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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Grace of God's Purpose for You

Most people appear to be clueless about their purpose in life. It appears that there purpose is to use up as many natural resources as possible before departing from this earth. They are spending their energies passing time by doing whatever they can conceive to avoid boredom. The waste is immeasurable.

They have wasted the most precious resource in the universe. They have disregarded their own responsibility toward others. They have either never known or ignored the calling God has given them. They have worked hard at things that are bringing no eternal results. Their names will someday be placed on tombs or urns or gravestones. Two generations after their deaths no one will remember they have lived.

That is not God's plan.

 Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God has plan for each one of us. It will give us an impact on the world around us. It may not make us rich, powerful or famous but it gives us an eternal purpose that will never be forgotten.

 Matthew 10:42 (NIV)
42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

The things done in the name of the Lord will never be forgotten. They may not be praised on this earth but they will never be forgotten where eternity exists. These things are God's grace to us. He places things before us so that we will walk in them.

 Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It is by His grace we are saved. It is by His grace that we walk in the good works that He has prepared for us.

Thus, Paul, seeing God's grace in His calling, knows the grace of a life being filled and fulfilled by walking in God's grace.

 Ephesians 3:8 (NIV)
8 Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

It is grace to have a purpose in your life. It is grace to walk in that purpose. It is grace, no matter what hardship befalls you when walking in that grace.

I like many others want to claim God's grace only when things go well but there is a deeper meaning to grace that transcends circumstances. It is God's grace simply to be called to His purpose. It is God's grace to have the calling shape the one being called into a persevering disciple because of circumstances that may or may not go well. It is God's grace that these works done in the name of the Lord are never forgotten by the Lord. It is God's grace to know that God's calling is giving eternal meaning to the one who is called. It is God's grace to truly rest in the midst of the hardest work ever done because it is by His grace that the work is done.

Many people are looking for an easy road. They seek a god who will lead them to a life of riches, fame and fortune here and now. But where is the true grace in that? How can that which will be burned as meaningless as we stand before Christ truly be considered grace?

 Philippians 3:18-20 (NIV)
18 For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

It is this grace of being called; this grace of God's purpose that allows us to await a day when we shall walk into Glory. We have sought His appearance. We have it through His grace. We will have it through His grace.

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV) 
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

10 comments:

high-expressions said...

Indeed, for most cases, after 2 generations, the dead is NOT remembered anymore. Take our family setting for example, my children already hardly remember my late father, their grandfather. Would my children’s children, i.e. my grandchildren have any inkling about my father, their great grandfather? No, for they are NOT here yet, and my father has gone to be with the Lord, already.

On a personal basis, there is no true remembrance to talk about, for they would know NOT each other. On an impersonal basis, my children could tell their children (in the future) about their great grandfather, but that would really be like reading history to them, like the case when, so-called great men of the world are “remembered” in our study of history.

You can get streets and building named after you. There is in Singapore, a road called Anthony Road; which I have joked with my children when I passed by it, that, that road belongs to me. But of course, the “Anthony” is NOT me, perhaps, an “Anthony of the past” who perhaps, was rich, famous or powerful, and people had named the road after him. But am I bothered to know who that Anthony was? No, I am NOT. Are my children bothered to know? No, too. It is just a road, call it whatever name you want. The same can be said of buildings named after others. The value of the road or building, etc, is NOT in the name, but in the very thing itself, a road for vehicles to travel on, it providing convenience, etc, etc.

One can even have a philanthropic organization or trust fund set up in his name, and provide the seed money; even so, there can be no personal remembrance after 2 generations, for the person is already “history” when someone receives a benefit from it, after 2 generations. There is no doubt a benefit could be received, but there is no personal remembrance; it is like we say, “I know ABOUT the person, but I know NOT the person”.

Now, say, just for a moment, we leave out the plan of God for our personal life; what would we like to do, (a) be one who takes care only of ourselves; i.e. self-centred, with a goal of NOT letting ourselves be bored (like Ps Prentis described it); or (b) be one who would share a little as long as we are alive; or (c) be one who would share a little as long as we are around, and continue to do so (financial or materially), after we have passed on, like leaving a philanthropic organization or trust fund; or (d) be one who leaves some good personal memory with God and with others?

