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Archive for December, 2020

What is the value of your suffering?

Posted by appolus on December 31, 2020

Are you tired today? Weary? Tiredness and weariness is a tough part of the journey. A dangerous part no doubt, but it is something that we saints all face. In the end it comes down to “will you put one foot in front on another?” Will you persevere? Will you endure to the end? You may wonder what part this plays in your journey. What part loss? What part pain? Tragedy and desperation, do any of these things have value?

A vital aspect of all of this is that it fundamentally refutes the accuser of the brethren. Many saints think that because their suffering is not directly related to the cause of Christ that somehow it does not count. That is a lie from hell. Satan has a insatiable appetite to see you fall, to see your testimony crash on the rocks of your trials. If he can see this come to pass, it bolsters his lie before the throne.

In the very first pages of Job we see the enemy of our soul come before God and basically say that those who claim to love God only do so because God blesses them, He protects them. Take that away and they will reject God, they will curse God. And so as we journey on through the straight and narrow path, we are a living witness in an ancient court room drama. No where is this more dramatically played out than on Calvary itself where in the darkest moment of the life of Jesus He believes He has been forsaken. His soul had been flooded with the dark waters of despair and even a gross supernatural darkness that has fallen across the land.

The Lord never rejects His Father. In fact we see the Lord minister from the cross. He is thinking about His mother, He is asking for those who did this to Him to be forgiven, He is reaching out to the thief. He is doing all of that because He is acting according to His nature. We, His children, will in the end act according to our nature. Not the old one, but the new one and this new one will be and is being proven in the very midst of the fire. All faith is tested.

Imagine the power of the witness who cries out from the depths of darkness of their love for God. Imagine how this shakes the very foundations of hell. Hell itself is built on a foundation of lies. And every act of faith by the children of God is an earthquakes that shakes hell’s foundations. Every act of faith is a flaming fiery arrow that ricochets off and is deflected by a golden shield and the arrow returns and pierces the one who fires it. The fire of hell is the refuted lie.
The accuser of the brethren truly falls when the sons and daughters of God praise Him in the midnight hour.
In the darkest hours of our lives, when everything we have has been stripped away, when our lives have been dismantled, when the enemy waits with baited breath to hear you curse God and die but instead he hears “even if you kill me Lord yet will I trust you,” then the gates of hell are breached. The gavel falls, the accuser is exposed and the sentence is passed.

This dear saint is the value of your pain. It’s the value of your suffering. Your loss, your tiredness and your weariness is the backdrop to the reality of your genuine unconditional love for God. It’s a witness to what God said. It is the evidence that convicts the enemy. It is God’s creation and it is marvelous and wonderful. He first loves us as proven by Calvary and we in return love Him. And so shall it ever be for all eternity.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Transformation brings glory.

Posted by appolus on December 30, 2020

Isaiah 63:14 As the beast goes down into the valley and the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest. So you lead your people to make yourself a glorious name.

When you follow Christ into the valley the world will be changed but do not think you were called to change the world, you were not. No, brothers and sisters, we were not called to be world changers, we were called to live a transformed life. We were called to have our own lives transformed and in that transformation the world is changed as a by-product of our primary purpose. Our primary purpose is glorifying God by our own lives. Focus on changing the world and you become a humanist, Christendom is all but lost today to humanism.

We are not called to alleviate the sufferings of the world beyond giving to the poor. We are called to be salt and light, a city set on a hill. If you clothe the naked but share not the love of Jesus then what have you gained? If you visit the prisoner and leave the prisoner a captive then what have you gained? It must always be about Jesus and if not, then one can join the ranks of the social services.

Jesus walked through the valley and it led to the high hill of Calvary. And from that momentary lofty place, we meet Jesus and He asks us to return to the valley. He is not asking us to do what He would not and did not do Himself. He came from the glories of heaven to walk in the pain and suffering of the valley. And in this moment of transfiguration, where we encounter the living God in the high place, we decide to die to ourselves and follow in His footsteps.

Lord give me a heart that even when I am persecuted for righteousness sake, I still go on loving this world. Give me a heart that even when men say all manner of evil against me that I rejoice and am exceedingly glad for your sake. Let me be the salt of the earth. Change me so that I will be a city set on a hill and all those who travel through the valley will be comforted when they see the light that is in me.

And mankind will glorify God when they see what marvelous works He has performed in you. A willing servant to God and a free man and a free woman. Free to glorify God in heaven for all His marvelous works in and through you. It is your work in your children Lord that is a witness to your power. Let us not be ashamed of your work in us rather let it be known to all who would hear that this is your power, the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation. We were called to be witnesses, let us be witnesses and expressions of your power, the power to transform. Let us rest in that,

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

The depth of His love.

