Thursday, January 01, 2009

Line Up Our Will With God's

Each New Year's Day since 2004, I have had the dilemma of selecting a topic to start a brand new year of blogging. Several ideas have come to my mind, but as I went about my morning routine of making coffee, having breakfast, and then making several "Happy New Year" phone calls, nothing seemed quite right for my first post.

Occasionally, I will use a different search engine and type in my screen name into the search. I have often found new links to my blog and/or comments that I had left at other blogs and, quite frankly, had forgotten about.

A little less than a year ago, I had answered some questions posed by a commenter at another blog. Apparently, it remained in moderation for quite a long time. Finally, I had given up that it would ever be posted. I thought that it must have been rejected by the blog owner.

Today, while doing a brief search, I discovered that the comment was published. Upon reading it, I thought that THIS was the subject that would be great to start the new year of blogging here at Talk Wisdom. The following questions and reply is what was written at the other blog:

Christinewjc Says:

January 13th, 2008 at 11:13 am
Alex & Brett,

I found your website and blog via WorldNetDaily today. What a breath of fresh air to find two wonderful young Christian men asserting themselves in such a positive and productive way! Jesus is smiling down from heaven!

If I may, I’d like to address Matthew’s questions.

Matthew wrote:


“why can’t a person like Jason feel inspired and motivated without thinking that “God has a plan” for him? why can’t he make a plan for himself, or a plan that benefits the people close to him?


The following verses may help explain why Christians give all the glory to God; especially for the proper direction that he gives us throughout our lives on this earth:

Rom 8:27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. (NLT)

Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)

When our will lines up with God’s will, it is then that we discover our gifts and how to use them in sharing the gospel of Christ as well as the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.

Matthew also wrote [Note: he was commenting on an article about the achievements of "Mary Slessor" and why (he thinks) her efforts in Africa should be a "testament to her own will and good nature" rather than because of the "influence of Jesus Christ" in her life]:


“it is clear that Mary Slessor achieved the things she did because _she_ motivated _herself_ to get out of Scotland. Why isn’t her perseverance in Africa a testament to her own will and good nature, instead of a result of the influence of Jesus?”


There is a verse in Isaiah that humbles every Christian:

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Here is the NLT version of that verse:

Isa 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Because of what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross, we give all the glory to Him. He is righteous. We are not. It is only through repentance for our sin and believing in Christ that our sins are washed away and we are reconciled back to God.

Despite the fact that I am not perfect and make mistakes, it is when I turn to His strength, not my own, where evidence of the Holy Spirit working and guiding me in my life becomes apparent.

What I have found in my own personal walk with Christ is that when I line up my will through doing things that are pleasing to Him; it is not for my glory. It only belongs to Him and is for His glory. I have found that whenever I do things for Him and others that line up with His will for our lives (which can be found in Christ’s words and the entire Bible), rather than for myself, it is then that I experience the greatest satisfaction in life.

*******end of original post*******

Some might ask - how does anyone know whether or not he/she has "lined up his/her will with God's?" The answer is through knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and adhering to the plumb line of Scripture.

Anyone can read the Bible and interpret to their own liking and views. We have seen this phenomenon increase over the last 20 years or so. Ideas that were once though sinful, ungodly, and forbidden according to God's Word, are now touted as something to be celebrated, encouraged, and even regarded as "blessed."

But who is to say that such ideas are not to be "celebrated," "encouraged," or "blessed"? God does. How? Through His Word. In what way? Through the plumb line of Scripture. The utilization of the "plumb line" tool, along with "Sola Scriptura" and Bible hermeneutics, we can be further assured of interpretation accuracy. It is important that nothing is added or subtracted from the original meaning and intent of the authors.

I often like to read the commentaries of biblical scholars of the past. It is amazing how accurately they discern the meaning of certain passages. One tool that is often used is "Scripture interprets Scripture." This is a tool used by scholars which can be regarded as "checks and balances" against any heresy, apostasy, or misinterpretation creeping into the analysis being done by the commentator.

There are many, many former posts that I could link to this one. However, The Backbone of the Gospel Message seems to sum up this post quite well.

