1 John 5:1-5 If you love me, obey my commands, and my commands are not burdensome...

1John 5:1-5

1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

So, Commands, what are commands?

We tend to see the word “command” and cringe, or bristle, or even bow our necks and become rebellious - as if the God’s commands are somehow opposed to us (which of course means that if the commands are opposed to us, God must be opposed to us) and that is not so…

God is for us! This is His promise and encouragement for His children! And, if God is for us, who can be against us…? (Rom 8:31; 1John 4:4)

God’s purpose is to conform us to Jesus… (Rom 8)

Commands are not to forever live by, but to learn from, be protected by, to be molded by, to be expressed through, to be reminded - God’s commands have been fulfilled by Jesus in us.

Jesus’ love language is obedience and therefore our “I love you” to Him is to obey His commands, but often we relegate our christian lives to compliance (John 14-17)

1. I read the command

2. I try to do the command

3. I have obeyed, or, at least tried to, so I’m ok

I do not believe that that is Jesus’ intent. Jesus is the truth and His life - His person and His manner and way - is what He desires in us. We become like Jesus by hearing/reading, ingesting, digesting, exercising… (Jesus = wisdom Prov chapt’s 1-4)

We are a work in progress… We are being conformed into His likeness as we grow in Him through obedience, the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, and because of the very real righteousness we have received from Jesus (1Cor 1:30; 2Cor 5:21). We join in this conforming by our loving obedience, and in so, begin to more and more express God’s commands naturally.

So, it is important for us to remember:

● Commands are God’s expressions of love and affection to us. (Psalm 19; 119; Prov 6:22-23)

● Commands are those things that glorify Him and help us prosper. (2Pet 1; Prov 3:18; 4; 10:17)

● Commands are given to us at our points of most resistance or to that thing we are least inclined to do. “love your enemy”, “do good to those who mistreat you”, “pray for those who hate you”


The goal of God’s commands are to reveal, instruct, lead and guide, correct, remind, warn, convict, affirm, transform that we might be conformed into Jesus - the commands…

● Establish (and express) to us the knowledge of God’s own character and heart

● Establish boundaries for the young and inexperienced (and we are all that, all the time, in some area of our life)

● Establish (a working knowledge of) the way of God and desires to establish that way in His children by the commands

● Establish Jesus’ character and way in the minds and hearts of His children

● Establish wisdom in the minds and hearts

● Establish liberty/freedom/love in lives of God’s children - especially as character is formed

● Establish (much) fruit bearing in and through the lives of His children

Commands are the boundaries in which we live until character and value is established…

● We follow the command until it is so deeply ingrained in us and the value it represents is developed in such a way that we now naturally live out or express the character and value the command expresses and teaches - we now live in love - hence: “Love the Lord your God… love your neighbor as yourself… all the law and the prophets hang from these two commands” (Matt 22)

The goal is to no longer live by the commands, but…

● ...by having followed and lived by the commandments, they establish in us the very character of Jesus and the values He espouses that are represented by the commands, so that our lives now naturally express and demonstrate what the commands point to and have led us to - Jesus, His person, His character, and His attributes. As they, by the commands, are established in us, we are then established in Him.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth empowers and enables us… (2Cor 2; Eph 1; Gal 5; 1John 4)

● To live a life transformed, not just conforming to commands. You see, conforming to the commands is just the beginning, but the true goal is being transformedby the commands (Rom 12) - and this comes by practice, obedience (Heb 6) - tasting to see that the Lord is good, that His commands, precepts, instructions are a delight, sweet to the taste. (Psalm 19; 34; 119:103; Prov 16:20; Jer 17:7; 1Pet 2:3)

This process of progress takes a lifetime!

Growing into Jesus means remaining humble and being perpetual learners, and this necessitates hearing/reading, re-reading, practicing, and being molded by God’s truth and His character as expressed in His commands - to love - in particular, as we are always being tested and tempted.

The heart is deeper than we imagine so, as we walk with God and our faith grows, He exposes, little by little, areas in our hearts that are not yet redeemed or made holy through repentance and sanctification - so, even among the mature, the boundaries of His commands will appear, disappear, and reappear as each new area is revealed. This process is ongoing and is necessary for growth by God’s Spirit’s revealing to us a new area of work and our obedience for repentance and further establishing Jesus - character: love, wisdom, manner and way - in and through us (further)

● Sanctifying

● Conforming

It is not God‘s intentions for us to live a life of compliance, that is, compliance for compliance’ sake, but a natural loving obedience born out of reverent obedience that is fruit of the seeds of compliance

Galatians 5 speaks to our freedom, first our freedom from the law (5:1-12), second our freedom from the rule of the flesh. (5:12-26)

So why the command to honor? That we might esteem those we might not otherwise respect and esteem

So why the command to honor? That we might obey those, who, having our best interest in mind attempt to instruct, guide, protect, lead, form, shape, and facilitate into sound character, when we would prefer to go our own way, do our own thing, be our own person (at the expense of others, future selves, …

● Character

● Integrity

● Humility

● Wisdom of

○ Cooperation (respect, consideration, value of others, compromise, team/body - together)

○ Preparation (learning, forecasting, strategizing, character development, friend making, mapping of the way or ways…)

○ Delayed gratification (prudence, value, sound judgment, opportunity cost)

● Those closest to us are

○ God and His Spirit

○ Our closest loved ones who hold places of honor

○ The fellowship of believers

Ex 20:12; Eph 6:1-2. So, to honor comes with a promise – that it will go well. And that, we must trust – God wants it to go will for us!

1Cor 6:20 “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Ex 12:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Eph 6 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Outdo yourselves in honoring one another.”

Romans 13:7 “Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.”

So why the command to honor?

God knew, in all of this, we might be lured, by the enemy, into perceiving or believing that those who love us most (and therefore stand opposed to our fleshes’ desires) are actually our enemies. (Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the Serpent's deception). So, the enemy taps into our fleshes’ desires, uses the glitter of the world around us and attempts to convince us that the “now” is better and more real than the “then or later” enticing us to defend “ourselves” of true love’s intrusion into our rights, wants, perceived needs, desires.