Posted by appolus on December 28, 2020

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 fulness of God.(Eph 3:17-19)

If it’s the moon they say 250,000 miles or if it’s the sun they say 93 million miles. But after that they start talking in light years. They say that there are bodies millions of light years away—say 10 million just to get a start. So if you want to know how far it is from earth to that body I’m talking about, you multiply 5 trillion, 862 billion, 484 million by 10 million. Doesn’t that stun you? It makes my head ache! Seen over against this, you and I are terribly small (A.W.Tozer The Attributes of God)

Can you see what Tozer is getting at? He is showing us just how vast the universe is and yet how infinitesimally small it actually is in comparison to God almighty. This is beyond our ability to comprehend. It is too big. Yet right there in the Scriptures it says that those who have Christ in their hearts, and are rooted and grounded in love can indeed comprehend God. Think on that a while. Comprehend God. We can know the breadth of His majesty. We can know the depths of His love. We can know the heights of His glory. In short, we can know that which is beyond knowledge. We can be filled with the fullness of our God who is infinitely vast. This is astonishing that we can enter into and be filled with His fullness. It’s an invitation by our Lord who owes His creation nothing. And yet He beckons us to come into the glory. Our God wants to share this with us. And there is purpose in it.

For this purpose Paul bowed his knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus, his Father and our Father. The purpose is that we faint not in the midst of tribulations. When we apprehend His glory we comprehend His glory. When we comprehend His glory we are strengthened by His might in the inner man. On the outside we may be in prison, we may be hard pressed on every side, perplexed and persecuted and struck down but we stand fast and we are not overcome. We stand and do not fall because He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think according to His power that is in us, the fullness of His power. Glory to God in the highest. He causes us, whose heart He dwells in by faith and who are rooted and grounded in love, to stand.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The highways and the byways.

Posted by appolus on December 27, 2020

To be in one world and suddenly in another. To be a pauper, and suddenly to be raised up and out of the gutter. To be taken into the first estate and to marvel at it all. To see the ones who’ve fallen and marvel at their fall. From the highways and the byways the beggars they all came, the blind and the broken, the rejected and the lame. The poor and the afflicted, all were welcomed in, delivered and set free from every kind of sin. And they came rejoicing.

In my wildest imagination I could never have imagined being here. A place of unparalleled beauty, a place where there’s no fear. To come from the lowest reaches and find yourself among the highest mountain peaks, to sit at the feet of Jesus and know that our Creator speaks, is to travel from life to death. Who will come? Wont you come? There is room at the cross for you. And in my Fathers house there are many mansions and one awaits for you, tis true. If it were not I would have told you so. There’s an invitation sent to the highways and the byways to see the God of glory, the universe displays. In all His finest majesty and magnificence He still reigns yet walks beside the pilgrim saint His presence there remains.

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My three lives.

Posted by appolus on December 26, 2020

Jesus is the bridge between two worlds. The seen and the unseen. The seen world relies upon the head, the unseen world relies upon the eyes of the heart. Our senses, as great as they are, can only serve us in the seen world. Any interaction with the unseen world must come through the prism of our spirit/heart. Not the physical heart you understand. The physical heart pumps life giving blood in a somewhat mystical way, but the Spirit is the wellspring of a substance called life.

In this context I am talking about the Scriptural word Zoe. An example of this would be John 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” This life is the divine life of God in man. This is the abundant life of John 10:10. Jesus had come so that we may have a superabundant never-ending wellspring of divine life in us. This is the divine life that flows through the supernatural heart of a man or a woman.

When this life is flowing through us it comes crashing into interaction with the life that we can see, the seen world. Our life in this world, our actual physical lives is described in the Scriptures by this word, Bios. It is where we get our word biology from and an example from Scriptures would be Luke 8:14 ‘with cares and riches and pleasures of this life.” And the context is the seed that fell among thorns.

Anxieties and worries and cares, all drowning the life, Zoe, divine health, out of us. One has to go. Divine life and the cares of this world cannot co-exist and so those walking in the divine life of God rise above the cares and the anxieties of this world. They can “see,’ the truth that lies in the unseen world and it can be used to over-ride the senses that so dominate this world.

The last use of the world life in the Scriptures comes in the form of this word, Psuche and the Scriptural example would be Matt 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” This of course is not referring to your physical life, that would be the word Bios. This word psuche is referring to your soul/spirit. Your soul/spirit will come into its own when it is infused by the life(Zoe) of God through the Spirit of God.

God will “breath,’ into you and it will abundantly overcome all other life in you and your actual physical life. So brothers and sisters, what “life,” dominates your life? Zoe? Bios? Psuche? Zoe life is the life of God flowing in us. It is the light of men living in a dark world. We cannot be light to the world or a city set upon a hill if we are not dominated by the Zoe life of God.

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Actually looking at Jesus.

Posted by appolus on December 23, 2020

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Only that which flows from an uninterrupted gaze on the Lord Jesus is real. Everything else is the shadow of the object. Granted, the shadow of the Lord is more powerful than all that can be seen, and one can even enjoy the heat from the sun in the shadow. Yet the glow from the face of Moses was not the glow of a man who stood in the shadows. I believe that the Lord can pour out his unadulterated light if it is not diffused by the efforts of self appointed middle men or intermediaries.

Can it be that simple? Can we simply come into His presence and be changed? Does everything begin and end with the Lord Jesus? How does one continue to look to Jesus? It is a conscious act of the will to take our eyes off our circumstances and cast them upon Jesus. This is the great battle of our lives, not our circumstances. Our circumstances can simply be doors that if walked through leads directly into His presence. It is in that place, looking unto Jesus, that we are changed. Trust is the key that opens the door. To trust in God is to walk through the opened door of our circumstances into the throne room of God.

