According to this scripture, how are our souls purified? By obeying the truth. Not just going through act, but “through the Spirit”. What truth do we obey? Sincerely loving the brethren. Since we do this, we can love one another more fervently. The word “fervent” used is the greek word ektenos. Which comes from the verb ektenes meaning to “stretch out the hand”. Love is not a mental affection or feeling but is an action. You can’t quietly love a person in your mind and not share it. Love is not just words. Feelings are fleeting, but true love extended has a lasting effect(fruit) in the one receiving it.
Matt 7:24-26 Are we building on the foundations of men? Sand is the fine blend of many small rocksBut not one, or the blending of many of them, will sustain or is profitable for building the household of God. We must be learning(being built) on Christ himself. One who builds on sand and not on a Rock will be known by a lack of certain characteristics, as Jesus says in verse26 “But everyone who hears these sayings(see the previous Matt 5:1-7:23) of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand”.
Are we humble?
Do we hunger and thirst for Christ alone?
Do we hold grudges?
Does our heart condemn us?
Do we point people to God through Christ?
Are we hated for doing what’s right?
Do people know us for our humor and personality(our own salt and light) or for the Spirit inside us?
or do people say, “there’s something different about that person”?
Do we encourage the sin in others?
Do we speak ill of our brother without approaching them to reconcile the problem?
Do we lust after others?
Are we resisting sin unto bloodshed?
Are we causing someone else to stumble?
Are we making promises when we don’t even know what tomorrow will bring?
Do we resist any man in our actions,words,or thoughts,including those that hate us?
Are we boasting of the “good” we are doing?
Are we praying?
Do we fear God?
Are we mourning in our hearts?
Do we trust God with tomorrow?
Are we looking at a situation or thing justly, righteously?
Who do we serve, God or the things of this world?
Do we look for our meals weeks ahead, days ahead, even hours ahead?
Do we buy summer’s clothes when it’s still snowing, or winter’s clothes when the leaves are still green?
Are we seeking to be a part of His Kingdom , or are we a patriot for where we live physically?
Do we look at our brother’s faults before we look at ourselves?
Again, are we praying? Together with the body?
Does life seem smooth? Or are there obstacles(opportunities to pray!)?
Do we beware(call attention to) of false teachers and look at the fruit of their lives, not just the words that come out of their mouths and their presentation?
Does Jesus know us?
Are we building only on HIM?
Are we foolish?
Prov 23:26 My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways. 27 For a harlot is a deep pit, And a seductress is a narrow well. 28 She also lies in wait as for a victim, And increases the unfaithful among men. 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying:”They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?”
The church system seduces just like a harlot. It is like the wine that one becomes addicted to. It promises beautiful music, inspiring feel good messages, a comfortable setting etc etc. It looks so nice and “smooth” and meets one’s every need(type of music, childcare, “caring people”). But is it all worth it? It lulls people to sleep and keeps them drunk with another spirit, it destroys slowly but surely, while it pleads with one to drink more. Wake up!! It leads people away from the true way of following Jesus Christ and right into a deep pit. To follow the path of the “strange woman”(Proverbs c2, c5, c7) leads to death:
Prov 2:16 To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words, 17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God. 18 For her house leads down to death, And her paths to the dead; 19 None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life—
Prov5:1My son, pay attention to my wisdom;Lend your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge. 3 For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.6 Lest you ponder her path of life— Her ways are unstable; You do not know them.
Prov 7:25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths; 26 For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men.27 Her house is the way to hell,Descending to the chambers of death.
Follow Christ and not the systems of men that don’t resemble the pattern that the Lord has revealed to us in the scriptures. Come out and be separate from an institution that gives only mental assent and teaches a partial truth and does not walk and abide in the only Truth…
God freely gives us everything we need to know Him and to build up one another. How can we take those gifts and turn around to another person and ask for money and make a profit from that same gift? If we purchase from those who do this or okay their actions by saying “well, they are preaching the gospel so someone might be saved through it, are we not condoning their greed and disobedience to the LORD?
Matt 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Micah3:9 Now hear this, You heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And pervert all equity, Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity: Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, “ Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us.”
When any ounce of my being is lifted up
My Lord reminds me that it is with the meek with whom He will sup
When any praise swells my heart inside
My Lord reminds me that grace is given to the humble not the one with pride
My knees must be flexible and always ready to bend
As a sheep who is willing to let it’s Shepherd tend
Comfort comes from knowing that He with His staff and rod
Will lovingly train and conform me and lead me up the same Path He
One flesh shall be
One flesh not two
Loving His body
His body washed anew
His wife, His bride
His bride, knitted to His side
He is spent for her
And she for Him
What is the price that each one paid
Each invoice says “a complete sacrifice was made”
He feeds, He keeps, He warms, He broods
Like one with its young
Comforts her as a mother to her child
Speaks well of her, without no guile
Kindness rolls from His tongue
As Christ was and is and is to come
We as His “other half” in a clearer mirror should see
What our half to our other Half should be
(Mark 12:30, 40, 43-44,
Matt 5:3, 6:19-21, 25-34)
Two mites would have sustained her
For one more day
But with her mites
She gave her life away
Out of her nothing to give
She gave it all
Even as the dust
Forsaking the nothing
She did trust
No permanent dwelling
Or earthly family with which to live
But the Lord sustaineth
And in the Lord she remaineth
To the eyes of men
This widow was poor
But to God she had sought the kingdom
And she had riches in store