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 Are you “Seeking First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness” as He has indicated?

Sacred Heart

“O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:30-34)

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Sometimes when we read the Gospels a little too rapidly we go right past some very deeply important spiritual precepts that we need to live a truly Christian life, faithful to the Spirit of Christ in us.

For instance, when we read the introductory statement (cited above) that Jesus spoke to his disciples, we understand He was trying to warn them about being distracted from following the Holy Spirit’s directives as they walked “the narrow path” in the midst of what was going on in the world around them. This, of course, is a concern all we Christians should have and therefore, his exhortation to the disciples is also of utmost importance to us believers as well.

The essence of His directive to them, was that, in their walk with Him, it is essential that if they are to maintain themselves within the Holy Spirit’s guidance to fulfill God’s purposes for their lives, they must always follow the spiritual precept to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”.

This statement, was probably clear to the his disciples, who as persons of that epoch and place, understood what the idiom of the “kingdom” meant. For us, in today’s world, however, the way the statement is worded becomes somewhat ambiguous.
For instance we might ask: what does it mean to “seek the Kingdom”? And how do I do that that? And, why would “seeking the Kingdom” be more important than looking for a boat that they needed to take them to their destination across the Sea of Galilee in the morning?

After thinking slowly about the term “the Kingdom” you begin to realize that Jesus is not talking about seeking some apocalyptic kingdom to come. No, the Kingdom that Jesus is referring to is the Reign of God that the Father has placed in the hearts of all believers. It is here, in us where, through our spiritual relationship with Him, we may determine His Will for us in all that we do. This permits us to trust that, as long as we are responding to His Will, He will provide everything that is needed to fulfill His purposes for us!
Of course this affirms the importance of having a personal relationship to the Father, through Jesus. For it is only through such a living, active relationship that we can discern the Father’s Will for us in our everyday circumstances and thus keep us under the cover of His Righteousness in all that we do in Jesus’ Name.

For, you see, His Kingdom, is the Kingdom of His Love, and it is only through a relationship with Him through Jesus that that true “agape” Love can manifest itself in our being.

Using the same analysis we see that it also helps us to better understand the phrase in the “our Father” prayer where it says, “… Thy Kingdom Come Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).

Here, again, the “Kingdom”. Jesus is referring to the Father’s reign in our hearts and thus the statement in the prayer might best be read as, “ … [Father, let] your Kingdom [of Love] come [to reign in me, so that ] your Will may be done on earth as to is in heaven.”  Understanding this, we can see why it is said that this prayer that was given to the Jesus’ disciples (and us) might be better called “the Disciples Prayer”. As it really is a prayer of commitment that is the key to entering in to Discipleship with Jesus.

Now, from all the thoughts presented, I think we can begin to see what “seeking the Kingdom” really means. It certainly begins by offering our lives totally to the Father so that our continuing desire is yield ourselves to be transformed to the Spirit of Christ in us and thus become channels of His Love here in this world!

Here is what the Apostle Paul has to say regarding this matter,
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Well, brethren, I pray that after reading this article, I believe you should give the scripture cited some thought and prayer so you can begin to realize the concept Jesus was trying to convey to His Disciples and us about seeking the Kingdom. And, of course, if you decide to offer your self as a Living Sacrifice to Him you will also experience living in His Righteousness though Love, keeping in mind Paul’s continuing exhortation regarding Living out the Kingdom in our lives:

“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:9-19)

Praised Be His Holy Name, and May His Holy Spirit guide you in not only in seeking His Kingdom but entering it as well and thus become true disciple of Christ!

Your Brother in Christ Jesus …. Bartimaeus

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2017])

Related Links (if the Holy Spirit is leading you to go deeper) …

Let Love Prevail

More About The Kingdom

Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

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A Renewed New Life for the New Year!

Shepherds at Nativiy

Christ is our New Life

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons,  God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,  crying out, “Abba, Father!”So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.” (1 Gal. 4:4-7)

Brothers and Sisters, my fellow Pilgrims in Christ,

Regarding Resolutions for the New Year

It is common practice, for most of us in the west, to make some resolutions at the beginning of each new year that will lead to improvement our lifestyles through the removal of unhealthy habits and/or the initiation of what we may suppose are good ones that will truly bring about the desirable changes in we envision.

