Why I Believe in Jesus—When I Called, He Answered

Like many Christians, I was raised to believe in the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, being raised in the faith within a largely Christian society is not why I believe in Jesus.

There are several reasons why I believe. One of the most substantial reasons is that He answered when I called out to Him.

Though I was raised a Christian, I lived a worldly life. Eventually, the consequences of an ungodly life came crashing down on me. In desperation, I prayed to Jesus. I did not notice an answer, but I felt enough relief to keep me from going through with a suicide plan.

I was also led to a series of Online bible studies, and I began to learn more about the Christian faith in a way that spoke to me and inspired me to take the faith more seriously.

This might seem like a small thing to some, but to me this was huge. I knew that Jesus heard me. I knew that He saved me from death, and He was leading me towards Him.

Jesus has answered in many ways since that time.

He answered when He sent me the Holy Spirit. He answers hard life circumstances through the council of other believers. He opens my understanding of the scriptures and various Christian topics. He answers prayers by calling specific scripture to my remembrance or by redirecting my thoughts.

These also might seem insignificant to some, but these interactions with Jesus mean more to me than I can explain. I know Jesus is there. I know He hears, and I know He cares.

Jesus was not always important to me, but the more important to me He becomes the more I hear Him. The more I hear Him the more I know that I need to hear Him, and He becomes even more precious.

Calling out to Jesus through prayer can feel strange if you’re not used to it, but my entire life was changed by that one prayer. I did not recite a special prayer or tract. I called out to Jesus in my desperation and He took over. He made Himself the Lord of my life in a way that I could not resist, and I know Jesus is alive and leading me. He is more real than anything else I know.

I plan to write weekly testimony articles like this one on Tuesdays. I also want to share testimonies of other believers. If you have a story you would like to share or if you have a question about my experience with the faith that you’d like to hear more about, please reach out.  

Considering Proverbs 9:11

11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

If we follow the wisdom and will of God, then generally, we can expect to live a long life when compared to a life lived outside of the wisdom and will of God.

However, there are always two sides to an idea.

On one hand, those who follow the ways of Jesus will live a more fulfilled life than they did before He became the Lord of their life. The teachings of Jesus bring us out of destructive thoughts and behaviors that damage our minds, bodies, and relationships. The teachings of Jesus show us how to love God and others and experiencing His grace despite our shortcomings brings a great freedom to us.

As Jesus said, “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

On the other hand, those who follow Jesus often experience great difficulty in this life. Sometimes that difficulty arises out of chastisement. Sometimes that difficulty arises because we need to grow. Sometimes that difficulty arises because this world hates those who follow Jesus and who stand up for what is good and true.

As Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world the world would love you, but you are chosen out of this world, therefore the world hates you. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”

When we see things going well for a Christian, we want to rejoice with them because we see that God has blessed them. We should be glad for our brethren during their prosperous times in this world.

When we see things going “bad” for a Christian, we might begin to wonder what they did wrong. We might think that God has removed blessing from them. There are times of chastisement, but it is also true that the closer a person follows Christ the more likely they are to suffer for His name.

The more a Christian wants to become Christ like, the more trouble they often suffer. Putting on Christ through faith is simple but having our inner selves conformed to His image is painful. However, as we grow and change, we find that “his burden is easy, and his yoke is light.” We begin to experience that “abundant” life.

There are times of peace and there are times of trouble, but all times are blessing.

So, we should support our brethren when they are going through hard times, and as strange as it might seem we should rejoice with them just as we rejoiced with them when things were going well.

As Paul the apostle said, “rejoice in the Lord always.”

Whether we ourselves are experiencing times of ease in Jesus Christ or times of trouble, we know that it is the working of the Lord and He has something good planned for us—and the end of all things for a Christian is eternal life. We might not feel like rejoicing, but in trusting Jesus and in praising His name we will find peace during hard times.

“Again I say, rejoice.”


Scripture cited within this article can be found in John 10, John 15, and Philippians 4. If you want to know more about my take on Christian chastisement and suffering, visit this link: https://thelordalone.com/2020/07/25/chastisement-and-suffering-complete-series/

Do you have a story to share about how following Jesus added fulfillment to your life? Do you have a story to share about how following Jesus meant suffering in this life? Feel free to share, comment, or ask questions. You can also reach out in a private message or email.

