God is sovereign. Is humanity sovereign as well? We are made in his image and likeness. How about when we become Christian? Do we become sovereign or free agents to do whatever we will?

God created angels as sovereign beings. He gave them wisdom that Satan had corrupted. God gave the angels a light that differs from the stars in the sky that Satan uses to deceive man. God gave incredible power to the angels and then zipped them up to do his will, but they do the will of Satan. After the angels came man. Some translations read a man was created a little lower than the angels or a little lower than God.

Man was created lower than God and the angels. This man was not given the wisdom, light, or power that angels were. This man wasn't given anything except the opportunity to grow into the image and likeness of God and someday be exalted to sit on the throne with Jesus. This man was created as an empty vessel to be filled with whatever he allowed. Be careful how you hear because it is what you will become if you accept it. Loose and bind accordingly.

The man brought nothing into this world. There is nothing we have that we didn't receive. We haven't anything to boast about. Maybe the scripture where an angel asked God, 'Who is the man that you walk with him?' was a little jealous; after all, angels were created much more spectacular than man. We were created from the dust of the earth and the breath of God.

Jesus also told his disciples that they could do nothing without him. He is the true vine, and we are the branches. We must abide in him to bear fruit.

We are not sovereign. We have been given free agency only because God refuses to use manipulation or control to win us over. He has already loved us even as sinners, but we must come to him with free will for eternal life. And we must abide in him in free will for eternal life. Even though God owns us twice over, through creation and recreation in Christ Jesus, he leaves the decision to us as free agents about what we will do, life or death.

Under Levitical law, a Jew could become enslaved because of debt and then be set free after seven years. But if the slave loved his master, he would get his ear pierced and stay his entire life as a bondservant, the same for the Christian to Jesus. We owe a debt to God that we can't pay. But Jesus paid our debt on the cross, and we are reconciled by grace through faith. And those who pierce their ear with the word of the Lord will stay to the end to be raised with Christ in the resurrection of the dead. But no one is forced to stay. God will even bless you financially on your way out because he is not a God of coercion. Even as we are purchased slaves of Jesus Christ by his precious blood, we have free agency to leave at will. Jesus will keep us if we want to be kept, but let us go if we want to go.

A good part of the Western church is like the rich young ruler. We come running to the feet of Jesus and, with tears, ask how we may receive eternal life, only to walk away because we have too much to lose at the moment. We intend to return later, which soothes our conscience, but not until we have lived our lives and have little to lose in the later years of life to follow Jesus. We have taken too much from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to make room to take up a cross and follow Jesus to who knows where.

Christianity is more than a moral standard and ethics on how to treat our neighbor; it also has a conscience in which we are to be led by the Holy Spirit. We can't pick the fruit off any tree we want and eat it if we want to please God. There are morals that are right and wrong for every person who has ever breathed a breath across all of time and all societies. There are ethics in loving our neighbor, which is the same for everyone who calls himself a Christian. However, the third component is unique because it involves the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth and the place we were created to serve. But like Adam, we want to eat what Eve is eating and miss the tailored serving opportunity given to us to complete. But many will lose their crown to another, according to the Book of Revelation. And many will lose their talent and mina to another, according to the parables of Jesus. All because we want sovereignty and the free agency to choose the life we want for ourselves.

Even from the pulpits, Christian bookstores, and podcasts, free agency is taught in place of taking up our cross and following Jesus. I learned a few years ago that if I bite into bitter fruit in the world, it is because it is from a bitter tree I shouldn't be eating from. And if I bite into bitter fruit in the church, it is because it is from the same tree.

Church has learned the marketing techniques of the world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Those three ways are a sure way to market effectively. Balaam is the profit and sells his teachings for a high price.

We see others succeed in life and are told if we follow these ten principles, we can eat the same good food. But that is not true. We have all been given the ability to fit into God's plan, but not our plan or anyone else's; God's plan. Their conscience was open when Adam and Eve bit into the forbidden fruit. The same thing happens to us when we seek principles for success rather than God, who created the principles. Our conscience is open to the wrong things or timing in our life. If only we would seek God and his will, will we have success waiting for us on the other side of taking up our cross and following him?

We take delight in looking into the rich and famous lives. We imagine ourselves living that life. I'm not talking about the world's entertainers but also the preachers and pastors who have become rich and famous by neglecting to rightfully divide the word of God. Instead, they have made their church hybrids of the world and the Kingdom of God—halfway houses for those who want to love the world and a little Jesus simultaneously.

The grass is always greener on the other side. We are delighted to imagine that we can have it without a cost. We want the reward but not the responsibility. How many of the crowd knocking on the door saying to Jesus let us in were expecting a participation award just for being a hearer but not a doer? We delight in the gift given to another with covetousness and the lust of the eyes.

