Monday, July 6, 2015

Overcoming the World

I John 5:4 - "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."

This is a troubling statement John makes if this benchmark is applied to most of western Christendom. If we take an honest look at the church in America, are we overcoming the world or is the world overcoming us? We can make a lot of excuses why much of the church looks no different than the world. Or, we might say that we are waiting for Jesus Christ to appear to set all things right. Then, we say, the church will overcome the world! It is hogwash to believe that overcoming only happens upon Christ's return. If we are not overcoming now, then something is amiss.

Are we truly born again? We will all struggle against sin in one degree or another whether we are or not. However, if we are not steadily pushing back the enemy then we may want to relook at whether we have truly been born of God. Surrender, repentance, and the power of the Holy Spirit are all characteristics of a believer who is overcoming the world. When God finds spiritual soldiers with these credentials, the world will once again be turned upside down for Jesus.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Are We From God?

I John 4:4 - "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

The new birth is the most remarkable event that any of us can experience. It is secured for every man, woman, and child. However, few will receive God's great gift because of the enemy's great deception. Satan overcomes the majority of the human race, not through overt evil, but through his lie that they are good enough for both heaven and earth. Therefore, they are in agreement only with their own soul and the evil one, rather than what the Lord says about them.

Only those who have accepted Jesus' great gift have the opportunity to live as a true overcomer. We may conquer alcoholism, drug addiction, anger, jealously, or any number of other sins of the flesh. However, until we accept God's gift of salvation we will never know victory that will last through eternity.

We are either from God or from the devil, beloved. If we have not surrendered to Jesus, then we have surrendered to the evil one. May we all look to Jesus today ... there is no lasting victory without Him.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

True Freedom

Galatians 5:16 - This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (KJV)

The reason why more Christians are not experiencing victorious living is determined on allegiance. Many have chosen to live under the tyranny of the flesh, disavowing God and all His goodness. Instead of walking with the Lord, they have run toward the things of this world and the lusts thereof. They have practiced evil instead of pursuing righteousness. That is the reason our country is in the deep, dark dilemma it faces. We have put our hand in the one who seeks to destroy us rather than the One who would give us life and liberty.

To really understand freedom, we must first be free individually. Then, collectively, we must cry out to God and against sin and say, "This far and no more!" Until we live for Christ in our homes, it will never happen in our country. May God captivate us and cause us to desire to walk with Him. For if we heed not His call, we will instead crawl with despair through life as our captors continue to enslave us.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Faith and Love

I John 3:23 - And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (KJV)

Philosophically, it is quite easy to say that we should love one another. However, to love as God commands takes every bit of heaven and nothing of this earth. True love from the Father is born in belief "in the name of His son Jesus Christ." Anything other than the love which has been poured out within our hearts by the Holy Spirit is merely sympathetic emotionalism (Romans 5:5). We need God to energize our love otherwise it will wane like any other feeling or emotion.

When we are really ready to live as Christ desires, then we will begin to understand that faith and love are inseparable. When faith springs up in us, then love for God and our fellow man will become the outworking of our belief. Beware of faith without love. While love without faith is purely unsustainable emotionalism, faith without love is dead religion.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

To God be the Glory

John 5:44 - How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (KJV)

This penetrating, rhetorical question by the Lord Jesus nonetheless requires an answer by us all. How is it possible to come to Jesus on anything but His terms? There is no bargaining with God. He will either have all the glory or none. Even as Cain offered a half-hearted sacrifice, we must be careful to constantly be giving our best to Him (Hebrews 11:4). This means laying down our lives daily.

The writer of Hebrews stated that all who come to God must first believe "He is" and then that He rewards faith (Hebrews 11:6). It is impossible to come to God, in faith, if we are trying to keep back some of His glory for ourselves. We must lay our ministries, our families, our businesses, our jobs, our education, and anything else before the Lord and say, "If I am not bringing glory to you in these areas, then change it today!" Everything must be surrendered to Him before we can truly enter in by faith to God’s reward of peace of joy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Spirit and Truth Worship

John 4:24 - God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (KJV)

Jesus proclaimed the way to true worship of Himself and His Father to the Samaritan woman. It is impossible to worship God with merely good intentions or fleshly enthusiasm. This type of behavior is best left to sports arenas. However, when God is helping us through His Holy Spirit, there may indeed be a joyous shout or a dance to confirm His presence. However, what we must discern is the truthfulness of our actions. Both of the aforementioned displays of emotion are scriptural in the context of God's Spirit moving through us.

Those who do not know the Savior will often attempt to worship God in the "spirit" that has become most familiar. However, if they do not know Jesus, then they are merely following a familiar spirit that is not of God. Unless we are surrendered to the truth of the Gospel, we cannot worship the Lord in spirit and truth. It is an impossibility. May we all humbly look to God and His scriptures and worship Him according to His word for this is His delight.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

God's Darling

Song of Solomon 1:15 - Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes. (KJV)

When we have the faith to look God square in the face, He then responds to how beautiful we are in His eyes. Those who wallow in the guilt of their sin cannot understand God's captivating gaze at us if we are continually looking at ourselves. He is our glory and the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3). We must allow Him to do so.

Have we turned away from God in disgust of our sins? We will never know what He really thinks of us until we allow Him to lift our chin and stare into His beautiful face. Then, we will see an expression of love and joy for His beloved that cannot be expressed in words. There is no more holy place than that of the bride looking into the eyes of the Bridegroom. Beloved, God desires us to practice His presence here and look to Him, recognizing His pleasure for us. This is the place of true abiding.