understanding

The Secret Things Belong to God

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There is so much in this world that I do not understand...

So many things I see and experience that I find hard to harmonize with what I know of the true character of God as revealed in His Word. I was musing over this in prayer to Him and this verse popped into my mind; a verse I often use in counseling...

"The secret things belong to God; the things revealed belong to us."

....and then the still small voice that comes in the thought processes of the mind... "I NEVER called you to understand, I called you to trust..."

Yes, sir.

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True Obedience

One who is obedient is one who listens under the voice of God.

One who is obedient is one who listens under the voice of God.

Obedience is.... well, it is one of those words!

Just listen to the word - OBEDIENCE! It sounds ominous, strong, cold and hard!

In some circles it is the epitome of devotion, in the grace camp, it is often viewed as a bad word.

The truth is, 'obedience' is a beautiful word. It is definitely NOT a word of conformity as it is so often used. The word is "hupomone". It is a compound word from two words that when put together mean to "listen under". Isn't that wonderful?

One who is obedient is one who listens under the voice of God.

True obedience is not, therefore, a matter of the external so much as it is of the internal. It is a heart that loves God, seeks God, and listens under God in such a way that it brings a transformation from the inside out as it responds to the heart of God.

Makes you want to be obedient, huh?

God IS Love

That means that He loves us not because of us, but because of Himself.

That means that He loves us not because of us, but because of Himself.

One of our favorite sayings at Grace Life Fellowship is
"Do not ever read the Bible casually"

Every word needs to be devoured and understood...
Case in point...

I John 4 - "God IS love."

Focus on the word "IS". Note that John did not say "God HAS love." If he had said "God has love" then there is the realm of possibility that at some moment God may not have love and that would put us all into very deep trouble.

Enter into the reality of what John did say regarding the "is-ness" of God, the aspect of God that just "IS" and therefore must always be, and can never be changed! God IS love.

That means that He loves us not because of us, but because of Himself. HE LOVES! Isn't that glorious?

It means that God loves us NOT because of what we do or don't do,
but because of Who He is.

It means that we cannot make Him love us, by doing good things.

It means that we cannot make Him stop loving us, by doing bad things!

He loves us because of Who he IS! Period!

This love is so very foreign to everything we experience in this world, we can only begin to understand it now. It will take at least till the next world for us to grasp this love more fully - and even then, I am sure that we will be learning of this love for all eternity!!!

Getting Serious About Jesus

... the key to walking out the truth is in   setting the mind  .

... the key to walking out the truth is in setting the mind.

Proverbs 23:7 is perhaps the most transformational verse in the Bible in terms of our living the Christ- Life! It says, “As a man thinks within himself, so shall he be.” In other words, the key to walking out the truth is in setting the mind. That is why all over both the Old and New Testaments we are exhorted to set our mind and be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

Well then, what should our mind be set on? Well, SIN of course! At least that is what far too many in the church think. We have got to stop sinning! Put sin to death! Avoid sin! And I trust you know, that when you say the word “sin” – you have to do so in a high pitched, nasal twang and drag the word out like this, “s-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n!” It really helps as well, to put a glare on your face with wrinkled up nose like your’re smelling something foul!

Now, I understand the pre-occupation with sin in the Old Testament. Sin is what separated us from God and there was no way to permanently remove it.  So man had to always be aware of their sin and offer sacrifices for them! But with the coming of the New Covenant and Jesus removing our sin from us, taking them away completely and forever, sin is no longer to be the dominating thing we set our mind on. When the writer of Hebrews finished his theological treatise in chapters 1 – 11, how did he begin his application? Did he say, “Therefore, fix your eyes on sin?” NO! A resounding NO! He said to lay aside sin and fix our eyes on the Author and Perfecter of our faith! Our mind is no longer to be set on sin, but on Jesus.

As we fix our eyes on Him and live in dependence upon Him,
let me say it simply, “The Christ-Life in us does not sin!”

Well then, why do we sin? Because we make a choice to live contrary to who we are, and live as independent creatures from God, we in the moment of unbelief choose to sin. If we are really serious about sin, the thing we need to do is become even more serious about Jesus. Remember, He did not just come to be our Lord and our Savior! He came to be our very LIFE! (Col. 3:3-4) Oh the glory of this reality!  He enables us as indwelt men and women to experience and express His own abundant LIFE!