Knowing God’s Will

We all want to be in God’s will while knowing our purpose in life. I would suggest several points for discerning this.

One, trust that God loves you and knows your heart’s desires and has plans to prosper and bless you (which includes being a blessing to others, which blesses you), moving times and circumstances to intersect with His will for your life as you delight yourself in Him (see Psalm 37:4, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 2:13).

Two, pray, believe, and confess that the same prayer that Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-2:10  regarding God’s plans for you/us, is yes and amen in Jesus! (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Three, receive, stay full of, and yield to the person and leadership of the Holy Spirit through actively participating with His spiritual gifts and activities. (see Romans 8:1-17, Ephesians 4:15-21)

Four, know that God’s and our greatest purpose is found in being conformed to the image of Jesus, the very image of God, as sons/daughters of God. Our destiny in Him is to know Him, be like Him in relationship to the Father, and to do the works that He did here – seeking to save that which was lost and reconciling and restoring all of creation and its creatures to it’s/their intended purposes proceeding the sinful fall of man. (see Genesis 1:27-28, John 14:12, Romans 8:22-32, Ephesians 1:3-14, Matthew 18:11)

In summary, knowing God’s will for our lives is found in knowing God and growing in the knowledge of Him in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27-29), while simultaneously living our lives here in the hope of His Kingdom come to bring about a new Heaven and a new earth where He and all of creation will live together in peace and prosperity forever with never ending purpose-full activities. (Revelation 21:1-7).

So our purpose is both now and forever in the knowledge of Jesus and and our Heavenly Father who are with us in Spirit as we do eternal life together!  

 

 

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Grace!

Dear New Song,
 
I was thinking of us as I read this scripture and felt joy and hope and thanksgiving for the part of the body and bride of Christ that we are and are becoming through Him.
 
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8, NIV)
 
Oh His great love and grace for us as expressed through Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection, and impending return. He calls us His friends for whom He has willingly laid down His life as a demonstration of His and the Fathers love for us (Romans 5:8, John 15:13).
Oh the Love and grace given to us through His indwelling Spirit through whom we can have unending fellowship with Him and one another and see demonstrations of His Kingdom power here on earth as it is in Heaven!
It is God’s ability (power) that makes His grace super-abound to us in all things (“all, every, any”) at all times, providing all we need so that we can super-abound, (overflow with excess) in every good work.
If it is good then God wants to do it with us through the power He is providing.
What good is God doing in and through you today? Give Him the glory and He will do more. God always like to “do Him some more” and take us from faith to faith, grace to grace, glory to glory.
I am so thankful for what He has and is providing in Himself in and through us for the reaching of Silver Spring Township and the harvesting of righteousness in every place we sow our seeds of love and grace!
Let us rejoice and be thankful together for His great grace and hope in Christ Jesus in us, the hope of Glory!.
Dave

An Esther Easter

Hello New Song,
 
This past week saw the rare coincidence of the religious celebration of the Jewish Passover, where the blood of a lamb applied to the Jews doorframes caused death to pass over (see Exodus 12), and Easter, where Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the grave thus overcoming death for us who believe in Him as the pure Lamb of God whose blood cleanses us and gives us power over sin, satan, the world, and self (see John chapters 19-20).
 
7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast — as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7-8, NIV).
 
We can see a prophetic type of Jesus as Passover/Savior/Deliverer in the Old Testament book of Esther. In this story we see the Jewish people in captivity to Babylon, a type of oppressive world system, and Haman, a type of satan, seeking their annihilation.
 
We see in Esther a type of Christ. Her Persian name means star, namely Venus, who was the Roman Goddess of love and beauty and the planet second in order from the sun and the most brilliant in the solar system. In Mordecai, we see a type of the Helper, the Holy Spirit, giving counsel and wisdom and even interceding on behalf of God’s people (see John 14:16, Romans 8:26).
 
In this Biblical account, Esther, Mordecai, and others call out to God on theirs and all the Jewish people’s behalf when a death sentence was decreed against them, just as our sin caused death to reign over us (see Esther 4, Romans 3:23-26, 5:21). We then see God intervene through Esther (Jesus), as led by Mordecai (Holy Spirit), turning the enemy’s (Haaman/satan) plans against himself resulting in the Jewish people becoming victorious over their enemies.
 
All this was made possible for them and for us today because “…the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). His righteous life, death, and resurrection has been imputed/credited to us by our faith in Him so that we are free to live by the leading of the Spirit of Liberty and Life in us confident that we too will one day be resurrected by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (see Romans 8:1-4)!
 
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11, NIV).
 
“By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also” (1 Cor 6:14-15, NIV).

Jesus, as Son of God, became a man and subjugated Himself to His Father under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, even to the cross. Yet, because of His faithfulness to the One who would raise Him from the dead (Hebrews 5:6-9), He was given the name above all names and seated above all rulers and authorities as God’s “right hand man”. He, much more than Esther, is the Bright and Morning Star who shines forth the essence of God in the most brilliant fashion (Acts 7:55, Hebrews 1:13, Philippians 2:8-11, Colossians 2:9, Revelation 22:16)! 
 
So let us be encouraged in our daily race of faith knowing that Jesus has run and perfectly completed His race of faith on our behalf and is ever present, along with our Heavenly Father, in the Holy Spirit, to Help us complete ours! 
 
 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV).
 

Stones Rolled Away

I believe the Lord is fulfilling the following word in our midst today – There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it – Matthew 28:2, NIV
 
It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that God the Father raised His Son from the dead and it is the same Holy Spirit that now lives in us and is rolling away those things, those thoughts, those legalistic, graceless beliefs and powers that have kept us trapped in dead works, unable to clearly see the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ in us and in our midst (Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 4:4).
 
