Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

LOVE and SIMPLICITY

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • LOVE and SIMPLICITY

    NOW for LOVE and SIMPLICITY

    by Andrew Strom


    Imagine a massive slab of rock, which is like the "foundation" that

    the original apostles laid in the early church. -Then imagine 2000

    years worth of all kinds of structures being bolted onto this

    foundation - brick and glass and steel of all shapes and sizes. -A

    huge hodge-podge of structures that has taken hundreds of years

    to erect. (-A tangle of God's ideas and man's ideas all mixed together).


    What we need to do, in essence, is take a bunch of bulldozers

    and a wrecking crew and scrape this huge unweildy tangle off

    the rock, so we can actually see the original "foundation"

    underneath. -In it's original pristine form.


    And what do we find when we get right back to the "original" thing?

    -We find LOVE and freedom and simplicity of the most rare and

    precious kind. We find a group of people without pretension - who

    loved God and each other with all their hearts.


    God has been speaking to me lately about SIMPLICITY and

    LOVE. And when I look at the early church, I see this everywhere.

    This was not a "complicated" set-up. In fact, it was the 'ABSENCE"

    of complication that helped make it what it was. These people did

    not have to worry about church boards or Seminaries or building

    funds or Denominations or creeds or rituals or TV preachers or

    any of those things. (None of it had even been invented yet!)


    These people simply loved God and loved each other. And everything

    else flowed out of that. There was a "child-like" quality to their

    Christianity that we have to get back to. And if we are willing to

    leave the 'junk' behind, I believe we can.


    You know, in all His dealings with men, what God has really been

    wanting to re-establish is His simple yet profound relationship with

    Adam in the garden. The two of them used to walk together in the

    "cool of the evening", communing with one another like the closest

    of friends. And ever since then, God has wanted to see this

    relationship restored. And through Jesus, at last there is a way.

    But how many of us live in that place of deep communion with God

    today? Isn't it a tragedy that Jesus died so every one of us can get

    back to this kind of relationship with God - yet so few of us live in it?



    But it is possible. In fact, this is the key to the love and simplicity

    of the early church. There is a key Scripture that we need to look at:

    "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,

    peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom 14:17). Notice that

    "righteousness" comes before 'peace and joy'. This is the key here.

    If our heart can become truly right before God, then these other

    things will naturally follow. And if we can get a GROUP of people

    whose hearts are right before God (-who have "no consciousness" of

    present sin - who WALK in the washing of the blood of Jesus) then

    that whole group can experience the kind of unity and simplicity and

    love that the early church walked in. The key is "righteousness" -

    and then will come 'peace and joy'.


    A lot of people try all kinds of things to get peace and joy in their

    lives - but they still cling to certain sins in their hearts (-especially deep

    unforgiveness) and wonder why they never find it.


    Just imagine for a moment that a group of people could be found

    who walked before God with a pure heart like this. And imagine if

    they had left all the Religious 'junk' and paraphenalia behind and

    simply gathered together and loved God and loved each other. It is

    the ABSENCE of this 'junk' that makes things simple. Imagine the

    love and the joy and the peace that these people could walk in if

    they just forgot about all that stuff and simply focused on HIM. -This

    is what the early church was like. Jesus said: "I tell you the truth,

    unless you change and become like LITTLE CHILDREN, you will

    never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3, NIV).


    In the 1960's, the "hippies" tried to achieve this kind of thing, but

    ultimately failed, because what they were doing was not built on

    heart-righteousness. But it is certainly possible if the righteousness

    of God is at the center of it. Man has a deep longing to see a people

    who live in true harmony and love and simplicity. This is the essence

    of what was lost in Eden. And we all have an inbuilt longing to return

    to it somehow. If people ever see the real thing, they will surely respond.


    God bless you all!


    Andrew Strom.
    Last edited by Lou Newton; October 25th, 2018, 01:32 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
    NOW for LOVE and SIMPLICITY

    by Andrew Strom


    Imagine a massive slab of rock, which is like the "foundation" that

    the original apostles laid in the early church. -Then imagine 2000

    years worth of all kinds of structures being bolted onto this

    foundation - brick and glass and steel of all shapes and sizes. -A

    huge hodge-podge of structures that has taken hundreds of years

    to erect. (-A tangle of God's ideas and man's ideas all mixed together).


    What we need to do, in essence, is take a bunch of bulldozers

    and a wrecking crew and scrape this huge unweildy tangle off

    the rock, so we can actually see the original "foundation"

    underneath. -In it's original pristine form.


    And what do we find when we get right back to the "original" thing?

    -We find LOVE and freedom and simplicity of the most rare and

    precious kind. We find a group of people without pretension - who

    loved God and each other with all their hearts.


    God has been speaking to me lately about SIMPLICITY and

    LOVE. And when I look at the early church, I see this everywhere.

