Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For the wisdom of this world is FOOLISHNESS with GOD

"... Knowledge puffeth up, but CHARITY edifieth (builds up)." 1 Corinthians 8: 1b

Do you "suffer" from pride? Because I sure do! This pride... well, it creeps in from all directions. I'm always amazed to see how often I fail to see my own pride. How often I tend to judge, or how often I tend to think well of myself (even when I don't want to).

Have you ever read through the first few chapters of 1 Corinthians... and come out with the understanding that you are nothing? 


I know it may sound demeaning when you look at it from man's point of view. We tend to want to be "somebody"... and for sure, don't consider ourselves as the "filth of the world", or worse yet, "the offscouring of ALL things". 1 Corinthians 4:13

But you know, God doesn't look at us as does man... man loves to come out looking as knowledgeable and smart as possible. If you think about it, we tend to put people on pedestals... social rank is quite important, as well as achievements that impress.  But what may look all sparkly and glowing to man... well, God considers it all... all of it... as foolishness and vanity.

" For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
 For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness
And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. " 
1 Corinthians 3:19, 20

And if a man thinks... in any way that he knows anything... well, God clearly lets us know in 1 Corinthians 8:2 that man knows nothing,

" And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, 
he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." 
1 Cor 8:2
And yet again, another reminder...

"For if a man think himself to be something, 
when he is nothing, 
he deceiveth himself." 
Galatians 6:3

And as I'm growing older, I realize how important it is that my 'knowledge of this world' would diminish... and that I would grow in the true knowledge of the LORD.  

Interestingly, even the things I have gained in the "wisdom of this world" ... has been given to me by God Himself. Everything I have...comes from Him.

"... what hast thou that thou didst not receive? 
Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?" 
1 Corinthians 4:7

I don't know about you, but I desire that I would put away the striving of this world and apply true knowledge... and increase in charity, or godly love.

Because while knowledge simply puffs up the self... love has a different application. 

Love builds up.

Oh, that I would be nothing... and Christ everything. 

May you desire  to grow in the knowledge of the Lord God.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Incline my HEART unto THY testimonies, and not to covetousness.

" Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be CONTENT with such things as you have." Hebrews 13:5a

Have you ever thought what it means for the heart to be content? Or maybe I should phrase it a bit different. Have you ever known overwhelming grace... resulting in a most thankful heart? Receiving something you didn't deserve?...

This past week I thought upon such questions as I was reading through Hebrews chapter 13. When I read verse 5, I thought upon the importance of  living my life in a manner that is well pleasing to the LORD.

I am to conduct myself... in speech and action... with a thankful heart. Covetousness ought not to be evident.

You know, when I think about coveting... I'll admit that I can easily brush it off and excuse it from my life. I can easily find myself saying, "Oh, I don't have a problem with coveting. I'm thankful with the Lord's provisions. I'm "ok" with what I have materially." It's easy to say all that when things go well...

So then I thought a bit more on what it means to covet.... because God surely commands us not to covet, for it is of great sin before Him. 

Covetousness refers to the heart being  in a state of discontentment... a heart that is unhappy or unthankful... 

... and it is evident in thought, words and actions.

Can I truly say that I have a content heart? Do my deeds or conversations truly reflect a calm and gracious spirit? Do I have a thankful that's without fear or anxiety of what today/tomorrow may bring? Do I depend totally upon my Father's perfect plan/will for me... even when I lack? 

Because with the exhortation... to be content with such things as we have... also comes a promise,

" I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." 
Hebrews 13:5b

It was only when I read further in Hebrews, that I came to understand a bit more of what makes a heart content.

" For it is a good thing that the heart be established with GRACE..." 
Hebrews 13:9

It is knowing that grace has been poured forth on us... for we've been given the forgiveness of sins...when we deserved nothing but wrath.

Therefore, a content heart is based on grace... it covets not..., knowing that God gave, out of His  fullness... grace upon grace, 

... filling us with all that we may ever need.... His Son, Jesus Christ... and life eternal.

