Israel’s Faithfulness Recalled


Our God’s Desires Revealed


Shortly before Israel was destroyed and taken captive by King Nebakanezer of Babylon, God wanted to show His people what He really wanted;

their love.


He raised up Jeremiah to go to the people and remind them of His love for them and how His heart was broken.

God wanted Jeremiah to tell the people of Israel that all was not lost in spite of their long history of sin and rebellion.

The first words Jeremiah was given to speak were:


Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem,

saying,

Thus sayeth the Lord;

I remember thee,

the kindness of thy youth,

the love of thine espousals,

when thou wentest after me

in the wilderness,

in a land that was not sewn.

Israel was holiness unto the LORD,

and the firstfruits of his increase:

~ Jeremiah 2:2-3 a


This is one of the most beautiful and sad expressions of God’s love toward us (the children of the promise) ever written.

God also included those who would not inherit the promise because His love extends to all but especially to those who believe.


That is why we labor and strive,

because we have put our hope in the living God,

who is the Savior of all people,

and especially of those who believe.

~ 1 Timothy 4:10


The Lord gave us a rare glimpse into His heart and how we, as His children, hurt Him so, when we chose to walk in sin and rebellion rather than submerge our lives into His waters of refreshing and enduring love.

When we as Christians sin, we grieve the heart of God and trample upon the blood of the Captain of our salvation.

He came to set us free, yet so many of us remain in the bondage of iniquity.

Israel’s glorious deliverance did not last long because they soon fell, in the Wilderness of Sin. It was their unbelief and doubt in the sufficiency of God that caused them to backslide.

Do you believe God can meet all of your needs and keep you from that which separates us from Him? He promises to keep us from falling into temptation that leads to sin if we faithfully believe.

In 1 Corinthians 10, the context of Jeremiah’s message is captured beautifully.
It shows that after repentance, not only are we not to fall back into sin:

but there is also no excuse if we do and we will be subject to the consequences of God not being pleased with us if we continue to do wickedness.

God loves us too much to give His children back over to sin after He died and set them free from it. 


For I do not want you to be unaware,

brethren,

that our fathers were all under the cloud

and all passed through the sea;

and all were baptized into Moses

in the cloud and in the sea;

and all ate the same spiritual food;

and all drank the same spiritual drink,

for they were drinking from a spiritual rock

which followed them;

and the rock was Christ.

Nevertheless,

with most of them God was not well-pleased;

for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened

as examples for us,

so that we would not crave

evil things as they also craved.

Do not be idolaters,

as some of them were;

as it is written,

“The PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK,

AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”

Nor let us act immorally,

as some of them did,

and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.

Nor let us try the Lord,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the serpents.

Nor grumble,

as some of them did,

and were destroyed by the destroyer.

Now these things happened to them

as an example,

and they were written for our instruction,

upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

Therefore,

let him who thinks he stands

take heed lest he fall.

No temptation has overtaken you

but such as is common to man;

and God is faithful,

who will not allow you to be tempted

beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation

will provide the way of escape,

so that you will be able to endure it.

 Therefore, my beloved,

flee from idolatry.

I speak as to wise men;

you judge what I say.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:1-15


If we are baptized into Jesus’ death and born anew by His life giving Holy Spirit, we are given a way to endure any and all temptation that leads to sin.

We don’t need sin, we need God.


And God is able to bless you abundantly,

so that in all things at all times,

having all that you need,

you will abound in every good work.

~ 2 Corinthians 9:8


We must remain fully consecrated to what God wants to work mightily in us.

It is free and it is real if only we seek and believe with all our heart and DO NOT DOUBT.


if any of you lacks wisdom,

let him ask of God,

who gives to all generously

and without reproach,

and it will be given to him.

But he must ask in faith

without any doubting,

for the one who doubts

is like the surf of the sea,

driven and tossed by the wind.

For that man ought not to expect

that he will receive anything from the Lord,

being a double-minded man,

unstable in all his ways.

~ James 1:5-8


The following is one of the most beautiful of all prayers Paul made for us that describes the power that God wants to imbue in us.


That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of glory,

may give unto you the spirit of wisdom

and revelation

in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;

that ye may know

what is the hope of his calling,

and what the riches of the glory

of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness

of his power to us-ward who believe,

according to the working of his mighty power,

Which he wrought in Christ,

when he raised him from the dead,

and set him at his own right hand

in the heavenly places,

Far above all principality, and power,

and might, and dominion,

and every name that is named,

not only in this world,

but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet,

and gave him to be the head

over all things to the church,

Which is his body,

the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

~ Ephesians 1:17-23


Here we are told unequivocally that God can and does give to us all the power we need to serve Him in holiness and righteousness and not in sin.


