SMACK YOUR LIPS

Eph.1:14 – Amp. – That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it—to the praise of His glory.

Nothing like some good home cooking. Last week there was an impromptu Mary’s Song Banquet for ladies involved with Rodan and Fields. There was several thousand women from Rodan and Fields in New Orleans for a convention. Because of a friend of a friend being in leadership with that company, a request was made for a banquet with the Mary’s Song girls to “give back” in light of all the Lord has given us. It was an awesome night of testimonies and giving but that is not why I brought this all up. The meal was cooked by the Mary’s Song girls under the direction of Tyren George.The ladies at my table were raving over the “home cooking”. They also said it was the best meal they had eaten all week; pretty good with the amazing restaurants they all went to in the French Quarter. I guess you just can’t beat home cooked meals.

Now this brings me to the whole point of all of this, today’s verse says that the Holy Spirit is the foretaste of all the Lord has prepared for us. That first taste, or sampling of the food before a meal, tastes awfully good. It actually increases our anticipation for the coming feast. In Psalm 63 David was enjoying feasting on the Lord. He was enjoying the feast of God’s presence, enjoying what he was receiving, but smacking his lips in anticipation of more. Here is how it reads in the Message Bible.

Psa.63:3-5 The Message

In your generous love I am really living at last!

My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath;

My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;

I smack my lips. It’s time to shout praises!

The good meal at our banquet for our out of town guests last week was really only the foretaste. The real meal was when Parris, Ali Spitsbergen (the lady with Rodan and Fields), and the girls from Mary’s Song began to share what the Lord had done in their lives. The testimony of Jesus was our taste of the coming heavenly banquet. So I think I’m going to join David and smack my lips, if this first taste is this good it’s hard to imagine what the whole meal will be like.

DEAD OR ALIVE?

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Present yourself unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom. 6:13
You can never present your old life to Christ, He has no use for it. You must see yourself as dead to sin, crucified with Christ, and alive in Him before we have anything to offer to the Lord. Our new life is precious to the Lord. When we offer ourselves to Him as living sacrifices it is like a soothing, fragrant aroma. He sees the glory of His Son in us. He sees the glory of His Son in the shedding of His blood because we have been made whiter than snow. He sees the glory of the death of His Son because our old life is dead and buried. Finally, He sees the glory of the resurrected Christ in us. This is what He is after, this is why He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. Here are some thoughts from Watchman Nee on today’s verse.

“Many have taken this word “present” (in today’s verse) to imply consecration without looking carefully into its content. Of course that is what it does mean but not in the sense in which we are inclined to understand it. It is not the consecration of our “old man” with his instincts and resources, his natural wisdom, strength and other gifts, to the Lord God for Him to use. This will be clear at once from the little clause “as alive from the dead.” It defines for us the point at which consecration begins. For what is to be consecrated is not what belongs to the old creation but only what has passed through death to resurrection. The “presenting” spoken of is the outcome of my knowing my old man to be crucified and my reckoning myself alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Knowing, reckoning, presenting ourselves to Him: that is the divine order.”

Not only is the Father satisfied by seeing the glory of His Son in us, the world is attracted to Christ through us. It is in the redeemed of the Lord that the lost see the glory of Christ. Your family may ignore or even mock you, but if Christ reigns in your heart His glory is inescapable. Your fellow workers at your place of employment will sense that “something different about you”; of course, it is the glory of the Son. So present your new life to Christ, yield yourself to Him. You too will shine in this dark world with the glory of Christ.

ALL THINGS NEW

Rev. 21:5 ¶ Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

One of the most obvious changes in my life at my conversion was the music I listened to. I have always loved my music. Thankfully, I relocated to California at the time of my conversion and found myself in the middle of the Jesus movement. There was a whole culture being birthed and music was a huge part of it. I traded in the Beatles, Allman Brothers, and Dylan for Phil Keaggy, Keith Green, and the Second Chapter of Acts. I had entered into a new life and my life was filled with this new song. Jesus was making all things new. It wasn’t like there was a rule not to listen to secular music it was just that there was an emptiness in all of those secular songs that no longer had a part in my life. Jonathan Edwards was all about singing, this new song was a major part of his church.
“By this work of God in renewing the heart, the man that is the subject of it becomes a new creature or is a new man, as it is often said in Scripture. And therefore no wonder that his song is new: for we are told that “old things are passed away” and “all things become new with him”. The hearts of the redeemed are new. He has a new spirit put within him. Their natures are new. In some sense their bodies are new. They have new eyes. They are renewed in the whole man. They are said to be “a new lump,” having put away “the old leaven”. They are newborn babes. They have new garments, for their filthy garments are taken away and they are clothed with change of raiment. And they have a new name. “He that overcomesI will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.” And “I will write upon him my new name.”
How do you learn this new song? You learn it from hearing the melody of heaven in the voice of Jesus Christ. His voice is sweet and His words are food for our souls. His words enter our hearts and actually become a song in our bellies. This song feeds us, sustains us, satisfies, and empowers us. We don’t just sing different kinds of songs, we become this song. Christ is the songwriter, musician, and singer and He lives inside of us.

