Immutable Faithfulness

Dear Ones:

When Jonah was in the belly of the fish he uttered a truth that is essential for us to grasp:  “They that observe LYING VANITIES forsake their own mercy.” (Jon.2:8)  What did he mean by this?  Jonah had a very real and truthful knowledge of God.  This is why he would say to God after his ordeal with the fish, “…for I KNEW that You are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repent from evil (…deferring judgement).” (4:2)  Somewhere at some time, Jonah put himself in a position where the mercy of God was to some extent, of none effect.  It was when he turned aside from that which he knew of God, to embrace an empty, “lying” idea of God.  That idea, thinking that he could escape the notice of God, and His purposes, would take him to the depths of the sea, in pitch black misery for three days.  What is the lesson for us, and what does “faithfulness” have to do with Jonah?

“Faithfulness” means that one is not only committed to what one declares, but has the capacity (power and authority),and will, to honor and fulfill it.  When we look at the character of God, and consequently that of Christ, we are confronted with the absolute, immutability (unchangeableness) of His Person.  This is why His word has such weight and significance, above the words and thoughts of men.  He, being absolute, is not only fully committed in intent with regard to what He says, but in the power and authority to accomplish it.  He CAN, and WILL do what He says.  Jonah permitted himself  to be turned aside by his own prejudice and preference from his knowledge of the total commitment of God to save the lost of Nineveh.  He would in essence choose to believe a lie concerning God’s calling, and God’s commitment.

The Apostle Paul speaks a good deal concerning the faithfulness of God.  First of all, he writes:  “God is faithful, by whom, you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9)  What does this mean?  It means that God is totally, sovereignly, committed to the believer with respect to every aspect of his fellowship with Jesus Christ.  Not only has He provided all IN Christ, but He has provided the Spirit of God for the effectual out-working of His purposes.  Secondly, Paul writes:  “God is faithful, who will not permit you to tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)  This statement proclaims to us that God KNOWS us and our circumstances perfectly, and is present, sovereignly committed to meeting us in them.  We may not “feel” that this is true, but feelings is not the issue.  We are called to live according to the true nature of God…He IS faithful.  Lastly, Paul writes:  “Faithful IS He who calls you, who also will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24)  The Lord Jesus is not only the origin and essence of our calling to Himself, and to any task, but He is the constant ENABLER.  He WILL sovereignly intervene, for He is a “very present help…,” sufficient for every need.  The question then becomes:  “And how do I KNOW this faithfulness of God?”  He is known in only one way…by FAITH.

“Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art, I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.” Dear Father…You are absolutely faithful, according to your word, for you are God and not man.  Enable us to grasp this reality with all of our hearts, casting all care upon You, and believing You to sovereignly lead and guide us, accomplishing all of Your blessed purposes in our lives, and in the lives of others.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

The Day Of A Thousand Years

Dear Ones:

How important is a day?  How important is it that the day be begun aright, and finished well? Lastly, HOW then is the day to be lived?

In Psalm 90, Moses puts time in perspective, with respect to the eternity and sovereignty of God:  “…for a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.” (v.4)  For God time is VERY small,  almost totally eclipsed in eternity.  Why then is “time” important?  First of all, its value is set by the One who created it.  “And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.  And the evening and the morning were the first day….And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was VERY GOOD.” (Gen. 1:5,31)  The essence and quality of time has been declared by God to be “very good,” hence, time is of great value, because of the worth that God put upon it.  Secondly, time has a purpose.  It is an opportunity for the purposes of God to be accomplished on this earth.

Realizing something of the value of time in the economy of God, Moses prays:  “So, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12)  What does it mean to seek wisdom in the use of time?  It means that we first seek God, for Him to show us how to live, and what we are to do, trusting Him for it.  This is why Moses prays:  “Return, O Lord, how long?” (v.13)  The call is for the very real intervention of the Eternal God in the present circumstances.  Secondly, and specifically, he prays, “Satisfy us EARLY (soon) with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (14)  Why does he pray this?  “For the joy of the Lord IS our strength.”  Thirdly, he prays for the revelation of God to the heart and mind:  “Let Your WORK appear unto Your servants.” (v.16)  It is imperative that the servant KNOW the will of God, and as a result, His works.  Fourthly, he prays for the revelation for the children of God’s servants to SEE the glory of God.  God must become a reality to them (and us…).  For this they must have a vision, or clear perception of Him.  Fifthly, he prays for “…the beauty of the Lord our God to BE upon us.” (v.17)  Why?  Because our lives are a book read by all men.  They need to taste and SEE that the Lord is Good…they need to see the reality of Christ in us.  And lastly, Moses prays:  “…establish the works of our hands.” (v.17)  He prays this twice.  Why? Because what has been done by God will last.  It is the eternal GOD who is at work IN us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