When considering the our bridegroom, in Jeremiah 2:2-3, and the passages above, we can know and do exactly what He wants.


He wants us to remember the kindness, fidelity, innocence, and beauty that we experienced when we first experienced His wonderful work of salvation.

He wants us to continue to chase after him and grab hold of Him with the love of an innocent child. 


My Prayer for You


 

Let us completely rely on His grace, believing with all our hearts, that drinking in His purifying love will keep us spotless and unblemished, blameless and pure, innocent and whole; through all that parched and dark wilderness this world of sin and death can bring.


Ask God to Help You


He wants us all to be beautiful, enduring, and fruitful branches happily growing out of the riches of His living waters that spring from his Vine of eternal love.

If You Love Me . . . Part 3

The Commandments


The title of this post, makes me think of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20:2-17. Surely these are implied in the commandments we are supposed to keep according to Jesus.

These commandments have a very specific nature and a new name, which will be discussed at a later point.


If you love me,

keep my commandments.

~ John 14:15


So, how do we show our love for Him?

I am afraid that we have been so indoctrinated with the belief that we are saved by faith through faith alone, to the exclusion of works having no part of our salvific faith. 

This bias against some of scriptural instruction that supports works as part of our faith comes out of the Christian reformation.

Martin Luther was key in helping the church separate from the misuses of scripture that the religious powers of the day propagated. But Martin Luther tried to do some other things as well.

He wanted to remove the books of Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation from the Bible. His personal view of salvation by faith alone caused disdain for parts of God’s word, forced him to ignore other parts, and attempt to discredit entire sections of the Bible.

Holding to a doctrine that makes one want to omit God’s word speaks volumes. Nowadays we usually just gloss over those verses, say they do not apply, or ignore their exegetical implications.


Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation elaborated many doctrinal principles found in the gospels and the rest of the epistles. As a result many who hold to a view similar to Luther’s use modern hermeneutic principles associated with their doctrine at the expense of exegesis.

I am by no means an expert or even seriously informed in these two disciplines. Neither will we go into the details of hermeneutics or exegesis here.

Let me just say that as we read scripture, we dare not exclude anything that has apparent contradictions with other scripture or complicates our personal doctrine.

That is exactly what Luther was doing when he proclaimed his doctrine of salvation by faith alone.

Everything in scripture is true and in complete agreement with every jot and tittle found in the Bible. That is the only way to interpret scripture although we may come to different conclusions.

My general rule is, that scripture must be interpreted literally and consistently with the whole counsel of scripture and can only be applied allegorically when a literal interpretation is not reasonable.

I like what George Allen Turner says about exegesis: “Theology should be the result of scientific exegesis rather than determining the exegesis.” (via predetermined doctrinal, hermeneutic principles)


What about Old Law?


The first question is, do we have to follow any of the old testament laws, holidays, or ordinances? I have been doing a lot of studying about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter; particularly their origins.

In this research, I came across Gentiles who follow the Torah and believe in Jesus. Their historical information about the Pagan origins of the above mentioned holidays are accurate but their teaching others to follow their instructions does not mesh with scripture.

To teach Gentiles that they are suppose to follow Torah, or Old Testament law in order to be obedient to Jesus’ commands falls into the same category condemned in scripture as quoted below.

We have already observed that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. But what does this mean?


The early Christians were all Jewish and they religiously practiced O.T. principles such a dietary laws, fasting, feast days, Sabbaths, and sacrificial offerings.

There were basically no Gentiles or Gentile Christian practices in existence until 8 years after the church was born at Pentecost. This caused a problem when the Gentiles entered the church.


Then fourteen years

after I went up again to Jerusalem

with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 

And I went up by revelation,

and communicated unto them that gospel

which I preach among the Gentiles,

but privately to them which were of reputation,

lest by any means I should run,

or had run, in vain. 

But neither Titus, who was with me,

being a Greek,

was compelled to be circumcised:

~ Galatians 2:1-3


This incident shows that the spiritual Jewish believers did not try to make Gentiles follow their laws. Both Barnabas and Titus were accepted as proper and genuine disciples of Christ.

