JohnSWilson3 Blog


Gathering Together as Family
December 24, 2011, 4:46 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

It is interesting how, during this time of year, and others like it, many families come back together, and enjoy a time of gathering together. We make it a point to travel on Christmas Day to my wife’s family’s home and we live with them for a few days enjoying time together. When I was a young boy my family often moved and lived with grand parents or aunts and uncles partly as a means of support, helping the family make ends meet. When the adults got together they each had opportunity to share with each other their joys, hurts, and heartaches, but I can remember how they loved each other just the same. When we visit and spend time with my wife’s family we do the same, as I am sure many families do as well, possibly even yours. We have learned to encourage one another and help each other out, whether with words or service. Yes we have had our conflicts, been self serving, but we have also learned to apologize and respect one another because we’re family.

What is interesting is that as a family we understand life this way but as “church” we do not. Too often “church” is a building, a service, a program, a ministry, an event or thing. At one time, ekklesia, the gathering of the body of Christ, was like gathering as a family, as indeed we really are.

Perhaps as we gather together as family with siblings, parents, grandparents, etc this time of year and whenever we have opportunity maybe we can glimpse the lost life of the ekklesia. In a living room with each giving a gift to one another could we see this differently? Is this not really a type of ekklesia where each member is giving Christ to one another? Out in the back yard enjoying time of play or work could we see this as a time of play or work in Christ? When a conflict arrives as they always do could we see this as an opportunity to be humble, forgive or accept forgiveness, and serve others expressing Christ? This is the heart of God, His desire, to find a place of rest, a home, a family where He can lay His head. Perhaps as we gather together as family we might see a different way of thinking about “church,” that “church” is really gathering together, ekklesia, by faith with love, selflessly giving ourselves to one another.

For those who do not have other brothers and sisters who think this way, perhaps start with your family. Visit and spend time with your relatives, where everyone can learn to be responsible for sharing something of themselves with the family. But then take it one step further, learn to share of Christ in you, His love and grace, with those of your family. When you get back home invite some of your neighbors over, or if you know some brothers and sisters invite them over, spend time together, learning to share with one another, and listen to Christ in you as He begins to find a place of rest in your home or wherever you might gather.

What if every ekklesia had this same thinking and by faith with love decided to no longer go to a building, but spent time together, living a shared life as a real family? May the life of Christ in His ekklesia increase, spread and grow from house-to-house in every neighborhood!



“But we are…of faith to the possession of the soul.” (Part 2)
December 23, 2011, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

The phrase “possession (obtainment) of soul life” used here in Hebrews is similar to what Jesus said in the good news that Luke wrote. Luke uses this similar word for possession or obtainment that Hebrews uses. (I have added the actual Greek word or additional meaning in parenthesis in the below passages):

Luke 17:33; Whoever seeks to keep (peripoiesasthai) his (soul life) will lose it, and whoever loses his (soul life) will preserve (zoogonesei) it.”

To put off the flesh, to put off the old man, is to deny, to lose the soul life. In this passage Jesus makes it clear that we are not the ones who are to try and possess or obtain our soul life, because He is the one who possesses us, we are His possession, therefore we must “lose the soul life,” we must put it off, because the life that He desires to have expressed is His life. This passage relates to an earlier statement Jesus made in Luke’s gospel:

Luke 9:21-27; But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it, but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Interestingly the gospel writers felt this statement of Jesus was so important that each writer mentions it. Matthew and Luke mention it twice and in the gospel of John Jesus mentions it during his last week in Jerusalem. This would indicate that Jesus may have mentioned this on numerous occasions during his three year earthly ministry. In Matthew’s and Mark’s gospel Jesus says the same as Luke in one instance (Matthew 16:24-26; Mark 8:34-37) but then in an earlier instance (Matthew 10:38-39) says to the disciples not to try and “find” the soul life but in losing the soul life one will “find” it. In John 12:20-33 Jesus speaks about not loving the soul life in order to keep it for “life eternal.” In this passage from John’s gospel, during Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem, He makes a profound statement:

John 12:20-33; Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves (philon) his (soul life) loses it, and he who hates (mison) his (soul life) in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. “Now My (soul life) has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.

