DONT BLAME GOD!!!

Have you ever been asked by a self confessed “enemy of God” “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth” or:

Have you ever been asked by an unbeliever “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth” or:

Have you yourself ever wondered “why God was permitting so much evil to take place here on earth”

Have a look at this:

BUT THEN!!!!:

 “GOD HAS SPOKEN ONCE, TWICE HAVE I HEARD THIS: THAT (ALL) POWER BELONGS TO GOD. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 emphasis added)

“So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Job 1:9-12)

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. BUT I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU THAT YOUR FAITH SHOULD NOT FAIL; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)

AGAIN I SAY:

“GOD HAS SPOKEN ONCE, TWICE HAVE I HEARD THIS: THAT (ALL) POWER BELONGS TO GOD. Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 emphasis added)

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this God you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
The Bible tells us in John 3:16-17. ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.

 

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Saviour. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

God’s Good Will

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 3

 Slide2

While we do His good will, He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.

 

 We are continuing with our look at the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis as part of our mini series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” In our last post we looked at the presentation…….

What a glory He sheds on our way!

In this post we shall now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

God’s Good Will

According to thesaurus ‘While’ could also be used as: At the same time as; concurrently; alongside; concomitantly; in tandem; parallel; along with

‘Will’ as: Desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command. So:

As we do His good ‘desire, wish, choice, preference, bidding, command’; He (At the same time; Alongside; concomitantly; In tandem; in parallel; Along with) abides with us still.

The immediate questions now are – What is God’s good will? And What provisions has He made for us to take hold of this good will?

 What is God’s good will? 

God’s good will is the pursuit of His eternal purpose.

 PLAN AThe Glory of God – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: PLAN A That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Eph. 1:3-12 emphasis added)

To cut the long story short, God’s good will is: “bringing many sons unto glory” through His Son Jesus Christ. (Heb. 2:10)

God’s eternal purpose being a reflection of who He is; a reflection of those virtues that make Him God as we have seen in earlier postsis the embodiment of His Good Will. Watchman Nee’s observation puts it this way:

“In Romans 3:23 we read: “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God”. God’s purpose for man was glory, glory, glory, but sin thwarted that purpose by causing man to forfeit God’s glory. When we think of sin we instinctively think of the judgement it brings; we invariably associate it with condemnation and hell. Man’s thought is always of the punishment that will come to him if he sins, but God’s thought is always of the glory man will forfeit if he sins. The result of sin is that we forfeit God’s glory: the result of redemption is that we are qualified again for glory. God’s purpose in redemption is glory, glory, glory.

The Lord Jesus was the only begotten Son, and as the only begotten He had no brothers. But the Father sent the Son in order that the only begotten might also be the first begotten, and the beloved Son have many brethren. There you have the whole story of the Incarnation and the Cross; and there you have at the last the purpose of God fulfilled in His “bringing many sons unto glory” (Heb. 2:10)”.

In other words the pursuit of God’s good will is whole hearted pursuit of Holiness; because the pursuit of Holiness will only lead to glory. God’s holiness is the fundamental attribute that defines all His other attributes:

Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life

Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit

Omnipotence – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.

Omnipresence – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once

Omniscience – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge

Infinity – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.

Nature of Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change

Immutability – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’

Holiness is bound to be at the core of His good will. This holiness which is inherent in Him means that in His time transcending existence, God was, is, and will be righteous in all His ways, so that – His plans can never be flawed (Psalm 145:17); He cannot look at wrong (Habakkuk 1:13); and cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13); Thus, the good will of God (bringing many sons unto glory) has holiness at it’s core:

 “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.” (Psalm 89:14)

If the foundation of His throne (not so much about the chair that He sits on, but by virtue of His power, rank and privileges as The Almighty King of all that exist) is:

RighteousnessComplete performance of whatever is right which warrants divine approval; a divine arrangement by which God leads men to a state acceptable to him; a revelation of His love for Holiness.

Justice – virtue which gives each one his due; revelation of God’s hatred for sin.

And before Him goes:

Mercy – God’s goodness and love shown towards people who have no way out; judgement which was due but was diverted. 

