Miracles or Him?

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man. John 2:23-25

Jesus had a following of the mass number of people, who saw what miracles He did. In this chapter of John’s gospel we see Him turn water to wine and provides the host of the wedding the best wine ever drank by Adam’s race.

They were following Jesus because they saw the miracles that He did. Jesus knew their hearts and their thinking. Please note, that, He “Did not commit Himself to them”. Just because someone believes Jesus for a miracle does not mean they are delivered from their sin.

When one follows Jesus for salvation through faith in Him, we know He does miracles, and believe Him even when He does not do miracles for us. We do not just stop believing Him because we think He is not hearing our prayers, or doing what we had hoped He would do for us.

Jesus has committed Himself to those with that kind of faith. Faith that believes in the dark what has been revealed in the light.

There are many who profess to having followed Jesus at one time or another in their lives; only to fall away. You were drawn to Him because of a healing, or the need for healing, or a great need, and maybe it did not come as you had hoped. You were following the miracle, but not following the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for your sins (our sins), He was buried, and He rose again. You need to trust solely in Him no matter what. The greatest miracle He does is change of heart, mind and life.

Faith and Duty

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said,
“If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea;’ and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, ‘Go and sit down to meat?’ And will not rather say unto him, ‘Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?’
Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.'”
         Luke 17:5-10

The disciples have come to Jesus asking Him “Increase our faith” (v, 5), and Jesus tells them the above words in part of His answer.

What can we learn from His lesson? First, we must have our faith solely in the One who gives it, and that is God through His Son Jesus. Second, we must go about our duty to Him with love and admiration without expecting anything except the pleasure of knowing Him and serving Him. Thirdly, we need to see ourselves as unworthy of the duty that we have, and be grateful for such a great privilege.

This goes back to loving God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strengths. When we truly love God we will love our neighbors; then we can have the faith that moves sycamine trees into the sea.

I guess I am not there yet; but I am learning.

Recognized Faith

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” And Jesus saith unto him,
“I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it.” When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed,
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:5-10

The Roman centurion in the text had a recognized faith. He had came seeking Jesus for the healing of his ailing, suffering servant. His faith was a very evident faith and a working faith.

How would my faith in Jesus Christ be recognized? How about yours? Genuine faith searches for Jesus, then genuine faith believes what Jesus says and goes believing He has done what He said.

Could Jesus or will Jesus be able to say of us, “I have not found so great faith…”?

Faith and a Fig Tree

Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it,
“Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.”
And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, “How soon is the fig tree withered away!” Jesus answered and said unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”   Matthew 21:18-22

The faith that moves mountains into the sea, is the faith of Jesus Christ.

Persistent Asking

And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; saying,
“There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, ‘Avenge me of mine adversary.’ And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ “
And the Lord said,
“Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”   Luke 18:1-8

He Feeds the Multitudes

In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples, and saith unto them,
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat: and if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.”
And His disciples answered Him, “From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?” And He asked them,
“How many loaves have ye?”
And they said, “Seven.” And He commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and He took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to His disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and He blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.
So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.   Mark 8:1-9

The Man Believed the Word that Jesus Spoke

So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him,
“Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”
The nobleman saith unto Him, “Sir, come down ere my child die.” Jesus saith unto him,
“Go thy way; thy son liveth.”
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, “Thy son liveth.” Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him,
“Thy son liveth:”
and himself believed, and his whole house.
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee.  John 4:46-54

Why Are You Fearful?

Fear is an emotion we all face at times.  There are some who seem to be fearful much of their lives.  I have known some who were fearful of leaving their home, or new home for a night or so; for fear that someone might break in and steal their possessions or do harm to their home.  Now, there is a needless fear.

It would probably surprise us what many people are fearful of.  There are some parents who are constantly fearful that their child or children will fall down, get hurt, be hurt by someone else; well you get the picture.  Children need to learn, and their falling, experiencing pain is part of growing up.  Fear can be dangerous to one’s health.