Unfortunately, especially for those of us who are Christians, the truth is that we always approach these attempts at personal renewal from a purely worldly viewpoint ,that is, mainly to permit us to live longer and, we hope, more enjoyable and prosperous lives in todays world. Rarely,if ever, do we undertake “New Year” resolutions to improve our spiritual lives to really come to a renewed spiritual  life in Christ, a union so intimate, we can without any hypocrisy, cry out “Abba or Daddy” to His Father and our Father. A union that permits us to dialog with the Divine in such way as to truly experience, in the spirit, our heritage as adopted sons of the Father and heirs of His Kingdom.

The primary reason for this secular tendency on our part, is that our life in this world remains the focus of our reason for living. For many of us the “spiritual life” is merely a theological term that does not resonate with us as being an accessible reality. Oh yes, the songs and hymns we sing in church may stir up some pietistic emotions that we may consider as spirituality but hardly ever do we find these emotions moving us to act in faith so that the Spirit of God may transform our lives so that we can truly see the changes we know we need, so that we may escape from the enticements and lusts of the world that have such a hold on our lives.

A Resolution Where God Brings You To Life – Through His Grace

Because all of us are a composite of spirit, soul, and body we usually have a hunger for true spirituality that goes unfulfilled. The reason for this is, that although we pay great attention to the needs of our soul and body, we tend to ignore and neglect the spiritual side of our being. We mainly attempt to meet the spiritual emptiness inside of us with non-spiritual solutions for our soul and our body,without tending to our spiritual needs first.

Yes, we need to make a resolution for the New Year, but it should  be a resolution to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, to yield ourselves to Him, so that He can activate our spirit, work in  us to feed us with His Word, and bring us to a new life in the Spirit by conforming us daily to the Spirit of Christ that is in us through our conversion and baptism (cf., prayer to the Holy Spirit in the referenced links)

In making such a resolution we must avoid thinking that what we will be doing is a dedication of our own human efforts to enable a spiritual change in ourselves. Please understand, we have NO WAY to bring spiritual life to our selves or to others. Just as Jesus said: “Spirit begets spirit and flesh beget flesh”.  True spiritual life can only come from the source of all Life, Jesus, the Word of Life. As John the Evangelist said: “In Him was Life and the Life was the light of men” (Jn.1:4), Jesus who is the Word made flesh, He is the one who brings us to life, not only in human flesh but in our spirits as well. He, and He alone, is the Door to spiritual life and, as He told us: “I am The Way The Truth, and the Life; No one comes to the Father but by me” (Jn.14:6).

So you see, our resolve must be to yoke ourselves to Jesus (Matt:11-29) and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives. For only through Him and His Word can the Spirit of God be released in us to bring us to new life in Christ and thus satiate our spiritual hunger!  Our only part in the resolve is through an act of faith in Christ, that is, an act of our will where we repent of our attachments to the world system and ask Jesus to come into our hearts and be, not only our savior, but also our Lord, and thus open the door for Him to take control of our lives through the working of the Holy Spirit. In this manner it will be the Holy Spirit working in you and through you who will effect a true living spirituality in your person to the Glory of His Name!

Our Response to God’s Renewing Grace In Believing Communities

It is the making of such a resolution that is the foundation for a sincere and true Christian life. It is a resolution that has has also been the foundation of all historical Christian communities. Yes, God has provided the Graces needed for renewal through Christ, but in order to activate these Graces we must respond in Faith. That is the Challenge for all  Christians and for their communities.

As an example let us look at St. Paul’s dealings with the Colossian community, whom he initially founded. He tells the community, in His letter to them, that he is constantly praying for them that they may be strengthened in Christ who will sustain them in their resolve. He does this because he knows that, although they received the Gospel, they are struggling to extricate themselves from the pagan culture and world in which they are embedded and that they are in need of an affirmation of their faith to strengthen their resolve. Listen to the words of encouragement he gives them and take it to heart for yourselves.

Jesussmercydark“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation — if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”    (Col. 1:9-24)

Then, to the Ephesian community, which was also struggling in being conformed to Christ, Paul exhorts them to “Put of the old nature and  put on their new nature in Christ, which is, of course what yoking yourself to Christ will effect in you!  Listen to Paul in his own words:

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph. 4:17-24)

In accord with Paul’s exhortation and encouragement, I urge you, my brethren and fellow pilgrims, to commit or renew your resolution in this New Year and to separate yourself from the world by to yoking yourself to Christ and by yielding yourself to the Holy Spirit so that , together, we may continue more faithfully in our walk in the spirit through the narrow gate to Life, not the flesh but in the spirit! There is no other way, for it is only in the spirit that we can truly worship and it only through true worship that we can drink from the living water of Life!

