Life broke the power of death

"14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." - Hebrews 2:14, 15.

In the medical field, we see death as a physical one.  The bible speaks of death to include things beyond the cessation of bodily function.  Death is living separated from God, outside the realm of God.  The devil holds the power of death.  He has all the power to enslave and to separate mankind from God.  In what areas of life has the power of "death" enslaved you?  Doesn’t that sound ominous?  But Jesus, Who is Superior to the devil, broke that power, and it was through Jesus’ sacrificial death.  May The Spirit reveal to us how we have been enslaved by the devil’s power of death, and then for us to begin living in the realm of God, where abundance of the power of Life exists.

Faith & The Workplace - Titus

If you ever wonder how our faith is to function in the workplace, read the book of Titus!  It gives very clear instruction on who we are to be. 

For example, we are to “show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned,”… be “self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined…”, “be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” 

Of note, “self-control” is repeatedly mentioned!  It doesn’t mean hold back your anger, and answer with a smile.  It actually means, that the Truth of God within us regulates and moderates our interaction to the world.  In other words, we are to be commanded and regulated by God, and not our own nature - and bless the world!  This is Godly balance.  This is the win-win goal, but regulated by the character of Christ-likeness.  

To our surprise, Paul’s instruction does not seem to emphasize that this will involve the obtaining of solutions and peace to workplace problems and stress!  However, it does emphasize godliness and blamelessness in our life within society.  It will require endurance, perseverance which can only be obtained as we operate this way in anticipation of eternal life, the blessed hope, the return of Jesus Christ!

 

Return of Christ - 2 Thessalonians 1:7

“….This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.” - 2 Thessalonians 1:7

The Thessalonian church must’ve been under intense stress, suffering, and persecution - with no relief in human sight.  Yet, their faith did not waiver. The church was entirely dependent on God.   Paul writes to encourage them about the relief, the rescue that is coming to them, and the revenge on those who troubled them.  The astonishing statement is that it is to come when Jesus returns, and He is revealed to all mankind!  It is a shock to us, no?  Many of us believe that God would rescue us quickly, and mightily.  He always would, wouldn’t He?  It may be a surprise to many of us, because the Blessed Hope, the return of Christ is not on our radar of our faith's journey.  Yet, to the Thessalonian church,  this encouragement did not come as a surprise.  To them, the relief was not coming independent of Christ's return.  The relief and rescue from all the pain and suffering WAS Christ's return!  Again, the Thessalonian church was set on something future, the suffering before the glory.

Sycomore, do we live in the realm, and imminent sense, of Christ return every moment of our lives, as the ultimate moment of our relief of stress and suffering?  I believe we would live our lives very differently.  May it be so!

The Thessalonian Church - WOW!

The Word of God continues to deeply move me  The revelation of God’s Sovereignty in all of human history is more evident to me.  When reading Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, I could not help but be so deeply moved to tears.  Even as I write, the Spirit bears witness in my spirit the connection that I feel with Christ’s suffering, and His faithful servants and soldiers - the invisible cloud of witnesses.  

The Word of God came to the Thessalonian church with such power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction, that they turned from their idols, their old ways and habits, to serve the Living God.  For this, they faced rejection from society, fierce persecution, and likely death.  Because this, Paul was so concerned that they would be tempted to return to their old ways.  He sent Timothy to find out, only to learn that they are holding fast, and not giving up!  Their faith became known throughout the region, and even Paul was deeply encouraged and strengthened to go and face his own persecution faithfully.  The Thessalonian church endured all trials and tribulations because they looked forward to something future, the imminent and soon return of Christ, the Blessed Hope - and Paul described this 100% guaranteed event as so glorious that it will blow your mind away!  

Paul ends his letter with an exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24: 

"23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Sycomore, the church described in the letter to the Thessalonians is a true church, and what it should look like.  May the Word of God come to us with power, the Holy Spirit, and deep conviction!

