Sons Not Servants (Part 1)

In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of a prodigal son. He had taken his inheritance, wandered off and wanted to come back home and just be a servant to his father. Yes, we serve the Lord, but we are not sons because we serve. We serve because we are sons. We as believers are sons and daughters of God because of birth-right, not because of behavior.

When the prodigal son returns, the father gives him three gifts. The first is the “Robe of Righteousness” and then he gives him a ring and shoes.

Luke 15:17 – “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! (Verse 18) ‘I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, (Verse 19) and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ‘ (The son had worked up his speech that he was going to tell his father that he was no longer worthy to be called his son.)

(Verse 20) “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Verse 21) “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 

(Verse 22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. (Verse 23) ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (Verse 24) ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” (Every gift that the father gave him, was a gift you give a son, not a servant.)

John 8:35 – “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” Galatians 4:2 – Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son. (slave to sin and the law) John 15:15 – No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. (So the robe was the robe of righteousness.)

Isaiah 61:10 – I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garment of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. (Keep in mind that righteousness means right standing with God.)

Earned or a gift?

If you understand this, it will change everything in a believer’s life. Too many believers will say it’s a gift but then act like its earned. This will change everything about the way we see God; everything about the way we see ourselves; everything about the way we see our behavior and performance; and everything about the way we see others. This “Righteousness” is 100% a gift!

Had the prodigal son done anything to earn these three gifts that the father gave him? No, he had been living without restraint, wasteful living. Notice what the prodigal son says: Luke 15:19 – “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” That tells me that at some point the son thought he was worthy. He said, “I’m no longer,” meaning he was at one time. When he stayed at home and was doing the right thing he thought he was worthy. However, when he left home and wasn’t doing right he felt as if he was no longer worthy to be called his son.

Considering what true righteousness is, this is what most Christians think: When I do what is right then I’m righteous, but when I do wrong, I am no longer righteous. The actual truth is that none of us are or were ever worthy of righteousness. But because of what Christ has done, He gave us right standing with God when we believe, righteousness through Him. What the prodigal son thought as most Christians do is “Performance mentality.” So is righteousness earned or is it “imputed?” Imputed is an accounting term and it means “to balance your account.”

Romans 4:6 – Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works; to whom God balances their account of righteousness apart from works.

Romans 4:23 – Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, (Verse 24) but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,… Our righteousness is a gift, imputed to us through Jesus Christ.

Romans 4:3 – For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” When Abraham believed God, put his faith in God, God put righteousness in Abraham’s account! And the reason that God can do this is that He put Abraham’s sin into His Son’s account!

We serve God with a son or daughter mentality. Yes, we serve the Lord, but we got adopted when we believed which makes us sons and daughters. Our “Dad” will meet with us any time we need to meet with Him!

Don’t listen to the accuser.

This next Scripture is talking about Joshua the High Priest: Zechariah 3:1 – Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. (Verse 2) And the LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this (referring to Joshua) not a branch plucked from the fire?” (Verse 3) Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel. (Verse 4) Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him, He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

The filthy garments represent iniquities which are sins but it goes further than that. We think about iniquity only being evil but there were two trees in the garden. The tree of Life and the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Our choices should be between Life and death instead of good and evil.

Now when we put the passage in Zechariah and Isaiah together: Isaiah 64:6 – All our righteousness are like filthy rags (filthy garments) Meaning, even the good things we’ve done don’t compare to God’s goodness. Not equal! So God removes Joshua’s iniquity and He rebukes his accuser. Where is Satan? At the right hand of Joshua ready to accuse.

Revelation 12:9 – So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Verse 10) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” (past-tense) However, some wonder, when did this happen?

Romans 8:34 – Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. We don’t have an accuser anymore standing beside the brethren! We have an Intercessor at the right hand of God for us!

Jesus removes the iniquity, rebukes the accuser, and then He robes us. Remember in Zechariah, He said, “Not only am I going to remove your filthy garments, but I’m going to clothe you with rich robes.”

Revelation 3:18 – “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;” Christ not only robes us in righteousness but He also takes away our shame from our past!

Live like sons and daughters.

