Prepare for Action

Thursday, June 15, 2017, 9:34 p.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 1 Peter 1 (Select vv. NASB).

Born Again (vv. 3-5)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

What does it mean to be born again? First, we are born physically of a mother, and then, because of God’s grace to us, and by faith in Jesus Christ, we are born of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord. One is a physical birth. The other is a spiritual birth. So, how are we born again?

Well, first of all Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) had to die on a cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). He put our sins to death on that cross. And, when he was resurrected from the dead, he rose victorious over sin, hell, Satan and death. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. So, when we believe in him, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone. The new has come. We are born again of the Spirit of God, and Christ now lives in us.

Various Trials (vv. 6-9)

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

So, we rejoice in our salvation and in the hope of eternal life with God. Yet, our hope is not just that one day we will be with our Lord forever, but our hope is in the freedom he has given us to walk (conduct our lives) not after the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Our hope is that we have a Savior, who is our Lord, but who is also our friend, confidant, counselor, guide, helper, strength, healer, comforter, encourager, and teacher, etc. Our hope is that we are in a personal and intimate relationship with our God, which gives us not only future hope, but present and living hope day by day, which is what keeps us going when times get tough.

Our hope, too, is that God created us for a purpose, and he has given meaning to our lives, and purpose and direction, and that even our trials are part of his plan for our lives in order to purify us, to make us holy, and to prepare us for his service. Also, our trials are for the purpose to test our faith, to make it stronger and more resilient. When we suffer, it is for our good, to make us more like Jesus, and to teach us to rely on God and not on ourselves. We, too, learn patience and perseverance through difficult times. And, we grow closer to our Lord, mature in our faith, and increase in our seriousness of our walk of faith, when we respond to our trials with grace, with trust in our Lord, and with submission to his perfect will for our lives.

Prepare Minds (vv. 13-16)

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

In our minds we store memories, good and bad. In our minds we think, we believe, we discern, make decisions, and react to our circumstances. In our minds we entertain sinful thoughts or we dwell on heavenly things. Part of God’s saving grace to us is in the renewing of our minds, in the healing of past hurts, and in transforming how we believe and perceive things. Yet, we have a responsibility regarding our minds, in the renewing process, and that is in the putting off of the old, and the putting on of the new; in thinking about things which are pure, right, true, and beneficial, rather than thinking hateful thoughts or impure thoughts.

We also have a responsibility for what we take into our minds, to make sure that we are not feeding our minds with what is garbage, or what is immoral, wicked, and ungodly, etc. If we take garbage into our minds, that is what is going to come out in our words and actions and attitudes. If we entertain our minds with the sinful acts of others, this is what our minds will dwell on, and often our actions and words will follow suit. So, if we are going to prepare our minds for action, we need to keep our minds pure and focused on Jesus Christ and on the truths of his Word. And, we need to take God’s Word seriously and apply its truths to our daily lives.

Conduct Yourselves (vv. 17-19)

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

What does it mean to conduct ourselves in fear? I believe this is speaking here of the fear of the Lord, which is reverence, respect, honor, value, esteem, adoration, worship, obedience and submission to our Lord. Our conduct is the way in which we live, i.e. our daily practice. This is how we should live, day in and day out. Conducting ourselves in fear is also living on this earth as though we truly do not belong here, as though this world and all its stuff is really not our home, but with an eternal focus in mind. We are not here to build kingdoms on this earth, but to help, to work to advance God’s heavenly kingdom while we still live here. We are not here, in other words, to live to please and entertain ourselves, but we are here to give glory to God in all that we do and say and think and are.

It also means that we live holy lives, pleasing to God. Being holy means we are separate (set apart, unlike, different) from the world, because we are being made to be like Jesus. We should no longer be conformed to the ways (patterns, attitudes, values) of this world, but we are to be transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of our minds. Our new lives should not look like our old lives, and only slightly cleaned up to be more presentable. Our new lives should be radically different from our old lives, because we died with Christ to sin, and we were resurrected with him to newness of life, to be lived to him and to his righteousness.

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…

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…

Time Not Our Friend

Saturday, April 15, 2017, 7:17 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Here I Go Again.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Malachi 3 (ESV).

Prepare the Way (vv. 1-4)

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

John the Baptist was the messenger of God who prepared the way for Jesus Christ’s first coming. He preached a message of repentance (turning from sin to God) for the forgiveness of sins, and so did Jesus. Jesus is the Lord who came to the physical temple in physical Jerusalem to preach to them the gospel message of salvation from sin. Outside of faith in Jesus Christ, not one of us can stand before God at the day of his second coming.

