Outta your house…

“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended (took heed) unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. ACTS 16:14,15

Still in ACTS 16: Paul and Silas were arrested shortly afterward, mainly because of a demon possessed girl who had been fortune-telling being delivered and therefore cutting the purse strings from her masters, But Paul and Silas rejoiced in God, and even after having been beaten and literally striped by whips, they STILL prayed, praised God and sang in that prison until God sent an earthquake and opened the prison doors, my favorite part which holds all symbolism is that also in that great quake, ALL the prisoners bands were loosened, God loves to break the chains that hold prisoners captive!

We’ll pick up after God had sent that mighty earthquake of freedom.

ACTS 16:27-34: “And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, AND THY HOUSE. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, HE AND ALL HIS HOUSE.” 

ROMANS 16:3-5 ” Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus; who for my life laid down (risked) their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet THE CHURCH THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE, salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who IS the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.” 

Well, I guess you are starting to dig where this is going. Many other scriptures mention the “churches in their house”, now I do realize that this is when the church was forming and that there were many home churches, but I also want you to keep in mind, that the Temple of God is IN US!

Lydia worshipped God, she just needed a little clarification about Him and the teachings, she “came in” and once doing so, her household came with her! But she also wanted to be a blessing to the disciples. probably one of the first examples of GALATIANS 6:10 coming into view, “As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, ESPECIALLY unto them who are of the household of faith.”

We see with the story of the jailor, who was going to take his own life before it would be taken from him because the prisoners had escaped on his watch, how God’s compassion moving through the heart of Paul, would be used, not only to save this man from committing suicide, but also to save his soul and the souls of his household!

Priscilla, who was the minister of her house is mentioned several places and many, many others again with the reference of churches in their houses. And the thought with this is that I, like many others have become so discouraged by what we have seen, as we know that we are in the time of the “great falling away” but we still hold to the promise of the outpouring of the latter days, I know this can be argued many ways, but I am not here to argue.

I personally believe, based on scriptural studies that this indeed did begin, even fulfilling some of Revelation, with the Apostles but I do believe the major outpouring is still for the end days and it well on its way.

But either way, as it stands at the moment, we have a brief window, many denominations are “dying” away and new candy-coat churches of the “world” are growing like algae in a hot swamp and are spreading their infectious false, poison doctrine like the wildfire that it is and burning up gullible souls in the process because the truth is being smothered out by shouts of bigot and intolerant.

So what do we do? We can’t get the lost in church because they are being pulled in two directions by two different “Gospels” the true Gospel of Christ and the new modern “gospel” of anything goes, the god created in their image that has no rules, no regulations, and welcomes all with a “No Repentance Required” sign flashing at the spiritual door and I guarantee you to their sorrow, that no repentance equates to absolutely NO SALVATION, believe a lie…. we know that scripture. You got to add in all the pagan religions and total it all up, it looks rough for the home team but these verses give us hope and I want to sit all those verses upon this one and form a solid, sure foundation for this thought.

ISAIAH 58 deals with the Lord explaining to us in a no holds barred fashion what we are required to do IF we really want to see His goodness come to pass, and IF we really want to see people delivered and saved, and IF we know that it is not for us, but for THEM. 

He first addresses the issue of fasting, for strife, for debate, to “make our voices to be heard on high’ and proclaim fasting as we still hold anger and unrighteousness and then question God as to why He doesn’t “see” us as we fast.

And  then He asks these questions, ISAIAH 58: 5-7 ” Is NOT THIS the fast that I HAVE CHOSEN? to LOOSE the bands of wickedness, to UNDO the heavy burdens, and to LET THE OPPRESSED GO FREE, and THAT YE BREAK EVERY YOKE?

Is it NOT to deal (share)THY BREAD TO THE HUNGRY , and to BRING the poor that is cast out (WANDERING) to THY HOUSE? when thou seest the naked, that THOU COVEREST HIM: and that thou HIDE NOT THYSELF FROM THINE OWN FLESH? 

This is GOD, HIMSELF telling us what HE expects us to do! Maybe there are the great churches of apathy, who seem to have an attitude of we got ours, get yours and who cares about those that are falling through the cracks? I have not made many friends with that, but you know what? IT IS THE TRUTH and I will stand before the Lord one day and give account and they will too and when He asks did they not know they were accountable for His flock, ALL of His flock, then they will not be able to say no one warned them, because I did and I have taken being labeled a “black sheep” as my hire from them.

I will not stop warning from the wall, from the rooftop, from every possible angle God gives me because people are hurting, people are in trouble, and they are dying as they fall through those jagged cracks. I heard a radio interview with a lady that works with the homosexual community, she is born again and came from that community, so she has a really clear insight and the most compelling thought she gave, that came as no shock, is that they have a fellowship and a closeness that is lacking in most churches today, that everyone had each others backs and people have that network of support that WE ALL NEED.