What or who are those “true loves”? Those we might perceive as the enemy and therefore dishonor?

● God the Father - who the enemy and our flesh distorts our view of as angry and unfairly vindictive

● God the Son - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as being a gracious pushover who wants us to be happy or a nice guy, a historical figure who is not relevant for the day - who may or may not be God

● God the Holy Spirit - who the enemy and our flesh distorts as distant, too mysterious, un-understandable, not really there….

● Close family

● Close friends

● The body of Christ

● The word of God

So why the command to honor? That it might go well with us… as we listen and honor those who are committed to our best, fighting off the false belief in the flesh “being me” and the misconception that they my enemy, I will experience peace, joy, and


Who in our lives do we struggle to honor? Why?

● Do I need to give grace?

● Do I need to give the benefit of the doubt?

● Do I need to change my perspective, and with it, my attitude toward them and their role in my life?

● Do I need to remember that God has placed them in my life for a reason?

● Do I need to forgive?

Let us hold onto this truth

1John 5

3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Psalm 34

So, this command to honor… God wants it to go well for us “plans to prosper” (Jer 29:11)

● Why are we commanded to honor? Because, we are not inclined to. The origin of sin. (Gen 3)

● The serpent did not honor God or man; Eve did not honor Adam; neither did Adam honor Eve

● They both, each and together, dishonored God

● It did not go well for them… or, us.

What does honor mean?

● Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

● As He did us by sending His Son

What does it then to honor?

● To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

● According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

● To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?

● A right perspective of God, self, and others

● A right attitude toward God, self, and others

● A humble spirit before God, self, and others

● A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God


...that bears itself out in…

● Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

○ A preferential love

○ A decided love

○ A committed love

○ A staying love

○ A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

○ A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

○ A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

● Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price

When we honor... we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

● We esteem and dignify

● We encourage goodwill

● We choose to love… even the unlovable

● We bring life

● We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

● We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

● We walk out our identity as God’s children

● We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)

Mother's Day-Honor and Forgiveness

Honor your… Exodus 19:3-6; 20:1-17; Eph 6:1-4; Rom 12:10; Titus 3; Col 3 Exodus 20:1-5 God is jealous (He is zealous for us… “His zeal has done this…” Isa 9:6)

Exodus 19:3-6 NIV

3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Exodus 20:1-8 NIV

1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Jealousy is an expression of love and devotion, it is the passion and zeal of love and fidelity. God is jealous for us and our affections and His love will not allow us to have any god beside or before Him…

Yet, strangely enough… God is not jealous of our love and honor for others.

In fact, God’s love, true love of God, demands, that we love others. That when we truly love and honor God, we love others - we love who and what He loves and we love the same

So, a person loved rightly, rightly placed in our heart’s affections, in our acts of kind affection, is the fulfillment of God’s love for and in us, and our loving Him and others His love is made complete. (1John 4:12-21)

It is when we get that person out of place - whether that be beside and before God, or, we love them, not. So, God’s love demands we love Him first, but then in turn, love others and self

Why such a list of explicit commands? Israel was infantile in the ways of God…

It is God’s desire that we grow beyond to live lives marked by Him, His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, having transformed our hearts and minds, to more and more naturally reflect His person, His grace, His love. The commands help guide us there, it is ours to read/hear, know, work out, practice, to obey, and become the very expression of His loving affections - reflected in His commands.

And who are we to love? Our enemies…? (Matt What is an enemy? One who seeks to harm, to destroy, to kill. Why then do we treat those closest to us as though they were the enemy? Why does God have to command us in regard to relationships that are supposed to be loving just as much as loving our enemies?

Because we perceive those closest to us as enemies. To what? What would cause us to do such a thing? Our flesh. Those who truly love us most are perceived as enemies because they war against our flesh - what we, our flesh, wants.

Therefore, God must command and admonish us to honor those closest to us as much as He must command us to love our enemies. He’s speaking to our fleshes’ desire to have what it wants and to do anything it needs to get it… hence commands 6-10

Exodus 20:12-17; James 4:1-7

Exodus 20:12-17 NIV

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal.16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

James 4:1-7 NIV

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Commands, what are commands?

● Commands are God’s expressions of love and affection to us. (Psalm 19; 119; Prov 6:22-23)

● Commands are those things that glorify Him and help us prosper. (2Pet 1; Prov 3:18; 4; 10:17)

● Commands are given to us at our points of most resistance or to that thing we are least inclined to do. “love your enemy”, “do good to those who mistreat you”, “pray for those who hate you”

Commands are the boundaries in which we live until character and value is established…

● We follow the command until it is so deeply ingrained in us and the value it represents is developed in such a way that we now naturally live out or express the character and value the command expresses and teaches - we now live in love - hence: “Love the Lord your God… love your neighbor as yourself… all the law and the prophets hang from these two commands” (Matt 22)

The goal is to no longer live by the commands, but…

● By having followed and lived by them, to have them establish in us the very character of Jesus and the values that he espouses that are represented by the commands, so that our lives now naturally express and demonstrate what the commands point to and have led us to - Jesus, His person, His character, and His attributes. As they, by the commands, are established in us, we are then established in Him.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth empowers and enables us… (2Cor 2; Eph 1; Gal 5; 1John 4)

● This is a life transformed, not just conforming to commands. You see, conforming to the commands is just the beginning, but the true goal is being transformed by the commands (Rom 12) - and this comes by practice, obedience (Heb 6) - tasting to see that the Lord is good, that His commands, precepts, instructions are a delight, sweet to the taste. (Psalm 19; 34; 119:103; Prov 16:20; Jer 17:7; 1Pet 2:3)

So, this command to honor… God wants it to go well for us “plans to prosper” (Jer 29:11)

● Why are we commanded to honor? Because, we are not inclined to. The origin of sin. (Gen 3)

● The serpent did not honor God or man; Eve did not honor Adam; neither did Adam honor Eve

● They both, each and together, dishonored God

● It did not go well for them… or, us.

Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2. So, to honor comes with a promise – that it will go well. And that, we must trust – God wants it to go will for us!

What does honor mean?

