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Take It to Heart

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Christsfreeservant, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Isaiah 42:18-20 ESV

    “Hear, you deaf,
    and look, you blind, that you may see!
    Who is blind but my servant,
    or deaf as my messenger whom I send?
    Who is blind as my dedicated one,
    or blind as the servant of the Lord?
    He sees many things, but does not observe them;
    his ears are open, but he does not hear.”

    When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, if it is biblical faith, and not man-made faith, we die with Christ to sin that we might live with Christ to his righteousness. We forsake our former lives of living to sin and to self, and we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sinful lifestyles to now walking in obedience and in surrender to our Lord Jesus.

    And this faith we now have, which is a gift from God, is a choice to change how we live our lives, from the moment we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, until the day that we die. For, we realize that faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time commitment which can easily be dismissed at any time for our convenience, but that it is a walk of faith that lasts forever.

    We understand that we aren’t saved just so we can escape hell and so we can go to heaven when we die, but we understand and accept that we are saved so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us, and that this faith we have in Jesus Christ must endure to the very end if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Col. 1:21-23; 1 Co. 15:2).

    Blind and Deaf

    Nonetheless, not everyone who professed faith in Jesus Christ maintained that belief. Many were persuaded somewhere along the line to take a short-cut, so to speak, and to settle for spiritual mediocrity, laziness, apathy and spiritual stagnancy. They chose an allotment, supposedly from God, but not of God – not his portion assigned to them at all. And, that is where they parked themselves and have remained.

    But this portion, this share, supposedly in Christ, that they have chosen for themselves as a short-cut, so that they don’t have to walk the walk of faith for a lifetime, has placed them half-way between biblical (conservative) Christianity and Unitarian Universalism (1), i.e. a one-world all-inclusive religion which is of Satan, not of God.

    And, that is because they have partnered with the world in cutting short the gospel of our salvation to where it can include anyone of any religion, for it requires no real allegiance to God at all, but it uses God merely as a stepstool to gain heaven, or so they think.

    For, by cutting the gospel short, many have opened the way to heaven to all by making it so broad that anyone can enter with no real commitment to God at all. For, all they have to do is accept God’s grace and they are told that they are now part of God’s family and that heaven is their eternal destiny. No repentance, no obedience and no submission to God/Christ required at all. Just acknowledge God’s grace and you are in, set to go.

    Not all have taken it to that extreme, though, but many have. For, when they make the gospel of our salvation merely an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die, but obedience to Christ and repenting of sin are either discouraged, ignored or made optional, then all one has to do is acknowledge Christ for what he did, and they are told heaven is their eternal destiny and that it can’t be taken away from them no matter how much they sin.

    So, it is free license, not only to continue in willful, habitual and premeditated sin against God, but it is free license to ignore God, too. It is free license to refuse to hear God and the teachings of His Word, for they now have their “free pass” and they think their sins no longer matter.

    Isaiah 42:21-23 ESV

    “The Lord was pleased, for his righteousness' sake,
    to magnify his law and make it glorious.
    But this is a people plundered and looted;
    they are all of them trapped in holes
    and hidden in prisons;
    they have become plunder with none to rescue,
    spoil with none to say, “Restore!”
    Who among you will give ear to this,
    will attend and listen for the time to come?”

    But, the Lord warned the church in scripture against spiritual apathy, spiritual lukewarmness, and thinking that they can play church, and play religion, thinking they can still continue in their sinful practices unhindered. The Lord even used the example of the Israelites in the wilderness and how many of them God cut off and they were not able to enter into his rest because of unbelief, which was due to their disobedience to God.

    He warned his church that they must repent of their sins or face judgment, and he warned them, too, that if they continued on a sinful course, and if they did not acknowledge him and obey him that they were in danger of dying and going to hell and of not having eternal life with God (Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6; Rom. 2:6-8; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

    And, he has been sending messengers to his church here in America for at least 70 to 80 years, confronting them with their sins of idolatry and spiritual adultery, warning of divine judgment, calling them to repentance, and promising restoration for the repentant and the obedient.

    But, the vast majority of the American church appears to have continued on their short-cut rather than to surrender their all to Jesus Christ and to make him truly Lord of their lives. And, so God has sent multiple judgments upon the church in America, over the years, but many of those did not shake the church out of their apathy, and so they continued on their own course.

    And, so now the adulterous and idolatrous church in America, and perhaps throughout the world, is facing more of God’s divine judgment with this pandemic which is resulting in loss of jobs, loss of incomes, the shutting down of our society, closing of stores, restrictions regarding being with other people, and the closing of church doors (forbidding us to gather together), etc. But, we are all impacted by it, just like Jeremiah shared in the punishment of his rebellious people, even though he was righteous.

    Isaiah 42:24-25 ESV

    “Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
    Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned,
    in whose ways they would not walk,
    and whose law they would not obey?
    So he poured on him the heat of his anger
    and the might of battle;
    it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand;
    it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart.”

