The Consequences Of Your Faith
Copyright © 2009 by Robert Woeger.
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Publisher: Robert Woeger
Each of your actions, decisions, and thoughts will have an effect. They will produce a good or bad harvest in the lives of people around you, and also in your life. Everything that you do reflects back on you and also on Jesus Christ. They leave a testimony, evidenced by the consequences and the fruit that are left in your wake.
It is up to us to leave the best possible testimony and produce the best consequences of our faith for others.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;..." Romans 1:16.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Portions of this work are derived from The Christian's Greatest Need by E. W. Bullinger (1902 edition).
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006953406. Registered on 01/23/2009.
The Consequences Of Your Faith
We all go through life impacting the lives of others around us, whether we realize it or not. Our priority in life should be to be a blessing to others around us, and not be a drain or a detriment to people. We either add to the lives of people, or we take from their lives. No one wants to be around someone who continually takes advantage of them and uses them. There are consequences for your faith, either good or bad, depending on whom you decide to believe and follow. If you believe in God, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, you will begin to produce good fruit, resulting from your faith and trust in Him. But if you believe a lie, you will begin to produce bad fruit, and will leave a trail of unproductive consequences that will follow you wherever you go.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:16-21.
Careless In The Faith
Faith is so vital to our relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, yet few people seem to know how to properly exercise and develop this wonderful relationship by faith. Far too many people seemingly are being way too careless in their faith toward God and Jesus Christ. I equate it with being uncaring about your relationship with your spouse. Many people treat God worse than they would ever want to be treated.
God is calling us back into a whole, proper relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. He wants to be honored, respected, and loved for Who He Is. When we master the art of simple love and appreciation for God, we have gained a key that will unlock the heart of God, and open the door to His Grace and His Mercy.
We need to always be ready to minister unto God, and to do His bidding, no matter how we feel in our flesh.
Be Careful With Every Opportunity
God sends many opportunities to us along the journey that we call our life. It matters what we do with each opportunity that we are presented with. Stewardship and wisdom are involved in separating and knowing the difference between opportunities, and considering the ultimate consequences of accepting them or not. God holds us accountable for our actions, and for our thoughts. It has been said that as a man thinks, so is he. Every thought we have must be taken captive to Christ, and to His Ways. We are to be continually making choices, and clear decisions, based on the truth and wisdom of God, coming to us through Jesus Christ, as revealed by the precious Holy Spirit, and taught in the Holy Bible. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. We need to hear and read The Word in order to build our faith.
Your decisions decide your next opportunity, and those opportunities decide your progress and wealth. God loves to give true followers of Christ opportunities to grow, mature, and have a deeper walk with Him. We should desire the deeper spiritual gifts that He has waiting for those who qualify to receive them. "NOW concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." 1 Corinthians 12:1, all of 12, 13, and 14.
Each Opportunity Is An Invitation
Along with each opportunity, is an implied invitation to partake in one or more particular activities, with the end result being growth in one or more areas. Each opportunity, that you successfully finish, will open doors to future opportunities, will confirm what you believe, and will help you grow. God desires us to be fruitful and to increase, in everything we do. We are not to be idle, but rather we are to grow, increase, and prosper.
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 1:2. God responds to a person's passion to change, not their potential. Opportunities test our beliefs.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:27-28.
The Most Important Opportunity
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Not everyone accepts God's opportunity!
We must trust, believe, and hope in Jesus Christ, who alone has paid in full the penalty for all of our sins.
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31.
"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27. See also Deuteronomy 6:5.
The Christian's Greatest Need
There is one thing that the Christian needs more than anything. One thing on which all others rest, and on which all others turn. It matters, ultimately, whom you have chosen to know, believe, follow, and trust.
It is certain from the Word of God, and also from our own experience, that "...we know not what we should pray for as we ought." But the Spirit Himself helpeth our infirmities. See Romans 8:26. He knows what we should pray for. He knows what we need. He makes intercession for us. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray. We have His prayer, which was penned by Paul, and inspired by Him, recorded in these words:
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:" Ephesians 1:17.
