October 17, 2017

Take Heed

SeekingHimLogo

As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s Word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30 NIV

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Here we have David, in the midst of singing praises to God for delivering him from his enemies.  I believe David stated the most important reason for that victory—!

God’s way, as the following Scriptures state, is His very own method and style.  God’s way of doing something has no comparison.

LORD, there is no one like You!
For You are great, and Your name is full of power.
Jeremiah 10:6 NLT

Among the gods there is none like You, Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
Psalm 86:8

He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
and all His ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is He.
Deuteronomy 32:4

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s Word is flawless, unbroken, unimpaired, and whole.  It is beneficial to us.  This is in sharp contrast to the lies of the enemy.

God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man,
that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?
Numbers 23:19

All Scripture is breathed out by God
and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17

God is our Shield.  Just as a king is trusted as the protector of his people, so we who put our faith in God are to trust Him as our Protector.

But You, Lord, are a Shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.
Psalm 84:12

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.
Psalm 5:11

Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance.

It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey His laws and search for Him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in His paths.
You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!
Psalms 119:1-4

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Dear God, our Father and Protector, we come before You with humble and grateful hearts.  There is no way that is more perfect than Your Ways.  There is no word that is more flawless than Your Words.  We are Your children, and You desire nothing more than for us to trust You wholeheartedly so that You can be our Protector.  Help us by Your Holy Spirit to “take heed” of Your Word for us, so that we will know You better and follow You more closely.  We want to be joyful daughters of integrity “…who obey Your laws, and search for You with all our hearts.”  Thank You for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, so that we can know You better.  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray, Amen.

“I AM” Chapter 5 – Day 1: Who I AM in Christ

Memory Verse:

Heb4_16

___________________________________

I AM Accepted…

I have a dream that burns within my heart.  I was very young when I first felt the fire of that dream.  Its warmth has kept me going down a different path that separates my way from the world.  Even in church circles I am different.  A square peg trying to find my way through the round hole.  Maybe you are too…and never realized it.

As a Christ-follower I never really understood why there were “denominations” of believers. To me, a denomination is a mathematical term used to quantify or an English term used as an adjective to describe the more superior word (noun).  Why do we need denominations in the family of God?  My experience has been that denominations are exclusive, divisive and, well, negative.  You must join, perform, and perpetrate the belief for that church  to flourish.

A few years back, my “word of purpose” was Unity.  There should be unity in the body of Christ.  Unity in the Church (with a capital “C”).  Does this thought ever cross your mind?  Look at what the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:4-6:

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

UNITY means we are all ONE.

Jesus established the Church.  The members of the church were followers of the Way (John 14:6).  The Way is a person: JesusJesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Lord of All.  When we each stand before God we will be asked  ”What was your relationship with Jesus?”  The question will NOT be “What denomination did you belong to?”  The question will be “Who do you belong to?”

When Paul stood before the council of Jews (as reported in Acts 24) he talks about his experiences and commitment to the Way.  He was asked about his beliefs because they were radical.  Paul lived his life following Jesus’ example.  He was “All In.”

There is another word that describes someone who strives to live like Jesus:  Christian.  Because Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah and the Son of God, He is known as Jesus Christ.  Those who choose to live life by His example can call themselves Christians.

Unfortunately, the world hears the term “Christian” and thinks “Pharisee,” “Hypocrite,” and “Judgmental.”  Do those words describe your walk with the Lord?  If we truly live our lives like Jesus, we will show love and compassion, grace and mercy, and generosity.  The world will want to know us and our Savior.  Jesus’ life changed the world.  Jesus living in you will change the world also.  Let’s change our world in Jesus’ name and live it by His example.

Jesus gave us a gift.  Have you accepted it yet?  Just like with any new gift, we have to learn how to use it properly.  Apply yourself to learning who Jesus is and what His life was about.  Jesus will Rock your World!!!  So, back to denominations…

Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth addresses the division in the church over which leader they were going to follow (1 Corinthians 1).  The man leading the church was not as important as Jesus Christ as the head of the church.  The Corinthians received correction over their wrong thinking.  We need to check our allegiances, too.

If this topic of Unity of the Body of Christ has sparked an interest for you, please read First Corinthians Chapter 1, ask God to give you an understanding of being “One with Christ,” and a part of a larger body of believers (The Church).

Look at these words of beauty and warning:

“Every word of God proves true.  He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.  Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.”

Proverbs 30:5-6

“And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book:  If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.”

Revelation 22:18

These words are from the book of wisdom and the best friend of Jesus.  Follow the Great I AM.  Accept His Gift, it’s free.  Learn the Truth, follow the Way and let Him show you how to LIVE.    You have been chosen by Jesus.  You have been ACCEPTED into the family of God.  What is your response to Jesus?

We are a City on a Hill.  We are to be shining the Light.  We are ONE.  United we will Stand. Divided we will FALL.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Jesus,

You are the Christ, the Messiah, the One who gives us Life and Love, Grace and Mercy.  Teach us to love like You.  Help us to accept our place in Your Church body.  We all have a part to play as we reach the lost for You, Lord.  Open our eyes so that we can see where we have gone astray.  Give us the desire to be one with our brothers and sisters.  May our love for You bind us together and the divisions be erased.  We want to be the Church—Your Church, ONE CHURCH.  Father, gather Your children home.  Thank You for making us that City on a Hill leading the lost to You.  We love You, Jesus.

