As He Is

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 9:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 4 (Select vv. NASB).

Test the Spirits (vv. 1-6)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

When we read a passage of scripture, we should try to read it in its full context, i.e. in relation to the verses surrounding it, in connection with the particular book of the Bible, as a whole, from which the verses are taken, and with the whole of scripture in mind, too. Then, we won’t pull verses out of context and make them say something they are not saying.

With this in mind, when we read, “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,” we must understand that there are many false prophets who DO confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ indeed came in the flesh. They are called wolves in sheep’s clothing, because they masquerade as servants of righteousness, but inside they are really ferocious wolves, out to destroy the church. So, don’t be deceived! There are many false shepherds of the people who do tell some of the truth, but they cleverly mix truth and lies together in order to deceive unsuspecting minds.

So, we can’t always judge a book by its cover. It may look right, and feel right, but when we open it up and look inside, then we can tell if it really is right. To confess Christ here means to be “in full agreement; to align with (endorse)” Christ (biblehub.com). So, we need to make sure the people we are listening to are not making verbal confessions only, but that in their hearts (inside the book) they are in full agreement with God, and that they are aligned with him and with his word, both in word and in behavior (i.e. in lifestyle). So, this is why we need to test what we hear, because there are many liars and deceivers who very cleverly insert lies into truth, and disguise them as truth, so that they can deceive naïve minds.

Yet, I believe we can say with most certainty that every spirit that does NOT confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, i.e. the one who is against and who is opposed to Christ, which is evidenced by the vast majority of his words, not by just a few of them, and by his lifestyle, i.e. by the way he lives. And, this is not speaking merely of a single person who is THE ANTICHRIST, but of anyone whose lifestyle, words, and beliefs are contrary to the teachings of Christ and those of his NT apostles. So, this is why we must be diligent in studying the Word of God, and in listening to the Holy Spirit, so that we don’t buy into lies and forsake what is truth.

If we have believed in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which is divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives, so that we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been resurrected with Christ to newness of life, then we are God’s children, and as his children we are overcomers with regard to those who are antichrist and who are false prophets.

So, what does that mean? I believe it means that we are not easily persuaded by these false prophets because God is living within us, and he speaks to our hearts, and he reveals to us what is true and what is false, if we will listen. Now, this is not to say that we will never get anything wrong. I think we are always learning things new to us, i.e. things we didn’t see before, and we are always growing in our faith. But, if we are discerning, and we do test what we hear, and we listen to the Spirit’s promptings, I believe we will not follow after those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. We will not listen to them as the world listens to them.

No Fear in Love (vv. 15-21)

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Again, this confession has to do with full agreement with Christ, i.e. with aligning ourselves with him, i.e. endorsing him. And, this is not in lip service only, but it is from the heart, and it is evident in how a person lives – in their values, attitudes, thinking, behaving and speaking. And, again, we must read this in the context of the whole book which says that if we hate our brother, God does not abide in us, and if we do not keep (as a practice of our lives) his commandments, God does not abide in us. In fact, we don’t know him at all. And, it says that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6). So, a mere verbal confession of Christ means nothing really.

Nonetheless, if we abide in love, we abide in God, and God abides in us. So, what does it mean to abide in (agape) love? What this is saying is that if we remain (stay) in love, i.e. in the kind of love that prefers what God prefers, and which centers in moral preference, which is God’s divine love, then we abide in God and him in us. So, how do we do this?

Well, first off God the Father has to draw us to Jesus Christ, his Son, and then he gifts us with the faith to believe in him by persuading us as to his will for our lives, but we have to accept that gift. He doesn’t force it upon us. We have to be persuaded, and then as those who have been persuaded, we yield control of our lives over to God. We make him the Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and we become his bondservants. And we do prefer what he prefers, and so we walk in the Spirit and no longer live to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh.

As believers in Jesus Christ we die with Christ to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to new lives in him to be lived to his righteousness. We have been set free from slavery to sin so that we can now become slaves of righteousness. The old has gone. The new has come. We prefer what God prefers, and we want to please him. And, our God is in the process of making us holy and conforming us into the image of Christ.

“AS HE IS so also are we in the world.” I don’t believe this is saying that we now have divine perfection, but that we are his representatives in the world, and that we are to be like him in word, action, thought, attitude, mind and deed. We are to be Jesus to the world, and we are to live holy and godly lives, pleasing to him. We are to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus in character and in action. We should not live like the world lives. We should live like we are strangers here on the earth, not as though we belong here. And, the world should hate us just like it hated Jesus. If everyone likes us, something is wrong.

