Thursday, May 12, 2005

Boasting in the beauty of his holiness

"The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done"

" This is what the Lord says: "Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truely know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things." I the Lord have spoken." A time is coming", says the Lord, " when I will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit....." Jeremiah 9:23-25

Jesus has clearly warned "Unless your righteousness surpasses (exceeds) that of the pharisees, YOU CAN NOT ENTER the kingdom of God at all." (Matthew 5:20)

Jesus said: "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'Never murder. Whoever murders will answer for it in court.' But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire. "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember there that another believer has something against you, leave your gift at the altar. First go away and make peace with that person. Then come back and offer your gift. "Make peace quickly with your opponent while you are on the way to court with him. Otherwise, he will hand you over to the judge. Then the judge will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison. I can guarantee this truth: You will never get out until you pay every penny of your fine. "You have heard that it was said, 'Never commit adultery.' But I can guarantee that whoever looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery in his heart. "So if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have all of it thrown into hell. And if your right hand leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have all of it go into hell. "It has also been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice.' But I can guarantee that any man who divorces his wife for any reason other than unfaithfulness makes her look as though she has committed adultery. Whoever marries a woman divorced in this way makes himself look as though he has committed adultery. "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'Never break your oath, but give to the Lord what you swore in an oath to give him.' But I tell you don't swear an oath at all. Don't swear an oath by heaven, which is God's throne, or by the earth, which is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, which is the city of the great King. And don't swear an oath by your head. After all, you cannot make one hair black or white. Simply say yes or no. Anything more than that comes from the evil one. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to oppose an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well. If someone wants to sue you in order to take your shirt, let him have your coat too. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to everyone who asks you for something. Don't turn anyone away who wants to borrow something from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that! That is why you must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. "(Matthew5:21-46)

Your ways are not my ways, your thoughts are higher than mine oh Lord!

The thoughts, attitudes, motives and heart of Jesus super-exceeded any outward, external deed or "goodness" that any human ever will do or has ever accomplished. The only righteousness that exceeded that of the pharisees was the righteousness of Jesus, who was WITHOUT sin. He was fully human, like all of his own creation and yet perfect in full and complete dependence on the Father and obedience to His will. (Hebrews 2) Therefore, the only one worthy and acceptable of entering the Kingdom of God was the son of God.

Jesus your life, death and resurrection are my ONLY hope of entering the life and rest of ONLY hope of acceptance and favor with God. Hallelujah! Jesus you alone are my source of righteousness. Jesus you alone are my covering and access to the Holy of Holies. You are the way, the truth and the life. Only through you can I come boldly as a child to my Father's lap. What joy! What freedom! What amazing restoration! You are my gate to lush green pastures and to life in all it's fullness. You are my door to the kingdom of God!

"How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jeus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of the Son, and our sins are forgiven. "Ephesians1:1-7

" Tell me, you who want to be under the law, don't you hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and the other by a free woman. But the one by the slave was born according to the flesh, while the one by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery--this is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, O barren woman who does not give birth. Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as then the child born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so also now. But what does the Scripture say? Throw out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never inherit with the son of the free woman. Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman." Galations 4:21-31

"The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature.But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His only Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destryed sin's control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us (who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit)." Romans 8:3,4

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. My belief and trust in you will show itself through dependence on and obedience to your Holy Spirit.

"And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6

" For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh--although I once had confidence in the flesh too. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, persecuting the church; as to the righteousness that is in the law, blameless. But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ--the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. "Philippians 3: 3:14

Oh my sweet Jesus, you are my righteousness and I openly sing your praises!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The law

"Yes, you know what He wants; you know right from wrong because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a beacon for the lost in darkness without God. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that in God's law you have complete knowledge and truth."
Romans 2:18-20

"They want to be experts in Moses' Teachings. However, they don't understand what they're talking about or the things about which they speak so confidently. We know that Moses' Teachings are good if they are used as they were intended to be used. For example, a person must realize that laws are not intended for people who have God's approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people. Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings. Moses' Teachings were intended to be used in agreement (partnership) with the Good News that contains the glory of the blessed God. I was entrusted with that Good News."
1 Timothy 1:7-11

"Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for it's purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to bring the entire world into judgement before God. For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it. But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight - not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the scriptures long ago. We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done." Romans 3:19-22

"Certainly, there is a curse on all who rely on their own efforts to live according to a set of standards because Scripture says, "Whoever doesn't obey everything that is written in Moses' Teachings is cursed." No one receives God's approval by obeying the law's standards since, "The person who has God's approval will live by faith." Laws have nothing to do with faith, but, "Whoever obeys laws will live because of the laws he obeys." Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that God's laws bring by becoming cursed instead of us. Scripture says, "Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed." Christ paid the price so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to all the people of the world through Jesus Christ and we would receive the promised Spirit through faith......... What, then, is the purpose of the laws given to Moses? They were added to identify what wrongdoing is........If those laws could give us life, then certainly we would receive God's approval because we obeyed them. But Scripture states that the whole world is controlled by the power of sin. Therefore, a promise based on faith in Jesus Christ could be given to those who believe. We were kept under control by Moses' laws until this faith came. We were under their control until this faith which was about to come would be revealed. Before Christ came, Moses' laws served as our guardian. Christ came so that we could receive God's approval by faith. But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the control of a guardian. You are all God's children by believing in Christ Jesus." Galations 3:10-14, 19, 21-26

Monday, May 09, 2005


"Sing for joy, Daughter Zion; shout loudly, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is among you; you need no longer fear harm. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:14-17
Joy is an emotion unfamiliar to the territory of fear. Joy is extravegant. Fear is constricting. Under the bondage of fear I have even found myself suspicious of the joyful. One of the most
incredible aspects of this daily deliverence from fear is the bubble of joy finding its way out of my heart. I'm both surprised and delighted. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!

"The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison. He has sent me to proclaim that the time has come when the LORD will save his people and defeat their enemies. He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give to those who mourn in Zion Joy and gladness instead of grief, a song of praise instead of sorrow. They will be like trees that the LORD himself has planted. They will all do what is right, and God will be praised for what he has done.
Isaiah 61:1-3
The following is a pharaphrase of a message Mike Bickle gave on moving from duty to enjoyment. It is the perfect portrait of the sweet joy I'm discovering in the heart of my Saviour and King:
"All that Jesus taught us was to lead us to joyful freedom.The greatest commandment given to us to love as He loved is an invitation to joy. "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:10-11
Holiness and Gladness are not a contradiction. Joy is an expression of the Lord's Holiness:" You have been a lover of righteousness and a hater of evil: and so God, your God, has put the oil of joy on your head, lifting you high over all other kings"Psalm 45:7 God is not shocked when our flesh is weak. Therefore he is not shattered and withdrawn from us, withholding approval and affection. No, he exposes our immaturity that he may discipline and train us because He has a heart of gladness towards us. "Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now, and forever. Amen." Jude 1:24-25 We must behold Him in this light so that we will run to Him in our failures rather than away from Him. The revelation of the Father's tender love and enjoyment of us awakens our hearts. His songs of love and joy over us quiet our inner storms of insecurity, rejection, striving, uncertainty and fear. We are being prepared as a bride for the wedding feast of the lamb. ( A time of great celebration and rejoicing! ) My bridegroom King will be glad on His wedding day and He rejoices in anticipation. He calls me to rejoice with Him! "A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great! Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah--because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign! Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself." Revelations 19:5-7

"Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the LORD, families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD is King!" I Chronicles 16:27 -31