John 14:23-24 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
Our household is experiencing a phenomenal growth spurt currently. We have had this occur before as our boys crossed the threshold from childhood into adolescence. I expected it and prepared for it in advance. Our first son was kind enough to wait until high school and slowly mature as he moseyed into adulthood over a period of a couple of years. He grew an inch here and there. His appetite maintained its usual level. There was no overnight transformation as if in a science fiction movie. But true to the nature of human development, our second son stuck to the society norm of instant adulthood overnight with an overwhelming appetite. It has been more than a few years since we experienced this and so when it was time for our younger daughters, I assumed that they would be different. Raising girls is certainly different from boys in many ways. However, I was not prepared for the two young ladies who are eating me out of house and home currently. We are in the midst of exponential growth. Sitting in a restaurant last night with daddy and his girls, I could not help but watch them devour a table of burritos in record time. Then watching them walk down the hall of church to their classes, it is all too clear that they are growing up quickly. In the midst of parenting many children, it is hard to visualize the day that you and your spouse will be left behind as all your babies fly out of the nest. But there comes a day when little wings begin to sprout some feathers as they exercise some freedom and you know that it is coming. In the midst of this growth spurt and human development, it is important that I provide proper nutrition and nurturing as their body and mind are maturing at an alarming rate. If the proper diet is not consumed, it could hinder this natural process. Remember – you are what you eat. I must validate purpose as their mind adjusts to raging hormones and a society that claims perfection although living in a filtered state. Salvation is the beginning of the maturation process to righteousness. To receive from God, one must put faith and trust in Him that becomes belief. Belief will change our attitudes and actions in life. However, without the Word of God you will never make something out of nothing.
You cannot live in Jesus Christ apart from the Word of God. It is impossible to do so. Jesus Christ is the Word. God wrapped His Word in flesh and sent it to a world blind to His Love so they could experience it firsthand. (John 1:14-17) “If anyone loves Me, He will keep My Word!” True worshippers in the modern age must do so in Spirit and Truth to become Children of God. See you cannot open the door of grace and never step into it. Righteousness is achieved by living what you believe. It is where you prosper in God beginning with your very soul. There are many disappointed Christians who live defeated lives because rather than digesting the Word of God they try to wave it around like a magic wand that is put on the shelf expect for extreme cases of emergency. The Word of God is for our daily maintenance not rations for rescue and recovery. It is a lifestyle of abiding in Jesus Christ who is the Word of God. His Spirit leads us to all Truth which means right back to Jesus Christ who is God’s Word wrapped in flesh now released by the resurrection power to live in the Kingdom of God. As a believer, your appetite for the Word of God. It is where faith is acquired. (Romans 10:17) Faith becomes confident hope that keeps us anchored in the Presence of God. (Hebrews 6:19) It is not your job to make a better life. It is your job to dwell in the Word of God who is Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:3-4 (NKJV)
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
When the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, the Lord countered each temptation with the Word of God. “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” How many times have we fallen for this lie? Every single time we pray and tell God how to work out the details of our life rather than rummaging through His Word to find His Promise, this is exactly what we are doing. We request the natural rather than asking for the supernatural by faith. Why? We are comfortable with natural outcomes. We like what we can see, smell, feel, taste and touch preferring the known over the unknown. I have learned a valuable lesson over the last two years of our life. I do not want the known any longer. It does not hold any hope when your child suffers from cancer. I want the unknown reality of God. His Supernatural Promise of resurrection life that says our son will live and not die. But I cannot find that in the natural. Man has confessed after one diagnosis and three relapses, it is unsure what to do. But I no longer live on the “bread” of this world but EVERY WORD that proceeds from the Mouth of God. His Plan is better than my own. I am not going to settle for stones disguised as food any longer. It is time to allow God to move supernaturally through our lives by accepting the Word of God and nothing less. It is time to stop praying for things and ask for the Will of God. God does not require blind faith just some faith.
