Christmas Day 9

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be more verbal of the work of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection; and His coming again;  I want to share the gospel with all who will hear, so that they might come to believe Him.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (KJV)

Christmas Day Nineteen

What do I want for Christmas today?

Since this is the time of giving gifts, I always want to remember the One who gave the greatest gift; the gift of His Son, to die on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave; and that He continues to give us Himself day after day, moment after moment.

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 (KJV)

The Burial of Christ

Many years I have heard sermons, Bible lessons, and teachings on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it seems the Bible deals with the death, burial and resurrection; and usually in concert with one another.

Maybe I am off track on this, but I have had this on my heart and mind quite often in the past year or two; so today I write dealing with the subject of “The Burial of Christ”.  The burial of Christ proves that He was dead; not swooning or faking death.  I do believe the Roman guards knew death when they saw it.  Thus, He was buried.

Now reading in 1 Corinthians we read…

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

When we read the accounts of the Gospels we read of His burial, not just His death and resurrection.  So why is it so important to remember His burial as part of the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

It is in its very meaning a necessity of our salvation, our living now, and for eternity.

Here is one place I get my meaning for the need of the burial.  In the book of Leviticus and chapter sixteen is the ceremony on the day of Atonement, and the lesson of the scapegoat.  One goat is taken, the hands of the priest is laid on the goat representing the sins of the people placed on it, then that goat is slain, and its blood is taken and poured on the mercy seat in the tent of meeting.  We must understand that all of Scripture points to Jesus, and that all is saying that there is one way to God, and that is through the blood of His Son Jesus the Christ.

Just for note: I will not cover every detail of the scapegoat ceremony, but the scapegoat is the one which lives; chosen by lot; and then taken, and released in the wilderness, and some believe maybe slain in the desert; never to return again.

Let us for  a moment think on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ like this;  1.  The death of Christ is our past;  2.  the burial of Christ is our present;  and 3.  the resurrection of Christ is our future.

Those who believe in Him are saved from sin, and its eternal torment.  That leads us to the “burial of Christ” and the present.  When Jesus died and was buried He carried all our sins, shames, condemnations, guilt, and death on the cross, and to the grave.  He carried them away; like the scapegoat -into the wilderness; never to be seen again.

He left all that baggage of sin, shame, condemnation, guilt and death in the grave.  He came out alive.

Knowing that He carried all of that away, and left it there should cause us; the Christian; to live without that baggage in our lives – once we have asked for His cleansing and forgiveness.

Because He was buried and risen we need not live in fear of His appearing, but with joy we do look for Him.

 

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Ten

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my family, friends, neighbors, and U. S. of A. citizens to remember those who died for the freedoms that we have today; and to drive carefully as you travel back to your homes.

Have a blessed and safe Memorial Day, and remember everyday the One who died to free you from sin, and death; Jesus Christ.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV)

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galations 5:1

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and Six

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the hopeless, the poor, the orphan, the widow, and every lost soul to know that God loves you; and that He has provided a way that all may come to know Him; and that way is through the cross of Jesus – His death, burial and resurrection.

Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:23 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Day 270

What do I want for Christmas?

I want you to know the love, peace, joy, grace, and power of God in your life; I most of all just want you to know God through His Son Jesus Christ; that you might have His mind and heart.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Eighty

What do I want for Christmas?

Since this is the first day of the “work week”, and Schools are open, students returning and many of them on School Buses; I want drivers to be alert, aware, and watchful of stopped Buses, children are crossing roadways, and streets; loading and unloading students on the busy roads and streets across this nation.  Not just today, but every school day.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NKJV)

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to hear my King’s shout, and His trumpet call, for all His people to gather to Him; preparing for that day when He will come to judge the world and put an end to sin.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (KJV)

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Day Two Nine Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to live my life in the fulness and power of the Holy Spirit of God; that others might see the power and work of God, His Word and His Spirit in me.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”  Galations 5:22-26

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Ninety and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my friends, family, neighbors all around the world to know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave; that He is the Son of the Living God, and God the Living Son.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NKJV)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Also see Colossians 1:16-19;  Isaiah 41:4; 44:6;  Revelation 1:17

Day Three Hundred and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always recognize and know that the LORD is the owner of all that I possess, and that I am only a steward of the things in my care; that I may be found faithful.

