Live a Victorious Christian Life and Seek the Heart of God
Victorious Christian Living Newsletter – March 2015
THIS ISSUE INCLUDES:
An Article From Me
Everyday Life In Bible Times
—–Anointings in the Bible
Geography and People
Links To My Sites
When You STUMBLE Over The Truth, What Action Will You Take?
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
What an awesome quote! Today “truth” to many people has become relevant to whatever they want to make it.
BUT… truth is not relevant and you can’t change it.
TRUTH IS TRUTH NO MATTER IF YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE THE TRUTH.
I do freely admit that getting back to the standard of truth can be a painful thing. Our built-in pride makes it especially hard to admit that we have gone astray. I can say this from my own experiences.
In years past, people were much more willing to admit their failure or sin because they knew the truth was the standard they needed to live by.
Today Satan has blinded the minds of many people. Deep down they know they need to change, but he keeps them so busy doing other things that the truth is crowded out.
Then after a few days they have been able to justify their actions.
Satan is a master of chaos, confusion, busyness and most importantly JUSTIFICATION.
When I have strayed from the standard of the truth, the Holy Spirit starts to convict me of what I have done.
From that moment on, I must make the choice as to what I will do – repent or justify my actions and choose not to repent.
The first thing that usually happens to me is that my pride kicks in and tries to tell me something similar to the following list of excuses:
- I only did this because (insert flimsy excuse here)
- What they did to me was terribly wrong and totally unjustified
- The other person said something hurtful first and I only responded to what they said. Can’t I defend myself?
- I don’t want to admit to the other person that I lied because it will make me look bad
- If I admit my failure I will look weak as a leader
*** Sometimes there is a huge fight that goes on inside me that tries to justify why I should not make things right.
*** Sometimes I am just wrong before God because He sees the secret condition of my heart, and another person is not involved at all.
But Satan will still try to convince you that you don’t need to repent.
In my experience, pride is the biggest thing Satan tries to use against me. My flesh does NOT want to admit that I have been wrong about anything, and it certainly does not want to admit that I have stumbled against the truth and now must do whatever it takes to get back into a right relationship with God.
Satan wants me to think that pride and arrogance are completely acceptable solutions to my problem – anything but true repentance.
There was one time I struggled furiously because Satan was trying hard to convince me that I definitely should not humble myself before God and repent.
In the end I forced myself to make the choice to go to the other person and ask for their forgiveness. They had said several things that were hurtful and unjustified to me. I had said ONE thing to them. But that ONE thing is all it took for God to convict me that I must get things right with the OTHER PERSON so that I could have a right relationship with HIM.
I literally forced myself to go to them and ask forgiveness. I knew it was for me more than them, and as soon as I had done it I was so glad I had not let “pride” be the ruler of my life. It felt really good to win such a hard battle.
The other person did not ask my forgiveness, but I realized that because I had done the right thing my relationship with God was now restored.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU – PERIOD!!! Others are responsible for what they have done. You don’t have to answer for them.
Even though I fought one of the biggest battles of my life that day, I realized something huge that has served me well since then:
It might hurt for a little while to get rid of your pride and do the right thing. But in the long run, you will live a life of freedom and your relationship with God will be restored, which is vitally important.
There are many ways to be a slave other than someone forcibly holding you and making you do something against your will. Many times we make slaves of ourselves by refusing to do the right thing because it is too hard, or we are just too stubborn.
Since that day it has been much easier to go to others and ask forgiveness because I know my future relationship with God depends on it.
I don’t have to be a slave to something that will keep me in a virtual prison for years or even for the rest of my life.
Make the choice to swallow your pride and live in God’s freedom. It might be hard for the moment, but it is well worth it in the end!
Everyday Life In Bible Times
Olive oil was used in many dimensions by the Israelites in their everyday life. It was used to keep skin soft and supple in the sunny, dry climate. It was also used to mask personal body odor. Because of the dry climate water was not always plentiful and they could not bathe every day.
But olive oil was also used for something very special – anointing. This special anointing was not done with ordinary oil, but oil specifically produced for this ritual. The recipe is given in Exodus 30: 22-25 along with a stern set of guidelines that listed severe penalties for using the oil for anything other than that which it was meant.
