His Elect

(Ephesians 1:11-14) “We have also received an inheritance in Him predestined according to the purpose of the One who works out everything in agreement with the decision of His will,12 so that we who had already put our hope in the Messiah might bring praise to His glory13 When you heard this message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed in Him, you were also sealed with the promised Holy Spirit 14 He is the downpayment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory HCSB

Observation:
(Ephesians 1:4)For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be Holy and blameless in His sight. In love5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will..We know that His “Elect” were chosen long before the earth was formed, long before the creation of man (Isaiah 44:2)I knew you before you were formed (Isaiah 44:2a)This is the word of the Lord your Maker who formed you in the womb;..From eternity past to eternity future, Those who have lived out their faith and have been redeemed into the Kingdom. His Elect is one who is born Holy and blameless, a Nazarite in His sight (Num6:2)-he who continues to work out their faith

Essentially, this doctrine means two things:(1) Those who are genuinely saved are saved forever, and (2) those who continue in the faith are genuinely saved Daniel B. Wallace

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(2 Timothy 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I gave finished the race, I have kept the faith

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I WILL MAKE RECOMPENSE”Experiencing God’s righteous anger”

(1 Samuel 11:1-2) 1The Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all of your right eyes, and bring disgrace on all Israel ESV

Because of their insolence, their hearts began growing hard toward God and His commands, He allowed the Ammonites to invade and capture Jabesh-Gilead because like dogs return to their vomit, they had been returning to their old ways (Proverbs 26:11)
Out of desperation, they immediately attempt to make a treaty (strike a deal) with the Ammonites so that they might be spared from the sword.
This only showed their loss of all self respect, and willingness to compromise their virtues. This only angered God further, because had not broken covenant (with God), there would be no need to suffer such humiliation and disgrace (Jeremiah 14:10) Thus says the Lord concerning this people: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them, now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.
And, it gets worse,
[11:2b]The Ammonites weren’t seeking to put them to the sword, but to punish them and make them suffer. This punishment would be much more severe than death. Without their right eyes, the would be useless for combat, but healthy enough to remain subservient.
And so we ask, In what ways do I break covenant with God, and what is it going to take to keep me walking in His grace?

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THE REMNANT OF JUDAH; A call to “Repentance”

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(Zeph 1:12-13) And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men who settle down comfortably, who say to themselves: The Lord will not do good or evil. 13 Their wealth will become plunder and their houses a ruin. They will build houses but never sleep in them, plant vineyards but never drink their wine (HCSB)

Replacing God with our divisiveness,

God’s message to Ninevah is clear about what happens to those who place anything on the throne that is rightfully His (Ex 20:13)This is the same resounding message that was given to Adam in the Garden, and to Noah before the flood, And now, He’s about to release His righteous anger on Judah for their hardened hearts.

Though all need not be lost,

Zephaniah gives this second chance message of repentance and change so that “The Willing” might be spared from the impending judgement[2:3] This is our wake up call to take a look at our golden calves, the things we’ve placed on the throne. It could be fame, wealth, power, or maybe an addiction-Whatever it is, We need to repent of them and place the Lord back on the throne. Let us heed this warning:
[2:3] Seek the Lord, all you humble of earth, who carry out what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lords anger

Walking with God without taking a step

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(Psalm 78:8) And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God (NKJV)

Consider this,

As I contemplated this, I realized this can be taken one of two ways; Physically and spiritually. As I continued laying this out, I was led to examine what this looks like spiritually. “Indulge me”as I unpack this message. So, Is it even possible to walk with God, and not take a step, Having a faith in God so big, to let Him have His way with us. What does it look like to Have enough faith to say, “Lord, I give this to you, and trust that you will work this out for me.”

(Romans 10:13) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. WE WANT TO DO THIS ON OUR OWN, and claim the glory for ourselves, besides if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, Right? But, I’ve been doing this so long, I don’t know if I can trust anyone. Herein lies the problem, TRUST STARTS WITH SUBMISSION, The total surrender to God’s sovereignty.

But, Doesn’t God give us Free will to chose, to make our own decisions? Of course! (Psalm 81:12) So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, To Walk in their own counsels. He will even let you enjoy the fruits of your own devices. Maybe, We are like Israel, deaf to God’s word and wisdom. (Hosea4:16) “For Israel is like a stubborn calf, Now the Lord will let them forage Like a lamb in open country

What happens when we become beleaguered, when we fall flat on our face, and have nothing left to give? Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)-We can walk with God, without taking a step, And He will carry you! God bless

On Church Growth (Just an observation)

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QUESTION:

Can church growth be measured by the sudden upswing of visitors attending Sunday service? What about that recent expansion, and facelift to an aging structure? This is certain to attract new believers to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

AND LOOK! There are programs available to help fix and maintain these areas of church growth,

Smart Church Management’s (SCM) founder Patricia Lotrich help churches grow in areas of stewardship- managing resources like time, personnel and monies. Active network offers college courses on maintaining growth by evaluating your present infrastructure (Staff), Modeling health-Human mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual processes. They also teach how to do staff evaluations, document progress, and offer technological support. Surely, The church is growing, and we are capable of fixing ourself.
Truth is, We couldn’t be further off the mark-Our Accomplishments, and external efforts have taken precedence over the purpose of God’s church- Evangelism.

…since a church is a living organism, it is natural for it to grow if it is healthy…
If a church is not growing, it is dying…
(Rick Warren) “A Purpose driven church”

There is no “I” in church growth. Church Growth is “CHRIST CENTERED” (Acts 6:7) And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of priests became obedient to the faith. It is COLLECTIVE; We all have a place in reviving and nurturing the Holy Spirit for all who come seeking Him(1Corinthians 12:12)

The church is desperate need of a revival, a re-invitation for the Holy Spirit to come and take up re-claim residency; (Psalm 85:6) Will You not revive us again so that Your people may rejoice in You?

Would you pray with me; Lord, I empty myself of all distractions, that I may be filled with a humble spirit-Your Spirit. Renew my mind, O Lord, help Your servant to remain focused on doing my part in the revival of Your church. Renew my heart and make me a pleasing aroma to You, and a light to all who come seeking Your face. In Your mighty name I pray, And all in agreeance say, Amen. God Bless