Relationship… What You DON’T Want to Hear

Relationship… What You DON’T Want to Hear

Just think of it… the ‘Great and Awesome Day of the LORD’ has arrived! For thousands of years, it has been predicted, discussed, challenged, anticipated, hoped and prayed for, ridiculed, justified, you name it. Now… FINALLY… it is here. The colors, sights, sounds, people and every other facet imaginable are, well, beyond your limited comprehension. After all, God did say in His Holy Scripture:

However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

You eagerly anticipate the words of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords, whom you profess as Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, King and Messiah. He is indeed present, enshrined and enthroned in indescribable glory and honor at the right hand of His Father, the Great I AM.

Jesus’ eyes of penetrating discernment level themselves at you, and your soul is laid bare. His words come with a deliberate precision that can belong only to the Righteous Judge, the Ancient of Days whose Word is the perfect essence of justice and power:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Thus He speaks:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

You have never been afraid in your life… but now you know naked fear. Overwhelmed and overwrought, you can say nothing, because there is nothing to say. You have just been commanded to depart out of the presence of the Living God, and with the cold sweat of a dead man you know where you will spend eternity… condemned to the raging, unending fires of hell.

Your head is spinning. ‘Wait a minute… this can’t be happening, not to me! Jesus, Lord, surely You know what I have done, isn’t that right? I have taught the Holy Scriptures, I have performed miracles by the power of Your Name…’

Jesus says it all:

I never knew you.’

What happened here?

I imagine that Jesus would have a great sadness consuming Him as He spoke those words, but what He meant is plain: ‘We never had a relationship.’ Consider for a moment that all of us have been created in the image of God. God is the essence of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and those three persons are the essence of one God; aside from possessing an infinite number of perfect attributions of character, a critical hallmark of God is relationship. Within the framework of the Trinity, relationships not only exist and are operational, they combine and strengthen to achieve the purposes that God has on His heart. An example of this collegial relationship is shown in the creation of man as recorded in Genesis (italic emphasis mine):

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Jesus testified before men as to the relationship between He and the Father:

The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came – and the Scripture cannot be broken – what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:24–38)

It is obvious from numerous examples throughout Holy Scripture that God treasures relationships, and it follows necessarily that He desires to have a meaningful relationship with each one of those He has created in His image. Man’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden did not change this desire; if anything, it was cemented in two decisions that God made after the Fall. The first decision would commit the Son of God in a battle for the souls of men against the forces of the evil one:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

The second decision would prevent Adam and Eve from being condemned to live forever in a state of having fallen from grace (italic emphasis mine):

And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22)

The desire of God, displayed in these two decisions and in many others since that time, is that each person enters into, and maintains until death, a meaningful relationship with Him. He desires this relationship despite our having sinned against Him in so egregious a fashion as to justly and rightly deserve an eternal death in the fires of hell. It has been aptly demonstrated countless times throughout human history that we are literally incapable of routinely moral behavior; Holy Scripture testifies bluntly to this:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

As if Jeremiah’s observation is not enough to convict our hearts that this is the truth of our condition, the next verse displays what God does:

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Do I really need to state the obvious? If God rewarded us according to our conduct and what our deeds deserve, every person that has ever lived would be condemned to hell.

God freely gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ as the penitential sacrifice for our sins, as the only sacrifice that would make us blameless before Him. It was because of this all-surpassing, forever-enduring mercy of God that Jesus Christ could say:

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)

Jesus would make the ultimate clarification as to why He was sent by the Father:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Jesus demonstrated that He had living relationships with His own disciples:

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. (John 15:15)

Understand that everything Jesus learned from His Father He has also made known to us through the Holy Scriptures. As Jesus had a relationship with His disciples, because He first loved them, so also does He want to have a relationship with each one of us for the same reason.

Jesus declares boldly:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

So it is about relationship. God wants to know you, and He sent His Son for that very purpose… it is critical for you to understand that God came looking for us!

I present a series of questions, underpinned by Holy Scripture, for your consideration:

1) Is He in your heart?

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29)

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. (Deuteronomy 6:4-6)

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. (Deuteronomy 11:13-14)

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 26:16)

When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. (Deuteronomy 30:1-3)

The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 30:9-10)

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. (Psalm 9:1)

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. (Psalm 57:7)

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2)

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:11-12)

Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. (Psalm 111:1)

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:10-11)

I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. (Psalm 119:30)

I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. (Psalm 119:58)

I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. (Psalm 138:1)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5)

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart. (Proverbs 21:2)

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” (Joel 2:12)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19)

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (Romans 10:8-10)

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

2) Do you read, believe in, and live to obey His Word?

