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Archive for the ‘Devotions’ Category

While He may be found

Posted by appolus on January 15, 2020

Isa 55:6  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 

The real test for us as Christians is how we walk along the path set before us. We can walk with the Lord by our side, and by that I mean we can walk with His empowering manifest presence. Not unlike the disciples that walked with Jesus after His resurrection and their hearts burned as He taught them. His very nearness and His Spirit caused their hearts to burn and glow. Or, we can walk alone, and by that I mean we can walk in our own strengths minus the awareness of His presence.

Now we know saints, as good Bible scholars, that God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere at the same time. And as saints we know that He also dwells in our hearts. This is not what we are here referring to here. We are talking about what it means to walk in the nearness of the Spirit of God as opposed to walking in the flesh. And as saints we can do both. If we would walk in the Spirit of God, walk in His awareness and therefore walk in His power, then we must, as the Lord told us to, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Every day. Every moment. We must be aware of the Kingdom and the Kingdom walk. Our eyes must be engaged in Kingdom sight. We must see things through the lense of the Lord and His word. Our mouths must be engaged in the Kingdom language, we must speak as ambassadors of the King. We must draw near to Him and not quench the Spirit of God. To quench the Spirit of God is to pour cold water upon our burning hearts. Will you throw another log on the fire and cause it to burn brighter, or will you douse it with the cold waters of the world?

A man and a wife can stay in the same house but never be intimate, perhaps even stay in two different bedrooms. Are they close? Yes, in proximity. Are they married? Yes, still married. Yet, because they are not intimate they are really no better than room-mates. One may call it a love-less marriage. Who would want to be part of a love-less marriage? It is considered by most as a tragedy. How greater a tragedy than to be room-mates with the Lord? Yes He is in your heart, yes you are saved, but you are never spiritually intimate. The real tragedy in a marriage is if one longed for intimacy but the other never responded or had no such need or desire. Jesus longs to be spiritually intimate with His disciples. Only as a result of this intimacy can we expect to be aware of His presence. We grow together in intimacy. We become alike in intimacy. Two become one in intimacy. The man or the woman who does not understand, seek or desire to be intimate with the Lord shall never grow and his or her walk will be a very lonely one.

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Yea though I walk

Posted by appolus on January 13, 2020

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me (Psa 23:4)

Isn’t that the beginning and end of it all? No matter what we are suffering, no matter what we are going through, as long as He is with us then we can go through it. Through the waters, through the floods, through every trial and tribulation and vexation of heart and soul and mind and body. If we are found in Him and He is in us and with us then we shall prevail, we shall overcome. And not only prevailing and overcoming but also victory. There is victory in Jesus and that is why there is and can be joy even in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. For when He is with us, and we are aware of His presence, He is our green pastures. His presence restores our soul. His presence is our still waters.

I find in Him I have no want, He is my all and all and He is my everything. And because He is my everything He is my path and He leads me and guides me. He anoints my head with oil and my cup is overflowing, whether in the valley of the shadow of death or the glorious mountaintops of His transfiguration. This table that He sets before me is an everlasting and eternal one. There has been served upon this table the delicacies of goodness and mercy and love and forgiveness. A feast fit for a hungry heart that pants and longs for the good things of the Lord. Saint, today is the day that you are invited to sit down at this table and the goodness and the mercy that you shall find there will follow you all the days of your life.

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The words of eternal life.

Posted by appolus on January 12, 2020

Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life.

Where shall we go, those of us who know Jesus? To the world? Impossible. Back to the life that we came from? Who would want to be dead again and wallow in our own vomit? No, those of us who know Jesus, no matter how hard the calling, no matter how difficult the road, shall stay right there by His side for in Him is life and everything else is death. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God. His Word and His words are life to us. They sustain us in the rain, they keep us in the storm, they cover us when the darkness rages all around. His Word, His presence keeps us and upholds us.

