Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

OUR WALK

OUR WALK


“Observe the commands of the LORD your God

by walking in His ways and by fearing Him.” (Deuteronomy 8:6)

Walking has really two meanings as put forth in the Word of God.  We can walk as if we are traveling along to a particular destination.  Or, we can walk indicating a passage of time ‘walking’ in a chosen direction of life and lifestyle.

Scripture is filled with examples of how we should walk.  For example, my favorite scripture which is filled with godly wisdom, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”  Or Proverbs 4:14 “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil.”  Micah 6:8 tells us to ‘walk humbly with our God.’

Throughout the Bible are examples of a godly man’s walk versus an evil man’s walk.  The Book of Amos asks the question:  “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)  Can we walk with God except we are in agreement with Him?  
What follows are some quotes, something to think about today, as you walk with God:

“Those who walk with God, always reach their destination.” — Henry Ford

“If I walk with the world.  I can’t walk with God.”  — Dwight L. Moody

“God’s mighty power comes when God’s people learn to walk with God.”  — Jack Hyles

“We want more men and women who walk with God and before God,like Enoch and Abraham.”  — J. C. Ryle

“Smart men have walked on the moon, daring men walked on the ocean floor, but wise men walk with God.” — Leonard Ravenhill

Selah.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DENY SELF?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DENY SELF?

“Then Jesus said to His disciples,

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,

and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

(Matthew 16:24)

Yesterday we sent out a message on Costly Obedience.  Within that message we spoke about forfeiting your rights and as an example we used a believer’s home life.  This is a continuation of that message to give you food for thought and a possible call to change.

The Holy Spirit put this message on our hearts when in a conversation with a brother-in-Christ, we asked the question, “What does it mean to deny self?”  The dead silence on the other end of the phone call was very telling.  We could only assume that this is a subject not spoken of, not taught, and certainly not adhered to by most Christians.  

To deny self is a command for all Children of God.  If you want to follow Jesus you need to deny self!

We searched for scriptural answers to this question on the internet and came across a teaching by Pastor Ed Taylor who is the host of podcast Lead2Serve.  What follows is scriptural and will be ‘hard to hear’ for some of you.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DENY SELF?

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO TAKE REVENGE (Romans 12:19-20)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO HAVE A COMFORTABLE, SECURE HOME (Luke 9:57-58)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO A GOOD REPUTATION (Matthew 5:11)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO SPEND MONEY HOWEVER WE PLEASE (Matthew 6:19-21)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO HATE AN ENEMY (Matthew 5:43-47)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO BE HONORED AND SERVED (Mark 10:42-45)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO UNDERSTAND GOD’S PLAN BEFORE WE OBEY HIM  (Hebrews 11:8)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO LIVE BY OUR OWN RULES (John 14:23-24)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO HOLD A GRUDGE (Colossians 3:13)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN (Philippians 2:14 and 1st Thessalonians 5:18)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO PUT SELF FIRST (Philippians 2:3-4)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS ONE’S SEXUALITY FREELY (1st Corinthians 6:18-20)

WE GIVE UP THE RIGHT TO REBEL AGAINST AUTHORITY (1st Peter 2:13-15)

Jesus made it clear for anyone who desires to follow Him, that we must deny self.  Denying self is the first step to entering into a fruitful, joyful, discipleship relationship with Him.

By the way, what is listed above is biblically non-negotiable.

Selah.

BY YOURSELF

BY YOURSELF


“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country,

and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house,

unto a land that I will show thee.” (Genesis 12:1)


Our walk with the Lord from the moment we become His is a solitary walk.  Sure we may have fellowship with the saints, but our Heavenly Father wants us to listen to His voice only and not the voice of others.  Flesh and blood make mistakes, the Most High God does not.

It has been taught in ancient Jewish midrash (commentaries) that Abram, the son of Terah, lived in the ancient Babylonian city of Ur.  That Terah was a maker of idols.  One day while his father was out of his shop, Abram took a hammer and smashed the idols one by one.  When his father returned, stunned, he asked his son who had done this horrible deed?  Abram pointed to the one remaining idol standing and said, “He did!”  As the story goes, Abram left his father and as he was inquisitive and intelligent, observed the beliefs of all those he met along the way.  At the end of his journey he came to the realization that indeed there was only one true God who was the creator of everything.

