Believing The Revelation

Dear Ones:

We have all heard the phrase, “Seeing is believing.”  Spiritually speaking, this is also true.  Most folk who do not believe in Christ today are not looking, not seeking.  They, for the most part, do not want to “see.”  And yet, Scripture is so clear:  “And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13) Jesus said basically the same thing:  “Seek and ye shall find…he that seeketh,  findeth.” (Matt. 7:8)  However, we might say at this point:  I am looking but I am not “seeing.”  I believe the Apostle Paul has the answer to this matter.

Though Paul, in one of his letters, was writing to the Christians at Ephesus, he gave them two prayers to pray, the principles of which apply to all.  Now, in doing this, he unveils the ways of God, and how God meets us where we are, both in attitude of heart and mind, and in the place of our searching.  The first prayer is a prayer for “revelation.”  In that petition Paul is imploring the Father that He give the Holy Spirit in a specific way to those who pray.  He is called, “…the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” in the knowledge of Him (Christ.)  His title reveals to us that God, by His Spirit, is indeed the One who unveils truth to us, who brings to light that which is hidden and unperceived.  Simply put, He GIVES light to those who truly ask, seek Him.  Secondly, we come to the issue of having the “strength to believe.”  In Isaiah we read, “…and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.” (Is. 40:29) Paul brings us face to face again with the matter of specific prayer…this time for strength.  In chapter 3, his prayer is for the Ephesians “…to be strengthened with might BY HIS SPIRIT in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts BY FAITH.” (v.16-17)  What is he saying here, and why is he praying in this manner?  Again, though he is writing to Christians, the need is also prevalent in the unbeliever, if he would have the capacity, enablement, strength, to believe.  Hence, the appeal is to the only One who can GIVE the strength to believe the “revelation.”  That revelation is the unveiling of the truth that is Christ, and in Him.  It is as Wesley so clearly declared:  “…Power into strengthless souls He speaks, and life into the dead.”

So, today, let us ask God, and trust Him, to give us the revelation of Himself in and through His word, but also, in the circumstances in which we live.  But let us not stop there, with knowledge of the truth.  Let us ask Him for the strength to believe Him fully, to take Him at His word,  stand on the promises, and live a life of expectancy and hope.  And let us base every petition on this:  He is faithful (He cannot lie…) who said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

Love, Dad

 

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The Seal Upon The Heart

Dear Ones:

One of the countless ways that we see the inspiration of Scripture is recognizing the continuity of the message.  It is the same, from the beginning pages of Genesis until the last pages of Revelation.  One of the great themes of the Bible is that of the perfect, personal, eternal work of God in the heart.  There are so many pictures, allegories, parables…which aim at revealing to us as many aspects of this work as we can possibly grasp.  One of these “pictures” is found in the Song of Solomon, chapter 8, verse 6:  “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death…(v. 7) Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”  What is this “seal,” and what does it mean?  And what are the ramifications of knowing the truth embedded in its meaning?

The “seal” is an outward expression of an inward reality.  It exemplifies something that is “settled,” in the context of what we are talking about, “settled in heaven.”  Thus, it is an outward Divine declaration of a work accomplished.  That work is one whereby we have been purchased, bought, claimed, …out of the slave-market of sin, self, and Satan, liberated into, and forever, the body of Christ, the family of God.  When Solomon wrote concerning the “seal,” he was addressing his bride.  Note WHAT he says.  He says that the seal is himself.  “Set ME as a seal upon thine heart.”  Is this not what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian church when he said, “…ye were SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise?” (Eph. 1:13)  Christ by His Spirit IS the seal…permanent, absolute, unchanging…  And with that SEAL comes all that Jesus Christ IS, and this forever.  “I am His, and HE is mine.”  Paul also states that the Holy Spirit’s presence is the testimony of an everlasting promise…promise of present blessing, and future certainty with Christ.

Solomon also writes:  “…(Set me…) as a seal upon thine ARM.” (v.6)  On the one hand, Solomon desires to be received as the very unalterable and blessed seal of Life into the heart.  On the other hand, he desires that the testimony of such love be visible to the world, hence, “…(seen) upon thine arm.”  Like a wedding ring, the seal upon the arm is a testimony that the bond of Divine love has reached the heart.  The heart has committed itself wholly to Him.”  It is in the knowledge, and consequent experience of this love by the bride, that she will know the profound reality:  “…love is strong as death…many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” (v.7)  Indeed, the greatest testimony of God, and that rendered to God, is the experience and expression of the love of God.  “By this shall all men KNOW that ye are My disciples…if ye have LOVE one to another.” (John 13:35)

May we today trust Him to BE that seal in our hearts, and on our arms.  And may He reveal to us what this means, in all of its height and depth.  The love of God, unalterable and unfathomable…yet, knowable.

