Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Unrestricted Grasp

Philippians 2:6 - "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,"

What are we grasping for today? Our grasp will only be restricted by our reach. If we are truly reaching for the things of God, then we have acknowledged we are not God and have need of the Savior. However, if we are grasping for those things which are selfishly desired, then we have not emptied ourselves regarding our fleshly desire to be our own gods. Jesus understood perfectly what the Father desired. He emptied Himself of any agenda other than that of His loving Daddy and He achieved the pronouncement, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased," by so doing.

Our grasp will always be symptomatic of our desire. What we truly love, we will pursue. Our pursuits will always be out-stripped, well beyond our grasp, if we seek things for ourselves. Conversely, if we persevere, we will overtake and possess those things God desires for us through His will.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Residual Return

Hosea 12:6 - "Therefore, return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for your God continually."

If we ever get to the point as Christians when we say we have no need to return to God, then we have set ourselves up in the place of the Pharisees. God the Father told us to be holy and perfect, for He is holy and perfect (Leviticus 19:2). So, to believe we have somehow arrived and we have come to this perfect place of sanctification and holiness is to believe the lie perpetrated since Lucifer challenged God for Lordship. However, this is usually done in much more subtle ways. We might say, "I am a pretty good Christian. I go to prayer meeting plus Sunday services and also work with the kids sometimes." Once we start justifying our so-called position in life we lose our connection with our position in Christ.

If we are truly dead to self and our old ways, we will know we must continue to return to God every time a thought like this arises. Remember, beloved, a rock when dropped will only fall towards its center which is the earth. It is the law of gravity. The law of love tells us we must fall into the arms of the Savior. Otherwise, to prevent this fall only means we have fallen from grace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Call to Suffer

Philippians 1:29 - "For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,"

Suffering will always result in loss. If we are not suffering for Christ's sake as believers, then possibly we have believed a false gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ says we will put others at enmity with us when we seek to follow Christ and His teachings. It has never been the heritage of the children of God to get along with everyone in this world. We will not necessarily "get along" with those who feel guilty because of their immoral lifestyles since we do not condone them. Acceptance does not mean we embrace someone's lifestyle choices. Instead, it means we still love them with Christ's love yet not compromise the word of God.

Remember, beloved, faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy (Proverbs 27:6). We will suffer for Christ's sake if we are living according to the true Gospel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Obedient Joy

Mark 3:13 - "And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him."

When we come near to God in those mountaintop moments, He will always seek to draw us closer to Himself. In these instances, it will be our choice to come or not. What will it cost us? Ourselves -- vanquished on the windswept expanses of the peaks of God's delights. When we experience His calling and our coming, we must be careful to then carry out what He desires. If we believe God has just called us into fellowship with Him on the mountain and will not require something of us, then we have not come to know the Lord as we should.

Too often, the joy of the mountaintop is aborted early because we refuse to follow through with the next level of obedience. The call of God and our coming to Him is often irresistible. However, the going out from Him with a new knowledge to obey can easily meet resistance by the self we should have left on the windswept peak. Beloved of God, may we hear His voice, come at His calling, and go down from the mountain with the joy of obedience.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who Do We Trust?

Job 15:15 - “Behold, He puts no trust in His holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in His sight;"

For the Lord to trust in anyone or anything other than Himself would make Him less than God. Holiness along with all His other attributes emanate from Him only. This fact dismisses any possibility that something or something else could be trusted for salvation.

Simply stated, if we are trusting in any other than Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, along with the Father and Holy Spirit for our salvation we are deceived. In so doing, we have lifted ourselves up to that place where Satan fell, saying that he was his own god. God will never put His uncompromising trust in angels or even in those He calls His children. To do so would mean He is less than God. As sons and daughters of God we will always be pure in His sight through the blood of Jesus. However, in our daily walk with Him we must continue to trust God implicitly. For in so doing we become a little more purified while upon this earth.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Graceful Words

Ephesians 4:29 - "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

Do we attract people to our words allowing God's grace to build up rather than tear down? Or do we detract from our conversations by the space we create through our negativity? Demonstrating Christ within us will be most powerfully witnessed through our speech. Paul tells us that if we are opening our mouths, it had better be for the sake of others rather than to take life from these. Beloved, we steal from those we converse with if we are not bringing life to the conversation. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue.

God will not sanctify our lips nor our tongue. These are our own members which we need to bring under His Lordship. Until we do, we may find ourselves as James describes -- a fountain sending forth both fresh and bitter water (James 3:11). We must guard our lips, seeking to speak only those things that will provide faith, hope, and love to the hearer. May all our words be carefully spoken, for Jesus tells us every careless word will be brought before the Judge on that final day (Matthew 12:36).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Though He Slay Me

Job 13:15 - “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him."

The difference between Job and Peter concerning their resolve to die for their Lord were their respective crucifixions. While Job lived millennia before Christ's sacrifice, he understood how death to self and trust in God was the great difference. When Peter proclaimed his allegiance to Jesus and said boldly he was ready to die for His Lord, he was only part right. He would indeed die for Jesus, but he would only truly begin this journey of death after understanding crucifixion. From that point on, it became a selfless adventure toward his inevitable fate.

Job was on the other side of crucifixion and knew his life meant nothing without God. Are we like Peter before the cross, trying to choose the place of our death? Or are we like Job who no longer sees himself as his friends did in their misunderstanding of his intent. Once we bow to crucifixion and our old man of self-centeredness, then we will we say like Job it matters not where or when we die -- we are God's no matter the outcome.