Tag Archives: know God

Choosing for Change

Psalm 123:1-2 “I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We look to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master; as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.”

How do we look to the Lord? As the slave girl looks to her mistress for the slightest signal. Maybe you aren’t sure exactly what your relationship is with God. Maybe you don’t like who you are. By looking to the Lord you will know him better, and you will change for the better.

How we see God depends on him. Unless God looked at us first, we would not be able to know him. We were born slaves to sin and all kinds of righteousness. God the Father sent Jesus his Son to die for us and take away our sin. Through Jesus Christ, we can see God. We can look upon him without looking away!

When we have agreed with God that we have sinned and accept Jesus Christ as the one sent to take away the sin, God gives us his own Holy Spirit to live inside us. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see and hear the Lord clearly. We grow in grace and truth, able to look more and more steadily at perfect God. The Holy Spirit is sent to seal us to God for eternity, and he is also sent to help us. Whatever we need, we reach for him and he is as close as he can get, inside us. Always right here, always ready to help.

Romans 6 tells us that whatever we obey is what we are slaves to. Think about it. Whatever or whomever you follow has your attention, and your full cooperation. We can choose whom to follow, right? Or what to follow. When we belong to Jesus, lover of our souls, who will never let us down, and keeps us unto eternal life, it makes sense to stop following the world and follow him.

John 8:12 “Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ”

Have you ever tried to walk through a field at night? It is easy to get disoriented by the dark and walk in circles. However, if there is a light at the point of your destination, you can look at the light and find your way. Jesus is a bright, close up light before you and all around you and in you. He puts the darkness right out so you can see clearly.

To obey the Lord, to keep our eyes focused on him, we need to know what his will is; what is right to do. What pleases him. God’s will is not a mystery! He has given us plain instruction, but we have to obey it or it becomes obscure to us.

An example of God’s will made plain to us is Romans 12:1-2. “Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

Another example is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all you ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

Our human bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We can walk in love and worship, or we can walk like the world. When you are at church, lifting your hands and voices in praise and worship to God, you probably have a better attitude toward God than when you are running to work and someone in the street asks you for money. When your life focus is on the Lord, however, you will be tuned in to the Holy Spirit and have the wisdom to respond appropriately to people, according to God’s will for them and for you.

We can keep looking intently at Christ by studying the scriptures. Jesus is the Word. When you read your Bible, you are looking at him. The longer you look, the better you will be able to see him. In the scriptures, your mind is renewed by God.

When we get focused on Jesus, he becomes the highlight of who we are, and distractions fall away. He is our treasure. We know him, because we see him and follow him. Everyone who comes into contact with us will have his light shed around them, too.

Choose to follow Jesus Christ. Say it out loud now, “I choose to follow Jesus. I will never turn back. The world is not what I want. Jesus is what I want. Now matter what, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” Now you have verbalized your decision. It’s out there. It’s in the air. The reward of knowing God will last forever, and your life will be surrendered to Christ to have all the fullness you desire. Now follow him.

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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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Shout With Joy!

For anyone who attended a Sunday School as a child,  you probably memorized Psalm 100:1-2; “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”  Your teacher explained that this meant worshiping God singing out loud cheerfully. Then you went upstairs out of your damp basement classroom and whispered to each other during the church service about so-and-so singing off key, and was that “making a joyful noise,” then giggle, giggle, giggle. Somebody glared at you for making noise in church, so you became quiet. Now you were wondering how anyone could make a joyful noise to worship God when you had to be quiet in church!

Another word for “serve” in verse 2 of the Psalm is “worship.” When we worship Almighty God, we are serving him. This is not to be a secret.  Verse 3 says “Know ye that the LORD, he is God, ” which means everyone knows that God is your LORD, because you aren’t quiet about it. You acknowledge him with your glad worship.

When you are glad, do you keep quiet about it? Doesn’t even your face show that you are full of joy and gladness? Your personal joy in the LORD is a very, very important component in leading others to know him, too. They will not be afraid to come to a God who so obviously makes people glad.

The rest of Psalm 100 gives reasons why we are so joyful in our worship:  1) God made us, and we didn’t make ourselves. 2) We are his people and the sheep of his pasture, i.e., he takes responsibility for us in every way. 3) God is good. 4) God’s mercy and truth last forever.

As you meet with God alone this morning, or go with others to praise and worship him, enter in to worship with thanking the LORD your God for everything, and praise him, blessing his name.  Let the joy of the LORD shine in your voice and on your face, and you will see the glory of the LORD rise upon you.

Don’t “feel” glad, or don’t “feel” in the mood for praise and worship to God? Well, read Psalm 100 for yourself and you will realize that if you just do these things from obedience, whether you feel it or not, you will be serving the living God in the way he wants you to. And he will honor your gift to him by bringing your emotions in line with your spirit. God bless you today as you worship him.

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Above All Powers

God is above all creation, visible and invisible.

He created us for Himself, and what He is willing to share with us is more than we can think, describe, or even imagine. 

Because we cannot obey or do what God wants by our own volition, which is the perfect way to live, God the Father sent God the Son to pay the penalty for our sin. The result is to be restored to knowing what God wants and receive His blessing and eternal life with Him. To receive this, we need only to confess our desire turn away from the sin we know controls us and accept what Christ, the Son of God, has done to save us.

We cannot know know all the ways and thoughts of God, but He has given us this one Way which opens up the gate to new life.  Everyone wants to know God. So He opened up the Way in Jesus Christ, His Son. Our new life in Him is spiritual, for we receive it by faith, not by sight. However, all of this new life is made known in us by the mighty power of God in us that manifests in our physical life and brings glory to Him.

