3: The Essentiality of God in Power

What power rules the world? Men and women like to think they have power. Many influence others to a limited degree but no finite person has power over all things. Some are given power in human governmental affairs. Some have power in companies over employees and the manufacture of certain goods. But they do not have the power to control time and events.

Only one person has claimed the power over all things for all earthly time and eternity. Blessed are those who believe the claims of Jesus Christ who was given this power by God, His heavenly Father, Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Anyone who has said the Lord’s Prayer has spoken His words, giving all power to His Father ~ “for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:13).

When God created the heavens and the earth, and man in His image, He did so according to His plan and His power. Since Jesus came to earth, was crucified for the sins of His people, rose from the dead, and descended back to the Father, He has been given “all power in heaven and earth,” (Matt. 28:18) “upholding all things by the word of His power” as He sits at “the right hand of the Father” (Heb. 1:3).

For us, as His people, to have any hope and power over our enemies, we must acknowledge His power over all things. It is His power given to us that enables us to triumph over His enemy and ours.

I had thought I might use only a few references in each category but His Word is so rich in the revelation of Himself and His promises, the following list could serve as verses for memorization, devotions, and meditations. Copy and save them until later if you cannot read them now.

 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all.” 1 Chr. 29:11

 “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.” Ps. 21:13

“God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.” Psalm 62:11

“He is clothed with power;” Psalm 65:6

“He rules by His power forever;”  Psalm 66:7

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,” Psalm 110:3

“Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.” Psalm 66:3

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” Ps. 147:5

“They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;” Psalm 145:11

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Cor. 4:20

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Heb. 4:12

Power in Jesus Christ

“Jesus saith unto him, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Matt. 26:64

“Christ is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Rev. 12:10

“For both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24

Power Given to His People

“But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Ps. 59:16

“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Lk. 24:49

“God gives strength and power to His people.” Psalm 68:35

“Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” Ps. 71:18

“He giveth power to the faint;  Isaiah 40:29

“Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst. Isaiah 50:2

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” Jn. 1:12

“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” Jn. 17:2

“our faith is in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:5

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Cor. 4:7

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor. 12:9

“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,” Eph. 1:19

 “of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” Ephesians 3:7  

“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,” Eph. 3:20

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Eph. 6:10

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:11

 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Pet. 1:5

 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 2 Pet. 1:3

“Stephen was given power for miracles among the people.” Acts 6:8

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 16:18

 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Rom. 15:13

Power Given to the Enemy

“When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Lk. 22:53

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:” Jn. 19:11

*****************

“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
Jude 1:25

“And after these things I heard a great voice
of much people in heaven,
saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour,
and power,
unto the Lord our God.
Rev. 19:1

Gracious Father in heaven, no words are sufficient to thank you for the precious promises that assure us of your power over all things, the power of Christ, the power of your Holy Spirit, over us, in us, and through us and all to your glory and for our joy. We praise you in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
© 2020 Fran Rogers

Related Article: Grace: A Realm Within a Realm, Within a Realm

Images: Google

New Wineskins

Have you run into the grocery store bypassing the grocery carts because you only needed one or two items. Before you get to check-out your arms are loaded with other things you see. Something else you remembered you cannot get because your arms are loaded already.

Such is our going to worship without preparation and the proper vessel.

“But new wine must be put into new wineskins,
and both are preserved.”
Luke 5:38
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
2 Corinthians 4:7
” I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;
I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 36:26

Let us worship today in anticipation and prayer that the Lord enlarge our hearts, open them to receive and carry with us the new wine of His Word prepared for us.

Dear Father, you have preserved and prepared your Word for us. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear the written Word. Open our hearts to conceive and receive what you have prepared for your people today. And let the Spirit of your Living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, lead us through this week ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Conclusion to a Mere Christianity

In this conclusion, I hope to put to rest the idea that there is such a thing as a mere Christianity. It is simple, but profound. Enough, but much more than we can know.

We will add the following synonym study to the introduction of the book.

Merebare, imply a scant sufficiency.They are often interchangeable, but mere frequently means no more than (enough). Bare suggests scarcely as much as (enough). Thus a mere livelihood means enough to live on but no more; a bare livelihood means scarcely enough to live on. Dictionary.com

Our God and Father, the Creator and Redeemer of His people, did not bring the world into existence by a mere pittance of His grace. He did not send His only begotten Son into the world to provide only a possibility for salvation nor was His death upon the cross a means to provide a pitiful life here on earth.

