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Zealous for God

Discussion in 'Deeper Fellowship' started by Christsfreeservant, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    Thursday, February 17, 2011, 7:07 a.m. – When I woke this morning, this song was playing in my mind:

    YOU RAISE ME UP / Brendan Graham / Rolf Lovland

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
    You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas
    I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
    You raise me up to more than I can be.

    Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. I read Romans 10:

    To be continued next post...
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  2. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    Continued from previous post...

    My Understanding: I read through this passage of scripture prayerfully before God, seeking his face for understanding of what he wanted to teach me from it today. As I read and as I looked at what this passage of scripture is talking about, I saw six main themes that I believe the Lord would have me to examine this morning.

    Zealous for God without Knowledge

    Paul, as Saul, had been zealous for God to the point to where he participated in and even led the charge in the persecution, imprisonment and killing of believers in Jesus Christ. He truly believed he was serving God by going against those whom he believed were traitors of the faith of his fathers. His zeal was thus misdirected and he persecuted in ignorance. So, Paul identified with his own people, because he had been where they are/were. Paul, as Saul, thus did what he did because he lacked knowledge and understanding of who Jesus truly was (and is). He was blinded by his ignorance long before Jesus blinded him literally on the road to Damascus where Saul intended to arrest and imprison the followers of Jesus.

    The Israelites operated out of the same lack of knowledge of who God is as did Saul/Paul. Their misdirected and misguided zeal for God thus stood as a barrier between them and God to keep them from seeing the truth of who Jesus was and is, and from them believing in Jesus and receiving the truth of the gospel message into their hearts and lives. They operated on the basis of self-righteousness via human effort to gain God’s approval, but to no avail, for they failed to submit to God’s true righteousness that could only be found through genuine faith in Jesus Christ via his death for our sins and his resurrection in which he conquered death, hell, Satan and sin – the penalty of sin and the control and power that sin has over our individual lives on a daily basis. Their attempts to gain God’s approval through human effort only led to self-deception and pride.

    The same can happen to us if we try to gain God’s approval through our own human efforts to do what we feel is right. God is not looking for religious people who do religious activities for God. He doesn’t need our activities and/or our empty rituals. He is not pleased if we attend a church service or a prayer meeting or if we teach a Sunday school class or help in the nursery or whatever we do that we think we are doing for God to please him, if it is being done in the flesh and without regard for having clean hearts and purity of mind and obedient attitudes and actions toward following the Lord Jesus by taking up our crosses daily and following Him.

    What God wants from us can be found in Romans 12:1-2, where he implores us, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, to offer ourselves (our whole being) to God as living sacrifices (humble, submissive and obedient to God’s commands), holy (set apart from the world and set apart for God’s service), acceptable (according to God’s plan of salvation), for this is our reasonable service of worship (true worship is laying our lives on the altar). We are not to be conformed to the pattern of the world (what we see and hear on TV, in movies, in modern music, in teachings of man, and man’s philosophies for how to live life, etc.), but we are to be transformed (changed from one thing to something else entirely) by the renewing (restarting; renovating; and restoring) of our minds, and then, and then only can we prove by our lives what the will of God is, his good, pleasing and perfect will for our lives, which is found in the previous words in these verses.

    Confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”

    The Lord brought this scripture to my mind from Matthew 10:32-33:
    The KJV uses the word “confess” in place of “acknowledge,” but they mean the same thing. To acknowledge means to admit, recognize, concede and to own as individual and as personal to our lives that Jesus is Lord. Lord means owner, authority over, ruler, king, boss and master of our lives. So, this “confession” is not a mere audible acknowledgement, for it must be preceded by and followed by genuine faith in Jesus Christ. So, this means that we own the fact that Jesus is our Lord and that we confess it by all our words that come out of our mouths which come from what is within our hearts. So, if Jesus is Lord in our hearts, it will come out from our mouths, and that will be the true confession that leads to salvation.

