To Judge or not to Judge this is the Question

Recently after watching a TV commentator speaking on the Phil Robertson “Duck Dynasty” controversy he used Matthew 7:1 as proof that no one can judge one’s poor behavior, ethics, morals and values: the “judge not lest ye be judged” verse. This verse is incomplete from the context which further explains this verse found in the following verses 2-5 which is not speaking to not judging at all….it is speaking to not judging unfairly or any other selfish way. Let us read the rest….

Matt 7:2-5 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged [if we judge with an evil heart or dark intent, His judgment of us will reflect it; if we judge nobly with honesty and justice, His judgment of us will reflect that, too], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if we use extremes or exaggerations or other ignoble means, His judgment of us will reflect it and judging with fairness and compassion will garner likewise in His judgment of us]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye [point out his sins, “minor” in Jesus’ example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [our own sins, even and especially those we will not admit, magnified by our selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ [tell him of his “minor” sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in our own lives which we do nothing about or think we are above]? You hypocrite* [pointing out the sins of others while by pretense thinking of ourselves as above sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn and live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother’s eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin].” At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the Pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin.

We also find in scriptures His desire for us to judge,
• 1Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints [the saved; Christians] will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
• Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
• John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
• Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness…
• Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ…
• Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]…

Look at John 7:24. “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

There, Jesus tells us to judge, but to do so righteously. Righteously means to use the Truth of the Word to discern sins and not by appearances only.

In 1Cor. 6:2-3 Jesus authorizes us to judge or we could not discern good from bad, proper from improper, righteousness from evil. But judge behavior, not the individual; the deed not the doer; the choice not the chooser. The individual/doer/chooser is accountable for his/her deed/choice, but judge the deed/choice in your judgment. Jesus could see a king in a shepherd boy. And an Apostle in a murderer. So while we must judge one’s behavior we must try to nurture the goodness in an individual: to separate the deed from the doer.

So as believers we do have the right, authority and responsibility to judge behavior of others as we honor God and His Word. Jesus is the only one who can judge whether someone is or is not saved. We must also be careful that we do not fall into the mistake of thanking that “we are better” than someone else we are all saved by faith through grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and only in Jesus is our righteousness found.
Now real quick let me also state that in John 8:1, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” .
This was possibly the worst potentially damaging temptation the scribes and Pharisees ever presented to Jesus. Much of Jesus’ widespread popularity with the people was because of His examples of and teachings about God’s mercy and forgiveness towards sinners. This was received with great enthusiasm by the people who, before this time had been presented with only a harsh, legalistic, judgmental picture of God.
The scribes and Pharisees had often tried to portray Jesus as condoning or practicing sin by His association with sinners (Mt. 11:19; Lk. 15:2; 19:7) and His ministry to them (Lk. 7:39-50). However, Jesus had successfully turned every attack into a victory for the side of grace and mercy.
This time, the Jews felt that they had Him “cornered.” If Jesus held to His teachings of forgiveness (Jn. 3:17) and refused to stone this woman, He would be in direct rebellion to the Law of Moses (Lev. 20:10). This would give these Jews legal grounds to kill Jesus. On the other hand, if He stoned the woman as the law declared, the people would forsake Him and would be in violation of the Roman authority. It looked like they had Him trapped either way He went.
He did not condone the sin, disregard the Law of Moses or violate the laws of Rome. He simply told the one who was without sin to cast the first stone. As the Holy Ghost began to convict them of their own sin, they all had to leave. They, could not fault Jesus for not stoning the woman.

All behavior and thought that is sinful before forgiveness is still sinful after forgiveness. Not only was Jesus not afraid to call a sin a sin, He was not afraid to call a sinner a sinner. He even reminded her of the sin of adultery/prostitution by telling her “go and sin no more.”
Some are saying we need to be more tolerant. “Tolerance” has become the most abused and misused word in the English language. We can not redefine or conditionally apply His Word to fit cultural tolerance, political correctness, modern ethics or morals. It doesn’t matter if I am a believer or unbeliever, God is intolerant of sin and this is why He sent His Son to deal with Sin. God embraces the sinner but not the sin, helping us out of our bondages and loves us so much He is willing to tell us the truth about sin. Jesus didn’t argue the judgment on the woman caught in adultery, but show mercy, grace, forgiveness and will give us deliverance to become the child of God He purpose “Go and Sin No More.”
As Christians we must take the same position as Christ in that we can love, show mercy, grace, and extend help but we can not condone sinful behavior.