Truth Honesty or directness of mind (whether refreshing or distasteful) which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood or deceit. Our God is God of Truth; who lives in Truth; whose work is done in truth; who keeps truth forever.

Then we can safely say that His good will, His eternal purpose, is a plan to ultimately, bring us to His  Glory, with provisions made for perceived blunders we will make along the way.

 Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God

provision made for:

Now in our mortal bodies:  PLAN A1- The Gospel of Christ

The working out of salvation (not WORK FOR our salvation): PLAN A–Back on Track  

Ultimately, PLAN A  – The Glory of God –

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:3-6)

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  (Revelation 21:3-4)

 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”  (I John 3:2)

 We shall “be like him” (not Him, because God will always be God above all); Then we will be granted His attributes like: being incorruptible (sinless): And possess wisdom (be shown all truth)

 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

 In a nutshell, WE WILL HAVE ABSOLUTE FREEDOM because:

 COMPLETE TRUTH – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 “Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). If,

JESUS = TRUTH, (WAY & LIFE)= ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

So, when sin came along through Adam (first Adam),

JESUS – SIN = ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

But then,

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. LIKEWISE RECKON YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” (Romans 6:3-11)

Watchman Nee, in describing the fourfold conditions of living the normal Christian life in the book The Normal Christian Life – chapters on “Path To Progress” numbers the four stages as being : (a) Knowing, (b) Reckoning, (c) Presenting ourselves to God, and (d) Walking in the Spirit) : (we will have a comprehensive look at this discourse in Romans 6 when we get to it). Here, he describes this reckoning that comes after knowing as:

What does reckoning mean? ‘Reckoning’ in Greek means doing accounts book-keeping. Accounting is the only thing in the world we human beings can do correctly. An artist paints a landscape. Can he do it with perfect accuracy? Can the historian vouch for the absolute accuracy of any record, or the map-maker for the perfect correctness of any map? They can make, at best, fair approximations. Even in everyday speech, when we try to tell some incident with the best intention to be honest and truthful, we cannot speak with complete accuracy. It is mostly a case of exaggeration or understatement, of one word too much or too little. What then can a man do that is utterly reliable? Arithmetic! There is no scope for error there. One chair plus one chair equals two chairs. That is true in London and it is true in Cape Town. If you travel west to New York or east to Singapore it is still the same. All the world over and for all time, one plus one equals two. One plus one is two in heaven and earth and hell.

Why does God say we are to reckon ourselves dead? Because we are dead. Let us keep to the analogy of accounting. Suppose I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, what do I enter in my account-book? Can I enter fourteen shillings and sixpence or fifteen shillings and sixpence? No, I must enter in my account-book that which is in fact in my pocket. Accounting is the reckoning of facts, not fancies. Even so, it is because I am really dead that God tells me to account it so. God could not ask me to put down in my account-book what was not true. He could not ask me to reckon that I am dead if I am still alive. For such mental gymnastics the word ‘reckoning’ would be inappropriate; we might rather speak of ‘mis-reckoning’!

Reckoning is not a form of make-believe. It does not mean that, having found that I have only twelve shillings in my pocket, I hope that by entering fifteen shillings incorrectly in my account-book such ‘reckoning’ will somehow remedy the deficiency. It won’t. If I have only twelve shillings, yet try to reckon to myself: ‘I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings; I have fifteen shillings’, do you think that the mental effort involved will in any way affect the sum that is in my pocket? Not a bit of it! Reckoning will not make twelve shillings into fifteen shillings, nor will it make what is untrue true. But if, on the other hand, it is a fact that I have fifteen shillings in my pocket, then with great ease and assurance I can enter fifteen shillings in my account-book. God tells us to reckon ourselves dead, not that by the process of reckoning we may become dead, but because we are dead. He never told us to reckon what was not a fact.

Having said, then, that revelation leads spontaneously to reckoning, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are presented with a command: “Reckon ye…” There is a definite attitude to be taken. God asks us to do the account; to put down ‘I have died’ and then to abide by it. Why? Because it is a fact. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, I was there in Him. Therefore I reckon it to be true. I reckon and declare that I have died in Him. Paul said, “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God.” How is this possible? “In Christ Jesus.” Never forget that it is always and only true in Christ. If you look at yourself you will think death is not there, but it is a question of faith not in yourself but in Him. You look to the Lord, and know what He has done. ‘Lord, I believe in Thee. I reckon upon the fact in Thee.’ Stand there all the day.

