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God's Only Law Chapter 10

Our Journey to Him

 

This book describes the journey God has created for us and why this journey is necessary. This journey leads some onto the path of His love, taking our disbelief to belief, then faith, and finally works. For faith is required for salvation and works are the fruits, which are produced by our faith, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast … (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” (Eph. 2:8-9, 5:9). Make no mistake; God says we are not saved by works. However, we are not saved without works, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jam. 2:26), and “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (Jam. 1:26-27). This is why He told us faith without works is dead, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (Jam. 2:20). When we have faith only, our vanity causes us to misunderstand His Word, which leads us to create denominations since we think we know God better than others. This is why He calls us to have the faith of a little child, which requires us to humble ourselves, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3), because little children know they are needy, and so do the humble. Only the humble can be reasonable enough to come together and reason with God’s Word rather than arguing their understanding is better than everyone else’s.


God is telling us true faith requires action because we have a part to play in the creation of His kingdom, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). God is not calling us to be an audience; He wants a family willing to help Him build His kingdom, as Noe and Moses did. His Word comes to life when we understand this, and it changes us from the inside out, from apathetic angels to Jesus’s friends. Faith in action is not only the big things but also the little things we do to shine His light on heaven’s door. He created us to solve problems, not complain about them. We are God’s cure being dispensed in this infected world. A world filled with the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 Jn. 2:16). God’s cure is the example seen when His saints are joyfully walking through sanctification to eternity.


God is telling us life is more than a mental exercise, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” (Isa. 29:13), and “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves … Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works … For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jam. 1:22, 2:18, 26). Going to church once a week and living the rest of our lives reconciled to this world will not lead to our transformation, our sanctification, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:1-2).


The closer we come to completing our part in God’s plan, the more He gives us to do, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:23), and “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.” (Matt. 25:28), and “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” (Matt. 25:29).


Some will understand the journey, while others of us will twist and distort it for our own purposes, lying even to ourselves. Sometimes these distortions are to ease the pain caused by the conflicts lived with daily, which our separation from God created, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” (Eph 2:12). Sometimes they are to gain some temporary advantage or pleasure, “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:31). But our desires and/or distortions will not change the truth of the journey, nor the ultimate destinations, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” (Ps. 89:34), and “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 5:24).


Jesus prayed for all of us to be one in Him, as He is one in the Father, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (Jn. 17:20-22). Jesus told us when we see Him, we see the Father, for He is one with the Father, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” (Jn. 14:9). God says there is only one eternal family, and His Word is being preached so all may have the opportunity to find the way to Him and His family. His offer goes out to every one of us. The key is not that we are all different in some ways because He has given each of us a unique DNA; the key is that we are all the same in many more ways, as we are all made in His image, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:27).


The devil uses divisions to keep us from coming together to reason on the important issues, which would lead us to love and care for one another, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (Jn. 13:14), and “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Eccl. 4:12). Can we imagine what it would be like for all of us to peacefully come together to reason, bringing our opinions and our willingness to consider other opinions?


God is not creating all the artificial divisions that exist in our lives. He is also not creating the many churches we see in our society. God has only one church, His church. He is asking us to lay down our differences. We can lay them at the foot of the cross, at the foot of His Word. He wants us to learn that He is love, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 Jn. 4:16), and that we should love the way He loves, unconditionally, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 Jn. 4:11). His unconditional love for us is the reason He gave us free will. He asks each of us to choose to be part of His family. This is another layer of the concept of being one, our being in Jesus, and Him in us, abiding in Him, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (Jn. 15:7).


He wants us to learn to love, in this life, to prepare us for eternity with Him as part of His family, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Lk 6:35). Separating ourselves means we want to live our own way or one of the many ways the devil has established to lead us away from God instead of following His way and the peace and joy that will undoubtedly follow. We can choose to be part of His family; however, when we refuse, He will allow us to go our own way, which leads to death, not eternity, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12). But, when we follow Jesus, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (Jam. 3:17), we use good to overcome evil, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:21).