Our soul is precious to our Lord. So much so that He came to save it, to find it, to keep it, and possess it, and He has done so! But that’s not where it stops, that’s not His full thought. His full thought, His full desire is to see the fullness of His life lived through it. Jesus is not just our example, because His life is in us and is our life, He is working His life in and to and through us. The life that Christ experienced is the same we will experience if we go on with Him. Jesus denied the soul life, it ultimately went into death, and lived by the life of His Father. As a result His glory, full of grace and truth was expressed. Now the greater work is His life being fully expressed through His ekklesia who gather in every place around this world, but our soul life, those things that focus on self, must go into death. And this is learned as we live a shared life together.

If Christ is now our life, and by faith we understand that we are now His possession, and Christ will be faithful to complete what He started in us, then we can by faith deny this soul life, take up the difficult circumstances of life, our crosses, as they occur, with the realization that it is meant for our good and will in the end bring glory to Christ, because His life will be expressed in the process. And as Paul noted in his letters, especially to the ekklesia in Corinth, this will often be learned as we gather together, thinking not of ourselves but of our brothers and sisters as we love and serve one another by His life. Jesus says that this is how we are to follow Him. Jesus says this is where much fruit is born, the fruit of His life. Jesus tells His disciples “in the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

And for some reason I have the idea that the word “possession” doesn’t mean just going around the thing once and having it in it’s completeness, but perhaps a cycle of sorts, a cycle of seasons in life perhaps, indicating a continuous process, perhaps as one goes through the cycle the cycle gets smaller and smaller until at some future point in time you obtain the thing in the center, that which is complete. This cycle involves crucifixion and resurrection. The continuous cycle of crucifixion and resurrection is the life of the ekklesia. Perhaps how often we gather together to express our Lord has some measure of how much of His fullness we experience, how much of is fullness is expressed. May we know Christ together in His completeness, in His fullness, as we together experience Him and endure the difficult circumstances of life together with Him by faith with love. Perhaps the problems that we see with the “institutional church,” the lack of faith with love, is this very thing that has been lost because of religious traditions, because of the soul life not being put off. But this is the issue with every ekklesia, that which hinders the life of Christ from being fully expressed in and to and through His body.

We cannot truly follow our Lord, live by His life unless we take no thought for this soul life of ours and by faith take up those difficult circumstances and allow them to do its spiritual work of helping us know Christ better. When we allow our indwelling Lord in us to divide between soul and spirit, when He lays before us that which must be put to death, may we hear Him, believe Him, and follow Him and by faith put that which is contrary to Him to death. Letting the soul life go into death, denying the soul life is the deep work of the cross of Christ. Frank Viola puts it this way: “God takes away to establish, and what He establishes is always better than what He takes away.” (Frank Viola, “Revise Us Again.”) Something I don’t think we have really yet to experience in any large degree. But it is a comfort to know that Jesus is with us to the end. So then let us together deny this soul life and fix “our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has ensured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”

I think these words from “Revise Us Again” by Frank Viola sums this up:

“Let me pass on a word of advice. If you ever hit a fork in the road with the people with whom you do church (whatever that looks like), there’s one sure way that the Lord can get what He wants. Drop whatever is causing the problem, and let it go into death.
“There is nothing for us to cling to except the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing. So let that other thing that is causing division go into death. Give it up, and watch what the Lord can do.
“This is the principle of death and resurrection. Whenever we place something into death, if it is born of Christ to begin with, it will return again. It will come forth out of the ground. But when it comes forth, it will always look different from what it looked like before it died.
“Everything looks different in resurrection.”

