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Archive for the ‘God’s love’ Category

Perfect peace.

Posted by appolus on July 3, 2022

Isa 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You

Perfect peace. Oh what a marvelous state. Who among us would not revel in “perfect peace.” Yet here is a promise from the Living God to His people, with two conditions. Conditions you say? Yes, indeed. And the two here stated are firstly, “whose mind is stayed on You.” Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. See Him in all His glory. See Him high and lifted up above your circumstances. Was He not lifted up upon a cross for you? See Him high and lifted up above every storm. Above every set of circumstances, above every ailment and serious infirmity. For when you see Him as such and glorify Him as such does not the Spirit of Christ rest upon you? When the world and even your own mind and body attempts to wrestle you away from a singular focus on Him, shall we not resist this?

Secondly, trust in the Lord your God. Trust Him on the mountain, trust Him in the valley, trust Him when your enemies are all around and to your aid He rallies. Trust Him in the morning when the sun rises in the sky, trust Him on your sickbed when men say that you will die. Trust Him in the noonday when the sun is overhead, trust Him for your sustenance and for your daily bread. Trust Him as the sun goes down and in the twilight hour, for even in the darkness He is your light and He’s your power. To keep your eyes on Him and to trust Him in all things is to walk through the door of perfect peace. Won’t you go in brothers and sisters? Look up unto the heavens and revel in the glory of God and you shall revel in His peace, His perfect peace.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

I would have died.

Posted by appolus on June 19, 2022

Psa 27:13  I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 

Can I go a wee bit further brothers and sisters. I would have died unless I had seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I have seen His goodness. I have laid down in that goodness the way a child lays down in the arms of his mother. He has been so good to me. I am not hoping in some goodness in some future time, I am alive because of the goodness of God. He was good to me in the depths of the fire. When everything around me was falling to pieces, when I was hard pressed on every side, He was good to me. When I was lying wounded on the battle field of life, His goodness came charging in on a white Horse and picked me up. When I could see no way ahead and despair began rising like mighty floodwaters all around me, His goodness lifted me up to higher ground.

The Lord is my strength and my shield and my heart rejoices in Him. ‘When my mother and my father forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” Many saints have been rejected by their loved ones for a myriad of reasons and the Lord is with them through it all. His goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. In the great dark dungeons of our lives, Gods goodness light up the way out. When we are faced with challenges that we simply cannot face, His goodness brings strength to our inner man. “In the time of my trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion.” Oh brothers and sisters, I know this pavilion, I have hidden there many many times. In the secret place of His tabernacle He hid me and set me high upon a rock.

The greatest desire of my life has been to dwell in the house of the Lord. His pavilion, His tabernacle. I want to dwell there all the days of my life to behold the beauty and the holiness of my God. Yes indeed, I would have died if I had not seen these places, not hidden in these places, not run into that High Tower. The Lord is my light and my salvation and my goodness and He is the strength of my life. My own strength has failed me so many times, and I am glad, for in my weakness, I experienced the goodness of God. In my weaknesses I boast. I can do no other. And in that boast the power of Christ rests upon me. For surely, when I am weak, He is strong in me. When I am dying, His goodness is displayed in me. When I come to the end of myself the Lord Jesus is there for all the world to see. Lord Jesus, be glorified in your servants

 

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Devotions, God's love, inspirational, intimacy, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 4 Comments »

God speaks out of the whirlwind!

Posted by appolus on May 19, 2022

Job 38:1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind.

God finally speaks to Job! Not in a still small voice, but out of a whirlwind. A tornado! Most people are absolutely terrified by tornadoes. Often when they glimpse it, they are mesmerized by it, so much so they cannot move. It comes down from the clouds and touches the ground. It moves and nothing stands it its way. Whatever it encounters is broken down and taken up. The sound, they say, is like a freight train. It commands the attention of all who see it. When God speaks, men take notice. When God speaks from the mountain to the children of Israel, they cry out for Him to stop as the thunder claps and the lightening fractures the skies above. God says to Job “Now, prepare yourself like a man.”

When men speak, it is all too often just noise, a light breeze on a summers day. Job’s friends have spoken much, and convinced no one of anything. Job has spoken much and has not convinced his friends that they are wrong.Elihu has silenced Job but not convinced him. Now God will speak and all men will be silent when God speaks. Brothers and sisters, do not argue your case before men, do not try and convince men of the rightness of your case. Let God justify you. Nothing that Job said or could have said would have convinced his so called friends. Nothing they could have said would change Jobs mind, so in the end its all just noise. Now God speaks and Job gets it. His response is, not unlike Isaiah’s “Behold I am vile, what shall I answer you, I lay my hand over my mouth.”

