The Lord is Faithful & Upright

<strong>The Lord is Faithful & Upright</strong>

The Bible tells us in many different verses that God is not only faithful, but that He is upright.  What do these terms means to us?

Faithful means the fact or quality of being true to one’s word or commitments, as to what one has pledged to do, professes to believe, etc.  Titus 1:2 reminds us that God cannot lie!  This tells us that we may trust whatever He says.

Upright means morally erect; honest; just; conforming to high, moral standards. 

Now let’s look at these Scriptures:

For the word of the Lord is upright; and all his works are done in faithfulness.  He loves righteousness and justice; the world is filled with the gracious love of the Lord.  (Ps 33:4-5 ISV) 

According to this passage, God’s Word is upright, honest, and just.  All of God’s works are done in faithfulness, according to what He has promised.  Glory to God!

Our Lord, you are true to your promises, and your word is like silver heated seven times in a fiery furnace.  (Ps 12:6 CEV)

This Bible verse reminds us that God’s promises are true (genuine, valid, sincere), and that they have been tried and tested—just like fine silver.

The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair.  (Deu 32:4 GNT)

How reassuring to read this Bible passage above!  God is declared to be our mighty Defender who is perfect and just (good, fair, honest, honorable) in all of His ways. 

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will see His face.  (Ps 11:7 NASB)

According to the Scripture shown above, all who are upright (honest, respectable, righteous) will see God’s face.  Hallelujah!

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy steadfast love; teach me thy statutes!  (Ps 119:64 RSV)

Lastly, we see the Lord’s love described as steadfast which is just another word for faithful, reliable and trustworthy.

As you can see, based upon what we have just studied, God is indeed faithful and upright!  He is worthy to be praised!

God’s Understanding is Unsearchable

God’s Understanding is Unsearchable

The Bible points out to us that God is far beyond our understanding, despite the fact that we may have a loving and very genuine personal knowledge of Him.  Let us look at some Scriptures:

“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him!  But the thunder of His power who can understand?”  (Job 26:14 NKJV)

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  (Isa 40:28 NIV)

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.  (Ps 145:3 NKJV)

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.  (Ps 147:5 NKJV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  (Isa 55:8-9 NIV)

Clearly, we can see from these passages that God is more complex than our finite minds or emotions can grasp.  We cannot know the limits of His power, greatness, thoughts, wisdom, or ways.  We can’t even perceive everything there is to be known about even one facet of His character.  Of course, our acquaintance with sin and the world limits our ability to understand God, as well.

The impeccable harmony and agreement of God’s qualities simply highlight the complexity of God’s nature.  Another element of our challenge as believers is that God is infinite, and we are not. 

It is clear from the Word of God that some secret things are the domain of the Lord alone.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  (Deu 29:29 ESV)

The joyous truth for us is that there have been many revelations given to believers, and the most important one is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:26-27 ESV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  (Rom 10:9-10 NIV) And one glorious day we will be in heaven with the Lord, and many mysteries will be revealed to us.  And yet, I believe that throughout eternity there will always be new and wonderful insights that the Lord will open to our understanding.  What a joy to contemplate!  God bless you.

Wisdom, Wealth & Honor Come from God

Wisdom, Wealth & Honor Come from God

God blesses His people with wisdom, honor and wealth.  The Bible says:

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  (1 Chr 29:12 NIV)

. . . wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”  (2 Chr 1:12 ESV)

But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.  (Deu 8:18 NRSV)

Wisdom is defined this way:

The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness.  (Source:  https://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/wisdom.html)

Wealth is:

The most basic English definitions of wealth are “the condition of being happy and prosperous” and “spiritual well-being” (OED). But the most common usage probably involves the narrower sense of “abundance of possessions, or of valuable products.” A large percentage of Scripture focuses on right and wrong uses of this latter kind of wealth, while always subordinating it to the former.  (Source:  https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/wealth/)

About Honor:

The source of all honor is God on the basis of his position as sovereign Creator and of his character as a loving Father. God the Father has bestowed honor on his Son, Jesus Christ (John 5:23). He bestowed honor on humanity by creating man a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5-6). He has also created spheres of authority within human government, the church, and the home. The positions of authority in those spheres are to receive honor implicitly.  (Source:  https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/honor.html)

Let us remember that in whatever measure we enjoy these three blessings of God, we should be thankful for them and rejoice in God’s great goodness to us.  Praise the Lord!

What Does God Do for His Glory?

