Holy Spirit, please give me the words to say in this prayer that will honor and be pleasing to the Father. Guide each key stroke that I make and may the truth in my heart, come through...
Here I go again Father, not really knowing what to say this morning, and guessing that I'll somehow still find a way to write a book...
I think I'd like to thank You for a few things because sometimes when I get in a rut, all I can focus on is those stressful things before me, totally forgetting, or not wanting to even take into account all the blessings You've given me, or Your faithfulness all these years.
First and foremost, I'm so grateful that You are God...I'm so grateful that I can have this relationship with You. I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have You to run to all these years...I probably wouldn't even be here. I'm sure that's how it would be for alot of people because You somehow sustain me through everything and after all these years, I'm beginning to comprehend that it was always You. Every good and decent thing in my heart, my mind, my life, is because You alone are God, and all that You share with us in Your Word is true.
I'm also very grateful for my babies, who really aren't babies anymore. They're varying ages, some young adults, some still younger than that and if I hafta look back over my life, they have been the biggest blessing of all. So this morning Father, I just lift all 4 of them up before Your holy throne and place them in Your arms...just as You blessed me with them, I give them back to You...trusting that You will bridge the gap of my humanness, that You will pour out Your Spirit over their lives so that He can woo them and draw them, just as You have me, into a more intimate, real, and deeper relationship/fellowship with You. May they know You as I know You, but even moreso, and may that "call" that You've beckoned me to, be "The Call" that You work in their lives. May You and them be like magnets...never truly whole till You and them, are drawn together, connected tightly.
And my friends Father...I've had so many 'friends' over the years...very close and tight friends who for some strange reason would turn. Perhaps it was their way of survival...their need out of jealosy, envy, whatever. And then, I've not always been the perfect friend either. When I started to slide into that deep dark hole years ago, I lashed out and hurt those that I cared the most about. How sad that we sometimes do that, but inspite of all that...inspite of the fact that I made a decision to erect permanent walls around me, letting people come just "so close" but no further, You have flooded my life with beautiful and genuine people. *I* know the value of friendship...having had it and lost it...having had it and screwed it up. So these days, as You somehow break through these walls I, myself put up, and bless me with the most special people, it really moves my heart.
Then there's my family, who have been one of the gifts I cherish most. It's not any more perfect than anyone elses family but it's a uniquely special family because we were raised knowing You. I talk all the time about my mom and dad and I'm making the point these days, to share glimpses with them, about how their walk with You has impacted my own life. I'm still a daddy's girl even at 48...I know there were times when my rebellion brought him to tears and broke his heart. I know the times when he did not approve of choices that I was making but one thing I can say about my dad is that he always, always, always, always loved me. I think that's one of the reasons it's been easy for me to transfer an understanding between my earthly father and my Heavenly Father. Because of his unconditional love, because he was there at times for me when I was the most ugly, because of a lot of things, his love for his children has had a powerful impact on my life. My mama, well, I've never seen anyone storm the throne room like she does...interceeding in prayer for those she loves in a way that is graceful and holy, yet bold. I think that's where I get that ability to just peel back the layers and totally expose the heart because she is always like that with You. The rest of my family is very dear to my heart, my brothers and others. So thank You Father, for birthing me into this particular family. It's been an honor and a privlege to call myself their daughter, their sister, their niece, their granddaughter...
The rest of the stuff, is just stuff. But I'm grateful for it all and sometimes wonder why I've been blessed so much...my home, my land, my animals, all of it. So thank You for that too Father God...and help me to honor You with all that I do with it.
So, I guess that's what I'd like to say today. No whining, no complaining, nada. I don't wanna think about any issues, stresses, blahblahblah today, or right now. I just wanna thank You and let it go at that.
Oh, last but not least, thank You for saving me. It would break my heart to not have the security of the Blood of Christ over my life.
In Jesus Name,
17Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
18And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
19And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
20An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
22Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
23Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
24For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
25For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The rvbv declares this the 7th principle of His judgment..."According to Reality, Not Religious Profession". Not even a Divinely revealed religion provides any security to the person who professes it if it is void of reality in that person's life. Regardless of whether it was the "Jew's religion" in the beginning, or our "Christian religion" now, just knowing about the religion, without that knowledge being a reality in our hearts and minds to the point where no words are needed, that the actions speak louder, is meaningless.
The rvbv writes, "In the above verses Paul directly addresses the Jew. he shows that the Jew "rested" on The Law, - on having it; and was proud that the will of the true God had been revealed to him; that he "knew" that will, and was therefore able to "appove the things that are excellent." He developed a confidence in himself as a guide, a light, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher, because in the law he had "the form of knowledge and of the truth." But did he apply it to himself, - his teaching, his preaching, his saying what folks should be, his abhorring idols, his glorying in The Law? Nay! the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of the selfishness, the pride, the covetousness, the general wickedness of the Jew!
Paul goes on to declare that Jewish circumcision, which was the mark of that nation's separation to God, was good only if one were thus really separated to God, but that if not, the Jew was really an uncircumcised one; that he was excelled instead, and "judged," by those who, wholly outside circumcision, feared and walked with God. Paul finally declares that a man is not a Jew who is merely one outwardly, and that God does not regard mere outward circumcision: that the only Jew in God's sight is an "Israelite indeed," like Nathaniel, sincere and without guile; and that circumcision is a heart matter, in the real spirit of separation to God and regard for Him...
...So much for the Jew who was the "religious" man, when Paul wrote Romans. But the "religious" man today is the "professing Christian," and the "church-membership" as they call it, has taken the place, in the thought of Christendom, of the Jew's consciousness of belonging to the favored Israelitish race.
