Monday, November 30, 2015

Cannot Serve, Take No Thought, Receive His Life

24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

I always found it interesting that Jesus went from "You cannot serve two master", to "take no thought for your life."

It seemed kind of confusing that Jesus did not then say: "Choose to serve this master or that master."

Clearly, we should not chase after things, materials, the things of this life:

In fact, we need life, we need Him, and this life we receive through His righteousness

"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 12: 28)


"In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death." (Proverbs 21: 21)

So, let us then draw a wise revelation from this passage.

How do we serve God? When we take no thought for our life, and receive His life!

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10: 38-43)

Mary served Jesus by receiving from Him!

This new life in turn grants us power to keep His commandments:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13: 34)

and then

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1 John 3: 23)

We cannot serve God in and of ourselves, and we need His life to do anything for him. Stop seekings things, take no thought for anything, and receive His life!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

They Seek, We Receive His Kingdom and Righteousness

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

Rightly divide the Word of Truth, soldiers in Christ! (2 Timothy 2: 15)

Jesus did not deliver these words to us or to our day, under the New Covenant.

Matthew Five lays the groundwork for the audience whom Jesus is addressing:

"And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying," (Matthew 5: 1-2)

Jesus is instructing specifically His disciples.

Today, we are no longer disciples, but sons of the Living God through Jesus (John 1:12; Romans 8:15) There is no reference to discipleship after the Book of Acts, either.

So, Jesus tells His disciples to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

This standard should put everyone to shame and despair. None of us can seek His Kingdom, for His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55: 8). Besides, Heaven is His throne, and earth is His footstool , and He wants to dwell in us (Isaiah 66: 1-2).

His righteousness is not something that we can do or achieve on our own, either.

It is a gift which we receive and keep receiving:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

and today, we are already citizens of His Kingdom:

"but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3: 20)

and then

"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated usinto the kingdom of his dear Son:" (Colossians 1: 13)

What they had to achieve under law, we receive today under grace!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Take No Thought for Your Life - Because It's His Life!

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?" (Matthew 6:25)

Theses words were a tall order for the Israelites during His earthly ministry.

Let us never forget, however, that Jesus as the prophet greater than Noah, Moses, and Samuel was restoring the law to a pristine, impossible wholeness.

Then He drops this command: "Take no thought for your life."

Now, why can we relax and no longer worry about our lives?

Well, let's establish this truth up front: man is born dead in his trespasses.

Adam and Eve died the moment they ate from the tree forbidden to them.

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2: 17)

Paul then explained what happened to all mankind through Adam:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." (Romans 5: 12-14)

So, man is not just in sin - he's dead!

Why would dead people take thought for their lives if they have no life to begin with?!

Jesus declared the greatest hope that He gives to us:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)

His life is not bad, but good!

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

Jesus does not just give us life, but we reign in life - as kings and priests! (1 Peter 2: 9) in Christ Jesus!

He gives us all things richly, too (Romans 8: 31-32)

Let us not be surprised today by the commandment which Jesus gave to the Israelites during His earthly ministry. We had no life then, but today He is our life:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ,who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 1-4)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Is Anything New? -- Yes!

"Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us." (Ecclesiastes 1: 10)

King Solomon, the Preacher and the King in Jerusalem, communed within himself and in his heart with everything that he had.

He was wealthy beyond belief or record. He had more wisdom than any man alive, then or now.

Yet for all of this, life was nothing but vanity, grasping of the wind.

He had wisdom, but no life.

Jesus came to grant us the very thing that Solomon was missing:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)

He invoked greater  authority than Solomon:

"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here." (Luke 11: 31)

Jesus was in the business from His earthly ministry to the present making all things new.

"Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them." (Isaiah 48: 6)

and also

"And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it." (Ezekiel 17: 24)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus said:

"And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. 37And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." (Luke 5: 36-38)

and also

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12: 33)

and finally:

"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful." (Revelation 21: 5)

Notice that Jesus makes ALL things new!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Joseph Prince, Walter Capps, and Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

I love listening to good preaching, the Word which reveals more of Jesus, and how much He - not we - has accomplished in our lives.

There I go again, talking about "my life" when He is our life! (Colossians 3: 1-4)

This morning, this Thanksgiving morning, I learned about Jesus and what He was preaching about in the Sermon on the Mount.

Prince was talking about the folly of worrying, which cannot add to our height one cubit.

I then remember the turmoils I faced about seven years ago, when I learned about the gift of righteousness, and how we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Joyce Meyer had talked about all the gifts and inheritance brought to us through the gift of righteousness. I remember listing all the blessings which come with righteousness, and all of them started to manifest in my life.