Covenant Relationship

Recently I have thought about covenant relationships and the new covenant that Christ has established with us and the Church. Pastor Mike McKinney and I served together on a pastoral team which strived for a New Testament expression of faith and practices. We would sit down and talk for hours together about the Kingdom of God and the dynamics of community life that Christ so desired amongst his children. We desired that the Church would come into a revelation of covenant lifestyle within the church and would begin to practically walk out the “one-anothers” of scripture.

What does it mean to be in covenant relationship with God? It means that we have repented of our sin and entered into thekingdomofGodthrough faith in Jesus as Savior. It means that we have willingly and whole-heartedly surrendered our will to the will and purposes of God. Out of gratitude for the gift of eternal life, we submit ourselves as servants of Jesus. A covenant is different than a contract. A contract focuses upon the exchange of goods or services. A covenant focuses upon relationship. It involves a commitment to another and service for the benefit of another. Marriage is the best human example of a covenant relationship.

Marriage is a voluntary covenant relationship, but once it is entered into, marriage involves certain responsibilities, privileges, and blessings. Marriage is a covenant because it involves the whole being, especially the attitude of one’s heart. It is rooted in a commitment to love, honor, and serve your spouse. It means putting your spouse’s interest above your own.

Likewise in the Church we enter also into a covenant relationship with one another as Christ has prescribed through the teachings of the “one anothers”. This is something that we do not hear much teaching on, and sadly, most of our Church gatherings resemble that of the contract agreement of “what can you do for me?” But if we enter a covenant relationship to commit to love, respect, honor and serve one another, and if we take upon ourselves the responsibility for the betterment of the community, so that my presence, talents, gifts and resources are made available to help build up and encourage the community which I have committed to help become more like Christ, how different the world would view the Church. This was what Mike McKinney had in his heart; to walk in covenant relationships. Mike strived to build into someone else’s life the quality of Christlike character that would glorify Jesus Christ. I saw so many times Mike going out on a limb giving someone help or the benefit of good will, desiring to see them succeed in the Kingdom of God and life. He would tell me if I must err, I will err on the side of grace. I miss my brother this season but I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit gave me the opportunity to have a covenant relationship with this man and walk in the reality of the “one another’s” of theKingdom ofGod. May our lives exemplify the humility of character, the heart that surrenders, and the hands and feet that assume the responsibility of the gospel of Christ.


Forgiveness to Freedom

In our Christian walk towards authentic New Testament community we will have to deal with hurtful situations; perhaps one may encounter attacks, be falsely accused of a wrong, presumed guilty by innuendoes, or, perhaps one may run into situations of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sadly, these attacks may come even from people we trust. When this occurs -and it will! – Christ prepares us to handle the issue of forgiveness towards others. Recently I spoke on the phone with an individual who had went through a church split and held on to unforgiveness towards a group of individuals who were instigators of the church division. He shared how for years he harbored the anger, resentment and bitterness for what they had done and even though they said “I’m sorry” it was somewhat causal on their part, and their actions did not necessarily line up with their words. But he himself was able to forgive them and be free from these inner torments that he had been experiencing. I feel there are so many that have not been able to work through the process of forgiveness or have not completed the process in the correct steps to find the freedom that Christ would have us to experience in him.

Forgiveness is a decision we make by an act of our will, “Colossians 3:13
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

We must choose to forgive by Faith in Jesus Christ out of obedience. This goes directly against our nature because we want to exact punishment according to the emotional pain we feel. But by faith as we submit to the Holy Spirit he will deal with the sin in our lives and the lives of others.

Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman who survived a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust, said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you.”

Please Understand I realize all too well how difficult a process this is to work out in our lives. Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.

It’s not a one-time choice and then we automatically live in a state of forgiveness. Forgiveness may require a lifetime of forgiving, but it is important to the Lord.

Another issue we must deal with is the sense of injustice that one may go through. When wrong has been committed we must go to the Cross of Christ and realize that I have done the same things to Christ and yet he forgave me. I understand some will come and ask for forgiveness but others will not; this is where we must leave this to Christ to handle knowing all hearts. He is a just God and able to work in a loving way to bring the necessary results that are needed.