● Assign value; to esteem, to see as precious; to fix a value, a price; to revere or venerate

● As He did us by sending His Son

What does it then to honor?

● To esteem, to count as precious, to revere - to respect or admire someone

● According to the intrinsic merit of the one honored

● To love denoting personal attachment – God has made us His children – attached to us

What does honoring demand?

● A right perspective of God, self, and others

● A right attitude toward God, self, and others

● A humble spirit before God, self, and others

● A growing confidence in one’s position and identity in Christ confident of who we are to God

...that bears itself out in…

● Love - an agape love (Matt 22; 1Cor 13; Rom 12:9-10) – as we have been loved by God…

○ A preferential love

○ A decided love

○ A committed love

○ A staying love

○ A love that chooses the good of, what is good for, the benefit of, the object of that choice or choosing to, love (the beneficiary)

○ A love that chooses the good of the one loved even if it does not (seem to) benefit the one loving

○ A love that forgives and keeps no record of wrongs - rejoicing in the truth, it considers the fragility of one loved when assessing that person’s being worthy of our, my, love.

● Honor – as we have been honored by God – seen as precious and valuable worthy the price

Rom 12:9-10 “Love (agape) must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in (brotherly) love. Honor one another above yourselves”

When we honor... we do what God has done for us, even when we were His enemy… (Luke 2; Romans 5)

● We esteem and dignify

● We encourage goodwill

● We choose to love… even the unlovable

● We bring life

● We walk in peace - of soul, mind, and spirit

● We are free - no longer controlled by fear or contempt or disappointment

● We walk out our identity as God’s children

● We are free to love and honor… as we have been loved and honored (Rom 13:8)

Jesus honored His...

● Luke 2:39-48-52 Jesus taught to honor, learned to honor (“obedient to them” Eph 6)

● John 2; John 19:25-27 - Jesus honoring His mother

That did not mean that He would allow their misconceptions of Him keep from obeying His Father and His call

● Matt 12:46-48

● Mark 3:21-31

That it might go well with you… to a large degree, everything we are has been accomplished by God through those who brought us into this world…

Jesus came to redeemed it, us, all of it and us.

And for this, we can be grateful

“...all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose…”

Jesus, formed in us, that we would be conformed to Jesus - Joy!

Jesus came to bring peace, that we might live in peace, peacefully.

Peace: Tied Back Into the Whole

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

My average day...

Anxious thoughts - idols, unfortunate points of meditation (another pastor stated) (Psalm 37; 94; 139:23-24; Phil 4:6)

Anxious or fearful heart - overwhelming concern, fear, dread, isolation


Jesus: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“...my peace I give you…”

I offer you peace…


“...I do not give as the world gives…”

I do not offer what the world offers, neither do offer how the world offers

Neither do I give as the world gives, Nor provide peace as the world does


...world...

The ungodly multitude, those alienated from God, who are hostile to the cause of Christ


What is the peace of Christ?

First Himself as peace, the Prince of Peace (Isa 9:6-7)

Second, what He, as the Prince of Peace, can do and why - He has the right and power, ability and authority to (Rom 5:1; Col 1:20)

Make peace, Give peace, Keep peace


How does Jesus give and establish peace? (Heb 2 “made atonement for” or pardoned our “sins” by satisfying the wrath of God toward sin - He, showed us mercy and forgives us our sin when we believed)

Paul: Romans 5:1; Col 1:20 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we a have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ...”

“...since we have been justified by God…”

Declared righteous “I make righteous, acceptable”

Approved - legal - conformed to a PROPER standard - right judicial (authoritative approval)

Cleared of all charges; pardoned

To make, declare, and treat as - worthy


“...and this by faith…”

God’s divine persuasion… (of truth that) God continually births faith in the believer so they can know what He prefers - a strong and welcome conviction (of Jesus) aroused by God

Faith is God’s warranty, guarantee that what He has initiated will come to pass - for the redeemed

Faith is Always received from God, never generated by us (Rom 12:3; Eph 2:8-9; 1Peter 1:2)


“...we have peace with God…”

Reconciled, brought back to God

Tied back into the whole of God

Tranquility of spirit - mind and soul - assurance, confidence

Peace in Christ is in having been declared by God “righteous”, having been made right, innocent of all offense to (God), to be received by, brought (back) into (relationship with) God, accepted, by God, as He has chosen

A position

A state of being

God’s nature, desire, provision (to His children - all who would receive life in Christ)

Kept and sustained by God


So when Jesus says “peace I give you, my peace I leave with you… I do not give as the world gives” He is saying “I have come, I am here, not to condemn you, but to save you (John 3:16-18) - to forgive you of any offenses, to make peace - to make friends with you, me and you and God (the Father) (John 17).


I have come to make things right - I know you can’t, but I can, and I choose to - I choose to - love you, to forgive you, to make peace with you, make allegiance with you, and bring you my way… the way of love and forgiveness, the way of mercy, and grace, the way of peace…


perfect, peace - back into my Father, to me, to our Spirit. Back into the whole. (Gen 1-3)


Why does Jesus have to promise this?

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. (because) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Because, “in this world, there will be trouble” (John 16:33)

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first” (John 15:18)


Trouble:

Pressure that constricts and rubs together; squeeze into someplace narrow; internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined - restricted, without options

Anxiety, burden of heart

The afflictions Jesus had to undergo (and which, therefore, His followers must not shrink from)

Tribulation: Distress: Suffering:

2Corinthians 4:7-9, 13-14, 16-18

“...we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…


14 ...we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself…


16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18No we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”



John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. (because) In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


“...but, take heart…” or Be courageous: of good courage, cheer

Radiate a warm confidence - peace - Emboldened to show courage - God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner-attitude

The Lord has infused His strength by His in working of faith (in-birthed persuasion)

Inner confidence - be confident, undaunted, filled with joy

Why? Jesus has overcome the world… and so will we

He has rendered the world and its power to harm impotent and subverted its influence


“...I have overcome…” (Rev 3:21; 12:11)

