Category: God’s Faithfulness

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 362

1 rule of God

April 16

Joy (cont.)

Concerning joy, the psalmist mentions one other thing of great importance. We don’t often think of it this way, but our relationship with God is immensely pleasurable. In the awareness of God’s presence with us, comes the awareness of what His presence brings to us. The Psalmist speaks of “eternal pleasures at God’s “right hand.”

Because of God’s loving relationship with us, He is moved to act in His power and authority on our behalf – to lead us, guide us, bless us, and surround us with His personal attention and affection. Those who truly know God, also know that He is not just to be seen as a King only to be strictly obeyed – He is an amazingly wonderful Person, in Whom we can delight, and find immense enjoyment.

pleasure-of-his-presence

And why not? He is good and kind, full of love, mercy and compassion, and abundantly eager to express these qualities towards those who draw near to Him. Why would we not find life’s greatest pleasure in the One Who made us, and Who designed us to respond so openly and delightfully to His Spirit? He is eager to love us, and the experience of connection to God’s unlimited and unconditional love fills us with an indescribable pleasure and joy.

The very essence of God’s love towards us is captured in the apostle’s words to the Romans:

open bible

The apostle is moved to remind us that in the midst of our most difficult circumstances, we are completely surrounded by God’s presence, and secured within His indescribable love. He has given us His sure promise:

“Surely I am with you always…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; see also Deuteronomy 31:6-8)

Even in the midst of great trial and persecution, there is a profound joy in knowing that He is with us, and doing something valuable within us (and for us), in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves…

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 330

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

February 19

“Let them rule (cont.)…”

God has sovereignly chosen to grant sovereignty as a gift to human beings. Humanity could not possibly have the ability to rule over this earth otherwise. Scripture is specific: From the very beginning, God chose to establish humanity as the ruler over His earthly creation.

But here is where it gets really interesting. The rightful ruler over this earth ought to be God God RulingHimself. After all, He alone is wise enough, compassionate enough, competent enough, and righteous enough to rule over everything perfectly. The Creator should rule over what He has created. It is certainly His intention to rule over this earth, and over all He created. It is His Kingly right to establish and uphold His Kingdom according to His character and nature. If it is His right, and it is His intention, we would think that He would do something much more obvious to provide for His rule on this earth.

We might think, for example, that He might set up some glorious throne, on the top of some tall mountain someplace, and make it possible for all of creation to see Him and honor Him in all His glory on His high and mighty throne. Or perhaps He might construct some glorious castle in the middle of some extravagantly beautiful island and invite all people to come and witness and worship His majestic splendor at any time.

But God chose a very different way of establishing His rule and reign. He sovereignly chose to create physical beings to occupy this physical earth, and He chose to give them the sovereign ability to rule over this physical world that He created.

Let us make man

Scripture is clear: God designed, God created, and then God delegated the role of rulership to His specially-formed creatures. In this role, God certainly intended to set up His rightful rule, on this physical earth, but He chose for it to happen through humanity. This may not seem quite appropriate, to us – but it was the Creator-King’s plan.

This fact is affirmed by the Psalmist. He observed the majesty of God’s creation, then was inspired to observe the mystery of God’s decision to place mankind in charge:

moon-and-stars

Humanity was created and formed in God’s image and likeness to facilitate an active resemblance of God’s Own character – to nurture God’s creation with justice, compassion, complete consideration, and attentive care for every aspect of His created work – just as God Himself would do.

Human beings were designed to physically interact with all of this physical creation, and to exercise God’s manner of compassion and care for the whole earth. But, as sovereign entities, human beings would have to choose to rule in this manner…

Eight – The Kingdom of God, p. 315

1 k of god ch 8

January 18

Entering and experiencing the Kingdom (cont.)…

Two) We must be poor in spirit. The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom – but its members express that Kingdom here on this physical earth. The fundamental foundation of the Kingdom of God is that God is the center of all things – and that all things must be recognized as coming from Him.

This is the essence behind the apostle’s inspired words:

romans 11 36

Those who are born from above possess this essential understanding: God is the Source of all that is desired, required, or needed.

