Give Thanks

Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 4:54 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Give Ear to Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 12 (ESV).

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

In That Day

When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, if we trust in Jesus with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (See: Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6:1-23; Lu. 9:23-25). The old has gone. The new has come. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Ro. 6:6-7 ESV).

Nonetheless, it is possible for those who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin to return to sinning against God. Christians can become lazy about their times with the Lord in prayer, in his Word, and in obedience. Thus, they can fall prey to the wiles of the devil, and they can get entrapped by sin once again. We face strong influences in our lives every day in the world around us, and even within the gatherings of the church. This is why daily we must put on the armor of God with which to fight off these attacks of the enemy on our lives. If we don’t, then we are opening ourselves wide to giving in to temptation to sin and to falling back into its evil ways.

When believers in Jesus fall back into sin, our Lord gently urges them to repent of their sins and to get back on track with him, so that their fellowship with him may be restored, and that they may be useful for his kingdom work. Sometimes this takes place immediately, as soon as the Lord speaks to their hearts, but oftentimes the fallen Christians will stay down in the dumps and will continue with certain sins, because they have been trapped by them again (or for the first time). And, thus, their relationship with the Lord begins to plummet, and they live defeated lives.

So, the Lord speaks to their hearts, and he shows them their sins, and he warns them of judgment, and he calls them to repentance. Now, some people have this idea that God will never judge his people, but he did all throughout the Old Testament, and he warns of such judgment again in the New Testament, if they do not repent of their sins and return to him (See: Rev. 2-3, for example). He also tells us (in Hebrews 12) that he disciplines, rebukes, reproves and scourges those he loves. He “disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

I believe the church in America largely is walking more in the ways of the world than they are walking in obedience to their Lord, and that the Lord has been calling them for some time to repent of their sins, and to return to him, but, it would appear, most are not paying any attention, and they are continuing in their wicked ways. So, I do believe God has a day in store for us when he will judge our nation, and our nation will be brought low, though I believe he has been doing this for some time and we are now beginning to see some of that unfold before our eyes. When our nation falls, I believe this will mean an economic downturn, i.e. hard times for us. But, God will use this for our good, to prune, purify, restore and renew his church to him.

Our Salvation

This passage of scripture is a wonderful picture of God’s amazing grace in our lives in saving us from our sins. When we are born into this world, we are born into sin. Thus, we are separate from God, and we come up short of attaining God’s divine approval (Ro. 3:23). So, God sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to the earth to take on human flesh and to die on a cross for our sins. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:21). Through God-given faith in him, we die with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in Christ to be lived to his righteousness. The condemnation that once stood against us is removed, for Jesus paid the penalty for our sin that we might be delivered out of slavery (addiction) to sin.

Yet, this is also a picture of what revival looks like, too. If we have fallen back into sin, and God thus judges (disciplines) us, in order to get us to wake up, to repent, and to return to him, when we return, the weight of sin we were carrying around on us is lifted, and we are restored and comforted. We may have to face the natural consequences of our sin, but we will be free from the weight of the sin, and we will now be free to walk once more in victory over sin, and in his righteousness. And, this should be cause for great joy and thanksgiving to God!

Make Known

When the church is living in rebellion and spiritual adultery and idolatry against her Lord, and she has become worldly, forsaking her first love to follow after “other lovers” of money, entertainment, possessions and lust, etc., she loses her saltiness (Matt. 5:13). She loses her effective witness for Jesus Christ and his gospel in the world.

But, when she is revived, and her heart is right with God, and her fellowship with God is restored, she will want to tell others about his amazing grace and how they, too, can be delivered out of bondage to sin and walk in freedom from the control of sin over their lives. She will be counseling others in the way she was counseled to forsake her sins and to follow Jesus Christ in obedience and in surrender to his will for her life. And, she will tell of all the blessings of obedience, and the joy of walking in victory over sin.

I believe that, when this takes place, many people will flock to Jesus Christ, that they will call on him in truth, and that he will save them from their sins.

Give Ear to Jesus / An Original Work
Based off Isaiah 55 / February 16, 2016

Call on your Savior.
Seek the Lord while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way;
Turn to the Lord.
God will have mercy.
He’ll forgive you of your sin.
He will freely pardon you
And give peace within.
Turn from your sin, follow Jesus,
Be cleansed from sin.

Give ear to Jesus.
Come to Him. Your soul will live.
Listen to Him speaking to you:
“Eat what is good.”
If you are thirsty,
Come to Jesus, drink from Him.
Drink His Spirit given to you.
Be born again.
Listen to Him. Do what He says.
Rejoice in Him.

God’s Word, eternal,
Will achieve what He desires.
He is willing none should perish,
Saved by His blood.
Share now the gospel.
Jesus died so we’d go free.
Walk in vict’ry,
Free from your sin, eternally.
Die to sin, and live to Jesus.
In Him believe.

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