JESUS YOUR EXAMPLE

For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. —Hebrews 2:18

Although He was God, Jesus experienced human limitations like we do. Not only was He hungry, not only was He sleepy, not only was He weary and lonely, but He also was tempted. Jesus felt the presence and pressure of temptation just as we do. He didn’t have a sinful nature, but He experienced temptation.

Now why is it important for us to be aware of the fact that Jesus was tempted? It was so we could know that we follow a God who understands what we’re going through. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “In all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

Jesus also left us an example to follow as we face temptation. He occupied ground that we, too, can occupy. It’s important to note that Jesus did not meet Satan with His considerable supernatural power. He could have said, “I don’t want to fool around with you right now. I have other things to do.” And He could have disappeared. He could have called on the angels to intervene. He could have even overruled Satan because of His clear authority over him. Instead, He met the devil with the written Word. He countered every temptation with Scripture (see Luke 4:1–13).

So when you are tempted, you, too, need to have Scripture stored in your mind and heart to deflect the blows of the devil. When you have memorized Scripture, when you have gotten it ingrained in your memory banks, it is there to use through times of temptation.

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.wordpress.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

RUNNING THE RACE

One thing that we need to remember as Christians is that we are running a spiritual race.

In Acts 20, we find the apostle’s Paul’s words to the leaders of the church in Ephesus. These were things that really mattered to the great apostle.

He writes in verse 24, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord.”

Paul used the analogy of a runner in a race many times in his writings. Each of these instances remind us of a different aspect of running the race of life.

We must run to win

1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize.”

In other words, you also must run in such a way that you will win! There is no point in running for second or third place. Go for the gold! Don’t settle for mediocrity as a follower of Jesus.

Understand, however, that your “opponents” are not fellow Christians. I am not running the race of life to beat you or anyone else. Our competitors are the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Be careful to not get off track

Galatians 5:7 says, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”

Sometimes, due to poor choices in friends and companions, we get “off track.” They tend to drag us away from our commitment, instead of encouraging us in it. At the very least, they slow us down. At worst, they sidetrack us.

Don’t look back

The best thing for us to do as believers is to keep moving forward in our faith, and don’t let the past or Satan’s reminders of our past trip us up.

Philippians 3:13-16 reads, “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it”

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.wordpress.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

REVERENCE OR…..?

Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. —1 Peter 4:11

Today’s devotion is adapted from a recent post on Pastor Greg’s blog. To see his latest blog entry, click here.

It seems to me that for some we have lost the “fear of the Lord,” even in the Church.

There was a time when things were perhaps too uptight, and one spoke in whispers in the Church, and laughter was rarely heard. But today, many churches, in their attempt to be thought of as “cool” or “contemporary,” they have lost their focus.

I am not suggesting we attempt to be irrelevant and uncool, but my question is “Have we traded reverence for relevance?”

For instance, you have preachers talking in great detail about sexual issues, ranging from programs to have “sex every day for seven days” to more extreme versions in which they speak very graphically about specific sexual acts from the pulpit.

The cussing preacher

Then you have the “Cussing Preacher” syndrome. The pastor thinks it’s cool to use profanity in the pulpit so people will see him as one of them.

Is this all really necessary? I don’t think so.

Look, I have been a pastor for 35 years, and we have never had a problem reaching our culture and seeing people come to Christ. I am all for being real and authentic, but I also stand up on the platform to speak God’s Word.

1 Peter 4:11 says, “Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.”

We are also told in Scripture to watch what we say. Speaking of the tongue, James writes, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10).

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.wordpress.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

My Shepherd

My Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul (Psalm 23:1–3a).

When David said, “The LORD is my shepherd,” he knew something about the word picture he was using. So in The Mystical Order we identify with David in Psalm 121.

The first time we ever meet David, he is introduced as the youngest, all-but-forgotten son—out doing the chore none of his seven older brothers wanted to do. “Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep” (1 Samuel 16:11a).

“GOD WILL USE DIFFICULTY FOR YOUR GOOD AND BRING YOU THROUGH IT TO THE PLACE HE HAS PLANNED.”

When David volunteered to face off with Goliath, he claimed his work as a shepherd—warding off lions and bears from the flock—had prepared him for the fight (1 Samuel 17:34–37).

Because he knew shepherding and he knew the Lord, David found it easy to put the two together—as if to say, “The way the Lord treats me is as a shepherd would treat me.”

Our inexperience as shepherds begs this question of David, “How is the Lord like a shepherd?”

