Walk In The Light-+

Walk In The Light

 John 11:9 “Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.”

Jesus compares His decision to return to Judaea to a man traveling during the day. Daytime travel doesn’t guarantee a hazard-free trip but the light does allow us to see the hazards. At nighttime, it’s inevitable that we will stumble. Likewise, walking in the light of God’s direction doesn’t mean that there won’t be problems, but the alternative of “doing our own thing” (that is walking in darkness) is guaranteed to get us into trouble.

Jesus was obeying the leading of His Father to return to Judaea. He could see exactly what was going to take place and He was going to walk in the light that His Father had given Him. Our decisions should not be based on whether or not we will be hurt in some way as a result of our actions, but we must discern God’s will and do it regardless of the cost.

The misconception that, “if God is in it, there will be no problems” is not only wrong, but is dangerous. This kind of thinking has caused many people to “back off” from what God has told them to do when things don’t go the way they expected. Our problems do not come from God, therefore, we should not pray for problems and not embrace them as being “a blessing from God in disguise.” Furthermore, when trials come, we should not be shocked, 1 Peter 4:12, and not let problems or the lack thereof confirm or deny God’s will for us.

Jesus died for each one of us. Each one of us ought to live for Him. Offering ourselves to God is not just a one-time deal. We have to die daily to our own desires. This has to be a living, ongoing commitment to the Lord.

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The Measure Of Faith

The Measure Of Faith

 Luke 17:5 “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”

There are many scriptures that speak of varying degrees of faith. However, the scriptures also speak of Jesus increasing in wisdom, Luke 2:52; that certainly refers to His physical intellect drawing more and more on the perfect wisdom of God that was already in Him at birth. It is in this way that we also increase in faith.

At salvation, the believer is given the supernatural faith of God. We had to use the very faith of God (not human faith) to believe the gospel, Ephesians 2:8.

That faith came to us through hearing the Word of God, Romans 10:17, and once we are born again, it becomes an abiding fruit of the Spirit within us.

Every believer is given the same measure of faith at salvation but not all believers use what God has given them. Therefore, it is correct to speak of growing in faith and having great faith or little faith, but it is important to understand that this is speaking of how much faith we use or manifest – not how much faith we were given. All believers were given “the” same measure of faith.

Jesus’ example of the grain of mustard seed underscores the truth that our faith is sufficient if we will just use it without the hindrance of unbelief.

He then continues on into the parable of the servant serving his master to illustrate that our faith is not the problem but rather our use of it. We are using it to serve ourselves instead of our master who is God.

Living by faith is not something special that only the “super-saints” are supposed to do. The Lord expects all of His children to live a supernatural life of faith. He gave you everything you need to do this, just let Him live through you.

Our Debt Was Paid

Our Debt Was Paid

 Luke 16:17 “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

The jot was not only one of the smallest letters of the Hebrew alphabet, but also one of the most insignificant, being sometimes deleted at the writer’s pleasure. The tittle was only a mark or a point on a line that helped distinguish one letter from another. The tittle corresponds to our period or apostrophe. The point that Jesus is making is that even the tiniest detail of the law would not pass away.

Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law. The law was ordained to life, but no one could keep it. So, God Himself became flesh. He did what no sinful flesh had ever done. He kept the law thereby winning the life of God as the prize for keeping the law. This granted Him eternal life but before He could give it to us, we still had a debt that had to be paid. This is similar to someone receiving the death penalty for some hideous crime, then some billionaire leaves his whole estate to him. It would do the condemned man no good. But if that same billionaire could somehow take that man’s place and die for him, then he could go free and enjoy his new wealth. That’s what Jesus did for us. He took our sins and gave us His righteousness.

Jesus did much more than just obtain eternal life for us, He also paid all the wages of our sins, Romans 6:23. God literally placed the condemnation, or judgment, that was against us upon His own Son. Jesus’ perfect flesh was condemned so our defiled flesh could go free. What a trade! Since Jesus bore our sentence (condemnation), we don’t have to bear it. The debt has already been paid.

Freed From The Law

Freed From The Law

 Luke 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

The Bible teaches that there are different dispensations or divinely ordered ways of God dealing with mankind throughout the ages. A dispensation is simply a period of time in which God deals with mankind in a certain way.

The Old Testament law was only a temporary dispensation and ruled from the giving of the law, Exodus 20, until the ministry of John the Baptist. When Christ came, He put an end to the law for righteousness, Romans 10:4. Anyone who advocates the keeping of the law for the purpose of right standing with God is going back to an Old Testament system of law that has been abolished and is making the work of Christ void in his life.

The New Testament believer is under the dispensation of God’s grace. We are not under the law. That doesn’t mean the law has passed away. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the law to fail. The law hasn’t failed. It has been fulfilled, Matthew 5:17. Christ fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law for us and imputes to us that righteousness is not based on our performance but on our faith in Him. The law was never given for the purpose of justification. It was totally powerless to save. It only showed us our need and pointed us to a Savior.

The law was not made for a righteous man and it still serves a purpose for those who are not born again. For those who do not accept Jesus as their Savior, the wrath of God, which the law produces, abides on them. In this present age, Jesus has come not to condemn men but to bring them grace and truth. Those who do not believe on the Son are presently under the wrath of the Old Testament law, and, unless they repent, will suffer the wrath of God eternally. Thank God for His grace today.

Stewards Of God’s Grace

Stewards Of God’s Grace

 Luke 12:42 “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?”

A steward is a person who has been entrusted with administering someone else’s wealth or affairs. The possessions a steward controls are not his own and he does not have the freedom to do with them as he wishes. He is supposed to carry out the desires of the one who made him steward.

