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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.

JUDGMENT BELONGS TO GOD

John 3:19 – This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

Jesus draws a line in the sand as He begins His three and half year earthly ministry. The subject of judgment revolves around “light.” Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). Since the advent of Christ, light has been in the world. There is no more excuse for men to walk in darkness. Not only is light in the world, it has been increasing in intensity ever since the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost.

Judgment follows the light. Presently, mankind is called to repentance and to turn from darkness to the light. When individuals harden their hearts against the light of God, there is only a pending judgment that waits. The reason Jesus could say, “I did not come to judge the world” (John 3:17), is because the rejection of the Son of God brings the judgment of God. Jesus came to save. You could say His campaign was not negative, but positive although filled with clear defining lines. As one chooses the light, salvation will result. When one rejects the light, there remains only a fearful looking ahead to judgment.

Believers become carriers of the light. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). God’s plan was that the light in His Son would be lit in the believer through the Holy Spirit. It is through the believers throughout the earth, that light is now filling the planet. Many believe that darkness is increasing, but the truth is that light is spreading through the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Father, I thank You for the light of Christ which is in me. Thank You for delivering me from judgment and calling me to be a light bearer in the world today.

RECOGNIZE NO ONE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH

2 Corinthians 5:16 – Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.

If we look at people in the flesh, it will be an exceedingly difficult task to be a person of reconciliation. Reconciliation is a work of the Holy Spirit and He keeps His eyes on the new creation in Christ and not the old which comes from Adam.

Paul informs the Corinthian believers that God committed to each of us the “word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Reconciliation is an apostolic function. If an individual has been given an apostolic gift, reconciliation must be manifested in their life and ministry. It is reconciliation that causes the church to be “apostolic” in its core being. Any church that does not manifest the ministry of reconciliation cannot be considered fundamentally solid.

The key to carrying the ministry of reconciliation is found in the principle of our verse for today. Paul is emphatic when he says, “from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.” We must see through the eyes of the Spirit of God. His filter is the cross where the blood of Christ was shed for the sins of the world. In my flesh, I am filled with judgments. Some may be accurate, but judgments nevertheless. In the Spirit, I am to receive the judgments of Christ which are viewed through the work of the cross.

There will be an end time judgment for all those who have rejected God’s offer of reconciliation. But until that day when Christ returns, our judgments are to be viewed through the cross and God’s grace. If we judge after the flesh, our judgments will condemn us because of the weakness of our own fleshly failures. If we judge through the cross, then we commit all true judgment to God who will judge the heart of all men.

Father, I ask for grace to not see anyone after the flesh, but through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. Fill my heart with Your love and a desire to see all men and women brought to the cross and new life in Christ. Help me to walk in the “word of reconciliation.”

CALLED TO WALK OUT THE PROCESS

2 Corinthians 5:7-8 – We walk by faith, not by sight —  we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

We are called to walk out the process between the cross and the throne, experiencing His love and sharing His love with others, beginning with the family of God and taking His love to the lost. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul teaches about the new creation man. That walk is a walk of faith. It is faith because we are not led by our natural senses, but by the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer. He is preparing us for eternity and living at home with the Lord.

Paul speaks of his desire to leave this present world and be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:2). Love motivated him as he lived in his earthly body. His life was dedicated to the Gospel and reaching the lost. Paul had a clear understanding of his purpose as a result of the cross. He longed for the Throne of God, but not in an unhealthy way. He did not just mope around awaiting his death, but served the Lord’s purpose until the day he was separated from his earthly body to receive the body prepared for him by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love and faith motivated the apostle as it did all of the Lord’s apostles. Love and faith is to be our motivator as well. We possess the kingdom as we walk out the process of love and faith. This process of love and faith includes our families, other believers, and the lost people we encounter along the way.

Father, I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to infuse my life with love and faith in the process of my walk before You and others. Thank You for Your presence that is continually with me to give me good success.

GOD’S LOVE REVEALED IN OUR DESTINY

Revelation 22:12 – Behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Our rest is in what the Father has done through Christ in providing salvation. We can rest in what He has promised for our future. The future is guaranteed for those who receive God’s love. Multitudes spend huge amounts of time worrying, even fearful of their future. The subject of death is not usually the hot topic at family get-togethers or the focus of parties. For the believer, though, it is an exciting area to think about because our eternal future is centered on the other side of the grave.

The river Jordan is seen as a type of the grave in Scripture. Israel was baptized into Moses as they crossed over from Egypt to Canaan or the “Promised Land. “All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:2). Baptism speaks of the grave. In Baptism we die to the old man by joining Christ in death, but rise up in the new man as we participate in Christ’s resurrection (Romans 6:1-7). You could say that our hope in the future is manifested in the now.

As believers, we have peace and He has given us rest; we walk in power by the Holy Spirit. God’s love is a present reality. It is an eternal absolute. The believer has entered into an eternal position through Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Our past is forgiven and forever cleansed. Our present is a daily walk in the eternal rest of God if we will receive what He has provided us. Our future is sealed by the promise of God through Christ’s resurrection. What a mighty God we serve!

Father, I thank You that my future is guaranteed in Christ. I receive Your love today. Help me  Holy Spirit, in the weakness of my flesh, to trust You in all things. Empower me day by day to pass Your saving love on to others so that they too might know that their future is guaranteed in Your love.   

GOD’S LOVE REVEALED IN HIS PROMISES

2 Corinthians 1:20 – For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

What a great statement Paul makes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The promises of God are yes and Amen to believers. Not a no and not a maybe, but yes. One of the first words a child learns is the word no. For safety reasons, a parent is constantly saying no to their young children. Father God has also given in His Word warnings for the protection of His children. In our passage, Paul focuses our attention on God’s promises.

Reward is a vital part of training a young child. They must learn that there are consequences for misbehavior, but at the same time, they need to be rewarded for their obedience. God’s promises are rewards for responding in faith to His Word. The promises are connected to God’s Covenant nature. Jesus fulfilled all the requirements on our behalf. He satisfied God’s wrath toward sin and made it possible for us to respond to God in faith and receive promises through Christ. Jesus is the “Amen” to all the promises of God. He glorified the Father and became the way for each believer to also bring glory to God.

The Holy Spirit is God’s power in the believer to receive the promises of God. He creates the Amen in the believer’s heart. Each believer needs to know in their inner man that God wants to fulfill His promises in their life.

Father, I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to trust You for all Your promises made possible through the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank You that Jesus is the Amen to Your glory. By Your grace I am secure in His finished work.