The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:15-18)

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD. (Leviticus 18:4-5)

Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you. (Deuteronomy 6:3)

It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. (Deuteronomy 13:4)

You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him. And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. (Deuteronomy 26:17-18)

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Kings 3:14)

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’ (Nehemiah 1:8-9)

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30)

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. (Psalm 33:4)

Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! (Psalm 119:5)

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word. (Psalm 119:16-17)

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. (Psalm 119:25)

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. (Psalm 119:28)

Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. (Psalm 119:34)

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. (Psalm 119:37)

May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word. Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. (Psalm 119:41-44)

In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts. You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words. (Psalm 119:55-57)

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. (Psalm 119:60-61)

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. (Psalm 119:67)

May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:74)

My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81)

Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.          Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. (Psalm 119:88-89)

I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word. (Psalm 119:101)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:105)

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:114)

Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. (Psalm 119:129)

I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees. (Psalm 119:145)

I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you. (Psalm 119:167-168)

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? (Isaiah 50:10)

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. (Jeremiah 7:22-23)

From the time I brought your forefathers up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.” (Jeremiah 11:7)

Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God. Then the LORD will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. (Jeremiah 26:13)

I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. (Ezekiel 20:11)

I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me.” (Micah 5:15)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” (John 8:49-51)

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:23-24)

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (John 15:10)

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. (John 17:14)

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead – whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:29-32)

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13)

Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:25-27)

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:24-25)

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (1 Peter 4:17-18)

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:14)

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:21-24)

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)

I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 1:9)

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19:13)

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. (Revelation 20:4)

3) Do you think about Him?

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. (Psalm 48:9)

I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:12)

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. (Psalm 119:27)

I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. (Psalm 119:48)

May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts. (Psalm 119:78)

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97)

I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. (Psalm 119:99)

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. (Psalm 119:148)

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5)

One generation will commend your works to another;  they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. (Psalm 145:4-5)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (Hebrews 3:1)

4) Do you tell Him that you love Him?

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

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 commands. (Deuteronomy 7:9)

And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12)

Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. (Deuteronomy 11:1)

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. (Deuteronomy 11:13-14)

If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow – to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him – then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. (Deuteronomy 11:22-23)

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, and gives you the whole land he promised them, because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today – to love the LORD your God and to walk always in his ways – then you are to set aside three more cities. (Deuteronomy 19:8-9)

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. (Deuteronomy 30:15-16)

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

I love you, O LORD, my strength. (Psalm 18:1)

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. (Psalm 116:1)

I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (Psalm 119:97)

I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. (Psalm 119:113)

All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. (Psalm 119:119)

Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. (Psalm 119:127-128)

Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. (Psalm 119:132)

See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love. (Psalm 119:159)

I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. (Psalm 119:163-167)

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:  “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. (Daniel 9:4-5)

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. (John 14:15)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. (1 John 5:2-3)

5) Do you confess His Name, and confess your sin to Him?

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. (Proverbs 28:13-14)

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12)

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (Hebrews 3:1)

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name. (Hebrews 13:15)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-10)

6) Is He the reason for your happiness and your life’s meaning?

Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence. (Psalm 21:6)

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. (Psalm 43:4)

Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. (Psalm 48:1-2)

Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! (Psalm 81:1)

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn – shout for joy before the LORD, the King. (Psalm 98:4-6)

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. (Romans 14:17-18)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 1:6)

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

7) Is He the most important person in your life?

The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. (Psalm 119:25-32)

Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness. (Psalm 119:33-40)

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. (Psalm 119:49-50)

Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth. (Psalm 119:88)

Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless. (Psalm 119:89-96)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws. Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. (Psalm 119:105-112)

I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees. I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws. Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law. Yet you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true. Long ago I learned from your statutes that you established them to last forever. (Psalm 119:145-152)

Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your law. Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. Your compassion is great, O LORD; preserve my life according to your laws. Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love. All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. (Psalm 119:153-160)

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:5-8)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. (Psalm 138:7)

For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. (Psalm 143:11-12)

Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. (Daniel 5:23)

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. (Jonah 2:6)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:25-33)

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:35-40)

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:63)

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)

Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. (John 10:7-10)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27)

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. (Acts 2:32-33)

You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. (Acts 3:15)

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:19-20)

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21)

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:8-10)

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1:1-2)

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14)

And so you have it… God has an infinite capacity for love, mercy, forgiveness, justice, compassion and tenderness at the same time He possesses a multiplicity of powers beyond the capacity to know, measure or understand, all in perfect balance to be used for His greater glory and our ultimate good. He is to be adored, loved, worshiped and reverently feared and obeyed. He knows the best for us, and He always brings the best to pass for us.

What better description of the ultimate friend for ourselves could we have?

These (and so many more) are the distinguishing hallmarks of relationship.

A relationship is what God desires to have with us, each and every one of us. To bring us to Himself in a lasting and meaningful relationship demanded that His one and only Son shed His sacred blood on the cross that we might stand blameless before a holy God… there was no other way, and that is why relationships are so special to God. To reject the provision that God has made for the forgiveness of your sin before Him is to reject a relationship between you and God… and if you willingly do so, condemning yourself to an eternity of hellfire, God will say to you in the ‘Great and Awesome Day of the LORD’:

‘THY WILL BE DONE’

About On A Journey

It's About Jesus!!
This entry was posted in God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, obedience, preaching, wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s