“But what to those who find? Ah, this, Nor tongue nor pen can show: the love of Jesus, what it is, none but His loved ones know.”

Love, Dad

Cornered

Dear Ones:

Sometimes we forget that God is the God of all circumstances.  This is particularly hard to grasp and remember when difficult and trying times come, especially on the individual level.  But to believe that he is sovereign, and that in the “narrowness” of circumstances, and feeling cornered at times, there is this realty:  “He purposeth a crop.” (Samuel Rutherford)

When Israel was fleeing Pharoah and his army, they were being led by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. (Ex. 13:21)  Now, nothing could be so reassuring as being in the will of God than this, so clear, so convincing.  Then the optics change, and the people begin to feel “cornered.”  They see in the distance the army of Pharoah, perhaps one of the most powerful in the world.  But more, they see rage and a determination by their former taskmasters, to enslave them again accompanied by much suffering and death.  The result of this sight:  “…they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.” (14:10)  Where was the reassurance that they had just a short time before, when they saw the pillars of cloud and fire?  They had lost sight of the fact that God, the God of their circumstances, though He was leading them into very narrow circumstances, He was going to meet them in a most remarkable way, also bringing down destruction on their enemies, who had so oppressed them.

Moses, so instrumental in this marvelous work of God, had his moment of trial also, for he saw very clearly that the people were pinned in, cornered, with Pharaoh coming at them from the West, and the Red Sea cutting off any route of escape to the west.  Even if they had been able to flee on foot, they would not have been able to outrun Pharoah’s army.  Howeveer, God would “…make a way of escape” in His way, and in His time. What does the Lord require in order to bring about such a great deliverance?  Very simply, faith and obedience.  Moses had declared to the people:  “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will shew to you today.” (v.13)  The call is to reject all fear, and take a stand of faith…a stand to believe that “He who had begun a good work…would finish it.” (Phil. 1:6)  It is to be a stand taking the position that “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that which ye are able, but with the temptation, provide a way of escape.” (1 Cor. 10:13)  And lastly, they were to take their stand, believing:  “Faithful is He who calls you who also WILL do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24)  And so it is with us.   God brings us into limited circumstances where we do not see a way out, but we must remember, “…He purposeth a crop.”  Is it easy to believe, to have faith and obey at such times?  No.  Even Moses had his moment of weakness.  At one point the Lord told him:  “Wherefore criest thou unto me? (i.e.  why are you continuing to cry out to Me for deliverance?)  Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.” (v.15)  There comes a moment when it is no longer a question of prayer for deliverance, but of obediently going forward, believing God to “show” His salvation, His glory.  However, we must realize that the “moment” may not be a convenient one, and this, because the circumstances have not yet changed.

When Peter got out of the boat to come to Jesus at His command, the storm was still raging, and I believe the wind and the waves were just as strong.  Not convenient.  When the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were instructed by Joshua to step into the Jordan river, so that the people could pass over, the Jordan was still overflowing its banks. Not convenient. It would only be when the people of Israel purposed in their hearts to go forward, and Peter was determined to step out of the boat, and the priests put their feet into the waters of Jordan, that the intervention of God was revealed.  And so, it is with us.  Jesus said to Martha, “If you believe, you will SEE the glory of God.”  But He also said, “Take away the stone.”  It will only be when the stone is removed that the miracle occurs.  Faith has feet, and those feet must go forward.

So, let us remember that being “cornered” is an opportunity to meet God, or rather, to be met by Him.  He demands faith at such times, for His promises are certain.  He will not, and cannot fail to meet us…most certainly, beyond what we could ever ask or think, and in the circumstances of His choosing.