The secret to life is found in the fact that Kingdom dwellers are dependent upon God for all things. Self-sufficiency and self-dependence are contrary to Kingdom existence. God, the King, is not seeking for His children to rely upon Him when they cannot provide for themselves – He is seeking for His children to rely upon Him in all things… and at all times. Faith is not just a part-time expression – it is a full-time expression of our hope and trust in God, the King. This truth is often lost in the midst of our independent and self-reliant culture.

Jesus put the principle this way:

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To be poor in spirit means that, from our spirits, we see our wealth and our provision coming only from God. We depend upon Him (and His timing) for everything we have, or need. God is not our reserve supply whenever we run out of what we can provide for ourselves – He is our total supply for all that we need at every moment of our lives.

Jesus is telling us that this attitude must be at the very heart of a Kingdom dweller.

This is the lesson Jesus was trying to get across to His disciples when He first sent them out to minister. He commissioned them to go, to preach and to heal, and He specifically told them:

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His point? “You are going out to do God’s work… so God will provide all that you need. Do not trust in your own ability to provide – trust in God’s ability to provide.”

Jesus was giving His disciples a life-lesson in what it means to live “poor in spirit.” Those who would possess the Kingdom of God must believe that they are fully possessed by the King, and must trust in His ability to provide all that is needed from His limitless supply…

Eight – The Kingdom of God, p. 301

1 K of God ch 8

December 20

Jesus and the King’s will (cont.)

Second, Isaiah’s focus is centered upon what the true King desires to do for those who will recommit themselves to Him. Even in the midst of retribution for their unfaithfulness, The King’s deep desire is to restore His people back to Himself, and to reinstitute His loving dominion over their lives. He desires to reinstate His divine favor, or blessing, to their lives. The King’s will is to heal and deliver, to release and restore, to fill and satisfy, and to return His people to their proper place as His loyal subjects, faithfully serving their One true King. He eagerly yearns to return them to a state of dwelling in His divine care and royal favor. This is the heart of the Creator King, and the proper state of His Kingdom.

the-prodigal-son

We are not surprised to find that this is the supreme focus of the King’s Own Son when He came to visit us. The Lord Jesus came and pronounced His connection with Isaiah’s promise. He came as the true fulfillment of Isaiah’s words to bring the proclamation of the King’s favor to all who would embrace Him. He was sent (anointed) by the true King to accomplish the King’s will and to usher in the King’s Kingdom. He did not come merely with a message, but He also came with the power to bring what that message proclaimed.

Wherever He found broken souls in oppression and suffering, Jesus offered the deliverance and healing of the true King. To those in abject poverty, He came to proclaim and implement a Kingly decree of hope and divine provision and treasure – for only a Kingly decree could ever change their destitute situation. To those in bondage and slavery, Jesus came to announce and impose the King’s pardon and liberation – for only a Kingly decree can ever release the captives from their chains and prisons. To those in darkness, blind to any hope to ever again see the light, He came to bring the light of God’s absolute truth and to restore sight – for only an Almighty Kingly decree could bring a future and a hope to the blind and hopeless. To those beaten and broken by life’s unrelenting cruelty, Jesus came to bind up the broken, to heal the hurting, and to restore life in the midst of certain death – for only a Kingly decree could ever change circumstances and mend the broken, infirmed and impaired.

Jesus heals  jesus healing man  jesus-healing-the-sick

Everything Jesus accomplished, gave us an authentic look into the heart and will of God for humanity. Whenever He spoke, Jesus’ words resonated the truth of God’s Heart, challenging all falsehood, misunderstanding, deception, and pretension.

Whenever He ministered, Jesus’ works personified the will of God’s heart, changing, reshaping, restoring, and renewing the destitute, broken and helpless.

From the ministry of Jesus, we learn the invaluable lesson that God is a God of infinite love, Who deeply cares about our broken condition – and He is able and willing to do something about our helpless situations and circumstances. Through Jesus, we see the very heart of God and discover the wondrous truth that, in the midst of our hurts and sorrows, the King’s will is to reach out and touch our hurt and bring healing and hope to our lives. We find this affirmed so clearly in the pages of the gospels!

Seven – The Gifts of The Spirit, p. 265

1 HS & Gifts

October 19

Faith (cont.)

