Posts Tagged ‘Paul’

…The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:17-22

Total Access

Did you know that you have access to the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power that mounted Him upon His heavenly throne, and the power that gave Him dominion above all things? The heart of Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians (and to us) is that every saint would know this truth. Jesus wants us to know these things as well so that we might not struggle in bondage.

“Bondage to what?” we ask.

“Bondage to anything!” God would say.

Addiction, depression, anger, laziness, you name it! In our weakness we have the strength in Christ to overcome any of these things. Essentially all we need do is receive it and utilize it. If God had the power to raise His Son from the dead, we may be confident He has the power to break our bonds. I know it’s true because He did it in my life ~ Jesus supplied the power and I accepted His gracious gift. In so doing I discovered that everlasting recovery comes from a Person and not a program.

Blinding Fear

But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. Matthew 14:24-25

The disciples were in bondage.

Blinded by fear, they saw the destructive tide, but failed to see where the waves were in relation to Jesus. Again, the Ephesians passage serves to remind us that all things are under His feet; and not only under His feet, but over our heads.

Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Ephesians 5:23b

Bearing Burdens

Do you know someone in bondage?

Remember, Paul’s Ephesian prayer is for the born again believer, therefore assistance to the non-believer in bondage begins with the Good News. Any effort outside of the authority of Christ Jesus is a temporary fix at best. Freedom from bondage comes when the Christian receives a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, when by understanding they are enlightened ~ when the hope of His calling, the riches of His inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of His power is known. Since God does the healing and also provides the power, our duty is to share the Gospel: the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the breaker of all bonds.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6a

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…  Ephesians 1:3

Happy Thanksgiving

Paul’s in jail.

When he writes, ‘Blessed be God the Father who has blessed us,’  he is sitting in a Roman prison; he breaks out in praise despite the fact he’s in lock-down. I find that to be incredible.

How can he do it?

I submit to you there are at least two reasons. First, Paul comprehends that blessings don’t just come from Jesus, but are realized in Jesus. Grateful believers are those who recognize and draw upon this indwelling relationship.

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20

Secondly, Paul has seen the future in Christ.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows–such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man–whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows–how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4

Consider Your Platform

By our standards, Paul had it rough. His platform was a lowly prison cell, yet he used every inch of it to bring honor, glory, and praise to Jesus Christ.

Tim Tebow has a platform too. As an NFL quarterback he is regularly interviewed on television and always gives the glory to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, despite being ridiculed from one side of the country to the other.

It’s safe to say that your platform is somewhere in between Paul’s and Tebow’s.

How are you using it?

When it’s your turn to speak, is the name of Jesus mentioned?

I’m reminded of an up-and-coming Christian musician who recently appeared on one of the nation’s most popular afternoon television shows. Did he give Jesus any of the glory? The short answer is no, he did not. He did however take the time to promote himself and his secular agenda.


All Christians must remember that God provides the platform and if we consistently misuse the opportunities, they’ll be given to someone else. Plain and simple, it’s arrogant, selfish, and prideful when we fail to recognize the One who has made us new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17


  1. Has God given you a platform?
  2. Is Jesus a part of your conversations?
  3. Do those under your roof know you know Him?
  4. Do your neighbors know you know Him?
  5. Do both your friends and enemies know you know Him?

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Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14


Don’t you hate it when you write a letter, an email, or an IM and the person for which it was intended didn’t get it?  Oh, I don’t mean that they didn’t receive it, but they just didn’t understand what you were trying to say. The problem: it’s often difficult to convey attitude when we write, especially when its our purpose to convey the truth without a lot of fluff or political correctness (PC). Paul was having a similar problem with the Corinthians.

While these occurrences tend to frustrate and anger us, Paul chose to diffuse the tension with Godly praise. What’s the difference between Paul and the rest of us? A clue is found in our refrigerators. Tip it over and what falls out? The answer of course is, what’s ever inside of it. The same is true for the heart: when it’s nudged the true contents are discharged.