We’re not sons because we serve, but we serve because we’re sons and daughters. Yes, righteousness is a gift, but we still should live righteously. Don’t go live in a “pig-pen.” Stay close to the Father in the Father’s house! We now have the power of the Holy Spirit to live righteously. This doesn’t mean we’re going to be perfect because we are going to make mistakes, but it does mean we ought to try to live righteously.

Revelation 19:18 – And to her, it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

There is a robe of righteousness we get when we accept Jesus as our Savior, but when we go to heaven there is fine linen that we’re clothed in and that’s our “acts” we did under the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are righteous because of the blood of Jesus! It’s what He did that makes us righteous before God!

 

 

 

 

The Father is Jehovah Jireh

The Father is Jehovah Jireh, which means “The Lord will provide.” There are several names for God and each of these declares His character: Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord is present”; Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord is peace”; Jehovah-Rohi, “The Lord is my shepherd”; Jehovah-Raph, “The Lord is my healer.”

Genesis 22:1 – Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” and he said, “Here I am.” Is it possible to get a revelation of who God is during testing? That’s when Abraham got the revelation that “The Lord will provide” during the biggest test of his life.

(Verse 13) Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. (Verse 14) and Abraham called the name of the place, “The LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  ( In Hebrew this is Jehovah-Jireh)

(Verse 15) Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, (Verse 16) and said: “By Myself, I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, (Verse 17) “in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. God told Abraham three things He would do for him, blessing, multiply and possessing.

Blessing

What did Abraham have to do to receive this blessing? He had to believe! Romans 4:2 – For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. (Verse 3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Verse 4) Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Here is how Abraham received what God said: By grace, not works! Ephesians 2, verse 9 confirms this: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.

But now look at these verses: James 2:21 – Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? (Verse 22) Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? (Verse 23) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

(Verse 26) For as the body without spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

This is where so many Christians get confused. Is it grace or is it grace plus works; is it works, or is it grace plus faith? Which is it? Its either grace or its works. However, faith is “working faith.” Faith without works is dead. Grace is a gift, works is earned. But James says, “It was working faith that responded to God’s grace.

Grace will bring us to the door of God’s house. I did nothing to deserve salvation. In faith, we believed what God said and we walk through the door of which I was invited in God’s house. Our working faith is the response to God’s grace.

So then now we are in God’s house and we’re a believer, but we want to be blessed. So how can we be blessed? Well, we now put our faith into action. Take your finances for example: Now that you’re a believer, we put our first 10% into God’s house. That’s putting faith into action. We can’t say that we want the benefits of God’s blessings without responsibility.

This is not just in our finances, it’s any area of our lives. God brings blessings to our “door-step”, but it depends on whether we’re going to walk in “working-faith” or not whether we’re going to be blessed.

Multiplying

Genesis 22:17 – “in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore;

Genesis 17:1 – When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. (Verse 2) “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

God is a God of multiplication! So the key to blessing is “faith” and “obedience.” Just as Abraham did, he believed and obeyed God. God had told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son and he rose early in the morning to go do it. That’s obedience.

Remember the story of the two fish and five loaves in Matthew? Matthew 14:17 – and they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” (Verse 18) He said, “Bring them here to Me.”

Now would you like to see your finances multiply? Bring them to Him! It’s that simple. We lay it in His hands. When we give to God, He multiplies what we bring!

Matthew 6:26 – “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Possessing

Genesis 22:17 – …and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” 

Genesis 14:18 – Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. (Verse 19) And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; (Verse 20) and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. 

This was about five hundred years before Moses and the law. There was no law as of yet that said to give God 10%. Why did he do it then? Because Abram recognized that God was the provider!

What does it mean “to possess the gates of our enemies?” The gate of a city was the most vulnerable place of attack going into a city. The gate was also the most fortified. Here is what the enemy does: He looks for the most vulnerable place in our lives and he tries to build a strong-hold there. He will attack our weaknesses.

But here is the good news: We have a promise from God that we can possess the “gates of my enemies.” The place where the enemy builds a stronghold, we can tear it down and rebuild it. How? Believe and obey, but sometimes we don’t have the strength so what do we do?