Nevertheless, after Abram returned home, the day arrived when the God of the Heavens and all that they contain spoke to him, “…Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (verses 1-3).

Your calling, our calling, by God is like a rare and precious jewel.  It is to be guarded, polished, cared for.  When you are called, born-again into the Kingdom of God, adopted as His children, you have to go by yourself. God wants us to leave behind our intellectual, rational selves and journey with Him to a new reality (an unknown land in Abram’s case).  We leave our reasonings, our rationales behind us, and enter into a splendid, glorious new world of faith, promise, anticipation and fulfillment.

 God surely was with Abram as he led him out, Abram was then 75 years old and childless.  God would soon give him many children, of which Isaac, his first born, would one day father Jacob, whose children became the twelve tribes of Israel.  “And I will make of thee a great nation …” (v. 2). 

As a babe-in-Christ we began our journey with the Lord when we left behind all external trappings (our love of the world).  We then entered incognita – unknown territory.  We surrendered to God’s will and guidance. We learned to navigate with the help of the Comforter, who also explored, changed and enlightened the darkness in our souls.

Only in the presence of God can you truly experience His great love for you.  As you go ‘by yourself’ the Lord will teach you to trust Him only, and to place your faith in Him only.  The God of Heaven and Earth, Creator of all things, wants to take your hand and show you the way.  Abram walked with God the rest of his days, hand in hand, faith in faith, by himself.

“Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:

and he was called the Friend of God.”(James 2:23)


Selah.

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

“Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may

belong upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee.” (Exodus 20:12)


In Japanese culture, if you were to meet someone who is older than you, you would bow as a sign of respect.  Beginning when a child is very young they are taught Japanese culture and way of life.  Japanese parents value closeness with their children, spending as much time as possible with them in activities.  Proper behavior within the framework of society is taught not only at home, but also in the classrooms, where children are taught to have the utmost respect for their parents, teachers, and towards one another.  They are also taught to have a good work ethic as everyday the children clean their classrooms and the school grounds before leaving.  Japan is probably the most ‘polite’ nation on earth. 

WHY WOULD GOD TELL US TO HONOR OUR PARENTS?  A family is a mini-building block of the society in which you live.  If your family is unstable that instability will filter out into society affecting others.  Lessons and principles learned from a stable family environment where children honor, respect and obey their parents will result in a stable society.

Here we are now in October of 2021.  The population of the United States, for the most part, has rejected God; and, the church (God help us) looks more like the world than a holy people.  It seems, unlike Japan, which is Buddhist, we no longer have any moral compass.  Read what Isaiah tells us about the judgment of God that comes upon a nation that rejects Him:

“And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable” (Isaiah 3:5).
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.  O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12).

Isaiah is describing a society that has turned on its head (upside down).  Those who should be leading are not and those who should not are.  The result is an immature, free-wheeling, laissez faire (letting things take their own course), hedonistic, immoral and irresponsible culture.  With no moral compass because God has been ignored and the people have chosen ungodly over godly leaders; judgment has come and it will affect family governance and leadership.  “In those days there was no king in Israel, everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). 

Protect your children and grandchildren, immerse them in God’s Word, teach through scripture memorization.  Watch over what they are seeing and hearing.  Keep them from ‘ungodly’ friends.  Warn with God’s Word.  Pray over them and with them.  Above all … if they are dishonoring in any way, and you know they have picked this up at school, if you value your child’s soul, pull them out.  God will help you!
“Children, Obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with apromise: that it may be well with you,that you may live long on the earth”  (Ephesians 6:1-3).

Selah.

A BUSH ON FIRE … BUT NOT CONSUMED

A BUSH ON FIRE … BUT NOT CONSUMED


“… For we are made a spectacle unto the world,

and to angels, and to men.” (1st Corinthians 4:9)

BURNING BUSH.jpg

There is a fire that will try to consume you, this fire is the fire of temptation.  God in His providence allows His children to go through temptation in order to manifest His power, wisdom, and grace in supporting your soul while you are under temptation’s pressures.  When this temptation becomes too much (beyond our human wisdom and strength), the Child of God will call out to their Heavenly Father to intervene to give him or her strength to stand strong.

