Crystal Writes A Blog

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Drawing Nearer to The Lord


From Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

What a privilege we have to know who our God is and what He has done for us. What a pleasure He has given us to bless us with His presence when we bless Him with our praise. We often attribute the gates and courts with church attendance, but if we see His gate as the narrow gate of salvation, we find even more opportunities to enter with thanksgiving and praise.

In today’s Infinite Supply newsletter, the author speaks of what we find beyond the gate.

Infinite Supply Image for November Eighteenth by The School of Christ

Infinite Supply Image for November Eighteenth by The School of Christ
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original article at The School of Christ dot org website.

November 18

His Fullness

“Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
EPHESIANS 4:13

It is the FULLNESS of Christ that we are after, the revelation of Christ as He IN FACT IS. For too many Christians the Lord Jesus is “merely” their Savior. Thank God He is our Savior, but there is a depth and a richness bound up into the personage of Christ that goes far, far beyond “mere” salvation. Salvation is the narrow gate – coming into the fullness of Christ is the narrow path. The gate is only the entrance to something larger.

Source: Lord of All by Chip Brogden

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©1997-2013 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears. Share this message with your friends!

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Something larger; something bigger; something more. Most of us want bigger and more, and it is God’s desire to give us bigger and more. If we were satisfied with only a little, we may not desire or pursue a heavenly reward.

I remember some years ago trying to work with a nephew on the idea of the rewards of sobriety. I presented all the great possibilities a sober life could bring, but none of them worked. For every good thing I presented, my nephew told me he was satisfied with something less. Sleeping on a couch in someone else’s home, getting a ride in someone else’s car, never having anything of his own: All of these were acceptable to him. How can anyone argue with that?

Salvation is so much more than just a ticket out of Hell. Being saved is a gate we should all want to walk through, but there is so much more on the other side–both here and in Heaven. I’ve tried to use food as an example, comparing dog food to a steak dinner, but those who simply do not hunger or thirst for righteousness will often reject that too. They want to be saved because they don’t want to go to Hell, but the idea of filling their life with more and more of The Lord holds no appeal. I don’t get that.

The idea of having more of Yeshua and less of me gives me a reason to press on in this life. In his message called Drawing Near, John Bevere talks about Enoch as walking closer and closer to The Lord until he got so close that he just couldn’t stay attached to this earth any longer. I believe that statement is on the audio CD, but I recommend at least reading about the interaction between Adam and Enoch from pages 11-13 which you can read for free at Google Books. (The link will show you 11-12, but keep reading.)

I’ll close with the lyrics to verse three of song Draw Me Nearer by Fanny J. Crosby. It seems to perfectly capture the heart of longing to be in The Lord’s presence. May you find yourself longing to draw nearer to the fullness of Christ each day you dwell on this earth.

Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!

November 19, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Nonfiction, School of Christ, Slice of Life | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Choose Your Daddy


One of my favorite songs by ApologetiX is the parody of “Who’s Your Daddy” into “Choose Your Daddy.” J Jackson does a great job of imitating Toby Keith in vocals, and the song teaches a great lesson in a fun way. The video with this song is at the bottom of this post, and the lyrics are in the comment section if you view it at YouTube. Yesterday’s post mentioned not being able to eat from both a tree of life and a tree of death, now we get to choose who we want to lead and guide us to our provisions and destinations. Do we work for riches and believe they will be the answer to all our problems, or do we work as unto the Lord?

The choice comes out in multiple ways in our lives. Do we choose to care what our friends think of us, or do we choose to care what God thinks of us? Do we go for the good, or do we always make sure to go for that which is God? Do we seek miracles, or the Maker of miracles? Religion or relationship? God’s word or the doctrine of men?

As I prepared this writing, it occurred to me that if the love of money is the root of evil, and if we are not to strive to serve money, then prosperity messages that point to money as being the prosperity don’t add up. (Pun intended.) Biblical prosperity must mean something very different from money or God would be gifting us with something that sets us up for failure. Besides, if prosperity were about money, then how could people who live in countries where money doesn’t flow freely ever expect to receive God’s blessings of prosperity? And, if our country faces a market crash, will God’s children cease to be prosperous in His eyes?

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:1 that a good name is to be chosen over great riches. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:14 that he rejoiced in the ways of God’s testimony as much as in any riches. Riches are not necessarily bad, but we read in Psalm 62:10 that if riches increase, we should not set our hearts on them. Now, here’s what Chip Brogden of The School of Christ says about choosing which master to serve…

Infinite Supply Image for November Fifth

Infinite Supply Image for November Fifth by The School of Christ
Click on the image to open a new tab/window to view the article online and leave comments if you like.

