“BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE COME TO KNOW HIM, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE ARE IN HIM: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” ~ 1 John 2:3-6.


My life goal is that I may know Him, by the power of His resurrection, in the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His likeness (Philippians 3:10-11, especially in the Amplified version of Scripture). My mission statement for life, that God led me to realize years ago and continues to call me to fulfill today is THAT I MAY KNOW HIM AND MAKE HIM KNOWN. So this passage grabs my attention today and brings me to consider anew whether I am attaining to my goal and fulfilling my purpose in life as God has led me to see it. This passage states that we may know that we know Him:

One ~ If we keep His commandments.CrossDaily05

God gives us instruction for life more abundant and full. It is not just a suggestion. It is a requirement, and Jesus did not come to remove or destroy the Law, but to fulfill it.

His sacrificial blood covers our sin and in Him, we are made into the righteousness of God, being seen as righteous because of His covering. But we are still called and required to change from the inside – out, being transformed into His likeness, and to be perfect in all our ways as He is perfect. We are still called to be keepers of His Laws. His Laws are more than just those we know as the Ten Commandments. They are explained and added to throughout His word.

We are called to love, but we cannot fully understand what that love looks like without studying it throughout His word to see its fullness and its selflessness.

We are called to fidelity in marriage, but we cannot understand the level that takes, being everything from purity of thought to purity in our relationships, without seeing all that His word tells us on the subject. And we cannot understand the depth of the importance in this area until we realize the correlation God makes between this earthly relationship called “marriage” and its picture of our relationship with Him, how the practice of fidelity in marriage gives practice for our fidelity to Him as the one true God, King of kings and Lord of lords. We are one in Him, called to unity of thought, purpose, and action, requiring that we are loyal to Him above all.

God’s laws are an expression of who He is and what He does. He does not call us to do anything He, Himself does not exhibit for us. Thus we have:

Two ~ “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

God is as He calls us to be, and Jesus came to model for us what a life fully surrendered and sanctified to the Father Spirit-fruit3looks like.

There is a quote by Robert E. Lee that I read today that speaks to me on the vital importance this practice of walking as He walked has in life. He is quoted as saying, “You must be careful how you walk and where you go, for there are those following you who will set their feet where yours are set.”

Those we have influence with will follow our example before they do our words. If our words and our actions do not line up together in agreement, they will see that. “Do what I say and not what I do” is an unrealistic, double minded, two-faced, ideology: and God hates duplicity.

A dad cannot expect children to speak to him without yelling while he, himself, is yelling. They may use a quiet voice out of fear of reprisal in his anger, but inside they will be seething, and their attitude will show it, going where his attitude led them. A mom cannot expect respect and a good attitude when children are required to fulfill their duties, when she is constantly grumbling and complaining, and is not acting as one worthy of respect.

“The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”

Knowing God means knowing His ways; being in Him means walking in His footsteps. Love, truth, righteousness, and faithfulness go hand in hand. If we love God, we will respect Him and His truth, living out the righteousness He expresses to us, being faithful in all our ways. In loving others we will imitate our God and His ways that they, too, may follow, reflecting Him in this life and leading others to follow.

Made for MORE

“We were made for more than to just survive. We were made to THRIVE!” ~ Casting Crowns (

These words keep coursing through my veins as I write you this morning. They have led me to dance with joy and anticipation as they flow through my soul. “We were made for MORE! We were made to THRIVE.”

Thrive, according to Free Online Dictionary, means to make steady progress, prosper; to grow vigorously, flourish.

We are not meant to settle in to status quo and fail to grow. We are to be in a constant state of maturing and becoming all God intended us to be, bearing fruit to His glory (Galatians 5:16-26).

l109149486I don’t know about you, but sometimes, beloved, the difficulties of life can so weigh me down that it feels like “surviving” is a good thing. But what the enemies of God mean for harm, God always intends for my good and His glory. There is something there for me to benefit from that will carry me from survival mode to that of one who thrives; I have only to discover it and make it mine.

