Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

Staying Genuine

                  Staying Genuine 

                                           April 12, 2015

 

 

I Peter 1:1-9

 

 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:1-9 NKJV)

 

Christianity is not an institution, it is a pilgrimage. It was never intended for us to base our beliefs upon opinions of man, but to be rooted in doctrines of God. What becomes his doctrine should be based upon his moves and not our speculations.

Our faith is the testing materials; the proving ground of our trust in God. It is the place where we lay what should be most precious to us before him in offering and see its worth become as dung in the presence of the Lord.

As we live out this life, what will lead others to him will not be our ability to pontificate and philosophize about religion, but to see the demonstrations of power and glory that pass through us by the hand of the Lord. 1 Peter 1 speaks of the “genuineness of our faith being much more precious than gold” should make us wonder about the rankings of what we hold dear. Our true battle in this life is not over the grave. That has already been won for us. Our struggle will boil down to keeping it real.

 

 

The Reality of Christ

 

John 6:35-40

 

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40 NKJV)

 

It’s funny how we remember random items from our childhood. One of the things I recall from a very young age was a bread wrapper that had the motto, “the staff of life”, printed on it. As I read this scripture...I see the Jesus calling himself the Bread of Life. Bread, real bread, is a staple. You cannot do without it. Though you can survive...it is a no brainer to say that most everything we eat includes some kind of bread in its configuration. And even though some of us have removed it from our diets, it always wanders back in through the door somehow.

 

Jesus is saying here that he is a non-expendable part of our life. We can try to write him out, but it is almost a certain thing that he will roll back around no matter how much we try to ignore his role.

We need his life. We need his rod and his staff to guide us. We are in desperate need of a shepherd to lead us into paths of righteousness, of which ours are but filthy rags.

Being genuine is keeping Him squarely in the center of our lives, never accepting another as our bread, but allowing him to nurture and feed us with his life.

 

Falling for fad

 

Matthew 24:23-28

 

 

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together. (Matthew 24:23-28 NKJV)

 

 

 

II Timothy 4:2-5

 

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (II Timothy 4:2-5 NKJV)

 

The era of religious magicians has returned. Jannes and Jambres are back with a vengeance. (2 Tim 3:8) This time, they do not replicate the miracles of Moses, but try to deflect the Glory of God and His signs and wonders by deceptions of smooth words and ear tickling. These charlatans are doing for the faith what Hugh Hefner did for romantic relationships. They are leading people astray, and they are getting obscenely wealthy in the process.

 

When Jesus returns, the last thing we will want to be found doing is worshipping a man. His love for us is overwhelming. His care for us extends past the infinite points of space. How can we privatize the anointing by connecting it to doctrines of man when God’s miracles came to us at such a desperate cost?

 

God’s plan for us is firstly pure. His words were never delivered to us with the shuffling of feet and the uncertainty of semantics.  Jesus stood before Pilate and simply said “thou hast said it”. He never apologized for who he is or how he came...his appointment was not in pleasing man, but in saving his soul from hell.

 

 

Walking the straight path

 

 

Colossians 2:6-10

 

 

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:6-10 NKJV)

 

Next time you are in a pharmacy or department store, drop by the vitamins and supplements aisle. Check out the vast expanse of the universe that calls itself “nutritional products”. There are several labels of the same thing all claiming to be better than the first. In the end, what will work best for you is not what’s printed on the label, but what is contained within the bottle. Our life before God is that way. There are so many professing to have “the way to God”... they will lay claim to formulas for everything from healing to financial success. God’s best for us lay at the end of the pilgrimage we have embarked upon on this planet earth.

He has blessings and provision and healings and amazing signs and wonders galore throughout our trek toward heaven, but they are things that he wants to show us along a path that he has set before us. Let no one lie to you and tell you there are many paths...for there is only one...Jesus. And Jesus told us that himself.

God’s life cannot be postulated down to what Paul called “basic principles of the world”. There is a set path, and we are to walk it. We will stumble and we will fall...but we will get up and walk and finish our race...walking the path of righteousness.

 

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