As the Lord leads me to instruct in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction, to avoid being deceived in these latter days professed Christians that would be faithful must anchor God’s Word as it is written in our hearts! The only way to anchor God’s Word in our hearts is to purposely internalize it through regular study and practice. Study and practice will not be regular if we do not zealously love the Word as the truth with an intentional desire to apply and obey it even with many failures (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-17; James 3:2a).
How does a man get to the point of willingness to regularly study and practice the Word of truth? A hunger and thirst for God and His Word is actualized in every truly born again new follower of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It manifests for some more quickly than others depending on the depth of surrender at spiritual birth (Acts 2:36-42; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3).1 Purposely making time to study God’s written Word is typically not the issue for hungry and thirsty newborns in Christ. It is how to get enough milk! Those that press to fruitfulness in understanding and practice despite Satan’s effort to take the Word, tribulations and worldly cares have developed a love for it (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23).
Loving God’s Word is the motivational key for both anchoring it in our hearts and deliberately practicing it through obedience. One major reason sold out, faithful Christians come to love God’s Word is because it “is truth” as the Lord Jesus asserts in His prayer to the Father (John 17:17, NKJV). God’s Word is truth that we not only can rationally appreciate because it is perfectly sound, righteous and just, but also experience since it is spiritually alive having originated with God (John 6:63; Hebrews 4:12). We want more of, desire to go deeper in as well as practice the Word causing us to spiritually mature because the Word of truth we love is alive in us and so good!2
Indeed, just as in our Holy Spirit fired love we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-6; Mark 12:28-30; Romans 5:5), so, we love the Word of truth written that in the awesome mysteries of God is embodied by God the Word from eternity (John 1:1); Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord who spoke God’s final Word to the world when He came to us from Heaven in first century Israel (John 1:14-18; Hebrews 1:1-4)! As a result of loving God and everything about God, we love the Word of truth that flows naturally from God--the Person and Source of the Word, Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honor forever (John 14:6)!
For after He completed His work to save us from our sins by dying on the cross and being buried, He was raised from the dead on the third day following. Among the first disciples to encounter and recognize Him in Luke’s account specifically declared to each other how their hearts burned with what could have only been the same spiritual fire we enjoy as “He opened the Scriptures” to them (Luke 24:28-35, NKJV). He spent forty days on earth teaching and preparing His apostles for His return to Heaven. Then, upon giving final instructions to them, He ascended into Heaven where He, the eternal Word, has been seated again at His Father’s right hand (Acts 1:1-11, 2:32-35)!
In the love we have for Christ, the living Word of truth and all that is written from Him and of Him in the Bible, faithful Christians are ready to stand firm whatever the cost against demonically inspired deceit and falsehood and testify to the most prominent of officials as have all of the saints through all time. Many professed Christians have a misinformed tendency to arrogantly believe we are the only ones that know something about Holy Spirit fired love for God and His Word. Not so, and the writer of Psalm 119 is a classic example of an Old Testament saint--to include Spirit empowered king David (1 Samuel 16:13)--that enjoyed this experience with the living God! This saint wondrously writes in Psalm 119:41-48 with the heart of one that intimately knows and loves God and His Word!
He waited like we do now for the fullness of God’s mercies in salvation to come according to His written Word (vs. 41). He like many of us are was persecuted for his faith and needed to trust God’s Word for a right answer to his persecutors (vs. 42). He sought God’s help as we must also to keep the “word of truth” in his mouth because it was his hope; his eternal preoccupation and source of blessing (vs. 43-44, NKJV). He like us was free in and ready to witness to kings boldly standing on the Word (vs. 45-46; John 8:31-32). Lastly, he delighted himself in and loved God’s commandments; lifting his hands in praise for them and meditating on God’s edicts (vs. 47-48).3 Is that you?4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read my February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God! I am one of those whose hunger and thirst for God and His Word
took some time to kick into high gear--22 months after I prayed to receive Christ--because of still trying to cling to my sinful ways of living. But after my total surren-
der to the Lord, I have sought Him and the Word of truth has been my food daily for which my soul yearns throughout the day (Psalms 63:1-8, 119:17-20)!
2 Sadly, the opposite is true for professed Christians that are not inclined to go deeper in the Word and become “dull of hearing;” remaining spiritually immature babes
that still nurse on “milk” and not the “solid food” of the Word. God expects every follower of Christ to grow and mature in the faith made possible only through the
regular intentional study and practice of the Word (Hebrews 5, NKJV). Otherwise, those that purposely remain spiritually immature are easy marks for the deceiver
(Proverbs 14:15; Romans 16:17-20), risk becoming “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” and open themselves up to the possibility of falling away with no re-
course (Hebrews 3:12-13, 6:1-6, 10:26-31, NKJV). Read my December 4, 2016 post, Now Is The Day Of Salvation, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Even though the Lord Jesus Christ purposely sends us out to preach the Gospel and witness Him helped by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:16-20), we are to still make
purposeful preparation for the task through study to possess knowledge of the Word we love the Holy Spirit can readily bring to our mouths to speak as He wills.
