ANOTHER "MUCH MORE" SCRIPTURE: Seeking the Kingdom of God first because our God is a "much more" God. (Pt 15)
We can seek the rule and reign of God in our hearts first, because God is a MUCH MORE God:
Getting our priorities right seem to be an ongoing battle. During our day there are so many things that pull for our attention and time. What are we to do?
The Scriptures tell us not to worry. Our Lord Jesus Christ told us not to be anxious about where we would live, what we would wear or what we would eat. How could He be so calm about making statements like this when there were so many poor surrounding Him in His day and the world is filled with the homeless and hungry today? Easy, He knew how to make and keep the main thing the man thing.
He commanded us to seek after God and His kingdom first and then don't worry about the rest, such as food, clothing, and shelter. How could He make such a claim? Because He knew that our God is a MUCH MORE God.
Matthew 6:30-34 KJV Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not MUCH MORE clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Our God is a MUCH MORE Giver:
Many of us who are mothers or fathers love to buy and give gifts to our children. When my boys were small, I had spoiled them in this way in so much that every day when I came home from work they ran to me overly excited asking, "what did you bring us daddy?"
Sometimes, I felt that my boys took my goodness towards them for granted and that they loved what I brought for them more than loving me. I know that was not true however. When it came to the necessities of life, we always ensured they had plenty of good food on the table. The thought of giving them a stone for bread or a serpent for fish could not even have a place in my mind or heart to do.
I, as so many moms and dads have done, gave the best we had to our children and yet we did so from a heart that was sinful and deceptive. How MUCH MORE will our heavenly Father, who is HOLY and PERFECT give His children the things that we ask from Him?
Matthew 7:9-11 ESV Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
I am somewhat shocked about how the Person of the Holy Spirit is treated and neglected in some circles. In some traditional or conservative churches He is neglected and ignored like He doesn't exist. There seems to be a fear if someone talks to much about the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit they might be branded or mistaken as Pentecostal or Charismatic. One particular group does not have a market on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
However there are those who treat the Person of the Holy Spirit like He is a force they can exercise in, or a toy they can play with at their convenience. They fail to remember that He is God, has always been God, and will always be God, and should be approached as so.
The Person of the Holy Spirt was promised by our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, He is a MUCH MORE gift from our heavenly Father to come beside us, within us, upon us, and fill us.
The gift of the Person of the Holy Spirit is a MUCH MORE promise.
Luke 11:9-13 ESV And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (10) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (11) What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; (12) or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? (13) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
We live in a crazy world of assigning incredible value to almost anything. We all place value on our families, our jobs, our health, our friends, and our possessions to varying degrees. We all love and place value to animals in differing degree.
However, our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that we are of MUCH MORE value than the birds which God cares for and feeds.
Luke 12:22-24 (ESV) And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how MUCH MORE value are you than the birds!
Anyone studying the Word for any time knows that when Adam sinned he died spiritually.
Because Adam died spiritually, we also carried spiritual death until we were "quickened" to life by the Person of the Holy Spirit.
We had death in Adam, but... We have MUCH MORE life in Christ than we had death in Adam.
Rom 5:17-18 (ESV) For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
Another "MUCH MORE" Scripture: Are Christians to judge?
First of all we need to realize there are two words that relate to judgment. The first one means "to cast a sentence," like a judge would do in court. Only God the Father has the right to cast a sentence about our eternal destiny.
The second word for judging is "to evaluate or examine." Our Lord Jesus Christ told us that we would know them by their fruit. This requires a judgment or evaluation according to Scripture. The Word also tells us that we don't judge those outside the church but we are to judge those within the church. We have a responsibility to evaluate one another and hold one another to the faith that is in us.
Gal 6:1(ESV) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
The righteous judgment released by the believers: However, in the end God will use the saints to judge all things.
1Co 6:2-4(ESV) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?