    This was not a "complicated" set-up. In fact, it was the 'ABSENCE"

    of complication that helped make it what it was. These people did

    not have to worry about church boards or Seminaries or building

    funds or Denominations or creeds or rituals or TV preachers or

    any of those things. (None of it had even been invented yet!)


    These people simply loved God and loved each other. And everything

    else flowed out of that. There was a "child-like" quality to their

    Christianity that we have to get back to. And if we are willing to

    leave the 'junk' behind, I believe we can.


    You know, in all His dealings with men, what God has really been

    wanting to re-establish is His simple yet profound relationship with

    Adam in the garden. The two of them used to walk together in the

    "cool of the evening", communing with one another like the closest

    of friends. And ever since then, God has wanted to see this

    relationship restored. And through Jesus, at last there is a way.

    But how many of us live in that place of deep communion with God

    today? Isn't it a tragedy that Jesus died so every one of us can get

    back to this kind of relationship with God - yet so few of us live in it?



    But it is possible. In fact, this is the key to the love and simplicity

    of the early church. There is a key Scripture that we need to look at:

    "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,

    peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom 14:17). Notice that

    "righteousness" comes before 'peace and joy'. This is the key here.

    If our heart can become truly right before God, then these other

    things will naturally follow. And if we can get a GROUP of people

    whose hearts are right before God (-who have "no consciousness" of

    present sin - who WALK in the washing of the blood of Jesus) then

    that whole group can experience the kind of unity and simplicity and

    love that the early church walked in. The key is "righteousness" -

    and then will come 'peace and joy'.


    A lot of people try all kinds of things to get peace and joy in their

    lives - but they still cling to certain sins in their hearts (-especially deep

    unforgiveness) and wonder why they never find it.


    Just imagine for a moment that a group of people could be found

    who walked before God with a pure heart like this. And imagine if

    they had left all the Religious 'junk' and paraphenalia behind and

    simply gathered together and loved God and loved each other. It is

    the ABSENCE of this 'junk' that makes things simple. Imagine the

    love and the joy and the peace that these people could walk in if

    they just forgot about all that stuff and simply focused on HIM. -This

    is what the early church was like. Jesus said: "I tell you the truth,

    unless you change and become like LITTLE CHILDREN, you will

    never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3, NIV).


    In the 1960's, the "hippies" tried to achieve this kind of thing, but

    ultimately failed, because what they were doing was not built on

    heart-righteousness. But it is certainly possible if the righteousness

    of God is at the center of it. Man has a deep longing to see a people

    who live in true harmony and love and simplicity. This is the essence

    of what was lost in Eden. And we all have an inbuilt longing to return

    to it somehow. If people ever see the real thing, they will surely respond.


    God bless you all!


    Andrew Strom.
    Quite simply one of the best things I've read in a long time. Religion is the enemy of being close to Jesus. This is exactly where all the religions stumble. All of it needs thrown away, and returned to the original, as was stated above.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by redsoxmaloney View Post

      Quite simply one of the best things I've read in a long time. Religion is the enemy of being close to Jesus. This is exactly where all the religions stumble. All of it needs thrown away, and returned to the original, as was stated above.
      Thanks for the reply Tom. Peter and Paul did not use any title, but simply had people call them by their name, Peter and Paul. They were apostles but did not use the title apostle. Even Jesus did not use any title. He did not have people call Him God Almighty, or even The Messiah, but simply had people call Him, Jesus.

      They had no special robes, or large ornate hats so everyone could see they were "special" but wore the same clothes that everyone else wore. They also did not collect money to build large ornate buildings to meet in; but simply met in their homes. Money was used for those in need instead of property and buildings. Jesus, who is God Almighty, did not bother to build a building for large gatherings, but simply met outdoors. Revivals were not scheduled, but simply took place as The Holy Spirit caused them to take place.

      Christians were not focused on all the religious trappings and ceremony, but focused on worshiping The Lord Jesus.

      Matthew 23 (NIV)

      A Warning Against Hypocrisy


      23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

      5“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

      8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi, for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

      But men today will give all kind of excuses why they should be called Father, Pastor, Reverend, The Holy Father, etc and explain that they are following the commands of Christ while they clearly disobey what Jesus said.

      Look in The Book and see that Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others were not given any title, but simply called by their first name. How can any man do better than follow The example God has given us in His Book. One does not "follow" by going down a different road, but by going down the same road. But men love these titles and special honor so much that they will hang onto them, instead of repenting of them.

      Many will even point out that no mere man should be called, The Holy Father, or Father; for that those titles are for God alone; but then allow themselves to be called Reverend ( which means one worthy to be revered). The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus ALONE is worthy to be revered:

      Revelation 5 (NIV)

      The Scroll and the Lamb


      5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

      6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

      “You are worthy to take the scroll
      and to open its seals,
      because you were slain,
      and with your blood you purchased for God
      persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
      10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
      and they will reign on the earth.”

      11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

      “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
      to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
      and honor and glory and praise!”

