Posts belonging to Category Insights For Today



God’s Incredible Gift…

God's incredible giftYou know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Acts 10:36

Therefore, since we have been justified (made right with God) through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God Romans 5:1-2

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, (self-righteousness) so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, Hebrews 12:28

AMEN!!!

Is the Bible true? – 3 things you need to know

Is the Bible true – literally true? At a talk I once attended by theologian Tim Hull, he made it simple. He said the Bible is like your town library. If you were to stand in the middle of your town library and say: “is this library true?” ….. well suddenly the question sounds unclear, even pointless.

BibleQuoteOf course the Bible is also a library, a collection of 66 individual books, written over many centuries and situations. We trust its author but question its contents. Some questions I have come across recently include:

  • If Adam and Eve were the first family who did their children marry?
  • Why do the Gospel accounts of Christ’s resurrection differ?
  • Should women be silent in church?
  • Are the numbers and time-periods in Revelation literally true?

The-British-Library

Three facts will help us appreciate the splendid truths of the Bible:

1st – There are different kinds of truth

Let’s return to the library idea. In one corner of the library you may have books of history and yes they are true in that the kings and reigns they describe happened. But on another shelf there are books of poetry… ‘Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women(Song of Solomon 2). That is a kind of “truth” but different, poems are not literally true. Similarly in another room there may be books of Proverbs – wisdom that helps us to navigate our world …. ‘Even a fool is thought wise if he remains silent, discerning if he holds his tongue!(Proverbs 17) is a favourite of mine.  Another kind of truth.

Truths

Pythagoras theorem is true, the Bible is true, and love can be true.
All true – all different

Moreover, in several books of the Bible we will find accounts that are not “true” but have truth within them. Jesus’ parables were obviously made up but for everyone who wants to hear, there are values to live by in these stories of farmers, lost coins, and houses built on sand. And Jesus sometimes used flagrant exaggeration to make a point memorable eg ‘if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out(Matthew 18) – tells us to go to great lengths to avoid temptation, but it is not an instruction.

2nd Some parts of the Bible were never meant to be “true” …
…they record accounts of human faults as warnings, lessons..

Just because something is in the Bible, clearly stated, doesn’t mean it’s for us to follow. Some parts of the Bible are provided as “counter-instruction” ie “don’t do what this person did” Chris Sinkinson explains that “much of the Old Testament is descriptive but not prescriptive”. God does not want us to follow these behaviours, eg the murder and adultery committed by David or the conclusion in Ecclesiastes that ‘life Is meaningless’. But perhaps the best example is in the book of Job where much ink is spilt on explanations by Job’s 3 friends as to why God has abandoned Job. They blatantly misrepresent God – God himself enters the story and states this – but their mistaken speeches are still in the Bible.

And 3rd Some truths in the Bible no longer apply to us
We have to distinguish between instruction to the people then, and what God asks us to do in our different time and different world This is the hardest one to get right.

Paul states clearly eg 1 Corinthians 8, that Old Testament rules on food offered to idols and circumcision were true for people then but are no longer binding on Christians.  We can also see that guidance to slaves and slave-masters, which was appropriate to that culture, has no place in our world (Ephesians 6).

A recent example where most of the church is now in agreement, is on affirming the role of women in all church ministries, which appears to contradict some New Testament teaching. However we know that Paul himself had women leaders as far as his culture allowed (eg Romans 16).

Cultural norms versus timeless truths – the two are not the same.

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In Closing

As well as these principles just described, we need to learn from Jesus’ view of scripture.

Church leader Andrew Wilson states “Jesus is the lens through which we need to read and understand scripture”. We are fortunate to be able to look back at Old Testament scriptures “through Jesus” to give them their full meaning. Jesus affirmed scripture but was not afraid to challenge traditional understandings, not afraid to re-interpret scriptures in ways that people had either forgotten or simply never understood … “you have heard that it was said love your friend, hate your enemies, but now I tell you ….” Jesus effectively caused people to question long-held practices and beliefs …. “Go and learn what this means ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice”. The words of Jesus must always be paramount in our study of the Bible.

