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.
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to count our days, so that we will become wise.
Esther 4:14 For if you fail to speak up now, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from a different direction; but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a time as this.”
Romans 13:11 Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand; so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep; for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust.
Time… We all know that time is “ticking.” Time is “short” so many people say. “Take advantage of today” because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
The first verse above does have the word, “time” in it, but it is about “teaching us to count our days.” Time… help us understand TODAY. We want to become wise, so help us know how to COUNT on HIM for ALL that we have.
Romans is clear: ROUSE yourselves from sleep. The final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. TIME is short. High time to WAKE up.
The last is a very well known verse from the book of Esther. “Who knows whether you didn’t come into your royal position precisely for such a TIME as this.”
How have you prepared for the times we are living in?
Have you counted the days so you can become wise?
Have you understood the “point of history we stand in” so you are able to ROUSE yourself from sleep and be ready for His return?
Do you understand that you are like Esther and in a position of needing to be READY at ALL times so you can share HIS Words with those who need to hear it?
We are definitely in a time of truly needing to seek Him in Spirt and Truth. We are in a time of needing to KNOW Him in deep and intimate ways. If we are not GROUNDED in WHO He is, we won’t be ready to face Him when He does come.
Lord, give us ALL the insight and clarity we need to know the TIMES we are living in. PREPARE our hearts for what you have NEED of us to do. Give us the strength to TRUST you in Spirit and Truth.
Thank you, Father, for being our guide. Thank you, Spirit for lighting the path so we can walk where YOU want us to walk.
Friends, stay the course. LISTEN to HIM and know the signs of the times. Be prepared for ALL He wants you to do.
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!
God still speaks today. He speaks to us in our prayers, in his precepts, and in his promises. E.g., In salvation, you may pray: “Jesus, please come into my heart”, while the Spirit is praying on your behalf: “I give you my life.” In precepts, he is speaking while you ask: “What shall I preach?”, the Spirit answers: “Flee from this world’s system; follow me.” In promises, he is speaking while we plead: “Heal me”; and he answers: “Just obey me, and you will be healed.”
Many wonder, “Does God still speak today?” A much better question is: “Are we still listening today?”
God doesn’t speak just to hear the sound of his voice; he speaks because someone is listening and wants to hear from him. In our connection with heaven, the disconnect is almost always on our end. Does God wait for the right time to speak? Sure he does, just as he is training us to wait before we answer hastily.
Words falling on deaf ears do not profit anyone.
So, if anyone asks you: “Does God still speak today?,” you can answer wholeheartedly, “Most assuredly.” If anyone asks you: “Is anyone still listening today?,” you may sadly reply, “Very few.”
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!