Yet, we should never fear being hated or persecuted or what humans may do to us, because we believe that our God is absolutely sovereign over all things, and he has all things under his control, and our lives are in his hands. He will see us through any and every situation he brings into our lives. We just need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Helen H. Lemmel

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Not as Cain

Monday, February 27, 2017, 11:18 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 3:11-24 (NASB).

Everyone who Hates (vv. 11-17)

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Evil opposes righteousness, thus, those who are of the evil one will hate and resent those who are of the Righteous One, Jesus Christ. When someone is doing what he knows is wrong, he is not generally comfortable being around those who do what is right. So, he may try to bring the righteous person down with him, or else he may surround himself with others of like mind who will commiserate with him in his sin of hate. He may even lie about the righteous person so that others will hate that individual, too.

That is how they treated Jesus Christ, and that is how they will treat us, too, if we give our lives over to Christ to follow him in his ways, and in his truth. Yet, who was it that treated Jesus with such disdain? It was the religious leaders within the temple of God who hated him, resented him, and who were jealous of him, too, and so wanted him dead. It was the hypocritical religious who performed for an audience, who appeared righteous on the outside, but inside were full of wickedness, who were Jesus’ greatest opponents. Jesus told his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil” (Jn. 7:7). “The world,” in this case, most especially included the religious leaders in God’s temple.

So, being religious, particularly outwardly to impress others, is not the pathway to God or to heaven. Also, praying a prayer after someone else, or merely acknowledging that Jesus died to take our punishment for us, so that we could be free from condemnation, so that we could have the hope of eternal life with God, is also not what guarantees us eternal life with God.

If we truly believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, and we have, thus, been transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, in new birth unto a living hope, we now have God living within us. And, if God is in us, his love is in us, and it should be lived out through us. We should love because God loved us, and because his love abides within us. Yet, if we persist in hating others, as Cain hated and killed his brother, how can God’s love be within us? It can’t! In fact, this teaches us that if we actively and presently hate others, we are the same as a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life with God. If we do not love, not only are we acting contrary to God and his Word, but we still remain in death without the hope of heaven when we die. God is love. Satan is hate. We who believe in Jesus should love.

So, how do we love others? Jesus set the right example for us. He laid his life down for us so that we could be free from sin, and so we could walk in his righteousness. He gave his life up for us, in other words, to meet within us a legitimate need, i.e. the need of salvation from sin. He did this by giving up his own reputation, being willing to have others think badly and wrongly of him, and even to falsely accuse him and put him to death. And, this is how we need to love, too. We need to be willing to be hated, rejected, falsely accused, gossiped about, slandered, mocked, etc. in order to show the love of Jesus to people. We need to do what is right, even if everyone else is doing what is wrong, and even if we are hated for it in return.

Love in Truth (vv. 18-24)

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Words are cheap, or they can be if they are not backed up with action. For instance, if a person tells his or her spouse, “I love you,” and then continually commits adultery against the spouse (including viewing pornography), then the words are just words, for there is not action behind them to show them to be genuine. In fact, the action being shown speaks the exact opposite of love, and thus the words “I love you” can actually be an offense to the one receiving them, like a slap in the face.

God feels that way when we merely verbalize that we love him, i.e. when his praise is on our lips but our hearts are far from him, which is evidenced by our actions and by our inactions. He doesn’t want to just hear us TELL him that we love him, but he wants us to SHOW that we love him by obeying his (Christ’s) instructions (Christ’s commandments). And, he commands that we love one another with his love, and that we not practice hate.

If we keep (obey) Christ’s commandments as a matter of lifestyle, walking (conducting our lives) according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, we remain in Christ and he in us. He commands us that we believe in him, not as a one-time spiritual experience, but continually. And, this belief is God-given, thus it is of the Spirit, and not generated out of our human flesh. The way in which God gives us faith is that he persuades (convinces) us of his will for our lives. Persuaded of God, thus, to live for God according to his will and purpose for our lives, we turn from sin, and we turn to follow our Lord in obedience – all in the power and working of God’s Spirit within us, as we cooperate fully with that work and yield our lives over to God.

If we keep Christ’s commandments, in the power and strength of God’s Spirit now living within us, and we do what pleases him, we have confidence before God, and we receive whatever we ask of him. Now, this is because, if we are truly living this way, we are not going to ask God for what will displease him, or for what will be contrary to his will. We will be in tune with the Spirit, walking in obedience to the Word, and we will want what God wants, and we won’t crave after the sinful desires of our flesh. And, this is God’s goal for us, that we live holy lives pleasing to him, for that is why he saved us, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He called us to be holy, so we should be holy in all that we do. And, we should love and not walk in hate, because God is love, and in him is no darkness at all.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

How Great a Love

Monday, February 27, 2017, 10:07 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Gracious Father.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 3:1-10 (NASB).