What Does God Do for His Glory?
  1. God created the world for His glory.  – The heavens tell of the glory of God;
    and their expanse declares the work of His hands.
      (Ps 19:1 NASB)
  2. God helps not only ALL people, but He helps, delivers, and forgives believers, for His own glory. –  Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.  (Ps 79:9 NIV) 
  3. God will not share His glory with idols, so we must be diligent in ascribing glory to God alone for all of His blessings upon us.  – ‘I am the Lord; that is my name!  I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.’  (Isa 42:8 NIV)
  4. God will not allow Himself to be insulted, and He will not relinquish His glory to others. –  For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this.  How can I let myself be defamed?  I will not yield my glory to another.  (Isa 48:11 NIV)
  5. Because we are called by the name of the Lord and we are His children, the listens, forgives, and acts on our behalf.  It is all for the glory of His name.  –  ‘Lord, listen!  Lord, forgive!  Lord, take note and take action!  For your own sake, don’t delay, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.’  (Dan 9:19 ISV)

We belong to our Creator, and it is our created function to bring Him glory and honor. We are the children of God, called by His name and created for God’s own glory—as the Scriptures teach us: 

Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth, even everyone who is called by My name, for I have created him for My glory; I have formed him, and I have made him.  (Isa 43:6-7 MEV)

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.  (Ps 63:2 CSB) 

We are called to worship and glorify the Lord. Let us praise and worship the Lord in the sanctuary as we recognize His strength and His glory.  Praise the Lord!

Don’t Criticize Others

Don’t Criticize Others

Judgement is God’s exclusive privilege.  We fellow believers and servants of the Lord are not entitled to come to a “verdict” about anyone.  If we are eager to judge, we should judge only ourselves.

Let’s see what the Bible teaches us on this subject:

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.  (Rom 14:13 NIV)

Rather than criticizing our brothers and sisters, we should eagerly endeavor to avoid placing hindrances or blockages into the paths of fellow believers.

My friends, don’t say cruel things about others! If you do, or if you condemn others, you are condemning God’s Law. And if you condemn the Law, you put yourself above the Law and refuse to obey either it 12 or God who gave it. God is our judge, and he can save or destroy us. What right do you have to condemn anyone?  (Jas 4:11-12 CEV)

We should never be cruel with our words. We must not think that we are above the Law—but we are called to obey it and to honor it.   Only God has the authority to condemn.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God . . .  (Rom 14:10 NIV)

Why should we try to pass judgment on our brothers and sisters in Christ?  What justifies us in despising our brothers and sisters?  Remember, we will ALL stand before the judgment seat of God. 

When we show mercy, kindness, and love to others, we please the Lord because we are actively following His beautiful, holy example.  Glory to God!

Do We Have Ears that Hear?

Do We Have Ears that Hear?

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mk 4:23 NKJV)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  (Mt 11:15 NKJV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  (Rev 2:29 NKJV)

The Scriptures talk about people having “ears to hear” quite a bit.  What can that mean to us as believers?

Do you know that God is always speaking to His people?  And our relationship with our Savior is based, as any true relationship is, upon communication! 

To quote Kris Vallotton (Bethel Church, Redding, CA), “Communication is probably the single greatest vehicle of any relationship.”  Prayer is part of our communication with God and listening for His voice is the other part of that two-way communication.  It is our responsibility to do the listening!  Pay attention because the Lord’s voice will often be quiet and unobtrusive. And He may speak to you in ways that you don’t recognize.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  (1 Kgs 19:11-12 NKJV, emphasis added) 

The wonderful thing about God is that He may use various ways to communicate with us.  He uses the Scriptures to communicate clearly with us, but he may also use any of these other methods as well. 

  • Visions:  The Lord may give us visions which are simply images and concepts that play upon the screen of our imagination within our minds.  Visions frequently require interpretation.  So, when the Holy Spirit uses this method to communicate, we need to ask Him to clarify the meaning of the vision.  (See Acts 2:17-18)
  • The still, small voice of the Lord:  This can be perceived as a transient thought, an abrupt but strong impression, or an inner perception of a message from the Lord.  (See 1 Kgs 19:11-13)
  • Creation:  The very creation that God made speaks to us of His power, strength, creativity, provision, and beauty.  Pay attention to any message that the Lord may give you through His creation.  For me, when I was a brand-new believer, I was asking the Lord to show me His love.  I was out with my fiancé driving on a country road.  I kept looking at the beautiful sky above me that was just full of large, puffy, billowy clouds as far as the eye could see in EVERY direction.  As I was observing those clouds, a church song came into my heart in which the chorus includes the phrase:  Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love!  (Song Wonderful Peace, lyrics by Warren D. Cornell, music by W. George Cooper – 1889) 
    The Lord used nature to communicate His great love for me with the image of fathomless billows of love that were demonstrated to me by the huge, billowing clouds before my own eyes—as far as the eye could see in every direction.  To this day, 50 years later, I have never forgotten that message from the Lord that was just for me.  I cherish it.
  • Circumstances:  God is able to speak to us and to direct us through the circumstances of our lives.  He can open doors of opportunity, or close them, as a way of directing us.  However, we can easily misread a blockage that has been erected by the enemy and think that it is God directing us.  But we would be wrong.  Consequently, we should always seek wise counsel from our Pastor and from other mature believers whom we know very well, and who know us.  Also, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us about every step we need to take in our lives.

So, look back upon your life and recall the times when God used any of these various methods to speak to you or to direct you.  Or, you may have a new example of how God communicated something to you.  But the important thing to recognize is that there is communication flowing in your relationship with the Lord.  Thank and praise the Lord for it! When you can receive such communication from God and ACT UPON IT, then you can be assured that you DO have ‘hearing ears’!  God bless you.

