Our Perspective

During the past week I have been spending some time with two of my sons in Coperas Cove, Texas.  We get together each year to go deer hunting, something that I have been doing since I was a teenager and went hunting with my brother and dad.  No, I didn’t shoot anything but that is not what was important to me.  My main goal is to capture the moment of time that we share together.  We would go out quite early in the morning and come in after dark in the evening.  One night, I lost my head netting that I use to keep the mosquito off and wasn’t aware of it until the next morning when we were going out again.  Mosquitoes can be more than a real pest, they can cost you your shot at your game, and even carry diseases, so I try to protect myself from them.  I don’t use spray because the deer can smell 50 times better than a human.

So anyway, as I was putting on my camouflage, I noticed my netting was missing.  I looked everywhere and it was not to be found.  I simply resigned that I would have to just trust the Lord with the matter and proceed with the hunt.  We walked up the same trail that I had used the night before.  We were walking in the dark and the moon was so bright that we weren’t using any lights.  As we reached the place where I had joined the trail the night before, I looked down and there was my mosquito net, right on the trail.  Just to let you know how amazing that was, the netting was also dark,  at night, no lighting except for the moon and I was focused on my exit, not looking for my net.

So I proceed to the tree stand and was feeling grateful that I found the netting and got to thinking about how the Lord is always watching out for us and using the events of life to bless us.  It was still about an hour and a half before sun up so I just sat there beholding the stars.  I noticed how the stars were twinkling and thought back to when I discovered why they twinkled.  (Do you know why they twinkle?)  It is because of the debris in our atmosphere.  The star that we are looking at may be much larger than our own sun, yet because of the distance it appears to be quite small.  Space is basically empty but our atmosphere is full of debris so that a small rock the size of a quarter of half dollar is large enough to block out the light from the star, if but for a moment.  I thought, how the twinkling star is like our view of God.  It is obstructed by even little things of this world, so that our view gives the appearance that God is not always there to be seen.  The things of this world can block out the glory of the vastness of God’s creation and it is not to be compared to the God of creation.

1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  We must keep things in the right perspective.

Purpose Phrases

As I study the Scriptures, I have come to notice certain statements that I term “Purpose Phrases“.  These are phrases that define the ‘why’ of a passage.   One such passage is found in I Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These Purpose Phrases often begin with the word ‘that’ and invariably reveal the answer to an oft ask question.  I couple them together with other similar passages and have found some amazing revelations.

Let me illustrate this phrase, “that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” in the above verse.   Other passages include;

  • Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
  • Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
  •  Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 
  • Colossians  1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:  
  • 1Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.  
  • 1Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  
  • Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  
  • Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless  before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  

These do not encompass the whole of the idea but they illustrate my point.  When I was first saved I was told that we should try to be like Jesus, but then they added, of course we will never make it.  That left me thinking, then why try.  I have since learned by a careful study of the Scripture that we will make it.  God will deliver us without blame before Him in love.  I am not talking about sinless perfection in this world but of the final results of God’s work on us and how we will arrive in glory.  God is going to make good His promise to deliver us a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  We are going to make it!

 

Tending Fire

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

I had the privilege of growing up in a very depressed area in Southern Missouri during the post WW II era.  I was privileged because I got to see first hand, what it was like to live without modern conveniences.  We didn’t even have a radio (battery) until I was 5 years old.  When I was 7 we got electricity.  We drew our water from a well and raised our own food.  We never had indoor plumbing until we moved to Colorado when I was 10.  These are things that most of Americans have never experienced, except for short periods of time, but it was our life style.

One of my memories is that of our one heating stove in the living room.  The fuel was wood which we cut from the stand of trees along the back of our property.  I learned about the importance of keeping the fire going at a very early age as it was our only source of heat during the winter.  Our house was not insulated so keeping the fire going was a constant need.  My chores included keeping  plenty of wood stacked on the porch for easy access, and carrying the ashes out every morning.  I learned a lot about what it takes to start and maintain a fire to keep warm.

