Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Yes, You Do Have a Spouse, A Savior!

"The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:" (John 4: 17)

At this time, Jesus was ministering to the Samaritan woman, who had been married five times, and had given up on marriage, choosing to live with the sixth man.

Whatever she had been looking for, she failed to find in every man she met, had married, or had moved in with.

Then Jesus, the Perfect Man, arrived, and he already offered her something to complete her:

"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (JOhn 4: 13-17)

This water speaks of His Holy Spirit, who grants us His Life, Truth, and Power in our lives:

"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7: 38)

Today, we do not lament as the Samaritan woman did, that we have no husband, no spouse, for we are now married to Christ, through His Spirit living and dwelling within us:

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14: 18)

and then

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 16: 13-15)

and also

"Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." (2 Corinthians 11: 1-2)

We are not left alone, struggling to find life and resources for ourselves. We have a Spouse, a Savior today in Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The King's Word Is the Final Word

"Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls, where the treasures were laid up in Babylon. 2And there was found at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of the Medes, a roll, and therein was a record thus written: 3In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; (Ezra 6: 1-3)

After the captive Israelites returned to their home, they began working on the Temple, which the invading Babylonians had destroyed.

The LORD God was with them to prosper them, but first the Temple needed to be rebuilt, in order to restore the atonement and allow for the covering of their sins, thus permitting the provisional fulfillment of the Old Covenant until Jesus came to fulfill the Old and enact the New (Matthew 5: 17)

During their efforts to rebuild the Temple, adversaries prevented them from building the Temple, and even induced the Persian king at the time to prevent the Israelites from rebuilding the Temple:

"Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. 13Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. 14Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king; 15That search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. 16We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river." (Ezra 4: 12-16)

Indeed, there were records that Jerusalem was a rebellious city, and a great headache to surrounding nations. Moreso, they were rebellious to their own God, enough that He had to turn them over to the Babylonians.

However, following the initial setback, the Israelites resumed building the Temple, and reminded their new king that his predecessor had ordered that the Temple be rebuilt.

Isaiah prophesied the very name of the ruler:

"That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

27That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

28That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid." (Isaiah 44: 26-28)

Not only did the records show that King Cyrus ordered the rebuilding of the Temple, but he wanted nothing spared in its restoration:

" 4With three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber: and let the expences be given out of the king's house: 5And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God." (Ezra 6: 4-5)

The actions of the Israelites were not the final word. The word of the King was the final word.

Today, because of Jesus' work and His word -- It is Finished -- there is no condemnation, all your sins are put away, and there is nothing that can prevent God's restoration in your life!

Monday, September 28, 2015

He Establishes Our Hearts

"Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." (Haggai 1: 5)

The prophet Haggai (whose name means "celebrate") exhorted the Israelites to continue rebuilding the Temple.

Why had they stopped? A royal decree, manipulated by perverse opposition, told the Israelites to stop (Ezra 4:6-21):

"Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 22Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezra 4: 21-22)

Haggai then came forward and told the Israelites:

"Consider your ways"

The more accurate translation reads:

"And now, thus said Jehovah of Hosts, Set your heart to your ways." (YLT)

Or, establish your heart.

The first mention of "Set" speaks to God placing Adam in the Garden to take care of it:

"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." (Genesis  2:  8)

In this verse, the emphasis rests on what God said and did, and not man.

So, Haggai exhorted the Israelites not to consider the words of a king, but to respect the direction of the King of Kings.

Today, we are called to establish our hearts in the grace of God, and take no thought to any other doctrine:

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54: 14)

and then:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

and thus

"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." (Hebrews 13: 9)

Let us not be concerned with evil reports from outside, but trust in the Good News of Jesus Christ, that through this Man we are justified from all things (Acts 13: 38-39)


Sunday, September 27, 2015

He Labors, Not We

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Why do Christians today have a hard time accepting this wonderful invitation?

We do not see Jesus as our Life, our Savior in every way, for every need, but rather as an initial Helper, whom we then run to once in a while for additional help.


Jesus is our Life, and He came that we would have His life:

"But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life." (Mark 10: 30)


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)


"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)

And finally:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ,who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 1-4)

So, if He is our life, we need to rest in Him, and Let Him work.

In fact, He is already working, laboring within us!

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15: 10)


"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13)


"Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1: 29)

Jesus labors in us, and we allow Him to work.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

He Sought Us, and Delivers us From All Our Fears

"I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34: 4)

When David uttered this inspired prayer, he was hiding in a cave from Saul, the fallen king of Israel.

David who had been anointed king to replace Saul, was on the run for his life, yet he refused to be better, but trusted God to make all things better:

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad." (Psalm 34: 1-2)

Readers get confused or frustrated when they read about David "seeking the LORD."

Seeking God is not about going to any one place, but rather asking for His help. Throughout the Old Testament, men and women would seek the LORD through the sacrifice of animals. The shedding of blood would atone for sins

Today, we can rest assured that rather than striving to seek God, He has sought us and gotten us!

