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The Heart of God (episode III)

November 1, 2007

James 5:8  “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”

Good morning to all.  This series on the sermon on the mount has reached some sobering verses at a sobering time.  First, I must make three links.  The first one is an absolute must-read. 

www.mikeboldea.blogspot.com/2007/10/dream.html 

This post features a dream that the Lord gave him on Oct 29 concerning the four horsemen.  I read this and it sent chills up the back as we realize the lateness of the hour.  PLEASE READ THIS POST!  The second one is a post written by Susan about the need for discernment.  I was unable to link directly to the post, but it’s currently the first one that you come to when clicking below.

www.faithwalk.wordpress.com  

This post goes into great detail on the mechanics of discernment and the methods that the enemy will use to get us sidetracked.  The thirds link is to a second blog that I started yesterday.  It focuses on endtime events and being prepared for that which is coming to pass.

www.timbob2.wordpress.com 

This is a work in progress and will take some time to put together, although time is running out fast.  Yesterday, the burden on my heart to open this second site was so great as to seem nearly unbearable.   This morning, after reading Michaels post and knowing where this “sermon on the mount” series is at, one would think that a “crash course in preparation” is underway. 

Matthew 5:10  “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Twice in the past few weeks, prophecies have come forth at church which made mention of the trial of our faith.  It’s not something that we usually like to think about as it brings to mind images of physical mistreatment, being falsely accused, losing our place in the social structure, and what have you.  Yet when these things take place, we are to realize that we are partaking of Christs sufferings and that our reward will be an everlasting one. 

Matthew 5:11-12  “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Those of us who reside in the western democracies are in a perilous situation; far more than the saints in Iran or China.  Most of us have no idea of what it means to undergo a serious trial of our faith at the hands of the ungodly.  Every day we thank God for the republic which allows for freedom and for those in uniform who guard against the enemies of that republic.  While freedom is indeed an incredible blessing, it allows us to not be fully aware of what it means to “count the cost.”  In the middle east, when a muslim comes to Jesus, they are ostracized, physically beaten, and sometimes killed by their own family members.  Once they are baptized, there is “no going back” and they are forever “the enemies of Islam.”  I cannot even fathom a system where parents would turn against their own son or daughter in such a manner. 

I apolagize for the somberness this morning; this is just what has come together.  The next passage is familiar but needful.

Matthew 5:13-15  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  it is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of man.  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and set it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the room.”

In Brother Andrews book “Secret Believers” a man identified as “Bhutros” was finishing up his post graduate studies and pondering the idea of working with missionaries from England where he had studied.  The Lord made it clear to him that he was to return to his native Arab country to be a witness and for ministry.  He wrestled with this until having a meeting with Brother Andrew in Holland.  Brother Andrew explained that often, in sharing the gospel with the lost, we are exposing ourselves to trial by fire.  (I’m hyper-paraphrasing.  I have the book here, but I’m trying to hurry and finish this post.)  Bhutros retuns home where the Lord has prepared the hearts of many muslims, including a sixty year old man who had been part of the Muslim brotherhood. 

It’s so imperative to “love not our own lives in this world.”  This has been on my heart so much lately that words cannot convey the importance.  If we love this life; if we focus on the here and now, we’ll make really bad decisions during times of trying.  I think of the travels of the apostle Paul who went forth; knowing that in every city he would be beaten and imprisoned.  Yet he loved the Lord Jesus and had a tremendous burden for the churches.  I can imagine the time when he was spending a day and a night in the deep.  The enemy whispering in his ear “Look at you.  You used to be the talk of the town, loved and honored by your countrymen.  Your countrymen who are, at this very moment, on dry land.”  Despite the forces of darkness being in array against him, Paul finished his course by the grace of God.  We can indeed finish the course set before us by the grace of God.  We never know what a day may hold in store, but we can be certain that Jesus is always as close as the mention of his name. 

Matthew 5:16  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.”

To let the world see Jesus in all that we say or do.  The more eternally minded that we are, the more we’ll be about our Fathers business here.  One of the most fascinating moments in scripture is when Steven finishes his testimony and suddenly sees Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.  I imagine that he hardly noticed the stones that were hitting his physical body from every angle.  We need to be looking to Jesus always. 

Well, I’ll close for now.  The last couple of days have seen the posting of some things that many find hard to think on.  In writing, I’m realizing that I have growing to do as, once again, I feel terribly inadequate to discuss this topic.  I too am a product of the west.  Examining ourselves is a must as we don’t know ourselves as we would like to think.  With that thought, I’ll close with the following familiar, but true, passage:

Philippians 3:13-15  “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  I press toward the the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”

That’s such a reassuring thought.  If we become otherwise minded, the Holy Spirit will let us know.  Please visit Michael Boldeas site.  I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus. 

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5 comments

  1. No need to apologize, brother. We need to be sober.

    The fact of the matter is that it could all fall apart in a split second.

    The U.S. (and the whole world)caught a tiny glimpse of this during 911.

    I tell you the truth, you and some others know,I have recently been shaken by some things in my personal life.

    It’s not that I didn’t have my doubts, but truly. I tell you, if it were not for the fellowship and encouragement of the saints both local and here on the web, I don’t know how well I would have faired.

    I thank God that He not only made us for direct fellowship with His Spirit, but also that He saw fit to implant that Spirit into a plurality of brothers and sisters across the globe.

    Praise the Lord!
    He is teaching us how to truly love one another!!!

    Be blessed as you go, brother, shining His light to all those you encounter, and may we all continue to find Him in one another in spite of fair or foul weather.


  2. sorry i’ve been absent. have had a lot going on and this was the first chance i was able to read some of your latest posts.

    i have been very grieved over the church and the mediocrity of the people. more later


  3. Greetings. I’m a little late on responding.

    Johnny: I think we’re all being prepared for what’s coming. All of the trials and wrestlings are going to be for our benefit. When the really turbulant stuff begins, we’ll be in a place with the Lord where we’ll be able to stand and not faint.

    Code: I always enjoy hearing from you. I miss your blog, but I understand how hectic things are. I keep you in prayer much as I know that New York is an intensive spiritual battlefield. Thanks for taking time to stop by.

    Blessings in Jesus.


  4. When our eyes and our heart are fixed on Jesus we do not feel the “stones”, or at least not so much. And the arrows of the enemy may find a chink in our armor now and then, but the wounds heal by Gods grace, for satan cannot take our life or steal our heart when it truly belongs to Jesus.
    Bless the Lord for His faithfulness!

    Grace and peace to you in Christ Timbob!

    Susan


  5. I’m reading “Secret Believers” as well…what a collection of stories! You are a ‘keeper of the flame’ brother, so keep the oil handy and the torch held high!



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