Our meaning is not that of physical poverty or wealth but, spiritual. God, before the foundation of the world, planned to bless His people in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3-4).

King Ahasuerus offered Queen Esther half his kingdom; so, did King Herod offer the daughter of Herodias (Esther 5:3; Mark 6:23) .

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3). He told His disciples, “It is the Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). He promises to share His kingdom and His glory with all His children.

We are not offered a bare existence as a follower of Christ, but the promise that we are new creatures with an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, reserved in heaven for us who are kept by the power of God until His appearing (1 Peter 1:7).

In this book Beyond a Mere Christianityposted chapter by chapter since June 15, 2018, I have referenced books by C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and Oswald Chambers as points of those who wrote in the past and one sermon by Jonathan Edwards. Their works were not meant to be used against them but to be a means of reference to what the Lord is still doing, that others may experience things that they may not have writtenn ~ to encourage further personal study and gleaning of God’s Word.

If we take seriously what is written in the previous chapters of this book, we see the makings of the Holy Spirit’s work in the hearts and lives of men. We have written of the truth that there is no status quo to Christianity. While some may experience a low profile of faith, others have been called to live sacrificially.

Either of these requires the supernatural power and presence of God to change the hearts of men. In these following last references, we see the life Christ came to give. It is an abundant life (John 10:10) beginning here and now that transitions us from this life into the next. Those who have this life in Christ are willing to die for His name’s sake to keep this life forever.

Besides the following references that pertain to how we live as Christians, I am including the link to Biblegateway.com for references to the word life. Lord willing, this will be our next devotional study in the series What the Holy Bible Says.

Though this is the conclusion (except for testimonies by two other witnesses), this series will never end. God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory will continually be a platform for proclaiming the legacy of His kingdom.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14

Live by His Written Word

Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.” Psalm 119:17

The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.” Psalm 119:144

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever.”
1 Peter 1:23

Live in Christ

For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” John 11:26

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” Acts 17:28

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:8

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
2 Corinthians 5:15

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.” 2 Corinthians 13:4

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.”
1 Thessalonians 5:10

“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:” 2 Timothy 2:11

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:9

Live in the Spirit

 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:
the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.”
John 6:63

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.Galatians 5:25

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Hebrews 12:9

Live in Peace

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort,
be of one mind, live in peace;
and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11

Live Godly

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Titus 2:12

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24“

“That he no longer should live the rest of his time
in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:2

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12

  Live Sacrificially

Men hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 15:26).

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Revelation 12:11

Dear Father in heaven, how can we with mere words thank you for who and what you are to us. Enable us to give ourselves willingly, gratefully, prayerfully and humbly to live as you have planned for us. Let us not be satisfied with a mere taste of your grace but fill us with your fulness, the fulness of your Spirit and the fulness of Christ, who in us is no mere hope but the hope of glory ~ eternity, here, now, and forever with you. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
Related Article: Living Sacrifices

Image: Google

Treasury of Light and Truth

Keeping our last post within reading limits, I left out an important under-truth, thinking someone would read and add to what was posted. Here is the part we posted.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Paul had mentioned in vs. 2-4 ~ though by manifestation of the truth the gospel may be hid from the lost…

“...the god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not,

lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now, here is the dynamic part.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God,
and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

It is the Father’s LIGHT and TRUTH in and through His Son given to us to believe. There is nothing in our darkness to bring the light into our hearts. By His Word and Spirit, He alone has the power to open our minds and make Christ known in these jars of clay ~ it is the excellency of His power only that does this spiritual work in us.

Dear Father, how precious is your light of truth in Christ. How can we see Him except you shine the light of the gospel in our hearts? Have mercy upon our blindness and save us from the god of this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Words of Life ~ ATTENTIVE

(We are blessed to have Valerie Caraotta as our guest writer for this week’s Word of Life. Visit her Facebook page and encourage her to start her own blog at WordPress.)

**************************

When I studied the word attentive, what struck me most was our responsibility and necessity as believers to heed the Word and draw closer to the Lord. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia describes ATTENTIVE as: Expresses the direction of thought and interest towards some one point.