There are two Kingdoms. The kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God. One is seen and affected by our senses and circumstances. The other is unseen and if walked in, relegates our circumstances to mere opportunities to go deeper into its depths. Now these two kingdoms compete for our attentions. You must cry out to God every day to bind up the reality of the kingdom of this world and to loose the reality of the Kingdom of God in your life. Cry out to God to give you eyes to see what He sees and how He sees it. Can you imagine the prospect of every situation you face being an opportunity to grow in grace and power? This is the Kingdom reality, will you walk in it today?

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »


Posted by appolus on December 22, 2020

1 Cor 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” There are many kinds of death just as there are many kinds of victories. There is of course physical death and for those saints who “have the victory,’ then every aspect of death’s power, fear and dread and darkness are swallowed up by the life of Christ. For we know that because He lives then so shall we. The darkness of this world shall be swallowed whole by the light of Christ that is brighter than a thousand suns. Let all you suns of the universe hide yourselves in shame as mere candles in the wind when my Lord appears.

And because we “know” Him we have already been touched by the glory of His light. Can you feel it’s glow even now deep within your heart? It burns at the center of who we are. There is life in this light of God. There is power and there is victory and because there is we can say with full authority to death- where is your sting? Oh grave where is your victory? You have been defeated and you have been swallowed whole. The victory belongs to Jesus. His very life is our victory and His eternal throne means that out victory is eternal.

And therefore if death has been overcome and we ourselves have died to this world then we are now alive to walk in His Kingdom. And in this Kingdom we walk in victory. In every situation we have something that belongs to Jesus and was created by His very life. The light of Christ. It overcomes every darkness saints. When you apply this light to whatever battle that you are in you will find the victory. There is victory in the glory. Just as the glory of God fills all of heavens chambers that are vast beyond imagination, then it also fills you. His glory is your victory. For it’s release from your spirit lights up the darkness of every corner of your soul.

Victory. That is what you have today saint. It lies within you for the Lord rules and reigns in your heart. You are a single tear drop away from His glory. No matter your situation today saints, search, like the deer, for the waters of life, the glory and the victory that lies within you. There is a fountain, an eternal spring and its waters have life and they have been prepared for your use. Desperation is often the key that opens the door of humility revealing the source of life and victory. Jesus is the life and the light , the watererbrooks, the eternal springs and the glory and the victory.

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Forgive them Father

Posted by appolus on December 22, 2020

There is a world that we cannot see. It is a world of witnesses. Whether a great cloud of them or whether principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places, they watch. We walk in the unseen world. Saints walk in the spiritual reality of all existence. And the power of those who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh is the power that shakes the gates of hell and the kingdom of darkness.

In order to shake the gates of hell we have to understand our spiritual reality. It is totally apart from any religious notions or pious intentions. Vanity. Loving our enemies is where the real power lies. Why? If you can love your enemies then this causes violence in heavenly places. Every saint who breaks through into this reality has broken through into enemy territory. You are now behind enemy lines and you are causing chaos in the ranks of hell.

I want to give you two examples of this is action. In Acts chapter five we see some remarkable displays of the true power of God. First the Apostles are imprisoned and then they are supernaturally released. Do they go into hiding? No, they went right back into the lions den so to speak, they went into the Temple. Now remember, they had been told not to preach in the name of Jesus, but there they were with all the boldness of Spirit filled men.

They were arrested again and dragged in front of the leaders, men who had the power of life and death (they would have had no power unless it had been granted to them) And they begin to tell those leaders that they had crucified the Christ. They testified that the Christ had arose and was exalted by the hand of God. They proclaimed that they would obey God rather than men and therefore continue to preach Jesus. They announced themselves to be His witnesses The men whom they spoke to were “cut to the heart.” The power of God was on the move.

Now I want you to see this. They were beaten that day for their troubles. And as they walked home, battered and broken they rejoiced because they “were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” You see, they held no recrimination against the ones who beat them, nor the ones who ordered them beaten, they simply rejoiced that they were counted worthy to have entered into the sufferings of the Lord. This is the power that flows from Calvary “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” This is the power exhibited in Stephen who cries out, even as he is being stoned, for God not to hold this against the ones who were killing him.

Truly remarkable power. In this world they had no rights and were abused and would appear weak to men. Yet, in the spirit world they were giants and they were more that conquerors. Weak in this world, mighty in the Kingdom. Saint, when you can see the battle with spiritual eyes then you can walk in the power of the Spirit. Yes, men know what they are doing but Jesus says forgive them Father for they know not what they do. The two things are true at the same time. Men can “know,” what they are doing in this world and have not a single clue as to what they are really doing in the spiritual world and who they are doing it for.

For many saints it wILL be offensive to suggest that the Apostles were exactly where they were supposed to be as they were being beaten. Stephen was exactly where he was supposed to be as he was being stoned. And, of course, Jesus was exactly where He was supposed to be as He was being crucified. Can you see it saint? Close your eyes to this world and open your spiritual eyes. If you can walk in the Spirit then it no longer matters who beat you or who ordered you to be beaten. They become quite irrelevant just as Pontius Pilate was irrelevant. What matters is that darkness is overcome by the power of light, the light of Christ. And in this, the gates of hell and the kingdom of darkness shake.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

The hireling runs and the saint stands!

