WHY GOD HATES RELIGION

[SW068] 11/18/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Why God Hates Religion”

God hates religion, but Christianity is NOT a religion. What??!! Read, and then shout, “Hallelujah!”

Isaiah 1:11 “ What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
    Says the LORD.
    “I  have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
    And the fat of fed cattle;
    And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come  to appear before Me,
    Who requires of you this trampling of My courts?
13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
     Incense is an abomination to Me.
     New moon and sabbath, the  calling of assemblies —
    I cannot  endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your  appointed feasts,
    They have become a burden to Me;
    I am  weary of bearing them.

God hates religion! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to put an end to it.

Understand this — Christianity is not a religion. What??!!

It is not a religion,
but a completion.
When we come to Christ, we cry, “Abba, Father, the Holy Spirit  testifying with our spirit that we have become a child of God
and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:15ff).

It begins not with a vow,
but an 180-degree turn toward Christ, NOW.
Just as Zaccheus turned immediately (Luke 19:8),
when Jesus called him by name
and said He must stay at his house “today.” Oh! He wants to come to YOUR house, TODAY! He wants to dwell there!

It is not a change only as deep as your skin,
but a completely changed heart, a change deep within.
The old goes, the new comes, and
we become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17),
born from above — a spiritual rebirth (John 3:7)!

It is not a life spent in rote learning,
but an experience wrought by an inner yearning.

It is not knowing about Christ, knowing “the facts,”
but knowing Him intimately (Ephesians 5:27, etc.), and doing His acts,
. . . and even greater (John 14:12)!

It’s not a series of “do’s and don’ts,”
but your heart and lips saying, “Unless it’s God’s will, I won’t.”
“Behold, I delight to do Your will, O God . . . ” (Psalm 40:7-8)
My heart desires and is prompted to do nothing but obey!

It is not a pain, a chore and a bore,
But a life praising Christ, who opened heaven’s door (John 10:9),
and heaven in our souls right now and more and more!

It’s not just saying prayers
or lifting up our hands in the air,
But continual communion,
24/7 union,
with a God who is LIVING!
That is praying “without ceasing!” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

It is not attending and critiquing a Sunday service,
but Christ’s own heart in you so you are His servant. (Matthew 20:26-28), not for you to be served, but to serve Him, to minister to Him.

It is not just one hour, one day a week given,
but in your soul, heaven — 24/7!

It is not singing in a choir,
but your old nature placed on a funeral pyre. (Galatians 2:20)

It is not Bible study in which you weigh and compare,
but beholding the face of Christ Jesus there,
until you look like Him here. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

It is not one of many paths to eternal life,
but the only way, made by Christ’s sacrifice. (John 14:6). The Son of God means what He says and says what He means!

It is not  simply to “make a decision” for Christ,
but to make Him Master, Owner, Lord of your life!

It is not a philosophy or some truth you confess,
but a treasure for which you’ll sell all to possess. (Mathew 13:44)

It is not insurance against hell’s fire,
but a heart set ablaze with the Spirit’s holy fire (Matthew 3:11). He has come to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire!!! O, Refiner, come!

It is not simply admiring Christ,
but a heart filled with His love, and inside us, His life!
(Romans 5:5, John 17:26)

It is not that Jesus is our example,
but that He gives us His Spirit, heaven’s sample (Ephesians 1:14),
and it’s for the praise of God and Christ’s glory!

It’s not something out of His disciples’ imagination,
but Christ, God’s promise to Abraham, a blessing for all nations!
(Genesis 12:3, Galatians 3:16)

—————————————————————————————————
O church, O seeker . . .

I am blowing the trumpet:
 In many churches, religion has taken the place of Christianity!!!

God hates religion because:

It deceives.
It is all outward appearances,
while the heart is filled with dead men’s bones and unclean things.             (Matthew 23:27)

It is disobedience to His Word.
Christians are “a sinful nation,” just as Israel and Judah were in Isaiah’s day.
He says, “Be holy,” and we say “No, but we will do what we want,
what seems right to us.” (Jeremiah 42:14)

It is a form of godliness while denying its power to transform. (2 Timothy 3:5)
It is “going through the motions.”
Our hearts are not in it.

O church, when you see it, you know the words Christ speaks are for you:

Mark 7:6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
    ‘ THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
    BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.” (Isaiah 29:13)

O church, when you see that your whole head is sick (2483, full of malady, anxiety, calamity, and grief) and your whole heart is faint (1742, troubled) [see Isaiah 1:5],

When you see that you are weighed down with sin, pulling it behind you as if with cart ropes (Isaiah 5:18),

When you have come to the end of yourself,
when you are ruined, undone, (Isaiah 6:5),
and see that Christianity is not at all what you thought it was
or what you were taught it was,

When the wall you’ve been leaning on has fallen over (Isaiah 30:13, Ezekiel 13:14),

When you know you are in spiritual famine and drought,
because the Lord has sent His army of locusts to devour your “religion,”

REJOICE! It is in His mercy that he has revealed this to you! His mercy is here for you TODAY! What’s been spoken thus far may sound like bad news, but all words from God are good news because they are life-giving words! These words will give life to you, if you receive them!

Rend (tear) your heart and not your garments (robes)!
Mourn from the depths of you, not just so you “appear” to be spiritual!
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted —
comforted by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit!
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be filled!

Even now! Even now! Even now! Do not outwardly mourn, but from your very heart! Mourn the condition of your soul which you now see! Mourn that you have been duped all these years into following “religion,” when Christianity is a completion!

Even now! Even now! Turn to the Lord!

Joel 2:12     “Even now,” declares the LORD,
        “return to me with all your heart,
        with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Joel 2:13    Rend your heart
        and not your garments.
        Return to the LORD your God,
        for he is gracious and compassionate,
        slow to anger and abounding in love,
        and he relents from sending calamity. (NIV)

O pastors and leaders who belong to God and minister to the Lord face-to-face,     read and obey Joel 2:17-18:

Joel 2:17 Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers,
    Weep  between the porch and the altar,
    And let them say,
    “ Spare Your people, O LORD, [and the church]
    And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
    A byword among the nations.
    Why should they among the peoples say,
    ‘ Where is their God?’”
        18 Then the LORD will be zealous for His land [and the church]
And will have  pity on His people.

