Monday, May 06, 2013

What do His Words Mean?

Matt.16: 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Such a profound statement which almost everyone in America has heard quoted and especially those in the church. But it has taken on a kind of Confucius or Aesop quality. It fits nicely on a Hallmark card which we could send to some friend. It is even learned by children at vacation Bible school or etched into a stain glass window. We just love Biblical sayings like this. They generate such sentimentality and religious warmth. But if we really attempt to unravel its meaning and mystery and allow the Spirit to make some kind of here and now relevance then we face some painful and even unexpected realities. In fact we face Christianity itself.

Please take a moment out of your earth bound life and allow yourself the uncomfortable glory of meditating upon these words. Please, just for a moment, and then if you wish you can leave Beulah land and return to the pig pen. But does not our Wonderful Lord deserve a hearing that transcends the attention we give to a sports game or a political debate? Has He not earned that from those of us who have entered into His unspeakable grace? It is way past time for us to look into the mirror of God’s Word without caveats and cultural dilutions or evangelical lies.

These verses openly confront us with a dynamic and profound challenge. In essence we are supposed to walk like Jesus walked, talk like Jesus talked, and indeed live like Jesus lived. Go ahead and skim over those words like they are some doctrinal infomercial, but somehow I cannot swallow them like I swallow most things spoken to me. It just seems to me, personally and to us all, that when we hear things like this and go about our business as if we had heard some good advice we actually deny Him before men. I have a difficult time getting around the logic of such a pattern.

How have we sifted our Lord’s Words and thrown out what we do not wish to obey and keep that which costs us nothing? And words like these which are very dangerous and even fearful are relegated to “religious sayings” status openly revealing just how diluted we have made the faith that bears His name. Think on this: We receive the teachings about hell as literal and yet we receive words like these as some kind of principle which can mean almost anything we desire. It is obvious that we find these words much more fearful than the ones about eternal justice. Why? Because these words demand action; they demand sacrifice; they demand self denial; they demand everything as it were. Yes these words seem to indicate a complete relinquishing of our own lives in favor of His.

Now that last sentence contains some awful and glorious revelations. To reject and even crucify our own lives and live inside His seems like a daunting task, and so it is. It is so formidable and frightening that we recoil at the implications of such a life. And so we conveniently and oh so subtly keep it well within the ethereal and metaphysical realm in which we can hear and enjoy without ever having to produce the fruit which substantiates our lip service faith. In fact, we dare not even dissect it and juxtapose it upon our here and now lives lest we discover some disturbing things about our lives and what the visible church has taught us, or hasn’t taught us.

But in order for us to even step one foot into a subject like this we must come with a humility which renders all pride and Biblical hubris as an obstacle which will when given the opportunity take Christ’s Words and cleverly formulate a more palatable journey. Jesus has told us to take up our cross and to follow Him. And is it not obvious that our Lord speaks of Calvary? To where did Jesus carry His cross? And where did Jesus go to where we must follow? Was it a place of continual entertainment or earthly prosperity? Was it not the cross? And we all know the doctrinal and redemptive significance of the cross. And many of us have openly taken exception to the way the cross has been downplayed, ignored, and even rejected through the evangelical morass. Yes, we are very bold in speaking against that and well we should be.

But why do we not clamor for a more sacrificial following of Jesus that takes these words from His lips and makes them a visible and observable reality through our lives? In fact why have we who loudly proclaim Scriptural orthodoxy not had a face to Spirit encounter that seeks, and beseeches, and even begs God to unlock words like these and present to us the sin we have embraced? What sin, you ask? Can there be a greater sin than taking His Words and stripping them of their power? Isn’t that what we castigate the heretics for?

So let us take these words and make some application for them which can only be observed through the life of a believer. And remember some of these things are glorious opportunities to deny ourselves and follow Jesus. Here is a man (or woman) and he is in a sad and unhappy marriage. There is no physical abuse but the atmosphere is toxic and every day he suffers with all kinds of emotional stress and he lives with a regret filled existence. Little by little he takes his eyes and heart off of Jesus and he becomes consumed with his unhappiness and his constant desire for some relief. He is miserable and his mind is feeding him with a steady diet of “you don’t deserve this” or “You could find something better” or “she doesn’t appreciate you” or as thousand other rationales that openly give him license to do whatever is necessary to extricate himself from this untenable situation.

