TODAY’S DEVOTION (FRIDAY 26TH May 2023)**
“For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. 1 Corinthians 5:7-11 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 146th DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS & WONDERS!
Today is the last Friday of the month of May 2023, and the last weekend also. The LORD has been faithful to us. He has been our help. Daily He has been loading us with benefits. We have been surviving by His breath and His mercies, they have been the reason the enemy had not messed us up!
Day unto day we have witnessed His marvelous help. To Him belong all the glory in Jesus precious name. Amen!
The primary purpose of God’s word is to enforce His will in our lives. The Bible says;
“For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 AMPC
Indeed, the word of the LORD has production of effect as its inherent power. In other words, the inherent power in God’s word has a way of producing effect in the lives of those who give it the attention it deserves.
God’s word to us this month had an intended effect that it was designed to produce in our lives, and that effect was (or is) to move us from a faith and patience of the saints that lack purity to a faith and patience with purity.
That is the will of God that all we have heard, and will hear, was sent to implement in our lives. Today, being the 26th day of the month, we will be looking at something that many of us overlook when it comes to the purity of the saints; and that thing is Judgement.
Sadly, people fear that word, consequently, very few people know the power of understanding God’s judgment. Satan’s greatest attempt is to make sure we have no knowledge of Judgement so that we will always be at the receiving end of it. But the Bible says judgment was originally committed to sons.
THAT MEANS WE CANNOT AFFORD TO BE IGNORANT OF WHAT HAVE BEEN COMMITTED TO US.
If Eve had understood judgment, she would not have fallen into the trap of the devil or the seduction that brought us to where we are today. She would have seen through his lies and deceit and resist them steadfastly.
People who understand God’s judgment on sin, iniquity and trespass lead consecrated lives. Their understanding forms the foundation of their walk and talk with God. If they happen to fall into sin, they do not grandstand but move to the threshing floor immediately to begin to ask for mercies from the LORD. That was the difference between David and Saul.
The first time I studied both lives I was shocked to find out that, unlike David, Saul had no moral issues, so long as sexual purity was concerned. He had only one wife and five children. He had a perfect marriage and a clean home, so long as Royal Scandals where concern. But David was different.
He was caught by God Himself in the sin of Bathsheba. If you are looking of incest, rape, murder and all kinds of sibling rivalry in Israel in their days, you do not need to go very far. Just look at the house of David. But in the beginning, it was not so. He was a young holy warrior of righteousness, who walked in purity and holiness. That was when he killed the giant, conquered the army of Saul that was after him, and became king over Hebron, then over the entire nation of Israel. But once he sat on the throne, comfort brought in corruption, like it is doing to many of us today who have labored and no longer fight poverty.
Now, despite how filthy David’s life was, Saul was rejected and David pardon when they both sinned against GOD.
What made the difference was their understanding of judgement; David understood God’s judgment but Saul had no revelation knowledge of it, hence treating the warnings of the LORD with disdain.
If you do not understand God’s judgement, even when you are about taking an action that will remove you from your throne for generation, or send you to hell eternally, you will feel nothing about it. You will just do it easily, thinking God will forgive you, and not execute the consequences of your actions on you, according to established sentences in His word. In fact, your evil deeds will not be evil in your sight.
SADLY, THAT IS WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES TODAY AS CHRISTIANS.
We now put on evil deeds like a necklace, and walk proudly despite our sins and wickedness, saying we are humans, and that everyone has weaknesses.
Adultery, fornication, hypocrisy, deception, divination, heresies, hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, evil speaking and abominable practices like same sex marriages and intercourse have become a way of life. We have lost a sense of God’s judgment on such wicked deeds.
Some of us know that the things are bad but we kept doing them because we do not have the revelation knowledge of what will befall us at the end as we keep doing them. That was where Saul found himself. Even when the kingdom was taken away from him because of what he did and the verdict from the mouth of Samuel, God’s prophetic finger, was pronounced on him, he never bothered. If it was David, he would have responded with a fast. People who know God’s judgment tremble at His word. But those who do not, grandstand.
Concerning Saul, the Bible says;
“Saul waited seven days, according to the set time Samuel had appointed. But Samuel had not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from Saul.
So Saul said, Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do]. And just as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came! Saul went out to meet and greet him.
Samuel said, What have you done? Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were assembled at Michmash,
I thought, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. So I forced myself to offer a burnt offering.
And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which He commanded you; for the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever;
But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
And Samuel went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. And Saul numbered the people that were left with him, [only] about 600. 1 Samuel 13:8-15 AMPC
CAN YOU ENVISION DAVID, STANDING BEFORE SAMUEL AND HEARING SUCH WORDS?
He would never have continued with the war, He would have rather followed Samuel home to make peace with God. He would not have behaved like Saul, as if God was not serious. People who understand judgment act differently when GOD speaks.
Now, this story contains the very pattern Saul followed in His relationship with God. He built his life around spiritual pride, arrogance and rebellion. Those are worse than adultery my friend, because they are the root of adultery.
