I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
CHAPTER 17

BURDENED PART 2

 

 

"JESUS LOVES ME, 

THIS I KNOW"

 

John 13 King James Version (KJV)

 

13 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

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23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

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34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

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"CHILDREN! It is not a matter of looking or seeing something, but, SOMEONE! It is a matter of OVERCOMING! In order to overcome you must first be BORN AGAIN to FOLLOW; not something, but, HE, who overcame the world."

 

 

Brethren,

 

What is our true goal as Disciples? Is it to attach people to a building, an organization, membership, a pastor, a routine and rituals? Or, is our true goal to attach people to God and Christ?

 

If we attach people to God and Christ, they will ALWAYS be in fellowship for...

 

1 John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

 

 

When God is doing a NEW THING, He will no longer  settle for the COUNTERFEIT, nor will He fill old wine skins with new wine. He seeks TRUE WORSHIPPERS, those who worship in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!  Why should He want anything less and just settle for empty bodies that have not been born again and filled with His Holy Spirit? If His plan is to make changes, then, what use is it for us to continue to kick against the goad? Instead of blaming and complaining, we should always seek the Will of God.

 

Why a 'NEW THING' ? God sees that many of His servants do not understand Discipleship, or have chosen to abandon our responsibility and commission to go out and make DISCIPLES. Yet, we have not been commissioned to just sit in a building and wait for people to come ask to join a membership within an institution still clinging to the world, or masquerading as the Body of Christ. Yes, there are many wearing the garments of purity, but neither have their hearts been cleansed nor their eyes unblinded to see that God has been doing a NEW THING.

 

When God is doing a new thing, a situation may appear to be negative. However, we must never forget how much He and Jesus love us. What God allows to happen is because of His love for us and NOTHING can remove His or Jesus' love for us.

 

Romans 8:38,39 King James Version (KJV)

 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Since our Father only wants good things for His Children, then, we must look at adversity in a positive way, so that we do not allow ourselves to be separated or torn asunder from our marriage to Christ Jesus.

 

 

Those members not filling pews have a reason for being absent in body and/or in spirit. Those who are absent only in body understand the function of the Body of Christ. Those who are absent in body and spirit, might be uninformed or misinformed as to their purpose within the Body of Christ.

 

ARE they DISCIPLES and part of the BODY OF CHRIST? Do they FOLLOW Him and think with the Mind of Christ? Have they truly been joined to Christ? If not, then, what more can we EXPECT from people who see themselves as members of an organization where they are not a vital part of the BODY of Christ? They will be absent in body and in spirit.

 

As servants of God, we must realize that it's not about how well we preach or how long we spent preparing for our duties to GOD. And we must never burden others by putting guilt or obligation upon them  for what we have been called to do and should do freely and willingly for Christ and the Kingdom of God. If we do, it proves that what we are doing is not for  the Kingdom, but for self.

 

No, instead, our willingness to serve is compelled by His perfection within us which gives us an understanding that it is about our love for God's people and that love must be the love of Christ within us. We serve remembering that only what we do for Christ will last.  Our responsibility as our brother's keeper is to make him accountable to God and in doing so, we become accountable to one another.

 

Therefore, we must not let PRIDE rule us, thinking WE own the Master's sheep and can do as we please with them. Or, that the Master's sheep should be accountable to us first or only for the sake of the institutional church. Thus,  HUMBLENESS must temper our hearts and set us at our tasks, not for the love of self, but, for the love of our neighbors, for love of God, and for the love of Christ Jesus!

 

Pride will keep us hiding from TRUTH! Our hardened heart will make us believe that every word uttered to us by those we've hardened our heart against is spoken in unkindness, bitterness and hatred and is meant to harm or destroy us.

 

However, God uses whom He chooses to exhort and correct His Children and no one in any walk of life, station or calling is exempt to His chastisement. Often, we question why others do not accept our instruction, constructive criticism or correction, but, we, ourselves, hesitate to accept or completely reject that of others. Let us be mindful that we lead by EXAMPLE and if people see that we do not follow and adhere to our own instructions and advice, but, would rather condemn the messenger, they will not follow. Even a shepherd must listen to and heed the needs of the sheep within his care, for God also takes time to listen, speak to them and grant their desires and wishes. Are we, as servants, above God?