Yes, that is exactly what the world does and the world has constructed many different avenues of escape which ultimately provide you with what you believe you deserve. After all, everyone else is happy and fulfilled. But here is where the words of Jesus are either just thought provoking or a transforming power. You see, when these kinds of situations present themselves rarely do we consider the open opportunity to take His cross and follow Jesus and ultimately to die to ourselves and live for Him in the midst of a situation which is everything but conducive to a spiritual life. We begin to follow personal happiness and emotional relief rather than even consider the possibility that the Spirit is calling us to glorify Christ in the very circumstance we wish to avoid.

And so we pray for a miracle where God can either change the other person or provide a way of escape. But is that the only miracles that God has available to Him? Listen to the words of Jim Elliot who willingly gave his life for Jesus:

I have prayed for new miracles. Explaining old miracles will not do.

We have become experts at exegesis in explaining the miracles of Christ as narrated in the gospels, but we are blind to the miracles that God desires to do today in our lives. God is not interested in these dog and pony shows that claim to heal backs and headaches and then rob people’s money. God desires to do great miracles in and through us which reveal the Lord Jesus and astound the world. But the greatest miracle God can do is empowering a believer to endure suffering for His sake which has no logic or earthly reason.

When we who claim to follow Him act and speak and have the same attitudes as do our unbelieving peers than we remove the majestic revelation of the Lord Jesus. And that is exactly what picking up our cross and following Him means. Once the sacrifice on cross has been applied to our sins then the cross must become our template in everything we do and think and believe. And if we are honest and vulnerable we must see just how tepid we have made God’s Word as it concerns a living application.

Mk.2: 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

The man who had palsy was brought to Jesus and Jesus said his sins were forgiven. The scribes criticized Him. But Jesus asked whether it was easier to say your sins be forgiven or to tell the man to take up his bed and walk. The implication was obvious. Anyone can say anything, but only actions can really substantiate those words. And Jesus then healed that man and he took up his bed and walked for the very first time. Now that was the miracle which made many believe that He could also forgive sins.

How easy is it to provide a written theology and doctrinal statement and say we believe it? Just a little manipulated exhale and “Poof!” we have said we believe God’s Word. But how powerful are our convenient words when they are not accompanied by sacrifice and self denial and an obedience that defies any earthly reason or definition? And when certain circumstances present themselves that are very difficult and hard to endure do we present ourselves as living sacrifices or do we search for an escape well travelled by those who know not Christ? And just by the obvious similar responses by believer and unbeliever alike to a variety of circumstances and tests we are saying loudly that Jesus makes no real difference.

And in so doing we make Jesus a heaven ticket rather than the Lord of All.

So if you actually want to know what take up your cross and follow Jesus looks like in your own life you are going to have to investigate and meditate upon God’s Word with a deep vulnerability which genuinely desires your life to conform to His Word rather than the reverse. This will not require a little reading before you quickly fall asleep. This will demand a serious and sober searching led by the Spirit in which all things lay open before him. It will be a challenge just to grasp the enormity of all things. In fact, there are things and areas of your life that will be so uncomfortable and so excruciating that your mind must be playing tricks on you. But in reality it is then you should realize you have stepped into the authentic process of the Spirit. If it seems reasonable and within easy reach than you must go much further. Keep going…keep pursuing…keep thirsting.


Cherie c. said...

Part One:

Okay Pastor, I get it. Not that you wrote this post just for me, but to all of us who know these words and yet continue to ignore them. The conviction is there, but continue to push them aside.

I am the man you speak of in this post only as a wife, not a husband. Always looking for relief from the verbal and demonstration of a mean and hard heart from her husband. How many times now have I written you looking for "relief". Only you did not feed into my selfish need for relief, but ever reminding me what the Word of God says, much to my sadness, but only sadness because you were right. We all reach a breaking point at one time or another and that is the time we are supposed to cling all the more to the Word and to Jesus.

I have told myself more times than not that if this is what the worst of it is, I am truly blessed indeed. There are so many much worse off than I, but then I have always been a bit of a coward when it comes to pain whether emotional or physical. Never minded inflicting it on someone in the past, but never could bear to have it inflicted upon me.

I am more convinced now that this past six weeks of pure pain in my body, and the coldness of those who say they love me has taught me so much about my walk and my relationship with the Lord. His Grace is sufficient and we keep missing it. He has blessed me with loving brothers and sisters, the ministry of keeper of the home and being a woman of Proverbs 31, yet all the while complaining that I received no love or attention, and for what? They don't love me because they are of the world. But I am to love them and serve them as commanded and without complaint. The war raging in my body these past weeks is not of the physical kind, it was all spiritual. I know because the pain would subside, but not completely go away, then it would rage again. All the while I kept as close to the Word of God and this blog to be near you my brothers and sisters.

