Boasting in Knowing Him

Jeremiah 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.

Glorying or boasting is good if glorying is in the right thing. Having a true saving knowledge of, experience with, and understanding of God are right reasons to glory—Jeremiah 9.24 - Boasting in Knowing Himknowing His nature, His power, His ways, His will.

The more we know Him, the more we see how wonderful He really is. For Him to lovingly and graciously invite us to drink of the free Living Water, He knows that when we do, we get to taste and see how good He really is, that He really is the One we need and we’ve been looking for. He’s the only one Who really satisfies our deepest hunger and thirst. He really is the answer to the greatest longing of our souls.

Others run after this world and its seemingly grand offers. They pursue more and more money. They strive hard to share in the 15 minutes of fame—of increased power and influence. They continually look for new things that will satisfy the cravings of their tongues and stomachs, or other people and things that will satisfy their flesh. But those are not things we glory in—not temporal things that will eventually just get burned up.

What we have extends beyond the reaches of matter, time, and space. Who we have and what we have are infinitely worth more than anything and anyone. He’s incomparable, immeasurable, incalculable, and incomprehensible. That’s why we worship Him alone. No volumes of books are enough to accommodate everything that can be written about Him. No amount of words can be used to fully describe the joys and blessings of having a saving knowledge, personal relationship, and very close intimacy with such a magnificent Being.

 

We’ll be Prepared

1 Thessalonians 5:23   (KJV)   23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s commonly known that we’re a tripartite being—consisting of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.  Our body is the material, tangible, and visible part; our soul is composed of our intellect, emotion, and volition (or will); our spirit is the part of our being that 1 Thessalonians 5.23-24 - We'll be Preparedconnects with God.  Prior to our salvation, our bodies and soul catered much to sin, and our spirits were dead; we were separated from God.

When we placed our faith in our Lord Jesus, when we placed our full dependence on Him for our forgiveness and salvation, when we surrendered the throne of our lives to Him, we were made alive; our spirits were reborn. We’re become new creations; the old “us” are gone; the new has come.  We’re now experiencing and enjoying eternal life, seated with our Lord in heavenly places (the full meaning and implications of which He alone knows).

This doesn’t mean we’re now in our full heavenly state—no, not yet. Our bodies and souls still show signs of many flaws and imperfections.  Although, we’re slowly changing even in these areas—from glory to glory, He’s changing us into the image of His Son—our dear Lord and Savior Jesus.  I’ve heard it often, “we’re not sinless; we just sin less.”  Not to be used as an excuse or in pride, but the statement is true.  We humbly admit: we’re not perfect—yet.  But we don’t fear.  We have different levels of maturity and different rates of growth, but when our Lord returns, we’ll all be made ready. We who despite our “working out of our salvation,” and despite our “striving” and wanting to be holy for our Father in heaven is holy, still mess up, will be “qualified” because: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (v.24).

All for God

Deuteronomy 10:12   (KJV)   12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul

deuteronomy-10-12-all-for-godThere’s a difference between fearing people and fearing God. We don’t fear people; we fear God.

It’s not demeaning to fear Him Who created all things, in control of all things, and Who not only can do something with our bodies, but has control over our souls’ destiny.

To fear God, to walk in a way that pleases Him, to love Him and to serve Him with our all—these may sound so hard, but if we really think about it, they’re really very doable. We just have to want to.

Reality: Christian life is not just hard; it’s impossible—if we depend upon our own power. But our precious Lord Who expects us to live for Him also empowers us to do so.

Because we fear Him, we want to live in such a way that will please Him, because we love Him, we serve Him. Not everyone who tries to please God really fears Him. Not everyone who serves Him really loves Him.

Fearing, pleasing, loving, and serving God is a privilege. He doesn’t need them. We do. He existed in perfection without us. They’re ultimately for our best.

All things are from Him, trough Him, and for Him. He also spared no expense for our pardon and salvation. That’s the reason why we do what’s appropriate: serving God with no less than all our heart and our souls, humbly acknowledging that even with that, He deserves infinitely more.