I will choose (d), for I have come to believe relation is what is important; and then of relation, personal relations are the more important ones. Actually, life is about relations, and relations are of levels, and the top levels are most important.

The highest most level is that, involving God. God exists; and He exists in a relation – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. God then created Man, and there is added a level of relation – that of God with Man and Man with God. God, in Creation said that, that ought NOT be all, and He created the relation of family for Man, just as there is the “family” relation in the Godhead; and so, God created a woman, Eve, for the 1st Man, Adam. For Man, with the arrival of children, the family relation ramified into all the various dimensions of father-children relation, sibling relation, uncle-nephew relation, etc. Other relations then set in, those included friends (relation), employer-workers relation, and many other lower level relations.

First thing, first; you can have many relations, many remote ones, etc, but what must still be foremost, be had, are the few relations at the top levels, which are the personal sort of relations. Only personal relations are sustained relations; the more personal or higher up the hierarchy level, the more sustained are the relations.

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high-expressions said...

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The Godhead relation is the most personal one, and it is most sustained or it is for all eternity. Now, if our relation with God is to be for all eternity, guess what! It is has to be, also personal! Our relation with God is personal, and it is sustainable to eternity.

Immediate family relations are personal, and are sustainable to death. Now, I use sustainable, because some people still choose to severe the relation which would otherwise be still meaningful until death. So, there are those who would denounce God, or divorce a spouse, or disown their children or the latter disown the parents. Further down, friends give up on friends, even good ones. The less personal ones, like employer-worker relation, are easily given up, for “mundane” reasons like economics, and “no longer a good fit!” Many relations are made and severed, but the core ones or the foremost ones or primary ones, we must resist severing them.

Then there is the concept of seasonal relations, and seasonal personal relations. Relation with God and immediate family relations are NOT seasonal personal relations. While seasonal personal relations are “on the surface” NOT being sustained”, they, in actual fact, are NOT severed even when they suffered their “natural deaths”.

For example, as a healer-minister, I may form a seasonal personal relation with a sick; it is personal for we develop to the extent of we know each other (NOT merely know ABOUT each other); and let say, the sick gets well, and I move on, to know and care for others, that personal relation may “die out” on the surface, quite naturally; but it is NOT actually severed. The good memory of the relation is still with each other.

One is NOT wrong to say that once physical death hits us, our brain goes (kaput), too; and so, on earth, our memory “passes on” along with our death. But I believe Scripture did hint that such good memory is NOT lost to physical death; in Heaven these memories are available.

Ps Prentis, for example, will remember me, as the one who regularly commented on his blog; both of us efforting towards a good work of the Lord, of giving faith understanding on the world-wide web. Scripture talked about those who made it to Heaven can be welcoming in a personal manner, those others who are entering into Heaven. How could they, unless they still remember the good memory of the past time on earth!

Many people will be welcoming (on a personal basis) Ps Prentis when it is his turn to arrive into Heaven; they probably would be saying, “My pastor is coming up, Ps Prentis is coming up”. You know when I was …., Ps Prentis went out of his way to ….. Now, he is coming up. Let’s go and welcome him at the gate.” These people are your “friends”, Ps Prentis. Scripture exhorts us to make such “friends” with our time and resource, NOT friends who gather around us, when we have much money to spend or could be of great benefit to them while on earth. We ought to make “friends” who would be there welcoming us at the Heaven’s gate, and testifying to our lives on earth.

A story was told of a old pastor; who had just finished pastoring, just retired, and was returning to his hometown, which was in the remote area of the country; the only way to his hometown was by river, and it took days, before he came to “civilization”, and along both stretches of the river, there were colorful flags and banners, but with no writings on them; they were just color fabric, for the place was a remote place and people there had hardly a need to read or write. The old pastor also saw many people along both sides of the river bank, when he was nearer to the jetty where he would disembark. In his heart, he was wondering, how was it that these villagers could get hold of the news that he was returning, when he had told no one from his hometown. He allowed his heart to be warmed by the grand welcoming he saw.

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high-expressions said...