By coming to Him, by staying close to His presence, His manifest presence, you receive His power like living waters through your pores, through your senses, through your spirit through every particle of your being right down to the very molecules that makes up who you are. You are infused by Him and by being infused by Him, by consuming Him, by being consumed by Him, you are changed by Him. And you become more like Him and worship Him more. You read the Word more and you pray more and you weep more and you live more and you love more. And most importantly, you are obedient to His Word and that still small voice.

You are more compassionate and you are more joyful and more grateful and more thankful and you witness more, not out of any legal requirement but out of necessity because your bones burn within you. Your heart is on fire, your whole body glows in the residue of your encounter. You are infused by Him and it makes you diffuse the fragrance of His knowledge in every place(2 Cor 2:14) So many men choose their own strength to try and achieve everything that can only be achieved in His presence because to come to Him, to come close to the light, it illuminates our dark deeds.Yet eternal life dwells within His presence and it draws us and it keeps us close to our Lord. Better to come before Him in intimate confession and dwell in the light and in life, than to stay in the darkness and in the shades of grey where only death dwells.

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In Him

Posted by appolus on January 8, 2020

2Co 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

Every triumph we have we have in Christ. He is our victory and in Him we have victory. If we overcome it is because He overcame. If we love it is because He first loved us. If we forgive it is because we are forgiven by Him. When we weep, we know that He wept first. And when we give comfort to others it is because we ourselves were first comforted by Him. Every good thing, every triumph we have we have in Christ. This is why He leads us in a triumphal procession. And as we follow Him in victory then the world gets to witness the knowledge of Him and His victory over hell and sin and death.

They get to see how He broke every chain and how He healed our broken hearts. Every obstacle removed. They see a new creature in Christ who in Him has taken captive that which had formerly held us captive. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. You see that phrase “in Christ.” This is the key to everything. We must be found “in Him.” Paul suffered the loss of all things to be found “in Him.” And when we are found in Him, then and only then is the fragrance of His beauty and glory and majesty and knowledge spread abroad in the hearts of man everywhere.

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Am I still standing?

Posted by appolus on January 7, 2020

Eze 47:3  And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. 

There is a river that flows from heaven itself. It flows through our hearts and beckons us to come deeper. This river is spoken of in many places in Scriptures. It is the presence of God and it brings us deeper into the heart of the Almighty. There are trees on either side of this river and their roots are directly connected to the river and they are perpetually green, evergreen trees for the healing of the people and the nations. The river itself brings healing everywhere it goes. To be walking in the Spirit is to be swimming in the river of life. As we see in Ezekiel 47, the Lord brings us to through the waters. Always the Lord, compelling His children to come deeper into Him. Not ankle deep, not knee deep or even waist deep but fully immersed in a river so vast that it cannot be crossed, it can only be swum in. We must give ourselves to the river, let go and give way to the current of the Holy Spirit. Whether you are ankle deep, knee deep or even waist deep, you are still standing on your own two feet. In many respects you are still in charge. Yet to give ourselves completely to the river we are no longer standing.

When we are fully given to our Lord. When we are yielded to the depths and the power of this vast river, the power of the Holy Spirit, only then can we truly be led. All resistance is gone in its depths. It is carrying you towards the sea, the vastness of God Himself. Ever closer, ever deeper into the Father’s heart. And the Lord says to to you “come, I will bring you through the waters into the deep.” “Seek me with your whole heart and I shall be found and you shall be rewarded for your diligence, I am your exceeding great reward.”

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Throw open your windows

Posted by appolus on December 30, 2019

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.Dan 6:10

Wicked men who hated Daniel and who were jealous of him came up with a decree that they persuaded the king to sign. This was a trap. By decreeing that no man or woman could petition their God for thirty days they knew they could either control Daniel or destroy him. Now Daniel certainly knew this. What he did was instructive for us today. Now perhaps many of us would go home and shut our windows and pray to God anyway despite what had been decreed. Maybe some of us would follow the decree and rationalize it by thinking that it was only 30 days, what harm would it cause? Daniel went home, and with his windows wide open, prayed unashamedly to the one true God.