Today’s post deals only with maintaining a fire once it is going.  The first thing that I learned was that you need a bed of coals.  This will enable the wood to catch fire as it is being added as it raises the temperature to assist in ignition.  If the wood is wet, it will dry it out.  It is a bridge between the wood and the flame.  A bed of coals begins with dry tender and then you add kindling (small pieces of wood or paper) to gets the fire going.  Because it is very dry and has a lot of surface area, it burns fast and hot which kindles the larger wood into flame.  The bed of coals is the wood that is already burning and its flame enables the larger wood to catch fire, just as the leadership in a church helps the new member to find their place of service in the fellowship.

Keeping the fire going is called “tending the fire“.  As the fire burns it needs “Stoked” from time to time.  Stoking the fire is moving the logs closer together so that they will burn better.  As a fire burns, the space between the logs gets larger and the benefit of one log helping another burn becomes less so that the fire will die down and produce less heat.  By stoking the fire you move the logs closer together and the fire will burn hotter.  Because change is constant, there will always be a need for stoking the fellowship to enhance it’s effectiveness.  We used to do this with periodic revival meetings, mission conferences and other such efforts but in today’s society we have moved further apart and hardly even know the other members. Unless this is corrected, the fire will die out and the church will be left cold. The fire needs stoked more now than it ever did before and as we approach the coming of the Lord it will become even more important.

The story is told about a church who had a member who had begun to attend less and less so the pastor dropped by one day to visit him.  The two of them sat by the fire and never spoke but after a while the pastor got up and went to the fire and pulled one of the sticks of wood out of the fire but let it set on the edge of the opening, by itself.  Pretty soon the flame that was going so well when it was first removed, began to lessen until it finally died out completely.  After a few minutes the pastor got up to leave without ever saying anything.  As he got to the door, the man said to the pastor, I got the message and I will be in church this Sunday.  People who know how to tend fire, know how to be the live coal to rekindle the flame in others.

Preparation

When thinking about what goes into making a trip all it can be, I think that preparation is one of the most important things you can do.  It will enhance your trip in many ways; it will expand it, it will enrich it, it will extend it, it will enable it and it will preserve it.

In planning for my trip to China, I have already begun to experience it in many ways.  First, I have had to plan where and when I was going.  Since I am going with others there was the necessity of coordinating all our schedules and finding a time that would fit all of us.  Then there was the destination.  In this case, I will be traveling with the others for much of the journey, but then I will be separated from the others for several days and traveling alone to a place that I have never been.  That can be daunting to some and exhilarating to others.  In my case it is some of both.  Fortunately, I will be meeting with someone I know and He knows the place, customs, etc.  I will literally be in his hands.

Then there is the securing of my passport (which I already have), the visa (which came in last week, and the plane tickets which have been purchased.  These are extremely important as they allow access to this part of the world and determine a lot of your schedule.

Another thing I have done is read up on the places that you will visit and the customs and culture that you will be experiencing.  The more you know about your destination, the more that you will enrich the experience.  It was enlightening to discover some of the history and current activities where I will be going.  One highlight for me is that my destination grows some of the greatest produce in China.  Since I have a lot of experience in produce (both growing and eating which I love), this will be a treat for me to taste some of God’s treats that I have never had the opportunity to enjoy before.

Planning on what you will take with you is also important.  What you will wear will be affected by the climate you will be in and the customs of the people.  Things that you will need like medicine, personal items (make a list and update it regularly), and things that may not be available there that you have need of.  Preserving your experience is also important.  Your camera, pencil and paper, gifts, etc  Think it through and then rethink it again.  Don’t fret about it but your anticipation will enhance the actual experience.  It will also give you a sense of preparedness that will allow you to enjoy the trip to the fullest.