An infant can have food and water, get their diapers changed and be given all kinds of pretty toys and noises to stimulate their senses, enough so that they survive. But to thrive and become all they can be, they must know the presence and touch and voice of someone who loves them.

We need the same as the Children of God. It is those who cannot discern His love, His touch, and His voice with assurance of His presence who too easily fall away and fail to live the life He supplies us, especially when trouble comes to life. To thrive, we must grow to know Him and His faithful, loving hand in our lives. Difficulty gives us opportunity to draw still nearer to Him and trust Him more, growing strong to thrive in our assurance of His presence with us, His love for us, and His care in time of need. And believe me, beloved, with the things going on in this world and the difficulty even His strongest followers are experiencing, without His Reality, we will not do more than survive.

Thus, to thrive we are to grow:

In the knowledge of God, that He is who He says He is (Philippians 4:8-11, AMP; Exodus 33:12-23).

God is real, and He desires to be our greatest reality. In order to fully experience His reality, our greatest desire must be to know Him. As we grow to know Him, we will grow in understanding of who He is, what He does, and how and why He responds to us / situations the way He does. The more we know Him, the more we know His heart, the better equipped we will be to BE like Him. The more we understand His ways, the faster we will be to respond in likeness to Him, becoming all He intended us to be as representing Him and His interests in the challenges we face.

We thrive as the BLESSed when we know Him best. Thus, to thrive we are also to grow:danny-hahlbohm-power-of-prayer

In knowledge and discernment, being secure in the things of God, in His ways and in His promises (Matthew 10:16; James 3:13-18).

We live in this world for a time and purpose set by God, but we are not to be of this world (having its priorities and ideology) for we are the people of God, purposed to be like Him and sent out for His glory. To do this, we must be secure in Him, in His Word, and in His promises.

Our flesh, this world and the demonic can be deceptive and alluring, robbing us of assurance of faith and destroying security in God’s reality. Thus, while we live in the world, we must “Be wary and wise as a serpent”, but “innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves” (Matthew 10:16, AMP). In other words, know your surroundings and how it works, but don’t become part of it. Be the people of God’s possession, His Kingdom representatives, emulating Him in life.

When we know God and His ways, as we see the way of things in our surroundings, we can discern the fleshly, the worldly, and the demonic found there. We don’t have to “learn of the world.” We just need to “know God”, having assurance in Him and His ways: that He is, and that He is the reward for those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6; Genesis 15:1; Jeremiah 29:12-14).

When we know God, we will be equipped to recognize that which is not of Him, discerning whether it is fleshly (coming from our old nature), worldly (stemming out of the world’s ideology), or demonic (a ploy of God’s enemy, sent to distract and lead us away from God and His ways). Recognizing the enemy warfare and walking in the victory of His Presence and wisdom, we grow in our security that He is, and that He is with us and for us.

We thrive as the secure when in Him we mature. Thus, to thrive we must also grow:

walking-with-godIn the knowledge of the Presence of God and the filling of THE Spirit of God (1 Chronicles 16:11, 27; Psalm 27:4; 1 John 3:1-19; 4:6-8; Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-26):

We are called to walk daily in His Presence and be filled with His Spirit. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Submit to Him and the devil must flee (James 4:6-10). It is this real life experience of Him that protects us from falling away to other “gods” found in this life; protecting us from deciding there is no God at all.

I am saddened by the number of professing Christians who, out of some fear of the “charismatic”, do not know how to discern the voice of God. Even sadder those who refuse to be filled with the Spirit of God for some fear of what they do not understand, and cannot understand until they surrender in faith to the experience of His Presence and Power. I am not talking tongues here, or running around the room barking like a dog; I am talking about experiential surrender to His indwelling Presence and Power that works within us so that we have experiential understanding of His Presence, His touch, and His voice, possessing with assurance His love that endures and ensures us that we will thrive.