So, how are we to live this unique, singular day, couched in eternity?  By prayer and faith…going forward, believing God wholly for the full out working of His will.  The Lord Jesus said, “I have finished the work which You gave me to do.”  May we be such as pray and work to this end, to know and to have done the will of God by prayer and faith.

Dear Father, enable us to begin every day in specific prayer, believing that this is pleasing to you.  Strengthen our hearts, not only to believe, but to truly receive by faith that which we ask of You.  Work in us today in a wonderful way, so that Your name be honored, You kingdom come, and Your will be done.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

A Bag With Holes

Dear Ones:

It is a very frustrating thing to try to fill a sac, and never be able to, because there is a hole in the bottom of it.  Such was the experience of Israel when, after she returned from the exile, and had begun work on the temple, but had not completed it.  The Lord tells her:  “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but you do not have enough.  You drink, but you are not filled with drink; you are clothed, but there is no warmth; he that earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” (Hag. 1:6)  In the New Testament, we might equate in some measure, the Lord’s words when He stood and cried:  “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.” (Jn.7:37)  This “thirst” is that conscious need of the heart, about which the Lord spoke to the Samaritan woman:  “Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” (Jn. 4:14)  Is it possible to know no lack of heart, and soul, … to be satisfied?  The people of Israel were dissatisfied in their day because they were not following the Lord fully.  They had a measure of blessing, but not His fullness.  Those in Jesus’ day, whom He addressed, were equally, if not more thirsty.  Most had not even “tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”  And yet, David declared in eloquent simplicity that he KNEW what satisfaction of mind, heart, and soul was:  “The Lord is my Shepherd:  I SHALL NOT WANT.” (Ps. 23:1)  Are we satisfied, or is our experience of the Lord one where there is always a consciousness of being empty, or half full?

Satisfaction reveals itself by the peace which Christ gives.  It is a rest of heart and mind, not a passivity of the soul. It is being secure in the resources of the indestructible, sufficient life of Christ, for every need.  This does not mean that there is not a desire in the soul to go higher, farther, in our fellowship with Christ.  But it does mean there is a sense, and conviction, of security which God alone provides.  Paul calls it a “peace that passes understanding…which keeps (…or guards) the heart and mind.” (Phil. 4:7)

Many years ago, a youth leader in France was to speak to a group of young people in a chapel one morning.  He got up, and one of the first words out of his mouth was: “I am DRY.”  In other words, he had nothing to say or give, as his soul was dry, and in need of being watered.  It was because of his sincerity, honesty, and openness to God, that God met him that day, and the meeting was a most blessed one.  Christ came to his aid, and satisfied his soul.  His thirst was abated by the blessed presence and blessing of the Holy Spirit.  He was able to receive that blessed life-giving water which was given to others who were thirsty.

Dear Father, when we are thirsty, give us grace to see and understand that Your Son is fully able, and willing to quench that thirst.  Give us to be those who come honestly, sincerely, but with open hearts to give You total access to all.  Give to us that living water, which is Your Spirit, and this in such measure that we too will know the peace of God, that blessed Guardian of our hearts and minds.  For, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in You.” (Is. 26:3)  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

One’s Speech, One’s Preaching

Dear Ones:

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, He said a most marvelous, and powerful thing: “And my speech and my preaching was NOT with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power.” (1 Cor. 2:4)  He is declaring that there is no difference between what he was, how he spoke in everyday life, and how he proclaimed the word of God.  For all tasks, it was imperative that he abide in Christ, for without Him, he could do nothing…specifically, that which would count for eternity.  It is extremely important that the preaching of the word of God be done in the power of the Spirit.  It is also equally important that our conversation be directed, and controlled by the Spirit.  Every utterance that Jesus made on this earth, to meet the needs of men, was by the Spirit.

