Tag Archives: grace

OMG and Relationship With God

How do we know we have fellowship with God? When do we know we are okay with him and not off on the sidelines somehere?  When can we be sure and more sure of God’s active power and glory in our lives?

Everyone wants a relationship with God. He is real, he is the creator, and he made us in his image so that whether we admit it or not, we want to know him.  You have heard the expression, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  If you will look around you and listen, you will always hear people who never give God any credit saying, “Oh, God!” as the first thing out of their mouths when trouble strikes. Maybe you are one of those people.

Do you flippantly write and text “OMG” all over the place? Do you know that God hears that and takes it with its full meaning, that you are either calling him or blaspheming him? God is real, and he knows even how many hairs are on your head. Think of this: suppose your name is John. Suddenly there is a whole culture of people using your name as an expletive or slang expression. You can hear each one, everytime it happens. Millions of people saying or texting, “Oh My John” millions of times a day. Yet they aren’t paying any attention to YOU, the person they are using to express whatever it is they are expressing. You can’t really help them, and most of the time, it’s meaningless anyway. Yet you keep hearing it and hearing it and hearing it. Do you have a relationship with these people? No.

Now think how God feels. He wants a relationship with everyone. He wants to be a loving Father to each and every person on the planet.  His name comes up continuously, yet he is not given any opportunity to respond.

Praise God, he can also read our hearts, and not just our text messages. He can pour his own Spirit into our hearts and help us and comfort us and draw us into relationship with him.

I John 1:6-7 says that we are lying if we say we have a relationship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. Think of this: anyone who is expressing an opinion and says “OMG” is claiming a relationship with God. Otherwise, how could you say God shares your opinion? Yet God says that when you keep going in spiritual darkness, you are lying about that relationship.

Most people who go on in spiritual darkness do so because they think God will make them stop doing some of the things they like to do. Well, that is true. However, God also shows you a better way, and then those things you thought were so important no longer matter.

Doing things that hurt your body, or hurt other people, or are just plain immoral or selfish (and don’t say it’s relative, because in your heart you know better) are things that keep you in spiritual darkness. Your Father God wants to deliver you from darkness and give you a path of light to walk in. God never lies, so you can always have fellowship with him in that manner. I John 1:7, those who are truly lving in the light of God’s presence also have fellowship with each other. Ahhh. So there we find we can have true relationships with other people, too.

How do we get into relationship with God? Through Jesus Christ his Son.

For God SO LOVED THE WORLD that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him will not die but have everlasting life. By agreeing with God and confessing out loud that you have been walking in darkness and that Jesus came to die for you as a sacrifice for your sin, you enter into a right and perfect relationship with God. You can call on him in truth. He loves you and will always hear you, and when your body wears out and dies, he takes you to heaven to always be with him.

Jesus says, “I AM the way, the truth and the life . . . . no one comes to the Father by through Me.”

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Faith is Being With Christ

Psalm 84:11 says, Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHO FOLLOW HIS PATHS.

Grace is God’s attitude toward us. He is more than benign or passively merciful. He’s not a laid back God. He is the Lord, mighty in strength and wisdom and His love toward us never dims or fails. Do you remember what Jesus told Nicodemus, the fearful yet believing pharisee? He said that God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.  (Johns 3:16)

Psalms 84 and 85 both reveal that Christ walks before us. He lights the way and protects us from falling off the path of righteousness.

We have to trust Him, though, that He is where He says He is. 

In the trouble we all experience in the world, we get focused on the trouble. We cry out, Oh, Lord! Fix this and fix that! My friend, beloved in the Lord – He has already fixed the problem. Jesus Christ in Person is the remedy.

Faith is focusing on the Lord our God, on His Person, not just what you think He can do, and not on the problem itself.

Faith is turning away from seeking our own justice and saying, Lord, I want to see You today. When we make solving the problem our priority instead of the Lord, then our problems become our idols. 

Faith is looking at Jesus Christ Himself – deep into His eyes and His wisdom and love and power; who He is. Accepting relationship from Him and we are seeking Him first, in relationship toward Him. He is Highest and Greatest; Firstborn. He invites us to Himself before we do anything else. We have nothing to prove and nothing to gain by walking anywhere but directly behind the Lord in the path carved out by His justice. He made us for this, to love and be loved by God. We are the expression of His love and goodness. 

To look for justice in any circumstance is futile. We cannot make one hair on our head black or white. The sooner we look to God, the sooner we know He is the only answer to everything. All true justice comes from God.

Are you locked in a battle you never win? Is it sickness, failure, grief, depression, sitting on the spiritual fence? Sin, darkness, evil? What is your fight? Get away from that today. Use the time you are spending in worry (which is pointless) or trying too hard and getting nowhere. Spend that time one-on-one with Jesus, right now. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else you need will be added into your life. When you trust Jesus Christ to save you, then the Kingdom of God is within you. Christ sends His Spirit to live inside you, to teach you all things, lead and guide you into all truth, and bring you safely Home to God’s eternal heaven.

