We don’t need to go in search of another great name. We already have Christ’s name. We are Christians. We are part of the royal family. However, we do need to cultivate a good name in order to reflect the greatness of our inherited name.
Our character and actions need to reflect the grace, beauty, power and love of our Savior. People should say of us: “You can tell that they are Christians by the way that they live.”
Kindness, mercy, graciousness, and magnanimity—these are our imperatives. Service, self-sacrifice, humility, and courage—these are our ambitions. People no longer have Jesus to observe; they only have us. We should show by our actions, what we say we believe.
It is written: “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Even those that labor for riches are secretly hoping that their wealth will buy for them a good name. We, however, through faith, love, integrity, and uprightness will gain a name and reputation that wealth can’t even dream of acquiring.
Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 6:8, “And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living?” Solomon seems to be implying that the wise man as well as the fool will die, but, aside from this fact, knowing how to conduct oneself in this life is a great treasure both for now and for eternity.
The first letter of the apostle Peter reminds us that God judges our work impartially—that he does not show favoritism. That is both a comforting and a fearful thing.
However, we wouldn’t want it any other way, because if he showed favoritism to us, then he might show favoritism to our enemy as well.
Even when the angel came to Joshua in Joshua 5:13 in the Old Testament, and Joshua asked him if we was on their side or the enemy’s side, the angel responded only that he came representing the Lord of Hosts. God is on his own side; the question is: Whose side are we on?
Fortunately, we have a mediator in Jesus who is on our side. He represents us before God’s throne 24/7. He indwells us, directing our thoughts, words, and actions; and he fights our battles for us, if only we will let him. We only have to whisper his name and he stands ready to come to our defense.
Good thing, too, for our enemy, though thoroughly wicked, is able to inflict great harm upon those who don’t know how to resist him by calling on Jesus.
Impartial? Yes, our God is utterly fair and impartial. But he is also exquisitely compassionate and tender hearted toward our weaknesses and frailties. In this cold, dark world, we can lose sight of this fact and be deceived into thinking that maybe our Father is cold and aloof. Only when we call on him in faith will we realize the extent of his love.
He has already made the first move; it is up to us to respond and call out to him for his love and favor. He stands ready and waiting to run to us and shower upon us his comfort, courage, strength, and hope.
We are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are cleansed from our sins by the power of the word. We are forgiven and given the hope of heaven by the power of the shed blood of Christ. We are now the beloved children of God by the powerful love of the Father.
Like the king in 2 Chronicles 26, we have been greatly helped and we have been greatly empowered to overcome all the power of the enemy and to bring Our Father great glory.
We can love deeply, pray fervently, and minister powerfully the works of God.
We can continue to do all these things, if only we will avoid King Asa’s mistake of becoming proud.
Let us always remember that the kingdom, the power, and the glory belong to God. Like Samson, the Old Testament judge of Israel, we can do mighty exploits as long as we remember that our power flows from our devotion to Christ and that it is Christ himself who does all things for us, in us, and through us for his greater glory, our greater good, and the Father’s holy, loving, and divine purposes. Amen.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12, NKJV
I have a serious compulsion to just keep buying Bibles. I purchase new Bibles, not even to give away, but because I just love buying myself new Bibles. Once upon a time as a younger believer, I struggled to even read my Bible, much less want to collect them. Somewhere along the way, I’ve actually fallen in love with the Word of God, and I honestly can’t live a day without meditating on even the smallest little verse.
Reading the Word is honestly like oxygen to me!
My husband bought me a new, ruby-red, hand-sewn premium Bible from the UK for Christmas this year. Of course, he gave it to me early, since he knows my love for this thing and how long I’ve wanted it. It’s a bit heavier than my usual thin-line styled Bibles, and it has the most beautiful gold along the pages. I really love it.
While driving to a women’s event at Church this weekend, I had my purse on the floor of the passenger side, and my new Bible on the seat. My Bible has some weight, but it’s not as heavy as even my purse, yet for some reason it kept setting off the special alarm that my little Mazda has built in to make sure that people are buckled up. No matter what I did, the alarm kept going off until I moved the Bible to the floor.
I felt the Lord speak to me in that moment and say that my Bible is “LIVING AND ACTIVE,” and that it is time that the Body of Christ begin to see – once again – the Word as our “best friend.” It’s time for us to have a “Bible revival!”
The enemy is sneaky, and we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). He has been at work for a long time to discredit the Word. When some don’t fall for that, he throws distractions at them. When they learn to push past the distractions, he throws confusion, fogginess, sleepiness, crying babies, barking dogs, overflowing dishwashers, etc.! He will do whatever he can to keep you from going deep into the Bible because he knows the power that lays in the Word of God. And he is fully aware of how this living, active word empowers believers!
Friends, your Bible is more than just a sword to cut off the head of the giants that come at you (which it is). It’s more than just a way to find peace in your soul when things are tough (which it is). It’s also more than a book filled with truth and promises that you can declare over yourself (which it is). It is LIVING and it is ACTIVE. It is your friend, your power, your lifeblood, your oxygen. It keeps you grounded, it gives you fresh perspective, and it cuts through the lies.
I am so excited to see a generation arise who love the Word, are friends of the Word, and who know how to use the Word and not compromise it. It’s time for a Bible revival, y’all!
Only in Christ will we find the divine grace we need to live well, the fully reciprocal relationship that we envision having, and the complete healing for our war wounded souls.
Counterfeit messiahs abound—promising grace, abundance, fulfillment, and healing. It is up to us to sort through all of the junk mail promising false hope and empty pleasures while we look for that one letter—the one that promises true love, unfailing love, everlasting love.
