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FAITHWORKS…

July 7, 2010
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it.”
Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
“Keeping our heart with all diligence” is something that we will have to continually practice until the moment that we depart this theater of atoms. It’s ever so easy for the heart to drift while nothing on the surface seems amiss. The church at Ephesus offers up a primary example as, somewhere along the timeline, they left their first love in exchange for the mechanics of Christianity. They were doctrinally sound and zealous beyond measure, and yet their hearts had drifted to such a point that they were in danger of having their candlestick removed. There was little or no outward evidence that such a problem existed, making the situation in Ephesus more dangerous than any of the other conditions that the Lord Jesus addressed on the isle of Patmos that day. The four familiar passages above reveal that none of us can take this lightly. A heart can convince itself that all is well when all is not well. A heart can believe that it’s doing God service when it doesn’t truly know him. A heart can conceil its true nature until the hour of temptation has arrived, at which time the truth will be made manifest.
This post is a work in progress; even as its being written. While I know the passages of scripture that are soon to be visited, the topic is far too serious and complex for an adequate discussion here. When Jesus stated “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” he revealed a very sobering truth. Many will go into eternity, trusting that they are in good standing with the Lord when in fact they didn’t truly know the Author of life.  Some will trust in a myriad of religious endeavors while others will be clinging to a fruitless profession of faith. These aren’t people who spent their days obliviously glued to the matrix; giving no thought to eternal issues. They truly believed that they were on a path that led to eternal life. But somehow the truth never took up permanent residence in the heart. When one is born of the Spirit, it is a life changing thing that will bear fruit. I’ve made a lot of missteps over the years, including a season of rebellion that I don’t like to think about. (with the exception of the lessons learned) But on that Friday morning in September of 1983, the course of my life was changer forever.
Matthew 7:21-22 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”
We If there’s a single word in that passage that should cause us all to diligently inquire as to our true standing, it’s the word “many.” Many have, and will, head into eternity expecting to hear the words “enter thou in my faithful servant” only to discover that their heart was not right with God. Whether they had fallen for another Jesus, or the truth had never reached beyond a mechanical understanding, they will head into eternity and be confronted with unimaginable disappointment. Jesus stated that these will run down their list of accomplishments as they plead their case. While they had convinced themselves that they knew, him, they were unwittingly trusting in a laundry list of deeds by which nobody can be saved. (All have sinned and come short of the glory of God) They may have looked and even sounded “Christian.” They may have been outstanding members of the community and engaged in a myriad of charitable causes. But without having an authentic encounter with the Lord Jesus, it was to no avail. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away sin.
Matthew 7:23 “And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Regardless of our works or persona, until the moment that we are born of the Spirit, we are workers of iniquity. Al McNeely is a saint who was on my ship during the navy years. A couple of years ago, he relayed the story about a navy chaplain whom he had recently led to Jesus. This was a person who had undoubtedly gone through years of grueling theological training, but had never been born again. It’s an incredible testimony of salvation, but it also got me to thinking. The number of folks who are trusting in religious endeavors or a form of godliness is staggering. Multitudes are blindly embracing teaching which are in direct opposition to scripture, and yet thinking to themselves “everythings ok.” A while back, a friend at work tried to explain to me the catholic doctrine of purgetory. When confronted with the fact that there is no scriptural evidence for such a thing, his reply was “well I’m sure that it’s in there.” Many people on the street, when asked about their eternal destination, will say “Oh I’ve got that covered” and then become angry when asked to explain why they believe that.
Works without salvation can profit nothing, however, a profession of faith, without fruit, is equally dangerous and calls into question the sincerety of the profession. For this, we visit another passage of scripture wherein many who believed themselves to be in good standing are confronted with the true nature of their heart.
Matthew 25: 41-43 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the evil and his angels:
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked and ye clothed me not: sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.”
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
A true conversion experience will result in outward manifestations that reflect that conversion. It will manifest, not only in our speech and behaviors, but also in our approach to those in our ambience. If the Spirit of Christ is truly in us, we will begin to see others as he sees them. (The words “begin to” are important; this is an area that requires continually growing as we daily become less like us and more like Jesus.) When we are truly born of the Spirit, we not only rejoice in our redemption, we’ll begin to see the incredible amount of lack in our ambience. Priceless souls wandering in darkness and lives torn apart by a myriad of vices.  Inhabitors of eternity, created in the image of God, who are at their wits end as every reason for living seems to have faded from view. Loneliness, heartache, overwhelming despair, and want for basic necessities that most of us take for granted.  These captives are looking to us; wondering if this Jesus that we talk about is real.
Matthew 25:44-46 “Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”
Works will reveal what a person believes and what’s important to them. Actions will reveal as to whether or not a profession is authentic. Our pastor once stated words to the effect that “he would call into question, the salvation of one who goes go through life with little regard for the well-being of those around them.” If we truly understand the plight of those in our ambience, and the eternal ramifications that are in play, we’ll respond acordingly, allocating both time and physical resources toward reaching, and ministering to the needs of the priceless eternal ones. The following post addresses this in more detail:
THE INVISIBLES
Colossians 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobediant, and unto every good work reprobate.”
This has not been an easy post to engage in. It is causing much needed examination on my part, and yet, this is a most needful thing. None of us can be too careful; especially in an age when we are being continually hurried through our routines. The July issue of the Last Trumpet newsletter is a tribute to David Meyer, with individual testimonies from his wife Shirley and each of their sons and daughters. When I first heard of his passing, Philippians 2:30 came to mind. Pastor Meyer was a tireless servant of the Lord Jesus and his works do follow him. Here’s the link:
A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO PASTOR DAVID J. MEYER
I have thought much about the legacy of how many lives have been touched through Pastor Meyer. One statement in the newsletter that stood out was offered by Shirley.  In mentioning his early years, when he was involved with the occult, she stated:
“Certainly if God had not intervened in his life, his story would be completely different.”
How true this is; not only for Pastor Meyer, but for all who are born of the Spirit. I cannot help but wonder if I would even be alive today, had the Lord not granted me repentance to the acknowledging of the truth when he did. Without a doubt, the the Lord holds the breath of life in his hand and has granted each of us a customized allotment of days under the sun. Sorry about the lengthy posting. Blessings always in Jesus name.
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.”
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4 comments

