Glorifying God Daily-Part Two

The realization of how much our salvation cost God should prompt overwhelming gratitude. Expressing our gratitude, from the depths of our hearts, is a form of worship. As we’ll see in tomorrow’s article, Lord willing, worship is a major part of glorifying God daily. The price God paid for our redemption should make us aware of the fact that His love for us is far beyond our ability to grasp. Can we even begin to understand the excruciating pain in God’s heart when He allowed His Son to be sacrificed for us, in an unbelievably cruel and agonizing death? “….therefore glorify God in your body.” (From I Corinthians 6:20). Let’s consider some of the implications of this. Our bodies should not be given to destructive habits such as drinking or smoking. They should never be given to immoral activity. We need to keep from things that damage our health. Proper hygiene should be a priority. Adequate rest is very important. The point is to offer God a temple that is clean and functional. Unbelievers should be able to view the exterior of these temples and see the results of wise and consistent upkeep. They should see an alternative to what misuse of their bodies has done to themselves. (I realize, of course, that some health issues are beyond our ability to change). Generally, however, we can take good care of His dwelling place on earth. Selah! Many start their new lives in Christ with much damage already done. God expects us to start from there. If we do, there is a possibility of much improvement. In any event, God can do His work and compensate for our limitations, when we do what we can do to make His home in us a wholesome place.     Ron

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Glorifying God Daily-Part One

Pastors, others, books, etc. remind us that we are to glorify God. Many of us firmly believe this. But then what? What do we actually mean by that and what do we do about implementing it? I Corinthians 6:20 provides principles for doing this. It says, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” This verse assumes we have experienced a valid conversion. This being so, we must, first of all, recognize (in both heart and mind) that God paid an infinite price for our redemption. Only God, Who is infinite, could pay an infinite price. There are no boundaries and no limits to what our salvation cost God. Next, we are to glorify God in our bodies. The implications of this are many. Our bodies are His temples on earth today. He lives in us! His Presence is in these bodies of ours. What kind of care do we give to keeping these temples clean and sound? Also, we need to glorify God in our spirits. They belong to Him along with our bodies. (We’ll think on that in the next three or four days). Finally, He owns us. We began today’s article with the awesome price that God paid for us. He, therefore, owns us and has every right to use His possessions as He determines. Lord willing, we’ll attempt some specific illustrations in each area. Do come by and join us. Selah! Warning: When Truth seems too demanding or difficult, there is a tendency to make excuses as to why we can’t do (or be) this or that. If we want to glorify God, we can’t let ourselves “off the hook.”    Ron

“I am’s” of the Christian Life-10

Consummation/Commencement

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing” (II Timothy 4:6-8).

We must have a genuine Spiritual conversion, complete trust in God’s Word, be concerned for the lost and be committed to reaching them with the Gospel. No matter the enemies or difficulties, we must never forget that, in Christ, we are more than conquerors. When we have a true conversion experience, we have complete security and nothing can separate us from His love. Taking into account all of the above, we comprehend our utter unworthiness apart from Him. We are free from fear and worry when we cast all our cares on Him and we enjoy deep-seated contentment regardless of circumstances. With our eternal destiny in His hands, we are confident of His safekeeping. He can be trusted to do that because we rely on His perfect Word. It is absolutely True. As all of this is internalized, we are ready for the consummationofour life’s journey and the commencement of our eternal and rewarding future in His Presence. (See passage above). Selah! It doesn’t get any better than that. Are we progressing in the development of the “I am’s” of the Christian Life?    Ron

“I am’s” of the Christian Life-9

Confidence

We place a lot in God’s hands when we receive His gift of salvation. We yield the control of our lives to Him. This involves time, discipline, training, assets, career decisions, behavior and more. However, the most serious matter is that we stake our eternal destiny on the trustworthiness of His Word. Are we really certain of life after death, Heaven, Hell, etc.? Are we on eternally firm ground, when we trust God with everything and trust His Truth as absolutely reliable? Paul entertained no doubts whatsoever! He wrote, in II Timothy 1:12, “….I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” Paul had absolute confidence in God’s Holy Word. Therefore, he suffered all, knowing that ultimitely he would be vindicated and the sufferings would dissolve into nothingness in the blaze of God’s Glory. What we commit to God is in eternal safekeeping! Selah! Receiving salvation, studying and applying God’s Word, faithfully and carefully, ignites an inner witness that leaves us, who are His, knowing that what God says is forever True!    Ron