One of the things that I am looking forward to is the actual flight.  I will be flying nonstop to Seoul, Korea, then an hour and 10 minute layover, then another nonstop flight to Guangzhou, China (near Hong Kong), an overnight layover and then on to my final destination (another 5-6 hour flight).  Altogether it will be about 24 hours flight time plus layovers.  So who in his right mind would be looking forward to such a grueling flight.  Me, of course.  I have the choice to suffer through it or turn it into an experience that will be of benefit. I simple made the choice to not suffer but to allow myself to be stretched to the point that I will be able to contain the blessing God is giving me.  It is a choice, you know, so I plan to spend some time getting to know those with whom I travel with.  I plan to do some exercising on the plane so that my legs don’t develop problems that you get on long flights.  I also plan to watch the terrain and the people to notice the changes in the land we fly over and to pick up on anything that will help me once I get there.  I plan to do some writing while in flight and anything else that will keep my mind occupied.  When I have exhausted all other avenues, I may even get some sleep – though it is hard for me to sleep on a plane.

We all have a trip ahead of us that these thoughts could help us prepare for – from here to eternity.  We should secure the proper credentials (salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ).  The trip won’t take long (a moment, in the twinkling of an eye) so we won’t have to fill time because time will be no more.  There are some things that we will want to take, such as our works of faith, our testimony, our hope, our eternal body, etc. that we will need when we get home.  We should study the Word of God to teach us about our final destination to make our arrival even more enriching.  It will help us to understand what is happening.  We won’t need to pack because we will be given a robe of righteousness that will never wear out and everything will be ours to serve our Lord with.  There will be no more sorrow or tears and all will be glorious.  Don’t you want to meet me there?  All aboard!!!

 

 

His Keeping

Having spent many years in the construction industry, I have faced many very dangerous situations.  One thing I learned is the importance of safety equipment and procedures.  There is one piece of safety equipment that I am particularly fond of and that is the safety harness.  It is a piece of equipment that will keep you from falling even if you loose your grip or even consciousness.  It has one job and that is to restrain you from falling.  The reason that it is so effective is that it is strapped onto you and holds you within it’s confines.  You are dependent on it and it is not dependent on you.

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

So many times I hear people ask the question, “How do I keep from falling away from God?”  A similar question is, “How do I keep from sinning?”  Another is, “How do I keep on the straight and narrow?”  These questions have some thing in common that reveal the real problem.  First, they all begin with the phrase, “How do I …?”  We humans like to be in control and think that our success is dependent upon us.  Though there are some things that we are responsible for,  our keeping is not one of them.  Your effort to deliver yourself is a waste of time.  Your holding on to God is as futile as willing the sun to not rise in the morning.  Try as you may, you just cannot do it.  It is a humbling thing to realize that you are totally dependent upon God to deliver you and to keep you from falling.  It is His hold on you and not your hold on Him that is certain.  Your grip can be broken, but not His.  You are as secure as God, Himself is secure.

But not only is His grip secure, but He is the one who will present you to the Father, faultless.   Did you get that?  He will not only get you there but will deliver you there without a fault.  If you need cleaning up, His blood washes as white as snow;  if you owe debts, He paid it all;  if you have bad language or bad thoughts, He gives you a new heart and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.  You are His workmanship and God don’t make no junk.

It is not a burden to the Lord to make such an investment in you.  Our verse testifies that He does it with exceeding joy.     Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  He doesn’t hold back either.  He desires to give you the whole kingdom.   Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  All good and perfect gifts come from Him.  He loves doing for you because He loves you and values you above all of creation.

The keeping is His part, the believing and trusting is your part.  Just do your part.

How Can I Know God?

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

When Moses had the encounter with God at the burning bush, God sent him to deliver the Hebrews out of slavery and into the promised land.  Moses asked God, whom shall I say sent me?  God’s answer is found in Exodus 3:14 (above).  That sounds like a strange name, but it isn’t a name at all, it is an attribute of God.

