This is the One I’m looking for.

Isaiah 66:1-2
Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

‘Where is the place of my rest’, says the Lord. ‘I am the Lord of heaven and earth, what edifice or building could you possibly make that could even compare with what I have already?’ The Lord is not looking for what we can produce for Him out of the works of our hands; the dwelling place He desires and is looking for is a condition of the heart. “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Is that the condition of my heart and yours today? Are we what the Lord is looking for to be the place of His rest?
What is it to be poor? Does it mean you have to be homeless, destitute, without wealth or is it a condition of the heart wherein nothing is regarded of true value outside of God? The spiritually poor recognize that the world and all it’s riches are soon to pass away and that the only true treasures are those of heaven obtained through relationship and right standing with God. Often it is the people of low social and economic status that best grasp this concept.
Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and says, “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” If we desire to be the blessed of the Lord here is where our heart needs to be. This is an expanded definition of Isaiah 66:2. These are the righteous who yearn and have a heart after God.
What does it mean to have a contrite heart? It is interesting in looking up the meaning of this word in the Hebrew it literally means, “dust”. It spiritually means that your heart is reduced to the base elements, there is no regard, no significance, nothing of value in your spirit outside of God and His working in you. You are as dust before Him and the heart of the contrite is that God would somehow look upon the dust of our nothingness and fashion it into a vessel pleasing to Him. Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Finally Isaiah 57:15 says, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” Do we see here the place of His Holy dwelling? Why do we weep and mourn in our spirits? It is because we have become cognizant of how utterly destitute we are without His holy presence and we cry out for Him to fill us and reveal His presence within us.
Lastly, God looks for those who “tremble at His Word”. This is simply the fear of the Lord. It is those who regard God and His Word with such holy respect and reverence that they in no way wish to offend the Holy Spirit in action, word or deed. It is an attitude that truly gives God His due honor and respect.
2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us what God is looking for, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him…” Are we what God is looking for?

Blessings,
kent

In the Same Way

January 24, 2013

John 14:8-14
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

In the Same Way

When someone would ask us to show them Jesus, could we say, like Jesus did of the Father, “Don’t you know me? When you have seen me, you have seen Jesus. Don’t you believe that I am in Christ and Christ is in me?
Is Christ so evident us that we could make so bold a statement?
Jesus always acknowledged that the Father was greater than Him and yet His life and obedience so exemplified the Father in Him. All that He did, all that He spoke and all that He lived was the expression of the Father.
Would you say that your body is greater than your soul? I can’t see your soul or your spirit directly, but I know them as they are expressed through your body. Your body is the outward manifestation of your inward soul and personality. That likewise should be our relationship with Christ, even as it was with the Father and the Son. We are the body of Christ and outward expression of His glory and life within.
Jesus did have a will outside the Father. He had the ability to make decisions and choices that would not necessarily reflect the mind and will of the Father, but He could have reflected choices influenced by His feelings, His circumstances, His needs, His natural desires and temptations. Before Jesus ever died on that physical cross of Calvary, He was crucified to self will and purpose, His destiny and purpose in life was to manifest the Father to the world, to destroy the works of the devil and give eternal life to all that would believe. His destiny and the expression of who He came to be could never have been realized in Jesus if He had given Himself over to the same passions, lust, desire and self-will that we all have. None of that would have been the Father, because the Father is sinless and holy and Jesus reflected and exemplified all that He is.
I have heard a lot people say, “Will, I am only human, I could never be like Jesus.” That is not a mind that is conformed to the mind of Christ, because that is exactly what Christ has called us too.
Now, is that to say that we never sin? What does 1 John 1:4-9 say? “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
While John lets us know that we are not yet in a state of sinless character, he also makes it clear that we live in the light as Christ is in the light. In that light we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory. If we stumble or fail or lose our focus along the way we have the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of our sins when we confess them before Him. While we are still in the world and overcoming the world by the power of His life within us, we set our eyes upon the author and the finisher of our faith.
As Paul says in Philippians 3:12 -15, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
As mature Christians, our eyes and hearts are set steadfastly upon the sonship that we have in Christ, pressing into Him and conforming our heart to His in all of our ways. With faith and expectancy, each day we live our lives unto Him a living sacrifice, which is our reasonable service. It is the way Jesus lived His life before the Father; laying down His personal life, so that He could manifest the Father’s life. It is in that hope that we live our lives pressing into Christ so that one day we might realize the promise of Romans 8:29-30, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” We must comprehend that we also, like Jesus have been called to a destiny and purpose that can only be fully realized as we lose ourselves to Him. Even as 1 John 4:15-17, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
Beloved, Father has given us each a high and awesome calling that can only be obtained as we live out of the life of Christ and the love of God that indwells us. In the same way that the Father was in Jesus, Christ is in you, to be His expression in the earth.

Blessings,
kent

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