Here are a few excerpts from that post:

How true, faithful and filled with wisdom God's ancient Word is! The Bible's ancient wisdom is as revealing now, as it was then, as well as throughout history! When it comes to describing today's contemporary culture, we see the examples included in the "marketing of evil" being presented to an unsuspecting public as "good" and the true Good being labeled as evil!!

Isaiah 5:20 - Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Jesus' own words!

John 15:18 - If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.

John 15:24 - If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

John 15:25 - But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

The Law needs to be presented as the backbone of our gospel presentation because its function is to prepare the heart for grace. Martin Luther said of the Law, "In its true and proper work and purpose it humbles a man and prepares him - if he uses the Law correctly - to yearn and seek for grace."

In Chapter 6 of "TWOTM" ("The Way of the Master" book), we see the extreme importance of the Law:

1. If the Law didn't demand death for sin, we wouldn't need a Savior.
2. God chose the Ten Commandments to carry the message for the need for repentance.
3. The true convert comes to the Savior, Jesus Christ, to satisfy the demands of a holy Law because he/she realizes that he/she could never satisfy it!!
4. The true convert isn't like Adam who ran from God in the Garden after sinning.
5. The true convert delights to do God's will because God's Law is within his heart (Psalm 40:7- 10)
6. The Messiah became a curse for us and redeemed us from the curse of the Law.
7. The Old Testament said of the Messiah that He would "magnify the law and make it honourable" (Isaiah 42:21).
9. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my Commandments."

God's Law prepares the heart of the sinner for the Good News of the gospel. Without this preparatory work, his heart is hardened, and he therefore becomes a candidate for a false conversion.

One of my ongoing and fervent prayers for non-believers is that they are not led into a "false conversion" because of many of the heretical ministries out there - currently disguising themselves as "Christianity." What I have shared here will help any seeker from falling into such a trap.

God's Word is timeless! It is the truth without any mixture of error. The Bible can be trusted!

The Bible is God's Word to all mankind. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalms 12:6; 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5


God's revealed written Word shows us not only His great love, mercy, and grace towards us, but also how His Law is just, yet, can't be kept by our own effort. The Law reveals our dire need for the gift of Jesus Christ's shed blood on the cross! This leads us to see our need for confession and repentance because we ALL have broken God's Law.

God's provision (Christs' cross) for our forgiveness of our transgressions reveals His mercy as well as His holiness!

Our goal should focus on becoming more and more like Jesus while on this earth while sharing the message of the gospel with others.

Not all people will like us for that.

Not all people will listen.

But we are called to preach 'Jesus Christ and Him crucified' until we either leave this earth to be with Him or He comes back to 'rescue' us.


HT: The Lord's Plumb line

4 comments:

Susan Smith said...

“Jesus Christ and Him crucified” is a great way to begin the year!

Amen, sister! May you and your readers the world over have a prosperous 2009... I send this to you with much love from the East coast to the West coast of this nation under God.

The one Church body is one holy nation, one land and we have one God, the God of Israel, Jesus the Messiah. You are a blessing Christine! (ss)

Ted said...

MESSAGE TO EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS:

When counting the electoral votes, either Congress finds by 1/8/09 that Obama, not being an Article II “natural born citizen”, fails to qualify as President whereupon Biden becomes the full fledged President under 3 USC 19 (free to pick his own VP such as Hillary) or thereafter defers to the Supreme Court to enjoin Obama’s inauguration with Biden becoming only Acting President under the 20th Amendment until a new President is duly determined.

The preferable choice, at least for the Democrats, should seem obvious.

Christinewjc said...

Susan wrote: “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” is a great way to begin the year!

Yes! Amen!

Just as Christ said on the cross, "it is finished."

Our redemption from sin is complete when we confess, repent and ask Him into our hearts to reside there as our Lord and Savior - in the form of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the "Helper" and "Counselor" that Jesus promised us at Pentecost.

This is the reason why the various groups that want to preach a "crossless" Gospel - fail. They fail miserably for their church, community, and congregation. The "Way of the Master" book covers this in detail.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous and "in the center of God's Will" year in 2009, Susan!

Love & God bless you,
Christine

rebecca said...

god bless you Christine, may you and your readers have a blessed new year! You truly put Christ, first, center, and always! this blog has been a blessing to me, i feel like you are one of the few people who "gets it."

keep your eyes open to the truth, your hands open to the helpless, your heart open to Christ!