The spiritual Gift of faith facilitates a prominent focus of Who God really is. The Gift is given to a few who find themselves drawn to, and enamored, with the supremacy of God. This Gift is concentrated in bringing God, as He really is, to the forefront of the thinking of all those in the Body of The Christ. Those with the Gift of faith have a way of constantly exercising a simple and supreme confidence in God. They also have a way of helping others to see that God really is bigger than the obstacles in front of us.

God is bigger

The Gift of faith stirs up, and enables, others to see that God really is a God without limitations. The Gift helps to assist others by bringing God out of the pages of the Bible and making Him real as the living Author and the Supreme character of those pages. Their faith puts people in touch with the fact that God really is almighty – and that He has every intention of doing what He is able to do on our behalf, for His glory!

The essence of the Gift of faith is contained in our Lord’s words:

mountain moving

Those with the Gift of faith live by these words. They exercise an inspiring faith that does not ignore the existence of mountains – it just never considers that they are impossible to move. They are able not only to see the mountains, but they also see God, and immediately recognize and embrace His power and supremacy. This kind of faith brings the power of God into direct focus for the entire Body of believers.

In summary, the Gift of faith is given to a few believers who possess the ability to trust God far beyond the “normal” capacity of faith.

The Gift brings God’s unlimited ability into prominent focus and exhibits an unfailing confidence and trust in God’s infinite power.

Those with this Gift are strongly compelled to trust God fully, and to stir up, and inspire faith in others.

They are looking for opportunities in impossibilities and have a robust capacity for stirring up a God-pleasing faith in themselves, and in others.

Those who possess the Gift of faith keep us ever mindful that God is fully able to do anything that He desires to do – and that the essence of our relationship with this Almighty God is our steadfast trust in Him, and in His unlimited care for us.

FAITHFUL

Six – Understanding the Holy Spirit, p. 206

1 HS Banner

July 30

The Aspects of the Fruit of The Spirit

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (from Galatians 5:22-23)

Faithfulness – is the demonstration of a stalwart companionship. The original root word used in this verse literally means, and is most often translated, “faith.” This opens the door for two possible understandings. The first, “faithfulness,” would refer to the quality of a person with the highest reliability and trustworthiness. A faithful person is a person in whom you can place your faith. It is a person who can be counted on to be loyal, to keep promises, and to be a constant help in times of need. Faithfulness translates to all the best qualities of friendship and companionship.

These are the qualities so readily found in God’s Own character. This is His direct promise to us in Scripture: “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8, 6; see also Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20) God is so faithful that even when we are faithless, He remains faithful to us (see 2 Timothy 2:13). He does not break His covenant or His promises – even if we do. He does not leave us or forsake us – even when we do. He is constantly, unswervingly faithful.

God is faithful 1

The second possibility of “faithfulness” is the idea that a faithful person is one who is faith-full, or full of God’s kind of faith. God’s faith is a faith of utter expectation. It is the kind of faith that speaks, and knows, that what is spoken will occur. It is the kind of faith that makes the impossible, possible. It is the kind of faith that knows the supreme connection between the power of God and the words of God – and displays an utmost confidence in both. Jesus certainly possessed this kind of faith. But He also wanted His disciples to possess it as well.

An interesting passage occurs in Mark. It is the account of the fig tree that Jesus cursed. When the disciples noticed what had happened, and Peter commented upon the quick results of Jesus’ curse, our Lord responded with an amazing statement: “”Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”” (Mark 11:22-23).

Moving-Mountains3

Beyond the amazing promise that verse 23 inspires within us, is verse 22.

We make note of two things: 1) “Have faith in God” is a command. It is a requirement for the promise about “moving mountains.” 2) The literal translation of verse 22 is “Have faith OF God.” With this in mind, we are to understand that Jesus is telling His disciples that the key to God’s immense power is faith – and it is a faith that is not only available, as God’s provision, to the disciples, but is mandatory to their success.

Jesus’ focus is upon the fact that they are commanded to be full of God’s kind of faith – and when they utilize that kind of faith, nothing will be impossible for them.

Either way we look at it, faithfulness is a quality of the divine character – and a vital quality of the fruit of God’s Spirit in us.