The Reckoning Of Faith

 The first four-and-a-half chapters of Romans speak of faith and faith and faith. We are justified by faith in Him (Rom. 3:28; 5:1). Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them. But in the second section of Romans we do not find the same repeated mention of faith, and it might at first appear that the emphasis is therefore different. It is not really so, however, for where the words ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ drop out the work ‘reckon’ takes their place. Reckoning and faith are here practically the same thing.

What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God’s fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future, as in Hebrews 11. Perhaps for this reason the word chosen here is ‘reckon’. It is a word that relates only to the past—to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to as yet to be. This is the kind of faith described in Mark 11:24: “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them.” The statement there is that, if you believe that you already have received your requests (that is, of course, in Christ), then ‘you shall have them’. To believe that you may get something, or that you can get it, or even that you will get it, is not faith in the sense meant here. This is faith—to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say ‘God can’ or ‘God may’ or ‘God must’ or ‘God will’ do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says, ‘God has done it’.

 When, therefore, do I have faith in regard to my crucifixion? Not when I say God can, or will, or must crucify me, but when with joy I say, ‘Praise God, in Christ I am crucified!’

 In Romans 3 we see the Lord Jesus bearing our sins and dying as our Substitute that we might be forgiven. In Romans 6 we see ourselves included in the death whereby He secured our deliverance. When the first fact was revealed to us we believed on Him for our justification. God tells us to reckon upon the second fact for our deliverance. So that, for practical purposes, ‘reckoning’ in the second section of Romans takes the place of ‘faith’ in the first section. The emphasis is not different. The normal Christian life is lived progressively, as it is entered initially, by faith in Divine fact: in Christ and His Cross.

So if,

Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin

 Then in JESUS is our ABSOLUTE FREEDOM

 

In our next post will still continue with the first stanza of Trust and Obey (While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey). by looking at  PLAN A1The Gospel of Christ. Which we have in fact delved into already.You might say – “Why do I have to know Him experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Trust and Obey – Part 2

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey – Part 2

  What a glory He sheds on our way!

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Eph. 1:3-6 )

In this post we shall continue with our series “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” with our look at the hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis. In our last post on the series we looked at When we walk with the Lord, In the light of His Word” 

We will now continue with the first stanza of the hymn by looking at this presentation called:

What a glory He sheds on our way!

Slide17

Glory He sheds on our way (Click Here to view presentation)

Glory He shed on our way 1 (Click Here for PDF of presentation; feel free to use it in it’s entirety)

It Wasn’t Easy

Jesus -Saviour, Son of Adam, The Second Adam, Son of Eve, Son of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, Bright Morning Star, Lion of Judah, Son of David, Root/Shoot of Jesse, Holder of David’s key, Son of Mary the Virgin, Foster Son of Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth, The Prophet, Emmanuel, Wondrous Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, The Lord our Justice, Good Shepherd, The Messiah – Christ, King of Israel, King of the Jews, Servant of God, Pierced One, Man of sorrows, Son of Man, Holy One from God, Just One, Good One, Greater than Jonah, Greater than Solomon, Greater than the Temple, Lord of the Sabbath, I Am, Wisdom of God, Power of God, Word of God, Lord of glory, Brightness of God’s glory, Exact image of God’s own being, Image of the unseen God, Son of the Most High God, Only Son, Dear Son, God himself , Bright Dawn of Salvation, Lamb of God, The Crucified Christ, Sin Offering, Our Justification, Our Sanctification, Our Redemption, Our Freedom, Our Peace, Our Reconciliation, Our Pride and Boast, Our Leader, Messenger, our High Priest, our Mediator, our Intercessor, our Advocate, Saviour of the World, True and Faithful Witness, Doctor, Preacher of the Good News, The Good News that is preached, Teacher — Rabbi, Gentle and Humble of Heart, Light of the world, The Gate, The Way, The Truth, The Life, The Living One, The Resurrection, Bread of Life, The True Vine,  The Head, Stone rejected by the builders, Our Cornerstone, Our Foundation, Our Hope, The One who Loves us, The Victor, Lifted up, Bridegroom, Temple, Lamp, The Firstborn Son, First fruit of those who, a fallen asleep, Judge of the living and dead, The Alpha and the Omega, The First and the Last, The Beginning and the End, King of kings, Lord of lords, Ruler of the kings of earth, Lord.

