Live for Him

Sunday, July 16, 2017, 5:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Your Grace Divine.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read various scriptures (in the NASB) on the subject of living for Jesus.

Dead to Sin; Alive to God (Ro. 8:12-14; cf. 1 Pet. 2:24; Gal. 2:20)

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

If we are to live for Jesus, we must first of all die with him to sin and self (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; Eph. 4:17-24). If the old man has not been crucified with Christ, the new man (person) cannot exist. It is when we die with Christ to sin that we are reborn of the Spirit of God, and thus we can now live and walk in the Spirit and no longer according to our sinful passions and desires. Yet, this death to sin and living to Jesus is not a onetime salvation experience, but it is our daily walk with Christ Jesus, as well. For, it is not those who claim to have had a salvation experience who are the children of God, but it is those who are being led by the Spirit, who are following the Lord Jesus with their lives, who are his sons and daughters.

For the Lord (2 Co. 5:14-15; cf. Ro. 14:7-9; Phil. 1:19-21)

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Jesus Christ did not die on the cross for our sins merely that we might escape hell and have the hope of heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, our lives are no longer our own, to live however we want, for we were bought back for God with the price of Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross for our sins. So, we are to honor God with our lives. He is to be our Lord (owner-master), not just our Savior. And, we are to be his bond-servants, slaves now to righteousness (Ro. 6:1-23). And, each day we should inquire of him as to what he wants, and then follow his lead in doing, being, and saying what and going where he desires.

In Contentment (Phil. 4:11-13)

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I know, too, what it is like to be poor, and to not have much at all, and I know what it is like to have more than what we need so that we have enough to share with others, and so we could enjoy some of the conveniences and comforts of having more physical space and provisions. Yet, we have always had a roof over our heads, clothing on our bodies, and food in our stomachs, so we don’t really know yet what it is like to go hungry or to be in want of shelter or of clothing. But, that time is most likely to come, too, if we live long enough. Yet, some of the poorest of times taught us to live by faith and to trust the Lord for everything. And, some of the more affluent times provided us the opportunity to use what we had been given to minister God’s grace and mercy to and to be a blessing to others. I can live in any of these ways through the strength God gives me.

To Deny Ungodliness (Tit. 2:11-14)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Some people have the notion that faith in Jesus Christ means merely to acknowledge who he was/is and what he did for us in dying for our sins, and to accept his forgiveness for our sins. Yet, there is no death to sin or living to righteousness in that (Ro. 6:1-23). Thus, there is no new birth or heart transformation of the Spirit of God. As well, there is no true salvation from sin, but only a false hope of heaven when one dies, only to face the reality of one-day hearing God say “Depart from me, I never knew you!”

Truly God’s grace, which brings salvation from sin, is not just to forgive people of their sin, but it is to turn them from darkness (sin) to the light (truth, righteousness, Christ), and away from the control (power) Satan had over their lives to God, to walk daily in his righteousness and holiness. Then, they can receive forgiveness of sins and have a place among those who are sanctified (made holy, purified) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18). God’s grace is not a free license to continue in willful sin against God, but it directs us to leave our lives of sin behind us and to follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives.

On Every Word (Matt. 4:4)

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

In order for us to live for Jesus, we need to know him and we need to know his Word, so that we can obey him and his Word. For our physical bodies to live, we need food and water, but for us to live spiritually we need to feed on the Word of God. And, remember that Jesus is the Word (See: John 1). So, every day we are to be in God’s Word, listening to what God – the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – has to say to us, and doing what the Word says. His Word is our guide, counsel, teacher, instruction, encouragement, and urging for us to live holy lives pleasing to God, as well as it is our warning against idolatry, spiritual adultery, lusts of the flesh, and worldly living, etc. In keeping (obeying) God’s Word, there is great reward (Ps. 19:11).

Your Grace Divine
An Original Work / November 6, 2011

All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.
Crucified for my sins;
You paid what I owe,
So I’d be forgiven;
My God come to know.
All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.

Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.
I have been forgiven
For all of my sins,
So I’d live with Jesus;
His grace flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.

Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.
Sitting at Your feet, Lord,
List’ning to You speak,
Leads me to love You, Lord,
More throughout the week.
Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.

A Voice Cries

Thursday, June 1, 2017, 8:40 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Only to Be What He Wants Me to Be.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 40:3-8 (ESV).

