Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Never Knew You

Not Everyone Who Says "Lord, Lord" Will Enter the Kingdom

As you probably know the theme of this BLOG is from the words of Jesus "Well Done . . . " found in Matthew 25:21, 23.  The reason this is so important to me is because these two words are the most important words I desire to hear Jesus say to me when I stand before Him.  It would break my heart to know that He is not pleased with me.  I pray that your greatest hearts desire is also to hear Him say to you, "Well Done . . . !"  Please read all of Matthew 25 as I do not want to take any scriptures out of context.

Here are the words I absolutely do not want to here Him say, " . . . I Never Knew You . . . ".

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) Please read all of Matthew 7.

Who is Jesus talking to in Matthew 7?  He's peaching to the crowds of people that followed after Him, which were Jews.   What does He mean by practicing lawlessness?  It means to continually and willfully practice sin.  Who are these people that He is referring to?  Unfortunately He is talking about people that are appear to be, on the surface, followers of Jesus because they can cast out demons in His name and they have done many wonders in His Name, but He did not know them.  These people were practicing a false copy of Jesus' ministry in order to deceive and confuse the people.  Satan uses deception to copy what Jesus is doing.  Satan does not want you to know the real Messiah as Satan uses counterfeit and trickery to deceive the masses.

How do I know this?  The answer is found in the previous verses 15-21:  15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them."    

Who are these false prophets? These people are all over the spectrum of humanity.  They are found as authors of best selling books, TV programs,  and unfortunately they are teachers, ministers, pastors, and priests in some of our denominations.  These are people that prey on the people that they are supposed to be shepherds of.  They have lead believers astray with false teachings and false doctrines.

Is there another resource that would substantiate this theology?  Yes, "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." 2 Corinthians 13:1 (NKJV) In order to not take scripture out of context please read all of Chapter 13.  Notice Paul mentions the term "disqualified".  What could cause a church person to be disqualified or to be in the same category as one that practice lawlessness.  The person that is disqualified is a person that has been fooled into believing a lie.  To be fooled means to be tricked.  Read some passages uses of the words; fool, foolish, and fooled.

Jesus gives us an example of people that are disqualified because they are foolish.  The Parable of the Ten Virgins is found in Matthew 25:1-13, but again I do not want to take things out of context so please read all of Matthew 25 as Jesus gives more examples of the kinds of people that are qualified and unqualified.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming. 
Who are these foolish people and why were they disqualified?  Jesus gives us the key to these people  in Luke 17.  Jesus says that in the last days it will the same as in the days of Noah and of Lot.  Please click on the link to read the entire chapter as Jesus gives other examples of those that are ready and waiting for Him to return and those that are to busy to prepare for his coming.  I think the key of the mystery of the foolish virgins and the disqualified mentioned as in the days of Noah and Lot is they were unfaithful.  They thought that they had plenty of time to play around and have some fun.  They thought they had plenty of time to enjoy themselves.  Their main priority was to eat, drink and party as if there were no tomorrow.  Tomorrow did finally come and they did not have any time left to get ready.

Work Out Your Own Salvation

While we cannot save ourselves, only Jesus can save us, but those that will enjoy salvation are those that seek Jesus through His teachings found in the Bible today and not somewhere down the road.  The believer's job is to study and renew our hearts daily through a personal relationship with Him and His Words.  The Holy Spirit resides in the true believer and he, or she, will not be deceived by false prophets, teachers, pastors and priests.

Some church goers only hear the WORD at church or what someone else says.  The true believer will study to show himself approved and will not be ashamed when he/she stands before Jesus.  2 Timothy 2:15.  Don't take someone else word for what the WORD says.  Study for yourself, be wise instead of foolish, be qualified instead of disqualified, and be sinless instead of lawless.  Be In Christ Jesus and you are saved.  If you don't know Him at this time then take the time go get to know Him.  You will find out just how much He loves you and wants you to be qualified to be with Him forever.  To allow yourself to be disqualified when Jesus comes can only because of your own laziness or foolishness.  God is not the one that sends people to hell.  Foolish people send themselves to hell.

I pray that this training has ministered to your heart.  In Jesus Name, AMEN
I pray that when you come before Jesus He will say to you, "Well Done good and faithful servant . . . "

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Marriage—Christ and the Church

In my last post I talked about my experience as a Sunday School teacher of a group of unruly teenagers.  One thing that I did not mention last time is our class did finally come back to the study of an important study from the book of Ephesians.  The topic was marriage found in Ephesians 5:22-33 NKJV

22 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

Today's post is a continuation on the subject "Teach me how to live life".  If there is any one thing I hope you get out of this lesson today is you must the read the entire Book of Proverbs. And, let the Lord reveal His heart to you and for you.   Relax and let Him provide the desires of your heart by trusting in Him as He has done for me.