I also spent much time in the Word by reading and listening, and in prayer. Praying not for myself, although on occasion I would, but mainly for those who were in need or for my husband and sons. And when I could I did what I could to maintain the keeper of the home status and not let the pain make me too much of a cripple. I am far from a hero, so please don't feel sorry for me. I am stupid in my ways and that is why I suffer needlessly. Correction hurts brothers and sisters, but it removes the impurities we collect through our flesh. No diet can be effective for this temple of the Holy Spirit unless we let Him dwell there.

Cherie c. said...

Part two:

I am broken beyond belief, and I am so sorry at the same time. I rejoiced last night because I could make dinner for my family. I got to do my son's laundry stiff neck and upper back and all and it was a blessing! I am being set free to do what the Word of God says is my reasonable service as a believer and as a woman, and I used to complain about it. How utterly rebellious is that?! My mission field is my home and the people in it and I was looking for a way to escape. How petty, how cowardly, how disobedient! I have repented and I am allowing the Holy Spirit lead for the rest of my life not when I want something from God. No it won't be easy, but I have now done away with those ideas of how life should be as a wife, mother and a member of the Body of Christ. All fleshly I can tell you. Romance is a lie of the devil and it abides deep within the flesh. I look at my husband now with a great Love only the Lord can supply me. We have lived separately within the same house for about six years now.

With great urgency I endeavor to be the wife described in Romans, Corinthians, 2Timothy, Proverbs 31, and like Sarah, Ruth, Ester, not for my husbands sake although he will benefit, but because it is commanded of me by God. Obedience, simple obedience.

This I will do, and help with the intercessory prayer fellowship I have been praying for. There is nothing so uplifting and peaceful and beautiful than praying to God for someone other than yourself. I truly get fulfillment from it. A godly work for Him.

With tears I confess this to you brethren so that it may help you, and with a request that you pray for me, not out of pity, but to stay on course, stay the course to be effective for Him, and to the edification of you all. And mainly to be obedient. The Word of God says that it is better to be obedient than to give sacrifice. Words I sometimes forget, often forget. Putting the flesh down is hard, but correction is tougher. He loves me and never left me through the worst of the days these past weeks.

Mixed with my remorse is joy. Joy to be able to serve Him in body and in spirit.

Still led to do this intercessory prayer fellowship. Please email me at LOL, already got disgusting spam, so those in the spam folder will be on the top of the prayer list. Praise God!

Love to you my brothers and sisters in the Lord for helping me through these past weeks. As the Lord heals my body, which is happening now, please know He never left me because He brought me you.

May the peace and the love of our Father God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you this day and this week, my beloved brothers and sisters.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Rick Frueh said...

May the Holy Spirit continue to give you life, my dear sister. I have experience in the siutaion I described. but I did not write it with anyone specifically in mind. Let the Spirit speak to all of us.

Anonymous said...

My words can't express how true this is and how appreciative I am to Bro. Rick for laying this out here. There's much to chew on and examine in my life, and I have to know the why's of my every action. We are all living in a society that has become a spiritual trap. We're addicted to this lifestyle and we're addicted to the 'me' culture, and we're used to being gratified. We expect reward when we do something stupid, because our insurance policies cover us. We expect a comfortable retirement, expect that our kids get the best, expect that the world and it's system give us back what we paid into it. With all the attitude of expectations and gratification and quick service, christians are in a tight vise. They've been so charmed into feeling so comfortable and secure, that they can't understand what self-denial is, and I include myself in that.

But where do we go? How can we function in this society? It's almost inconceivable that an early church apostle could exist in this 2lst society. Instead of being persecuted and jailed and beaten, he'd be primped and buttered up and smoothed over and reassured and lured into this hedonistic church culture, where he might lose his soul.

We are like the frog in the slowly boiling water. It's too late for some of us to get out. All we can do is believe on the Lord Jesus and love Him with all our soul, mind, heart. We are right in the middle of the orgies and parties and festivities of Sodom and Gommorhah. Are we at a time where angels are the only means to help us escape and get out of here? Shouldn't we be in another continent where people whose hearts are open to His gospel?

