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ARE YOUR READY ?

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ARE YOUR READY ?

ARE YOUR READY ?

Author Guardian

Lord we give this time to you now in Jesus name

Now you may find this study disturbing, it might stir you, it may not be what you expect, but these studies are not intended to lure you into a false security or show Christianity as an easy road, these studies are intended to get people thinking and to stir people.

So why do I put " Conditional, Unconditional Love "

Well its not good enough to say " God loves me " no matter what

Do you think God loves satan ? he may not like what he does, in fact He hates what he does, but do you think the God of love who is love and cannot be anything else but love suddenly changes to a God of hate ?

God hates sin but loves the sinner and its not good enough to say " God loves me "

For as we go on into this relationship it requires more than just " God loves me "

Would you marry the one you love and then expect things to be the same as the relationship goes on ? it has requirements !! therefore I say " Unconditional, Conditional Love "

God might love you but to experience this love you need to turn to Him , which means to repent and repentance as you walk on in this love of God comes with a cost, otherwise the love of God would be known by unbelievers and believers alike and there would be no need for any walk or any relationship or repentance, thats why it is not good enough to say " God is love " therefore...

If this study stirs you ...then good, if you disagree with this message then has done what it was intended to do, lets now get onto the message

Romans 8

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many

brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ

Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

We see predestination once again and we have a question to answer what should we say in response to verse 31 ?

And it God continues by asking ..." If I am for you then who can be against you ? " against us"

Some read this verse and see it as saying, " If God is for us then no one can be against us"

But its actually God asking us a question " WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU ? "

And I find myself answering, " The world, The enemy, Anyone ? "

God is asking us that question and causing us to consider what we have in Him !!

Again and again God asks questions for us to consider an answer back to Him

." You are predestined, called , chosen and justified, so who can bring a charge against you ? "

And I find myself saying " The world , the enemy, my enemies and even those close to me may be my enemies at times "

This causes me to ask " So who is for me then ? what have I got ? "

Then God asks another question

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

34Who is he that condemns?

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Here God fires 7 questions at us and asks us to consider the answer in the light of His word

Many today know " If God is for us who can be against us " as if to say no one and nothing can be against us , because we have God He will protect us and shelter us and nothing will come against us !!

well that is a lie of the enemy, we only have to look at Pauls life

to see that,beaten, shipwrecked ,imprisoned and shall we go on ?

God does protect and shelter but a child will never grow if it is always sheltered and protected , sooner or later the child has to learn

In the letter Paul wrote here to the Church in Rome is about " Salvation to all "

Its about being saved by grace which is not earned neither is it bought, this letter is about faith, faith in God COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD ...COMPLETE TRUST IN CHRIST AND HIS FINISHED WORK

We are " NOT GUILTY " this letter is about complete submission to Christ

And so lets go through the seven questions and see what response we might have ?

1.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many

brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this?

2.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

3.

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also,

along with him, graciously give us all things?

4.

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?

5.

34Who is he that condemns?

6.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

7.

Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

What were your answers to the questions posed by God ?

Here God is speaking through Paul and Paul knew of these hardships, this is why God spoke through Paul in this way

You see we have the paradox of paradoxes here

Even thougb we have danger and flood and threat and disaster and enemies against us we look above those things to Christ who has set us above

We look to the goal ahead and we press on because we take the word of God and we believe in faith and acting upon that faith we look above those things that would seek to drag us down

we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, as we walk in his will , as we walk according to His purposes, as we walk in Him ,as we seek Him, as we fit into His plans, as we walk in the Spirit, as we walk day by day, as we seek to the the work that He has prepared in advance for us to do ....

You see that part is important, and again we see a scripture that is often used but people seem to miss out the end part, they remember ..we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

But they forget the end part , and its the same with the verse that reads " If God is for us who can be against us ? "

Now lets actually look at a few paraphrases and translations for Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 (The Message)

26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He

knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Romans 8:28 (Amplified Bible)

28We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

You see He called us according to His plan, He has great plans for us and He wants good for us, but do we always walk according to His plan that He has for us ?

He predestined us and called us and walked before us and justified us and glorified us

IT IS FINISHED....

He planned each day, He prepared each day before we even walked it, He prepared in advance those things that we might wlak with Him and that we would fit into His plans according to the purposes that He has for us

And we find that even when the sword or the famine or the beatings come that things work out together for good in the end becaseu we are fitting into His plans for us

Paul was doing what God wanted, Paul was following the Spirit and listening to God and walking by faith day by day and he came across hardships and imprisonment and beatings and sword and even though he came accross these things he looked on towwards the goal before him because these momentary afflictions that he called them were nothing compared to to glory to come

Lets look at some paradoxes

And we see that "Salvation is free and yet it comes with a cost"

We say, " Gods unconditional love " and yet it has conditions ...