Posted by appolus on December 19, 2020

It is a good thing when you are judged, mocked or spoken ill of for the cause of Jesus. For it surely is a sign of a man walking with his Lord? You are blessed when they speak ill of you for the name of Jesus. I always want to be found in the remnant group that is willing to suffer for the name of Jesus. There is risk in every act of faith, every word spoken for the Kingdom. Something that is worth something, costs something. People want the benefits of the cross but want no part of the suffering. They want the crown, but not the cross. It’s called religion.

It most often hides in plain sight and can often look wonderful and speak wonderfully, but always, without exception, self lies behind it all. If self is threatened then they fall back and compromise with the world in order to keep what they consider to be their position in society. No better example of this than the Pharisees and the high priest who thought it expedient that Jesus should die so that they may keep their position and their country, and of course it was not long after that that both were destroyed, position and country.

In the end, the hireling runs, it is what he/she does. They will always find another flock to attach to. The days ahead will surely see an even greater separation between the wheat and the tares. How is this weed identified in the end? It always comes against the flower, always. Give it time. We all act according to our natures in the end. That is why we must have the nature of Christ abiding in us. Stand therefore, saints, stand. The day is upon us.

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The death of the cross.

Posted by appolus on December 18, 2020

Phi 2:5 For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

And so Jesus, being found in the likeness of man, humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. How many of us know that when a friend or a family member is dying or seriously ill, then we gather around them and comfort them? There are also doctors and nurses to ease their pain. This is not so when we are dying to the flesh.

There will be an agony which we have to deal with alone. The comforts and sympathies of this world do not help us when we are dying a spiritual death, in fact it is quite the opposite, it tends to prolong the process. When you hear “there , there,” when you are in the midst of a great struggle, from well meaning people you will not be comforted. The comfort there, in your spiritual dying, is the discovering that when God is all you have, God is all you need. The cross is not comfortable, it is the very opposite of comfort. It’s not just a dying, its the dying of the cross. A suffering of loss.

Yet in the midst of dying to ourselves we are called to life, spiritual life. In the seemingly endless paradoxes between life in the spirit and our life on this earth we are called to have the mind of Christ and have the life of Christ in us. It is in the midst of dying to our flesh that we find the hidden treasures of life in the Spirit. The gross darkness of the death of the cross reveals the life and the light of Christ in us. This is the crucified life and we find it as we humble ourselves and take on the form of a servant and walk in obedience to our heavenly calling. Will you walk in the life of the Spirit today?

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A white funeral.

Posted by appolus on December 17, 2020

When Daniel, my son with Down Syndrome was born I was devastated. It is shameful to admit it but I had a dream you see. I had only been a Christian for less than two years. I came from a violent broken home. Married six weeks after my 17th birthday to my pregnant girlfriend and that year my first son died. A year and half later my second son was born. Beautiful child, but born to a hard hearted father. When he was two, my wife had to come looking for me in a pub so she could get money for groceries. She had left our son with my dad. I was mad that she had come into the pub. I told her I would be out, sat there deliberately and drank the couple of vodkas still sitting in front of me, with the guys who thought it was all very funny.

I walked out into the daylight, I had been in there for a number of hours, it was about four thirty on a Friday afternoon. We got the groceries and got a taxi home. I walked into our apartment to screams. Just minutes before my father had dropped a full kettle of boiling water over my two year old beautiful son. He had managed to get him into the bath tub and was trying to pour water over him. My wife ran out in hopes to find a neighbor who had a phone. I pushed my dad out of the way and saw my son trying to pull of what looked like Swiss cheese, like a sweater. In the ambulance their was a a voice screaming in my spirit, not my voice, “he is ruined, he is ruined.”

Now, eleven years later and I had been saved for about a year and a half. All the way through my wives pregnancy I had a fantasy. I just knew it was going to be a girl. Angie did not want to know. So I used to try and bribe the girl who would take the scan, but you know, woman power and all that. No matter, it was going to be a girl and she was going to be special and I was going to be the best dad in the world, now that my life was right with Jesus. A new heart, one that could actually love and feel. A majestic miracle in and of itself.

“Its a boy,” I heard. “Mr McEleny could I have a quick word with you?” I left my wife lying on the table, she had just had her third c-section, and went to the back of the room. “I do not usually do this but I am 100 per cent sure your son has Down Syndrome, do you and your wife still want her tubes to be tied.” Without even giving it a second thought or even asking Angie I answered numbly “yes.” This was also a Friday. And so I mourned, I mourned for the daughter that was not to be.

And this is what I would like to talk about. Letting dreams die. Fantasies die. The distance between expectations, dreams, visions and so on, and reality, can be like a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon. For the most part our dreams are not grounded in reality, very often just wishful thinking. Yet we live in a culture that promotes pursuing your dreams. Most dreams come straight out of our own desires for the kind of life we think we want or we think we deserve. It has caused murder and mayhem in relationships. Violence, divorce, children flying in the wind.

