“that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3 KJV. These words express the desire of every true child of God. Which is, to have others know and experience the sweet spiritual fellowship we have with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. John said this was the reason that he wrote and testified the things he did. He wanted them to have the same joy of true fellowship with the Father as he did. If we truly enjoy our personal relationship and fellowship with God, then we also will desire for others to enjoy the same in their lives. This is why we tell others of Jesus and what He can do in their lives. This is why we become His witnesses. This is why we pray for lost souls to be saved. All so that we can be used of God to reach those in spiritual need with this blessed Good News and see their lives transformed for God’s glory! Let us follow the example John gives us here and declare with our lips and with our lives the things that God has shown us and spoken to us. Let us live with a desire for others to know Him as we do.
“For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is My brother, and My sister, and mother.” Mark 3:35 KJV. In this passage Jesus is describing how spiritual relationship is identified. He had already made clear, in John 3, that we must be born again. We must experience a spiritual rebirth which comes when we repent of sin and put our faith in Him as Saviour and Lord of our lives. That begins our new life in the family of God. But then, to identify those who are in the family, Jesus says something that shocks most religious people today! He says, “It is those who DO God’s will”. In other words, only those who OBEY what God tells us to do are to be identified as having this spiritual relationship. One of the saddest things happening in religion today, is that many people are told that obedience doesn’t matter. Many religious leaders imply that as long as you believe it doesn’t matter very much what you do??? But Jesus made it very clear. It is not those who claim to believe and still live a life of sin. It is not those who ignore the commands of God’s Word. It is only those who DO the will of God. Let us be those obedient children of God whose lives testify that we belong to Him and bring glory to our Lord.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:14 KJV. As the Apostle Peter is writing and warning of that final day, he admonishes us not only to look for that day, but to live at all times so that we are prepared. He is not saying the smooth things that most religious people today want to hear. He is reminding them that you must have a real, genuine relationship with Christ. Being ‘found of Him’ means we are living daily in an abiding relationship. And through that relationship you will have the peace of God in your heart. But then, how can we live in peace and abide in Christ, if our lives are continually spotted by sin? How can we be prepared for His coming unless we are trying to please God and live a holy life? Back in verse 11, he says, “Seeing that all the things of this world will be dissolved, what kind of person ought you to be in consecrated and holy behavior and godly living?”(AMP). The point Peter is trying to get across is that we dare not take these things lightly as most in religion are doing today! We must strive to live holy lives that please God. Let us be honest with God’s Word and realize, that unless we are striving to please God and walk in holiness, we will not be ready for that great day.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise…” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. Many people in this world make empty promises. They have neither the determination nor the power to fulfill the promises they make. Promises are often made to help someone feel better with no thought of actually carrying through with them. And this is why promises mean so little when made by men. But when God makes a promise it is altogether different! Every promise in God’s Word is sure. They are forever settled in Heaven. We may not understand all of them or even believe that they are true, but every promise God made will be fulfilled. The fact that time intervenes between the spoken promise and it’s fulfillment means nothing. God’s promises rest upon His unfailing character. They are true because He is true and it is impossible for Him to lie. While men lack the power to fulfill their word, God has all the power necessary to fulfill every word He has spoken. So let us be confident, that we can rest our souls upon the promises of God! To stand upon His promises is the safest place anyone can ever stand.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”Habakkuk 3:17-18 KJV. This passage is truly amazing when we consider the context in which it was written. It was clear to Habakkuk that difficult days were ahead for the nation. Verse 17 describes some of the troubles that were anticipated. But then, he has such supreme confidence in God and His sustaining power, that he says, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord…!” The prophet understood what many today fail to grasp. And that is, that our God is bigger than any problem or difficulty that can ever come our way! He knew that the joy he found in God was greater than any sorrow or heartache this life could bring. Today, as we face a world that is rapidly becoming more ungodly, as the pressures upon God’s true people are increasing, let us be confident in our God! Let us know that the joy we find in Jesus Christ is far greater than any trouble this world can ever bring against us. Because greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14 KJV. In some ways, the message God gave to the prophet Habakkuk was a very disturbing one. It told of days of great trouble ahead, when God would use their enemies to correct backslidden Israel. There was going to be times of great suffering, because the consequences of sin are very real. But how merciful it was, for God to give them a hope even in the midst of those dark days. Today, there are many who believe a time of reckoning is close at hand. As a nation and world, we cannot continue long in the direction we are going. We will reap what we have sown. But let us never lose sight of this truth, that God is still the Almighty Sovereign God, and ultimately He will be glorified in this world! Our job is not to figure out all the details, as many in religion waste their time trying to do. Our job is to cooperate with God in filling the earth with the knowledge of His glory! And that knowledge the world needs is the message of Jesus Christ crucified and risen! Let us answer His call to spread the Good News and then rest in the blessed assurance that God is going to work out the details according to His perfect will. And He will be glorified.
“Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psalm 73:24 KJV. In many ways, this is the experience of every child of God. When we are truly born again we start following Jesus. We begin to learn what He has said about how we are supposed to live and we allow His Words to guide us. Every time we have a question about where to go or what to do, we turn to Christ, Who is our Counselor and Guide. We get into His Word to find out what He says. We do not go to the world or to ungodly people for counsel about spiritual life. When the answer does not come quickly we wait upon Him. Sometimes we go to Godly, spiritually mature people to help us understand what God’s Word is saying. Sometimes God speaks to us through a sermon or lesson. But the point is, we choose to open our hearts and minds to receive counsel from God. And we do this because faith in God’s Word tells us that ‘it is not in man to direct his own steps’. We need a Guide and Counselor! If we try to follow our own ways we will always end up in heartache and ruin. But if we are led by Jesus, our path will lead to glory where we will be received by Him.
“But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Psalm 73:2-3 KJV. In this psalm the writer is speaking of a time in his life when he got his eyes off of God and began to focus on ungodly men. As he looked, he became disillusioned, which always happens when we see things without God in the picture. To him, it appeared that they were benefiting from a life of sin. They were physically healthy and materially prosperous. In his eyes they didn’t have troubles like others. They spoke however they desired and there seemed to be no consequences. And with his focus on them, he thought that his own efforts to serve God seemed to be in vain. But let us realize, that all of this was an illusion! He was not seeing things correctly because he lost his vision of God. And this is still so common in our world today. Believers get their eyes off of Jesus and on people and they are not able to see things as they are. They begin to imagine that people are better off living their own selfish and sinful lives. Almost as if the wages of sin are better than those of serving God. So let us be careful that we do not lose our true focus, which should always be on Jesus. No matter how things appear, the truth remains, ‘the wages of sin is death’.
“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a Light unto me.” Micah 7:8 KJV. As we fight this good fight of faith, we should realize that there are very real spiritual enemies who oppose us. And anytime a child of God falls, our enemies are quick to rejoice, because they think that they are going to win. But for God’s true children, failure is not final. We may stumble. We may fall for a moment. This is not because we are living in sin, but because we still live in a fleshy body and we do not have perfect knowledge. Many times it is because we don’t know our own weakness and don’t depend upon Christ as we should. But the point is, by God’s grace we do not stay down! We have a Mighty God and Saviour, Who lifts us up and rescues us, just like He did with Peter when He was sinking. And because of Jesus, we can rise up from the darkness of failure. We can keep on walking in His light. And as we stay humble and learn to always abide in Christ, we discover that we do not have to continue falling. Thank God for His mercies! There is hope for the struggling soul. If we fall, may our attitude be, “Through Christ, I will arise!” If we go through a time of darkness, let us be sure, “The Lord will be a Light unto me”.
“But He knoweth the way that I take: When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10 KJV. Job was going through one of the worst trials anyone has ever gone through. And as he sought God, it seemed to him that God was nowhere to be found. He went forward and backward. He looked on the right and left. But all seemed dark to him. And yet, even in his deep emotional distress, Job still had the faith to know that God was watching him! He believed that God knew everything he was going through and somehow would work it all for good. We should recognize that there will be times in our spiritual experience, that it feels like we are walking alone. We seek God and long to feel the comfort of His presence but seem unable to find Him. These times are when we must hold on and walk by faith and not by sight, and certainly not by our feelings. God allows these times because He cherishes our faith in Him and ultimately He will bring us through stronger and closer to Him, ‘as pure gold tried in the furnace’. Perhaps you may be walking through a very dark place? Maybe you have felt like Job and wondered, “God where are You?” But brother or sister, hold on! Weeping lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning. This trial will not last forever. Brighter days are sweetly dawning.