We read 2 God works for good " and yet at the time we see no good

We read ," If God is for us, who can be against us?" and we find a great number against us

Nothing is actually free in the world, love is not free, everything comes with a cost

You might fall in love with some one but once you begin to walk with that person you find a cost involved, who would build a house without first counting the cost ?

What is the cost of being a Christian ? well everything, your life...

People say " unconditional love " and yet it has conditions, one is that you "repent"

You see its not good enough to say " God loves me "

God is love and loves everyone, do you think God does'nt love satan ?

He hates what he does, but do you think in this instance that God turns to hate ?

Once we begin to walk in relationship that love develops and requires more

Therefore I say " Conditional, Unconditional Love.

Repenting comes with a cost, it means to turn around at the time of salvation and to walk the other way, a gradual turning.......

Its costly...it hurts...it might mean giving up things ...it might mean loosing a love..

It might even mean dividing from people or friends and having a new family...

This " Unconditional " love of God has conditions, yes He loves us, He loves us even when we are dead in our sins, He loves us even when we might not want to know Him.

He loves us when we walk with Him , He loves us no matter what, this is unconditional love

Becasue God is love, He cannot be anything else

BUT do we walk in His love ? have we repented ? have we turned ? have we Christ in us ?

Have we God in us ? have we sought to walk with God and fit into His plans according to His purposes ?

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those...WHO LOVE HIM,...

Once you become a Christian you enteer into a whole new realm , into a whole new spiritual arena, into a whole new life, things that once were acceptable may no longer be acceptable.

Things that once were habits might be sin to the convicted, things that were once accepted as " just a way of life " can become a hindrance, things that were seen as "normal"

may become a trap to the Christian, when we become Christians a whole new life starts to unfold before us, becaseu we are no longer walking in the ways we once walked but we are now walking in those things that God has pre planned and preapred for us

We may nopt alwasy see good in things that happen to us, but if we look above these things and to Christ THEN we can say " IF GOD IS FOR ME WHO CAN BE AGAINST ME "

For even though it sems as if everything is against us we know that God is working alongside us and that the work is finished and being finshed, salvation has come and yet we are being saved, the work is done and yet there is work to do

In this unconditional love that has conditions we turn and repent not just at salvation but often and put down anything that may hinder us

Renpetance is not just at salvation , repentance is an ongoing thing

And so even when Paul wa sbeaten and lain on the ground He could see Christ

Even when peter was being stoned to death he could look upo and see Christ

Even when Jesus Hmself was on the Cross He could say " Father forgive them "

And so we come back to Psalm 31

And we go onto Cross references which is the theme for this series once a month

Psalm 31:5 and again lets look at this verse in different paraphrases and translations

Psalm 31:5 (New Century Version)

5 I give you my life.Save me, Lord, God of truth.

Psalm 31:5 (The Message)

3-5 You're my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb.Be my safe leader,

be my true mountain guide.Free me from hidden traps;I want to hide in you. I've put my life in your hands.You won't drop me,you'll never let me down.

Psalm 31:5 (King James Version)

5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

You see Jesus is our fruit, He is our gift, He is our armour, He is our belt of truth, He is our shield, He is our Helmet of salvation, He is our breastplate of righteouness, He is our sword, he is our shoes to preach the gospel.

In Him is truth and this truth can only be found AS WE WALK WITH HIM

I put an emphasis on AS WE WALK WITH HIM

All things work together for good for those who LOVE HIM (AND WALK ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSES) (EMPHASIS )

If God is for us who can be against us ? you see if you are called and have repented and are walking in Him THEN you will come up against an enemy... for why would an enemy attack those who are already dead in there sins ? and yet He attacks those who are dead to the world, that He might draw then back inot the world, that they may once again have spiritual blindness

He wants to cover up a Christians eyes so that they canot see the goal, he wants to stop the Christian believer from seeing past these afflictions, he wants us to aim the sword back at God, he wants confusion, he seeks to divide and dirupt the brethren, he seeks

to cause dishamony, he is clever and very subtle

he seeks to destroy the works of God and hates Christians because you have the very life of Christ in you

he seeks to stop you seeing above the troubles and tribulations and to pull you down

he seeks to stop you so that you cannot see the risen Lord, he seeks to destroy you and he will use anything or anyone he can

BUT we have one that is greater and bigger than all of this so that in the midst of the trouble , in the midst of the storm , in the midst of the shipwreck, we can call on the name of the Lord and say " If God is for me who can be against me "

This is when we use that scripture

Not when all is right with the world and in harmony and we think that nothing can come up agaisnt us and we believe that God is for us and its all blessing and blessing and lalala

Its when we are in the midst of the strom as Paul was on the ship and he heard above the storm and heard God sopeak and spoke what God had told him and the ship was saved and everyuone

aboard that ship was saved becaseu Paul looked beyond and even then the serpent bit him once on shore but even thenm Paul fluung the serpent off because Paul was walking in God and the

enemy could not touch him, even though the enemy had casued the storm

Do you see the paradox ?

