Saturday, January 12, 2019

Home

In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on seeking the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living a life of holiness, righteousness, and truth.

As the Scripture says:

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

And "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

Some of the topics covered include seeking the Lord, prayer, worship, tithing, inquiring of the Lord, hearing His voice, obedience, grace, godly attire and adornment, sanctification, consecration, backsliding, repentance, brokenness, suffering, humility, the fear of the Lord, the role of the commandments for the disciple of Christ, and the conditions of the New Covenant.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Seeking the Lord Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God Holy Fire Baptism
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Lifting Hands in Prayer Crying Out to God Loudly
Pressing on Toward the Goal Taking Heaven by Force God Exalts the Humble and Brings Down the Proud
Whom Are You Seeking? Should you fear the Lord? Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?
Aim for Perfection Obedience by the Spirit Is Obedience Optional?
Salvation with Fear and Trembling Holy Living in a Perverted World Drifting Away
The Cost of Discipleship Deleted Scriptures in the Bible? Is Tithing Required?
Where Should You Give Your Tithe? Walking in the Perfect Will of God Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian
The Obedience of Faith Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross? Law of Love in the New Testament
The New Covenant Law of Love in the New Testament The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith Costly Grace The Law of Christ
The Eyes of the Lord Garments of Godliness The Three Elijahs
The Burning Ones The End Has Come Now, But Not Yet
The Happy Hunters on Fire You're Better Off Following Jesus God Chooses the Weak Things 
The Beauty of Brokenness Seeing Jesus, Loving Him, Character and Glory Hearing the Lord's Voice
Hearing the Lord's Voice Inquiring of the Lord Praise the Lord!
The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come One thing Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham? From Self-confidence to Confidence in the Lord The Self-Help Gospel
Checklist for Revival God Has Not Rejected His Jewish People, Has He? The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Flaming Sword Clean Hands and a Pure Heart The Spirit of the Law
Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy An Open Mind that Loves the Truth Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?
Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth? The Apostasy Parables

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
The Disciples’ Prayer Is Tolerance a Virtue? Righteousness by Faith not Law
Life is Short. Eternity is Not. Noah's Ark a Type of Christ Grace, Mercy, and Peace
Ultimate Accountability Separation from the World The Knowledge of the Holy
The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness Ask for the Ancient Paths Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven
The Straight and Narrow Path Unhealthy Competition A Peculiar People
Listen to Jesus, Who Upholds Moses and the Prophets Hope for You

Beware of Philosophy and Empty Deception
The Love of Jesus The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer Having a Servant's Heart
Avoiding Worldly Worship Purge the Evil from Among You Who is God?
Living a Life Worthy of the Lord Praying for the Lord Jesus Who is God? - Part II
The Way, Will, and Word of God Overcomers in This Life The Afflictions of the Righteous
Saints Alive in Jesus Bowing Low in Worship Repentance That Leads to Life
Keeping a Good Conscience Remember Lot’s Wife Called to be Blameless
If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words The Lord Will Rejoice Over You The Nature of Persecution
The Wardrobe of the Saints Filled Up to All the Fullness of God Loving Deeply
Seeking Glory from God Amazing Grace God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes
Abominations in the Sight of God Identification with Christ Alabaster Jar
Running from God Forgetting the Past Was Jesus Seeker Friendly?
God's View of Public Bathing Is Secular Music for Christians? Ignorance is Not Bliss
In the Yolk of Christianity Songs of the Holy Fire Known by God
Modern Day Idols Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Walking in Truth, Righteousness, and Holiness
Escaping from Dead Religion Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire God's Amazing Plan for Your Life
Your Identity in Christ Having the Love of God in Your Heart Knowing the Lord
Following in His Steps Our God is an Awesome God! Hide and Seek with God
Belonging to the Lord No Turning Back David, A Man After God's Own Heart
Living on Earth as They Do in Heaven Chosen for Obedience The Ironies Between Jesus and Barabbas
Dedication to God Keep Your Lamp Burning The Holy Fire Series
The Active Nature of Faith Why God Hides His Face Only What's Done for Christ Will Last

Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Seek My Face" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Donate


Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry.

There are two ways to donate to Doulos Missions International. You may either send a check or money order by mail or you may donate securely online.

