The “Right” Man for the Job

Last year we were blessed to find an air-conditioning contractor who knew how our 21-year-old unit works. When we built our house in this small neighborhood, Jackson EMC was doing a joint project for the geo-thermal system and paid all but $3000. Expecting more than we knew was possible for a unit with an average life of 18 years, we tried one more contractor after the last one did all he could.

Joe from North Hall Heating and Air (I have to give him a plug for those who live in our area) answered our online request for someone who knows this system.

He charged us $45 for a service call, with guarantee to repair. He came a second time with an expert he had known for over twenty years, a friend who was retired after working in the field of geo-thermal systems in huge projects. He sat down with Jerry and me to explain how the system works and why we should be thinking of replacing the unit. While he was talking, Joe was working in the basement. We gently stopped his presentation (thinking of what this was costing us) and asked him to get to the chase. What was his advice at this point? Even if there was a short-term solution, we would eventually need a new unit.

The expert left; Joe came upstairs, saying he had changed a couple of connections. He left with no assurance of what he had done, but with no extra charge. We asked for an estimate for a new unit, expecting the inevitable.

We are aware that in the next year or two, we may be down-sizing again, and we will have to replace the system before we sell our home.

But, since Joe was here the last time, we have had heat for the winter and cool for the summer. This past month’s bill was $118.00, almost unheard of, even for a 2000 sq. ft. all-electric house.

In the middle of our adversities this, as well as other physical blessings, help us know the Lord’s continual care for us. We still need other contractors, including a technician to rid our house of ants and roaches (the one we were using failed after trying for two years).

Where is all this leading; where does this chapter fit to get us Beyond a Mere Christianity?

Our Spiritual House
How far do we go to find the man that has the knowledge and equipment to control the temperature in our physical house? We continue to search until we find the right man for the job.

Who has the expertise to fix what is needed in our spiritual house ~ the outdated workings of the human soul?

There is only one “right” man who knows the heart and the soul; who is qualified to come in to the basement of our lives, to examine, evaluate and estimate the cost of replacement.

The system that provides the air conditioning for our lives is an eternal system, and the continual connection is His own life and Spirit to the Father above.

“but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Romans 8:14-17)

The Cost
This continual comfort comes by His own cost: a holy life in humility and submission to the whole law of God, His “righteousness” as ours, His life given as a sacrifice, His blood shed for the final price. Our final cost ~ our whole life given in exchange for His. This is the life of a true Christian. This is no mere Christianity. Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior went beyond anything man could have imagined, even what was prophesied, to bring us beyond what we could ask or think of life.

What should we ask ourselves? Is our desire for comfort in this world based on our physical needs, or do we desire something more, based on what God is able and promises to do?

 Call To Me
We make the calls for our physical needs. He bids us to call Him for all of life.

 “Call to me and I will answer you,
and will tell you great and hidden things
that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3

He knows that we will call when we come to the end of our own resources.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will
give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

We delight ourselves in the Lord when we come to the end of ourselves. And when we find our delight in Him, we desire to desire what He desires, even to the point of suffering for Him.

His eternal comfort and delight is ours when He makes the right connection for us.

There is only one “right” man. No other religion promises what Jehovah, the Lord our God promises. No other has the power to do what the Lord does, for, in and through His people.

“For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Jesus Christ.”
1 Timothy 2:15

Our Father in heaven, Father of lights, Father of glory, having sent your Son, the Lord of glory, we praise you; for your Holy Spirit we thank you; for your wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ and revealed to us in your Word and by the power of your Holy Spirit which we could never afford. We praise you that you planned before Creation to provide all that we would need here and for eternity through your Son, our Lord and Savior ~ all for your glory and our joy. In His precious and powerful name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Christ the Mediator

Words of Life ~ Abundant(ly)

ABUNDANT may be the most misunderstood word in the Bible. We may think of an abundance of the things of this life from God, or we may fail to understand the abundance of the spiritual things that God promises. There is one prominent verse in the Old Testament and one well known in the New that uses this word or the word ABUNDANT(LY). As we look at the meanings and how it is used in the Scriptures, we notice that the word originates with God and focuses on God and the Lord Jesus Christ. All that is ABUNDANT comes from God and revealed to and in His people. It is similar in origin to our last word ABLE, as we learned that God is the one who is ABLE, and who enables us.

