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The Word of Our Testimony

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 Dec 13, 2006                 A Living Sacrifice                      Kathleen Maples
My Pastor requested us to search these Scriptures prayerfully, and let the Lord deal with us individually about these things. So, Lord, here I am, and I just ask you for the truth. Open my eyes and ears and grant me the grace to receive what you show me and let it change me and bring me where I need to be.

In the Greek, the word "beseech" means to call to one's side, call upon, or near, for instruction, comfort, or exhortation; to beg, to invite, to implore, call for, entreat, pray, desire that someone comes. It is for the purpose the One who beseeches you to come to Him means to console, encourage, teach, and strengthen you by consolation or comfort. So Paul is calling the brethren, and so is the Word of God calling the saints to receive this instruction for their own good. God has compassion, a strong heart of compassion, and emotions, longings to manifest Himself to His people, and He can't do that if they won't enter His presence and "Come and learn of Him" as we are exhorted in Mat_11:28. He can't work what He wants in our lives if we don't show up for prayer and get in His Word and let His Word have Its way with us. He doesn't want us to be afraid to come to Him. He wants us to remember Jesus said "He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (Joh_6:37)

I am going to dig into these words carefully, prayerfully, because I don't want to misunderstand what God is saying here. When you present something, in this case, our bodies, it means in the original language to come before His presence with the express purpose of yielding up, without reservation, or restriction, without holding anything back, and placing yourself at His disposal, and allowing Him to bring you into fellowship and intimacy with Him and have His way with your life. That requires patient waiting on Him, continual coming, and believing He knows you are there, why you are there, and will respond. It also requires trust that however He responds, it will be for your best interest and for His glory, if you come sincerely and humbly, with an honest heart.

To present your body, is to bring your whole life, your mind, your thoughts, ways, time, plans, desires, and will, and bring them to Him to do with as seems good in His sight. When two people join in holy matrimony, the wife agrees to take on the husband's name, and the duties, responsibilities and privileges of belonging to the husband. She takes on his name, and benefits from his strength, protection, position, and authority. She gives up her old name and single, independent life, and takes on a new name, and a new position, one that is very different from being single.

When we come to God, worshipping Him, totally dependent on Him, willing to lay down everything we are or want that is unlike Him, and let Him possess us completely, and make us His completely, and we become joined with Him, our whole lives will change. It requires the death of our ruling ourselves and turning it over to Him. The servant is not to rule the Master, but submit to Him, to wait in His presence for instruction. What He wants to do in and through us will astonish us. (1Co_6:17) It will unite us with the will and purpose of God. We are to be willing to sacrifice ourselves to God, and all we have, our time, our thoughts, our ways, our money, our plans, our desires, our will, to HIM, consecrated and pure, having put off all known sin and rebellion, willing to give up everything to be HIS, daily. The word "Acceptable" means fully agreeable. We must agree with God-for how can two walk together unless they agree? (Amo_3:3)

This is the rational (reasonable) thing to do for somebody who wants to make it to heaven and lives in an increasingly dark and lost world where sin abounds. It's the only logical course of action for one determined to make it. Perhaps that is why Jesus said this:

Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

It's a hard thing to lay down everything of ourselves, and just let it die, and give up all for God unless we truly love Him-and we can't truly love Him if we do not take time in His Word and Presence to know Him. Come daily. Come often. I have failed myself to keep the feast-to come daily to His table, and spend time in prayer and in the Word with Him sharing sweet communion. Things hinder us as we get busy with our lives. But we can't let that continue-not if we want to enter in with God and walk in the fullness of the Spirit. If we are His Bride, we should be longing for HIM more than anything.

This is our service, our ministry, our worship to God. Presenting ourselves to his company, wanting to spend time beholding His face and getting to know Him, loving Him, learning who He is..saints, I'm beginning to see there is no invitation we could receive on earth to the most glitzy event ever held-whether it be the Oscars, or the Presidential dinner, or whatever, nothing could even begin to compare with the invitation God has presented us with right here. God help us not to refuse...we have been honored with an invitation by the Most High God, whose heart is full of love and compassion and mercy to come to Him, for whatever is needed to make us totally HIS, (which will make us totally happy and at peace). I fear if we don't respond in full agreement to THIS invitation, we won't be found worthy to escape all the things coming on this world (Luk 21:36) or worthy to stand before Him when He comes back.

The more I dig here, this doesn't suddenly sound so intimidating or hard to do. One thing I know, the more time I have spent in His Word and in His presence, the more things of this world pale in comparison, and the more I want to be with Him. The more I long for home. But sometimes it can be a warfare to enter in to His presence, because the devil will fight you and try to make you feel guilty over every little mistake, and you just have to remember what the Word says and fight your way through that and press in, and cast down the vain imaginations and bind the lies of the devil with the Word...and it's easier said than done. I admit that. But that's one reason why 2Co_10:3-5 was written. We can take that Word, and bind the junk, take out the trash, and go spend time with God.

Rom 12:2 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.

We aren't supposed to pattern ourselves after the world, or after another person, even one in the church. We are supposed to be made into the image of Christ as He is formed in us-and that only happens when we are spending regular time with Him learning of Him because that will change us.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Learning Christ, being in His presence, will transform us, and change us-that's what the word renewing means in Rom_12:2 -it will renovate or completely change our minds for the better. It will change our thoughts, it will cause us to have the mind of Christ. To understand and know Him for ourselves-and that will change our behavior and our thinking. As this changes, those around us will inevitably see Christ in us, their only hope of glory. This will prove to others around us what is the only acceptable life God will approve. They will see Jesus in us. His Word will be made flesh again and walk this earth, submitted to the will of the Father, filled with the Holy Ghost, and delegated authority, an ambassador of Jesus Christ, ordained to do good works, that God be glorified and others be drawn to Him. Again, we must be acceptable-and that means 'fully agreeable' to let God work this in us. When He says ' that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God' in the Greek that means that because we will know the Lord for ourselves, we will be qualified and able to discern what is right, apart from the efforts of the enemy to distract and deceive, we will know what is good, and we will be agreeable to let God work what He wills in us, to make us complete, and mature, a finished work, which is what God has chosen, purposed and WANTS and is pleased to do. These aren't my thoughts, they are easily found if you look these words in these verses up in the Strong's Greek Definitions, which are usually included in your Strong's Concordance.

I'd be afraid to try to insert my own thoughts! On that note, just let me say, these verses suddenly don't sound as harsh and hard as I had previously thought them to be. God is basically saying, your job is just come see me, and let me do what I want in and through you. We get the easy part. Come see Him faithfully and regularly, and fully agreeable to let Him have His way. Hallelujah! What a privilege! How exciting! Okay, those last few words are my own thoughts. But glory to God, this is getting rich!

Rom 12:3 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.

Paul must have thought this sounded a little hard, too, because he needed grace from God to say this. He said don't think too highly of yourselves. Don't be vain or arrogant, or think you know it all. None of us do. We need to be of a sound mind, clear thinking and alert. We need to exercise self control. God has given each of us a portion, or degree of faith. That means we've all been exposed to the truth, and have the power from God to believe it if we will choose to agree with Him and be persuaded in our hearts He is right. He's given us that assurance. It's up to us. He's waiting. Let us as His children love Him enough to come.

Heb 4:15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32