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But when he was near enough to the jetty, ahead of him, he could see a bigger boat with a banner with a famous film star’s name written right across it. When the film star disembarked, the old pastor could see, from his small boat, a great rush of people on the bank to the jetty. By the time, the old pastor reached the jetty to alight, there was NOT a single soul in sight to welcome him. Suddenly, he felt somewhat pitiful for himself, and let go a “sigh” and said to the Lord, “Lord, there is no one here to welcome me!”

What do you know; the Lord answered him back, “But you are NOT home yet. What you saw was nothing; from the records up here, your welcoming party would be many, many times this; you have many “friends” up here; and many of them you have forgotten them, but their memories of you and your deeds towards them are as fresh as the day’s when they were committed {to memory}! This is for you, Ps Prentis; continue in (d) be one who leaves some good memory with God and with others! Of course, the old pastor has NOT reached home; where was his home? Heaven.

What is the link? The above got to be for Ps Prentis! Still there is a link; for the plan of God is for such as (d), for us to be one who chooses to leave some good memory with God and with others while we lived.

God meant the relation between Him and each one of us, as a personal one, and a NON-seasonal one. In other words, God intended the relation to be one that is sustainable into eternity. Primary to that, of course, is that we must eventually be able to subsist with Him (that was why Jesus must come). Because He is God and our Creator, regardless of absence of input from us (we contribute NO merit), God gave and gives, towards this intention of His. Now when we merit it NOT, then whatever God gave and gives towards His intention for us, is grace. In other words, the very purpose of God for us, is a grace of God.

Looking at this, this way, God’s foremost intention for Man is of grace. Is it NOT grace that God wanted the relation to be one that is personal, and that which is sustainable into eternity? Such good intention and planning, if it is NOT grace, what is it; remember you and I merit it NOT!

Creation is grace; God’s creation of us is of grace, and His creation of us with that intent of the relation, is grace. Any plan of God for any one of us is grace (or of grace).

Good work is thrown out by God only when men are recognizing it in place of His grace. It is NOT when we are in grace, there is no need for good works. Now, overly grace teachers like to quote Eph 2:8-9, and leave out verse 10. This is an example of selectively picking verses to support one’s made-up theology of the faith, and ignoring those verses NOT in agreement with one’s theology. Such teaching that it is all grace, no works required, may sound “innocent” on first hearing, but if you sit under it long enough, you will realize what the teachers are preaching is that post-entry into salvation, no good works are required of believers.

That is NOT what Eph 2:8-10 is saying. There are 2 “for” conjunctives in the text. Verse 8’s “For it is by grace you have been saved”, this first “for” phrase can be translated as “The truth is that it is by grace you have been saved,” The second “for” which is in verse 10, as “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, …” be should treated as “Even so, the (“greater”) truth is we are God’s workmanship, created.. to do good works,”; In other words, there is no inconsistency in the 2 truths, that of vv8-9 & v10.

It is precisely because of the foremost intention of God concerning His relation with Man which points to sustainability to eternality, that the Father God sent His Son, Jesus to save, without any merit from our end, and therefore, it is grace; BUT that we were and are intended by God for good works remains unchanged.

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high-expressions said...

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Now, it is very important to understand the truth in verse 10, is NOT depended on the truth in verses 8&9, or that it is in any way subjugated to the truth in verses 8&9. In fact, it is a greater truth or a foremost truth. In other words, right from Creation, Man is God’s workmanship (created) to do good works. Yes, at Creation, when Man was created, Man was created in Christ Jesus; Jesus was present at Creation, as the Son member of the Godhead. We were created in Christ Jesus, for Jesus. Only thing is that we need to be born-again, in order that we may lay hold of our destiny, which is that we are created for good works. Once we grasp the above, the rest of the verses, both in OT and NT are NOT difficult to explain, and there is no contradiction as far as works and grace is concerned.

God’s thoughts towards Man, right from the start is only good. God’s big picture for Man is as I have portrayed above, God intended a personal relation with us, and that means it is for eternity; it does NOT change, and so, on His part (without us meriting it), He did (as from right in the beginning) and still does things, by His grace, in keeping with the original big pictures.

Jer 29:11 said that God has a plan for the children of God, then the Israelites; but it is of course still applicable to us, and to each of us.