Who was the strongest man in the Bible? Samson! Why? Because the Bible says that “The Spirit of the LORD was on him,” and as long as he believed and obeyed, the Spirit of God was on him. However, when Samson stopped believing and obeying he lost his strength. But look what happened before he lost his strength:

Judges 16:2 – When the Gazites were told, “Samson has come here!” They surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. They were quiet all night, saying, “In the morning, when it is daylight, we will kill him.” (Verse 3) And Samson lay low till midnight; then he arose at midnight, took hold of the doors of the gate of the city and the two gateposts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Samson was walking in obedience at that point and the Spirit of God had warned him what the enemy’s plan was. The enemy didn’t have a chance against him! Samson took the “gates” of his enemy to a hill and set them where all could see that his strength came from the LORD!

Walking in the Spirit of God, believing God, trusting God, is when the revelation that the Father will provide will come!

The Father Is Love

The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and the Book of Revelation were all written by the same John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (Verse 8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (Verse 9) In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

(Verse 10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (Verse 11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (Verse 12) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

(Verse 16) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (Verse 17) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. (Verse 18) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (Verse 19) We love Him because He first loved us.

(Verse 20) If someone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (Verse 21) And this commandment we have from Him; that he who loves God must love his brother also.

If we have a misconception about love, then we actually have a misconception about God because God is love. If we don’t understand that God is love then we won’t understand God. The more we learn about love the more we will learn about God.

Love Is A Choice

Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. Much of our world view and much of our philosophy has come from Hollywood. We are told we can fall in love and we’ve been told that we can fall out of love. If that’s true, then we have a problem with God’s commandment “Love one another.” People say that they don’t have any control over who they love and who they don’t love. We usually love those who treat us right and despise those who mistreat us.

Have you ever heard this expression, “I love you but I’m not in love with you!?” People think that to love one another is all God is talking about in this commandment, not that we have any control of whom we are “in” love with. God says we can control both.

We have a mind, will, and emotions; we make our mind up to love and the feelings follow. However, I will say this: How someone treats another will cause them to either love them or not want to be around them anymore. I’m sorry but some people, because of how they treat others are just intolerable! However, loving someone is still a choice.

When people say, “I just don’t love them anymore,” it’s because they stopped investing and that’s why they don’t have the feelings anymore. One or the other started treating the other wrong and eventually, they stopped caring for the other.

Love Is Unselfish

1 Corinthians 13:1 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (Verse 2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (Verse 3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

These next verses explain love and because God is love, we can put God everywhere it says the word love: (Verse 4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (Verse 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

(Verse 6) does not rejoice iniquity; but rejoices in the truth; (Verse 7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Verse 8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Love lays down its life for someone else. Anyone that wants to be successful in love, dies to self! Die to your own way.

Love Is Unconditional

Romans 8:35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:38 – For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, (Verse 39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God cannot “not” love! God is love and loves us with perfect love. He can’t love us any more or less. His love is completely unconditional.

1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. How can love cover a multitude of sins? Because God’s love is unconditional. Did God show us how much He loved us when He sent His Son to die for our multitude of sins? It didn’t matter what or how many sins there were. When we accept Him, the sins are all covered under the blood that He shed for us!

The greatest thing that we can tell someone is “God loves you!” I’m telling all my readers, “God loves you!” John said, “We have known and believe,” we have known in our minds and believed in our hearts that God loves us!

The Father Is Just & Merciful

When we talk about the attributes of God, we’re not talking about things He does, we are talking about who He is. God is not just merciful, He is Mercy! Just as God is justice, He is Just! Justice is giving someone what they deserve. Mercy is not giving someone what they deserve. Grace is giving what someone doesn’t deserve also. So, how can God be just and merciful at the same time?

Psalm 89:14 – Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.

Psalm 101:1 – I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O Lord, I will sing praises.

Isaiah 30:18 – Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

The Father Is Completely Just

God is not “part” just and part mercy. Whatever God is, as in just, He is complete, fully just. Keep in mind that justice is giving what’s deserved. God is not like us because we have parts. We can be partially just, but then sometimes partially merciful. That’s not God. God is fully just and fully merciful. Don’t we all hope God’s mercy is a little stronger or bigger when it comes to dealing with us? God’s mercy is abundant already, but at the same time so is His justice.

Ezekiel 18:25 – “Yet you say, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? (not just) (Verse 26) “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.

(Verse 27) “Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. (Verse 28) “Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. (Verse 29) “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the LORD is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

The word “fair” in Hebrew means “morally equal.” When the Bible talks about the justice of God, it’s talking about the moral quality of God. However, none of us are morally equal with God. As a matter of fact, we are born “unequal.”

