Secrets

Secrets

Are you a person who enjoys having a secret?  Do you have secrets of your own to protect—that you do not want to be revealed?

Well, our Father in heaven has secrets that He will share only with His children.  God also knows every secret of every human being on earth; nothing is hidden from Him.

I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.  (Isa 45:3 NKJV, underscoring added)  There are hidden riches in undisclosed places which are known only to God, and He has promised to give these blessings to His own children.

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him.  (Dan 2:22 NKJV)  Only our God and Savior is able to reveal to us His deep and secret things in such a way that they will be useful, helpful, and fruitful to us.

When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.  (Mt 6:6 CEV)  When this passage states that God knows what happens in private, it is saying that God sees and knows what is done secretly.

This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, 16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says.  (Rom 2:15-16 CEV)  God knows even our secret thoughts!  And He loves us no matter what they may be.

Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret . . .  (Rom 16:25 CEV)  We are so blessed that the Good News of salvation is no longer a secret but has been revealed to all mankind.  Glory to God most High!

Our Mediator

Our Mediator

Jesus Christ is the ONLY mediator (intermediary, conciliator) between God and mankind.  There is no other, despite what other religious philosophies may affirm.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . .  (1 Tim 2:5)

There is no arbitrator between us, who could lay his hand upon us both [would that there were].  (Job 9:33 AMP)  In the Old Testament, the thought of a mediator between God and mankind was considered a hoped-for dream.  This is because ONLY Jesus Christ is both God and man.  Jesus is able to comprehend both man and God.

A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.  (Gal 3:20 NIV)  A mediator comes between two parties, persons, or points of view.  A mediator is a go-between or an agent for both points of view.  

This is why he’s the mediator of a new covenant (which is a will): so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance on the basis of his death. His death occurred to set them free from the offenses committed under the first covenant.  (Heb 9:15 CEB)  Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament.  Jesus is our Peacemaker.  Glory to God most High!

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

Saved, Sanctified, Justified

We, who believe in Jesus Christ, have been saved through God’s mercy.  We have been cleansed, sanctified, and justified in and through Jesus, our Savior.

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.  (Tit 3:5 NIV)

The indwelling Holy Spirit is constantly cleansing us and renewing our minds. One tool that is helpful is the Word of God.

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  (1 Cor 6:11)

. . . that he might sanctify her [the Church], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word . . .  (Eph 5:26 ESV, words in brackets added)  Another way that we are continuously cleansed and sanctified is through a daily reading of the Scriptures as well as constant meditation upon them.  This is what we may choose to do in order to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, our teacher.

. . . knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  (Gal 2:16)  This Bible verse reiterates the truth that no one is justified by fulfilling the law but rather through an ongoing faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.  Praise God!

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

A Relationship With Jesus is Great Gain

Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have begun an eternal relationship with the Lord.  Having a relationship with Jesus, our Savior, is the greatest blessing and gain (profit, benefit, advantage) anyone can ever have.  Hallelujah!

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  (1 Tim 6:6 NIV)  Living a holy life (godliness) with peace in our hearts (contentment) is a wonderful blessing.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5)  Jesus, our living Lord, will never leave us nor reject us.  The Word instructs us to be content with such a supernatural blessing as this, as well as all of the other blessings that Jesus has purchased for us.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.  (1 Tim 4:8)  Godliness (righteousness, holiness) is necessary and beneficial for this life as well as for all eternity.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble.  (Pro 15:16)  It is better to have a small amount in this life along with awe-inspired respect for our Lord, than to have what the world considers to be “great treasure” because such things are accompanied by anxieties and dangers, and temptations to turn away from our faith in our Savior.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11)  The Lord does not deny ANY GOOD THING to His followers, His obedient ones who live in holiness. The greatest wealth that anyone can ever have is a deep and abiding relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 

Every blessing, every benefit, and every advance is a gift that flows from His loving heart.  Thank God for His blessings today, friends!

Taught by God

Taught by God

As followers of Jesus Christ, we can’t forget that Jesus came, in obedience to His Father, in order to save people and to reconcile them back to our Heavenly Father.  God is constantly ready to forgive and to save all who believe in Jesus.

Today we’re concentrating on Scriptures that tell us that all of our children shall be taught by the Lord. 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  (Isa 54:13)  We are drawn closer to the Lord by submitting to His teachings.  Our relationship grows deeper and stronger the more we read, meditate upon, and study the teachings of the Bible.

It is written in the Prophets, and they will all be taught by God.  Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.  (Joh 6:45 CEB)  All who receive the internal, spiritual illumination concerning Jesus Christ, the Savior, is drawn to God and to the teaching that comes from God through His Word, His Spirit, and His ministers.

The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.  (Joh 16:14-15 CEV)  The Holy Spirit is our helper and our teacher.  He gives us wisdom, insight, and illumination into the teachings of the Bible.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another . . .  (1 Thes 4:9 ESV)  This is a confirmation by the Scriptures that those who belong to the Lord are taught by the Lord and are influenced daily by what they have learned.

All those who are taught by God (those who accept and act upon what they learn) will always turn to Jesus and receive Him as their Savior and Lord.  And once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they will continue serving Him and obeying His leading and guiding through His Word and through the Holy Spirit.  We are not only the servants of God, but we are the children of God. All glory to God most High!