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 (NKJV)

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2

Day Three Hundred and Twelve

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to better understand Freedom; especially the liberty Christians have in Jesus Christ; and I want all to understand that Freedom/Liberty is not free from responsibility.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV)

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galations 5:1

Day Three Hundred Twenty and Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my wife, children, grandchildren, and my other family members to be saved, secured, and protected daily by the mighty hands of God, and His Son Jesus Christ; and that we all might know Him intimately.

For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 (NKJV)

“But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Day Three Hundred Thirty and One

What Do I Want For Christmas?

I want to see people responding to the preaching of the word of God in faith, and salvation, life changing and eternal preparation for the eternal presence of God.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
John 3:16-18 (NKJV)

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

Day Three Hundred Thirty and Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want Christians in Christian marriages, and families to know that the devil is working hard to destroy the Christian home, and that we must be ever vigilant in standing with Christ Jesus and in His Word;  “the devil like a roaring lion is walking about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8);  Christian stand your ground, stand firm in the Word; and remember that “…the weapons or our warfare are not carnal (flesh), but mighty through God…”  Be strong Christian.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

DANGEROUS BUSINESS

Jack Woodard's Blog

Defile Temple

DANGEROUS BUSINESS
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”.
[1 Corinthians 3:16,17]

The local Church at Corinth was a troubled Church, about everything that shouldn’t be going on within a local Church was not only going on, but was having a destructive impact upon the Church.

In verses 16 & 17 the Apostle Paul gives a solemn warning to those individuals within the local Church that were literally destroying the Church; God would repay in like kind. If they destroy the Church, which is Holy unto the Lord, God would certainly destroy them in return.

This warning, this threat, this promise from the Lord has not been revoked and is still applicable to those within…

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Words for Christian Living – Edification

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.”  2 Corinthians 13:10 (KJV)

A lot of times as a pastor, preacher of the gospel there will be times things within the Church, the local congregation you lead with strike up a hot response in your heart.  There are things that go on sometimes that ought to make us angry.  We see a family angry at another family; one member mad with another member; and they are casting insults at one another.  Maybe one member maligning another when the other being maligned is not guilty of much, or anything that is being charged.  It could be a member you know is in personal sin.  These things should cause some anger, with self-control [temperance] from the pastor, preacher.

In the above verse Paul has expressed that he should use “Sharpness”  or “Severe reproofs and censures… the exercise of the apostolic rod” (John Gill Commentary e-Sword).  You will note his words though “To edification”.  It should never be the intent of correction, reproof, rebuke to destroy; but to always edify.  To build up takes more effort than tearing down.  Sometimes tearing down is necessary, but the ultimate end is for “Edification”

Words for Christian Living – Sufficiency

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (KJV)

Some will notice that I used a portion of this Scripture; verse 9; a few days ago.  There is another word that is beneficial here for the Christian.  The word “Sufficiency”  one definition at dictionary.com is “adequate provision or supply, especially of wealth.”

Sufficiency in Christ is in matters of His supply, provision; and it is adequate.  Grace is sufficient through Christ; and all that goes with it.  According to Scripture; we are “Joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17) so all that is His is ours as well, even the suffering with Him.  We are also told by Scripture that “All things are under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:25, 27;  Ephesians 1:22;  Hebrews 2:8).  All that the Christian needs is supplied by the cross of Jesus Christ.

Christ Himself is our wealth; our Sufficiency.

Words for Christian Living – Jealousy

“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”  2 Corinthians 11:1-4 (KJV)

We would not in a normal sense think of “Jealousy” as being a good thing.  However, the apostle is dealing with a people who are not strong on the doctrine of Jesus Christ alone for salvation.  We are servants of the Jealous God (Exodus 20:5; 34:14;  Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15).  Jealousy from God should be expected.  He created all that is.  It is proper of Him to desire the worship and adoration of His creation.

