The Righteous Lot of God

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. WHEN HE HAD MADE PURIFICATION OF SINS, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they” ~ Hebrews 1:3-4.

The Righteous Lot of God does more than just keep laws. These are the people who, like Jesus, walk with God step by step. Psalms 1 comes to heart as I think on the person who is numbered among the righteous lot of God’s possession.

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather” ~ AMP.

The righteous walk and live:

1. In the counsel of the godly.

When my children were teenagers, everyone ran around shouting “What would Jesus do?” They wore WWJD jewelry and wrote the initials on walls. It became the watch-word for the youth of my children’s day and it carries on still today. This is the heart of the righteous lot of God’s possession, to find the path of the godly, keeping company with people of godly character, and seeking after godly counsel.

2. Taking action to right the wrong, leaving the company of the ungodly.

Scripture warns that “bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The righteous will not stand by and watch someone do evil to another, but will take action to stop the evil. The righteous realize when someone is given over to evil intent, and, however much they may love the person, they choose to disassociate from them when they are given to the practice of sin, in order to protect their own heart from following after folly. The breaking of the bonds of fellowship with those given to sin is not out of hate toward the person, but out of love for God that desires us to keep our heart from evil. If keeping company with a friend in this life constantly causes us to fall away from God and His ways, it is better to break it off with the friend than to fall away from God.

3. Finding peaceful pastures in which to dwell.

There is no peace around people who are constantly negative and spouting off in judgmental accusation toward others. Our political climate right now is a perfect example. I watch enough news to know what is going on so I can make informed decision as the need arises; but when I sit and just listen to even Christian news programs, hearing the rhetoric over and over about the day’s difficulties, it leads to a heart of contempt toward others. Some of the godliest people I know can sound off with fervent hate toward leaders of nations because they constantly feed their souls with the news that breeds disdain for those in power. I don’t believe this is what God has in mind for the righteous lot. We are to be people who look to Him, feasting our hearts, minds and souls on Him and His word so we enter into peaceful pastures where He can lead us to righteous paths.

Verse 2 of Psalms 1 says, “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” It does not tell us to meditate on the day’s events or the struggles of life day and night. Proverbs 29:18 warns:

“Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he” ~ AMP.

If we want to enter peaceful pastures, we cannot do so with minds full of the frailty of life and the difficulties of our day. It is only found when we enter into the redemptive revelation of God, knowing who He is and what He has done and is doing on our behalf. True righteousness belongs to those who know:

“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” ~ Romans 8:22-24.

Sin is a reality in the world. Focusing on it does not make us righteous. Instead it hinders righteousness as it robs us of the peace we have in Christ when we give focus to the things of God: His word, His will, His way, and the testimony of light He desires we have within us. The darkness of this world will only be dispelled by the Light of God in us. That light is dimmed by contention and contention comes with the worries of life and clinging to our desires instead of to God.

“More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” ~ Philippians 3:8-9.

Jesus is our righteousness. When we sit with scoffers, feeding our souls with the day’s news items or the constant complaint from those never given to think on the things of God’s choosing (Philippians 4:8-9), letting our hearts be brought to turmoil, we forget who we are in Christ and fall to behaving out of a fleshly, worldly, demonic value system that dims the light of God in us. Focus on the turmoil in this world brings us to fighting for our right and clinging to our possessions. Focus on God and on Jesus. Be filled with the Spirit of God. Then the light in us, which consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, will pour forth to bear witness in the world, dispelling the darkness around us, and breeding peaceful pastures in which to dwell (Ephesians 5:7-10).