AMEN

“I AM” Chapter 4 – Day 3: I AM The Way

John15_11

______________________________

“I AM THE WAY”  is a bold statement.  It’s an exclusive statement and an inclusive statement.

 These three words have powerful meanings:

Bold ~  assured, confident

Exclusive ~ the only one

Inclusive ~ covers all cost

 The definition of “The Way” ~ “an opening for passage”

Do you see it?

We have a definite and planned path to get to the “I AM.”

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

The Bible does not teach, “For God so loved the world that He gave the world many ways to himself.”  What does John 3:16 say?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (that’s the INCLUSIVE PART)  believes in Him (that’s the EXCLUSIVE part) should not perish but have everlasting life.

When Jesus uses the phrase, “I AM,” in Exodus 3:14 He is claiming the name for Himself. He is announcing Himself to us as the One who has come to fulfill His covenant and keep His promise.

When Jesus uses the word “I” in John 14:6,  He declares Himself to be the embodiment of “The Way.”  His planned path is wrapped up in a person.

Without the way there is no going

Without the truth there is no knowing

Without the life there is no living

People are always challenging this verse from the Bible, but this verse will help us to see God has bridged the gap between man and God and Jesus is the one who succeeded in making this bridge the reality for each of us.   Let’s look a little carefully at the statements in this verse:

  •  I Am The Way ~ this statement is not saying He is showing us the way, but that He is the way, He is the journey, He is the opening of the passage, He is the way for us to God, He spans the distance between sinners and God.  When we are all alone, or lost in our daily path we walk, we must remember Jesus is the path. Jesus spells it out so that there can be no mistake of how we get to Him. No one comes to the Father except through Him. No matter how important we think we are. No matter how religious or spiritual we are. No matter how many followers or friends we have, or how many people we have influenced. No matter how good or kind we are.  No matter how devoted we are. No matter how genuine we are.  Everyone who rejects Jesus Christ cannot come to God.
  • I Am The Truth ~ the Bible teaches that truth is not just something that is simply intellectual; it also has a moral dimension to it. John 3:21a refers to doing the truth: “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light…” Jesus reveals God and exposes guilty people. Hebrews 13:8 states: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”.

Do you remember that scene from “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson said to Tom Cruise, “You can’t handle the truth?” Well what about it? Can we handle the truth?  Let’s not run away from what is right in front of us!

Pilate voiced the question on many minds today. Even though Jesus was standing right in front of Him, he asked in John 18:38: “What is truth?” He didn’t take the time to find out.  We will find what we are looking for in Christ as John 8:32 declares: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

  • I Am The Life ~ the Bible describes life in Genesis 2:7 as “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”  God Himself gave life when He formed man and breathed life into him and He gave us life again when He gave us His Son to die for our sins.   In simple words God gave us His Life, then and today. We would be dead without His Life. We become alive when we surrender ourselves to Him. John 5:24 says : “I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”  Since Jesus is life, we will only find meaning when we commit to His Lordship. John 1:4 says: “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

BOLD ~ Acts 4:12: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus is bold all throughout Scripture that He is the only way to the Father, to heaven.  Are we being bold enough with others in our daily walk to teach them the same, or are we holding back from telling others of this truth and giving them the same opportunity to knowing who “The Way” is?

EXCLUSIVE ~ 1 Timothy 2:5-6: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all to be testified in due time”

Jesus is exclusive all throughout Scripture sharing truths of Him being the only One, the only Way to Him.  He is the only God who is not still in a tomb! He arose and is waiting for us.  Have we shared these truths with others or are we allowing them to somehow think there are other ways to heaven?

INCLUSIVE ~ John 6:37 states: “All those the Father gives me, will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Jesus is inclusive all throughout Scripture describing to us that He covered the cost of salvation for us and all we have to do is say “yes”.

Dr. David Jeremiah stated in one of his devotions: How did Jesus provide the way, truth, and life? Did He just say the words and walk away to do something else? No. He backed up what He said, He made good on His words by acting on them. He gave His own life on the Cross.  He died on Calvary’s tree to provide us the way, the truth, and the life. To not accept Jesus on this very point is to declare (I’m afraid), “Jesus, you can’t be trusted,” or even worse, “Jesus, you’re not telling the truth.” By God’s grace and goodness, we know better than that.

With the answer to this verse now explained you may be asking “How do I get to “the way, the truth and the life?”   It’s simple:  Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  So confess, believe and receive today!

**********

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, I pray for every person who has read Your Word and this lesson and I lift them to You right now asking You to speak boldly to the hearts of the ones who may have never received You as Savior and open their eyes to this new truth they just learned today; that You are “The Way, The Truth and The Life” and the only way to You is through You.   Help them to say yes to You today, Lord, and receive the best gift ever given.  Help the ones who are already believers in You to share this same truth with the world and bring new souls to Your kingdom.  We know better —so let’s show it better, in Your name I pray.

AMEN!