They Cannot Censor God

If you are a Christian and you are given something to say in the name of Jesus, they CANNOT censor you. Sure, they will censor you for a time, but the Lord of Heaven will not allow this to stand.

“He that sits in the heavens shall laugh.”

In their attempts to shut you up, they are bringing their own demise. Should they attempt to stop you, “the stones will cry out.”

Our God is a God of peace, but if they refuse peace then they will have war.

Do not be afraid of them.

If God has something to say through you, He will make is so that His words are heard. His word endures forever. They cannot and will not cancel Jesus and the cannot and will not cancel you who speak in His name of a truth.

Your voice will be heard because your voice is His voice

Luke 19:37-46

37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;

46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

October-2-2020 Update

Hello!

This is just a quick note to let readers know of upcoming changes.

I really enjoy the Proverbs study, but there are other things I want to do. I also recognize that people do not have the time or desire to read these everyday. I will try to make those posts a little shorter, and I also considered all of my present goals for Jesus Alone.

As a result, I created the following categories/posting schedule:

Bible Study (Monday): This includes topical studies, whole chapters, and whole books. I’m not the best teacher, but I want to continue learning and share my thoughts along the way. Feel free to disagree and discuss.

Testimony (Tuesday): This includes stories from my Christian walk, inspirational testimonies I find from other Christians, and testimonies shared by Jesus Alone readers (goals mostly as of now).

Motivation (Wednesday): My hope is to offer bits of encouragement and support while discussing some hard issues we need to think about.

Recovery (Thursday): Like all of us, I am a work in progress; however, I want to use my life experiences to help other Christians find healing from a variety of mental/emotional health issues. This is from a Christian perspective with insight from the word of God. There is a lot of bad information out there for people who are hurting and seeking help. Jesus has the best answers!

Doctrine (Weekend): The goal is to consider Christian teachings from all angles, to the best of my ability, so we can consider Christian doctrine afresh without our ingrained biases.

I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road. There will be days when I cannot post content, and there could be days that do not follow the schedule if I feel led to post something in particular. This is a loose schedule, but I do intend to stick to it for the most part.

This information and more is found on my About/Contact page.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, and thank you for reading my news update.

❤ Amanda

Considering Proverbs 9:10 (Part 2)

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

What does it mean, “knowledge of the holy is understanding?”

I looked up different translations of the verse above, and I think we were on the right track yesterday; the best kind of knowledge is the knowledge of He who is Holy and True: Jesus Christ.

There is a lot of knowledge to gain in this world, and there is a lot of knowledge to gain as a Christian. So much so, that we can become easily overwhelmed by it all. I know I have been.

As Christians, we know that there is beneficial knowledge in this world and there is knowledge of the world that calls evil good and good evil, so we want to steer clear of that. That is a good discussion to have, but for now I want to focus on Christian knowledge.

There are so many Christian teachings to learn.

There are the lessons of Jesus, then there are the different ways that man has interpreted His teachings. There are many Christian denominations and traditional churches. There are tons of online ministries, many of which oppose traditional Christianity. How can a person find the truth in the midst of all this chaos?

How can a person find the knowledge that matters most: the knowledge of the Holy One when there are so many conflicting ideas about who He is and what He teaches?

I look back over the massive amount of Christian information and knowledge I have sifted through, and I wonder, what would I tell myself at the beginning? What would help other people short-cut through all the garbage I had to go through?

In all my learning, it is just this simple:

Put your trust (faith) in Jesus.

However, a lot goes into trusting Jesus. Our Christian faith means that we learn to:

  • Trust that Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins, and trust that His mercy is for you.
  • Trust that Jesus rose from the dead, and that means He will return and gather His chosen to Him, so they too will rise from the dead.
  • Trust that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world, so that we can learn of Jesus and grow in Him.
  • Trust that our salvation is His work from start to finish, so trust in His perfect timing and methods for your life.
  • Trust that though hard times are necessary for our growth, all things are working together for our good, even if it does not seem so at the time; trust that Jesus will get you through it.
  • Trust that though this world will come against you, Jesus will not leave you.
  • Trust that God is not mocked, so if we claim the blood of the Son, we should take our faith seriously because we will give an account for what we did with the faith we were given; trust that we will grow in faithfulness because Jesus never loses a single person that belongs to Him.
  • Trust that Jesus said there would be corruption within the faith, but God ordained it and He will deal with it; trust that this too is for our good and we should not succumb to temptations that corrupt our walk with the Lord.
  • Trust that the word of God is true, and we can learn a lot about how to live a Christian life if we immerse ourselves and respect both the written word and Jesus who is the Word.
  • Trust that the Holy Spirit will cause us to understand scripture if we place knowing Jesus above knowing the traditions of mankind.
  • Trust that all knowledge in the scripture is profitable, and all Christian doctrines have a place, but the most important lessons are those that teach us how to love God and love others effectively.
  • Trust that we are all limited in our knowledge of the Lord, and Jesus is merciful towards our misunderstandings and disagreements if we love Him and love each other.
  • Trust that one day Jesus will return and set all things right, and we will not suffer in this present world anymore; we have an everlasting inheritance and all the work we have done to honor Him and all the suffering we did for Him will be rewarded.

