The Blessed For the Sake of the Son of Man

And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said,
“Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
                                              Luke 6:20-23

The poor of whom Jesus is speaking are those who are poor in their view of themselves and their spiritual state, a broken and contrite heart is what God desires, and those are blessed.

It is also true of those who hunger for righteousness, those who weep because they see much wrong doing against what is holy, righteous and good, according to the Biblical definition; not the cultural or societal definition.

The world we live in, today’s culture and society hate holiness, righteousness, and the good defined by the word of God. They also hate all who stand on a Biblical world view. We can see many working against all that is godly.

What we are to do as the followers of Jesus Christ is to grow in our faith of Him, not follow the world’s way. Be faithful in teaching the word of God, be faithful in living the teachings of the word of God, and grow in our love for Him, also growing in our continued faith of His love, grace, mercy, holiness, righteousness and justness.

If you have slid backwards away from Him, now is the time to fall on your knees in repentance, and come back to faithful obedience and love for Him.

If you have never called out to Jesus Christ, He is the One who died for your sins on the cross, taking the place we all deserved, He died, was buried, and He rose again. Believe Him and receive forgiveness, and eternal life with Him.

What Is It Worth?

Then said Jesus unto His disciples,
“If any will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
  Matthew 16:24-28

The Truth, His Commandments and Love

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

The Right Attitude

“And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’
” Matthew 5:2-12

Hope In The End

“Thus saith the LORD; ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.’

Thus saith the LORD; ‘Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.’ ” Jeremiah 31:15-17 (KJB)

The prophecy of Jeremiah of the children after the birth of the Messiah, the Christ; and according to Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 2:16-18) is verse 15. It also may have been of near events of the prophecy as the taking of the young to Babylon, and the slaughter of innocents.  Consider Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; and probably others.

There is a promise that these children would come again to their own borders.  The borders of the land of Judah and Israel. The borders of their tribes.  At any rate to the borders God would give them.  They would return.

We are all expected to have an end. This life is only temporary.  There is, however, much hope for those who are in Christ Jesus. This hope is built not upon wishful thinking, positive thinking, or the dreams of dreamers.

This hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’s blood and His righteousness.  He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again.  Because of this marvelous gift of God we now have access to the very throne of God. We are redeemed, bought with a price. We are promised eternal life by grace through faith in Him.

It has been said, “All good things must come to an end”; but eternity never ends. The promises of God have no end. They are eternal. Be a part of the promises of God by coming to Him through Jesus Christ the Son of God.

The Secret Life of the Hypocrite

“As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honor is not seemly for a fool.
As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.
The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honor to a fool.
As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a parable in the mouth of fools.
The Great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.
As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? More hope of a fool than of him.”  Proverbs 26:1-12 (KJB)

The Secret Life of the Hypocrite –  Proverbs 26:1-28

Verses 1 – 12 —  Matters concerning the foolish individual.

Verse 1 –  The honor of a fool, a foolish person, is about as likely as “Snow in summer”, and as unneeded or as unwanted as “Rain in harvest”.  See 1 Samuel 12:17.  Verse 2 –  See Psalm 32:9.

vv. 4-5 –  These seem to be a contradiction; however it is a matter of judging when to be silent and when to speak.  Use discernment.

v. 12 –  Romans 12:16; Proverbs 29:20

Verses 13 – 16 —  A description of the slothful, lazy individual  (22:13).

v. 13 –  Excuses and difficulties, even dangers of the job are ever the slothful man’s heart and tongue.  Note the location of the lion [on the streets].  Lions do not inhabit streets, but rather the plains, woods, and fields. (20:4)

v. 15 –  Proverbs 19:24

Verses 17 – 23 —  The character of the “talebearer”.

