Doing Nothing From Myself But From The Spirit


Doing Nothing From Myself But From The Spirit

John 7:17  If any man will do his will (If any one out of His own will desires to do God’s will) he shall know of the doctrine( Instrumental: teaching), whether it be of God, or whether I speak of ( from the edge of; the idea of separation or departure from) myself.( exclusively and independently from myself as a source and from none other.)

Jesus never did or spoke anything, which originated from Himself. Everything He did, originated from the Father, and was revealed to Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Secondly, Jesus never did anything that was exclusively His ideas, agenda or timetable.

Everything, which he planned and carried out, was inclusive of what the Father desired.

Finally every action, which He took, and every word, which He spoke, was in dependency to the workings of the Holy Spirit within Him.  The Lord Jesus never acted independently from the Father.

This was the key to the Lord’s supernatural faith and miracle working power. The fact that while on the earth, the Lord lived dependent, inclusive, and originated everything with the Father, shows us the depth of Jesus life in the world of the Holy Spirit.

This is what Jesus means when he tells us that He does nothing from Himself.

To the degree that we do not seek ourselves as the ones from whom anything originates, and then carry it out independently and exclusively from God, will automatically live in the teaching of the Father.

18  He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

They that speak independently, selfishly, and exclusive, of the Spirit of God, seeks their own glory; (but they which from the world of the Spirit, allowing for the Spirit to permeate and work back through them, will be seeking the glory of God, and will speak ecstatically, prophetically, and under divine impulse, as oracles of God that will bring forth His glory.)

 John 8;28  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he ( I am),and that I do nothing of myself (and that I do nothing independently and exclusively from the Father); but as my Father hath taught me( but as the Father has instrumentally penetrated, affected, and influenced me) I speak these things (these things I utter, express, and speak prophetically, by that divine influence which has permeated me.)

 John 12:49  For I have not spoken of myself ( LOCATION: (Jesus is located within, or submerged into the Father) I absolutely have not uttered anything independently and exclusively from the Father); but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment (The instrumentality of the Father working back through Jesus), what I should say, and what I should speak. (So permeated Him the Father as to give Him both the utterances and expressions of speech, and the contents of them)

John 6:28  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God (The Father works His works back through the disciples, as He affects and influences them in proportion to how much he or she submerges into the world of the Spirit.), that ye believe on him (Greek “INTO”; location, domain, submerging into) whom he hath sent.

Image

Training in prophecy in Nyahururu, Kenya

Advertisements

So How Does A 2013 Christian Minister Look Like?


Romans 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached( I have filled up the gospel) the gospel of Christ.

It is important for us to be aware that if we are to do our part in filling up the gospel of Christ it will never be accomplished through our mere preaching of God’s word.

The gospel must be proclaimed in the power of  signs and wonders that go with our spiritual gifts.

Sign: The manifestation of a spiritual gift as it is focused upon the believer to prove his or her authority as one sent by God.

Wonder: The manifestation of the same spiritual gift, as it is focuses upon the ones that behold it, to stimulate them to wonder and amazement and the giving of glory to God.

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve (our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

The conscience is a simple barometer of what dwells in our lives.  A pure conscience reflects a life that has nothing for the devil to hold on to and keep us in bondage, or for others, to lawfully charge us with wrongdoing.

The issue of purity of life is huge with God. God’s anointing can only flow where there is a conscience which is free from guilt. For me, if I’ve done something wrong, and try to minister, the anointing is hindered.

If I justify what I’ve done wrong and proceed, a hard heart is created. Because God dwells in our hearts, a heart which is calloused becomes progressively unable to discern the still small voice of God. A calloused part of our body does not feel pain. A calloused heart cannot discern the movements of God. This is the beginning of deception.

The message of cheap grace, that because God is love and will forgive you, discourages purity, allows us to betray our conscience, and harden our hearts. Christians are produced that cannot hear God’s voice. Nothing is as vital as having clear communication with the voice of God.

Many have betrayed their conscience to gain something else. This is a most tragic thing.

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve (our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

Serve:  There are different aspects which define the Christian as a servant of the Lord.

