STRANGERS,          “WORTH   CONSIDERING”          2/6/23

When a little boy growing up until about 5 or 6, I mostly lived on my Grandfather’s100 acre farm.  in Kentucky.   This was during the Great Depression of 1929 when people were having a very difficult time.   Seems we may be heading again into this kind of a national bump in the road or WW III or both.     But on the farm we all worked hard, even at my age I would get the water from the well with a bucket and shuck the corn and grind it for the chickens, collect eggs and do what I could.  And because we helped each other we never missed a meal and there was always plenty of food for strangers.   It was not so  much talked about, it was more of a learning by observing but there was a southern attitude of kindness and helping folks that went with the turf of being from the South.  Of course some call it the Bible Belt and it seems for all of the starch and hard work hearts was still tender towards the stranger.  We never locked a door.   Of course things are much different now but I wonder if we might be missing out on something in not having time to entertain angels (God’s Messengers) without knowing about it?   So I took the time to deal with the fear that we sometimes have concerning strangers.  How is the Gospel of Christ Jesus going to find root in our crazy world if no one can see the Love of God in action?  This generation is totally turned off to playing church where there is no power of the Holy Spirit.  It was not the church that got me saved in 1955 but a young man who was believing the Bible and allowing it to totally change his life.   I got to see the words of Jesus alive and in action,   I had never seen that before, it got my attention..  I followed Floyd around and was born from above.

Let love of your fellow believers continue. 2 Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels (Messengers) without knowing it. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in a body [and subject to physical suffering. Heb. 13:1-3,     But the stranger who resides with you shall be to you like someone native-born among you; and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.  Lev. 19:34.     Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  Deut. 10:19,     The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; But He makes crooked the way of the wicked.  Psalm 146:9    God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.  Psalm 68:6,     There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18,      “ For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters.  25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.  26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” Job 3:24-26.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7.      Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.  Hebrews 13:17.   Need to find an Eph. 4:11-16 Elder and become submitted.  In the Kingdom of God all are to learn to serve and be submitted to someone,   Humility and Obedience training is very difficult to find today.  And  if we do,  there is no long line at the door.   “The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the instruction for wisdom [its starting point and its essence]; And before honor comes humility.”  Prov.  15:33.    So find an Elder who loves Jesus and knows more than you do, and learn to repent and to submit.

Eph. 4:11-16,    “And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; 13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity]. 14 So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit]. 15 But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. 16 From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up [a] in [unselfish] love.

If we really want to experience in full what Christ Jesus came to give us we will need to humble ourselves and follow HIS directions and commandments to the letter.  It all starts with us leaning to love one another as God loves us.   In that great love we want to please HIM and follow HIS directions and example in Christ Jesus.   And out of that loving obedience will come the power of the Holy Spirit to confirm HIS TRUTH.   We are experiencing a powerless church today due to following vain (vanity, prideful) religious traditions rather than the Word of God.  God’s Church is a messy forum, but we have made it into a powerless polished theater and many have quit going at all.  The Church of Christ Jesus is dangerous as you never know what the Holy Spirit is going to do.   But Man’s Church is totally safe and even has a script to follow.  And mostly you know exactly what is going to happen. God’s Church is a balance of Love, Holiness and Power, Just like Jesus.   Man’s church tends to be indulgent or sanctimonious or a carnival.   A Jesus Church is like:  Psalm 126:6   “He who goes back and forth weeping, carrying his bag of seed [for planting],  Will indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves (increase) with him..”

So here is what we example for: 1 Cor. 26-33,    “What then is the right course, believers? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation (disclosure of special knowledge), a tongue, or an interpretation. Let everything be constructive and edifying and done for the good of all the church. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be limited to two or at the most three, and each one speaking in turn, and one must interpret [what is said]. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, the one [who wishes to speak in a tongue] must keep silent in church; let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak [as inspired by the Holy Spirit], while the rest pay attention and judge carefully what is said. 30 But if an inspired revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one must be silent. 31 For [in this way] you can all prophesy one by one, so that everyone may be instructed and everyone may be encouraged; 32 for the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets [the prophecy is under the speaker’s control, and he can stop speaking]; 33 for God [who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.  As [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God’s people),” St.  Paul

Yours, in HIS great Love and wonderful Grace & Mercy,   Ken<><   www.OhanaChurch.Life

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