God continues to ask Job rhetorical questions. The majesty and glory of God pours forth from the “questions.” Job is being taught by God Himself and it lays him bare. Finally Job answers and says “I know that you can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you……..I have uttered what I did not know………..I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you, therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes!” What a transformation from a man God had already pronounced to be blameless. Before, he only knew of God, now he has seen Him high and lifted up and he is changed forever. And of course, the man of God is justified in the end, not by his own defense, but by God Himself. “God says to Jobs friends ” My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends for you have not spoken of me what is right as My servant Job has.”

In the end, God has justified His precious servant. Justice belongs to the Lord. And the Lord demands that the three friends offer burnt offerings for themselves and then go to Job and have him pray for them. They are humiliated but their humility and the prayers of Job save them. Now, Job must pray for them as commanded by the Lord, (pray for those who despitefuly use you) and when he does, Job’s losses are restored, and more. Remain silent brothers and sisters and do not try and justify yourself to others. Walk before the Lord in the sure knowledge that all these things are in hand. Pray for those who would condemn you. Lift your eyes to the heavens and consider who laid the foundations of the earth. Praise Him, for the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Even if He kills us, yet shall we trust Him.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Perfect love casts out fear.

Posted by appolus on April 26, 2022

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

As He is, so are we in the world. Let that sink in for a second brothers and sisters. As He is, so are we, in the world. This does not mean we are Christ, as erroneously taught by charlatans and wolves. No one loved more than Jesus. He loved His heavenly Father. He loved the multitudes. He loved the lost. He came to set sinners free. He came to set the captives free. He came to be the expression of His Fathers love for the world and He proved this in glorious fashion on the cross. Now, those who know Jesus, who have the Spirit of God dwelling in them, love the Father, love what God loves. They fear God but they are not afraid of God. The world should be afraid of God. They should tremble at the thought of standing before God at the judgment seat.

Yet brothers and sisters, we are not afraid to stand before the judgement seat of God. Perfect love has cast out that fear. We are taught that “we may have boldness in the day of judgement.” For the unsaved world there shall be torment for they do not know the love of God because they do not love God. Yet we, who have responded to God’s great love, expressed on Calvary, shall rather, boldly approach the throne because as He is, so are we. We are one in Christ as He and the Father are one. This great love shall have its expression in this world. They shall know us by our love for one another. They shall now us by our love for the lost. They shall know us because we shall love what God loves. Most of all, we shall be known for our love for God. Our grand obsession shall be for Jesus. We are Jesus lovers.

And whether we are rich or poor, whether we are in sickness or in health, for better or for worse, none of that shall change our love. Whether we live, or whether we die, we shall glorify God. In sickness Jesus says to Paul, in his answer to his prayer for healing “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul is so affected by this that He responds “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Who today seeks this kind of power? Those who know “that as He is, so are we in the world.” No one suffered more than Jesus, yet we are called to “rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1Pet 4:13) When Christ is revealed, not only shall we not be afraid, we shall be glad with exceeding joy. With boldness we shall stand in the day of judgement “because as He is, so are we.”

Posted in bible, Charismatic, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, gifts of the spirit, God's love, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 1 Comment »

How long shall I suffer?

Posted by appolus on April 21, 2022

Psa 13:2  How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?

How long shall I suffer Lord? Every day I search my heart and reason within me and yet I find nothing, only sorrow and suffering continually. David is at a loss. He has no one else to turn to. The comforts that he had known before have fled him. The good man suffers greatly in his affliction. He searches himself and tries to find remedy and yet there is none. At the very same time he knows that God is good and greatly to be praised. The knowledge of this adds to the mans sorrows for in his heart he knows it is a madness to complain before God. It goes against his spiritual DNA, and so we come to this place of crying out.  God hears your cries.

Brothers and sisters. Are you in this place? Have you been in this place? It is like a certain spiritual death where sleep may overwhelm us. David cries out to God to consider him and bring light to his eyes. A certain kind of malaise, a melancholy has insidiously crept in. And now he cries out for light. He reminds himself that he has trusted in the mercy of God. He remembers how the Lord, in all of his ways, has dealt bountifully with him and this causes him to sing unto the Lord. Trust in the Lord your God brothers and sisters. Cry out to Him, do not remain silent. Remind yourself of how far the Lord has brought you and how much grace and mercy He has given to you. I cannot say how much longer you may suffer, but we know this. We know that no one suffered more than our Lord and that He also felt the despair of being seemingly abandoned. Rejoice in your salvation today, for the Saviour of your soul knows and sees your suffering. He committed His Spirit into the hands of His Father, you do the same.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Finding the right path after having a wrong heart.

