During the Recent controversy between Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson and Various Corporations. Because of the recent public outcry, some of the Corporations have recanted their position and admitted they were wrong. I commend them for doing so, because in the beginning when some of these organizations began to “pile on”, they caused many including me to make a choice. I told my wife that I would not give business to anyone that denounced what Phil said. He was asked a question. He answered according to his faith and belief system. Every answer to a question is always subject to our beliefs, our convictions, our morals, our opinions and absolutes. Absolutes are what we view as Ultimate Authority. Christians view The Holy Scriptures as Absolute Authority. The Word of God is Final and Absolute Authority in the heart of a true believer. When we read the Bible, we do find strong rebuke and warnings. We find that some things are abominations in the eyes of God. Since we Believe Him and His Word, we too have to embrace His Teachings and Admonitions to repent and put off works of darkness. Even The Apostle Paul said that some things will not enter the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6: 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulters, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall enter the kingdom of God. 11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
We also find many other scriptures that tell us that God hates some actions and behaviors of some and commands all men everywhere to repent of their sins. Jesus said except we repent we shall perish. Sin is sin and sin must be dealt with and repented of. None of us can cast stones at another, because we have all sinned. We were born with a nature to sin. No one had to teach us how to sin, it was in our members.
Paul would be considered too direct and offensive in today’s society. Remember he was speaking to people that had been delivered and changed through conversion. Just like John the Baptist, he preached against sin. Some didn’t like what these men said. Some didn’t like what Stephen said in Acts 7. They stopped their ears and ran upon him like a pack of wild dogs. They resisted the truth preached to them. They gnashed him with their teeth, they stoned him to death. Some will come to the light and others will hate the light because their deeds are evil.
Let’s face it, many will reject the Truth and some will speak evil of the truth. It is the truth that will make us free. Only the Truth of God’s Word will liberate an individual and change our destiny. These men didn’t preach to rub peoples noses in it, he preached out of love. They preached to save souls and bring men to repentance. One of the problems we face in our world today is there are some that want to censor what Christians believe and say. There are those who want to broadcast and enforce their beliefs on others but they don’t want anyone else out there to have a say about God. The Bible tells us that God chose Preaching to save the World. How can men believe on God when they haven’t heard? Faith in God comes by hearing the Word of God. How can we hear without a preacher. Remember God chose preaching to save them that believe. Many want to censor what is being said. I do feel that what we say should be said in kindness, love and mercy, however, we cannot be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. If we are ashamed of Him He will be ashamed of us. If we deny Him, He will deny us. A very popular Television commentator even took a stand and said how wrong Phil was. I normally like what this commentator has to say, but on this He was totally wrong. Phil was asked a question and the question needed t be answered. Why is it that everyone wants to silence the Christian Voice. Watering down the Gospel will have no one. The Bible speaks for itself and will judge us all. If we are wise, we will listen and obey.
We must understand that Phil was most likely baited. Baiting has been going on for a long, long time. They did it when Jesus walked among men. The Pharisees, and Lawyers, known to be haters of Jesus, would often try to trick Him into answering a question that would place Him in disagreement with the Law of Moses. They stood in every meeting, listening, critiquing, and criticizing His every word and deed. They would ask Him questions to try and trap him. The motives of their questions were not because they were hungry for truth. The motives were, simply they hated Him for His words and Preaching.
These are my thoughts based on Knowledge and Faith in Jesus Christ. God weighs the spirits of men.
Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be slated? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to e trodden under the foot of men.
Jesus used the allegory of salt in his comparison of a believer. Salt is essential, so is a believer. The Human body needs and is dependent upon salt. Salt is a part of the Human cell make-up. We need a certain amount of salt to exist. Salt makes things taste better. Salt heals and cleanses, salt is involved in the manufacturing process of many items and chemicals. Many of Napoleon’s Troops died in their flight from Moscow because they ran out of salt and had no way to cleanse wounds that were treatable. Salt was used to cleanse and heal wounds. In days of old salt was used as payment, because it was so valuable and used in everyday activities. Salt makes people thirsty. Believers are placed in the world to cause people to desire living water. Jesus is that living water. When we project Christ to a needy world, when we live a Christian life and be an example of Christ Like conduct, we are witnessing Jesus to a world that cannot live in eternity without Christ.