All have sinned and have come up short of attaining God’s divine approval, i.e. the glory of God. Only through Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for our sins can any of us approach the throne of grace and find mercy. And, it is only God-given faith which can save us, i.e. a faith which is divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives, and thus it submits itself to Christ and to his cross. And, the cross is death to sin. And, Jesus’ resurrection is living in the power of the Spirit of God to Christ and to his righteousness.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God (God the Son), who gave his life up for us, so we could be delivered from slavery to sin and eternal damnation, and so we could have new life in him, is coming again one day to judge the world and to take his bride to be with him. And, again, a messenger has been sent before him in the spirit of Elijah (See: Mal. 4:5-6) to prepare the way for his second coming, i.e. to prepare the hearts of the people to be ready for him for when he comes again.

And, I see that messenger in two different forms. One form is those of us whom God has called to give out messages such as this one which confronts sin in the church, in particular, warns of divine judgment (discipline, correction), calls for repentance, and promises the hope of deliverance and internal peace for the one who repents of his or her sin, and who turns his or her heart to Jesus Christ, making him their Lord (owner-master) and Savior.

The other messenger, I believe, is that of the judgments of God which will take place during the time of tribulation, which we may have already entered into, or upon which we may be on the precipice. So, this messenger, just like the one mentioned above, is a divine instrument of God’s judgments, first on his temple, the body of Christ, and then on the world. One messenger speaks words of judgment, but also of mercy, while the other carries out the judgments of God, which is also God’s mercy to bring hearts to (or back to) himself. And, the purpose for this judgment on the people of God is to refine us and to purify us so that we bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.

For Judgment (v. 5)

“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

Since November of 2004 the Lord Jesus has been showing me these judgments of God which are taking place and will yet take place on nations, peoples, and on Christians throughout the world, including inside America, as is prophesied in the scriptures (the Bible). He has also opened up my eyes to see America and its government in an entirely different light than I had ever seen before. I believe we, the USA, or at least our government and military and financial sector, are Babylon, the harlot which rides the beast. Our government is like the right-hand man of this beast (New World Order), doing the bidding of the de facto government of these United States, i.e. a shadow government of the Elite (wealthy and powerful) of this world.

So, the government we feel we have elected as our leaders are not really the ones running this country. This shadow government is, and behind the scenes. Our “elected” officials work for them, and they can only do what the Elite tell them to do. So, when President Trump orders a strike on Syria, or when a US military general in Afghanistan orders a huge bomb to be dropped on some people in Afghanistan, the orders come from this shadow government of the Elite (the New World Order and/or the All-Seeing Eye). And, their purpose for all the evil crimes they commit against humanity is to bring the world together as one – under a one world totalitarian government and into a one world religion, which embraces all religions and lifestyles.

In a nutshell, judgment is at the door for America, but not just for us, but for the world as a whole, and yet I believe what has been happening and what will yet happen is for the purposes described in this passage of scripture, and that is to refine and to purify the church, and to revive the part of the church which has become complacent, idolatrous, and spiritually adulterous in her relationship with the Lord.

Also, the US government is not who they claim to be, and most of what we read or hear in the media is a pack of lies, because the media is mostly owned by the Elite (this shadow government). I believe the US is behind the chemical weapons attack in Syria and that it was used as a false flag operation in order to aggressively go after the people of Syria. Also, ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. are mostly all supported, trained, and equipped by the US, so we are not going after terrorists, but we ARE the terrorists who are killing innocents across the globe, and in particular Christians – we are the persecutors, under orders from this shadow government. Our own government will also come against us, too, to take down our nation.

I believe nuclear war is coming to the world. I don’t know when. I believe it could be very soon. I believe the weapons, at the hands of the US government are ready to go for whenever they get the order, i.e. the authority to use this type of force. The Lord has shown me nuclear weapons in bodies of water more so than he has shown me them in the air, though certainly they could be transported by air into the bodies of water. This shadow government (New World Order ‘beast’) is using the threat of nuclear attacks as a means presently to get the nations of this world and the people of this world to bow to the beast. Not everyone is complying. Many are resisting. If they do not comply, though, they will face the wrath of this global government. Where we are headed, I believe, is to a divided world, i.e. there will be those who will follow the beast and those who will follow Jesus Christ. There will be no more middle ground – one side or the other.