Prepare the Way (v. 3)

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Wilderness – “an empty or pathless area; wild, natural or uncultivated state” (M-W). Spiritually speaking, this is talking about our lives outside of faith in Jesus Christ – in our sin nature, void of God in our lives, and going nowhere.

As ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are to prepare or make ready the way of the Lord for the people. The way of the Lord is the way of holiness, not just the way to forgiveness of sin and the promise of heaven when we die. John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord for the people by preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus preached the same message, as did his NT apostles.

So, we tell people the truth. We tell them that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just so we can be forgiven our sins. We share with them that coming to Christ means we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are risen with Christ to new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We inform them that if we make a practice of sinning, i.e. if we walk (in lifestyle) according to our sin nature, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (Ro. 8:1-14).

We are to also make straight in the desert a highway for our God. This highway is the road we are to travel, the path we are to follow, and it needs to be straight, not crooked. Straight – honest, above-board, upright, pure, and unadulterated (unmixed, undiluted) by the world of sin.

It is the way of holiness, and to be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being made into the image of Christ. We are not to immerse ourselves in the culture of our societies or to blend in with the world in order to be accepted by them, for God called us out of the world. If we love the world like we are supposed to love God, then the love of the Father is not in us. God’s grace to us is not carte blanche (free rein) to do what we want. 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 his return (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:15).

Shall Become Level (vv. 4-5)

“Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

My husband and I moved into a high-rise apartment complex a year ago, right after he retired. Right after we moved in, a major renovation of the property, inside and out, was under way, and it is still not completed. For the past year we have watched all kinds of earth moving equipment dig up the old and replace it with the new, as well as we have witnessed multiple trucks hauling stuff in and out as the old has been taken away and has been replaced with what is new – new paint or wallpaper on walls, new ceiling tiles, new lights, new carpeting, new doors, new security system, new landscaping, upgraded parking lots, and remodeled party rooms and lobbies.

When we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, via death to sin and resurrection to new lives in Christ Jesus, born anew of the Spirit of God, our Lord puts to death our old lives of living for sin and self, and he gives us completely new lives in him, which are to be lived to him and to his righteousness. The old is taken away, and the new has come, just like in our building and on the building’s property, only spiritually and perfectly done by God, and not physically removed and replaced by human flesh. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, in his death on a cross became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (2 Co. 5:21; Tit. 2:14).

Yet, it is not as though God just zaps us and we instantly become perfect, and that we have nothing to do with it at all. We must exercise the faith he provides, and we must cooperate and participate with the Spirit of God in the removal of the old and in the replacing of the old with the new (See: Eph. 4 – the whole chapter, Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14 & Lu. 9:23-25). We must humble ourselves before God, acknowledge and repent of (turn from) our sin, and turn to God/Christ to follow him in his ways and in his truth, so we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (See: Acts 26:16-18).

Flesh is Grass (vv. 6-8)

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

A lot of people these days, though, who are sharing what they believe is the message of the gospel, are not preparing a way of holiness, i.e. the way of the Lord, which is straight (unmixed with the world). They are not making the uneven (potholed, irregular) ground (terrain) level (straight, upright).

Instead, they are preaching a message which is adulterated with the world of sin, and which gives its adherents the impression that they can merely acknowledge Jesus’ existence, accept his forgiveness for their sins, and that they now have salvation from sin, escape from eternal damnation, and the promise of heaven when they die, which can never be taken away from them. Many of these “preachers” of the “Word” tell them that they don’t have to repent of their sins, and they don’t have to obey Jesus, because, they say, God requires nothing of us other than to “believe,” which is made out like a mere intellectual or emotional acknowledgement of what Christ did for us, but absent any teaching on death to sin and living to righteousness.

What this also does is give the impression that one who “believes” in Jesus is now set for life no matter what he or she does from this moment forward. This false (adulterated, diluted) gospel gives its followers the notion, too, that they can continue living in sin, that they can continue sinful practices, and that God’s grace just covers it all, so no worries.

But, that is not what scripture teaches, and we need to know what the Word teaches, because these men or women are flesh, and they will die, but it is the Word of God which stands true to the very end. And, it is the ONLY WORD we can really depend on. It says if we say we have fellowship with God, and we walk in darkness (sin), we are liars. It also teaches us that if we practice, if we walk in sin, we don’t have the promise of eternal life with God (See: 1 Jn. 1:6; Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14; & Gal. 5:19-21).

