Monday, December 11, 2017

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ!

Instructions for Christian Households ... 

How to be Husbands and Wives in the Body of Christ ~ Ephesians 5:21-33.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Did you know that there are well intended intelligent people marrying for all the wrong reasons. At a recent wedding, for a beautiful young couple, hosted at an elegant golf course (dinner at 50$ a plate), the pastor read this, "Well, did you meet her at the bar or on the bar?" "And, bet you want him for richer than poorer."  The bride grabbed the mic and said, "you betcha". She added that she likes to have fun and likes laughing and that so so makes her laugh and he better keep doing it.

No one should marry anyone they met at a bar.  No one should marry because she is hot, gorgeous and smart or he is handsome, funny and has money. No one should marry thinking they will change the world or change him or her or move each other up the social status ladder. People should marry so that as one they can better serve the Lord and His Kingdom! And, the best way to do that is to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ and also to be fruitful and multiply raising up children in the Lord preparing them for His Kingdom come!

If you are already married and things seem to be falling apart at the seams for you and your spouse and your children too, then pray! Yes, pray in the Holy Spirit to God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, pray for your spouse and for your children and let them know that you pray for them. You don't have to broadcast it or proclaim it to the world but in simple ways let them know... put a small note in their pocket or lunch saying, "God Bless you and Keep you, or I prayed for you my love this morning to bless you and keep you safe". 

Very soon, you will begin to see your life and their life turn around; yes, turn around for good and not for evil... for the evil one lurks looking for chances to break apart and or destroy what God the Father and Son Jesus Christ has purposed!

Prepare for your heart for the coming of the Lord ~ Jude 1:14-25 and Joel 2:11-13!

Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,i but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen. ~ Jude 1:14-25.

The Lord is coming ... and, He is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is His mighty army, and they follow His orders. The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?

That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. ~ Joel 2:11-13.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Do not work for food that perishes...

People waste time and money on things that will perish, things that will burn up on the last day: all social media, all sports, Hollywood gossip, world news, political talk including economic strategies, as well as jobs, clothes, shoes, pursues, hair styles, jewelry, furniture, cars, awards, achievements, and investments... "These will all perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings" ~ COL 2:22.

So... "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." ~ John 6:27.

Yes, one can make the argument that as long as you do not obsess about worldly things, you can indulge in worldly things. Really?  One does not have to have an 'obsession'. It is enough to find oneself regularly (not wanting to miss out on) reading and watching the latest political and economic agendas and or thinking about the next big sale at Macy's with its line of new pursues, or predicting how their favorite team is going to do this season, or what their favorite restaurant/health food store is offering, what exotic vacation to take and or what new cars are coming off the lot, what stocks/bonds to invest in, which school to send their children too and even what church to attend rather than thinking about their eternal salvation then they 'people' do spend too much time and in vain with the things of this world. Things that will perish.

"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance ~ Isaiah 55:2. There is no doubt such abundance is in/of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Light, Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness ~ Part II

Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness ~ 1 John 1:5-10 

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us ~1 John 1:5-10

An eighth-century Christian named Alcuin of York prayed: "Almighty and merciful God, the fountain of all goodness, who knows the thought of our hearts, we confess that we have sinned against you, and done what you see as evil. Wash us, we implore you, from the stains of our past sins, and give us grace and power to put away all hurtful things so that, being delivered from the bondage of sin, we may produce the good fruits of repentance."

From this prayer, we understand 3 key truths. First, a foundational truth: "God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all" ~ 1 John 1:5. Second, an applied truth: We must walk in the light (vv.6-7). Our lives are the evidence of our faith. If we claim to have a relationship with God but do not choose holiness and truth, we prove ourselves liars.

Being God's children means we need and want to be where He is and where fellow believers are. If we claim to have a relationship with God, it will also be seen in our unity and fellowship with one another. Third, the truth of grace: Confession is an essential spiritual discipline (vv.8-10) On our earthly pilgrimages, we are unable to walk in the light perfectly. We still sin, and if we think otherwise we are self-deceived.

Thankfully, when we confess, He forgives, always! He is faithful and never gives up on us. He is just as Christ already paid the price. When we stray, He restores us and brings us back into the light (v.9).

