Sons of God

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2, KJV)

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:18-19, KJV)

There are times when we see mighty men and women of God operating in the gifts of God with signs and wonders following, and we try to imitate what they did in an effort to get the same results. But it’s not the methods that matter. It’s not necessarily the exact path they walked. It is more a matter of the heart. What was going on inside of them? What was going on behind the scenes that we did not see? It’s really not a step one, step two, step three. It is about a relationship with God.

In the two passages above you will find in both the same English word, sons. However, in the Greek they are actually two different words both translated as sons. In 1 John 3:2 the word translated sons is the Greek word teknon. This word indicates a child that is a son simply by birth.

In the second passage, Romans 8:19, it speaks of the ‘manifestions of the sons’ of God. This word sons is the Greek word huios. It is a son that is mature. A son that was not simply born to the Father, but now looks like and acts like his Father so much so, that he represents the Father accurately.

Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” Jesus was not just born of the Father, but He grew to become a Son that accurately demonstrated His Father’s nature.

Before the miracles we see Jesus ‘moved with compassion’. Jesus demonstrated His Father, Love (God is Love), and went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the enemy.

I have known many powerful men and women of God and I can tell you the one attribute I noticed the most about each one, was the great love that they possessed and demonstrated. Even in my own ministry, love has always proceeded the miracles.

All of creation is awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God. What will they look like? Like God Who is Love. The will look like Love in action!

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I spend a lot of time meditating on the fact that God loves me. One of my favorite things to say is, “My Father loves me.” And it’s true! He loved me so much He sent His Son to die for my sins and He raised me up with His Son and gave me His righteousness. Oh, how He loves me!

This morning, the words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous poem drifted through my mind. “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” And I decided to spend the day meditating on how much I love Him.

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. (Psalms 18:1, KJV)

I love the Lord, because He has heard [and now hears] my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. (Psalms 116:1-2, KJV)

My beloved is mine and I am his! (Song of Solomon 2:16, Amplified)

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15, KJV)

My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. (Psalm 119:167)

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:13-14, KJV)

By this we come to know… the [essential] love: that He laid down His [own] life for us; and we ought to lay [our] lives down for [those who are our] brothers [in Him]. (1 John 3:16, Amplified)

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar… (1 John 4:20, KJV)

Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord: thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs… Feed my sheep. (John 21:15, 16; KJV)

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me… Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:35-36, 40; KJV)

I love You LORD with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul and all my strength. And I love my neighbor as I do myself. Oh, how I love Thee! Let me count the ways.

Behold the Lamb

People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa… I never made a sacrifice. We ought not to talk of ‘sacrifice’ when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us. ~ David Livingstone (speech, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, December 4, 1857)

What a humbling statement. How many times have we considered the time, the energy, the money, that we have given in service to the Lord? Or hesitated in stepping out in His Name because of what it might cost us, particularly our reputation.

When a person tells me they just can’t forgive this time, I share with them the words that Jesus spoke as He hung dying on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” No forgiveness that we are asked to extend even begins to compare with the forgiveness we have been shown at the cost of the very life and blood of the Son of God. Or the forgiveness He demonstrated when He prayed for those who condemned Him to death as He suffered and died on the cross.

This quote by Livingstone reminds me once again about how little we are being asked to give in light of what He gave. As Father He gave His Son to die for our sins. And as the Son, He left His place in heaven, came to earth as a man. He was reviled, insulted and rejected, beaten and crucified. He gave His life. He gave His blood… for you and for me, for all the people of this world. Will you freely and joyfully give what you have freely and joyfully received? Selah.

The Greatest

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)

But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all – love]. (1 Corinthians 12:31, Amplified)

…and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). (1 Corinthians 13:2, Amplified)

I was thinking today about how many times while praying for people they have expressed to me that they don’t have enough faith. I run into people almost daily who express this idea of not having sufficient faith. Yet, I can’t recall one person telling me that they don’t have sufficient love even while telling me why they won’t forgive or why they hate their mother-in-law.

Faith is important. More than that it is vital. To operate in the things of God, in the Kingdom of God, you must operate in faith.

 …the just shall live by faith. (Habakkuk 2:4, KJV)

…but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith… (Hebrews 4:2, Amplified)

it is  of faith, that it might be by grace… (Romans 4:16, KJV)

To access the power of God it takes faith (see 2 Corinthians 12:9, the power of Christ; James 4:6 Amplified, power of the Holy Spirit; grace = the power of God). Faith is important. It is vital. We need it!

But God said in His word that greater than faith is love. Many have majored on faith but how many have majored on love. First Corinthians 13 tells us that someone can have sufficient faith, but without love they can be useless.

I am not suggesting we not major on faith, but it is not greater than love. It works by love. God has faith, but God is love. What is more important the tool being used, or the person using it?

Begin or continue to develop your faith through His Word. And begin or continue to develop in love through obedience to His Word. Your faith works by it (Galatians 5:6).

Going Deeper

The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. (Psalms 25:14, Amplified)

…His confidential communion and secret counsel are with the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him). (Proverbs 3:32, Amplified)

God has secrets. And He wants to share them. But not with just anyone. He shares them with those who commune with Him, those who have a relationship with Him in fear and reverence and in righteousness.

When Jesus walked this earth He went about teaching and preaching, but afterwards He stole away with His disciples and a few others and shared the deep, inner meaning of His teachings.

