It has been a dramatic couple of days here. A very real and viable threat presented itself, catching my guard down but through it all, I've learned something...
As vigilant as I can be, as knowledgeable as I can be, even then I'm still dependent on Your hand of protection over my life and the lives of those I love.
Looking back, I see where Your Spirit was warning my heart, "danger, danger, danger", and I'm so grateful that in that, it caught my attention and I began to reach out and ask for help because even though at that moment, I didn't understand the facts behind that feeling of danger, I did come to learn, and it is a very scary thing indeed.
So Father God, starting now, and each day forward, I will pray for Your hand of protection over my life and my loved ones. Each day Father, that will be one of my prayers because if any of us think we'll go into the days ahead, thinking we're so hip, slick and cool on our own, we have another thing coming.
It is You, and only You, that is ultimately in control. I've experienced a couple of times in my life, that even though I was incredibly prepared, danger still found its way in to threaten. So Father, as I said to You this morning in prayer on my knees, You are all I have, and in turn, all I need.
My heart is feeling very needy this morning...I feel like i just want to crawl up into Your lap, bury my head in Your chest and feel Your arms around me, not saying a word, but just being close to You.
I think this is the position I will adopt today, safe within Your arms, knowing I'd never be able to do that if it hadn't of been for all that my Savior did for me....taking what I deserved so that I could have what He deserved.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lamb that was slain. Holy, holy, holy is He who now reigns forever, accomplishing all You had willed for us because Your love is even greater than our sin.
I love You Father, and my heart feels desperate this morning for Your presence. Bless this study, and all who read it this day.
In Jesus Name I pray,
11. In diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12. Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13. Communicating to the necessities of the saints; pursing hospitality.
Watchman Nee comments on a couple of words in the 11th verse:
"fervent in spirit/burning in spirit": "A presented body, a transformed soul, and a burning spirit — all three are indispensable to a proper church life. After we have presented our body for the church life, it is very easy for us to fall into the opinions of our mind in our soul, which results in our being damaged in the church life; therefore, our soul, and particularly the mind of our soul, needs to be transformed. However, once our mind is transformed, we may easily fall into a negative and dormant state. At that time we must be burning in spirit that we may be stirred up and encouraged to go on in the church life in a positive way."
"serving the Lord": "Lit., serving as a slave."
The rvbv writes in regard to verse 11: "In zeal not sluggish - These words have no reference whatever to worldly "business" or affairs, but wholly to spiritual matters. Luther renders, "In regard to zeal, be not lazy," which is the meaning. Alford renders, "In zeal not remiss," - saying, "Not 'business,' as in the Old Version, which seems to refer it to the affairs of this life; whereas, it relates as in all these verses (11 to 13), to Christian duties as such." Satan would use the doctrin of grace, or the assurance of faith, to settle down believers into spiritual slothfulness. Watch against that. Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord - The word translated "fervent" (used of Apollos in Acts 18:25), means ardent, or burning. Be ardent in spirit in our Lord's service. It is the opposite of dignified, cold, unemotional. Christ has loved us with infinite fervency. Let us serve Him in the same spirit.
Verse 12: In hope rejoicing - Our hopes are bound up with our Lord's coming, in prospect of which we should constantly be filled with exultation. In tribulation remaining patient - Patience in trial is the only path to our perfecting; wherefore James says we should count "manifold trials to be all joy"; and, "let patience have its perfect work, that we may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing." In prayer steadfastly continuing - So did the early Christians (Acts 2:42, 46, 47; 6:4; 12:5, 12). But do not forget to watch expectantly, and to give thanks in your prayers (Col. 4:2). Ten will attend Bible teaching, and one hundred Sunday preaching, or two or three who "in prayer steadfastly continue": but be thou of that two or three; for they prevail, and to them Christ reveals Himself; and they become channels of blessing to countless others."
In verse 13, Watchman Nee comments on the words "Communicating to the necessities/Contribute to the needs" and states: "Lit., Have fellowship with. This is to care willingly for the needs of the saints according to our ability. The apostle termed this kind of material care "fellowship," because in the sharing of material things the grace of the Lord's life flows among the members of the Body of Christ and is infused into them."
The rvbv writes, "To the needs of the saints contributing - "So to make another's necessities one's own as to relieve them."
When you obey this injunction and begin wisely to inquire about the saints' needs, you will be astonished at two things: first, at the actual pressing necessities of many saints all about you; and second, at the way God will supply your own necessities as you minister to them. When the Holy Spirit took complete possession of the early Church, "Not one of them said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common"; with the result that "neither was there among them any that lacked." Now this shows the basal spirit of Christian giving. It is not "saying in our hearts" that what we have is "our own," but holding all in stewardship to the Lord, ready to be ministered, as He shall direct. It is true that Paul, in his epistles, which give the constitution of the Church of God, does not direct those that are rich in this world's goods to "sell all that they have"; but to "do good, to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate." This passage (I Tim. 6:17-19) should be most carefully regarded as at once the Divine protection against the awful "community of goods" of socialism and communism, because the Bible teaches constantly the rights of personal, private property; and also as the foundation principle of our giving.
Pursuing hospitality - Here the word for hospitality is literally love to strangers, "stranger-loving," and the translation "given to" is not strong enough. In its forty or fifty occurrences in the New Testament, this word is very frequently translated "pursuing," which is the literal meaning. You have it three times in Philippians 3: in verse 6, "persecuting the church"; in verse 12, "I follow after"; and in verse 14, "I press on." The meaning here, then is pursuing hospitality, - persecuting folks, even strangers, with kindness! What a wonderful testimony of love, hearty obedience to this simple exhortation to pursue hospitality would be! We have in Hebrews Thirteen three uses of this Greek root 'phil' (meaning love): 1. "Let love of the brethren (philadelphia) continue"; 2. "Forget not to show love unto strangers" (philoxenia); and, 3. in verse 5, "Be free from silver-loving" (philarguros). If you are tempted to 'philarguros, philadelphia and philoxenia' will cure you! "Given to hospitality," then, means far more than being "willing to entertain" those who may call on you. It indicates going after this business, pursuing it, following it up! The Lord will reward some day even a cup of cold water given in His Name. Let us make "Strangers' Inns" of our homes. We are not staying here long. And the Lord may send "angels" around when we least expect! "Forget not to show love unto strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (I doubt if the reference in "unawares" is to Abraham in Genesis 18. For he at once recognized the Lord, and knew His attendants. The statement seems rather an absolute one of inspiration, involving such a possibility for any of us!).
Of course it is taken for granted in all these exhortations that we have presented our bodies to God according to the opening verses of the Chapter; and thus by the indwelling Holy Ghost are enabled to walk in His revealed will, as those could not who were under the law."
Thank You for today's study. It fills my heart with Your holy peace. Bless that day today as it unfolds, renewing my mind moment by moment, that I may prove what is Your good and acceptable and perfect will. You state this in Your Word Father God so I humbly ask that it be done in my life.
In Jesus Name I pray,
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Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:18 AM
"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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