Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God calls to humanity and He doesn’t change His mind.
His first call to us is unto salvation.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Then God calls us sons - Galatians 3:26-4:7
When we have faith to believe in Christ Jesus and accept God’s Word as truth, we become adopted sons of God and heirs of His promises. The Holy Spirit reveals God as Father to us and establishes a relationship with Him.
Once we are cleansed from sin, established in our relationship and position then He calls us into service.
Our acts of service are using the gifts God gives us to bring Him glory and honor. You may not be called to the five-fold ministry; however, everyone is called to the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:18-21) This service unto God means that we are called to bring others to Christ.
God never intended for His body to be inactive. We are called to action. When we ask Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, we are submitting ourselves to His Lordship. We should be willing to serve Him and others faithfully.
In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:15-28), the master gave each servant talents and expected them to do something with their talents. The master became angry when the one servant hid his talent and didn’t do anything with it. I believe that God is grieved when we choose to hide our talents and not do anything.
Believers belong to the Kingdom of Heaven and our King, Jesus is calling His church, His body to do what He has commanded us to do.
Have you ever been in a group conversation and someone mentioned a scene from a movie? They talked about the action, romance or comedy and the emotions they experienced during that scene. However, because you didn’t see the movie, you really couldn’t connect with them or fully grasp their concept of what was happening during that scene. You may have felt “lost” because you had no personal knowledge of what they were talking about. You may have heard about the movie scene but you did not experience it for yourself.
I know that I have had this happen to me. Someone will describe a luscious meal that they had in great detail. So much so that my mouth will begin to water thinking about how wonderful it must taste. Yet I cannot tell you what it tasted like to me, because I did not have the actual experience of eating the meal.
In the Bible, there is an account of men who had heard of the working of the Holy Spirit and the miracles happening through Paul and the apostles. So they tried to do something similar based upon what they had heard not what they had experienced.
Acts 19:11-15 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, £“We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
The Jewish exorcists tried to “call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits”. Notice though, that they said, “by the Jesus whom Paul preaches”. They did not say “by the Name of the Lord Jesus whom we know”.
Their knowledge of Jesus was through Paul’s teaching and through hearing of the miracles. Preaching of the Word is the way God speaks to people and reveals Himself to us. However, if we do not experience for ourselves, first- hand knowledge, it is just words spoken.
I can share my testimony with you and you can be inspired by it, and even become a little excited by my experiences. And our testimony should inspire and excite others. It should point them to Jesus and His marvelous miracles.
However, if you hear my testimony and all it becomes is just a testimony, words spoken with little or no response, then my experiences never become your experiences. You can never know the presence of Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit if you stay at hearing and not move beyond that to experiencing Him for yourself.
Notice that the evil spirit said, “Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?” Who are you? Are you a Child of God, known in heaven by God and known by the evil spirits as God’s Son or Daughter? Or are you like the sons of Sceva?
I encourage you to move beyond hearing about HIM to having a personal experience with God. If you have never asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you can do it right now. It is not too late for you to experience "first-hand" a wonderful relationship with Him.
Romans 10:9-10 says, "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
If you believe in the Lord Jesus and confess him as Lord, you shall be saved.
Pray this prayer:
Father God, I know that I am a sinner and I need to be saved. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me from sin. I acknowledge that Jesus is the only way to You. I believe that He died for my sins. I confess that I am making Jesus my Savior and my Lord right now. Thank you for forgiving me and saving me from eternity separated from You. Amen
This is a little gory but The Holy Spirit revealed this to me this week. A dagger will cut and pierce the flesh but a two-edged sword pierces going in and cuts away as it comes out. As it is pulled out little bits of flesh are attached to it.
When we speak hurtful and hateful words, we are stabbing people and cutting them. The Psalmist spoke of the words of his enemies as swords.
Hebrews 4:12 GOD'S WORD® Translation
"God's word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God's word judges a person's thoughts and intentions."
This passage reveals to believers just how God's Word works in us. As we hear it, our soul processes it. Our soul is the mind, will and emotions. If we only process His Word through intellect or emotions, then it only pierces our soul.
We need the soul and spirit cut apart so that our Spirit can be fully engaged in the spirit realm. We aren't able to fight and win this battle in the flesh.
