The Curse

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.                                    Mark 11:12-14

Jesus has not cursed anything up to this point, except, though not particularly mentioned as a curse, the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23).

We are told in the verses that “He was hungry”, and He thought He could get a fig from a frig tree for a bite to eat. The tree was boasting of having fruit, due to its having leaves; yet it had no fruit.

O the fruitlessness of a religion that will not trust the truth of the whole of the word or God, the One whom God has sent, and the One who sent Him. There are many religious institutions today who den the truth of Scripture by trying to make Scripture fit with the times, the people, the culture. The institutions which do circles around the truth of God’s word trying to fit it with culture, appease and please people have the curse of the  Almighty on them.

Our task as Christians and Christian pastors and teachers is to bring the people in line with Scripture.

We are all cursed by sin and death due to sin. Jesus came and bore the curse for us, and paid our debt with His own life’s blood. Now, by the power of the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) in us we live by His faith.

 

Remember the Words of the Apostles

“Remember the words…by the apostles… How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” Jude 18-19 (NKJV).

A continual warning, and caveat’ to stand your ground, be faithful, follow the teachings of the apostles, etc.; is much needed, but too many of our minds can become redundant. We need to be encouraged by the words of Jude and the words of any preacher who is teaching us to stand guard over our heart, and against the teachings and teachers which would lead us away from the truth.

These apostates are actually haters of God; yet use the name of God to have their way in Christian circles. Jude in no way is saying to us that all true teachers of God’s Word are infallible, but that they will be faithful to proclaiming the truth of God. We can all make mistakes. It seems that we, in our humanity are almost prone to make one now and then, just to remind us that we are still, in fact, fallen creatures; who have been redeemed by the perfect Savior.

However, these apostate heretics, are those who purposely teach doctrines contrary to God and His Word to draw a following for themselves, put their fleeced flocks money in their own pockets, and live in lavish homes, and estates. Now, before any one flies off the proverbial handle, let me add that there is nothing wrong with having or gaining wealth; as long as it has been done by hard work and labor; without taking advantage of the weak; and God is given all the glory for it. God gives wealth to enable those with it to be stewards and help the weak; and that includes the widow, the orphan, the poor, and downtrodden. These take no thought of others, however. The lavish homes and estates are almost their personal trademarks.

They are “sensual”, and that can be greedy, filled with lusts; and lusts can be for anything including power, position, popularity, and pomp. When the truth is not proclaimed, the one proclaiming that which is contrary to the truth are the dividers. That is something we always need to remember.

One of the teachings which is popular among many churches and pastors is the teaching about sex, using Scripture, but using the most lewd, crude, and shocking forms of “language” that can be heard today. “It’s part of our culture” those using it say. “They will not listen unless we speak that way”, they continue. We are always to speak the language which will glorify our Lord, and His language is not lewd, crude, or “shock jock” style. The Bible deals with sexual matters many times, but always treating it with respect, and even mystery; and so should those who are supposedly trying to teach people. In many cases using sensual language which inspires lust, rather than genuine love; they destroy the purity of God’s Word and its teaching. These are sensual dividers.

These types of talks draw the crowds; just as motor crosses, NASCAR, boxing, wrestling and the Olympics. Little for the glory of God is done in any of the these events. They are for some to make money, and others to spend and or lose it. It may be popular, but popular does not make it holy or right.

Many times, when the one who comes in exposing the lies for what they are, they are always the one who is accused of causing division. It is the one’s who are teaching and preaching the lies who are the dividers. The division-makers do not have the Spirit of God, and if not dealt with by the truth, and with firmness, will themselves be inhabitants of hell. They must be confronted, and given the opportunity of repentance, and finding genuine peace with God.

Be strong in the faith. Grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Confront and hate the evil, and expose it. Love the good, and the godly. Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.

More Than Washing Feet

So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them,
“Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”                                   John 13:12-15

This was the final full day of Jesus’s life. He was quite aware of His destiny, and the end result He knew to be victorious, and He and His Father would be glorified.

Jesus gets down on His knees, takes a bowl and a towel, and has washed the disciples feet. He is teaching them, and all who read of this event a great lesson. It is much more than washing feet; it is living a life for others; even loving them unto death of one’s self.