The KJV, from which we find our list of Words of Life, uses the word ATTENTIVE six times. We will look first at the five references found in the Old Testament.

Old Testament H7183
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTENTIVE; qashab kash·shäv’ attentive.
The same word is used for attend; to hear, hearken, incline, heed (you can find these references at H7181).

Three of the verses are prayers that appeal to God for Him to be attentive to His servants.
 Nehemiah 1:6 is a prayer for the sins of the children of Israel.

Let your ear now be attentive and your eyes open that you may listen to the prayers of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you; both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Then, in Nehemiah 1:11, he prayed before he went before the king of Babylon that God would grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. He prayed again before he answered the king’s question of his sadness which was for the affliction of his people in Jerusalem.

Psalm 130 is a short Psalm of degrees and worth reading these eight verses to understand where the Psalmist is in relationship to the Lord.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Psalm 130:1-2

The fourth reference is also from Nehemiah after he had come to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall — when the people were attentive to the book of the law.

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. Nehemiah 8:3

Elihu speaks of the power and greatness of God in Job 36 and continues in Job 37:

At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. Job 37:1-2

“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silent before Him“ Hab.2:20 — evidence of souls that long to be attentive to his Word and promptings.

Attentiveness is not forcing God but posturing ourselves so that when He speaks we are more apt to hear.

Samson was spiritually blind before the Philistines blinded him physically. He didn’t know the Spirit of God had left him. How long does the Lord have to be absent before we miss him? Being aware of His presence in our lives requires our constant attention.

New Testament G1582
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTENTIVE ekkremamaie k-kre’-mä-mäi to hang from, hang upon (the lips of a speaker).

There is only one reference to the word ATTENTIVE in the New Testament.
The chief priests were already envious of Jesus’ popularity and when He turned over the money tables in the temple, they sought to destroy him.

And could not find what they might do; for all the people were very attentive to hear him. Luke 19:48

Are we carriers of the anointing to break yolks off others or mere noise — clanging symbols that have no eternal significance.

Where is our zeal? Did we once burn with passion to spend time in His presence and Word? Has it waned over time or do we love Him more today than ever?

The more attentive we are to the presence and activity of God, the more clearly we will discern His will. He is our Father, attentive to what we need before we ask (Matt.6:8)

We may not perfectly interpret God’s will, but it pleases Him when we stay in His Word, desiring His presence as we grow in our relationship with Him.

As believers, we are called to cultivate attentiveness to God. His Word and prayer are given for us to gain His perspective. This is vital because, in our own thinking, things may appear right, but the wisdom gained from above is far greater than we can imagine. In His leading, we can accomplish more in less time and gain strategies we need for the hard issues of life.

Dear Father in heaven, how blessed we are to have ears to hear – ears that are opened to your calling. We praise you for wisdom and knowledge through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and your Holy Spirit. Draw us closer so that we do not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Image: Google

Words of Life ~ ALMIGHTY

Our search for Words of Life is becoming more and more interesting and exciting. We find the first reference of ALMIGHTY in Genesis 17:1 when the LORD appeared to Abram and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
He is in this one verse identified by three names, “the LORD” “Almighty” and “God.”

 Old Testament H7703
Strong’s defines Shadday shad·dah’·ē; almighty, most powerful. Shaddai, the Almighty (of God) a masculine noun with reference to diety.

Some may say that God can be male or female. However you want to conceive Him to be, there is no doubt, no confusion that the authority and power of Almighty God is masculine in these references from the Holy Bible.

The second use is in Isaac’s blessing to Jacob.

And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful , and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;” Genesis 28:3

In Genesis 35:11, Jacob receives the blessing and instructions for the plans God has for him and the nation of Israel.

“And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply ; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

Jacob in the last stages of his life submits to the sovereignty of God when he sends his sons back to Egypt with his beloved son, Benjamin (Genesis 43:14).

As God Almighty had blessed Jacob, Jacob blesses Joseph and his sons (Genesis 48:3).

In Jacob’s gathering of his sons before his death, he spoke these words to Joseph.

“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.” Genesis 49:25

God spoke to Moses of His covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 6:3). 

Naomi speaks that the Almighty dealt bitterly with her and afflicted her (Ruth 1:20) (Ruth 1:21) .

We find the reference to ALMIGHTY ten times in the Book of Job.