Yes, there are times of darkness, even death, events and circumstances that will shake our faith; however, let us be thankful even in those circumstances because God’s redeeming grace and resurrection power can and will be seen as we persevere in faith. After all, to whom shall we go?
 
Our Heavenly Father knows of all our needs and our desire to see our destinies in Him be fulfilled and He is taking what the devil has been doing to steal, kill, and destroy and turning them into opportunities for the life and power of His Son to be seen in and through us. 
 
So let faith arise for God’s loving grace to manifest for every spiritual, emotional, and physical need in our life and those around us, remembering the simple but profound truth of John 3:16-17: 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (NIV). 
 
 

The Temple of His Presence

In 1 Samuel 3:1 and 7, we read that Samuel ministered to God without having seen, heard or known (experience, perceive, discern, confess) Him.
 
3:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.”
 
7 “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him” (NIV).
 
This is usually the state of our relationship with God under the law – weak and limited access and revelation. In Samuel’s case, he had to be in the one place where God dwelt with man on earth, the temple, where the ark of His presence was located.
 
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel (1 Sam 3:2-4, NIV).
 
Whether through faith in Old Covenant Law, or through ignorance, unbelief, or even simple neglect of the gift of God’s presence, we can find ourselves like the priest Eli, in a place of weak sight and the lamp of God’s presence flickering in our lives.
   
Yet today, under the New Covenant, through faith in the doorway of Jesus’ sacrifical body given to God on our behalf on the cross, all who believe in Him have been given unlimited access to intimate communication and communion wtih God:
 
“18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:18-23, NIV).
 
God the Father desires intimacy with us and has given us both His Son and now His Spirit in order to dwell in us, body, soul, and spirit, as His human temple (see John 14:16, 17, 23; 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19). This is where we now can know and serve Him from.
 
Let us meet together in small groups in every development in Silver Spring Township and encourage each other with profound and gracious truths as these in order that we can experience His presence together and that others may see the Light of His presence in us and be drawn to Him as well (see Ephesians 2:21-22, Hebrews 10:24-25).
 
Together in Him,
 
Dave

The High Calling of the Cross of Christ

I was inspired by these words of Charles Spurgeon: “If there be a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of Him who wept for thee and carried thy sins.”
 
When we were in our our weakest estate as sinners before God, Jesus as both God and man, carried our cross.and reconciled us to God and God to us.
 
Are we likewise willing to show mercy and grace to others? Are we willing to intercede and pray for them, encourage them, forgive them, pardon them, bless them, and cover their sins as He did ours? Are we too willing to take up Christ’s ministry of reconciliation here in Silver Spring Township?  
 
These are not easy actions to undertake, in fact this only comes about as the supernatural byproduct of our desiring and going after Him, denying ourselves, and taking up our cross and following Him, the One who joyfully carried the cross for us and took us and our sins into Himself on the cross, even while despising the shame (see Mark 8:34 and Hebrews 12:1-2).
 
Jesus fulfilled His ministry in subjection to His Heavenly Father and the apostle Paul says that we as followers of Christ are to take on the same attitude (Philippians 2:5-11, Hebrews 5:5-10).
 
The apostle Peter even goes so far as to say that this is our calling in Christ: “21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”  23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:20-25, NIV).
 
This high calling comes from Heaven and therefore the same Holy Spirit who was given to assist Jesus in His ministry has also been given to empower us for ours. Let us empty ourselves of our ourselves and be being filled with His Spirit so that His life and ministry is fulfilled here in and through us (see Romans 8:10-11, Ephesians 5:15-21). What a calling! what a life!

No Longer Strangers

In reading the Old Testament story of Ruth we see a snapshot of the love of God for us in Jesus Christ. Boaz was related to Ruth through Naomi and as such was in line to redeem her from any debt she owed and give her citizenship in Israel if he so chose. In return, she would be available to marry him and possibly providing him with a legal heir(s). Naomi would be provided for as well. Sounds a little “commercial” to us but the alternative was a life of destitution for both Naomi and Ruth and aloneness and loss of investment and legacy for Boaz.
 
The thing that caught my “spiritual eye” in chapter two was verse 10, which states: “At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me — a foreigner?” (NIV).
 
This statement was in response to Boaz giving her favor in her gleaning efforts in his harvest fields.She recognized that under the law, she had no rights to glean there as a non-relative and non-Jew. She was completely dependent on Boaz’ mercy and grace for her’s and possibly even Naomi’s lives.   
 
This picture acurately describes the plight of every human being who, being found in sin as non-citizens of Heaven and the Kingdom of God, lacked the resources and even the legal status to pay off their sin-debt and therefore needed a type of Boaz who would come “swiftly” (the meaning of his name) to redeem them from their debt, “purchase them for His very own”, and make them citizens and legal heirs of God (see Romans 3:23, 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
 
Hallelujah! this has been accomplished for us in Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, who has made us Sons of God and co-heirs with Him of eternal life and all the blessings of Heaven, even Heaven here on earth (see Romans 8:12-17). We are now and forevermore, through faith in the perfect works of Jesus Christ as God and man, never again strangers but citizens, family, and friends of God! We are no longer strangers and orphans without legal and loving status subject to the whims and wishes of those who might abuse and neglect us as suits them.

 
In addition, as Lord of the Harvest, He has given us as His co-workers, harvest fields in Silver Spring Township to glean from for our inheritance blessings with Him and to minister His grace to the “Ruths” that we find gleaning in our fields, bringing them into relationship and inheritance with and through our Beloved Boaz, Jesus.
 
Let us pray to the Lord of the Harvest to be and see an increase in workers who will do so lovingly, joyfully, and freely, confident that whatever we sow together here on earth in His name, according to His will, we reap together in Heaven for eternity (see Matthew 9:35-38; 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2).