In The Old Testament
ABUNDANT  in the Concordance H7227
defines the word (marbeh mar-beh’)
By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank,
quality):—(in) abound (-undance, -ant, -antly), captain, elder, enough,
exceedingly, full, great (-ly, man, one), increase, long (enough, [time]), (do,
have) many (-ifold, things, a time), ([ship-]) master, mighty, more, (too, very)
much, multiply (-tude), officer, often [-times], plenteous, populous, prince,
process [of time], suffice (-ient).

ABUNDANT is prominent in Exodus 34:6 as God responds to Moses when he asked Him to show him His glory.

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”

In a earlier post Inexhaustible Goodness we learned of the abundance and endurance of His goodness.

In the New Testament
ABUNDANT  in the Concordance G4121
defines the word perisson, meaning exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.
From G4119; (plan, plane) to do, make or be more, that is, increase(transitively or
intransitively); by extension to superabound:—abound, abundant, make to
increase, have over.

The apostle Paul speaks of the abundant grace of the Lord in 2 Corinthians 4:15.

“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.”

And in 1 Timothy 1:14:

“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

The apostle Peter speaks of the abundant mercy by which we are given new life in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” ` Peter 1:3

ABUNDANTLY H8317 in the Old Testament :
A primitive root; to wriggle, that is, (by implication) swarm or abound:—
breed (bring forth, increase) abundantly (in abundance), creep, move.

Our first parents were instructed to multiply abundantly in the earth (Genesis 9:7)

Isaiah speaks of the LORD’s mercy to those who return to Him, “for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).

ABUNDANTLY  G4053 In the New Testament
From G4012 (in the sense of beyond); superabundant(in quantity) or
superior(in quality); by implication excessive; adverb (with G1537) violently;
neuter (as noun) preeminence:—exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly,
advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous,
vehement [-ly].

We come now to this most significant verse in God’s Word, from the mouth and life of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

This is a reminder of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:9.“No one has conceived of what God has prepared for those who love HIm.

Ephesians 3;20 links our last Word of Life ~ ABLE ~ to this one;

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” 

Paul also speaks of us His mercy that saved us, regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

“Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;” Titus 3:5-6

Simon Peter spoke of the “divine power,” the “great and precious promises” the “divine nature” and life that is preparing us “For an entrance ministered unto us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-11)

Dear Father, we thank you that you began creation with your abundant goodness and truth, passing down your promises of abundant pardon in the Old Testament; this pardon revealed in the New Testament through your mercy and grace in our Lord Jesus Christ, for an abundant entrance into your everlasting kingdom. Truly, this is your Word of Life to us as your children. Let us live and witness of this abundant life that is ours in Christ, our Lord; in whose name we pray. Amen.
Fran
Words of Life A-Z The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian

Words of Life ~ Abide

I am excited to see how the Lord is leading; now combining two series in one. In Sharing Our Meds last week, we see how Words of Life ~ From A-Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian fits into our treatise Beyond a Mere Christianity. If you are unsure, please bear with us.

Last week we offered the first of Words of Life:
“Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Romans 12:9
We see the difference in the evil nature of this world with its gods, and the nature of Christianity, which is Inexhaustible Goodness, the kingdom of our GOD as Creator, Redeemer and Father.

This week we offer the second of Words of Life: Abide
We will see how these words connect to Beyond a Mere Christianity.

In the Old Testament
ABIDE in the Concordance is H3885
defines the word (loon or leen) to stay permanently; endure; continue (cause to) lodge. (Maybe this is where some get the idea that God’s people are looney.) 🙂

The most memorable verse for abide in the Old Testament is Psalm 91:1; one of great promise and hope for the Christian.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

We see three sets of words that are similar: dwelleth and abide;  secret and shadow; most High and the Almighty.
So we may ask, “Is this parallelism?” Maybe, but, we want to compare the meanings of the word dwelleth with abide.