Posted by appolus on April 14, 2022

Act 15:39  And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 

This is a well known incident. Paul and Barnabas fall out with each other, so much so that they change their plans and Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus leaving Paul behind. The plan had been to go back and revisit the brothers and sisters in every city and encourage them. It was a good plan, but the personalities of these very Godly men got in the way of the plan that very well was their own. Has this ever happened to you? Has you temper or some other personality trait caused you to fall out with someone and it seems that you have completely blown it? I have lost count over the last thirty years how many times it seems that I have “stepped on,’ the plan of the Lord. It never left me unaffected, quite the opposite. I would aid and abet the enemy in beating me up.

I am sure that as Paul watched Barnabas and Mark sail away, he must have regretted his “sharp contention,’ with his dear brother in the Lord. They had been through so much together. Barnabas must have looked back as the ship sailed away and had similar thoughts, the Holy Spirit, no doubt, convicting both for their parts in the contention. Yet I want you to see something. Despite us, despite our many failings, God has a plan and He is working it out. Paul decides to take Silas in the place of Barnabas. Little did not Paul know that he and Silas were about to live out one of the most famous incidents in the New Testament. Very shortly after leaving, they find themselves in the bowels of a dungeon, whipped to within an inch of their lives and in stocks.

And despite the previous failings of Paul, we see God had a plan. I believe that plan was for the jailer and his whole family to be saved. Silas was probably the perfect guy for this job. We find them both praising the Lord at the midnight hour and all the prisoners listening to them and then, a great earthquake. God came down. The doors flew open and the men, taken by the presence of God no doubt, stayed right there in their cells. The jailer, supposing the very opposite is about to kill himself but instead he gets saved and all of his family and goes on to have a house church in that city. Gods plan. Remember, God had forbidden them to preach the word in Asia, they also being refused permission to go to Bithynia. Then they had a vision of a man pleading for them to come to Macedonia. You see how every step of the way, God had a plan and He was bringing it to pass? Paul and Silas were on a need to know basis. Brothers and sisters, more often than nought we are on a need to know basis. I would imagine that knowing they were going to be scourged and put in stocks would not have helped them along.

If you have messed up and missed the mark, take heart brothers and sisters. You have no idea what God has in store for you. He uses imperfect individuals to carry out His perfect will. It is always about His plan and never about ours. We may go crashing ahead sometimes with what seems to be right, and yet it is completely wrong, its is simply our own plan. God will interrupt our plans. He will use what is useful to Him and bring you to where He wants you to be. My only advice is to listen for the direction or as in this case, the redirection of the Holy Spirit. Stay humble and broken and contrite and no matter what, move in forgiveness. Be quick to forgive those that have wronged you. After all, we are but vessels in the hands of the Lord, and if we are quick to forgive then He is faithful and just and merciful to forgive us. In the end, it is all His work and it is all His glory and it is His story. Keep walking brothers and sisters, God will use you.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, praise, praise and worship, revival, spiritual gifts, Spiritual warfare, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 1 Comment »

The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us.

Posted by appolus on April 11, 2022

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, revival, spiritual gifts, spiritual growth, Spiritual warfare, Spirituality, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »

Swept up in symphony

Posted by appolus on April 8, 2022

Every now and then, in a glorious symphony of realization, my heart is overwhelmed by the music of my Saviour’s love for me. I am swept up in its majesty! It carries me with the substantial fullness of a raging river and yet with the gentle sound of a thousand doves wings flapping in the wind. I am undone by it all. Every doubt and all the rocks of my flesh are removed and suddenly the river is in full unabated flow and all I want is to be taken. Time loses its meaning as I am swept towards the vastness of my Jesus. An ocean so vast that I am swallowed whole. Everything returns to its simplicity. All the barriers are broken down and I glimpse and am engulfed, once again, by the glory of it all.

Posted in Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, Fresh Fire, God's love, hope, inspirational, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Oh what glorious fountains!

Posted by appolus on April 7, 2022

1Pe 1:22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 

Can you see what the Lord is saying through Peter? Obeying the truth through the Spirit is part and parcel of being purified. Let not anyone think that outside of obedience to the Word of God and the Spirit of God that that one will be Holy as He is Holy. He who called you is Holy, now, the Scriptures tell us, be Holy as He is Holy. Lift your eyes as high as they can be lifted and set your sights on the Holiness of God. Seek first His Kingdom so that you may be partakers of His righteousness and Holiness. Willing and desirous obedience as opposed to conformity to your old flesh or the world around you. This leads to walking in the love of God which is manifested in our love for one another and even our love towards our enemies.

In this, the genuineness of our our trust in Him is refined again and again in a process that God Himself has initiated. Even in the midst of our various trials and the grieving of our hearts and spirits, there is inexpressible joy and an encounter with the glory of God. Our God does not sit passively by in the midst of such trials and infirmites and reproaches. No, rather we are told that we are blessed by the “Spirit of glory and of God which rests upon you.” (1 Pet 4:14) The word “rest,’ here used in the Scriptures means to refresh and to remain. Imagine that brothers and sisters, in the midst of our great trials for the glorious cause of Christ, there remains upon us a refreshing. The inexhaustible waters that flows from the wells of salvation. Oh what glorious fountains flow. First from Emmanuel’s veins and then from the living waters of Heaven.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, Jesus, revival, sanctification, spiritual growth, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Unspeakable joy.

