SANCTIFICATION LEADING TO OBEDIENCE!

I. Sam. 15:22-  And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.”

We’ve all heard the term, “Obedience is better than sacrifice!”  Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done, because we’re so programmed to doing the things that we think will earn God’s blessing or favor.  The above passage has to do with King Saul concerning the Amalakites and the instruction from the prophet Samuel to utterly destroy them. 

Then the LORD sent Samuel down to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king over Israel.  Saul was tall and handsome, head and shoulders above all the people.  When Samuel started going through his sons, the LORD spoke to him and said, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him;  For God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

The New Testament counterpart to King Saul in Israel is Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul!  This turns out much difference because of the calling and setting apart of Paul.  In his recounting of his encounter with the Lord on the way to Damascus, Acts 26:16-18 says, And I said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.  But arise, and stand upon your feet;  for this purpose I have appeared unto you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;  delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

To be sanctified means to be “set apart”.  In Paul’s journey to Jerusalem, he stopped by Ephesus and called fro the elders of the church.  In his exhortation to them, he said in Acts 20:32- “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” To receive the inheritance, one must be sanctified by His grace.

Next time we will talk about his obedience leading to faith through grace…

I. Peter 1:2-  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:  May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.

Blessings,

JB

Back in my Hometown!

Pam and I came to my home town of Magnolia, Ar. today for the long Memorial Day weekend to be with my parents while my sister and family are out of town.  Many of you know, my mom has been ill and homebound for over four years now since breaking her hip on Nov. 1, 2007.  My Dad and my sister, along with other help, take extremely good care of her, and we are glad to be able to come and help when my sister is on vacation.  My mom will be 87 years old on Sept. 7 and all the memories I have of her are pleasant and rewarding.  My dad and mom will also be married an unheard of “69″ years on Sept. 17, 2012!!  My dad, although not a preacher, has raised three sons, all ministers of the gospel.  He was an accountant who worked for the same company, Alan White Furniture Co., for almost 40 years!  One of my best friends growing up in Stamps, Ar. was Robin White, the youngest son of the founder of the company, Alan White!  My Dad trained Robin when he graduated from college, and later worked for him part-time for almost 16 years.

I’m so thankful for my parents, and although Pam and I stay very busy in our ministry, we do not regret the time we’ve been able to come and help support and strengthen them in their time of need.  Yes, admittedly, we get tired and sometimes the extra travel and strain wears on us, but when we saw the relief on my Dad’s face late this afternoon when we finally got here (smile), we felt refreshed.  He was so anxious to share with us some things going on at his church, hurtful things, but the role he was playing to help heal hurts and bring unity among sheep without a shepherd right now.  He took a stand for “what is right” and for my entire life, his goal was always to do the “right thing!”  I’ve never known anyone with more integrity and character than my Dad.

In closing, my sweet little mom doesn’t know us or say anything anymore, and I so miss the ways I could her make her laugh or sing.  The first three years or so into this time since she fell, we would put in a Gaither video, and when I would start singing with them and encourage her, she would pick right up on and could still sing her alto!  Our favorite was, O what a Savior!  When I would act funny or sing off key to tease her, I can still see that smile on her face and hear her little laugh.  Now, we get her up and do everything for her, and I guess my main job is feeding her.  And I enjoy that, because she still eats pretty good, most of the time with her eyes closed.  But she is still precious to me, and just when I think I wish she knew how much I love her, she’ll give me a sweet look or mumble something, that will tell me, she knows that that is her Jimmy!

That’s life back in my home town…

JB

Lifelong Relationships?!?

Today it seems that so many relationships are superficial, or as many like to say, seasonal!  I know there are many things “seasonal” in our lives, and not all relationships are permanent, or lifelong.  The Lord puts different people in our lives to help fulfil certain assignments and to be connectors that help bring us into new places and positions in life.  These are not necessarily “casual” relationships or friendships, they’re “seasonal” because the Father knows how to work out all things in our life for the good!

But what about marriage and ministry?  We’ve even seen the deterioration of marriage relationships, not just in the world, but in the church, especially in leadership ministry over the last years.  Because of performance driven ministry and seeking for power and position, many sell out their birthright and blessing by thinking that they need more than what God has given them to succeed.  Many pastors and leaders are not content because they believe that their spouse is not helping bring them to where they want to be.  What a deception!  I find that when I embrace the differences in my wife as positives that are just what I need to become balanced, that peace fills our lives and the Father accomplishes His will!

But what about in “ministry leadership” relationships?  Is “what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” just concerning marriage?  Are not we, as the body of Christ, married to the Lord, and because of that, are we not members one of another?  Obviously, the marriage relationship is unique in that it’s God’s ultimate intention that one man and one woman be joined together in holy matrimony for life!  And nothing glorifes the Father more, even in failure, when a man and a woman decide that they would rather glorify God and work together as being one, than be more concerned about their own feelings or welfare.  My parents will have been married 69 years this coming Sept. 17, 2012 and for almost five years my dad has taken care of my mom at home just like you would care for a baby.  He doesn’t do it or look at like a duty, but it comes naturally because for so long they have cared for one another and loved each other.