Doulos Missions International, Inc. is incorporated in the State of New Hampshire as a publicly-supported non-profit charity.  We are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3). Contributions made to this organization are tax deductible.

Online Donations
You may use an electronic check or a major credit card to make a gift today. Click here to donate.

By Mail

You may send your check or money order made payable to Doulos Missions International to the following address:

Doulos Missions International
PO Box 5526
Manchester, NH 03108-5526

By Paypal
You may also securely send money directly to Len Lacroix via Paypal, which is an alternative to donating to DMI, if you prefer this method. Please note that this alternative method of giving through Paypal is not tax-deductible, as it would otherwise certainly be if you use the online button above or mail a check, and will not be given to DMI, but to me personally. If you prefer this method of giving, just message me through the comments section of this post to get my email address for Paypal.


"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


Thank you!

We invite you to visit our Collection of Blogs.

Doulos Training School


Doulos Missions International now offers discipleship training online through the Doulos Training School (DTS).  Please visit the DTS online at Doulos Training School to find out more about how you or someone you know can participate.
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Only What's Done for Christ Will Last

When you consider some of the ideals and goals that people -- even we as Christians -- have in life, and all the sacrifices that people make for the sake of those ideals and goals, it's amazing how many worthless things they spend their lives pursuing. 


Whether it be fame, fortune, popularity, sports, hobbies, or other worldly pleasures and selfish desires, they may glitter as gold, but they are like rocks merely painted gold. In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul taught about the importance of making our lives count for Jesus as we seek to build on Christ the one and only foundation. He wrote:

"But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1Co 3:10-15).

Some people incorrectly understand this passage to mean that the believer in Christ cannot possibly miss heaven for any reason, not even sin in their lives, for which they have not repented. They believe that at the end of the believer's life, all his sins will be burned up. Yet that is not what this passage is teaching. It's not about eternal security. Paul was not making reference to sin here. In other passages, he boldly preached against sins that will keep you from heaven, and he taught that true believers must avoid becoming corrupted Christians. He taught that it is possible for believers to drift away from the Lord to their own eternal destruction. Therefore, we know he was not contradicting himself here, but rather he was speaking about the worthiness of a man's works for the Lord as a believer. He was saying that all your works will be tested to see if they were genuinely worthy of the King, and only those that are so will survive the fire. 

The wood, hay, and stubble represent those works that are not done for Christ, or those done with wrong motives, selfish goals, or insincere hearts. The gold, silver, and precious stones are those works we do for Christ with pure hearts, sincere faith, and unfeigned love for the Master. These latter works are the ones done for the glory of God alone that will stand the fiery test and last for eternity, while the former ones will be completely burned up in the flames and be lost forever.

Let me share with you a defining moment in the life of an Englishman named C.T. Studd, who had been raised in a wealthy family and become a famous, star athlete, but later forsook all, gave his money to the poor, and became a missionary to China, then to India, and later to Africa. One evening a friend gave C.T. a tract written by an atheist, in which the atheist explained how he would live if he really believed that Christianity was true, as so many people in England claimed it was. It read in part: "I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering…I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable." The atheist wrote that his life's text would be, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" That tract inspired C.T. and helped to radically change the course of his life.

C.T. gladly gave of his wealth and even forfeited his health for winning lost souls for Christ. Studd's life and service for Christ will always be a shining example to shake from lukewarmness and complacency every soul who names the name of Christ that seeks to live a life of selfish comfort and ease. He is the author of that famous poem called, "Only One Life, 'Twill Soon Be Past." Its recurring verse that most people remember states:

Only one life 'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ will last.

That is essentially what the passage of Scripture is teaching us about in 1 Corinthians 3. It's about the fire of God one day, when our life is over, testing to see whether we have built with worthless materials or worthy ones. Since our rewards are based on our practice, the Lord can only reward us for those things that were truly done for Christ, and everything else will be burned to ashes. What will the fire of God reveal about my life and about yours on that day? Will anything last? We may be surprised to see what lasts and what doesn't. One could build a great mega church and become a famous pastor known worldwide, but that could all be consumed by the flames, while one could take a sandwich to a homeless person in love, doing it for Christ, and it would receive an eternal reward. You have only one life, and it will soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last. May the Lord shake us out of our lukewarmness and complacency, out of our selfishness and ease, and lead us on into a life that is wholly lived for Him.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB copyright the Lockman Foundation, used by permission. 
 
