Friday, August 30, 2013

GOD Helps Those Who....

Photo by The Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+
JESUS said,
"
I +  Am the TRUE Vine+ "
A walk by the muscadines
with Bro. Brendon, OGS+


GOD HELPS Those Who... 
help themselves ???

No !  

That erroneous concept of "who" GOD is was made popular in the writings of one Benjamin Franklin, a famous historical personage, true, but one who was a notable enemy of CHRIST JESUS ( according to his club memberships.)  

In all fairness, the statement and concept did not originate with Mr. Franklin, but with the ancient pagan philosophers. Mr. Franklin merely popularized it. 

Yet, Christians cling onto this concept. In so doing they identify a character trait of GOD that is NOT to be found in SCRIPTURES. 

The truth of the matter is this: 

GOD helps those who 
turn to HIS SON+, 
JESUS CHRIST! 

We know from our own struggle with our sinful nature that Our LORD JESUS CHRIST will never force a person to DO anything.

HE+ doesn't force someone to choose HIM+.

HE+ doesn't force someone to make good choices... and HE+ doesn't force anyone to make bad choices! 

Neither does the father of lies, satan.

We do all those things of our own free will, whether it is eating, exercising, or choosing to follow JESUS. 

That is why man is very, very accountable before the Judgment Seat of CHRIST.

What HE+ does do is guide us... through His+ Word and by His+ SPIRIT ... as we yield our wills to HIM+.

Does GOD really "help those who help themselves?"

People may say it, and some believe that to be a characteristic of GOD.

However, the Bible teaches that GOD helps those who turn to HIM+

After we turn to HIM+, it is then that HE+ will help us to become His+ disciple.... not necessarily will HE+ help us to do our own will, however.    

Discipleship will most certainly touch every area of our life... if we continue on with HIM+. 

Most believers stop at some point, though, and thus, ALL areas of their life do NOT become submitted unto CHRIST JESUS.

The REAL issue, though, is Self. 

Our LORD will never force Self to submit to His+ Word. HE+ will never force Self to live His+ Way.  

Furthermore,  HE+ will never force Self to enter into HEAVEN, either!

As a matter of fact, Our LORD will only help Self to do one thing: that is, to die to Self and to live for CHRIST.

In this way, by His+ Grace, we can be kept safe from our own Self-Will which will destroy us.

HE+ wants good for us and wants us with HIM+ Eternally, but we must learn to choose HIS+ Way in all things and to practice submitting to His+ Will. ( That is learning to be His+ "disciple.")

Some persons who believe that "GOD helps those who help themselves" do not rely upon HIM+ in any way to conduct their lives, but rather rely upon their own "toughness", their own skills, their own cleverness, and alas... their own Self-will to accomplish their own goals.

This "independence" from JESUS ... i.e., HE+ being shut out from having any say-so in their lives... means that HE+ is NOT their Shepherd; they are in control of their own lives ... but only until death. 

But at death,  the control reverts back into the hands of GOD, the Maker of us all, WHO promises to judge the secrets of men by HIS SON+, The LORD JESUS CHRIST (Rom. 2:16).  

HE, GOD, has placed all judgment into HIS+ hands ( John 5:22) ... and this judgment is reckoned according to what we have done with His+ Words.  ( John 12:48 )

Yes, woe to the man who is "independent" from Our LORD JESUS CHRIST. 

That person will end up on the "wrong" side of Eternity if The LORD is NOT the Shepherd+ of his life... a very serious, non-changeable consequence...  after death. 

Such erroneous statements about the character of GOD are based only upon human thought and not upon what HE reveals about Himself in the Word of GOD.

This "independence" from JESUS is probably hindering  more persons from entering Heaven than any other sin. 

Are we totally CHRIST-centered, making certain we follow the Good SHEPHERD+ in all areas since life is short and tomorrow is not promised ?

Let us strive to stand before The Great Judgment Seat of CHRIST... unashamed. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monastic-At-Heart Meditation : "Judged by the Light of the Sun"

Photo by The Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+
"O, Earth, Earth, Earth: 

Hear the Word of The LORD !"
2 Corinthians 1:12

For our boasting** is this, the testimony of our conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity*, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the Grace of GOD, we have had our conduct*** in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 

~ Judged by the Light of the Sun ~


The word "sincerity" is, in the Greek, 

heili + krineia

which is a compound word made by combining Sun with Judgement. Hence the literal meaning* is "judged by the sun" . The word "GOD" is in the genitive, thus showing possession = of God. 

Thus, in the clearness of day with nothing hidden by the darkness, how are we seen ? What exists upon our conscience that we might have to answer before GOD ?

