MOMENT BY MOMENT

.style {color: rgb(0, 0, 0)} .style2 {font-style: italic}

MOMENT BY MOMENTCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:1-3)

Every once in a while someone comes up with a new "key to the Christian Life." I would like to come up with another one. It is to live moment by moment in the Presence of the Lord Jesus.

The Abenakis, Eastern Indians, have a saying that if you are going on a long journey, watch your feet. I will tell you what that saying means to me. It is to stop clutching the future, as much as possible, and look up to Jesus to see what He is saying right this minute.

Being able to do this may prove to be very important in the days to come. It appears to me that Divine judgment on America has begun, given the political turmoil we are in, natural disasters, and the economic stress.

It is not surprising. Think of the babies being aborted (murdered). Think, of the entertainment on television and the internet. It is abominable, even though we have become accustomed to the nakedness and the obscene behavior.

Lately there is an increasing degrading, you might say, of Christianity in our country. It is as though we all are a lot of bumpkins who are backward and know nothing. I expect this attitude will lead directly to persecution.

Also, the accepting of homosexual activity as normal. It hardly is normal, no matter how many people come to think it is normal and acceptable. It assuredly is not, being condemned by both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Bible views homosexual behavior as an abomination, and so it is.

I say all this to remind us that, in spite of the widespread wickedness in America, the Bible commands us not to fret but to think about things that are pure and lovely. This was written by a man in prison. He told us to rejoice always.

No matter who is chosen in the coming presidential election, whether by fair means or foul, we are to obey the Bible and keep looking to Jesus. He will keep us joyful in the most unpromising situations.

Christianity was born and thrived under an empire, not a democracy. In fact, the material abundance of the democracy under which we live serves to make it difficult to keep our minds on things above.

It is not unusual for vile people to be in places of power and authority, and still we are not to fret but to keep looking to Jesus. He is in control at all times, and let us never forget that.

The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men. (Psalms 12:8)

It always has been so, and always shall be so until Jesus returns.

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers.

The purpose of our life on the earth is to prepare us for the good things that God is preparing for us: the fullness of the internal and external image of Christ; being filled with the fullness of the Father, the fullness of Christ, and the fullness of the Spirit of God; our rank and role in the Kingdom of God; an inheritance of people, as the Lord leads.

Our preparation requires that we follow every command Jesus gives us. There are commands in the New Testament. Then there are the commands that we receive daily from the Lord.

We are to live by every Word of God that is directed to us as an individual. In order to hear what God is saying we have to learn to live one moment at a time, not clutching the future. We have to listen to Jesus at all times, day and night. There is not to be a moment when we are not aware of the Presence of the Lord.

We have to be obedient to the Living Jesus. I notice that Christians differ from one another in this way of living. Some seem to have no awareness that Jesus is alive and speaks to us. They study the Bible constantly, and seek to obey what it says.

It is good to meditate in the written Word day and night. But if the written Word does not lead us to the Living Word, we become doctrinaire, harsh, critical of people who do not believe and act as we think, they should.

If we are that sort of person we need to remember that Christ was crucified by the elders of Israel who knew the Scripture. Since Jesus ordinarily does not speak to denominations but to individuals, denominations may tend to persecute believers to whom Jesus is speaking, if they do not follow the Statement of Faith of the denomination.

This is a historic problem in Christianity.

When God is moving forward in the plan of redemption, as He is today leading into the spiritual fulfillment of the final three feasts of the Lord, people who read the Bible but who do not look to Jesus continually may regard what God is showing us today as being "of the devil."

This is who the pioneers of the Pentecostal movement were treated. Yet, speaking in tongues assuredly is scriptural.

So it is today. The seven feasts of Israel are in the Bible. Yet, when God begins to give us the meaning of the feasts, as He did with Pentecost, the fourth feast, we may cry, "It is of the devil." This is the same accusation that was made against Christ by those who studied the scrolls of the Law.

When the Lord through Moses told the Israelites to "be careful to follow every command I am giving you today," He was referring not only to the Law of Moses but to the instructions that He gave concerning what they were to do.

Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, (Deuteronomy 11:8)

Notice that Moses at this point was speaking the current Words of God to the people. His words did not in any manner contradict what was written, but they were up to date from God's mouth.

So it is that we always need a current Word from God. This is the role of the prophet. However, it is true also that all true Christians have a prophetic Spirit in them, the Holy Spirit of God, and they can hear from God in one way or another if they will set themselves continually to listen to what Jesus is saying.