Until we receive that letter, we are destined to search fruitlessly for relief from the pains of living in a fallen creation.
When that letter arrives, we will find all of the provision that we need for this adventure to which we have been called; we will find the one who will fight for us, walk beside us, and live through us, even as we live through him. We will find that we cannot out give him; he simply won’t allow it; for every ounce of willingness that we offer him, he provides a pound of ability and power. For every weakness and sickness that we bring with us, he has the corresponding strength and health to overcome it.
It goes by different names: abundant life, eternal life, and prosperity; but it all spells out that there is life in Christ, and only in Christ.
Forgiveness, strength, love, pleasure, and power follow wherever Christ leads.
Trouble may always be part and parcel of this life, but, in Christ, we are “more than conquerors through him who loves us.” For every death there is a resurrection, for every tear there is a joy that follows, and for every day lived there is an eternal reward. Yes, in Christ there is grace, reciprocity, and healing—everything that we have been living and waiting for!
The Apostle John referred to Christ as God’s only son in his Gospel narrative and in his first epistle.
The King James Version and The New American Standard Bible even translate “only son” as “ only begotten son.” This is significant, because God has many adopted children but only one “natural” child. Only Jesus was born holy, righteous, and fully redeemed; the rest of us had to be born again by “the Spirit of Christ.”
To be sure, God love’s all of his children equally, but only Jesus reflects Our Father’s attributes perfectly and naturally. Jesus is fully God; we are not. We are God’s children and “co-heirs with Christ”, but we desperately need Jesus living in and through us if we are going to reflect God’s character to the world. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians, chapter 3, says that “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect or contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” But the writer of Hebrews states that Christ is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
It is a perfect circle: God in Christ, and Christ in us. Christ lives because of the Father, and we live because of Christ. Christ lived in perfect obedience to his Father while on earth, and we can live in perfect obedience to Christ here on earth as long as we forever remember that our right standing with the Father is through our faith in the price of eternal death that Christ paid on the cross to gain for us our eternal life.
Our righteousness will forever be Christ’s righteousness imputed to us as a gift. Christ lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth, and he has gifted to us his perfect standing with the Father. We are now “brothers” with and “co-heirs” with Jesus!
And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. – Nehemiah 2:18, ESV
Have you felt the shift UP a gear in the spirit? Do you find yourself RISING up in new boldness? Are you sensing something BIG is on the horizon, thought you just can’t seem to put your finger on it? Is it sometimes a struggle to believe that surely GOODNESS AND MERCY are chasing you down (Psalm 23:6) because of what you see with your eyes – yet you KNOW in your heart that God is up to something BIG?
I have wonderful news for you – God IS up to something big.
In fact, I heard Him say this week to “strengthen your hands for the goodness.” There are some GOOD WORKS coming up, despite the distractions and heaviness the enemy is trying to throw at you right now.
Let me encourage you…..the harvest is ripe, and you WILL see salvations.
Signs and wonders follow those who believe (Matthew 16:17). Don’t stop believing.
Deliverance will happen in the most unexpected, most needed places. Get ready.
Communities will be transformed by Jesus. It’s an overflow from the REVIVAL that is taking place in individual hearts and Christian communities world-wide.
Cultural mountains will bow to the Kingdom of God. They’ll bow so low we will be able to get a running start and take them for Jesus.
There is a weighty glory that is coming to the Bride, and she must be ready. We must strengthen our hands and hearts for what is to come so that we can carry everything He has destined us to carry. I believe that it is far more magnificent and glorious than our wildest dreams can grasp!
For some, strengthening the hands means learning to fight. Learning to take captive those thoughts that aren’t in line with scripture, and learning to fight back with a victorious decree of truth.
For some, it actually means putting down the sword and letting God fight for you while you rest in complete and utter trust in your good, good Father.
For others, this looks like a new depth to prayer and intercession like you have never known or experienced. It looks like praying in new tongues, crying out with an all-consuming depth that takes you deeper into intimacy, or even a level of travail in the spirit that you didn’t know existed. All of it is glorious and a most beautiful thing.
Yet for many others, strengthening your hands looks like finding your roar.
Bride of Christ, it’s time to strengthen our hands….because we “aint seen nothing yet!”
The world demands that God grants them freedom to live with unbridled passion, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Noble passion and enthusiasm are good things, but selfish passion for pleasure, possessions, or prominence usually involves someone else getting hurt.
So, just as we demand freedom from our creator, he requires justice from us. In the Old Testament, if someone was hurt, exact recompense was required of the offender; equity was demanded—“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Mercifully, we are now under a new covenant where forgiveness and mercy can be freely offered and received since Jesus paid the ultimate price for each and every one of our sins. We are still required to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Our God,” but we are now just better equipped and empowered by grace to do justice, to show mercy, and to walk humbly with Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
We no longer need a set of laws detailing crimes and the corresponding prescribed punishments; we are bound by the law of love written on our hearts that compels us to go above and beyond the law to assure that we stay rightly related to Our Maker and to our neighbor.
So, our creed and motto now is “unbridled love, not unbridled passion.” Having been forgiven of all of our trespasses and indiscretions, we are now highly motivated to extend this same mercy and kindness to others. We are even able now to “draw near to Our God in full assurance of faith” instead of hiding from him or slavishly trying to win his approval by our good deeds.
Truly, our love has now been “unbridled”; there is no bit in our mouth nor whip in our master’s hand demanding acquiescence; there is just his quiet indwelling Holy Spirit whispering in our ears, “Trust me; listen to me; and do what you see me doing.” The power of love has vanquished all lesser passions and compulsions; we are finally free to live life unfettered from the old nature which was ruled by self preservation and self aggrandizement.