Children of God (vv. 1-3)

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

God, in his infinite wisdom, before he even created the world, chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight. He predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ, according to his own purpose and grace (See: Ro. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-4). He knew when he created Lucifer (an angel) that he would rebel against him, along with a third of the angels. He knew before he created humankind that Lucifer (Satan, the devil) would tempt Adam and Eve in the garden, that they would fall into sin, and that he would then put a curse on them and on the earth from that moment on. He knew that all humankind would, thus, be born into sin, and that they would need salvation from sin. So, even before he created the world he already knew, i.e. he already had planned that God the Son would be our sacrifice to take away the sins of the world (See: Gen. 3:15; cf. Gal. 3:16-19).

So, why did God do it that way? I am not certain that I know the answer to that question. But, I believe he had it all fall into place that way because he wanted followers, not puppets. He could have made puppets if he wanted to, but what he wanted was people with hearts, souls, minds and wills who would choose to accept his plan of salvation for us via God-given faith in Jesus Christ. He allowed us to have an arch enemy, Satan, who would tempt us to sin, and who would oppose us, I believe, in order to drive us to our Father’s breast. And, he chose that his Son, God the Son, would be our perfect (sinless) sacrificial Lamb, and our sympathetic and compassionate high priest, to take away the sins of the world, and to give us new lives in Christ Jesus, free from slavery to sin. This was his plan to make us holy.

Yet, God didn’t have to do this. He could have left us wandering in our sins or he could have just wiped us all out at any time, if he wanted to. But, that was not in his divine plan and will for our lives. His will for us is to be saved from our sins, and set free from the control sin and Satan had over our lives, so that we could walk (conduct our lives) according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. He did this because he loves us, and because of his great mercy, grace and compassion towards those he created.

His plan was that the way in which we would come to receive this salvation was that he would first draw us to Christ, and then he would gift us with the faith to believe in Jesus, i.e. he would persuade us as to his will for our lives. Once persuaded, we would submit to his will and yield the control of our lives over to him. And, he would cleanse us from sin, deliver us out of slavery to sin, and give us new lives in him, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). This God-given faith would involve turning from our sins and turning to God/Jesus, to follow him in obedience. Through faith in Christ, we would be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we would be resurrected with Christ to this new life, to be lived to his righteousness. Via this new birth, we would then become children of God.

Sin Practitioners (vv. 4-10)

Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

God’s goal in saving us from our sins was not merely to free us from condemnation and to promise us heaven when we die. He chose us to be holy and blameless. He predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son, not to the image of man or of the world. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Paul’s commission in preaching the gospel was to open blinded eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t die just to save us, but to transform us, i.e. to make us his new creation. As believers in Jesus Christ, we died to sin, so that sin would no longer by our master, but so we would now be bondservants of Christ’s righteousness.

Jesus said that if we hold on to our lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (die in our sins), but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life (with God) (Lu. 9:23-25). Paul reiterated this when he said that if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die (in our sins), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live (with Christ for eternity) (Ro. 8:1-14). And, John said that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we lie, and we do not live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).

It isn’t as though we will never sin again (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2), but as followers of Christ we should not be people who regularly practice sin, i.e. sin should not be our custom or our habitual way of living. Once we believe in Jesus we should no longer continue living in sin. Sin should not be normal procedure for us. It should not be the manner in which we consistently live. If it is, then we are not in the light, but we are still in the darkness, and we don’t have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth. And, I didn’t say this. God said it! If we say we know God, or that we love God, but we don’t walk in his ways and in his truth, but we continue living for sin and self, then we don’t know or love God at all (See: Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

Yet, if we have truly believed in Jesus with God-given faith, through which God persuaded us as to His will for our lives, so that we yielded control over our lives to God, and submitted to his purposes, then we were set free from slavery to sin. So, we should no longer walk in it and make a practice of it. Instead, we should now be those who practice righteousness, because we now have the Spirit of God living within us, and God and his Word remain and continue in us, not just in thought, but in action. When this says that no one who abides (remains, continues) in him sins, this is speaking of the continual practice of sinning, not of a singular sin. Again, although we were freed that we may not sin, we still may sin, on occasion, but that sin is still covered by the blood of Jesus (1 Jn. 2:1-2). Yet, if we continue practicing sin as the normal course for our lives, then we have no part of God or of his salvation from sin. So, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Gracious Father / An original work / April 6, 2011

How great are You Father;
how great are You, Lord.
My heart so adores You;
Your mercy outpour.
Your love and your kindness;
Your gracious reward
Are treasures from heaven
that we can’t afford.
So, freely they’re given
and humbly received
When we bow before You
on penitent knee.