Circumcision was clearly not a requirement. To teach gentiles to do so was severely rebuked.


And certain men which came down from Judaea

taught the brethren, and said,

Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,

ye cannot be saved.

~ Acts 15:1

————-

Forasmuch as we have heard,

that certain which went out from us

have troubled you with words,

subverting your souls, saying,

Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:

to whom we gave no such commandment:

~ Acts 15:24

————-

Brothers and sisters,

if I am still preaching circumcision,

why am I still being persecuted?

In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

~ Galatians 5:11

————-

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh,

they constrain you to be circumcised;

only lest they should suffer persecution

for the cross of Christ.

~ Galatians 6:12


The Jews had not yet begun to be persecuted. They remained privileged in the Roman empire. The Christians on the other hand were being persecuted severely (mostly by the Jews) and some were beginning to follow Jewish ways in order to avoid persecution.

We Christians are called to be persecuted.  This should be expected and received with joy.


Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus

shall suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12

————-

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian,

let him not be ashamed;

but let him glorify God on this behalf.

~ 1 Peter 4:16


If we are not to compromise our faith by accepting traditions or practices of the Jews, is it okay to practice them?

I suppose if a Gentile wanted to practice Jewish ways, they could but I don’t think it is profitable or wise to try to associate oneself with Judaism in the context of a proselyte.

That being said, the law and Jewish practices are invaluable in their intended purpose to point us to Christ but fail completely when used as a part of saving faith.


But before faith came,

we were kept under the law,

shut up unto the faith

which should afterwards be revealed. 

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster

to bring us unto Christ,

that we might be justified by faith. 

But after that faith is come,

we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ

have put on Christ. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither bond nor free,

there is neither male nor female:

for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

And if ye be Christ’s,

then are ye Abraham’s seed,

and heirs according to the promise.

~ Galatians 3:23-29


What does scripture say about the Law here? That it was a tutor, a school master leading us to Christ. The whole O.T. did this. That is why it is so important to study and know its significance.

I personally think Christians could benefit greatly by learning about and experiencing all of the Jewish feast holidays.

They teach of Christ, and are derived from biblical truths rather than the mixing of pagan elements found in Christian holidays.


There are some O.T. commandments that we are commanded to follow. And if we love Jesus, that is exactly what we will do.


For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost,

and to us,

to lay upon you no greater burden

than these necessary things; 

that ye abstain from meats offered to idols,

and from blood, and from things strangled,

and from fornication:

from which if ye keep yourselves,

ye shall do well.

Fare ye well.

~ Acts 15:28-30


if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.


Acts 15:28 indicates that the Apostles were in agreement and obeying the Holy Spirit. These were the original leaders of the Church. Paul and the Gentile leadership submitted to their authority.

We would be wise to do the same. 

if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.

These O.T. commands are layering upon the words of Jesus found in John 14:15.

Consider this:

If we do not keep ourselves, we shall not do well, we will be disobedient to the Holy Spirit’s instructions and choosing to sin against God. We are commanded to abstain from the things listed above in the N.T.

That is why Christianity should separate its practices from those of the world. For the world cannot keep from disobeying God. It is built upon the foundation of sin.


abstain from meats offered to idols


At the surface, this seems pretty clear but Paul add some clarity to the subject.


But meat commendeth us not to God:

for neither, if we eat, are we the better;

neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 

But take heed lest by any means

this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock

to them that are weak. 

For if any man see thee which hast knowledge

sit at meat in the idol’s temple,

shall not the conscience of him which is weak

be emboldened to eat those things

which are offered to idols; 

and through thy knowledge

shall the weak brother perish,

for whom Christ died? 

But when ye sin so against the brethren,

and wound their weak conscience,

ye sin against Christ. 

Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend,

I will eat no flesh while the world standeth,

lest I make my brother to offend.

~ 1 Corinthians 8:8-13


Here Paul explains the ordinance of abstaining from meat offered to idols. He gives five criteria. Mind you, there is no contradiction between the to sets of instructions from Acts and Corinthians.

  1. Outside its effect on others, the type of food we eat plays no role in our relation to God; to abstain does no harm, to partake gives no advantage.
  2. Even though we have liberty to eat anything, we should not eat or do anything that would cause a weaker brethren to sin.
  3. If through our knowledge we eat, and cause a weaker brother’s conscience to be emboldened to sin, and he goes to hell as a result, his blood is on our hands.

