Friday, October 30, 2015

The Lord is my Inheritance!

Dear sisters in Christ, I write to you today to remind you that... "God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do and it gave Him great pleasure. So, we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who  belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. And, this is the plan: at the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ- everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan" ~ Ephesians 1:5-11.

And this is why..."I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him! The Lord is good to those who depend on him to those who search for him. So, it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And, it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of His discipline" ~ Lamentations 3: 24-27.

And, because the Lord is my inheritance, then I can ..."give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will  surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have." For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me" ~ Hebrews 13:4-6

Paul struggled with sin (Romans 7:14), though he was born again in Christ Jesus. Thank God Jesus Christ came into this world to save us from the sin of death, by taking away the sin of the world and so in Him we have eternal life. As Paul, I will surely sin though I do not pursue it. As Paul, I have been made clean and made right before God by the blood of the Lamb - Jesus Christ... for without Him, I would surely be a filthy rag before a Perfect and Almighty God.

The Lord is my inheritance - He is my helper so I will have no fear!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Where two or more are gathered!

Where two or more are gathered, There He is. In that, we are the body of Christ. The church is this body... where we are together, He is with us. And, thus, there are responsibilities for men and women belonging to such a 'body' - being in such a relationship. For instance, a man must be faithful to his wife and children as he is the manager of God's household. He must not be arrogant or quick tempered, a heavy drinker, violent or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home and he must love what is good. he must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong... for there are many rebellious people who engage in wild rebellion and in useless talk ~ Titus 1:6-10

*Recommended read ~ The Brainy Husband, click on right side bar link.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Woman/women ~ Kingdom Dynamics

3:16 The desire of the woman/women  in God's design.

Satan struck at the core of God's design. In Genesis 3:16 we read that Eve was tempted by the serpent (Satan) and she disobeyed God's command and brought her husband into disobedience as well. Why? Is it because woman was not present when God warned Adam not to eat of the tree after all she was created second. Yet, Eve knew of this warning which we could assume she was told by Adam or by God or was known simply because she was a creation of God's. Something though in Eve caused her to spout off to the serpernt while in the presence of Adam; essentially, an act of disobedience in the sense that it revealed in her a desire to be first in relationship with God.

Therefore, one might interpret this 'spouting off' to the serpent) as revealing woman's sense of being second to Adam in creation; thus, becoming her greatest stumbling block and the root of most dysfunctional behavior women have in relationships with men today. In her desire to be first with God, she was now fixed to be second, failing to realize she was actually as much first as was Adam... a very important creation in God's design. She doubted her creation and relation with God. Satan chose Eve because of thebdoubt in her which we could assume he sensed about her.

Now fallen, Eve's earthly desire would now be for her husband which would mean that her fallen desire was now to be that of desiring control over her husband. Taken in this way, the statement is not about God commanding women to be under their husbands due to this desire but then again it seems so. But, what if God is actually reminding her of her sin and warning her against this sin which she now she must overcome through prescribed kingdom dynamics in order to regain her relationship with God.

We as Christians accept that when Adam and Eve sinned, that became our sin. It is in this fallen world, that we can and do ask, how is what they did relevant for us today. If you ask that then you do not understand what actually happened in Genesis 3:16 and nor do you understand then why God sent His Son to atone for that sin 'our' sin for the sake of our salvation.

Yet as I said, this is a fallen state of being all too often both men and women claim that what Adam and Eve did was her act and not mine. They ask - How is what she did relevant for women today?  In light of Genesis 3:16, all we have to do is look around at the world today and see that Eve's sin - her doubt carries on and or is passed on. Women in their doubt still desire to be first; and because of that, they think it can be accomplished by controlling men. As a result, the man might (either inadvertently or intentionally) rule her 'women' emotionally. In that case, her value, significance, and security would then hinge on the man's response to her. Again she fails to trust God who wanted her deepest longing to hinge on Him.

In this fallen world, women's hope and salvation hinges on God's prescribed kingdom dynamics or God's social hierarchy; which is: God, man and woman. It is our hope that God did this so that Eve's (Adam's too) sin could run its course and she would finally realize that her creation was God's design and that knowledge alone is her greatest worth erasing all doubt in her.