Now saints, we are living in a day when many traps are being set for us and there will be many more to come. The enemy will not be satisfied with “30 days.” If Daniel had relented, then another decree would come along more intense and longer in duration than the one before. It is not good enough for the enemy to see outward compliance. He will demand much more than that. He will demand that you bow down to him and acknowledge the lie as truth. Compromise leads to disaster. It is one step down a slippery path that at its end lies destruction. The two wonderful aspects of Daniel’s story was that he unashamedly, in the face of certain death, refused to deny God or bow down to the decrees of this world that demand we deny our God and His truth. The second wonderful part was the fact that God was with Daniel in the lions den. What was decreed for his destruction only strengthened Daniel in the end.

What is pressing upon you saint? What decree is the world demanding that you compromise your faith for? Do not do it. Like a paid blackmailer, it will not end there it will only get worse. Better to go down into the lions den and meet God there than than to please the world, your family, your job or your career, and stand alone. One is temporal and the other is eternal. If you cannot run with the footmen now without being wearied, how then shall you contend with the horses when the world is drowning in gross darkness? Stand upon the truth saints and do not be moved.

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Sin shall not have dominion over you.

Posted by appolus on December 27, 2019

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The freedom to do what is right, towers above the prison and the chains of commandments. One is initiated by love, the other is enforced by the whip. Holiness comes from freedom and freedom comes from love . And this love inspires and draws us and compels us to honor and respect and obey our Father in heaven. His love is the very air that we breathe and the air before His throne is rarified air and if we cannot breathe this air then we die. The impetus for us to follow the commands that are written upon our heart is love. It is more powerful than the commands that were written upon tablets of stone. Those who would sin without conviction and use some kind of legal fiction (cheap grace) to excuse or justify their actions simply do not have the laws of God written upon their hearts. The grace of God is such a beautiful and dynamic and fundamental part of our relationship with the Lord. It is never a license to sin, God forbid. It is the very opposite for those who know Jesus. When we sin there is a separation between ourselves and the one that we love. We cry with David “restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” The blood bought heart can never be at peace when there is any kind of distance between it and his or her Lord. Love compels us to humble ourselves, broken and contrite, and come before our Lord in confession so that we may once again walk in the beauty and closeness of His presence and holiness.

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An opportunity for joy

Posted by appolus on December 16, 2019

James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Trials and tribulations will ultimately bring out the best in genuine Christians and the worse in the religious man. The harder the circumstances get for the genuine Christian, the more he is forced to his knees and driven deeper into the heart of the Father. He is humbled and contrite as he understands how weak he is and how much flesh he still has. Ultimately the results of this is more love, more peace, more forgiveness and more understanding. The harder the circumstances become for the religious man, the more bitter he becomes. He has no joy or peace. He will not forgive his enemies and his hatred for those he perceives to have caused his sufferings increases dramatically. So, the trial and the deep valley is death to one and life to another. The flesh dies and the spirit rises.

The genuine saint faces the same danger as the one who has never known Jesus if he reacts in the same manner as that one. The difference will be their love for the word of God and their love for God Himself. A saint is motivated by His love for God and his passion for the truth that is written, not only in the Word but upon his heart. It is the driving force of his life, his very heartbeat, the essence of who he is. Nothing else matters when sin disturbs this, it has to be put right for the alternative is distance between him and the one that he loves. When you find yourself in the midst of troubles of any kind dear brother and sister, resist the flesh’s desire to run into a dark corner and react as the world reacts. Do the opposite of the flesh, draw near to God and He will draw near to you and you will grow in the Lord and in the power of His might.

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Has thou considered.

Posted by appolus on December 11, 2019

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job

Can you even begin to imagine brothers and sisters, the Lord saying “Have you considered my servant…..” fill in the blank with your own name. What glory and honor that the Lord of all creation would testify of His servant before the throne-room of heaven, before the heavenly hosts. God is well confident in his servant. The accuser on the other hand has nothing at all to accuse Job of therefore he turns to the motivations of the heart of Job. And so unfolds the story of humanity. The Lord knows you, He knows you through and through. The same enemy of Job is the enemy of your soul. And the same accusation that he made against Job he makes against you. In the eternal spiritual courtroom, God stands accused by Satan that no one actually loves Him, they only follow Him for what they can get from Him. This is Satan acting according to his character, nasty and vindictive, the father of lies distorted with hatred for God and for His children.

