And [Jesus] said, “Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3 KJ2000)
“I am sure nothing is going to be done unless we have a very large heart to look over and in and through and beyond, refusing to be held by the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us, and reaching through to that which is true in the heart” T. Austin-Sparks – “Abounding in Love”
As I read this I was reminded of how Jesus looked at all men. Even on the cross He looked beyond those men who were striking, hurting and mocking Him, praying, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” That is what HIS divine love does. God’s love looks into the hearts of every man, woman and child on earth to see what is behind their actions. But not only that, but to see what HE has foreordained that they should walk in IN His Son, Christ Jesus. From the foundation of the world He had a plan for each of us and we know that we all have spent most of our lives walking out a life that has fallen short of that. BUT He is not deterred. Paul wrote,
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them. What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? (Romans 8:28-31 CEV)
Do we always know who these chosen ones are? No. Even they often do not know they are His until He divinely starts working in them to reveal Himself. When those evil men took Stephen out to stone him to death because he dared to tell them the truth, there was one man who watched over the cloaks of the ones who murdered him, Saul of Tarsus, whom we now know as Paul. Paul was one of the Jew’s henchmen who also sought to kill the chosen ones of God and HE was even one of the chosen himself! But Jesus made a divine appointment with Paul on the Damascus Road and he was never the same. There is a saying that a dear friend of mine who is no longer with us had, “When a prostitute falls in love, she no longer has a job.” Paul fell in love with Jesus that day, the very One he had been persecuting in the name of the prostituted religion of the Jews (read Hosea). He would never go back to that twisted life again. Jesus did that day what no one in the church could do… He saved Paul and put a new heart in him Later he would write,
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. (Romans 12:17-21 NLT)
You seed, this is “reaching through to that which is true in the heart. To be about our Father’s work we must ignore “the thing that is glaring at us, striking us and hurting us” and follow Jesus’ heart and words,
You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust… Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
I am not sure what was done by the US government in its “war on terror” since 9-11 has been all that godly. What would have happened if we had fed them and gave them to drink instead of water-boarding them and conquered evil with good? Now all we have is an ever more vengeful enemy that is consuming the whole Arab world with its hate more and more. For each one of them we kill in the name of “homeland security” ten more vengeful relatives take his place.
Can you see that we who are carnal do the same thing on an individual level as well? How many of us have unresolved disputes with our neighbors and relatives because we would rather be “right’ than be God’s lovers in Christ? It should not be this way if we are truly IN Christ and are “children of our Father who is in heaven.”
Dear saints, pray for that “very large heart that can look over and in and through and beyond… reaching through to that which is true in the heart,” the heart of Jesus in you.
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another…” (1 John 3:22-23 KJ2000)
Part one by the same name can be read at https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/that-you-might-be-children-of-your-father/
Are you a Calvinist?
Dean, I don’t fit in the pigeon holes of men and I have never studied their theologies. I just read the Bible and believe what it says as the Spirit teaches me.
Yes I have had a lot of experiences lately putting his love into action out of my life even though by my own feelings I wanted to kill those people who irritate me..another incident poped up where my daughter in Florida started asking me for money and so because of my God compelling love for her I sent it and even asked my church to send her some..then my ex-wife called me and said I should not send her any because she is just drinking booze with it..so I went to my church and said I will pay you back for the money you sent her..they said no we sent it by Christs love..then I asked the father what I should do and he said keep sending her money for both you and the church are showing her my love and you let me worry about how she spends it..wow what a loving God we have..I just wonder what my ex will think..oh well mabee she will get infected.
Thanks for you transparency, Kenneth. I have been told by the Lord to give with the same kind of answer… they might not use it for what WE intend, but if God told us to give to someone, it is better to obey Him than to fear what they will do with it. I will be praying for your daughter and ex-wife.
Thank you for the post. I do pray for the heart of Jesus as you encouraged us to do. I, too, consider that the Christian response of returning evil with good could well be good for nations to practice. From what I read and hear, I have to conclude that our carnal weapons are losing the war on terror.
