Holy Week: The Lord Is Looking For Fruit Of Repentance

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This is my first time truly observing Lent and really coming before the Lord to have his way in me. To remove anything in me that displeases him and oh how he has taken me upon that offer or better yet I don’t think it was my inclination at all. It was his and he simply wanted to let me in on what he was going to do anyway lol. So there has been a lot of trials  where I can see the Lord is testing my faith, ridding me of fear, testing my patience,  having temptation to return back to the lust of the world and really calling me deeper in surrender. He has had me at his feet so that I may come to know him more, grow in discernment and have deeper fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

He has had me at his feet also on Sundays, where I learn from him the most and this past Sunday woke up feeling completely exhausted after prayer as I thought to myself “Lord maybe I should go to church today because after all it is Palm Sunday. However, he put a desire in my heart that he wanted to teach me about Palm Sunday what it really means and the significance to our Christian walk. So this blog is expressing the ideas of a minister whom the Lord led me to listen too to learn the true meaning of Palm Sunday and further more Lent. It such amazing revelations and gave me a greater understanding that this “religious holiday” is not just to be recognized or just to do a devotional and then go right back to the way things were before. No, the Lord is indeed wanting to purify and call us all to repentance. A word were not really familiar with in this generation that no longer desires to be talk about sin but  only God’s grace it seems thereby living like the world but professing Jesus. Furthermore, causing this generation lack greatly in personal holiness and that is what the Lord is desiring that we be holy as he is holy. He then offers “grace” to obtain that! Either way I am just like the rest for truly I am a working progress and have much willful sin the Lord is dealing in me daily Pride, Self righteousness, Jealously, Gossip, Lust the list goes on however he continues to remind me as he shows me all these hidden sin. That his grace is available for me to overcome this sins, baring fruit to really live a holy life. So may this Holy Week be a week where we all give ourselves over the Lord for him to prune us and bare fruit worthy of repentance

Palm Sunday: Fruit of Repentance Sermon Notes

Matthew 21:1-11
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Bethany means “house of figs” while Btehpage is house of “un-ripe figs”
-Jesus left a house full of believers into a town of people shouting his praise who lacked repentance for they soon would be the ones to yell “crucify him”
-“Figs” symbolize Fruit of repentance The Triumphal Entry of Jesus was foreshadowing of a Parable being acted out ” the Parable of the Fig Tree”

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Luke 13:6-9

And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Jesus ministry was for 3 1/2 years to the Jewish people, the fig tree baring no fruit was the Jewish people and the “man” is God the father coming to retrieve fruit from his chosen people but finds none and wants to cut it off. However, our beloved Jesus the “vinedresser” tells the Father no give Jewish people more time and if not then cut them down. We know know it means to give salvation to the Gentiles first instead of the Jews who ended up rejected him!

Back to the Triumphal Entry
He rode on ass before riding on a colt , the ass represents the Jews and the Colt represents the Gentiles. The Lord came to the Jews first but they rejected him and the Gentiles repented and accepted him to receive salvation.
-The Palm leaves were a sign of great triumph not only in Christian art but victory in sports hence the crowd waiving pal branches
-During this time of lent he has been looking for fruit worthy of repentance. He has come again to check our “Fig trees”, to see if we are baring fruit worthy of repentance.
Oh, how easily we praise him with Palm leaves in our hands one day then the next we crucify him with our sinful ways actions. How easily we can be so much like the crowd, tossed too and fro in commitment from one day to the next.
Jesus knew men were fickle so he never  entrusted himself to any man ( John 2:24)

The Lesson of The Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-35
And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as it branches become tender and sproutleaves, you know that summer is near.  So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door

So what is the lesson in all of this? The branches are tender in this generation Jesus is coming very soon!

  • Will the Lord find Holy people in his church today when he comes to check the Fig Tree? Will the Lord find fruit on your tree worthy of repentance when he comes to check?

We must commit ourselves to holiness, charity in serving others and sanctity lets ask the Lord for these graces and to prune us so we may be a fruitful bride!

 

-From Jesus With Love

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The Sin of Job…”Woe is Me”

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This the first time I have given myself over in Lent truly allow the Lord to do surgery upon my heart and have his way in me. As it is a time of purification as the Lord draws you nearer to produce holiness.  He mentioned it would be challenging and how it has been to say the least. As he been showing me many hidden sins within myself that have been a hindrance to what he has called me to and to holiness. He has allowed many test and trials which I seemed to fail right after the other because of the same vices. I began to get frustrated, discouraged and found myself in self pity as I was thinking but Lord I have done all you have asked, I have done this..and that and this…and holy spirit continued to give reading in Job during my time of communion. As I finally realized he was pointing out one major hidden sin which was the sin of Job, the “woe is me sin”. The sin of Self Righteousness and Self Pity.

Job 32:2-4

So these three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He was also angry with the three friends, because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him. 