Then read His promise. Join Jeff and me and many others and weep for her:

Joel 2:25 “Then I will make up to you for the years
    That the swarming  locust has eaten,
    The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
    My great army which I sent among you.
26 “You will have plenty to  eat and be satisfied
    And  praise the name of the LORD your God,
    Who has  dealt wondrously with you;
    Then My people will  never be put to shame.
27 “Thus you will  know that I am in the midst of Israel, [and the church]
 And that I am the LORD your God,
    And there is  no other;
    And My people will never be  put to shame.

Oh, it will come about after this! He will deal wondrously! He could have written us off, but wonder of wonders, His arms are opened wide to receive us!

It will come about after this! After what?
After you rend your hearts, O church, after you weep, O pastors and leaders,
after you see you are ruined and undone, O church,
listen to what will come about!

Joel 2:28   “It will come about after this
    That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
    And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    Your old men will dream dreams,
    Your young men will see visions.
29 “Even on the male and female servants
    I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
32 “And it will come about that  whoever calls on the name of the LORD
    Will be delivered;

O church, He will pour out His Spirit in your ruined, undone hearts,
and exchange those hearts for His!

Christianity will no longer be your religion, but your completion!
You will cry “Abba, Father!” and you will know it is true,
and the world will take notice that you have been with Jesus,
and they will come to Him.

Beloved, do not be fooled. They will not come to your “religion.”

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THE SERVANT HEART

NOTE: Please listen to the message by clicking on the link to our sermons, just to the right of this blog entry. This is a passionate plea to the church to seek Jesus Christ’s servant heart.

[SW067] 11/11/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“The Servant Heart”

Matthew 20:28 “. . . just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Much is said by the church about servant hearts.

We have borrowed the term “servant leadership” from the business world.

We define it as “working to be a servant to all” and we feed the hungry and fight against social injustice, like many secular organizations. This is laudable, and I applaud the work that is being done. I give to the work that is being done (just so you know I’m not some kind of curmudgeon).

We serve out of a sense of moral rightness and our deep caring for human beings, like many secular organizations.

Our leaders say, “Seek to be admired by your community.”

We quote Wesley out of context, saying, “There is no holiness without social holiness. The true context? Classes and bands, where Christians bared their souls to one another and confessed their sins and sought to be filled with the Holy Spirit, sanctified through and through, hearts made pure!!!

The Lord wants to speak to your heart about this, dear Christian. Something needs repair that only God can do.

How is the church different than the moral ones in the world, if all she is able to do is what they do?

We are supposed to be so different than the world that the world must admit “God is with you!”

Like the world, we put bandaids on people, but the wound is never healed!

Jeremiah 8:11 “They  heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.

O church, Christ wants to use you to fully heal, to serve as He served!

The condition of your heart is the key issue that keeps you from serving entirely differently than the world serves.

How does Jesus define “the servant heart? He served by dying — He came for that purpose.

I believe He said this to me: “My church can only serve when she tells Me she wants to be selfless, like I am, and asks Me to kill the selfish ‘old man’ in her.”

Then you are filled with the Holy Spirit:
— the absolutely essential Third Person of the Trinity
–who must rule and reign in Christ’s church,
–the One who gives us His holiness, without which you will not see God.

Then you have a servant heart as Christ defines it.

Then your heart is filled with God’s actual love and you serve out of His love.

Then we preach and live the pure gospel, regardless of the world’s violent hatred toward it. We seek to please God, not man. That is true, life-giving, heart-changing service!

Then your service is supernatural in nature:
–not simply good works that any moral person can do but
–“God works” that only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit can do.

Then all that we do, we do for His glory and not ours. And then His glory will manifest through us to others!

Then we don’t have divisions among us, those things which always give God the Father and God the Son a bad name.

Then we no longer demand our rights because we have given up our right to ourselves.

Jesus served by dying. This is the Scripture I was meditating on when the Lord spoke to me:

Matthew 20:28 “. . . just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Do you see it? His service was to give His life.

You must have a servant heart like His. Therefore, your selfishness must die.

The song the Lord gave me says, “How strange, my Lord, that you were born in humble manger, yet a King . . . how unexpected, God-designed, that we must come just as You came.”

Humbly recognizing your spiritual selfishness, you must ask Him to make your heart like His.

Your humbled heart, His Spirit will fill, and not until.

Here is the context of Matthew 20:28 —

Matthew 20:17    As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them,  18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man  will be  delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and  will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on  the third day He will be raised up.”

And then Jesus says,

Matthew 20:28 just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His  life a ransom for many.”

That is His definition of a servant heart. He served by giving His life as a ransom for many (for all who would come), that they may be saved from being under God’s wrath and become children of God.

He did not come to be served.

Why does He speak Matthew 20:28 to His disciples?

Because of what they had asked, right after He prophesied His crucifixion.

Their actions define “spiritual selfishness:”

Matthew 20:20    Then the mother of  the sons of Zebedee came to  Jesus with her sons,  bowing down and making a request of Him.  21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She  said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine  may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”  22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able  to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They  said to Him, “We are able.”  23 He  said to them, “ My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give,  but it is for those for whom it has been  prepared by My Father.”

His disciples displayed their selfish “old man.” How?

They asked Jesus to serve their ambitions by seating them in highly influential positions with Him, where they’d have Jesus’ ear in what they supposed was a kingdom in earthly Israel.

They wanted the world to admire them.

Quite naturally, their fellow self-serving disciples were indignant, demanding their rights, too.

They wanted Him to do something for them, to serve them (rather than them serving Him). So He had to teach them about God’s kingdom, where a servant dies for the sake of many.

Jesus’ kingdom is not of this earth. It is established in a heart whose purpose is to die so Christ may live and rule and reign there. His kingdom is also the kingdom of heaven.