Some, including myself, have difficulty understanding what it means to lose the soul life, we are very attached to ourselves, to our way of life, to our personalities, to our likes, dislikes, and wants. We are selfish, we are self serving to the limitation of the life of Christ in His body. To lose the soul life, to deny self, to be selfless, to serve others is to allow Christ to get what He wants. He will shine brighter through our soul life and He will be more fully expressed in and to and through His ekklesia. May the Lord have His hearts desire! “But we are not of withdrawal to destruction of wellbeing, but of faith to possession of the soul life.”



“But we are…of faith to the possession of the soul.” (Part 1)
December 22, 2011, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

This is a curious statement “But we are not of withdrawal to destruction of wellbeing, but of faith to possession of the soul life.” The NASB seems to be the only modern translation that keeps the sense of the Greek language. Most translators interpret “possession of soul” as “salvation” but that is not the Greek letters used. “Salvation,” while it describes the end result, “possession of soul” gives us insight into the process, or the journey, that God is involved with in His body. This process is vitally important to how God gets what He wants. A process that Paul mentions in his letters and even Christ Himself describes in the gospels.

“But we are…of faith to the possession (peripoiēsin) of the soul.” The specific Greek word for possession or obtainment, “peripoiēsin,” here is only used four times in the New Testament. One in each letter to the Thessalonians and once in Peter’s first letter and the same root word is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. The translators are not in agreement as to its actual meaning in each case where it is used. The word literally means “to do or make around.” (Vines, 440) The prefix of the word is where we get our English word “perimeter” which means the complete distance or length around something. Vine’s seems to see the word as meaning “‘the act of obtaining’ anything, as of salvation in its completeness.” I tend to agree with Vine’s as the word and its context in the New Testament seem to imply obtaining or possessing something in its completeness.

In his first letter to the Thessalonian ekklesia Paul says:

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9; “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining (to obtainment of) salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This passage is constructed very similar to the Hebrews 10:39 verse. But instead of “possession (obtainment) of soul” it is “possession (obtainment) of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” But notice the process: “having put on…faith and love…and…hope.” Paul said something similar to the Roman ekklesia. And Paul mentions later to the Ephesians and Colossian ekklesias to “put on the New Man” (capitalization mine). But this armor cannot be put on unless the ekklesias “put aside the deeds of darkness” or “put off the old man.” This is not something that we do but rather realize, have spiritual sight of, that Christ has already done this! Christ has “put to death” the old man and we are now called and empowered by His Spirit to live by His life, the New Man! Because of this hope that we have been given in Christ we now by faith love one another, even those who we disagree with or even hurt us, our enemies.

In his second letter to the Thessalonian ekklesia Paul says:

2 Thessalonians 2:13-15; “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain (to obtainment of) the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.”

In this letter it is “possession (obtainment) of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here possession (obtainment) is connected to sanctification, or being set apart to God. This sanctification is by the Spirit. It is Christ’s life who is doing this as we live by faith in Jesus, who is truth. In both letters and in his former letters it seems Paul is using different words to describe the same thing, but each giving a different view of the same process. But what is amazing is that in this letter to the Thessalonians Paul has in view God’s glory being expressed! Christ is God’s glory! When we put on Christ, live by His life together with love by faith, it is the glory of God that is being expressed, the very life of Jesus Christ our Lord! Could we put our arms around this!

In his letter to the Ephesian ekklesia Paul says:

Ephesians 1:13-14: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message (Logos) of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.”

What an incredible statement! In Christ, we are His possession (obtainment)! But as His possession He is in the process of redeeming us. Here Paul describes the “possession (obtainment) of soul life” from a different perspective. While we are His possession we are still in the possession process. While we have been redeemed we are still in the redeeming process. While we are saved, we are still in the saving process. While we are set apart to God, we are still in the separating apart to God process. God has something much larger in store, the full expression of His Son through His ekklesia! The body must learn together to live by its new nature, to its fullest. “To the mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”

The author of the letter to Hebrews has been describing this process throughout the letter to these believers. This ekklesia was facing difficult circumstances and as a result are being tempted to return to living under the law of Moses, under religion instead of by the life of Christ, His Spirit. The author has been encouraging them to see Jesus Christ, giving the brothers and sisters a wonderfully glorious view of Christ, His supremacy and centrality over everything. Christ in them is able to help them, but they must listen to Him, hear Him, and by faith follow Him together, loving one another. Only by trusting the Lord Jesus in these difficult circumstances would they truly experience more of Him, “the author of their salvation through sufferings.” The issues, the circumstances, the difficult things in life that we face as brothers and sisters are something we will face. And it is in these difficult circumstances where we learn to live by Christ in greater measure!

