The One Fundamental Truth That is Life Itself

Forget everything except the One who was executed on a stake as a criminal.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Are you aware of a growing desire for your every word and thought to please the Lord? Are you becoming conscious of the Lord’s response to your every word and thought?

Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul and take root as the Spirit of God brings them to life.

The words of the wise are like goads…like nails firmly fixed.

Eccl 12:11-12 – The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (ESV)

Words…
Given by one Shepherd.
Beware of anything beyond these.

Read the text again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.

What thoughts and questions and emotions arise?
Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?

The words of the wise are like goads.
Goad: A sharp-pointed stick used in driving oxen. Any driving impulse; prod into action; urge on.1

Words. Driving impulse. Words. Prod into action. Words. Urge on. What words drive you and me? Do we pay attention to the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart?

Words. Collected sayings are like nails firmly fixed. They are given by one Shepherd.
Shepherd: To tend a flock, pasture it; to rule; to associate with as a friend.2

Like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. Beware of anything beyond these. There is no end of making many books, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Flesh: Body, person.3
As opposed to Spirit.

Words given by one Shepherd. Beware of anything beyond these.

Chew upon these words. Turn them over and over in your mind and allow their significance to be absorbed by mind, body, soul and spirit.

Perhaps we are far too distracted by too much information so that we lose touch with the one fundamental truth that is life itself.

I would forget everything except Jesus the Messiah.

1 Cor 2:2 – for I [Apostle Paul] had decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Yeshua [Jesus] the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal. (CJB)

Forget everything except Jesus the Messiah
And even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.

Why is it so crucial that we know and remember and treasure this one detail?

The life I now life.

Gal 2:20-21 – When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too; so that my proud ego no longer lives. But the Messiah lives in me, and the life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me. I do not reject God’s gracious gift; for if the way in which one attains righteousness is through legalism, then the Messiah’s death was pointless. (CJB)

I was too!
Executed on the stake
When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal.
I was too.

Am I aware? Are you?
Do you and I live as though our proud ego no longer lives?
Or are we living an illusion, unaware of who we truly are?

The Messiah lives in me.
The life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had.

Do I? Do you?
Does our life reflect this same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had?

Until this becomes our identity, we won’t know truth and life.

I have set the Lord always before me.

Ps 16:8-11 – I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)

I have set: to level, equalize; to resemble; to adjust, counterbalance, be suitable, compose, place, yield.4

I have set the Lord always before me
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
You, Lord, will not abandon my soul.
You, Lord, make known to me the path of life.

In your presence there is fullness of joy

Delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.

Acts 2:23-25; 32-24 – this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. (ESV)

Exalted at the right hand of God
Having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit
He has poured out this promise.

Yield and live according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:3-8 – For what the Torah [Law] could not do by itself, because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one [but without sin]. God did this in order to deal with sin, and in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human nature, so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants. For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom [peace]. For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God’s Torah — indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God. (CJB)

Pause and experience the breathless beauty of the Lord God’s loving act on your behalf. Become aware of the opportunities it opens for you.

Identity.
Who we identify with influences how we run our lives.
Identity.
Who we identify with determines who controls our mind.

When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, you and I were too!
The Law lacked power to make our old nature cooperate with God.
God sent his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one, but without sin.
In doing this God executed the punishment against sin in human nature.

Old nature. New nature. The divine nature of God and his Son. Which nature do you identify with? How do you run your life? Which nature controls your mind?

To be minded/set the mind: mental inclination or purpose.5

Is setting the mind an act of our will? Or is it a yielding, an acknowledgment that we have been set free from our proud ego and independence, set free to have our minds controlled by what the Spirit of God wants, so that we have the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God did, because he loves us and gave himself up for us? When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, you and I were too.

Identity.
When the Messiah was executed on the stake as a criminal, I was too!
I do not reject God’s gracious gift [Messiah and Holy Spirit].
I receive them, welcome them, surrender to them, having the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God did.

Embrace Christ and be embraced by Him.

Phil 3:8-11 – Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant — dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ — God’s righteousness.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. (MSG)

Read the text again.

Do you identify with the longing and the pursuing that apostle Paul describes in this text? What have you let go so you can know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself?

Forget everything except the One who was executed on a stake as a criminal. Pursue the one fundamental truth that is life itself. The Messiah lives in you and me.

The life I now live in my body I live by the same trusting faithfulness that the Son of God had, who loved me and gave himself up for me!

Forget everything except the One who was executed on a stake as a criminal. Find your identity in him!

Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response from your inner depths to surface. What do you discover?

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.

Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Seek his strength. Seek his presence. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.

Inhale. Hold it. Identify with it.
Exhale. Surrender to it.

You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand Gods words, to discern the thoughts and intentions of your heart, to seek the interests of Jesus Christ and not your own.

Inhale. Embrace Christ.
Exhale. Be embraced by Christ.

With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.

With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself.

Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)

I gave up all so I could know Christ personally

Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)

So I could go all the way with him to death itself.

Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive and reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah, in death and in life.

As you receive the Word of God into that deepest place of your being, the Lord God is rescuing you, he is loosening your bonds to your old nature, he is delivering you from your illusions and foolish boasting. Through Jesus, our Messiah, God is gradually transforming you from within, revealing who you really are, becoming one spirit with him.

Inhale.
Exhale.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Webster’s Dictionary

2Shepherd: OT:7462 <START HEBREW>hu*r*<END HEBREW> ra`ah (raw-aw’); a primitive root; to tend a flock; i.e. pasture it; intransitively, to graze (literally or figuratively); generally to rule; by extension, to associate with (as a friend): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

3Flesh: OT:1320 <START HEBREW>rc*B*<END HEBREW> basar (baw-sawr’); from OT:1319; flesh (from its freshness); by extension, body, person; also (by euphem.) the pudenda of a man: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

4I have set: OT:7737 <START HEBREW>hw*v*<END HEBREW> shavah (shaw-vaw’); a primitive root; properly, to level, i.e. equalize; figuratively, to resemble; by implication, to adjust (i.e. counterbalance, be suitable, compose, place, yield, etc.): KJV – avail, behave, bring forth, compare, countervail, (be, make) equal, lay, be (make, alike, make plain, profit, reckon. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5To be minded/set the mind: NT:5427 <START GREEK>fro/nhma <END GREEK> phronema (fron’-ay-mah); from NT:5426; (mental) inclination or purpose: KJV – (be,  be carnally,  be spiritually) mind (-ed). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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