Archive for the ‘Relationship’ Category

THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Day 272

“Then I said, ‘Here I am'”
Hebrews 10:5-10

What is the most outstanding characteristic of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the reason why He subjected Himself to become man, suffer, and die for us.

Christ stated His purpose when He said, “Here I am . . . I have come to do your will, O God.” His whole purpose and supreme object in all that He did was to please His Father. He lived for God His Father. It is a great revelation of the holy relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

That love and relationship is extended to us. He came to do what we did not do – obey the Father perfectly. He demonstrated how to live solely for God. Because of that obedience, He saved sinners. By living for God, doing His will, the Father’s purposes are accomplished.

Christ’s life shows us how to live. He said He only spoke what the Father told Him and the works He carried out were the ones the Father had given Him to do. He lived to serve others. He was despised and rejected; He suffered and never thought of Himself. He did nothing for Himself. He lived only for the glory of God.

Now that He has made a way for us, we are to walk in the same spirit.

“I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart”
Psalm 40:8

THE WILL OF GOD

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Day 249

“This is the will of God, your sanctification . . . ”
1 Thessalonians 4:3

Many fret about the will of God. Their actions range from believing that there is a precise will of God for every action to dividing His will into different stages of operation. It can be very frustrating and leave one in a state of “missing the mark” and being out of God’s will more than in it. The problem with all this is it does not fit the true picture of our Father.

What is it that pleases the Father’s heart? Is it not our response to His great outpouring of love, grace and mercy and the peace He has imparted to us in Christ Jesus? Is it not our response to building a continuous relationship with Him? Is not our response to loving others more than ourselves? Is it not our response to seeking the kingdom of God first and His righteousness?

Want to know the will of God? Set your heart and mind on pleasing Him by seeking righteousness. Seek to love others more than yourself. This will please the heart of the Father and make you one with Him, and by doing this you will be walking in His will.

“This is how we know we love the children of God:
by loving God and carrying out His commands.”
1 John 5:2

THE INVESTMENT

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Day 221

“We should go up and take possession of the land,
for we can certainly do it.”
Numbers 13:30

The Old Testament reveals a history of God preparing a land for His people. After freeing them from their long Egyptian bondage, the people amazingly grumbled, complained and rebelled during the time of reaching the new land. The verse today sees them at the place where they can enter the land. They had a good report about the land, but they believed the bad reports. They saw their enemies as giants and they grumbled against Moses and Aaron and accused God of leading them into a death trap! Joshua spoke and declared the Lord was with them and they could take the land; but the whole camp turned on them and began to talk about stoning them to death.

The people’s hearts were stubborn, hard and filled with rebellion and wickedness. They saw God as their enemy and wanted to kill His leaders in the face of His blessings! God wasn’t happy about their response and wanted to strike them down with a plague and destroy them. In the midst of this Moses pleaded for their lives and God heard him. He spared them and sent them back into the wilderness for 40 years. Both Joshua and Caleb made a decision to stay with these people, bearing their burden by going back into the desert with them for the 40 years. They made a decision to serve though they tried to kill them.

Joshua and Caleb’s decision to stay with the people in the face of their rebellion foreshadowed Jesus Christ who came in the midst of our sinfulness to die for us. Through it all, He continually demonstrated His love towards us in His actions, bearing our burdens, ignorance, and sins. It is this sacrificial love that redeemed us. What an investment Christ and those before him made! Shouldn’t we also invest ourselves in the brethren?

“He is a faithful God, keeping His covenant of love . . .” Deuteronomy 7:9

HE KNOWS YOUR NAME

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Day 209

“I have called you by your name; you are Mine”
Isaiah 43:1

When considering that God is the Creator of all things and that the expansive universe is His, it is hard to believe and understand that He knows you personally. We have nothing in our experience to understand how this is possible. Should the leader of our nation decide to visit you to discover how common people live, someone would check you out and give him your name. He’ll remember it for the brief visit and that’ll be it.