First—like a shepherd, God leads us. We need to be led, don’t we? A good shepherd leads the sheep from out in front of them, not from behind. There isn’t a place where the lambs put their feet that the shepherd hasn’t already walked. There isn’t a valley the sheep go through that the shepherd hasn’t gone through first.

There is nothing coming into your life that isn’t terrain the Shepherd has already covered and given His full approval—including the rocky ground, the most difficult times. If God doesn’t want to allow it, He will lead you on a different path, and you will not experience that hard time. But when it comes—indeed, “in the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33) You will experience it first hand in The Mystical Order—don’t ever forget the Shepherd leads you through that ground. God will use it for your good and bring you through it to the place He has planned. If you can stay in your lane and walk in the fear of the Lord as in this Mystical Order trusting God that He will bring you ot as promised.

Second—like a shepherd, He protects us. Sheep are so vulnerable—to disease, to weather, to predators, and to thieves that come to steal them. They are those that will destroy the very protection for their own gains.  In the same way, the enemy of our souls would terrorize us, harm us, steal our focus, and tempt us to chart our own course, but our Shepherd protects us. It’s just as Jesus says in John 10:9–10: “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Your Shepherd protects you and wants what’s best for you. Hallelujah

Third—like a shepherd, He feeds us. For sheep, it’s green pastures and still waters. For us, our Shepherd provides both physical food and spiritual nourishment. Devotionals and sermons are a sampling of God’s feeding, and we can feast every day on God’s Word: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).

How desperately we need the Shepherd’s care! With David, we can confidently say, “The LORD is my shepherd,” trusting that He will lead, protect, and feed us today.

  • In your own words, how is the Lord like your Shepherd?
  • Which need do you feel most keenly today—a need to be led, protected, or fed?

Pray
Father, I praise You for the many ways You are my Shepherd. Thank You that in Your leading, protecting, and feeding, 
in pastures fresh and green.You have never failed. Your faithfulness has never faltered. There hasn’t been, nor will there ever be, a circumstance or danger You can’t handle. I rest my life in Your care. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head

Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg
@MysticPatriarch

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LOOKING FOR ORDINRY FOLKS

“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” —1 Samuel 16:7

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Many times when we’re looking for some great superstar to come on the scene, God is developing someone in obscurity whom we haven’t ever heard of. We will say, “What if so-and-so became a Christian? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?” And while we’re wondering if so-and-so will ever come around, God is grooming someone unknown to us.

Think of the time when a giant Philistine was taunting the armies of Israel. Everyone was paralyzed with fear. So whom did God select? He chose a shepherd boy who had been sent by his father to take food to his brothers on the front lines. He went out to face the giant with a few stones and a sling, and more importantly, faith in God. That was the person God used.

At another time in Israel’s history when they were immobilized by fear because of their enemies, God found this guy threshing wheat. His name was Gideon, and he was convinced that God had called up the wrong guy. But God selected him because he didn’t trust in his own ability. Gideon had to trust in God.

If you have faith in God, if you believe that God can use you, if you are willing to take a step of faith here and there, then God can do incredible things through you. One thing I have said many times over the years is that God is not looking for ability but availability. He can give you ability in time. But God looking for someone to say, “I would like to make a difference where I am. Lord, I am available.” You just watch what God will do.

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

ARE YOU A VALUE TO GOD

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. —2 Corinthians 4:7

Is low self-esteem really the problem with society today? I think we need to have a proper understanding of the way things are.

First of all, I recognize in myself I am a sinner. But I also recognize that when Christ came into my life He gave me value. He put His treasure in an earthen vessel, or in a jar of clay, which is my life.

And now, with a new confidence and boldness, I have something to offer, because He has made me someone of value.

A great writer can write on an ordinary piece of paper and suddenly it is valuable. A great artist can take a canvas and make a beautiful painting on it that is priceless. It isn’t the paper that’s valuable, or the canvas. It’s what the poet wrote on the paper. It’s what the artist painted on the canvas.

The apostle Paul knew that the value of the work he was doing for the Lord was not due to his own ability, but due to the power of God at work in him. He wrote to the church in Corinth, “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

God wrote His name on you when you gave your life to Christ. He invested Himself in you. That’s why you can make a difference.

God wants to use you, and He has a place for you—a part for you to play, a seed for you to sow, a call for you to answer.

WHY ME LORD?

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” —Psalm 42:9

I don’t think it is ever a bad thing to ask God why. Some people will say that we should never question God. But I question God all the time. I don’t mean that I doubt His existence. But I do say, “Lord, I don’t understand why you have done (thus and so). . . . Why, Lord?”

