Archive for April, 2017

TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit

April 27, 2017

In the post TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed, I reflected on the fact that Jesus told the disciples that they were chosen and appointed. It is special to be chosen by God, but He also said appointed. Appointment are usually to some office or position for some purpose. What is that purpose? TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  John 15:1-8, 16

Jesus said the purpose we were appointed was to go and bear fruit. Go where? Where He chooses to send us in the world. Where is not as important as what we do wherever we are sent. What is most important is that we know and remember the TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit.

According to the Vines Expository Dictionary, fruit is explained as the (a) of works or deeds, “fruit” being the visible expression of power working inwardly and invisibly, the character of the “fruit” being evidence of the character of the power producing it, Mat 7:16. As the visible expressions of hidden lusts are the works of the flesh, so the invisible power of the Holy Spirit in those who are brought into living union with Christ (Jhn 15:2-8, 16) produces “the fruit of the Spirit,” Gal 5:22, the singular form suggesting the unity of the character of the Lord as reproduced in them, namely, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance,” all in constrast with the confused and often mutually antagonistic “works of the flesh.”

Wherever we go as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, God has called us to the TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit. Bear means to bring forth as in birth. We must allow the Spirit of God to bring forth the character of God namely the fruit of the Spirit. Again, Galatians 5:22-23 says, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

In essence, God is saying that we must evidence His presence in our lives by changed character. His character must be manifest in our lives. We must produce that fruit of the Spirit who resides or dwells in every genuine and true believer in Jesus Christ as Almighty God who became incarnate living a perfect life which He willingly gave up as a sacrificial offering for the sins of man in order to be able to offer us redemption, the forgiveness of sins. As such, we become the righteousness of God. Therefore, we must Go Bear Fruit. It is an imperative that we bear fruit or allow the character of God to be birthed in our lives as opposed to “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit

Now, we know the purpose of Jesus’ choosing – TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit. Will you surrender your right to your choice on how to live or act? Will you, as a professing follower of Jesus Christ, allow God’s Spirit to produce in you the fruit of the Spirit? Will it be said of you that you lived the TRUTH: Go Bear Fruit?

TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed

April 24, 2017

On the surface, TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed is intriguing,

Chosen, in the simplest sense, means to select. The Greek word used here is eklegomai (ek-le’-go-mī) which mean to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one’s self. In a theology, chosen is to select for divine mercy or favor, especially for salvation. It also represents the theological concept of divine election; therefore, those chosen are called God’s elect.  

Ordained in the Greek is tithēmi (tē’-thā-mē) which means to to set, put, or placeVine’s Expository Dictionary notes that ordained means “to put,” Ordained is used of “appointment” to any form of service. Christ used it of His followers in John 15:16

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

According to dictionary.com, appoint also means to order or establish by decree or command; ordain; In essence, the point being made by Christ in John 15 is that Jesus is telling the disciples that their salvation and being a disciple is the result of His choice and because of that choice He also has “put” them in service for Him. As such, their appointment or service will result in bearing fruit, fruit that will last. Consequently, you can pray for whatever you need for that service to bear fruit in my name and the Father will give it to you. 

If you call Christ Lord and Savior, there is a high probability that you have been “picked out” and “put” in service to Him and the gospel. Not everyone will agree or approve of you in this life. In fact, most people or ideas will not. Even at this time, someone has defaced my place of work with disapproving thoughts of me. There are many others who have spoken things against me. That all keeps me humble and sober. Thank God that He has the only opinion that truly matters. Thank God that His declaration of me counts for my usefulness in this life and my place in eternity. Every circumstance that contends with TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed is designed to deter believers. We must take captive every thought bringing it into obedience to Christ. Every instance is an example of Moments of Faith.