Christians should be jealous for Him.  Christian pastors and preachers ought always “defend the faith” because there is not other to worship.  We ought to be jealous for God.

Contrary to what Oprah may have said concerning the jealousy of God.  He is still a jealous God.  He alone is worthy of worship, adoration and praise.  He alone is worthy of our jealousy for His worship.  When others proclaim “Another Jesus” which is not the Jesus who died on the cross, was buried and bodily arose from the grave; and is eternally seated at God the Fathers right hand; we must speak out vehemently against that “Jesus”.  That “Jesus” is not the Jesus of grace and mercy, but another of deception.

Christian, be “Jealous” for Christ Jesus.

Words for Christian Living – Commendation

“But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”  2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (KJV)

Most people are searching for commendation.  Some are satisfied with self-commendation; others desire the commendation of others.  Self-commendation is worthless; but then, so is the commendation of others for the purposes of eternity.

The word “Commendation” means… “Approval; Praise”.  It speaks well of a person when others approve her/him.  However, if someone with an evil heart speaks well of you…  What does that say?

The commendation from God, our Lord, is the better commendation.  Do not rest in peace with what others say of you.  You can rest, and be in peace with what God says of you, commending you.  You will not be commended by God with unrepented sin in your life.  He will commend you when sin is dealt with, and you are in fellowship with Him through the cross of His Son Jesus Christ.

Words for Christian Living – Grace

“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

The apostle Paul was being afflicted by what he called “a thorn in the flesh”, and he had prayed to be delivered from it; to be healed maybe of the physical affliction.  We are not told what it was, but we are told that the Lord’s answer is found above.

In the midst of affliction, our thorn in the flesh, whatever it is we can rest assured that God’s grace is sufficient for us.  In our weakness God is strong.  In our weakness, our illness, or disease God is glorified.  None of us like afflictions.  We can be like Paul, however and “Glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Remember the word “Grace”.  God’s grace is sufficient.

Words for Christian Living – Rich

“Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”  2 Corinthians 8:7-9 (KJV)

That word “Rich” causes us to think of wealth in the material sense.  We hear the word “Rich” and we may have thoughts of what that might be like to live like the “Rich”.  Gold, silver, precious stones, Wall Street, big mansions, big ranches or farms; many houses and lands or expensive cars have absolutely nothing to do with the richness of which the above passage speaks.

The wealthiest Man who ever lived and walked among men gave up much wealth – the splendor and glories of heaven – and came down and walked among us, then gave His life that we all might be saved.  He gave up wealth, to become poor that those who hear His Word, and believes would become rich in the purest meaning of the word.

The riches of Christ cannot be taken away; they cannot be destroyed by moth or rust; they are incorruptible.  The riches and glory of heaven are yours through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.

Words for Christian Living – Personal Cleansing

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)

God has given many precious promises to His people.  It is because of God’s promises; His wonderful gifts that we cleanse ourselves.

There are those elements within Christianity that tell us that “We need not worry about living a good clean life.  Just eat, drink, be merry.  God is gracious.”  There is an element of truth to that, however, we are told by God in Scripture to “Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness”.  We need to separate ourselves from those who would live lives of debauchery, iniquity, and filth.  The Christian needs to live in the truth of the word of God, dwell around people of like faith, attend a faithful, Bible believing, Bible preaching, Christ honoring Church faithfully.

John the apostle has written,

 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”  1 John 3:2-3 (KJV)

To be in peace and fellowship with God we must maintain holy lives.

Words for Christian Living – Now

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”  2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (KJV)

The most important word in the life of anyone is “Now”.  God is not the “I was”, or “I will be”.  He is “I Am” (Exodus 3:13-15).  He is God now.  Christian there is no more important time than the now.

If you are currently an unbeliever, but you know and believe there is God: He is drawing you to Himself.  Now is the time to hear His voice and receive the finished work of His Son Jesus death on the cross as the atonement for your sins, believe Him and be saved today.  No matter what you have done God’s forgiveness is greater than your sin.

