He Will Present You Faultless

Do you ever feel nervous about appearing before the judgment seat of Christ? Maybe you are more than nervous. A better word might be tormented. Usually the Christians who struggle with this the most are not the ones who are careless about sin. They passionately love the Lord, desire to be obedient to Him, and are … well … perfectionists.

Some of us have been taught about our future audience with the Lord, that all our acquaintances from this life will be in the grandstands, watching and listening, as the most mortifying things we ever did, said, or thought are announced over the loudspeakers. Sister Eunice will now know, for the first time, what we really said about her in private. Every vile thought will now be on display. Never mind that we’ve already confessed our sins to the Lord and repented of them. Never mind that He has forgiven us. Nope! Still all there at the judgment seat — the shame to be relived again, as if we haven’t already replayed our personal This is Your Life in our heads dozens of times while on earth!

We know from Scripture that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” and we will give an account of ourselves before Him (2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 10-12). 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells us our deeds and motives will be tested by fire. Those with eternal value will survive unscathed, as gold, silver, or jewels would. We will receive a reward for them. Fleshly ones will be burned up, like wood, hay, or straw. (Who wants to keep them anyway?)

But, what else does the Bible say about this day before Christ’s throne? The Lord paints a very positive picture for us:

Jude 24Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

1 Corinthians 1:8Who shall also confirm you to the end, so that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:5No deceit was found in their mouth, for they are without fault before the throne of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 —  And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body would be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He Who calls you, Who also will do it.

Hebrews 2:11For both He Who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Ephesians 5:27That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Colossians 1:21, 22And you who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.

1 Corinthians 4:5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, Who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

There will be no shame at the judgment seat of Christ for those of us who are tenderhearted in our desire to grow in becoming like Jesus, who endeavor to live for Him, not willfully continuing in sinful ways or attitudes. We will receive praise from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and the invitation, “Enter into the joy of your Lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23).

He has assured us, “And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). He also said of the person who repents, “None of his sins which he has committed shall be mentioned to him” (Ezekiel 33:16). He said, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Remember, while under the Old Covenant of the Law sins were only covered, under our New Covenant in Christ our sins are washed away, not to be dredged up and paraded before our eyes (or anyone else’s) again.

So, let’s look forward to our meeting with the Lord. If there is any wood, hay, or straw remaining from our life on earth, we will be grateful to be totally freed of it. This is to be a day of joy for both Jesus and us. He will present us faultless and blameless before our Father, greatly rejoicing to do so.

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peace of mind

 

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

personal prophecy

 

 

The Spirit-Filled Guide to Personal Prophecy,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Getting Our Eyes in the Right Place

Higher perspectiveThis is a time when possessing spiritual understanding is a key factor for effective intercession and maintaining our inner peace. What is really happening around us, and what does God want to do about it?

A few days ago, I dozed off during prayer and had a split-second dream. It was very simple, and most of the revelation I gained was by looking into it further and inquiring of the Lord. Here’s how it went:

I saw a handful of pebbles being tossed into a mud puddle.

Not much to go on there! But I know that when I doze off in prayer, the quickie dreams I have are usually from the Lord, so I thought upon the dream and asked Him for understanding. Pretty soon, I was seeing more:

I could tell I was on a downward incline, looking toward the mud puddle. I now realized the pebbles had been tossed from behind me, but I didn’t see the person who tossed them. 

As I asked the Lord for the interpretation, He said, “I’m trying to get your attention. I’m back here. I’m behind you.” I then remembered that before I dozed off I had been praying about some very serious national events taking place, as well as troubling personal concerns. As I continued to ponder the dream, I realized that the mud puddle represented all those cares I had been bringing before the Lord. I had been looking downward, into the muck, instead of having my eyes fastened on Jesus, Who was above me on the slope. He was letting me know that He was there with me, behind the scenes, and that I needed to get my attention back on Him.

By throwing the pebbles into the mud puddle, He was also indicating that He was tossing His input into the mess I was praying about. Now, that’s a lot of revelation to get out of what started with, “I saw a handful of pebbles being tossed into a mud puddle.” The key was peering into what I had seen and patiently inquiring of the Lord what it all meant. He supplied the rest.

I have drawn on that dream in the days which have followed, reminding myself to look up toward the Lord, rather than focusing on the current muck we’re dealing with.