Mark 11:25
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

I like what Jim Van Yperen states in “Confession Lessons”

“Forgiveness does not mean that the wrong is forgotten, however, or that the person who wronged you should be trusted, or even that there are no consequences to the wrong. Granting forgiveness to another releases the person to God and to others to work out vindication and justice. Forgiveness is not reconciliation; it is the first step toward reconciliation. For reconciliation to occur confession, restitution and a process of change is required.”

I believe a lot of people miss this principle that forgiveness does not necessarily constitute reconciliation, nor does forgiveness state that there is no consequences for the actions that have happened but simply states: “I release the person to God.”

Christ wants his Church to live free from hurts; how we choose to deal with them will determine our effectiveness for the Kingdom of God.

I have placed a link from Dr. Steve Highlander’s website entitled; “Freedom of Forgiveness” which has an outline that I believe will be beneficial to all seeking to be released from unforgiveness.

Building Blocks of Faith

So What’s Up with Justification?
Part 2

As an unbeliever or even a new believer in Jesus Christ we hear terms that just don’t make sense to us and why all the excitement over “Justification”. In Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Paul begins to lay before us God’s plan to have peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. The word “Justification” is what is needed to bring a right relationship with God. It is having right standing with God and to be declared righteous in His sight. This is something that is not earned by good works or trying harder to be a good person but only through the work of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Praise God! When I think of my messed up life of failures, weaknesses, selfishness and stupidity that through the work that Christ did on the cross acquitted me and by faith in Christ has placed me in right standing with God.

Justification by faith changes things for us in light of eternality. In Romans 5:1 it states, “We have peace with God”, verse 9 states “since we have been justified by his blood we have been”, saved from God’s wrath, we were reconciled to Him, and we have access to Him. I thank God that through Christ my relationship with our Heavenly Father is absolutely secure. In Ephesians 1:6-7, “to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”.

We now have access by faith (childlike trust) into this grace wherein we stand, “Good News” through the blood of Christ and the work of the cross. I have freely received the redemptive work of Christ not based on my works or efforts but faith in Jesus Christ. May we all come into this peace that has been purchased with a price on Calvary!

Building blocks of Faith

Part 1
Our Nature

Titus 3:1-8, 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

There is a term used within the Church that examines our nature call regeneration. It speaks of our spiritual change brought about in a person’s life by an act of God. In regeneration a person’s sinful nature is changed, and he/she is enabled to respond to God in faith. The word regeneration occurs two times in the bible Titus 3:1-8 and Matthew 19:28 and literally means to be “born again”. I’m afraid there are too many who profess that they are Christians, yet there is no change of heart.

When we are born again there is a radical change of mind, will and nature. In 1 Corinthians 5:17, This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! Wow, this regeneration that Christ does in and through us extends to the whole nature of man, changing a person’s desire and restoring him to a right relationship with God in Christ. So if we confess that we are a Christian but there is no change there is a serious problem. I know that before I became a Christian doing things that were wrong didn’t bother me or how they impacted others, but after I became a Christian and did something wrong I came under conviction of the Holy Spirit which really bother me until I came into obedience to Christ. So the question to us is, “Are you sure you have been born again?” it carries eternal consequences!

Favor of God

Romans 3:25 “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed”.

The Greek word hilasterion is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew kapporeth which refers to the Mercy Seat of the Ark. Hilasterion can be translated as either “propitiation” or “expiation” which then imply different functions of the Mercy Seat. The English dictionary definition of “propitiation” literally means to make favorable and specifically includes the idea of dealing with God’s wrath against sinners. Expiation literally means to make pious and implies either the removal or cleansing of sin.
The idea of propitiation includes that of expiation as its means, but the word “expiation” has no reference to quenching God’s righteous anger. The difference is that linguistically the object of expiation is sin, not God (that is, sin is removed, not God). Linguistically, one propitiates a person (makes them favorable), and one expiates a problem (removes it). Christ’s death was therefore both an expiation and a propitiation. By expiating (removing the problem of) sin God was made propitious (favorable) to us.
Praise God! In and through Christ I have favor with God, you have favor with God through faith. He has not only dealt with my present sins and future sins but my past sins with His blood. I’m clean, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins; … The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day; and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away. …”.

You have favor with God through Christ Jesus, rejoice!