“We are able to drink Your cup,” James and John said, without understanding what Jesus meant.

And He said, “You will.”

Did He mean they’d literally die because they were Christians?

John was never martyred. No, He was not speaking of literal death.

Jesus knew that the day of Pentecost would come for them.

When that day came, James’ and John’s “old man” would die, and the Holy Spirit would purify their hearts, giving them Jesus Christ’s servant heart.

The Lord rebuked them after they asked for special treatment and the rest were indignant.

He told them what it would be like for them when Pentecost happened in their hearts and they received His servant heart:

Matthew 20:26 “It is not this way among you,  but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His  life a ransom for many.”

They were looking for glory and honor, influence and recognition. They were seeking to be served by Him. It is not to be this way among you!

If they had his servant heart, they never would have asked Him to give them positions of influence.

This is His heart — He did not come to be served. He came to die:

John 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I  lay down My life so that I may take it again.

John 12:27   “ Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘ Father, save Me from  this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

How is it to be for us? The same! Listen to the Interlinear Bible:

Philippians 2:1 Then if any comfort in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any compassions and pities, 2 fulfill the joy of me, that you think the same, having the same love, one in soul, minding the one thing, 3 nothing according to rivalry or self-glory, but in humility esteeming one another to surpass themselves, 4 not looking at their own things, but each also at the things of others. For think among you [have the mind] which was in Christ Jesus, who . . . 8b humbled Himself, becoming obedient until death, death even of a cross.

O church, fulfill my joy! Have this same mind, that you are willing to have the selfish “old man” die in you and be replaced with the nature and mind of Christ, so you have His attitude, His servant heart, His selflessness — no more self-glory, no more rivalry.

Matthew 10:38 “And  he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  39 “ He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his  life for My sake will find it.”

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Deny (533), deny utterly, disown. Your “self,” your selfishness, your desires, your plans for your glory. That is your “cross.”

Follow (190), be in the same way, follow on a road, accompany Me.

Come after (2064), fall out (of the line you’re standing in now), come, enter!

But your old man cries, “there’s an ‘if’ in Matthew 16:24. It’s optional to take up my cross!”

Look at Matthew 10:38. He who does not do so is not worthy of Him.

Take up your cross. Go to Calvary, Ask the Lord to kill off that selfish old man. Gain His servant heart.

You can only serve in this way. This is your act of spiritual service. This is how you worship God:
Roman 12:1 [KJV]  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Do you truly want to serve Christ and His people? Then offer all of you, a whole burnt offering, to Him.

You will become selfless, as He is.

You will gain His servant heart.

Do it for the same reason He emptied Himself of His glory to give His literal life — His selfless act gave life to many (all who would come to Him).

All ministry will then flow from your new and right heart, His servant heart, with right motives, not for your own honor and glory.

And when you have His servant heart, many will receive life, seeing the life of Christ in you.

Cry out with King David:

Psalm 51:10    Create  in me a  clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
11  Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Psalm 51:13 is your purpose here. You will only accomplish it when you have His servant heart.

STANDING IN THE THICKETS

[SW066] 11/04/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Standing in the Thickets”

The Lord says, “Deliver this message for the remnant, the wheat among the tares (see Matthew 13:25), the true church.”

FIRST, THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE MESSAGE:
Jeremiah 1:4   Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And  before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

O remnant, you are called. True church, you are called, the “called out” ones.

You are called to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, to proclaim the excellencies of Christ Jesus, the One who brought you out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)!

Jeremiah 1:9 Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”

The same is true for you, O remnant. The Lord’s words are in your mouth. He put them there.

He dwells in you, with His Father (John 14:23).

He rules and reigns in you. You are His ambassador.

Jeremiah 1:11   The word of the LORD came to me saying, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “I see a rod of an almond [shaqed] tree.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over [shaqad] My word to perform it.”

Like Jeremiah, you rightly see what God shows you. You have seen well.

What is the Lord’s word that He watches over to perform? It is speaking this truth that will bring you to the thickets.

Jeremiah 1:16 “I will  pronounce My judgments on them [that is, His people] concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.”

How many times have you heard that He watches over His word to perform it, from Jeremiah 1:11, while Verse 16 is conveniently excluded? The “word” is that He is about to judge His people!

Why? Like in Judah, the church has been offering sacrifices and burning incense to other gods:

–The god of consumerism (church has to do what I like; it is not seen as a        time to minister to the Lord)
–The god of self-centeredness (the source of  “consumerism” in the church)
–The god of self-esteem
–The god of man’s opinions
–The god of man’s wisdom

The church has burned incense to these things. God is incensed (very angry and enraged) at their incense!

Like Jeremiah, O remnant, you speak the whole truth, proclaiming ALL you have heard from the Lord. You exclude none of His words.

You are watchmen. You are on the wall with me, blowing the trumpet.

Jeremiah. 11:21   Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you will not die at our hand”;

But now, O remnant, like Jeremiah, you see that your life is being threatened. The life of Christ in you — and in some cases, your literal life — is threatened, as with Wesley and his evangelists and many others.

The life of Christ in you is threatened, O remnant. You are told to be quiet, to no longer speak what the Lord has given you to speak.

But if you do not speak, you disobey God. That threatens the life of Christ in you! Persecution has made some:
–disobey or
–compromise or
–capitulate or
–be quieted

“Do not speak of these things or you will die at our hand!”  And this is from the mouths and hearts of those who are called God’s people and claim to know your Father.

O remnant, you were shocked at their violent reaction to the words God put in your mouth. You were naive, though the Lord had warned you, as He did Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:19 “They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for  I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

Do not fear them! Unless they turn from their ways, God will punish them, and there will be no remnant among them (verses 11:22-23)!

Jeremiah 12:4 How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”

O remnant, you cry with Jeremiah, “How long?”

O remnant, you see
–the unfruitfulness,
–the famine,
–the drought,
–the lack of living water in the church.

But when you speak the Lord’s words, you are mocked, like Jeremiah.