Conquered, prevailed, subdued

Deprive (the world) of power to harm, to subvert its influence

Used of one who through christian constancy and courage keeps himself unharmed and spotless from his adversary’s devices, solicitations, assaults

Rom 8:37


“...the world” The order and adornment (cosmetic) of this world - that which covers, conceal the reality

John 1; 3 to make appearance among men, to dwell among

John 12 life on this sphere

John 17 universe, or creation (Eph 2)

Throughout John the inhabitants of the world, the ungodly multitude

But this, is speaking of that which Jesus has victory - over the ways of the world or worldly affairs, its goods, riches, advantages, pleasures, which, although hollow, frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ and all that it offers to entice, to tempt to sin - to go its way, not God’s - all that leads to death


you need no longer must place your hope in the ever changing - as you now have peace…

Peace with God

Peace eternal

Peace now

Peace to come


Peace: then, what is it? In this context, Peace is, peace with God

God has made sure that there is nothing between me and Him, there is nothing that He is holding against me, eternally - having been far away, we have been brought near (Isa 57:18-19; Acts 2:29; Eph 2:12-14, 17)

That I have been brought back and tied (together) with God - and this brings...

“...a tranquil state of my soul. It is assured of salvation through Christ, this peace fears nothing from God and is content with its earthly lot, of whatever that lot might be" (Rom 8:6, 28-39)

This peace describes those who, assured of salvation, tranquilly, peacefully await the return of Christ and the transformation of all things which will accompany that event (2Pet 3:14)


This peace, is a real peace, a true peace, a peace that is not subject to the ebbs and flows of the day, but rises above any circumstance, as it comes from God, the Rock, a God who does not change, the God of peace, and is anchored in His saving love. Our peace is rooted in the truth that my eternal welfare is assured - God has me, He has me.


AND, as Jesus said, this peace overcomes, rises above, has power over...

Phil 4:7 “...the peace of God which transcends all understanding… and the God peace will be with you“


This is peace that transcends, surpasses, understanding or any other thoughts

Beyond, above superior, excel, surpass - as to exercise prominence (superiority over); rise above - so much so that it stands out (overtop)

Take authority, have power over

It is better than - as excellent and of surpassing worth


This peace goes beyond our understanding, as the circumstances we often find ourselves in, merit, it seems, to some degree, anxiety or concern, and yet in light of God and our position in God, it now pales, it gets back in line, it subordinates itself to its proper place as small and of insignificant in the grand scheme - now, whatever it is that might make me anxious, is merely a tool in the hands of a loving Father who promises His children, His beloved, that He work ALL things out for the good of those who are in this love relationship with Him.



Now, how do we experience this peace? Why do we have to ask this? Well, because, most of us don’t experience this peace much, if at all. ‘Cause I don’t always feel at peace… So, if I have peace with God, and that is a permanent position and state of being, why don’t we always feel it?


How do we realize this great peace? What enables us to not just know that that peace is there, but to experience it in the everyday?


First, We have to be sure that it is rooted in something, someone, that lasts, that does not change, that we cannot lose… ...and, so, at the same time, realize, that peace is not in what we think… ...we must come to know that peace cannot be rightly experienced as transcendent if it is derived from anything that we can lose, that can shift or change, or is dependent on my keeping it…


Here’s an example, a warning from the Prince of Peace, Jesus

Rev 3:14-20

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! 16So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

17You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, white garments so that you may be clothed and your shameful nakedness not exposed, and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19Those I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be earnest and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.


Laodicea - had everything, all they could want, and yet Jesus in essence says “you have everything you think you want and need, you are blessed beyond measure, yet, you do not have, neither are you at, peace”

He is saying “This is not peace - as true peace has nothing to do with “things being or going ‘well’” (Ps 37)

True peace is anchored in God’s delight in us, in His zealous and jealous love for us, that is, in fact, jealous of the things of earth that would cause us to think we are at peace only when things are well - duped into thinking that what I have, the way my life is going, determines, peace (Isa



Phil 4:7 “...and guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus…”


So, we can seek peace, we can pursue it - it is ours, we have it as God’s children, but, its realization is fleeting with our heart’s fitful devotion

It is a fruit of the Spirit of God in us - allowing the Spirit to rule, cooperating with the Spirit of truth, in truth - as we walk with Jesus, the Truth (Gal 5:22)

Peace pursued: position, posture, pace, protection, practice - peace (Psalm 34; 1Peter 3)

Position: a child of God. Leaning into, meditating on, receiving daily the truth of our position with God, in Christ, by faith, as a gift of grace - not anything we have done to get or keep, but a gift, an irrevocable position of adoption into His family (Isa 65:17-19; Eph 1&2; 1Pet 2:4-10)

Posture: astonished that God would love “me” this way, we are both humbled by the truth of God’s gracious doing, while standing firm and confident in celebration of salvation with the ears of our mind, heart, and spirit attentive to the Spirit’s whisper of love and assurance. (Matt 5:3; Mark 5:15, 18-19; Luke 8:35; 10:38-42; 1Pet 5:5-7)

Pace: trusting the truth of God’s love, we, with stillness of heart, calmly, slowly, go about striding with Jesus, by the Spirit, in and by His Truth - allowing His peace to reign in our hearts. (Ps 27:13-14; 37:1-7; 40:1; 130:5; Isa 25:8-10; Gal 5:1,5,13,16-18, 22-25)

Protect: our hearts from affections that would distract and debilitate, muting the voice of God’s Spirit within us, inhibiting our hearing; (instead of surrendering to our anxious thoughts), quickly captured, we surrender our anxious thoughts, and present them to God for His healing calm, peace, to descend upon us and defeat those things that stand opposed to God in our minds. (Prov 4; Matt 19:19-34; 2Cor 10:3-4; Phil 4:4-7; Ja 4:3-5; 1Jo 2:15-17)

Practice: a repentant life - a life that continually recognizes the gift of grace received, and, with honor, comes to God for regular cleansing and reconciliation and healing… (Psalm 32; 51; Isa 12; 2Cor 10:3-4; Gal 6:1-10; Phil 4:8; Heb 12:12-14; James 5:16; 2Pet 2:1-15)

