I’m forever grateful

You did not wait for me⃒ To draw near to You⃒ But You clothed Yourself ⃒ With frail humanity⃒ You did not wait for me⃒ To cry out to You⃒ But You let me⃒ Hear Your voice calling me⃒ And I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ For the cross⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ That You came⃒ To seek and save the lostᶦ

We don’t realize all that Jesus Christ has done for us. We take Jesus for granted for His birth, His ministry on this earth, His walk of shame, His death and then His resurrection from the dead to be seated on the right hand of God. We don’t see the whole picture of His sacrifice for us. We go to church on Saturday/Sunday and we play this part in a show called ‘Church’. We take our position in the seats as the Pastor/Priest/Preacher/Reverend play their part in your life. We perform our part with finesse and as leading lady/man we excel perfectly in our role but we are lacking the conviction that there is more to this life with Christ then church.

But, you say you are a ‘Christian’ that you go every week or at least once a month to church. Just, because you are filling up the seats at church doesn’t make you a believer in Jesus Christ. It’s what you do when you are not at church that shows who you really are. The word says ‘you will know them by their fruits’. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  (Matthew 7:16, 19-20) Fruit is a visible sign of the power of the Holy Spirit working in you. When you have a relationship with Jesus Christ it will show in your life as the ‘fruit of the Spirit’. (John 15:2-8, 16) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and temperance.  Against such things there is no law. ²⁴Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22)

When Christians come to know the Lord through their conversions we still have our sinful nature even though we are now forgiven. (Romans 8:6-8) We have a struggle with that sin whenever we come in contact with the thing we love more than God. Are we going to submit to that sin to God or allow the sin to continue in your life? That is why so many people say we have a battle field in our being for good or bad. The word says therefore, since we are surrounded by such a ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, ²fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ³Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff shall comfort me. (Psalm 23:4) We walk through the valley of the shadow of death everyday but if you fix your eyes on Jesus as your Lord and Savior and we throw off all that entangles us (our sinful nature) and run the race with perseverance the Lord says in His word ‘I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me’. (Psalm 23:4) If you have allowed the Holy Spirit access in your life you have a valuable asset; for the Holy Spirit will make known to you the sins you hold in your heart. Now, if you say you are a Christian you will allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in your heart; and when He convicts your heart of sin then you will repent and give the Lord your sin. We have a lot to be thankful for that Jesus Christ was born and came to die. I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ For the cross⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ That You came⃒ To seek and save the lostᶦ

Recently, my prayer was that there was something hindering my closeness with ‘my Lord’. The Holy Spirit took me on a journey through my past pain and we came to a door I couldn’t open. The Lord opened that door and it has brought some major pain in my heart and it has caused me to stop writing. Even though my writing stops for a time I continue to read my Bible and pray. The Lord says in His word “a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” their is a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:3-4) A believer though they walk thru the valley of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil, for Jesus Christ is with us. We will persevere and throw off what entangles us and fix our eyes on the Lord for He is our prize; and we’ll be forever grateful to the Lord and to the cross.

You did not wait for me⃒ To draw near to You⃒ But You clothed Yourself ⃒ With frail humanity⃒ You did not wait for me⃒ To cry out to You⃒ But You let me⃒ Hear Your voice calling me⃒ And I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ For the cross⃒ I’m forever grateful⃒ To You⃒ That You came⃒ To seek and save the lostᶦ

The Lord doesn’t wait for us; but draws us near. The Lord wants all to know Him because His heart is HUGE. The Lord is seeking you…His purpose is to save the lost…a relationship with Jesus Christ gives you Salvation and a free ticket to live forever with Him…you become His son/daughter…first you need to repent of our sinful nature and the following others gods…second believe that Jesus Christ was born, died and risen…surrender your life and ask Jesus Christ to come and live inside you… Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.

Thank you, Father when I was lost you came after me. Thank you, Father that when I repented you made your home in my heart. Thank you, Lord that after I surrendered my life to you that I wasn’t ever alone, again.

Dear Lord, You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and you reign on this earth. I’m forever grateful that you do not stop but continue in your work in our lives. I’m forever grateful that you saw my weakness and pain and you bound up my wounds. I’m forever grateful that your sacrifice on the cross brought healing in my life. I pray that others will repent and believe and find safety in your arms of grace. I pray that you will heal them and continue to work in and through their lives until completion. I pray that they will be rooted and established in your love, that they may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that they would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17b-19) In Jesus Christ name I pray. Amen.

 

ᶦ Don Moen, “Forever Grateful” Forever Grateful, Integrity/Hosanna 1988

Grace of God

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. ᶦ²It teaches us say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, ᶦ³while we wait for the blessed hopethe glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, ᶦwho gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. ∽Titus 2:11-14

Our salvation comes at a price which God gifts us as grace, but it can only happen when we step out in faith. So, grace needs faith to work; we need to continually move forward in our salvation, faith is that action that keeps us going. The definition of faith is belief and trust. We need to believe and trust in the crucified and risen Christ as our Lord and Savior to be saved. The word says for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith. (Romans 1:17) A person who does right and continues to walk in faith will grow into a mature believer that will reflect God’s glory.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But, when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7) For this reason we say “No” to ungodliness, lying, cheating, blame calling, adulterous living, and worldly passions. We say “Yes” to self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

Lately, I have been spending time in praise and prayer before the Lord and old songs keep popping up in my head. One old time favorite is sung by Don Moen and the song is “Think about His love”.ᶦ

Let us clear the clutter from our mind and remember when Jesus first appeared in your life. Now:

Think about His love, think about His goodness| Think about His grace that’s brought us through| For as high as the heavens above| So great is the measure of our Father’s love | Great is the measure of our Father’s love| So great is the measure of our Father’s love|

How could I forget His love| And how could I forget His mercies| He satisfies, He satisfies, He satisfies my desiresᶦ

Now, how can we even think about going back to our old life and its desires and pleasures? When we have the love of a Father who gave up His life so that we can experience His grace? How could we forget His love? Those pleasures and unforgiveness will eat you up inside and make you feel guilty afterwards. But, the love of the Father offers you grace that will end your cravings of sinful pleasures that will lead to death but grace leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus. Think about His love, think about His goodness, and think about His grace that will bring you through. Do you think Satan cares about you after he is through with you? “No”. Satan is here to destroy you that is his mission in life but Jesus Christ’s mission is to save. Satan means enemy and Jesus means Savior who do you wish to serve?

  1. We know faith means believing and trusting in Jesus Christ death and resurrection.
  2. We know that God gives us the gift of grace. (1Corinthians 1:4)
  3. Faith includes repentance, a turning away from sin. God commands everyone to repent. (Acts 17:30)
  4. We know that God gives grace to set me free from sin. (Romans 8:2)
  5. Faith includes being obedient to the word of God. (Romans 1:5)
  6. We know God’s grace must be sought in our reading of the word, hearing the word, praying, worshipping in Spirit and in truth, fasting, and having Communion. (2Tim. 3:15; Rom. 1:16; Jude 20; Matt. 6:16-18; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:42)
  7. Faith includes a new relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)
  8. We know God’s grace can be resisted (Hebrews 12:15), cast off by the believer (Gal.5:4), received in vain (2Col. 6:1), put out (1Thess. 5:19), and set away (Gal. 2:21).
  9. Faith in Jesus Christ is the act of believing and then receiving the gift of grace.

 

Think about His love, think about His goodness, think about His grace that’s brought us through… Great is the measure of our Father’s love.ᶦ

While we live this self-controlled and upright life; let us wait for the blessed hope the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:12-14)

Our Father’s love…devised a plan so that we could live a life free from sin…so He sent His one and only Son to be born…His Son grew and when he was 30 he began his ministry…many people opposed him and wanted him dead…one of his own betrayed him for a handful of coins…before the judge he was silent…he was whipped until he was unrecognizable…but still he was silent…they handed him a cross and he walked through crowds of people who mocked him…but still he was silent…the nails went into his hands and feet…the pounding the splitting of the skin…the oozing of the blood…think about his love, think about his goodness, think about his grace that’s brought us through…stretched across a wooded cross our Lord cried out… “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus died and 3 days rose to be with His Father God and is reigning and interceding for us…we are redeemed through Jesus Christ blood…all you have to do.

Repent of your sins…Jesus is waiting for you to turn and believe on Jesus Christ who was born…who died and rose on the third day and is seated at the right hand of the Father…so that you can have eternal life …surrender your will and ask Jesus Christ to come and live in you…

Thank you, Father for your grace that brings us salvation. Thank you, Father that you teach in your word to say “No” to ungodliness and personal pleasures that satisfies our desires and does nothing to build your kingdom. Thank you, Lord that you give us hope for a new future in you. Thank you!

Lord Jesus we come before you with hearts that are humble seeking the Great I AM, the Great Shepherd, Jehovah-Jireh our provided. I pray for your lost people that they will see your grace and repent of their sins. I pray they will turn to you and away from their sins entering into a new life of hope. Open their eyes so they can see and unstop their ears so they can hear; so that their hearts will open wide for your love. In Jesus Christ name, I pray; Amen.

ᶦ   “Think about his love”, Don Moen, WoW Worship, 2001

God with us

Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us, the Son of Israel, the Son of Israel.ᶦ

I believe that the Lord has a plan for each and every minute of our day and when our plan doesn’t work we get upset. But, God in His heaven is in control and He knows what comes next and what we must learn to grow in Him.

This week has been a growing time for me in my relationship with the Lord. This week song has been Emmanuel, God with us from the Home for Christmas CD of Amy Grant. The Lord has played this song in my head all week day and night. But, I couldn’t seem to get what He wanted me to write about. I said “Lord, give me a Bible verse? But know Bible verse came but this song played in my head day and night.

My week was a different week: 1) going in for a critical eye exam. I have a condition called narrows glaucoma which needs laser surgery in both eyes. I have been praying for the Lord to heal me because I have no vision insurance. 2) Having oral surgery for a back tooth that was infected; no dental insurance so everything has been out of pocket. During this whole episode the Lord was lining up jobs to pay my office visit bills. The song Emmanuel, God with Us played the whole time through this whole ordeal giving me this peace that I was not alone.

Satan has tried to rob me of this victory by causing discontent and migraines. But, God was fighting for me with songs of deliverance what time I am afraid I will trust in you. (Psalm 32:7) In the dentist chair I felt God’s presence with me…You dance over me, while I am unaware, sing all around but I never hear the sound, Lord, I’m amazed by you, Lord, I’m amazed by you, and how you Love me²…God was with me.

Immanuel (Emmanuel) is used for Jesus name which means God with us. (Matthew 1:23) God was with Moses when he delivered the Israelites from captivity in Egypt. (Exodus 3:12) God was with Joshua “I will give you every place where you set your foot…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:3-5) Throughout the ages God was with someone who put their trust in God alone; that someone could be you.

This week I committed my ways to the Lord and I trusted Him to bring it to completion. (Psalm 37:5) However, my plans are not the same as what God plans for us. But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. (Psalm 31:14-15) I committed my ways to the Lord in His name alone; in Jesus Christ name.

We do not know why God does what He does. But, know this that He has your best interest at heart when He begins working in your heart the things of God. God will take you down avenues that you would have never gotten there on your own; without a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Lord doesn’t mean to harm you but to grow you into the reflection of your Father Jesus Christ. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) We can learn from God through his word or we can be taught the hard way through lessons.

So, if you want to begin your journey with Him you need to be clothed with righteousness. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off ⎯ for all whom the Lord our God will call. (Acts 3:38-39)

The lesson learned this week is that the Lord was listening to my heart cry that I needed Him this week to step up big for me. We all struggle with unbelief on some level when we hit a place when we think God isn’t on the same page as we are. We know we need to get some serious money and we wish He would send it in the mail but He says continue to work out our salvation fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (Philippians 2:12-13) The Lord was perfecting His good purpose in my life so that He would be glorified in the earth.