While we live life in the physical, we may still sin against God, even though we know Him and love Him in our hearts. Our desire may be to obey Him, but until we accept that every minute detail of life must be placed on the altar before God, we will still be confused and do what is against Him. Very often, we accept the wickedness of man ahead of the righteousness of God and go with people instead of the Everlasting One who save us.

How do we do this wrong? Any time we defend what we know is a lie, or not God’s will, we participate in that lie.  An example is something we know that we know from reading God’s Word that God hates, such as pride. Yet there may be someone in this world, or even passed away from this world whom we defend as righteous when that person is not speaking truth and we know it. Then we are cut off from God. Isaiah 59 says He hears us, but there is nothing He can do for us until we repent and put Him above all. First. 

We can never assume that someone’s so-called right motives make it right to defend a certain position. Only God knows what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, He must judge, and not we ourselves. We must seek Him in every thought: what is your justice in this matter, Lord?

In the end, God will prevail. Let us seek Him first and obey Him and never look at another point of view. Let us embrace Him in peace.

In Jesus’ Name.

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The Service of Worship

Scriptures pertaining to this blog: Psalms 2 and 3, and epistle of I John, 1 and 2.

When we worship, we bow before God and serve Him. Reverence and trembling are the position of our souls. To worship like this means we are before God and focused on Him. We anticipate His every gesture and nuance so that we can obey Him. Picture in your mind a king who has servants gathered around him. These servants have no duty other than to anticipate and fulfill every gesture and nuance the king makes, and every word he utters expressing a desire or command. In doing this , the servants become so tuned in to the king that most of the time they do not even need to wait for him to say, “Bring me my cup.” The cup is already prepared, and when the king lifts his head to speak for it, the servant has it ready and waiting at his elbow.

A worshiper studies the One he worhsips, bows before Him, and serves Him intimately so that he is ready to obey the slightest signal. Many commands and precepts are learned so that the worshiper does not even need to be told what to do.  He trembles to think he might miss doing what his Lord wants him to do.

Yet in the context of worshiping God, in Christ Jesus, we are nots slaves from fear. We are beloved children, serving for love of the Master. This is the same love that God gave us when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  Christ served us! He showed us how to worship. 

Since our bodies cannot always remain bowed, the reverence we have for God moves in our spirits, then we submit our bodies to Christ which is our service of worship (see Romans 12:1-2). Our hearts and minds are cast to see and hear Jesus Christ first, before anyone else, including ourselves. How can we get to this place? PRACTICE. Yes, it really is that simple. Just like learning to play guitar. You read the book, you apply what the book says to do, and you learn to do it. To worship God and do whatever He desires for you to do, read His Book, study how He does things, apply this to your own life, and you will get better and better at being like Christ.

Also take refuge in the Lord, so you may accomplish all that you see and hear is His desire for you. Yes! God protects His children an worshipers! Jesus Christ protected us from death and hell by going to the cross for us. He literally put His life ahead of ours to lead us to safety.

When we serve Him, our adversaries increase. This makes life very hard. However, Christ sustains us through these experiences. The adversaries stalk and prowl, serving satan because they do not serve God. However, we can rest in the assured protection of the Lord. He manages our enemies, and they can go so far and no further. Even if we are called to make the ultimate sacrifice of human death, our victory over our enemies is already complete. We are going to heaven, friends, to the very throne room of God Almighty, where we can wait upon Him face to face! God smites and shatters His enemies, and blesses His own people.

In serving Christ, I John 1:1-4 says that our joy is made complete in telling other about Him. We tell others about worsiping Him, but also about having fellowship with Him. Fellowship and worship do go completely together.  A king’s best friend is his closest servant. One is not complete without the other. Worshiping God and fellowshiping with Him means we are in the Light. We can see. The cleansing blood of Christ is in the Light. To sin is to step away from the Light and be blinded by darkness. We are cleansed by the blood so that we can stay and walk in Christ, in love, and worhsip and serve Him and have joy because we are obvious servants of His. 

Today let us worship God by learning about Him in His Word and in being still before Him, listening and praying. Let us submit our bodies and our minds and hearts to him and see that we are standing in the Light of His countenance. Be aware of His presence. The Holy Spirit is anointing us continuously to know and do these things.

God bless you.

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When You Are Empty

A prayer that you . . .

 

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.  Ephesians 3:18-19 

Think of this, that God’s love and presence has SIZE: breadth, length, depth, and height. If it has substance, then it can fill you up. Now that you know this, you can reject emptiness when it strikes and reach for the love of Christ. He is love, and He fills you up to total capacity and even overflowing. 

Now, out of your overflow, others will see God’s love, and you will be so busy loving from your endless supply that the emptiness has no more place in your life.

Like all spiritual life, this takes some practice. Yet God is eternally patient, so don’t gve up! Keep asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7-8) God’s purpose and plan for your life, and all the things you need to do it. God is faithful, and He will always answer your desire to spread the love around.

Father, today I pray for persons who will read this blog, and all the other blogs where you are honored. I thank you for the readers, each one. I thank you especially for the one who struggles with emptiness and has a little bitterness against believing your Word and what I have written. Will you place your hand on that one’s head right now, Lord, and bless him with you almighty touch. Let the tears and laughter flow to cleanse his mind and and emotions. Teach this one whom you love so dearly to know you and the fulness of your love and power to have godly life. I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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