Persevere: fix your eyes on Jesus… and run the race with perseverance (Ps 119:165; Isa 26:3; Rom 5; James 1; 1Pet 1; Heb 11&12; Joseph in Gen 37-50; Job; Dan 1&2)

Peace: A Message of Peace (John 16:33)

Perfect peace: rooted and established in an unchanging God whose love is inextinguishable


JOHN 16:33 AMP

33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]

Trouble:

  • Pressure that constricts and rubs together; squeeze into someplace narrow; internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined - restricted, without options

  • ●Anxiety, burden of heart

  • The afflictions Jesus had to undergo (and which, therefore, His followers must not shrink from)

    • Tribulation:

    • Distress:

    • Suffering:

2Corinthians 4:7-9, 13-14, 16-18

“...we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…

13 “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself…

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18No we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Be courageous: of good courage, cheer

  • Radiate a warm confidence - peace - Emboldened to show courage - God bolstering the believer, empowering them with a bold inner-attitude

  • The Lord has infused His strength by His in working of faith (in-birthed persuasion

  • Inner confidence

○ Be confident:

○ Be undaunted:

○ Be filled with joy:

why? Jesus has overcome the world… and so will we

  • He has rendered the world and its power to harm impotent and subverted its influence

  • Maintaining Peace: and so the Christian, who consistently lives out their righteousness, remains effective in His relationship with Jesus, and its peace, by keeping Himself unharmed and spotless from his adversaries devices, solicitations, assaults - the devil. (2Peter 1:1-11)

  • The believer who lives in the righteousness that they are - Jesus in them (Gal 5; Romans 8; 12-14; 1Peter 1:13-25)

Be Holy

13Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” a

17Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. b23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,

“All people are like grass,

and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;

the grass withers and the flowers fall,

25but the word of the Lord endures forever.” c

And this is the word that was preached to you.

What is a life at peace? This is a message (of peace and anyone who would receive life in Christ) for believers - to experience, daily, the peace they have with God (in the present and future)

Complacency vs. peace

The peace we speak of is not the lack of trouble in life or the security in the accumulation of goods and the happiness of strifeless relationships and life, or a season of life devoid of suffering.

But, it is so very important to see, to know, to acknowledge as true, what true peace is and from where it comes…

You see, peace, more than anything, is the tranquility of heart, a true and actual contentment whether having little or much.

This peace is anchored in a surety in the midst of strife, a certainty in the midst of suffering - a joy, not necessarily in what is now, but that which will come, and is coming - seeing up and over, to and through - though present in it, seeing through what is to what will be, and persevering in it knowing, trusting, that God, our Father, by and through the merciful and gracious work of the Son, by and with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit - our comforter and encourager - will certainly use all present things “for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes”

What does this matter - now? What good is this peace? Why would both the Psalmist and Peter implore us to seek and pursue it? Why is Jesus the Prince of Peace, who came in peace, announced with peace? Why did Jesus promise, peace, and kindly offer peace, and implore us to be at peace, to have peace?

What does peace do? This peace permeates…

God and His promises, the anchor of our soul (Heb 6:13-20; Psalm 62:5; Rom 5:5) - This peace transcends by permeating every aspect of self and identity - this peace rests in Jesus - as our being His gives (our) life and its happenings context, reason, and purpose for every experience and circumstance - for my very self and those around me.

If we are able to see our life’s timeline and be honest about the shortness of our time, in the context of the hope we have for eternal life in and with Jesus, it changes our perspective…

We are longer slaves to (fear of) death, in fact, what we have to look forward to is far greater than the best of what we have today (and, how seldom do we have and experience what we would consider “the best”?!)

Romans 8

Life Through the Spirit

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

9You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life d because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of e his Spirit who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the flesh, you will die (1Cor 11:30 “sleep”); but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. f And by him we cry, “Abba,g Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Find Yourself, Find God

Psalm 139

We are fearfully and wonderfully made, we are known.

He knows our inmost being...and that’s good!



The journey of finding ourselves

  • God, lovingly, through the Holy Spirit guides us to our true identity in Him.

  • He helps us to know and love ourselves as He knows and loves us.



As we learn to love ourselves, we learn to love others better.

Ephesians 2 and 4

  • We grow in compassion and understanding for others, appreciating the God-given interests and gifts and the amazing diversity of the world and the Church

  • We grow in unity in the body of Christ

  • We live out Christ’s mission more fully, TOGETHER!



Being ourselves does not mean doing whatever we want.

  • The Holy Spirit’s conviction is good (John 16). It is God’s love.

  • We need boundaries



Returning home to our true identity as sons and daughters of a loving Father

The Prodigal Son - Luke 15

Both of the sons lost sight of their true identity as beloved sons of God. The Father reminds us who we are, and invites us over and over again to return home to loving relationship with Him as he shapes us into the one He created us to be.


God: providence: grace: faithfulness: The uniqueness of who we each are

God has made us what we are, on purpose, everything about me (Psalm 139).God is making me what I am - creating me to be like Jesus, not to make a different me, but to make us, me, a redeemed, new, fresh, me, that, more and more, resembles, reflects, looks, sounds and acts, like, Jesus. Eph 2:8-10; 2Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Ezek 36:26-27

If God is Providential and wise in His intentions… God will do what is specific to me, for me, to guide and use me, or else He would not have made me, the way He’s made me, me - and this, not for me, but Him, which, as it so happens, is for me. This is not about “self-interest”, but, His interest, and, His being interested in, me. As, having seen God, having been loved by God, we are moved to being used naturally by God, as God has made us what we are, naturally, and is making us what we are, spiritually Ez 36:22-38; Ps 23; Prov 4:11

We would do well to see...

