Thursday, February 25, 2016

Teach your children how to be in the world but not of it!

"The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their destruction. The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin"~ Proverbs 10: 15-16.

The last sentence ~ earnings of the godly enhance their lives, is very wise advice. It is not only for our children but also for all of us. As we have read in the Bible in Hebrews, we understand that we are in this world but not of it. This means that though we do find ourselves in this place, we don't have to be like it or become like it; as it is a fallen world it is a sinful world that leads to darkness and to death.

When your children display some talents or gifts no matter what age, help them by praying (which is the godly thing to do) to the Lord asking Him for direction so that their talents, skills or gifts are not wasted; and moreover, that whatever earnings come from using their talents/gifts/skills enhances their lives as godly people. And, it will enhance others.

If they have not exhibited a talent/skill or gift and seek something to do with their life, ask them to pray and to ask God to show them what it is that He is calling them to do for Him in this world. Remember, this world is a fallen world, a world of sin, of the flesh, and money is at the top of the list for those both of and in the world. 

As children of God, we can find joy and peace and a full life by living according to God's Word. And, money is not to be our goal, nor should it be longed for. Yes, money does seem to make the world go around and it does for those who are of it and in it. We should ask then in that respect "whose world is it then"? 

The world will go around and go better if we trust in the Lord!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Living in the Flesh vs. Living in the Holy Spirit!

Its not by works that we are saved but by faith. Because, if we were able to do works (in this fallen world) to be saved then we would no longer live in the selfish flesh; but since we still live in the flesh because this is a fallen world there are no good works we can do. This was demonstrated in the garden. Jesus's own disciples could not stay awake 'work' for Him in this fallen world. They still lived in the flesh; in fact, ... not able to escape it. This was also demonstrated by Peter denying Christ and later Paul in his writings/ministry when he struggled with sin -Romans 7:15.

That is why, God sent His Son to be crucified in the flesh for our flesh-sin. How much do you trust in Jesus Christ? Its not by works but by grace that we are/can be saved because we are in this fallen world, this fleshly state. There are no works that this 'flesh' can do. We understand this even more as we read in Matthew. 

"There will be those that cry out "Lord Lord, did not we prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? The Lord's response - "I will tell them plainly, I never knew you, away from me you evildoers!" ~ Matthew 7:22-23. 

You can ask, what is good fruit? Answer - How often do you rest in the Lord? How much do you trust that He did it all at the cross? This is working out one's salvation ~ Philippians 2:12. If he is the Creator of heaven and earth and all things, wouldn't He know His plans for You? Those plans are not for here and now. Why? Because, this is a fallen world.

Yes, we can be instrumental for God's Kingdom by demonstrating to others where our faith rests and why.  That is all we can attempt and hope to accomplish in this fallen this world for it is a difficult and painful task; especially when tragedy strikes due to sins of the flesh resulting in illness, financial woes, job loss, divorce etc. We cannot do enough work to recoup that. We try but most of the time our efforts are fruitless. 

When blessings do come our way, they are signs of what is to come (this is what we know because of Jesus Christ our redeemer; through His act 'work' at/on the cross we have been saved and given the promise of eternal life - "no one comes to the Father except by me" ~ John 14:6) and this what we can look forward to but never have to work for. 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also ~ John 12:25.

Living in the Holy Spirit is not work (trusting in Christ's work at/on the cross) but good fruit.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Suffering in our Afflictions ~ Growing in Grace!

We learn obedience through that which we suffer. A child of God longs for the Return of Christ and in our longing will suffer afflictions. Trust Him in the midst of them which can make us feel that salvation is not real; yet, He teaches us through affliction that salvation is ours and in that the Holy Spirit causes us to grow.

Rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions ~ COL 1:24.

For that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings being conformed to His death ~ Philippians 3:10.

... to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing so that also at the Revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation ~ 1 Peter 4:13.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Keeping the Marriage Bed Pure!

What does it mean to keep the marriage bed pure? You might even wonder why ask the question given it seems to have an obvious answer - don't sleep around, don't commit adultery. Yes and more than that.

Firstly, we need to remind ourselves that marriage is not a 'personal' pursuit of happiness nor should we expect to find 'true' happiness in the person we marry. Marriage is a godly union and a way to be in a godly relationship with another person and with God for the purpose of glorifying God. It is for this purpose that we honor and respect and commit ourselves to a godly union.