Posted by appolus on March 15, 2022

1Pe 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 

This unspeakable joy that is full of glory belongs to those who truly know Him and to those alone. The glory of God and His manifest presence in your life causes immeasurable joy even in the context of 1st Peter where Peter is addressing grevious trials and fires of afflictions. The mark of the saint is that his mind is set on things above. His spirit is led by the Spirit. The Spirit of God magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ in our hearts and all the more so when we wade through troubled waters. Imagine, rejoicing in the midst of troubled waters! Imagine having a vision in the midst of being stoned to death and crying out to God to forgive those who cast the stones. We can rejoice in everything brothers and sisters.

Have you experienced unspeakable joy? Do you know what it is to rejoice and give thanks in the midst of various trials? This, we are told, is for the testing of our faith, the genuineness of our faith. The joy of the Lord we are here told is “unspeakable.’ There are no sufficient words to describe what it means to experience His presence. Even although we do not see Him, we sense Him in the deepest parts of who we are, in the bear essence of our existence. He comes to His own. We draw near to Him, He draws near to us. And His very nearness cause our hearts to burn within us. The joy of the Lord begins to fill us and as it does it begins to strengthen us in our inner man. We change in His presence. People can see it in our faces. They do not know how to describe it but they can see it on our “countenance.” The Love of God , His love for us, our Love for Him is the foundation of it all. Rejoice today brothers and sisters.

Posted in bible, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, intimacy, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | Leave a Comment »

The magnifying power of the Holy Spirit.

Posted by appolus on March 14, 2022

Can you remember as a child, when you first discovered the power of a magnifying glass? I remember the first time I was able to start a fire with it. Harnessing the power of the sun. The magnify glass does not change the power of the sun, it intensifies the light that shines from the sun. You can cause a dormant match to burst into flames. You can melt an ice cube with it. Scientists can harness the power of the sun and create lasers that can cut through almost anything. The Holy Spirit is our magnifying glass. For those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit He causes the love of Jesus to explode in our heart.

He magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ to us. He causes the light of His love to set our hearts on fire. That concentrated power is aimed directly at you. One is powerful, a whole gathering is incredible. His grace becomes magnified in us and we weep because of it. His mercy is intensified in our consciousness and we cry out to Him. His intensity causes our own sin to be magnified in our conscience and we cannot bare it, under the power of conviction. Upon the crumbs of our bravery and obedience He shines this light and we stand as David stood against Goliath. When we speak with the intensity of this power men are stabbed in the heart and His word does not return void. A mere thimble of compassion in us becomes a mighty raging river by the power of the Holy Spirit. What absolute madness to think we could do anything without being endued with the power of the Holy Spirit.

With a magnifying glass, you need three things to make it burn, You need the glass itself, the person and the sun. If the sun is not shining then the glass is not working, it has nothing to intensify. Yet, with the Holy Spirit, the whole earth could be covered with clouds and darkness and gross darkness.We could find ourselves in the depths of the deepest dungeon or walking through the darkest valley, yet the Holy Spirit can magnify the light of Christ into our hearts under any conditions. Where could we flee from His Spirit and His magnified presence? If we ascended up to heaven, He is there. If we make our beds in hell, behold He is there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall His hand lead me, and His right hand shall hold me. Brothers and sisters, even the darkness is light to God. His glory, magnified by the Holy Spirit is all powerful.(Psalm 39)

There is a scripture that alludes to one who would hide Himself in hell to avoid God but that the hand of God would reach right into hell and pull that one out (Amos 9:2) If indeed the hand of God would reach into hell itself for judgment, what circumstances could you face where the light of the glory of God, magnified by the Holy Spirit, could not reach you? Could not penetrate the darkness of your situation? There are no such set of circumstances, glory to God. Far too often, the flesh is being controlled by it own magnifying glass and not the Holy Spirit. It magnifies our fears. It magnifies our insecurities. It magnifies the darkness that would come against us. The Holy Spirit intensifies the light, the enemy intensifies the darkness. What will be magnified in your life this day brothers and sisters?

 

 

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church, Daily devotional, Devotions, Fresh Fire, gifts of the spirit, God's love, God's voice, Ignited Church, Jesus, new wineskins, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The trial yet rages.