Jeremiah wrote:  “Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth.  And the Lord said unto me, ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.'” (Jer.1:9) Later on He will tell Jeremiah to, “…arise, and speak unto them all that I commanded you.” (v.17)  God never asks us to DO what He doesn’t provide for.  In Isaiah 51:16, we read:  “And I have put My words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, ‘You are My people.'” The point of these declarations is to affirm to us the WAY of God’s blessing and intervention…it is BY His word.  He speaks, and He works…often simultaneously.  When the day of Pentecost came, and there was the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the disciples, they all (men and women) prophesied, declaring the wondrous works of God.  They preached by the Spirit.  They spoke the wonderful works of God by the Spirit.  The great issue here is realizing that we have been called to a life of faith, in whatever capacity the Lord directs us, to live, speak, or preach…by the Spirit.  The work of God ALWAYS has its origin, and out-working, by God the Holy Spirit, and only for His glory.

How does this apply to us all?  We are all called to Christ, to communion with Christ.  We are all equipped with certain spiritual gifts and capacities.  It matters not if we have the gift of the evangelist, or the gifts of helps.  The same principle of Life applies to both, and to all.  Our calling is to live BY Christ, BY His Spirit.  Why?  Because it is God who is at work in us, and through us.  The principle is illustrated by a very simple measuring cup.  When it is totally surrendered to the control of the Master, He takes it, empties it of all lesser things.  He cleans it, in order to pour into it, Life-giving water.  Once this occurs, the question becomes:  How much can and will the cup be willing to receive, and for what purpose?  We know from the example of the Lord Jesus, that He was ALWAYS receiving from His Father all that was needful for the accomplishment of His purposes.  He was constantly filled with the Spirit, so that, whether in a conversation, or preaching to the multitude, He was led BY the Spirit.  All ministry was of God, not man striving to produce only that which God could give.

The question then becomes for us:  In the capacity in which God has called us, are we GOOD RECEIVERS of all that is needful by the Spirit, and this, in order to give Life to others?  The treasure of the Spirit of God within our hearts is immeasurable, not only in the resources which respond to every need, but in the power to overcome every obstacle in the use of them.

Dear Father, because you are infinitely worthy and good, grant to us the fullness of the Spirit of God, and keep us filled to overflowing all through this day.  Then we shall have Life, and the words of Life, to give to others.  Then, they will see the reality of what it means to trust, and know You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

Comparisons And Compassion

Dear Ones:

In God’s dealings with us, as with Israel, He often asks questions.  When it comes to concepts of Him, He asked Israel:  “To whom then will you liken God?  or what likeness will you compare unto Him? (Is. 40:18)  He goes on later to ask:  “‘To whom then will you liken Me, or shall I be equal,’ saith the Lord.?” (v.25) Why does He ask such questions?  It is because we need to understand that, “…all nations before Him are as nothing: and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.” (v.17)  Very often in Scripture, the Lord uses the subject of “grass” to illustrate how very small, frail, and fleeting our lives are compared to Him.  “The grass (all flesh) withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God abides forever.” (v.8)  God uses comparisons in our world to give us some idea of Who He truly is.  In light of His Eternal nature, wisdom, and power, (…not to mention His love), we need to see, and grasp, that we are very, very small.  The dangerous result of our “smallness” is that we tend to form ideas of God that are not true.  It is with these speculations and imaginations, that man fabricates “creations of God,” idols, that he worships.  In doing so, he pursues God in vain, for God blesses the truth, the “…word of our God, (which), abides forever.”

The comparisons that God uses in speaking to us, sometmes causes a problem for us.   The knowledge of the overwhelming greatness of God, can make us feel that we are just  swallowed up, and lost, feeling very keenly our littleness, nothingness.  This is why God says to Jacob (Israel), “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak O Israel, ‘My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgement is passed over from my God?'” (Is. 40:27)  The Lord addresses this very real concern of Israel, that she is forgotten, lost,  and past over, by reminding her of Who HE is:   “…have you not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching His understanding.” (v.28)  What does He want her to grasp?  Simply, that God is not limited by the weakness and fragility of man.  He is not affected by a lack of strength.  He knows no weakness, thus He is always available, and willing to come to the aid of those who truly trust Him.  He KNOWS all, as He understands and sees all.  He IS mindful of Israel, and all of her children.  He is NEVER forgetful.

