Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Neccessity Of Clean Receptacles

No matter how often you take your garbage out, you will get the inevitable odor in your trash can. You will get the dreaded garbage juice residue that accumulates at the bottom.
You have already probably experienced this from your childhood until now.
I pray that you have never have to experience what i have, growing up with a few brothers and sisters. The nastiness of the unidentifiable sludge that somehow developed a mind of it's own, and decided to ditch past the trash bag, sliming it's way to the bottom of the can
It could only be a miracle of God that no one takes responsibility for doing, seeing or smelling these random events of evolution.
You can wipe it out. You can spray it all you want, attempting to mask it with some nice scent. You will only end up with scented garbage juice. If you grew up in a big city as I have, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. (Anyone else experience the sweet aroma of garbage trucks in the summer heat, picking up trash from supermarkets???)
The smell will ALWAYS seep through whatever you try to cover it with. The stench will always overpower the scent. Stench, much like sin, is caused by bacteria that thrives better under certain conditions. No matter how much you try to look clean and put together, the stench of sin will always reveal itself. Have you ever heard the saying "I smelled you before I seen you"? This plays out in our spirits as well. Sin is refereed to as a stench and associated with death, while salvation as fragrant and life.

Amo 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up to your nostrils: yet have you not returned to me, says the LORD.

Ephesians 5:2
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.

Mattew 23:27-28 
 27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also loutwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

The only way to get rid of the odor is to wash it thoroughly. Bleach is ideal. True salvation is the same way.  The sacraficial blood of Christ is the bleach that removes the stain and stench of sin! 

Revelation 1:5  
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first born from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Titus  2:11, 14
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all wickedness, and purify for himself a special people, zealous for good works. 

Accepting Jesus Christ's sacrificial death (atonement) cleanses us, (John 15:3
Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you.
) we begin the process of cleaning up our lifestyle (taking out the trash) without allowing the Holy Spirit to continue to cleanse us,  allowing the pruning process, the smell of sin will eventually fester, rise back to the surface and permeate.
John 15:2
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit.
Ephesians 5:26 
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Undealt with sin ALWAYS grows and never stagnates. Sin is not content lingering in a void. We may try to hide and mask our sins with bible verses and good acts (church attendance, choir, ministry, etc) but they will always be brought to light. Those who abide in Christ and  have discerning spirits can detect the stench through the perfume, the cover ups, those things we do EXTRA in our attempts to keep in the dark those things we do in the dark. 
Salvation does NOT end with acknowledging God and Christ as Lord and Savior: 
James 2:19 
You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

There needs to be an ongoing  renewing of our mind; a rewiring of what triggers us, we have seen, associate and accept as  "good",  "ok" and acceptable in life. Allowing the Spirit of God to reprogram our old ways! Yes, somethings may be removed immediately, but as with many in our Black communities, high blood pressure isnt just hereditary, it comes from our eating habits, economics and lifestyles. These things are not solved overnight. Indeed, we may receive a physical healing from high blood pressure, but unless we remove our food associations, triggers, it will return. 
There are things that we may not even realize have been detrimental in our lives. The reasons why, time and again, we find ourselves in the same or similar situation in life no matter where we physically relocate to, emotionally move on from or how old we have become.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ephesians 4:22-24
22 That YOU put off concerning the former conduct the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that YOU put on the new man, which after the manner of God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
There is an owness on our part that God requires of us. We have a responsibility to OWN and put to death those actions which have been factors in our condition! 
Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.
Col 3:5  Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, unsanctified passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry,
Many years ago my teacher, Sifu Steve Lee, told me this and i have found it to be true beyond all doubt: "people dont value what doesnt cost them anything."
There needs to be a continual, active abiding:
John 15:4-6
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine; no more can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not abide in me, he is thrown away as a branch, and withers; and men gather them, and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

We need to endure UNTIL THE END:
Mark 4:17
And have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they fall away.
Matthew 24:13
But he who shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

Our faith, abiding and enduring in Christ are all verbs. They are  continual and not once for all. Our faith can become stagnant. Stagnation becomes death. Dead faith is no faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God.
Read and seek the Spirit's discernment for James 2:14-26 and  Hebrews 11

James 2:14, 26

My brothers, what profit [is it] if a man says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, for it is necessary for the one approaching God to believe that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

We need to allow The Lord to guide is personally, as He wants to do. Not through the church, not the pastor's right or wrong interpretation of God's word. Jesus died to bring YOU  directly into communication and relationship with  God. Yes, we may be able to grow in our understanding of God in our fellowships with other  believers, but all right, true and good relationship become that way because of quality 1 on 1 time. Time alone with the person you are trying to know better, wanting to develop a stronger relationship. Its even more so with God! Unless you KNOW God's voice, direction and discernment FOR YOURSELF, you  will always be in danger of being led astray. So many church leaders teach a necessity of fellowship with the Church, people, ministries, but refuse to place proper emphasis on fellowship with God FIRST AND FOREMOST. It's the "give a man a fish...." analogy. Congregants are made to believe church attendance and submission to church leadership are requirments for salvation and/or to grow in Christ! 
This is only to ensure a steady stream of revenue. God does not require you to stay in relationships that dont glorify Him in your life. Valuing and glorifying people, church, and ministries is NOT synonymous with glorifying God!  You can have a great relationship with people, and never have one with God, or loose your relationship with God because you refocus on building relationships with people, money, power, etc. 
The Lord is not interested in lip service. Lip service does not honor God. This is real world relationship 101, isnt it? That love requires actions that support what we are being told. Doesn't even God show us His love for us in diverse ways? Yet, some have the audacity to say if our heavenly Father requires actions of love, somehow that makes Him selfish! The point is simply this: actions always follows passions, commitment, intent and priorities. You can tell a person's passion in life by simply watching what they DO most.  
Matthew 15:8
'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and they honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me.
Isaiah 29:13
Therefore the Lord said, Seeing that this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Just like all bible scripture, to understand this takes the Spirit's discernment,  spending time in mediation of His word fasting and prayer.

Ephesians 5:2 
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. 

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