GOD’S PLAN
So know this right now:
•God’s with us even when we don’t feel Him or see Him.
•He is making a way for you before you cry out your prayer to Him. (Psalm 23)
•Trust in Him and He will sustain you. (Psalm 31:5)
•The Lord does not want any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2Peter 3:9)

Emmanuel, God with Us, the song and its words are just part of the package. The Lord wants you to know that He is an awesome, powerful God who cares for our every need and that He will send us comfort when we struggle. For me, God uses songs to soothe me and the words He used this week were: Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel| Emmanuel, God with us, the son of Israel| and still he calls through the night| beyond the days of old| A voice of peace to the weary ones| who struggle with the human soul| All of us, travelers, through a given time| Who can know what tomorrow holds?| But over the horizon, surely you and I will find.| Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel| Emmanuel, God with us, the Son of Israel| and the years they come, and the years they go| though we may forget somehow| that the child once born in Bethlehem Is still among us now. | Emmanuel, God with us, Emmanuel, |Emmanuel, God with us, the Son of Israel, the Son of Israel.ᶦ

Thank you, Father for the lessons we learn at the feet of an amazing God who promises to be with us and never forsake us. Thank you, Father that through each lesson we grow stronger to reflect your grace. Thank you, Lord that you are the great I AM who carries us through each trial.

I pray for your people who are called by your name will humble themselves and pray and seek your face in all that they do; and then trust you to carry it out according to your good purposes. I pray that you give us a compassionate heart to serve in the great commission; or to give and pray to support our sisters and brothers who are serving in the missions’ field; because the enemy goes about feeding on our fellow workers. Give us insight into praying with a fervent focus so that we will have victory in the harvest fields of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ name, I pray. Amen.

ᶦ Grant, Amy; Eaton, Chris; Hall Robert. Home for Christmas. Emmanuel, God with us. 1992
² Anderson, Jared. Desperation Band, Songs 4 Worship, Amazed. ©2003 Vertical Worship Songs/ASCAP

Inward Heart

Once upon a time there was a woman with three children who sang to her children every night. One night she decided to forgo the singing and read to them instead from the book of proper manners. Each day the children showed increasing manners that the mother was well please in their politeness. But, one day the report came home from school that her children were expelled from school. The young mother was up in arms how could this be my children are welled manner. The teacher explained that her children were polite but their heart was cruel. They have learned to have outward compassion but their inward heart was void of human kindness. They were caught bullying younger children from their money and they were extremely polite doing it. The moral of the story is outward appearance doesn’t make the man but the inward Spirit of God carries a man through eternity.

When life sends you a curve ball do not think that putting up appearances will solve your problems. When your inward self is in tumult the place to go is to the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took all your tumults on the cross and died in your place. When we visit the cross where Jesus bled and died. It should release the pressure in our heart knowing it is already done for us. My God placed everything on his son so that we can live the risen Christ life in Jesus. Do not wait and exhibit traits like these children did by exploding or spewing words to hurt others with your pain. It is written “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

The cross is the sign of victory for those who hang their hurts, diseases, and sin across its frame. Jesus won the victory for you and me when He was nailed to the cross, one lonely night, thousands of years ago. Place your heart before your God with a prayer of repentance that you cannot live this life along without His saving grace. That you will put your hope in Him it is written that Jesus is called “the blessed hope”. (Titus 2:13)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Salvation is a gift from God but to receive this gift you need faith. Faith is an active movement towards the Lord. It is written: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Faith means confidently believing and trusting in the cross and risen Lord as your personal Lord and Savior. (Romans 1:17) You have to believe with all your heart, surrender your will, and commit yourself to Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:17) Faith consists of repentance of yours sins, obedience to His word, and a relationship with Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:30; John 3:3-6; Matt. 22:37)

Now God gives the unbeliever the gift of grace so that they may be able to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8, 9) This grace sets you free (Romans 6:20, 22), to be obedient (Matt. 7:21), to pray (Zec. 12:10), to witness for Christ (Acts 4:33), and grow in Jesus (2Peter 3:18).

When Jesus Christ was on the cross He cried out “It is finished”. Your transgressions and iniquities was all finished on the cross and they are no more. Are you looking for someone to take the pain and guilt away? Look to the cross where Jesus Christ took the blame for us all; beaten and shamed He walked to the place called Skull. Nailed to the cross were His hands and feet He suffered for us all. He died and rose to sit at the right hand of His Father to reign in victory over all our enemies. (Luke 23:24-26)

Come, the inward man is thirsty for the things of God. Come drink of the well that never runs dry. Jesus Christ is waiting with open arms.

It is written “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? ⁹And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ ¹ºIn the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  (Luke 15:8-10)

The Lord cares about the ones who are lost. Do you hear him wooing you…He is calling you home. Do you hear Him calling? Do not resist. (Hebrews 12:15) Do not receive in vain. (2Cor. 6:1) Do not abandon the gift. (Gal. 5:4)

The spirit is wiling but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41b)

Pray with me

“Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.

I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin… (Name each one to the Father) I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend.

I give you my life back and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.” Amen.

Thank you, Father that you care for the inward man and you want to change us. Thank you, Father that you come as a light to uncover the secret sins in our lives. Thank you, Father that we don’t need to live alone with our sickness but you came to set us free to live a life like no other.

Thank you, Lord that you are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and you reign in our lives. You broke down my walls and laid claim to my life, thank you Lord.

I pray that you set us free of the chains that bind us up. That we give up the secrets that keep us guilty and bitter. I pray we look to the cross where you set everything under your feet and said it is finished. Grace has claim victory. Let us stand and give you praise for the victory is won! In Jesus Christ name I pray. Amen.

Give the command to save me

In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. ²Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. ³Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. ⁴Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. ⁵For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth. ⁶From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. ⁷I have become like a portent (omen) to many, but you are my strong refuge. ⁸My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. ⁹Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together…be not far from me O God; …¹⁴But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. ¹⁵My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure…~Psalm 71

We do not know who wrote this Psalm but I think maybe David did in his old age. David was concern that his failings as a King, Father and a friend were eventually his downfall. In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me not be put to shame. David was feeling shame for all his past sins and was sharing with God his fears. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go. When I am in trouble I want to always depend on God to bring me through. David sought God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. God already knows what we have done the sins we have committed but he also knows our hearts. David heart looks to find favor from a God who had also become his Father. He did not want to stop his union just because his own strength was leaving him. I think he equated his strength with God’s but God’s strength doesn’t change when we get weaker. The Lord says in his word “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. (2Corinthians 12:9)
David reminds God that since his youth he has relied on God and put his hope in Him. David is older now and is looking down that old road to the victories and the major fiascoes in his life. He is not sure where he is with God. David is surrounded by people who hate him and want him dead and he is calling out to his advisory God are you still with me. Give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. My rock and my fortress; let’s make this plea personal your my God. God you have been there from my youth you have nourished me and strengthen me when I had no other looking after me. How many victories in the field have we won together? When Saul was chasing me you were my hope and my strong tower I look to you again. Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. David through his plead to God is drawing strength from God not the world but a source who has not forsaken him. The Lord is pulling David in even though you grow old you still need my strength. When our bones grow weary and life concerns come pressing in on us we can still depend on Jesus Christ to be our eyes, ears and our strength.

¹4But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. ¹⁵My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. ¹⁶I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. David starts his prayer in fear and slowly his voice changes to confidence in his Lord saying “I will” always have hope; I will praise you more and more; I will come and proclaim your mighty acts; and I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone. David is not putting his confidence in himself to do the job he is looking to his source of life. God became this all-consuming source of power that transformed David’s life from an ordinary sheep herder to a Warrior King who represents who Jesus Christ supposed to be to us.

David is witnessing to us and proclaiming his power for us today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) David is not unique there are many people that God has used throughout history in the proclaiming of God’s word.

Do you need faith and hope because you can get both through prayer. David put together prayers that spoke of searching and finding, running and hiding, resting and abiding, thanking and proclaiming each of these were answers to prayer that was prompt by the need for a relationship to God. David spoke his fears out loud to a most powerful God knowing He would ²turn your ear to me and save me.

We are going to suffer on this journey with Christ Jesus but let us rejoice like David did, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1Peter 4:12-13)

If, I come to you O Lord and find shelter in your arms do not look away or reject me. Shame is unbearable and when we seek for help we think shame will be are undoing. But, the Lord covers our nakedness with His robe of righteousness. We come before the Father in prayer bearing all of our faults and He in his awesome power covers us with His blood from a cross of shame. Jesus Christ took on that shame at the cross already for us so that we can humbly come to the throne room of God when we seek shelter.

If, you do not know God and you want him to give the command to save you. Repent and believe on this:
“Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.

I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin… (name each one to the Father) I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend.
I give you my life back and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.” Amen.

Thank you, Father for saints that came before us that proclaim your righteousness and power; so that we may imitate and grow into and amazing fellowship with you. Thank you that I can run into the shelter of your arms and be renewed. Thank you that my name is written in the book of life with people like David. Thank you, when I bend my head and speak your name you hear every word and it brings me into the throne room of God and your presence.

I pray that we can all pray like David and be renewed through our fellowship with you. So that we can proclaim your name to the nations that you are our hope and strength and a presence help in time of trouble. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen.

Commit your way to the Lord

⁵Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: ⁶He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. ~Psalm 37: 5, 6 (NIV)

When I was thinking of what to write the Lord gave me a picture of marionettes or a better name hand poppets. When we commit our ways or plans in God’s trust we become marionettes in the hands of the Lord. From now on He directs our paths when we entrust our ways to him. God is in control of our life. The whys of life we have no answer but the line of communication between the Lord and us is clear every minute of every day to cry out or fervently pray for clarity.

I have struggle most of my life with migraines but in the last 7 years they have gotten far worse. My migraines when they would come would last from two days to a week. I also experience the aura migraine too. I’ve taken pills that cause side effects that cause more problems and then the migraines. So, one day I said “no more pills their most be a reason why I get migraines.” Crying out to God I put my trust in God to direct my path to a solution or healing. With the help of my church family praying I soon heard from the Lord; dairy products were causing my migraines.Ridding my entire dairy from my house my migraines have stopped. But, then eventually the aura migraines started up and it’s like what is going on. Driving to work, I am blinded by an aura which is not good and the pain afterwards it worst.  The Lord says “commit your way to the LORD; trust in him.” Again, I go to my Father with my request “Lord help, I can’t do this on my own I give you this migraine why is this happening? I can’t live like this anymore.” In the natural foods store I was talking about aura migraines with a guy and he tells me about his friend who gave up wheat and her migraines are gone. He told me to go on celiacdiseases.org for all the products and foods that are link to wheat. It is almost three weeks now and I am pain free. “Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!”

Who will be glorified? Jesus Christ. Who will we boast about? Jesus Christ. So that, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is KING!

⁵Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do his: ⁶He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

When you put all your hope on Jesus Christ and commit your way to Him. He becomes your King, husband, and love in your life. “You can say to this mountain, move from here to there. Nothing will be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20)

The Lord will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. This righteousness is God’s grace given as a gift in His son Jesus Christ who lived, died and rose from the dead. Not by works can we attain this gift of righteousness but by faith and trust in Jesus Christ we become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Corinthians 5:21) Abraham had such faith in God that He submitted to God’s control in his life; in return God credited to him righteousness. (Romans 4:3)

⁶He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 

The Lord has promises to His people who believe in Him:

  • Answer prayer
  • Justification of their righteous values
  • Spiritual inheritance
  • Lord’s sustaining help
  • Lord’s guidance, protection, and abiding presence
  • Salvation

When we exercise our faith bringing our soul into union with God in Christ which produces righteousness according to God’s will. (Romans 4:3, 5, 9, 22) Faith is our bridge the word says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes to the Jew first and also the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16, 17)

The word says, “there is no one righteous, not even one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” (Romans 3:10). Those who live in law do not know God or seek God they are slaves to their sin. But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you whole-heartedly obeyed form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:17,18)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our word.” (Romans 6:23)

Do you have a peace that you are forgiven or are you a slave to sin? Do you live in fear of death? The Lord does not want any of his children to be lost. That is why He chose to die for us so all who come to the Father will all have the gift of eternal life.There is no sin bigger than another “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory to God.” (Romans 3:23)

Take the step of faith and receive the gift of life. Repent of your sin… believe that Jesus Christ came to die on the cross for you… ask Jesus Christ to come and live with you.

“Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.

I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin… (name each one to the Father) I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father  and my friend.

I give you my life back and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ.” Amen.

Thank you, Lord that you are my healer, my victor and my strong tower; that when I run to it I am consumed intocyour robes of love. Thank you, Lord that your people by faith can return to you and you will credit them righteousness. Thank you, Lord that you never turn your back when one has committed their ways to you; that you move mountains to act on our behalf. Gracious are you my God.

I stand and praise you, for your might and mercy towards me in my search of a cure for my migraines.  You are a God of promises. I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (Psalm 9:1, 2) You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords you are my Great I am. I love you. With my arms raised and my hands lifted up I give you honor; for honor is do.

I pray for your people Lord Jesus that they will commit their ways into your hands and trust you. Give them the faith to step out in knowing the end results and be obedient to your plan for their life. I pray for the lost that they will step out in faith and give their life up for yours; so that they can say they are saved and righteous in the sight of God. In Jesus Christ name I pray this, Amen.

Jesus and the Rich Man

Jesus and the Rich Ruler

Last week, our pastor talked about the passage in the Bible where the rich ruler asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  Mark 10:17-29.

I think most people are unsure or misunderstand what this passage really means.  In this article we’ll try to answer the following questions:

  • Does this passage say that Jesus is denying his divinity?
  • Does this scripture say that every rich person will go to hell or that we must give all your money to the poor to get into heaven?
  • What can one do to inherit eternal life?
  1. In Mark 10:18, when Jesus responded to him saying “why do you call me good…only God is good”, does he at that point deny his divinity?  Let’s take a closer look at the situation.  This man came to Jesus.  He called him teacher.  The fact that he called him teacher shows us
    that he did not see Jesus as the Son of God…he saw him merely as a good, smart person…that is why he responded to this man saying “why do you call me good…only God is good?”  Jesus talks to us personally based on where each person is coming from.  If Jesus had meant to deny his divinity, he would have replied simply that he was a sinner. But Jesus’ divinity isn’t the issue.  He was merely questioning him based on the rich man’s response, to make him reflect on his words.  Jesus realized that this person was blind as to who Jesus really was and that this person based his view of salvation on works and on lineage since he used the word inherit.
  2. In Mark 10:21-23, Jesus tells him to sell everything and follow him.  When the young man turned away sadly, Jesus explained that it is hard for a rich man to find salvation.  There are actually two important points to be made concerning these verses.  Will selling everything get us into heaven? NO.  1 Corinthians: 13 is clear on this.  Even if we give all your money to the poor, it will not provide salvation.  We can’t buy our way into heaven.  What Jesus was talking about is this – he knew the person’s heart.  He was simply testing his character.  He knew that possessions were more important to him than following God.  Luke 16:13 says “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”. That is why he went away sad, because he was unwilling to lay down his wealth (the idol in his life).  We need to lay down all of the idols in our
    lives…especially money.As  far as all rich people going to hell is concerned…just remember that some of the greatest people in the Bible like Abraham, Noah and others were some of the richest people of their time and God loved them and they loved God.  God wants us to be successful.  The key is to keep our hearts on God and not allow ourselves to be focused on our possessions.  By the way, we can be just as obsessed by money and thinking about money if we are poor.  We can get into the trap of thinking that more money would solve all our problems.  In reality, if Jesus is our focus, everything else will fall into place.  It’s a good reminder for all of us.
  3. Starting in Mark 10:23, Jesus starts explaining how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  He says “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  What does that even mean?  For a long time I actually thought that he was talking about a sewing needle.   However, what he was talking about is a small opening in a city wall that was big enough for a camel or a person to get through if they took everything off and kneeled down and crept through.  In other words, we need to leave everything behind.  There is nothing we can do for God.  There are no good deeds (no matter how good) that could ever get us into heaven.  Living a good life will not save us.  It is simply being saved by Grace. The Bible says that we have all sinned and fallen short, and that Jesus died for us and paid the price for our sins.  The Bible simply says to accept Jesus’ free gift and turn from your sins and we will be saved.  That is it.  Doing good things, being baptized, reading the Bible, etc. is really just a sign of us being saved but not the key to salvation.

Follow these links for more information on Salvation. Are you a good person – A Test, Salvation.

God Loves Everyone the Same, No Matter How They’re Created

Psalm 139 is a wonderful song of praise to God. Verse 14 says, “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” The Psalmist notes that he is imperfect, but that God’s thoughts toward him are wonderful (v. 17), because he will guide anyone through anything, from the usual difficulties – such as when Paul learned God’s strength was made perfect in His weakness – to those not so usual.

Each of us is a miracle, created by God for a specific purpose. He doesn’t want there to be imperfections; He created this world perfect, but then sin entered intot he world through mankind’s free will. So, now, there are people who experience all sorts of difficulties in their lives because of the curse of sin which caused this world to become broken down. It’s not any one person’s sin that causes it – it’s the imperfection which came when this perfect world had imperfection brought into it.

So, because of that imperfection, there are people like me born with low vision (in my case, from Dandy-Walker Syndrome) or hearing (in my case, bad enough to need a hearing aid.) There are those with other things physical or mental. And, there are even those whose creation is really unique – those born with a mix of anatomical traits considered both male and female, or which are atypical for each. Such people are known as intersex.

Intersex has nothing to do with sexual orientation, by the way; that has no relevance to this. In fact, it has nothing to do with homosexuality or the transgender movement. These are among numerous major fallacies. about it. The Bible says nothing specific about the issue, except that obvioulsy we must show the same love Jesus showed everyone. Numerous websites devoted to the issue merely seek to raise awareness of the issue and of difficulties encountered in society which are related to it.

We can’t always figure out why God chose what He did for us. I have a few ideas, based on what I’ve accomplished, of why He gave me low vision, low hearing, a bit of cerebral palsy (enough my feet point out a touch & I couldn’t do little things like open cans or jars as early as some kids), and possible even a touch of mild Asperger’s Syndrome. But the important thing is that He is the God of all comfort who provides a peace which passes understanding when we trust Him to. I’ve been able to do things I never would have, and help people I wouldn’t have, without these – some of which nobody else would have. Even though my body isn’t perfect, like anyone else, I’m a miracle.

God’s most amazing miracles surely include those connected with His birth, death, and resurrection. He came to die for each of us, to take the punishment for our sins, mine as well as others. Then, He rose from the dead, having the victory over everything.

For Him to do this, of course, He had to do as John 1:14 says He did – He “became flesh and dwelt among us.” He was fully God and fully man. While here, He showed great care for the hurting people of this world. While the Pharisees, the religious crowd, cared only for the usual and tried to impress others, Jesus cared for those who were unusual in some way. He performed many healings, not only of physical things but also of broken hearts.

Some of those hearts were broken by the treatment which the Pharisees gave, I’m sure. But, these people recognized that Jesus was special. He was different. He and god the Father are one. (John 10:30) God had ordained the Law in the commandments to teach the people that they couldn’t follow even those laws all the time, because of the nature of their hearts. So, they had to trust Him by faith in order to be saved. Salvation has always had a faith component. However, the Pharisees, as people often do, turned it into a totally works-based system and condemned those who went against it.

They even thought they had answers for why God created people such as the blind man in John chapter 9. They asked a strange question of Jesus – whether the man or his parents had sinned that he was born blind. Jesus told them that neither one had; the man was born blind that the works of God might be made manifest in him. Then, Jesus healed the blind man. The Pharisees were so upset that they threw him out of the synagogue; this man then wound up becoming a follower of Jesus.

We don’t know much about this man as a follower, but his testimony must have been amazing. He had the same testimony as anyone can who has experienced something other than the usual from their physical body. That testimony is that Jesus can and will overcome anything if they trust Him, and help them through anything.

This doesn’t mean that Jesus will heal everyone of physical problems while living. For some, healing won’t come until He calls them home to His perfect Heaven, at which time I will have perfect sight and hearing, those confined to whellchairs will be able to run, and so on. I know of one young man, in fact, who must wear braves on his legs. When he reaches Heaven, the first thing he plans to do is leap 100 feet in the air.

It does, however, mean that Jesus will give anyone the ability to get through anything with His help. It also means that – while not everything is good in this world – all those things we face will work together for good to them that love God. (Romans 8:28) God has a way of taking anything and using it for good. Even the bad things which people do because they have not learned of His love. God lives in each believer through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 113-14, 4;30; John 14-16, etc.) So, it is up to each believer to let Him guide them in the truth, being control by His Spirit. Thankfully, He will always love and cleanse us from sin when we turn to Him by faith. (1 John 1:9-2:1)

What He can’t take are peoples’ sins. No sin can enter Heaven. Heaven is a perfect place which God established so there would be no suffering, no tears, no pain, no parting, no sorrow. No bad stuff can enter there. So, He had to find a way for people like me and you and everyone to get there. Because, while our imperfections aren’t because of our own sin, we do all sin and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) that means each of us comes short of God’s perfect Heaven.

God gave us each a wonderful gift, though. The wages of sin – what we earn because of our sin – is death, separation from God forever in a place called Hell. But, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

That is the awesome gift which we must remember to celebrate, whether or not we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25 or not. That gift of life forever in that perfect Heaven is free; all a person has to do is to receive it.

People have been mistreated throughout history because of differences. That mistreatment comes through actions of various sorts; words play a part, too, but focusing only on surface things like names can make one as bad as the Pharisees, who refused to do as God commands and look at the heart. The important thing is that God loves each of us because of who we are on the inside, not because of what name we go by.

The way to have that personal relationship with God – so you can get His help here and also go to His perfect Heaven someday – is to simply “believe on the Lord Jesus Christm, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) That whosoever means anyone – any person can put their name in there because God is talking about them.

We may each have different physical characteristics. But, we each have one thing in common – a need for God’s love and forgiveness. Our differences are not because of sin – they are because God created each of us in a unique way so that we can glorify Him in who we are and what we do. However, we all do hve sin – myself included. We fall short of God’s perfect glory.

God doesn’t demand works like the Pharisees, though. That would be unfair anyway because some people could work more than others; some can’t do any. God made sure it was all by grace through faith in Him. It is not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians. 2:8-9)

Because it is by faith alone in Christ alone, each of us is only a single, sincere prayer of repentence to Jesus away from eternal life. The words don’t matter – but it can go something like this. “Dear Lord Jesus, I know I’m a sinner. I can’t reach your perfect Heaven myself. But, I know you died for my sins and rose from the dead. You took my punishment so I could get to heaven and also have life with you now, so you can guide me and help me on earth. Lrod Jesus, today I choose to turn from my sins and trust you to save me. I call on your name, asking you to save me from my sins and come into my heart to live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

That’s all there is to it. We don’t know what God has planned – I heard about a condition from an online friend and I considered a number of ways to do it. Suddenly, this blog came out of my thoughts and prayers. I know that whatever happens, though, the Christian life is a great adventure in trusting the Lord to see you through everything. He has always been faithful to me, and He wants everyone to not only call on Him but also to let Him guide them in showing His love to others and telling of His great gift to them.