And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables. (Mark 4:10-11, KJV)

Over the last couple of post we spoke much of Martha and Mary. Martha who was too busy to spend time with Him. Mary who seated herself at His feet, listening.

We see David alone in the wilderness with his heart turned to God. We see Moses go off, away from the camp to the temporary prayer tent where God spoke to him face to face. We see Joshua linger in the place of His Presence when all others have departed. And Jesus, the Son of God…

And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone. (Matthew 14:23, Amplified)

I tell the things which I have seen and learned at My Father’s side… (John 8:38, Amplified)

One of my favorite scriptures is Song of Solomon 2:13-17 in the Amplified Bible. Here is just a portion of it.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. [So I went with him…] (Song of Solomon 2:13-14)

Some can sit in a service and remain on the outskirts in their heart. Others can read His word, but not take the time to hear His voice. He is calling each of us deeper. Deeper in love with Him. Deeper in His Word. Deeper into His heart. Take the time. Answer His call. He’s calling you deeper into Him every day. And in that secret place He’ll reveal to you His secrets.

…What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Amplified)

Side by Side

After yesterday’s post about Mary and Martha I had it on my heart to speak to wives today about the difference this stillness and waiting can make in their marriages. I discussed yesterday how people seem to be in a hurry all the time. In a hurry in their activities and also in a hurry to pass judgement, get mad or voice an opinion. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about wives concerning these things.

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him-to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]… let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:1-4, Amplified)

I have spoken to many wives who were upset by the fact that their husbands were not obeying the Word of God. They have been quick to judge, quick to speak, quick to voice their opinion to their husbands. However, this passage in First Peter says that husbands that do not obey the Word of God are not won over by discussion. They are won over by the godly lives of their wives.

As I mentioned yesterday, Mary spent time at the Master’s feet waiting, listening, being still. She was not quick to move or quick to speak. On the other hand, Martha was very quick to act and very quick to voice her opinion. And Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42, NKJV).

First Peter also mentioned having a gentle and peaceful spirit, not anxious or wrought up. Now some may say, “That’s just not my personality”. Let me share what Henry Drummond said about this in his sermon The Greatest Thing in the World.

Souls are made sweet not by taking the acid fluids out, but by putting something in–a great Love, a new Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all.

The Spirit of Christ interpenetrating our spirits. “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which his presence within accomplishes is…” love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, Amplified).

Also from Henry Drummond’s The Greatest Thing in the World:

Love begets love. It is a process of induction. Put a piece of iron in the presence of a magnetized body, and that piece of iron for a time becomes magnetized. It is charged with an attractive force in the mere presence of the original force, and as long as you leave the two side by side, they are both magnets alike. Remain side by side with Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, and you too will become a center of power, a permanently attractive force; and like Him you will draw all men unto you, like Him you will be drawn unto all men. That is the inevitable effect of Love.

Mary sat at His side. Mary listened. Mary was changed.

If you find yourself wrought up. If you find yourself trying to ‘fix’ your husband through discussion. I recommend spending more time seated at the side of Love Himself. Letting Him love on you and letting Him teach you His ways. Letting Him advise you on how to be a wife who will be a blessing (bless = empower to prosper) to your husband.

We love Him and we love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Everything described in our passage from First Peter describes a wife who loves her husband. Sit at His side and let God Who is Love teach you how.

Mary & Martha

Be still, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10, KJV)

I was thinking today about how people seem to be in a hurry about everything these days. Rushing here and there. Quick to give their opinion on whatever topic is being discussed. Quick to make a  judgement on a situation. Quick to get angry about every little thing. Or maybe even quick to say ‘yes’ when asked for help, adding one more thing to their ever growing list of things to do. But God’s instruction to us is to be still.

This reminds me of Mary and Martha. Martha was quick to jump into serving before taking the time to just sit at His feet. Mary “seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching” (Luke 10:39, Amplified). Mary seated herself and was listening. I wonder how many people seat themselves at His feet in prayer, only to do all the talking?

We see this contrasted again in Mary and Martha’s reactions to the death of their brother. In John 11 we see that when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she “went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.” Martha immediately began to give her opinion of the situation. Mary however remained seated and waited. As soon as He summoned her, “she arose quickly, and came unto him.” But before saying a word, Mary fell at His feet.

Even in Jesus’ reaction we see this concept of being still and waiting. It says in verse 6, “When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was” (KJV). Jesus did not move quickly. Jesus did not speak quickly. He was precise in what He did and what He said. He waited for instruction from the Father and only did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. He was precise in His obedience and in this case raised the dead.

I want to share a few scriptures that I pray will help each of us slow down and enjoy our Fellowship with Him, but also be much more precise about our words and our actions.

I will… watch to see what He will say within me and what answer I will make [as His mouthpiece]… (Habakkuk 2:1, Amplified)

but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake;  but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12, KJV)

…he leadeth me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23:2, KJV)

…on thee do I wait all the day (Psalm 25:5, KJV)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, KJV)

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and get angry. (James 1:19, Amplified)

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. (Psalm 103:8, KJV)

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and my judgement is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (John 5:30, KJV)

Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God… (Psalm 46:10, The Message)

Slow down and sit at His feet. Wait and listen. Hear His voice and speak. Hear His instruction and move. Even as you stand in a crowded room, get quiet inside and listen for that still small voice. You will recognize it in the midst of the chaos because you took the time to get still and get quiet and hear Him in times of blessed silence.