Here is the thing about Christians though. We have been bought by a price, is that not right? There is One who shapes our lives for His will and for His good pleasure. It is no longer we that live but He that lives in us, is that not what we tell people? It is one thing to tell people that truth, that abstract truth, it is quite another thing to live it. The white funerals of our lives are part and parcel of our sanctification. Like the elephants graveyard this is the place where we die to our own plans and ambitions no matter how righteous they appear. It is God who calls us and it is He who is the Captain of our souls. When we find our delight in the Lord, the Captain of our souls, then He gives us the desires of our hearts and He brings that to pass. Not the desires that arose from our flesh and made demands upon us and demanded to be made the measuring instrument of all things by which we always fall short. The distance between our own expectations and our reality? As far as the east is from the west.

The Sunday after Daniel was born I went to church, very much a broken man. As I drove there that morning all I could say to God was “You have to speak to me or I wont survive this.” Guess what morning it was? Baby dedication morning, beautiful perfect babies. They only did that a couple of times a year. I sat down in the middle of a row and the seat beside me was empty. At some point there was tears pouring down my face. The person in the closest seat to me reached over and nudged me and handed me a note. I looked up and took the note while noticing a young woman standing in the aisle. She had obviously sent the letter down the row. “I could not help but notice,” the note said,” that you were crying, is there anything I can pray with you about.”

I looked at her, she looked at me and I realized I was captive, the empty seat beside me sealing my fate. I would have to talk to her. She came over and sat down and whispered to me “what is wrong.” I looked at her and told her that I just had a child and he had Down Syndrome. She gave me a confused look as if she did not know what that meant. I felt anger and resentment rising in me. I had no desire to explain to this young woman a single thing, let alone explain to her about Down Syndrome which I literally knew nothing about. At that very moment time stood still. I cannot explain it any other way. Suddenly I was looking at Jesus and He had the same confused look on His face. And here are the words that are emblazoned on my heart for all eternity. “I do not know what Down Syndrome is either, all I know is that I have given you a perfect gift from the treasures of heaven.”

Right there I had my white funeral. All thoughts of the girl that should have been were eradicated from my mind and an explosion of love rocked my heart. I had discovered the Lord’s plan for me and it was life changing for myself, my wife and my oldest son. It changed my mother and my father. It has changed so many peoples lives, this plan of God wrought through this “perfect gift from the treasures of heaven.” Now there have been other things in my life that had to die, and some of them were not as “easy,’ as this one and took me years to work out. What white funeral needs to take place in your life? What dreams or ambitions, born from your own desires and needs, need to die? The picking up of the cross, the death to self, very often is a death to heartfelt dreams not in anyway bad, just not God’s will for you. What needs to die upon your cross today?

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A people set apart.

Posted by appolus on December 16, 2020

Since the beginning of time, there has been this question, or some form of it ” Why do bad things happen to good people?” Some philosophers have asked ” What is justice?” Now Christians are not immune to these thoughts or questions, in fact I would argue, that we will all ask that question to one degree or another at some point in our walk, maybe at many points in our walk.

Now there are certain times in our life when it is not just one bad thing that happens. Sometimes they overlap don’t they? They threaten to overwhelm us and those initial questions are simply intensified as we try to figure out what is going on and what is the purpose of it all. Many of you will readily identify with these times. They are specific times when the enemy comes in like a flood and threatens to drown us in our circumstances. We scramble in our minds to make sense of it all. We hear familiar Scriptures from our hearts reminding us that God will never leave us nor forsake us yet that is exactly how we feel, left and forsaken and then the hammer drops again.

Can I suggest that life, the Christian life, whether you know it or not is an all out battle. There is an enemy of your soul and he does seek to drown you. He seeks to simply sweep you away by wave after wave of circumstances. It is in these times that we make life altering decisions. Now remember what the enemy is after is your testimony, make no mistake about that. He does not care about you at all, what he wants you to do is to curse God and die. He wants others to see, as they look upon your circumstances, merely a man or a woman just like them. He wants to steal hope from your heart. He wants to present you as hopeless to the world so that a hopeless world can take comfort from the fact that there is really nothing in what you have said in the past. It was merely all words and now circumstances have revealed that you are no different from them.

He wants to rob you of your peace, he wants to show the world that the peace that you claimed to have was merely circumstantial peace, not a supernatural peace that surpasses understanding. He wants to present you to the world as just like them and that as long as things are going okay then you have peace, but as soon as you are opposed by trial and circumstance, then your peace is gone, just like theirs. He wants to rob you of your joy. He wants to show the world that this joy that you had was not supernatural, but merely a happiness that the world understands which again is gleaned from circumstances. He does not want the world to see the kind of joy that Paul presents after having been scourged and thrown into a dungeon and yet begins to praise God in the darkness of the night. And in that incident we see that this kind of joy, this supernatural joy is a door that leads from the deepest valleys, the darkest nights, the most gruesome of circumstances into the throne room of God Himself. This open door allows the power of God to flow into that very darkness and convince those who dwell in that darkness that there is a light that can redeem them from their chains.

