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Tuesday
Jul092013

True Apostles

The older I get the more I'm aware of the lack of respect for the 'elders' in our society, and civilization as a whole. I guess this begs the question: "Who really deserves respect in the first place?"

I respect people who have their lives established on firm foundations, proven principles that never fail. I respect people that respect others. I respect humble people. I respect people who have paid a price, those who bear the 'stripes' and have earned the right to speak, speak with authority. I respect anyone that has lived one day longer than I have. I respect anyone that has paid the price to selflessly love others. I respect those who love God, and I show respect to those whom God has told me to respect.

I respect every person I meet simply because Jesus died for them. He loves them. He has given them worth and I respect the worth that He has bestowed upon them.

I must admit, however, that there are those I do not respect, but love nonetheless. I will speak directly to the spiritual side of life. I do not respect self-appointed, self-anointed, so called prophets and apostles who set themselves up and expect people to follow them. These people are dangerous and folks should flee from them as fast as they can.

It takes discernment from God to really know who these folks are, for they come as wolves disguised as sheep. They appear as angels of light, and immature, good natured servants of God, are easily drawn to them. They appeal to the fleshly instincts of humans and deceive others because they themselves are deceived. Instead of pointing people to Jesus Christ they attempt to draw people to themselves.

The real power they have are the spirits that go with them, and use them to do their bidding. The very fact that the person has become a 'carrier' already speaks to their innate weakness. Rather than doing the clear will of God, the spirits have found a way to use them to do their bidding.

When the disciples asked Jesus, "What will be the sign of your coming?", Jesus said, "Watch that no man deceives you." That statement should drive all of us to our knees, and to His Word. We should humble ourselves and listen to those who have paid the price and gone before us; those who have fought the battles, who know the lay of the land, who understand the schemes of the enemy, and those who truly do have a mature relationship with God Himself, those who hear His voice and can speak forth with real power and authority. These are those worthy of respect.

Even so, as Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." No one is to be followed who does not follow Jesus Christ. Apostles know who their 'Head' is, they know His voice and they speak as He speaks. They have the heart of God for the body of Christ, and they have God's heart for the lost. As they go forth Jesus is with them to perform His Word, to establish His promises, to heal, to deliver, to lay the foundations of His Kingdom, to bring forth the Good News, to save the lost, to heal the broken hearted, to release those in bondage, to bring them into the true freedom found only in the Holy Spirit.

The true apostle is not interested in establishing his own 'kingdom' but laying the foundations of His Kingdom. The true apostle is looking for the moment when the Kingdom may go forth and hell can't stop it. The true apostle will give up any earthly thing to gain the true reward. The true apostle runs from the approval of man and runs straight into the discipline and admonition of the Lord.

The true apostle will be steadfast in the midst of great trial and suffering. The true apostle does not find it necessary to tickle the ears of his 'hearers'. The true apostle preaches the Word as God leads Him and prays it will find receptive 'soil'. But, even if it does not, He will preach and preach and preach until he has no breath in him.

The true apostle will not seek, or listen to, the accolades of men. Period.

There is only One, True Apostle: the Lord Jesus Christ. He decides who His apostles are, and He Himself will make it clear to others just who these apostles are.

Listen to Jesus... follow Him. Find those who know Him. Listen to them until you can 'hear' for yourself. Then listen to Him, and them, more. And more. And more. There will always be someone wiser than you. Always.

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