csibiblestudy


It Is Test Time
April 19, 2017, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags:

(1 John 1:5-10) “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Do you notice the “If we say” phrases in this passage. First, “if we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness”, second “if we say that we have no sin”, and third “if we say that we have not sinned”? Take time to find these phrases and notice what they reveal. “We lie, and do not the truth”, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”, and then “we make him a liar, and His word is not in us”. It is apparent that John is giving us test of the reality of our relationship with Christ. Can there be a more important test? Do you pass?

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Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 15, Our Desire (Psalm 37:3-4)

1970 Dodge Challenger
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When I began reading Psalm 37, I noticed that it is a little unusual as a Psalm because most Psalms are expressions of praise and worship directed to the Most High and Amazing God, yet this Psalm is written to me. One of the struggles that a Christian may have, and I think if we’re being honest, most of us do, is “why the ungodly prosper while the godly seem to struggle through life?” The problem with this question is the attitude of selfishness behind it. It is based on a wrong belief that if life (here we are really saying “God”, but are afraid of offending Him) is fair, then because I have surrendered my life to serve God, I should be blessed with a life full of all the things I need and most of the things I want. Anyone who refuses to receive Christ and instead go their own way, following their self-centered desires, should suffer. In my world, this will humble them and bring them to the end of their ropes, so they will turn to Christ as their only hope. Anyone who sees how God blesses me, will then understand that the best choice they can make to get saved and follow Christ, and watch the blessings flow into my life from God. Can I call “Time-Out”? If you stop and think about this view, God is reduced to a genie in a bottle, called upon to give me everything I can desire. He is my slave, working for me, and fulfilling my plan for my life. God calls to us in this Psalm to correct this view and call us to follow Him and see that He is the treasure. God, please help me to see that You are the Treasure, the Most Valuable and Most Important and Priceless God. If everything is stripped away from my life, and all that I am left with if my relationship with God, I am wealthy. I have my treasure that is worth more than anything and everything I can have in this world. I also need to remember that my relationship with you is eternal. This life is but a blink in time when you compare it to eternity.
So what are the steps to put this mindset to death? First, “Trust in the LORD, and do good”. The reason I struggle with what the ungodly have and I don’t have is because I don’t trust the Lord. Pure and simple, I struggle because I don’t trust God. His viewpoint about what is important in life should be my viewpoint, but it isn’t because I am selfish. Before I was saved, I bought a 1970 Dodge Challenger. I poured money into it to make it a sweet ride and I accomplished my objective. Then I got saved. I began following after the Lord and believed He was leading me to Piedmont Bible College (now Piedmont International University). I packed up many of my belongings, got into my Challenger and headed to college, following the Lord. While there I worked with my home church youth group, so each weekend I put over 200 miles on my precious car. When faced with a school bill, I sacrificed parts off my beloved Challenger because I wanted to stay where God put me. Before long, the car wasn’t in such great condition and a wreck in a snow storm disabled my prize ride. My intention was to fix it up, but I had more important things to do with my money. The Challenger was sold, yet there is a desire to one day have another one. Ever so often, I will see a Challenger and the desire will rise again, and I ask, “why do they have a Challenger, and I drive a mini-van?” So I have to trust the Lord. I have found my Father so faithful and that mini-van (or a variation of it) has been full of my kids and their friends, my grandchildren, and a large number of kids that my wife and I have ministered to throughout the years. The memories in a mini-van flood my mind, and to be honest with you, I really can’t remember much about my Challenger. When I trust the Lord, I see the good He has done in my life and it causes me to trust Him more. So when I begin to envy, I focus on trusting Him to do His eternal plan of good in and through me. The second part of the verse is to “dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed”. In the original language, I am told to live in the land (His place of service) and enjoy security that comes from His faithfulness in feeding us. The reward of trusting Him is that He will place you to live in a land that is green. “Delight thyself also in the LORD” another way of saying “trust in the Lord”, and we have a promise that He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” When I trust the Lord, and delight in Him, I will be changed. I begin to desire different things. As the Spirit works in my life, I begin to put priorities on what my Jesus desires. Inwardly, I change in what I desire. But I have this promise: I will be given what I desire and my delight and desire is in my relationship with Him. When He becomes my priority, He will take care of what I need. God, I struggle with my desires. I often times am selfish and what things more than you. I envy what others have and at times resent the success and prosperity of those who don’t follow You. Forgive me. By doing this, I have worshipped things more than You. I have delighted in stuff more than You. God, help me to delight and desire You, and You alone. This is my worship and reflects what I truly believe and value. God I surrender to You. When, I start to envy, convict me and remind me to trust You. God, be my desire!