  4. When we do this, we sin against our brethren, wound them, and are sinning against Christ.

  5. If food offered to idols make a brother sin, we should abstain from ever eating it again if it makes a brother to sin.

I would add that this principle should be considered whenever we think, say, or do anything. We do not want to cause another to be emboldened in their conscience to sin against God.

These scriptures use the word brethren indicating a fellow Christian. Think about this, a non-believer today could be a believer tomorrow. So, we really need to be careful with everyone if we are to love our neighbor as our self.

Jesus gives us an even stronger warning against the principle of sinning against God by causing others to fall into stumble because of our actions.


But whoso shall offend

one of these little ones which believe in me,

it were better for him that a millstone

were hanged about his neck,

and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offences! f

or it must needs be that offences come;

but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

~ Matthew 18:6-7


and from blood, and from things strangled,


From blood and things strangled are both related to the consuming of blood and predate the Mosaic law. This prohibition comes from the covenant God made with Noah after the flood.

But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood

~ Genesis 9:4

With this command, we see that the life of the animal is in the blood. According to God, consuming blood is akin to eating an animal alive. The sanctity of life is why this is prohibited.

We are not to consume any type of blood. This command is repeated in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 3 times in Acts. It is commanded through all three dispensations, Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian.


Therefore I said to the children of Israel,

You shall not eat the blood of any flesh,

for the life of all flesh is its blood.

Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Leviticus 17:14

————-

Only you shall not eat the blood;

you shall pour it on the earth like water.

~ Deuteronomy 12:16


Eating Habits


 From a practical viewpoint, there are clearly some foods that are forbidden: blood sausage, blood pudding, drinking of blood, or dishes containing significant quantities of blood.

In 1 Corinthians 10:25, Paul says, 


Whatsoever is sold in the shambles,

that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:25


Paul does not mean to purchase blood stained products such as strangled meat. Meat not drained of blood has a distinct and recognizable color and texture.

I know this because I have slaughtered many types of animals and have found parts containing blood that did not drain. This meat also has a distinct taste and cooks differently when saturated with blood.

It is also safe to assume that Paul did not mean to eat rotten meat, or organs containing fecal matter or stomach contents either. His instruction are reasonable and in accordance with the whole counsel of scripture on this subject.

The context appears to apply to purchasing food or eating food provided by others.

According to the FDA, meats sold in America are all drained of blood.


and from fornication:


This instruction is to abstain from sexual immorality. The New Testament provides so much instruction on this subject. Here are three samples. This command also predates mosaic law.

Rampant sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah was one of the reasons they were destroyed in Genesis. God also spoke of it before the flood when the Sons of God took wived of daughters of men.


 I wrote unto you in an epistle

not to company with fornicators: 

yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world,

or with the covetous, or extortioners,

or with idolaters;

for then must ye needs go out of the world. 

But now I have written unto you

not to keep company,

if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator,

or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer,

or a drunkard, or an extortioner;

with such an one no not to eat.

~ 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

————-

 Marriage is honourable in all,

and the bed undefiled:

but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

~ Hebrews 13:4

————

But the fearful, and unbelieving,

and the abominable, and murderers,

and whoremongers, and sorcerers,

and idolaters, and all liars,

shall have their part in the lake

which burneth with fire and brimstone:

which is the second death.

~ Revelation 21:8


There has never been a time when sexual immorality was not considered an exclusionary sin (a sin that causes one to perish). Sexual immorality has always been a part of Gentile or heathen cultures.

We are not to tolerate fornication in in this life. God will not tolerate those who practice it in the next. We are not to have close friends or spend time socializing who fornicators who claim to be Christians.

At the same time we are to love those lost in sin and be light to a dark and dying world.


I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 

but shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judæa,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance.

~ Acts 26:19-20


We too must not be disobedient to our heavenly calling in Christ and obey His commandments in love. We now understand what carries over from the O.T. and why they are important.

We will discuss further what it means to love Jesus and keep His commandments in the next post.


And the Lord God formed man

of the dust of the ground,

and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;

and man became a living soul.

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden;

and there he put the man whom he had formed.

~ Genesis 2:7-8


 

The Obedience of Faith

Paul uses this phrase only twice in scripture; once in Romans 1:5 and once in Romans 16:26.

Reason leads one to believe that he explains the meaning of this phrase on the context of the chapter between these two verses.

