Thought for Today
Belief versus Faith
“Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well:
the devils also believe,
Belief in and of itself is not the revelation of a true heart. We live in a time when people are considered “children of God” because of their beliefs rather than the life they live. Jesus said we would know a life by its fruits, not words.
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”
A person’s beliefs will never produce the fruit of the Spirit; Faith must. Our real faith is fully summed up in the life which we now live. It cannot be any other way for faith is in itself the “substance” and the “evidence” of things hoped for.
“…and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Paul’s faith was revealed in the “now” of his life and as such was expressed in his earthly walk. So too our faith is expressed in our everyday life. It is imperative that we do not let our “beliefs” deceive us as to our true condition.
“For with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness…”
Without a change of heart unto righteousness the “belief” of an individual is merely an intellectual exercise in vanity. Such was the religion of the Scribes and the Pharisees and the same nature as the believing devils of which James speaks.
Thought for Today
Forgiveness and Sin
“Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more”
Forgiveness is the means to God’s end not the end in itself. Forgiveness is not for the purpose of continuing in sin; it is the respite required to free us from sin.
The goldsmith does not abandon the gold in the fire because of the dross. He has patience in the process to realize his desired vessel. Justification is not the conclusion of God’s work; it is the vehicle by which we fulfill His purpose.
“…and whom he justified, them he also glorified”
The true glory is freedom from sin.
“Whereunto he called you by our gospel,
to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14
Thought for Today
Contentment and Forgiveness
“I press toward the mark…”
The true heart, the true seeker of God can never find contentment in forgiveness. We are always to find peace and gratitude in His forgiveness but never contentment. Sin in itself is the revelation of His unfinished work within us.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples”
Life for the Christian is one of living out each day with a single agenda: Glorifying our Father. Simplicity is the very thing that confounds the religious and brings Joy to the disciple of Christ. To glorify our Father is to simply live to bear fruit unto Him every day of our lives. It can be in the small kindness shown to others, speaking His Word of Truth to another, or living with the breath of a prayer in our hearts to Him. It is the unconscious flow of daily life and as we grow it becomes a life of doing. To fully learn something will result in the simplicity of doing it. He is more desirous to direct our steps and lead us into the very arena of HIS WILL than we are to learn. If there is a true desire to do His will there will always be the knowing of what that will is.
“…If any man will do his will, he shall know…”
Fruitfulness and Discipleship cannot be separated. We read in John 15:8 that bearing fruit unto the Father is the badge of life for one who is a Disciple. A Disciple is simply one who gives up his will to serve another. The Disciples became Apostles, the common people became Prophets and Teachers, and the servants of God became men and women who were called “friends” of the Most High. They grew from outward instruction to the inward knowing of His Will. A true Disciple cannot remain a disciple. Discipleship is the school of learning and as such the day must come for the disciple to cease from needing bread to becoming bread for others. Jesus SENT out His Disciples so that they could learn to live in the wisdom that can only come through the medium of doing.
There are those who say they would bear fruit if the opportunity arose, if the conditions were right, or if God would only give them more ability. Religion shapes a strange concept of God when men think that God has withheld from them the ability to Glorify Him! Jesus said that HE came in order for us to HAVE LIFE and to HAVE THIS LIFE ABUNDANTLY. This is either a true and valid saying or it is just another empty religious platitude. If being a Christian is simply adherence to a teaching or a tradition, then we are left with a form of righteousness but no power to be actual living expressions. Disciples are those who are actively walking, following and doing the things they hear and see in Him. This is no theoretical life; it is actual and real because Jesus is alive and working in their hearts. The very heart beat of His Life constrains them to a life of focus and seeking to do His will. The desire to glorify our Father is the chief duty and purpose of all life. The reward is too precious to miss any opportunity afforded us. What is this reward? It is “The Joy of the Lord”. Bearing fruit brings the realization that in glorifying Him we can know of HIS JOY in us which becomes our strength to grow in the wonder of His Ways.
“…but the people that do know their God
shall be strong, and do exploits*”
*NOTE: Literally in the Hebrew the word “exploits” is not there; the verse actually says “shall be strong and do”. They that know their God shall be strong and DO. It is a daily opportunity for us to be strong and to do of His good pleasure.
“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works”
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
APRIL 3, 2016
POTENTIAL VERSUS TRUTH
The first step of all obedience is not taken in strength, it is initiated by our love and trust in Him. The strength received comes AS we walk, the trust to obey comes as our history with Him grows through the medium of obedience. They that obey their God are strong in their God. A faith that alters not our walk is like seeds that are never sown, deeds never done and love never expressed. Potential accomplishes nothing.
Faith for the future is sown in the deeds of today (Samuel 17:37).
“The way to be strong is to act on the credit of strength being given.
Strength is received in the act of obeying. When the path of duty is clear,
it is want of faith to continue asking for strength, and not to act upon it.”