I was greatly saddened the other day when, sharing how God led a loved one to discern a truth that brought wisdom to their heart, someone said, “Well they were just listening to / practicing their wisdom.” True wisdom is from God. He tells us when we seek Him for wisdom with full faith, He will give it to us. When we have been seeking Him for it and wisdom suddenly dawns on us, that is God’s voice and we best not lay claim to it as if it did not come from Him. The Presence of God assures our hearts and leads us to His wisdom.

“Not everything we hear is God speaking,” she said. And that is true. But when we know the Presence of God and the filling of His Spirit, we can discern the true from the false, and know when it is Him speaking. Only by faith to trust His reality and discern His leading can we fully follow in His ways. And only when His power indwells us will we experience true power for life that thrives despite circumstance. To do less is to just survive.

We were made to thrive, beloved. We are to grow strong in the Lord, knowing Him, knowing His ways, discerning His Presence, and hearing Him with spiritual ears that discern His voice (John 10). Filled up with Him and empowered by Him, we are to go forth as mature representatives of His glory with full faith in all His good word and promises.

We were made for more than to just survive, beloved. We were made to THRIVE.

The Reigning Royalty of God’s Kingdom (Pt. 3 of 3)

“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.

King Jesus is trustworthy, being found faithful in following Father God, keeping Him as of first importance and His purposes as first priority. King Jesus is trustworthy, found faithful in keeping the letter and heart of the very Word of God; knowing it with full and comprehensive understanding; and making God’s Word His own mantra for life more abundant and full. And King Jesus is trustworthy, pursuing – eternally – Father’s Kingdom Purpose in all things: today’s final point in this series, revealing the trustworthiness of Christ and the reason He is King above all.

anointing5Jesus Christ, the Messiah was faithful to pursue Kingdom purpose, proving Himself worthy to be the eternal King in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Though He lived as a good citizen in the world where He was stationed, He lived first and foremost as a good citizen of God’s Holy Kingdom. He kept Father and His purposes as first priority and this fact is heard in words spoken by Him and seen in the actions He took, as revealed in these few samples of His proclamations to us:

“Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them” ~ Matthew 5:17, AMP ~ We too are to fulfill and complete the Law in His name and power for the purpose of God to be fulfilled in our time.

“I have come down from heaven not to do My own will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me” ~ John 6:38, AMP ~ We too are to find God’s purpose for our living and being in this time of history.

“He said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples were saying to one another, ‘No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work’” ~ John 4:32-34 ~ We too must have desire for accomplishing God’s will in God’s way, seeing it as our greatest sustenance for life more abundant and full.

Jesus knew why He was here and He often told us what the purpose of His life and ministry was. It always was directed and dictated by the will and purpose of God for Him, not for His own desire. He denied Himself daily to take up His cross and follow God to accomplish His purpose, denying Himself His own fleshly desires in order to fulfill His greatest desire, that of accomplishing God’s will in God’s way. And we know He had desires of flesh because we are told that He was a man, just as we are; and He was tempted in all things as we are. As Leader of all He calls us to have this same purpose and take action in His likeness by denying fleshly desire in order to accomplish godly purpose.

Our greatest picture of the lengths Jesus would go to in fulfilling the purposes of Father God are revealed in such words and actions as these:

“Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial

But for this hour, I have come. Not My will, but Your will be done.
But for this hour, I have come. Not My will, but Your will be done.

and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]” ~ John 12:27, AMP.

“And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will’” ~ Mark 14:34-36.

Jesus went through many a trial and testing, being tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin; for, despite the struggle that might come to His flesh, He kept God and His purposes of first priority in every choice He made. Though He agonized over the hardship He was to undertake, He chose death over disobedience to God and failure to fulfill His good will and way for the completion of all things God desired to accomplish through Christ. And He tells us, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

Jesus sat the example then called us to do the same. He tells us that He came in the Name of the One True God, as representing Him and His interests, and He calls us to be His ambassadors, following His example in being the people of God, called by His Name. Jesus, our example in leadership, also taught us to pray to the Father in the name of the Son, Jesus, as representing Christ’ priorities and purposes in furthering His ministry in the earth. To accomplish living, breathing and praying in His Name, we, too, must be people of purpose, having the heart desire of Father God as our compass for life’s choices.