Love in Him,
I agree, Pat. I am glad to hear you are praying for the heart of Christ’s love in you. Before I knew the words of Jesus and His heart for all men, I fought in the Vietnam War. Now that I know HIM and understand His great love for all, I will never take up arms against a man again.
See our article, “My Servants Would Fight.”
Yes brother, this is getting to authentic and genuine love in Christ. To love our enemies. To truly extend His heart of love, toward the enemies of our beloved Christ. This perfect inward action of love, is the perfection He commands. Those sowing to the flesh SHALL from the flesh reap corruption, those sowing to the Spirit, will, from the Spirit, reap eternal life experience. Father said to me the other day, “:our (concept,viewpoint,calculated conclusion) as to what LOVE is, is critical”:.
God’s lovers in Christ would be beheaded though. This is a high calling in Christ. They certainly wouldn’t thank us and return that love. I would only expect misunderstanding, hatred, rejection and violence, for this is what Saul was abiding in. Great post Michael!
Thanks, Russell. It is good to hear that Father has been teaching the same things, my brother and neighbor! Love is the command of Christ for those who are IN Christ. What our enemies do is between them and God. I happen to believe that Love won out in the life of Paul, though it might have cost the lives of a few saint. Imagine the impact of the stoning of Stephen had on him… to hate and kill one who’s face shown with the glory of God while defending a religion who’s glory of God had gone out hundreds of years prior. Thanks for your input, my friend.
Amen! Let us love one another as He loves us. Indeed, a very well written and God-inspired entry – as always, Michael.
BTW, I just discovered that you had already posted another blog with exactly the same title on January 18, 2013 (https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/that-you-might-be-children-of-your-father/) Just for info, bro… 😉
Thanks Susanne. You’ve a better mind than I, Gunga Din! 🙂
I thought that sounded familiar. The first one was a bit more personal and not as in depth as this one so I made this article by the same name, “Part 2.”
Thanks for being a joint member with me in the Body of Christ… we need one another.
(Heb 11:32-34) “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
The Governments of men are run by the basest of men, including the USA. They go with the wind and have no clue what they should actually accomplish. If the Lord were not in control and all powerful, they would no doubt be far more reckless than they are. Us Christians should not uphold goodness that is skin deep or outward for appearances alone. I suppose that I could make an argument against some of the servants of God in the above scriptures, perhaps some one could criticize them who waxed valiant in fighting. To do good requires faith and the righteousness that comes from God alone, whether we decide to lie on the ground and let others walk on us or we decide to take a stand against evil, it should be by faith and in Christ alone. Who knows what a righteous person by faith would do if they were given the task of running the US Government – that isn’t going to happen, but who knows if they might by faith waterboard a few more of them people, than the couple the US waterboarded? Point being, we should really do good and be righteous and that requires faith and letting Christ live through us, not just appearing to be good and humble in the eyes of humanity.
Trihavc, Who would Jesus water-board? Who would Jesus kill? I once believed in “God and Country.” I was a practicing member or the John Birch Society after I got back from the Vietnam War. I eventually was filled with hate for the enemies of America and those I considered “subversives” among its people. When I unconditionally turned my life totally over to Jesus in 1970, all that hate and nationalism went away, for I was given a NEW heart and I was now a member of HIS kingdom, not the kingdoms of men.
We can live by Jesus’ words and the leading of His Spirit or we can live by our own self-justified designer Christianity as most of the American church does today… He gives us the liberty to do that, but the just shall live by faith, NOT the arm of the flesh or self-justification. The wrath of man does NOT accomplish the righteousness of God. There is a world of difference between the Old Covenant and the New. We need to see that that difference is the very Son of God Himself who not only told us how to live, but showed us also how to live and to die in the righteousness of the Father. Jesus warned, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25 KJ2000).
Thanks for your comment.
I have just read ” My servants would fight”. I am sure that I must have read it earlier, but most of it I had forgotten. It was such a comforting read. I was especially blessed with the commentary that the witness is in the second mile. Some how I had always read the going 2 miles as being a weariness to the flesh, not an opening for the gospel. I pray that my understanding will line up with my Heavenly Father’s. I pray that the blessing that I received with the reading will be instructive to my continual thinking.