But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!" (Numbers 11:29)

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)

Those who are led only by the Bible and not by the Spirit of God are apt to persecute those who truly are led by the Spirit. And what the Spirit is commanding today, among other things, is that each Christian confess and turn away from his or her sins.

So that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers. As I stated previously, the purpose for our life on earth at the present time is to prepare us for the good things God has for us. But if we are to attain to the inheritance we must be sternly obedient to God.

The current lawless-grace teaching is destructive of God's plan of redemption. It teaches us that we are "saved by grace," interpreted to mean that if we do not obey the commands of Christ we will go to Heaven anyway "by grace." The current lawless-grace doctrine may prove to be the most destructive of all errors to enter Christian thinking.

God has promised on oath to bring us to the fullness of redemption: the fullness of the internal and external image of Christ; being filled with the fullness of the Father, the fullness of Christ, and the fullness of the Spirit of God; our rank and role in the Kingdom of God; an inheritance of people, as the Lord leads.

If we do not attain to this inheritance it is because we did not keep the commands of Christ.

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

I would say from the above passage that God has placed us in this present life to see if we would keep His commands. If we go through life and do not keep the Lord's commands, we have failed to learn the most important lesson.

One time Jesus healed a leper. He then charged the leper to tell no one of the miracle. The leper promptly left Jesus and went and told everyone how Jesus had healed him.

Maybe he had leprosy in the first place because he was disobedient to God.

We can talk about loving God and serving God all we want. I personally have come to the conclusion that the most important action we can take is to obey Christ promptly, accurately, and joyfully—to delight to do His will on every occasion.

Some years ago I asked a lady of our church, who no longer is a member, to sing a certain song as a solo. She has a beautiful voice. She agreed to sing, but it had to be a song of her choosing.

I wonder how many Christian people say they love Christ, but when He asks them to do something they respond by doing something of their own choosing. Christ told them to stay at home and pray. Instead they went forth as an evangelist. "They are serving the Lord, aren't they?"

I wonder at times how many Christian denominations do not take the time to listen carefully to what Jesus is saying, and spend millions of dollars doing what they think Christ wants. If I were the Lord I would be very impatient with that sort of behavior.

God humbles and tests us to see what is in our heart, whether or not we would keep His commands. How many of us pass the test?

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

There have been recent doctrines, such as the prosperity and faithteachings, plus the tenor of much preaching, that suggests that Christ came so we might enjoy all the pleasant things the world offers. This teaching is the opposite of the Gospel of the Kingdom.

The true Gospel teaches us that our desires will be realized when the Kingdom comes. In this world we shall have tribulation, not material abundance.

God humbles us, by removing those things of which we can boast.

God causes us to hunger—not especially for food, but for the fulfillment of our most intense desires. This perpetual hunger causes us to desire to be with Jesus, whether by death or by His return. We just are not fulfilled in this present life. We can stretch forth our hand and take what we want, but this does not please the Lord and He sends leanness into our soul.

But God does gives us "manna" each day. The manna we receive for the day may not satisfy our deepest longings, but it is sufficient for the day while we are waiting for the Lord.

We do not receive Tuesday's manna on Monday. This is why we must not clutch the future, but live moment by moment, looking to the Lord Jesus.

Dependence on our daily manna teaches us that we must remain in close contact with the Lord Jesus at all times so we know what He is saying to us—what direction we are to take; what decisions we are to make.

There is no doubt that America soon will be in a situation of moral and physical chaos. At that time if we are to stand before Christ, and help others to stand, we absolutely must be living by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.

This is why God is removing our strength and making us lean on Him in every situation. The Lord Jesus compares His body and blood to the manna by which the Israelites survived. We too must survive by the body and blood of Christ.

Christ lives by the Life of the Father. We must live at all times by the body and blood of Christ. They are our inner resurrection that prepare us to be made alive in our in our body when Christ returns.

Living by the body and blood of Christ means that we must always be completely open to the Lord. Whatever He tells us to do something, we promptly obey. When He points out to us some sin or disobedience in our personality, we must be quick to confess it and turn away from it.

If you are willing to live in this manner, the body and blood of Christ will be the power of His resurrection in you. His wisdom and power will save you in the day of the American chaos.

Why don't you right now tell the Lord Jesus this is how you want to live—in complete openness and obedience to Him. If you will do this, and haven't done so already, you will join the ranks of those of us who are crucified and live by His Life. By doing this you will save yourself and those who hear you.

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will behold a far-distant land. (Isaiah 33:17)