We live in an era or time when people are fearful of what the economy will do; or how the stock market will perform.  In this post today I want us to look at two portions of Scripture.  First from the New Testament we hear from an event in the life of Jesus’s disciples and the words of Jesus;

“And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep.  And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us: we perish.’  And He saith unto them,
‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’
Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.  But the men marvelled, saying, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!’”  Matthew 8:23-27 (KJV)

Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus is asleep in the boat, a storm comes up, Jesus remains asleep undaunted by the storm; and His disciples are fearful.  Had they forgotten what Jesus has told them?  Do they not know who He is?  Of course it is a normal part of life to get fearful in the midst of a storm; at least for many people it is.  However, when you have the Son of God with you, having heard His words; what is there to fear?  Some wise Christian from years ago said, “If we fear God we do not need to fear anything else”.  Jesus said to His disciples “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”, then He “Rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”  Now, do you suppose that calm was just the ceasing of the wind and the seas?  I think not.  The calm entered the hearts of His disciples as well.

To continue of this thought lets look into the lives of Abraham and Sarah from Genesis;

“And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken.  For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.  And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.  And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.  And Sarah said, ‘God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.’  And she said, ‘Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? For I have born him a son in his old age.’  And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.” Genesis 21:1-8 (KJV)

Now Abraham and Sarah had been promised a son by God.  They had gone to extraordinary means to try and accomplish God’s will in their own way.  First by the surrogacy using Hagar Sarah’s servant.  As a result of this Ishmael was born and Sarah was despised by her servant, and when God did give them the son He had promised this promised son was hated by Ishmael.  Where did this deed come from.  It seems to have been spawned by fear.  Fear that they needed to do something which God had not commanded, nor commended.

Some might think, “Well where does faith fit into the picture with Abraham and Sarah?”  Despite their actions they did believe they were aiding God in giving them a child; but it still was contrary to His will.  Yet God uses this fear and its fruit to later discipline His children.

They believed God in their lives, and God honored their faith.  In Genesis 15:6 we are told of Abram, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.”

The word for today.  No matter what the devil and life may throw at you; do not fear for God is the Master of your life.  You do not need to use schemes, or the wiles of the world to accomplish the works of God.  He works His plan and accomplishes His will for our good and His glory.  When we do our own plan, our own way, “The chickens will come home to roost”.

“Why are you fearful…?”

Why Some Cannot See

But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake,
“Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
“He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
These things said Esaias, when he saw His glory, and spake of Him.  John 12:37-41

Even the Wind and the Sea Obey Him

“And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them,
‘Let us pass over unto the other side.’
And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
‘Peace, be still.’
And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them,
‘Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?’
And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’ ” Mark 4:35-41

The Power of Faith

“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it,
‘No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.’
And His disciples heard it.  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.  And He taught, saying unto them,
‘Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?’ But ye have made it a den of thieves.’
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy Him: for they feared Him, because all the people was astonished at His doctrine.  And when even was come, He went out of the city.  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away.  And Jesus answering saith unto them,
‘Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’ ”  Mark 11:12-26 (KJV)

IN THE FIG TREE JESUS SHOWS US THE FRUITLESSNESS OF A DEAD RELIGION AND CONFRONTS IT.
As Jesus and the disciples were  leaving Bethany, back toward Jerusalem, Jesus spots a fig tree with leaves on it – advertising that it had fruit.  When Jesus arrives there they discover it has no fruit.  Jesus curses the fig tree.  To some this may seem unnecessary for Jesus to have done, but it seems to me that there is a message we must hear and heed.

  1. “There was a voice in it for the JEWISH CHURCH. Rich in the leaves of a formal religion, but barren of all fruits of the Spirit, that Church was in fearful danger, at the very time when this withering took place. Well would it have been for the Jewish Church if it had had eyes to see its peril!”
  2. “There was a voice in the fig tree for all the branches of Christ’s VISIBLE CHURCH in every age, and every part of the world. There was a warning against an empty profession of Christianity unaccompanied by sound doctrine and holy living, which some of those branches would have done well to lay to heart.”  From J. C. Ryle commentary on Mark’s Gospel.

Dead religion offers nothing but leaves, and like the “fig leaves” which Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with were inadequate, so are the “fig leaves” of a dead religion.  In Scriptures the “Fig tree” often represents the nation of Israel and/or its religion (See Hosea 9:10; Nahum 3:12;  Zechariah 3:10).  It is somewhat intrigueing that we have Jesus’ strong words to this fig tree just before He enters the Temple compound and finds them “Buying and selling”.  You will also notice that when Jesus and the disciples pass by the fig tree again that it is dead.

Why did Jesus “curse” the fig tree.  First of all “it was not the season for figs” according to the text, but it had leaves, and most usually the leaves and the figs grew together.  Secondly, by having leaves but no figs it was “advertising” it had fruit when it did not.