Love in Him,
Oh, this is so true, the obedience of faith. For us to love one another and to be one the way Jesus and our Pappa are one, we have to receive Him who is love into our hearts every second of every day. Once we learn how to abide in Jesus alone, His life is a stream of living water flowing effortlessly from the overflow of Love filling our hearts.
Blessings dear brother XX
Thank you for this. Help me build up the Body by recording a blog about this! It could even be a couple minute video someone records with their smartphone. I really think we can encourage more people. If you feel that our Father doesn’t want you to use audio or video right now please let me know so I’m not wrestling against His leading for you. Thank you brother for shining the Light!
Shawn, I have never felt led to put a recording of my voice or a video of me on the internet. I only post what He gives me in the most simple fashion I can, I don’t like drawing attention to myself any more that is necessary. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men nigh.” He did not say, “If you lift up yourself, I will use you to draw all men nigh” as it is practiced in the churches today. I must decrease and HE must increase.
There are three of our books that others have made audio files of that can be listened to or ordered as CD’s on our website, though. if you are interested. They are all free.
Thanks for you kind comment,
As usual, I think there is something more here than meets the eye.
When I first read Dean’s comment, “Are you a Calvanist,” I immediately knew how you would respond Michael, not just because your response was wise or because I know you intimately, but because what you said in your post was true. I read the Bible too and believe what I read is true. Sadly, many who profess the name of Christ don’t despite what they say and claim.
The fact that God has chosen certain men is a fact of Scripture regardless if one claims that is to the exclusion of others. I find this to be a vital truth because it shows our salvation to be of God from beginning to end. In other words, I have nothing to boast about, just as I have nothing to contribute that does not originate in Him. That would include any manmade designation such as “Calvanist” just as it would “making a decision for Christ” being the primary reason I am saved today.
If I believe my contribution in any way saves or sanctifies me, than I am also likely to believe I can contribute to the ills of individuals and society based upon my own thinking and ingenuity. Where do these so-called “solutions” to problems originate from, such as “moralizing America,” and “defending America” with our own weapons of mass destruction?” They originate in the hearts and minds of men whose confidence lies in themselves and not in the Christ they say they serve.
God Almighty is the temporary defender of America and of any other country for reasons and seasons which rarely coincide with our own. Consider the passion the professed Christian world promotes the “conservative presidential candidate” despite God plainly saying in Romans 13:1 that every authority exists because it has been established by God. Obviously this has nothing to do with “liberal or conservative” and everything to do with the providential hand of God….yet few believe this.
Thank God that though few, the remnant God has chosen sees themselves not merely disconnected from this world and its moorings and trappings, but seated and abiding in Christ raised…..their true home at present.
Let this world and its confidence in self made solutions make their way, but O’ Christian, partake not of their warring ways among men, for your God has so much more for you, that you might prove through faith, action and genuine cross carrying love to be true children of your Father.
Michael F. thanks for your great observations and light filled truth you shared here! You wrote, “Where do these so-called ‘solutions’ to problems originate from, such as ‘moralizing America,’ and ‘defending America’ with our own weapons of mass destruction? They originate in the hearts and minds of men whose confidence lies in themselves and not in the Christ they say they serve.” I remember “The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” that put America on a war footing in Southeast Asia in 1964. It was granted by congress to President Johnson over an “attack” against our ships that never happened, so he could “save the world from communism” by bombing little old men on bicycles and families in their sampans and water buffaloes in rice paddies in South Vietnam. YES, I was part of that “war effort” I am afraid to say. We fought that war for 15 years, did it end communism? No, NOW the communists rule over the WHOLE area! 57,000 American lives lost and hundreds of thousands of Vietmanese were killed for what??? When will enough be ENOUGH???
As quickly as “Christians” are to take up the cause of war, I have to ask myself, are they children of their Father in heaven or are they of their father the devil who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning like the Pharisees and Saducees of old who killed Jesus, the Prince of Peace thinking that they were doing God a service?