We plainly see that Paul’s heart was filled with love and adoration for Jesus Christ.

For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45B

Heart Questions:

  • Is it your practice to ask the Lord to search your heart?
  • Do you see the guy who cut you off or took your parking space as an answer to that prayer?
  • What spilled out of your heart as you slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision?

But You, O Lord, know me; You have seen me, And You have tested my heart toward You. Jeremiah 12:3a

In these types of situations, what if instead of rage we chose gratitude; after all, didn’t God just answer your prayer?  I don’t know about you, but having my prayers answered so emphatically is extremely cool! What if instead of rolling down the window and cursing, we paused to thank the person, sharing how God just used him to answer your prayer?

Talk about a witnessing opportunity!

The Abnormal Heart

Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. Acts 16:22-26

Paul’s heart was filled with love for Jesus and when it was disturbed, prayer and song sprang forth naturally. Paul did not have Acts 16 to read, therefore he could not have intellectually surmised,

Ok Silas, all we need to do is pray and sing and God will break these chains and open these doors.”

That’s Not Adoration, That’s Manipulation

Paul’s reaction was not normal and I submit to you that Paul was in the habit of:

  1. Asking God to search his heart, and
  2. Submitting himself to whatever changes God wanted to make.

Paul was submitted to the sanctification process.  The proof of that is seen in what oozed from his heart when it was squished.  What’s oozing from your heart today?

For He knows the secrets of the heart…Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties…And give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men) Psalms 139:23; 44:21b; 1 Kings 8:39b

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Now I will come to you…And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey, wherever I go…if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:5-7

“Wherever I go…if the Lord permits,” is a powerful statement.

In seven words Paul effectively establishes that God is in control of all things. However, recognizing that fact and being submitted to it are two entirely different things. Paul’s consistent behavior demonstrated that he not only knew the Truth, but that he was surrendered to Jesus as well.  This is evident throughout the Pauline Epistles. Despite adversity, Paul’s life screamed, “Peace and joy come with submission!”

Having said that, please note that the Christian life is more than just about the blessings He bestows upon us.  There’s a huge picture being created, intricate beyond our capacity to imagine. Fibers so perfectly complex, so expertly intertwined, each one affecting the other regardless of their location within the tapestry.  I suspect that when completed, it will be to us as if this masterpiece had been woven with one enormous single thread.

In awe, the Church will have but little choice to collectively proclaim, “Only God could have made this!  Glory be to God!”

And that’s a significant point: it’s all about God.

Romans 1:13

Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Did you see it?

I underlined it so it would be easier to find, but don’t miss the implication.

Why did Paul write the Letter to the Romans? Because he was hindered!  In other words, we would not have this magnificent, God-breathed composition if Paul’s plans had not been interrupted.  Could Paul have imagined that his letter would one day be a part of this thing we call the New Testament?  That doesn’t seem likely.  However, his conduct is a testimony to God that he perceived something greater was going on.

Do we trust God?

Stuck in traffic?  Lost your job?  Arrested?

Embrace the situation–God can still use you.  Never assume you have been given the day off because you woke to a flat tire or the power has gone out.  God is still doing something and like it or not Christian, you are still a part of it.  Our choice when adversity strikes is simple: faith or failure; function or dysfunction.  Remember, we don’t have to see the big picture to know that it’s there.   By faith we assume that it is and we act accordingly.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Life is a vapor.  We appear for a short time and then we vanish.  Incredibly, we serve a God who can do marvelous things with vapor.  Just look at what He has done so far.

Are you seeing it?


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I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. Romans 16:1-2

A large portion of the last chapter of the Book of Romans is dedicated to the Apostle Paul’s friends; thirty-three people that Paul mentions specifically by name. It’s one of those sections that some might wonder why is included in God’s word. I submit to you that as you pour through the chapter, God reveals both His character and the character of those who choose to follow Him.