A good analogy is Moses and the burning bush.  While tending to his father-in-law’s sheep in the land of Midian, Moses saw a baffling sight.  There on Mount Horeb a bush was burning, but strangely it was not being consumed by the fire.  So too, we may get burned by the fires of temptation, but we will not be consumed.  Temptation is perhaps the heaviest of suffering for someone whose  heart is tender and pliant.  With David we cry out, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalm 51:4-5).  If we fall under the fire of temptation, our sins may be hidden from our fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ, but they often are seen by the ‘world’, by Heavenly angels and most assuredly, by God.

There is another teaching on temptation in the Book of Job.  Here we see that God sometimes allows suffering during which time we are tempted to lose our faith and trust in Him.  Job’s wife, perhaps extremely frustrated by what she saw her husband doing through, cried out, “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9).  In the end, Job came through this temptation humbled, yet approved by God, his friends instructed, and Satan, no doubt, left bewildered and disappointed. 

Satan’s hatred for the children of God has not stopped.  Satan will try to bait us, so that we will be carried away by our own lusts.  Lust of the eyes, a desire to possess what we see – and – lust of the flesh, sexual desire which has turned perverse (homosexuality, adultery, fornication, etc.).  Note what Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for the, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).  A superior foe, Satan is indeed dangerous to the souls of men.  But though we are weak, our Redeemer is Mighty!  We are forever secured by Yeshua’s love and intercession for us.  “The Lord knows those that are His, and no weapon formed against us can prosper” (2nd Timothy 2:19; Isaiah 54:17).

Saints, none of us are perfect, all of us have fallen short.  In the story of Moses and the burning bush, when Moses turned aside to see that great sight, the LORD responded and called out his name, “Moses, Moses.”  Moses replied, “Here am I.”  The Lord God then instructed Moses to remove his shoes for the place where he stood was holy ground.  When we are ‘resisting’ the fires of temptation, we may feel like a burning bush.  We cry out to our Heavenly Father to help us.  Within His presence as we pray in repentance, we stand on ‘holy’ ground.  The battle has become His battle, the God of Heaven and Earth will prevail on our behalf.

Selah.

ANOTHER GOSPEL

ANOTHER GOSPEL

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you

into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” (Galatians 1:6)


We cannot stress enough the importance of reading the Word of God in order to have your discernment sharpened and your mind filled with Righteous wisdom.  In the above scripture, the foolish Galatians were being accused by the Apostle Paul of following another gospel.  How can that be?  Only a short time before, Jesus had walked the earth.  Surely His teachings could not have been that distorted already.  What about us?  Over two thousand years have passed, is it possible that we are also being deceived?

Verse 20 of the first chapter of Galatians gives us a clue as to what we should look for in determining whether or not we are being deceived: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”  Are you following a Christian pastor, brother or sister who is pleasing men?  Or, are they pleasing God?

Standing strong in the Truth of God before pleasing people will cost you, the price you pay for not compromising will bring persecution and peril.  Hallelujah!!  Paul considered these sacrifices (see 2nd Corinthians 11:23-33) proof that he was a true servant of the Most High God. 

Building on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, the twelve Apostles and the Apostle Paul all taught the same thing.  They all preached from the same source, Jesus Christ!  Our beliefs should rest on that same foundation, which we now have access to within our Bibles.  No commentary, no sermon, no teaching, should ever replace the Word of God.  All words coming out of a man of God or woman of God should line up with scripture.  

At the end of the Bible we find a warning by John in Revelation 22:18-19.  “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book.  If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”  These words are telling us scripture is complete.  What we need to know regarding the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ whose death brought salvation to mankind is within holy scripture.  Everything we need to know to lead a godly life pleasing to Our Heavenly Father is within scripture. Anyone who claims to have a ‘new’ revelation, that he or she has some ‘new truth’ beyond Scripture, is a false teacher, one who perverts the Gospel of Christ.  “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7)

Selah.

JESUS SPEAKING ON TRUE FREEDOM

JESUS SPEAKING ON TRUE FREEDOM

“Then said Jesus to those Jews that believed on Him.

If ye continue in My Word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

and ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31)

There is a Latin phrase ‘Veritas Vos Liberabit’ which means truth will set you free.  For sure, these are days filled with untruths and often to find the real truth you need to dig for it.  Such a bother … and very often as we dig for the truth, we get pulled away from things the Lord would have us to do.  We spend too much time determining whether something is truthful or not.  Knowing the real truth is of great value. 