  1. Love your thoughts. This thought of salvation or not seems to be a common thread that God is pulling throughout the organized church. It seems to me organized religion has gotten off track and God is getting tired of the games. This is not the 1st time He tired of what mankind was doing.

    My salvation story has dramatically changed in the last two years. I recently wrote of my life change and new found love for Christ. For me, it required a radical breakdown and then a loving gradual rebuild by Christ. I will never be the same.

    This is a great start at communicating the possibility that your readers, however good they may be, may not be good enough…


  2. Hi Timbob

    My passing through may be scarce for a while as our computer finally gave up and shut down for good. While I have been missing reading the thoughts and testimonies of others, the extra time forced upon me has lead me to greater quiet time with the Lord, thus, I am greatful for the break.

    Your thoughts here have been stirring within myself and the group of believers with whom I fellowship for 12 months or so now. I feel that it is imperative to hightlight the deception of many to whomever will listen and receive it. The time to get close to the Lord and examine ourselves is NOW! Only closeness and intimacy will assure our hearts before Him.

    May we all continue to draw ever closer to Him, know His voice, and be hidden under His wings.

    Bless you Timbob, and I am always greatful to be able to stop by and fellowship with you brother. 🙂


  3. Hi Archie. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s amazing the way in which the Lord continues to mold us; making us less like our old self and more like him. Sometimes I feel like I have so far to go and that I falter at every turn. And yet I can look back over theyears and see how he has faithfully brought me to the place where I’m at now. We are indeed a work in progress until our final moment in this world.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.


  4. Hi Five Peas. Thanks so much for stopping by. You touch on something that we all need; that being increased quiet time with the Lord. A setting aside for a season the myriads of voices, and just hearing from on high.

    I read something very profound about a week ago. It took place in 1946 and involved a pastor from a small baptist church in Indiana. He so hungered to hear from God that one day he told his wife “honey; I’m going out to the cabin to seek the Lord. I’ll either hear from him, or you’ll never hear from me again.” In other words, he was either going to hear from the Lord or die in that place. The Lord did meet with him in a powerful way and two years later there was revival.

    Ever since reding that, I’ve been contemplating my own level of commitment to the Lord. Do we truly esteem the words of his mouth more than our necessary food as Job did? I’m in need of growing in this area.

    Thanks again for stopping by. May we all draw closer to the Lord Jesus.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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