Time: By Clock or By Order

Is God’s “timing” based on a clock, or on our point of growth or development in Him?

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John 7:6 – Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

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One statement, or mind-set to which I often hear Christians refer, has to do with “God’s timing.”  The reference may seem innocuous enough, but in reality, it is, more often than not, an assault on one’s own faith.  When people say that someone will be saved in “God’s timing,” or healed in “God’s timing,” or one’s need will come forth in “God’s timing.”  It may have been spoken innocently, believing that Father is the determiner as to the moment something is manifest, but in reality, such a statement is most often an attempt to explain away the reason the manifestation of their request from Father did not come when they felt it should.  So they say, “It wasn’t God’s timing.”  Let’s take a look at what God’s Word has to say about that.

Let us keep in mind that Jesus ministered in the earth as a prophet under the Old Testament Law.  He referred to manifestations in His ministry as being connected to “My time.”  At the wedding feast of Cana where Jesus turned water to wine, He referred to the time element as “my hour.”  The Apostle Paul, in referencing time, spoke of a “time accepted,” and connected that related to the New Testament as “now.”  My point is a simple one.  While Father DOES move and perform mighty works, as did Jesus, and as does Holy Spirit, and when those works occur, they occur at some point in time, at a specific moment in time.  But that in NO way implies that it has anything at all to do with “God’s timing.”

The reality is that it is NOT a matter of “God’s timing,” but in our own preparation that would have us prepared to receive something when we need it.  Our problem is that most of us wait until we are in need of something before we begin to build our faith to receive it.  Then when we don’t get it right away, we lay aside the responsibility by saying it was not in “God’s timing.”  Once again, the issue is NOT “God’s timing,” but whether or not we have our own lives in order, having studied, prayed, exercised our faith, trusted Father, and stand fully prepared and ready to receive from Him that which He has already provided for us.  It’s not a matter of “God’s timing,” but in our use of time to be prepared to receive at the moment IN time when we have the need. 

Manna for Today – John 7:1-24; John 2:1-12; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 4:2; Mark 11:22-24;         John 14:12-14

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A Time to Refrain

Jesus, the Word made flesh, exemplified the love of God in perfection.

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John 7:1 – After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

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Let there be no doubt about it.  Jesus was the Word made flesh, He ALWAYS did those things that pleased His Father, which means He ALWAYS lived by faith in ALL He did, and walked in love, a lifestyle necessary to see one’s faith ALWAYS work. And that is the precise example of living Jesus set before us.  Now we are commanded to follow (imitate) Him in our earthly walk, and challenged with the great truth that we are not only to do the works Jesus did, but greater.  And yet, knowing we have been commanded to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” we read in our Text for Today that our prime example for how to walk in this life “would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him.”  Why would Jesus do such a thing?

I believe the answer is clear.  Think for a moment about Samson when he was approached by 3,000 men of Judah to give himself up to 1,000 Philistines to save the men of Judah.  Samson agreed, but he placed one demand on them.  Samson told the men of Judah that they should not “fall on him.”  He knew God would empower him to overcome the enemies of God’s people, but that He would NOT empower him to fight against or injure the men of Judah.  In the situation set forth in our Text for Today, Jesus knew the same thing.  He knew Father would deliver Him from the hands of enemies of the Jews, and that Father had a plan Jesus must fulfill for His people.  For that reason, Jesus would not walk among the Jews who sought to kill Him.  But what must we learn from this?

Men and women of God are set in ministry offices to serve the body of Christ, NOT to injure or hurt believers.  And regardless of how someone in ministry is treated by members of the body of Christ, he/she NEVER has liberty or right for revenge, or getting even.  The man/woman of God is called to walk in love.  We are told to live peaceably with others “as much as it lies within us.”  If there is something that would prevent you from peaceably walking with another person, you must avoid them in this earthly walk.  Samson did, Jesus did, Paul did, and so should we.  I have seen two extremes here; (1) the person who will avoid nothing, for they think themselves brave, but are in fact, foolish; (2) the person who runs from everything for they cannot, or will not, deal with conflict.  There is a time to stay, and there is a time to go.  Holy Spirit will guide you as to which you should do.  There is a time to do, and a time to refrain from doing.  Holy Spirit will guide you as to which you should do.  Obey Him. 

