19 I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.— Isaiah 45:19 NKJV
Isaiah 45:18-22 NKJV Have you ever had one of those conversations or listened to a speech or a sermon and felt like something was missing? You know, the ones where we trust the person speaking and believe that what he/she said is the truth but it still felt like we were missing something. Sometimes the things that are not said can be as important and truthful as the things that are said. In this verse when we put it in context we see that God is reassuring the Jews that if they seek Him, it will not be in vain. He is using the negative to confirm that the times they found Him was when they sought Him with all of their hearts. Before and after this, He used the positive. Over and over, we are told of the blessings of seeking God with all of our hearts both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. We can be assured that if we seek Him diligently, believing that we will find Him, there are blessings and rewards for doing so.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. — Hebrews 11:9 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
1 Finally, my dear friends, since you belong to the Lord Jesus, we beg and urge you to live as we taught you. Then you will please God. You are already living that way, but try even harder. — 1 Thess. 4:1 CEV
When it comes to living a Holy Life, I am learning to never say “I have learned”. I find it much more truthful to say “I am learning”. It seems that every time I think I have my mind wrapped around a Biblical concept, God opens each verse a little wider and I see there is more to it than I thought. I am not sure that I will ever graduate from Spiritual kindergarten. I believe that is why Paul carries the theme of learning, teaching, and encouraging throughout the book of 1 Thessalonians. We must continue to study and to mentor others until Jesus calls us home. To me, that is part of the beauty of Scriptures. They just never grow old or boring, Every day,God has something fresh, new, awesome, and wonderful for us to learn and to teach others
Having the same mind as Christ Jesus does not mean that we know everything that He knows. It means that we have the same attitude toward others and that we desire the same outcome from situations. It ultimately means that we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. That humility will cause us to want to please Him. Yes, even to the point of dying for Him. Not there yet? Most of us aren’t. That’s okay for now, God knows our hearts. Just keep striving toward the mark so that we don’t miss the high calling of Christ Jesus. Living a life of Holiness is a journey that is taken one step at a time. Whatever God asked you to do, you can be sure He has prepared you to go through it. He will go before you, with you, and be your rearguard.
“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called” – Pastor Jack Graham
The Song of Solomon is a love letter from Jesus to HIs chosen bride, the Church. It explains how He sees the Church in its purest form, when all the members are living in unity with each other. It gives us a glimpse into the depth, length and width of His love. It shows what great lengths to which He will go to get us to spend time with Him. Everything He created was created for one purpose. That purpose was to bring all the glory to Himself. A part of that glory is the exaltation of the Church to the postion of His chosen bride. For the marriage to bring Him glory, the bride must be spotless. He has assured that purity by washing each member in His own blood. When the Holy Spirit comes to each of us, He is not bringing an invitation to the wedding, He is coming with a question from the Bridegroom. The question is, “Will you marry me?” Such love demands a response and a total commitment. Keeping that commitment is not always easy and in the flesh,it is seemingly impossible. But, it gets so much easier when we understand that a Holy lifestyle is really about having a love affair with Jesus. The thing that Jesus really wants from us is to be treated the way we treated our first real love. Remember that? That person was on our mind constantly,we were always contemplating how great it would be the next time we were with them and what we could do to please them. Jesus wants us to think about Him that way. Take some time today and just spend it loving on Jesus and allowing Him to love on you. He’s waiting to hear from us now.
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. — Acts 17:29, 30 NIV
When we read scriptures about idol worship, we tend to think of those that worship statues or symbols of dead men or useless religions. While we may not have an image of the dollar setting on the mantle of the fireplace, we can still be worshiping all the things that money can buy. While we may not have statues of anyone in our homes or churches, we can still hold others in higher esteem than we hold Jesus. If someone asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violates your beliefs and you go ahead and do it, you have placed that person above Jesus. Our work here is to do the will of the Father, not the will of those around us.
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.– John 6:38 NIV
We are not in a popularity contest. Our goal should be to please our Father. If we do that, He will take care of us. If we are obedient and seek Jesus and His righteousness, He will handle all of the issues that satan puts in our way.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matt. 6:33 NIV
“All these things” is everything that we need to live a Godly lifestyle. Everything means every thing. Don’t stress out. Repent, Relax, Remember, Repeat.
John 5:31-38 (NLT) 31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.[i] 32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! 33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Often people ask why we can’t do the miracles Jesus did when He walked on the earth. Jesus was given the Spirit without limit. We have access to that same Spirit but because of our unbelief and disobedience in certain areas, we limit what God can do through us. Much like the Israelites limited God while in the desert. You can read about that in Psalm 78:40-42. It is up to us to dig deeper into the Word and learn to trust God with our whole heart. We are striving to get to the point that Jesus was at when He said that He did what He saw the Father do and He said what the Father said.