    So, we are now surrounded by the New World Order, and we are being conquered, I believe, for this is all part of the rise of the beast, and this is all part of the fulfilling of the agenda of a conglomerate of the wealthy and powerful of the world whose agenda it is to conquer us all. And, we are being brought down one piece and one step at a time. And, this is because the vast majority of the church, at least here in America, has gone the way of the world and they have refused to listen to God.

    But, I have this sense that the majority of the church here in America still doesn’t get it. They still don’t understand what is going on and why it is happening. And, I feel as though they assume that this will all just blow over and then we can resume life as normal.

    But, if normal is spiritual laziness and stagnancy, and if it is quenching the Spirit of God, and if it is following after man-made religion, and giving God a passing “hi” while we continue on a sinful course or on a self-absorbed and self-gratifying walk of life, then is normal a good thing? NO! It isn’t!!

    So, we shouldn’t want to return to normal. We should not be ok with spiritual stagnancy, like the church in Laodicea. We should not be giving people “high fives” while they continue in sinful practices, and while we refuse to speak the truth to them in love for fear that they will reject us and that they will call us out as “odd.” But, it is ok to be odd. Jesus was!

    I do believe there are Christians who are taking notice, and that their lives are changing for the better, because they are taking this time to take stock in how they have been living their lives, and so they are now having closer walks with the Lord because of this trial we are all going through. So, this has been a very good thing for the church.

    But, many are still not taking this to heart. They are not seeing this for what it is, and they are not being moved to change their hearts or their lifestyles, for I believe they are convinced that soon they will return to normal and that everything will be as it was before, with some minor adjustments.

    But, God is calling his church back to him, to make him truly Lord of their lives. So, please listen to what he is saying to the churches.

    Nearer, Still Nearer

    Lyrics and Music by Lelia N. Morris, pub. 1898

    Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,
    Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!
    Fold me, oh, fold me close to Thy breast;
    Shelter me safe in that “haven of rest.”

    Nearer, still nearer, nothing I bring,
    Naught as an off’ring to Jesus, my King;
    Only my sinful, now contrite heart,
    Grant me the cleansing Thy blood doth impart.

    Nearer, still nearer, Lord, to be Thine!
    Sin, with its follies, I gladly resign,
    All of its pleasures, pomp and its pride,
    Give me but Jesus, my Lord crucified.

    Nearer, still nearer, while life shall last,
    Till safe in glory my anchor is cast;
    Through endless ages ever to be
    Nearer, my Savior, still nearer to Thee!

    Copyright status is public domain


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  2. Heavenhome

    Heavenhome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I do agree and whilst you say it is so in America, I believe it is worldwide or at least in the western world. It is certainly the case here in Australia.
    When I see the faith amidst the suffering persecuted Christians in the underground church, it puts us to shame.

    Thank you for your post.
     
  3. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Good to remember that events may sometimes be seen from at least three perspectives, as far as people on earth may be concerned; the three groups mentioned in 1 Cor. 10.32: Jews, Gentiles, and the church of God.

    Sometimes the perspectives can differ markedly.

    So for instance if events happen, then it's unlikely to be accurate to say: Oh, it's all because of what this group or that group did. God is sovereign, and working out His purposes, how ever inscrutable at times.
     
  4. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Heavenhome, thank you for this comment. Yes, I believe it is the western church, i.e. it is the church that has become worldly, market-driven and flesh-driven, like some of the churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3. I only have knowledge of the church in America, though, so that is why I say "at least in America," for I recognize it could go beyond just America.

    Yes, the persecuted church throughout the world does put the worldly flesh-driven church to shame. I agree. We need to get back to the scriptures and walk in the truth as the church in the west, and we need to honor God as the holy God that he is. Thank you!
     
  5. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Faroukfarouk - Though I agree that events can be seen from different perspectives, biblically speaking God did call out his wandering people often for judgment, and he used the wicked world to exercise his judgments on his wandering people, too. And, in Revelation 2-3 we have Jesus calling out 5 of these 7 churches for judgment if they do not repent of their wicked ways, and the Bible does talk about God judging his church, and that judgment begins with the house of God. Based on Revelation 2-3, in particular, it does appear that judgment against the wandering church is executed prior to judgment against the world as a whole.

    Also, biblically speaking, we don't have 3 groups of people, we have two. The two groups used to be Jew and Gentile. But Jesus made Jew and Gentile one in Christ, and the scriptures teach that Jews who don't believe in Jesus are no different than unbelieving Arabs (Gal. 4:22-31). So, the division now is Christian (biblical) and non-Christian, or saved and unsaved, believer and unbeliever. Jews are the same as Gentiles, in other words, if they don't believe in Jesus Christ (See: Rom. 9:6b-8; Rom. 11:28-32; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22).
     
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