What True Christian Living Is All About

What True Christian Living Is All About

REPRINT OF DAY BY GRACE By Bob Hoekstra, contributing pastor to Blueletterbible.com.There comes a time in our lives when we personally just couldn’t – shouldn’t try to improve on something someone else has written. So, Please take a moment to read what I believe the essence of true Christian living is all about: GRACE….. AND how we live by Grace.Day By Day By GraceBob HoekstraFebruary 4, 2011
Living by Grace: Humility and Faith God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. (James 4:6 and Romans 5:2)How does a believer in Jesus Christ access the ongoing, sanctifying graceof God for daily godliness? It is accessed the same way that the initial,justifying grace of God was acquired—by humility and faith. We were justified, declared righteous in God’s sight, when we humbly trusted in the Lord Jesus. We humbly agreed with the Lord’s account of our guilty condition. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23; 6:23a). We also put our trust in Christ concerning His offer of life (based upon His death and resurrection on our behalf). “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Thereby we partook of the justifying grace of God through humilityand faith. This is how the Lord wants us to continue to relate to Him for sanctifying grace.Our God wants us to walk in humility, because grace is what we need forgrowth in godly living. Remember this great truth of grace: “But grow in the grace…of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). If we are unwilling to walk in humility, we will not enjoy this wondrous sanctifying impact of grace, because “God resists the proud, but gives grace to thehumble.” When we live by self-sufficiency, God resists us. When we walk in humility, God gives us grace for living.Our God also wants us to walk in faith, because faith accesses grace.”Through whom [Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” We now stand in a kingdom that offers “grace upon grace”(John 1:16). Abundant grace is available for every step we are to take. This grace is partaken of by faith. Whenever we trust in the Lord Jesus concerning any issue of life, we are reaching by faith into God’s unlimitedresources of grace, by which we are enabled to live effectively.Hereby we see that living by grace involves two relational realities:humility and faith. We do not produce either. Neither one is a work.Humility admits we cannot do the work (of being holy, loving, perfect).Faith relies upon the work of another, the Lord Jesus Christ. These two attributes become real in our lives through a growing relationship with the Lord. The more we get to know the Lord Jesus Christ, to that degree humility and faith will become realities in our lives.O Lord, You are my salvation, from justification throughout a lifetime of sanctification. Forgive me for underestimating my need for You. Forgive me concerning the self-sufficient, self-confident ways by which I have often lived. I humble myself before You. I want to live by trust and confidence in You. I long to live by Your grace, not by my best efforts. Help me to know You, that humility and faith might develop in my life, Amen.

Why I can find rest.

