Thoughts- -Love of God or the World?

1 John 2:15-17
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

Man cannot be in love with the world and be in love with God at the same time. You cannot love two things that are in opposition with each other. If you love the one, then the only other option is to be an enemy of the other. The love of one will make the other to be put in second place adn in a role of less importance. So man is left with a choice to make. Will he choose the most incredible love and grace that is too much for him to even imagine; or will he choose to live a life of sin and distance from the God who loves him to have some short-lived "fun"? Man's life must be transformed so that he may be holy and pleasing before God. If he lives a life that is of the world, his life is faulty, adn void of any meaning or purpose at all. He has not found a life that has been planned out for him since before the dawn of creation, the life that is better that anything he could plan out on his own. The man that lives for himself will boast about his accomplishments, his strengths and what he has done- out of his own pride. The man that lives his life before God, in surrender, brokeness and humility will boast about what the Lord has done in him and what the Lord has so graciously allowed him to be used to do, the surrendered man longs to bring glory to the name of Jesus, and not of his own. When a man can be used to bring glory to the name of Jesus, to expand the Kingdom of heaven- then his life is of more value and honor than the man who is well known in the eyes of men for his own talents and what he has done on earth. You're given gifts and talents so that you may respond to Jesus and use them to His glory. Those gifts and talents that God gave us are totally meaningless if not used for His work. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of the Lord lives forever.

Thoughts on Isaiah 61

Isaiah 61:1-3
"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."

In effect, what He is describing is the human condition and the need of every man- which is to be fulfilled by Jesus. Every man is in someway poor. We all experience brokeness of heart, we all at one point in our lives are captive to something; every human being without Jesus is a prisoner to sin and the flesh and living in darkness. We all grieve, mourn, have shame and guilt that needs to be erased and healed. Man is desperate for an answer to their problems, and the answer is Jesus- He is the only answer, the only way. This passage is about healing- mentally, emotionally, and well as spiritually and physically. When we come into contact with Jesus a great exchange takes place in the Spirit realm. He gives us everything He has and is- and we are supposed to give Him not only everything we are, but even what we are not. He takes our weakness and gives us strength. We give Him our sin, and He gives us His righteousness. He is willing to give us beauty for ashes, but we must be willing to give up our ashes. We cannot live in the past and press into the future at the same time. Isaiah 61 is a prophesy that was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and was later fulfilled in Jesus. In Luke 4:21, it says, "Today this scripture is fulfulled in your hearing." To fulfill is to make something complete, finished, done with. All of these things were completed and fulfilled by Jesus. No longer is there any reason for us to live in fear, captivity, anxiety or shame- the work of Jesus is done, forever and always. We can live in the fulness of God's love and heart. To live in His favor means that He will bless you even though you do not deserve it, if you put your faith in Him. God wants us to enjoy life and live in His abundance. With His favor, we will walk in right standing before God and men. His people will be symbols "oaks" of strength and righteousness. Standing firm, and planted by God to display His glory.