" And of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." 
John 1:16

AND... it is not about wordly things, or things that are not lasting... but heavenly! Our hearts should be focused on the things above and not on the things here below (or earthly).

A heart that is content... is also thankful heart... resulting in a conduct that is well pleasing to the LORD. The heart rejoices when it is established with grace...

... continually offering the sacrifice of praise to God and giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

Lord, help me to put aside all manner of covetousness from my life, running after vain things and displeasing you... but rather, help me to be content with such things as you've given me... for indeed, I lack no good thing.

" Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. " 
Psalm 119:36

May your heart be established with the Father's grace... seeking to be content with such things as you have, boldly declaring; " The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear..."


Thursday, August 13, 2015

...He hath clothed me with the garments of SALVATION..

" For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

This week my thoughts were much on the precious death of the Lord Jesus... coming down from glory on high to take take upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh... and be made sin for us!

The Lord Jesus Christ took my place on the cross... that I might be made the rightousness of God ... in Him. 

Oh, worthy is the Lamb.... of ALL praise and honor!

I came upon a beautiful hymn that encouraged me to give glory to His name.  I hope it encourages you too.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. " Acts 4:12


His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!
author Chris Anderson

" I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness..." Isaiah 61:10

May you know the Saviour's sacrificial love for you today... and give Him praise.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"... He LOVED them to the end."

" If I then, your LORD and MASTER have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. " John 13:14

As I have started reading through the gospel of John for my daily Bible reading, I have been tremendously blessed by  it ...

 ... precious and comforting are the words of the Saviour's love for us. 

"Greater love hath no man than this, 
that a man lay down his life for his friends." 
John 15:13

Such sacrificial love... 

These past few months I've worked on memorizing Romans chapter 8. And since finishing the verses, I have looked for another passage that would strengthen my walk with the Saviour. For some reason I was drawn to memorize John 17, a chapter I've loved since childhood. 

The Lord's prayer to the Father always makes me teary... it never fails to remind me of Jesus' love for His disciples... and for  those of us who would eventually come to know Him. 

Reading the Lord's prayer has always brought about a renewed adoration for my Saviour... knowing He prayed for me with such tenderness. It comforts me to no end! 

Do you ever get touched when someone shows kindness to you... when someone cares for you? You know, those special times... when someone takes what matters most to you and bears the load with you. It's when you become so important to them, that they go the extra mile... to have patience and listen to you... to understand your fears, partake of your joys or simply make an effort to understand the trial you may be going through. It's those moments when you feel so loved... simply because someone has thought of you and placed your needs above theirs. 

Such love is only a minute glimpse into understanding the love our Lord Jesus had for us...

As much as we may feel loved and cared for by others from time to time, there are moments when even those that love us here on this earth...  fall short. We've all experienced it.

But it was never so with the Lord Jesus Christ... our need was always before Him. It was evident in His prayer to the Father...

He desired that I would be PROTECTED from the evil of this world.
He desired that I would be SANCTIFIED through the TRUTH.
He desired that I would have HIS JOY fulfilled in me.
HE desired that I would be ONE with HIM.
HE desired that HIS GLORY would be on me.

Oh, such love and tenderness... poured out moments before the Lord Jesus Christ would give His life as a ransom for my sins... for your sins.

As the Lord Jesus nears the end of His prayer to the Father, He asks the Father  a precious request... 

... a most precious request,

" Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, 
be with me where I am..." 
John 17:24

I'm always humbled that my life was of such utter importance to the Lord Jesus, that He would die for me... and with joy... endured the cross that I might dwell with Him for eternity.

Yes, the Lord Jesus was the perfect example of LOVE... the ONE who cared for and loved us... to the end! 

And He left us an example,

" Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; 
ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 
For I have given you an example, 
that ye should do as I have done to you. " 
John 13:13-15

Lord, help us to serve you and live for you... with humbleness and meekness of mind.... esteeming those around us above ourselves. 

May you be encouraged to follow the Lord's example... and love those around you a with servant's heart... all for His glory.