You, dear saint, are a witness in this case. You are called to testify. Your testimony is your life in God and the motivations of your heart. Every moment that you praise Him, give thanks to Him, rejoice in Him, glory in His majesty, you continue to make the case against Satan. You are part of the truth and he is all of the lie. Truth is victorious over lies. Your life is a testimony to love. God’s love for you and your love in return. This glorifies God, this is your primary purpose here on earth. And the darker your circumstances, the greater more powerful the witness. To glory in God and to give thanks to Him in the midst of trials and tribulations is your greatest contribution to the reality of your relationship with God. So brothers and sisters, never stop thanking God, no matter your circumstances. You may not think that no one knows about your situation. God knows, the heavenly hosts knows and the fallen angels know. They know and they watch. This is why the promises are made to those who overcome and endure till the end. For love endures. It overcomes all obstacles and it even willingly dies for the object of its love. This is the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been called to follow Him.

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In times of trouble

Posted by appolus on December 9, 2019

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

How many of us are living our lives taken up with our immediate concerns? And as we do, life just continues to pass us by. We are so busy with the concerns of life, one after another, day after day, that life is literally passing us by. The glory and the splendor of life itself, the majesty of Gods creation all around us, yet all missed as the minutia of so much of our lives dominates everything. There is a tyranny involved here. There is a slavery involved. The Lord Himself told us to ” seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” in our lives and all those other things shall be added to us. The Kingdom of God is a living reality and it is ever-present.

The antidote to the tyranny of time is the freedom that is found in His presence right here in the present. It has to be sought out and there is a diligence in the seeking but there is also a reward in the finding. To seek we have to suspend. Suspend what? The worries and the concerns of life must be put to rest. Just seeking God every day is a huge step away from the tyranny of this world brothers and sisters. When we leave the concerns of this world behind by faith, then we begin the journey into the heart of God. We begin to see His beauty that is all around us, we begin to be aware of His grandeur. And then suddenly He is there. No one can predict it and no one can formulate it for it can never be bottled and sold.

His very presence is our ever-present help. Our seeking His Kingdom and His presence is the narrow path in the journey of life as we make our way from the valley’s of this world to the mountains of His Kingdom. Once you establish yourself on this path, you will jealously guard against all distractions. Walking the path will become your way of life, your very purpose for living. It will turn it all around. You will be living in and for the eternal purposes you were called for. We have to eat and we have to drink but the primary reason for being alive is life, eternal life in Christ and the Kingdom life of God that is found in the ever-present God. Take a moment, reflect upon your routine then deliberately set it aside. For in setting it aside you are seeking first the Kingdom of God. This is where you will find your refuge, your strength and your very present help in in times of trouble. Let the dominant routine of your life be this-seeking His face.

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Cast down but not destroyed.

Posted by appolus on December 6, 2019

2Co 4:9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 

Oftentimes we find ourselves troubled on every side. Many times we are perplexed. Many of us have been persecuted, perhaps not in the sense of living in a hostile country, but maybe within our own families. We have been thrown down and trampled on . Often dying it seems by many our many troubles. All of these things and more are the things that would destroy most, but in you they have caused the life of Christ to spring up from the darkness of your situations. An abundance of grace has been poured out upon your life that speaks to the glory of God and the love of the Father for His children.

When we have been troubled on every side we can testify that we have been rescued from distress. When we have been weighed down with the perplexities of life, the Lord Himself pulls us up from the valleys of despair.In the midst of our persecutions and feelings of isolation we have discovered that we are not alone. When we have been thrown down and trampled on the Lord Himself has saved us from being destroyed.