 

When all or part of us is separated from God, God sends a messenger to make us feel His presence.

 

We find Paul often wishing he could be present in body with the churches in which he fellowshipped, preached, and instructed. Yet, he continues to stay in contact,  letting them know he is present in Spirit.

 

When we become Born Again, we are indwelled with God's Holy Spirit, uniting us as ONE. We become a member of Christ's Body. Neither time nor space can sever or separate us spiritually from He who has claimed us.

 

As Christ's Ambassadors and part of His Body, we are in constant fellowship in the LIGHT.  We seek out fellowship with others at ALL TIMES, not just on a specific Holy Day, for that is part of the FUNCTION of the Body of Christ. We never cease functioning.

 

Are people being properly taught how the Body of Christ FUNCTIONS? Or, is it that the Body's function is  CONTRARY to, or in COMPETITION, with the overall function of the institutional church and its leaders who seek to maintain CONTROL over their members?

 

What are we INSTILLING in God's people?! God doesn't seek to control us or the Body of Christ.

 

God KNEW that Adam and Eve had disobeyed and eaten the forbidden fruit, not only because they were HIDING, but because they were FILLED with GUILT and SHAME, which He did not instill within them. The darkness of the adversary had stolen their innocence and CONVINCED them they were CONDEMNED! STILL, God did not seek to CONTROL them.

 

What is the institutional church instilling when it blames its members for its empty pews?

 

Perhaps, the members aren't just absent, but, in HIDING, because they're in sin.

 

Where does their sin stem from? Is it their discontent? Perhaps, they expect to get MORE out of church for whatever reason. It may be SELFISH reasons, or it may be that they simply lack the One thing that could help them.

 

Are we to be convinced that repeatedly attending service is guaranteed to save them and make them WHOLE? Evidence of people spending a lifetime in church and never changing speaks volumes that this is contrary to the facts.

 

Some people come to church with a wall of PRIDE surrounding them and embedded deep inside of them and no amount of consistent or persistent drilling is going to uproot it. One has to get to the root of the problem first.

 

Yes, people are HIDING, but, is it because they know the TRUTH about their sin? Do they really realize what is keeping them in sin? Did Adam and Eve know the TRUTH about their sin? NO!

They had been blinded by darkness and separated from God! This is why Jesus was sent as the Word of God, suffered, was crucified, died, was buried, rose again and sits at the right hand of God. God KNEW that the people were in sin, but, He knew He had to get to the ROOT of the problem. He couldn't just BLAME the people and CONDEMN them. Their SEPARATION from Him was rooted in darkness and blindness.

 

So what are we TRULY concerned about when there are less people sitting in the pews or under the roof of worship? Are we more concerned about how it reflects upon US, our reputation and abilities? Are we looking at the state of the treasury or the offices and stations of duty? Does the pastor feel it reflects upon his ability to minister to the people or preach? Does the choir believe it reflects upon their ability to sing or perform? Should fewer people affect our ability to worship?

 

What is our chief concern, the institutional church or the souls of the absent people? If our concern is truly for THEIR SOULS and not our own self-image and the needs of the institutional church, then, like GOD, we don't play the blame game, we go for the root of the problem! WE SEND JESUS! And, since we are His Ambassadors, we let the sheep know that we love them like GOD loves them, Amen!

 

Oh, how we have burdened ourselves, needlessly, unable to see that not only are the absent lacking something and spiritually ill, but, we too have been BLINDED and are in need of HEALING. Yet, we point our finger at our Brothers and Sisters and shake our head to shame them and fill them with guilt.

 

DISCIPLESHIP and RELATIONSHIPS, this is the method God chose to deliver His people because this was the GOAL all along- - a RELATIONSHIP with God, their Father. WE are to show others how to have this intimate and loving relationship that will keep them from sin, guilt, shame and HIDING, unable to live life in the Kingdom of God, abundantly and externally, and unable to grasp the concept of unconditional love to the point of blessed eternity. 