Dwelleth H3427 is defined in Hebrew as yawshah meaning, sit down (cause to) settle, to marry.

They are similar, but there seems to be a contrast of dwelling, as an entering into, to sit and settle down, even to marry.
But look at the possibility of the long-term of abiding, to the permanence, endurance and continuing, perhaps, forever.

The secret place of the most High and the shadow of the Almighty refer to the same place and the same person. The place is unknown to those outside of God’s kingdom; revealed through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High (Matthew 11:25-27), who is the image of the living God (Colossians 1:15-19). Jesus speaks of the mysteries of the kingdom given only to His people in Matthew 13:11; Luke 8:10; Mark 4:11.

Many people sit down, settle in the wrong places and marry the wrong people in this world, only to regret their choices later.
Those who dwell in the secret place of the most High are brought in by the power of God’s Spirit to abide forever. As GOD is here to abide with His people through the gift of life in His Son (1 John 4:9). we are married to Christ permanently, He preserves us and we endure in Him.
(James 1:12; Colossians 1:11)

THE NEW TESTAMENT

ABIDE  ~  G3306
A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):—
abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for).

Jesus said, “I am come a light into the world,
that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

The Lord our God, by His Spirit and through His Son, was Emmanuel, God with us, to bring HIs people from captivity in the darkness of this world. “delivering us from the power of darkness and translating us into the kingdom of HIs dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-14).

HOW WE ABIDE

By His Spirit and Promises Through Christ

“to abide in Him and He in us through His Spirit, which He has given us” (1 John 3:241 John 4:13).
“that He (the Comforter) may abide with us for ever.” John 14:16

In the Doctrine of Christ (His word and commandments)

 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”
John 15:10

“He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 1:9

WHY WE ABIDE

That We Bear Fruit

For proof of a true Christian, there will be fruit; not fruit that we can produce, but what the power of the Spirit of Christ produces in us.

 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:3-4

 For Fellowship, Hope, Wisdom and Knowledge

The apostle Paul speaks of the mysteries of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:7-16); of fellowship in Christ (Ephesians 3:8-12); the hope, wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ (Colossians 1:26-27 and 2:2-3). He has made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6)

For Our Needs

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Of the same substance are the words of Jesus in John 8:32.

“If you continue (abide) in my word you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Gracious Father in heaven, how exciting that you have revealed the secrets of your kingdom in your dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and brought us to abide with Him and you, now and forever. By your Spirit, so live in us and make your kingdom evident in and through us as your children. As we abide in Christ and your word abides in us, show us the fruit of your hands. Let the love, joy and peace in which we abide flow through us to others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Image:Google

GOD, Who is Here

To quote directly from Francis Schaeffer’s book,The God Who Is There, I would have to read it again. Time does not permit, so I took these notes from the Publisher’s Description.

 More than ever, The God Who Is There demonstrates how historic Christianity can fearlessly confront the competing philosophies of the world. The God who has always been there continues to provide the anchor of truth and the power of love to meet the world’s deepest problems.

It is from this last sentence that I use the title, GOD, Who is Here, in relation to the overall heading, Beyond a Mere Christianity.

While Schaeffer was revealing the shift in Christianity due to philosophy, science, history and the arts, my purpose is not to address the gainsayers, but those who follow Christ and desire a greater zeal for God and the Christian life.

GOD is More was leading to this series of articles as a means of piquing the interest of those who read HIs Word, yet do not really know the greatness of His power in the heart and life.

