A Call To The Remnant

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Archive for January 5th, 2023

Whether we live or whether we die.

Posted by appolus on January 5, 2023

Php 1:29  For unto you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 

This is a challenge to most saints. Yet it is the mind of God and the Spirit. How often, when we hear the word “granted,” do we associate it with suffering? People are granted wishes. Others are granted pardons. Requests are granted. And so here we read that it has been granted to us, we have been given the unique privilege of, suffering for Jesus. When you suffer or have suffered in the past, did you consider it an honor? Did you think to yourself “oh how marvelous, I get to suffer for Jesus sake and in doing so glorify His name?” I think if we are honest with ourselves, very few people in our day think like this, yet here it is written. Paul, writing from his chains of arrest, refers to them as “my chains are in Christ.” And because of his prevailing attitude in the midst of suffering his chains actually act to encourage other saints and embolden them. This is our calling brothers and sisters. Nothing has changed since the days of the disciples, who, after being scourged, celebrated the fact that they were counted worthy to suffer for the cause of Christ.

In the Kingdom of God, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Whether we live or whether we die we have been called to glorify God. To magnify Christ in the eyes of the world, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is our calling. Not just Paul or Peter but you and I. We have the very same calling and we are led and empowered by the very same Holy Spirit. We know that the work that He has begun in us He is finishing in us to the very day we are called home. We are a work in progress, ever striving to be like our Lord. We above all people should have a great desire to go home to be with Jesus, and this, tempered only by our desire to serve Him here for His will and for His good pleasure. Therefore, we saints, whether in chains or whether in ill health or whether in poverty, should always have the same mindset. That we should stand in one Spirit, with one mind and one heart and soul striving together for the faith of the Gospel. And if we find ourselves in chains or impoverished or in sickness unto death, we should stand strong and in no way be terrified, for this is proof to the enemy of our soul that our words carry little value. Let us stand and be a witness to God’s glory in whatever situation we find ourselves in and whether we live or whether we die.

 

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Raising hands or raising Cane?

Posted by appolus on January 5, 2023

Many evangelical churches and most pentecostal or charismatic churches you go into today, raise their hands in worship. Like everything else in Christendom, there can be the mechanical act of doing something because it is supposed to be done, or there can be the true living dynamic response to the very presence of the Living God. Every single aspect of the natural worship of Christianity can be reduced to some dusty empty ritual that has long since replaced the living reality of God’s manifest presence. It is interesting when you watch secular concerts that you see arms aloft all over the stadium or concert hall, swaying to the rhythm of the song. Good music entertains us and can move us, Gods manifest presence invades every part of who we are and never leaves us the same. It creates in us a thirst that can never be quenched by anything other than His presence. It tears down and builds up, it raises us up from the dark valley floor to the lofty heights of His glory.
 
There is the presence of God to be found in glorious, enthusiastic and energetic worship, the kind of worship that lifts your spirit. It can lift up the head and invigorate the heart and fill you full of joy and you leave strengthened. This is good worship. Yet there is another kind of presence of God in worship, the kind of presence that there seems to be such a famine of throughout the land. The first kind of presence we spoke of lifts your heart, the second kind of presence invades every part of who you are. It falls from heaven like a heavy dew, heads are lowered and hands are raised. All becomes quiet, one barely breathes as the Spirit of God slowly penetrates our very being and the ground upon which we stand becomes Holy ground. It saturates our very DNA.
 
The first kind of presence uplifts us, the second changes us fundamentally. As living waters pour into us then it rises up like a great river that is so full that it overflows its banks. The banks themselves begin to crumble and fall into this river of pure life as it swells up and floods every part of who we are. The landscape is being changed by this flood, the very topography of our lives is being altered by its powers and everything that is not securely rooted to Godly foundations are simply swept away. Changed forever. And when the flood recedes we are left with a glorious afterglow. As the deer pants for the water-brooks, I wonder, do our hearts pant after this kind of encounter.
 
The Lord Himself does not need professional worship teams. He does not need people to encourage us to stand up, jump up and down and raise our hands. In the Welsh revival two young women singing either acapella or simply backed by a piano typically sang “Here is love, vast as the ocean.” And there was love, in the very midst of them, vast as the ocean, flooding the hearts and minds of all who attended. Brothers and sisters, in all our modernity, what have we lost? In the program of churches and the professional class of worshiper leaders and pastors we have lost the simplicity of it all. And in the losing of it we now have to entertain the people. Spirit led worship is exactly that, it is Spirit led.
 
In work we have a routine. In life we have a routine. Prisoners in prison have a routine. Oftentimes we are slaves to the routine, it is what gets us through life. Yet, there is nothing routine about the Holy Spirit of the Living God. He is dynamic and you can never know what way the wind will blow next. Have we sold our souls for a routine? Routine in the home, routine at work, routine at church. Routine people do not change the world. Routine people do not do wage war on the battle-fields of life. The Spirit of God is dynamic and those filled with His “dynamis,” change the environment around them because the environment inside them has been filled to capacity and is overflowing its banks. Lord fill us again to overflowing with the kind of presence that invades every part of who we are.

				

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