Christian, Now is the time to start walking with Jesus our Lord and Savior new.

Words for Christian Living – Being Confident

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  2 Corinthians 5:6-11 (KJV)

There is much talk of “Self-confidence”, and a little of that goes a long way.  It is not always good.  Too much of it ends in prideful rebellion.

Self-confidence is when you feel good about yourself,  your life, your abilities, talents, and “Life style”.  The confidence of which Paul the apostle writes is a confidence which comes from knowing God; knowing that He holds you in His hands.  Knowing that you are protected from harm; safe under the shelter of His “Wings” as having to do when a hen gathers her chicks for protection from a storm or a fox; or any predator.

The confidence of men;  yours and mine; can fail.  Our confidence in God can become weak; however when we have been with God, and know His heart we can trust Him through every trial and tribulation we enter and we can endure to the end.

As Christians we are confident that if we die we will be at home with Jesus for all eternity.  If we live we live unto the Lord.  We know also that there will come a day when; as Christians; we will stand before the “Judgment seat of Christ” and we will give account of all the things we have done here on earth in our bodies.  What has been done for the glory of the Lord will stand the judgment; what has been done for ourselves will burn in fire.

Because we know the “Terror of the Lord, we persuade men…”  The terror of the Lord is that He hates sin.  The sin debt was paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son, on the cross.  In His burial He carried away the guilt, condemnation, and power of sin.  In His resurrection He proved to all to be whom He said He is – the eternal Son of God. Our Savior.  Our Redeemer. Our Lord.

If your refuse Him you will pay for your own sins; whether you believe you have sinned or not.  Trust Christ and be saved.

Words for Christian Living – A Strong Heart

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:1-2 (KJV)

There are many people walking around in this world who have been told by their physicians that they have weak or failing hearts.  Some of us have had different types of surgery for their heart from stentz placed in arteries of their heart to what is called “Open heart” surgery.  The “Strong heart” of which I title this does not refer to the physical heart, but to the inner individual.

“…We faint not”  has much to do with having “A Strong Heart”.  The man or woman of God; every Christian; must be committed to being faithful to God and His Word.  That is what Paul the apostle is speaking of.  From the time we become a follower of Jesus Christ we “Renounce the hidden things of dishonesty”; these are the sins of our past.  We have repented, and our lives are changed.

It is a mark of the Christian, too, that we not use tricks, or deceit when it comes to the word of God.  One of the things that angers me is the way I see many a Christian leader using emotion to entice “worship”; then people walk away thinking they have been in the presence of God; they go out the doors of the Church or the stadium, and their lives are left unchanged.  Nothing wrong with emotion if it is not manipulated by deceit and the mishandling of God’s Word.  Be careful Christian that you do not let wrong handling of the word of God lead you astray.

The truth will be all the commendation one needs.  Know the truth.  Keep your heart for God strong.

Words for Christian Living – You Are Changed

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)

We do not have a clear understanding in what all the above verse.  We will not until we see Jesus face to face.  What a day; for the one who is in Christ Jesus; that will be.

Notice if you will that it does not say “…Will change…” as though it were some future event.  It says “…Are changed…” as in presently changed, and continual changing is most likely meant.  Meaning that we are being prepared for that day when we will see Jesus; with “…the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.”

He is working in you to bring you to a complete and finished work (Philippians 1:6;  2 Corinthians 5:17); His glory.  Every Christian desires to be what the Lord wants them to be.

 

Words for Christian Living – Sorrow and Joy

“But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.”  2 Corinthians 1-4 (KJV)

It is no joy for any Physician to tell their patient that they have cancer; or any other life threatening disease.  The same is true with the apostle Paul.

In his first letter to the Church of Corinth he spends much of the letter rebuking them for their tolerance of sin within the Body of Christ, pride, and their separation from one another.  Paul is hoping when he returns to Corinth he can do so with joy.

