JohnSWilson3 Blog


Thoughts on Giving at Christmas
December 26, 2015, 2:14 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

I appreciate those who love to give things that are practical and necessary, I do as well. Sadly sometimes it seems this “special” day is a tradition of giving for the sake of getting, getting to get the best and most “stuff” even at the cost of burdening ourselves with higher and greater debt monetarily and increasing the guilt of those who don’t have “stuff” or enough “stuff” to give.

Jesus says to the brothers and sisters, “not so among you.”

Christ came to give His life and His life given and received among the brothers and sisters are for our daily mutual edification and His glory, not for one day of the week or for a few “special” days a year based on man’s traditions, although these can be wonderful events.

His life, His “grace given to each of us,” looks differently in and through each of us: serving, sharing knowledge, encouraging and comforting, giving, caring, showing mercy, etc. Brothers and sisters in Christ are each members of His body. Christ’s body is not made up of “one part” (choose whichever gift you like/prefer the best, such as “giving”) “but of many.” Christ’s life of love is to be honored and cherished, no matter how He looks in His body



“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.”

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.” Matthew 13:44.

“But seek his kingdom…Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” Luke 12:31a,32,34, 13:18-19.

“God…was pleased to reveal his Son in me…Christ lives in me…I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 1:15-16, 2:20, 4:19, 5:25.

“…God, who tests our hearts…the Word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe…May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts…” 1 Thessalonians 2:4,13, 3:12,13.

“…that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11.

“…God has been making it grow…God…makes things grow…the Holy Spirit, who is in you…But God has put the body together…you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it…follow the way of love.” 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, 6:19, 12:24,27, 14:1.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7.

“…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus…it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose…the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Phlippians 1:6, 2:13, 3:8.

“…if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you…his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:10-11.

“…that you may know him better…that you may know…the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe…God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…he might show the incomparable riches of his grace…the boundless riches of Christ…I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…” Ephesians 1:17-19, 2:4,5,7, 3:8,16-17.

“…God has chosen to make known…the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory…in Christ you have been brought to fullness…Christ, who is your life” Colossians 1:27, 2:10, 3:4.

” ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’…See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks…we have a clear conscience…” Hebrews 3:15, 12:25, 13:18.

“God’s work…is by faith. The goal…is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith…take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 1:4,5, 6:19.

Verses from Today’s New International Version.



“I am the vine; you are the branches…”
February 22, 2015, 5:24 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

At a new organic fellowship last night while listening to the sharing of one another in the midst of the sharing I noticed the room had a very ornate clock on the mantle of the fireplace and to its left was what looked like limbs from a tree with long leaves. I was reminded that as humans we are very inclined to make what is simple complex. All of our institutions and organizations are perfected so that they run like clockwork and in so doing become more and more complex and we become enslaved in a system void of relationships as it is more about the system, keeping it running with all of its deadlines and productivity, and the egos that run it, instead of how well we relate to one another. The church, the organized way it has become institutionalized is very much like this, it is about running a machine that works like clockwork fueled by the passions of those who think they know what’s best for everyone, no matter who gets knocked over in the process.

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Christ Jesus had a different way, a different reality of how His body shared life together. Jesus during his last moments on Earth said “I am the vine; you are the branches…”

As I looked at this tree and thought about trees in general, I remembered this morning while working on the front lawn that branches of a tree tended to veer about in seemingly random ways but always outward and upward because of the Sun. The brothers and sisters in Christ are like this. When we gather Christ in us is giving us His life to share with one another, sometimes it may seem kind of random, but as we see more of Him and allow Christ to be Head of His body, what appeared to be random gives shape to something quite beautiful, Christ Himself, His life to us through one another. Sometimes our soul life gets in the way and we hurt one another, Christ is our healer and as we learn to hear Him we follow Him by forgiving or asking for forgiveness and making amends.  Love, truth, and faith always builds up the body and Christ in us continues our upward and forward growth in Him together.

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This life together just like with various trees can look quite differently from one another, and hence not make clockwork or set a precedent on what happens as we gather together. Christ is too creative than that! There are also seasons to consider. No matter the season it is still about allowing Christ as Head together and being sustained by Him as He lives through one another. The world often judges the poor seasons of life. We should  see it differently. If we see the brothers and sisters in one place being broken and hurt by the world around them be careful in your judgements, for even a myrtle tree only grows unless it’s branches are cut completely, but it’s roots are ever growing deeper.