Why I Can Find Rest

.I can find rest for my weary soul by allowing God to take my weary soul and bring it to death. I had to die to self to find myself in my Lord Jesus Christ. And this has been done and is contstantly being done by the cross through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My soul is my emotions, feelings, and most of all: MY WILL. 
I’ve lost my will to love myself, and my things that make me happy, and given my will to God. I’d lost everything. House, Clothing, Wife, Car, Children, Friends, and even my beloved Golf Club Membership…. When you read these words immediately you’re led to think I suffered from a chemical dependence that had taken over my life. We read about it all the time. My drug addiction or drinking was the cause of me losing everything. And certainly this happens and had happened to me to a great extent some ten years back before my Lord delivered me from alcohol. 
But as my life was restored from alcoholism over these past ten years, God began taking me to the next major phase of my life and that was learning to die to self completely. And, in order to accomplish this, God had to take me by the way of the cross as my Lord Jesus had gone. HEBREWS 13:13 BEFORE MY LORD TOOK ME AS HIS OWN AND MADE TO WALK OUTSIDE THE CAMP TO BEAR HIS REPROACH I HAD TO AGREE TO FOLLOW. MATTHEW 19:20-30
When these things were gone, I next had to lose myself, i.e., die to self and death is the final step. Just as in the physical, the spiritual life, death is the final act before rebirth can be accomplished. I died to self by the loss of all that defined my life (self, the flesh) and then the final act was done by faith. HEBREWS 10:38; ROMANS 1:17. Faith as in saying, “Lord, I believe you’ve accomplished that which you’ve started. PHILIPPIANS 1:6Here’re some excerpts from Watchman Nee’s “Spiritual Man.” (page 492):“After a believer has thus been dealt with, he can commence the walk of faith which is true spiritual life. And the one who arrives at this position enters upon a life of rest.
The fire of the cross has consumed his every greedy pursuit. He at last has learned his lesson: he recognizes that God’s will alone is precious. All else, though naturally desirable, is incompatible with the highest life of God. Now he rejoices in relinquishing everything. Whatever the Lord deems necessary to withdraw, he gladly allows His hand to do it. The sighing, mourning and grieving which arose out of his former anticipation, seeking and struggling have today entirely disappeared. He realizes that the loftiest life is one lived for God and one obedient to His will. 
Though he has lost everything yet is he satisfied with the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Though he is left with nothing to enjoy, yet is he humble under the ordering of God. So long as the Lord is pleased he cares not the least what happens to him.Upon arriving at this restful position the believer shall find that all he heretofore had lost for the Lord’s sake has today been restored. He has gained God, and therefore everything belonging to God belongs to him as well. What the Lord had withdrawn before he now can properly enjoy in Him. The reason why God at the beginning had led him through many sorrows was because his soul life lay behind everything, seeking and asking too much for himself ….
Let us therefore hasten to add: do not misunderstand what has been said to mean that from here on there shall be no possibility of feeling either joy or sorrow. As long as our organ for emotion is not annihilated (it never will be), our feeling shall continue to exist. We still can sense pain, blackness, aridity and sorrow. Yet those sufferings can penetrate our outer man only, leaving our inner man untouched. Due to the clear division between spirit and soul, outwardly our soul may be disturbed and consequently suffer but inwardly our spirit remains calm and composed as though nothing had happened. “ End Quote
.THE GOOD NEWS IS IF WE ARE JOINED WITH HIM IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH WE ALSO GET TO JOIN WITH HIM IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION ROMANS 6:5In these past three years I’ve lost everything and now I’m getting everything back and even more than I had before. But more importantly, I’m getting them back exactly as God had intened me to have them and that is by way of the cross. And after I’m his, he will not withold any good thing from me. Psalms 84:11; JOB 42I can find rest not because God has restored and is restoring my things, I can rest because God knows that I know these things no longer matter but rather the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN MY LIFE IS FOLLOWING MY LORD JESUS CHRIST WHERE EVER HE MAY LEAD ME.