Jesus - the lens

The Bible is utterly reliable and dependable. It is the story – yes the true story – of God and his people. An unfolding story in which you and I are invited to take our parts.  It is the inspired word of God but God asks us to keep our brains switched on as well as hearts when we approach it…. How else would you handle a two-edged sword? – Hebrews 4.12.

If you enjoyed this blog try these fresh readings of well-known Bible stories: the Good Samaritan Re-considered;  a Modern Day Prodigal; and a Woman Caught in Adultery

Chris Goswami is Director or Marketing for a Silicon Valley based company and a Minister In Training in the UK Baptist Church. His personal site is www.7minutes.net.

God’s Greatest Blessing…

God's greatest blessingYour word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:105 & 130

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:5-7

Indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord (Jesus) gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:3-6

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:10

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

… to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:25

AMEN!!!

Take One Day at a Time…

Take one day at a time.Consider what God has done: Who can straighten  what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come? As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death. Ecclesiastes 8:7-8a

Jesus said, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

AMEN!!!

www.nuggetsofwisdom.us … spread the Word

LORD spoke out of the storm

The first part of the book of Job we find God talking to Satan. God shows Satan there is no one like Job who is blameless and upright. So, God gives Satan permission to test Job without killing him. Satan then, takes from Job all his wealth from camels, donkeys, oxen, servants, and children. In all these things Job did not sin. Eventually the Lord allows Satan to touch the skin of Job; with painful sores from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. In Job’s suffering three friends come to counsel him to repent because clearly he has sinned.

Job’s friends came over to sympathize and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. (Job 2:11-13)

Now, can you imagine being with your best friends who believe you have sinned because you have lost everything. Now compound it with painful sores all over your body and they come to counselor you. How well would you survive without telling your dear friends to leave? Job in his dialogue to his friends is grieving his lost and wishing he was never born (Job 3:1); actually he curses the day he is born. How, well would we do in the same situation if roles were reverse? Painful sores all over your body or imagine and all day migraine, can you imagine how you would feel about your best friends; thinking they know you best. Memory of my last terrible migraine I pray to the Lord for relief and begged if he could heal me; but then I am a woman in today’s times with Midol. Job lived in the times with natural remedies and traveling doctors I would think. Pain was a natural part of life and you probably grew another heart to deal with family and friends.

Job’s dialogue with his friends took him too many speeches but one speech stuck with me and it was his search for the LORD.

Have you every travel on a road that never got you to where you wanted to go? Each road you took ended as a dead end and you began so frustrated that you just want the day to end.  You’d cried and begged what am I doing wrong Lord?  I’ve gone over and over the directions but I am still lost. What’s the next step? This is a vivid picture of Job’s struggle to get through to the LORD. Job says “If only I knew where to find Him (LORD); if only I could go to His dwelling!” (Job 23:3) Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever found yourself in Job’s place where everything is falling down and you do not know why? What have I done wrong? The Lord says in His word “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

What we think should be happening is different from what the Lord wants to have happen in our life. You can wrestle with Him over each direction in your life or just give in to His prompting. Job’s life is critical and going forward he began to seek God in a real way instead of just following the rules or laws of the land.

In my life right now if I do not hear from the Lord I seek Him with all my heart, soul and mind I do not settle for less. Many in the Bible also sought the LORD when they needed Him.

King David cried out to the Lord in his state of need in Psalms.

O God, you are my God. At dawn I search for you. My soul thirsts for you. My body longs for you in a dry, parched land where there is no water. ((Psalms 63:1)

Job cries from his very soul “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling. But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him.” (Job 23:3, 8)

Wisdom tells us: I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Proverbs 8:17)

The LORD says of captives of sin: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Jesus Christ sought His Father in the garden for help with His mission. (John 17:1-5)

What do these verses have in common? They all have a personal longing to know God in the most intimate form. For why would we seek if it is not to connect to something more powerful them us. The scriptures point us to a relationship with God. David and Job are seeking with all their heart to know God in an intimate union. They are both looking to God for their deliverance instead of themselves. Job was powerful and had all he needed and when he lost everything, he sought God but he did not know where to find Him. When we lose everything do we know the way to the throne of God? Do we need a road map to get there?