4 It is certainly the heart of every faithful Christian as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
Today too, the biblical picture of following Jesus from His own teaching and example as well as that of His apostles flies in the face of teaching from many pulpits that narcissistically and falsely make Christianity all about the follower! Yes, Christ suffered, died and rose again to save me, but not so I can go off selfishly to do my own thing and only receive from Him what is in my narrow self-interest. No longer preaching the Gospel of Christ, repentance from sin and faith in Him to be saved and become His disciples, many to their destruction preach this other gospel of narcissism to attract the attention, attendance and affections of followers for themselves (Galatians 1:6-10, NKJV).
Here is God’s reality check for the preachers and professed Christians of these self-absorbed and materialistic latter days: it is not about you! It is about Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, ascended and returning soon! Lining up behind Christ as our Savior and Lord through faith, He still expects us to follow His example in everything (John 13:12-17; 1 Peter 2:21-25). This being so, love of Christ who died for our sins is to be our deepest layer of motivation after faith and thanksgiving for following Him. And just as He modeled, we are to also be willing to go where He sends us, speak and do what He commands, forsake all, suffer and die for Him if required (Matthew 10:16-39).3
Moreover, in accord with His Father’s will, the Lord was quite intentional about giving us an exemplary display of His nature, character and demeanor we are to exhibit. Indeed, there are four distinctive characteristics of Christ His followers as aspiring strong men and great women of God in His image are to commonly exhibit I write about in my book. Like Him, we accept the roles God assigns, obey God to the death,4 rely on God for everything and trust God for vindication. Even the most casual reading of the four Gospels plainly show Christ walked out these characteristics in His life and service as a Disciple of His Father.
In His role as “the Lamb of God” in particular, He powerfully displayed all four characteristics at once! Again, moved by love for God and us He accepted this role, obeyed His Father’s will to the death, relied on Him to care for His soul in death and trusted that God would vindicate His sacrifice as He did first by raising Him from the dead to immortal glory (Isaiah 50:5-9; John 1:29; Acts 2:22-36, NKJV)! Sinful human love is incapable of reproducing Christ’s required example. No doubt, for this reason and anticipating the coming of the Holy Spirit to help, the Lord queries Peter who had denied he knew Him three times: “do you love Me,” (John 21:15-17; Romans 5:5-8, NKJV)?
The Lord’s demand to be the highest recipient of our love is not just a means to secure our sold out devotion, but also to help us keep our priorities straight with a Kingdom perspective and avoid becoming distracted and divided in heart, unfaithful, unwilling to suffer for His cause and coldly religious (Luke 9:57-62, 12:35-48; 2 Timothy 4:9-10; Revelation 2:1-7).5 Not following the Lord in sold out love and devotion causes a man to develop blind spots in his life that Satan comes by stealth and exploits to seduce him into various sins. For example, greater love for a wife or other family member can lead a man to disobey the Lord’s commanded will or allow them to take liberties that do so.
As well, absent the motive of love for Christ first it is easy to give oneself permission to mistreat others or be dishonest. If the man in these examples is in church leadership, Satan’s end game of scandal and profaning the name of Jesus in the wider world will be exponentially realized. Church history is replete with instances of such failed professed Christians to this hour many of whom for whatever all of the secondary reasons besides being impostors, fall away from Christ as foretold because they quench the Holy Spirit their source of love for Him (Matthew 24:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:19, NKJV). Only sold out love first for and faith in Christ will overcome Satan and cause a man to stand faithful and true to Him to the end (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3-5; Revelation 12:11).
Finally, if we will really line up behind Christ, it must be in accord with His written Word, interpreted and applied not as we wish, but as it is objectively understood! This is critical since God has allowed these foretold times of “testing” to be seductively filled with the purposeful deceit and falsehood of demons leading to the Antichrist as a final exam (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 3:7-11, 13:1-18, NKJV). God’s Word as it is written must be fully anchored in our hearts, loved and obeyed in order not to be deceived (Psalm 119:11, 97). Otherwise, God warns of the eternal consequence of failing His final exam--a likely prospect for the many rebel professed Christians now deceived in so many ways (Jeremiah 12:5-6; Revelation 14:9-13, 22:11).
(I will be enjoying a Labor Day rest on September 1st. The Lord willing, look for my next post on Sunday evening, September 8th. Have a great Labor Day!)
3 If a man is not willing to do these things, then, as Christ warned he cannot be His disciple since he will not line himself up behind Him in the full commitment He requires
(John 12:25-26; Galatians 2:20) or follow His example as He wills (Philippians 2:5-8, 3:7-14).
4 I urge readers who have not to read and those that have to re-read the July 14-28, 2019 posts to honestly evaluate the objections you have to what is written in light of
just these first two distinctive characteristics of Christ God wants also displayed in us. If you are a professed Christian male or female refusing to accept the roles, rank
and responsibilities God has assigned and are in fact a disobedient to the Word rebel doing Christianity your own way, are you really a biblically defined disciple of Je-
sus Christ (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Hebrews 3:7-19)?
5 A Kingdom perspective pays attention to the will of Christ the King contained in the written Word and views all of life through that prism; staying also prophetically aware
and alert. Read the October 19, 2014 post, Sons Of The Kingdom under the category, Instruction and Out Of Step With The Times?, posted on May 5, 2019 under the
category, Bible Prophecy.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now