Mark Driscoll is The Wolf


Pastor Mark Driscoll, the misguided thug who frequently says certain wolves in sheep’s clothing in his church (usually people who stand up to him and question his misuse of authority) need to be shot should in fact himself be taken out in the field in his Washington State church MARS HILL and shot.http://narrowisthepath.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/fighting-for-the-faith-special-edition-the-cult-like-hostile-takeover-tactics-of-the-purpose-driven-church-transitioning-seminar/Among the numerous cult like control tactics he uses on intimidating his flock there’s one that reveals his true nature. In his book, video (church commercialism) THE PEASANT PRINCESS… http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/the-peasant-princess.
 In the Peasant Princess, Driscoll gives us his view of the ‘true’ meaning of the song of songs. He takes a 100 % view that the book is totally literal and has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with any sense of allegory. He even goes so far to say that “IF” this book was even remotely allegorical in nature as in telling us of Jesus, he wouldn’t want to see Jesus in this sense. This is severe in my opinion because 1. literal completely removes JESUS CHRIST from the scripture which is based on the compassion of the true love story for JESUS. 2. It teaches and shows the Bible in this book as only a carnal love story and how we are to date our wife and the preludes to sex. Pretty passionate Driscoll gets while he is describing how a chilled bottle of red wine gets him fired up to work on his wife from passages in Song of Songs…But in an even deeper sense, Driscoll is undermining the process of Grace vs Works. The law of Moses vs the Faith in Christ Jesus. If righteousness comes by the law (or literal meaning of written text vs the TRUE SPIRIT POWER OF THE written scriptures as revealed by ALLEGORY) which Paul clearly explains in Galatians 2:21; 4:21-29 To counter the Judaizers and even Peter who was bewitched as well as the polluted minds of the Christians at Galatia. Throughout the Bible, literal text = the letter = the law… On the other hand, The Spiritual aspects = Grace = JESUS. The letter kills the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6; The words I speak to you are Spirit and they are Life. John 6:63.How can Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) in the old Testament be compared to Galatians and with GRACE vs WORKS? SIMPLY by the same way the Judaizers and Driscoll both work by removing JESUS from key elements in our Christian walk. Paul carefully explains how the story of Abraham’s two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman. (Genesis 16), is an allegory in it’s deepest meaning. If we read the story in Genesis about how Abraham had two sons by two different wives we loose the deeper meaning that Paul gives us in the allegory which is JESUS CHRIST VS THE LAW OF MOSES. This becomes the basis for the core meaning of the GOSPEL = GOOD NEWS = JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SALVATION AND BY HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS WE ARE FREE BY FAITH IN BELIEVING ON JESUS AND NOT BY OUR WORKS OR PRACTICE OF LITERAL LAW TO EARN OUR SALVATION.Paul takes the old testament story as an allegory depicting the New Testament doctrine of justification by faith. 
In John Bunyan’s ‘THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS” the complete story is allegory for a specific purpose: To show that all of life has a purpose for the unseen, the end which is giving our lives to Christ. here are quotes from the book’s introduction for the purpose of explanation: Allegory has often been described as a suitable mode to represent the alienated, objectified character of worldly experience…. Allegory’s purpose is to teach us that the experimental world – the carnal or “fleshly” dimension, is fallen into disharmonious relation with it’s creator: Allegory itself was sown by Christianity. Considered in allegorical terms, then the profane world is both elevated and devalued .the Christian perspective, taking appearances for reality is not only erroneous, but also sinful.”In the Introduction to PILGRIMS PROGRESS, David Hawkes explains: (pagexxiii.xxiv) “To insist on a literalistic reading of the story (Genesis 16) would be, in Paul’s view to remain ignorant of the difference between the law and the gospel. Paul’s epistle thus establishes the connection between literalism and legalism that dominates Bunyan’s aesthetic practice. 
The Pilgrim’s Progress insists that we must view the world of the flesh as an extended allegory, and this constant referral of material signs to spiritual meanings is the journey that its hero undertakes. .. Like Paul and Bunyan, Luther spent many years in the vain attempt to achieve righteousness through obedience to the law in its civil, moral, and ceremonial guises. The Reformation began with his realization that this was impossible, and that justification before God could be attained only through faith in Christ… (THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST.) But we imagine as it were two worlds, the one heavenly and the other earthly. In these we place these two kinds of righteousness, being separate the one far from the other. Luther’s dichotomy involves the division of every aspect of experience along these lines, and the Commentary constructs a lengthy series of binary oppositions on this basis: these oppositions are so prominent throughout the *Pilgrims Progress that a visual aid may be useful as a mnemonic: JUSTICE/MERCY; LAW/GRACE; WORKS/FAITH; FLESH/SPIRIT; TYPE/ANTITYPE; LITERAL/ALLEGORICAL; OLD MAN/NEW MAN; MOSES/CHRIST; FIRST ADAM/SECOND ADAM; OLD TESTAMENT/NEW TESTAMENT; BODY/SOUL; ACTIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS/PASSIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS; EARTH/HEAVEN; ALIENATION/RECONCILIATION; DEATH/LIFE; DAMNATION/SALVATION; IMPRISONMENT; LIBERTY. end quote.
 In detail Driscoll dismantles JESUS CHRIST and replaces Christ with the Peasant Princess. The comparison is seen above in the Mnemonic used in Pilgrim’s Progress. The one that hurt my heart the most is in Chapter 2 of Song of Songs: “I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys” This belongs to my Lord Jesus and not to a Peasant Girl. As Matthew Henry writes in his commentary of Song of Songs: “S of S is an allegory 3; (a device used to convey a meaning … a representation other than literal – speaking here only by the Spirit) to read by the letter which kills those who rest in the that to look no further but the spirit of which gives lives. 2 Cor. 3:6; Jn 6:63 a parable which makes divine things more difficult to those who do not love them but more plain and to pleasant to those who do. Matthew 13;14.. Experienced Christians find here a counter part of their experiences and to them it is intelligible – while those who have no part nor lot in the matter neither understand it or relish it… When we apply ourselves to the study of this book we must not only with Moses and Joshua put off our shoe from off our feet and even forget we have bodies because he he place we stand on is holy ground but we must with John come up hither must spread our wings, take a noble flight, and soar upwards till by faith and holy love we enter into the holiest, for this is no other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven. ” end quote.I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.”—Song of Solomon 2:1.Quote taken from Charles Spurgeon regarding Song of Solomon 2:1: “THE time of flowers has come, and as they are in some faint degree emblems of our Lord, it is well, when God thus calls, that we should seek to learn what he desires to teach us by them. If nature now spreads out her roses and her lilies, or prepares to do so, let us try, not only to see them, but to see Christ as he is shadowed forth in them.”I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” If these are the words of the Well-beloved,—and I have no doubt that they are,—then it may be suggested by some that here we have the Savior praising himself; and it is true; but in no unworthy sense, for well may he praise himself since no one else can do it as it should be done. There is no human language that can ever set forth his beauties as they deserve to be told. As good John Berridge says,—”Living tongues are dumb at best,We must die to speak of Christ” End Quote
.Lord Jesus I pray for Pastor Mark Driscoll that he humble himself before you and open up his heart to preach Christ instead of the Flesh in his message. Amen.