Another "MUCH MORE" Scripture: Are we all important within the body of Christ? What about the less honorable, less attractive, and the feeble members? They are to given MUCH MORE honor because they are MUCH MORE necessary to the body.
1 Corinthians 12:20-23 KJV 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, MUCH MORE those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow MORE abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have MORE abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:20-23(ESV) As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
Grace is much more glorious than the law.
Let's suppose I had two gifts to give to you, door #1 and door #2. And you chose only one, door #1. Behind door #1 was $100,000. You got all excited and thought, "THIS IS GLORIOUS!" You went out and bought a new car and made a down payment on a house. You thought that you had arrived. But you didn't have enough money coming in and over the years the car started needing work which you could not afford. That house you so loved started having things needed like a new roof and a paint job which you could not get done because you couldn't afford it. Pretty soon that new car and new house looked run down and it was no longer glorious. This represents the Law. It looked good at first and it still meant that God was involved in the process. However there is never enough time or money to maintain the law in our lives. We cannot keep up the law.
So you came back and said, "thank you for door #1, but what CAN I DO to get door #2. I responded "oh, it has always been free. You CAN'T DO ANYTHING but ask for it and receive it." So you ask and I open door #2 and there is $10,000,000,000 (10 Billion dollars) behind it. You once thought that the 100,000 dollars was glorious. How much more glory will be on the 10 Billion dollars? You can go into any store and get whatever you ask for because of the unlimited supply you have been given. Now let's go back and apply that to God's grace over God's Law. God's Law is perfect and God's Law if good and sweeter than the honey comb. Let's don't throw out the Law and bash the Law. It was glorious. However, the Law ($100,000) as glorious as it was, could not do for me what God's grace (10 Billion dollars) could do for me. For God's Grace is MUCH MORE glorious.
2Co 3:7-11 ESV Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses' face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, (8) will not the ministry of the Spirit have EVEN MORE glory? (9) For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. (10) Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. (11) For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, MUCH MORE will what is permanent have glory.
Speaking the Word with boldness!
Have you ever had a open door to share the Lord Jesus Christ and deep inside you knew you should, but, there it was, FEAR? Rising up within you from no where was this fear that seemed to shut you down. Confusion started swirling around in the brain about what to say next. And you found that it was easier to say nothing about the cross and our Lord Jesus Christ and just continue with the conversation that was in the emotional safe zone.
Then you walked away feeling a sense of guilt that you missed your opportunity and if that person dies and goes to hell, his or her blood will be on your hands.
Well be of good cheer, because we have been blessed with a "much more" promise that we can speak the Word of God without fear.
Boldness to speak the word of God without fear.
Philippians 1:12-14 ESV I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (13) so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (14) And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are MUCH MORE bold to speak the word without fear.
Paul was in prison, yet still preaching the Gospel message. This imprisonment served to boast the confidence among the believers to proclaim Christ with much more boldness and without fear. This should serve to encourage us to proclaim the Word without fear for we have not just the Apostle Paul as an example but centuries of godly saints that served and preached in the face of persecution.
For He is worthy, for He is worthy, for He is worthy.
To think, that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, decided sometime in eternity past to create ALL THINGS, both that which is visible and that which us not visible.
In that plan God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) decided to create man, and not just create man, but create him in their image. WOW! And in this decision, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), knew that man would act in a decision of rebellion of God's Word and fall from relationship, fellowship, and image.
It was in the heart of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to redeem man even before man was created. WOW!
To do this, the Son of God (WORD) had to take on, become flesh and walk among us and die for us. The One who had a hand in creating all that is visible and invisible now has lowered Himself to be wrapped in the flesh of man.
He died, He was buried and He arose from the dead and the grave. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. He is the radiant glory of the Father. He is high and lifted up. He is much more superior than the angels and has a name that is much more excellent then theirs.
Hebrews 1:1-4 ESV Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, (2) but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (3) He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (4) having become as MUCH superior to angels as the name he has inherited is MORE excellent than theirs.
