

What are you looking for?

We must understand just Who it is that is speaking to us.

It is as we go along with the Lord, that we leave the better that we have…..for the best that He has for us.

In the Song of Solomon, the believing maiden has come to a place of rest in the Lord…..she has come out of the wilderness…and gone on…growing in grace.

But, in this rest,…..she has stayed….thinking that this is the fulfillment of this onward call.

Till she hears the Lord’s voice “waking” her.

(Had she gone from resting to sleeping? How easy it is, when things seem right, to trust in what we have, rather than continue to seek where we should go.)

Song of Solomon 5:2 “I sleep but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my Beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled: for My head is filled with dew and My locks with the drops of the night.”

Here, the Lord comes to wake her. But look at what He calls her:

My sister—recognizing her belief in Him.

My love—showing His heart to her.

My dove—recognizing that she has come to look and rely on Him only.

My undefiled—showing that He sees her separation from the world.

All these are good….

But the Lord knocks for what is next….but she is sleeping.

He calls….open to Me….

And then shows her the next step….prayer and intercession for His Will done in His people…..the intercession that requires “waking early”…..and continuing late…that requires effort.

It was a call to be always ready to pray for, and do His Work, for others.

Her reply?

Song of Solomon 5:3 “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?”

Basically, she was saying…..”I have come out from the world, now you want me to deal with it?”

But she knows the answer even when she asks…..if she is separated to Him, she can be in the world….but not of it.

So she rises….but He has gone on…..must He do the work without her? Does she love her “rest” more than His Presence?

Song of Solomon 5:6 “I opened to my Beloved; but my Beloved had withdrawn Himself and was gone: my soul failed when He spake: I called Him, but He gave me no answer.”

I called Him but He gave me no answer….

That is because she was seeking Him….in the confines of her own particular thoughts….of how He would call.

She wanted Him to come to her, again…….instead of her seeking Him.

I will tell you plainly, that sometimes we can call and the Lord is Present…..and sometimes….He will wait to be gracious….

….it is to instill within us a constant desire for Him….and not His gifts.

Yet the call to this maiden,…..and to all of us,….

…..is an ever onward call to “come away”…..”open to Me”…..”come, let us go”.

Are you hearing the Voice of God to you?

Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

In this lukewarm Laodicean Church age…..the call is to “hear My Voice”….”open to Me”….and “sup (fellowship) with Me”.

Are we? Will we hear Him, and give Him a life open to and receptive to Him?

Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear…

Matthew 13:9 “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus had just told the parable of the sower, and the four kinds of ground: wayside, stony places, among thorns, and the good ground.

Then His disciples ask: Why do you speak to them in parables?

(We must remember Jesus has preached plainly to the crowds: Matthew 5-7 is the Sermon on the Mt.; and there He speaks very plainly what they should do)

So Jesus explains:

Matthew 13:12-13 “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Therefore speak I unto them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

Basically He said: exposition must have application.

When they come and hear, do they want to know what it means for them?

Or are they happy just to hear a story and go away, untouched by the meaning of My Words?

“For whosoever hath”. The crowds had been following Him, and listening.

But to truly follow Him as Christ, they would have to want to understand for themselves what He was demanding of them. What the parables meant where they were concerned.

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Did they really hear that? Then, what should they do,…….to have it?

Just follow along…..thinking everything was alright, because they listened to Him?

No,…..for to enter a kingdom…..you must submit to the King!

But to those who are His disciples, He said:

Matthew 13:16 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears for they hear.”

How?

His disciples had taken the first step and obeyed His call to them,……..whether from fishing boats, or tax collector booths…they came after Him (and that is always the first step: to leave the old life and come after Him)

Matthew 13:36 “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house; and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.”

They did not always understand at first, what the parables meant. But they wanted to know what these things really meant, and because they did, Jesus explained it to them.

That is the difference in hearing, and having hearing ears. The first one hears the words….they are lovely, and probably from God.

The hearing ears comes after for the understanding they need, to know and have what Jesus says for themselves.

When we have a Bible truth in reality; we have it in our everyday experience.

Romans 5:17 “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one (that was Adam, by his sin);

Much more they that receive abundance of grace

And of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.”

Romans 5:17 (Williams version) “For if by one man’s offense death reigned through that one (Adam, by his sin);

To a much greater degree will those who continue to receive the overflow of His unmerited favor, and His gift of right standing with Himself; reign in real life, through One, Jesus Christ.”

I like the Williams version because it explains: “receive abundance of grace”.

Jesus says in John 10:10 “…I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Abundant life comes as we continue to receive the overflow of His life and grace. He gives them to us: drop by drop;….or showers of grace.

There are graces we need to just “get through”.

But peace under trial; joy in pain; strength in sickness; perseverance in times of distress; etc.

These are all abundant graces which we can receive from Him…His overflow of power to us by His Holy Spirit in us.

Him flowing through us: in us (it is always in us first), and by us.

So we can reign (that’s right, we can rule our spirits in the situation: what ever it is).

And we can reign in “real” life….our real life!

Yes, the real life we live…not the one we would like to live; or the one we read someone else lived; but our life: all the people, jobs, troubles, griefs, and happiness…our life.

If we continue to receive His abundant grace: His overflow….for He has enough and to spare of grace (the unmerited favor of power)…for us all….