We are a people set apart from the world by God to show His glory. We are His answer to the accuser. Listen saints, I know it very rarely feels like it, but there is glory in our sufferings. When we are the target of the enemy of our souls and we stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, then this faith, this trust in God pleases Him. We know that without faith it is impossible to please Him. In this context it simply means to trust Him. There is a purpose in your suffering and it may never be revealed to you on this side of eternity, but there is a purpose. God bless you in your suffering, look for the open door to the glories of heaven. Paul and Silas found it. It is yours to walk though. And in that place you will rise up with wings as eagles. Strength will return to you. And there lies before you an eternal reward.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.(Heb 12:11-13)

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Yet will I trust Him

Posted by appolus on December 16, 2020

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted in me? Hope you in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Are you downcast today? Has the troubles of life, the trials of circumstances mounted up and overwhelmed you? Are you wandering in a spiritual wilderness? Perhaps you even feel abandoned by God? Has the multitude of your troubles somehow separated you from the presence of the living God? Is the only water you are experiencing right now the tears that fall in the shadows of the night and the darkness of your situation?

There is a term among shepherds called “casting.” It refers to a sheep on its back. If a sheep falls onto its back, it does not have the ability to get upright again. The blood will begin to drain from the sheep’s legs, and the weight of its body will press down upon its lungs and it will begin to suffocate. It will slowly die. Perhaps you feel like you’re on your back today? You do not have the ability to get up again. The situation and circumstances are out-with your control. You do not feel the presence of God, you feel alone and isolated, the joy is gone and you have lost you “song in the night.”

Let me tell you what the shepherd does when He comes upon a “downcast,” sheep. First of all He begins to rub their legs to bring some of the blood back to get the circulation going a bit. Then He takes one hand and grabs the two back legs, then the other hand and grabs the two front legs and hoists the sheep up and over His head and around His neck. He then carries the sheep until it has recovered and only then does He put it back down on the ground.

If you are downcast today brothers and sisters, cry out to the Lord with all the strength that you have left in you. Remember the days when you “used to go with the multitude. I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise.” I pray that today is the day that your joy returns, that you will have your song in the night.

Even in the midst of darkness, may your joy be complete in Him. The good shepherd of your soul will very gently take your face in His hands and say….. why so downcast my child, put your trust in me. See now I will lift you from this place and put you on my back awhile for when you walk with me I will share your yoke and lighten your burden.

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The twilight zone.

Posted by appolus on December 14, 2020

And God said let there be light and there was light. God saw the light and it was good and God separated the light from the darkness. And so it has ever been, a clear separation. Light itself is a power, a force. It heats, it lights, it travels. It can be concentrated and it burns. If I look into the light for too long I go blind because of its power. Darkness on the other hand is the mere absence of light.

There is a time that lies between the day and the night. It is dusk. It’s not dark and it’s not light. We are living in such a time. The sun is setting on this world. The seasons have come and gone since the dawn of time and now the gross darkness approaches. If there was a dawn of time then there is a dusk a dusk of time. The time of the twilight. Twilight is when the sun falls below the horizon. We still see a few rays especially when there are clouds. We are living in the dusk of time.

One definition of the word twilight is “a period or state of obscurity, ambiguity, or gradual decline.” The example given is ” he is in the twilight of his career.” I would argue that America is in the twilight zone. Not just America, the whole world, but led by America. The corruption of its institutions is a symptom of decline and I would not describe it as gradual. Organized Christianity is one of those institutions. It is neither light nor dark but lies between some ambiguous precarious position over a gaping chasm. How long can it stand astride two places? If it wants its place in the world it will have to take its stand with the world. If it wants its place in the light it will have to abandon it’s dalliance with the darkness.

Will it? Although I hope for a different outcome I say no. God Himself is removing the middle ground. People within the compromised institutions will have to choose ye this day whom they shall serve. There is no room for ambiguity in the Body of Christ. Ananias and Sapphira discovered that they could not pretend to be one thing, when they were in fact something quite different. The only thing worse than not giving your all to Jesus is pretending that you have given your all to Jesus. Be sure, if it is not true, it shall find you out. God shall find you out. You are using His name.

What fellowship can there be between light and darkness? If there is light merging with darkness then its really not light otherwise the merger could not take place. Light swallows up darkness. Darkness only reigns when the sun disappears below the horizon. If the light that is in you is actually darkness, then how great the darkness? Unless we are single-minded in our devotion to Jesus then we shall end up making a choice between the darkness and the light, the world or the Body of Christ. How about you? Shall you choose the light or shall you be swallowed in the twilight zone?

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Where could you flee?

Posted by appolus on December 14, 2020

Ex 33:15… And he said to Him, If Your presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here.

We would all agree that God is omnipresent. This means that He is everywhere at the same time. This is an indisputable fact. Yet, the manifest presence of God, the felt presence of God is something entirely different. Moses had no desire to go anywhere unless God was with him and he could commune with Him. How long has it been since you have communed with God in the midst of His manifest presence? Perhaps you never have? Or perhaps you are going through a dry spell? In the midst of one of these dry spells I remember, in my distress, on my knees, just reaching my open hand up to the heavens and crying out to God.