But as we hide it in our hearts ad allow it to cut away our flesh, the our Spirit man is healed, revealed, and renewed. If we will allow it, this cutting away and removing of old sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions, will actually equip us to fight in the spirit realm against the enemy.
As we speak His Word over the situations and circumstances of our lives and the lives of others, His Power is released. God watches over His Word to perform it. He waits to release all of heaven's resources for us through His Word.
Father, may we all allow Your Word to penetrate our hearts and lives, and complete Your work in and through us. Cut away our fleshly desires and renew our spirits. In Jesus' Name amen
Today I had to pull a trailer hauling a golf cart for a customer of ours to a town close by. I am naturally cautious when pulling the trailer anyway, and especially when hauling other people’s property.
As I was coming up to an intersection in a little area where there are a few businesses, I thought to myself, ‘I should slow down for the entrance to Dollar General and the intersection coming up’.
Just past the entrance, I began to really slow down because the guy behind me was riding my bumper and I didn’t want him to hit me at the stop sign.
As I neared the intersection, a pickup turned the corner and as it did, the trailer it was pulling came loose and proceeded to travel right down my lane. As it was coming at me, I slowed to a stop.
It got within a few feet of me, veered slightly to my right and off into the driveway of the convenience store before coming to a stop. Whew! I don’t believe the driver behind me was even aware of what was going on in front of me.
Before I pulled out of the driveway, I had pleaded the blood of Jesus over me, and declared no weapon of accident, incident or breakdown formed against me would prosper. As I was telling Skip and my brother about how grateful I was that I had slowed down, Skip said ‘And you were listening to the voice of God and obeyed.’
Was it the Holy Spirit speaking to me to slow down, or was it just me?
It occurred to me that I had listened to that still small voice that cautioned me as I was driving. God is still speaking to us every day and in many varied ways. His voice is as the thunder, a still small voice, a gentle nudge, an encouragement or warning from another believer, or His Written Word. If we will pay attention, we will hear Him and be saved.
Because I was in tune to hear, I was kept from danger. If I had been distracted by the noise of the world around me, I would not have heard Him so clearly. It’s not easy to shut out the distractions and noise, but we can by paying attention to what our inner man hears.
I once heard an adoption case in court. The judge asked the biological parent this question. “Do you realize that if I terminate your rights, in the eyes of the law, you are dead to this child?”
This morning, as I was thinking about this, the Holy Spirit began to show me that as adopted sons of God, we have to realize that our “biological parent” is dead to us.
Because of Adam’s sin of rebellion, we are born as children of sin and under the rule of Satan. However, when we are born again we are adopted as Sons (and daughters) of God.
Galatians 3:26 declares that we are all sons of God through faith in Christ. Galatians 4:4-5 states that we receive the adoption as sons and that the Spirit of His son cries out “Abba Father”. This enables us to have the relationship of Father and son established in our hearts.
In Galatians 2:20 Paul declares that he has been crucified with Christ and it is no longer he that lives, but Christ who lives in him. This applies to all believers. We are dead to the old man and therefore dead to Satan.
We have to realize that the devil is no longer our father. God has adopted us and destroyed the yoke of bondage which held us captive to eternal death.
An adopted child has to learn to call their parents mom and dad. So to, we have to learn to call God, Abba Father. That relationship has been legally established.
Just as an adopted child can choose to look for and find their biological parents, we can choose to go back to the devil and his rule. However , God still waits for us to come back to Him.
We must realize and walk out the truth of this statement: “In the eyes of the law, Satan is dead to us!” He legally has no right to us anymore. Once we realize that he has no right to us, we can truly walk in the position of a son and the authority of that position!
I must admit my age as I write this statement. When I was growing up visiting with people meant sitting on the porch while sipping ice tea or a cold soda, standing in line at the grocery store and “catching up”, or hanging around after Sunday services. It was a time of slow-paced, personal interaction with people and relationships built upon face-to-face encounters.
In Genesis 1:14-18 ‘God said let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide day from night. God made two great lights, the greater to rule by day and the lesser to rule by night and God saw that it was good.’
Lynn Jones, Co-Founder of HHMI enjoys reading, studying and sharing God's Word. She believes that every Word in the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired and profitable for daily living. Her prayer is that as you read the newsletters and blogs, that you will be enriched and equipped for every good work of the Lord's.