SN 14 May 2022
I have been on a journey of – reality check – of my christian faith …
… as previously said, I entered Yeshua ( the boat of Salvation) on the notion of …
… an expectation of a cruise ship experience
… but quickly found out it is more of a battleship & that I am in a war zone!!
… with running, fighting, keeping faith (believing), denying and even dying
My mind is spinning!!
– Where am I running to?
– What exactly am I fighting?
– There are seemingly impossible things that can only be accomplished by faith
… what exactly is this faith and how is it exercised for success?
– What is all this of… persecutions, denying self, carrying crosses and following Jesus!!
… while loving not my life to the death!!
… where I have to lose life in order to gain life!?!
Indeed there is a cost to all this (Luke 14:25-33)
– Especially for this precious gift of Salvation (Saved – salvaged – from all the drama of life into eternity…)
… at least on the part of working it out with fear and trembling
… as the seed of salvation is just received as a free gift by grace through faith
… but nurturing it to take root, grow and bear fruit is a – the violent take it by force – kind of process!!
That is what has been informing my SN written series for the past few weeks…
…trying to understand and successfully navigate
… through God’s Word
… the battleship and the war zone of life
Welcome all to today’s – Manna for Thought. ..
And be blessed…
… as we pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.
Last week we saw
… how trials and tribulations can be used by the Lord as a test of our faithfulness
… a way of searching the heart and testing the mind
… of the deceitful and desperately wicked heart of man.
The basic standard test of faithfulness in Exodus 15 was set…
… as listening carefully to God
… and doing what is right – obeying His commands and keeping His decrees
With the basic idea being that
… I should work with the Lord in the testing (proofing) of the genuineness of my faith (usually by fire)
… and allow the process to do and complete its intended work in me
… of perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling me in pleasing faith
… making me mature and complete and not lacking anything
… so that I can receive all that is available for those that are successful – such as the Crown of Life
Indeed, it is all about striving for…
Life Certificate of Completion, with Honors
In Pursuit of Life’s Certificate of completion… with honors
I find out that the testing process is not a comfortable experience…
… for it is usually a process of establishing – limits, boundaries, capabilities
… It can be used as a test of faithfulness
>> Today we explore its use as a form of discipline
The discipline ( judgement & correction of our actions, building capacity and capability…)
… is to bring us back into righteousness
…. in doing the right thing, being on the right track, obedience & being fully in the will of God
…. while there is still time (favor, grace)
… God came to be our loving coach (drill sergeant)
… taking us through all that would be necessary for us to build strength, competency, courage, skill…
… so that in the end we are successful in what is required of us.
When receiving the citizenship of Heaven
… we find that there is a battle going on
… and as good citizens, it is a requirement for each of us to do our part in the Kingdom
… and everyone has a part and is expected to be in the battlefield to fulfilling their obligations
… and as with the training process, it is there to build mental & physical strength, ability and capabilities and so on…
… to ensure that we are not killed, or have others killed but are successful in the war
… all for the kingdom and glory of God.
Exodus 20:20 (NIV)
– Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid.
God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning . ”
Psalm 78:34 (NLT)
– When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously.
– I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.
2 Corinthians 12 (NLT)
– 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh , a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
– 8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
– 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness .” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
As it is said in Proverbs 20:30 (NIV)
– Blows and wounds scrub away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being.
Galatians 3:24 (AMP)
– with the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to Christ , so that we may be justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] by faith.
Therefore I should…
Isaiah 55:6 (AMP)
– Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call on Him [for salvation] while He is near.
My prayer being….
– With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness….KJV
– In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right … NLT
… basically I strive, when God can still be found, to be guided by Him to ensure that I am on the right side of Judgement when He comes.
– Like the tutor or teacher may give me CATs ( Continuous Assessment Tests) to gauge what I know and don’t know
…. so that the issues can be identified and rectified in preparation for success, say, in a national exam
… like for the tutor, the essence of the test is not for me to fail but to pass
– Similarly it is for our loving Heavenly Father, He wants us to pass
… not to fail or sin, for He has no business with sin other than to expose it in us and have it dealt with (separated from us)
With James 1 giving us good insight into the perspective of God on the issue, e.g.
– 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.
– 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.
– 14 But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed.
– 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
A good example in Peters experience
Luke 22:32 (NLT)
– But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers. ”
2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
– And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV)
– As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
– For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
>> Studying the ways of God early enough, as I go through His
“Competency Based” Assessments of Life
so that when the final life Assessment is done, I am found to be eligible for His rewards… with honours!
I should purpose to …
– Run in such a way as to win the prize, for an imperishable crown…1 Corinthians 9:24
– Indeed according to Philippians 3:14
…. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
– …fighting the good fight, finishing my course and keeping the faith through it all so as to receive the Crown of Righteousness …2 Timothy 4:7-8
It is not easy being disciplined (judged, tested) though…
… it is an uncomfortable and at times a painful process
… but it also shows the love of a father
… equipping and strengthening us for success
… while positioning us to share in His holiness & harvest righteousness
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children ?[d] He said,
“My child,[e] don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those He loves ,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”[f]
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children . Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.
9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness .
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way .
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls….( so that we do not give in or give up)
AMEN & AMEN!!