Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.
The Mark of a True Believer. Lots of people are running around claiming to be Christ followers. But are they, really? According to our Lord, not all are (Matthew 7:23). The knowledge of God was given to the Israelites and the priesthood was responsible for instructing the people of the laws. However, the blind and wicked religious leaders were holding people back from the knowledge of God so they were like scattered and lost sheep. The Lord, Jesus spoke sharply against them. Even though He came and condemned them by His words and deeds, church leaders are still holding people back from the truth even today. The people are just as lost today. For the elders, pastors and pews are full of people seeking to glorify themselves, they are seeking to gain approval from man, not God. They have no regard for the glorification and praise and honor due our magnificent God. The modern day scribes and Pharisees are those within the church who think they're the head of the church and will not yield way to the LORD so He can take His rightful place as the head. Knowing doctrines, laws, rules, the scriptures, the prophesies, attending church, and being a good person are not going to ensure you get to heaven. The true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, as the Father is seeking those who will worship in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). A worshiper is someone who dedicates their entire life to denoting the value of who Christ really is. They live with a deep reverence for the Lord. Waking up each day refreshed and with a new joy, seeking to hear, follow and obey the Lord for that day while avoiding temptations and telling the enemy to flee. They seek to be godly and show the LORD in all they do. Although they may fail at times, with tender hearts to the Father, they are convicted by the Holy Spirit and they are grieved and experience a sincere and honest repentance. They seek the Lord's help in breaking the iniquitous or habitual sins in their lives for they detest these practices which so easily entrap them. They are grieved that they've transgressed their holy God who is so tender, merciful and kind to them. They deeply hate the iniquity that remains in them and wish by any means possible that it could leave them entirely, therefore they long to be home with the Lord where the filth will be completely washed away. They abhor sin, but they act lovingly towards the sinners - knowing the Lord died for all of us; and they know they were once just as sinful. They understand that vengeance and judgment belong to the LORD. They seek to build each other up, they understand that the church, individual members, must edify each other, so they seek to lovingly reprove the blemishes in one another - in kindness and love so that the entire assemble is unified in the bonds of love, being united in Spirit, in mind and in faith. They don't seek to harm one another - as that would be against their loving Father's commands. Instead they want to strengthen each other in faith and godliness. They strive to forgive everyone, even the more difficult cases in their lives. They seek to love and bless their enemies as this is evidence of a sincere and pure heart. They want to die to themselves and to live in Christ - for He is glorious and they know it. They want to talk to Him and seek His counsel for He is wise and gives knowledge and wisdom. They know success in all situations is granted through Him, alone. Their hope and the labor of their hands is to lead others to this glorious, enriching, enlightening, loving and life-giving God.
They celebrate Your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
A Life of Victory. The entire course of your life is based upon one simple question, asked by one man, Christ Jesus, Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:15b). All history, throughout time and into eternity will be the manifestation of the answer for all people. And today, just as 2000 years ago, the answers appear broad in range, but they will be cut down to only two. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God who came as the promised Messiah, who was not only the savior and King of Israel, but the whole world, for this is what was spoken of when the LORD told Abraham, In you shall all the nations be blessed because you have obeyed my voice (Galatians 3:7-9; Genesis 18:18; 22:18-19). The LORD has spoken from heaven by sending angels and prophets, but more has He spoken by sending His Son, who is the radiance of His glory and the exact imprint of His divine nature (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus came to do the will of the Father (John 5:30; 6:38) and He did nothing of His own authority for He spoke what He has seen with the Father and just what the Father taught Him (John 8:28, 38). Jesus spoke the words of God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, the giver of life. And, just as it was with Abraham, so it is with us. We heard Him speak, and we will either believe or not believe. Because Abraham believed and trusted God, He was able to obey the words of the LORD. Abraham did as he was told, without disbelief - and so it is with us. Will you believe enough to obey?
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