~ ~ ~ WORSHIP ~ ~ ~

O GOD, THOU knowest my foolishness, and my sins are not hid from THEE.

 O, Worthy is the LAMB+ !
Worthy is the LAMB+
Who+
walks in the Light,
in Whom+ there is no darkness at all. 
Worthy is the LAMB+  
that was slain! 

Against THEE, THEE only have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that THOU mightest be justified when THOU speakest, and be clear when THOU judgest. 

O, Worthy is the LAMB+ !
Worthy is the LAMB+
Who+
walks in the Light,
in Whom+ there is no darkness at all. 
Worthy is the LAMB+  
that was slain! 

But if we walk in the Light, as HE+ is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+ cleanseth us from all sin. 

O, Worthy is the LAMB+ !
Worthy is the LAMB+
Who+
walks in the Light,
in Whom+ there is no darkness at all. 
Worthy is the LAMB+  
that was slain! 

~ ~ ~  PRAYER  ~ ~ ~


O LORD, Precious SAVIOR, I thank THEE+ for calling me into The Light... the Light of Thy+ Life, the Light of Thy+ Countenance. 

I turn over unto THEE+ the thoughts and deeds done in darkness, where I have hidden my ways from THEE+. 

Upon the altar of Thy+ Love I place these things that have darkened my countenance. Upon the altar of Thy+ Grace I confess my sin before THEE+. 

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow, that I might reflect Thy+ glory, O LORD, and bear perfect testimony for THEE+. 

I pray these things in JESUS' name. 
Amen. 

* KJV = sincerity, which is okay, but the Greek word meaning is explained by the Analytical Lexicon by Timothy and Barbara Friberg.

** KJV = rejoicing, but in the Greek that word is "boasting" 

*** KJV = conversation, but in the Greek that word means behavior, manner of life when there are explanations of the kind of behavior given in the verse ( BAGD, for the Greek reference). 
  

Monday, August 26, 2013

MONASTIC-AT-HEART Daily Devotions .... The Church at Work

Photo by The Order of the GOOD SHEPHERD+
" ... At Work"
 From 2 Corinthians 1: 1-10
Courtesy of BibleGateway.com

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 

~ MEDITATION  ~

Our Heavenly FATHER comforts us in all our tribulations. This is our Peace, our great security. 

Comfort, you may recall, by the ancient etymology, means "with strength." That tells us that HIS comfort is not mere sympathy. It is not merely tenderness. And, THIS COMFORT is in no way to be associated with a sentimental emotion here in Scriptures. 

No. This particular word, "comfort," comes with STRENGTH and that very strength is WITH US. 

We know this is true because the Greek word translated into the King's English as COMFORT is ParakLAtos.  

The Paraklete is the STRONG ONE Who comes along-side to help, the HOLY SPIRIT, yes, the Comforter Himself.  

HE comforts us in all our tribulations SO THAT we can extend that same kind of comfort to those who are in trouble. 
This is our work. 

Like as our sufferings for CHRIST abound, so does our consolation  in CHRIST abound.  That's HIS+ Grace !

AS we have suffered for others' consolation and salvation, they too will suffer for CHRIST if they become HIS+.
That is our assurance that our work is not in vain. 

And then, they too will partake of HIS+ consolation. This is HIS+ promise to them and to us. 

Now then, we are to embrace the sentence of death within ourselves, for CHRIST'S sake, BECAUSE Our LORD raises His+ dead ones. That means HE+ is able to grant us Victory over our enemies in this life, if it please HIM+... or to grant us Victory over our enemies by taking us to Heaven, if it is His+ Will at that time. Either way, we win!

~ PRAYER ~

O LORD, Who+ comforts me with special strength whenever I need it, I thank You+ for every trial and tribulation ... for they are drawing me closer to You+ ...and YOU to me! 

Worthy is the LAMB+ ! 
O, Worthy is the LAMB+ 
that was slain!

Thank You+ for coming close to me when I have sufferings of heart and body and anguish of soul.

 Worthy is the LAMB+ ! 
O, Worthy is the LAMB+ 
that was slain!

Blessed be THEE, O LORD, Who enables me to suffer alongside of my SAVIOR+.

Worthy is the LAMB+ ! 
O, Worthy is the LAMB+ 
that was slain!

Blessed be The Wisdom and Power of GOD, Who sends me the HOLY SPIRIT to come alongside of me during my sufferings. For when I am weak, You+ become my total strength.

Worthy is the LAMB+ !

O, Worthy is the LAMB+ 
that was slain
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory 
and blessing.

Blessing and honor 
and glory and power
be unto HIM+ that
sitteth upon the throne
and unto The LAMB+ 

Forever and ever
Amen.