In all of these things we do not faint, we rise up by the power of the Holy Spirit. The outer man may be in the process of perishing but our inner man is renewed daily by the glory of God and the amazement of a dying world. The world sees that out the darkness of our situations that God Himself has commanded light to shine forth. You may not be able to fully articulate the Roman road to salvation but the world does see that out of you, out of your many trials, your sorrows, your afflictions and your infirmities, there shines forth the light of Christ Himself. Be encouraged saints, you are a mighty witness for Christ. Perhaps the world will never know your story, but the Lord knows and the mouths of the principalities and powers are closed by the testimony of God in you, your hope and your glory.

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But even if He does not

Posted by appolus on December 4, 2019

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,” they said, “the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up(Daniel 3:17-18).

Above is either side of the one coin of faith. You cannot have one without the other. If your faith relies on a positive outcome then what you have is positive thinking but it’s not faith. If on the other hand you have counted the cost and are willing to praise God no matter what comes your way, you have found true faith. Everything must be unconditional, including our faith. You see, many people have faith in faith. Lets just replace the word faith with trust. Would it make sense to have trust in trust? You just have to exercise your trust? Faith, we are told in Hebrews 11, is the evidence of things not seen. To believe in something that you cannot see is the essence of trust. Without this kind of trust it is impossible to please God. How do we please God? By trusting in Him.

You see it is easy to trust in the Lord when everything is going our way, when all is right with the world. Yet when we are suddenly caught up in darkness and we cannot see the way ahead, this is when the flesh is put upon the bones of what we have confessed. The word becomes flesh as we raise our hand to God in the darkness and seek to grasp His. Our Father is a rewarder of those who diligently trust Him in the darkness. This is faith-Even if He slays me, yet shall I trust Him. Consider Jobs words and actions right after he learns that he has lost everything and that all his children are dead. Remember, the accuser of the brethren had said that he would curse God. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.(Job 1:20-22)

Enoch was a man who was considered to have great trust in the Lord. All we really know about him is that he pleased God. And if we cannot trust God it is impossible to please God. We also know this about Enoch “Enoch walked with God.” (Gen 5:22) So, how do we follow God in a way that pleases Him? Walk with him and trust Him, especially in the darkness. There must be more you might think. There is not. For those who walk with Him and talk with Him daily and trust Him in all things despite not knowing the outcome are obedient to Him. When someone says to you in a dire situation “just trust me.” They are asking you to follow their lead and do what they tell you to do. Follow Jesus and do what He tells you to do. Trust Him and you will have the pleasure of the King.

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Guilt and shame.

Posted by appolus on December 2, 2019

Psa 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 

In the Lord Jesus we find true love and forgiveness. Not as the world forgives, for His forgiveness is untainted by human imperfection. In 1 Cor 13 we discover that true love keeps no record of wrongs. I first heard that at a wedding I was attending. I was not saved and I was drunk. I heard the minister read this out and thought what a load of nonsense. One can maybe forgive but never forget. That was what i thought until I myself became the recipient of such love and forgiveness. Now, it took me years to fully realize the magnificent truth of this. Raised in the Catholic tradition of punishment and penance and purgatory, the notion that the Lord had not only forgiven me, but had now cast my sin into a sea of forgetfulness never again to be dredged up was transformative. The tyrannical forces of guilt and shame were dealt with head on.

The antidote to shame and guilt is an intimate confession to a holy and loving God. Then when that is done we must believe that when the Lord forgives us He keeps no record of our wrongs. He casts them into a bottomless sea. The problem is that we judge and gauge the Lord our God by our own standards. But of course His ways are not our ways. He is higher than we. His love is beyond the grasp of the mortal mind of man and can only be grasped by the inspiration of the Spirit. Encounter God and touch infinite beauty and love. Encounter God and stand in a place of inexpressible awe and majesty. When we grasp something of His vastness, then we are able to grasp the fact that not only has He forgiven us, but that He never keeps a record of our wrongs. They are cast into a sea where it is impossible to plum its depth. The chains of guilt and shame that for so long have imprisoned men are broken asunder by the love and mercy of God that we encounter before the throne. Today is the day for your encounter. This is the day for your chains to be broken.

