Tag Archives: love

Living our Faith

13 Jul

One early morning, I awoke to these words coming from my mouth: “ Justification by faith”. They did not seem to come from me, it was as though they were spoken through me.

Justification by faith wasn’t a concept I understood well. I always thought I had to work for my salvation and I was often very miserable. Why couldn’t I be good all the time? Why did I keep messing up?

I became a very judgmental person because I expected others to make the same efforts I was making. I was pushing to be a good person because I thought my salvation depended on it.

Only in recent months, (yes months!), did I begin to really understand the amazing provision God made for us through His Son.

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Do we believe this? Many of us can’t understand it or we believe that we must do something to help attain our salvation. It can’t only be confession and belief, right? Actually, it is. This is called justification by faith. Jesus paid it all.

So where do works come in? Are we now to continue living as we wish conscience free?

No. This is where sanctification comes in, and here’s how I understand how it works.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 (NKJV)

Sanctification happens as we learn about who God truly is and His Son Jesus the Christ. As we learn, we make the decision or choice to follow God’s teachings. This isn’t always easy, because giving up what we’ve spent years practicing often has deep roots, but with Christ all things are possible.

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:5-9 (NASB)

Personally, I experience sanctification every day. There were times when I felt that I was in an intense course! It involved changing my thoughts in order to change my actions. God’s Holy Spirit would gently tell me, “…that wasn’t a nice thing to say. Do better next time…”. It’s like a purging process, and the Holy Spirit is the agent.

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

We must have respect for God, that is, understand that there’s nothing hidden and He is in us, helping us to overcome our weaknesses. I’ve found this to be extremely important and have started to really pay attention to my thoughts. This is because of late, I’ve recognized that some of my thoughts are actually God talking to me.

We grieve God when we let pride and selfishness stand in the way of sanctification. Pride says, “I want it that way”, or, “this isn’t how I feel things should go. “I’m a good person and I don’t need to be changed.” Pride lives selfishly not thinking about others. How can we become like God if we’re not reachable or teachable? Why do we often reject the labour pains that come with being born again?

In short, I’ve learnt that following God is understanding that He knows what’s best. It isn’t an easy way, that’s why Jesus calls it the straight and narrow way. Thank God that it is a path we walk with a friend; we don’t see what’s ahead, we must depend on Jesus to guide us home.

I hope this all makes sense. Send me a comment if you wish to add more insight or need further help grasping these two concepts better.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Your Creator longs to be with you

8 Jun

Or do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19)

There has always been some ambiguity with regards to the Law of God. Are we free from keeping them? Were they “nailed to the cross“, or were they nailed in our hearts?

In the beginning, after God called the world into existence, He formed the first man and woman. God dwelled with them in the garden. They were innocent and did not know anything about being ashamed. This was because there was no wrong doing, nor disobedience. God visited them in that garden and there was nothing separating them from Him.

Now, picture the Israelites in the wilderness near Mount Sinai.

God told Moses not to let any one go near the mountain; it was for their own safety. This was because the presence of God was there.

“Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.” (Exodus 19:12)

The disparity between the garden of Eden and and the wilderness is evident. Sin placed a barrier between God and the ones He formed by hand. In its place was hostility. Sin could not dwell in the presence of God.

Yet, God always wanted to be among His people. Always. He also desired them to be the light for the nations. He wanted everyone in the world to be drawn to this light which would eventually lead to Him.

God never wanted His people to be exclusive, they were to be a light to other nations, and their light was supposed to draw all people to Him.

To be this light, they needed to show the character of God by following the Law that He gave them: The 10 Commandments. To help them further, He broke them down into little laws detailing what constituted lying, stealing, killing, adultery, covetousness, dishonouring Him, etcetera.

This proved too much. It became burdensome, like a list to be checked off. God’s people couldn’t keep up with all those Laws.

They became more concerned with keeping them than being a light to other nations. It also did not draw them into a close relationship with the Lawgiver. In fact, it made Him seem harsh and exacting and they too became that way.

Furthermore, the punishments that accompanied many of the Laws were severe. Those who kept them and knew them well became puffed up and those who were tired and weary of them became lawless.