Homeless for the Holidays – How To Love The Poor

Though few like to admit it, a catastrophic illness or other major setback can leave anyone on the brink of homelessness. And, features like this shows that many homeless are families with nowhere to turn.

What is the key to helping such people?

Many try to blame or credit the policies of one party of another, but Jesus said “The poor you will always have with you.” This doesn’t mean that they will be poor on purpose. This just means that in this fallen, sinful world, circumstances will not be rosy for everyone. Jesus was exhorting us to care for the poor and love them as His disciples loved Him.

When we look at Matthew 26:7-12, in fact, we see in the context that a woman had come with a box of ointment, and poured it onto the Lord. (Note that this was *not* the same woman who wiped His feet with her tears. This woman was in a totally different situation and poured the box on His head to boot.)

She was criticized and it was mentioned that the box, full of a very special and expensive ointment, could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus then remarked that the poor would always be with us. Further, He said that she had done this in preparation for His burial, as He was soon to be crucified for our sins, taking our punishment, dying, and then rising from the dead. She had done this to show her love for the Savior.

When Jesus says that we will have the poor with us always, but we will not have Him always, He is not saying to sell everything and give to the poor, though that is one option if a person feels led to do so. He is also not saying that things of value are what the poor are seeking. That is looking only at the outside, at the box this woman had.

God wants us to look upon the heart, though – that is where He always looks. And, it is on the heart of this woman that Jesus wants us to look. Because, in seeing how she loved Him, we can see how we ought to love and help those who are homeless – or just really poor.

It is most important to give them hope. Yes, soup kitchens are wonderful, and most churches that follow Christ and seek to make a difference in their community will provide some kind of help for the poor. It may not be a soup kitchen, it may be something else. The key is, it will be something that will not only minister to the peoples’ physical needs, but to their spiritual.

A number of Proverbs and other Biblical sayings mirror the concept of this famous saying – “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Jesus certainly gave people fish and other great things – He healed the sick, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, and many other great miracles. Peoples’ physical needs were met. That was wonderful. It was satisfying for a while. But,t he 5,000 who were fed the loaves and fish wound up hungry again. Lazarus, who was called out of the tomb, died again. And so on.

Jesus called people to receive His spiritual blessings, though. He wanted people to recognize that they had needs which went beyond the physical. He wanted people to do as the woman at the well in John 4, when He told her He had water springing up into everlasting life, a well which would never run dry. This woman responded, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.” (John 4:15) While she was still focused a little on her physical needs, she was starting to realize that there was also a deep longing in her.

So, you may ask, what does this have to do with the poor or the homeless?

These are not just people who have no money or homes. The poor and the homeless are people with a deep longing for something better. If we ignore or scold them, we are making them feel worse. If we only give them nourishment or a gift, they will be satisfied for a while, but they will feel empty again, just like the woman at the well had to come to draw water each day. By providing hope for them, however, we can truly shower that love upon them that Jesus wants us to shower upon them. The riches which will matter the most go beyond the mere cost of an alabaster box of ointment.

Some will complain that there are people who use the system and are poor on purpose. There are a few of them, but that doesn’t mean all are like that. But, let’s look at them for a moment. They are that way for the same reason he woman at the well in John 4 kept going after different men; she’d had five husbands and the man she was with now was not her husband. Jesus didn’t condemn her, though – he went to her to provide her with something better.

Those who misuse the system are like the Samaritan woman with her men when she hadn’t experienced the unconditional love and goodness that comes from a personal relationship with jesus Christ. There is a God-sized hole in each of our hearts that only Jesus can fill. He showed her the way to let Him – who is the way, the truth, and the life – work in her heart so she could follow Him and be an example of Jesus to others in what she did and how she behaved. In the same way, those who misuse the system need to be shown, in a loving way, how serving the Lord is so much more fulfilling, because they can earn for themselves treasures in heaven. They need to be shown it’s worth it, and encouraged to become more productive.

However, the main thing we must be concerned with is those who are not poor by choice. Because, as noted in the beginning, there are many like that. They have likely tried, some given up hope. We don’t know which someone is, so we should presume that the poor person is trying. By showing them the love that Jesus has for them, we are giving them hope, which as noted, is the main thing.

For each group, of course, the adage applies that we should not only give them a fish, but where applicable teach them to fish. However, merely teaching them to fish, so to speak, isn’t enough to truly restore hope to them.

All of us have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We are all poor in our lack of a relationship with Christ until the moment when we call out to Him, “Lord, save me.” Just as the many poor, diseased, and so on called on Jesus in His earthly ministry, each of us must realize we need His perfect gift of salvation.

Rich and poor alike, then, must recognize that God has a plan for their lives, a plan which first of all includes them letting him make them new on the inside, cleansing their sins through His finished work on the cross. Then, they will not be building treasures on earth, where moth and rust can corrupt, and thieves can steal; they will be building treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust cannot corrupt and thieves can’t steal. Where our treasure is, there is where our heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

That plan is not just to get them to Heaven, though – He wants to help each of us believers right here on earth to get throughh everything and to feel His love and closeness all the time when we remain close to Him.

Part of that personal relationship is being able to take all our cares and concerns to Him. He wants to help us through this world becasue that is how we can show others what He has done for us so they can have that peace and comfort. The old say is that we’re just beggars teling other beggars where to find bread.

By showing them how to follow Jesus, then, we are helping the poor, the homeless, and so on to realize they don’t have to despair about their situation. They don’t have to keep waiting for a handout and thinking this is all there is. They don’t have to fret thinking that if they don’t find something they’re a failure. Because, you know what? If they are only going for something in this life, they are going for something that will get old, wear out, and so on; something that will not last forever the way Heavenly treasures will.

That makes them just the same as the rich. If they are only focusing on a small shack, they are in the same position as the rich person only focusing on a million dollar home. They are focusing on an investment which will not last. Whether we have $1 or $1 billion when we die, we will all answer to God. And, what He will ask is this – Were your sins washed away by the blood of Calvary’s cross? Did you call on Jesus to save you with something like this – “Lord Jesus, I know I’m a sinner and don’t deserve Your perfect heaven. But, I know You died for my sins and rose from the dead. Lord Jesus, I accept You as my Savior, I turn from my sins and call on You to come into my heart and save me. I believe you took all the punishment for my sins and and I trust in You alone to get me to heaven when I die. I Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The words aren’t what saves you, of course, it’s Jesus who saves when you call on him.

But what you might be asking is, how will this help the poor and homeless now? Well, remember that Jesus didn’t just tell people to follow Him, He gave them things, too. But, that giving needs to be with an attitude of, “Just as I am giving you this physical thing, be it food, clothing, or whatever, Jesus has something spiritual that is special for you.” People will be much more likely to listen if we give a thing with our message.

Or, at the very least, if we give a kind ear, so that person can tell about the spouse who took all they had, or the cancer, or the house fire, or the lost job. Then, they will see that someone cares about them and who they are inside.

Then, we can show them Matthew 6:33 and the verses before it. How that if they seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, all these things will be added unto them; the things Jesus is talking about in the previous verses are necessities, like food, clothing, and shelter. They may mean a job for someone. They might mean a friend. Whatever that need is, Jesus can meet it, but he wants them to realize His love and Lordshp It is Jesus who provides us all with every need, it is ultimately His love that lets us have whatever we have.

And, that is true of rich and poor alike. Some people are in a position to do moer for Him. But, the peson who is in the center of His will – whether that will is for them to be rich or poor – is in the safest place they can be. Because, he wants us all to tell others of His great love and the great hope which is in Christ Jesus; a hope that is there for everyone, which we celebrate this time of year.

Real meaning of the Lord’s Prayer (also called the Our Father prayer)

Some may have heard a famous recording by Red Skelton about the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s very powerful to hear each word or phrase covered. I don’t have quite the skill he did with that, but I wanted to briefly touch on a very important prayer, found in Mathew 6:9-13 and again in Luke 12. There is a subtle difference which is logical when you see the context, because they come at different times. For a full Harmony of the Gospels this is an excellent one.

The Lord’s Prayer - also called the “Our Father” by some – in Matthew 6:9-13 comes very early in His ministry. It is part of the Sermon on the Mount. Right before the Lord’s Prayer, He tells the people never to pray in vain repetitions. Why? Just repeating something over and over has no effect because it it leads to making one thing he or she will be heard “for their much speaking.” Instead, Jesus wants us to pray in the way He does His Word has power to help, heal, comfort, etc.

Later in His ministry, Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them to pray. He recites part of it, but leaves out the part of about “Thine is the Kingdom…”. Why? The discples have already heard that part. Jesus is just reminding them, “Remember when I taught you this? It has special meaning.” He reminded them of just enough so they would understand and remember, from His other teaching, what was important. And, what they didn’t understand would be revealed in time, just as with His sacrifice.

What was that deeper meaning which they were to understand when praying? Let’s go through the Lord’s Prayer, also called the “Our Father,” and see.

“Our…” Any of us. He hears the prayers of all who call on Him by faith alone in Christ alone. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Romans 10:13)

“Father…” The true mark of a leader. Not the selfishness of sinful man. God is perfect, a Father who will always love, cherish, comfort, and guide His children in His perfect plan. And, He always has the best interests of each of His children at heart. “For all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28)

“Which art…” God is real, and no amount of pain, hatred, or ignoring can make Him go away. He is the great I AM, who always was and always will be.

“In heaven…” That perfect place, where there is no pain, no suffering, and no tears. Where a loving God calls out to sinful man to come to Him and be rescued from a world of sin, and let Him guide them. “To as many as received Him, gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12)

“Hallowed be Thy name.” For His is a name above all names, full of majesty and wonder, inspiring awe for His great power and might. Each of us is as helpless as an ant would be next to the strongest human. And yet, He is so loving that we may “go boldly before the throne of grace for help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

“Thy kingdom come.” Jesus – God the Son – and God the Father are one (John 10:30), and He is the Creator and sustainer of all; for by Him were all things made and by Him all things consist. (John 1:1, 14; Col. 1:16-17; etc.) And He will one day rule the earth, and it will be perfect, just as it was meant to be before sin entered into the world. (Gen. 1-2, Revelation 20-22, etc.) And those who truly believe wait for Him to come make this world new.

“Thy will…” And because God is the creator, He may do as He pleases. His will is perfect, for he knows the past, present, and future.

“Be done…” And we ask that His will be done, no matter what our will might be, because He knows what is best for us. People have become sick and avoided deadly accidents. People have been stuck somewhere and been able to help a stranger because of it. It is up to us seek His will in each situation.

“On earth…” This sin-stained world which hosts so much evil. “For by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so that death passed unto all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) Yet God can still work in this world, and will, once we let go of our own desires and seek Him as the writer of that great hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” commands. “Did we in our own strength abide, the battle would be losing. Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He. Lord Sabaoth (Lord of Hosts) His name, from age to age the same!”

“As it is in heaven…” For God rules in Heaven. Yet from that throne of grace, He came down and became flesh (John 1:14, Col. 2:9, etc.), born to die as the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. He then rose victoriously from the grave, having defeated death, and going to prepare a place for us in Heaven, that where He is, there we who have received Him as Savior might be also.

“Give us” Provide for we who so need You, for You oh Lord know we are but dust…

“this day” For we are not promised tomorrow, but we know that whatever we need You will provide it in Your perfect time, when You know it is best.

“Our daily bread” Anything we need for that day, be it food, money, shelter, or whatever else we are lacking. He promises us wisdom whenever we need, peace that passes understanding, He is the God of all comfort, and so many more good things, as He helps us through the problems of this wicked world. It is not our wants, but that which we must have and which, if we do not receive, we know God has something better ins tore. For Solomon in all His glory was not clothed like one of the fabulous lilies of the field.