    Believe in your heart the resurrection of Jesus Christ

    If we look at the word “believe” in the New Testament, we find that is often preceded or followed up by repentance and obedience. Jesus said, “The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” [Mark 1:15 NIV] It makes sense that repentance and obedience are part of believing, because to believe in something means to believe not only intellectually, but to put actions to our words. If I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, that he rose again conquering my sin so that I could be free, not only from the penalty of sin but the control of sin over my life, then why would I continue living a sinful lifestyle? It would mean that I didn’t truly believe that Jesus died so that I could go free, for if I believed, why would I refuse this freedom? So, to believe means to act upon what Jesus did for me by turning from my sin and turning to God in obedience - in following him and his commands and to do whatever he requires of me. That is true faith.

    Call on the Name of the Lord

    A person’s name used to mean something. If I sign my name to something, I am putting my stamp of approval on what I signed, saying I agree to the terms written on that piece of paper, and hopefully I read it before I signed it so that I know what I agreed to. A person’s name on something thus means that person agrees to the terms of the contract. A name also used to say something about who the person is and their character, which goes along with the idea of a name meaning approving or agreeing with something, because if I sign my name to something, I am saying that who I am and my character gives approval and agreement to what I have signed. So, when we call on the name of the Lord, it is so much more than just saying his name or uttering a prayer of desperation in a moment of crisis.

    To call on the name of someone is to make a request for that person to come, to communicate with you, to make a declaration of something, to decide something, to appeal to someone about something, etc. (ref: Encarta). To call on the name of Jesus thus is to make a request, to declare as true, to make a decision about, to appeal to him on the basis of, and to invite two-way communication with regard to his character, his righteousness, his justice, his mercy and grace, and his provision of salvation from sin. It is an acknowledgement and a confession and an agreement with the terms of the new covenant which God so graciously provided us through Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins so that we could go free. So, to call on his name means to request from him what he stands for, to declare it as truth, to agree with him in what he says about our sin and his righteousness, to make an appeal to his provision of salvation via his grace through our faith and to invite him into our lives in a two-way relationship that involves communication and fellowship on a daily basis.

    How beautiful are the Feet…

    Jesus told his disciples that when the Holy Spirit was to come upon them that they would be witnesses. He did not tell them that they should be witnesses, but that they would be. This is because when we are truly saved and we truly have the Holy Spirit within us working in and through us, the Holy Spirit of God will be revealed through our lives in our actions and in our words (all of them) and will be a witness either for or against the Lord depending upon how we conduct our lives and how we speak and what we say. Jesus also told his disciples, his followers, that after he left they were to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. To make a disciple means we have to teach others how to follow Jesus Christ. We do this by our lives, because actions speak louder than words, but we also do this by the words we say, and through deliberate sharing of the gospel message and deliberately teaching followers of Jesus how to live for God, how to forsake the ways of this world and their sinful lifestyles, and how to walk in faith, submission and obedience to God.

    Not all accepted the Good News

    When we share the Good News with other people, not everyone is going to accept the message. And, we need to not let that discourage us. There are varied reasons people will reject Jesus or will reject what the Bible teaches concerning what it means to truly believe in Jesus, yet we must still give out the gospel message, because they can’t believe if they don’t hear, and they can’t hear unless we are sent by God. I believe all believers in Jesus have been sent by God to share the gospel, yet not all go in the Spirit, which is the true meaning of being sent. When we are truly sent by God, we acknowledge that we are operating under God’s direction and his authority over our lives and that our message does not originate with us but is given to us by the one who sent us, Jesus Christ. This is very critical that we understand this before we go out and share the gospel.

    Then, when we face resistance, as we will if we are truly sharing the truth of the gospel, then we don’t have to take it personally when people reject the message, because it is God they are rejecting, not us. Yet, even though God knows that people will reject the message, because they are rejecting Jesus Christ, still he commands us to go so that everyone will hear and will have the opportunity to believe, although he may often send us to a disobedient and obstinate people who refuse to believe. Our job is just to obey and go. It is God’s job to convict and to draw men to him; to Jesus Christ. So, let us go in the strength of the Lord and tell all men and women how they might, too, be saved.

    Sources: You Raise Me Up - http://www.thestraitgate.org/music/you-raise-me-up-selah/
    Romans 10 - Romans 10 - Passage Lookup - New International Version 1984, ©1984 - BibleGateway.com
  3. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States