They didn't understand the mission of Christ

Jesus knew that no one on earth understood His purpose and so I believe we must take this seriously and pursue this understanding.

In my bible study this morning something really struck me and then stuck with me throughout the day and then this lead me to something else which I had to journal. 
Mark 16:14: After he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they; believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. Jesus has just finished chewing out the disciples because they didn’t believe the report they’d heard about his coming back to life after being dead, even though he had told them several times and in different ways beforehand. Note: upbraided means to “SCOLD VEHEMENTLY” I.E., really chew out not just a mild correction but rather a severe scolding which meant that Christ was very unhappy with them. 
These people who’d been closest to him had missed and even worse didn’t believe the main point of his entire mission even when it had been explained and was now literally in their face. I then got into a deeper study of Matthew 16:21-23 where Jesus lays into Peter for his carnal mindedness just after Jesus finished explaining that his mission was to be killed and be raised to life again. Peter pulled Christ aside and told him this didn’t have to go through like this and in fact told Jesus under the influence of the Devil that this would not happen to him. Jesus said TO Peter, “Get Behind me Satan: thou art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
 The revelation I got from both these scriptures is Jesus knew nobody, absolutely no single human on earth including his closest friends and family truly understood his mission and the process as in the horrible nature he was to die and then come to life again. In fact, even when they heard it they really couldn’t believe it because it was so strange, sad, bizarre even unthinkable. If Jesus, God incarnate, was completely misunderstood by even those closest to him, how much more are we, have we, and will be misunderstood by those around us while in our Master’s service? We are bond servants, there’s no room for self-pity. In fact pity drove Peter to tell his master that the way was not the cross. Jesus said that self-pity was of the devil. Matthew 16:21-23; The disciple is not above his master, but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Luke 6:40
Dear Lord, forgive me for not believing you and savoring the praise and approval of man more than you. Forgive me for trying to make people like me instead of focusing on YOU. Take me Lord, make me yours. Fill Me with You to be and fulfill the continued mission which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen…

