The Power By The Spirit

“But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” Micah 3:8 (KJB)

The prophet of God is called to give the  “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) whether that be good and positive, bad and negative. The preacher of today if called by God is called to do the same.

At times the preacher is given a message of comfort, hope, encouragement, and strengthening of faith. At other times he is given a message of judgment, and can cause, by the Spirit of the LORD, great fear and trembling and should lead the people to repentance, and faith toward Jesus Christ.

Micah’s message seems to be a doom and gloom message at the beginning, but as you read on into the message there is hope, blessing, encouragement, and words to strengthen one’s faith.

If the prophet is only defying the truth of God’s word, leaving out the warnings, the judgments, the negatives; then that prophet/preacher is not worth listening to; and you better go somewhere else. They are not a man of God.

We can certainly judge what the preacher says and/or does not say when we read the Scriptures. The Bible is our guide; our only source for judging what is true and right; or what is lies and deceiving.

When in doubt you can trust the words  of the Lord Jesus when He said, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

Jesus – The Anchor of the Soul

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this will we do, if God permit.  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.  For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs fit for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: but that which bears thorns and briers rejected, and nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.  But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.  For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.  For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil; where the Forerunner is for us entered, Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  Hebrews 6:1-20

REFERENCES: 2:5; 3:1; 10:29; Acts 8:14; 18:21; Psalm 65:10; Leviticus 16:15; Genesis 14:17-24; John 14:1-6

O, The Blessings We Have in Jesus Christ

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly in Christ: according as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.  In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; in Him: in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom you also, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you 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.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set at His own right hand in the heavenlies, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and has put all under His feet, and gave Him the head over all to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.  Ephesians 1:1-23

REFERENCES: Romans 1:7; Galatians 1:3; Exodus 33:19; Matthew 3:17; 1 Peter 1:18; Acts 20:28; Colossians 1:26; 1 Corinthians 3:22; Isaiah 46:10; James 1:18; John 1:17; Luke 21:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 1:4

More on the Mouth

The Mouth of the Wise and Righteous – Proverbs 10:1-32

At least 13 times in chapter ten there is reference to “mouth”, “lips”, or “tongue”.  Verses 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 31, and 32 with a couple of  verses having two references.

There is power in our use of words with our tongues, lips, our mouth; hear what God says about the power of the tongue; “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21).

From Warren W. Wiersbe –

Wise and righteous are key words in this chapter, and they go together, for the wise practice righteousness and the righteous grow in wisdom.
The wise bring joy and not grief to their parents (v. 1). They will take advantage of God-given opportunities (v. 5) and will obey orders (v. 8). Wise people gather knowledge (v. 14) and share it with others (vv. 13, 21, 31). They also know when to be quiet (v. 19). They do not jest about sin (v. 23) but are serious about obeying the Lord.
The righteous have God’s protection and provision (vv. 2–3, 24–25), and He blesses them in life (v. 6) and after death (v. 7). Their words give life (vv. 11, 20–21, 31–32), and their works prosper (v. 16). Their future is secure (v. 30) and joyful (v. 28).
If you are wise and righteous, those traits will be revealed by your words (vv. 6, 11, 14, 20–21, 31–32) as well as by your works.

Of verse 6 Matthew Henry Commentary says,

“Verse 6
Here is, 1. The head of the just crowned with blessings, with the blessings both of God and man. Variety of blessings, abundance of blessings, shall descend from above, and visibly abide on the head of good men, real blessings; they shall not only be spoken well of, but done well to. Blessings shall be on their head as a coronet to adorn and dignify them and as a helmet to protect and secure them. 2. The mouth of the wicked covered with violence. Their mouths shall be stopped with shame for the violence which they have done; they shall not have a word to say in excuse for themselves (Job 5:16); their breath shall be stopped with the violence that shall be done to them, when their violent dealings shall return on their heads, shall be returned to their teeth.”

The Believer’s Bible Commentary –

10:11  The mouth of a righteous person is a well of life flowing with words of edification, comfort, and counsel. The mouth of the wicked is silenced by his violence and malice.

10:15  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Those who have money can make money. The poor man can’t get started; his poverty is his undoing. The rich can buy quality merchandise that lasts longer. The poor buy worn-out, second-hand things that keep them poor with repair bills. This is the way things are in life, but not the way they should be.