Father, we live righteous lives not because of our own goodness, but because of Yours. You grant us righteous status through our relationship with You in Christ, therefore we behave righteously in all things as we feast on You. Thank You that in Christ, You impart true righteousness to us for the sake of Your glory, and You empower us to live it. In feasting our hearts, minds, and souls on You and living Your ways out into our world, Light dispels the darkness around us. In associating with those of like value system, we protect our hearts from evil. And in taking counsel from the godly, we are helped to the righteous paths by which we walk and live as the righteous lot of God, chosen to be Your witnesses for such a time as this. Grant us right thought and right focus that we may feast in You and find peace that passes understanding in the day of trouble and help to weather the storms of life, choosing right and true paths for our feet.  In Jesus, amen.

“But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]” ~ Psalm 1:2-3, AMP.

God’s Rainbow Ready Followers

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and UPHOLDS ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS (FATHER’S) POWER. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they” ~ Hebrews 1:3-4.

The rainbow is a symbol of God’s faithfulness to His Word reminding us that He is the promise keeper. Jesus upheld all things by trusting the Word of God’s power. God spoke all things into existence and Jesus knew God’s word would come to pass. Jesus never stood on His own word, but on the Father’s word to and regarding Himself, and in knowing the Father and His will and way. He believed God and stood ready, watching for the fulfillment of all things to come to pass, and He worked with the Father toward that end.

He also knew when a danger was no more than a threat because it was not yet His time. He walked out from the midst of an angry mob without fear for his life because He knew His end as prophesied in God’s word and He believed God, therefore He was unafraid. He slept in the midst of a storm tossed boat because He believed and trusted God with regard to His destiny. He refused an earthly crown, knowing the Father had so much more in the works.

It is by knowing God’s word and His purpose and plan for us that we, too, can stand the test, the storms and the threats of this life. Are we Rainbow Ready: watching with earnest expectation and hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise and plan? Are we standing on His Word to us, trusting in His will and way?

I was asked just yesterday how to know we are hearing from Father in our personal situations and I have been thinking of how to respond to that. There is no sure outline to follow that works for every person. As I think of my own journey to discerning the Father’s voice, here is what I see:

Faith to believe: We are told to ask when we need wisdom, and if we ask in faith to believe, He will give it. What I have found and believe true is that God always responds to the sincere heart that is seeking Him. The problem comes when we second guess God and fail to receive His word to us with faith to believe it is Him who is speaking.

My journey to know the voice of God and trust it became strong when He pointed John 10 out to my heart, telling me through it that those who are His KNOW His voice and follow Him. I latched on to that and decided, God’s word being true, that I could trust that. So I told Him of my faith in His word and that when I discerned what I recognize as His voice instructing me, I would follow that in faith unless He made it clear to me that I was misinterpreting the voice. I called God to remembrance of His word and expressed trust in Him to be keeper of His word in my life. Wow, has He ever been faithful to grow my understanding and comprehension of how He speaks to and works with me.

I don’t believe any one person can say, “This is God’s voice.” In my experience, He works different with each individual, as Proverbs 22:6 (AMP) says, “in keeping with his individual gift or bent”. It takes faith to believe God’s faithfulness for a person to know His voice, and following His instruction requires…

Trust in Him: We can have faith to believe what He speaks to us, but fail to have trust in Him to work His will in the situation. Jesus not only had faith to believe the Word of God toward Him, but He trusted God to make things happen in accord with His will. We too often fail to follow through with faith filled trust because we don’t know the outcome.

Trusting God requires realizing that He sees the bigger picture and has a purpose for the outcome of our situations. Hearing God’s voice requires we have a faith that obeys His lead while leaving the outcome to Him. Even if the outcome of following His directives is not what we hoped for, we can trust and know that God is working a plan and purpose that will ultimately achieve much more than we can see and know this side of eternity. People too often fail to follow God’s instruction to their seeking for fear of the unknown outcome, and usually there is a possibility of things going in a direction we see as bad.

Paul’s experience when the Spirit kept him moving toward Jerusalem despite warnings that the outcome would not be good on the earthly realm of things is an example (Acts 21-28). He knew the outcome of his continuing forward had great potential to bring a hardship he did not desire, but he also knew that God had a good purpose for the outcome and that He would work great things out of his willingness to follow with faith-filled, believing trust in His power to accomplish good.

