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Posts Tagged ‘Walking with God’

Will you be like Judas and serve Christ with a kiss of betrayal?

Do you come and “kiss the ring” on Sunday morning, serving God, worshiping with the people of God, nodding at the finer points of the  Pastor’s sermon and then live like a heathen the rest of the week?  Isn’t that exactly what Judas did?  Didn’t he walk daily with Jesus, watch the miracles, hang with the disciples and do the “spiritual” things like saying the previous oil in the alabaster box should be sold to generate money for the poor, and then didn’t he sell Jesus out to his enemies for 30 pieces of silver?  Is that you?  Pious with the church folks and down and dirty with the unsaved, passing off your church attendance as mere amusement, something you do for your parents, kids or spouse?  Be careful you don’t live like Judas, by the kiss.

Will you be like Peter and seek to serve the LORD by the flesh and the sword?

Maybe you are more like Peter.  God speaks to you and shows you His truth, but rather than wait on the LORD, you rush ahead in your flesh and cut off the ears of those who don’t yet know God.  Maybe you rely on your own wisdom to argue with the unsaved, driving them farther from Jesus.  Maybe when God draws you into the company of Godly men or women, all you can speak of is building a tent for them, forgetting about the close presence of God in your zeal to show partiality to men.  Be careful you don’t seek to serve Jesus by the flesh and the sword.  It will only leave you and those around you wounded.

Or will you be like Jesus, who when called to serve God, obeyed drinking the cup

The cup that Jesus drank from was no simple thing.  Three times He begged God to take it from Him always asking for God’s will first.  Will you be like Jesus?  Will you seek first God’s plan, God’s way, God’s purpose and despite the pain, discomfort or sheer terror you feel in the face of it, will you, like Jesus, drink the cup God offers you?  Will you be like Jesus, obedient to death, a death on the cross?  A death of torture and humiliation?  Will you then, in the midst of your torture and humiliation, count those for whom you suffer “joy”?  Serve God by drinking the cup.  Serve God by obeying Him with every fiber of your being, even your last breath.

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Have you ever seen a sponge that has been left in the closet or on the shelf too long.  It is misshapen and hardens into something like a rock.  It is not much good for cleaning any surface in this state.  However, once soaked in water, the sponge becomes flexible and soft.  It absorbs the water and within a short time is a great tool for cleaning.

The Christian is much like a sponge.  Without the water of the Word of God, the Christian becomes hard, inflexible, not very useful for his or her intended purposes.  But once allowed to soak in the water of the Word, the Christian becomes soft, absorbent, flexible and more useful for his or her purpose.

It begs the question, what kind of sponge are you?

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One of the most anticipated and exciting times in a new parent’s life is when his or her child hints at walking.  Even before it is close to being a reality, the parent will stand the baby up on his wobbly legs and encourage him to take a step.

So it is with God.  Like the parent of the child learning to walk who doesn’t condemn the child when he fails to walk the first time up or falls after only a few steps, God is focused on our standing and not our falling.  He is most concerned with our progress and not bogged down with our failures, our fits and starts, our do-overs.

For our failures, which will surely come and perhaps more often than we’d like, God has provided the blood of Jesus.

God has also given us tools, weapons to help us stand.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13.

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We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.  1 John 5:18

It is much preferable to read about what God had done for me, what God is doing for me and what God will do for me.  My part doesn’t seem as interesting, so when I come across a verse like 1 John 5:18, it begs the question:  “How do I keep myself?”  The following are some ideas:

  • We need to submit or if you prefer, surrender ourselves to the will of God (as clearly stated in His Word)
  • We need to know what the scriptures say about where our help and hope lies
  • We need to be committed to worshiping God for who He is
  • We need to be committed to serving Him only (e.g. we need to be about the LORD’s business)

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It is wonderful to study and meditate on the love of God.  It is a subject that never grows old and is found on every page of the Bible and in every encounter with the living God.  As we walk with God, we find evidences of His love in our own lives, like those in the Bible.

But one might ask, “What is the take away?”

Here are some of the many things that we learn and “take away” from meditating on and living in the knowledge of God’s love:

  • We gain personal relationship with God.  When we understand the offer (John 3:16) and accept it (Romans 10:13), we become sons of God.
  • We gain eternal life.  God promises eternal life to those who believe. (Romans 6:23)
  • We gain factual knowledge to draw us toward God as we consider what He has done.
  • We gain experiential knowledge by our time spent with God, by watching how He changes us and moves in our lives.
  • We receive love, so we are able to be better givers of love.
  • We receive strength to accept difficult things from God’s hand when we know and understand and receive as truth the love of God for us.

Beloved, take time to consider, to meditate, to live in the knowledge of the love of God for you.  He loved, loves and will love you for eternity.  That should transform your life.

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In man’s (or woman’s) natural state, he has no desire to forgive another for wrongs suffered at the other’s hand or direction.  Forgiveness is one of the things that originates from God.  Forgiveness is God’s idea.

God commands us to forgive because it doesn’t come naturally.  We wouldn’t do it without some encouragement. Forgiveness contravenes my natural way of dealing with those who hurt me or my loved ones.

Nevertheless, for me it begs the question “Why would a God of justice forsake justice and ask me to forgive the wrong?”  Surely, when a wrong is done, justice is required to right or correct the wrong.  Why would God ask me to put aside justice and forgive?  Perhaps you already know the answer which may seem less than satisfying at first glance; “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

God asks me to put aside immediate justice and forgive.  He does not say justice will never come.  In fact, He promises His justice for my enemies:

  • Psalm 9:3 When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.
  • Psalm 18:40 You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me.
  • Psalm 27:2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell.
  • Psalm 54:5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
  • Psalm 59:10 My God of mercy shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.
  • Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.

The lesson for me here is not that God would have me give up, but rather God would have me give over – give over my enemies to Him! By forgiving those who wrong me, I deal with the heart issue (which we will discuss in a later post) which threatens harm to me and my relationship, and I get out of God’s way.  I allow Him to bring His justice to the situation.  All I need to do is sit back, under the shadow of my Father’s everlasting arms, and wait as my God brings justice.  He is a God of justice, so I can trust Him. Forgive and get out of God’s way!

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David tells us of his relationship with the LORD, I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  Psalm 34:4.  The things we learn about God from this verse are

  • God hears
  • God responds when He hears
  • God delivers us from ALL of our fears

One of the reasons God hears us is because He stays near to us.  God tells us in Jer 23:23, “Am I a God near at hand . . . and not a God afar off?”

Not only does God hear us, but He then does not leave us where we were.  God tells us, through the prophet Jeremiah, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.  Jer. 33:3.  Some people like to say that this is God’s telephone number.

In Psalm 40:1-2, we read the Psalmist saying, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”    We learns some additional things from this verse including:

  • I may have to wait for God (I should do so patiently)
  • God moves closer to me to hear me and is not unmoved by my cries
  • God delivers me from the places that I have allowed myself to fall
  • God puts me on a firm spot, a rock (Jesus is the Rock)
  • God gets me started on my way and makes paths for me to walk in

In thinking over the scriptures that I wanted to use for this post, I realized that the God who hears makes the best deliverer.  The last thing you want in your time of trouble when you are calling out to God is a God who has a hearing impairment.   On the other side of the coin, having a God who hears well, but ignores me or makes my deliverance a low priority on His list is also distressing.  Praise God that He hears well, sees well and desires to deliver me out of my trouble and calamity.   Blessed be the name of the LORD!

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