Love, Dad

 

The Witness

Dear Ones:

A witness is a person who sees and hears…observes something or someone.  On the day of Pentecost, there was a mighty rushing wind.  The disciples HEARD.  Then there were the “cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3)  The disciples SAW.  But what made the disciples true witnesses was the moment when the Holy Spirit FILLED them…they KNEW that God had come by His Spirit to dwell in the heart.  And yet, not only to dwell, but to fill the life.  It will be the Spirit who will give them the capacity and power to speak, declaring the “wonderful works of God.” (v.11)

Before Jesus was crucified, He spoke so very clearly concerning the ministry of the Spirit, a ministry that applies to every believer.  We find in John 14-16 that the Holy Spirit not only dwells with the disciples, but dwells IN them…and this, forever.  We find that this Spirit of truth will convince the disciples of His indwelling:  “…I will come to you…at that day, ye shall KNOW that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you.” (Jn. 14:18,19)  There is the testimony of the indwelling Spirit to the heart and mind of the believer.  Christ goes on to declare that He (the Holy Spirit), “…will teach you all things…and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.” (14:26)  And then, we find this partiular aspect of the ministry of the Spirit:  “…He shall testify of Me….and ye also shall bear witness.” (15:26-27).  The point is this…God, by His Spirit lives in the heart.  Part of the ministry of the Spirit is to witness to our spirits of His presence.  Paul reiterates this in Romans 8:16 when he writes:  “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God.”  If He witnesses to the veracity of this relationship with God by the manifestation of His indwelling, then how much does He desire to work in and through us, witnessing to the world that Christ is INDEED the Son of God, and that there is real salvation through His name?  We may be those who have not only seen and heard the reality of the presence of God, but have not trusted the Spirit to witness wholly and profoundly to our spirits, and through our hearts and lives, to a lost and dying world without Christ.

You ask, “How can this be, and how can I know the reality of such a witness?”  It all comes back to our vision of God, and of Christ’s work.  When God told Abraham to walk before Him and be perfect, He prefaced it by saying, “I am the Almighty God.”  We need to see that He indeed, is Almighty God, and because of this, all is possible by Him.  Secondly, we need to take a good look at Christ, upon the tree of suffering, and then in heaven at the right hand of God, and ask ourselves:  “How much does He desire and will that I (we) KNOW the power of His indwelling, the witness to our spirits, that we in turn may testify by His strength and power of the reality of His person and work.”  The Father SPARED NOT His Son…this should give us some grasp of His intent, and the eternal intensity of that intent and purpose.

So then, what are we to do?  We pray and trust the Lord to give us that “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Eph 1:17)  We need the vision.  Secondly, we pray and ask the Father, “…to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man…to believe.”  For we shall only know the indwelling of Christ BY FAITH, and God alone can strengthen us to the point where this becomes a reality to us.  God the Father gave the Holy Spirit at the request of Christ, that He should WITNESS to our spirits that we ARE children of God, but also, that others might KNOW that God is real, and that there is real and lasting salvation in Christ alone.

Love, Dad

The God of Bethel

Dear Ones:

There are many things that are true, but are not “realities” to us, because they are not “real” to our senses, minds, and hearts.  God has made provision for this with regard to our knowing Him.  Think of this…He makes the world, and us.  He then comes to live by His Spirit in our hearts when we truly call upon Him in sincerity and truth.  Beyond this, Jesus says that the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth, who will instruct and teach us, revealing the things of God to us.  More than this, He becomes the great source of LIFE.  He becomes our capacity for all things good and holy.  How can the presence of God, by His Spirit, go unnoticed, unknown, not be “real” to sense, and conviction of heart?  Very simply put, all we need to do is to WORSHIP…to stop, look at Him, and give to Him that which He is worthy to receive…admiration and devotion.  After all, even He declares Himself to be Wonderful (Is. 9:6), and by this we mean in the measure that we can understand, all things wonderful and good.  The question becomes this:  Is worship the FIRST and most important thing in this life, where Christ is to be all to us, and so very real?

If you look at Exodus 20:3, we find that the first of the ten commandments is:  “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me…thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”  What is it to have other gods before Him, expressed by graven images?  It means that idolatrous thoughts are those that are not truth, but twisted forms of imaginations and speculations.  Jesus said in Matthew 4:10, addressing Himself to Satan:  “Thou shalt WORSHIP the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”  What is He saying?  He is declaring that we must have a crystal clear, and absolute view of WHO God is, and correspondingly attribute to Him His worthiness, beauty, and distinctiveness (holiness).  So many folk “worship” that which they do not know, and do so on the basis of false ideas of who God truly is.  Hence, there’s is NOT true worship, and Christ is NOT a reality to them.

If you study the great men and women of the Bible, and those who have been distinguished in the annals of history as men and women of faith, you will find that their concepts of Christ are for the most part true, and that as a consequence, they fall down before Him and worship.  This is the first thing.  If Christ is not a reality to us in the quietness of the place of devotion where we meet Him, then, when we get on the battle-field of life, He will certainly not be.

