February 12

PLACE OF WORSHIP

PLACE OF WORSHIP

When you think about your place of worship what is the first thing that comes to mind? A steeple that stands out above a country side landscape? Is it a majestic stone walled cathedral that has been the community landmark for years? Most of us think of some distinct location with a man-made structure that invites worshippers on a given day(s) of the week.

We even see in the Old Testament where Moses was given instructions of a man made sanctuary in which the Israelites would gather to worship as they journeyed to the Promise Land. Even the Psalmist speaks of a place he would come to seek the God of his worship. Ps 63:1-3 O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, To see Thy power and Thy glory. 3 Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise Thee.

But, the place of worship should never be dependent upon a physical location or structure made by man. When the veil was torn and Christ was raised from the dead and He was seated at the right hand of the Father the place of worship changed forever. Heb. 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; We have become the place of worship. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

If we were to turn to the gospel of John chapter 4 we would read the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. She has come to draw water, but Jesus offers her living water with the promise that she would never thirst again. Our real issue in life is the same as this woman and the Psalmist in Psalms 63; our souls thirst for God! In a dry and weary (sin filled) land where there is no satisfaction; real worship is our only hope.

That worship is found through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! In John 4, Jesus tells the woman; “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”(John 4:10) The gift of God comes to us through knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit comes to abide in us and that drink of water we take at the moment of salvation becomes a well of water springing up to eternal life!

Those who park their cars in some parking lot and enter a man-made structure without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will always leave dissatisfied. Learning the formalities of worship cannot satisfy the longing of our hearts when it comes to worship. We are the temple of the living God; we are the place of worship!

The discussion between Jesus and the woman went to a debate of where we should worship as most discussions concerning worship usually migrate to. Here is Jesus’ answer. John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. 22 “You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

God is seeking His true worshippers in the only place of worship that matters; your heart!

January 2

PASSING THE TEST

Testing of your faith
Passing The Test

Are we passing the test? 2 Cor. 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test?

Another year has come and gone and as we look to the New Year we begin to set new goals, agendas and making New Year’s Resolutions that we very seldom keep. We avoid examining our lives from the previous year and in doing so we create a shaky foundation for the plans we are making for our future. Let’s just sweep them under the proverbial rug. What we don’t remember won’t hurt us.

We have become a society of not keeping score (I don’t get that), grading on the curve (threaten the smart kid in the class), and giving multiple choice questions that have as their standard answer; “d” all of the above (no true or false please; 50/50 is not good odds). Passing the test takes very little effort or studying on our part. If we can score a C- or even a D that is still a passing grade; let’s just move on.

But, when it comes to our faith, our Teacher is not going to settle for a C- or D. He is a God of excellence. Perfect love cast out fear and perfected faith opens opportunities for greater test. As a matter of fact, He tells us to consider it all joy when the testing comes. James 1:2-3 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. The Lord desires for us to go from one level of faith to the next. Rom 1:17 For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Passing the test is moving from one level of faith to the next.

Consider, the people of Israel as Moses is leading them to the Promised Land. For forty years the wandered in the wilderness until they all died, missing what God had promised. They continued to fail the testing of their faith and were never allowed to enter the blessings God had provided.

But, let’s examine the shepherd boy David. Being a faithful shepherd of his father’s sheep he is called to defend against a lion and a bear. He faithfully depends on his God to give him victory over these opposing threats and God honors his faith. Fast forward to the day when he is sent to check on his brothers who are at war with the Philistines. The whole army of Israel are frozen in their faith as the giant Goliath spews threats against the army of God. Remembering his previous test and God’s faithfulness, he steps down into the valley and passes another test.

When it comes to our faith, God does keep score. He doesn’t grade on the curve and there are no multiple choices to the faith He has called us to. Unlike some of our school systems who will promote kids without adequately grasping the fundamentals; the Lord requires us to pass the fundamentals of faith before calling us forward.

Before we move forward this coming year, let us first confess and repent of our failed attempts of the previous year and then fix our eyes forward to the test that await us. Phil 3:13-15 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let this coming year be one of passing the test and moving toward the goal of our upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Don’t continue to wander around the same old mountain of unbelief and disappointment.

