Ten-Percent

“If an athlete would only give ten percent of their abilities or talents they would be out on the street; they give one hundred percent. God does not require ten percent of what you own or earn, He wants all of you (Romans 12:1–2) in the sense that you already belong to Him because of the work of Christ, and this God desires that we know.” ~LMJ~

Malachi – Revealing Our Lord and Delight

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Malachi, Jesus Christ is revealed as the “Sun of righteousness” arising “with healing,” and the “messenger of the covenant” between God and Israel, and the refiner of the sons of Levi who were the priests.

Jesus Christ is also revealed as the Lord whom we seek, and in whom we can trust, and in whom we can delight because of his accomplishments for us that God’s healing Word reveals.

Malachi 3:1 – BEHOLD, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me {God}: and the Lord {Jesus Christ}, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

The “messenger” whom God would send before the coming of Christ the Lord would be John the Baptist who would prepare the way for God’s people to “hopefully” accept His true deliverance with the coming of His Son Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was related to Jesus Christ; they were cousins (See Luke 1:36). John’s baptism helped relieve God’s people from condemnation and sin consciousness – this is how he prepared the way for the Messiah’s coming so that people would have great expectation in receiving Christ as their Lord and Savior in whom they could delight.

“The messenger of the covenant” was Jesus Christ, yet when he came they crucified him, and so they never received the new covenant. Let us read exactly what the new covenant would bring from the Book of Hebrews:

Hebrews 8:10-11:
-10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
-11: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

This covenant that was to take place with the coming of Christ has yet to happen, because Israel rejected Jesus Christ. Today many Christian people believe that the new covenant is happening because Christ did come, however, the new covenant was with the house of Israel, not with the Church of God.

Another way that we can know for certainly that the new covenant has yet happened is because of verse 11. Do all your neighbors know the Lord? Do all of our brothers and sisters know the Lord? Do all the people know the Lord from the least to the greatest? The answer is an emphatic, NO!

The new covenant will commence when Christ returns to the earth, and not until he does. Then and only then will the new covenant begin.

Today in grace we are encouraged to preach and teach the Word of God, while in the new covenant no one will need to teach because Christ the master teacher will be present and all shall know him. But today in God’s grace it is our joy and privilege to learn the Scriptures ourselves by which we will come to know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

Luke 2:10-11:
-10: And the angel said unto them {shepherds}, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
-11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The entire Old Testament reveals Jesus Christ in great detail, outlining many wonderful things he would do for humanity, as we have seen in our study on Jesus Christ the Golden Thread. All the unbelief in the world could not prevent his first coming, and all of God’s will including the new covenant will eventually happen, but on God’s timetable.

Today because Christ came, we have free access to him who reveals our heavenly Father to our souls. Then finally after all the prophecies of his coming, he was born into this world.

The angel of God announced the birth of Our Lord and Savior who would bring “great joy” not just to the house of Israel, but to anyone who will simply look to Jesus Christ for he is Our Lord in whom we can daily Delight.

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the church Epistles, Romans through Thessalonians, there are many wonderful aspects for the Christian believer to experience ― the renewed mind, gifts, and manifestations of the spirit. We can also discover principles of financial abundance, leadership, and discipline that can enhance our walks with the Father. To walk in the renewed mind is to learn how to walk in and with all that God has given us in Christ. The renewed mind is enjoying our new nature which is given to us by God Himself, as His Word reveals to us (II Peter 1:4). This is a divine treasure hunt as we search the Scriptures.

There are two major ways to approach the renewed mind process. One way is to try and renew the mind based on fear, based on having the wrongful fear of God’s wrath for not doing so, and the undue fear of not being pleasing to other believers. However, whenever fear is our motivator for renewing our minds, at best, we will only be able to put on a pseudo-type mind of pretense, and this effort will always be apart from God’s desired will for His children. The other way, the correct way is to begin enjoying the truth that we have the renewed mind with His love in our lives, knowing that God loves us regardless of our actions, and that He in the Epistles encourages us to enjoy and experience our renewed minds because we are already pleasing to and loved by God (Ephesians 1:3-6). When we know this, and really believe it in our hearts, then we can begin to effortlessly walk into the fullness of God because we own it – we have the always‑guiding, never-failing love of God (I Corinthians 13:8).

II Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with open face {without shame} beholding as in a glass {or a mirror} the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

God is Spirit (John 4:24), and everything that He has given to us is spiritual. As we look into the Word, the Word itself begins reflecting back into our lives what God has spiritually given us through Christ. God’s Word contains the true treasures that are already ours. As we look into the Epistles, we will find what the Bible calls the “new man” (Ephesians 4:24, and Colossians 3:10), our true spiritual abilities (Philippians 4:13, Colossians 3:4, and John 14:12), and the love of God (Romans 5:5, and Ephesians 5:2). As we read and study our Bibles we literally will become changed into what God’s Word reflects, and this is the image that we behold, from the glory contained in the Scriptures reflecting back to us the glory of the Lord that our God has placed in our own hearts.

As we come to realize we have been given a renewed mind according to the healing Word of God, He will continue to show us the great and wonderful ability (spiritual ability) that He has given to us of His own divine grace and love. Already having a renewed mind according to what the Scripture reveals will inspire us to enjoy the serenity of our relationship with our heavenly Father that the spirit of Christ within reflects in our hearts. The more we realize that we have the glory of the Lord within, the greater our own spiritual revival begins to grow in the true light of the Epistles.

II Corinthians 4:7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of {or rather ― from} God, and not of us.

The treasure is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), and the power of Christ in you is from God. We learn the truths about God’s wonderful power via learning and then reflecting His powerful Word in daily living. His healing Word always gives us access to His power, and as we recognize where the power originates from (from God, Ephesians 6:10), and we put our trust in the Word of God, then we will effortlessly begin using unlimited spiritual power and live the life that is more than abundant.

I Thessalonians 2:12–13:
-12: That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
-13: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

No one on earth can absolutely prove God real to anyone else because God is Spirit, but anyone can see and read His Word, and believe what he or she has read, and then the Word of God itself will effectually worketh also in you that believe. This is how God reveals Himself to the individual; this is how the believer receives an understanding of His truths, His power, and the glory of the Lord (Christ within). When anybody believes what the Scriptures reveal, he or she can then prove that God’s Word is exceptionally “good,” wholly “acceptable,” and soundly “perfect” in every detail, for the believer will begin walking with the glory of the Lord, and share in the love of God to love’s fullness.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God’s Word encourages us to allow the renewed mind itself to transform us from within with the purpose of knowing the reality of God’s will, the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The benefits are immense for we will experience in our hearts the heavenly treasures God has placed in our earthen vessels! If we can absorb one idea from this study and practice something that can prove to our heart’s content the reality of God, then I would like to highlight the love of God that we have received. Let us reach out and love another person with God’s love. God has given us His love, the Bible tells us so, and when we love with His love, we will be applying something very spiritual and rewarding, something good, and acceptable, and perfect. When we give, we also receive. Whenever we love someone with God’s love we do not empty out, rather God continues to supply us in return for He is a fountain of unlimited supply.

Galatians 5:13–14:
-13: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh {to be lazy or stingy with God’s love}, but by love serve one another.
-14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

For all of the law is completely fulfilled in one word, that one word is love! God’s divinely‑given love has completely fulfilled all of the requirements that the Law had ever commanded (Matthew 22:37-40). Let us consider the last phrase of verse 14; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. We are loved completely by our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ without any strings attached because they are love in its fullness, and we are loved in their fullness. The essence of the phrase, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself is loved by God in Christ in you.” How God loves us is how we can love one another, and we learn about the tremendous love God has for us in the Scriptures, and this same love that the Bible speaks of is in our earthen vessels.

Romans 13:10: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

God’s love always works in positive ways, and never works to bring hurt (ill) to a neighbor (John 4:20-21). God placed in our very hearts this love and made it available for us to manifest His love to others as God keeps on supplying ― more. Let us be honest for a minute and recall how many times we have heard the phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself” and many of us have perhaps thought, “Them, Oh my God you must be kidding. I don’t know if I have the strength to love those people over there in the same way as I love myself.” But with God’s love that has been freely given to us, being loving is so easy (I Thessalonians 3:12-13); it is almost like spending someone else’s money. We did not earn God’s love by our works; rather, we were given God’s love because of the generous work of Jesus Christ. This is a treasure in earthen vessels.