* A Moody Commentary taken from ~ Today in the Word, August 2017, pg. 28.




Light, Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness ~ Part I

Jesus Christ ~ The Light of the World! 
 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life ~ John 3:16. Some people think that we are loved by God because of His Son, that would mean that God did not love us prior to Jesus. But, when you read John 3:16, you discover otherwise. He loved us even before and because of that sent His Son to Redeem us from the darkness of this fallen world.

One question we might have is should we let those in appear to be in darkness, continue in darkness because Jesus has already redeemed them? The answer should be that if they know why God sent His Son, then they will no longer be in darkness.  Should we be then be concerned when we see a person in Christ backsliding? Can someone in Christ backslide? 

Paul described 'backsliding' in Romans 7:15-19, "For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do"; and, we read about backsliding in Galatians. "For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to one another, so that you do not do what you want" ~ Galatians 5:17.

From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness ~ 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

"They prove the truth of this proverb: "A dog returns to its vomit." And another says, "A washed pig returns to the mud."~ 2 Peter2:22. Is that judgement? Not at all...isn't it better that those in Christ intervene with forgiveness and instruction those that backslide so that they leave their sin once and for all, leading them from darkness. In other words, we should point to scripture so that we/they realize what is wrong in our lives. Scripture corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
 

In 2 Peter 2:22, we understand that the dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire; which expresses the filthy nature of sin, signified by vomit, mire, and dirt, than which nothing is more abominable and defiling; and also the just characters of these apostates, who are filly compared to dogs and swine and likewise their irreclaimable and irrecoverable state and condition, it being impossible they should be otherwise, unless their natures were changed and altered ~ Gill's Exposition. 

As clouds hinder the light of the sun, so do these darken counsel by words wherein there is no truth. Seeing that these such people increase darkness in this world, it is very just that the mist of darkness should be their portion in the next. When men are entangled, they are easily overcome; therefore Christians should keep close to the word of God, and watch against all who seek to bewilder them. 

A state of apostasy is worse than a state of ignorance. To bring an evil report upon the good way of God, and a false charge against the way of truth, must expose to the heaviest condemnation. How dreadful is the state here described! Yet though such a case is deplorable, it is not utterly hopeless; the leper may be made clean, and even the dead may be raised. Is thy backsliding a grief to thee? Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved ~ Matthew Henry Commentary.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Be Steadfast and You Will Grow in Endurance!

Dear Brothers and Sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. And, do not waver, Be sure that your faith is in God alone. You cannot be divided between God and the world for you will be unstable in everything you do ~ James 1: 2-8.

If you follow the way of the world with its: technology, social media, labels, brands, distinguished groups, glamour and glitter, you will descend deeper and deeper into a very dark abyss. Sadly, as you struggle to find a way out, there will be those who appear to have Christian voices saying, "You must do this/that or you won't be saved." No, there is no work that you can do to be saved. 

All you need to do is believe in the one who sent Him; and, be at peace in that knowledge found in the Word of God. In His Word, you will find the truth which is that God so loved the world He gave His only Son Jesus Christ who died for your sins, there is no condemnation in Him. In this radical freedom, you will be at peace and free indeed in the One who came to give you life eternal - Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

God's Love and His Dicipline for us in Love!

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as his son.” ~ Hebrews 12:5-6.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined and everyone undergoes discipline then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness ~ Hebrews 12:7-10.

In Hebrews God's Love is clear in His role as Father. His discipline is love in that we are His children and in His discipline we re given strength to overcome this world, this flesh, and thus we are to endure hardship as His discipline in order to live a different way and not to live in the flesh as we think and want to be loved in it as it is - fallen. "God made this way and He loves me this way" i.e. Today, however, too many Christians think like this... and sadly they are deceiving themselves. In His love, His discipline, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” ~ Hebrews 12:28-29.