Job speaks of the chastening of the ALMIGHTY.

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” Job 5:17

“For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.” Job 6:4

Job 6:14  speaks of “the fear of the Almighty.”

Job 8:3   asks “doth the Almightpervert justice?”

Job 8:5    speaks of “supplication to the Almighty;”

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job 11:7

Job speaks of the ALMIGHTY and God in the same sentence.

“Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” Job 13:3

“What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” Job 21:15

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” Job 37:23

Who can contend with, instruct or reprove the Almighty?  (Job 40:2).

“the Almighty scattered kings.” (Psalm 68:14).

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Isaiah (Isaiah 13:6) and Joel (Joel 1:15) speak of “the day of the LORD as a destruction from the Almighty.

When the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel in the land of the Chaldeans, he describes the creatures and the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters,and the sound of the cherubims; wings as the voice of the Almighty (Ezekiel 1:24 Ezekiel 10:5).

New Testament G3841 
Strong’s defines pantokrator pan-tok-rat’-ore from 3956 and 2904; the all-ruling, i.e. God (as absolute and universal sovereign):–Almighty, Omnipotent. This also is a masculine pronoun.

In the beginning of the Old Testament, we see the LORD’S revelation to Moses as the ALMIGHTY. We end in the New Testament with eight references in the Book of Revelation.

But before we get to those, let’s look at Paul’s use of a quote from 2 Samuel 7:14 to the church at Corinth as he relates to the ALMIGHTY as Lord and Father. His promise is to those who are separate from the world of unbelievers.

“And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

We will look at the references from Revelation in their entirety.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come , the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

“Saying , We give thee thanks , O Lord God Almighty, which art , and wast , and art to come ; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. Revelation 11:17

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying , Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:3

“And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” Revelation 16:7

“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:14

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Revelation 19:15

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:22

What a glorious and ALMIGHTY God is our heavenly Father!

Gracious Father, how blessed we are to know you as LORD, GOD, ALMIGHTY, FATHER. Thank you for the Lamb that was slain so that we will never know your fierceness and wrath, or come under your destruction. By your Holy Spirit, continue to teach us from your Word your true and righteous judgments, your great and marvelous works, your just and true ways. We praise you as the Alpha and Omega, reigning in power now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image:Google

The Essence of Contentment

The essence of contentment is distilled from the presence of the Father in His own children. It is a seventh sense that comes from the new birth. The birth of God’s Spirit within us springs up to eternal life with a new heart and a new spirit directing our course of life here, preparing us for the eternal glory with the Father and His Son. Most of us have something of our parents that is reflected in us, some trait or expression.  The same is true of our relationship with our heavenly Father who, in Christ revealed Himself.  We, too, as His children will exhibit His character, when by His Spirit and His written word we become more and more like Him.  He is content to have desired us, and sired us for His own family.

We are continuing to learn and proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom through our books and here on God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory as He is leading and teaching us. We are each given short-term goals but none of us have arrived at His planned destination. We are learning to live in this wilderness of oppression trusting His Word, His presence and His power with us (Ephesians 3:20-21).93854-004-7fcc6b28

The Sixth Sense

We are normally born into this world with five senses. I believe that “faith” is a sixth sense that comes with the new birth. Regeneration brings us in faith and repentance to citizenship in God’s kingdom. There is a sense of new life, a difference from what we lived before. Faith brings a sense of distinction from the old life that we knew. Although it is a new sense of its own, it is connected to the other five senses. Faith is a spiritual sense that comes about through our physical senses of seeing, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.

Faith comes by hearing the gospel, the good news of Christ and our redemption (Romans 10:17). We read God’s Word and the Holy Spirit moves with our spirit to know that we are God’s children (Romans 10:17, Ephesians 1:18). We touch and hold His Word as He teaches us (Proverbs 4:13; 1 Timothy 4:16; Philippians 2: 14-16). We “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8; Matthew 4:4). We become a sweet fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). These are but samples of how God uses the senses He created in us to birth us to a living hope and the inheritance that we have as joint-heirs with Christ. (1Peter 1:3-4)

Faith Leads to Contentment

Faith then affects how our senses are used to lead us and grow us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and conform us to His image (2 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:28-29).

bridge-of-faithFaith becomes the bridge, the means to the whole of God’s kingdom. Here is where we connect faith and contentment, contentment being the seventh and complete sense in communion with the Father.