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Loving your enemies

Posted by appolus on November 27, 2019

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;(Mat 5:44)

It is maturity when we can love our enemies. It will not come right away nor will it come unless we desire it. For those who do, there is a refining process that is brutal. You will be tested on this. After we have learned to love our enemies, then we can truly love the lost. The love that my heart needs to love my enemies can come from one place only, before the throne. Many things can be replicated and counterfeited but love for our enemies is something so supernatural and obvious to all that it cannot be replicated with any great degree of sophistication. One only has to say the wrong thing and step on the wrong toe and the replication is revealed for what it is.

Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. The way of God is to love our enemies. Whether those enemies are within the camp or from outside the camp, it makes no difference. In fact, those who make themselves an enemy to you but also call you brother, these are the hardest to love. Yet it does not change our calling or the Word of God. Imagine being Jesus and having to be around Judas. The way that often seems right to a man is to lash out at those who disagree with them. It may feel good in the moment, but it is all flesh and if it goes unchecked it will lead to death. Even if your cause is just, especially if your cause is just , check your flesh to see what spirit you are of. The spirit of man hastens his own death, the Spirit of God infuses life and love. Which Spirit to you desire to follow?

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For I am holy.

Posted by appolus on November 22, 2019

1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 

The Lord’s Holiness is seen in men and woman who have encountered the Living God. They are radically converted from a world of sin to a world of light. This radical conversion is seen in their walk. They are a living testimony of the power of God to change lives. They are a living testimony , read of men. And God gets all the glory. The man who has never encountered God can only recite the Scriptures. He can only mimic what he sees. He can only try and be obedient in his own strength and there will be varying degrees of ” success.” And the more ” successful,” they are the more self-righteous they become. They begin to look down on others, demand that others live as they are living, they begin to thank God that they are not like others.They begin to consider themselves elite and they become aloof.The end of all self-righteous men is failure, whether in one year or fifty. The flesh can only take you so far and even the distance that it does take you is repugnant to God. These men have a ministry of death.

The man who has genuinely encountered God always keeps his eyes upon Jesus, not himself. Others may flatter him but he never takes those words to heart because he has stood in the shadow of majesty. The foundation of his life will be love, for he himself has been swallowed up by love. He loves what His Lord loves. The religious man can reproduce many things in this world for a time but he cannot replicate genuine love. He can seem to many to be upstanding, as were the Pharisees, yet God has considered the inside of the cup. This outward appearance is everything to the religious man because ultimately he fears man more than he fears God. His greatest fears are what others think, its what motivates him in all that he does. He is an actor and full of guile, yet, God has considered the inside of the cup because he looks upon the heart.

The child of God is not conformed by the thoughts nor the expectations of men. He is conformed to the image of God which is the Lord Jesus. He loves because he himself has been loved. He is merciful because he was and is the recipient of mercy. He forgives because he himself has been forgiven. He has joy because he has been ushered into the very presence of God. This joy is his strength. This love is his strength, this mercy is his strength, the forgiveness he finds is his strength. His greatest strength is his love for His Lord. And he knows that even this he only has because he himself was first loved. And this love is the singular motivation for all that he does. Out of genuine love flows obedience. It is the motivation of the child of God. We cannot say that we love Him and think nothing of His commands.

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Will He find faith?

Posted by appolus on November 21, 2019

The deepest lessons on faith come in the midst of the fires and the tribulations of life. The basic accusation of the enemy against God is “they only love you and follow you for what they have been given or for what they can get.” Therefore the greatest expressions of faith, trust in God, comes in the midst of endurance, a less than popular word, when all has been stripped away. Think of Jesus, our highest example. From the glories of heaven where the host bow down and cry Holy, to the lowest depths of the earth where He stripped and hung naked on a cross and mocked and humiliated by mere mortals. He endures all of this and never denies His Father and stays right there on the cross because of His love and obedience. This is trust in God in action. The Word becomes flesh and light conquers darkness.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luk 18:7-8)

Such an interesting Scripture. The last part of this particular Scripture tends to be the focus, but the context is often overlooked. The context is The Lord coming to avenge His own elect, His saints. And it seems that they cry day and night for justice. This ties into what we read in Rev 10 – And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? So when the question is asked in Luke 18:8 “will the Lord find faith on the earth,” when He comes again to avenge the saints and all those who have went before, the implication is that no, He will find very little faith here on earth.