To this end I attach a prayer (below) to the Holy Spirit that you may amend or use, as the Spirit leads, to formulate your own personal response for your resolution to enter into Life. I pray that you will listen to what the Spirit is urging you now so that you may take your first step into the Kingdom of God’s Love!  

Praised be His Holy Name! To Him be all the Glory Forever and ever . Amen!

Your brother in Christ Jesus …. Bartimeaus

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-20017].
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# Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit

As I have indicated before, a true and sincere conversion is the scriptural prerequisite to receiving the “Promise of the Father”, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, in your own personal Pentecost. This means you first need to discern whether you are indeed a converted Christian and not just a cultural one as I was. If you are not sure, and you have determined in prayer that you want to be right with God and have a hunger to know the Lord Jesus personally then that is easy to remedy.  Just pray as follows:

“Lord Jesus, I am deeply aware that my sins have separated me from you and from the eternal life which you have promised to those who believe. I repent of my sins and turn to you in faith for the salvation and forgiveness you won for me on the cross through the shedding of your blood even when I was yet a sinner and without merit before God. I surrender my life to you. Come into my heart, be the Lord of my Life. Be my Savior and my King. Live in me and through me so that I can truly represent you in my service to others in your Name. Amen.”

Now, if the terminology,  “baptism in/with the Holy Spirit”, creates a theological hurdle for you receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, just think of what you are desiring as a  “release of the Holy Spirit” that is already in you through baptism and confirmation. The Holy Spirit is not so much concerned as to your theological understanding of the Promise of the Father as much as He is looking for your sincere desire to be open to His working within you and through you no matter how or what you call it! All He wants is your permission! Your surrender to His purposes in and through you!

Once this is settled in your mind, then you need to pray about what you are sensing in your spirit. If, after prayer and meditation on the scripture you sense a strong sincere desire to receive all that the Holy Spirit has for you and to be open to His working in and through your life (without restrictions on your part), then you are ready to proceed to the next step.

In asking for the Holy Spirit to empower you (whether in a community setting or a personal one) come into the Father’s presence and ask (something like this):

“ Father, as your child in Jesus I desire to be totally an instrument for Your Kingdom to manifest through my life. I desire to receive your Promise of the Holy Spirit to those who believe. Jesus, my Savior and King, baptize me in the Holy Spirit so that the power of your resurrection will work in me and transform me according to your will. Holy Spirit, empower me and fill me to overflowing. I hold nothing back from you. Work your gifts in me and through me, all of me, so that the Father’s Kingdom may be manifested in and through my life. I ask this in Jesus’ mighty Name. Amen!”

Now, begin praising and worshiping God with all your heart. Release yourself from all the inhibitions you have and raise your voice in songs and psalms. Express those longings you have held in your heart for so long but were unable to let loose because of your inhibitions. As you sing and worship release yourself to the Holy Spirit so that He can pray and worship through you.

As you enter this time of praise and worship you will begin to experience a sense of the presence of the Lord. You will begin to lose your self-consciousness and you will sense that the flow of your prayers and song is coming as if from out of nowhere. In fact, as your praise increases you sense that you are uttering words that are no longer in your mother tongue. But you know in your spirit that these words are honoring God so your flow in these phrases increases. You have just received your prayer language. You are feeling so blessed, you find that you don’t want to stop. Don’t stop. Pray and sing your heart out, glorifying God!

Praised be His Holy Name! You have now ”Entered the Kingdom” of the Father! Walk in the leading of the Holy Spirit and be obedient to His call!

© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-20017].

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Related Links

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Sweet Yoke of Love

Releasing the Spirit

The Kingdom of God: Our Spiritual Inheritance

Reclaiming Our Legacy In Christ

Hearing God’s Voice, and Obeying It

Pentecost and the Promise of the Father

The Empowerment Gifts (Part 1)

The Empowerment Gifts (Part 2) 

(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2017])

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Faith Comes By Hearing

Hearing-Gods-Voice

He who has Ears … Let Him Hear

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:12-16)

“My words are Spirit and they are Life” (Rom. 10:17 )

But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news! But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God.” (Rom. !0: 8-17)

“He who has [spiritual] ears to hear let him hear” (Mark 4:9,Matt. 13:9 )

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As a fellow Pilgrim it expedient for me to share my personal struggles along the way of discipleship so that my witness may, in some way, help you avoid some of the hindrances that I have encountered – hindrances which could cause one to stumble if the awareness of these were not brought to the fore.