A man that finds a virtuous wife is  worth far more than all the wealth, riches or fame the world has to offer - as you will see from Proverbs 31:10-31 below:

The Virtuous Wife

I was studying Proverbs 31 today and when I read verses 10-31 I realized that these verses are a description of my wife.  The LORD is the one that gets the credit for sending her to me, or me to her.  If you really know her I am sure you will see her in these verses too:

10 "Who can find a virtuous wife? 
For her worth is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.

12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.

15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.

18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.

19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.

20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates."

The following is a wonderful explanation of what a virtuous woman is all about:

"10 Virtues of a Proverbs 31 Woman"

The following "10 Virtues of a Proverbs 31 Woman" is from Melissa Ringstaff's BLOG - A Virtuous Woman - Living Life with a Purpose - 

1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows
His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15)

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)

3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)

6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)

7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)

9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Prov- erbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

We Want to learn About Life and How to Live!

Have you ever had an experience where the LORD was able to use you to make a difference in the lives of others?  I'm sure most all us have had more than one of these experiences whereas the LORD place you at the right time and the right place in order to say and do the right thing that blessed others.  I have had this to happen on several occasions and I pray that this is received as I am attempting to give glory to myself as this is not my intention.  I pray that if there is any glory in this message that it all goes to Jesus.

The LORD has been tugging at my heart to share this story and I have been resisting sharing because of my not wanting to glorify myself in any way.  I have always love teaching Sunday School and this story is about a particular class that I was asked to teach when I was a member of a wonderful church in Greenville, Mississippi.  I'm not saying that I am a great Sunday School teacher by any means.  I just love to talk about Jesus and His WORDs.

One Sunday morning a friend,  Mike, who was the head of our Sunday School classes, asked me if I would be interested in teaching a class of middle teens that had just lost their teacher.  He said that it was an unruly class and the teacher quit because he could not take it any longer.  I told him that I would give it a try, but I'm not sure I can handle an unruly class either.

On the next Sunday I arrived at the class and the students were shocked to see me come in the room.   The outspoken leader of the class informed me immediately that I will not last because they have successfully run off their previous teachers.  I said, "Well, that may be true, but let's wait and see how it goes!"  The class was study materials was from a book about the Book of Ephesians and I proceeded to read and explain the particular passages from the lesson.  The class was restless and disrespectful of the study because this is not what they wanted to study.  The Associate Pastor's son was the ring leader of the rebellion so I ask him, "What do you want to study?"  He said, "We are bored with what our parents like to study.  We what to learn about is life and how to live!"  I said, "Okay let's close our book and pass them all forward."  I put the books away not really knowing what I was going to say or do because I really did not feel adequate to teach teenagers about life.   I have two young sons at this time and I really didn't feel qualified to teach teenagers as my boys were not teenagers yet.

"What is it that you would like for us to talk about?",  I asked the class.  They were very excited and everyone was talking at the same time about different subjects they wanted to talk about.  The most important of all the topics that was brought us was mostly about sex and about how to live their lives.

They were all sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see my reaction.  I said that I would be glad to talk about these things mentioned, however, I must have permission from each of our Pastor first and he may require permission from each of your parents.  After class I approached the Pastor and to my surprise he was very happy that I was willing to teach what they are asking for because this is what the teens need to hear.  He said that I didn't even need the parents permission and to proceed starting next Sunday.

Well, the unruly class changed into a wonderful blessing for me as every Sunday each class member  sat on the edge of their seats soaking in what I was saying and they participated in the discussions about subjects that interested them.  I asked them why they didn't talk to their parents about these things.  Their answer was, "My parents will not talk to me about such things as they do not know how to!"   It is not that I was a great teacher, but rather that I listened and openly discussed what they needed to know at that particular point in their lives.  It was not what I said that made the difference.  It was what the LORD had to say through me.

The class members were some of the most wonderful people I have ever had the opportunity of teaching.  They were unruly at first because the felt isolated and detached as they didn't feel like anyone really cared about their frustrations.  They just needed someone they could talk to that understands the uncertainty that they deal with everyday.  Jesus understood and He came to them in their time of need.

The moral of the story is the LORD uses us lay people in many different ways to minister to the needs of others.  Often times people just need someone who will listen to the cry of their heart and then our job is to listen without interruptions, judgements or criticisms.  Then next our part is to relax and let the LORD speak through us with a message that is from the LORD's heart.

I hope this message blesses you and encourages you to be sensitive to the needs of others and let the LORD guide you in your ministry of helping those that are hurting and seeking help for their troubled souls (mind, will, and emotions).