True Divergents

Psalm 112.7 - True DivergentsPsalm 112:7   (KJV)   He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

The Gospel—the Good News of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ is the best news there is. It shines exceedingly brightly in the midst of extreme darkness. Bad news isn’t just a reality; it inundates history and current events; we’re surrounded by it. In the natural, many of them can be really scary. But we as God’s children are undaunted by them. God trumps any and every evil experience that threatens us. If we can trust God for our eternal destiny, how much more easily can we trust Him for our earthly welfare? We know Him—not all of Him, but enough of our loving Father to assure us of His love, presence, and might.

Whatever the threat, whatever the menace, whatever the danger, our hearts remain fixed in trusting God. We have His marching orders. We know how to conduct ourselves, often, very differently from the world’s ways. But we delightfully march to the commands of our heavenly Commander and Father—a General Who’s never wrong, our real Commander-in-Chief Who knows His enemies fully well and is never afraid to identify them and expose them, Whose strategies and tactics are always perfect, and Who’s always victorious in battle.  Then we “charge” forward—in love. We face our real enemies—not the flesh and blood in front of us, but the evil forces and principalities behind them.

We leave behind footprints of faith-filled, fearless followers. Our legacy of inner peace and trust in God lasts. Our children and our children’s children know and will know how to face the evil tidings of their generation. They too will trust God. They too will enjoy the blessings of living a life of faith, of living as light to their generation, as bearers of Good News. Our enemies are furious, and they will increase the intensity of their attacks. But we just continue to live out who we are in Him—we live: dauntless, in amity, erudite, in abnegation, and in candor.

One Body

John 17:23   (KJV)   23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The Father and the Son share such inexplicable oneness that to see the Son is to see the Father. They are perfect in their unity and intimacy: The Father is in the Son; The Father and the Son aJohn 17.23 - One Bodyre one. Amazingly, that same relationship the Father has with the Son is the same relationship the Son has with us—His children, His church. As the Father is in the Son, so is the Son in us. As the Father and the Son have perfect oneness, so does the Son and the church.

One of the clearly expressed purposes of all the oneness they share is so that we as His disciples may also have perfect oneness. We ought to neither undermine nor diminish the importance of our unity; it’s a high call to the church; it’s a prayer that flows from the heart of our precious Lord Jesus Himself. It’s a prayer still so far from being achieved. Sadly, many of our churches march to the drumbeat of personal, or pastoral, or denominational pride. Many leaders are more engaged in lifting the banner of their unique personal interpretations of the Word and their denominational distinctives rather than pursuing the loving unity brought about by our common core beliefs—cardinal doctrines we share altogether as one body.

Many Christians faithfully labor—spending a lot of time, energy, and effort presenting the Lord Jesus to the world. And that’s admirable and praiseworthy. But they also negate the efficacy of their efforts because of the very obvious disunity that they create. This ought to stop. Our earnest prayer is that our Lord’s prayer for unity be answered. We on our part work to be an answer to His prayer. He has revealed a Kingdom key that will open the doors of people’s eyes so that they will see the authenticity of Jesus as the Messiah sent and loved by the Father, that we’re truly experiencing God’s love in and among us. That’s why we highly value our oneness. That’s why we passionately pursue the unity of our Lord’s church.

More than Conquerors

 

John 16.33 - More than Conquerors - 1John 16:33   (KJV)   33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

There are trials and temptations; there are troubles and hardships; there are problems and challenges. As believers, we’re tremendously blessed. This is despite all the extreme difficulties we face. True, we’re not exempt from suffering. God’s Word clearly declares that those of us who live godly lives will suffer. We’re sent out as sheep among wolves. This isn’t a pretty picture—in the natural.

There are kinds of suffering shared by all. There are kinds of sufferings unique to unbelievers, and there are sufferings unique to believers. Believers suffer just for being believers. But life in the Lord is the most awesome life there is. We have peace, we have joy. And whatever battle, hardship, or challenge we face, we win—not because we’re strong and wise; it’s because God is. He has overcome the world and there’s nothing the world can do to us that we can’t beat.

God is Truth. He doesn’t want us to live in a false utopia. Yes, paradise is real; it will come. Evil, sin, and every bad experience will completely disappear. Until that time, God shows us the reality of our sin-plagued world. But the beauty about it is: while we wait for the literal visible Kingdom of God to come, His Kingdom already resides in us as His children. We have access to the Kingdom resources and authority. We are overcomers. Truth is: we’re more than conquerors. That’s why we have peace like a river, joy like a fountain and love like an ocean. That’s why in the middle of overwhelming tribulation, we live a wonderful life of loving God and loving everyone, even those who treat us as their enemies.

A Proof of Love

John 14:31   (KJV)   31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

There is no greater motivation than love. And one of the greatest proofs of our love is our sincere obedience. Our precious Lord Jesus, God’s Son loved His Father and proved that by doing exactly what His Father commanded. We love God, and He loves us immeasurably and incomJohn 14.31 - A Proof of Loveparably more. Because He loves us, He guides us, instructs us, and commands us. Because we love Him, we willingly do what He says.