...that we naturally go about kingdom work as an innate or natural expression - pure and holy, unassuming and without pretense, without a lot of worry or fanfare - when we just live as God has made us and is (still, now) making, or, creating us - as the self we have been made to be and the Jesus into which we are being created Ja 3:13; 1Pet 1:15-16; 1Jo 3:3

So, we ought to relax just a little…

Be who you are, as who you’ve been made to be, and be righteous - being what He is making you to be. Trust that God will give you the desires of your heart, which are the essence of your prayers - when you, having received God’s love - expressed in His mercy, by His grace - now, love God sincerely, (and) love yourself humbly, and love others lavishly. Matt 22; Rom 12

As we position, posture, and pace ourselves with God, in Truth and Spirit, we come to trust that our desires will become HIs desires, so that, when we are inclined to move in a direction and step in places that we believe are right, God will guide, direct, and redirect, our steps and can trust that, very often, it will be according to the way we have been made.

So, plan your way, step out in faith, go with confidence, as God has not only made you as you are, and is creating you to be More, but, has promised to guide your steps and answer your prayers and work all “for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose”! James 3; Prov 16; Eph 2; Rom 8

He is not surprised at who you are or what you’re becoming… as He has “created in Christ Jesus” and “prepared works in advance for us to do”, and that, with us, me, in mind - who I am, who I am becoming, what I am, where I am, and who I am with - in the context of where He has me… as I am, as He has made me, the way He has made me. Eph 2

He has made us and is creating us, He knows. God, who is working in us, wants to work with us. He’s made us as we are in giving us the inclinations, and with those, we have a purpose. It is ours to join his sanctifying work by redeeming our inclinations, the person He has made us to be, and aiming them at the kingdom. Certainly, there are desires of the flesh that we are not to indulge and entertain (Gal 5; 6). Wisdom teaches us which is which (Prov 1;2;6;8). To help us understand when this is a matter of self-interest, or, God’s interest.

What appeals to us is a function of the way we have been made by God (Prov; 1Cor 12). It is ours to join Him in the redemption and purifying of what we are, as to be used as who we are, as having been made what we have been made to be, as He is making us to be – Jesus.

To go where God wants us to go may be more natural than it may seem, God knows who we are – He made us – and guides us according to that making.We may be thinking “how can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing”. Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We sometimes forget that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, Do I forget that (He) is creating me and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? “…we are God’s workmanship…”(Eph 2:8-10)

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 139; Psalm 91; Gen 16:13; Dan 4:35; Isa 10:15; 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer 18:6; Rom 14:4

Woven together - 139:3-16 Fearfully and wonderfully made

1 You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, a God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

Grace apportioned as He has seen fit…

We have been woven together, by God, each and every thread, and this, on purpose - purposely and purposefully. Whenever we begin to pick out one thing, pull out one thread, we are telling God that what He has done, what He has ordained, is wrong, and what He would do with us is wrong, and He was mistaken about what He has made me to be and to do. When we do this, we risk no longer being able to be used in that area – as that thing we have discounted or picked at or put away is no longer at our, or God’s, disposal.

● 1 Cor 12:7, 11, 18

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

● Eph 4:7-8;

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.8 This is why it a says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

● Heb 2:4

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

● 2 Tim 2:20

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Understanding that it is God who works in us:

Matthew 5:3 “blessed are the poor in spirit…

Romans 12:3 “…do not think more highly of yourself and you should…”

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your a faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, 16, 19 “God so loved the world… This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… God is love… We love because He first loved us.”

Romans 5:8 “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 12:1, 3 “In view of God’s mercy offer your body…, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

Philippians 2:3-5 “…think of others as being better than yourself, …have the same attitude as Jesus, …a servant…”

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Phil 2:13 “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

James 4:10;1 Peter 5:6 “…Humble yourselves under God‘s mighty hand… humble yourself… and he will

It is not ours to say such things about ourselves, but it is God who speaks this of us. Our recognizing that God dignifies us is not a matter of arrogance or inappropriate pride, but in fact, this is a most humble recognition of what it is that we have been made to be, and what is He is making me to be.


God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Rom 8:28-29; Phil 1:6; 2:13)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who i have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son”

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

And that includes what appeals to me - what I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this is done as I cooperate with Him, by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, He who is Truth, Jesus. (John 14:6; 1John 5:6; Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)

As I grow in Christ, though I am still the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward what is pleasing to God and the Spirit that is in me. So that what appealed to me before (and still may to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it did before.

It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…

...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.

It’s a little bewildering, actually.

But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19)

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, as a grow in Christ, I go, and as I go, I go as I know and understand, and as I go, God steers and corrects and redeems and redirects and uses, me. Together Him and me, we.

Inhibited worship, service, fellowship with others occurs when we despise her holding contempt how and who we have been made to be and the attributes that make us who we are.

Who we are, what we’ve been made to be, is combined with the placement in the body, the circumstances we find ourselves in, the station and stage of life we find ourselves.

We underestimate God‘s desire for us in regard to loving and being loved as we have been designed.

God’s Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirected: Sincerity of Heart: a heart directed needs only its feet redirected Acts 10; 11; 16:6-10; Psalm 20; James 3; 4…

God’s Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirected: Sincerity of Heart: a heart directed needs only its feet redirected Acts 10; 11; 16:6-10; Psalm 20; James 3; 4… So we need not fear of making the wrong read, the wrong move, doing the wrong thing. Remember: God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom. – He is not looking for perfect rightness, but right-heartedness – sincerity of heart (that is) continually submitted to Him.

1. God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7) “when the Spirit of truth, comes,

2. God can and does direct, redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21) “to man belongs…, …

3. God makes“… (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)

4. God is close to and rewards a sincere heart (Psalm 20; James 4; Heb 10:22-23)

“…give you the desires of your heart and make all your places succeed.”

“How do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...What if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.” Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.

Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 5:6:1-10). It says “....

What is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to trust Him enough to obey. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience. (Jo 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3), so that even we go a way that God has not intended, He will respond to my responding to His love and loving commands, with my loving and trusting obedience to Him. This is ; these are not perfect hearts, but hearts positioned to be perfectly used - sincere hearts are rewarded by God by His Spirit’s guiding…

  • Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

  • Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

  • Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

  • Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

  • Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

  • Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Eph 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 139; Psalm 91; Gen 16:13; Dan 4:35; Isa 10:15; 29:16; 45:9; 64:8; Jer 18:6; Rom 14:4

Woven together - 139:3-16 Fearfully and wonderfully made

1 You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

5 You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, a God!

How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.