So how do we understand God’s justice? We believe in a court system that the prosecutor puts all the evidence in their case on one side of the scale and then the defense puts their case on the other side of the scales. And whichever one has the better case of evidence, that tips the scales. That is not justice and that is not what the word justice means.

Here is actually what happens on the scale of justice with God: The prosecutor, the enemy, Satan, puts all of their evidence on one side of the scale, then the defense, you and me, put all of our evidence on the same side of the scale. Now all the evidence, together, is weighed against “justice” which is on the other side of the scale. If the person is innocent, then the scale is equal. Justice will say they are either guilty or innocent.

How does all this relate to us? It’s not only God’s mercy that believers get to go to heaven, but its’ also God’s justice that believers get to go to heaven! So many misunderstand when they think that God is going to put all of our “good” on one side of the scale and all of our “bad” on the other side of the scale. And then hopefully a believer will have more good that outweighs the bad. That is not the right way of thinking.

God puts all of my good and bad on one side of the scale and the Father steps on the other side of the scale. Do we honestly think all of our good can tip that scale when the Father is standing on the other side? No! Our goodness can never outweigh the Father’s love or mercy or justice! There is nothing any of us could ever do to meet God’s moral standards. So if we are born again, blood-bought by the blood of Jesus, Jesus steps on the scales on our side and the scales become “Equal.” That’s how and why believers get to go to heaven!

The justice of God sentences us to “Heaven!” Jesus took our place and when we ask Him in, He is in all believers on that side of the scale with us and justice is done. We are forgiven and declared innocent! Justice was done, Jesus died in yours and my place and because He died, we get to live and go to heaven.

God Is Completely Merciful

God is mercy. That tells me that mercy had no beginning. And mercy will have no end. And because God is infinite, no limits, no boundaries, mercy has no limits and no boundaries. That tells me that any person no matter how evil or wicked can receive the mercy of God! Think about this: God’s mercy will never increase and will never decrease. It’s perfect because God is perfect!

Psalm 136:1 – Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. (Verse 2) Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. (Verse 3) Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever. 

The entire Psalm, after each saying ends with “His mercy endures forever! It has no limits and has no boundaries! God’s mercy does not start and stop. It’s fully in effect always. In many places, the definition of mercy is “to have compassion.” That definition in no way compares the full extent of God’s mercy. God’s mercy didn’t change from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

Jesus knew that if He would die, we would live! This was the only way that the justice and mercy of God could operate together! Jesus took our hand, put our hand in the Father’s hand, left heaven and said, “I’ll arrange it!” 

The Father Is Sovereign

The Father is Sovereign, King of All

When we talk about God’s sovereignty, we mean that God has all authority, all power, and there is no one like Him! He is sovereign Ruler and King of the universe.

Deuteronomy 4:34 – “Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? (Verse 35) “To you, it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.

(Verse 39) “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

Isaiah 45:5 – “I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me. (Verse 6) That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; (Verse 7) I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”

(Verse 12) I have made the earth and created man on it. It was I – My hands that stretched out the heavens,m and all their host I have commanded. 

(Verse 18) For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is no other.

(Verse 22) “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

God answers to no one, but some forget the other attributes about God when they think about His sovereignty, God is all good! Some supreme authorities in other countries think that they answer to no one, however, this is what the Bible says about that: Romans 13:1 – Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (Verse 2) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

God is the One that gives authorities and places people in their positions, so be very careful when coming against whom God has placed in that authority. That includes people in government. Yes, in this country we have the right to vote, but remember, God is still in charge and when we resist whom He has placed in that position, we are resisting God’s ordinance.

To Bible readers of the Old Testament, do you remember how Nebuchadnezzar’s arrogance and pride got him put out into the wilderness, eating grass, and not knowing what had happened for seven years? But then something happened after that time period:

Daniel 4:34 – And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever. For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.

God can even bring down kings that resist His authority. For the Bible says for those who resist, judgment will come. Boasting against God is evil (James 4:16).

All authority and all power belongs to God and God is a good God all the time. He is totally in charge and that’s why we pray to the One that fully loves us and only wants the best for us – He’s sovereign in all things!

