The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person. It is only in the eyes of another that we can find the Icon of Christ. We must make the other person aware we love him. If we do, he will know that God loves him. He will never hunger again.
The LORD reveals Himself to us as we read the Scriptures, and the fear of the LORD is our response to the revelation. Some definitions of the fear of the LORD are "reverence, respect, awe, etc." While those definitions are true, the fear of the LORD is so much more. The best way to understand the fear of the LORD is to read through Psalms and Proverbs and write down the verses that contains the phrase "fear of the LORD."
...the fear of the LORD is delighting greatly in His commandments (Psalm 112:2) and knowledge of the Holy One (Proverbs 9:10)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom about God and His will (Proverbs 9:10)
The fear of the LORD brings about repentance - a change of mind, a change in our values, way of thinking, and living.
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15, New International Version
May the will of God be done in your life today and always!
I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that in me, without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency... The one sole thing in myself in which I glory, is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory. -- Catherine of Genoa
In over two decades of teaching, preaching, and pastoring, I have taught parishioners that any time you read a promise in the Bible, you need to start looking around for the conditions to obey in order to receive the promise. If you do your part in obeying the Scripture, God does His part, and the promise will be realized in you. It's a central theme throughout the Bible. The "Bible Promise" books that have been so popular over the years leave the conditions of the promises of God out, leaving people standing on the promises, but ignorant to the conditions to obey in order to receive them.
Now we have a book that explains how to read and understand Scripture finding the conditions that lead to fulfilled promises, and it is written by a friend and mentor of mine, Robert P. Holland, who has been pastoring since 1965. First a word concerning Pastor Holland, and then I will talk more about his book which I have completed reading and highly recommend for all those who are serious about understanding and receiving the promises of Holy Scripture.
Pastor Holland is one of my heroes of faith. I have known him for two decades and had opportunity to sit under his ministry for a short season prior to pastoring my first church in the early 1990s. Pastor Holland has a keen understanding of Scripture that is reflected in his life. He portrays the image of Christ more than any other person I have had the privilege of knowing. His ability to communicate and teach the Word is a gift given to us by God. Those who have had the privilege of sitting under his ministry have not experienced a famine of the Word under it, and have instead been given a bountiful feast that brings growth in the Lord.
I just finished reading his book, Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7, and highly recommend it. The book begins with an explanation of the title which is fundamental to the 44 chapters which follow. In each chapter, which Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom and Promise workshops", a Scripture promise and its conditions (Pastor Holland refers to as "Wisdom") are identified and proper exegesis, application and exhortation is given.
For those who will read the book, I believe that the Holy Spirit will bring attention to the areas of life where proper wisdom is not applied, and where promises are not being realized, allowing for proper application of Scripture to take place. I"m sure that every reader who has a desire to please God and live for Him will be able to properly apply wisdom and receive promises as they prayerfully read and glean from each chapter.
There have been some great books that I have read that I commit to reading again. With this book, I plan to incorporate it into my daily discipline of reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture, by reading a chapter each day for a while to come. In the days ahead, I will also be tweeting (@Gregory_Johnson) some quotes from the book and posting some quotes on my Facebook page (GregoryAJohnsonPage).
I encourage you to get a copy of the book today, read it, and let God speak into your life as you discover the wisdom and promises that God would have you receive. The book is available as a paperback and as an ebook on Amazon. Click here and get your copy today - Some Understand 1 + 6 = 7: Finding Wisdom and Receiving Promises.
Upon the killing of Osama Bin Laden, there are a lot of emotions, and opinions circulating freely. I was emailed a very good question yesterday evening that I would like to address in this blog post.
"Greg, what’s your take on the killing of Bin Laden which is another way of asking about the biblical support or non-support for such an operation? i.e., killing an unarmed man who apparently was ineffective to do further harm.
I suppose it parallel’s capital punishment, and if so, please speak to that."
When I heard the news yesterday, there was a part of me that wanted to rejoice in man's justice.
But, there was another part of me that was unsettled.
As a Christ follower, I must base my opinion, and learn to control my emotions, based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
It was under the Old Covenant Law that capital punishment, a life for a life, was instituted by God.
Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19:21 ESV)
But, what did Jesus say under the New Covenant with God that we are currently living under?
Jesus said that He came and fulfilled the Law.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17 ESV)
Jesus fulfilled the Law in his life, death, and resurrection.
Jesus gave us a new commandment (Law) to live by.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." ~ Jesus
(John 13:34-35 ESV)
So what are we to do when people abuse us?
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. ~ Jesus
(Matthew 5:38-39 ESV)
Based on the life and teachings of Jesus, I believe a "Christian" nation would have had a better testimony to the world if they would have protected the homeland without entering into two wars, and a ten year manhunt that has cost thousands of American soldier lives, and billions of dollars that could have went to help the marginalized around the world.
I have learned ministering to those in jail that, no matter what people have done in their past, as long as they have breath, God has opportunity to draw them to Jesus, and they have opportunity to repent of their sins, and become a Christ follower.
I have seen the vilest sinner, and offender of others, change by the grace of God.
So back to my personal feelings....
My daughter, Kelsey, sums up my feelings as a Christ follower on her post of a Martin Luther King, Jr., quote today.
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
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