T. Austin-Sparks notes as we go on with the Lord, organically living by His life, these circumstances will only get harder. “The further we go on with the Lord, the longer we live with Him and the closer we walk with Him, the more intense becomes this travail of life.” (Sparks, “The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ”) They are a kind of spiritual smelting of removing the dross of the flesh and allowing the pure light of Christ to shine through our souls. In fact it is through this process that the Father gets what He wants, the increase of Christ’s life through His body, so that more of Christ’s life is expressed instead of the flesh. It is a spiritual process, something not of this earth, where we learn to live by the Spirit and not by the soul life. What then is vital to allow Christ’s life to increase to flow through our souls? How does one live by the Spirit and not by the soul life? This by the way is something I am still learning.



Response to “Ekklesia as Escapism” by Jim Wright
December 19, 2011, 9:08 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

This is a response to a brothers comments from a facebook discussion (http://www.facebook.com/wright.jim) and his blog (http://crossroadjunction.com/2011/12/19/escapism/). Thought that others might be interested in reading. I am grateful for Jim as a brother in Christ who helps to spur one another on to love and good deeds.

My thought is sometimes we can get stuck believing a season in the life of the ekklesia is the only season in the life of the ekklesia. I and my fellow brothers and sisters here in Sugar Land/Houston are still learning this by the way. Blessings. 🙂

Jim comment on facebook: “…ekklesia” is becoming a theology of ecclesiastical retreat, defeat and escape.”
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Jim, I agree to a certain extent, my thought is that Christ grows and spreads as much as the quality of the life of the ekklesia grows and spreads. The increase of the life of Christ is God’s desire. Think some on either side react versus seeing the big picture of Christ’s eternal purpose. Each are still my brother and sister and each have a measure of faith and gift of Christ. Thinking some ekklesia’s can grow quicker than others but thinking also that growth is seasonal, times where God is forming His people, preparing them to more fully express their Lord. Thinking many leaving institutional church have much to detox from. I think also that sometimes when we are in certain seasons with our Lord we want to camp out in that season, thinking that season is only God’s purpose. some thoughts.

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Jim’s response: “There have been a growing number of blogs that reject the validity of the Great Commission, and even say it no longer applies, because it conflicts with their views on what the church (“ekklesia”) must be. Too many are saying “amen” in response. It is driven by a reaction to those who want the church to be only about mission, and not Jesus. But often, our reaction to a problem can be just as problematic.”

my additional facebook comment:
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thanks Jim for sharing, I guess I’m not really seeing that, I think I am seeing a focus on Christ, learning to live by His life together, so that the ekklesia can more fully express her Lord in love with faith. I came from the SBC so I can see your thoughts of evangelism, being mission minded, making disciples, and focused on the Great Commandments. But this was institutionally based, focused on one thing, planting churches. The problem though was the churches that are planted are institutional churches focused on making converts, using programs to make disciples, not learning to express Christ together and to live by His life. I am thankful that I am free of the religious bondage to now learn to live by His life in love and faith with my brothers and sisters.