And without any warning, He was holding my hand. And all of a sudden that world was there again. The world of endless possibilities. In this world it does not matter if there are dark skies or endless blue ones when I am holding His hand. Whether it rains or whether brilliant shafts of light break through ominous clouds, it’s all the same to me when I hold His hand. If I can barely see through my tears of if I wear the most illuminated smile, it matters not when I hold His hand. In the depths of trials or when all is right with the world I am at peace when I hold His hand. If I mourn the loss of a loved one or or cannot see my way ahead, I am never lost when I hold His hand.

The sweet all-consuming joy of His presence. This heart of a lion that beats within the chest of a lamb. This all-consuming power of love that rises victoriously above all the battles of life. This is life when we are walking in His presence. What battle field do you find yourself on today? Do you battle the unseen enemy of unforgiveness? Or has someone wronged you and bitterness bangs on your door? Is depression seeking to overwhelm you? Has the power of darkness in one of its many forms come to challenge you today? Perhaps the darkness comes from the outside, or maybe there is hidden darkness from deep within?

Today, right now, close your eyes and reach out your hand into the darkness of your situation. Cry out to Jesus, tell Him how much that you miss Him and ask Him to take your hand. Your situation may not change, but the darkness will flee. You will be blessed in the midst of your circumstances and you will stand upon the Rock which is higher than you. He will carry you on eagles wings as the updrafts of His presence hold you and keep you. Where could we flee from His presence?

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Come out from among them.

Posted by appolus on December 13, 2020

Below I have a quote from A.W.Pink. He was required reading for me in the Bible school I went to, a four point Calvinist school. I am not a Calvinist and therefore much of Pink’s teachings I would not endorse. Yet he and I have come to very similar conclusions as it relates to churches. Here is the quote……………

“Be ye not unequally yoked together.” This applies first to our religious or ecclesiastical connections. How many Christians are members of so-called “churches,” where much is going on which they know is at direct variance with the Word of God either the teaching from the pulpit, the worldly attractions used to draw the ungodly, and the worldly methods employed to finance it or the constant receiving into its membership of those who give no evidence of having been born again. Believers in Christ who remain in such “churches” (?) are dishonoring their Lord. Should they answer: “Practically all the churches are the same, and were we to resign, what could we do? We must go somewhere on Sundays,” such language would show they are putting their own interests before the glory of Christ. Better stay at home and read God’s Word, than fellowship that which His Word condemns.”

Pink’s first point for me is a vital one. He says of “Be ye not unequally yoked together,” that it applies first to our religious or ecclesiastical connections. I would agree with that. When you mention that Scripture people automatically assume one is speaking of marriage. And while it is true that one should not be unequally yoked, meaning a believer should not marry a believer, this is not what the context of that particular Scripture is alluding to. Read 2 Cor 6:14-16 and see that it has nothing to do with marriage. And then read the conclusion of what Paul has just written for the confirmation. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
(2Co 6:17-18)

Come out from among them. That is the wherefore. The word wherefore is an old one. It means in essence “For that reason.” So Paul is saying that because of what he has just stated about being unequally yoked, for that reason come out from among them. This is where I am and have been for a number of years. I have come out from among them lest I be unequally yoked. I have very carefully chosen with whom to fellowship with over the last ten years or so and it has transformed my walk into something much deeper. There is a cost of course, a price to be paid for following the literal teachings of the New Testament. Yet to me, this is who the remnant are. A people willing to pay the price, whatever it is, to follow Jesus and His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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No need to know what’s around the next bend.

Posted by appolus on December 13, 2020

There will come a time when you have no desire whatsoever to see the next step. As the path gets narrower, our vision gets narrower. And the paradox is that as our vision is restricted and we have no desire to know what is around the next bend, our trust in God increases and we begin to “see,” what truly matters. The next step.

Living day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. And then, finally, we are living that well worn cliche, in the moment. Walking in the Spirit is to trust God so much that the only thing that matters is where we stand and our next step.

This narrowness fundamentally confines the ability of anxiety and fear to have any effect upon us. ” A peace that surpasses all understanding.” Its the high watermark. Its why we shoot for the stars.

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Not many seeking the cross.

Posted by appolus on December 13, 2020

You have to fly into the wind
If you want to reach the sky
You have to know something of His cross
For the flesh to suffer and die

There are many lovers of His crown
But few who would suffer loss
Many seek the treasures of heaven
But how many are seeking the cross?

Some only seek the dawns early light
Avoiding the darkness of the night before
No one can ascend to the mountain top
Unless they can negotiate the valley floor

We so often want the fruit of the harvest
Having never put our hand to the plow
We want all the benefits of our Lord
And we want it in the here and the now

The dawn comes to those who suffer the night
And glory to the lifter of His cross
There’s a crown that awaits the suffering saint
And those who gladly suffer the loss

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I got a letter from God

Posted by appolus on December 11, 2020

One week before my son Daniel was born, I came home from church on a Sunday afternoon. The Lord whispered in my ear to sit down with a pen and write whatever He put on my heart. I was to mail it to my Mom and Dad, I had no idea what I was going to write. I also had no idea that just a week later Daniel would be born with Down Syndrome and be so sick he would almost die. I also had no idea what depths of despair and darkness would overwhelm me because of his birth.

Dear mum and dad

There is not a hair on your head that the Lord does not know. The Lord Himself, in the garden of Gethsemane was tried to His very core, even His closest friends had fallen asleep on Him. And in His agony, in His despair, He cried out to His Father, “Father, take this cup from me”, at that very second we see the Lords humanity, He is so able to understand our situations.