Slave in Christ

Recently I sent out an email and often I end my letter with “Slave in Christ”. I was asked about my statement and how they where intrigued with this. When I was in Africa I was going through many trials and had sensed a change in my spirit that Christ was changing my direction of ministry, it was in Africa that the Spirit of God gave me a vision of Christ on the Cross and a personal Word that so impacted my life that when I came back I wasn’t the same anymore. I have come to the realization that for one to truly experience the life of Christ, one must surrender to the work of the cross in the believer’s life.

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Out of the six Greek words for “servant” used in the New Testament, Paul used one of the most slavish terms possible. The word used in this verse is “DOULOS” and comes from the root word “DEO.” DEO, means “to bind” (Strong’s Concordance). So Paul is literally speaking of himself as being a bondman or slave of Jesus Christ–a slave by free choice yet owned and purchased by Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The idea of being a love-slave by choice comes from Old Testament passages such as;

Exodus 21:2-6
“If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
“But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

When Israelites bought Hebrew slaves, they had to set them free in the seventh year. However, if the slaves loved their masters and didn’t want to go free, then holes were bored through the lobes of their ears, pronouncing them bond-slaves forever.

By the use of this word, Paul was declaring Jesus as his absolute Master yet indicating the idea of his expression of love and free choice to the one whom he served.

Now I realize that I have not attained nor maybe will never reach a heart level of total servitude and perhaps some might be thinking this is a goal that you are shooting for being a slave, but to experience the presence of God is a driving force in my life. I like how Paul put it in Philippians 3, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Slave in Christ

Transparency in the One Anothers

2 Timothy 1:7 says this about fear: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but God has given us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is not of God, but God has given us a spirit of love. God wants us to first connect intimately with Him, and out of an intimate personal relationship with God, His perfect loves drives out all fear, and we are able to have healthy relationships with others. The problem is, so many of us have not become secure in an intimate relationship with God; therefore, we fear transparency (removing the mask and revealing who you really are; getting beyond the surface to what is really going on in your heart) with other people.So many people I know are living with barriers to transparency in their lives because of past pain – and their pain is real. So many people I know today build walls of protection around their heart.
But look at what God’s love does to eliminate that fear. 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in in love . . . in love, but perfect love does drives out fear.” If we as the body of Christ are to connect as the Lord intended we must take faith relational risk. What are the rewards of transparency? In Genesis 2:25, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” There was complete transparency and openness of relationships between God and man, man and women only when sin entered into the equation was the hiding from open intimacy. The reward becomes freedom to love and be loved as God intended from the beginning. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” We must first start with intimacy with God though Christ, and He said, “the second most important thing is like it, to love your neighbour as yourself.” Let us walk in faith, letting the life of Christ to heal our hearts and recieve freedom in Christ to become transparent.

Memories of Maranatha Christian Fellowship

Fond Memories

Recently I heard that the Church I was once a part of has renamed and has chosen to move in a different direction. I was introduced to Maranatha Christian Fellowship back in 1980 and became a member in 1981. For 27 years I walked in fellowship with many and for 14 years served on a pastoral/elders team in the Fellowship. For the first time in my experience of the Christian walk I was impacted by authentic Christianity of walking out the gospel of Christ of not just listening to teachings but the day to day accountability of action through discipleship. One of the true values of Maranatha Christian fellowship was Love; now I know we all use terminology that might use the same words but love is an action which involves not only experiencing the spirit of Love but the love generated from the Body of Christ. We cared for each other and challenged one another in our Christian walk before God in honesty and integrity of heart. There was a sense of family, a community of believers passionate for God, His Church and His Kingdom. We weren’t afraid to be transparent, allowing our hearts to be known. It was a safe place to be real and allow our defenses to be dropped. We had Elders that met with us regularly to not only address our spiritual understanding of scripture, but helped us change in the development of our character. Such a man was Bud Curtis who invested 10 years of his life in discipling me in these things. Nothing was off limits; at any moment he had the right to dive into the topic of character. We did not want a superficial Christianity, we weren’t trying to impress anyone but God and so the drive to live holy was one of internal motivation. Elder Bud Colvin was instrumental in leading me in my studies of scripture and the expression of the Spirit filled life, always driving me to dig deeper in searching out Christ. I can’t even think of all the time spent sitting in Bud’s Upholstery shop as he worked and he would teach me the Word and making it become alive to me. Elder David McKinney helped me to see the Kingdom of God and my place, purpose and function in the Kingdom. I felt a duty to live a holy life, to seek out the lost for Christ. David gave me my first opportunity of sharing the Word with the body. I spoke that day on John chapter 4. I’m sure it was a simplistic word from their point of view but it was a major issue for me that opened the door that has resulted in 30 years of ministry. We recognized the priesthood of every believer (1 Peter 2:9), and that every believer is a minister of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18).