Given what the Lord asks here about faith, then it is clear that above all else it is faith that the Lord is looking for from the end time saints. Above all else they must trust Him. In the darkest time of the history of the ages they must trust Him. When the great falling away is taking place they must trust Him. When all around is falling and is being shaken, they must trust Him. And in every latent stage of the birth pangs, more are sifted and more more fall away. They begin to believe that Jesus is never coming back, they have stopped looking for His soon coming return. Their loss of faith is proceeded by their loss of hope, their hearts fainting for fear, their inability to stand as the evil day unfolds.

Isa 49:14  But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. This is the cry of the many in the day of our afflictions, in the great persecution to come. Love and obedience and faith, trust in the Lord our God and His word is the word becoming flesh in us. This is how we overcome, this is how darkness is conquered by light, by the Blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death. This is the oil in the vessels of the over-comers, this is where the Lord will find faith on the earth when He returns, not among the multitude found on the broad path leading to destruction, but among the few on the narrow path that leads to life.

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The gift of God

Posted by appolus on November 18, 2019

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8)

Faith delivers what Grace provides-Don’t measure your faith, measure your God-David Legge.

If faith is the evidence of things not seen, and it is , then it is first and foremost the evidence of God. We see God in the man who walks in faith. We see God in love and hope and mercy and forgiveness. We see Him in joy and peace and self-control. We see Him in all of these attributes distilled in us and we see Him more clearly the darker the background. The more difficult the circumstances of our lives then the greater the canvas for memorializing God in the hearts and minds of the world.

And so, if the unmerited favor of God first and foremost provides salvation, justification, then it also provides us with the means of how to live out that justification. Grace gives us access to faith and faith is the evidence of the man or woman who walks in close proximity to God. The closer the walk, the greater the faith. The greater the faith, the deeper the love. The deeper the love the more abundant the hope. The abundance of hope leads to an abundance of mercy and forgiveness and thankfulness.

And finally, the greater the faith the greater the expressions of joy and peace and self-control. And all of these add up to an expression of the reality of God seen in us. An expression of the reality of the unseen God. A light that pierces the darkness of this world, the hope of this world. The measure of your faith depends upon the vastness of God in your life. An all consuming relationship with God produces the greatest expressions of faith for a dying world to see.

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The horizon of thankfulness.

Posted by appolus on November 13, 2019

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Cor 4: 15-16)

Lord I pray that my heart would be forever fixed upon the horizon of Thankfulness. I can see how love and joy and peace and contentment and life are all attached to a heart that is fixed and focused upon thankfulness to God. When we take our eyes off of this horizon, when we deviate to the left or to the right from this perspective then the floodgates crack open and into the fields of our hearts bitter waters waters begin to seep. Discontentment begins to rise, roots of bitterness begin to break through the surface. All this begins to happen when our horizon changes, when thankfulness and gratefulness are no longer our dominant state of mind. We all know folks whose hearts have been flooded with bitterness. They have no peace. They have no joy. They are quick to anger. They cannot appreciate anything they have, they are consumed with the things that they do not have, the things that they have missed out on or lost in life.

And they begin to die, spiritually. The bitterness that seeped into the innermost fields of their hearts begin to seep out to the surface. What was once hidden away in the heart begins to manifest itself on the outside. Family are the first to suffer, then co-workers and friends. They do not see someone who is filled with the love of God and the light of His life, but someone who is embittered and filled with darkness. Unless thier eyes are drawn back again to the horizon of thankfulness then there can be no hope. Those afflicted with this malady, this disease, lets call it what it is, this high crime, will wander in the wilderness and they will die there.

