Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Obedient Faith

Posted: January 4, 2017 in Christian Life, Faith, Faithfulness, Work
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“But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” – Romans 16:26

“A praying faith keeps the commandments of God and does those things which are well pleasing in His sight.” – E.M. Bounds

Faith is obedient. It does what is commanded, as did the nobleman who came to Jesus, whose son was very sick. Faith also acts. Like the man born blind, it goes and washes in the pool of Siloam when told to. Faith obeys instantly, and without question or doubt, like Peter casting the net where Jesus commanded. Faith takes the stone away from the grave of Lazarus promptly when told to do so. To do God’s will is essential to true faith and faith is essential to true obedience to God.

“Obedience helps faith, and faith, in turn, helps obedience” – E.M. Bounds

 

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BALAAM AND TODAY’S CHURCHThe account of Balaam in the Old Testament serves as a warning to today’s church to not disobey God; to build up our faith and to build up our hope. (Romans 15:4 – For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.)

the way of Balaam (II Peter 2:15-16) – In this passage Peter is warning the church of the dangers of false teachers secretly entering the church and leading people astray into apostasy. Peter promises that God will judge these people; but he also warns believers to exercise spiritual discernment to make sure they are not led astray by these false teachers. (II Peter 2:15-16 – Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)·

the way of Balaam – is the way of false prophets and hirelings seeking opportunities to increase wealth and reputation, willing to sell out anything for filthy lucre’s sake (for monetary gain). These false prophets and teachers are interested in satisfying their own worldly cravings of money and using the guise of religion to do so and to entice people into sin. (John 10:11-13 –  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.)

A hireling does not really care about being a “good shepherd” watching out for his flock, but instead is more concerned with protecting his reputation, position and income stream. A true under shepherd and not a hireling will work at guarding the flock against wolves from within (Acts 20:30 – Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.) and wolves from without (Acts 20:29 – For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.) no matter the cost to his reputation, position or income.

Now to look in the mirror, when are we walking in “the way of Balaam” in our life? – When we deliberately rebel against the revealed will of God and try to change it to our liking. When we have selfish motives in doing “religious things”. When we cause others to sin so we can profit from it. When we do “religious work” for the money and not because God called us to it. When we volunteer to help out in a ministry so we will look good to others. When are only motivation for doing something “for God” is a feeling of we have to, so we can look like a “good Christian” to others; instead of doing things for God out of a desire to please Him, serve Him and worship Him.

So the challenge is to search out our hearts and our core motives for everything we do that is supposed to be for God; and then making sure we are actually doing it for God. This will require us to be honest with ourselves. Challenge yourself to do this self examination. Make sure what you are doing for the Lord will be gold, silver and precious stones tried in a fiery furnace and not just wood hay and stubble that will be burned up and consumed as worthless because of our wrong motivations. (I Corinthians 3:12-15 – Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.)

RELATED POSTS:

The Doctrine of Balaam & Wordly Christians

Balaam and God’s Will

 

Ezra 7:10 “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord , and to do it , and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

To Ezra the law of God was more important than the teachings of the day. Gods Word took the preeminence in his life. Ezra sought to learn the law of the Lord. He searched the Scriptures seeking knowledge of God. Then he set about to teach and share what he had learned about God with others.

Is God’s Word that important to us? Are we purposely seeking to learn His Word so we can then share the good news of Christ with others? – Have you prepared your heart to learn of God and live for Him? Are you seeking out the truth of God’s Word? Are you seeking to grow spiritually?

The lack of spiritual growth in the life of a Christian is a very dangerous thing. It can lead you to live a life of foolishness, it can lead you to make dumb and dangerous decisions that can have drastic and life altering consequences for you. The lack of spiritual maturity is sad and dangerous because there may be blessings to be enjoyed in Christ that only the mature or maturing Christian can truly understand and enjoy. The spiritual immature do not fully understand or grasp the incredible importance of their standing with Christ. Staying spiritually immature is dangerous in that in leaves those people wide open to falling for the “wiles of the devil”.

