Day 282

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be on the roads, and highways where everyone is paying attention to their driving; aware and awake to all that is around us; and in that I am speaking of driving ahead of yourself.  You cannot do that with your eyes on a cell phone, texting, and sometimes even in talking on one, finishing your face prep for work, reading a paper online or otherwise; etc..

I want to be a better, safer driver, so that others can be safe and get home whole and sound of mind.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Proverbs 4:25 (KJV)

That verse is true for all of life; including driving.

Day Two Hundred Ninety

What do I want for Christmas?

Before I begin with my “want” for today I will clarify something;  I have never been a business owner, but I do know the law of “Sowing and reaping”…

I want Business owners all over the U. S. of A. to know and understand that when you take care of your employees; from the bottom to the top; from the top to the bottom; they will take care of you and your business. If you do not understand what that means then, maybe we need Union and/or Government intervention.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” Galations 6:7 (KJV)

Day Three Hundred Thirty

What Do I Want For Christmas?

On this Lord’s Day of January 31, 2016 I want to join my brothers and sisters in Christ at my local Church to worship, praise, magnify, and remember our Lord’s death until He comes again.  Will you join me; at least by being in your local Church to worship and glorify our God and Savior Jesus Christ – the Son of God and God the Son.

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25 (NKJV)

 

Day Three Hundred Forty and Three

What do I want for Christmas?

I want all races of people to be one in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior;  there is truly only one race; the human race, and all of our blood flows red.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” Genesis 1:26-28 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Forty and Nine

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the lunacy of the lottery to end; and that people might have the same passion and drive to know God, His love, His righteousness, His justice, and peace.

Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.  Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”  Psalm 60:11-12 (NKJV)

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.” Psalm 57:6 & 11

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 361

What do I want for Christmas?

I want all my family, friends, neighbors, and enemies to be at peace with God, one another, and themselves in the New Year of 2016.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2 (NKJV)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

In Order… That You Might Know the Certainty…

It is not a rare thing; but Doctors in successful practices do not often leave their work to enter something else; such as to be a writer; a historian, in this case. Some have and do. When one leaves their medical practice to be a minister of Jesus Christ and His gospel that is a calling on them.

Luke was such a man; such a doctor. Luke is the Bible’s only Gentile author. He is thorough in his writing and record. He records what is known to be true. His history recorded is of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ.

For a few days we will be looking at the historical account of Jesus Christ through the record of Luke. First let us hear what he says concerning his purpose for this record.

“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4 (KJV)

There were some writings that had came out that were absolutely false; and he set out to correct them with a true account. Let me assure you that he is not speaking of, or writing about the three other Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and John.

He was also set on the testimony of “eyewitnesses”, and he was very set on being truthful about the matter of Jesus Christ, our Lord, our Saviour, and the returning King. To “Theophilus” he wanted him to know “the certainty of those things” – the truth of it all concerning Jesus’s life – His birth, His life, His ministry, miracles, power, and His death, burial and resurrection.

The book of Acts is also a historical book written by Doctor Luke, and he addresses Theophilus in that writing as well.

My friend; Jesus is the Christ; Son of God and God the Son. Be sure you know and trust Him today.

The Kingdom of God and Children

Children are special. It does not matter if they are “special needs” children, or just as bright and healthy as one of us would like them to be. They are special, and need adult guidance, care, supervision, leadership, and discipline. All of those things.

One day when Jesus was with His disciples some children were brought to Him so that He would touch them, and bless them. The disciples began rebuking the adults who brought them, and we read the Biblical text…

“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16 (KJV)

Jesus has also warned of “Offending” children (Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:47), and these verses are also dealing with all who place their trust in Christ Jesus; adults as well as children.

Jesus’s point in the above verses is that those who come to Him must trust Him, even as a child is trusting of their earthly mother and father. When our children were young, even small; I had our youngest son jumping into my arms from the highest end of the front porch. He trusted me to catch him. Do you think I would ever pull my arms away, not catch him, and ruin that trust? No loving father would ever do that. Jesus “…took the children up in His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them”.

God have mercy on any who would offend the children.

Trusting Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross is the only way into the kingdom; and we must trust that that is the only way. It is the way. He is the way, the truth and the Life (John 14:6). Trust Him.

The Tormented

There are many tormented people in the world today. Some seem to be intelligent individuals, educated, wealthy, or maybe middle class, or poor who are tormented by their lives, and living.

These folks do things that are beyond themselves, that cause harm to family, friends, neighbors; even to themselves that a otherwise sane individual would not do. We send them to doctors who specialize in this sort of thing, yet these people are still tormented.