From the Believer’s Bible Commentary – “I am more deadly than the screaming shell of a howitzer. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts, and wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me, no purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless. My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive. My name is Gossip!” Alanta Journal

“Prov. 26:17-22 These proverbs describe a person who uses his words carelessly. Examples include interfering in other people’s arguments (v. 17), deceiving people as a joke without concern for the consequences (vv. 18–19), and gossiping, especially where gossip provokes conflict (vv. 20–21). Verse 22 directly warns the reader that gossip is seductive, and the proverb serves as a bridge to the next section (vv. 23–28), on the liar.”  ESV Study Bible note

“He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; when he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.
Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.  A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” Proverbs 26:24-28

Verses 24 – 28 —  The deceitful, lying hypocrite.  Care will be taken by the wise individual when hearing the words of someone who might gain by the telling of lies.  Whether the lie be flattery, or denial of a charge one must hear with judging ears, and mind.

The hypocrite’s life ends up not being so secret.

The Power of Words

Words are like bullets; once fired off they cannot be recalled.  Once spoken you cannot call a word back.  We can say, “I’m sorry”, but that word still is there in the mind of the one it was spoken to.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”  That is not true.  Yes!  We can shrug them off, and go on, but the hurt is still there.

It is so much more loving, merciful, kind, and Christ like to give a word of encouragement, thanks, or praise; then a bitter, angry, or destroying word.  The question is – Do we want to build? or Do we want to destroy?

Hear the wisdom of Proverbs…

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.
The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:10-21 (KJV)

Remember Jesus’s words in the sermon on the mount…

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:21-22

When we speak unloving, unkind, hateful words we speak death; not life.  See what Jesus says above “…Shall be  in danger of hell fire.”

Further thoughts…

Verses 10 – 11 – The LORD is the source of many to trust in.  He is whom many who have called on the name of the Lord for salvation have run to.  Many a wealthy individual has all their hopes in their wealth, investments, and possessions. An island of safety in the midst of words of warning and hope (v. 10).

Verses 12 – 21 – You can see that the words of the foolish individual is more important to him/her than listening to others in verses 13, 17. Verse 16 speaks of giving gifts – not bribes to buy off judges, law enforcement, etc. Probably could be likened to a gift someone might bring to the King’s birth.

In verse 18 there seems to be some wisdom in “casting lots” for the ceasing of contentions.

There is reward; or destruction in our use of words. They can be the difference in life and/or death; destruction or building up.

There is much said in Scripture of words, the mouth, the lips, the tongue.  It is with great joy I can tell you of the Living Word, and that is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth as the God-Man, and gave His life to redeem you and me from our sins that we might live eternally.  Call on His name. Believe Him and be saved.

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and Nine

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to see other people as the Lord Jesus sees people, and to love them as He does also; and to know how to show that love through His Biblical example, and the power of the Holy Spirit within.

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 Christ Son of God] Matthew 5:43-48 (KJV)

Accounted Faith

Accounted Faith

Genesis 15:1-6 (6; Romans 4:3; Galations 3:6)

1. Bringing Our Grievances to a Faithful Creator, Saviour and Friend (vv. 1-2).
A. God as our faithful Provider, Protector, and Reward.
B. Still asking questions?

2. Going Beyond What We May Have (vv. 3-4).
A. God goes beyond what we have and see.
B. God promises what seems impossible.

3. Reminded of God’s Greatness, and His Power (v. 5).
A. Look to the One who made the stars; can you number them?
B. The astronomical promise – more than stars.

4. Counted Righteous Through Faith – the Gift of God (v. 6).
A. Faith: a gift, and an act (Eph. 2:8).
B. Called righteous by God Himself (Rom. 5:1).
C. The cross of Jesus Christ is the work of God by which He declares the unworthy “Righteous”.

Preached in Morning Worship @ Shiloah Baptist Church July 20, 1014

Blessing on the Poor, the Hungry, the Sorrowful, and the Persecuted for Jesus’s Name Sake

“Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  ~Jesus (Luke 6:20-26)

There is a Cost for Following Jesus; and Reward

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” ~Jesus (Matthew 10:34-42)

Heaven’s News – No Room for Show in the Kingdom

“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, ‘They have their reward.’ But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”  ~Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18)

Heaven’s News – Giving in the Kingdom

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, ‘They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.”   ~Jesus (Matthew 6:1-4)

The Great Invitation to Blessing

And he saith unto me, ‘Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.  He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’  ‘And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.‘  Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.  ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.‘  And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him that heareth say, ‘Come.’  And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”  Revelation 22:10-17 (KJV)

Within these verses are the final Beatitude of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  Also within these few verses is the final invitation of Scripture.