Our Father does know you by your name. He knows you personally and He doesn’t forget who you are. No, it is stronger than that—He knows you intimately because you were known by Him before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb. There is no person on the face of this earth that knows you more intimately than your heavenly Father. And because He has redeemed us, He says, “…you are Mine.” We are a “peculiar treasure” above all people.

What great freedom this gives us to build our relationship with our Father. Because He knows us so intimately, we have no need to be on guard or defensive. We are able to truthfully talk with our Father about our concerns. But, even more than that, knowing we are accepted in Him in Christ, we are able to build an intimate relationship in knowing Him as our Father. His desire is for us to know Him more and more each day.

“In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace,which He has freely given us in the One He loves” Ephesians 1:5-6

NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Day 189

“It is enough”
Luke 38:1

What a rebuke!

Christ is instructing His disciples about the change that was to take place and the fulfillment of Isaiah 53 [about Him]. Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, Son of God, incarnate Man is about to become numbered with the transgressors. The hatred of God, the wickedness of man and the evil one are about to be poured out on Christ.

Christ was preparing His disciples to bring the Gospel to others. They were now to strip themselves and go with what they had in their hand. No more would they be covered as children by the father. Now they would stand in their own right under His banner and carry out His work. Their provision now is not in ‘things,’ but in Him alone as their strength and help.

Yet, these men still focused on the natural and wrestled with His words! How much it’s like us.  Anything, but resting wholly in Him. Christ is about to take the wrath of your sin and all of mankind’s on Him, and they worry about little things! God has come out of heaven to set us free from sin and death and we worry about little things!!! He not only has set us free with salvation, He continues to redeem us with grace and mercy in our lives, lifting us out of the pit when we fall. ‘IT IS ENOUGH,’ He says. Lift your head up, the King of Glory has come.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye
lift up, ye everlasting doors and the;
King of Glory shall come in”
Psalm 24:7

TRUE COMMUNION

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Day 163

“Is not the bread that we break
a participation in the body of Christ?”
1 Corinthians 10:16

Communion cannot be reduced to a liturgical practice or ritual. In fact, Paul warns us that we are to discern the body of Christ. And he points out that some of those that haven’t are weak and sick. This is a very serious warning. The body of Christ is the church, its many members are one body.

True communion relates to the body of Christ and our participation in it. At the Last Supper Christ humbled himself and became a servant washing the feet of the disciples. He told them to do the same. He chose to have a meal together and be a servant. We are called to do the same – love others more than ourselves, honor others, be a servant laying down our lives, owe no man any debt except love.

This is true communion; I lay down my life and live for others, and build them up in Christ. God gave us the body of Christ to work out our salvation while we walk this earth. As we participate in it, partaking of one loaf, though we are many, we find communion with Christ and our brothers and sisters.

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together
in unity! It is like a precious oil poured on the
head, running down on the beard . . . For there
the Lord bestows His blessing. Even life forevermore”
Psalm 133

GOD’S DELIVERANCE

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Day 149

“In fact, we expected to die. But as
a result, we learned not to rely
on ourselves, but on God who
can raise the dead”
2 Corinthians 1:9

Knowing God our Father does not come from bible classes, reading and other’s experiences. Yes, we can know about God, but to truly know and understand Him, we must experience Him. Job found this out when he endured a severe time of trials and temptations. When confronted by God, Job said, “I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

Paul was in his Third missionary trip. He was a seasoned man of God, mature and great in knowledge when he encountered God. Suffering great persecutions, Paul said that he and his companions were crushed and completely overwhelmed. They had lost hope of continuing in life and thought they would die. It was at this point that Paul and those with Him came to know God in a greater way.