Jesus dealt with these people, and spoke to them, and in our case today delivers this man from his torment:

“And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him.” Mark 1:23-27 (KJV)

This man was demon possessed. Controlled by another being. He needed peace, and only Jesus could give it. Tormented souls need Jesus the Christ to set them free, and give them peace. Peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Are you a tormented soul? Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Call on His name, and He will save you.

Our Need for Forgiveness, and to Forgive

The topic of forgiveness is an often neglected teaching; but much needed. It is also a matter of much discussion when it is brought up. Sadly, it can even generate heated discussions that lead to a need to forgive.

The matter of forgiveness is an easy subject to talk about, but sometimes hard to put into practice. Yet the Christian is not requested to forgive, but commanded to do so. We are told by Jesus that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15).

I must ask myself this question, If Jesus Christ can forgive me, then how can I not forgive others? I know that is a hard question, but it is mine; and I think an honest one. Peter the apostle even asked Jesus;

“Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)

If someone keeps on offending you, causing harm to you, your mind, your heart, your family, your home, your car, your land, etc. Just how many times do we forgive them?

If we are sinners who hated God, His Word, His Son, the cross, and everything holy, righteous and just; before we came to Jesus; and He forgave me/us; and He continues to forgive everytime we sin against HIm; then why should we not also forgive those who sin against us?

There is a recent show of forgiveness among a group of church people. After a young man has come into their church on a Wednesday evening, and set with them through a Bible study when they go into prayer he began shooting, and killing them; nine in number. Their word toward the man following the incident were words of forgiveness. God bless them.

The next time you are offended, or injured by someone; forgive them.

How can one forgive such atrocities as mentioned above? Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus forgave His tormentors, His killers, those who would be His enemies. He forgave me. I can forgive too.

Seeing, Hearing and Understanding

Seeing and hearing are an important part of human living and existence. Without seeing we could not see the beauties of the created order around us; neither could we see to navigate as we walk, ride or drive through a countryside.

Without hearing we could not hear the sounds of animals in the creation, neither the cries of our children as young babies crying out for care and nourishment; neither the voices of our spouses and friends, or other family members. We would not be able to hear the warning shouts of someone warning us of an upcoming danger.

These two senses are an important part of human life. They are also an important part of our spiritual existence. In the spiritual realm we can be very easily deceived, unless we have someone in whom we can trust and depend.

In Jesus’s days on earth He taught people, and called people to Himself; teaching them how to live in the Word of God, to do justly, to love mercy, and how to walk humbly with God. Yet, there were many who would not hear; nor would they see who He really is. Jesus says that this too is a fulfillment of prophecy:

“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:14-16 (KJV)

Isaiah is the prophet whom Jesus quotes (Isaiah 6:9-10). The blindness and deafness of the religious leaders was fulfillment of that. It is a truth we cannot neglect to hear. When the truth of Scripture is rejected the truths of God will grow more and more dim; the hearing will fade away into oblivion and there will be no knowledge or understanding of God or His Word.

Those who know God through His Son Jesus Christ love the Word of God, and hide in the heart that we might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11), and make it a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).

The path to understanding God and His Word is through the cross of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave. Believe Him, trust His Word. It is the way of life, and life everlasting.

Treasures of Your Heart

I heard a story of an old preacher who was in one of those cafe’s where you could come in and set at a bar near the kitchen, and order your meal; a hamburger, club sandwich, fries, or chicken fried steak, fried green tomatoes, etc.

Anyway this preacher had set down near a man who used the vilest, cruelest, nastiest language the preacher had ever heard. A waitress delivered the cursing man’s meal to him, and was about to take a bite when the preacher spoke to him, and said, “Are you going to eat with that same filthy mouth your talking with?”

There are times the vile filth that comes from people’s mouths is not even worth noticing; but the people are in grave need of God, and His salvation through Christ Jesus.

Jesus said of the mouth:

“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37 (KJV)

Of course the people to whom Jesus was speaking were the religious leaders; and He was not speaking of cursing, and what we might call “filthy language”; but He was speaking of the hearts of men; of mankind. What comes out of your mouth reveals your heart.

Is that a troubling thought? It should cause some trouble in all our thoughts, and hearts. What kind of words do you speak? Do they lift up and edify others? Do they always, or many times tear others down?