In hearing this, many cry out - "What about God's love for us... doesn't He love the sinner?" Yes, He does without a doubt but the sinner must realize his/her fallen condition and see that in him/herself as we are yet still in sin but rejoice because of God's Love and His Mercy and Grace toward the sinner. In this way, we are no longer seen in our sin - though it is still there on the 'surface'. For some, this is not easy to comprehend. We want to think that God loves us as we are for the sinners we are in this fallen world its ok to be sinners and in that kind of love our sin just goes away. If that were true, why did God send His only Son to redeem us from sin so that when God looks at us, He does not see our sin but His Son Jesus Christ?

God does not want us to be sinners nor to see our sin or us in our sin. He wants to see us redeemed. When He looks upon us He wants to see us redeemed 'resurrected from sin and death; and does when we receive Christ His Son; and we in humility of such Great Love, His Love, His Great Almighty Love, Mercy and Grace we are made new and thus able to pursue a holiness we could not have pursued before. 

There is no condemnation put upon us accepting His Love, and in that love His discipline for us in our fallen condition. God's love is boundless, because we are His creation even though in a fallen condition. Because of His boundless love (it has to be) we are unbound in Jesus Christ to live as a new creation in Christ in this fallen state. In accepting such love for our sin, our fallen condition, we are by obedience through discipline bound to Jesus Christ - God sent His only Son because God so loved the world - His creation and God wants to save the world. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will ~ Ephesians 1:3-5.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Sovereignty of God ~ His Will Be Done on earth as it is in heaven...

When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we pray confidently that His Will Be Done and His Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven! Accepting God's sovereignty is critical in praying confidently! Today, we tend to think that we should identify with a right worldly kingdom. Ironically, those who say that really don't want a right kingdom which is God's Kingdom with His rules. Rather, by identifying with a right worldly kingdom they want an individualism to apply to them in a worldly kingdom that they say God has willed. They do not want to accept God sovereignty and that His Word is Sovereign and they definitely don't imagine having to stand individually before the Creator. 

No, they tend to stand on the premise that every individual is God's unique little individual to be worshiped just for being an individual with special beliefs and looks/behavior/preferences/tendencies and that His Will for them is to be a special individual based on their individuality. And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons ~ Acts 10:34. He made no distinction between them and us, because of their faith-cleansed hearts ~ Acts: 15: 9. 

Yes, every member of the Body of Christ is necessarily an individual but that does not mean God's Will is different for each one. His Will applies to every member in the same way. How? God's Will is sovereign in the same way for everyone! How do we know that? We read it in His Word. The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. And although its parts are many, they all form one body. So,it is with Christ ~ 1 COR12:11.  And, we observe its rejection in the idea of free will theism which thinks it can deal with sin and suffering individually based on the individual will God has for every individual.

In saying the Lord's prayer, we accept God's sovereignty, His Will for all of us and we know that in His Sovereignty, God takes sole total responsibility for His Will. He has ordained that all things exist, including sin and evil so that He may show His Sovereignty. When we pray His Will be Done, His Kingdom Come, we pray confidently because in the Lord's prayer is our hope, future and purpose here and now. We pray in confidence that God has already announced His Victory as He is in control of all things. So, we don't have to wonder or hunt for His Will for us. And, certainly, we don't have to wait for the last chapter in order to know that He through His Will (not ours) will accomplish all that He set out to do.  How do we know this? Though we are different parts of the same body, we are collective in His Will and His Will Be Done. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and not all members have the same function, so in Christ we who are many are one body and each member belongs to one another ~ Romans 12:5.


Again, the individual is recognized in the body as a necessary part of its being. But, that does not mean that the leg's function is more important than the hand or should be treated 'individually' as we think of 'individual' treatment. Why would there be a need to have individual recognition if the goal is His Will? So...Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head. From Him the whole body is fitted and held together by every supporting ligament. And, as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds up itself up in love. So, I tell you this, and testify to it in the Lord: You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking... Ephesians 4:15-17.

God's Will is revealed in His Prayer - the Lord's Prayer. We pray with confidence for what is true in God's heaven to be manifest on earth. In respect of the individual parts members of one body, we can ask - where is the one place that This is clearly demonstrated here and now... where is the visible evidence of the rule and reign of God right now? It is in the Christian Family! 