Grace apportioned as He has seen fit…

We have been woven together, by God, each and every thread, and this, on purpose - purposely and purposefully. Whenever we begin to pick out one thing, pull out one thread, we are telling God that what He has done, what He has ordained, is wrong, and what He would do with us is wrong, and He was mistaken about what He has me made to be and to do – is wrong. When we do this, we risk no longer being able to be used in that area – as that thing we have discounted or picked at or put away is no longer at our, or God’s, disposal.

1 Cor 12:7, 11, 18

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Unity and Diversity in the Body

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by c one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Eph 4:7-8

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.8 This is why it a says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Heb 2:4

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

2 Tim 2:20

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Tempered by:

Matthew 5:3 “blessed are the poor in spirit…”

Romans 12:3-8 “…do not think more highly of yourself and you should…”

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your a faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Philippians 2:3-5 “…think of others as being better than yourself, …have the same attitude as Jesus, …a servant…”

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

1 Peter 5:6;James 4:10 “…Humble yourselves under God‘s mighty hand… humble yourself… and he will exalt you.”

5 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

God’s Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirected: Sincerity of Heart

God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom. – He is not looking for perfect rightness, but right heart-ness – sincerity of heart (that is) continually submitted to Him.

  • God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7) “when the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth”

  • God can and does direct, redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21) “to man belongs…, …the LORD determines his steps.”

  • God uses “…all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes" (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)

  • God is close to and rewards a sincere heart (Psalm20; James 4; Heb 10:22-23)
    “May He give you the desires of your heart and make all your places succeed.”

As I have considered each of the person’s we have looked at in regard to God’s devotion toward us, the question of redirection keeps coming to my mind. I have had many ask me “how do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...what if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.” Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.

Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 5:6:1-10). It says “...for those who love Him…”.

Well, what is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to trust Him enough to “...obey me…”. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience, or, at least, of sin and repentance and continued attempts to obey - life as we know it. Or, more accurately stated - life as we know Him. (John 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3)

What we are actually looking at in the case of Philip, Peter, and Paul (Acts 9-16) is that they were each and all – redirected. Their hearts were sincerely directed to God and by God, it was their understanding and plans of the heart according to that understanding, that needed to be honed – or – redirected. It is important that we see that God was so devoted to them that He obliged. They were all, with sincere hearts toward God, going the way they thought was right, and God, by His Spirit, rewarded their heart’s sincerity by guiding their steps on each of their chosen paths, as each, it would seem, were going according to their bent, or, person – how God had made them and were making them to be.

  • Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

  • Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

  • Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

  • Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

  • Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

  • Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This may be more natural than it may seem, God knows who we are – He made us.

We may be thinking “how can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing”. Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We forget sometimes that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, (He) is creating me, and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? “…we are God’s workmanship…” (Eph 2:8-10)

God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:6; 2:13)

And that includes what appeals to me. What I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, which is, or better stated, Who is, Jesus. (Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)

As I grow in Christ, though I am me, the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward that which is pleasing to God and the Spirit that resides in me. So that that which appealed to me before (and still may in some regard to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it might have before.

It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…

...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.

It’s a little bewildering, actually.

But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19) “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

So, as a grow in Christ, I go, and as I go, I go as I know and understand, and as I go, God steers and corrects and redeems and redirects and uses, me. Together Him and me, we.

God: God's Devotion: Holy Spirit: Redirection

Fear of making the wrong read, the wrong move, doing the wrong thing. Remember: God delights in us and is pleased to give us the kingdom.

1. God loves, leads, and guides (John 16:13-15; Ps 23; 25:5; 43:3: 86:11: 143:10; Isa 26:7)


2. God can and does redirect and redeem (Prov 15:33; 16:1,9; 19:21; Jer 10:23; Gen 15;16; 21)


3. God uses all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes (2Sam 16:12; Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:11)

As I have considered each of the person’s we have looked at in regard to God’s devotion toward us, the question of redirection keeps coming to my mind. I have had many ask me “how do I know what God’s will is in my life?” and “...what if I make a mistake or I’m wrong, I don’t want to miss what God has for me.”

Well, I can’t, we can’t, answer all those questions definitively, but we can at least see the way God tends to speak to, lead, and use His people.

Romans 8:28-30 is actually telling us that God is a redeeming God - taking whatever is handed to Him (seemingly, good or bad) and turning it into good for His children. Now, that is not to say we can just careen through life doing anything we want and it will go well (Gal 6:1-10). It says “...for those who love Him…”.

Well, what is it to love God? According to Jesus it’s to “...obey me…”. The life of the child of God will have the general trajectory of obedience, or, at least, of sin and repentance and continued attempts to obey - life as we know it. Or, more accurately stated - life as we know Him. (John 14:15-24; 15:10; 1Jo 2:3; 5:3)

What we are actually looking at in the case of each of the people we have identified with is that they were each and all - redirected. They were all going their own way, the way they thought was right, and God, by His Spirit, guided their steps on each of their chosen paths. And each, it would seem, according to their bent, or, person.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Proverbs 16:1 To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We may be thinking “How can this be? I don’t always ‘obey’ God or even know what I’m doing.” Well, sometimes, this is where faith comes in. We forget sometimes that everything I am has been ordained by God. Everything. Where do I tend to go? What do I tend to do? What tends to attract my eyes, ears, nose, steps, etc.? Is it not what appeals to me? Do I forget, that God knows exactly how I have been made and did that on purpose, for a purpose? And then, in the remaking, (He) is creating me, and how He made me to be, to now be like Jesus too? (Eph 2:8-10)

God is a redeeming God and when He redeemed me and placed His Spirit in me and gave His truth to me He promised to work with me, to make me, more and more, like Jesus. And this, He has lovingly and wisely chosen to do with me over time - a process - sanctification - as He and I redeem each and every part of me, one part, one piece, at a time, as we go, together. (Ps 138:8; Phil 1:6; 2:13)

And that includes what appeals to me. What I understand as good, as right and just and fair, what is fruitful, what is tasteful and honoring - or - what is not good, wrong and unjust and unfair, distasteful, dishonoring (Prov 1-8). And all of this by His Spirit that guides me according to His Truth, which is, or better stated, Who is, Jesus. (Gal 5:13; Phil 1:10)

As I grow in Christ, though I am me, the me God has made me to be, my tastes, or, what appeals to me, will be refined and re-aimed toward that which is pleasing to God and the Spirit that resides in me. So that that which appealed to me before (and still may in some regard to my flesh) no longer satisfies or satiates like it might have before.