With is why God also told us that HIS idea on this is to fast for others and to undo heavy burdens, to care for each other, break all those yokes, through Him. To SHARE the bread of life with those who are starving in this world. And to bring those who are lost, hurting, and wounded into our “house” sharing the love and goodness of God with them and showing them that there is a better way, to help those we can and to hide not ourselves from our own flesh, share with them our testimonies of where God brought us from and care more for another than we do ourselves, just as Priscilla and Aquila considered supporting and ministering the Gospel during times of persecution of a greater value that even their own lives.

So for the rest of us, take every moment, every opportunity to reach out to someone hurting and GIVE of yourself, GIVE of the bread of life that He has freely GIVEN you, take a moment to reach out to someone whom you haven’t seen in a while, take the extra time to be different, and if God is dealing with your heart and you have been holding out waiting for others to “come in”, think about those who brought others in by coming in!

WHAT IMPACT DOES YOUR LIFE HAVE? Not just for you and eternity but for those of your house?  

Think about it today, I want to lay out a little challenge, just try this and see what happens, reach higher, stretch farther, and see the impossible for you and YOUR Household! Let those blessing flow from your house into theirs and be glad eternally that you did! I promise you will not regret it!                               

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

“Prepping for the payoff of patience”

Ah, patience, always stated as “is a virtue” but it is so much more. And I agree with the old timers that would very quickly caution all to NEVER pray for it. I have heard those suggest that we SHOULD pray for it, but please, please do yourself a favor and DON’T!

  “KNOWING this, that the TRYING (testing) OF YOUR FAITH WORKETH (produces) PATIENCE.” JAMES 1:3

That follows AFTER the verse in which we are told to count it all as pure joy when we go through various TRAILS!

So “having your faith tested” through different trails and circumstances that humanly there is nothing you can do and you must stretch out your faith and believe for the IMPOSSIBLE to be performed by an invisible God and THIS will produce patience, it is the waiting upon God and trusting for His deliverance. So in my belief, and of course we all have our own, that as Christians, especially new ones, should know that with the combination of unpleasant people that are to be dealt with and the devil, you will have MORE THAN ENOUGH GRIEF to “try your faith” and build patience, without asking for more.

Instead try praying for God’s favor and deliverance in trails and pray that He will help you see through His eyes and through Him be able to withstand the storm and there is nothing wrong with praying that it will be a fast mover! Now, this would need to be an eight part series if I were to give you all these verses, so I will hit and miss and just give a low down on the basic story with my main points highlighted, but please if you have a little time read this entire story. We will travel from GENESIS 25 and ending at GENESIS 32 and could probably hit a little farther down but for time’s sake of you all who are such a blessing in taking your time to read this, we’ll hit it this way.

GENESIS 25:20-34: Being the promised child of Abraham, Isaac prayed the Lord to give his barren wife Rebekah a child, the Lord blessed her with twins and talk about sibling rivalry, they were so rambunctious, even in the womb, that she became worried and sought the Lord’s reassurance. He told her that two nations were inside of her and that the elder would serve the younger, contrary to the usual birthright order. So sure enough, the younger, which would be Jacob grabbed onto his brother Esau’s heel as he was being born, as a surety of things to come. As they grew Esau became the heart of his father, as Rebekah grew more fond of Jacob, and the day would come when Esau would become “snared by his own words” insomuch that he would indeed LOSE HIS BIRTHRIGHT, by trading it literally for a bowl of stew. This is something I keep trying to warn others about, the Bible has many examples where people are WARNED to say neither good nor bad, because often we will say we would “give this” or “do that” “if only” and things like “we don’t need” this or that or “care if we lose” this or that and we become snared by our own words and like Esau, who in his OWN WORDS, thought he was so hungry that he would starve and his birthright was no good to him because HE DID NOT HAVE IT AT THAT MOMENT, even though it was done deal, only it would have to be waited for. So sure enough it was sold only it would take a while for him to realize what he had done.

GENESIS Chapter 27 & 28:

Isaac had grown old and time had come to give the birthright, now Rebekah was not amused with Esau having married two pagan wives and that could have played a part in her deception, or it truly could have been because Jacob was her favorite, either way, she advised Jacob as to disguising himself as Esau and tricking Isaac into giving him the birthright blessing and once Isaac realized what he had done, he could not undo it, Esau  had well planned to kill Jacob upon his father’s death, so Rebekah told him to flee, with the instructions of going to her brother Laban’s and living there, with the strict order from his father forbidding him to marry a Canaanite and to marry only from Laban’s house, {more reason, I believe her motives were to avoid pagan daughters-in law} Once Esau knew that his parents did not approve of the pagan wives, he married yet again, I think in attempt to try to somehow get that birthright back, which was now impossible. We’ll pick up as Jacob has started his journey:

GENESIS 28:10-22: ” And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted (came to) a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set: and he took of the stones of THAT place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in THAT place to sleep.

And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac; the LAND on where thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (descendants);

And thy seed shall be as dust of the earth, (great in number) and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thy seed shall the families of the earth be blessed.

And behold, I AM WITH THEE and will KEEP thee in ALL PLACES whither thou goest, and will bring thee AGAIN into this land; for I WILL NOT LEAVE THEE UNTIL I HAVE DONE THAT WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN TO THEE OF.

And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and said, Surely the Lord IS IN THIS PLACE, and I knew it not.

