The Body Of Christ–Part 1

Ephesians 4:15-16–Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
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We are to go about sharing the truth with everyone. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. We are not to remain as children but are to grow up in all things into Christ who is the head. Christ is the head of the church which is His spiritual body. The whole body (every member) has the life and nature of Christ flowing in and through them even as the life and nature of the vine flows in and through the branch. The whole body shares in this oneness, this unity wherein we are perfectly and closely joined together. Our unity and closeness is brought about by that which every member of the body of Christ supplies. By the proper functioning of every member of the body of Christ there is brought about the growth of the body and the building up of itself in love.

Every member of the body of Christ has a function and gifts that they have received from God, even as our body has many members and each member of our body has a function and certain gifts or abilities. Each member of the body of Christ must then function and use the gifts that God has given. As we do so we will experience unity and grow as individuals and as the church of God.

Wait On The Lord

Psalm 27:14– Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
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Sometimes when we face things that are hard to deal with we become fearful and anxious. It may be people seeking to do us harm or speaking words of cruelty. It could be difficult circumstances. It could be something physical, emotional, financial, or social. It could be something we are going through or something a friend or family member is going through. It is time to act upon this scripture.

Wait on the Lord–this means to remain in a place until the arrival of someone expected, in this case the Lord.

Be of good courage–don’t be afraid but believe. Believe in God’s word and believe in God.

He shall strengthen your heart–He shall strengthen you in your innermost nature.

Jesus spoke a parable to this end that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1). We are to always pray so that we don’t become fearful, discouraged, or anxious. Prayer is an act of sharing our problems and burdens with God and waiting on Him to answer. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). God says, don’t be worried or anxious. He says, “in every thing” meaning in every case in which you begin to worry or become anxious, pray. He wants us to share with Him in prayer our needs and wants relative to the situation–make them known unto God. God’s peace will then keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. God’s peace passes all understanding–it is so great we can’t understand it even when we experience it. His peace will free us from worry and anxiety. When God gives us this peace it takes the place of our worry and anxiety. It is God saying, I’ve got it. “Wait, I say, on the Lord”. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

Letters From God–Book Of Hebrews 3:12-19

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My child, be very careful lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from Me, the living God. All should give warnings and advice to each other daily, for fear that they might be disobedient to Me through the deceitfulness of sin. All who have been born of My Spirit have entered into a spiritual union with Christ which will be evident if they hold the beginning of their faith steadfast unto the end. So now if you will hear My voice, do not harden your heart as in the day of provocation. For many who came out of Egypt by Moses, when they had heard, did provoke Me but not all of them. But with whom was I grieved for forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did I swear that they should not enter into My rest, but to them that believed not? So you see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12-19
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The Wicked Are Their Own Worst Enemy

Psalm 9:14-17–I will rejoice in thy salvation. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executes: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
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The heathen and the wicked bring about their own ruin. The wickedness they plan and commit is their own undoing. It brings about an earthly judgment and penalty but ultimately will result in an eternal penalty. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The Lord will execute judgment in which the wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God. The wages of sin is death and hell. However it is not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Repent and Live

Ezekiel 18:30-32–Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
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I will judge you. God tells us this to warn us that there is a judgment day coming. He will judge everyone according to their ways. It is God’s desire for everyone to repent and turn from their transgressions so their iniquity shall not be their ruin. When we repent and turn from our transgressions we are to cast them away from us. We do not make us a new heart and a new spirit. This we cannot do. However when we repent and turn from all our transgressions and cast them away God will give us a new heart and a new spirit. God has no pleasure in the death of him that dies. It is His desire for everyone to turn and live by receiving eternal life. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance“ (2 Peter 3:9). If you have not done this I urge you to do it as soon as possible.

God Formed Us For Himself

Isaish 43:21–This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.
Isaish 43:25– I, even I, am he that blots out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
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God has formed us for Himself. The Lord is God. He has made us, and not we our selves. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalms 100:3). When we come to know God personally we will definitely show forth his praise. We will praise Him because of the relationship we have with Him. Also, we will praise Him because we have come to understand that He has blotted out our transgressions and that He will not remember our sins. Because He blots them out and does not remember them, it is as if they never happened. He does all of this for Himself because He loves us and wants us for Himself.