Mr. Self-Interest Worships A Different God than I, by God's Grace

By God’s Grace, Mr. Self Interest worships a different God than I

Mr.By ends (SELF-INTEREST): “Yes, ” said By-ends, “my wife is a very vertuous woman, the daughter of a vertuous woman; she was my lady Feigning’s daughter, therefore she came of a very honorable family, and is arrived to such a pitch of breed that she knows how to carry it to all, even to prince and peasant. Tis true, we somewhat differ in Religion from those of a the stricer sort, yet but in two small points: First, We never strive against Wind and Tide. Secondly, We are always most zealous when Religion goes in his Silver Slippers; we love much to walk with him in the street, if the sun shines and the People applaud him. God has bestowed upon us the good things of this Life, but that he would have us keep them for his sake. Abraham and Solomon grew rich in Religion. And Job says that a good man shall lay up Gold as Dust.”
Christian: “If you will go with us, you must go against Wind and Tide; the which, I perceive, is against your opinion: You must also own Religion in his Rags as well as when in his Silver Slippers; and stand by him too when bound in Irons, as well as when he walketh the streets with Applause. “
Mr. By ends: “You must not impose, nor lord it over my faith; leave me to my Liberty, and let me go with you.”
Christian: “Not a Step further, unless you will do in what I propound, as we.”
By Ends: “I shall never desert my old Principles, since they are harmless and profitable. If I may not go with you, I must do as I did before you overtook me, even go by myself, until some overtake me that will be glad of my company.”
“Christian and Hopeful forsook him, and kept their distance before him; but one of them looking back, saw three men following Mr. By-ends. The men’s names were: Mr. Hold-the-World, Mr. Money-Love, and Mr. Save-All.”The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan. Pages 116, 117, 119
.My Dear Lord, I come to you on my knees and ask through and by the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that by your great grace I never go the way of Cain, or run greedily after the error of Balaam or perish in the gainsaying of Core. (Jude 1:11) Amen!
NOTES: The way of Cain, the error of Balaam and gainsaying of Core is summed up by idolatry or the religion of self, expecting God to serve us vs us serving God. Specifically, CAIN = SELF MADE SACRIFICE = good works and religious piety vs the grace of God through Jesus Christ; i.e., Justification by faith in Jesus Christ vs justification through works and good deeds. BALAAM = The love of wealth but putting on a false front to lead others to believe we serve God first instead of self interests. CORE (Korah) = Believed and Expected God to serve him in a self-centered, self absorbing, self focused form of idol worship which focuses on what a person can get from God vs how a person can serve God. These people were actual figures in Biblical History. Jude chose these people to show us idolatry and how it manifested itself in their lives.

As they followed they were afraid….

As they followed they were afraid…. Mark 10:32

In our walk with Christ we so often find ourselves in the same situation as did the disciples who followed Christ on his final destination to Jerusalem. A dreadful fear gripped them. To study this scripture in depth I came to understand that the disciples were not only afraid for themselves and their Master, but they were in awe that he was confidently going to his seemingly terribly tragic end with great purpose and calm serenity. I too, as the disciples, started out following Jesus with boldness and a tremendous sense of adventure. 
However, as the journey continued I also found myself being led to the way to Jerusalem. I became fearful wondering how I came to find myself orphaned. Yes, without safety, security, financial status, social status, and general well being was no longer my companion. Moments on the mountain top became long ago memories. 
Oswald Chambers writes, “if we continually try to bring back those exceptional moments of inspiration, it is not God we want. But God wants us to walk by faith.” (MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST MAY 1)Our Master is quite desirable in fair weather among the honor and pomp and circumstance, prosperity and peace. But this I’ve learned is the Master will certainly take us, his beloved children, on the road to Jerusalem the same as He did his only begotten son. And Jerusalem ultimately brings us outside the camp as it did our Lord and Master. Amen. (Hebrews 13:12-13)May we confess that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Hebrews 11:13). May we confess that just as the bodies of the beasts who’s blood was sacrificed in the sanctuary were burned outside the camp, whereas Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood suffered without the gate, that we also go forth to him outside the camp and bear his reproach. .. May we confess that we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (Hebrews 13:11-14)Amen….