The ESV Study Bible –

Prov. 10:12–18 These verses constitute a paragraph, with both vv. 12 and 18 mentioning hatred and both using the word covers/conceals (Hb. kasah); the individual verses relate to this overall theme. At the center of the section is a statement about wealth and poverty (v. 15) that requires careful attention. Though wealth can represent strength, and poverty can lead to ruin, the verses that precede and follow v. 15 (vv. 12–14 and 16–18) reinforce the call to recognize that what people pursue and how they pursue it are more important than what they possess (see 28:6, 20). Deception conceals a hatred (10:18a) that causes contention among others (v. 12a) and ruin for the person who deals in it (vv. 14b, 16b). Seeking wisdom (vv. 13a, 14a, 17a) through obedience, by contrast, fosters a love that can make peace with others (v. 12b); such a path leads to life (vv. 16a, 17a).

Prov. 10:19–21 These three proverbs contrast the prudent and productive character of righteous speech with the revealed emptiness of what is concealed in foolish speech (see v. 18).

It would seem, in looking at most of these verses, not related to the mouth, that they are connected by slouth.

Verses 31 – 32 speak of the froward (Perversive, fraudulent) mouth.  First the froward mouth will be cut off; secondly, it is the way of the wicked.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Wisdom’s Voice

Wisdom’s Voice – Proverbs 1:20 – 33

Verses 20 –  The Voice of Wisdom.  Matthew Henry in the commentary has written,

“I. By whom God calls to us—by wisdom. It is wisdom that crieth without. The word is plural—wisdoms, for, as there is infinite wisdom in God, so there is the manifold wisdom of God, Eph. 3:10. God speaks to the children of men by all the kinds of wisdom, and, as in every will, so in every word, of God there is a counsel. 1. Human understanding is wisdom, the light and law of nature, the powers and faculties of reason, and the office of conscience, Job 38:36. By these God speaks to the children of men, and reasons with them. The spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord; and, wherever men go, they may hear a voice behind them, saying, This is the way; and the voice of conscience is the voice of God, and not always a still small voice, but sometimes it cries. 2. Civil government is wisdom; it is God’s ordinance; magistrates are his vicegerents [viceregents?]. God by David had said to the fools, Deal not foolishly, Ps. 75:4. In the opening of the gates, and in the places of concourse, where courts were kept, the judges, the wisdom of the nation, called to wicked people, in God’s name, to repent and reform. 3. Divine revelation is wisdom; all its dictates, all its laws, are wise as wisdom itself. God does, by the written word, by the law of Moses, which sets before us the blessing and the curse, by the priests’ lips which keep knowledge, by his servants the prophets, and all the ministers of this word, declare his mind to sinners, and give them warning as plainly as that which is proclaimed in the streets or courts of judicature by the criers. God, in his word, not only opens the case, but argues it with the children of men. Come, now, and let us reason together, Isa. 1:18. 4. Christ himself is Wisdom, is Wisdoms, for in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and he is the centre of all divine revelation, not only the essential Wisdom, but the eternal Word, by whom God speaks to us and to whom he has committed all judgment; he it is therefore who here both pleads with sinners and passes sentence on them. He calls himself Wisdom, Lu. 7:35.”  MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY (From the Libronix Digital Library System)

Verses 21-23 –  The Places Wisdom speaks.  Alexander MacLaren wrote many years ago,

“The call of Wisdom in this passage begins with remonstrance and plain speech, giving their right names to men who neglect her voice. The first step in delivering men from evil-that is, from foolish-courses is to put very clearly before them the true character of their acts, and still more of their inclinations. Gracious offers and rich promises come after; but the initial message of Wisdom to such men as we are must be the accusation of folly. ‘When she is come, she will convict the world of sin.’

