20 For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in him. Therefore, through him we also say “Amen” to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20 CSB)
This scripture can seem odd at first glance. However, the meaning is clear; God has already said “Yes” to the promises in scripture. He has already affirmed that he will be faithful to follow through with the promises he made.
The second part of the scripture is where the onus falls upon us. We must say “Amen” to those promises. This is to say, that we must look at them in the past tense. To thank God for that which we cannot or have not yet seen.
By confidently saying “Amen” to the many promises of the scriptures is to show our Faith and know that God will follow through.
9 Consequently those who have faith are blessed with Abraham, who had faith.[a]10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the law is cursed.[b] (Galatians 3:9-10 CSB)
So, there is grace and there is the law. Grace came through Christ sacrifice on the cross and the law was given to the Israelites and to us in the Old Testament.
The law is a signpost to our sin and grace, through faith, is the covering of those sins.
So, is the law made void by grace? No, the law is covered by faith and grace. Both are needed so that we do not live under the curse of the law. The curse being a magnification of the law.
When faith and grace are present and the law points us to the hallmarks of sin we have a very clear pathway to follow. These things become self evident as does our path.
15 “If you love me, you will keep[a] my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor[b] to be with you forever. (John 14:15-16 CSB)
There are two commands and one promise in this scripture. That is a lot in two sentences of scripture.
First we are to love and keep the Father and his commands. The first can seem easy the second not so much at all times. We want to strike off on our own too often and that may go against what we are commanded to do.
Furthermore, in modern society no one likes the idea of being “commanded” to do anything.
But if we love the Father we understand that the command is because he loves us.
If we do these things we are given a Counselor to be with us (the Spirit) who is ever within us to help us recognize the love in the command and the value of that directive.
When given the choice to live a Spirit-filled life the steps are really pretty simple.
12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. (1 Kings 3:12 CSB)
Do you realize how unique you are? There has never been anyone like you and there will never be again.
We may all have similarities, but we are all unique to our selves. There are subtle, and not so subtle, differences that make up who we are. Furthermore, God made us to be different and to use those differences for His Kingdom.
The world celebrates difference, often, in unhealthy ways. Our differences do not need to divide us. They do not need to be a catalyst to anger, frustration or any other negative thing.
Our uniqueness should be used in the right way and within the confines of the scripture, to show love and build others up. To fulfill our spiritual gifts and to make the world a better place.
23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 NIV)
When planting anything there must be fertile ground to plant in to bring forth a good crop. One must begin by either knowing where he plants will take the seed or must prepare the ground.
We too want success in life. To gain this we must be and have fertile ground to work if we want to increase our chances at success. Beginning in a place that provides no personal growth we soon find our progress is choked and quckly becomes stale.
The same is true in our relationship with God. We must be the fertile ground so that our spirit grows. Furthermore, we must move forward accepting that our role may be to plant seeds or water those who God wishes to reach.
In all of these by finding and working fertile ground we can look forward to a yield that is not thirty, not sixty but a hundredfold.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, (Titus 2:12 NIV)
We do not tend toward being self-controlled creatures. We live in a world where passions are indulged and celebrated. Where “No” is a construct left up to each individual based upon their interpretation.
Yet, we know down deep when we are indulging. Yes, we may justify our actions in many ways with great passion and belief that we are doing what we want for the right reasons.
But what about the self-controlled life?
What about a life where we do not put our passions and desires first?
What about a life where we test all that we do against the filter of Word and Spirit?
Truly, think how the world would begin to change….
23 when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23 CSB)
It is difficult, often seemingly impossible, to turn the other cheek. To allow the insults and negativity to simply slide off our backs.
If you, like me, tend toward confidence it can be even more difficult. Although I have yet to meet the person who is unaffected by an insult or a slight. It is simply human nature to want to respond to our detractors.
It takes a supreme effort to let He who judges justly judge the situation. To accept the slight and simply let go so that God might be manifest in the situation.
However, by doing so we allow space for God to work His wonders and do not stifle a moment of personal growth and possibly someone else’s growth.
We are only perfected in our ability to let go.