Our Delight

Tuesday, July 01, 2014, 8:00 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put this song in mind:

Crown Him with Many Crowns
Matthew Bridges / Godfrey Thring / George J. Elvey

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne,
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o'er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 11:1-5 (NIV).

He Will Delight

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, is prophesied here by Isaiah. He was and is the promised seed of Abraham; the promised Messiah to the people of God of that day, who was yet to come upon the earth. He is our God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is our creator, sustainer, Savior, Lord, and King. Although he was God, he left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, and was tempted in like manner as we are tempted, yet without sin. He was completely God and yet completely man; our God incarnate. He came to earth to die for our sins, so that we could be delivered from slavery to sin, and so we could walk in his holiness and righteousness.

Jesus Christ operated in the fear (awe; respect; honor; and reverence) of the Lord, his Father God. Although he was God himself, yet he was always in obedient submission to the Father, and he did all that the Father said to do. In fact, he delighted in obedience and submission to the Father, in complete reverence, and with all due respect (esteem, value and regard) for God. The Spirit of God was upon him, not just because of Jesus’ baptism, where the Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove, but because he was God and because he was the Son of God, and thus the Spirit of the Lord was upon him always. Jesus Christ was, thus, full of the godly wisdom, counsel, understanding and knowledge of the Spirit of God. And, he operated in the power and strength of the Spirit, too.

Our Example

Jesus Christ, in his relationship to the Father and to the Spirit, sets the example for us in how we are to walk in his ways, too. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to operate our lives in the fear (respect, honor, and reverence) of God. Do we truly? Sometimes I wonder. I find so much joking, poking fun, and lack of respect in relation to God and to his word these days. I find that few leaders within our churches truly teach the fear of the Lord anymore. Do we even comprehend what that really means? God was in Jesus’ thoughts all day long, i.e. he was ever aware of his abiding presence with him, and he considered him in all that he did and said. He didn’t separate his human life from his spiritual life. They were one and the same. And, his goal was to please the Father in all that he did and said. Is this our goal?

He also submitted to and obeyed the Father. These are words that are scarcely used anymore. “Obedience” has become a “dirty word” in most evangelical circles, and is often been associated with “works-based” salvation. Yet, it isn’t. Jesus learned obedience through the things that he suffered, even though he was God. He taught us that the way we demonstrate our love for him is by obeying him. The disciple John taught the same thing, as did Paul, Peter and James, etc. Obedience is not following a set of rules to earn our salvation. Obedience is a heart response toward God in receiving his salvation into our lives, which says that we willingly die with Christ to our old ways of living for sin and self, and we submit to the working of God’s grace in our lives in transforming us away from sin and to walking in his righteousness and holiness – all in the power and working of the Spirit within.

With Righteousness

He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.

We make judgments with our eyes sometimes that are not right judgments. The scriptures warn us against making superficial judgments based upon appearance. Looks can be deceiving either direction. In other words, we might see someone who seems bubbly and happy all the time and so we assume that person must really love Jesus and walk with him. That may or may not be true, though. Or we might see someone who looks more serious or solemn much of the time, and we might think just the opposite about that person, which may also be true or not true. We may also look at what someone is wearing, or the kind of car a person drives, or whatever else we might “see” with our eyes, and we may come to quick and rash judgments about people which may be completely far from the truth.

As well, we may hear things about people which may color our opinions of them, but what we hear may not be the truth, as they might come from the mouths of those who dislike the person for whatever reason, or through those who are operating on faulty information themselves, or through those who are prejudiced for or against the person (or people like them) in some way. Or we may even hear something the person himself or herself says and we may reach wrong conclusions because we heard through faulty or prejudicial ears, through our own life experiences, and/or through the teachings and attitudes of others, some of which may be what we have picked up from childhood on through adulthood. We are influenced in so many ways – through history, schooling, church, home, relationships, culture, society, and the values of life which have been passed down to us from generation to generation. And, oftentimes those things influence our hearing and our judgments.

Jesus Christ, nonetheless, does not judge merely by what he sees and hears, but he judges (evaluates, draws conclusions, makes decisions and pronounces rulings) with righteousness (purity, truth and virtue) and with justice (fairness, impartiality, honesty and integrity). His judgments are not based upon human standards and reasoning, the culture and society in which he once lived, history, personal prejudice, and/or physical sight or hearing. He does have the advantage to see inside people’s hearts. We do not. Yet, the word of God teaches us that we should test everything, hold on to the good, and throw out the bad – not based upon human standards and reasoning, though, but based upon the word of Truth. The word of God is our only measuring stick for evaluating and deciding what is of God and what is not of God, and it is to be our only true guide for judging rightly and justly.

When God judges humankind, thus, he does not make these judgments lightly or arbitrarily, nor does he look on the surface only. The Bible says that humans look on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Only God truly knows what is in any of our hearts. And, he will judge accordingly. He judges through his word all the time. Hebrews 4:12 says:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I know that the word of God teaches me his truths in practical ways all the time, and it convicts my heart of wrong attitudes, words and actions, and it encourages and strengthens me in my walk with the Lord. By the word are the Lord’s servants warned, and in keeping the word there is great reward (Ps. 19:11). I love the word of God, even when it points out my sins. I am glad that I serve a God who judges rightly and justly, and that he speaks to my heart every day through his word, even when the word is like a sword to my heart sometimes, judging the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. And, I am also thankful for the Lord’s discipline, too, because through his discipline I am being trained, nurtured and matured in him. I delight in the awesomeness of my Lord Jesus Christ, his faithfulness in all he is and does, his righteousness, and in his word. And, I choose to submit my way to him and to follow him in obedience for the rest of my days. How about you?

Praise Be Told! / An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.