The three designations of men in Pro_1:22 are probably arranged so as to make a climax. First come ‘the simple,’ or, as the word means, ‘open.’ There is a sancta simplicitas, a holy ignorance of evil, which is sister to the highest wisdom. It is well to be ignorant as well as ‘innocent of much transgression’; and there is no more mistaken and usually insincere excuse for going into foul places than the plea that it is best to know the evil and so choose the good. That knowledge comes surely and soon enough without our seeking it. But there is a fatal simplicity, open-eared, like Eve, to the Tempter’s whisper, which believes the false promises of sin, and as Bunyan has taught us, is companion of sloth and presumption.”  (e-Sword edition)

Verses 24-33 –  The cries to which Wisdom listens.  John Gill, an associate of Charles H. Spurgeon wrote,

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them,…. Or be the cause of their being slain; even their turning away from Christ, their aversion to him; their turning their backs on him, and a deaf ear to him; their turning away from his Gospel, and putting it from them, thereby judging themselves unworthy of everlasting life: in all which they showed themselves to be the “simple” and “foolish” persons they were; and for which wrath and ruin came upon them, and they were slain with the sword and famine, and by one another. Some render it, as Aben Ezra, “the rest” or “quietness of the simple” (k), &c. taking up their rest in themselves, and in their observance of ceremonies and traditions; and crying Peace, peace, when sudden destruction was at hand: or a stubborn hardened rest in sin, a seared conscience; having no sense of guilt, nor fear of punishment; living in carnal security till death should seize upon them;

and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them; that is, the abuse of it; leading them to commit sins, which bring destruction upon them; or, seeing sinners live with impunity, and prosper in the world, take encouragement from thence to indulge themselves in sin, which is their ruin; or, being in prosperity, think it will always be well with them, and therefore put away the evil day far from them, which comes upon them at an unawares; which was the case of the Jews.” (e-Sword edition)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Provoked Jealousy

Provoked To Jealousy

Romans 11:7-14

Many Israeli people who live in the land, most of them calling themselves Jewish, have no convictions concerning God, or promises of the land. More of those who profess to be orthodox Jews are growing toward that.

National Israel is in a state of unbelief. They adhere to the old forms of ritualism and laws, but are unable to practice them, and they do not know God, The ones who do know God have been chosen by Him, and through their faith in Jesus Christ; the true Messiah of Israel. The old forms were relying upon their rituals, Sabbaths, and holy days to achieve righteousness.

THEY HAD NOT OBTAINED THAT FOR WHICH THEY HAD SOUGHT (vv. 7-8)

“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for:”

They, the orthodox Jew, was seeking the righteousness of God by their rituals. When their means of salvation presented Himself to them they crucified Him.

2. “…But the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” The one’s who were chosen and elected by God to faith in Jesus Christ were the one’s who truly obtained the righteousness of God. They met Jesus, believed Him, and followed Him; and through them established what we know as the Church.

3. “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” Romans 11:8 (KJV). The one’s who continued to reject did so because their eyes were blinded, but as we shall see later in this study of chapter 11 it was for the benefit of Gentiles blessing.

DAVID EVEN HAS SOMETHING TO SAY CONCERNING UNBELIEVING ISRAEL (v. 9- 10; Psalm 69:21-23).

“And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:  Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” Romans 11:9-10 (KJV).

1. The very things in which these trusted would become a snare unto them. The table usually thought to be a place of safety, because of their rejection of Messiah would become a snare, a trap, and a stumbling block. The very things they believed in were the source of their blinding.

2. In the source of Paul’s quotation even David says this of those who would give our Savior gall to drink.

3. Can we as Christians become so knowledgeable or stringent on ordinances or law that we miss our Lord and Savior?

IF THROUGH THE FALL OF THE JEW WE HAVE BEEN SAVED, HOW MUCH MORE RICHNESS SHALL THERE BE WHEN THEY REACH FULFILLMENT IN CHRIST (vv. 11-12)?

“ I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” Romans 11:11-12 (KJV)

1. It seems implied that the question is “Have they fallen to never rise again?” And, Paul’s answer to that is “God forbid!” or “NO!”. Salvation came to the Gentiles through their fall, and to make them jealous. We have received what they have long sought for, the righteousness of God.

2. The kingdom of Christ will be full with the household of Israel coming into the kingdom fold. This will be a blessing to the whole Church.

PAUL’S CONTINUED DESIRE TO SEE HIS BRETHREN IN THE FLESH COME TO CHRIST (vv. 13-14)

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.” Romans 11:13-14 (KJV)

1. Though Paul, as a Jew, is an apostle to the Gentiles; he has not given up on the Hebrew people. When we have been called to faith in Jesus there are people that we will no longer have close associations with. That should not mean that we forget them, and never share the faith of Jesus Christ with them.