God called Jacob to leave Mesopotamia, and return to a place called Bethel.  It was at Bethel that the Lord had revealed Himself to Jacob many years before, and where Jacob had made a vow to God.  In that calling, God said to Jacob:  “Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make thee an altar unto God…” (Gen. 35:1)  What is the first thing?  It is to be where God would have us to be, and that, in order to worship.  For it is in that attitude and act of worship, in Spirit and truth, that God reveals Himself to the heart, mind, and soul.  Christ becomes not just “a” reality, but “the greatest” reality of life, and the very source and essence of all faith and love.

So, today, may we go to Bethel…to dwell, to live in His presence.  And let us worship Him, the greatest of all realities.  It is there, in that place of certain good, that He will reveal Himself to us.  Then, we shall be able to serve Him rightly, joyfully, and so very  thankfully…with all our hearts.

Love, Dad

There They Shall See Me

Dear Ones:

After the resurrection of Christ, before His ascension, He instructed “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” to tell his disciples to go into Galilee.  There was a promise associated with this simple command:  “…THERE shall they see Me.” (Matt. 28:10)  The Lord at one point spoke to Ezekiel and said:  “…Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will THERE talk with thee…(I) went forth into the plain: and , behold, the glory of the Lord stood there.” (Ez. 3:22-23)  In both of these cases, there is something that is so very common…both resulted in the personal worship of God.  When Jesus met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, they fell at his feet and held them, worshipping Him.  Later the disciples in Galilee, when they saw Him, they worshipped. When Ezekiel saw the “glory of the Lord, ” he said, “…I fell on my face.” (Ez. 3:24)  In these three instances the individuals were declaring to the Lord, by words and actions, their consideration of the worth, beauty, and wonder of His person.  In these instances, they were overwhelmed by the fact that they were in the presence of God, merciful and gracious, and yet, almighty and sovereign.  The point is this.  BECAUSE THEY WERE WORSHIPPERS OF GOD, GOD WAS A REALITY TO THEM.  The second point is that, if we would know Him, and worship Him, we must be, not only in mind and heart His BE His, but be WHERE He would have us to be.

Scripture truly comes alive when we look at what the Lord Jesus says about the last days, and His coming.  And in light of “wars and rumors of wars,” He declares what we are to be and to do.  He speaks of His servants being faithful and wise, and this as it pertains to serving others.  He goes on to deal with the “resources” that He entrusts to His servants, and the necessity to be a good and faithful servants, in using these talents (resources) for His glory.  And in the midst of all this consideration, the servant is to be watchful, circumspect, knowing the times in which he or she is living.  Now, the question becomes, “Can I be so involved with serving, that I cease to attend to the first thing, the one thing needful?”  The answer to this question is another one:  “Is Jesus Christ real to me?”  Or is He in heaven, and I upon this earth, with little “reality” between?

When John writes to the church at Ephesus in the book of the Revelation, he declares to them the Lord’s words, “You have left your first love.”  I believe that when we have lost the meaning and practice of personal adoration, and worship of Christ…at His feet, worshipping in Spirit and truth, then we lose the “reality,” the consciousness of His presence.  We serve, but not out of love.  We serve, but often independent of Him.  We are called first and foremost to worship Him, then to serve.

We began this devotional by looking at verses which spoke of places the Lord would have certain people “go,” in order to “see” Him, or to “hear” His voice.  What we discover by this is that God calls us to live in a certain place, or travel to certain places, in order to  serve Him. It might be that He would have us to live where we are, but maybe not.  That is His choice…for He knows where we shall be of greatest usefulness and fruitfulness.  It will be in that place where He has chosen to reveal Himself to our hearts.  Maybe we can sum up the whole of this topic by saying, “…although God is everywhere, Christ by His Spirit is particularly WHERE He has called us to be…for THERE, He will reveal Himself to the heart.