The fallen world is God prescribed to work as a program allowing original sin to run its course. This program is governed by God design -  a social process so to speak outlined in Ephesians and in other scripture all of which define God's authority in male/female relationships 'marriage'. You see within this hierarchy there exists security and salvation which are to reassure the woman of her worth and man of his. Accepting this hierarchy will not and should not lead to independence or rebellion by either the man or woman. Rather, it should and does open the way for her and him to the fullest joy of her voluntary submission to God's hierarchy applied in marriage. There, in that process, they will rediscover their (her) true relationship God intended for them (her) from the beginning. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Believers' Question of Spiritual Gifts in the Church

Not all, but quite a few churches, appear to be divided by godless ideas concerning spiritual gifts. Namely, how do we know who is prophesying in the name of the Lord and who is not, who is performing miracles and healing in the name of the Lord and who is not? Who is really speaking in tongues and who is not??? The godless idea in some churches is that no one can do these things in fear of misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit or misdirection ...but is it a godless idea to question? What do they have a problem with? The troubling question is who really has such gifts and from whom are they given since we know that Satan works in this world. They ask, "how we could know if this is the Holy Spirit"?

That is a good question. Yet, we should know that Paul said to those in Corinth that we all have spiritual gifts as such gifts as they are from the Holy Spirit and we should use our spiritual gifts and not neglect them. One can suppose that perhaps such fear stems from another aspect of that same message from Paul as he states that one of these spiritual gifts is the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit ~ 1 COR 12:10. Again, who decides.

Earlier in 1 COR 2:11 we read about discerning God's Spirit and that no one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. And yet...
we have received God's Spirit so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. How to know who is of the Spirit of God and who is not? Paul says that we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead we speak words given to us by The Spirit using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths ~ 1 COR 2:13. However, this is not pointing speaking in tongues as such is a gift for the person who speaks in tongues, it strengthened personally. But, one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church ~ 1 COR 14: 4. Hence, someone who comes speaking in tongues is not necessarily helpful... we should seek abilities that will strengthen the whole church ~ 1 COR 14: 12. Paul tells us to speak wisdom with words that benefit the entire church - we as believers can understand; this we can read in ~ 1 COR 14: 15. Speaking in tongues is for non-believers.

Given that, when trying to understand spiritual gifts in the church, we must be mindful that people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit... for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others ~ 1 COR 2:14- 15.  Is what Paul said here then later connected with his letter to Timothy when Paul states, "Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you"~ 1 Timothy 4: 14-16.

Even so, we can see how the church or some churches as we are one body in many parts of the same body can be either confused or fearful that they cannot discern who actually has gifts from the Holy Spirit; so they simple avoid such things as spiritual gifts. If this is a problem in your church, in this difficulty, we as believers should remember that "God has united us/you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God, he made us pure and holy and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, "If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord" ~ 1 COR 1:30-31. For this is what we as believers can all understand.  Boast not that you have healed, boast not that you have prophesied, boast not that you have spoken in tongues, but the Lord! As we believers know "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" ~ 1 COR 2:9.

God causes everything to work together for the Good

Romans 8:28-37 ~ "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to ho him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his won Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one - for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one- for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love'? Doe sit mean he no longer loves us if ewe have trouble or calamity or are persecuted, or hungry or threatened with death?.... despite all theses things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us."

Romans 8: 12 ~ "Therefore dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful natures urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God."

Romans 8: 18 ~ "... what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected God's curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay."

Romans 8:38 ~ "... I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Do not Judge ~ Follow Me

Do we as women seek to usurp God's hierarchy. It appears so. We as women are guilty of demanding to be in charge of all things based on how we feel about things. And, we can be found criticizing and judging each other... who is doing what and where. We think that women must be superior to men and any tending to them is less than any job. We wonder why some women choose to stay at home to server their husbands and family and judge that they are not working. By whose measure do you use? Take the log from your own eye before you judge others ~ Matthew 7:3.

Jesus said "Follow Me". What does that mean? It means to live a spirit filled life, not one of the flesh. What does that mean? It means not to live in this world coveting material goods and engaging in fleshly indulgences ...bothering about things that don't matter for they will disappear. This is not easy to understand let alone embrace. It is difficult to know what we are called to do.

We are called not to judge and to follow Christ. We are called to live within God's hierarchy as godly men/husbands and women/wives. When we read Matthew 19 "The Rich Young Man", we can even become alarmed. Why? Because, Jesus tells His disciples that it is hard for a rich man to give up his wealth and things so that he/she can enter the kingdom of heaven. It is not only about having money. It is not. It is also about indulgences in things of the flesh and their idolatry. We should be and are alarmed. Not because we agree and think it is wrong but because we think that we must give up things we have to live in poverty and in our consumer society, this is not common among us.

