Monday, August 31, 2009

Stand Firm, Let Nothing Move You

Please read this section of 1 Cor 15:

1 Corinthians 15 :50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory."55“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

As I read these words of our Lord this morning I was impressed by the joining together of words concerning the escape/rapture and "let nothing move you." If you've been following this blog over the past months you know that the Lord has been focusing the writing here by impressing this instrument (me) with a focus on prayer, faith and consumption of the words of God-the bible. We could be days or weeks away from the escape from all/rapture of the church or it could be years away, we don't know but what we do know is that we should let nothing move you.

What does that mean "let nothing move you?" It means that while predictions and prognostications during these last days are coming fast and furious, we are to be focused on the work of the Lord. Many predicted that this summer would be the "summer of hell." What happened? Life goes on, no rapture, no time of Jacob's trouble, no societal collapse, no hell on earth, just business as usual for most people. Why is that? Our Lord controls the timing of what is going to happen and he specifically tells us to "stand firm" and "let nothing move you."

These words from the Lord seem especially relevant today since the focus of the past months writing has been exactly what these words in the bible tell us to do-focus on the work of the Lord.

So...we are to focus on the work of the Lord. What exactly is the work of the Lord?

John 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Okay, so the work of God is to believe in the one he has sent, but what does that mean? Who was sent? Jesus was. And who is Jesus? Jesus is the Son of God and the WORD of God:

John 1 :1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understooda it.
6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.b
10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent,c nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,d who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Ok, so where does that leave us? This means that the work of God is to believe the WORD of God and how can we believe in something we have not heard or read? How can we believe the Word of God when todays form of christianity only preaches a partial gospel? We can believe the Word of God when we personally, ourselves, not someone else, US, we read it, feed ourselves with the words of life.

As adults do we expect others to feed us our breakfast, lunch and dinner? No, we don't unless we are handicapped. So why do people today expect others to feed them the word of life? Do they not have eyes that see? Can they not read? We have no excuses for not staying in the words of God that we may believe, which is the work of God. The word of God is full of commands, do you think following the commands written in the word of God is part of the work of God? I do:

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

Do you think obedience to the word, is part of the work of God? I do, and how can we obey commands we do not know because they are not preached? We can obey the commands because we read and feed them to ourselves.

There is coming a day of judgement for all of us. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ to answer for our lives:

Romans 14:10
10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.’”a
12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Notice what we are told, that each of us will give an account of himself...notice there is no mention of any clergy member there to answer for you. So how we will give an account for ourselves? Friends, as I write these things I tremble myself. I am not fit to judge any other human being and I make a conscious willfull effort to not judge any other person. Any thought that pops into my head that "judges" another person I take captive in obedience to Jesus and I engage my free will to dismiss it.

I tremble at the thought of standing before Jesus to give an account of my life because I know what a screwup I have been over the course of my life. With that said though, I would also very much like to know the words of God WELL so on the day I stand before the judge of men I can give an answer for myself based on words that mean something to God..his own words.

To bring this post to a close, we see how it is we do the things we are told to do. We are told to stand firm, to let nothing move us and how can we do that? We can believe in Jesus who is the WORD of GOD. We can believe in the word of God by staying focused on the WORD OF GOD. To stay focused on the word of God we must stay in it, that is, to read it, listen to CD, mp3, DVD, and speak to each other with it and any another other ways we can possibly feed ourselves with it.

When we read dire messages of impending doom, dismiss them unless you have personally heard from the Lord on these things. If you are a child of God that means you too have the Spirit of God living in you. Do you not trust him to warn you of what you need to be warned about? Our God has spoken clearly to us that our focus is to be his word and his word saying things like:

1 cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord


Philippians 4:6 ... Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication withthanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Our Lord told us that his coming would be like the days of Noah and Lot. They were righteous men in their days and what happened with Noah and Lot? Were they taken by surprise when destruction came? No, they were told to get in the ark and angels were sent to escort Lot out of Sodom BEFORE destruction hit for the world in both cases. Should we not expect the same thing of our Lord in our case? Was this not why these things were written to us? The word of our Lord was sent to COMFORT us.

Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Psalm 119:76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to ...
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise ...
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we ...
who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any troublewith the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord ...
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, theFather of compassion and the God of all comfort

1 Thessalonians 4:15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore COMFORT each other with these words.

So be comforted brothers and sisters with the Lords own words to us. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus be with you today and always.