Confronting sin in the 21st century is still no easy task.  It is still a necessary task for the preacher, the Christian.  It, however, must be done for the sake of the Body of Christ.  Let us endeavor to live for Christ Jesus by dealing with our own sin first, then we can confront sin when we see it in others.  It is a sorrowful matter to see sin, and to deal with it.  It is a joy to give words of encouragement to the brethren; when we see that they are following the Lord in holiness.

Words for Christian Living – Be Brave, Be Strong

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”  1 Corinthians 16:13-18 (KJV)

Most men do not like seeing themselves as cowards, nor be called one; and in today’s world neither do women.  It is easy to be a coward.  One who refuses to act with justice, or judgment when they see an injustice is a coward.  Sure there are times when the right thing to do is get the authorities (Police, or whom ever that authority may apply).  Yet there are times the injustice may require an immediate act.

Christians.  We cannot be cowards when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ.  We cannot be mambe pambe professors in a world that is dark in sin, and rebellion against our GOD and Savior Jesus Christ.

In Paul the apostle’s words above we hear him say, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”  The word “Quit” is “Be brave”. In the day when the government of our nation is refusing to hear the Word of God, and turning on and against the writings of our God, and that of the founding fathers of our nation; it is time for men and women of Christ Jesus to stand without fear, favor or compromise of faith.

Just a note:  I love the United States of America; but I love my GOD and Savior even more.  What He says goes.  What He says is Law.  What He says will come to pass.  That is where I stand.  Try and stop it if you dare.

Jesus Christ died on the cross, shedding His life’s blood to purchase/redeem us; He was buried, and He rose bodily from the grave.  Trust Him as your Lord and Savior, and then you can live without fear.  You will live for Him and His glory.

 

Words for Christian Living – Why We Live

“Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (KJV)

There are those who do not believe that life comes from death.  Think about this…  A farmer plants an old dried seed in the ground, and a few weeks, or months later a stalk comes forth out of the ground, and produces a harvest of corn or wheat or barley…  Life does come from death.

So how is it we can have such a hard time believing that God could raise His own dead, buried Son from death?  We live because the holy, Righteous, Son of God shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, was buried, and arose bodily from the grave.  He is alive forevermore.

God created human beings eternal beings.  The death of the body is a result of sin; transgression of God’s laws.  Yet, though the body dies the eternal being lives on, somewhere.  Hell’s fire is what we deserve.  However, God in His Holy, Righteous, Justice and Love sent His Son to die for our sins; taking the wrath that was mine and yours to bear; and bore it for us on His cross.  The bodily resurrection of Jesus is evidence of the truth of the words Jesus spoke while He lived and dwelt among us.  Trusting Jesus and His finished work on the cross is the only means of salvation.

Believe Him and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Speech that Edifies

“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”  1 Corinthians 14:1-5 (KJV)

Someone once said, “It is better to be thought a fool; than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

In Paul’s writing above he speaks of the spiritual gift of “Tongues” and “Prophecy”.  One of the things I have noticed is that many of  those who claim the “Gift of tongues” want to make it a requirement for the “Baptism of the Spirit”.  Now I am not going to get into that; just saying.  Those may have a bigger problem controlling the tongue, speaking for the glory of God, rather than cursing.

At any rate Paul says Prophesy or Preaching the Word of God for building up, calling for a decision, and comfort is something that will “Edify” the Church; while “Tongues” edifies self.  That is plenty clear to me.

As Christians our speech – the use of our tongues – is to glorify God, build up and encourage, strengthen – by calling for commitment, decision, and trust in the Lord – and comfort the Body of Christ.  Also see James 3:1-12.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Enduring Love

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;  beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (KJV)

This “Charity” is the love God has for us.  It is love that we as Christians are to have for one another, and others outside the Body of Christ.  How much does God love us?  Enough to give His only begotten Son to die on the cross to pay a debt that was mine and yours to pay.

The charity we show is not selfish; seeking something in return, but the glory of God.  If we will practice this love there would be more marriages that will endure the tests of time.  Practicing this love of God there would be less rejoicing in iniquity; and more rejoicing in the truth.  This love “Endures all things”; but that does not mean we do not pray for change.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Flee Temptation

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 (KJV)

For some reason there are professing Christians who are believing their temptations are who they are.  That temptation is your weakness not your strength.  Flee from every temptation.  Do not make your temptation your idol.