Only to Be What He Wants Me to Be
Norman J. Clayton

Only to be what He wants me to be,
Every moment of every day,
Yielded completely to Jesus alone
Every step of this pilgrim way…

What’s Our Mindset?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 7:23 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Full Release.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Romans 8:1-14; Galatians 5:16-24 (Select vv. NASB).

Flesh and Spirit (Rom. 8:1-8)

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

If we are in Christ Jesus, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in him, we are free from eternal condemnation, i.e. we are free from the punishment of sin which results in death (eternal damnation). We are free, because when Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). So, when he died, our sins died with him. In his death, he took the punishment of our sin on him so that we might be set free from the punishment of sin, and be set free from slavery to sin, too. Yet, lest we might be tempted to take verses 1-3 out of context, and apply them across the board to anyone who professes to have believed in Jesus Christ, we must be careful to read and to interpret them in context, and to compare them with other similar scriptures, too.

Notice with me here that in verse 4 it says, “He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” The law demanded full obedience to God’s moral laws or death. Yet, not one of us could obey the law perfectly. So, we were condemned to die. So, Jesus paid the price for our sins that we might be made righteous in him. And, God even gives us the faith to believe in him, but this faith is not human faith, but spiritual, in that it is divinely persuaded as to God’s perfect will for our lives. Since God is the giver of such faith, it is in conformity with his righteousness and holiness. So, this results in us, his followers, walking not according to our sinful flesh, but according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God.

This is not optional, though. It is not as though we can be in Christ, and still live according to our sinful desires. If our minds are still set on the flesh, it results in death, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God, it does not subject itself to the law of God, and it cannot please God. But, if we are truly in Christ Jesus, through God-given faith in him, our minds should be set on the Spirit, which results in life and peace with God.

Under Obligation (Rom. 8:12-14)

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

And, this here is the clincher. So many people today say that God requires nothing of us other than some generic “faith,” i.e. they say he demands no repentance (turning from sin to God), no obedience, and no submission to Christ and to his cross. Yet, the righteous requirement of the law is fully met in us who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. And, we ARE under obligation (duty, requirement) to not live according to the flesh, but to live according to (in agreement with) the Spirit. Why? Because, if we are still conducting our lives (in lifestyle) in the ways of our sinful flesh, we will die in our sins, no matter if we prayed a prayer to receive Christ Jesus as Savior or not (See: 1 Jn. 1:6; cf. Lu. 9:23-25).

But, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (Cf. Lu. 9:23-25). This is not saying we have to live in sinless perfection, though (See: 1 Jn. 2:1-2). If that were even possible for us to never sin, Christ would not have had to die. But, it is saying that, not only must we walk (in lifestyle) in the ways of the Spirit of God, and according to God’s Word, but we must daily die to sin and self. We must actively, by the Spirit, be putting the deeds (acts) of the flesh to death in our lives (See: Eph. 4 for put offs and put ons). And, we must be being led by the Spirit of God in order to qualify as being children of God. We must be listening to our Lord Jesus, and doing what his Word teaches his followers they must do, and be going where he sends us (See: Jn. 10:27-30).

By the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-24)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we are walking (in lifestyle) by the Spirit, i.e. if by the Spirit we are conducting our lives in agreement with God and his Word, we will not carry out the desires of our sinful flesh. Amen! We can’t be casual about our relationships with God and defeat sin in our lives. Yes, Jesus put sin to death on the cross. Yes, he defeated sin not only in his death, but in his resurrection to life. But, we are still in flesh bodies. We still have the propensity to sin against God. Sin will still try to trap us, which is why daily we must put on the armor of God, resist Satan, flee sinful desires, and draw near to God in full assurance of faith.

We must understand here that if we make a practice of sinning against God, such as by committing adultery (includes lust and viewing pornography), or by making a practice of participating in impurity, sensuality, idolatry, strife, outbursts of anger, drunkenness, and other things like what are listed here, we will not inherit the kingdom of God, even if we profess faith in Jesus Christ. I am not making this up! This is what God’s word teaches here, and in other similar passages of scripture (1 Co. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:5). If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in lifestyle) in darkness (sin), we lie and we do not live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).

