Tuesday, March 26, 2019

OUR INNER SENSE OF GOD!


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

OUR INNER SENSE OF GOD!

Rom 1:20-23
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

           All persons everywhere have a deep, inner sense that God exists, that they are his creatures, and that he is their Creator. Paul said that even Gentile unbelievers “knew God.” With nothing but creation to observe, humanity confirms and concludes that God exists because “God has shown it to them” (Romans 1:19) There are no true atheists; only those who deny and fight against what they know to be true deep down inside.

           Since the knowledge, and near presence, of God is inconvenient and uncomfortable to the wicked person, he first curses and then renounces the Lord. Foolishly he declares that there is no God; not because he is convinced of it, but because that is more comfortable. Because of his wickedness, he suppresses the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Ps 10:3-4
3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

           Sometimes truth is twisted conveniently around a particular sin. While the word “homosexual” or “homosexuality” is not used in Romans 1, certainly it is described in verses 26 and 27. The word “vile” refers to practices that are infamously disgraceful and shameful. A series of active verbs indicates that this is a willful suppression of the truth (Rom.1:23, 25, 28, 32). Changed in verse 23 means “to make different.” Changed in verse 25 means “to exchange” or to trade one thing for another. The word “commit” in verse 32 means “to repeatedly and habitually practice.” Homosexuality is a learned behavior that is disgusting to God who created both males and females.

           In the life of a Christian this inner awareness of God becomes stronger and more distinct. We begin to know God as our loving Father in heaven (Rom. 8:15), the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16), and we come to know Jesus Christ living within our hearts (Eph. 3:17; Phil. 3:8, 10; Col. 1:27; John 14:23). The intensity of this awareness for a Christian is such that though we have not seen our Lord Jesus Christ, we indeed love him (1 Peter 1:8). – Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.

Dear Lord, I know that you are God. I can feel you deep inside of me and I can see your handiwork all around me. While your presence may be often uncomfortable when I sin, I cannot deny you. Thank you for pressing in on me and demanding my attention. AMEN

Monday, March 25, 2019

MERIT!


Monday, March 25m, 2019

MERIT!

Eph 2:4-10
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

           The word “merit” does not appear anywhere in the Bible. This English word, as a noun, means “laudable or blameworthy traits or actions; conduct deserving reward or honor.” As a verb, the word means “to earn or deserve.” I suppose it’s opposite would be “privilege,” like a child of a rich and influential parent.

           The concepts of merit or demerit have been planted deep into our psyche and have born abundant fruit. The concept of merit is contrary to the concept of grace. Four phrases stand out in our portion of Scripture which capture our attention and imagination. First, we were dead in our sins; totally unable to respond to Christ. Then we learn that salvation is not of ourselves and not of works. Finally, we are told that salvation is a product of His workmanship. Despite this four-fold reinforcement of the facts, we still fail to understand.

           The word “works,” in verse 9 is the Greek ergon and simply means toil. Salvation is not achieved through strenuous effort or even strong desire. The word “workmanship,” on the other hand, is poiema and literally means fabric! The white robe of our salvation was spun, woven, cut, sewn and crafted by Christ Himself. We are His workmanship.

           The closest word we have to “merit” in Scripture is the word “worthy” and we see it at the end of Romans chapter one. After a long list of sins, verse 32 declares that those who sin are “worthy of death.” Chapter two actually begins with a conclusion by declaring man inexcusable.

Oh, Thou virtuous God! I have rightly earned only condemnation, death and eternal separation from you. Yet, through no merit of my own, I am accepted, given eternal life and friendship with Thee, O majestic creator. Treat me today as one of Thy little birds who do not plant nor harvest nor gather into barns. Yet daily you provide them their meat. O God, be thou to me not only my substance but my Savior and my friend. AMEN

Sunday, March 24, 2019

INTEGRITY!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

INTEGRITY!

Job 2:3
3 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

           What does integrity look like? In our text the word is the Hebrew tummah which is “innocence.” It means that, even when sorely tried, Job did not respond inappropriately. His personal pain did not cause him to create pain in others or to blame God who allowed the pain.

           The dictionary definition of integrity is “ the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” A person of integrity is who they appear to be. They are not frauds or pretenders. They will sometimes be blunt but they will always be true. They will keep their appointments and their promises even when it causes them loss to do so.

           The person of integrity is clean. They maintain strong moral principles. They work at it because it is not an intrinsic quality. It must be developed and maintained by constant practice. A million choices are made each day in order to remain morally pure.

Rom 13:13-14
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; [with the light shining brightly] not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Dear Lord, let our relationship be strong enough to make me a person of integrity. AMEN