Author's note: You are invited to read For the Glory of God AloneWhatever You Do, Do All Like ThisLiving a Life Worthy of the LordThe Four Tallest Homes in HeavenThe Judgment Seat of ChristLife is Short. Eternity is NotThe Fiery Sufferings of the Believer, The Afflictions of the Righteous, The Refiner's Fire, Living Sacrifices in Consuming FireSins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Drifting Away, Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, Walking in the Perfect Will of God, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Give Me Children or I'll Die!, Here I Am, Send Me, and Rescue Souls! You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Why God Hides His Face

Glory Cloud, New Hampshire
In my previous article, I explained the ongoing Hide and Seek interaction between God and man, including why God hides Himself from us and why we need to seek Him.  Today I would like to discuss a related topic, which is the fact that God's face is deliberately hidden. Did you ever wonder why He hides His face, even from those who are in heaven. We know that His face is enshrouded with divine glory, so why do you think He does that? Even the psalmist asked this question when He said, "Why do You hide your face?" (Psalm 44:23-4). This is a valid question, so let's explore it in Scripture.

First of all, do you remember when Moses asked to see God's glory? Here is how the Lord answered him. "And He said, 'I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.' But He said, 'You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!'" (Exo 33:19-20). Then God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock and passed by, but He only allowed Moses to see His backside and not His face. God explicitly told Moses why he could not see His face, when He said, "No man can see Me and live!" Therefore, we may understand from this statement that it is out of love for us that He hides His face, because it is necessary for our survival.

Therefore, we may ask why our survival depends on it, and why we would die if we saw His face. I realize that the holiness and power of God have a lot to do with that. The prophet Isaiah attempted to describe the indescribable scenes around the throne when he saw the Lord seated there high and lifted up.

In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." (Isa 6:1-5)

You notice how Isaiah knew he was ruined when his eyes beheld the King on His throne, the Lord of hosts? I'm sure you or I would feel the same way if we saw the Lord, too. John the apostle described a similar sight when He was taken up in the Spirit to heaven and stood before the throne:

"Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance." (Rev 4:2-3)
It's amazing how the luminescent smoke fills the temple during those times of worship, as the light and the glory emanate from God, who is seated upon His throne. John described it as a rainbow around the throne in appearance like an emerald. Apparently there are lovely bands of colors in the streams of light and glory surrounding Him. God wraps Himself in light as with a garment (Ps 104:2a). He enshrouds His head with this glory fog so that you cannot see His face. It's awesome to behold, and extraordinarily beautiful. In fact it is perfect in beauty, unlike anyone or anything else you have ever seen or ever will see. Scripture says, "Out of Zion comes the excellence of His beauty." (Ps 50:2, Brenton Septuagint). Other translations refer to it as "the perfection of beauty."

Glory Clouds, at Pinnacle Mtn, NH
The apostle Paul had also seen the Lord, when Jesus appeared to him at noon time while he was on the road to Damascus. At that time the Lord appeared brighter than the noon-day sun. Paul had also been caught up to Paradise and heard inexpressible words that he was not permitted to speak. He described God like this:

"God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen." (1 Tim 6:15b-16, NIV)

David said, "One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." (Ps 27:4). His one desire was to behold the beauty of the Lord.

As the lyrics say in that beautiful, worshipful song, "I Stand in Awe," the Lord is "beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard." No words, nor sounds, nor sights, nor anything you can touch or smell could ever compare to God's beauty. As that song says, "Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom? Who can fathom the depth of Your love?" The songwriter Mark Altrogge explained how he wrote that song during a period when he was reading some books on God's holiness and other attributes. He says he was blown away at the thought that, "God is an infinite being, and infinite in each of his attributes. He is infinitely holy. Infinitely powerful. Infinitely loving. Infinitely wise. In fact, because he is infinite, there will always be things about himself that only He knows. Throughout eternity, those he redeemed will never come to an end of seeing new vistas of his glory, majesty and beauty."

So please allow me to answer the question I have posed: why does our survival depend on being kept from seeing the Lord's face, and why would we die if we saw it? Perhaps one reason is that you would not be able to withstand the experience of seeing such beauty and glory; you would be overwhelmed with it to the point of being completely overcome. As the Lord says, if you saw His face while in your earthly body, you would die. And it seems that even for the saints up in glory, it is rare to see God's actual face. I'm not saying that they cannot see God, because the Scripture says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Mt 5:8). But I am specifically referring to seeing His face.

