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A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I will set him on high, because he has known My name." (Psalm 91:14 NKJ)

God wants us to know Him; He promises to reveal Himself to those who diligently seek Him. One of the ways He reveals Himself to us is through His names. The names of God that are revealed to us in the Bible often speak of the ministry of God. Psalm 23:1 says that God is our shepherd. He cares for us as a shepherd does His sheep. Many other names of God have been revealed to us, describing the ways in which He wants to help us. He has revealed Himself as our Provider, as our Peace, as our Ever-present one, as our Healer and others. These names, revealed in the Old Testament, are being fulfilled by Jesus in the New Covenant. He is the One through whom all the blessings and promises of God will be made real in our lives.

God also wants us to know His very character and nature. One of the ways He has chosen to reveal His nature to us is again through His names. Moses wanted to see the glory of God. Moses knew that God had called him to lead the children of Israel out of bondage to the Egyptians, into a new land. He asked God to show him His glory, so that Moses might know Him. God had previously told Moses that He would be with him, but Moses wanted more. Moses said, "'Please, show me Your glory.’ Then He [God] said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you’"(Exodus 33:18-19 NKJ).

God promised to reveal His glory to Moses by proclaiming His name to him. The story continues, "Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,’" (Exodus 34:5-6 NKJ).

God not only wants us to know Him by what He will do for us, but He wants us to know and reverence His character and nature. He is not only Lord and God, but He is also merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. God wants us to know Him and honor Him not just for what He does for us, but for the nature of His Being which motivated Him to want to minister to and help us. He is merciful; He wants us to know and honor Him as One who is merciful. He wants us to seek His mercy and to allow Him to work His mercy into us. He wants us to show others the mercy of God. We have the honor of knowing God and becoming filled with His nature so He can reveal Himself to others through us.

Father, we rejoice that You reveal Your nature and character to us through Your names. Help us to honor Your name and to let You impart Your nature into us so that others might know You. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Knowing God’s Names

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." (Psalm 9:10 NKJ)

God wants us to know Him. While praying to His Father, Jesus said, "...this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3 NKJ).

Many people know about God, but they do not know God. They know about what He did, about what He does, and about what He will do in the future. They know the works of God, but they do not really know God Himself. The Bible says that even the demons believe the facts about God and tremble because of them (James 2:19).

Knowing God implies a familiarity with, a respect for, and a longing for the character of God to be revealed. Knowing God implies a love for His nature, will, and character. Jesus said, "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You" (John 17:25 NKJ). It takes God to know God. It takes the nature of God to want the will of God to be done in all areas of our life. It takes the nature of God to love the nature of God. The Father loves the Son--His nature and His very Being. The Son loves the Father. They have loved each other in eternity, before the foundations of the world (John 17:24). Jesus testified to our needing God to reveal God to us so we might know Him. He said, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matthew 11:27 NKJ).

Satan hates the nature of God and wants to keep us from knowing God. The nature of Satan is to serve himself and to live apart from God’s will. Satan knows that the nature of God is to have sin removed from His people and the world. God has a plan to do this, and Satan knows that God’s plan will remove him from the world and from the presence of the people of God.

God promises to give us a heart to know Him. This is the New Covenant. God promises, "I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7 NKJ). God is revealing Himself to us through His names. He is called merciful, loving, longsuffering, good, abounding in truth. God shows us His nature by His actions. Then He shows us His nature in His Son. Then He offers us the opportunity to have the Son of God live in us, so He can impart God’s nature into us. As Christ lives in us, and imparts through the Holy Spirit the nature of God into us, we love and appreciate God’s nature and will. The eternal life of God becomes our life and we want to live for Him. God is good. Let us study, revere and know His names.

Father, we rejoice in You, in Your nature and will. Help us to become one with You in Christ. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Friday, March 2, 2007

"For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.

The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married." (Isaiah 62:1-4 NKJ)

We have been sharing about the names of God. God reveals Himself to us through His names. He revealed His ministry desires for His people through His names. He said, "I am your Provider," "I am your Righteousness,"  "I am your Shepherd."  He has also given us other names of Himself that reveal His work among us. When Moses asked to see His glory, God proclaimed some of the names of His character to him. He revealed that He is merciful, kind, longsuffering, and abounding in loving kindness and truth (Exodus 34:5-7).