There are many voices harping insistently at us to focus on the circumstances, but we must put our hands over our ears and quit listening to them. Some of those bombarding voices are from the news media. Personally, I do not waste much time watching or reading editorial news. Most of it is not in sync with the Spirit of God, so why bother?

There are also certain prophets who have a tendency to release fear, doubt, and outright panic into God’s people — and that bothers me. The basic message goes like this:

“All this terrible stuff that is happening is the work of the devil.” [Yep! So far, so good.] “PRAY, saints, PRAY! Because if you don’t pray hard enough and long enough, the devil is going to WIN and we will LOSE!” [Translate that, God will lose.]

The message is not one of victory, but of fear. It dishonors the Lord by implying that God and the enemy are equally capable of winning the conflict. It also places all the burden — and blame — upon intercessors’ shoulders. Sadly, we’re buying into it. But the truth still remains: the battle is the Lord’s. We must not forget that. Ever.

Yes, pray. But don’t pray out of the panic these misguided prophets or your favorite news commentator are trying to create in you. Ask the Lord to give you His counsel, and pray what He says. We all need to calm down a bit so that we can hear Him.

Also remember that no matter what the current crisis is, the Lord is throwing His input into it, just like He was casting the pebbles into the mud puddle in my dream. Don’t look down the slope at the problems. Look up, behind you, where the Lord is standing, unruffled by what we see in the natural. Why? Because He knows what He is going to do about it.

Yes, the devil is unleashing havoc, but the Lord of Hosts is pulling the strings behind the scenes. He strategically uses what the enemy intends for evil to bring about righteous changes. This is God’s pattern, and we can look to Him with confidence that He will accomplish His purposes as we pray.

Do pray diligently. Just do it from the place of knowing Father’s heart, asking for His clarity of discernment. And do it without fear, knowing He is in control, and there are many of us out here praying along with you.

He will have His way.

________________________________

intercessor handbook

 

 

The Intercessor Manual,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

intercessor questions

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

If You Have Children or Grandchildren

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family devotions

The Invitation

The Name of GodI have been on a journey the last few months — a journey into the deeps of knowing the Lord. You may ask, “How is that unusual or new? Haven’t you talked about this a lot already? Weren’t you doing this before?” Yes, but it seems He thinks I haven’t yet scratched the surface, and I know He’s right. There’s more.

It started with Him saying, I want you to know My name.” In my obtuseness, I inquired, “Which one do you mean? There are so many!” I don’t think He was necessarily speaking of a particular name in the Bible, so much as knowing what His many names hold — the revelation of His nature.

He is I AM, and that encompasses volumes. Years ago, while I read about the first time He revealed Himself as I AM, in Exodus 3:14, He whispered, “I AM whatever you need.” That has stayed with me through the decades. I have drawn on it often.

But this time, it is not so much about knowing Him in multitudes of ways as my provider. It is about seeing into the core of Who He is. He wants to reveal His innermost nature, part of which involves His commitment to meeting our needs, but that’s only a portion. And it’s not just for me, but for all of His children who desire to know Him more deeply. We operate on such a low level of relationship with Him, don’t we?

Somewhere along the journey, He brought Jeremiah 9:23, 24 to my attention, and I can’t get away from it:

This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; neither let the mighty man glory in his might. Let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD Who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight,” says the LORD.

Think about this for a moment with me. The One Who humbles Himself to even look upon the things which are in heaven and earth (Psalm 113:6) actually invites us to understand and know Him. This is what we are to glory in — the privilege of sharing in the deepest, most intimate friendship with Him! The sovereign Lord of the universe says, “I want to reveal My innermost Person to you.”

As I’ve been meditating on this and telling the Lord over and over, “I want to understand how You tick; I want to know You like I’ve not known You up until now,” He continues to beckon and encourage, “I want you to know Who I am.”

Where will that go? Where will it take the one who responds? I haven’t a clue. I only know that He wants to reveal Himself to greater depths than we have yet experienced. It is the yearning of His heart. Ultimately, we will enjoy complete, unbroken fellowship with Him. Paul said, “Then I shall know [Him] even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). John said, “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). But we don’t have to passively wait. We can begin now. There is no possibility of exhausting the levels we can go to in knowing the Lord.

I invite you to pursue understanding and knowing the Lord more deeply than you have up until now. Even better, He invites you. Will you take up His invitation? He is waiting with His heart open wide.