Remember the diagram of oppression, adversity, and contentment from an earlier post. Our Father uses faith to bring us out of the state of oppression, through adversity. We would rather say that His presence and power lift us above the adversity and brings us to the state of contentment. We do not escape adversity, but learn to live in conformity to the image of Christ. His Word and faith in His Word train our senses.  By these we are enabled to accept and live unmoved by our circumstances. We are being trained and we practice keeping our senses focused on God, our Father and our hearts centered in Christ and His promises, as we are led by the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father, Thank you for filling us with your fulness and spreading your love in our hearts; for becoming life to us through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Continue to fill us with your Holy Spirit,and to work your contentment in us.  In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Image

Taking God Seriously

How many years does it take for God to reveal Himself to us? I don’t speak here of knowing God just by reading about Him, but knowing Him through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. He teaches us through His Word that He was in Christ reconciling us to Himself. (1 Corinthians 5:17-19) This was His supernatural means by His Holy Spirit to bring us in faith and repentance to know Him, and to love Him obediently. This is not to say that we live in perfect obedience, but that it is our desire. We all struggle against the flesh and the temptations of this world. We will do all that we are able to do, striving and missing the mark, failing time after time, until we understand that we cannot in this life be perfect children.

When we understand that He is our Father, and is not expecting more from us than He promises to do in us, we can live in joy and peace, knowing that He is leading and doing all in and through us. We seek His will and guidance through His Word and prayer, continuing to learn what He plans to do in us. When we fail, and when we fall, He is there to forgive, raise us up, dust us off, and put us back on the right path.

This has been my experience for all my decades, even when I didn’t know Him. Looking back, there is evidence of His presence and power in my life, even when I did not realize it. It is about these things that I continue to write. But my writing at first was simply documenting what He was revealing to me about Himself through His Word. Through His Word and His Spirit, He began to do phenomenal things in my life. Some of those things were shared in articles with other people. My sharing basically stopped because I was not getting any response, although, at times when I shared verbally, people would say, “You ought to write a book.”

Well, over a period of twenty-five years I have written several books, articles, and poems. For a while, the complaint of my heart was, “No one takes me seriously.” With this thinking, I then supposed that my writing was meant just for a legacy to my own family, tucked away in file boxes for future generations.

The Lord heard my complaint, and in His still small voice answered, “ No one takes you seriously because you do not take yourself seriously, and the reason you do not take yourself seriously is because you do not take me seriously.”

Whoa!

Things have really changed since then. With my desire to desire what He desires, taking Him seriously meant trusting Him to do in me what He wanted with what He has given me. And so, after six months of proofing, formatting, etc., and now a few last minute details, we will be ready to publish five of our books in paperback and eBooks. FIRST THINGS That Last FOREVER 1was written last month as an introduction to the series Little Books About the Magnitude of GOD and for a free gift. You can find this and other books on Amazon.

At first, we thought of giving all eBooks as gifts, but with His leading to donate the majority of the profit to missions and charity, we will give some and sell some.

What has God been doing in your life? Where is He leading you? If you don’t see His vision now, wait, continue in His Word and prayer.  Settle in to know Him and love Him above all things, then when His timing is perfect He will do all in and through you that will bring Him the glory.

Are you a writer?  Then write what He gives you for His glory.  File it away until He shows you where He wants you to share it.  As you mature you will correct some of the earlier things you have written. Be encouraged that He is doing a good work in you and will complete it.

If you are interested in how God continues to reveal Himself in power and love, especially into our old age, pray for us and join us here in proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdomThank you for visiting.

We look forward to this new venture together with His family.

Dear Father, you have the spreadsheet.  Continue to guide me and your family with your counsel, according to your everlasting covenant.  Do your holy will in each of us today.  Thank you for loving us, and keeping us in your care.  Reveal yourself to those who do not yet know you as their heavenly Father.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, I thank you and I praise you.  Amen.

Impressions and Expressions of the Gospel (Romans 1:16-32)

As our pastor is preaching through this most images powerful of Paul’s letters (to the Roman Christians) my desire is to make note of the impressions that the Lord is leaving on my own heart and life; with the prayer that the gospel to which Paul was called and set apart, and was not ashamed, would be revealed in me, so powerful and impressive; so as to be the expression of my own life.

