No Pretenses

Acts of the Apostles 5:4   (NLT)   The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

Pretense is a serious offense in the Kingdom of God.  Good deeds marred by lies—especially against God’s very own children—can have devastating consequences. Deceiving God’s people is a direct assault on God. God doesn’t take those things lightly.  Acts 5.4 - No PretensesSin of all kinds always has consequences. The consequences may not manifest right away; some wrongdoers may think they’re getting away with it. Consequences—though they may not come immediately, they will come surely.

We better be careful with the words we speak; there is wisdom in thinking before speaking. Believers aren’t invincible when it comes to deception and lies. Others want to appear better than who they really are; they want their work to appear bigger than what they really do. Who doesn’t want to look good, right? Pretense becomes a weapon in accomplishing this. We must be very careful not to be lured into its very superficial benefits.  As believers we ought to be careful in using figures of speech: exaggeration, hyperbole, euphemism, similes, metaphors, overstatements, etc. They are beautiful and creative ways of expressing ideas when utilizing them obviously as that—figures of speech. But the temptation is there to exalt oneself by blurring the line between creativity and reality. We ought to be careful; it will keep us from trouble.

Dear God thank you for being a God of integrity and honesty. You’re not One who lies to us. You are the God of truth. In fact, you are the Truth. We can absolutely depend on You because what You say is what it is. There isn’t a pinch of possibility that You don’t mean what You say, or that You ever deceive us. Help us to be like You in this. May we be people of truth. Let nothing—bribe, greed, envy, jealousy, self-exaltation—lead us to embellishing or twisting reality. We are children of truth—children of light. Help us to live as one, fearless of exposure because we have nothing to hide.

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More Valuable than All Our Achievements

Philippians 3:8   (KJV)   Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

We are pursuing something more significant than any and all achievements we or anyone else can ever achieve. Knowing Jesus more carries infinitely more value than all our advancements and accomplishments—even the spiritual kind. We don’t mind losing Philippians 3.8 - More Valuable than All Our Achievementseverything no matter how precious they may be in the natural eyes and in society’s estimation. Compared to Jesus, they’re like useless garbage.

When it comes to our salvation, our best efforts amount to nothing. We humbly admit: our best efforts still fail miserably short of God’s glorious standards. It’s foolish to anchor our hope in ourselves. Perfection is far from anyone’s reach. The Lord Jesus alone can claim sinlessness. He’s the One to “run after;” He’s the One we take true pride and joy in.

It isn’t wrong to be proud of each other who sincerely and diligently try to do our best to faithfully live out our faith before the Lord and before the watching world. A good testimony—an exemplary life is admirable. There’s a place for compliments. We’re also called to encourage others, and to tell them “good job” when they really do well. It’s befitting for believers to do our best in all our works. Many times, we excel. Even our unbelieving bosses or peers notice.

We shine the light of Jesus through us—that’s a natural goal we have in everything we do. That’s very biblical. We will get applause, approval, and commendations; we may even receive promotion. We’re also called to grow in the knowledge and likeness of our Lord. All these give us sense of satisfaction, and that’s perfectly appropriate. But when it comes to comparing the value of all those achievements and progress to the value of an intimate knowledge and relationship with Jesus, the choice for us is undoubtedly clear: He’s our hands-down preference. Our ultimate pride is not ourselves, it’s Him.

 

Blessedness of Child-likeness

Luke 10:21   (KJV)   21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

There’s a huge blessing in being childlike than esteeming ourselves as wise and prudent.

Luke 10.21 - Blessedness in ChildlikenessHumility—child-likeness—it is God’s revealed preferred way to greatness; being Christlike also opens up windows of wonderful revelations, understanding, supernatural experiences, and insights that are hidden from the proud.

We trust the Lord; we trust Him in everything, and that includes divine paradoxical principles.  His ways are always proven true and right. So, instead of tirelessly competing in this dog-eat-dog world, jockeying for ever higher position and increasingly greater knowledge, we chose the path laid out for us by our Lord. We live humbly, continually growing in child-likeness. He takes care of exalting us and filling our lives with wonders.

When God is Revealed

Revelation 15:4   (KJV)   4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Revelation 15.4 - When God is RevealedWhen everything is revealed, everyone will clearly see how just and perfect God’s ways are. We don’t question God. We have the ability to but not the position to. He is so much bigger than us; His thoughts and ways are way much higher—infinitely—much higher than our ways and thoughts.