Open for Correction

Psalm 141:5   (KJV)   Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

A wise person is open for correction. It doesn’t matter if the rebuke hurts; it’s humbly and gratefully welcomed. They see that the advantages of painful corrections far outweigh the hurts brought by them. They’re given to heal and not to destroy.

Corrections in life are necessary. But only works great on people who are wise and humble – people who aren’t hurt to accept their imperfection. Corrections are good for us. But we’re often left to ourselves living out our dangerous mistakes because we’re not willing to be shown the errors of our ways. In wanting to keep the peace, people would rather avoid pointing out our flaws. We need to give people the assurance, not just the impression, that it’s okay for them to tell us if we’re doing something wrong. We ought to be happy about it and thankful for people who love us for who we are, but who love us enough to save us from dangerous and destructive factors in our lives.

Lies will destroy us. Errors will destroy us. Let us accept corrections like skilled-maneuverings of a specialist physician to rid us of our deadly sicknesses although it may necessitate cutting us open first. Let us treat them as soothing balms for our sin-sick souls.

Dear God of Truth, You’re our pursuit. We want truth, even if they are ugly truths about us that we need to surrender to You. Please give us the spirit of graciousness and gratefulness towards other people who love us enough to boldly yet gently show us the errors of our ways – to restore us to the right path. Please help us to be intrepid enough not to be a passive contributor to other people’s curses – by also lovingly speaking up when we see others treading the wrong path – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

The Value of You

Luke 15:4  (KJV)   What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Even though one seems to be insignificant and unnoticeable in the company of a hundred, this isn’t the case when it comes to sheep – at least those referred to in the story. To the shepherd, each sheep is of very high value. That’s the reason why he knows the number of the sheep to the detail. He knows when one is lost – even only one. And one lost sheep is enough reason for the shepherd to do an all-out search – and an unceasing search that will only find satisfaction when the lost sheep is finally found.

Every soul is valuable before God. It’s often been stated that if we we’re the only person on earth, God would have still sent His Son to die on the cross just to save us. There sadly are lost souls. Sadder still: there will be souls lost for eternity. But not because the Great Shepherd lacked to show sufficient care and action;  He has shown us that He was willing to go to great lengths and spare no expense for our salvation. He went all-out, crossing the borders of the eternal and gave us the “Darling of heaven” – the greatest Treasure we can find in heaven and on earth and anywhere else – His Son. Every one of us is that important to Him. Let us see others, and ourselves the same way and do nothing less than our best in going after those who are lost.

Precious Father, thank you for valuing each of us as much as you do. May we see each other the same way. May we also humbly and gratefully value You for Who You are. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Extravagant Love

Luke 7:38  (KJV)   38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

The woman’s love for Jesus was displayed extravagantly, emotionally, affectionately, and very visibly. It had no regard for other people’s impression of who she was and cared not for criticisms she would receive. How could she do it? Why did she do it? Before she poured a single drop of perfume, she first poured all of herself. Her all-out external display of love naturally exuded from an all-out love that was already resident in the depths of her heart. It was a great “show;” she had a great love.

Love expresses itself. Love finds a way to do so. Much love will express much. A lack of loving expression may be an alarming signal of a lack of love. Please, conscientiously watch the signs. If we truly love our Master, let no personal predispositions, religious traditions or popular opinions hold us back from letting our love have its way. This is not a proposition to listen to the heart without consideration of wisdom. That would be foolish and disastrous. Lovers have been unnecessarily hurt because of solely emotional decisions. This is not a rebellious outcry to discard boundaries; that wouldn’t be love; love is righteous; it springs from the very nature of God. We need not indulge in ungodliness to generously demonstrate the greatness of our love.  We have enough godly expressions of love to last us more than one lifetime. We are to love God with all our hearts, minds, soul, and strength. Let our love flow: emotionally, intelligently, deeply, physically – noticeably.

Loving God, thank you for sparing no expense in showing how great your love is for us. You gave it your best; You gave us the greatest expression of Your love by giving us Your Son. Please help us to reciprocate Your gesture – limited as we are. May we never be ashamed of letting others know of our love for You,  even in the way we love others too. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.