I can say right now, even with my health problems, and at my age of (just turned 56), that I could leave this society and lifestyle. Lord forgive me if I am still harboring any materialism in my heart, but I would give it all up and live in a hut (provided the Lord heals me of my mold allergies). But, then, even true apostles had to endure smelly damp jails and whatever. But, if the Lord provided a way for me and my husband (who would need to be the main urged participant) were asked to leave, I would do it. In my community, when I drive to town, all I see is: dental surgeons office, daycare, interior decorating store, dog and cat grooming and spa, home decor stores, pool and hot tub stores, car dealerships, gyms, beauty salons, specialty chocolate stores, drive-throughs, travel agencies, etc. Then, a steeple appears on the horizon here and there. When I pass by these, sometimes thinking I've love to stop there and speak to staff, they are closed and boarded up for the week. Try to call a minister of a church and all we get is voice-mail, secretaries, assistants. It's like trying to talk to Donald Trump. They have themselves surrounded by their groupees and hangers-on. To be fair, there are tiny struggling churches here too. They are dying out though. Very elderly pastors who are like the old community doctors who would come to a person's home are a dying breed. The 'new' pastor is a wanna-be (RIP Steve Jobs). He is unnaccessible to the little man. The love of things and money has poisoned the church's mind here. I am certain that we need to "come out of her". If faith means packing up, or leaving everything behind, even our families, then that is what sacrifice is. This past 20 years should have told us to pack and leave then. How many more signs do we need to know that living here is dangerous to our souls?

Go where? I don't know. As a Canadian, I hate the cold. There is a retirement community up in extreme Northern Ontario, called Elliot Lake that might be a place where many could be reached, yet, my flesh wants a hut on Tobago island. But, there it is. But I need to throw all my desires aside and want what He wants.

Anon. J.

Cherie c. said...

Hey Lady, sent you a picture to put a face to the voice on the other side of the phone. Try not to laugh too hard, =D.

Cherie c.

Lorena said...

Dear Cherie c.
I am grateful to be able to come to this blog and read Rick's messages (even the ones that hurt) and read all the responses. It's so helpful, and I must say I'm stupid too, block-headed, and I forget at times what God's Word says.
I'm thankful for you and everyone else here.
your sister in Christ,

Cherie c. said...

There is nothing more wonderful than brothers and sisters in the Lord who pray and uplift one another. It is truly, I believe Glory and Praise to the Father, and testimony of those in Christ.

Thank you Lorena, we can stop being stupid together and get back on the narrow path that leads to where we truly need to go.

God bless you dear sister. I needed to hear from you more than you know and it has blessed me.

Thank you Pastor Rick for allowing us to fellowship on your blog.

Love you all,
your sister in Christ Jesus,

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts are pouring out of me while reflecting on this post.

The church is guilty of doing a lot of lip-service. Some churches believe they deny themselves and go after Him by their outward appearances. They believe that appearing holy on the outside is their consecration to God and if unbelievers look at them strangely, that it means the holiness dresser has been persecuted and has convicted those who stare at them.

Some churches teach their sheep that if only they consecrate themselves to this behavior, or that rule, or this and that, that this is their cross to bear. If these small sacrifices are all they feel they need to bear, they are being lied to.

We are seeing how unprepared we are in this day. I've been with christians who are assured of their salvation by works. When I first met them, I was impressed with their ability to dress and look like a woman should look like, and standing out as not being yoked with the world. But soon, I saw an attitude of self-righteousness and dependence on their works. Many did work allow the Holy Spirit to work in the inside, but still clung to their works and become callous and cold to those who don't apply those works.

Yet, I've seen God's Spirit still work in that type of church and every church that openly worships Him and who are accepting of the promise of the Holy Ghost like in the early church of the Book of Acts. In fact, it was in this type of church that I was saved. I know that I know that the Lord poured His Spirit in me and I haven't regretted it for a second. I then went on to be water baptized. Yet I know other brothers and sisters in the Lord have had conversion experiences differently than mine. And I believe that they know that they know in their hearts, because we cannot box God in. He decides how He will save each person in their unique circumstances.

And if some have a doctrinal error or a works salvation or a judgmental spirit, I believe that the Lord still shows his presence when they come to Him in worship. But, He will come to them as they act towards others. He will show Himself merciful to the merciful. He will show Himself proud to the proud.

If a church gathering are into their own works, the Lord may enter into the tabernacle, but in his attribute of whatever the assembly needs. If an assembly feels they arrived, he will bring an attribute of repentence and conviction; if they rely on their works, he'll enter in to help them rely only on His grace. Some will respond and some won't.