This, then, must be our greatest need: A true knowledge of God. If we truly know Him, we will hope in Him.
If the Holy Spirit puts it before all other things, it must be because it is more important than any other thing. It is more important than all others things put together. This lies at the foundation of the Christian Faith, at the threshold of the life of every Christian. It is the essence of all trust. God desires to be believed by us.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6.
We cannot trust a person if we do not know him. It is safer for us not to do so. But on the other hand, when we know a person thoroughly, we cannot help but trust them, or else we will know not to trust them! There is no effort required to trust someone when we know they are trustworthy. The hard thing is not to trust.
Why, then, do we not trust God? The answer is very clear. It is because we do not know Him!
Thus we see how this knowledge of God is our greatest need -- the very first step of our Christian faith walk. Our trust in Him will always be in proportion to our knowledge of Him and His Ways.
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." Romans 10:9-18.
If we knew, for example, a billionth part of God's infinite wisdom, we should see our own wisdom to be utter folly. We should not merely be "willing" for His Will, but we should earnestly hunger for and desire it. Then, it would be our greatest happiness for Him to do and arrange all for us. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
We should say: "Lord, I am so foolish and ignorant; I know nothing, and can do nothing; I can see only this present moment; I know nothing of tomorrow. But Thou can see the end from the beginning. Thy wisdom is infinite, and thy love is infinite. For, our Saviour and Lord, as Thy beloved Son, could say of us to Thee -- "Thou hast loved them, as thou has loved me." (as detailed in John 17:23). Do, then, Thine own will. This is my desire, the desire of my heart. This is what I long for above all things." Not my will, but Thine be done.
We need to be like Jesus, and yield our will to God's Perfect Will for us. See: Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:42.
This is far beyond being "willing." We may be willing for a thing, because we cannot help it. It may even be a low form of Christian fatalism. In some other religions, people may be resigned to the will of their god.
But what we are speaking of is far, far beyond the modern gospel of holiness, far in advance of merely being "willing." Those who are in the still lower condition: not "willing," but "willing to be made willing," do not see that this condition arises from not knowing God -- not knowing how infinite is His love, how vast is His wisdom, how blessed and how sweet is His will. If they did but know something of this, they would yearn for His will. It would be the one great earnest desire and longing of their hearts for Him -- to do exactly what is pleasing in His own sight, in us, and for us, and through us -- to be totally yielded to do His Will.
Not knowing this secret, Christians everywhere are striving and labouring to be "willing" by looking at themselves, and by some definite "act of faith," to do something of themselves. Instead of thinking of His Wisdom and His Love, they are thinking of themselves and of their "surrender." A person can not force faith.
But this is labour in vain. Even if it should seem to accomplish something, it is only like tying paper flowers on a plant. They may look natural and fair, but they have no scent, and no life, no fruit, and no seed. It is an artificial, fictitious attempt to produce that which, if they did but know God, would come of itself, without an effort. In fact, the effort on their part serves to stop or hinder the mighty power of a true knowledge of God.
Trust Only In God
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?" Hebrews 2:3-4.
Sing unto our God: "He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy." Psalm 147:10-11. "Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." Psalm 20:6-7. Things, people, your own self, and money will let you down, but rather put your full confidence, hope, faith, and trust in the Lord. God will never let you down.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21.
"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:21-24.
"But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." Malachi 4:2.
Knowing Better Than God
The trouble with us is, if we search deep in our hearts and prove them, that, at the bottom, we think we know better than God. We would not say it publicly for the world to see and hear, and we would hardly admit it to ourselves. But there it is, and the difficulty of being "made willing" is the proof of it. If we really knew Him, and believed that He knows better than we do what is good for us, there would be no effort whatsoever, but only a blessed irrepressible desire for His will. Two verbs are commonly used in the Bible that mean to know.