John 11:19-26 (NKJV)
And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
The Word does not work without faith that becomes confident hope. Hope arises from our belief by faith that the Word (Jesus) works. This is not a complicated process as many people make it. It is simply to know God’s Word and do what it says because you believe that it works. Something is not obedience. We must believe the Word fully to develop our faith. We starve our faith leaving behind fear and doubt to pursue Christ without His Word. When Jesus went to the house of Lazarus (who had died), Martha rushed out to meet Him. Now Martha gets a bad rap sometimes but I can relate to her. I am a doer. I like to be in control of my household affairs and keep to a schedule or routine. Mary was waiting in the house. Now I wish the Bible included little bubbles over the character’s heads telling us what they were thinking sometimes, but it doesn’t obviously. Martha was full of the Word of God. When Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha voiced understanding of the written word of God that says people will rise again in the resurrection day blah, blah, blah. The words of a true Christians soldier for sure. However, Jesus went on to tell her “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Without Jesus Christ, the Word of God will not work in our life. Mary loved Jesus and understood His Significance. But Martha’s faith ended when her natural dream ended with her brother’s death. What if we began to believe in His Word and the Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ even after death came knocking, I believe many would be brought back to life!” I am just as guilty as the next person of giving up before the Word works in my life by limiting it to the natural rather than taking hold of the supernatural and refusing to let go. That was the old me, but the new me had to take a step of faith – stepping into the Word of God and abiding in the Word (Jesus Christ).
Matthew 16:15-19 (NKJV)
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Let’s go back for a minute to this encounter between Jesus Christ and Peter. “But who do you say that I am?” “You are the Son of the Living God!” Jesus called Peter blessed. In fact, Jesus says that those who hear the Word of God and obey it are more blessed. (Luke 11:28) Are you that person? People hear the Word of God and see the Way of God demonstrated by the Word wrapped in flesh named Jesus but if you do nothing with it than what good is it to you? Those who hear the Word of God and invest their faith to promote belief will experience a supernatural lifestyle as they learn to abide in Jesus Christ. God will make something out of every nothing in your life by the Resurrection Power that brought His Son, Jesus back to life. It is yours as a Child of God. Are you a Child of God? (I John 3:1-3) The Father gave all of His Love for us in Jesus Christ so that we could become Children of God. By faith, we develop hope that keeps us pure. It is found in the Word of God. Faith is personal. Hope is personal. Belief is personal. Your relationship to Jesus Christ is personal. If the only time you pursue any of this is corporately, you will miss a personal encounter with the Lord that leads to righteousness by way of adoption. It is all personal. Who do you say that Jesus Christ is? If you believe that He is the Word than you will become hungry for the word and devour it as you grow and mature as a Child of God! Without it – you will experience failure to thrive and die on the vine. (John 6:51)
John 15:3-8 (NKJV)
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
By asking Jesus Christ to be our Savior, the Word cleanses us from our sin and opens the door of grace. When we believe and step through grace into righteousness, it is then that we begin to abide in Jesus. However, it is the Word of God that keeps us connected to the Vine (Jesus). If we put no effort in growing and maturing through the Word becoming obedient by doing the Word, we put our life in jeopardy. The Word gives us confidence to take the next step of faith and develop a thriving relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son who is the Word of God. You cannot abide in Jesus Christ apart from the Word of God. This means that you cannot live anyway that you want and expect God to bless you! You will never find God’s Perfect Promises doing things your own way! I must learn to abide in Jesus Christ by living in and doing God’s Word every day, all day, in every way! We will bear much fruit connected to the Source of Life but not natural fruit that will keep us in a constant state of dissatisfaction and hunger. We will be satisfied and content. We were looking for certain things in the natural that are only possible in the spiritual such as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) When you abide in Jesus Christ living in His Word, you will experience all these things and even greater things that you could not think or imagine. It begins by faith turned into confident hope in the Word of God!
I John 2:24-27 (NKJV)
Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Jesus Christ sent His Spirit to live in the hearts of His People. The purpose of this anointing is to take the Word of God and work it through our life. We must cultivate God’s Word in our life by reading, studying and applying it to our life so His Spirit will flourish and have plenty of room to make all God’s Promises a reality in our life. God will make something out of every nothing in our life with the Word. But you must first give Him something to work with! The Spirit of Truth has been given to you – allow Him to lead you to the Truth! (John 14:17) Faith comes by hearing the Word of God so listen! (Romans 10:17) The Spirit of God assists in living a life of obedience to God. He empowers us to escape the stronghold of sin and release the chains that once held us captive to live in the freedom that we have been given. Freedom to step out of the darkness and live in the Light of God’s Love. In His Love, you find the abundant life that you have been promised and will come to pass when we abide in His Word, do His Will and walk in His Way. The Bible is the greatest love story ever written. It is fact not fiction. It can be your story if you choose to abide in His Love today. Give God something today!
John 15:9-11 (NKJV)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”