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Friday: Further Thought ~ Rewards of Faithfulness — 6 Comments

  1. And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. Luke 12:18,19 KJV

    The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? Dan 4: 30

    Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. Matt 19:21

    And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. Luke 19:8

    Application: Its our choice!

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  2. #3 essentially avoiding sin that leads to death.

    How to avoid the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin I do believe is shunning the Holy Spirit's pleadings unto death.

    Turn to God in prayer. Ask for forgiveness. Be contrite and sincere. Give Christ your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Any other way and you will not succeed. As you turn your problems over to Christ, He will even transform your thoughts to be in harmony with Him, clearing the way for good actions. You can't overcome the sin that leads to death unless you choose to let Christ do it for you. Daily prayer and surrender is vital.

    What a friend we have in Jesus, all our griefs and sins to bear. What a privilege to carry, every thing to God in prayer.

    Deuteronomy 4:30-31. Good advice, applicable to modern Christians.
    1John 1:9. He is faithful to forgive our sin.
    Isaiah 57:15. The humble, contrite, and repentant sinner bypasses the unpardonable sin.
    Philippians 2:13. Christ even gives us the desire and power to do His will.
    Luke 9:23. Daily prayer and surrender to Him, is taking up your cross and following Christ.

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  3. This whole trimester has been so wonderful to study through. There has been such an enlightenment over practical matters about our relationship with material things. Where is my focus? In the finitude of my present state or in the offer of eternity given by God Himself?

    (12)
  4. This has been a practical and helpful quarterly. There is no reason we should be running to the world or people who are not coming out of Babylon for advice about Biblical matters (I.e. Dave Ramsey). I like some of Dave Ramsey’s teachings, but between G. Edward Reid (the principal contributor for this quarter) and the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, I believe there is enough wisdom to set our feet on financial stability.

    This past month I’ve been trying to study the quarterly everyday as usual, and then I heard about “The Asbury revival”. I started trying to find out more information about it. I came across an article by Dan Vis about this revival that started in Kentucky, USA in February of this year. It led me on a search that has opened my eyes to the real revival that God wants for us. I hope all of you will join me in digging deeper into the Word as I have found in Fast missions. (FAST missions was created by Dan and Vi Vis to help people hold fast to the Word). I’ve been part of FAST missions for awhile, but I didn’t always appreciate it as much as I do now. One thing that I like is they incorporate the Sabbath school lesson by focusing on memorizing the memory verses.

    Here's a free online class to help us prepare for the end time: (it starts with the three angels' messages, early and latter rain). You will love it! I just finished the class and want to take it again so I can imprint it on my heart.

    http://fast.st/fsat/dontforgetjesus

    (5)
  5. What just came to mind as I thought about how to answer #3, is a song we all know so well. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

    The entire song is wonderful, but the key is to turn our eyes upon Jesus.

    (10)
  6. Praising God, right now, because as I read the Prodigal Son story once more I can see how the Holy Spirit is growing me.

    It's about the older brother. I've always sympathized with him. Fairness, you know. Justice. Balancing the books. You can look at that passage with me, again...

    "So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.'

    And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours...' " Luke 15:29-31

    The reward is the Father. The best robe and ring of honor and new sandals, the feast with friends and laughter and music and dancing and a warm, crackling fireplace, lights blazing for miles around....the mansion over a hilltop, harp and crown, streets of purest gold .... these things are nothing, pale to oblivion in comparison ... to being always with God. They are all part and parcel of being with God. Not being with God in form, but being with God in the heart and soul.

    Always with God. The older son had missed out on the Father's love and peace just as long as the younger son had. Was actually still dead and needing to be made alive again. Older son was right there .... in God's house.... eating at God's table... being called God's child and bearing His name... could have been out in the driveway, scanning the horizon with binoculars, longing and praying with the Father for the return of his little brother. Planning the "Welcome Home" party together. Offering to box up a care package from His Father's table and go out searching for his undeserving brother. Wouldn't have felt like partying, either, until his brother was back home.

    Erring more on the side of mercy and forbearance than of intolerance. Basking in the joy of what that does to a person inside, sharing the joy of God's mercy. That's what the older brother could have been doing. And that's what God's softening my heart for.

    Like the older brother I/we can be out in the field, doing the work of evangelism, of tithing and offering money and resources, of living a life of service ... but somewhere we will feel angry and rightly so...because there's a dis-ease in the heart....because we are still not fully identified with Jesus and His work. A selfishly angry heart has naught in common with Jesus.

    The context of this next Bible text is where Jesus is wrapping up His Sermon on the Mount, talking about wolves in sheep's clothing... warning that a false Christian is like the older brother, using all the "God talk" and working out in the field making impressive displays, sweating and laboring, but feeling resentful and frustrated......worried about how the money gift is being used (Luke 15:30).... pointing the accusing finger...because that person is not yet fully belonging to the Father.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

    So what is the work God wants us to do?

    "They asked Him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.'" John 6:28-29

    For me, through the grace of God, who is in the process of taking out my heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19), absolutely the best reward of faithfulness is more faith to believe ...(the same tender plant that sprouted in the younger son's heart)...that Jesus is real, that He is my Savior and Lord, that He is dwelling in my heart and in my mind, that through His Holy Spirit He is giving me His heart and mind of gentleness, patience, forgiveness, longsuffering, kindness, mercy....that I belong with Him and to Him in the most intimate relationship of loving service, forever.

    (9)

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