PLACES WHERE GOD AND MAN MEET (PT. 01)
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
What comes to mind when you think of worshipping God? Where do you meet with God? Where do you worship Him?
These are questions that have been debated for hundreds of years. Every culture has had a place or places set apart to worship God. It is important to remember however that it is God who takes the initiative in providing a way for man to meet with Him and to worship with Him. God throughout history has also taken the initiative in bringing man to the “right place” to worship Him. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden for a place and time of worship. He met with them in the cool of the morning. There was no building, no music, and no structure; just God meeting with man for worship.
Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was pure and unhindered. All that Adam did reflected the life and heart of worship. They were…
(1) Sensitive to the voice of God,
(2) Submissive to the will of God, and
(3) Obedient to the Word of God.
BTW, That is a good sermon outline for you preachers.
The True GOSPEL did not come from man, nor does it seek to please man. The true GOSPEL came by the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word "persuade" in verse 10 means "to seek to please men". If I seek to please men then I cannot be a servant of God.
Galatians 1:10-12 KJV For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Death is not a PERIOD, just a COMMA.
I have seen and heard professing Christians view death with fear and statements that all is lost. My dad accepted the Lord Jesus Christ three years before his death and I rejoiced at his death because of the pain his body was in every day. I happen to believe that he immediately entered before the presence of all the true believers that had gone on before him and before the presence of God the Father and King Jesus. I am really concerned about the heart of faith in those who are professing believers yet walk in so much fear, especially fear of death.
Lord, I pray for those Christians who have not understood that nothing in this life or the next life can separate them from your love. May the truth of Your Word build a stronghold within them that will bring them to Your PEACE.
Paul says in Rom.8:38 that he was PERSUADED, or convinced. I pray that for you today. I pray that you are no ALMOST persuaded, but FULLY persuaded.
Romans 8:35-39 ISV Who will separate us from the Messiah's love? Can trouble, distress, persecution, hunger, nakedness, danger, or a violent death do this? (36) As it is written, "For your sake we are being put to death all day long. We are thought of as sheep headed for slaughter." (37) In all these things we are triumphantly victorious due to the one who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (39) nor anything above, nor anything below, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours in union with the Messiah Jesus, our Lord.
Are you ALMOST PERSUADED or are you FULLY PERSUADED to follow Christ?
The ALMOST crowd:
Acts 26:28 KJV Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
The FULLY crowd:
Romans 4:20-21 KJV He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Which are you? Are you ALMOST or FULLY persuaded?
Gen 19:27(ESV) And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
We all have testimonies of that special place were we met with the Father in a special way. Abraham had that place. In that special place the Lord told Abraham about His plans of destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, His plans for blessings Abraham, and His plans of giving Abraham a son of blessings from Sarah. All of these are described in chapter 18 when Abraham first went to the special place.
It was in that special place that Abraham conferred with God and asked Him a hard question, "Lord, will You destroy the righteous with the wicked?" When we stand before the Lord in the special place and it becomes natural and normal to do so, the way we converse with the Father will change. Compare Abraham's intercession in Genesis 18 with our Lord's prayer time in the Garden in Matt.26:36-44.
In the special place our prayers are deeper in intensity, longing to understand God's plan. We become more aware of not just God's love but God's hatred and judgment upon sin and the cost of it.
In Gen.19:27 when Abraham went back to that special place where He had stood before the Lord, he lifted his eyes and his heart was weighted with sorrow and pain at what he saw. He witnessed the fulfillment of God's Word to him in the judgment of sin upon two cities.
Gen 19:28(ESV) And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.
Life is about making choices. Some we make are good and some are bad. However, whether we make good or bad choices we need to guard our heart from being a victim or martyr to those choices and the struggles that come as a result of those choices. Some of the struggles from bad choices last years and years, long after the choices we have made. Such as a Christian woman marrying an unsaved man and then finds herself struggling with the decisions and lifestyle of her lost husband.
What can happen is our struggles, trials, and emotional depressions from our bad choices make us a victim or martyr and thus it becomes our identity. It is no longer what we chose or did, it is who we are.
Example: Debby and I have moved a lot and have lived in a lot of different States. Some of those choices were made by the jobs I had and some made by me. Some of the places we can say was definitely the will of God and some was the will of man. Debby and I must choose each day to live in the present with the presence of God and look forward to the future by His grace as overcomers. Otherwise we could use the current struggles generated from our past decisions as an excuse to be a martyr or victim, instead of the spiritual overcomers the Word of God calls us. We must not allow our struggles and trials from our past choices to become our identity.