I was making more money than I could ever have hoped. I was well taken care of in every aspect of my life.

Then I got confused by this passage:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

If I have been made the righteousness of God in Christ, why do I have to seek it?

The confusion grew more complex when I read this passage in the Gospel of Luke:

"But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12: 31-32)

So, I am supposed to seek the Kingdom of God, yet this kingdom God gives to us?

Then it got really interesting:

"Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17: 21)

So, the Kingdom of Heaven is something that we seek, but is something which God gives us, and yet the Kingdom is within us . . .already?

Questions like these made my peaceful rest in God's goodness hard to do.

Then I would take one passage, like this verse, and torture it into a set of works:

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3)

This passage is about trust, not feelings, or anything else. I can feel mad, bad, sad, even fearful, yet that does not mean I do not trust God. 

All these emotions are put aside to the truth of God's Word.

The corrupt ribbon which wrapped up all these distorted nonsense? Alcoholics Anonymous, the cult which despises the blood of Jesus, and makes nothing of His splendid, necessary sacrifice at the Cross, and beyond that diminishes Him to an ephemeral standard which no one can keep.

All of these thoughts and premonitions came running through my mind.

Then I watched Charles Capps during the next half hour.

He expounded on the Word of God, and he talked about the necessity of rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2: 15).

If something in Scripture seems to contradict something else, then it's all a matter of recognizing who said it, when and to whom. Context really is key. Inadvertently, people lock up the full understanding of Scripture with "Well, the Bible says   . .". Where, and to what degree? What is the message which we need to draw?

Two hours later, I was talking with a man about the Bible. He shared with me the Bible as Literature class he took in college. Taught by a Baptist Minister, the class focused on how to read the Bible. He had learned that the whole book is about JESUS!

It's not Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The Bible is basically about. . .Jesus!

This issue of context is crucial - Crux - Cross.

So, let us consider the context of the above passages:

Matthew 6:33 depicts Jesus restoring the Mosaic Law, the Old Covenant, to its pristine, unassailable fullness. Jesus was clearly addressing disciples at the time.

Today, we are not disciples, but sons:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1: 12)


"And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever." (John 8: 35)

Jesus also calls us friends!

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (John 15: 15)

Today, when God the Father looks at us, He does not see us in ourselves, but in Christ Jesus:

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" (Romans 5: 15-17)

and of course:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

I was confused for so long. I did not understand what it meant to simply trust Him.

Why was this so hard?

I did not have the fullest revelation of the CROSS.

It's all about what Jesus has done, not what I am still supposed to do.

As for the passages in the Bible which seemed to confuse me, I recognize today that those comments were to different people during a previous dispensation, the Old Covenant.

The Bible is not about us. It is about Him.

John did not identify the fathers in his midst based on what they did, but on whom they saw and knew:

"I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. . . .I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known himthat is from the beginning." (1 John 2: 13-14)

Today, I understand that I have His righteousness as a gift, and I keep receiving it!
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

Thank you Jesus for Joseph Prince, Walter Capps, and Kenneth Hagin, godly man who loved the Word, and allowed Him to abide them!

We Trust Our Hearts -- Because Jesus has Granted us a New One

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17: 9)

This passage discourages many Christians, because then they believe that whatever desires lie in their heart, they should automatically reject.

Now, let us always remember to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2: 15), and that man's heart needed to be changed. With the New Covenant, we have a new heart.

Of course, we see examples throughout the Old Testament from men still living under the previous administration, and what their hearts revealed:

"I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts." (Ecclesiastes 3: 17-18)

David recognized his need for a new heart:

'Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51: 10)

God promised to give His people a new heart:

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36: 26)

How does God do this? The writer of Hebrews outlines what God did through His Son Jesus:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8: 10-13)

and then

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9: 15)

and also

"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12: 24)

We have a new heart and a news spirit today, because of Jesus!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Jesus: Cursed for our Blessing and Inheritance

"And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." (Deuteronomy 21: 22-23)

Paul reminds the Galatians that Jesus not only died for our sins, granted us His righteousness, but also redeemed us from the curse of law:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."  (Galatians 3: 13-14)

Yet notice also that a man must not remain hanging on the tree.

He must be brought down, so that the land would not be defiled.

Jesus was brought down from the Cross, signalling to the world that all the punishment for our sins was fully paid:

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17: 4)

and also

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19: 30)

Of course, let us never forget that Jesus did no sin (1 Peter 2: 22).

Yet He became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

Jesus was cursed, that we would be blessed. He was brought down from the tree, and thus our path, our walk is not defiled.