One is the servant in the capacity of his or her relationship to God.  Yes, our relationship with God is always one of sons or daughters.  Our sonship however, must be executed in the capacity of “love slaves” of the Lord Jesus Christ, or what the gospel calls a “doulos.”

The slave or doulos renounced his rights, so that he could serve the master.

Really, if we are a servant of God; our only right is the right to obey Him.

Holding on to our rights, will produce anger.  Angry people are people who are not willing to let go of things, or rights.

The opposite of anger is meekness. The meek person is one who has yielded his rights.

Nu 12:3  (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

Ps 22:26  The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

Ps 25:9  The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Ps 37:11  But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The second characteristic is the servant in the capacity of his or her ministry through the use of spiritual gifts.  This is the “diakonos”.

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers ( diakonos) of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 6:4  But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers ( diakonos) of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

The third type of servant which is the one mentioned in verse three, is the servant in the capacity of rendering general religious service versus another type of occupation. This is “latreo”

2 Tim 1: 3 I thank God, whom I serve ( latreo: our religious service to the Lord) from my forefathers with pure (free from evil, and innocent because it is free from evil, and resulting in nothing that the devil or man can point an accusatory finger at) conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

The bottom line is that for believers to serve in their religious occupation, it must be done with a pure conscience. This is a conscience which has not betrayed the Word of God or the voice of God for another kind of gain.

2 Tim 1: 4 Greatly desiring(pursuing with love) to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

The defining principle of mentors is the creation of spiritual fathers and mothers.

Greek: Paul had an unceasing remembrance of Timothy; as he daily and nightly longed for him.  Paul was reminded of this as he counted his own tears, knowing that only at seeing Timothy would he be filled with joy.

What one of the great vacuums in our world is the absence of fathers and mothers.

Almost everybody suffers from  an orphan spirit.

As a Christian please allow God to mold you into a father or mother. You will never lack in ministry.

A father or mother hears the hearts of others. A father or mother becomes a listener. This is the gospel. Those who do not believe in Christ are looking to Christians to note if they see fatherhood instead of religion.

 2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift (charismatic or spiritual gift) of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

Stir up Greek: to bring back to life the dying embers on a grill.  When the fire on a charcoal grill is in danger of going out, we must stir up the breaking pieces of coal and fan them back into the reddish glow of heat.

This is what must be done with our spiritual gifts.

First, we must discover what they are.

Sadly to say, most of the body of Christ has no idea what their spiritual gifts are.

Secondly, we must step out in faith with the little that we know.  As we do this, the Lord will give us more and we will keep our gifts glowing red for the Lord’s service.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The spirit of fear- The spirit of cowardice.

I used to be a coward, but God has changed me.

The spirit of fear is just that, a spirit. The work of demons is to paralyze us with fear and make us into passive and ineffectual Christians.

A demon will entice us with a lie in our mind, and might even use tangible physical symptoms to deceive us. If we get up from our seats and step out, the demon of fear, and his lying tactics will flee from us.

Sound mind – Greek: making wise or understanding.

A mind which operates in wisdom is one that understands the will of God and walks in His ways.  This type of thinking matures the believer in spiritual discernment and discretion, which allows the Christian to refrain from what, is evil, resulting in self-control.

We live in times where people do not like to read. Only the washing of water by the Word of God can create soundness of mind.  I was in pornography for many years before becoming a Christian. Pornography makes huge inroads into our thought processes and robs of soundness of mind. It was God’s word which set me free and produces soundness of mind.

Many today hate reading and rather look at Face Book statutes. We must become readers and students of God’s Word. If we do not read our Bibles, we will not experience the washing of our souls which come by the Word of God.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power (dunamis), and of love, and of a sound mind.

The believer must live out of God’s dunamis power in the same way that a tree does from its roots.

Dunamis power is power in ability. God’s power in you has the ability to carry out anything. It is progressively demonstrated in Christ’s resurrection life in you. Christ’s resurrection life is demonstrated as our natural life is put to death, by the cross of Christ. This is why our understanding of the cross is so essential. Today, the cross is not being preached, and Christians are not experiencing the power of God.