We should see a little embassy of the Kingdom of Christ, a husband wife and children in the right ordering. They are showing how the Kingdom is to work. We declare against the powers and principalities of this fallen world when saying the Lord's prayer, that we are overcomers, we are obedient to His Will and we demonstrate His Will and His presence right here and now in our family, in us! ~ A Summary of Albert Mohler's sermon on the Lord's Prayer.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When Bad Things Happen ... Pray His Kingdom Come!

Why do bad things happen? They happen because this is a fallen 'corrupt' world; we do not belong to this corrupt version; we are in the world but not of it ~ John 1:10, John 15:19,James 4:4. That is why, on our own, we cannot escape it just yet. There has to be reached a saturation level before the reboot. What we know is that Christ came to be our overcomer here and now, He is the patch! He entered in to give us hope that through Him/His sacrifice we will return to our original unfallen state.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost their true 'real' covering; they attempted to 'recover' themselves. But God made them a 'covering' enabling them/us to function in this fallen (corrupt version) world. But, this skin covering as we see is more akin to the beasts of this fallen world than to God.
"For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world" ~ 1 John 2:16.
It was through sin we became a kind of lesser being. Isn't it obvious that these beastly skins are the reason that fallen humans behave like beasts. We think and act in beastly ways. The lie that we evolved from beasts only reinforces this idea and we see today that this notion leads to all sorts of impurity, sexual and otherwise. When Christ returns and restores us to our original design, exactly like Him, we will see how beastly this skin 'covering' really was. And, in His Kingdom, we will be like Him! For now our means to cope with bad things is to pray His Kingdom Come!


"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/sins, as we also have forgiven our debtors/sins. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:9-13.


 This is the most powerful prayer we can pray ~ given us by Jesus Christ.  Why? Because, in the last days, there will be those who think that His Kingdom is coming by mans' hand. It is not. Yes, some think that by increments God's Kingdom is coming here on earth in the form of progress and technology. As if it is slowing uploading. The problem with that is this - Our God is Almighty and Powerful and why would He slowing upload His Kingdom here? This is a fallen world and it will come to pass. How do we know? Look at what Augustine said about the City of God vs the city of man. The City of God is coming and the city of man is going 'passing away'. 

Yet, in our sin, we mistake going for coming. What confirms this mistake? The second command that Jesus gave us (First being love the Lord thy God) love your neighbor as yourself. In the city of man the self is served. The city of man is build upon the foundation of self love and because of that premise men fear their fellow man and they necessarily reduce freedoms as they feel threatened by other men's sense of freedom since every man becomes the center of the universe - self loving and preserving. Jesus asks us to love our neighbor as our self and in this we know that God's Kingdom is yet Coming because in His Kingdom the self as we know it here and now does not and cannot exist.
 
Take a look at Hebrews 8: 7-13. In a commentary by Matthew Henry we learn from this Scripture that God once wrote his laws TO his people, now he will write his laws in them; he will give them understanding to know and to believe his laws; he will give them memories to retain them; he will give them hearts to love them, courage to profess them, and power to put them in practice. This is the foundation of the covenant; and when this is laid, duty will be done wisely, sincerely, readily, easily, resolutely, constantly, and with comfort. A plentiful outpouring of the Spirit of God will make the ministration of the gospel so effectual, that there shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge in persons of all sorts. 

Oh that this promise might be fulfilled in our days, that the hand of God may be with his ministers so that great numbers may believe, and be turned to the Lord! The pardon of sin will always be found to accompany the true knowledge of God. Notice the freeness of this pardon; its fulness; its fixedness. This pardoning mercy is connected with all other spiritual mercies: unpardoned sin hinders mercy, and pulls down judgments; but the pardon of sin prevents judgment, and opens a wide door to all spiritual blessings. Let us search whether we are taught by the Holy Spirit to know Christ, so as uprightly to love, fear, trust, and obey him. All worldly vanities, outward privileges, or mere notions of religion, will soon vanish away, and leave those who trust in them miserable forever. Now, some reading the above commentary in context of God's Kingdom Come, will yet conclude that it illustrates the slow upload of God's Kingdom. But it cannot. 