These are simple truths, but there is a lot of depth to each of them also, and it is not so simple to live these things out. I know I have room to grow in all these things, but I trust in Jesus and I am learning to trust in Him better. I hope that any who reads this will also consider. How can you trust in Jesus better?

***Side Note: Sometimes I think about what I wrote and I regret not considering who might read this and how something I wrote could be misinterpreted. I want to say that I have benefited from good Christian teaching online and offline. Not all was “garbage.” ***

Do you have a testimony to share about how trusting Jesus changed your life for the better? Do you have a struggle with trust that you want to talk about? Do you want to discuss any of the above bullets in more detail? Leave a comment or send me a private message or email. I’d be so happy to hear from you.

Considering Proverbs 9:10

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

How does fear of the Lord make one wise?

There are many things in life that cause us to feel foolish, but I don’t think we will ever feel foolish when we trust in Jesus and do His will. We feel foolish when we think we are in His will but later discover that we are not, but we can also be glad because His mercy is there to pick us up and set us straight, especially if we do fear Him.

Doing the will of God will not cause us shame. He is wise in all that He does, so if we trust in Him and learn to walk in His will, we will not fail. This world might mock us or envy us but the more we live in Christ and the more freedom we experience from foolishness and destruction, the less we will care about what the mockers say.

We also know that though the Lord is patient and merciful, the wrath of God will come upon the disobedient, so we both respect that and trust in that.

We thank Jesus for His sacrifice that makes us holy in the eyes of God, freeing us from fear of condemnation. However, we know that one day we will face Jesus and give account for what we did with the salvation that was bought with His suffering and death.

That to me is a fearful thing. I don’t want to stand before a resurrected Jesus, who is so powerful and glorious, and have nothing to show for what He did for me. I want to do my upmost to serve Him and trust in Jesus to make that work effective.

A Note of Encouragement in Service:

Do you want to serve Jesus but feel like you don’t have what it takes? Have you begun to serve Jesus but feel tempted to give up because you aren’t doing good enough? Please keep going.

If I relied on my ability—which is very little—and my wisdom—which is foolishness—I would have given up a long time ago. I want to encourage anyone who reads this. Do not give up on serving the Lord.

People in their pride and arrogance will try to discourage you, but once Jesus puts something in your heart to do, He will cause you to do it and grow in it. Don’t listen to what other people say; listen to Him and trust in Him and He will do the work in you and through you.

Instead of fear of failure or what other people say or do, fear standing before Jesus with nothing to show for His sacrifice, having “buried your talent in the earth.”

Instead of trusting in your ability, trust in the desire He placed in you and His work in you.

We make mistakes. That is how we learn. If we are honest and seek Him, all mistakes are for our good and we will get to a point where our service is profitable.

I also want to say that when we think of service, we might think about ministry, leading a bible study, or performing acts of charity. These are forms of service, but living a Christian life is what it is all about. The service I want to grow most in is service to my family and friends as a good Christian who can help lead people to Jesus and grow in Him. That is the service Jesus really wants, and we can and will grow in that if we fear Him and trust in Him.  

Sometimes we don’t know what we should be doing. There is something we can work at. There is some way that we can grow as a Christian. Take whatever measure of faith Jesus has given you and whatever measure of desire for service Jesus as given you, and work at it. Keep seeking the Lord to make His will known to you.  

What does it mean, “the knowledge of the holy is understanding?”

Does it mean that knowledge of holiness is understanding, or does it mean that the holy will know understanding? I’m not sure how to read this, but one thing does come to mind.

What is profitable knowledge?

