The Essence Of The Kingdom

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

Dear Ones:

The Lord Jesus instructs us to “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)  Why?  Because the will of God is that His will be done on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, and the consequent glory of God be revealed.  What does the phrase, “…the kingdom of God,” mean?  There are two defining points which give us understanding.  The first is the word “king,” found in the larger word kingdom.  Immediately we are confronted with authority, rule, a reigning monarch.  There is no one higher than the king, nor greater.  He has the first and final word in all things, because he possesses the greatest power and authority, knowledge and wisdom.  The second word of significance is “God.”  As soon as we say the word, our thoughts of the King and His reign are elevated.  Not only are we dealing with the elements of power and authority,  but that which is of heaven, of the Creator and Redeemer Himself.  The whole concept of the “kingdom of God” lifts us up into the eternal, the sovereign glory, power, and will of God.  What then are the characteristics of this kingdom?

We discover that the Apostle Paul makes it very clear that, foundational to every manifestation of the kingdom is the power of God, His authority.  It is that revelation of Christ’s everlasting strength, and consequent quickening of His children, that brings us to have faith, “…not… in the wisdom of men, but IN the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:5)  Jesus would tell His disciples before He was taken into heaven, “All power (authority) is given unto Me in heaven and in earth…” (Matt. 28:18)  On the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out upon all flesh, specifically upon the disciples, the POWER of God was revealed.  The Lord had said unto the disciples, “…But you shall receive POWER, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)  So then, we see that,  as His kingdom comes, there is the manifestation of His power.

There are other characteristics of this kingdom.  To the Romans, the Apostle Paul would write:  “…For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17)  It is a normal, and certain result of Christ’s reign in the heart, that His righteousness, peace, and joy, should be increasingly revealed in the life of the believer.  Isaiah would write:  “…Of the INCREASE of His government (reign) and peace there shall be no end.” (Is. 9:7)  There is an old hymn which declares:  “…and as Thy kingdom doth increase, so shall Thine ever-deepening peace.”  Christ’s reign, His kingdom, and his power, righteousness, peace and joy, go hand in hand.

Dear Father, reign in our hearts today.  Lord Jesus, BE our great King, Sovereign Lord this day, so that Thy power, righteousness, joy and peace will be revealed in and through us on this earth.  Fill us with Thy Life Divine, that the world may know something of Thy great goodness, and the love of Thy saving heart.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

 

Christ’s Saving Life

“…we shall be saved by HIS life.” Romans 5:10

Dear Ones:

When the Lord Jesus spoke of denying self, it was in order to pave the way for understanding and embracing His saving ways.  Christ uses nothing of “self” to save us.  So then, where do we begin in our understanding so that we might KNOW His saving Life?

The Beginning is always the Person of Christ, and according to Isaiah (55), that means beginning with “His thoughts” and the knowledge of “His ways.”  Paul writes in his epistle to the Romans, that we are “…justified by faith.” (Romans 5:1)  God’s way has always been that of faith.  This is so because faith must come from outside of us to be acceptable to God.  It is thus, the “gift of God.”  It is a wonderful day when we realize that we are nothing and can do nothing, and that God is waiting to give us all in Christ.  But that “all” can only be received by faith.  So, we begin by faith…IN the Son of God, and BY the Son of God.

The next “way” of God is that of understanding that God will have nothing of the “flesh,” nothing of the sinful “self” dwelling in us.  Sinful self is worthy of only one thing, along with all of the manifestations of it, and that is, crucifixion, death, burial.  (Romans 6:6)  This brings us to the pitfall of thinking that, though we are justified by faith, we can live by trusting in something, or someone else, (usually ourselves), other than Christ for His victory.  We have only to read the sad commentary of Paul in Romans 7:24 to learn where this brings us:  “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  This is certainly not the victorious life.