Posted by appolus on March 8, 2022

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into various temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith produces patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Jas 1:2-4)

To be joyful when you are being tested is the high water mark of the saint. It separates us, in a supernatural sense, from all others. It separates saints from the world and it separates saints from people who merely profess to be saints. There are plenty of people in this world who can be stoic in the middle of a severe trial and testing in their lives. The Brits call it “the stiff upper lip.” It comes from the head. It is a mere philosophy. It has many admiral qualities but they all reside in the realm of this natural world. Much of the world knows how to grit their teeth and put one foot in front of the other. Only the saint can be joyous in the midst of a trial and it stems from the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Yet we still have to “count,” it all joy, meaning it is up to us to decide how we shall react and when we have made the decision, then the Holy Spirit enables us. The joy of the Lord is our strength therefore we are strengthened by our decision to follow the commands of God.

When we realize that each trial can draw us nearer to Jesus then we press in. We rise up in our spirits and lift holy hands to the heavens. We cry out to God. As we rise up, as we are drawn heavenwards, with our eyes looking unto Jesus, then we rise above the circumstances. The trial still rages, the fire still burns, the water yet rises, but we rise higher. He raises up a standard in us. A flag of victory is hoisted over the battlefield of your life and we charge on-wards and upwards and we exhibit the joy of the Lord and the world marvels. Our friends marvel, our families marvel as they gaze into your situation and see one like the Son of man in the midst of it all. Glory to God. It is He who is elevated and when He is elevated, when He is lifted up then He draws all men to Himself. This testing and finding that God is faithful increases our faith. Our faith only ever increases as a direct result of seeing Him who is faithful to us. And in this, He gets all the glory and we get the benefits of becoming more like the One that we love.

 

 

 

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

Shall you enter His rest?

Posted by appolus on March 1, 2022

Heb 4:9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God

Now some may say that the rest that remains for us, that is spoken of in Hebrews chapter four, is the eternal rest after we have departed this world. We are told in verse 11 that he who enters such a rest has ceased from his own works, but then in verse 11 it states that we are to ‘labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  It sounds a bit confusing, what are we to make of it? Is it the sabbath rest? Is it the eternal rest? Is it both somehow? How can we cease from our own works and at the same time labor to enter in?

The Lord has made a way for us to enter into His rest in this world. No longer is “one day holy,” but every day is holy to the saints. It is not just one day that is holy, but every day, for our whole lives are dedicated to God in the reality of the relationship He forged for us at Calvary. We are new creatures in Christ, behold all things are new. The Spirit of the Living God dwells in every single genuine saint. He teaches us, He leads us and He guides us. He enables us through Calvary and the Blood of the Lamb to come before the throne of grace. He enables us to come into His presence. To renew our strength and and run and not grow weary. He is our rest. He is our eternal rest and He is our rest here on earth. This word labor means to be diligent. Just as the Word tells us in Heb 11:6 that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

In order to diligently seek Him you must humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will raise you up. You must be obedient to His word and abide in it. You must take up your cross daily. You must love, you must forgive, you must never be ashamed of the Gospel, you must not deny your Lord by your words of by your deeds. You must put on the full armor of God. You must endure. You must suffer, you must overcome. This, and much more is the diligence that leads to your reward, His presence and walking in it. Remember from the psalm as the deer panteth for the waterbrooks so my soul longeth after thee. If the dear is panting, then the deer has been diligently searching for quite a while. The deer is thirsty and determined to find living waters. Are you thirsty? Are you panting to enter in? There is such a place saints. Paul had learned to be content in every situation. The same Spirit that abided in Paul abides in you. There is rest to be found in Jesus now and then there shall be an eternal rest.  They are both the same thread.

 

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, faith, God's love, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church | 3 Comments »

A glimpse into healing glory.

Posted by appolus on February 17, 2022

Twenty eight years ago, just two years after being saved and six weeks after Daniel, our son with Down Syndrome was born, I began to have difficulty breathing. After the initial X-ray, it seemed likely I had lung cancer. I had been a heavy smoker from the age of fourteen until I got saved at twenty seven. Much of that had been smoking cannabis. The X-ray was followed up with a cat scan and then finally a lung biopsy. They discovered I had a disease called Sarcoidosis. It mainly effects African Americans in this country, I later discovered I had 5% African blood in my DNA.

Sarcoidosis can affect any of the organs in the body, and in my case it manifested itself as pulmonary fibrosis in my lungs. These fibrosis are irreversible and as they begin to build up in your lungs, your lung capacity is diminished until at some point you die. A third of my lungs already exhibited irreversible fibrosis. I was told by my Pulmonologist that I was stage three of a stage four disease. There was no cure. There was, however, a treatment that could prolong your life. Very high daily doses of prednisone. IN my case, 60 mg a daily.

As Christians we understand that the more we rely upon Jesus, the deeper our relationship is with Him. Dependence is the key to the depth of our spiritual life. We often see the martyrs testify of how their relationship with the Lord grew to greater depths in the dungeons of this world. When everything is stripped away, when we lose the ability to control our own lives, then we discover that Jesus is fully in charge. As the old adage says, we have to let go and let God. The letting go part is the battle, it is the refining fire, it is our sanctification.

