Tag Archives: commandment

The Cry of Your Heart

Is there trouble in your life? Are you seeking God’s mind on the matter, or are you just fighting your way through the experience?

Present day culture is so raddled with evil and desperation, it can be very difficult to choose to go to God for answers to a problem.  The problem and its impossibility of a good outcome focus our attention on the problem. God wants our attention focused on Him. We don’t think He is going to do anything right away, so we don’t want to look at him.

Consider a small child who has accidentally spilled water on the carpet. Over and over, the child has been told not to carry food or liquids across the carpet. The child doesn’t see why that applies to water because water dries clear. So he fills his little cup and focuses on walking carefully across the carpet. Suddenly the water spills.  It just happens. He wonders if the water will dry up before his mom sees it. What he doesn’t know is that the water has seeped through to the floor underneath and will cause harm to the floor.

Often we have a problem because we do something but don’t know all the facts of a matter and can’t predict the end result if we run into difficulties. We assume we can get by and things will work out even if we spill the water. Remember that God knows all end results and has put boundaries in place to help us avoid the ripple effect of a problem.

Okay, so water has been spilled and dried up without anyone being the wiser – we think. Then six months down the road, there is a creak in the floorboard under the carpet where we spilled the water. We take a look at the spot and see it isn’t real bad and shrug it off. We didn’t realize that all the while that board was moist, fleas got in there and made a nest. Next summer, when the weather becomes hot, those fleas come up through the now rotted board and right up through the carpet and start causing a very big problem. Everyone who walks through the room is affected and not just ourselves.

We spend all our time for days and weeks trying to get rid of the million tiny problems that are a result of one spill of water. We can’t eliminate the fleas; they reproduce too fast, and we become sick from the bites they lavish on us.

Finally, we cry out to the Lord in extreme agony. He hears. He knows. He takes us step by step through the process of redemption as many times as we need to get free. Because we are sick from a million bites, He heals us and removes that torment so we can focus on Him again. Then He reminds us that when we know what to do and don’t do it, it is sin. He leads us to repentance. He washes us clean. He shows us how to replace the rotten floor and seals the cracks. He sets us upright on our feet and puts a light in front of us so we can’t miss the way again. God hears your cry and heals your heart. Always. He never fails.

Now stop carrying water across the carpet.

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Worshiping God Together

Nehemiah 8:10 “This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

May I recommend that you read the entire book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament of the Bible, and especially chew on chapter 8. The context of the verse quoted above is instructive! The people of Israel had been hearing the Law of God read aloud to them and a group of them called the Levites also explained what they were hearing. These people had been reunited in Jerusalem and the surrounding area after long years of captivity away and were only re-discovering God’s Word. They were astounded and awed. His Word resonated in their hearts and minds and later in the book you will read that they vowed to follow the law and be blessed by God.

Chapter 8 gives us a nice pattern for meeting together to meet with God and give Him our complete attention.  There are five specific steps included, whcih we can easily follow in our church meetings today. The guidelines are simple! God always makes things simple to understand, even how we can have unity and worship Him!

1. A time of praise. The people stood, with their hands lifted, offering praise to God. The book doesn’t say that they sang, but as singers were an integral segment of Temple staff, singing and music could certainly be included.

2. There was a time of worship. The people bowed low to the ground and offered their complete selves to God in worship. There was no lolling around in easy chairs presuming equality living room time with God for this kind of serious worship. Purposeful reverence required involvement of body, mind and spirit all reverently bowed before the Lord their God.  More than likely, the people were also dressed in their very best garments. God deserves our first and best of everything.

3. Next came a time of preaching. The Levites, God’s appointed priests to the people explained the Word of God.

4. Following the preaching came a time of repenting. The Word of God entered into the hearts of the people and revealed what they needed to do to be right with God and they did this immediately.

5. Finally, a time of celebration. The people were told to feast and share what they had with people who did not have anything prepared. This precedent deserves much meditation by all believers!  Today, as Christ commanded we remember Him,  we would most certainly include the Lord’s supper, or communion following the time of repentance. Many millions of people in the world come to communion unprepared. They do not understand any of the Lord’s commandments regarding the bread and the cup, and so they take it unworthily, thus sinning against the Lord.  All you who do know what the Lord has said and follow Him in truth have the right and the obligation to prepare others.  Recommended reading further on this:

I John 5:13-21, 2 John

Being prepared to celebrate Christ and being forgiven of sin means that you must know and receive the truth that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, that he came to earth to die for the sins of all, and that he rose from the dead.  Review the pattern given to us in Nehemiah, practice it for yourself, and you will find that the Lord will raise you up to bring others in!

God bless you with His mighty joy as you worship God today.

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The Easiest Rule

“Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting – and any other commandment – are all summed up in this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no worng to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements.” Romans 13:8-10

Whether or not we love others is tested by this statement: “Many waters cannot quench love; neither can rivers drown it.” Song of Solomon 8:7

Present day culture is as overwhelming as many waters. It flows over us even when we want nothing to do with it. Followers of Jesus Christ receive greater enmity from the world than people who do not know Him. Yet it is our unquenchable spirit in our circumstances that draws those same persecuting unbelievers to want the Savior for themselves. God, then, has made living here on oppressed earth and in His Kingdom of eternal life at the same time a win-win situation for us. We can obey the command to love others no matter what, and God will use this to bring them to Himself., which means we have also obeyed His command to give the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone. Our faith makes us whole.

When we receive Christ as Savior and Lord, God gives us His Name. We are adopted into His family and have all the same rights and privileges as His Firstborn, Jesus. We can read the Bible to find out how Jesus does things, and we can do likewise. Not less than; everything he has done, we can do. He says so in John 14:12 – ” I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do—yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.”