Love, Dad

The Lord’s Secret

Dear Ones:

A secret is something that is hidden, unknown, kept privately in the heart and mind.  With regard to men, we think it may be great or small, good or bad, long-lasting or short-term.  But if we enter the realm of the eternal, and we consider the “secret of the Lord,” (Ps. 25:14), the magnitude and eternal ramifications of the thing hidden can be “beyond what we could ask or think,” or which can be expressed in what the Lord told Habakkuk:  “…I will work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” (Hab. 1:5)

Let’s get a little more close to home with regard to “the secret of the Lord.”  In Psalm 25:14, we read: “…The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant.”  That which is in the mind and heart of God, hidden from the eyes and understanding of men, God does reveal.  But He reveals it to a certain kind of person, one who “fears” Him.  What does this mean?  It means first that the believer has a right concept of God, not an idolatrous, twisted, and false concept.  When Moses asked the Lord to see His glory, scripture tells us:  “…And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.'” (Ex. 34:6)  He goes on to speak of his mercy to thousands, but that He will judge those who are guilty of sin, of unbelief.  Now, why is this vision of God so very important, if we would be in that position for Him to reveal His secrets?  It is simply that for those who have such a vision of Him, there is the response of a  commitment to Him to believe in Him as such, and follow Him.  Those who honor Him, He will honor, and this is manifested in that He reveals His will, and His secrets, to those who have clean hands and a pure heart.  This attitude of mind and heart are only possible with a right vision of God.

What are the secret things?  Jeremiah tells us that, “…it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23)  How then are we to know His will for our individual lives?  How are we to know the reason for which He has brought us into the world, “…created in Christ Jesus unto good works?”  We are not photocopies, but His individual masterpieces, each with God-endowed gifts, and capacities.  So, how do we know these gifts, and calling of God, which are hidden to us?  “By revelation.” Paul tells us that, “…it pleased God…to REVEAL His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen.” (Gal. 1:15-16) Such is the calling of God.  But there is also the secret of the knowledge of the will of God, the direction of God in the life.  He later writes, “I went up (to Jerusalem) BY REVELATION.” (2:2)  So we see that God does reveal our calling to us, and His gifts.  But He also unveils to us the mysteries of His will in His time and way, and this, by giving us clarity of direction.  “He leadeth me.”

So, what are we to do?  Give to God His place…upon His throne in heaven, and upon the throne of our hearts, deferring to His calling and purpose for our lives.  I find it a very practical prayer to ask Him to “bring us sovereignly into conformity with His purposes, His will, and His way…believing Him to “instruct us and teach us in the way we should choose.”  He will not fail; He will prevail…for He is absolutely good, faithful and true.

Love, Dad

The Clarion Message

Dear Ones:

The clarion is a “shrill, narrow-tubed war trumpet,” which gives a “loud and clear” sound.  Why?  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:8, “…For it the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”  What is the clarion message throughout Scripture which reveals to us the unchanging ways of God, and makes so very clear the basic principle by which we are to live?  It is, “…The just shall LIVE by faith.”

When God gave to Habakkuk the vision of what was soon to befall Israel because of her disobedience, He reminds Habakkuk that in it all, and regardless of the times and circumstance, the ways of God remain immutably the same.  In particular, “… the just shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4)  Now, why does He say this?  Why is this the clarion message, declared so loud and clearly throughout Scripture?  It is because of  three realities.  The first is that all that is “good” in the sight of God must first come from Him, for as Jesus said, “God alone is good.”  Paul would follow this up by saying, “…there is none righteous, no, not one…there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. 3:10,12).  The second reality is that God IS good, and all that He does and gives, is good.  The third reality is simply that we are created to be “receivers.”  We have no goodness, nor can we do good, unless we receive it BY FAITH from God…for He IS our goodness.

Scripture tells us that we are “justified by faith.”  How is this so?  It is because the goodness of God leads us to repentance, and that means, that we look heavenward and not inward for His righteousness.  “But as many as RECEIVED Him, to them gave He power (authority) to become the sons of God.” (Jn. 1:12)  So, we must receive the “free gift” of His righteousness in all of its completeness, beauty, and holiness…and are thus, justified.  What about our walk, and of being conformed into the image of Christ?  It is the same principle.  We might say, “We are sanctified BY FAITH…”  We thus live BY FAITH, and are changed, because we RECEIVE of Christ, by the Spirit.  We receive, and thus, are able to give that which is good.

The life of faith is a life lived by the Spirit, being led by Him, strengthened by Him, enabled by Him…it is a life of receiving from Christ all that is needful.  It is a life of abiding in His life, as He abides in us.  THIS is why the clarion message is so very important, for if we do not grasp that we are receivers, and that God is the blessed giver of all that is good, ever desiring to give that which is His highest and best, then how shall we please Him and glorify our Maker and Redeemer who has loved us with an everlasting love?

So today, let us respond to the Lord’s words in Psalm 81:10: “…I am the Lord thy God which brought thee out of Egypt: open thy mouth WIDE, and I WILL FILL IT.” (Ps. 81:10)  Let us obey it, and believe it,  taking the Lord at His word.