After less than two weeks of taking the steroids, that still small voice spoke into my spirit. “Frank, come away with me, I am your life, I am your stillness, I am your peace when all around you is falling apart, trust in me….trust in me.” I knew exactly what the Lord was asking of me, asking mind you. I was to stop taking the pills. I was to trust in Him, I was to put my life fully into His hand. As you can imagine, the opposition to this was great. My son with Down syndrome was only a few months old and had life threatening issues that would require more than one surgery. My wife was devastated at this decision of mine. She was not a Christian. Yet even Christians did not agree with me and let it be known. The pulmonologist was very angry and told me bluntly that I would die and that it would not be a pleasant death.

Several weeks passed, and the many voices seemed to be right. My ability to breathe declined. It is imperative to note that the still small voice of the Lord made me no promises, my only command was to “trust ,” Him. A well known man of God from the last century said this “Lord, may I be an ox on the altar or an ox in the field.” None of is really know our purpose here in life, what we do know is that we have been called to bring honor to the name of Jesus, regardless of our situation. Whether we live or whether we die we have been called to glorify Him. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

There will be times, in every Christians life, when the Lord will “make you lie down in green pastures.” You may think to yourself, what is so “Green Pastures,” about an incurable disease? I do not have the words to describe to you the place I found myself in. Enough to say that it was glorious. The warmth of the sun upon my face was indescribable. The blueness of the sky was glorious. The little sparrow sitting on the wall was altogether fascinating. I became super aware of things that I had routinely overlooked or had taken for granted. I was in this mysterious place called “under the shadow of His wing.” I had to rely upon God for every breath that I took and it took my spiritual breath away. I was not burning at the stake and singing psalms and spiritual songs, but I glimpsed into that realm.

The pulmonologist was part of a national study on this disease and had been taking X-rays of my lungs every two weeks, he wanted to chart my regression. He told me that this way, my decision would at least do some good. He was quite angry with me and never tried to hide it. One Monday morning, at 5.30am I was awoken by a call. It was my mother calling from four thousand miles away in Scotland. She apologized for calling so early, but she had been compelled by the Holy Spirit. She very simply stated “The Lord told me that He is going to heal you.” The Lord had instructed her to attend a certain prayer meeting the following night and have me held up in prayer. I find it significant that my mom was instructed to call and tell me beforehand. This was an act of faith, a “stepping out.”

As she spoke, I was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, I fell to my knees and in my spirit I knew that I was to be healed, I had no doubt whatsoever. I went for an x-ray two days later. The Doctor called me into his office, he seemed subdued. I had shared with him months before that I was putting my life in the hands of the Lord. He paused before flicking the lights on that would light up the X-ray and said words that i will never forget. “I do not know what you are going to call this.” He flicked the light on and pointed to my lungs, they were completely clear. Apparently the Lord does not know the meaning of the word ,”irreversible.”That was twenty eight years ago. Trusting God is the key to life. When glorifying Him becomes more important that anything else, including your own life, you will be propelled into new heights of glory.

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Disarming the enemy.

Posted by appolus on February 9, 2022

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Col 2:15)

That word disarmed or spoiled means, in a sense, to strip. He stripped them of their power in a very public setting. Jesus , although naked and nailed to a cross, triumphed over principalities and powers. Jesus may have been literally naked, but the raw naked power that the principalities had over humanity was gone, broken, just as they had tried to break Him. In His dying, He caused us to live by forgiving us of our trespasses and wiping out “the handwriting of requirements.” The curse of the law was the handwriting against us, it required to be fulfilled. The writing was on the wall for humanity, yet Jesus took our place and blotted out our required punishment. Victory for all those who would repent, accept and receive the sacrifice, Victory in Jesus.

In the natural, this scene did not look like victory at all, quite the opposite. Perhaps your own life does not look very victorious. There may be no great achievements, no ministry the world would see and recognize. You may even think “what is my life all about, what was it all for.” Can I tell you brothers and sisters. Your love for God no matter what your circumstances, is the victory of God in your life. It stands as a testimony. It strips away the lies of spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Satan said of Job that he only loved God for what God had given him. Strip him of all that he had and he would curse God to his face. Liar. No matter what the loss, Job actually does the opposite. He worships God. No one was stripped more than Jesus, and yet He stripped them of their power and made a spectacle of them. Your life of devotion and love to Jesus, despite your circumstances, is a mighty testimony to the truth. God loves you and you love Him.

