Tag Archives: James 1:22-25

Self-Examination

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Self-Examination

Believers should regularly have a time for serious introspection. Self-examination should be part of our life. We are instructed to judge ourselves, and there are benefits to examining our own feelings, thoughts, and motives. If we judge ourselves, God will not have to.

1 Corinthians 11:31 NKJV
“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

A believer should always be reviewing their actions to see if they are in right standing with God.

Galatians 6:4 NKJV
“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another”

2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves…”

Many times we may not be able to see our own faults and weakness, so we must rely on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to show us. As we read God’s Word it gives us a clear reflection of ourselves.

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

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Yamim Noraim – One Christian’s Perspective

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Yamim Noraim  – One Christian’s Perspective

     The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim) or the Days of Repentance. For the Jewish person this is a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur.

God’s Record Book / Book of Life
The Days of Awe are based on the Jewish belief that God has books that He writes a person’s name in on Rosh Hashanah – who will live, who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life during the next year. The belief goes on with the idea that a person’s actions can change the decree. They feel that repentance, prayer, and good deeds can alter what God writes down concerning their life. Their belief is even reflected in a common greeting during this time – it is, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
God does have a book that lists all true believers – the Book of Life. The Book of Life, is also referred to as the Lamb’s book of Life. It is a record written by God, listing people who will live forever in heaven, in His presence. Those who’s names are not written in the book will not have everlasting life in heaven, but will spend eternity in the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:15 NKJV
“And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

According to the Word of God, neither prayer or good deeds will atone for a person’s sin. Only Jesus, the Son of God can take away sins. However, the majority of the Jewish people do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the only one who can take away their sins. Through the atonement that Jesus’ blood made on the cross we can have forgiveness of all our sins. Faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior is what saves us, not works.

Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Romans 11:6 NKJV
“And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.”

Galatians 2:16 NKJV
“knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

A person can work for God and not have a relationship with Him – people can even work for God with sin in their life.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NKJV
“each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Works that won‘t be burnt up only come out of our intimacy / relationship with God. Each believer will have their works / actions evaluated.

2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

Reconciliation
Reconciliation is important to God. He desires for us to be reconciled with Him, for us to be reconciled with others, and for us to be active in the ministry of reconciliation.

Reconcile: to make friends again; settle a disagreement or difference; make agree; bring into harmony, make satisfied; make no longer opposed.
Reconciliation: a reconciling; bringing together again in friendship; settlement or adjustment of disagreements or differences.

A.. Reconciled With God
Man was separated from God because of sin.

Isaiah 59:2 NKJV
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”

Ephesians 2:12-13 NKJV
“that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Sin caused man to be alienated, isolated, and separated from God’s presence.

Colossians 1:21-22 NKJV
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight”

Jesus entire reason for taking on the form of man and coming to this earth was reconciliation – His purpose was to reconcile us to God. It was as if He provided a bridge between us and God.

Colossians 1:19-20 NKJV
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

Ephesians 2:14-16 NKJV
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.”

Romans 5:8-11 NKJV
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

The story of the prodigal son is a wonderful example of reconciliation. In the parable, the father looked at the youngest son’s future – what it could be, not at the son’s present or his past. God, our heavenly Father does not look at our past or present, He looks at our future, what it can be. He is ever waiting with outstretch arms to welcome us back home.

Luke 15:11-32 NKJV
“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.
And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 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. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

B. Reconciliation With Others
One of the Jewish customs of Yamim Noraim is to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. The Talmud maintains that Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and God. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.

Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

God always desires for us to be reconciled with others.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Hebrews 12:14 NKJV
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”

We must forgive others, just like God has forgiven us. Jesus is the perfect example of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Colossians 3:12-13 NKJV
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

C. Ministry of Reconciliation
At salvation we become a new creature. Our relationship with God changes. We become reconciled to God and we have the privilege of telling others that they can receive the same reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NKJV
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

The ministry of reconciliation has been entrusted to believers. They are to tell all people that God wants to restore them to a right relationship with Himself.

2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”

Self-examination
Believers should regularly have a time for serious introspection. Self-examination should be part of our life. We are instructed to judge ourselves, and there are benefits to examining our own feelings, thoughts, and motives. If we judge ourselves, God will not have to.