So, what did our Lord mean when He said’And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”?  Up until the time when Jesus walked on the earth, devout Jews would keep all the festivals, performing animal sacrifices ordained by God in order to cleanse themselves from sin.  The truth is that no matter how many festivals were kept or animals sacrificed the nature they were born with (and we were born with), a sin nature would always rise up and need to be continually cleansed.   

Yeshua in making his point to the Jews said, “Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.  And the servant abides not in the house forever: but the Son abides forever.  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (verses 34 and 35)  Surely, strange words to his audience.  They understood sin, but Yeshua was now telling them they were servants of their sin and they needed to abide in Him to be free from sin.  “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

If we are all honest with ourselves we know that the sin nature pulls at us to ‘return’ to our old ways.  Many of us find that we ‘sin’ more than we would like to, add to that if you are following a false professor you may slip into sin even more.  2nd Peter 2 has a severe warning for us when putting ourselves under leadership that may not be godly:  “While they promise them liberty (those who follow after them), they themselves are the servants of corruption: for whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” (verse 19)  And this next verse should send shudders down our spines: “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with themthan the beginning” (verse 20). 

So, brethren, we all want this True Freedom our Lord refers to in the above scripture.  The key to which is precisely what Yeshua is telling us, “IF YOU CONTINUE IN MY WORD …”  I know that in the messages we send out we stress reading and study of the Word a lot.  The Living Word of God, Spirit breathed, and precious is the way to find True Freedom.  “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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” (Hebrews 4:12).  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).  “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was (before his being born-again)” (James 1:23-24).  And finally, Yeshua said: “… Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:28).

True freedom, from sin and from the evil influences of the world, is found within the pages of your Bible.  Remember ‘Veritas Vos Liberabit’ !

Selah.      

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED

LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”

(John 14:1)

The Early Christians at Ephesus, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, were going to go through unprecedented hardship.  Paul knew this and warned them, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Ephesians 6:10).

When we heard about the believers left behind in Afghanistan, our hearts cried out to God to help them.  How should we pray?  Is it God’s will that they go through persecution and hardship?  Should we be praying that God makes a way to escape?  Or, should we be praying that they will endure, standing boldly and strong in the name of Jesus when they come face-to-face with evil.  Shouldn’t we be praying for their hearts not to be troubled no matter what happens?  We do indeed pray, we pray that their minds and hearts will be filled with the peace of God, His supernatural peace that surpasses all human understanding.   

The enemies of God often look strong and well equipped, experts at deceiving; experts at recruiting others just like themselves.

Do not let your heart be troubled.  Do not let fear overwhelm you.  As warriors in God’s army we have the Holy Spirit residing within.  The Holy Spirit who gives us discernment, wisdom and courage in our time of need.  “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might …” (Ephesians 6:10).  Remember always that the Battle is the Lord’s (1st Samuel 17:47, 2nd Chronicles 20:15)!  If you are a fearful soul and you tremble at every rattle of the enemies weapons, take heart with the following scripture from the Word of God:  “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the LORD thy God, HE IT IS THAT GOES WITH THEE: HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE …” (2nd Chronicles 32:7) 

“Say to them that are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you,” (Isaiah 35:4).

Sometimes things look bleak.  Believers around the world are currently facing unprecedented times of persecution and hardship.  Standing strong in the faith, trusting with all your heart, and believing that our Sovereign God knows those who are His and is well aware of everything going on.  Our Heavenly Father, who guides and directs our steps, who guides and directs our circumstances and the state of affairs upon the Earth, all of which by ‘providential design’ will bring about the Return of Jesus Christ, is not ignorant of the enemies’ devices, nor of the suffering of His children.  A Day of Reckoning is coming soon!  

Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled …”  Trust in God and remember these words:  “All things work together for good ... (Romans 8:28).  All things: the good, the bad, the sinkholes, the potholes, the attacks (within and without), life lived well for God, life taken.  Everything is for God’s purposes!  

Selah.  

WHAT’S YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

WHAT’S YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

TREE TRUNK.jpg

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh:yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh,yet now henceforth know we him no more [after the flesh].” (2nd Corinthians 5:16)


Adam and Eve had a good perspective (a proper viewpoint) while they walked in the garden with their Creator.  When they sinned, their perspective became convoluted (twisted).  Their powers of observation were damaged.  

If you were to take a walk in a field or forest, or even on the street where you live, and came across a large tree such as the one pictured above and you walked up to it, you would observe exactly what was right in front of you.  If you took a few steps to the left or to the right still facing the tree, you would have a different viewpoint, a different perspective.  Now you move again, stepping  backwards but still looking at the tree, again, your perspective would change.

