Others may have grown up in a “liberal” church where it was more about following the moral character of Christ. While it is true that Jesus loves the sinner and also that He came to be a servant, that was secondary to His love of the Father and His obedience to everything that His Father lead Him to do. He did everything His Father asked Him to do because of His great love for His Father. (When we have that love we, too, will also possess God’s love for others, the second great commandment.) He spent much time with Him alone in prayer and away from the masses of people. The Apostle Paul reminded us of this very thing, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1 emphasis mine) Did you see it, did you hear the Holy Spirit revealing that the love of which Paul spoke of is our love and true intimacy with Jesus Christ? When we are “one” with the Lord, it is His love which flows through us and it is His love which will transform not only us but those in whom we have contact. Without His love, we are a noisy gong and nothing of any eternal significance will occur. That is social justice. (I am intentionally not going into detail concerning the social causes of today but praying that you will allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and reveal God’s truth, according to the true Word, and be able to understand and distinguish between helping someone and truly seeing a change in their lives for the glory of God.) It is not wrong to help those who are hurting, Jesus taught that very thing in the parable of the good Samaritan. But if there is to be an eternal outcome it can only come through the love of the Lord and the moving of the Holy Spirit.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, and He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make a decision by what His ears hear; but with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; and He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.” (Isaiah 11:1-4 emphasis mine)
This Scripture we have just read is so amazing, it truly describes a spirit filled believer! Yes, it is the telling of the coming Messiah and how He will be recognized. It is actually a two part revelation. The first is when the Messiah came to this earth as the Passover Lamb. The second part reveals His Second Coming when He returns to rule in the Millennial Kingdom of God. But it also reveals what a true relationship with the Lord is. Notice the “seven” spirits? Seven represents sanctification, holiness. “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
When we are “reborn” we are now set apart unto the Lord. What does that mean? It means that we have been sanctified by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, set apart for God’s use. Upon our rebirth we receive a new nature. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 emphasis mine) “and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—” (Colossians 3:10 emphasis mine) So what is this new nature? We receive the Spirit of the Lord (Holy Spirit), spirit of wisdom, spirit of understanding, spirit of counsel, spirit of strength, spirit of knowledge and the spirit of the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord can only come when we have received the other six spirits, and remember the number “six” means God’s grace! God’s grace gives us everything we need in order to walk with Him! None of these things can be achieved on our own initiative.
What does Scripture tell us about the relationship between Jesus and His Father? “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) This was not new revelation, Jesus was confirming what was taught in the Torah, in the Book of Genesis. God, the person of the Godhead, Jesus the only begotten Son and the Holy Spirit all had a specific nature and each had a significant influence upon creation. We see this in the creation of the earth, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3) And we see this in the creation of man, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;...’” (Genesis 1:26 emphasis mine)
John the Apostle, who presented the life of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God and delighted in giving us insight into His deity and divine nature begins his account of the life of Jesus with these impacting words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 emphasis mine) Jesus came to this earth with one purpose, that was to be the Passover lamb, the sacrificial lamb that would be slain and the blood shed would be acceptable to the Father and open the way into the Holy of Holies (through His resurrection) for all those who repented and believed in the Son of God. Therefore, he was confirming who He was and that as the accepted sacrifice (once and for all times) there did not need to be an annual sacrifice for sins, it was (and always has been) a personal relationship. “Jesus *said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” (John 14:6)
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (John 14:21) We cannot love God and not love Jesus. If that is you, my dear friend, you are without salvation. Let us stop and pray.
Abba Father, You are our life, our only eternal life, without You we will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Open the hearts of each person reading these words today that they would have the eyes of their hearts opened to reveal the truth of the person of Jesus Christ. You did not hide His life or His coming in the Words written in the Torah, the Tanakh or in the Books of the Prophets. Your holy prophets were given revelation of His coming and looked forward to that day. There is no other god of any religion that will bring eternal salvation, You alone are the Almighty God. Satan will try and deceive man by his lies that the “gods” of other religions are the same as You. These “gods” are imitators and liars, just as Satan himself. There is no other way into Your presence except through the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Messiah and His ascension to sit at Your right hand. He is the “Sent One”, Emmanuel “God with us”. His death on the cross was accepted by You and the veil of the temple was torn in two which opened into the Holy of Holies that we might worship You in spirit and truth. Thank You Father that You have heard this prayer and that You will send Your Holy Spirit to touch the lives of those reading this that they may see and know that You are Lord. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are the only way, the truth and the life and that no can come to the Father except through You! Amen.