God also has names for us. He calls us "saints"—"holy ones." One of His character names for Himself is "Holy." One of His ministry names for us is "Your Holy One." God promises to make us holy as He is holy. That is the character of a saint--one who is holy. God disciplines us so that we cry out for His holiness to be imparted into us (Hebrews 12:10). What a blessing we have that we can serve a holy God who is committed to imparting His holy character into us so that we can be holy as He is holy!

In the passage of the day cited above, God promises to impart His righteousness into us so that He can be glorified in the world by revealing His righteous character to the people of the world through us. God then tell us that we have a new name—"Hephzibah." The name Hephzibah means, "God delights in us." This name is given us so that we know that the God in heaven delights in us; He delights to make us holy and righteous, and then to show us off to the world. God will be glorified in the world. We will do holy and righteous things in the world because the God we serve is holy and righteous, and He is committed to imparting His holiness and righteousness into us through His Son. We can rejoice in Him, because He delights in us. God is rejoicing in us, His children, as we follow Him and let Him do His work in us so He can flow through us into the lives of people in this world. We can delight in Him Who delights in us. Praise be to Him!

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your names. We rejoice in Your names of Yourself, Your Son, and Your Spirit, and in Your names for us. Holy are You! Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Thursday, March 8, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.’" (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJ)

God called Moses to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land God would give them. When Moses had told God that he needed help, God told him, "My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:13, 14). God has things for us to do; to do them we need His help and direction. He promises to go with us and to bring us into His rest. God has a plan for us to be victorious over all our enemies. He determined this plan before the foundations of the world. He promises to bring us into His plan and to let us rest in His plan as He unveils it before us. We need to enter His rest.

Moses then asked God to show him His glory. God told him that He would proclaim His Name to him and in this way God would make His glory known to Moses. God wants to reveal His ways and His plan to us so that we can do and be all He wants us to do and be. He does it by proclaiming His Name to us. We need His help. He tells us that He is our provider, our shepherd, our healer etc. More than that, we need His ways to be developed in us. We need His glorious nature developed in us so that we can be all He wants us to be. We need His provision so we can do what He wants us to do--but more than that we need His character--His glory--so that we can be all He wants us to be.

God told Moses His Names that reveal some of His characteristics. He said, "I am merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth." He then gave examples of how these characteristics of His nature would be revealed. God said, "I will keep mercy for thousands." He said, "I will forgive iniquity, transgression and sin." God is gracious; He will forgive iniquity, transgression and sin. Iniquity is in the basic nature we are born with. Transgression is the rebellious desires we all have in our flesh. Sin is what we do, acting out our rebellious nature because of the iniquitous being we are in our old nature. God says, "I will forgive these things." We know that God forgives sin, but He also promises to forgive transgressions and iniquities.

The word that is translated "forgive" here is the same Hebrew word used when David and his men "carried away" the images of the Philistines after defeating them. God would carry away our sins, iniquities, and transgressions from us. Jesus is the Lamb of God who would do this for us. He has done this. He now gives us a life free from sin and victorious over our sinful ways. This is God’s grace in action. Praise be to Him!

Father, we rejoice that You are gracious, and that You would remove our sins and iniquities from us. Blessed is Your Name! Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Monday, March 12, 2007

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 NKJ)

God has chosen to progressively reveal Himself. He reveals more of Himself through revealing more of His names to us. As we have been sharing, God reveals Himself to us by what He does for us. Abraham saw God provide a lamb as an offering, so that Abraham did not have to offer his own son to God. As a result of what God did, this is what Abraham did, according to the Bible: "And Abraham called the name of the place, THE-LORD-WILL-PROVIDE; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided’" (Genesis 22:14 NKJ).

God promises us total victory over our enemies. He promised the children of Israel that they would be able to wipe out their enemies. God would give the enemies of Israel time to repent, but since they did not, in later generations God completely destroyed them. The Bible says, "Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’ And Moses built an altar, and named it ‘The LORD is My Banner;’ and he said, ‘The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation’" (Exodus 17:14-16 NAS).

Moses knew God’s names. He knew God as "God Almighty" and he knew Him as "Yahweh" (the word the Bible has translated "LORD") and as "I AM." God had revealed Himself to Moses in these names. Moses trusted in the name of God. He knew that God’s eternal plan and purposes for him and the nation of Israel would come forth. He remembered what God had said: "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers" (Exodus 6:3-4 NKJ).