2. To have desire that others would be saved, and do what we can to see them saved, is more than admirable it is our commission.

-Tim A. Blankenship

A Burden

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A Great Heaviness

Romans 9:1-5

In chapters 9 – 11 Paul adds a parenthetical statement concerning the Nation of Israel – the chosen Nation of God. Chapter nine shows us God’s past work with Israel, chapter ten, shows us God’s work with Israel during what is called the Church Age – our day included; and chapter eleven deals with God restoring Israel – His future work in fulfilling all those yet to be fulfilled promises.

In this “Parenthesis” there is promise for all who are trusting Jesus now. It assures us that since God is going to fulfill His promises to Israel, even though, they were a rebellious, and stubborn people; so too God will carry out those promises He has made concerning our salvation.

In chapter nine we will see that Jesus is an offense to the Jew, and that this is not outside the will of God. It is for the purpose that many more could be saved – particularly the Gentiles. In chapter nine we will also see God’s will concerning matters concerning Israel:

*God’s will for a rebellious people who have received many blessings (vv. 1-5);
*God’s will in His compassion and mercy toward this people (vv. 6-13);
*God will have mercy on those whom He chooses (vv. 14-24);
*God’s will in redemption becomes a stumbling block to the self-righteous (vv. 25-33a);
*Jesus is that Rock of Offense – But those who believe will not be ashamed (v. 33b).

It is not God’s will that any should perish. He has provided a way for all mankind to be saved, if they would only hear the message of the Gospel of Jesus, believe and be saved. It is not God’s fault that any are lost. It is not His fault that all were condemned. Even if God had chosen to do nothing for our salvation He would have been perfectly just, holy, and righteous in doing nothing. However, God had done something really big in sending His Son Jesus to die in our place.

Paul has A HEAVINESS OF HEART for his people; 1) he mentions this heaviness in vv. 1-2; 2) he even goes so far as to say that if it would redeem them, he himself would be willing to be accursed for them in v. 3. Let’s see some things which Paul mentions of how they [Israel] have been blessed:

1.  They are adopted (v. 4);
2.  They have received glory (v. 4);
3.  They received the covenants (v. 4);
4.  They received the law (v. 4);
5.  They received the service of God (v. 4);
6.  They were recipients of the promises (v. 4);
7.  They are the Nation from which Christ came (v. 5);
8.  They are blessed of God forever (v. 5).

SEE also Deut.7:6-10; 10:12-15;

-Tim A. Blankenship

Israel – A Reminder for this New Year

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV)

With the recent UN resolution against the nation of Israel, and our leaders response against Israel by abstention from voting, and refusing to veto the action of the world court our nation has placed itself in great jeopardy.

I realize there are Palestinian Christians, and I realize there are people on the opposing side of Israel who may be peaceful; but the objection of Palestinian leaders is not a two state solution, but the destruction of Israel and then a one State solution.

Let us pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as did David millenniums ago…

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122:6-9

 

Christmas Day Sixty One

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always realize that children; no matter what their age; in the womb, after they are born, until they have gone; are a blessing, a heritage of the LORD, and that God has given us the children, and grandchildren to bless us.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)

Christmas Day Seventy and Nine

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to get to know my Lord and Savior closer than I do; and I want to be able to really encourage all who know Him to be people of His Word that we may all know Him closer; to know Him not just know about Him, and we can do that through the reading, study, and application of His Word in our hearts and lives.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37-39 (KJV)

Christmas Day Ninety and Four

What do I want for Christmas today?

I thank the Lord everyday for His blessings; spiritual, physical and material; and what I want today and from this day forward is the heart and mind of wisdom from Him to enjoy what He has blessed me with for good, right, relationship, fellowship, and benefit to others, and to bless the name of the LORD.

Christmas Day One Hundred Eight

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be a blessing to those around me; to be an encourager, to be a friend to all I meet, and to instill in them the desire for living right, to always point them to the Creator; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:4-7 (KJV)

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Six

“Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 30:18 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to trust in the LORD, and to daily wait patiently upon Him, because in His mercy and grace He tarries, He waits for me, and for all who trust, who wait upon Him.