Starting with Phoebe, Paul commends her because she is a precious servant of the Lord. I found it interesting that the word ‘servant’ in the Greek is ‘diakonos’ from which we get our contemporary word deacon or in this case deaconess. We find throughout scripture that these servants in the early church cared for the poor and the sick, took charge of and dispensed the collections, and specifically in the case of women, taught other women. We also see that women served in the early church.

Other Notables

Priscilla and Aquila were close friends of Paul and met because they shared the same tent-making craft. After Paul had led them to Christ, they in turn led many others to Christ, including Apollos! They also maintained Christian fellowships within their homes and put their own lives on the line in order to protect Paul. Already we see with these first three people, Paul is establishing the components of a faithful believer.

Paul remembers Epaenetus, the first person he led to Christ in Achaia and Mary, a saint who labored much for the evangelical mission. Again I am intrigued by Paul’s choice of words because the Greek word used here for labor means to toil with wearisome effort. Personally, I have trouble recalling the last time I toiled for Jesus.

He makes mention of Andronicus and Junia, two apostles who served with him in jail ministry. The valuable insight we can gain from this notation is that the Lord is still in the apostle-appointing business. Some believe that after Jesus appointed the original twelve there were no more—this entry destroys that myth.

Two of my personal favorites are Apelles and Philologus, whose name literally means, ‘lover of the Word’. Of Apelles, Paul wrote that he was ‘approved in Christ’. Of course that begs the questions, “What must one do to be approved in Christ?” That answer is implied here and confirmed later in Second Timothy.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

I prefer the King James Version of this particular verse because it plainly states, ‘Study to show yourself to be approved by God.’ Want to be approved? Be a ‘Philologus’—be a lover of God’s word.

Tertius and Quartus are two more favorites. Tertius we know was a secretary of sorts for Paul, recording much (if not all) of this letter for him. What I soaked in is that their titles are slave-names: Tertius means ‘Third’ and Quartus means ‘Fourth’. What a powerful reminder the next time I get the urge to make a name for myself.

“So What,” You Say

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. Malachi 3:16

I tell you so what. Paul has illustrated in this Epistle to the Romans what God has been doing all along—recording in His Book of Remembrance the faithful acts of His saints. When a Christian serves and/or speaks-up on behalf of the Lord, He puts it in His memory book. It kind of reminds me how my wife puts all our kids’ masterpieces on the refrigerator, despite misspelled words and rough artwork. To Mom, it doesn’t matter—she’s showing off her children. It doesn’t matter to the Father either—if you love and serve the Lord, you are on His refrigerator.

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Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Romans 14:1-3

Who Is My Weaker Brother?

My weaker brother is not necessarily who I thought it was. I was in fact surprised to discover that not infrequently this weaker brother is me! The person weak in faith that Paul is describing is not the one who lacks faith, but rather the one who errantly exercises the faith he has been given ~and~ attempts to impose their personal convictions on others. In today’s vernacular, we might call these folks legalists.

These guys (in Paul’s day) abstained from eating the meat being sold in the marketplace because it had been sacrificed to idols. They of course wanted to lay their vegetarian rap on everyone else because, they concluded, God would approve. The irony is that when a non-legalist is outwardly opposed to the yak of a legalist; to the point of controversy, the non-legalist is just as offensive as the legalist was initially. For this reason, God would say, “Let the brother be.”

Paul has effectively told us that God does not care about these matters. Christians are to accept each other and dismiss those matters that do not pertain to sin and the Biblical essentials of our faith. Whether it is the food or beverages we consume, the day we choose to worship, or any other inconsequential thing, tolerate your brother and avoid conflict. St Augustine summed it up pretty well when he said.

In Essentials,
In Non-essentials,
In All Things,

…For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Romans 14:17-18

It doesn’t get much clear than that. Is God interested in what we eat, what we drink, or when and where we worship? No, but obviously let us not sin in our liberty. What is God into? Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Want to be acceptable to God and approved by men? Then let these three things be our focus in Christ’s Holy name.

