“And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, ‘Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.’ Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” Acts 27:22-25 (KJB)
“And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, ‘Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.'” Acts 15:6-11 (KJB)
“Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.’
Philip saith unto Him, ‘Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, ‘Shew us the Father?’ Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.’” John 14:6-11 (KJB)
Jesus is the only way to God, His presence, and His throne. Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus anyone who calls on the name of Jesus for mercy and grace will find help in the time of need; at the throne of grace.
Philip has said to Jesus, “Show us the Father…” and Jesus said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” When a believer sees Jesus for who He is we see the Father. We stand before the very presence of GOD. In Christ Jesus we are seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 1:1-5).
Through Christ Jesus we can know God the Father. Hear the words of the Master. “I and My Father are One.” (John 10:30).
“Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by Him, and said unto them, ‘Whosoever shall receive this child in My name receives Me: and whosoever shall receive Me receives Him that sent Me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.’” Luke 9:46-48 (KJB)
Within the world in which we live there are many who seek to be seen, and known as “The Greatest”. This notion even fell upon the disciples of Jesus; and in many cases; it still does. Jesus was dealing with this in the above verses.
When I was a child there was a man in the sports world who liked to see himself as the greatest; he was the one who used the poetic phrase, “Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee”. He is no longer the greatest, neither was he ever the greatest. He met death as well; and just as every human being will.
Who is the greatest? Jesus answers that question above. Whoever receives a child in His name receives Him, and whoever receives Him receives Him (God the Father) who sent Him. The least among us is the same who shall be great.
Let us think on that one for awhile, believe it, receive it, and do it.
“While He yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, ‘Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?’ As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ And He suffered no man to follow Him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And He cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when He was come in, He saith unto them, ‘Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.’ And they laughed Him to scorn. But when He had put them all out, He taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with Him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, ‘Talitha cumi;’ which is, being interpreted, ‘Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.’ And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And He charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” Mark 5:35-43 (KJB)
In the previous verses of this chapter they include the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, and she had no healing from the physicians who had taken all she had financially. The child of only twelve, was dead, by the testimony of these who had came to find their ruler, and those present at the home of Jairus who had been waiting.
A woman, a child. One an adult; the other a child. Both are affected by sin. There is no living individual who does not have sin affecting their lives. Adults die. Children die. Death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23).
The adult can willingly reach out to Jesus and be healed. The child cannot; at least this daughter could not; she is dead.
Folks, we who are Christians were all dead in the trespasses of sin (Ephesians 2:1), and Jesus called us by name, and gave us new life in Him. Like the little girl. Jesus raises us to life.
“The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.” Psalm 14:1-3 (KJV)
How often do we hear, “He is a good man”? I have said it myself, yet I know in Scripture God tells us that we are evil (Jeremiah 17:9), and the above verses. The very fact that God sent His sinless Son to die on a cruel old wooden cross for our sins is evidence enough that we need a Savior, and we are told that Jesus Christ is the only one available to us.
I have written a couple of days ago of the “Children of Men” and we can see in the world that there is evil in the hearts and lives of Adamkind. We have what some see as good people who have become addicted to drugs; legal, illegal, or illegally obtained pharmaceuticals. Some have become addicted due to doctors prescriptions; some just for a kick or an high. That in itself should say to us that we are a corrupt people, we are evil and in need of a Deliverer, a Savior, and that God has provided for us a marvelous, wonderful Redeemer, Savior, and Lord.
There are many people who profess that they believe in God. So do the demons of Hell (James 2:19). Believing in God is a good place to start, but you must also believe what He says. For our salvation we must believe that He sent His Son Jesus to die for us, believe and accept His work on the cross, His burial and resurrection.
We do not understand when we refuse to seek our own way, do our own thing, believe our own belief, and refuse the wonderful gift of God’s grace in His Son Jesus. It just might be more beneficial to be an non-theist, than to believe in God, yet reject His Son. Both the believer in God who has rejected Jesus, and the non-theist will be cast into eternal torment.
Does Adamkind do good things? Many times good things are done by our kind. Does it do anything to honor and glorify GOD? Most times they do not. What GOD does and accomplishes in those who are His will honor and glorify His name. His saving us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus glorifies Him. Isaiah the prophet said, “…All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
Do not live as an unbelieving fool. Turn to Christ Jesus and live your life for Him.
In the study of the book of Acts you can see that the early Church grew, and continued to grow. It grew not because of the men who had given their lives to following Jesus Christ; but it grew due to the power of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit within and upon them.
One of the chief apostles named in the book of Acts is first introduced in the Acts of the Holy Spirit book. It is God who increases His Church. It is God who regenerates those who come to Him. It is God who keeps the Church growing even in 2017.
After Paul had arrived in Rome many Jews (at Paul’s invitation) came to him to question him concerning the charges against him from Jerusalem. They wanted to hear what he preached and taught…
“And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.” Acts 28:23-24 (KJV)
The apostle spoke clearly of the place of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel from the Law and the Prophets all day long.
Paul believed the gospel. He lived the gospel, He proclaimed the gospel and God blessed, and gave results.
Sadly, today’s Church is much weaker in stature, faith, and power with God; yet God is still redeeming souls, regenerating them, and bringing us into His kingdom.
