Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Simplify to Glorify!

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm 126:5,6

Sacrificial Obedience

Those who wholeheartedly live for God and His Kingdom willingly say "no" to this world and "yes" to God. 

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead at his reward." Hebrews 11:24-26

Moses said "no" to his worldly status and wealth and "yes" to Christ and His purposes because Moses' focus was not on earthly and temporary things but on the heavenly and eternal fruit that sacrifice would bring.

Jesus sowed His life willingly because He was looking ahead. He saw the joy of fruitfulness that His sacrificial sowing would bring!

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2 (emphasis mine)

True sacrifice is costly. Jesus sowed His life with tears to return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with Him! We read in the letter to the Hebrews that, 

"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered" (Heb. 5:7,8).

The suffering spoken of here is not the result of disobedience but the consequence of sacrificial obedience for the sake of God. Jesus chose to lay down His life to please the Father, to benefit others and for the joy of fruitfulness set before Him.

When we say "no" to the things of this world, we make room for God. It costs us and we sow Kingdom seed with tears but we do it because the reward will be far greater than anything this world can offer. 

Living for eternity may bring temporary tears 
but it brings eternal joy!

Sacrifice makes room for God!

Sacrificial obedience is motivated by a desire to see God's Kingdom established on earth as it is in Heaven. God even challenges His people to test Him in this! In Malachi 3:10 - 12, the Lord commands His people to bring the whole tithe to the storehouse so that God can throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that we will not have enough room for it!

For many people tithing is costly. Giving a tenth of one's income can mean saying "no" to many things in this world. However, even if the tithe is sown in tears, it will relase the abundance of heaven! The tithe, sown in sacrificial obedience with tears will bring a harvest with joy!

Sadly many misappropriate these verses and try to coerce God to bless them by giving their tithe. However, those who sacrifice to release God's Kingdom to please the Father, to benefit others and to glorify God are those who will reap a harvest with joy!

Make room for the King!

The Lord is calling His people to make room for Him. The Father wants to manifest His presence, His power and His Kingdom in and through our lives but He needs space. Making room for God means there are some things we enjoy in life that we will need to say "no" to so that His Kingdom can come. God's purpose in getting His chiildren to make room for Him is not to be a spoil sport or for us to be miserable! He wants His people to live for the sake of eternity and to be filled with "inexpressible joy" as we sow our lives sacrificially and receive the abundance of heaven for His glory.  

What is God calling you to say "no" to so that He can manifest His Kingdom in and through your life? How can you simplify your life to live for God? How can you simplify your life to glorify God? Child of God:  

Simplify to Glorify!


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Be strengthened by grace!

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." Rom. 5:1,2

Stand in grace

God has made provision for man to stand in His undeserved favour! By depending on Christ's righteousness, the believer is made right with God and is able to enter into God's gift of love. Having removed the barrier of hostility, Jesus invites the believer to participate in God and to be a partaker of His divine nature. Once the believer enters God's favour by faith, he can stand in God's grace, enjoying the pleasure of God and the Father's delight in His child. 

 Grace reigns

 Once the believer learns to dwell in God's grace, the Lord's grace can reign in the believer. Paul writes that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace reigns through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 5:21). The believer therefore reigns in life as he remains in grace and God's grace reigns in his life! 

Strengthened by grace

God wants us to understand what He has freely given us in Christ! As the believer receives revelation of this wonderful truth by the Spirit of God (see 1 Cor. 2:12), he can stand in grace, allow grace to reign and be strengthened by God's favour! 

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." 2 Tim. 2:1

Grace for holiness
When the believer stands in grace and grace is reigning in his life, he can find grace to be strengthened in life and overcome all the obstacles of the enemy. It is this grace that "teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and wordly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright lives in this present age." (Titus 2:11,12)

The throne of grace

The believer is encouraged to approach the throne of grace with confidence, to receive mercy and find grace in his time of need (Heb.4:16). It is therefore the knowledge and experience of God's unconditional love and favour that strengthens us and encourages us to persevere in holiness and righteousness. It is God's kindness to us that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4) and places the desire in our hearts to live to please God - not to earn favour but because we have been lavished with His love and receive His favour despite our short-comings! 

The greater the revelation of God's grace and love, 
the more we are filled with Him and desire to live for Him  
(see Eph. 3:17-19)

Child of God, approach the throne of grace with confidence. Enter the grace of God and let His grace reign in your life through Christ's righteousness. Be strengthened and encouraged by God's grace so that you can overcome temptation and live a holy life that is pleasing to God.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift to us!