Be Encouraged (3)

         In order for the Lord Jesus to make a reset, a reset must first be made in the life of an individual who desires a reset by that individual and by no one else.

         The latter reset, the one by the individual, is a choice. That’s all it is. It is an appeal to the Lord for help. The individual has no power to actually make any changes in the spiritual world to overcome the effects of the material world since he or she is limited to making choices that create change only in the material world.

         Until repentance, one is in jail and often does not know it. And with no desire for real repentance one is free to exist without God.

         The material world is limited. It is finite. There is only so much a person can do. And when a person is beset with the result of past sins and slavery to sin one has the added bonus of an allegorical albatross around one’s neck and a ball and chain on one’s foot.

         Not good.

         Some people notice this though maybe only in a foggy sense. They know something is not right. Something doesn’t add up. They exist in the midst of an illusion and false construct and are made to do things that do not satisfy their hearts.

         So they search. These are the smart ones. The ones who are not smart decide to simply live for this world.

         The smart ones who search must want THE TRUTH whatever the truth happens to be. They are looking for the keys. One must desire the means of escape even if the means is uncomfortable, socially unacceptable, a destroyer of one’s pride, and sure to cause trouble.

         So, whoever refuses the above probabilities need go no further…

 

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         This is a very powerful statement. Let’s read it again:

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         Did you know this principle applies regardless of group size or official capacity? It applies to an individual just as it applies to governments and ruling institutions.

         Quick questions:

         Was the Roman Empire an enemy of God?

         Can a “church” be a friend of the world?

         For further insight and clarification, let’s look at the fourth chapter of James in context:

         What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

         You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

         Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?”

         But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

         Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

         Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

         Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [John 4:1-17]

         The last verse speaks of a violation of conscience. Everybody has a conscience. No one has an excuse. God judges the heart.

         But have you noticed a person has a much greater chance of surrendering to the Lord Jesus if he or she has not already surrendered to a group?

         Peer pressure is a killer. A government makes a bad law and everyone obeys it because they are afraid to stand up against it and invite the government’s wrath. Religions have codes that all within them must obey or they will be deemed a slacker and many obey codes and rules they do not agree with simply because they do not want to be characterized as a slacker and lose their standing in the group. People who belong to whatever culture must obey the expectations and ways of that culture or the culture will turn on them.

         So we can see very clearly that the Community of the Lord Jesus is obviously made up of people who did not fit elsewhere. It is made up of strong-minded and strong-willed people who love the truth and will stand up for it regardless of personal cost.

         And the greatest personal cost is always rejection from the prior group, the members of which are compromised by a lack of love for the truth, a heart with little or no courage, a desire to make it in this world at the expense of the next, a love of money, uncontrolled lust for things material, a desire for social prestige, and weak capitulation to any strongman who demands to rule them.

         America, for example, was once a nation of strong individuals. Individualism was the very thing that made this country great. Strong groups are made of strong individuals.

         Does anyone wonder how the Lord Jesus was able to stand up against virtually everyone and every group who all saw Him as a malcontent and deviant? Or how the early disciples faced so much persecution willingly without surrender, even to the point of death?

         These were strong people. Real Christians are the strongest people on the planet simply because they are the most persecuted. They are hated without a cause. They are seen as deviants. They are culturally unacceptable. They don’t fit anywhere but in the Kingdom of God. They will have no master of any kind whatsoever other than the Lord Jesus. They are sheep of His pasture and no one else’s.

         Be encouraged. The Lord is THE ROCK and His children are rocks.

         Rock on.

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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Posted on April 25, 2015, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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