There are many people who do not believe that Jesus ever became angry.  Those who think that must have never read of the two times Jesus cleansed the temple.  He cleansed the temple once when He had just began His ministry three years prior to this, and then He does it again here.  You can read about the first “Cleansing” in John chapter two, verses thirteen through seventeen.

Here is what was going on in the Temple compound.  It was expected that the animals brought to the Temple for sacrifice would be inspected by the priest, but it had became a practice to find fault when there was no fault.  It may have been something like this – A priest would say an animal was at fault then sell the owner of the “faulty” offering an “approved” offering, and then, he would sell this man’s animal as “approved” to someone else.  Some people who travelled great distances may expect to buy a Temple approved offering at the Temple.  It was nothing more than theft, and dishonesty that was taking place in the name of God.  There was no holiness, righteousness, or godliness in the place.  The “House of prayer” had been turned into a “Den of thieves”, and Jesus would not tolerate it.

The money changers would charge great fees for exchanging Greek and Roman monies for the Temple money.  They made a great deal of profit by this deed, and took advantage of many poor people by the selling of doves for an extravagant  profit.

The Church of the Lord Jesus this day needs to pay careful attention to this.  The things of God are not for the making of profit.  Using the name of God to attach a price on things is theft, and dishonors the name of the Lord.  There are business men today who attend church so as to maintain a base for their business, and to keep a good name in the community they are in.  Some will even try to conduct a little business in the church.  There are some who think the church should be conducted like a business, when it is not a business, nor should it be conducted as such.  It is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and is to be conducted by His guidelines and for His purposes, and glory.

In looking at the fig tree this is how we could define “Dead religion” – 1.  It offers much but delivers little;  2.  It is cold and formal;  3.  It seems alive by its much activity [its buying and selling], but God is not there;  4.  Its leaves cover its fruitlessness, but not to God’s eyes.

In verses 20 through 26 Jesus gives us a lesson in faith.  The fig tree He “cursed” the day before has already withered – it is dead.  It was so dead that even its roots were dried up.  “Have faith in God” is the statement Jesus issues to the disciples.  It is faith in God that makes all things possible.  Someone has said, “Where God guides, He provides”.  Is that true.  Yes! it is.

Faith is believing in what you cannot see, touch, smell, taste, or hear in the physical realm.  You can see evidences of faith in God, for instance; the rising of the sun, and its setting; the order of the universe; the intricacies of the human body, and the bodies of animals as well;  the singing of the birds;  and all the other details of life.  Faith believes in God, even when there is no possible way of something happening.  Jesus’ words on prayer are strong, and is telling us to ask as if we have already received it

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24(KJV).

That is genuinely the prayer of faith.  Believing you have received it before you do.

Notice the importance Jesus places on “Forgiveness”.  Without forgiveness we cannot expect answer to our prayers.  God is so good to forgive us, we ought also to forgive those whom we believe responsible for offending us.

Remember this, NO FORGIVENESS, NO ANSWER TO PRAYER.  KNOW FORGIVENESS, KNOW ANSWER TO PRAYER.

A Lesson on Faith

“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, ‘Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them,
‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.’
”  Mark 11:20-26

Faith of an Outsider

“When Jesus heard, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”  Matthew 8:10-12

This Roman centurion was over a group of men that was about 100 in number. He knew authority when he saw it; and he saw Jesus as a Man with authority, so he knew he could trust Him with the healing of his servant.

Jesus in His words of the centurion’s faith was words of applause. It was a greater faith than He had seen among His own people; especially the Jewish leaders of their religion.

There is much the Christian needs to hear in the words of Jesus.

The first one I see is this; Just because you say your a Christian, yet do not believe the word of god, does not mean you are a Christian;

The second one that I see is, that judgment awaits all who claim to know Jesus, yet do not live according to His word, starting with believing what God says of His Son, and what the Son says of Himself; and

The third, just a thought; the judgment for a professor that does not possess the Spirit of Christ [God] is not His (Romans 8:9), and will be judged more severely.

It is better to be an outsider of the religious, yet believe the word of God, than to be a religious insider and miss God completely by not believing His word.

In closing these thoughts be sure you have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus shed on Calvary’s cross for the sins of the word, believe Jesus died, was buried, and that He rose again (Romans 10:9-10).

 

 

Who is born of God?

