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 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine"   2 Timothy 4:2

Shew thyself a man

Our development as Christians

1Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I often have a hard time in understanding our part vs. God's part regarding our development as Christians, knowing that we can not change ourselves and God not wanting us to even attempt that since it will always come back to frustration when we are not able to perform the things we know we ought to be doing but fail to do, but having this one verse telling us in Galatians 3:3 "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"

Peter writes:

2 Peter 1:3-9 "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

Our part being seen in the words "giving all diligence", diligence being to be completely earnest or vehemently desire, giving the full amount, earnest money being a down payment in showing that the commitment is total and that the full amount will subsequently be paid. Holy Spirit given as a down payment or engagement ring showing who we will be married to after we dump this tent of flesh, a type of the Holy Spirit being found in Genesis 24 when the chief servant was sent into a far country to obtain a wife for Isaac, Rebekah being all who would accept that marriage proposal, being given many gifts with stories told on the way back about Isaac and what she had to look forward to.

I see that God gives completely and wants that same giving of ourselves to Him unlike Saul who only partly obeyed, did not utterly destroy the works of the flesh which is the example of a carnal Christian ---because of not utterly destroying all that we are delivered from, past sins or the power of the flesh will rise up and beat us to death all along the way.

1 Samuel 15: 9-24" But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."

Total obedience is not seeking to be made perfect by the flesh, but rather a total response in giving all of ourselves to Jesus, holding back nothing for ourselves. Focus being Jesus and "the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" God wanting us to see our defects and how powerless we are to change anything, don't even try, but understanding Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

We are free from the power of sin, but not the carnal Christian. A carnal Christian is still in bondage because of having enough of Jesus to be miserable in the world and enough of the world to be miserable in Jesus, always in a state of conflict. But those who really need to be concerned are those who lose all sense of right and wrong and are comfortable returning to all that God has delivered them out of.
2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

1Pe 2: 2:1-2 "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"

Peter is writing to novice Christians, newborns, babes, but that is where many Christians stop and still attempt to be breast fed while cutting adult teeth. The strategy of satan is to keep people in that condition so they never reach maturity or come of full age to digest meat.

Isaiah 28:9 "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts."

We often object when we want our bottle and don't get it, got to do our own hunting for food that feeds the spirit rather than the flesh, this is not being a 'do it yourself' project but learning to eat what is on the plate at the King's table.

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

There was a sharp contrast between David and Solomon.

1 Samuel 16:18 "Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him."

Solomon was a spoon fed kid all his life and that worried David when it was time to pass the kingdom over to him, 1 Kings 2:1-3 " Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:"

When God says those words to us it can be panic time, not going to spoon feed us anymore, going to have to dig in and be a man like football players with their face in the dirt giving it every bit they got just to gain one yard. That was the kind of man David was.

Joseph was toughened in prison while still maintaining his character. Trials can serve to accomplish that in moving us from infancy to maturity, as we see the giants fall or look back to see how far we have come through enemy lines and matured more along the way as God writes His Word in the inward parts as we apply ourselves to studying and maintaining a healthy prayer life. Accepting refinement as a soldier to see a stone turned into a pearl which is a process filled with pressure, heat, agitation and pain, things that cause many to fall away when faith is tried to see if it is genuine or a religious game.



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