 

Let us not put a STUMBLING BLOCK before our neighbor, preventing them from reaching God. Let us not burden one another with thought, word, or deed. Let us not point a finger at our Brethren, when God has created the rest to point back to us. Instead, let us part with our own agenda and do as we see the FATHER DO. Let us use our hand to help and our heart to love, being an example of Christ, taking God's word to all those who are sick and heavy laden to help them find rest in the Lord. THIS is the TRUE function of the BODY of Christ for it walks in the LIGHT, under the MIND OF CHRIST, doing what HE DOES, obeying and emulating our Father.

 

 

Why did Jesus say we cannot set our hands to the plow and look back? Why did His Disciples have to leave everything behind, including their families?  Why did Paul say that as Disciples, it was better that we didn't marry? Were they being cruel and heartless or was there a GREATER purpose?

 

We must decide what and WHO comes first in our lives; for,"We (as servants of God) have a charge to keep and a God to glorify." It is not that we care less for others, we care MORE for the lives of others than ourselves, knowing we are KEPT forever, by Jesus, in abundant and everlasting life.

 

 

If we are truly concerned about dying or dead churches, we must see them for what they are, unhealthy or dead branches that God has or will cut off from the Vine. Could we have saved them? Perhaps, if it was God's Will. But, if God removed them because they refused to change, produced bitter fruit, out of season, or became diseased or separated from the Vine, then, we must accept the Will of God. But, if God sends a messenger, then, that means there is hope. What must we do to PLEASE GOD and not ourselves? What must we do to stay connected to the Vine?

 

Jesus prepared a way for those who would follow Him. He sent helpers to work along with The Helper to PREPARE THE SAINTS. God's WORD is TRUTH and not to be taken lightly! Let us humbly submit our Will and OBEY!

 

If we should preach Christ, then, let us come to truly come to KNOW Christ, not only within scripture, but in spirit, or become OFFENDED by He, Who is a Two-edged Sword, able to divide the soul and the spirit. The Word of God is Alive! Let Him be alive in us!

 

Hebrews 4 King James Version (KJV)

 

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

 

My Brothers and Sisters, His yoke IS easy and His burden IS light; for our Father knows how much we can bear, thus, there is no condemnation for those who obey His will and follow His Way. He lightens our heart and fills it with joy; joy unspeakable that comes from knowing that you are within HIS will, not BURDENED with needless cares and woe.

 

Father, we thank you for Your Will and Your Way, which brightens our pathway and lightens our load. That you would not have us laden with heaviness upon our backs and upon our hearts, shows how much you care for each and everyone of us. Fill our hearts, Lord with that same love for one another, so that present or absent from one another, we cling to the Vine, bearing Good Fruit to share and fellowship together, as we walk in Your Light.

 

"Bless the Lord, OH, my soul! And, ALL that is within me! Bless His Holy, Holy Name!

 

For He has done GREAT things! For He has done GREAT things! For He has done GREAT things!

 

Bless His Holy Name!" Amen

 

with love and joy, your servant and soldier, united with the One

 

mishael

 

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REFERENCED SCRIPTURE 

 

John 13 King James Version (KJV)

 

13 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

 

2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

 

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

 

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

 

5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

 

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

 

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

 

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

 

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

 

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

 

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

 

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

 

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

 

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

 

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

 

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

 

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

 

19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

 

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

 

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

 

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

 

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

 

24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

 

25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

 

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

 

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

 

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

 

29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

 

30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

 

31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

 

32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

 

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

 

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

 

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

 

37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

 

38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

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Romans 8 King James Version (KJV)

 

8 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

 

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

 

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

 

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

 

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

 

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

 

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

 

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

 

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

 

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

 

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

 

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

 

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

 

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

 

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

 

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

 

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

 

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

 

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

 

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

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1 John 1King James Version (KJV)

 

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

 

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

 

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

 

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

 

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

 

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

 

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us

 

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Hebrews 4 King James Version (KJV)

 

4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

 

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

 

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

 

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

 

5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

 

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

 

7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

 

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

 

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

 

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

 

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

 

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

 

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

 

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.