Jesus, the Son of God, came as a child, born of a virgin. According to the above passage in Isaiah 9:6, He will reign over all. The government of all creation, heaven and earth, will rest on Him. God will do this. We then will know Jesus as Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. God will bring about the reign of Christ, using us in this plan, and we will glorify and know the names of Christ.

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your plan for Your Son, to have it be known that You have made Him Lord of Lords. Help us to worship Him in all His names. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6 NKJ)

God revealed His glory to Moses. Moses asked God to do this. The Bible says God proclaimed His name to Moses, revealing His glory to him. The Bible tells us: "And he [Moses] said, 'Please, show me Your glory.’ Then He [God] said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you’" (Exodus 33:18-19 NKJ). The Bible continues, "And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,’" (Exodus 34:6 NKJ).

In His mercy, God shows us His love, His ways, and His plan for us and His creation. God in His grace provides the actions necessary for us to have our sins removed, for us to be filled with His nature and character, and for us to participate with Him in His plan and purposes. In His longsuffering, God knows that we must be changed little by little, and that He will allow evil to seek to overpower us so that He can reveal His power in us. God in His goodness leads us to see our own inabilities so that we repent and seek Him to empower us with His own life. God in His truthfulness shows us the lies of Satan, the deceptions of the world and our own weakness so that we look to Him for life and purity and happiness.

God gives us His Son, Who came into the world as a baby. He empowered Jesus to do wondrous things and be known as wonderful. He gave Jesus wisdom so that we seek Him for counsel. He brought His Spirit into Christ so that Jesus could have victory over our sinful flesh when our iniquities were placed on Him. God gave Jesus the revelation of His heavenly plan so Jesus could be known to us as our Father of everlasting things. Jesus lives in the will of God and knows His peace so that He is able to bring the peace of God into our hearts.

God's plan and purposes are coming forth. The world is getting darker, as God said it would. The people of God are increasing in their understanding of and empowerment with God’s heavenly life, as God said they would. The kingdom and government of Christ is increasing in us and then over us and then through us onto the earth, as God said it would. OUR GOD REIGNS; LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD! (Revelation 19:7).

Father, we continue to marvel at Your wisdom and mercy and grace. Help us to continue to let You live and reign in us through Your Son dwelling in us, and You in Him. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.’" (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJ)

God has been revealing His glory to Moses. He is declaring His names to him and then giving Moses examples of how He manifests His names. In the first part of the above passage God tells Moses that He is merciful and gracious. In the second part of the passage He tells Moses that He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin. The word translated "forgiving" here is the Hebrew word "nasha" which, according to Vine’s Dictionary of Old Testament Words, implies "to remove, depart, carry away."

This Hebrew word is used in other passages in the Old Testament. In the Genesis account of the flood, the Bible says: "The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth" (Genesis 7:17 NKJ). The words "lifted up" here are from the same Hebrew word "nasha" cited earlier. The ark was lifted up and brought to a new place. This is what God wants to do with our sins. He wants them removed from us and taken to a new place.

In 2 Samuel, David and his men have just defeated the Philistines. Now they were going to remove their idols from the land. The Bible says, "And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away" (2 Samuel 5:21 NKJ). The phrase "carried them away" is from the Hebrew word "nasha" that has been cited earlier. Once again we see that God wants our sins to be carried away from us. The King James version reads, "And there they left their images, and David and his men burned them" (2 Samuel 5:21 KJV). God would have our sins taken into the place of fire He has prepared for them.

Jesus became our sin-bearer. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. John the Baptist knew this truth about Jesus. The Bible says, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’" (John 1:29 NKJ) Jesus not only died for our sins, He died with our sins. He took them into death for us. He did this so that we could receive the righteous nature of God into our being and live in holiness and righteousness by serving Him. The Bible says, "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21.NKJ).

Father, we rejoice in Your mercy and graciousness. We rejoice in Your eternal plan to take our sin from us and out of us so that we can be filled with Your righteousness and holiness. Help us to believe, receive and live in all You have for us. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Monday, March 19, 2007

"...the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." (Daniel 11:32 NKJ)

God wants us to know Him.  He wants us to know His character, His power, His love, His ways and His desires for us and for His creation.  When the Bible uses the word "know," it means not just a "factual knowledge" of something; rather the word has a deeper meaning implying an "intimate relationship with."  Genesis 4:1 says that Adam "knew" Eve and she conceived and bore Cain.  God wants us to have more than just a factual understanding of Him and of all the above characteristics.  Satan and the demons factually know these things about God also.  The Bible says, "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!" (James 2:19 NKJ)

 "Knowing through having personally experienced" is a more complete definition of the word "know" as often used in Scripture.  God wants us to know His nature, His character, His ways--His very Being.  God takes the initiative in revealing Himself.  He told Moses He would show Him His glory by revealing His names to him.  Then He proclaimed His names and gave Moses examples of how He would manifest His names.