The only degree that qualifies me to write in this fashion is a DDC (devoted disciple of Christ). Knowing GOD, Who is Here has been a humbling experience over decades of need, searching, studying, in meditation of God’s Word, memorization and personal encounters with a living God who is not just ruling and reigning in heaven. From His throne in heaven, He is revealing Himself to His creatures and present with each one. To speak of these things is beyond my expertise and knowledge, but with prayer, I desire to write simply of how God has revealed Himself to me through His Word, His Holy Spirit and HIs presence and power in Jerry’s and my life. I quote Andrew Murray, who at times apologized for not spending more time editing his work; “The Lord loves to use the feeble for His glory.” Waiting on God

We will present this treatise in three parts:
WHO GOD IS
HOW HE IS HERE
WHY HE IS HERE

WHO GOD IS
From my childhood, there is no memory of anyone speaking of any God, except the one revealed in the Holy Bible. There is only one name of the God of Christianity. He is the LORD GOD, Jehovah, or Yahweh in Hebrew.

“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” 1 Corinthians 8:5-6

Paul speaks of the necessity for spiritual understanding that is apart from man’s natural comprehension (Corinthians 2:9-16). We will expand on this in the second part.

Let us look briefly at who God is from HIs Word, remembering that He is more than we can know and understand. We grow in our conception and the reality of who and where He is through continual study and meditation. We pray and wait in faith and anticipation, desiring with all our hearts for Him to reveal Himself.

GOD our CREATOR
Our core belief is in the GOD who is our Creator. We will not waste space to debate the philosophers, scientists and historians. Genesis 1:1 is an emphatic declaration of His role as Creator of the heavens and the earth. How He created and how we are individually a part of the earth He created is simply understood by taking Him at His Word. Believing means that we start with that truth, move on, read more, pray for His Holy Spirit to work faith and truth in our hearts and minds and live according to what we read. This means we must put away any pre-conceived ideas if we come across a contradiction to what we have heard before.

Christianity is not an Old Testament reality, but rather the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

Christianity is based, not on how men define it, but how Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and life of the Christian faith, defines it. John 1:1-5 speaks of Jesus being in the beginning as The Word. The Word was with God and was God. He was the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15, a promise of redemption for a fallen and rebellious people.

Rather than going into all the different names and characteristics of our GOD, we will look at the mainstream of His being. Christ, the Son of God, was in the beginning, for the purpose of fulfilling the prophecy of man’s redemption.

GOD, our REDEEMER

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6

Other references in the Old Testament, reveal that Jesus, being the Son of God, in the beginning with Him, was in an active role of redemption before His incarnation.

The LORD God, as creator and redeemer — Isaiah 44:24

The LORD God, redeemer, the Holy One of Israel — Isaiah 46:17

The LORD thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob — Isaiah 49:26

GOD, our FATHER
In Jesus’ life and teachings, He revealed GOD as His, and our heavenly Father. His disciples carried forth this most profound truth of Christianity through the early church’s foundation. The supernatural work of His Holy Spirit produces a new heart and spirit (Ezekiel 36:26), a regenerating work that is beyond man’s capacity to produce, or to reason. Our heavenly Father desired children to share the wealth of HIs love and glory and sires them according to His own choosing to inherit His eternal kingdom. Living in faith and hope of this legacy is more than a mere, passing thought, but an assurance, as we serve our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ as living sacrifices in His kingdom now.

As we have mentioned already,He is much more than we are covering here and more than we can ever know. Again, we encourage you to commit your life to seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness if you want to know the true and living God. We can never know all there is to know, but we can all be a witness of who He reveals Himself to be to each of us. Please add your personal knowledge in the comment section.

HOW HE IS HERE ~ By His Spirit
GOD is Spirit (John 4:24), not bound to any place or time, with the prerogative to reveal Himself wherever He pleases.

There is no place we can go from His presence (Psalm 139:3-10).

No one can hide himself from God (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

He sees everything, the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).

Though He is omnipresent (in all places at all times) not everyone can witness to this truth.

We cannot arrive at the truth of our God from philosophy, science, or any other way, but only through His Word. Natural man cannot come to an understanding of truth, because truth comes from God and is revealed by His Holy Spirit. We can read the Bible, which is God’s book, but not understand it except the Spirit of truth interprets for us. Jesus spoke of sending the Holy Spirit for this purpose (John 14:17; John 15:26; John 16:13).