John 13:34–35:
-34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
-35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

If we were to love others solely contingent upon how much love that we have for ourselves, then I assure you that someone would be getting the shorter end of the stick because some people love themselves more, and some much less than others. However, God has given us a constant standard ― Christ’s love. God has made it available for each of us to love equally proportionately to the same love that Jesus Christ loves us with, and thank God for giving us this wonderful understanding about the genuine spiritual service of love that is so uplifting to all those this spiritual love touches. I John 3:18 encourages, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth,” With this new spiritual love of Christ we have been enabled to love the unlovable with the same intensity that we could love the most deserving and lovable souls.

The love of God that He has placed in our earthen vessels is a divine treasure chest and is stocked complete with pure heavenly love. God’s love applied reaches all the way into the heart of man, beyond the appearance or facade that people portray on the outside, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

The love of God is the true spiritual strength of the Christian family, and the spiritual foundation for true believing unity within the church, and the true spiritual uplifting in the individual believer’s heart, and is the believer’s lifeline into the tremendous blessings contained in God’s revealed Word.

Romans 5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost {holy spirit} which is given unto us.

The hope is the return of Christ and our anticipation of that glorious day to be with him, clothed in a new spiritual body (Philippians 3:20-21). As we come to an understanding of the hope, we will know with inner believing conviction that there is no shame to ever be given us in our future, but rather glory immersed in the favorable, loving graces of our heavenly Father. The blessing that can cause the hope to become so alive in our hearts, in the continuous and present tense, is that we have the love of God ― now. The Word teaches us that we have and can utilize this love, and then we can equally share God’s love for and with one another which is the manifestation of the renewed mind. This is one of the divine treasures that God in His love has placed in our earthen vessels, so that we may even now enjoy His presence and presents.

Ephesians 3:17–20:
-17: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
-18: May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
-19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
-20: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Ephesians 6:10:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Rejoice and Be Glad in Mercy

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 Psalms 90:14: O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psalm 90 is a prayer written by Moses, and in verse 14, he is requesting in his prayer to be satisfied early with God’s mercy. The purpose for mercy is “that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Mercy means the withholding of judgments and/or punishments that are rightfully due us because all men are sinners. Yet God’s mercy can cover us, giving the believers reason to rejoice and be glad. Without God’s mercy upon our souls, life itself could become too stressful, but as we recognize His mercy upon us we can also reciprocate from our innermost beings our heartfelt joy and gladness.

In Psalms 31, David talks about a time in his life when he simply forgot about God’s mercy, thus he lost any joy or gladness until he remembered the mercy of God. Below we can read some of David’s thoughts:

Psalms 31:7:  I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou {God} hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

God knows the troubles that we go through in life, He knows us so intimately that the Bible says He has numbered the very hairs on our heads. Yet even though we do not walk perfectly, God covers for our shortcomings and sins by not only giving us mercy, but also showing mercy to our inner souls so that from within we may be glad and rejoice.

Psalms 31:8: And {God} hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Our God is a refuge from the storms of this life, and can rescue us, setting our “feet in a large room,” meaning the opposite of being grasped in the hand or encased with the devices of our enemies. This is the mercy of God upon our lives, thus David continues:

Psalms 31:9–10:
-9:  Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
-10:  For my life is spent with grief {without acknowledging and accepting Your mercy I am without joy and gladness}, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine inequity, and my bones are consumed.

This Psalm goes to the heart of so many Christian people who refute God’s divine mercy, when all the while God is beseeching us to accept His mercy (Romans 12:1–2), as David had finally done.

Psalms 31:21–24:
-21:  Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. {God’s “marvelous kindness” is His mercy, and in a “strong city” is being in a walled city with protection.}
-22:  For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications {prayers} when I cried {prayed} unto thee.
-23:  O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
-24:  Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

David finally realized that all he had to do was to accept God’s mercy and God could take his fears and anxieties from being encased by his enemy’s hands to placing him not only in a large room, but also in a walled and protected city. God’s Mercy gives us plenty of reasons to have Gladness and Rejoicing within our very souls.

