Monthly Archives: November 2014

Sailing

In Acts 27, the Apostle Paul starts out on a perilous journey by sea.

He first warns the men surrounding him that the voyage will be beset with danger and “much damage” mainly because of the time of year that they are starting out. (Verse 10)

A soft Southerly wind lulls them into feeling safe; and so they set out, ignoring Paul’s admonition.

A tempest arises…the ship must be “lightened” by throwing their goods overboard. Hope is soon dashed as the storm worsens.

After two weeks of being thrown about by the wind and high seas, Paul addresses the crew and tells them to “be of good cheer” for “the Angel of The Lord” told him that no man would lose his life. That “God hath given thee (Paul) all them that sail with thee.” ***Notice the verb tense.***
All that sail with thee. Not all that **did** sail with thee, or all that **sailed** with thee..but all that SAIL with thee. ***Present tense.*** Now.

(There were 266 souls on board that ship. That number is equivalent to the number 5. ***2 + 6 = 8 + 6 = 14 = 1 + 4 = 5.*** The number 5 is the number of grace, as set forth in the scriptures.) Grace is given all who stay with Paul. Who do not jump ship. Paul tells the men who try to lower a life boat that if they DO leave that tempest tossed ship, that they will die. The men then cut the life boat ropes and stay with Paul.

He then advises them to “eat meat” for they have not eaten for two weeks at that point in time. And so, in the midst of the storm, the men receive meat and their strength is restored, as well as their hope of survival. (We, too are told that we need meat when struggling with the storms in our lives..that meat being provided to us as we read the Word of God and think upon it. Mull it over. Digest it. “Eat the book” as Daniel is told…it will be sweet on the tongue, and bitter in the stomach, as we begin to draw our sustenance from Him. As He gives us His strength while we face each trial and tribulation. As we apply those words to our very lives. The often…bitter truth.)

The crew rallies as their attitudes become changed and refreshed. They are “of good cheer” as they rid the ship of it’s baggage. After taking in this meat, their food…they “committed themselves to the sea” upping the sails and making for shore. They run aground. The fore- part of the ship is held fast. Stuck. The rear part is broken up. All who could swim are instructed to cast themselves into the sea and swim for it. The remaining grab boards, broken pieces of the ship…anything that would keep them afloat as they float towards land.

Paul tells them that no life will be lost of those who sail with him. All 266 aboard bear witness to his words; living to tell the tale. “They escaped all safe to land.”

Isn’t this Paul’s message even today, told us in his Epistles; when he says we will be judged by “his gospel” at the Bema Seat of Christ? That if we stay with him our lives will be saved?

Jesus Christ Himself told Paul “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness BOTH of these things which thou hast seen and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles UNTO whom now I send thee.” Acts 20: 16-17 (Caps mine.)

His appointment was made after Christ arose. His instruction was different than that taught to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, who knew The Lord while He walked upon the earth. Only Paul teaches us who were once Gentiles, to follow him even as he follows Jesus Christ. Of course, this message also applies to the Jewish followers; as well as all believers in this age of grace. But Paul was sent specifically to the Gentiles, while Peter and his crew ministered to the believers in Jerusalem.

We can apply the lesson in Acts 27 to our situation in today’s world. Grace is given to those who believe and “stay” with Paul. Who follow Paul’s gospel. There are more than two or three witnesses found in scripture that attest to these words; this grace, this example which relates to the 266 saved and refers to the number 5 which pertains to grace.

There are 5 offerings in the Tabernacle in Leviticus. (These were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.)
5 women in Christ’s genealogy.
Romans 11: 5 and 6…grace is mentioned 5 times. Works…4 times. (4 is the number of the world.)
5 names of Jesus (Isaiah 9: 6)
5 “works of grace” (Romans )
5 senses in our bodies
5… Is also connected to death. There is no grace without a substitutionary death.

Oh…and those 14 days that the ship’s crew had fasted, until Paul told them to “be of good cheer” and to “eat meat”…equals 1+ 4 or….5.

It’s all about grace….and also…
Something for us…to “chew” upon, while He sets our faith-driven sails to follow the coordinates that will take us to the destination known only to Him.

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

Genealogy; Hmmm.

Has it ever come to mind, as you read the Old Testament…that you/we are descendants of those folks who are described in the scriptures?
I often wonder just who is in that ancestral line of ours…those of us who are believers today.
Did we come from others who had faith? Or are we descended from those who fought so wholeheartedly against the God of our spiritual fathers and mothers?
The Pharisees are still with us today. The Judaizers as well.
Ultimately, the only thing that matters is our standing firm in The Word of God.
That our faith is true. That our love for our Savior…is ever deepening and growing daily.
Just a thought. Something to ponder, as we move along in our daily walk with The Lord.