People like to quote this verse (Jer 29:11); are you also one of them? If you are, have you thought about your own understanding when you quote that, or is it because everybody is quoting that, so you too, should quote that! Do you believe God has a plan for each and every one of us? When was it decided or fixed? Was it ever changed? Does it NOT come to pass? Is it surely if there is a plan by God, I do NOT need to do anything, it will come to pass? Are you like some people, thinking that our lives are like a movie, already shot, and now being screened; whatever will be, will be? If you do NOT understand correctly, you can be having all the wrong understandings that in fact, will stumble your own walk and the walk of others.

There is no space here to go deep, but I just drop you a hint: God’s big pictures do NOT change, but He does tweak real-time, and so, you can rest assured that if you are willing, He has a plan(s) for you that is always to prosper you, and not to harm you, plan(s) to give you hope and future (see, the future here, implies God’s finger is on a personal relation with you; remember I said a personal relation is a relation intended to be sustained for the long haul).

Eph 2:8-10 as whole can be interpreted as (1) God is saying that we enter into salvation or enter into the New Covenant by grace, i.e. without us meriting it; it is that God has done everything so that you would come. In other words, the fact is that we cannot treat the New Covenant as a contract we proved ourselves to be worthy that God would sign the “contract” with us. It is NEVER like that; it is God signing on the “contract” and says, if you want …., sign here; and (2) God is saying, we, indeed, do NOT need to merit, to be eligible to sign in; however, we are to know that God had created us for good works.

While the Book of Ephesians does NOT elaborate on good works, except where the author, the Apostle Paul, said that it was only by God’s grace that he was privileged to be the one reaching out to the Gentiles for the Lord (Eph 3:8), Paul’s own life and writings in other books are with much emphasis on the need to walk in the calling of God, doing good works and producing fruit (The Book of Ephesians centred more on living a holy and righteous life).

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high-expressions said...

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Paul’s own life was an excellent example of one entered into salvation without meriting it; in fact, he was persecuting the believers until he was blinded by the Lord. The blinding experience was instrumental to his giving of his life to Jesus. But Paul did NOT sit and do nothing, but he walked in the good works of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, which, in Eph 3:8, he said, it was all by God’s grace that he was privileged to do that.

Enough already, overly grace preachers should stop harping on the salvation grace, like a broken record (almost every believer, if NOT all, knows, one enters into the New Covenant by grace), and start teaching on the many dimensions of God’s grace, including post-born-again grace is most evidently experienced in doing the very thing God said we are created for – good works. In fact, Paul even went to the extent of equating grace to good works! Eph 3:8 said, “.., this grace is given me: to preach to the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ;”

This emphasis by Ps Prentis below is NO exaggeration:

“It is grace to have a purpose in your life. It is grace to walk in that purpose. It is grace, no matter what hardship befalls you when walking in that grace.

I {am} like many others {who} want to claim God's grace only when things go well but there is a deeper meaning to grace that transcends circumstances. It is God's grace simply to be called to His purpose. It is God's grace to have the calling shape the one being called {,} into a persevering disciple because of circumstances that may or may not go well. It is God's grace that these works done in the name of the Lord are never forgotten by the Lord. It is God's grace to know that God's calling is giving eternal meaning to the one who is called. It is God's grace to truly rest in the midst of the hardest work ever done because it is by His grace that the work is done.”

Ps Prentis, in his entry, also has this:

“Many people are looking for an easy road. They seek a god who will lead them to a life of riches, fame and fortune here and now. But where is the true grace in that? How can that which will be burned as meaningless as we stand before Christ truly be considered grace?”

You will remember in the above, when I talked about the life-choice of (d), “be one who leaves some good personal memory with God and with others”, I have NOT elaborated on “memory with God” although I have dwelled at length, “memory with others”. A top level personal relation must be leaving good personal memory with each other.

Has God not left good personal memory with you? I am sure He has. Has He NOT done anything that touched you? I am sure He has. I believe God’s faithfulness means He has and will do everything permissible by His own demand of holiness, to provide the sustainability of the personal relation He has with you. By grace, God does His part, but His faithfulness does NOT mean, “He MUST, regardless”.