So, what is the solution? If we walk (conduct our lives) by the Spirit (in agreement with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit), we WILL NOT carry out the desire of the flesh. Again, this does not mean we will never sin, but that sin will no longer have mastery over our lives, for Jesus delivered us from slavery to sin. When we trust in him as Lord and Savior of our lives, we die with him to sin so that we might live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; Ro. 6:1-23; Gal. 2:20). This is the working of the Spirit in our lives in regeneration (new birth of the Spirit), but we must yield to the Lord in this. Jesus already conquered sin in our lives, if we are truly his, so there is absolutely no reason why a born again believer in Christ should still be under the control of sin. We just have to apply to our lives what he did for us in putting sin to death so that we might walk with him in holiness.

So, when we walk in the Spirit, and not according to our sinful flesh, instead of the works of the flesh being the fruit that we bear, the fruit of the Spirit will be primarily what is evident in our lives, i.e. it will be the wheel which drives us, moves us, and motivates us to do what we do and to live how we live. Instead of being those who practice sin, we will now be those who make a practice of righteousness (1 Jn. 2:29; 3:7, 10). Remember here that those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. So, don’t be misled. God’s grace is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. His grace 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).

Full Release / An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace. From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love that He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend. With my Savior,
by His Spirit, I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died. On a cruel cross
He suffered so that we might be alive.

Pure Minds

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – I woke this morning around 2:00 a.m. The passage of scripture from 2 Peter 3:9 was in my mind, concerning God’s patience toward us, he being willing that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I believe the Lord put that scripture in my mind because he wanted me to read that chapter this morning. He also, once again, put in mind the song “Bless This House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Peter 3 (NASB).

Stirring Up (vv. 1-2)

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.

Do you ever need to be reminded of things? I know I do. Especially the older I get, the more forgetful I get. I have to write things down or I know I will forget them. Sometimes spiritually we get forgetful, too, and thus we need to be reminded of the promises of God, and also of his provisions for us. It is essential, at times, to have our memories jogged, as well, with regard to his purposes for making us who we are, and the reasons for which he called us to his service, and for which he saved us by his grace.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. ~ 2 Pet. 1:3-4 (ESV)

God has given us everything we need to live godly and holy lives on this earth, to resist Satan, to flee sin (or the temptation to sin) and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith. When we believe in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone. The new has come. There is absolutely no reason why a born again Christian should still be trapped in sin and still living to please his sinful flesh. Jesus set us free! We just have to believe that, and we have to take the way of escape he has provided for us.

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us (Christ in us) to teach, counsel, convict, spur, remind, strengthen, encourage and to empower us to live godly lives. Yet, we are still in flesh bodies, and we still live in a sinful world, and sometimes we can get distracted by other things and forget the reason for which he cleansed and purified us from all unrighteousness. So, we need to have our pure (unadulterated) minds (thinking, discernment) stirred up (jarred) within us so we don’t lose sight of the reason we are here, and so we don’t fall into error, deceit, hypocrisy, wickedness, and impurity and the like.

He is Patient (vv. 3-9)

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.

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.

I am thankful to God that the day of total destruction of this earth has not yet come, because there are many people who need to be saved from their sins, and there are many Christians who need to have their unadulterated minds stirred up within them so that they remember that they were saved from bondage (addiction) to sin, not just saved so they can escape hell and go to heaven when they die. So, divine discipline is needed, at times, to jar (jog, shake) our memories, so we do remember why he saved us and why he called us, and so we follow him in his ways and in his truth, and so we are not distracted by all that the world is offering us in the way of pleasure.

There is a lot of discussion going on right now among people with regard to the possibility of nuclear war, supposedly because of threats coming from N. Korea, and because the U.S. president appears to be “stirring the pot,” i.e. it seems he is causing unrest and trouble for us, and for the world. Yet, God has allowed this for a purpose, and perhaps it is to “stir up” the purity of our minds, i.e. this may be for the purpose to get the attention of the people of this world, and of Christians, so we take God and his Word seriously, and so we don’t take lightly the prophecies of scripture with regard to these last days before the return of Christ. Just because the end has not yet come, and this earth has not yet been destroyed, does not mean it will not happen. It will, and we all need to be ready (spiritually) for when that day does come.

Holy Conduct (vv. 10-18)

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.

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.

With a view in mind of what God has in mind for this earth at the end of time, and that none of us knows exactly when that is going to happen, even though Christians should know when it is near, we should take special note of how we are living (conducting) our lives, for none of us knows if he has tomorrow. Why should we be living as though we think every day will remain as it is, and without regard for the warnings of scripture regarding the fact that those who walk according to the flesh do not have eternal life?