      13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

      “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
      be praise and honor and glory and power,
      for ever and ever!”

      14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

      Not even God was worthy until He became a man and was born of a woman to shed His blood for us.

      No mere man is worthy of anything except eternal hell. It is only by His blood that we can be seen as righteous and even be with Him in heaven. How can any mere man go around being called "worthy to be revered" or Reverend ? He will give excuse after excuse how he earned the title, and became worthy by working for some degree. But The Bible clearly tells us that no man can earn being worthy by any amount of work.

      We have but ONE Father in heaven, and one father on earth. No man deserves to be called our father except for those two. We are commanded to tell the truth, and to call any other mere man our father is a lie. Father means our source. God alone is our source. Our earthy father is our earthly source. No other is our source and it is lie to call any other mere man our father.

      We have but one Shepard, or Pastor, and no mere man deserves to be called Pastor. Mere men are called to the calling of pastor, but they are clearly commanded by Christ not to wear the title Pastor.

      All men have a choice of following the commands of Christ, or following their desires, or the traditions of men. The One and only path to life is following Christ alone.
      Last edited by Lou Newton; October 26th, 2018, 10:55 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post

        Thanks for the reply Tom. Peter and Paul did not use any title, but simply had people call them by their name, Peter and Paul. They were apostles but did not use the title apostle. Even Jesus did not use any title. He did not have people call Him God Almighty, or even The Messiah, but simply had people call Him, Jesus.

        They had no special robes, or large ornate hats so everyone could see they were "special" but wore the same clothes that everyone else wore. They also did not collect money to build large ornate buildings to meet in; but simply met in their homes. Money was used for those in need instead of property and buildings. Jesus, who is God Almighty, did not bother to build a building for large gatherings, but simply met outdoors. Revivals were not scheduled, but simply took place as The Holy Spirit caused them to take place.

        Christians were not focused on all the religious trappings and ceremony, but focused on worshiping The Lord Jesus.

        Matthew 23 (NIV)

        A Warning Against Hypocrisy


        23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

        5“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

        8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi, for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

        But men today will give all kind of excuses why they should be called Father, Pastor, Reverend, The Holy Father, etc and explain that they are following the commands of Christ while they clearly disobey what Jesus said.

        Look in The Book and see that Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others were not given any title, but simply called by their first name. How can any man do better than follow The example God has given us in His Book. One does not "follow" by going down a different road, but by going down the same road. But men love these titles and special honor so much that they will hang onto them, instead of repenting of them.

        Many will even point out that no mere man should be called, The Holy Father, or Father; for that those titles are for God alone; but then allow themselves to be called Reverend ( which means one worthy to be revered). The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus ALONE is worthy to be revered:

        Revelation 5 (NIV)

        The Scroll and the Lamb


        5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

        6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

        “You are worthy to take the scroll
        and to open its seals,
        because you were slain,
        and with your blood you purchased for God
        persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
        10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
        and they will reign on the earth.”

        11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

        “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
        to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
        and honor and glory and praise!”

        13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

        “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
        be praise and honor and glory and power,
        for ever and ever!”

        14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

        Not even God was worthy until He became a man and was born of a woman to shed His blood for us.

        No mere man is worthy of anything except eternal hell. It is only by His blood that we can be seen as righteous and even be with Him in heaven. How can any mere man go around being called "worthy to be revered" or Reverend ? He will give excuse after excuse how he earned the title, and became worthy by working for some degree. But The Bible clearly tells us that no man can earn being worthy by any amount of work.

        We have but ONE Father in heaven, and one father on earth. No man deserves to be called our father except for those two. We are commanded to tell the truth, and to call any other mere man our father is a lie. Father means our source. God alone is our source. Our earthy father is our earthly source. No other is our source and it is lie to call any other mere man our father.

        We have but one Shepard, or Pastor, and no mere man deserves to be called Pastor. Mere men are called to the calling of pastor, but they are clearly commanded by Christ not to wear the title Pastor.

        All men have a choice of following the commands of Christ, or following their desires, or the traditions of men. The One and only path to life is following Christ alone.
        I was aware of the part of scriptures where it says the lamb is worthy, but a new thought for me is that God didn't consider himself worthy until he became a man and died on the cross. So how in creation can anyone dare call themselves anything above a man? It is based on what they want to hear, and not the truth.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by redsoxmaloney View Post

          I was aware of the part of scriptures where it says the lamb is worthy, but a new thought for me is that God didn't consider himself worthy until he became a man and died on the cross. So how in creation can anyone dare call themselves anything above a man? It is based on what they want to hear, and not the truth.
          Thanks Tom. Man is the crowning achievement of God's creation. God did not consider Himself worthy because of what man was; but because no one is worthy to judge another unless they have walked in his shoes. God had to become a man to show us that He understands what it is to be a man. Only a man can judge all men. But no man was righteous and full of wisdom to judge men. So our Judge had to be both a man and God to be worthy to judge us.

          Comment

          Working...
          X