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Comments to Jim’s blog:
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interesting read brother, I guess I just can’t quite get my arms around your thought “The Kingdom of God – which is the Father’s will being done where ever and whenever Jesus places us or sends us – is not limited to ekklesia.” Christ is the Kingdom of God and it is He whose life spread and grew in and to and through His people, His ekklesia, which means “assembly,” incorrectly translated “church.” The spread and growth, the increase of Christ is the increase of His life in His ekklesia. From the first couple chapters of Genesis to the last couple chapters of Revelation, it’s all about Christ and His Bride. The kingdom cannot be separated from the ekklesia, because Christ is our life. Christ desires to be expressed corporately through His people, love, grace, and truth. When we live by His life by His Spirit His glory, His life, His kingdom is expressed. The problem is that learning to live by His life has all but been forgotten because of the institutional church, its religion, its programs, its hierarchies of control, etc, but thankfully there are those, like Paul, who have counted the cost and have paid the price to help the body of Christ learn to live organically by the life of Christ, to hear Him, believe Him, and follow Him, expressing His life of love, grace, and truth together with brothers and sisters and to family, friends, and neighbors. Just some thoughts.



“that little babe in that manger” by T. Austin-Sparks
December 17, 2011, 4:12 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

“Can it be true? Is that little babe in that manger in the innermost reality of His being that eternal Son Who occupied the place of supreme authority in the past ages? Is this little baby the same One Who was filled with the glory of God and all heaven? Oh, wonder of wonders, He has indeed taken the lowest place! What ought He to have had? But what He did have was a manger in a stable! There was no place for Him in the world that He Himself had created. ‘He came unto His own things, and they that were His own received Him not’ (John 1:11, ASV). What a crisis in the ages!”

T. Austin-Sparks, “The Holy Spirit’s Biography of Christ.”



Words on Losing the Soul Life

From the last section of Hebrews 10 I have been led to other passages related to the soul life and God’s desire to express Himself by saving, preserving, obtaining, and possessing our soul life by His Spirit through His body. There is a lot to chew on here and I have been doing so for many weeks.

I have purposefully left much of the passage to help in understanding of the context, but of course like any letter it should also be viewed in the wider context of the letter or teaching given.

After Hebrews sections I have the provided the passages in the Thessalonians and Ephesian letters and then the gospels. I have inserted in the text the original meaning of some of the words from the NASB.

Hebrews 10:

32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE,
HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY (SOUL LIFE) HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.

39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving (possession or obtainment) of the (soul life).

Hebrews 4 (I have capitalized the Divine Word of God):

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. 12 For the (Word) of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of (soul life) and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Hebrews 6:

9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the (soul life), a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

1 Thessalonians 5:

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

2 Thessalonians 2:

13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain (obtain) the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

Ephesians 1:

11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Matthew 10:

37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his (soul life) will lose it, and he who has lost his (soul life) for My sake will find it.

40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Matthew 16:

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it; but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his (soul life)? Or what will a man give in exchange for his (soul life)? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.

28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Mark 8:

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and *said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it, but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his (soul life)? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his (soul life)? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Luke 9:

21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”

23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his (soul life) will lose it, but whoever loses his (soul life) for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Luke 17:

28 It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; 29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to keep his (soul life) will lose it, and whoever loses his (soul life) will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] 37 And answering they *said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”

John 12:

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; 21 these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip *came and *told Andrew; Andrew and Philip *came and *told Jesus. 23 And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his (soul life) loses it, and he who hates his (soul life) in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now My (soul life) has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.



You Are Our All in All
December 4, 2011, 1:33 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

This is a modified version of “You Are My All in All” by Nichole Nordeman. As we live by His life together we find ourselves in conflict with our flesh which attempts to divide us. But as Frank Viola points out in “Revise Us Again”:

“Drop whatever is causing the problem, and let it go into death. There is nothing for us to cling to except the Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing. So let that other thing that is causing division go into death. Give it up, and watch what the Lord can do.”

You Are Our All in All

You are our strength when we are weak
You are the treasure that we seek
You are our all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up we’d be a fool
You are our all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Taking our sin, our cross, our shame
Rising up again we bless Your name
You are our all in all
When we fall down You pick us up
When we are dry You fill our cup
You are our all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

To view the YouTube video of Nichole Nordeman’s song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC617kE1maU