Laud

Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

This was an easy Psalm Monday. The entire psalm is two verses and every word is wonderful. Two things struck me, though. First, this psalm is directed towards all nations and all people. Think of that. Imagine all the people of the world praising Yahweh, lauding Him with praise. Is that not a beautiful image? That day will come. We can meditate on it now, rolling that image around in our minds. All the peoples of the world will sing praises to the Lord, our God and we will praise Him in unison, many languages in harmony. Wow!

The other part of this psalm that spoke to me was, “the truth of the Lord is everlasting.” I was thinking, “All the people of the earth will know His truth, the fullness of truth.” We will have our questions answered and see truths we never perceived before. His truths are unchanging but still being revealed. Every day we can bask in more and more of His truth. We may find we didn’t have everything right but that is okay too. Our egos do not need to be right in the light of His revealed truth. It will be a joy just seeing more and more of His everlasting truth.

Of course, it is great news that His thoughts are loving and kind towards us. This is an important meditation. It might be the most important part of the psalm. We need this revelation of a God who is always loving and kind towards us. He is not hateful, angry, vengeful, or spiteful. He isn’t trying to kill us. He is salvation and grace. Hallelujah! Surely that is good news to a world struggling with any number of challenges. The ultimate answer is that God’s lovingkindness is great toward us, towards all of us; all people, all nations. That’s beyond good news. That’s great news and He is worthy of much praise. Praise the Lord, all you people. Shower Him, right now, with your message of thanksgiving. Worthy is the Lord!

Proven and True

2 Samuel 22: 31

God’s way is perfect! The promise of the Lord has proven to be true. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.

I really like when the Father starts showing me verse upon verse which combine to illuminate His teaching. Every verse this week has built upon the previous one. It began with “Blessing the Lord” in which we learned that believing God’s promises blesses Him. Today we arrive at a word of assurance.

We have been looking at a model for prayer. This model is dependent upon God’s Word and His promises. What if His promises are not meaningful or have expired? What if they are not full of God’s intent? If so, then the prayer model doesn’t work, and we have to go back to begging God to do something.

We needn’t worry though. God’s promises are tried and true. That have been tested and proven. That’s good news. I think, in this verse, we can also hear that His Word and His promises are places of refuge for us. We can rest securely in the promises of God. They are a shield but the key to the verse is that we must take refuge in Him. We must make God our place of refuge. We don’t run to the world for answers to our problems. We run to Him.

God is perfect but more importantly, His way is perfect, and His Word leads us to the perfect way. In Him and in His Word, we find the answers we need, and those answers lead us on the level and secure path. His promises never fail so we need only to retreat into those promises. Your Bible is a mighty weapon and a shield of faith and protection. It is the light burning in the sanctuary. All of His promises are, “Yes,” so renew yourself in His Word and find the strength, faith and refuge you need.

Spirit of Truth

John 14: 16 – 17

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.

Yesterday we saw the impact of truth on our lives. Because Jesus is the way to the Father, and he is the truth then the truth is the way to the Father. It is interesting, then, that as Jesus was about the leave planet earth, he made this statement about the Spirit of Truth to his followers.

As we go forward, I hope every time you hear “truth” you will think of Jesus saying, “I am the truth,” (John 14: 6). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth which makes perfect sense since he is the Spirit of Jesus. When Jesus left earth, he sent a helper. It turns out the helper he sent is truth, that is the Spirit of Truth. Ultimately, truth is an aide to you. I think that was apparent in yesterday’s Word of the Day. It is truth which leads us into divine integration. You and I are consistently assisted by truth because Jesus is the truth and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus told us that the Spirit was to be with us forever which means that we were designed to live in and with truth all the days of our lives including our life in eternity. Can you see, then, how offensive untruths are to the Kingdom of God and its inhabitants? There can be no falsehood, white lies or deception in the Kingdom. None!

