Galatians 2:20 Bible Lesson

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me

**Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ...”

But in truth, when Jesus was crucified Paul was nowhere in the picture!  He was NOT!  And soon thereafter, he was firmly established in the Scripture record as…

  • Paul, the Christ hater….
  • Paul, the church ravager…
  • Paul, the vicious terrorist…
  • Paul, the murderer…
  • Paul, the tormentor and bane of the believer’s existence…

So when he talks about being CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST he’s obviously speaking of a much greater reality and truth than just physicality and locations, or even timing…so let’s just put a pin in THAT for a bit, and we’ll get back to it in a few minutes…maybe. 

But when he writes of the NOW….He is…

  • Paul the meek…
  • Paul the humble…
  • Paul the church builder…
  • APOSTLE Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ….
  • Paul, the ‘father in Christ’ to many men, ministries, and churches…..
  • Paul, probably the greatest apostolic theologian to ever walk in shoe leather!!

And in THAT historical truth…we can see the magnificent LASCIVIOUSNESS of the Grace & Mercy of God…

Oh, I know you only know that word LASCIVIOUS as a bad word…but in addition to LUST, and SHAMELESSNESS it also means UNBRIDLED EXCESS.

Let me direct your minds to the UNBRIDLED EXCESSES of a God, who is RICH in mercy to every last one of us!

Ephesians 2:12‭-‬13 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

  • We who were dead in sin!
  • Without Christ!
  • Strangers! 
  • Foreigners! 
  • Aliens from all that is good and clean, righteous and holy!  

Now made nigh unto God by the blood of Christ!

THANK GOD FOR THE BLOOD!

THANK GOD FOR THE BLOOD!


**Galatians 2:20nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me

Colossians 1:‬27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

I CANNOT LIVE FOR GOD…NO I CANNOT… NOT ON MY OWN!

I MUST have His Spirit indwelling me…His Grace & Peace working in me!

Every letter (epistle) Paul wrote except Hebrews, has this expression somewhere in the first 7 verses of the first chapter… “…grace and peace from God our father, and the Lord Jesus Christ…

It’s a divine impartation of the Spirit that Paul is trying to convey to them…AND US

Philippians 2:13 the most perfect definition of GRACE I’ve found yet in the NT…

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

It is ONLY God working in and through me that gives me the DESIRE…and then ENABLES me to do what pleases Him!


**Galatians 2:20and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

What is the faith OF the son of God?  

Because Paul says, THAT is the kind of faith I want to live by…not faith IN the son of God!  But the faith OF the son of God!

It’s a faith of… 
HEARING & SAYING, and
SEEING & DOING

Paul said in Romans 10:4-8, For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: THAT is, the word of faith, which we preach
;

He is quoting Moses from…

Deuteronomy 30:11-14. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 
12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it
.

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, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Somewhere He heard the Father say…(Matthew 11:28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Somewhere He heard the Father say…(John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Somewhere He heard the Father say…(John 16:33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

OH, THANK GOD!

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Somewhere in the Spirit He saw the Father…

  • open blind eyes
  • unstop deaf ears
  • heal an issue of blood
  • heal lepers
  • raise a little dead girl
  • cast out all manner of demons

NOT BRAGGING…JUST SAYING IF I CAN, ANYBODY CAN!  I HAVE PERSONALLY SEEN…

  • blind eyes opened
  • deaf ears unstopped
  • bones put back into proper alignment
  • AIDS healed in the waters of baptism
  • cancer healed
  • diabetes cured
  • depression and bi-polarism healed
  • spinal meningitis healed
  • chronic pain cast out
  • demon spirits cast out
  • people delivered from all manner of habits and addictions

NOTHING OF THIS LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS WORKS WITHOUT PRAYER COMMUNICATION WITH OUR FATHER

BROTHERS…IT’S TIME TO STEP UP!  AND MAN UP!  AND LIVE OUR LIVES BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD!

.


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What is This Thing Called Love?

This thought is by no means original with me.  I first heard it nearly 40 years ago, from P. A. of W. Bishop R. W. MacMurray. I wouldn’t want to take away any honor from him for delivering it first. It has stuck with me all these years, and through the night was again churning around in my spirit. It is powerful, and bears repeating. And so I commit it to you faithful readers.  