The Church today needs the Spirit of God at work; not entertainment, or showmanship from its pastor, music director, or any other director. That is fire under the altar (1 Kings 17). Let us call on the fire of God to come down on us.
We must have the power of God for perseverance. We need to be servants of God first; then willing to serve others as well. When we are in the will of God through His Spirit, His word, and in prayer then we will have peace.
The Church today needs to understand that all provisions will come from God for His work and ministry to progress. In the early Church every member was provided for due to persecution (Christians were losing their employment, their homes, etc.), and those who were able made donations for the cause of helping those who suffered. God provided the need for the apostle Paul to get to Rome. He also provided encouragement for Paul by giving him friends.
Too many times the Church today, and their preachers do not challenge the opposition of the gospel. Paul did. He called them to come and hear what he had to say, and they came. Some of them “Believed” and some of them did not. Are we too afraid of being turned down? When we present the gospel, and it is rejected it is not us who is being rejected; it is in fact Jesus being resisted.
Now, Church, is not the time to stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is time to preach it clearly, with the power of the Spirit unlike any other time. It is time for Christians to rise up and say in public places “I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God, and God the Living Son”, then live like we are children of the King of kings.
The preaching of the gospel must continue, be unending until that day when we see Jesus face to face. Paul could have said, “I am a prisoner. What can I do”, but he did not he preached the gospel. His heart was set on Jesus, because Jesus was his treasure (Matthew 6:21). He preached with confidence; not in his own abilities, but with confidence that God fulfilled every word He has ever spoken, and will continue to do so. Though in prison Paul was free.
Although the book of Acts is a book of history we can also get the way the Lord would have us operated His Church. To operate any other way would not be a New Testament Church.
The Lord’s way is 1) Jesus is the Head; 2) The Body submits to His Lordship; 3) We are to operate as one even as Jesus and the Father are One; 4) We are to walk in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.
Sometimes there is strife, and arguments in the Church. Maybe that is whey there are so many different denominations; but I think it probably goes beyond our differences.
Even in the early Church there was conflict. Since the first members of the first Church were Jewish, having believed the Law, the Prophets, and the Wisdom literature – all of Scripture; then they had to deal with how the Gentiles fit into their beliefs. That is what the conflict was over in Acts 15.
“And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.” Acts 15:6-12 (KJV)
There were some in the Jerusalem Church who were teaching that the Gentile believers which had believed needed to agree with the law of Moses, and follow Jewish practices. The verses above are the apostles defense of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone.
The Holy Spirit had been given to the Gentile believers without the Law. Why would, or why should they be expected to be put under the “Yoke” of the Law, “…Which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear…”.
We must understand, however, that freedom from the “Yoke of the Law” does not mean freedom to sin. Since Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying sins death, condemnation, guilt, and bondage with Him; then rising from death leaving those things far away; we are free. It does mean freedom from sin, and its yoke of bondage and death.
It is stated again in the text above. “…We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they…” Jews and Gentiles are saved by grace through faith in the work of the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-10).
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to always know, trust, and believe that a man’s wealth is not determined by the things he possesses, but by the Person who has his heart; and I want all who read this to know, trust and believe that as well.
“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15 (KJV)
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want you to know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that He is the Son of God, God the Son, and the coming King who will put an end to all sin and evil in the world; and for you to believe Him, and trust Him with everything He says.
“Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 26:64 (KJV)
Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
Please note that these are the words of Jesus. Those who do the will of His Father are those who will enter the kingdom of heaven.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want you to do the will of God in Christ Jesus, and that is to believe on Him whom the Father has sent.
“Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:28-29
What do I want for Christmas?
I want the whole world; I want you to know that God loves you despite the way you are; and that He loves you too much to leave you the way you are.
That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:15-18 (KJV)
“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
What do I want for Christmas?
In a world where we people are always wanting, even lusting for things and people, I want Christians especially to understand and realize that we; when we truly love Jesus; will want, will desire what His mind and heart desires.
We learn what He wants and desire through the Holy Bible; from Genesis through The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
“Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:22-24 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
Today, and every day I want to thank the LORD the Creator of heaven and earth for His bountiful goodness, love, mercy, grace, for the cross of Jesus Christ; and for holding all things together; in my life and in the world. Will you join me in being thankful to Him today. Believe, trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will begin.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever…” Psalm 136:1-3
“Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, ‘Shew us the Father’? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” ~Jesus (John 14:9-11)
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)
In recent years there have been many in the political realm who claim that the Constitution of the United States is a “living document”. My understanding of their meaning is that the document is always changing with the culture and the times, which I believe to be completely false.
There is only one Living document which has been given to man, and that is the Word of God, with 66 books we call the Bible. When we speak of the Bible as a living document we do not mean that it is always changing with the times and/or culture. We mean that it lives to make changes in the people whose lives God touches in and through His Word.
In the above verse of the Bible the people of Thessalonica received the message of God’s Word from Paul, as though it came from God Himself; and Paul the apostle noticed that it was a powerful, living word; because he saw change in the people.
The author of Hebrews says, “The Word of God is quick [living] and powerful…” (Hebrews 4:12) and it surely is.