What the Lord is saying through you will not come to pass, they say.

You wonder when the Lord will act.

NOW THE GROUNDWORK IS LAID. NOW I SPEAK OF STANDING IN THE THICKETS.

The Lord answers your question, “How long?” in this way:

Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

You have been running with footmen (foot soldiers),

–those tares planted by the enemy (Matthew 13:25)

–those who Satan controls and uses to assault the church with false teaching and division over carnal things.

Have you been wearied by them? The Lord indicates that Jeremiah has been. He cries, “How long?”

O remnant, do not be wearied by them!

Wait on the Lord, entwine yourself with Him, wrap yourself around Him like a glove (Isaiah 40:31)! You will gain new strength, exchanging your strength for His!

The Lord says: “How will you compete with horses if foot soldiers tire you out?”

Now it is time to compete with greater opposition than Satan’s footmen — now he brings out his horses. He strengthens the hand of his tares.

What are the horses? These are the things upon which the church falsely depends and relies, things of natural strength:

Isaiah 31:1   Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And  rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very strong,
But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!

The Lord continues to answer your question, “How long?”

Jeremiah 12:5b If you fall down [original Hebrew — “have felt secure”] in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

O remnant, you have felt secure and not fallen down in a land of peace, like Jeremiah did during Josiah’s reign.

Josiah was a king who turned Judah back to the Lord.

He died five years after Jeremiah was called to prophesy — see Jeremiah 1:2, 2 Chronicles 35:24).

Just as Jeremiah lamented the death of the godly king Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:25), you have lamented the loss of men and women of God who:

–spoke the unvarnished truth and
–cleansed the land and
–led the people into repentance

But now evil leaders, puppets of Satan, reign in the land, just as they did in Jeremiah’s time. Josiah is gone.

You were in a land of peace, and felt secure. Now you are in the thickets of the Jordan — a very dangerous place!

O remnant, the Lord says, “You will stand in the thickets of the Jordan.”

You will stand in the thick brush.

“Thickets” literally means pride in the original Hebrew. So the prophets were directed by the Spirit to use it that way.
You are now among the pride, that which caused Satan to fall, the pride of the religious establishment, man’s majesty. The lions are in the thickets, O remnant:

Jeremiah 50:44   “ Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture . . .”

You are among the pride of lions there, even the lions in the religious establishment called the church:

Jeremiah 12:8 “My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.

The lions are also false prophets and priests:

Ezekiel 22:25 “There is a  conspiracy of her prophets in her midst like a roaring lion tearing the prey. They have  devoured lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many  widows in the midst of her.”

Ezekiel 22:26 “Her  priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no  distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the  unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.”

O remnant, be on the alert! Satan, the lion who is prowling about like a roaring lion, is seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)!

But the Lord says you will stand. You will not fall, O remnant.

The Lord has commanded you to stand. You will not be devoured, O remnant.

As with Daniel, the Lord’s angel will shut the lions’ mouths (Daniel 6:22).

O remnant, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)!

O remnant, you walk in His strength, not your own. New strength, changed strength, exchanging your strength for His (Isaiah 40:31)!

Be strong and courageous!

You will stand against the lions in the thickets of the Jordan, by His strength!

As for those who threaten your life (the life of Christ in you, and even your literal life), the Lord has this to say:

Jeremiah 4:4 “Circumcise yourselves to the LORD
And remove the foreskins of your heart,
Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Or else My wrath will go forth like fire
And burn with none to quench it,
Because of the evil of your deeds.”

It is a call to repentance.

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Forsake your way, and return to the Lord. He will have mercy on you, and abundantly pardon you (Isaiah 55:6-7).

While it is still today, do not harden your hearts (Hebrews 3:7)!

Turn to the Father, through His Son. Ask Him to forgive you.

Then ask Him to fill your heart with His Spirit and His love. He will do it!

The remnant is ceaselessly praying for you to do just that.

FIX YOUR EYES

[SW065] 10/28/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Fix Your Eyes”

Lord Jesus, I see a church with her eyes turned away from You. I see that You are commanding them to fix their eyes on You. Our eyes need fixing!

You say I should show them that they are corrected by a loving Father. If they do not receive His correction, they are not His children.

The Father’s correction is for your good, so that you may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10).

Hebrews 12:1   Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us  run with  endurance the race that is set before us,  2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the   author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him  endured the cross,  despising the shame, and has  sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:3   For  consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary   and lose heart.  4  You have not yet resisted   to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

Hebrews 12:14    Pursue peace with all men, and the  sanctification without which no one will  see the Lord.

Cross out the “let us” right before “lay aside” and “let us” right before “run.” Those are not in the original Greek. It is LAY ASIDE! It is RUN! These are commands, not suggestions.

In Hebrews 11 — All witnesses obeyed God “by faith,” a great cloud of them!
— Faith is an action, not an assent

So, in Hebrews 12, “by faith” continues:

–By faith, lay aside (659, in a decisive moment of time, aorist tense — not “Let us” but a command) (see Ephesians 4:22, lay aside the old, enter into the new)

–Cast off
–Separate from
–Lay down
What?

–Every encumbrance (3591) every mass, bending or bulging by its load, a burden, a hindrance, a weight — in a word, the SINS we haul about with cart ropes (Isaiah 5:18). “Come to Me!” cries Jesus!

–The sin (not SINS here, but the sin nature, our inbred rebellion) that entangles (2139), a Greek word used nowhere else

— it is the SIN nature which easily encircles, easily surrounds, easily entangles,

— Satan’s snare! And we tell Him we know better than Him. We reproach Him for commanding us to be holy.

2 Timothy 2:24  The Lord’s bond-servant . . . 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to  the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from  the snare of the devil, having been  held captive by him to do his will.

And:

By faith, run with endurance (5281) cheerful, hopeful, constance, endurance, patiently waiting (this is not not OUR idea of running . . . )

Run what?