The word says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (2Chronicles 7:14)

Job was seeking audience with the LORD: “When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.” (Job 23:9)

The LORD is listening to Job for He has a reply.

For Job the LORD spoke out of the storm “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I lay the earth’s foundations? Tell me, if you understand…” (Job 38)

When we are seeking the Lord in our pain we say things that come out of frustration and ignorance. God doesn’t mention Job’s lost because God is directing Job to His redemptive plan. “Where were you when I lay the earth’s foundation?” (Job 38:4) Job had no answers for God. Job listens on: “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? So you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return… (Job 39) Here God was showing our human limitations in this world to His omnipotent and all-knowing presence in our lives. Job sees that God is faithful in taking care of us and is humbled. God continues to draw Job “will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him!”

Then Job answered the LORD:

“I am unworthy ⎯ how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer ⎯ twice, but I will say no more.”

Job decided not to hold on to his belief that God has wronged him. “Know that God has wronged me and drawn His net around me… (Job 19:6-21)

Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:

“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your right hand can save you. (Job 40:1-14)

God continues His argument that Job is only human and cannot save him or others. We are not spiritual beings that have magical powers to predict and conquer others on our own. God drew Job to show his mercy and grace. God’s love drew Job to find Him and listen to God’s truths in creation.

“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet His Maker can approach him with His sword…Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?” (Job 40:15-24)

Who could possibly fight a behemoth which some say is a hippopotamus. Could we subdue such a creature on our own? No, then how can we assume that are right hand is like God’s; we can’t do anything without the Lord. We must trust the Lord that He knows what is best for us.

God continues to speak to Job in chapter 41 and Job replies in chapter 42 to the LORD:

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)

Job comes before the LORD humbled by God’s words and for the first time really sees God as a formidable adversary to have on his side. God draws Job and Job believes that God is all powerful and then he repents. Not only does he repent but he is given an opportunity to pray for his friends who gave wrong counsel. Job prays for his friends and then offers burnt sacrifices on their behalf. The LORD blesses the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. (Job 42)

Would you like to be a blessed people who through your struggles become victorious?

First see that we are a fallen people who through Adam and Eve were given the curse of sin that keeps us from finding (communion) with the Lord. God in His infinite wisdom devised a plan that would cancel our debt of sin. God sent His One and Only Son to earth to be born of a virgin so that He could grow up among us and then go and die on a cross carrying all our sins. Jesus Christ death and resurrection nullifies our sin and sets us free. The word says “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) When you believe in the Lord the Lord will draw you to himself. You will begin to thirst and hunger for the word and through the scriptures the Lord will convict your heart of sin. Repentance will bring you into the throne room of God and there you will find the Lord and communion with Him.

Thank you, Lord that Job humbled himself before and Almighty God and found forgiveness. Thank you, Father that you drew Job to yourself and offered him mercy and grace instead of wrath. Thank you, Jesus Christ that your life represents hope and freedom from sin and opens the door to communication.

I pray for the unbelievers who do not call you ‘daddy’ who continue to withhold themselves from you; and say that their ‘arm is stronger’. I pray that you will have your way in their lives as you did with Job to bring them to submission under your authority. I pray that they, who have heard about you, will also see your overwhelming presence in their life. Make them lie down in green pastures; make them thirst and hungry for righteousness; and create in them a clean heart O God and renew a steadfast spirit within them. Do not cast them away from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from them. But, restore them, draw them and place within each heart a willingness to serve you. In Jesus Christ name; I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eyes That See…

Eyes that seeHe (God) said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed (saved).” Isaiah 6:9-10

Jesus said,  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:15-16

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. Luke 10:22-23

Paul writes, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

AMEN!!!

God is Our Strength…

God is our strengthPaul writes, Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. 