The key is in the last sentence. All worldly vanities, outward privileges, or mere notions of religion, will soon vanish away, and leave those who trust in them miserable forever. Again, some will still argue that the slow upload is not contrary to arriving at a new reality. But it is. How? It is because there are those left behind. If it were a slow uploading, everyone would be changed but not everyone will be. This is a glimpse of the rapture. God's Kingdom will Come and all of what we know now will be gone suggesting a clean cut, not a slow transition wherein old information could still creep in.What is clear is that a brand new reality will exist; so we pray His Kingdom Come!

Monday, October 30, 2017

No Condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!

Self condemnation keeps us from growing in our walk with the Lord God our Father in Heaven. Such self condemnation arises because though we don't want to sin, we struggle with sin. Often it is that struggle that brings about self condemnation which can feel like an unbearable weight. Why? Well, we are being rightly convicted of repeated sin in the flesh by the Holy Spirit ... that's the weight we feel and it is by the same Holy Spirit that we are unburdened and set free through confession and repentance. Yes, set free and free indeed in Jesus Christ. Without Jesus, we are but filthy rags bound by the law of sin and death.

Of course, our life cannot be one spent or filled only with confession and repentance every minute of the day as we may sin at any moment though not wanting to. What shall we say then?

In Romans 7:7-25 NIV, we read ~ Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

When the Holy Spirit rebukes us (we feel a weight on our heart); it is as when a parent scolds their  child for their own good. So when the Holy Spirit does that for our own good, we in humility and with a sincere desire to be free of that weight we turn to/come before God, declaring our sin 'that weight' and repent (cast it off by the same Holy Spirit), knowing that God's love for us and intention for us is to be free from the law of sin and death... through His Son Jesus Christ so that all Mercy and Grace are ours for all time.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Study in the Word ~ Zephaniah 1: 7-9

The Day of the Lord ...

Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near, For the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, He has consecrated His guests. "Then it will come about on the day of the LORD'S sacrifice That I will punish the princes, the king's sons And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments. "And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit..."

What are foreign garments? All such as are clothed with strange apparel—the princes or courtiers who attired themselves in costly garments, imported from abroad; partly for the sake of luxury, and partly to ingratiate themselves with foreign great nations whose costume as well as their idolatries they imitated; as in other respects, God would have them to be separate from the nations. And it can be too the "strange apparel" to garments forbidden by God, for example, men's garments worn by women, and vice versa, a heathen usage in the worship of Mars and Venus (De 22:5) ~Commentary by A. R. Faussett

"A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this" ~ De 22:5.

 Are we judging those who cross dress? Or do we do as Jesus did - enlighten? Jesus reminded us, "You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone when I judge; I am with the Father, who sent Me" ~ John 8: 15-16. Or, "stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly." ~ John 7:24. Jesus (recognized in Isaiah 49) said, (John 8:16) "yet if I judge, my judgment is true". 

Though judgment was not the object of His mission, it was, as He had taught in John 3:19 the result of the manifestation of the Light. But, in the cases in which the result followed, the judgment was not according to the flesh, but was in accord with the essential truth - God is the Creator of all things, and we are created in His image - male and female. This promise is in part fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles. Men perish in darkness. But Christ enlightens men, and so makes them holy and happy. Jesus is the Son of God and acts accordingly; hence His judgment is true because it is in accord with the essential truth of the Father who sent Him.

Many use the argument that God created them male and female as if they are both at the same time. If that were the case, he would never have made a distinction the first place. Some argue still that this means God had to make two distinctions in one being - male and female so that they have two different attributes but are essentially the same thing in one. Well, again that argument does not hold water because if you reason that God had to make two different attributes then they are just that - two different attributes to be recognized as such. By putting on deceiving garments, we cannot recognize those two different attributes any longer... they blur and hide the created being of man in the image of God. So, we must recognize the differences in order to understand our Creator and our purpose as His created being. 

Well, "didn't you just write in the previous post that if a man goes into a ladies room dressed as a lady we wont judge him... because we will see him as a lady?"