Beware Christian. The words you and I speak do come from our heart. It is best if we think before we speak; and think from a heart that is clean and right with God. When we do that we will speak words that not only edify others, but will glorify our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Words From the Heart

“Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Jesus Christ (Matthew 15:17-20 KJV)

The things we easily speak is what is in our hearts. When it flows with confidence and ease – whether it be good, bad, nasty, vulgar – if it comes with ease that is what is in our hearts.

May my heart be filled with the Spirit of Christ, that I may freely and with ease speak of Him, His glory, His passion – the cross – and His coming again.

~T.A.

Words for Christian Living – Our Treasure

In January I posted a short article on this same topic.  I awoke this morning with this topic on my mind; and it has been just about everyday I live.  The topic of “Treasure”; in particular: what is my treasure.  It is something for which I am ashamed to mention.  First let us look at what Jesus said;

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)

Jesus knew we would have treasure; however those treasures are not to be earthly treasure; and that is the first thing we think of when we think “Treasure”.  Gold, silver, precious jewelry, houses, lands, boats, cars, and sometimes spouses and children.  Jesus does not tell us these things are bad.  They are, in fact, good to have; remembering from whom they have come.

My shame lays in the thought that I see in myself more affinity for speaking of things like a good movie, book, car, a football game; than I do of speaking of Christ Jesus.  That tells me that Jesus Christ is not my Treasure.  Why is it when the subject of those other things come up I can speak without fear; yet when the subject of God comes up I can get really quiet?

I have no excuse.  Jesus is the greatest treasure.  I am endeavoring today, by the power of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus Christ my Treasure.

Reminder of His Love

In the last article on this chapter of Jeremiah, the final verse of our text was the last part of verse 19 which tells us, “And the fear of Me is not in you,’ says the Lord GOD of hosts.” That is usually the reason for departure from God.

As we look into the following verses we see the Lord having them recall their deliverance from bondage, then playing the harlot, turning against their deliverer.

“For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me? For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord GOD.” Jeremiah 2:20-22 (KJV)

One of the things that we can see throughout God’s dealings with the chosen people is that He loves them. His grace is everlasting, and His mercy endures forever. That is a theme for His people throughout all of Scripture.

God had delivered His children from the bondage of Egypt, and burst the bonds which held them. He had done this in just a matter of days while working in Egypt through the plagues upon the land and the people. They witnessed the mighty power of God. Not just Israel, but Egypt witnessed this awe-inspiring events which turned the heart of Pharoah, at least for a time, to let God’s people go.

The people had promised God they would not transgress His law. They did. That is why the declaration is made, “When on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down playing the harlot”. The pagan, Gentile altars were on the high hills, and under the trees. God is charging the people with spiritual adultery. That is, the forsaking of the true Husband for an imposter. They had turned away from holy God for unholy pleasures. They had forgotten the attitude of Moses. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way –

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”  Hebrews 11:24-26 (KJV)

The prophet Isaiah in a previous time had spoken of Israel as a vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7). He speaks of the Husbandman planting the vineyard, but all He received were wild grapes. God says through Jeremiah, “Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality”, and now they have turned their backs on God and are worshipping stone, wood, flesh. They have in fact become an “alien vine”. That is not what God planted. That is the picture we see.

When they have made themselves unclean before God, they then, evidently feel guilty, try to wash themselves clean with the strongest cleanser they have available that day. They would go and worship the false gods, taking pleasures that should not have been their’s to have. After their violation of holiness with God they would then seek to make themselves clean before God, and without true repentance.

Thus God says, “Yet your iniquity is marked before Me”.

The lesson for the follower of Jesus Christ is that we have been delivered from sin. Our sins have been forgiven. The law of the Lord is written in our hearts. We are free to live righteously, holy, and undefiled lives through the power of the Spirit of Christ who lives in us. When we sin we have an advocate with the Father. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. There is need for repentance and that is a turning from sin and to the Lord Jesus.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Words for Christian Living – Mind

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)

The mind of the Christian is not empty of thought.  According to Paul the apostle to the Corinthians “…We have the mind of Christ”  (1 Corinthians 2:16).  So having the mind of Christ we will think like Jesus thinks, act like Jesus acts; because that is His mind.

The mind of Christ was to submit Himself to the Father’s will, and glorify His name.  That is the mind of the Christian too.  Even unto death.

The Making of The Preacher

The call of the prophet was one of separation. It was one for Jeremiah that would separate him from his family, due to the message he would be proclaiming, it would even keep him from marriage. There were times he would even feel that God had forsaken Him. We will see these things as we progress through this wonderful prophecy which our LORD God has given us.

