Thus, saith the Lord, DO NOT act as if you are going to live forever because you most definitely are NOT! Acts 2:41.

A man told me not too long ago that he wanted to be a Christian “someday.” He told me it was “not convenient at the moment” to “disrupt his life that much.”

He was too busy living his life in his definition and understanding of his “fast lane” and he was having “too much fun with his moment in the sun” and could not take the time nor make any effort to “just start all over again at his age.”

The first thought that went straight through my spirit was “well, because it was not ‘convenient’ in that ‘moment’ for the man to lice life with Christ as Savior, it was not going to be ‘minimally’ convenient for him to get into heaven either.

There is going to be a day when that decision has to be made or risk later on in life that “it will be too late,” and then the choice will “no longer be available.”

Some will come to the Lord as their Savior and will know freedom, eternal life.

Others we will watch walk away from that moment – into who knows what.

We have our Savior Christ with us and living within us and we watch as that one soul walks or runs away, into their “who knows what or when, where or why.”

What about those phrases – “It will be too late?” “Become no longer available?”

What about them phrases roaming and rummaging around through our souls?

Are our souls sufficiently stirred up by what we are witnessing in that moment?

What of our ” in all OUR WAYS” trusting in the ways of the Lord?

What of our profession of Christian bravado to “go forth in Jesus’ name”?

What of our much-acclaimed adherence to our “Affirmation of Faith?”

Make me a servant
Humble and meek
Lord let me lift up those who are weak
And may the prayers of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today

Make me a servant
Humble and meek
Lord let me lift up those who are weak
And may the prayers of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today

Make me a servant
Humble and meek
Lord let me lift up those who are weak
And may the prayers of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today

And may the prayers of my heart always be
Make me a servant
Make me a servant
Make me a servant today

Acts 2:37-41Amplified Bible

The Ingathering

37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart [with remorse and anxiety], and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what are we to do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways, accept and follow Jesus as the Messiah] and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is for you and your children and for all who are far away [including the Gentiles], as many as the Lord our God calls to Himself.” 40 And Peter solemnly testified and continued to admonish and urge them with many more words, saying, “[a]Be saved from this crooked and unjust generation!” 41 So then, those who accepted his message were baptized; and on that day about [b]3,000 souls were added [to the body of believers].

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

As many times as I have read this passage of text and have had it preached to me over and over again in the Lectionary weeks following “Pentecost Sunday,” the message has always and forever been centered around those thousands who “accepted his message and were baptized and added to the “body of believers.”

Today, however, as I was reading and studying this text for today’s devotional, I subtly was made aware of a different interpretation and understanding of verse 41. It’s 100%great news thousands were added to the Body of Believers that day.

But I could not help but think about and ponder this: “Just three thousand?”

There had to be more than just the “mere three thousand” there. There were those who were just allowed to walk away to focus on those who were baptized.

It is sobering to me in this moment to ‘realize’ there were those hundreds of thousands who ‘shrugged their shoulders, walked away from the “Pentecost Moment.” Scripture is silent on what happened and did not happen to them. It is relatively silent on the new Churches response to their just “walking away.”

It is said that “decisions determine destiny”.

Your life tomorrow will be the direct result of the decisions you make today.

It is estimated that we make approximately 35,000 decisions per day!

There will be consequences for each of those decisions.

These consequences may not be immediate, but they are inevitable.

If you choose to spend more money than you take in, eventually you will go bankrupt. If you choose to lay out of work, eventually you will find yourself unemployed. If you choose to eat too much, you will gain weight. If you choose to neglect your spouse or your children, it may well cost you your marriage.

In the spiritual realm choices have eternal consequences. When our choices are sinful… there will be severe consequences!

Just ask Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, Saul and David, Samson and Delilah, Elijah and the priests of Baal, the Children of Israel Simon Peter and many, many others!

While I was preparing to write the message for today, the Holy Spirit asked me,

“Where are my people getting their meat from?” As I began writing the first words, the Holy Spirit asked me again, “Where are my people getting their milk from?” With each word I began to write, the question became more intense.

The barrage of questions began to be accompanied by images. These images were not images of lollipops, rainbows, pots of gold, and purple gumdrops. These images were not of any smiling faces running through the factory with Willie Wonka to smell and taste all of the chocolate and taste the wallpaper.

These images were of grief and sorrow, shame, of destruction and brokenness.

If anyone remembers the 1971 movie, the original movie, titled, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, they should remember when Willie Wonka takes the children, and the adults with them, to the area that was lined with wallpaper.

This wallpaper was an invention created which allowed 1 dimensional images which resembled fruit to taste like real fruit.

