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Monday, November 7, 2011

I Believe That I Know God

Romans 10: 1 - 4, Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. NKJV

Is there a test that a Christian can take that determines whether they're self-conscious or God-conscious? Even though the people of Israel were God's chosen people, they still didn't know the God that had chosen them. Had they known Him, they would have also known what God required of them as it pertained to them being righteous before Him.

The Jews in Jesus' day rejected Him as their Messiah because they believed they were correct in their service to God. There is a way that seems right unto a person, but its end is the way of death. We can see that Israel being chosen by God wasn't enough for them to inherit eternal life. According to scripture, they didn't know God or His ways. The very reason that God sent His Son, Jesus, is so that He might show Israel and the gentiles the WAY to know the Father. Even so, His chosen people rejected Jesus because they were convinced He was a fraud, and were convinced that their way would lead them to the Father. 

Let me ask you a question before we continue. Were the Jews self-conscious or God-conscious? Satan had blinded them from seeing the Light of the gospel because they chose not to believe in Jesus as the Christ. When anyone rejects the truth of God's Word because they're convinced that they know the way to the Father, it gives Satan access to their mind to deceive them. Ultimately, without repentance, they will believe a lie and perish.

There's an old adage that goes something like this... "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time." Today, I want to use that saying but with a twist. "You can fool people into believing that you are holy because they see your outward appearance, but God isn't fooled because He looks on your heart." Just because we may be accepted by people in "religious circles" doesn't mean that our righteous deeds are acceptable in God's sight. It is easy to learn what a certain group of people will accept and what they won't, simply by hanging (very quietly) around them for awhile. Once you find out their "likes" and "dislikes," all you have to do is perform in order to please them and be accepted. 

Although you may have acceptance and can make the presentation of "self" look pleasing to people, are you living a life that is holy before the Lord? This is by no means a word intended to diminish anyone, but is only to be used to illustrate how easily we can be deceived by our own hearts. It has never been about pleasing people, but rather about pleasing God. If your focus is on pleasing self or people, then you are self-conscious. If the focus of your heart's desire is always to please the Father as Jesus did while on earth, then you are becoming God-conscious. When you boil down all that we've covered today, it comes to this one truth: the Jews were religious and self-righteous, but they were ignorant of God and His ways.

How can anyone please the Lord and not hang out with Him during their day? How can we know God or His ways so that we might please Him if we never seek His face with our heart or invest time in His Word? There must come a time in everyone's walk with the Lord when we must decide not to place any confidence in what we believe about God and begin to discover who He is through intimacy with Him. The Jews who rejected Jesus believed in God, but Jesus knew God as Father because He had been with Him. In the end, Jesus was accepted, and they were cut off. However, if they should ever turn to the Lord in faith, the veil that covers their hearts will be lifted.

But for the Grace of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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