Sometimes we would question ,”why Lord”, but there is always a reason.The lord cried from the cross “my God, my God, why has thou forsaken me.” At that very point He touched man’s lowest ebb, despair, hell itself. I do not know, but I imagine that this was the hardest moment for our Father as He watched His Son hang from that cross and withdraw His presence.

The Father in His infinite wisdom and mercy and love for us, sacrificed His Son. Oh the agony the Father felt, but now the perfect wisdom of our Father is shown. There is nothing now His Son does not know, His dying and rising, formed in perfection, is now the hope of mankind. Our Jesus is alive and He knows us inside out. He will never abandon us.

And when our time arrives to come into the very presence of the living God, when we kneel before the precious lamb of God, when we become one with our Lord, then we will know all that the Lord has done for us. It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I tremble at the very thought of coming into the presence of Almighty God. We simply can’t imagine, our minds are totally inadequate to realize the Glory of our Lord. May the Lord strengthen you and fill you with His glory. The victory is already won, let us wait upon the Lord.

This letter arrived back at my house two weeks after Daniel was born. My mother informed me that the Lord had told her that letter was not for her, but was for me. I sat down and read the letter and wept when I realized that the Almighty God of the universe had not only sent me a letter, but that He was sharing some of His pain as a Father with me.

Not only was He healing me at this point, but my mind snapped back to the time when my older son had been very badly burned,third degree burns over 60% of his body. For the first several days as part of his treatment to avoid infection and death, the hospital would force him down into salt baths. They asked for my assistance. It was so hellish that there are no words to describe it.

He was only two years old but it would take everything that I had to put him down into that bath and hold him there. He would flail and scream. My own inner scream, if heard, would have caused the stars to fall from the heavens. His eyes would burn into mine with confusion. I was the his father, I was supposed to protect him, he could not possibly understand why I was doing this to him. Over those days my hair started to fall out even although I was only 20. Big circles of missing hair such was the trauma of it all. Now all these years later I was being given a little insight into what our Heavenly Father suffered as He watched His Son be rejected and mocked then tortured and nailed to a tree. And then have all the filth of the world put upon Him.

Our minds cannot comprehend the pain our Father suffered. And at any point He could have stopped it, why didn’t He? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but gain everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This is a love that is beyond comprehension. We can feel pain and emotions and horror, one can only imagine what the giver of these emotions can feel. To reject this sacrifice is what separates the saved from the unsaved. This is what we will be judged upon. Not how good we are, or how holy we are, but have we accepted Jesus as God’s Holy and only way to heaven.

I did find myself asking , “why Lord?” Of course the Lord knows the bigger picture. Can you imagine any Psychologist in the world, looking at two dysfunctional people and saying to himself, “yes, these guys need a mentally handicapped child in their lives.” Yet Daniel, with all his medical problems and challenges is a perferct gift from the treasures of heaven. God the Father reached into His treasury, pulled out Daniel and said to Himself , “Yes, this is exactly what they need.” So great has been the effect that my unsaved wife, upon seeing a couples marriage in deep trouble, whispered to me “Its a shame they don’t have a Daniel.” How great is our God, how much higher is His ways than ours?

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The inward parts.

Posted by appolus on December 11, 2020

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.(Psa 51:6-7)

In another verse from this psalm David cries out “Cast me not away from your presence oh Lord and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” Here we are witnessing the agonizing process and the inner workings of a broken and a contrite heart. David knows his problem is an internal one. The external sin of adultery and murder was a direct result of the inner workings of his heart, his hidden parts. He realizes that he has sinned against God alone. This is where it started and this is where it must be finished. The sin is the end result of a disease that was working deep inside his heart. When we are stricken in such a way we no longer have the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Joy has fled from us as the darkness of our souls floods the inner sanctums of our heart.

God sent a prophet to speak to David. The prophet reached into the dark places and exposed the process of David’s spiritual death. He brought it into the light and the full horror of David’s actions are suddenly visited upon him. He staggers into the light from the depths of his darkness. God had called David out from the grave. David had placed himself into the tomb and a stone was rolled in front of it. In the story of Lazarus, Jesus has the stone rolled away and commands Lazarus to come forth. He staggers out of the tomb and the grave clothes are removed from him. Who do you know that has buried their hearts in the depths of darkness and rolled a stone in front of it? Perhaps the garden of your own heart, the most intimate part of who you are has been buried in death and sin? It has become a grave and you have robed yourself in the the death clothes of sin and separation from God. The Lord requires truth in the inward parts, the most intimate part of who we are. Without this it is impossible to walk in fellowship with God.

God desires that the joy of your salvation would return to you. He desires that you would walk in the newness of life in the Spirit and not the darkness of spiritual death. In the very depths of who you are He desires to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you. The question is, do you desire such a thing? Do you want to have ears to hear the Lord cry out ‘come forth.” Do you want to have eyes to see the light of a brand new day? Do you want to awaken the dawn with the praises of God? Listen to what the Spirit is saying to you and with a contrite and broken spirit come back into that place from where you have fallen. Today is the day.

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