It does not taste quite the same or do quite the same thing for me… so, I go a different direction, I eat and drink different things, I begin hanging with other folks in other places…

...and really, I’m not even sure why, accept that, it, this new thing, intrigues me, it distracts me from what I used to concentrate on, it just “feels right”, it's beginning to agree with my soul, it is beginning to appeal to me, so, I go.

It’s a little bewildering, actually.

But, now, I begin to delight in the Lord and what delights Him. (Matt 7:7-8; 1Sam 15:22; Ps 37:4; 43:4; 81:10; 94:19; 104:31; 145:19; 149:4; Prov 3:12; 11:1, 11; 12:22Is 58:14; 61:10; Hab 3:19)

God always goes before us

God, in His grace, always goes before us. 

We can trust, when invited, it is always His work we are joining. We get to join God’s work, as workers of the “harvest,” (Matt 9:37; Luke 10:2) when we position and posture ourselves to hear the Spirit’s whisper, allowing Him to minister to us, that we might, in cooperation with the Spirit, join Him in ministry and service to one another and mission to the lost to others.

God, working everywhere, all the time…

What is truly amazing is how these following events all occurred without each involved knowing the other was happening - God working all over the place - and our being a part, not only in that moment, but, how God’s working in this moment is intricately interwoven with all the other moments, and that we’re all a part by His Spirit!

Acts 8:26, 29-30, 35-38 Philip had no clue what God was actually doing when He set him on his journey, he heard the Spirit’s whisper, responded to His prompting and went. Philip did not see Gentile or Jew, he was made aware of an opportunity and took advantage of it and went on his way. He didn’t ask any questions, he just went…

...at the same time...

Acts 8:1-3; 9:1-19 Saul, a Jew and Pharisee, and persecutor of the church, would become Paul, now saved and commissioned to be the “apostle to the gentiles”. Even he, would go to Jews first, but would be chosen and commissioned by God to reach into the gentile world (Rom 11:13) - where God was already working.

Acts 10 Peter, the Apostle to the Jews (Gal 2:8) - (the Jews, those) who still believed that salvation through Jesus, the Christ, or Messiah, was for the Jew - is sent by God, to “officially” open the way to the Way for the gentiles to be accepted into the church (by the Jewish church) as they come to believe in Christ.

Act 11:1-18 Peter is confronted and called to explain to the Jewish church in Jerusalem his actions regarding his having gone into a gentile home.

Acts 11:19-21 Without Peter and the other Jewish leaders of the church being aware, the Holy Spirit had already lead believers (after the scattering) into Greek communities to share the gospel and were bearing fruit.

Acts 10 Peter on the other hand…

● Leader and spokesman of the Jewish church, Peter was Jewish through and through and maintained his purity and ceremonial cleanliness his entire life. Jewish Christians would continue to struggle with their ceremonial cleanliness and the role of the Law (of Moses, though now fulfilled in Christ) in their salvation and later the sanctification of gentile believers – including, even after this, Peter (Galatians 2:11-21)

...God’s about to do something new, from old...

This would be a pivotal moment for the young Jewish church as Peter would be given a vision of God declaring all food “clean” symbolizing God’s love and intentions for the Gentile world and their inclusion in the Kingdom of God and the Church.

● Mark 7:19; Matthew 15:1; Colossians 2:16 “For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

● 1Tim 4:3-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

● Ephesians 2:14 Jesus breaking down the wall between Jew and Gentile “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…”

Why is this important? 

Jesus had declared food clean before, but the disciples had not understood the underlying meaning of the declaration - as Jesus was softening the hearts and consciences of the Jews to receive “unclean” or “sinner” gentiles as believers (Isaiah (the nations/peoples)).

● Psalm 67

● Isaiah 11:10; 49:22; 62 “On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.”

● Luke 2:32 “...my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

● John 3:15-18 “...For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

● Romans 15:12 “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations;

in him the Gentiles will hope.”


Why is this important for us to note?

 Because, it is in the midst of everyday life and circumstances that God works and that although each work is significant in itself, it reveals to us that each and every circumstance is woven into God’s omniscient (all-knowing, all-wise) and sovereign tapestry and that each circumstance, each event, has an affect not only those in that moment, but on every each and all this moment touches.

This is as true today as it was in Peter’s day and we need to see this story of God’s moving, working, inviting and prompting in this mundane context because it IS how God works, it is in and through the everyday stuff of life that God invites us in. And, just as important, this truth should relieve us of the pressure of thinking that we “have to do” and help us recognize that it is God’s “to do” and that we have the privilege of being invited to be a part. That is God’s work and He delights in our joining Him in it.

May we then delight in our being invited, being an instrument of God’s love expressed in mercy and grace, hope and joy.

May we delight in God’s truth, Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life and in the Spirit’s whisper – calling, inviting, prompting, working.

May we delight in joining God in His work done throughout the course of the day in the context of the stuff of the day, using us and our everyday circumstances and events to speak His love into the hearts of those with whom we trod, those, in whose hearts He, our Father, is already working, there before us.

May we delight, in God, our Father; Brother – friend, Savior, Lord; and Holy Spirit – advocate, counselor, encourager and intercessor.

Side note:

And in fact, in 70AD God would allow the Temple to be destroyed keeping believers from coming back to their “mecca” as Jesus had declared “true worshipers will no longer come to this mountain nor Jerusalem…” to find God and worship, “...but a time is coming and has now come when true worshipers will worship in Spirit and Truth.” (John 4:21-24) In this, Jesus was now, in every way, establishing the dwelling of God in the hearts of people, removing any possibility for anyone to be tempted to not let go of the “old way” (for the Jews in particular) as to return to what was known.