If we should thus apply this passage (17-29), must it not read something like this? - "If thou bearest the name of a Christian, and restest on having the gospel, and gloriest in God, and knowest His will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the gospel; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, having in the gospel the form of knowledge and of the truth" - Then would follow the searching questions of verses 21 and 22; for do we not know teachers that teach others, but refuse to follow their own teaching? And preachers that denounce stealing, but are accused by the world of being themselves money-grabbers? So it would read, "Thou who gloriest in the gospel, through thy disobedience to the gospel, dishonorest thou God? The name of God is blasphemed among non 'church-members' because of you! (Of course we are not referring here to humble, repentant people who may not have become connected as yet with any company of believers: for we have found some few of this class. On the other hand, neither do we at all refer, in the questions above, to the cynical, self-righteous, critics of the church, and the church fellowship, who complain: "The church is full of hypocrites, therefore, I will have nothing to do with it." The folly of such as these is at once manifest: hypocrites are going to hell; and these men, who pretend to be shunning the hypocrites on earth, if they reject personal faith in and public confession of Christ, are on their way to join them throughout eternity! For whatever the failings of Christians, in their divisions into sects, their all too manifest weakness of faith, and their inconsistencies, true believers find themselves desirous at once of fellowship with other believers - be the weakness of thsoe believers what it may!) Church-membership indeed profiteth if thou be an obeyer of the gospel; but if thou be a refuser of a gospel-walk, thy 'church-membership' is become non 'church-membership.' If therefore a non 'church-member' obey the gospel, shall not his non 'church-membership' be reckoned for 'church-membership'? And shall not non 'church-members,' if they obey the gospel, judge thee, who with the letter and 'church-membership' art a refuser of a gospel-walk? For he is not a Christian who is one outwardly, nor is that 'church-membership' which is oward in the flesh; but he is a Christian who is one inwardly; and 'church-membership' is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God." (We repeatedly call attention to the fact which every student of Scripture discovers, that believers are not known in Scripture as members of a local assembly, but members of the Bod of Christ (Eph. 5:30); "members of Christ" (I Cor. 6:15); and, "members one of another" (Rom 12:5). This is the only membership found in Scripture.
Although men use the word "member" of this or that local assembly or "denomination," the word should be fellowship instead of membership. There is but one Body: "There is one Body and one Spirit." This should be the constant consciousness of all Christians. To conceive of a Presbyterian body, or a Baptist body, or a Methodist body, is to defeat at once the one great Bod-consciousness which the Holy Spirit desires to create in all true believers, in answer to our Lord's Great Prayer in John 17:21: "That they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us."
This, of course, is the very farthest remove from the modernistic cry for "unity," (as they say), in which they would include all in an outward gathering together - whether believers, unbelievers (modernists), Jews, or what-not. The unity of the Body of Christ is in the Holy Spirit, and every believer is a member of that one Body of which Christ Himself is the Head.
The essence of sectarianism is to be so committed to a system, or to a person, as to be unable to go on with God, in living faith. No man, no system is fully right. Only God's Word is perfect. if you are free, you will not be governed in reading God's Word by what any man may say, however excellent; or what any system holds. If you must run to this or that "authority," you are a mere sectarian. The Holy Spirit has come! "My children shall be taught of Me," God has said.)"
Now this has really struck a cord with me. My dad raised us by going to many different Christian denominations. While he had been raised Southern Baptist, he was not 'married' to that particular denomination. The important thing to him, was the Godly man in the pulpit, not the denomination. Consequently, I've always been grateful for the exposure I've had to different denominations. I've always said that no one denomination has it 'all right'...that God is like a prism with too many facets to be contained in one church...but that as a whole, all the different denominations, bring the strengths they have in illustrating, representing, however you want to say it, the enormity of who God is.
Lately, I've been going to different churches. I don't feel the need to join anything, and may never. I am looking however, for a genuine spirit filled church. In my travels though, I have encountered some of the most sweetest, tenderest men and women who genuinely love the Lord with all their hearts. While they may feel the need to belong to one particular place, I personally glory in the diversity of the Body and enjoy fellowshipping with all the different people.
"Now before we proceed, remember yet once again, that God's great announcement of these principles of His throne is given to awaken men out of their false hopes about themselves, unto the truth about themselves; and is to be regarded as a description of God's judgment, as it must be, - in order that men may be aroused, and not refuse His truth. But do not confuse Romans Two with Revelation Twenty! At the Judgment Day there will be no such preaching and reasoning with men as Paul here is doing, but damnation only - "according to their works 0 the things written in the books...."
Thank You for the study today...I've finally finished Chapter 2 lol. I look forward to Chapter 3 and all that follow there after. I'm REALLY looking forward to getting into 5, 6, 7 and 8 cause I personally relate so much to what Paul wrote there so I'm asking in advance, all that is hidden in those chapters, that You would open my spiritual eyes that I may see Your Truths contained therein.
I'd really kinda like to loop my arm through Yours and walk with You today.
In Jesus Name I pray,
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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:31 PM
"One day, we’re going to stand before the gates of Heaven. Some of us want to be able to walk up there in a white robe and we want to sing Abba Father and Amazing Grace and we want to say to the Lord, “I worshiped You.” But I want you to think about this: Heres the way I want to enter the gates of Heaven. I want to come skidding in there on all fours. I want to be slipping and sliding and I want to hit the gates of heaven with a bang. And when I stand up and I stand before Christ, I want there to be blood on my knees and my elbows. I want to be covered with mud. And I want to be standing there with a ragged breast plate of righteousness. And a spear in my hand. And I want to say, “Look at me, Jesus. I’ve been in the battle. I’ve been fighting for you.” Ladies and gentlemen, put your armor on and get into battle. God bless you." ~ General William G. Boykin, U.S. Army (ret.)
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