God then comforts, and encourages Israel to trust Him.  He reassures her by saying that,  “…He (God) gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength.” (v.29)  The issue here is that, though He is INCOMPREHENSIBLE, He is accessible,  compassionate, and present.  “They that wait upon the Lord (…in expectant faith), shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” (v.31)  The eternal God is here declaring that He is looking, and waiting, to reveal Himself to one who knows his littleness, limitations, and helplessness.  He is willing to intervene in the soul, spirit, and body of the one who will truly look to Him, and trust wholly in Him.  God reveals Himself as the Almighty in order for faith to touch the hem of His garment, and know the healing and blessing, which Christ alone bestows.  “Be it done unto you according to your faith.” Is our faith entirely set in Christ, or have we in our smallness, and weakness, adopted ideas of God which are not worthy of Him?  Have we understood that He is completely willing, and able to meet us where we are, where we live?

Dear Father, in light of Your eternal greatness and wisdom, ever give us to know, and grasp that “…the Son of God, (who) loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)  Give us grace to be lost in Your greatness, but found in Your love…everlasting, unchanging love.  And in that love, enable us to live and glorify You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

They Shall See God

Dear Ones:

Is it possible to SEE God?  The Bible says that it is.  Jesus said:  “Blessed are the pure in heart for THEY SHALL SEE GOD.” (Matt. 5:8)  What does the Lord Jesus mean here when in the Old Testament we see the Lord declaring to Moses:  “…You cannot see my face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.” (Ex. 33:20)  And yet, Moses did see God, but only with God’s hand over him to protect him from the brightness of His glory.  For us, what does this mean?  It means that, what we have “seen,” and known, of God, is just a glimmer, a slight glimpse of His beauty and glory.  So then, we must ask the question:  What does it mean for us to SEE His glory increasingly, indeed, for us to SEE God?

There are at least three aspects to this subject of the revelation of God.  Paul writes that we SEE:  “…the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world.” (Romans 1:20)  Jesus said to Philip:  “…He that hath SEEN me hath SEEN the Father.” (Jn. 14:9)  Lastly, we SEE God when we worship Him in Spirit and TRUTH.  David wrote of his experience:  “…to see God’s power and glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary.” (Ps. 63:2) To see God is to perceive with “…the eyes of understanding…being enlightened” (…by the Spirit: Eph. 1:18), the very nature and person of God, of Christ.  It is to say with Job, “…I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear (the truth): but now my eye sees you.” (Job 42:5)  To SEE God is to have the spiritual perception of God, which is given in truth BY THE SPIRIT.

There were many in Jesus’ day who saw Him, but did NOT see God.  Why?  It is because they did not have a pure heart, for He has said, the pure in heart will SEE God.  What is a pure heart?  David deals with one aspect of a pure heart in Psalm 51, where He asks God to, “…create in me a CLEAN heart.” (v.10)  The heart, of necessity, must be washed, cleansed from sin.  The truly seeking heart will desire as David did, a cleansing that is thorough.  The second aspect to the pure heart is that expressed by James when he wrote:  “…and purify your hearts you double minded.” (4:8)  “Double-mindedness” means that one is not committed to believe God wholly.  He believes God, but also he is trusting in something or someone else, i.e. he is doubting God. This is why Jesus said:  “If any man WILL do His will (the will of God), he shall KNOW of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” (Jn. 7:17)  The discernment of spiritual things comes, and spiritual perception is given, when we are truly willing and committed to believing, and obeying, Christ.

