Sunday, March 03, 2013

If Only


If only money meant nothing to us.

If only we forgave everyone even before they offended us.

If only our clothes were just utilitarian.

If only we drove cars that we way below our wants.

If only we prayed as much as we talked.

If only we rejected violence as a means.

If only we were passionate concerning the poor.

If only we would love sinners.

If only we would listen to the Sermon on the Mount.

If only Jesus was our very life.

If only we believed Jesus might come today.

If only eternity filled our hearts.

If only we mourned over sin.

If only our light shined in the eyes of the blind.

If only this world meant nothing to us.

If only we visited the cross every single day.

If only we were counted worthy to experience the fellowship of His sufferings.

If only we wept over lost souls.

If only we were filled with the Holy Spirit.

If only we worshiped Christ in private.

If only we prayed sometimes into the early hours.

If only we fasted.

If only the cares of this world we not our cares.

If only we prayed earnestly for missionaries.

If only we walked in constant contentment.

If only we walked in His love.

If only we rejoiced in our salvation.

If only we were very patient.

If only we witnessed in word and deed.

If only we consumed God’s Word.

If only we lived every day with a relentless and passionate pursuit to be like Jesus.
Yes, if only.


kelli said...

Jesus never told "born again believers" to love the Lord and love your neighbor. After the indwelling of His Spirit, we are not commanded to love, as The Lord WILL BE loving through us.

And by their fruits ye shall know them Matthew 7:20
Fruit can only be produced by God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Shannon said...

Is this not encouraging/expecting the flesh to be "Christ-like" and perform those works only the Spirit of God can do? The flesh cannot transform itself. Isa 64:6.
Only the Holy Spirit transforms those born of His Spirit.
John 1:13 "who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
Phil 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...


There are many excuses a christian can make against these 'if only's'. We can say our parents didn't teach us about loving sinners, being content, etc. or we could say our childhood kept us from finding God in a godless home, or we could say we inherited angry, impatient bigoted traits from our parents, or we might blame our lack in dire circumstances that forced us to be aggressive and demanding in a competitive job-seeking world, or that our days are so filled with cares of this life that we have no time to pray and fast, or that, our stretching ourselves between family life, home life, church life, elderly parental care life, keeps us from engaging in a true apostolic committed walk.

We can't compare ourselves to the early church. First, they lived in a warm climate, where they could walk for miles and camp out under the stars. They were no particular laws about vagrants and vagabonds. They were able to live roughing it with one pair of sandals, one outfit, and a backpack, like nomads; they were used to the uncivilized manners, pagan worship of that time who sacrified babies at some altar. They were used to the savagery of roman conquerors. They didn't worry about where their next meal came from and had to swallow any self-pride, or self-accomplishment and humble themselves to take 'charity' from other christians every day. It was better if they didn't marry, as the baggage of caring for dependents was distracting.

I suppose disciples and grounded christians of that day who had to live, farm, cultivate, trade, make their own food, raise children would be part of a communal church, everyone participating and contributing to basis needs and having all things in common. But we today do not have all things in common. We don't do the pilgrim thing, as do missionaries, we stay put in one city and have to work for shelter and food and necessities. Our culture charges outrageous amounts for any shelter, and we pay through the teeth for food that is grown and produced for us, making it that much more expensive. We have to buy expensive insurances so we don't get sued. We don't have the time to garden and grow and make clothing, AND most of us would not want to live like hippies in a commune. We all want our individuality and independence and privacy. How can we ever be like the early church? And how does that play into being like all good points Rick has brought here.......we are in the thick of the muck and glue of our culture and our hands and feet are bound - at this point many of us can't get out of it's tentacles because we owe banks, loan companies, are enslaved to our employers, and for middle aged and elderly christians, we can't break free from our poor ealier choices. All I could say to the youth and younger generation, get out of this seducing culture and save yourselves from it's tentacles. But still, for all of us, with God all things are possible.

So much to ponder on here.

kelli said...

Matthew 7:22
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Matthew 7:23
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

2 Corinthians 11:13
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

MANY are "Doing wonderful WORKS " in His Name.

Anonymous said...

If only we weren't so keen to usurp the throne of God...

kelli said...