God saw that this method of teaching His Law did not produce the results He desired. He Always knew this would happen, but, this particular experience with the Law was crucial for the understanding of its importance. We needed to understand that the Law was holy and good. Yes, it needed to be followed because it was a guide on how to love God and our neighbor. We also needed to understand how profound the great sacrifice of Christ was; it was the sacrifice that would spare us from the consequences of sin.

God had always desired to live among His People, and so, the Son of God came into this decaying world. Jesus, became that Light that God wanted His people to be. God the Father dwelled or lived in His son, showing His people how to live the true meaning of His Law. He was drawing His people to Himself. (See John 6:44).

At the famous mountain, Jesus explained the Laws pertaining to man in their true sense. He told His people, forget physically killing, if you threaten someone, you’ve already killed them; if you think about being intimate with another, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart, and it goes on. Jesus further said that not one part of the law was abolished, but fulfilled.

Again, God always wanted to live among His people. When the amazing act of love was demonstrated by Jesus, the Son of God, He received all the punishments for all those laws broken. You would have heard that all our sins, before and after, yes, all, were placed on Him. This is Jesus dying in our place. He took the penalty. This act put an end to the ceremonial laws, which were the killing of lambs, rams, bulls, in short, the spilling of blood. His blood was more excellent and meaningful. He placed a value on us that is far more priceless than anything.

It is important to understand that God the Father was in His Son reconciling or drawing the world, to Himself. He wasn’t sitting down up in Heaven as a distant spectator. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

After Rising Again and returning to His Father, He was glorified. God sent His Holy Spirit to live in us: remember, He always wanted to live among us. The Law was good, but the old dispensation or order did not fulfill God’s desire to be Among us. Now, the laws can be placed in our minds.

When we read and teach or share what the Law says, it stays there. We learn that stealing, killing and lying, are wrong. It hurts people and relationships, it isn’t love, it’s the opposite.

So the Law is good. Yes. We must love it if we want to live in God and have Him live in us. It’s like going to school to learn our lessons, afterwards, we no longer need the text books. Or, it’s like learning an instrument, practicing and following teaching methods. There’s the desire to learn, then the effort. Then one day, our fingers naturally find where to go and we play beautifully.

Revelation 21:3 says:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Just as it was in the garden of Eden, so shall it be. God always wanted to be among His people. Always. He wants to purify us and make us clean. He washed us by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ and He wrote His Laws in our minds. He cannot wait to live visibly among us. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t He beautiful?

The end isn’t far off

27 Mar

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share an interesting experience I had just before Spring-break 2020. No one knew what was ahead.

I was getting ready to go teach a class when a strong impression stopped me. I heard a voice in my head; a message communicated in my mind. I had one foot in my car and the other out when I was told:

“The world cannot go on like this any longer.”

I paused to reflect on the message, and somehow I knew it was God. In fact, some time before that experience, the indifference of the world felt like a burden on me. I sensed that most of us were doing our own thing, going about our own business, just taking care of our inner circles, not caring, not loving, just existing. I remember the deep sadness I felt.

Right now, we have a lot of geo-political, social and economical turmoil happening globally. They are predicting a depression that could cause challenges similar to those faced in the 1920s. There are shortages on multiple fronts: food, computer chips, lumber and pulp necessary for toilet paper.

I am not one to scare people into coming to God by shouting “Jesus is coming!”, rather, I’m more interested in sharing the gospel message to everyone; more concerned about people dying before learning that there is a Saviour that loves them immensely. However, I cannot ignore that what is happening now is the beginning of the end of all things. In prophesy, this is referred to as the winds of strife.

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Revelation 7:1-3

Many say that this world will never have an end because of the countless false predictions that were made in the past. However, there is an end and Jesus said only The Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3,4

Truth is, many people, yes, even Christians, don’t want to hear that Jesus is returning soon. They want to get married, build their houses, see their grandchildren, and the list goes on, but, the end must happen at some point.

Yes, everything eventually has an end, but, what is to come will be absolutely amazing! Revelation 21 says that God will make all things new. God Himself will be with us and be our God! There will be no more pain, no more crying, no more dying, all these things will pass away.

The end of this world should not be something to fear. It should be something to look forward to and we should not want to go alone. In fact, God wants us to tell everyone about this blessed hope.

I pray that all who reads this will desire His appearing. If you don’t, it isn’t too late to pray and receive the Holy Spirit.

You are loved.