Love, Dad

 

A Mind Made Up

Dear Ones:

In the book of Joshua, where we read concerning his old age, and soon departure to be with the Lord, he writes:  “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15)  The context of such a declaration to Israel is the atmosphere, and practice, of the temptation to worship other gods, “…the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt.” (v. 14)  If ever there was a clear call to put off the world’s gods, its philosophy, its mindset…this is it.  We are called to enter by a narrow gate, and to walk a narrow path.  This is simply because the vast multitude of humanity is following some other path.  Isaiah puts the matter of the world’s way in an unmistakable, and clear manner:  “…we have turned everyone to HIS OWN WAY; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:6)  This broad way is simply that way which is our own way, and not that of Christ.  In contrast to it, He declares Himself to be “the Way.” After Pentecost, those who followed Christ were said to be a group, belonging to “the Way.”

Why is it so important to come to grips with the matter of choice?  When Jesus spoke of the house being built upon the rock (Himself), He was speaking of a life built upon truth, and Himself as the truth.  It must be said at this point that all which is a contradiction to Christ and His word is NOT truth.  How foolish to build one’s whole life upon that which is not true, presently and eternally true, everlasting.  When Joshua uttered the afore-mentioned words concerning a choice, he was not just admonishing Israel to make a good choice, but an eternal one…one that was based upon absolute truth, reality.

It is increasingly believed in our society that “reality” is that which we “perceive” or feel, or even think.  The problem with this perspective is that what we “believe” depends upon our own “reasoning,” rather than what is absolutely true.  There are invisible physical laws that govern our physical universe.  There are spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God, with Christ, which, though “invisible” are nonetheless as real as physical laws.

In Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17, He prays to the Father that He would “…sanctify (the disciples) through Thy TRUTH.”  Then He said, “THY WORD IS TRUTH.” (v.17)  Jesus’ prayer is directed at the intervention of God in individual lives, and this by working according to the truth…His word.  The point is that God works always according to His word.  Why?  Because, as He is truth, His word is also…

Choosing to serve Christ is to first of all choose Him as our truth, the Rock upon which we will build our house.  Secondly, it means, to choose His word above all the philosophies, religions, and perspectives of men.  Though this way is narrow, and comparatively speaking, there are few that walk thereon, it is eternally sure.  “…As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.”  May this be our continuing choice today, and in the days to come.

Love, Dad

 

And He Shall Reign

Dear Ones:

Henry Ironside had a very simple approach to practical Christianity.  He said, “God said it.  I believe it.  That settles it.”  Charles Spurgeon on his death-bed expressed the culmination of a life of preaching, by declaring that all can be resumed in the phrase:  “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”  In the tumult of circumstances, trials of life, and the blessings of life, there rings forth the resounding words of the Apostle Paul:  “…I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved ME, and gave Himself for ME.”  Three men, whose lives changed so many other lives, declare the same thing about this life of faith.   It is based on the faithfulness, and the unchangeableness of God, and it is motivated by love,  by God, who first loved us, and demonstrated and proved it in not sparing His Son.  The fact is, faith is based upon the rule and reign of Christ, His authority and power, and this working through love.  Regardless of what man might say or do.  Christ reigns, and will reign.

When John the Baptist was put in prison, he was cut off from “the fields of air.”  His circumstances were very confining,  and most probably, he was physically weakened.  His faith was tried as we see him questioning whether Christ was indeed the Messiah.  Christ reassured Him, and this by bringing to his remembrance His marvelous works and power, authority.  He reminded him in essence that He was still the coming King.

When Peter, after the resurrection, and somewhat impatient as to what was next on the agenda of God, declares to the other disciples:  “…I am going fishing.”  Jesus would appear on the shore, and tell the disciples to let down the net on a specific side of the boat, and this, after they had fished all night without catching anything.  The demonstration of His power and authority as witnessed by the great haul of fish that the disciples had, renewed their faith in His power and authority.  He demonstrated His reign, His power and authority.  In both of these illustrations, we see that faith is indeed based upon the power and authority of God…His immutable power.

One last thought…Paul declared to the Corinthians that his “…speech and preaching” was in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”  And then he adds, “…that your faith should NOT stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:4-5)  Here is the place where we take our stand, place our feet, and refuse to be moved…in the power of God…in the reign of Christ.  If we have taken Him to be our King, then His power is ours to trust in.  And He shall work in and through us, “…according to His power that worketh in us.”

Love, Dad