O gracious Redeemer;
my Master and King,
To You I owe everything –
my offerings I bring
With whole heart devotion,
to honor and praise
My loving companion
and friend for always.
It’s You I serve only,
to walk in Your ways,
So I have your promise
for all of my days.

Abide in Christ

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 11:40 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Zeal for Your House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 2:15-25 (NASB).

Love Not World (vv. 15-17)

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

What does it mean to love the world? The Greek word for love here is agapaó, which means to “wish well to, take pleasure in, long for;” “to prefer, to love.” It “preeminently refers to what God prefers as He ‘is love.’” “For the believer, preferring to ‘live through Christ’ (1 Jn. 4:9,10), i.e. embracing God’s will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power” – http://biblehub.com/greek/25.htm.

So, we are not to love the world (worldly affairs) in the way in which we are to love God/Christ. We are not to take pleasure in, long for or prefer the world and what the world prefers. We are not supposed to live for or live like the world of sin. We are not to embrace the world’s values, philosophies, attitudes, actions, and behaviors. We are not to follow in its ways, i.e. we are to no longer conform our lives to the patterns of the world. And, we are not to give the world our adulation, praise, honor, passion, and hearts.

If we give Jesus 5 minutes a day in the reading of his Word, but we spend 3 hours a day watching TV, or chatting on social media sites, or surfing the NET, or playing video games, then who or what are we preferring? And, if the stuff we are taking into our minds via these various forms of media is what is contrary to God and his Word, and we are allowing ourselves to be entertained by them, then what or who do we prefer? Whose values are we embracing? What behaviors are we giving our time and passion to? We can’t love God like we are supposed to love him if he gets the leftovers, and the world gets prime time and our thoughts, eyes, ears, hearts and passion.

Basically, if we agapao the world of sin, God’s love is not in us. Why? Because all that is of the world is opposed to God and his Word, so it is not of him. If we want to have eternal life with God, then we need to agapao God, not the world, thus preferring what HE prefers and obeying HIM.

Many Antichrists (vv. 18-23)

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour… I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

So, what or who is an “antichrist”? “Anti” means “against” or “opposite of,” so it is anything or anyone which (or who) is against Christ in lifestyle, attitude, action, words, behavior, and thought, etc. An antichrist can verbally acknowledge Jesus as the Christ but deny him by his lifestyle, actions, and other words. One of the ways in which an antichrist denies Christ is via deceit. We must remember here that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and “his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness” (2 Co. 11:14-15). His servants will pretend to be ministers of the gospel of Christ, or followers of Christ, only to lead God’s people astray from their pure devotion to Christ through manipulation, deception and trickery.

Many preachers today are followers of humans instead of followers of God. Their ‘bible’ is comprised of various books and articles on how to market their churches (their businesses) to the world, and on how to bring in large crowds of people. And, so they pattern their church gatherings around the pattern of the world in order to attract the world to their churches (i.e. to their businesses). “Worship” services are often nothing more than a cleaned up version of what the world is offering in the way of entertainment. The majority of the church’s time and money seems to be focused on the weekly “big show,” which they present to the world. Thus, pastors have to be entertainers if they want to gain followers for themselves (i.e. customers).

In order to gain popularity with the people of the world, thus, they end up diluting the gospel of Jesus Christ in order to make it more acceptable and appealing to the world. Many of them teach that a mere human belief that Jesus died to free us from condemnation and to promise us heaven when we die, and a verbal confession of Jesus as Lord is all that is needed for them to have salvation and the hope of eternity with God. Yet, where is the heart transformation in all of this? Where is the sorrow over sin? Where is the repentance and submission to the cross of Christ? True faith in Jesus is God-given and is persuaded by God as to his will for our lives, and thus it prefers what God prefers and obeys Him through the Holy Spirit’s power.

Abide in the Son (vv. 24-25)

As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

What they heard from the beginning is not what is being taught in many of today’s modern churches. What they heard was the gospel as taught by Jesus and by his NT apostles. And, it included teaching on sin, repentance, obedience, and submission, i.e. that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He did not die merely so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His grace is not a free license to continue in willful sin while claiming heaven as our future home. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).