“And forgive us our debts” Oh, for we are but sinful people, so filled burdens. For as hard as we try, we cannot do as You command, we cannot be perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) So we call on you to rescue us from that debt we cannot pay, washing our sins away with Your perfect blood, which was shed once for all for such a wretch as me.

“Aas we forgive our debtors.” Oh, we have so many who have wronged us, too, but the terrible pain of hell was meant only for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41) So we ask, Lord, that you would soften their hearts, and forgive them, so they may become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) who can then grow in your love and become more and more like you.

“And lead us not into temptation” Oh, but while we who believe in you want so badly to be freed from the power of sin, we cannot do it on our own. So please, protect us from the terrible temptations of this world, and instead do as you promise in your world and provide a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) so we can withstand in that evil day. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

“But deliver us from evil:” Not only the evil that we might do through lying, backbiting, bitterness, malice, and so on, but also the evil that might be done to us. Because, Lord, this is a sinful place, filled with those who fall short of your perfect glory like I. And we long for the day when we are not only saved from the penalty of sin – which we were at the cross. Not only saved from the power of sin – which we must seek each day. But when, in Heaven we stand complete in you, and are saved from the very presence of sin!

“For thine is the kingdom” For there, in Your perfect Kingdom, the redeemed will stand in You complete, as the hymnist writes, and truly “Jesus died, my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat.”

“And the power” For You, oh, Lord, have the power to save, to guide, to protect, to heal, to work modern day miracles if it be your will. Your power is limitless, your works wondrous, your ways perfectly righteous, your death all sufficient, and your resurrection power enough to defeat sin and death and the grave! Halleluah!”

“And the glory.’ Because God is perfect glory. He is the one who created the light, and who then was the Light which came into this dark world. He came to save sinners from this lost and dying world, so we who fell so short of His perfection could rule and reign with Him, but nobody can share His perfect, matchless glory. And here, it’s best just to include this awesome video of message by S.M. Lockridge, “That’s My King!”

“For ever” And He will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever, in a perfect place where we will have no more sin, no more pain, no more bad stuff. Where we can celebrate and where nobody has seen, heard, or even imagined how awesome it will be. Because we as people can’t even imagine a heaven where there is is so much beauty, goodness, and diversity, with so many different personalities all with the testimony that they were saved by the grace of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)

“Amen.” So be it. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus, and work the work you want in my life, so you may be glorified.

When I see S.M. Lockridge’s powerful message, I know neither I, nor some of the commentaries at www.blueletterbible.org (where I found the Harmony), can do justice to God’s amazing love. However, that is, in essence, what the Lord’s Prayer really is saying.

It closes with a reminder from Jesus. His Word is powerful – and praying it like you believe it can help bring peace because it is the Word of God. And, His Word will never return voice. (Isaiah 55:11) But, His Kingdom will endure forever. And, He wants us to know one thing above all other. Yes, the Lord’s prayer is very good – it is the model that Jesus tells us to pray. However, those verses mentioned above, and many others in Scripture, point to one fact. Jesus came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He calls all to repentance.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Not only I, but every person alive, have sinned. The waves of sin is death – that’s what we e4arn for our sin. But, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

As you can see, part of that Lord prayer is asking for forgiveness. It involves accepting that we have a debt – a debt we cannot pay. So we are asking God to forgive it. It is the heavy, infinite debt of sin, which causes us to miss the mark of perfection which Jesus notes just before this part of the Sermon on the Mount.

Thankfully, we know that Jesus Christ can and will forgive us of our sins when we call on Him. But we can’t just pray a single prayer over and over. Remember, it is not by vain repetitions. It must come from the heart, as the Lord’s prayer must, which we saw above. It is a call fromt eh heart that is as simple as ABC. Admit you’re a sinner. Believe Jesus Christ, God in flesh, died for your sins and rose from the dead, and Choose to call on Jesus to forgive you and to come into your heart and make you new on the inside. It is a turning from your sin by faith, and letting Jesus work in your heart to make you new.

Then, you will have received the judgment as a sinner. You will have accepted what Jesus did for you on the cross was the only thing need – that He took your punishment.

Then, once you have received Him by faith, God will work with you as a Son. He is Father to the fatherless, and will guide you through everything.

Then, in Heaven, He will judge you as a servant. You will have that place in heaven secured through what Christ did for you on the cross; but the blessings and rewards will be through what you did for Him.

So, I hope now you have more appreciation for the Lord’s Prayer, that it is not just repeating something. But, most importantly, I pray you have Him s your Savior. Because you don’t have to be in a church; you can call on Him anytime. We are not promised tomorrow, though – He says in His Word Today is the day of salvation. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But, He will provide for you your “daily bread” that which you need most. And, what we all need most is His salvation.

Jesus Is Coming Soon!

 

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (New International Version, ©2011)

15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

 I have a favorite expression. Every time I am preparing to leave from work or when ever I am about to go anywhere, as I am saying my goodbyes, I like to say,”See you tomorrow (or next time), unless the LORD comes before then!” You see, for me this is extremely exciting! However, I have learned that not everyone gets excited about the thought of Jesus coming. I also mention Jesus coming often because it is a great source of hope for me and to all of us that wait for Him to return. I can always tell when someone is not ready to meet Jesus, should He come. When I say, “Jesus could come any second now” the people that are not ready will usually let me know right away. They usually reply,”Oh, I hope not because I’ve got to do x and o”, or “I don’t really want to go anywhere yet”,or “I have too much life left to live!” This concerns me and I pray for them.

Are you ready? If Jesus came right now, even before you had a chance to think about it, would you be going with Him or would you be staying behind? Are you too bogged down with work and your earthly goals, dreams and ambitions?  Are there things that you have become attached to?  You see there will be no time to look back, and we will not have time to load up a moving truck with our big screen TVs, or material things. We won’t have time to stop and get a cup of coffee, or grab that last bite or say those last words. We have to be ready then and there. We will not even be taking the clothes on our backs. Jesus will come and when that trumpet call of God sounds, it will be too late to even change your mind. Ready or not Jesus is coming soon. 

 

We will be blessed with wonderful and unimaginable, new gifts from God. We will have a glorious new home in heaven with God and all of our loved ones, friends and Christian family. We will be given new adornments and a new white robes. Everything we could possibly want or need is all ready provided for us in advance. Isn’t that Super?

If you do not have a relationship with Jesus and have not yet accepted Him as your Savior, please do so right away. Pray from your heart of hearts and ask Him to forgive you of all your sins and come into your heart. Ask Jesus to wipe your slate clean and give you a whole new life. He will, because He has been waiting patiently for you. He loves you and wants to give you eternal life and all the wonderful blessings that come as priceless gifts upon believing in Jesus and calling upon His matchless name.

So please don’t allow anything to keep you from being ready should the LORD JESUS come today. Jesus is coming soon! Be looking for His return and waiting for this wonderful day. Be excited in the promise that He will return for us and we will be with Him forever.

John 14:2 (New International Version, ©2011)

2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

John 14:3 (New International Version, ©2011)

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Praise God! Jesus went to prepare a place for you and me. He will come back and take us with Him so we can be with Him and remain with Him forever. What an exhilarating promise. I can hardly wait! Hope to see you in that meeting in the air!

Yours In Christ Jesus,

Pam Shekailo

Is nuclear power safe where disasters happen like the Japanese earthquake and tsunami? Or anywhere?

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has raised fears. This is not only because – until the last decade and the awful Indian Ocean one – the word “tsunami” was rarely mentioned. Nuclear power has also come under scrutiny, with worries now even about rain water.

Some claim that a major North American quake is imminent, while others are more worried about the present – after all, people have been saying one was imminent for years now.

In one way, nothing can be considered totally safe. While people don’t slip on banana peels like in the cartoons every day, enough accidents happen in our work places, transportation, and other things that we can say with certainty that anything can happen. However, what most people are concerned with is the probability of nuclear accidents – and they claim that the probably is too great.

A closer look reveals, however, that there are quite a few nuclear plants that have never had an accident. Is it a good idea to build a plant right on a fault line? No. However, with so many earthquakes happening in different places, places where there have not been quakes for a long time and where scientists rarely expect them – exactly as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 – without an understanding of the future, without knowing what will take place, one is left with only doubt and worry.

Do we have to live this way, though? Of course not. There is an alternative.

Jesus didn’t just predict earthquakes in diverse places. He predicted wars and rumors of wars, many false Messiahs, and other things. He predicted they would increase in severity, as they have – just like birth pangs. Jesus also promised that He would protect His people.

This protection is not protection from things of this world, of course. He says in John 16:33, “In this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We might be protected from evil in this world, of course; but this is a sinful, fallen world that was created to be perfect, only to have people corrupt it through their free choice.

“Choices,” you might say, “like using nuclear power?” Maybe, maybe not. That is for each of us to decide on our own. However, the fact that Japan did not immediately suffer a Chernobyl-style disaster after several major system failures shows that it can be pretty safe unless the most *severe* of natural disasters occurs.

More to the point is the fact that human choices have thrown this world into chaos. Whether or not you consider nuclear power to be one, you have to admit things are pretty bad int his world. Thankfully, there is a way to have peace.

God’s Word calls it the “peace that passes understanding,” and says that we shouldn’t worry (be “full of care”) about things but that with everything by prayer and supplication we should make our requests known to God. (Philippians 4:6-7) Even in the midst of this incredible turmoil, people can have peace. How?

See, we’ve all made bad choices. No, we haven’t all done things that have led to many people suffering, but we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God. See, we’ve all said, thought, or done things that cause us to fall short of God’s mark of perfection. We’d love to have a perfect world, but sadly, we have all gone astray and turned each one to his own way. And, the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

In other words, God did send a Messiah, someone to save the world. He came Himself, in form of a man. He had a job to do at His first coming, though; that was to take the punishment for all of our sins. He did this when He died on the cross and rose from the dead the third day.

It doesn’t help just to know those facts, though. You have to make it personal. See, you, like me and everyone else, wants justice, right? Someday, there will be justice for everyone. That justice will come when God looks on us and sees one of two things.

Each one of us has sinned, and that causes us to fall short of the glory of God. So, that means we must be born again, because the way we were born the first time, we were born sinners. Each person msut call on Jesus Chrsit to come and save them by changing them on the inside.

That way, God can see a person who has been changed. It is a person for whom Christ died, the just for the unjust. When He sees that, he knows the debt for that person has been paid.

When Jesus comes into a person’s heart, He gives peace. Sometimes they will fail, of course. I know I was probably overly worried about the Gulf oil spill last year, but I still knew Jesus could take care of it, and He did. The ecosystem is damaged, but not nearly as badly as it could have been. Had I kept my eyes on Jesus totally, I would have had perfect understanding. However, nobody can do that all the time, because we are sinner. We still have that sin nature.

Jesus saves us from the punishment for sin, though, and then He saves us from the power of sin, so that when we are tempted, we can turn to Him for help.

Thankfully, one day, Jesus will save us from the very presence of sin.

Is nuclear power safe? Probably. The chances of the accident that happened occurring again are faine. However, there will be a major earthquake at the end of the Tribulation period that makes the Japan one seem small by comparison. However, at that point, everything will be shaken, and a nuclear disaster will be the least of mankind’s worries.

Don’t think it can’t happen – this last earthquake moved a whole island several feet! And, it also moved the planet’s axis slightly!

Do, however, realize you can be safe in the arms of Jesus just by calling on Him by faith to save you from your sins and by repenting, letting Him change you on the inside. For if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Don’t put it off. Yes, we could be safe from another one for a long while. But, we also know that anything can happen. The Bible says today is the day of salvation. And, the way to avoid worrying is by knowing your futgure is secure in Jesus, through believing that His death and resurrection for you personally, and calling on Him to save you from your sins.