When Jesus said to His Disciples, “You are the Salt of the Earth.” He was including believers today in that description. The life we live should be an example of faith, charity, friendliness, hospitality, mercy, kindness and longsuffering. As salt we should influence our world for the better. We should bring value to a world that needs the Righteousness, Peace, and Joy of GOD. The Bible tells us that because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. Our world is filled with skeptics and contempt and mistrust seems to reign in the hearts of men. Truly Jesus was telling us of a time that iniquity, sin, evil, perversion would make men’s heart not only fail but become hardened due to the deceitfulness of sin. Men are wary and untrusting, men are becoming calloused and filled with mistrust. Truly we that follow and profess Christ are called by God to bring value and contribution to this world. As Christians we should work overtime to smile, wave, be friendly and always seek through prayer and open doors to bring savor to a world that needs salt.
Paul said the live I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Paul was speaking of the Sacrificial Service of Jesus Christ. He was speaking of a life that was about serving others. Paul went everywhere influencing others to seek and serve Christ and their fellow man. Christians should live for Him. Christians should lead others to Christ. Be kind, be courteous, be gracious, use the value that Christ said and never lose your purpose.
Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1 Peter 2: 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
You are Worth Your Salt in Jesus Name.
Influence can be used for good or evil. Jesus influenced Philip and Philip influenced Nathaniel. Jesus influenced Matthew the Tax Collector and He left his government job and became a fisher of men. Jesus in a short period of time influenced his Disciples and after His death, Burial and Resurrection, He baptized them with the Holy Ghost and Fire as prophesied and they turned their world upside down. They went everywhere influencing men and women to turn their heart to God and Repent of their sins. Their message didn’t stop at Repentance; they Influenced men and women to be Baptized in Jesus Name and Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Power of the Holy Ghost is given to influence our lives for the good. It reproves sin and guides us into all truth. The Holy Ghost influences us to live an overcoming life. We are more than conquerors through Him that Loved us and gave Himself for us.
He told his followers to Follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Making is a process, it doesn’t happen overnight, there are no short cuts, Discipleship is a daily submitting ourselves to His will. Paul said, “I die daily.” That means every day he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. Jesus said that if we do not deny ourselves and take up our cross daily, we are not worthy of Him. Living for Christ is a daily walk. It is an ongoing seeking and praying and growing in The Grace of God.
A lady one day told me that salvation is free and I replied yes but Discipleship will cost you everything. The Lord told the Rich Young Ruler to go and sell all that he had and follow him and then he would have treasure in heaven. The only way to have true treasure in this life and in the life to come is to follow Jesus. Just as Jesus was led out into the wilderness to be tempted, we too will go through lonely places, difficult places, time of sorrow and suffering.
It takes a lifetime to make a saint of God. Rest assured He is doing a good work in us and is determined to complete it. Sometimes He allows us to follow Him in Suffering. Sometimes we follow in pain and sorrow, sometimes we follow Him through the Valley of the shadow of death as David said. In this life we will suffer tribulations, but Jesus told us to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. He assures us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us in through the fire through the flood and through difficult times. The Bible assure us that if we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him.
Turn your life over to Jesus, seek to do His will. The Bible tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give you the desires of our heart. What this means is, when we really delight ourselves in serving Him, Submitting to Him, Surrendering to Him, we will be in alignment with Him and He shall direct our paths. When you are in agreement with God, it will no longer be about you, it will be about Him. “Not my will, but thine be done.”
The Scriptures tell us that influence is a powerful thing. As humans we can be influenced for good or evil. I have known people who fit both categories. Call it, “hanging around the wrong crowd” or “running with the wrong crowd,” or even “misery loves company.” People are influenced by those they associate with. I have known people that greatly messed their life up by simply choosing the wrong company. A young man that I went to High School with, lived in the same town, we played basketball, Baseball and football together. In his senior year in High School, he ended up in prison because he accepted a ride on a Friday night with others. Things went really bad; a store was held up and a man was shot. This young man would have never done this on his own. He spent quality years in prison because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Bible does tell us that evil communication corrupts good manners.
One of King David’s sons; Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. Jonadab empowered Amnon with suggestions, when lived out caused a grievous sin to be committed. He raped his sister and this sin soon afterward cost him his life. Again, Evil communication corrupts good manners.
I have known many individuals that listened to the wrong voices and later suffered greatly because they did things that brought shame and reproach. It is so critically important that we allow good influences into our lives. We have to make hard choices and purpose in our hearts that we will not allow things or people to influence us negatively. The Bible tell s us that Iron sharpens iron. It has been said that if we want to be successful, hang around successful people.
Eve was negatively influenced by the devil and lost paradise. Resisting temptation to do evil requires watchfulness and diligence. We must purpose within our hearts not to defile ourselves just like Daniel did. Sure there were those that went along to get along. Daniel made a stand to not defile himself. As Christians we have to make good decisions and purpose within our hearts that we are going to do that which is right. That means that we will not entertain suggestions and ideas that are contrary with the Bible.
