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Sermon 138 – Don’t build a relationship on the hatred of someone who’s hurt you

Every human being is created with a body, soul and spirit. Our soul and spirit are the elements that allow us to commune with God. The soul consists of the MIND, WILL and EMOTIONS. The most important element of our soul is our ‘WILL’.

Why?

The answer is found in Jesus’ prayer to His Father on the Mount of Olives. What was His prayer? ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done’ (Luke 22:42). Note, there are two parts to this prayer … the first part is a prayer to remove the trouble, the second part is a prayer of ‘will’ and surrender.

Salvation is a decision of our will in the face of distress; in the face of being aware that the decision will cost me distress.

Why does it have to be in the face of distress?

The Bible declares that if you are going to build a tower you should first count the cost (Luke 14:28). In other words, you can make a decision to follow Christ, but that decision isn’t verified unless, or until, circumstances dictate a cost. This is explained in the parable of the sower and the seed (Mark 4).

You see, the problem is, most so-called Christians don’t make a decision of ‘will’, they make a decision of ‘emotion’. That is, most people decide on the basis of their feelings, and usually those feelings are hurt ones. They decide to follow Christ in the hope He will remove the trouble.

You see, whenever you make judgments against someone for offending you or someone else, you effectively initiate retaliation against that person. Once you take the bait of hurt, and retaliate, you are no longer able to have control of your will. Once you lose control of your will you can’t surrender your will to the Father, and your will comes under the power of Satan. Your prayer will be … ‘remove this trouble from me’. If you hold this judgement for some time your heart will begin to harden and you’ll block your salvation. This is proven in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (KJV).

Once you choose ‘offense’, you unwittingly choose ‘hate’ and automatically lose your ability to surrender your will to His. Your whole focus will be on removing the trouble by striving to win the competition of who is the best. You see, if you continuously allow your hurt emotions to control your judgement, the truth is, your spirit revolves around the lust for IMAGE, not Christ.

Practical observation

I was observing a group of girls in our fellowship. One of the girls decided she was more special and started recruiting a best-friend. The other girl could sense that she was being used and manipulated so she formed a best-friend relationship with someone else. This polite and silent retaliation stirred up more secret hatred in the heart of the first girl so she went about trying to steal the friend from the second girl.

Hypocrisy is judging someone for doing something wrong, then practicing it yourself

Both girls played their parts with seemingly pure goodness. They’d learnt the art of pretense, perfectly. The truth is, God’s not after ‘good’; He’s after ‘will’. If your will isn’t surrendered to Him, then your ‘good’ is not good.

Mood = reacting to wounded emotions

If you allow an offence to hurt your emotions you won’t have power over your will and, sooner or later, spite will flow out of you.

The truth is, if the first girl tries to build her relationships on the foundation of her hurts, it will fail, and If the second girl builds her relationships on the foundation of retaliation and hate, it will fail, too. No wonder most relationships fail; they’re invariably built on spit and spite.

Spitefulness = trying to injure someone

When I finally challenged the original girl about her spitefulness, she couldn’t see that she had done anything wrong. As far as she was concerned, all she was doing was trying to find a friend and the other girl had given her the cold shoulder.

Until you own your sin and repent of it, you can’t free your will. You can decide to not keep doing it, but it’s all a waste of time because your will can’t perform its will whilst your hurt emotions rule your soul. You have to repent to free your will before you can truly see you are wrong. Contrary to the popular belief that ‘I have to see it before I can own it’, the truth is, you won’t see it until you own it, first.

It’s not fair

If you don’t pray the second half of what Christ prayed, you’ll simply be plotting how to escape your hassles on the ground of justified fairness, or if you do decide to pray it, it will be ineffective whilst ever your hurt emotions rule your soul.

The truth is, if you seek fairness in this world without living for the next, then you are not saved. This world is not fair … Jesus was crucified for doing good, Christians are being persecuted for simply loving Christ, people are being unjustly treated and unjustly suffering all over this planet, plus homosexuals demand equal rights, women who hate male authority demand equal rights, aboriginals who worship the serpent god demand equal rights … they’re all into fairness; Jesus wasn’t. Striving for fairness is an argument from Satan to justify that the cup be removed from me. True fairness is only under the Lordship of the Creator judge, Jesus.

Christians are not called to receive fairness; we’re called to serve and suffer for the name of Christ. The reason so few pray the full prayer is simply because we want the cup removed; we want the right to defend injustices against us; we don’t want to suffer for His name.

The healing of the lame man at the gate ‘Beautiful’

In Acts 4, Peter and John were arrested for performing this miracle. The religious tribunal demanded by what authority they had done this. They weren’t inspired by the miracle; they were offended with envy. Peter, under the power of the Holy Spirit stood his ground and preached Christ crucified.

Why don’t we see miracles in the western world, today?

In the modern Christian church, everyone wants the power of miracles for their own positional image, but to my understanding, God gives the power of His Spirit when you’re facing ‘fire’. Moses didn’t get the power till he faced Pharaoh. Elijah had to face Jezebel. Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego had to face the fiery furnace, for the miracle to be done.

In the same way, Peter and John would have had to weigh up the consequences of healing the lame man. They would have known there would most likely be a reaction against them that would cost them. It’s the cost that confirms where one’s will is placed … under Christ’s, or set doing and seeking what’s best for one’s self.

If you’re here for Christ, people will hate you. If you’re complaining about the hate, then you’re here for image. One has surrendered their will to be hurt by offenses, the other hasn’t. One is saved, the other isn’t.

