The Blog of Rob Board – Author, speaker, pastor

Archive for February, 2014

What kind of life do we live?

 Here is a small section from a new book I am writing entitled “HARVEST”.

People all over the world have various definitions of the word “humility”, but I like to define it as “total dependence upon God to do in me and through me what I know I cannot do myself”.  Humility is living the life of faith because faith is confidence that God will do exactly what He said He would do.  It is a total dependence upon God.  Humility knows who you really are and what you really are.  There is no being puffed up with pride or arrogance in thinking you are something that you are really not.  There is no need for titles or recognition for your position in some hierarchy of lording it over others.  Jesus Himself was God in the flesh, but He humbled Himself as a servant and told us that if we wanted to be great in the kingdom of God learn to be a servant to all others.

Philippians 2:5-8 —  “Have this attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Matthew 20:25-28“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them.  It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

            You are a vessel that carries the life of God within it.  You are His dwelling place, or house, or abode.  You are branch that allows the life of God to flow through to produce the fruit and the power that are His.  You are His servant, or His co-laborer, yoked together with Him in a blood-covenant.  You can do nothing of any spiritual significance upon your own apart from yielding to Him to do the works through you.  It is a life of total dependence upon Him.

Humility is actually the opposite nature of those who have the nature of the kingdom of darkness.  The root nature of those in the darkness is pride, or the exaltation of the “self” nature.  It is the nature that wants its own way and wants to do its own thing.  It wants to make all the decisions as to what it believes is right or wrong and good or evil.  It is the nature that was derived from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God warned His human creations named Adam and Eve not to eat from.  It is the big “I” in our life.

Isn’t it amazing to you when you walk into a bookstore, even a “Christian” bookstore, how many books there are in what is called the “self-help” section of the store?  Why do we in the kingdom of God want to help our “self” nature become stronger and more dominant?  Shouldn’t we avoid that section and focus our attention on books that help us learn how to live in the kingdom of God and how to allow the Spirit of God within us to develop more of the nature of Jesus?  Jesus told us in John 15:5, “…for apart from Me you can do nothing.” 

The life of Jesus on this earth is the example we are to be following.

John 5:19“Truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son does in like manner.”

John 5:30“I can do nothing on My own initiative.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 6:38 —  “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 8:28“…and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Fatheer has taught Me.”

QUESTION:   IS THIS THE KIND OF LIFE WE LIVE, OR DO WE WANT TO DO OUR OWN THING AND ALLOW OUR “SELF” NATURE TO BE EXALTED?

 

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We Are a Poor Replica of New Testament Faith

Many of us have been on a spiritual odyssey.  We have gone from message to message, from church to church, from conference to conference, from teaching to teaching,each time time with renewed hope and expectation.  Each time thinking “This is it!  This is the real thing.”  And each time we have been sadly disappointed.  The new teaching only took us so far and the new experience went only so deep.  It was, and is, a poor replica of the New Testament faith we see recorded in the Scriptures.

Why do so many believers hears so many sermons, listen to so many teaching CD’s or tapes, read so many faith-building books, follow so many spiritual formulas, make so many efforts to grow and yet never seem to change?  Is this really what life in the Spirit is all about?

Let’s be totally honest with ourselves and for one moment forget about all the excuses we have heard.  When you read the New Testament, what do you see?  If you sat down and read the gospels and the Book of Acts, closed your Bible, and then pictured what would have happened over the next few centuries, would you have actually thought that 2000 years later the world would still not be totally evangelized?  Would you have dreamed that twenty centuries would have come and gone without the return of Jesus?  And if you had been told that by the year 2014 there would be hundreds of millions of Spirit-filled believers across the globe, would you ever imagine that this world would be in its present condition?

If we had the same power the early Church had the whole world would have been saved in a matter of a few years, not in the condition it is currently in two thousand years later.

What has happened to us?  Where has the power of God gone that is to be in the Church?  Do our current congregations even slightly resemble the Church we read about in the Book of Acts?  Why, or why not?

WHAT IS “SAVING FAITH”?

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FOLLOWING JESUS —  WHAT IS “SAVING FAITH”

MATTHEW 16:24-25 —  “If anyone wishes to comes after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”

When you made the decision to follow Jesus, you made the most important, crucial decision of your life.

But Jesus didn’t offer eternal life to you based on:

“saying the right words”

“Having a warm religious feeling’

“an emotional moment when you felt you ought to do something”

“or that walking the aisle seemed like the appropriate thing to do”

“or a need for assurance that you wouldn’t go to hell”

“or that someone told you to repeat this prayer after me”.

There is one, and only one, way to receive eternal life ( or to be “saved”)

And it…

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BE STRONG IN THE LORD

Ephesians 6:10“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

The Lord Jesus has already defeated Satan and has ALL authority in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.  He has stripped Satan of all power and authority.  The only things that Satan has left to conquer the human is fear and deception.  He deceives us into turning our authority over to him so that we cannot resist his evil schemes against us, but the Scriptures tell us to STAND on the ground that Christ won for us and RESIST the devil and he will flee from us.

The Scripture also tells us that “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.”

The Church of Jesus should never relinquish anything over to Satan whether he attacks it through government, through foreign religions, through false teachings, or through any other attack.  The Church has the life, power, and authority of Jesus Himself within it and no power in the universe can overpower it.

If this is all true, then why do we see the Church cowering within its four walls and having nice religious meetings instead of penetrating our cultures and being light to expose the darkness, and salt to hold back the corruption?  Why does the Church cower down to the IRS for fear of losing its tax exempt status?  Why does the Church cower down and bow to the demands of our ungodly education systems, the abortion industry, the alternative lifestyles groups, etc?  Where is this Church that is filled with the power of God and is to be raising up a standard of righteousness?