Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DOING GOOD - Spiritual Warfare 3

In the lead up to one of the most know and quoted passages on spiritual warfare in E ph 6 is found a number of simple yet powerful principles laid down as foundation for us to recognize and practice. 1 - The power of obedience, 2 - Modeling authority to others and 3rdly the incredibility important principle of Doing Good - assisting those in need. In E ph 6:7 it says, “With good will doing service as to the Lord”. In my book, Isa 1 demonstrates the very heart of God. Verses 11 to 17 says Why this frenzy of sacrifices?” “Quit your worship festivals. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings I can’t stand one more! You’ve worn me out! When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. Clean up your act. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless. Wow, that’s God taking, and he’s making himself real clear; about his heart for the underprivileged and those struggling to help them selves. If your still not convinced take a glimpse into judgment day when Jesus himself separates the sheep from the goats. Now I believe in salvation by grace, not by works, big time, but just listen to God’s take on this. I’ll take it as a real clear statement on the impotence God places on Good will and let you do the theology for yourself. See what you think. It’s found in Mat 25:32 all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much like a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why, because I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty, sick or in prison and came to you? Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me, you did it to me.’ Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’ Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’ “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me, you failed to do it, to me.’ The message can be as strong or as simple as you want to make it, but one thing is clear, these words “unto the least of these” must haunt us, we must be driven by this same heart. Unfortunately I don’t believe we see enough of this heart reflected in our own. Fortunately though, it is changing. Church’s all over the world are waking up to the power of this important principle and testimonies of communities being transformed and changed by an awakened church are beginning to emerge everywhere. Our church has completed renovations to a school in real need of assistance. This made a very real and lasting change not just on the school but in the communities connected to that school. For those who feel that is out of reach, one of the most effective things I’ve seen, was a family in our Church that took it upon themselves at Halloween celebrations to go to every home in there Neighbourhood with a professionally presented package of sweets with a note saying we believe in giving and adding value to our community, be blessed this Halloween on behalf of our church. The reception was overwhelming, with an opportunity to spend a few moment praying and blessing shut-in’s absolutely petrified by groups going around egging houses. The letters of love and thanks from Their community was one of the greatest responses I’ve ever seen in years of ministry. Next year, we are planning to empower the entire church with gift packages for there area, to add value to the lives of people around them. Jam 1:27 says Pure religion that is undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep yourself unspotted from the world. J John once said “our theology must be reflected in our sociology” and this “How can you live simply so others can simply live” Speaking about sponsoring children, in other words - What we believe must be “believable” Real or Pure spiritual power must be authenticated by action by what we actually do, not by what we say we believe.

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