Stopping to think about that, how can it be any different? To always follow only the directives we discern to be God when we know the outcome will be what we want requires no faith to believe in and trust God. What kind of God would He be if we never had opportunity to walk with faith in trusting Him to be bigger than life?

Faith to believe that trusts in God so as to follow without being able to see clearly is vital. When we can trust God, no matter the outcome, that is when we have the strength of His power to see it through to the finish. This is the faith Jesus had that allowed Him, in His darkest hour, to say, “Yet not My will, but Thy will be done.” He knew the cup of hardship He was about to partake of would not be easy; but He trusted God for the outcome and was strengthened to drink of the cup. Trusting God to be God despite what we see in the earth. That is the Good Shepherd’s call.

Father, You are our hope. No matter what this life brings to us, You are faithful and will have Your way. Jesus walked through and out of trouble without fear because He knew His day, ordained by You, had not yet come. Father, pour forth our measure of faith a hundred fold and empower us to “only believe” so we may enter Your rest and find help for the times of good and the days of trouble. Grant us to be rainbow ready followers, having faith to believe in You and trust to follow You, knowing You will work good for our eternity whether or not our earthly outcome is what we desire. May we know Your voice and faithfully follow You into eternity. In Jesus, amen.

The Representation of God’s Nature

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact REPRESENTATION OF HIS NATURE, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they” ~ Hebrews 1:3-4.

CrossDaily05Jesus is our example of One representing the very nature of the Father, and He calls to us, “Come. Follow Me.” When we choose to follow, we become His living stones. Just as Jesus is the Living Corner Stone, we are being chiseled into the very image of God in Christ Jesus. Peter expresses our call as image bearers in 1 Peter 2, telling us that we, as living stones, are…

“a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation” ~ vs. 9-12.

As royal priests, we are representatives of God and His interests in the world. The more we know Him, the better our understanding and comprehension of His nature will be. In knowing His nature, the better we will know His ways. And the better we know His ways, the more clearly stated will be our representation of Him, His glory, and His interests.

This is what I believe was the problem for the people of God in Moses’ day: they refused the invitation to experience God for themselves, preferring instead for Moses to relate with Him on their behalf (Exodus 19:16-20:26). Failing to choose to know Him for themselves, they did not have relational experience of His presence to help them stand firm in His ways, and they wound up falling away from the Living God. God calls us to individual relationship with Him still today. And still today, the choice is our own to make, whether or not we will walk with Him.

Paul tells us that once we choose relationship with God through Christ, we become His representatives in the world with a charge to be His light where we are. As God’s representatives, we are continually stripping off the old, unregenerate self in order to put on the new, spiritual self, “which is ever in the process of being renewed and remolded into fuller and more perfect knowledge upon knowledge after the image and likeness of Him Who created it.” And as Paul continues in Colossians 3, He implores us:

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones – His own picked representatives, who are purified and holy and well-beloved by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, and patience, which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper. Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference, a grievance or complaint against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so must you also forgive. And above all these put on love and enfold yourselves with this bond of perfectness which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony. And let the peace – soul harmony which comes from Christ rule and act as umpire continually in your hearts, deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s one body you were also called to live. And be thankful, giving praise to God always. Let the word spoken by Christ have its home in your hearts and minds, and let it dwell in you in all its richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom in spiritual things, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with His grace in your hearts. And whatever you do – no matter what it is in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in dependence upon His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him” ~ vs. 12-17, AMP.

This is our calling and equipping, beloved, as true representatives in Christ, fulfilling the purpose and bringing to completion the interests of Father in the earth. But this is only a beginning of our knowledge. For more clear understanding, each individual of us must seek to know Him for ourselves; and one main place He is found is in the pages of His Word. Learn it so as to have it dwelling within so that you may live it.