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (by the living Word of God). For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

AMEN!!!

*** Please pray with me for the healing of my dear friend Mary Stephens from “Right From The Heart Ministries”, Thank you! ***

Our Time on Earth…

Our Time on EarthA person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, Ecclesiastes 2:24-26a

Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city. Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. Ecclesiastes 7:19-20

It is because of him (God) that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

.. so that, just as sin reigned in death (eternal separation from God), so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

Therefore, there is now no condemnation (punishment) for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

AMEN!!!

Victory in Christ Jesus

Victory in Christ JesusSee what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him (Jesus)Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (face to face). 1 John 3:1-2

And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:20b-21

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood (our human bodies) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep (die), but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  1 Corinthians 15:50-54

AMEN!!!

Forgive

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. (Colossians 3:13KJV)

Forbearing means showing patient and unruffled self-control and restraint under adversity; slow to retaliate or express resentment.ᶦ

Forgiving means providing absolution.²

Life is not fair when family fight against family but in all the fighting the scriptures tell us to show patience and restrain our resentment but to provide absolution to others. We need to provide a way out as the Lord did for us.

In the scriptures Jesus teaches us about the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant:

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21-35)

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” Mark 11:26)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37)

We want to be right about everything even if we hurt others in the process. When we are convicted we still want to fight because it is the world’s way. But, we are not of this world the word says with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2) The word says Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (2Timothy 2:22-26)

Jesus Christ lay down His life for us in love. We did not know Him personally but without hesitation He walked down a long and winding road to die on a cross made out of wood for us. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross. (1Peter 2:24a) Jesus Christ did this for us so we could be that debtor who needed to be given an absolution. Why would Jesus do this? So that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1Peter 2:24b) The old plan of the law wasn’t working so God devised a new plan and Jesus Christ was born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7) This was the plan all along to forgive our sinful desires because we can’t forgive ourselves without Jesus Christ shred blood on a cross made with man hands. We needed a Savior to come and save us from our evil desires that were going to be disastrous and a bitter end to our existence. God’s love for His people outweighed any other plan but to send His Son for our sins.

We do not live under the law but we who call Jesus Abba, Father are forgiven. You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5: 13-15) Don’t think because you have asked Jesus Christ into your life that you have a free pass to continue in your sin. The Lord has scriptures all over the Bible that talk of luke-warm Christians. ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.’ (Revelation 3:16) “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.… (Matthew 7:18-20) We are the tree that is planted in Christ who grows good fruit and we will be known by our fruit.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21) For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:13-15) If you have not put to death your flesh and its desires you are not being led by the Spirit but are under the law. The Lord does not want us chained to the law but to be free as adopted sons to the King. Once you taste victory in Christ Jesus you will not want to live like a dead man but to live for Christ. Throw off the old man and live for Jesus Christ as a forgiven son of the Most High God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26) This is what it looks like to walk in the Spirit: Love is patient, love is kind. (1Corinthians 13:4) Peace I leave with you (John14:27), forbearing one another (Colossians 3:13), showing kindness (2Samuel 2:6), full of goodness (Romans 15:14), true faith (3John 1:3), gentleness of tongue (Proverbs 15:4), and maintain your self-control (Acts 19:36).

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1John 1:8-10)

What are the wages of sin? For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

So, you see life without Jesus Christ is no life at all; it is death. But, if you ask for forgiveness in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7)

“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Thank you Father that you love us enough to send your son to be our deposit on a payment so that we can live free of sin. Thank you Jesus Christ that with this free gift you have given me a way out of my sins and all I have to do is say “Father, forgive me.”

Father, I pray for your people who are called by your name that they will turn back to you and be forgiven. I pray that you will keep watch over us and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (Acts 20:28) The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Let us lack no good thing in you. Provide your provisions each and every day Lord Jesus. Makes me lie down in green pastures, make me thirst and hungry for your word, make me have a relationship with my Father God so that you can lead me beside the quiet waters and restore my soul. Guide me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Guide me to church, guide me through the word, guide me to that right occupation, and guide me to a deeper knowledge of you. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Thank you, Lord through my relationship with you and the word, I am not alone you will never leave me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You prepare table in front of my unbelieving friends, family, and co-workers… You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23) In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.