One last thought.  To see God is the fruit of worshipping Him in Spirit and truth.  Truth, essential to every idea and concept of God, is lifeless without the Spirit.  The Spirit is like the wind that blows abroad the fragrance from an enclosed garden.  It is like the light shining upon and through the inherent and profoundly rich beauty in the petals of a lily.  It is like the breath of God blowing life upon that which is lifeless, hopeless.  Jesus is both the TRUTH and the LIFE.  For us to see God, we must know the truth OF God.  Anything less than the truth is a twisted, false concept of Him, which the Spirit will never bless.  That erroneous thought, imagination, or representation of God, is a prelude to idolatry.  We need the Spirit, to take the truth in Christ, and make it real to our hearts and minds.  He in essence “breathes” upon us, works within us, to open our eyes to perceive the majestic beauty, loveliness, and power of the person of God in Christ.  He opens our eyes to perceive, and become convinced of, the immaculate glory and goodness of God, … summed up in the words, “holy, faithful, and true.”

Dear Father, grant us that Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Yourself, and Your Son.  Open our eyes to SEE your glory, with that spiritual perception and conviction, which you give as we worship You in Spirit and truth.   As we gaze upon Your Son, change us into His likeness for Your glory and honor, that others may see and know that You are God, that others may trust you wholly.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

The Seeking Heart

Dear Ones:

When God charged Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse to be king in the place of Saul, he said:  “Look NOT on his countenance, or on the height of his stature…for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)  The question then becomes, “What is God looking for IN THE HEART?”  In the book of Acts, we find written the Lord’s declaration:  “I have found David the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MINE OWN HEART, which shall fulfill all my will.” (Acts 13:22)  What does the Lord mean by “…a man after Mine own heart?”  There is no doubt that David had a seeking heart, one that was in pursuit of the Eternal God.  But, certainly the meaning of the phrase goes beyond seeking God.  It goes to the very commitment to respond wholeheartedly to the revelation of God to the heart.  David would be a man who would purpose to DO all the will of God.  Would he do it perfectly? No, but his heart was wholly committed to accomplish it.

When Moses would seek the Lord in the tabernacle, a cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle.  Scripture tells us that “…the Lord spoke unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend.” (Ex. 33:11)  This is a remarkable declaration of the revelation of God to Moses.  What is even more remarkable is that, “…everyone that sought the Lord, went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Ex. 33:7)  We are apt to think that, because of one’s stature (….in this case, that of Moses as the leader of the Children of Israel), one person may be accepted to the exclusion of others.  But here, we see that everyone who actively sought the Lord came to the same place to find Him.  Among those that sought the Lord was the servant of Moses, Joshua.  We are told that when Moses turned again to return to the camp from the Tabernacle, “…his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a YOUNG man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” (33:11)  Here is a man who has seen the glory of God upon Moses.  He knows that Moses communes with God, and God with him.  He also knows that Moses’ greatness is solely due to the blessing of God upon him.  And lastly, he knows that it is possible to SEEK God and to FIND Him.  This is the heart that God is looking for…a heart that seeks after Him, with the determined purpose of finding Him.

In conclusion, we read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “…For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of THEM whose heart is perfect toward Him.”  What does “perfect” mean?  It means “wholeness, entirety.”  The man or woman with a perfect heart is not seeking God because he or she thinks they are perfect.  But, they are seeking him with their whole heart.  They are in essence, wholly pursuing God…to know Him.

Dear Father, as Your eyes run to and fro over this earth, grant to us an ever increasing, seeking, pursuing heart, after You.  Strengthen our hearts, not only to seek You, but to find You.  For You have said that You WILL be found by the truly seeking heart.  Grant us to BE those, who, though imperfect, seek You with all of our hearts.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

The Time Has Come

Dear Ones:

When we look out upon the vastness of space, and at the littleness of our world in this “endless” universe, we are struck by the insignificance of our world, even of our existence.  As a result of such a vision, the thought of “insignificance” can move us to adopt the increasing “logic” of our times, that of meaningless existence, with no moorings to the Absolute.  The logical outcome to such a perspective is hopelessness, or by seeking some “lesser” form of meaning, we occupy ourselves with the things of this earth and time, to assuage our thirst to understand a meaningful existence.  The most significant event in the “history,” both of the earth and the universe, was the advent (coming) of Christ, when God came to this earth, to walk among us.   His painful, powerful, resounding words from the Cross:  “…IT IS FINISHED,” set the stage, and laid the foundation for man to truly understand the “why” of his existence.  By those words, man not only began to grasp his meaning of life, but the door was opened for all men to KNOW, and be assured of God’s purpose and provision.  Man had been given access into the very presence of his Creator, and Redeemer.  As a result,  the time had come for the glory of God to be revealed in the hearts and souls of men.  What should this knowledge do for us?