To “Wait on the LORD”  does not mean we sit idly by on some mountain top doing nothing; but that we keep on trusting Him, living our daily lives under the direction, and guidance and filling and power of His Spirit.

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Fifty and Eight

“In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.” Isaiah 19:24-25 (NKJV)

These verses, are a yet to be fulfilled prophecy of the prophet Isaiah.

What do I want for Christmas?

Since the nations mentioned (Egypt and Assyria along with Israel) I want for the people of these nations to come to know the GOD of Israel, and to see the work and power of Christ Jesus on the cross to redeem all who will believe on Him;  and I want you to understand and know the One who has purchased the redemption of all who will call on His name (Romans 10:13).

Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son is the only way of peace in the Middle East and the world.

Wisdom Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Sixty and Nine

“These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.” Proverbs 24:23-25 (NKJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be among those who are wise in the word, and the counsel of the word of the LORD; to never show partiality in judgment; to never call the wicked “Righteous”; and to be a blessing to all who know me, the one’s I have yet to meet, and even to those who might be an enemy; that all I know would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Five

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (KJV)

Have you ever been hungry?  I mean so hungry your belly began to swell from malnutrition, and you were getting weaker and weaker.  I have never been that hungry.

Jesus’s words above are not about physical hunger, but a hunger for righteousness.  A thirst for righteousness.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want that my greatest desire, hunger and thirst to be for righteousness to reign in my heart, mind and life; for my community, State, Nation and the world.

When righteousness reigns in our hearts there will be peace on earth.  That righteousness is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Eight

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the “kingdom of heaven” to be mine through Jesus Christ my Lord; to be so dependent upon Him that there is no pride, arrogance, or selfish bone in me.

This morning I wrote of this verse in my journal;

Those who have no rebelling spirit against God and right; those who humble themselves  before God and the holy; those who realize their purpose in life is to give glory to God, the One who made all things.

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Five

What do I want for Christmas?

It really alarms me that those of us who live in the land of the free and the home of the brave are growing so limited in our freedoms; with firefighters in one city who have been ordered not to fly Old Glory on their fire trucks, because it looks like ISIS terrorism.  Really?

I want us to be free to fly the flag of of the United States of America when ever and where ever we choose to fly it in a proper fashion, always honoring the sacrifice of those who have fought for our freedoms.  I want God to bless the United States of America.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; He considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength.” Psalm 33:12-16 (KJV)

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to think, and I want every man who aspires to be godly; to think on the LORD and His Word, to love his wife, and children; and to care for them as a husband and father ought; and to put the things of this world on the back burner; and to thank God every day for His blessings on us.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:6-8 (KJV)

“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 15:18-20

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the LORD God of all creation to comfort, encourage, and give strength to the families of the Egypt Air flight 804 into the Mediterranean Sea; and that they will find peace through the Son Jesus Christ, and eternal life in Him.

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:24-25 (KJV)

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

Christmas – Day 281

What do I want for Christmas?

On this Palm Sunday, remembering the last days in the life of our Savior before His death on the cross, burial, and bodily resurrection; I want to grow more in love with my Lord and Savior, and to appreciate everyday as a day He has given me to celebrate Him.

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto Me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11 (KJV)

Day Three Hundred Forty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my family, friends and neighbors to be blessed, in peace, comfort and wealth; most of all to be blessed with the peace and presence of the Lord in their lives.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)

Day 354 – What Do I Want For Christmas?

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to not want or lack anything that God has for me; and for all who will walk with Him.

Hear the heart of David;

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Psalm 34:8-10 (NKJV)

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 355

What do I want for Christmas?

Whenever I am prosperous, or whenever I am afflicted, and mourning, and without the material blessings of God; that I will always be before the “face of God”.  That all those who are called Christian might always be aware that we are always “before the face of God”.

Many times, even as King David, when we are blessed we forget God; and it can be so when we are grieving too.

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.” Psalm 30:6-7 (NKJV)

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.

Come Before His Presence with Singing

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5 (KJV)

The whole Psalm is give above. Yes it is short, so I will endeavor to keep my comments short as well.

The Psalm is merely titled “A Psalm of Praise”. Many might be asking why we should praise the LORD? This Psalm gives us the answer. First of all let me tell you who is to praise the LORD. “All ye lands” that is the whole earth, and everyone on it. No exceptions. God made us for His praise and glory.