The Word of Reconciliation

The Word of Reconciliation

Reconcile means ‘to restore friendly relations between’ one person or entity and another.  The concept of reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Jesus came to reconcile man’s relationship to God.  In doing so, God reconciled Himself to all things through Jesus.  What an accomplishment!

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died . . . (2 Cor 5:14 NKJV)  Jesus Christ took the punishment for all sinners and died on the cross for all sinners in order to pay the debt that we could never pay.  Jesus’ sacrifice was meaningful because, as a human being, Jesus lived a holy, sin-free life.

By restoring our right relationship to God, Jesus also opened the door for us to live in right relationships with each other, with Creation, and with ourselves.  What an accomplishment!

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  (2 Cor 5:18-21 NKJV, emphasis added)

The ‘word of reconciliation’ referred to in 2 Corinthians 5:19 is the gospel of Jesus Christ which not only reconciles us to God, but also reconciles us to each other.  That is only possible as each one of us learns the Word of God and continually obeys it.  As we obey the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ, we grow in grace and wisdom daily.

We can see from 2 Corinthians 5:19 that God has given to all believers the ministry of reconciliation.  But what, exactly, does that mean?

As 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, we’re ambassadors (representatives) of Jesus.  As such, our calling is to implore, plead . . . or to BEG unsaved people to be reconciled to God.  We’re asking them to restore friendly relations between themselves and God.  And we have the honor and privilege of explaining to them how easy it is to do that! 

By simply accepting the love of God that is the basis of salvation, and praying a simple prayer, an unsaved person will become reconciled to God.  In accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, such a person restores their right relationship with God the Father. 

In accepting Christ as Savior, all believers have had the seed of eternity placed within their hearts.  What a beautiful and honorable assignment that we have been given!  Glory to God in the highest!

God Will Save

God Will Save

The Bible tells us again and again and again that God is our Savior.  No one saves but God.  It is He who will save us.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.  (Isa 33:22 NIV)

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!  Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.  He will come and save you.”  (Isa 35:4 ESV)

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.  (Mt 1:21 NKJV)

This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.  (Lk 2:11 CEV)

The definition of savior is “a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.” 

Another definition is:  “ . . . (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.”

God foretold the coming of a Savior, and He has fulfilled His Word.  Let us rely upon, put our faith in, and cherish His holy Word.  God be with you.

The Lord Knows our Thoughts

The Lord Knows our Thoughts

Only someone who is very foolish thinks that they can hide something from God!  We can’t even hide our thoughts from God.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  (Ps 139:1-2 NKJV)  This verse from Scripture says that God knows all of our actions as well as our thoughts.

I know where you live, how you go out and come in, and how you rage against me.  (2 Kgs 19:27 CEB)  The Lord is even aware of when we’re angry with Him.

. . . the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.  (Ps 94:11 ESV) 

 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  (Heb 4:13 NIV)  EVERYTHING that concern each and every one of us is revealed to God.

If we had forgotten the name of our God     or lifted our hands to a foreign god, wouldn’t God find out since he knows the secrets of the heart?  (Ps 44:20-21 ISV)  God knows the very secrets of our hearts.

So what can we do about this truth from the Bible?  How can we repent before God for our sinful thoughts, and go forward in a righteous way?

Ask God to forgive you for any thoughts that you can remember that He would recognize as sin—or that you know are sinful. 

Next, ask Him to give you the grace to remember that He knows your every thought.  Also, try to remember that God never leaves you nor forsakes you. 

The Lord, the Holy Spirit, is constantly with each and every one of us.  He doesn’t leave when we enter a tavern, a drug party or a movie theater showing an immoral movie.  He is right there with us; and if we remember that, it will help us to live in a way that will bring God glory.

If we remember that God knows our EVERY thought, and that He is with us AT ALL TIMES, we will have the grace that we need to face these temptations and to resist them to the glory of God.  In this way, and many more, the Lord becomes our strength.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  (Phil 4:13) Praise God!

We are Heirs of God through Christ

We are Heirs of God through Christ

Through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, we have been made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.  (see Rom 8:17)  An “heir” is a person who inherits, or has a right of inheritance, to the property of another person following their death.

 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15 NKJV)

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.  (1 Cor 2:12 NIV, emphasis added)

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . . .  (Rom 8:16 ESV)

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  (Gal 4:4-7 NKJV)

God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.  (Eph 1:5 NLT)

One of the rights that we were given as heirs is an inheritance of everything that belongs to God.  Everything in the entire universe belongs to God.  Both seen and unseen things belong to God!  It is all God’s property.

So, as incomprehensible as it may seem, when it comes to our inheritance as the children of God, everything that belongs to Jesus also belongs to us because we are joint heirs with Christ! 

“According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you . . . ”  (1 Pet 1:3-4 ESV) Our inheritance includes all of the blessings and promises found in the Bible and more.  We have been given an eternal inheritance that is shown above in 1 Peter 1 as “imperishable, undefiled, unfading and kept in heaven for us.” 

I think it’s safe to say that our eternal inheritance is so royal and so wonderful, that we can’t even get a true concept of the enormity and magnificence of it.  Have fun and receive inspiration from meditating upon this truth. God bless you!