The purpose of a name is to distinguish one person from another, but in God’s case, there is no other to contrast Him with.   Psalms 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high  Jer 10:6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.  Anytime you find His attributes it is always Him and no other so a name is not needed.  If you want to know God then you must discover what He is like.  Even when you find a name of God, such as Jehovah Jireh “The Lord Will Provide”; it describes something about God rather than a distinguishing name.  God is distinguished because of His attributes and not by His name.

One of the problems is that we try to picture God as a being like we are, limited by time and space.  He is not like us and therefore does not have the same limitations.  He does not act or react as we do.  Take His response of I AM THAT I AM”, and notice that God revealed something of Himself that is unique only to Him, that He is eternal.  He exists outside of time.  He is present in the past, as well as present now and is present in the future.  Also notice that if He is always existent throughout time, so He never changes, which is what we find in the scriptures.  Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.  Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

God is always revealing Himself to man but man has great difficulty understanding God who is past finding out.  You cannot exhaust the limits of God because He has no limits.   Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  Though you cannot exhaust His ways, you can begin to grow in your understanding.  It is something like a baby knowing its mother.  It begins with instincts but those instincts are enhanced by experiences, then by knowledge and further on by understanding and so forth.  So also we know God in a graduated way and the more we come to know Him the greater our understanding of Him becomes.  I was 10 years old when we moved to Colorado, from Missouri.  My parents told me about the mountains and I had actually been there when I was about three but my memory and knowledge was so little that I didn’t have a good concept of them.  As we approached Colorado, we began looking for them and even wondered what they were like.  Finally, dad pointed them out in the distance.  They were so small on the horizon that I was unimpressed.  I wondered why all the fuss.  But then a strange thing happened, they began to grow.  At least they seemed to grow and reached higher into the sky.  This continued until we were driving in the mountains and they had become so large that I couldn’t comprehend how big they really were.  Of course they didn’t really grow, they were the same size all the time but my perspective continued to change, the closer I got.  The same thing is true about God.  The closer to Him you get the greater He appears.  The truth is that He never changes but our perspective of Him does.  James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Blameless

1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Blameless is not the same as guiltless.  It is not the same as sinless either.  Other words with a similar meaning and are sometimes used interchangeably, but wrongly  are:  forgiven, sinless perfection, righteous, to name a few.  If we are to properly understand and teach the Word of God correctly, we must understand the relationships of these words and their specific meanings.  Lets look at the similarities and the differences of these words.

Guiltless:  means literally without guilt, innocent.  Having no knowledge or experience.  Since the Scripture is clear that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, this word does not describe any of us, in fact, of no one other than Jesus, Himself.  The fact that our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus and that He has made full payment of our sins can never remove the fact of our sin.  In other words, reverse history and remove the act from ever happening so that we are not guilty.  Even though we are forgiven, it does not remove our guilt.  We are all guilty of sin, but there is good news.

Sinless:  This word is not so easy to explain as the previous  word.  In it’s simplest form it means ‘without sin’.  There is another sense that the word is used in the Scriptures and that is ‘without chargeable sin’.  That is sin that has been committed but has been paid for and is no longer chargeable to the one who committed the sin.  Once the sin has been paid for, it is no longer charged to the individual and he is therefore without sin that needs to be paid for.  Please note that the payment (wages earned) for sin, is death.

Forgiven:  When sin is forgiven it means that the payment was paid by another.  To forgive will cost you something and death is the only payment for sin.  This price was paid by Jesus when He died on the cross for all sin, past, present, and future.  Yet it is not appropriated until it is confronted, confessed and concluded.  The woman at the well who was caught in the act of adultery, faced her accusers and then was sent away with the instruction to sin no more.  It is one things to feel the guilt of your actions.  Yet, without confession (that is to take ownership of your own guilt) the heart has not been transformed and it will be repeated time and time again.  The stubborn will must be subdued.  The conduct will remain unchanged until this happens.