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“I have installed my King on Zion…”
February 15, 2015, 3:34 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

“I have installed my King on Zion…The LORD is King for ever and ever…Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty-he is the King of glory…For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth…For God is King of all the earth…above all gods.” Psalms

“…I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted…my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Isaiah

“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King…God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” Jeremiah

See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation…” Zechariah

“But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you…” Jesus

If you are the Messiah…tell us.
Jesus answered “…the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You say that I am.”

So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

Luke

“…be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Peter

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Paul



God is in control. Christ the Lord has our time in His hands.
December 31, 2013, 2:10 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

God is in control. Christ the Lord has our time in His hands.

He is in the beginning before time, is in time now, and is in the consummate of time.

In Him is the beginning of life, the now of life, and the consummate of life. In Him is the beginning of love, the now of love, and the consummate of love. In Him is the beginning of hope, the now of hope, and the consummate of hope. In Him is the beginning of faith, the now of faith, and the consummate of faith.

Christ is before us, with us, and ahead of us. His life of love, hope and faith is before us, with us, and ahead of us. In Him life, love, hope and faith has its beginning in us, its now in us, and its consummation in us in His hands.

Christ the Lord has our time in His hands. God is in control.



Christ is our Home
December 25, 2013, 3:47 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

Christ is our home, our safe refuge. Christ is our home, our place of rest. As He is made Head over all and in all in His body He finds a place to rest and becomes our Rest.

In Christ, He is our foundation. In Him there is no shifting sand of falsehood, only truth. He keeps us firm from all that is false, for He is Truth. Christ keeps us and we find rest.

In Christ, He is our walls. In Him there is no selfishness, only unselfishness. He protects us from all that is without, that which is selfish and soulish, which is of the world and the flesh. Christ protects us and we find rest.

In Christ, He is our roof. In Him there is no evil, only love. He shelters us from the enemy of the air who wars against our souls. Christ shelters us and we find rest.

Christ is our Keeper, He keeps us. May Christ keep us. May Christ be Head in us.

Christ is our Protector, He protects us. May Christ protect us. May Christ be Head through us.

Christ is our Shelter, He shelters us. May Christ Shelter us. May Christ be Head over us.



Within, Without, and to All
December 25, 2013, 3:25 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

Christ is greater than just the sum parts of the whole of His body.

I was reminded again that His fullness is greater than just the individual or some parts of the body. The less we participate in Him the less of His life of love by faith is manifested. This results in a body life of soulish delusion and spiritual weakness, because we are dependent upon our human mind and physical strength.

Christ is greater than just the sum parts of the whole of His body.

As He is Head over all in all He works within, without, and to all, multiplying His work as each member participates by His life, doing the greater works. This results in a body life of reality and spiritual strength, because Christ is our Reality and Strength.

Christ our all and in all.



Christ is greater…
December 24, 2013, 3:07 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

Christ Jesus our Lord is greater than our expectations, our dreams, our talents, our reality, our behavior, our thoughts, our rationalizations, our customs, our beliefs, our teachings, our theology, our laws, our religions, our holidays, our entertainment, our traditions, our superstitions, our ignorance, our fears, our lucky charms, our omens, our curses, our addictions, our faults, our sin.

“…the Son of man is sovereign…”

“…he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

“Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor…”

“God had planned something better for us…”



Tale of Two Vines
October 26, 2013, 7:34 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

There was originally one vine, it’s branch was ancient and in season always produced the most wonderful fragrant blossoms of Jasmine. It loved to slowly grow along the brick face of the building and in season the blossoms would look like gold and were beautiful to behold and smell. In time a new vine began to grow near the roots of the old vine. Within a short period of time this new vine branch grew and intertwined itself into the ancient vine branch. It’s branch grew thick. It produced no noticeable blossoms except more interlacing vines and soon overtook the ancient vine. In fact its branches began to not only take over the face of the building but began to grow under and out of the grass and between the cracks of the car port and into the next yard. Soon the gardener seeing the problem decided to remove the new vine because of its damaging nature. The main branch was cut to prevent any further growth on the face of the building. The new vine that could be removed from the ancient vine was removed, but some remained and in time will die off since it is no longer connected to the new branch that had been cut. The main problem though was that the roots had grown too deep and wide and unable to be removed. So the gardener must continue to remove the damaging new vine to prevent it from obscuring the beauty of the ancient vine. This a a tale of two vines that actually happened over this past couple years in our yard and finally came to a head this morning.

