my weak times

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelations 2:7 (NKJV)

How shall I measure my progress, Father above?
The swallowing sea gives my faith an impudent shove.
I wonder in these times if I am seeing Your face,
I wonder how well, or if at all, I am running the race.

Reassurance comes in verses and in prayer
Surely protecting me from the enemy’s lair.
But ever crafty and swift, he knows my weakness.
I feel him near now, Father, to You closer I press.

Then can I turn an unhindered ear?
Come Spirit speak, speak to me clear.
But in my weak times I hardly shall know,
What You, Lord are whispering, whispering so.

Yes in my weak times I feel far away.
Lord all of this world seems to hold sway.
I wonder why I still must endure,
Perfection, I am reminded, in your timing so pure.

So I shall persevere with all of my might,
Penetrated hands remain in my sight.
And thus I’ve become my adversary.
Yet still, to know this, I am surely wary.

Paradise and the Tree of Life,
I will see You Lord, Your love cuts like a knife.
And of my progress and swallowing seas?
I know now, in my weak times, I must return to my knees.

© 2013 Rick Stassi

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…therefore the temple is built upon Jesus, our Rock.

12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.
14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.
15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 (NIV)

All in the world shall perish. The material treasures we place upon our hearts are taking the place of a His holy spirit and leaving that spirit unprotected. For all that we build our life, our church, our relationships upon should be of our heavenly source and not of the world around us. Our church is rooted in Jesus Christ. Our lives are, as well. When Jesus told Peter that the church would be built upon him:

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Peter by name was “Cephas“, which is rock. It can be read that he is the rock Jesus describes as the bedrock. But instead, Peter is a great orator and actions came from within him after Jesus had Ascended. The Rock that the church was built upon was not Peter, but was indeed Jesus who is the Foundation of the church, our lives, and the firm ground below us from where we look up and seek our Master’s voice and face! O glory for God’s grace. Peter was the rock that brought a concise message of Jesus Christ and many were brought to Jesus. Peter is an important conveyor of the Gospel. He persevered toward Christ and was given his place.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6

So then, If we build our lives on a foundation that is not directly touching and upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we will know on the Day of Judgement. For all is judged as we meet God and an account of our life is given:

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36

We hold captive the thought of how we build our lives now will have repercussion at our Judgement. We will be exposed at that time; however, be exposed now! That is what these words of God are for. Heavenly instruction is the word of God and all wisdom is held in His word. Ready you heart for the Return and build you house-your life-your church on the Bedrock Who is the Foundation of the very world we walk upon.

Some give their lives to the Lord and are saved. Then they build their temple, we as a vessel with the Spirit indwelling, upon the material. It is written in v. 15 he shall be saved, indeed, but without the riches of a life serving the Lord. There is merit and gratification in serving God. We build our lives on Jesus Christ and the desire to please and serve in inherent – if we obey and listen to heavenly instruction.

Our bodies are a temple of the Lord. We shall build our temple upon Bedrock, Who is Jesus. We may not, but will be saved as we have given our life to Him who, by grace, is Salvation. However, our treasures will be none as all we build up on earth will burn.

Place all of your hopes, dreams and trust in the indestructible Rock. Walk a walk in His image. Then on the Day of your judgement He will say,”Well done” Matthew 25:21  

Rick Stassi

December 14, 2011

…for Dana, my wife and co-Pilgrim in this walk upon solid ground. rs

…actually responding to God

22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
1 John 3:22,23 (NKJV)

Asking God

God only asks that we love Him and believe on His Son. He also asks that we love others. In that obedience, we are faithful and in our faith we can be assured that we will receive what we ask of Him.

Listen to God

The next step is to listen to Him. Listening is an endless process and is always focused on what He may be speaking into our life. In our situations we tend to separate what we deem from God and just circumstance. Know that it is all God. When we realize and tune into the fact that all that is currently in our life is of God, then we are poised for obedience and listening.

Actually Responding

The next step is a response. In the triad of questions Jesus asks Peter: John 21:15-19

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

  • Love God in His Agape love
  • Feed His sheep
  • Follow Jesus

Respond to these requests.

Peter eventually obeyed. He became a great leader for Christ because he followed Jesus. After His ascension, Peter stepped up to be a great leader – sincere belief was in him.

The above Scripture does not exactly fit the ask and respond model, however, it is an illustration of God’s persistence and our resistance – either purposeful or accidental. The point is that God will answer our prayer steadfast and tireless through His word, Spiritual conviction, or His voice. It is when we hear this or feel this that we respond. Peter did not fully grasp the depth of his walk with Jesus otherwise he may have responded correctly. Jesus asked Peter meaning Agape love and Peter’s response was using brotherly love. (See Greek concordance – agapao and phileo). Jesus eventually asked Peter using phileo. Why? Peter was grieved that Jesus came to Peter’s level rather that the reverse. Jesus already knew Peter would be a strong warrior for Jesus. Peter did not yet see but he would soon enough. (see Acts 2:14)

Do we have the sincere belief in God that when we ask He will speak and we will respond? We need to try to listen to God, seek answers from Scripture, and survey ourself to see how we may need to change. God will work on others. Ours is a one-on-one relationship with the Father. Pray for understanding and submit even deeper to your faith that every circumstance in your life can be God refining you on your path to perfection. Praise Him for His grace.

Rick

2011

…actually responding to God’s beckoning

22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 1 John 3:22,23

God’s Gift

God only asks that we love Him. He also asks that we love others. In that obedience, we are faithful and in our faith we can be assured that we will receive what we ask of Him. The completion of the act of asking God is to also listen to Him. Listening is an endless process and is always focused on what He may be saying. In our situations we tend to separate what we deem from God and just circumstance in our life. Know that it is all God. When we realize and tune into the fact that all that is currently in our life is of God, then we are poised for obedience and listening.

Actually Responding

The next step is a response. In the triad of questions Jesus asks Peter: John 21:15-19

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Peter eventually obeyed. He became a great leader for Christ because he followed Jesus. After His ascension, Peter stepped up to be a great leader – sincere belief was upon him.

The above Scripture does not exactly fit the ask and respond model. The point, however, is that God will answer our prayer steadfast and tireless through His word, Spiritual conviction, or His voice. It is when we hear this or feel this that we respond. Peter did not fully grasp the depth of his walk with Jesus otherwise he may have responded correctly. Jesus asked Peter meaning Agape love and Peter’s response was using brotherly love. (See Greek concordance – agapao and phileo). Jesus eventually asked Peter using phileo. Why? Peter was grieved that Jesus came to Peter’s level rather that the reverse (see Chuck Smith commentary). Jesus already knew Peter would be a strong warrior for Jesus. Peter did not yet see but he would soon enough. (see Acts 2:14)

Do we have the sincere belief in God that when we ask He will respond and we will understand?

We need to try to listen to God, seek answers from Scripture, and survey ourself to see how we may need to change. God will work on others. Ours is a one-on-one relationship with the Father. Pray for understanding and submit even deeper to your faith that every circumstance in your life can be God refining you on your path to perfection.

Do we have the sincere belief in God that when He asks, we will respond and we will praise Him?