By the Mercies of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes;

Romans 12:1:
I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

This is the opening verse of scripture of the prACTical side of Romans. This verse begins explaining to the Christian the how or means to truly begin walking with God in the knowledge and understanding given to the believers in the first 8 chapters of Romans.

Mercy means that judgment has been withheld, judgment that is rightfully due and should have been pronounced, has now been denied us by God Himself. This is why we can honestly present our bodies to God. The body means our inner self with all our frailties, hopes, and dreams. We are currently equipped in the joyful knowledge of being risen to a new life with Christ, a life that can be lived without condemnation, clothed in God’s own righteousness and standing. It is only by the mercies of God that we may be so bold as to fearlessly present ourselves to the Judge of all Who acquitted us of all sins, endowing each believer with the mercies of and from the Creator of life.

In Old Testament times, sacrifices were presented to God at the Temple, slain and offered on behalf of man’s sins and shortcomings. However, by God’s mercy, Christ became our substitute and sacrifice for our sins in order that we may humbly present ourselves to God a living sacrifice, standing shoulder to shoulder with Christ, who was slain for us and now he is our risen Savior.

We currently have God’s love which is inseparable from our hearts (Romans 5:5) because in Christ we are genuinely holy and thus eternally acceptable unto God. Presenting ourselves holy and acceptable is a reasonable service and can only be enjoyed and realized by the mercies of God that He has placed upon our very lives.

Please – No Condemnation – OK? (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

It is unfortunate and ironic that after some Christians become saved they begin to condemn themselves for either a sin committed 20 years ago or the one they committed this morning before breakfast. This propensity towards self-condemnation is within our nature, hence the difficult time accepting continual forgiveness in Christ. In I John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, he {our loving Heavenly Father} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Forgiveness is as close to us as simply asking our Heavenly Father for it and then accepting that we are cleansed from all unrighteousness.

In Romans chapter 7, we have an interesting verse of Scripture that sheds light on this subject:

Romans 7:19:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Wow, does this verse sound familiar to you at all? Often the state of affairs of many Christian men and women who desire to do good for the Lord is unsuccessful ― they try, they fail, and they try and fail to be good again and again. The average Christian panics and tries to find and then practice works of repentance to cover up for their sins and shortcomings in order to feel good enough to walk again with God. Nevertheless, he or she keeps on Romans 7:19-ing, and so a cycle begins that appears will never end with continual condemnation. Sometimes entire lifetimes can be consumed in this endless dilemma that all too often then becomes a way of life.

All this confusion and mental anguish over condemnation and sin comes about by not realizing that God not only forgives but that He also totally forgets; it is only we that choose to remember what God has forgiven, forgotten, and cleansed.

John 3:18a:
He that believeth on him {on Jesus Christ} is not condemned. . .

And, if we are not condemned, then, the truth is ― we are not condemned. By the way, this is why we have a Savior!

Jesus took our sins, our condemnations, our shortcomings, and our faults to his cross and buried them there at Calvary (John 1:20 and I Peter 2:24), yet man feels so inadequate at times, that he tries to dig them up and cloak himself with his old nature (see Romans 6:4 and Colossians 1:20–22). But by doing so, he denies to himself his new life and nature in Christ, which is given to shine forth from his inner heart (see Romans 8:1–18, II Corinthians 5:17, and Colossians 1:27; 3:1–2).

John 3:18a (The Amplified Bible):*
He who believes in Him {Jesus Christ} [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him {the believer} there is no rejection, no condemnation ― he incurs no damnation].” Well, praise the Lord!

Too many Christians do not believe what Jesus came to do for them (or have never seen this section of Scripture above) and imagine that God is angry or, at the very least, upset with them, and fear John 3:18b is written to them, though it is specifically addressed to unbelievers:

John 3:18b (The Amplified Bible):*
. . . But he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him {Christ}) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

Many Christians become indoctrinated with relentless teachings of hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation and begin accepting the second half of John 3:18 as their lot in life, all the while refuting the freedom from condemnation received through Christ’s redeeming work. This relief from condemnation should reign supreme in the foundation of our soul, as we believe on the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 32:1:
BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 103:12:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Well since God has forgiven us and cast our sins far away, then this should be our outlook as well. So what can be done that will help us remember that we are in the graces of our loving Heavenly Father? Thank God, for the Epistle and doctrine of Romans, for Romans covers this inner conflict of utter, self-inflicted condemnation in detail, giving believers an out, a refreshing way to break this tedious and often endless cycle of life-draining condemnation.

Romans 8:1a:
THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . .

This verse does not say, “There is therefore now condemnation,” but, “NO CONDEMNATION” and this is the will of God. Condemnation also means judgment, for there is therefore now NO judgment, and thus no fear of judgment to anticipate either now or in our future from our loving heavenly Father (see Romans 5:9, and I Thessalonians 1:9–10, 5:9). Believing this places us with them which are in Christ Jesus and permits Christ Jesus to genuinely be our Savior from condemnation and judgment. Knowing this and this alone can help make our lives free. By no means was God wasting His time having Romans 8:1 written to us because it cost Him everything, including enduring the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to free our lives from condemnation and to redeem our lives back into the loving and forgiving arms of our Heavenly Father. Rather than thinking on condemnation, on the sin nature, and on our inadequacies, let us ponder on a wonderful section of Scripture that is spiritually awe-inspiring from the Amplified Bible:

Philippians 4:6–9 (The Amplified Bible):*
-6: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
-7: And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
-8: For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think and weigh and take account of these things [fix your mind on them].
-9: Practice what you have learned {from the above} and received and heard and seen in me {for the above is what the Apostle Paul thought on in his mind}, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

In verse 6 above we read, continue to make your wants known to God and only someone who does not harbor condemnation in his heart will have the boldness and confidence to ask God with a believing mind in expectation of truly receiving.

I John 3:21:
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

I John 5:14–15:
-14: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Once our petitions are offered to God freely without condemnation then we will begin receiving whatsoever we ask! We are currently heaven-bound and have been freed from condemnation to enjoy the eternal graces of our Creator. These things we can relish in the heart of our hearts and don in our minds because this is the truth of the Scriptures and “thus saith the Lord!”

So, Please – No Condemnation – OK!

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

“Oh Lord, What Shall We Do?” (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

After someone becomes saved and is a Christian, the first thing he or she usually does is start looking for something to do, something to practice. Thus, the question arises, oh Lord, what shall we do? I know that some may think, “Oh, here it comes, this is when they will start asking for money, penance, and works (tons of works).”  Nope . . . ! Sorry, cannot oblige anyone in that way.

After you have believed and confessed in your heart, Romans 10:9-10, the first thing that God asks you for is to receive and enjoy His many blessings. It is God’s healing Word that shows you His divine presence (and presents) as you come to know the love that He has placed in your heart and life. In order to understand and enjoy all God has given may take a little time and patience on our parts as God slowly and delicately begins revealing His true characteristics to the heart of our hearts. Truly a miraculous miracle has taken place in your life because you have passed from judgment to grace, from a child of the world, to a child of God. These are some of the things that God wants you to know and thoroughly understand, and believe me, this takes patience.

So where do we learn about those things that God would have us know, and how can we learn to appreciate them once we know of them? We learn from God’s Word, and our appreciation will grow as we learn to accept the grace of God in our lives. This is the simplest, and best (biblical) answer I know. Still, where is His Word? The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) is His Word, and in His Word contains healing (Psalms 107:20), spiritual understanding (John 6:63), and direction (II Timothy 3:16-17).

Specific sections of the Bible are written and addressed to specific people, situations, and times (ages), and without this knowledge, tremendous confusion can arise. The first, the very first thing that is specifically addressed to the Christian of today is the Epistle of Romans. In the first eight chapters God lays out in detail how far man has fallen, and how high God through Christ has raised the believers from their fallen state. The first 8 chapters magnificently conclude with:

Romans 8:38-39:
-38:  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
-39:  Nor height, nor death, nor any other creature {in other words, there is not anything that} shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord {and Christ is in you: Colossians1:27}.

Oh Lord, what shall we do? Today as we live our lives and go about our daily business, let us begin enjoying the truth that nothing – absolutely nothing whatsoever shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ, and Christ is in us.

The Desires of Your Heart

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 37:3 – Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Trusting in the Lord is the first step in receiving (from God) the true inner desires of your heart. Without trust, one cannot really believe in God to answer their prayers. “Thou shalt be fed” means that God meets your personal needs, and it is His delight to do so “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Psalms 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall {absolutely} give thee the desires of thine heart.

First we trust in the Lord, and secondly we delight also in the Lord, and because of our delight, joy, and excitement it will presently be God’s pleasure to give us the desires of our hearts.  The above Scripture not only says that God will give us the desires of our heart, but that He also can place a desire into our very hearts, and then show us how to receive it.

There are times in life when we may not even know what is the best way to turn; often we are not even sure of what we are good at, nor do we know how to achieve our goals. However, Psalms 37:4 says that God can even give us “the desires of thine heart” meaning that God will first give us an actual desire, and then He will see that it comes to pass according to our believing.

Psalms 37:5-6:
-5:  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it {the desires of your heart} to pass.
-6:  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

“Thy righteousness as the light” means that you will feel wonderful and totally deserving, shining with effervescence because you have received the desires of your heart. “Thy judgment as the noonday” means that because you indeed did trust, delight, and commit your ways unto God, you are entitled and completely deserving to receive the desires of your heart from Him.

When God gives you the desires of your heart you will know without any doubt that you are living in the warmth of the light of God’s noonday, for then you will be enjoying the abundance of His blessings!

Trusting in Jehovah

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 37:3:
Trust in the LORD {Jehovah}, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Trusting in the LORD, Jehovah is the first step in receiving (from our God) the true inner desires of our hearts. Without trust, we cannot really believe in Jehovah to answer our prayers. Thou shalt be fed means that the LORD supplies our personal needs, and it is His delight to do so “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

Psalms 37:4:
Delight thyself also in the LORD {Jehovah}; and he shall {absolutely} give thee the desires of thine heart.