There Are 7 Types of Love mentioned in classical Greek literature…loosely based on classical readings, especially of Plato and Aristotle, and on J.A. Lee’s book, Colours of Love.

Everyone seems to be hankering after romantic love, but few of us realize that far from being timeless and universal, romantic love is in fact a modern construct, one that emerged in tandem with the novel. In Madame Bovary (1856), itself a novel, Gustave Flaubert tells us that Emma Bovary only found out about romantic love through ‘the refuse of old lending libraries’. These books, he wrote:

…were all about love and lovers, damsels in distress swooning in lonely lodges, postillions slaughtered all along the road, horses ridden to death on every page, gloomy forests, troubles of the heart, vows, sobs, tears, kisses, rowing-boats in the moonlight, nightingales in the grove, gentlemen brave as lions and gentle as lambs, too virtuous to be true, invariably well-dressed, and weeping like fountains.

Seven different types of love…

But only four (4) of these are mentioned in relation to Scripture context or setting… they are…

  • Eros
  • Storge
  • Phileo, and 
  • Agape

1. Eros – not used in NT because it began to develop the connotation of strictly lust.

Eros is sexual or passionate love…

That is not of necessity “dirty love” or something unlawful or forbidden… because without that passion, that desire, we could not fulfill the commandment of God to “…Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: …Genesis 1:28 

Genesis 2:24 declares unto us, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”  

We teach strongly the concept of “leaving & cleaving”

The problem is when that’s ALL YOU’VE GOT!  And you can’t get along together ANY TIME EXCEPT BEDTIME!

That’s the reason there is so much rampant promiscuity and infidelity!  Sneaking around… tipping up and down the street, and across town. It isn’t lasting love, it’s lust and passion run amok!

“Those who marry where they do not love, will love where they do not marry.”

3. Storge
Storge (‘store-gae’) or familial love, is the kind of love between parents and their children. It is the fondness born out of familiarity or dependency and, does not hang on our personal qualities. 

It is a STRONG natural bond of a mother or father for their children. 

It is the lack of this kind of love, Paul said, would characterise the last days when people would be “without natural affection“…

  • child abuse
  • child abandonment
  • neglect
  • abortion

Brothers and Sisters, we’re seeing that day played out in front of us in full living color!

Back in my day…

They married to give the baby a name…and it was shame ever after…but now, just find a sperm donor and I’ll raise my child on my own. 

They would do ANYTHING for the sake of the children!  Their passion for their mate has cooled…or altogether flown the coop…but don’t touch those little ones! 

Some only have that… 

Storge is a powerful compelling force in and of itself, and it is necessary in any healthy family; I admire and champion the presence and display of it…but make no mistake, it’s an incomplete affection on its own.

2. Philia
It is the HIGHEST FORM OF HUMAN COMPASSION AND CAMARADERIE!  

The hallmark of philia, or friendship, is shared goodwill. Aristotle believed that a person can bear goodwill to another for one of three reasons: that he is useful; that he is pleasant; and, above all, that he is good, that is, rational and virtuous. 

Friendships founded on goodness are associated not only with mutual benefit but also with companionship, dependability, and trust.

Scripture tells of the love of David & Jonathan…

1 Samuel 18:1 “…the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

In the NT Paul has ALOT to say about this kind of love…

Colossians 2:2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding…

Colossians 2:19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

Ephesians 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

And of course David’s beautiful statement in Psalms 133:1‭-‬3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;  3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Philia, or phileo is the mark of a life truly given to the Christ Life in love and service. Marked indelibly with the Peace of God, love of the brethren, anointing, maturity, strength, and the blessing of God.

All of these types, or “shades” of Love are simple stepping stones to the love of God!

4. Agape
John 3:16  For God SO loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus said, in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  

John 13:34‭-‬35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  

It is an impossible task!  

Agape is the Love of God. It can ONLY be expressed as we allow His Presence to access our hearts and lives and flow through us like a conduit channeling His love and compassion to others. 

It is totally unattainable in our own strength and power.  We MUST access His Grace and Strength to enable us in this kind of love!

1 John 3:16‭, 18  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

SONG…
Jesus use me
Oh Lord don’t refuse me
Surely there’s a work that I can do
Even if it’s humble
Lord, cause my will to crumble
Though the cost be great
I’ll work for you!

.