As Christians, we must realize that any ungodly indulging in the flesh takes away from a godly walk with the Lord. Marriage is a godly union and the marriage bed is the place where we best remind ourselves of our godly union, our godly commitment and godly bond to another. Yes, we do not indulge in the flesh in any ungodly way (even as a married couple) for fleshly pleasure. In a godly union, God allows for the use of the flesh as a spiritual vessel; in this way, we communion with God through godly union of our marriage with another godly person ... the one that God chose as our godly spouse. From this godly union, come children which are also for the purpose of God's Kingdom.

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, never will I leave you, never will I forsake you" ~ Hebrew 13:4.

Understand that keeping the marriage bed pure means to not let yourself or spouse be led astray by lewd images, by idols or the pursuit of material things that keep you from your marriage bed pure, by improper friendships as in flirtations and private meetings (in person or social media) to talk about things that should only be talked about with your spouse or pastor or parents.

This is the message we must impart to our children as they grow and desire to be married. Teach and remind them what godly marriage is and they will be happily married.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Jesus Christ ~ The Son of Man!

The phrase “Son of Man” is a reference to Jesus' humanity. It is not a denial of His deity. By becoming a man, Jesus did not cease being God. The incarnation of Christ did not involve the subtraction of deity, but the addition of humanity. Jesus clearly claimed to be God on many occasions (Matthew 16:16,17; John 8:58; 10:30). But in addition to being divine, He was also human (Philippians 2:6-8). He had two natures (divine and human) conjoined in one person.

Further, Scripture indicates that Jesus was not denying His deity by referring to Himself as the Son of Man. In fact, it is highly revealing that the term “Son of Man” is used in Scripture in contexts of Christ's deity. For example, the Bible says that only God can forgive sins (Isaiah 43;25; Mark 2:7). But as the “Son of Man,” Jesus had the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). Likewise, Christ will return to Earth as the “Son of Man” in clouds of glory to reign on Earth (Matthew 26:63-64).

Further, when Jesus was asked by the high priest whether He was the “Son of God” (Matthew 26:63), He responded affirmatively, declaring that He was the “Son of Man” who would come in power and great glory (verse 64). This indicated that Jesus Himself used the phrase “Son of Man” to indicate His deity as the Son of God.

Finally, the phrase “Son of Man” also emphasizes who Jesus is in relation to His incarnation and His work of salvation. In the Old Testament (Leviticus 25:25-26, 48-49; Ruth 2:20), the next of kin (one related by blood) always functioned as the "kinsman-redeemer" of a family member who needed redemption from jail. Jesus became related to us “by blood” (that is, He became a man) so He could function as our Kinsman-Redeemer and rescue us from sin.

*Source ~

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jesus Takes the Blind by the Hand!

Though hard wired to believe, this is a fallen world we are born in - as in predisposed to sin in our flesh. This is why Jesus tells us that we must be born again, born of the Spirit. Even in the moment of our spiritual birth, we may not see the Kingdom of God immediately. We may continue to see the world as the world defines it. Again, though we may be born again, or were blind and now see we must be mindful that this is a fallen world sin will always be attempting to creep back into our lives through images,symbols, agendas and the interactions we have with this world: politics, greed, lust, pride and selfishness... etc.

Read ~ Mark 8:24 Taking the blind man by the hand, Jesus brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." Then again Jesus laid His hands on his eyes and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.…

What does that story mean for Christians? I see men, as trees walking; in that, he saw some objects at a little distance from him which, by their motion, he supposed to be men; thus, his sight was yet so imperfect that he could not have distinguished them from trees. He was capable of discerning the bulk of their bodies and that they walked or moved forward; but, he could not distinguish the particular parts of their bodies. They seemed to be like trunks of trees in an erect posture and which he should have took for such, had it not been for their walking.

As this man immediately, upon Christ's putting spittle on his eyes and laying hands on him, had sight given him. At first, it was very obscure and glimmering; so, as soon as ever the Gospel comes with power, it dispels the darkness of the mind and introduces light; though at first it is but very small. It is let in gradually. The sinner is first convinced of the evil of his actions and then of the sinfulness of his nature. He first sees the ability and suitableness of Christ as a Savior and after that comes a willingness and  interest in him as such; hence, this comes before he is so well acquainted with the dignity and infinite nature of his 'Jesus' person, as the Son of God. It is some time before he has his spiritual senses exercised to discern between good and evil, between truth and error or arrives to a clear and distinct knowledge of Gospel truths and a stability in them. Hence, it is that such are greatly harassed with Satan's temptations; they are disquieted in their souls and are filled with doubts and fears and are even in danger of being imposed upon by false teachers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The True Body of Christ is not Man Made!