First, we trust in the LORD, and secondly, we delight also in the LORD, and because of our delight, joy, and excitement, it will be Jehovah’s pleasure to give us the desires of our hearts. The above Scripture not only informs us that Jehovah will give us the desires of our heart, but that He also can place a desire into our hearts, and then shows us how to receive and achieve our goals.

You see, there are times in life when we may not even know the best way to turn; often we are not even sure of our talents, or why we were put on this Earth, let alone have the desire to accomplish goals. However, Psalms 37:4 reveals that Jehovah can even give us the desires of thine heart meaning that He will first give us an actual desire, and then He will inspire us with focus and direction to start us on an action path so that our desires can come to pass.

Trust this, the LORD Jehovah will never give you a desire that you are unable to pursue in life, rather it will be something that specifically you will love to do and you will love to fulfill the full potential of that desire.

Psalms 37:5-6:
-5: Commit thy way unto the LORD {Jehovah}; trust also in him; and he shall bring it {the desires of thine heart} to pass.
-6: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Thy righteousness as the light means that you will feel wonderful and totally deserving and shining with effervescence because you will receive the desires of your heart and truly enjoy them. Thy judgment as the noonday means that because you indeed did trust, delight, and commit your ways unto Jehovah, you are entitled and completely deserving to receive the desires of your heart from Him.

When Jehovah gives you the desires of your heart, you will know without a doubt that you are living in the warmth of the light of Jehovah’s noonday, in the sweet spot of life being in the favor of the LORD, for then you will be enjoying the abundance of His blessings!

Psalms 37:40:
And the LORD {Jehovah} shall help them {believers}, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

In the Old Testament times since Moses, Israel began to truly understand that God wanted a real heartfelt relationship with them so intimate that they would know him as Jehovah. Moses partnered with Jehovah and led Israel into the Promised Land of milk and honey.

Deuteronomy 8:7-9:
-7: For the LORD {Jehovah} thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
-8: A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
-9: A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

Jehovah helped Israel by parting the Red Sea and allowed them to pass through on dry ground (Exodus 14:21-22).

Jehovah’s personal relationship with Israel was so palatable that when they believed on His presence, He helped Israel by feeding them with manna (Exodus 16:35, and in Psalms 78:25, manna is called, “angel’s food”).

Jehovah helped Israel by giving them quail in abundance (Numbers 11:31-32), and He gave water that flowed abundantly from desert rocks (Exodus 17:6).

Jehovah helped Israel by proving to them that He was watching over and protecting them, by surrounding them with the physical signs such as the cloud in the daytime and a wall of fire in the nighttime as evidence of His presence (Exodus 13:22).

Often at night in Sinai, the temperatures could drop down to below freezing, and the wall of fire gave the children of Israel not only a feeling of protection but also warmth. As well, the cloud by day would keep the soaring heat down, which normally rises to an average of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. We suspect that every place Israel walked for forty years maintained a constant and comfortable seventy two degrees, night and day, this in a land that was considered as hot as a sweltering iron furnace: “In the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace” (Deuteronomy 4:20, Jeremiah 11:4).

The children of Israel began knowing Jehovah and His personal help, daily seeing His wondrous works (Psalms 105:38-45).

Jehovah’s relationship with them became so magnanimous that He even kept their clothes and shoes mended (Deuteronomy 29:5), and sickness almost became a forgotten memory during the entire forty-year journey over to the Promised Land of milk and honey (Psalms 105:37), and this was their reward for partaking in the LORD’S Passover.

Nehemiah 9:21:
Yea, forty years didst thou {Jehovah} sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.

Yet Moses even with his great understanding of Jehovah, only had glimpses and shadows of his Savior to teach, and this was true with all of the Old Testament Prophets who taught and wrote the Scriptures. Each Prophet added more unique revelation of the coming one, and Jesus did fulfill all their combined foresights of revelation in the Gospel age relating to his first coming, and paved the way for his second coming as the Lord of lords and King of kings.

Today in comparison, we have the benefit of having in our possession the whole of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and New Testament.

In the first century, with the personal presence of Jesus Christ, he finally and fully declared God’s wonderful name, and showed Israel the ultimate manifestation of Jehovah’s loving relationship through his own life’s example. Jesus was the representative of Jehovah’s heart and love (John 3:16) beyond what anyone ever knew, and today we are certainly blessed:

Matthew 13:16-17:
-16: {Jesus is speaking} But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear {emphasis supplied}.
-17: For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men {in the Old Testament times} have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them {while today we see and hear}.

As Israel recognized and experienced the presence of Jehovah in the Old Testament times, we today may experience a continual relationship with Him. Jesus, being much like Moses who was a deliverer of the chosen of God, is a much greater deliverer, for he enabled anyone, anywhere in the entire world who would simply believe to receive eternal life.

What inestimable value and benefit to know for a surety that we not only have eternal life but also our reserved seating at heaven’s throne!

Jesus (who is already at the throne, interceding for us) is the subject of Scripture; he is our true spiritual fountain of life-giving water offered by Jehovah. Jesus reveals the caretaking qualities of God as Jehovah to the searching hearts of men and women who come to Jehovah through him.