If I can be honest many times I have heard of the story of job and read the last chapter but not the entire book and I never quite understood why his friends were reprimanded by God or understood why Job was severely chastised by the Lord. It was God who told Satan that he was righteous Job 2:6-22. However, as you see in Job 31, Job goes on to tell his friends all the sin’s had not committed to be worthy of this suffering he was going thru. Which sounded just like me when the Lord would reveal another hidden sin I would go on this rant within my heart regrading all the the sins I hadn’t done because it was utterly despondent  to find myself falling into sin everyday. Until, the Holy Spirit began to show me it is my Self righteousness that causes me to go into self pity when the Lord allows more suffering or reveals sin because there is nothing I can do within myself to ever be clean before him. It is Christ righteousness that makes me clean and therefore whatever he allows I deserve because he took the worst punishment which was death. Which I never have to taste because of what Christ has done.

I was humbled to say the least and really began to see the depravity of my immense pride that still lingered now in self righteousness and contending with the Lord by going into self pity when he allowed these ever fiery trials as I deserved his consolation or relief. He has been truly teaching me what it means to be a “living sacrifice” and to be yielded in “Total Surrender” which means to be a wounded prisoner of his love. Suffering with Christ and as Job finally stated “if he slay me, yet I will praise him” (Job 13:15). I believe the Lord is looking for us all as believers to come to that place of maturity that though he slays our flesh yet we will praise him! For many of us we are not willing to suffer or even surrender in suffering because we murmur, complain, get discouraged and worse go in self pity thinking we don’t deserve what the Lord is allow which will lead us all into self righteousness.

 

However, the Lord is faith and even though he is sovereign and he has divine providence over each our lives with whatever he allows which is always right and just. He is a good good Father as he has been reminding me in this season of Lent. That although this process of purification is painful and challenging he promises to restore. Always that nothing we sacrifice or endure is without merit in due time if we don’t give up. He is faithful to restore, establish and strengthen us. Just as Job, whose later days were far more glorious, joyful, fulfilling and fruitful more than the former. So my friend lets continue to endure and say yes to Jesus to whatever he ask of us, whatever he takes from us, and whatever failures we face. We say yes to you Jesus, we thank you for your righteousness that you clothe me us with and  give us he grace to rejoice in our suffering in Jesus name!

-From Jesus with Love

 

Job 31

What Can I Expect from God?

31 1-4 “I made a solemn pact with myself
    never to undress a girl with my eyes.
So what can I expect from God?
    What do I deserve from God Almighty above?
Isn’t calamity reserved for the wicked?
    Isn’t disaster supposed to strike those who do wrong?
Isn’t God looking, observing how I live?
    Doesn’t he mark every step I take?

5-8 “Have I walked hand in hand with falsehood,
    or hung out in the company of deceit?
Weigh me on a set of honest scales
    so God has proof of my integrity.
If I’ve strayed off the straight and narrow,
    wanted things I had no right to,
    messed around with sin,
Go ahead, then—
    give my portion to someone who deserves it.

9-12 “If I’ve let myself be seduced by a woman
    and conspired to go to bed with her,
Fine, my wife has every right to go ahead
    and sleep with anyone she wants to.
For disgusting behavior like that,
    I’d deserve the worst punishment you could hand out.
Adultery is a fire that burns the house down;
    I wouldn’t expect anything I count dear to survive it.

13-15 “Have I ever been unfair to my employees
    when they brought a complaint to me?
What, then, will I do when God confronts me?
    When God examines my books, what can I say?
Didn’t the same God who made me, make them?
    Aren’t we all made of the same stuff, equals before God?

16-18 “Have I ignored the needs of the poor,
    turned my back on the indigent,
Taken care of my own needs and fed my own face
    while they languished?
Wasn’t my home always open to them?
    Weren’t they always welcome at my table?

19-20 “Have I ever left a poor family shivering in the cold
    when they had no warm clothes?
Didn’t the poor bless me when they saw me coming,
    knowing I’d brought coats from my closet?

21-23 “If I’ve ever used my strength and influence
    to take advantage of the unfortunate,
Go ahead, break both my arms,
    cut off all my fingers!
The fear of God has kept me from these things—
    how else could I ever face him?

If Only Someone Would Give Me a Hearing!

24-28 “Did I set my heart on making big money
    or worship at the bank?
Did I boast about my wealth,
    show off because I was well-off?
Was I ever so awed by the sun’s brilliance
    and moved by the moon’s beauty
That I let myself become seduced by them
    and worshiped them on the sly?
If so, I would deserve the worst of punishments,
    for I would be betraying God himself.

29-30 “Did I ever crow over my enemy’s ruin?
    Or gloat over my rival’s bad luck?
No, I never said a word of detraction,
    never cursed them, even under my breath.

31-34 “Didn’t those who worked for me say,
    ‘He fed us well. There were always second helpings’?
And no stranger ever had to spend a night in the street;
    my doors were always open to travelers.
Did I hide my sin the way Adam did,
    or conceal my guilt behind closed doors
Because I was afraid what people would say,
    fearing the gossip of the neighbors so much
That I turned myself into a recluse?
    You know good and well that I didn’t.

