ESSENTIAL THINGS: HUMILITY

The ability to worship God with all of one’s heart and might without requiring the recognition of men as motivation or reward is an essential thing in the life of a Christian. Our worship must stem out of faith, absolute believe in God as the almighty. And our service to God, in whatever capacity must be an act of reverence to Him.

Within the Christian community some people are always in the spot light by virtue of their God-ordained offices. Brethren who are called to climb the pulpit to preach, teach or sing are always visible. Permit me to say they get to sparkle. But I suppose I can’t say the same for brethren who come in to clean or labor in prayer before every church service. Nobody gets to see them, in other words, they don’t get to sparkle. And there are brethren who simply put a tract in someone’s hand, every week, smiling and saying, “Jesus loves you”. And yet, there are brethren who preach Christ with their attitude or behavior wherever they happen to find themselves. Because of them, somebody is saying, “wow! So there are still real Christians out there”. Because of them somebody made a decision to give God a chance in his or her life. Yet, these silent Christ ambassadors walk among us unrecognized. But not by God.

The bible tells us about the man Cornelius, a non-Jew but a “devout man who feared God with his entire household, who gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always”, (Acts 10 vs. 1&2). That Cornelius decided to fear God and worship Him with his entire household was his own cup of black coffee! The original covenant children of God, (speaking of the Jews), would never recognize him. As far as they were concerned people like Cornelius were uncircumcised gentiles, an unclean lot. A good thing Cornelius never bothered to seek recognition or approval of the Jews, he just put his whole heart into serving God because he believed and God visited him.

God is God. And by that I mean that He rewards anyone who diligently seeks Him. The angel of God said to Cornelius, “your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God”, Acts 10 vs. 4. Our true worship and service to God may go unrecognized by men and women who matter but it is not going without notice in heaven. This is not to say that we carry on as though God owes us, (Cornelius was surprised when he saw an angel, he wasn’t seeking a sign from heaven, some sort of assurance from God that he hasn’t been wasting his time) but rather, that God is true to who He is. He rewards service, how can He do that that if He does not pay attention?

Cornelius was serving God with his household but all was not well with them spiritually. God was doing a new thing, saving humanity through faith in His Son, Jesus. Cornelius feared God but for him to have everlasting life, he needed to receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior and so God decided to honor him and his entire household with the gift of salvation, complete with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God instructed Peter to visit them, and with that visitation, He perfected the faith of Cornelius and his family. What an honor! Such glory! And all because one man served God for no other reason other than that he believed. It takes humility, I tell you. And it is worth it because when we serve God with a humble heart, He will visit us to perfect all that concerns us. And when He does, people will cry, oh what honor! Oh such glory!
Yours truly,

Moni,

Hephzibah ministries.

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ESSENTIAL THINGS: DISCIPLINE

Discipline is the hallmark of a true soldier.

Discipline requires self control, it requires going the extra mile which is difficult because doing the required miles is challenging enough. It requires discernment. You have to be able to tell the difference between good and evil, as well as the difference between what is good and allowed but not for you and what is good, allowed and absolutely right for you, under the circumstances. Discipline requires that your conscience is alive, with a voice allowed to speak freely. It requires that your spirit, soul and body are in tune with God. Your conscience will check you, and the Spirit of God will check you but it takes a disciplined heart it to adhere to instructions, instructions that might, or might not make sense, instructions that only an excellent spirit can appreciate and value.

Discipline requires self denial, the ability to deliberately refrain from what will give you pleasure, for a period, and for a reason or reasons that are important to you. Discipline starts with a resolve in one’s heart to do something but it takes understanding and will power to follow through. As children of God, the Holy Spirit can supply us with understanding, remember He is the Spirit that leads us, (guides us) into all truth. If we don’t really understand the power of discipline as a virtue and how crucial it is to our wellbeing, we might think it’s not such a big deal. We must have a vivid understanding of we stand to gain or loss.

But even with a clear understanding of how much discipline can make happen for us, one might get caught up in a dilemma that has always been the Achilles’ heel of all mortals; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! Discipline takes will power and will power requires extra-ordinary strength, which the Holy Spirit, thank God, can supply. Remember He is our helper. The golden rule is to ask, ask Him for understanding and ask Him for strength and you will receive.

Dear FOJ,

We may marvel at men like Daniel, (Daniel chapter 1) who chose to feed on water and vegetables while others had a nice time enjoying the king’s buffet, but the power at work in Daniel is resident in us today in full measure! Jesus said to His disciples, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (see Acts 1 vs. 8). The presence of the Spirit of God in our lives fills us with power, from this power we can draw strength required to live a disciplined life which is essential. Without discipline, we cannot live a godly life and without a godly life we cannot please God nor successfully fulfill his purpose for our lives.

Yours truly,

Moni,

Hephzibah ministries.