And he was afraid, and said How dreadful (awesome) is This place! this is none other but the house of God, and this the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on top of it.

And he called the name of that place Bethel (House of God); but the name of that city was called Luz at first.

And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, if God will be with me, and will keep me, and will KEEP ME IN THIS WAY THAT I GO, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment (clothing) to put on, So that I come AGAIN to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God.”

Sometimes we also find ourselves in THAT place, a place so hard that the comfort “of your head” is as hard as rock and think Jacob was running for his life, but think, when he discovered that God was STILL with him, even in that place, he just didn’t know it! The name of that place, first being pagan, now would become a blessed name.

GENESIS chapters 29 & 30: Jacob meets Laban, he wants to marry Rachel and is forced by Laban to work for him seven years before doing so. Laban tricks him with the use of a bridal veil, and he actually marries Leah, Rachel’s sister,  Jacob still loves Rachel, but is informed of Laban, that he must work seven more years to marry her.

So he is so smitten with this kitten, that the first seven had went by fast and his marriage to Leah is already consummated and is now a done deal, so he has to keep her, so he agrees to seven more years slaving for Laban.

So Jacob also then marries Rachel, the Lord had compassion toward Leah because she had been treated so unfairly and blessed her with children, but Rachel was barren, so as Leah started producing what would become the heads of the tribes of Israel, Rachel pulled a Sarah and had Jacob father children with her maid, this got so out of hand that at one point, one sons fruits were being traded off for a night with Jacob, Leah became barren also, so enter in another maid surrogate, she then became fertile again and gave birth to Dinah, the “judgment” daughter of the group, after this, the Lord allowed Rachel conception and Joseph was born.

At this point Jacob asked that he be allowed by Laban to take his wives, children, and flock and go back to his own home. Laban was less than thrilled with that thought because he knew God had been blessing them all through Jacob and tried to get him to set a wage price, but instead Jacob made a deal with him that he would take all the spotted and speckled animals, because they were few in number, when he left that would be his wages, Jacob had asked the Lord to bless him so the numbers of his flock out grew the number of Laban’s.

GENESIS chapter 31: Laban sons start to murmur and Laban began to act contrary to Jacob, and the Lord told Jacob to return home, and that He would be with him, so he told Rachel and Leah all that Laban had done and what the Lord had done for him and Rachel decided that they had been treated like dirt by their Dad and in lieu of an inheritance she stole his “idols” (more less, what we southerners call “what not’s”) completely unaware to Jacob.

So they split without telling Laban, when he did find out, he set out after them, but God intervened and warned him in a dream against saying anything to Jacob. So when they meet up, Laban gives him the inquisition about why he left without a good-bye and questioned who took his idols, since Jacob knew nothing of it, everyone was searched, but Rachel had them hidden under her and came up with a pretty good reason to not have to move, so once nothing was found, Jacob went off and got to final say what he had probably wanted to say many times over the twenty years that Laban had conspired, and controlled his life.

GENESIS 31:36-42: “And Jacob was wroth (angry) and chode (rebuked) with Laban; and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?

Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of thy household stuff? (you searched and found nothing) set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.

These TWENTY years have I been with thee; thy ewes and she goats have not cast out their young (miscarried) and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.

That that was torn of beasts I brought NOT unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night (Laban made Jacob pay for any losses).

THUS (this) I WAS; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.

Thus (So) I HAVE BEEN TWENTY YEARS IN THY HOUSE; I SERVED THEE FOURTEEN YEARS FOR THY TWO DAUGHTERS, AND SIX YEARS FOR THY CATTLE AND THOU HAST CHANGED MY WAGES TEN TIMES. 

Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away empty (it was only because of God that Jacob had anything)

GOD HATH SEEN MINE AFFLICITION AND THE LABOUR OF MY HANDS, AND REBUKED THEE YESTERNIGHT (last night).”  So this pretty much seals that deal and they set it in stone that they’d not bother one another thereafter.

GENESIS chapter 32 & 33: Jacob sees angels guiding his way, knowing he must meet with and patch ways with his brother, fearing his brother’s anger he sends his family on ahead and he is left alone, God had indeed brought him AGAIN, only this time he would wrestle an angel, in a match for the highest of blessings!

GENESIS 32:24-30: ” And Jacob was left alone, an there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched (struck) the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for day breaketh.

And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? and he said, Jacob. And he said Thy name shall no more be Jacob, but Israel; for a prince hast thou power with God and with men, AND HAST PREVAILED.

And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of THE PLACE Peniel: for I HAVE SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE, AND MY LIFE IS PERSERVED.

So we all got Laban’s, even in the church world but have faith in what Jacob went through and the blessing he received for WAITING ON THE LORD IN THAT PLACE TILL GOD BROUGHT HIM AGAIN UNTO THE PLACE OF PROMISE! And so much more that we could read of him and the blessings of the Lord on his life and the tribes of Israel, so never give up “that” place when you know God is leading you into the promise again!

JAMES 1:3 “ Let PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, that ye may be perfect (finished) ENTIRE (COMPLETE), WANTING (LACKING) NOTHING.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016