Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unity # 22: One Way

Unity # 22: One Way
Theme Song: Press On

Dear Father,
     Oh, the depth of the riches both of Your wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable are Your judgments and unfathomable are Your ways! (Rom 11:33) How can we keep our way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. (Ps 119:9) Thank You for Your Word. We have chosen the faithful way; we have placed Your ordinances before us (Ps 119:30). Enlarge our hearts so that we may run in the way of Your commandments (Ps 119:32). May we consider our ways and turn our feet to Your Testimonies (Ps 119:59). Jesus, You have made the Way, You are the Way, and knowing You is all along Your Way. Yes, this Way is eternal Life. Jesus Christ is Lord and He has come in the Flesh.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,

     In last week’s letter, we spoke of divine restoration, the act of the Trinity to bring about repentance when we have strayed, to restore our fellowship with Christ, and to produce the ongoing bearing of fruit and conformance into His Image. Though we often stray, He has never stopped doing good to us, and thus, the harvest of His restoration more than makes up for what we seemed to have lost. Thus, in spite of all our failures, we are all surely being progressively sanctified and transformed into His Image with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

     This week’s letter is about the one Way which all of the true saints walk in. Our God is pleased with those who walk in this Way. He is the Rock; His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He (Deut 32:4). His eyes are on the faithful of the land that they may dwell with Him; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to Him (Ps 101:6). God tells us to do homage to His Son, that He not become angry, and we perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Ps 2:12). The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but God loves the one who pursues righteousness (Prov 15:9). When King David gave his charge to his son Solomon, he said that the Lord would carry out His promise concerning him. God had told him that if his sons are careful of their way, to walk before Him in Truth with all their heart and soul, he would not lack a man on the throne of Israel (1 Kings 2:4). After King Solomon finished building the temple of the Lord, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. Solomon prayed for the people saying that when the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against God, and they pray towards this place and confess His Name and turn from their sin when He afflicts them, then may God hear in heaven and forgive the sin of His servants and of His people Israel, and, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk and send rain on His land, which He has given to His people as an inheritance. (1 Kings 8:35-36) God proclaims, “Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!” (Ps 81:13) King David says, “Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes!” (Ps 119:5) The people of God wait for the Lord and keep His way. He exalts them to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off they will see it. (Ps 37:34) The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life (Prov 16:17). Those who are wise and discerning understand and know that the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressor will stumble in them (Hos 14:9). They make straight paths for their feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed (Heb 12:13). Those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize. We must run in such a way that we may win. We exercise this self-control to receive an imperishable reward. Therefore we run in such a way, as not without aim; we box in such a way, as not beating the air, but we discipline our body and make it our slave, so that, after we have preached to others, we ourselves will not be disqualified. (1 Cor 9:24-27) Dear saints, the Lord tells us, “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death” (Jer 21:8). He tells us “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16).

     For there is a way that leads to death. This is the way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Prov 16:25). Jesus tells us to enter through the narrow door; for many, will seek to enter and not be able to (Luke 13:23-24) and to enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it, for the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matt 7:13-14).We at one time were as those who walked in this way of death. We were as the greedy dogs which are not satisfied, the shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one (Is 56:11). Jesus gave us the parable of the wedding feast of the king for his son to describe the wicked ways of mankind. They paid no attention and went on their way, one to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized the king’s slaves, mistreated, and killed them. Prior to his conversion, Paul was like those who mistreated God’s servants. If Paul found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he bound them and brought them to Jerusalem to kill them (Acts 9:2) The slaves eventually followed the king’s instructions to invite those on the main highways, both good and evil, and the wedding hall was indeed filled with dinner guests. (Matt 22:1-10) Dear saints, we have followed His invitation to belong to the Way.