Praising Him involves serving Him with gladness, not complaint; and entering His presence with singing. The Spirit filled Christian is to be a singer (Ephesians 5:18-21), and it is honoring and glorifying to the LORD.

We ought to praise Him because it is He that has made us; He is our Creator (Genesis 1-2). It is He who has made us, and not ourselves.

We are also the “sheep of His pasture” which is a picture of how ignorant, and needy we really are. That may offend some people, but it is the truth; I am needy. The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23), and with Him as my Shepherd I will not lack any good and right thing.

His “gates” are there to keep the enemy out, but let His people enter into His courts of splendor. We enter with thanksgiving, and go into His courts with praise. Thank Him for His blessings in your life. The apostle Paul said, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

A couple of more reasons for our worship of the LORD is His mercy and truth. He is constantly merciful, for all eternity. His truth never changes. As for His truth, there are some who things God ought to change with the times, the culture, and with society. God will never change, and because of that He is dependable, trustworthy, and stedfast.

The gospel message that Christ Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again has not changed either; nor has His promise to come again.

Trust in GOD: Rejoice

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee. For Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 (KJV)

One of the most glorious things about the Bible, and it is the Word of God; is that right in the middle of it is a Song Book. One hundred and fifty of the most wonderful songs that have ever been written. Most of them probably written by David.

Psalm 5 shows David’s anger toward evil, and that God is angry toward evil. We can understand that their is none righteous except those whom God declares righteous. We cannot declare ourselves as righteous. That is an empty endeavor. A vain thing.

“Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice” Yes! All trust must be placed in Jehovah [YHWH]. He is a Jealous God; and is worthy of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Jehovah is our Defender; our Righteousness; and our Shield. Let us shout for joy. Let us rejoice every morning when we awake. When we roll from our beds, and our feet hit the floor let our first thoughts be of Him; and not the dread of the day ahead.

Do you have God’s favor today? When you come to Him through His Son Jesus who is Righteousness in person; through the cross – His death, burial and resurrection – you have His favor.

Let all those who put their trust in God rejoice.

People of the Earth… Know that the LORD is God

“And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant. The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers: let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that He maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: that all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments, as at this day.” 1 Kings 8:54-61 (KJV)

Prayer was given by Solomon in veres 15-53, a prayer of dedication for the Temple. The above verses are a blessing on the people, and what is required of them.

The ultimate responsibility of the people of God, Israel, is found in verse 6o “….That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”  That is the desire of God through the cross of Jesus Christ and through those who are Christians; through the Church, the Body of Christ on earth.

The Christian’s life lived is to show forth to the world that the LORD is God, and that there is none else. We do that through the Spirit of Christ Jesus who is in us. Our lives are to be a continuing, growing testimony of the glory and power of God. Is it?

When the Church ceases to fear God; we cease to fear sin.  When we have ceased to fear sin, then we have adopted the gods of the world around us, and there is no differentiation between the two. Then, the people of the earth have no motivation to fear God, or to know Him.

Lift High the Lord

“I will extol Thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever.”  Psalm 145:1-2 (KJV)

To “extol” is to lift high.  The life of David was given to lift hing the name of the Lord his God. David is addressing Elohiym; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the fulness of the Godhead.  You could say the Court of heaven.

Like David we are to lift high the name of the Lord our God.  He is our God, our King, and so much more.  It is not limited in duration; or the time of our extolling His name has no time limit.  Like the Psalmist says, “I will bless Thy name for ever and ever”.  He says this twice in these two verses.

How long are we to bless the name of the Lord?  Everyday of our lives; and for ever – eternally; and it is to eternally never cease.

Begin blessing the Lord today by receiving God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection.  It is God’s gift to all who will receive it.

Blessing the LORD

“Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” Psalm 134:1-3 (KJV)

Look, see that the people of GOD are to bless the LORD.  The servants of GOD, the people of GOD are to be blessing the LORD.

This decree is to those who keep watch for the house of GOD in the night watches.  It is also true of the day watchers to bless the LORD.

We bless the LORD with our lips, our tongues, our mouth; but we also bless Him with our lives.  A life that is not lived holy wholly unto the LORD will not bless the LORD.

When we bless the LORD we will be blessed by the LORD.