Are you preparing your heart to seek and to learn the Word of God? Are you acting on what you have already learned of the Word of God? Are you teaching and sharing what you have learned from the Word of God with others?

WHOSE EYE’S IS IT RIGHT IN?8767-deep-blue-eye-design

I Chronicles 13:4 – “And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.”
Whose eyes is your actions right in?
Whose eye’s are your words right in?
Is it right in your own eyes?
Is it right in your friend’s eyes?
Is right in the world’s eyes?
Or is it right in the Lord’s eyes?
During the period of the Judges the ark of the Lord had been captured and carried away by the Philistines. Because possession of the ark caused them nothing but trouble they placed it on a cart and sent it back to Israel (I Samuel 6). From that time on it had remained at the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim. Now we pick up where David is attempting to bring it back to his capital city of Jerusalem.
Who did David consult before he attempted this? – Did David enquire of the Lord like he had in time past? (I Chronicles 13:1 – And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.)
David consulted with every leader or person he could find to get advice from, but He left someone very important out of the equation. He did not ask God. (Proverbs 8:17 -I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.) How often do you talk with your friends, family or even co-workers about a decision you need to make but you don’t talk with God about it? We need to be getting our direction and guidance from the Lord. His will and His word need to take the preeminence in our life. Not our will or our friends will. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)
Let’s look at David’s history about seeking the Lord out about decisions:
I Samuel 23:2 – Therefore David inquired of the LORD…
I Samuel 23:4 – Then David inquired of the LORD yet again….
I Samuel 30:8 – And David inquired at the LORD…..
2 Samuel 2:1 – David inquired of the LORD….
2 Samuel 5:19 – And David inquired of the LORD…..
2 Samuel 5:23 – And when David inquired of the LORD…..
2 Samuel 21:1 – David inquired of the LORD…..
I Chronicles 14:10 – And David inquired of God….
Every time when he had a big decision to make, a big heartache he needed comfort from or a struggle or persecution he was going through David “enquired of the Lord” and received the direction and answer to prayer he needed. But this time he did not “enquire of the Lord” instead he “consulted with the captains” and the end result was not good. The end result of this bad decision was failure, heartache, death, and discouragement. When we go off without praying to the Lord about something first we risk ruin. The Lord won’t fail you when you pray and “enquire of the Lord” for direction in your life. He will answer you in His timing. (Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.)

Whose eye’s was it right in? – That action you are taking or that decision you are making, is it right in the Lord’s eyes or is it right just in your eyes? (I Chronicles 13:4 – And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.) We need to take our time and make sure decisions are right in the eyes of the Lord. We need to be concerned with doing things right for the Lord, and doing things right by the Lord in our life. Do not trust your own wisdom in making decisions. (Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.) Turn to the Lord our Heavenly Father for instruction and guidance. Turn your problems over to Him. He will never leave you alone in your cares. (Hebrews 13:5c – for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.) – The Lord will always be there for you. You are never really alone if you are a Christian. Make sure you are confident that it is right in the Lord’s eyes before you make that decision. (Proverbs 3:26 – For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.)
A right thing. (I Chronicles 13:6 – And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjathjearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the LORD, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.) What David was attempting to do was a good thing to do. If he would have just done it God’s way. So many things we do can be considered a good thing to do, but only if it does not contradict God’s word on the matter.
A right thing in a wrong way. (I Chronicles 13:7 – And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.) God had given explicit directions on how to transport the ark. Other parts of the tabernacle could be carried on carts but not the ark. (Numbers 4:15 – And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.) The ark was never to be carried on a cart but born on the shoulders of the sons of Kohath. Why? Because the ark speaks of Christ and the Gospel is to be carried by us (Christians) to the rest of the world. (Mark 13:10 – And the gospel must first be published among all nations.) Giving out the gospel is the individual responsibility of every Christian. (Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.)