1 Corinthians 11:31 NKJV
“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

A believer should always be reviewing their actions to see if they are in right standing with God.

Galatians 6:4 NKJV
“But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another”

2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves…”

Many times we may not be able to see our own faults and weakness, so we must rely on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to show us. As we read God’s Word it gives us a clear reflection of ourselves.

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

The Bible And Sanctification

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The Bible And Sanctification

God’s Word has an effect on a person that is undergoing sanctification. They allow the Word of God to cleanse them and make them holy.

John 17:17 NKJV
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry He asks God to sanctify the believers, which means set them apart. The only way a believer can be truly set apart from the world is by the truth found in the Word of God.

Psalm 119:11 NKJV
“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.”

Believers must hear God’s Word and do what it says. They must act upon the truths found in God’s Word.

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
you meat, and you shall eat.”

Dear Father,
I thank-you for Your Word and all the wonderful promises that You have given me in it. May I allow Your Word to cleanse me and make me holy. Fill me with a desire for greater sanctification. By the power of the Holy Spirit, set me apart from the world by the truths found in Your Word. Help me to hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Help me to hear Your Word and do what it says.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sanctification

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Sanctification

Sanctification means to be separate or to be set apart. It also means to be set apart for holy use, to make holy or to purify. For a thing to be sanctified it means it is set apart for a special use. Things that are sanctified are reserved for God’s purposes or use. To sanctify someone is to set that person apart for the use intended God. We are sanctified when we are used for the purpose God intends. A person is sanctified when they live according to God’s design and purpose.

* The Temple
The vessels used by the priest were to be used for holy purposes and to be pure and to glorify God. Each time that the temple or temple vessels ceased to be used for holy purposes there had to be a process of sanctification and purification.

Exodus 29:35-38 NKJV
“And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it. Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and sanctify it. And the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar must be holy. “Now this is what you shall offer on the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually.”

During Ahaz’s reign the priests and Levities had been stripped of their temple duties and the temple was not sanctified unto God. When Hezekiah took control he commanded the priest to sanctify themselves and the temple.

2 Chronicles 29:1-7 NKJV
“Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.”

Jesus was very interested in the sanctification and purity of the temple. The temple was the house of God (the dwelling place of God) and it was suppose to be set apart for prayer and communication with God. Jesus was very concerned about the temple being sanctified (set apart for God). Jesus cleared, cleansed, the temple two different times – at the beginning of His earthly ministry and at the end of it.

At the beginning of His ministry.

John 2:13-16 NKJV
“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

At the end of His ministry.

Matthew 21:11-13 NKJV
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.”

Mark 11:15-19 NKJV
“So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple.
Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.”

* Jesus
Jesus is our example – He was sanctified.
He is holy and set apart from sin.
Jesus was set apart to do the will of God.

John 17:17-19 NKJV
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

* Believers
Sanctification is expected after you are freed from bondage (sin). After God frees you from bondage you are to walk in sanctification. After the Israelites left Egypt (bondage) God instructed them to sanctify themselves.

Exodus 19:10 NKJV
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.”

Believer, followers of Jesus, are to follow Jesus‘ example in sanctification. They are to be holy and set apart from sin. Believers are to be reserved for God’s use – they are set apart to do the will of God.

1 Peter 1:13-16 NKJV
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit must be active in the believer’s life. Sanctification is an ongoing or continuing process – it takes a lifetime. However, there should be tangible evidences of growth in the believer’s life. There should be ongoing noticeable differences (changes) in a person’s life. It is a progressive holiness and growing in purity that will never be completely perfected until the day Jesus returns for His bride.

Hebrews 9:22-28 NKJV
“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

Just as the temple of old was sanctified for God’s use, our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, should be also.

1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 NKJV
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”

* The Bible And Sanctification
God’s Word has an effect on a person that is undergoing sanctification. They allow the Word of God to cleanse them and make them holy.

John 17:17 NKJV
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Toward the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry He asks God to sanctify the believers, which means set them apart. The only way a believer can be truly set apart from the world is by the truth found in the Word of God.

Psalm 119:11 NKJV
“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.”