 

December 13

GRAVITATIONAL PULL

GRAVITATIONAL PULL

Let’s consider for just a moment the chaos that would ensue if the gravitational pull that keeps us from floating off into some black hole in the outer regions of space no longer existed! We take for granted this wonder of God’s creation that allows us to live grounded here on earth. We can’t see or feel it, but we are grateful that it exist.

This got me thinking! What gravitational pull keeps me grounded in my spiritual walk? Col. 1:16-17 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Each of us who have been saved through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice upon the cross have been brought back into a relationship with the Heavenly Father by the gravitational pull of His amazing grace! If we attempt to live our lives outside of His grace we will find ourselves drifting toward the black hole of sin and its corruption.

In the physical sense gravity keeps us grounded here on earth, but spiritually it is the world that is constantly drawing us away from a grounded relationship with Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

The flesh and the Spirit are in opposition to one another. Rom 8:5-7 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; There is a fleshly gravitational pull of selfishness and pride that is continually attempting to draw us away from the sufficiency of God’s grace.

The body of Christ (the Church) feels the effects of this pull as individuals drift away from His grace toward the efforts of their own flesh. Eph. 4:15-16 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. The gravitational pull of personal agendas puts the church at risk to drift away from the glory that God intended to bring to Himself through us, His church.

The double minded man is unstable in all his ways! His heart is being pulled in two directions! Matt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.

What is the gravitational pull of your heart? Is it the love of the world or the love you have for the God who loves you unconditionally? The gravitational pull of His perfect love will always keep you grounded in His grace!

December 2

DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION

doesnt-fit
DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION

Depending upon our plans for the day and the weather outside we should always be dressed for the occasion. Is it a casual day or does the day call for business attire? Are we trying to make a good first impression with a new boss or first date or does the occasion call for a “what you see is what you get”? Being dressed for the occasion can set the tone for the rest of the day.

Dress codes have drastically changed over the years for business, school, exercise, church and just about every other venue we could discuss. As a young boy growing up I can remember Sunday mornings and getting ready for church. On a number of occasions I was sent back to my room to change what I had chosen for something more appropriate in the eyes of my parents. Wow, have times changed. From suits and dresses to shorts and t-shirts, jeans, slacks, flip flops and whatever else is most comfortable to you!

Before you turn me off; this blog is not about legalistic issues of what a person should wear to church, so please take a deep breath and read on. I believe as God looks down on Sunday mornings (or for any morning) He is not so concerned with what a person is wearing on the outside, but what He sees we are wearing on the inside.

Col 3:12-15 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

His dress code is a matter of the heart! Because we are graciously chosen by God to be called His children and then to be lovingly placed within a chosen body of believers to express His glory we must come dressed for the occasion. He has granted us compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience through Jesus Christ and He calls for us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ that we might extend to others what He has given to us freely. What finalizes our attire and coordinates the rest of our outfit is His love! Love is the perfect bond of unity! We know that we are dressed for the occasion when we experience the peace of Christ ruling our hearts and the body of Christ is worshipping and serving in perfect unity.

We are a new creation in Christ Jesus and the old things have passed away, behold all things have become new. This being said we must remind ourselves to put off the old in order to put on the new. Col 3:8-11 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him 11 — a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.

Every day we should put on the new self! Every day we should be renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created us! Are you dressed for the occasion or are you putting on those things that you used to wear? Look for the evidence of your attire. Is there peace and unity? If not you need to go back to your prayer closet!

November 20

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS

thankful-heart

1 Thess. 5:16-18 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It’s the season of Thanksgiving and there is much talk between family members and friends of all that we are thankful for, but are we genuinely thankful? God’s word calls for us to rejoice always and in everything give thanks which indicates it’s more than a seasonal thing! The words “always” and “everything” are not temporary or isolated incidents. So, what circumstances create the environment in order for our hearts to be in a continual state of thankfulness?

According to God’s word it is when the peace of Christ is ruling our hearts. Col 3:15-17 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Peace is more than a feeling of security, it is an intimate and vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. In everything give thanks for He is everything we need.

His peace is not a matter of gaining knowledge or becoming more religious, but is a result of His presence and love permeating our hearts and minds. Listen as Jesus promises His peace to those who believed in Him. John 14:26-27 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. Fear and a troubled heart are the roadblocks detouring us from being thankful people.

My peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you! What did He leave us? What did He give to us? He gave us His forgiveness, mercy and grace. He reconciled us back into a peaceful relationship with Himself and sealed us with His Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Anxiety fills our hearts when in the midst of our circumstances we do not acknowledge God who is our peace. When we come to Him in prayer with thanksgiving we are acknowledging that He is faithful no matter our circumstance. So, in everything give thanks for He is our peace.

Rom 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. A life of ingratitude reveals a darkening heart. A darkened heart is the result of us not acknowledging Him or giving thanks leaving us to our own futility.

Futility or in everything give thanks; choose which life you desire to live.

November 10

FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

follow-me

With personal independence being the goal of most people in our society; being a follower of Christ is not a label most people would prefer, even though they may verbally confess to believe in Jesus Christ.

A FOLLOWER’S PRIORITIES

To be a follower of Christ requires sacrifice and a total rearranging of our priorities. Our purpose becomes His purpose, our timing becomes His timing and our resources become His resources. Matt 8:19-22 And a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 21 And another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” God’s priorities many times do not add up with our fleshly and comfortable lifestyles.

A FOLLOWER MUST LOSE HIS LIFE TO FOLLOW

Matt 10:38-39 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it. Real life can only be discovered as we follow Him wherever and however He leads. Taking up our cross is a picture of dying to ourselves so that our hearts may not be weighed down with our selfish pursuits. Being a follower of Christ becomes difficult when we are constantly entangled with our own agendas. Heb. 12:1-2…let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith; If our eyes are not fixed on the One we are following we are easily sidetracked.

FOLLOWING STRANGE VOICES

John 10:4-5 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 “And a stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” With all the other voices in our world calling out for our attention it is vital that we keep our hearts attuned to the voice of the Shepherd. For a follower of Christ to harden his heart by ignoring the voice of God over and over again will only leave him vulnerable to stray from the path God has called him too. Matt. 13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes Lest they should see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I should heal them.’

EVIDENCE OF A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

Matt. 4:19-20 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him. Are you a fisher of men? Are you pursuing those without Christ with His love and grace and the power of the gospel? His calling to each of us is backed with a life changing promise that if we are truly a follower of Christ; we will become fishers of men! It’s hard to fish for men if we are fishing for our own titles, prestige, power and glory.

Can you say that you are a new creation in Christ Jesus; you are dead to the world and alive toward Christ; the old things have passed away and all things have become new? Will you humble yourself today and become a follower of Christ and become a fisher of men?

November 2

GOD’S GLORY

gospel-glory

THE SIN THAT STARTED MAN’S DOWNFALL

From the very beginning of man’s journey with God he desired something he could never have; God’s glory! All glory belongs to the creator. Rom 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen

Man shows the foolishness of his heart as he exchanges what belongs to God for a corrupted and faltering image. Rom 1:22-23 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

GOD’S INTENDED PURPOSE

Rom 9:22-24 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory.

God’s glory is revealed through His patience and mercy toward us. May we never forget that we are His vessels; the workmanship of His hands and the instruments of His grace.

Within the darkness of our sinful hearts a Light shined revealing to us God’s glory and our hope of forgiveness and salvation. 2 Cor. 4:6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

We are being transformed daily by the presence of His glory as we walk by faith in the living Word He has given to us. 2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. Once blinded by our pursuit of personal glory we can now live with unveiled faces to see His and be transformed by His Spirit.

GOD’S GLORY OUR STRENGTH

Eph. 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

God’s glory is to know the fullness of His love. The strength that sustains us in a world filled with pain and suffering is rooted in the glory of His great love!

GOD’S GLORY OUR NEEDS

Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. God’s glory is infinite! Therefore our needs should never be a concern. We are to be anxious for nothing for the God we serve loves us through the riches of His glory! When anxiety enters our hearts it is an indication that we have resorted to supplying our needs through our own glory.

OUR TESTIMONY HIS GLORY

2 Thess. 1:8-10 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.

On that day when Christ returns He is coming for His church in all of her glory! Will He be glorified through you His vessel of glory when He comes?

God’s glory! Col 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

 

 

 

October 20

WHEN LOVE GROWS COLD

love-grown-cold

When love grows cold our hearts tend to compromise seeking to find a suitable replacement only to discover there is no substitute for genuine love. Within the hearts of many of us lies a vulnerable definition of love. The foundation of our definition is flawed many times by the number of disappointments we have had throughout the years. With each disappointment we find ourselves redefining our expectations of love only to distance ourselves from ever truly experiencing the fullness of what love was intended to bring.