Haba!!!!! With all these don’t you think it is time you know Him?

You might say – “Why do I have to know Him experience this Jesus you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can getto know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God – Trust and Obey

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

Trust and Obey

“Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” (Deut 13:4).

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

In this post, we shall continue with our mini series on “Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God” by looking at a very important pre-requisite for maintaining a reverent fear of The Lord and have a fixed and unshakable focus on Him (keeping our eyes set on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ) – The Grace to Obey and Trust.

I will try to explain this by looking at the hymn When We Walk With The LORD, my favourite ‘song’ at primary school; but before that, I will like to look a little bit more at what the fear of The Lord really is.

We have said in previous posts that the fear of God is simply the reverential response, the submissive attitude that should be triggered by a revelation of God – A response of being totally and absolutely fixed on Him that follows any revelation of Him. In the times ahead of us, there will be a very serious need to have our whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”. The fear of the Lord (not the fear of a vicious God) means different things to the believer and the unbeliever:

To the unbeliever – For someone who does not believe in God, the fear of God should mean the fear of the judgement of God and eternal residence in hell; a waste of man’s sojourn on earth, a sojourn that ultimately qualifies him/her for eternal separation from God –

“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”. (Luke 12:5)

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. (Hebrews 10:31)

To the believer –  the fear of God is a reverence for God; it is as we have seen in Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God”a holy and righteous reverence for the Lord; a healthy reverence that is borne out of an absolute and total trust in the Lord; an extra-ordinary, absolute and total trust that is a derivative of an unconditional love for Him, and an unconditional love that is steadied by knowing who our God is –

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire”. (Hebrews 12:28-29)

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby”. (Hebrews 12:5-11)

This chastening which He does though may be harsh according to the way one might perceive it, but to His own, it is not; because even through it He “cushions” and “furnishes” his own –

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

So that we can all through His chastening realise that all He is doing is to train us to conform to the nature of His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, even as if it has to be painful –

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”. (Hebrews 13:5)

Trust and ObeyJohn Henry Sammis

 “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.” (Proverbs 16:20).

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” (Psalm 84:11-12)

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

I will now like to have a look at this hymn, Trust and Obey by John Henry Sammis; It has been one of my favourite hymns right from the reception class in primary school: like all timeless hymns, it is one that addresses our need to stay on the ‘narrow road’; one that addresses our need to permanently abide in our Lord and have our whole being fixed on Him. The hymn also reminds me of an experience of what ‘Yearning to the Lord with purity of heart’ can do. Connie Ruth Christiansen wrote this about the hymn:

In 1887, just following an evangelistic meeting held by Dwight L. Moody, a young man stood to share his story in an after-service testimony meeting. As he was speaking, it became clear to many that he knew little about the Bible or acceptable Christian doctrine. His closing lines, however, spoke volumes to seasoned and new believers alike: I’m not quite sure. But I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey.

Daniel Towner was so struck by the power of those simple words that he quickly jotted them down, then delivered them to John Sammis, who developed the lyrics to Trust and Obey. Towner composed the music and the song quickly became a favourite. It remains popular with hymn singers today.

She said that although at the time of giving this testimony it became clear to many there then that John Sammis “knew little about the Bible or acceptable Christian doctrine” but I’ll say that the hymn was in him, and gave him the confidence beyond all reasonable and ‘unreasonable’ doubts to say “I’m not quite sure. But I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey”

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matthew 13: 44-46) Selah!!! (stop and think about this)

May our Lord continually give us cause and empower us to say: though “I’m not quite sure, but I’m going to trust, and I’m going to obey”.