Father, as Jesus represented Your very nature, so are we to follow His example. You not only call us to be Your representatives in this life, but You equip us for it, filling us to the full with all that You are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and more. We are fully supplied to shine Your nature to the world so that they may know You and so they may know Your ways. Grant us to walk by the Spirit so that we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh. In Jesus, glorify Yourself in our very nature. Amen.

My Desire Playlist (8 songs) ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=113H_ySsBYg&index=3&list=PLfiEjLIYhJ9AfidNKH4ify2vg0Z5t-SSj

All scripture is in New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise stated.

The Radiance of God’s Glory

“And He (Jesus) is THE RADIANCE OF HIS (FATHER’S) GLORY and the exact representation of His (Father’s) nature, and upholds all things by the word of His (Father’s) power. When He (Jesus) had made purification of sins, He (Jesus) sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (The Father), having become as much better than the angels, as He (Jesus) has inherited a more excellent name than they” ~ Hebrews 1:3-4.

This week on Living Worshipers Rally Point, we are praying this passage for the Body of Christ. It seemed good, as I considered the example we have in Jesus, to write accompanying devotionals to go along with each day’s focus. Yesterday, as I did not get back to this as planned, we looked at the radiance of the Father’s glory that is exemplified for us in Christ.

WALK-WITH-GODJesus radiated the glory of God for us, so that we could see what that looks like. Thinking of that, I recall Moses in contrast. The people were afraid of Moses because of the light in his face that shined forth the glory of God found in the intimate relationship with Him that Moses possessed; so for the sake of the people, Moses covered his face. Jesus, on the other hand, let it all hang out—or shine forth, if you will. And He calls us to follow His example by doing the same.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” ~ Matthew 5:14-16.

Like a lamp, we are placed where we are in this life for the purpose of lighting up the area. The closer we walk with God, the brighter our light. We must not be ashamed to let the light out. Nor are we to cover it up so-as to make others more comfortable. That defeats the purpose of light.

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” ~ Ephesians 5:6-10.

We are to be in direct contrast to the dark things of this world. Our light is made known by a life of goodness, Parhelia Diamondsrighteousness, and truth. There is no truth in shrinking back so the darkness can have its way. Light dispels darkness. The very purpose of light – of glory, is to shine forth into the night.

I have night lights scattered throughout my house. When I wake too early and walk out of our room, made extra dark for sleeping, I am immediately greeted by lots of light throughout each room and across every walkway, making it easy to traverse the night. That is the job we have as His light. Dispel the dark so others may see to find The Way.

“We who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!” ~ Ephesians 1:12, AMP.

Father, we are here to radiate Your glory: not hiding it from onlookers, but living as pleases You in all things so that others may see and know You. As we lift the Body of Christ to You today, O God, I pray that each individual one of us will follow Christ’s example and be the radiance of Your glory in the place You have placed us, no matter how dark and difficult. May we be found faithfully fulfilling our call in Your name and to Your glory. In Jesus, amen.

For further thought, read “Be Parhelia”. Then press into your day and SHINE! ~ https://darlenesponderings.com/2012/07/13/be-parhelia/

BE PARHELIA

Darlene's Ponderings

Walk as Children of Light

Parhelia DiamondsLike a sun dog, shining bright to make the sun’s presence known,

so the children of God shine.

 Have you ever seen a sun dog, or a picture of one?  I have seen them but didn’t know what they were called until my husband sent me some excellent pictures of the phenomenon.  Here are two he sent that are just spectacular, each speaking volumes to my heart. 

In the first I see the brilliance of God shining forth in the center of the darkness.  His rays radiate out to us on either side through Jesus Christ and the power of the Spirit of God, and through us to the world that cannot see because of the darkness. 

In the second, the sun cannot be seen well because of the clouds.  The spots radiating out on either side of the sun are what is trulyParhelia - Clouded visible…

View original post 502 more words