Joseph A. Bias
A Passion for the Presence of God
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
Coming off Memorial Day weekend and having the second cataract surgery yesterday I came home from getting a new lens put in and sporting an eye patch. I sat down to try to get a bit of work done, but soon fell asleep twice, so I went to bed and slept 7-1/2 hours. When I woke up this was the first thing on my mind.
Yes! and Amen! We are created to feast on the Word of God, to consume it joyfully and relentlessly night and day. In Him, in The Word, is life and light and that light has been given to us to abide in us and shine through us so the world can see The Light and come to Him and be saved, can come to Him and find life and that more abundantly, can come to Him and feast on Him and find healing, wholeness, fulfillment and eternal purpose with Eternal Life.
Promoted by the post that Ose sent from their gathering at the House of Prayer last night, I read again 1 John 1-5. This is the Word for our time, for every believer especially now!!! Love God, love your brother, hate sin and discern who and what is the spirit of the anti-Christ. Do not love this world and do not traffic in its lies. Walk in the light which is Christ. Fellowship with those who love God and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Live and love in the hopeful expectation that He is coming again, HE IS COMING AGAIN! HE is alive with us now by the Holy Spirit. Have no fellowship with idols. And there is so much more. Here is the sum. If we love God, we will keep His Commandments.
All things are possible for us when we are motivated and kept in check by love. Yes. Love is both a motivator and an inhibiter. The love God motivates us to compassion in the face of injury and hurt, where there is a need to be met or intercession to be offered up, and love empowers us to be bold in the times of trouble to stand for the truth no matter what it may cost. Love also constrains us from judgmentalism and teaches us to be patient, caring and gentle with all, particularly those who oppose themselves, but in all situations and circumstances being ready to teach and offer a reason for the hope that is in us.
Love prompts us to forgive quickly and remember no man’s sins against any more. I heard someone glibly declare recently, that they could forgive, but they will never forget. But that is not the way of the righteous of God. That is not the calling of God to His, people. That is not the model of Jesus to His Church. He has cast our sins as far as the east is from west and will not remember them against us any more.
“I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25
There are things we are called to remember and to celebrate. We are to remember and discern the body of Christ when we share communion, for example. Jesus said, do this in remembrance of Me. Likewise it is also wise to learn about and recall the things that are not pleasing to God so that we do not unwittingly fall into them again. But, we must not continually rehearse and relive the sins of our past or rehash and meditate on the sins of others against us continually. That is idolatry. What is more, having continual conversations about the offences of the past keeps them alive and keeps us in bondage to them, theirs and ours. It is enough to account the things of the past and keep them in the past while we move forward into the new life of hope and promise that God has prepared for us. The sins and offense of the past ate not ours to carry into the future.
That is a burden God gave Jesus to relieve us from forever. He who knew no sin became sin for us, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. If I am now the righteousness of God in Christ, then where is there room for identifying with or of claiming even the slightest association with something that no longer exists in the eyes of God?
He has made us all new creations in Christ Jesus. We have no relationship to the things of the past that have been washed clean from us by the blood of Christ.
Beloved our present son-ship in Christ is real. It’s not a religious platitude or some relativistic posture we assume in church and leave like cloak at the door when we depart. NO! It is who we are now! We have been made and are now new creatures, new creations, that never existed before. We are a new race of being. Neither Jew nor Greek, that is we are not identified by the nation of our human birth. That reality is a reference to our physical bodies only which are merely the vessels in which we abide while here on earth. We are not those in bonds or free. That is, we are neither slaves nor masters, we are not those dominated by others or those who dominate others. We are not judged by or separated from one another in terms of our physical human characteristics being male nor female, one superior to the other.
This does not say that in the world there are no nations that are distinct from one another by culture, history, language or physical attributes. There are, and God created them so. It is also not to say there are no longer slaves and masters in the word. There are, in every nation there are people under the rule of others in one form or another. This is also not to say that God has erased all sexual/gender identity from mankind. No there are still men and women in the world and only men and women. There are only two genders, despite the current cultural attempt to impose unnaturally other human classifications beyond male and female that God did not create.
What it does say is that in Christ we are all seen as one family, one race and one people. W exist in a community of faith without one group or individual dominating authority over another or one group standing superior or more privileged than others. We all share in the same grace, mercy compassion love and power, authority, provision and peace with God through Jesus Christ and only through Jesus Christ.
For this cause we live, more eager to forgive than to accuse, more eager to bless than to be blessed, more eager to show compassion and mercy than to judge, more eager to love when it isn’t easy, and to be slow to anger when we stand falsely accused than to posture ourselves in judgmentalism. For this cause we owe no man anything but to love one another.
I cannot, in Christ be both free and in bondage.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
If then, I have been made free who can I hold in bondage?
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; jforgive, and you will be forgiven; Luke 6:37
My freedom in Christ rests in walking continually in an attitude of forgiveness toward others. I am not free if I hold others in bondage. Yes, we who belong to Christ must not hold anyone in the bondage of unforgiveness. We are empowered to do that only by the Holy Spirit who is filling our hearts with the Love of God. It is God’s love working in us that empowers us to forgive and to forget.
Feed on the Word of God, Feast on His presence and let your heart be filled with His love. In that love we are unstoppable.