A Prisoner of Jesus Christ

 

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Paul had other plans rather than being in prison. However, even though

A man’s heart devises his way, yet [it is] Yahweh [that] establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).

Although Paul would have desired a different situation, he nevertheless found himself a prisoner of Rome, and thus he looked beyond his mere circumstances, declaring himself to be in fact “the prisoner of Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:1). This is the power of divine awareness.

While Joseph’s brothers relatively had sold him into slavery, he knew assuredly that absolutely it was God Who had done this; and while his brothers “meant it for evil,” it was God Who had “meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

The same is true for all of us. While at times we might sense ourselves prisoners of our circumstances, finding ourselves in less than ideal or even in outright “evil” situations, it is God Who is in complete charge of them all. Nonetheless, like Paul we can say that, from the Divine viewpoint, we too are “prisoners of Christ Jesus,” and we can have complete confidence that,

For us, who love God, who are the called according to His purpose, there is an awareness that He is working all together for good (Romans 8:28, BSV).

Relax. Father has everything under control.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Be Vigilant

 

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Life is made up of good days and bad ones. Most are somewhere in the middle. There are even some days that are rather lighthearted, while others can be very trying times in which we are – in the words of our Apostle – “pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despair even of life” (II Corinthians 1:8).

We must never forget that God is the Originator (the Elohim) of all, He is the Placer (the Theos) of all, and He is the Subjector (the El) of all – the good as well as the evil. All work wisely and skillfully toward the Divine goal.

God declares,

I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45:7).

He further informs us of our response to the good and evil days.

In a day of good be resting in the good, and in a day of evil, be vigilant; indeed the One, Elohim, has made this one along with that one (Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, CV).

The “day of evil” is also translated as “the day of adversity” (KJV), “the day of misfortune” (REB) and “the day of affliction” (Geneva).

Relatively speaking, in “the day of good” we have an opportunity to “take it easy” and relax a bit. However, in “the day of evil” we’re not to be thoughtless and indifferent – but we are instructed to “be vigilant.”

All the while, either way we can ultimately rest assured that “THE ONE,” God (Elohim – the Originator) has originated both days, for “God has made the one as well as the other” (HCSB).

Among the greatest results of this divine awareness is peace.

Relax and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10, CV).

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is fixed on you (Isaiah 26:3).

What peace and rest are brought about in our lives by the realization of God’s operation of “all.”

[He is] the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11, CV).

So, even while we must “be vigilant in “the day of evil” – in our spirits we can also “relax,” for Father has everything under control.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Mission Completed

 

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In I Corinthians 15 we read of the consummation of His purpose – that is, the finality, the conclusion of that purpose, when Jesus Himself, having subjected all things unto Himself, is Himself also subjected unto the Father, that God may be “All in all.” There will not be a dissenting voice nor rebellious heart. The will of God has been received, and as a result of the will of God having been received there is no longer a necessity for a Savior, and Jesus Christ in His capacity of Savior of the world has been completed. His mission is completed.

John Graham Lake (1870–1935)
The Habitation of God
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The Certain God in Uncertain Times

 

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We never know what a day may bring forth – of good or ill, most often quite a mixture of both – but even in difficult and uncertain times we have the great comfort of knowing exactly Who is in charge. It is not us. It is not governments. It is not clergy and educators. It is not health care, economic or scientific professions, world leaders, business tycoons or humanitarians.

God alone, Who lovingly has revealed Himself as our Father, is in charge. There is no such thing as happenstance. Father does not merely “allow” things to happen. He does not ultimately have the last say. He is absolutely in control of all things. After all, He is the Originator (Elohim), the Placer (Theos) and the Subjector (El) of “all”!

Our Father is the certain God – and remains so even in uncertain times.

Here are some verses that bring great comfort in times of testing:

God, the Father, of Whom are all things (I Corinthians 8:6).

[He is] the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1:11, CV).

For out of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to Whom be majesty for the ages. Amen (Romans 11:36, BSV).

For us, who love God, who are the called according to His purpose, there is an awareness that He is working all together for good (Romans 8:28, BSV).

Relax and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10, CV).

Relax. Father has everything under control.

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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Incompatible with His Holy Nature

 

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In my survey and meditation on the theory of hellfire and damnation, or a living, conscious, Eternal punishment after death, for any of the creatures of His Powerful Hand, I find that it is not compatible with the Holy Nature of the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity. And if true, would bar, and exclude Him from the Divine Attributes of Love, Justice and Mercy with which He is so magnanimously endowed. God is Love. We cannot conceive of Him violating the holy faculties of his Person by consigning any part of his helpless creation to interminable torture.

Charles F. Nickles (1881-1949)
Primitive “No-Heller” Baptist
Scott County, Virginia
Cited by Howard Dorgan
In the Hands of a Happy God: The “No-Hellers” of Central Appalachia
University of Tennessee Press/Knoxville 1997, p.88
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All Will Be Redeemed

 

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All will be redeemed in God’s fullness of time – all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ. All the strayed and stolen sheep. All the little lost ones.

Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007)
A Stone for a Pillow: Journeys with Jacob, p. x
Author of A Wrinkle in Time
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Has God’s Wisdom Failed?

 

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That now may be made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the Celestials, through the ecclesia, the multifarious wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10).

At present the display of multifarious wisdom seems largely wasted on the saints. Sad as it may seem, the impression appears to prevail among them that God’s wisdom has failed Him, that He sorely needs our help to save a few from the wreck of His Universe, and that our chief concern should be to aid Him in recovering from the dilemma into which His enemies have brought Him. They do not understand the variety of wisdom that uses temporary evil to produce permanent good. They do not realize that Israel’s opposition was necessary to afford a foil for the transcendent grace which has come to us. They are not aware that the heavenly hosts are learning of God’s limitless resources of wisdom through us.

A.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
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More Than We Ever Dreamed Possible

 

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I believe that at the center of the universe there dwells a loving Spirit who longs for all that’s best in all of creation, a Spirit Who knows the great potential of each planet as well as each person, and little by little will love us into being more than we ever dreamed possible. That loving Spirit would rather die than give up on any one of us.

Fred Rogers
Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way
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All That Happens Is God’s Doing

 

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God makes us what we are, places us where we are, and operates our operating, even if it still seems to us that we’re “doing” things. Growth in our experience happens when God brings us into conscious enjoyment of Him as the Source and Operator of all existence, of which we all are a part. Growth in faith comes through hearing and believing God, Who gives ears to hear and belief in the heart.

Jeff Bohlender
(edited)
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The Solution

 

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The Solution to every problem also happens to be the Source of every problem. In other words, He creates the problems in order to eventually reveal Himself as the ultimate Solution to them all. In this way, He becomes appreciated, loved and enjoyed more than if He’d created a situation without problems.

Most people are unable to believe all are headed toward a wonderful and good Destination. My experience is, when the true Source of every problem reveals Himself as the true and excellent Solution, every difficulty is seen in a wonderful Light.

Believe it or not, you’re in good hands, everything is going as planned, and you have a wonderful future ahead.

Jeff Bohlender
The Solution
(abridged)
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