Monday, November 28, 2016

Growing in your Knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1: 2-11. 

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And, because of His glory and excellence, he has given us great and previous promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness and with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop iin this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Suffering for Christ!

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit ~ 1 Peter 3:18.

Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God and all the angels and authorities and powers accept His authority. So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude He had and be ready to suffer, too.

For if you have suffered physically for Christ you have finished with sin. You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had  enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy, their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So, they slander you. But, remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was reached to those who are now dead, so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit ~ 1 Peter 3:22-4:1-6.

So, dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. So, be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you ~ 1 Peter 4: 12-14.

Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name! ~ 1 Peter 4:16 

Friday, November 11, 2016

What to tell Daughters and Sons?

As Christians, we must tell our daughters and sons what the Bible (the Word of God) says which is that a man leaves his mother and father to join his wife. The two become one. Above all, tell them that God created them for His special purpose! That in being a man or a woman, husband, father, a wife and mother has great value! It is not being slave to anyone, it is being a valuable loving and caring partner. The two become as one, giving to each other what the other needs and thus serving God.

Men have an important role in God's hierarchy which is to be strong and courageous and dedicated, loyal and the leader of their family. They need a partner for support in these duties. Marriage is a godly union between a man and woman and as such the two become one flesh. This means that the two (man/woman) have to understand and realize that marriage is very serious commitment. It is not just a 'secular/legal' contract. It is a spiritual commitment (two becoming one); it is a special kind of relationship with the Creator Jesus Christ.

As one, a man and a woman, in the flesh they do not exchange their flesh with anyone else or engage in any other kinds of relationships/activities that take away from their first commitment as one in a relationship with Christ: sexual immorality, lewd intimate conversations, wickedness of any sort and generally spending time together in the world rather than with the Creator.

The Creation of Woman
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh ~ Genesis 2: 23-24.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate ~ Mark 10: 7-9. We can read the same message in Matthew, Corinthians and Ephesians.

Of course, Americans will say that is not true, that is not fun... There is no mention in the Bible of fun. This life is about sacrifice, obedience and prayer... in that there comes joy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What do we tell our Daughters?

I am hearing this question a lot today and of course in context of the recent election outcome. We tell our daughters what the Bible (the Word of God) tells women. First, not to marry and if one has to marry because of fleshly desires such as the desire to have children, then they must marry and follow God's hierarchy of marriage roles/relationships. Above all, tell them that God created them for His special purpose! That in being a woman, a wife and mother has great value! It is not being slave to a man or any man, it is being a valuable loving and caring partner. The two become as one, giving to each other what the other needs and thus serving God.

Now to the unmarried and widows I say this: It is good for them to remain unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.… 1 COR 7:8-10.

If they 'daughters' do not have such desires they are not to engage in fornication or adultery or any other sexual immorality or idolatry that leads one away from the Lord. We are to show daughters that we are to be devoted to God in all things doing His will. That does not mean to necessarily become a kind of monk/nun or even missionary. But those kinds of options are to be considered... certainly the later.

If those options are not suitable then they should find some kind of job (receive education/training for that job) that will either fully support or at least help to support themselves and their family if they choose to remain at home with parents or decide to live outside their parents home at the age of legal maturity. This is not an easy life. Nor is being a full time wife and mother. The first commandment is to love thy Lord God with all your heart. Thus, our number one desire is to eventually be with the Lord in the New Jerusalem accepting that this world is passing away.

This is the message of Christ and there is no other. One cannot live in both worlds: the flesh and the spirit - Kingdom of God. Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit ~ John 3:6. Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable ~ 1 COR 15:50.The flesh will die but the spirit in Christ Jesus lives on and greater rewards are for those who did not give up the good fight, who ran the good race here and now ~ 2 Timothy 4:7.  You see,... without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him
must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6.

There is no greater calling here and now than to choose a life relationship with Jesus Christ. But, know this, the world will reject you as it did Him. Yet, know that you are bound for eternal glory through Him who redeemed your sin and brought you into the heavenly realm of eternal light.

*A life as a Christian wife and mother is also a good choice because you will be serving the Lord as you bring up the next Christian destined for greater eternal glory.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Our Father in Heaven!

Matthew 6 ~ Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him...And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray"...

“ Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one".

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

God's Social Hierarchy! ~ His Word is Good for all Times/all Societies!

1 Timothy 5: 1-24. ~ Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 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. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 

But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain", and “The worker deserves his wages". "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses". But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.