The real reason for the season

Remember the reason for the season

The world has so changed Christmas. They have it as just a day of celebration. Sure, some might know generally what it means. But, they don’t realize the true meaning. And, it’s not just what the song say, “The giving of love every day.” Although that is a start.

Ttrue love is unconditional. It doesn’t matter what you do, God loves you. A person who has not received Christ’s forgiveness has chosen to go his or her own way. Isaiah 53: 6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned each one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

This is the time of year when we should celebrate the fact that God gave that love to us. He did so by giving Jesus to us. And, Jesus being God the Son, it also means that God came for us. He gave of Himself.

See, it’s all about giving, but not the way the world thinks. The world tries to get you to spend money to buy things for others. But, we give things because it’s symbolic of what God gave us. We don’t have to give gifts at Christmas. We could give gifts anytime. If you give gifts, that’s fine. Romans 14 teaches that we shouldn’t judge someone because they choose to celebrate a certain day, as long as they are honoring God. But don’t let that draw you into the world’s view of Christmas. Remember to keep Jesus first.

Second, quite a few families – especially with children – remember the meaning by singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. That’s great; especially if you make a cake since you can eat it. Seriously, though, it’s great to remember Jesus’ birthday. But, while we’re on the subject of giving, birthdays are another time when we give gifts, right?

So, what are you giving Jesus?

We can give Him our time, our commitment, our love, our devotion. We can give Him praise and glory through how we treat others and tell others about Him. We can give Him so much. So, my second reminder to you is, as you remember the true meaning of Christmas – that Jesus came to die for our sins and rise from the dead – don’t just say “Happy birthday” and forget about Him. Give Him a gift that keeps on giving.

Finally, to tie these 2 thoughts together, remember how great that gift is that God gave.

People can give great things. I have a great uncle who remembers the Great Depression. His dad, my great grandfather, was going to lose the family’s home, which he’d built about 7 years earlier. He tells the story of how Pop went to see a great aunt who was quite rich for that time. She gave them the money to save their house, and then some left over. My great uncle says they felt like they were rich.

That was a great gift their Aunt Kate gave. Except for organ/bone marrow donations, it’s probably among the greatest gifts a person can give. Still, it is nothing when compared to the fact Jesus came to become sin for us. (2 Cor. 5: 21) He came to save us from the penalty of hell, which each of us deserves because of our sin. However, those of us who have trusted in Him to save us are not under that penalty anymore. We are passed from death unto life. (John 5:24, 1 John 3:14)

Think about that. Even someone who donates an organ, or bone marrow, can only give someone a normal healthy life span at best. (And that isn’t always a guarantee.) But, God’s gift to us makes sure that all who receive it have everlasting life in God’s perfect heaven, and relationship with Him on earth.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16)

Think of the certainty that gives. That last part – Jesus Himself guarantees that that believer will have everlasting life. But, later we read that those who do not believe (that is, heart knowledge, not just head knowledge) will not see life.

Thus, we must make it our goal to tell others. And, to show Christ’s love to others through our actions as well as our words.

“The giving of love every day,” as the song says? Only because Christ’s followers are to be known by their love. We must show Christ, and tell others about Him, in this lost and dying world.

100 Bible Facts Concerning the Sabbath

WHY keep the Sabbath day? What is the object of the Sabbath? Who made it? When was it made, and for whom? Which day is the true Sabbath? Many keep the first day of the week, or Sunday. What Bible authority have they for this? Some keep the seventh day, or Saturday. What Scripture have they for that? Here are the facts about both days, as plainly stated in the Word of God:

1. After working the first six days of the week in creating this earth, the great God rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 2:1.3.)

2. This stamped that day as God”s rest day, or Sabbath day, as Sabbath day means rest day. To illustrate: When a person is born on a certain day, that day thus becomes his birthday. So when God rested upon the seventh day, that day became His rest, or Sabbath, day.

3. Therefore the seventh day must always be God”s Sabbath day. Can you change your birthday from the day on which you were born to one on which you were not born? No. Neither can you change God”s rest day to a day on which He did not rest. Hence the seventh day is still God”s Sabbath day.

4. The Creator blessed the seventh day. (Genesis 2:3.)

5. He sanctified the seventh day. (Exodus 20:11.)

6. He made it the Sabbath day in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 2:1-3.)

7. It was made before the fall; hence it is not a type; for types were not introduced till after the fall.

8. Jesus says it was made for man (Mark 2:27), that is, for the race, as the word man is here unlimited; hence, for the Gentile as well as for the Jew.

9. It is a memorial of creation. (Exodus 20:11; 31:17.) Every time we rest upon the seventh day, as God did at creation, we commemorate that grand event.

10. It was given to Adam, the head of the human race. (Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:1-3.)

11. Hence through him, as our representative, to all nations. (Acts 17:26.)

12. It is” not a Jewish institution, for it was made 2,300 years before ever there was a Jew.

13. The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath, but always “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” Men should be cautious how they stigmatize God”s holy rest day.

14. Evident reference is made to the Sabbath and the seven-day week all, through the patriarchal age. (Genesis 2:l-3; 8:10,12; 29:27,28.etc.)

15. It was a part of God”s law before Sinai. (Exodus 16:4, 27-29.)

16. Then God placed it in the heart of His moral law. (Exodus 20:1-17.) Why did He place it there if it was not like the other nine precepts, which all admit to be immutable?

17. The seventh-day Sabbath was commanded by the voice of the living God. (Deuteronomy 4:12,13.)

18. Then He wrote the commandment with His own finger. (Exodus 31:18.)

19. He engraved it in the enduring stone, indicating its imperishable nature. (Deuteronomy 5:22.)

20. It was sacredly preserved in the ark in the holy of holies. (Deuteronomy 10:1-5.)

21. God forbade work upon the Sabbath, even in the most hurrying times. (Exodus 34:21.)

22. God destroyed the Israelites in the wilderness because they profaned the Sabbath. (Ezekiel 20:12, 13.)

23. It is the sign of the true God, by which we are to know Him from false gods. (Ezekiel 20:20.)

24. God promised that Jerusalem should stand forever if the Jews would keep the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:24, 25.)

25. He sent them into the Babylonish captivity for breaking it. (Nehemiah 13:18.)

26. He destroyed Jerusalem for its violation. (Jeremiah 17:27.)

27. God has pronounced a special blessing on all the Gentiles who will keep it. (Isaiah 56:6, 7.)

28. This is in the prophecy, which refers wholly to the Christian dispensation. (See Isaiah 56.)

29. God has promised to bless all who keep the Sabbath. (Isaiah 56:2.)

30. The Lord requires us to call it “honourable”. (Isaiah 58:13.) Beware, ye who take delight in calling it the. “old Jewish Sabbath,” “a yoke of bondage,” etc.

31. After the holy Sabbath has been trodden down “many generations,” it is to be restored in the last days. (Isaiah 58:12,13.)

32. All the holy prophets kept the seventh day.

33. When the Son of God came, He kept the seventh day all His life. (Luke 4:16; John 15:10.) Thus He followed His Father”s example at creation. Shall we not be safe in following the example of both the Father and the Son?

34. The seventh day is the Lord”s Day. (See Revelation 1:10; Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:10.)

35. Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28), that is, to love and protect it, as the husband is the lord of the wife, to love and cherish her (1 Peter 3:6.)

36. He vindicated the Sabbath as a merciful institution designed for man”s good. (Mark 2:23-28.)

37. Instead of abolishing the Sabbath, He carefully taught how it should be observed. (Matthew 13:1-13.)

38. He taught His disciples that they should do nothing upon the Sabbath day but what was “lawful” (Matthew 12:12.)

39. He instructed His apostles that the Sabbath should be prayerfully regarded forty years after His resurrection. (Matthew 24:20.)

40. The pious women who had been with Jesus carefully kept the seventh day after His death. (Luke 23:56.)

41. Thirty years after Christ”s resurrection, the Holy Spirit” expressly calls it “the Sabbath day,”(Acts 13:14.)

42. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, called it the “Sabbath day” in A.D. 45. (Acts 13:27.) Did not Paul know? Or shall we believe modern teachers, who affirm that it ceased to be the Sabbath at the resurrection of Christ?

43. Luke, the inspired Christian historian, writing as late as A.D. 62, calls it the “Sabbath day.” (Acts 13:44.)

44. The Gentile converts called it the Sabbath. (Acts 13:42.)

45. In the great Christian council, A.D.

49. In the presence of the apostles and thousands of disciples, James calls it the “Sabbath day.” (Acts 15:21.)

46. It was customary to hold prayer meetings upon that day. (Acts 16:13.)

47. Paul read the Scriptures in public meetings on that day. (Acts 17:2, 3.)

48. It was his custom to preach upon that day. (Acts 17:2,3.)

49. The Book of Acts alone gives a record of his holding eighty-four meetings upon that day. (See Acts 13:14, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4. 11.)

50. There was never any dispute between the Christians and the Jews about the Sabbath day. This is proof that the Christians still observed the same day that the Jews did.

51. In all their accusations against Paul, they never charged him with disregarding the Sabbath day. Why did they not, if he did not keep it?

52. But Paul himself expressly declared that he had kept the law. “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.” Acts 25:8. How could this be true if he had not kept the Sabbath?

53. The Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament fifty-nine times, and always with respect, bearing the same title it had in the Old Testament, “the Sabbath day.”

54. Not a word is said anywhere in the New Testament about the Sabbath”s being abolished, done away, changed, or anything of the kind.

55. God has never given permission to any man to work upon it. Reader, by what authority do you use – the seventh day for common labor?

56. No Christian of the New Testament, either before or after the resurrection, ever did ordinary work upon the seventh day. Find one case of that kind, and we will yield the question. Why should modem Christians do differently from Bible Christians?

57. There is no record that God has ever removed His blessing or sanctification from the seventh day.

58. As the Sabbath was kept in Eden before the fall, so it will be observed eternally in the new earth after the restitution. (Isaiah 66:22, 23.)

59. The seventh-day Sabbath was an important part of the law of God, as it came from His own mouth, and was written by His own finger upon stone at Sinai. (See Exodus 20.) When Jesus began His work, He expressly declared that He had not come to destroy the law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets.” Matthew 5:17

60. Jesus severely condemned the Pharisees as hypocrites for pretending to love God, while at the same tune they made void one of the Ten Commandments by their tradition. The keeping of Sunday is only a tradition of men.

Forty Bible Facts Concerning the First Day of the Week

1. The very first thing recorded In the Bible is work done on Sunday, the first day of the week. (Genesis l: l-5.) The Creator Himself did this. If God made the earth on Sunday, can it be wicked for us to work on Sunday?

2. God commands men to work upon the first day of the week. (Exodus 20.8-11.) Is it wrong to obey God?

3. None of the patriarchs ever kept it.

4. None of the holy prophets ever kept it.

5. By the express command of-God, His holy people used the first day of the week as a common working day for 4,000 years, at least.

6. God Himself calls it a “working” day. (Ezekiel 46:1.)

7. God did not rest upon it.

8. He never blessed it.

9. Christ did not rest upon it.

10. Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and worked at His trade until He was thirty years old. He kept the Sabbath and worked six days in the week, as all admit. Hence He did many a hard day’s work on Sunday.

11. The apostles worked upon it during the same time.

12. The apostles never rested upon it.

13. Christ never blessed it.

14. It has never been blessed by any divine authority.

15. It has never been sanctified.

16. No law was ever given to enforce the keeping of it, hence it is no transgression to work upon it. “Where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15 (See also 1 John 3:4.)