 2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony (martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Testimony is an interesting word. It comes from the word that means martyr or martyrdom.

The only way that we can give adequate evidence of the invisible Lord is through our dying on the cross, so that the Christ within us can then be revealed as a testimony to a lost and dying world.

Timothy was to present enough external evidence of the person of the Lord Jesus living within him, so that his hearers would have a sufficient proof to either accept or reject the gospel for themselves.

People will either accept or reject Christ on the basis that He has something to offer that they are lacking. This is the work of providing testimony.

Genuine testimony, comes by a martyrdom, at least of our natural soul life so that Christ can be revealed.

If the cross is not embraced, martyrdom of our soul life cannot take place and Christ will not be displayed through is for a testimony.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness ( martyr or martyrdom) unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Are we doing our part to present the gospel with accurate and undeniable evidence (as spiritual martyrs of the Lord) which will allow for the jury of the world to either accept or reject it contingent upon our testimony of it?

The witness of the Lord was to be manifested through Timothy’s use of his spiritual gifts. The purpose of spiritual gifts is to manifest externally in plain evidence the Lord Jesus Christ who lives within us in a mystery.

2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony (martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Partaker of the afflictions – A co- sharer in the hardships, afflictions and evils brought upon us by the gospel.

We are to be partakers of these hardships together with Paul for bringing salvation to men and women.

Colossians 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up (supplement) that which is behind( deficient)  of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Paul saw Christ’s sufferings in the believer (not those brought forth by sin or maliciously by Satan) as the source of what supplements what is deficient in the church.

Any man or woman of God desirous to be used greatly in supplementing and meeting the deficiencies of the church will only do so through the avenue of suffering and sacrifice.

2Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony(martyrdom) of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

According to the power of God  – There is nothing worse than to see a believer ministering according to his own power, programs, or psychologically driven agendas .

Ephesians 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (the energy of His dunamis power)

Paul was made a minister in relationship to the grace of God, which is the labor of Christ within him. Grace is the superhuman labor of God.  As we die to our own labors by embracing the cross, the superhuman labor of God kicks in or is displayed within us. This has nothing to with the message, that because we are under grace we can do whatever we want to. This borders on blasphemy.

Effectual working of his power.  The grace of Christ is defined as the energy of God put out by His dunamis power. Dunamis power is dynamite power, or power in ability.

We must learn to ride on the crest of the wave of this superhuman power and not our own strength.

Once again the revelation of God’s superhuman power is proportional to our own weakness as our natural life is taken to the cross. This is why the preaching of the cross is so essential. When the cross is no longer preached we know that the devil has gotten into the church.

God is looking for a generation of Christians who will love and preach the cross.

2 Tim 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Called us with an holy calling.

The holiness of the Lord is what cuts or sets us apart from the world so that God can use us for His sacred, uniquely rare, and highly specialized eternal purposes.  This is the opposite of what the world is involved at large. The common purposes entangling the masses are what God calls the profane.  My father always told me “Jose, remember, the crowd is usually wrong.”  Boy, has that proved to be right, even in the church!

Ezekiel 44:23  And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

The calling of God entails first, an invitation for us to become born again.

This calling however must lead us into our spiritual vocation, which is holy, cut or separated from the world, and highly specialized in a military fashion of sorts.

If as believers we are simply content to become born again, but do not allow the Lord to separate us enough from the profane, we will not enter into the fullness of our spiritual vocation and will have missed our calling.

The world will see in us something which is no different to what they have and will not be attracted to Christ.

2 Tim 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began

Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace.

With every God given vocation, the Lord Jesus will also equip us spiritually and materially fully so that we can execute this calling successfully.

The grace or labor of Christ’s endows us with all that is necessary.  If we are not operating within our calling, the grace of Christ will not be fully present and neither will be His endowments.

As I teach everywhere, we must realize the difference between being religiously busy, versus walking in our calling.  We must be used in our correct ministry.

