“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12
God measures our life in Him by the Love we have for one another. Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues, and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for His people. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14
Authenticity is the fruit of a life lived in God. The Life of Christ is the sole bonding agent which fuses one member to another. Obedience is the means to this purity by which our relationship with our brothers and sisters becomes filled with the wonder of God Himself. An impure heart is filled with mixed motives, carnal and self-seeking desires which by their very nature prevent the true union of His Spirit and Life with Him and one another.
“Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart…”
1 Peter 1:22
“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Psalm 2:1-3 (Also quoted in the Book of Acts 4:25-27)
The stage of human history is set for the eventual fall of all wickedness and the eternal Glory of Jesus Christ. Though there be stifling times of pure evil and darkness it is Christ alone who will stand revealed and glorified at the end of Days. Even the night which is falling upon us with its contrary winds and evil tidings will only further serve His end and purposes.
“When the drama of history is over, Jesus Christ will stand alone on the stage. All the great figures of history … will realize that they have been but actors in a drama produced by another”
– Helmut Thielicke
“Every Knee Shall Bow and Every Tongue Confess
That Jesus Christ IS Lord!”
“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear“
To the Place of the Vow
“I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’”
In our journey with God there are times where we need His intervention to bring us back to that place of remembrance, back to the place of our vows of abandonment to Him.
“For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again”
Life takes its toll upon us. We get caught up in the things of this world, we take our eyes off of Him and we discover ourselves living by a faithless faith. We find ourselves lost in the sea of lethargy and disillusionment. We lose sight of the glorious “prize” of the high call of God in Christ Jesus. It is in these moments that HE calls us back to the place of our vows where we first committed our lives to Him. We need to remember His mighty deliverance’s and the great kindness HE revealed unto us in our darkness. He desires to bring us back to the place where our love for Him was fresh and our eyes were single. He causes us to realize that those words spoken in love and sincerity were important to Him and that He has now come to remind us of our Covenant with Him. He speaks to us of His faithfulness to “keep that which we have committed to Him…” How good our God is. How wonderful and merciful are His ways.
get thee out from this land,
We hear the command of God to ARISE for the place where we are is below the place that He has called us to. It takes an ARISING out of the stupor and the complacency in which we find ourselves; out of the wanderings and circular paths of religion to once again walk in the “narrow” ways of the Kingdom, through the “straight gate” that leads us unto LIFE, LIBERTY and the JOY of the LORD! It takes an ARISING out of the mindset that has caused our eyes to slowly fall from being focused upon Him to the things that be of this world. It takes an ARISING to break the habits and the chains of a faithless walk to once again see and live in the atmosphere of a dynamic FAITH; a FAITH that brings purpose and intensity of quest back into the heart of HIS own that we may run with great strength and determination. A FAITH that presses us on to a new intensity of knowing and pleasing Him more than we do now. A FAITH that sees afresh the real and eternal issues of Life that stands before us.
“In returning and rest shall ye be saved…”
It is in our returning that we find a renewed sense of His Presence and His Blessing in our lives. Returning requires obedience and response to His Living Word. The response is the means by which we ARISE out of our present circumstance. Faith always requires obedience and action. It is the Word producing within us the ACTION required for its own fulfillment. It is by us staying current with our God that we remain under the shadow of His Wings. For HIS WAY is never static, it is never stale and it will never leave us “barren nor unfruitful” in the things of our God!
“They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine:
the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon”
(updated writing 2012)
“Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require”
– Alexander MacLaren
“…looking to Jesus,
the author and perfecter of faith…”
Faith lays hold of its author and looks to Him for its perfection in pure obedience.
“You see that faith worked with his works,
and by works faith was perfected“
Grace makes the heart willing to walk in the way of Faith.
“…but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith“
“A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity”
Friendships IN Christ grow deeper and stronger, bound by His cords of love. Friendships of the world, though good and pleasant, cannot touch the recesses of our being. True relationships are woven together by the fabric and substance of Christ. They require little effort, for the vitality is rooted in the eternal springs of His heart. There is a camaraderie, an ease of interaction, and an understanding of things unsaid. The mutual sharing of joys and sorrow are borne with a sense of honour and privilege.
There is no fear of saying the wrong thing or of “stepping on toes”; these things weary the soul. Spontaneity is the atmosphere of friends and the mark of true brotherhood. It is the result of child-like faith discovering the joy and freedom found only in Christ.
Bonds are strengthened through the storms of life, the fears, the failures and the triumphs of one another. Jealously and envy find no home within the selfless strands of these bonds; when one succeeds it brings great joy to the heart of the other.
Though these friendships may be rare, it makes them all the more valued. They give us glimpses of His Heart for His Body.
“That they ALL may be one;
Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us”