Along the Way

18 03 2012
"The Temptation of Christ

"The Temptation of Christ" by Liturgical artist, painter Eric Armusik http://www.ericarmusik.com

(Disciple) Greek- “Learner” Unger’s also adds, “…one who professes to have learned certain principles from another and maintains them on that other’s authority.”

Discipleship is what we do “Along the Way” as we live our life in Christ. We don’t get it perfect every day (personally, nowhere near perfect), but it’s what we strive toward by following the One who is perfect.

In Matthew chapter four, focusing on verses 1-4 where Jesus is tempted by Satan. Let’s take a look at what happens:

1.     Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2.     After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3.     The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these  stones to become bread.”

4.     Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

That got me to thinking about accomplishing by having clear: Direction; goal(s); vision and focus. To go through life without these attributes, we (absolutely) will be…

Tempted by Satan to be:

  • Distracted from our goal.
  • Discouraged about our goal.
  • Doubt our ability to achieve our goal.
  • Doubt God’s will and love for our lives.
  • Negative regarding the reality of God’s word about His presence; His provision and His peace for our lives, our calling and our tasks in the earth.

Out there in the wilderness, Jesus showed us the way for our lives today. Jesus was tempted just like we are today to ‘throw in the towel,’ blame our Mother/Father/Others; blame the circumstances of our birth; our past and our present; get stressed and pick up the double-fudge ice cream (okay, maybe that’s T.M.I.), but you get my drift.

In today’s society, mega-bucks are made by selling us on the lie that we should ‘throw in the towel,’ blame Mom and Dad, blame the fact that we are tall, short, skinny, fat, black, white, underprivileged, too rich, or too poor. In fact, extreme time and money is spent on marketing campaigns targeting us all to ‘do’ something about it by buying their products.

Additionally, there are folks keeping secrets in the Church pews. Whenever the Minister teaches on the temptation of Christ from the book of Matthew; the secret-thinking says:  “Yeah, that’s fine for Jesus, but He’s the Son of God; I’m just me.” 

We have forgotten that Jesus’ example is for us to imitate. How do we combat the temptations of Satan, the ‘Prince of the Power-of-the-Air’ himself; when he was up against Jesus: The carpenter’s kid, born out-of-wedlock, working-class, uneducated, from a small, poor township; a young guy who was out there in the wilderness with (seemingly) no one to help Him, but all of heaven watching?  That was a big [hold your breath and lean forward] moment if ever there was one, but Jesus quoted the word of God at each and every instance of Satan’s temptation. The main lesson is that the word of God is our only winning defense against the temptations of Satan-then, now and forever.

That’s it; just the word of God-nothing else. That seems way too easy doesn’t it? However, Jesus also said regarding our being His disciple (a disciplined follower); which we are if we are Christians: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:30. Our ‘yoke’ then is the service required and our ‘burden’ is to fulfill that requirement in order to live abundantly in the earth: Take Him at His word; believe His word; apply His word to our life and speak His word about our life. That’s all folks!

However, this all calls for a basic decision; we must decide to: Hear that word, agree with that word; live that word; behave that word and speak that word in relation to our own lives and where we stand today. In fact Joshua said it best:  “…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b

To bring this out further, we will be taking a look at the book of James chapter one, verse eight (8); where James declares: “A double-minded man (person) is unstable in all his ways.”

Until next time: Be Blessed! The Lightkeeper

By the way: Isn’t this a FABULOUS painting by Eric Armusik? Visit his website and see what else he’s up to.  Liturgical artist, painter Eric Armusik  http://www.ericarmusik.com

 





FEAR NOT – Part 2 of 2

12 01 2012

Fear Not ~ The Standard of Christians & Martyrs

  “Faith and fear are equal in their dimension: both demand fulfillment.” (See Part I-“Fear Not”)

Let’s begin by momentarily suspending the subjectivity of ‘good and bad’ and flow within a different level:

When we accept and speak thoughts and words; we are in creation-mode just like our Heavenly Father. When we speak Faith-filled words, the power of God given to humankind goes into effect to fulfill those words, since we are made ‘in His image’.

Conversely, fear-filled words of faith are a catalyst for creative power also.  However, it is the power of Satan (the ruler of this world-system) who responds to fulfill fear-based desires. In fact, it is his legal right to do so and Satan is the father of Legalism as well as being the Father of Lies. John 844  The book of Hebrews 11:1 (again) tells us that, “Now faith is” Is what? The substance of things… The dictionary 4 definitions of ‘substance’ as follows:

Faith creates:

SUBSTANCE:
1.That of which a thing consists; physical matter or material: form and substance.
2.A species of matter of definite chemical composition: a chalky substance
3.The subject matter of thought, discourse, study, etc.
4.The actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.

So then, faith creates thoughts (subject of direct focus);  thoughts create desire (the focus ofgoals, imagined outcomes, completed expectations); desire ignites action (speaking and doing) and these actions bring results. Note that the subjectivity of ‘good and bad’ is not mentioned here. What we must realize is that creating ‘good or bad’ is left up to the individual through the intentions of our heart. God recuses Himself from interfering with our man-made decisions unless we specifically invite Him into our lives through prayer, repentance and submission.

The Word of God is in the earth. It is eternal (unchanging). We either live in cooperation with His word or we choose to live in opposition to His word. If we do not know His word; the Holy Spirit draws us to God through “A measure of faith given to everyone “; Romans 12:3

In the book of Job (the longest book of the Bible), we see early on in chapter 1, verse 5, that Job had “fearful faith.” When we arrive at chapter 3, verse 25, Job says: “for the thing I greatly feared has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me.” It then takes Job 39 more chapters before he ‘knows deep down,’ saying, “…I know that ‘You’ can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of ‘Yours’ can be restrained or thwarted.” Job 42:1 Amplified.  Considering Job’s 39 chapters of misery and questionings; this statement is a perfect example of repentance and (‘deep down knowing’—see part I) most of all, fearless faith in God Almighty.

We can be held captive by fear for years, but that has never been the plan of the Lord for our lives. Let’s see what the Lord says to us about our future: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

How many of us have known about the cause of certain diseases and illnesses, but refuse to start doing or stop doing those things that would deprive a foothold for disease? Exercise, rest, drink more water, eat more green vegetables, consume less salt, fats or sugars, etc.

Trust me; I put my rock down long ago since this is written from a Glass House; but “I press toward the mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ JesusPhilippians 3:14. We’re simply doing some 2012 Selah (pause and reflect) to make the point that all disease and illness has a root, a cause, a beginning and it is found in rebellion and out-and-out sin; even generationally as “word curses”, i.e., “you’ll never amount to anything; “you people are all alike;” “you have nothing but bad luck,” etc..

Additionally, we can ‘invite’ unclean spirits into our own lives; attracting them by what we “say” about ourselves or what we ‘believe’ (have faith for) about ourselves. Let’s equip ourselves to say what the Lord says about us and think how He thinks about us as we lift Him up in praise for how He is lovingly kind toward us every moment of every day.

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57

By earnestly submitting our thoughts, words and deeds to our Lord and Savior, who always causes us to triumph, we can be assured that 2012 will be our best year yet… “Fear Not!”

Be Blessed








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