____________________________

Names of God

 

 

The Names of God,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

God's nature

 

 

Before Whom We Stand:
The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God
,

by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

Are You Influenced by the Political Spirit?

I’ve been concerned for quite some time about the influence of the political spirit upon Christians. While it is most easily seen during election years, it rears its ugly head at various other times as well. It’s currently surfacing a lot in opinions about the Covid-19 crisis, but it shows up in other discussions too, such as immigration or social justice.

This post is sort of a “Part Two.” Discerning the Political Spirit, written a couple of years ago, acts as my “Part One.” That post explains a lot about the political spirit. Today’s post goes on from there.

Here are some ways the political spirit affects people, including believers:

It causes us to be hardhearted.

Ephesians 4:32 tells us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted….” The political spirit causes us to put our “convictions” ahead of kindness and tenderness. Mercy and compassion take a lesser place, because being right becomes paramount. Often those convictions are not biblical principles at all, but opinions we have absorbed from various secular sources with a political agenda behind them. When we take in enough of them, they become part of our worldview. We might think that worldview is unquestionably biblical, because we’ve heard influential Christian leaders speak the same things — but that could be because those leaders have unwittingly become influenced by the political spirit as well.

An example of how this plays out can be seen with the current controversy over how the Covid-19 crisis should be addressed. We hear a great deal of talk about constitutional rights. Preserving constitutional rights is important. However, if we forget that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are for everyone, not just self, it could be a sign that we’re influenced by not only selfishness, but the political spirit. When one’s own rights and wants become more important than caring for the welfare of others, we’re missing the second great commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

It polarizes people.

We should never get sucked into a false unity. Light and darkness cannot mix. However, the political spirit will cause unrighteous (and unnecessary!) division between believers. Factions form. Paul attempted to correct this attitude in the Corinthian Church:

Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you…. For it has been declared to me … that there are contentions among you. …You say, “I am of Paul,” and “I am of Apollos,” and “I am of Cephas,” and “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? …. (1 Corinthians 1:10-13).

We see this every day, from arguments about governmental policies to theological disputes on matters which aren’t about foundations of the faith.

It promotes finger-pointing.

The devil is “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). Unfortunately, too often we cooperate with him! Mudslinging is part of political campaigns, and the political spirit will lead you into that behavior in other arenas too. It has a lot to do with those convictions I mentioned earlier, which are really only opinions.

It fosters pride.

This goes along quite nicely with finger-pointing. We feel so strongly about our position that we assume everyone who doesn’t see it the way we do is less spiritual, asleep at their post, or just plain stupid.

Could it be that those of a different opinion are seeing from an angle we have not yet considered? Can their perspective and mine dovetail together for a more complete picture of the truth? The political spirit attempts to blind us to such possibilities.

It diverts us from Christ and the Gospel.

The political spirit sidetracks us onto temporary tangents, consuming our thoughts with current events which have little to no bearing on eternal matters. We become earth-bound, consumed with anxieties over what will happen if “our side” does not carry the day. Jesus is not mentioned very much anymore. Sharing the “good news” of our viewpoint takes the place of sharing the good news of the cross.

In his book, The Discerner, James Goll comments,

Particularly in these days of instant social messaging, we need to be alert to the influence of the political spirit around us. We have to work hard to keep our focus on God and not on the troubling and divisive contemporary issues unfolding around us, lest we react to them by joining the toxic fray, rather than being part of the solution. While we should fulfill our civic responsibilities and keep a level head while participating in our representative government, the best thing we can do is to pray and intercede in order to break the power of the demonic political spirit that causes divisions, animosity, and strife.(1)

How do we break the power of the political spirit off of our minds?

1. The first step is recognizing its influence over us.

2. We repent and renounce it, asking the Lord to deliver us from it.

3. We determine to, once again, “Seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1, 2). That might require more time reading the Bible and less time reading or listening to the ideas of men.

The Lord will free us, if we ask. He will also help us know where to put our energies in the future. He will give us the wisdom we need to escape the deceptions of the political spirit.

________________________

(1)  James W. Goll, The Discerner (New Kengsington, PA: Whitaker House, 2017), p. 148.

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inner peace

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World,
by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

character education, Bible study

 

River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus,
by Lee Ann Rubsam
(Bible character education study for adults and teens)