In Kenya, where we lived, it was a big thing to become a pastor, when for many, that was not their calling. The grace, or superhuman labor of God is proportional to how closely we are walking in the calling to which God has called us to.

2 Tim 1: 10  But is now made manifest by the appearing ( epiphany) of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

(Greek:  Appearing: “epiphany”).

In Christ’s appearing resides His superhuman labor or grace, which is proportional to how much He is manifested.  This is because Christ is always laboring for the salvation of men.  Even in heaven, Christ is constantly interceding.  His labor always brings forth the incorruptness of eternal life, which we are commanded to take a hold of and make our own.  Knowing Christ is the same as taking a hold of this life.  It is never enough for us to simply become saved.

His appearance is in proportion to our dying and vanishing, by the work of the cross. Nothing here, that because we are under grace, God forgives us and we can do as we please.

John 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1Tim 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

In relationship to the revelation of Christ who calls us into our vocation by His grace and superhuman energy, we receive our ministries.

True ministries can never be the planning of men, but must come as the vocations brought to us by the revealed Christ.

Some of the riches found in Christ are the ministries and spiritual gifts dwelling within Him.

12 or the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

The sufferings of Christ come to us in proportion to our spiritual vocations.  The greater the calling, the more extreme and extensive will be our period of training.

Paul is convinced in verse twelve that God is of sufficient power to guard the very calling the He gave to Paul in the first place until the commencement of the eternal ages.  The guarding of God here does not simply mean the watchful eye of God hovering over Paul.

God’s mode of guarding is to lead, labor, and supply continuously to Paul so that the apostle might be faithful to execute his ministerial responsibilities till the consummation of his earthly life.

 1 Tim 1:13Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Greek: Hold fast the outline or pattern of healthy words in a world that belongs to faith and love.

Today, many suffer from sickness of body and mind. The pattern of healthy words brought to us by the Bible is not theirs, since many do not like to read. This is a very serious problem, a tragic phenomenon of this decade. By all means become a reader. Don’t allow the devil to deceive and rob you from the love of reading.

Here is one way of our fulfilling all that Paul has spoken to us since the chapter began. Only the outline of the healthy words (comprised of the gospel) placed before our eyes can carry out this.  Doctrines of men such as selfish financial prosperity or  our “American Santa Claus God” who has come to make us materially wealthy, and shower us with continuous gifts of miracles and blessings, and forgive us whatever we do no matter how bad, is not the form of healthy words.

Neither is the sacrificing the pattern of healthy words of the Bible to accommodate current cultural views correct.

We must love people, but never scarifies the scriptures to do so.

14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

The Holy Spirit is He who guards the gifts of the Spirit as well as the words of the gospel within the believer.

A life of disobedience results in the enemy making inroads into our lives by the landing strip that we create for him to fly in and land upon us. This will result in bondage. We see this much in the body of Christ, because the pattern of healthy words which the reading of the Word can bring, is not there.  People are not reading their Bibles.

Ephesians 4:27  Neither give place ( a space or landing strip which has been marked off) to the devil.

Image

I am reminded of this young Maasai girl who I met, who is a preacher in Maasai land, and whose biological name is “Witness”. Talking about prophecy coming to pass!

 

Can A Culturally Relevant Disciple of Jesus Exist In 2013?


The culture might change, but people and God remain the same.

Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.  

  • He that comes upon, hits upon, and holds on to his own selfish life for his selfish gain, shall bring himself to ruin, destruction, uselessness and misery through his corrupted self.  He that ruins, destroys, and wastes away his sinful existence for the sake of the Lord shall discover, recognize, acquire and real life from the Lord for himself.

 Matthew 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 Matthew 26:34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

  • We see that Jesus commands His disciples to “Follow Him” in the above scripture. This is defined as a  union in traveling the same road.  It is an oneness with the pattern of Jesus’ life, His ministry, and even of His death, if necessary
  • Look at the illustration of Peter’s denial of Jesus in comparison to Jesus’ command to deny ourselves.  As you will notice, it is exactly the same word!  Can you imagine how vehemently Peter with every fiber and atom in his body angrily disavowed that he knew, or had any relationship with the Master?  This should be our same attitude in denying ourselves for the sake of our Lord?

Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send (apostolic sending) my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

  • Which shall prepare: Literally who will lay down all the needed gear, utensils and equipment at another’s disposal.”

 1 John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

  • First John two and fifteen is an example of what I call a “proportional scripture.”  In other words, to the proportion that the love for the things of this world fills the limited space of our heart, is to the same proportion that the love of God has no more room within that limited space, and must leave.

1Cor 9:24  Know ye not that they which run (to run and spend my strength in attaining to something) in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.(to possess and make my own).

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery (the agony of athletic competition) is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

  • Our Christian lives should abide in the exhilarating agony of strenuous athletic discipline.  If we are experiencing boredom as believers, we are missing out on part of Christ’s destiny for us.  Every great work of God has been executed on bended knees.  Every great work of God takes between one to five hours of prayer daily

26 therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  

  • Our faith must contain a clear perception of God’s vision for our lives.  “Without a vision the people perish.” We must not walk obscurely, as those who do not know the voice of God.  We must not trash the air aimlessly with those things that Christ has not called us to, no matter how noble or praiseworthy they might be.  Our time must not be wasted by the missed discernment of God’s will; too much is at stake!  Our punch must be sure; we must strike straight and not spare.

27 But I keep under my body (To beat the body black and blue, or get a black eye), and bring it into subjection(make my body a slave to the Spirit of God) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (a reject , reprobate, and one who failed the test that God put before them.)

  • The love of God and the love of the world are opposed to each other.  Either you love one or love the other.  What the world values, Christ abhors.  What the worldly man esteems as of great value Christ says, “get the behind me Satan!”

1Cor15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured (To labor with strenuous zeal, to the point of exhaustion) more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.   

  • “Spiritual burn out” is always inadmissible.  It is the product of all labors for the Lord initiated by us, and not the Holy Spirit.  Yet our lives should be consumed with the Lord and His work.

Philippians  3:13  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,

  • Therefore I neglect and no longer care for what is behind me. I stretch myself out and towards, and run swiftly after what is before me. The direction being, the mark of the goal of the high price of unbroken fellowship of Christ’s resurrection life, and the hope of His calling for me.

1 Tim 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

  • Greek: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who endued me with His power (only as He found me dependable.) The gift of His power was given to me as He found me worthy of trust. Once that the trust and power were there God placed me into my ministry.

1 Tim 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

  • Greek: Do not become careless about the spiritual gift, which was given to you by (the Holy Spirit) through prophecy and the laying of hands.

 15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

  • Meditate- Care for, attend to, and keep practicing “the things that we have discussed”
  •  Give thyself wholly to them – Literally “to become one with them”.
  •  Paul tell us throw ourselves fully, or become submerged and consumed with the things that lead to godliness, purity, charity, spiritual gifts, and so forth.
  •  That thy profiting   Literally “pioneers cutting a way for an army”
  • Every Christian is called to a blaze a new pioneer trail, through which the Lord can effectively travel, in accordance with their unique calling. There are now pew sitters, and no room for mediocrity in God’s kingdom.
  •  May appear to all  – Will become evident to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

  • Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine Fasten your attentions to, observe, and attend to yourself first, and to your doctrine second. This doctrine is what you teach. It must be in accordance with the truth of the scriptures and your life must line up with it.

Continue in them – Be sure to remain in these things!

Our provisions when we go to teach in Maasai Land, East Africa

HPIM1727.JPG

Mary preaching in a church in Kibera Town, Kenya. Kibera is the second largest slum in Africa.

Can A Culturally Relevant Disciple of Jesus Exist In 2013?


The culture might change, but people and God remain the same.

Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.  

  • He that comes upon, hits upon, and holds on to his own selfish life for his selfish gain, shall bring himself to ruin, destruction, uselessness and misery through his corrupted self.  He that ruins, destroys, and wastes away his sinful existence for the sake of the Lord shall discover, recognize, acquire and real life from the Lord for himself.

