Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Do You Too?

Do You Too?
by David Brenneman

It always is amazing when reading my Bible and something sticks out and it makes me smile.

Matthew 12:21 for instance.  But let's read the whole section it point to.  Matthew Chapter 12:17-21 NASB ""Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles.  He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.""  

That last verse, verse 21.  In the name of Jesus, do YOU hope?  Are you living life with the hope of Jesus?  Are you living out the calling by which you've been called?  Basically put are you on the path that He chose for you or are you on your own?  On your own could and does mean at least two things.  On your own would mean that you're following your own 'vision' of your life as you think it ought to be.  On your own would also mean it's in your strength that you're making it happen.  

We can be tempted to follow our own vision of life when things just aren't going right because of people's behavior towards us.  Knowing the difference between Spiritual persecution and consequences to actions is huge.  It's a very big deal.  In James 1:5 NASB I only recently noticed something that I hadn't before. "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."  It's easy to see how this can be implied to be only towards the believing, but if you look, it does apply to the unbelieveing as well.  The Spirit will and does grant wisdom towards the unbelieving in regards to the seed of faith that they have leading towards salvation.  If indeed we believe that which Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB "But a natural (unbelieving) person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned."  Without the work of the Spirit a person isn't going to understand the need for and the solution found in salvation in Christ Jesus alone.

The Gentiles are anyone who isn't a Jew.  Theres a hymn...of course...written by Edward Mote in 1834.  "The Solid Rock".  It's significant in it's relation to the words of Jesus when He spoke to all on building a house upon the sand vs building it upon the rock.

"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand; all other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on his unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, his covenant, his blood, support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul give way, he then is all my hope and stay.
When he shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in him be found: dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne."

Is Christ your solid rock?  We absolutely live in a world of uncertainty.  Technology gives the false impression of improving life when we have people also falling farther behind socially and economically.  The weather is full of uncertainty.  In reading about the end times we're told that beyond normal strange weather would be a sign.  We certainly have that.  

Is the prayer of your heart that He would make your paths straiight as it says in Proverbs? 
Is the prayer of your heart that He would find you obedient should He return today?
Is the prayer of your heart that He would have found you obedient if He called you home today?
Are you for certain of the truth about you that if you should die today that you would wake up in Heaven or would the truth be that you relied on your feelings and emotions rather than on salvation in Christ Jesus alone and you would wake up in Hell instead?

The Spirit will give you understanding in regards to salvation.  No matter how battered a reed we may seem to be...the Spirit can and will help us to understand the plan of salvation.  It was meant to be easy enough for a child to understand it.   Even in that statement comes the truth that God does impart wisdom if even the wisdom of a child towards any who would want to be saved.

Romans 10 (NASB) says "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”". 

In what do you hope?  Do you hope that 'the good of your life will outweigh the bad'?  God says that isn't enough.  In the final judgement of mankind all the billions and billions who stand before Jesus will see this happen and will all fall short.  All will be shown that nobody's 'good' is good enough to equal salvation in Christ. All will be shown that regardless of how much good they thought they lived by and did...without their name being written in the book of Life...that book where all who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus for salvation is found...if their name isn't there...they didn't cut it.  

Salvation in Christ is free.  It's not going to be the burden you may think it is going to be.  It's not going to be some crutch.  It's not going to be some harsh reality of things you can't do.  Truth is when the light of Christ dawns in your heart, you just won't want to do those things.  You will find you have a source of hope that others can't understand.  That others just won't get it.  Many songs, predominately rock songs, rap, etc, go on about the glories of what the Bible says is sin.  There's no glory in sin.  There's no party going on in Hell.  Just like Satan has no throne in Hell.  Satan's never been to Hell.  Hell, to demons, is a place of judgment by God.  It's where demons and people go who have rejected Christ.  Satan's never been there because God's plan doesn't include him going there.  

My hope is in Christ Jesus.  My hope is in the one who has the ability to even separate soul and spirit.  The writer of Hebrews says in Chapter 4 vs 12 "For the word of God (Jesus) is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.".

This is paramount as to why when Jesus separates people at the end of the book of Revelation that He asks no questions of anyone.  He is the Word.  He is able to know without a question asked.  It's why there's no need for a Prosecution and Defense in the court of God.  

In who do you hope?  Yourself?  Are you relying on things like luck or karma?  There's no such thing.  Never has been. Never will be. 

In Christ is everything.  I am no stranger to fear.  Social settings often wreck me for my own personal reasons.  Even if I know people I can and do shut down if I'm that uncomfortable with the situation. Many times it's been the Spirit of God who is at work in me that causes me to speak in various social settings.  I am often amazed at what comes out of my mouth when I know it's Him doing the speaking.  I'm always amazed at whe I'm lead to write each day. 

It's not up to us to choose our path.  We're to go where He leads.  E.W. Blandly wrote "Where He Leads Me".  "I can hear my Savior calling, I can hear my Savior calling, I can hear my Savior calling, "Take they cross and follow, follow Me.  Where He leads me I will follow, Where He leads me I will follow, Where He leads me I will follow, I'll go with Him, with Him all the way.".

While degrees and certifications mean something in this present world to someone, somewhere, in Heaven they are as meaningful as the gold asphalt in the streets of Heaven.  My hope is in Christ and I want people to see Christ in me.  I don't really want people to see me at all in the Spiritual sense.  

My hope is indeed only in Christ Jesus.  The path in which I walk I want to be the one that He chose for me, not the one I choose for me.  I have a prayer that's bigger than me.  I pray that God would grant me the ability to pay off my home so that I can help people.  Both in the physical sense and the spiritual sense.  I am a worker in His harvest and that harvest is people who need to see Jesus.  

Are you hoping in econonomics or health or any such thing?  Give it up.  It's a dead end.  Even the wealthy and healthy die.  When we live in obedience to Christ we're where we are supposed to be.  While it's wise to be prudent with money and our health, those things should never be our singular focus.  The Spirit never included a special sub-section in the Bible solely dedicated to either.  Biblically speaking it's always possible to either glorify God with our bodies and moneies or we can sin with them.  That choice is ours to make.  All things made by God can be twisted and perverted by sin and has been.   Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.  Set your mind on things above, not on the things of the Earth.  Whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Is your hope in Christ or in you?  You must decide.  Ask God, if you dare, to open your eyes by asking Him to show you where you stand today while indeed there is hope to turn to the Living God from a false hope in what the world has to offer.

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