The race set before us — (73) a contest, a struggle, a conflict, a fight, opposition! Not against our sin nature . . . we have laid tat aside in a moment of time, we have separated from the sin we’ve been hauling with cart ropes. Our opposition comes from the same place Jesus’ did — the religious system of the day which claimed to know His Father but did not. The race is indeed a struggle against that opposition, but we don’t fight in our own strength. We are running with God, in the strength of Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

What is our goal?

Fixing your eyes on (872) looking away from all else to look at and considering attentively, estimating, esteeming . .

Jesus, the:

–Author (747) the Founder, Leader, the Captain, Prince

–Perfecter (5051) Completer, Consummator, Finisher, Consecrator, Fulfiller.

of faith.

He is our Goal!

What do we see as we esteem Him?

His cross which He endured. We have become like Him, having separated ourselves from the sin nature and the sins that are the snare of Satan. We have done it, as He did, for the joy set before Him. What joy do we see? The same as Him! We see many for whom He died, we see them come to faith in Him, we see them filled with His Spirit and made His witnesses. We see God’s will being done, we see His coming kingdom, and He already reigns in us!

Because we have taken up our cross and followed Him, scorning its shame, we also sit down at His right hand (Ephesians 2:6)! Right now, we have His access to the Father. Right now, we can hear the Father’s voice, we see Him working, we enter the fields for the harvest is ripe — it is white!

Consider Him (357), contemplate Him, estimate His ways

–Selfless

–Self-giving

–Obedient out of love
–For His Father
–For us

–Enduring hostility

Matthew 5:10   “Blessed are those who have been  persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for  theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11   “Blessed are you when people  insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for  in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

What is the church fixed upon? What does most of the church esteem?

Unfortunately, self. There was a recent report of a study from Ohio State University, in which 900 adults ages 18 to 90 were evaluated. The findings? Young Americans carve praise and compliments more than food, friendship and sex! This craving is akin to an addiction.

The professor who conducted the study identified the 1969 book The Psychology of Self Esteem as the launching point for a generation of Americans obsessed with self esteem. And with each generation, the obsession becomes stronger.

Americans, including those in the church, can’t seem to get enough of being true to self, expressing self, fulfilling self, improving self, and advancing self. Choosing a church to attend is no longer a matter of finding where the Word of God is taught and where people are striving to live in a manner that pleases God. It is now a matter of finding a church that has the best programs and preferred music and activities.

O Church, we have not yet been crucified with Christ, and sin still easily entangles us.

Our eye is on us, not Him.

Matthew 6:22   “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is  clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if  your eye is  bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

A clear eye, a single eye, an eye looking at and esteeming and considering Jesus! Then your whole body is full of light.

But if your eye is on self, on the world, and not fixed on Jesus, you are full of darkness, and how great is that darkness!

Shed blood is required in your striving against sin.

O Church, you have not done this.

Galatians 5:24 Now those who  belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh [that is, the sin nature] with its passions and  desires.

Pursue sanctification (Hebrews 12:14), O church!

Pursue (run toward it, flee to the horns of the altar)!

The sanctification (holiness, His divine nature in you), that which He prayed for in John 17!

Why pursue and run toward and flee to sanctification?

. . . Without which no one will see the Lord.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)!

Flee to Jesus! By faith, lay aside and separate yourself from that cartload of sins you’re dragging behind you! By faith, lay aside and separate yourself from that rebellious nature, the sin nature.

You’ll be footloose and free, no longer entangled in Satan’s snare! You’ll be pure in heart! You will see God, not just someday, but every day, all the time! You will be seated with Christ, in the very throne room of God! Run to Him!

IT’S TIME FOR THE HARVEST

[SW064] 10/21/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“It’s Time For the Harvest”

I began with a word from You, Lord. The fields are white, but the workers are few. The workers are few.

So I went to John 4 — the Samaritan woman at the well. The fields are the world, for these did not know Christ and were lost.

But You said You wanted me to look at another field, one that might surprise you who are listening today or reading this blog entry.

It’s time for the harvest . . . look at the field with me!

Matthew 9:35-38   Jesus was going through all the cities and villages,  teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36  Seeing the  people, He felt compassion for them,  because they were  distressed and  dispirited like sheep  without a shepherd.  37 Then He  said to His disciples, “ The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

The harvest is plentiful. Where was He looking? About whom was He speaking?

The Jewish people. God’s own people. That’s who He came to first (Matthew 15:24).

The Gentiles would come later, though He ministered to them from time to time while He was here in the flesh.

At the time Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He had twelve disciples. Was He simply referring to them as “few?” Or does He also mean it for today?

I look on the field, the same field. It’s the church.
Most are just as those who attended synagogue in Jesus’ day: distressed and dispirited sheep.

And some churches are dying.

There is much distress, much harassment, the people have lost hope.

Just as Jesus saw, so I see, among God’s own people.

The shepherds have not healed the sheep (Ezekiel 34:4, 6, 9-10).

The prophets have prophesied falsely (Jeremiah 23:21-22). God did not send them.

God’s people do not know where to turn.

They are in muck, miry clay, in the pit of destruction (Psalm 40:2).

Many churches are built on sand instead of the Rock, for they and their leaders have not acted on Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6  and 7).

There’s no solid place to stand. (Matthew 7:27).

Wind and rain and floods are coming and many will be swept away! Great will be the fall of churches built on sand!

There are plenty of people in the pews of some churches, but few workers.

Many of those Christians who are active, who have ventured outside the church walls, are not working God’s works.

What are God’s works? Jesus tells us:

Matthew 10:7 “And as you go,  preach, saying, ‘ The kingdom of heaven  is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”

That is not happening in the church now. The sheep are distressed, they don’t know where to turn. Doesn’t it make you weep? Don’t you feel compassion, a moving of your inward parts for those who are distressed and dispirited? Do you see them? Are you one of them?

Enter Jesus! Enter Father! Enter Holy Spirit!

Behold, O Lord!

The siege ramps have reached the city to fully possess it, and the city is given into the hand of the Babylonians who fight against it! Why?

Because the people have been weakened by sword and pestilence and famine, just as You spoke to them, because they did not repent, they did not see their inner twistedness and rebellion and ask you to change them.