The passage of the prophet for today is chapter one, verses 17-19;

“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:17-19 (KJV).

The idea of “girding up the loins” is the idea of getting one’s self ready for the task at hand. You might say of a preacher called by God, “Get yourself ready to do My bidding”. As Paul spoke to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV). Jeremiah was called to preach the Word of the Lord and he must be prepared. He must know that calling is sure, because there were going to come times in his ministry where that would be all that he had.

“Arise”, get up and get going, the time is short. “Speak to them all that I command thee”. There can be no changing of the message to soften the impact. It must be spoken as God has given it. It is sad to say and to think, but there are many preachers, who are pastors of churches and preach (if you can call it that) messages that are watered down versions of the truth, thus not the truth, but lies. They would rather be popular with their people. Popular with the people unpopular with God. Which would we be? God says to the prophet, “Be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them”.

If we as preachers neglect to preach Jesus; His death on the cross; His burial; His bodily resurrection; and His promise… “I will come again” then we fail to preach the Word of God.  That is the essence of all of Scripture.

The prophet is called to stand, to be strong. God tells Jeremiah, “I have made you this day a defenced city, an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests , and against the people of the land.” This is God’s promise to Jeremiah of God’s protection from harm. Even when the judgment comes on the land, even though the people, the kings, the princes, and the priests turn against him Jeremiah is promised protection. His life will be kept and preserved. Someone has said, “The man of God in the will of God is immortal, until God is through with him”. That is a profound statement. Of course the one who made that statement must have been speaking of this temporal life we live here on earth, because with Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are immortal anyway.

The promise of God for protection would be a mighty force in the faithfulness of Jeremiah. The promise is a mighty power in our lives as well. To think that his own family, friends, king, princes, and others would try to harm him, even try to kill him, and he having the promise of God’s protection and keeping. “They shall fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.” Would you rather have the friendship of the world, or the protection and power of God on your life? Think about it. You cannot have both, if you are going to be a preacher of God’s Word.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

The Judgment Coming

Judgment is in fact already here.  Judgment has come.  As Christians we must learn to live righteously in a godless nation, godless generation, and within a lukewarm church.

For the nation of Judah it seems that the North was the direction from which judgment would come. I think it interesting to note a Psalm that directs our attention to the North without naming the North. It is Psalm 75, and it says, “Do not lift up your horn on high; do not speak with a stiff neck.’ For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” (vv.5-7). You notice the silence concerning North? Does Judgment come from the North? In the case of Israel and Judah it does.

Hear what the LORD spoke to Jeremiah:

“And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, ‘What seest thou?’ And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north.  Then the LORD said unto me, ‘Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.'”  Jeremiah 1:13-16 (KJV)

The judgment of which Jeremiah warned was coming on all the inhabitants of the land. It seems that the noble people, those of notable birth, or those who have great wealth sometimes think, “Oh, that won’t happen to us” or “We can become a part of the upper society people, and we can just fit in”, but the prophet’s message from the LORD is judgment on “all the inhabitants of the land”. Judgment is not a pleasant thing to talk about, but when the LORD calls you and gives you a message to proclaim, and tells you not to withhold a word, then you better obey.

Every preacher, and especially pastors would love to spend all their preaching, preaching of the goodness, love, grace, mercy of God. We would be thrilled just to always be preaching about the good we see in our fellow human beings, because there are good things done, there are good lives lived, and people saving physical lives; and encouraging others. The preacher, the pastor is not the man of God he should be, if he preaches not that we are sinners; condemned, dying and that our only hope of salvation is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. To preach the cross of Jesus you must tell why He died on the cross, that means talking about our darkness of sin. We must tell why the Father had to judge His own perfect, sinless Son, turn His back on Him; and why Jesus went through that horrible three hours of total darkness while He was stretched between heaven and hell. We must preach that God made Him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

The judgment coming on Judah was coming from the north. It was in fact, coming from God. It was the plan of Jeremiah’s father, his family, and Jeremiah that he would be a priest in Jerusalem. That was a ministry that was much respected in Jeremiah’s day, and that of his family. Jeremiah even had plans of marriage, but that was not to come about. We will see that in a later word from God to the prophet. Prophets of God do not choose to be prophets; they are called by God to be prophets. That is the prophet Jeremiah. Prophets who call themselves serve themselves, lead others astray, and despise God’s prophets.

The judgment coming to Jerusalem was like all the kingdoms of the north were coming to set up quarters, homes, or shop right in the gates of the city. They would be encamping all around. The people of Judah would no longer be free. Not only is this against the city of Jerusalem but all the cities of Judah. This would include Bethlehem and Bethel.