One of our greatest joys is being identified with Him. One of our greatest frustrations is when we misrepresent Him. He’s the most wonderful Being there is. He’s indescribably awesome. Others see Him through us. As we lovingly obey our heavenly Dad, His light shines brightly through; others see His wonders—at least a snippet of it, but enough to create wholesome curiosity that draws them to Him. And nothing compares to living in the very Essence of love Himself.

We possess incomparable and untouchable quietness in our spirits. We know that everything He does is best for us. His instructions and leading demonstrates His unending loving involvement in our affairs here on earth as we wait for His return. Right now, our glorious dwelling in heaven is being prepared, or already prepared, waiting. As we live—loved by Him and loving Him, more people know Him. So we go, and through our joyful, grateful, and faithful walk, people see God’s invitation to a life of love and freedom. And from North, South, West, and East, they come.

Proud of God

Jeremiah 9.24 - Proud of GodJeremiah 9:24   (KJV)   24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

We’re grateful that God has blessed us with so much; we can do much; we accomplish much. But with all our God-given enormous potential, we humbly admit: we make mistakes, at times, terrible mistakes. We don’t compare ourselves to others; it’s easy to find others who do worse than us. We contritely own up to our flaws and sins, knowing that our loving and just God can lovingly, mercifully, and graciously forgive us without violating His justice.

He deserves all the glory; that we know full well. We are just immensely grateful that He welcomed us to experience His salvation and freedom—that we have a loving, living relationship with Him. We are tremendously grateful to Him for opening our minds and hearts to realizing Who He is—our Life-Saver and King. Now, we enjoy an intimate relationship with Him; we “know” Him. We saw that we were drowning in sin; He came as our Life-Saver; He grabbed hold of us and we grabbed hold of Him. We saw that we were living in rebellion against God—living as our own king; we bowed to His crown, and He accepted us into His Kingdom.

In God and through God alone does lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness come together in perfect harmony. He loves us; He wants to save us from our sins—its penalty, its power, and its presence. He’s just; He needs to judge us for our sins. He’s righteous; He wants and leads us to walk the righteous path. In His awesome wisdom, He came in the very person of His Son and demonstrated His love and justice by dying on the cross. On the cross, He sacrificed His life for us—that’s love clearly seen. On that cross, He took the punishment for our sins—that’s justice sufficiently served. We who are now graciously saved joyfully and faithfully live in righteousness as we walk according to the words and will of our King.

God Bless the Nations

Jeremiah 4:2   (KJV)   2 And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

This is our declaratiJeremiah 4.2 - God Bless the Nationson: God is God; God is good; He is real, and He exists. A cliché to some, but the message is immensely important. We don’t need a God Who lies. A lying God will lead us to utter confusion. We don’t need a God Who’s unfair. Better not have one than live in a world where God is the reason why the guilty is rewarded and the innocent is punished. Sure, corruption is found in the world’s justice system, but it’s the justice of God that gives us hope, confidence, and assurance that a time is coming when justice will rise from the prison of conspiracies, cover-ups, and false accusations. We don’t need an unrighteous God. How can our steps be established if we don’t know that the One we depend on won’t always do right?

We raise His banner; it’s the banner everyone can look to and find hope. Not everyone realizes that. If they do, most of them would come running to Him. God has given us so many proofs of Himself: His reality, His power, His love. It’s obvious: God’s plans, intents, and acts towards mankind are always for the best. For us, it makes sense that we not only gravitate towards Him; we passionately throw ourselves to His strong loving arms.

This is the truth sadly missed by so many; this is the truth we tell. It’s a pure truth, a good truth. We won’t convince all—as much as we want to—as much as God wants everyone to be saved.  Oh, if only people would open their hearts and welcome our loving Father; if only they would receive and experience His salvation and freedom. To this incomparably important end, we present and represent our Father. We too live truthfully, fairly, righteously. There is so much blessedness in this, blessedness offered to and sufficient for all nations, for the entire creation.

Messenger to the Nations

Jeremiah 1.10 - Messenger to NationsJeremiah 1:10   (KJV)   10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

As God’s appointed messengers, we are part of God’s supreme authority and work. He has the power to establish or destroy any nation, kingdom, or entity. As His representatives or spokespeople, we partake of that divine authority and power to do the same. Let’s be clear about it; by ourselves, there’s nothing we can do. It’s God Who works in and through us to do great exploits.

God in His foreknowledge initiated everything for us to be found in this honored position of authority—reigning with our precious Lord Jesus Christ in heavenly places. Young and old, rich and poor, men and women, boys and girls, people of all races, tribes, and nations—we all lovingly and boldly go out without trepidation, we face whoever the person, whatever the nation, whatever the situation. Again, it’s because we know that God watches over us, is in us, and is always with us.

There comes a time when a nation continuously rebels and fights against God—the very Power Who birthed them. There comes a time when our voice seems suppressed and we are the enemy. This doesn’t change our reality: God is our strength. He is our fortress. He’s our impenetrable Shield; we’re always protected. So we speak against the evils of a nation—before the rulers, before the “influencers.” They don’t like us; they attack us, but we remain—strong, fearless, steadfast, unmoved. Why? It’s because God never fails; He takes care of us, and will never stop doing so.