Babylon (today’s world system) has built a siege ramp and is about to breach the walls and fully possess the church. (See Jeremiah 32:24-25)

It looks hopeless! You have said to me, “Pray!” I beseech You, I plead with You for Your church! I weep for her.

I know nothing is impossible for You, but look at what’s happening!

And You say, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”  (See Jeremiah 32:27)

All over this country, there is a remnant, those who have given themselves to the Lord, His true disciples, those who listen closely to His voice and hear Him.

He has placed you like a chess piece, exactly where He needs you to be when the sons of God are revealed!

Jesus says to all those who are His true disciples, His remnant, those who have continued in His Word and know the truth and have been set free, “Pray!”

The harvest is plentiful, large, abundant. There are many distressed and dispirited ones. Do you see them with me?

You are blessed if you do, for He has given you His eyes to see. You are the remnant chosen by His grace, our eyes opened because of His great mercy.

Pray, says the Lord! Pray to the Lord of the harvest!

He is our Boaz, and we are His Ruth, O remnant!

He is our Kinsman-Redeemer!

He is King of the harvest. He is over it. He is above it.

He is the Authority. He is the Master. He is the Owner of the harvest.

He will have a church glorious, filled with His kabod, His glory, His magnificance, spotless, blameless, without wrinkle! (See Ephesians 5:25-27.)

He lifts the sheep without a shepherd! He lifts them out of the miry clay and sets their feet on the Rock! Pray!

In the Father’s great plan, He calls on His own children, those who see the harvest and have His compassion for the lost ones within His Son’s own church, to bring in that harvest.

Pray. Beseech Him, plead with Him, beg Him. Storm His throne, do not let Him rest until He makes His church glorious, until He makes her strong once again, full of His love and power and grace, His ministers flames of fire!

Pray and He will send YOU out, just as He sent the twelve.

Psalm 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

A shout of joy to us who weep for the church!

A shout of joy for us who go to and fro with the seed of God’s word!

We will come again to Him, bringing the sheaves with us!

What instructions will He give you?

Again, Matthew 10:7-8 — Preach, saying the kingdom of God is at hand!

Heal, raise, cleanse, cast out. Freely you have received; freely give.

You will be, in the house of God, sheep in the midst of wolves.

Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.

They will hand you over to their courts and scourge you.

They will say you are of the devil. But don’t fear them.

There’s just one requirement for the ones who feel His compassion, who see the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, who see the distressed and dispirited ones.

Jesus says:

Matthew 10:37-39“ 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. 38 “And  he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “ He who has found his  life will lose it, and he who has lost his  life for My sake will find it.”

That’s where the rubber hits the road, dear ones. If you are His remnant, you easily identify yourself with these words of Jesus.

The love of God, His actual love, is poured out in your heart to overflowing (Romans 5:5). That love is central to who you are.

You love your family, but your love for God is your very being, far higher. Because His love has filled your heart, you are able to love your family as you ought — with His love, and in His order.

You are filled with His Spirit, having given all to Him, having gone to your own Calvary and said, “Not my will, but Thine be done!”

You have considered your old life as nothing, because You have found Christ and His eternal life is abundantly within you! You are ready for the harvest!

But if you cannot easily identify yourself with this verse:

Will you follow Him to the cross, and ask Him to crucify you so you die to all you are so He can live in and move through you?

Will you go to your own “white funeral?” (thanks to Oswald Chambers)

Will you give up all of your treasures to seek the One who is the only true Treasure? Will you sell all for Jesus, the Pearl of great price?

Then you will find His life, abundant life.

And He will set you to praying. And He will send you out into the field of the church. And you will return rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves, the bundles of wheat, the harvest from the pews!

He will be in you, in charge, and will be with you until the end of the age.

Are you willing?

He will give you His eyes so you can look! And you will see that in the church, it’s time for the harvest!

BECOMING FOOLISH

[SW063] 10/14/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“Becoming Foolish”

Approximately 2,000 years ago, 120 foolish men and women waited and prayed for 10 days in an upper room for the promise of the Father. The result?

Acts 2

–Tongues of fire to purify, power from on high, the Holy Spirit filling them.

–Preaching that led to the repentance and salvation of 3,000 people at once, from the mouths of a bunch of fishermen and a tax collector.

–Eyes glued to God through the Word and prayer, the Author inside them to light it up and lead them.

Acts 3

–A man lame from birth instantly healed, leading to the salvation of many.

Acts 4

–Preaching and miracles their tongue-tied persecutors could not refute, from uneducated and untrained men!

–Prayer in response to persecution, for the Lord to give them boldness in speaking His Word, and for Him to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through His Holy Son, Jesus.

Acts 5

–The Holy Spirit gives Peter discernment to know church members are lying, and the power of God strikes them dead.

Acts 6

–Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit and grace and power, performs great wonders and attesting miracles, leading to the salvation of many.

Acts 8

–Philip proclaims Christ and performs attesting miracles.

–Peter and John lay hands on baptized believers so they receive the Holy Spirit.

–Peter sees into a man’s heart and commanding him to repent.

–Philip snatched away by the Holy Spirit after leading the eunuch to faith, and depositing him in Azotus. (ADzotus)

Acts 9

–Saul, the enemy of the church, repents and is filled with the Spirit.

–Peter commands a paralytic to walk, and he does.

–Peter commands a dead woman to rise, and she does.

Acts 10

–The Spirit fills the members of a Gentile household.

Acts 11

–Agabus prophesies of a great famine.

Acts 13

–Paul (Saul’s Roman name), speaks, and an evil man is stricken with blindness for a time, resulting in the salvation of the proconsul.

Acts 14

–Great signs and wonders are done by Paul and Barnabas.

–Paul sees that a man lame from birth has faith and commands him to stand up. He does. Many believe.

–Paul, stoned by the Jews and left for dead, rises up as the disciples surround him. The next day (impossible in the natural), he travels on.

Acts 16

–Paul has a vision of a man from Macedonia.