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TESHUVAH

I’ll be short today…

When the Apostle Paul said, I die daily…he was talking about a daily dying out to sin, the domination of fleshly desires, and the influence of this world. In a word, Repentance….daily.

The Hebrew/Aramaic word for repentance is TESHUVAH. Which means not just to stop doing wrong and turn from sin, but ALSO TO RETURN TO GOD and His Teaching and Instruction. To RE-FORM our thinking around God and His Word!

It’s time for a Great Reformation and Returning in our lives AND thinking, to a brand new obedience to His Teaching and Instruction!

.


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On Conduits, Clinkers, and Completeness…

I thank God today for sensitive-hearted, spiritual folk who will yield themselves to being a conduit for the Word and Spirit of the Lord to flow through bringing life, healing, and peace to wounded people.

Bishop Wright, of Annapolis, Maryland, has been spending some real quality time in “teach mode” on this matter. He is doing a phenomenal job on Facebook, teaching on the difference between spending our lives trying to stay “filled with the Spirit”, as opposed to knocking the bottom (self, and its will) out of the equation, and becoming conduits of the flow of God’s ministering spirit to those who need Him. In that way God does the work, the job gets done, and God gets the glory, and we get to be there and watch…and worship Him, instead of ourselves.

Anyway, I mentioned all that because it’s been brought very forcefully to my attention, how even good, well-intentioned people living for God, can go sometimes for years with what my Uncle Victor used to call, a “clinker in their thinker”. Something that doesn’t always cause a problem, but occasionally shows up (usually in disguise) to wreck their day, or week. The problem stems from the practice of dealing with the particular “wreck” and never REALLY getting down to the root cause of it.

A good example would be if someone left the door open here in Alabama long enough, there’s a good possibility a snake could find its way indoors. Our quite natural response is to find that rascal and make him a “good” (read that, dead) snake. Because it does not belong IN THE HOUSE! It could hurt or kill a loved one, IN THE HOUSE! We might even get our snake-gaiters on, strap on a big knife, grab the shotgun and a pocket full of #4-shot and go on a SNAKE HUNT! You can blame the snake if you want for being “evil”; But let me ask you something…WHO left the door open?

“Clinkers in our thinkers” ARE OPEN DOORS! They let snakes (bad spirits) in! They wreak havoc in our lives…steal our peace…disrupt the harmony of our homes and churches…end good relationships…and, damage good godly people!

Some call those “clinkers” STRONGHOLDS. That’s exactly what they are! The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 we’ve got to pull them down. You’ve got to get to the root, identify the target (stronghold) for what it is…the enemy of your soul…and destroy it and its influence RIGHT NOW! That’s right! That rotten thinking, NOT the devil, is what is really poisoning your life! The devil might have put it there, but YOU gave it life and nurtured it! That doesn’t make you bad, or mean the hand of God is not on your life! It just means you’re human like the rest of us!

The way to pull that stronghold down and destroy it is Repent of it! HebTESHUVAH…doesn’t just mean stop and don’t do it anymore, but, RETURN to God and His Word! Reform that area of your thinking! Then Worship God, and seal that work of Repentance in your life.

The reason I can tell you these things so clearly, is I just got rid of a major “clinker” in my own thinker. And I thank God for my brother, Dr W.E. Willoughby who took the time to be a CONDUIT, to bring me closer to COMPLETENESS. I am NOT finished yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.

Love to all. Let’s go take on the day for Jesus!


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Clarifying Kingdom Purposes in Disciple-making

God is vitally and absolutely interested in 3 things in us as people of His kingdom…
• What we know…
• What we are…
• What we do…

This lesson has come out of many days of study and reflection, countless hours of soul searching prayer, and a genuine desire to be exactly what Jesus Christ wants of me. I don’t mean just this year, or over the next 12 months; but for the rest of my days, however many or few they may be.

I say that because I still see many people, ministries, churches, etc. spending time…sometimes a lot of time, pulling together ideas and concepts to form a “Vision Statement” for the people to focus on for the coming year. The problem, as one of my Elders so capably articulated, is that in an effort to be unique and riveting, without parroting everyone else’s “Vision Statement”; they cut and paste something from one group, and fit it in with a cut-n-paste from another successful ministry, along with a good dose of motivational quotes from the currently most popular church-growth gurus; Cut-Paste-Edit-and Print and, SHAZAM! “This is our vision for the coming year!” But that’s NOT a vision, IT’S A GRAVEN IMAGE! And that makes its followers idolators!