There are all kinds of knowledge in this world, but not all knowledge is beneficial. The knowledge that matters most is the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is knowledge that leads to pride and foolishness, and there is knowledge of the righteousness and wisdom of God that brings good things to us.

We will never be ashamed of this knowledge. I want to write more about that tomorrow.  

For now, how can we grow in a more perfected fear of the Lord?

Maybe we consider that God is always there and He knows all things. If we are mindful of this, we might become more aware of our actions. Maybe we consider that God knows every detail of our hearts. If we are mindful of this, we might seek Him so that we can face our darker selves and find forgiveness and healing. Maybe we consider the sacrifice of Jesus and we want to be faithful servants. Maybe we want to care more about pleasing God than fearing what the world thinks of us or might do to us.

There’s always something we can grow in.

Do you have something to share about how the fear of God changed your life for the better? Do you have a problem you want prayed for or need someone to talk to? Leave a comment or contact me privately. I am happy to help and I so much love to hear the testimony and perspectives of other believers.

Considering Proverbs 9:7-9

He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

The way we receive correction, give correction, and respond to those who refuse correction are important things to consider as Christians.

How should we receive correction?

If we are doing something wrong or if someone is concerned about us in the faith, we should try to listen to the correction of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Sometimes we don’t want to hear it. Maybe we aren’t in a receptive mood at the moment, or maybe there was something about the delivery of the correction that was off-putting, so we shut out ears. Maybe we don’t think we were at fault, so we don’t pay any attention to what we are being told.

In any instance, I think it is always better to do our best to be receptive than it is to shut people out who care enough to correct us. It isn’t easy to correct people. If someone is willing to risk that uncomfortable conversation, we should love them for it and do our best to hear them.

What if someone approaches us in anger?

In these instances, we can gauge the situation and decide if we should handle the matter right away or ask to visit the situation when everyone is calm. If we have hurt someone, they have reason to be angry and we should offer a sympathetic word that lets the person know we hear them, and we want to make things right.

How should we give correction?

The scriptures teach us to offer correction in the spirit of meekness, which means we use restraint.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).

We should monitor our heart towards people. If we are feeling self-defensive, vengeful, afraid, or self-righteous, then we are not going to handle the matter in the most productive way.

It’s better if we can try to put ourselves into the shoes of the person we are approaching, so that we can find a place of compassion for them. How have we sinned in a similar way? How would we want to be treated if someone were to correct us?

It is always better if we deal with our own sin first, because that provides us with the insight and heart to help a person who struggles in like manner. This is what it means to “get the beam out of your own eye before removing a speck out of your brother’s eye.”

If we are blinded by our own sin, then that is not good. We are acting in hypocrisy and though we judge others, we really judge ourselves.

Jesus said:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matthew 7:1-2).

Judge Not?

Christians and unbelievers alike like to say, “judge not.” Jesus talked about judging righteous judgment. We are supposed to judge. We are supposed to rebuke, but we are supposed to do this in an effective way with a heart of love for others. It is not love to leave a person in sin and self destruction. To say judge not is a cop out from having a difficult conversation that we would rather not have. To say judge not is to love ourselves and not others.

Most things can be handled gently, but there are times for sharp words too. Sometimes you cannot sugar coat things. Sometimes you must be direct and firm. It depends on the severity of the matter and if the person we are talking to would benefit most from a direct and sharp approach.

What if no one else will speak up?

Sometimes people are too afraid to speak up, so you don’t know if you should. In these cases, we have to judge whether it is the person’s best interest to let the matter go or to speak up, even if we do so alone. Some people are enabled by others to continue in harmful patterns of behavior, and it is not love for us to join in that enabling.

In all things we seek Jesus, and He will direct us on how to best deal with others.

In all cases, we should think about how we would want to be treated and approach the person in like manner. For example, if we are doing something wrong, we appreciate it if a person talks to us directly instead of talking behind our back. See the next scripture.

What if someone doesn’t receive correction?

Jesus said:

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:15-18).

If we have spoken to a person one-on-one and in the right spirit, and the person refuses to hear us, then we can get another witness to speak to the person also. When dealing with a brother or sister in Christ, the next step would be to tell the matter to the church. If the person continues to refuse correction, they are to be considered an unbeliever.

That is a stark reality, but I think most people would accept correction before it got to that point.