God does NOT give many unconditional promises, but every promise given He will fulfill it accordingly, but if there are conditions, then He is entitled to insist on the fulfillment of those conditions. It is for us, to also do our part to provide sustainability to the personal relation we are having with God, which has been started. Some of the key areas where we are to leave good personal memory with God are:

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high-expressions said...

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1. We, as believers, accepted His salvation grace; in deciding that we wanted to come back to Him, from our fallen state. Our recognition that we could NOT save ourselves by our own merit, but instead we recognized He first loved us, was good personal memory each believer has left with God. Scripture said Heaven rejoices when each does this.

2. In line with Paul’s exhortation in Eph 3:8, as well as Ps Prentis’ emphasis here, we are to walk in the grace of the good works He intends for each of us. When we do that, we leave good personal memory with God.

3. Perseverance on our part. Even to the extent of “If I perish, I perish”; such was what was expressed by Queen Esther, and the 3 friends of the Prophet Daniel who were thrown into the furnace.

4. Obedience and sacrifice on our part. Scripture said God valued obedience more than sacrifice. Acts of obedience leaves good personal memory with God.

Some overly grace teachings said that God won’t ask you to sacrifice; apparently insisting that the owner (God) of the hill of a thousand cattle cannot be asking us to sacrifice anything as if He does NOT or cannot have anything He needs or wants. No, when Scripture said God valued obedience more than sacrifice, it is saying that sacrifice is valued by God, and on top of that, God values obedience more. God asks for our sacrifice NOT because of any reason of His poverty (or poverty mentality!), it is His refining us to be rich like He is rich.

5. Loving Him back. Love and faith are NOT the same thing; sometimes we thought faith included love, but it does NOT; faith is faith, love is love. That is why, Paul said 3 things remains, NOT two things, faith and hope or love and hope, but faith, hope and love. But the 2 share one thing in common; they beg the same question: “Where is it showing?” Empty thoughts about love, without words and actions, amounts to nothing! And loving God does mean obeying His commands (John 14:15 & 14:21a).

6. Loving people with the love of God. Scripture said, if we are NOT loving men with His love, we could NOT have been loving Him. Love your neighbours, and that would leave good personal memory with God.

7. Moving in Faith on our part. Heb 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God. On top of the faith, add love, for Gal 5:6b said that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Moving in faith through love leaves good personal memory with God.

8. Recognising that He is a holy God. Be holy as He is holy. Your effort to be holy because He is holy registers with God.

9. Doing as unto the Lord (Rom 14:6). Although there were occasions that God did note persistent good works of a non-believer, in Scripture, generally speaking, good works of non-believers count NOT, to God, and God is just NOT pleased with them. But why? The reason is simple: Non-believers know NOT the Lord, and so, what they did they could NOT be doing them as unto the Lord. If a thing is NOT done as unto the Lord, it counts NOT. Even for believers, we could be doing stuff which we did NOT regard them as done unto the Lord; and if that was the case, those works too, might NOT be acceptable to God. To be of good personal memory to God, do as unto the Lord.

10. Forgive people, no matter how hard, and how justified you are to hold onto unforgiveness. Col 3:13 asked that we forgive as God forgave. It is NOT about timing; that you forgive at the same time that God forgave you, rather the “as” is pointing to the manner or fashion you are to forgive others, and which is to forgive, regardless, the same manner God forgave you at your born-again, regardless. And it registers with God, for Matt 6:15 said that post born-again, God forgives you (only) when you have forgiven others. It means God takes note of your forgiving of another, or He remembers.

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high-expressions said...

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1. We, as believers, accepted His salvation grace; in deciding that we wanted to come back to Him, from our fallen state. Our recognition that we could NOT save ourselves by our own merit, but instead we recognized He first loved us, was good personal memory each believer has left with God. Scripture said Heaven rejoices when each does this.

2. In line with Paul’s exhortation in Eph 3:8, as well as Ps Prentis’ emphasis here, we are to walk in the grace of the good works He intends for each of us. When we do that, we leave good personal memory with God.

3. Perseverance on our part. Even to the extent of “If I perish, I perish”; such was what was expressed by Queen Esther, and the 3 friends of the Prophet Daniel who were thrown into the furnace.

