Tag Archives: trust

Fellowship With God

The beauty of spirit of God in tight relation to our own spirit is thrilling. It is followed by ‘heir, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ’! When a word is repeated like this it places added emphasis on the word.

John relates a similar message in I John 1:3.

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:3

Because we are joint-heirs with Christ, we can also be subject to the persecution suffered by Christ as anyone who has stood for God and His son has readily experienced, but that also means the glory is to be shared too. We can joyfully work through pressure and opposition knowing that we are strengthened by the His spirit in connection with our spirit. All of chapter 8 of Romans reflects this. It is a great chapter to read in its entirety, but verses 32-37 sum it up beautifully.

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
 Romans 8-32-37

It is simple to apply this as there are so many opportunities every day that call for its application. Everyday there is pressure and we can decide to give in to it or trust God as He works in our hearts.

There is great joy experienced when decide to trust God (I John 1:4).

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God Loves Us

But without faith it is impossible to please(to have thankful joy, for Him to have thankful joy) him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

So often in sermons we are reminded that we didn’t earn salvation and I don’t disagree with that at all. God, however, would not want us to wallow in our in our plight, rather the emphasis should be on believing who God is and trust in His magnificent ability to love us. That is what faith is. That is what Hebrews 11 is all about!

It is not God who constantly reminds us of our unworthiness. It is not God who pushes fear in our face every time we turn around. He is not the one whispering in your ear “What if?” God is always ready to be there for us, we just have to look in His direction for the answers instead of some place else. We run into trouble when we look to the world for answers or even try to rely on our own introspection for handling things.There are many things we do easily using the brain we have. However, we can be our own worst enemy at times due to blind spots in our thinking.The light of God’s word alerts us to those things when we face Him squarely and love Him.

The apostle Paul was by the world’s standards back in his time, a very successful man. Then one day he realized he was the wrong side of God. I’m sure when he thought of some of the horrible things he did once he woke up, thoughts of self-hate and condemnation probably tried to grab him back away from God (Check out Romans 7). He had to learn to disown his past mentally and stand up for the freedom and grace he was being offered.

Self-hate and condemnation don’t originate with God. They are the tools of the devil. we can become downright monsters if we allow them to dominate our lives. Romans 8 has a lot to say about staying out of their grasp. If you are struggling with those thoughts, slap Hebrews 11:6 on your mirror and remind yourself to trust the God who is real and that He can help you with that problem. If you doubt that read Romans 5:6-8.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

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Trust

Exodus 6:9 And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

The children of Israel just seemed to be keeping ‘their heads above water’ so to speak. They did not want anymore grief. God had heard their cries for help, but they weren’t so quick to jump on the Moses bandwagon. Moses’s wife was not all that excited about things either. On top of that Moses really irritated Pharaoh. Three different words are used to describe his hardness reactions. In addition to all these elements, we can read in the records that Moses was not even gung ho about his suitability for extricating the Israelites out of their dilemma. It seems like it all was one big no-win situation with no solution.

It is one thing to hear about God, it is another thing to understand about Him. It is in the understanding of God’s desire for His children that trust and relationship multiplies. Trust is built by getting to know who God is. God makes that very easy when we let him by trusting Him.

 I have always loved the verse:

James 1:5-6
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

God gives liberally, simply, frankly, generously to all who ask. He doesn’t upbraid (cast blame, guilt or shame) us. Moses was able to carry out what God wanted him to do as he trusted and relied on Him. If he had an anguish or fear, he took it to God and that is why he could help Israel get out from under.

 

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Confidence

This morning as I was reading Philippians, a verse popped out at me that capsulizes great truths about who we are because of our the relationship with God.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

The word ‘circumcision’ refers to our spiritual circumcision, not the circumcision in the Old Testament. When we acknowledge God’s work through Christ, we spiritually put off the works of the flesh and that is something we should all jump up and down about. Around Philippi, there were people who were Judeans who wanted to bring new Christians back to the old ways of the law. Paul called attention to the snarky dudes.

In the verse 2 of Philippians 3, Paul uses the word ‘beware’ three times. He wants people to recognize the ‘stuck in the mud’ Judeans who were trying to steal away their freedom in Christ. ‘Beware’ means to accurately observe what is going on. He repeats the word 3 times for effect.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Paul says to beware of dogs. This does not refer at all to our dear Maggie who lives with us. Maggie is a great blessing. She is a wonderful obedient dog who wags her tail excitedly whenever she sees us. The reference to dogs in Philippians is to the wild dogs that usually hung outside the city gates in the garbage pits scavenging for food. They would get into the city and roam the streets at times. They were dangerous.

Gentiles had been considered dogs by the Judeans in the Old Testament, but now in the New Testament, the Gentiles were no longer outside the gate feeding on scraps and garbage, they had the same access to all the rights and privileges as the Judeans in the household of God. Some of the Judeans didn’t buy into that and they actually found themselves scavenging outside the gate. Paul says ‘beware’ of the dogs, evil workers (false ministers) and concision (those trying to mutilate the body of Christ; the household)

The true circumcision, made without hands, has three characteristics according to verse 3. First it involves ‘worshipping God (‘theou’) in the spirit’. ‘Theou’ is in the genitive and should read ‘worship by the spirit of God’ not the workaholic nature of the old man. It refers to the new nature we have within, the holy spirit. Jesus Christ referred to this in John 4:23-24 (check it out!). That’s our new nature!

Second, we rejoice in Christ Jesus! This word for ‘rejoice’ is different from the word ‘rejoice’ used in 3:1. It means to glory, or to speak about loudly or boast. When we really know what it is to be of the true circumcision, we really have something to shout about. If you are not personally rejoicing like this, then get help from someone who really knows what it means. There are people who look to bring the uninspecting back into a regimen of the law and that is frustratingly impossible to live up to. Just like Paul said we have to beware. It is well worth it to make the effort. Once you get it, believe me you will shout.

Third, we have no confidence (trust) in the flesh. There is nothing wrong with ability, life experience, and even in what we have learned from the Word. These things are certainly important, but as life gets rolling along, they are not enough. We don’t trust in the flesh, we rely on God. Trust is not some feeling, it is the destination of our thoughts at any given moment of decision. It is God that is our sufficiency. Today is a new day to trust God every second we breathe. Then and only then do we experience the greatest freedom in life. That is what true circumcision is all about.

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