With Good Things

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.”
Luke 1:46-50 ESV

Mary was singing a song of praise to God for what the Lord was doing in and through her life. She was thanking and praising the Lord that he considered her, that he had mercy on her, and that he would choose her to be the one to bear the Son of God in her womb and that God the Son would be born as a human being through her body. She was humbled that God would do such a thing through her.

I can feel that with her, not that any of us could ever have the same calling as she did. But, I am humbled that God would choose me, too, and that he would choose to use me as one of his chosen instruments to do the work that he has called me to do. And, I thank him, and I praise him that he considered me, too, and that he would want to use me in this way.

But, it is God who does this, not us, ourselves. This is his work that He does through us, his servants, his followers. And, it is only according to his mercy that he uses us, who are mere human beings, to do his work on this earth. So, all the praise, honor and glory belong to Him, and not to ourselves. And, all the power, strength and wisdom to do his work comes from him, as well.

But, it is those who fear him who he chooses as his instruments to do his work. It is those who honor him as Lord, who bow before him, who give him the respect, value and obedience which he so deserves. It is those who listen to what he says and who follow him in obedience to his ways, who believe his words, and who are willing to go with him wherever he takes us.

It does not mean we are perfect or that we have arrived, for we are daily dying to sin and self, and daily we are walking in surrender to his ways. And, he is in the process of conforming us to his likeness, and making us holy, and purifying our hearts, and making us who he wants us to be. So, all glory goes to him for what he accomplishes in and through our lives.

He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate.”
Luke 1:51-52 ESV

This is going to sound like an abrupt shift in thought here, which actually it does in Mary’s song, too, but it will come together, I believe.

The gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s grace, which brings salvation, is taking a big hit these days. God’s grace has come under fire and there are those who are treating it as though it is no longer valid, as though it is out-of-date, as though it needs to be updated, altered and modified to fit with the times and with today’s culture. So, they have altered his grace to fit with the culture, and thus they have detached his grace from his moral laws, and his moral laws from his righteousness, too. And, that should cause us to weep.

And, so God has called certain people, I don’t know how many of us, as his chosen instruments, to share his concern, to share his compassion and his passion regarding this altering of his grace and this detaching of his moral laws from his righteousness. And, through us he is bolstering and reviving his true grace. He is giving strength to it in people’s hearts and minds through his servants who are speaking, writing and singing about his true grace which upholds his moral laws and instructs us in the right way.

But, the Lord is not just using us to bolster and to give strength to the message of his true grace which does not give people free license to continue in sinful practices. He has also called us to scatter the proud in the thoughts of their hearts by exposing this false grace. He has called us to expose this cheap substitute for God’s true grace, and this altering and cheapening of God’s true grace, which has taken place in order to appease human flesh and to make allowance for sinful practices.

He has let us see inside this cheap grace substitute to see what is really going on with it, and he is having us share what he shows us so that people will not follow it and so they won’t try to escape the wrath of God by following what is a lie. For, it is a broken cistern which does not hold water. It does not hold the Spirit of God. It is Spiritless. It is lifeless. And, the bond it supposedly has with God is outward only. Inside it is a bond only with self.

For, the whole purpose of this cheap grace, the “new” grace being passed off today as God’s grace, is to appease human flesh and to make room for sinful practices. It is not to uphold God’s moral laws, but to deny them, to reject them and to regard them as no longer valid. They teach a righteousness apart from his moral laws, but that is not biblical.

For we read in scripture that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk (in lifestyle, in practice) NOT according to the flesh, but according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. We read that only those who are walking (in practice) according to the Spirit of God have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

And, we read in scripture that God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jas. 1:21-25).

So, God’s grace is not just forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven as our destiny when we die. His grace delivers us out of our bondage to sin. It frees us from sinful addiction. And, it frees and empowers us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. For, Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness, not to tell us that repentance and obedience to him are no longer required.

And, for those of us who God is using to get out this message, we are humbled that he would choose us, and we are grateful that he would consider us, and so we give him all our praise and glory for what he is accomplishing through our lives in this giving strength to his true grace in the hearts and minds of people and in this exposing of the lies so that people will not seek after the lies and fall for a false hope of salvation.

“He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Luke 1:53-55 ESV

If we hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled. The cheap grace gospel does not do this, though. It is all about self and gratifying the flesh, and it comes from the heart and the minds of sinful men in their deceitful scheming. It promises much, but delivers nothing! For, it is based in a lie, not in the truth, and it will leave you empty if you follow it.

God’s true grace, on the other hand, which does demand repentance and obedience to our Lord’s moral laws, will fill us with all good things if we will go after it, instead. For “good” is determined by God, not by man. What is good for us is to be in submission to God, doing what he has called us to do, living holy lives, pleasing to him, and walking in his ways and in his truth.

This is where we will find true peace and rest. This is where we will know true freedom in Christ Jesus, our Lord, too, which frees us from our slavery to sin, and does not leave us still in bondage while promising us heaven when we die.

When we walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, we will be at peace with God and with other humans, too. And, we will know true joy in the Lord, and we will be blessed with his many spiritual blessings which he bestows upon us who walk in the fear of the Lord.

But, those who follow the cheap grace, and who think that a cursory acknowledgment of Jesus secures them heaven while they still walk in the flesh, they are in for a big surprise when they come up empty.

For one day we are all going to stand before God. And, all those who merely made an outward profession of faith in Jesus, but who did not follow that profession with genuine heart change, with repentance, and with walks of obedience to our Lord, are not going to enter into his eternal kingdom, but they will be shut out. It is what God’s Word teaches. So, believe it!

[See: Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9, etc.]

The Spirit Calling

An Original Work / November 12, 2019

Hear the Spirit calling.
He’ll keep you from falling.
Tenderly He’s calling,
“Come and follow Him.”

Walk with Jesus daily.
Don’t give in to lazy.
Folks may call you crazy.
Fellowship with Him.

Follow where He leads you.
Eat what Jesus feeds you.
His love will renew you
If you follow Him.

Do what Jesus tells you.
Don’t let your faith fail you.
His love will avail you
If you walk with Him.

Jesus, Lord and Savior,
Reigneth now forever.
He gave us His favor
So we’d live with Him.

Turning now from our sin,
Holy Spirit live-in.
Holiness we walk in,
Purified by Him.

 

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