The world does not know the Spirit and it can’t because it doesn’t know truth. Those who will not accept and acknowledge truth cannot know the Spirit. The Spirit and truth are inseparable. However, Jesus said you can both see him and know him. When you embrace truth, then you make a resting place for the Spirit of Truth. When you embrace the lie, he cannot dwell with you. In the beginning, the Spirit was hovering over the formless mass of the earth. He was brooding, waiting, prepared and ready for the Father to speak. When the Father spoke, the Spirit brought forth whatever Yahweh said.

The Spirit of Truth is hovering over you right now. He is prepared and listening. When you speak truth and faith, he becomes energized to operate in that space. What, do you imagine, is his response to lack of truth or outright falsehood. I imagine that he is stripped of his power in that space. He operates in the light, draws his power from the light. If we dwell in darkness and deception, I believe we handicap the Spirit of Truth. Life and love operate in and by truth. That is how the world was created. It can create in our lives too.

The Way

John 14: 6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

I was riding my bike this week when this verse came to me and at the same time, took on a whole new meaning. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus; we know that. Jesus said he is the way. Thus, he is the way to the Father. As I was riding, I heard it this way. First Yahweh brought to my mind that no one goes to the Father apart from Jesus. The next words that came to my mind were, “I am the truth.” Then this idea reverberated in my spirit, “No one goes to the Father apart from the truth.” “That’s interesting,” but, “what truth?” I queried.

There are many truths; truths about Jesus, truths about the Father. What truth is it that we need to comprehend in order to live our lives intertwined with the Father like Jesus modeled for us and taught? The answer resonated through my whole body and was as clear as it could be. It is the truth about ourselves that prevents us from knowing our Father and living with Him as He desires.

A lot of people know the truth about Jesus. They know he is the one promised, the Messiah. Many people know the truth about Yahweh, that He is the one and only true God, that He is the Almighty and the creator of all. They know these truths, but one can know them and yet remain separated from God. In fact, Satan knows this as do his followers. Knowing this truth will not set you free by itself. We acknowledge these truths yet remain distant and separated from the Father. This is true even of Christians. Why? It is because we have not accepted the truth about us.

In order to draw close to the Father, we have to spend time with Him. One of the main reasons we do not do so is because He reveals the truth about us to us and for many of us that is a very uncomfortable event. So, we pray in the religious way. We attend church but we never reveal our hearts fully to the Father and we certainly do not allow Him to reveal the true content of our hearts to us. When we acknowledge truth, when we embrace it, that is when it changes our lives. That is what Jesus meant when he said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8: 32). He meant that you would recognize and accept the truth and when you do, you shall be set free.

He is the truth so when you know him and know him in your own heart then truly you will taste a liberty that is unavailable to those who only intellectually accept facts about Jesus. When we allow Jesus to show us ultimate truths, especially truths about ourselves, then we will experience healing, transformation and complete integration with the Holy One. It is then that we can join with the Father in an unencumbered fashion. That is when we can truly become one with Him. Jesus is telling us today that the only way to the Father is through the truth. The lies and deceptions we have been telling ourselves and others work to keep us separated from God. Allow Jesus to speak truth into your heart for it is the only way to the Father. Jesus is the way; the way is through truth.

In Conclusion

Ephesians 4: 15

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ.

Here is the conclusion of Paul’s soliloquy. This verse of Ephesians 4 could well be called the topical sentence of all that comes after it. The verses which we have examined hang on this verse. This represents the theme of the chapter.

We are all supposed to be growing up into Jesus Christ himself. We are not only to grow into an image of him, but we are actually supposed to be growing up as part of him just like the branch is vitally integrated into the vine. This is our work as accomplishing Christians. We are supposed to be growing up. Christianity is more than a salvation prayer uttered once. It is life and it is a total way of life. It is Christ.

There are two essential elements that we need in order to grow into him as we should. They are not a mystery. They are in the verse above: love and truth. Only through love and truth can you grow into the integration with Christ that God has called you to. God is love (1 John 4: 8) and Jesus is the truth (John 14: 6), so of course we cannot do without them. You are going nowhere without love and truth.