Joshua said, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Joshua challenged the people to make up their minds, don’t be double minded or unstable. Make a Choice, Make a Consecration and move forward.
Paul said follow me as I follow Christ. Certainly, He influenced numerous individuals. He was determined to forget things left behind and reach forward unto worthy goals.
Paul influenced Aquila, and Priscilla, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Philemon. Even while in Jail for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, He influenced the Philippian Jailer and the Philippian Jailer and His Family heard the Gospel, Repented and were baptized that very night. Influence is a powerful thing. Jesus said we are the salt of the earth. Salt flavors, enhances, and preserves. In other words Salt has influence. Don’t lose your saltiness. Make good decisions and be faithful unto God. Walk humbly and He shall sustain you.
Paul influenced many for Christ. Let us do our best to love people and influence them to serve God. We will rejoice when we do so.
Genesis 1 opens with God moving upon the face of the deep. In Lesson 1 we discovered that Genesis 1 and the creation is a mirror of what happens in New Testament Salvation. For an individual to be saved, it will take a sovereign act of God’s Spirit moving upon the darkness, chaos, confusion, emptiness and waste to transform the human heart. Only God can create and change the human heart. In Salvation He transforms our hearts and makes us new creations in Him. Only God can change the desires of the heart. If God doesn’t move man has no hope. On the day of Pentecost God moved and filled that place with His Spirit. He empowered the believers in the upper room to become His witnesses. We need a move of God in our lives. That starts the process of Salvation.
In Lesson Two God Spoke. When He spoke things began to happen. As with Salvation, man needs the spoken Word of God to be saved. The Word testifies of a patient, merciful and Gracious God. The Word builds faith and gives hope and begins the process of creating us into His likeness. The Word is quick and powerful. The Word of God is Creative. It makes alive. It transforms and builds faith in God.
The Third thing we see is that God said let there be light. There is no life without light. Every living thing needs light. The Bible tells us that many will come to the light and there deeds will reproved. Light illuminates and reveals. Jesus gave us a parable about the widow woman that lost one coin, she lit a candle and swept and searched until she found it. Light was needed to find that which was lost. Man is lost without God. He is in darkness, but when light come forth, if man will approach the light and appreciate the light, he will be changed by the light of God’s presence. The Bible tells us that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. The Light of the Gospel has shined in our hearts to give witness that we serve a God that loves us and gave Himself for us. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was the light. Some approached the light and some refused the light because their deeds were evil. What are you going to do with the Light?
The Book of Hebrews Chapter 6 Verse 1 and 2 clearly reveal that these foundations once established are settled and are never to be altered or ignored.
Hebrews 6: 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of dead works, and of faith towards God, 2. Of the doctrines of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
In the Next few weeks I want to briefly address all of the foundational doctrines of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, because we must be built on this foundation. A foundation is one of the beginning and most important aspects of any building. As in Matthew 7:21-27 Jesus said that a wise builder will dig deep and lay his foundation on a rock. He went on to say that when a person hears and does what He says this person is a wise builder. A wise builder pays close attention to the details of a foundation.
Matthew 7: 21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
I think in today’s society, that it is important for us to hear what Jesus and His Apostles tell us because The Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief Corner Stone. If we build on any other foundation our house will fall and the losses will be eternal. If we do not love God enough to hear and obey his word as a wise builder, how can we be saved? How can we please God? How can we be a wise builder? Jesus said he that heareth and doeth them is like a wise builder.
The foolish builder ignored the importance of a foundation, he actually bypassed the most important part of his building, the foundation and his fall was great. The storms came, the winds blew and it beat vehemently upon his house and the fall of it was great. The wise builder, hears and does. In other words he acknowledges the importance of the Word of God in his Life and he submits himself to the Authority of God’s Holy Word.
The Psalmist said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light into my pathway.” The Word will judge us today or it will judge us on the last day. It’s better for it to judge us today than the last day. Rest assured we will all give account. The next few weeks I am going to teach you how to build effectively. I am going to show you the importance of a foundation and the things we must incorporate into our lives.
Be a wise builder, hear and do what Jesus says. Remember there is no other foundation that will suffice.
Hebrews 12: 23 To the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, which are written in Heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
The Book of Hebrews tells us that Mt Zion is a place where The spirits of Just men are made perfect. Perfection is a controversial subject. It seems so unobtainable and unreachable for humans. When we consider man and what sin has done to man’s life and the world, it is beyond comprehension that man could ever achieve this status. Perfection seems a million miles away, so distant and removed from man. We read of all have sinned and come short of God’s Glory, all went astray, all have transgressed and there is none righteous, no not one.
