Dispelling shadows


Recently, I noticed our darling son, Reuben, who is three month shy of turning four, try to stamp out his shadow and when I asked him what he was doing, he said, that he did not like his shadow and did not want it to follow him. I explained to him that there was nothing he could do about it, until it dawned on me that the only way that he could get rid of the shadow was to be the source of light himself. As long as light shines on him, his shadow will follow, but when light shines from him, his shadows that follow him will be dispelled.

In our walk with Christ, it is no different. In our very lives, we have many shadows that follow. The shadow of self (personal desires over God’s), the shadow of sin, and the shadow of death (sin’s wages) are lingering shadows that become evident when the light of the world, Jesus Christ, shines on us, giving us the knowledge of the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:6). And when we accept Him, He comes into our life, and His radiance dispels self, sin and death. How? We become a new creation (dispelling self; 2 Corinthians 5:17); We are imputed righteousness (dispelling sin; Romans 3:22); We have eternal life (dispelling death; John 3:16).

When Jesus Christ shines on our lives, we can observe the shadows around us, but when Jesus shines from within us, all shadows are gone. The only way that we can get rid of the shadows is to hold within ourselves the very source of light, Jesus Christ. Christ in us, is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)
6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:27 (KJV)
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

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Beloved’s desire and delight


Song of Solomon 7:10 reads I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.”  Throughout this book, allegorically Israel is painted as the beloved’s (God’s) betrothed bride (Hosea 2:19-20) and the Church as the bride of Christ.

From the verse, there are three things that we can learn:

  1. We belong to God (I am my beloved’s)
  2. God is beloved, which means He is to BE LOVED. The sum of the law and the prophets is in loving the Lord, our God with all our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22:40). In other words, it is all about first God being Loved.
  3. God’s desire is toward you and me. Psalm 8 poses the question, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:4) and Proverbs 8 answers that question by stating “and my delights were with the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:31). In other words, we are the delight of God.

Points to ponder:

  1. Do we belong to God?
  2. Can you and I say that God is my BELOVED i.e., God is being loved by you and me?
  3. What a wonderful thing it is to realize that we are not only the desire of God, but we are his delight as well. His desire for us is constant and never changing, but are we living our lives in such a way that when he finds us, he will be delighted to see us.

Hosea 2:19-20 (KJV)
19
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
20
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

Consumed and Called


Jeremiah 15:16
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Questions:
1. Do we consume (eat) the word of God when we find it?
2. Does the word of God consume us (nourishing out heart making it joyous) when it finds us?
3. What are we called by those around us? Are we called by His name? Calling His Name (as did David when he faced Goliath) is one thing but being called by the Name of God (as Christ Ones a.k.a Christians) is something altogether different. Both are necessary.

Faith and Fear


What is Faith? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1). It is the substance, meaning it it real. It is an evidence, meaning that it can be proven even if invisible.

What is Fear? An acrostic for the word ‘FEAR’ reads False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is diametrically opposite of faith. There is no substance and the evidence is not only invisible, but non-existent and cannot be proven.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)
Fear comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of the enemy of God, Satan. When Eve and Adam listened to the lies of Satan in the garden and sinned against God, they were afraid (they feared) and they hid themselves from God.

God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7). So are we living by Faith or are we living in Fear? The question really is, whose voice are we hearing – God or his enemy?

J-E-S-U-S


The F.E. Marsh Bible Study outline has an interesting acrostic of Jesus that reads as follows:

J – Justifies us by the Blood of His atonement (Romans 5:9)
E – Endows in His peerless person (Ephesians 1:3)
S – Saves us in His life (Romans 5:10)
U – Unites in His baptizing Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13)
S – Sanctifies by His indwelling presence ( Galatians 2:20)

What more can I say, but just “show me a God with a name that justifies, endows, saves, unites and even sanctifies us, other than Jesus, I dare you”.

Weak God


At the very onset, let me state that God is not weak, though some may claim and think it to be so. The ones at the foot of the Cross mocked him as a weak God, one who could save others but at the end could not save himself. For the Almighty (Elohim) God, this is a ridicule of immense proportion. He who fashioned the world with his Word and the one who controls all the elements of life, is now being told that He is weak, succumbing to death. But His state of weakness, He willingly chose, so that we may not be weak and enslaved under the bondage of sin. Jesus himself expressed that  He willingly laid down His life so that He may take it back again (John 10:17) and Pilate had no power over Jesus, not to crucify Him nor to release Him,  except that which was granted to him (John 19:10-11). So the reality is God is not weak.

However, for a moment, even if one was to think that God is weak, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that this weak God has to be subject to the power and strength of men. On the contrary, even the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25). So if we were to take all the strength that men can muster and force that against God, it would be just a whiff of air against His weakest state.

The Truth is the Strongest of the strong chose to be weak, so that the strongholds of sin and its wages, a.k.a. death will no longer have its power over His people, whom He came to save (Matthew 1:21). Jesus is not a weak God and even when He chooses to be, He is stronger than the strongest of all men.

Wonderful God


There are about 25 references in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible in which the word wonderful or its variant appears, however, there is only one verse in the entire Holy Scriptures in which it is used as a name (with an uppercase ‘W’). This is in Isaiah 9:6 which is a foretelling of the birth of Jesus Christ and the titles/names by which He would be known. Amongst all of the given names such as Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the first in that list is the name Wonderful (and yes it is distinct although many think it is an adjective to his counseling abilities; no, it is not wonderful Counsellor, but Wonderful, Counsellor).

All of the definitions in the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary for the word ‘wonderful’ is given as an adjective. Some of the definitions include exciting, marvelous, astonishing, unusually good, admirable. There is not a single definition in which the word ‘wonderful’ is a noun (as a Name).  So the Bible is unique in defining the unique Lord Jesus Christ Wonderful.

His name is Wonderful, but is He really wonderful? Let us not speculate, but search the Scriptures to gain the answer.

  1. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14) – His CREATION (you and me) is wonderful!
  2. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: (Psalm 40:5) – His WORKS are wonderful!
  3. Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed? (1 Samuel 6:6) – His DELIVERANCE is wonderful!
  4. This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. (Isaiah 28:29) – His COUNSEL is wonderful!
  5. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. (Psalm 119:129). His TESTIMONIES are wonderful!

His Creation, His Works, His Deliverance,  His Counsel, and His Testimonies are all wonderful. So you be the judge as to whether this God is wonderful or not. I pray that our response is not like that of the self-righteous chief priests and scribes who were blind despite their seeing of the wonderful things that Jesus did and were sorely displeased, while many praised God saying ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ (Matthew 21:15). Today there are many who see (experience) the Wonderful God and instead of praising God are displeased on account of their own self-righteousness. We must instead be like the Psalmist who when he learned of this Wonderful God, simply exclaimed, such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. (Psalm 139:16).

What a Wonderful God Jesus is. He creates us wonderfully, His work in our lives is wonderful, His redemptive deliverance of our lives from sin and grave danger is wonderful, He counsels and guides our lives in wonderful ways so that our testimonies of Him are indeed wonderful! Jesus is THE Wonderful God, His name is Wonderful and He lives up to His Name! I challenge you to show me another man or god who does.