Believers must hear God’s Word and do what it says. They must act upon the truths found in God’s Word.

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

* The Holy Spirit And Sanctification
Believers have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and their bodies are the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells in the believer therefore, their bodies are vessels to be used for a holy or pure purpose and for the glory of God. We must allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit enables a believer to live a holy life.

Enable means to provide with the means or opportunity or to make possible, practical, or easier. Enable can also mean to allow something to be done.

The Holy Spirit guides, empowers, directs, and leads the believer, as well as convicts us of sin and bad habits. The Holy Spirit will speak to us and He will correct us in order for us to avoid sinning against God. When we listen and obey the Holy Spirit it makes the process of sanctification possible and easier.

John 16:13 NKJV
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

* Sanctification leads to victory.
After forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel were about to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. They were then given a command and a promise – God promised them that He would give them the victory, but first they must sanctify themselves.

Joshua 3:5 NKJV
“And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

* Sanctification leads to provisions.
After leaving Egypt the people began to cry out for something to eat, other than the manna that they were give. God promised to provide flesh for them, but first they must sanctify themselves.

Numbers 11:18 NKJV
“Then you shall say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was well with us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat.”

Work and Worship

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Work and Worship

Many times we use the terms the glory of God and the anointing of God interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. There is a difference between the two. The anointing is for work and the glory is for worship. We need both the anointing of God and the glory of God. The anointing is for your ministry to people. The glory of God comes as a result of true worship to God (ministering to God), worshipping in spirit and in truth.  To effectively do the work God has called us to do we need the anointing of God upon our life and our church. God desires for His anointing to flow not just to us but through us to a hurting and dying world. God needs a vessel (a body) to flow through. When we allow Him to use us His anointing brings healing and abundant life.

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If we want to experience the glory of God we must welcome His presence, prepare our hearts for Him and then maintain our hearts. God desires for us to carry His glory. He desires to make His home in us, but our heart must be clean.
We can look at the pattern that the tabernacle in the wilderness gives us to see that there is a pattern for experiencing the glory of God.

1. The people had to first come through a gate.

We have to enter through a gate also and that gate is Jesus Christ. Repentance only comes through Jesus.

John 14:6 NKJV
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

2. The people then gave their offering to the priest to place on the brazen altar for them.

We must give to our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ, ourselves. We must lay all our plans, hopes, dreams, and ideas on the altar. We must totally give ourselves to God – surrender all to Him.

Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Galatians 2:20 NKJV
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

3. The priest would get their hands and feet dirty just by performing their daily activities and jobs.

Before the priest entered the holy place (each and every time) he would wash his hands and feet. Before we enter into the presence of God, we too, must spiritually have clean hands and feet. We too get dirty just by performing our daily routines. The laver that the priest washed in was made out of bronze mirrors. It represents the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

We must look into the Word of God and see ourselves the way we truly are. Then we must allow the water of the Word to wash over us and to cleanse us. We must allow conviction and repentance to be a daily part (ongoing process) of our lives .

James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

4. Once the priest entered the holy place he ministered to God by the light of the lampstand.

He offered up incense to God and ate from the table of shewbread. We too must minister to God by the light of the Holy Spirit. We are to offer up incense to God through our prayer, praise and worship. As we partake of communion we are eating from the table of shewbread.

Psalm 141:2 NKJV
“Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

5. Only after the priest had prepared himself and ministered to the Lord would he then go into the holy of holies where the manifest presence of God was.

We too, must prepare ourselves and minister to God before we can enter into the manifest presence of God.

Harvest While There Is Still Time – Lessons From The Pecan

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Harvest While There Is Still Time – Lessons From The Pecan

      There was a noticeable chill in the air as I prepared to go about my day. As I was thinking about my day, and the things that I needed to do, I remembered that there were some pecans on the ground under the trees. I thought for a moment and then told myself that I would pick up the pecans later. By then it would be a little warmer, the dew would be gone and I would have more time. In other words, it would be more convenient for me to wait until later to pick up the pecans. I had things to do this morning and picking up pecans was not at the top of my list.

As I opened the shade over the patio door  all I saw was birds, birds and more birds! Hundreds of birds, all pecking on the pecans that were on the ground – the pecans that were ready to be gathered up. I knew that if I waited to pick them up later it would be too late for most of them. They would be gone or they would have holes in them and covered with ants.

