Good morning to all! Grace and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ!
My Heavenly Father led me to Sunday school a few weeks ago and I experienced a revelation He wanted me to share with you. I was silenced in sharing what He was trying to reveal to the assembly of people present. If you know me you know this has happened many times during my most glorious relationship with my Father. Where there has been many opportunities to worship HIM and His goodness there has also been opposition.
God reveals this same circumstance when Jesus sent his apostles and also when Jesus sent Paul. This also will happen to us when we are one with the Father has Jesus was. No matter how small the injustice or whether we know it is an injustice at the time, God will tell us for his purpose. Persecution comes many ways today, some is harsh and in some cases the persecutor is not aware he is the persecutor. This is a deception today many Christians are in and do not realize it.
There is always pride in our own goodness that reveals it is not God passing on his goodness because their is not God's peace and no fear of the cares of this world in the person's life. God's love draws out all pride and all fear. There is none left to power over a person for the one that has totally surrendered to their Father. Our Father will always reveal this to His chosen people to benefit the persecutor as well as the one being persecuted. His work is for all to benefit from HIS goodness, knowledge and wisdom not our own spirit and flesh being lifted up, but Him to be lifted up, so people can be drawn and long for Him. Not for the one being persecuted to be lifted up as well as the persecutor. He is to be lifted up in both when both become HIS child.
With all this written and proclaimed to you I will tell you what happened this glorious day my Father was present during my Sunday school class.
We were studying Ezekiel's vision of the transforming stream in Ezekiel chapter 47 of God's word. To make a long study short, the vision was proclaiming God transformed the "dead sea" to a living and clear water through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Which means we are all dead inside until we accept the blood of the cross for our sacrifice and then God washes us and makes us clean when we give Him freely all rights to our self.He receives all the glory of making us his beloved children with His gift of the Holy Spirit changing us into the image of Christ His First and only Holy Son. Which creates in us a fresh spring of living water flowing out of us proclaiming his goodness and love that has saved each person. As long as we give the dead in us to Him by His gift of faith, He will continue to give the life giving Spirit to us.
The author of the lesson used an example of God's goodness and the "passing forward" philosophy of today to demonstrate how good deeds can multiply. I am going to share with you this example and I want you to read it and receive what God is telling you through it. I am going to change the names to protect them because it is a true story.
Mike Smith, a owner of a business, in Morning Star South Carolina, had been concerned for his small town and the people in it. In early 1999, he handed out $18,000 n unexpected bonuses to the 30 employees of his business, with one string attached. He asked that each person donate 15 percent of the bonus to a charity or to someone who was worse off than he or she was and to spend the rest of the bonus at local businesses. Then he handed out the money in $2 bills.
The employees did as Mike asked. One woman donated money to a neighbor in need. Then she purchased fabric from a local store for her sewing group that makes baby blankets for neonatal units at area hospitals. She purchased tires for her car from a local garage with the rest. In addition to helping some directly, Mike's gifts were a shot in the arm for those businesses in Morning Star. In fact, that is why he gave it in the uncommon $2.00 currency, so there would be some way to get a sense of how the money was circulating.
Then the author of the lesson asked us this question, When have you been the recipient of a good deed or a kindness "paid forward" to you. How did it grow your spirit?
Now it is your turn to meditate on God's word and His relationship He has revealed to you by His knowledge and His wisdom. Wait a few moments, it may take some of you a second or to some He may come instantly with His knowledge of whose good is being proclaimed through this example. Although the one giving the lesson and the one doing the good does not realize it now they may as they grown in Him. Those of us that have God's Spirit fully and God's truth fully in us daily with His gifts will only be able to see His perspective and His goodness or the lack of his goodness through His gift of judgment he gives his reborn children. There is no wrong answer only how you respond will reveal if you are rightly related to Him or not and if you are not you can always be right now!! That is the miracle of Him in who he is, it is never to late to receive more and more of Him. The first time you give of yourself at the cross you will always give and receive more of Him freely.