A better Covenant established upon better promises:
When I read the Old Testament I am amazed that the God of all, the Creator of the universe, the great "I Am" established Himself among mankind. He walked with them, He talked to them, He fought their battles, and He promised His welfare and protection over them. He said that if they would listen and follow His commands that He would be their God and they would be His people.
However, as overwhelming as all of that was, along came the New Testament and God the Father upped the Covenant. He gave us a new and better Covenant than the one of the One Testament saints and followers.
It was a "MUCH MORE" Covenant.
It was a Covenant that moved the priesthood from mere man here on earth, to our Lord Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of the Father.
Hebrews 8:1-7 ESV Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, (2) a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man. (3) For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. (4) Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. (5) They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” (6) But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as MUCH MORE excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. (7) For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
Another "MUCH MORE" Scripture to ponder on:
Hebrews 12:24-26 KJV And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, MUCH MORE shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Let's read that again in the ESV translation for better clarity.
Hebrews 12:24-26 ESV and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (25) See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. (26) At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
It is true that God speaks today. He speaks by the blood that was poured out on Calvary's cross. He speaks through the blood of His saints as they die a martyr's death. He speaks by way of His angels. He spoke His words to Moses who relayed them to the people. He spoke through His Son as He walked on earth among men. But now, God mainly speaks from heaven and from His written Word.
When God speaks to mankind, especially those who are His children, He expects from them the most strict attention. God, the Father and Creator now speaks from a higher and more glorious seat and throne, not from mount Sinai, which was on this earth, but from heaven. Our heavenly Father also speaks immediately and daily through His inspired Word and by the Person of the Holy Spirit, both of which are His witnesses. He does not speak any new thing to men, but by His Spirit He speaks the same Word, because does not change. His voice once shook the earth, but now, He is shaking the heavens.
When God speaks to men the guilt of those who refuse Him is greater and their punishment will be more unavoidable and intolerable because of the two witnesses of His Word and His Spirit. There will be no escaping it or no bearing it. We have a received a kingdom that cannot be moved, shall never be removed, never give way to any new man-made kingdom.
A "MUCH MORE" Scripture to ponder on:
1 Peter 1:6-7 KJV Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being MUCH MORE PRECIOUS than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
"Much More" in the Greek is "polos" (pol-oos'), and it means "many, largely, abundant, far surpassed, and great."
"Precious" in the Greek is "tim'-ee-os," and it means "valuable, costly, honored, esteemed, and beloved."
By the action of fire gold is separated from all alloy, and is proved to be gold by enduring the action of the fire without losing any thing of its nature, weight, color, or any other property. So genuine faith is proved by adversities and trials.
"Though it be tried with fire" gold will bear the action of the fire for any given time, without losing the smallest particle of weight or value. However even gold will wear away by continual use. One day the earth shall be dissolved, but all who did the will of God and remained in the faith shall abide for ever, and his faith shall then be found to the praise of God’s grace and the honor of Christ. God the Father will praise such faith, angels and men will hold it in honor, and Christ will crown it with glory.
God's design in trying or testing His people is for their advantage and not their ruin. Someone asked me what is the best meaning of a trail. A trial, as the word signifies, is a search made upon a man by some form of affliction, to prove the value and strength of his faith.
Our status in Christianity depends upon our faith. If we have no faith then we are not Christians. Our Lord Jesus Christ prays for the apostles, that their faith might not fail. If faith remains supported and strong through the fire, all the rest of the Christian walk will stand firm.
In 1 Pet.1:6-7 we see that a tried faith is much more precious than tried gold. Gold is the most valuable, pure, useful, and durable, of all the metals. Likewise, faith is the same as gold within the Christian's life. In both gold and faith, the fire brings about a purification and a separation of the dross. Gold does not increase and multiply by trial in the fire, it rather grows less. However, faith is established, improved, and multiplied by the fire and trials of oppositions and afflictions that it meets with.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.