As these words, which are translated to know, are used some times in the same verse, it is very important that we should carefully distinguish the exact one which the Holy Spirit has so especially emphasized.
1. The one, oida, means to know without learning or effort; and refers to what we know intuitively, or as a matter of fact or history.
1. The other, ginosko, means to get to know; by effort, or experience, or learning.
Getting To Know God
The importance of getting to know God is our one great need. This knowledge is not only the basis of trust in God, not only the foundation of Christian faith, but of Christian life. The measure of the faith, hope, and trust we have in God, is in direct proportion to our knowledge of God. Life is to be a journey of discovering God.
"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
In Colossians 1:9-10 (above), we have the practical outcome of the prayer in Ephesians 1:17. In Ephesians 1:17, we have the prayer itself. In Colossians 1:9-10, we have it applied for our correction and instruction. Carefully consider the words: "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire" -- Desire what? "that ye might be filled with the knowledge (ginosko: acquired knowledge) of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;" Why? For what purpose? "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Consider this truth: That to walk worthy of the Lord, I must know Him!
If I would please Him in all things, I must know what will please Him. Is this all that is required? All that I have to do? Yes, this is all. Then I do not have to rush over here and there, from one Christian convention to another trying to discover Him? No, I have to sit down before God's Word, and get to know Him through it. There is no other way of getting to know Him. And He has given us His Word, and revealed Himself therein, on purpose, that we may study it and find out what it is that pleases Him, what it is that He loves, what it is that He hates, what it is that He does. To get to know His wisdom, His will, His infinite love, His almighty power, His faithfulness, His holiness, His righteousness, His truth, His goodness and mercy, His gentleness, His long-suffering, His care, and all the innumerable attributes of our great and glorious God is paramount.
See how this knowledge is absolutely necessary, if we would please God. We can not please any of our friends unless we know what they are pleased with. If we would give a present to one of them, we naturally think about, or try to find out, what it is that he or she needs or would be pleased to have. If we are receiving a guest, we naturally try to remember, or find out, what pleases him or her in food or drink, in occupation, or recreation. If we cannot find this out, then we have to guess at it, and we may or may not succeed in our effort to please. We may take the greatest trouble and pains, and yet, after all, we may arrange for, or provide, the very thing which is most disliked. It is even so with our God. How can we find out the things that please Him? How are we to discover the things that He approves? Only from His Word. There, and there alone, can we get to know Him. There alone shall we learn the fullness of the Spirit's prayer for us in Ephesians 1:17, and the blessed practical outcome of it in Colossians 1:9-10.
No man has this knowledge of God intuitively. No minister can even help in imparting it, except in and by the ministry of that Word. His own thoughts won't suffice. Only so far as he enables us to understand that Word can he be of any assistance to us. He may be mistaken himself, and very easily be a hindrance instead of a help. God has revealed Himself in His written Word, the Scriptures of truth, and in the Living Word, His Son, Jesus Christ. And it is by the Communicated Word revealed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost that we begin to get to know Him, whom to know is Life Eternal.
This is the one great reason why the written Word is given to us. It is not given merely as a book of general information, or of reference, but it is given to make known the invisible God. Why do we read it? Why do we open it at all? What is, or ought to be, our object in reading it? Many people are ignorant of the need to read God's Word (The Holy Bible). They find it easier to read gossip magazines, watch TV and go to movies.
This lack of desire for God's Word is evident all around us in society. Morals are decaying rapidly, crime is on the increase, and lawlessness abounds, due to the failure of a majority of society to read, know, and apply the Word of God in their lives, their city, and their country. Laziness, procrastination, and ignorance of God's Word will severely limit a person's ability to discover and have a true knowledge of God.
We need to open The Bible, and sit down before it, with the primary goal to search out God, to discover His mind, and to get to know His will. God responds to us when we spend time searching for Him. The passion that we show by our investment of time and effort in discovering God, shows Him that we really desire and care for Him. No one invests their time, money, and pursuit in something or someone they do not care about. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide into all truth and understanding about the The Bible and the knowledge of God.