As you read the psalms, you see that many times the psalmist cried out, in essence, “Why, God? Why have You allowed this in my life?”

And Jesus Himself asked, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45–47).

So don’t think it is wrong to ask, “Why, God?” It isn’t wrong. But let me add this: don’t expect an answer, necessarily. You can ask all you want. And maybe the Lord will give you an answer. But in most cases, He won’t. Quite frankly, I think that if He did, we wouldn’t understand it anyway.

So here is what we need to say: “Well, Lord, I don’t understand, but I trust you.”

Even Jesus struggled with God’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, under intense pressure, “His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Jesus literally was perspiring sweat and blood, and He said, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (verse 42).

There has to come a point when we say, “All right, Lord. I will do it. I don’t feel like doing it. I don’t want to do it. I don’t even think it is a good idea to do it. But I am going to do it, because You told me to.”

That is what Jesus did. And that is what we need to do as well.

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.wordpress.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

TRUE DISCIPLES

“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” —Acts 17:6

The Christian life is more than just saying a prayer or walking down an aisle and getting “fire insurance” as it were. The Christian life is meant to be dynamic. It is meant to be exciting. It is meant to have a radical effect on the way that you live and your outlook on life, because Jesus Christ not only wants to be your Saviour. He wants to be your Lord. He not only wants to be your friend, but He also wants to be your God.

But I’m afraid that many today are living a substandard Christian experience. That term is really an oxymoron in many ways, because if it is a Christian experience, then it shouldn’t be substandard. In a sense, that isn’t even a technically correct term.

You really can’t be a substandard Christian. Yet there are many who are failing to receive all that God has for them. How did a handful of ordinary people living in the first century turn their world, as they knew it, upside down? They did it without television, without radio, without megachurches, and without all the resources that we think are so important today in reaching the goal of world evangelism. I believe you use the tools that are available to spread the message far and near.

How is it that they were able to do it? I think you could sum it up in one word: disciple. They were disciples of Jesus Christ—not fair weather followers, but true disciples despite the weather conditions. They were not party mongers then creep unto church to preach the gospel. They weren’t living an anemic, watered-down, ineffective version of the Christian life. They were living the Christian life as it was meant to be lived—as Christ Himself offered it and as the early disciples apprehended it. If we want to impact our culture today, then we, too, must be disciples.

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

GOD CAN USE YOU

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. —2 Chronicles 16:9

Think of all the ordinary people God has used to turn this world upside down. Think of that shepherd boy David who God raised up to be the greatest king in the history of Israel. God used that frightened man Gideon to lead a great army and he turned out to be a man of courage and valor. A simple Jewish girl named Esther saved her people from destruction because she stood up for what was right. God used Deborah to lead the armies of Israel into battle when everyone else was afraid. God called two ordinary fishermen, Peter and John, to speak His Word with boldness.

You see, God can use ordinary people like you. As the Scripture says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God clearly looks for ordinary people to turn this world upside down. There exists a place and a calling for every single one of us. We all have something to do for the Lord.

God can do a lot with a little. My life is evidence of that! God changed me, and He can change you. When you have been with Jesus, God can use you.

Your brother,
Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.wordpress.com
www.mysticalcourt.com

POISONED TONGUE

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. —James 3:2

Some of the greatest people God has used have had a problem with their tongues. God called Job “blameless” and “upright.” But Job had trouble controlling his tongue, as revealed when he said, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4).

Isaiah was one of God’s choice servants. But isn’t it interesting that when he came into the presence of God, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips . . .” (Isaiah 6:5). It’s worth noting that when Isaiah, a man of God, stood in the presence of a perfect and holy God, the first thing he became aware of was that he had misused his words.

Without question, Moses was one of the greatest men ever used by God. But he, too, had trouble with his tongue at times. It is written about him, “He spoke rashly with his lips” (Psalm 106:33). So he struggled with it as well.

Even the silver-tongued orator of the Christian church, the apostle Paul, had trouble with his tongue. On one occasion as he stood before the high priest Ananias, Ananias commanded that Paul be hit in the face, which he was. Paul quickly retorted, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!” (Acts 23:3).

Of course, the one who would probably receive the foot-in-mouth award would be Simon Peter. The Bible records many occasions in which Peter said things that he regretted. We see how easily it can happen.

The tongue is a deadly poison. And this is why we must dedicate it to God.

Your brother,
Co-Founder of The Mystical Order

www.mysticalorderinc.org
www.mysticalbrotherhood.com
www.mysticalcourt.com