Tag Archive for Put God first

Put God first (part 3)

The third important aspect of putting God first is to seek first God’s righteousness.

But how do we seek first God`s righteousness and not confusing it with man`s own righteousness and the righteousness which is in accordance to the law? It is stated quite distinctly that; “Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28).
Our worship and appearance before God is to express our gratitude and thanksgiving to Him for His manifold graces, and it must be done in a way that is acceptable to Him with reverence and godly fear, which is made possible only because of His righteousness.

It is without any doubt that, God will under no circumstances coexist with sin, He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. Therefore, if we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. Sin alienates man from God, for according to the prophet Isaiah “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear, but your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

Now in the same token, if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.

So then, how can sinful man have fellowship with the Father? For anyone to have any kind of fellowship with the Father he/she must first be reconciled with Him; and what reconciles us with the Father and grants us the boldness and confidence to present ourselves before God and worship Him acceptably with reverence is the offering of the crucified body of Christ. For it is written; “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior; but now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22).

The apostle Paul further endorsed this concept by saying; “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22).

It is therefore imperative that we seek first the righteousness of God even before we can present ourselves before Him, and furthermore, practicing His righteousness is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil; for thus it is written: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10).

Because of the importance and seriousness of this calling to seek first the righteousness of God, it is imperative that we establish and prove without a shadow of doubt, what is this act of righteousness we should first seek, and when practice, differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil.

We can say with Certainty that, it can not be our own righteousness; because it is clearly stated that, “We are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness are like filthy rags. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” We are all under the power of sin as it is written; “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God, all have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one” (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-12).

Neither can it be the righteousness from keeping the law, because it is again stated quite clearly that; “Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as it were based on works. They stumble over the stumbling stone.” It is well understood that, “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law one becomes conscious of sin” (Romans 9:31-32; Romans 3:20).

What therefore is the act of righteousness one should seek first, and when practice differentiates God’s children from the children of the devil?
The righteousness which one has to seek first, and when practice differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil, is having faith in the act of righteousness by which man was imputed with righteousness. And since faith without works is dead, it means demonstrating this faith by whatever symbol that proclaims, represents, and demonstrates this act of righteousness.

It is stated that, “As the result of one man’s act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man (Adam) the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One Man (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19).
This act of righteousness which imputed righteousness and brought life to all men, is the offering of the body of Jesus Christ which He offered to the Father as a sweet smelling aroma, and which satisfies His will, it is the bread of life that is our righteousness, the bread which both came and comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. It is the sign which identified Jesus Christ after his resurrection.

It is stated that after Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, He met two of His followers walking going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that happened concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ joined them and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him. They explained to Him all what transpired during the three days since Jesus Christ was crucified and how some women amazed them, when they went to the tomb early in the morning but did not find His body.
Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in the scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

With all that being said they still did not recognize Him. It is only when He sat at table with them, took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. “Then the two got up and returned at once to Jerusalem, there they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke bread” (Luke 24: 35).
To be continued.
Copyright © 2014 by Lucius Joseph
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Put God first (part 2)

b. Be renewed in the spirit of the mind

The apostle Paul said; “Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:14-19).

Those who put God first in their lives however, did not come to know Christ that way. Assuming that they have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, they will put off their old nature which belongs to their former way of life, and which is corrupted through deceitful lusts, and they will be renewed in the spirit of their minds, and will put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

They will put God first by not conforming themselves to this world, but rather be transformed by the renewal of their minds, in order that they may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. They will set their minds on things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. They will put to death all what that is earthly in them, because the unrighteous, the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Putting God first is to strive to enter by the narrow door; for many I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the house holder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from. Then you will begin to say. ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But He will say ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity! There you will weep and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from East and west, and from North and South, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last” (Luke 13:24-31)

Anyone who breaks one of the least of God’s commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

One important thing we all need to realize is that, most of the things we have been taught and grew up believing have been introduced to our religious, political, social and education system by the kingdom of darkness which is diametrically contrary to the principles of Godly living established by the kingdom of light.

We therefore are to be recognizance of the fact that the first transformation that takes place at conversion is a transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, and so we have been admonished by the apostle Paul saying: “Be filled with the knowledge of God´s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1: 9-14).
Long before, the prophet Daniel prophesied of the time when the fourth beast which refers to the Roman Empire will change times and laws. For thus he wrote; “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, `which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces’
“The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:23-25).

Now according to the apostle John this beast with the seven heads and ten horns, which represents the Roman Empire, Satan the dragon has given it his power, his throne, and great authority. For thus he said, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2).

Therefore, the majority of things that we have been taught by the system, originated from the kingdom of darkness. For example:-

• How can a new day begin at mid-night, when the first thing God created when He ordained time was light! For thus He said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.
The sun was created to herald a new day, for thus says the Lord, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also” (Genesis 1:14-16).

Is it coincidental that our bodies were designed to rest and recuperate in the night and be rejuvenated in the morning! Or is it by natural design? Is it also coincidental that 12 O´clock in the day is called mid-day, and twelve O´clock in the night is called mid night! If they are not coincidental how the middle of the night can be the beginning of a new day?

And how do we reconcile the time of Christ´s death on the cross to be three O´clock in the evening, when the time was the ninth hour of the day?

• Why a new month in this system has nothing to do with the moon and the moon has nothing to do with the month despite the fact that the word moon originated from the moon!
Now, when the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” What sign or evidence they had to distinguish the first day of the month? Incidentally, this day was also the first day of the year.

• When does a new year begin according to the kingdom of light? Is it not at the time the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you?” So why today a new year begins in the dead of winter and not in spring?
Is it coincidental the word September originated from the number seven, October originated from the number eight and December originated from the number ten! So how is it today that September is regarded as the ninth month, October as the tenth month and December as the twelve month! Who made those changes?

These are all part and parcel of the renewal that has to take place in the spirit of our minds so as to put on the new man who was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, we have been warned saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4).

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