Is The Life You’re Living For, Worth Christ Dying For? - Col 1:13, 14

13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. - Colossians 1:13, 14

Based on a true story, in the movie Taking Chance, a marine, Phelps Chance’s dead body, is escorted by a high ranking officer to Chance’s home town for an honorable ceremony and burial.  A fellow marine who survived the ambush, retells the story of how Chance sacrificially drew attention to himself by shooting a barrage of bullets on a turret, so that others can take cover.  His hometown heralded Chance as a hero.  His heroism forever changed the lives of the people.

It reminded me of how Christ intentionally, unjustly, fore-tellingly, lovingly, humbly, sacrificially, and gloriously - died for us.  Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection was not just a good story, it is the greatest of all - because it was for us, and for His glory.  It truly is a love so amazing, so divine!  Because of Jesus, we are now truly alive, most importantly, alive to God once again.  Our “DNA” is forever changed, in our thought-life, work-life, family-life, financial-life, social-life, etc!  The “aliveness” of the world, cannot compare to the “aliveness” found in Christ!  

Sycomore, as a church of Christ, we must forever ask ourselves, as Leonard Ravenhill’s tombstone reads, “Is the live you’re living for, worth Christ dying for?”  May we be just as fierce in battle, as we are humble in friendship with Christ.

Do Not Mix! - Colossians

Dear non-Korean friends of mine, an amazing couple, has come to enjoy the unbelievable taste of kimchee, which is fermented cabbage, a common staple in Korean meals.  They fell so in love with the taste of kimchee, they even began to eat kimchee sandwiches.  Just kimchee and bread, that’s it!  I told them, they just don’t mix!  If you are Korean, you know what I mean!

In the church of Colossians, there was apparently a mixing, taking place in the church.  If you want to get a brief overview of the heretical teaching that had infiltrated that church, check out http://biblehub.com/colossians/  

We must do our part to vigilantly and jealously, preserve Truth in our heart and soul, and in our church, not in legalism, but in our love and devotion to Christ.  As it is written in 2 Timothy 1:14, “Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.”  We are to be like watchmen.  We are to be on guard, clothed with Christ, and the full armor of God - and fight on, until we reach our heavenly home, or Jesus returns.  If we take on this responsibility passively, we are surely to become deceived.  If we study the anatomy of deception, one clear error on our part that will subject us to being duped in our faith, is to permit a mixing in with the Truth.  For the church, blatant sin is not how our enemy will deceive us.  It is with the “good” thing which can have its origins in hell, that will mix in with the thing from heaven, which is “perfect”.  

Jesus Came To Make Dead Men Live! - Ephesians 2:1-4

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our fleshaand following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. - Ephesians 2:1-4

These verses help discern a unique mark among followers of Christ.  Jesus did not come to bring primarily moral excellence.  Jesus Christ didn’t come to make bad people good.    Jesus came to make dead people live - to be alive to God!  We often cheapen Christ’s death on the cross for us as if we will no longer will die because we can now go to heaven and live forever.  Jesus Christ's life in person is a supernatural transaction that only the Son of God is able to accomplish.  It is truly by God's grace, His covenantal love for His creation, that followers of Christ have been saved!  The focus of the gift given through Jesus Christ is not eternal life, but the gift of being alive to God!  It truly is a resurrection event!

Aiming For the Fullness of Christ - Ephesians 4:11-13

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-13

It has been said that the letter to the Ephesians contain the profoundest truth revealed to men.  No wonder, it doesn’t feel like I am going through the letter, but that it is going through me!

These verses again emphasize the Holy Spirit, who lives in us, distributes the gifts and roles of the church members.  These roles are not merely giftings, and talents.  They are of supernatural origin.  It is to prepare God’s people for works of service to build up the body of Christ, the church, His church.  And the primary end goal is very different from what the world is fighting for, such as social justice, political correctness, gender equality, or freedom rights and privileges.  The end goal that for the church is to attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

May the Sycomore be faithful custodians of this truth.

Bewitched? - Galatians 3:1

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” - Galatians 3:1

We are all susceptible to deception.  The Galatian church fell under a “spell” that has exerted power over them to think and act according to the Spirit.  The entry point of such a “spell” plays at our selfishness, self-seeking, self-preserving nature.  It then exerts its power to mix-in, deceive, and then to destroy.  