17. The New Testament nowhere forbids work to be done on it.

18. No penalty is provided for its violation.

19. No blessing is promised for its observance.

20. No regulation is given as to how it ought to be observed. Would this be so if the Lord wished us to keep it?

21. It is never called the Christian Sabbath.

22. It is never called the Sabbath day at all.

23. It is never called the Lord’s day.

24. It is never called even a rest day.

25. No sacred title whatever is applied to it. Then why should we call it holy?

26. It is simply called “first day of the week.”

27. Jesus never-mentioned it in any way, never took its name upon His lips, so far as the record shows.

28. The word Sunday never occurs in the Bible at all.

29. Neither God, Christ, nor inspired men ever said one word in favor of Sunday as a holy day.

30. The first day of the week is mentioned only eight times in all the New Testament. (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2.)

31. Six of these texts refer to the same first day of the week.

32. Paul directed the saints to look over their secular affairs on that day. (1Corinthians 16:2.)

33. In all the New Testament we have a record of only one religious meeting held upon that day, and even this was a night meeting. (Acts 20:5-12.)

34. There is not intimation that they ever held a meeting upon it before or after that.

35. It was not their custom to meet on that day.

36. There was no requirement to break bread on that day.

37. We have an account of only one instance in which it was done. (Acts 20:7.)

38. That was done in the night-after midnight. (Verses 7-11.) Jesus celebrated it on Thursday evening (Luke 22), and the disciples sometimes did it every day (Acts 2:42-46.)

39. The Bible nowhere says that the first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ. This is a tradition of men, which contradicts the law of God. (Matthew 15:1-9.) Baptism commemorates the burial and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-5.)

40. Finally, the New Testament is totally silent with regard to any change of the Sabbath day or any sacredness for the first day.

http://www.imsmedia.org/books-about-sabbath/100-bible-facts

A Biblical study in Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism: Baptism is a sign of new birth with Christ. Baptism symbolically enacts how a person’s life is transformed by Christ: they are cleansed of their sins, they die and rise again, there is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17).

Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:13

In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. Romans 9:8
1. Baptism includes children:
Salvation is not given for parents only, but for the parents and also for their whole household.Where does it say in the Bible not to baptize infants? The children in a family are part of the father and mother. When people are saved, it is God’s desire to save their family.

But Jesus has commanded infant baptism. In Matthew 28:19 He says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 25:31-32 also uses the phrase “all nations” in this way. All nations are to be baptized, regardless of race, color, sex, age, class, or education. Jesus makes no exceptions. He doesn’t say, “Baptize all nations except . . ..”

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”Acts 2:38-39

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. John 8:31

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:5

2.Baptism is the new circumcision of Christ: Did the babies circumcised under Abraham and Moses understand what was happening to them? Of course not. How were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saved? By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

“In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Col 2:11-12

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. 1 John 2:27-29

Every time Christians come to the Lord’s table, they renew the covenant, receive the promise of the Gospel again, take up their oath of obedience to God and renew their baptism.

3.Baptism is the beginning of the faith: We including children’s are born again
as members of Christ’s body and citizens of his Kingdom. Baptism is the beginning and not the end of the journey to salvation. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Baptism is not an end in itself. Rather, it is only the beginning of a life of faith and faithful discipleship in Jesus. Baptism is a sign of God’s grace which includes adult converts or infant children of believers.

The Word of God says, “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22) and “not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only those who do the will of God who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus said, “Unless you are born again of water and Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). No one by no fault of their own that is not baptized is condemned to hell.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:37

4.Make disciples by “baptizing and teaching: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

5.All were baptized” through Moses’ leadership in crossing over the Red Sea:
Moses did not leave the infants or children on the shores of Egypt to become prey to the angry armies of Pharaoh because they were not old enough to believe in the promise of the Old Covenant. Rather, entrusted to the arms of their parents’ faith, they were carried through the “baptism of Moses.”

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

6.Lord is with children:
Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:6-8

The saving of Noah’s entire family by the ark can also be seen as a prefigurement of a baptism which includes infants. Why should we leave infants out of the ark of baptism?

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.1 Peter 2:2

7.House hold baptism: Infants are Baptized because they were born into the covenant family of Christ, in anticipation of the faith in which they would be raised.In the below scriptures, the head of the household, came to faith, the entire household was baptized.In the Bible most of those who bore some responsibility were the heads of households. The head of a family has the special responsibility before God for bringing his whole household to the Lord and to His service. You need to take your stand as the head of your family to declare that your household will believe in the Lord and that you will not tolerate anyone who will not believe. The head of the household can decide for his entire household. Even if the little children do not believe, you can still say that your household will believe in the Lord, because this household is yours and not your children’s. You are responsible for your household, not your children. You can declare Joshua 24:15 before the Lord and before your whole family: “As for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.” You have to acknowledge that your family is a believer’s family. You need to declare this by faith, and you need to put your wife and children on this ground. Always lay hold of this fact: I am the head of my family, and my family will believe in God. My household will not believe in the devil. I have decided that this family will be a family that worships God. I have decided that this family will be a family that believes in the Lord. If you declare this with faith, and if you exercise your authority to take the lead, your children will go along.

I believe the head of every household should make the declaration of Joshua 24:15. You should gather your children and dependents together and tell them, “As for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.” Then as long as you are in the household, your household will serve the Lord. The household is yours, and you have the power to decide whether this house will serve the Lord. When you take this stand, everyone who is under you will come to the Lord; they will have no other way to take.
Did Luke say “everyone in her household except infants”?Did Paul say “everyone except infants”?Aren’t infants part of “all the people”?

Acts 11:14, of Peter: “He will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.”

Acts 16:14-15, of Lydia: “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia. . . . And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us. . .”

Acts 16:33, of the Philippian jailor: “’Men, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ He was baptized at once, with all his family.”

1 Cor 1:16: “I did baptized also the household of Stephanas.”

There are several examples in the Bible where it shows that salvation is a matter of the whole household, not individuals.

1)Genesis 7:1 says, “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thous and all thy house into the ark,” and 1 Peter 3:20 says, “A few, that is, eight souls, were brought safely through by water.”

The ark was not for an individual; it was for the whole house. In Genesis 6 we see a man who was righteous before God — Noah. The Bible does not say that the sons and daughters-in-law of Noah were righteous. The Bible only says that Noah was a righteous man before God. However, when God prepared a way of salvation for Noah, He commanded Noah’s whole house to enter the ark. Therefore, the household, not an individual, entered the ark.

2)Genesis 17:12-13 says, “Every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”

God called Abraham and made a covenant with him, saying, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee” (v.7). The sign of the covenant between God and Abraham was circumcision. All who were circumcised belonged to God, and all who were not circumcised were not of God. God also told Abraham that his whole household needed to be circumcised, including those who were born in his house and those who were bought with his money. Therefore, the promise of circumcision was not given to Abraham alone but to his whole household. Circumcision takes the household as a unit. God’s promise came to Abraham’s house, not to him alone.

3)Exodus 12:3-7 says, “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house…and they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper doorpost of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”

The Passover lamb was clearly given to a household, not to an individual. Again we see the importance of a household before God. The Passover lamb had to do with a household, it was not an individual matter. A lamb was not prepared for each person, but for each household. The blood struck on the doorpost and side posts was to protect the whole household. The angel of destruction would pass over a whole household.

If one man eats the lamb, it means that only he is being saved. But if the whole household eats the lamb, it means that the whole household is being saved. Salvation is for the whole household. The whole household eats the lamb, and similarly the whole household strikes the blood. The whole household enjoys these things together.

4)God’s promise of the priesthood was also for a whole house. It was not for one or two individuals. Numbers 18:1 says, “And Jehovah said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary.”

Verse 11 says, “This also is yours, the heave offering of their gift, all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due; every one who is clean in your house may eat of it.” God gave all the sacrifices and offerings to the house of Aaron. The sacrifices were for the house of Aaron, not for Aaron alone. This is because God accepts the house as a whole. Please remember that the priesthood was for Aaron’s house, not for Aaron alone. The priesthood took the household as a unit.

5)Joshua 2:19 says, “Anyone who goes forth from the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be upon his own head, and we will be innocent. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood will be upon our heads if a hand should come upon him.” Joshua 6:17 says, “And the city shall be devoted to Jehovah for destruction, it and all that is in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in her house, because she hid the messengers we sent.”

Here we see Rahab the harlot and her household being saved. What did she do? She received the spies. When she received the spies, God gave her a sign. She was to tie a line of scarlet thread in the window. All who were in the house which had the scarlet thread were spared, while the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho were killed. The scarlet thread signifies salvation. The scarlet-thread salvation saved Rahab’s household; it did not save just her.

We need to be very clear about the scope of salvation. Chapter two of Joshua gives the promise, and chapter six gives the actual execution. Both the promise in chapter two and the execution in chapter six show us that Rahab’s whole household was saved. All who were in the house which had the scarlet thread were saved. God’s salvation is for the whole household, not for individuals.

6. Second Samuel 6:11 says, “And the ark of Jehovah remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and Jehovah blessed Obed-edom and all his household.”

Rahab was not the head of her house; she had a father. But Rahab held to God, and her household was blessed and saved. It is very good if you are the head of your household because you can speak for your household. But even if you are not the head of your household, you can still speak in faith as Rahab, saying, “Lord, turn my household to You to receive Your graceand blessing.”

7)Deuteronomy 12:7 says, “There you shall eat before Jehovah your God, and you and your households shall rejoice in all your undertakings, in which Jehovah your God has blessed you.” You and your household receive the blessing of God and rejoice therein.

Deuteronomy 14:26 says, “You shall exchange the money for anything that your soul desires, for oxen, for sheep, for wine, for strong drink, or for anything that your soul would like; and you and your household shall eat there before Jehovah your God and rejoice.”
Have you seen this? God promised the Israelites that they would eat, drink and rejoice before God on that day household by household. In other words, blessing is for the household, not for the individual.

1. The House of Zaccheus
Luke 19:9 says, “Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house.” This is wonderful. The New Testament declares the same principle. I am afraid that many people have been preaching for over twenty years about personal salvation only. However, the Lord tells us that “salvation has come to this house.”

When you preach the gospel, you must pay attention to household salvation. You must not look merely for individual salvation. If you truly believe and expect this, your work will undergo a great change. This depends entirely on your faith and expectation. If you expect others to come to the Lord one by one, they will come one by one. If you believe that they will come household by household, they will come household by household. The scope of God’s salvation is the household. You must not make this scope smaller than it should be.

2. The Household of a Nobleman
John 4:53 says, “Then the father knew that it was in that hour in which Jesus said to him, Your son lives; and he believed, he and his whole house.” Here only one person was healed — the son. However, the Bible says that “he believed, he and his whole household.” You can lay hold of this fact before the Lord. Although the son was the one who directly received His grace, the whole household turned and believed. Our hope and expectation is that we would bear fruit in such a prevailing way.
3. The Household of Cornelius
Acts 10:2 says that Cornelius was “devout and one who feared God with all his household, giving many alms to the people and beseeching God continually,” and 11:14 says, “…who will speak words to you by which you shall be saved, you and all your house.”

Cornelius’s entire household was saved; it was not just one person who was saved. Cornelius invited his relatives and close friends to hear the worlds of Peter. While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were in Cornelius’s house, and all of them received salvation.

4. The Household of Lydia

Acts 16:15 says, “She was baptized, as well as her household.” The apostle preached the gospel to Lydia’s household, and the whole household believed and was baptized.

5. The Household of the Jailer
Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” This is one of the most outstanding verses in Christianity. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household. God’s Word does not say that if you believe on the Lord Jesus, you and your household shall receive eternal life. It says that if you believe on the Lord Jesus, you and your household will be saved.

Throughout the entire Old Testament, God dealt with man by households. Likewise in the New Testament, He deals with man by households. This is the smallest unit; one cannot reduce it to a smaller one. If anyone believes in the Lord Jesus, his whole household shall be saved. This is indeed a wonderful thing. I do not know why this is so, but the Lord’s Word says it is so. The Old Testament and the New Testament are consistent; both recognize the same unit.