But I believe that if we were to try to find ONE church that understands what those words mean that Jesus said, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it", we won't find it. I believe that the watchmen, the new Elijahs, Isaiahs, Jeremiahs, the John the Baptists, today's God-ordained prophets will speak out and tell the church to wake up in light of these last dark days. I believe that Rick Frueh is one of these prophets. I thank the Lord Jesus!! Lord, please bless him and protect him under the shade of your wings!

Anonymous said...

Oops, I just commented as Anon. and forgot to post my name. Anon. J.

May the Lord give me new brain cells. (LOL)

Anonymous said...

I have had very similar experiences as Cherie with her husband, and with the feelings of anon. J. I do love the fellowship here around Rick's blog.

Cherie: may I suggest you try listening to an on-line sermon by Art Katz titled "Sarah" or maybe "Daughters of Sarah." It was the Lord's Word for me at a time of confusion and despair in my marriage, and I still listen to it frequently. Art spoke it many years ago, probably in the 80's, but it is timeless.

Anon. J: I feel like you do. I've actually been in the huts in refugee camps for a few weeks at a time. I love it; I thrive on the hardship and adventure. But I must say that it really isn't "easier" to be holy or Christlike there because what is IN us is with us wherever we are. I realize that the path the Lord has chosen for me just now is the one here with my husband in a comfortable hedonistic culture; and that my separation from wordliness needs to be worked out in these circumstnces. It's separation of the inner man, through the Cross.

Thank you for your frankness, everyone. You help me so much.
With love, Victoria

Cherie c. said...

Dear Victoria,

Thank you sweet sister for your words of encouragement. Means so much to me. My husband actually got worse after he said he got saved?? His fruit and life and attitude, and lack of appreciation plus more show otherwise. He is so wrapped up in himself, that he compares everything to himself. My heart breaks for him because he says I am the one who is lost. Pray for him because time is short. I do, but this experience has shown me more than I care to see, and God does not beat around the bush. My job is to obey His word, serve my husband, sons, and other commands given by God. And I am not to complain or seek what unregenerate people cannot give. There are a few here on this blog who have a wonderful, godly marriage, and I bless God that there are some who do have that. I used to feel somehow cheated and left out, but not anymore. I am not lonely unless my flesh brings up old times when I wasn't saved. But I quickly put it down because it does not honor God. His Will be done, not mine. Hey, he scrubbed the tub and shower for me last evening, still hopeful for his salvation. Not always that nice to me, so I take what I can get and Praise God for it. =D

Hey Anon J. Pastor Rick is not a prophet, but he is a good Pastor. No more prophets. As Peter said, we have a more sure word of prophecy.....

2 Peter 1:19
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
The Gospel! Glory to God!

Some Christians believe people who call themselves prophets and prophetess, and it is biblical. Jesus spoke about the prophets. I know the NT does mention prophets:

1 Corinthians 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Ephesians 4:11
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

But that I believe was at the time of the church beginning because they did not have God's Word for knowledge and to lead people to salvation. We are at the end times and Matthew 24 speaks to this. Peter's Epistles seals the deal on that too. More sure Word, Word of God.

Thank you again dear sisters, love you both.

Calling a new doctor tomorrow, I pray he is good. Pt went okay, hope it gets better soon. Pain is manageable.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

To the feet of my Savior in trembling and fear,
A penitent sinner I came;
He saw, and in mercy, He bade me draw near;

All glory and praise to His Name.
He touched me and thus made me whole;
Bringing comfort and rest to my soul;
O glad happy day, all my sins rolled away!
For He touched me and thus made me whole.

I knew not the tender compassion and love
That Jesus, my Savior, had shown;
Tho’ burdened with grief, His dear hand brought relief,
He healed me and called me His own.

He touched me and thus made me whole;
Bringing comfort and rest to my soul;
O glad happy day, all my sins rolled away!
For He touched me and thus made me whole.

“My grace is sufficient,”I heard His dear voice,
“O come and find rest for your soul;
From sin you to save, My life freely I gave;
I died that you might be made whole.”

He touched me and thus made me whole;
Bringing comfort and rest to my soul;
O glad happy day, all my sins rolled away!
For He touched me and thus made me whole.

O Jesus, dear Jesus, Thy Name I adore,
For saving and keeping my soul;
Thy praises I’ll sing, my Redeemer and King,
Thy dear, loving hand made me whole.