When you say your temptation is who you are; you are making your temptation your idol.  Flee the temptation – flee that idol; and flee to Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – All One Body

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”  1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (KJV)

In our physical body we have had no choice about how we are made.  We may have been made with a weak heart, weak muscles, and even diseased in some way.  We all have body parts that are failing us in one way or another; especially as we age.  It is still our body, and it is one.

Just as we often have no choice with the parts of our physical body we have no choice with who makes up the Body of Christ – Christians.  Only God has made that choice by His grace.  In Jesus Christ we are all the Body of Christ on earth.  Each of us have a part in His Body.  Each is important.  Any one of us who hurts or causes hurt, hurts the whole Body.  Think of that the next time you are tempted to sin.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Show the Lord’s Death

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.’ After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 11:23-27 (KJV)

The Lord’s Supper, or Communion as some refer to it is a special time for the Christian.  It is not a necessary for one’s salvation; that is a gift of God and received by the believer from the grace God gives.  Far too often however I fear that many of us participate flippantly, and do not consider its holy and special meaning.

Paul says we do it, each time we do it, to show the Lord’s death till He comes again.  That means every time we receive the Supper we ought to be reminded of the Lord’s death on the cross for our sins, remember His burial where all our guilt, sin, and condemnation was carried away; and be reminded of His bodily resurrection, because He is returning for His people.

Part of eating and drinking “Unworthily” would certainly be not being reminded that He is coming again.  Lift up your eyes.  He is coming soon.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Our Examples

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.’ Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  1 Corinthians 10:6-12 (KJV)

The Christian has many examples in Scripture to follow.  When there are so many who want to follow the example of our society or culture; let the Christian be the one who says, “I will follow Christ, and live my life for Him, and His glory.  No matter what this culture does I will live for Christ; be pure, clean, and glorify His name.”

Some of you need to repent of the life you have been living; make that turn around today, and make that decision today.

Join with me in making that your declaration, and life today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Living the Gospel

“But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”  1 Corinthians 15:15-18 (KJV)  

The apostle Paul did not seek to improve his stature in the Church.  His mission was to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He had the right to be paid for his labors, yet he asked for nothing.  Far too many times ministers of Christ exalt themselves in ministry.  That is an assault, and an insult against the work of God, the Spirit of God, Christianity, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is free of charge; yet it is not free, because it cost Jesus His life.

-Tim A. Blankenship  

Words for Christian Living – Known of Him

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.”  1 Corinthians 8:1-3 (KJV)

Knowledge is a wonderful thing.  It is a blessing we have received from our Creator.  Paul was speaking to a Church living in a profligate society; and the sad thing is they were also participating in that society; living as where no one could tell the difference from Christian and non-Christian.

To love God is more important than “Knowledge”; and the one who loves God is “Known of Him”.  One can be “Known of Him” only by way of God’s way.  That is the cross of Jesus Christ.  The cross of Christ Jesus is the only way to God; to love God, and to be “Known of Him”.

There will be some who will say, “Well, I thought God knew everyone.”  He knows who you are; He knows your name;  He knows every detail about your life.  However, to be “Known of Him” is an intimate, personal relationship where both God and you walk together.  It is God’s salvation.

“Whosoever shall call  upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Better than Burning

“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”  1 Corinthians 7:1-9   (KJV)

In a day when marriage has been weakened and mocked Christians must learn to love as Christ loved, cherish one another; and enjoy one another in Biblical marriage.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Not Your Own

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)

Within the loving climate of the Corinthian Church there was sexual immorality.  Tolerance, love, and peace was the motive of their inaction toward this immorality.  While the name of Christ was blasphemed and the character of Christianity was mocked; the apostle Paul was calling for action.

Christian, our bodies do not belong to us.  We “Are bought with a price”; and that “price” was the precious blood of Jesus.  You and I are His.  Let us glorify God in our spirit and with our bodies.  We are God’s.

-Tim A. Blankenship