 Chorus:

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way: To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

(We will come back to the chorus in our conclusion)

When we walk with the Lord, In the light of His Word:

Before we believed in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we were children of darkness; but now we are children of light. We have to move far from the works of darkness–

“Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.” (Isa. 50:10-11)

We must abide in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He abides in our Heavenly Father;  For it is only in him that we can see this wicked world in it’s true colours–

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:5-7)

They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. FOR WITH THEE IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE: IN THY LIGHT WE SHALL SEE LIGHT. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart. (Psalm 36:8-10)

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that GOD IS LIGHT, AND IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: BUT IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT, AS HE IS IN THE LIGHT, WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP ONE WITH ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST HIS SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:5)

So then, we can confidently pray:

As JESUS is THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: THE WAY; THE; TRUTH AND THE LIFE: AND with You, our Heavenly Father IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIFE (our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ): Also IN THY LIGHT (our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) WE SHALL SEE LIGHT. For You, our GOD IS LIGHT, AND IN YOU IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. So IF WE WALK IN THE LIGHT, AS HE (our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) IS IN (You) THE LIGHT, WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP ONE WITH ANOTHER, AND THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST (Your) SON CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.

When we walk with the Lord in the light oh His Word; then we are bold enough to attempt exploits that people like Elijah did: and more importantly to be able to totally depend on the Lord in these perilous end times.

“And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” (1Kings 18:35-37)

“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).

In the next post we will have a look at What a glory He sheds on our way!

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can be ready by getting to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

He alone is God; And He is God alone Part 2

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 2

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

We are still looking at the very important asset we need to have in these perilous times; in other to be able to keep our eyes set on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ – The Fear of The Lord. In this post we will conclude on why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; How  – “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” because He alone is God; And He is God alone.

As we said in our last post, sometimes when we have ceased to have our whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”, all the Lord does is to refer us back to some lessons we have learnt earlier but may have forgotten, often due to the wiles of the enemy being projected at us from all angles or when we allow fear (not a healthy fear of God this time) to have it’s way.

 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

The way our loving heavenly Father does this is to have the Holy Spirit help us by teaching us more about Him, assure us of His own unconditional love for us (The power of The Father’s Approval), remind us of the extra ordinary things our Father has done in the past and then teach us more about our Father’s Holy attributes: we will now conclude on the rest of His attributes:

The next set of attributes are:

God is Omnipotent –

The whole of creation declare the fact that all, I mean “all” power belong to Him; all power that was, that is and that is to be, belongs to God. Even from the very beginning right through the creation of all that exist, all  as the physicist declares, belongs to Him.  So, as the physicist also declares that energy transfer can be used to do work, so power is also the rate at which this work is performed; time here being from eternity to eternity –

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters………..Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Revelation 19:6).

He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills. God’s nature limits His will and as such He cannot do anything that is contrary to His being God, such as sin or ignore sin –

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalms 89:14).

There is nothing He cannot do except that which is contrary to His nature. There is no power that can confront Him or His children that is beyond Him: With His power he conquered sin and death. That’s why King David concluded –

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work” (Psalms 62:11-12).

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

This is the reason why we can have cast iron believe in His promises and when the enemy comes with his trials, we are able like Job to focus our attention on Him and not our own power to overcome and say –

“I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee” (Job 42:2):
God is Omnipresent –

As with His infinity He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once. No other has the ability to this –

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:23,24).

What a relief this is – to know that The One who watches over us can be anywhere our adversaries are at any point in time –

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

His presence everywhere means He is there even when man sins and no one is present and there is nowhere we can hide to sin that He is not present. The Psalmist observed –

“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there” (Psalm 139:8).
God is Omniscient –

Like God’s omnipresence, His Omniscience means that because He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, nothing can escape His knowledge. The fact that He is interwoven into everything and anything that exists means that nothing in the heavens, on earth, even underneath the ground escapes His knowledge  –

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5):

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10).

Just as He knows everything that can be known of all creatures great and small, even the number of hair on everyone’s head –

“Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18).

