“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter”
Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows effortlessly because of its source. When love is the source and ruler of one’s heart, service unto God is the natural course of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things into the worship of God; our service becomes our offering unto Him. Our reward is His Joy welling up within our hearts. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.
“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”
“By Faith Moses… choosing and Esteeming the reproach of the Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward”
Our estimation of Christ is revealed in the life we live. The previous verses describe what Moses did, this verse tells us why he did what he did. What people do (not what they say) reveals their true life and the motivations of their heart.
Moses forsook Egypt though he found himself a part of the Egyptian Royal Family to a life of luxury and comfort. The scripture tells us he “choose” to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy the “pleasures of sin”. How little emphasis is put upon the choices we make daily in terms of our walk with God.
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve”
Joshua put forward his admonition to the people of God in his day; “Choose you this day”. The life of a true Christian is revealed in the everyday walk. It is expressed in the choices and the decisions we make. God Himself is the witness to our everyday conduct. He sees the hidden thoughts, the agendas and the intentions behind all of our actions and words. They who know and walk in the abiding sense of His presence are ever aware of His eyes being upon them. They who are insensitive to these things walk in the foolishness of this world.
The ever present word of God to us all…
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life…”
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant”
The people of God become weary with the words of His prophets. They perceive the negativity and the sharp words as antagonistic. The desire for only encouraging and comfortable words is human nature. The thinking is that the world, the trials, the heartache and troubles of this life are more than enough for us to bear. This would be fine if God had no other purpose in His house than to bless us and comfort us in our situations. But God has a purpose and He sent His Son to bring about the thing He has purposed. God is intent upon His end and He sends His word to bring it to pass. God is a wise builder He is not going to patch up an old thing (see the parable of the wine skin). He must make everything new. It is the New Wine-skin which receives the new wine. He is not going to pour out Himself (the New Wine) into the Old. While men cling to their sins, former ways and institutions God withholds Himself; and He, as a loving Father suffers while He withholds. Joseph had to keep himself hidden from his brothers until there was a change of heart. At one point he had to leave the room as the desire to embrace them had to be restrained because of the hardness of their hearts.
The words of true prophets are not harsh for the sake of being harsh; they speak words necessary for God to finish His work. God cannot build until He tears down. He cannot plant until He roots up the evil and self-seeking ways of men. He cannot and will not sully His ways with the methods of men; the overlooking of sin to populate their churches and accomplish their agendas. He must tear down the lofty pursuits of those who seek the preeminence in His house.
God’s end is to prosper, bless and reveal Himself to His own. He never wavers in His faithfulness to us. It is we who need to change. It is we who need to give heed to His word and His purposes in this day. God is Holy and as such He requires us to be holy, pure and set apart as purchased possessions. It is the joy of the Lord we pursue not our own. His joy becomes our strength to do the things which please Him.
“Therefore, have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me” Hosea 6:5
The hard words and God’s judgements were as “light” going forth. righteousness is the result of light. It is a light which proceeds from God to give light unto His people concerning their ways and their condition. He desires mercy, not religious sacrifices. He desires that His people know Him rather than all the programs, religious prayer meetings and traditions of men. His people become content with tepid offerings of lukewarm hearts. They become satisfied with elaborate events and magnificent buildings even though Jesus said there would not be left one stone upon another when He is finished! The true building of God is made up of living stones built together as a holy habitation wherein He alone has the preeminence; One Lord, One faith and One body. It is to this end His prophets speak, weep and anguish over the blindness and stubbornness of the day.
“We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum”
“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”