Others have a tendency to question Him especially when bad things happen to them. Many times, people can become so arrogant in the way they treat a very loving and powerful Creator. I’m happy the Lord doesn’t always put us in our place quickly. He gives us more than enough time to snap out of our rebellious ignorance and to come to our senses. Some persist in their defiance.

But in God’s perfect timing, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord. He will be revealed for Who He truly is—in His greatness, in His glory, in His splendor, in His majesty, in His holiness.  What a scene that will be. Believers and unbelievers alike will “stand” in awe—one in perfect joy, one in utter regret. All accusations hurled against God will vanish at the sight of eternal reality.

Pursue God’s Wisdom

Proverbs 3:7   (KJV)   Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

We don’t take pride in our own wisdom. There’s so much to learn; we understand that what we know is so infinitesimal as compared to the knowledge available out there.  Proverbs 3.7 - Pursue God's WisdomInstead of being impressed with our wisdom, we fear the Lord and live according to His wisdom. Wisdom itself isn’t evil; pursuing wisdom is wise.  But instead of trusting in our own understanding, we pursue God’s wisdom.

We won’t completely comprehend and contain all of God’s wisdom, but He shares to us slices of His wisdom and knowledge He knows are essential to fulfilling our God-ordained destinies, callings, and responsibilities. His wisdom continues to flow from His throne to where we are; He’s extremely generous with it. To tap into His wisdom that’s infinitely greater than ours, His thoughts that are higher than our thoughts, is a blessing truly immeasurable.

One of the best expressions of godly wisdom is fearing God. We rightly fear Him Who has control over our eternal destinies, Who can touch our whole being, Who is the ultimate judge—the One Who has the final say whether He will delightedly welcome us into His eternal glorious presence, or tell us to depart. It’s wise, not legalism to fear God. It carries more blessings than we’ll ever know, and that’s fine. We may not know all of those blessings, but we don’t want to miss out on them.

Soli Deo Gloria

1 Corinthians 1:31   (KJV)   31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

It makes sense for us to take pride in our Lord alone. And this is so encouraging because as believers, we want to triumph over the influence or power of pride. Ego has caused so many irreparable devastations—from individual to international level. Simply, pride 1 Cor. 1.31 - Soli Deo Gloriaawfully destroys. Others have fallen prey to its deadly tentacles; believers have been graced with power and wisdom to overcome.

Soli Deo Gloria! He has blessed us abundantly. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him; we own nothing that didn’t come from Him. We’re not perfect—none is—except Him of course, but He still finds it in His heart to call us and move in us so we can understand Him and His ways, so we can respond with faith and experience His free gift of salvation. I’ve sinned against Him multiplied times over. Even as a believer, I still do. This is not undermining the wonderful changes He has made in me. There have been changes by leaps and bounds in my life. We’re not sinless, but we definitely sin much less.

The truth is, even in our imperfections, God still works powerfully in our lives—touching us, and touching others through us. He calls us to join Him in His mission. None of us possess the knowledge of all the mysteries of God; our riches pale pathetically infinitesimal—insignificantly little in comparison to all the riches He possesses; we have very limited strength. With all those, God deems it best to bless us with His presence, understanding, power, and authority that confounds the world’s best. That’s obviously the Lord’s doing. Glory to Him and to Him alone!

Channels of Glory

Galatians 1:24   (KJV)   24 And they glorified God in me.

As His children, we’re given a high honor and privilege of being channels of God’s glory.

Not all we do bring glory to our God. Through us, God can either be praised or cursed.

galatians-1-24-channels-of-gloryWe can have better chances of channeling peoples praise towards God if we’re not involved in works of darkness. It is when we let our light shine before others that they’re able to see God in us—how good and great He is. That’s how those in darkness are drawn to the Light.

God is Holy, loving, mighty. We’re not necessarily the same. It’s when those are seen in us that people see the reality that’s not us—a reality that’s attractive and magnetic, a reality that’s bigger than us, a reality that sincerely-seeking people want to be a part of.

God is essentially glorious. He isn’t always given His du—often because others aren’t just conscientious or aware. We as people in whom He dwells can bring the truth of God’s glory closer and clearer to the people.

Our lives shine; there’s no life more beautiful and radiant than that which glows with God’s beauty.

We know our worth in Him, that’s why we don’t desire glory to ourselves. We’re the pointers not the destination of praise.