God Does Not Change (application of vv. 6-18 to today)

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (v. 6)

I am not familiar with the church across the world, but I am familiar with the church here in America. God is going to come in judgment against America because the vast majority of his church first of all partnered with an evil government (via the 501c3). Thus, they brought the government into the church as head and turned the body of Christ into a human business, and they have marketed it just like a business to the world. They entertain the world instead of preaching repentance to them for forgiveness of sins. And, so they dilute the gospel to make it more attractive to the world, and to give people carte blanche (free rein) to continue in sin without guilt.

Although this does not apply to all Christians in America, or to all local fellowships of believers, many Christians in America have gone the way of the world and have adopted its ways, values, attitudes, thinking and behaviors. It is barely distinguishable between the church and the world anymore. So many Christians spend hours upon hours watching TV, surfing the NET, chatting on social media sites, texting their friends, exchanging pictures and videos, especially selfies, watching ballgames, playing sports, or taking care of their prized possessions, and often to the exclusion of time spent alone with our Lord. But, it isn’t just the time, but that they give their hearts, devotion, loyalties, commitments, passion, etc. to these things which have no eternal value whatsoever, while they neglect the family of God and the kingdom of heaven and their Lord, who is to be their owner-master.

But, even beyond that, many Christians in America have returned to sinful lifestyles and are involved in pornography or in watching sexual or sensual material on TV or on the internet. A large percentage of our pastors have dabbled in or are addicted to pornography, too. Many Christians have gotten involved in extra-marital affairs at the work place or on the internet, via social media sites and private chats. Since so many Christians have adopted or are influenced by the ways and values of the world, many of them also have no conscience about lying, deceiving, cheating, stealing, gossiping, or overeating, etc. And, even when God convicts their hearts, they don’t listen, and they don’t obey him, but they continue on in their sinful ways. Yet, through judgment, God intends to revive his church and to bring her back to him as her ONLY Lord and Savior.

Yet, this doesn’t describe every Christian, not that we are all perfect who are not walking in sin, but there are Christians in America who fear the Lord with awe, honor and respect, who are praying for revival in our nation and for the salvation of their loved ones before the Lord returns. And, many more will be there, too, when revival does come, and then we will see that division, i.e. that distinction between those who serve God and those who serve the flesh and the devil (and the beast). Yet, until then, we have to realize that time is not on our side. These things prophesied in scripture will take place. God’s Word will be fulfilled. So, take this to heart.

Here I Go Again / Casting Crowns

…So maybe this time
I’ll speak the words of life
With Your fire in my eyes
But that old familiar fear
is tearin’ at my words
What am I so afraid of?
‘Cause here I go again
Talkin’ ’bout the rain
And mullin’ over things
that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend
This might be my last chance
to tell him that You love Him…

The Contrite in Heart

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 10:42 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “By Your Grace.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 57:14-19 (NASB).

Remove Obstacles (v. 14)

And it will be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.”

As the Lord’s servants and messengers, we are to encourage, inspire and urge the people of God to remove every obstacle out of the way of them walking the path or running the race God has marked out for them. We are to urge them to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” so they can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1 NIV). Yet, we must take care that we, also, have done this.

When we trust in Jesus Christ 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” (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23). The old has gone. The new has come. We are delivered out of slavery to sin, so that we can now become bond-servants of Christ and of his righteousness. The lives we now live we no longer live to please our sinful flesh, but we now walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God in our lives (See: Ro. 8:1-14).

Yet, we still have the propensity to sin, and it is possible that, if we let our walks of faith slip, due to neglect, we may once again become entangled by sin. And, thus, we would need to be revived in heart and brought back to purity of relationship with Jesus Christ to where we are walking by the Spirit and not by the flesh. Thus, we need to remove from our lives all obstacles to our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord, and we must cast off any sins which have now clung to us once again, so that we may go in the direction the Lord would have us go, and to be the people of God he desires us to be.

So, in all practicality, this involves a spiritual examination of heart whereby we ask the Spirit of God to identify any areas of our lives where we are being entangled by sin once again, and that he would show us what hindrances to our walks of faith need to be removed. For example, if the sin is lust, and we are giving in to lust, if we do not first remove (cut out of our lives) what is leading us into sin, such as any pathway to that sin, like what we view on TV, movies we watch, etc., then we are likely to continue down that path of sin. So, we need to get radical about sin so we stop sinning.

Lowly of Spirit (vv. 15-16)

For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.
“For I will not contend forever,
Nor will I always be angry;
For the spirit would grow faint before Me,
And the breath of those whom I have made.

