Walking in His Light

Walking closer with Him day by day

Month: May 2015

“They Have Their Reward ( Part 2)”

Matthew 6:1-21

In this passage everyone receives a reward. Whether it be the hypocrites or the followers of Christ, they all “…have their reward”. Those that practiced inward, secret religion will be rewarded openly by their Father, who sees in secret. Those who work for the praise of men will only have empty applause as their reward. This is indicative of the end. In that case, everyone will receive a reward as well, only the rewards will be quite different. Those that follow after the Lord and have been washed in the blood of the Lamb will receive a robe of righteousness, a crown, and life everlasting. Those who chose their own broad, easy way will be cast into the lake of fire with the devil and his angels. Choose the reward of God over the recognition of men. Temporary praise can never match eternity with the Master.

“They Have Their Reward (Part 1)”

Matthew 6:1-21

In this passage, Jesus admonishes an inward, secret religion (Matt. 6: 4, 6, 18). He suggests almsgiving, prayer, and fasting all be done in private. This is a call for an internal religion focused on the condition of the heart as opposed to outward appearances (Romans 2:28-29). In contrast, he warned against doing things only to be “seen” by men (Matt. 6:5, 16, 18). Seeking the glory of men leads to a religion of white washed sepulchers, appearing beautiful on the outside but devoid of personal religion (Matt. 23:27-28). Examine your motives and be assured your religion is inward first; make the appearance of holiness secondary. It is the condition of the heart that matters most.

Further Reading – Matt. 23:25-26

“If The Son Shall Make You Free…”

Acts 7:39 – To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt

Because of the mighty power of the Lord, Israel was made free of the house of bondage. For the first time in several generations, God’s chosen people were free. However, though their bodies were free, their minds were still captive to sin and pleasure. In short, their hearts were “turned back again into Egypt”. Though a (relatively) small few of this world is literally, physically enslaved, many hearts are chained to the things of this world. The pleasures of the flesh lure free human beings into voluntary slavery. This need not be the case. Just as God delivered His children from physical slavery, He will readily save His erring children from the bondage of sin. Ask the Lord to set you free and break the chains of unrighteousness around you.  And if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

Further Reading – John 8:36-39 – 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

“Rejoicing to Suffer Shame”

Acts 5:41 – 41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

The Apostles had been arrested yet again. Their continued preaching of the gospel angered those who had the devil as their father. But, despite being imprisoned, questioned, and beaten, they left the council rejoicing. Rejoicing? Why?

They were able to rejoice because they did not see their punishments as we see them: unfair treatment of the people of God. Instead, they counted it a blessing, proof they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s name.

Our views our so twisted that we view our blessings as curses. We see the things God has meant for our good and view them as punishments and unfair persecution. Would to God we would realize just how much of a blessing and an honor it is to suffer for the name of Christ.

Further Reading – Matthew 5:10-12 – 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

“The Boldness to Speak”

Acts 4:29-31 – 29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

The courage of biblical characters is often admired. They boldly preached the kingdom of God despite the threat of persecution and even death. But, these men and women were mortal just as we are. Their boldness and courage was not their own. In fact, after the authorities originally threatened Peter and John, they immediately put the situation before God. They asked the Lord for boldness and courage to speak His word and were granted that gift. Do not worry if you currently lack the necessary boldness to preach Christ. Ask, as the Apostles did, in prayer. You shall receive.

“Return To God”

Luke 15:20-24 – 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Like a father who longs for his wayward child, our Heavenly Father longs for us to return to Him. He wants us to forsake our sinful ways and walk with Him in the light (1John 1:7). It matters not how small or large the transgression was. Sins of every size turn us away from the Lord and separate us from Him (Isiah 59:2). Guilt, easily confused with remorse, is of no importance at this point. The critical thing is to return unto God. He will have mercy. He will pardon. He will heal our backslidings.

Further Reading – Hosea 14:1-4 – 1O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.

Jeremiah 3:21, 22 – 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.

Isiah 44:21, 22 – 21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. 22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.