The Reigning Royalty of God’s Kingdom (Pt. 2 of 3)

“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.

WALK-WITH-GODJesus is our example in all things, especially as leaders in our sphere of influence. He set the example as one who looked to God as God, keeping Father first in all things, intent on fulfilling His will and purpose where he traversed. Jesus is God, though we cannot fully understand that, and though He made clear His unity and equality with Father, He took a back seat position, teaching us to keep Father as of greater importance and value. Jesus made a clear distinction between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus, we follow Jesus best when we seek and follow Father first in keeping with the way of Christ.

One of the main things God expects of us is to be people whose hearts are fed by His Word, bearing the fruit of It. We are to know His Word and be keepers of His Law, being people of our Word as He is His.

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love” (John 15:10, NLT).

One thing the kings of old were called to do was to write out their own copy of the Law of God (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). And they were to do so before the priests, I believe so that training, instruction and correction could come in areas of need. They were to know it for themselves, understand its heart intent, and keep it as their own truth and way of life. And we are called to do the same because we love the Father and He loves us.

Jesus was found at an early age, sitting with the priests in Jerusalem, asking questions and astounding them with His understanding. Jesus was crowned the Eternal King of kings, fulfilling God’s promise to David, because He followed Father, keeping Him of first importance, and:

He was faithful to the Letter and to the intent of Law, proving Himself trustworthy as a keeper of God’s will and way ~ Jesus often called the people down on their interpretation and practice of Scripture, especially the Pharisees and Sadducees. He pointed out that they knew the letter of the Law but not the heart behind it.

He expressed the Heart in issues like, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” ~ Matthew 5:27-28.

Those in positions of authority were often guilty of condemning the actions of another while they, themselves, had the same or some other sin in their heart desires. I believe this fact is why, when the leaders sat before Jesus a woman caught in the very act of adultery, He pointed them to look at their own hearts. They brought only the woman out. Where was the man? He knew their heart was following the letter, and only a portion of it at that (Leviticus 20:10), while their own hearts were in sin.Kin-Jesus2

Jesus imparted greater understanding of God’s heart on many issues, including it being easy to love someone who loves us, but the greater depths of the love God calls us to extend love even to those who are enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). In a populace that believed only the godly were blessed with wealth, He taught the greater sacrifice and blessing of the poor (Mark 12:41-44; Matthew 19:16-25); and that the true treasure we are to have is laid up with God in Heaven through our righteous choices for life instead of death – blessing over curse, good over evil (Matthew 6:19-21). We could go on—and on, but as John said, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25)

Jesus knew the heart intent of the Laws of God and amazed the people with His teaching because He was faithful in His relationship with the true Author of the Law. He was intimately in tune with the Father, and He has provided for us to have this same intimacy through the power of His Spirit that He sends into our lives to be our Teacher and to bring us heart to heart with the Father (John 14:26). Jesus enlightens the heart of every man and woman who sincerely and wholeheartedly seek Him as, in the power of the Holy Spirit, He grants them true understanding of the heart intent of God and His word to us.

This right and privilege is not to a select few, but is promised to each individual of us who seek His face with faith to believe and receive His word sent to us in our spirit-interaction with His Spirit. It is awesome to my heart when God speaks some deep understanding or revelation to my heart, and then I start hearing the same teachings coming out of the well-known leaders of our day, thus confirming for me the understanding I found.

We each have within us the ability to touch and be touched by the very heart of God and be inspired by the greater depths of understanding that will make us leaders where we are as we follow faithfully the true teachings of God, becoming people of His Word, following hard after King Jesus. His Spirit within us makes us one with Him and with each other. It is those who excel in this area who are worthy of being leaders among us.