The antidote to all of this is a life of thankfulness and a heart that always leans towards being grateful in every situation. Give thanks to God in all things. No matter the darkness of your surroundings you give thanks to God. As a saint you have the greatest gifts of all, you have the treasures of heaven, you have eternal life in heaven bought for you at a terrible cost. We could live a thousand lives and never be able to repay the cost of the cross. Run to thankfulness when you are hard pressed on every side. Run to thankfulness when you have been crushed by circumstances. Focus on the light when darkness presses in all around you. With your dying breath give thanks to God. This decision of the heart, this deliberate act of the will, is the power of God in your life. This is overcoming. This is enduring to the end. This is the fire. This is your sanctification, this is your narrow path that leads to life. Find it, walk in it and keep your eyes fixed upon its horizon.

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Enter into the glory

Posted by appolus on November 12, 2019

The true power of those who walk the Kingdom walk lies not in an alleviation of circumstances but an elevation of Spiritual awareness that enables us to enter into the Glory. Just one glimpse of His glory elevates us high above the circumstances of our lives. His Glory is the updraft that lifts us high above our circumstances. To look into the eyes of Glory means to rise above the storms of this world. There is no set of chains that can restrain the child of God. There is no trial on earth that can hold our bodies down. When we see His Glory, when we fix our eyes on His majesty then no matter what our circumstances are we begin to rise up.

There is a heavenly choir of glory that beckons us to come up. The only thing that can hold us down is our own hands. When we let go of our circumstance and lift our eyes up to Jesus that name which is above every name, then we begin to rise up. Will you lift up your eyes towards the King today saint? The Lord sees you in the midst of your trial, can you see Him? Will you let go today? Will you release your grasp today from the circumstances which threaten to destroy you? No matter how terrifying this may seem, will you let go today, there is glory that awaits you. Lift you voice in praise today, let it rise up to heaven itself and suddenly you will find yourself in the midst of Glory.

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The gross darkness

Posted by appolus on November 11, 2019

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(Rev 13:7)

This scripture alludes to the darkest time of all the ages. There is a coming war against the saints and the saints are overcome. The great tribulation to come will produce this situation which is why the Scriptures warn us over and over again that it is those who overcome, who endure to the end who will be saved. Let us consider a time in history where we see such a darkness over the earth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.(Mat 27:45) From the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was a gross Satanic darkness that engulfed the world. Somewhere between three hours and four hours. At the end of this Satanic darkness Christ Himself cries out my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mat 27:45) This is not only the darkest hour materially, but also the darkest hour spiritually.

We who are alive in the great persecution soon to come, will have to face this same kind of Satanic darkness, a period of time where it appears that we have been abandoned by God. It wont be for a few hours, it will more than likely be for a few years. Think not that if the Lord Jesus Himself cried out this agonizing cry in the midst of gross Satanic darkness, that somehow we saints shall avoid coming to this same moment. This three or four hours of Satanic darkness, I am convinced, symbolically represents the time alluded to in Rev 13:7. A time, when we have, just like our Lord, been handed over to our enemies. Judgement begins at the house of the Lord.

Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.(Jer 30:10) God Himself is the affecting agent on Israel as they are taken into captivity to Babylon. The Lord says in verse 11 that I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. If judgment indeed begins at the house of the Lord, and it does, it is necessary for the Lord to do it. Imagine if you will a a man on your street who has spoiled undisciplined children. He then comes across your children doing something wrong and he severely disciplines them. He who does not discipline his own has no authority to discipline others.

God is not like men. He does discipline His children. He scourges those He loves. And so we see in Jeremiah chapter 30 that even although His children are going into captivity, He has not forgotten them. Even although they deserved punishment, lest they lose hope in the midst of their captivity,God promises them that He would save them from afar. At the end of the gross darkness on Calvary, the Lord cries out to God once more and He says “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” You see, He now addresses God as Father. The doubt is gone, the victory is won and the intimacy has returned. We too shall be driven into the deepest intimacy we have ever known as we pass through the valley, the deepest darkest valley ever known.

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