Understanding The Lovingkindness of The Lord
Psa 107:43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
If you were to sit down and read Psalms 107, you will see the two extreme spectrums of how God deals with mankind.
God can take springs of water, prosperity, goodness and many blessings and make them dry wilderness and destruction. He then can take dry water brooks, a dry wilderness and everything that was destroyed… and restore and make a blessing again!
In this Psalm is a nugget of the loving-kindness of God! Where you may ask? Simple… When God brings a trial, or dryness to our lives, He does it to get us to get our focus back on Him. We cry out to God and then He restores and blesses us.
You may ask how is a trial, dryness or even loss counted as the loving-kindness of God? Simple… it shows us that God loves us enough to not let us spiritually die! That is God’s Loving-kindness at work!!
For He Knoweth Our Frame
Psa 103:8-14 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. (9) He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. (10) He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (11) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. (12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (13) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (14) For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Scripture says that we should not despise the Chastisement of the Lord, because He loves and corrects us. Even though we know this, sometimes we still hang our head low when we are being corrected by Him… it can be grievous to endure.
Once a mature believer embraces how God deals with them, then they can change their ways in a much quicker fashion. When God is correcting us, it is to our benefit to just get what the lesson is, and thank Him for correcting us and loving us.
God won’t always chide with us, He will turn our correction into a time of refreshing. He understands our frame and our weakness… but it is His corrections that teach us how to be a mature, grown up saint of God!
It’s A Blessing To Be Blessed By The Lord
Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Living as a human being in this world has its highs and lows. While some people live in complete poverty; and others live in mansions. Blessings that actually come from God can be awesome, even if it’s a small blessing.
While the worldly people of society try to “bless themselves,” they often do not get to feel the real blessings of God. Blessings that come from God is not based on what you get so much; but is based on how you got it!
Some of my greatest blessings came when there was no way I could obtain it any other way but through God. When I had no car, God moved on someone to give me one (this happened twice). When I had no groceries, someone gave me groceries. When I needed a Word or answer from God… it came!
The blessings that God does, may not make you “rich” financially, but it will fill your heart with a knowledge, that God cares for us and blesses us by His mighty hand. That is why there is no sorrow with God’s blessings! We just have to trust that He will come through!!
Flesh vs Spirit
Rom 8:5-8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
After a person is born again (been water baptized in Jesus name, and filled with the Holy Ghost (speaking in tongues)), they will begin a life’s battle between the Flesh and Spirit.
The above scripture is the key in living for God. Depending on what side you feed, will determine whether you please God or not. We have all got to come to that place when we finally say to our sinful nature… enough is enough.
Since the carnal man is not subject to God, we must allow the Holy Ghost to sanctify us and keep us moving forward spiritually. As we move and walk in the Spirit, that is when the mighty things of God take place!!
Following Jesus For The Right Reasons
Having lived for God for over 30 years, I have seen many people come and go in the Kingdom of God. I have seen many come to God because they really wanted God, while others come to God for the wrong reasons (a spouse, social club, activities etc).
In scripture, many believers in the time of Jesus only followed Him because of the “loaves and fishes.” When Jesus addressed the crowd in John 6, He asked them for a commitment, they were offended by what Jesus was saying, so they left Him to never follow Him again.
I have seen people who came into the church with good intentions (whether right or wrong). Some may of come in with improper motives, but soon get their priorities straightened out. However, those who were on the fence often fell away because when it came time to really commit to God, they left.
We are always wise to evaluate why we follow Christ. Even if we come to God for the wrong reasons, there are plenty of reasons to realign our desires to live for Him because we love Him; we need Him; we want to be His disciple all our days. Now, those are good reasons to follow Jesus, even when life’s trials are hard to understand.
Do Believers Automatically Receive The Spirit?
I have talked to many “believers” who say that when they “Believed on the Lord” and “Accepted the Lord As Their Personal Savior”… that it was at that point of decision that they automatically received the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). Without getting into a lengthy bible study let’s consider this.
POINT #1 – I did a thorough search in scripture using bible software using the words “believe” and “spirit” (and ghost) that mentioned all the words together in the same verse as it only pertains to being filled with the spirit automatically… There was NO scripture talking about automatically being filled when a person “believed on the Lord.”