If we read and believe what the Bible says, it will be through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Again, we read from the Bible what we believe to be true and live accordingly; this is faith that His Spirit and His Word work in us. Nothing can shake this faith when we know that God is here with us by His Spirit.

By HIs  Promise
His Word is His promise to reveal Himself and to fulfill every promise that He has made to us as His children.

He promises never to leave us, nor forsake us Hebrews 13:5.

He is with us; He is our God (Isaiah 41:10).

We understand through faith in His Word by the Holy Spirit, that He was incarnate in His Son, Jesus Christ. Let us go now to our next truth.

WHY HE IS HERE
GOD is here ruling and reigning through His Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus came to earth and lived thirty-three years, it was to fulfill His promise and His purpose to save a people for Himself; a remnant, to share His glory. He lived a perfect life in obedience to the will of His Father, so that He would offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. That sacrifice offered, His dying to redeem all who believe, resurrected from the dead, ascending back to the Father, sending the Holy Spirit to rule in each heart, was the plan of creation and redemption.
Christ now sits at the right hand of the Father, upholding all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:1-3).

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Before the foundation of the world He chose His people to be holy and blameless before Him through the sacrifice of HIs son, so that we would believe and live as HIs children. (Ephesians 1:3-5).

The promise of the Father to send His Spirit was fulfilled at Pentecost after Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:8).
By His Spirit working in us, He is conforming us to the image of His Son, in preparation for eternity with Him. (Romans 3:28-29) In all things that seem unfair and not to our liking, we experience the humbling and meekness of spirit that we need.

We will stop here, but continue His promises and purposes in the articles that follow, especially in What is Jesus Doing in Your Life? It is through these that we will learn more of the truth of Christianity and begin to live beyond our former thoughts and expectations. Writing these articles are the Lord’s means of teaching me what I still need to know. And what a blessing it is to read, study, meditate and memorize His promises, and experience this relationship that He planned for us.

Dear heavenly Father, we understand that your will for us as your children is to know you, Let us continue to know more of who you are as our Creator, Redeemer and Father; to live in anticipation of more than we have experienced, and to be a witness to others of your relationship with us as your redeemed ones, those who are beloved in Christ. Thank you for blessing us with the revelation of who you are by the power of your Holy Spirit. We praise you that you have brought us to you through Jesus Christ your Son, whom we love, even as we love you, and in whose name we praise you and thank you. Amen.

 

Sharing our Meds ~ Words of Life

Since turning 82 in April, Jerry has met new doctors and added more meds. He and I have lived much longer than we expected. (His mother died at the age of 59, and his dad, at the age of 71.) Since the wound on his foot has finally healed after eighteen months treatment, he is in physical therapy for strength and conditioning. After not being able to put pressure on his foot, our goal is for him to walk again with a diabetic shoe, an adjusted prosthetic, and a walker. In the meantime, he is being referred to a rheumatologist for further counseling after testing positive for lupus; and to a hematologist for abnormal protein in his blood.

Where does it end? Eventually, we all, excepting for a few, will contract something from this world that will cause our demise.

Jerry is now on twelve different medications that seem to alleviate his symptoms, but it would not be lawful for him to share any of these. He is not sure, at this point, if he will accept any more prescriptions.

In this last age and stage, we want to share different meds, those that are lawful to give others, and eternal; those that do not require a doctor’s prescription.

Medications and Meditations
These words are spelled the same except for one letter; they both are effective, but only one is prescribed by our Great Physician. They are both held in the hand; one to be given to children, continued until death. Both are taken with water; one physically, the other with the Holy Spirit. One is taken by mouth; the other through the spirit, mind and heart.

With every development in Jerry’s physical health, the Lord is here to add meaning to everything, guiding and strengthening with wisdom and grace for every new trial. Beginning this new month of July, and the last half of 2018, we will begin something else new. We will be sharing meditations with medications; a meditation each day as he takes his medications. We cannot and would not want to give anyone the meds Jerry is taking by mouth, but we will share meditations from a source we have in our files.