What if…let’s just say…What if, we looked ONLY to the scripture for our Purpose; Only following the words, and stated purposes of Jesus and the apostles. Could we, would we, allow ourselves to be governed, and our lives and futures determined by a firm mooring in nothing but the word of the Lord? That’s what I’m attempting.

As I stated earlier, God is vitally interested in 3 things…

1) What we know…
Admonitions in several places in Jesus’ own words tell us to take heed not only to WHAT we hear, but also HOW we hear. Not only is the source and content of our doctrine important, but also the attitude and spirit we have when we hear it. Because BOTH strongly affect what we know of Him. [Mark 4:24, Luke 8:18]

It is known and proven in many different venues, whether it be in the motivational arena, psycho/social imprinting, or spiritual training pursuits; what you set before your eyes, keeping an image foremost in your mind’s eye to focus on, is what you are going to get.

Paul said, “…I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” [1Cor. 2:2]

Paul also expressed his longing to know Him…“in the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering” [Philippians 3:10]

He then exhorted all of us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: …he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant,…. he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [Philippians 2:5-8]

But how do we do that?! Really, how do we have His mind? What mental/spiritual process do we follow to have HIS mind, HIS strength of purpose, HIS iron-willed determination to go on, to finish His mission? The answer…IT’S ALL ABOUT FOCUS! A FOCUS born out of an intimate relationship with the Father. Born out of many long nights spent in isolation bringing His mind, His will and His flesh into alignment with the Father’s Purpose in the earth. Paul said, I want to know that!

Here it is; The Focus of Jesus Christ!
“…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” [Hebrews 12:1-3]

His focus was NOT on the cross, the humiliation, the nails, a crown of thorns, or a spear in His side! His focus was on the completion of His Purpose! His focus was on the completion of His redemptive work! His focus was on just working out the next few moments endured on a cross to cry out in a voice that could be heard from eternity to eternity, “IT…IS…FINISHED!” Signifying to us the complete destruction of ALL the works and plans of Hell against His people, His plan, and His Kingdom Purpose. Paul said, I want to know that!

Since that time of victory at Calvary, He is waiting for us to walk out the victorious life of conquest, that He settled in the heavens for us!

2) What we are…
I cannot tell you what you are! I may be able to glimpse, by the prophetic glass, hints of what you MAY be, in possible destiny with God. But YOU and you alone, wrestling in prayer through long lonely nights…and wading through interminable days of pain and process, will learn what God has for you. Destiny is not some cheap, easy prize to be gained with a large enough offering, a set of inspirational DVD’s, and a weekend seminar. You’re going to have to walk with God FOR YOURSELF, and fellowship Him in lonely, intimate places for that knowledge to come to you. But when it lays hold of you, you will be able to say like Peter in John 6, “…We believe AND ARE SURE…”! There is nothing that will strengthen and stabilize you like being CONVINCED! When the crowd walks away, and it’s no longer popular, and you are weak and weary with process… CONVICTIONS, NOT PREFERENCES will hold you up in that day!

Jesus knew when He was 12 what His purpose and destiny was. It was the sureness and conviction of that knowledge that kept Him through 18 years of inactivity. Assailed by the howling winds of uncertainty, beaten by the unmerciful pummeling of the daily, weekly, monthly GRIND of ordinary things; He could persevere through the sure conviction of His Father’s purpose.

3) What we do….
Solomon said, “…Even a child is known by his doings”. [Proverbs 20:11]
It is incumbent upon us, to translate what we trust and know of God by faith, into an habitual pattern of “obedient doings”! We call that FAITHFULNESS! The fallacy of this faith of the New Age, an abstract “mental assent” toward God and His Word, has been with us too long! It is heresy, pure and simple. The “faith” of the scripture…righteous faith…is a faith of HEARING AND DOING!

Jesus Himself equated His own Faithfulness and Obedience accomplished in His earthly Purpose by 3 things in John 17:4-6…He told the Father in His prayer, I have….

    1. Glorified You!
    In every thing you asked me to do, I’ve given You all the glory! In our living, we MUST find from His Word, His focused mindset, His habits and patterns of living and ministry, His motivations, etc. and emulate them to bring glory to Abba Elohim!

