By God's Commission

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 11:23 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “For Our Nation.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Colossians 1 (NIV84).

Bearing Fruit and Growing?

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. ~ Col. 1:1-8​

So, what about the church here in America? Does this describe us? Is our faith in Jesus Christ so strong, and our testimonies for him so powerful, by our lives and by our words, that we have a reputation of being on fire for God all over the world? Is our love for one another so powerful and so effective that we have a worldwide reputation for our acts of love and kindness, one for the other? – Acts and words demonstrating the love of Christ, in like manner as he loved us, and consistent with his gospel of salvation? Is the true gospel of salvation bearing fruit and growing all over our nation because of our commitment to the gospel, to being Christ’s witnesses, and to making disciples of Christ of peoples of all nations? Or, is the church in America conjoined with the world, conked out on their sofas, unresponsive to calls to repentance, and ignoring that the world is going to hell?

A Life Worthy

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Col. 1:9-14​

Oh, how my heart aches for the church here in America! I pray for the vast majority of the church here to have her eyes opened to her spiritual condition, to see herself through God’s eyes, and to know how much God’s heart aches for his children who are conjoining themselves with the world, who are complacent with regard to a world dying in its sins and going to hell, and who is, for the most part, completely ineffective in reaching the people of this nation with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. How can we, as a church, be the light to the world and the salt of the earth, if we are checked out, joined at the hip with the world, and we are not even paying attention to the fact that so many are headed straight for hell, and that our nation is going down the toilet?

The church here in America needs to return to her first love. She needs to understand that Jesus died to call her out of darkness into his light. He died so she would no longer live for herself, but for him who gave himself up for her (See 2 Co. 5:15). He died so she could die with him to her old life of living for sin and self and so she could walk in the Spirit, no longer fulfilling the passions and desires of the flesh, and so she could walk in his righteousness and holiness in the power of the Spirit within her (See Ro. 6-8; Eph. 4:17-24). In fact, his grace teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled and upright lives in this present age while we wait for Christ’s return (See Tit. 2:11-14).

I pray, too, for the church, that she might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so she might live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way. But, in order for her to do that, for the vast majority of the church which has been compromising the truth of scripture, diluting the gospel, and blending in with the world in order to be culturally relevant, she must first humble herself before God in repentance, turn from her idols, and decide to follow Jesus wherever he leads her. She must come out from the world and be separate, and be set apart to God and to his service. She must love God more than she loves herself, and desire him above all else.

The Head

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. ~ Col. 1:15-20

Jesus Christ is not just the Son of God. He is God the Son, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and he is our creator (See John 1). He is completely sovereign over all things. And, He is the head of the true church, the body of Christ, although you might not know that if you visited many places in America which call themselves “church.” So much of what is falsely called “church” these days, although some true believers exist within these organizations, is not really the true church at all. So many of these organizations are just man-made businesses, and conducted just like businesses, too, with marketing schemes replacing the power of the Spirit, humanistic teaching replacing the Word of God, entertainment replacing true worship, and man attempting to replace Christ as the true head of his church. Yet, he who died for us so that we could be free will have the supremacy.

By God’s Commission

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. ~ Col. 1:21-29

You know, it just breaks my heart to see so many who profess the name of Jesus as their Savior barely give him the time of day. Even though Jesus Christ died on the cross to set them free from the control of sin over their lives, many have drifted back into following after the ways of the flesh, of man, and of sin. Some never were even delivered from their sin because they bought into a lie that told them they didn’t have to turn from their sin and they didn’t have to obey Christ and his Word, and that they could still have their ticket into heaven. They were given a false hope of salvation. And, yet scripture is so clear that death to sin is required of the believer as part of believing faith, and that if they say they have fellowship with God or that they love God, but yet they continue to live sinful lifestyles, they are liars and God does not even know them! (See 1 Jn. 1-5)

This scripture, and many others like it, though, paints a different picture for us from what many of these modern churches are teaching. We are taught here that we are reconciled to God by his grace through faith IF we continue in our faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel (cf. John 8:31-32; Romans 11:17-24; I Co 15:2; II Tim 2:10-13; Hebrews 3:14-15; I John 2:24-25). The parable of the sower speaks to this issue, as well, when it talks about the person who received the message initially with joy but the person’s faith never took root, so the person gave up and abandoned the faith. In other words, not everyone who prays a prayer to receive Christ is truly saved. True faith is faith that continues, as well as it is faith which puts what it says it believes into practice. If we believe Jesus died to save us from sin, thus, how can we live in it any longer?

Paul was called to be a servant of the Lord and of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although we are not all called to be Paul’s, I do believe God has commissioned his church with the spreading of the gospel of salvation, in its fullness, throughout the world. Yet, God also has very specific assignments for each one of us within the body of Christ. Mine is to write down what he teaches me each day from his word and to place it on the internet so that a “runner” can “Run With It.” And, God takes it from there. I believe, as well, that I have been commissioned by God to present to the modern day church in America her spiritual condition, as he sees it, to call her out of her complacency, to call her to repentance, and to encourage her to walk with Christ in his holiness, living lives pleasing to him. “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” Amen!

For Our Nation / An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.