The church in Philippi started with a jailer. Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” Verse 34 says, “And he brought them up into his house and set a table before them; and he exulted because he had believed in God with all his household.” Here we see a wonderful picture. In the beginning the promise was given to the jailer; no one else heard it. “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” Later, the jailer brought his household to Paul. After Paul spoke to them, they were baptized. Then the jailer brought them into his house and set a table before them; and he exulted, having believed in God. “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household’ — this is not something difficult to achieve. The apostle gave the jailer a promise, and his whole household was saved. Everyone listened, everyone was baptized, and everyone exulted.

Suppose the apostle told the jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.” If this was the case, we would have to wait a few days after a person was saved, teach him something, and hope that he would understand. Then he might gradually testify to his family, and his family might eventually believe and be saved. If this had been the case, how long would it have taken for the jailer’s household to be saved? The apostle did not preach the gospel this way. He did not deal with individuals one by one, instead, he addressed the whole household. He said, “You and your household” shall be saved. You need to see this: The salvation of a household is no different and certainly no more difficult than the salvation of one person. You should never forfeit the privilege of saving the whole household. If you bring the whole household along, the whole household will be saved.

I hope that when the church preaches the gospel five or ten years form now, household after household will be turning to the Lord. From now on, the goal of our workers in evangelism should be whole households. If our goal is a household, we will gain a household. If our goal is only an individual, we will gain only an individual. God does things according to our faith.

If we are clear about God’s way with men, we will not suffer unnecessary loss. God takes a household as a unit. If God gains a person, He should gain his whole family as well, regardless of how many persons there are in that family. I hope you will tell the brothers to rise up household by house hold. Those who are the head of a family have the ground to bring their whole household to the Lord, and they should help their families be saved.

Household salvation means household rejoicing. This is a great matter! If we see that God’s dealing with man is by households, we will experience much blessing. We must learn to lay hold of this promise of God.

6. The Household of Crispus

Acts 18:8 says, “Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with his whole household…and were baptized.”

In the Bible there are individuals who believed in the Lord and there are households which believed in the Lord. Notice how easy it is for God’s grace to come to a household. The whole household of Crispus believed and was baptized.

7. The Promise of Pentecost Being Given to You and Your Children

Let us consider the condition at Pentecost. Acts 2:39 says, “For to you is the promise and to your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God calls to Himself.”

The promise of Pentecost includes the forgiveness of sins and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It was given “to you” and “to your children”; it was not merely given “to you.” Those who are heads of the family in particular should lay hold of this promise and say, “Lord, Your promise is for me and also for my children. It cannot be mine without my children also being included. I want it for myself, and I want it also for my children.”

8. Peace to a House

Luke 10:5-6 says, “Into whatever house you enter, first say, Peace to this house. And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon it; but if not, it shall return upon you.”

The Lord says that when a person sets out to preach the gospel, he should say as he enters into a house, “Peace to this house.” It is not just given to individuals, but to households. If anyone is worthy of peace n a house, peace will come to his entire household. This verse is clear enough. God deals with man by households Thank God, peace comes to man household by household.

9. The Household of Stephanas

First Corinthians 1:16 says, “I did baptize the household of Stephanas also.” Here Paul said that he baptized every member of the household of Stephanas. Like the jailer and the house of Lydia, Stephanas’s whole household believed and was baptized.

10. The Household of Onesiphorus
Second Timothy 4:19 says, “Greet Prisca and Aquila and the house of Onesiphorus,” and 1:16 says, “May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain.” Here was a family that took care of Paul, a household that was not ashamed of his chain. Notice again that it was not an individual matter but something to do with a household.

These numerous cases provide ample proof in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that God deals with man by households. This is particularly true in the case of salvation; God takes the household as a unit.

We also wee that THE HOUSEHOLD BEING ALSO THE UNIT OF GOD’S PUNISHMENT

We need to see some verses which show that the unit of God’s punishment is also the household. When man rebelled against God, God was provoked and He judged man. In judging man He took the household as a unit. God’s judgment comes through one man to the entire household, just as God’s blessing comes through one man to the netire household. Once we see this, we will take a stand for our household and declare that our household is for the Lord.
A. Pharaoh and His House
Genesis 12:17 says, “The Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues, because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.” The sin of Pharaoh brought God’s plague to his whole household. God punished his whole household. If God’s judgment comes to a household, we should expect that His blessing also will come to a household. We are not those under condemnation but those under His blessing.

B. The House of Abimelech
Genesis 20:18 says, “For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.” God closed up all the wombs of the women of the house of Abimelech. His whole household was punished, not just one or two men.

C. The House of David
Second Samuel 12:10-11 says, “Now therefore the sword will not depart from your house forever because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says Jehovah, I will now raise up trouble against you from within your house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and will give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.”

After David sinned, God did not rebuke and punish him individually. He said, “Now therefore the sword will not depart from your house.” This is very clear. David sinned individually, but the result was that his whole household was judged by God. In God’s eyes the people of this world are divided into households, not individuals. We need to come to God household by household.

D. The House of Jeroboam
First Kings 13:34 says, “This matter became a sin to the house of Jeroboam, so as even to cut it off and destroy it from the face of the earth.” Jeroboam was the one who set up the idols, but God judged his house and destroyed it from the face of the earth.

First Kings 14:14 says, “Jehovah will raise up for Himself a king over Israel who will cut off the house of Jeroboam this day and even now.” Jeroboam worshiped idols, but God cut off his house. I do not know why God did this. I can only say that in God’s eyes a household is a unit. This is too clear. Unless we purposely ignore this fact, we have no choice but to acknowledge it.
E. The House of Baasha

First Kings 16:3 says, “I am now sweeping up after Baasha and after his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” Because of the sin of one man, Baasha, God took away the posterity of Baasha and his house, in the same way that he cut off the house of Jeroboam. God deals with man by households.

F. The House of Ahab

I think one of the most well-known houses in the book of 1 Kings is the house of Ahab. First Kings 211:22 says, “I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha the son Ahijam because of the provocation by which you have provoked Me to anger and caused Israel to sin.” Why did God deal with the house of Ahab? Because Ahab provoked God. Ahab was an evil king in the Old Testament. God said that He would deal with his house as He dealt with the house of Jeroboam and the house of Baasha. The entire house would be cut off. The unit of God’s dealing is the household. This is more than clear and obvious.

G. The Households of Dathan and Abiram

We will consider one last portion which illustrates our point quite clearly. Deuteronomy 11:6 says, “And what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up and their households and their tents and all their substance that went with them, from the midst of all Israel.” When Dathan and Abiram sinned, God opened the earth and swallowed not only Dathan and Abiram, but also their households.

In the Bible, both on the positive side and on the negative side and both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, all records show clearly that God deals with man by households. Brothers, we need to take care of how we live before God, because what we do individually can affect our whole household.

One of the greatest failures of the Protestants is that they are too loose with their next generation; they allow their next generation to have the freedom to choose their own faith. The Catholics do not have to preach the gospel. Their increase through natural birth alone is greater than the increase the Protestants have in a lifetime; Have you seen Catholics preaching the gospel on street corners like the Salvation Army? No. They just propagate through natural birth, generation after generation. Two become four, and four become eight. Every Roman Catholic child automatically becomes a Roman Catholic. The Catholics do not pay much attention to increase from the outside. As long as a person is born into Catholicism, he is dragged into the religion whether or not he eventually becomes a true believer. It is no wonder that the Catholic population exceeds the Protestant population by more than three times. Do not be nonchalant in this matter, and do not allow your own children to drift away.

Let me repeat: A new believer needs to declare right from the start that his household belongs to the Lord. Not only must he be the Lord’s individually; he also must declare that his household is the Lord’s. Take full control of this matter, and it will be done for you.

8.Babies never heard of preaching:

Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you. So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Galatians 3:7-9

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ Acts 22:16

9.Ministry of John and his Baptism of Repentance:
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matt. 3:11

For John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5

10.Jesus Christ Baptizes with the Holy Spirit: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ” (Romans 8:9).

, “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 11:16

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Luke 10:21

11.The Lord himself Teaches: All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace. Isaiah 54:13

“As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,” says the LORD. Isaiah 59:21

Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:11

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.Ephesians 5:1

12.Infants Can Believe and know God: Luke 18 tells us that certain parents were bringing infants (Greek – brephe) to Jesus, that He might bless them. The disciples rebuked those who brought the babies. Jesus’ response is well known: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Luke 18:15-17). Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to baptize all nations, has declared that everyone who dies without faith is damned, and has taught us that infants can believe by God’s grace working through baptism.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. Psalm 22:9

“And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

“For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears [Elizabeth], the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:44)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth and find out what pleases the Lord.Ephesians 5:8-10

So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe Philippians 2:15

13.Infants are capable of glorifying God:
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. Psalms 8:2

And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 1 John 5:6

Are young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. Psalms 148:12-13

And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mathew 19:13-14.

Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4

The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 1 Samuel 3:19

And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel. Luke 1:80

But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’ Matthew 21:15-16

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.1 Peter 2:2-3

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. 1John 3:7-10

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 2 John 1:4

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:40

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:16-17

14. Children Responsible for the Sins of Parents:
Sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 11:26-28

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6

15.we can see several instances where people confessed and repented from sins of their ancestry. Here are some examples:

King Asa repented from his father’s sin by destroying the idols in the land and serving the Lord (1 Kings 15:11-14).

King Josiah humbled himself and mourned his forefathers’ sin before the Lord. God spared him of the disaster He was bringing on Judah because of the earlier generations’ sin (2 Kings 22:11,13,19-20).

Nehemiah confessed fathers’ and Israel’s sin (Nehemiah 1:5-7)

Ezra confessed forefathers’ sin (Ezra 9:5-15; 10:1)

The Israelites with Nehemiah confessed their fathers’ sin (Nehemiah 9:1-37)

Daniel confessed forefathers’ sin (Daniel 9:4-19)

Using scripture’s precedent, we can take our place in Christ and confess our ancestors’ sins. We can then receive God’s forgiveness and healing from the effects of any generational curses that may have been over us.

16.Parents are responsible to train their children in “the way of the Lord:
But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. 1 Timothy 2:15

Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 12:28 .

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19

For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 1 Corinthians 7:14

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Genesis 18:19

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.2 Timothy 1:5

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matt 5:6

Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 32:46

17.We should tell the children that one of the purposes for which God gave the Bible is that we might teach it to the little ones:
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. Psalm 78:4-7.

18.WHEN SHOULD CHILD TRAINING BEGIN?
When should we begin? Hannah gives us a good example, in 1 Sam. 1:24, “And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young. Samuel was still very young to be surrendered by his mother to live in the house of the Lord!

19.Children SHOULD BE Brought to Christ: People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:14

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4

20.Children are Brought early to the house of God: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.

All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.2 Chronicles 20:13

Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Joel 2:15,16

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

21.Children’s should be Instructed in the ways of God: Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the aliens living in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 31:12-13

And when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today Deuteronomy 30:2

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Psalm 78:6

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

22.Children are the Partake of the promises of God: The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Psalm 37:26

The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. Proverbs 20:7

23.Wicked children are astray:
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”(Here all includes children too) Isaiah 53:6

Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies. Psalm 58:3

And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. Ezekiel 20:18

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. 1John 3:7-10

“They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” 1John 2:19

When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. Job 8:4

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. Ephesians 2:3

Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:4

These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction. Isaiah 30:9

” ‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws—although the man who obeys them will live by them—and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert. Ezekiel 20:21

I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Hosea 2:4

“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others. Matthew 11:16

24.No one deceive you with empty words: Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them .Ephesians 5:6-7

“Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. 1John 3:7-10

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truthbecause of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever2 John 1:1,2

25.Divisions are condemned:

My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:11-13

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:13

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good. Titus 1:16

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:30

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:13