If our reason for being on this earth is not by chance, and if indeed, there is an Eternal purpose for our lives, then is it not logical that the eternal Goodness of God WILLS that we know this purpose, and means, for attaining it?  God declared such a divine intent through Jeremiah to Israel when He said:  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jer. 29:11)  The words, “expected end” mean “destiny.”  It is the goodness of God the Creator who has determined to give to man Life, peace, with an eternal purpose.  It is at this point that the root of faith must take hold, the anchor must be cast into the deep, and the stand must be taken.  We are not to attribute to God the evilness of men.  We are not to be dissuaded from the best and the highest by using the baseness of the human nature as our guide to the future.  Christ has come to set us free from all that is of the downward trend of sin and death, to give us life, purpose, and His peace.  How then are we to respond to such an overture of the Divine?

Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians a most revealing, and informative statement:  “…that I may know Him (Christ), and the power of His resurrection…not as though I had already attained…BUT I FOLLOW AFTER, if that I may APPREHEND that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:10-12)  How do we respond to the “overture of the Divine?”  By pursuing Christ…to know Him.  Can we know Him?

The Lord, by Jeremiah, said:  “Then shall you call upon Me, and you will go and pray unto Me, and I will listen to you.  And you shall seek me, and you SHALL find me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart.  AND I WILL BE FOUND OF YOU.” (Jer. 29:13-14)  There is an old hymn which says, “Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my guide?”  The question is very simple, “Can I doubt Him, or can I trust Him?”  If ever there was an answer to this question, it is again heard by the words from Jesus’ lips:  “It is finished.”

Dear Father, open our eyes to see Divine Love’s purpose, and way, for that purpose to be realized.  Give us in THIS day, in this hour, to know that we have been created to know You, walk with you, and be led by You.  Faithful God, lead us to Yourself.  Then we will KNOW You, and the purpose for which we have been created.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

 

 

 

The Next Thing

Dear Ones:

It is a wonderful day, and moment, when the Lord speaks to our hearts, saying:   “Go your way, your faith has made you whole.”  Numerous are the examples in the Old and New Testaments, where the Lord specifically addresses individuals, and Israel, declaring to them that their sin, at that moment, is completely, entirely taken away.  All previous sin is gone. What a wonderful, liberating moment to KNOW that the “filthy garments” have been removed, and clean ones have been provided.  It is at this point that we must be mindful that cleansing is not just an automatic action by God, because He decided out of the goodness of His heart to grant it.  The believers, before Jesus was born, were looking forward to a “spotless lamb,” the actual sacrifice for sins.  On this side of Christ’s coming, we are looking back to the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,” this same perfect sacrifice for sins.  God only forgives, cleanses us from sin, on the basis of the sacrifice of His Son, and His precious blood which was shed.  For us to be cleansed from sin, the Father had to give everything in His Son, and His Son had to give everything in return to His Father. Herein is the power and authority of His words:  “Go your way, your faith has made you whole.” Once we come to grips with the depthless meaning of the cleansing power of God, these liberating words lead us to the ask the question:  What next?

In the case of Isaiah, after his iniquity had been removed, he heard the Lord’s voice, asking: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Is. 6:9) Isaiah would respond:  “Here am I, send me.”  In the case of Joshua the high priest (Zech. 3), after his filthy garments (his iniquity) had been exchanged for clean ones, Joshua is “recommissioned” by God to walk before the Lord, and fulfill his charge, or ministry before God.  Peter, after knowing that he had been forgiven for denying the Lord Jesus three times, is asked the simple question:  “Do you love Me?” (Jn.21)  He is then told what he is to do.  “Feed (…and tend) my sheep.”(v.15,16,17)  Cleansing and healing are the prerequisites for following Christ, serving Him, entering into that very reason for which He died for us.

