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Monthly Archives: August 2013

“It is not imitation that makes sons; it is son-ship that makes imitators.” (Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians – 1519, p. 263)

When we have diffused all hope in our own goodness, been thoroughly disappointed in ourselves, become without any other hope than that we must be God’s workmanship or else, then, we can – through faith in Him – do all the things we thought possible when we first became a Christian.

A man of God must learn to be dead to any hope of independence from God. Many of us have lived sickened by perhaps years of dissonance: believing, but not realizing that faith alone brings that victory.

The Holy Spirit keeps assuring us, keeps drawing us beneath the blood of Jesus for cleansing and refreshing: He waits for us.

The shame, all of which Jesus scorned while on the cross is rooted in our desire for excellence and our failure of it. Jesus graciously and independent of our efforts exchanged for us (my) sin so I might receive, His righteousness.

We cannot achieve righteousness – certainly not in perfection. We cannot achieve; but we can receive.

At the first we received forgiveness. We must also receive the Holy Spirit. Because we cannot “walk” in human nature’s strength, we will sin.
But, “If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

We can be spectators; we had no input. The gift of life is everyman’s gift. We can commit suicide many ways, but we cannot erase the fact that life was to us gifted to us and not of our own doing.

Religion evolved and whole cultures grabbed at the straws of superstition, of ignorance, of feigned self-righteousness, there is no righteousness except it is given by the righteous One. Every one of us is as a spoiled apple: we already sinned.

Why would we not want our sin washed away? Why would we not want to be reborn and made sons of God? Every effort of reform which has come on earth through government has been focused on a future we never see and although promised, never happened.

The greatest reform which brought the greatest civility earth has enjoyed was hand carried, not especially in the name of Christianity; but by men who had become imitators of Christ because they had become sons of God: Luther was right. He was born again. He became a son of God when He heeded that “The just (must) live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38).

Trusting Jesus involves first receiving Him, but He left the visible scene. He is the true Interceder for men, the Holy Spirit. “He will lead you into all truth,” Jesus promised. (John 16:13)

To be led we must follow. To hear is not the same as to heed. We can grieve the Holy Spirit; lie to the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30 – Acts 5:3)

The Christian life is a relationship that occurs one-on-one with Him. Imitators of Christ are not imposters.

We call it imitation, because we realize that this is nothing of the natural man: it is miracle brought to us by grace.

He did not leave us alone, nor leave us as orphans, He abides in us. Foolish minds distinguish what they call ‘natural’ from the ‘supernatural.’
By Him all things consist and without Him nothing does. (Colossians 1:17)

So, we live our lives through faith, as though we imitate. We do not live by the appearances our minds conjure.

This is the victory that overcame the world, brought civil life into the Western Hemisphere – with it “Christian” values.” It is the victory that must overcome in the face today, of renewed opposition.

“Rise up, oh men of God” your hour has now arrived.


Lucifer rebelled against God before anyone on earth did so.

God created, and granted the freedom of beings to also be creators; possibly creators of evil and thus creators of sorrow. All sin brings about sorrow.

Nothing is more disappointing to parents than a child going astray by his own choices. As parents we take a similar risk as God chose to take.
We take responsibility as much as we can and until we can no longer. A point of no return can be reached.

In scripture we read how God watched Adam to see what he would name the creatures. He watches us much more closely than we realize. He misses nothing.

Bertrand Russell was famous in America, known as the father of American atheism. He believed he had an iron-clad argument against the existence of a good God. He argued that a good God could not have created an existence where so much suffering would occur as has occurred on earth.

The truth is that God, like His Son, determined beforehand to endure evil for a season in order to give the opportunity for beings like you and I.

Jesus “Endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him,” (Hebrews 12:2). He desires to “Bring many sons (people) to glory” (Hebrews 2:10).
Glory is that abode Jesus was talking about when he said, “I go to prepare a place, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)

Illegitimate living brings sorrow and death. Legitimate living is like a good marriage where sex is enjoyed in intimacy, with utter loyalty and privacy.

Heaven is where we are all invited; but we must be prepared by God the Savior: He must take away our sin. He only can do this. We cannot do this on our own. He will make us fit for heaven if we will turn to Him in the same sincerity as is found in a loyal marriage.
To know Christ – Messiah, Jesus – is a very special experience and is similar to knowing our spouse.

