The Most Important Thing In Life

Matthew 22:36-40: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

The most important thing in life is relationships. No matter where we go we will be involved in relationships. The most important relationship is our relationship with God. The next most important is our relationship with others. The primary element of our relationships is love.

Love the Lord thy God. We are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with our entire mind. In other words we are to love God with everything we have. This is the first and great commandment. Therefore our relationship with God is the most important thing in life.

Love your neighbor. We are to love our neighbor to the same extent that we love ourselves. This is the second commandment. Therefore the second most important thing in our life is our relationship with others.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Jesus was saying that on these two commandments hang all that God has said up to this point. People get hung up on keeping the commandments but it becomes easier if we just stick to fulfilling these two commandments. If we keep these two commandments the rest will be covered.

We Have, We Stand, We Rejoice

Romans 5:1-2: “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

We are justified: God declares us not guilty but righteous. There is no condemnation, for Jesus paid the wages of our sins, and we have received Him by faith. Our justification is a work of God’s grace and not by our works. It is not because of what we have done but what God has done in Christ Jesus.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We were once far off but are made near by the blood of Christ, for He is our peace (Ephesians 2:18). This peace is ours but are we really experiencing it?

We have access (entrance) by faith into this grace. This grace that has provided our justification, our peace with God and our access in Christ Jesus.

We stand in this grace, and rejoice in hope. As we stand in the grace of God we rejoice in hope. The glory of God is the object of our hope. This hope is sure and secure. “Our peace and our hope rest on God, on the Mediator Christ, on the eternal Word of promise” (R.C. H. Lenski). “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Our hope reaches out into the future when God’s grace will reach its full and complete work for us. At that time when we shall be raised from the dead, receive our new bodies, receive our new home in heaven, and receive our full inheritance given to us by this amazing grace of God. At that time we as the family of God will be gathered together around His throne singing and worshiping in total freedom from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and the presence of sin.

And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Amen.

God Doesn’t Give Up On Us

Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Confident–persuaded, assurance. We are persuaded and have the assurance of this very thing. We have a strong belief and conviction of this very thing because God always finishes what He starts.

God began a good work in us. Through the receiving of the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit we have been born again, have become a new creature in Christ Jesus, have become partakers of the divine nature, have received the Holy Spirit and are a part of the family of God.

God will continue to perform this good work by renewing our minds that we might have the mind of Christ. He will continue to transform us, that we might be conformed to the image of His Son. He will continue this good work that we might be a workman that needs not to be ashamed but that we might rightly divide the word of truth. He will continue to guide us into all truth through the Holy Spirit opening the eyes of our understanding to the word of God. He will continue to nourish us with his word that we might grow thereby.

God will continue this work until the day of Jesus Christ. He will bring this good work to its completion at the day of Jesus Christ, when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ will be raised, we shall be changed, we shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and we shall ever be with the Lord. In that day we shall receive our new bodies and inherit our new home.

Praise, honor, and glory to God our Father, the Holy Spirit, and to Jesus Christ, our Lord and King.

We Are Not Of This World

John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

John 17:14: “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Yesterday we looked at our need for deliverance from this present evil world. Today we look at the fact that we have received our deliverance and are no longer of this world.

The world signifies all those opposed to Jesus, who rejects Him and His saving grace. If we find the world hating us then we must remember that it hated Jesus first. We were once of this world. We were born into it, received of its nature and character and were one with it. But we were chosen out of the world. We were born of the Spirit of God into a different, spiritual world and received the spiritual nature and character of this spiritual world. We received the word of God and the receiving of the word initiated the change in us that made us to no longer be of this world. We are in the physical world but no longer of the physical world. We are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed (changed) by the renewing of our mind. When our thinking gets right our lives will be changed. We are to think, speak, and act differently. And as we think, speak, and act differently, we should not be surprised if the world hates us. If they hated and persecuted Jesus, the more we become like Jesus the more the world will hate and persecute us.

We can have peace. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus said that in the midst of the tribulation we face in this world, we are to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world and in Him we can have peace. This is the peace of God which passes all understanding. Even when we have and experience this peace, we will not be able to understand it, and won’t be able to explain the fullness of it to others.

Thanks be to God for the victory He has given us in Christ Jesus.