    2. Finished the work You called me to do!
    Paul’s testimony of his own calling and commissioning from Jesus says the Lord told him he was to…
    • [Acts 26:16-18] Open spiritually blind eyes, AND
    • Deliver the lost from darkness and the authority of Satan….we do that through Prayer
    • Promote the Salvation of lost people…We do that through Preaching. The preaching of Repentance, the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ did the job for Phillip pretty good down in Samaria. [Acts 8:5-8, 12, Rom. 14:17]

    3. Manifested Your Name!
    • He did that through positive works, witness, and spiritual ministry…[Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38, 1John 3:8]

May we find the Grace of our God in these last days to put away the binding, insufficient strictures of man-made and fleshly inspired programs; and find again fresh, sweet paths of spiritual insight in Kingdom purposes, to follow Him, that will mold us into the instruments and implements He can use to build His great House! Let it be so….


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The Lampstand Speaks

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I heard a precious, soulwinner just recently express how they had given, and gone, and worked until there was just about nothing left. They sounded SO weary, and frustrated…NOT with God, neither with the people they ministered to, or with the church! Their frustration seemed to be solely aimed at their own self for not being some type of “Super-saint”, or unstoppable force for God and Truth all by themselves!

It took me back to the sadness I felt when one of the greatest men of God that I’ve ever known suffered a nervous breakdown after years of powerful, missions-oriented ministry. He was extremely gifted and VERY effective locally, regionally, and globally. There seemed to be no bounds to his ability and energy. He was a hyper-drive, type-A personality with the biggest heart for people you could imagine. He was a prayerful man!

I was too young at the time of his breakdown to understand about what had happened to him. And it was at a time when the vocabulary of such things was couched in terms like “stress management”, and “burn out”, and for sure Pentecostals didn’t talk or even much think about therapy. The end-all answer for most everything was “hit the prayer room, bubba”. But know this, while praying in the Spirit IS MOST ASSUREDLY a step in the right direction; a good “tongue-talking” experience IS NOT ALL you need for a balanced and enduring faith walk. Fellowship with God by the Spirit in prayer is only half of the equation! There’s a whole other dimension of our Faith-walk involved, in the Word, that many rarely or at least very shallowly tap into. That is, beyond a tenuous grasp of very basic fundamental doctrinal truths.

The Word of God is FULL of a whole host of examples and illustrations giving us understanding of many different areas of life; and how to structure our “doings” to be successful and content in the work we do with God!

One of the richest sources in all of the scripture for understanding, inspiration, and revelation is found within the Old Testament Tabernacle Plan. Within the rich typology of its placement, elements, structure, and practices, many spiritually astute scholars see the Tabernacle as the “grandfather clause” of all spiritual revelation. Within the understandings provided by the Tabernacle, we can clearly see the Plan and Purpose of God spanning Time, from Eternity to Eternity!

If we look at the Tabernacle in a 3-dimensional break down; with the Outer Court being the first dimension of God’s Judgment on man’s works, typified (or, symbolized) by wood (man), overlaid with brass (judgment). The Holy Place, the second dimension, in which the majority of furniture and implements were wood (man) overlaid with gold (deity), thus symbolizing God working WITH man in spiritual ministry. And lastly in the Most Holy Place, the third dimension, where the Ark of the Covenant was made entirely of pure gold (deity), symbolizing man having ceased from his works and flowing fully in the “rest” of God. That doesn’t mean he gets to sit around all day and do nothing, no, it just simply means he (man) is not doing HIS thing anymore, but now totally involved in the flow of the Spirit working through him.

With all that in mind, there is a peculiarity in the Holy Place (2nd Dimension) where God works with man, that I believe is wanting to speak with us today. That is, the fact that in this area of God/man mutual cooperation the symbolism seems to be off in the “candlestick”. It is made ENTIRELY of gold, NOT wood overlaid with gold. So the cooperative God/man scenario must involve more than the simple constructive elements of the item in question. And the truth of our lesson today is found in the maintenance program of the “candlestick”.