–Paul casts out a spirit of divination.

–Jailed for doing so, Paul and Silas sing and praise God, the earth shakes, and all prison doors are opened. The jailer and his household come to salvation.

Acts 19

–Ephesian baptized believers are filled with the Holy Spirit when Paul lays hands on them.

–Handkerchiefs and aprons, prayed over, are carried to the sick and demon-possessed, and they are healed and freed.

–Ephesian magicians repent and burn $4M worth of their books.

Acts 20

–Paul is used by God to raise Eutychus from the dead.

Acts 27

–An angel comes to Paul, declaring all would survive the shipwreck, but would run aground on an island.

Acts 28

–At the island of Malta, a deadly poisonous viper bites Paul, but it has no effect on him.

–Publius’ father is instantly healed of fever and dysentery.

Did it stop there? Several years later in Corinth, we see the believers have the gifts of the Spirit, just like in the Book of Acts, for the common good!

We must become foolish again, like those 120 who waited and prayed.

I read this just this week “Rather than look heavenward for tongues of fire, believers should desire the functional abilities bestowed on the first Christians.”

The Lord said, The church is not foolish. Show them that they must become foolish.

1 Corinthians 3:18    Let no man deceive himself.  If any man among you thinks that he is wise in  this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

Moros. Dull, stupid. a blockhead. About the things of this age.

We need the tongues of fire.

We need the Refiner.

In 2001, I became a blockhead to the things of this world.

When that happened, it pleased the Lord to give me His spiritual gifts of words of wisdom and words of knowledge, for the common good of the church and for the glory of the Father and the Son.
This is a word of wisdom. I’m sounding the trumpet.

Matthew 11:25    At that  time Jesus said, “I praise You,  Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that  You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.”

Intelligent. Mentally put-together. Having keen mental discernment. Shrewd. Prudent.

“These things” have been hidden from such ones, and revealed to infants, simple-minded ones, children.

And the Father was well pleased to do it. It was His desire and intention!

What was hidden from the wise and prudent? An understanding that miraculous works that only God can do were being done by Jesus.

These things were rejected by the wise and prudent and sensible. Therefore they did not repent.

If you look back a verse or two, you’ll see that Jesus clearly expected repentance from those who saw Him do what only God can do.

We are so careful! We don’t want to let the Spirit loose. Who knows what might happen?
Can we not trust Him, the very Spirit of God? He will see to it that His gifts are used properly, if we exhort people to be filled with the Spirit. For if the Spirit has possessed us fully, He’s in charge, not us.

It’s true. In Corinth, many Christians were not filled. And they were doing wrong-headed things. They had not surrendered control to the Holy Spirit.

After Paul shared the gospel with King Agrippa (that Christ was resurrected from the dead and would be the first to proclaim light to both Jew and Gentile), here was the response of Festus the governor of Caesarea (kahee-SAR-i-a):

Acts 26:24   While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus  said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind!  Your great  learning is  driving you mad.”  25 But Paul  said, “I am not out of my mind,  most excellent Festus, but I utter words  of sober truth.  26 “For the king   knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a  corner.  27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you  do.”  28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “ In a short time you  will persuade me to  become a  Christian.”  29 And Paul said, “ I would wish to God, that whether  in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these  chains.”

I wish to God that all who hear me today might become such as I am. Willing to be considered out of my mind, mad, and foolish by the world. But I will tell them I am uttering words of sober truth.

Perhaps you are almost persuaded to become a Christian. But it seems foolish. Be foolish!

2 Corinthians 11:19 For you,  being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.  20 For you tolerate it if anyone  enslaves you, anyone  devours you, anyone  takes advantage of you, anyone  exalts himself, anyone  hits you in the face.  21 To my  shame I must say that we have been  weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else  is bold — I  speak in foolishness — I am just as bold myself.

I am being bold. We in the church are tolerating foolish things, welcoming the wisdom of the world, business models for running the church, demographic analyses, sociology, psychology, psychiatry (all are idolatry, an exaltation of man’s wisdom), loving sinners in an effort to be tolerant rather than correcting them (and to leave them to their sin is NOT loving)!

O repent! I am weak in comparison. I don’t use these management tools and analytical techniques, dear brothers and sisters. They are foolish, in God’s eyes:

1 Corinthians 3:19 For  the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is  THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”;

He will catch you and entrap you in your craftiness, in your attempt to MAN-ipulate the gospel, overlaying your wisdom upon it, de-emphasizing what is emphasized in it and pouring cold water on its hot flame.

Another author writes: “How did they [the early church] respond to this spectacular outbreak of the Holy Spirit? They returned to where they began and immediately put in place safeguards, disciplines, which whisked attention away from the fervor and fever of those exhilarating first days.”

Ice water!

Do we not see that the church prayed and consulted the Word of God because they were filled with the Holy Spirit’s fire and purity and wisdom, and thus knew the Holy Spirit would speak to them and direct them through the Word He authored and through prayer? It was “automatic.”

God was at work! No one wanted to apply the brakes!

But we have. We are careful, prudent, wise. The need for the Holy Spirit’s fire and cleansing and power in working God’s holy and perfect signs and wonders is hidden from us.

We have seen the excesses in some churches and are afraid to let the true Holy Spirit loose.

Do we not see that the early church understood it could do nothing apart from Jesus? That ALL the workings of the Spirit were for the common good? That it is the same today?

O Church, O Christian, will you repent for pouring ice water on God? Will you repent from this sin against God? Will you surrender control to Him, to His Holy Spirit?

Will you become foolish like the 120?

This I pray, with all my heart! Amen, Lord. So be it. Truth!

I SEE DARKENED WINDOWS

Dear ones, these are much more abbreviated message notes than usual, because I want you to click on the link to our sermons, just to the right of this entry. Then you will hear God’s and my heart much more clearly than these notes can ever reflect.

[SW062] 10/07/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“I See Darkened Windows”

What are You showing me? How can it be? How can it be? I see darkened windows in Your church, O Lord.