35-37 “Oh, if only someone would give me a hearing!
    I’ve signed my name to my defense—let the
        Almighty One answer!
    I want to see my indictment in writing.
Anyone’s welcome to read my defense;
    I’ll write it on a poster and carry it around town.
I’m prepared to account for every move I’ve ever made—
    to anyone and everyone, prince or pauper.

38-40 “If the very ground that I farm accuses me,
    if even the furrows fill with tears from my abuse,
If I’ve ever raped the earth for my own profit
    or dispossessed its rightful owners,
Then curse it with thistles instead of wheat,
    curse it with weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job to his three friends were finished.

 

 

Wholly Given Over To Holiness

Glowing Bible and dark city

(Kevin Carden Photography)

I heard a pastor say that this millennial generation has some of the best preaching, teachings and catchy lines since the church began because we have podcast, old sermons, great man and and woman of God we can glean from. As the the word of God says in the latter days knowledge would increase. So we have obtain much knowledge to feed our generation but we  lack more than any generation….personal holiness.
How many of  us have allowed the word of God to transform our heart, our minds and our way of life? Its not just about catchy phrases, cute apparel, how much wisdom you know or how well you can recite another preachers sermon but how have you allowed the word of God to take root to transform your life.

1 Peter 1:16
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy

Interestingly the Lord never said ” YOU ARE holy for I am holy…..no he said BE Holy for I am holy. That means there is a part that all believers take part in the work and process of becoming holy. Yielding yourself completely to the holy spirit not even knowing the cost but giving yourself solely and whole heartily to it because you love Jesus. Not out of obligation or religious superiority but out of the love for the God that you serve to be more like him. The Holy Spirit is who empowers us to live holy lives before the Lord. I just love this statement “ We will not successfully resist the temptation of hollow, fleeting pleasures if we live in a “fascination vacuum.” We must be preoccupied with a superior fascination. A spiritually bored believer is vulnerable to Satan when he comes knocking at their door—that is why sins of our flesh are running rampant in the Body of Christ. But my point is not to give a list of other preoccupations; rather, to say that the reason that so many believers are addicted to fleshly pleasures is because they live in a spiritual vacuum. They have settled down and become content to live in spiritual boredom. I urge you not to be content to live this way. The key to successfully resisting temptation is not just loving Jesus in a vague, general way and hoping to avoid sin. We need something that really grips us spiritually. We need to live fascinated! Fascinated with God. I am not talking about going to Bible school, going on a missions trip, or being on an outreach team. We need something far more gripping than that: in the secret place of our lives we need to know and experience more of Jesus.”

What does Holiness look like?  that “The call to holiness is a call to enjoy God. Holiness is not a call to miss out on fun. Yes, we are missing out  sinful activities, but our heart is not missing out. Those activities will never satisfy you, nor will they refresh you or deeply connect you to other people. They will keep you broken, isolated, and disconnected”

Psalm 37:3–4
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart

 

As the Lord continues to take me on the journey of Holiness I have learned that the way to holiness is delighting yourself in the things of God, letting go of world pleasures and comforts that truly will never satisfy. Most importantly relying on Gods grace and asking the Holy Spirit for help when the Lord desires for me to let go of something I want to hold onto.  How we will make a difference in this world as believers is when we look separate from the world, walking in righteousness, holiness and carrying the presence of God to a dark, lonely, hopeless and dying world. The apostles and saints of old lived holy lives and I have come to see unfortunately in this generation to pursue living a  life of holiness you are immediately called “legalistic”, or “religious” but obedience is not legalism it is just that …..obedience. Our generation needs to take the word of God a lot more serious because indeed Jesus is serious about his word. I remember first reading the bible with the Holy  Spirit and I began to be so convicted of my lifestyle. I thought I could still profess Jesus and do what I desire thinking he would understand…when I asked him Jesus you are really serious about your word, I didn’t expect to him to respond until he said YES. I thought to myself….ooooh lol, thats when the Holy Spirit began to do a radical change in my heart and in my life as I continue to climb this mountain of holiness with Jesus. Falling many times in the process but yielding myself to his correction and his mercy and grace to MAKE ME HOLY AS HE IS HOLY

-From Jesus With Love

Prophetic Message From Jesus
Jesus began “As in everything we have done before, turtle steps; the steady, unwavering tortoise wins over the impetuous hare. And My Mercies are new every morning as you pursue the course set out for you. Just be aware, My love, continually, that you are moving towards the goal of detachment from all earthly values, even the opinions of men. Shall the servant of God hearken to the wisdom of men? No.”

“I’m calling you to live a holy life no matter which life you choose. But if you choose holiness with great consistency, you will find it increasingly hard to live in the world. That is why I am forever telling you who are young on this channel to leave the world and join a mission effort. But you will have to come to Me and ask for courage, because everyone will come against you in your decision.