He knows our intensions and motives for all our actions. No surprise man keep trying to build a database that is as big as God’s (man’s struggle to “DO IT WITHOUT GOD”), but then –

“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men” (Psalm 33:13).
God is Love –

God’s love for us is just as and backed up by His attribute of being immutable – it cannot be wholly comprehended by man except through His Son Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. A.W. Tozer in “I talk back to the devil” tells us of the connection between God’s love and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he said:

“Brethren, it is well for us to remember that as human beings we can never know all of the Godhead. If we were capable of knowing all of the Godhead perfectly, we would be equal to the Godhead. For illustration, we know that we cannot pour an entire quart of water into a vessel which has a capacity of less than a quart. So you could never pour all of the Godhead into the experience of any being who is less than God Himself.

A similar kind of illustration was used long ago by ancient fathers in the church as they argued for the trinity of the Godhead. They pointed out that God the eternal Father is an infinite God, and He is love. The very nature of love is to give itself. But, the Father could not give His love fully to anyone not fully equal to Himself. Thus we have the revelation of the Son Who is equal to the Father and of the eternal Father pouring out His love into the son, who could contain it, because the Son is equal with the Father. Further, these ancient wise men reasoned, if the Father were to pour out His love into the Son, a medium of communication equal to both the Father and the Son would be required, and this was the Holy Ghost. So we have their concept of the Trinity –the ancient Father in the fullness of His love pouring Himself through the Holy Ghost who is in being equal to Him, into the Son who is in being equal to the Spirit and the Father”

God is love and that’s why the greatest power that man can possess is love –

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (I John 4:16).

But then real love (God’s agape Love) in the world we live in today would make anyone look naive and stupid; Real love as should be infused of by a bond servant of Christ, seems to be a strange phenomenon in the world we live in, even among the so called ‘men of God’. Real love as described by Apostle Paul –

“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”  (1 Tim. 1:3-7).

THE GOAL OF OUR COMMAND IS LOVE; that comes from a PURE HEART, GOOD CONSCIENCE AND SINCERE FAITH.

Now, If you look at these 3 components of love:

Pure heart – Hold no evil whatsoever against anyone.

Good Conscience – knowledge shows what is right or wrong, but it is the conscience that approves of what is right and disapproves of what is contrary to it.

Sincere Faith – no matter how bad it looks in reality, I have this hope that it shall be well – “substance of things hoped for; evidence of things not seen”.

To have these 3 qualities in the world we live in today qualifies you as being excellently naive. But then it is these three qualities that equip any living being with LOVE that is the greatest power on earth. Jesus warned us when describing the end of the ages –

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12.).

It is also said that –

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1John 4:18).

I have come to see the act of walking in love as one that can be compared to tightrope walking. Walk it through without falling, everyone applauds; but when the reality of learning to walk in love as in training for a tightrope walk show, you will sometimes fall off the rope at different points along the journey, and people will naturally jeer – it is a lowly point to be in, a point where one is vulnerable, a point where the ungodly sees a chance to take advantage, a point where you realise that

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

You do not just see this from afar off, and judge others, but more importantly come to the realisation of the fact that if not for the GRACE of God; ones own natural heart can be just as deceitful.

But as the saying goes “practice makes perfect” – Until we are able and have perfected the act of walking that tight rope (walking in God’s Agape Love) without falling off along the way; we just have to keep moving on; practising how to walk in this wonderful attribute of our creator putting into consideration the advice of His Son Jesus Christ when He said –

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

I Tosin, personally would rather be misunderstood to be naive than lack the power of God and continually have my whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”.

SO WHEN WE REALISE THAT:

God is Holy– This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil.
God is Life – He is the essence of the breathe of life
God is Spirit – It is impossible to see Him with human eyes, but through the eye of the spirit
God is Infinite – He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things.
God is Immutable – God cannot change because He is the beginning and end ‘Alpha & Omega’
God is Omnipotent – He has the ultimate power to do whatever He wills.
God is Omniscient – He knows all things that can be known in the past, present, future, so nothing can escape His knowledge
God is Omnipresent – He fills the whole of creation which makes it possible for Him to be present everywhere at once
God is Love – God’s love for us is just as His attribute of being immutable, it cannot change.

THEN WE CAN SEE WHY:

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:28-31).

