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Monthly Archives: September 2012

ARE YOU REALLY IN THE LORD’S SERVICE?

Picture a man who goes to work at a construction site, and goes straight to the foreman, gets assigned to a job detail, and gets to work. At the end of the day, he gets no salary for his work. Why? Because he was never hired for the job in the first place. He had failed to first of all go to the Human Resources department to apply for the job and get hired. This is similar to serving in the Lord’s vineyard without ever getting hired first. Without first becoming a servant of His. Meaning, without first receiving Him as one’s Savior and Lord.

Service in the kingdom is paramount in Christianity, as believers are saved to serve the King of kings in His kingdom. We are saved from serving in the devil’s kingdom to serving in the Lord’s kingdom. Therefore, serving in the Lord’s ‘vineyard’, wherever that may be – at a church as a worker, on the missions field, on the evangelism team, thru your own personal ministry, etc. – is a must for a believer. Every believer is ‘called’ to serve in some very specific capacity in the kingdom.

But salvation is what qualifies an individual to earn a reward for serving in the Lord’s kingdom. This is a crucial matter because like our imaginary construction worker, so many people that are serving the Lord in one way or the other, will do all that work just to end up hearing the Lord say to them “…I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity!” (Matthew 7:23).

What went wrong for such people? The answer is simply that they were never really saved from sin while they served the Lord. One of the greatest tragedies in this world is the fact that the Church is full of believers who have compromised their salvation so that in the Lord’s eyes, there’s no difference between them and the unsaved, as they still indulge in all the sinful activities they’re supposed to have been saved from. The big question then is: Are most believers truly saved? After receiving the Lord and getting saved from sin, did they remain free from sin or have most gone back to living in sin, even though they are strong and very active members of a church?

Some of the scariest passages of Scriptures are where the Lord denies entry into heaven to people who thought for sure that they merited to get into heaven because of the service they rendered unto Him on earth. So it is VERY POSSIBLE to serve in the Lord’s vineyard WITHOUT ACTUALLY being in His service. Why? Because the kind of service that He requires first and foremost is not being rendered by the believer. And what kind of service is that? Spiritual service. Service done within oneself. Our relationship with the Lord is based within our beings, in our hearts and in our spirits because that is:

– Where we belong to Him, or not.
– Where we love Him, or not.
– Where we keep ourselves pure and holy, or not.
– Where we obey and keep His commandments, or not.
– Where we love all men, or not.

It is in our hearts and spirits that we decided that we wanted to accept the Lord Jesus as our Lord and savior, and that is where we decide everyday whether we want to remain His property by deciding to keep ourselves holy unto Him and faithfully following His commands. Therefore, it is in our hearts and spirits that we decided whether to remain employed in His vineyard, or not. Because the day we go back to sin, we go back to serving Satan, and all the service we render unto the Lord are not recognized by the Lord. So many will kill themselves trying to serve the Lord with all their might, showing up for choir practice rain or shine, spending long hours walking the streets passing out gospel tracts, cleaning up the church and making sure the senior pastors’ needs are met, etc… But if they do all this while being imperfect in their hearts towards the Lord, while living in some sin, while having lost their salvation…. ‘Depart from me…’ is what they might hear in the end. God forbid!

Many serve because they heard a message on ‘service’ that moved them into deciding to serve. Some serve to be seen as faithful workers in the church. Some do because they truly want to serve the Lord. All that is commendable here on earth. But to the Boss in heaven, all that is insignificant if we don’t first of all serve Him in Spirit and in truth! The Boss Himself made this clear when He said:

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spiritand they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (KJV)

If your life doesn’t give Him glory, your services couldn’t possibly give Him glory. If He hasn’t accepted you, how would He accept your services?

Therefore, brethren, I urge you to reaffirm your commitment to living a life that is pleasing to the Father by serving Him in the way that truly matters to Him, by having a genuine Father-son/daughter relationship with Him, and walking in His holiness and righteousness. That is what He truly desires and wants from us. Ask the Lord to rekindle your passion for His holiness and righteousness, and determine to never go back to living in sin. Live a life that makes you always ready to meet the Lord, so that when you do, it will be to hear Him say to you: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in READINESS CHECK!

 

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HIDING ANYTHING IN YOUR TENT?

“I saw, I coveted, I took, and I concealed in my tent”.

This is basically what Achan confessed to doing when he disobeyed the Lord’s command and took some of the spoils of war that the Lord had forbidden the Israelites from taking.

Here’s the exact text from the Scriptures:

“…When I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.” (Joshua 7:21, NASB, emphasis mine)

Well, if everyone of us were to make an honest confession, it would most likely sound like Achan’s. Because inside our individual ‘tents’ that are our bodies, we all have some questionable stuff concealed away. And it ought not to be so!

Because of Achan’s sin, God’s judgment upon the entire tribe of Israel was swift and deadly. So are the various sinful habits – or even one-time actions that we took in the past – that we’ve concealed away in our innermost selves, causing God’s judgment to deny us all the goodies that He has promised to those who diligently walk in His holiness.

Galatians 6:7-8 is clear on this:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (NASB)

In verse 8, substitute the word ‘flesh’ with ‘tent’ and what you have is: ‘the one who sows to his own tent will from his tent reap corruption.’ From the evils that a man sees, covets, commits, and then hides away in his tent, he will reap the corresponding judgment.

The same verse 8 offers a better alternative: Sowing to the Spirit, that we may from the Spirit reap eternal life. Note that ‘Spirit” is written in capital S. That means the statement refers to the Holy Spirit of God.

Instead of living to please our flesh with worldly sinful pleasures, to feed and fill our tents with evil and ill-gotten ‘spoils’, we are to live holy lives that are pleasing to the Spirit of God. We are to do things that do not defile us within, for as the Apostle Paul rightly said, ‘our tents (bodies) are the temples of the Holy Spirit.’

Here’s the exact statement by Paul in 1Corinthians 6:19:

“Do you not know that your bodies are templeof the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” (NIV)

Yes, it is not easy to please God AT ALL TIMES. But it is possible! He would not require it from us if it were impossible. So let us diligently heed the words of Galatians 6:9, which says: 

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (NASB)

When we heed these words we reap in two ways:
1. By enjoying the goodness and greatness of God here on earth, as His promises to those who truly follow Him in His righteousness begin to manifest in our lives.
2. By making heaven, where we can actually fully enjoy the fruit our labor FOR ETERNITY!

So you see, corrupting our tents with the pleasures of this world do not just keep us from truly enjoying this world. It prevents us from making it into heaven FOR ETERNITY!

WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ‘ENJOY’ THIS WORLD FOR A FEW YEARS, AND THEN END UP IN FIERY MISERY FOR ETERNITY???

Hiding anything in your tent? Confess it all to God. He has already provided the cleansing agent – His precious blood – to make you clean and ready to be filled with His virtues and goodness.

So I beg of you dear brother or sister: Consciously decide that you want to make heaven! Then consciously set out to clean out your tent!You could die at ANY MOMENT! In that MOMENT OF TRUTH please don’t be found full of things that would deny you entrance into Heaven.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in READINESS CHECK!

 
 
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