“I am’s” of the Christian Life-8

Contentment

Paul said, in so many words, “I am content.” “….I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (From Philippians 4:11). Notice that he said, “I have learned.” We are not born “contented” (except, maybe, when we are asleep). Patience is closely related. If we are impatient, we are not content. Patience comes at a price: “….tribulation worketh patience.” (Paul, in Romans 5:3). Patience is a trusting acceptance that God is in control. The Psalmist reminds us, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.” (From Psalms 37:7). The development of patience takes time. If we are truly learning to trust, we trust God’s timing. We even learn to trust when He says, “No!”. Paul reminded Timothy (and us) that “….Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (From I Timothy 6:6). The Apostle directs our attention back to basics. He says, in I Timothy 6:8, “….having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” We have many “I wants” but our needs are far fewer. God has promised to supply our needs. He often supplies “wants.” If He doesn’t give us what we want, we can be sure that we don’t need it. We can rest in His wise ways. Jesus explains the waste of worry in Matthew, Chapter 6. Contentment, rest, trust, patience all combine to produce Spiritual strength. “….they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.” (From Isaiah 40:31). Selah! Keep in mind this truth that the Psalmist stated in Psalms 84:11 where he says, “no good thing will He withold from them that walk uprightly.” If it is a good thing, it will come now or later. If it doesn’t, it’s not a good thing (for us). Trust God’s wisdom!    Ron

“I am’s” of the Christian Life-7

Comprehension

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8).
It seems that those who mature Spiritually come to comprehend that apart from Christ they are nothing. They realize that He imparts the only life really worth living. When He is the center of our lives, we experience the abundant Life that He offered. This is why John the Baptist, in John 3:30, said, ” He must increase, but I must decrease.” People do great and good things. Thank God for that. Nevertheless, after all is said and done, this only counts for time, not eternity. Contrariwise, when a person comes to know Jesus, he or she is humbled by seeing himself or herself as they really are outside of Christ. It is then that they comprehend the amazing grace of God that would take helpless, hopeless sinners, save them and then work in them, on them and through them. They are filled with gratitude that He would use their humanity to express His Deity. What a wonder, a sinful vessel, washed and cleansed and used by God! Many unsaved people have an unjustifiably high opinion of themselves. This stands in the way of their admitting their need of a Savior. A saved person comes to realize (comprehend) his true worth and submits himself to Jesus for Him to sanctify and use. This is when our lives take on true worth! Selah! In the words of the songwriter, “May I do each day’s work for Jesus, with eternity’s values in view.” (Alfred B. Smith).    Ron

That Nght; That Light!

Darkness, not just the darkness of night but darkness of hope characterized those days. Under the tyranny of Rome for many years, with no deliverence in view, hope was all but lost. Despair reigned and Spiritual darkness prevailed. It was a pitiful condition. Religion was a poor attempt to fill the void. It only added another form of bondage to the equation. An enslaved and suffering people longed for a Savior, the Messiah. He might free them and reign. How tragically ironic that most would not recognize Him when He came. So misery covered the people like a blanket, smothering all vestiges of hope. Thinking in terms of a physical kingdom and a freedom from bondage, they were blinded to the momentous events that would unfold around them. Unable to escape the blindness of seeking the material blessings of an earthly kingdom, most were unaware of something some shepherds were seeing and hearing. Into the darkness of night, a great Heavenly light was suddenly shining on some simple shepherds. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-11). Their simple response: “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into Heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us” (Luke 2:15). That night, that light brought them to seek the Savior. Responding to His Light, shining out from Scripture will still deliver from darkness and bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Selah! In His kingdom, light dispells Spiritual darkness and reveals, more and more, the splendor of our loving Redeemer.    Ron

We’ll return to another of the “I am’s” tomorrow, Lord willing.