I am going to reveal to you my answer and how God revealed my answer to me through His Spirit and word. Before we go on I would like to share with you the definition of reveal that many of us do not let happen with others because our own pride in how we believe.
(reveal- to make known, to show plainly; open up to view.)
His word is dwelling in me so I respond instantly most times because His word has taken over my mind and heart. It is by the Holy Spirit's work in me, it has nothing to do with me making myself Holy or good or passing on my own goodness. I only gave and continue to give to HIM what was and is not Him in me everyday. This is a one time freely given gift to Him of myself that I carry every day and in return he freely gives Himself to me everyday as He does with everyone that freely gives themselves to him.
Luke 9v23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
My response to this story that was read in my Sunday School class was taken by others with a shock and disbelief as some proclaimed I did know what I was talking about and should change the way I was thinking and speaking. Which perplexed me because God gave me at that moment 30 words, and I plainly proclaimed them very calmly."I do not feel or see God's presence in this example of God's goodness by this story nor in this person that is suppose to be sharing God's presence to others."
You would think a bomb went off in our Sunday School class! A few could not believe I did not feel or see God's presence by this example in person and deed, others stayed silenced. The ones that spoke were the teacher and a well known leader that seamed to be followers of Christ. Before I had a chance to reveal why God revealed this response to me they silenced me. A few minutes later they ask for more comments and I said, "I would love to comment but obviously you are not going to like what I have to say, so I am going to keep quite. The teacher of the class looked at me and said, "Good then keep quite", so I did and wrote my response down on paper and am sharing them with you.
The first clue my Heavenly Father gave me about this goodness this man was proclaiming not being our Father is the words "one string attached". God never gives us anything with a string attached, we do not have instructions accompanying our gifts except the love of God compelling us to give. No instructions on what others must do with our gifts when he gives them to us that is up to each individual and their relationship to God in what they do with the giving he gives through us for others. As it is with Him, it is up to each person to do what they want with the gift God gives them of Himself through His Son, they can decline them or use them for His purpose, this is our free will, it is up to each individual what they want to receive of Him by what they are willing to give Him of themselves.
Proverbs 18v16 A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.
Matthew 10v7-8 As you go, preach this message: "The kingdom of heaven is near; Heal the sick raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
The second clue my Heavenly Father gave me was this man gave the money in $2.00 bills so he could keep track of where it was going. I am sure others knew it was his money as well since they received it this way.
Matthew 6v1-4 "be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Ten your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
The third and final clue my Father gave me that this example was not His goodness is He was not proclaimed and He, my Heavenly Father did not receive any acknowledgement in the glory for His grace of giving.
Proverbs 3v6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Due not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Hebrew 13v15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of the lips that confess his name.
John1v14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
These are a few of God's words that gave me the clues this was not his goodness proclaimed. This man I am praying for now as I am praying for all to receive His grace and His goodness so He can receive all the glory for our goodness and our giving because He gives through us and it His His work that should and will be proclaimed if He is truly within us. This is a good example of God's goodness and grace of giving, I love to live by through His Son. It is a prayer to God from David that I too feel as David felt about His Father.
1 Chronicles 29v12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hand are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now our God , we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people. that we would be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
v17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you O Lord, God of our father Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.
If you cannot see the difference in these two examples then go to the cross of Christ and receive His salvation of faith for your soul so He can give you the grace of giving of discernment through His Spirit of truth. If you can see the difference then praise God that He has given you the eyes and the mind to discern the difference and proclaim His goodness and give Him the glory for all the good we share! IF you are in Christ you will be living out your life as His word lives in you, and you will be acknowledging Him, through confessing His name and love through your deeds with out conscious effort but supernaturally through His Holy Spirit because he will be living through you for others! There will be a super natural change take place in you, through you and all around you as His goodness spreads!