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Loyal
Sunday, August 13, 2017, 11:57 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Bless This House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (NASB) regarding being fit for the kingdom of God.

Don’t Look Back (Luke 9:57-62)

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”​

When God calls us to go, we must go where he sends us, and not look back, i.e. and not second-guess God or his wisdom. If we want to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, we must deny self and take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. It is not ours to choose what that looks like, either. In other words, when Jesus Christ becomes our Savior, he also becomes our Lord (owner-master). When he died on that cross, he bought us back for God with his shed blood, so we are no longer our own, to live how or where we want. We are now to honor God with our lives in all that we do. And, we must be willing to accept the path he has marked out for us, being prepared to give up all the comforts of this world.

Following Jesus wherever he leads us often means sacrifice, and not only leaving the comforts of this life behind us, but leaving friends and family, too, in order to follow our Lord in obedience. Going with God is not always logical, humanly speaking, nor is it always practical, by human terms, and so we may face rejection or criticism, misunderstandings and even resentment from our friends and family because they won’t understand why we must follow Jesus over and above human attachments. They won’t get why it is so important to go where God sends us, and they may even question whether or not we are hearing from God, and they may take offense at our decisions, thinking our decisions are directed against them.

Yet, when we respond to the call of God on our lives with a “but,” then we are not really saying “Yes” to Jesus. What I mean by this is if we say to the Lord that we love him, and that we are his, and that we are the sheep of his pasture, and that he is our shepherd, but then we qualify that statement with a “but” or an “if,” then we are not really serious about being followers of Christ. It can’t be, “I’ll follow you, but first let me do this or that,” or “I’ll follow you, but only if it remains in my comfort zone and it fits with my standard of living.” To follow Jesus means to be fully abandoned (yielded, given over) to him, no matter the cost, or no matter where he sends us, or what he calls us to do, or the sacrifices we must make. If we make up our own rules for following him, and we set the standard we would agree to follow, then we are not really fit (ready for use) for the kingdom of God.

In a Manner Worthy (Phil. 1:27-30)

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.​

How we conduct ourselves is how we live our lives. It has to do with our attitudes, thinking, speaking and behaviors (actions). These must be in a manner (way, behavior) worthy (suitable, fitting) with the gospel of Christ. So, what is the gospel of Christ? In a nut shell, it is that Jesus died on a cross for our sins, and was resurrected from the dead, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (See: Ro. 6:1-23; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 4:17-24). So, our attitudes, thoughts, speaking and behaviors should reflect that we are dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. This is not to say that we will never sin or have a wrong thought or attitude, but that our manner of living, i.e. our lifestyle, should reflect that the gospel is being lived out in our lives.

If we are conducting ourselves in a manner worthy (fitting) with the gospel of Jesus Christ, then we should be standing firm in our faith, and on the Word of God, and we should not be vacillating back and forth between the world and the kingdom of God. We should be sold out to Christ and to his service, no matter where that leads us. And, if there are those who oppose us, and who criticize, reject, mock or mistreat us because of our faith and our obedience to our Lord, we should not let that undo us. We should not allow ourselves to become unsettled or hindered in our walks of obedience to our Lord just because we face opposition (hostility, resistance). Jesus faced much opposition, but he willingly laid his life down for us for our freedom.

Although having faith in Christ gives us a life filled with much joy and peace, this new life in Christ is not just one big party where having “fun” all the time is our ultimate goal, or where we always live in comfort and at ease. It is not only granted to us, by God’s grace, to believe in him, but also to suffer for the sake of his name, and for the sake of the gospel of our salvation. Thus, we will have conflicts, and opponents, and we will face undue criticism, rejection, hatred, misunderstandings, and even false accusations. Other people will make up their own minds about us, and concerning what they feel are our motivations, and they may gossip about us and slander us, too, but we have no control over that. So, we must submit our lives to Christ, trust in the sovereignty of God, and walk in obedience to his leading.

To Please Him (Col. 1:9-14)

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.​

We are not only to walk (conduct ourselves) in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, but we are to walk in a manner (way) worthy (fitting) of our Lord, who gave his life up for us so that we could be freed from sin. He not only has transformed our lives (turned us) from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that we could receive forgiveness of sins, but he is our example for us to follow in how we should conduct (live) our lives. “What would Jesus do?” is/was not just a popular cliché, but it is the model for us to follow in how we live our own lives, day in and day out. If we are not comfortable with the idea that Jesus is right there with us, as we go throughout our day’s activities, then we need to alter the way we live.

