Separated unto Him

September 19, 2012

 

Separated unto Him


Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

We know from scripture what causes our separation from God.  It is sin.  We have been rich and fortunate in that God has revealed the way of reconciliation to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  While many of us have experienced His grace and have come into the general assembly of the Firstborn, there are those He is calling up higher.  Many of us have been content to love and serve Christ at a distance.  It is kind of like when the president comes to town and we go to see him.  He is our president and we may have voted for him, but how well do we really know him.   Can we really converse with him?  Can we share our heart and concerns with him?  Do we know him in a sense that we are his friend, that he can trust us, rely on us, use us for his purposes.  While all Americans have the same president, only a few really are in relationship with Him.  Many of us know Christ the same way.  Yeah, He’s my God. I acknowledge Him. I go to church.  I talk the Christian talk, at least around other Christians.  I give some of my money.  I play the part of a Christian, but do I really know my God?  Am I really in relationship with Him in that I know and sense His inner workings and dealings in my life.  2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, “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. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”  James 4:1-4 addresses the spiritual aspect of these wars, “From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” This is really a description of where a good part of the Christian world is today, us included.  Why is it every time I turn around and really see myself, I find my life is still all about me?  What is God looking for?  He is looking to show Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him!
We are living in a day and an hour when the chasm between good and evil is increasingly getting greater.   It is causing us all to evaluate our true values and priorities and make decisions upon which way we will choose to go.  God has been sending a purifying fire into many of our lives.  We are being brought out upon the threshing floor where the Lord is separating wheat and chaff in our lives.  There is a fire of separation burning in those who are called up into Him.  We may be experiencing intense trials and testings in our lives.  God is dealing with the motives and intents of our hearts.  He is touching the unsanctified areas of our lives where we haven’t yet relinquished and yielded to His Lordship.  He is bringing us to the valley of tough choices and decisions rather we will hold on to our idols and affections or rather we are willing to say, “Yes Lord, please take me higher.”  It is still sin and iniquity that separates us from God.  While God has made the provision through the blood of Christ for forgiveness, the choice of sin is still held in the palm of our will and desires.
The Word tells us that to whom much is given, much is required.  Are you and I a canadate for much or little?  God is separating a holy priesthood unto Himself to carry out His holy works, to perform the will and do of His good pleasure and to offer up spiritual sacrifices and praises to the honor and glory of His name.  He is looking for a holy and sanctified people.  He knows that we can’t change ourselves, but we can give Him our entire will and being, for Him to take us through the fires of sanctification and bring us into Holy presence and relationship.  He tells us to count the cost, for it will cost everything we hold dear in the earth.  For us to answer the high calling is to come into His death, for only through that death can we experience the resurrection life out of death.  Is He dealing with you through fire in your life?  Are you experiencing the purgings and dealings of the Holy Spirit as He is seeking to bring you and I to the end of us?   It can no longer be about religious names, traditions and games we play.  This is the day of separation unto Him and unto His holiness and high calling.  Will we hear it?  Will we answer and press in, or will we turn away?

Blessings,
kent

Grace Be Unto You

March 20, 2012

Grace Be Unto You


1 Corinthians 1:3
Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ.

This salutation and greeting it used around ten different times in the New Testament.  It is one of those phrases that might grow somewhat cliché’, but perhaps the Lord would have us take a little bit closer look at why this greeting was used.  I believe the Apostles used the salutation, because it was the grace of God that was the foundation and expression of God that gave all that were a part of the church hope and confidence in the call of God, the in-working of His life, the strength and the power to live godly lives.   One definition I read sums it up like this, “grace speaks of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.” If we take grace away from the Christian what do we have left except law and self-effort. We are right back to where we were before Christ.  It makes more sense when we read Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  It would be like me greeting you and saying, “what God has provided, be unto you.”  All that God has provided and that is working in us today as it is activated by our faith and confidence in Him, again a gift which He has provided, is the definition of grace.  When we say grace at a meal we are acknowledging and thanking God for what He has provided.  Grace is God’s provision for every need and in every circumstance.
When we speak grace to someone we are speaking a blessing of God’s provision and salvation working into their lives.  When we speak peace, we are speaking the blessed assurance that all God has said through His Word and through His Son Jesus Christ is right, true and shall come to pass.  We can take it to the bank and we can sleep through the night because of it.  It is the rest of God.
God would not have us take lightly the salutation contained in these scriptures.  They are the introduction and reminder that all things good flow through Him to those who believe and embrace His Word.  Even in the midst of great tribulation, suffering and persecution which many of the early Christians endured they could rest and take hope that the grace of God was sure and would bring them to their final destiny in Him.  “Christ in us” is the grace that is working out His exceeding great promises toward us that we might be partakers of the divine nature.
Today, and each day, “grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. “  Have a wonderful day and a wonderful life!

Blessings,
kent

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