Yes, we will not judge him because we cannot in that moment. He is a lady and as far as we know at that moment not a man nor ever was one as far as we know. The Lord will judge his heart. But, if this man insists on publicly proclaiming himself a man dressing as a woman and has a right to do so, then he/we have a problem and right to rebuke him for his/our own good/enlightenment. And, this would apply in the same way to a woman dressing like a man who makes it a public right to be a woman dressing and acting as a man. Both fail to embrace their differences God's 'diversity' created in us ...either male or female in God's hierarchy. In fact, they reject His authority and all His creation by making an open public declaration of their will over His. 

Final comment ~ Again, if God created one being having two attributes: male and female, then why make a fuss over either? If it is to say that there are two distinctions in Man: male and female, then we must recognize these differences in ourselves and within our extended self - society; in order to understand who we are as God's creation. By cross dressing, we cover up, we hide from those differences, and we end up blurring our God given identity and His purpose for us.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Salt and Light ~ Pointing out Sin and Darkness ...

What did God Jesus Christ do for me/you? He covered my/your sin with His blood. Should I/we or would I/we want to continue in my/our sin? No! Interesting is that a lot of people today never heard of sin or think that they don't sin; including many Christians you run into. Wow! What Christ are they worshiping? In the end times, there will be false Christs ~ Mark 13:6. Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons ~1 Timothy 4:1.

Sadly, some churches are already engaging in that worship. How do you know? If your church thinks that certain behavior is OK and their response is, "who am I to judge" then they are mistaken. We, those born again in Jesus Christ, are required to show as in point out to our brothers/sisters what sin and darkness is in their life using the Word of God - Scripture! One has to know the sin condition in this fallen world in order to get out of it - this fallen world.

Our job as fellow believers in Christ is to point out sin/darkness using the Word to show people the way out - Jesus Christ! That is what is meant by sharing the Good News! How could it be good news if all we do is say, "Hey, this is a nice guy to read about and hang out with, he was nice back then and just told people around him to be nice too!" 

Hey, FYI - Jesus Christ died for our/your sin. Uh, like that is a really big deal, right? Because of that awesome sacrifice, we too can witness 'give our testimony' of this great sacrifice and miracle that was - Jesus Christ; which in fact, does require us by the power of the Holy Spirit in us to overcome the sin and darkness in our lives so that we may share in His promise of eternal life. There is no other way to the Father except by Him- Jesus Christ ~ John 14:6.

Yes, judge each other with love in the meaning discern good from evil, to point out right from wrong, not to condemn. The final judgement belongs to God. Our job is to preach the Good News with the intention to lift up our fellow believers, those called by God, from the darkness of sin and death into the everlasting light. We are to be salt and light... when encountered, both can be painful to those living in sin and in the darkness. But necessary they are in order to stand out - taste and see that the Lord is Good! Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him ~ Psalm 34:8.

We in the body of Christ are to be our brother's keeper. How do we know that? Well... If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels?  If we cannot say what is good and what is evil and seek to deliver our fellow man/woman, then what are we doing?

Do you not know that wrongdoers will NOT inherit the kingdom of God? Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God ~ 1 COR 6:1-11.

No one wants to be judged (have their sin pointed out) but if I had a brick [sin] on my head while standing in quick sand [darkness], I would sure want someone to point it out, take it off and pull me out! The Lord Jesus Christ did that for us and does that over and over for us - Hallelujah; but does that mean we are to keep the brick on our heads and stay in the quick sand? No! You are Not judging someone when you point out the brick on their head, you are pointing out their problem!

Didn't Jesus discern what was sin when he encountered sin? Yes, of course He did. He turned over the tables in the temple and when he stood for the adulterous woman, He told her - "Go and sin No More". In this very dark world, we must be salt and light. Why? Because, we must know what is wrong in our lives, we must know the difference between good and evil in order to know what is the truth. In this way, we are prepared and equipped to do His work and even more. Why? Because, our future job is to rule and reign with Christ here on the earth in the millennial and we will have to be able to judge angels!




We have to know from what we are being saved and by whom!  Answer - Sin and by Jesus Christ!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Praying in the Holy Spirit!

Jude 1: 17-23 ~ Praying in the Holy Spirit (Ghost)...

Remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

What is the experience of praying in the Holy Spirit?  Our prayers are most likely to prevail when we pray in the Holy Ghost (which means) under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of His word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. 