4. Obedience and sacrifice on our part. Scripture said God valued obedience more than sacrifice. Acts of obedience leaves good personal memory with God.

Some overly grace teachings said that God won’t ask you to sacrifice; apparently insisting that the owner (God) of the hill of a thousand cattle cannot be asking us to sacrifice anything as if He does NOT or cannot have anything He needs or wants. No, when Scripture said God valued obedience more than sacrifice, it is saying that sacrifice is valued by God, and on top of that, God values obedience more. God asks for our sacrifice NOT because of any reason of His poverty (or poverty mentality!), it is His refining us to be rich like He is rich.

5. Loving Him back. Love and faith are NOT the same thing; sometimes we thought faith included love, but it does NOT; faith is faith, love is love. That is why, Paul said 3 things remains, NOT two things, faith and hope or love and hope, but faith, hope and love. But the 2 share one thing in common; they beg the same question: “Where is it showing?” Empty thoughts about love, without words and actions, amounts to nothing! And loving God does mean obeying His commands (John 14:15 & 14:21a).

6. Loving people with the love of God. Scripture said, if we are NOT loving men with His love, we could NOT have been loving Him. Love your neighbours, and that would leave good personal memory with God.

7. Moving in Faith on our part. Heb 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God. On top of the faith, add love, for Gal 5:6b said that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Moving in faith through love leaves good personal memory with God.

8. Recognising that He is a holy God. Be holy as He is holy. Your effort to be holy because He is holy registers with God.

9. Doing as unto the Lord (Rom 14:6). Although there were occasions that God did note persistent good works of a non-believer, in Scripture, generally speaking, good works of non-believers count NOT, to God, and God is just NOT pleased with them. But why? The reason is simple: Non-believers know NOT the Lord, and so, what they did they could NOT be doing them as unto the Lord. If a thing is NOT done as unto the Lord, it counts NOT. Even for believers, we could be doing stuff which we did NOT regard them as done unto the Lord; and if that was the case, those works too, might NOT be acceptable to God. To be of good personal memory to God, do as unto the Lord.

10. Forgive people, no matter how hard, and how justified you are to hold onto unforgiveness. Col 3:13 asked that we forgive as God forgave. It is NOT about timing; that you forgive at the same time that God forgave you, rather the “as” is pointing to the manner or fashion you are to forgive others, and which is to forgive, regardless, the same manner God forgave you at your born-again, regardless. And it registers with God, for Matt 6:15 said that post born-again, God forgives you (only) when you have forgiven others. It means God takes note of your forgiving of another, or He remembers.

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high-expressions said...

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The above give us some idea of what can constitute good personal memory God will register. I am NOT against people attributing their well-being, including their health and wealth to God’s grace; but I believe God is NOT happy, if we taint God’s name by ascribing that which He is pleased NOT, to His name, and we should NOT do that.

For example, if you neglected your family, didn’t go to church, etc, and spent all the time, in a long haul, to earn big bucks, and you ascribed your wealth to God, when people around all knew your neglect and that you are a workaholic and are over-pressurizing your staff, it will NOT please God, and it is NOT going to be counted as good personal memory with God. As a pastor, if you intentionally skewed your teachings to easy-believism, even to the extent of perverting the core truths of the faith, and you manage to have a big congregation, and you use yourself as the example of doing God’s work can NEVER be with heavy yoke, although I am NOT to judge your ministry (we are NOT to judge another’s ministry), I say, all seats of honor (like being a leader) come with the increased liberty, and also increased accountability to God. Using the ways of the world can get you a big church too, but how sustainable is your personal relation with God if you do that. You may be well and fine, or you may NOT, in this lifetime, but the personal relation with God spans further than that; the real crunch will come afterwards (after physical death).

While abusing the name of God is offensive to God, on the other hand, loving people in the name of God does register with God.