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There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

It’s easier said than done to qualify one book of the Bible as better or more impacting over another (and I won’t here), but be that as it may, Romans is right up there. These inspired words of God are so commanding that in 386 A.D., Aurelius Augustine came to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior after reading just one passage. Consider what others have said regarding Romans:

“Night and day I pondered Romans until I grasped the truth. I felt myself to be reborn. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven, ” Martin Luther.

“I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for my salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, ” John Wesley.

“When one gains a knowledge of this Epistle, he has an entrance opened to him to all the most hidden treasures of Scripture, ” John Calvin.

“It is the principle and most excellent part of the New Testament… No man can read it too oft, or study it too well; for the more it is studied, the easier it is; the more it is chewed, the pleasanter it is. . . the more it is searched, the preciouser things are found, ” William Tyndale.

I wanted to emphasize the amplitude of Paul’s letter here because of the serious nature of this blog’s subject matter: depression. That is not to say that justification, salvation, sanctification, and righteousness are of less importance—that would be silly, but rather to say that far to many born-again believers struggle needlessly with depression and despair. The previous chapters in Romans (one thru seven) reminded us that we’re wretched people with nothing good found within, but by faith, Romans eight tenders the cure found in Christ Jesus. The truth be told, if you are miserable and dreary you are likely struggling in one of three areas: the past, the present, or the future and chapter eight speaks to them all.

“Regrets? I Had a Few”

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Who hasn’t lamented over past sinful conduct? I am certain I could write volumes on the subject. And I am certain you could too. Your sins might be worse (by human standards) or maybe mine are, but God says that for those believing in His Son it does not matter—the filthy slate has been wiped clean. Oh we’re not just forgiven in His eyes; we are seen as if we never committed the offense to begin with. Mull that over.

What Will Tomorrow Bring?

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

What does the future hold? Will you find a job; will they find a cure; will I lose my house–these are the things that tend to consume us. Our Father has effectively said that if we fear what the future holds, we’re not looking far enough into the future. Whatever occurs this side of Heaven will not and can not remove us from the love of God. God’s everlasting and timeless love is our hope and that hope necessitates our continuous focus.

But ‘Right Now’ Stinks!

‘We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ Romans 8:28

‘Right now’ only stinks when we forget that God uses stink in our sanctification (refining) process. In other words, if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us spiritually better—not better than anyone else, just better then the slugs we use to be before we knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And if it does kill us, well then, welcome home my friend, welcome home!

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Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp. So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle. Exodus 33:7-11Moving Day

You gotta love Moses. The Lord just finishes telling him that He will not travel in the midst of camp, so what does Moses do? He moves his tent outside of the camp! Do we all see the lesson in this? As Christians we must be in that place where we can easily maintain our walk with Christ Jesus and if we find ourselves tabernacled where God is not we must re-pitch our tent. Having said that, we know God is everywhere, but we also know that some places are more conducive to an attentive relationship with Him than others.


What I found to be exceptionally insightful (as it pertains to the Exodus passage) is that anyone could have followed Moses, but out of the two or three million people, only one person did—Joshua. Everyone one else opted to stay at home. Israel was intrigued by the spiritual life, but never moved towards it–a behavior we witness today. There is a growing number of people who falsely believe they are in the faith, when all they really are is fascinated by it. Let us recognize that trait and move far, far away from it.

The Competition

…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus… Hebrews 12:1b-2a

I want us to re-envision *Paul’s race-analogy. Look around…our opponents in this race are not our friends; they are not our brothers and sisters in the faith. The race we run is against our enemies and their goal is not our goal. While our objective is to finish the race, theirs is to take us out of the race by any means possible. As we pursue the finish line, the competition seeks to finish us.

The Relevance of Speed

In this race, speed has no relevance—honestly; we can walk all the way to the finish line. But know this: as we slow our pace evil catches up and if we stop altogether, evil surrounds us. We know (or we should know) that the opposition is powerless; he cannot inflict wickedness upon us, but the closer he is the louder his taunts. Our rivalry is not pleased when we stumble and fall, but when we fail to rise to our feet and complete the race. Our enemy does not want to kill us; he wants us to kill ourselves…and we do that when we accept that which he offers. So whatever the tempo; a crawl, a stoll, or a trot, keep moving towards Jesus.