Sinless Perfection:  is a false doctrine and cannot be validated either by Scripture or by reason.  Consider a gallon of poison.  If you add a gallon of pure water, it is still poison, just not as strong.  No matter how much pure water you add, you have not neutralized the poison and it remains.  You do not purify a substance by only adding nonpoisonous substance.  The poison must be eradicated. The Scripture states that without the shedding of blood (death) there is no remission.  Therefore we can never get good enough that our sin becomes of no count.

Righteous:   A right heart produces right actions.  A righteous  person is one who operates out of a right heart and a right spirit.  To be righteous is to be on the side of what is right.  The Scripture states that there is none good but God, therefore to be righteous is to have a heart and spirit that acts with God and not the spirit of this world of sin.  It is not to be understood as one who is perfect but on who endeavors to follow after rightness.  Whenever one gets off the right path, he make a course correction to align himself anew with God.

Blameless:  I love this word because it holds all of the possibilities of God’s favor and promise.  It means simply that my sin account has been drained and there is not a single sin remaining in my account that has not been covered by the blood of Jesus.  It does not mean that my guilt didn’t happen.  Nor, does it mean that the degree of my sin  is so great that the blood of Jesus won’t clean it.  It means that in spite of my guilt, I have the only remedy for sin and that brings hope and promise to know that I will be accepted into the family of God as His child.  Take a look as some of these scriptures with the view of being blameless.

Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

1 Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

PreparingThe Message

The Senior Adult Bible Conference has concluded and now I want to do a review of the process that went in to the preparation and delivery of the message.

Having been a part of this Bible Conference for three years, now, I look forward to it more every year.  This year was no exception.  When I was asked to be a part again this year, my first thought was, what does the Lord want me to say?  To preach for the Lord is to speak that which He would say if He were present in His earthly body.  That is such an awesome responsibility.  It genders many questions such as, Where are the people at in their lives?  What does the Lord have planned that they need to prepare for?  What problems are people struggling with?  What doctrine needs to be clarified? Etc.

And so it begins.  How do you discover the mind of God, for He alone knows where we are and what is ahead?  This necessitates prayer.  I never know until He reveals it to me so I have to go to Him as ask.  Sometimes it takes a lot of self-examination to make sure that there is nothing in my life that will hinder the message from being understood properly.

Once the receiver (me) has been properly prepared, then comes the receiving.  I make it a point that I never single out individuals, but stick to the principles laid out in the Bible.  It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to do the job of convicting and applying.  It is my job to properly present, clarify, and explain the Scriptures.  Each message is unique as to who is there, the times, the need, etc.  This combination of events has never happened before and it will never happen again and that is why you can never preach the same message twice, though you can present the same truths, repeatedly.

The next step is the selection of the Scripture.  There are a number of places in the Bible that a specific Doctrine, truth, circumstance or other application can be found.  I try to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and let Him direct me to the place He wants to speak from.  After all, it is His job to direct me into all truth.  He does it in many ways.  Sometimes He uses circumstances, but more often than not He will bring a particular Scripture to mind repeatedly, or show me a truth about that Scripture that I simply must share with others.  He works in many ways that I do not understand but I trust Him and His leading.

The final step of preparation is the soaking in the message.  That is reading and rereading, reviewing, listening for the still small voice that I have come to recognize by many years of hearing.  It does to me what happens to food when you marinate it in a specially prepared mixture of different flavorings.  The preacher must receive the message first as the Scripture says, they that preach the gospel, must live of the gospel.  Only then am I ready to preach.  How long does it take?  The answer  is all your life.

Then we come to the delivery of the message.  Nerves are present, the mouth is dry even if you just took a drink of water, the mind races, you are introduced, and you begin to speak . . .  It seems that I always forget some details that I intended to include and I add a few things that I never thought of in my preparation.  How was the timing?  Did I accentuate the point correctly?  What could I have done better? Etc.  This is all part of the preparation of the next message.

