The following message is something that most recently, at this stage of life, God has given me, to tell folks about, concerning what the “voice if God” says; I have never preached this or taught it ‘til just a few days ago! God has definitely spoken to me in his “still small voice” to proclaim a truth that I was, definitely, ignorant of. Never had I given it a lot of thought until NOW!
Just three days ago, in my “Grandpa Letter”, I have been mailing to my eleven grandchildren each month for over seven years, I wrote them the following: Grandpa Letter 041517
I know several of you have told me you appreciate my sharing with you things in my “personal” life, especially from years gone by. Last month, you’ll remember I sent you an “Up-to-date” experience I’ve had when I spoke at the Sunday morning service, here. Well, since last month’s letter I’ve actually entered in to a personal experience that I’ve never in this world had before!
The other day I was thinking deeply about my “old” life now, as I approach my 100th birthday, just 12 years away. (I’ll be 88 in June!) It’s going to happen, whether I like it or not! …unless Jesus comes for me through death, or if He returns, in the meantime, to fulfil His Second Coming! But as I thought about these things, I thought about YOU!
I can’t tell you HOW MUCH I care about you. I think about YOU day and night! I, so much, want your personal relationship with God to be BEAUTIFUL! I can’t imagine an Eternity with your Grandma and you uncle Shane…without your being there too. Eternity is endless in time. I want all of us to be together!!!
I believe I’m coming closer to God than I’ve EVER been. He is more precious to me as a “friend” than EVER BEFORE! Now, that I’m shooting for PERFECTION, I can’t tell you How happy and contented I’ve become. Just last week, I found on my Bible Study App on my computer a treatise written by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, that lived in the years just prior to this country becoming a nation, in the 1740’s and 1750’s. I’ve never read anything like it! His subject was “Christian Perfection”. I read and read for two hours this “treatise” and it looked like I had not even gone half way through the whole thing! It was SO remarkable. This was the day that I was to go to speak at the prison in Zephyr Hills. I didn’t have TIME to finish it! Anyway, he showed from the Scriptures that he really believed that believers, with God’s help could achieve PERFECTION. All the study I had done on the subject, just recently, was verified by Wesley’s article.
It proved I was right about the emphasis in the Bible on the achievement of becoming PERFECT in the sight of God. What I had already found out, (I did a recount just last week) that 51 TIMES in the Bible it repeats the command for us to be perfect!!! This command cannot be ignored by the Church any longer! We certainly cannot, without blaspheming God, “chuckle about it” and repeat, as we laugh and declare humorously, “Well, you know, nobody’s perfect!!!
(Last Saturday night, at Zephyr Hills prison, I even preached about it. The prisoners really liked my message! They’d never heard anything like it before.)
In fact, God Himself has said in God’s Word that NOAH, ABRAHAM, JOB, ASA, DAVID, and HEZEKIAH were all PERFECT! So, we are simply LYING when we say “nobody’s perfect’’! We’re “out of our minds” when ANYONE says “it can’t be done”…with God’s help!
(Two weeks ago at the Villa I told those old geezers and old grandmas, God WANTS US to be perfect. And I illustrated it by telling them about your Grandma Joyce, whom most of them remembered was with them for three years. SHE NEVER DID STOP SMILING! I told them that the nurses at the Lakeland General told me they had NEVER had a patient like her! They said she was smiling even when she was in terrible pain going through some of their procedures!)
You can believe this or not! I am NEVER depressed, NEVER lonely, NEVER discontented, I HAVE FORGIVEN everybody, I have latched on to Paul’s scripture, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already PERFECT: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
I’VE EVEN BEGUN TO “LIKE IT” WHEN Aunt KARLA AND Aunt DAWN TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!
Hear this! You are no longer my LITTLE grandchildren! You are BIG adults now. You can handle this challenge from yer ole’ Granddad! Let’s start “shooting for the goal!” Let’s start “aiming for the bulls-eye!” Let’s start being PERFECT, “even as our Father which is in heaven is PERFECT!”
To conclude this message, I want to give you what God has given me as “Steps to Christian Perfection”!
“Steps to Christian Perfection”
Number One…Be Thirsty!
Number Two…Come Nearer!
Number Four…Eliminate Self!
Number Five…Confess Your Sins and Flaws!
Number Six…Plunge Into the Fountain Filled With Blood!
Number Seven…Let His Blood Cleanse You!
Number Eight…Let God Possess You!
Number Nine…Lift Up Your Cup!
Number Ten…Lean Close to God!
Number Eleven…Let His Arms Enfold You!
Number Twelve…Yield Your Body, Soul, and Spirit To God!
Number Thirteen….Forget About Your SELF!
Number Fourteen…Drink In Your God!
Number 15…Stay Attached!...
I used to play basketball, when I was in high-school. Some of my team mates liked to “dribble around the court” a lot, refusing to pass the ball, but, instead, simply showing their skills to the crowd, watching! But that didn’t “win” any games. It’s only when they, or someone else, were passed the ball and shot for the goal that caused us to “win”.
Some believers like to simply “show off their skills” instead of attempting to “win” by shooting for and making the goal. In fact, I learned that the closer to the goal I got, the more, when I shot for the goal, the more the ball went in.
So it is with life! If we don’t “shoot” for the goal of “perfection” we’re not going to overcome the “world, the flesh, and the devil”. So, the closer we get to God, and the more we “practice our shots” the more points we make for God so we can “overcome” and be able to “inherit all things”, and have a greater reward when heaven becomes our home!
I’m EXHORTING you to be a “born winner” instead of a “born loser” so you can “score” A LOT MORE with God!
Karl StraderGo Back