Sunday, May 24, 2015

He Causes Us To Fear (Reverence) Him

"And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." (Jeremiah 32: 40)

Here we find another reference and promise of God's New Covenant with Israel, and thus with all who believe on His Son Jesus:

"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8: 17)

and

"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: (Ephesians 3: 6)

So, we can enjoy the same promises which God made through Jeremiah to the Israelites.

Now, in this affirmation of the Gospel, God speaks of an everlasting covenant.

One which does not depend on us, this everlasting covenant depends on the blood of Jesus:

"And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." (Mark 14: 24)

This blood is perfect, and cleanses forever more:

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" (1 Peter 1: 18-19)

and

"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." (1 John 1: 7)

This New Covenant, grants to us a new heart, one which allows God to cause us to walk in His ways, too! Why? Because we know that we are forgiven:

"But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." (Psalm 130: 4)

This forgiveness comes through His Son, and thus He is faithful and just to forgive us all our sins, and thus cause us to fear Him!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

He Shows Us Kindness for Jesus' Sake

"7And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 8And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

9Then the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto thy master's son all that pertained to Saul and to all his house." (2 Samuel 9: 7-9)
 
David, a picture of God the Father, cut a covenant for us through His Son Jesus, who is typified in Jonathan, i.e. the Gift of God.
 
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8: 31-32)
 
and then
 
"17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That 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: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 6: 17-19)
 
Those "two immutable things" that prove God is faithful? God the Father and God the Son forming the New Covenant, and Christ Jesus today is our representative at God's right hand:
 
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places," (Ephesians 1: 19-20)
 
and then
 
"4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)
Now, like Mephibosheth, many Christians look at themselves and go: "Why is God being good to me? I did not do anything to deserve this."
 
The reason why God our Father blesses us? Because of His Son Jesus. It is not about us, or anything that we have done.
 
It is all about Jesus, and what He has done for us:
 
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2: 8-10)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Because of Jesus, God is our Righteous Judge

"A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." (Psalm 68: 5)

Just as God our Father is not in heaven looking to find fault, but rather be the father for those who have none, so too the Lord God is our spouse, our bridegroom who avenges wrongs done to us.

We find a partial illustration of God's judgment on our behalf in the parable of the persistent widow, which Jesus related to his disciples:

"1And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.   (Luke 18: 1-6)

Now notice that this judge did not fear God nor even care about mankind, yet this widow, who never stopped demanding justice, finally forced the unjust judge to relent.

With this illustration in mind, Jesus draws up the true picture of His Father, our God, and how he avenges us:

7And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18: 7-8)

Notice that God our avenger will take care of our needs "speedily".

The real question is not about how fast our Father moves on our behalf.

The real issue comes down to: do we believe that He can and will help us?

Consider this hesitance in the case of the leper who approached Jesus after His Sermon on the Mount:

"1When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (Matthew 8: 1-4)

Today, we are the bride of Christ, no longer even widowed!

"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." (Romans 7: 4)

and

"26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
"27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. (Galatians 4: 26-27)
 
Because of Jesus, we have God our Righteous Father to avenge all wrongs against us. Better yet, we who were widowed because of Adam's sin find a new husband and a new standing in Christ Jesus, too!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Because of Jesus, God is our Father

"A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation." (Psalm 68: 5)

Many people believe that God is up in His heavens looking for people to shame, denounce, or destroy every time they sin.

Today, because of the New Covenant, we need that God our Father -- yes, our Father! (Romans 8: 15), is on our side, for us and not against us (Romans 8: 31-32):

"
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
 
So, what is God our Father doing up there in heaven today?
 
The Psalmist could not be clearer.
 
He is father to the fatherless.
 
Because of Adam's fall, all of mankind fell, and we were all alienated from Him who loved us:
 
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
 
and then
 
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5: 12)
 
And thus
 
"21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:" (Colossians 1: 21-22)
 
Today, we are brought to Him through Jesus:
 
"And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God." (Romans 9: 26)
 
and of course:
 
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)
 
Today, beloved child of God, know that your Father in heaven is not looking down on you to find fault, but today He is up there as your Father, for in His Son Jesus none of us are orphans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Keep His Covenant of Grace

"If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore." (Psalm 132: 12)

Under the New Covenant, what does it mean to "keep my covenant"?

It means to believe that Jesus has Finished the Work:

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 29)

and then

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17: 4)

Today, we keep His covenant and testimony when we receive the grace of God, giving up on our own efforts and walking in His Spirit:

"Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God." (Acts 12: 43)

and then

"20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

and also

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

Paul explains at length that our salvation rests in Jesus, not ourselves or our works:


"8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

Today, we are no longer under law, but under grace:

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6: 14)

The writer of Hebrews explains the New Covenant, and its enforcement clause, and how it exceeds the Old Covenant of Law:

"
10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8: 10-13)
 
Today, we live under this covenant of grace, in which He remembers our sins no more, because they were fully remembered in the  body of Jesus (Colossians 2: 13-15).
 
So insistent is this New Covenant on what Jesus has done, that Paul admonished Peter for not walking according to the truth of the Gospel:
 
"But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Galatians 2: 14)
 
Today, because of the New Covenant, cut for us in the Blood of Jesus (Mark 14: 24), we have His Spirit living in us, teaching us all things (1 John 2:20, 27) and we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2: 4-6), and we reign in His life forever (Romans 5: 15-17)
 
Keep His Covenant of Grace  -- believe in Jesus, and grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3: 18).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jesus: The Scriptures and the Power of God

"And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?" (Mark 12: 24)

There are many people who know the Scriptures, in that they can recite verses and impress people with their knowledge of chapters and laws.

Yet the Bible is not about a book for us to learn things, but to meet a Person:

"25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24: 25-37)

When we learn about Jesus, we are not learning about an Example, but rather the Savior who blesses us and causes us to reign in life (Romans 5: 17)

"20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

We live in Him and through Him, for His greater cause was not just to create the world, but to redeem:

"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:" (Colossians 1: 21-22)

When we see Jesus, we are seeing grace and truth personified (John 1: 17), and when we read His Word, we allow His Spirit to transform us (2 Corinthians 2: 18) and enrich us:

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." (1 Peter 1: 23)

and

"I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." (1 John 2: 14)

His Word is more than a set of ideas for our minds to run on, but Jesus alive in us:

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1: 17-18)

When studying the Bible, do not look for information, but see Jesus, and with Him you receive the power of God!

Monday, May 18, 2015

His Kingdom is Greater Than This Earth

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

Many of us misconstrue this passage to mean that nothing else will be taken care of in our lives, or that life becomes a headless nonchalance.

The truth is, we need to see that God our Daddy and His kingdom exceed the bounds of this earth, and all things within it.

God prophesied to David about Jesus, whose reign would continue from Solomon:

"Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day." (1 Chronicles 28: 7)

and

"His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me." (Psalm 89: 36)

and

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11: 15)

After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to be with His Father, He released His Spirit, and with him His Kingdom would reside in all who believe on Him:

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14: 17)

This same spirit brooded over an earth without form and void:

"2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1: 2)

So, when Jesus exhorted the Israelites during His earthly ministry to seek His Kingdom, He would ultimately bring to them through His Spirit not only His eternal reign, but one which far exceeds the powers and intimidations of this fallen earth. His Kingdom far exceeds time and space as well.

When we receive His Kingdom, we are taking in Someone who far exceeds our tomorrows, and cares for all things pertaining to us (1 Peter 5: 6-7).