Manna for Today – John 7:1-24; John 14:12-17; 1 John 5:3; John 8:29; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 12:18

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Sure Belief

Raise your hands if you’re sure!

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John 6:69 – And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

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Song writers have published lyrics and music with this message. Men and women of God had proclaimed this message across our globe, many at the cost of their own lives.  It has been written in books, published in church bulletins and on church art works and banners.  One song that comes to my mind declares, “We believe in God the Father, we believe in Jesus Christ, we believe in the Holy Spirit, and He’s given us new life.  We believe in the crucifixion, we believe that He conquered death, we believe in the resurrection, and He’s coming back again; we believe.”  It’s a beautiful song, and while I’ve only written the chorus, it speaks volumes.  We in the church declare it again and again, and I am glad we do.  Still, the question comes to my mind, “Do we really?”

IF we have this “sure belief” of which the apostles spoke, would the daily conversation and words of our mouth change?  I’m not referring to foul language, cursing, or obscenities, but to the confession of our faith about every facet of our living.  IF we have this “sure belief,” would our daily activities change?  I’m not referring to places we go.  I don’t believe that Christians generally go to bars, houses of ill repute, or to parties that turn into drunken binges.  However, what I DO see in many believers is a seeming disregard or ignorance of the integrity borne by the Word of God.  It is not that we avoid drunkenness and debauchery, but that we become DOERS of the Word.  In many things in life, it is NOT what we DO NOT DO that people observe, but rather WHAT we do and HOW we do it.  In general appearance, activity, and speech, what sets the believer apart from the world?  Should we dress modestly?  Yes.  Should we participate in the doing of right things?  Yes.  Should we speak with different words, content, and intent in a manner of creativity, fearlessness, and giving of life?  Yes.  And such a life-style is only possible in an atmosphere of “sure belief.”

If one’s belief is sure, one should show that with sure action, sure attitude, and sure faith.  Put your full faith and assurance in Him you call Lord.  Jesus is sure, and your belief in Him will never go unfulfilled.  It will be tested; it will be tried; it will be tempted; but NEVER unfulfilled, undeserved, or unwarranted.  Hold fast to your profession of faith, without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful in your “sure belief.” 

Manna for Today – John 6:60-71; Matthew 16:13-20; Hebrews 10:23

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Where to Go

For the believer, this should never be a question asked, for the answer is always the Word.

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John 6:68 – Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

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Take a few moments to read the opening reference in our Manna for Today.  Jesus had just told a large gathering of His followers that to be a part of the kingdom of God, they had to “eat His flesh and drink His blood.”  I’m not sure if any of them truly understood what He meant.  For that reason, many of them, including His own brothers and sisters, and His mother, turned back from following Him.  Yet when He turned to the twelve, asking them if they would go, too, they stayed with Him.  Their question is stated in our Text for Today.

When asked if they, too, would go, they asked Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of eternal life.”  While they were not yet born again, and certainly not Spirit-filled, they did understand one thing for certain.  The life that was in Jesus, the life He offered them, the power of His works, and the mighty manifestations they saw in and through Him had their source in the Word of God.  They understood that these were the words Jesus spoke.  These were the words that raised the dead, opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, healed all manner of sickness and disease, provided miraculous multi-plication for provision, calmed storms, turned water to wine, and cast out devils.  It is for that reason they would not leave Him, though multitudes did.

What do you face today?  What issue is problematic in your life?  Is it sickness or disease?  By His stripes you were healed.  Is it some type of oppression or depression in your life?  He sent His Word and delivered you from your destructions.  Is it a financial battle you face, a pressing need in your life?  My God shall provide all you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Is it a need for divine direction for your life?  Holy Spirit has been sent to lead and guide you into all truth, to be you leader so that you, as a son of God, can know the steps you must take to please Him and walk in victory.  He has already given you His faith, faith that has been authored and finished by Jesus personally, and that comes and is fed in your spirit-man by the Word of God.  This is the faith that is required to please the Father, and it is the victory that overcomes the world.  As a child of God, it’s yours now.  Study it, learn of it, use it, and make it work for you.  Father is waiting.  And where to go to make it work?  To the Word, my friend, to the Word. 

Manna for Today – John 6:60-71; 1 Peter 2:24; Psalm 107:20; John 16:13; 1 John 5:4

 

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