Lastly, and wonderfully, we come to the testimony of Paul who declares that he has understood GOD’s ways:  “I AM crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh (in this physical body), I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)  Paul embraces God’s ways by embracing the work of Christ on Calvary.  It is an act, followed by an attitude, of faith.  That great and wonderful work brings us now face to face with Christ as our LIFE.  “CHRIST lives in me.”  What wonderful words, declaring that the cross has delivered me from all that I would trust in, in order to embrace Christ, and Him alone as my Life.  HIS victorious Life then becomes my own…by faith.  This is how we shall live and KNOW the power of His resurrection in all places, at all times.

Dear Father, grant us grace to see clearly the simplicity and yet, profoundness of Thy Son’s work on Calvary.  Enable us by faith to enter into the reality that we have died with Christ, in order to live BY His life, and thus, for Him.  Strengthen us in the inner man, that He may DWELL in our hearts by faith today, and this, in an ever-increasing manner.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

 

Let My Hands Perform His Bidding

“…Shall the clay say to Him that fashioneth it, ‘What makest Thou?'” (Is. 45:9)

Dear Ones:

We have a grave tendency to be wrongly audacious.  This audaciousness is founded in the “thought” that God has NOT made us, and that His purposes cannot, and will not be realized in and through us.  Therefore, we, as the “clay,” lean to our own understanding, and “our own way,” setting our own goals.  We fail to grasp that, as the Psalmist declared:  “…I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Thy works.” (Ps. 139:14)  In Psalm 100, we read:  “Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and NOT we ourselves.”  There comes with this knowledge the accompanying fact and certainty that His WILL not only pertains to us in creation, but in the realization of His purposes in and through us for His glory.

Before the Persian King Cyrus was born, Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would raise him up, declaring that:  “….He is my shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built;’ and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.'” (Is. 44:28)  Here is a perfect example of “creation” in the mind and heart of God, of His purposes associated with that creation.  The point is that what He has created, He has ordained for a purpose.  The question then becomes, “How is the ‘clay’ to KNOW His purposes, and be brought into conformity with those purposes?

As in the case of Cyrus, we begin with the revealed will of God concerning WHO Cyrus IS, and what he will become.  “He IS My shepherd.”  We belong to Christ, having been purchased by His precious blood.  We then look at His promises…as there are some that are the same as those given to Cyrus:  “I have raised him up in righteousness…I will direct ALL His ways.” (v.13)  Not only are we called, and been given the promise of His guiding presence, but if we look in Psalm 46 and Psalm 121, we find that God is our very present help, the Help which made heaven and earth.  He is that One who is a living River, powerful and life-giving, our Keeper, the one who will guide our steps, and at the same time will, “….not suffer thy foot to be moved.” (Ps. 121:3)  In light of such revelation of our relationship to God, and His commitment to us, shall we not as the “clay,” respond by declaring:  “…Let my hands perform His bidding, let my feet run in His way?”

Dear Father, we are overwhelmed when we think of Thine eternity.  It is Thou who hast made us, and this, for Thy pleasure and purposes.  Bring us THIS day, in mind and heart, spirit, soul, and body, into conformity with Thy purposes.  Realize in us all Thy blessed will…giving us grace to run this race set before us, and this with Thy joy….for Thy glory.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

Three Imperatives

“…And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.” Genesis 21:14

Dear Ones:

It had to have been one of the most trying days in the life of Abraham.  Sarah, his wife, who had borne him no children, devised a plan by which her servant, Hagar, would be given to Abraham as a wife.  Hagar bore a son to Abraham whose name was Ishmael.  But there would come a day, after Ishmael was thirteen or fourteen years old, that Sarah would give birth to the promised seed, Isaac.  There had been a history of animosity between Hagar and Sarah.  When Ishmael was caught mocking Isaac, at a time of a great feast, marking the event of Isaac being weaned,  Sarah would declare to Abraham:  “Cast out this bond-woman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” (21:10)  Scripture tells us that, “…the thing was VERY GRIEVOUS in Abraham’s sight because of his son..”  Abraham had become very attached to this son Ishmael, even though there existed the “rivalry” between Sarah and Hagar.  What was he to do?  And why did he choose to send Hagar and her son away, with apparently very little means of sustenance?  The answer is found in three imperatives.