As Christians, God has called us to be holy, to walk in purity, and to be separate from (different, unlike) the world of sin, because we are being conformed to the image (likeness) of Christ. So, why are so many Christians in America living not much different from the world? Why are so many living for their own pleasure, rather than to please God? Why is it so many churches are watering down the gospel to make it more appealing to human flesh and to attract the world to its meetings? Why is the church trying to be like the world to win the world, and to what? Yet, we are to come out from under the influence of the world and to be separate, but not many are. We, as the church, are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, but I fear we have lost our saltiness, and we, as the church in America, are not much good for reaching this world for Jesus Christ and for his salvation.

Too many professing Christians in America believe that once they have secured their salvation, via a sinner’s prayer, that eternal life is guaranteed them, so they can sit back and relax, have a good time, enjoy life, live how they want, and then one day they will be raptured before things get too bad, or else they will die and go to heaven. But, if that were true, then why warn Christians in this way, as is written here in this book of the Bible and in others like it? If Jesus took our place on that cross merely so we would escape hell and go to heaven when we die, and if a sinner’s prayer is enough to secure our eternal destiny, then what difference does it make how we live our lives, or if one day the earth is going to be destroyed?

The danger here is that so many have lost the fear of the Lord, because it is rarely being taught these days. They assume that, even though they profess to believe in Jesus Christ, that their lives are pretty much theirs to do whatever they want, without regard for what God requires of them, because many believe he requires nothing of us at all. If they read their Bibles and pray at all, some of them act as though they are doing God a favor. Yet, Jesus said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living in sin), we will lose them for eternity. Paul 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).

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ~ 1 Co. 6:9-10 (ESV)

Bless This House
Helen Taylor / May H. Morgan

Bless the people here within,
Keep them pure and free from sin . . .

Bless us all that we may be,
Fit O Lord to dwell with thee . . .

Is It Good News?

Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2:34 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “When in the Stillness.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 40:1-11 (NASB).

Speak Tenderly (vv. 1-2)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

God’s grace to us is amazing! Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God), left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, came to earth, took on human flesh and died on a cross for our sins. When he died, our sins died with him, and were buried with him, and when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death on our behalf. By God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we can be delivered out of slavery (addiction) to sin, and be given new lives in Christ Jesus, born again of the Spirit of God, to be lived to God and to his holiness and righteousness.

A Voice Cries (vv. 3-5)

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

So, what does it mean to have God-given faith in Jesus Christ? Well, it means that we are divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives. And, what is God’s will? Peter said that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. Jesus died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (2 Co. 5:15). God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. 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). Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us on that cross so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21).

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). In other words, we are not saved from our sins merely to escape hell and to have the promise of heaven when we die. Jesus died on that cross so that we could be radically transformed of the Spirit of God away from living our lives to sin and self, to walking with God in his holiness and righteousness. To be holy means to be set apart (unlike, different) from this world, because we are being made into the likeness of Christ. As well, righteousness is to be equated with morality, uprightness, honesty, and purity, which God has imputed to us who believe in Jesus.

So, having faith in Jesus Christ is not repeating some words after someone else in a prayer after which we are congratulated that we are now part of the family of God and that our eternal salvation and heaven are guaranteed us. Jesus said that his sheep listen to him, they know his voice, and they follow (obey) him. He said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily (die daily to sin and self) and follow (obey) him. He said that if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self), we will lose them (die in our sins). But, if we lose our lives for Christ and for his gospel (die with him to sin), we will have eternal life with God. And, Paul reiterated this when he said that if we walk 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 (Jn. 10:27-30; Lu. 9:23-25; Ro. 8:1-14).

Will Stand Forever (vv. 6-8)

A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

So, what is this saying? It is saying that what is of this world, i.e. what is fleshly and worldly, is temporary, and like grass, it will wither. It has no eternal value. We, as humans, without Christ, are destined to perish in our sins. So, if we hold on to the things and the sinful pleasures of this life, we will perish with them. If we think we can continue in our sins and still have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth, then we need to think again. That is not what the word of God teaches, but it is what fleshly humans would like us to believe. All that is of this world will one day pass away. So, we shouldn’t be “hanging our hats” on the things of this life. John said that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin, wickedness), we don’t live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:6).