The Spirit and the bride say “Come.”  And those who hear say, “Come”.  It is a double invitation to all who will hear to come to the One who can give blessing and peace.  Jesus, the Christ; Son of God.

-T.A.

The Secret Place

You may remember, when you were young, having a place you could go to be away from others; family, friends, etc., and have time alone.  Maybe you went there when you were angry at someone; like Mom or Dad.  This was a place only you knew about; at least you thought so.  Let me tell you about a place for all ages of folks.  A place you can go to be alone with God.  It is a place of protection, encouragement, and many other blessings.  A place for receiving His message.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” Psalm 91:1 (KJV).

This is the place the follower of Jesus Christ lives. We never want or desire to live apart from the presence of the LORD. It is a genuine, real place. When you are with Him He speaks with you. He comforts you. He encourages you. At the times it is necessary He will correct you. Oh what a place it is; to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.

Here is one of the most wonderful promises of God’s Word.  It is wonderful because there is nothing so glorious as being in the “Secret place of the Most High” God.  You might be asking, “Just where is that secret place?”.  It is quite frankly not hard to find.  God is near you.  That secret place is in His presence.

To dwell in that secret place is to live in His presence.  You live in His presence by being in His Word; reading it, studying, praying, praising, and glorifying Him in word, song, praise and worship, and in the very acts of your life: with your acts living out the words that you speak.

The “Most High” is the One who is our creator.  He is our Sustainer.  He is our hope, our tower of strength, our sword, and our shield.  He could also be called our Exceeding Great Reward.

“Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty” is a place of protection; a place of shelter; not to keep us from the storms of life, but to take us through them.  Dwell in that secret place and you shall “Abide under the shadow of the Almighty”.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Of What was Abram Afraid?

Of What Was He Fearful???

“After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1 (KJV).

There is a possible clue as to why Abraham was fearful. “After these things…” could be referring to, and most likely is referring to the events which have just transpired. He has fought a great battle, delivering his nephew Lot, Lot’s family, the people of the cities of the plain, and taken back their possessions. There could possibly have been some very angry family members of those defeated kings. Abraham may have been fearful of a reprisal from those sons, daughters, uncles, and cousins.

One of the things which seems to be prominent throughout Scriptures is that when a man of faith has won a victory in one thing, he is immediately prone to fall into fear following it. Take for example Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings, and his victory on Mount Carmel in chapter eighteen, then his fear in chapter nineteen. We have many things about Abraham which reminds us he was a human man, capable of sinning, capable of failing, and falling. We find him faithful through his whole life – faithful.

God, in a vision came to Abraham, speaking to him, calling his name, “Fear not, Abram…”. Does it not do your heart good to know that people of higher office or position knows you by name, and not in a disciplinary way. Well, here we have the God of creation, calling one of His creation by name. You know what? The day I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, He called me by name; and He called you by name; or is doing so right now. He knows you and He knows your heart. He knows your joys, fears, doubts, and unbelief.

Abraham had experienced great victory against the kings who captured Lot and the people of the cities. God seems to be reminding him of who it was that actually gave him the victory. It was not with swords, spears, or arrows; it was by the hand of God. Abraham was trusting the Lord as he went into the insurmountable numbers of enemy soldiers of the battle. He would not have entered into the battle without the great assurance of faith in the God who called him here.

The “Friend of God” had seen the power of the Shield of God which protected him and his servants who went and fought beside him. Rather than taking the bounty of the war he refused it; trusting the Lord instead to provide his exceeding great reward, and in fact be Abraham’s exceeding great reward.