 Matthew 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 Matthew 26:34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

  • We see that Jesus commands His disciples to “Follow Him” in the above scripture. This is defined as a  union in traveling the same road.  It is an oneness with the pattern of Jesus’ life, His ministry, and even of His death, if necessary
  • Look at the illustration of Peter’s denial of Jesus in comparison to Jesus’ command to deny ourselves.  As you will notice, it is exactly the same word!  Can you imagine how vehemently Peter with every fiber and atom in his body angrily disavowed that he knew, or had any relationship with the Master?  This should be our same attitude in denying ourselves for the sake of our Lord?

Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send (apostolic sending) my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

  • Which shall prepare: Literally who will lay down all the needed gear, utensils and equipment at another’s disposal.”

 1 John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

  • First John two and fifteen is an example of what I call a “proportional scripture.”  In other words, to the proportion that the love for the things of this world fills the limited space of our heart, is to the same proportion that the love of God has no more room within that limited space, and must leave.

1Cor 9:24  Know ye not that they which run (to run and spend my strength in attaining to something) in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.(to possess and make my own).

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery (the agony of athletic competition) is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

  • Our Christian lives should abide in the exhilarating agony of strenuous athletic discipline.  If we are experiencing boredom as believers, we are missing out on part of Christ’s destiny for us.  Every great work of God has been executed on bended knees.  Every great work of God takes between one to five hours of prayer daily

26 therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:  

  • Our faith must contain a clear perception of God’s vision for our lives.  “Without a vision the people perish.” We must not walk obscurely, as those who do not know the voice of God.  We must not trash the air aimlessly with those things that Christ has not called us to, no matter how noble or praiseworthy they might be.  Our time must not be wasted by the missed discernment of God’s will; too much is at stake!  Our punch must be sure; we must strike straight and not spare.

27 But I keep under my body (To beat the body black and blue, or get a black eye), and bring it into subjection(make my body a slave to the Spirit of God) lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (a reject , reprobate, and one who failed the test that God put before them.)

  • The love of God and the love of the world are opposed to each other.  Either you love one or love the other.  What the world values, Christ abhors.  What the worldly man esteems as of great value Christ says, “get the behind me Satan!”

1Cor15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured (To labor with strenuous zeal, to the point of exhaustion) more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.   

  • “Spiritual burn out” is always inadmissible.  It is the product of all labors for the Lord initiated by us, and not the Holy Spirit.  Yet our lives should be consumed with the Lord and His work.

Philippians  3:13  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,

  • Therefore I neglect and no longer care for what is behind me. I stretch myself out and towards, and run swiftly after what is before me. The direction being, the mark of the goal of the high price of unbroken fellowship of Christ’s resurrection life, and the hope of His calling for me.

1 Tim 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

  • Greek: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who endued me with His power (only as He found me dependable.) The gift of His power was given to me as He found me worthy of trust. Once that the trust and power were there God placed me into my ministry.

1 Tim 4:14  Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

  • Greek: Do not become careless about the spiritual gift, which was given to you by (the Holy Spirit) through prophecy and the laying of hands.

 15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

  • Meditate- Care for, attend to, and keep practicing “the things that we have discussed”
  •  Give thyself wholly to them – Literally “to become one with them”.
  •  Paul tell us throw ourselves fully, or become submerged and consumed with the things that lead to godliness, purity, charity, spiritual gifts, and so forth.
  •  That thy profiting   Literally “pioneers cutting a way for an army”
  • Every Christian is called to a blaze a new pioneer trail, through which the Lord can effectively travel, in accordance with their unique calling. There are now pew sitters, and no room for mediocrity in God’s kingdom.
  •  May appear to all  – Will become evident to all.

16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

  • Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine Fasten your attentions to, observe, and attend to yourself first, and to your doctrine second. This doctrine is what you teach. It must be in accordance with the truth of the scriptures and your life must line up with it.

Continue in them – Be sure to remain in these things!

Our provisions when we go to teach in Maasai Land, East Africa

HPIM1727.JPG

Mary preaching in a church in Kibera Town, Kenya. Kibera is the second largest slum in Africa.