November 5

Serving Two Masters?

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
MATTHEW 6:24

The context of this passage is talking about mammon (the love of, and the endless pursuit of, wealth). But the principle applies to everything else. There can only be one master in your life. You can only serve one thing at a time. You are not free to do as you please. Even if you say you serve no one, you are still serving Self. So which will it be? Jesus says if you love Him then you will hate everything else. What does that mean?

It means that you will allow nothing and no one to take the place of the One you love – not for a day, not for an hour, not for a minute. If our love for the Lord is strong then we will learn to hate everything which competes against Him. We will despise anything that seeks to hinder our relationship with Christ.

Source: Embrace the Cross by Chip Brogden

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©1997-2013 TheSchoolOfChrist.Org. Permission is granted for non-commercial (free) distribution provided this notice appears. Share this message with your friends!

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I love the author’s point here that there can only be one master at a time for you to serve. Trying to serve more than one would be like trying to play on competing teams, or serve in competing armies, at the same time. As Chip teaches, we learn to hate everything that competes against Yeshua. Even if that competition shows itself within the church, be it in evident sin or the apostasy we’re warned about coming into to us unawares, we need to watch. If it competes against our Lord and His truth, we must reject it and turn only to Him. Micah 3:11 puts it this way in the New King James’ Version

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.”

And while this sounds like it should be talking about a group that doesn’t know God at all, unfortunately, it is talking about priests of the house of Israel. Of course, we know from Torah study that God warned of those days, but it’s still painful to read about these blind people who work miracles for money and then claim it’s the Lord.

The good news after all of this is to put everything in a category. Does it draw you and others closer to God or farther away? If it draws you to God, and if it helps you draw others to God, then choose it over those things that put a wall between you and your loving Savior. Avoid evil of any kind, and choose the Daddy that loves you and laid down His life for you.

November 6, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Nonfiction, School of Christ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking More Closely With God


Today’s reading is from Genesis 5:1-24. Somehow, I knew I might have some trouble writing in those chapters that deal with genealogies. This one is the genealogy of Adam. I know that bloodlines can tell us marvelous facts if we understand their study, and there will be some later on that I can comment on, but this one is not bringing me something easy of myself, so I’m going to borrow from a message I have on CD by John Bevere.

In the message, and in his book called “Drawing Near,” John Bevere brings up a point I doubt I would ever have noticed. The long lifespans at that point in history allowed many to hear Adam’s story of the days in the garden when he walked with God. Like a grandpa telling about the good ‘ol days, Enoch must have been the one that listened most intently. In John’s words:

Adam wept as he relayed his heart-wrenching account. “Enoch, I walked with Him….in His glory. The Creator of the universe, the Maker of all you see, walked beside me! He shared the infinite wisdom of His master plan, how He placed and arranged the stars of the universe with His fingers. Those very fingers created me as well as held my hand.*

He goes on to tell more about creation secrets that Yahveh likely shared with Adam, and it is powerful as well as sad because Adam gave up all that intimacy for the desires of flesh. John continues and talks about the effect these words likely had on Enoch:

The more Adam spoke, the hungrier Enoch became, until the passion overwhelmed him. He must walk with God as Adam had. He would not be denied.

And we know from verse 24 that Enoch walked so closely to God that one day he was there on the earth and then suddenly, he wasn’t. Scripture tells us that God took him. It’s like, one moment he was walking on the dirt and then suddenly, the dirt turned to gold.

I try to share my testimonies of both my successes in my service to God and my failures to Him. But this makes me want to focus just that much more on sharing my relationship with Him. I want to share Him in such a profound way that others will be like Enoch and become hungry to have an even deeper relationship. I, myself, want to feel that passion that overwhelmed Enoch and press in until I am walking so close to God that there will be little difference when He brings me to join Him at His throne. What a glorious way to live life whether it lasts 900 plus years or 90 plus years.

*Excerpt from book, Drawing Near, by John Bevere found at Google Books in the preview. Read the entire preview, or just the beautiful section about Adam and Enoch (on pages 11-13) yourself and let me know what you think. I would recommend the book and/or study set for anyone who wants to deepen his or her relationship with Yahveh Almighty.

October 3, 2013 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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