When everything fails, no other course is open to us and we are in our darkest hour where even hope is gone – it is here when all reliance on the self will end. It is also the place we can come to know Him. Paul said, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” Here we discover His faithfulness, strength, and mercy to us. He rescued Paul and his companions and they emerged with a greater knowledge of Him. Look for God to show Himself in your life.

“And the Lord shall deliver me from every
evil work and will bring me safely to
His heavenly Kingdom. To God be the
glory forever and ever. Amen”

THE GOOD PART

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Day 141

“Mary has chosen the good part”
Luke 10:42

There is a great revelation about the heart of the Father in John 15:14-16, where Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants . . . Instead, I have called you friends.” There is nothing greater than being His friend. Unfortunately, many do not see themselves as His friend.

Martha was a servant. When Jesus visited her, she dutifully served Him by continuing preparations while Mary went and sat at His feet. This disturbed Martha to the point of her interrupting Jesus with a protest about Mary not helping. Jesus revealed the difference between a servant and friend when He rebuked her for being worried and bothered about so many things. Much of Christ’s work today is being done by servants instead of friends, and in the course, they lose the joy, comfort and peace by being entangled in worry and troubles.

Servanthood is a great attainment, but it is not the highest attainment in Christ. Martha was right doing her duties, wrong when Her friend arrived. She should have set everything aside for Him. There are many believers, few servants, and even fewer friends. Servants desire to move the hand of God while a friend desires to know the heart of God. A servant measures things by results, a friend yearns to please the Father. A servant focuses on faithfulness, a friend on love. A servant is willing to work for the Master, but a friend wants to be with the Master. It is far more demanding to be a friend – it requires an investment. Let’s strive to be His friend.

“I have called you friends, for all things
that I have heard from My Father
I have made known to you”
John 15:15

THE THREE TABERNACLES

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Day 135

“And look that thou make them after their pattern,
which was shewed thee in the mount”
Exodus 26:40

God gave Moses the blueprints to build a tabernacle. He cautioned him to build exactly according to the plan showed him. There was a good reason for this. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was an exact representation of the heavenlies. There was an order to be followed to show the people how to approach and have fellowship with God.

Years later another tabernacle was built by David. This tabernacle, although resembling the first, was different. It offered more immediate access to the presence of God. And the praise in David’s tabernacle was always spontaneous and from the heart. It was a tabernacle that reflected the desire of the Lord to dwell with His people.

And then a third tabernacle came. Christ tabernacled among us and then gave us the Holy Spirit, who now dwells in us. We are a temple of the Holy Spirit. So, from a time when man could only approach the door of the tabernacle and offer a sacrifice to this day with full access to Him, God has fulfilled His desire to dwell in us – “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men” [Revelation 21:3]. John said he saw no temple, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple [21:22]. He has prepared a place for us so we can dwell with Him now.

“Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit”
1 Corinthians 6:20

HE KNOWS YOU

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Day 126

“O Lord, Thou hast searched me,
and known me”
Psalm 139:1

God knows you. He knows everything about you, your character, traits, peculiarities, habits. He knows your very thoughts. He knows how you will react to situations. The short of it is that He knows you thoroughly and better than you know yourself. Jesus expressed this when He said He knows His sheep (John 10:14). That is because He is the Good Shepherd.

He knows you because you are His and this should bring great comfort and peace. His “knowing” is intimate and means He has understanding of us. God is neither surprised nor shocked by our behavior. If you are fully surrendered to Him, His knowledge of you brings direction, guidance, and blessing. If you are resisting Him or rebellious, His knowledge of you will bring light in your darkness and lead you out, as one who has lost your way. He will not rest until He has brought you to His pasture.

David said that God desires truth in our innermost parts. We are to be at one with ourselves, meaning that both our inner and outer man is the same. Only when we walk in truth is our unity full in Christ our Shepherd. He has written our days in the Book of Life and His thoughts are towards us. Think about it! The God who created the universe, the world and man, thinks about you all the time.

“Lead me in the way everlasting”
Psalm 139:24