Pleasing All Men in All Things

Pleasing All Men in All Things

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  (Rom 15:1 NIV)

Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.  (1 Cor 10:32-33, emphasis added)

Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.  (Phil 2:3-4 CEB)

We’re instructed by God’s Word to watch out for what is best for others and pleasing to others.  We’re also urged to avoid selfishness and encouraged to care for each other.  That’s a tall order, right?  The apostle Paul said that he pleased all men!  Wow, he is a righteous example to us all.

So why did Paul ‘please all men’?  He did it so that many people would be saved.  By his pleasing and caring behavior toward others, he won many, many people to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All of those people accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  Paul didn’t do it in order to be a man-pleaser but in order to win souls to the Kingdom of God. His motivation was pleasing in God’s sight.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.  (Gal 1:10)

. . . not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart . . .  (Eph 6:6)

Our assignment as followers and servants of Jesus Christ is to please God first, but also to demonstrate God’s love to all people.  That means doing top-notch work in our jobs (even those who are self-employed).  It also means finding ways to cooperate kindly with our earthly neighbors whether we have a house, condo, apartment, or a tent. 

We also, as servants of Jesus, represent Him in our families, with our friends and within our communities and churches.  As ambassadors for God’s Kingdom, we have the honor and privilege of being ‘the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.’  (2 Cor 2:15) May our conduct and our conversation be as a pleasant perfume to the lost and the hurting as well as to the Lord Jesus.  Praise the Lord!

God Loves Humility

God Loves Humility

The Lord instructs us in His Word to humble ourselves, so that He may exalt us in due time.  (1 Pet 5:6)  We need to be obedient to this instruction because the Lord has the power to humble any person or thing that He chooses.

And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.  (Ezek 17:24 ESV)

For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city.  He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.  (Isa 26:5 ESV)

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  (Lk 1:52-53 NIV)

Even in nature, the trees know who the Lord and the creator God is, and that He has mighty power at His disposal.  If the Lord so chooses, He can decide to humble trees, cities, nations, rulers, and individual, influential or wealthy people.

We’re told in Scriptures that the Lord regards (esteems, honors) the lowly (humble) but the haughty (arrogant, self-important, puffed-up) He knows from “afar off.”

Psalm 138:6 (ESV):  For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 

I believe that the above passage is explaining that God does not have a close, warm relationship with haughty, pride-filled people. 

However, as our opening line in this article indicates, the Lord will, in His own timing, exalt those who humble themselves before Him.  We humble ourselves to God by accepting His Son (Jesus Christ) as our Savior and Lord, and by honoring and obeying His holy Word.  We also honor Him by allowing Him to lead us and guide us throughout our lifetimes. This will result in our having a close and personal relationship with the living God, the Savior and Redeemer.  Hallelujah!

Keep Away from Evil

Keep Away from Evil

As servants of the Living God and followers of Jesus Christ, we should have a sincere desire to stay away from evil in every form:  evil thoughts; evil words; evil people; and even occasions to be tempted to commit evil.  If we obey the Lord, and obey the Scriptural command to be holy (1 Pet 1:16), this will make sense to us.

By mercy and truth atonement is made for wrongdoing, and by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.  (Pro 16:6 NASB)  If we have a respectful reverence for the Lord, it will keep us away from doing evil.  If we have done evil in some way, and if there is an avenue open to us to make amends for it, God’s gifts of mercy and truth will guide us to the right path. For any sin that we may commit, we need to repent to the Lord and ask Him to forgive us and to cleanse us from unrighteousness. The GOOD news is that He always hears and answers these prayers for forgiveness and cleansing. Praise God!

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  (Joh 17:15 ESV)  I believe Jesus was praying for all who would accept Him as their Lord and Savior and follow Him all of their days.  The Lord prayed for His followers (US) to be kept away from the evil one who is satan.  The evil one and his works are described in John 8:44.

But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”  (1 Cor 5:13)  This is language similar to Deuteronomy 24:7 regarding excluding people, those who are indulging in evil, from the fellowship of believers. 

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  (Eph 4:31)  The Scriptures exhort us to avoid indulging in any of these activities, because they do not honor the Lord nor do they flow from the heart of God.

Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11)  We must always choose to reject evil actions, and turn to the Lord.  When we follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we will seek and pursue peace with all of our hearts. 

Let us highly value peace in our hearts, in our relationships, and in our lives.  The peace of God which passes all understanding (Phil 4:7) encompasses within it wholeness, maturity, and completeness as well as freedom from turmoil and worry. Focus upon serving Jesus and doing good, and you will be blessed.  Hallelujah!

God’s Great Love for Us

God’s Great Love for Us

Something that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, may not meditate upon enough is His great love for us.  This article will help us focus on that today.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.  (Isa 54:10 NASB)  The Lord is saying that even when immovable objects (like hills and mountains) start shaking and even being removed, that His loving peace and kindness will NOT leave His children.  The Lord says that He has compassion upon us.  What a blessed promise!

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  (Mt 18:20 NIV)  When believers in Jesus come together and meet as Christians, the Lord reminds us that He is right there among us.  His presence abides with us.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5 NKJV)  This is the Lord’s promise that He will never leave us nor abandon us—under any circumstances.  This is a promise that can be relied upon.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  (1 Cor 6:19 NKJV)  Here the Bible reminds us that all who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives within the children of God.  We are children of God.

Rejoice in the precious promises that God has given to all who love Him.  Take some time to reflect upon God’s great, abiding love for you, and thank Him for it.  God bless you.