Please pray with me – Heavenly Father, Holy God of the Most High, I ask for the forgiveness of my sins; give me the knowledge to see my transgressions and the strength to claim victory over them. Allow my heart and my mind to open to your word and accept it with joy and purpose. Teach me to be still Lord to hear you more clearly. Let your message be direct and accurate so it may work your wonders in my heart; allow my testimony to bring glory to you Lord God. Increase my desire to do your will and guide me to the calling you have designed for me. I humble myself before you O’ Lord, I praise you Father. Glory and honor to you my God, in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.
Quick note – while studying Jesus, I found he had 4 brothers. Although they were half brothers for obvious reasons (if you don’t know why they are half, text me afterwards and I’ll fill you in). He also had, from what most theologians will say, 3 sisters (also half). From my quick research on the sisters, I couldn’t find their names but the brothers were James, Judas, Joseph and Simon. James and Judas were the only two who actually believed Jesus was the Son of God and followed His ministry. Although, James didn’t follow nor did he believe until after the crucifixion of our Savior. Good stuff.
Now onto topic…
Matthew 7:15 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Walk the Walk
As my step daughter (Destiny) would say, “The struggle is real”. Well I must admit, it was this past week. I hinted that this week’s letter would be about faith and in some ways it is but not in the direction “I” thought it would go. I became quickened by the Holy Spirit to follow His agenda that He has revealed for us and for me to keep still. I’m confident this will motivate someone out there, either in the group or an extended part of this group. It may also get some feathers ruffled enough to hopefully make a change, either way I am led to share. Let’s be clear, I’m not doing this for my own gratification and I’m not looking to win friendships with what I have to convey to you. I am compelled to write what I’m directed to write and send these letters to those that will read them. The Spirit of God is real and He guides me through these letters. I believe God has instructed the Holy Spirit to get a message out so to increase our knowledge and enhance our desire to walk closer to Him. And in the midst of it all bring the lost home and in Jesus name someone to recommit their life who has been walking by themselves long enough. The Holy Spirit is forever working in this world to bring the lost home and to guide His children to live a postured life that will bring glory to the Father and increase the strength of our testimony. I’m sure we agree He leads the way in all things. Thank you for making that clear for me Lord. During my study I read a passage that was disturbing to me, and like most of us, I began thinking God was talking directly to me. In most cases I’m ok with that scenario but when I came across this verse (that I read so many times before) it never spoke to me before. It did this time but how could it pertain to me and why? And so it began, the battle I would start to have over this passage and how it would not let me go.
Matt 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
What Lord? You don’t know me? But I prayed the magical prayer of redemption! I’m redeemed, cleansed by the blood, haven’t I? I imagined on my death bed, waiting for the time to go meet our Lord and Savior, saying the goodbyes to loved ones and in a blink of an eye I’m standing in front Him and He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you”? WHAT!? How crushing would that be? I’m sitting here with my nose in the book of life THINKING I’m saved and now I read I could be falling short of reaching the (narrow) Pearly Gate.
This concerned my heart to the point where I had more questions than answers. How many times have you prayed the sinner’s prayer asking for Jesus to enter your heart just to make sure? How many times have you turned your ear away from Him? Are you playing church on the holidays or “feel like it” days and gambling with your eternal home address? And the biggest question of them all, how do you know you are saved? I am aware the scripture Matthew 7:22 is (when compared with other scriptures) speaking about false prophets and being sheep in wolves clothing. If there is a false prophets among us, beware, (Matt 7:15). The scripture opened my eyes to something that doesn’t get preached about much, at least not anymore, and the Spirit spoke to my heart and instructed me to dig a little further. After having to re-read and further researching these scriptures, seeking Gods message from every resource, I have acknowledged a couple of verses that gives me hope and allows me to breathe again.
Matt 7:21 Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 7:24 therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.
That’s the good news but I hate to spoil a good time…Remember I spoke of my heart being burdened? Jesus said, “BUT, he that does the will of the father”. Ok, so knowing this we realize that repentance and faith prove we are saved so here is where it got concerning to me. While cross referencing and re-reading further into the scriptures I have to realize this,
Matt 13 …for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Stay with me on this everyone, this is going to be a ride of epic proportion. Let’s deal with salvation first since I opened that door and although the most important decision we can make is salvation, I need to get the message I’m led to convey out to you.
Assurance comes not from remembering a prayer but the posture you take after you accepted Jesus to be your Savior. What defines salvation are your desires. Do you desire to do the will of God or your own will (sin). God doesn’t change us by increasing the threats of consequences of what will happen to us if we sin, He changes us by giving us knowledge of sin and how they just don’t fit in our lives anymore. You see, it’s a change of life and life style. We have new desires and all new ideals of what influences our lives. Sin becomes a battle for us, therefore we have to keep our eyes on Him. Saving faith (accepting Christ) means it endures for a lifetime.
Luke 8:8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great. Matt 13: 5 other seed fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil; and at once they sprang up because they had no depth of soil.
