Remember the Day

There’s a particular day God wants us to remember; every single day of our lives, He wants us to recall that special day: the Day He brought us up out of slavery. (De 16:3)

Individually, we’re all born dead to God, in sin, a captive of the god of this world. (Ep 2:1-2) But God intervenes, delivering His elect from the powers of darkness (Col 1:13), out into His marvelous light (1Pe 2:9), giving us new hearts (Eze 36:26), and eyes to see. If this describes you, remember the Day.

We’re one with the people He rescued from Egypt (Ep 2:14), in mystical union with them across time through Him (Ep 5:30), being delivered from Pharaoh through Christ, our Passover Lamb. (1Co 5:7) He tells us to keep Passover (1Co 5:8)the Lord’s Supper, to help us remember that day, every day.

Never forget where you’ve come from, Who delivered you, and where He’s taking you. Thank Him every single day; thank Him for that Day, the day He saved you.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Ps 100

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Cleave to Jehovah

Loving God is obeying Him (1Jn 5:3), and obeying Him includes cleaving to Him (De 10:20), clinging to Him, sticking to Him like glue; we can’t love God as He ought to be loved … from a distance.

If we ever find ourselves checking in with God, that means we first checked out. If we ever return to Him, then at some point we must have left Him. If we’re ever unaware of God, oblivious of Him, ignoring Him, then we’re out of focus, distracted, consumed with the temporal, cleaving to dust.

What if one of the four beasts surrounding God’s throne, whose sole purpose is to glorify God Almighty by continuously repeating a single line, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come,(Re 4:8), got distracted for a minute, and checked out to focus on something else?

We’ve no lesser purpose here and now. Sure, we can’t physically see Jehovah (1Ti 6:16), but He’s as much or more with us than with the heavenly hosts; He lives in and through us! (Ep 4:6) Constantly envision Him standing beside you, hovering around you, observing, engaging … He’s closer than that, closer than our breath. He’s never distracted, never loses focus, never forgets.

We’re not to hope to live this way, looking to abide in Him (1Jn 2:28) in some far away day, but to be deliberate and intentional about it now, moment by moment, cultivating a continuous awareness of God’s companionship in our lives, and purposing to cleave to Him. (Ac 11:23)

If there’s anything we cannot boldly do in the presence of God, then let’s not do it. If there’s anything we cannot freely say before Him, then let’s not say it. If there’s any place we cannot joyfully go with Him, then let’s not go there. We live and move in Him (Ac 17:28); let’s do all in His name, every moment of every day.

In Christ, we can focus on the task at hand without ignoring Him; we can engage in prayerful conversation while we’re rejoicing in Him (Php 4:4); we can live in unbroken delight in His immediate and overwhelming presence as we serve Him here in this life. (Ps 27:4)

This is our inheritance in Christ; He lived this way (Jn 8:29), so He can live this way in us, as we accessHis life by faith. His command in itself proclaims His promise of aid in all who seek Him. (He 11:6) It’s a loss to live a single second of this life in any other way.

Oh! To be ever mindful of the living God! Continually loving Him, feeding in His majesty!

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Every Idle Word

Most people seem to think their spiritual lives are their own business, of no one else’s concern, an extremely private matter. Yet Jesus said we’d each give a public account of every word we’ve ever spoken. (Mt 12:36)

The implications are staggering; some day, somewhere, our words and actions, all of our willful activity, will be on display before the universe; we’ll be explaining our motives to God, why we did what we did, in every detail of our lives, in the presence of the angels and all of humanity.

Hubble: Sombrero galaxy

In that awesome Day, no one’s opinion will matter but God’s; His Law is the standard by which all our motives will be measured. (Jn 5:45) Nothing will be overlooked; nothing will be missed. (Lk_8:17)

How we spent our time, our money and energy, our loves and affections, our hatreds and lusts, it will all be out in the open for everyone to examine, a public display of our entire existence. On trial in the midst of an immense amphitheater, the center of everyone’s focus for hundreds of years, no one will be there to cover for us, no one to blame but ourselves.

In looking toward that Day, the only reason we might be uncomfortable is if we’re evil, living in darkness. If we’re living in the light, seeking and following after truth, we’ve nothing to fear. (Jn 3:20-21)

We can ignore the words of Jesus and live our lives in secret, heedless of the coming Storm, as if we’ll never be discovered, and be ashamed before Him when He appears. Or, we can abide in God, cleaving to Him, continually and humbly asking Him to reveal our motives to us now, and engaging spiritual community to help us live more and more according to His will, and expect to be bold (1Jn 4:17) and confident in that Day. (1Jn 2:28)

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This Is Love

God’s first and great commandment is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. (Mk 12:30) It’s the mark of every child of God: we love Him. (1Pe 2:7) As in most everything, definitions are critical; they’re particularly helpful here.

Love has many shades of meaning: loving ice cream, a county, a song, a painting, a grandfather, a spouse, a teenage crush … it’s all vastly different. What do we mean by loving God?

Perhaps we have an affection for Him, a sense of loyalty and appreciation, a fondness for Him and a passion to serve Him. This is essential in loving God, but is it sufficient? Can we feel this way about God and still not love Him?

God defines loving Him as obeying His commands (1Jn 5:3); if we aren’t obeying Him the best we know how we don’t yet know Him (1Jn 2:4), much less love Him (Jn 14:21), or anyone else. (2Jn 1:5-6) Apart from obedience to God’s Law, all sentiment and service is nothing. (Mt 7:22-23)

God’s commands are His testimonies, how He reveals Himself and expresses His nature. (Ps 119:18) When we deliberately break God’s Law we grieve Him, and this causes God to suffer. (He 3:17) How can we pretend to love someone, to be caring for them and seeking their good, when we’re wounding them on purpose, for no good reason? It doesn’t make sense; it’s a contradiction.

The new man in every child of God delights in His Law (Ro 7:22), because God’s writing them on our hearts and into our minds. (He 10:16) We meditate on them (Ps 119:97) and rejoice in them (Ps 119:14), being quickened, energized (Ps 119:93) and enlightened through them (Ps 119:104); they’re profoundly priceless to us, our litmus test for everything. (Is 8:20)

It’s so easy to deceive ourselves here it’s frightening. (Je 17:9) Our old man hates God’s Law and can’t submit to it (Ro 8:7), so we tend to dismiss it as optional and make up our own way as we go, reinventing Jesus as we wish Him to be, an idol of our own device, and place our affection there.

Let’s prove ourselves the way God says (2Co 13:5), in the light of His commands (Ps 119:105), putting on Christ and asking Him to incline our hearts to His Way (Ps 119:36), to enable us to cleave to Him, so that when He appears we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him. (1Jn 2:28)

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