In this scene, Willie Wonka stated, “I must show you this. Lickable wallpaper for nursery school walls. Go ahead, try it. The oranges taste like oranges, the raspberries taste like raspberries, the shnozberries taste like shnozberries.”

The Lord began to deal with me and my soul and revealed that what we are seeing is being projected to the movie going public, a substitute for real fruit.

The Lord then led me to the following verse:

1Peter 2:2-3 AMP — Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto (completed) salvation, 3 if in fact you have [already] tasted [a]the goodness and gracious kindness of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit, then, led me to another set of verses:

1Corinthians 3:1-3 Amplified

Foundations for Living

3 However, brothers and sisters, I could not talk to you as to spiritual people, but [only] as to [a]worldly people [dominated by human nature], mere infants [in the new life] in Christ! I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Even now you are still not ready. You are still [b]worldly [controlled by ordinary impulses, the sinful capacity]. For as long as there is jealousy and strife and discord among you, are you not [c]unspiritual, and are you not walking like ordinary men [unchanged by faith]?

The Lord, then, declared:

“My people are craving spiritual milk, but I am disturbed because instead of feeding themselves with the Word, they are choosing to feed themselves with the world. Their actions, their words, their relationships, their finances, and the fruit they bear are direct results of the substitutes they are consuming.”

You didn’t hear me. So, let me repeat it:

The Lord declared that “their actions, their words, their relationships, their finances, and the fruit they bear are direct results of the substitutes they are consuming.”

My God, My God. This is too heavy a revelation and burden to bear.

The Lord is saying that the many issues we face have a direct correlation to the substitutes we choose to consume.

The world cannot provide us with the real thing.

The world cannot supplement our spiritual needs.

The world can only provide us with a substitute.

And just like in Willie Wonka, after you finish tasting all the candy and all of the chocolate and licking the wall, you’ll still find yourself still abundantly hungry.

The world cannot fulfill the needs that only God can. The Word says that God can, and will, fulfill every need. Anything else is just 100% never good enough.

Just like you cannot substitute Ramen Noodles for pasta and say that you have an authentic Italian meal, you cannot be fed by the world and say that you are being fed the real deal. Only the Word of God from His mouth is that real deal.

Feasting on the Word will lead you to true satisfaction and real manifestations.

Just like with eating a whole bunch of Ramen Noodles, when you allow the world to feed you with substitutes, you will look back later in life, still hungry, wondering why you have high blood pressure, why your blood sugars are high,

wondering why no relationships ever lasted, wondering why you have a table and a medicine cabinet full of all manner of different medicines to treat the myriad effects of the effects of the medicine designed to treat an original issue.

The food of the world will always leave you with all types of issues.

Heartache, heartbreak, uncontrollable health issues, brokenness, depression, anxiety, addictions, and much more, but the Word will lead you to everything that the world cannot give being: healing, prosperity, a sense of positive self-worth, the right relationships, peace, a sense of real belonging, deliverance.

Being or living solely as a “Christian OF the world” is just never going to be good enough for those we know who have chosen to shrug their shoulders, found it to be “too inconvenient” or even “unnecessary” to profess Christ.

Many years later, after the actual Day of Pentecost,

God gave us His recommendations on this matter as Paul would write:

2 Corinthians 2:14-17Amplified Bible

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 15 For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God, [discernible both] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor], but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things? 17 For we are not like many, [acting like merchants] peddling God’s word [shortchanging and adulterating God’s message]; but from pure [uncompromised] motives, as [commissioned and sent] from God, we speak [His message] in Christ in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 3:1-6Amplified Bible

Ministers of a New Covenant

3 Are we starting to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some [false teachers], letters of recommendation to you or from you? [No!] You are our letter [of recommendation], written in our hearts, recognized and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God. He has qualified us [making us sufficient] as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not of the letter [of a written code] but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills [by revealing sin and demanding obedience], but the Spirit gives life.

And this brings me to lesson for today:

Stop acting like a Christian who has all the time in the world to be selfless.

Because not one single one of us have all the time in this world to be selfless.

To begin, I would have to say, that the preface to this message, was a great start to looking at what we need to quit.

The world would like us to believe we can find all of the answers within the world.

The world would like us to believe that we will be just fine on our own just as long as we stay within the confines of its boundaries.

The world would like us to believe that the demands on who we are can be reconciled if we just work harder.

The world wants us to find our identity within precepts of the world.

But I contend that this line of thinking is wrong.

I contend that,

if we seek out the truth of God,

if we find our identity in Christ,

if we seek of the Holy Spirit a fresh anointing,

if we move our focus away from the world and onto Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

if we release our will to God’s will, we will begin to see our Chief Priest, Jesus Christ, providing all of our needs, supplying us abundantly and exceedingly above anything and everything we will ever ask for, and filling us to overflow.