So, what can we count on? We can count on God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – to do what he says he will do. We can depend on his Word, which will never fail us, and which will stand forever. So, we need to stop listening to humans, unless they are telling us the truth, and we need to listen to what God’s word teaches us, because our eternity depends on it. If we say we love God or that we know God, but we don’t do what he says, we don’t know him, and we don’t have the hope of eternal life with him (1 Jn. 2:3-6). If we continue in HIS word, then we are truly disciples of HIS (Jn. 8:31-32). And, we have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Heb. 3:14-15).

Good News (vv. 9-11)

Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

So, what is this “good news”? The “good news” of the gospel of our salvation is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Paul was given a commission by Jesus Christ to spread this good news. He told him that he was sending him to open blinded eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified (made holy, purified) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18). The good news here is that Jesus died to turn us away from lifestyles of sin, and away from the power that Satan had (or has) over our lives. And, he died to turn us to God and to his truth and his righteousness, and to his power in our lives to deliver us out of slavery to sin and to bring us to wholeness in him.

If the “good news” to us is merely that we have been delivered from the punishment of our sin so that we can go to heaven when we leave this earth, but we are still left in slavery to sin, that that really isn’t good news, is it? Why? Because that means we have believed a lie, because if we are not delivered out of slavery to sin, that means we are still dead in our sins, and thus we don’t have the promise of heaven or the escape from eternal punishment. For, if we deliberately keep on sinning, “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27).

The “good news” is not only that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, but that we don’t do this in our own strength or willpower. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to him. Even the faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God. He even grants us repentance, and he gives us the ability to obey him. This is a spiritual work of God’s grace in our lives from beginning to end, and yet we must cooperate with that work of grace by submitting to our Lord and Savior, and by following his lead, and doing what he says, yet all in the power and working of his Spirit within us who gives us all we need in Christ to live godly and holy lives unto him. So, we need to yield the control of our lives over to our Lord, and allow him to do his work in our lives, in making us like Jesus.

When in The Stillness / An Original Work / September 26, 2011

When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.

While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.

Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.

The Right Way

Thursday, March 23, 2017, 6:44 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, Lead Me.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 28 (Select vv. NASB, ESV and NIV).

The Proud Crown (v. 1 NASB)

Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the fertile valley
Of those who are overcome with wine!

As humans, what makes us proud? In what do we take pride? Perhaps we take pride in our nation or in our capital city, or in our military force. Maybe we are proud of our own accomplishments, our gifts and talents, and our own natural abilities. As well, we may boast of our possessions or of our favorite sports teams or their superstars. Or, we may pride ourselves in our own intellect, in our own spirituality and/or in our church (religious) fellowships (gatherings). As well, we may be pompous with regard to our own abilities to make our own decisions and to have control over our own lives, and we may resent any outside interference, even from God himself.

Yet, these are all destined to perish. Not only will they one day perish, but such pride is useless and is an offense to God, because it focuses on self and on the flesh and not on God. As well, it often resists God, because it chooses its own course of life rather than submitting to our creator and God, Jesus Christ. Pride in such as these is misdirected, too, because what we should value (highly esteem) is godliness, holiness, truth, integrity, righteousness, and purity, and not self, other humans, the things of this world, or who we might consider to be the “heroes” in this world. Also, we should not be putting our trust or confidence in what is of this earth, what is worldly, or is of the flesh, because the world and the flesh will fail us, but God will never fail us. He is the only one to whom we should give such high regard.

A Beautiful Crown (vv. 5-6 ESV)

In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory,
and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people,
and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

In contrast to priding ourselves in what is of the flesh and is of this sinful world, we should give honor, praise, respect, admiration, loyalty, devotion, reverence and worship to our Lord and God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the one we should be giving “shout outs” to. He is the one we should be talking about with our friends and neighbors, and writing about on Facebook and Twitter, instead of talking about what is often pure junk.

Why is it so many Christians will talk about the things of this world (what is fleshly) with great enthusiasm and passion with all who will listen, and yet will shy away from talking with anyone about Jesus Christ and His Word and what it teaches us about godliness, holiness and purity? Why do so many so-called Christians spend hours upon hours on social media, on the internet, watching TV, playing games, and entertaining themselves while they spend little to no time a day with God in his Word, in prayer and in obedience to what his Word teaches? Why is it so many professing Christians want their Christianity light and fluffy, and so they avoid digging deep into God’s Word? It is because they want to be accepted by people, they want to live “normal” lives, and they don’t want to hear what might convict them to change.