How willing am I to give my life to save the life of another person? Maybe for my wife, my children, grandchildren; but for a neighbor. Willing to serve a neighbor in need? Yes! Dying to save the life of a neighbor, especially one I do not know? One who possibly even dislikes me? I would be willing to help them change a flat tire on their car, maybe, if I saw their house about to catch fire get it put out before it starts burning. But to give my life? How about you?

Lord Jesus, You gave Your life for me, and even now I know You have washed my feet, and I see that clearly by Your death on the cross for my sins, Your burial, and finishing the work by rising from the dead. Help me to be willing, and when and if it is needed that I give my life for one in need.

Without Honor

But Jesus said unto them,
“A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”
And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.                      Mark 6:4-6

There are preachers and pastors who do not deserve any honor. That is a sad thing to see and to say. Why would one not deserve honor?  Because they demand it.

I do not see myself as worthy of honor from the people God has given me to shepherd, to feed the word of God, and to lead them to still water, and green pastures. There are many men of God who do, simply because they are being faithful to preach the word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and lead by example in a holy, and sanctified life which gives honor and glory to Christ.

God has given me the opportunity to pastor seven different churches in the past 37 years. The Church I am endeavoring to be the pastor of I have been there twice and is the Church I grew up in, was saved in, where I surrendered to preach and they licensed and ordained me to preach the gospel. I only pray that God bless this ministry with souls coming to faith in Jesus, and that will see the need in the Jenkins community for many to come to Jesus Christ.

Six of the churches I have endeavored to be the pastor of were and are in the State of Missouri. I said “were” because the first Church I was at closed its doors about one year after I resigned, and is no longer a church. That was one of the saddest things I heard; when they closed their doors.

One of the blessings I have received is to be the pastor of a Church in the State of California; a small town in the Cuyama Valley, about 150 or so miles north of Los Angeles. We were only there for 16 months, but I think I visited every one in town, and the people of the New Cuyama Valley Baptist Church showed my wife and I great love, honor and respect, and showed much respect for the preaching of God’s word.

I realize these words do not have much to do with the text above, but I tell it only to say, Show honor to whom honor is due, and that is your pastor. Many pastors labor in ministry from sunrise to sunset and even sometimes into the very early hours of the morning. One of the best ways to honor your pastor is to pray for him; he is praying for you.

It is much encouragement to a pastor to hear words of encouragement for his work in the study of God’s word, his preparation of sermons, and the step by step foot work of ministry to you and to others in your community. Honor those who preach God’s word being faithful to the text, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

He Girded Himself

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him;  Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God;  He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself.  John 13:1-4

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with Thee. Psalm 139:17-18

There are places in the Gospels where we see Jesus giving us a good example to follow. We see times also where the disciples asked for leading positions within the kingdom, and Jesus taught them about serving others.

We learn from Jesus here that He, the Son of God, the Son of Man, humble, gentle and lowly Jesus, laid aside His garments, took a towel, and girded Himself for what He was about to do. This took place the night before He would die on the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world; yours and mine.

Being anyone’s servant is frowned on in the day of 2021, but Jesus taught us that is the way we are to live, and the way we are to treat one another. He would wash His disciples feet, and dry them with that towel. That is servanthood.

May we, the redeemed of the Lord, submit ourselves daily to serving our Lord by serving one another, and our neighbor too. Why? Because we are the redeemed, we have been bought with a price by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection. He is also coming again. Let’s be ready through faithful service.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 082720

“And it came to pass, when He was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought Him, saying, ‘Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.’ And He put forth His hand, and touched him, saying,
‘I will: be thou clean.’
And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And He charged him to
‘Tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.’
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”  Luke 5:12-16  (KJB)

Keep Sound Wisdom

“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: so shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.”  Proverbs 3:19-24  (KJB)

He Who Is The Beginning and The Ending

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending,’ saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’”  Revelation 1:4-8  (KJB)

The Truth, His Commandments and Love

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment. That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  2 John 1:4-11  (KJB)

The Heavens Shall Declare His Righteousness

“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.
Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself. Selah.” Psalm 50:1-6  (KJB)

The Great King Over All

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD Most High is terrible; a great King over all the earth.
He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.
God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.
The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted.” Psalm 47:1-9  (KJB)

The Authority of Scripture

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17  (KJB)

In Demonstration Of The Spirit And Power

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.                                                                                                 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (KJB)

My Light and My Salvation

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3 (KJB)