DROPPING THE SELFIE

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Col.3:8
WORDSWORTH:—‘Be ye good trees. Now, in the world’s eye, is your winter; to men ye appear like dry sticks. Your life is hid with Christ. Ye are dead in appearance, but not dead in reality; dead as to show of luxuriant leaves, but not dead in your spiritual root. Your root is Christ. His coming will be your summer. Then ye will put forth a glorious foliage. Ye will appear with Him in glory. And the leafy fig-tree of this world will be withered by His coming.’
Paul had it right when he talked about “taking off the old man” and “putting on the new man in Christ Jesus”. It’s amazing how much we are unaware of how much we tend to filter everything through the old man and his way of thinking. ‘You looked at me wrong’, or ‘the text sounded rude’, ‘your ignoring me’ and so on. We need to change our language. Union with Christ by faith is the condition of a real communication of life. “In Him was life,” says John’s Gospel, meaning that “in Him were all things created, and in Him all things consist.” Expositor Bible says, “John says we have to abide in the vine and derive all of our life dependent on union with the Divine, and upheld only by His continual energy, The creature must touch God or perish. Of that energy the Uncreated Word of God is the channel-As the life of the body, so the higher self-conscious life of the thinking, feeling, striving soul, is also fed and kept alight by the perpetual operation of a higher Divine energy, imparted in like manner by the Divine Word.”

Creating an ongoing God-consciousness the rest of our life is challenging. Have we put on the new man and wear him daily or just on Sunday? Do we live in Him, by Him, for Him? So the question comes home to each of us-‘am I living by my union with Christ?’ Christ comes to take over, change our personalities, thought processes and our behavior patterns. The result should bring us a inward joy and peace we never had before.

Expositor Bible goes onto to say, “Paul would insist that all true Christianity operates a death to the old self, to sin, and to the whole present order of things, and endows a man with new tastes, desires, and capacities, like a resurrection to a new being. These heathen converts-picked from the filthy cesspools in which many of them had been living, and set on a pure path, with the astounding light of a Divine love flooding it, and a bright hope painted on the infinite blackness ahead-had surely passed into a new life.”

 A New Tomorrow

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 1 Peter 1:23
Every Saturday morning after Beyond the Grave, I wake up and spend thinking about the ones that went up to receive Christ. For some it will be just like any other Saturday, they will sleep all day, meet with friends and go to another party. Beyond the Grave will become a distant memory. But others will wake up and hear birds singing for the first time, or how pretty the blue in the sky is. They look in the mirror and sense a future for themselves.

Spurgeon says about the new creation is, “How the Spirit of God openeth upon the mind, how it is that he renews the faculties and imparts fresh desires by which those faculties shall be guided, how it is that he enlightens the understanding, subdues the will, purifies the intellect, reverses the desire, lifts up the hope, and puts the fear in its right channel, we cannot tell, we must leave this among the secret things which belong unto God. Have you partaken of it? Do not merely look back to some hour in which you felt mysterious feelings. No, but judge by the fruits. Have your fears and hopes changed places? Do you love the things you once hated, and hate the things you once loved? Are old things passed away? Have all things become new? Christian brethren, I put the query to you as well as to the rest. It is so easy to be deceived here. We shall find it no trifle to be born again. It is a solemn, it is a momentous matter. Let us not take it for granted because we have given up drunkenness that we are therefore converted, because we do not swear, because now we attend a place of worship. There is more wanted than this. Do not think you are saved because you have some good feelings, some good thoughts. There is more required than this—ye must be born again. You must change the heart. It is not the skin—it is the blood—nay, deeper than the blood—the very essence of the nature must be altered. The man must be as much made anew as if he never had an existence. Nay, a greater miracle than this, these most be two miracles combined—the old things must pass away, and new things must be cleated by the Holy Ghost.”

The incorruptible seed of God was implanted into so many that night. History will tell the story of how in a moment a heart was changed. There is nothing more amazing than a new creation. They will spend the rest of their lives with many firsts. First prayer, first trial, first convert, first time reading Bible through and most amazingly first time they realize the love of God.

A NEW SONG FROM A NEW HEART

Psa. 40:3  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.

I was shocked by the suddenness and the dramatic degree of the change I experienced in the summer of 1973. Christ came into my life and He began His amazing work just like He said, He was making all things new. One of the changes that surprised me the most was the change in the music that I listened to. For years, my life had been centered around music. I was consumed by the likes of Dylan, Joplin, Zeppelin, Clapton, Cocker and a list too long to remember. It was suddenly replaced with Barry McGuire, the Second Chapter of Acts, Love Song, and Phil Keaggy. I lost my attraction to the music of the world, it was empty and uninviting to me. This Jesus music was passionate and had a substance or presence in it that agreed with the new thing that was happening in me. I didn’t know how to say it back then but God was transforming my life and His new song was playing a huge role in the process. Jonathan Edwards talked about how music played a huge role in their revival experiences in Northampton. Here are some of his insights about renewal and this new song.

