Psalm 97:1, 6-7 ESV
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame,
who make their boast in worthless idols;
worship him, all you gods!
Our God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – is the One and Only True God! He is the maker of all things which were created. He alone is divine. He alone is all powerful, all knowing and ever present everywhere. He alone is the Savior of the world. There is no other god like him. And, he is completely sovereign over all other gods and kings and people, too.
Many people on this earth are following after false gods which cannot save them from their sins or from their troubles. Many of these people are professers of faith in Jesus Christ, too. Although they know about the one and only true God, they have gone off to follow after the gods of this world, instead.
So, what are some of those gods? I am not speaking here of the gods associated with other religions (outside of Christianity). What I am referring to are man-made gods which we, as human beings, make for ourselves, and which end up usurping the authority of God over our lives, so that we end up giving our hearts, minds, time and passions (emotions, heart) to them instead of to Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth.
These “gods” to which we may give our honor, praise and heart may be pride, possessions, talent, accomplishments, intelligence, knowledge, money, education, careers, prestige, race, religion, “church,” denominations, sports, music, entertainment, “heroes,” sinful addictions, relationships, food, leisure, and our fleshly “works,” etc. Entertainment is a very big god to many, many people today, as is sexual addiction and/or sensuality.
But, none of these gods can heal our broken hearts. None of these gods can deliver us from our weight of sin which binds and imprisons us. None of these gods can bring real and lasting joy and peace to our hearts. And, not one of them can guarantee us eternal life free from pain, sin and sickness. For, they are worthless, lifeless and totally useless to us. Therefore, we must forsake them and turn to and worship the only True God over this world.
Psalm 97:8-9 ESV
Zion hears and is glad,
and the daughters of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O Lord.
For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
Amen! The problem with our world and our church today, for the most part, is that they have lost the awe of God. They don’t know what it means to fear him, i.e. to revere, honor, value, submit to, obey, esteem and truly worship him. Instead he is often viewed as a genie in a bottle up in the sky there to grant our every request. He is seen as a doting grandfather, too, there to spoil us and to give us whatever our hearts’ desire.
Their image of God, and who he is, though, is tainted by their own thinking and by their own imaginations, for they think that God is altogether like them, but he isn’t. And, many of them have been taught a wrong image of God, too, especially with regard to our salvation from sin.
What many are teaching is that Jesus died to forgive us our sins and to give us eternal life in heaven with God – period. And, so they tell people if they just invite Jesus into their hearts, or if they just acknowledge him, and if they just accept his gift of grace into their lives, and believe that their sins are forgiven, then they are saved forever and heaven is guaranteed them.
And, then they add on to that, that once they are saved, not only can they not ever lose their salvation, and heaven is guaranteed them, but it doesn’t really matter if they sin from this point forward, for God no longer sees their sin. When he looks at them, all he sees is Jesus, and therefore he delights in them and he smiles on them even though they are living in gross sinful rebellion and addiction in direct opposition to his commands.
But, this is not the image of God we are given in the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. For, he is God to be feared above all other gods, and his name is to be honored above all other gods. And, we are to know that, even though he is a loving, kind, generous and gracious God, he is also a just God and a God of wrath and judgment, too. So, we should never take him for granted.
The other thing we need to know about God and his salvation is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation. We are not forgiven our sins if we do not first repent of them and die with Christ to sin, and be reborn of the Spirit of God, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).
And, God is not blinded to our sins just because we believe in him, either. For, if he was, there would be no point in the books of the Bible in the New Testament, which are primarily written to those who do profess faith in the One True God. For, they are largely written to us to correct wrong thinking and wrong behaving, and to tell us to throw off those sins which entangle us and to put off the deeds of darkness and to walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. So, obviously God still sees our sin.
And, the other wrong image of God is that, if we profess faith in him, we have eternal life guaranteed, and so we will never have to face his judgment. But, the Bible says clearly that if we say that we have fellowship with God, but we walk (in our conduct) in darkness (sin), we are liars who do not live by the truth, and we don’t have the promise of heaven when we die, but a fearful expectation of judgment and the fires of hell (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21, etc.).
We need to know here that God is going to judge, and we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8). Believe it! And, then live it!!
Psalm 97:10-12 ESV
O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!
Amen! So, we who profess to love God must hate evil, i.e. literally hate it, not just with our lips or with our intellect, but as proven by our actions. For, our actions reveal what is truly in our hearts, and they reveal what we truly believe, and they reveal that what we think we believe is sometimes the opposite of what we really truly believe.
The other thing about loving God is what the scriptures teach about this love. For one, this kind of love prefers what God prefers, i.e. what is holy, pure, righteous, good, moral, upright, honest, trustworthy and faithful, etc. So, if we truly love God, then we won’t be those who practice lies, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication, immorality, gossip, gluttony, slander, etc.
And, going along with that, the scriptures teach that love for God is to obey him, and if we don’t walk in obedience to him, as the course of our lives, we don’t love him, we don’t know him, he doesn’t know us, we don’t live in him, and he doesn’t dwell in our hearts, either. We have no relationship with him, in other words. So, love for God is not just words or emotion. It is action!
But, for those of us who are walking in the light that he gives us, who have undivided loyalties to our Lord, who are living to please him, and who are following his lead, he will carry us through any and every circumstance in our lives. He will lead us and guide us in the way that we should go. He will bless us abundantly with many spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. And, he will fill us to overflowing with his grace, his love, his power, his anointing, his strength, his wisdom and his passion and compassion for others.
So, there is much to thank our God for – for delivering us from the evil one, and from the control of Satan over our lives, and from our bondage to sin, and for giving us new lives in him where we can walk in fellowship with him day by day, living lives to his glory and praise and honor, all in his power and strength. To God be all the glory! For, great things He has done! Amen!
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.
Thursday, February 7, 2019