The true body of Christ is not man made. It is spiritual. It is not visible. The Kingdom of God is within you ~ Luke 17:21. It is not in man's ritual (s) or man's stadiums/cathedrals. Where two or more are gathered, there I am ~ Matthew 18:20.  "No man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid which is Jesus Christ. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you. If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.... The wisdom of this world is foolishness before God... so let no one boast in men" ~ 1 COR 3:11-21. Jesus said "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" ~ John 14:23.

Any revival that you hear being spoke of as in being prophesied about can only be in this 'light', this gathering... no great church will shepherd in all the people. No man can see the body of Christ, though we can partake of it. This is how the true body of Christ is not 'man-made' but made of men/women.

Luke 17:21 "nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In a World of Self Indulgence How Can we Prepare for the Wedding Feast?

This I am sure weighs heavy on many people's minds especially given the kind of selfish and fleshly values we see in mass media. Satan works in this world. His agenda is to be worshiped. He pulls God's people into this realm through false promises. It starts with the promotion of self indulgence in the flesh and fleshly things in and of this world! Which means putting the self first. We are easily consumed by the flesh, by the self. It is largely due to the fact that people have forgotten that we are God's creation and we live because He lives and we live to glorify Him.

What can we do to glorify God? We can empty ourselves to His will. Are we selfish when we marry? Perhaps, we are. In the Bible we can read in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is good for a man not to marry but since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. Why this advice? Because, marriage takes away from the individual pursuit of having a personal relationship with God. Family, which includes husband and children are demanding.

"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world how he can please his wife and his interests are divided. As a married woman is concerned about the affairs this world how she can please her husband. We are instructed to live in a right way in an undivided devotion to the Lord" ~ 1 COR 7: 32-35. 

In that respect, would it be better to remain single to be better able to glorify God? Yes! You would better glorify God if you were able to 'save' yourself (mind/heart) only for God. That is not likely in this fallen world. That is what Paul was relating to us. If you cannot do that, it is better to marry. How can marriage glorify God? There is a set of rules for marriage which when we live by them, we do glorify the God. We can read rules for marriage in Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 7 i.e. Glorifying God in marriage and all earthly relations (parents/husband/children/friends/community) means "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" ~ Philippians 2:3.
Our pursuit here and now is to prepare for His coming ~ the marriage feast with Jesus Christ ~ Matthew 22:11 and Rev. 19:7. And, yes we can prepare for His coming through marriage here and now as long as we understand that our earthly marriage is to glorify God. In that way, we will be prepared for the wedding feast, by our being dressed for it -prepared, we will be ready to experience the greatest love which has no boundaries nor is shackled by selfishness and pride as in 'mine'.

Above all - "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" ~ Hebrews 13:4

Hard Wired to Believe ~ Praise the Lord God in All Things For We Know Not His Ways


Jesus is the way to the Father therefore we do not need to know anything else or need to know anything other than that.  Knowing that Jesus Christ is the way to the Father requires us to Praise the Lord in all things for we know not His ways... as in ways/means to work and or move in this fallen world.  It is all too easy to fall into this world and become consumed by it with its prideful thinking for mediocre acts that prop up the individual for their way or views of the world and not the Lord's. We applaud people for their ideas when they actually stole them from the Creator ~ Love they neighbor as thy self.

There are atheists out there that think they are the first to come up with brotherly love. They may even argue that what is found in the Bible is not God's but man's. Really? The cosmological argument states that there can be no idea in a man (information) that does not come from something or someone (source) which is outside of man as in greater than a man. Why? Because, then any man's idea is the right idea for him/herself and their idea (s) should not be denied to them. 

In that situation, there would be no absolute good and that means no evil. As what is good defines what is evil. Thus, all ideas would be right ones at least for the individual who has ideas. If we say that there has to be an absolute idea of good and evil that applies to every man/woman, then we have to find or acknowledge the source of that absolute. 

Again, it cannot just be a or any man. Why not? Because, we would be right back to where we started from with every and any man's ideas ...which leads to nowhere. Believing in an absolute just and loving creator who has the best plan for us moves us only forward.

According to Pascal Boyer of Washington University in St. Louis, research suggests our cognitive systems evolved in a way that makes believing easy. In a 2008, essay for the journal Nature, Boyer wrote that several features of the human brain predispose us to religious belief. Among the psychological tendencies complemented or satiated by religious beliefs are an ability to relate to unreal or unseen figures (imaginary friends, deceased relatives), a desire to avoid danger and the uniquely human ability to be a part of and maintain massive social structures. Boyer’s research also suggests “that people best remember stories that include a combination of counterintuitive physical feats . . . and plausibly human psychological features."