In this Moment of Faith, I stand on the TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed. It is my reality. It is not my destiny because I have already arrived. Father today, may my thoughts be guided by this TRUTH: Chosen & Appointed. Your affirmation is all I need. Hallelujah

TRUTH: A Chosen Love

April 20, 2017

“3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13)

Any one who has been loved knows how satisfying and wonderful it is to have value and care demonstrated to him or her. Experiencing love is the pinnacle experience in this world. A parent, sibling, teacher, friend, child/grandchild, coach, or spouse are examples of people from whom we could receive love. We all accept that money cannot buy you love. We accept and believe that because we know that people choose to love you in spite of our frailties and imperfections. All that points to TRUTH: A Chosen Love. Being loved by mankind is truly wonderful, but it is not divine. To be loved by God is divine. Human love is a shadow of being loved by God. Why? God is love.

In the post TRUTH: God Will Repay You was seen in Deuteronomy 7:7-11. Now, let us see TRUTH: A Chosen Love in the same passage.

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. 11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.

Jesus reiterates that TRUTH in John 15 where He says

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

For the believer and follower of Christ, you should understand the TRUTH: A Chosen Love. God has chosen you. He has chosen you to love. For anyone who has been rejected, you understand how special it is to be chosen to be loved, but to be A Chosen Love of God is truly inexpressible. Yes, we should be grateful. We should give praise, but more importantly, He commands us to remain in His love by keeping His commands. We know that obedience is better than sacrifice.(crf) Why? It reflects His character of being faithful. He keeps His covenant of love and expects us to keep His commands.

There really is no need for me, A Chosen Love, to settle for being loved any less. I do not need to exchange the love of God for a lesser, perverted love from man. TRUTH: A Chosen Love is better by far. Are you A Chosen Love?

TRUTH: God Will Repay You

April 19, 2017

Because we live in a fallen world, all of us sin. Consequently, people will do us wrong. The Facebook Killer is the most recent case that is well-known. While almost everyone would agree his behavior was vile, how many of us would respond as the family of the man he killed. Payback, vengeance, or get back is a common experience. There is not a human alive that has not either thought or acted on such thoughts, but God says “Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;” or It is mine to avenge; I will repay. (Deuteronomy 32:35TRUTH: God Will Repay You

TRUTH: God Will Repay You was seen in Deuteronomy 7:7-11. Let’s read and reflect.

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.

TRUTH: God Will Repay You is right there in black in white. It is right there in the Word of God. God conveys that He expects us to obey and follow Him. For those who love Him and keep His commands, He promises His love. Furthermore, Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (John 15:14) Conversely, we are God’s enemies if we do not do what He commands. For that, we see in Deuteronomy 7 the TRUTH: God Will Repay You. He says, “But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.” God equates disobedience as hate toward Him.

I am not sure about you, but there are enough people in this world that act as enemies toward me, so I do not need to add to that list unnecessarily. Beyond that, who could be more of an enemy than Almighty God? I do not want to oppose God; do you? If so, TRUTH: God Will Repay You. Paul tells us “17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach,and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” We learn how we can avoid God repaying us in Romans – Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Now that you know the TRUTH, I ask Will God Repay You?

TRUTH: Come Follow Me

April 17, 2017

Now that big hats, beautiful new dresses, sharpe suits and baskets filled with eggs from the Easter Egg hunt are done, we can discuss and live out the meaning of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter or more appropriately termed Resurrection Day has nothing to do with hats, beautiful dresses, sharpe suits or baskets filled with colorful eggs. Those are practices that detract away from the meaning of Jesus’ Resurrection. Because He arose from the dead, it gives real meaning to TRUTH: Come Follow Me.

For all those who got involved in the celebratory practices, I hold no disdain or condemnation, but what I do hold is the light of the Lord. He could care less about those things. He wants all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus’ resurrection represents His defeat of sin and death. As such, He is able to offer that same victory to those who in TRUTH respond to Come Follow Me.