The Father Is Omni

The omnipotence, the omniscient, and the omnipresence of God are all attributes of God. The word “Omni” means “all.” When we understand who God is, it changes our lives.

The Father is Omnipotent

This means omnipotent and potent means powerful. So God is “all-powerful.” This means that God has all power and all the ability to perform all of His decrees. Without the omnipotence of God, the rest of His attributes would be feeble. If God was not “all-powerful,” He couldn’t act on His goodness. He wouldn’t be able to fulfill His good desires toward us. However, He can because He has all power!

It might help us understand this if we put God’s power in two categories: God has “supreme” and “absolute” power. Supreme is His right to act and absolute is His ability to act. His power is above all. And because He has all power, we have peace.

When our world is out of control, things in our lives are a mess, we can have peace through Him! Here is what this means to us personally: It means that you and I have the power to overcome sin.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. There is no sin, no temptation, that we can’t get free from because God is “all-powerful” and He won’t allow it to overtake us.

Here is the second thing that this means to Christians: It means that we can overcome sickness also. Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Most people don’t relate this Scripture with sickness. This is talking about our “physical bodies!” We can overcome sickness because God has all-power.

Here is the third thing this means to us: It means I can overcome Satan:  1 John 4:4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (“Them” is the spirit of antiChrists’.) So we can overcome sin, sickness, and Satan. Why? Because He is greater that is in you than he that is in the world. Satan is a created being and no created being is more powerful than their Creator! Satan is not beyond God’s control or beyond His power, ever!

The Father is Omniscient

This means that God has “all knowledge.” God knows everything, everything actual and everything possible. All events and all creatures, past, present, and future, at the same time! God can’t learn anything because He has all knowledge.

God also doesn’t think the way we think. We try to figure things out, but God is never trying to figure something out. He’s never bewildered or confused. This also means that nothing can ever happen to us that God didn’t know about and already planned and provided for us.

In the Book of Job, chapter after chapter, Job’s friends are complaining to him. Then Job starts complaining, but then God answers Job:

Job 38:1 – Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, (Verse 2) “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? (Verse 3) Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. (Verse 4) “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. (Verse 5) Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!

(Verse 12) “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, (Verse 13) that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked to be shaken out of it?

(Verse 16) “Have you entered the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in search of its depth? (Verse 17) Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? (Verse 18) Have you comprehended the breath of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. (Verse 19) Where is the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, (Verse 20) that you may take it to its territory, that you may know the paths to its home?

(Verse 21) Do you know it, because you were born then, or because the number of your days is great? (Verse 22) “Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, (Verse 23) which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? (Verse 24) By what way is light diffused, or the east wind scattered over the earth?

(Verse 34) “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you? (Verse 35) Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are!’? 

God has all the answers! He knows exactly what we need and when we need it because He knows the end result before it ever happens!

The Father is Omnipresent

This means that He is fully present in all places at all times! Psalm 139:7 – Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (Verse 8) If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

The first six verses of Psalm 139 show the omniscience of God; verses 7 through 12, show the omnipresence of God; and verses 13 through 18, show the omnipotence of God. The last verses show the justice of God.

God doesn’t have to travel like we do, He’s already there! He’s fully present everywhere at the same time. God is above all presiding; He is beneath all, sustaining all; He is outside of all, embracing all; and He is inside of all, filling.

1 Kings 8:27 – “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You… We are not ever by ourselves if we are a believer! God is everywhere and always with us!

Because God is everywhere, how can people make the statement, “I don’t feel close to God?” First of all, we are not far from God “geographically.” It’s not the location that causes people to feel alone, it’s a matter of the heart. Those that don’t walk close with Him, even if they are a believer, aren’t close to Him because they are not walking in unity! Yes, God is omnipresent but His manifest presence is when we get in unity with Him!

God is all-powerful which means: There is no problem in our lives that God is not able to take care of!!

My Best Friend – The Father

The Father Is Good

Psalm 119:68 – You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes. This is one of the great attributes of God. Attribute literally comes from the word “tribute.” Something we give someone that they are due. It belongs to them. The characteristics that belong to Him. All of God’s other attributes come out of His goodness!

The Father Is Completely Good

God is not partially good, because whatever God is, He is fully. He doesn’t just have goodness, He is goodness!