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17)

Jesus came to us.

Paul wrote the goodness of God in a way which many still need to meditate on to understand:

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." (Romans 5: 8-11)

Even when we were not paying attention, when we did not care about God, God our Father sent His Son to be our atonement, to become sin, that we would be made the righteousness of God in His Son (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

Today, we are not seeking God, trying to bring Him into our lives, trying to make Him work in us.

He is our life (Colossians 3: 4), and He is working within us both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2: 12-13).

His perfect love casts out all fears (1 John 4: 18), and to this day, He is in the saving business, caring for us (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

Friday, September 25, 2015

His Righteousness Breaks Forth In Us

"Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward." (Isaiah 58: 8)

The context for this passage concerns Isaiah's prophecy to wayward and weary Israelites, who saw the Sabbath Day as another day for them to do their work, to get something from God based on what they did.

The Sabbath is a type of Jesus Christ, our Sabbath Rest.

The Sabbath was a gift for man:

"Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)

He is LORD of the Sabbath:

"Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Matthew 12: 8)

In fact, He  is our rest!

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11: 28)

He rests us!

So, when we read passages like Isaiah's prophecy about the Sabbath Day, let us recognize that today, we have His righteousness already (2 Corinthians 5: 21), because Jesus the Perfect Sacrifice, took all our sins and gave His life and standing at the right hand of God the Father.

We have His righteousness, which breaks forth in us, because of all that Jesus did at the Cross.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

As He Is Righteous, So Are We

"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3: 7)

John reminds us that we are the sons of God, because we have been reborn, receiving a new life and standing in Christ Jesus:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" (John 1: 12)

and then

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3: 16)

Now, when Jesus died on that Cross, He died for us and as us.

He took our sin, and gave us His righteousness:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

To this day, we keep receiving His gift of righteousness:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5: 17)

Now, John talks about "doing righteousness", and Paul describes righteousness as a gift.

So which is?

There reallly is no contradiction. Righteousness is never about what we do, but what we believe about Jesus.

The first act of "doing righteousness" references Abel's sacrifice of a lamb, recognizing the need for blood to cleanse sin, rather than our actions to put them away:

"For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." (1 John 3: 11-12)

What works are mentioned in the Bible? Genesis provides the work that is righteous:

"And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:" (Genesis 4: 4)

Righteousness is all about the shedding of blood, which remits all our sins.

Today, we have that perfect sacrifice, the blood of Jesus, which cleanses us from all sins (1 JOhn 1: 7), and when we believe that, we are righteous, As He Is!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

As He Is Pure, So Are We

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (1 John 3: 2)

John makes it  very clear, that we will know who we are when we see Jesus "As He Is."

How is He?

The next verse gives us insight:

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3: 3)

We have this hope, that we will be like Jesus, fully vested in His standing, His being, and His presence.

From the moment that we believe on Jesus, we are taken out of ourselves and brought into Himself:

"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;" (2 Corinthians 5: 18)


"But 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 usup together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2: 4-6)

Notice that we are seated with Him - we are in Him:

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1: 27-29)

So, Jesus is pure, and the more that we rest in the truth that we will be like Him, we purify ourselves all the more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Look on Jesus "As He Is"

"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)

We are not called to look at ourselves, at how we do not or do not measure up.

It is not about us. Never has been, and never will be.

Consider the Book of Beginnings:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1: 1)

We did not create anything. Jesus, the Light of the World (John 8:12), created all things:

"[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. " (Colossians 1:15-17)

So, instead of looking at ourselves, let us look at Jesus, and focus on "As He Is":

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3: 18)


"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ,who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3: 1-4)

and also

"1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Trust in Jesus Gives Our Minds Rest

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26: 3)

Meditation is crucial, i.e. Cross-ial.

As we allow the Word of God to rest in our minds, and we mutter verses of Scripture, revelation abound in our hearts and minds.

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." (Joshua 1: 8)

and then

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6: 63)

The above verse offers the revelation of Jesus as our living Word.

Now, let us return to the glorious revelation found for us in Isaiah.

We do not have perfect peace by forcing our minds to stay focused on any one thing.

Jesus is alive, and cares for us, in spite of our greatest hurts and setbacks, not because of who we are, but all because of who He is:

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. " (Romans 5: 6-8)

and also

"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." (Ephesians 2: 8-9)

Let us never once believe that our loving Daddy God lifts His protection when we struggle to believe. Let us certainly not assume that Jesus does not care about us, or gets upset and put off by our lack of faith, either:

"And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:38-40)

and also

"If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." (2 Timothy 2:13)

Yet today, we have His faith, even!

"I 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 comeby the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2: 20-21)

All God our Father asks is that we trust Him:

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

When we trust Jesus, then our minds are at rest, and He is able to keep us, because we have stopped keeping ourselves.

And this trust is indeed all about Jesus!

"In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." (Isaiah 26: 1)

and afterwards

"Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:" (Isaiah 26:4)