Like with Easter, we sometimes miss the mark or intention of what God intends. He has a whole an entirely different purpose and perspective in almost all things than we do. Listen to this man’s exchange in Mark 10

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

Many of us, like the man in the passage above, want the benefits from Jesus. We want eternal life, but we are unwilling to commit all of us (heart, soul, mind and strength) to Him. It is clear from that and other passages that Jesus requires every part of our being to follow Him. TRUTH: Come Follow Me says I want all of you in exchange for all of me, in exchange for salvation, the redemption of your sins.

Like the rich man in Mark 10, many turn away from Jesus when they realize the TRUTH: Come Follow Me. People are often unwilling to follow Jesus closely which is what He requires. We may follow at a distance or periodically when it is convenient, but Jesus sacrificed His deity, glory, life and so much more for us to have eternal life. He requires a life for a life. When we are unwilling to give our lives to Him, we must realize that He will not give us eternal life. The standard as it is written is the TRUTH: Come Follow Me.

Where are you today? Are you truly pursuing Jesus or is it a casual follow at a distance with periodic attempts to walk in the light of the Lord Jesus? Jesus demands that we give up what we treasure most on this earth for the treasure of Him who is our great reward. To reiterate, Easter is over, but God still says today and everyone hereafter TRUTH: Come Follow Me. That is what God expected us to celebrate yesterday that we have a new life in Jesus that we live daily in love and out of reverence and devotion to Him. Follow Jesus today and every day.

TRUTH: What is Good about Good Friday?

April 14, 2017

Today is Good Friday. What does that mean to most people? How would they respond to the TRUTH: What is Good about Good Friday? I am not sure, so I want to make sure that I explain it myself.

The Gospel Song by Sovereign Grace Music captures it in small chorus.

Holy God in love became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross he took my sin
By his death I live again

 

The song is in reference to Jesus Christ who as God incarnate bared our blame on the cross, so that man could receive redemption, the forgiveness of sins. In doing so, Jesus’ sacrificial death served as a propitiation for the sins of man.

whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Propitiation means relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation. Expiate means that Jesus, through His death and the shedding of His blood, to atoned for; made amends or reparation for man’s sins and the consequences thereof. Romans 6:23 tells us “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Death is a separation from God. There is no other way to escape the consequence of sin or separation from God other than through Jesus Christ. John 3:36 says, “36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,(AX) but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
TRUTH: What is Good about Good Friday? Jesus died so that He could take our blame. In doing so, He makes all righteous who trusts in His sacrificial death. As a believer and follower of Jesus, I have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son He loves (Colossians 1:13). I have been transformed from an enemy of God to a friend of God. 

Now, if that that is not Good, I am not sure what is Good. Praise God for Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Because all three, I have been reconciled to God; I have been made right with God; I have been freed from the clutches and ravages of sin. TRUTH: What is Good about Good Friday? Jesus Christ!!!

TRUTH: God Keeps Us

April 13, 2017

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

While not the entire prayer, most people I knew as a kid heard that portion of the prayer as a kid. Furthermore, I did not know any one who outwardly disagreed with it as I grew up. Despite that, I recognized as a teen and young adult that people only wanted God to be involved in their lives where it was convenient. They only wanted God to do what they wanted Him to do. That is not Lordship. That is not living a life surrendered to Jesus as Lord and Savior. That is not living TRUTH: God Keeps Us.

TRUTH: God Keeps Us refers to more than God watching over us at night to awaken us in the morning or to take our soul to be with Him if we do not awaken from our slumber. For the follower of Christ, it means that we live daily with the thought that God will keep or sustain us to the end of our journey of being made like Him in this world – of the journey of sanctification. Paul echos that in 1 Corinthians 1.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

In verses 8 and 9, Paul clearly outlines the TRUTH about how man completes the journey to be made like Christ in character as well as how we are united with God. As believers await the second coming of Christ, Paul tells us that it is Jesus who “will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Furthermore, to accentuate the matter, the fact that God, who called each follower of Christ into fellowship with His Son Jesus, is faithful is added. Paul is saying that Jesus keeps us while God who called and promised those who trusted in Christ as Savior and Lord for salvation, the redemption of sins, is faithful to do it. When we consider that Jesus said He would and did send the comforter, who indwells each follower of Christ, we see the third Person of the GodHead at work in the process of keeping us. TRUTH: God Keeps Us.

