“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!” Psalms 139:1-6 NLT
It is incredible to think that God knows everything about you. He knows what you do...where you go...what you think...what you are going to say. He sees you wherever you go, because He is in front of you and behind you at the same time...He surrounds you with His love and His presence. To top it off His hand of blessing is on you.
How does this make you feel?
It all begins with a heart exam. So, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NLT And pray this prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalms 51:10 NLT
He knows your heart.
“Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart.” Job 22:22 NLT
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 NLT
If you have been set free, you need to stay mindful of several things:
First, know who it is that has set you free - Jesus
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 NLT
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life...” John 14:6 NLT
Second, know what has held you captive - sin
“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” John 8:34 NLT
Third, know what it cost - Jesus' life
“He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”Titus 2:14 NLT
Fourth, know what you're free to do - live righteously
“Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” Romans 6:18 NLT
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1 NLT
Walk in the freedom of God's grace.
As a child, Christmas always brought an eagerness...an anticipation into my life every year. I eagerly waited for Christmas to arrive because of the hope of gifts.
I still have an eagerness for the coming of Christmas today, but the reason is a little different now. The arrival of Christmas will always be a reminder to me of the greatest gift I've ever received...Jesus.
We find two examples in scripture of those who were eagerly waiting on Jesus to come.
“At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel." Luke 2:25 NLT
Simeon had been promised by God that he would see the Messiah before he died. Eight days after Jesus' birth that promise was fulfilled.
Then Paul reminds us that we as believers in Jesus Christ should also be eagerly awaiting His return. He says, “...we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” Philippians 3:20 NLT
Are you eagerly waiting?
Maybe understanding the reason for the eagerness might help. “He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:21 NLT
We will be changed...We will be like Him.
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 NLT
Sounds pretty good to me. I can't wait.
How about you?
“What can we bring to the LORD? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:6-8 NLT
Have you ever wondered what it is the Lord wants you to do? Well, here it is.
To do what is right - “There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.” Psalms 106:3 NLT
To love mercy - “Come and show me your mercy, as you do for all who love your name.” Psalms 119:132 NLT “May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.” Jude 1:2 NLT
To walk humbly with your God - “Seek the LORD, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly." Zephaniah 2:3 NLT
What a challenge; it sounds easier to do than it really is.
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
With God's help you can do it.
“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” Titus 2:11 NLT
Grace is defined as unmerited favor. Think about it, you and I absolutely do not deserve the favor of God, but nevertheless it is ours through Jesus Christ.
I've also heard it described as:
Grace truly is the expression of God's love and mercy for us through Jesus Christ.
“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 NLT
If God has revealed His grace to you, thank Him for His favor...His mercy...His kindness...His love...His Son - Jesus.
You are Blessed and Highly Favored.
There are times when the enemy will try to convince us that God really didn't mean what He said. Just like with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” Genesis 3:1 NLT
We sometimes try to justify our choices by telling ourselves that God is really ok with what we are doing, even if it goes against His word. In essence we are creating a god who conforms to our way of thinking, instead of allowing God to transform the way we think.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT
Be mindful of three things:
...God is God and you're not.
...the devil is a liar
...God never changes
“I am the LORD, and I do not change.” Malachi 3:6 NLT
You can learn to know God's will by thinking God's way.
Then it's up to you to do things His way by making Godly choices.
Waiting patiently is not one of my better virtues. How about you, do you wait well?
I have to remind myself who I'm waiting for and that He is faithful to His word.
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalms 27:14 NLT
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.” Psalms 62:5 NLT
Is there something you are waiting for the Lord to do in your life...
...an unanswered prayer
...restoration of a broken relationship
Waiting is not necessarily a passive activity. While waiting, seek Him through His word...wait in His presence...listen for His voice...watch for His activity...be ready to respond.
Think of how God has waited patiently for you to respond to Him. “So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18 NLT
Will you join David and say: “I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.” Psalms 62:1 NLT
He's worth waiting for.
Do you ever have days, spiritually speaking, where you feel you have taken two steps forward to face the next day and immediately take three steps back?
You can easily fall into discouragement if you allow yourself to focus on the circumstances of life and not the giver and sustainer of life.
The enemy wants nothing more than for you to lose heart and to disrupt your peace.
Remember this: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 NLT
God is always faithful and will finish what He started in you.
Don't forget “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV
You can have victory in the midst of your circumstances through Christ who is in you, and you can experience God’s peace even when things seem to be falling apart.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 NLT
Are you living by the Spirit in every part of your life?
Are you allowing Him to guide your thoughts and actions?
“...those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit...letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace...You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.” Romans 8:5-6, 9 NLT
“...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:14 NLT
Walk in the confidence of your salvation as you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 NKJV
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT
Are you ready for the coming of Christmas? I'm not talking about what the world offers regarding Christmas, but Who the word tells us is coming.
..."Prince of Peace"
You may think, hasn't He already come and gone? The truth is He never left...He's always here.
Christmas is a reminder that He comes to those who are ready to receive Him. He comes to us according to our need, whether it be as Savior, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
So, the question is worth repeating.
Are you ready for the coming of Christmas?
Bro. Joe Metts