Endued With Power

Luke 24:49–Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Acts 1:8–Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:16-18–But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Acts 2:32-33–This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the Promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
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The Father had promised to pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh. The purpose of this was that Christ’s followers would be endued with power from on high. We receive this power after that the Holy Spirit comes upon us. The reason we need to be endued with power from on high is that we might live as God wants us to live and that we might minister when, where, and how our Father wants us to. Jesus said He would send the promise of the Father. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:38-39). Jesus was raised up by God, seated by the right hand of God, exalted and glorified. As the Holy Spirit flows from our innermost being our lives will have influence and impact others. The word river’s implies we will influence others in different ways. Knowing the Holy Spirit is flowing through us is the greatest blessing we can experience in this life.

We Have Been Chosen

John 15:16–Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
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We have been chosen. The fact that we have been chosen means that He first saw us. Having seen us He chose us. He chose us for Himself.

We have been ordained. He has ordained (appointed) us, meaning he has given us a purpose in life, something that he wants us to do. We are to go and bring forth fruit. As a branch of the tree cannot bear fruit by itself, neither can we. It is the Holy Spirit in us who will bring forth fruit in our lives. He will manifest Himself through us in the form of the “gifts of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians chapter 12) and the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive” (John 7:38-39). “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God works in us not only to bring our will in line with His will but he works in us to do of His good pleasure. This is why our fruit will remain. Because it is God who dwells within us that brings it forth.

Answered prayer. That whatsoever we shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus, He will give it to us. If we examine the prayers of Jesus we will see that his prayers were related to the mission and ministry the Father had given Him to do. Our prayers related to our mission and ministry will always be answered by our Father. His good pleasure is to see us bear fruit and He will give us what we need to accomplish that.

The Vine And The Branches

John 15:1-5–I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
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In these verses Jesus speaks of our relationship with Him. Our relationship with Him is to be a sharing of life and a sharing of purpose. The spiritual life and its nature flows from Jesus into us, much as the life and the nature of a vine flows into its branches. This is to result in us bearing fruit. Without him, in our own natural ability, we can do nothing. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Our Heavenly Father desires that we bear much fruit and He therefore purges and removes from us that which does not contribute to the production of fruit. This is the pruning away of the old nature, the flesh, the old ways of thinking, and the old ways of acting and living. The cutting, purging instrument is the word of God, the sword of the Spirit. Jesus said, “You are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3). As we saw yesterday, “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. We must continually expose ourselves to this word of God and the purging and cleansing it produces.

We must abide and maintain this vital relationship with Jesus where He is in us and we are in Him. We must draw upon and receive into our self the life and nature of Jesus day by day. As we do this we will grow, be strong, and bear much fruit. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Meditate on this abiding relationship. Let us think deeply and continuously upon it until it goes beyond a head knowledge to an experiential knowledge. Until it goes beyond something we know to something we experience. He is in us. We are in Him.

God make this relationship more and more real to us as the days go by. Amen.

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 3:1-12

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My child, you have been set apart because of the calling you have received from Me.  Now consider Christ Jesus who was sent by Me and is the High Priest of the Christian faith.  I appointed him and he was faithful to Me as Moses also was faithful among all of his people.  Jesus was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he as the creator has more honor than that which was created.  For man has created, but he that created all things including man is God.  Moses was faithful among all his people as a servant of Mine to speak those things which I revealed unto him; but Christ as My son is over all My people, who hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.  Wherefore as My Holy Spirit says, “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden you heart as the people did in the wilderness and provoked and tempted Me.  They tempted Me and proved Me while seeing My works for forty years.  Because of this I was grieved with them and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.  So I swore in My wrath, that they would not enter into My rest.  They would not enter the promised land.  Hebrews 3:1-11

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