Words of Life
Several years ago, we began a project titled Words of Life ~ From A to Z, The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian. Taking from Strong’s Concordance a list of words from the Bible that are common to the Christian faith, we had hoped to publish a simple guidebook (or devotional), unlike the Concordance that includes every word from the Bible.  From abhor to Zion, this would be a highlight of what our heavenly Father would want us to focus on; to meditate and base our lives on. Meditation on His Word is His means of addressing and prescribing His grace and truth to our basic and profound needs; for spiritual strength and conditioning. This would not negate the usual reading and studying the whole Bible, but these are extra blessings for those who meditate on the references that apply to each word.

The first one we share with you today is abhor, with the concept at the start, to use this as a meditation for a week. From this first word to the last, Zion, we find a striking difference in the things of God’s word and His kingdom, and the vocabulary and kingdom of this world. We welcome your comments.

Abhor
In the Old Testament, Concordance H1602 defines the word abhor (ga ‘al) as to detest; by implication to reject.  The word is used in the KJV Bible for abhor, fail, lothe, vilely cast away.  We find this word in the Old Testament relating both to God and man.

God describes His plan for His relationship with the people of Israel in Leviticus 26:11, And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.” 

In Deuteronomy 7:26, they are instructed to detest and abhor the “cursed things.”

“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

Though the references from the Old Testament speak of the history of God’s relationship with the nation of Israel they are an example for His people today.

David in Psalm 119:163 said:   I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.”
Here he speaks of the opposite of the word abhor, which is love.
This is echoed in the New Testament in Romans 12:9,

Abhor in the New Testament  (Strong’s Greek 655, from 575 and the base of G4767) is apostygeo, meaning to detest utterly. Apostasy is turning away from the gospel, the truth of God’s word, the act of despising, rejecting and abhorring it.

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Romans 12:9

As children of the heavenly Father we are to abhor (despise and reject) what He despises.
We are to love what He loves.  To know the difference in the two ~ what He loves and what He hates ~ we must search His word; we must receive, read and love His law.

Dear Father, as we begin to share these meditations, make us to know their full meaning, so that we know how to live in accordance with your word and your will.  Work in us to receive your written word ~ your law for our lives ~ even as we receive Christ, the living word, by your Spirit, to live within us and teach us your law of liberty in Him. For your glory, write your law on our hearts and in our minds so that we will love your law even as you teach us to love you. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Inexhaustible Goodness

Just when I think I have a grasp on who God is, I lose it.
When I rest in what I think I know of Him, I become weary.
If I depend on words that i have learned of His kingdom and glory, I soon realize that like Peter, on the mount of transfiguration, there is nothing I can do for Him.

In a staggering momentum I try to keep up with His thoughts and ways, until the years of providence show me there is no holding, resting, or keeping up with Jehovah, the God who created and maintains the heavens and the earth. Words cannot convey the magnitude of His being and working. Knowledge is only the beckoning that draws us to Him, so that we can live in wonder and awe of His magnificent glory as God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind.

Even with all that His Word says, we can never get our hearts and minds around His inexhaustible goodness.

His Goodness in the Old Testament
Strong’s concordance for goodness in Hebrew translates:
2617a chased ~ lovingkindness
2896b tob ~ a good thing, benefit, welfare
2898 tub ~ good things, goods
Think of a tub overflowing with all that our heavenly Father desires to give His children ~ better still, our languishing in His goodness. 

When we study Psalm 107, we see that of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, not many knew Him, yet He continued to bless them and provide for them.

In His goodness, He gave instructions; through His law, He promised blessings and curses similar to those He gave Adam and Eve, but written so that there would be no doubt as to their meanings and consequences. In rebellion, without His counsel, they were afflicted; he therefore brought down their heart with labour; they fell and there was none to help (vs. 12).

Then, they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses (6,13,19,28).

Four times in this Psalm, we read of their rebellion, crying out to God, and His saving them. Each of these is followed by the same statement.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (8,15,21,31).

We must be grateful that His goodness does not depend on us, but only on Him. We do not know of His goodness except through our needs, and in those needs He pours out an abundance of His goodness to us, never-ending because He is always good.