I was introduced to the moving of the gifts of Spirit and the functions of Christ’s ministry through his Body and here again experiencing first hand New Testament expression of faith in practice.

Many people don’t believe that the structure of government within the church is important, or they may have the idea that you can pick one that fits your style. But I have learned firsthand why Christ never established a “Senior” or “Lead” pastor over His Church, rather He established the plurality of Elders, understand this principle of the Headship of Christ concerning his Body. The Elders of Maranatha Christian Fellowship submitted their lives to the Holy Spirit and to one another and worked as a team to hear the voice of The Pastor Jesus Christ and to move according to their ability of gifts and talents in shepherding the Body.

Many in the community saw the Church as demonstrating the Servitude of Christ. We where a Church to the unchurched in our community, reaching and touching the hurting and lonely in our community with the love of acceptance. I remember an individual from another church stating, “You guys do what the Bible says to do in going to the jails, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, taking care of the widows and orphans.”

During my time as an Elder I learned what covenant lifestyle means: humility, submission to authority, servitude, being a team player and forgiveness are all a part of the structure of a New Testament Church. But the most valuable lesson that I have walked away with is this: It is one thing to preach the cross of Christ, it becomes another to be put into a structure where one must live the cross of Christ. Only then can one truly experience the life that is promised by Christ.

Maranatha Christian Fellowship was far from being perfect, but we lived by the values that we felt were important to the New Testament Church Pattern. I thank God now I can take these values, examples, and visions and plant them into Christ’s Church so that fruit will come in due season as we are faithful to labor for the cause of Christ. To those precious saints that have planted the seeds in our hearts we say thank you and we shall carry the mantel to the next generation of believers.

Extravagant Worshipper

John 12: 1-7, Mark 14: 3-9, 2 Samuel 6: 14, Hebrews 11: 24-27, Romans 8: 28

I read this article by Paul Critchley about being an extravagant worshipper and it coincided with what the Lord spoke to me.

“Ever wondered why you get a bit bored and distracted during church. Could it be our fault rather than the preacher or the worship band? Is it possible that we came to the meeting expecting God to bless us, instead of coming with a mentality of, ‘I’ve come to bring Him my love and adoration today’? To be an extravagant worshipper is to be worshipping God to the max.

When you or I come to worship, it’s our place to please God, not to analyze how good or bad the message was, or to judge the content or style of the music. It’s for us to recognize how amazing it is to have relationship with the King and to be prepared to go all out for Him without fear of what those around might think.

To love God extravagantly is to come before Him with the thought that whether I experience God’s presence or not, my sole purpose is to bring my love and adoration to Him, wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, too many times we base our decision to worship God or not on whether we feel His presence.”

The question I must ask myself about my heart is do I really worship God out of my spirit man or do I plateau at my soulish man (will, mind and emotions). This Sunday the Lord spoke to me this Word “with all of your being worship me”. All of a sudden I felt inadequate; it was such a deep word for me to enter into the thought (the deep ramifications of meaning) that I could be withholding something from my Lord or be so self absorbed in a fleshly worship or soulish worship that I had stopped at “giving” but expected “getting”. I believe the Lord wants to take us away from the superficial experiences of what we have called worship and take the body of Christ into the deep communion of the abyss of our beings. This I believe was the intent of Jesus to show the Church the intimate relationship he had with the Father and the commission of the New Testament Church to the World. Let us be like Paul in Philippians 3:8, What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

In my simple faith and not really knowing where or how, I am counting my experiences of worship in the past as dung and asking the Holy Spirit to lead me into a fresh expression of worshiping in Spirit and Truth. One thing I have realized never become satisfied with where you are at in your walk with God but pursue the heart of God.

Lets us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to be extravagant worshippers, where deep calleth to deep!