The Words of Our Elders: Elisabeth Elliot

Faith is not an instinct. It certainly is not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or hanging on a wooden Cross. Faith is not inferred from the happy way things work. It is an act of will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of a God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean, in the person of Jesus Christ. ~ Elisabeth Elloit

The words of our elders, are words of wisdom.

The Words Of Our Elders: Steven J Lawson

“The essence of Christianity is centered upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The sum and substance of being a Christian is trusting Christ with the entirety of one’s being. The height of the Christian life is adoring Christ, the depth of it loving Him, the breadth of it obeying Him, and the length of it following Him. Everything in the Christian life revolves around Jesus Christ. Simply put, Christianity is Christ.”

~ Steven J Lawson

The words of our elders, are words of wisdom

Spiritual Intelligence: The King’s Business

And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Good morning friends. Let us ponder over the last line again for a while: “They immediately left their nets and followed Him”

As well as faith, Peter and Andrew demonstrated speed and trust in their response to Jesus (the word). With this in mind, I am reminded of a statement by David to Ahimelech the priest while he was on the run from Saul:

…Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.

So, when it comes to our destiny, there is no time for title-tattle because our obedience and timing could be connected to the destinies of others; in some cases, millions of others. In a letter by Paul to friends in Galatia on this subject, he penned these words:

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

I’m afraid, time is not going to stand still for us; rather, we have to redeem the time we have lost through our years of rebellion. From the verses we just read, we see Paul diving in straight away. In like manner dear friends, we need to desist from wasting precious little time in doubt, fear, unbelief, or even trying to figure out how to help God work these things out; for heavens resources are only deployed when we step out in faith. Once we take timely action in obedience, we avail options to God in fulfilling His agenda for planet earth.

The key thing here is training our spirits to hear from God, for we do not want to run ahead of ourselves like in the case of Ahimaaz; and this comes through the discipline of prayer and meditation on God’s word.

We want to be on alert, we want to hear from God, and we want to act decisively with timing and precision – because the King’s business requires haste!

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~ Sabali

*Help make my new book (Echoes of Mercy, Whispers of Love) a success by supporting my fundraising campaign using this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/echoes-of-mercy-whispers-of-love

Be part of something awesome!

Much love,
Clem

Spiritual Intelligence: Heaven’s Hands

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Good morning friends. At the moment we do not know the exact details or format of the proceedings on that great and terrible day, however, from today’s text we know that our outreach, love and support to the poor and underprivileged will be the basis of one of the criteria. The yardstick or the spirit behind this ministry is not the action, but the motive behind the action. The basis of that conclusion can be drawn from king Saul’s conversation with the prophet Samuel over his campaign against the Amalekites. The king was given a clear mandate for the destruction of their possessions, including their livestocks. But Saul decided to let the people take the livestocks, and this angered God. In Samuel’s response to King Saul’s submission, we find wisdom to help us in our various worship and ministry today:

So Samuel said:

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

It is evident that the sheep simply operated in obedience as part of their worship and ministry, to them it was the least they could have done. Besides they didn’t do it out of the overflow of their wealth; but, they did it in-spite of their poverty. Little wonder why their response to The Lord’s commendation was one of shock:

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?

So, dear friends, let it all be for His glory. Not as a public relation stunts, not for self gratification, not as a tick box exercise. Rather, as humble servants, and extensions of His hands of love and compassion towards us all.

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~ Sabali

Spiritual Intelligence: Recruitment, Selection And Election

So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”

Good morning friends. The gift of Freewill can be viewed as a blessing or a curse to humankind, depending on the lens of ones observation, and the context in focus.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the passage we have just read. Here we see that Saul was given clear instructions for the campaign against the Amalekites. This mission was not a pre-emptive or defensive strike, but an offensive one based on previous actions of the Amalekites as outlined through God’s agent in these words;

I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt

So, we see their actions (based on freewill), which ultimately led to God’s judgement. The agent for God’s punishment was the armies of Israel through the leadership of King Saul – and here lies the conundrum dear friends. God is the ultimate judge of all actions; by Him all actions are weighed. He does not control man’s action, He sees the motives behind every action. But He needs people to carry out his plan on earth; He needs people to do His will, and execute His purpose.

Sadly Saul’s actions like Achan’s in the days of Joshua was motivated by pride and greed. He chose to do it his way, with a view to fit God in somehow. His plan was to show off king Agag, enrich himself and some of his soldiers, and give a little sacrifice (perhaps a tithe) to appease God. But friends, God cannot be bribed, flattered or seduced; its either His way, or no way. Saul had made shipwreck of his ministry, he had to be replaced.

In closing, let’s hear the verdict of God concerning the action of the man he entrusted to do His will;

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king

God is always recruiting. His campaigns are for two distinct purpose; to either replace or to succeed. In this case, David was recruited as a replacement and not a successor.

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~ Sabali