In Exodus, Moses is having a conversation with God when he asked God to “Please show me Your glory,” he wanted to know what God was known for because that’s what you get the glory for. What was God good at better than anyone else? And here is what God said to him: Exodus 33:19 – Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Exodus 34:6 – And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, (Verse 7) “keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin,…”

All of these attributes listed here in this passage, tie into with His goodness. God is infinite – without limit, without bounds, and God cannot be measured. He’s infinitely good! God is also omnipotent – He has all power. His goodness will never be limited by His power. God is just – His justice is impartial. God is omnipresent – His goodness is everywhere. God is immutable – He cannot change.

Do you know there are people that honestly believe that God is not good? Why would they think that? Because Satan has told people, “If God is good, why did such and such happen to you?” Satan will point to bad things that have happened in our lives to get us to believe that lie. However, Satan is actually pointing to his “own work,” as evidence that God is not good.

Satan is the one that brought sin, sickness, and disease and death into this world, not God. God created a perfect world and put man in charge of it. But when Satan rules, look at what happens.

We were created because the Father is good.

James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (Verse 18) Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Why were we not destroyed after we sinned? Because God is all-merciful and good. Whey does God continue to forgive us? Because God is good! Whey did God shed His blood for me? Because God is good!

In everything that God created, He was looking for something. Everything He created, He looked at it to see if it had one quality about it.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Verse 2) The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Verse 3) Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Verse 4) And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

(Verse 10) And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

(Verse 12) And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the trees that yield fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

This goes on describing what God created and proclaiming that it was good. All that God created was a reflection of Himself and His goodness. Romans, Chapter 1, says, “We can see God in the things He created.”

Yes, God displayed His goodness in His first creation, but it is displayed more in His second creation: Romans 5 tells us God created Adam in His own image, but Adam sinned. So He created the Second Adam as the Firstfruits of man. The second creation is us when we become born again. When man fell from God’s created goodness, God redeemed us so that we would not fall from His infinite goodness.

We must choose the Father’s goodness.

Romans 11:22 – Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

We get a choice. This word “consider” means to ponder, to make a choice. To choose one way or the other. Look at both sides – Do you want goodness or do you want severity? God has a will so He made us with a will. He didn’t want robots. Too many look at the evidence that Satan supplies and choose the severity of God. What we just read says when they choose the severity of God, they will be cut off.

Matthew 7:11 – “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

We all know that Satan uses his own works to say God is not good, but did you know that he also tries to get us to judge God’s goodness? That’s a trap from Satan. If a person doesn’t believe that God is good, they won’t love Him, they won’t serve Him, they won’t follow Him, and they won’t trust Him.

God can’t be anything but good! Trust Him because His true evidence is all around us!

 

The Miracle of Meditation

Luke 2:15 – So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Verse 2) And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, the Babe lying in a manger.

(Verse 17) Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the Child. (Verse 18) And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (Verse 19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 

The word “pondered,” we would describe as “meditation.” She gave serious thought to what God had spoken to her heart.

Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

If we meditate on this Book, then we will be prosperous in all areas of our lives and then we will have good success.

Psalm 1:2 – But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law, he meditates day and night. (Verse 3) He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.

This word meditate in Hebrew means: to ponder; to give serious thought and consideration to selected information. Now, let me ask you this: Can you spend an hour or two focusing on something? Some say that’s too hard, but we watch two-hour movies, don’t we? How long do you think it takes me to prepare these studies that I post? Some mornings its three or four hours, depending on what time I have to be at work that day. I can’t get enough of God’s word.

Why does something supernatural happen when we meditate on God’s Word?

Because God’s Word is Seed.

1 Peter 1:23 – having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,…

When we read or study God’s word and put it in our hearts, we are actually putting a seed in there. That seed is going to produce! Any time we plant a seed in the ground, that seed doesn’t look anything like the picture on the package. The package shows us the result of what the seed will produce if watered and nurtured. It’s the same way with God’s word.

When the sower sows the word, that word can produce thirty, sixty, or one hundredfold increase. So when we meditate on God’s word, we are doing something that is going to produce good fruit in us.

Psalm 119:15 – I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. (Verse 23) Princes also sit and speak against me, but Your servant meditates on Your statutes. (Verse 48) My hands I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes.

Read all through this Psalm where the enemy had come against one of these priests, but they decided to meditate on God’s word. In other words, instead of meditating on the wrong that people do against us, meditate on God’s word.