1 John 1:6 Walk Devotional Part 1

περιπατέω is a term used for both a literal and a figurative walk. The main use figuratively, is for
one’s Day-by-Day conduct over a period of time, which when taken as a whole, presents one’s life
conduct a.k.a. “walk”.
I see three interesting aspects about how the word περιπατέω is used figuratively. First, that it is a
“walk” that outwardly reflects a persons inward choices. When used with an adverb of comparison like
ὡς, περιπατέω speaks about a walk that can be affected by our participation, even if our only
participation is having a mental perception of our Spiritual condition that governs our decision making
choices. For example, a command to govern our steps in a manner which is in balance with our
perception of the worth of the call of which God has called us. So it’s not speaking of the works of
human effort that produce the walk or a “walk” of religious activity. For the New Testament writers, it’s
the work of the Holy Spirit that is mending the mind damaged by sin, and a believer’s walk, no matter
how immature, will produce evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence and work, as revealed through
their decision making. As we reject our self, yielding to our Savior, and growing in His word, our minds
are being transformed and our decision making processes will reflect that change. What the writers of
the New Testament would have us to do is to realize the value of Christ’s work at the cross and in
doing so, have our attention turned to Him. We turn to Him, He mends our damaged minds, and we
make choices that reflect His will. This is our only participation with respect to our “walk”. This
understanding is in harmony with every text that speaks of our participation involving conduct.

kelli said...

1 John 1:6 Walk Devotional part 2

Secondly, the New Testament, reveals an aspect of a person’s “walk” that is beyond their
participation. According to the text, a believer’s walk reveals their spiritual location. When περιπατέω
is used with the proposition εν and an object of the preposition that is an attribute of God’s very
nature like light, truth, or love, there is a reality of ones position being presented that is apart from our
participation; a walk that is the result of God’s sovereign keeping control; a pre-ordained path; a
walking in the works which God has prepared beforehand; a walk continually being influenced by the
Light because it’s source is the the Light; a walk that is a marker or reflection of our Spiritual position.
In short, a walk that is not the result of our participation, but of His administration toward all genuine
believers. A “walk” For John, is not just one step or a mis-step, it’s a life conduct over a period of time
that identifies the location of a persons spirit.
Third, It’s important to note that both aspects of a persons “walk” are on public display. John uses a
persons visible walk as the final authority and representation of their spiritual condition and position.
For John, if the walk denies the claim, the verdict is, they lie! The trodden down path of a much
traveled “walk” openly displays both where a person has been, and the direction pointing to where
they are headed. If you want to know what is inwardly motivating or energizing a person just watch
the choices that they make. Paul describes a walk that correlates with a frame of mind. The command
for the believer is to “scope” out the walk of others. The image that we are to use as the pattern for
comparison is that of the Apostles. Does the walk indicate a frame of mind that expresses the
presence and influence of the Holy Spirit. Not only are believers to identify another’s walk, but to take
action upon the results of that inspection. In the church, when we identify another’s walk as not
expressing the influence and presence of the Holy Spirit, at least for some, we are to keep away from
them and secondly to stand in the Lord. The context for such a command is referring to those who
are in the church, and would mislead believers into conduct of a kind that is not of the same mindset
as the Apostles. Paul states that his concern is to safeguard or cause the believers to be immovable,
firm, fixed. - MP.

Kevin said...

Kelli and Shannon, I would agree. Paul said, 'For to me, to live IS Christ." I think the Apostle is asking here for Christ to BE Paul. If one is truly born again from above, then they are a new creation, dead and hid with Christ in God. Therefore, that regenerate person lives, moves and has his being IN Christ. The issue has and always will be God's glory forever, so as Scripture states, "...for from Him and thru Him and to Him are all things..." The only good thing that dwells in me is His indestructible, eternal, resurrected Life. So, as I live by the Life of Another, Jesus, what I think are His thoughts, what I say are His words, what I do are His works. Sadly, most of the time, I fall short of this. But He brings glory to Himself by His own life and power. I think being conformed to His image is about always identifying oneself with being crucified with Christ. Again, Colossians 3:3 says, "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God, when Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in GLORY." Every time I have tried to say or do something that did now originate from His Resurrected Life in me, He gets no glory and no power of His Life comes forth and there is no resurrection "event" that brings forth Life. Truly, our God will not share His glory with anyone!

Blessings my family...

Shannon said...

Agree Kevin. Yes the just ones, those born of His Spirit, are living by the faith of Christ Jesus, Whom indwells us with His Spirit.
We are walking by faith. He is performing His works in/through born again believers.
Yes, the Spirit within is willing, but the flesh is weak. There is nothing good in the flesh. The flesh is contrary to the things of God. The flesh is sin only, therefore to attempt to "do" anything of value for God is ludicrous!

We are so very blessed, Kevin, with all the spiritual blessings we could ever desire and imagine!

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,...