 

May God open the eyes of His remnant,

 

Pastor Clive Douglas

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Posted by on July 14, 2019 in WILL

 

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Sermon 129 – Faith through Revilings

My wife and I were casually walking through the local markets when all of a sudden, a woman stood next to us and demanded that we shop on the other side of the street. We somehow ignored her intimidation and moved on. Later that day a man confronted my wife with swearing when she politely asked if he could move to let her pass. Then later-on, an incidental incident happened that resulted in us being distant from each other.

Whenever the demonic is active, there is division

I stopped what we were doing and suggested that the demonic was taking advantage of us. Now, my wife trusts me, but still defended herself by saying that she couldn’t recall any incident that had offended her. I suggested her defence was further evidence that the demonic was active. She reluctantly agreed, and then began the search for where pride had entered and made her susceptible to the demonic.

What happens when someone has a go at you?

Demons very often use people to stir your emotions. The defensive feelings such as fear, guilt, and being bossed or manipulated, start taking over. We then try to solve our feelings so we feel ok again, and once we do that we’re caught in Satan’s snare.

Before any feeling, there’s always a voice … something like … you’re an idiot, or, you’re rude, if you don’t do what I say. The voice is always designed to get you to react in fear so you do what it wants. We usually don’t hear the voice because we’re absorbed with our emotions; so, we fail to realise that we respond to the voice with something like … don’t tell me what to do. In other words, we speak self-defensively to the voice, yet often in fear we end up doing what the voice wants. Why? Because, we don’t like looking bad.

What’s really happening?

What we’re really doing is defending our pride by protecting our reputation. Jesus said you can’t be a disciple unless you die to yourself. Perhaps the best way to understand dying is to look at the opposite to dying; and that is … to defend your reputation. If you’re always looking to defend your reputation, then you’ll never find death, and thus, Satan will keep you from heaven. Salvation is via death to self, and access to hell is via preservation of one’s reputation.

That’s the very reason that we read in Philippians 2 that Jesus made Himself of no reputation. He set the example. In fact, if you open your heart to death-to-self, you’ll begin to see that the whole of the Word of God teaches this truth. The modern religious system is into life and happiness through grace, but grace is just the easy path that avoids the revilings for standing up for God and His principles and His Ten Commandments when everyone else is compromising them and tolerating people’s sin and falsely calling it love.

Without faith it’s impossible to please Him

God plants the seed of faith, but it’s the disciple’s responsibility to water it. Faith doesn’t grow through the comforts of wealth and prosperity and things always working out; it grows through revilings. Jesus said, woe to you when everyone thinks well of you (Luke 6:26), but blessed are you when men revile you for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5: 11 & 12).

Jesus isn’t preaching this lightly. It’s not just an instruction to try and honour; beside, you can’t do it without faith. He’s actually teaching you the path to salvation.

The man born blind

In John 9 we read the story of the man born blind. Jesus healed the man on the sabbath by spitting in the dirt and making clay and putting it on the man’s eyes. In envy, the Pharisees are offended. The Pharisees refused to believe he was really blind so they questioned the parents. In fear, the parents said he was blind but their son was old enough, so confirm it with him. The Pharisees take on the man whose sight is restored and threaten him with being an idiot.

In this story, Jesus is reviled, the blind man is reviled, and the parents are threatened with being reviled. Jesus suffered their reviling. The blind man suffered their reviling, but the parents protected their reputation and passed the buck.

The point is, the blind man could have gained his sight by interacting with Jesus, but he would not have gained his salvation without the reviling. It was the reviling that forced him to decide whether he would believe in and walk the way of Christ, or simply take the gift of sight and be cooperative with the demonic-inspired Pharisees.

Reviling is God’s way to strengthen your faith. Reviling is God’s way to save you. If you’re not being reviled then you’re comfortable with protecting your reputation and you’re not saved, no matter how much you pray, no matter how much you give, no matter how much you help. This is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 13.

The other point is, it’s more likely that the ones who have the problems will seek out Christ. The son had the problem. He needed Christ. The parents and the Pharisees didn’t need Christ, they were only interested in protecting their reputation. Problems from Satan are a gift from God.

Address your pride vs fix your feelings

Most people get hurt and try to fix their feelings, but Christians should use both their hurt feelings and their puffed-up feelings to put their pride on trial.

If you want to grow in faith, then take a pen and write down your feelings when someone offends you. You need to write it down otherwise your feelings will over-ride your spirit. Then write down what they’re really saying to you. Then, write down what you’re saying back to them. Ask yourself … is my reply, Holy Spirit or am I protecting my pride? Then repent, by transferring you trust to Christ with … ok, God, if they call me stupid, I’ll trust you. This is how you reinforce your faith. If you don’t practice faith, you’ll lose it. It doesn’t work by technique alone; it requires God’s faith, but God’s faith will grow if you water it, by trusting Him in the face of revilings.

 

May God strengthen our faith by helping us to be willing to suffer for His sake.

 

Pastor Rick Ramsley

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Faith, Suffering

 

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Sermon 63 – HEARING GOD’S VOICE

You can’t do two things at the same time

Being a doctor I’ve included in my practice the study of applied kinesiology. This is the practical application of muscle nerve function. One thing I’ve noticed from the practical application of these studies is that you can’t effectively do two things at the same time. You can argue that it’s possible to watch TV and to read a book at the same time, but the truth is you have to shift your concentration from one to the other; you can’t do both at exactly the same time. You can argue that you can drive a car and talk on a mobile phone, but the fact is that you are far more likely to have an accident because your attention is split between two brain applications. I challenge you to Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2013 in Elevation

 

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