This is exactly what he does.


The Two Phrases


By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations,

for his name:

~ Romans 1:5

————-

Now to him that is of power to stablish you

according to my gospel,

and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

according to the revelation of the mystery,

which was kept secret since the world began, 

but now is made manifest,

and by the scriptures of the prophets,

according to the commandment of the everlasting God,

made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

~ Romans 16:25-26


In the Greek (eis hupakoen pisteos) “for obedience of (or ‘to the’) faith” literally means, ‘to the obedience of faith.’

Instead of explaining the context of this holy command (for that would take a small book). I am going to give my heartfelt understanding underlying the motive and the necessity to lay hold of this command and to take it faithfully to the end.


First, let’s discuss a little about Paul’s literary style.

In the first example, Paul writes, ‘By whom we have received grace and apostleship.’

Paul often times uses the word ‘we’ when he is fervently sharing in his blessings, persecutions, or curse.

When Jesus met Paul on the road to Damascus, he was given the gift of grace while simultaneously receiving the gift and calling of apostleship. For him they are inseparable.

He was writing to the church in Rome who certainly were not called to be apostles but were given the gift of grace.


Just like God who so loved the world that he not only gave His only begotten son, He also shares with us all the blessings bestowed upon His creation, i.e., rainbows, the Bible, Holy Spirit, etc. God’s grace is so abundant that it overflows everywhere;  pouring out a river of opportunity to any soul who will heed redemption’s call.

Paul’s apostleship and grace are examples of this. He shared with the church throughout the ages the love of God that was unfolded in him to the furtherance and completion of the gospel world-wide the end as written by John in Revelation.

Just like Romans 7 when Paul cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death?’

Here ‘body’ (soma) refers to the sinful nature of self that is sold to, under the sway, and power of sin.

When Paul wrote Romans, he was no longer under sin’s power since he was wholly saved and freed from sin by the power of God. But this was not the case before the precious blood of Jesus cleansed him from sin and guilt.

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.

~ Romans 6:6-7

In Romans 7, he was sharing his experience of living under the law as a Pharisee, unregenerate, and bound to the law of sin and death. When he wrote this, he was freed from the law of sin and death and was resting in the Grace of God. He was writing to those who know the law and it implications as well as those who have not crucified the flesh through entire sanctification and still struggle when ‘the old man’ rears its head in their heart.

He shared the whole process of realizing God’s holy work when he was suffering under the bondage and power of sin to the road to Damascus and how he would eventually reveal the fact that the ‘old man’ can be completely put to death and crucified in Christ. We must strive to walk in complete obedience of faith lighted by Jesus and pioneered by the apostles.

Then and only then can we be overcomers; truly dead to sin and alive in Christ.

This is how God works: Everywhere the gospel is preached . . . it is preached to those in the bondage of sin. Rarely, are those who preach preaching from a pure heart  free indeed from the reins of sin and bound and yoke of sin.

Throughout the ages this has been Christianity’s dilemma but Paul and a few others have shown us a more excellent way.

He shared in our sin,

so we can share in His suffering.

and rest in the hope,

that one day we’ll be counted worthy,

and join in holy union,

with Him for all eternity.

~ D


This my friend is the big picture of the overflowing, bountiful Love of God through the obedience of faith.

Okay. So, we see what God is sacrificing and sharing with us; He calls us to share with Him and give every bit of our self in obedience to His service.

A God that loves us so much to create a universe, provide a perfect salvation plan in case we mess up His perfect creation: And then, we not only mess up ourselves, we mess up every other creature and plant on the planet, and the very universe in which it exists. All because of our sinful disobedience.

Is it any wonder He commands us to stop (sinning): to cease from all willful transgressions of His law? To live a righteous life, for all unrighteousness is sin: And, to have a simple childlike faith, for anything not done in faith is sin.


There you have in a nutshell. The meaning and importance of ‘our obedience of faith’ is to submit uncompromisingly to the Lordship of Christ. If this is the case in your life; Glory to God! Keep fighting the good fight. Weary not in well doing for great is your reward in heaven.

If this is not the case in your life, then please read my post on ‘Stand in the Ancient Path.’ In it is a story of a Christian, who believing, being baptized, and following after the apostles, who was told by Peter that he would perish in Hell if he did not repent of his sin and get his mind, life, heart and nature right with God.


I apologize if the words in this post seem strong, course, or harsh. They were pulled from my heart in this fashion for a reason I know not of.