Perfection is a requirement from God. The LORD told Abraham to walk before Him and be Perfect. He instructed Israel through His Servant Moses to walk before Him and be Perfect. Jesus said that we are to also be perfect as our Father in Heaven is Perfect.
Let us understand that man within himself can never achieve the state of Perfection. Knowing this helps us to look beyond our self and look to another. We are to consider Jesus. He was tempted in all points yet was without sin.. He conquered sin. He was tempted, yes but overcame sin in the flesh. He is the only Perfect one. He alone triumphed over sin. Because of His Victory He allows us to enjoy Victory through Faith in Him. Faith, pleases God and causes God to be entreated on our behalf. The scriptures even tell us that because of Abraham’s Faith, GOD accounted Him Righteous. He actually imputed Righteousness upon Him. Imputed means to ascribe, to attribute, accredit or to count as or consider. When we have Faith in Christ, His Life, His Holiness, His Grace and His Sacrifice, we are counted as being righteous. It not by works that we have done, but it’s does come through faith in what He did for us. We have Faith in His Sacrificial Life, We have Faith in His Holy Blood that He shed for our sins. We have Faith that when we call upon Him he hears, forgives, covers, removes and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Our Perfection can never come from us. He is our perfection and we are made complete in Him. Glory to God in the Highest. His Life, His Blood, His Victory, His Name, and His Spirit empowers us to become the Children of God through Faith. We are justified through faith in His Name and by His Spirit. Just men have been touched by God. Just men have tasted that the Lord is Good. Just men have been partakers of His Heavenly Gifts. Just men have a desire to please God and walk worthily before Him. Just men have a desire to please Him. We are justified by having faith in Him.
There are different stages of Perfection. An apple, even in it’s earliest state, is as perfect as it can be even before it ripens. As it grows and develops, it is in a process of maturing. The Christian is the same way. By faith we follow Jesus. By Faith we humble ourselves, deny ourselves and take up our cross daily and follow Him. He said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Making is that process of growing and developing. This is where the Church comes in. The Church is like MT. Zion, The Place where the spirits of Just men are made perfect. Stay in the Church. I the Church there is safety, there is the opportunity of continued and further growth. The Church should never be taken lightly. We must Grow and Develop, We must mature and gain knowledge. The Church is our Safe Haven. It is a Strong Tower, a Place of refuge from the storm. We are called to perfection. Perfect Peace, Perfect Joy, Perfect understanding can only be achieved in the Church.
Walk Before God and Be Perfect. Stay in Church, Pray to Grow, Pray for Wisdom, Pray for Guidance, Pray for Peace. Pray and then Pray some more. Pray to be conformed into His Image. It really is all about Him, His Will and not ours. If we are holding onto our will, we need more Work. Paul said, “the life that I now live, I will by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Keep Fighting the Good Fight of Faith. God designed the Church to get you there. She is Mt Zion, the Mother of us all.
We have previously discussed that a dispensation is a time of stewardship. We also know that the following Truths seem to be evident in each of the dispensations we have previously discussed.
A steward is required to be faithful. There is a reckoning day at the end of each dispensation. God is faithful and merciful to forewarn of impending judgment. Judgment will come.
The First dispensation - Innocence, ended in judgment. Adam and Eve lost paradise.
The Second dispensation – Conscience, ended in Judgment. The Earth was destroyed by the flood.
The Third Dispensation – Human Government ended in Judgment. The Tower of Babel and the disbursement of the masses by confusing of their languages.
The Forth Dispensation – Promise ended in Judgment. The descendants of Abraham became comfortable in Egypt and became slaves. (A Type of Worldliness and Sin)
The Fifth Dispensation of Law is where God delivered The Israelites from Egyptian bondage and was bringing them into the Promised Land that He swore unto Abraham. The Law was given to Moses which contained not only the Ten Commandments but also Judicial and Ceremonial laws that were designed to Govern Israel as a Nation of God’s People. God demanded Righteousness. The Apostle Paul said the Law was a School Master teaching us, and warning us of Sin. The Law provided substitutionary Sacrifices for the sins of the People. However the Law did nothing to change the real problem of man and that was the Deeply ingrained nature to sin. By Nature man was formed by sin. Sin ruled over him as a hard taskmaster. Sin had it’s ugly grip upon the life of man. The Law provided the substitutionary sacrifice that when man offered the sacrifice by faith, God honored man’s faith and rolled his sins ahead, or in other words delayed judgment. The Scriptures tell us that when the fullness of time was come God sent forth His Son. This son was actually God manifest in the flesh for the purpose of reconciling the world unto Himself. He became one of us. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh but He knew no sin. He conquered sin in the Flesh. The Law ended in Judgment and that is when God himself as the substitutionary Lamb took upon himself all of our sins and transgressions. He nailed the handwriting of ordinances that was contrary against us and nailed them to His Cross.