This reality found in the Body of Christ is the greatest testimony of all. We are all witnesses to His love for us and our love for Him. Whether rich or poor. Whether young or old. Whether on the mountaintop or in the depths of the valley. Whether young and healthy or sick and bedridden. The light of His love for us and our love for Him shines out like a mighty beacon, like a city set on hill for all the world to see. Your love for Him, despite your circumstances is your primary calling. Stand fast in this and you will hear these words that will echo throughout eternity “well done good and faithful servant.” Stand fast brothers and sisters. God sees your life. The enemy also sees your life. His primary objective is for you to curse God and die. He wants to strip you of your testimony. Rather, brothers and sisters, let us strip them and triumph with Christ in victory.

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What does it mean to stab in the heart?

Posted by appolus on February 6, 2022

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Act 2:36-37)

The phrase “cut to the heart,” comes from the Greek word katanussō. A better and more appropriate reading would be “stabbed in the heart.” It is a very violent phrase, when you consider the word nusso was the word used to describe Jesus being run through with a spear. Imagine a word used by the Holy Spirit to conjure an image of something even more violent than the death blow of a spear. Why the violent reaction from the crowd? Well, Peter gave a marvelous sermon by the power of the Holy Spirit and ends with him telling the crowd that they themselves crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. As this truth from the Spirit violently pierces the hard hearts of men, they cry out in agony and anguish over the realization that they have indeed caused the death of Jesus and yet…….there was mercy to be found, love and forgiveness from God as they repented.

We see this again with Stephen. He gives a marvelous sermon in Acts chapter seven. It is all encompassing and is a sweeping story that spans the ages and the crowd are engrossed, until the stabbing comes. Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers………… When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth (Acts 7:51-54) You see the same phrase cut to the heart, only in a slightly different form, this time it means to saw asunder. So when anyone is faced with the knowledge that they themselves, through their sins, crucified the Christ, they are violently agitated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Can I put it to you that we, for the most part, stop well short of Peter and Stephen. In the end it is often what we do not say that makes the difference. And why do we not say such things? Why are men and women today rarely confronted by the reality that they personally crucified Jesus? Fear of man. Fear of losing the relationship. Unwilling to risk it all by sharing the truth that would actually lead to many being saved or lead to us ending up like Stephen. How does this work out practically in our lives today? In our families we shall go so far and no further. We will often excuse it by saying we are loving them into the Kingdom. Was Peter lacking in love? How about Stephen, the man full of the Holy Spirit? The opposite was true. They were so full of love for Jesus and that He would have the rewards of His suffering that they spoke the truth in love. How about you and I? Do we have this king of love? Do we speak with this kind of power? I challenge you today saints. When the opportunity arises, speak the truth in love and risk it all for Jesus, for He already gave His all for you. 

 

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Light that shines forth from darkness.

Posted by appolus on January 30, 2022

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness

The concentration camp was a proving ground of character. Some……..slithered into a moral swamp. Others…..chiseled themselves a character of finest crystal. We were cut with a sharp instrument. It’s blade bit painfully into our bodies, yet in our souls it found fields to till. We had all become just our bare essence. A man was seen and valued for what he really was (Auschwitz survivor Witold Pilecki, 1945)

God is looking for the bare essence of a man, the bare essence of a woman. God commands light to shine forth from darkness. We are the darkness. In our unbroken state we are covered with this veneers. And the multitude of these thin veneers makes for a formidable barrier that is in opposition to Christ’s work in us.

These veneers are legion and vary from person to person. Pride, arrogance, airs and graces, civility, morality, insecurity, security are but a few. All of it is flesh and when the veneers are burned away we are left with who we truly are. And for the saint who we truly are is so far removed from God that it horrifies us. The light of God shines into the darkness. It breaks us in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. It consumes the darkness in us and fills us with His light. It is this light that shines forth from darkness. It is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The glow from Moses face was the glow of condemnation. The light we find in the face of the Lord Jesus Christ is the transforming light of reconciliation.

It bursts forth from broken earthen vessels. These earthen vessels are the bare essence of men and women. Jesus is truly seen, we are truly witnesses of Him when we, in our broken state, shine forth the light of Christ from hearts that have been renewed and restored to fellowship with the Father. There was nowhere that this more illustrated than on Calvary. The darkest of darkness. As Jesus hung there, even the natural light fled away as the world was consumed by gross darkness. And out of that gross darkness God the Father commanded that light would shine forth. Leaving the empty dark tomb behind, Jesus stepped out into glory. Victory won the day. He arose. We too arise in the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The best of man is still filthy rags to God, but the righteousness of Christ triumphs in the hearts of men over the gross darkness. Men and woman of God are seen for who they truly are, vessels filled with the light of Christ which is the glory of God.

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The smiling face of God.

Posted by appolus on January 25, 2022

Psa 149:4  For the LORD takes pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 

 
 
I was around the age of twenty the first time I ever flew on a plane.. As a boy growing up in Scotland, overcast skies were normal. In Scotland you can often go a month without seeing a blue sky. Imagine my surprise when we broke through the clouds and I discovered that there was an eternal and perpetual blue sky. Growing up with almost endless cloud cover had conditioned me. I reveled in this blue sky. I would never look at the clouds the same way again, for I now knew what lay just beyond them. Imagine the tragedy for saints who labor under a perpetual cloud cover. To never know the intimacy of God. To never, in a sense, see His smiling face.
 