Most people, even unbelievers, agree that Jesus went about doing good. He came to show us the Father’s love, and He did that by doing good. He loved everyone, equally. Jesus said that He did nothing by HImself, but only what He heard the Father saying. We know that God’s love is perfect and poured equally on everyone, so we know we can do the same when we follow Jesus and do everything we hear the Father saying. Believers have a special ability towards each other. Because we are all family, we have the ability to love our neighbor as Christ loves us; He is our Brother!!

Jealousy and preference are outlawed in the Kingdom of God. You cannot love someone as the Father loves you and be jealous of what that person has or can do that you can’t. God says He gives each of us special gifts with which to serve Him, and when we focus on Him and use the gifts the way Jesus used them, we will not fall into covetousness.

The gifts we receive are spiritual in nature. They work out in the practice of everyday life, but they are driven by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. To demonstrate sincere love for one another, we must love by faith. I Thessalonians 5:19 says do not quench, or restrain, the Holy Spirit. If we do not have His power, we cannot love by faith. As many waters cannot quench love, so many waters cannot restrain us from living in the love of God and pouring it out to everyone alike. To step away from this awesome way of life, ignoring the Spirit of God living in us cannot quench the love of God toward us. He remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

So, my friends, if you have forgotten how to live as one with Christ, I urge you to stand before God now and repent of your sin and receive the love He has never stopped lavishing on you. Then, you can once again love others freely and the true law will be fulfilled in you.

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A Life of Decisions

In the Body of Christ, every believer and follower of Christ has the right and privilege of knowing His perfect will in every circumstance and situation. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ living inside us, will guide us into ALL TRUTH. 

Have you ever wanted to know either the history or the outcome of a particular situation? God knows these things, and he is willing to share information. Often we make our choices based on pre-judging (prejudice) or assumption because of what we see. God wants us to make choices based on faith, or what we can’t see, which is believing He knows everything, and what He knows is perfect and best. 

Nearly all the time, special knowledge from God is not needed to make a right decision. We have His written Word, the Bible, where every life issue can be weighed with the principles and commands spelled out clearly for us. The Spirit of God will always use the Word of God to teach us and make God’s perfect will clear to us. 

Here is one example of how God leads and teaches us.  We begin with some scriptures.

Genesis 2:23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.

   “This one is bone from my bone,
      and flesh from my flesh!
   She will be called ‘woman,’
      because she was taken from ‘man.’”

 24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.

Ephesians 5:31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

These two passages reveal the heart of God how marriage is ordained to work. God does not give anyone a pass on this. If you will read all of Ephesians 5, you will learn that marriage is a representation of Christ’s relationship to His Body, which is all believers. In order for Christ to be properly and truthfully demonstrated in marriage, a man must leave his parents and become one with his wife. When we became Christians, we became mysteriously joined to Christ in a relationship that the world we leave behind for that cannot understand. So it is that only the husband and wife can understand their own relationship with each other. Parents are not to be initmately involved inthat relationship, because that is not God’s plan. The book of Ephesians is greatly descriptive of how the Holy Spirit creates intimacy with believers and reveals truth. Marriage is a Spirit-led union. Any influence apart from God is impurity. Missing the mark. Sin.

Only the Hoy Spirit can bring about complete intimacy between Christ and man; between Christ and the church while we remain on this earth. When we get to heaven, then we shall know even as we are already known by God. I Corinthians 13 11-12 says, When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Here are questions for you to ponder today: do you want to know God intimately or partially? Do you want to live in truth? 

There is a way you can begin to unravel how your life has gone so far, and set the order for a right future. Make three columns on paper. In the first column, wirte down every major decision you have every made in a list. Leave lots of room between. In the second column, next to each listed decision, write down how that decision turned out. Good, bad, indifferent, or maybe you have never figured it out totally.  In the third column, write what God says about your decision. At the right of this blog, there is a link to Bible Gateway where you can research many Bible translations, topics, and commentaries. This third column will take some time. You are encouraged to completely finish this task.

Decisions based on truth will shine like heavenly lights. Praise and thank God for those! 

Decisions based on personal prejudice or wrong teaching from your past require cleansing. Seek the Lord for forgiveness and surrender yourself to His leading for what to do about these things. He will lead you into real truth that you can believe wholeheartedly. He will lead you into a right future.

Sometimes we have based new decisions on old bad decisions. We think the new choices will fix the old ones, or make them better. This can make getting at the truth involved and tricky. However, if you will rely on God, surrendering to the teaching and power of the Holy Spirit, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32) Then you can finish up the good work God has begun in you! 

Philippians 1:6 (New Living Translation) ” And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Have a great day in the Lord!

 

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The Right Path to Travel

Are you a Christian but still confused about what God wants you to do?

This is what he says through King David in Psalm 19:8 – “The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life.” NLT

All through the Bible, God’s commandments are written down for us to study and meditate and get worked into our hearts and minds so that we apply them. The most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second most important is to love your neighbor as yourself. The Spirit of God helps us do these things, so that we know they are RIGHT, and when we do them, WE HAVE JOY IN OUR HEARTS. When that joy wells up, you can just stop right there and praise the Lord that you are obeying him.

Then there are individual circumstances in life that require specific direction from God so we don’t get out of his will into joylessness. Then we need to get quiet and ask him to command us. He promises that his commands are clear, giving insight to life.

Glory to God! Never stumble around or hide behind walls again, wondering. God makes everything bright so we can walk upright. He directs our paths.

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