And so in Psalm 31 we

Psalm 31:5 (King James Version)

5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

He has redeemd us form the pit of hell and we commit our Spirit o him

3 times mentioned ...once here in Psalm 31, again as Peter is stoned and again on the Cross

7 Questions are posed in Romans..

Can you answer those questions ?

David himself had many enemies, we see enemies mentioned again and again all through the Psalms

We looked previously at how David was marching and dancing into the City before the Ark

Suddenly he saw above the situatiuons and circumstances and he just wanted to dance, he was taken above the place where he was and he was lifted up, and he could not contain himself, he simply wanted to dance into the city

And we shall dance into the city and we dance into the City fgor God has goiven us a new song, which is the song of salvation, Jesus put this song into our hearts that we might rejoice even

though things come against us

One theme that comes acrross here is TRUST, HOPE, LOVE

And we finish with this scripture

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Jesus is coming, in fact He is in us and we in Him and we shall be with Him and He with us

Are we ready ? are we walking in Him ? are we seeking Him ? are we filled with Him ?

Are we waiting and ready and walking in those things that He has prepared ?

Or are we as the ones who went back to fill their lamps ? only once they had seen the groom ?

All things work together for those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose.

Not those who walk around the outside waiting for proof,

Maybe we could see it like this ...

If God is IN us who can be against us ?

Well who was against David ? who was against Jesus ? who was aginst Peter ?

But we who are dead to the world are alive in Christ and nothing can take way Christ the HOPE of glory

You know love is one of the most costly things ? many flit from one relationship to another avoiding commitment avoiding this love that is free but has a cost, as if the cost is to be avoided, so many seem to want love without the cost

Love when first found is free but then as the relationship develops becomes one of the most costly of things, costing your time, your heart , your money, your emotions, your everything, ...how much more so the Love of God ?

Salvaton is free, God love is free, but it also demands our life, our soul, our life..

Do you know that Christians can be blinded ? again another scripture that is well used reads, 2 Corinthians 4:4 (Amplified Bible)

4For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.

Some believers say that we should pray that the eyes of the world would be opened and that the blindness be taken away

But Christians can be blinded

Well the enemy can also put up wave upon wave of doubt and confusion and we can loose hope and loose trust and loose harmony

The enmy can put up wall upon wall of troubles and actually try to deceive us

Where the Christian can loose hope ..

he can blind the eyes of the believer by putting up wave upon wave of things to distract and to take our eyes off the saviour

You say where does it say that in scripture ? where does it say Christians can be blinded ?

Well it does'nt but you only have to look at example after example to see that it can happen

We see Peter walking out on the water and Jesus walking towrds him and as the waves are lapping up and down the enemy puts up a wave or wall so that peter no longer see's Jesus

but the wave of doubt and peter begins to sink into the wave

But we are to look above the storm and above the wave and above the surrounding circumstances and situations and once we see God as bigger and greater than the storm we can begin to walk on that water of Faith and rise above the storm

Look at the Church of laodicea,wretched, pitiful, poor, BLIND and naked.

They had been blinded by wealth , by material things, by the world,

They said in their hearts " we do not need for anything "

the enemy can blind us and not just the unbeliever

we can become lukewarm, we can loose our first love, we can doubt and loose hope

We need not just to pray that the world would see and be released from the blindness

But we also need to pray that the Church might rise up above the storm and the waves and the walls that are put up and that some who have fallen asleep in their faith would wake up

Sleeping Christianity is blind, for who can see with the eyes closed ?

Are we ready ?

And we finish with this scripture

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So what is the message here ? ...

The message is that we can become secure and safe and huddle up and fall asleep..

Like Lazarus we need the shout at the door to wake us up..

Like the bridesmaids who went back once the door was opened to fill their lamps, but when they returned it was too late...

Are we ready ? you see if God is for us who can be against us ? we can be our own worst enemies at times ? being asleep when Christ knocks can be against us...

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?...........we can.

Repeat these words with me and lets stay awake and ready

Lord God maker of heaven and earth, King and dweller in me, wake me up and let me be found going about your business and your work, regardless of what others might think or say let

me do only that which pleases you,I repent time and time again and turn to you, fill me with your Holy Spirit and send wave upon wave of your boldness to preach the gospel and to see you lead others to yourself, wkae me up Lord from my slumber and let me arise from my slumber but be seen in your rest In Jesus Name Amen

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