What if we do not belong to a church? As Christians, we should have some form of church even if we do not belong to an organized form of church. Maybe our church is other Christian friends or family members. In any case, we should try to offer ample opportunity for a person to turn away from their wrong-doing before we turn away from them.

Can we give up on people?

We do not have to continue with people forever. There is a time to walk away.

If a person refuses to be honest about their wrong doings, shifts blame, justifies themselves, or refuses mercy towards others while displaying entitlement towards receiving mercy for themselves, we are not bound to continued association with this person.

We can consider them an unbeliever, because a believer in Jesus will feel conviction of sin and repent. If they repent, we receive them back again and gladly, because we have regained our brother or sister in Christ.

In any case, even if we walk away, we should find peace by submitting the matter to Jesus, and we should try to hold hope for everyone.

What if an unbeliever refuses correction?

If a person who is not a Christian refuses correction, we can bring in another witness to the transgression. We can also setup interventions with loved ones for a person who is destroying themselves or others. We should always do our best to pull people out of the destructive things they do, but most importantly, we should lead them to Jesus.

Correction without leading to Jesus is not ideal, because if we correct without Jesus then we are little better than The Accuser.

Whether we are dealing with believers or unbelievers, pointing the person to Jesus is important. We lead them to His teachings if they are Christians, and if they are not then we lead them to the gospel.

Are there times when we should not give correction?

We can learn how to judge these things. Sometimes we know that the person who is doing wrong will not hear us but will only do us harm or harm others in retaliation.

Jesus said:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (Matthew 7:6).

Maybe we have enough experience with a certain person that we know our correction is not wanted. Maybe we consider the situation and decide that now isn’t the time because the person is not in the right mindset.

In all things, we can seek Jesus and try to do what is best, but we should not use this scripture to deceive ourselves as an excuse to avoid an unpleasant conversation.

Final Thoughts

This has been a long article, and there is a lot more we can consider. There are so many scenarios about receiving and giving correction, and we can reflect on times when we fell short. I know I have. When we make a mistake, we should try to make things right. If a person will not receive us after doing so, then let it go.

People tend to hold a double standard for forgiveness and mercy. They want it all for themselves but do not show it to others. Jesus warns against this. Those who do not show mercy are at risk of finding Jesus to be without mercy towards them.

If we are going to have double standards, let them be in favor of others and against ourselves, and Jesus will look favorably on us. We do not always deserve to be forgiven, but we should forgive others so long as they are honest, repentant, and strive to be gracious to others.

If not, we can consider the starker judgments we are authorized to make—always remembering that we are judged by the same judgments, so we should use caution and do our best to wield mercy instead. However, if we are honest about the harsher sides of being a Christian, there are times to wield judgment too.

Do you have thoughts about correction, mercy, and judgment? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, send a message, or send an email if you want to chat.

Considering Proverbs 9:3-6

She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

I like the image this presents. As faithful Christians, we should strive to proclaim Jesus Christ and the gospel boldly—on the “highest places of the city.” We are not as the “strange woman” who catches people in the night, luring them into her house of death with flattery and deceit. We stand in the daytime, in the heights, easily seen and unashamed.

However, we also remember that Jesus would not “lift up his voice in the street.” We do not cause calamity and rioting—that is another tactic of the enemy. We stand firm in the gospel of peace, providing a place of rest in Jesus for those who are emotionally and mentally tired, confused, ostracized, and beat down by a life of sin.

Come, sit down at our table. We will love you. We will lead you to Jesus. Come, eat of His bread and wine without money and without strings attached.

Leave the destructive ways of this world, and be refreshed in Jesus—the Creator, the Lamb of God that takes away our sins, The Prince of Peace, the Physician, the Word of God that can make all things new.

Though we are all imperfect Christians, we strive towards perfection with faith in Jesus, and we take the healing and spiritual gifts we receive and invest those in the broken people around us as they learn of Jesus and grow strong in Him.

As those we mentored grow in the faith, they too learn to stand strong and proclaim the gospel boldly, so that they can go out and support the wounded of the world just as their Christian brethren supported them.

This world is destructive and this world hates Jesus and those who follow Him, but we should do what we can to help people anyway and continue to preach the name of Jesus.

There are those of the Christian faith who give Jesus and Christians a bad name, and maybe we have too at one point or another. All we can do is continue to seek our own growth and understanding so that we as individuals can become better examples of Christianity and Jesus and lead people to Him, support our brethren as they gain their footing in the faith, and continue sharpening those who have the humility to know that there is always more to gain and the working of the Lord is most often done through the body of believers.