I think this is also a tale that occurs in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is and part of the ancient vine, that Vine is Christ, who said “I am the vine you are the branches.” We too often think we have to try and stay “in the vine” when in reality nothing can snatch us from our Father’s hands, we are in Him, in Christ, who is our Life. The new vine is made up of new ideas, new ways of doing “church,” perhaps things that are even good in and of themselves, but things nonetheless that are selfish and soulish, without love. This puts our focus on things other than on Christ and helps this new vine grow strong and it soon overshadows the expression of the body, and no longer is there a full expression of the beauty and fragrance of Christ within its members, the branches. That expression of Christ’s love has been shadowed by the new vine.

Perhaps it is important to see that the ancient vine will always have a new vine competing with it, at least until all things have been made new and a new heaven and a new earth have supplanted the old order of things. That is at least encouraging. Perhaps this is part of learning to experience the depths of Christ, who suffered, bled, and died while hanging on a tree. The Ancient Tree died on a new tree because of His ancient love, a love before the foundations of the world. The new vine is meant to help us rely on Christ. To see its destructiveness, it’s worthlessness, its corruptness, in contrast to His Love, Life, Grace, and Beauty. This fellowship in His sufferings is meant to help us rely completely on Him and not on ourselves. Perhaps how the body confronts the new vine in it’s seedling form in their midst can lessen the damage done by the new vine, preventing it from entangling its roots into the ancient vine. But only the true Gardener can remove the new vine completely and fully, the branches of the Ancient Vine must go to Him for help, help to put off the destructive vine and stay living by the Ancient Vine, who is real Love, real Life, real Grace, real Beauty.



“…salt of the earth…”
September 29, 2013, 7:43 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes, A Gospel According to Matthew

Today as we shared in the Lord’s meal together with brothers and sisters, I noticed that the crackers that were part of the meal were salty. I remembered Jesus saying to His disciples that “You are the salt of the earth.” I have heard it said that this is in reference to the preserving effect of Christ in believers and that when salt gets in wounds, that it stings, and such is the life of the believer as they share Christ to those who do not Him. While I generally accept that, I think Jesus has something more to express than just keeping us saved and that we’re going to have a rough time around unbelievers. What I share here I believe just touches the surface of what Jesus meant.

Salt is important for the human body in many ways. One specific way is that without salt the human body’s ability to express itself becomes impotent, our entire ability to sense our natural world through our nervous system becomes hindered. Perhaps there is a spiritual application beyond the preserving and stinging effect of being in Christ. Perhaps it is about going forward in knowing Christ more in an experiential way, enhancing our spiritual senses.

In Christ we are new creations, the old is gone, the new has come. As a new creation we have also new senses. In Christ He gives us eyes to see, ears to hear; thirst, taste, touch, and smell only for Him. When Christ is Head in our midst your spiritual sense knows it, when He is not Head your spiritual sense knows it. Christ is the salt of world. It is His life that enhances our spiritual senses to know Him better. And as we know Him better, His salt, His life, is expressed to others, and like Jesus told Paul, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light.” Our spiritual senses come from our spirit. In Christ they are no longer dead but alive by His Spirit! We can now, with our spirit, sense Him through our conscience and intuition and fellowship with Him. As we hear Him and follow His leading by faith, not considering ourselves, we receive Him as salt and our spiritual senses strengthen and are enhanced and our experience of knowing Christ only gets better.

A brother at the gathering commented that salt when used in food, helps to bring the flavors of the food together. This is another important aspect of Christ as our salt. We really cannot grow in our spiritual senses with the Lord, to hear Him, see Him, taste Him, touch Him, smell Him except through the fitting together of the flavors of the body of Christ. Only Christ our salt can bring balance to all the flavors of the body so that the fullness of Christ is expressed. This only happens when all the brothers and sisters together have Christ as Head of the gathering, where all is unto Him, where each is not considering themselves but one another by faith in love. The beautiful aroma from the flavors of His people mixed together because of the salt of Christ, truly is beyond description, and the saying “taste and see that the Lord is good” becomes a reality.