*I am not dogmatic about it, and although know one knows for certain, I lean towards Paul being the author of the book of Hebrews

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Putting on the VeilTherefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech– unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 2 Corinthians 3:12-13

Christians, unpurposefully perhaps, spend an awful lot of time attempting to convey how godly we are. We can find a little comfort in knowing that we are in good company, for Moses was guilty of the very same thing. Out of context we might be persuaded to believe that Moses veiled himself in an act of humility, but God through the Apostle Paul reveals the issue with Moses was actually pride—Moses did not want anyone to see his diminished spirituality.

A Fine Line

When we utter to another, “I have been praying for you, ” is it really about them or about telling them that we pray? Similarly when we declare, “I was fasting and the Lord revealed something to me, ” is it about the revelation or the fact that we fast? The truth just might be that we want others to know how saintly we are to cover up how saintly we are not. We wear our spiritual endeavors as a veil, akin to Moses, so that no one might know the reality of our fading glory. Sadly, the embellishment becomes routine and we likely do not even recognize the behavior having bought the lie.

To make matters worse, when we project a bogus façade, it could cause others to feel inadequate in their faith walk. A believer might look at us in our amped-up spirituality and surmise, “I can’t keep up with that! I’m no prayer warrior, I’m no faster, I’m no wonderful worshipper!” How dare we do that to another believer. A veil is nothing more that a false, legalistic barrier between them and their walk with Christ. We need to remember that Jesus took away that obstruction.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom… Matthew 27:50-51

This One’s for Me

We all may be culpable, but please know I choose to blog on this particular issue today because my spirit was convicted– this is a message I need to receive…again. Lord, let me remember that You are and I am not, that You are wonderful and worthy and I am not, and if there is any glow about me it is solely of You. Let me always be a reflection of Your glory, lest I give someone the impression it is me and lest I hinder the spiritual growth of another.

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Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.   Romans 5:1-5No Joy in Knowledge

The term we commonly use for a collection of useful facts and data is ‘knowledge’. Honestly, the word is over-rated and, while it does have a magnificent and dignified ring to it, we often come away with the notion that gaining ‘it’ is sufficient unto its self. That is a concept flawed.

The beauty of God’s Word (the Bible) is that He not only provides us with knowledge, but ‘understanding’—the catalyst that gives life to knowledge. Peter reminds us in his first letter to the mission-ed church that the Old Testament prophets were abundantly blessed with knowledge (given directly by God), but they had very little understanding of the things they knew and shared—abundantly informed, yet deficient in perception.

Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into. 1 Peter 1:10-12

The Joy of Understanding

The prophets knew of two God-given truths: the suffering of Mount Calvary and the glory of Mount Olivet. Through them we learned prophetically of our Lord’s first coming (and His consequent torment on Calvary) and His second coming when He returns as our glorious and conquering King. What the prophets missed was the valley in between the two—the valley the Apostle Paul refers to in Romans 5:1-5. Through Paul’s explanation of God’s refining process we have understanding.

Paul explains (as does Peter) that Jesus wants nothing more for us than to be eternally blessed, just as He was. We read about an attribute of Christ Jesus (in Hebrews 1:9) that is often over looked.

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

There is no one happier than Jesus; He truly was, ‘The Man from Glad!” And that is what Jesus desires for us. The route to this eternal bliss is found only through Him and via His refining process. When we understand the progression (as prescribed in Romans 5), the motivation behind it all (Christ’s love for us), and the glorious destiny that awaits, it is only proper that we rejoice through it all. It is then we can declare with all confidence…

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Something is Missing

There is a piece missing. We have knowledge and we have understanding, but if we are not utilizing that which we have, we lack wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to apply, with understanding, those things which we know to be true. It has been my experience that as I proceed ‘wisely’ with that which the Lord has provided, He provides more. In contrast, when I sit on my wisdom, the flow ceases.

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