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit… Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven….
 Had a wonderful door open this morning in my devotions. Actually, this door was the opening of a safe of hidden treasures, and once the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of my heart, My spirit man leap like calves coming out of the stalls in Springtime.( Malachi 4:2 ).The reason why the poor in spirit are blessed and inherit the kingdom of heaven is because a poor man knows he’s poor and needs help. A rich man needs nothing but demands everything. A poor man needs everything and demands nothing.
 We can not approach God if we know we don’t need him for anything. But if we know we need him so desperately as a poor man needs a loaf of bread, he will meet us and therefore take us in.The organized church “The Pharisees (of cultural Christiandom)”(taken from a quote from Tim Shey (High Plains Drifter; http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2011/04/they-have-stretched-my-shredded-body-on.html) can try to identify or talk about being poor in spirit like a very rich man saying he can identify with the poor man with tongue in cheek while foreclosing on the poor man’s mortgage. The Pharisees of cultural christiandom don’t need anything but demand everything from religious compliance to the LAW to futile compliance with “church bilaws, rules, and MORES. 
Oswald Chambers sums it up best here:”The teachings of the Sermon on the Mount produces a sense of despair in the natural man – exactly what Jesus means for it to do. As long as we have some self-righteous idea that we can carry out our Lord’s teaching, God will allow us to continue until we expose our own ignorance by stumbling over some obstacle in our way. ONLY THEN are we willing to come to him as paupers and receive from Him. Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ This is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having a sense of such absolute futility that we finally admit, “Lord I cannot even begin to do this.” Then Jesus say, “Blessed are you…. (5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, yet it takes us so long to believe we are actually poor. The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes his work. ” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest. July 21)

How Blessed I Am When I Understand My Best Ain't Good Enough

Here I stand Lord. Having done my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.\

 I’ve tried and tried again to measure up to your standards on my own merit. I’ve tried once again to measure up to man’s standards, and once again I’m found weighed in the holy balance and in man’s balance and found wanting. I’m naked and have nothing. I’m humbled. I thank you that I look the part of a nobody, a wanderer who has no place to call home.I’m humbled by the perfect sacrifice of the unblemished lamb. This is the only thing I can cling to Lord. I stand before you as nothing. I ask you to receive me and take me into your bosom. Forgive me Lord for trying, striving to be worthy.
 Forgive me Lord for walking away from the way of the cross, the path least traveled and seeking the wide gate, the easy way.I’ve seen these things where I know what “the Holy Spirit” has instructed and I’ve done and advised wise men to do in accordance with and it has not been so. In fact Lord they mocked my thought and I yearned to be accepted by man.
 Forgive me Lord. I was tempted to seek man’s approval and be a part of their lives. Spending time with important people has left me in a state of dizzying bliss giving me an appetite to savor the world. You brought me into their lives, but you’ve taught me to fear what they embrace. I’m amazed by how they fear and never trust. I’m amazed at the things you’ve shown me. I believe I know why you’ve brought me into these lives. 
May your will be done Lord. I pray for your great grace and wisdom to guide me. May I understand that the light they see, fragrance they smell in my midst is the Lord Jesus Christ within me. These men are wise dear Lord, but they are amazingly dull and without vision. Surely, Lord, surely you’ve made the simple things to confound the wise. My child like faith, may it never leave me Lord. 
May you bind me to the horns of the altar and never let me go Lord. Hold Me! Bind Me! I pray for wisdom. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.. Amen.