If you are not sold on that one scripture, let me provide a few others verses that convey the TRUTH: God Keeps Us.

Ephesians 5:25-27
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion(A) until the day of Christ Jesus

Philippians 1:10
10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Philippians 2:15
15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

1 Thessalonians 3:13
13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Timothy 6:14
14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will vindicate me; your love, Lord, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.

TRUTH: God Keeps Us is seen through all of those verses. We need to recognize that God has the power to keep us; is faithful to keep us, is committed to keeping us to present us to Himself as holy and blameless. Let us not deviate from those child-like thoughts that it is God who not only watches over us but TRUTH: God Keeps Us. 

If you have been tempted to not surrender your life to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior out of fear that you cannot, you are right. You cannot follow Him in your own strength, but I hope you can see from a few of the verses where He communicates that you were never expected to nor can you keep yourself. TRUTH: God Keeps Us. Now that you know theT RUTH: God Keeps Us, walk in it.

TRUTH: Man Is Not Good

April 7, 2017

I am sure that you are aware of people who over estimate who they really are. It is common for man to think more highly of himself than he ought. One of those mischaracterizations is the goodness of man. Man thinks that he is inherently good, but that is not true. What then is it true about man being good? TRUTH: Man Is Not Good. Sylvester Stallone, of all people, even weighs in on the matter. He said, “If you think people are inherently good, you get rid of the police for 24 hours – see what happens.”

That’s Stallone. He really isn’t an authority for any of us. However, God is the ultimate authority. What does God say about the matter of man being inherently good? TRUTH: Man Is Not Good. Let’s see that in the authority from God, His Word.

In Romans 3, God reiterates what He said about man’s goodness in Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Ecc 7:20. What does Romans 3 tell us about man being good?

10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”

There you have it from God Himself – TRUTH: Man Is Not Good.  If you have any value for the Word of God, the Bible, then you have to reject any thoughts about the goodness of man. Since God says that Man Is Not Good, man is not good. We cannot dress it up. We cannot fix it, so it sounds better.TRUTH: Man Is Not Good.

Since TRUTH: Man Is Not Good is God’s declaration about man, where does that leave us? In Isaiah 53:6, we are told “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” We are told that all of man has gone astray, away from God. We have turned to our own way. In essence, we have stopped seeking God and have sought the path or direction we desired rather than God’s. That is idolatry. We have made ourselves out to be god. For that God says in Romans 3, “they have together become worthless.” Furthermore in Romans 6:23, we learn “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What we deserve for going astray, doing our own thing, desiring to be god is death. We deserve to be separated from God. In fact there is another TRUTH, without Christ, we are separated from God. Since Man Is Not Good and is separated from God, what are we to do?

How does man overcome his lack of goodness and his separation from God? When the text says“There is no one righteous, …there is no one who does good, not even one.” That was in reference to mankind. On the contrary, there is only Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. It is Jesus who is righteous and who does good.” He is the only one. Again, How does man overcome his lack of goodness and his separation from God? The answer is provided again in Romans 3


“22 
This righteousness is given through faithin Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

TRUTH: Man Is Not Good, but it is Jesus, by faith in Him, who makes us good, who makes us righteous. TRUTH: Man Is Not Good, but now, you know what to do about it. Have faith in Jesus as LORD and Savior. Without Him, you are not good and have become worthless.