His goodness is a facet of His glory; what we cannot see visibly, we see spiritually in His provisions to us as His children, both physical and spiritual.

In Exodus 34:6, Moses asked God to reveal His glory to him, 

“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”

 He promises His goodness to those who fear and trust in Him (Psalm 31:19).

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:5
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:6

His Goodness in the New Testament
Goodness
in Greek translates:
2570 kilos ~ beautiful, good
19 agathosune ~ virtue, beneficence

In Romans 2:4, we read that His goodness leads us to repentance.

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4

Goodness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit, the nature and disposition of Christ, working in and through us by His Spirit.
Goodness is related to God’s love, the first of the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22.

His desire for us is that we bear His image, a work that only He can reveal through the power of His Holy Spirit in us. We can read and believe that we are HIs children through a spiritual birth, but we can never on our own bring this to pass. Read and try, as we might, we soon learn that all of life is a mystery that can never be explained here and now. In faith, we continue to seek His kingdom and HIs righteousness, while He is doing His Holy work in us.

“He is bountiful and gracious, ready to do them good, and He is the felicitating end, or the blessedness of the soul.  The goodness of God to His creatures, according to different respects to them, has its different and various appellations.  As it is freely bestowed, it is grace; as it respects them as needy, it is bounty; as it respects them in misery, it is mercy and compassion; as it respects them as provoking, so it is patience; as it intends their good, it is love; as it answers both their necessities and capacities, it is all-sufficiency. All these–His bounty, mercy, compassion, patience, love, and all- sufficiency–are, in a word, His goodness; and goodness calls for love.”  HEAVEN OPENED ~ The Riches of God’s Covenant  Richard Alleine

Our eternal God and heavenly Father; we thank you for this great goodness revealed to us and in us by your Holy Spirit. We praise you for the overwhelming love revealed in and through Jesus Christ, your Son. Let us not settle for less that the goodness you promise, even though it is more than we can comprehend, We long for, pray and wait for you to work it in us. Let us not lose our hope in Christ, nor grow weary, but keep us close and grow us in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name we pray.  Amen.
Fran

Psalm 25:4-5  Show Me Thy Ways      Scripture Tunes

Beyond a Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity was a compilation of C.S. Lewis’ beliefs, in which he set aside definite doctrines. He stated, ”at the centre of each (religion) there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks the same voice.” 

Many, by reading the book, have been encouraged to embrace Christianity even as he did. My purpose in writing is to look beyond what he believed, spoke, and wrote, to discover a greater depth, beyond a mere Christianity; for a mere Christianity will not suffice to proclaim and live the legacy God has bestowed on His children. When we try to make Christianity a common faith, we are in danger of dumbing down the power that Christ died to give us. We lose the essence of the faith that is by grace alone, the working of the Holy Spirit for revelation of the truths of God’s Word. When the gospel is watered down so that everybody can believe, we forfeit the wealth that comes only by personal relationship with the Father and Jesus, His Son. Christianity comes at a high price, the blood of Jesus Christ, and requires more from us than we are able to give. To receive the inheritance that is ours in Christ is a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit working through new hearts, drawn to and committed to Him. His grace does not relieve us of duty, but binds us to it and fulfills the requirement, whereby we experience this new life, a heavenly life above and beyond what most people know.

Others have written from Lewis’ theme, but from different perspectives. In the following articles (perhaps more) we will incorporate many facets of His kingdom that our heavenly Father reveals to us, through His Word and His Holy Spirit, in and through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. Through as many of these as He will bestow His grace and blessings, we pray He will make clear HIs role as a loving heavenly Father, Creator, Redeemer and Life; His presence, power, His name, His kingdom and His will. These are His truth, promises and blessings for a people who know Him, fear Him, love Him, obey, worship, serve, praise, pray, and proclaim in power the good news of Christ, who are being transformed as living sacrifices and conformed to His image, bearing the fruit of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness and temperance, holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility and Godliness.