Primary Hindrance – Hard of Hearing

Initially, in my Christian life, I was very spiritually disoriented. In fact, I was so disoriented I could not distinguish between religiosity and true spirituality.   I was a religiously compliant Catholic so I thought that that is all there was to being a good Christian. I was spiritually disabled but did not know it. I routinely heard God’s Word spoken every Sunday at mass but somehow it never reached the very depths of my spirit. I was a believer but most certainly I was also hard of hearing!

I was in a state comparable to what Jesus said of the Pharisees of His time…

‘… seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ (Matt 13:13-15)

I stumbled along with this spiritual disability for many years, keeping what faith I had, only by the Grace of God and my marriage to a wonderful Christian Lady – a woman who was the Lord’s instrument in permitting God to bring my spirit to life through His Word.

And, it was through the preaching of a Charismatic priest, whose meetings my wife had been attending, that was I delivered from my spiritual hearing disability and brought through the ‘narrow gate’ to an encounter with the person of the Living Christ! Thus began my transition to a truly fulfilling spiritual life.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  (Heb. 4:12)

It is my intent to share my experiences of my transition to a true spirituality with you for your edification and to raise your level of awareness so that you may bypass my mistakes and progress more rapidly towards the holiness to which we have all have been called in Him.

Coming to Spiritual Awareness (and Hearing)

One of the first and greatest impediments I had to overcome was that I could not, out of my own human nature, or any one else’s, come to life in the spirit. And, being spiritually deaf, the Word of God could not take root in me. For, as Jesus told Nicodemus, “flesh begets flesh and Spirit begets spirit”. Only the Holy Spirit of God working through the inspired and empowered Word of God (Rhema) could bring me a to a new life in the Spirit.

St. Peter confirms this in his first epistle, where he tells the church, “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (Understanding that…) you have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides for ever.” That word is the good news which was preached to you.”(1 Ptr. 18-18; 23-25)

When I, responded to the Word in faith, and became sensitive to the Life of the Spirit that was in me, I was able to spiritually “hear His Word” in my spirit and then, obeying the Word, I yielded myself to the Spirit so that through my willing cooperation He could begin the work of transformation in me – the work of conforming me to the image of Christ through His Word and empowering me to accomplish His Purposes in me for His Glory. Praised be His Holy Name!

In attempting to summarize my experience I can only say that, as a cultural Christian, I was roughly at the same intermediate stage of belief that the Samaritan villagers were when they heard the witness of the woman at the well (Jn. 4:39). That is, I believed the witness of the church in which I was raised based on the reasonable grounds on which the Good News of Jesus Christ was presented to me but not because the Word had reached my heart and enlivened me in the Spirit. Therefore, the Word did NOT have its full effect “because it was not mixed with faith”(Heb. 4:1-2).

Unlike the Samaritans, I was not motivated to seek out Jesus personally, because I was never presented with that option in my training. It was only later in my life that the Word of God reached me with power (as Rhema) and, then and only then, I sought out a personal relationship with Jesus who, through His Holy Spirit, empowered the Word of Salvation to enlighten my heart. It was only then, that I could say, as the Samaritans who sought out Jesus, told the woman at the well, “… now we believe not because of your testimony but because we have heard for ourselves and KNOW that this indeed is the Savior of the World!” (John 4:42)

Upon my spirit being reborn through the empowered Word, My spiritual ears were opened to truly Hear the Word of God clearly speaking to my heart so I could now also hear the voice of Jesus, my Shepherd, guiding me and leading along the narrow path of the spiritual journey. Within that first year, I was so excited in being able sense the Spirit of the Word that, in that first year, I read through the entire bible twice.

“The Word of God is a spiritual book written under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It was not written to our head but to the innermost part of our heart. This is why some people find the Bible so hard to understand. They are trying to comprehend it using only their mind. The Word of God has to inspire our heart before it can enlighten our mind.” (author unknown)

Secondary Hindrance: Not Understanding Discipleship

Once past my spiritual disability of not being sensitive to the Spirit of God within me, the Lord led me to understand that there was yet another hindrance keeping me from totally fulfilling His purposes for me. That hindrance was that of entering into a true and continuing discipleship with Him. Now that I could listen to the Lord through His Word, I began understanding spiritual things as I never had before. However, as I found out in my progress, there were still veils keeping me from a full awareness of the spiritual truths that are embedded in the Word. One of these is “discipleship”.

The veil that hindered me from understanding this truth was that of custom and culture. In our Christian culture we tend to form a world-view about Christianity that prevents us from seeing ourselves as God sees us. We tend to see ourselves as our religious culture sees us. In my case, I made the naïve assumption that now that I had been enlightened and begun a personal relationship with Jesus, my savior, that I was in fact also a disciple. So whenever I read the Gospels speaking of disciples, I assumed that I was one.