Boyer contends that there is not one part of the brain solely responsible for religious belief, but rather that the particular overlap of several cognitive systems renders religious beliefs desirable to, and easily accepted by, the human mind. This also means that if/when we opt for atheism, we are doing hard work to battle against what our minds are generally inclined and well-equipped to do ~ believe.

We are God's creation and hard wired to believe in Him and to come to know Him as much as it is possible in this fallen world. Yet there seems to be a corrupted program or virus working against that truth hidden in a corrupted interfacing background of what we think of as reality.  Can a character in a program know and or observe everything in the program? No, that is not possible. They cannot know everything as they are not the Creator of the program; therefore, they cannot change it at will to suit him or herself without risking damaging the entire original program.

The best course in this reality is to function as God created us to function in the original. Which is not easy to do as we now exist in a corrupt program. Yet, God in his mercy and grace offers us His Word. He gives the commands and we can choose to follow that command even in this corrupted program. Thus, we cannot know His ways; but, we can know the way back to Him... the only way back is through Jesus Christ.  That is why we can praise the Lord God Jesus Christ in all things for He is the way. This is what still runs in the foreground, what we were well equipped to do and thus find easy to do ~ believe!

"Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord... who saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus who ash destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed ~ 2 Timothy 1: 8-12.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Best School for Christian Children is God School!

What kind of school is the best school for Christian children? Home School! Its Biblical! "My son, obey your father's commands and don't neglect your mother's instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck, when you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life" ~ Proverbs 6: 20-24.

 "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live... and teach them to their children" ~ Deuteronomy 4:10. Do you teach your children the Word (s) of God?

If you do teach them, then you know who gave them and why. Don't let the world tell you that 'they as in some expert' just thought of all the right laws/policies/words and proper behaviors. The right ways for living and behavior (s) have always been ours given to us before anyone was ever created. Don't let the world rob you or your children of what righteously belongs to God ~ His Word (s).

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Kingdom of Heaven ~ Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob

The Lord God created the Heaven and Earth and everything in it ~ Acts 17:24. But you O Israel my servant Jacob whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth from its farthest corners I called you, I said, "you are my servant" I have chosen you ~ Isaiah 41:8. The people he chose for his inheritance ~ Psalm 33:12. He chose us in Him before the creation to be holy ~ Eph 1:4, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation ~ 1 Peter 2:9.

Moses climbed Mount Sinai. There the Lord called to Moses. The Lord God had instructions for the family of Jacob the descendants of Israel. "...You know how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. Now, if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation. This is the message you must give to the people of Israel." Exodus 19: 3-6.

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So, practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. Everything they do is for show" ~ Matthew 23:1-5.

Jesus the Son of David the King of the Jews ~ Mark 12:35, Matthew 2:2 and 27:11, did not say to the crowds and the disciples that they were not descendants of Abraham or not under the law of Moses. He told the crowds and his disciples practice but do not follow for the teachers and Pharisees 'high priests' the 'official' interpreters were abusing God's people using God's own law given to Moses. And, yes, in that case, everything those leaders did was for show. The laws given to Moses were to remind the people that God's requirements were/are so great (necessary to be perfectly holy) they needed a Messiah to wash them white as snow ~ Psalm 51:7, (like a bride) because not one among them was/is righteous before the Lord ~ Isaiah 64:6.
Through the Messiah sin (s) was atoned for and salvation was theirs... not by works, but by grace. When God's chosen people did not accept their inheritance- offer of salvation, Paul was instructed to reach out to other people for all were God's creation. God created the Heaven and Earth... 'all are called by God, but not all are chosen' ~ Matthew 22:14. Through the disciples and widely through Paul's ministry (divine calling) all heard God's voice/his calling and those upon hearing chose and were chosen becoming heirs together with Israel.  
If all were/are called, then how do you become chosen? When you hear the call - when you truly hear the Word of God and feel the presence of the His Holy Spirit, you will know it is an invitation to the wedding, so dress 'prepare' for the occasion and you will be/are chosen. It is your choice to be prepared, dressed in the proper attire.

"The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. But, all who were invited refused to come. So the king had the banquet hall filled with strangers, as in street people, commoners good and bad. All but one of these guests were dressed for a wedding feast. When the king asked, "how is that you are here without wedding clothes?" The man had no reply. The king had him thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen" ~ Matthew 22:14.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob Psalm 146.