This is to live the “abundant life” (John 10:10) in the “fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) ~ “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)  here in this life, as He continues to prepare us for eternity with Him. True Christianity is separate from any other religion ~ and the reality of a holy life in union with our heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by the power of His Holy Spirit. He reveals Himself to and in us, not as Someone, but as Jehovah, the Lord our God. He sires children of His own who are HIs image-bearers. Though not perfect, we are HIs off-spring through His Son, as He continues to lead us through an imperfect world, shining through us His holiness and humility.

Inexhaustible Goodness
God, Who Is Here
Weakness and Meekness

Endear and Endure
Three Powerful Words in the Chrisitian Vocabulary
The Right Man For the Job
A Holy, High and Heavenly Calling
Covenant Living and Giving
Seeing Is Believing
How Exciting is Your God?

What is Jesus Doing in Your Life?
Good Works
Peace and Contentment

Bound by Grace ~ Free to Love
Abiding in Light and Truth
Surviving in Enemy Territory

Thriving Under Oppression
His Utmost For My Highest
Radical and Riveted
Focus, Love and Rejoice
Arrows in the Hands of a Mighty God

Many Religions
There are many religions ~ religions for the body, religions for the mind, religions for the spirit and soul ~ of man. Nations are formed by their religions. Children are born and grow up in their religions. We live by what we know and are continually taught. Everyone has a religion, even if they cannot express it verbally. The mind of every person is a tablet, written on from their birth into this world.

In my autobiography, I express my birth as if being given a coloring book and a set of crayons. At every age and stage, I was given a new coloring book and a new set of crayons. My mind, heart and spirit took in everything I saw, heard and experienced, so as to live accordingly.  What I read and was taught became my religion. I was given a Bible, learned what was written there sporadically, from sermons in church, Sunday School, and vacation Bible school. The principles were taught in our home, but not verbatim. The golden rule was prevalent, with a general understanding of right from wrong, but not Biblically profound. Neither my parents, nor I, understood anything beyond what you can see and touch, although I had a sense of something more. Anything spiritual was beyond comprehension, and so, not taught.

Difficult times were accepted as normal, with only dim hopes of improvement in this life. “When We All Get to Heaven” was the favorite hymn sung in church, with the accompanying  hellfire and brimstone sermon. 

How I got from there to writing this treatise on a Christianity that is far and beyond anything I learned in my childhood, is based on a powerful act of God’s grace that overtook, overcame, and overrides everything I had been taught. This Christianity of which I speak is not man’s religion but from heaven, from God, revealing Himself as Creator and Redeemer of the human race. He reveals His plans, His work, His presence, His power, His sovereignty in the writings of the Holy Bible. These are all beyond the normal scope of human wisdom and living.

If we read casually, we will reap a crumb or two of the religion we are looking for. If we study hard and often, diligently seeking something to believe and live by, we may see some difference in our lives. We may even sense a religion to share with others. We may worship with others of the same faith, but, in essence, it is still only man’s religion. It is nominal, or what we think of as normal Christianity.

It is what the world sees, and it colors God and the church with only a slightly different tone than the world’s colors. 

Mere living is below the standards of God’s kingdom. It is settling for the world’s goods.  It is negating the faith given from and in a living God to settle for man’s ideas of life. In the days ahead, let us leave these thoughts of man’s mere faith and look heavenward to the Lord, our God and the only true religion of which He is the focus, our Lord Jesus as the center, and the Holy Spirit, among us and within each of us directing all things according to the will of the Father. By His grace, we will complete all that He has planned for these articles. Please pray for us as we pray for you the reader.

Father in heaven, our Lord and God, we thank you for all that you are, more than we can ask or think, for our Lord, Jesus, and for your Holy Spirit. We praise you for your Word, the truth of your Word, the authority of your Word, for your Living Word, Jesus Christ, commanded in us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Speak to the hearts of your children as you dwell within us. Make us aware, through your Word, written and Living within us, of something more than we have been told about you. Give us a deeper understanding of who you are, so that we know whose we are, so that we may continue to proclaim the legacy of your kingdom, to your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Fran

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