The coming of these people of the kingdoms of the north was God’s utterance against their forsaking the LORD. There were those who were worshipping the LORD, but few and far between. Those who were worshipping were probably remaining silent. The priests who were praising God in their hearts and worshipping him, must have been silent concerning the condition of the hearts and lives of the people; thus were allowing them to continue to live in their sin and rebellion. Therefore, they were not the priests of God that they should have been. Take the offering the people bring no matter the true condition of their heart, or that they had been to the temple of Baal, and participated in those rituals. They will be okay as long as they are faithful to the temple of God. LIES, LIES, LIES. God is not glorified except with total devotion, commitment, and worship to Him and to Him alone.

Even though a man and/or woman may attend worship on Sunday morning, evening, Wednesday evening, and anytime the church house door is open, but they live for themselves the other days of the week, the rest of the time, and glorify not God with their life and living; they worship not, and love not the LORD with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. They have, in fact, forsaken the Lord, and “worship the works of their own hands”.

I want no man, woman, boy or girl to be without hope.   I do, however, want you to have meaningful hope.  Hope that will come to pass.  Meaningful hope endures the times we face.  Meaningful  hope looks to the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ; and His promise of returning to earth to reclaim.  That is the Christian’s hope.  We look forward to seeing Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living GOD.

Urgent!!!

“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what seest thou?’ And I said, ‘I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, ‘Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.'” Jeremiah 1:11-12 (KJV)

There are a few times the almond tree, and rod are mentioned in Scripture.  Aarons rod was an almond rod (Numbers 17:8) Other times the word “Almond” is used in the Old Testament are found  in Genesis 43:11;  Exodus 25:33, 34; 37:19, 20;  Ecclesiastes 12:5, and our text today.

Four of those are references to the actual tree or fruit or to an article made in the likeness of an almond, such as a bowl.

Aaron’s rod budded showing life; it was also evidence that Aaron was God’s appointed man for the time.

The prophet has been called to proclaim the Word of God to a sinful and rebellious people. He has been told by God, that he has been known by Him even before he was conceived in the womb of his mother. Jeremiah the prophet has been told to speak every word God puts in his mouth.

Now comes the time to check his vision. “Jeremiah, what do you see?” (1:11) “I see a branch of an almond tree.” If a man is going to proclaim the Word of the Lord GOD, then he must be able to see what God is about to do, or at least what he desires to do.

Here is what God says about the seeing of the almond tree branch. “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word”. (v. 12)

The almond tree was an early tree. It wakened from its dormancy earlier than any other tree. The thing Jeremiah saw God used to tell him that the Word of God was going to be done just as God declared it through him, and it would be very quickly. It would be earlier than any other.

The message of God’s Word would be faithfully preached by the prophet, but not without sorrow and pain. There would be no delay. Jeremiah must hasten to the work of his ministry.

Just how close are we to the time we will see the fulfilling of the final prophecies of the Word of God. They are at the door. Jesus could return for His Bride at any moment. Do not delay to call on His name in repentance for sin, and trust completely in Him for salvation.

The picture of the almond tree for Jeremiah was a message that God was going to perform His word quickly.  We live in an era of time very similar to Jeremiah’s.  It is a time for the preacher to preach the Word; not back away, nor soft pedal it; but deliver it with urgency.  The time we have is short.

As Jesus Christ was on the cross, suffered, bled and died there that tree brings forth life.  The message of Jesus is the message with urgency.  Believe Him and live.  Continue in unbelief and perish.  That is the only choices we have.

Could it be that the cross was made from an almond tree?

GOD Will Rise

PLEASE NOTE:  The following article was posted January 18, 2008.  My prayer is for God’s people to hear God’s Word and repent.

Can you imagine being born into a family of priests. Can you imagine even more, that after you have grown to be a man, that you receive a call from God to be His prophet. You are told that you will be a prophet to the people of God, that you will be a prophet to the nations. You are also told that you will speak whatever God puts in your mouth.

“The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.”  Jeremiah 1:1-3 (KJV)

The name Jeremiah means, “Jah will rise” and “Jah” is short for “Jehovah”. That name is given to us in one of the Psalms. In Psalm 68:4 it is written, “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH [Jah], and rejoice before Him.” The use of the name Jeremiah and of JAH seems to be that even though the Nation has fallen into ill will with God, that He is raised, He is exalted, and He will be praised by His people.

Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry takes place during some of the roughest of times, especially for a prophet. The people were so secure in their beliefs, that they were living under falsehood. They were thinking that because the temple was present in Jerusalem, then they would never fall.

The task of a true prophet of God would have been quite difficult for Jeremiah, as he was also a priest, and being from a family of priests, that would mean confronting some of the sins and discrepancies of the priesthood. Because of this he would not be very popular. But then, no prophet is ever popular, or well thought of while they are living.

Jeremiah probably prophesied during the latter years of king Josiah’s rule in Judah. Josiah was a good king, who brought reform that could even be called a revival to the nation. It is said of king Josiah, “He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD” 2 Chronicles 34:2; but it was only shortlived so it was only temporary reform, which grieved the heart of this prophet of God.

When the people only put on a temporary change, because it has been legislated, rather than having a personal relationship with God, and a change of heart, it should grieve the hearts of those who know God.

This heart for God from this prophet would bring much sorrow, pain, and persecution from his family, friends, and the people. There seems to be only one who is faithful to Jeremiah and the Lord throughout this prophecy, and his name is Baruch (Chapter 45). We are each called, as a child of God, to be faithful to God, and support all those who are also faithful to God in proclaiming His Word.

God will rise and be exalted.

W4CL – Power

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

The human race is consumed by power.  People who want to have control over others; many of them are called politicians who are out to get all the power they can.  Many are preachers and pastors who desire to rule the Church they lead – sadly.

There is something the Christian must realize and that is that all power belongs to the Creator.  It is wonderful for the Christian to daily focus, fellowship with, and have faith in the One who is All-Powerful (Omnipotent).  It is a glorious thing to know that we have the One who empowered the life of Jesus as He walked on earth living within us too.  “…The power that worketh in us…”

How much power do we have?  All that is His; is ours.  Let us walk with Him, and it will be used rightly.

W4CL – Peace

“For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”  Ephesians 2:14-18 (KJV)

Many in our world are crying out for peace.  Peace between Israel and Palestine, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, etc..  Ever since I was a child I can remember people calling for “Peace”.  Not too many, however, really appreciate what “Peace” means.

Peace does not mean  the absence of conflict.    There can be conflict for the cause of peace.  The greatest peace is realized when a man, woman, boy or girl receives the peace of God.

The thing Paul speaks of in the above verses, “…Broken down the middle wall of partition…” is speaking of the wall between Jew and Gentile; the law, and heathenism.  By the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that wall has been broken down, and we are both reconciled to God.

If one does not believe in, trust in the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ you are still at enmity with God.  Your heart is far from Him, and you cannot know peace.  With Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior you will have the Holy Spirit and permanent access to the Father.

With this peace, even in the midst of the world’s greatest conflicts, you will be at peace.  Peace of heart and soul.  Peace of mind.  Peace with God.

W4CL – Righteousness

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he suffered Him.”  Matthew 3:13-15 (KJV)

Coming to John the Baptist for baptism;  these are the first words of Jesus spoken in the Gospel of Matthew.  The baptism of Jesus was for the purpose of fulfilling the righteousness of God.  Jesus certainly did not need to be baptized; except for that purpose.  John recognized it and baptized Him.

Since the first words of Jesus recorded in Matthew were concerning righteousness; I would believe that righteousness is a very important part of Christian living.

Righteousness is doing the godly thing.  The right thing.  Thinking and acting Biblically in a corrupt world.  If you are living like the world; you are not living righteously.

W4CL – Holy Spirit

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV)

We need not be fearful that God will not fulfill His Word.  He has promised that He will finish what He has began (Philippians 1:6).  There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39).  Best of all we have God’s “Earnest” payment that He will do it.

“Earnest” is a real estate term.  One puts down an earnest payment as a guarantee of payment of a down payment on a house or land.  The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us as promise, evidence that He will complete what He has began in us.  You will note too, that “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”.

In Christ we are a sealed document, that cannot be opened until it is delivered into the hand of the King.  Please read Romans 8:9.

W4CL – Restore

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galations 6:1 (KJV)

How many times have you without any fault of your own found yourself dealing with a sin?  You found yourself, deceived, believing wrongly, doing wrongly.  You were “overtaken in a fault”.  You have grieved over it.  Then a “Spiritual” brother/sister who is bearing all those fruit of the Spirit comes and ministers to your need.  By the love, compassion, and meekness you are restored to fellowship with God and the Body of Christ.

That is what it means to be a “Spiritual” Christian.  The spiritual Christian does not condemn the fallen brethren, but seeks to restore the one who is grieving in their sin.