Jesus kept God first in all things, and He fulfills the law regarding the rule of Kingship in His knowledge and understanding of the Law of God, therefore He is worthy of the position given Him at the right hand of God. And He is worthy of our allegiance to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. In our next post for this series, we will see another exemplary area in which Jesus proved Himself to be trustworthy in all things, winning the Crown of Glory that gives Him right to the throne of The Kingdom of God.

The Reigning Royalty of God’s Kingdom (Pt. 1 of 3)

“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.

It has been way long since my last post, much longer than I like to see between posts in a series. Sometimes life feels like interruptions, but what I find is generally true in such instances, this being one, is that the time of interruption is either training ground that gives experiential thought for the writing; or it is a breather time where direction and greater depth of understanding are birthed as I get God’s heart for what is to be said.

Jesus010Jesus came representing Father and His interests in the earth, earning for Himself the crown of David, ruler in his bloodline as eternal King of kings and Lord of lords, fulfilling the promise of God for there to always be a King on the throne through the lineage of David. He came as an example to us and calls us to follow, giving to us the authority of those who are of His royal household, so we are adequately equipped to represent Kingdom interests in the world. But what example did He set that we are to follow? Here is the direction that came during my time of breather for these final posts in this series.

Where there is a picture written for us for every area of leadership, there is one trait that stands out to me: that leader is to be found trustworthy. There are many other traits that are important, but none so great as this. Even in today’s society I am grateful for those who are found trustworthy in their post. I think one of the main hurdles our current President has before him is the doubt brought to the table before he won the first election that told those watching that he is not trustworthy. Questions still today float around that he is not even legal as a citizen, and therefore has no right to the roll he has won. Further incidences throughout his tenure just increase the suspicions.

Every leader seems to have their moment(s) of dealing with suspicions that bring question to the veracity of their actions; but not Jesus. Even king David, proclaimed to be a man after God’s own heart, fell in trustworthiness in the instance surrounding his lust for Bathsheba. But he proved the sincerity of his heart toward God through repentance, and God raised up between him and Bathsheba the great king Solomon, who brought peace to the people and was God’s chosen man to build His temple in Jerusalem.

Jesus, however, kept God first, being found faithful in all His ways, always having Kingdom purpose at the heart. We can learn much to help us at whatever level of leadership we hold if we will look to Jesus’ example. The first thing I see that we will cover today:

He was faithful to Father ~ Jesus kept God first , holding to Him as the one and only God and Lord in all things. He says of Himself, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. …I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will” (John 5:19, NASB; 5:30, NLT).

Jesus proved Himself faithful in keeping God and His will first and foremost, in all things. He was intimately acquainted with Father-God, revealing to us that we can be as well, showing us that intimate knowledge of God, His will, His ways, and His heart intents are ours to discover and follow above all else.

I am reading the Old Testament right now, reading the stories, lives, and legacy of the kings of Israel and Judah. One thing that I am noticing throughout is that no leader can lead a nation to a greatness that reaches even the least of the kingdom apart from that found by first following the One True God. Every leader would follow some god, but only those who were intimately acquainted with the One God and following Him lead the nation to true greatness. And the God or gods followed by the king is the one(s) the people would gravitate to. Our nation is in decline right now, and I believe it is because the majority of our leaders and the majority of the people of the nation are not whole hearted toward Father-God, Jehovah.

Jesus was a faithful leader, trustworthy in all His ways because He knew what Peter discovered and called us all toJesus_103 realize:

“You 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” ~ 1 Peter 2:9.

We, like Jesus, are a people for GOD’S OWN POSSESSION. He has called us and chosen us for a royal priesthood, to be a holy nation, set apart to the One True and Only God. In this we are to be found faithful in proclaiming His excellencies, being trustworthy and faithful stewards of our God’s creation, keeping Him first in all things as we dispel darkness by being His light in the world.

Jesus is our perfect example of faithfulness as one who was intimately acquainted with Father-God, being whole hearted toward Him, keeping Him and His ways of first and foremost importance in life. It is the first and most vital, trustworthy act of any leader, and it is one thing that won Jesus the crown of glory and led to Him being seated on the throne of the Kingdom at the right hand of God the Father.