God would finally reject Saul because he rejected the word of the LORD for His life. A people who understand judgement, will not reject the word of the LORD, they will rather tremble at it, and end up not rejected by the LORD.
It is very difficult to actually minister the word of the LORD to a people who do not understand God’s judgment and how severe it can be. They will heap insults at you, call you names, mock at you where necessary, persecute you and make life a living hell for you. But the presence of the LORD will always be there to keep you.
MAY WE NOT LIVE IN A STATE WHERE WHAT GOD IS SAYING NO LONGER MATTER TO US!
There was a generation of Israel that was in that state and the end was a 70-year period of being under captivity. The Bible says;
“And the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent to them persistently by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
But they kept mocking the messengers of God and despising His words and scoffing at His prophets till the wrath of the Lord rose against His people, till there was no remedy or healing.
Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or hoary-headed; He gave them all into his hand.
And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s house, of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. And they burned God’s house and broke down Jerusalem’s wall and burned all its palaces with fire and destroyed all its choice vessels.” 2 chronicles 36:15-19 AMPC
This scripture gives us a photograph of what will happen to us on this side of eternity if we continue to lead a Christian life without revelation knowledge of God’s judgment.
If you study the life of David, you will find out that despite all that he did, he still led a blessed life, unlike Saul. His filthy life seemed not to have caught up with him because he was a man who knew God’s judgment, and strove not to fall under it whenever he was confronted. He was swift at repenting. Any time God brought a word to him, he would repent swiftly. He did not live in any sin for long. He abandoned each as soon as God’s word came against him because of his sins.
David’s case was that of the filthiness of the flesh, while Saul’s case was that of the filthiness of the spirit. Saul would later end up with a witch because people who live in the filthiness of the spirit easily become witches and wizards. The Bible called his sin witchcraft. But David, even when he was in the filthiness of the flesh, did not allow sin to reign over him for too long.
HE DID NOT ALLOW REBELLION TO REPLACE REPENTANCE WHENEVER HE WAS CONFRONTED BY THE LORD.
He knew the pathways to the threshing floor, that was why he brought the ark back to Israel; a thing Saul never did for 40 years. David knew how to repent but Saul knew how to regret, and then ask the prophet to still stay with him even if God had left him, so that the people will still be with him.
One day on the threshing floor, David said to God;
“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my guilt and iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You.
Deliver me from blood guiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice).
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering.
My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:7-17 AMPC
Do not forget, Saul will prefer giving Sacrifice instead of repentance through obedience, because he never knew judgment. But David knew Judgment, that was why he said. “the sacrifices of God are a broken heart. A broken and a contrite heart He will not despise.” In fact, David knew when not to bring sacrifices to God.
Now, why are we sharing all these? We have been looking at the sanctification of the body.
THE ESSENCE OF TODAY’S SHARING IS TO TELL US JUST ONE THING.
We cannot keep our bodies away from defilement sometimes, if we do not understand judgment. The Bible made it clear in our devotional text that we will be judged by God for the things we did while in this body. That should worry every one of us!
Paul decided to live a life that was pleasing to God in his days, while living in the human body, because he understood this. That is what you do if you understand God’s judgement on the things we do while living in our bodies.
A major portion of the text says;
“Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, THAT EACH ONE MAY RECEIVE THE THINGS DONE IN THE BODY, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”
Knowing judgment implies knowing the terror of the LORD. Ignoring judgment implies ignoring the revelation of the terror of the LORD. It will be terrible on that day for any of us who are currently using our bodies for sexual immorality or for any of such things that defile the body.
On the day of the second resurrection, all those who died with unsanctified bodies, will be cast into the lake of fire where they, and their unsanctified bodies will burn for ever and ever. The Bible calls that the second death.
I believe enough has been shared for the day; enough to meditate upon over and over.
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR US TODAY!
“Then I saw an angel descending from heaven; he was holding the key of the Abyss (the bottomless pit) and a great chain was in his hand.
And he gripped and overpowered the dragon, that old serpent [of primeval times], who is the devil and Satan, and [securely] bound him for a thousand years.
Then he hurled him into the Abyss (the bottomless pit) and closed it and sealed it above him, so that he should no longer lead astray and deceive and seduce the nations until the thousand years were at an end. After that he must be liberated for a short time.
Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom authority to act as judges and to pass sentence was entrusted. Also I saw the souls of those who had been slain with axes [beheaded] for their witnessing to Jesus and [for preaching and testifying] for the Word of God, and who had refused to pay homage to the beast or his statue and had not accepted his mark or permitted it to be stamped on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived again and ruled with Christ (the Messiah) a thousand years.
The remainder of the dead were not restored to life again until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.
Blessed (happy, to be envied) and holy (spiritually whole, of unimpaired innocence and proved virtue) is the person who takes part (shares) in the first resurrection! Over them the second death exerts no power or authority, but they shall be ministers of God and of Christ (the Messiah), and they shall rule along with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:1-6 NKJV