| Orthodox discerners of true and false teaching! (Is it you?)|
"The church at Ephesus enjoyed an especially noble heritage, having been founded by the apostle Paul(Acts 19) The Ephesian church had witnessed amazing miracles. The risen Christ commended them for their discernment and their forbearance: " I know your works, your labor, your patience and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for my name's sake and have not become weary." (Rev 2:2-3)
John wrote to the believers at Ephesus relaying the Lord's p[pleasure with them, Surely it encouraged them to know that the Head of the church declared them to be orthodox and discerners of true and false teaching. But then those unsettling words: " Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." (Rev 2:4) The Ephesians were orthodox, but they had neglected their love relationship with their risen Saviour. The Lord gave this strong directive. " Remember therefore where you have fallen:repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent" (Rev 2:5)
People are generally unaware of how far they have drifted from God. When God told His people to return to Him in the Prophet Malachi's time, they responded by saying "In what way shall we return? (Mal 3:7) They were tragically unaware of how spiritually disorientated they had become. They dutifully performed their religious rituals and regularly attended weekly worship services, assuming this evoked God's pleasure. Bur God's appraisal of such behavior was pronounced by the prophet Isaiah " Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from me" (Isa 29:13) Allowing your heart to shift from God is dangerous: living in a state of misguided complacency can be fatal. One of the key steps to revival is having your eyes's opened to see the spiritual height from which you have fallen." ( Fresh Encounter, Henry and Richard Blackaby and Claude King)
You can often spot the man or woman who has drifted from God, whose heart is far from God. Its not that he is not orthodox, its just that he has turned his attention on others and is far from the heart of God. It is no longer his love that goes before him, its his knowledge and his reputation. They have taken the place of the love relationship. The abundance of his heart does not speak of the one that he loves, it speaks to the ills of others, it is centered, not on Christ, but on others. If this is the case, then their wisdom is for naught. 1 Cor 13 must always ring in our hearts, we can have all things, we can know mysteries and have all knowledge, yet without the love of God burning in our hearts we are nothing more than clanging cymbals, just so much noise........brother Frank
| 2010/6/13 16:31|
| Re: Orthodox discerners of true and false teaching! (Is it you?)|
Thank you so much for these little briers along the narrow path reminding us, though they nettle at times, to not stray.
Great word Brother Frank.
| 2010/6/13 16:47||Profile|
| Re: |
hi,being stupid most of my life i have found that love is the only power that changes things for the positive. i once would be very critical of churches and ministries and God spoke to my heart and told me that these were His children i was bashing and it was no different then those who yelled crucify Him for whatever i did to the least i did unto Him.micah 6 8 says to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly are the requirements for me.thanks for this wonderful post..jimp
| 2010/6/13 17:02||Profile|
| Re: |
Octavius Winslow writes......
"Oh , it is an alarming condition for a Christian man, when the heart contradicts the judgement, and the life belies the profession! When there is more knowledge of the truth that experience of its power- more light in the understanding than grace in the effections- more pretension in the profession than holiness and spirituality in the walk.!"
It is obvious to all when a man walks in the fullness of the Spirit, to people in the world and to his brothers and sisters..............brother Frank
| 2010/6/13 22:15|
| Re: |
The most amusing thing seen here about the Ephesian church, is Paul's commendation in his epistle to them for their love of Jesus, and Jesus, through John, just a few years later says, "you have LEFT your first love."
(It's called idolatry, or is it bibliolatry?)
Jesus is more than enough.
That we live in Him, for the world around us: to be drawn, to see, and experience.
This remains the focus of prayer.
| 2010/6/13 23:05|
| Re: Discerning relationship|
The mind of Christ is filled with Divine Love relationship. To those speaking Greek at the time of Jesus, there were three main translations of logos: reason, word, and ratio. Ratio is relationship.
I am reminded of A. B. Simpson's Poem, HIMSELF, which I used as an Encouragement to Pray, this week in my fellowship.
Maybe you could try your hand at adding a couplet or two, in the "ONCE" and "NOW" framework. Like, "once the breadth of knowledge, now the depth of love" "once the ills of others, now relationship [maybe not quite clearly enough said].
Here is the poem:
HIMSELF by A. B. Simpson
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored Safe within the vail.
| 2010/6/14 2:14||Profile|
| Re: |
Thanks for this post we can often get caught up in preaching AT one another and forget we should be preaching to a world in need of a savior. We are quick to point out the church of Laodicea not realizing that those of us at Ephesus are not without our own faults. Like the scripture says remove the log from thine own eye.... I dont think there is anything wrong with admonishing one another as the spirit leads but when we become self righteous our love often grows cold.
| 2010/6/14 4:57||Profile|
| Re: |
To me the term Logos is better thought of in terms of shekinah. If the word shekinah can be thought of as the presence of God made visible, then this concept obviously fits Jesus. Jesus being the express image of God, or the fullness of the Godhead or the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God unveiled. There can be no seperation of the presence of God and His Word, they are one and the same. And then the Word speaks and we have a record of what the Word spoke, glory hallelujah, a revelation.
Once I tried to please, now I rest in Him
Once my hopes lay on the outside, now they lie within
Once I dreamed of glory, Now to Him I fly
Oh Lord my God I worship you, hallelujah is my cry
Once I walked in vanity, now I walk subdued
Once I only saw the ills, now I see the good
Once was only ever seeking, my God how can I please
Once was only ever trying, Now is sweet release
Once it was my teaching, Now its Him alone
Once it was my secret place, now it is His throne
Once it was my thoughts and dreams, Now its His desires
Once the light came from my spark, Now He lights the fires
How was that Joan ? :) brother Frank
| 2010/6/14 11:31|
| Re: |
That was sweet, brother Frank, sweet
| 2010/6/14 17:33||Profile|
| Re: |
"I dont think there is anything wrong with admonishing one another as the spirit leads but when we become self righteous our love often grows cold."
I agree with that, been there and done that :(
| 2010/6/14 20:14|