There should be no shortcuts taken in giving out the Gospel of Christ to a needy world. If we are doing something for Christ it should be done in a top notch, giving it our all way. Taking God’s word out to the world is not an easy thing to do. It requires hard work, dedication to doing it God’s way and not our way. (Romans 12:1,2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.) Each Christian needs to do his part and not leave his part up to someone else to do in addition to their own part. The Apostle Paul says “For every man shall bear his own burden.” Galatians 6:5. “All of us have to put our shoulders to the wheel to get the Word of God out to a world that desperately needs it. God doesn’t write the gospel in the sky; it has to be passed along by His children.” – J. Vernon McGee.
So The End Result of Doing things our own way and not God’s way leads to failure, displeasure and maybe even death. (I Chronicles 13:9-10 – And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.) Good intentions do not justify bad actions. The end does not justify the means.
Why was Uzza killed? – Because they were transporting the ark their way instead of doing it God’s way. (Numbers 4:15 – …. but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.) Uzza interfered with what was happening. He directly disobeyed God’s word. Don’t interfere and cause a hindrance to the Lord’s work.

Numbers 20:12 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
• Moses directly disobeyed God and because of that the Lord would not let him into the promised land.
• Don’t cause your friend to get distracted while God’s word is being taught. Don’t be the reason they don’t here the lesson they need.
• Don’t be the reason your friend spends eternity in hell. Don’t put your way over God’s spirit moving in their soul. Let the death of Uzza teach you something about being irreverent (disrespectful) to the things of God.
• God is a Holy God.
• God’s word is Holy.
• God’s house is Holy.
• Everything about God is Holy and it is all to be treated with the utmost respect and reverence. (I Peter 1:15-16 -But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.)
• When Gods word is being taught we need to be respectful and honor His word and the teaching of it. (Psalm 99:9 – Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.)
• When God’s people are requesting prayer we need to be silent and listen to those requests and pray for each other. (Jude 20 – But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,)
• When Gods word is being read we need to silently and intently listen to His Holy Word. (Romans 7:12 – Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.)
Doing things our way brings us displeasure. (I Chronicles 13:11 – And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day.) When we fail doing something our way we often blame God. (I Chronicles 13:12 – And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?) David asks “How am I going to do this for God” – Well if he had just done it God’s way in the first place all of this heartache, displeasure, fear, and discouragement would not have happened.
We need to make sure when we are making a decision in life or taking an action that we are doing it right in God’s eyes. We need to make sure whatever we do that we are doing it God’s way. If we do something our way it will just lead to failure, disappointment, regret, and maybe even death. But God’s way leads to joy, victory and life eternal with Him! (I Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.) Whose eyes are your actions right in? Whose eyes are your words right in? Whose eyes are your friends right in? Whose eyes are your plans right in? If they are right in just  your eyes you are heading for trouble, sorrow and maybe even death; but if they are right in God’s eyes you are heading for a fulfilled joy filled life living in the heart of God’s will.

treeSoul winning is the most effective work.
John 1:41-42 – “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”
Andrew did not win 3000 at Pentecost, but he was the one who won the one that won 3000 at Pentecost. We don’t have to be the soul winner that gets the prize for winning the most soul’s, we just have to be willing to win the one like Andrew did.

 
A man went into a shoe store in Boston one day and won a boy to Christ, that boy went on to win countless thousands to Christ. Now there are probably untold millions in Heaven or on their way to Heaven because of that boy who worked in the shoe store. That boy was D.L. Moody, we don’t have to be a D.L. Moody but we should try to be the one, like Kimball, that wins the one like a D.L. Moody who wins the countless thousands to Christ, now if you would trace the Christian family tree down the line, from Moody, there are probably millions in Heaven as a result of Mr. Kimball winning just that one little boy in the shoe store to Christ.