They are far from the beauty and sweetness of many who write of the things of God.

On that note, this is what has been singing in my soul all the day long today. May the words ring true in your heart.


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word;

Just to rest upon His promise,

And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

—-

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

—-

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to trust His cleansing blood;

And in simple faith to plunge me

’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

—-

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just from sin and self to cease;

Just from Jesus simply taking

Life and rest, and joy and peace.

—-

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,

Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;

And I know that Thou art with me,

Wilt be with me to the end.


Through preaching and study of the word; the mystery of the ages has been made known to you and me.

God has commanded us to obey the faith He has given us. He is more than able to establish and keep us in this faith. May you learn of Him more dearly; remembering and cherishing His love, wholly unto the end. For it is His love only that we are called to have and obey. 

Compare your life with the life of the believer found in the beatitudes and see how you match up to the obedience that God expects from all who claim His precious name. God would not tell us how to live without providing a way for us to do it. I pray that God provides the grace to enable you to do just as He commands.


I am reminded of a title from one of Chick’s tracts, ‘This was Your Life.’

Jesus said, you are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect. “

Distractions 

Mostly all of us get distracted by  something in our lives; worldly interests, sports, a hobbie, career aspirations, or even blogging.

Our lifestyle choices can inhibit or facilitate God’s ability to influence and guide our lives.

When our choices inhibit God, He is not pleased. God is a jealous God wanting our affections to be holy and pure, like Him.

I had sincerely consecrated my life to our Lord recently and my life choices were in His way. He found me out and searched my inward parts. If you love him with all your capacity and allow Him completely in, He will have a way, a perfect and holy way of finding you out too.

He wants to reveal the intrusions of our will over His and always uses the light of His chastisement to lead you home . . . If you let Him.

Hebrews 12: 5b – 13 . . . 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. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

God wants holy, reverent, and deeply obedient children. If your desire is to serve Him: then disobedience, distractions, the deep sin within needs to be rooted out and put away. This is only one fruit of His chastisement: the beginning of our righteousness in Him:

1 John 1:2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Children are young and undeveloped. God forbid we develop our Christianity living in and practicing sin. This is what I have done over the course of my 28 years professing Christianity and I have finally by the grace of God, let Him root out these old fleshly desires . . . But not without great chastisement.

Romans 6:6, 7, 12, 22: 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. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God . . . sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace . . . For he that is dead is freed from sin . . But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Paul explained to us in Romans 7 what it was like for him as a Jew under the law before the chastisement of God worked in his heart on the road to Damascus.

If there is sin still welling around in your choices, thoughts, and predispositions, God wants to fix it now. Yield to his chastiment and ask, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” He will lift you up and send you into the city, and show you what must do.

God has given us glorious victory, immeasurable grace, and unfailing love in our knowing Him through faith. The most precious gift is to know Him who sent Jesus through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Heed His voice, do not waver. All Christians are of a royal priesthood, ‘Give no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:’  do not sully the Lord’s name with unfaithful disobedience to sin.

We are called to live and die for others in the rich, Glorious love of Christ:  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; . . . For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 1 Cor. 6:6-7, 14b, 16-17, 7:1.

Do not let anything get in the way of God’s loving and divine will for your soul, your nature, or the lives of those around you.

God allowed me and my family to go through a time of suffering, trial, and discipline for nearly every moment of the last 8 months.  Now is a time of reflection of how I placed my will and desires over against His holy decrees for my family.

He also showed me how sin, like a pestilence, inhabits an unsanctified landscape, encroaching every orifice, every crack: firmly establishing itself with every foot hold Given place to the Devil.

Now our family is being transformed, sanctified, and washed in His word.

Sin, disobedience, distractions all squander this precious gift of life from God. He has holy ordinances for our life. Let Him reveal them to you.

Ephesians 5:1-14 shows us that we are called to reflect the mind of Christ: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Are you clean? Have you been washed in the blood? Are you a sweet smelling savor sacrificed to God?

Live in obedience to the whole council of God. Live only for Christ and Christ shall give thee light.

Love Him with all your might, obey Him in everything, and He will give you what you need to serve Him. . . “That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Oh, the riches of His glory and the peace of His love. May it bring divine correction and healing to your soul.

Let Him remove from your life  all distractions, entanglements, and weights  that so easily beset you. The freedom it brings is heavenly.

I humble obedience,

Donald