The first imperative is:  The Lord told him to do it.  “…in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice.” (v.12)  Without a clear understanding of God’s word to his heart, how could Abraham ever send his son away like this?  The second imperative is:  Abraham is to take a stand of faith on the promise of God.  “And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” (v.13)  God does not tell Abraham how He is going to do this.  He calls upon Abraham to trust Him, and go forward.  Thus, he sends Hagar and Ishmael away…and in this case, into wilderness of Beer-sheba.  The third imperative has to do with Abraham’s own attitude of heart and mind:  Abraham is to take an eternal view of the situation, in order to be delivered from his own present, natural grief.  “And God said unto Abraham, ‘Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad…'” (v.12)  Why does God tell him this?  Because God is looking down the road to eternity, not only because of the seed of Abraham in Ishmael (…whom He will care for…), but also in Isaac.  It shall be in the lineage of Abraham, through Isaac,  that the Christ will be born, the Savior of the world.  All the nations of the world will be blessed in Abraham’s seed.   In the wisdom, goodness, and love of God, Abraham can rejoice…even out of the context of sorrow.   God WILL do that which is good, and not fail.

Dear Father, in the difficult moment, when our hearts may be torn by one circumstance or another, give us grace to hear Thy voice, and respond in faith.  Give us to take our stand upon Thy promises, and also, look down the road to eternity, believing that You only do the wonderful, good thing…indeed, that which is of highest good.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

 

The Transforming Revelation

“…His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire.” Revelations 1:14

Dear Ones:

When John the Apostle wrote the book of the Revelation,  he began with the words: “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass…” (Rev. 1:1)  The first thing we need to take away from this passage is that the book of Revelation was given to unveil to us the risen Christ as He IS in His glory, power, and holiness.  As we proceed through the book, we stand amazed by His sovereign control and power to bring His will to pass, as revealed in past, present,  and future history.  But what is perhaps most stunning is the END towards which mankind is heading.  It is the great culmination, realization of the purpose of the revelation of God in creation, but mostly, at the cross when Christ died.  That is the pivotal point of history, and the whole of what follows has its meaning and revealed purpose with respect to that cross.  It is the singular point of reference which defines the purpose of man, and that is, to KNOW and GLORIFY GOD…forever.

John tells us that he received this revelation of Christ when he was in exile on the Isle of Patmos.  He was an old man at this time, and certainly nearing the time when he would go to be with the Lord.  Perhaps it is safe to say that, except for the Apostle Paul, no one knew Christ as well as John.  And yet, with the revelation of Christ in His glory, John relates:  “…And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” (1:17)  Why did the Lord Jesus reveal Himself to John at this time, and in this manner?  We know that it was for the benefit of His servants (1.1), but what purpose would such an overwhelming revelation serve?

Perhaps the specifics of the revelation will help us to grasp its meaning.  Christ declares twice in the first chapter that He is the Alpha and Omega, in one case adding, “…the beginning and the end,” and in the other, “…the first and the last.”  He most certainly declares this to illustrate His eternal sovereignty, control, …and that He is indeed, The Eternal King, and Lord of Lords, the great CAUSE and CULMINATION of all creation.  He WILL bring His will to pass, because He is God…Almighty God.

With regard to Christ’s appearance, that which was so overwhelming to John, why do His servants need to see Him as such, and not simply as the physical Christ who rose from the grave?  Throughout Scripture there is the recurring theme of God’s holiness, uniqueness, separateness from His creation, and certainly from sin.  But we have difficulty in grasping what this means.  T. Bimney wrote these words:  “The spirits that surround the throne may bear the BURNING BLISS; but that is surely theirs alone, since they have never, never known a fallen world like this.”  If we would grasp something of the eternity of God, His holiness, His holy work…and purpose, we need a vision of Christ in that glory, AS HE IS THIS DAY.  Then, HIS work, His working in history becomes the focal point of all consideration of our existence for the present, and for eternity.  To neglect such an overwhelming vision, and revelation, of Christ in His glory, is to refuse to believe that He is the Sovereign God, and that He is bringing all things to pass according to His will.  And we are called to walk before Him, and work WITH Him, abiding IN Him.

