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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

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“Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22 Amp

“…For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. Lk 17:21 Amp

“The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.” Ps 119:130 Amp

There is a truth so central to solving the mystery of how to enter the Kingdom …yet while in some ways so simple, one’s cursory glance will yield only confusion. Puzzles may need to be figured out, but this one the Holy Spirit untangles within you!

For me it started with being provoked to sit before the teaching of the Beatitudes. I was gripped by them, and I knew there was something there for me.  I had recently been teaching on the notion that “where your heart is there your treasure will be also.”  We had been looking at the importance of the Biblical heart.

But as I began meditating anew on the Amplified Bible’s rendering of Matthew Chapter 5 …something in the language struck me full in the face. It hit me in my place of deep deficiency. To clarify this I must quote just the first of the beatitudes:

“Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous – with life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 5:3

I saw in this passage for the first time how much I lacked life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation. Explosion! I saw how in the midst of any onerous condition of life, I have readily available the state of being in joy because I possess God’s favor, and I should have satisfaction because I have been blessed with salvation.  But to experience this truth I had to learn to believe it, and to exalt it, in the midst of my situations! This truth is not just a “reason” for gladness, but it is the very reality of the constancy of Christ.

The more I sat before this truth, the more I saw something bigger, grander than I could ever imagine. In the very midst of every condition that we experience here on earth, God has breathed the reality of His kingdom so that in Him we can find life joy. In Him we can find satisfaction no matter what we are experiencing. In Him we find the very expression of the answer to the deepest needs we have.

Are you poor or broken – do you appear to lack this realm’s assets and thus seem insignificant in this world? – You have from God’s Kingdom ready to be appropriated, all that is needed to have joy in this moment, in this situation.

Are you in a place of mourning? Someone or something has died – The same is true for you as well…

And on and on through each … meek… hunger and thirst… merciful… etc.

Here is the point. Your current residence is this realm, on earth. You experience challenge every day: some small and irritating, some massive and devastating. But in the very midst of that challenge, what matters most is not what is assaulting you from life, but what is living and abiding in you as you go through the difficulty!

You must understand, you have the very real state and substance of God’s kingdom waiting to fill you and fortify you; to lift you up, and to carry you through the challenge in a manner that you shine with life joy and satisfaction in God’s provision for you. And it is through the active, living, agency of the Holy Spirit that this provision flows – through His Presence! He brings to bear, and reveals, and discloses, and transmits to us all that is Jesus’. (Jn 16:13-15)

So that while the appearance is that I am living in this moment in this world moving through its trying and sometimes terrifying terrain, the greater reality is that I can carry as a constant state the blessing of the kingdom and the Presence of God – in me and with me!

Now this you must hear: The Key to the door of the kingdom is this: to enter the kingdom, it must first enter you…. To enter the way of eternity, eternity must have first made a way in you.  Before I can dwell in the future place of the Kingdom, it must be already at work in me.

The beatitudes demonstrate this truth. I overcome my condition right here and right now on this earth through God’s provision and by keeping my heart and mind focused on the truth that I have His favor and blessing and salvation! These can trump and overcome any situation as surely as Meshach, Shadrack, and Abednigo overcame the flames of the furnace because Jesus was the fourth man in the furnace with them.

The evidence of the Kingdom in you is this: you have power and ability to have life joy and satisfaction in the midst of any trial, because you know that God is with you! And your victory is not just mentally overcoming with a good attitude, it is the substance of the kingdom having its way in you to bear you up! 

As you entertain this concept of the kingdom being available to you and able to keep you in a state of life joy and satisfaction with God’s provision, examine this concept as it applies to these teachings in the Bible:

– Mt 7:21-27 the house founded on the rock

– Mt 18:3 the child who I greatest in the kingdom

– Mt 23:13 pretenders and hypocrites

– Mt 25:1-12 the wise virgins

– Mt 25:14-29 the talents

– Heb 4:3-11 the Lord’s rest

– 2Pet 1:3-10 partakers of the divine nature

Without fail you will notice: Each time something is first given, and something is received, and that thing yields a crop of righteousness and blessing for the receiver…

May you recognize and embrace anew the fullest blessing of your salvation and life joy and satisfaction in this moment … whatever your situation.

The Favor of God be with you…

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The Marker

 

A Bookmark is a handy thing,

It shows us where we’re at.

We turn to it and see our place,

“Yes!  I remember that!”

Yet bookmarks only hold your place,

And move along with thee.

Far better is He Who took your place,

On the Cross at Calvary!

As someone turns to seek Him,

He shows them where they’re at.

And as the Spirit nudges they say,

“Oh Lord … I repent of that.”

The True Marker is the Lord!

Who holds your place… in life.

He holds it before the Father,

Within the Book of Life.

He holds your place in Heaven,

The Mansions you will see.

He went to prepare a place for you,

That where He is you’ll be.

Oh would that you might seek Him.

He stands at the door and knocks.

But warn all those who would choose Him not –

A place not held is lost!

 

©1998 Sandra Gilloth

“The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion.  My cup:  You hold and maintain my lot.” (Psalm 16:5)

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Day Seventeen

“Our Alabaster Flasks”

 

“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the Leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard.  Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.”

Mk 14:3 NKJV

 

        This flask that Mary of Bethany broke to anoint Jesus for His burial was a product of worldly commerce.  It was earned as Mary plied her trade in the world – but as she surrendered her life to Him back in the city of Nain (Lk 7:37-50), both she and all that she possessed were committed into His Hands (specifically this costly ointment as well as all other things were brought into the Kingdom of God).  Thus, what was worldly became part of the kingdom and qualified to now anoint Him for His burial.  In truth, it is actually a picture of resurrection more than death, but to understand it we must look further.

        When Mary chose Jesus – she chose the better portion.  In surrendering to Him as Lord she was in fact choosing to renounce her own soulish existence and to now live for Him through His life in her.  This is what every Christian is called to – to in the spirit live out the resurrection life of Christ in place of our own lives.  Romans 6:13 describes it as yielding our bodily members and faculties to Christ as though we have been already raised with Him to new and perpetual life.  Verse 6:5 shows us that because of His death and our sharing of that death (by identifying with His death on the cross and losing our own soulish life), we share His resurrection by living a new life for Him now – through His Spirit in us.

        The alabaster flask was costly and broken, to be poured out for Him.  You and I are also costly clay flasks that are broken for Him and His service when we find Him as Lord and Savior of our lives.  To lose our lives for Him (to essentially lose sight of ourselves and our will, intellect, and emotions – our soul) is the call of the higher life in Christ.  Not only is this often ignored in Christian teaching today, but it is often put aside completely.  Thus we have much of the Body of Christ living and looking like the world instead of Christ.

        This, however, is not the true destiny of believers.  We are called to be a fragrance – an aroma which seems to be wafting from death to death, but is truly a sweet fragrance of Christ which ascends to God.  To those who are perishing (unsaved) we are the aroma of death, but to those who are being saved we are the aroma of life, a vital fragrance, living and fresh! (2Cor 2:15-16)  It is because in sharing His death we receive His life – a fragrance that is most pleasing to God!

        Be blessed, be that fragrance, and be-loved today!

 

(For more on this topic –check out the Essay: “The Memorial: A Case for Mary of Bethany” also at this blog.)

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