In fact, there are even some people on earth who claim they have seen God the Father. I recall one brother who said that he once saw God's face and He looked like a very handsome young man. You can read other testimonies like that in my article, The Bodily Form of God the Father, which is one of my all-time most popular articles on my blog Sun of Righteousness.

Summing it All Up
I want to close by saying that Jesus came to reveal the Father to us, and He alone can do so (Joh 1:18). When Philip asked Him to show us the Father, Jesus said that His oneness with the Father is such that if you have seen Him, you have seen the Father, and to know Him is to know the Father (Joh 14:7,9). If you would like to know God more and see the Father, then draw near to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. He said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." (Joh 14:6-7). Jesus Christ is the one and only way to the Father. There is no other way to get to see God's face. This is an experience of a lifetime that you don't want to miss for anything. In fact, it's the experience of all eternity, to which nothing else can compare. 

Why don't you begin to seek God's face now, and press in to know Him? He loves you more than anyone else in the universe, and He has prepared a place for you to be with Him where you can love Him. While He does hide His face in a cloud of glory for your own protection to keep you from dying, He still wants you to seek His face. As David said, "My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek." Let that be your heart's cry, too.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, copyright the Lockman Foundation, used by permission. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Images are actual photos of genuine Glory Cloud witnessed in my home state of New Hampshire, in New England, USA during a February 2013 weekend at the Pinnacle Mountain New Hampshire U.S.A. Photos copyright The Stewarts. I did not personally attend that event. Used according to Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's note: You are invited to read Hide and Seek with God, The Bodily Form of God the Father, Jesus Alone Reveals the Father, The Link Between Two Realms, One ThingSeeking the Lord, Our God is an Awesome God!, Who is God? -- Part I, Who is God? -- Part II, and Obedient to the Heavenly Vision. You may also like the video, Glory Cloud in New England USA. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Active Nature of Faith

The basic premise of this blog is that according to Scripture we should be actively Seeking the Lord, not passively identifying ourselves with Christ as Christians. Aside from the first article in this blog by that name, which I have just alluded to, I have written others like Taking Heaven by Force, Seeking Glory from GodCrying Out to God Loudly, Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God, Pressing on Toward the GoalBy Faith Alone, and Spiritual Do-It-Yourself, which all convey a similar message from the Word that we are to play an active role in our faith walk with God.

As James said, "What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?...Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself...But someone may well say, 'You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works'...You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone...For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (Jas 2:14,17,18,24,26)

Word Study - Lambano
It is important is to understand the active nature of faith. This is plainly evident in the original languages the Scriptures were written in, especially in the selection and usage of verbs and adjectives. One of the most obvious and interesting examples of this in the Word of God is the use of the Greek verb lambáno, meaning "to take" or "to receive."

Definition
According to the Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, lambano means "take in the hand, take hold of, take away, take up, take (into one's possession), make one's own, apprehend or comprehend (mentally or spiritually), grasp, remove with or without force, receive, accept, get, obtain, choose, or select."

According to Strongs dictionary, lambano means "to take...to get hold of, accept, be amazed, assay, attain, bring, catch, have, hold, obtain, receive, or take (away, up)."

Voice
The verb lambano is in the middle voice. In Greek there are three voices -- active, passive, and middle. In English we have only the active and passive voices, but in Greek there is also this middle voice, in which the subject (the person, place, or thing performing the action) not only acts, but he, she, or it somehow participates in the result of the action.

The Greek scholar A. T. Robertson has said:

The only difference between the active and middle voice is that the middle calls especial attention to the subjectIn the active voice the subject is merely acting; in the middle the subject is acting in relation to himself somehow.  What this precise relation is the middle does not say.  That must come out of the context or from the significance of the verb itself.

Deponent
The word lambano is known as a deponent verb. In the eighth chapter of Englishman's Greek, it states:

"A deponent verb is either passive or middle in form, but it is active in meaning.  In other words, the translation of the verb seems to have an active sense, but the form of the verb is either middle or passive.  The lexicon will often say whether a verb is deponent or not.
PRACTICAL SUGGESTION:  The only safe way to determine the meaning of a middle verb is to look it up in the lexicon.  Remember, USAGE DETERMINES MEANING, and the key question is:  HOW WERE THESE VERBS USED BY THOSE WHO SPOKE AND WROTE THE LANGUAGE?"