When people are in bondage in an area, they usually meditate on the lie that keeps them in bondage. Why not meditate on the truth that will set us free?

God’s Word is Alive

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. When we begin to meditate on God’s word, life begins to burst out of us. God’s word helps us know His will and do His will.

1 Timothy 4:12 – Let no one despise your youth but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith in purity. Let no one look down on you if you are young, but be an example to believers in your word, in your conduct, in love and so on. (Verse 13) Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (Verse 14) Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (Verse 15) Meditate on these things, give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

God’s Word is Jesus

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Verse 2) He was in the beginning with God. (Verse 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made.

(Verse 10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  (Verse 14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Revelation 19:13 – He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

When we meditate on the Word of God, we are meditating on Jesus. If a person rejects the Word of God, they are rejecting Jesus! All things are created by Him and held together by Him. We are the ones that determine how much of Jesus we are going to let flow through our lives. We determine it by how much time we spend in His Word.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

I promise you, if you will meditate on the word of God, something miraculous will happen in your life!

The Light of the Lamp

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Every one of us have stumbled over something in the dark. For whatever reason, we didn’t turn a light on. We didn’t light up our path.

Is it possible that some are stumbling spiritually? Is it possible that some are trying to make it through this dark world without using the light that God gave us?

A Lamp To My Feet

Luke 11:33 – “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. (Verse 34) “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”

(Verse 35) “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. (Verse 36) “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

If in Psalm 119, verse 105, the light is the word of God, then in Luke 11, it’s still the word of God. If we will allow the lamp of the Word of God in us, it will fill us with light! And the way that light comes into our body is by what we look at.

How much darkness do we see every day? We see a lot of horrific things if we see news, media, or the television. Why then do some not allow the light from God’s word to come in every day? The more light we allow in, the light will take care of the darkness. Light always overcomes the darkness!

Exodus 25:27 – “You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. (This is the lamp that is in the Holy Place.)

God’s word shows us the way we should go. It shows us how we should walk. The light, the lamp, and the oil. The light representing the Father; the lamp representing Jesus, and the oil representing the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 27:20 – “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. God’s word burns continually.

Proverbs 6:23 – For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; 

Luke 15:8 – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it?

When we lose something, marriage, investments, relationships, we need to “light a lamp.” Get in God’s word for any situation because it will light the path in the way to go.

A Light To My Path

1 John 1:5 – This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (Verse 6) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (Verse 7) But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

John 3:20 – “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”

Everyone practicing evil does not come to the light. When people are in sin, the last thing they want to do is read the Bible or listen to someone tell them they are sinning. However, that is what they should do, is come to God’s light. Why? Because light dispels darkness! Anyone that has a dark area in their life should run to God’s word and turn the light on.

When we have a light for our feet, it shows us where to take the next step. And a light to our path shows us which direction we should go. God speaks through His word. He will also confirm what He said through His word. We can read a verse in the Bible that was written thousands of years ago and the Holy Spirit will speak to us. Why? Because God’s word is eternal. If God spoke it thousands of years ago, it’s still true today. I know some who don’t believe that. They think God changes with the times Not so! God’s word is “timeless.” So how do we hear God for our situation today?

The first thing we must do is enter into the presence of God: Psalm 100:4 – Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. We establish lines of communication by worshiping Him.

The second thing we must do after praise and prayer: Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. If it’s on your heart, tell God about it!

The third thing that will happen is “Proclamation.” This is when God will begin to proclaim His word to you. At this point is when we begin to read our Bible, after praise and after we pray.

People that are just starting out with getting in the habit of reading their Bible may need some help finding out where to start reading. So why not ask God? For those who become familiar more and more, they shouldn’t have any trouble figuring out where to start reading. However, don’t forget about the Old Testament. I believe we need to understand the Old Testament to be able to understand what takes place in the New.

When we get in the habit of doing these steps to get in the presence of God, and when a decision needs to be made, it will be easier to hear God’s answer. I can’t stress enough how important the time is to spend with God. Some may have to start getting up earlier to do this but if a Christian wants to be close to God, they are going to have to spend time with Him and be in His word.