He touched me and thus made me whole;
Bringing comfort and rest to my soul;
O glad happy day, all my sins rolled away!
For He touched me and thus made me whole.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I had a MRSA Bacteremia infection. I also have inherited emphysema and chronic bronchitis and I am O2 dependant. Five days after the lump under my arm had been lanced open, I was able to get around with no problem. The only way I can describe it is it was like a tide going back out, never to return. It is only by the hand of Jesus that I am here and Him alone. The one young doctor that treated me for the infection was surprised at the way I came back when I saw him 5 days after the first visit. My pulmonary physician also told me I should have died. Of course he has been telling all along that I am going to die, sooner or later.

All I can is this, the one day that I was praying about my condition the Lord showed me that I really should be praying for those that are truly being persecuted for His sake. I had to go back to Jesus asking Him to forgive me for being so self centered. Things are still being reveled to me, through His word, about why I was allowed to have this infection.

One of the impressing things about this healing is this. When I have had an illness, in the past, whether severe or even minor, it would take 3 to 6 months to fully recover. This was just like the man with the palsy and the Samaritan Leper, complete healing. The blood cultures that were taken two weeks after the infection showed no sign of anything.

I am hard headed and a stiff necked person. And everytime I come before Jesus asking Him about what He was saying in a certain passage, I listen very carefully to what He has to say. With me Jesus has to break out the crayons and craft paper in explanations. But I do so want to be the best servant possible. So I listen when He speaks, He only speaks when I am reading the Bible.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cherie, just checked the bible to make certain that prophets are anointed for today.

On the day of Pentecost, those who supposed men drunk at an early hour of the day, who were speaking in tongues were admonished by Peter who said, "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass {In the Last Days}, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall {prophecy}, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on my Menservants and my Maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they shall {prophecy}. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, {Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord}. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved".

And Eph. 4, on spiritual gifts, it says, "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." And, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the {body of Christ} until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ".

I believe that if this says it's for the work of ministry and edifying the body of Christ that should mean for today. The Body of Christ didn't just exist in the early church - we are the Body of Christ still today. I suppose a bible teacher could interpret if this is so.

Cherie c. said...

Anonymous at 7:51 pm, thank you for such an uplifting poem and post. I am going to print it out and keep it where I can see it always.

Praise our Glorious God for your healing. To God be the Glory for His unbelievable Love.

We are all made stiff neck and stubborn. Our flesh puts up a great fight. It is only with the Strength of Jesus by His Grace we can overcome.

The love between the brethren is so amazing and a great testimony.

Dear Lord,
Tonight I pray for all my brothers and sisters in you, whether healthy or ill, I lift them up to you Lord. We Love you so much, we abide by your commandment to love one another, and we all recognize that it would not be possible without your precious Holy Spirit.

You have blessed me beyond measure and I truly don't deserve it. I have nothing that could ever say how I feel about how grateful I am to you for my salvation, and these sweet, precious brothers and sisters.

Jesus, you are our blessed Hope, and as we limp, and crawl and hold each other up on this narrow road you often spoke of, all I ask is that you keep close to those who are here and who only turn to you for everything.

May we Honor and Glorify you dear Lord with our faith, our dependence, and our Praise of You.

I pray that all the brethren find peace and sweet slumber in you tonight. We long for you Lord and as we wait patiently for your return, may your Will be done in us and your Love to the lost come from us.

your child in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Ch said...

In Jesus Name I pray with Thanksgiving, Amen

Anonymous said...

The 7:51pm Anonymous post is me, Joel. I can not say anymore because it is all about Jesus, Jesus and only Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cherie, you are very precious and you always minister to me. I know how it is to be treated badly by your husband, and to be betrayed by church and family. I know how it is to be fearful for your husband's spiritual condition, and the challenge of living in that situation. I know how it is to feel on the outside from others, whose lives appear to be so blessed and rich and full and enjoyable (We have never had children of our own and that is hard, harder the older we get.) I know the weakness toward self-pity and even anger. I know how broken you become when the Lord comes tenderly and lifts away the fog of ugly thoughts and feelings, and you see how He has chosen you and every detail of your life for His glory and your blessing; and you simply go on in faith with gratitude. It builds my intimacy with my Savior and Bridegroom.

Take grace, and joy, and live in His Spirit as He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

I renew my commitment to pray for you and your husband. I love you.

On a different note: Rick is truly a pastor after the Shepherd's heart. It's shown in that, even without a geographical gathering place, saints are gathering around his preaching which points us to look directly to Christ, and we are ministering one to another. (and without money!)


Anonymous said...

Feeling much love right now from our Lord and Savior and you. I so don't deserve it, but so very blessed by it. Love you much too Victoria and so thankful to fellowship with you.

Love, your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.