The next time you see a brother/sister in Christ overtaken in a fault seek his/her  restoration.  You could find yourself in that situation sometime later.

For further study on Galations 6:1

W4CL – Fruit

“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 (KJV)

Paul gave us examples of the works of the flesh in the verses  preceding the above text.  They are the evidence of ungodliness.  Many of the works of the flesh have been seen in professing Christians; however they are the works of the flesh; and not of Christ.

The works of the flesh come from the heart and mind of unredeemed men and women.  It can be the old left overs of one’s past life, and the Christian must put them to death.  The Christian will produce the Fruit of the Spirit – the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Notice the fruit –  “Love, joy, peace”  The three go together; you cannot separate peace from love or joy, nor joy from peace and love; nor love from joy and peace.  The peace of God which passes all understanding (Romans 5:1-2; Philippians 4:7).

“Longsuffering” that is basically patience, enduring faith in God, forbearance with others.

“Gentleness” equals moral goodness, integrity.  You are the same in your behavior when you are alone as  you are when you are with people.

“Goodness”  Upright in heart.

“Faith” having a conviction of the truth.

“Meekness”  not too many people desire to be meek; however that is a fruit of the Spirit.  Jesus said of the meek “They shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  Jesus is a good example of meekness.  Knowing who He is, did not retaliate against those who hated Him; instead, He said, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34).

“Temperance”  means self-control.  This begins with have a clear mind, clean heart, and life.  One cannot have self-control if they have the works of the flesh.  The works of the flesh are in control.

Walking in the Spirit gives the Christian freedom to walk with Jesus; free from condemnation, guilt, and fear.  The fruit of the Spirit is what comes from the Christian who is trusting the Lord.

In Christ Jesus you do bear the fruit of the Spirit.

W4CL – Heirs

“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father.’ Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”   Galations 4:1-7 (KJV)

There has been much talk in our nation, and around the world of the new “Royal baby” which was born a week or so ago.  “Third heir to the throne” we have heard.  What is he heir to?  The ceremonial, traditional position of the king of England.  A small, and somewhat influential country in the world; an honor for this baby, and the ones which preceded him.

It is Paul’s declaration that those who have been born of God are heirs with Christ Jesus.  Now that is not a ceremonial, nor traditional thing; it is an eternal, very influential thing.  According to Romans 8:17 those of us who have been born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, buried with Him in His baptism, and raised again to new life through His resurrection are “Joint heirs with Christ”.  What does that mean?

It means that we will not be ruling a penniless, bankrupt nation (spiritually and economically); we will rule the earth with King Jesus on the throne.  He is the one who “Owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10).  He also owns the stars in the deepest parts of space, and the earth is His footstool (Matthew 5:35).

If we are joint heirs with Christ, and we are; then, as heirs of Christ we should behave like heirs of Christ until He comes again.

In Christ you are heir to more than a fading kingdom; you are an heir to all that is God’s.

W4CL – Faith

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth He it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”  Galations 3:1-5 (KJV)

The Church of Galatia was foolish enough they were beginning to rely on works, maybe it was sacraments – baptism, the Lord’s Supper [Communion], etc. – for salvation.  Paul calls them “Foolish” and “Bewitched” or deceived.

It is faith that moves mountains.  It is only the grace of God through faith that saves, and it is God alone who gives faith.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)

Note that grace and faith are a “Gift of God”.  The gift that has been given us the death of God’s only Son Jesus Christ on the cross.  His burial and bodily resurrection confirms the work of grace.  Faith believes God, and lives for Him and His glory.

The Word for Christian Living to day is Faith.

Thirsty

“O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see Thy power and Thy glory, so as I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”  Psalm 63:1-2 (KJV)

Did the Psalmist know God?  David knew God.  Yet the more or better he knew Him the more he desired Him.

Jesus said,

“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14

The Christian is full of the water that Jesus gives, but is continually in need to drink from the Source.  The better we know Jesus the more we desire to know Him.

Words for Christian Living – Thanksgiving

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

A person’s attitude says a lot about who they are.  Your attitude is not fixed by your surroundings, your friends, or your enemies.  Your attitude is from your own heart.  A good attitude is best attained by having a thankful spirit and heart.

When you are thankful; despite your circumstances, despite criticism, or cruelty from others; despite sickness, or economic situation; then you will have a good attitude through all those things.  Whoever or what ever controls your attitude is your god or your idol.

When the Christian is thankful the great attitude you have shows that God’s will is being done in your life.  Your thanksgiving to God shows He is Lord of your life.