So, we need to let the truth of God’s word abide (continue, remain) in us, i.e. to continually guide our thinking, actions, and values, etc., to have its way in our lives, and for us to follow it in obedience. This means we need to know what it says, so we need to be students of the Word, and we need to be receptive to the Spirit’s voice giving us counsel, direction, and instruction in godly and holy living. We need to not be following clever lies of deceivers who deny Christ by their lifestyles and by many of their words. So, we need to pray for discernment to know what is true and what are lies, because there are many deceivers. Yet, if the truth of God’s word makes its home in our hearts and lives, then we will also abide (continue, remain) in God the Father and in the Son, Jesus Christ. And, if it does, and thus we remain in Christ, we are promised eternal life with God.

Zeal for Your House
An Original Work / August 1, 2016

Based off Jn. 2:17; Ps. 69:9

Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
Lord, I love my times with You.
I love to worship You and sing Your praises.
Time in Your Word brings me closer to You,
List’ning to You speaking to me,
Gently guiding me in truth.

Lord, You are my life’s example,
Showing me how I should live.
I love to walk with You where’er You lead me.
No greater joy have I when serving You.
Loving, giving, resting in Your strength,
I’m yielding to Your will.

Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
See the church turned upside down:
Marketing ventures taking place of worship,
Men of the gospel turning into clowns.
Gospel message made appealing,
So the world will feel at home.

Lord, we need a great revival.
Turn their hearts, Lord, back to You.
Open the blind eyes, turn them all from darkness,
Lord, to the light. May they return to You,
Turn from their sin, forsake idols,
Be restored to God again.

To Know Him

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 10:06 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 2 (NASB).

If Anyone Sins (vv. 1-2)

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

What is the goal of our faith? Well, for one, it is that we would be delivered out of slavery to sin, that sin would no longer have mastery over our lives, but that we would now be able to walk in freedom and in Christ’s holiness and righteousness. When we were under slavery to sin, we were free from the control of righteousness (See: Ro. 6:1-23). But, now that Christ has set us free, we can now walk in the Spirit and no longer according to our sinful flesh, via the power of God’s Holy Spirit now living within us. We can now say “NO” to sin. We can resist Satan, and flee evil desires, and we can draw near to God in full assurance of faith because Jesus set us free! Amen!

So many people have this idea that the goal of our faith is merely that we escape condemnation (eternity in hell), and that we have the hope and promise of heaven when we die. But, they are missing the whole purpose for why Jesus gave his life up for us. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just that we would be forgiven of our sins, and certainly not to give us carte blanche (free reign) to continue in willful sin against God. He does not demand sinless perfection of us once we put our trust in him, obviously, and his blood still covers our sins, so we are not condemned if we do sin, but if we still walk in sin (live sinful lifestyles) after we make a profession of faith in Christ, then the Bible says we are liars if we claim to have fellowship with God, i.e. if we claim to be in relationship with him. The goal of our faith is death to sin and living to HIS righteousness.

As He Walked (vv. 3-6)

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Now, this seems like a tall order and, perhaps, something bordering on legalism or a push towards works-based salvation, if not understood correctly. Yet, if we could be saved by keeping the whole law, then Jesus would not have had to die. But, we could not keep the law perfectly, and so he did die. But, we need to keep in mind here that he died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14).

He died to change us, in other words. He died to radically alter our lives, not to give us slightly cleaned up old lives. With him, it is out with the old, and in with the new. In Christ, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Even our faith in him is a gift of God, as is repentance and the ability to obey him and to walk in his truth. We just need to yield our lives over to him, and let him do his work.

So, if our faith is truly genuine God-given faith, and if Christ is living within us in the person of the Holy Spirit, and if the Spirit is transforming our hearts and making us more like Jesus, and if he is empowering and strengthening us to live holy and godly lives, then we will want to do what his Word says, and he will give us all we need to do it, too.

This is not saying we will obey perfectly, or that we will never sin again, but what it is saying is that genuine God-given faith results in a change of heart and mind away from living for sin and self, to God, and to walking in his truth and in his ways. Our lifestyles should now reflect Christ, and our actions should reveal that we are living lives committed to obedience to Christ and to his word. This is not to say that we will never falter, but that we are allowing the Spirit of God to change us, and that we are responding to his promptings and urgings. We are daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and daily we are putting on Christ and his love.

