“I testify on my own behalf, and so does the Father who sent me.”
The Pharisees asked him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t know me or my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.”John 8:18-19 GW
God created us. We did not fashion ourselves. We are not an accident, coincidence or unintended outcome. We were purposefully created to serve God. The problem is most people have forgotten or never became aware of the reason for our existence.
The Pharisees were experts in the Mosaic Law, they knew all the rules and regulations that governed acceptable, God-honoring behavior. Yet, they didn’t know God and failed to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
Throughout the Gospel accounts in the Bible, the Pharisees are consistently portrayed as the bad guys. They are the ones in power, they governed the religious system of the day. However, they were hypocrites who loved the approval of people rather than the approval of God.
I think that’s one of the key things to watch out for in your own personal walk with God. Am I doing this with God or am I doing it for likes, views or money? Your motivation makes a difference.
God is a Spirit. Yet, He put on flesh and appeared as a man, the Son of Man. Jesus is God. He and the Father are One. The Holy Spirit is also God. Together, they make up what is referred to as the Godhead, or Trinity. They are united in purpose, essence and character but are expressed and experienced in unique ways.
The same is true for the Church. The Church is the born-again, Spirit-filled Body of believers throughout all time and space. God is the head of Christ. And Christ is the head of the Church. A Church without a head is decapitated – dead and lifeless. Likewise, a body without the Spirit is also dead.
The true Church is united with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If God is saying anything now, it’s what He’s always been saying, “Follow Me.”
It’s time to get back to basics and stick with them for the long haul. We need to practice the fundamental disciplines of our faith as if our lives depended on them, because they do. We must abide in God so that we can remain in Him.
You may be asking how do I abide in God? The easy answer is to look at the opposite, how to not be in God’s will. That’s called sin, disobedience or rebellion. If you go against God’s ways in your heart, words or actions you’re in sin, disconnected from the heart and presence of God.
Conversely, if you agree with God and love God and your neighbors, then you are abiding in Him. Pretty simple, right?
It’s all about love. You can’t love outside of relationship. Relationships are between living beings. If you love dead things, like stuff, ideology or religion more than God then you’re an idolator. That means you’re missing the mark and have fallen victim to deception.
The devil wants nothing more than for your devotion to be to created things. God wants your devotion to be to the Creator, that’s Jesus. All things were created by Him, through Him, for Him. That includes you and me.
That’s the simple truth of it. God wants your devotion. It’s not unreasonable. It’s a day to day battle to keep your heart and mind centered on Christ in this world of sin and distraction. But it’s not impossible.
In fact, it really just comes down to making a decision. God gave us free will. The purpose is to test us. Given a choice, will we choose God’s will or will we choose death? Life in God is the abundant life full of love, joy, peace and every blessing from God. Life apart from God is well no life at all. It’s being a slave to our flesh, the world and the devil. I for one want no part of that. I did my time.
If you’re feeling convicted that maybe you’ve been deceived and believed the lie of the world, don’t feel bad. God’s not out to punish you, He wants to restore you to right relationship with Him. God is a good God. He provided the proverbial get out of jail free card with the blood of Jesus.
Let’s take a moment to pray.
Lord God in Heaven, we recognize You as our Father, our Creator, our Healer, our Deliverer and our soon coming King. We recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the Anointed One of God, Messiah and Lord. We ask that You would forgive us of all of our sins, errors and failures. We also forgive all the sins, errors and failures of those in our lives. Let Your grace, mercy and forgiveness flow. Baptize us afresh in Your Holy Spirit. Break open the fountains of our deep. Let rivers of living water flow through us as we love You wholeheartedly. Let Your unfailing love flow through us to impact the world around us. May we be carriers of Your message to the lost and hurting. And may You redeem the time we have left before Your appearing. We pray all these things in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.