I am convinced that most of what we find hard will become easy.

The world wants us to focus on the results.

God will provide the results when we truly follow Him.

I know the Christian walk may be hard at times, but the fruits of our walk will come without much effort.

What I mean is, having the focus the world wants us to have,

where we are working hard to get a good job, working hard to get the right relationship, working hard to pay our bills, working hard to get more money, working hard to overcome depression, anxiety, and other health issues–and be “Genuinely Christian living with Jesus,” what we are looking for will come easy.

The requirement is that we build an earnest relationship with Jesus and live our lives under the requirements Jesus set for us.

This is how we receive what Jesus has already promised us.

The things we focus on will change,

The people we focus on will change,

and when it all changes to Jesus, in Jesus, transformation 100% happens.

Those who makes the Word of God their guide, and takes to heart its teachings, will find that they are on the right track.

They will clearly see the path.

They will be able to see the road they should be on and know which way to go.

Following the Word of God will allow us to avoid all those other paths which would definitely and decisively lead us astray.

The Word of God will give us insight and a sense of discernment to know when we may turn off from the main path.

Isn’t amazing to know God has truly blazed a trail for us and we have access to knowing which way to go by simply following the handbook we call the Bible?

If we take the Bible to heart and build a relationship with God, we will surely find the things that have been holding us back cannot hold us back anymore.

We will begin to see things for what it is.

When Jesus gave the man sight, it wasn’t just talking about a physical blind man, necessarily. It was talking about, as some call it today……being woke.

With Jesus we can move from a state of ignorance to a state of enlightenment.

We once were blind but now we see…as the song says.

God’s Word is a version of God’s glory. While we wait for Jesus, let the Word of God, and the prophecies within it, shine so bright that it causes the light in you to shine even brighter.

As we begin to digest the Word and allowing it to light our path, don’t keep it in.

There are too many Christians who aren’t doing anything with the gifting God gave them.

There are too many Christians hold in for themselves.

We aren’t called to look out for ourselves.

We are called to help others.

Don’t be like that.

Don’t get Constipated with the Word!

Let it out!

When we allow God to order our steps, God will direct our paths.

-When we release our will to God’s will, we are giving up us and our fleshly desires to allow God to access to our steps. When we have released our will to God’s will, we begin the process of deepening our relationship with Him.

It’s because of this relationship with Him, where we move according to God’s purpose, and design, we begin to see manifestations in our lives that can only be of God–things begin occurring in our lives that we hadn’t seen before; these things are difficult to explain by the logic, and the intellectual capacity, of man.

Things we needed to occur in our lives start to happen. We, even, begin to see connections created that fix things that we didn’t even know were broken.

-When we release our will to God’s will, and allow God to order our steps, God will not only order what we see as “needs to be met,” God will order everything.

When God orders our “Christian” steps, He also orders our life’s environment.

The more we let God in, the more we shine the Word on our life, the clearer we become about who we are in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God wants you to know that you were made perfect.

The world doesn’t define you; He does.

And, once you and I finally, eternally, take hold of that fact, you and I will begin to see advanced manifestations of God’s miraculous, infinitely enduring love.

Your “new” perfect manifestation is soon to be revealed.

A New Affirmation of Faith takes life and takes shape deep within our souls;

“I Quit!”

When I see others walking away from Christ …

I quit — shrugging my shoulders

I quit–believing I’m less than I am.

I quit–seeing myself the way the world sees me.

I quit–being defined by others in my life.

I quit–wearing the mask the world dictates I wear.

I quit–walking away from God!

I quit–leaving my light in a corner.

I quit — looking only in my mirror and living for myself

I quit! I quit! I quit!

because …

John 10:15-18 Amplified Bible

15 … even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep. 16 I have [a]other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they will listen to My voice and pay attention to My call, and they will become [b]one flock with one Shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life so that I may take it back. 18 No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down voluntarily. I am authorized and have power to lay it down and to give it up, and I am authorized and have power to take it back. This command I have received from My Father.”

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Emmanuel, God with us! God within us, Lord God Almighty, I praise Your holy name. Today, Lord, I feel so tired, weary and discouraged. The only way I see out of this personal valley is to give up totally. Things seem ever so gloomy.

I welcome the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Let Him be my Intercessor, let Him be my Comforter and my Reassurance and Guide. I acknowledge before You that I see “other shoulders shrugging” and may need to make difficult changes in my own life. But, making changes isn’t giving up, doing nothing when I need to, is.

Help me my Lord, and my Savior to give control of my life over to You in every way, and to become the Christian You would have me be. Thank You Lord, that You have not given up on me and I ask You to teach me Your way from this day forward. In Jesus’ name I pray, Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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