Month: July 2017

Words To Live By: Joshua 8:30-34

Bible2

Read Joshua 8:30-34

How can we know the word of God if we ourselves have not heard it? How can we know the word of God if we ourselves have not seen it? The word is not meant to echo gently over the generations. The word of God must be repeated. It must be reread. It must be passed on and proclaimed. There is a perpetual need for teachers, proclaimers and messengers of the word of God in this world. The sin within us naturally prefers that the word of God fade into the background.  Sin desires a compromise with God’s word.  Comforting words.  Sentimental words.  Advice.  Interesting stories.  But not truth, life, a sword.   The sinful soil of our human hearts must be moved by the Holy Spirit to not only accept the seed of God’s word but then to continue to nurture and cultivate its growth. Our survival depends on this! We must continue to pray that God create in us new hearts that desire the word of God as David did. Who among us can say that we crave the word of God as we crave honey to the tongue? This disposition is not an achievement of an ideal but the return to normality. It is when we begin to look upon the word of God in this way that we realize that we are finally home. From this place we will not seek out comforting and powerful passages in the scriptures but we will be hard-pressed to find any passage in the Bible that does not leave us satisfied and well equipped.  The word of God can be understood as a God’s promises working through different people at different times in history but it cannot be dissected and compartmentalized according to value and importance. The entire word of God is either valuable or it is not. The entire word of God is either important to our living and survival or it is not. The entire word of God is either pointing to Jesus and the salvation of the entire world by his blood on the cross or it is not. It is not left to only the most fanatical Bible students to find worth and value in the entire text. This is not a matter of taste. This is a matter of truth and life. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was made flesh and it is in that flesh and the sacrifice of it that we receive answers, contentment and eternal life. The word of God is our collective daily bread and light to our path. The enemy knows the scriptures well but we must strive to know it better. As God spoke from the heavens to Peter, James and John on the mountain, “This is my Son whom I love. Listen to him!” Christian, listen to him!

 

Tuesday Devotional: Deuteronomy 23:1-8

repent

Read Deuteronomy 23:1-8

1 John 1:5-7

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

The message of Jesus is clear. Repent! Sin no more! Carry your cross! Lose the whole world to gain your soul! These are not the words of a great compromiser. These are the words of the Lord. These are the words of the Messiah King. These are the words of Christ Jesus. In Jesus we are forgiven, accepted, loved and called beloved children. However, the gifts of Jesus follow submission to Jesus.  He declares to be the only way, truth and life and he is. Therefore, to follow him and become swept up alongside him in righteousness and glory we must submit to his words and his truth. This truth demands change. It demands the sacrifice of the self in alignment with submission to the Son. As the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see the Lordship of Jesus we are also made aware of the depravity of our sinful nature without him. We are dead without him. We need a savior and he has a name.  As we see Jesus as Lord and God we begin to see nothing else. He becomes everything, we become nothing. He becomes life, we become death. “Father, save me from myself!” He becomes our prize and possession. It is in this new vision that we can boldly proclaim to the world that we will gladly choose to lose all things to know Christ Jesus. In the light of Jesus the issue is not what we want, it is always and forever what he says and what he commands. We cannot seek to please the flesh while seeking to please the Son. These are opposing sides. These are enemies. Choose a side! Is your fleeting and temporary comfort in this world more valuable to you than eternity? Do you believe in eternity? If not, why not? Have you sought out the words of Jesus? Do you know what is being offered to you in his life, death and resurrection? If so, why corrupt the promises of Jesus with a false gospel of cheap grace and self-worship. To enter into the grace of Jesus we must repent. We must change.  In order to change we must encounter the risen Lord and bow our knees to his Lordship over our lives. He is good, but he is also the King. We are forgiven but we have to change. If we have seen him, we love him and we seek to become like him.