Do You Know It? Then Live It!

“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. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you.  In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.” – Philippians 3:12-16.

These are verses with which I am very familiar…at least 12-14. These are often quoted and like all of Yahweh’s word have a good message. But, as I was reading this morning, verse 16 is what really popped out at me. I’ve read it before…but WOW! “In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.” In other words, do you know it? Then live it! Once we get the truth of His word inside of us, we need to walk it out.

While none of us has reached the goal, as we are all works in progress, we as believers should be striving to imitate our Master, and allowing Him to transform us more and more into His image. As we come to understand more and more truth from Yahweh’s word, we should be putting it into practice. It should become more and more evident in our lives. As we pursue holiness and walk out our salvation with fear and trembling we need to be doers of the word and not hearers only. He has given us the rule book to guide us in our race. Grasp it…get hold of it…run the race.

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” – 2 Timothy 2:3-5

Let’s live it for His glory!

Word

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:14-17

As I was pondering the Word of God over the last few days, not any particular scripture, but just the infallibility of His Word, several things came to mind. First what came to me is the beautiful continuity between the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”. It saddens me when I hear people say that the old and the new testaments contradict one another. Take out the uninspired page in your bible and read His Word as one complete, whole unit. Some people think the Old Testament is not valid today because they think Jesus came to replace what was written there. Some people think the New Testament is not valid because it contradicts the Old Testament. Well…both camps should brush up on their interpretation of the Scriptures. If people really think God contradicts Himself in His Word, their interpretation is what is in error. The Old Testament is the firm foundation on which everything Godly is built. The New Testament brings deeper meaning and more clarity to the foundation. Notice verse 15 in the Scripture above…”And you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.” What sacred Scriptures is Paul talking about? The only Scripture that Paul and Timothy had was the “Old Testament”. The new had not yet been written. And yet they are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ…Think on that for a few moments. Another confirmation that I keep returning to is straight from the mouth of Yeshua Himself…”Don’t assume I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill (to carry out, or bring to realization, as a prophecy or promise). For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) And finally, did you know that the “New Testament” has more than 1,000 quotes, either direct or partial, from the “Old Testament”? It seems to me that the “New Testament” writers wanted to make sure that their readers knew the firm foundation on which their faith was built.

A second thing that came to me was the surety, or confidence, that we can have in Yahweh and His Word. We can have this assurance because our Most High God is eternal…”Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God. (Psalm 90:1-2)…and He does not change…”God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes his mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19) His Word is forever as well…”The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.” Forever…such an interesting word…what is forever? In the Hebrew, the word ‘olam’ is used over 300 times to indicate indefinite continuance into the very distant future. Some synonyms in English are: always, endlessly, eternally, permanently, evermore, and perpetually. Interesting…forever means………forever. The Word of our God remains…FOREVER! “Lord, Your Word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)

Thirdly, I realized how thankful I am to have His Word to guide me. He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) His Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105) “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement allow you to live in harmony with one another, according to the command of Christ Jesus, so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with a united mind and voice.” (Romans 15:4-6)

Chosen

Sun Beams

Sun Beams (Photo credit: fdecomite)

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”—Jeremiah 1:5

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”—Ephesians 1:4-6

Have you ever stopped to meditate on these verses? Have you ever wondered why…? Why did Yahweh choose Mary to be the mother of Yeshua? What was so special about her? Why did Yahweh choose Abraham… Moses… David… Peter… Paul…etc.? What was so special about them? Why did Yahweh choose me? What’s so special about me? And here’s the answer…because He could. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. Not because any of us are more special than anyone else (Romans 3:23), but because He shows mercy to whom He will show mercy and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15).

Yahweh chose us, we didn’t choose Him (John 15:16). He chose His before the foundation of the world…out of His sovereign grace…according to His will. Yahweh’s elect are chosen before they are born (before they do any good or evil–Romans 9:11)…not because of anything they would do in the future, not because of human will or effort, but because of Yahweh’s mercy (Romans 9:16).

And why are we called? Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 1:4 tells us we were chosen, “to be holy and blameless in His sight.” John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” Because He has called us, redeemed us, justified us, we conform our lives to Him. We bring Him glory.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in this world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”–2 Peter 1:3-11

Carnally Minded or Spiritually Minded?

light behind dark tunnel of trees

I have finally found where the word says we are not subject to God’s law. Here is the entire passage of Romans 8:1-11. But pay special attention to verse 7.

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You however, are not it the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. If you are led by the Holy Spirit, He will not lead you anywhere that is contrary to God’s Word. If you are being led to something against God’s Word, check the spirit that is leading you.