Summer Bible Conference Underway

We are now in our Senior Adult Summer Bible Conference which runs from yesterday through Wednesday.  Yesterday we had two speakers in the afternoon that both spoke on aging but from a totally different perspective.  Both were great and gave us several valuable insights.  One of the highlights for me was that it can be (and should be) one of the most productive times of our lives.  We have the opportunity to influence more people with more lasting insights than we have ever had the opportunity to do.  Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday we will have two speakers each day; the first speaking at 10:00 AM and the second will be speaking at 11:00 AM and repeating the times each day.

I will be speaking on Wednesday at the 10:00 AM slot.  My message is on John 6 where Jesus gave one of the great “I AM” teachings, I AM the Bread of Life.  All of the messages are being recorded and you can go to our Church’s web sight and listen to them at your convenience.  If You would like a copy of any or all of the messages (on a CD), drop me a note in the response box and I will try to get it to you.  If you live outside the US there will be shipping charges as I am not a business but an individual living on a fixed income.

Do you remember a blog that I wrote back in January about this blog being an ongoing adventure and that we would see the Lord in action, on our journey home.  Later I told you about my being asked about making the trip to China and later I shared with you that I was indeed going?  Yesterday, I found out that the entire trip is going to be paid for.  Since I am on a fixed income, and it was not part of my budget, it was going to take the Lord for it to happen.

The operation of faith is one of the strong point in chapter 4 of my book, The Mystery of Faith. Faith operates in the following manner: God initiates faith, then man believes, then God finishes it or brings it to pass.  Since God had initiated my making the trip to China, it was up to me to believe that He would provide what was needed to make the trip.  Since I then believed it was indeed God setting it up, I had compete trust in Him to bring it to pass.  This is how faith operates.  I did not go to God to make this happen, but He came to me with the request for me to go.  I wasn’t the one initiating the action, nor was I the one who initiated the request.  The request was the result of my response to God’s request for me to go.  He always finishes what He starts.  This is His chosen means of operation.  Until we get this operation down, we will continue to struggle with our faith and how God intends for us to walk.

Dwelleth

John 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him

Romans 8:11 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.

1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

[Greek – enoikeo, en-oy-keh’-o – to occupy a house, i.e. reside (figuratively,                                  inhabit, remain, inhere); by implication, to cohabit:–dwell.                                              –  meno, men’-o – a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or                     expectancy):–abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand]

In the above text there are two words that are translated dwelleth as listed above.  They are quite similar in their meaning and invoke the idea that there is an ongoing or repeated action.  You will notice that the word ends with an eth ending which meant that in the original language it was either an action t that continued indefinitely or that it was an action that was repeated indefinitely.

In our modern world, we think of our will, that is what I want so our concept of Christianity is often slanted to the idea of convenience or desire.  The Bible knows nothing of that type of relationship for the Christian.  We give as it is convenient but the Bible teaches that we give 1. as we are prospered, 2. according to opportunity, 3.  the demand of necessity, and 4. as an act of faith in God.  Our service may come from duty, responsibility or desire but all too often it is because of selfish reasons rather than to deal with the old nature of sin or allow God to affect change in us.  We desire the blessing when we should desire the one who is blessing.

The concept of dwelling with God is not a duty or even a responsibility, it is a privilege and an opportunity.  It is a privilege because the infinite God desires to be with me.  It is an opportunity for me to become what I could never be without Him.  It requires us to open ourselves to him in prayer and faith.  It requires time in His word that He might speak to us about eternal things.  It requires sharing our lives with Him as He shares His life with us.  Dwelling with God is a life style not an occasional visit.

Notice that in John 6:56  that is a communion or participation together in the events of life (eating and drinking) or consuming the life of God.  The eth ending is attached to all three; eating continually, drinking continually, and dwelling continually.  Also notice in Romans 8:11 that the Holy Spirit is not only present with you continually but also is constantly quickening (making you alive) continually.  And finally, in I Corinthians 3:16 that you are the residence or dwelling of God.  The only place that will satisfy God as a residence is the heart of one who loves God back.  He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place.  Do we love Him enough to dwell with him in this life, as well as for eternity?