So, how do we know the manner of living that would be fitting the gospel of Christ or worthy of our Lord? We know it by the witness of God’s Holy Spirit living within us, and we know it by the Word of God. So, we need to be studying the Word of God (the Bible – Genesis to Revelation), listening to our Lord speak his words to our heart, and we need to be doing what it says. It is NOT true that God is pleased with us no matter what we do. So, we need to find out what pleases our Lord, and then we need to walk in that, all in the power and the working of God’s Holy Spirit living within us.

When we walk (conduct our lives) in a manner (way) worthy (fitting) of our Lord and of his gospel, and we live to please him fully, we will produce fruit (results, outgrowth) in our lives which will be in conformity or harmony with a life which has been crucified with Christ in death to sin and resurrected with Christ to newness of life. We will no longer live (in lifestyle) to please our sinful flesh and to do what will gain us popularity and acceptance in this world. But, our desire will be for our Lord, to walk in his ways and in his truth. Yet, we don’t have to conjure this up ourselves. This is the working of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, as we yield our hearts to God, and we follow our Lord in surrender and in obedience. He will give us all we need in this life to live godly and holy lives pleasing to him.

Bless This House
Helen Taylor / May H. Morgan

Bless the people here within,
Keep them pure and free from sin . . .

Bless us all that we may be,
Fit O Lord to dwell with Thee . . .
 
Active
On not looking back...Jesus says remember what happened to Lot's wife.

Also, in exodus..,were the israelites looking back as they crossed the red sea? NO way! If they did they would have perished.
Did Joshua and Caleb look back after crossing the Jordan?

Do we pine for the leeks and onions of egypt and murmur and complain for our old life even after we have been saved and delivered? Well what happened to those complainers is they got swallowed up..harsh but God really wants us to be in His Kingdom so much so, that those he especially invites and dont end up coming, because of some lame excuse...he will compell others to come who are just waiting to enter the promised land, that didnt even belong to Him.

When you think of it Heaven is such a privelige and eternal life is so precious, why would anyone give that up for a mess of pottage (a bowl of stew) like Esau? Yet there are people that do. Ive had people who profess they are christian and then tell me they'd rather read horror stories than the Bible. I mean that is their choice but it shows they just dont have their minds on following Jesus. Really. I mean, I dont think God is glorified in a horror movie or story....Ive never heard of Jesus telling anyone to go hide in the darkness again after seeing the light!
 
Loyal
On not looking back...Jesus says remember what happened to Lot's wife.

Also, in exodus..,were the israelites looking back as they crossed the red sea? NO way! If they did they would have perished.
Did Joshua and Caleb look back after crossing the Jordan?

Do we pine for the leeks and onions of egypt and murmur and complain for our old life even after we have been saved and delivered? Well what happened to those complainers is they got swallowed up..harsh but God really wants us to be in His Kingdom so much so, that those he especially invites and dont end up coming, because of some lame excuse...he will compell others to come who are just waiting to enter the promised land, that didnt even belong to Him.

When you think of it Heaven is such a privelige and eternal life is so precious, why would anyone give that up for a mess of pottage (a bowl of stew) like Esau? Yet there are people that do. Ive had people who profess they are christian and then tell me they'd rather read horror stories than the Bible. I mean that is their choice but it shows they just dont have their minds on following Jesus. Really. I mean, I dont think God is glorified in a horror movie or story....Ive never heard of Jesus telling anyone to go hide in the darkness again after seeing the light!
Very good points! Thank you for sharing.
 
Loyal
@Sue J Love

Sometimes people will say that since they repented that first time that they now have got made all the way into His kingdom forever. Not so! Each time He asks something of us, we need to answer correctly as to our availability. This speaks not of our ability or inability, but rather our availability. If we continuously say, no, as the Israelites did in wilderness by their repeatedly selfish attitudes, eventually, we, as those Israelites were found unfit for the Promised Land, will be found unfit for the Kingdom.