Remember, your answer is in the Person of Christ. Be with Him. It is the right things to do.

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Oathmakers and Oathbreakers

The book of Hebrews at its inception was written to Jews who had received Christ as Lord and Savior. The Jews were big on oaths and vows in their culture. Hebrews 6:16 in its context leads into describing God’s oath to Abraham that He, God, would make Abraham the father of a nation, a people that is so vast we cannot count them all. However, the verse gives us valuable information af what God defines as an oath, or a vow. Heb 6:16 ” When we make a vow, we use the name of someone greater than ourselves, and the vow settles all arguments. ” So, for, example, if you swear to do something “by God,” then you are giving God specific authority to hold you to it.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we see what Christ says about making vows in the first place. He is speaking to his disciples about divorce, which is breaking a promise, and goes on to say this: Matt 5:33  “You have also heard that people were told in the past, ‘Do not break your promise, but do what you have vowed to the Lord to do.’ But now I tell you: do not use any vow when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by earth, for it is the resting place for his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.  Just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’—anything else you say comes from the Evil One.” (from the Good News Bible)

Let’s repeat one phrase and look at it more carefully. “Do not use any vow when you make a promise.” or, in old King James English – don’t forswear yourself.

Is it right, then, to make any kind of oath or vow? I don’t think we need to! God has promised everything to us and for us. It is by faith that we walk through this world, and everything we have and can do is by God’s grace.  We can cheerfully say, if it is the Lord’s will, then we will do such-and-such. If we already know it is the Lord’s will, then we can joyfully simply say yes to Him and begin to do it by His grace working through us. Take a step of faith and go ahead and do what you know to do from the Lord. 

God’s Word makes it clear there are no “greater” or “lesser” people in the Kingdom of God. If you need to verify this, read the book of James, which has salient remarks about prejudice. We do have a chain of authority, and persons to obey who represent God’s authority. If you allow someone to have authority over you unrighteously, however,  it is absolutely certain that person will take advantage of the position and extract all kinds of additional (and wrong) behavior from you. How do you know when this is happening? Well, because it does happen, and too often, I would like to give you an examination to see if it is happening to you.

1. Have you promised someone to do something a.) in the heat or weakness of some emotion, like anger or or fear? b.) when you are tired or hungry? c.) during some great trial where that person offers great help in exchange for a “little” promise? d.) when you are lonely? e.) to get something you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.  These are a few examples of times when we can be easily deceived, and it is too easy to slip another person wrong authority over us.

2. Have you seen that your vow causes trial or hurt to others? Is something missing or unavailable to them because of what you have done? Is their full potential hindered because your vow is a hindrance to what you know that you know is God’s best for them?

3. Have you seen that by keeping your vow, you are unfairly aligned, directly or indirectly with the person responsible for keeping you to it? Does what falls on your authority person fall on you?  Psalms has a LOT to say about that, by the way.

4. Are you unable to move ahead in your walk with God? Are most of your prayers and even your acts of faith fruitless?

5. Is your vow of any use to the Kingdom of God? Did it have eternal value, or was is temporal, for this world only? 

If any of these things apply to you, please examine your promises.  When you made a promise, did you make it to be kept by God’s grace, or did you make it to some other person; “Well, I swear I’ll show you . . .” or, ” I swear will do what you said,” or even, “I swear that isn’t true.” Here is one more possibility to examine – did you vow something TO YOURSELF?

Are you freaking out right now because you are just realizing how you have given someone power you never intended? Even your natural self over your godly, spiritual, saved self?

THERE IS HOPE. What does Philippians chapter 4 say: Don’t be anxious! Take it to the Lord!

The word you need to remember right now is “repent.” If you have realized you made a bad vow or promise, you have already repented. To repent is to turn away from something, and the root word for our Engilsh is to “change you mind”. You have already changed your mind. You agree with God that you made a mistake. 

The next step is to confess what you have done to God. Ask His forgiveness, and receive it. Tell Him you respect His authority, and you will do whatever He says to get you out of this mess. He wil give you a godly solution. Always. He will help you, and it will be like a stone thrown into a pool. Your right response to God will ripple out to make things right for every person who has been unjustly affected. You are setting the wheels in motion for much good change. If some other person used you to gain authority, that one will be affected for righteousness. To repent and mover forward in righteousness yourself is to make the opportunity for another sinner to come to repentance. Trust God to enable and protect you. He has promised this, and God’s promises are always right. God’s promises never fail. In I John 1:9, He says when we sin, and we come to hHim about it, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I don’t know where you stand, but this writer would rather deal with just and holy God any day instead of being falsely acocuntable to some other person, place  or thing.

Lord, I pray for every person who reads this blog post to think of all the things they have said to people or to themselves to get something. Help them make a list and pray to you about each and every item on the list. I ask You to show them right from wrong and lead them to repentance and cleansing for every wrong promise. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Thank You, Lord.


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