Therefore, the key to remember about the verb lambano is that while it is in the middle form, it has an active meaning, in which the subject is acting in relation to itself.

Scriptural Examples
This verb lambano shows the active nature of faith, which I would like to highlight today in some key verses of Scripture. In these verses, I have underlined the English word used to translate the Greek word lambano.

Accept
To begin with, here are a couple more examples of the more passive translations of lambano, when the word "accept" is used:

"’Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.’” (Joh 3:11)

“For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.” (3Jn 1:7)

Receive
Although the English translators often use the word "receive" to translate lambano, that word seems to connote a more passive act than what I believe was intended by the originally inspired speaker or writer. I think our English words "receive" and "accept" are too weak and passive to properly convey the active sense of the word lambano. Even if I hand you a gift, you must reach out and take it in order to accept it, so you still play an active role in receiving. Therefore, I believe we should understand these verses where it is translated "receive" to have a more active meaning like "to take, to get hold of, to obtain, to attain, to catch, or to take away."

"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Mat 7:8; cf., Lk 11:10).

"And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Mat 21:22)

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." (Mar 11:24)

"Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full." (Joh 16:24)

"and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight." (1Jn 3:22)

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name," (Joh 1:12)

“So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.”  (Joh. 6:21)

John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven." (Joh 3:27)

"In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;" (Mar 4:16)

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life." (Mat 19:29)

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give." (Mat 10:8)

"For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." (Joh 1:16)

"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

"For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins." (Acts 10:43)

"To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me." (Acts 26:18)

“But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Joh. 7:39)

“And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (Joh. 20:22)

“‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” (Ac. 1:8)

“‘Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.’” (Ac. 2:33)

“Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Ac. 2:38)

“Who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”(Ac. 8:15)

“Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” (Ac. 8:17)

"Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" (Acts 10:47)

He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." (Acts 19:2)

"This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?" (Galatians 3:2)

"In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:14)

"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35)

"And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:11)

"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" (Romans 8:15)

"Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying." (1 Corinthians 14:5)

"For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;" (1 Timothy 4:4)

"In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on." (Hebrews 7:8)

"And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes..." (Hebrews 7:9)

"For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9:15)

"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins..." (Hebrews 10:26)

"I do not receive glory from men;” (Joh 5:41)

“‘How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?’ ” (Joh. 5:44)

"I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” (Joh 5:43)

"Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” (Joh 4:36)

"When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.” (Mat 20:9)

"When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.” (Mat 21:34)

"Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.” (Mat 25:16)

“For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,” (Jas 1:7)

“Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,” (Rev 14:9)

"‘And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.’" (Rev 14:11)

“And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” (Rev 19:20)

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” (Rev 20:4)

“‘He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.’” (Joh. 12:48)

 “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.’”(Joh. 13:20)

“‘That is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.’” (Joh. 14:17)

“‘For the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.’” (Joh. 17:8)

“When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.”  (Ac. 3:3)

“And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.” (Ac. 3:5)

Therefore, when we see the word "receive" in the verses above, I think we should understand it in a more active sense like "taking" in such a way that the subject is acting in relation to himself. As John Podmolik has stated, "In the same way by active faith we take the gift of the sanctifying Spirit - John 20:22, Acts 1:8, 2:38, 8:15, 10:47, 19:2, Rom 5:11, 8:15, we must also take mercy by faith - Heb 4:16 (see Mark 10:47-48, Luk 17:13)...we also take forgiveness of sins - Acts 10:43, 26:18, the reconciliation to God - Rom 5:11, also we take the anointing I John 2:27."