     In God’s New Covenant, He promises to give us one Way. He has gathered us out of all the wicked slavery that we remained in under His anger, wrath, and great indignation; and He has brought us to Himself and made us to dwell in safety. He calls us His people and He declares that He will be our God. He gives us one heart and one way, that we may fear Him always, for our own good and the good of our children after us. He has made an everlasting Covenant with us that He will not turn away from us, to do us good; and He will put the fear of Himself in our hearts so that we will not turn away from Him. He will rejoice over us to do us good and will faithfully plant us in the land of Himself with all His Heart and Soul. (Jer 32:37-41). We will ask for the way to Zion, turn our faces in its direction, and come that we may join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting Covenant that will not be forgotten (Jer 50:5). This Covenant was established by Jesus Christ, preceded by John the Baptist referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the Way of the Lord, make His paths straight!” (Matt 3:3) and “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You” (Matt 11:10). Jesus tells us that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Him. God has raised up His Servant Jesus and sent Him to bless us by turning every one of us from our wicked ways (Acts 3:26). There is a Highway of Holiness for us to walk upon; yes, this is the narrow way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for him who walks that way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Is 35:8-10)

     In order to be saved, we must remain on the narrow path. We must continue in the one Way. Yet, in the abundance of His grace He guards our way and keeps us on His path. Our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel is the Lord our God who teaches us to profit in the heavenly realms, and He leads us in the way we should go (Is 48:17). We are saved by His grace alone. By His grace we are enabled to stay in the straight way. He guards the paths of justice, for in His justice He has forgiven us, promised to conform us into the Image of His Son, and given us eternal Life in knowing Christ. He preserves the way of His Godly ones. (Prov 2:8) His righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless, but wickedness subverts the sinner (Prov 13:6). The way of the righteous is smooth; He is the Upright One who makes the paths of the righteous level (Is 26:7). The Lord longs to be gracious to us, and waits on high to have compassion on us. The Lord is a God of justice and how blessed are all those who long for Him. We will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to us at the sound of our cry; when He hears it, He will answer us. Although the Lord has given us the bread of privation and the water of oppression, He, our Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but our eyes will behold our Teacher. Our ears will hear a word behind us, “This is the way, walk in it” whenever we turn to the right or to the left. And we will defile our graven images overlaid with silver, and our molten images plated with gold. We will scatter them as an impure thing and say to them “Be gone!” (Is 30:18-22) He restores our soul; He guides us in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake (Ps 23:3). All the paths of the Lord are loving-kindness and Truth to those who keep His Covenant and His Testimonies (Ps 25:10). He leads the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know He will guide them. He will make darkness into Light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things He will do, and He will not leave them undone (Ps 42:16). For He has made known to us the ways of life and made us full of gladness in His Presence (Acts 2:28).  He is leading us, even now, by a straight way, to go to an inhabited city which has foundations whose Builder and Architect is God (Ps 107:7, Heb 11:10). Righteousness has gone before our Savior and He makes His own Footsteps into a Way for us. We follow Him as we walk in His Footsteps. We are like King David who asked God to establish his footsteps in His Word, and to not let any iniquity have dominion over him (Ps 119:133). We have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example for us to follow in His steps (1 Pet 2:21). The apostle Peter tells us that they did not follow cleverly devised tales when they made known to us the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but they were eyewitnesses of His majesty (2 Peter 1:16).

     With regard to the other saints, we are not to judge one another in an angry and carnal way, but rather determine not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Rom 14:13). We must be like Samuel who said, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way” (1 Sam 12:23). We are to take care, dear saints, that there not be in any of us an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But we are to encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called today so that none of us will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. Today if we hear His Voice, we must not harden our hearts. (Heb 3:12-15). Therefore we must urge one another, by the mercies of God, to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices, acceptable to God, which is our Spiritual service of worship. And we must not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2)

“With weeping they will come,
And by supplication I will lead them;
I will make them walk by streams of waters,
On a straight path in which they will not stumble;
For I am a father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
10 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
And declare in the coastlands afar off,
And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him
And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
11 For the Lord has ransomed Jacob
And redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. Jer 31

Excellent Messages:

Love in Christ,

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