Archive for August, 2014

TAKE HOLD (Pt. 4)

” Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”(‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭20‬ NIV).

If we are learning to walk out our obedience of faith in Christ we are learning to transcend the things of time. Unfortunately, too many of God’s children are not conscious of an eternal realm. God fits His children in time for eternity.
The apostle John sees ,in The Book of the Revelation, the City of God and notes, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life”(‭Revelation‬ ‭21‬:‭27‬ NIV).

The story is told of a certain man who would walk in a park near his home everyday. He would be seen doing a strange thing. He would frequently pull from his pocket some precious gems and hold them up to the light of the sun and admire their brilliant color. When asked by someone who passed by, Why he did this? He responded that he wanted to be reminded of “the precious rewards of eternal things”.   His mind and life were constantly absorbed with eternal realities. He understood that the things which were of real and eternal value are to be gained or lost by the life lived on earth. And he understood that unless we take hold of them and keep them in view, we will lose them forever.
I don’t often put lengthy passages in my articles but I do so this time to be used as a a form of prayer and meditation. They need no explanation. “Take hold”.

REAL LIFE

“Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses….that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time-He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭12, 14-19‬ NASB).

TRUE HOPE

“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭6‬:‭10-20‬ NASB).

BE FAITHFUL

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”
(‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭57-58‬ NIV).

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address
all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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TAKE HOLD (Pt. 3)

“But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭62‬ NASB)

 CALLED BUT NOT CONVINCED

 Luke records the words of Jesus to a man called to be his disciple (Luke 9). The only problem was that he wanted to follow Him on his own terms. Jesus teaches, by way of a cultural illustration of His day that the plow man “takes hold” of the plow and does not look back. He teaches that committing to be a disciple of the Kingdom of God requires no compromise. Only by leaning forward and into the plow can one make a deep furrow in the ground and make progress. Only by fixing one’s eye on what is ahead can a straight row be made.

 There are many who have heard Yeshua’s call to “Come. Follow Me!” but they are distracted. They are “called but not convinced” that following Jesus is the only true life worth living. And yet, we read in Proverbs 21, “He who pursues righteousness and loyalty finds life, righteousness and honor” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭21‬:‭21‬ NASB).

There is a mystery that is disclosed to those who pursue God’s kingdom in Jesus, the Messiah… The things we formerly pursued PURSUE US.(See Matthew 6:33).

 CALLED BUT NOT CONVERTED

 The apostle Paul always had a Cross-cultural team of workers as he advanced the Kingdom of God. None stood out more in excellency of character as well as in potential apostolic function like Timothy. His mother was a godly Jewish women. His father was a Greek. Paul invested his time and attention modeling what true ministry and apostolic labor involved. No doubt, seeing his potential successor, he writes as a spiritual father to young

Timothy, to “flee the things of the world”. But he also exhorts,”But…you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; TAKE HOLD [Caps. Mine] of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6‬:‭11-12‬ NASB).”

 We need to make full proof of our calling to eternal life. Unfortunately, many of those who use the name of “Christian” use it as nothing more than a badge of religion. They have no fruit of a relationship to Jesus, the One who has given his life in order to redeem them from this present dark world. Many are called but not yet converted.

What a terrible day it will be for those who stand alone before the King of kings and Judge of judges and have no fruit bearing witness to a life lived for Jesus.

“Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3‬:‭12-14‬ NASB).

Paul tells us that we are building an eternal home. The question is,”What materials are you using? I heard Leonard Ravenhill point out that, “Wood, hay, and stubble is that which is seen above the ground. Gold, silver, and precious stones are found beneath the ground.” What’s the point? Some build in time, for what men can see and applaud. Others live in light of eternity, with an eye for God’s approval alone. If we would hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”, we must “Take hold of that which is eternal life indeed”.

 CALLED AND CHOSEN

Yeshua(Jesus) tells us that “Many are called but few are chosen”…Fewer still are faithful. Why? Because they allowed the things of the earth to dim the light of eternity. Like the foolish virgins the light they had was going out. In other words, the light they had within them had become dark(Matthew 25). Many today, neither see where they are going nor can they lead others to His marvelous light. It’s time to “take hold of eternal life”. And when we do, we emit His light for others to find their way to the Savior of the world.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

TAKE HOLD (Pt.2)

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭13-14‬ NIV)

 TAKE HOLD OF WISDOM

 In the Book of Proverbs, credited to the pen of King Solomon, Wisdom is described in the personification of a woman. The Hebrew scholars often refer to the “woman” as Scriptures.