TRUTH: The “In” Crowd

April 5, 2017

To begin, I will borrow from the post “How to be in the “In Crowd”“.  Five years ago, I wrote…

“As I grew up and as I see everyday in school and in the media, people are spending an enormous amounts of emotional capital, energy, money, and all sorts of things to be in the “In Crowd“. We see it all over television from the Oscars to all the entertainment shows. Those events focus on those who are supposed in the “In Crowd” for whatever the criteria is de jour. I see adolescents and adults compromising their values to just to stand on the outskirts of the “In Crowd“. What’s at the heart of that huge desire to be in the “In Crowd“? It is the need to belong.

The need to belong was placed in our hearts by our creator, the triune God. We want to belong because God placed in our hearts a desire to be loved by him. The love of people will fail us every time because we are just incapable of loving one another in the manner that our souls cries out. Proverbs 20:6 tells us that “Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?” We know that people fail and disappoint us; yet, we continue to pursue one another as if we will find one who will unravel the corrupt nature of man. There is one who does, but we don’t really look to Him. The faithful one is Jesus Christ who “by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

The true “In Crowd” are those who put their trust in Christ. In doing so, each becomes a member of God’s family. He transforms from being a creation of God to a child of God. John 1:12 tells us “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Galatians 3:26-27 says, “26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” As such, the bible tells us that to be in the “In Crowd” we must give ourselves to God trusting in Him and living for Him.

How to be in the “In Crowd” is simple. Trust Jesus as Lord and Savior and you are in the family of God who will be eternally loved and united with him. As it has been said, the difference between united and untied is where you place the “I”. Where will you place your trust? In Christ or in something or someone else. Be united, not untied.”

Today, I submit a similar point from Ephesians 3:12 which says, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. ” To personalize and make this foray into the TRUTH a deep matter of study, I ask you to access your favorite bible or online bible and complete a search for the terms “In him”, “through him”, “In Christ”, and “Through Christ”. You will find the TRUTH about the blessings given to anyone who chooses to surrender his will and life to follow Jesus. That is what Ephesians 3:12 leads us to investigate – TRUTH: The “In” Crowd.

What is meant by TRUTH: The “In” Crowd? In the post TRUTH: Access to the Father, we learn that “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” E.phesians 2:18. This simply tells us that we can pray to God and that God will hear us and respond to us. TRUTH: The “In” Crowd conveys that we have certain privileges, rights, responsibilities as members of the body of Christ, as followers of Christ Jesus. In fact, it says that we can approach God with freedom and confidence. Confidence that God, in Him that is Jesus, will not only hear our prayers but will respond to them sometimes even for the most frivolous or unnecessary things.

Let me give you one example from a Moment of Faith. Earlier last year, the grill that my dad, step-mom and sister gave me years ago was almost done. With the burners replaced at least three times and the bottom burned out, it was quitting time. I love to cook especially barbeque. I usually grill something two out of every four weekends. Similarly, my brother, Damon, loves to grill too. It’s something we got from our dad, James. The barbeque sauce we got from our mom. Damon has this super cool and great grill from Traeger, but it is expensive. I looked at purchasing one, but I knew that I had other prorities that precluded me from using funds for the grill. As time went on and the grilling ceased because of the defunct grill, I just told the LORD that I would love to have one of those grills. More than a year later, I was traveling back intown this week. I received a text, but I did not read it because I was driving in thick traffic. As I got home, I read the text. It was from my brother who told me that he had purchased that Traeger grill for me. WOW! I was elated. Now, God does not always or even regularly give me seemingly trivial things like a grill, but it was a testament to the intimacy and hope that I have in Him. Like always, God was being overly gracious to me. There is nothing in me that deserved God to hear me, listen to me and respond to me. It is only because of my relationship with Jesus that affords me the opportunity to be heard and responded to by God. It is all grace, but it reveals TRUTH: The “In” Crowd.

Now if God would respond to me about that, how much more about overcoming a sin, strengthening relationships, dealing with fears, providing for my family’s needs, or responding in a crisis like Jesus would, etc. God’s goal is for us to bring glory to Him as we are conformed to the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:28-30). That being the case, why wouldn’t you want to know the TRUTH: The “In” Crowd.