This is what happens to us when we stop centering on God.  When we move either to the left, to the right, or we move backwards, we move away from God and our perspective changes.  When we are one-with-Him our perspective (our viewpoint) is the same as His.  So what does this have to do with what the  Apostle Paul was saying in the above scripture?

From now on we are to regard no one according to the flesh.  In other words, we are not to look at people as we did before our conversion with our sin-filled perspective. Now that we are born again, we are not to look upon others as their being Chinese, Jewish, Japanese, Russian, Korean, Latino, Muslim, etc., you get the idea.  Instead, we are to look at other people from God’s perspective:  Is this person converted or unconverted?

God has given us His Spirit and a new perspective,a new point-of-view.  In the scripture portion “though we have known Christ after the flesh” the  Apostle Paul, the converted new-man, is saying that at one time he looked at Jesus ‘according to the flesh.’  Before his conversion, Paul believed Jesus was a false prophet, a false messiah, the worst example of a Hebrew ever to live, and he hated everything about him.  After his conversion, Paul’s perspective became his Heavenly Father’s perspective and he realized that Jesus was indeed the Savior.  Same Paul with a new mind (a born-again mind) – his perspective had changed!

Thinking again about that tree.  Where do you stand?  Are you looking full-on standing face-to-face with the Living God, never wavering in your position?  Or have you changed your perspective, your viewpoint of what it is that He wants from His children?  Sometimes we get off track, we move when we are out of His will; but, because of God’s grace and favor on His children, He will always bring us back.

Selah.

QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT

QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT

“Quench not the Spirit.” (1st Thessalonians 5:19)


How many of us have ever really thought about this scripture, “Quench not the Spirit!”   Quench — extinguish, burn out, put out, switch off, turn off, smother, douse.  For our purposes I think quench might mean ‘turn off’ or ‘douse’.

The Spirit of God is the Heavenly Promise sent from Jesus to guide us in all things pertaining to life and godliness.  He resides within us, praying for us and guiding us.  If you are born-again and if you are connected to the vine, walking ‘in the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:16-18), and walking in His will, the Holy Spirit is both your Counselor and Comforter. 

How do we quench the Spirit?  We quench Him when we are in sin.  Ephesians Chapter 4 in comparing our old life with our new life names a few things that will quench the Holy Spirit:  lasciviousness (lewd, lustful acts, lustfulness, wantonness, unrestrained sexual behavior), greed, lying, anger, theft, corrupt communication, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (shouting, yelling), and evil speaking.

When the Holy Spirit takes up residence within a believer, He brings with Him gifts that God expects us to use to further His purposes on Earth.  These gifts are supernatural graces Christians need to fulfill the mission of the Church.  Sometimes referred to as charismatic gifts, they are:  a word of knowledge, increased faith, gift of miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues.  1st Timothy 4:14 tells us “Neglect not the gift that is in thee …” and 2nd Timothy 1:6 reminds us to “… stir up the gift of God …”  In other words, put your whole heart, mind, body and soul into the work of God using the gift(s) of the Holy Spirit.  TO NEGLECT YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS IS TO QUENCH THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

We don’t want to become dry bones.  “And He said unto me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, ‘O Lord, thou knowest!’ (Ezekiel 37:3).

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?  And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Acts 19:2).  In the early church we see believers (those who believed that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah, the Son of God) who, the apostles laid hands on, praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit.  This ‘second’ baptism (Luke 3:22, Acts 1:4-5, Acts 2:1-4) was necessary for the fledgling church to walk in the might and power of the Spirit as effective witnesses to all nations.  Although the Holy Spirit resides in every born again believer, there is a total surrendering of self that must be done to enable the Spirit to work in you bringing forth the gifts [of the Spirit] as they are needed in order to witness and uplift the Body of Christ.  Achieving this ‘surrendering of self’ is between you and God, it is something that you can seek and pray for.  But saints, only someone who wants to immerse themselves in the things of God, to be used by God, no matter the cost, should pray for this special grace. 

Quench not the Spirit!  There are millions and millions of lost people on earth.  Lost with no one telling them that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Be filled with the Spirit and fulfill the great commission, we have been given talents, don’t bury them, use them.

Selah.