The Psalmist wrote…

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”  Psalm 100:4 (KJV)

When bad circumstances, or “mean” people start getting under your skin; thank the Lord for your job, your family; or most of all just thank God for being God, and in control of your life; then do something nice for the perpetrator with a smile.

Words for Christian Living – Bless the LORD

 “I will bless the LORD at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1 (KJV)

As Christians we are daily, constantly being blessed by God.  How often, however, do we think of Blessing God?  The phrase “Bless the LORD” is used mostly in Psalms, and occurs about 17 times; with one of those times reading “Bless ye the LORD” (Psalm 103:21). The phrase is used at least three more times in the rest of the Old Testament.  The Psalmist was a blessing to God, and blessed God.

How does the Christian bless the LORD?  First of all we fear the LORD.  In fearing God we love Him, obey His commands because we love Him.  In these things we speak words that honor Him.  We live a life that honors and glorifies Him.

Secondly, we lift up the name of Jesus in praise; not as a swear word.  Shame on the Christian who would ever use the name of Jesus Christ as an expression of anger, passion, or frustration.

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.”  Psalm 48:1-7 (KJV)

Bless the LORD.

Words for Christian Living – Blessing the Poor

“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and Thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. I said, ‘LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against Thee.'”  Psalm 41:1-4 (KJV)

In the United States of America we are richly blessed.  We are blessed with the grace of God.  We are blessed with riches.  Yet in the midst of the blessing of riches we are cursed with some levels of poverty; and some of which cannot be avoided.  People often find themselves without an income, due to loss of jobs; or sickness, and/or disease; which has robbed them of the strength to make a living.  These are the poor that the Christian must not neglect.

It is the light of Christ Jesus that shines in our hearts that causes us to see others as being better than ourselves; and that includes the poor.  Paul the apostle writing to the people of Philippi…

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  Philippians 2:3 (KJV)

As Christians the love of Christ will reign supremely in our hearts; and others will be blessed by our lives and our conduct:  even though they may not always realize it.  John the apostle wrote the following…

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”  1 John 3:17 (KJV)

Be a blessing today.

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 – God’s Will

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”  Ephesians 5:17

I have spent a big portion of my Christian life looking, searching for God’s will.  About a month ago I realized I do not need to search for the will of God; that I am living in it.  I am not saying I am perfect, that I have reached the state of full knowledge or anything so preposterous as that.

The MacArthur Study Bible says this…

“…God’s will revealed to us is that people should be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4), Spirit filled (v. 18), sanctified (1 Thes. 4:3), submissive (1 Pet. 2:13-15), suffering (1 Pet.2:20) and thankful (1 Thes. 5:18).”

Knowing God, His will for our lives, and serving Him is as close as His Word and His Spirit.  When we are Saved, Spirit filled, Sanctified, Submissive, Suffering, and Serving; then we are in the will of God, doing the will of God; and there shall be nothing which will be withheld from us.

The Psalmist has written…

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  Psalm 37:4 (KJV)

When we know the LORD, are in His will, then God’s desires will be our desires.

Words for Christian Living – Fear

“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 (KJV)

What place does fear have in the life of a Christian and/or Christian living?  One place;  Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).  Someone has said, “If we fear God we need fear nothing else”.

The Psalmist tells us that the LORD is his light and salvation.  If that be so, then whom does the Psalmist need to fear; or who does any Child of God need fear; or what do we need to fear?

We can be troubled on every side.  Health, wealth (or lack of wealth worry about paying the rent, house payment, bills), personal attacks from others, even looming death may be one of the things that strike fear into our hearts.  There is no benefit from this worry.  Worry is nothing more or less than fear.  God is our strength.

We need to hear the words of Jesus and trust Him…

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or, ‘What shall we drink? or, ‘Wherewithal shall we be clothed?’ (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  Matthew 6:30-34 (KJV)

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 – Giving

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, ‘He hath dispersed abroad; He hath given to the poor: His righteousness remaineth for ever.’ Now He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”  2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (KJV)

Paul the apostle was sending a delegation to Corinth to pick up a promised donation to the Jerusalem Christians.  He sent this message to thank them for their generosity; and to encourage them in their giving.

For the Christian giving is not a dread; it is a blessing.  We are giving back to God recognizing our Blessers blessings.  Every Christian is a giver.  Every Christian should enjoy giving.

There are many places crying out for help, for money.  Where should the Christian give.  The main place should be to and through your local congregation.  “God loves a cheerful giver.”