The barrier between God and us is more often than nought self made. We often forget the pleasure that God has in us. We forget that the whole purpose of our existence is for His will and for His good pleasure. Tozer suggests a few titles for the man made barriers that keep us from seeing the smiling face of God. He calls it a wall of obscurity. 1. Self will. 2. Ambition. 3. Fear. 4. Self love.. 5. Money. 6. Fear of people and what they think. There are more to be sure and each one mentioned would take a long time to expound, but you get the idea. Just one of them, or some combination of them, form a barrier between us and the smiling face of God. Almost all of our activity in our walk revolve around them and they are a major distraction to who we are and the God that loves us.
 
I want you to ponder on this for a moment and do not confuse this with cheap grace. God loves His children, God loves you. His face towards you is smiling. He loves you. He saved you. He took the ashes of your life and He is making something beautiful out of it. His thoughts towards you are more numerous than the sands of the sea shore. He knows you by name and your name has been on His lips. The walls that you have erected that obscure the light of His glory shining down on you must come down. The wind of the Spirit must blow again in your life and that wind shall blow away the clouds. If you reach out your hand to Him He will take it. If you seek Him with all of your heart then you will stand under a beautiful blue sky with your hands raised toward heaven as you bask in the warmth of His love. Today saints, today is the day and now is the time.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, consequences of sin, Daily devotional, Devotions, Fresh Fire, God's love, God's voice, hope, Jesus, new wineskins, revival, spiritual growth, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

I may be cast down but I’m not destroyed.

Posted by appolus on January 23, 2022

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

It’s sometimes hard to sleep when our thoughts have been taken captive by anything other than Jesus.  Paul said that he was troubled on ever side but not distressed. Perplexed but not despairing. Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed. He had “learned,” to be content in every situation. No magic wand, but trust. He had walked through enough fires to have learned there was another in there he could see. He had been through enough waters to know the One who was holding back the sea. Taking our thoughts captive by lifting our eyes to Jesus. Anxiety is swept away and we are flooded with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

There can be no doubt that faith is forged in the fire and the tempering of our spirits happens when we are plunged into the waters. When the wind and the waves have done their work, and only that which was anchored remains, then we begin to see the saint come forth. Come forth from the fire, come forth from the storm, come forth from the grave clothes. Jesus stands and beckons us to “come forth.” When nothing should survive then we come forth and thrive by the power and the will and the good pleasure of the righteous hand of God. If you are in the fire today, do not cry out to God to quench the flames, rather pray that God Himself will sustain you in their midst. If the storm threatens to engulf you, do not pray to be rescued from it but rather to be sustained in its depths. If there is a mountain that stands in your way, do not pray for its removal but rather pray for the strength to scale its heights. In this way the mountain is removed and God is glorified and the saint lies down and sleeps in peace.

 

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Find the treasure.

Posted by appolus on January 9, 2022

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (Joh 5:39-40)

Imagine you had a map. A treasure map. It was very detailed and if followed, would lead you to the treasure which would change your whole life. You would be rich beyond imagination. Would it serve you well to study this map? Yes. Then study it more? Yes. How about you just studied the map all of your life but you never followed the map to the treasure? Would that not be madness? The whole point of the map is the treasure. The map in and of itself, the actual piece of paper on which it was written has no intrinsic value other than it leads you to the treasure. Jesus is the treasure and every part of the Word of God points towards Him.

A tragic breakdown in Evangelical circles is how we have used doctrine as a substitute for Spiritual experience. Spiritual experience should be the outgrowth of doctrine. But we make doctrine the end.(Tozer) Tozer is saying that doctrine is the means to the end, not the end itself. Jesus is the treasure and we have this treasure in earthen vessels so that the power of God may be clearly seen in us. He breaks us down and through that very brokenness shines the light and the glory of God. It was God Himself who commanded that light would shine out of darkness. The light that He has shone upon our hearts in transformation gives the light of the knowledge and the glory of God through Jesus to a dark and broken world.

This light is the Word made flesh that dwells and sits upon the very core of who we are. It illuminates through us, through the cracks and the fissures that are created in us when we are hard presses on every side yet not crushed. It shines through us when we are perplexed but not in despair. It shines mightily in us when we are persecuted but not forsaken. It shines at it’s glorious best when we are struck down by every possible set of circumstances and we emerge from the fire not destroyed! The reality of Christ lives in us. We stand because of it, not because of some doctrine that resides only in the head. That can never bring glory to God. Yet the transformed heart that shines forth the glory of God in all its glorious reality triumphantly diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

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