The devil’s temptations always lead us to divisions, distress, and ultimately death. When we follow that path away from God, we will never find true love, peace, and joy; no matter how much money, power, fame, or pretend holiness we have, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” (Eccl. 5:10). The devil’s fleshy temptations drive us away from God, but God sends His Spirit to draw us to Him, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:5). When we choose to follow the Spirit, the things of the flesh begin to dim, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:6-7), and eventually, we desire God’s law of love rather than the temptations of this world.


Something inside is telling us there is more to this life than eating, sleeping, having sex, doing drugs, and getting ahead of the next person in line, for God not only wrote His story, He placed it in every heart, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:33), and “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Cor. 3:3).


God’s message is clear, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her into his own home.” (Jn. 19:26-27). In telling John to care for His mother, Jesus was also telling us to care for each other. We are to take care of others, demonstrating God's love for them, and when they choose to come to Jesus, they will recognize their sins and begin the process of removing their barnacles.


God promises to take care of us, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yeas, I will uphold thee with with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10), and this assurance gives us the courage to follow Him. He wants everyone to feel His love, and each of us has the opportunity to receive salvation by accepting His love, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6).


Some will choose not to hear that still small voice that is calling us home, and we will not follow Him, “She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.” (Zeph. 3:2). The still small voice led Moses, Joseph, Daniel, John, Peter Waldo, and so many others to do God’s work, and it will teach anyone willing to come close enough to God to hear it. God could shout, however, then we would be afraid of Him and would start creating harsher versions of Him, as the Israelites did, “And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Ex. 20:19). So, He whispers to us with a still small voice, as we do to our babies when they are crying, because He loves us even when we are wallowing in our sins, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:4-5), and “And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kgs. 19:12).


God has offered us a way that leads to His peace and joy, “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Ps. 29:11). I recently heard a pastor explaining how accepting the truth of God’s Word helps us live a more peaceful and joyful life. He told a story of watching the replay of a football game he already knew his team had won. However, late in the replay, they turned the ball over, and it seemed all was lost. Instead of being upset, he felt excited because he knew he was about to witness something special. His team was going to pull off a miracle win. God has already told us about the new earth He is creating. We just need to believe He will pull off all of the miracles required to produce the win He has prophesied, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28), and it is our faith that allows us to see past the turnovers of this life. This leads us to the eternity He is creating. Nothing can change the expected end He has planned, so we can relax and enjoy the journey.


We are to show His love to others by abiding in His love, so they will be able to witness our example, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16), which draws them to Him, as we become His lights shining in this world and reducing the number of dark places for evil to hide. God’s love is pure and self-sacrificing, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 Jn. 4:10). We live in a world of self-promotion, a “look at me” world, an “I know better” world, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (2 Tim. 3:1-4). The contrast could not be more dramatic. Loving others means we joyfully serve them, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Gal. 5:13), expecting nothing in return. And we must allow others to serve us, “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” (Jn. 13:8-9). We cannot deprive others of the joy of serving.


God is not asking us to figure it out. He is asking us to trust Him to have already done that, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11). We just need to accept His love and give it away to everyone we meet, to the uttermost part of the earth. He created us to do this work, and we put a smile upon His face when we do.


The eternity God calls us to will be filled with peace and joy. No one there will be causing pain or tears, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev. 21:4). We just need to understand He is not asking us to wait for heaven to live that life. Instead, He asks us to live His law of love in this life. He asks us to live in that convergent space where heaven and earth kiss, shining our light and leading others to Him and eternity. This means we choose to live a life that will not cause others pain. A life that demonstrates we genuinely want to live an eternal life as part of His family.


Jesus has called us His friends, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (Jn. 15:15). Are we living as though we believe we are His friends? If we live His law of love, always telling the truth and allowing others the same freedom, we will be Jesus’s friends for eternity.

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