All through Scripture the concept of “cleanness” before God is a reoccurring theme, because of its essential quality and nature.  When called to go forth from exile, out of Babylon, the Lord exhorted the people of Israel:  “Touch no unclean thing….” (Is. 52:11)  He would also speak of the priests saying, “….Be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.”  What does He mean by this?  It is the same as when the Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples:  “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (Jn. 15:3)  It is God who cleanses, and He does so according to His declaration.  John would later write that when we truly confess our sins to God, “…He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9)  Cleanness is essential if we are to have confidence before God.  When we walk before Him in the light of His countenance,  He cleanses us, and keeps us clean.  It is then that we can, on a daily basis, respond to His call to “be sent,” to serve, and to “go…”

Dear Father, David prayed:  “Create in me a CLEAN heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10)  Grant us the heart of which Charles Wesley wrote:  “A humble, lowly, contrite heart, Believing, true, and clean, which neither death nor life can part, from Him that dwells within.”  Then, we shall hear anew Your voice, saying:  “Follow Me.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Love, Dad

 

The Old Man And The Promise

Dear Ones:

Abram was ninety-nine years old when, “…the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said unto him, ‘I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect.  And I will make My covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.'” (Gen. 17:1-2)  We are apt to think that age is a very limiting factor with respect to the blessing of God.  In the case of Abram, the contrary was true.  Why?  Because the issue is NOT that of age, but of FAITH in the faithfulness of God according to the revelation, promises, and purposes of God.  Let’s look at this meeting with God and Abram.

First, we notice that God chose the moment of the revelation.  Does He not do this in our lives?  He works in us the willing and the doing of His good pleasure, to bring us to the point of faith and obedience where He can bless us in a specific way.  With regard to Abram, God brings him to the point of impossibility, from a human standpoint.  How could a man as old as he was, be fruitful, and that, exceedingly?  The timing was impeccable.  Abram had NO other recourse than to believe God…and he knew it.

Secondly, God declares to Abram: “I am the Almighty God.” (v.1)  These simple, yet specific words, are essential to believe God for the impossible.  In Romans 4:20, we find it is written of Abraham:  “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.  And being FULLY persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” (v.21)  Why was Abraham able to believe God to do the impossible?  Because of the revelation of God to him as “THE ALMIGHTY GOD.”

Thirdly, this specific vision of God was essential if Abram was to believe God to enable him to obey the words of God:  “Walk before Me, and be thou perfect.” (v.1)  We need to see, and grasp, that this faith of Abram, was Abram’s faith.  What do we mean? Abram’s faith was HIS OWN faith.  He owned it.  It was his personal, and individual faith in the faithfulness of God.  This is also the pattern for us, for our faith must be personal, individual, and specific with respect to believing the promises of God, and also, with regard to obeying His commands.

Lastly, we note that God will make a covenant with Abram, change his name from Abram to Abraham (…father of many nations).  He will reiterate the extent and effects of the promises:  “….I will make thee EXCEEDING fruitful.” (17:6-7)  This covenant with Abraham, which had its origin in God, and “out working” in the life of Abraham, will begin with Abraham, and continue throughout the generations to come.  For He “…will be their God.” (v.8)  What is the application of these truths to our lives?

We know that have been called into fellowship with Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 1:9)  We have been called to bear much fruit, fruit that shall remain. (Jn. 15)  We are called to believe God for the “much more,” even the “exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think.”  In order to do this, we too must worship God, and see Him as the ALMIGHTY, for whom nothing is impossible.  We too must have an individual, specific faith in the Almighty God, and thus, be committed to walk before Him with all of our hearts.  And lastly, we must be those who refuse to look at the impossibility, but rather, glory and rejoice in the power, authority, and faithfulness of God, who only does wonderful things in answer to faith.  Then, He will, in His way for His glory, make us “exceeding fruitful.”  We shall bear MUCH FRUIT.

Dear Father, open our eyes to see, and to grasp, that You are the Almighty God.  Give us to understand our singular, and specific commitment to walk uniquely before You with all of our hearts…and give us grace to DO it.  Then we shall be strengthened to trust You for the wonderful thing, even the impossible thing, and this, for Your glory.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad