Sunday, 21 October 2018

The Praise of His Glory

Scripture:  Ephesians 1 v 1 - 6: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 
4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

Greetings to all the saints all over Earth who are chosen and ordained to be the praise and glory of Jesus Christ.

That is what we are to Him, who poured out His life so we could live.  He took the death off us and resurrected us to new life as a completely new creation.  He made us pure, sinless, holy, free of addictions, and bondage, to be worthy of Heaven.

Before the foundation of the world He did all this and gave us our position in His Body.  We are now seated with Christ in heavenly places on the right hand of the Father.  That is how close we are to God.  Inside Jesus sitting next to our Father.

He wants us to walk in this newness.  That means it offends Him if we are immobile in our new life.  He wants to see us move, walking and leaping and praising God.  We are not confined by our flesh which may keep us from climbing Everest or running marathons, but we are spiritually liberated to soar at heights that achieve great victories for His Kingdom.

He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  Our Father has withheld nothing from us if we are prepared to move in Spirit with Him.  If we are not moving, our flesh and intellect are keeping us that way.  If we are not growing and experiencing more of God, we are stagnating in fleshly pursuits and wasting valuable time.

In the world people are urged to become more active, exercise more, play sport, take dance classes, run, walk, swim, surf or mentally stay active through chess, scrabble, crosswords, games, reading, movies or working hard with what ever talents we have.  To enable us to live longer.

Jesus gave us the example of His friends Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus whom He raised from death.  Martha was very industrious working around the house, while Mary sat at His feet drinking in every word He spoke.  He commended Mary for doing what was good.

To grow and move in Spirit with God we need to come to Him empty handed.  We need to shut down and shut off every worldly thing and get quiet in His Presence for as long as it pleases Him.  I recently watched a short video of the underground Chinese Church where a visiting preacher was asked to preach from 7.30am to 8.30pm for 3 straight days without lunch or tea breaks.

They had no Bibles or chairs.  They were squashed like sardines but they stood for all those hours, praised and rejoiced and listened and moved in Spirit to the praise of His glory.  They hungered and thirsted for Jesus and He poured out His Spirit upon them.  They wanted nothing more than His glory and they got it.

When we are seated in Him we are acknowledging that He did all the work of saving our souls and giving us life.  To be seated means that He is seated and that His work is completed.  To walk in His ways is to take His life and bring it to those who are still wallowing in sin and shame.  We must be ready to lose our lives if required to reach the lost.

During the Rhodesian Bush War in the 1970's there was a man who came from a remote village who got saved in  Christian Campaign.  He bought audio tapes and a cassette player to take these messages home to his village.  One day the Shifta terrorists came to this village and they heard this cassette player which they thought was a two way radio and killed this Christian.  They destroyed his radio and left.  None of the villagers had heeded the messages they heard but everyone of them got saved that day.

In the book "Through Gates of Splendor"  5 missionary families went to South America to try to reach the most remote, hostile, cannibal tribe on Earth, the Lambayique Quecha.  After great and positive overtures from the natives the 5 men went in and never came out.  The natives were seen wearing their clothes.  One of the wives was called by God to go back to that place and through her ministry those cannibals received salvation.  She walked the walk.

These two and thousands like them have moved as the Holy Spirit bade them go.  We need to get into the flow of the Holy Spirit to become the praise of His glory.  He will empower us and protect us or use us to achieve great things for the Kingdom of God.  We have to use every attribute He has given us and be content with what we have to reach those souls that are within the reach He gives us.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You bought us back from Hell with the Blood of Your Son, we do not have words great enough to praise You.  We only have our lives to offer You and we surrender all to our precious Saviour to do whatever it takes to complete the task of saving them all. In Jesus' name.  Amen.