Deliverance From This Present Evil World

Galatians 1:4: “Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”

The evil of the present world. According to this verse, the present world is evil and there is a need for us to be delivered from it. This world has been exposed to and contaminated by sin. The very ground was cursed as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin (Genesis 3:17). The creature was made subject to vanity and in the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:20-21). By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin. Death has passed upon all men, for all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

Our struggle and need of deliverance. “The good that we would do we do not: but the evil which we would not do that is what we do. Now if we do that we would not, it is no more we that do it, but sin that dwells in us. With the flesh we serve the law of sin” (Romans 5:19-25). We must be delivered from the curse and the power of sin. We must be delivered from the vanity and the bondage of corruption. We must be delivered from the power of death.

God’s remedy: It is God, our Father’s will to deliver us from this present evil world. Jesus Christ is the way. Jesus gave himself in death to pay the wages of sin that we might be delivered from this present evil world and have eternal life, become a new creature in Christ Jesus and walk in newness of life. “Sin shall not have dominion over us for we are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

Praise God for this salvation that we have in Jesus Christ.

Let The Word Of God Dwell In You

Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”.

It is our choice. The word let, means that we have a choice and are in control as to whether this happens or not. We are to allow it to happen. God said, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts”. This is a promise of God; we must allow Him to do it. God wants His word to dwell (inhabit) in us richly (abundantly) in all wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge (the word) in the right and the wise way. It means to be able to rightly use the word of God, applying it in the proper way and at the proper time. We must not only get into the Word, but we must get the Word into us and our daily life.

Teach and admonish one another. With this word of Christ dwelling in us richly in all wisdom we are to teach and admonish one another. We are to teach or instruct each other with the word of God that has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. We are to admonish one another. This means to put in mind or remind each other about what God’s word says. We are to teach one another and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs as we sing with grace in our heart and as we sing to the Lord. The Lord is to be the focus of our psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. He is to be the focus of our worship.

God fulfill this word in our lives today that we may be a blessing to one another. Amen.

Rightly Handle The Word Of Truth

2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

God gave us His word because He loves us. His word is rich in wisdom and knowledge. It is capable of renewing minds and transforming our lives. It leads us to salvation in Jesus Christ and helps us to grow spiritually. His word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, thus allowing us to see things clearly and to keep us from being tripped up by the obstacles in this world. God wants us to have a clear understanding of His word and be able to rightly handle and apply it–the Holy Spirit will remind us of it at the right time. We need to study it and spend enough time in it that we can be a workman who is not ashamed. How wonderful to one day, hear Him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

Power, Love, and a Sound Mind

2 Timothy 1:7: “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

God has given us His Spirit. He is not the Spirit of fear, or of cowardice. One of the devil’s greatest weapons is fear. He desires to fill us with fear. We must resist the devil and the tendency to fear.

We have received the Spirit of power. This is the power to hold on, go on, and to endure. It is victorious, triumphant, and overcoming power. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We have received the Spirit of love. This is God’s agape, perfect love. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears, is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Fear can torment us. We have received the Spirit of perfect love that casts out fear. This love is self-sacrificing love. It is unmerited and undeserved love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

We have received the Spirit of a sound mind. This is the renewed mind, the mind of Christ. This renewed and sound mind is programmed, and disciplined according to the word of God. It gives scriptural direction to our lives and the decisions that we make.

God fill us with the Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Resist The Devil

I Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

God warns us about the devil. Our enemy, the devil, is on the prowl seeking whom he may devour. Jesus said, “The thief, the devil, is come to steal, to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). The devil wants to destroy us by stealing what we have both physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He wants to destroy our relationships, and our life. God says that we should be sober, alert and thinking straight. He also says that we must be vigilant–watchful and on guard. We are to resist the devil steadfast in the faith. That means to be firm and determined in the faith. James also gave us some instruction on this. He said, “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). If you are under attack from the devil, draw near to God and He will draw near unto you. Submit yourself to God and His will. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

See the poem “What Is That I See”.

Grieve Not The Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:30: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

We can cause sorrow to the Holy Spirit. We do this by unbelief and disobedience. We do this by not allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work He came to do for us. As the Spirit of Truth He dwells within us to teach us and guide us into all the truth. We grieve Him when we will not willingly receive the teaching of the Holy Spirit–we must show us for class, listen, and take notes. He has come to lead us and we grieve Him when we will not follow His leading. He has come to fill us, empower us, and to work through us to carry out God’s purpose in this world. When we walk as men of this world who are not saved, we grieve the Holy Spirit. When we quench the Holy Spirit and not allow Him to work in us and through us, then we are grieving the Holy Spirit. Walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit grieves Him–He wants to walk through life with us. Walking by sight and not by faith grieves Him.

Someone once asked the question, “How would you like to be compelled to live with somebody who was everlastingly grieving your heart by their conduct”? Imagine the love, longsuffering and patience God must have.

“Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:11).