Only a Christian Passes Through the Valley of Shadow of Death

                       Only A Christian Passes Through “The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death”

The Lord led me into deep thought and meditation on these words out of “Pilgrims Progress”Excerpt from Pilgrims Progress, John Bunyon, Chapter 6:The Valley of the Shadow of Death }

“Now, at the end of this valley was another, called the Valleyof the Shadow of Death, and Christian must needs go throughit, because the way to the Celestial City lay through the midst of it. Now, this valley is a very solitary place. The prophetJeremiah thus describes it: ‘A wilderness, a land of desertsand of pits, a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, aland that no man’ (but a Christian) ‘passed through, and whereno man dwelt¹.’ [¹Jeremiah 2:6

]Now here Christian was worse put to it than in his fight with Apollyon, as by the sequel you shall see. I saw then in my dream, that when Christian was got to the borders of the shadowof Death, there met him two men, children of them that broughtup an evil report of the good land, making haste to go back; to whom Christian spake as follows:

Christian:. “Whither are you going?”

Christian Men:  They said, ” Back! back! and we would have you to do so too,if either life or peace is prized by you.”

Christian: “Why, what’s the matter? “

Christian.Men.  “Matter! said they; we were going that way as you are going,and went as, far as we durst; and indeed we were almost past coming back; for had we gone a little further, we had not been here to bring the news to thee.”

Christian:.  “But what have you met with?”

 Christian.Men. “Why, we were almost in the Valley of the Shadow of Death;but that, by good hap, we looked before us, and saw the danger before we came to it.

Christian: . “But what have you seen”?

 Christian Men. ” Seen! Why, the Valley itself, which is as dark as pitch;we also saw there the hobgoblins, satyrs, and dragons of the pit; we heard also in that Valley a continual howling and yelling, as of a people under unutterable misery, who there sat bound in affliction and irons; and over that Valley hangs the discouraging clouds of confusion. Death also doth always spread his wings over it. In a word, it is every whit dreadful, be in gutterly without order.”

Christian: . Then, said Christian,  “I perceive not yet, by what you have said, but that this is my way to the desired haven.

Christian Men.:  ” Be it thy way; we will not choose it for ours.”

So, they parted, and Christian went on his way, but still withhis sword drawn in his hand, for fear lest he should be assaulted.

.Dear God, Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, by the power of the Holy Spirit, equip us your true saints for this day of battle as we go into the valley of the shadow of death and we shall fear no evil… Amen..

The Greatest Threat To the Saints

The greatest threat to the saints is organized religion.

The Holy Spirit has brought me to this point to understand our greatest threat is organized religion. Is your church organized religion or is your church “the church, i.e. the body of true believers?The acid test, (true test to see if gold is truly gold) is ‘the fruit’. Ye shall know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:20); by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth teaches us and shows us. (John 14:26),Once we identify the “religious” Pharisees, we cannot deal with them without knowing Jesus Christ. If we don’t know, personally know, deeply understand the very heart of our Lord, Savior and Master then we can never have victory over our adversaries.This is a gem I found in my devotions…. The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. John 5:13Charles Spurgeon:”Ignorance is, however, an evil; for this poor man was much tantalized by the Pharisees, and was quite unable to cope with them. It is good to be able to answer gainsayers; but we cannot do so if we know not the Lord Jesus clearly and with understanding. The cure of his ignorance, however, soon followed the cure of his infirmity, for he was visited by the Lord in the temple; and after that gracious manifestation, he was found testifying that “it was Jesus who had made him whole.” Lord, if Thou hast saved me, show me Thyself, that I may declare Thee to the sons of men.”Dear Lord I pray we learn more and more each day of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.. Dear Jesus may I know you more each day I pray. I want nothing more than to know you more than I did yesterday. Amen.