One night, while meditating on the scriptures about discipleship, I sensed the Holy Spirit putting the following thought in my mind: “when did you make a commitment to become a disciple and do you know what is involved in that commitment?”. As I pondered that thought, I began to realize that my becoming a true believer did not necessarily imply that I was a disciple. Yes, I not only believed who Jesus is and now have a relationship with Him, but just as the young ruler who came to Jesus ( cf., Lk. 18:18-25), His spirit in me was saying to me: “… yes, you also are very near to the Kingdom [being a disciple], you only lack one thing … you need to put aside your earthly attachments (including your own will) and come follow me”.

You see, what I had not realized because of my self-centered veil, was, that although I had been redeemed and cleansed by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, I had not yet freely given myself to Him in loving response. Instead I was attempting to live a holy life in obedience to the Word and My conscience, but doing it under my own will and effort. Because of the veil I had placed over myself, I did not realize that, in order to be a true disciple of Jesus, I needed to rend that veil of self-centeredness and become a living sacrifice to the Father, so that I would not just be trying to imitate Jesus, but so that Jesus Himself could manifest Himself in me and through me! Praised be His Holy Name.

St. Paul also came to this realization and exhorted his followers with the following words…

“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. 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. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom. 12: 1-3)

and …

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

Jesus, himself told those following him that there was a cost to discipleship and they should assess the cost before making a commitment (Luke 14:28). Regarding this same matter, He also said, “… many are called, but few are chosen”. ( Matt. 22:14

Francis accepts his call to discipleship

Entering into discipleship (the Kingdom) requires us to make a decision in selfless agape Love – a decision to relinquish our right to our selves and giving ourselves totally to God. There is no condemnation if you decide not to but there is a cost if you do – you must deny your very self and give your “self will” to Christ because of the agape Love for Him welling up in your spirit.

It must be a decision made without any compulsion or coercion. It is a decision, apart from our decision to accept Jesus as our Savior so that it does not affect our salvation and thus is freely given, as all sacrifices must be! All of us are called to be His disciples but not all of us choose to do so.

That is the decision that the Holy Spirit confronted me with and a decision I freely made before God in the Spirit. And, this is the decision I now pose to you. Consult with the Holy Spirit in prayer, meditating on the Word deeply and sincerely before you make any decision, remembering there is NO condemnation whatsoever!

Whatever decision you make, I ask the God’s Peace and Blessings fall upon you as brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus – for He will still be your fortress and support in this life and we all are still united in Him as His Body!

Praised Be The Lord Forever!

Your Fellow Pilgrim … Bartimaeus

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Prayer of Commitment (revised):

              Lord Jesus, I believe that you, the Son of the Living God came down from heaven to reveal the Father’s Love to me by suffering and dying for my sins. I believe that through your death and resurrection you have brought redemption and life not only to me but also all else who believe in you. I further believe that it is only through knowing you in a loving personal relationship of discipleship that I can know the Father.

            It is because I have a burning desire to know you and abide in you that I now yield myself completely to you and your love. I open the door to my heart so you can come in and sup with me and thus begin the special relationship with you for which you died and for which I hunger.

            At this moment I also totally yield myself to your love by giving you the rights to my very self, in gratitude, so that you, and only you, will be the center of my life – and so that, through you, the Father’s Will shall be done in my life. With this declaration, I take your yoke of discipleship upon me; enter in and activate my spirit with your Holy Spirit so that I can go beyond just mere intellectual belief in you to a personal spiritual knowledge of you and the Father so that His Will may be accomplished in and through my life for His Glory.

           Lord, cleanse me from my sins and make me a fit vessel for your presence and your purposes. Permeate my entire being with your life and your love so that I can truly be your instrument in this world. Be my Lord, Be My God, Be my King to rule and to reign in me. In faith and by your grace, I receive you and I receive your Word. Abide in me just as you abide in the Father and the Father in you! Thank you for giving yourself  for me, now take me for yourself so that You may live in me and through me, I am yours forever for the Glory of the Father. Amen

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<> If you do not feel that you are ready to make this full commitment to discipleship, don’t worry the Lord will take you as you are as long as you are willing to enter into a relationship with Him and be empowered by His Spirit. Once you let him into Your Heart He will do the rest by His Grace. To that end, I refer you to the following links:

Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

Discipleship: Accepting the Challenge

Cast Your Net on the Other Side

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(© B.R.Timeo and Bartimaeus’ Quiet Place, [2008-2014])

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