None is better than the other and all have something to share that will make us better. Those who want to do it all on their own will be limited in their growth, and the Lord will one day open their eyes to how their need for independence, control, and superiority hinders their growth and those who they deemed less than themselves will rise because they sought to work alongside the brethren rather than trying to be a lord over them.

Humility and honesty are important among the brethren, but sadly there will always be those who want to tear you down or shut you up. In these cases, walk away and pray for them. Learn what you must learn and trust in the Lord to use you for the wellbeing of those who can receive you.

Jesus has work to do in the body of Christ, and He will use all of us for His good purposes. Find what that purpose is, and don’t let anyone take that from you. Many will try, even the brethren. Even Jesus had to tell Peter to “get behind me Satan.” Sometimes the enemy gets the best of us and our brethren, but if we are doing the Lord’s will then nothing will prevent us.

An Important Aside

Do you have an inner accuser? I don’t mean true conviction, but fear of being lied about or misunderstood and misrepresented to others? If that inner voice of accusation takes the form of a brother or sister in Christ, maybe it’s time to walk away.

We also should evaluate ourselves to make sure that we are not a voice of accusation. We want to convict of sin, but not accuse. We want to build up our brethren in their service towards the Lord, not tear them down.

If we ever discover this of someone, we should walk away and not look back. If we discover this in ourselves, we walk away from that life and never look back.

If we are misled, then we trust in the Lord to correct our steps so that we grow in faithfulness to the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Considering Proverbs 9:2

She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

If we think of the above scripture in terms of the faithful church—both as a collective and as the Christian individual—what might we consider?

What should our table be furnished with? Jesus has the answer.

John 6:47-62

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

48 I am that bread of life.

49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

What did Jesus mean when He said, “eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood?”

Jesus gave His flesh and blood to us when He sacrificed Himself on the cross for our sins. Of course, we cannot literally eat and drink Christ—but we can metaphorically.

God is spirit, and we should seek the Holy Spirit because the things Jesus speaks to us are spirit. The things of the Spirit seem foolish to the world, but to those who can hear, this is everlasting life.

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

If we consume the Word of God like we do food and wine, then we will be filled with the things of God in spirit, and this brings our own spirit into greater conformity and communion with our Creator.

We can study scripture, listen to quality Christian music, we can fellowship with other believers, and we can pray often. When Jesus is the central part of our life, then it is as if we eat and drink Him up.

With the Spirit of God, we can learn to understand scripture better, we can discern quality Christian entertainment and teachings, we can enrich fellowship with believers as we help one another grow in righteousness, and the Spirit can intercede to the Father on our behalf and help us live a more effective Christian life. The more we walk after the Spirit of God, the more we are living as the sons of God.

What if we lack motivation to seek the things of God through Jesus?

I know what it is like to have no motivation, and I know that the Lord can and will provide us with that motivation in His perfect time and perfect way. Maybe we don’t have much motivation, but if we invest any amount of desire for Jesus we have into knowing Him better, He will cause us to grow.

We are all in differing stages of growth, but so long as we are alive in this present world, we still have more to seek from Jesus. There is more to eat up and drink up, and the end of our journey is eternal life.

If we think that we know it all already or become overly loyal to our biases, then we might become hardened to what Jesus has to say to us, and when the truth is presented it might be tempting to hold our ears.

That being said, there are things we should not hear. Not all old teachings are good, and there is nothing new under the sun either. Some new teachings should also be rejected–especially those that usurp Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation.

As the faithful church—both as the collective and as Christian individuals—we do not want to be among those who leave Jesus because His teachings are hard to hear or because we welcome another.

We want to consume every detail of His good teachings, to the best of our ability, and continue seeking the Lord so that our hearts can hear Him better and learn to apply these to our life.

If we seek Him humbly, He will teach us everything we need to know, again, according to His perfect way and timing for every person–so we do not despair or lose hope if we are not getting the results we want. We trust in Him.

We trust in His sacrifice to forgive our sins. We trust in His work within us. We trust in the promise of the resurrection and the coming Kingdom in which righteousness dwells. We trust that though we might suffer for His name sake, this is a blessing and the end of all suffering is everlasting life.