The life of Jesus is the final revelation from God to man- the triumph of His outreach to the willing.
Jesus is God and Savior, and He is LORD. He says, “If you have seen me, you have seen the father” (John 14:7).

He is longsuffering because He is Love. But, love can be spurned.
So it is with a good marriage spoiled by infidelity. Even then, God is greater in loving than we at our best.

His forgiveness involves His refusal to remember. “He casts away our sin as far as East is from West.” (Psalm 103:12)

Jesus earned for us that which we could never have earned by our own effort. We did not self-create and we cannot make ourselves righteous, holy, pure, and spotless.

We can be washed clean by God: “Wash me, and I will be white as snow,” cried Kind David. (Psalm 51) David sinned against God. So have we.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I lead them to green pastures beside the still waters.”

“Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

For the joy that was set before Him: His joy and mine – the Son of God –endured the cross, and He has tolerated and used all the evil on earth, but He will not continue forever to endure evil. He will come. Then, He will separate the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25: 31-46)

“Take my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it to Thy throngs above.”


An amazing opportunity waits for us every day. Jesus said, “Remember Me.” Is this not a great way to begin each day?

We pray, don’t we? “Oh God, bless me.”

We sing to Him, “Let the river flow:” I want more of you, and your presence, to be more fully satiated with your goodness – to be used in your mission to reach the world.

We must take Him by faith. And we must delight ourselves. He will not do what faith must do; but He will draw near to us if we will draw near to Him. (James 4:8)

The Christian, who learns this truth, will abide in Christ. Stay very close to Him. This is how we “keep ourselves in the love of God.” This is how I try and live. (Jude 1:21)

“God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

Remember me, Jesus urged us at His last supper. (Luke 22:19)

Can we not delight ourselves in Him who delights to be for us tender mercy and loving kindness?

Where on earth is a God such as ours? It is not to be found, not among any religions.

We cannot have it both ways. Let’s delight ourselves rather than mope another minute. The unknown is one way Satan steals in to rob us from delighting in God.

The one who said, “Let not your heart be troubled” said also “Delight yourself in the Lord.” Then, “He will give you the desires of your heart.” (John 14:1, Psalm 27:4)

“Without faith it is impossible to please him” (Hebrews 11:6).
He delights to give to us mercy and loving kindness. Mercy and kindness are received through faith.

Faith is not based on nothing. Nor is it a claim to know the particulars through which we must all navigate.

Real faith and not blind faith involves substance: assurance from above called in scripture the down payment, the earnest of the Spirit. The same “blessed assurance” we experienced when we first believed – the “earnest of the Spirit – is that joy we find during worship. (2 Corinthians 5:5)

We trust and obey partly because we have experienced the pain of not trusting and obeying. Joseph said to his deceitful brothers who were jealous of him. You meant it for evil. God meant (your evil) to work for good. (Genesis 50:20)

The same is true of the cross upon where Jesus was hung.
The same is true of every man’s cross. Delight yourselves in the God who alone can make all things work together for the good of those who want Him.

When I delight myself in Him it is not insincere delight; but it does include that faith which takes God as the Major and the mountain walls you and I face as the minor.

God rules in every detail. “In everything give thanks, for this is (and I will ultimately see it come to pass) His will concerning me.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Because I do believe, I repeat your word written for me – “Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” Today is one of those days.

Your word encourages me to hope in you and not allow myself to be cast down, to actually really delight myself in you when others shame me for my expectation and faith in you.

Your desires for me include that I will open myself to you and allow your mercy and loving kindness to pour into my life. Every good relationship on earth involves giving and receiving.

In the midst of this life, undaunted by much difficulty, I delight myself and no man can take this from me. My delight is not fake, but does involve faith. I acknowledge Him – now – through faith. I know enough of Him to accept the whole package: the Gospel of God: the “good news.” Who I know is who I delight myself in.

This morning I give you praise, I thank you – I give myself to you.
And this morning I receive you and your mercy and loving kindness. You are Love, Love delights in mercy and loving kindness.

Only Jesus could make mercy happen: I must receive Him or reject Him. Only the Holy Spirit can fill me: God is love, will I be full of Him? I must receive Him

We sing; “Let the River flow.” His answer is already recorded, saying (You) let God arise. Faith does that. Unbelief blocks faith and blocks God.

All that Jesus said and did was guided by the Holy Spirit, and He would have mercy for us, not sacrifices from us.

He is the Sacrifice: He is the Hero! He is my Hero!