And in that, a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts ~Matthew Henry Commentary on Jude 1:19.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

God's Mercy and Grace! ~ 1 John 4:19

Did you know that the sayings, "what goes around comes around" or "what you do (good/bad) will come back to you in equal measure," originated in Hindu philosophy/religion. Its not Christian! Jesus Christ did not give His life for our sins because he measured out salvation for only the right people who rightly measure their behavior at all times. He came for sinners!  

Jesus never said anything like that and such eastern philosophy completely violates His sacrifice on the cross. Really, you ask. Yes, really. Christ asks us to repent... He never asks us to suffer for our sin though we may. He never asked us to suffer from our mistakes or to be made righteous by our deeds/works. It is by Grace that we are saved so that no one can boast! Yes, some immature Christians think that the commandment to love thy neighbor is equal to that kind of eastern philosophy but it is not. Nor is what we read in Matthew 7:12 ... "in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you".

Firstly, to love others as yourself means just that. To treat others as you would treat yourself means just that. It is out of love for yourself that you can love others (knowing you are loved by God). It is not because you should love but because you can out of love for God and love for yourself which exists because He loved you first.

Neither of those scriptures mean that what you do good or bad will come back to you in equal measure. For what would mercy and grace be and the love of God mean to us if you had to measure out your behavior in every moment? In saying this, knowing of God's Mercy and Grace, we do not think to run out and sin. No, we think to run/turn to God when we sin. And, in doing so, we thank God for His Mercy and Grace because it is so great and beyond any and all human measure.

 We love because he first loved us ~ 1 John 4:19

The Woman Who Fears the Lord ~ Proverbs 31:10-31


The Woman Who Fears the Lord
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

1 Timothy 2:1-15

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

Many Christians today don't fully grasp this scripture; they ask, " how can or why should a woman submit like this?"  First, one must accept the social hierarchy put in place by God which serves a purpose in this fallen world which is to keep us from sin, though we sin. It keeps us from complete corruption and sets up the program for redemption and salvation.

A married woman submits to her husband as he comes under the authority of the Lord God. His wife comes under him and he 'her husband' stands for her. In the protection of him, her redemption is secured by him as he her husband treats her like the church.

An unmarried woman submit also. The only difference is that she is directly submitting to the Lord. She chooses not to and does not marry to satisfy her own ideas of single needs or preferences to be single and independent. By not marrying, she chooses a more direct and intimate relationship with the Lord God first and foremost.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Be as little children ~ Yet mature Christians!

Living to Please God

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified...that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable! ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody! ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

 "Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Mark 10:15.  If we are living to please God, as read in 1 Thessalonians 4, then what about being a child? 

Aren't children dependent upon parents? Aren't children carefree, uninhibited and even naive? Yes.
And, as Christians, we can be dependent upon our Father in heaven, we can be carefree knowing that He will take care of us even in the darkest times, we can be uninhibited in our worship of the Lord and even naive in that it could bother some people.  

Mature Christians are those who feed on the meat of scripture, God's Word! They are stronger in their walk with the Lord for it. In that, they are dependent not upon themselves but on God and carefree in their trusting Him, uninhibited and naive as children who are in the world but not of it. This is how it was when you were a child... in the world but not of it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Concerning Marriage/ Married Life ~ 1 COR 7:24-40.


In Genesis 2:15 we read that God put man in the Garden of Eden to work it, and take care of it. Then God says (v18): “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (The Hebrew word here translated as “suitable”, literally means “like opposite him” like him but opposite of him  a good description of the complementary characteristics of men and women). 

When reading Genesis, we understand that marriage was/is instituted by God so that human beings can fulfill the creation mandate. Marriage is necessary to help the human race do the jobs it is meant to do: to work, to be stewards of creation, to have children and to raise them to be productive. And so, marriage is foundational to all this human activity. This last part is very important for Christians to grasp; which is, that marriage is foundational to all human activity which is not always godly activity - Lord's affairs.

In scripture, we read - each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them into a spiritual life. What does that mean? It means that if they were married when called, they should remain married. If they were unmarried when called, they should remain unmarried.  In other words, if you feel that your first and foremost call is to serve the Lord, it is better not to marry. If you feel you can serve God (the two become one) by marrying then marry. Just remember, marriage is not self serving.