People seek knowledge, understanding, and wisdom for different reasons. We are told to pursue those things throughout scripture. But what is the motive? Eve saw the forbidden fruit as a way to make her wise. Do we seek knowledge to make ourselves wise, gaining an edge over our neighbor? Or as a means to serve God and our neighbor?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. One doesn't need much knowledge to be wise. We don't need a degree. We need to fear God. Yet, we strive for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom only to become a clanging symbol and puffed up rather than edifying one another with love. How many Sunday sermons impart the pride of life into their listeners rather than humility?

What is the answer? We must give up free agency and the idea of personal sovereignty. We must pierce and continually pierce our ears with the Word of God. We must remember he is the potter, and we are the clay. The more time we spend with him, the more we will know where we are to serve. And the less we will desire someone else's portion or position.

God wants disciples, not pacified believers. Disciples give up free agency for life to gain new life. Free agency is where we mistakenly take time to find ourselves and our place in the world. We waste the limited time we have in life trying to find ourselves rather than lose ourselves by taking up our cross and following Jesus wherever he leads. The principles of the Bible are sound, but without the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we build our kingdom using God to do so. If we use God to get our best life now, we will be walking a thin line between eternal life and eternal destruction.

Jesus gave a parable that we must understand—the parable of the seed. The seed is planted in four types of hearts. Three of the four seeds are lost, but twenty-five percent produces a 30-, 60-, or 100-fold return, making up for the seventy-five percent loss initially.

Paul, an apostle, often expounded on the teachings of Jesus. Paul gave a glimpse of judgment day for the Christian. All works will be tested by fire. If our works survive the fire, we will be rewarded. If our works get devoured by God's fire, we lose rewards but still receive eternal life in Christ. Now let me ask you, what is the difference between the person who receives eternal life but loses all rewards and those who are knocking on the door asking Jesus to let them in because of all the works they have done in His name? There is a 30, 60, 100-fold, and a washout of zero-fold return except for eternal life. Do you want to walk that thin line?

God is looking to and far for someone whom he can bless. But he finds few. Jesus said few are saved. Many are called, but few are chosen to be saved. Why?

Because few take Jesus' words seriously, few lose their life. Few take up their cross. Few are led by the Holy Spirit into the works they were called. Works do not save us, but we are given work to do if we show up with our cross to bear. And rewards if we continue in the grace of God to do what he personalizes us to do.

There is a difference between the logos word and the Rhema word. The logos word is available for anyone who wants to read it for whatever motive. The rhema word is for those with ears to hear enough to do something with what they hear. The person who can not live on bread alone but every word of God that proceeds from his mouth is a rhema hearer and doer. Logos word is a must to seek God. Rhema's word is a must for eternal salvation. God is not a god to be studied. He hides himself from the wicked. Only those with ears to hear will he reveal his rhema word.

God wants disciples. Disciples are maturing in Christ. Disciples are led by the Holy Spirit and are called the children of God. God desires all to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. God takes no delight in the soul that dies. But that doesn't mean God lowers the bar or grades on a curve. Anyone short of his glory is doomed to eternal death in hell. Only those who have taken the words of Jesus seriously enough to do them receive eternal life. Who is my mother, brother, and sister but them who do the will of my Father? There is mercy and grace for those who seek him with all their heart.

The Book of Esther is the only book that does not mention God. But it is a picture of a chaste bride preparing to bless the king. While all the other women take the best from the king's treasure to please themselves, Esther asks what pleases the king and then adorns it. Is God a means to our end, or is he our end goal?

There is a fine line between the zero-fold of those who made it by a mustard seed losing all reward and those left at the door wanting. God has always kept a remnant for himself. Remanent is a word I have heard in churches for years, but I have never looked up its meaning. Synonyms for remnant are remainder, relic, and leftovers. It seems God is willing to wait for the last few standing as his chosen while the majority sit it out only to find out too late. Few are willing to be saved by the terms Jesus gave: surrender all. Many that have come to him to be released of heavy burdens and hard yokes have left in the way of Cain, in the rebellion of Korah, and after Balam's error.

Like Cain, they continue to offer God the least and expect to have the blessing of Abraham. Like Korah, they refuse God-given authority and lust after giftings that were not given to them. Like Balam, they use their God-given gifts to enrich themselves and teach others the same.

If we are following Jesus, then we must become like him. Jesus only did what he saw his Father do and only said what he heard his Father say. Jesus didn't come on his initiative but by the will of the Father. Man's initiative is an elevated value in the church to the demise of seeking to do God's will and his way of doing things. Why did Paul have so many prayers about seeking and knowing God's will? Because it can't be known without a sustained consecration to do his will. It is much easier for the masses to fill in the blanks and use worldly means to make up for not knowing God's will and ways for one's life. I assure you, the mega churches are that mega in the eyes of God. And the small churches are smaller than we think. The world's wealth is laid up for the just, and the humble will receive it. Much of the kingdom's work is done by those who will receive no reward because they did not seek God's will and ways.

We are bought at a price. We are not our own. We can't afford to be of free agency.

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