“By this work of God in renewing the heart, the man that is the subject of it becomes a new creature or is a new man, as it is often said in Scripture. And therefore no wonder that his song is new: for we are told that “old things are passed away” and “all things become new with him”. [The] hearts of the redeemed are new. He has a new spirit put within him. Their natures are new. In some sense their bodies are new. They have new eyes. They are renewed in the whole man. They are said to be “a new lump,” having put away “the old leaven”. They are newborn babes. They have new garments, for their filthy garments are taken away and they are clothed with change of raiment. And they have a new name. “He that overcometh I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” And ch. Revelation 3:12, “I will write upon him my new name.”

Yep, God is doing a new thing and here is the best part, He is doing it inside of you. Yield to His new song, soon you will find that the song is not only all around you but is actually bubbling up from deep within your heart.

NEW CREATION

John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Sometimes the truth is as hard to see as the nose on our face. Recently, I came face to face with one of these noses. It was so simple I had somehow missed it. What am I talking about? I am talking about the un-settled feeling I have had with the recent emphasis on the so called message of grace. I know His mercy is everlasting and His grace is unfailing but something wasn’t ringing true. That’s when it suddenly hit me. It wasn’t what was being said that was troubling, it was what was left unsaid. His grace is amazing but it does more than just cover our sins. It’s His grace that leads us to the born again experience. He is not happy leaving us as He finds us, He insists upon change. Since we could not change ourselves, divine intervention is essential. As Jesus Himself said, “You must be born again.” Here is Andrew Murray talking about this essential truth.

“I want to draw your attention to the most delightful subject in the world, to help you to rejoice in the adorable God whose being is pure love. He is the inexhaustible source of meekness, delight, blessing, goodness, patience, and grace. These are like many streams breaking out of the abyss of the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The triune God who is forever giving forth nothing but the same gifts of light and love, of blessing and joy, whether before or after the Fall, either for angels or for men. No good can become part of you unless it is by way of a birth from above. Your nature must also be restored; it must be part of this new birth. It must cooperate in the production of new life before the Spirit of love can have a birth in it. For love is delight and delight cannot arise in any creature until its nature is in a delightful state, or is possessed of that in which it must rejoice. The reason why God came to earth as human was to make it possible for the Triune to dwell in you.”

So the truth is that covering our sins is not the ultimate purpose of the cross. The ultimate purpose was total transformation. “Unless a man is born again he will never see the kingdom of God.” So the next time you hear the someone talking about grace as if it is an excuse to live however they want know this; there is a better way. The kindness of the Lord leads us and grants us total life change through the power of repentance.

CREATED FROM NOTHING

CREATED FROM NOTHING

Psa. 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Man is capable of some pretty horrible stuff. From serial killings to ethnic cleansing, the depravity of man is pretty shocking. History has been filled with Hitlers, Osama Ben Ladens, and Herods. Unfortunately, the list is endless. Just when you think it can’t get worse, someone shows up with a rifle in a kindergarten or a sniper shooting random people on an interstate. How could man who is capable of so much good fall so low? The answer is in the Bible, of course. Our hearts are sick. Jeremiah says they are desperately wicked. It’s not just some of us it’s the entire race. We are all without the ability to change ourselves. We know right from wrong, somehow we get stuck doing the wrong far to often. That’s where the power of the gospel comes in to play. We can’t change ourselves but Christ can. The blessing of Christianity is the ability to change our nature, to create a new heart in us. E. B. Pusey shared some powerful things about this verse.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. This “creation” is from nothing. David uses the same word of our creation which Moses uses of “the creation of the heaven and the earth.” Our creation “in Jesus Christ” is no mere strengthening of our powers, no mere aiding of our natural weakness by the might of the grace of God, it is not a mere amendment, improvement of our moral habits; it is a creation out of nothing, of that which we had not before. There was nothing in us whereof to make it. We were decayed, corrupt, dead in trespasses and sins. What is dead becometh not alive, except by the infusion of what it had not. What is corrupt receiveth not soundness, save by passing away itself and being replaced by a new production. “The old man” passeth not into “the new man”, but is “put off.” It is not the basis of the new life, but a hindrance to it. It must be “put off” and the new man “put on”, “created in Christ Jesus.”

I love that, God creates something new in us. Just as The Lord created the beautiful world we live in, He creates a brand new you when you pray the prayer of David. “Create in me a clean heart Oh God”. All of us are stuck in our own sinful behavior until Christ is formed in us. Instead of stumbling into alcohol and drug induced stupid behavior, we are more than satisfied with the joy we now experience in this new life. Rather than living a life conflicted with deceit and impure motives we are happy living an honest life characterized by integrity. This is the glory of the Christian life, we are not controlled by rules that can never change our nature, we are empowered by this new nature in our hearts.