The martyr or victim syndrome is based on if my current decisions or choices are made based on my unhealed past. Too many believers justify their current emotional, mental and spiritual condition on what decisions were made years ago. Over and over in our minds we struggle with the "What if" or "Only if" statements. Having been raised in a physical and verbal abusive alcoholic home, I went through this. What if I were born to different parents? Only if so and so had not happened to me? It took me over 8 years as a believer to deal with my past so that I no longer lived in it and used it to make excuses for my current emotional, mental and spiritual failures.
If I am currently struggling from my bad decisions or choices or the bad decisions and choices of others that affected me, then I can excuse my words, deeds, and thoughts as a victim to my past. If I am currently struggling from my past decisions or choices, or those of others that affected me, I can excuse my current words, deeds, and thoughts as me being a martyr to my past.
What would be the final outcome if I made the choice of walking as a martyr or victim of my past? FAITH starts being affected. Walking as a martyr or victim goes against the Word of God, therefore the Father will seek to correct us because we are His children. The correction process, which is in Heb.12, if not embraced and acted upon with a repentant heart will cause the heart to grow colder and callous.
Then there comes a drifting farther away. Then there comes a justification as to the spiritual condition. Then comes a moving away from or repositioning of one's self from those that maintain the integrity of God's Word and their Christian walk. Then there comes a deepening of the love for the world and the ways of the world and justifying it by calling it Christian liberty. Then there comes spiritual idolatry and adultery by going after the pagan ways of pagan gods. All of this because of us allowing the past to still drive the school bus of our thoughts and emotions.
Whatever our past, God's Word is true and heals. It took me 8 years to see the truth of it. We can roll those struggles of our past on the Lord Jesus Christ, place them under the blood, and choose to be an overcomer.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
WHAT CONVICTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Our convictions reveal a lot about where we are in the faith.
Our convictions reveal what we believe about God and His Word.
Our convictions reveal who we really love, God or the world.
Tough Thought Questions:
(1). What Godly convictions do you hold that would guide your daily conduct?These are the convictions that guide you when you are in another town in a hotel room where no one knows you and the only one watching is God.
(2). What Godly convictions do you hold that you would not compromise for anything? These are your mountains you would die on. Notice I said GODLY convictions. There are too many professing believers who would die for ungodly convictions. These are convictions where you cannot be bought for any price including fame, fortune, popularity or relationships.
(3). What Godly convictions do you hold that reveals Godly character? These are the convictions that others who are around you desire to achieve because they look like the Father and they exalt the Father. Remember, most of the compromising of our Godly convictions are because of offence, criticism, rejection, fear or loss! Many within the body of Christ know how to seek the Lord and seek truth. The ability to seek is not the problem. Many know how to seek but only a few know how to HEAR!
Warning concerning your convictions: Watch out for those who eat from Jezebel’s table.
Grace is much more glorious than the law.
Let's suppose I had two gifts to give to you, door #1 and door #2. And you chose only one, door #1. Behind door #1 was $100,000. You got all excited and thought, "THIS IS GLORIOUS!" You went out and bought a new car and made a down payment on a house. You thought that you had arrived. But you didn't have enough money coming in and over the years the car started needing work which you could not afford. That house you so loved started having things needed like a new roof and a paint job which you could not get done because you couldn't afford it. Pretty soon that new car and new house looked run down and it was no longer glorious. This represents the Law. It looked good at first and it still meant that God was involved in the process. However there is never enough time or money to maintain the law in our lives. We cannot keep up the law.
So you came back and said, "thank you for door #1, but what CAN I DO to get door #2. I responded "oh, it has always been free. You CAN'T DO ANYTHING but ask for it and receive it." So you ask and I open door #2 and there is $10,000,000,000 (10 Billion dollars) behind it. You once thought that the 100,000 dollars was glorious. How much more glory will be on the 10 Billion dollars? You can go into any store and get whatever you ask for because of the unlimited supply you have been given. Now let's go back and apply that to God's grace over God's Law. God's Law is perfect and God's Law if good and sweeter than the honey comb. Let's don't throw out the Law and bash the Law. It was glorious. However, the Law ($100,000) as glorious as it was, could not do for me what God's grace (10 Billion dollars) could do for me. For God's Grace is MUCH MORE glorious.
2Co 3:7-11 ESV Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, (8) will not the ministry of the Spirit have EVEN MORE glory? (9) For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. (10) Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. (11) For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, MUCH MORE will what is permanent have glory.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.