Dear Father, open our eyes to see Your glory in Christ.  Enable us to grasp the significance of belonging to Him, being His servants, at this time in history.  And strengthen us to believe Him for His purposes to be revealed, and accomplished in our lives while we are still on this earth, and this for His glory.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

Heavenly Food

“…My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34

Dear Ones:

When we read the words, “Heavenly Food,” we almost always think of the manna mentioned in the Old Testament.  However, the words of Christ, “….I have meat(food) to eat that you know not of,” lift the meaning of the words “Heavenly Food” beyond the physical to that which is spiritual and eternal.  We know from the “Lord’s Prayer,” that we are to pray, “…Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11)  This is vital, for we live by physical food, and this on a daily basis.  However, the Lord Jesus lifts us higher again than our physical existence by declaring, “…Man shall NOT live by bread alone, but by every WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)  Yes, there is a necessity for daily physical bread.  But there is an essential daily, heavenly bread, given by God, and it is the word of God.  Why is this subject so vital?  Because the word of God leads us to the “Bread of God …(which) is come down from heaven,” (Jn. 6:33) the Lord Jesus.  Our souls need spiritual bread, the objective word of God, to direct us in the partaking, or appropriation, of the Life of Christ, our eternal, living Bread from heaven.  How does this work out?  How do we live it?  We always begin with Christ as our example, and enabler,  in order to get an understanding of His ways.

When Jesus began his ministry, and this by being led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, he would reveal to the world that His priority, above all else, was to live by the word of His Father.  In the book of Hebrews, He would declare: “Then said I, Lo, I come  (in the volume of the book it is written of Me), to DO Thy will, O God.” (10:7)  This He would reiterate to the disciples by declaring, “…My meat is to DO the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.”   That which we learn by Christ’s example here is that He was entirely focused on, and completely committed to, His objective.  He would live to believe and obey His Father, and thus, accomplish His work.

There is another element to this example of Christ, as the living Bread, that we need to understand if we would “follow in His steps.”  The Spirit of God came upon Christ when He was baptized, when He embraced His mission and purpose.  That Spirit of God anointed Him in a definite, specific way, to empower and enable Him, providing for His every need, to accomplish the will of His Father.  And this He would do.  Thus, it is clear that He lived BY the word of His Father, and this in deliberate, specific dependence upon the Spirit for everything, and at all times.  The result is that He finished His work…to save us all.

Dear Father, we thank You for the example of Your Son, whose focus was singular, even in the face of temptation and opposition.  We thank You for the love that He demonstrated by that singular devotion, and dependence upon the Spirit of God.  Grant us by Your Spirit to be strengthened in our hearts to believe You for such love and devotion, as we trust You for grace to accomplish that which You have called us to be and to do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

 

 

 

The Rest Of Faith

“…Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” Psalm 37:7

Dear Ones:

In the ministry of Jesus, we find often that He calls the individual to “Come unto Me” (Him).  Many are the benefits of responding to this call.  One of them is a “rest” that He gives.  He calls it:  “…rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)  What does He mean by this “rest?”  In the context of this passage, the rest that He gives is associated with “yokes” and “burdens.”  It is as we are willing to trust Him, and submit to Him, yoked with Him, that He is willing to take our burdens.  He takes first the weight of the guilt of sin from our hearts.  He then gives us the capacity to entrust, or commit, to Him all that pertains to our existence on this earth.  We take His light yoke and He takes our heavy burdens…having taken the responsibility and care of the life into His hands, and upon His heart.

In the book of Hebrews, we read:  “For he that is entered into His rest (God’s rest), He also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:10)  The “rest” here that God gives, and which the soul enters into, is that state of mind and heart, where the peace of God rules. This rest is the result of relinquishing all pursuit to justify oneself before God.  This is realized by simply turning wholly, and unconditioningly to Christ, as our justification and peace.  It is when we come God’s way, the way of faith and obedience, that we begin to KNOW this rest of soul, and heart, in an ever-increasing manner.  God rested from His works on the Sabbath, and we are called to rest (cease) from our vain “ways and means” in order to embrace God’s way.  Therein is peace and rest.

