Guest Post, submitted by Ray, a brother in Christ
A brief bio of my guest:
Following a difficult childhood, Ray had decided there was no God. While serving as a hard-hitting, heavy drinking young man in the British Army’s Corps of Transport, Ray’s best friend and fellow soldier, Mike, became a Christian. It was more than Ray could bear.
Ray’s friend became a target for his anger and was subjected to a series of pranks and beatings until one day, Ray’s rage was such that he tried to kill Mike during a barrack room brawl.
The two men parted, leaving Ray embittered, isolated and unhappy.
His isolation led him to consider how his friend’s life as a Christian starkly contrasted with his own. At this point, the two men met once more and Ray declared:
Mike, I want what you’ve got.
Mike then led Ray through the Bible, showed him that he was a sinner who needed the salvation offered by God through His son, Jesus Christ, who’d died on the cross for him.
Ray asked Jesus into his life and became a changed man.
He left the army, and in the ensuing forty years, God led him from the Barrack room and into ministry, during which Ray took the gospel message to nineteen countries on four continents.
Ray with friend, Pastor Lucas in Tanzania
One of the first things I was told when I became a child of God was that a half truth is worse than a lie. Sadly, the church in general is today full of half truths and many out and out lies.
Each year, how many churches have Father Christmas for the children? A nice little lie, I am told. Revelation 21:8 should be read and re-read by those who think God accepts any form of lying.
One of the reasons people are led astray is that they do not have the knowledge of God’s presence in either their own lives or in the church.
In referencing the church here I am not referring to the emotional excesses we have witnessed in many churches over recent years where both leadership and led have been trying to work up some sort of ‘spiritual experience’.
If people really grasp what we are, where we are and what we have, many would stop trying to fill their lives with the things of this world, but would instead enjoy true fellowship with their heavenly Father.
First of all, we need to understand what we are. Romans 8:16 declares:
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Those who are truly born of the Spirit will have this absolute assurance, that they are a child of God, and that their Father loves them. They will not need to go to church every Sunday to be told that God loves them. They will have the peace of His presence within them at all times.
Secondly, where we are.
Hebrews 12: 22 says:
“You have come … “
This is present tense. We are not on the way. We have arrived – this is the here and now, not something that will happen in the future.
Where have we come to? Hebrews 12:22 goes on:
” … to the city of the living God … ”
Verse 23 adds:
“ … to God the judge of all … ”
We have come; we are in the presence of the living God.
In Ephesians 2:4 Paul writes “But God” – then in verse 6 adds “raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
What do we have here?
In one word: ‘Fellowship’ – that is, a true unbounded relationship with our Heavenly Father, the true treasure of heaven, which is more valuable than gold, more fulfilling than worldly possessions.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 12:21
Where is your heart?