Jesus said in John 15: 1-2I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes (cleanses) it, that it may bear more fruit.” That means you either bear good fruit or God prunes you away. And when you do bear good fruit he nurtures you so that you can bear even more good fruit. See please that truth is the true vine. Makes sense right? Love is the vine dresser. You must abide in truth, thereby abiding in Jesus (John 15:4) and you must allow love to guide your growth.

It all makes sense when you see it this way. The rest of the verses in Ephesian 4 follow from verse 15. Of course, we must keep our mouths from all unwholesome language. Of course, you are kind and gentle because love is kind and gentle. And finally, it all makes sense and becomes easy. If we will allow truth and love to guide us all day every day, we will become well-watered branches lovingly cared for by the Holy Gardener. Every other verse of the Bible folds in here. In this concept is your every need met, your healing, your protection and of course your salvation and redemption. It does not have to be difficult to understand any longer. Where there is love and truth, there is the real first family, the family of God.

Holiness & Truth

Ephesians 4: 25

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Now that we have put on the new self that Jesus bought for each of us, we are to interact with each other in the holiness that He has provided. Look, it is time we stopped acting like the devil, especially in our relations with one another. But, do you know what it takes for us to stop acting like the devil? It takes surrender. God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, has provided everything we need in order to overcome the world and the ways of the world, but we must receive it.

We need to bow our knees to our God. Yeah, He is my best friend, but He also is God Almighty, The Great I AM, the creator of heaven and earth. We need to humble ourselves and deal with our egos once and for all. Settle this question once and for all, who is going to be the God of your life, you or Yahweh? If you decide you are sincere about giving your life to the Lord, then you need to find humility and bow your knee and your ego to Him. When you sincerely yield to Him then He is able to help you to walk as Jesus did. But you are the one who must take the necessary steps. That is why Paul importuned the Ephesians to “put on the new self.” Even though Jesus had already bought and paid for the new self for each of us, Paul knew that it was going to take an act of will from each and every devotee of Christ to become Christ like.

Jesus will help you with every single thing in your life, but you must bury the old man. Let that old cuss die and quit digging him up each time someone bothers you a little or every time it is inconvenient to walk in truth and holiness. Make a commitment that you are going to live, walk, breathe and speak in holiness and truth.

Lastly, if we are in Christ Jesus, then everything you do to or for your brother, you have done to Jesus because we are all of one body, His. How then do you sin against yourself to your benefit? You cannot. And when you are kind and generous to your brother, you have blessed yourself. Let us put away the old self and begin to really see the world and each other through the eyes of our dear Lord.

Self-inflicted Injury

Ephesians 4: 25

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Now that we have put on the new self that Jesus bought for each of us, we are to interact with each other in the holiness that He has provided. Look, it is time we stopped acting like the devil, especially in our relations with one another. But, do you know what it takes for us to stop acting like the devil? It takes surrender. God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, has provided everything we need in order to overcome the world and the ways of the world, but we have to receive it.

We need to bow our knees to our God. Yeah, He is my best friend, but He also is God Almighty, The Great I AM, the creator of heaven and earth. We need to humble ourselves and deal with our egos once and for all. Settle this question once and for all, who is going to be the God of your life, you or Yahweh? If you decide you are sincere about giving your life to the Lord, then you need to find humility and bow your knee and your ego to Him. When you sincerely yield to Him then He is able to help you to walk as Jesus did. But you are the one who must take the necessary steps. That is why Paul importuned the Ephesians to “put on the new self.” Even though Jesus had already bought and paid for the new self for each of us, Paul knew that it was going to take an act of will from each and every devotee of Christ to become Christ like.

Jesus will help you with every single thing in your life but you must bury the old man. Let that old cuss die and quit digging him up each time someone bothers you a little or every time it is inconvenient to walk in truth and holiness. Make a commitment that you are going to live, walk, breathe and speak in holiness and truth.

Lastly, if we are in Christ Jesus, then everything you do to or for your brother, you have done to Jesus because we are all of one body, His. How then do you sin against yourself to your benefit? You cannot. And when you are kind and generous to your brother, you have blessed yourself. Let us put away the old self and begin to really see the world and each other through the eyes of our dear Lord.