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In this Issue

Change


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Change

The only thing permanent about life is change and there is nothing we can do about it.
If we are flexible and in God’s hands we will not be broken.

Change is acceptable providing, I’m not the target. Change the Govt; change my wife, and then I’ll be happy? But please just leave me alone! If you want God to leave you alone the best thing you can do is keep away from Him.

Often prayers are nothing more than praying our will on other people in Jesus name?
Yet it’s not my brother or my sister but it’s me that’s standing in the need of change.

After living overseas for twenty seven years I returned to New Zealand to find how much it had changed. Naturally one would expect many physical and material things had changed but it wasn’t so much that which shocked me. What struck me in particular was that some people I had previously known were not as I remembered them. People who at one time I had sweet fellowship with had changed not simply in appearance, that was to be expected, but more importantly in the spiritual aspect of their life. Some who once were fervent in spirit had cooled off noticeably; some even seemed quite unconcerned about their spiritual condition; some who formally were zealous had cooled off. While others who used to be strong believers had become cynical doubters; it was sad and distressing, but nevertheless a true observation

The fire which once burned brightly had gone out in many. The embarrassment and disappointment over the way their children had turned out obviously had distressed some. While others who once ran well had simply drifted away. Many couples had drifted apart. As the former pastor of many wonderful young couples whose weddings I had officiated at, I learned sadly that some were no longer together. In some cases the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and lusts of other things had overtaken them. In too many cases the children of loving committed church going parents were over the hills and far away.

We had to be careful when making enquiries as to the whereabouts, and state of health of former associates who once we fellowshipped with, because some had passed on. Sadly some were quite ill, for whom we now pray continually. Some are no longer of a sound mind, and I don’t just mean physically, but an unsoundness of a far more serious nature.

Churches of every shade shape and form were failing their members miserably. Aware of their impotence many had employed bizarre tactics and ludicrous programs to attract new members. Alcohol is acceptable in many fellowship circles. Many others have wandered away from oppressive and manipulative leaders.
“ As for my people, children oppress them, and women rule over them.
(I could say a lot about these verses in Isaiah but will save it for another time).
They which lead you cause you to err and destroy the way of thy paths”. Isaiah 3:12.

Only last Sunday I attended a service where the pastor spent all of twenty minutes putting the heavy on us over tithing, and that our failure to do so was hindering the expansion of the KOG. What a manipulative load of lies. Then he told us we wouldn’t have time to partake the Lord’s Table because we needed to hear what the visiting preacher had to say. Never mind the words of the Saviour who told to “do this as oft as we come together”.

The visiting preacher was in no way to blame. I have experienced the same thing many times, and I must confess I was guilty as the pastor at one time until I took a closer look at the Word.

Pastor could have said, “We’ll leave taking up the tithes and offerings until next week, so we can have time for the Lord’s Supper which He commanded us to observe, and our visitor.
Hell will freeze over before a preacher would risk doing that.

This type of behaviour has overtaken so many that once upon a time were fervent in spirit serving the Lord? They once ran well - what hinders them from no longer obeying the truth?
I’m not just talking about those in the pew but to the leaders in the pulpits. The answer is clear; they refuse to change. They started well and then stood still, they failed to realise that when you do that you fall away and soon lose sight of; and get out of touch with the pioneer of life Jesus Christ; this is recipe for disaster. Tell my people that they go forward said the Lord to Moses.

Every metaphor in the bible relating to the Christian life implies growing up into Him in all things. We are in a contest, a wrestling match, like soldiers in a battle clad with the armour He has provided. We are called to overcome in every aspect of our life. We are in a race, running to obtain a crown. Not like snails slithering through life? But as good soldiers of the cross; Paul wept as he spoke these words “for many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, are enemies of the cross of Christ” Philippians 3:18.

Everything is in state of unrest. No living thing is standing still. Each one of us is in transition for better or worse. You are not the person today you were yesterday, and you will different tomorrow. My tomorrow depends completely on what I’m doing today. The future is determined by my choices today. Will I curse the day I was born tomorrow; as many have done? Or will I eat the good fruit of the land because I chose His pathway through the maize of sin and confusion? Joshua 3:5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you. And He sanctified the people and circumcised them. But the same day they defeated Jericho Achan and his family were stealing things dedicated to the Lord. To insist on tithing and then spend it on what ever they wish is to steal from the people of God.

Joshua 7:13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in your midst O Israel: you will not be able to stand before your enemies, until you take away the accursed thing from among you.

Our greatest problems arise from going our way.
Isaiah 1:19-20 lays out the conditions for His blessing or His judgment.
“ If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”.

Change is continuous, ongoing it never ceases. No living thing is standing still. Every one of us is in transition. “Let him that is holy be more holy still, and he that is filthy become more filthy”. For better or worse you are not the person you were yesterday, and you will different tomorrow. What I am tomorrow depends on what I do today. My future is entirely in my own hands to make of it what I choose it to be, “choose thee this day who ye will serve”. Fathers don’t mess things up for your wife and children. Whether you’re days, and the days of your children are multiplied, like the days of heaven upon the earth is in your hands. Deut 11:21.

Keep your heart:

The phrase ‘Looking diligently’ comes from the Greek word episkopos, which means to supervise, oversee, and correct. (Wrongly translated Bishop a noun, instead of a doing word a verb the KJV).

So you are the overseer of your heart. Each day you must monitor, direct and correct what goes on there. You can't blame your bad attitude, resentment, or lack of forgiveness on others. You are responsible! When somebody offends you, it’s up to you whether or not you let bitterness take root and defile you. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control how you react, and God will hold us responsible. When somebody offends us, it’s up to us personally to see the offence does not defile us, or allow the hurt and anger to turn to bitterness and resentment, and retaliation. Paul says, “looking diligently lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, whereby many are defiled: Hebrews 12:15 KJV.

The reason weeds take over a garden is because the gardener doesn't pull them out as soon as they appear.
The only way to stay free of the weeds the enemy wants to sow in your life is to be attentive to the condition of your heart. When you are faced with a painful situation, refuse to let a wrong attitude take root and begin to produce bad fruit. Instead go to God and ask Him to replace destructive thoughts with mercy and forgiveness towards the people who hurt you.
You say that’s not easy, and that is so true, but it’s not impossible when you turn to the Lord.
2 Cor 12:9 “and he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 
For more material on Kingdom living view
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Shaun Kearney
en engape!