God wants to use us but if after accepting His call, we say, "no, not this time as I have other pressing priorities", how much mercy is He likely to allow us?

What occurred with all of those Israelites, except Joshua and Caleb as mentioned above [ @Lanolin ], as per the following verses will also apply to us when we murmur and rebel against God.

"Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:" Num 14:22-23

God has not changed one bit; He is still no respecter of persons. The limit for them was 10 times. Due to our circumstances and our knowledge and the specific promises made to us, our limit of rebellion may be more or less than 10, but there certainly is a limit. Should we test God to see how many times we can get away with such nonsense and receive His forgiveness because of His mercy? This time that we test the limit because God has always accepted our repentance before, it may well be too late. There may not be a place of repentance and corresponding mercy on God's part for us.

At the end of our course, will we be fit for the Kingdom?

"And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents." Matt 25:25-28

We must use what God has given us in the way that He expects us to use it, we will lose it.

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. " Heb 12:15-17

The birthright and the blessing belonged to Esau. He gave them away for a little bit of material favor in this world. He made himself unfit for the inheritance which was his.

When we come to Jesus that first time and really repent, we are fit for the kingdom. But, we belong to Him, even though we can still say, "yea" or "nay". Should we be sayinh "nay" to God?
 
Active
I dont know what the limit is...but I think there is...Jesus says to forgive someone seventy times seven. There were seven plagues in revelation.

In the old testament I think it was ten. Ten plagues, ten righteous men, ten commandments...

God in His mercy allows people to live...everytime you see a rainbow (and it has seven colours!) praise the Lord you know God hasnt destroyed the earth...you've survived the storm.

Gods grace is given to the humble, He resists the proud.

People soon forget that God is God and He doesnt change His ways for people, we cant really tell Him what do do as in boss Him around and undermine His authority. I mean if He commands you to do something, Or stay away from something, listen and do it...He's God! He's got your life in His hands! He's a loving God but doesnt mean He will let you do anything you want! I think some people think, like Adam, oh, God loves me and wont mind if I eat this forbidden fruit that He told me not to eat yesterday. Nothing will happen.

Um...
 
Active
I just want to say Adam was an idiot. I mean really. Eve was just naive, but Adam...?!

They got themselves banished from the garden. Before they ruined it.
 
Loyal
Another good topic. There are quite a few verses about those who are considered "worthy" or not. I won't post them all. (over 40 in the new testament).

Matt 10:37; "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Matt 10:38; "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matt 22:8; "Then he *said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
Luke 20:35; but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

2 Thes 1:5; This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Thes 1:11; To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,

Rev 3:4; 'But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

Rom 1:32; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

There are many many more... but these caught my attention at one time or another.
 
Loyal
I just want to say Adam was an idiot. I mean really. Eve was just naive, but Adam...?!

They got themselves banished from the garden. Before they ruined it.
I admit, I have thought the same. It's easy to have 20/20 hindsight. But on the other hand, how many times have you sinned in your life?
You know it's a sin before you do it, but you still do it, and so do I. How can we say we wouldn't have made that mistake? We make it everyday.
 
Active
Uh...walking more with God means He helps keep me away from sin and temptations.

Of course before I was saved I sinned practically everyday. I was naive and idiotic, no doubt about it.

Being a christian doesnt mean you go on sinning. I would be a fool to keep sinning and expect God to be pleased with me no matter what I did cos I was called out of darkness into light.

This is why Jesus says dont look back. Cos looking back you only looking back at the mess you left behind.
 
Active
If you are sinning everyday and doing it still knowing its sin BAC something is wrong!

Cant you stop? You need to confess it and repent. Truly. I dont know what your sin is but dont keep doing it its not only harming you but also impacts on everyone else around you, and not pleasing to God.
 
Active
Maybe its different for men.

Adam ought to have known better, cos he was walking with God all along, Eve was made later and didnt know the serpent was a liar. She was gullible and too trusting.

But yea I think the harsher penalty is on people that sin knowing its sin. Eve was tricked, but adam wasnt. He ate anyway.

Both disobeyed though and were barred from the tree of life, because they ruined the garden. God couldnt trust them and their actions showed they were guilty..,they didnt immediately confess it to God and say, God, we made a mistake- they actually tried to hide from Him.
 

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