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On Fire

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.’” Rev. 3:14-16 ESV

When God the Father, via the Holy Spirit, draws us to Jesus Christ, he draws us to be on fire, passionate (zealous) for the Lord and for our new walks of faith in Christ Jesus. He does not draw us to some lukewarm, half-hearted, indifferent faith in him which is apathetic about holiness, righteousness, purity and integrity. If it is him drawing us to Christ, then he persuades us to leave our old lives of sin behind us and to follow him in walks of obedience to him. He moves us to repent of our sins and to turn and follow him.

But humans, in their attempts to conform God and his gospel of salvation to their lifestyles, have snuffed out and suppressed this truth, and they have covered it up with a half-truth, half-hearted, lukewarm gospel message. Thus, they have hidden the truth, and kept it a secret, so that the people of this world, and those within the gatherings of the church, will not know the truth. Thus, people will believe the lie, which leaves them still bound in their sins, without God, without hope, and still on their way to hell.

But, it is the church which is propagating this half-truth half-hearted gospel message, and many are buying into, hook, line and sinker, because it does not require them to change anything about their lifestyles. They can “believe” in Jesus Christ, and be assured (of men) of their eternal security, while still living not much different than they did before they “believed.” This false grace gospel message leads its followers, thus, to feel as though they can use God’s grace as an excuse for continued and willful sin.

But, this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn’t leave us still bound in (addicted to) our sins. His gospel sets the sinner free from slavery to sin! Amen! He removed our sins and our lies which are used to cover-up our sins, when he took our sins upon him on that cross. He didn’t leave us access to go right back to our same old sinful patterns of behavior. That is not what the cross of Christ is about. Jesus died that we might DIE with him to sin, so that we might LIVE with him to righteousness.

His Counsel

“’For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.’” Rev. 3:17-18 ESV

What our Lord wants from us is for us to honor him, to value him, to respect and revere him, and to treat him right, the way we, who claim to be his followers, ought to. He wants to be treated as though he truly is the love of our lives, and as though we have truly forsaken all others to follow him, and as though he truly has first place in our hearts and lives, but in truth.

He doesn’t want fakery. He doesn’t want pretense. He can see right through all our false expressions of worship of him. He is not impressed by our false displays of loyalty and devotion while we continue to feed our own sinful habits. He can see through all the lies and all the hypocrisies. He is not fooled by them one single bit, although we may be able to fool humans. He knows when we are holding on to sin while claiming to be walking in purity with him. And, that disgusts him, like drinking warm (tepid) water.

So, what he wants from any of us, who may have bought into this false grace gospel, in order to prove our love for him, is that we, by his Spirit, cut these sins out of our lives, so that they no longer rule our hearts. He wants us to surrender to him, and to let him remove from our lives all the lies, the adulteries against him, the “other lovers,” the cutting remarks which pierce his heart, the false accusations against his gospel and against his messengers, and the manipulations, the tricks, and all the cover-ups, etc.

He wants any of us who have been believing that we can be saved and go to heaven when we die, but still be able to hold on to our sins, to humble ourselves before him, to own up to our sins, and to turn from them. If we have been sinning against others and lying about it, covering it up, then we need to uncover those lies and expose them, and then tell the truth about those lies, i.e. tell the truth about those sins. For, he died on that cross not just to forgive us our sins but to transform us – to turn us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so we can receive forgiveness.

Zealous and Repent

“’Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Rev. 3:19-22 ESV

When God, by his Spirit, cuts out of our lives such wickedness, adulteries, lies, deceptions, immoralities, and our idols, etc., it is painful. It is not fun. But, it is necessary. He said that discipline is painful, but afterwards it results in sharing with him in his holiness and the fruit of his righteousness.

Many people are still living in sin’s ways and are carrying around a weight of sin on their shoulders because they are not willing to repent of their sins, and to come clean, and to confess their wrongdoing and to tell the truth. They will not bring their sins into God’s light, because they love darkness more, because their deeds are evil, so they won’t let go of the evil.

But, just like cheating on a spouse, then lying about it, and refusing to be honest, but holding on to the sin and the lie, thus, breaks that covenant relationship and that fellowship and intimacy that should be between husband and wife, so it is with our relationships with Jesus Christ.

If we confess Christ as Savior and Lord, but have never truly entered into a covenant relationship with him, because what we believed was a lie, and thus we never truly turned from our sin or turned to walk in obedience to Christ, by the Spirit of God, then we have never been in fellowship with him.

But, if we have entered into that covenant relationship with Christ, and we were in sweet fellowship with him, because we truly did die with him to sin and we did live with him to righteousness, but we have since drifted from that, and have wandered back into sin’s deceitfulness, then that intimacy with our Lord has been broken, and that is why he is on the outside.

The only way that intimacy, that fellowship with our Lord (and our spouses) can be there to begin with, or can be restored, is via death to sin, owning up to our sin and the lies, and the cover-ups, turning from our sin, and allowing the Holy Spirit of God to transform our hearts, to change them, to turn us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. This is what it means to be “born again,” to have that heart transformation which puts to death our former lives of sin and which gives us new lives in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, as we yield to the Lord.

What our Lord wants from us is that we accept that covenant relationship with him into our lives, but on his terms, not on our terms, for on our terms is no covenant relationship at all. He is the one to initiate this covenant relationship, and he is the one who established the “rules of engagement,” so to speak.

He wants us to partake fully in that covenant, like a man or a woman taking wedding vows and then keeping those vows with each other. And, he wants us to eat from him alone, i.e. that he be our only source of spiritual nourishment and that we have no other gods (other lovers) besides him. It is a lot like not sleeping with anyone else but our spouse, i.e. that we not be intimate with any others in the way that is intended only for our relationship with our Lord Jesus, our God. Then he will come in and will have intimacy with us and us with him. And, we will have sweet fellowship with our Lord.

There is Power in the Blood
Lewis Jones

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:37 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for what you taught me today from this passage of scripture on the subject of true intimacy with you.