Jesus said Come, Follow Me!
The contents of this book as stated from scripture are certainly opposed to the flesh and the things that self desires. Most will probably reject the many conclusions of this book in favor of their own beliefs or yet to be fulfilled desires. We must ask ourselves if we are going to live in a manner that we think is right or are we going to follow Godís Word. The former is working on conforming Christ to your image and the latter is denying the flesh (dying to it) and taking on Godís nature and conforming to Christís image. Which do you suppose will ultimately be acceptable to God? We are born sinful, selfish and in rebellion to the things of God. Doctrines of the flesh that placate you by telling you none of this really has to change are in great error with eternal consequences. There is no doubt that to conform to Christís image will require these fleshly desires and lusts to suffer and die Ė for you cannot be one without dying to the other. The flesh and the Spirit are opposed to one another (Rm 8:5-8, 12-14). Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." If your belief allows for the comfort of the flesh, then it is surely opposed to God. What is Godís Word like: Jeremiah 23:29, "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" Most just want to "have it their way." To conform to Christ, SELF has got to die Ė itís a narrow path!
Some will say that they believe in Godís Word, but do not accept the interpretations of this book. This is certainly acceptable assuming that you are working out your own salvation in seeking to know and do Godís will (Jn 7:17, Php 2:12). If such be the case, then the Holy Spirit will lead you in paths of righteousness and teach you Christís gospel. If you are just being religious or just want to affirm your (self) own accepted beliefs, then you may find that God answers you according to the multitude of your idols. Those that have no use for the truth will not be given it (Mk 4:12). God will not give that which is holy unto dogs or cast His pearls before swine (Mt 7:6) Ė these will trample it (arrogant disregard). The scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees were very religious men, but were also totally blind to the truth of Godís Word. They rejected Godís only Son, who only spoke the Fatherís words and did only the Fatherís will. Jesus became the stumblingblock of all the religious and the same is true today. 1 Peter 2:8, "And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." I pray that the Lord will give you eyes to see. The authorís observation (and this lines up with scripture) is that many will be attentive to the things of Christ (Lk 19:48). In other words, there are many hearers (and agree-ers) of the Word. There are not so many doers of the Word. The flesh is determined to have its way. Those that hear and do not do will often cast stones (using the Word) at those who are trying their best to be doers of the Word (Ez 33:32). We endure your stones because we are following in Christís steps Ė Praise God!
What is the will of God? The will of God is that we humble ourselves before Him, see our sinfulness, selfishness and rebellion, repent and lay down our will and follow in the steps of Christ. We live our faith in love and obedience to Jesusí direction as we are led by His Spirit and conform to His image (Jn 6:40). Our hearts and minds must be renewed to do His will. Yield yourself and surrender your heart. Proverbs 23:26, "My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." John 6:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Let us all follow!
We must recognize that all that calls itself the church is not the church. There have been two thousand years of man-centered religious pomp, ceremony and improvement. The leaven has almost worked its way through the meal. The author does not attempt to try and straighten it out Ė I have no such authority. The few examples used herein are directed at no one in particular, but the guilty will hopefully come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and seek repentance. The author realizes that there are many sincere people who truly desire to worship the Lord, but have become caught up in these religious institutions. These religious organizations have grabbed the spotlight and brought glory to themselves. Many individuals have become tainted in the process. The author only desires to point you to Jesus Christ (Ez 33:9). He is the answer to all the needs you may have if you are humble and sincere in heart. You must be led of the Spirit for this is where the truth is. Let us all begin to follow Jesus and take that first step.
Ephesians 3:14-21, "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
This book represents a glimpse into the ongoing relationship that the author has with the Lord. These are the things the Lord is saying to me. These are the things that the author endeavors to live out daily Ė not in my strength, but that which comes from the Lord. This book is written to encourage, exhort, edify, admonish and teach the reader. I pray that God may speak similarly to your heart and have full confidence that He will if you truly seek Him. For there is one true God and none else (Deut 4:35, 39, 1 Kg 8:60, Is 45:5-6, 18, 21-22, 46:9). There is one path (way) and not many. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide your path. In closing, I have endeavored to present the truth of Godís Word. I pray that the Lord will confirm to you the reader, the validity with signs, wonders and power in a way that will truly bear witness to this truth (Mk 16:20, Heb 2:3-4, 1 Thess 1:5, 1 Cor 2:1-5, 4:20).
Hebrews 13:20-21, "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
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