Seize
All of the underlined words in the following verses are English translations of lambano, which help to illustrate the active nature of this verb:

“And a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth; and only with difficulty does it leave him, mauling him as it leaves.” (Luk 9:39)

Take
All of the underlined words in the following verses are English translations of lambano, which help to illustrate the active nature of this verb:

“‘For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.’” (Joh. 10:17)

“‘No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father. ” (Joh. 10:18)

“‘He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.’”(Joh. 16:14)

"And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was." (Hebrews 5:4)

"I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you;" (2 Corinthians 11:8)

"And he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus..." (Acts 9:19)

"And the brethren, when they heard about us, came from there as far as the Market of Appius and Three Inns to meet us; and when Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage." (Acts 28:15)

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.’” (Mat 26:52)

“The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.’" (Mat 27:6)

"They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” (Mat 21:39)

“When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this Man's blood; see to that yourselves.’" (Mat 27:24)

“Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him.” (Joh. 19:1)

“They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.” (Mat 27:30)

“Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.” (Mat 27:48)

“Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.” (Joh. 19:27)

“This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES." (Mat 8:17)

“And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,” (Mat 27:59)

“So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.” (Joh. 19:40)

“And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.” (Mat 28:15)

Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them,” (Mar 9:36)

"The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third.” (Mat 21:35)

"’However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.’" (Mat 17:27)

“'I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Rev 3:11)

“And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.” (Rev 5:7)

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev 5:8)

“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.’” (Rev 5:9)

“Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, ‘Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.’” (Rev 10:8)

“I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.” (Rev 10:10)

“And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.” (Rev 6:4)

“saying, ‘We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.’” (Rev 11:17)

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Rev 22:17)

Catch
All of the underlined words in the following verses are English translations of lambano, which help to illustrate the active nature of this verb:

“Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’" (Luk 5:5)

Picked Up
All of the underlined words in the following verses are English translations of lambano, which help to illustrate the active nature of this verb:

"Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?" (Mat 16:9)

Lay Hold of
"Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12)

Collect
 “When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?’" (Mat 17:24)

“He said, ‘Yes’ And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?’” (Mat 17:25)

Overall the word lambano is used 255 times in the NASB version of the Bible, and that is just one example of a word that expresses the active nature of faith.

Putting it All Together
As we have seen from Scripture, both from its explicit teachings and from the selection and usage of verbs, our faith in God must be living and active, because faith without works is dead. We must participate with the Lord in the process that He is carrying out. That means we must actively embrace Christ, and not just passively accept Him. Each of us must actively receive the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for himself or herself personally. We must actively take for ourselves the grace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness of sins that God has offered us in Christ. Everyone who receives Christ must receive the Holy Spirit, too. He wants all of us to be baptized, not only in water, but with the Holy Spirit, as well as with fire. No matter which of the promises of God we may consider, they are all "Yes" in Christ and we say the "Amen" to the glory of God. We must claim them for ourselves in order to activate them in our lives. We must not only believe, but speak and act, putting His Word into practice. I hope you will implement this message into every aspect of your own life, so that you might be victorious in the ongoing battle against darkness and make it into the kingdom of heaven at last.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, copyright The Lockman Foundation, used by permission. Image may be subject to copyright, used according to the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Seeking the Lord, Taking Heaven by Force, Seeking Glory from GodCrying Out to God Loudly, Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God, Pressing on Toward the Goal, Personal Proclamations of Faith, Faith Works, and Spiritual Do-It-Yourself, as well as Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Holy Fire Baptism. I also recommend By Faith Alone - Part I, By Faith Alone - Part II, and By Faith Alone - Part III. You may find the Main Directory for this blog at Home, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Holy Fire Series

Over the years, I have written several articles about the holy fire of God. In this post, I would like to provide links to this series of articles, so that you have them all in one place. I recommend reading one of them per day over a period of twelve days. The final post has a link to a five-book series called Baptized by Blazing Fire, by a pastor named Yong Doo Kim. Since it will take you more than a day to read through those five books, I have saved it as the best for last; I trust you will be edified by it, and you won't regret having read it.

Where there is no fire there is no light. Therefore, as the apostle Paul said, "Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire!" (1 Thes 5:19). Now here are the links to the posts in my Holy Fire Series:

Holy Fire Baptism
Songs of the Holy Fire
Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire
The Three Elijahs
The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Refiner's Fire
The Burning Ones
The Happy Hunters on Fire
Keeping Your Lamp Burning
Covenant Prayer
The Holy Fires of Hell
Baptized by Blazing Fire -- a Korean church's testimony

Attribution notice: Scripture taken from the Holy Bible New International Version, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Image may be subject to copyright, used per Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes only.
 
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I also recommend reading my article Baptized with the Spirit. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.