Lastly, the Psalmist tells us to “Rest in the Lord…and wait patiently for Him.”  What does He mean?  We know that the Christian life is one of spiritual conflict.  The “Fight of Faith” is a very real experience.  But there is also, “the Rest of Faith.” When we stop and take stock of spiritual reality, we see that Christ is indeed present by His Spirit. He is sufficient to meet every need.  We recognize that He is our Keeper and Sustainer in life.  He is faithful to provide, and to be, “…a very present help in time of need.”  He ever keeps us in this blessed union with Himself, never to be broken, severed, or disolved. J.S. Pigott wrote:  “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art.  I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.  Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul.  For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.”

Dear Father, in this great conflict in which we find ourselves, give us to know this rest of soul, this peace that passes understanding, as we rest “in the joy of what Thou art.”  Give us to see the overwhelming reality of our union with Thee, Lord Jesus…complete in Thee, and Thee sufficient in us for every need, by the Spirit.  May the beauty of Thy blessed peace be upon and in us all this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

How Long?

“How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Revelations 6:10

Dear Ones:

The question, “How long,” has several applications in Scripture.  Here in the book of Revelation we see how that it is the call of the martyrs who have been slain on the earth, “…for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” (Rev. 6:9)  In the context of “injustice” and suffering, there is the question from the heart to God, “How long?”

In the days of Elijah, when the Lord through him was confronting the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel, there came a day when Elijah would ask the children of Israel:  HOW LONG…halt ye between two opinions?”  Here he brings them face to face with time, and a choice to be made with respect to that time.  It concerns HOW LONG it will take for Israel to choose to commit herself to God?

In Jesus’ day, he was confronted by the father of a demon-possessed boy.  His disciples could not cast out the demon, and the Lord’s response was:  “Oh faithless and perverse generation, HOW LONG… shall I be with you, and suffer you?” (Luke 9:41)  Again, we are faced with this very short question, which applies to each of us, in the face of all that confronts us in this life:  HOW LONG will God patiently endure faithlessness and doubt?

For the suffering servant of Christ, the question is asked in regard to the justice of God being revealed.  With regard to Elijah’s day, the question became a call to the people to choose who they would believe, the God of Israel, or other gods. In Jesus’ day, the question was asked with regard to the opportunity at hand to believe God, and this with the whole heart…even in the face of that which was “impossible for man.”

There is yet another, “HOW LONG.” It is expressed in H.L. Turner’s great hymn:  “It May Be At Morn.” He writes:  “O Lord Jesus, HOW LONG? HOW LONG? Ere we shout the glad song? Christ returneth, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.”  The question is the reflection and the expression of the heart that is daily waiting on God, for present grace, but also for the future realization of all that is true of him IN CHRIST.  In asking the question,”HOW LONG,” the heart turns its gaze upward to look expectantly unto Jesus for time and eternity.

Father, give us grace to ask the question, “HOW LONG,” and to live in the light of Your clear and applicable response.  Enable us to wait on Christ all this day, trusting Him for the realization of Your purposes, for Your glory and honor.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

Remember Me

“For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:16

Dear Ones:

Jesus Christ is the most amazing man ever to have existed, and this for many reasons.  But primary among them all is the fact of the love of God revealed through Him.  It was love for His Father which dominated everything.  And then, there was His love for His disciples, and for us all individually.

It was the eve of His crucifixion, and He had instructed His disciples where they were to prepare the Passover.  There would come a moment, when all the twelve apostles were assembled with Him, that He would say:  “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:15)  It is in saying this, knowing that shortly His body would be broken for them (and all men…), and His blood would be shed to establish an eternal covenant so that they (and all men…) could be saved, that, instead of recoiling before the horror of that event, He would embrace it because of the love He had for them.  Here is the highest expression of love, not only in that He would give His life, but that He would do so by taking upon Himself the sentence and judgement for that which His sinless nature was repulsed by…our sin.