It is a tough question to dare to ask ourselves, and to answer honestly: Sycomore, as Apostle Paul asked the Galatians, are there any ways we have been deceived, put under a “spell”?  Where we think we are following Christ, we think we are a church, and we think we are ok - when we are in fact off the mark?

Repeatedly, throughout Paul’s writings in Galatians, it is living under the influence of the Holy Spirit, working out our faith through love, clothing ourselves with Jesus, and being vigilant, on guard, and keeping watch, that we will be a true church.  It is not a passive, but a very active, phenomenon.

Reason To Boast In Our Weakness - 2 Cor 12:9, 10

9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10

The revelation that Paul shares to the Corinthians flies at the face of common thinking during his era, and today.  Weakness is the secret to the demonstration of God's power, made perfect.  Even as follower's of Christ, this is hard to comprehend.  

"Weakness" means without strength.  It is a condition that deprives a person of accomplishing what they would like to do.  Sycomore, that's us in so many ways!  How many of us wanted that job, and it's so out of our hands to get it?  How many of us have relationships in family or work that is so difficult, we just can't get it to a place we want, the way we would like it?  How many of us have a need that we want now, but we have no idea how we will get it?  How many of us have that stress that just won't go away?  This is "weakness"!  But Paul discovered the hidden mystery of our faith, which is that in our "weakness", God's power is made "perfect", which means God's ability (not our ability) to accomplish it rests on us!

Sycomore, if you find yourself in a state of "weakness", like Paul, embrace it (dare to take pleasure in it, or boast in it!).  Embracing weakness doesn't mean that we get passive about our situation and cave in.  It means, that we don't trust in our ability, but actively trust that God's power and ability to fulfill and accomplish will rest on you!  

Suffering, The Only Time We Can Boast In The Lord - 2 Cor 11:23-30

23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. - 2 Cor 11:23-30

To the suffering Christian, the life of Paul in these verses is an unbelievable encouragement, and comfort to us, because we are not alone.  If we believe that suffering is not suppose to be what a Christian walk entails, we can only ask questions such as these: What, did Paul not pray enough for travel mercies?  Did Paul forget to pray for God’s protection for his missions work?  Did Paul not calculate his trips based on safe weather forecasts?  Was Paul oblivious to political correctness of his time?  Did Paul not address his anxiety issues of his heart and soul that he could not get restful sleep?  Did he forget to work to provide for even his own needs of food and shelter?  

Yet, to the suffering Christian, who is committed to the Lord, we ask different questions:  How is Paul doing it?  What is Paul’s secret of enduring?  How is Paul praying?  What does Paul know and hold on to that is greater than his suffering?  How is Paul victorious over all these trials?  How is Paul rejoicing?  How is Paul glorying in tribulations?  How is Paul boasting in these experiences, and his weakness?!  We see here that God is not only a God who rescues, but also a sovereign God who will permit tremendous testing, trials, and temptations for his children - and still emerges as the All Sufficient Savior.  I think as a church, we are missing something.  In light of our beliefs that we are Christians, we are deceived if we think that following God at bargain price and convenience is something to boast about.  No, it seems like only in our suffering, trials, and tribulations can we have a chance to emerge boasting in the Lord.  

A Cheap or Generous Church - 2 Cor 9:12-15

"12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" - 2 Cor 9:12-15

I'm surprised at how many chapters are given for the topic of giving financially!  Apostle Paul is commending the churches in Macedonia for their exceeding generosity in giving support (likely financial) to the ministry of the Gospel.  This giving was done under severe trials, yet with overflowing joy.  They were experiencing extreme poverty, but gave beyond their needs to the work of the corporate church, and the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Not only that, they were the first to desire to give, compared to other churches, because they were so eager to be part of the service being given to God.  Paul commends them for their obedience that is congruent to their confession of faith in Jesus.  And it is in this context, we hear the well-known verse: 

 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

I’ve heard this statement before, “Show me the lives of the people, and I will show you their god.”  I can be more specific and say, “Show me the finances of the people, and I will show you their god.”

Ask yourself, "Are we a cheap or generous church?"  Sycomore, we must become a church that gives exceedingly, suprassing the standards and expectations of generosity, not under reluctance nor compulsion, but cheerfully.  We must leave the place of focusing on self-preservation, self-serving management of money, and give to cooperate with what God is doing in the Sycomore, and around the world.  I believe if is one key factor of when we will we experience this abundant blessing that will cause us to abound in every good work.

Holy Separation - 2 Cor 7:1

"1Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” - 2 Cor 7:1

I’ve heard of serious bodybuilders, decline to eat anything that will “contaminate” the body.  I’ve seen fitness and health fanatics refuse to eat ramyun.  Ramyun!  It tastes so good!  To have it just once is no crime, but still, they refuse because it is not good for the body.  

If these people have such discipline in caring for their body’s health, how much more should the follower of Christ walk in discipline and refuse to take part in anything that would contaminate their devotion towards purity and perfection of holiness in Christ?  In essence, it is God's call and command to holy separation for the church. 

But why would we do so?  What is so important?  It is because prior to this verse, there was a promise for those who divorce themselves from sin, refuse to be “mixed”, and seek purity .  This promise is the presence of God living and walking with his people.  A God who says that He will be their Father, and we, His sons and daughters.  

Take your pick, Sycomore?  May we all unanimously chose God.  

Having nothing, yet possessing everything VS. having everything, yet possessing nothing - 2 Cor 6:4-10

"4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything." - 2 Cor 6:4-10

I’ve met people who told me that they have never suffered in their entire life, and were proud of it.  Much of the rhetoric in the world is about comfort, convenience, success, and pleasure, and unfortunately it is what the church desires - and it got what it wanted.  Yet, the church has everything, yet possesses nothing.  But if your life is anything like mine, it has been riddled with perplexing suffering, baffling hardship, and trials that I had to face all alone.  I’ve learned that the life of God in the soul of a man is quite different.  It proclaims that “we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.”  

You have no idea how I am so deeply nourished by God’s word in these verses.  I am so grateful to God, and Apostle Paul.  It is likely, Apostle Paul is so looked up to by the church - but wouldn’t touch his life with a 10-foot pole.  To stay faithful to this love that compels him, Paul endured bruisings, battering, beatings, and being bloodied.  What did God put in Apostle Paul that was so strong, powerful, loving - that had the power to overcome all the devil’s schemes and power?!  What caused him to say, despite all the sufferings, that he glories in tribulation?!  What caused him to say, that he has nothing, yet possess everything?  It is because of one simple answer: Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God lived in side of Paul.  This Jesus inside of Paul was EVERYTHING to him, and so it is with me.

Thank you, Jesus.  No matter how hard life is, all I have to do is look down on the blood stained path.  Someone has gone before me on this hard life.  All I have to do is follow the precious blood, and I will find my way.  Thank you, Apostle Paul, because now, I too can say, I have nothing, yet possess everything.  

Surpassing Glory - 2 Cor 3:10

"For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory." - 2 Cor 3:10.

Paul talks about the old covenant and the new covenant, and they were both glorious.  The old covenant, the law given through Moses, which involved a temporary ministry of death and condemnation - was a glory.  The new covenant, given through Jesus Chris, which involves the lasting ministry of The Spirit and righteousness - is even more glorious!  Only through Jesus Christ, do we enter into this new covenant with God!

I've been desiring to know more of what this word "glory" contains in its meaning.  To glory means giving, ascribing, the full, intrinsic, value, weight, and worth of who God in essence is.  Could we give glory to God, if we have packaged him as who we desire Him to be, if we cherish concepts of God, rather than God Himself.  Could we give glory to God, if we know a lot about God, but we don't know God.

Sycomore, we are a body of Christ who is under a new covenant, a surpassing glory, that transcends, and exceeds the prior glory revealed to all creation!  May the Sycomore become a church who truly gives glory to God, because we know God in ultimate reality, as He has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God!  

We Are A Letter From Christ - 2 Cor 3:3

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." - 2 Cor 3:3

When I read this, I immediately wondered what was written on the letter of my heart.  What is its content?  What is being read by people around me, and by God Himself?

At first, I sensed that this letter contains words like, cowardice, weak, fearful, anxious, inadequate, alone, struggling, dry, sad, quit, etc.  However, because it is not what I just think, but a letter FROM Christ, it contained other words.  Wrestling, pressing in, pressing on, pushing every hindrance aside, resurrection life, strength, faithful, loyal, seeker of truth, taking hold of God, trusting in God, etc.  

I wish to God that my life, and my heart, would be a masterpiece letter written by Christ!

Love That Desires What God Prefers - 1 Cor 12:31

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. - 1 Cor 12:31

Apostle Paul teaches us that The Spirit of God gives to His Body spiritual gifts as He pleases.  These heavenly, spiritual gifts include apostle, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helping others, leadership, etc.  We are given permission to seek these gifts.  However, Paul is about to teach that the way of life that is best of all, what is more lasting, more regarded, in The Kingdom of God, and that is the gift of love.

It is important to realize why love, as Paul describes it to be, is such a great gift.  Love is not primarily behavioral, nor an outward performance, but something that is to be true, and matured, in one's heart and soul, our central engine of motivation, drive, and desire.  Also, love is not primarily a sentimental thing, nor is it romantic, as most of society sees it.  The love that Paul is speaking about is heavenly, other-worldly (not what we humans are capable of alone) - a gift of The Holy Spirit.  This love is no longer driven for our personal benefit, nor partial to what we human's think is good, or right.  This love is driven by what God, Our Heavenly Father, prefers.  This love is a reflection of God's love, His covenantal love for us.  It truly is a love so amazing, so divine!

What Body part are you? - 1 Cor 12:11

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." - 1 Cor 12:11

The human body is a complex, genius creation of God.  Every cell and organ has a vital role to sustain life.  And the parts are in constant interaction to bring vibrant life.  So it is with the church as the body of Christ.  Each church member is a part of the Body, and has special functions for the purpose of the Body.  All the parts of the Body have equal value, and should be in constant interaction in doing life together.

Sycomore, it is important for the health of the community and Body that everyone identifies what Body part God has called you to be.  And it is even more important that you actively function in that role for the Church to bring glory to God.  

Remember, if an organ is not present, or malfunctioning, you can only wonder what would happen to the Body.  Like any organ that no longer functions, it shrinks, shrivels, scars, and is lifeless.  In turn, the entire body is in dysfunction, and eventually dies.  

May the Sycomore be a church who never has spectators, but active participants in the body, who knows their role, to bring health and vibrancy to the Body of Christ, to the praise and glory of the Father.

While Others May, You Cannot... - by G.D. Watson

     Happy Mother's Day to many!  Yet for some, Mother's Day can be saddening and painful.  This day seems to arrive annually just to reveal imperfections.  I wanted to encourage those of you who feel this way, with a writing by G.D. Watson.  It greatly encourages me that we should not find our situation solely unusual, but the very handiwork of our loving God:  

"If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.

Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.

Others will be allowed to succeed in making money, but it is likely God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day - out of an unseen treasury.

God will let others be great, but He will keep you small. He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.

The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle you in His dealing with you. He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.

Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.

Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven."

    Church is to be real - 1 Cor 7

    “For this world in its present form is passing away.”  

    “but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

    The Sycomore can thank apostle Paul, for his instructions being so real.  He shares about God-given, legitimate sexual desires between a man and a woman.  He warns the church in carrying out these legitimate sexual desires in illegitimate ways.  He clears up what is sinful and what is not.  He gives instruction in the messy reality of a wife or husband who becomes a believer, while the other is not.  Yet, the pulse of his instructions is be primarily focused with the sense of this present world passing away soon, and so that we may live in undivided devotion to the Lord.  

    May God shape the Sycomore into a real church, whose fellowship contains followers of Christ “saved but by the grace of God”, who keep heavenly-minded, and live for that which is coming.