So, if we say that we love God or that we know God and yet we continue living how we want, doing what pleases us, without regard for God and for his word, then this says we are liars. And, a liar is a fraud, a fake, a pretender and one who knowingly tells things which are not true. But, if we live to please our Lord, and we have great regard for him and his Word, and we choose to follow what he says, empowered by his Spirit within us, then we do know him, and we do love him.

Jesus is our example for how we ought to live our lives. Too many people who call themselves Christians are following humans and their examples rather than following Christ. They are overly concerned with having people like them, rather than being concerned over whether or not God approves of them and their lifestyles. Too many have bought into a casual approach to our Christian faith which allows them to still walk in their sins and to live like the world so that the world will like them. And, so they make many compromises with the world in order to be accepted by the world. But, this is not what Jesus saved us for and it is not what he has called us to. He has called us to holiness, which means to be set apart from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Christ.

In Isaiah 55 there is an urgent call to come to or to return to the Lord and to be restored to a right relationship with God. God’s people, evidently, were complacent and settled in their worldliness and wickedness, like some professors of Christ may be today. So, God asks them why they waste their money and energies on what will never satisfy. He counsels them to come to him, and to receive his living water, i.e. the Spirit of God, welling up in them unto eternal life, or else to receive spiritual refreshment and renewal.

The call to the complacent church and to the world today is urgent, as well, because we never know if we have tomorrow. Everyone must turn from their sins, and turn to God via faith in Jesus Christ if they want to have eternal life with God in heaven. God’s word will be fulfilled. He will pardon their sins when they turn from their wickedness. They will experience his grace and mercy. Then he will restore them and will bless them with great spiritual blessings. The return to God will be accompanied by much joy and peace, and will produce much spiritual fruitfulness in their lives to the glory of God.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

Mere Accolades

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 2:02 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 1 (NASB).

We Proclaim Him (vv. 1-4)

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

When our Lord walked the face of this earth, John was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. So, John gave eyewitness testimony here as to Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, Lord and Christ of God. He and the other eleven traveled with and worked with Jesus in ministry for at least three years. He was also an eyewitness to Jesus’ death on the cross and of his resurrection from the dead. So, he was able to say that he, along with the others, had heard him, seen him, and that he had touched him. He was sharing first-hand testimony and knowledge concerning the Christ, the Son of God (God the Son).

In the Gospel of John, he shared even more detail concerning the Word of Life. Jesus Christ was in the beginning with God, and he was God – the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All things came into being through Him, i.e. Jesus Christ is our creator. He is the Light of men (humankind) which shines in the darkness. The Word (Jesus) became flesh, and he made his dwelling among us. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Jesus, too, was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, via his death on a cross and resurrection from the dead.

Yet, not everyone received (believed on) him. Many hated him, were jealous of him, and despised him because he told them the truth about who he is, about their sin, about judgment, and about their eternal destiny, as well as he gave many messages of hope and healing for the penitent. So, they killed him. But, this was God’s will that he should die for us so that we could believe on him, be delivered from slavery to sin, and have eternal life with God, and so we could be born of God and could become children of God.

In the Light (vv. 5-10)

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

When I woke up this morning, the phrase “mere accolades” was in my mind, so I did a dictionary search on the word “accolade.” The words which jumped out at me, which were contained within the definitions, were “ceremonial,” “ritualistic,” “formality,” “performance,” “nominal,” and “acknowledgment.” To acknowledge something means to admit its truth or existence. For something to be nominal, it means that it is in name only, or it is so-called. And, other words for “formal” are “mechanical” or “performed.” And, to “perform” means to “play act.” The phrase “ceremonial embrace” was also included, which means formality or show of acceptance, agreement or belief.

So, how does this apply to this passage of scripture? Well, first of all we read here that God is light and that in him is no darkness at all. Light is truth, morality, righteousness, goodness, mercy, holiness, and purity, etc. Darkness is the opposite of light, so it is lies (deception), unrighteousness, wickedness, sinfulness, hatred, immorality, impurity, and irreverence, etc. God is not a mixture of both light and darkness. Only goodness exists within him. So, if we say we are in Christ Jesus, by faith in him, and thus we have fellowship (friendship, partnership) with God, but we conduct our lives (walk) in darkness (wickedness), then this says we are liars.

So, what is a liar? He (or she) is a fraud, fake, pretender – a phony. He is a fibber, storyteller, and a deceiver. He is someone who pretends to be what he is not, i.e. he is a hypocrite. He is someone who goes through the motions of being a Christian and a follower of Christ, but it is just an act. He is just performing for the crowds. He is a Christian in name only, but not in reality, i.e. not in lifestyle, i.e. not in actions. His profession of faith in Jesus Christ is ceremonial only, i.e. it is ritualistic or mechanical, but his heart is far from God. His praise of God is for show only. His worship is in vain. He acknowledges the existence and truth of Christ, but it is head knowledge only. His lifestyle does not back up his profession. Thus, he is a liar.