“Death, and the curse were in our cup, O Christ, ’twas full for Thee…!  But Thou hast drained the last dark drop, ‘Tis empty now for me.  That bitter cup, LOVE drank it up;  Now blessings’ draught for me.”

At this Last Supper, Christ would take the bread and the cup of wine.  He would tell His disciples to take this and divide it among themselves.  Specifically, with regard to the bread, He will tell them:   “This is My body which is given for you…this do in remembrance of Me.”  In a very short time, though His disciples could not grasp the extent of what He was saying, He would be “…wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities…the chastisement (punishment) for our sins would fall upon Him…and by His stripes we would be healed.” (Is. 53:5)  The Lamb of God would soon be slain, and this to save us all.  His word to His disciples?  “Remember Me.”  This is what he would have them do!!!  He would then take the cup to declare to them that which, again, they would not understand fully:  “…This cup is the New Testament (New Covenant) in My blood, which is shed for you.”  The salvation of the entire world is being declared here as being dependent upon ONE thing, the shed blood of Christ.  What does Christ then say to them concerning this perfect, extensive, eternal work?  He says, “…which is shed FOR YOU.”  This perfect sacrifice to save us all is FOR US.  This is love…and there is NO greater expression of it.

Dear Father, open our eyes to see what love You have demonstrated in Your Son in sending Him to be born, and then to die for us…for me.  Work in our calloused hearts to know and feel the power of this love which calls us to remember, and to know that all was done for us.  Cause to melt away any resistance to You in our hearts, for there is no greater motive to live, or to die, than to know this love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad

“Right-ness,” God’s Perspective

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6

Dear Ones:

What is “RIGHT?”  There is that which man would say is right, and that which God says is right.  The difference is like the distance of the heavens above the earth.  On the one hand, “right-ness” from man’s perspective has its origin in the depths of human nature.  On the other hand, the eternal concept of “right-ness” has its beginning and realization IN GOD.  In our “modern” manner of speaking today, we hardly ever use the word, “righteousness.”  And yet, the meaning of this word has eternal ramifications.  What does “righteousness” truly mean?  It is first and foremost that which is declared RIGHT in the sight of God.  He sets the standard, for He IS the standard.

At one point in the life of Abraham, the Lord led him outside at night, and told him to look up into the sky.  When he looked at the innumerable stars in the sky, God said:  “So shall thy seed (descendants) be.” (Gen. 15:5)  Then the word of God declares:  “And he (Abraham) believed in the Lord; and He (God) counted it to him for righteousness.”  God gives to Abraham a promise, a declaration of His will.  Abraham simply responds by specifically, and whole-heartedly,  believing God.  This is the RIGHT thing to do in the sight of God.  I believe it was Henry Ironside who put it so simply:  “God said it; I believe it; That settles it.”  Why is this God’s way?  It is for two reasons.  First, in Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote, “…Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Rom. 3:4)  It is NOT the right thing in the sight of God to believe in the words of a liar.  Why?  Because the fallen nature of man has nothing to do with the holy nature of God.  This is why God declares, “We are ALL as an unclean thing, and ALL our righteousness (“right-ness”) are as filthy rags.”  Our concept of a holy God is skewed if we believe that true “rightness” can come from any other source than the Lord Jesus Christ.  The second reason that FAITH alone is God’s way,  is simply, that it is a gift of God.   He deals with us out of His grace, and gives faith to those who seek Him for it.

In Isaiah 55, the Lord’s word to Israel is a most wonderful one:  “… EVERY ONE that thirsts, come to the waters, and he that has no money; come, and buy, and eat: yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price…listen diligently unto Me…Incline your ear, and come unto Me…hear and your soul shall live.” (v.1,2,3)  What is God saying here?  True “right-ness” in His eyes is that which He gives.  It is not earned…nor bought with the things of this world.   Rightness is responding to Him according to what He declares.

Dear Father, we thank You that Your ways are not those of man…they are so very high and holy, and yet, so simple that we can understand.  You give faith when You speak, and you speak to us in Your word.  Give us abundant grace today to understand what You are saying to us, and grace to take our stand by faith upon the promises.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love, Dad