I put on my sweater, picked up a plastic bag and went outside to gather the pecans. At first, while I gathered the pecans I was thinking about all the other things that I should have been doing – the things that I had planned for the day. After awhile I began to think of a verse that had been going over and over in my mind for several weeks.

Proverbs 10:5  NKJV    

“He who gathers in summer is a wise son;

He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”

     As I meditated on the verse while picking up pecans many thoughts came to mind. It would truly be a shame for the pecans to be wasted because I had other things to do. There is truly a time for harvest. Harvest time is not always convenient, but it must be done when the crop is ready.

It will take a sacrifice of your time to gather the harvest in the storehouse. Just as I had to give up my time, my schedule, and my plans, so must the body of Christ if they want to be part of the end time harvest. Conditions will not always be pleasant, convenient, enjoyable or easy for us. It was cold, the ground was damp, and there was a steady breeze blowing as I picked up the pecans. But, I knew that I had to keep on until the job was finished. There were too many pecans that need to be picked up to quit and go back inside where it was warm and comfortable.

John 4:27-38  NKJV   

  “And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, ‘What do You seek?’ or, ‘Why are You talking with her?’ The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Then they want out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true. ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

    Our food is not simply knowing the will of God, but doing His will. To often we stop short of doing God’s will. God offers (provides) each one of us opportunities to do the will of God, but it up to us to make the most of every opportunity given to us. We too (the body of Christ), must not quit until the job is finished. There are too many souls that need to be reached for Christ. We must not revert back into the four walls of the church and only think about ourselves. Gathering in God’s harvest is not always pleasant, convenient, enjoyable or easy for us. We must continue laboring in the harvest field until God’s storehouse is full or until He calls us home.

Proverbs 10:5  NKJV  

   “He who gathers in summer is a wise son;

He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”

    I never want to cause God shame by not harvesting during His harvest season. May the body of Christ wake up and see that now is the time of harvest. As the church prays to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers, may she realize that she is the laborer that He has sent into the harvest field.

Matthew 9:37-38  NKJV  

  “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

     A few of the birds did not fly away when I went outside to pick up the pecans. A couple of crows flew way up in the tree tops and watched me from there. As I picked up pecans, they would call out to each other in a loud shrill noise. They reminded me of our enemy. Many times as we are busy gathering God’s harvest, they enemy is standing close by crying out, trying to intimate us or scare us so that we will stop or give up.

As I was picking up pecans I ran upon a few that had already fell victim to the birds. Some had little holes in them and were full of ants, others were nothing but an empty shell. The birds do not care about the pecan shells all they want is what’s inside. And they will peck and peck at the outside until they get a break (a hole or crack) in the pecan.

1 Peter 5:8  NKJV  

   “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

     Satan desire to take God’s greatest creation, man, and leave him like an empty shell. His goal is to completely destroy man. Satan doesn’t care about your body or what happens to it, he only cares about controlling your soul (mind, will, emotions) because ultimately he wants your spirit in the lake of fire with him. Satan does not want man to have an intimate relationship with God or serve God.

All over the world there are people like the pecans. They are in the field ready for harvest but the majority of the body of Christ is asleep or praying for God to send someone else into the field to do the work. Like the pecans that fell victim to the birds, many have fell victim to Satan. He had pecked at them so much that they have holes, breaks and cracks in them where the enemy (like the ants) can eat away at their souls and eventually cost them their spirit.

Matthew 9:35-38  NKJV    

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

    As  the body of Christ we must look at those around us through the eyes of Jesus. We must see the multitudes and be moved with compassion for them. Many people around us are weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. The harvest truly is plentiful and the laborers in God’s harvest are few. Many in the body of Christ give God’s harvest only the time that they have left over. They religiously give the first fruits of their money (tithe and offering) which does help in the harvest, but fail to see the importance of giving the first fruits of their time.  Selfishness and man made schedules, plans, agendas keep them from taking a personal interest in those in bondage and oppression. We are to take a personal interest in ministering to the needs of the unprotected and the needy. Not just with our money, but also with our time.