God’s Garden

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When I recall first becoming a Christian at age twenty, one huge concern of mine was about making any kind of commitment to God because ever since I was a child I heard and learned that Christians must suffer their way up to heaven. I was told that Christians could not have any fun in life, and I really did not want any part of that kind of life. But when I finally came to the Word of God, I began realizing that walking with God was fun, and that Jesus Christ suffered so that I did not need to, as I had feared.

There is nothing equal on earth in comparison to what we currently can receive from God. I used to think that the very best time to get saved was after I enjoyed life (like on my deathbed). Yet God’s wonderful healing Word has made my life such a pleasurable joy that the old way I used to think and behave is almost like looking back on an elusive nightmare, for there is no comparison on this earth to enjoying life with God and personally knowing Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Over time, committing my life to God became easier as His Word began to lift me up from within, and it has been a wonderful experience for me to also see how God works the same miracle in the hearts of other believers.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In this study, I wanted to highlight the phrase “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” This implies that God desires us to commit ourselves (presenting the whole person – wholly unto Him); for in doing so we will begin proving to our inner conscious minds that the will of God is so “good,” and completely “acceptable,” and even “perfect!”

When we begin committing our lives to God (our bodies, i.e., our very souls) we can then begin proving to ourselves that life with Him is truly spectacular and always rewarding. This is “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

To name just a few things that are acceptable that can be proven are: His love that we have within, which we may daily utilize; that we have joy overflowing, which we may bask in; that we have God in Christ in us, which is certainly much greater than walking alone without God in this world. This is why the greatest giving that man could ever give is to commit oneself to God Who is the Father of Lights. Then beyond this, the receiving from our heavenly Father truly flourishes in one’s spiritual growth, and the reason why may just blow your mind (so-to-speak).

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Amplified Bible): **
For we are fellow workman (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under {God’s} cultivation, [you are] God’s building.

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of God and they were to cultivate the Garden themselves (Genesis 2:15) while they lived in complete serenity with God in His divine grace. Yet as we know, they fell from grace with the entrance of sin while Paradise, the Garden of God, ceased to exist for man. However today, because of the redemption we received by the completed work of Christ, we can now walk again with God in His divine grace equal to that of Adam and Eve’s original fellowship and union with God. We are now laborers together with God in His cultivated home in fleshy tables of the human heart (II Corinthians 3:3, 4:7).

We are a new spiritual Garden of God’s making and design, wherein God provides the cultivating, nurturing, and growth of our spiritual lives, and in our hearts is where we may freely commit our very souls to Him.

In God’s Garden, we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to Him (Ephesians 5:1–2). It is interesting to note that the word for “grow” in Matthew 6:28 for the growth life of lilies is the Greek word auxano and means to grow from within without compulsion, in the best conditions, having the best light for photosynthesis to promulgate the growth of life from within. This word is also used for the growth of the temple of God whom we are (Ephesians 2:21–22), for we are continuously growing in and with God’s cultivation, immersed in the light of His love (Ephesians 4:16).

Today we walk with the Father in the Garden of His delight wherein He is our sufficiency as He continues to deliver and honor us. “He {you and I} shall call upon me {God}, and I will answer him: I will be with him in {or through} trouble; I will deliver him {from trouble}, and {I God will} honour him” (Psalms 91:15). WOW – God honors us! “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and this is why we are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified {by believers}” (Isaiah 61:3).

We today are God’s spiritual Garden, for we are His habitation (Ephesians 2:22), living in and enjoying our heavenly Father’s own cultivating. He gently pulls out the weeds of doubts, worries, and fears, and increases our confidence, trust, and believing faith to commit ourselves to His healing Word. Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). In other words, our heavenly Father can deliver us from whatever holds us captive, no matter how deeply seated (or seeded) it may be, for God is the cultivator of the human heart.

God warms our souls in His marvelous light as He gives us spiritual growth that blossoms out from our heart’s commitment to Him.

Giving of oneself to God is the greatest act of giving because it is the greatest act of receiving God’s loving-kindness within!

We may plant and water by placing the healing Word of God in our minds. Simultaneously our heavenly Father will cultivate and give us the increase (auxano), with which we need to grow in the spiritual Garden of God’s care as we enjoy a continued perpetual springtime.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.