We all know this parable, and you have to check your own heart to know where the seed of life landed for you. Those that have said the prayer and were on fire for God but only for a season then turn back into the world, are lost and sentenced to death. Prov. 21:16 “A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.” Conversion is not sinless perfection, it is a new direction. Our posture has changed. We think different, we talk different and we act different. Our lives become meaningful and purposed. Our posture is not standing on our own but leaning on the Word of God to manage our lives. Our finances, our marriage, the friendships we have, the way we raise our children and even how to spend time by ourselves.
2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
We profess to be Christians, that’s what we tell others, then how is it we are to walk on the path of righteousness, (right standing with God), and in the world at the same time? We will sometimes fall because of the battles, God will pick us up and put us back on the path. Prov. 24:16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. That’s the best news I heard since I started this study. It’s ok that we fall, even if its several times because we do not live under the law but under grace. Salvation means walking in the direction God intended us to go and we have to understand that this journey can be distracting and difficult at times. We are in the world and have to deal with the world as it is. This is not easy for us and we all know this but that’s why God is who He is. He knows our challenges and the battles we will have to face one after another and that’s why we have grace. The message the Holy Spirit has revealed to me is our salvation is so crucial and so important to God that He has told us how to stay under grace and how to reach the gates into the Kingdom.
Matt 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
He says the gate is small that leads into the Kingdom and we’ve heard this in many sermons preached over and over but we often times don’t think about the path. The pathway to the gate is narrow and to stay on this path is our objective. We must evaluate ourselves as professing Christians and compare our lives to His word. The path to destruction is wide (Matt 7:13) and although our mouths and hearts have made the decision to follow Christ are we postured to reach the gates? If you are certain of your salvation with no hesitation (keeping in mind, the one who knows, does know), God bless you then and this letter will help you strengthen your armor when witnessing and give you confidence when confronted with the question of “how do you know your saved?” This should be a more direct and descriptive answer than “I just know”. If you or someone you know doesn’t know or is uncertain of (your) their salvation do not let the enemy take over and shame you from bringing it out of the darkness and into the light.
John 3:21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought (faithful) in God.
God called you for a reason and He is always right. He has a plan for you and you do have a gift that is wanting to be released for the good of His Kingdom. We have the decision, He gave us that privilege because He wants us to worship and follow Him from our hearts and not being mindless robots.
James 1:12 …Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.
The rewards are eternal life with our Creator. That’s not a cliché or something we’ve heard so many times it’s lost its meaning. It’s a promise from the Master of all things in heaven and earth. Personally, I have no doubt it’s a promise He will keep and gladly but we have to keep our promise to Him. Do the things that He has commissioned us to do. Support your church and help your pastor reach the sheep that have gone astray. It is our place to reach out and help those who have lost their way. Keep the commandments and study His word.
James 1:25 GWT But if you look carefully into the perfect law (His Word) that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. John 6:37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Put this in your heart and hold fast to what is righteous and good. Adjust your posture and keep your eye on the path you are walking. Check yourself and stay active in the word. If you don’t have a church, find one. It’s a requirement. If you are lost and you do not know Jesus as your Savior, or if you have fallen but the seed has landed on good soil and you are ready to commit your life to or back to Him. Even if you do know you are saved, please stand together and say this prayer silently, let the voice that is whispering to you right now speak these words into your heart.
Father, I humble myself before you God, I have fallen away from the narrow path that you have laid out for me to follow. I lift my heart up to you O’ Lord to help me rise from this fall. Help me get up Lord; I know I cannot do this by myself, I know I am lost and dying without your saving Grace. I ask of you Lord that you enter into my heart and become my Lord and Savior. That you clean out the rooms that are dark and cluttered with deceit and sin, that you change my posture and create a new creature so I can be a light for the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus I believe you died on a wooden cross for my sins, I thank you so much for doing this for someone like me; I believe by faith Lord God that you have raised from the dead to prove your power and might over death and so that I, who is not owed anything by you, could have the gift of life eternal. I accept you as my Lord and Savior, I love you and accept you as my God, in Jesus precious name. Amen.
Father in Heaven, thank you for your word today. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to come to you, together in one accord in this way. We take the opportunity to use whatever means the world has created to do your work and your will. Let it bless us Father in ways we do not understand but welcome gladly. Thank you God for sending us the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us and for using us to minister to those who are in need of your mercy and grace. Lord let us not forget your word but to hide them from the enemy in our hearts where he cannot steal your Word from us, in Jesus name. Amen.
If anyone has received Christ Jesus as your Savior or has recommitted your life to God, I would like to know. Jesus said to confess our salvation to others and He will know us when we enter the gates.
Matt 10:32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
Rejoice in the Lord every day. I love you all and thank you for taking the time to look at yourself objectively and to take notice of your walk with our Savior. I can tell you all that this has ministered to me profoundly, praise God. The next topic (unless the Spirit has other ideas) will be on supernatural faith.
More to come…