Sometimes I do note some believers only want to care and love the non-believers, but they will NOT stop to care and love a brother or a sister (brethren). Charity starts at home; this saying should also apply to the church. We should be generous with our care and show of love within the body, even when we want to “score” with the Lord by increasing the size of the congregation. Scripture requires us to pay attention to both, believers and non-believers. We have to check our motive, if we find that we are NOT wanting to care for the brethrens around us. Matt 10:42, Ps Prentis quoted, is concerning good works done for a brethren, and Jesus said, it registers with God, and NOT forgotten in Heaven. Of course, if we have no heart for the Great Commission, we are at fault, too.

When we have entered into the New Covenant, we have already received grace, and the channel of grace is opened to us for good works. We have to consider, individually, if we are profaning the grace of God by NOT engaging in good works, giving God no good personal memory (of you) to register. If our mind is still fixated on earthly things, to satisfy the cravings of our flesh (you can find many listings of this, cravings of the flesh, in Scripture. e.g. Col 3) without discipline and self-control, are we NOT profaning the grace of God, which Philippians 3:18-19 said, we are living as enemies of the Cross, and our destiny is destruction (No, I do NOT think this text is referring to non-believers, as can be erroneously claimed by the overly grace believers).

Verse 20 of that Philippians 3 said that we are citizens of Heaven; so as such, we ought to focus on things above. What register as good personal memory with God and with others, are concerning things above. In Col 3, we can find the list of things considered as things above. We must get it right, concerning this; what is going to be registered, is of a thing above, NOT an earthly thing.

COnt on next page...

high-expressions said...

Cont. from preceding page

For example, it is NOT the money given or the physical healing received, for both of these are earthly things; it is the your compassion and your love that moved you to give of your money that is registered; it is your compassion, your love and sharing of life, giving sacrificially of your time and energy to go visit a sick, pray with them and comfort them, and generally be round, especially the illness is chronic, that are registered; the person may NOT even be healed, still those, would be good personal memories with God and with others.

I used to have two stage 4 lung cancer ministees, one in Singapore and another in Malaysia, whom I followed up for a long time, in ministry (voluntarily). Both died, despite my prayers. My prayers might NOT have helped directly at all, as far as their medical condition was concerned but I have loved, and they felt that love of God. For the Singapore one, the husband and the children were touched (the husband gave his life to Christ, and still went through baptism recently, despite the Lord did NOT heal his wife); and the Malaysian lady had had 250,000 dollars raised in a couple of weeks through people’s giving so that she could go for an expensive treatment from Japan, but she did NOT even made it (she passed away) through the preliminary tests of the treatment, but I am sure those who gave and encouraged had left a memory. It was NOT the money per se that was registered, but it was the heart of love and giving that got registered; money was just the means to be of earthly good, from a heart condition which is founded upon things above.

Overly grace preachers liked to say, they are following the final gospel, which they claimed was the version that the Apostle Paul received and preached. To me, firstly, there is only one Gospel, and NOT 3 – Not a gospel of Jesus, he used when he was alive, NOT another gospel by the Disciple Apostles (like Peter, John, etc. Paul was NOT a Disciple Apostle), and finally, a final version Jesus Himself gave to Paul, purportedly super-ceding His own! It was and is only one Gospel, of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of the overly grace preachers is NOT consistent with the life that the Apostle Paul lived. Paul lived in grace all the time, but it was NOT he was basking in grace and doing nothing or doing anything he liked. Rather like Jesus, Paul was determined to complete the good works God had planned for him to do. Like Jesus, Paul lived a life like a drink offering poured out, a life of perseverance, endurance, of good faith, and of hard work, of giving of himself to the work of the Gospel, that many might be saved and be grounded in the truths and ways of God.

Paul was the one who used the analogy of an athlete training, with discipline and self-control, and engaging in the race, following the rules of the games, and to finish well. Paul put his time to good use for the Lord. Preachers who claimed they taught Paul’s teaching, should take a closer look at Paul’s life; how could it be that Paul was teaching one thing and doing another, i.e. that he was NOT walking his talk; if they are true to the Gospel and Paul teachings, teach the full works, and NOT sweep everything under the carpet of salvation grace, and purport the carpet as the magic carpet that will fly itself home.

Serve and you will see much more grace; not just the continuing salvation grace.

Prentis said...

I not only "remember" you Anthony but I know you by your heart. It is all over your writing! You are being used as God's grace to myself and others. God bless you!