Those who are not engaged in studying God's Word, in an effort to get to know Him, make their own god out of their own thoughts and imaginations. They have to fall back on what they think their god likes! Thousands make their gods with their hands out of things. Thousands more make him out of their own heads. But, being ignorant of God's Word, they are really ignorant of the God Who has already revealed Himself in His Word.
A True Knowledge Of Christ
So far we have spoken only of a knowledge of God, The Father, but it is also of the greatest importance that we should have a true knowledge of Christ. This is the Christian's greatest need, and should be our desire.
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. Everything that we have in life is because of Christ, and comes through Him.
Where we have our standing in Christ, is set forth with remarkable force and power in Philippians 3:8-10:
"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
We are to be "found in Him." This is explained here as not having our own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, "the righteousness which is of God by faith:" -- When we are clothed in this righteousness, nothing of self is seen by God. We are to be like the stones in the Temple, that were covered over first with cedar-wood; and the cedar-wood was covered over with gold. Then it is added, "...there was no stone seen." 1 Kings 6:18. These words are added to emphasize and to impress upon us, the blessed fact that, when covered with Christ's righteousness, there is nothing of self seen in our standing before God.
We are already "in the heavenlies" in Christ, and "accepted in the Beloved" by His grace, comely in all His comeliness, perfect in all His perfection, accepted in all His merit, righteous as He is righteousness, holy as He is holy, and loved as He is beloved. These are benefits of being "found in Him." See Ephesians 1:2-14. We are to leave things behind and "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14. And being thus "found in Him" for our standing, we have in Philippians 3:20-21, our hope; which, is to be Like Him in resurrection and ascension glory at His coming. Therefore, "...we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."
This is our "blessed hope." What then is to occupy our hearts from the moment when we were in Christ, who is our life, to the moment when we shall be like Christ, who shall be our glory? What is the one object that is to ever fill our hearts and occupy our minds daily? "That I May Know Him." (Philippians 3:10). Therefore, this is to be the Christian's paramount goal. Nothing but this aim: to get to know Christ. As Philippians 3:9 contained the explanation of the words "found in Him," so this verse (3:10) contains the explanation of how and why we are to get to know Christ. We are now no longer to know Him after the flesh, but to get to know Him as your Risen Savior, the head of the New Creation in resurrection.
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;" 2 Corinthians 5:16-18.
For this is how this knowledge is explained, "that I may get to know him and the power of his resurrection." Not to know merely the historical fact of His resurrection, but the "power of it." [what its wondrous power has done for us.] But how can we get to know this "power?" Only when we are experiencing "the fellowship of His sufferings," by learning that when He, the Head of the Body, suffered, all the members of that Body suffered, in mysterious and blessed "fellowship with Him." Thus shall we get to know how we were "made conformable to Him in His death." We need to die daily and crucify our flesh. We will suffer persecution for Christ. Only when we have thus learned that we suffered when He suffered, and died when He died, can we begin to learn how we have risen also with Christ, and "get to know the power of His resurrection."
How few of us know what this "power" is, as it takes us out of the old creation and sets us in the new creation, where "all things are of God" (2 Corintians 5:17-18). This then is our object, to get to know all that Christ has made available unto us in resurrection power. How startling must these words have been as they fell upon the ears of Greeks, for this is the first city Paul set his foot upon in Europe. They had been brought up on the great motto of Solon, the wisest of the seven wise men of Greece. His motto was supposed by them to embody in itself the essence of all wisdom, and it consisted of only two words, which were carved over the entrance to the schools and colleges of Greece: "Know Thyself."