First, the term “candlestick” is misplaced here and a source of insufficient understanding. The term for this piece more accurately rendered is “lampstand”. The Menora, or lampstand, does not give off light and heat from candles in each of the knops at the top of the seven branches. The light comes from a wicking system that extends from the base which holds the pure, beaten olive oil, up through the branches to each of the various knops. The God/man cooperative plan has the lampstand being the operative structure for the flow of light in the Holy Place. The consistent, diligent trimming of the wicks, and keeping the oil supply sufficient for the continual light being the duty of those who minister in that area. On a side note, the wicking for the lampstand actually came from the retired garments of the priesthood which over time had been soaked and permeated with priestly anointing. They were not discarded, but ended their days in the production of light in the Holy Place.

The summary of the whole tale comes down to this. A candle gives off light and heat from the expenditure of SELF! It eventually burns itself out! No matter how beautiful and brilliant the light, IT CANNOT LAST perpetually. Neither can the person in ministry! No matter how gifted and driven one may be; no matter the strength of the ambition, there is an inevitable expended END to the one who operates in their own energies. However, the one who draws their sustenance and energies from the life and light giving supply of Oil “in the bowl” can operate indefinitely, in perpetuity without interruption! What peace that comes from resting in the life-giving supply of He who is the Light of the world!

Yes! Let me trim the wicks, and find a fresh daily infusing of His Holy Presence in the bowl of my life. I can then walk and minister and operate in my Christian walk with Peace and God-supplied rest, allowing His Light to shine through me to a dark world. He is my rest! He is my supply! I will trust and rely on Him and never be defeated and burned out.

Blessings to all of you faithful readers. Thank you for reading!


Visit our Inspirational blog » For Love of the Truth

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Bread: We are His Body 4

This is our last Post in the Bread series. If you’re just joining us you can find Lesson 1 » HERE Lesson 2 » HERE, and Lesson 3 » HERE.


Our grain has now gone from the Field into the Garner….then to the Threshing Floor….then to the Winnowing Table….then stored in the Curing Room, ground at the Mill, and placed back on the shelf until the time when it is finally brought from the shelf into the kitchen to BEGIN the process of becoming Bread for the Master’s Table.

Don’t think for a second that the times of brokenness are past. However, at this point, most of the separating and dividing processes are past. What remains are the mixing, blending, and baking processes that will take us to the Master’s Table.

THE BLENDING
The sifted wheat flour is put into bowl, then Oil (type of Holy Ghost/anointing) is added. In this process of mixing and blending you can no longer see the oil clearly, nor can you distinguish the flour, as flour, for it takes on a new consistency. It becomes dough. It is NOT just wheat, and it is NOT just oil. This is SUCH a powerful understanding! We’ve been crushed, broken, and ground to powder! While the Lord has overseen ALL of these processes in our lives, it is only NOW, here in the mixing bowl that we can finally see some of the end Purpose of His will in us! We’re not really WHEAT anymore! He is NOT just OIL anymore! We are IN Christ! Christ is IN us! We have blended together so that we are lost in His Purpose, and He shines out in all our doings!

    Colossians 1:25-27 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles
    ; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

    Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

“Only when you’re willing to lose your identity, will God give up some of his identity in your life and ministry.”
~Bishop Chester Wright

When you don’t care who gets the credit! Just so long as HE gets the glory!

THE FIRE, THE TABLE, AND THE BREAKING
After the blending—we think we’re ready —but NOT yet—even with the anointing. Into the heat of the oven we go. After the oven…a short time of cooling off. THEN TO THE TABLE…

WE’RE HERE! PRAISE GOD! We’re finally in the arena, the place for which we have endured all that has gone on before.

The final process then, is to be BLESSED, AND BROKEN ONCE AGAIN and then Given, that is dealt IN BROKENNESS to a hungry, needy world! At this point, we have finally learned the joy of Brokenness! It is SO the joy of His way!

JESUS SAID, “TAKE EAT: THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU…”

FINDING HIM IN BROKEN PLACES…it is only in the broken places of life that our eyes are truly opened in revelation to who He is and what He can do and be in our lives. Let us, Oh Lord, as You did despising the shame, FIX OUR EYES on the Joy that is set before us! That as Your Body, we can find our Purpose in becoming a nurturing portion of Living Bread to a world that is hungry for Truth!

Blessings to all of you faithful readers. Thank you for reading!


Visit our Inspirational blog » For Love of the Truth

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J. S. Willoughby’s Amazon Author’s Page

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