But in closing, I’m concerned about true relationships in leaders in ministry.  Is it not real anymore that strong leaders and saints that are called together not be able to remain stedfast to the end, loving, caring, and supporting one another in biblical truth?  Has the Father not ordained that we are His workmanship created unto good works to glorify Him?  What about people who break covenant because of correction or because they no longer feel like they’re receiving the attention they believe they deserve?

Many today throw away spiritual fathers and sons without regard today, where there is such a sacred trust and bond in these relationships.  Paul wrote in I. Thess. 5:23- “Know (recognize) those that labor among you, that are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.”  He also wrote in 2 Timothy 4:16-  “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me:  I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”  Even in being deserted while in prison, He still was praying for forgiveness, and understood that most people look out for themselves only, and not on others.

I’m saying, in difficult times and in plain impasses where someone is determined to get their way, or refuse to forgive an offense, could we not reclaim the love of the Father and receive one another, just as He receives us?  No, everyone is not involved in your destiny and many people and ministers many be seasonal, but help us to know that there are those “covenant relationships” that the Father has desired that if we walk with them to the end, that He will be glorified and the generations can be blessed!!

JB

 

TRANSITIONS= NEW ASSIGNMENTS!!

TRANSITIONS=
NEW
ASSIGNMENTS! 

These days of transitions are more important than ever!  This “Journey” is like we’ve never seen before because it’s a time of fulness and fruitfulness!!  If we have learned from our past transitions, we realize that’s it not about human strength and endeavors.  It’s about His Grace being raised up in our lives that will establish us in great grace and present truth!

I. Timothy 1:11,13-  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry…And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

enabled-  to be strengthened with His power and might…
If each one of us can find strength to trust the Lord on this journey, we will find that His love and grace is more than enough, more than sufficient, and able to us into the next assignment.

NEW ASSIGNMENTS + NEW ALIGNMENTS=  NEW (DIVINE) APPOINTMENTS!!

BE BLESSED AND STRENGTHENED WITH THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT,

JB

Opportunities for the Word! (2 Co. 2:12-17)

2 Co. 2:12-17-  Furthermore, when I come to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door ( opportunity) was opened to my by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother;  but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.  Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us manifests the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.  And who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, as so many (the rest), peddling the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

When the Lord opens a door for His word, there are always adversaries. ( I. Co. 16:9)

When the Lord opens a door for His word, it is for utterance to make known the mystery of the gospel, as ambassadors…(Eph. 6:19,20)

When the Lord opens a door for His word, There is a need for intercessors to pray, that the Lord would make known His word and manifest to those who receive it. (Col. 4:2,3)

Rev. 3: 7,8-  These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, an shuts and no one opens”:  “I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it:  for you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied my name.”

 

APOSTOLIC PATIENCE!

Acts 20:24-  But none of these things move, nor do I count my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I have received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The apostle Paul had the “Spirit prompting” that when He came to Ephesus he was nearing the end of His course and race that the Lord had appointed him to.  On his way to Jerusalem, he wanted to encourage the elders at Ephesus that although bonds and afflictions awaited him there, He knew he must go to Jersualem.  He was determined to keep the faith to the end!

Although the Spirit was bearing witness to his spirit, He did not fully understand what would be happening, but he knew it must come to pass.  He had “uncertain certainty”, in that although hesitant at times, he must press on.  He also had “predictable resistance”, or opposition that He knew he would face.  He had told the Corinthians –  For a great and effectual door has opened unto me, and there are many adversaries (those who oppose me).  I. Co. 16:9

Finally, He also knew that He had “Uncommon clarity!”  He knew by the grace of God that He would finish His race with joy, and nothing would hinder him in doing so.  Not hindrances, not discouragement, not people, not anything could separate him from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus!  He knew what He knew, because He said, “I AM WHAT I AM, BY THE GRACE OF GOD…( I. Co. 15:10)

2 Co. 12:12-  TRULY THE SIGNS OF AN APOSTLE WERE ACCOMPLISHED AMONG YOU WITH ALL WITH ALL PATIENCE (perseverance), in signs and wonders, and mighty deeds.

 

A “Revelation for a Revolution brings a REFORMATION!’

We are living in the “times of restoration” of all things…

Acts 3:19-21–  “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began,…”

THREE DIMENSIONS FOR COMPLETION OF THE PURPOSES OF GOD:

1)  Times of repentance-  to turn, a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.
2)  Times of refreshing-  times – “kairos”- opportune time, set time, appointed time, due time, proper time for action
3)  Times of restoration-  times-  “chronos”-  duration of time, which may be a point, a span, a period, a measure, or a length.
*  Kairos describes kind, or quality, of time, where chronos denotes extent, or quantity, of time.

The revelation is a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM (Christ), to open the eyes of our understanding…

The revolution is not a revolution of rebellion, it is a turning as in coming into alignment so that we can move forward in balance.

The reformation is a – Re-Form-ing, not of an external mode, but an internal quality of Christ that produces the character and the inward work of the Holy Spirit!  Gal. 4:19-  My little children, for whom I labor in birth again, until Christ be formed in you.

The Reformation of the Holy Spirit is to Awaken and Arise, causing us to Ascend with Him in the heavenlies, where we can abide, abound, agree, and assemble as the body of Christ in the earth!!

Jim Becton