A banker is a steward. He has been entrusted with other people’s money. He is free to invest that money wisely in a way that will benefit his depositors and stockholders, but would be sent to jail if he took all that money and simply consumed it upon himself. A steward is accountable, Luke 16:2, to someone else for the use of that person’s money. The money does not belong to him even though it is in his possession.

This parable, and other scriptures, 1 Corinthians 4:1; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 4:10, describes every believer as a steward of God’s grace. The wealth, talents, and abilities we possess, as well as the revelation of God’s love that we’ve been given, are not our own to do with as we please. We have received these things from God and are therefore accountable to Him for the use or misuse of these gifts. Keeping this in mind is essential for fulfilling our obligation to God as stewards of His “manifold grace.”

Aside

The Goodness Of God

 Luke 12:5 “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” These scriptures may look like they are contradictions to Jesus’ statement here; however, they are not.

There are two kinds of fear. The American Heritage Dictionary defines fear as “a feeling of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster, or the like; terror; dread; apprehension.” It also defines fear as “extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.”

It is this reverence or awe that God’s Word teaches saints to have towards God. Hebrews 12:28 says that there is a godly fear with which we are supposed to serve God and thereby implies that there is an ungodly fear that is not acceptable in serving God.

Satan has always used this ungodly dread or terror to torment godly people. Those who have been born again should have no dread or terror of God unless they are planning to renounce their faith in Jesus as their Savior. We have a covenant that guarantees us acceptance with God, Ephesians 1:6, as long as we hold fast to our profession of faith in the atoning blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

For an unbeliever, the fear of the Lord is a great deterrent from sin. However, for those of us who have received the grace of God, it is His goodness that causes us to fear him and depart from sin. His goodness is awesome!

The Goodness Of God

Be Filled

Be Filled

 Luke 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

The Holy Spirit is a gift, Acts 2:38. You cannot be good enough to earn the gift of the Holy Spirit, but you do have to ask. This is speaking of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is subsequent to the born-again experience.

The Holy Spirit resides in our spirits, and once He comes, He doesn’t leave, John 14:16. There is an initial filling when the Holy Ghost first comes. However, His control and influence over our souls and body does fluctuate proportionally to how well we have our minds renewed to His will, Romans 12:2.

In that sense, we can be more full of the Holy Ghost than at other times, although in our spirits the presence and power of the Holy Spirit does not come and go. Therefore, even after we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, there will be times when our souls and bodies stray from the leadership of the Holy Spirit and we need, once again, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Ephesians 5:18 believers are commanded to “be not drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” Being filled with the Holy Spirit is in the present tense, making it a continual command for the believer. In the book of Acts, the same people who were filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost were filled again. Most people don’t get drunk on just one drink.

Likewise, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not just a one-time experience. There is an initial filling of the Holy Spirit, but many subsequent fillings. Just as drunkenness can change a person’s personality and make him or her act totally different, so being filled with the Holy Spirit can make us act just like Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit today.

Our Loving Father

Our Loving Father

 Luke 11:11 “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”

The most loving Father in the world cannot compare to our heavenly Father and the love He has for us. And yet, many times, we find it easier to believe in the willingness of a father or mother or mate to help us than in the willingness of God to use His power on our behalf. Relatively few people really doubt God’s ability, but rather, it is our doubt of His willingness to use His ability on our behalf that causes most people to do without. Jesus is assuring us that God’s love, and His willingness to demonstrate that love, is far greater than we can ever experience in any human relationship.

The Lord didn’t just save us out of pity or a sense of obligation as our Creator. He saved us because He loved us, John 3:16. It was the “good pleasure of his will” for us to become adopted sons, Ephesians1:5. We are wanted and accepted by our Father! What a wonderful thing this is! It would have been more than any of us deserve to be forgiven by God. Then to be given certain rights and privileges would have been more than we could have expected. But the Lord went further than that. He has actually accepted us.

The dictionary defines “accept” as “1. to receive gladly; 2. to receive into a place or a group” (New American Heritage Dictionary). The Lord does not just tolerate us; He actually loves us. He even likes us. He rejoices over us with joy, Zephaniah 3:17.

Aside

Saved By Grace

 Luke 10:28-29 “And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”

Just as with this lawyer, pride causes many people to resist the truth of justification by faith in the grace of God. This lawyer loved himself and the public recognition his “holy acts” gave him. He was not willing to love God first and his fellow man ahead of himself. His was not a sincere question but rather an evasive question to shun responsibility. This man was seeking to be justified in the sight of God through his actions. He knew he had not loved everyone as he loved himself, so he is tried to interpret the scripture, Leviticus 19:18,  in a way that would conform to his actions. He wanted to define “neighbor” as just his close friends whom he had treated well.

Self-justification always produces excuses, while repentance and faith toward God produces obedience.

The basis of our salvation is grace – that is, God’s undeserved, unmerited favor toward us as expressed in providing redemption through Christ Jesus.

The means of God saving us is through faith. Through faith we accept God’s free gift of salvation, which was provided by grace. So we are saved “by grace … through faith. “Notice that we are not saved by grace alone. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith grants us admission to God’s grace. Without faith, God’s grace is wasted, and without grace, faith is powerless. Faith in God’s grace has to be released to receive what God has provided through Christ.

Just as sodium and chloride are poisonous by themselves, so grace or faith used independently of each other are deadly. But when you mix sodium and chloride together in the proper way, you get salt, which you must have to live. Likewise, putting faith in what God has already provided by grace is the key to victorious Christian living.

Who Crosses Your Path?