If we are Christians we are to be soul winners.
The bible says in Genesis 1:11-12 that everything will reproduce after its’ own kind. So if we are Christians we should be producing Christians, or in other words in some way or somehow we should be influencing others to make salvation decisions for Christ. Proverbs 11:30 says the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Our fruit is a tree of life, the souls we win are part of a tree of life. Like a family tree we have, the souls we win become part of the eternal tree of life of Christians, the man that won me to the Lord is my Father in Christ in this tree of life. We are to win souls and reproduce other Christians, the Bible says everything is to reproduce after its own kind, so the people who we lead to Christ become part of our eternal tree of life. Paul said in I Corinthians 4:15 – “For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.”

 
Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise”

Daniel 12:3 – “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever

The Bile says hear he that winneth souls is wise in Proverbs 11:30 and in Daniel 12:3 it says the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and in Daniel it says “and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” We will be rewarded for winning souls to Christ not with just wisdom though that is reward enough in itself, but with other rewards as well. Turn many to righteousness is another way of saying winneth souls. And in Proverbs 11:30 the fruit of the righteous or saved is a tree of life, or a family tree of other Christians we have led to the Lord. I think these two verses really go well together they help explain each other.
“Our main business, brethren, is to win souls. Like the shoeing-smiths, we need to know a great many things; but just as the smith must know about horses, and how to make shoes for them, so we must know about souls, and how to win them for God.” Charles Spurgeon.

 
The Musts of a good Soul Winner
He must have the right tool for the job – his Bible.
He must have a good Christian character.
He must be living his faith.
He must believe in the message of salvation – he should be saved.
He must believe in the power of that message to save people.
He must be burdened to see people freed from the bondage of their sin.
He must be a praying Christian, praying for the lost to come to Christ.
He must be willing to take on the role of a servant to help win the lost, as Christ did.
And finally, he simply just must go, go out and seek to win the lost for Christ. Fulfill the Great Commission.

 
“Soul-winning is a service which brings great benefit to the individual who consecrates himself to it.” Charles Spurgeon

Colossians 3:23-24 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”

Whenever we do work we should do that work as if unto the Lord, not as if we were working for man. For doing so we’ll be given an inheritance from the Lord.We need to keep in mind it is not our will but His will we are to obey. We need to keep in mind that it is the Pastor who is to lead the church and direct which ministries the church will have. It is our job or our work to volunteer to do the work in the church that is necessary to help further the vision the Pastor is leading the church in. The Pastor gets the burden and the vision from the Lord; it is our responsibility as church members to support in our efforts the vision from the Lord for our church, the Pastor has communicated to us. Church members need to be eager to volunteer wherever needed; in so doing they are fulfilling their part to enable the church to fulfill the Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20 – ” And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

We need to predetermine when we get a call of God on our life or sense the Lords leading in our life in an area of service for Him that we will surrender to that call or that leading right away. Do not make excuses to God as to why you cannot do such and such a thing for Him. People may say “I aint’ never done it that way before” or “We never did it that way where I came from“. Excuses like that will not work with God. You instead need to be willing to forsake all and serve Him according to His will with your life. God will enable you to do the ministry He is calling you to do. (I Timothy 1:12 – And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;).  True surrender to God will always go beyond natural devotion, it will continue once we think we physically can’t go on anymore; true surrender will continue on through the power of Christ sustaining us. (Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ)

Those around Jesus criticized Him for eating with publicans and sinners but Jesus gave the best answer in verses 31 & 32 of Luke chapter 5 “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” If those who think themselves super religious, criticize your church or your ministry in your church, because it is full of sinners, praise God you are in the trenches doing the work of the Lord; and them by their criticism, they demonstrate their distance from the heart and will of our Savior. In order to minister to those who need it most, you are going to need to sacrifice a little, there is going to be a little more noise around the church, things will get dirtier than normal, stains will happen, more wear and tear on furniture and carpet will occur, vehicles will need repair, but all that is a good thing; it shows you are actively seeking to minister to those around you. (Proverbs 14:4 – Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.) – Your ministry or your church will not grow unless you personally are working, sacrificing and actively seeking to reach out in ministry.