What Is The Standard?

We are made holy through the sacrifice Christ made in his body once and for all time. HEBREWS 10:10

Only the holy will see God. Holiness is a prerequisite to heaven. Perfection is a requirement for eternity. We wish it weren’t so. We act like it isn’t so. We act like those who are “decent” will see God. We suggest that those who try hard will see God. We act as if we’re good if we never do anything too bad. And that goodness is enough to qualify us for heaven.

Sounds right to us, but it doesn’t sound right to God. And he sets the standard. And the standard is high.

“You must be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

You see, in God’s plan, God is the standard for perfection. We don’t compare ourselves to others; they are just as fouled up as we are. The goal is to be like him; anything less is inadequate.

He Still Moves Stones

God Is at Work

John 5:15-19

Throughout the Bible, we observe God at work in people’s lives. Sometimes He acts in dramatic fashion, as when He parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites escape from the Egyptian army. At other times it may appear that He’s not taking any action. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother needed His help, but Christ delayed before traveling to their home (John 11:3-6). In fact, He was preparing an even greater miracle.

The Holy Spirit helps us recognize God’s presence and handiwork. He does this by cultivating our ability to discern when and where the Lord is at work.

In addition to spiritual discernment, we must develop patience because God operates according to His timetable, not ours. Abraham was promised numerous descendants, but there was a long wait before his wife conceived—in fact, he and Sarah were beyond childbearing years. Impatience can cause us to take matters into our own hands and make mistakes.

The Lord’s efforts can bring delight, as was the case when Hannah became a mother (1 Sam. 1:27-2:1). His plan can also lead through painful times, which was Joseph’s experience. Before the Lord elevated him to a position of authority to help his family, Joseph was sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned.

Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. We will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith when we recognize the ways in which God is operating. These glimpses of His handiwork will motivate us to stay the course and help us maintain a godly perspective on life.

True Discipleship

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

One may come to a mental acceptance of certain facts about God and deceive himself into thinking he believes on Christ, but the genuineness of that faith needs to be tested before it is judged as real. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20). Works, of course, do not save one’s soul, but the faith that does save is a faith that produces good works.

An earlier group of listeners had also “believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them [literally, ‘did not believe on them’], because he knew all men” (John 2:23-24). It is essential that we believe on Him, but even more essential that He believe on us!

The test is simple! If we continue in His Word, then we are real disciples. Our dedication to Christ is measured by our obedience to His Word. If we question His Word, or resent His Word, or try to avoid obeying His Word, by “interpreting” some preferred meaning of our own into His Word, then we urgently need to examine the genuineness of our belief in Christ.

If we are His disciples and do continue in His Word, then He makes us a wonderful promise: “Ye shall know the truth.” Literally, this is “come to know the truth.” As true disciples (that is, “learners”), we have His assurance that our continuing studies in His Word will yield an ever-increasing comprehension of God’s created and revealed “truth,” with ever-growing freedom to understand and obey the perfect will of God. HMM

Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it

Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.—Philippians 1:6.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.—1 John 4:4.

WHY is it that we, in the very kingdom of grace, surrounded by angels, and preceded by saints, nevertheless, can do so little, and, instead of mounting with wings like eagles, grovel in the dust, and do but sin, and confess sin alternately? Is it that the power of God is not within us? Is it literally that we are not able to perform God’s commandments? God forbid. We are able. We have that given us which makes us able. We do have a power within us to do what we are commanded to do, what is it we lack? The power? No, the will. What we lack is the simple, earnest, sincere inclination and aim to use what God has given us, and what we have in us. JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

God is on my side. He makes Himself responsible for my being. If I will only entrust myself to Him with the cordial return of trustful love, then all that He has ever breathed into my heart of human possibility He will realize and bring to perfection. CHARLES GORE.

God hath called you unto his kingdom and glory

God hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12

My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, … but now is my kingdom not from hence. — Expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. — Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. — I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. — Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. — Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Thy kingdom come.

John 18:36. Hebrews 10:13. Revelation 11:15. Revelation 5:10. Revelation 20:4. Matthew 13:43. Luke
12:32. Luke 22:29,30. Matthew 6:10.

Abraham believed in the Lord and it was counted it to him for righteousness

Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him: but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

The promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The just shall live by faith. — Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised). — Our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. — With God nothing shall be impossible. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Romans 4:20-24. Romans 4:13. Romans 1:17. Hebrews 10:23. Psalm 115:3. Luke 1:37,45.