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. 1 John 5:1
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  Verse 5
He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  Verses 12 – 13
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.  Verse 20

As I was reading the first epistle of the apostle John I noticed once again the important emphasis he puts on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The title of this post is “Who is born of God?” That is a question we all must answer, and know ourselves. Are you, have you been born of God?

In chapter 5 verse 1 John writes “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” and he goes on stating that to love the Father (the One who begat), is to love the Son (the One who is begotten). If we love the Father we will love the Son; and on the other side too; if we love the Son we love the Father. These are the one’s who are born of God.

We learn in the five verses above too, that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the One who overcomes the world, and through Him we do too. In Him we have life, and without Him is no life. Without life in Him there is only death. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone can we have the true assurance of eternal life, and we can know quite well that we will live with Him eternally.

In knowing Jesus we receive understanding from Him knowledge of who He truly is. In Christ Jesus we are in the True God, and have eternal life. The moment, by grace through faith, you turn from your sin to Christ calling on His name for salvation you receive eternal life.

Who is born of God? If you have not been born of God will you call on Him today?

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 082220

And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them,
‘All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, ‘I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.’
But Peter said unto Him, ‘Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.’ And Jesus saith unto him,
Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice.’
But he spake the more vehemently, ‘If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.  Mark 14:26-31  (KJB)

Happy People

“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: my goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
LORD, what is man, that Thou takest knowledge of him! The son of man, that Thou makest account of him!
Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.
Bow Thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them.
Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children; whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto Thee, that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David His servant from the hurtful sword.
Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: our oxen may be strong to labour; no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
Happy people, that is in such a case: happy people, whose God is the LORD.”  Psalm 144:1-15  (KJB)

Hearing My Children Walk In Truth

“The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”  3 John 1:1-4  (KJB)

When I Am Afraid

“Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou Most High.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee. In God I will praise His word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”  Psalm 56:1-4  (KJB)

Justified By Faith

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:1-5 (KJB)

The New Atheism’s Leap of Faith

Great thoughts from Doug Eaton on Atheism

The Fight of Faith

The new atheism has been in the picture for about 15 years now. It came on the scene thanks to books like Daniel Dennett’sBreaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural PhenomenonRichard Dawkins’The God Delusion, Sam Harris’Letter to a Christian Nation,among others. There truly is nothing new in the atheistic belief system itself or the arguments they are presenting, since most of them are naturalists, what seems to be new, is that these preachers of atheism have become much more dogmatic in their stance. Many of them are even preaching doom and gloom if we do not eradicate religion and belief in God. Many of them claim that they only want to know the truth instead of buying into myths and fairy tales, and that this is what everyone ought to be doing.

The idea that everyone “ought” to be doing this raises a problem…

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Hearing

“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)

Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).

Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9;  Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.

In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.

The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”

That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.

Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.

Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.

The Lusts of Their Own Heart

In the first chapter of Romans we find the phrase “God gave them up” which is really a very sad state to live in, and it really explains for the moral failures of 2019.

The second one we see is that GOD RELEASES THEM TO THEIR OWN DECAY AND FILTH OF IMMORALITY (Romans 1:24-25).

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25 (KJB)

Why did God “give them up” to this ungodly – unrighteous behavior? They had a knowledge of God, but chose to suppress it. They turned away from God to worship idols made in the image of created thing – birds, beasts, and even themselves. Because they rejected God; sexual immorality most always follows wrong beliefs, and in particular the worship of idols. It is an act of dishonoring the human body and God.

When they turned from the truth they believed the Lie. The Lie is, “Did God really say that?” It is just a question, but one that places the seeds of unbelief in the heart. It was the first question the Bible speaks of that the serpent/devil asked in order to deceive. It is still being asked today. Not one of many lies but “the Lie” (Genesis 3:1-5). “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” [the Lie] (NKJV 2 Thessalonians 2:11). The Lie, that we can be like God – we become our own god. We have chaos when there is more than one God. There is war, strife of all sorts, contentions, and immoral living.

Satan is the father of lies. Jesus said, speaking to the religious leaders who rejected Him,

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

Following this lie requires no accountability to a deity, except self. No one, can tell someone of this mindset, what is right or wrong. To them everything is ‘relative’ – they already have their preconceived ideas; they call good ‘evil’ and evil ‘good’.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

Moral decay, such as we see in our land, and the world is due to denying the truth, and believing the Lie, the father of lies, the devil. It leads to personal ruin, and eternal death.

The only hope we all have is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He turns our heart to His way.  He is the way, the Truth, and the life.  When you put your faith in Him He changes your life, your direction, and gives you peace and joy for living.

