WHAT FOUNDATION HAVE YOU BUILT UPON?

Matthew 7:24 – Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.

True grace is an absolute revelation of the total work of Christ through the cross. By faith, I receive His work on my behalf. By allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ’s life through me it reveals that I am a wise person. The Holy Spirit only builds upon the words of Jesus. In His messages, Jesus warns us against the flesh and the devil. Both the flesh and the devil want to hinder the life of the true conqueror, Jesus, from being manifested through believers. Believers are members of His body, joined together and representing Jesus’ will in offering to an unregenerate world, “reconciliation” through the death/resurrection process accomplished by the Holy Spirit. 

What wonderful grace we have been given. My efforts are worthless; my rest is in His finished work. Yet, my awesome responsibility is to allow the Holy Spirit complete control of my spirit, soul, and body for the glory of God. A responsibility is to share with others this marvelous grace with the hope that they too will receive the love of the Father, and be transformed by His power becoming part of filling the earth and heaven with the “one new man,” even Christ. One day we will see the King, but the question today should be; is the King being seen in me?

In our passage for today, Jesus is addressing the Jewish covenant people. Their lives had been shaky for centuries as they built contrary to Moses instructions. Now Jesus had appeared to give them a new foundation “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He came to fulfill the law and thus provide a better foundation than that of Moses. Jesus came to build His house, built upon His words. The building process is both hearing His words and acting on His words. This cannot be done in our own efforts, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit which the Lord sent after the cross and His resurrection.  

Father, I ask You to help me evaluate how I am building. I pray for You to work in my heart to only build on the foundation Christ has given: His words and acting on those words daily.

GOD SETS APART THE GODLY

Psalm 4:3 – Know the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself

The Palmist asked three questions in verse 2: “O sons of men, how long will My honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?” These are questions that could be asked of people today. Those who represent the God of righteousness are seen as a reproach by a secular culture that has rejected the principles of right for worthless and deceptive norms.

We live in a time of “virtual reality shows,” that in truth, are unreality at its highest. Culture is filled with a love for fantasy and a disdain for truth. The greater issue is how individuals lie to themselves. It is difficult to face the truth, but only truth can bring freedom and destroy deceptive thinking. True repentance comes when one faces the truth or reality of where their life is really at.

The great lie is that we don’t need God. In the garden, it was the lie the serpent used to deceive Eve. It remains an effective lie for multitudes. The goal of Secular Humanism has been to totally remove God from culture. The “I’m okay, you’re okay” is not okay philosophy. Secularism is rooted in a lie. The American society has become a bigger loser because she has believed the lies of the secularists. Of course, this manifests in the lives of millions of individuals.

It is difficult to face reality at times. It is hard to hear truth when spoken about areas of one’s own life that are bound by a lie. Paul, when trying to help the Galatians asked them this question; “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?”(Galatians 4:16). Later, Paul spoke this word to the Galatians, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever man sows, that he shall also reap” (Galatians 6:7). As a good friend of mine once said, “Pay day can be delayed, but not forever denied.” 

At present, nations, churches, and families face a crisis of not requiring much accountability. Bailouts, subsidies, and entitlements are a way of life. The truth is this, it cannot be sustained. Reality will set in and great loss will follow.

The Lord has set apart the godly for Himself. There is a cry going out from the godly. It is a cry for repentance, the changing of the mind, a cry for reality, the turning from fantasy. It begins with each individual taking stock of their affairs. To be set apart by the Lord requires a yielding to the Spirit of God. It is the Holy Spirit alone that produces righteousness. Ask for His power to think clearly, face reality, and be established in godliness.  

Father, I ask to be empowered, to throw away what is worthless and embrace what You deem valuable. Use me to help others to be set apart for Your glory by dealing and facing reality.

AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT

John 5:27 – He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

The Father planned from the beginning of creation for His creation man to rule with Him. Jesus is called the Son of Man because He came in human form through the virgin birth. When he was anointed with the Holy Spirit as He came up out of the water from His baptism, the Father gave Him authority to execute judgment. He operated in His authority in a number of ways.