1 John 5:10 The one who believes in the Son of God  has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has  made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.  11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us  eternal life, and  this life is in His Son.  12  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

Life (zoe 2222) – Life as God has it, eternal, and not just when we get to heaven but here and now!

ONLY in the Son

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

His life, given by Him abundantly. If you have life in the Son, you have His light.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) “‘til it overflows” (Amplified).

His life? The light of men

John 1:4  In Him was life, and the life was  the Light of men.

A light that shines upon them, a beacon in the darkness, a light not yet in them, but they can see it!

Only one thing to do — run or come into it (John 3:19-21)!

John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that  the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for  their deeds were evil. 20 “ For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who  practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

Have you run from the light because you like the sin you’re doing, or have you come into His light?

His light — overpowers the darkness

John 1:5  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not  comprehend it.

If you have His life, you have His light

Matthew 5:14   “You are  the light of the world. A city set on a  hill cannot be hidden; 15  nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a  basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may  see your good works, and  glorify your Father who is in heaven.

But if the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (see Matthew 6:23)

I’m looking out, Lord, and I see a dark church with no lights in her windows! Deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons lurk within (see 2 Timothy 4:4). You are deceiving yourselves (1 Corinthians 3:18) by relying on man’s wisdom and reasonings rather than God’s truth and thus, you are walking in sin and darkness. As He showed me, your windows are dark because you have not entered into life in the Son, and therefore you do not have His light shining from you!

Will you test yourself to see if you are in the faith?

2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith;  examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

We are deceived by our own hearts into thinking that we have life in the Son when there is still darkness in us.

Jeremiah 17:9   “The  heart is more  deceitful than all else
And is desperately  sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the LORD,  search the heart,
I test the  mind,
Even  to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the  results of his deeds.

But:

Jeremiah 17: 14  Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my  praise.

Will you ask Him to heal you? He will! Then you will be able to say with Jeremiah, “You are my praise! I have come to do Your will, O God (Psalm 40:7)! Whom have I in heaven but You, and besides You I desire nothing on earth (Psalm 73:25)!”

Will you let God’s very words judge your heart so you won’t be deceived by it, so that you will know that you have life in the Son, and that His light is shining from you Who, by His life in you, makes you the light of the world, the city on a hill?

Or is it that you are like Ahab, who did not want to hear from God’s prophet when Jehoshaphat asked for a prophet of God rather than the deceitful prophets of Baal? His words, from 2 Chronicles 8:17, were “Did I not tell you that he [Micaiah, the prophet of God] would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”

God’s prophets are speaking to the church today, and many of us receive an Ahab-like response. We don’t want to hear it. We want to hear good prophesied about us, regardless of our spiritual destitution.

Will you let God’s very words judge your heart? It’s already laid open and bare before Him. Will you agree with Him if there is darkness in it?

Hebrews 4:12 For  the word of God is  living and  active and sharper than any two-edged  sword, and piercing as far as the division of  soul and  spirit, of both joints and marrow, and  able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  13 And  there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are  open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Let these words of God judge you so you will know whether you have His life, His light, His love in you:

1 John 2:4 The one who says, “ I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a  liar, and  the truth is not in him;  5 but whoever  keeps His word, in him the  love of God has truly been perfected.  By this we know that we are in Him:  6 the one who says he  abides in Him  ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Are you disobedient or obedient? Can you truthfully say you walk in the same manner as Christ walked? If you can, praise God, for you have life in the Son and His light emanates from you. If you can’t, ask Him to give you life in the Son!

1 John 2:9-11 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his  brother is in the darkness until now.  10  The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  11 But the one who  hates his brother is in the darkness and  walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

If there is darkness in you, He is here to make your blind eyes see so you know where you are going! Do you love your brother with agape (Greek word the early church used to describe God’s actual love that is unlike any form of human love)? Has God’s actual love filled your heart to overflowing? Then you have life in the Son, you walk in His light and His light shines from you into the darkness.

Or do you hate and backbite and devour? If God’s love is in your heart, you cannot hate your brother. If you hate, you are in darkness. You do not have life in the Son.

Agape is the love the Father has for the Son, and it is what Jesus prayed for us to have in our hearts in John 17:26!

1 John 2:15   Do not love  the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world,  the lust of the flesh and  the lust of the eyes and  the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  17  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who  does the will of God lives forever.

Are you conformed to the world or the Spirit? Do you love the things of the world and sniff at giving them up? What God has for you, and what He COMMANDS for your own good, is that you not be conformed to the world. If His agape is in your heart, then His Son is in your heart, and you do not conform to the world.

Go and look these up for yourself: 1 John 3:4, 8, 10, 15 and 3:3, 6, 7, 9
Are you sinning, or do you have a pure heart? Do you rebel against God, or love Him with His love?

1 John 3:24 The one who  keeps His commandments  abides in Him, and He in him.  We know by this that  He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Does He abide in you? Obedience and agape are the evidence!

Look this up . . . 1 John 4:15-18. Do you fear judgment, or do you know that you will not be judged because the witness of the Spirit has made you cry, “Abba! Father!”?

This confession, I must speak of and explain, from verse 15 — “confess” is homologeo (3670) and it is not just mouthing words at an altar.

It means we are akin, we are kin of the King, we are in a covenant with God the Father and God the Son and therefore obedient because His Spirit possesses our hearts entirely. We are like Him. Are you?

1 John 5:11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us  eternal life, and  this life is in His Son.  12  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

His life . . . abundantly

His light in you

Like lights in the world (NIV stars in the universe), holding forth the word of life (Philippians 2:16).

Are your windows darkened, or is the light of Christ in you?

He shows you this, He gives you this word through me today, that you may cry out for life in the Son, that you may have His light in you, that your windows no longer be darkened.

My heart and the heart of Jesus Christ is to see individual churches (you and me) and His church buildings filled with His glory (see Isaiah 60:1-3), with His life, with His light, so light radiates from your body’s windows and the windows of the church. Ask Him to make it so in you! Confess your sin, let this word judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart, so you may be healed!