He Is…

Far too many times we get the idea that we know our situation better than God does.  May we never forget that “He Is” not only the All Wise, All Knowing God but He is also our Creator who made everything we see, and the things we do not see…

“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counsellor hath taught Him?  With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” Isaiah 40:12-14 (KJB)

Who am I to even question God?  Who am I to even question why things are as they are? We all have doubts, fears, discouragements, and anguish, grief, and hostilities.

God has not asked for my help in how He directs and leads in the affairs of this world. He has called me to hear Him, to believe Him, to follow His Son Jesus who is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit; yet one GOD. I am not asked, neither commanded to explain the Tri-unity of God, neither to understand it.

I am called to believe that “He Is”, and that “He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is there life eternal in the presence of Holy God, there is peace, and forgiveness of all sin.

Quench the Fiery Darts

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 (KJB)

As if to say “Don’t forget the shield of faith” the Apostle  gives instruction on using our faith in the spiritual battle we face. We cannot face the enemy without it.

“…The wicked” of the verse above is definitely speaking of the enemy of God (who is Satan), and ours; but we must not forget that wickedness, evil can be found in the people who live around us, and are pawns of the evil one. As Christians we are warned to guard our own hearts and minds; if we do not, then evil can come into our own lives.

Wickedness is all around us.  Can you see it?  There are people who call what is good “evil” and call what is evil “good”.  As Christians we must stand for what the Bible, the Holy Bible, the Holy Scriptures say; the word of God stands sure.  Without Scripture we can have no genuine faith.

Christians, Stand by faith in  the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

From the Commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…

Above all — rather, “Over all”; so as to cover all that has been put on before. Three integuments are specified, the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses, the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons, the sword and the spear (prayer). Alford translates, “Besides all,” as the Greek is translated, Luk_3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (compare Col_3:14).

shield — the large oblong oval door-like shield of the Romans, four feet long by two and a half feet broad; not the small round buckler.

ye shall be able — not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts” (an image from the ancient fire-darts, formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head of the shaft, so as to set fire to woodwork, tents, etc.).

of the wicked — rather “of the EVIL ONE.” Faith conquers him (1Pe_5:9), and his darts of temptation to wrath, lust, revenge, despair, etc. It overcomes the world (1Jn_5:4), and so the prince of the world (1Jn_5:18).”

Do not remain blind to the Truth of who Jesus Christ is.  Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  He will one day return and put away all evil; and it will be what He declares as evil; not what men say.

 

The Law and Faith

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:10-11 (KJB)

From John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible on Galatians 3:11…

But that no man is justified,…. There are some that are justified, as all God’s elect are, in his own mind and will from eternity; which will of his to justify them, upon the righteousness of his Son, undertook by him to bring in, is their justification in the court of heaven; and all that believe in Christ are openly and manifestly justified in the court of conscience, under the testimony of the Spirit of God: but no one is justified

by the law; it is in the Greek text, “in the law”; there were many justified before the law was given, as Noah, Job, Abraham, and all the Ante-Mosaic believers; and there were many justified “in”, or under the legal dispensation; but none of them were justified by their obedience to the law, but by the righteousness they believed they had in the Lord: especially no man is justified

in the sight of God; who sees the heart, knows the spring of actions, and whose judgment is according to truth; that is, by the law and the deeds of it, however they may before men:

it is evident; it is a clear case, out of all dispute, as appears from Hab_2:4

for the just shall live by faith; which may be read either, “the just by faith, shall live”: that is, the man who is just by faith, or justified by faith, not by it as a principle or act, or as the cause or matter of his justification, but by the object of his faith, Christ and his righteousness apprehended by faith, and so not just or justified by works; he shall live a life of justification, through that righteousness his faith receives; he shall live comfortably, with much peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, as the result of his being justified by faith; and shall live eternally, and never die the second death: or the “just shall live by faith”; he that is righteous, not by his own works, but by the obedience of Christ, shall live not upon faith, but by it on Christ, and his righteousness, which is revealed from faith to faith; and this makes it a clear point, that he is not justified by the law, for if he was, he would not live by faith on Christ, but in and by the deeds of the law.”

Since the law cannot save, and was never intended to save but rather to be a “school master” to show us our need of a savior. Points us to Jesus Christ as the Savior of all who will call on His name.

The Righteous and Just One became sin for us on the cross that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again.