In Corinthians, we are instructed further, Paul said that it is wiser to be free from worldly concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please 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.

An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

Again, to reiterate, it means that if you feel called to be devoted to the Lord, you should not marry. But, this does not mean that marriage is wrong or that it is not foundational to human activity... it still is for those who want to be and choose to be married. And, that in marriage they ' a man and woman' become one and should together be devoted to the Lord God.

Thus, according to the will of God, when it comes to married life, a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife...and each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband ~ Genesis 2:24, 1 COR 7:2. 

*Additional Source ~ http://www.christian.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/biblical-basis-of-marriage.pdf

Friday, October 6, 2017

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" ~ John 14:6.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one 'individual' comes to the Father except through me ~ John 14:6.

You see, the individual person is of infinite importance. God deals with, saves and judges individuals. The masses have no real essence. Only in The Single Individual can we find the ultimate and absolute truth as Soren Kierkegaard repeatedly asserted; for Kierkegaard the "crowd is untruth". That is why Kierkegaard used the subject of politics to get his point across. It is the best illustration because in politics there is only representation of the masses.

Though that seems fair, it is not perfectly or absolutely fair because in every democratic 'win' there is loss. Not every one is going to be happy or feel justified. Therefore, there is untruth even in a democratic society. Ironically, that is as fair as we can be in this fallen world. That is why, we must remember that politics emphasizes the whole, while Christianity, as proffered by Kierkegaard, emphasizes the individual before God.

Do not expect man's justice to be done...we are to wait in joyful hope that His Kingdom come!  In that time of waiting, we will produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith ~ Galatians 5:22. Our strength to do this comes from Jesus as He said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives" ~ John 14:27.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Philippians 2: 3-18 ~ May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you...

Being at peace in the place where we are as Christ was we understand what it means to have the attitude of Christ... Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" ~ John 14:27.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.

Friday, September 29, 2017

To Live as Christ ~ at Peace in the place where you are...

Pray that His Kingdom Come! Live as Christ lived - at peace with himself and others. He was not running around trying to organize people, nor was he out trying to serve people or trying to bring about order and peace nor was He out doing things to make people believe who he was. He was always in the place where He was and all He did was be at peace in the place where He was. And, in that place He lived at peace with Himself and others. Live as He did as the Son of God, Jesus Christ and your life will be full of peace and joy!
  
Did miracles happen when Jesus was around? Yes, but He was not seeking to perform them to show Himself, He was Not out to 'socially' engineer them. They happened because He was at peace with the knowledge of who He was - The Son of God and we as Christians are Children of God!  Jesus was acting in the place where He was... acting as who He was - The Prince of Peace!

People will pipe up and say "Oh what about feeding the poor, or healing the sick, or all those things He did?" Yes, He did those things always being in the place where He was and at peace with Himself and with others! If He had bread and fish to share, He shared and many times over. If He wanted to get more rest, He calmed the sea simply by being at peace. When Martha was busying herself in the house/kitchen, Mary was at His feet in peace ~ Luke 10:41. When Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, He did not jump on a horse and ride off to save Him; He stayed where He was for two days ~ John 11:6.  Jesus came in His own time, and He came in peace.

The same story (John 4:49) of the royal officer's sick child... Jesus said, go for he/she is healed. The officer left in peace. Jesus was in the place where He was and at peace, this is how we should live... as Christ lived!

"When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them".…Mark 10:14-16. 

This shows that as children we believe without doubt in His peace, we are drawn to it... we don't need a 'show' of it or even demonstration of it, or government mandate for it, or man-made building/ institution or organization or nation wide event to direct us to His peace! And if you do and you tell the children otherwise... you will never enter it!

"And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. “Child, why have You done this to us? His mother asked. “- Your father and I have been anxiously searching” for You. “Why were you looking for Me?” He asked, “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”… Luke 2:47-49. Jesus even as a child in the place where He was...was at peace with Himself and others!

Practice the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the place where you are... and may the peace of the Lord be with you always!