As the faithful church—both as the collective and as Christian individuals—we can expect the world to be offended at us just as the world was offended at Jesus. We can expect people to turn on us and betray us, we can expect the world to destroy our flesh and spill our blood. However, with the flesh and blood of Jesus within us—the flesh and blood of everlasting life—we will live again.

There is no other name by which man can be saved.

Jesus alone is the way, and He provides so much for us to eat and drink up.

Do you want someone to talk to about the teachings of Jesus such as this one, or do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Life has made is so that I have time each day for talking to people who want to fellowship in Jesus Christ, so never hesitate to reach out. If on social media, send a message or leave a comment. If on the website, find my email on the contact page or leave a comment.

Whether we agree or disagree, we can help each other grow, and where two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus, He is there.

Considering Proverbs 9:1

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

In previous Proverbs studies, we considered the differences between the strange woman and the wise woman and compared these two women to the faithful and unfaithful Christian church.

As faithful Christians, what can we consider about the wisdom of Jesus when we read the above scripture?

What sort of house are we building—or rather—what sort of house is Jesus building? I think of this in two ways, both of which are metaphorical representations of the present-day temple of God.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

The Church Within Individuals

As Christians, we are being built up into Jesus Christ. He forgives us of our sins so that we can boldly approach God, not as sinners, but as children of the Almighty who wear the righteousness of Jesus.

With the righteousness of Jesus upon us, we can seek God and the power of the Spirit so that we are renewed in heart. This is the work of Jesus within us. We can trust in this.

He will cause us to transform to the degree that is necessary for us to perform our service to Him faithfully. We all grow at the pace He deems, in the manner He deems, and we yield the results He deems.

This is all His work, so that means we have faith in Him, and we also refrain from judging other Christians.

It is not possible to believe in Jesus and go unchanged. It is true that many carry His name unfaithfully, but it is also true that if any of His “sheep” go astray in this manner, Jesus will bring them back.

He will not lose a single person that belongs to Him. We can trust in that. We can trust in His work for each person. We can trust in the resurrection and transfiguration at His coming when we put away the chains of mortal immorality once and for all.

The Church as a Whole

First, I think of the systemic structure of churches in general. This includes the various church hierarchies, the typical approach to church services, and the role of the church in the community.

I tend to have disagreements with the way Christian churches of all stripes are conducted, so it is hard for me to think of this without criticism.

However, there is a structure of sorts within the body of Christ—the church that exists within all Christian sects in spirit—and this structure is unseen and hard to pin down because it is not contained or limited to the structures we have in place.

We know that the head of the church is Jesus Christ, and we are one body in union with Him. We know that there are different offices within the body, and all are required so that the body can function properly.

We know that if one part of the body is sick, then that part of the body should receive more attention and care.

There are areas of our body that are sick, but I trust in Jesus to make us well. He works in many individuals, and they work together preparing His church for His return. That is a comforting thought when we are tempted to despair over the troubles within the household of the faith.

It is amazing to think that the true body of Christ in spirit exists within all sects of Christianity, and I know many would disagree with me there.

I do not think any Christian sect can say that they have it all right, and I do not think it is fitting for any Christian sect to accuse another of being false. Rather, I think all have something to offer and all have something lacking.

As much as I want to see a unified Christian structure, I don’t think that would be good. Not in this present world. I do expect that the “strange woman” or Great Whore of Mystery Babylon will unite all, and the head is not going to be Jesus Christ.

However, in this present time, we as individuals can strive to find better union in spirit by the Holy Spirit, and I believe that the faithful will unite in Spirit during persecution. I think it is a good idea to do so now, because I believe that the spirit of murder, slander, and accusation within the churches are in-part responsible for the formation of the Great Whore.

I think if we could hear each other out, we would find that we have a lot in common and we might change our perspective on some teachings. At the least, we can grow in humility, thereby accepting that our favored views could be wrong when it comes to teachings that are secondary to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We can stop accusing one another and allow each Christian to pursue Christ according to the liberty and grace they are given by God. He will sort things out, and this sorting out will catch many in the traps they lay for one another.

What about the seven pillars?

I don’t know what to make of that. I think of the seven spirits of God. The number seven is also a symbol of perfection in the scriptures. There are also seven churches in Revelation. All but two are rebuked and “removed out of their place,” but since faithful Christians belong to all, the unity and redemption of His church could mean that all seven come together in perfection.

In any case, whether we are talking about the church as a whole or the Christian individual, Jesus will bring all things to perfection. We can trust in that.