We live in a consumer oriented world that is what is common to us. We base our life on accumulating things and indulging in things that bring brief happiness for ourselves and family,which includes buying label clothing, eating organic food, taking vacations, watching Hollywood films and doing all kinds of things that do not glorify God. We are called to follow Christ, to be in this world but not of it ~ 2 COR 10:3.

This is what we should understand when we read Matthew. You see, the message Christ gave us is not about having money as in being rich and that is bad. It is the idolatry we make of it. We have made idols of many things because of money. We consume and indulge in things that take away from following Christ, from glorifying God. Jesus answered Peter by saying that everyone who leaves houses or brothers or sisters or fathers or mothers or children or fields for His sake will inherit eternal life ~ Matthew 19:24.

For some, this maybe shocking and painful to reconcile with. Why would that be? Because, we as a consumer society we place more value on knowing the 'right' people, being in the 'right' places and buying the 'right' things. We value less glorifying God. Yet, if we want to inherit eternal life, we must follow Christ, we must live a life of salt and light; being at peace, in joy and at rest in trusting our Father in Heaven. This glorifies God our Creator and Savior everyday. This is what it means to be in the world but not of it.

We are not called to abandon our life and those things in it which we have here on earth. We are asked to live our life with those things differently than the world does. We are of it but not in it. We must not treat things including those nearest and dearest to us as primary and treat God as secondary or someone/thing we pray to on Sunday. How can we live differently? We can live differently by realizing that everything in this world including houses, family and children belong to God and with Him all things are possible ~ Matthew 19:26.

House Divided Cannot Stand

A house divided cannot stand. If we do not abide by and in God's hierarchy we can expect our house to be divided and for it to fail or even collapse. Why do you think that divorce is so common in this country? Women have the idea that they should run the house and even the church. Where do men come into the picture these days? They are being minimized. This is not godly. God ordered our 'social and spiritual' life here on earth in a way that is for our own good. Men should love their wives just as Christ loved the church  and women should submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5), not as slaves but to come under their love and protection. Yes, women need to be protected from this world and from themselves so that they can have a godly relationship with the Lord and receive forgiveness and salvation.

When either husbands or wives fall from God's order of living, family suffers. Men suffer and so do women. A house divided cannot stand ~ Matthew 12:25.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Discipline your children in the ways of the Lord!

If you start from early on in your child's life to discipline them in the ways of the Lord, you will never have to reprimand them. How is that possible? You need to start reading the Bible to them instead of fantasy stories that lead nowhere or have no lesson in godly behavior.

The Bible has many lessons for young children and sometimes the wisest parents read verses and scripture that help them in their daily life struggles. It is important to let your children see you live your faith
Look to Matthew and the other gospels which have many simple stories that illustrate godly behavior in all social situations. Children need to know that they can trust the Lord as they see the world in its fallen state. Consider reading Matthew 6: 25-27  "Do Not Worry" It will encourage them and you!

*In the beginning was the word...children learn words, teach them God's.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

God's Love for Women

God's love for women is abundantly present in His Word. Having God as our greatest love, as our supreme protector and care giver, because no one in this world could love us more, is our greatest protection and our eternal salvation. Acknowledging Him as our past, present and future source of eternal love and support gets us through the trials of this fallen world. Henceforth, we can forgive those who are not able to, who are not as godly as we imagined and who cannot in this fallen world be perfect in any and all situations.

God is our true 'bridegroom' who is forever ours! He helps us, guides us and helps us to guide others to Him. Whenever you think your spouse, your child, your parent, your neighbor, or even your representative is less than your godly expectations, you should repent because it is Your thinking that is less than godly. Your sin  is the problem - that sin is doubt. Doubting that the Lord God Jesus Christ, the Creator of Heaven and Earth is not there for you, does not have your back, and cannot see what is bothering you. You must repent. Repenting is rethinking. What should you repent-rethink? Your relationship with Jesus Christ who is our/your Lord and Savior!

Then and only then can you rest assured that God's love is for you and it is eternal. Be at peace as you rest in His perfect presence, wisdom, love and protection. In this way, you can accept each day as it comes to you. Rejoice, and trusting that God is abundantly present instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, Thank God in all circumstances. Trust in the Lord, don't be fearful and rest in His almighty sovereignty ~ Jesus is Calling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rescued from the Kingdom of Darkness!

"Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and with high-sounding nonsense that come from the human thinking and spiritual powers of this world" (the kingdom of darkness). "For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. so you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority" ~ COL 2:8-11.

Rejoice! We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness. How are we rescued? It is God the Creator that draws You/His Creation to Him. Natural man, that is fallen man left to himself is merely a thing having free will, does not have a 'heart' for God. His natural tendency in this fallen world is to reject his creator as natural 'fallen' man is a thing in and for itself. The Old Testament was God's Will for natural man that was given in the form of law so that natural man could overcome the sin of being a thing in and for itself. However, God saw that the law was too much for him and God sent His Son to overcome that sin.

The New Testament is like the Old Testament ~ the Word of God. What is different is that God came into the world ~ Jesus Christ to lead the way out of 'being for and in oneself'.  He came into the world to draw us to Him the Creator of Heaven and Earth- God the Father and to tell us that The Old Testament/Will of God is no longer necessary for our salvation. The New Testament/Will of God is no longer the law but has been written on our hearts. What remains is free will. We have the free will to make the conscious choice of accepting that truth. If we choose to look in our hearts, we will find Him there and His Will for us. If we choose of our own free will to look, find and  accept this new condition; then, we have been born again.

With this information, we no longer seek/want to indulge in the old natural man who was only for him/herself, seeking to indulge in the flesh in the pleasure of the selfish body. Nor do we seek to justify that sin, or seek to have other people applaud that sin with new law to cover it up. We do not desire the flesh, but desire the Holy Spirit. Thus, we would not declare that we love Jesus Christ and He loves us and then purposely with determination: hate, envy, steal, fornicate or engage in any sexual immorality, commit adultery or murder.

You see, "when you accept Christ, you were circumcised, but not by a physical procedure as in the Old Testament. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision, the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when You were baptized. And, with him You were raised to new life because You trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away nailing it to the cross" ~ COL 2:11-14.

"You have died with Christ, and He has set you free from this world. So, why do You keep on following the rules of this world? "Don't handle! Don't taste! Don't touch!?" (the teachings and law of the Old Testament).
Such were the rules/laws that were mere human teachings (God ordered for and because of natural man's fleshly indulgence) about things that deteriorate as we use them.They were many such teachings (laws) and yet not near enough to deliver natural man from him/herself as they provide no help in conquering a person's evil desires ~ COL 2:20-23.

That is why we give Thanks and Praise to God..."For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His Dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins ~ COL 1:13. "And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will Grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness" ~ COL 2:6.

God's wrath then is His bringing in the Harvest!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jesus Came for the Sinner ~ Go Woman and Sin No More!

Yes, Jesus came for the sinner. Today as it was in the past, people come to Christ not finding and meeting Him in a 'church' but in their hour of need or in situations they never dreamed of, even in prison.

I am a sinner, I am a filthy rag ~ Isaiah  64:6. Praise God that Jesus Christ came into the world to save me! Jesus defended the woman that was about to be stoned. Why? We are all sinners. Though, we are and will be counted as sinners until we are delivered from the sin of death, we in this fallen world are asked to sin no more. So that we are conscious of our sin, and our failures and suffer for them spiritually and in that comes the fruit of the spirit and we thus grow spiritually.
Yet, though we hear or read the Word of God, we stumble and fall everyday. We are lured by the world into thinking that we are not lovely, not worthy of love and must do something to call attention to our needs.
Yes, this is sadly why we continue in wicked ways, we continue to put on fancy clothes, jewelry, and brighten our eyes with mascara... primping will do you no good ~ Jeremiah 4:30. Why do we do this? Because, this is a fallen world and we tend to be led by it and forget that though we are in it, we are not of it ~ 2COR 10:3. We are foolish people, we are stupid children who have no understanding, and have no idea how to do right ~ Jeremiah 4:22. We were and are fallen in our transgressions.

Yet, God so loved the world, He sent his only Son. Give thanks and praise to Almighty God. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and Rejoice that you live in Christ Jesus. In that, you must continue to follow Him, leave your life of sin. Let your roots grow down into Him and let your life be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth! ~ Col 2:6.

"Now go woman and leave your life of sin" ~ John 8:1.