There is no blessing the LORD – ie. praising, building up, bragging about; except through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus God’s Son.  Bless the LORD today by believing Jesus and trusting Him for salvation from sin’s condemnation.

True Happiness

“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1 (KJV)

Happiness from the world in which we live is fleeting.  We can laugh and be “happy” one minute, then, sadly defeated, depressed, and discouraged the next.  Where we were “happy” for an hour or two; we are the other for days and weeks on end.

Let me give you three things that lead to true happiness;

  1.  Fear the LORD; and that means you want to do nothing to anger Him, but you live in love for Him;
  2.   Praise the LORD;  you make much of Him, and little of yourself.  He is your reason for being, for living.  Lift high the glorious name of Jehovah, through His only begotten Son Jesus;
  3.   Delight in His commandments; rejoice in His Word.  Hide it in your heart, that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Let your life be a life filled with the Spirit of the LORD, and you will be Blessed – happy; truly joyous.  The only way to be able to live this is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and God the Son.

Bless the LORD

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

This Psalm is titled to be written during or of a time when David feigned insanity before a Philistine king – Achish (1 Samuel 21:10-15).  It is really a time of David’s weakest moment, because he feared this king; however the LORD delivered Him.

It is for that reason that David realizes he needs to “Bless the LORD” rather than deny Him.

How about you and me?  Do we bless the LORD with our lives or are we feigning ignorance, insanity, or just plain apathetic about Him?  That is certainly not blessing Him.

David determined, “I will bless the LORD at all times…”  Let us make that our determination today, and throughout the New Year.  To bless is to adore with the actions of our lives.  We bless God when we stand for His word and works.  We bless God when we love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  We bless the LORD when we love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.  We bless the LORD when we hear His word and do it.

When we bless the LORD “Praise” will come from our mouth.  We will praise Him for being GOD.  If He blesses us will make no difference.  We will praise Him because of who He is.

It all begins, because He first loved us, and showed that love by sending His Son Jesus the Christ who died for our sins, was buried and rose again from the grave.

Perfection in the Kingdom

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.’  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:43-48)

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.

Through the Bible in a Year – 021713

THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

The Greatest Act of Service

Mark 12 – 16

1. Loving God and loving your neighbor (12:28-34);
2. Preparing others for what will come (13:5-13);
3. Receives the blessing of others who recognize who He is (14:1-11);
4. Gives the ultimate gift – His life for others (15:15-21);
5. Rises victorious over sin, death, hell, the grave; and justifies all who will believe (16:1-8).

-Tim A. Blankenship

Blessed is the People…

The following is the sermon p0ints from the sermon I preached Sunday November 18, 2012.

Blessed is the People…

Psalm 89:15-18

1.  The people who know the joyful sound;
2.  The people who are in fellowship with the LORD;
3.  The people who are in the light of His countenance;
4.  The people rejoice all day;
5.  The people are exalted in His Righteousness;
6.  The people have the LORD as the glory of our strength and power;
7.  The people have the LORD as King and Defender.

-tim

Rains of Repentance

The following devotional is from Dr. David Jeremiah and Turning Point.

Rains of Repentance
No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:11

Recommended Reading — Hebrews 12:7-11
Dr. Paul White, a missionary physician in East Africa, described a drought threatening his area. Day after day, the blazing sun beat down and the plants withered. The regular rains were months late. One day the chief visited the local clergyman, and Dr. White joined them. “Bwana, we have sinned,” said the chief. “We must ask God’s forgiveness and His help. Can we have next Sunday as a day of repentance and prayer for rain?”
The word went out and large numbers gathered. The African pastor preached a powerful sermon on repentance, and everyone united in earnest prayer. Within an hour, gentle rain was falling, and three inches followed within three days. 1
Every affliction isn’t necessarily an act of divine chastening, but we should bear this in mind — very often the Lord uses difficulty to discipline and deepen us. When facing a problem, ask, “What is the Lord trying to teach me?” Sometimes we think of discipline as being hurtful, but God’s discipline is helpful. It offers eternal benefits.

The godly have some good in them; therefore the devil afflicts them; and some evil in them, therefore God afflicts them.
Thomas Watson, Puritan writer

1Dr. Paul White, Doctor of Tanganyika (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), 177-178.