This is not saying that, as Christians, we will live in absolute perfection, though, or that we will never sin (See: 1 Jn. 2:1). But, it is saying that when we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives that our lifestyles (the way we live our lives day in and day out) should reflect Christ in our lives. If we truly have believed in Jesus, our old self was put to death with him, and we have been born anew of the Spirit of God, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). We died to sin so that we might live to righteousness. So, this should be evident in our lives that this spiritual transformation has taken place. Daily we should be dying to sin and self; daily we should be putting to death, by the Spirit, the misdeeds of our flesh (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14). And, daily we should be walking (living our lives) according to the Spirit of God.

You see, there are many people today who are preaching a false grace gospel. What I mean by this is that they are not teaching that genuine faith in Christ means death to sin and living to righteousness. True faith in Christ includes repentance (turning from sin) and obedience (submission) to Christ and to his Word. This is because genuine faith is a gift from God, i.e. it is God’s divine persuasion (convincing) of us as to his will for our lives. It is him moving us to some kind of action, and that action is holiness, which is what we were called to. So, if we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, our hearts will be transformed of the Spirit of God away from sin to God and to his righteousness. We will be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we will be resurrected with Christ to newness of life, and our lifestyles will reflect this, although this is an ongoing process of being made holy by God.

Yet, if we get this idea that we can just acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for our sins to free us from condemnation, and to promise us heaven when we die, and that we can make a mere profession of such, but with no real heart transformation ever having to take place, then we are lying to ourselves. If we think God is pleased by our mere formality of service to him, by our false worship of him, or by our mere church attendance, and/or with us just going through the motions (rituals) of Christianity, while we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, then we need a wakeup call! Genuine belief in Jesus Christ results in genuine lifestyle change. We no longer live our lives to please our sinful passions and desires, but we live our lives to please God, and we keep growing in our faith and service to our Lord, and he continually cleanses us and renews us and grows us in Him.

Then, like John, we can give first-hand witness, knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ and of his saving grace, not because we touched him physically, as did John, but because we have a real-life relationship with him. We know him, not just intellectually, but experientially. We have true fellowship with him because we walk in the Light, and we’ve been cleansed from all sin.

Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012

Based off Isaiah 55

“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.

“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”

Ice Born Again

Friday, February 24, 2017, 8:15 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Trust Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Peter 3 (NASB).

Mockers will Come (vv. 1-7)

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

We all need reminders, don’t we? Have you ever noticed how scripture keeps repeating the same message over and over and over again? It is because we need to be reminded, because we can get dull of hearing sometimes. The main message throughout scripture is that, because of what God did for us in providing us with salvation from sin, we need to turn from our sins, and we need to turn to God to walk in his ways and in his truth – all in the power and working of his Spirit who provides us with all we need to live godly lives.

Yet, not everyone has faith. In fact, many people will be belligerent in their refusal to believe in Jesus and to follow in his ways. And, they will come against those of us who are walking in the Spirit, and who are no longer conducting our lives according to the flesh, though not in absolute sinless perfection. They will attack us and our faith, and the Bible, and they will mock us and God’s Word, and they will persecute, hate, reject, ostracize, ridicule, falsely accuse, and mistreat us because we stand on the Word of Truth and we do not deny our Lord. They may also try to trap us and trick us, or they may find multiple ways to cut us to the heart and to belittle us and to devalue us because they don’t like what we stand for, and/or because our lifestyles serve to convict their own wandering hearts. But, their refusal to believe God’s Words do not change his Words. They will be fulfilled!

In His Timing (vv. 8-10)

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

This morning, when I woke up, I could hear the name of someone I know spoken in my mind (silently, not audibly). It was the person’s first and middle name. So, I committed this person to prayer. But, then I sensed that I was to look up the meaning of this person’s name. The first name means “ice” and the middle name means “born again.” This is someone who is born again.

As I pondered this in my mind, I immediately saw the connection to this passage of scripture. “Ice” is cold and it is hard. It is not pliable at all. This is a picture of these mockers and those who have continuously resisted the voice of the Spirit and have gone their own way instead. They have hearts which are hardened against God and against his Word, at least in some areas, if not in all areas of their lives. They are cold (emotionless and indifferent) to the truths of God and to his way of righteousness.