But yet, how foolish are those words. For how can one know anything of himself by considering himself ? If a person looks at others, he can see how different he is from other people, and how much better or worse he may may be from them. But it is only when we compare ourself with Christ, who is the wisdom and glory of God, that we learn what we really are, and how far short we come of that glory (Romans 3:23). It is only as we see ourselves in "the Balance of the Sanctuary," or by the side of the plumb-line of that Perfection, that we see, and get to know, our absolutely lost and ruined condition. Hence this new motto was thundered from heaven into the ears of those who sought to know themselves -- "That I may get to know Him." Yes, this is our one primary directive. This is what will have the mighty transforming power over our lives.
Every moment we spend in seeking to know ourselves is a moment lost, and not only lost, but used to keep us from the one thing that alone can accomplish our mission, and teach us about ourselves. Trying to know ourselves, we not only fail in the attempt, but we cease to learn about Christ, Who alone teaches us to know ourselves. And yet, how many people are spending their lives in this vain search? Running here and there to hear this person and that person, being constantly directed to this self-occupation, self-surrender, and self-examination, they are led only into trouble, or into a joy, which lasts only while the excitement is kept up.
Oh, to be occupied with Christ! To have Him for our sole desire, and His resurrection power for our lives.
This we shall have, and have increasingly, as we get to know Christ. What was it that led the heathen world into all its darkness, corruption, and sin? Just this, "...they did not like to retain God in their knowledge..." "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man..." Romans 1:28, 1:22-23.
Like many people today who are ignorant of God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, they seek to make their own god, some with their own hands, or out of their own heads, vainly imagining that their god is what they think that he or she is, and worshipping, like the heathen, "the unknown God," which is like themselves.
What was it that led Israel astray and brought upon them all their sorrows and sufferings? Isaiah opens with the Divine indictment, which gathers up in the briefest form the one great cause which lay at the root of all: "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." Isaiah 1:3. See how the Lord Jesus confirms this in Luke 19:42:44, as He weeps over Jerusalem.
"Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44.
All is summed up in the opening and closing words: "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!" And then, turning to the reason for that judgment He adds: "...because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
And what is to be the crowning point of Israel's glory in the day of her restoration? Ah! then it shall come to pass: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:34. And what shall be all of Creation's glory, and the peace and joy of the whole earth? This sums up all: "...for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9 And what is the secret of our being able to glory only in the Lord, and to enjoy His blessing in this the day of our visitation? It is given plainly in Jeremiah 9:23-24: "Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."
We are being brought round, and brought back to the one great duty, which should continually occupy our hearts and minds, and fill our days and years: to be always ready, hungry, and desirous to study the Word of God, which is given to us with the one great, express, commanding purpose -- the revelation of Himself, in order that we may Get To Know Him.
The Consequences Of Grace
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3.
We should all seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. See Matthew 6:33. The key to entering into His kingdom is recognizing our poverty of spirit, demonstrated by our walking in humility. We need to come to the point where we realize that everything depends on Christ. We can not depend on our own flesh, our own resources, or our own reasonings at all. We must, through humility, have a right spirit to enter into the blessedness that God has prepared for us in and through Jesus Christ.
The sooner that we discover this truth, the better off we will be, and the better and closer our relationship will be with both God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. We need to detach from our self, and let go of our own ability to try to reason and figure things out. His ways are so above our ways. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9.
We need to instead receive everything through the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We need to learn how to receive from His Grace and His Salvation, and everything else that God has provided for us in Christ.
His Grace truly is abundant and full. God is calling us into the fullness of His Grace, through everything that He has already provided in advance for us, through Jesus Christ. His blessings should come and overtake us.
"AND it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 28:1-2.
We can't earn His blessings by our works or our schemes, but rather it is by His grace, a free gift, that He has chosen to impart His blessings on us, because He loves us, and because we know Him and listen to His ways.
We show our faith in both God and in Christ, when we choose to serve, follow, and honor them, and obey their instructions. God rewards obedience, and punishes those who disobey His commands and instructions.
Grace is conditionally extended to those who are His, through Jesus Christ. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21. God knows us by our fruits. God casts out those who do not bear good fruit.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." Matthew 7:22-27.