“Take hold of Wisdom”. We recognize that true Wisdom must come from God.  Remember that Adam was incomplete without the woman. “But for the Man there was no helper suitable for him”(Genesis 2:20b NIV). Man was only made complete when “God brought the woman to the man”(See Genesis 2).  As the woman was brought to the man,so too, wisdom must be brought to us by the LORD God. Therefore, it requires faith to wait on wisdom to be given by God Himself. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”(‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-5‬ NIV)

 TREE OF LIFE

 We will only receive the wisdom that comes from above as we wait on God through His Word. “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her”(‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭11-15‬ NIV).

 The exhortation to “Take hold” of wisdom was the same admonition Solomon was given as a young child before his father. But in what way are we to understand that a young child could possibly take hold or grasp what would ultimately affect their future destiny?

 God’s Word (Hebrew word is Torah) means “Teaching and Instruction”. We are commanded to “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ NIV).

A LIVING DOCUMENT

 God’s Word is different from any human document. It is a “living” document. It says of His Word (Personified as Wisdom), “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed”(‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭13-18‬ NIV).

God’s word is a “tree of life”.  It is interesting to notice that the language of the first book (Genesis) regarding the “Tree of life in the middle of the garden of Eden is seen as restored in the last book (The Revelation-See Chapter 22). In essence, we are either going to feed on “the Life of God”, through His Word. Or we will feed on “the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. One will bring us life, peace, riches and honor. The other will only bring death.   May we “Take hold” of that which gives wisdom and life.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

TAKE HOLD (Pt.1)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’ ” (Zechariah 8:23 NIV).

 Zechariah the prophet (Post-exilic) was given a word to encourage God’s people who had been newly regathered into their Land. This word was regarding an End-time Revival!   There would come, at that time, such a spiritual hunger among the nations that they would literally take hold of the corner of a Jew’s prayer garment with it’s tassels, asking to follow them in order that they may come to a true knowledge of God.

TAKE HOLD

This expression “Take hold” is found numerous times in the Holy Scriptures. One example that is significant is found in Psalms 35:

“Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation” (Psalms 35:1-3 NASB).

God has promised to contend with our enemies. He will “Take hold” and arm Himself to war on the behalf of His children.

The prophet Isaiah was divinely inspired to record, “And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense. So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the LORD drives. “A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:16-20 NASB)

The LORD IS A Man of War…He fights for you!  The apostle John wrote,”You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world”(NASB).

GO IN AND POSSESS

Joshua received his ordination through Moses in the sight of all the people (See Deuteronomy 31).  This was an acknowledgement that the mantle of leadership was being transferred with honor.  Joshua had been both faithful and loyal to Moses’ leadership as well as to obeying the word of Adonai.  It also was done in a public way to strengthen Joshua’s hands so that he would “Take hold” of his new assignment.

“Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses” (Joshua 1:1-3 NASB).

DISPOSSESS

Joshua would lead the children of Israel into the Land God  said was theirs. Before you can “take possession” of your inheritance or new “land” you must dispossess the occupying forces. This requires an appropriate conquering mindset.

This mindset would not come by human agency. It would only come as they adhered to the Word of the LORD.  “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9 NASB).

 In addition to God’s Word, there must be God’s presence. We see this strategically as Israel is about to cross over and deal with Jericho, the stronghold city in the Land.

Rahab, the harlot, spoke to the two spies sent by Joshua, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:9-11 NASB).

The children of Israel were about to  wage war against their enemies. But they were not alone. God went ahead of His people. He strengthened their hands in order for them to “Take hold” of the tasks and assignment given to them.  They were in fact the new generation in covenant with God through whom He would fulfill His purposes.  We must never forget…When a man of God dies nothing of God dies with him. Selah.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr.  All rights reserved.  This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content.  Please address All correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com