Some of us may have people like this in our lives whom we love dearly, but who have been resisting the Spirit of God. They have hardened their hearts against God because they know that faith in Christ means death to sin, and it means walking in holiness, and they are wanting to hold on to sin in their lives, and to not give up control over their own lives. So, they resist the Spirit, and twist the Word to their advantage, and they deny or excuse away their own sin, and refuse to take responsibility, and then they shift the blame on to others. They lie continuously to cover-up their own sin, and they even begin to believe their own lies they tell themselves. They are a lot like a vehicle driving round and round in a cul-de-sac. They are wandering aimlessly, going nowhere, and just recycling the same behavior patterns over and over again, because they don’t want to let go and let God.

So, these words are written here to encourage our hearts when we begin to feel disheartened over those who keep resisting God. God’s timing is not like our timing. His ways and his thoughts are not like our ways and our thoughts. He is very patient. He has not yet brought his wrath on the earth, because he is patient, and because he wishes that all people would come to repentance and would not perish (die) in their sins. So, evil will prevail, and the wicked will continue to be wicked, for a time, but God is going to move in a mighty way at his appointed time, and there will be many people who will come to faith in Jesus Christ, including many who are now resisting him and who have hardened their hearts against him. And, then “ice” will be “born again,” i.e. they will no longer have hardened hearts, but God will give them pliable hearts to believe in Christ, to repent of their sins, and to turn to walk in obedience to Christ, in his holiness and in his righteousness.

In Holy Conduct (vv. 11-18)

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

One day, God is going to pour out his wrath on this earth in judgment, and when he does, many people will die, many of whom will die in their sins. And, ultimately, the earth as we know it will be gone. God’s Word will be fulfilled, even if it has not happened yet. So, we should never take the time we have now for granted. Not one of us knows if we have tomorrow or even the next minute. Our lives could be taken from us at any moment in time.

So, why is it important that we live godly and holy lives until this time in which God does destroy the earth? And, what does this have to do with what Paul wrote in his letters? The answer to these questions has everything to do with our understanding of what it means to believe in Jesus Christ and to be saved from our sins, and to have the promise of eternal life with God.

Very simply put, Jesus died on the cross for our sins that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). He did not die merely to give us an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die. He died to radically change (alter) our lives while we still live on the face of this earth. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God, that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15, 21). When we believe in Jesus, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, that we might live with Christ to his righteousness (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; cf. Lu. 9:23-25). A saved life is one that no longer walks (in lifestyle) according to our sinful flesh, but it is a life which walks (conducts our lives) according to the Spirit of God (Ro. 8:1-14).

The Bible teaches us that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness (sin), we are liars (1 Jn. 1:6). If we say we love God, or that we know God, but we do not obey Christ’s commands (his instructions to us), then we don’t really love or know God (Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6). This is not saying we must live in sinless perfection (See: 1 Jn. 2:1), but it is saying that we should have a change of lifestyle, and that we daily should be putting sin to death, by the Spirit of God, if we want to have eternal life with God (Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25). The Bible also says that “we have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first” (Heb. 3:14). In other words, we are not guaranteed eternal life with God on the basis of past faith or on the basis of a profession only of faith. Paul said that the righteous requirement of the law is fully met in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8:1-14).

So, what sort of people ought we to be until the Lord’s coming? We ought to live holy lives, in holy conduct and godliness. And, we need to remain steadfast in our walks of faith in the Spirit and no longer live according to our sinful flesh. And, we must guard against teachings which try to convince us that we can still walk in sin and yet have the promise of heaven when we die, for those are a lie of Satan. Jesus said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (for eternity), but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), we will gain eternal life (Lu. 9:23-25). And, for those of us who sometimes grow weary or who get disheartened over the many who are living in open rebellion against God, we need to trust God.

Trust Him / An Original Work / August 15, 2012

Based off Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be of courage;
Be strong and take heart today.
Do not fear when foes attack you.
Trust in God always.
He will rescue you in times
Of trouble and distress,
He’ll comfort you in all ways
As you trust Him with your life today.
Trust in Him always.

God is with you; He’ll not leave you.
You can always count on Him.
He will fulfill all He promised
Before you began.
His word teaches you
All that you need for this life.
Let Him lead you. Open your heart;
Let his truth envelope you today.
Listen and obey.

Love your Lord God; follow Jesus.
Repent of your sins today.
Make Him your Lord and your master;
Trust Him and obey.
Follow Him where’er He leads you
In His service; be His witness,
Telling others about Jesus’
Price that He did pay
For your sins always.