It is all by His Grace. His standards are way above our standards. Only Jesus could pay the price for our redemption and remission of sins by the sacrifice of His blood, and open up the door to eternal life with God for us who would truly believe on Him and on His Finished Work.
"And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16. We need to learn how to properly receive from Christ's fullness of grace that He has extended for us. Grace is a gift that must be received.
God wants to lavish His Grace on you. He desires to show us how great and good He is. Here is a prayer that Paul prayed for you and for every Christian everywhere. Take it to heart, and receive the truth contained in it:
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 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, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21.
God is calling us to have our mind and our thinking, to be perfectly in line with His Kingdom. Our belief, or thinking, must stay in right alignment, without any wavering or doubt, because we will say what we think. Read Mark 11:22-25. Having faith in Christ is shown by our thoughts and words being in alignment. Seeking God's Kingdom, where everything comes to us in Jesus Christ, is the path to receiving all things.
Stop Trying To Justify Your Actions
Sin is separation from God. Apart from Christ's atoning sacrifice, we are guilty of the death punishment for our sins, to include eternal separation from God. If people like to sin, and enjoy being separated from God, so much, then God will give them what they are asking for by their actions: an eternal separation from Him.
Stop trying to justify your own actions, but let Christ justify you, through your faith in Him and in His blood.
"THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:1-2. We are justified by faith in His blood. See Romans 3:23-26, 5:9, and 1 John 1:5-7.
We are to have faith in Christ, a full belief, trust, and confidence in everything about Jesus, so we know Him.
We increase our faith in Christ by hearing and reading The Word Of God, Who He Is. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. "IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." Romans 5:8-11.
Stop trying to justify yourself, or shift blame onto others, but rather walk in the free justification from Christ.
Ministry Of Reconciliation
God has called each of us who truly believes upon Jesus Christ into a ministry of reconciliation, where we help spread Christ's Good News (The Gospel) to people all around us by our actions, our life, and our words. God wants people to be reconciled to Himself, through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the mighty sacrifice which Christ offered for all of mankind's sins. God justified us, not by our own merit or works, but through Christ. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes in it. See Romans 1:16.
"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. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:15-21. We are to be God's representatives, ambassadors, through Christ, in this world.
As we strive to get to know God, the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son Of God, and the precious Holy Spirit, we should approach them all with proper reverence and respect, as they are worthy of it. We need to remember that we are nothing apart from Christ. But in Him, we can do all things. He is the Vine, we are the branches.
We need to humble ourselves continually, and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We also need to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. See Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27. God does everything in Christ by His Spirit. We need to be led by the Spirit, not flesh, "...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6. Since God is a Spirit, we must worship Him in spirit and truth, and expect Him to move supernaturally in our lives. His ways are so above our ways! We are not to limit God by our natural senses, thoughts, and ways.
We need to crucify our flesh continually, and walk in humility and in love before both God and men. Humble yourself, and the Lord shall lift you up. Renew your mind, by the washing of the water of The Word Of God. See Romans 12:1-3, Ephesians 5:26. "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30.
God is rewarder of those who in diligently seek Him. If you seek God with all your heart and soul, you shall find Him. "But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." Deuteronomy 4:29. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:6-7.
Have both Expectancy and Hope. They act like a catalyst for faith and like lighting a match to a fuel source.
The consequences of our faith are a direct result of who we have chosen to believe and follow in life, either Christ, or some other god, person, or thing. Be careful who and what you follow, and what you spend your time, money, and energy pursuing. Only God will provide lasting benefits to your Pursuit Of His Son.
"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. Remember to always abide "In Christ" and to seek His Knowledge concerning all things.
I highly recommend that you read the other writings that I have authored for more help in developing your Christian faith and your walk with the Lord, especially Daily Discovering God and Healing From Jesus.
--------I wrote and distribute two free Christian Salvation tracts entitled Christ Died For You and Every Soul Counts. You may download them from my website and distribute them to bless others in electronic or printed format.