In the middle of the first chapter of Romans (vs. 16-17) he speaks of “the power of God,” a reference of the same “power” in verse 4 ~ “the Son of God in power.” It is the same power and the same “gospel of His Son.” (vs. 9)  In these verses he also is setting the stage for the whole of the letter, as it refers to “salvation,” “righteousness” and “faith.”

Before he goes on to encourage with the main elements of the gospel for salvation he inserts the reason for this salvation, the knowledge and need of the gospel, using the backdrop of God’s wrath. Why can we not look over the wrath of God when we speak of the gospel? Why can’t the gospel be preached simply from the center of God’s mercy and love?

Before we can know where we need to be we must know where we are. Without understanding the power and depths of our depravity we cannot fully understand the need for the gospel and its power.

Oppression and Suppression of the Truth
“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.”   In Romans 1: 18-32 we have a description of humanity in its lowest state of sin and misery. Since the antithesis began in the garden oppression has a grip on the hearts and minds of the creatures that God created to be His image-bearers. Instead of obedience to God man has rebelled, and stirred the wrath of God upon us all.

Instead of accepting all that God has created as evidence of His rule and reign over us, man continues to suppress the truth. “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God, but became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.”

Even as God proved the weakness of our thinking and living on our own, with Adam and Eve, so in giving man up to their own lusts, He reveals how deep into our own depravity we come without Him. Under the power of oppression and sin man suppresses the truth and love of God; and becomes as the lowest creatures, following their own lusts as they have no power of righteousness within them.

Having read and studied Paul’s letter to the Romans, meditating on the truths that are written there, I was not prepared for the tears that came during this sermon. Knowing the mercy and love of God that comes through the power of the gospel of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and how Paul was not ashamed to live and proclaim this salvation for righteousness, I am amazed at how the ungodly are not ashamed of their sin, and of those who “give approval to those who practice them.”

We, as a congregation, were reminded that we, though believers are part of this fallen humanity, still subject to the oppression and temptation to sin.  It is only through the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ that we have any hope of righteousness and of escaping God’s wrath.

I praise the Lord for such power of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that works faith by His grace, (Ephesians 2:8-10) to make known to us and overcome the ungodliness and unrighteousness in us who believe.  This power is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  (Ephesians 1:19-20; Ephesians 2:1-6) a power greater than the oppression of this world and our sin.

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for this letter to the Romans. Please open our hearts to hear, and obey the gospel wherein your righteousness is revealed from faith for faith to us. Keep us aware of our own nature; keep us close to you. Search us and know our hearts; try us and know our thoughts; see if there be any wicked way in us; and lead us the way everlasting. Fill us with the power of your Spirit to speak the truth of Christ ~ not ashamed but eager to share the gospel of Christ wherever you lead us.

Related articles:
The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Obligated and Eager
The Father’s Glory and Mother Nature

Humility in the Disciples of Jesus ~ Chapter 5


images
If you have been with me from the beginning of this review on Humility you know that we have gotten into something that is beyond any of our speculations. We have learned that humility is not just another commodity that we can add to our purchases in this life.

For a long time I have observed that Christ in Christianity is not just another order that we place before God, but a supernatural work of God in our hearts, minds, and lives, as He is preparing a people with whom to share His kingdom and His glory.

I am now concluding that no one will be a part of His glory without the preparation for it, and this includes the humility of Christ. Yes; are we not learning that humility is the first, the chief, and the root of all His gifts of grace? “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Ephesians 2:8

Is it not His mercy that brings us to Christ in a supernatural new birth of His Spirit (John 3: 3, Romans 8:1-9) to grow us in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?
(
2 Peter 3:18)

His purpose for His grace and our faith is given in Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

As we see this development of God’s grace in the lives of Christ’s disciples in this chapter in Andrew Murray’s Humility (PDF) we are encouraged in the thought of “how real our participation can be in the perfect triumph of Christ’s humility over the pride Satan had breathed into man. “

As we remember key words from this book we see in this chapter the repetition of the word power. We understand that just as we have no power to birth ourselves, whether physically or spiritually (this is the supernatural work that we referred to earlier) we have no power of our own to cast out the power of pride and self; or to grow and to conform ourselves to Christ’s image.

