Tuesday, June 29, 2010

THE CROWD, THE CALLED AND THE CHOSEN (Part 1)

There are 3 types of people who interact with Jesus, and the gospel of Mark gives an illustration of who they are. We meet them at three different levels – both physically and spiritually.


THE CROWD – GROUND LEVEL

 

But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. Mark 3:7-10

Here are some characteristics of the crowd:-

  • They often initiate the contact with Jesus because they have specific needs that they want Him to meet
  • Many just want to get a “word from the Lord” or a touch from Him to relieve their discomfort
  • They are not necessarily interested in committing themselves to have a relationship with Him
  • Included in this group are those who will heed the call, those who are to be chosen, the curious and those are there to plot against the ministry
  • People hide themselves within the crowd so they can remain unaccountable
  • The crowd can be influenced by opposing voices, and can change quickly from “Hosanna” to “Crucify Him.” Therefore the number in the crowd is not an accurate measure of one’s effectiveness in ministry.
The demands and momentum of the crowd have the potential to take a minister off the focus of his/her primary calling. Jesus was always aware of what His primary mission was, and He kept His focus.

When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” Mark 1: 37, 38

Notice, also, Jesus’ wisdom in telling the disciples to get a boat ready for Him to get into. This was His way of making sure that:

  • the crowd didn’t wear Him out
  • He was able to focus on His primary purpose - preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom
If  you are a minister, don't allow the crowd to dictate what you do, how you do it or when you do it. Be like Jesus and listen to the Voice of the Father only.


If  you are a part of the "crowd" in your congregation, please know that this ground level interaction with the Lord will not get you anything but temporary fixes, and even those will run out after a while. Hear Jesus calling you to come up higher - to elevate your relationship with Him. Will you answer His call today?


to be continued......

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WALKING HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD

Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe


He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; 
And what doth the LORD require of thee,
But to do justly, and to love mercy, 
And to walk humbly with thy God? 
Micah 6:8

What is the meaning of the term “Walk humbly with thy God”?  Is it to walk in a particular physical posture, with head bowed and wearing a pious expression with hands clasped?

Some believe that to walk humbly with God means to possess very little or living meagerly, and settling with just enough to get by.  Others think that to walk humbly with God means to not wear jewelry or any form of facial make up. Even others think that by eating bread and water and extremely simple meals means that they are walking humbly with God.  Some believe that being in prayer 24/7, and not even willing to fellowship with the brethren is walking humbly with God. 

The word humble according to the English Dictionary means –
  • Not of high rank
  • The absence of pride
  • Showing a low estimate of one’s importance or worth
  • Low in position

Everyone would agree that we all need the Grace of God to live on this earth.  It is imperative that we need Grace from God or else, as believers, we would be easy targets for our enemy satan. 

Proverbs 3:34 says that God gives Grace to the humble.  James 4:6 says that God resists the proud and gives Grace to the humble.  King David also understood the importance of being humble.  In Psalm 9:12  he says that God does not forget the cry of the humble.  Solomon, in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 16:19, says that it is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.  He says again in Proverbs 29:23  that a man’s pride shall bring him low, but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. 

Therefore one could surmise that being humble is a very important attribute that believers must possess for us to please God, and also it is a requirement to enter into His Heaven.  Therefore we must understand clearly what walking humbly with God means.

In the Book of 2 Chronicles 12:7 we read about Rehoboam the king, who had humbled himself before God, and so the Lord decided not to destroy him and the people of Israel because of this act.  Let us look at what he had done which resulted in him having to turn around and humble himself… 

The Word of God says in 2 Chronicles 12:1 that Rehoboam strengthened himself and forsook the Law of the Lord.  He saw things through his own eyes and didn’t bother to seek God’s counsel.  Verse 2 of that same chapter says that Egypt came up to war against Israel because they had transgressed against the Lord!  God, in His mercy, sent a Word for the king in verse 5 saying that when we forsake God then He leaves us.  In verse 6 after the king received the Word as coming from God he humbled himself together with all the princes of Israel.  In verse 7 The Bible records that the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves; He relented from destroying them and gave them the deliverance that they needed.

2 Chronicles 33:21-25 shows us that Amnon did not walk humbly before God and was shamefully slain.

In 2 Chronicles 34 we read of Josiah the king who desired to please God.  He was only 8 years old when he began his reign as king, and he simply followed after what he saw David and those who followed after David doing.  He did not have the Book of the Law – the Commandments of God – The Word of God, as his guide.  His desire however, was to follow according to God’s words.  After his servants found the Book of the Law and read it to Josiah, the king was anxious to know from God if he was walking according to His precepts.  I believe that he understood clearly the wrath of God and how He felt about disobedience to His Word.  He therefore sent his servant to get a Word from God concerning how He saw his leadership of His people. 

God responded to Josiah in 2 Chronicles 34:27.
because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the LORD.

The response of King Josiah, in verses 29-33, was worship unto God. In Chapter 35 we see Josiah’s further acts of obedience to God’s commands according to his new understanding.  He followed the Word of God as laid down by Moses His servant to the letter for some time, and enjoyed the peace of God... until he stepped out of God’s will or order for his life, in one instance.  That act got him killed.

Let us look at the meaning of the word Humble once more -
  • Not of high rank
  • The absence of pride
  • Showing a low estimate of one’s importance or worth
  • Low in position

Walking humbly with God means simply not exalting one’s thoughts nor our wills above that which is God’s will for our lives.  If we allow God to rule and reign in and through us we will not be lifted up in pride.  Taking that stance automatically exalts God to the position that He deserves.  We would ultimately find ourselves in the lowly position which would only cause us to desire to walk as God leads. 

Walking humbly with God, simply put means, walking in obedience to God. 


Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, 
that He may exalt you in due time. 
1 Peter 5:6

God richly Bless you as you seek to follow His lead.
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