POINT #2 – I did find two verses (where both words appear) as far as a separate experience as it relates to being saved as a “believer.” They are John 7:38-39, Eph 1:13…. John talks about a believer will receive the Holy Ghost… but Jesus separates the experiences because in that verse, Believers did not have the opportunity to receive the Holy Ghost yet until the Day of Pentecost. In Ephesians, Paul connects salvation with believing and the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise that a believer receives (which in scripture should happen after they believe).
POINT #3 – Jesus said that a person MUST be born of the water (water baptism) and of the spirit (baptism of Holy Spirit) to EVEN ENTER the kingdom of God. So, for a person to be saved they MUST be water baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. So, Jesus makes a connection between believing, water baptism and the baptism of the spirit as a means for a person to be saved.
POINT #4 – If you truly searched the scripture on how people received the Holy Ghost, you will find that being filled with the Spirit is a distinct actual experience that a person can receive. In the bible, Acts 2 gives us a detailed explanation of about 120 people who were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues (visibly and audibly).
CONCLUSION – To make sense out of this teaching, that a person automatically receives the spirit when they consciously decide to believe on the Lord. Just ask yourself this question… where in scripture did this ever happen? How come the 12 disciples (and other believers) in the gospels later received the Holy Ghost in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost? Weren’t they believers already? So, how come they got the Holy Ghost later down the road?
In Acts 19, Paul came across some disciples of John the Baptist (who were believers by the way). And he asked 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.”… Paul goes on and asked them how they were baptized… they said John’s baptism. Paul taught them the updated truth… and they were baptized in Jesus name and all of them received the Holy Ghost. SO… ask yourself this final question. If they “received the spirit automatically” when they first believed under John… then why did they get the Holy Ghost (speaking in tongues) much later down the road??? DO YOU SEE THE REVELATION NOW!!
When it comes to communication between two people, whether it be husband/wife, family members or friends, we often communicate with people based on various motives we may have. One may be a "talker" and hog the whole conversation, while others just listen and really not show any interest. But, one thing I have noticed about most communication exchanges between people is that we don't always listen to truly understand; but we listen to just reply.
This is often true when it comes to dealing with serious matters and/or arguments. In the heat of the moment, we become defensive and never really hear what a person is saying so we can understand where they are coming from. Most often we are just listening to reply back with our point of view or argument.
To truly become a good communicator, whether you are Christian or not, is to learn how to truly listen to what a person is saying. They may be speaking some words; but what is behind their words? Are they hurting, frustrated or lack understanding?
Being a polite, interested listener will fine tune your discernment and help to resolve an issue. However, to be able to communicate effectively, you must have godly wisdom and understanding to know that you have the power to hurt or help a person in need. You need to have a true "motivation" to really listen and help people!
Living In A Historical Viewpoint
When anyone comes to find God through the new birth experience (Acts 2:38); they enter an exciting life of spirituality and joy. They cling to the Bible and absorb as much as they can. They read scripture and try to understand all that took place way back then.
As time passes and they begin to understand more, they begin looking to scripture to recreate the awesome works of God; including how Jesus and the Apostles performed miracles. However, in this juncture of their life they may begin to imitate what God did way back then and they assume that God will do His work the same exact way, just like then. However, with this misplaced vision, if not careful, a saint of God can become discouraged with the lack of results.
Looking to scripture to see how God does things is a good thing. But a misplaced vision of something that took place 2000 years ago is what I call “Living In A Historical Viewpoint of Scripture.” This misplaced historical viewpoint can cause us to not see what is happening now, in front of us! Trying to recreate the same works as we read without the anointing of God can be frustrating. We think that just because we read it that God has to do it for us again, just like then, right now. Not so!
What we do need to do though, is read scripture to inspire our faith and then look at the scriptures on how to discipline ourselves, become holy, learn to pray, be obedient to God’s will at that moment of time. We need to learn to be sensitive to His voice and obey it. We don’t have to compromise doctrine but let God use us NOW!
The problem is, when we are always trying to perform the same works we read about, we then keep ourselves from seeing what God is doing right now. Living with a historical gospel viewpoint is like saying God is the God of the past and not of today! God is trying to get the church to realize that He wants to do even greater things now than he did in the New Testament! HE IS THE "I AM NOW" GOD!