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A Matter of Faith — Abiding

A living breathing relationship with God, which is what we hopefully have been pursuing, seems to require us to “do this, or do that, or don’t do thus and so”. Believing this makes faith and relationship a formula, a formula we already know doesn’t work. Throughout for years, we have left out the key factor. We have walked away from the one thing that is the absolute. It is not a matter of how any one of us translates the Bible. It is not a matter of my translation and your translation. When I read a sentence that says, the dog walked across the road, then I should without question say, okay the dog is on the other side of the road. But when we read in scripture, “as He is so are we in the earth” we somehow want to say that is not what it means. Though there are absolutes in scripture, we need to remember the diverseness of God. There is only one absolute dear readers, the only absolute is God! For me to say that I am going to study theology is a bit of a silly notion, knowing that theology by definition is the study of God. I am not sure if any of us can do that. Please call me the minute you get God to sit under a microscope for you and let you probe on Him. He won’t sit still for us church. He is God, He is absolute. What kind of study would that be? The universe as we know it is ongoing, there is no end to it, it continues to grow. Science says that it is still expanding even as you read this page. Yet God says that He measures the universe with the span of His hand. How long would it take to study that? How long does it take to know God? How do you study God? You don’t study God! The concept of theology is an admirable thing. We want to learn more about the Lord, so we study the scriptures diligently. Everything we know about God is what He has revealed to us, and that revelation is our intimacy with Him. This chapter on abiding is what the Lord has revealed to me about how we fit in that relationship with Him. As you know Him better, He can reveal more of himself to us and we can have deeper knowledge and better understanding. Take a look at 2 Peter starting in Chapter 1:2-8

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What we know, He has revealed, to draw us closer to Him, to bring us to a place of abiding(living) in Him I write this to expose what an incredible privilege it is to be able to abide in the Lord and to abide in His word.

2 Peter 1:2-8 reveals to us that according to His power He hath given, (past tense) to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, He has given, (past tense) everything that we need to live a holy and successful life through our knowledge of Him. He has called us to glory and virtue. He has already done it! Now what we have to do is obtain the knowledge. He goes on to say that we need to know that He has given to us exceeding great and precious promises. This is where Salvation comes in. We were born again through the knowledge of the Cross. We acknowledge the work of the cross by receiving, not rejecting God’s love. By receiving God’s love we have come to a place that we now walk in salvation. Through the knowledge of Him and the promises He has given us we may be partakers of His divine nature. He has created us to be his sons. This is the purpose and plan of God that we have talked about, the privilege that God has afforded us, not a burden but a blessing. To sit at the feet of our Lord, and let Him reveal to us who He is and what He has for us, for Him to change our hearts, our lives, our minds, and for us to see Him in a new light.

For too long we have grown complacent, for too long we have sat at the feet of a man who loves God, but isn’t God, and we have learned what he believes is “the way”. We have fallen so short. God has so much more in store for us.”

There is so much depth to this, so much substance, so much promise that we have to absorb, embrace, enter into. I am hoping that you will abandon yourself, your mind and your heart to the absoluteness and diversity of God. He is the great “I Am”. He is absolute, and He reveals to us the things that He would have us to know and to understand. He shows us who we really are as we sit at His feet, the Master’s Feet! That is where we hear truth from Him. Would that we would wake up, and stand up and be the Church that we are supposed to be. We would be full of glory, we would be full of power, we would be full of love. We would be full of God and His knowledge. We would understand that He deals with each of us in a unique way that is perfect for the unique person that we each are and that He may deal with the same situation in another’s life in another way, tailored to who they are. As a people we need to understand and respect the diversity of God in His absoluteness. This whole journey for knowledge takes patience and time, it is a journey.

(This is an excerpt from Nelson’s book. More which will be posted soon on his website www.journeysofgrace.com.) 

 Comments: We invite you to submit your article on faith. (500 to 800 words) Send to bettyslade@centurytel.net.

To the readers of this column, several of our faith writers and readers meet each Thursday morning at 8 a.m., whereever they are to pray for these columns and this newspaper. We pray that the writers will have the freedom within themselves to write Spirit and Truth and the readers will receive revelation from God as they read. We invite you to join us in prayer, in your stories and in faith. We are so thankful to have this opportunity to share our faith.