Ecc 1:9    The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Maranatha…
Louise Hudson

Disparity

Scenario:
You are an athlete. Perhaps a runner. Every day, you must practice in some way in order to maintain your body for the rigors particular to your sport. Stretching. Running. Mental focusing…in order to reach the goal of earning a gold medal or blue ribbon.
Your friend…is a scientist. Every day, he must perform certain tasks in order to maintain his keenness, his edge…in the laboratory. (More likely mental challenges as opposed to physical tasks.) Yet…he also has a goal. Perhaps it is to become a Nobel prize winner. Or to find the cure for a specific disease. Maybe it is to be the very best that he can be in his chosen field.
Both have goals in sight. Goals that will be reached by taking vastly different paths, by very committed people who share a commitment …to growing in their fields as they continually stretch themselves…reaching beyond their present level of function.
Now…consider the Body of Christ. If you are a believer in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; have confessed this belief to God the Father, you are now a member of that August Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head.
(1Corinthians 15:1-4)
A body is made up of many working parts. At the moment of our belief…we are assigned a working part of His Body. One of us is a hand. One of us is a cell. One is a visible part of the Body. Another…an invisible yet equally vital part of the Body.
An arm….must be trained and prepared to take on the responsibilities of this position. The Holy Ghost steps in…the part of the Holy Triad that occupies us in His temple on earth, while we rest in the hope of His coming for us.
The Holy Spirit…who seals us and marks us as belonging to The Lord. He begins to teach that arm how to move. How to lift. How to carry out every task required of an arm…perfectly. This learning does not happen overnight. It is a process.
A kidney…has a less visible role in the Body. It filters. Perhaps discards poisons that would contaminate the Body. Not an overt role, but a hidden, vital part of His Body. Again, the Holy Spirit steps in and reveals what is necessary for a kidney to know. The revelations will of necessity be different from the knowledge that an arm would need in order to carry out its level of function.
Yet; they need to work together in the confines of that growing Body, so that it achieves the purpose intended by the Lord above. In order to fulfill His Plan. To carry out His goals.
And so…if you, as an arm…meet me, as a kidney…will we be able to consider this difference in our spiritual knowledge? That it will be…disparate?
But that even if we do not or cannot see the end result right now, we must work to get along with each other? To function together? To put aside the silly denominational differences of religion that have been taught to us throughout our lives…stepping back to realize the bigger picture that is before us…the picture set forth by the Lord, and not the picture set forth by a man…whose Adamic ideas of scripture have led us this far, if we are part of an earthly congregation?
Are we in fact worshipping our denominations instead of our God? Are we allowing these earthly divisions to separate us from one another in the name of “religion” ie: one says Appollo taught me, one says Paul taught me” loosely translated from ……

1Co 1:12    Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Is it that only after the rapture we can come together in truth, or can we grow enough in Him while living on earth (yet growing invisibly…spiritually…in the heavens…) to recognize and embrace our differences in Him…using the scripture as our base of adhesion instead of our “religion” as a separating force?
We are commanded to “come out of her, my people.”

Rev 18:4    And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Col 2:8    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

We do not have much time to reach the limits of our prescribed growth…to ingest the Holy Spirit’s revelations…to yield completely to Him….to honor Him by acknowledging the terrible price He paid for our salvation through grace…to allow the world to see His brand…His “mark” upon our very soul. Our “mark” is Him in us.

Eph 4:30    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Eph 1:13    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

And by doing this, we can come together as a true congregation of believers…secure in Him….following in faith…becoming who we are in Him….achieving His goals for us…growing consistently as we grow closer and more intimate with Him every moment of every day.
He has not left us here on our own…blindly following our own interpretation of His will for us….He has given us an example to follow. He designated an Apostle specifically for us, in this age of grace, in these end times.
This Apostle is the man who was grown from a high horse as Jesus Christ Himself, AFTER He rose from the dead….told him..Paul…just what he would have to endure as he gave his life over to becoming a new creature in Christ.
We are commanded to follow Paul “even as he follows Christ!”

1Co 11:1    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

The Epistles tell us how to put aside things that separate us from one another, even as we separate ourselves from the world while we grow in Him.
We are to be “in the world” and not “of the world” …seeking each other out so that we can support each other while first glorifying The Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 12:2    And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am convinced that the Holy Spirit brings people into our lives in order to test us. Some…believers. Some…not. How do we treat them? With love…with charity…like the Good Samaritan who truly loved his neighbor as himself?
Sometimes…this is the hardest part of faith. Loving those neighbors, despite how they present to us. Yet, beneath that outer crust…may just be lurking a “gland” who has not yet learned how to communicate with an “arm” in this time and space, in His Body.
Not every Christian has learned that his or her outward appearance should reflect his or her inward belief.
Remember. It is a process. This coming together. This humbling of our nature as we, who are new creatures in Him, learn how to see each other through the truth of His Word…through Him, who is…The Word!
Think about it. We were saved for a purpose. Pray that our diligent attention to scripture and to the “gentle as a dove” Spirit leading..will take us to the level of function demanded by the God who saved us. To our being part of that perfect Body which will mesh forever with it’s Perfect Head.
Maranatha …
Louise Hudson