 

ᶦhttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/forbearing
²http://www.thefreedictionary.com/forgiving

The Savior of All People…

The SaviorI, even I, am the Lord (Jesus), and apart from me there is no savior. Isaiah 43:11

And I will appoint him (Jesus) to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure. Psalm 89:27-29

(Isaiah was written 800 years before Jesus) A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lordmake straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3 

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”  Matthew 3:1-3

Paul writes, This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-11

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

AMEN!!!

Press On to Win the Prize…

Press onYou have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4

Paul writes, We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:14-15, 7:21-25a

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-15

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away (getting old), yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (Jesus), since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

AMEN!!!

The Lord Almighty…

The Lord AlmightyWhen I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:1-4

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Isaiah 40:13-15

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. Blessed (happy) are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord. Psalm 89:14-15

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; Psalm 62:8, 11-12a

AMEN!!!

The Way…

The WayIn the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality. Proverbs 12:28

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:5-9a

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples (followers)Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

AMEN!!!

A son belongs to it forever

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31-32) Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believe Him that if you hold to my teachings you are my true disciples. The Lord says that if we obey His words we will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Every word is God’s word in the Bible if you read, reflect and obey these words then this truth will set you free. My time in the word has changed me through the scriptures the Spirit of Jesus Christ has convicted, revealed, and loves me. The truth has set me free to live each day at a time for others and not for myself.

They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:33-36) A son holds to the teaching of Jesus Christ and obeys the truth and is set free and a son forever. But, the man who does not hold the truth and does what he wants is a slave of sin and he has no place in the family. The Son speaks of Jesus Christ and anyone who obeys the truth in the word and repents and believes on Jesus Christ will be free indeed. (Acts 11:21; 17:30)

“I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” (John 8:37-38)  The Jews through the years took on more than was given to them by Moses. We like to add instructions or policies into our church doctrines that are not written in the Bible. So, when someone starts sharing the gospel we are on the offensive because we are no longer following you’re made up rules. You have no room for the true word that was given from the Father; you have only room for your father’s word.

“Abraham is our father,” they answered.

“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does.” (John 8:39-41) These Jews could not see or hear because they didn’t recognize that Jesus Christ was the Messiah for they had no eyes to see or ears to hear. For their love of power and the things that power in detail blinded them to the truth. The word says but their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (Psalm 115:4-8) We will be like these men when we worship rules and regulation within our churches instead of the truth within the pages of our Bibles.

“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:42-45) Again, they could not hear if they wanted to because they lived and breathe the law and their own desires. Because their hearts were far from God they were listening to the father of lies. The voice of Jesus Christ couldn’t get through and unrepentant heart that thirst for law. There are people in our congregations who want to go by the book and normally this book is outside the truth. They will not back down because their way is right and your way is wrong. These people do not know or love Jesus Christ their Father but their love is in justice and their father is Satan.

“Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:46-47) No one could prove that Jesus Christ was in sin. True believers were hearing but the ones who belong to Satan could not hear because their heart was not right. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

Do you belong to God? Or do you belong to Satan?

Do you hear the Father, he calls for you. Do not harden your heart? God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:4-7)

The word says if you believe in Jesus Christ His only Son, (you) shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Thank you, Jesus that I am no longer a slave to sin but a son in the family of God. Thank you, Father for your love for me that you sent your Son to redeem me. I pray for the family of God that we read the truth and obey the truth so that we can be counted as your disciples. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want for anything but you dear Lord. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He makes me read His word and obey His precepts so that you can lead me beside the still waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-2) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10-12) Guide me in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Guide me to the paths that lead me to your truths and great mercy so that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Even though my day is full with struggles and though the people you surround me are your enemies you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house forever. (Psalm 23:3-6) In Jesus Christ name I pray; Amen.