What are you going through at this point in your life? Do you feel God cannot see your troubles? Or even if He sees them, He has decided to turn a blind eye? Or even worse still He is powerless to do anything about them? We all go through this but the solution is to always wait on Him. When we put our focus on who our God really is, the grace to trust Him is bestowed upon us;

“Thou wilt keep him in Perfect Peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Then we can be rest assured that when we wait upon Him, we can never, I repeat “never” be disappointed.

Ray C. Stedman asks about Isa. 40:28-31 in “WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD?”:

How many thousands through the centuries have taken those promises literally and found that to “wait upon the Lord” does this very thing. It all hinges on that one word, wait. Wait! The hardest word to learn in the language for some, especially young people. Wait. Let God work. The Hebrew word has a note of expectation about it: expect God to work, wait in expectation that God will move. It takes time, you cannot have it overnight, but they that wait upon the Lord shall find their own strength renewed. They shall find their spirit mounting up like the eagle in its flight, their souls able to run the gamut of emotions. They shall never be weary. And they shall walk (in body) and not faint.

What a wonderful God we serve.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can be strengthened by getting to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.

John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

Maintaining a Healthy Fear of God

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

We will have a short break in our look at the eternal purpose of God to look at a very important asset we need to have in these perilous times; in other to be able to keep our eyes set on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ – The Fear of The Lord.

What is the fear of the Lord? The fear of God is simply the reverential response, the submissive attitude that should be triggered by a revelation of God – A response of being totally and absolutely fixed on Him that follows any revelation of Him. In the times ahead of us, there will be a very serious need to have our whole being totally and absolutely “fixed on the Lord”

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

To be able to have one’s mind fixed on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and maintain it, one needs to have a holy and righteous fear of the Lord; a healthy fear that is borne out of an absolute and total trust in the Lord; an extra-ordinary, absolute and total trust that is a derivative of an unconditional love for Him, and an unconditional love that is steadied by knowing who our God is.

Sometimes when we are stuck, all the Lord does is to refer us back to some lessons we have learnt earlier but may have forgotten, often due to the wiles of the enemy being projected at us from all angles or when we allow fear (not the healthy fear of God this time) to have it’s way.

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

The way our loving heavenly Father does this is to have the Holy Spirit help us by teaching us more about Him, assure us of His own unconditional love for us (The power of His Approval): The Holy Spirit also reminds us of the extra ordinary things our Father has done in the past and then teaches us more about our Father’s Holy attributes:

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3,4)

“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.” (Rev. 15:4)

O’ Lord help us to continually grow in your knowledge, intimacy and confidence in the knowledge of Your attributes.

So we will start this mini series by having another look at a topic we dealt with in FORESIGHT OF THE MASTER PLANNER – The Glory of God Eph.1:3-6  

 

He alone is God; And He is God alone. Part 1

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

As we see before our very eyes, the warnings as given by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ about the end of the ages (Matthew 24) being played out; I will today like to say a word or two about some of the difficulties that confronts a person who finds him/her self in the situation Jesus warned us about when He said:

“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

So many people today still go to Church even more than twice a week or so but deep down inside they are beginning to ask the questions – is these all real? Am I getting anything from this? How do we deal with this situation? There is only one way to deal with the situation and that is to arm ourselves with the true knowledge of who our God really is.

Ray Stedman observed in The Olivet Discourse of Jesus 1963:

How then shall we characterize these events He (Jesus) outlines which are to occur in the intervening time before the end of the age is reached? They are of enormous importance to us for we live in this time before the end. If, as we have seen, the dominant note of this discourse is to warn against the allure of the false, the glamour of the phony, and to indicate the ease by which the uninformed may be led astray, then it is immediately evident that in these intervening events He is listing the perils of the age. These are the threats to faith, the powerful forces by which men and women, observing the events of their day, may be misled into confusion and error. These perils to faith are forces, deceptive in their character, which will mislead men throughout the whole course of this intervening time. They make it difficult to believe, they act powerfully upon men’s minds to turn them from the unseen spiritual kingdom to depend only upon the things of sense and time. Each peril, when once introduced, runs on to the end of the age.