David knew some of the names of God through practical experience.  God had given David unique experiences and demonstrated His characteristics and His ways to David.  David then declared, "Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle--My loving-kindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me" (Psalm 144:1-2 NKJ).

God revealed Himself through the prophets in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament He is revealing Himself through His Son.  The Bible says, "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJ).  As I study the ways, the nature, the actions and words of Jesus, I begin to get an ever-increasing revelation of God.  As I seek Jesus to live in me, imparting His ways and His desires into me, I become more like Him.  Let us meditate on Him, so that we can know God and do exploits.

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your desire to make Yourself known to us.  Help us to study Your Son that we might know Him and let all of Him live in all of us.  Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.’" (Exodus 34:6-7NKJ)

God told Moses His names that reveal some of his characteristics. He said, "I am merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth." He then gave examples of how these characteristics of His nature would be revealed. God said, "I will keep mercy for thousands." He said, "I will forgive iniquity, transgression and sin." God is gracious; He will forgive iniquity, transgression and sin. Iniquity is in the basic nature we are born with. Transgression is the rebellious desires we all have in our flesh. Sin is what we do, acting out our rebellious nature because of the iniquitous being we are in our old nature. God says, "I will forgive these things." We know that God forgives sin, but He also promises to forgive transgressions and iniquities.

The word that is translated "forgive" here is the same Hebrew word used when David and his men "carried away" the images of the Philistines after defeating them. God would carry away our sins, iniquities, and transgressions from us. Jesus is the Lamb of God who does this for us. Isaiah the prophet spoke of this: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4 NKJ), and again, "He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12 NKJ). The word translated "bore" or "borne" in these passages is the same word translated "forgiven" in the Exodus passage, and "carried away" in the 1 Kings passage. Jesus came to be the answer to God’s manifesting His nature and name of "gracious." Jesus is the manifestation of the grace of God.

Jesus carried our sin on Himself. He became sin for us. He overcame the sinful desires of our old nature when He was on the cross. He overcame our sin in His flesh (Romans 8:2-4). He now gives us a life free from sin and victorious over our sinful ways. This is God’s grace in action. Praise be to Him!

Father, we rejoice that You are gracious, and that You would remove our sins and iniquities from us. Blessed is Your Name! Thank You that through Jesus we can have this done for us, and through Him we can receive a life that is dead to sin and alive to You and Your ways. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Thursday, March 21, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.’" (Exodus 34:5)

God called Moses to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land God would give them. Moses had told God that he needed help. God told him, "My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:13,14). God has things for us to do; we need His help and direction to do them. He promises to go with us and to bring us into His rest. God has a plan for us to be victorious over all our enemies. He determined this plan before the foundations of the world. He promises to bring us into His plan and to let us rest in His plan as He unveils it before us. We need to enter His rest.

Moses then asked God to show him His glory. God told him that He would proclaim His name to him and in this way God would make His glory known to Moses. God wants to reveal His ways and His plan to us so that we can do and be all He wants us to do and be. He does it by proclaiming His name to us. We need His help. He tells us that He will be our provider, our shepherd, our healer etc. More than that we need His ways developed in us. We need His glorious nature developed in us so that we can be all He wants us to be. We need His provision so we can do what He wants us to do, but more than that we need His character--His glory--so that we can be all He wants us to be.

God told Moses His names that reveal some of His characteristics. He said, "I am merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth." He then gave examples of how these characteristics of His nature would be revealed. God said, "I will keep mercy for thousands." Webster’s 1828 dictionary says mercy is "that benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant." In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.

"Mercy" implies a need to recognize our need for God’s mercy. Many do not receive mercy from God because they do not feel they have offended Him or that they have hurt His people. Mercy is exercised only when we admit we are an offender. Praise God the Holy Spirit comes to convict us of our offences, so that we might cry out for mercy.