We serve a holy God. And, he calls us to be holy, too. For us to be holy it means that we are separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being conformed into the image of Christ. This is not saying that we leave civilization and that we go live on a deserted island to avoid all contact with the sinful world. But, it does mean that we don’t think, act, or believe like the world does. We are no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, because our Lord has transformed us in the renewing of our minds. So, we don’t feed our minds and hearts with the things, attitudes, values and behaviors of this sinful world, rather we feed our minds and hearts with the character, attitudes, actions and values of God and of his righteousness.

The forerunner of Jesus Christ was John the Baptist. He taught repentance (being contrite) for the forgiveness of sins. So did Jesus, and so did the apostles. Repentance, though meaning “a change of mind,” is almost exclusively used in scripture in the context of forsaking our lives of sin, and turning to God, putting our trust in Jesus Christ, and choosing to walk in his ways from this day forward (See: Acts 26:16-18; Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 12:1-2). Yet, we don’t do this in our own willpower or strength. Even the faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God, as well as we are granted repentance unto salvation. Yet, this is not forced on us. We must choose to accept God’s gift of salvation through surrender to our Lord in obedience to his Word.

When we repent of (turn from) our sins in humility before God, acknowledging our sin and our need of him to be our Savior, and we trust him to be Lord of our lives, he forgives us of our sins. The penalty of sin is removed, we are freed from our bondage to sin, and we are given new lives in Christ to be lived to his righteousness. If we slip back into sin, we don’t need to be saved (in new birth) again, but we do need to be revived in heart, so we must humble ourselves before God, repent of our sins, and turn to follow our Lord in obedience once again, and to walk in his ways. And, he will give us all we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to Him.

God will Heal (vv. 17-19)

“Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry and struck him;
I hid My face and was angry,
And he went on turning away, in the way of his heart.
“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
I will lead him and restore comfort to him and to his mourners,
Creating the praise of the lips.
Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord, “and I will heal him.”

Because Adam and Eve sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, God put a curse on humans and on the earth. When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures, separate from God, and without hope. Yet, we can do nothing in our own flesh to earn or to deserve his grace; our salvation. We can never be good enough, because not one of us can keep his law perfectly. So, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth, to take on human form, and to die on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21).

When we trust in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, which is persuaded of God as to his will for our lives, we turn from our sins, and we turn to follow Jesus in obedience to his will and to his ways. This is the working of the Spirit of God in our lives in moving us away from sin and to God. Thus, God forgives us our sins, he restores us to a right relationship with himself, and he heals our hearts with his love and his grace. He fills our lives with his love to overflowing. Our desire now is for him and for his Word. We hunger after him and his righteousness. We want to please him in all that we do. And, we bask in the glow of our newfound relationship with him. We are now at peace with God, and in love with our Lord.

Yet, as mentioned earlier, it is possible for us to let this slip, if we are not diligent in remaining in him and in his Word daily, and in prayer, and in obedience to what he teaches us. We can fall back into sin and will need to come to repentance so that he can heal and revive our hearts. Yet, we may resist the Holy Spirit, and follow our own stubborn ways, instead, and so he may have to correct us with some divine discipline (Heb. 12:1-11) in order to get us to repent of our sin and to return to him, so he can heal us. Yet, his will is always to heal us, even though he has seen our sinful ways, and our rebellions against him. Isn’t God’s grace amazing? I am so thankful for his grace to me.

Yet his grace is never license to continue in sin, but it 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). So, if you have never repented of your sin, or if you have fallen back into sin, I pray you will be brought to repentance today so that God may heal you. Amen!

By Your Grace / An Original Work / June 27, 2011

Speak Your words to my heart,
Let Your grace and love impart.
Be to me all I need
To love and serve Christ my King;
To love and serve Christ my King.
Change my heart; be like You;
Let me love and serve in truth.
Guide my steps ev’ry day,
As I bow my knees and pray;
As I bow my knees and pray.

Love You, Lord. You love me.
You died so that I’d go free
From my sin; pure within;
By Your grace I’m saved from sin;
By Your grace I’m saved from sin.
Invite You in my heart;
Now I have a brand new start.
Repented of my sin,
So that I’d be cleansed within;
So that I’d be cleansed within.

Live for You ev’ry day,
List’ning to the words you say.
Make You Lord of my heart;
Be Your witness, grace impart;
Be Your witness, grace impart.
Obey Your ev’ry word;
Do the things I’ve seen and heard.
Your word, Lord, in me burns,
While I wait for Your return;
While I wait for Your return.