James 1:27  NKJV    

“ Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

    When the harvest lays in the field long enough it is wasted. It is not the will of God that any perish, but some will. God desires that all come to repentance, but some won’t. God desire for us to reach the lost, but some won’t. It is not enough to know the will of God, but you must do it. We know a lot but we do not do what we are commanded to do.

Matthew 22:9  NKJV   

  “Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding”

Luke 14:16-24  NKJV  

   “Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them, I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to the servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”

Matthew 28:19-20  NKJV 

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

     As the church (and individually) we have a lot of input (knowledge) but not enough output (productivity). There are many excuses that we can give for not doing what God has called us to do but that’s all they are, excuses. And according to the above passage, they all make God angry. There are no excuses for not reaching the lost with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the body of Christ there are those who are held captive to their own leisure and those who have lost interest in their work (working in the harvest field). God has a name for people that are slothful (lazy) workers – wicked and lazy servants.

Matthew 25:14-30  NKJV    

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.  Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But the lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”

     God requires His servants (His workers) to be faithful to what He has called them to. The last servant mentioned in the above passage did not fear his master. He was lazy. In fact, he was so lazy that he did not even bother to deposit the money with the bankers. He did not use what God had given him and in the end he lost it. He was an unprofitable servant because he failed to be faithful to the task given to him by his master. We will either use what God has given us or God will take it away and give it to someone else who will use it. We will either be faithful to the harvest or we will loose out – we will not share in the rewards or the blessings of God. The rewards and the blessings that we receive (individually and as a body) will be based on our faithfulness.

The servant wanted to take the easy way out. His mind was not on increasing what was given to him for his master but only on keeping what had been given to him. In the body of Christ we to often want to take the easy way out. Our mind is not always on increasing the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 4:10  NKJV  

   “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

     Every believer is gifted to serve. We are all managers of what God has entrusted to unto us and we will be held accountable for using our gift. We must use our gift in the best interest of God, for advancing His kingdom (for reaching the lost).Those that do not put into practice what they know become “unskilled people.” Not because they do not know it, but because they do not act upon what they know. We (the body of Christ) all know that we have been instructed to “Go”, but we do not all act upon it.

Hebrews 5:12-14  NKJV   

  “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

     All across the world the body of Christ must wake up, rise up and be doers of the Word, not hearers only. May they truly realize that faith without works is dead. We must apply what we know to our life. May they act upon what they know and reach out to the people (adults and children) around them.

James 1:22-25  NKJV  

    “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

     God’s heart beats for souls. As we take on the mind of Christ ours should also. It’s time for the church come out from behind it’s four walls of warmth and comfort into the cold and damp world to pick up the hurt, broken, and lost and take them into the storehouse of God. Now is harvest time. May we work while there is still time.

Proverbs 6:6-11  NKJV  

   “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,

Which, having no captain,

Overseer or ruler,

Provides her supplies in the summer,

And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to sleep –  So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,

And your need like an armed man.”

James 1:22-25

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James 1:22-25  NKJV “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Proverbs 6:6-11  NKJV     “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,

Which, having no captain,

Overseer or ruler,

Provides her supplies in the summer,

And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from

your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,

A little folding of the hands to sleep –  So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,

And your need like an armed man.”

Dear Father,     May we look at the world around us through the eyes of Jesus. May we see the multitudes and be moved with compassion for them, because they are weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. May Your body see that the harvest truly is plentiful. Let them pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers into His harvest. Then may we wake up and rise up and be doers of the Word not hearers only. May each one of us truly realize that faith without works is dead. Cause us to act upon what we know and reach out to the people, even when it is not pleasant, enjoyable, or easy. May the body of Christ come out from behind it’s four walls of warmth and comfort into the cold and damp world to pick up the hurt, broken and lost, and take them into the storehouse of God. Cause us to take a personal interest in those in bondage and oppression.  May we be Your hands and arms, Your feet and Your voice to a hurt and dying world. Don’t allow us to be slothful workers. Set free those who are held captive to their own leisure and light a fire in those who have lost interest in working in the harvest field. Cause our hearts to beat for souls even when it is not always pleasant, convenient, enjoyable or easy for us. Cause us to labor in the harvest field until Your storehouse is full or until You call us home.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.