Christ died for the ungodly. He died for each of us. By nature we were the children of wrath. We were aliens and foreigners to God Kingdom. By Nature we were sinners, born with the nature to sin. Sin was in our members. God so loved us, that he took our place. We were guilty before God. Sin polluted us and stained us and made us unholy, unrighteous and unworthy, but God commended His Great Love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us. His Blood was shed to make an atonement for our souls. The Law ended at CALVARY, when Christ was Judged for us.
The sad thing is that Many in Israel rejected Him and Slew the Lamb in their ignorance. Their Messiah came to them and they did not perceive Him. They rejected hima dn asked the release of a murderer instead. The terrible tragedy that followed was that within one Generation Israel would be overthrown by the Roman Army and Their Temple was destroyed. That Generation did not pass until Judgment fell upon the Nation of Israel. So it is with those who reject GOD and His Great Plan of Salvation, which We will discuss in the Next Dispensation.
The First Dispensation was Innocence. Man lost his innocence in the garden due to disobedience and paid the terrible price of sin.
The Second Dispensation was Conscience. Man violated his conscience because of his rebellious heart. He suffered the wrath of God in the flood.
The Third Dispensation was Human Government. Man, again suffered the consequences because of his rebellious heart. God judged them by confounding their languages.
The Fourth Dispensation was Promise. God gave a Promise to Abraham and His Descendants. He promised that He would bless them and make them a Great Nation. He promised that He would be their God and They would be His People. With the Promise was the Inheritance that He would give them the Land where they dwell today. The Greatest Part of this Promise was that Through Abraham’s seed would all families of the Earth be Blessed. Of course God was Speaking of the Seed of Abraham which was Jesus Christ. Any family is Blessed which Knows the Savior of the World. He is the Only Savior. Jesus is the only Way to Heaven. We must have Faith in Him.
With the Promise God Gave ot Abraham, God said that He would make of them a Great Nation. The Reason why God chose Israel the smallest of Nations was for all the world to look to them and know that there is no God like their God. A Holy God, A Rightoeus GOD, All Powerful, All Knowing, Wonderful in all His ways. As long as Israel walked with God they knew the Blessings of God, but when they rebelled and turned their hearts from God, they were judged.
We all know the Story of Joseph and His Brother’s, who hate him and did mischief. They sold their own flesh and blood as a slave because they were envious of him. God used Joseph to save them from Peril and The Famine. The sons of Israel suffered greatly even through their offspring, because when they temporarily went to Egypt, they stayed too long. We must remember that this world is not our home. Another Pharaoh arose that did not know Joseph. That Pharaoh made them slaves and appointed taskmasters over them. They were in Egyptian bondage for 400 years.
The Promises of God are in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. God expects His Stewards to live right and treat each other right. When we fail we will suffer the consequences of disobedience. We must view and appeciate and live within the blessings of His Promise.
Next Week, we will Study the Fifth Dispensation called The Law.
Luke 9: 51 ¶ And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Hebrews 12: 1 ¶ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. His Enemies awaited Him. Those that plotted and schemed against Him were joined together to kill him. Pain and Suffering, false accusation, would be his lot. He knew that He would be falsely condemned and judged in our stead. He set his face toward Jerusalem, means that he was determined to accomplish His mission, regardless of the pressures and hardness awaited him. Hebrews tells us that He looked beyond the suffering and shame because beyond the pain and sacrifice there was a reward. There was a Joy set before Him. That Joy would be the redemption of lost humanity. No wonder the Bible tells us that the Angels of Heaven rejoice when a sinner comes to repentance.
As Christians we will face persecution, but Jesus said be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. They that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of them all. We must be determined to finish our course. Determination is needed today. As believers we must keep our eyes upon the Lord and consider Him. He endured, we must also.
The Apostle Paul was Determined to endure unto the end. Paul was looking ahead. As believers we must have a vision of the Promised Land.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 ¶ Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Joshua was determined to live for God regardless of what others did.
Joshua 24:15 ¶ And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
We too must be determined to endure unto the end. In this life we will face opposition and frustrations. When we set our face to go forward we surely will.
Be Determined to finish and accomplish the will of God in Your Life.