Yet, Jesus Christ is to be our crown and glory, not the flesh of man. Jesus should be the one to whom we desire to conform our lives. He is the strength of “those who turn back the battle at the gate.” In other words, he is our strength when we daily put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, including when he tempts us to sin. God is our strength when we resist Satan’s lies and deceptions, and we put on the truth of God’s Holy Word. Turning back the battle at the gate also involves sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. The gate represents human hearts, and the battle is Satan’s warfare against us. So, when people hear and respond to the gospel of our salvation, they turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. Satan no longer has control over their lives, but now Jesus is their Lord (owner-master).

A Precious Cornerstone (vv. 16-17 ESV)

Therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion,
a stone, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
And I will make justice the line,
and righteousness the plumb line;
and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”

Instead of trusting in what is of this world, and in human flesh, and/or in lies and deceptions, while resisting God and His Word, because it doesn’t fit our chosen lifestyles, we should put our trust in Jesus Christ. He is our solid foundation for our walks of faith in HIM. He is the only one we can count on. He is our only security for this life. All else will fail us. All else will one day disappear. If we put our trust in what is only going to fade away, then what do we have left to show for how we lived our lives? What eternal value is there in the things which are temporary? Why live our lives with a focus on self and on entertainment, only to perish in our sins? What a waste!

We need to realize that we are all sinners at birth, and without God we have no hope and no security. So, Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on a cross so that through him we might die to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. Through his death on a cross he made the way possible for us to be delivered out of bondage (addiction) to sin, and to be freed to walk with him daily in his holiness. He died, not just to free us from the punishment of sin and to promise us the hope of eternal life with him, but he died that he might put sin to death in our lives that we might live for him and walk in his ways and in his truth.

The Right Way (vv. 23-26 NIV)

Listen and hear my voice;
pay attention and hear what I say.
When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
When he has leveled the surface,
does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
barley in its plot,
and spelt in its field?
His God instructs him
and teaches him the right way.

So, God is calling out to the people of this world, and he is calling out to his wayward people (the adulterous church), as well as he is speaking to his faithful servants. And, he is saying to all of us, “Listen and hear my voice, and pay attention and hear what I say.” He has something he wants to say to each and every one of us, but the central theme is still the same. He wants us to honor him as the holy God that he is, and to give him all our worship and praise. And, by worship he means that we give our lives fully to him, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds.

Initially, we come to that place of humility before him, recognizing our own sinfulness in contrast to his absolute holiness. He convicts our hearts of sin, and he convinces us of his divine will and purpose for our lives, which is that we forsake our lives of sin and we turn to follow Jesus Christ with our lives.

So, in sorrow over our sins, and in true humility before him, we confess our sins, we turn away from them, in the power of the Spirit of God at work in our lives, and we turn to follow Jesus Christ in submission and in surrender, and in obedience to him and to his Word. Then, we walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God and we no longer walk (conduct our lives) according to our own sinful passions and evil desires. By the Spirit we daily put to death the deeds of the flesh so we may live with him for eternity (See: Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24).

Yet, we should not remain in a continual state of sin, confess, sin, confess, sin, confess. As we grow in Christ and in his Word, we should be moving on to maturity in him, and we should be walking in his love, grace, holiness and righteousness. The Word of God should be bearing good fruit in our lives for God’s eternal kingdom, as well as we should be planting seeds of hope and salvation from sin in the lives of others. We shouldn’t be repeating the same sinful patterns of behavior over and over again, but we should be walking in freedom and in victory, living lifestyles of purity, godliness and holiness. And, daily we should be listening to and following our Lord wherever he leads us, and doing whatever he has called us to do, and all for his glory.

Jesus, Lead Me / An Original Work / July 22, 2011

Jesus, lead me all the way.
Be my hope and be my stay.
Gently lead me where I should go,
So Your Spirit, I want to know.
Open up my heart to You.
Fill me with Your love and truth.
Make my heart want to obey.
Be my Lord today. Gently lead always.

Jesus, lover of my soul,
Cleanse my heart, and make me whole;
Be transformed in my heart today,
As I turn from my sin and pray.
Make Your will known to my heart.
May I not from You depart.
How I long to hear You now,
As I humbly bow. Jesus, hear me now.

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.