Father, we rejoice that You are merciful. Help us to know our great need for your mercy and to extend it to others. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Honoring God’s Names

Friday, March 23, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin,’" (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJ))

God called Moses to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land God would give them. Moses had told God that he needed help. God told him, "My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:13,14). We need God’s help and direction to do the things God has for us to do. He promises to go with us and to bring us into His rest. God has a plan, determined before the foundations of the world, for us to be victorious over all our enemies. He promises to bring us into His plan and to let us rest in it as He unveils it before us. We need to enter His rest.

Moses then asked God to show him His glory. God told him that He would proclaim His name to him and in this way make His glory known to Moses. God wants to reveal His ways and His plan to us so that we can do and be all He wants us to do and be. He does it by proclaiming His name to us. He tells us that He will be our Provider, our Shepherd, our Healer etc. More than that we need His ways and His glorious nature developed in us so that we can be all He wants us to be. We need His provision so we can do what He wants us to do, but more than that we need His character--His glory--so that we can be all He wants us to be.

God told Moses His names that reveal some of His characteristics. He said, "I am merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and truth." He then gave examples of how these characteristics of His nature would be revealed. God said He would keep mercy for thousands and would forgive iniquity, transgression and sin. We have shared previously that the world "forgive" here implies a "carrying away from," a "removal." The word "iniquity" is defined as the "defective state we are born with." It is best described as a lack of moral integrity, having no moral standards. This is the nature of man born a descendent of Adam.

We live in a society that has left the moral standard provided by God, and is consequently floundering about, thinking that because we are born with sinful desires we must keep them and justify their existence. When I was in AA, they recited at every meeting that if we could not follow the AA program it was because we were "just born that way" and were not at fault. That principle been adopted by people with other sinful behavior patterns as well.

GOD HAS AN ANSWER. He promises to provide a way for these iniquities to be removed from us and replaced with His holy nature and ways. This is the message of the Christian Gospel. Jesus became sin for us. He was punished for us. He took our sins into hell for us. He was raised out of hell and now He lives to impart into us the holiness of God’s nature and character. God shows us our depravity and disciplines us so that we come to the end of our own lack of moral standards and seek His moral standards. He is doing this in our society, giving people an opportunity to come into His heavenly and holy life and nature. Praise be to Him who is faithful to His word!

Father, we rejoice in Your holy nature, plan and desires. Help us to receive Your Holy nature in Christ and to seek the removal of our natural life, which is devoid of morality. Amen.

A Thought for the Week - Honoring God’s Names

Monday, March 26, 2007

"And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth…’" (Exodus 34:6)

When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God told him He would proclaim His name to him and in this way make His glory known to Moses. God wants to reveal His ways and His plan to us so we can fulfill His destiny for us. One way He does this is by proclaiming His name to us. Because we need His help, He assures us that He will be our Provider, our Shepherd, our Healer, etc. More than that, we need to receive His ways. We need His glorious nature developed in us so we can be all He wants us to be. We need His provision so we can do what He wants us to do, but more than that we need His character--His glory--so we can be all He wants us to be.

God's name is "Merciful." The Bible says, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12 NKJ). In His mercy, God says that He will be merciful to our unrighteous ways by removing them for us. He says that He will no longer remember them. God has a place of separation, called death. Jesus took our sins on Himself and brought them into death. He became separated from God with our sin. He did this on the cross. The day was darkened for three hours. Jesus was separated from His Father, bearing the rightful judgment of our sin for us. God put on Him the sin of us all. Our sinful acts and our unrighteous desires and deep-seated iniquities were put on Him. He became sin for us.

He did not give in to our sinful ways. He had prayed in Gethsemane for strength so that He could do God’s will. He did not give in to our sinful ways, but rather He condemned our sinful acts and overcame them. He overcame sin in the flesh.

Now we can receive His life into our being. In His mercy, God has provided a new life for us. The life of Christ, that can live in us, has already overcome our sinful ways and desires. Jesus did this on the cross. This is why Paul says, "Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts" (Romans 6:11-12 NKJ). Our sinful desires that we have welcomed into our being through our sinful acts will rise up from within us. However, they do not have any energy in themselves to cause us to act on them. They are dead in Christ. If we live in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to mortify them and keep them from causing us to act them out. This is what Paul means when He says, "Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16 NKJ). WE CAN HAVE VICTORY OVER SIN. GOD IS MERCIFUL.

Father, we rejoice in Your mercy. We rejoice that in Christ You have provided us with the ability to have victory over all our enemies so that we can live for You and serve You. Amen.

 

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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