The people were astonished at His teachings because He taught differently than the religious leaders. He taught with authority (Matthew 7:29). The people also observed that His teachings were followed by supernatural evidence. “They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him’” (Mark 1:27). He always seemed to have the correct answer for His accusers. At the end of His ministry before enduring the cross, He judged the evil religious leaders as He stood in the Temple, which was the place of the Government of God (Matthew 23:13-39).

It was a “man” that did all these things. He is God, but in human form. In His ascension He is seated at the right hand of God. The right side is the place of judgment. He reigns as God’s man, David’s greater son upon the eternal throne of heaven. What a mighty God we serve!

It is important for believers to think upon these things. Jesus’ disciples were reminded everyday as they walked with Him and watched the work of the Holy Spirit minister through Jesus’ life. They too experienced His authority to judge. They watched Him cast out demons and heal the sick. Then, they experienced His power to judge the kingdom of darkness as they were sent out to heal the sick and given of His authority over demons (Luke 9 and 10).

Today, the Son of God continues to pour out His Holy Spirit upon those who have received His kingdom authority in their lives. The same Holy Spirit is working through believers to administer God’s judgments in the earth. Judgment on the kingdom of darkness, judgment on false teaching, misuse of authority, and judgment in the nations, as the Lord arranges things for His own eternal purposes.

Father, I thank You for judging my sin on the cross through Your Son. Thank You for giving me power to rule over sin and darkness. I thank You for the authority to execute the spoken word of God in order to see Your kingdom purposes established.  

FROM DEATH INTO LIFE

John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

We learned yesterday that all judgment has been given to the Son. John 5:24 is an example of that judgment which Jesus possesses. Jesus emphatically decrees the one who hears His word and believes what they heard has eternal life. He decrees that they do not come into judgment, but pass out of death into life. What an interesting way Jesus has of saying they are saved from eternal damnation.

Jesus creates the law of grace and judges the one who hears His word; the one who believes the Father sent Jesus “has eternal life.” Eternal life in Christ is a state of being. I was lost, but now I am found. Daily I thank the Lord, “I have eternal life,” not going to have it, but indeed I now have it because Jesus has judged it to be so. 

The believer “has passed out of death into life.” Our daily walk is to be founded in hearing and believing God. Daily, the believer grows in their relationship with their Lord by drawing from the eternal life in them.  It is learning the process of discipleship. The believer learns how to walk in their salvation by not choosing death, but life in the everyday situations they encounter.

Conversion is the process of rejecting the old ways of thinking and responding through the life supplied by the Holy Spirit. The old ways came from our experiences while we lived in the death state, lost in our sins. Because we have passed out of that state of death, we are now to draw from His life in us by the Holy Spirit. Think life and not death. Draw from the eternal life that is in you, not the old life and habits from which you have passed.

Father, I have heard the word of Jesus. And I believe you sent Him for me. I receive the eternal life that the Son has given to me. Holy Spirit, I ask to be quickened day by day in the life of the Father and the Son through Your abiding presence.

HONOR TO THE SON

John 5:22-23 – For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

What a wonderful picture Jesus draws concerning the relationship between the Father and the Son. Relationship is a great deal about honor. The Father’s heart was to elevate His Son in the eyes of mankind. The Son, in His earthly ministry always gave the honor to the Father. One of the reasons our judgments are not valid many times is because they are self-serving rather than honoring another.

We live in a world filled with opinions that are rooted in emotionalism. In times past, a man’s word was his honor. A written contract was not necessary, a spoken promise with a handshake was sufficient. The honor of an individual was related to one’s upbringing. The family background was an important foundation to the honor given an individual. I personally have experienced great favor in my life because of the good reputation my parents had established among their friends, neighbors, and in the community.

The delight of a parent is to have children that can be trusted. It is wonderful to watch one’s children grow up when they have developed a reputation of trust in the community.  Our heavenly Father so trusted His Son that He gave into His hands “all judgment.” As I view earthly affairs anywhere in the world through modern day instant news, I find my hope and rest is in knowing that the Lord Jesus reigns on high and that all judgment is in His hands. He judges the nations; He raises up and puts down leaders after His own counsel. The Father has trusted all things into the hands of His Son. The Son trusts His disciples to carry out His bidding in the earth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, I pray for Your grace to rest on me to be a trustworthy child of God. I pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in honoring the Son even as the Son has honored the Father.