Pursue Love

The LORD has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.
Isaiah 52:9

You are loved perfectly by God because of the righteousness in which Jesus has clothed you. So God accepts us. He loves us, not because of our works, but because of Jesus’ perfect works.
So why read your Bible? Is it because you want to know God? You have this desire deep within you to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him. How did that desire get into your heart? Isn’t that desire a result of God giving you a new heart through the work of the Holy Spirit? He gives you a new heart that loves Him because He applies Jesus’ saving work on the cross to you.
How does He do that? Did you see this new heart floating through the sky into your life? It’s a mystery. He does it through His Holy Spirit. We see the results, but we don’t know the how. We don’t know the nuts and bolts of it.
Again, why do you read your Bible? It is to know our Savior, and our God better, but when we read our Bibles, when we spend time reading about God: about His person, His holiness, His perfections, we learn about His work in the world, creation, His acts of providence all through history. We learn of His work in saving us, keeping us, watching over us, and protecting us. We learn of the future He has planned for us to be with Him, that we will be able to express perfect holiness when we are glorified, that the curse of sin will be totally and finally done away with.
When you are done reading your Bible and praying, don’t you walk away strengthened in your faith? You walk away fortified against sin. We’re not drawn to sin as we were before because our love for God has increased over our love for sin.
How did this happen? Is this some sort of self strengthening? Is this done in our power? 1 Corinthians 2 says that God’s spirit has to reveal spiritual truths to us, or we won’t see them. We won’t understand them. We won’t perceive them. Isn’t it God working in you to strengthen you as you commune with Him through reading His word?
This is why we call things like Bible reading, prayer, worship, and fellowship means of grace. We speak of feeding on His word, feeding our spirit is what we mean. These things are means: paths or ways that God communicates His grace to us, and He has given them to us for that purpose. They are the ways that God empowers us against sin and strengthens us in our relationship with Him. . . .
God works mysteriously in our lives, all the time, in ways we don’t understand, and that we can’t explain, but we know that He does.
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:12-13
Many times, most of the time maybe, we’re not even aware that He is working in our lives. But He is.
Morning Sermon, March 5, 2023, Reverend Tim Rackley

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