These perils only have one and only one precursor, ‘Man trying to do it his way APART FROM GOD’ Just like Adam and Eve did. Looking at the whole situation even as a Christian could make a person ask if God is seeing all what is going on, and if he does, what is He doing about it? Or even, what can He do about it? Is He still in control? Who or what holds the earth together in the first place? Who is in control of the earth?

These questions (when asked by a Christian) could be concluded to be a sign of weariness or worst still unbelief: But the basic truth containing fundamental answers to these questions, are to be found in a sound understanding of who our God is. You know as a child you would think your dad is well able to have a fight with everyone else’s dad and win – until the day you meet someone whose dad is probably a heavy weight boxing champion; then even as a child, you start to think rationally.

This knowledge of our God which reveals His overall omniscience and absolute sovereignty in all aspects of His creation puts us on the right track– like the Prophet Isaiah asks:

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isa.40:28)

“Fainteth not, neither is weary” How can He be? If he is Spirit, life, infinite, immutable, the truth, love, eternal, holy, immortal, invisible, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.

I will pick up on a few of these attributes to show why He “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

God is Holy-
This is the pure loving nature of God separate from evil. This is our goal, to pursue this great attribute of God –“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16–25). For “this then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). “Wherefore we labour that . . we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9)

“We Labour” – against the instigations; then followed by the accusations of the enemy of our soul; we labour in this 21st century, where the enemy daily perfects his devices to make us walk in the opposite direction to the holiness and righteousness of God; but our loving Father, instead of unleashing His wrath, the manifestation of His holy, moral character against sin upon us at a time when we fall short (unlike man’s unholy anger, it is neither impersonal nor acts on impulse); gives us the opportunity to consider our ways and confidently take hold of His word and confess that: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

Then we can face our accuser and exclaim: “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me” (Micah 7:8).

Oswald Chambers captures this better –

“Wherefore we labour . . . .” It is arduous work to keep the master ambition in front. It means holding one’s self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to be “accepted of Him.” It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of labouring to keep the ideal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not heed the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.

Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being “approved unto God” may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says – “Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under.” (1 Cor. 9:27.)

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without any cessation. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my master ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble? ”

God is Spirit –
It is impossible to see Him with human eyes – His sending of His only begotten Son demonstrates His existence and desire to be sought by His creatures. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24)

God is Life –
He is the essence of the breathe of life; it is a gift from Him that is (if lived in fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ) is not interrupted by physical death but attains perfection and full reality in eternal fellowship with Him the giver. God is unlike idols; He is the creator; He created His worshipers and not created by His worshipers –

“But our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.” (Psalm 115:3-9)

God is Infinite –
He is, if I may say, interwoven into all things. It is said of His Son Jesus –

“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col. 1:15-17):

“The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:2-3).

King David observed –

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded.” (I Kings 8:27).

That’s why –

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24):

If this is the case –

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

God is Immutable –
Change takes place by moving from one point or state to another – it has a beginning and end; God cannot change because He is the ‘Alpha & Omega’ (the Beginning and the End); He exists from eternity to eternity.

“But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:27): “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. (James 1:17)

Have you listened to Him say:

“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed”  (Malachi 3:6).

Because:
“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18).

In the next post we will find out why “Fainteth not, neither is weary”; and “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength”.

You might say – “Why do I have to know and experience this Father you are going on about” Here is why, when and how you can be ready by getting to know Him.

Admit your spiritual need.

We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.

What is the result of sin?

In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.

Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life’s greatest high.

What must a person do to accept this gift?

Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states –“come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.

If you haven’t already received Christ as your Saviour, don’t put it off another day! Take time right now to reflect on the state of your life, how does Romans 3:23 apply to you? Ask God to empower you to see the true state of your heart – “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then when enabled, invite Jesus into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:

Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.

The book of Romans is the most basic, comprehensive statement of true Christianity. This page explores the relevance of Romans to our world today. As it deals with the morally deficient individual (as illustrated in Cityboy Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile-Geraint Anderson which describes life within the square mile of the city of London, the bankers haven), so does it deal with the morally astute person; who wants to please God by their own works. Travel with us on this interesting highway.