If you are waiting on an answer from God, the answer will be calming and clear. There won’t be anxiety or a sense of anxiousness involved and He will confirm it. You can’t go to other people to get “your word” from God. So that means you are the one that has to spend time in God’s presence asking Him. We can get confirmation from others though, but that word from God to you will be spoken to you!

God’s Word is a Lamp to our feet and a Light to our path!

Seeing Scripture With Spiritual Sight

Are there any verses in the Bible that you don’t believe to be true “all the time?” Example: Psalm 103:3 – Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases. Do you believe God forgives all iniquities? If you do, then why not believe He heals all your diseases?

Do you honestly believe that God heals all iniquities and all diseases? Do you believe that people’s traditions can blind their “spiritual eyes?”

We are blind without God.

Isaiah 42:18 – “Hear, you deaf: and look, you blind, that you may see.” Obviously, Isaiah is not talking to people who are deaf naturally. He’s talking about spiritual deafness. Then he tells the blind to “Look!” (Verse 19) Who is blind but My servant, or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant? (Verse 20) Seeing many things, but you do not observe. Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”

Isaiah 43:8 – “Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears.”

Ezekiel 12:2 – “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

This is a theme throughout the whole Bible. Even Jesus told His disciples that they had ears but couldn’t hear. Do you think that rebellion or a “hard-heart’ has something to do with not being able to see or hear?

Is it possible that in the natural, to be looking right at someone and not see them? Sure it is. So is it possible to read something in the Bible and after we read it, not have any idea what we just read? In other words: You saw the words on the page in the natural, but not in the spiritual.

Receive your spiritual sight.

In Mark, Chapter 8, Jesus heals a blind man but He does it in a way He hadn’t done it any other time, that we know of. Mark 8:22 – Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. (Verse 23) So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. (Verse 24) And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” (Verse 25) Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.

We have no idea how many blind people that Jesus healed but there are five times that the Bible tells us how He did it. One time, He just spoke; one time He cast a demon out of the blind man; another time He touches one; another time He spits on the ground, makes mud, and rubs it on the man’s eyes; this time, we just read, He spits on the man’s eyes. The saliva from Jesus’ mouth touched the blind man’s eyes. Jesus is the Word of God.

Have you ever heard a pastor teach on this particular Scripture and then tell the congregation that the healing of the blind man didn’t work the first time? Didn’t work the first time, really? These preachers build a case to build up their theology. Hogwash! So when you hear mess like that, they are saying, “Even with God, it doesn’t always work the first time.” That is just crazy theology and I’ve heard it from a pastor or two in my lifetime. Do people honestly think that God doesn’t know what that passage means? Of course, He does!

Jesus, the Creator of all, puts His hands on the blind man and asks him, “Now, what do you see?” Then the blind man says, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then Jesus puts His hands on him again and the man saw everything in the natural, clearly. How many sets of eyes do we have? We have “two” sets. We have natural eyes and we have spiritual eyes because we have been born again. We can’t forget that the Bible is a spiritual book written by a Spiritual Being, to a spiritual people.

Now, look at these Scriptures where the Bible talks about “men” being “trees.”

Psalm 1:3 – He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, This is a man that meditates on the word of God.

Psalm 52:8 – But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;

Psalm 92:12 – The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,

Jeremiah 17:7 – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. (Verse 8) For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,”

Isaiah 55:12 – “And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Matthew 7:17 – “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

Do you honestly believe that Jesus came to earth just to teach us about “trees” and plants?” No, He was talking about people!

Zechariah 4:11 – Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees – at the right of the lampstand and at the left?” (Verse 14) So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the LORD of the whole earth.” Zechariah is seeing olive trees, but they were actually anointed ones.

Revelation 11:3 – “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Verse 4) These are the two olive trees” and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth.

Yes, there are times that the Bible talks about real trees, but there are times when trees represent men. The Bible will confirm itself. We have to learn to read the whole context, before and after the passage.

The Bible says that there is a veil that covers our eyes until we believe. It also says that God’s word is foolishness to those who are perishing. Pride will stop a person from understanding the word of God and having spiritual eyes to see. If people read the word as if they know everything already, they will be spiritually blind to its true meaning!

We are blind and deaf without the Holy Spirit guiding us and giving us an understanding of what the Scripture has to say. We ask and we will receive spiritual ears to hear and spiritual eyes to see!