Three points keep us on track in this chapter.
1. How much there can be of earnest and active Christianity while humility is still sadly wanting.
2. How weak all external teaching and all personal effort are, to conquer pride or give the meek and lowly heart.
3. It is only by the indwelling of Christ in His divine humility that we become truly humble.

There were times when Jesus used the expression “O, ye of little faith,” knowing that his disciples were not yet mature in their understanding of His calling. We, like them are eager to serve in our roles as newborns, yet we are not developed in our faith. For most, we leave off the study and devotion that is needed to grow and learn what we need to know. And even with our study and prayer and earnest seeking of the kingdom of God and His righteousness we cannot by these acquire this power of humility.

During this year’s desire for the humility of Christ there has been a continual reminder of our limitations. We are limited by our lack of knowledge, understanding, and power; but more by God’s own will, His choosing, His timing, and His good pleasure.

We see this limitation in Jesus’ disciples. They spent three years with Him, in His presence, seeing His example, and hearing His teachings. They had a limited knowledge and understanding until the supernatural power of God came upon them at Pentecost.

pentecostThose years with Him were only for preparation. The power of the Holy Spirit that came after Jesus’ ascension was the fulfilling of Jesus’ words of the promise of the Father, (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4) after He had finished His redemptive work. It was to establish their leadership of the church, through which the work of Christ would be known, where believers would receive the teachings of Jesus; grow in their knowledge and understanding; and be conformed to His image; and by which others would be brought to follow Christ.

Other Reminders From Jesus’ Ministry
We remember Jesus’ words to Simon Peter before he understood what Jesus and His kingdom was about; “ And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Was this not the change that would come after His ascension?
In his pride he responded; “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death”. (Luke 22:31-33) Then he denied Jesus three times.

Jesus’ words in Luke 11:13 reveals the place and need of the Holy Spirit; “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ has delivered us from the law of sin and death,” (Romans 8:2) bringing us to the knowledge and understanding of this life in Christ; to experience His nature and disposition in us.

As in all of life we want things immediately, but as this life in Christ is totally different than any we have ever known, we are learning that it does not all come at once. Jesus at one point told His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12)

The Preparation
From this chapter we see the work of Christ and His Spirit in our hearts and lives for this necessary grace of humility.
1. The teaching (revelation from the written word and the Holy Spirit) and example.
2. Our convictions, our desires, our prayers and our vain efforts.
3. The reality of the Spirit of Christ living in us and producing His own nature and disposition.

“Nothing can avail but that the new nature, in its divine humility, will be revealed in power to take the place of the old. It will become as truly our very nature as the old ever was.

“Pride is ours, from Adam, and rules in us with such terrible power, because it is ourself—our very nature. Humility (from Christ) must be ours in the same way; it must be our very self, our very nature.   As natural and easy as it has been to be proud, it must—it will be—to be humble. The promise is, “Where,” even in the heart, “sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5;20)

How long must we pray, desiring what is promised in His word. It is not for me to say. I pray and wait, even as the disciples did for the promise of the Father. I know that He is doing His work, for I desire to desire what He desires. I live each day in anticipation of His will and His work, grateful for a crumb from the master’s table; waiting for the feast, and telling others about it. I pray this humility of Christ for me and all His people, so that we may receive all that He has promised to us and prepared for us ( 1 Corinthians 2:9).

All the Work of Christ
In whatever category we find ourselves listed at the end of this chapter we can in His timing understand, desire and pray for; and eventually experience the deliverance and victory. Even so, we will always need to expect more of the fullness of Jesus, our Lord, our Savior, our Redemmer.

Jesus life and death was all for this purpose ~ the abundant life that is rooted in His humility. From heaven to earth; from earth to heaven; from heaven, by His own Spirit, to the hearts of His people Christ has come, and continues to live and reign in our hearts and lives ~ in our preparation for His eternal glory.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 3:18

 Dear heavenly Father, we wait on you, desiring the fulfillment of the promises that are ours in your Son, for His humility to be revealed in us, for our conformity to His image; for the abundant life that is in Him alone.  Forgive us for our impatience, and anything that may prevent our receiving all that you have prepared for us.

“Of your great goodness make known to me and take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride; and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your light and your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ name I pray.   Amen.

Related Sermon:  Al Martin ~ The Indicatives of Grace

Image 1
Image 2