The Bible gives us a picture of when love grows cold. Matt 24:10-13 “And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. 11 “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. 12 “And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.

Why does love grow cold? The thermostat of love is turned down when we begin to turn away from the One who is Love. 1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. Love requires a “knowing”, and without it our definition of love becomes a fabrication. And without “knowing” the One who is love and abiding in Him we will drift further into the selfish lawlessness of the world and our flesh creating a greater chilling effect in all our relationships.

When love grows cold our gravitation to conflicts increases and quarrels ensue. James 4:1-2 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. When love grows cold it is replaced with selfish ambition. James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. Selfishness brings about a raging war within our own hearts leaving us as well as others casualties of the war.

There is nothing selfish about real love. Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God demonstrated His love for us “while” we were yet sinners, opposing Him at every turn. Selfish love only gives in order to get something back, but Jesus condemned this kind of love. Luke 6:32 “And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

When love grows cold the body of Christ becomes disconnected, dysfunctional and useless as an instrument of reconciliation for the glory of God’s kingdom. Eph. 4:15-16 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Has your love grown cold?

October 12

WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ON TO

holding-on

What are you holding on to that is holding you back from God’s best? It may seem insignificant to you, for you have held onto it for so long it has become a natural every day thing to you. It may be a little thing that has never been an issue or problem and so there has been no reason for you to deal with it, but God sees it in a totally different way.

2 Cor. 11:3 But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. The appearance of the insignificant can lead to the greatest deception leading us away from our purity of devotion to Christ. What are you holding on to that is keeping you from following Christ fully? By earthly standards there may be nothing unethical or immoral to the things you are holding on to, but they are hindering you from the simplicity and purity of devotion.   Heb. 12:1Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

We are to lay aside “every” encumbrance and sin which so “easily” entangles us. The great deception concerning the question, what are you holding on to can be found in our inability to define those insignificant things in our life as encumbrances or see them as entangling us in any way? They bring us enough pleasure that we are willing to compromise intimacy with our Heavenly Father.

When God commanded the people of Israel not to take anything under the ban, Achan convinced himself that it was an insignificant thing for him to keep just a few things for himself. His choice cost the lives of his fellow soldiers at the battle of Ai. Joshua basically asked Achan, what are you holding on to that has brought this tragedy upon God’s people? Josh 7:19-21 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.” 20 So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.”

What we hold on to will eventually bring suffering and shame not only to us, but to those around us. We hold on to those things in our life because we believe we own them. We have been bought with a price and we are not our own, therefore what we hold on to is no longer ours to hold on to. We must renounce (disown) those things before they bring further shame and suffering. 2 Cor. 4:2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. Like Achan, what you hold on to is hidden within the dwelling place of your heart and must for the glory of God be renounced that we may be salt and light to a dead and dark world.

What are you holding on to today?

October 3

LEARNED OBEDIENCE

learned-obedience

Learned obedience is the pathway to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ! All the Scripture study and memorization in and of itself is insufficient for us to experience the obedience that leads to knowing our Savior and His will for our lives. Obedience is more than following a set of rules or accomplishing a given task; it’s discovering the One who set the rules and is walking with us in finishing the task given to us.

Jesus Himself learned obedience as He walked this earth indwelling human flesh. Heb. 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. If we are to be Christ-like, we must have the same attitude that He had as He lived in faithfulness to His Father even at the cost of suffering for it. Phil 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The motive and attitude in our obedience is what our Heavenly Father looks for. Learned obedience is a by-product of the love we have learned the Father has for us and our desire to abide in that love. John 15:9-11 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. Learned obedience will produce a joy that is made full (vs. 11) and as John 15:8 tells us; we will bear fruit bringing much glory to the Father.

Learned obedience is a process as we take the yoke of Christ upon us and learn from Him. Matt 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” If we find ourselves weary in our pursuit of obedience we must humbly confess that we are bearing the yoke of our own self-righteousness. Rom. 10:2-3 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

Not knowing the righteousness of God we will learn the wrong kind of obedience and as a result will live frustrated lives never discovering the abundant life Jesus promised. Rom 14:17-18 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Learned obedience brings us peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!

What have you learned?