For Jesus the fear of the Lord wasn’t something that He had to think about or to be reminded of. His love was so strong that He could not even consider doing anything against the Father or displeasing to the Father. His love was so strong that He would never do anything to “hurt or dismay” His Father. His desire was to see the Father glorified! (Please go to the study in January 2018 entitled “The Glory of God” to understand the glory in the true sense.) The following Scripture penned by the Apostle Paul puts everything in a proper perspective, “who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,” (Philippians 2:6)
This, my dear friends, is where we meet the crossroad and must choose which path we will take, ours or the Lords. Pride is the downfall of every man and woman. We want to be right. We want to be in charge. We want others to look up to us. We want to be in leadership. We want to run the show!
Have you truly considered these words of Jesus? “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’” (Luke 9:23, Mark 8:34, Matthew 16:24 emphasis mine) “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38 emphasis mine) Denying oneself is not understood today when it comes to the things of God. We have become so immersed in our cultures that denial means material possessions or food or other “perceived pleasures”, but it is much more and only can be understood through our relationship with the Lord. It took the disciples of Jesus three and a half years to finally understand what Jesus was talking about. All during the time they walked with Him during His ministry on earth they were always thinking of their own wants, needs, ideas or plans. It was not until after Jesus was raised from the dead and appeared to them for forty days did they finally begin to understand His Words. It was during this time that the Lord gave them the Holy Spirit and gave them instructions to wait in Jerusalem what the Father had promised (Acts 1:4).
When we confess our need for Jesus Christ we are stating that acknowledge that we cannot rule our own lives. We are asking Him to come into our hearts to be Lord of our lives not just our Savior. “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Romans 14:9) Jesus is asking each of us today a very important question, “Did you ask Him into your heart just so that you would receive eternal salvation, or did you ask Him into your heart to be Lord?” There is a major difference between the two!
If you, indeed, understand your need for a Savior AND Lord in your life, you will also have a deep love for Him which will transform your heart and you will love to “fear hurting the One you love”! “I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies.” (Psalm 119:59) “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.” (Psalm 119:133) You will want to be in His presence. “Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors.” (Psalm 119:24) You will want to spend time worshipping Him and reading His Word. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” (Psalm 119:18) “Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand…” (Psalm 95:6-7) “How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Psalm 84:1-2) You will delight in obeying His every word. “I delight to do Your will, O my God; your Law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8) You will want to be in obedience to all He reveals to your heart concerning His plans for you. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” (Jeremiah 29:11) He will show you “your cross” which you must bear and what must be set aside in order to walk with Him on the narrow path which He has chosen for you. You will be content in trusting Him to lead you even when you can’t see the way clearly. “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
Can these words be said of you? Are they the song of your heart? “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26) “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)
These immortal words of Jesus should cause us to examine ourselves. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (John 12:25) Further insight in His words can be found in the words of Jesus to the church of Ephesus, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4) They had become so enmeshed in doing what was right in their own eyes in the way of good deeds that they lost their love and fear of the Lord! If they didn’t repent He was going to remove their lampstand! (Please see the Bible Study on the seven churches of Revelation under Devotionals, “First Love” Love.) “‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’ It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he *said to me, ‘Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he *said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’” (Revelation 19:7-9)
As we close our study today, consider these words the Lord spoken through His prophet King Solomon. “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.” (Proverbs 8:14) “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” (Proverbs 8:17) “Listen, for I will speak noble things; and the opening of my lips will reveal right things. For my mouth will utter truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing crooked or perverted in them. They are all straightforward to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.” (Proverbs 8:6-9) “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:34-36)
Abba Father, I bow before You today, humbled at the Word which You have spoken. Thank You that You love us so greatly that You would teach us, again, the truth of Your Word! You have given us all wisdom and knowledge but yet we have neglected it and turned away from it to pursue worldly ways. I repent of those ways of the world which have crept into my life and ask that You continue to convict me of any wrong doing that encompasses my way. My desire is to love You and glorify You in all my ways. Thank You as You continue to open my eyes and reveal Your truth to me as I read Your Word. Your Word is life! I come to it thirsty and weak and You refresh me and strengthen me. I pray for each of those who read these words and ask that their hearts be softened and that if there be any who do not know You, that their hearts of stone be changed to a heart of flesh to love You and follow You all of their days. Thank You for the most precious of all gifts, the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ who sits at Your right hand interceding for us day and night. All this I pray in the blessed name of Jesus, Amen!