This special oil was called “the oil of joy” or “holy oil.”
At God’s direction it was poured on the head of a person He had marked for special service to Him. This special oil was only meant to be used for the person God had specifically chosen for a particular work.
Those anointed by the “holy oil” had their lives changed in 3 important ways.
- The anointed one stood out from the general population as the one that God had specially anointed to do that particular job. Then once marked with the anointing, the leader was given special responsibilities and restrictions to ensure they would fulfill God’s plan.
- God never intended for them to be autonomous, but always subject to the will and desires of a superior. They were, in essence, a middle manager that answered to a Divine CEO – God Himself.
- The anointing meant that special protection was extended to these special leaders. For example, David wouldn’t think of harming Saul, whom God had anointed, even though he had compromised his leadership and was trying to kill David. All the Israelites understood this protection for an anointed leader.
1/3 of the total number of instances in which anointing is mentioned are found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.
As God was establishing a new worship system for His Old Testament people, he put his stamp of ownership on the physical objects of worship and those who would lead in that worship. He marked the people and tools of that worship with special anointing oil.
The next 1/3 of the instances where anointing is formally mentioned in the Bible are Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. But instead of priests, it was kings who were anointed.
There was repeated mention of the anointing of Saul, David, and Solomon. This helped to confirm the new institution of the monarchy among God’s people and prevent just anyone from trying to take over the kingship. They knew they needed a special anointing from God in order to be king.
But after the first 3 kings, there is no more mention of other kings being anointed. This might be because most of the kings that succeeded Solomon made it a point not to follow God.
In I Kings 19:16 Elijah was directed to anoint Elisha as a prophet. It might be that when the clergy and kings both failed as leaders God decided to anoint the prophet. So the prophet was the last 1/3 of those God called out for His special anointing for a special work.
Anointings In The Bible
- of a stone by Jacob – Gen. 28:18; 31:13
- of the high priest by Moses – Exod. 28:41; 29:7
- of the tabernacle by Moses – Exod. 40:9
- of Saul by Samuel – I Samuel 9:16; 10:1
- of David by Samuel, the men of Judah & Israel – I Samuel 16:12; Ps. 89:20; 2Samuel 2:4,7;5:3
- of Solomon by Zadok – I Kings 1:39
- of Christ
- by the Father – Ps. 2:2;45:7;Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27; 10:38; Heb. 1:9
- by the Holy Spirit – Matt. 3:16
- by an immoral woman – Luke 7:38
- by Mary of Bethany – John 11:2
- of all believers by the Holy Spirit – 2 Cor. 1:21
- of Lucifer by God (prior to his fall) – Ezek. 28:14
- of sick believers by church elders – James 5:14
Geography and People
-mentioned 6 times in the New Testament-
A Greek city, a trading center, and capital of the Roman province of Achaia. Paul visited Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey, after he ministered in Athens.
In Corinth, Paul met fellow tentmakers Aquila and Priscilla, who became friends and co-laborers with him. He preached in the Corinthians synagogue until the Jews there strongly opposed.
But Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and his household were converted and baptized. Paul stayed for a year-and-a-half, teaching among the Gentiles, until the Jews brought him up on charges before Gallio, deputy of Achaia.
Gallio refused to hear the case and allowed Crispus to be beaten before his court. Shortly thereafter Paul left the city.
Paul wrote I and 2 Corinthians to the troubled church at Corinth.
-mentioned only once in Luke 24: 18-
Meaning: renowned father
A Christian who met Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Not recognizing Jesus, Cleopas described the events of the crucifixion and resurrection to Jesus. As they walked, Jesus interpreted the scriptures about Himself to Cleopas and his traveling companion. They shared dinner, Jesus blessed the bread, and they recognized Him.
-mentioned only once in Philippians 4:3-
A Philippian Christian and coworker of the apostle Paul.
Please check out my other sites by clicking on the links below:
My Main Blog – Who God Is
That’s it for this newsletter. May God bless you as you strive to live for Him and walk in obedience to what He desires!