Once again, while I was browsing through my journals to retrieve and share with my readers a revealing conversation I had recorded between me and the Lord, I was pleasantly surprised to find an article I had written on June 27, 1983. That year I was a young lady in her forties. I felt a moderate ping in my spirit as I reread and reexamined my heart-felt emotions that were heavy on my mind during that time, so many years ago.
My recollection was how troubled I was when writing those words. Prayerfully, I had been begging God to mend the rift that was between me and a very close family member concerning the Biblical message of God’s word regarding his relationship with his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the historical debates of the Triune God..
I remembered that because this family member was in denial of this Trinitarian God and was more agitated than I, more boisterous than I, more demonstrative than I and on top of everything else, used profanity to express himself, I didn’t have a chance (in Hell) to either get a word in edgewise or to gain his respect. Plus, I was immature in the process of defending the faith and in the expressed knowledge that only God gives the increase…not an over zealous sibling or the intellectual arguments of men.
At that time of the confrontation with that family member, I recalled fleeing out of the room, running upstairs in ‘defeat’ and falling on my knees in my bedroom. I sobbed and sobbed and yelled at God and asked him why he had not helped me ‘score’ at least one point against the infidel’s argument. I so wanted this relative to receive God’s grace, to repent and to be blessed.
NO WONDER HEAVEN WAS SILENT. MY APPROACH WAS WRONG.
Acts 19:16 “And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
(And, without a doubt, I felt naked and wounded!)
I used the above phrase ‘pleasantly surprised’ only because now, I KNOW BETTER than to engage someone in that kind of persuasive argument. And over the years, I have prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me for my short comings and prideful ways in the service of the Lord. It has taken approximately 40+ more years for me to to learn how just a little bit of ‘humility’ helps to make disappointments go away real fast.
IN GOD’S OWN TIME HE ANSWERED ME FROM EPHESIANS CHAPTER 4
And God said to me, His Prisoner… And God said to Paul, His Prisoner…
|Even though you disagree, disagree in love.
Don’t allow your thoughts and actions to divide the Spirit. For the Spirit is one and the Spirit is Peace.
So, if you go away “Mad” the Lord was not at all in your conversation.
|1. Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
|Even as ye are called in one hope of your calling…
Even though we are called, not all answer. But as we are all called, God hopes that we all will answer.
There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, established for us all, but again, we all don’t accept.
If we but receive we can all have the total package.
|4. There is one body, and one Spirit even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5. One Lord, One faith, One baptism.
6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
|But now “grace” is something different. You can’t have grace unless you accept, believe in Christ and along with grace comes a gift. In other words, you receive a two-fold package.
Christ is the keeper of all gifts and when He gives freely and we receive it and some of us ask, “What have I to do with this?” “What have I done to receive a gift?”
And Christ answered, When I went up on high I lead the Prisoners of the Lord (the Captives) (those persons who believe in the “one faith, one baptism, one Lord, etc.) and I freely gave them a gift once we got there.
All the gifts Christ gave out were vocations. In other words, the gifts called for interacting with others. “Sharing the ‘One’s’ or sharing the ‘Good News’”.
|7. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heaven, that he might fill all things.)
11. And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers;
|Then He tells what the results should be once the gift is shared. Perfecting saints, furthering the ministry work, glorifying the Body of Christ.
Don’t forget the sharing of the gifts is to be done in peace, so that the recipient receives in peace and leaves in peace.
They don’t have to agree, but if they do disagree, then disagree in love.
|12. For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:|
|Suppose every profession decided to share at the same time in the world so that every human being was receiving from someone the teaching of the “one” faith, baptism, etc., and we all heard and received and even though some disagreed, the end result was peaceful and respectful…WHAT A BLESSING THAT WOULD BE!!!
Then verse 13 would be manifested and in that one hour of sharing, because of the “perfect” end results we would no longer be children, but on our way to mature adults…unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Showing no hate because there was no angry disagreement, but a sense of respect and love for one another…and the more we perfect this attitude, the more Godlike we become and God is the Head of all this.
|13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
14. That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ.
|If you haven’t followed me down to verse 15, don’t even try verse 16…forget it.
If your relative has been sitting there doubting, countering, repeating to himself…”she doesn’t know what she is talking about.” Then the “oneness” is not in him and he has blocked this one great hour of sharing.
If his attitude had been “I don’t quite understand so I’m going to go to God for myself…then that’s O.K., everything is golden.
So now we can enter into Verse 16. (This goes for you as well, My child…and what followers is a hard pill to swallow.)
If any part of your body is not working, then the Head sends out less supplies for it. When the body begins to work, the Head supplies its needs. Christians believe that all of this “order” comes from the Godhead. God’s knowledge (free gift) is given/offered (gracefully) to everyone.
|16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.|
|An Infidel does not believe in God, but his own might. So even though God has given him a measure of grace (because the Word says he has given it to everybody), the Infidel is blind (or living in darkness) and thus ignorant. Because if he was in the “know”, he would be “in God” because knowledge comes from God.||17. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.
18. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
|Now you Ephesians (us) are just like everybody else. You’ve received your gift, through grace, but you are greedy…not sharing in a godly manner. You act like you don’t even know where the gift came from and I’ve told you all about Christ.
So, it’s about time you forget what you knew before Christ came into your life (the world’s view on how to win friends and influence people) and be renewed with the Godhead knowledge about the flowing of the Spirit, in your mind.
And that you become one in the Spirit, etc., and let God account it unto you as righteousness.
|19. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20. But ye have not so learned Christ;
21. If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
|Thank you so much Lord for my lesson. May I soon have an opportunity to do as the Word says and share it with another in your likeness. Amen and Amen.||Verses 25 through 32 instructs you on how to live in the Spirit of God.
Please read those last twelve verses for yourself. Yes, read them and weep as I did.
We each have had our say. And although we may have disagreed on some subjects, we disagreed in love. And that’s what counts. RIGHT? “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16b
Scripture Lesson: “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:7-10 NIV
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